Let’s hear it for the boys. Well&Good has put together a list* of both the best clean crossover brands for men—the ones you can just sneak in the shower and leave on the sink—as well as those designed just for him. Are the men in your life clean? Did you it take convincing? Tell us what they use!
For some guys, moisturizing is already one skin care step too many. (It’s a stereotype, but it’s true.) So it may be difficult to turn your partner, brother, or pops on to the benefits of chemical-free products.
The best way? Set them up with brands that cater to them with neutral packaging and subdued scents that don’t reek of roses and lavender. We enlisted the men in our lives to help us choose the most effective natural products that fit that criteria. Some are unisex (so you can share) and some cater to his specific needs, i.e., non-toxic after-shave.
Here are the ten guy-friendly lines to start strategically placing in the shower now.
This Australian, Kiehl’s competitor has been a go-to line for guys for a long time, because of its no-frills, apothecary packaging. The Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser ($39) is a great mild face wash that comes in a tube he can toss in a gym bag, and if wants his own eye cream or anti-aging moisturizer (instead of poaching yours), Aesop makes those, too. Note: While the brand uses lots of plant-based ingredients and leaves out some gross chemicals like parabens, they’re not all natural.
2. DR. BRONNER’S
This one is an inexpensive, first-step no-brainer. Dump his Axe Body Wash and have him soap up with the liquid or bar version of the certified-organic Magic Pure Castile Soaps ($16.99), in almond, peppermint, or citrus. The strange, hippie ramblings written on the label in tiny print make for great shower entertainment.
3. INTELLIGENT NUTRIENTS
Horst Rechelbacher, the founder of Aveda (who sold that company to Estee Lauder in 1997), made this farm-to-face line virtually edible, and in many ways his products have more in common with the supplements aisle or a salad dressing (think coconut and pumpkin seed oils) than Sephora. Almost all of them are based on an antioxidant blend of fruit and plants, so they’re not a bit flowery in scent. And the skin care and hair care are especially high performance. So you might be able to swap out your guy’s (hideous) drugstore hair product for Intelligent Nutrients’s amazing Styling Pomade ($29).
4. JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS
This classic organic hair and skin-care brand always had unisexy packaging and masculine appeal. But its recently released just-for-men line, made with eucalyptus and agave, brilliantly appeals to guys by offering 2-in-1 solutions. The Face Wash ($22) doubles as a shave foam and theMoisturizer ($28) is also an aftershave. Talk about streamlined skin care.
This brand’s functional products are made with results-oriented plant ingredients—from aloe vera to plant stem-cells—and come in sleek, sophisticated packaging for a classy dude. TheSoothing Shave Cream ($25.70) was hands-down the best natural shave product my guy tried. And we quote: “It spreads out easily, unlike some of the other natural creams that can be pasty, and it provided great protection.”
Joshua Onysko, the Boulder-based founder of Pangea Organics, is passionate about formulating non-toxic products in the way some guys are about a fantasy football team. The soaps won’t dry out skin, the moisturizers aren’t cloying, and the toners are great skin-calmers post-shaving or workout. And while the products are really simple, the herbal blends make them interesting, like the Italian White Sage with Geranium & Yarrow Shower Gel ($16). They’re also affordable, and you can pick them up at Whole Foods.
7. PRADA LAB
This indie brand imitates Aesop in its glass-bottle, unisex apothecary feel, but unlike the bigger brand, it’s totally natural. The “volcanic ash,” a type of clay, used in the Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($29.99) makes it sound bad-ass, and the Macadamia Hand, Body, and Scalp Scrub ($29.99) is great for sloughing off rough skin. And if he gets a little in his mouth, it may taste like dessert—other ingredients include dates, honey, and white tea.
*Many of these brands are already favorites but a few we have yet to vet. Have you tried them?
There was a time when we scoffed at toners. Usually made from alcohol, fragrance, and other skin-harming stuff, they always just felt like another way for the cosmetics industry to get you to pay for a product that you don’t need. But a good natural toner does in fact have a purpose. Do you use them? Which?
