March 22, 2012

Made in France: EcoCert and Organic Melvita Extraordinary Water

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One of the best parts of writing this blog is discovering truly natural, organic beauty products. I can't believe I have never heard of Melvita. They've been making organic beauty products since 1983.

We were sent Melvita's new ORANGE BLOSSOM EXTRAORDINARY WATER:

THINK: An extraordinary new level of restorative, beauty boosting moisturizers.

WHAT THEY ARE: Moisturizing floral waters infused with unique formulas and delicate scents. Distinguished by its philosophy of paying homage to the natural world, beauty and skincare brand Melvita's expert formulations harness the power of active ingredients in their purest forms. Always the innovators, the experts at Melvita, France's number one organic certified beauty brand, have expanded on the success of their classic floral waters. Introducing the Extraordinary Waters, a range of multi-tasking moisturizers based on a sophisticated new formula that contains hyaluronic acid and delivers advanced skincare benefits and a lingering, slightly perfumed aroma. The unique gel texture of these waters features a blend of soy-based hyaluronic acid and organic glycerine that delivers superlative moisturizing results and leaves skin delicately scented. These floral-enhanced Extraordinary Waters, which provide an extra moisturizing boost when applied prior to your daily face cream or by themselves throughout the day, soften and soothe skin, while offering tailored treatments that firm, intensely hydrate and brighten.

Melvita products are EcoCert. I trust EcoCert. This European body began in 1991.
Since the outset, Ecocert has been an independent company that has remained faithful to its convictions.

Consistent with its commitment to organic farming, Ecocert has opted to put its technical expertise to use in supporting the environment, developing its own specifications for the inspection and certification of products, systems and services. By defining strict requirements that meet consumer expectations, Ecocert Group encourages economic stakeholders to adopt responsible practices.


I am so pleased to have discovered Melvita!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2012

All Natura, Sulfate Free Monkey Balm with Organic Sea Buckthorn Oils

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It must be sea buckthorn oil week at Really Natural! On Monday, we reviewed Sibu beauty products made with sea buckthorn. Today, we review a product designed for children with this amazing oil.

Balmers Monkey Balm is designed for "baby soft skin for your monkeys".

Monkey Balm is a 100% homemade, all-natural remedy for eczema and extremely dry skin and is formulated specifically for children and infants. This formula includes all-natural ingredients and features the amazing healing power of the sea buckthorn berry. Sea Buckthorn (seed and fruit) oil is time-tested and clinically proven to soothe irritation and heal dry, cracked, even abrasive skin resulting from eczema, rosacea, dry climates, seasonal changes, sunburn, rashes, and even minor burns and wounds. Sea buckthorn has been used for centuries in Asia and Europe to heal skin problems and is considered a Holy Fruit by ancient and modern Tibetans. Its been recommended by doctors (even Dr Oz) as the best natural cure for acne. Monkey Balm incorporates these oils from the sea buckthorn berry with other soothing botanicals like cocoa butter, and Vitamin E to create a truly remarkable product in an easy-to-use use 2.0 oz lotion-bar, kind of like a super-sized lip balm for your whole body.

I do like the bar applicator, as my son has sensory issues and does not like lotions. He does not mind stick applicators for sunscreen, and this is very similar. I also trust this product as 100% natural. It's great for grown-ups too!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 19, 2012

100% Natural Sea Buckthorn Beauty Products by Sibu

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Have you ever heard of sea buckhorn? This Himalayan berry is known as the "beauty berry" and contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids, including Omega-7. Sibu Beauty features sea buckthorn in their 100% natural beauty products.

We were sent the following Sibu products to try:
Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil

Sea buckthorn seed oil has long been used as a topical treatment to aid in the relief of skin conditions such as eczema, acne, rosacea, burns, and wounds and as a traditional beauty treatment to preserve youthful skin tone and texture. it is a secret remedy to fight wrinkles and age spots so you may (or may not) want to share it with your friends.

Sibu Cleanse & Detox Sea Bar Facial Soap
Awaken your skin in the morning or wash away a day of stress and pollutants with pure, simple, clean and powerful sibu beauty sea buckthorn facial soap. lathers thick and rinses with ease to cleanse, detox and moisturize, and repair the skin while creating a protective barrier against uv rays and cell damaging free radicals.

These products are amazingly affordable for containing such a trendy and effective ingredient as sea buckthorn. The sea buckthorn in these products is fair trade sourced from Tibet.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 17, 2012

Wembe Cleansing and Face Soap: Cruelty-Free and Vegan

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Made in Paraguay, Wembe soaps are high quality capturing "Amazonian soul". We have tried Wembe products before and loved them. This time we were sent the following products to try:
CLEAN FACE MAKE UP REMOVER

Be gentle to your face. Remove dirt, pollution and oils with this cleanser. Formulated for dry and sensitive skin, it can also be used as a moisturizing facial mask. Our Clean Face contains Olive oil and cocoa butter to remove makeup and deeply clean your pores in the most natural way. Apply the cleanser on your damp skin in light circular motion, then wash it off with fresh water. Your skin is fresh and radiant ! Enjoy this new sensation...

