2018 updates (updated in July)

Surprise: this blog is not dead, it was just hibernating. I won’t be updating it much, but will try to remember to post updates like this at leat once a year. No news is good news: with an goal of moving to dormancy and slipping into silence when morosophy is obsolete. Or the anthropocene ends us all. Whichever comes first.

On which happy note, welcome back!

Current beautifying products:

  • Pure Anada scentless gentle cleanser: using on face and body
  • Jojoba oil: for removing eye makeup and sunscreen, shaving armpits, moisturising face and body
  • Curelle or Oneka unscented shampoo and conditioner *
  • ShiKai borage therapy dry skin lotion, unscented: moisturiser all over, including as an eye cream
  • refined shea butter or Dr Bronner unscented lip balm: lip balm
  • Elemental Herbs All Good sunscreen butter SPF 50: all over *
    UPDATE (July): while this is very protective, if I use it for more than a day it is a factor in rashy spottiness and I’ve returned to Badger SPF 35, the cream plus the stick on lips. On me, the Badger works as well (for protection). I’m still carrying a tin of the All Good in my bag in case I need an emergency top-up during the day. I usually don’t; though if outside all day I’ll reapply sunscreen every 4 hours anyway.
  • Primal Pit Paste unscented level 2 deodorant
  • Nvey Eco cake eyeliner in brown
  • Pacifica Stellar Gaze mascara or their Aquarian Gaze waterproof mascara (using the brush from an old tube of Stellar Gaze) *
  • Silk Naturals HD foundation in C10, used as eye-area concealer
  • Silk Naturals kisser slicker lipstick in Bitten
  • Zazubean dark chocolate (the Naked 73% above and the Nudie 80%)

All of the above are biodegradable and cruelty-free. Most are also vegan: except Dr Bronner lip balm, All Good sunscreen, and Silk Naturals lipstick. They contain beeswax. Most also include fair trade and organic ingredients.

* a new thing this year that I might review here if I get around to it in a rare break from my busy tree-hugging schedule and if I remember. No promises. Think of the trees.

UPDATE (July 2018): OK, here’s a quick review.


Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 25% (Non-nanoparticle)
Inactive Ingredients: Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flowers infused in Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Non-GMO Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

This sunscreen is available in a 28g / 1 oz tin (USD 9.99; more recyclable and environmentally responsible) or a 78g / 2.75 oz plastic twist-up stick (USD 15.99; still recyclable, and the cheaper option). As the name suggests, it has a buttery texture; the tin version is fluffier, the stick more solid. Either is easy to apply: scooping out from the tin or stick, or rubbing the stick directly on skin. Smooths and melts nicely. The texture once on the skin is like Badger SPF 35. It applies very white, which is good so you can see that you’re coated evenly, and rubs in clear; comparing side by side with Badger, it looks to me like All Good uses a smaller size of zinc oxide. No scent. Moisturising without being greasy, and doesn’t run off with sweat or water. Needs more serious removal: cleaning twice (ex. cream cleanser + oil).

It was fine and lovely on my skin for a while, then I started to get spotty rashy bits. I was also getting heat rash and being generally allergicky so didn’t worry too much, moved back to Badger which is always reliable, and some of that rash has gone (ex. on arms). In the name of Suffering For Science I did some split-self testing to check hypotheses. I can’t use All Good for two or more days in a row. I can nearly use it for a day, though the rashiness on my arms and clogginess on my chin start mid-afternoon and are itchy by about 6 p.m.  I can still use this as an emergency top-up, say applied as an extra layer around lunchtime (though my main sun protection is covering up and avoiding sun, sometimes I’m outside all day) but only wearing it for a few hours and removing it carefully in the evening. With the Badger, I can flop into bed and clean it off in the morning. Yes, that’s scuzzy, but I’m tired and lazy and human. (I do wash hands and feet before bed though.)

The main difference in ingredients between the two is that where All Good uses coconut oil, Badger uses sunflower oil; and Badger doesn’t have calendula infused in the jojoba oil it uses. My quick provisional conclusion is that the coconut oil is the most likely candidate; I’ve never yet been able to use it directly on my skin, nor many fractionated coconut oil derivatives.

Active Sunscreen Ingredient: Non-Nano Uncoated Zinc Oxide 22.5%
Base Ingredients: Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E).

87g / 2.9 fl. oz (USD 15.99)


I’ve also somewhat updated the cruelty-free mascara list from 2012.

