Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The organic way to luscious lips


Earlier I blogged about my new experiment called "The Switch" which is an effort to switch, one item at a time, to more sustainable and environment-friendly products. I intend for it to cover a range of products and brands - from household cleaning to corporate needs to personal care. 


Because I've been on medication which has the side-effect of really drying out my lips, I've been using a lot of lip balm lately. And of course when you have high consumption of any product, you want the safest one possible. So I decided to ditch the commercial brands and look for organic alternatives. This post reviews two of my new lippie loves!




Photo courtesy of
Human Nature online shop.
Time and again I've always featured Human Nature products on the Switch series. It can't be helped. It gets enough word of mouth to keep it top of mind, it's widely distributed, and the price points are very good. So I tried out all three variants of their lip balm: Tutti Frutti, Peppermint and Choco Fudge.

Ingredients

Ricinus communis (Castor) seed oil, Beeswax, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Caprylic/Capric Trigylceride, Helianthus annus (Sunflower) seed oil, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) extract, Tocopherol (+/-): Mentha piperita (Peppermint) essential oil, Menthyl lactate, Organic flavor oil, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa), Zinc oxide (CI 77947), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Iron Oxide (CI 77491)

The verdict? 

Very good moisturizing properties without leaving a waxy feel over your lips even if you apply it several times throughout the day. The moisturizing effect lasts long and doesn't leave your lips extra dry once the moisturizing effect wears off. All three flavors were great and - I am guessing because of their natural / organic ingredients - were not overwhelming. My favorite would have to be the Choco Fudge flavor - it smells like Milk Tea!! :)

Where to get it

Human Nature lip balms are available on the Human Nature online shop or via your closest Human Nature distributor for P69.75. Unfortunately, the lip balm is not as widely distributed as its other products which you can easily find in, for example, Rustan's Fresh grocery shelves. But I've shopped using their online store several times and I've never had trouble, delivery is fast and accurate.

More about the company

Human Nature's philosophy is summarized in three main phrases: Pro-Philippines, Pro-Poor and Pro-Environment. All products are 100% manufactured in the Philippines, helping set up organic farms with Gawad Kalinga (GK) villages, and they are conscious about choosing locally sourced ingredients, or utilizing recycled materials for packaging and marketing needs.

To many consumers, the Human Nature brand stands for quality yet affordable organic personal care products. To a person like me who has observed the whole Philippine do-gooder world over the years, Human Nature is a sign of hope that the 'industry' has finally reached an important point in its evolution. That point is when we move away from begging or guilt-tripping people into buy ethical products ("It's not very pretty or of very good quality, but please buy us, it's for a good cause!"), and move towards selling good quality products that can compete in the market. And then we can say "By the way, these products are ethically made, they support a good cause, and they're proudly Filipino." How awesome is that?






While it seems to be a very environment-friendly organic products brand, Ilog Maria is one you will hear more from beauty enthusiasts than from advocacy / NGO circles. Which to me means that its products have been tried and tested by many beauty pros. So I was happy for a chance to grab a pot of their lip balm as soon as my last stick of Human Nature balm ran out.


Photo courtesy of Ilog Maria online shop.




On the cover

On the cover of the pot it only says "Honey, Beeswax & Propolis Lip Balm" but if you check out their website, you will find that it's actually also has a medley of fruit oils and a kick of mint.

The verdict

I like it! It moisturizes without the waxy feel of other petroleum-based lip balms and leaves a minty tingle on your lips. It has a subtle sweet scent that you cannot place. You know that it's fruity, but cannot pin down a specific flavor. And as their website says, it's a 'medley of fruit oils'. Well, whatever mysterious blend of fruit oils it is, it leaves a good hint of yummy. The moisturizing effect does not last as long as the Human Nature ones, but it is still a good balm.

Where to get it

A jar of Ilog Maria lip balm is available for P71.50 on their website, or P130.00 at the ECHOStore.


More about the company


Ilog Maria is mostly known for their organic products and a company ethic that is mindful of the proper care of the bees that supply their pollen and honey. What I was very happy to learn on their site was that they are also employing alternative energy sources and try to live as naturally as possible. That gives them extra brownie points in my book!


On the homepage of their site, you see a photo of solar panels attached to the roof of their building.




But that's not the end of it, they actually do a lot more! I was so impressed (and a little bit curious about how it's been going for them. But let's leave that for another post.) Go to the Alternative Fuels & Energy section of their page and they talk about their efforts in detail, explaining why they made these switches.













And all this without ever using it to sell their products. Their products sell because they're good, not because they're riding on some green marketing trend. They use alternative energy because they believe in sustainability.


Love it!

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