Sunday, November 22, 2009

Organic And Eco-Friendly Gifts

As the holidays approach I'm starting to think about great gifts to buy for family and friends. I do my best to select special items that are useful and will make relatives and buds happy. This year I'm adding beautifully wrapped gift sets of organic bath and body products to my list.

One reason I like to give organic products is for their purity. All natural soaps and moisturizers, made with essential oils like lavender and jojoba, are good for you and the environment. I look for toiletries with no unnecessary chemicals and artificial emollients to dry out the skin as we move into a colder climate. Another consideration is, they are not gender specific and can be enjoyed by the entire family. Ingredients like olive oil and aloe vera have been used for centuries to care for the skin and scalp. Even people who are allergic to perfume can appreciate the clean scents and soothing properties of herbs and essential oils like eucalyptus, sweet almond or calendula flowers. [Personally, I prefer the scent of botanicals like peppermint oil over a strong perfume.]

The trick is to find organic products, which work as well as and better than conventional goods. I narrow it down to companies who use the finest natural ingredients, whose products are non-greasy and long lasting.

Here are a few of my favorite eco-friendly companies for bath and body products:

Skinnyskinny – Located in Brooklyn, it offers premium ingredients and pretty packaging at reasonable prices. [I want the organic buckwheat hull pillow.]
Aveda – Where you'll find top-notch organic skin care and make-up, knowledgeable sales associates and a spot of herb tea while you shop.
LaLicious – A Los Angeles company selling luxury all natural products. The peppermint body butter is a favorite. I keep it at my desk as a hand cream.
Whole Foods Market – They carry a wide selection of nourishing soaps, lotions, body butters and hair care, all made from botanicals.

And don't forget about the presentation. Look for eye-catching, recycled materials to wrap gifts. Be kind to the environment while making everyone on your list feel pampered and special.

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