Hey Healthy Woman, Happy Woman! I know you derive great pleasure from gifting friends and family during the holidays. But what, may I ask, are you looking forward to receiving? Or, what have you done for YOU lately to pamper yourself?
I want to share with you some gift ideas for products that are natural, safe, and practical that you can ever-so-casually mention to others who need a hint about what to get you this Christmas. Or, pamper yourself by indulging in one or two (or three!) of them!
You guys know that I feel really strongly about using the purest possible products on my face, body, nails, and hair, given the number of toxic ingredients in most store-bought cosmetics, lotions, creams, and nail products. I’ve tried all of the products I’m going to share with you in this post, and I recommend them highly. Some of them are truly splurges, but we healthy, happy women are worth pampering every now and then!
To pamper the face
When I saw an ad for Biossance face oil, I decided to give it a try and am loving it! This relatively new brand, which can now be found at Sephora, does not use any of the 1,500 cosmetics ingredients banned by the European Union (unfortunately, standards here in the USA are not as stringent). Biossance’s products are made from squalane, which helps eliminate skin dryness and dullness and protects skin from moisture loss. I pamper my skin with their Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil at night to remove makeup, and the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil both day and night to brighten and gently moisturize my face, especially now that it’s getting colder and the air is drier. The oil-soluble Vitamin C in the Rose Oil fights free radicals and is an effective antioxidant. By the way, their sample travel kit is a great way to get started on their products.
Similarly, I found out about Thrive Causemetics through an ad on Facebook. Their line of cosmetics is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, sulfates, and toxins that can cause cancer or disrupt hormones. For every product bought, Thrive Causemetics donates one to a woman going through cancer treatment or facing domestic violence. So far I’ve tried their Liquid Lash Extension Mascara and Infinity Waterproof Eyebrow Liner and have been quite satisfied with the results.
To pamper the body
I’m a huge fan of Shea Radiance! CEO Funlayo Alabi’s ingredient list is simple and unblemished by unpronounceable chemicals; her products are extremely effective, particularly in harsh winter months; and she sources her shea butter from cooperatives run by women in West Africa, thus ensuring those women’s economic empowerment. My current faves to pamper myself are the Black Soap Body Cleanser, the Advanced Brightening Body Cream with Vitamin C and Niacinamide, and the Antioxidant Shea and Baobab Oil Body Cream. Expect long-lasting moisture and radiant, buttery-soft skin!
I recently got back into dry skin brushing and found a great kit that works wonders. Dry brushing takes about five minutes in the morning, just before you shower, and revives your lymphatic system, diminishes cellulite, and removes dead skin cells.
While looking for the dry brushing kit, I came across Asutra’s Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub in Cooling Cucumber. It’s made of Dead Sea Salt, along with almond, jojoba, and argan oils. It boasts of no synthetic ingredients or parabens, and it is never tested on animals. Your skin will thank you for the softness and smoothness this scrub produces.
To pamper the nails
Zoya’s award-winning Naked Manicure kit gives you the look of natural nails combined with vitamins B5 and E, proteins, and botanicals that help prevent brittleness and cracking and lessen discoloration. I truly have seen a difference in the quality of my nails. Bonus: the products are 5-free and 10-free, meaning that they do not carry known carcinogens like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor; and toxins like TPHP, parabens, xylene, lead, and ethyl tosylamide, and tryphenyl phosphate, which can trigger headaches and fatigue. Their 3-in-1 polish remover + isn’t as drying as the acetone in some drugstore brands, and it nourishes the nail in preparation for new color.
Jenna Hipp’s line of nail polishes are also 3-, 5-, and 10-free; I got a set of her 12 mini-polishes from Costco.
And for women of color looking for nude polishes (and lipsticks!), Mented is the place to be. This new, black-woman-run company has created a line of products for black and brown women that is vegan, paraben-free, and cruelty free. I’m loving their nude nail collection, and I’m torn between Brown and Bougie and Yes We Tan as my preferred shade. 🙂 Use this link to pamper yourself with 15% off your first purchase at Mented: http://mentedcosmetics.refr.cc/alisonh.
To pamper the hair
After much trial and error in the early stages of my natural hair journey, I happened upon the Just Nutritive line of handmade hair and skin products. They carry products for specific conditions, such as extremely dry hair, grey hair, scalp problems, and thinning hair, and they focus on chemical-free ingredients that are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential fatty acids, enzymes and amino acids. Their Moisturizer Hair Pomade provides tons of moisture and guards against breakage and brittleness. The ingredients are a who’s-who of healthy oils like cupuacu, kukui, and grapeseed that pamper your hair and leave it replenished. Their Vinegar Rinse Cleanser helps remove product build-up when shampooing and conditioning. It features apple cider vinegar (ACV) and a host of extracts, oils, and vitamins that leave your hair and scalp feeling clean and vibrant.
Two products by Oyin Handmade are on my all-star pamper list. Oyin (the Yoruba word for “honey”) is based in Baltimore but their products are available at Target and, of course, online. They shun petroleum, silicones, parabens and other damaging ingredients, choosing to incorporate oils, essences, and herbs that heal and nourish the hair. Hair Dew is just that… dewy goodness on the hair to retain moisture and promote a healthy shine, whether your hair is natural or relaxed. Castor, olive, and coconut oils; aloe vera; and pure water are the featured ingredients. Juices and Berries is a fruity-smelling leave-in spray with vegetable-based moisturizers and essences that do tons of good to your scalp and hair.
How will you pamper yourself this Christmas with natural, chemical-free products?