Earth Day Special: Gingerrama’s Green-ish Lists (2012)

  

“Skincare” is treated holistically: face, body, hair, also some toothpaste. “Cosmetics” is everything decorative, ornamental; not strictly necessary to life, but enhancing it (and oneself). Everything is cruelty-free; stuff that uses mineral oil or its derivatives is marked with an asterisk (*); stuff that’s parricularly “green” in the plant-based sense has its name in green. There’s a few more legendary elements further down, but that’s the basics.

Quicklinks:

  1. SKINCARE (I): NO-SCENT LIST
  2. SKINCARE (II): TOTAL LIST, INC. NOT SCENTLESS
  3. COSMETICS
  4. [UPDATE] THE GREYLIST

All images link to other stuff in the virtual outside world. Mostly to do with my own environment, the beauteous city of Vancouver, and some specifically green aspects of it. Some, admittedly, are just pretty pictures that caught my eye.

CRITERIA FOR GREEN-ISH CATEGORIZATION

1. HOW GREEN IN GREEN?

Green = probably counts as pretty damn green, plant-based, sustainably-sourced, energy-efficient factory, that sort of thing… While the whole post is far from infallible, this particular categorization/label is a bit on the glitchy side; please do add a comment further down to correct all errors, add brands, and so on.

Greenish = sorta kinda greenish, compared to green above; even though green already includes a range of tones, depths, and intensities of green-ness

I also include (marked by an asterisk) some brands that are cruelty-free and use sustainably-produced ingredients, and plant-based as far as possible, BUT that also use mineral oil and petrolatum; super-squeaky-green people would dismiss, reject, and possibly be horrified…
My reasong for doing this and for including these brands/products in my green-ish list:
—This is my own personal decision and policy as an ethical consumer.
—I’m not OCD about organic (don’t spank me!!!). Though as you see, a lot of the brands I use are organic, or use a lot of organic ingredients. I do buy organic and local for FOOD (or, if not possible, organic plus sustainable and fair-trade). Very important! At least as important as topical application!!
—But for topically-applied products, I’m more into cruelty-free, sustainably-sourced, environmentally-responsibly produced, and fair-trade/equitable labour & human rights. Which do often happily coincide or intersect with organic.
—I’d rather spend less money on something that works (and is cruelty-free, and satisfies as many of the other criteria above as possible) and then donate more money straight to charities and other active/activist organizations–rather than spending more on organic.
—For further explanation, see: posts on mineral oil.

2. THE GREYLIST

THE BLACKLIST: Several brands are COMPLETELY off the list, compared to last year’s Green-ish List, re: Chinese market and animal-testing issues (on which see further here: the only exception I’m making is The Body Shop, who have staunchly refused to sell in China) or because they’ve been taken over or are being distributed by someone who’s kinda non-green (ex. Korres/Johnson & Johnson, Simple/Unilever).

THE BLACK-TO-GREY LIST: some brands and how I’d consider them have been dealt with on the cruelty-free mascara list-post in criteria for cruelty-free categorization, and the brands then appear in GROUP 2 and GROUP 3 on that post.

THE GREYLIST PROPER: Here are some / some more that do not test their products on animals at their own manufacturing stage, but DO sell the sorts of products on the Chinese market that would require additional testing by the Chinese authorities; their status will be updated if and when they respond further and more properly to inquiries about their exact cruelty-free status and decide that ethical customers (*ahem* let alone ethics) matter more than making as much money as humanly (but not humanely) possible:

  • Clarins (skincare, cosmetics)
  • Edward Bess (cosmetics)
  • L’Occitane (unscented skincare, skincare, some cosmetics): see also this post
  • Yves Rocher (skincare, cosmetics): see also this post

And some that don’t test, whose products (according to what sense I’ve been able to make of Chinese legal requirements) would probably not necessarily require animal testing, but who are guilty of Doing A Pontius Pilate (washing their hands of the animal-testing matter as soon as the products pass out of their hands …):

  • Lavera (unscented skincare, skincare, cosmetics):
    unscented Neutral and Babies & Children Neutral lines: wash, shampoo, moisturisers, oil, sunscreen (the spray one); on the scented front, Basis line, some of the Aloe and Rose skincare lines; the Basis and Rose hair stuff is highly recommended, also the Basis cleansers and moisturisers, and the Almond shampoo; good mascara (though slight scent), terrible face stuff
  • Weleda (unscented skincare, skincare): UPDATE: see these posts too, though: their skincare is cruelty-free
    unscented Almond line; (least scented of their other stuff) Baby Calendula line, some of the Iris and Rose products, cold cream, everon lipbalm

Slightly peculiar special status:

  • The Body Shop (unscented skincare, skincare, cosmetics):
    the Aloe Vera line is unscented; most of the Organic one is too; also rec some of the Wise Woman, Vitamin E, and Hemp lines; the peppermint foot stuff; some of the body butters; honey lip balm; cruelty-free makeup brushes; makeup less exciting, though for fans of mineral stuff, they have that.
    NBB: TBS DOES NOT OPERATE IN CHINA.
    NB: parent company, L’Oréal, is not cruelty-free; TBS is, has always been, plus active animal and environmental rights campaigner since its start
  • Boots Natural Collection/Botanics (different names in different countries): I’ve used many things from them over the years, all excellent, and bargainaceous. While this range and the rest of Boots cosmetics and skincare (17, No. 7, Essentials, etc.) are cruelty-free, the company as a whole is not, as they still test on animals for the pharmaceutical/medical/serious drugs end of the business; over to you how you deal with this difference in approach.
  • Bourjois, Chanel, UNE (some skincare, mainly cosmetics):
    Bourjois: not fragrance-free, but much very decent stuff, and des prix démocratiques. Limited colour range, but includes many that work on redheads; also, the little round pot blushers (Lune d’or, Lilas d’or, Rose d’or, Rose de jaspe), lovely baked eyeshadows.
    UNE: affordable organic plant-based brand from the Bourjois-Chanel group: experiment in greening up, or greenwash? Over to you… Tested some out when last in the UK: good in terms of usability, functionality.
    NB CHANEL USE FUR (not in skincare & cosmetics; different branch of company…)
  • Burt’s Bees: some of the Baby and sensitive milk/oat stuff; hair stuff. Though bad habit of throwing lavender around, so watch out for that. Nice baby powder.
    NB: possible issue: owned by Clorox: greening up or greenwash?

