The 10 best green beauty products

May 4, 2012 at 10:17 AM ET

By Dawn Davis,

There are certain things every beauty editor keeps for herself: the newest mascaras, fancy designer candles, and natural products that are beautifully packaged. We know we're supposed to share — or at least show them to our colleagues — but most of them go directly into our bags to take home.

A lot of our favorite brands don't have official USDA organic seals, but we trust their products. In many cases, we've met the creator and learned about the company's philosophy first-hand. Plus, these natural beauty products smell and feel fantastic and come in beautiful packaging. Keep reading to see the natural lines we keep coming back to again and again. /

Josie Maran

There isn't a Total Beauty editor around who doesn't love Josie Maran's line of argan oil-based makeup and skin care. Although there are gorgeous bronzers and amazing makeup-removing wipes in the collection, the bestseller and cult favorite is this simple bottle of argan oil. I use it in my hair (to smooth flyaways and hydrate ends), as well as on dry skin — from cuticles to elbows. I even pat it on over makeup to bring it back to life at the end of a long day.

Editors' Fave: Josie Maran Argan Oil, $48 /

Saffron James

These paraben and preservative-free fragrances are inspired by plants and flowers found in Hawaii. They're a great alternative to traditional, synthetic perfumes. "When I smell them, I immediately feel like I'm on vacation," says Senior Editor Sarah Carrillo.

Editors' Fave: Saffron James Punono Fragrance Eau de Parfum, $38 /

Tata Harper

We're completely enchanted by the Tata Harper story: She grows all of her own ingredients on her 1,200-acre farm in Vermont. Plus, the line was just reformulated so everything works even better, and it was repackaged to be even prettier. "I can't say enough good things about the Rebuilding Moisturizer," says Meghan Rabbitt, Executive Editor. "It's as hydrating as a night cream but as light as a daily moisturizer, and it smells amazing."

Editors' Fave: Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer, $100 /

21 Drops

Sure, aromatherapy brings to mind hippies and head shops, but 21 Drops is surprisingly sophisticated. We love the modern, minimalist packaging and the unusual blends of essential oils. The products are free of parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. "I keep the De-Stress version on my desk at all times," says Carrillo.

Editors' Fave: 21 Drops De-Stress, $29

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Suki Kramer created her eponymous line to combine her knowledge of natural ingredients and high-tech science. While all of her products are synthetic-free, they contain innovative cosmeceutical ingredients — which are developed in a lab where chemists and herbalists work together — blended with organic naturals. "I love all of her products," says Rabbitt. "I especially love the face oil, which I use at night before bed. I think it helps prevent breakouts, contrary to popular believe about face oils."

Editors' Fave: Suki Pure Facial Moisture - Balancing, $32.95 /

Dr. Hauschka

Dr. Hauschka has been around since 1967 — and it's been completely natural since the beginning. The company's philosophy is centered around holistic health and respecting the earth with ingredients sourced from biodynamic farms and agricultural cooperatives. Special Projects Editor Audrey Fine can't go without the Regenerating Eye Cream. "It's the best eye cream I've ever used, and I love that I'm not putting chemicals on my very delicate eye area," she says.

Editors' Fave: Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Eye Cream, $58.95 /

Pangea Organics

Pangea Organics's certified organic body products come in the most sophisticated scents, and their shower gels are so moisturizing you can practically skip lotion. I love the Italian White Sage with Geranium and Yarrow scent. It's so luxurious, but it's eco-friendly enough that you can even take it camping.

Editors' Fave: Pangea Organics Shower Gel in Italian White Sage with Geranium and Yarrow, $16 /


It's been so long since any of us have used a shampoo that contains sulfates, we're starting to forget what lather feels like. But with a natural formula that works this well, we definitely don't miss it. Rabbitt is devoted to the shampoo-conditioner combo. "It makes my curls curlier and even keeps them less frizzy, and both the shampoo and conditioner feel luxurious and smell amazing."

Editors' Fave: DevaCare Low-Poo, $18.95, and DevaCare One Conditioner, $18.95 /

Dr. Bronner's

This fair trade, organic, multi-purpose cleanser has been around since 1948. It's perfect for dishes and laundry — and we also use it as body wash when we run out of something fancier. "I always have a bottle in my home," says Fine.

Editors' Fave: Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Liquid Soap, $2.99 /

Burt's Bees

I went to college in Maine, so I have a special affinity for Burt's Bees, which originated there. This 99 percent natural body lotion is my favorite product from the line. It's ultra-hydrating and has a great creamy consistency and a clean, sweet scent.

Editors' Fave: Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion, $8

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