Tag:  alba Archives - Beauty Banter

GET SMART: Eco-Beauty with EarthSmart’s Kim Carlson

By | how to | 3 Comments

I love sharing my eco-beauty finds and helping people understand why it’s so important to green your beauty routine. But I am definitely not alone in this and continue to be inspired by those who were championing the cause way before me, like Sophie Uliano over at Gorgeously Green and Kim Carlson of EarthSmart Consumer. Kim founded five green companies, has a national radio show “Livin The Green Life” and is NBC’s “EarthSmart Expert.”

At EarthSmartConsumer.com you can learn more about eco-conscious living and, if you like quizzes like I do, take her Green Quiz to find out how green your lifestyle is. And remember, going green doesn’t mean sacrificing your sense of style. Kim “has one foot in earth-friendly idealism and the other in style-conscious living. And she’s wearing stiletto heels.” She shared her favorite beauty picks with Beauty Banter for morning and night.

Kim’s morning routine:

Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Toothpaste
Kiss My Face bar soap for the shower (because bar soap have little to no packaging)
Belegenza shampoo and condition (free of parabens and sodium lauryl sulfates)
Alba Very Emollient Body Lotion
– Makeup by Dr. Hauschka, including eye shadow (containing black tea leaf which is rich in antioxidants and skin soothing), Dr. H’s mascara (with anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory Neem leaf) and Dr. H’s lipstick (with Rose Hip Fruit extract to protect and soothe chapped lips).

Kim’s bedtime ritual:

-Remove makeup with an Aveda Shammy Cloth and water
-Soak in Avalon Organics Lavender Bath & Shower Gel
-Replenish moisture to face and hands with Organic Shea Butter from L’Occitane

Kim believes, “one thing at a time is the best way to green your beauty routine.” And I agree. Same goes for clothing (Kim’s eco-friendly picks include jeans by Karmel & Alden and earth-friendly frocks like the Chitin dress by Linda Loudermilk). What I love about Kim’s philosophy is that she knows that a) change is hard, and b) you don’t have to suffer to look and feel good. With that in mind, her advice is “starting with small changes can make a big difference and impact.” Switch out one or two beauty products with eco-friendly counterparts and you’re on your way! Kim’s new bookGreen Your Work: Boost Your Bottom Line While Reducing Your Eco-Footprint, is in stores now. And check out her website for great articles and videos as well. I love all the recipes for homemade scrubs and masks. xo alex.

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Drugstore Find: Alba Rainforest Body Collection

By | body | 61 Comments

Alba’s newest line, the Rainforest Collection, is bathing at its finest.

While the collection spans from hair to skin, it’s the body products that I am seriously hooked on. The bathing goodies come in 3 scents targeting 3 specific concerns: ACAI Antioxidant (Açaí has highly concentrated and a diverse range of antioxidants and is proving to be an excellent source of essential fatty acids), Andiroba Renewal (Andiroba Oil helps soothe and heal skin. Myristic acid contributes to the acceleration of healing of damaged skin) and Capuacu Deep Hydration (Cupuaçu butter is a rich emollient that delivers deep hydration and helps restore softness and elasticity).

The ACAI Antioxidant is my favorite. I love the idea that I am feeding my skin with a plethora of antioxidants for a healthy, radiant complexion. The wash and lotion both smell blissfully serene – part tropical, part fruity, but not overwhelmingly pungent at all. The wash lathers into cloud-like suds and soothes as it washes. The lotion (complete with a pump!) has the consistancy of Lubriderm (not watery but not shea butter thick) and absorbs completely. Cocoa butter and Brazil Nut Oil help to keep my skin smooth and hydrated throughout the day.

I was slightly disappointed that the shampoos are not sulfate-free, but I tried the Cupuacu (deep hydration) none-the-less and was content with the results (no stripping that I could tell of). The products are made with emollient-rich oils derived from some of the world’s most beneficial fruits and nuts. Again, love the natural ingredient spin, but I don’t think I’d rebuy the shampoo and conditioner as I’m on a major sulfate-free kick (click here for a reminder on why sulfates suck!).

As for the lotion and wash, yes, they’ll be taking up permenent residence in my bathroom.

The best part of the rainforest collection is that it gives back to its namesake: the rainforest. Says Alba, “The Andiroba and Brazil Nut Oil we source from the rainforest are certified by the Rainforest Alliance to the FSC standards. They also certify our paper cartons” “Alba Botanica also supports Rainforest education and sustainability through the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER).”

Affordable, sustainable beauty!

PRICE TAG: $9.95 (wash)/ $10.95 (lotion)

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UN-PETROLEUM JELLY

By | skin | 8 Comments


Vaseline is a fabulous multi-purpose product for skin and beauty. Sarah recently wrote about how versatile it is and I agree. But I try to stay away from mineral oils and petrochemicals and well, petroleum jelly is exactly what is says it is. What’s a girl to do? Fortunately, Avalon Organics has created a greener version of the classic standby with Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly.

