September 17, 2012

Celadon Road 20 SPF Sunscreen: great products, accessibility an issue

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We've reviewed Celadon Road before, and I do truly like their products. This time, we were sent Sunscreen SPF20 by a public relations company, rather than a Celadon Road consultant.

Our Original Sunscreen is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, ecosystem approved, cruelty-free and comes in 100% recyclable packaging. Did we mention the remaining ingredients are gluten-free, corn-free, vegan edible-grade 86% certified organic? Just remember: it goes on your skin, not on your salad.

I continue to be frustrated by Celadon Road's accessibility. I do really like their products, but if I would not have had a prior consultants info, I could not have found the sunscreen on their website. Even so, the product photo was blurry.  Even my crappy old iphone photo is better.

Celadon Road's products are made of simple ingredients. To order them online, you either need to know a consultant already or fill out a form to have a consultant contact you. I don't have time for that. The multi-level marketing may be good for people to start their own businesses as independent consultants, but it also interferes with accessibility of these great products.

I love the quote from Sitting Bull on the sunscreen package.

This product is made in the USA.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 5, 2012

More from Celadon Road...Multi-level marketing eco-friendly products

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After criticizing the tiny samples we were originally sent from a Celadon Road consultant, we were sent a box of full size products. If you are not familiar with Celadon Road, it is a company that sells eco-friendly products through hosted parties and independent consultants.  

We've actually been contacted by a few Celadon Road consultants lately. The following samples were sent to us by Lowenna Prestel:
Lemon Mint Glass Cleaner:
More than Just a Natural Way to Eliminate Streaks. Shouldn't your glass cleaner do more than promise to eliminate streaks? Celadon Road's™ Lemon Mint Glass Cleaner does! Not just the natural way to leave windows sparkling and clean, it's also an all purpose cleaner that boasts a fresh scent which naturally repels flies. Plus, safe for everyone to use...Next time, you can accept your little one's enthusiastic offer to help - worry free!

Odor Eliminator:
Naturally Conquer Unpleasant Aromas. Do dingy diapers, fishy cuisine or the kitty's potty leave your home feeling, well... not so fresh? Celadon Road's™ Odor Eliminator destroys odor naturally, freshens instantly and eliminates those unwanted smells on contact. Non-toxic, biodegradable and safe to use around children and pets, it's a safe and effective weapon to combat food, pet, smoke and other unpleasant aromas

Stain Remover:
Life happens, and in your home, stains happen! But, dangerous chemicals and harmful fumes aren't the only option. With Celadon Road's™ all-natural Stain Remover, made with Certified Organic ingredients, safely remove food, beverage, blood, pet, mold and mildew stains from nearly any hard surface, carpet or hard-to-reach spot. Safe to use around children and pets.

Jasmine Laundry Detergent:
Conquer Laundry Mountain Naturally. With the essence of pure essential oils, it takes only 1-2 tablespoons of Celadon Road's™ low-sudsing Jasmine Laundry Detergent to work its all-natural magic on any dreaded laundry mountain! Use in regular or high efficiency washers. Dissolve in water for washing floors and walls. An all-natural family formula, this detergent was originally created to ease the suffering of a child with eczema aggravated by commercial laundry products.

Butter Bar Soap:
Soothing Shea Butter Butter Bar Soap. With our natural shea butter formula, this is one bar of soap that will soothe even the most sensitive skin gently. Leaving your body moisturized and beautifully radiant, our formula won't irritate your skin and creates a healthy and natural cleansing experience.

All of these products are priced affordably. I do like the smell of the glass cleaner, and I did not worry when my dog started licking the door after I had cleaned it. The ingredient lists are simple and natural, which is something I truly appreciate.

I wish the products were more easily accessible though. After my parents' experience with Amway, I can't help but feel suspicious of multi-level marketing companies. I hope the Celadon Road consultants, which I imagine include a lot of stay-at-home moms, are successful! These are nice, natural products!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 4, 2012

Tattoo ink linked to skin infections and cancer

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Body art is in. Although I don't have any tattoos, I have contemplated a few.

According to the Natural Health Blog, there are ingredients in tattoo ink that are causing an increase in serious skin infections:

An outbreak of a nasty, hard-to-treat skin disease attributed to tattoo ink ingredients prompted both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warnings about the associated health risks of tattoos.1 According to a CDC report released earlier this week, these skin infections are caused by a type of bacteria known as "nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM)." The report says that the infections typically "require a minimum of 4 months of treatment with a combination of two or more antibiotics."

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The more worrisome concern is that NTM infection can lead to other conditions, including lung disease, co-infection with staph and eye problems, and infections of other organs.


