Our guest editor today is the peerless Ms. Godfrey June, who was one of the first people I hired at Lucky, and the individual responsible for the beauty coverage in that magazine being so addictive and having such a strong voice. She’s over at goop now, working as their executive beauty editor, and is free to indulge her passion for nontoxic beauty to her heart’s content. When this request came in, I knew she was the only person who I wanted to have cover it here. I’ll let her take it from here.
People tend to think nontoxic is such a luxury (!) that it’s only available in high-end beauty products—and they are wrong. Long before goop and Tata Harper and Vintner’s Daughter came along, there was Weleda and Dr. Bronner. All are good; just as with conventional beauty products, something being more expensive isn’t always an indicator of quality. I think it’s wrong that finding a product free of, say, hormone disruptors takes any work at all. Labels should be transparent, and conventional beauty companies should stop using known toxins in their products. The common argument is that these harmful chemicals are used in such small amounts that it’s ok. But even the least-beauty-involved person uses multiple products ( don’t forget all the household products too, and the perfume blast you get just walking past a store at the mall) every day, for years on end. All beauty products are luxuries. Where’s the luxury in paying for something that could potentially harm your health? I’ll get off my soapbox now! Here are my favorites:
Weleda makes the product that I think is the best in its class, world-wide, across all categories. If you want a rich, super-nourishing moisturizer, get a green tube of Skin Food and call it a day. I prize it most for its ability to completely wake up my skin—put it on, wait five minutes, and without any makeup at all you will just—look better. (This is not for super-oily complexions, I should note). But it also fixes any dry skin problem anywhere on your body, smells incredible, travels well, and absolutely moisturizes better than any other product on earth. It is almost 100 years old. And it looks like you stole a memento from your gorgeous 70s boyfriend’s gorgeous 70s redwood A-frame on the cliffs in Big Sur (when you time-traveled back there to enjoy it before Silicon Valley existed to invade and destroy).
Schmidt’s deodorant cracked the code on clean deodorant. It works. It comes in a thousand gorgeous scents (the rose vanilla is amazing if you’re not sensitive to baking soda; if you are, the green tea smells like Bulgari), but the best thing is it just works and you never have to think about it again (even my 16-year-old-boy agrees).
Bare Republic Mineral sunscreen SPF 30 is fantastic; for a daily face SPF, Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 30 and Yes To Blueberries SPF 30 both sink right in invisibly. (It’s critical to go clean on SPF, meaning ONLY titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide in the “active ingredients” box. Yes it takes a second longer to rub in, but chemical sunscreen ingredients are some of the most irritating in the beauty industry.)
Dr. Bronner’s body wash in the giant size. I love the OG minty one, but I return most reliably to the almond. The giant size just makes me feel like I’m set. And the Kiehls-ian packaging (of course, Dr. Bronner’s is actually the king in the lots-of-wonky-type packaging dept) looks fantastic in a shower.
Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Face Oil has evening primrose, rosehip and jojoba oils, all of which are amazing for your skin. Smooth it in morning, noon, and night, or pat over your makeup for 4pm-slump revivification.
SW Basics lip balm is the perfect balance of soft and slick yet not melty. It smells great and comes in a cool 5-pack.
Captain Blankenship (best name ever) has a new line for Target called Sailor and their salt spray for beach hair is just so good.
Finally: Is toothpaste a beauty product? This debate has been going on since the early days of Lucky. I still say yes. #1 must be ordered online but COCOFLOSS floss will change your life. No one who has tried it disagrees with me. Invented by two Bay Area dentist-sisters, it is thicker yet dramatically easier to use and more effective than other floss, sustainably made of plants, and adorably packaged. You will be ruined for all other floss, forever.
#2 if you must have fluoride, Jason Sea Fresh gel is fantastic. Who doesn’t want to be sea fresh??
#s 3 and 4 are great if you’re anti-fluoride/willing to accept a lack a fluoride in exchange for insane chicness. Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste so belongs in an Ian Schrager hotel, it’s sleek and minty. Weleda’s Salt toothpaste looks like their Skin Food but blue—so pretty, and the salt freakin works.