Off to the recycling with them all, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not buying from them until they prove that they are not involved in animal cruelty, at all, anywhere, anyhow. Any remaining products I have go the way of A-Derma cleansing bars and suchlike, donated to a worthy cause, to be used by someone else. Someone else, in the case of the A-Derma bars, who’s in greater need than me, having more serious skin health conditions to deal with …

3. CAVEATS

  • May be more or less acceptable, depending on one’s definitions of green-ness.
  • If you don’t see a brand here that you think ought to be here:
    —is it on the GREYLIST?
    —does it have GREY-TO-BLACK-LIST status? is it in GROUP 2 or GROUP 3 on the cruelty-free mascara post?
    —how does the brand fits with my criteria for cruelty-free categorization?
    —if you still reckon a brand ought to be here: then do please let me know: as you can see from the replies below, I’ve done some updating to this post in response (thanks Anna!)
  • I have skin that’s more towards the sensitive and irritable end of the spectrum, drier, some allergies, and eczema (currently under control, but there for life). This limits what products I can use (natural or otherwise). I’ve still tried my best to list other stuff, some of which I’ve tried (and had failed on me, but might well be great on other people), some of which I haven’t, and some of which I won’t be trying due to products (or whole brands) containing ingredients that are amongst my known, tried & tested, proven, etc. irritants. Again: might be amazing products for other people, so I’ve still listed them.
  • As much as possible of what’s below is fragrance-free, unless indicated otherwise.
  • I pick and choose products from different companies, brands, and lines on a case-by-case basis. And would always recommend going product by product, individual by individual, and never advocate a whole-line approach (unless someone has an OCD and this is part of their condition-management and/or treatment).
  • This is not a total and comprehensive list. It’s just what I’ve tried, test-driven for a longer, and/or used. There are also lots and lots and lots of greenlists online, of various shades of green, and all shapes and sizes. There are many that are heroic attempts to collect together names of companies that don’t test on animals, that use organic ingredients (whatever the cut-off points are on both of these, dates for the former, percentages for the latter…), etc. My lists are practical rather than abstract–used and abused in the real world on this real skin, rather than collating information in theory/on paper.
  • This list is, indeed, very far from comprehensive. There are lots of green companies out there, and greenish ones, and green lines from bigger players (and of course greenwash too from all these categories too). New stuff appears all the time on Etsy: individual craftsmen, mom & pop artisan outfits, small handmade businesses, niche specialists (with, as ever, both praise for the artisanal and quality, and warnings about health & safety & quality control). So besides seeing what’s in the shops, and from the usual suspects (grandaddies like Dr.Hauschka and Weleda), do look there and online. This is where the MakeupAlley Green board is a very useful resource, as people on there will often ask about companies they’ve just found online and never heard of before. It’s usually there that I hear first about new green beautification stuff; some of my older reviews will be posted up on this blog, but all of them and all my new ones and discussion will be over on that board and in MUA product reviews.
  • I may well edit and otherwise update this list through the year, until next Earth Day…

  • See also: cruelty-free resources (March-April 2012)
  • For lots and lots more, and ideas for more, have a look at the following etailers; this is just a starting-point, not intended to be comprehensive…:
    • Allnaturalcosmetics.com
    • Amazon.com
    • Aromantic.co.uk
    • Beautynaturals.com
    • Ecorium.co.uk
    • Etsy.com
    • Gardedofwisdom.com
    • Holisticbeauty.net
    • Honestycosmetics.co.uk
    • iHerb.com
    • Lotioncrafter.com
    • Lovelula.com
    • Luckyvitamin.com
    • Mountainroseherbs.com
    • Naturaleurope.com
    • Naturisimo.com
    • Onestopnaturalshop.co.uk
    • Refreshinglyfree.com
    • Saffronrouge.com
    • Skinbotanica.com
    • Soapcraft.ca
    • Thenaturalshop.co.uk
    • Vitacost.com
    • Whiterabbitbeauty.com

4. KEY FOR THE LISTS BELOW

Green = probably counts as pretty damn green, plant-based, sustainably-sourced, energy-efficient factory, that sort of thing… While the whole post is far from infallible, this particular categorization/label is a bit on the glitchy side; please do add a comment further down to correct all errors, add brands, and so on.

Greenish = sorta kinda greenish, compared to green above; even though green already includes a range of tones, depths, and intensities of green-ness

Bold= used and liked at least some stuff

* = brands that are cruelty-free and use sustainably-produced ingredients, and plant-based as far as possible, but that also use mineral oil and petrolatum; others may well dismiss, reject, and possibly be horrified—that’s their choice—but this is my own personal decision and policy as an ethical consumer. For further explanation, see here.