Furthermore, many inks contain heavy metals:
First of all, the National Center for Toxicological Research has found carcinogenic substances among tattoo ink ingredients.2 The pigments often contain heavy metals like lead, titanium, and cadmium, as well as phthalates and hydrocarbons that are carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.3 According to an FDA fact sheet, some inks contain dyes "suitable for printers' ink or automobile paint." The FDA currently is conducting investigations to determine the long-term effects when the ink breaks down in the body or gets exposed to light, but as of now, nobody really knows the long-term effects.

Experts do warn, though, that black ink in particular may be trouble from the carcinogenic point-of- view. These inks contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which the EPA says are "among the most potent and well-documented skin carcinogens." Anecdotal evidence points to skin melanomas occurring with some frequency at tattoo sites, but again, study evidence is lacking.


Perhaps one should think twice before getting more ink?

Image: License

Attribution Some rights reserved by JD | Photography
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 31, 2012

Dr. Bronner's Organic Pure Castille Soap: Still the Best!

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Dr. Bronner's was one of the first natural brands I discovered before "natural" was trendy and a marketing term. The tiny print quotes were a constant source of inspiration, and the multi-use formula is all you need.

Vita Cost, which beats Amazon's price by a few dollars, sent us Dr. Bronner's Organic Pure Castile Liquid Soap Baby Mild Unscented:

  • Enjoy 1 soap for 18 different uses!
  • Our unscented organic baby castile soap contains no fragrance.
  • It is also great for people who have allergies or sensitive skin.
Guaranteed no synthetic tea tree oils and 100% vegetarian. Super mild castile has outstanding water softening and cleansing powers. Preferable to harsh soap and defattening synthetics. It does no cut dirt, but dissolves it. It is the mildest pleasant soap you ever used. Enjoy body rub to stimulate body mind-soul-spirit and teach the essence moral ABC uniting all free in the shepherd. 100% Biodegradable! Not animal tested. Our unscented organic baby castile soap contains no fragrance. It is also great for people who have allergies or sensitive skin.
  • Made with organic coconut, olive, hemp & jojoba oils
  • All oils and essential oils are certified organic to the National Organic Standards Program
  • Packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles
  • Contains no synthetic surfactants, no petrochemicals, and no floral water fluff
Free Of Synthetic surfactants, petrochemicals, floral water fluff, detergents, animal ingredients, animal testing, artificial ingredients.
This is the only soap I will use backpacking!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 27, 2012

Affordable Dr. Woods Shea Vision Black Soap Prevents Wrinkles and Clears Up Blemishes

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I have never heard of Dr. Woods, so I was excited to try the Shea Vision Pure Black Soap with Organic Shea Butter provided by Vitacost. Black soap? Why not?

Dr.Woods Black Soap also known as Anago Soap or Alata Soap, originates from West Africa. It has been used for centuries in Africa. It's methods and secrets have been passed down from generation to generation to keep the soap close to mother nature and avoid exploitation & limitations. Many have tried to create their version of black soap with all kinds of ingredients. 
 For centuries, Africans, have used Black Soap to help relieve acne, oily skin, clear blemishes and various other skin issues. Black soap has also been used to achieve beautiful skin. Africans have also used this natural soap for bathing and washing their hair. Today people from all walks of life are benefiting from this amazing soap. Great for removing make-up Dr. Woods Black Soap will leave your skin soft, clear and smelling delicious. This soap works against premature facial lines.
 Black soap comes from plantain skin. It is natural source of vitamin A & E and iron. (Plantain is a popular food in Africa, South America & other parts of the world. It can be found in ethnic or international grocery stores such as Latino, Caribbean or African. It looks like banana but much bigger. It does not taste like a banana & has to be cooked before eating. The skin of the plantain is gingerly dried to be precise texture under the hot African sun. It is then roasted in a clay oven. The heat must be constant in order to achieve a particular color, texture & smell. 
 The next process is very delicate because if it is not done properly, with the right ingredients, there will be no soap. The roasted plantain skin is mixed with palm oil, palm kernel oil to form the soap. The roasting of the plantains determines the brownish-black color of the soap. The longer plantains are roasted, the darker the soap. Dr. Woods may be used by anyone who wishes to improve the quality of their skin.
It can also be used for cleaning!
 

This all natural soap is very affordable ($7.80 for 32 ounces!), and it does not contain sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 4, 2012

"No Nasty Chemicals" Baby Products from New Zealand's Eco Store

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They say never judge a book by its cover, but some product packaging just makes you feel good and imparts instant trust. Eco Store baby products not only have aesthetic labeling, these are quality, natural products you can trust on your little ones. They contain "no nasty chemicals".

We were sent the following products to try:


  • SLEEPYTIME BATH: "Our baby sleepy time bath is a plant-based infusion with Lavender and Geranium oils to soothe and relax your baby."

