Family Circle

6 Ways Parents Can Discuss Sex Before Prom Night and Graduation

Written on May 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm , by

By Leslie Kantor, vice president of education, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Prom and graduation season is an excellent time to have conversations with our teens about sex—what they anticipate happening, what their date or friends might envision, and how to handle the potent mix of alcohol, drugs and sexual pressure that is likely in the mix.

Studies show that teens who talk with their parents about sex are more likely to make healthy choices like waiting until they are older to have sex, and using birth control and condoms when they do decide to. You can empower your teens to make smart, safe choices by discussing the importance of having good communication with partners and using condoms and contraception. Proms and graduations should be very positive events in a teenager’s life, and with your help, they’ll be prepared and able to focus on enjoying themselves.

Keep the lines of communication open.
Talking with your teenager about sex may be awkward and uncomfortable at first, and owning up to that can help relieve tension. You can try saying something like, “It’s totally normal that this feels awkward, but I love you and care about you so we need to talk about important things like this.” In time and with practice, it will get easier. The key is to keep the conversation open and ongoing.

Discuss expectations.
If you’re allowing your teen to spend the night outside the home or stay out later than usual, talk about what you expect of them and help them think about how to handle peer pressure or difficult situations.

Practice things to say and ways to handle different situations.
As parents, we can help our teens by warning them about the lines they might hear and situations they may find themselves in. We can help them practice assertive responses that feel right to them, from saying no to sex to setting boundaries about what they want and don’t want to do. For teens that are going to engage in sex, making sure they are prepared with condoms is essential, as is what constitutes consensual sex so that teens are clear that when someone is drunk, they can’t actually consent to sex.

Talk with them about preventing pregnancy and STDs.
The reality is that 63% of high school seniors have had sex. Even if you want your teen to wait until they are out of high school or much older to have sex, it’s still important that they know how to protect themselves from STDs and getting pregnant before they head off to college, or start jobs that will inevitably force them to face sexual decisions and pressures.

Make sure they’re prepared.
You might want to make sure they have condoms with them on prom night and consider having your teen get a method of birth control as well. Chances are that that first year away at college or working, opportunities for sex will arise, so it’s better that he or she is prepared.

Get more information.
If the thought of helping your teen navigate these decisions feels a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. Many college health centers provide condoms and birth control, and you and your teen can always visit a Planned Parenthood health center for information and care. They can also check out Planned Parenthood’s mybirthcontrolapp.org, which is designed to help older teens find methods that will work well for them, which they can then discuss with a health care provider.

For more information and resources on talking to teens about sex and sexuality, check out plannedparenthood.org/parents. Read more of Leslie’s work, here

Follow Leslie on Twitter @LeslieKantor.

 

 

Turning Fear into Empowerment

Written on May 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm , by

By Erin Rabitcheff

“Maybe this year will empower you.” This was the advice I received one day at a friend’s gathering when worrying aloud about the prospect of solo parenting my two young boys for a year. My husband had accepted a post abroad, and for the first time we would be separated as a family.

Three years ago, my husband came home and told me there was a job opportunity in another city. For your average American family that might mean New York, Houston or Los Angeles. For us it meant Kabul, Afghanistan.

My husband is an American diplomat working for the U.S. State Department, and we are an average Foreign Service family. When he signed up for the Foreign Service, he agreed to go anywhere in the world, and when I married him, I agreed to be open to wherever we might go, for as long as I could.

The U.S. invaded Iraq when our first son was not yet a year old. During the months that followed, my husband expressed interest in going there to serve at the U.S. embassy. I was nervous about it but did my best to be open and supportive. I almost agreed to let him go, until four Americans were killed in the 2004 Fallujah ambush. I feared I would be left a widow with a toddler. I told him I didn’t want him to go, and his friends and family agreed that he shouldn’t. He stayed, and although I was relieved, I always felt bad that I had prevented him from pursuing his dreams. So this time when he said he wanted to serve in Afghanistan, I supported his decision.

And then I panicked. He was due to go in a year, so I had 12 months to nurse my fears of becoming a widow, of being a single mother with two young sons, of falling apart from the stress, of how the boys were going to react because they are very close to their father.

When I spoke about my situation at a friend’s gathering, a guy there said, “I’m not married and I don’t have any kids, but maybe this year will empower you.” I stopped in my tracks. I had been so focused on my fears that I had not considered being empowered by this experience.