Instead of a crude oil, Un-Petroleum Jelly uses castor and coconut oil, along with beeswax and vitamin E to create a moisturizing, soothing and non-comedogenic alternative. Traditional petroleum jellies don’t absorb into the skin they simply coat it. So your skin can’t breathe and pores get clogged. Not good. Plus, the petrochemical factor is hardly eco-friendly. The health concerns are still debatable but the European Union has banned them from most cosmetics.

Un-Petroleum Jelly does the work of its predecessor to sooth rough or chapped skin. I always apply it before self-tanner to elbows, ankles, and heels to keep color even. It’s great for removing heavy eye makeup, and to moisturize lips. The older petro-bases can actually dry lips over time because they protect the skin but don’t actually hydrate. Un-Petroleum has now released a trio of lip balms in vanilla, cherry and tangerine. Made with jojoba and olive oil, they’re SPF 18 and free of artificial color, parabens and phalates.

A few words from the company:

“We founded Avalon Natural Products in 1989 on the principles of quality, innovation, integrity, and leadership. As such, we offer a unique collection of quality personal care products for caring consumers seeking natural, organic and cruelty-free ingredient alternatives. All of our products are 100% vegetarian and are never tested on animals.”

So, say goodbye to that old jar and pick up a tube of Un-Petroleum Jelly at Whole Foods, Wild Oats or online at here and here. xo alex.

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Post-Sun Skin Savers

By | skin | 19 Comments

So you’ve tanned it up beach – or pool – side and your sporting the perfect sun kissed hue (after applying loads of SPF, naturally). Now you want to know, what’s next? How can you prolong the life of your new golden glow and keep your skin nice and soft without turning into a withering raisin?

Here are 5 fabulous post-sun skin savers:


What it does: an ultra-cooling cream gel that provides long-lasting freshness and comfort to the face and body. Ideal for after sun exposure, yogurt hydrates the skin, instantly relieving excessive heat and stinging.
Why I like it: It’s made without parabens, sulfates or petro-chemicals so you can rest assured your body is getting the utmost magnificent treatment. Plus, it really is THAT refreshing.

What it does: Caffeine helps neutralize free-radical damage due to sun over-exposure. Macadamia oil and shea butter nourish and replenish essential moisture leaving a healthy, radiant glow.
Why I like it: Vegan and organic, this lotion smells delicious, is calming and gentle to the body and has aromatic properties which keep the skin soft for prolonged periods of time.

What it does: Refreshes and hydrates the skin. Ideal for use after sun-bathing and swimming
Why I like it: Love this line! Aloe is an amazing ingredient to soothe over-sunned skin. This lotion is light and ultra refreshing; totally fuss-free (but harder to find in stores!).

What it does: Enriched with Aloe Vera and pro-vitamin B5 to moisturize and calm the skin. Cools and soothes sun exposed skin and helps ensure a long-lasting, beautiful tan.
Why I like it: Sometimes things just feel more refreshing dispensed from a spray. Not to mention, I love anything that leave a little glistening after-glow on my skin. Apparently, it’s not sold in the U.S. – correct me if I’m wrong here – (another reason to love it even more), but you can order online through the UK site, or buy a similar version from Herbalife if you dare.

Avene After-Sun Care Lotion $20.00
What it does: Light-weight, non-greasy cream-gel formula provides a cooling effect to the skin. Lipidic complex Biocymentine helps restore skin’s barrier and prevents moisture loss. Soothes, calms and cools the skin after sun exposure.
Why I like it: Ever since Paris, I have a particular affinity towards anything French and Avenue is a revered skincare line in France. It also contains Pre-tocopheryl, a vitamin E precursor known for its anti-oxidant properties so it’s great for the tone and texture of skin too.

Have a favorite post-sun soother?
Let us know! Leave a comment below…
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ALEX‘S SUMMER STAYCATION TIP no 1. GET A TAN

By | skin | 8 Comments


While Sarah spends some time on the Atlantic, I’m planning a staycation this summer in LA. June totally snuck up on me (wasn’t it just February?) and though I’m ready to pull out the skirts and dresses that get me through triple digit weather, my skin isn’t so sure.

Most of the year I live by the mantra that “pale is the new tan.” While I wear SPF daily, my skin has a yellow undertone and given the chance will turn freckly and tan. I like a bit of color when the temperatures rise but I prefer mine in a bottle. I love, love, love Lancome’s Flash Bronzer Instant Colour Self-Tanning Leg Gel, which is a favorite amongst many, including Lucky Mag beauty editor Jean Godfrey-June who often raves about it. Why so great? First off, it’s tinted with a subtle shimmer, making it possible for me to actually get a faux tan without streaks or missed spots (is it possible, you ask? it is.). Second, it dries fast and develops a golden color that looks sunkissed not Sunkist. Even on the fairest of skin.

I always prep by exfoliating, then add a dab of Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly on knees, elbows, heels and cuticles. To maintain the color, I moisturize daily with Korres Yoghurt Body Butter. The result is a week of great summer color without the sun damage. Then it’s back to the bottle. The icing on the cake? Unlike many tanners this one is paraben free and scored pretty well for its eco-responsibility at The Good Guide (if you don’t know this site already, I suggest bookmarking it now). What’s not to love? xoalex.

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About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.