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Best of Beauty: Top eco-friendly, natural beauty products

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Happy Earth Day! Honor the Earth and yourself with natural, eco-friendly skin care and makeup. The beauty industry has been under fire in recent years due to many questionable ingredients linked to a variety of cancers and other health problems – stuff you don’t necessarily want running through the water system, sitting in landfills or getting soaked up by your skin and traveling into your bloodstream. Fortunately, the beauty industry has undergone a major change. There are many more natural alternatives these days and the formulations are getting more sophisticated so you don’t have to compromise on quality and performance when you go au natural.

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This Examiner recently went on Fox 2 News in the Morning with April Simpson to talk about some of my favorite eco-friendly, natural beauty products, including a couple lines made here in Saint Louis. Watch the video and read below for more info about some of the top natural beauty lines and top picks from each.

Local. One of the best ways to be kind to the Earth is to not only choose natural products but also choose products made locally. Kind Soap Company and Blissoma are two outstanding beauty companies based in St. Louis.

Kind Soap Company offers all-natural, eco-friendly at highly affordable prices. Their products work exceptionally well and smell so, so good: aromatherapy soaps, shower gels and hand soaps, luxe skin care for face and body, hair care, baby care, personal care for men and even vintage jewelry filled with your choice of aromatherapy balms – cleverly called Balmshells.

Everything is handcrafted in Saint Louis and free of sulfates, parabens, pthalates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrance and colors, formaldehyde and talc (a well-known carcinogen).

Some of our favorites:

  • It Sticks – aromatherapy balms that can be used as deodorant, lotion bars, solid cologne, shave balm and even for smoothing hair flyaways ($14)
  • Balmshells and Sinus Therapy Balm – Choose a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry and they’ll fill the locket with an aromatherapy balm – Sinus Therapy is ideal for allergy season
  • Rosewater Cream – a lightweight cream for face, body and hands – nice and light so it’s great for warmer months ($14)
  • Goodnight Kisses – an exceptionally rich, petroleum-free lip balm ($10)

Available at kindsoap.com, at Whole Foods and at the Kind Shop in Webster Groves.

Blissoma offers blissfully 100% natural, raw, holistic, plant-based, Earth-friendly, high-performance skin care from Blissoma handmade in Saint Louis. Their products are made with raw organic herbs, fruits, juices and botanical oils. Everything is solution-oriented to work for normal/combination, oily/acneic, ultra sensitive/reactive and mature/dry skin.

All products are free of petrochemicals, gluten, nuts, artificial fragrance and parabens. Scent-free and alcohol-free options are available.

We recommend:

  • Free – Rejuvenating Herbal Gel Cleanser & Makeup Remover – a PH correct formula that nourishes skin with yerba mate polyphenols and unrefined grapeseed oil as it cleanses skin and removes makeup ($32)
  • Smooth – A+ Perfecting Serum – a top seller made with rose oil and carrot juice to protects acneic and oily skin, targeting blemishes and inflammation while helping regenerate skin with flavonoids and beta carotene ($26)
  • Refine – Clay Renewal Treatment – a mask for all skin types – mineral-rich clay helps with dullness, flaking, blemishes and fine lines while deep-cleansing rose, willowbark and olive leaf depuff and even skin tone ($31)

Available at blissoma.com and at natural food shops around the country, including Natural Way and Local Harvest.

Aveda is a long-time leader creating plant-based hair and skin care products in packaging made with recycled materials and plastic derived from plants. They’re also the first beauty company manufacturing products with 100% certified wind power.

Top picks:

  • Light the Way Candle – 100% of the purchase of this limited edition soy wax candle helps protect clean water – it’s made with organic ginger and ginger lily – over the past seven years, Aveda has raised more than $7.6 million to fund water projects around the world with Light the Way candle purchases ($12)
  • Be Curly is one of several hair care systems – it does an amazing job enhancing and defining curls, and fighting frizz with products that are 95% naturally derived from plants and non-petroleum minerals ($20-63)
  • Brilliant is another system – the Spray-On Shine and Finishing Gloss are outstanding for adding shine and taming frizz and flyaways ($26-28)

Available at aveda.com and Aveda salons and shops.

100% Pure all-natural skin care and mascara100% Pure makes some of the yummiest smelling, high-performance face and body skin care and makeup. They even have a mascara that gets its pigment from things like black tea, berries and cherries.

100% Pure products are vegan and made without synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, artificial colors, harsh detergents or any other unhealthy toxins. Products are based around antioxidants because they protect the skin from the many things that attack and age skin like the sun, smoke and smog.

Top picks:

  • Black Tea Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara – works as well as traditional mascaras but gets it color from black tea, chocolate and berries – conditions with provitamin B5, vitamin E and oats ($21)
  • Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream – this best seller combats dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles while improves skin firmness with anti-aging vitamins, antioxidants and nourishing rose hip oil ($21)
  • Honey Almond Whipped Body Butter – a decadent cream that smells heavenly – a mix of rich cocoa butter, avocado butter, argan oil, rosehip oil and shea butter ($22)

Available at 100percentpure.com and at 100% Pure boutiques and many natural health stores.

Mineral Fusion natural skin care, makeup and nail polishMineral Fusion keeps things fun with great color and time-saving all-in-one makeup like their amazing mineral-infused BB Creams and 3-in-1 Color Sticks for eyes, cheeks and lips.

Products are made with skin-protecting minerals like magnesium, copper and zinc, which provide antioxidant defense against damaging free radicals. Products are free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS and phthalates.

The company is also committed to sustainability by using wind power, soy inks, recyclable packaging from recycled materials and packaging that is. They also support women in need by partnering with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Faves:

  • Glow & Go Mineral Beauty Balms – four treatments in one: a moisturizer, anti-aging treatment, skin perfector and broad-spectrum UV protection – formulated with antioxidant-rich vitamins and botanicals, they minimize fine lines, wrinkles and pores, protect and repair skin, even skin and minimize shine – the tinted versions replace heavy foundations while the untinted version mattifies skin and gives a clean, makeup-free look ($25)
  • Glow & Go 3-in-1 Color Sticks – save time and space in your makeup bag with creamy color for eyes, lips and cheeks – brush-free application so you can apply anywhere easily – made with skin nourishing ingredients that protect skin from UV rays, soothe skin and reduce redness, and promote skin regeneration ($20)
  • Nail Lacquers – more than 30 vibrant colors – long-lasting, chip-free formula infused with antioxidant-rich minerals – made without formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and pthalates ($8)

Available at mineralfusion.com, Whole Foods and natural health stores nationwide.

(This article originally appeared on Hello Beauty.)

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