Project Natural Glow: Explained

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 3, 2009

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What is Project Natural Glow?

Project Natural Glow is similar to Project Glow except that I am challenging myself and all willing participants to try using natural cosmetic products. My goal is to use products that are safe for the environment, animal friendly, vegan, organic, and/or free of chemicals. Of course, not every new product I buy will fit this perfect bill of health, but I am going to try my best to read product labels and read reviews of new products before buying them. Things such as shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body lotion, and make-up often include many harsh and sometimes dangerous chemicals. This is a challenge to start to become more aware of what you are putting on your body, not just what you are putting in your body.

How does it work?

All you have to do is commit to try out new natural products to replace some of your current stand bys. For example, I replaced my stand-by body lotion (Nivea) with coconut oil. I also replaced my toner with Tea Tree Oil and I am starting to use all natural body wash and soap. I will be posting product reviews as well as where I got the product and how much it cost. One of my biggest challenges is going to be finding good products that don’t cost more than what I am currently buying. You won’t see me dropping a ton of cash on natural products. I will be researching and looking all around for cost efficient products that will not break the bank!

Over the next while, I will be posting information that I come across during my research. I will be posting everything I am learning as I educate myself about natural, organic, vegan, animal and environment friendly products!

What is the purpose?

I am asking myself a few questions:

  • Whether I will notice a difference in my skin by using all natural products
  • Whether I can find affordable products
  • Whether I can find products that actually work as well as my old ones!

Leave a comment below if you are interested in trying out some natural products too!

My next product review:


I got this at Loblaws yesterday on sale for $5.99 CAD in the natural food section.


The one thing I admit that I know nothing about are the ingredient names. So confusing! I have to do a lot of research before I feel confident with what the ingredients really are. I am sure many companies claim they are all natural when in fact they are not.

Baby steps, though…

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I tried out this shower gel today after a 5.25 mile run. I was pleasantly surprised that this body wash did lather up fairly well. It didn’t lather as much as my Nivea body wash, but to be honest, it wasn’t a big deal at all. The scent was pleasant, but light and not over-powering. It left my skin quite soft and I didn’t even put any oil on after my shower just to see how it would leave my skin. I really don’t have any complaints with this product, only that I probably wouldn’t buy it if it wasn’t on sale. $5.99 for a body wash is pretty much my upper limit, if not more than I want to spend.

Have you tried Alba products? I have heard a lot of great things about them from all of your comments!


I’m off to finish packaging the 14 batches of Glo Bars I made today! Holy moly, I am really zonked.

Eric has also been using his holiday wisely- he is currently painting over our pink walls (with primer) in the entrance way! It looks SO much better. He will be blogging all about it at some point.

We will be having a late dinner by the looks of things. ;) I think we might dine outside tonight since it is so lovely out.

Back to it…


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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

april August 3, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I’ve tried the alba products but I didn’t care for them- the conditioner got really sticky after a while. I have tried the Kiss My Face organic line and I love them!


amy (veganissexy) August 3, 2009 at 7:02 pm

I really like the Jason C (vitamin C) lotions and products. I order all of my skincare from since they are so much cheaper there. I don’t know if they ship to Canada, but it’s worth a try. I’ve been using all natural products for a while now. It takes just a few more minutes at the store…but how much time do we spend making healthy food choices….We are worth it!! Good luck :) I have done lots of natural product reviews on my blog if you want to check them out:


Laura August 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Great project! I love Alba’s coconut cream lip balm. It moisturizes my lips wonderfully during the harsh Wisconsin wintertime, yet doesn’t wear off quickly so I don’t have to apply as often. It tastes great, too!


Heather August 3, 2009 at 7:26 pm

I *LOVE* Alba products. Their cocounut cream lip gloss is one of my favorites, and their Sea Moss moisturizer is another favorite. I have a few websites where I buy them discounted, but love it when I find them on sale at the store. I’ve found quite a few Alba products on the clearance rack at Target, which is exciting.

Looking forward to more Project Natural Glow!


Mellissa August 3, 2009 at 7:33 pm

I have slowly started to replace products with more natural products as I run out of the current products I am using. I just started using the Avocate Skincare line and it is all natural any my problem skin is starting to look better. I am in the for the challenge!


Laura August 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I love the Alba Pineapple Enzyme Face Wash as well as the toner. Can’t wait to try more Alba products!


The Running Yogini August 3, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I think project natural glow is such a fantastic idea! I agree about needing to find natural products that don’t break the bank. I’m in school so I have a pretty tight budget right now. I’ve started switching a few products, but I would like to do more so I’m definately going to be paying attention and taking notes :-) I’m also interested in products that I can make myself. Thanks for putting together PNG!!


Eve August 3, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I just switched to deodorant without aluminum, it is a Tom’s of Maine product, so it’s only a deodorant (not antiperspirant), but I didn’t sweat at all the last few days!


Lizzie August 3, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Ange – have you tried the safe cosmetics database?