Cleanse-tone-moisturize used to be the holy trinity of skin-care regimens. But in the past decade, beauty shoppers (and penny savers) have lost their faith in toners. Some say you don’t reallyneed to use one, especially those that strip the skin of its natural oils. (We’re talkin’ to you skin-stinging Sea Breeze.)
But a handful of new generation toners want to woo you back to the practice of spritzing your post-cleansed face. They’re using great natural ingredients that actually do something super-beneficial for your skin, like reducing blackheads or shine to boosting radiance and hydration.
Additionally, “the right toner for your skin issue acts as a catalyst for the ingredients that follow from your serum or moisturizer,” says uber-facialist Jillian Wright. Here are the 10 top toners worth trying …
1. For Former Seabreeze Addicts
Pangea’s pore-tightening toner comes with a cooling feeling and invigorating scent—only it uses lime as an astringent, which doesn’t strip your skin. It’s ideal in the morning, post-workout, and even as a body spray for “backne.” Pangea Organics Facial Toner Italian Green Mandarin & Sweet Lime, $26
2. Super Exfoliating
We’d almost categorize this very active, very effective toner as a skin-care treatment. It’s great for wrangling hard-core breakouts and blackhead-dotted T-zones, as well as for anti-aging concerns, since it boosts cell turnover with lactic acid. (Not for sensitive skin.) Ren Clean Skincare Clarifying Toning Lotion, $28
3. Tough on Oil, Sensitive on Skin
This toner’s tough on oil production (thank organic sage oil and peppermint). But it’s also quite gentle on your skin because it’s blended with calming chamomile and grapeseed oil, whose essential fatty acids help fortify skin. You might not get that wow-factor tingle when you use it, but that’s actually a good thing if you have sensitive skin. Primavera Balancing Toner, $17.25
4. Antioxidant-Loaded and Firming
This four-ingredient toner contains antiseptic witch hazel and lavender water with extracts of antioxidant pomegranate and anti-inflammatory elderberry. Elderberries have great anti-aging effects, and the flowers contain tannins that help firm skin, says Zen Society founder Kaitlyn Lockman, a board certified holistic health practitioner and master herbologist. Zen Society Elderberry Toner, $18
5. Instant Shine-Reducer
Amala’s really onto something with this toner: It works on the long-term project of preventing your pores from clogging while reducing shine (thanks to rice powder and blue lotus), so your skin is left looking immediately matte. It’s great after a workout, too. Amala Purifying Toner $30
6. Balances Oil
It helps put an end to those pools of oil that form just a couple hours after you’ve cleansed your face, and it does so without drying out your skin. Small miracle in a mist.John Masters Organics Bearberry Oily Skin Balancing & Toning Mist, $20
If you have spots from acne or sun damage or your complexion needs a little boost, tone with this citrus-witch hazel mist that’s also “radiance restoring.” A VitaBrightKX blend of herbal and floral extracts target skin discolorations to help even out blotches and brighten skin. Jurlique Purely Bright Mist, $34
Shiny hair for spring? Yes please! We’re loving this shine-boosting list from team Well+Good—which have you tried?
Even those of us who trim our split ends regularly and sleep with a humidifier on can see frizz and flyaways in the mirror this time of year. That’s because winter elements (and your adorable wool hat) can poach moisture from your hair and scalp, making you look less coiffed than you’d care to.
How to restore or add shine? These new, natural, and noteworthy shampoos, masks, and finishing serums will do your ‘do justice. All of them add life and luster to your locks—and in just one moisture-boosting use.
1. Yarok Feed Your Shine Hair Serum, $24
This is a luminizer for your locks. The editorial hair stylist and formulator, Mordechai Alvow, gets amazing results with this blend of sesame, coconut, Roman chamomile, and other light oils. You warm up a few drops in your hands and run them over your pre- or post-styled hair. You’ll get gloss, dimensionality, and total polish with zero buildup, and seriously wonder how you lived without it.
