Judging by the popularity of this series (thank you for all the feedbacks!), I’ll keep working on these and posting them on a more regular basis. Last edition was makeup-oriented (read here) so this one – with the exception of one product – is focused on body and hair care.
Lush Dirty Springwash shower gel
Lush has a knack for marketing strategies, and has been doing a phenomenal job, because all of my “non-green initiated” friends consider Lush, a natural brand. I don’t blame them, Lush plays on deceptive words; they tend to emphasize specific ingredients and the “hand-made” aspect, but we know that it’s not necessarily synonymous with non-toxic. The shower gel contains menthol crystals, thyme and spearmint oil in rather small quantities, as they only appear towards the end of the list. The shower gel – appropriately named “dirty springwash” haha – contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which comes right after water in the list, and Methylparaben. As you probably know, there are many reports of harmful side
effects linked to both.
Price: $18.98 USD
Ingredients: Water (Aqua),
Sodium Laureth Sulfate,
Fragrance, Fine Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride),
Spearmint Oil (Mentha spicata),
Thyme Oil (Thymus zygis),
*Linalool, FD&C Blue No. 1,
The alternative: Sudsatorium Ice man cometh shower gel
I just reviewed Sudsatorium’s bath (here) and I was really impressed by the quality. While I haven’t tried this specific shower gel, I think this would be the best alternative, because it looks very similar to Lush’s shower gel – from the packaging to the cooling effect. You’ll notice that the Ice man cometh shower gel contains much more plant extracts, and is free of SLS, paraben and synthetic ingredients. For those who think that green is systematically more pricey, Sudsatorium will prove you wrong. Sudsatorium is a much more affordable and safer alternative, especially when you know that this type of shower gels are often liked and used by children.
Price: $9.95 CAD
Ingredients: Fresh Organic Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Organic Garden Thyme
(Thymus vulgaris) Infusion, Coco Glucoside, Fine and Coarse Hand
Harvested Sea Salt (Sodium chloride), Organic Japanese Peppermint Oil
(Mentha arvensis), Organic Thymol Crystals (Thymus vulgaris), Organic
Thyme Oil (Thymus vulgaris), Organic Peppermint Supreme Oil (Mentha
piperita), Fair Trade Wild Harvested Indigo Powder (Indigofera
Laura Geller Love me dew lip crayons
Laura Geller’s dew lip crayons are apparently very hydrating and non-sticky, with a glossy finish. The pigmentation is strong and they are very convenient to use on a daily basis. However, they contains synthetic ingredients, such as polyethylene, polybutylene, hydrogenated polyisobutene, which is also known as synthetic squalane. I also looked up Pentaerythrityl
Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (quite a mouthful ;) while I haven’t come accross many infos, I read that it’s bioaccumulative in wildlife, meaning it’s not environmental-friendly.
Ingredients: Polybutene, Octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Caprylic/Capric
Triglyceride, Cera Microcristallina, Polyethylene, Dicalcium Phosphate,
Stearalkonium Bentonite, Ceresin, Mica, Propylene Carbonate, Silica
Silylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethyl Vanillin, Pentaerythrityl
Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. May Contain: CI 15850, CI 45410,
CI 15850, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 42090, CI 15985, CI 77891.
The alternative: Burt’s bees lip crayons/Benecos Shiny lip colours
I reviewed Benecos lip crayons (here). Containing
a blend of hydrating ingredients such as castor, jojoba and sunflower seed oils, Benecos crayons keep the lips nicely moisturized and they give the lips a dewy and shiny effect. However, they are quite sheer and only three shades are available. Hence why I also included Burt’s Bees lip crayons, whose color range is close to Laura Geller’s. Burt’s bees lip crayons are also superbly pigmented, and more opaque than Benecos lip crayons.