  • BABY MOISTURISER: "Our plant-based baby moisturiser contains nourishing cocoa and shea nut butters in an olive, jojoba and coconut oil base to gently nourish and protect your baby's delicate skin. Use daily to moisturise, soften and condition the skin, protecting it from dryness and potential irritation."

  • BABY SOAP: "Our baby soap is enriched with creamy goat's milk, lavender essential oil, wheatgerm and is rich in vitamin E."

  • BABY NAPPY BALM: "Our nappy balm is rich in antioxidants, is non greasy and non staining and helps create a protective barrier uniquely aligned to the skin's natural chemistry. Use for nappy rash, cradle cap and other sensitive skin conditions."

We were also sent baby massage oil, but I could not find it on their website, so it may no longer be available.

All of these plant-based baby care items are GE-free, made in New Zealand, and not tested on animals. The company receives very low hazard scores from the Environmental Working Group of zero to one!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 9, 2012

Organic SPF 20 Everyday Sheer Coverage for Your Face

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One of my favorite organic skin care lines is Marie Veronique Organics! I trust the quality and ingredients to be safe and effective. I've tried several of MVO's products before, all with glowing reviews! Now, I get to try the Everyday Sheer Coverage, SPF 20 Medium Tint:

Product Features
  • Natural makeup with sunscreen SPF provides essential every day UVA/UVB protection and defends against premature aging with a unique combination of natural humectants, emollients and anti-oxidants.
  • Evens skin tones and absorbs into the skin leaving a lovely matte finish.
  • Provides anti-aging support with beta glucans, glucosamine, and powerful anti-oxidants such as coffee fruit extract, while preventing moisture loss from exposure to the elements with sea buckthorn and broccoli seed oils.
  • Made with non-micronized zinc oxide, a physical sun block that reflects UV rays without releasing wrinkle and cancer-causing free radicals.
  • Marie Veronique Organics natural skincare has been rated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as one of the safest skincare lines on the market, including Top Sunscreens.
The consistency of this product is quite lovely, and it works into your skin beautifully. I love the tint, as it hides the imperfections in my skin without looking or feeling like I am wearing makeup. Furthermore, the SPF protection is just what the doctor ordered!

This product has earned a very low hazard score of two by the Environmental Working Group.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 3, 2012

"Chemical Free" SPF 30 Pure Protection by Skinfo Contains Parabens

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I just went to my yearly check up and was reminded of the importance of sun protection. It was rather apropos I was sent Skinfo's SPF 30 Pure Protection:

Pure Protection SPF 30 has been specially formulated with Micronized Zinc Oxide to provide the broad spectrum protection of ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB) in combination with a rich blend of free radical quenching antioxidants consisting of liposomal vitamins A, C, E, green tea extract and Co-Q10. This is especially good for sensitive skin types as it is "chemical-free".

Unfortunately, this product contains parabens: Methylparaben and Propylparaben. The Good Human explains why you should avoid parabens:
What Are Parabens?

Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives, and that's why they are found in so many products. They are used to fight bacteria and fungus, are widely available, and cost very little to manufacture and use. Nearly all of the parabens used as preservatives are man-made and not naturally occurring.

Why Are Parabens Bad?

Now, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I know that there have been studies on both sides of the argument about what parabens are and whether parabens are bad or parabens are safe. But because there have been studies that say that it is potentially dangerous and that have linked parabens to cancer, I have chosen to take the precautionary route and not use products containing them when I can help it. Whether or not they are as bad as some say they are, I would always rather err on the side of safety when it comes to my body and health.

Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. Researchers have found parabens in breast tumors and believe there is a relationship between parabens and tumors. And in the July 2002 issue of the Archives of Toxicology, Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health reported that exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben "adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system." If a causal link between a chemical and cancer is not enough to avoid a product that can easily be avoided, I don't know what is. There are a lot of other reports available all over the internet, but most of them are all related to reproductive health in some way or another.

It always disappoints me when products are marketed as "chemical-free" when they are not.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 30, 2012

Celadon Road Organic and Natural Products: Discover Your Shade of Green, but Would You Pay to be a Hostess?

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I am confused by Celadon Road. From the moment I opened the package of samples and couldn't read the font of the company's name and white powder got all over my hands (I couldn't help but think anthrax), I could tell this was not going to be an easy product review.   

I went to the website and was even more confused. It wanted me to log in or sign up.  Did I want to spend $150 to become an independent consultant?  I continued to be irked. 

 The samples we were sent were extremely small and leaking all over the packaging. Laundry detergent in a ziplock bag, hand soap enough for one washing...you can see how my annoyance grew.