UPDATE 2018-06-08: I was using another shiny new (to me) thing, the Kat Von D lock-it concealer crème (in L5). I am no longer doing so and have returned to the old faithful Silk Naturals HD foundation (in C10). Reason:


General Gingerrramorous Aims and Strategic Plan For The Morosophical Future:

  • avoiding ingredients and finished products that are environmentally damaging:
    —-before buying, checking the sourcing of all soybean-based food (of which I eat a lot) and all palm-oil and soybean oil and their derivatives in cosmetic products. This is tricky as it’s not always possible or easy when eating out with friends or at restaurants, food trucks, markets, etc.
    —-rethinking the idea of “cruelty to animals” to include not using ingredients that harm animals through harming their habitat: most palm and soybean oil and their derivatives, other ingredients that are by-products of environmentally-damaging farming practices (ex. some rice and quinoa), and some rare luxury fashionable oils
    —-to do: more. As ever.
  • buying and using stuff that does as little harm as possible:
    and maybe some good.
    —-already using the stuff above + environmentally-less-unfriendly domestic cleaning products + glass water-bottle and real coffee cup at work + doing a job that actively does good (rather than being neutral, doing harm, or being an incomprehensible waste of time that does or makes nothing and makes other people annoyed and angry: you know, telemarketing, consumer surveys, banking, investment, insurance, financial services, a lot of customer service, HR, PR, sales, marketing, and anything to do with property) + not driving + using public transport + using recycled paper and bamboo (ex. toilet paper) or reusable cloth substitutes (kitchen towels, cotton wool pads, wipes, handkerchiefs) + thrift stores and ethical companies (environment, animals, humans) for new clothes + buying local and regional (inc. down the Pacific coast) + paying taxes + charity donations + eating vegetarian, mostly vegan. Minimising bovine dairy products is hard: life without good cheese is barely worth living. I’ve mostly substituted goat and sheep, except for melty browning cheese that smells right when it’s cooking and tastes like it should, like on pizza. Vegan substitutes in cheese sauces: yes. On pizza: no. And I have yet to find a convincing yoghurt alternative.
    —-working on: not leaving lights on, turning taps off when cleaning teeth in the morning (I’m not awake enough yet), shorter showers, fewer baths … and not beating myself up so much about occasional long baths, because being human means having some humility and because I’m an animal with needs for wellbeing too. Also working on the aforementioned bovine dairy substitutes.
  • reduce plastic use:
    —-already using reusable glass, wood, and metal containers where available + larger bottles + recyclable plastics inc. trash bags
    —-more of the same
  • reduce plastic consumption overall and eliminate single-use plastics:
    —-already using reusable shopping / carrier bags, glass containers (inc. reusing old jars) instead of tupperware and ziplock bags, a razor with replaceable head (rather than disposables; it’s a compromise, the now nearly unavoidable disposable razor plays a crucial role in the history of modern / anthropocene consumer throwaway “culture,” a symbol of built-in obsolescence), Diva menstrual cup
    —-experimenting with reusable beeswax food wrap to replace saran wrap / cling film
    —-work in progress: packaging, takeaway food containers, interdental sticks with the mini brushy bit at one end, mascara 😱
  • reduce my own production of microplastics:
    —-already using clothes and other household textiles that are made from longer-lasting natural fibres with little to no synthetic content, and fabrics (ex. non-mulesed merino wool inc. underwear, rubberised cotton and waxed cloth waterproof outerwear) that need less washing, which also saves water and energy. Not using tubing mascaras again until I’ve learned more about the biodegradability of the tubes which that kind of mascara form around your lashes, washed off, down the drain.
    —-aiming to replace old clothes, when they wear out, with sustainable and less-microplastic-producing equivalents; the big problem is lycra in hosiery, underwear, and sportswear. And knicker elastic 😳
  • use less stuff overall:
    —-already doing: waste not, want not + buy less but buy better. Buying to replace something, be it makeup or clothes or fridges, when it wears out. Fixing things if you can, to extend their life (note to self: I have a pile of clothes to mend that I’ve been meaning to deal with for months…). Only adding a new item to The Stuff if it’s genuinely new and genuinely useful and will be used.
    —-work needed: not going on shopping frenzies to test mascaras and sunscreens. I donate those that don’t work on me but are otherwise good and usable to friends or to a women’s shelter.
    —-and generally reduce buying and consumption, reuse, recycle, etc. Slow sustainable style over fast fashion. Make life beautiful and an art, extending minimalist aesthetics to a whole environment just as the Arts and Crafts and Bauhaus did. Make conservatism actually properly conservationist again. (And put the conserves back into jam, and eat more jam and other preserves, though no I’m not about to become a proper Kinder Küche Kirche / Quiverfull housewife and spend my time and energy making jam etc. thank you very much.)
    —-EXCEPT FOR CHOCOLATE. If the chocolate situation worsens, as part of catastrophic climate change and local geopolitics and international relations, you’ll know who to blame for stockpiling the good stuff. And then the real folly-praising test will be if I share it.
  • tree-hugging:
    —-already doing: hippy granola stuff and nonsense above + I see trees every day at home and around work. I try to spend a decent length of quality time in our Vancouver and British Columbian forests at least every fortnight in due veneration of trees. With occasional discreet hugs.
    —-aim: hug more trees. Every week. Every day. Constantly. Become at one with a tree. Become as one. Become a tree. If there’s no annual update in summer 2019, you’ll know why.


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