Questions for the crunchy.
September 7, 2011 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Looking for good (i.e., valid, not just feel-good) natural/organic health and beauty resources - blogs, websites, or books. Asked another way, the facial oil cleansing method and its equivalents seem great! But do they actually work, and where can I learn more?

In the last couple months, I've tried a few 'natural' personal and household cleaning remedies and methods (oil cleansing method and honey/baking soda for facial cleansing - seems pretty good! Vinegar for kitchen surfaces - ok, mom used to do it. No shampoo/baking soda on hair - ew. ew. ew). In part, they seemed like fun experiments, and also in part, make you feel good about yourself in a sort of "I go to yoga once in a blue moon" kind of way. However, dipping my toe in got me curious about the actual impact - what's hype and what's real.

The basic concept of using more natural products appeals to me, but only if they 1) actually seem to work; 2) are possibly improvements on their industrial chemically equivalents; 3) seem to have some sort of scientific basis for getting the job done; and 4) really are better for you/the world (if none of these assumptions are true I can just go back to Garnier, Dove and Windex!). In the few natural beauty product resources I've encountered, offering facts that support more one of these requirements seems to be a tall order (some blogs I've seen, for instance, seem to be more DIY guides), but I've admittedly not been at it long. At worst, some of them seem to be in the 'hey, put this goo on your face! it must be good, its from a plant!' scheme - without any real thinking about what it would do and why that's better to do than something else. Or, they put the natural label on with nothing to back it up.

What are your recommendations for resources (blogs, websites, forums, books, magazines) in this vein - info on natural/"better for you" health and beauty products and methods, cleaning products, etc.? Does not need to be only DIY, looking for resources with product recommendations and comparisons too.
posted by xaire to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
It could be a lot better, but might have some things of interest. And has a lot of reviews of 'natural remedies.'
posted by kmennie at 10:03 PM on September 7, 2011

No More Dirty Looks
The two women who write this champion natural/"clean" products like crazy, and I think they have exactly what you're looking for in terms of product discussion. The items they fall in love with are often too expensive for me, but the writing is engaging and the authors write pretty honestly about their struggle with finding products that are both effective and truly clean when it comes to ingredient lists.

Well and Good
Another in the same vein, though I've more seen this mentioned than read it regularly. Looks like they take a more lifestyle/wellness approach, but they also have good product recommendations.
posted by ella wren at 5:55 AM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I work at a wellness studio, and the aesthetician there uses a product called De La Terre . It's not DIY, and it's expensive, but it's all natural, organic, food grade products for your skin and people at the studio rave about.
posted by Rocket26 at 7:35 AM on September 8, 2011

I haven't read it yet, but I just purchased this book at my local Border's (at a crazy discount, of course). It appears to have a discussion of the various commercial products, and what's actually wrong with them, as well as the author's recommendation for green alternatives. No telling if the book will actually deliver.
posted by purpletangerine at 9:36 AM on September 8, 2011

I'm also a fan of the blog No More Dirty Looks and their book. They do feature some pretty expensive products but they also give the cheaper/homemade alternative.
posted by hellochula at 10:56 AM on September 8, 2011

I actually went looking for information on this kind of thing myself when I was researching natural skincare a few weeks back. Long and the short of it, like everything else, everyone's skin makeup is different and what works for some people who will rave about it, others will say it made them break out like crazy. What I did amongst other things is go to, they actually do reviews of natural products as well like using coconut oil as a moisturiser (this is what I was researching). It's a good place to get feedback on something before testing it on yourself - let other people be the guinea pigs first, I say!

I was also looking for a decent exfoliator and didn't want to pay the big bucks for Clinique's which had been the best I'd used up to that point. I ended up trialling my own homemade one, from brown and white sugar, almond oil and honey. Works like a treat, smells great and I can notice the difference on my skin. But that's me. I would say even if there is hard science behind these natural products (and there seems to be for some), there's also science behind Loreal etc and people still react to that.
posted by Jubey at 6:18 PM on September 8, 2011

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