 

SKINCARE (I): NO-SCENT LIST

  • Alaffia (shea butter)
  • Alba Botanica UnPetroleum balm
  • Allergenics (UK): skincare basics and shampoo, designed for sensitive skin and more severe conditioner such as eczema. Outstanding lotion and emollient cream.
  • Arcona
  • Aura Cacia oils
  • Avalon Organics olive & grapeseed unfragranced range: body wash, moisturising lotion, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Badger balm comes in an unscented version
  • BalmBalm unscented balm
  • Barefoot Botanicals (UK) SOS Botanicals range: cleanser, moisturiser
  • The Body Shop: see GREYLIST
  • BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Clean & Clear sunscreen
  • California Baby: some unfragranced products
  • CeraVe*: moisturising cream
  • Chagrin Valley: soaps, moisturisers, deodorant, hair stuff: quite a lot of unscented items
  • Coastal Scents
  • Curelle mainly hair stuff, the shampoo works as a good all-over head-to-toe wash
  • CVS* own-brand
  • Derma E: a few products ex. pycnogenol eye gel
  • Desert Essence jojoba oil, much of the baby range, fragrance-free shampoo, conditioner, body wash and moisturiser
  • DHC*
  • Dr Bronner’s castille soap, both the bar and liquid sorts, unscented version; not moist enough & pH off to use (on me) as a cleanser, can be mixed with other things (ex. oil)
  • Druide: inc. Pur shower gel
  • Earth Science: fragrance-free almond & aloe moisturising lotion, unscented body & massage lotion, fragrance-free shampoo & conditioner
  • Elave* (Ireland/UK): designed for sensitive skin
  • Elemental Herbs: sunscreen, lip sunscreen
  • Episencial: baby (and general-purpose) skincare, sunscreen
  • Etsy: lots of sellers!!!
  • Eucerin*
  • Everyday Shea unscented body wash: one of my tip-top multi-tasking marvels
  • Free & Clear*: excellent hair stuff
  • Garden of Wisdom (online): several finished products and loads of raw ingredients, such as oils and hydrosols
  • Green Beaver: sunscreens
  • Green People (UK): unscented range for sensitive skin
  • Herbfarmacy: a couple of unscented items
  • Jason fragrance-free bath and hair ranges
  • John Masters Organics sunscreen and Bare range (shampoo, conditioner, body wash & moisturiser)
  • Lafe’s: deodorant (crystal/mineral rock solid and spray version)
  • Lavera: see GREYLIST
  • Logona: the Free range
  • London Drugs* own-brand, ex. good dupe of Dove soap
  • Lotioncrafters (online): especially raw ingredients
  • Marks & Spencer*
  • Mountain Rose Herbs (online): especially raw ingredients
  • Naturally Fresh deodorant: amazing “joyous pits of love” packaging notwithstanding
  • NatureClean (Canada): cleansers, moisturisers, hair stuff
  • NOW oils & butters (Hain Celestial)
  • NuFountain: vitamin C serums
  • L’Occitane: see GREYLIST
  • Paula’s Choice* also now has a “greener” range, more plant-based than their other stuff
  • Pukka (UK): good basics
  • Rexall* own-brand
  • Sainsbury’s*
  • Santaverde: a couple of unscented items
  • ShiKai: the borage dry skin range (various moisturisers)
  • Shoppers Drug Mart* Life own-brand: ex. baby products, good dupes of the basic Aveeno unscented body moisturiser
  • Silk Naturals (online): some products: serums, moisturisers, cleansing oil, etc.
  • Tautropfen (though their less- and non-fragranced items are harder to find in North America: online …)
  • Terressentials: washes, moisturisers, hair stuff
  • Trilogy rosehip seed oil, eye contour cream, balm
  • TruKid, TruBaby, & TruVillage: sunscreen
  • Urtekram: unscented washes, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant
  • Vanicream*: cleansers, moisturisers, stellar sunscreens
  • Waitrose*
  • Weleda: see GREYLIST
  • Whole Foods own-brand 365: wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, baby wipes

back to the top

+ [sorry, this bit is rather stream-of-consciousness…] straight-up unrefined etc. shea butter (ex. Alaffia in WF) for eye cream, and various oils (mainly from the cooking-oil aisle, also cosmetic, though food-grade is made to a higer standard). Oils for: make-up removal, sunscreen removal / precleanse, serum-moisturising, body-moisturising, etc. If sensitive, rec. hazelnut, safflower, sunflower, sweet almond, rice bran, possibly jojoba. Dryer–avocado, coconut, macadamia, meadowfoam, olive, sesame. Oilier–grapeseed. Oils and other ingredients/DIY materials: no brand loyalty, some from cosmetics aisle, some from cooking (ex. sunflower, safflower). There’s quite a lot of online sellers of ingredients and finished products: many on etsy.com, and see also drugstore.com, gardenofwisdom.com, iherb.com, luckyvitamin.com, upurea.com, vitacost.com, and well.ca.

SKINCARE (II): TOTAL LIST, INC. NOT SCENTLESS

Most of the following have at least some products that are OK on me, but do contain essential oils. Many are technically “fragrance-free” in terms of not containing any extra fragranced ingredients, that is, ingredients included for the purpose of scenting the product. As opposed to ingredients already in the product for functional reasons (ex. rose petal derivatives), which may also just so happen to give the product a scent.

Usually–unless skin very stressed, sensitised, full-blown eczema–my skin and nose can take some scent. I’ve tarted up hair stuff with those EOs that are OK on me even at the worst of times. Neroli/sweet orange flower water added to the shampoo. DIY oil blend (not neat, in jojoba oil) added to the conditioners: 70% neroli, 10% rose, 20% sandalwood. Mixed together and added at under 1% concentration (about 2 ml–under 1/2 teaspoonful–for 325-350 ml). Chamomile and calendula/marigold are also OK (on me).

✓ = no scent (= on list I above)

Green = green (with caveats and provisos and so on, on which, see green-ish categorization higher up…)

Greenish = greenish compared to green

Bold= used and liked at least some stuff

Normal script = not used, but good reports… some overpriced greenwash may have crept in, but giving the benefit of the doubt…

Italics = Reservations, or else useless or counter-productive on me: with most I’ve had reactions, all are simply expensive, and for some while they tested out as non-reactive on me, they seem to do no more (on me anyway) than cheaper stuff with similar main/active ingredients. I see no immediately directly practical reason to buy something if there’s a cheaper equivalent that performs the same job and does it as well. But different strokes for different folks. That having been said: let’s call a spade a spade: I call this “overpriced crap”. With at least some suspicion of manipulating prices to what the green/guilt-prone/purist “my body is a temple” markets will bear.

* = use mineral oil and/or other petrochemical-derived ingredients. FYI, do with that as you will; for rationale for inclusion, see here.

