Love paraben-free skin care — but find most of the beauty products I write about way too expensive? Try SEED, a new eco-luxe body care line made in the U.S. that you can afford.

SEED puts grape seeds and other yummy natural ingredients in while keeping parabens, phthalates and chemicals out — and keeping prices low. The result: Good-for-you personal care products that have the feel of higher-priced boutique lines but don’t break the bank.

I especially loved SEED’s moisturizing body soap ($4.49 per 4.2-ounce bar) — which comes embedded with refined pomegranate, apricot, and strawberry seeds to gently exfoliate your skin. Post-shower, SEED’s nourishing body lotion ($8.99 per 8-ounce bottle) — full of plant extracts and shea butter — moisturized and absorbed quickly.

I liked the fresh but not pungent, wake-me-up scent of the “invigorating citrus blend” lotion, but those who prefer unscented products will especially like SEED’s line, since each item’s available in an unscented version. In fact, for the soap and shampoo bar, I recommend going with the unscented version instead of the scented “invigorating citrus thyme” option — partly because the citrus thyme scent is very faint and won’t satisfy those who really want an invigorating scent, and partly because the ingredients that make up that scent are grouped together as “natural fragrance” on the ingredient list, which makes it impossible to figure out what ingredients make up the scent.

Aside from the “natural fragrance” in the scented bars, all other ingredients in SEED’s products rank “low hazard” on Skin Deep, Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic safety database — except for the rice bran oil in SEED’s conditioning hair shampoo bar ($4.49 per 3.5-ounce bar), which scores a “moderate risk” 4. The shampoo bar, in fact, was the one SEED product I disliked. While the easy-to-use bar lathered up wonderfully, it also left a dull residue in my hair, making it difficult to manage.

That said, the shampoo bar’s intended for short hair — so my hair wasn’t the best test subject for this SEED product. Both the shampoo bar and body soap come packaged in a simple, recyclable cardboard box for easy recycling.

Want to try SEED for free? The company’s running a few Earth Month contests that let you win products by tweeting, Facebooking, or sharing email info with SEED. You can also buy SEED at select Whole Foods stores or online at Amazon and

Save green with SEED's green soap and lotion
A new line of natural body care products feels expensively eco-luxe but won't break the bank.