My Sustainable Journey In February

My plan for February was to find a toothpaste that creates less waste and is still good for my health. Originally I wanted to change my toothpaste after I’ve read several posts about fluoride and how it can have a bad effect on our health. There are a few fluoride free toothpaste options but most of them are in plastic tubes, which does not help when I want to create less waste. So far I’ve quite like toothpaste from Ecodenta, especially their charcoal one, as that is fluoride free (not all natural toothpaste will be fluoride free). I did try some from Georganics, but found the glass jar not as convenient especially when I was really tired. (I might try some of their other products though in the future). At the beginning of February I ordered some fluoride-free toothpaste tablets from Society zero, which I wanted to try, but then I had to get my tooth fixed and fluoride toothpaste was the only thing that was working for me for a couple of weeks. So I’ve only been trying the toothpaste tablet for a week or so, but so far I quite like them. I think I’ll have to try them for longer to be sure and possibly try some toothy tabs from Lush and other Georganics products to find the product that I am the happiest with health wise and waste wise.

If you want to read more about fluoride and decide for yourself if you want to have toothpaste with it you can check the following articles F Toxins, Curiosly Conscious, Georganics. There most certainly are many more articles and most of them will explain two different sides of pro or con fluoride. The one thing that I found out is that fluoride in small amounts is great for your enamel but otherwise not too good for human health, and the fluoride used in toothpaste is often industrial based by-product, which circularity in mind is great, but I am not sure if we should be using that in our bodies.

My Sustainable Journey In February - byLiiL

No Logo

In February I also finished the book No Logo by Naomi Klein. The book is not an actual sustainability book, but I found that helps with understanding the world, how it works and what drives it – all things that affect how we can change it to a more sustainable one. It talks about how brands are everywhere, even where we don’t think they are, how much influence they have on people, their decision making and what they trust or don’t trust. It also uncovers the secrets these brands have and would rather not let their customers know about them. What strikes me is not how influential the brands are on customers but even on governments and their decision making.

It also discusses in extent how brands, although try to market diversity, in real life hope for and try to achieve less diversity because their products will be easier to market to a bigger group.

The book is quite old, written in 1999, and I believe many of the companies mentioned have changed their ways. Nevertheless, it shows what brands have been doing, what they might be doing, and how they try to achieve the maximum profit by investing their money in things that they think matters.

My Sustainable Journey In February - byLiiL

March

There is one thing I am constantly getting annoyed about and that is junk mail that we get in the mail. Nevertheless, of trying to sign off from any mailing lists many surrounding companies just want to bombard us with adverts about their menus, new stores or community groups. And although, I know sometimes there is good behind what they are advertising I am the one who has to dispose of all that mail. In Finland, we could just write that we do not accept junk mail and we could be free of this mail, in the UK it doesn’t quite work that way. So I am going to look into the junk mail problem in March. Wish me luck!

 

What sustainable did you do in February? And what are your plans for March?

With love,

Lii

 

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Other articles you might be interested in:

My Sustainable Journey In January

My Sustainable 2018

Sustainability in 2017

My Sustainable Journey In February - byLiiL

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My Favourite Natural Beauty Products

One of the first posts I wrote on my blog was about beauty, which is funny as I decided to concentrate on sustainable fashion, but I’ve realised my focus is much wider than that. I wanted to write about beauty a little bit because I was going through a phase when I was looking for products that were cruelty-free and natural, instead of buying the chemical-infused products from the high street which were tested on animals. I have come a long way since then trying many products, some of which didn’t suit me, some of which did and I am finally in a place where I am happy with the selection I have and wanted to share it in case anybody else is looking for great natural beauty products. I must say that I am not a vegan and although some of these products might be vegan, it is not the thing that I require from the products I use. I look for natural ingredients, not tested on animals, organic if possible, sustainably sourced and produced if possible, small company, zero waste if possible. Not all of my values match in each of these products and therefore at some point, the list might change if I find something better.

My Favourite Natural Beauty Products - byLiiL

This list is only for the products that I love and use continuously and have bought several times or am planning to keep buying. It is missing shampoo, as I will be doing a separate post about the different shampoo bars that I like. As well as, the body wash, as I keep changing this from different vegan and small company versions to Lush bars. If there is something else I haven’t named yet it’s because I haven’t found one that I like or use multiple different ones.