MANGO CLEANSING SOAP BLEND
This blend is perfect for dry and unbalanced skin.
One of the most exotic fruits of the tropical forest, Mangoes conquer imagination with their sweet perfume. Highly moisturizing, it's rich in vitamins A, C and E to deeply nurture the skin and promote good health. This blend is slightly defoliant due to the fibers in the soap. It energizes while unclogging pores. Good for Face Hand & Body.

ASSAI BERRY DETOX SOAP
Assai or Acai is the fruit of a palm that grows in the Amazon rainforest. It is widely known for its antioxidant properties, so we designed this blend for mature and damaged skins. We combined here Assai with Mango, another powerful antioxidant fruit, to make them work in synergy. Found also in this blend is Jojoba Oil which helps maintain the skin's elasticity and works in perfect harmony with the other two to rejuvenate the body and soul.

The mango is my favorite!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 13, 2012

100% Organic, Truly Natural, Sport Salve Prevents Chaffing and Blisters

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It is such a breath of fresh air to read an ingredient list you understand! 100% organic and natural, and a zero hazard score from the Environmental Working Group...WOOT!

Naturity FrictionFree Sports Balm is truly natural!

"We do not know of any other performance balm on the market for athletes that is comprised of 100% certified organic ingredients, 100% natural, and rated zero toxicity," said Anysia Kiel, Naturity's managing member. FrictionFreeâ„¢creates a chemical-free defensive skin barrier that helps eliminate chafe and blisters. It's also non-staining, waterproof, wetsuit, and chamois-safe. "This athlete-tested balm is a necessity for runners, triathletes, and cyclists. We're sure it will meet the needs of competitive athletes," said Kiel.

The Naturity website was not functional when I wrote this review, so I hope the company is still in business. I sure hope they are, as really natural companies are rare in this day of "natural" and "organic" marketing.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 12, 2012

How to Find if a Product's Natural Claims are True: No "Harsh" Chemicals?

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I have become a little more vigilant after reading last week's report on products, including green ones, with hidden toxic chemicals in their ingredients. I try to read labels diligently when writing product reviews, but frankly, it is hard to stay on top of all claims of natural and chemical-free.

Le Baby Detangler makes such claims that I find suspicious.

  • Le Baby Detangler gently detangles hair spray on wet or dry
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No harsh chemicals
  • No parabens
  • No sulfates
  • Not tested on animals
  • Fragrance-free
  • Natural scented botanicals
  • Does not irritate skin with it's easy on the hair ingredients
Thankfully, they do disclose ingredients:
Ingredients: water (aqua), citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) flower essential water, polyquaternium-7, glycerin, polysorbate 20, aloe, barbadensis leaf, polyquaternium-10, 1,2-hexanediol, sodium benzoate, tocopheryl acetate, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, peg-8 dimethicone, disodium edta, potassium sorbate, caprylyl glycol
Whenever I can't read an ingredient that includes numbers and dashes, etc., I suspect chemical compounds.
 

Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Groups cosmetic database, is my go to resource for looking up products. If the products, such as the LeBaby one, has not been reviewed, I look at some of the ingredients.

For example, I don't know what peg-8 dimethicone is, and it doesn't sound good. EWG gave it a hazard score between three and six.

About PEG-8 DIMETHICONE: PEG-8 Dimethicone is a polyethylene glycol derivative of Dimethicone (q.v.) containing anaverage of 8 moles of ethylene oxide.
USE RESTRICTIONS
type of concern
Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Not safe for use on injured or damaged skin

Those hazard scores are not terrible, but it is still a chemical.

Nowhere on the LeBaby label does it warn not to use on "injured or damaged skin". In fact, it says, "for babies, kids and everyone with sensitive skin".

We have previously reviewed LeBaby's Chemical-Free, Fragrance-Free Hair Gel for Babies and Kids raising similar ingredient concerns and claims of chemical-free.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 17, 2012

Healthy Skin and Hair: John Masters Organic 100% Argan Oil

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After discovering the great benefits of using Tamanu oil, I decided to try another beauty "miracle oil".

I currently use John Masters Organics 100% Argan Oil on my damp, towel dried hair after showing. The oil gives my hair shine and softness. I also use it on my scalp when seborrhiec dermatitis flares up.

John Masters 100% Argan Oil is beneficial for both hair and skin - this oil helps to retain moisture, improve elasticity and soften hair and skin, while also adding instant sparkle and shine. It's excellent for taming frizzy hair and mending split ends, and when applied to skin it helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes.

Argan oil comes from the Argan tree that is native to Morocco. According to Wikipedia, "All argan sold today is produced by a women's cooperative that shares the profits among the local women of the Berber tribe."

