Natural Living

By Irene Fogarty

Think about “all-American” for a moment. What does the phrase conjure up for you? Burgers, Coca-Cola, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, hot dogs, Jasper Johns, football, tailgate parties, cut off denims, white teeth, big cars, big fridges, big portions. OK. You get the picture. Now what does “all-natural” bring to mind? Fresh-smelling? Made from plants? No chemicals. That’s a start. But all-natural or organic is more than that. Take a look below.

Organically speaking
For a product to be “organic,” it must be made with ingredients and materials that have been certified free from pesticides, herbicides and other cytotoxins; without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their derivatives.

Organic products must meet stringent standards. Products are given organic certification to assure the public that they have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

That’s why organic farmers build healthy soil and respect our water resources by promoting the biodiversity of the land and the ecological balance of the environment.

So when I talk about an “organic” line, they are genuinely organic. And since they are from mother Earth it seems only natural that we should benefit from them. With that in mind, here’s my list of my favorite all-American organic lines. From skin care to body care, there are more and more wonderful American organic lines. Every day I learn about them. I feel honored to have the chance to review and see the wholesome goodness they add to our cosmetic store and supermarket shelves. I have been looking at organic lines for some time now, so these are the three that definitely have held my attention.

#1 Susan Ciminelli
You know the name. She’s got one of the top day spas in the city. But do you know her skincare range? It’s probably the best organic product line for any skin type that you can find today. I say this because I have tried them all and this one is still the closest thing you’ll get to an organic skin line that gives you results (very visible results).

Susan’s knowledge of herbs, plants and all natural remedies is found in every jar. Since her teenage years, she’s been making her own skin recipes with lavender, essential oils, primrose, calendula, etc. She can tell from looking at your complexion what your eating habits are. And she’ll be the first to admit that a jar of cream is not going to solve your skin’s deeper problems. From her botanical and herb knowledge, her quality of products and services and her intuition to look beyond the surface, I think Susan is going to become the country’s foremost guru regarding healthcare that’s more than skin deep. Remember, you heard about her here first!

Cleansing Gel
All you need is a tiny dab of this cleanser to clean and hydrate your skin. Made with honeysuckle, chlorophyll, and seaweed extracts, this silky foaming cleanser feel great from head to toe. I like to use it use on my face to remove light make-up because it’s so light yet hydrates while deep cleaning. In fact, it’s so light and gentle you can lend it to your man and use it on babies. You’ll have it for months as you only need a very little amount. It’s a great way to prepare skin for your moisturizer.

Algae Deep Cleanse
OK, it’s the summer and let’s face it, you’re going to sweat a lot. So now’s the time to clean those pores. And I don’t mean going to the steam room. I mean a deep cleansing that changes the look of your complexion. So your skin needs something a little stronger. Try Susan’s Algae Deep Cleanse. It’s full of algae oils and essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint, leaving the skin feeling smooth and soft, never irritated. You’ll find your make-up goes on much smoother after cleansing with this special peel. And it smells so naturally delicious. I use this every other day in the summer to keep my pores clean from the humidity and grime from the city.

Revitalizing Face Cream
Your skin needs as much moisture in the summer as in the winter.

Air conditioning, the sun, bad eating habits, too much alcohol and other factors all dry it out. For a replenishing, hydrating moisturizer, try SC’s Revitalizing Face Cream. This nutritious jar of all natural ingredients (lavender, bee pollen, anti-oxidants, algae extracts, and yarrow) really help bring balance to your skin. Plus it penetrates quickly and is perfectly formulated for a skin that needs a boost without that heavy feeling.

Drop in at 754 Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman’s on the 9th Flr, 212-872-2650 and ask one of her knowledgeable staff for more info on her treatments and organic skincare line. Or go to http://www.susanciminelli.com.

#2 JuiceBeauty
Beauty just got a lot juicier.

