Make the Green Switch #6: Green alternatives for Hourglass, Victoria’s secret, Peter Thomas Roth, and Pixi

Another installment of the Green Switch, where I look for the most fitting alternatives to popular mainstream cosmetics.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush
Luxe and coveted, Hourglass is no stranger to features on glossy magazines or in bloggers rave section. The Ambient blushes are pigmented, with a velvety finish, imparting a natural-looking glowy look. Compared to other cosmetics, the ingredient list is not that concerning, since it’s paraben and fragrance-free. It contains several preservatives, such as Potassium sorbate, Phenoxyethanol or Sorbic acid. These preservatives can occur naturally, but are often synthetically produced, thus becoming potential skin irritants and allergens. Dimethicone is a sillione, and advised to only use in limited quantities. Laureth-7 is a polyethylene glycol-based surfactant which may contain potentially toxic impurities. All in all, it does contain a handful of synthetic ingredients, some of them being potentially harmful if contaminated, therefore I thought it would be quite useful to find an alternative.
Price: $35
Ingredients: Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol
Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol;
Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder,
Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate,
Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium
Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan
Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, May Contain: (+/-):
Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 40 Lake (Ci 16035), Carmine (Ci 75470),
Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci
77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).
It’s not a blush, but a bronzer, however it looks very similar to one of Hourglass’ blushes. The powder combines four shades, three different bronzers – from
light to dark and one shade of pink to create a
sun-kiss glow. Just like Hourglass, Studio78 is a mica-based blush, but minus the silicones; featuring instead nourishing oils such as squalane, coconut, sunflower, avocado and peach kernel oil.  Studio 78 has a bunch of blushes too in case you’re interested to give them a try.
Price: EUR. 31.00

Ingredients: Mica, Zea mays starch*, Zinc stearate, Cocos nucifera oil*, Squalane,
Helianthus annuus seed oil*, Benzyl alcohol, Parfum, Tocopherol, Persea
gratissima oil*, Prunus armeniaca kernel oil*, Limonene, Dehydroacetic
acid, Linalool, Chamomilla recutita flower extract* May contain : CI 77891, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77007, CI 77742, CI 77288 *Ingredients from organic farming

Antonym Cosmetics baked blushes seem to be the green equivalent of Ambient blushes. They impart a natural radiance to cheeks with a velvety and silky-smooth finish.
There are currently 3 shades available (peach, copper and rose). Vegan
and Ecocert certified, the formula is similar to Studio 78, except that
it contains less oils. The finish is very natural-looking and there’s no risk of excessively rosy cheeks. While one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I can’t help but be drawn by the neat and eye-catching bamboo packaging, which will always be more appealling to me than plastic. (FYI: Hourglass packaging is plastic)
Price: $36

Ingredients: (Organic baked blush rose): Mica, Lauroyl Lysine, Zea Mays Corn Starch*, Squalane,
Octyldodecanol, Hectorite, Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,
Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sorbic Acid.  (+/-) May
Contain: 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492
(Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides). *Ingredient from Organic Farming
Victoria’s Secret body mist
Pretty much every teenage girl I know has a Victoria’s Secrets fragrance/mist. It comes in many – artificial – fragrances and extravagantly colorful bottles. Considering how sensitive children/teenage skin is, these body mists might not be the best choices. The ingredient list is nowhere to be found on VS website, I was only able to find it thanks to blogger pictures of the packaging. Many of the ingredients listed below, rate from 5-7 on EWG, which is really high. Benzyl salycitate, hydroxycitronellal and citral are particularly raising concerns for potential endocrine/hormonal disruptions, allergies, organ system toxicity and bioaccumulation. Ironically, the name of the brand itself is appropriate, since Victoria’s Secret fragrances were called out by EWG, see report (here) for hiding sensitizing chemicals in their formulas.
Price: varies from $14 to 18.

Ingredients: Alcohol Denat., water, fragrance, propylene glycol, glycerin, butyl
methoxydibenzoylmethane, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, PPG-25-Buteth-26,
Ethylhexyl Salicylate, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, chamomilla
recutita flower extract, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, amyl cinnamal,
benzyl alcohol,benzyl salicylate, butylphenyl methylporopional, citral,
citronellol, limonene, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, hydroxycitronellal,
hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, linalool, blue 1, red 33,
ext. violet 2.

