The Reluctant Stylista

If I haven’t said it enough times yet, then let me repeat: I love organic products.  It’s the first thing that catches my attention when I’m browsing skin care and beauty counters (heck, even my pets have organic shampoo).  I used to very anal about using organic-only items, but now, though, I’ve relaxed a little bit.  Just because I LOVE organic products doesn’t mean it’s the only good thing out there. If the products have the labels eco-friendly, organic or naturally-produced, I check it out.   But remember–even though some products can be all three, they’re not always the same thing. Natural ingredients do not necessarily guarantee a hypoallergenic product even though they are safe for most people and are usually quite eco-friendly.  For example, some people are allergic to bee products so that there are only select items from good brands like Ilog Maria and Burt’s Bees that they can use.  Also, small amounts of synthetics can sometimes be found in products that are labelled “eco-friendly” or “natural” that are absent from true organic products.  Synthetics help stabilize the compounds in products so that they are more effective and also, so that they have a longer shelf life.

In my experience, organic products tend to be very hypoallergenic.  I can safely recommend them to people with sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions.  But because they don’t have the usual chemical preservatives, they have a shorter shelf life than most.  It’s a small price to pay, however, not to have allergic reactions with bath and body products we use, especially if the come with an exorbitant price tag.

So for today, I’d like to share my favorite organic, natural and eco-friendly products that are locally available.  You might be pleased to know that almost all of these are proudly Filipino brands and are quite affordable.  I actually recommend them often to guy friends who are starting to get curious with skincare but want something that’s easy on the pockets.


1.) Nanny Rose

My scalp is easily irritated, which is how I got into the organics craze in the first place.  I noticed that when I switched to products with natural ingredients my scalp problems were all but gone.  As it is sometimes with me when I use a product for too long, though, the dryness comes back and I’d have to switch again.  But I find that if I use parabens and sulfate-free shampoo like Nanny Rose’s Gugo & Lawat, it’s mild enough to keep my scalp problems mostly in check.  I rotate it with other organic shampoos.  I also like it better than any shampoo I’ve tried so far from Human Nature (I also love this brand, except for their hair care line).  Note: it’s not treatment for dandruff, but it keeps my hair in relatively good shape after I use my medicated shampoo (because I can’t keep using it all the time).  Plus, because it’s sulfate-free, I think it’s a pretty safe option for colored hair.

Nanny Rose Gugo & Lawat Shampoo

I also like Nanny Rose’s Sticks & Pulls Honey Wax.  I was a fan of The Body’s Shop’s Sugaring Kit, but it’s a bit expensive.  In comparison, Nanny Rose’s wax is almost 1/3 the price.

Nanny Rose Sticks & Pulls Honey Wax

Both of these products are available at Watson’s, which is how I found out about it.  But their other products are only available through online shopping:


2.) Milea

It’s always a plus when you find out that the founders of the brand have their own farm.  Like Ilog Maria, the products are roadtested by the family who started the business, and they ship the stocks fresh.  I’ve always been a fan of their Wrinkle Away Rosehips Cream (which was recommended to me by my mom) and their Lemongrass line.

Wrinkle Away Rosehips Cream - Milea

They have loads of interesting products like a tattoo balm for the newly inked.  I don’t have a tattoo–not yet, but I have friends who do and occasionally complain about the itching whenever they get new ones.  Some of their products are available at Sesou Nature Source stalls and stores–you can usually find them in Ayala malls.

Milea - Tattoo Balm

3.) V&M Naturals

Half the time, I discover new organic brands because of my friend and beauty blogger Kira.  She gave me lip tints from Venus & Mars and I’ve loved them ever since because they’re actually quite pigmented for mineral lip color.  Bonus that it offers a bit of protection from sun damage with its active ingredients, too.  You can order from their site at

Venus & Mars Lip Tint


4.) Leyende

I’ve always liked Leyende.  I love that they have an advocacy.  And I’m definitely a fan of their packaging!

I’ve been using their products way back in the day with Human Nature and Ilog Maria. But while the other brands have grown bigger and more popular, I kinda feel like Leyende’s a bit left out.  Maybe it’s because they’re just a tad pricier than the two brands I mentioned?  I still think they’re pretty affordable, considering that their products are free from sulfates, parabens, petroleum, silicone, talc and pthalates.

I love their Clean Slate Bright Lifting Facial Cleanser and No Rumple Silk Skin Butter.  They’re available at Sesou as well (like many other local organic and natural brands) and at The Ramp.

No Rumple Silk Skin - Leyende

5.) Girlactik

Organic make-up is practically unheard of in our shores, but here it is!  Relatively new in the Philippines, Girlactik is distributed by Swan Dance International Trading (they also handle makeup and beauty products used in theatre and ballet).  And just right on time–2014 is all about sparkly make-up once more, and what better product to use than one that is mild on sensitive skin AND stays put?

Since its beginnings in 2000, it’s gotten quite a celebrity following: Eva Longoria, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Cindy Crawford, Paris Hilton and Marcia Cross have been known to use Girlactik.  And why not?  These Hollywood celebs and divas spend almost all of their time in the limelight, constantly made up, and their skin don’t get enough rest.  When you find something that has that high drama you need as a performer (especially with popstars) and it has mild formulation, you just grab it.  Most people I’ve recommended Girlactik to as makeup option for sensitive skin have actually thanked me for it.

