Organic beauty products: Green and good

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With all of the discussion about organic beauty products and personal care items that are good for you and the environment, I decided to try a few to see which ones worked well. Since my daughter suffers from Eczema, I am always on the lookout for helpful organic products. I am also trying to set the example for my family when it comes to living a green life, so I have been scanning the shelves for products that are environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, many of these brands are either expensive or don't work well. Take deodorants for example, it took me months to find one that really worked. So many of the natural and green deodorants simply don't give the protection that the label promises. So, as you work to stay on budget, go green and buy more organic, read on to see what is out there that worked for me and for my ever shrinking budget!

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Organic Beauty Products for your Body

My mother has always been ahead of her time. Growing up, there were plenty of mini-lectures about eating all natural, organic foods and using environmentally sound products. Now that I am a 40-something mother and wife, those mini-lectures have become nuggets of gold, especially in today's world!

So, as I shopped for organic beauty products for this column, I purchased a brand that was always in my Mom's bathroom cabinet. Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap is made with organic oils. It also comes in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle that can be recycled again. This company has been around for 150 years and has been kept alive by five generations! When Emmanuel Brunner passed away, his family kept the business running and donated over 1,000 acres of San Diego rainforest to the local Boys & Girls Clubs so that underprivileged children could have a preserved piece of land to camp on. The company is definitely a green organization. This product can also be used for a wide variety of personal care items such as baby soap, deodorant, massage oil, scalp treatment and more simply by diluting 1/2 oz. of the soap with 2 squirts of water. So, the $5.75 I paid for this is really stretching my beauty dollar.

Kiss My Face Whitening Certified Organic Aloe Vera Toothpaste & Kids Hand Wash, a natural, organic beauty product that is inexpensive that will brighten my smile and whiten my teeth? I was all for that, so I am pleased to report that this stuff does the trick. With organic ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree and olive leaf extract and an under $5 price tag, this product met my expectations. This company is also green. The website touts that over $100,000 from sales of their lip balm has been donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection that works to combat global warming. operates out of an organic farm in New York, which the company website says, is much better for the environment than a mass production factory. I also purchased their Obsessively Natural Kids Self-Foaming Hand Wash. Not only do we like the all natural, fragrance-free and color-free soap, but the bottle directs customers to their website that is packed with games and activities meant to teach kids about endangered animals and environmental issues.

Bass 100% Cactus Fiber Rejevenir Ayate Body Scrubber was recommended by the personal trainers at my gym; this body scrubber not only gives your body a good scrub, but also deep cleans pores, helps reduce cellulite and stimulates circulation. My gym nutritionist advised me to use it on dry skin before taking a shower for best results and to help rid my body of environmental toxins. Made out of 100% cactus fiber from Mexico, this beauty product is all organic and can be used repeatedly, which is not bad since it cost almost six dollars. I did have to get used to the feel of applying it on dry skin, but I have incorporated it into my daily beauty regimen and I feel good about doing so, especially since it came highly recommended from the experts from L.E.A.N. Wellness Center in Mesa.

The next organic beauty product that I tested was Burt's Bees Lotion & Lip Balm. is one company that is organic and green! The company website describes how they spent years looking for a vendor that could manufacture recycled plastic for their lip balm tube packaging. The outside of the tube states that it contains 50% post-industrial recycled plastic and also reminds customers to recycle the container when empty. Look closely at the Burt's Bees Soothingly Sensitive Aloe & Buttermilk Body Lotion and you will notice that the front of the box says that the ingredients are 99.41% natural. The company calls that their "natural bar" which discloses the impressively high amount of natural ingredients that go into each product. Their products average 99% natural, with half of all items being 100% natural. Keeping with the recycling message, the lotion bottle also reminds consumers to recycle with "your #2 plastics" and touts that the materials in that container are made from 90% post-consumer recycled material. The best part is that Burt's Bees products work very well, are affordable and are now regularly available in drug stores!

Organic Beauty Products for your Home

Visit the Soy Inspirations website and you will notice right away that this company is organic and green. Each candle is made from 100% stabilized soy wax and they use an all cotton lead-free wick. They are biodegradable and are made in the USA from a renewable resource that burns clean. Did I mention how nice they smell? I found my Lilac scented candle at Sprouts Farmer's Market for only $5.99. I think I'll go back and get a few for Christmas gifts. Learn more about their .

Green & Clean Cleaners Non-toxic, biodegradable with no ammonia, alcohol or harmful chemicals, Holy Cow All Purpose Cleaner has become an environmentally safe staple in my home. This one bottle does it all cleaning granite, bathrooms and even pet stains. The 32 oz. container was only $2.99, the cheapest organic and earth-friendly cleaning product that I've found yet! It is widely available and is sold at warehouse stores, Walgreen's and Sprouts Farmers Market among other retail outlets. Learn more about this .

Last year I did a television segment about my favorite cleaning products. One concerned viewer wrote to me to explain that those cleaning wipes that I was addicted to were bad for the environment since they could not be recycled. I was embarrassed to say that I had never thought of that and thanked her for the insight, which should have obvious to me! So, I was very excited to find that Method has come out with the first cleaning wipe that meets the Design for Environment (DdE) standard of the US EPA. Since each wipe is made with renewable and flushable non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients and minus the bleach, I can go back to my beloved wipe cleaning routine! The package lists bathroom uses, but I tested it on my fine wood table and it worked well, so I use the product for my kitchen, too. Method is now sold at Target. I bought my pack for just under $5. Call me crazy, but cleaning is more fun when done with a wipe! Check out for cleaning tips on all of your home's dirty details.

As I researched this article, I realized that I could spend days on this topic with the wide variety of organic and green products that are thankfully hitting the shelves daily. Health food shops and stores like Sprouts Farmers Market have a great selection of these types of items. I have also noticed that these products are popping up more and more in drug stores, super stores and even many grocery stores. Going green the natural way is getting a little easier and for a busy mom like me, that is good news.