Thursday, January 14, 2010

Four Free Eco-Beauty Changes & A Bloggy-Friend's New Venture!

Many of you may remember my post about the fact that for about three years now my skin has decided to HATE me. Having been one of the lucky teens blessed with mostly clear skin, I found it incredibly unfair that I was suffering with acne, rosacea and eczema in my mid-late twenties. Especially since it really happened when I had decided to gradually go chemical-free in my beauty regime. (our friend-yoga on Saturday, SIX mats in our dining-living area!!)

What?? I have massive mountains and I can't use those ridiculously toxic (but incredibly successful) skin pad wipes??? Moving to aveda products was not only expensive, but obviously temporary (ever look at the ingredients on those products? ummm, chemical bonanza-ick!). 

Finally, after some failed attempts at completely cutting out ALL products (cutting down may work for many, but my skin actually got worse... being dry doesn't make it happy), I sucked up my pride and went for an organic facial.

Yep, I felt like a complete princess (in a non-compliment-y way) but seriously, I needed some guidance.

The experience wasn't something I'd revisit anytime soon, and not at all because of the aesthetician or products, but because of my sensory issues. Don't tell anyone, but I seriously hate having my face touched... and I was going to a facial. It was like the time I had a massage before I realized I didn't like strangers touching me... (the lady gave up when the hot stones kept falling off my legs cuz I was so tense). 

I did warn her that I was aware of my deficiency and that I would be uncomfortable the entire time, but it was nothing against her. She was very sweet, although I'm sure as soon as I left she was like: "Who was that crazy girl??". I almost walked out though when she said to take off my shirt and bra- WHAT? What does THAT have to do with my FACE? Hah, so I guess it's so you can relax better under the sheets while getting a facial.

People RELAX while getting a facial?? Really? 

In any case, the end result was that my skin was finally qualified by someone who knew about these things. Who knew that I had dehydrated skin (not the same as dry!), mild rosacea and level 2 acne (ick!). 

I will admit that I did leave the spa with four products, but I was prepared to try Eminence, an organic hungarian line (which I will talk about later). Needless to say, it was expensive, but for the first time in three years my skin is happy. I'm attributing this mostly to the moisturizer and cleanser and not so much the exfoliant or toner. Good to know so I can cheap up the last two when they run out (which, considering how much I paid for them, seven months later they are only half empty...).

The other part of my happy skin has to do with three or four FREE changes that she recommended. They are completely common sense, but for some strange reason I didn't even consider any of them.

  1. Wash your makeup brushes (all of them!) weekly or bi-weekly! Wow, that one is an "of course!", but wouldn't you know I hadn't washed my blush brush since I bought it? (ew!). She recommended using shampoo as many brushes are actually made with "real" hair (weird... and SO not vegan). Admittedly I average on bi-weekly, and it is gross the stuff that comes out of those brushes. Of course spreading all your faces oils and makeup over your skin would make you break out!
  2. Wash your face AFTER you rinse all your shampoo and conditioner out of your hair. Really? This is something I never did- I had a routine. Shampoo, rinse, condition-leave in while I wash my face, rinse afterwards. She pointed out that often our conditioners have oils and "stuff" in them (especially if your hair obviously only loves chemical shampoo like mine does...ick). With water running down all over our face, the last thing to touch our skin should be the cleansers. And wouldn't you know my breakouts happened to be all along the hairline and where water would run?
  3. Wash your face before and after yoga. This one is mine. It seems straightforward, and I haven't quite accomplished this 100%, but yoga is hard work, and I am (weirdly) a sweaty gal. It doesn't have to be your regular cleanser, even mild soap and water would be great, but pre and post nonetheless.
  4. Use lighter (or less) makeup. This includes trying for an "all-in-one" powder instead of concealer, foundation, powder deal. I'm moving towards this, with a lighter powder that can double as a concealer. I never liked foundations in the first place.
There ya go- four quick and easy ways to help your skin for free! I think there are soothing face masks and treatments made from things like honey and milk that would be wonderful as well... but I'm just too lazy (and honestly scared- what if my face swells up like it did with tea tree oil??) to try.

On the beauty note- 

I'm excited to share the news that tomorrow is Greenspell's natural, eco-friendly lotions and beauty product Etsy shop's Grand Opening! It's called 5 Seed and I LOVE her logo (five apple seeds!). She has a wonderful blog with the perfect philosophy (check out "why 5 Seed"). She's also pledged to donate 5% of all profits to the Jane Goodall Institute and try to eliminate plastic and packaging from her products! I also thought it was perfect that she chose tomorrow due to the new moon and solar eclipse, a very good time for new beginnings.