 

Ren Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream

Vegan/Cruelty-free/Manufactured in the UK/Paraben free/Sulphate free/Silicone free/Not tested on animals

“Designed to repair skins natural barriers, calm, hydrate and soothe sensitive skin” is what Ren say about their day cream. It has blackcurrant seed oil, seabuckthorn berry oil and Camellia oil as natural bio-active ingredients.

For me, this is the only moisturiser that is hydrating enough without being greasy for the day. It has slightly thick creamy consistency which feels lovely on the skin and it works great as the base for make-up as well.

– The packaging isn’t the best, as it is a plastic pump bottle where it can be difficult to get the exact amount of product that you want, and you can never get every single drip out of there. I wish it was also certified organic. It is a bit pricy but it lasts me a long time!

 

Madara Regenerating Night Cream

Not tested on animals/Natural/Certified organic/Vegan

“Antioxidant rich moisturiser with skin regenerating extracts of Northern Hop, Barley germs and Tomato.” This moisturiser has a lovely creamy consistency and it really feels regenerating when I use it during the night. On its own, it is not enough to hydrate my skin during the coldest winter months, but at other times it is very hydrating. The price is fairly high but it is for a 50ml bottle in which you get a lot of product.

– The same as for the previous, it is a plastic pump bottle and once actually I had to do a complaint as there was no product coming from the bottle no matter how much I was pumping it. It could also more clear on its use of parabens, silicons and sulphates.

My Favourite Natural Beauty Products - byLiiL

 

BioSelect Illuminating Anti Fatigue Eye Contour Cream

Certified organic/Not tested on animals/Silicone free/Paraben free

This eye cream is creamy and thick, so it hydrates well, but it doesn’t get greasy. It lights up my under eyes, although not quite as well as an illuminator, but that is not what I look from it. My under eyes get easily dry, but I haven’t had any problems since I started using this one. The jar, in which it comes, is handy and really big. For the price, you pay you get a lot of product!

– The jar has a plastic top, which is not ideal.

 

Evolve Miracle Facial Oil

Natural/Vegan/Cruelty-free/Eco-friendly/No toxic chemicals/Handcrafted

This is a lovely quite light oil with the scent of rosehip. It’s so light that I could use it as a moisturiser and it is hydrating and balancing enough. I love taking it with me when I go on holidays as it is so hydrating! This is made in small batches and hand made in the UK  which makes it all that much more special. The price is very reasonable as well!

– The only issue really is that it’s not certified organic, but it’s such a small brand it might be financially not feasible for them yet.

 

Burt’s and Bees

Not tested on animals/Cruelty-free/Natural/Paraben free/Phthalate free/Petrolatum-free

I am quite happy to use any of them, but at the moment my favourites are Ultra Conditioning or Coconut and Pear, both are very moisturising and smell nice. Their lip balms are very moisturising, especially these two! It is quite low-priced.

– I would prefer if it would not be under an unethical company. Also, the packaging is plastic and although it is natural ingredients it is not certified organic.

 

Evolve Hyaluronic Serum 200

Natural/Vegan/Cruelty-free/Eco-friendly/No toxic chemicals/Handcrafted

Very gentle and hydrating serum. It doesn’t have much of a scent, but I quite like that. It is handcrafted in the UK in small batches and won lots of awards, which I am not surprised about.

– My skin seems to need quite a lot of this product and I run out of it quite quickly, which can get quite pricey.

My Favourite Natural Beauty Products

 

Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt

Natural/Vegan/Cruelty-free/Eco-friendly/No toxic chemicals/Handcrafted

Similarly to previous Evolve products, it is handcrafted in the UK in small batches. This is the best cleanser I have found and I absolutely love it! It is thick and luxurious. It soothes, calms and hydrates, and leaves your skin feeling moisturised but clean. They recommend mixing a little of bit of it with water that you can then use as a milky cleanser, but I like to massage it into my skin, let it work for a minute or two and then wipe it away with a hot and moist muslin cloth. It gets away my make-up quite well too. For a cleanser, it might feel that the price is high, but this actually lasts me for ages as you only need a little bit of the product.

– It is a bit pricey and is not certified organic. Also, the lid of the jar is plastic.

