Saturday, November 24, 2007

it's not easy being green...

I just listened to a fantastic edition of the CBC's Listener's Choice podcast. It's an interview with Michael Pollan, an award winning writer of books and articles on "places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs, and architecture. " (Quote taken directly from his bio.) In this particular interview he speaks about the organic food industry. I found him absolutely riveting. It's obvious that this guy knows his stuff and he's able to deliver the findings of his research in a calm, rational, seemingly unbiased way. If you have any interest at all in organic food I urge you to listen to this podcast. (It is the November 23rd edition.) It certainly cleared up a few misconceptions for me and further reiterated the fact that we as consumers have the power to influence what happens in the food industry.

Note: I have cross-posted this entry to my other blog, ramble on.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

facial cleansers

I've been test driving a few facial cleansers over the past couple of months. Here's the rundown.

Green Beaver Aloe Gel Cleanser
According to the package, this product "Does not contain harsh detergents, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), methyl or propylparaben (preservatives), artificial fragrances, dyes, petrolatum, propylene glycol or animal products." Since this is a Canadian company, I wasn't surprised when I didn't find it on Skin Deep. But thanks to their new user tool I entered the ingredients myself and it came out with a fantastic 1 out of 10. I was very happy with this result because I LOVE THIS CLEANSER. It's perfect for my combination skin. Not drying at all but very effective on the oily areas. It has a beautiful grapefruit, lemon scent and we all know that I'm a sucker for citrus. The best part is that a little goes a long way. A dime sized squeeze is enough to clean my entire face and neck, including mascara. I will definitely be buying this again. I paid $13.99 for it at Goodness Me.

Alba Organics Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser
I bought this one before I discovered Skin Deep. Unfortunately, it gets a 5 out of 10 rating. It contains polyparaben. It does clean well and smells lovely but is not safe for the eye area, as I found out when I tried to use it to remove my eyeliner and mascara. Wow, does it ever sting! For this reason (and the polyparaben), I probably won't be buying it again. I am frankly too lazy to use both an eye makeup remover and a cleanser so I need cleanser that is safe on the eyes. I bought this one for $12.99 at Goodness Me.

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
Now this one is interesting. I was thrilled to see that it received a 1 out of 10, low hazard rating on Skin Deep. Some of the package claims include: "No animal ingredients or testing. No alcohol, detergents, artificial color or synthetic perfumes." Excellent! Actually, not so much. The cleanser is incredibly watery, making it impossible to use with your bare hands. So you'll need to have a washcloth or one of those pouf things. The tea tree aroma is completely overwhelming. I actually choked and coughed the first time I used it. And it's incredibly drying which is fine on my oily forehead but not great for the rest of my face. I think I'll pack this one away until the hot summer months when my skin gets really greasy. But even then, I definitely won't be using it everyday. Unfortunately I can't recall where I bought it or how much it cost.

Avalon Organics Hydrating Lavender Toner
Ahh how I love lavender! The fragrance of this toner is beautiful. Unfortunately, it doesn't rate will on Skin Deep with a moderate, 4 out or 10 rating. Out of all of the toners/astringents on the site, 64% score better than this one. The main culprit is salicylic acid. It does work well though. Oddly enough for a toner, it is hydrating. Most toners completely dry out my skin so I don't use them very often. But this one does clear up the oil while not leaving my skin dry. Still, I think I will try a few more. I picked this one up at Whole Foods for $8.99