  • 100% Pure. Many love their stuff, but I’ve had nothing but irritation from the skincare. The makeup is a different story.
  • ABBA hair stuff: the Gentle stuff and the very mild range for coloured/dyed hair: OK but not wowed
  • Acure Organics: hair stuff
  • AD Skin Synergy
  • A’kin / Alchemy: hair stuff
  • Alaffia (shea butter)
  • Alba Botanica: on the unfragranced side, the UnPetroleum balm
  • Allergenics (UK): skincare basics and shampoo, designed for sensitive skin and more severe conditioner such as eczema. Outstanding lotion and emollient cream.
  • All Terrain: sunscreen
  • Antipodes
  • Apivita
  • Arcona
  • Aubreys Organics Vegecol & Rose & men’s skincare lines, the GPB conditioner, men’s deodorant and scents, and the B-5 styling gel (which can be used as a defrizz thing like Phytodéfrisant)
  • Aura Cacia oils
  • Avalon Organics olive & grapeseed unfragranced range: body wash, moisturising lotion, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Badger Balm: unscented balm & lipbalm; meh unscented sunscreen; good unscented sunscreen sticks; decent baby and other mild stuff
  • BalmBalm unscented and rose-scented balm
  • ✓ Barefoot Botanicals (UK): SOS Botanicals near-unscented line; rose line, cleanser and moisturisers
  • Beauty Without Cruelty: the grandaddy of them all (but fragranced & reactions to their skincare, which has too much lavender for my skin)
  • Beyond Coastal: sunscreen
  • Blissoma
  • The Body Shop: see GREYLIST
  • AnneMarie Börlind: ZZ Sensitive and LL Regeneration lines
  • B Organic
  • Boscia (reactions)
  • BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Clean & Clear sunscreen
  • Burt’s Bees: see GREYLIST
  • California Baby: some unfragranced products
  • Caribbean Solutions: sunscreen
  • CeraVe*: moisturising cream
  • Chagrin Valley: soaps, moisturisers, deodorant, hair stuff: quite a lot of unscented items
  • Chanel*: see GREYLIST
  • Chicken Poop lip balm
  • Climb On! : inc. sunscreen
  • Clarins*: see GREYLIST
  • Coastal Scents
  • Cocoon Apothecary
  • Crabtree & Evelyn*: goat milk “swiss” range, jojoba body range, rose stuff, lily of the valley scented range
  • Curelle mainly hair stuff, the shampoo works as a good all-over head-to-toe wash
  • CVS* own-brand
  • Decléor (reactions)
  • Derma E : some unscented products in the Pycnogenol line; also vitamin E cream, avocado & e cream
  • Dermalogica (reactions: everything except the SuperSensitive sunscreen)
  • Desert Essence jojoba oil, much of the baby range, fragrance-free shampoo, conditioner, body wash and moisturiser; slightly scented: essential daily moisturising cream; coconut shampoo and conditioner
  • Devita (sorry… looks nice on paper, irritated the heck out of me, and pricey)
  • DHC*
  • Dr Alkaitis
  • Dr Bronner’s castille soap, both the bar and liquid sorts, unscented version; not moist enough & pH off to use (on me) as a cleanser, can be mixed with other things (ex. oil)
  • Dr.Hauschka: very variable–reactions from skin range from delight to hair-raising horror; like the rose cream light, eye contour balm, eye cream, rose-scented body powder, other body stuff
  • Druide (reactions): but (not tried) Pur shower gel
  • Duchess Marden rose-based skincare
  • Earth’s Best: baby stuff
  • Earth Science: fragrance-free almond & aloe moisturising lotion, unscented body & massage lotion, fragrance-free shampoo & conditioner; also (some scent) the ADE creamy cleanser, men’s aftershave balm, deodorants
  • Ecco Bella (though they make a lovely mascara and cake eyeliner; skincare useless on me)
  • Eco Logical sunscreen
  • Ecovert hand wash, shower
  • Elave* (Ireland/UK): designed for sensitive skin
  • Elemental Herbs: sunscreen, lip sunscreen
  • Éminence Organics (much is OK but like a lot of other stuff out there; overpriced)
  • EO hair stuff: the rose range, and the chamomile & honey
  • Episencial: baby (and general-purpose) skincare, sunscreen
  • Erbaviva
  • Essential Care
  • Etsy: lots of sellers!!!
  • Eucerin*
  • Evan Healy (overpriced, sensitive-unfriendly)
  • Everyday Shea unscented body wash: one of my tip-top multi-tasking marvels
  • Evolve
  • Faith In Nature especially hair stuff
  • Farmaesthetics
  • Free & Clear*: excellent hair stuff
  • Garden of Wisdom (online): several finished products and loads of raw ingredients, such as oils and hydrosols
  • Giovanni hair stuff: my hair dried out, and had some scalp and neck irritation; but check out the funky magnetic therapy jazz!
  • Goddess Garden: sunscreen
  • Green Beaver: sunscreens
  • Green By Nature
  • Green People (UK): unscented range for sensitive skin; good skin stuff overall
  • Herbfarmacy: a couple of unscented items
  • Hugo: hair stuff
  • Hurraw lip balm
  • Ilā
  • Ilike
  • Intelligent Nutrients: overpriced and very sensitive-unfriendly
  • Invisible Zinc: sunscreen
  • Jason unscented skin, body, and hair ranges; Aloe and herbal body wash, handwash, body moisturiser; and look at their small pots of cream, balm, etc.– ex. the vitamin E cream. Also, excellent SLS-free touthpaste (best I’ve tried), available in various flavours and fluoridated or fludoride-free flavours: PowerSmile and Seafresh
  • John Masters Organics: sunscreen and Bare range (shampoo, conditioner, body wash & moisturiser); other skincare is mildy scented, nice rose moisturiser; very lovely haircare
