Natural and organic on a budget
October 9, 2009
The last couple of months are the first months I’ve not had the money to buy my usual natural and organic products. I normally buy the Trilogy shampoo and Trilogy conditioner for dry hair. These weigh in at about £20 for both – which is around the same price as many brand name hair care ranges like Redken and Tigi.
Another staple item in my bathroom is Weleda’s Citrus Shower Cream. This use to be £4.95 in Waitrose, but has now gone up to £6.95.
So, I decided to go on a mission for natural products that were cheaper. Without shopping online I’ve found this pretty difficult. There are only a handful of high street retailers near me that stock natural or organic products. So far Waitrose supermarket has proved the most fruitful.
Here are my best high street finds:
The most reasonably priced natural shower gel I’ve come across is Ecover’s Lavender Shower Gel for £3.60. It contains ingredients like sodium laurly slphate and perfume, so it’s not completely natural but it gets big bonus points for containing no parabens or mineral oil. The product ingredients are fully degradable (not just the 60% required by current legislation) even in oxygen poor conditions. When degraded, it leaves nothing but minerals which can be taken up by natural living systems.
The bottle is made from polyethylene and the caps are made from polyprpylene – the second best choice after bioplastics. It’s 100% recyclable using a low energy process.
Someone mentioned to me that they only use soap in the shower because it’s purer than most shower products. As well as being pure, it’s also a low cost and low waste alternative to shower gel.
I found a good contender to my usual product in Waitrose, which was Australian Organics soap. This product costs on average £1.49 for a 100g bar and is available in a various scents. I picked up an aloe vera bar for the shower which contains linseed for exfoliation. Australian Organics soap is free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate and propylene glycol.
I went to Holland and Barrett (health food shop) and found a bar of Olivia olive oil soap. A 125g bar only costs 89p and contains just 3 ingredients: saponified coconut oil, water and olive oil. It doesn’t have any added perfume or scent so it smells very….um….natural.
Shampoo and conditioner
A while ago, I read an article in Boots magazine featuring a brand called Naked. Since then, I’ve seen their products in various stores including Boots and Tescos. Their products are 97% natural and made in the UK so I decided to check out their shampoos and conditioners. Their hair care products range from a very reasonable £3.91 – £4.99. I ended up buying 3 products (good old 3 for 2′s): shine hydrating shampoo, shine hydrating conditioner and the Naked rescue intensive care conditioner. I was in a rush when I bought them so I just skim read the back of the intensive care conditioner bottle and put the rest in the basket.
When I got home, I had a closer look at the labels and to be honest was slightly disappointed.
- Naked Shine hydrating shampoo. The good: Honey, sunflower seed extract, hibiscus. The bad: PEG’s, dimethicone, parfum
- Naked Shine hydrating conditioner. The good: Sunflower seed extract and black tea leaf extract. The bad: PEG’s, dimethicone, propylene glycol, ceteareth-20 and hexyl cinnamal.
- Naked rescue Intensive care conditioner. The good: Olive fruit oil, shea butter, passion seed oil, mineral oil free! The bad: Parfum and urea.
Given the price of these products and the natural ingredient content, they are good value for money. Although their products contain some of the less desirable ingredients above, Naked get a big thumbs up for not using parabens, sodium lauryl suplhate and in the majority of their products, stearing clear of propylene glycol. Overall good value for a 97% natural product.
Non high street brands
Other reasonably priced brands I don’t have access to via the high street include Pure Nuff Stuff and Dr. Bronners.
Pure Nuff Stuff are a Cornish company that sell a varity of natural body care products for all the family. Their shampoos and conditioners cost £5.50 for 250ml and are all natural. They also sell eczema and psoriasis blends for £5.75. Custom blends of these products only cost £1 extra which is worth it if you are after something very specific. Overall, the vast majority of their products cost less than £10.
Dr.Bronners is a US based company famous for their 18 in 1 soap! Their products are completely biodegradable, certified Fair Trade and created with natural ingredients, many of which are organic. Their liquid castille soaps are particularly good value for money because they can be used for so many different things. It’s uses include shampoo, washing your pets, shower gel, washing your dishes (this actually removed the fat from our George Foreman grill better than washing up liquid!), hands, bubble bath and toothpaste. Their liquid soaps cost £4.75 for 236ml and larger sizes are available.
Do you have any penny saving natural purchases?