I had grown up with a single mother and it was no picnic. I could only imagine being like my mother—constantly struggling, stressed-out, overworked. Yet in a moment, the calm words of this acquaintance shifted my entire perspective. I remembered I was not my mother. I was married to a man who loved his kids very much. We had technology and could stay in touch as much as possible. I had friends I could rely on for emotional support.              

That year, I had many opportunities to build up my confidence, everything from the mundane (figuring out how to change the clock in the car, a typical duty of my husband’s) to writing a song with my children, which turned out to be one of my greatest joys. I talked to them about how they felt about their father going away, and we set their thoughts to music, using their words and perspective. I shot footage and edited the video myself, something I had never done before, and I posted the video on YouTube.

My greatest lesson was that by taking care of myself, I would take better care of my children. One of my dreams was to be a singer-songwriter. During the year that my husband was away, I carved out time to write music and to show up at open mics. I decided not to give up singing in a choir I loved, and took the kids with me. I made sure to meet up with friends and go and do something fun from time to time. I meditated and joined a gym and actually went regularly.

My husband made it home safe and sound. The year was very challenging emotionally for the entire family, and there were days when I felt nothing but exhaustion and worry. But I kept up with my music and tried to see my friends whenever I could. That self-care fueled me enough to be a happier person and a more loving, and empowered, mother.

 

———

Erin Rabitcheff, of Pixiegrowsup.com, is a singer-songwriter, blogger and mother living in New York. The song she wrote with her kids, “September 1st,” recently received runner-up status in the Song of the Year Song and Lyric Writing Competition. It is available on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.

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Living Without Regrets

Written on May 23, 2014 at 10:12 am , by

By Sandra Bornstein, author of May This Be the Best Year of Your Life

Sandra Bornstein in India

In the wake of the 1960s feminist revolution, I made an unusual choice for a college-educated woman in her mid-20s: I waived the opportunity to embark on a career track and decided to be a stay-at-home mother in the northern suburbs of Chicago. When I chose this path, I never anticipated that it was the first step toward moving to India to become a teacher.

While I respected the feminists at the time who encouraged women to pursue their careers, I did not feel that this option was the right fit for me. Fortunately, a second income was not an economic necessity. I devoted all my energies to our growing family. I embraced motherhood and ignored the criticism that was directed toward college-educated stay-at-home mothers. I had been raised by a revolving door of maids and did not want to repeat that undesirable pattern with my kids.

During my early years of motherhood, I was content with my choice, although I knew other stay-at-home mothers who did not share my positive feelings. (Likewise, I observed some career-driven peers who struggled to maintain a balanced lifestyle while others coped well and thrived.)

But something changed in my late 30s, after my father unexpectedly passed away. Losing a parent can have a profound effect on one’s perspective. I suddenly felt the need to pursue a master’s degree that I’d been unable to afford in my early 20s. I wanted to delve deeper into my heritage by studying Jewish history and culture. I chose a flexible program at Spertus Institute in Chicago that allowed me to attend classes at my own pace. My time-management skills were honed as I balanced the obligations of graduate school with the responsibilities of running a household with young children. I treaded carefully as I ventured into unfamiliar territory.

After graduating and relocating to Colorado, I reentered the workforce as a part-time teacher at a private Jewish high school in Denver but was soon back in school, this time to pursue a second master’s degree at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where I studied instruction and curriculum with an emphasis on multicultural education and second-language learners. This time around, I was part of a cohort that was required to graduate within two years.

Pursuing back-to-back graduate degrees while simultaneously raising a family forced me to evaluate my priorities. There were only so many hours in a day to complete required tasks. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep was at the top of the list. If there was a conflict between a class obligation and a family responsibility, my children and husband always came first. This decision sometimes created tension with my professors. If I hadn’t asked for accommodations, my family’s well-being would have been disrupted.

After graduating, I chose flexible teaching opportunities in the private and public sectors. I always aimed for a balance between work and home. Even though I was approaching empty-nester status, I wanted to maximize my time with my youngest children. I knew that my two youngest sons’ high school years would zoom by like the fastest train in the world, the Shanghai Maglev.

Right after my youngest child entered college, my husband was offered an unusual legal position that required him to split his time between India and the West. As a middle-aged woman, I had to decide whether I would remain in Colorado or relocate. I chose to become an expat. After interviewing at a handful of private schools, I accepted a teaching position at a highly respected international boarding school in Bangalore, India. Even though it was a dream job for a multicultural educator, I had many reservations and concerns:

Was I ready to step out of my safe and secure suburban existence and travel halfway around the world?

