Well, as promised, I'm following up my green cleaning products post and my green facial products post with a green body products post.
I'll admit that when it comes to body level skincare I'm not particularly religious. I went through that whole fluffy plastic loofah and foamy shower gel phase in high school that every female I knew succumbed to at one point or another, but generally I am fairly laissez-faire about the whole thing. But occasionally, when the situation gets particularly dire, I snap to attention. And when I do, I need some products to use, and as I am now paranoid about my skin absorbing untold toxins, I need for them to be green.
I have always had a little bit of a thing for salt and sugar scrubs. I was a pretty loyal devotee of the aromatherapy scrubs at Bath and Body Works for a while, but once the price got up to $20 I couldn't really justify it anymore. I mean really, oil and salt? Let's be serious, shall we?
So I resorted to the granola option and started making my own. I took a very picturesque jar that I had picked up at the Container Store,
filled it about 3/4 of the way full with fine sea salt (but use sugar if you prefer), then poured enough carrier oil (I used sunflower oil, but sweet almond oil or another odorless vegetable or nut based oil would be fine as well) in to cover it by about an inch. I also like to add ten or so drops of an essential oil to the mixture (Neal's Yard has a high quality selection at very fair prices, I particularly like the lemongrass oil) so that I can give myself a little hit of aromatherapy in a steamy shower. This is such a moisturizing treatment that there is absolutely no need for any lotion or other moisturizer once you are out of the shower.
For days that you don't feel like dealing with a scrub, I highly recommend running a Japanese bath brush over your dry skin before getting in the shower, and then following up with a rub-down of argan oil after the shower.
I'll be very honest with you. I have never found an antiperspirant that truly stops me from sweating. I don't know if it was just that I never hit on the right brand or if I'm a particularly prolific sweater, but nothing ever seemed to work. So when I heard that conventional antiperspirants contained ingredients that were associated with various horrible health problems, I figured why not switch to a deodorant? Who cares if it doesn't stop sweat, the antiperspirant doesn't either!
After quite a few years of trying various brands (including at least a year of using various crystal rocks, for which I was mocked mercilessly by Zenia) I have finally settled on one: Dr. Hauschka Floral Deodorant.
I feel that I should qualify this a bit. The product smells amazing, and I find that it keeps me smelling reasonably good all day. But I should warn you that it is a fairly wet formulation, so you need to wait a bit for it to dry once you put it on. As I like to take my time in the morning, applying my eyeliner, blow drying my hair, etc., this doesn't pose a problem for me, but it may be a turnoff for some. I would imagine the $20 price tag might be an issue for some as well. I personally don't mind the splurge since I seem to have started making the vast majority of my beauty and grooming products, and thus am saving untold amounts.
Hand and Foot Creams
I've already mentioned my absolute love of Aveda's foot cream, and that adoration remains unabated. But I have got to add a plug for Dr. Hauschka's hand lotion (can you tell I have a serious thing for the good doctor? Really, everything from the line is fantastic).
The formulation is as perfect as a lotion could get. It soothes and smoothes dry skin, it absorbs quickly and again, smells wonderful. Although, like most Dr. Hauschka products, I can't quite identify what it is they smell like...just something natural and soothing, whatever it is.
And lastly, bath products. I actually really love to take baths, but don't do it too much. My tiny apartment in Philadelphia inexplicably had a big, deep bathtub, so I took quite a few very luxurious soaks, particularly in the winter. At the time I was pretty obsessed with L'Occitane's grape bath tonic, which provides some nice bubbles and an intoxicating scent.
Now, I'm back in New York and living in a bigger apartment but my bathtub is annoyingly shallow. I attempted a soak the other night and the top of my ribcage wasn't even submerged. Suffice to say I am no longer investing too heavily in bath products. So I'm sort of back to the do it yourself stuff...the bathtub version? Epsom salt! $2 for a carton, just throw a cup or so in a tub of water, add whatever essential oil you like (again, Neal's Yard) for a nice, cheap, relaxing soak. A little grandma but hell, we'll all be there eventually.
So there you go...green for the whole body!