We were sent the following products to barely try. It was a chore trying to find them on the website, where they were poorly photographed.
Lavender Hand Soap

Get Your Foam On. Excitingly rich and foamy, this is not just any hand wash! Celadon Road's™ Lavender Hand Soap starts with Certified Organic ingredients and infuses them with oxygen to create a foaming wash that boasts a wonderful feel and luxurious lather. Wrapped in a handy refillable dispenser, you'll never go back to the same old, same old again!

Lavender Shower Gel
Liquid Lavender. A mixture of essential oils, pure vegetable oil soap, natural extracts and lavender, our Certified Organic recipe will introduce relaxation into your routine and glowing skin into your life.

Cedarwood Laundry Detergent
Conquer Laundry Mountain Naturally. With the essence of pure essential oils, it takes only 1-2 tablespoons of Celadon Road's™ low-sudsing Cedarwood Laundry Detergent to work its all-natural magic on any dreaded laundry mountain! Use in regular or high efficiency washers. Dissolve in water for washing floors and walls. An all-natural family formula, this detergent was originally created to ease the suffering of a child with eczema aggravated by commercial laundry products.

All Room Cleanser
Multi-Tasking, Mess-Fighting Super-Cleaner. Created with the idea of keeping children and the environment safe, Celadon Road's™ All Room Cleanser naturally and effectively cleans some of your toughest household jobs without the worry of dangerous chemicals. From removing soap scum in your bathroom to the stubborn grease on your stove top, this multi-tasking, mess-fighting super-cleaner will bring comfort to your mind and a fresh lime scent to your home

The products online did not disclose ingredients, and of course my samples were not in original packaging for  consultation. I was sent an ingredient supply list, but many of the products listed "a proprietary blend" without full disclosure. I can't help but think of fracking when I read proprietary blend.

I don't like products that are not accessible to the general product without going through an independent consultant. It reminds me of Amway.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 27, 2012

Anti-Aging Naturally: Marie Veronique Organics Rose + Neroli Body Oil

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Marie Veronique Organics is a brand I have come to love and trust for being both completely natural and lovely.

Science and nature have a good thing going. That's why we pay attention to both so diligently. We use scientific studies and direct research to better understand the aging process. Then, we turn to nature to find ingredients to minimize or counter those effects.

No toxins. Not ever. At MVO what we put in our products is as important as what we don't. You won't find toxins, petroleum-based products, nanoparticles, or anything else that's potentially harmful. We don't need those ingredients to make your skin look and feel younger.

Sustaining the planet. It's probably no surprise that our entire company is dedicated to sustainability. Wherever possible we use natural, organic and fair trade ingredients, packaged in 100% recyclable materials. And we source them as close to our Berkeley headquarters as possible to keep our footprint super small.

To make the planet a better place, we donate 10% of our profits to organizations dedicated to creating better opportunities for women and children in Third World countries


We were sent MVO Anti-Aging Body Oil, Rose + Neroli to try. This lovely blend is third step in the "replenish" regime.
Most people get a bit nervous when they hear the words oil and skin in the same sentence. But there's no reason to get nervous. In fact, waxes, not oils, are the major cause of skin congestion. Applying oils to the skin, without the interference of a wax barricade, gives your skin the essential fatty acids it needs. These fatty acids, called lipids, form an environmental protection barrier that prevents the elements from assaulting our skin, keeping all skin types healthy. Research indicates that a compromised lipid barrier may be at the root of skin problems such as eczema, acne and wrinkles. MVO oils maintain the integrity of the lipid barrier, preventing moisture loss and dehydration. At the same time they inhibit peroxidative and oxidative damage. The reason you should care about that is, in a word, wrinkles. Upon contact with light, lipids will undergo what is known as peroxidation. These peroxidized lipids lose their barrier ability and gaps occur in the lipid matrix, resulting in a loss of skin resilience and the formation of wrinkles.
Product Features

  • Combats aging with essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants from watermelon seed oil, vegetable squalene and apricot kernel oil.

  • Calms and balances with an elegant floral aroma from luxurious rose and neroli essential oils

  • Over 2 dozen roses are used to make one drop of rose absolute and there are 20 drops in every 4 oz bottle.

  • Protects and repairs the lipid barrier with essential fatty acids from avocado and jojoba oils.

  • Seals in moisture and leaves the skin supple, smooth and more refined.


As a person who has battled complexion problems, I am one that feared oils. Why would I want to put these on my already oily skin? The truth is that since I have started using organic tamanu oil, my skin has never looked better and has lost its oily qualities.

I don't really believe in fighting aging. I don't think we can. For me, it is more about keeping our skin in good health. MVO Anti-Aging Body Oil, Rose + Neroli is definitely a product that will become part of my daily beauty regime.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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