It’s about that time of year: we’re totally over the cold weather, seriously lacking vitamin D, and our skin and hair is in need of tender loving care.

The thing about body care is that everyone has a different skin type, hair texture, and varying preferences regarding consistency and scent of personal care products. There isn’t a hard science to tell us what works on an individual level.

That being said, there are certain things to look for in personal care products if you’re minding the health of the environment, your bod and the well-being of animals. First, always make sure products are not tested on animals. If you don’t see this clearly stated on the product label, research the product to ensure it’s cruelty-free before purchasing. In other words, if a product doesn’t say it’s not tested on animals, chances are, it probably is. Would you subject your dog or cat to tortuous experiments and a slow, agonizing death? No, so don’t pay companies to do it to other animals. Unfortunately, many cosmetic products sold in the U.S. are still tested on animals (even though Israel and the E.U. have banned this barbaric and antiquated practice).

Second, look for a vegan label or, if you don’t see one, scan the ingredients list for animal-derived ingredients such as lanolin (oil from sheep’s wool), beeswax and keratin (protein from ground-up animal parts). In addition to animal-derived ingredients, steering clear of harsh chemicals such as sulfates (what makes shampoo, cleaners and body wash sudsy), parabens (preservatives) and fragrance will be nicer to your bod and the planet. Opt for plant-derived ingredients and essential oils instead. To read more about how chemicals in personal care products affect our bodies and the planet, check out these resources from the Environmental Working Group and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Now, to the good stuff. These are a few of my favorite goodies to help get me through the winter. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below!

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Step 1: dry-brushing. Stimulating circulation and eliminating dry skin before showering helps cleansers and moisturizers do their job. I find gloves are a good gentle option and there are a variety of exfoliating loofahs, buffers and brushes as well. Be sure you’re using recycled and/or natural material of non-animal origin (these gloves are recycled PET and I love the bamboo ones, too!).

 

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About once a week I use this Pacifica Kona Coffee & Sugar Detox whole body scrub. Unlike some abrasive scrubs, I find this formula to be super soft and gel-like. Pacifica is an amazing vegan company with loads of body care and cosmetic products as well as eco-friendly fragrances and candles!

 

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This stuff is amazing. Coming home after a long day and washing off the stress (and the sweat) with this creamy, dreamy body wash helps me wind down and get ready for bed.

 

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A weekly dose of Aveda Damage Ready Intensive Restructuring Treatment brings my tired, dry winter tresses back to life. Ultra-moisturizing without adding weight, this is a must-have for my winter routine.

 

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Slathering on Pacifica’s creamy body butter post-shower helps lock in valuable moisture and protect skin from harsh winter air. Plus, if you close your eyes, this Indian Coconut Nectar scent transports you to a warm tropical island.

 

When dry skin calls for ultra-rich moisturizer, Ellovi butter comes to the rescue. This stuff is super natural and feels and smells AH-mazing. Their lip balms are spectacular as well.
When dry skin calls for ultra-rich moisturizer, Ellovi butter comes to the rescue. Say goodbye to rough, cracked knuckles, elbows, knees and ankles! This stuff is super natural (made from six wildly harvested ingredients) and feels and smells AH-mazing (mint chocolate pictured). Their lip balms are spectacular as well.

 

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If you’re into oils, Acure Organics has some high-quality products including their multi-purpose moroccan argan oil (I use it as a nighttime facial moisturizer and on dry hair ends) and dry oil body spray. I also use Nature’s Gate vitamin E roll-on for any area of my bod that needs some extra love (I hear it’s great for pregnancy stretch marks, too).

 

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For all-over body oil to use inside and outside the shower, Shea Moisture offers some incredibly divine smelling options. This Superfruit Complex oil almost smells too good to be true.

 

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For the smackers, Hurraw! lip balm is super smooth and protective, and made from deliciously organic, raw, vegan ingredients.

 

My fave product for dry winter hands is this Out of Africa olive hand cream. It feels and smells nourishing and rich!
My fave product for dry winter hands is this Out of Africa shea butter hand cream. It feels and smells nourishing and rich!

 

I have no affiliations with these brands nor do I receive any sort of compensation for writing about them on my blog. I like to share vegan products and brands I love and I encourage you to do the same in the comments below!

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