The alternative: Deep Steep Body mist
It was the first Deep Steep product I tried out of pure curiosity, and I was pleasantly surprised! The scent is light, particularly convenient for teenagers I think. No need to smell like you raided Sephora’s entire perfume aisle 😉 Deep Steep’s mist is alcohol-free, thus much more suitable for sensitive skin. It contains, water, aloe vera and plant extracts, nothing else. I haven’t tried all the frangrances, so I can’t speak for them all, but Honeydew-Spearmint smells lovely: the right amount of fruity, balanced with a bit of freshness, courtesy of the spearmint. Deep Steep creates simple, effective and affordable products and I really recommend them to anyone looking to replace drugstore bath and body products.
Price: EUR. 6 – 8.52
Ingredients (for Honeydew-spearmint): Aqua, organic aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf extract, infusion of
organic herbs, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf extract, citrus medica
limonum (lemon) fruit extract, citrus aurantifolia (lime) fruit extract,
cucumis melo (melon) fruit extract, aroma (organic and wildcrafted
aroma blend), natural color.

Pixi Sheer gel blush
Pixi sheer gel blush for a dewy and natural-looking flush on the cheeks. Pixi is a brand often raved about, but when I checked the ingredients for this product, it was just no bueno for me. On their website they emphasize on the Aloe-vera content and purposefully so, since it’s only non-synthetic ingredient (marketing strategies never cease to amaze/appall me depending on the perspective). The sheer cheek gel still contains parabens. I know there are several non-green bloggers who go an a verbal crusade against these no-paraben actions, claiming it’s question of doses and that parabens are still fine to use in cosmetics etc., but here’s how I see it: if I can avoid parabens, I just do it because I simply don’t think it’s just a coicidence that more and more studies point towards the health issues linked to parabens and other harmful chemicals in cosmetics. But everyone is free to make their own decisions.
Price: £14
Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Polysorbate
80, Cetyl Acetate, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol, PEG-20, Carbomer,
Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben,
Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate. May Contain: [+/-
Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492,
CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 33 (CI 17200), Red 40 (CI
16035), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Blue 1 (CI 42090)]

The alternative: Gressa Lumière luminous complexion fluid
I have so much love for this product, it’s pure genius. A serum pigment, which is outstandingly versatile, working for eyes, cheeks and lips. I shared the swatches on Instagram (here), and I also did a makeup look using solely this product (here). For the cheeks, it has the dewiness that a cream blush can provide, but with a much more solid pigmentation and lasting power. For a natural-looking finish, I use a damp makeup sponge and I dab a few times on my cheeks, and it looks perfect. I’ve numerously sung the praises of Gressa Skin. They came up with a makeup line enriched with vitamins and nutrients, and free of synthetics.
Price: $28
Ingredients:*Ricinus communis (Castor)
Seed Oil, *Brassica oleracea italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, *Rosa canina
(Rosehip) Seed Oil, *Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil,
Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Rosemary Extract,
CoEnzymeQ10, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, *CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme mask
The past couple of years, saw the emergence of enzyme-rich peeling masks for bright-looking skin, and pumpkin has thus become a popular in those treatments. Peter Thomas Roth gel mask contains alluminum oxide crystal, which are commonly used for microdermabraison, but I’m on the fence regarding the use of alluminium, so I avoid it whenever I can. Triethanolamine is also something to be very wary of: according to the website Truth in Aging, it’s not “intended for prolonged contact with the skin, the concentration of
Triethanolamine should not exceed 5% ” (…) because it can cause allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and
skin, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering
of skin, all symptoms which may increase with higher concentrations.(…) According to Cosmetic Ingredient Review,
Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, and the U.S.
National Library of Medicine, there is strong evidence that
Triethanolamine is a human skin, immune system and respiratory toxicant.
One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at very low doses,
especially when used around the mouth, eyes and lips, and one or more in
vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results. It has
been shown to cause bladder and liver cancer, as well as changes in
testicles.”
Based on all the informations above, the price is extortionate for a synthetics-loaded, enzyme mask.
Price: $58
Ingredients: Water, Aluminum Oxide, Glycerin, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin),
Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol,
Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium
Hyaluronate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Edta Edetate
Discodium Dihydrate USP, Methyl Eugenol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium
Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol.