I have become very aware of this in the past year and have replaced most of the things I have been using for the past 10 years, including my Neutrogena daily face cream, Nivea firming cream, body wash, other body lotion, face bronzer and eye liner, mascara, lip gloss and sunscreen etc. with natural alternatives. The do cost a bit more but I think it is worth it. I haven’t tried Alba yet.

That database is a pretty good source of information, but some of it I tend to take with a grain of salt as even some of the products I use occasionally get higher than they recommend ratings. I think being EU compliant is very important as they have higher standards than anywhere else in the world. This is a great project you’re promoting!


Shelby August 3, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I LOVE Alba’s Cocoa Butter Hand Lotion. I use it for my body and it leaves my skin silky smooth!


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Lizzie- Yes I have checked out the cosmetics database and it was one of the reasons why I decided to do this challenge. It was downright disturbing the amount of chemicals I pour onto my skin each day. I totally agree about taking some of the information with a grain of salt though. I think that is wise advice when looking at any type of research out there. I haven’t had the time to really look into the website yet, but the premise definitely excites me and I think it is long overdue. Cosmetics are not regulated enough, and that needs to change.~A


brandi August 3, 2009 at 7:59 pm

i’m totally interested in this! I think it’s a great challenge, and I’ve been looking into finding more natural products that don’t cost much more than what we buy now. i can’t wait to see other people’s suggestions and reviews.


Jennie August 3, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I love Alba. I have used their lotion, moisturizer, toner, and facial cleanser. I get it at our health food store when it’s on sale.


Lainie August 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I love the idea of project natural glow! And i LOVE Alba products; I use their shaving cream and many of their body butters. They always smell so good!


Ellie August 3, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I love this idea! Out of interest, here’s a list of chemicals that you should be SURE to avoid, for your own health and the environment!


Lauren August 3, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I am SO joining Project Glow! I have sort of started this already by myself! I already bought an apple cider vinegar based facial/scalp wash! I love it…it works so well and makes your skin feel so clean! I bought it at a craft-show type thing…the owner of the company was a nutritionist and really knowledgable about things…chemicals, GMO etc…

Thanks again Ange for inspiring us all to do this! You truly are so inspirational…your blog helps to make so many people’s lives better each and everyday! :)


Brianne August 3, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Alba is NOT clean- check out skin deep… :( Its too bad because they DO smell good- but its chemical smell.


Organic Ashley August 3, 2009 at 9:33 pm

I love their face lotion and I was using their face wash for a while but after looking online I found out that they are not the best products to be using. So lately when I run out I have been buying new products. I’m glad you like it though :)


Julia August 3, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I fell in love with your blog SO long ago, but now I have one of my own. I, too, have an online bakery (through etsy) and totally relate to you and your baking dreams! I love your blog, and you seem so incredibly sweet and genuine. Just wanted to say thanks!



Michelle August 3, 2009 at 11:31 pm

I think that this is a grea idea! I still have lots of product to finish off before I can start buying natural ones, but I am definitely on board!
My parents bought natural products when I was younger, and I can remember scoffing at them because I wanted the cool products everyone else used. Oh how things have changed….;)
Once again, your blog rocks!


Bryan August 4, 2009 at 3:41 am

Angela dude, what an awesome idea! I have already been all set for many years with my shaving cream and gel and lotion, as I use Aveda for all those which fully qualifies for all your earth-friendly criteria, but I am going to try switching my soap and shampoo also to project-natural-glow-compliant. thanks, you rock, what a great idea, i love it! i’ve been meaning to do this forever, but nothing like seeing it in black and white on your awesome blog to get me facing reality!


Joanna August 4, 2009 at 5:35 am

You should definitely look up which I think provides some of the most honest, straightforward information on cosmetics and their ingredients – and often demonstrates that brands billing themselves as “all natural” are not in fact living up to the claim (e.g. Aveda hair dye still has chemicals in it or you wouldn’t be able to turn dark hair fair with it, since by definition that involves stripping the hair of its own colour). Anyway, it provides a good source of information on specific ingrendients.

Also, you may want to determine what criteria you use for “natural” – many chemicals do come from natural derivatives. One of my bugbears is the way people often complain about the petroleum products in cosmetics …. now, there are plenty of reasons why we should reduce use of these since they are a finite resource and contribute to pollution, BUT petroleum derivatives come from oil … which comes from the ground… which is the result of millenia of carbon degeneration (=tree and plant material) and therefore 100% natural at source. So I’d suggest a LOT of research and retaining a questionning mind ….


jessinnyc August 4, 2009 at 7:19 am

I’ve been using the exact same Alba product for the last month or so. I absolutely love it! I was lucky enough to find it on sale at whole foods. I am slowly trying to switch over to more natural products.


jessica August 4, 2009 at 7:42 am

Hey Ange!

Just wanted to let you know that Shoppers has some Yes to Carrots shower gel on sale for $5. They also have Organic Surge Shampoo, Conditioner and shower gel for $5!


leslie August 4, 2009 at 8:08 am

i just love that you’re doing this. it seems like there aren’t nearly enough information and reviews out there about natural beauty products, and i’m really looking forward to reading about your experiences with them!