  • Josie Maran (irritation, reactions on some products, massively overpriced)
  • Juice Beauty (irritation, overpriced)
  • Juice Organics (irritation, overpriced)
  • Jurlique (some is OK but like a lot of other stuff out there; otherwise irritation; overpriced)
  • Kabana sunscreen
  • Kae (Kaeline) (irritation, overpriced)
  • Kiss My Face fragrance-free soap and moisturiser (usually with body stuff): the least awful of their stuff, but not EO-free. KMF are, alas, mostly heinous offenders against the sensitive nose and skin, though.
  • Lafe’s: deodorant (crystal/mineral rock solid and spray version); baby products
  • Lavanila: deodorant, sunscreen (scented)
  • Lavera: see GREYLIST
  • Lily Organics
  • Little Twig
  • Live Clean
  • Living Nature
  • Logona: the Free range is, well, free of fragrance and pretty minimally formulated; the Aloe and Rose ones are also pretty minimal, for those of a more sensitive disposition
  • London Drugs* own-brand, ex. good dupe of Dove soap
  • Lotioncrafters (online): especially raw ingredients
  • Loving Naturals: good sunscreens
  • LUSH (highly irritating)
  • Mádara
  • Mad Hippie
  • Marie Veronique (reactions)
  • Marks & Spencer has a sizeable unscented range; also plant-based green lines, good stuff and well-priced; one of the flagship greening-up companies in the UK, one of the first to use fairtrade organic cotton (cosmetic stuff and clothing), etc.
  • Melvita: lovely. That is all. Just lovely. Everything I’ve tried and used. Alas, not very available outside France
  • Mexitan sunscreen
  • Miessence (much is OK but like a lot of other stuff out there; overpriced)
  • Moa green balm
  • Mosqueta’s: last used in Ireland. Good rose-based line
  • Mountain Rose Herbs (online): especially raw ingredients
  • Mychelle (much is OK but like a lot of other stuff out there; overpriced)
  • Naked: great hair and body stuff, OK face stuff (EOs)
  • Naturally Fresh deodorant: amazing “joyous pits of love” packaging notwithstanding
  • NatureClean (Canada): cleansers, moisturisers, hair stuff
  • Nature’s Gate hair stuff: the Hemp, Aloe Vera, Herbal and Jojoba ones are the least scented
  • Naturopathica: some good stuff that’s nice and simple, but overpriced
  • Neal’s Yard: variable results, much is too scented for me
  • Nivea*
  • NOW oils (Hain Celestial)
  • NUDE Skincare
  • NuFountain: vitamin C serums
  • NutriBiotic NaPCA cleanser
  • Nuxe: eye creams (contour des yeux prodigieux, nirvanesque, and the new bio one), bio organic range, crème fraîche de beauté (various densities: lovely stuff…), rêve de miel range (lip balm, hand cream, intensive balm)
  • L’Occitane: see GREYLIST
  • Ole Henriksen (reactions)
  • Organic Apoteke
  • Organic Bloom
  • Organic Surge
  • Organix
  • Pai Organics: perfectly nice, but overpriced
  • Pangea (reactions)
  • Paula’s Choice*
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Pratima: neem rose sunscreen
  • Primavera
  • Pukka (UK): good basics
  • Purple Prairie sunscreen
  • Raw Elements: sunscreen
  • Raw Gaia
  • Rawganic
  • Real Purity: sunscreen
  • REN: tested some stuff out: overpriced for what it is, for those products I can actually use. Never bought any. With less sensitive skin, you might do better. Over to you. Lovely packaging, though 🙂
  • Reviva Labs
  • Revolution Organics
  • Rexall* own-brand
  • Sainsbury’s: has plant-based green-looking lines, good stuff and well-priced
  • Santaverde: a couple of unscented items
  • Shoppers Drug Mart* Life own-brand: ex. baby products, good dupes of the basic Aveeno unscented body moisturiser
  • St Ives*
  • ShiKai: the borage dry skin range (various moisturisers); hair stuff
  • Silk Naturals: good unscented serums (oatmeal, MAP vitamin C), cleansing oil, moisturisers, etc.
  • Skin Organics
  • Smart Girls Who Surf: sunscreen
  • Soap and Glory
  • Soleo Organics sunscreen
  • Sophyto
  • Spiezia
  • Suki (reactions, overpriced)
  • Suntegrity: sunscreen
  • Tallulah Jane (overpriced, sensitive-unfriendly)
  • Tarte (irritation)
  • Tata Harper (overpriced, sensitive-unfriendly)
  • Tautropfen (though their less- and non-fragranced items are harder to find in North America: online …)
  • Terre d’Oc
  • Terressentials: washes, moisturisers, hair stuff
  • ThinkBaby & ThinkSport: LiveStrong sunscreen
  • This Works
  • Tisserand almond range
  • Tom’s of Maine (but issue of being owned by Colgate-Palmolive)
  • Trilogy: (unscented) rosehip seed oil, balm, eye contour cream; (scented) the original range, everything balm, hair stuff; but not the very gentle (sensitive) or age proof lines, and not the sunscreen
  • True Natural: sunscreen
  • TruKid, TruBaby, & TruVillage: sunscreen, inc. unscented
  • Urtekram: unscented washes, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant; (scented) body wash and lotion, excellent hair stuff especially the aloe vera, chamomile, and and rose lines
  • UV Naturals: sunscreen
  • Vanicream* : cleansers, moisturisers, hair stuff, stellar sunscreens
  • VMV Hypoallergenics
  • Waitrose: plant-based green-looking lines, good stuff and well-priced
  • Weleda: see GREYLIST
  • Whole Foods own-brand 365: wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, baby wipes
  • Yes To Carrots*: some products (patch-test results variable, several reactions, never ending up buying any of their stuff)
  • Yves Rocher: see GREYLIST
  • Zia

