Gift Guide: Shopping For The Naturalista – Part 1

Maybe it’s a daughter, your mother or a friend; she’s the one who knows all about parabens and sulphates. She sources ‘free-from’ products, chooses organic, and sometimes it’s hard to know what will pass her standards.

When it comes to gifting for the Naturalista, you need to be savvy and discriminating. Chances are she doesn’t need more coconut oil. So, what then?

Here are my very best ideas.

NATURAL FRAGRANCE

Women get a lot of gifts with fragrance: bath bombs, perfume, candles, creams. If you’re a Naturalista, you turn your nose up at artificial fragrance because it’s loaded with chemicals.

But natural fragrance? Bring it on.

When choosing all-natural alternatives, look for fragrance derived from essential oils. Some great bets are:

  • soy candles
  • essential oil fragrance diffusers
  • vials of pure, essential oil for topical aromatherapy
  • natural fragrance spritzers for freshening fabrics and scenting rooms
  • natural soaps

Personal fragrance can be a bit riskier because, well, it’s so personal. But if you know a bit about your Naturalista’s scent style, look for perfume derived from essential oils.

NATURAL SKIN CARE AND BEAUTY

Natural skin care can be a small luxury, so it makes a great gift. That said, there’s now such a good range of high-quality natural beauty products available in health stores, you can choose between moderately priced and high-end.

Gifting in this category is easiest when you know your Naturalista well. Some people are devoted to a very specific beauty and skin care regime, whereas others like to try new brands.

If your Naturalista is experimental, you could take a gamble on all-natural lip balm/gloss, moisturizer, toner, facial treatments (like masks and exfoliants), intensive hand and foot treatments, or even hair products.

If she wears makeup, look for chemical-free face, lip and eye products.

There’s an ‘All-in-One’ product I love that covers off both sunblock and a bit of sheer coverage. It’s from Andalou Naturals, and it’s a BB cream made from fruit stem cells. She won’t look like she stepped out of the M.A.C. beauty bar wearing this, but she will love the scent, the protection and the rejuvenating properties.

What else?

I’ve often been on the receiving end of nail polish as a gift, but today, I wouldn’t wear any of the mainstream brands. Nail polish is full of toxic ingredients.

The trouble is avoiding those toxins without getting a PhD in chemistry. If you’re searching online, and you’re a sceptic, you’ll know what I mean. Products are described in fuzzy terms – for example, “free from many of the most common harmful chemicals”, leaving you to wonder which harmful chemicals are left.

Read on to learn my insider’s tip for navigating this tricky terrain.

WHERE TO SHOP?

Sometimes it’s difficult to find ingredients listings when shopping online. Also, obviously, you can’t sniff before you buy.

Your local health food/natural products store is a good place to start for alternative body and home fragrance products. Most health stores do a great job of product research and education, so if you’re not sure about the ‘natural’ status of a product, just ask.

If you’re shopping in mainstream retail stores, it’s easy to get confused about what’s really natural. Many brands convey the ‘natural’ vibe, yet list a lot of questionable ingredients.

Here’s a great example from The Body Shop’s Moringa line of products:

What are these ingredients anyway? And what do they mean? There’s one great way to find out.

Check out The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. The EWG has assessed thousands of personal care and household brands, and rates these products based on safety. It’s an online consumer guide to avoiding toxins in everyday life. You can search under any category, or search by brand. Look for products with a green badge and a rating of 1 – 2.

The Skin Deep Database makes it easy to steer clear of chemical-laden products, and best of all, you can download the free app and take it with you when you shop.

Now, back to that Body Shop example. Because we’ve developed our own organic SuperLeaf Moringa skin product, we decided to take a closer look at The Body Shop’s Moringa line.

Our Moringa product contains only cold-pressed oils and aloe vera. You’d assume that any two Moringa oil products must be similar, but at a glance, you can see that’s not the case at all. The snapshot above shows the long, long list of ingredients in their Moringa oil.

And because the Skin Deep Database makes it simple to understand what these ingredients mean for human health, we can easily see that this line of Body Shop products is completely unsafe.

Unfortunately, the EWG hasn’t reviewed the Body Shop’s Moringa Oil, but they have reviewed the Moringa Body Mist. Here’s how it fared:

And yet, you wouldn’t be to blame for associating that iconic brand with ‘natural’; it’s part of what they’re trying to convey.

The lesson? Get data on your side, and shop with retailers who specialize in chemical-free products.

I can’t close off this post without giving another plug for our Moringa Skin Food, which as mentioned, is made from nothing but organic, cold-pressed oils and aloe vera. To try it is to love it. We get rave reviews from people who use it to moisturize, heal and renew all types of skin. It’s light, fast-absorbing, and the bright citrus scent is incredible. Plus, it comes in a great little glass bottle!

Moringa Skin Food is the perfect gift for the Naturalista on your list – and the shipping is free.

16-0545-skin-food-renderings-002

Look out for part two of the gift guide for Naturalistas, up next.

In the meantime, share your ideas. What are the absolute best natural products that you love?

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