2. Intelligent Nutrients Hair Shine, $29
It’s great for those days when you know if you touch your hair, it’ll all go to hell. Instead, this skinny pump dispenses a fine mist of USDA-organic finishing gloss over your damp or almost dry hair. And because it’s made by the fastidious Horst Rechelbacher (formerly of Aveda), it uses lemongrass, black cumin, pumpkin seed, and other antioxidant oils for its finishing touch of conditioning sheen.
3. Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask, $58
If you suspect your hair is one flyaway from getting you a finger-wagging from your stylist (or mother), this uber-nourishing hair mask is for you. It taps the restorative power of rahua nut oil (loaded with omega-9 that your hair will drink in), as well as quinoa protein (it’s the year for it, after all) to strengthen and protect your hair. Use it once to see a difference, and weekly for better behaving hair on an on-going basis.
This super-chic, non-toxic company made a behind-the-scenes debut at New York Fashion Week. It hails from Australia where the line’s a hit with natural-leaning types. We fell hard for the packaging and the ingredients, starting with the ones in this frizz-fighter, like organic argan and macadamia oil, which can get hair runway (or workday) ready.
5. John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner, $22
Healthy hair that’s fallen off the wagon—like with too many hair-breaking blowouts or ponytails—can benefit from this treatment conditioner. Its fortifying soy proteins make your hair heartier and the replenishing babassu seed and avocado oils will allow you to comb hair out, and blow it out, and flatten it out without worrying if you’re also ruining it.
Because health is not a zero-sum game, we love this list of quick pick-me-ups from Well+Good. Do you practice any?
Being healthy is a lifestyle that involves eating well, working out, and getting eight hours of shut-eye. Ideally.
What’s also true? There are many things that make a serious difference in your health and take just two minutes, explain experts.
So even if you’re one of those people who never get to leave your desk (sorry!), one of these quick practices can help you make the most out of a few free moments to really ramp up your level of wellness. Here are 10 two-minute tricks that can seriously boost your health.
1. Spice up your water. Take a tip from the spa and add a little something extra to your water to help relax and alkalize your water. Robyn Youkilis, a holistic health coach, suggests making a pitcher of filtered fresh raspberries and lime slices or throwing cucumber and spearmint leaves into your water bottle for a little healthy Zen-on-the-go. (There’s a reason we made this our top tip for the holiday season.)
2. Do planks. Before getting into the shower every morning, celebrity trainer David Kirschsuggests spending two minutes doing planks. Hold a straight plank for one minute followed by 30-second planks on each side. “A strong core is the foundation of a fit, health body,” said Kirsch, and this is the number one move for it.
3. Dry brush. Two minutes of dry brushing before a shower increases circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system (which moves toxins out of the body), makes your skin glow, and even helps tone and firm your legs and tush. (Sounds good to us!) Youkilis recommends starting with your feet, and brushing your skin in a light, circular motion, upwards along the body, and then hop in the shower.
4. Look at your plate before diving in. Visually take in your food before you tuck in. This practice of just a few seconds helps you savor your meal and slows down your eating, says Youkilis. This approach “helps you recognize when you are full before overeating, and therefore slim your waistline without having to change a thing!”
5. Meditation. Acid reflux, headaches, and even a shorter life expectancy have been linked to stress. And just two minutes of watching your breath or trying one of these easy meditation practices can make a big impact. “Meditation helps to reduce stress at the most basic level,” saysJeff Cannon, author of The Simple Truth: Meditation for the Modern World. “At a deeper level, it leads to a happier, healthier, and more successful life.”
6. Add turmeric to your cooking. The benefits of this inflammation-fighting spice are too good not to mention. Turmeric has powerful antioxidants that help fight certain types of cancers, as well as arthritis, psoriasis, and Alzheimer’s. Studies show it helps reduce the damage done by enjoying high-fat meals. “That might explain why French women sprinkle turmeric on everything,” jokes Youkilis.
