Natural Beauty

I’ve slowly started making the switch to paraben-free skincare products. Parabens are commonly used as preservatives, and have been linked to cancer and allergies. The more I read about their potential dangers, the more I have trouble putting parabens on my face. But giving up my favorite moisturizers and masks won’t be easy. If I’m going to invest in anything new, it has to work, and it has to look pretty in my medicine cabinet. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find quite a few non-toxic products that don’t sacrifice effectiveness or good style. Here, in no particular order, are my favorites thus far. I have a feeling this is only the beginning of a new product junkie journey . . .

JOSIE MARAN
The Scoop: Created by a former model, this skincare and cosmetic line is naturally gorgeous. The metallic rose-colored packaging is biodegradeable, and the contents are luxurious yet simple.  
Top Pick: Argain Oil ($42), a light-weight oil grown organically in Morocco is multi-purpose. I layer a few drops under my night cream when my skin feels dehydrated.
Where to Buy: Sephora.com

NUDE SKINCARE
The Scoop: Minimalist and chic, this U.K.-based brand uses airless packaging to keep the use of preservatives to a minimum. The emphasis is on results, and celebrities have caught on.  
Top Pick: Advanced Eye Complex ($108) is light but moisturizing, contains antioxidants that protect against free radicals, and absorbs so quickly and completely that I can’t imagine using anything else under my make-up.
Where to Buy: Sephora.com

PUR-LISSE
The Scoop: Pure and simple. Contains traditional Chinese skincare remedies, like white tea, sea silk, and the blue lotus flower, to protect skin from environmental damage and stimulate cellular growth.
Top Pick: Pur Protect SPF 30 Essential Daily Moisturizer ($55) is the first face lotion with spf 30 (not 15!) I’ve found that feels and functions like a daily moisturizer—not like a sticky sunscreen.
Where to Buy:  purlisse.com and skinstore.com 

TAMMY FENDER
The Scoop: Fender, a facialist, uses fresh herbs and essential oils to prepare small batches of her holistic skincare formulas—the same ones she uses on clients at her Palm Beach skin care practice.
Top Pick: The Epi-Peel ($80) does it all—deep-cleans, brightens, and polishes—while allegedly increasing the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the skin. All you need to know is that this five minute mask is more effective then a number of facials I’ve had.
Where to Buy: tammyfender.com

AVEDA is launching a new brightening skincare line in February! Although I’ve been sworn to secrecy on the details, I can tell you that this paraben-free line is 100 percent plant-based. I’m already a fan of the serum and massage mask. Look for the full scoop in an upoming issue of Minnesota Monthly.

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