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ace blog: the banner-image above links to an incisive critique of the “Vancouver Green Capital” campaign, and suggestions for a fabulous alternative

COSMETICS

Many on this list are really FYI: I wear little makeup, partly as I can’t be bothered, partly as I don’t need it (excuse smug moment and little happy dance), partly as very few companies make stuff that’s anywhere near the same shade as my skin, and partly as this is one of my biggest areas of skin reaction. I do, however, wear mascara and eye liner every day, have worn mascara every day for 25+ years, and have tried and tested quite a lot of those available on the market over that time…

✓ = decent range of colours to suit a goodly range of naturally-occurring human carnations. Redhead-appropriate, most obviously and selfishly; but all those that cover the ginger end of the spectrum tend to cover the rest of the spectrum too. Most of those listed below do redhead-suiting lippies and blushers.

Green = green (with caveats and provisos and so on, on which, see green-ish categorization higher up…)

Greenish = greenish compared to green

Bold = used and liked some stuff from them myself

Normal script = not used

Italics = “meh” from me, but listing them here

* = use mineral oil and/or other petrochemical-derived ingredients. FYI, do with that as you will; for rationale for inclusion, see here.

  • 100% pure
  • Afterglow
  •  Alima: especially foundation
  • Almay have a more-or-less organic line (testing status re. Chinese market not certain)
  • Annabelle*
  • Aubrey Organics (no use for pale redheads though)
  • Australis
  • Barry M*: it’s all fab; might even be the quintessence of fab
  • Beauty Without Cruelty: makers of the only good traditional (i.e. non-tubing) waterproof “green” mascara. And one of the few that’s any damn good as a mascara. Like, being waterproof.
  • Becca*
  • Benecos
  • Bésso de Natúra
  • Black Radiance*
  • Blinc (= Kiss Me: one of the first waterproof tubing mascaras, the other contender for the title of The Original being Mirenesse)
  • Bloom
  • BM Beauty*
  • The Body Shop: see GREYLIST
  • AnneMarie Börlind: not used in years–last used lipstick and mascara; shades pulled towards the orange
  • Bonne Bell*
  • Boots: see GREYLIST
  • Borghese*
  • Bourjois: see GREYLIST
  • Burt’s Bees: see GREYLIST
  • BYS*
  • By Terry*
  • CARGO*
  • Chanel: see GREYLIST
  • Chantecaille* (outside conscionable budget)
  • Chi Chi
  • Clarins: see GREYLIST
  • Coral Colours
  • Couleur Caramel: rec mascara
  • Cover FX*
  • Dainty Doll*: redhead-designed and -appropriate foundation
  • Dr.Hauschka: others love; I loathe–irritating and over-priced; the mascara was particularly heinous: smell, shite brush, lumpy, irritation. Face stuff has been useless on me. Weak colour range.
  • DuWop*
  • Earth’s Beauty
  • Ecco Bella: mascara, eyeliner (little cakes, can be used as liner or shadow)
  • EcoTools: cruelty-free sustainable etc. makeup brushes
  • Edward Bess: see GREYLIST
  • E.L.F.*
  • Elysambre
  • Éminence Organics: no use on me, irritation, but it’s green so on the list it goes…
  • Ere Perez
  • Essence
  • Essie*
  • Eyeko*
  • FACE Atelier: foundation
  • Face of Australia
  • FACE Stockholm
  • Fyrrinae: fabulous coloured things (eyeshadow, etc.)
  • Gabriel: good mascara
  • Geisha Ink*
  • GOSH
  • Green People
  • Hard Candy
  • Herban Luxe (Etsy): fab waterproof mascara
  • Honeybee Gardens: mascara (tolerable but no great shakes: too runny and smudgy)
  • Hourglass
  • Hurraw
  • Illamasqua
  • Il-Makiage
  • Iman*
  • Inika
  • Innoxa
  • Invisible Zinc
  • IsaDora
  • IT Cosmetics
  • Jane*
  • Jane Iredale: decent lipsticks, poor face stuff; pulling on the yellow for both; good powder mineral sunscreens
  • Jemma Kidd*
  • Josie Maran (meh, overpriced meh at that)
  • Just For Redheads* (online): a meh from me, dislike their mascara, but redhead solidarity!
  • Kat Von D*
  • Kevyn Aucoin*
  • Kiss Me (= Blinc: one of the first waterproof tubing mascaras)
  • Kiss My Face
  • La Femme: cake mascara
  • L.A. Girl
  • Larenim
  • Laura Geller*
  • Laura Mercier*
  • Lauren Hutton*
  • Lavera: see GREYLIST
  • Le Métier de beauté*
  • Lip-Ink International
  • Lipstick Queen: lipstick, oddly enough
  • Lise Watier*
  • Living Nature
  • Logona
  • Lola Loves Lashes cake mascara
  • Longcils Boncza: cake mascara for ex.
  • LORAC*
  • Lotus Pure Organics
  • M2 Beauté
  • Manic Panic
  • Marcelle*
  • Marks & Spencer*: has been consistently years ahead of the crowd on all things ethical (sustainable, plant-based, fair-trade, organic, free-range eggs, organic fair-trade cotton in clothing,… the lot)
  • Mavala
  • Mehron
  • Merle Norman
  • Métier de beauté, le*
  • Michael Kors*
  • Miessence
  • Milani*
  • Mineral Fusion
  • Mirenésse: fabulous tubing mascara
  • Model Co
  • Mosqueta’s
  • Napoleon Perdis
  • Natio
  • NVEY Eco: good all-round
  • NYX*
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  • Om She
  • Organic Glam (The Organic Pharmacy)
  • Paula Dorf*
  • Paula’s Choice*
  • Peter Thomas Roth* (cruelty-free last I heard, which is a while back now)
  • Physicians’ Formula (yep, in drugstores!): OK organic mascara–tolerable–and some of the face stuff; issues with redhead-appropriate colours
  • Phyt’s
  • Pixi Beauty*
  • Prestige*
  • Pür Minerals*
  • PUPA*
  • Real Purity
  • Reviva Labs: fabulous mascara–one of the most smudge-proof and long-wearing, whilst leaving lashes light and fluttery, yet not too fluttery as they stay in place (none of that cross-lashed look)
  • Revolution Organics
  • RMS
  • Sainsbury’s* (own brand)
  • Salma Hayek Nuance
  • Sante
  • Sephora* (own brand)
  • Silk Naturals: perfecting powders, blushers, eye shadows, lipsticks–largest range of lippies around, I think. And cheap.
  • Sleek Makeup
  • Sonia Kashuk
  • Stila: excellent Glamoureyes mascara, great eyeliners
  • Sue Devitt*
  • Sugar Baby
  • Suki
  • Suncoat
  • Superdrug* (UK)
  • Tarte: some nice stuff, including mascara, but overpriced compared to better out there
  • Terre d’Oc
  • TheBalm*
  • Thierry Mugler Beauty*
  • TIGI (I think???)*
  • Too Faced*: not thrilled
  • Top Shop* (UK, a couple of stores abroad)
  • Trish McEvoy*
  • UNE: see GREYLIST
  • Vincent Longo*
  • VMV Hypoallergenics
  • Wet n Wild*
  • Youngblood: massively overpriced, not good on redhead-appropriate colours, pulling too warm; mascara looks interesting though
  • Yves Rocher: see GREYLIST
  • Zoya
  • Zuii Organics: no luck, but organic and easily found in many branches of Whole Foods
  • ZuZu Luxe: mascara