Price: Benecos: 4.99Eur. / Burts bees: £8.99 ($8.99 USD in the US)
Benecos Ingredients (INCI): Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Cera, Isoamyl Laurate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Cera, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lanolin, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Mica, Parfum (Essential Oils), Tocopherol, Limonene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Silica, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Tin Oxide, Citral, Linalool, Ci 77891, [+/- (May Contain) Maltodextrin, Talc, Ci 75470, Ci 77491, Ci 77742, Ci77492] * organic
Burt’s Bees Ingredients: Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride,
simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, candelilla cera (euphorbia
cerifera wax, cire de candelilla), cera alba (beeswax, cire d’abeille),
cera carnauba (copernicia, cerifera wax, cire de carnauba),
butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, hydrogenated vegetable oil,
aleurites moluccana seed oil*, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil,
helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, rosmarinus officinalis
(rosemary) leaf extract,, tocopherol, lecithin, silica, glycine soja
(soybean) oil. +/- (May contain / Peut contenir): CI 77891 (titanium
dioxide), CI 77019 (mica), CI 75470 (carmine), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI
77499 (iron oxides) *kendi oil
The Body Shop Brazil nut shower cream
On their website, the Body Shop highlights how their Brazil nut oil is fair trade from Peru, but you really have to read the list closely to spot it in the ingredients (I marked it in bold). The Body Shop has a similar strategy to Lush, focusing on the “natural” aspect in their ads, while keeping mum about all the synthetics. The Brazil nuts shower cream also contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Laureth-4 and many other synthetic ingredients.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water (Solvent/Diluent), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Surfactant),
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Surfactant), Glycerin (Humectant), Acrylates
Copolymer (Stabiliser), Sodium Chloride (Viscosity Modifier),
Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil (Emollient), Honey (Natural Additive), Panthenol (Skin Conditioning Agent),
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Emulsifier), Myristamidopropyl
PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Citric Acid
(pH Adjuster), Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer (Film Former), Benzyl Alcohol
(Preservative), Laureth-4 (Emulsifier/Surfactant), p-Anisic Acid (pH
Modifier), Methyl Gluceth-20 (Viscosity Modifier), Sodium Hydroxide (pH
Adjuster), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), C11-15 Pareth-40
(Surfactant), C11-15 Pareth-7 (Surfactant), CI 19140/Yellow 5 (Colour),
CI 17200/Red 33 (Colour), CI 14700/Red 4 (Colour), CI 42090/Blue 1
The alternative: Stop the Water Hibiscus Brazil nut shower cream
Stop the Water is one of my favorite bodycare brands (see my review here), for their commitment to raising awareness about water waste, and their amazing products. The Hibiscus Brazil nut shower cream is an exotic blend that works wonders for dry and sensitive skin. It’s cushy, delicate, creamy and it gently cleanses while preserving the body’s natural balance. A blend of nourishing ingredients (sunflower seed oil, apricot kernel oil, brazil nut seed oil) it leaves the skin soft and supple.
Price: Eur. 16.90 (200ml)
Denat.**, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Seed Oil*, Polyglyceryl-10
Laurate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Hibiscus
Sabdariffa Flower Extract*, Tocopherol, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Levulinate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Phytate, Alcohol, Citric Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Geraniol**, Linalool**, Limonene** * organic* from essential oils
Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo
A volumizing daily shampoo for fine hair – formulated with rosemary and peppermint, which clean and protect the hair from environmenal damages. They seem to have changed the formula, because the previous one contained paraben and SLS, so that’s an improvement. The title is not misleading, it does contain rosemary and mint but that’s it. However even though the shampoo contains “natural” extracts, there are no certification about the quality of the plants.
Ingredients: aqueous extracts/ rosemary leaf extract, peppermint leaf
extract, sodium coco-sulfate, lauramidopropyl betaine, glycerin,
babassuamidopropyl betaine, vinegar, camphor, menthol,
cocamidopropylamine oxide, steramidopropyl dimethylamine,
polyquartenium-4, fragrance, linalool, limonene, citric acid, sodium
chloride, sodium gluconate, phenoxyethanol, benzoic acid.
The alternative: John Masters Lavender Rosemary shampoo / spearmint & meadowsweet scalp stimulating shampoo
The first brand that came to mind was John Masters Organics for me. The lavender-rosemary shampoo is a soothing product with numerous plant extracts to stimulate hair follicles, normalize scalp condition, add volume and shine. Spearmint & meadowsweet is my second pick and it’s a more potent version of the lavender/rosemary shampoo (see my impressions here). If you compare JMO with Aveda, you’ll notice that John Masters Organics is certified organic, and contains a generous amount of plant extracts in his formulas.