Please check out her blog, 5 Seed and her Etsy shop Friday January 15th 2010  ( starting Friday). I'm really excited about her yummy sounding lip balm flavours and the fact that her products are in glass jars and tin containers!


article and photos copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. skin hates me...with eczema, along with psoriasis...and I don't have ANY beauty regimen...chemical or otherwise...because I'm just so naturally beautiful, of course...(and, then, I doubt many people use makeup in the areas affected...alright, I'll stop here...)

  2. One of major problems I have is finding a balance between trying to be "eco" and animal friendly is so hard. All my make up brushes are synthetic, obviously, but at what cost to the planet? Likewise shoes. I actually bought my first pair of leather boots for ages the other week. Not only am I sick of having wet cold feet but what cost are "fake leather" shoes to the environment. And hemp boots are good, but totally unwaterproof!

    My hair like yours only likes chemicals, which is desperately annoying but there it is. So now I use BUAV approved chemicals as a compromise....


  3. No thank you, no touching me please... I'm the same way - I don't go for massages because I don't like other people touching me. Even facials I would tense up. Thanks for sharing this information. I don't wear make-up often but it's useful just the same.

  4. As a vegan, I struggle with the same things that Rachel does. My usual order of priority goes something like cruelty-free first, all-natural/organic second. Luckily, the hippie grocery store I go to has lots of good stuff. I keep wanting to start making my own lotions, soaps, etc., but then I realize that a lot of the ingredients would come in plenty of packaging as well and I get frustrated. It's tough to find that middle ground!

  5. I decided just over a year ago to ditch make-up all together. It took a while to get used to what I looked like with out it! I also sometimes miss it when I have that pimple in the middle of my forehead...right now I use soap to wash my face, the I use a sugar scrub to get the dry bits off, spot some tea tree oil (I know this isn't good for you but there are likely alternatives)on problem areas and use my own homemade cream to moisturize. Although it is natural it is not the most effective against acne but really, everyone gets it so I am becoming more accepting of my take effort though...thanks for the info!

  6. This is a great post. I have been having late-life breakouts myself after surviving the teens and twenties unaffected. After a breakout my hubby always said..."You use to much crap, don't use anything and you will be fine." So, that is my enviro-friendly skincare regime now. Water and a light sunscreen moisturizer. The wash the face last tip is the best one for me b/c my face can't handle anything oily...and I never thought of that!

  7. First of all, thank you so very much for your "shout-out!" I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!

    Secondly, as you know, I've been paring down in makeup since 2008. I don't wear any at all (not even concealer) during most days. Yes, I actually go out in public like this, even when I have a pimple!

    Sometimes, I wear a bit of eyeliner and some concealer, but I'm determined to get to know and love my face the way it is.

    But going green in the area of beauty is truly difficult. It challenges our sense of identity, our self-esteem, and our comfort zones! Every step we make, however, is something to be proud of.

    I'm fascinated by your facial story. Very interesting! And good tips!! (I'm guilty of not washing those brushes often enough...)

  8. I'm curious what "level 2 acne" means. I've struggled with acne for years but it is 100% hormonal. I've had doctors and dermatologists tell me that no amount of washing my skin will help, and only prescription medicine will do the trick.

    They seem to be right in one regard - the junk I bought at the drugstore never helped, no matter if it was chemical-yuckiness or organic. But even prescription medication didn't help.

    I think only time will make it go away completely!

  9. Uh, THANK YOU for that, I had no idea about washing the brushes either, and I am with you, have not washed mine since inception... will do!

  10. I switched from an all-out makeup regimen of foundation, concealer, powder, eyeliner, 2 eyeshadows, etc... to a dusting of mineral powder and some masacara last year. It has saved me so much time, my skin has cleared up, and the mineral sheers are excellent for staying put and absorbing oil.
    Wash the face after rinsing the hair, eh? I never thought about that one.
    Thanks for the tips!

  11. Hi!
    Just read about a new yoga place opening up(above the dreaded Lululemon store!!)and they are offering one week of free yoga starting Jan 23rd as their opening week....can't beat free yoga!
    Their website is
    and they have a facebook site with more info too.
    Hope you can check out the free classes-would love to know what you think :)

  12. I LOVE that you do friend yoga in your living room - I think I may have to *borrow* this :)

    I feel you on the skin thing! I've had weirdness with my skin on random parts of my body for over four years now.

    Doctors have been no help (chalked it up to eczema - but wait, I've NEVER had that!!!) and I've all but given up and given in to my new reality...blah.

    So I join you in the great skin mystery :)

  13. so glad I read this! I always wash my face first thing in the shower...I will have to switch it now!


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