After 30 years of putting motherhood first, was I equipped to handle such an unusual adventure?

How would I cope with culture shock and being occasionally separated from my husband and sons?

And what would happen to my career after I returned to the USA?

I usually feel intense waves of anxiety while making life-altering decisions. But most of the time, I refuse to let go of my proposed plan. I take control of my emotions and discard elements of inflexibility. I simultaneously accept the idea to hop outside of my comfort zone and follow through with my journey.

Nothing could have adequately prepared me for what I encountered when I stepped off the plane in India. My new environment was filled with unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells and tastes that bombarded my senses. My Bangalore apartment was the antithesis of my suburban home. I never would have dreamed that a wild monkey would be hopping on my kitchen table or that a family of monkeys would visit my classroom on a regular basis. Each day, I faced an assortment of unpredictable events that I was forced to address.

But I never regretted going to India, because, whenever possible, I have followed my dreams to seek out enriching experiences.

 

Sandra BornsteinSandra Bornstein is the author of the award-winning book May This Be the Best Year of Your Life. Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India.  Sandra currently writes a blog that focuses on life as an empty nester, book reviews, author interviews and travel. For more information visit www.sandrabornstein.com.

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Disney Princesses and the Meaning of True Love

Written on May 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm , by

 By Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Carry On, Warrior

We were watching Sleeping Beauty recently when my kindergartner pointed at the unconscious princess on the screen and said, “Mama, what’s wrong with her?” (Like death and taxes, princess movies can’t be avoided, especially by mothers of little girls.) My older daughter, Tish, 9, replied, “She’s sleeping and waiting. She can’t wake up till she finds true love.” Amma looked right at Tish and demanded, “Well, how’s she going to find anything if she stays asleep?” I laughed and thought: Excellent point. Then Amma asked me, “Mama, what is true love?”

I stopped laughing and stared at her. It seemed clear that my usual response—Let’s Google it!—wasn’t going to cut it. Amma’s thoughtful question required a thoughtful answer. I promised to get back to her and then pondered her question all day: Mama, What is True Love?

Sleeping Beauty got it halfway right. True Love is what wakes us and allows us to start living instead of just surviving. But I’m not convinced that life is a quest to find that singular soul mate who “completes us” (as Disney, with help from Jerry Maguire, may have us believing). I’m afraid this is a setup for bitter failure, because no one will ever complete us and nobody makes us happy. Our state of mind is more of an act of will than an uncontrollable result of circumstances and other people’s behavior. Happy people are not those who have found one perfect person to love: They are those who have found a way to truly love life—in the midst of all its imperfections.

At dinner that night I told my girls that as human beings we need to fall in love—with life first, which is the greatest relationship they will ever have. I explained that True Love is a decision some people make to trust, to always look for the good, and to consider every failure or distressing experience a necessary part of the journey. They don’t expect a prince to whisk them away because they don’t want to be whisked anywhere. And they don’t lie down and go to sleep. They stay awake and engage because they believe that life is ultimately on their side, even when it causes pain.

“Why does it have to hurt? Why does it have to be hard?” Tish asked me. “You know how math is your hardest class right now, but it’s also where you’re learning the most?” I explained. “It’s like that. Life is about learning, and we learn best when things get hard.”

This led to a discussion of the difficult things we often face. We talked about life’s ups and downs and excitement and dullness. We talked about how folks come and go without warning and often surprise the bloody hell out of us with their selfishness and their selflessness.

I asked my girls how they imagine they might respond to the beauty and brutality that life will ultimately put before them every single day. I firmly believe it is best to talk about these inevitable happenings before they happen—because I don’t want it to ever be a surprise. Nor should they view it as something personal. No matter who we are or how many rules we follow perfectly, there will be great pain and loss and joy and triumph. Life happens to all of us, whether we want it to or not.

My Amma must have been pondering the same thing because she wisely said, “I think we have to keep trying to love life even when it hurts our feelings.”

So we thought together about what we can do to keep loving life even when it hurts our feelings. The fix isn’t to seek out a new drug or drink or car or dress or diet or prince. Nor is it to curl up and go to sleep. No, we keep our feet on solid ground and we find the people, things, activities that make our souls sing, filling us up with beauty so we can make it through, even during our darkest moments.