 

Evolve Radiant Glow Organic Face Mask

Natural/Vegan/Cruelty-free/Eco-friendly/No toxic chemicals/Handcrafted

This is a combination of mask and scrub with a delicious chocolatey scent, almost good enough to eat. You can lather it on and let it stay for a few minutes to let it sink in, or just use it as a scrub. Mixing it with water makes it milky but it still has lovely little beads to scrub (no microplastics here). This is absolutely lovely to use and although I didn’t originally really like the scent of chocolate in it (it is quite strong and just makes you want to eat chocolate), I don’t might the scent now. It is also hand made in small batches in the UK.

– The lid is plastic and it is not certified organic.

 

Sukin Oil Clarifying Facial Tonic

Natural/Not tested on animals/Vegan/Paraben free/Sulphate free/Silicon free

Gentle tonic that isn’t drying, but also gets rid of make-up and is refreshing. I usually use it after cleansing my skin and in the mornings before applying moisturiser to hydrate. I love that it also has only a few ingredients and no nasties.

– The only minus I have is the packaging which is plastic.

My Favourite Natural Beauty Products - byLiiL

Madara City CC Cream

Certified organic/Natural/Not tested on animals/Cruelty-free/Paraben free/Sulphate free

“This anti-pollution CC cream corrects all skin tone imperfections, including dullness, redness, sallowness and dark spots. Scientifically proven to shield your skin from urban pollutants to protect skin microbiome, prevent clogged pores and inflammation. With broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid.” That pretty much sums it up. For me, it works excellently leaving nice even and glowy but not shiny finish. My face feels moisturised throughout the day and not cloggy at all. It has a nice and creamy consistency that works well with a foundation brush but could work with a sponge as well.

– It is really pricey and although the product lasts for quite a long time I also usually need quite a lot of it per application. It is also in plastic packaging which is not ideal.

 

Living Nature Natural Concealer

Not-tested on Animals/Vegetarian/Paraben free/Natural product/Certified Organic

Concealer with a creamy consistency that conceals well without looking cakey and is not drying. It is the only concealer that doesn’t dry my under eyes that I’ve tried. And the shade is great for under eyes.

– The last one I bought got a bit watery, probably because it got too warm, but I rather enjoyed the creamy consistency. Also, it is very pricey but little goes a long way!

 

Lumene Extreme Precision Eyebrow Pencil

Natural/Cruelty-free/Not tested on animals/Sustainable ingredient sourcing/Paraben free/Phthalates free

This is an eyebrow pencil with the right shade for me. It is difficult to find good eyebrow pencils for some reason and I’ve been long hunting for one until I found this one from Lumene when I was in Finland the last time. I like the spread of the colour and that I have a brush on the other end.

– It is not certified organic. I know that all Lumene products are natural, but I had to look for the information instead of it being on the page so it would be easily recognisable. Also, it has plastic caps.

My Favourite Natural Beauty Products - byLiiL

 

I do love to try new products alongside using these and sometimes I manage to find a better product than the one I am already using. So this list might look a bit different even in a years time.

What are your favourite natural beauty products? Let me know in the comments box below as I would love to hear them!

With love,

Lii

Other articles you might be interested in:

The Green Eco Box – Subscription Box That Does Good

Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week

Evolve Organic Beauty

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week

This week 7th to 13th of May was an Organic Beauty and Wellbeing week. Unfortunately, I stumbled upon this information too late and therefore am only posting about it now, however, I think the point of any such week is to raise awareness and educate people rather than only to make changes that week. So for everybody who might’ve missed this week and it’s message keep reading.

Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week

WHY SHOULD WE USE ORGANIC BEAUTY PRODUCT?

What we put on our skin is as important as what we eat; it can nourish our bodies or it can harm it. Skin is the biggest organ in our body and absorbs everything we put on it or it gets in touch with and it is why we should be quite considered of what we put on our skin, especially as we use various cosmetics daily. Do you know what is in your cosmetics and how it affects you?

The mainstream cosmetics are often advertised as containing good for us ingredients or have attractive qualities, but what they don’t say is how they achieve these qualities.  Many cosmetics products contain harmful chemicals; such as parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, fragrances, not even talking about pesticides used in farming some of the ingredients, that are then absorbed by our skin and end up in our bloodstream or get stuck inside our bodies causing irritation, allergies, cancer and other health problems. According to Soil Association from the 10,000 chemicals commonly used in our cosmetics, only 10% have safety data. Research shows that organic ingredients have higher levels of antioxidants than mainstream cosmetic products that lack the nourishment we require.

