Simplicity in Beauty

April 11, 2013 Updated: April 11, 2013

Style icon Coco Chanel once said, “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” The Little Black Dress—one of her signature 1920s fashion statements—exemplifies this motto. It doesn’t have to take much to make something or someone look beautiful.

This is true for skin care too. Sometimes it is the complicated ingredients that make a product more toxic and not as effective as its claims.

Here is a curated list of quality products that contain 10 effective ingredients—or fewer.

Shea Terra Organics Somali Qasil Cleansing Soap
Found on, $28
Ingredients: 100% pure Qasil leaf powder

This is really a unique cleanser made from one ingredient: the leaves of the wild gob tree. The pesticide-free leaves are dried and crushed into a fine powder that mixes with water to form a mask. It is high in saponins that clean and lightly exfoliate the skin without over-drying it. Evidently the women of Somaliland who travel through the dusty drought lands know a thing or two about cleansing the skin gently and naturally.

Not only will Qasil Soap-Free Cleansing Herb improve your skin, but you also will feel good knowing that this sustainable product provides a source of income for women living below the poverty line, according to the Shea Terra Organics website.

Bubble and Bee Pitt Putty
Found on, $10.85
Ingredients: Organic arrowroot powder, organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic sunflower oil, (aluminum-free) baking soda, organic essential oils (for scent)

Quite frankly, this is the only natural deodorant that keeps me odor-free all day—even after a workout.

The deceptively simple formula fights offensive smells by using naturally absorbent arrowroot powder and baking soda, as well as antibacterial coconut oil.

It comes as a cream or a stick formula in unique scents like Jasmint (a combination of essential oils of jasmine and mint), Orange Vanilla, Spearmint and Tea Tree, and Lemon and Clove. Plus for those who need a little extra protection, there’s a Super Pitt Putty that contains deodorizing lemon, clove, and patchouli with baking soda.

Real Purity: Health Glow Foundation
Found on, $26
Ingredients: Distilled water, kosher vegetable glycerin, kaolin clay, pure rice bran oil, iron oxide

This water-based foundation that does not clog your pores offers good coverage without feeling heavy on the skin. Creator Virginia Easterling, a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician, was a true pioneer with the Real Purity product line created in 1986. It was one of the first companies to carefully select safe, nontoxic, mineral-based ingredients.

Silk Naturals: Perfecting Powder

Found at, $9.95
Ingredients: Mica, silk powder, silica

Silk powder is full of amino acids that your skin loves, says Karen Stark, founder of Silk Naturals, on the website. The Perfecting Powder helps absorb oil and offers a matte, slightly luminous finish. Pores look smaller and fine lines are blurred. Enough said!

Purely You: Custom Compact (for Eyes and Cheeks)

Found at, $29
Ingredients: Mica, titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, pigments (one or more of the following: iron oxide, tin oxide, ultramarine blue, carmine)

With four slots to choose from, you can pick blushes and eye shadows to mix and match colors. The company explains each ingredient and why it is used in the product, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Sally B’s: B Glossy Lip Gloss

Found on, $18
Ingredients: Organic castor oil, organic shea butter, organic beeswax, vitamin E, organic carnauba wax, organic lecithin, micas, organic essential oil of peppermint

This silky smooth gloss offers a hint of color and shine to your lips. It also contains moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, castor oil, beeswax, and vitamin E, without any lead or other toxic ingredients. Peppermint oil gives a slight tingle and plumping effect.

Trilogy: Everything Balm
Found on, $21
Ingredients: Octly palmitate, beeswax, marula kernel oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip seed oil, wheat germ oil, vitamin E, jojoba leaf oil, olive fruit oil, honey

To be dubbed an “everything balm” and to contain only 10 ingredients—that’s quite a feat. The label says that you can use it to soothe dry skin, protect and soften cuticles, hydrate lips, and then some.

Since I began using it on my feet before putting on socks, calluses are gone. It starts out a bit thick but absorbs nicely and feels like a smooth, protective layer. The light scent is delicate and not offensive.