Green Beauty Products: Do They Really Work?
We know the drill. Between jobs, school, kids, and date nights, you're lucky if you have time to shop for natural products—let alone waste hours in the beauty aisles decoding ingredient lists. So we made it our mission to take the guesswork out of discovering eco-friendly finds. Our editors (with the help of several talented pros) spent months gathering and testing potential winners. Ready to green up your act? From anti-wrinkle pills to natural nail polish, find out which products really work in our gallery!
Earth Tu Face Exfoliant Mask
OUR TAKE: The chunky paste ($72; earthtuface.com) isn't the most easily spreadable (or luxurious) exfoliator we've tried. However, for two weeks our tester rubbed it over one side of her face and used her chemical exfoliator on the other. "Both cheeks were comparable in softness and smoothness," she says.
Roots Rose Radish Citrus Face Oil Cleanser
OUR TAKE: One tester with an oily complexion found the formula ($55; roots roseradish.com) a bit "heavy." Another tester with drier skin loved the "spa-like experience" of massaging it onto her face and reports, "It removed my makeup even better than my regular foaming face wash."
Weleda Wild Rose Facial Smoothing Capsules
OUR TAKE: "I've been using these nightly for weeks, and considering the nearly arctic weather we've been experiencing lately in the Northeast, the oils have really worked to hydrate my extremely dry skin," says our tester. Though she doesn't notice major changes in tone or fine lines, the product has "prevented the formation of rough patches, which I'm prone to getting in winter."
Dr. Brandt Detoxifying Antioxidant Water Booster Goji-Maqui
OUR TAKE: It's no Moscow Mule, but as far as healthy beverages go, it's way yummier than a kale smoothie. Mixed in a cup of water, it tastes "fruity" and "a bit like an artificial sweetener," say our testers. "I've been drinking it for almost a month," says one reporter. "My face hasn't exactly aged backward, but it feels really good to know I'm taking in so many nutrients without a ton of effort."
EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge
OUR TAKE: The sponge becomes "pillow-soft" in water and gently washed our tester's "acne-ravaged skin without irritating it," she says.
Maijan Radiance Healing Herbal Facial Steam for Oily Skin
OUR TAKE: Steam spiked with this blend actually tingled one tester's skin—in a good way. "I loved breathing in the soothing, herbaceous scent, and after 15 minutes, my skin was rosy and didn't feel as oily as it did before I began." After several sessions "my complexion behaved as it normally does, but I love the immediate payoff of a healthy glow."
Preserve Mail Back Pack Toothbrush
OUR TAKE: The brush was comfortable to use, and mailing it back (two at a time) is easy. "The hard part is remembering not to throw out my toothbrush," says a tester.
Dairyface Beauty Mooscow
OUR TAKE: Because it's thin and slippery, we like how quickly it absorbs and immediately smooths the surface. "It doesn't deposit a thick moisturizing film over skin, like some heavy-duty body lotions do, so on frigid days I felt like I had to reapply a few times," says our tester. "I normally stash hand creams in my work desk or my nightstand, so I also found that this product was rarely at my fingertips when I needed it."
Nourish Organic Deodorant
OUR TAKE: "It's far more moisturizing than my other deodorants," says our tester. "After a 10-hour workday, I was sweating, but I couldn't sniff out any nasty odors."
Mischo Luxury Nail Lacquers
OUR TAKE: We loved the on-trend shades ($18 each; mischobeauty.com), which, sadly, weren't immune to chipping within a day or two. Yet, our tester conceded, "I'm rough on my nails—I tear open envelopes and packages every day—so chips happen quickly for me no matter what polish I use."
Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Mud-Poo Hair Wash
OUR TAKE: It's not just cheeky marketing—cleansing with this concoction is literally like washing your hair with mud. One tester poured the hard-to-distribute, non-foaming liquid ($14; sheaterraorganics.com) over her long, thick hair and found the "gritty" texture "difficult to rinse our." A fine-haired reporter loves the scent but notes, "My scalp looked a little greasy several hours after I used it." Since the formula has zero chemicals, our testers felt good about it going down the drainpipes and into the ocean.
Agave Natural Bamboo Paddle Brush
OUR TAKE: One tester raves about what a "fantastic detangler" it is, though she didn't notice a big difference in the time it took to blow out her shoulder-length hair, which seemed smooth but not radically shinier.
Bare Love Beauty Hair Luxury Hair Fuel
OUR TAKE: One tester, who was nursing flakes thanks to a sunburn, rubbed a dollop over her crown and hairline before showering. "I had to shampoo twice to cut through the grease," she says. After one week and two applications, "flakes were gone, and my scalp wasn't as itchy." On our testers' dry strands, however, it got somewhat limp results.
Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Replenishings Hairspray
OUR TAKE: Is it going to freeze an updo like the almighty Elnett? No. Can it hold and add some gloss to loose waves without leaving them crunchy? Yep!