And that beauty should be spread far and wide—in friendships and mountains and poetry and bike rides and work and art and always, always in service to others. You may find it in your children. Your dog. That majestic tree in the front yard. Deep breaths. Bluegrass music. Your partner. The ocean. Books. Yoga. The quilt your mama made with her own two hands. For me, these things are all my soul mates. It takes the whole world to fill me up, to “make me” happy. I’d never pin that job on just one person.

My girls and I agreed together that our best partner is the one who will most lovingly and supportively witness our journey—and the one whose journey we find most worthy of witnessing. And that, in the end, is the beginning of a truly beautiful relationship.

 

Glennon Doyle Melton is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Carry On, Warrior, and founder of the online community Momastery.com

 

 

Three Ways to Streamline Your Workout

Written on May 12, 2014 at 4:14 pm , by

By Maria Masters

You don’t have to trek to the gym to attend a boot camp or yoga lesson—all you need is an Internet connection. The newest way to exercise is by viewing a session via your TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone. With these three fun (and affordable) sites, there’s never a reason to cut class.

Every Mother Counts

Written on May 9, 2014 at 2:31 pm , by

By Reisa Feigenbaum

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the folks at handbag e-tailor Emilie M. have chosen to sponsor a charity that’s dear to their hearts and consistent with the brand’s mission of supporting women in all walks of life. As a mother herself, Emilie was undeniably drawn to a cause that strives to provide the love of mothers to millions of children.

“From the first day, motherhood is a journey of dedication and giving. Giving a hand, giving advice, giving encouragement, giving smiles, giving love. For all the things our mothers give us, shouldn’t we give back?” asks Solomon Hedaya, president of Emilie M.

Between April 15 and May 31, 5% of the brands’ proceeds will support Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit founded by model and mother of two Christy Turlington Burns, dedicated to making pregnancy safe for every mother by informing and engaging audiences to take action and support maternal health programs worldwide.

Nothing beats a gift that gives back. You’ll find a collection of timeless accessories for any mom on a budget (all under $110), including statement-making silhouettes in polished styles from printed canvas and neutral linen to colored croc and tri-tone color block.

Irene Ostrich Shoulder Bag in Rose, Emilie M., emiliemshop.com, $85

Leslie Compartment Double Shoulder, Emilie M., emiliemshop.com, $90

Kimberly Ostrich Tote, Emilie M., emiliemshop.com, $110

 

What Many Moms of Kids with Disabilities Won’t Tell You

Written on May 8, 2014 at 5:27 pm , by

After coming to terms with her son’s disability, one woman reveals what many moms of kids with special needs won’t tell you. 

Author’s Note: This is a story about my journey as a mom, but I can’t tell it without relaying the private details of my son’s condition. That’s why in addition to writing this piece anonymously, I’ve also changed his name as well as the names of other family members in the article. 

At first they sounded like a cross between a robin’s chirp and a hiccup. Short bursts of noisy air that made other kids wonder if my son—whom I’ll call Aidan—had asthma. “Can he breathe okay?” they’d ask, their foreheads creased with concern.

Aidan was 6 years old and at the end of first grade when the symptoms started. If someone had told me I would spend years monitoring those noises—silently counting how many times they happened per minute (often more than 10), I would have said they were crazy. Nor would I have believed I’d get emails from teachers informing me Aidan’s squeaks and compulsive throat clearing made it hard for other students to concentrate. Or that at their peak, those sounds would morph into chin, neck and arm jerks so dramatic that people on the street—and in stores and on playgrounds—would glance his way and whisper.

Shortly after the outbursts began, his pediatrician explained that the sounds are called tics, and they tend to go away over time. She also said if the tics are both vocal and motor, occur many times a day and last over a year, they can be classified as Tourette syndrome. TS is a lifelong condition whose signs are usually noticed in early childhood, and may improve in the late teens and the 20s. She guessed Aidan’s were a phase. I wasn’t so sure.

For the next three years, Aidan’s tics came and went, so we never got a diagnosis. Then they escalated to include stepping back and forth over sidewalk cracks and brushing his fingertips against textured surfaces like a wicker chair. (As I’d later learn, kids with TS often have other neurological challenges, including varying degrees of ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

 In the fall that he entered fifth grade, concerned emails from his teacher started almost immediately and his episodes began lasting longer. A specialist officially diagnosed him and I felt like my cherished expectations for him were instantly and cruelly revoked. He’s bright enough that I had assumed school would be his place to excel. Instead, he sometimes couldn’t even write his name because his shoulder was shaking so badly. I worried: Would he be bullied? Would he ever be able to play sports?

