12 Eco-chic Skincare Products That Really, Truly Work!

beautyroundupopenKermit was right: It's really not easy being green. While we want so badly to use paraben-free lotions, petrochemical-less eye creams, and sans-sulfite lipsticks, what we usually get are products that smell amazing but don't work worth a lick. So, your friends at The Pipeline decided to road-test a mix of new and established organic and natural skincare lines to see what worked and what just smelled nice. We left out the baddies, but here's our list of hands-down hits.
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Naturopathica Ultra-Lite Vitamin C Complex
From a company whose unofficial motto is "detox…re-tox," this pick-me-up effectively revitalizes dull skin while nourishing it with completely natural protective agents. Ideal for any skin type, the lightweight moisturizer harnesses the antioxidant power of the Big C to boost skin elasticity, while sea algae extract moisturizes and promotes tissue repair. All that from such a tiny bottle! "I obsess Naturopathica products and think owner Barbara Close is pretty much a genius at formulating clean but powerful potions for fixing all my skin ailments. This product isn't new, but it's a hands-down favorite. It's super light, smells fresh, and every time I put it on, I feel like it gives my skin a healthy flush."—Christene
$56, available at www.naturopathica.com
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SheerinO'kho Uptown/Downtown Summertime Face Cream
This lightweight face cream formulated for the urban summer lifestyle (ie: East Village bike-riding and dashing for taxis), protects against pollution and stress without breaking a sweat. Packed in recycled and non-polluting packaging, a combination of uncommon ingredients like moringa seed purify and recharge the skin. "I have combination skin, so it's hard for me to find a good moisturizer, but this one worked perfectly. It got rid of the dry patches and didn't leave my skin oily. It was really light and felt like it was cleansing my pores instead of clogging them. It also had a very subtle fresh scent and came in a pretty gold and glass bottle!"—Roanne
$108, available at Space NK, 99 Greene Street, 212-941-4200, and Columbus Avenue at 69th Street, 212-362-2840, New York; www.spacenk.com.
Hakanssons Rosemary Vitamin Spray
Katarina Hakansson likes to keep it pure and simple—her skin care line, that is. Packaged in biodegradeable plastic, the refreshing Rosemary Vitamin Spray tightens pores while delivering powerful floral and fruit vitamins. "This is great for a hot summer day, very cooling and refreshing. I would definitely carry this around for a quick pick-me-up now and then."—Nicole
$33, available at www.hakanssonskin.com.
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Elemental Herbology Skin Drink Summer Body Hydrator
When formulating Elemental Herbology, founder Kristy Goodger drew upon her expertise in Chinese medicine, focusing on the achievement of personal equilibrium and the simplicity of pure ingredients. The line's Skin Drink evens out complexions with mattifying grapefruit and moisturizing algae. "This line is off the charts amazing. Everything in it smells like nature and has the cleanest finish. The body moisturizer went on light but gave a super soft finish…the subtle earthy fragrance it leaves behind is kind of sexy, too."—Christene
$49, available at Space NK, 99 Greene Street, 212-941-4200, and Columbus Avenue at 69th Street, 212-362-2840, New York; www.spacenk.com.
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Red Flower Guaiac Organic Perfume Roll-on
Made of pure essential oils, synthetic-free, and certified organic to boot, this intoxicating, woody perfume is a testament to founder Yael Alkalay's discerning nose. Featuring the essence of the guaiac tree, the perfume's other notes include tobacco, leather, and citrus. Best part: You can throw it in your bag and not worry about it stinking up the joint because it opened accidentally. "I absolutely love this—it's nice and woody, but the citrus brings it to another level. Plus, the roll-on would stash nicely in my bag."—Nicole
$48, and concentrate, $186, available at Red Flower, 13 Prince Street, New York, 212-966-5301; www.redflower.com.
Exhale Spa GRN Avocado and Cucumber Mask
This highly moisturizing mask, part of a whole line of paraben-free and organic products, uses a veritable vegetable garden of organic plant extracts to soothe the skin. Avocado ferment, an enzyme, revitalizes and smoothes, while cucumber and aloe keep you cool. "This felt more like a lotion than a mask. It was super-rich and was really softening for my skin."—Lisa
$22, available at Exhale Spa, 140 Central Park South, New York and 2411 Main Street, Bridgehampton, 212-249-3000; www.exhalespa.com.
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Korres Mastiha Oil and Aloe Body Milk
Korre's classic body milk gets a shot of natural miracle ingredient mastiha—a sap collected from Evergreen bushes in the Greek island of Chios and used in over 300 products. Using mastiha, this lotion is infused with antioxidant, antibacterial and ant-inflammitory properties—and let's not forget smoothing avocado oil and shea butter. "It smells a little funny, but in a way that I can handle (ie: it's not grandmotherly), and the scent fades after a minute. It's light, refreshing, and a little goes a long way, which is important to me because I don't want to spend my whole day smearing lotion on myself. What else? It makes my skin soft."—Piera
$19, available at Korres' Mastihashop, 145 Orchard Street, New York, 212-253-0895; www.korres.com.
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Primitive Makeup Natural Lip Color
The creators behind Primitive lipstick spent a full year formulating it to ensure the perfect balance of pure ingredients and natural color. Rich with ultra-moisturizing shea butter and scented with vanilla, this is the ultimate lip treat. "I am a lipstick whore, and knowing that this gorgeous shade of ripe plum (called Tahiti) isn't going to give me liver failure is a plus."—Christene
$16, available at www.primitivemakeup.com.
Aguacate and Co. Toning Body Spray
Made of organic aloe and soothing rose water, this toning spray pretty much does it all—tightening pores, removing dirt, and moisturizing parched skin. And don't forget organic avocado oil—the company uses it in every one of their products. You can also rest easy knowing Aguacate and Co. dedicates a portion of their profits to support environmental research. "This was very lightly scented, and was so gentle on my skin unlike other toners. Avocado is my favorite food, and this just might be my favorite new toner."—Nicole
$18, available at www.aguacateandco.com.
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Malie Kaua'i Mango Butter Bun
With four completely natural ingredients sourced from Hawaii—mango butter, cocoa butter, vitamin E and turmeric--this little bun is the perfect recipe for a smooth backside. Just run under hot water for 5 seconds, rub all over in the shower, and just towel dry—pure genius, especially since you can skip that whole lubing up thing after the shower. "This smelled great and was really moisturizing. Plus, it was so fun to use in the shower. Kind of like melting butter all over you in the best sense."—Lisa
$36, available at www.thecosmeticmarket.com.
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Stella McCartney Care Radiance & Youth Elixir
This elixir is the Rolls-Royce of lotions. One hundred percent certified organic and filled with active, nutrient-rich ingredients, it's literally everything you need to keep your skin nourished and refreshed. "This stuff just might be magic. It has a refreshing herbal scent and gave my skin a nice glow."—Roanne
$64, available at www.sephora.com.
Huiles and Baumes Alpine SOS Lip Balm
Organic shea butter, known for its rich moisturizing properties, and anti-inflammatory arnica montana combine to create a velvety, 100% natural treat for icky dry lips. Organic peppermint gives it a yummy minty-herby scent, which we love. "This makes your lips nice and glossy. Plus, the cooling peppermint feels great on hot skin."—Nicole
$22, available at Space NK, 99 Greene Street, 212-941-4200, and Columbus Avenue at 69th Street, 212-362-2840, New York; www.spacenk.com.

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