Ever had a bad reaction to a cream you bought for your face? I sure have, and I’m pretty certain it’s due to the multitude of strong and abrasive chemicals found in most high-street beauty products. Being born with sensitive skin and after having had too many unsightly reactions to harsh yet innocently disguised beauty products, I finally made the change to using fully organic and vegan products, that aren’t only friendly for my own skin, but also for the Earth. Because who wants to disfigure themselves or the planet?

“What about the money though?”

I hear you scream. Have no fear- there’s something perfect for every type of student bank account out there. My personal favourites are Doctor Organics (which can be found in all its glory at Holland and Barretts) and Glossier (which is slightly pricier, as it’s shipped over from the USA where it’s made).

Dr Organics can cover you from head to toe, literally. The cleanser that I use and has done wonders for my own skin is the Dead Sea Mineral (fig. 1) one. After every use I feel as if I’ve been reborn and my skin feels and looks as smooth and radiant as a rose from the Botanical Gardens. If you love the smell of roses (who doesn’t) Dr Organics also produces a luscious body lotion (fig. 2) that leaves your skin feeling very rosy and silky. And the best thing is? They don’t test on animals one bit!

Glossier on the other hand not only makes beauty products, but also caters to the swiftly-expanding “no-makeup makeup” look. If you’ve seen their videos, you’ll know that their aesthetic is minimalistic, and they are keen to make products that enhance your natural features rather than hide them. Their Milky Jelly cleanser (fig. 3) is non-fragranced, so perfect for those sensitive souls out there, and extremely gentle on the skin. They also have a great SPF that provides avid protection from those harmful UV rays.

There are so many more great brands out there that are doing wonderful things not only for you but also for the environment. These include Natura Siberica, which makes items such as restorative shampoos like Oblepikha Nutrition & Repair for Weak and Damaged Hair (fig. 4), which is produced using Altai sea-buckthorn oil and Moroccan Argan oil, as well as Siberian flaxseed oil, Arctic rose, and snow cladonia, which all act together to help keep those locks deeply moisturized and healthy.

There is also an old European brand called Weleda, which has its roots in the 1920s and only selects the highest quality of natural, sustainably-sourced ingredients for their wide beauty range. Catering to all skin-types, Weleda will cover your whole body and face, and its rich creams (fig. 5) will be sure to rehydrate tired and thirsty skin – perfect for this Wintery time of the year when your skin needs some extra TLC after all the wind-battering it’s subjected to on a daily basis.

I could go on, but unfortunately, I don’t have much more space left. Before I end, what should you avoid if you want to be kind to both yourself and our planet? The top offenders that still test on animals and include ingredients in their products that disrupt entire ecosystems include:

Lancôme – being owned by L’Oréal, not only do they test their products on animals, but they are yet to remove micro beads from their exfoliating products, which are small enough to end up in the Earth’s waterways and cause lasting damage to sea life. One product can contain as many as 360,000 beads! If you’re struggling to find a safe alternative to your current exfoliator, look for products with natural, biodegradable beads that come from jojoba, apricot kernels, ground nutshells, coffee granules and salt;

Clinique – as much as I love Clinique, it still unfortunately tests on animals. This is because it is sold in mainland China, where brands have the responsibility to test all their products on animals if they are to stay in line with the law there;

Chanel – although the details surrounding their take on animal testing are a mystery to those not in the know, it’s likely that Chanel is far from cruelty-free, because so many of its products are sold in mainland China;

Sephora CollectionSephora’s own brand still also tests on animals, but if you’re finding it hard to part with their brand, you can find good comparable options from e.l.f., NYX and Wet n Wild;

Remember to treat not only yourself and your skin well, but also your environment – buy green, save the polar bears!

Visit Our Zero Waste Shop in the Students’ Union for ways to cut down plastic packaging in your bathroom!

Photo via Pexels.com

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