Aidan’s neurologist counseled a wait-and-see approach. Tics aren’t life threatening, after all, and Aidan doesn’t have coprolalia, the much-hyped but less common subset of TS where people blurt out swear words or other socially inappropriate comments. In some cases, medication can be the most effective treatment for TS, yet the neurologist wanted to be conservative and watch what happened to the tics over time.

My fears about Aidan’s daily life, however, made it impossible for me to take the long view. I coped by waking up in the middle of the night and weeping to my husband, James, that Aidan’s life was ruined. When he tried to reassure me by pointing out that our son had friends and was, except for the problems at school, happy, I just thought he was in denial. Once in a while, I’d confide my concerns about Aidan to friends, although I quickly noticed problems like mine weren’t typical book club banter. My friends were sympathetic, to be sure. But because my family’s issues were so different from normal family ups and downs, I felt alone in my troubles.

In my isolation I became jealous of families with “typical” children, silently getting angry when another mom complained about an incompetent hockey referee or a teacher who failed to place her child in the highest reading group. I’d always enjoyed hearing stories about my friends’ kids. Now they just felt like reminders that my own family was in crisis. Get a real problem, I thought.

I began trolling the Internet seeking help and meeting with any mom I knew whose child had any kind of neurological disorder. In addition to biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy, I signed Aidan up for acupuncture and had him work with a Chinese healer to learn Qigong, a mind-body practice geared toward improving energy flow through the body. Looking back on those days, I can see that I was searching for something—anything—to ease not Aidan’s anxiety, but mine.

At Aidan’s 11-year checkup—were we ever not at a doctor’s office?—the pediatrician was talking to him about his tics when I interrupted to show her how on top of it I was. She was checking his spine when I rattled off the treatments we were pursuing.  “Hmm,” she said, pulling out her stethoscope. “Maybe that’s too much.”

And it was. That’s when I realized that for months—maybe years—I’d been seeing Aidan only as a boy with Tourette syndrome, not as the kid who loved his cat, played tennis and wrote his own hip-hop lyrics. For the first time, I understood the message I was sending him with all those treatments: You are not okay with me.

When we were in the car, I asked Aidan which therapies he wanted to continue, suggesting that we keep cognitive behavioral therapy because I could tell it was helping him feel less anxious. He agreed and said he also wanted to continue with acupuncture. That decision not only eased our budget, it also freed up my time, which was another stressor on our family life. I realized that I’d wrung myself dry trying to fix Aidan. I had a job, a husband and two other children who also needed my attention. Aidan wasn’t perfect. And neither was his mother.

Realizing I didn’t need to be 100% responsible for Aidan’s life was a shocking relief, changing my relationship not only with my son but also with my friends. I started spending more time with moms of children who had challenges, and felt safe enough with them that I could laugh about my manic pursuits of therapies and 3 a.m. Internet forages for clues to Aidan’s future. Being honest with people I trust about my son and my fumbling attempts to help him let me cast aside the facade of the perfect mom. It allowed me to be cared about simply as a person.   

For three years, Aidan’s tics were controlled by medications that I would have been too scared to try if I’d listened to the Internet chatter instead of Aidan’s neurologist. Prescriptions are a big step for any family, so I’m glad we explored other options first. I am also amazed at how many moms toss around startlingly judgmental declarations about the evils of prescription drugs. In Aidan’s case, meds literally made it possible for him to start a new middle school as just another kid. Yes, he gained 15 pounds, complained of a dry mouth and had perpetually chapped lips, but experiencing less severe tics gave Aidan the confidence he needed to make new friends.

Today Aidan is in ninth grade and no longer takes medication to control his tics, though they sometimes bother him when he reads. (He’s learned to make adjustments.) Aidan’s on the debate team, plays hockey, gets good grades and, most important, has close friends, some of whom knew him during the worst of the tics. He has the high school life I’d always envisioned. The neurologist even dialed back Aidan’s diagnosis from Tourette syndrome to chronic tic disorder, although I’m convinced we were—and are—dealing with TS.

I can’t imagine I’ll ever like what this disorder means for Aidan, although I can tell that he’s a more empathetic person from having challenges. I’m also grateful for what my kid with special needs has taught me about myself. Looking back on my life before TS, I can see that I was pretty smug about my bright and sweet son, basking in the satisfaction of what I felt I’d created. These days I’m a humbler mom who doesn’t care as much as I used to about what my kids achieve. Instead, I simply want them to be happy.

