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Published on December 14th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Green Gifting Guide: Products for Beauty and Relaxation

Indulgent facial and body care products, sumptuous spa treats, and colorful cosmetics are gift items that soar off of shelves during the holiday season.  Unfortunately, many of these potential gifts contain potentially harmful ingredients … and our guess is you’d probably like to avoid giving gifts known to contain toxic products and carry harmful effects with long-term use.

Here are some general guidelines and resource links to help you choose safe and eco-friendly gifts in these areas . . .

With anything that touches the body, go for truly natural, organic products that use nature’s formulas to nourish and refresh winterized skin.  It takes a few extra minutes of research, but the gift of a truly safe, natural product continues to give for a lifetime!

General Guidelines

  • Scout out various products online before you head off for shopping.
  • Browse brands, reading product profiles of ingredients and/or checking them against databases like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.  While databases are great tools, it’s always best to conduct a little research of your own.
  • Wrap your gifts in extra bags, reusable containers, or eco-friendly wrapping papers.

In addition to purchasing substantiated safe and eco-friendly products, you can:

  • Support local commerce by searching for herbalists in your area with small-scale skin care, body care, and soap-making operations.  You can sometimes find local vendors at your nearby farmers’ market.  Many herbal formulas have healing and anti-aging properties in addition to high moisture value.
  • If you have time, spend a day making batches of your own simple, cost effective, and high-quality skin care products or soaps.  Package them in fabric or reusable tins with nice sticker labels.

Purchasing Products

A certified organic label guarantees that the company has met stringent production requirements:

  • Products labeled 100% organic must have all-organic ingredients.
  • Those made with 95% (or more) organic ingredients may call themselves organic.
  • A product containing 70% (or more) organic ingredients may use the label made with organic ingredients.

There are now many companies that work to create safe, organic, and eco-friendly products.  While we can’t list them all, we’ve included some resource links below to help get you started.

** Indicates that the company or distributor also carries products specifically designed for men.


Cosmetics Kitchen, Jane Iredale Cosmetics,

Larenim,  Miessence Products, Natural Solutions

Hair Care

Avalon Organics, Dessert Essence,

Miessence, Terressentials, Weleda**

Skin and Body Care

Avalon Organics, Cosmetics Kitchen**, Dessert Essence,

Eco-Beauty**, Miessence, Natural Solutions,

Pangea Organics (all product packaging is made with 100% post-consumer paper and seeds so you can plant it), Terressentials, Weleda**

For soaps and spa gifts, look for nourishing products scented with 100% essential oil and made from ingredient bases like clay, goat’s milk, and vegetable oil:

Collective Well-Being, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps,

Indigo Wild’s Zum Bars, Pangea Organics, Weleda

For more detailed information, click over to Cosmetics, Skin Care, or Hair CareCosmetics contains a list of toxic product ingredients that you’ll want to avoid.

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