I'm always amazed by the obscenely long list of ingredients on beauty product labels. What the heck is sodium laurel sulfate and what is it doing in my shampoo? (Answer: It's creating those lovely suds. And by the way, it's also found in brake fluid and antifreeze.)
Personally, I don't enjoy feeling like a science experiment. So I buy beauty brands that tout natural and organic ingredients. Even better, I love supporting independent women who create their own beautiful concoctions.
Soapwalla (which means soap master in Hindu) was founded by Rachel Winard after she gave up on trying to find conventional beauty products that didn't aggravate her super sensitive skin. Rachel whips up creams and soaps in her Brooklyn kitchen using only organic, food-grade ingredients and pure essential oils.
So far, I've used her Deodorant Cream ($10) a clay-based product with yummy lavender, peppermint and tea tree oils. This stuff keeps me fresh and cool (and feeling good about using a product that is free from harmful chemicals). I also want to try her Indulgent Bath Soaking Salts ($10) and Organic Citrus Mint Soap Bar ($7.50).
Read more about Rachel's beauty endeavors in this New York Daily News article. You can pick up Soapwalla products in her Etsy shop.