The alternatives: Lotus Moon Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 10% AHA
Not the cheapest, yet it’s less costly that Peter Thomas Roth and void of synthetic ingredients. The first and main ingredient remains pumpkin and fermented pumpkin extract. To add more potency to the mix, there’s clove, cinnamon and ginger. The spices help remove dirt and dead skin cells, increase skin
elasticity and tackle blemishes. While I haven’t had the occasion to try and smell this specific product, I have a feeling that it has the scent of a Pumpkin spice latte, no? 😉
Price: $47.95
Ingredients: Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin), Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Wine,
Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Ferment Extract,
Fructooligosaccharides (D-beta), Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon) Leaf Oil,
Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root
Oil.

Andalou Naturals Glycolic Mask Pumpkin Honey Brightening Mask
Possibly the most affordable option for pumpkin enzyme mask,with certified organic ingredients. The organic pumpkin, is blended with Manuka honey and
citrus glycolic AHA, which will gently dissolve dead surface cells, and reveal a smoother and brighter complexion. I find the formula quite impressive, as it contains spices – just like Lotus Moon’s mask – but also plethora of other ingredients (tamanu, sunflower, pineapple (for brightening effects) rooibos, and aloe vera (for soothing effects. Proof that you don’t necessarily have to break the bank when you opt for green products.
Price: EUR.10.82
Ingredients: Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) puree*, aloe
barbadensis juice*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil*, vegetable
glycerin, manuka honey, ananas sativus (pineapple) juice*, pectin,
glycolic acid, sodium hyaluronate, cyamopsis tetragonolobus (guar) gum*,
fruit stem cells (malus domestica, solar vitis) and BioActive 8 berry
complex*, lecithin, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract*,
calophyllum tacamahaca (tamanu) and limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) oils,
magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E),
aspalathus linearis (rooibos) extract*†, phenethyl alcohol,
ethylhexylglycerin, cinnamomum cassia (cinnamon), myristica fragrans
(nutmeg) and eugenia caryophyllus (clove) powders* * Certified Organic † Fair Trade 

What do you think? Are you looking to replace a specific product? Let me know 🙂

Take care,
Liz

*Disclaimer:
This
post is solely based on my opinion and 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 a lot 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 some people are looking to gradually switch to more gentle and greener alternatives.

Liz

Green hunter, wellness junkie and pun maker on the website, I'm on a journey towards a kinder and healthier life. @lizthegreenspirit on Instagram.

10 Comments
  1. I just threw out my Andalou Pumpkin mask, it wasn't even 50% used but it's too old and been sitting in my drawers… Anyway I was gonna suggest Honest Beauty powders as a dupe for the Hourglass powders, in case you're wondering. xoxo

    1. Ouh I hate when that happens, I'm frustrated when I can't finish a product, but I hope you still enjoyed the first 50%. Thanks for the suggestion! Obviously, since Honest Beauty solely sells in the US, I have a hard time weighing in on their quality, so your opinion is highly valued 🙂 xx

    1. I have the same issue with coconut oil, so I get it. Have you seen if Capryl/Caprylic Triglycerides makes your skin break out as well? The difference between coconut oil and Capryl is as follows: "Caprylic Capric Triglycerides are a specialized esterification of Coconut Oil using just the Caprylic and Capric Fatty Acids, while Fractionated Coconut Oil is a, standard, distillation of Coconut Oil which results in a combination of all of the fatty acids, pulled through the distillation process. Caprylic Capric Triglycerides are an ester and have a very light, silky oil, feel that is not at all greasy / oily feeling on the skin".

      In my case, I have no issue with Caprylic, and I love Gressa's Foundation serum, which doesn't contain coconut oil per se, but Caprylic. I've had no issues so far. The foundation is very lighty yet provides a great coverage. However, feel free to drop me an email if you have more questions. Depending on your skin type, shade, and personal preferences, there are other products which could replace your MAC foundation. Hope that helps 🙂 xx

  2. That Andalou mask is amazing. And oh my god, I also love my Gressa Lumiere. I've been wearing Amelia non stop!<3 Oh and the Antonym makeup is haunting my dreams, so beautiful! 🙂 xx

  3. I love all your posts. In your experience, what lightweight sheer medium dewy natural green ingredients foundation would you recommend for dry skin for photography purposes (no spf). ��

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