Be Eco-Beautiful with Alejandra Nerizagal

Alejandra Nerizagal is our go-to gal for all things beautifully eco-friendly.  With 18 years of industry experience as a top hair and makeup artist, Alejandra specializes in organic beauty and offered us some eye-opening insight into ways we can be more eco-beautiful.  Read on to learn more about Alejandra's advice on how we can all benefit from organic beauty, and click through the slideshow to see some of her personal product favorites.

What is eco-friendly beauty?

Eco-friendly beauty can mean many things. Using products that say eco-friendly on them means they may support an organization that supports our environment by donating money, the containers that the product are made of may be recycled, that the ingredients may be naturally resourced, or may come from the company's own farm so that there is less of a carbon foot print in making the product. Eco-friendly may also be free of most non-natural ingredients, like parabans, for example.

OK, so let's narrow it down.  What makes a beauty product organic?

There are several factors involved to be able to have an organic label on their product. One small, but big factor, is anything labeled '100% Organic' must have 100% organic ingredients.  Anything else labeled 'Organic' must have 95% organic ingredients, with the remaining 5% consisting of nonagricultural substances approved on a national list.   Anything less then 70% organic ingredients does not have an 'Organic' label on it.

What made you go organic?

About 6 years ago I started to pay more attention to what I was eating, reading ingredients on the back of food labels.  This led me to eventually start looking at my makeup, skin care and hair care products.  I began to do a lot of research and found out some surprising information about preservatives in our foods and beauty items.  With skin being the largest organ in our body, connected to tons of blood vessels, nerves, and glands, I didn't want to clog these pores up with unnatural products.  I then became a big believer of  'if I can't eat it, then why would I put it on my body?' 

What would we be surprised to know is in our non-organic beauty products?  (Makeup, brushes, skincare, hair care)

Parabans, petrolatum, and sodium laurel sulfate (SLS).  Parabans are a preservative, which can cause irritation to the body.  Petrolatum is in so many skin care and lip products. What you may not know is that it can eventually make your skin dehydrated and dryer over time.  SLS is a foaming agent that can strip moisture from you skin and cause irritation.

What are the benefits to eco-friendly beauty?

Your benefit is two-fold.  You will be doing less harm to your body by using fewer chemicals in your beauty products, which will lead to healthier looking skin and shiny soft hair.  Plus, eco-friendly products will have less of an impact on our planet because of the process in which they are made and what goes into the product.  Also, recycling your empty eco-friendly product containers will help create less waste.

Look out for future eco-friendly product reviews from Alejandra and follower her @hairbyalejandra on Twitter and Instagram.  See Alejandra's work at

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