Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Products I Can Live Without. Green Beauty Edition

Hi Lovelies,

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green life in dublin
Green Beauty Products I Can Live Without

There's a tag going on YouTube and spilling onto Instagram about five products people can live without. I liked this idea, and I was going to self tag myself (why, that is how I roll, baby!) but luckily Free Range Diva saved me from embarrassment and tagged me. Knowing myself I already know I will spill over five items limit, but each to their own, right? Some items I will mention I never used for years, so they were easy to pick, and then I started thinking what products I wouldn't miss if they all disappeared tomorrow. Can I do without it? Can I replace this product with something else? The thing is, I come from a hardship background, so I know the value of a dollar/euro/pound very well, and my brain is always looking for ways for products to work harder and multitask where possible. Or DIY if it is easy enough. I mean I will happily pay up if I deem the product worth it, but I don't splash my cash on things that aren't necessary, easy to do myself or on things that can easily be replaced by something else.  Then I added some products and categories I can't use due to my specific skin type, which is very sensitive and prone to dermatitis, and the list grew from there. Some will be a bit controversial, but we all have to remember we are all different, and that's ok.

Shall we get started? 

Here is a list of items I can live without:

🆇 Anything priced above 100€ (except one item)
That's my limit as stay at home mom for the time being, and I would really struggle to recommend anything above that price point to my readers. I just don't believe luxury price point products are worth it or are any better than their lower ended counterparts. I can firmly say you can get great products at all price points, and paying more you are not guaranteed to get a better product (Vintner's Daughter, anyone?) The only product I am making exclusion to is Mahalo Rare Indigo balm, and only because I know for the fact it is my holy grail balm that doubles as a dermatitis treatment and triples as my night cream and an eye cream too. Serious multitasker that makes my skin amazing, it is the only product worth paying a bit over 100€ for.

🆇 Self tanning products
Not interested, never been to a sun bed, used "conventional" self tanning cream only once in my life time. Can't be arsed if I am honest, and I turn all the self tanner products offered for reviews down. I can admire the beautiful tan on other people, but for me, pale is fine. Besides, in real life you will rarely see beautifully done tan, streaky and patchy tan completed with orange hands is all I see around, and I don't want to be one of those people.

🆇 Nail polishes (and nail polish removers)
Why change a habit of a lifetime? My nails a neat and manicured, mind you, but nail polish free. Was never interested, and why start at nearly forty? I am most likely to colour the nails once or twice for Christmas season, and always think to myself "hey, this is nice, I should do this more often" but then a week later it never happens. Besides, chipped nail polish, urgh! Pet peeve for sure. Better without.

🆇 Body scrubs. Hand Scrubs. Lip scrubs.
Body scrubs were the first thing I stopped buying once I learned how easy it is to make it myself. A bit of sugar, fine salt and good quality oil, and you are good to go! Same goes for lip scrubs, and it blows my mind when I see those tiny lip scrub post for like 18€ - I am like, are you serious here? Besides, having tried a few body scrubs here and there, I was disappointed with budget options, and I am not the one to shell out 30€ plus for something I can easily DIY! If you want me to make a post on how I DIY my body scrubs, let me know. And let me tell you, nothing works as good as body brushing.

🆇 Armpit primer
I mean, really? That's one product I will skip forever, thank you very much. And for over 20€/20$? It's a double no from me. Use a thin layer of coconut oil if you feel the need to add extra layer and step in your routine, that will protect and prime your armpits just as good. I got some comments where people didn't know of such products existence, and yes, it is totally a thing. Just check Meow Meow Tweet.

🆇 Clay Face Masks
This is due to my skin type, I don't get on with them. Hydrating type of masks, that's what my skin loves. Now we are talking.

🆇 Any "Relaxing" or "Bedtime" Products - Anything With Lavender in It (& Peppermint too)
If there are two scents I don't care about in my products, it's lavender and peppermint. In fact, I am from that rare breed of people who can't stand lavender. So I stay away from it as much as possible. We all have some scents we can't stand, haven't we? As for peppermint, I can't handle anything pepperminty on my body, so no plumping lip glosses, or invigorating face or body washes for me. Thanks but no thanks! Just a personal thing.

🆇 Any product with synthetic vitamin A in it. That's right, no retinols/retinoids for me.
I'll just stick with my beloved rosehip oil, which is a natural source of vitamin A. Synthetic vitamin A is shown to have adverse reactions to the human bodies, and shouldn't a warning "do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding" be enough for us to get suspicious? It is proven to play a major role in birth defects for God's sake. So I don't care if retinoid/retinol makes your face smooth and irons out fine lines, it is something not researched long term, and I would rather be safe than sorry. Free Range Diva goes into much details in her video, and I will link it here in the case you want to go and watch - she lists all the studies and their findings, and I think it might be an eye opener for some of you. Natural alternatives for me please.
Plus, here is a clipping from a Radical Beauty book by Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder about synthetic VitA: "retinoids, or retinoic acids, come in different forms, including retinols, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin and tanzarotene, are considered to be toxic. The EWG (Enviromental Working Group) states, "Data from an FDA study shows that retinyl palmitate when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, might speed the development of skin tumors and lesions". 