Here’s a brand that’s already making a lot of headlines. It’s called Juicy Beauty and it’s chockfull of organic ingredients that do wonders for the skin.

What makes Juice Beauty products so different is the texture of their succulent concoctions. You can quench your skin with their Juice Boosters, which are specially formulated to address specific skin concerns.

For example, to replenish dry parched skin, you can cleanse your skin with their hydrating Pure Comfort Cleansing Milk (really light but still gets the job done). If you like to tone your skin, try the refreshing Harmonic Tonic Toning Mist. After that you must slather on their Abundance Nutrient Moisturizer. It’s rich in nutrients and is great for your complexion. You can actually see the tone of your complexion improve.

Liquid nutrients that your skin craves
The key to JB’s is its sophisticated blends of organic liquid botanicals and aromatherapeutic essential oils that refresh and renew your skin by stimulating the senses and uplifting the spirit. And they really do work. I adore Liquid Clam, a soothing gentle serum to calm, cool and soothe, irritated, inflamed, reddened, or highly sensitive skin. With oat beta glucan to calm and protects your skin as well as Beta carotene, chamomile and St. John’s Wort extracts to further heal and protect, this serum sinks in to your pores. And you’ll pine for the aroma of pure essential oils of sandalwood, as well as roman and German chamomile. Try it alone or before you moisturize.

What makes me happy is the fact that Juice Beauty only uses the purest, superior quality organic botanical concentrates and 100% essential oil aromas. Try out their serums. They’re concentrated formulas designed for quick absorption and maximum nutrients. (If you’re still skeptical about the juicy benefits of the skincare line, just take a peek at the Juice Testimonials on http://www.Juicebeauty.com).

Juice Beauty products can be found in all Sephora stores in the city. Check out all their products on http://www.juicebeauty.com

#3 Davies Gate: Indulgence with a conscience
If you read my column regularly, you’ll know DG seems to crop up on a consistent basis. And I can honestly say, it’s still one of my favorite all-natural brands. From their beautiful packaging to the wonderful organic ingredients, Davies Gate make special, unique products that somehow seem eco-poetic, if there is such a word.

Here a few of my favorite DG products. There are so many, but I’ll narrow it down to just a couple to give you a taste of their spectacular line.

Grapefruit’s the new fragrance
You’ve just heard grapefruit is a fragrance most men associate with “younger” women, so why not use it everywhere. So why not start in the shower with DG’s Pink Grapefruit Warm Milk & Sugar Body Scrub. Made of granulated sugar, sea salts, white slay and pure milk protein, it contains a moisturizing certified organic blend of Soybean and sunflower oils and other plant extracts to unveil smooth and soft skin. Plus, you’ll smell all citrusy and zesty!

All American soap with traditional English notes
Soaps like this bring back memories. Lavender, white clover, sage, lemon thyme, triple-milled soaps remind me of those old English soaps (Yardley’s lemon soaps) that we only put out when we have visitors. What’s really refreshing is that their lather is rich in shea butter and almond oil, leaving your skin feeling nourished as well as smelling heavenly. That’s not all. That wrapping is so delicate and unique. You almost don’t want to open it at all.

And if you want to give your skin a special treat, try their Lime Body Polish. This gentle body polish smoothes and polishes all those extra dry areas with its zesty floral fragrance. Perfect for ridding you from a sandy day.

DG has grown into a leading maker of hundreds of wonderful, high-quality personal care and home fragrance products. The company’s products are available throughout the world, at exclusive, high-end, specialty retailers.

What makes DG so special is the fact that they’re committed to creating innovative products that combine pure ingredients, extraordinary fragrances and beautiful design. As their web site says, these products will inspire you to take a moment each day to indulge in a personal ritual that cleanses your body, relaxes your mind and renews your spirit.

For more info on DG and all their beautiful products, go to http://www.daviesgate.com or call them Toll-Free at 888-398-9887.

Originally published July 2005
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