I generally don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions, since they are often so easily broken and hinder making actual change. However, this year I decided that I had some long term lifestyle changes that I wanted to make regarding both our environment and how laborers are treated. After stumbling across a book called The Virtuous Consumer at the library last fall, I have been working to fix bad consumer habits I have picked up.
So far, they have been small changes. I bring reusable cups and bottles to work with me whenever I can, I take reusable bags to the grocery store, and I try to figure out bus routes instead of calling Lyft when I need to get somewhere that I can’t walk to. I have also made efforts to stop supporting fast fashion clothing stores, thrifting as much of my clothing as I possibly can. The next step I want to take is supporting companies working to provide livable wages to their employees. This can be very difficult to do when buying produce or buying most consumer goods made overseas, but I want to push against the patterns of global companies exploiting third world labor as much as I possibly can as a first world citizen.
One of the first steps I have made towards becoming an informed consumer is switching face washes. For several years I used a Neutrogena brand face wash with microbeads. After learning that microbeads can tear your skin to make holes for bacteria and can pollute the water once scrubbed off, I decided to explore other options. I hopped onto the Fair Trade USA site, which features a guide to help find all sorts of Fair Trade certified products.
I ended up coming across Alaffia’s Everyday Coconut Cleansing Face Wash. Using fair trade coconut and manufactured in Olympia, WA (Courtney Love’s old stomping grounds, just FYI), the ingredients are very simple. There are no worries about applying anything toxic over your pores as their might be from most drugstore face wash brands. The product is paraben free, cruelty free, and contains no synthetic fragrances
Coconut oil seems to be one of the most active ingredients in the product. In addition to cleansing and softening my face, it also removes makeup easily without being abrasive. I have seen lots of people recommend this product to remove heavy eye makeup, but I don’t agree 100%. Because of its gentle ingredients, this product is mostly safe to have near your eyes, but it definitely still stings when you get some of that lather in your eye. I recommend removing as much eye makeup as possible with extra virgin coconut oil on its own before bringing out the face wash, and using that to work around any excess makeup instead of applying a large amount directly over the eye.
My skin is already soft and even, but Everyday Coconut has enhanced those features. Sometimes I can’t stop touching my face, because it feels like it’s never been so soft before. I cannot speak for the effect it will have on oily skin, but I have seen good reviews from people with dry skin who have used this product for years. The lavender essential oils also gives the face wash a nice scent, which has made washing my face a de-stressing self care act that I look forward to performing most evenings.
This product is also extremely affordable considering both its quality and its commitment to being Fair Trade. A 12 ounce bottle goes for $6.49 at Natural Grocers. If you do not have a Natural Grocers in your area, Target offers a free ship to store option, and it is also eligible for Amazon Prime. Whole Foods also carries several Everyday Coconut products, but along with the Target and Amazon options it could be a bit higher on the price scale.