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You Make It, We Post It!

Written on May 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm , by

If you ask us, any day is perfect for a freshly baked dessert. Even better when it involves chocolate—and there are jelly beans on top! Instagram user @rkenn421 re-created our Brownie Bird Nests by jazzing up a basic brownie mix. Find more of our delicious brownie recipes here.

 

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

You Make It, We Post It!

Written on April 28, 2014 at 11:38 am , by

Easter’s over but we still can’t get enough of these cuties. Instagram user @adreeneyc did a perfect job re-creating our April cover stars, Coconut Chicks (recipe here). The secret ingredient? Donut holes! Find more of our creative cover recipes here.

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

Mixed Bag of Savings

Written on April 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm , by

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best deals on the Web! We love a bargain as much as the next person, so check back every Friday for our favorite family-friendly discounts.

 

From swimwear markdowns to a National Pretzel Day giveaway, there’s something for everyone in this week’s roundup of free stuff and discounts.

 

• With the summer months fast approaching, don’t miss the chance to get 15% off swimwear and cover-ups at Target.

• What a way to welcome May! Carvel will be giving out free junior cones from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first of the month.

• It’s worth a try! Sign up for a free sample of Calvin Klein’s Beauty fragrance.

• Satisfy your office supply needs with a variety of Staples coupons. Act fast—they expire tomorrow.

• April 26 is National Pretzel Day! Stop by the nearest Pretzelmaker tomorrow for your free soft pretzel—salted or unsalted.

• Try a free 30-day trial of Daily Burn, complete with workout videos and a built-in support system.

• Who’s up for brunch? You have until Sunday to save 20% on Build Your Own French Toast at Denny’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.23.14: Wednesday Wisdom

Written on April 23, 2014 at 10:34 am , by

Celebrate Earth Month, the Green and Gorgeous Way!

Written on April 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm , by

By Reisa Feigenbaum 

To celebrate Earth Month and show appreciation for our precious (and delicate) planet year-round, we’ve put together a list of all-natural, eco-conscious products free from chemicals and chock-full of good-for-you ingredients from some of our favorite environmentally minded beauty brands. Happy Earth Day!

1. KIEHL’S Limited-Edition Label Art Series Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, $23 
Remove dirt, toxins and dry, dead skin cells with this complexion-smoothing masque. It’s made with Amazonian white clay, which is known for its skin-detoxifying properties. For the month of April, 100% of net profits (up to $50,000) will benefit Recycle Across America, which is dedicated to stimulating the environmental economy.

2. KISS MY FACE After Play Air Power Crème, $12
While many SPF products contain chemical additives harmful to marine life, Kiss My Face offers sun care that is free of parabens and artificial fragrances, and rich in sustainable plant-based ingredients. This protective spray is full of antioxidants like green tea, goji berry extract and vitamin C, which work as hydrating defenders against harmful UV rays.

3. ORIGINS Limited-Edition Earth Week Tote, free with $65 minimum purchase
Look and feel good with the ultimate eco-friendly tote, which features Origins’ “Do Good” philosophy in eight languages. From April 17 to 26, Origins is gifting the tote with any purchase of $65 or more. Plus, Origins will plant a tree that will help to bring forestation to areas in need.

 

4. ALBA BOTANICA Good & Healthy Range, $10 each (Anti-Oil Weightless Moisture, Oil-Free Radiance Cream, Tinted Perfector, SPF 15 Moisturizer and Spots Be Gone Corrector)
The name says it all: Alba Botanica’s new line of Good & Healthy facial moisturizers is just what the environment ordered. Powered by extracts from leafy greens like kale, spinach and Swiss chard, this certified organic range will rejuvenate your complexion, no matter what your skin type.

5. KORRES White Grape Body Butter, $29
This apothecary-inspired body cream has softening shea butter and hydrating quince extract plus sunflower, almond and avocado oils to nourish and restore the skin’s elasticity. Plus, the company’s plant operates entirely on renewable energy, and 99% of its packaging is recyclable.

 

6. AVEDA Light The Way Candle, $12
According to Aveda, every scent matters. The company is donating 100% of the proceeds from the sweet and spicy candle to Global Greengrants Fund, a nonprofit that channels high-impact grants to solve environmental problems.