Cosmetics may be designed to make us look (even more) beautiful, but the labels are often pretty ugly, especially in the United States, which allows many ingredients that are banned in other countries. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, tests done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) found lead in almost two-thirds of top selling lipsticks. Scary. CSC’s list of hazardous chemicals lurking in our makeup includes possible carcinogens, irritants, endocrine disruptors, toxins, dangerous heavy metals, and other concerning ingredients. So what’s a beauty junkie to do? Buy natural, of course! Fortunately, Atlanta has no shortage of great spots where you can buy organic, eco-friendly, and safe personal care products. Here are five of the best brick-and-mortar shops where you can get what you need to help you feel as good as you look, you gorgeous thing.
In 2010, Fig & Flower founder Sara Lamond started making lifestyle changes to improve her health: “As I shifted to a diet of primarily clean foods, I noticed that a lot of symptoms that I thought were unrelated and that I had just ‘learned to live with’ were actually caused by the foods I was ingesting. This discovery, and my greatly improved overall health, piqued my awareness of not only the ingredients I put in my body, but also those that I use on my body. The less processed and more natural the ingredients — whether in my food or products — the better I looked and felt.” Her newfound passion for natural products led to the opening of Fig & Flower in Poncey-Highland last May.
Products: Makeup, skin care, bath products, hair care, home care, men’s grooming, and mom/baby products
The rules: All of Fig & Flower’s cruelty-free (no animal testing!) products are free of synthetic colors and fragrances as well as a whole host of chemicals.
Location: 636 North Highland Avenue
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Originally created in L.A., Mama has been based in Atlanta for the last six years. Founder Emilie Sennebogen Bryant describes herself as “part wannabe hippie, part aspiring entrepreneur” and says the line of products was born when she, “ordered a bunch of natural raw ingredients, turned my kitchen into a workshop, and started experimenting.”
Products: Bath salts, body lotions, shea butter, men’s grooming products, soy candles, scrubs, lip balms, soaps, and fragrances
The rules: Every product is formulated, manufactured, poured, and packaged by hand with all natural ingredients, essential oils, herbs, and other raw ingredients.
Location: Mama has two dedicated metro locations at 112 North Avondale Road in Avondale Estates and in Krog Street Market but you can also get Mama products at a variety of other retailers around town.
Hours: For the Avondale Estates shop – Monday: Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the Krog Street Market shop – Sunday and Monday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Although you’ll find Sally B products being sold in 11 states and three countries, the line’s organic skin care and cosmetic products are all developed by hand in Atlanta. After her difficult recovery from cancer, Sally B founder Sally Larsen began cooking up her own natural products in her kitchen to avoid the toxins she found in many products. Those at-home experiments became the basis for her new business in 2005.
Products: Lotions, creams, shea butter bars, serums and potions, cosmetics, deodorant, soap, perfume, and scrubs
The rules: All of Sally B’s products are free of GMOs, mineral oil and other petroleum-based ingredients, synthetic colors, animal products (except for sustainably harvested beeswax), artificial fragrances, formaldehyde, lead, aluminum, and other toxic ingredients. They are cruelty-free and most are also gluten-free.
Location: Find the flagship store, where all the magic happens, at 800 Miami Circle, Suite 110 or visit any of the 10 other shops around Atlanta that sell Sally B products
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Sundays.
This Atlanta-based manufacturer of hand-crafted soaps has been in business for 18 years and specializes in soaps that treat specific skin disorders (eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.) using all-natural ingredients. Many of their products also claim to improve the appearance of skin by fading stretch marks, evening skin tones, eliminating build-up of dead skin, and generally gussying up your body and face.
Products: Organic soaps (go figure), shea butters, lotions, body washes, scrubs, and detox teas
The rules: Every product at NEOS is created by herbalist Venus Brooks using only organic oils, herbs, sea salt, and other natural ingredients.
Location: 1380 Atlantic Drive (across from Z Gallerie in Atlantic Station)
Hours: Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays: Noon to 7 p.m.
While others on this list create their own lines of products, Urbane Elements gathers some of the top organic, natural products from a variety of brands and sells them from their six-month-old retail shop in Sandy Springs.
Products: Bath and body products, men’s grooming, fragrances, hair care, cosmetics, nail care, skin care, and sun care
The rules: Urbane Elements carries only American-made products made from natural, organic ingredients. All products must also be cruelty-free and eco-friendly.
Location: 230 Hammond Drive, #432, in Sandy Springs (in the City Walk Shopping Center)
Hours: Monday through Saturday: Noon to 6 p.m. Closed on Sundays.