Natural Living

By Irene Fogarty


The birth of Zia is almost similar to that of grunge band Nirvana, or even Bill Gates in his garage working on his first software. It all began in a small apartment in San Francisco in 1984. Just two girls making all sorts of concoctions to create all natural, organic products.

Twenty years later, they have 60 employees and over 70 products. So what’s the secret to Zia’s success? What keeps Zia going and going?


For starters, their philosophy is pretty logical: for a product to make the skin look good, the product must be good to the skin! Hence all the natural ingredients and the care they take to use only the best quality ingredients in every thing they make. And, they work.

Say “allo” to aloe

Here’s something you should always have in your fridge. Forget about food, stock up on the essentials. Buy a big bottle of Aloe Vera. It’s amazing stuff. You can use as moisturizer, a soothing lotion for dry irritated skin, and it’s fabulous for cuts, grazes and sunburn.

OK. Now back to Zia. Need a face wash that really cleans without erasing your face? Try Zia’s Aloe & Citrus Wash, 6 fl.oz, $18.95. This refreshing cleanser is a non-oily cleanser with an invigorating blend of aloe vera and citrus extracts. Plus, it’s free of soap and sodium lauryl sulfate*- that’s something we should all be looking for on the labels of shampoos, soaps. etc. Apparently, Jennifer Beals (“FlashDance” leg-warmer, Jennifer) can’t live with out it!

Need something for dryer skin, like me? Try Zia’s MoisturizingCleanser, 8 fl.oz. It’s a light milky cleanser that removes makeup. And it’s loaded with vitamin E and essential fatty acids and natural sugars to give parched skin a drink…of water that is! I love it.

Watch your Toner!

When your skin is as dry as mine, I usually skip the toner. But here’s one that’s so refreshing, I keep it in the fridge (right beside my aloe!) and use it every time I want to spritz my skin. Ultimate Tomoing Mist for Normal/Dry skin, $18.95.

They call it a facial tea, and with its blend of antioxidants and super-hydrators I can see why. There’s red raspberry, vitamin C and other natural age-fighters that work to neutralize damage. As well Dr. Salmonhead’s (Perricone) DMAE – which visibly firms skin and smoothes fine lines – apparently!

Mask your indulgences

You were out till 4. AM! Drinking, clubbing, drinking. OK. It’s over now. So stay in tonight, rent a DVD and give your skin a treat. Try The Oat Milk Detoxifying Mask for dry or sensitive skin. You’ll love its rich yet lightweight texture that cleanses, detoxifies and tightens your pores as it calms dry, parched or sensitive skin. It’s the oat milk that helps draw out impurities (liquid ones only!) and restore moisture while relieving irritation and redness. And there’s also natural vegetable proteins with aloe vera and white tea to hydrate and nourish thirsty or delicate skin. OK. Problem solved, but this doesn’t mean indulge. Abstain – at least for a day or two!

In your eyes (well around them, really)

So your face is looking good. But what about those puffy eyes? Forget the cucumber or teabags. Try the Essential Eye Gel – firming treatment for tired or puffy eyes. Once again, aloe and antioxidants help fight damage and improve skin health. And it’s great for sensitive skin.

It’s like Buttah!

Don’t you love all these new body creams that are made from delicious ingredients that make you want to eat them? Well here’s another one. Zia’s Body Butter – a luscious cream that’s made with shea and mango butters to lavish your skin with moisture. They also use organic botanicals including aloe, chamomile and ginko biloba, as well as green tea, rosehip seed and essential oils. Hmmmmm. Yummy! You’ll feel like a little baby again!

Much more than skincare…
Zia isn’t just about skin. They also do and cosmetics and sun care protection. Something I want to check out in the future. But start with the skin. I think you’ll love ze results!

Where can we get it?
Well, you have a few options. You can find most of their products in health stores all over the city. I went to

Vitamin Shoppe (on Union Square East), or you can go directly to their site, and call 1-800-334-7546 for assistance. They’re very knowledgeable and helpful folk! But better yet, go to, there’s a sale on – 15% off all Zia products!

Get them now, before ze sale is over!

*Never heard of sodium lauryl sulfate? Hmmm, well here’s a quick definition. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a high volume synthetic chemical used in consumer products and regulated as a pesticide. A suspected gastrointestinal or liver toxicant, sodium lauryl sulfate can be drying and harsh for the hair and cause eye irritation, allergic reactions, and hair loss.

Originally published April 2004



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