Sarah August 4, 2009 at 9:15 am

I would eventually love to get to where most of the products I use are natural. I mean, I won’t eat chemicals in my food so why do I put them on my skin, hair, etc?

I can’t wait to see what you find…for me, price is a big factor but I’ve worked that out with food over the years so I’m sure with some research and experimenting, I can make this work too! Thanks ;-)


Jodi August 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

I think this is a great challenge! But also wanted to mention that you don’t have to go out and spend tons of money on “natural” products when you probably have many items already in your fridge/pantry that you can make wonderful facial & body scrubs, toners, cleansers, etc., using yogurt, honey, oatmeal, almonds, cucumber, salt, lemon juice, etc. There are many books at libraries and bookstores to help get you started. Get Glowing! ;)


RunToFinish August 4, 2009 at 10:27 am

i switched to some natural skin care products and started breaking out a lot. for make up it’s great but my acne flaired up without the saylic acid..maybe i just need to expeirment more


Lindsay J August 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

Angela, this is a fantastic idea! I have been trying to use more “natural” products as well. I really like Kiss My Face, but am still searching for a great shampoo.


Aoife August 4, 2009 at 11:14 am

Great challenge! :) I think the main thing when using natural products is to know your skin type before you buy – if you’ve dry skin/oily skin/combination/sensitive etc.
Know what works for your skin and what doesn’t – if you’ve dry or sensitive skin, steer clear of tea tree (except maybe topical application to zits, etc) but go for soothing products; but if you’ve oily skin tea tree could work well for you.

I second the Lush recommendation – they have a lot of vegan products and some great skin products. Plus you can make a lot of stuff at home – I cleanse with olive oil and grapeseed oil from my kitchen once a week! ;)
I use Tom’s of Maine deodorant plus a crystal deodorant and find them really good – although Tom’s has propylene glycol so I’m gonna look for an alternative product when this runs out.

Everyday Minerals do fantastic make up products – animal friendly, eco-friendly, and really cheap to boot! Been using them for years, it costs less to order 3 or 4 foundations/products from them and get them shipped to Ireland than it does to buy one high-end foundation product here! I have slight rosacea and it really masks it without looking cakey.


Erin August 4, 2009 at 11:42 am

I haven’t tried Alba products yet but I do use Origins and Burt Bees


Colleen August 4, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I just started down this road and not wanting to waste things I already have, I am purchasing natural products only when I finish something. It is a process and I just can’t justify purchasing all new products at once.

I have tried Alba’s Midnight Tuberose Body Wash (on sale at Whole Foods) and love the scent. I also have Alba’s Vanilla Mango Shave Cream and am in love because it smells so good but doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

Next up is finding a natural deodorant that works well, so far I have tried two without luck… and it is getting expensive.


meghan August 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

The cheapest body wash is buying a big jug of castile soap (vegetable oil soap) and then just adding drops of essential oil. Super cheap, nice lather and you can change the scent yourself with the essential oils. Also, you can use castile all around the house for all-natural house cleaning too.

I’ve been doing it for months and my skin looks great.

Body scrub is easy too. Brown sugar, oil (grapeseed, avocado, almond, you decide) and some essential oils. Naturally and cheaply exfoliated.

Try to reuse your old product containers and you’re cutting down on packaging waste too!


Alex August 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Oooh! I’m excited for this project!

I am a huge fan of Jason cosmetics (specifically their peach body lotion and their Power Smile toothpaste). Great value too!

Green Beaver is a great Canadian company (I like their green tea face lotion) and Dr.Hauschka makeup is excellent and so good for your skin.

Amazing tips above!


Charm City Kim August 5, 2009 at 8:57 am

I’ve been slowly moving towards natural products over the last few months (when my current stuff starts to run out).

I haven’t really noticed much of a difference in my skin but I think my conscience feels better. :-)


Natalie M. August 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Hi Angela,

This link might help explain the confusing list of ingredients you see on bottles of shampoo, body wash, conditioner, body lotion etc.

I keep a card in my wallet that came with a Burt’s Bees purchase which indicates which ingredients to avoid such as:

cleansers: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium myreth sulfate

petrochemicals: petrolatum, mineral oil, parrafin

preservatives: parabens (all of them), DMDM hydantoin

chemical sunscreens: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate

moisturizers: propylene glycol, butylene glycol, polyisbutene

I hope this was helpful!


Alex August 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Ps. Angela, I just posted on a topic that covers a list of some of my favourite things, many of them natural cosmetics.

Take a look if you want!


Becca July 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I’m a fan of natural and solid bath/shower products, since the lack of packaging also cuts down on waste and processing necessary to create the packaging. I absolutely adore Lush, because all their stuff smells soooo fabulous! I use their moisturizers, face masks, bath bombs, and bubble bars. They do use some unnatural ingredients, but they actually list the synthetic ingredients in a different color so you actually knwo what you’re getting! Love it! I’m switching over to Chagrin Valley Soap and Craft ( for soaps and shampoos. Holy crap! They are COMPLETELY natural, lather incredibly well, and also smell really good! I loves them. :) Plus, they’re super cheap! ;)


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