Here are some of their best sellers (and they’re currently having a SALE at their stores, too):

Sparkle Set.  Comes with a cream base applicator and creamy eyeliner (I love the black!).  Do you like tight-lining your eyes?  I do, too, but because you get right in between lashes, and the inner rims of your eyes, it’s always best to use a product that won’t irritate your eyes.  This is just perfect for me.  Now I don’t have to feel guilty about tight-lining.


Girlactik - Sparkle Set


Eye Glaze.  I’m always too lazy for eye shadow, but when I feel like my peepers need a pick-me-up, I like to get shimmer on.  The Eye Glaze is so easy to use because I just dab and blend with my pinky and voila!


Girlactik Eye Glaze

Pearl Base.  This acts as a highlighter and an eyeshadow base to make your make-up last longer.  Pretty awesome!

Pearl Base - Girlactik

I’ve also just recently reviewed their Skin Tint Moisturizer.

Girlactik is available at these branches:


2nd Level Serendra,
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City


2nd Level Trinoma Mall,
Quezon City


Upper Ground Floor,
Alabang Town Center,
Alabang, Muntinlupa City

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28 Responses to “Top 5 Locally Available Organic and Eco-Friendly Brands You Should Know About”

  1. John Sherwynn Chan says:

    The Leyende perfume is good too! It’s unisex and smells really clean

  2. Pat says:

    Love this list! I’m always looking for organic (and hopefully cruelty-free) brands and it’s not always easy to do so in Manila. Thanks for introducing me to some new ones like Milea and Girlactik!

    • Alex says:

      Love love Milea. Sesou carries all-natural and organic products, and that’s where I usually discover my favorites. I like trying them out, and Milea is especially affordable.

  3. Bea says:

    Where do you get the lip balm and Milea? I am having problems with my lip balms now because I’ve suddenly developed an allergy and I can’t pinpoint which one is causing it.

  4. Janine says:

    Ooooh thanks for this Alex! Papalapit na ang theater season ko of 3 shows a day (tamad mag-retouch hahaha). Yung Skin Tint Moisturizer pa lang ba ang nasubukan mo from Girlactik?

  5. Kira says:

    Would you like some new lip tints as a birthday gift? Hehe

  6. Mea P. says:

    This is exactly the post I was looking for. Good thing you mentioned Ilog Maria. I was hoping to get their royal jelly oil to use with my expressions beauty bar (bought from I’m also looking into companies like Vanilla and Co. and Messy Bessy. Have you tried anything from Ilog Maria or any of the companies I mentioned? I’d really love feedback on their products :) More power …

    • Alex says:

      Hi Mea! I love all those companies you mentioned! I didn’t elaborate on Ilog Maria anymore because they’re one of the more popular brands. If you’re not allergic to bee products, they are highly recommended. I’ve also been a long-time user of Vanilla & Co., you can find a review of their cocoa butter in this blog. I use Messy Bessy product cleaners as well though I haven’t reviewed them yet. I’ll definitely start drafting some of those reviews now. :D

  7. Celine says:

    Hi Alex! thanks for this post.I think I will try V&M. I am thinking of getting Tsubaki from V&M too for my mom. Have you heard any feedback about it yet? I would love to know more before I let my mom use it.. :)

  8. clara says:

    Thanks for this post! I am only familiar with human<3nature and ilog maria. I didnt know there are other options out there :)

  9. Alleli Borja says:

    Yeah, glad to know about this products! I haven’t tried the Leyende because I’m currently using the VMV hypoallergenics line, though. It works every time for me! I’m looking forward to try the others! :)

  10. Natalie S. says:

    Hi! This is a great article.. I am an “I love oils girl” and it’s pretty hard to find a store in the Philippines that sell pure unadulterated essential and carrier oils. That is why I buy my oils in the US and Australia in bulk. I’ve been buying my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs ( I’ve been using their Sweet Almond Oil and Kukui Nut Oil for the longest time and it has been my companion in keeping my face and skin hydrated and moisturized. Now I’m excited to try the pomegranate and organic avocado oil! <3 Last month I have ordered more than enough that is why I thought of selling.. For those interested in 100% pure Kukui Nut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Pomegranate, and Organic Avocado, you can contact me at 0998 863 3013. Deliveries in Metro Manila and all provinces accepted. I keep them in 15ml, 20 ml, and 30 ml clear bottles. -Natalie

  11. fritz says:

    I’ve been using Ilog Maria products for half a year already and I’m beginning to doubt the quality of their soaps. As it melts, soap suds start to diminish. Their shampoo also gives me extreme hair fall and my hair becomes sooo course after taking a shower. Also, I do not feel that added energy as what they claim with their bee pollen. So I was just wondering if the Milea soaps are better, same with their shampoo and bee pollen? I’m looking at different options since some of Ilog Maria’s items are not working for me anymore :( Not to mention their items are exposed in the sun! I went to their bee farm in Cavite and that was what I saw. Your thoughts are appreciated. Thank you!

    • Alex says:

      Hi Fritz! I’ve been a fan of Ilog Maria products for years, however, I’ve developed allergies on some bee products (I haven’t specified yet which ingredient it is that’s causing the allergies, because it also happens with some Burt’s Bees products). That might be one of the reasons you’re having these reactions as well. If you’re looking for soap, I haven’t tried Milea’s but I can recommend Kala Milk soap and Beauty and Bright, both are organic and quite creamy, and I’ve seen them being sold in Echo stores and Sesou stalls. As for shampoo, try :) Hope these will work for you!

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