$16.00 (for 8 fl oz but different sizes available)
Ingredients (lavender-rosemary): Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, aqua (water),
babassuamidopropyl betaine, decyl glucoside, sodium cocoamphodiacetate,
simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, lonicera caprifolium
(honeysuckle) flower extract, urtica dioica (nettle) root extract*,
panthenol (vitamin B5), glycerin, lavandula angustifolia (lavender)
oil*, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil*, achillea millefolium
(yarrow) extract*, camellia sinensis (white tea) extract*, equisetum
hyemale (horsetail) extract*, salix alba (willow) bark extract*,
chamomilla recutita (chamomile) flower extract*, lavandula angustifolia
(lavender) extract*, symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf extract*,
borago officinalis (borage) seed oil*, helianthus annuus (sunflower)
seed oil*, linum usitatissimum (flax) seed oil*, sodium chloride,
potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, sorbitol, guar
hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, hydrolyzed soy protein, sulfur, soy
tocopherol, linalool†, limonene†* Certified Organic † A natural component of essential oils.
What do you think of these alternatives?
post was based on my opinion and my researches. I have personally not
tried the non-green versions, and I’m not
claiming that the green alternatives would be identical, I can speak for
them, because I have tried almost all of them. I’m not making the green
switch an imperative, you’re free to decide for yourself. If you enjoy
any of the non-green product listed, it’s fine. These are only suggestions, in case there are some people looking to gradually switch to more gentle and greener alternatives.
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Good alternatives. I just find green alternatives more expensive in general.
Hi Liliana and thank you for your comment. Some are more expensive (such as shampoos for examples) but as you saw with Lush, Sudsatorium is much more affordable and the products are very similar. It depends on the brands. Switching to green products, can be time-consuming so this is why I try to look for alternatives as much as I can. Let me know if you have any questions. xx
Burts Bees is now owned by Clorox so I have a problem with them on a corporate level rather than on a product level. If we're working to go "green" it's pretty counter-intuitive to support a big company that is producing products that are harming the environment.
It's really hard to counteract companies like Aveda and Lush – so I appreciate it when they get called out. I like that you're coming up with alternatives that are easily accessible and that you don't have to order online.
Hi, thank you for your comment. I'm not comfortable with Burt's Bees because of Clorox as well, but I created this series because I get emails saying they have troubles finding a green equivalent to a product, varying from the color to the price range. You said it yourself, on a product-level the lip crayons are fine and void of sythetics. The reason I included them is because the colors match the Laura Geller shades, and some people I know won't switch their lipsticks until they find the exact same shade, so Burt's Bees seemed the most fitting product at this time. This might change however, as more and more green products get released. Aveda and Lush have a very agressive marketing strategies, a shame though because Sudsatorium and JMO are immeasurably superior in quality. Thank you for reading 🙂 xx
Love these posts! I used to use the Rosemary Mint shampoo from Aveda way back in the day. Intelligent Nutrients' shampoo is another great alternative – it's similar in a lot of ways to how I remember the Aveda. Not surprising I guess, since as you probably know, both companies were started by the same man.
The Stop the Water shower cream sounds lovely as well…do you know if the fragrance they use is natural?
Thank you Caitie! No, I completely forgot about Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients, thank you for the reminder! Regarding Stop the Water, they don't use any synthetic ingredients, so the fragrance comes form the essential oils they use 🙂 xx
aaaaaw Liz, these post are my favorite! Tu es vraiment doué pour trouver les bons comparables! En meilleur bien sur! Merci pour la mention <3 xo
Merci Julie <3 C'est tout naturel 🙂 xx
LOVE LOVE these type of posts! oh how I detest when people say The Body Shop or Lush are natural. They are however very smart at being deceiving. I've been dying to try Stop The Water, love their concept! xo
Thank you my friend! <3 Yes, many non green initiated still believe The Body Shop/Lush are natural, so I had to set the record straight here 😉 xx
Just come across this series and I loooooove it! Super helpful stuff.
Thank you! So happy you do! 🙂 xx
I used to use Burts Bees products, but they were not moisturizing enough – and the overall quality not where I wanted it to be. I ONLY use natural products. I now have been using Made from Earth’s Valencia Orange Lotion, and I like it. It has alot of Beeswax in it. Will try it for another week and let you know how it goes. So far so good and it smells great!
Thank you for letting me know! 🙂 xx
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