🆇 Eye Shadow Primer
It is something I don't need as I use eye shadows so rarely. I use a thin layer of a concealer if I decide I need a primer for that day.

🆇 Make Up Wipes
Again, why break a habit of a lifetime? I have had one packet of make up remover wipes in my life, when I won them in the giveaway with some other goodies. Haven't repurchased, so that was the end of them. I see it as a extremely wasteful thing that is so bad for our Mother Earth, plus it is no substitute for a proper face wash anyway. 

🆇 Micellar Water
I am yet to come across one suitable for my sensitive skin, and the one that wouldn't burn my eyes too. Having had a few samples here and there, I own a full size of this type of product now, but neither me nor my elder daughter like it. I don't see myself trying more of them.

🆇 Sheet Masks
Again, trendy and extremely wasteful thing. If they all ceased tomorrow, I wouldn't even miss them! Just think of all that packaging that is going to landfills after just one use. 

🆇 Hair Spray
Something I haven't used in about 15 years or so and no plans to suddenly start now either. 

🆇 Spot Treatments
I have used only tea tree oil for spots for so many years. But be warned to put tea tree oil on the top of the pimple ONLY and not the skin around it. Tea tree oil burns are very real, and I don't want you to experience them. Or try Living Nature Tea Tree & Manuka gel, that is fabulous for all kinds of skin boo-boos, including pimples.

🆇 False lashes +lash fibers
Let's just say I am not good at them, and leave it at that, haha! 

🆇 Neck & chest creams
I totally have forgotten about such products existence until my blogger pal Organic Beauty Lover commented on my IG post. Yes, I will gladly skip these unnecessary in my mind products too - just take your face moisturiser down the neck and the chest, and you are good!  

🆇 Body shimmer
I am too old for all kinds of body shimmer products by now, but I never liked or used them before either. If I needed to, I could always use a bit of highlighter or light shimmery eye shadow on my collarbone. That is as far as I would go when it comes to body shimmer. 

🆇 Any face product with coconut oil in it
For one simple reason, it breaks me out! There are very few exceptions to this, but as a general rule, I almost expect a product with coconut oil in it to break me out. Same goes for make up (Kjaer Weis foundation, iconic RMS products, anyone?) and for skincare. Some people are able to use straight up coconut oil as their facial moisturiser, and I am not one of those people.

🆇 Any face products with essential oils in it
Again, goes with a territory of having extremely sensitive skin. There are very few exceptions to this rule, but in general, my face skin is too sensitive to handle much, if at all, essential oils. Body is a different story. 

🆇 Liquid or Cream Foundation
I don't know if I have one of "those" skins where no foundation is lasting on me for more than a couple of hours, or it has to do something with the fact my skin is dry, but having tested about ten green beauty foundations and BB creams I found myself not reaching for them at all anymore. Besides, I wear make up so infrequently, it does not make sense for me to buy liquid foundation just to have it sit in my stash and slowly expire on me. Mineral powder foundations is where I am at these days. Don't get me wrong, I am not bashing any of them, and I will probably get back to them once I will get a high flying job or something, but for the time being, I am good with my mineral powders.

🆇 Primers
Please read the above, and having no liquid foundations eliminates the need for a primer too. I do know powder primers exist, but I do not use them.

🆇 Body Oils & Lotions
This was thinking along the "what if they disappeared" lines - I could use coconut oil on my body, maybe adding some nice essential oils to it - just like I did for some many years before all these beautiful products came into my life. Lotions, I am simply not a fan of that stickiness and white residue that is so hard to rub in. I love body butters or plain old coconut oil as I mentioned.

🆇 Shower Gels and Liquid Soaps
Thinking along the same lines here, why don't we all ditch all these plastic bottles and switch back to the bar of soap? Think of how many bottles we throw away each year, and most often than not it comes in plastic, not glass? Bar of soap on the other hand tends to come in cardboard box most often, meaning zero waste. I think we all could do with improvement in this area of our lives, no?

