Natural beauty, everyone has it. But a lot of times elements prevent your skin from being at its best, be it sun damage, too much oil or dryness. There are a lot of natural products on the market, but money is a huge factor for most of us, and you shouldn’t have to break the bank to keep your skin under control. That’s why Juice Beauty (, a new organic skin care line is perfect for students.

Your skin absorbs 64 percent of what you put on it, and a lot of today’s beauty products contain questionable ingredients, like silicone. Silicone is used in bakeware, electronics and food processing. It doesn’t seem appealing, even though silicone is also used in many skin care products like suntan lotions, antiperspirants and cosmetics. In this era of all things green, it’s best to use products that not only help you but also the planet, without any of the side effects.

Certified Organic guarantees that the product has passed the USDA certified organic test, meaning that every ingredient comes from non-toxic environments, free of pesticides or fertilizers. Juice Beauty’s 98 percent certified organic rating comes from their organic juice base filled with antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  

One thing I noticed about this line is there is something for every type of skin. My skin runs on the dry side, so I tried the soap-free (Soap dries out my skin.) Organic Facial Wash. The ingredients – including organic sunflower oil and carrot seed – are high quality, and it felt light and silky on my skin. When I rinsed, I felt no residue, and my face felt smooth and supple as opposed to tight and dying for moisturizer. I followed up with the SPF30 Sheer Moisturizer and it lasted through the day, with no clog buildup or streaky feeling after application.

It’s never too early to start using anti-aging products either. I started in my teens using Oil of Olay, which unfortunately is just not the same anymore. But I’ve found my “adult” nighttime regimen in the Age Defying Green Apple Repair Moisturizer. A little goes a long way, so the price of $38 balances out.

After-sun care is important; I burn within five minutes of being outside. The Soothing Serum contains raspberry juice, Aloe vera and licorice. I’m not a fan of the smell of licorice, but it’s non-existent in this solution, and I was glowing a bit after use. Not too shabby! All in all, the products did improve my skin and skin tone within about three weeks. If you’d like to try out Juice Beauty, stop by your local Whole Foods Market, as they are hosting special preview events.

There are a lot of environmentally conscious bags out there, but not too many actual backpacks that you can put your books, lunch or even your computer in at once. Ecogear’s ( lines of bags are great just for that.

Made from planet-friendly organic cotton and toxic-free dyes and components, these eco-friendly bags are sturdy, stylish and extremely cost effective. There are different sizes, like the Bighorn, a travel-friendly bag with its MP3 player pouch and port, padded shoulder straps and internal organizer pockets. The popular bag for school is the Snow Leopard that is durable and features soft-lined pouches for your valuables or school supplies.

The Tiger is unique as it’s one of the only PVC free laptop carriers on the market. PVC is an extremely toxic element because it contains lead and cadmium, as well as chlorine, the germ-killing element they put in swimming pools that makes your eyes burn. The Tiger is not bulky, even though the laptop carrier is padded, and features a deluxe organizer pocket and magnetic flap closure.

My favorite for on-the-go shopping is the newly released Ocean bag. It’s compact and sleek, but has lots of hidden room. Made from recycled water bottles, it also absorbs moisture with a mesh back.

The bags are all inexpensive as well, with prices ranging from $25 to $80, but right now they have a sale and you can get the higher-priced items for $50 or less.