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 15, 2012

Uniquely Shaped Lip Balm by Elle Naturals

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One thing that has never changed, as far as I know, is the shape of lip balm. Manufactured in Austin, Texas, Elle Naturals has changed all that! Not only is the shape unique, so are some of the flavors:

Our lip balms are crafted from some of nature's purest ingredients known for their moisturizing and healing properties. We currently manufacture 9 different varieties;

  • Acai Butter with Raspberry
  • Coffee Butter-Vanilla Latte
  • Coffee Butter-French Vanilla
  • Green Tea Butter-Lemon
  • Green Tea Butter-Peppermint
  • Mango Butter-Coconut
  • Mango Butter-Lime
  • Shea Butter-Grapefruit
  • Shea Butter-Natural
They do use palm oil, which does concern me as the Rainforest Action Network states it is "an ingredient that causes the destruction of irreplaceable rainforests and threatens the survival of humankind's closest relative, orangutans."

 Many of these flavors are so yummy, they make me want to lick my lips, which we all know leads to more dry lips. I prefer lip balms that don't smell like food.

The texture and consistency of these lip balms is very nice, as it does stay in place and last to hydrate dry winter lips.

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

February 6, 2012

Amazonian Soul: Wembe Loofah Exfoliating Experience and Cleansing Blend Soaps

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Wembe soaps have Amazonian soul! Cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free, we love how Wembe brings to our skin the power of the rainforest. Their unique blends not only cleanse, but the exfoliating blends actually use loofah in the bar!

We were sent the following four bars to try:

LOOFAH ACAI MASSAGE SOAP BLEND

Acai is widely known for its antioxidant power. Give your skin the gift of youth. This blend made with Acai oil and extract contains the heart of a vegetable sponge to help improving blood circulation in the most natutal way.

My Loofah Experience: The Loofah is a powerful natural tool for health. Coming from a plant that actually looks like a zucchini, this vegan sponge is an easy beauty tip to use in order to get a radiant skin day after day. The Loofah exfoliating blend infuses your skin and your senses, it helps improving blood circulation, removing dead skin cells and reducing the appearance of cellulite. It will even help you shaving less frequently.

CHOCOLATE CLEANSING BLEND
From the heart of the forest, Chocolate invokes the wildest side of your soul. Dark and exotic, the jungle's aphrodisiac promotes healthy skin and deep stimulation of the senses. The invigorating elements from the oils and butters in this bar will awaken cravings throughout your body. Good for Face Hand & Body.

ASSAI BERRY DETOX SOAP
Assai or Acai is the fruit of a palm that grows in the Amazon rainforest. It is widely known for its antioxidant properties, so we designed this blend for mature and damaged skins. We combined here Assai with Mango, another powerful antioxidant fruit, to make them work in synergy. Found also in this blend is Jojoba Oil which helps maintain the skin's elasticity and works in perfect harmony with the other two to rejuvenate the body and soul.

AVOCADO CLEANSING BLEND
One of the most complete fruits in terms of nutrition, avocados also make great soap. The riches of it's pulp and oils seep onto the skin combining with cashew leaves to create a blend that emolliates, comforts and nurtures. The moisturizing elements deliver a smooth and baby-like skin.Thanks to it's high fiber and vitamin contents, Avocado is highly antioxidant and helps circulatory problems. This comforting blend is softly emollient to soothe your soul. Good for Face Hand & Body.

All of the cleansing bars are lovely, but I truly love the Assai Loofah bar! It removes dead skin, smells wonderful, and the wild harvest of Assai supports ethnic tribes in the Amazon.

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

February 2, 2012

The Naturopathica 30 Day Skin Transformation Challenge

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Ten days ago, I started the Naturopathica 30 Day Skin Transformation Challenge with some trepidation.  My sometimes problem skin had finally been put under control with tamanu oil.  After ten days on this challenge, I have had one blemish, but it healed quickly.  My skin has not been oily at all.  

I am following the Naturopathica  REGIMEN KIT: NORMAL TO OILY

ALOE CLEANSING GEL: A foaming sulfate-free cleanser with a refreshing blend of Aloe Vera and Lavender gently clarifies the skin while maintaining natural moisture

OAT FACIAL POLISH: Soothing Oats and Jojoba Beads gently sweep away dry, flaky skin, removing impurities and leaving the face soft and radiant

PLANT STEM CELL SERUM: An ECOCERT certified organic concentrated serum, designed to significantly slow down the aging of cells due to inflammation caused by UVA photodamage and oxidative stress

ROSEMARY OIL-REDUCING MOISTURIZER: An astringent blend of Rosemary and Willow help to absorb excess sebum while nourishing devitalized skin with moisture

The Naturopathica Oat Facial Polish is my favorite cleanser now!  It is very gentle, but it contains a little exfoliant to keep your skin in great daily shape without leaving you feeling raw.  All of the products in this regimen smell wonderful!

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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