7. Neck and shoulder release. Dr. Frank Lipman, the physician-founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, loves to prescribe a tennis ball massage for work- and workout-aholics. It prevents adhesions and pain in the neck and shoulders where most people have it. Want to try it? Lie on your back, knees up, and place two tennis balls side-by-side at the top of your shoulder blades. Lift your arms to the ceiling, then move them slowly toward the knees, then toward the wall behind you.
We’ve done a lot of complaining about the lack of good—nay, great—natural perfumes out there. But truth be told, there are a few on this list from Well+Good that we haven’t tried yet! Which of these have you tested out? And what’s your absolute favorite I’ll-never-stop-wearing-it perfume, natural or otherwise?
Perfume should be a pleasurable experience both for the wearer and those around her, not a toxic one. Which is why we’ve rounded up the best new natural ones.
Our perfume picks are mostly handcrafted in small batches with plant extracts, distilled flower essences, and essential oils. So giving or getting one feels luxurious and special. Here are our 9 favorites of the season…
1. A Perfume Organic Mejica
Perfumer Amanda Walker’s small batch, botanical blends are super desirable, and “Mejica,” might be the sexiest of her five USDA certified-organic scents. It’s a delicious blend of three vanillas, rare resins, and spices. The petite bottle is actually a roll-on and, extra charming, the flower seed-embedded box can be planted.
2. Red Flower Ambrette Roll-On Oil
Aside from making exquisite natural candles, Red Flower creates masterful fragrances, like “Ambrette.” It’s the name of a seed used in Indian culture to perfume the hair and burned as an offering. When blended here with patchouli, orange, and black pepper (all certified USDA organic), it’s both alluring and restoring. Wear it to yoga to lift stress-related fatigue or anoint your pulse points with it as an aphrodisiac.
3. Strange Invisible Perfumes Black Rosette
Perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis is all about luxury craftsmanship. Her forte is creating scents with certified organic, wildcrafted, and biodynamic ingredients that focus on “aroma profile, evocative narratives, and the beauty of scent.” Black Rosette eau de parfum, for example, tells a subtle story of seduction with roses, black tea, and spearmint with a hint of bad-boy leather.
4. Lurk RSW005 Fragrance
This carefully crafted new fragrance line oozes cool factor. Lurk is the brainchild of New Yorkers Anne Sanford and Kristi Head, who met at Red Flower and created packaging and beauty products for Anthropologie and other top brands before collaborating on a fragrance collection of their own. We’re smitten with RSW005, an androgynous essential-oil-based scent with warm sandalwood, earthy rose, and a crisp citrus finish. And since the line launched just last year, you won’t be wearing (or gifting) a scent that everyone else has. Yet.
5. Tsi La Fiori D’Arancio Organic Eau de Parfum
Tsi La is a little obsessed with fun, organic freshness—and natural decadence. The collection is crafted in artisan-size batches using essential oils, active plant botanicals, and rich exotic butters. Best-selling Fiori d’Arancio is a USDA-certified mist that’s like bottled sunshine—on vacation in Italy. Its notes of orange, tangerine, and neroli flowers mixed with vanilla orchids and honey give it a playful, mischievous appeal.
6. Honoré Des Prés Nu Green Verrine Eau de Toilette
Olivia Giacobetti is a legendary perfumer, who designed fragrances for prestigious houses like Diptyque and Guerlain, before creating Honoré Des Prés. It’s the first luxury certified-organic French fragrance brand. Nu Green conjures up the feel of a fresh spring morning with green mint leaves, dewy grass, Indian botanical musk, tarragon and cedar wood. And if it’s got Giacobetti’s signature on it, you know it has to be good.
7. Tallulah Jane Aiyana Eau de Parfum
Aiyana is a feminine (okay, super girly, super heart-warming) fragrance that mixes pure Moroccan rose with vanilla and a hint of Italian lemon that gives it a boost of happy effervescence. Like all of Tallulah Jane’s perfumes, it’s made with organic and wildcrafted oils, and based on the centuries-old tradition of Bourbon perfumeries.