eco friendly

4 Natural Australian Beauties

Australia is a beautiful land, full of beautiful people. It's also chock full of green body care products. We loaded up our suitcase with goodies, but there are four that really stand out as favorites we'll purchase again and again. We're not so sure any of these are easily available in the States, but it just might be the excuse we need to take another trip down under! If you know of any Australian green beauty/body care products we missed, please tell us about them in the comments.

1. Natural Instinct Energizing Body Wash
This body wash is all natural and made with lemon grass, ginger, gingko and acai. It has been a game changer for mornings because it makes you smell like you're showering in a drizzle of ginger ale with a squeeze of lemon. It's the perfect way to wake up and feel excited about your day. 

2. Suvana Certified Organic Paw Paw & Honey Balm
It can be difficult to find a multi-use balm that's petrochemical and fragrance free. This one does it for us. It's a great consistency, not too thick or waxy, and we use it all over. 

3. Sukín Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil
This is simply organic rose hip oil in a little glass bottle. Perfect for smoothing over your face after a shower, before putting on eye cream and night cream. It is absorbed completely and gives our skin a great dewy, hydrated feeling the next day. Also great for that long haul flight. And the price point is seriously great, too.

4. Antipodes Deliverance Kowhai Flower Hand Cream
Made with nutrient-rich avocado oil, sweet orange and cedar wood, this luxurious hand cream smells exactly how you think it would. To us it's the gentle scent of an orange, with a touch of chamomile and some spice from the cedar. It's not greasy at all, but will keep your hands beautifully hydrated throughout the day. 

Whole Foods Standards? Check!

Whole Foods may be where Prius owners battle to the death for a tiny parking space, but it's also where you can go if you want to to buy safe and ethically sourced cosmetics and body care products.  We use, among other things, the Whole Foods Standards as a guideline when it comes to formulating our products. 

While the standards are very clear for labeling organic food, the standards for labeling natural or organic cosmetics and body care products are a little more fuzzy. In fact, there aren't many standards at all, especially when compared with those of Europe and Japan. Currently the Food and Drug Administration in America has banned only a small number of chemicals for use in cosmetics – around eleven.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods has a highly researched list of over 400 unacceptable ingredients that can be found here. Like us, they stay away from artificial colors, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, parfums and parabens. Here are a few facts from the Whole Foods blog, to help further paint the picture:

FACT: The U.S. government does not require health studies or pre-market testing for personal care products.

FACT: There are many non-natural components and processes in most U.S. body care products. Even those labeled "natural" may contain harsh preservatives or ingredients with environmental concerns.

FACT: Science never stops. Our customers trust us to stay on top of the latest breakthroughs, so the Premium standards are designed to evolve as new science-based studies and research come to light. We are excited to consider them as a starting point, a work in progress, an opportunity to raise the bar ever higher.

With BOX Naturals, our goal has always been to provide a natural alternative to the wipes and towelettes that are already out there, chock-full of not-so-natural and not-so-nice stuff. We recently stayed at a boutique hotel that provided individually wrapped makeup removal wipes. At first glance the ingredient list looked promising, because it was so short. We were shocked when the few ingredients included mineral oil and four or five parabens! There's just no need for that. We believe we can do better, and that's our goal, every day. No, we are not available at Whole Foods yet, but we hope to be part of what they offer in the future. And when that day comes, we will definitely let you know!

Formaldehyde in Nail Polish and Other Cosmetics

It's crazy to think that the same stuff used to preserve that poor frog you were forced to dissect in high school biology is often used in your cosmetics and body care products as... you guessed it, a preservative! Thats right, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are used in many personal care products like nail polish, shampoo and liquid soap. And it's even scarier than it sounds – these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to allergic skin reactions and cancer. 

People can be exposed by inhaling the formaldehyde that is off-gassed from the product, by ingesting it or by absorbing it through the skin. While there's more research happening all the time, animal studies have indicated that formaldehyde can be absorbed through the skin when formaldehyde-containing personal care products, including FRPs, are applied.

So what can you do? Read labels and avoid products containing the following ingredients: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol).

We were surprised to find out that several companies are still using FRPs. In addition to the cancer issue, Formaldehyde in cosmetics is widely understood to cause allergic skin reactions and rashes in some people. They're commonly found in nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash, color cosmetics and even wipes. Yes, wipes! (Um, never our wipes though, don't worry.) We were researching different wipe formulas and were shocked to see FRPs listed among the ingredients, which sparked hours of google searches and this blog post. So... choose wisely! 

It is SO Easy to Live Green!

With a face like this, who wouldn't want to be green?

With a face like this, who wouldn't want to be green?

Fall is here, and Fall means green.  We're not talking leaves, we're talking ways to do good for our Mama Earth.  

At BOX, we do what we can - we use biodegradable packaging and wipes, we reduce our carbon footprint by manufacturing in the US.  But there are many many more ways to be green - ways that are as easy as 1,2,3:

Paper - It Has Two Sides:  Like, duh.  State the obvious much?  But how many of us actually USE both sides? Think of how much waste we'd prevent from clogging our landfills if we just flipped it over.  This goes for printing, too.  Use both sides!

Unplug: Think about all the things that are humming along as we sleep - your phone, computer, blender, toaster, hairdryer, lava lamp.  Why not get into the habit of unplugging or shutting down when we're not using our tools?

Take cold showers:  Just kidding.  We would never ask you to give up your hot shower.  But can we ask your clothes to?  Washing clothes on cold or warm means less energy going to heat water, which accounts for as much as 85% of the total energy used.

Meatless Mondays:  Try it!  Not only may you feel better living on a plant based diet, but you will relieve the earth of the enormous stress of raising and sustaining lifestock. 

Go Fragrance Free: Synthetic fragrances can use chemicals that can disrupt hormones and when these chemicals are washed down the drain, they hurt our earth, just like they can hurt us.  Use products made with essential oils or are fragrance free.

Recycle Fashion:  Not only can you find the best stuff in vintage stores (stuff that no one else has - extra bonus), you are helping our earth digest the enormous amount of waste we produce on a daily basis.  

So there you have it.  6 SUUUUPER easy ways to go green.  Just take it from Kermit

"When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder? Why Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be."

Coudlnt' have said it better ourselves.