When thinking about environmental sustainability organic beauty is better as well. The production of our beauty products that can harm the environment with chemicals flushed in the waterways or in the local environment. However, what harms the environment more is when we wash the product of our skin it flushed into our waterways. Many chemical components used in the mainstream cosmetics doesn’t break in nature but rather accumulates and harms the ecosystem.

Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week

COSMOS

The big problem with beauty industry is that it is not regulated. When a company wants to hop along the natural and organic marketing train it can do that without actually proving it to anyone. The only way to make sure something really is organic is if they have independently certified organic certification. That is where few independent organic and natural certification bodies came into play. The few that I know of are Soil Association from the UK and Ecocert from France. To combat the problem with regulations in the beauty industry several European independent beauty certification organisations (Soil Association, Ecocert, ICEA, BDIH and Cosmebio) have come together to create a harmonised standardisation COSMOS which is a European wide cosmetic organic standard. It is owned and managed by a non-for profit international organisation. Since it’s founding in 2017 other certification bodies, including some out of EU, have joined to certify to the harmonised standard.

Each company that wished to have a COSMOS Organic or COSMOS Natural certification must be certified by an independent certification body, meaning one of the certification bodies following COSMOS standard. Each of these companies will be checked on their natural ingredients, no ingredients can be from endangered species, no GMO products and any chemicals must respect the principles of Green Chemistry. In addition, all ingredients should be biodegradable, water usage should comply with hygiene standards and they should report with their water and energy usage, as well as environmental waste management plans. All companies wishing to get the certification need to minimise their packaging and ensure it is environmentally friendly. Soil Association also reviews marketing messages to ensure there is no greenwashing.

Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week - byLiiL

#WHATIMMADEOF

This week beauty certification bodies want you to ask what your beauty products are made of for wider awareness of what is in your beauty products. I think it is an excellent campaign, similarly to “who made my clothes” and I encourage everybody to check their cosmetics box and review how many ingredients they can recognise. When I found this campaign I instantly started wondering whether the BIOselect eye cream I got from Crete was really certified organic, as it was a new brand for me, and had to go and check. To my happiness, it is certified by ICEA, which is one of the founding companies of COSMOS. That made me very happy and I liked using the cream even more since then, but more about the cream in another post.

You can find more about the campaign, about organic certifications and about organic beauty on Soil Association website, which I really recommend checking out! Also, check out the COSMOS website.

Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week - byLiiL

Do you use organic beauty products? If not are you interested what ingredients are in your beauty products? Let me know in the comment box below.

With love,

Lii

My favourite natural cosmetics: MADARA

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Like I told in the ‘My sustainability’ post, I want to share with you some brands or products which I find tick, at least, some of my requirements. Today I wanted to tell you about one of my favourite cosmetic brands, MADARA.

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So what do I look from cosmetics and make-up? I want it to be natural, ecological, not tested on animals and hopefully organic and vegan as well. It is really difficult to find products that tick all of these, but if it is more than 2 it is better than none, right?

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In MADARA I first liked that it is not tested on animals, which is a strong requirement. Although, it is not legal in the European Union to sell cosmetics that are tested on animals, I prefer to buy from brands that do not do it anywhere else either. All of MADARA’s products are manufactured in Riga, Latvia, which I find reassuring when considering animal testing.

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Second thing: MADARA is a natural cosmetics brand. They believe that natural ingredients help us be healthy and beautiful, rather than artificial ingredients. They explain how the natural plant extract is similar to our skin at the cell level, which makes it more effective. This does sound pretty logical. I did want to use natural cosmetics, already, before I read about this but now I am even more convinced. If you are in doubt, they are EcoCert certified, which means that they are prohibited from using synthetic ingredients such as parabens and mineral oil. In addition, they are environmentally friendly and they have even created hydration and anti-ageing method which is not based on water, but rather on birch juice.

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MADARA is dermatologically tested, which I find reassuring as well. They are very transparent about their testing as well and are considered hypoallergenic and irritation free.Excellent!

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If I would say anything negative about MADARA is that it is not really organic and not completely vegan. They inform on their website that lipbalms and creamy baby oil contain beeswax and lanolin. And although, their products do contain some sun protection, it is quite minimal with only 2-4SPF.

My rating for MADARA is as follows:

MADARA2

Have you heard about MADARA? How do you like them?

 

With love,

Lii