Natural Beauty

Beauty meets brains at Terri Bly’s eco-conscious personal-care website

Q: What’s the philosophy behind What you put on your skin gets into your body, so I use beauty products that keep my body healthy and looking good!

Q: But do natural products really work? Yes! In fact, most synthetic chemicals are designed to mimic ingredients found in nature for a smaller cost. Your skin is going to look better if you use organic products. My favorite facial cleanser and day cream are both 100-percent organic, but I would use them even if they weren’t because my skin has never looked so good!

Q: What about makeup? Natural makeup has come a long way; you’re no longer limited to loose minerals in dull colors. Some of my favorites include Couleur Caramel mascara and eyeshadows, and Revolution Organics lip gloss.

Q: Are chemical-free sunscreens effective? Chemical-free sunscreens actually work better because the chemicals in traditional sunscreens tend to break down over time. While it used to be a challenge to find a natural sunscreen that didn’t feel greasy or leave a white residue, the formulas have improved tremendously. Keys Solar Rx makes for a great everyday sunscreen.

Q: Is there such a thing as a safe self-tanner? Absolutely. In fact, the active ingredient in sunless tanner is derived from sugar beet. Lavera makes a great sunless tanner, as does Sante. They act just like the commercial stuff, but without using potentially harmful preservatives and petrochemicals.

Q: What are some red flags to look for when scanning an ingredients label? The most commonly used and best to avoid are parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, PEG, propylene glycol, petrolatum, and synthetic fragrance.

Q: What’s the easiest way to decipher whether a product is safe? The Skin Deep website,, is a great starting point for determining what ingredients your favorite products contain, how safe they are, and what brands offer healthier alternatives.

Stuart & Brown dress, $145, from InToto, 3105 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-822-2414, Suzi Roher belt, $265, and jewelry by Ashley Pittman Kenya, $190–$385, all from Neiman Marcus. Leather knee boots by Manas Design, $229, from Shu Global Footwear, 1021 Grand Ave., St. Paul,