Green and Gorgeous: My Top 5 Beauty + Health Recommendations

SG High Res 4I believe that the best way to apply makeup is to make it look like you aren’t wearing any.

I agree with One Direction: you’re all lovely and luscious enough already.

You’re turning heads when you walk through the door

Don’t need make up

To cover up

Being the way that you are is enough

– One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful

I’m a Berkeley girl, and the natural look is big here in the Bay Area. But along with keeping your style natural, I think it’s even more important to also seek out natural products. Plain and simple, your skin will absorb what you put on it, whether it’s toxic endocrine disruptors, harmful chemicals, or artificial estrogens. These types of cosmetics don’t just mess with your hormones; they can actually take a toll on your skin, damaging the collagen and coloring, forcing you to use more of the harmful cover-ups that caused the problem in the first place!

Luckily, there are lots of face-friendly options for ladies who want to enhance their natural beauty without exposing themselves to harmful toxins. The next time you smear on some lotion or swipe on some eyeshadow, I want it to be as hormone-friendly as it is mirror-friendly.

The Precautionary Principle

In my book The Hormone Cure, I discuss the “Precautionary Principle” – namely, to look for natural alternatives to products that contain harmful chemicals. It will take a little homework on your part, but nature-nerd that I am, I’ve already done some of the legwork for you.

If you’re considering a purchase, always look at the ingredients listed on the label (you do the same thing with food products, right?). Red flags are:

  • sodium lauryl sulfates (one of the most irritating skin cleansers on the market)
  • parabens (often-unnecessary preservatives that act as serious endocrine disruptors)
  • formaldehyde (another preservative that is a skin irritant and, even scarier, a carcinogen)
  • fragrance (the synthetic chemical compounds that add fragrance can affect everything from skin, to immune systems, to fertility)
  • hydroquinone (this skin-lightening agent prevents melanin production, increasing exposure to UVA and UVB rays)

A great place to start researching safe cosmetic alternatives on the Environmental Working Group database called Skin Deep:, this site is full of suggestions for safe cosmetics.

Everywhere I go

Everywhere that I’ve been

The only thing I see is

Is beautiful people

– Chris Brown & Benny Benassi, Beautiful People

Healthy & Hot

The following are some of my favorite resources and products when it comes to natural beauty. These are my top 5 favorite products for the skin and hair:

1. Annmarie Gianni is my favorite cleanser and facial oil. Now I’m in love with their essential oils. As Kris Carr famously said, when you spray their Neroli toner on your face, it’s as if angels are kissing you.

2. My favorite skin product is In Fiore, and the owner is a homeopath! Talk about safe and sexy!

3. 100% Pure keeps my hair smooth and soft, without loading it up with sulfates and artificial fragrances.

4. Some all-natural beauty products are a little lacking, performance-wise. That is assuredly not the case with the line from Dr. Alkitis. Quality, performance, and total purity.

5. We all need a little help some days. Whether it’s a special occasion or a daily touch-up, Tarte cosmetics are lovely, clean and serious powerhouses in the makeup department. I’ve used in all those photos shoots (but Scout’s honor: I take all that crap off the second I’m done!).

Do you have any favorite natural cosmetic products? Share with me in the comments below! I love your recommendations!



European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2001, pages 416–419; American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, March 2001, pages 28–32

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Christian G. Daughton and Thomas A. Ternes, “Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change?” Environmental Health Perspectives • Vol 107, Supplement 6 • December 1999.