🆇 Anything I can easily DIY with the kitchen ingredients
One of my favourite past times are perusing the ingredients of luxe green beauty products and seeing if I can hack them at home. I am not the one to buy extra DIY ingredients, but if I see a line who use 10 ingredients or less, and if that's exactly that I have at home, it is a no brainer for me, really. Please see my super-easy-DIYs-with-ingredients-you-already have post here and also my DIY manuka masks post here, where I came up with 12+ different manuka masks variations.  

🆇 Conditioner
Again, thinking "what if all products disappeared" lines. When I test the shampoo, I never test it with matching conditioner, as I need to see how it performs on it's own. Conditioner is only needed to undo the damage done by the shampoo, and if you have good shampoo, you shouldn't need a conditioner. I am more of leave-in-sprays and hair oils kind of gal. Apple cider vinegar rinse is also good, but I keep forgetting to do it.

🆇 Liquid Eye Liner
Was never good at it, and I find it is extremely hard to do with my hooded eyes. I never have time to do it either, so it is more likely to dry out quicker than I am able to finish it off. I can always DIY it with my black eye shadow anyway. See this post here.

🆇 Lipsticks plus Lip Liners
I know, shock horror, right? If all the lipsticks disappeared and we would be left with tinted lip balms and glosses, I would not cry. I am definitely eyes, not lips kind of person. People say you need lipstick to bring back the colour back into your face, as apparently the lips lose the colour? Well, I am on the wrong side of the 30s, but my lips are as pigmented as ever, if anything, I colour them to take the natural colour down! I never liked the "creamy" feel of the lipstick, it is almost yucky to me, and I sure chuck mine out the minute they start smelling like crayon, or rather shea butter, I definitely can't stand that feeling on my lips! 
And I definitely don't need lip liners for my tinted chapsticks or glosses.

🆇 Foot Cream
I appreciate the foot cream as a separate product when I have it, but I don't cry if I don't, which is most of the time if I am honest. I use regular lotions/butters/oils on my feet.

🆇 Under Eye Cream
I am just like French people on this - I don't feel the need to have a separate eye cream product. While I wouldn't use my regular face cream as an eye cream, as I know they have to be different molecular weight, but then again, I see no problem using my serums and face oils as under eye products! I find eye cream give me millia, when serums and oils don't, and how come they all cost 50€ for a tiny 15ml bottle? 

🆇 Masks 
Nice and all, but I am forever forgetting to use mine. Plus this category of products tends to be one of the priciest categories, and my play money don't stretch to almost-hundred-bucks-a-jar I am afraid. It's just we are sold this "me time" concept a lot, and somehow we are beginning to think it is ok to splash that kind of cash on masks and other pampering products, when in reality, the same can be achieved for a lot less, with DIYs too. See my manuka masking post linked above - I am very happy with my DIY masks I should say. 

🆇 Highlighter 
It is nice and all, but with my Inika's creme highlighter and a few powder ones that came in palettes, I feel I am set for life, and I do not feel the need to get any more of them.

🆇 Any more brushes
I am content with what I have, and I certainly don't need any more, especially those fancy new ones.

🆇 Pampering Bath Salts 
Another overpriced "me time" type of product that is pushed on us, and so many people don't realise it is so easily do-able at home. I make two exceptions to this rule, and that's magnesium and epsom salts for bath, because they are more of healing type of products. But all those other "pampering" type of salts in fancy Kilner jars with a bit of dried lavender and/or rose petals and maybe some essential oils? No thanks, I can easily DIY it at home at a fraction of a cost. Why overpay when you can easily DIY it and save yourself a nice chunk of cash?

And some things I could do without for the next two years or so, because of the extensive harem I currently own and sort of struggle to use up:

🆇 Facial Oils

🆇 Oil based Face Cleansers

Oils (and oil cleansers) are wonderful, but first of all, dermatitis hates oils, and as much as I didn't want to admit it to myself, I definitely saw a huge improvement in my skin when I ditched them. Now I am very careful with what products I am allowing back into my skincare routine. Same goes for oil cleansers, and it is something I don't need for every day use, it gets too much for my skin after a while. I primarily use them as a first cleanse to take my make up off, which I rarely use now.  

So that is it for today, see you here again on Monday!
What about you, what products can you live without?
Please share, I would love to know.

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Lots of Love,

green life in dublin

All my skincare posts can be found here

Body and hair care links live here.

Diy inclined? You will enjoy this post.

Make up lover? Find my reviews here.


  1. Great post. I love beauty products but it is so important not to think we need all the stuff they try to sell (I even didn't know that armpit primers did exist).
    And paying attention to packaging is so important. Soap bars work really great. I will try shampoo bars as well.

    1. Many thanks for reading and taking your time to comment Myrtille! Yes, it is so liberating to know we don't need so much products as the brands are trying to sell us. And yes, armpit primer is totally a thing, just check Meow Meow Tweet.