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17 comments

  1. mej5s

    Amazingly thorough list as always. One more for you: Druide Pur Shower Gel (http://druide.ca/Product.aspx?ProductID=47340&Langue=) doubles as a face wash and is detergent-based (mild) fragrance-free, and Canadian (petite précision: québécois – à ne pas offusquer) — have been experimenting with this one as an evening face wash and shower gel on the odd occasion when I actually use something besides water in the shower.

    If I still actively blogged I would link to this post. Maybe it’s time to talk about resurrecting that blog (and maybe actually doing it this time)

    Thanks again for putting this together. It will be a great reference for many.

    PS – Have you seen Logona or Lavera in stores in ages? Either they are simply gone here in Canada or NA-wide as I don’t recall seeing them in Whole Foods in Cali on my last business trip there and the US Whole Foods usually have a much broader selection than we do here in Soviet Canuckistan.

    One more for your list btw – Green Beaver. While their body sunscreen is a Badgerlike, they have added two new sunscreens just this past month (haven’t tried – formulae are somewhat promising, at least worth experimentation:

    A ZnO based spray (rare) – http://www.greenbeaver.com/certified-organic-spf-27-spray.html

    A face version of their Badgerlike body sunscreen: http://www.greenbeaver.com/certified-organic-spf-15-daly-face-cream.html

    Both are fragrance-free.

    • gingerama

      Ace & fab & thanks!!! I’ve edited to update. Hope Logona Free range becomes more widely available, it deserves to be. Great stuff. Clean (hahah) forgot about it: used in EU years ago, or a precursor to it.

      I know Lavera (amongst others) is now distributed by True Nature Group, parent to True Natural sunscreens. Who are also North American distributors for:
      Green People (UK)
      Benecos (Germany: makeup)
      Curelle

      I know the Green People & Curelle distribution agreement is new, don’t know how recent the others are.

      Good news for the companies too:
      —Lavera weren’t doing so well over here on their own. Not that much of their stuff was available, and their best stuff–the Neutral line–wasn’t allowed to be sold in the US and Canada. “Labelling” and the purity-rhetoric was the nearest I got to an answer; though gods love them, if they’ve been good enough for EU standards, that might be kindergarten-cop trade-wars taking the piss. Also, the whole lot was way overpriced compared to EU prices…
      —Benecos were tricky to get hold of; I only remember ordering them from Germany
      —Green People weren’t available on this continent
      —Curelle will be good news for our friends south of the border who probably hadn’t met the brand before… on which, more on Tuesday. Love the shampoo, less keen on the conditioner.

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  5. anna3101

    I have several doubts. Why do you still include the Body Shop? 😦 The money all goes to L’Oreal anyway and they were, are and will be testing on animals.

    Yves Rocher and L’Occitane have recently started animal testing because of their operations in China. Eucerin belongs to Beiersdorf and they “test when required by law”. Chanel promotes furs 😦

    • gingerama

      Thanks also for this!

      1. The Body Shop: their profits don’t go straight to L’Ucifer Corp. This was part of the deal when TBS was sold to L’Oréal.
      TBS retains operating independence. Most of the moneys stay with TBS and are invested directly in their own projects (and most of the profits still go straight back to producers and their community projects, as per Fair Trade contracts). Some do go to the corp., but there’s a clause that emphasizes that they can only be used towards green projects, inc. investment in alternative (non-animal) testing methods; and other new “green” techniques and technologies have to be shared with the parent group, though TBS is allowed to use them exclusively for a while first. Ex.: mineral makeup.
      And it’s part of their independence that they do not operate in China.
      I’d added a note and will move it around, though, in case there’s any readers who aren’t aware that TBS are owned by L’Ucifer and would rather not have anything to do with diabolical forces.

      2. L’Oréal will not necessarily always be testing on animals. I’m trying to be fair here: I’ve not used their products in decades, bang on about how awful they are to anyone who’ll listen (and plenty who’d rather not), have protested against them in all media through to dressing up in a bunny costume, refuse to let their war-criminal past rest, and generally loathe and despise them.
      But: they will/should have to stop testing on the EU market. Unless we get further quibblings about that; and we’ll see very soon indeed… It would not surprise me if L’Oréal (and others of that ilk) were to start up China-specific parallel companies; as many companies do already for subsidiaries (ex. Shiseido) or in different, smaller markets. [Rant: ex. every big-name brand in Ireland: a country with many very very pale (NW00-10) people, but where companies only sell their biggest-selling makeup shades that are biggest-selling worldwide (where, overall, the majority are in the NC25-55 range). Rant over.]

      3. If that’s true about Yves Rocher and L’Occitane, off the list they come. I’ll add a note to the Greenlist in the meantime, though. Can you tell me some more? Is this for all products, or just (as is the case for all companies) new ones & ingredients? The reason I ask is that not all products sold in China are required to be tested on animals.

      4. Beiersdorf’s legal status is the same as any other European company, of testing when required to do so by law. That’s the letter of the law.
      They are also one of the pioneers in human in vivo testing, and in vitro testing on tissue samples. I’ve done human volunteer testing for them… first done as soon as I was of legal age to do so, otherwise I’d have been doing it back in the 1980s when they started that scheme!

      5. Chanel: point well taken, I’ve added a note.

  6. anna3101

    To me L’Oreal equals cruelty, so I don’t want to add even the tiniest bit to their profits. I don’t believe one of the biggest beauty corporations around will really use money from TBS on green projects. As for the EU ban, I can only hope and pray and keep my fingers crossed. I image just how much lobbying is being done to prevent it from happening.. As for Beiersdorf, they failed to give a thorough reply that they both don’t test and don’t use any ingredients tested. Also, “except when required by law”, which is so readily and eagerly used by some companies may be just a good excuse for selling their good to Asian markets, not only China (but probably also). Anyway, I think the lack of clear message from Beiersdorf is the reason they are on many black lists on the Internet. I’m not 100% sure about them but probably better safe than sorry…

    And that China issue… First of all, I have to admit – I’m prejudiced, and if there is one country I hate it’s this one. The very idea of someone pursuing the market success in China, the country which is the very symbol of animal cruelty to me, is already revolting enough. But I didn’t know that not all products are required to be tested. Is that certain? The information I had from several sources was that all imported cosmetics should be, while those manufactured on the territory of China shouldn’t – even if the factory belongs to a Western company. The girls from the Polish group against animal testing wrote a couple of emails to both PETA and YR, and our suspicions were confirmed. L’Occitane says they don’t test but PETA says otherwise (and although I’m far from being a PETA fan, I’m more inclined to believe them in this case). What YR basically says in their email is almost funny, if it were not so sad: “we don’t know what happens to our products later on, they may be tested by authorities but not by us, so we are clean”. No comments……

    • gingerama

      Hey, this is interesting: tell me more about the Polish group? and your feedback from PETA and YR?

      I got a similar response from Lavera and Weleda, by the way (reported elsewhere on the blog): I honestly think they don’t know what’s happening. From my own looking into the matter, the bureaucracy involved is Byzantine so I’m not surprised. Weleda are looking into it. I’ll be emailing them again in the next month to see what’s happening there.

      If you’ve got more info on the legal requirements for testing, do please share them! I’d looked into it about as much as I had time for at the time, and won’t have more to do so (I have a job…) for a while.

      • anna3101

        I’ve heard about it also – it’s hard to know what is going on with products in China. I even read a book about it and the book had such an effect on me I started boycotting Chinese goods the very day I finished it. But I thought Weleda and Lavera don’t sell in China??? Lavera even is one of my favourite brands.. Not that I won’t throw it away if they have anything to do with Chinese testing of course.
        If I hear more about the matter, I’ll let you know. Unfortunately, I am myself quite busy these days as I’m the only assistant left in the office, so I have to work a lot 🙂 But I do follow our Polish discussion closely. We are not any organization or club – just a bunch of people who want to use non-tested products and encourage others to do so. Someone started a thread on a cosmetics forum and the thread grew and then, with many people’s contribution, we’ve made our own “safe and unsafe” list including our Polish brands (lots of emailing and not only). The list lived through many revisions and updates, and is now among the first when you search for CF cosmetics in Polish 🙂 I hope more and more people will be aware of this problem and stop putting money into pockets of P&G, L’Oreal and the like.

    • gingerama

      On TBS: I know some of what the conditions of the sale to L’Ucifer were. If they’ve been broken, the TBS Board is entitled to take their parent company to court, get repayments and damages, and legally re-separate themselves.

      This was a completely different situation from a company being taken over, on more or less hostile (and corporate-colonising) terms. Then and later, the status of TBS within the L’Oréal stable is different: independent and self-governing. It’s not a “child” or “colony” or “slave” company.

      Having said that: a non-issue, as I’ve bought next to nothing from TBS in years. I have a hairbrush that I think was from them (FSC wood) from about ten years ago, and some makeup brushes. (Bought at a time and in a place where they were the most ethical available option: the others being Boots or non-synthetic. Long story. Afterwards, I kept them rather than throwing them out, which would have been wasteful.)

    • gingerama

      My own position right now: I’m using up whatever I have left over and only rebuying products that I’m sure of. I’ve been using things like plain oil more and more anyway. And I’ll be making my own moisturiser from scratch at some point (the duchessofgrapes recipe). I think my worst current offenders are:
      —Weleda lipbalm & cold cream
      —old The Body Shop wooden-back and -quill hairbrush and (synthetic) makeup brushes, used rarely
      —Aquaphor, and own-brand petrolatum and mineral oil from local cruelty-free pharmacy: used mainly for first-aid purposes if I get a massive eczema outbreak or similar: the stuff never goes off (seriously, my grandfather had MO & Vaseline from the 1940s: then again, this was the UK, he was Scottish and parsimonious, and he never really gave up on some aspects of rationing and “Make Do And Mend,” some of which now counts as being very green: consume less, reuse, recycle, etc…)
      (Scratching head: I think that’s all? Now I’ll get all worried, will have to check when back home later today!)

  7. anna3101

    As for PETA, they have recently added L’Occitane to their no-no list: http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/companiesdotest.pdf

    I’m guilty of several chemical products that I still haven’t used and it would be a waste to throw them: dishwashing liquid, soap, some lipsticks from Revlon and a compact powder (yikes!) from YR.

    But this Weleda wories me – I was so sure they are safe!

    • gingerama

      Aha! I hadn’t seen the new PETA lists. Many thanks! Will post them up separately!
      I’ve also done some more updating on the post, and on the mascara list 🙂

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