June 10, 2011

Really Natural Beauty: Affordable Alba Sea Lettuce Cleansing Milk

I enjoy a cleansing milk over a facial scrub. The gentle cleaning works just as well without leaving my face feeling stretched out and dry. I recently purchased Sea Lettuce Cleansing Milk when I found myself needing to spend an unplanned night away.

Product description: This unique soap-free cleanser with sea lettuce, aloe vera, and jojoba, gently lifts away make-up and impurities without stripping delicate skin, for a clean, vibrant complexion. Features and benefits: This gentle cleanser delivers soothing aloe and jojoba to stressed skin, gently lifting away make-up and impurities while maintaining your skin's delicate pH and infusing it with healing moisture. Alba's innovative blend of sea enzymes have a powerful regenerative effect, detoxifying and soothing your skin. Soap-free, No synthetic colors, pH balanced,100% Vegetarian ingredients and no animal testing

At under $10, this is a very affordable cleansing milk, although it did receive a moderate score of hazard from the Environmental Working Group, mostly because of concerns regarding the fragrance and vitamin A used.  I wish Skin Deep was available as an app to help with shopping on the go.  

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 6, 2011

Has Avalon Organics Cleaned up Their Act? Cocamidopropyl Betaine is Still an Ingredient

We were recently sent a bottle of Avalon Olive & Grape Seed Moisturizing Shampoo:

Signature ingredient: Antioxidant-rich, organic olive oil is a potent source of protection against damaging free radicals. High in omega fatty acids like linoleic acid, organic grape seed oil provides regenerative and restructuring benefits for damaged and stressed tissues.

Product description: Gentle plant-derived cleansers enriched with moisturizing Borage, Flax Seed, Sunflower, Olive and Grape Seed Oils plus Panthenol cleanse and hydrate deep into the hair cuticle providing strength and shine.

70% of the ingredients are organic.

Avalon Organics is a brand I used to support before learning about their practices from the Organic Consumers Association:

The family owned Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court today against numerous personal care brands to force them to stop making misleading organic labeling claims. Dr. Bronner's and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) had warned offending brands that they faced litigation unless they committed to either drop their organic claims or reformulate away from main ingredients made from conventional agricultural and/or petrochemical material without any certified organic material. OCA has played the leading role in exposing and educating consumers about deceptive organic branding...

The major cleansing ingredient in Avalon "Organics" soaps, bodywashes and shampoos, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, contains conventional non-organic agricultural material combined with the petrochemical Amdiopropyl Betaine.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is an ingredient in this shampoo and "Organics" is still in their label four years after this lawsuit was filed. Avalon Organics explains their use of surfactants:
Surfactants are the ingredients that provide lather and cleanse-ability in products such as shampoos, shower gels and liquid soaps. They are important ingredients because they have a significant impact on a product's cleansing strength. Some surfactants are associated with occurrences of skin irritation, such as sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, because they are too strong. We reject these harsh chemicals.

It takes artisanship to select and formulate with cleansers that are both gentle and effective. A combination of vegetable-derived surfactants, such as those found in Avalon Organics Shampoos, is one example of such a combination. [Cocamidopropyl betaine (Coconut derived), Disodium cocoamphodiacetate (Coconut derived), Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate (Coconut derived), Sodium lauroyl lactylate (Palm kernel and sugar derived), and Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (Coconut derived)]. These naturally derived sudsing agents have a relatively large molecular structure, so that they will not penetrate the skin. Unlike sodium laureth/lauryl sulfates that have a relatively small molecular structure that easily penetrates the skin causing irritation and dryness.

I commend the company for avoiding sodium lauryl sulfates, but I do trust the OCA that Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a cause for concern.

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

May 30, 2011

Really Natural Beauty: derma e Vitamin A and Green Tea Creme

derma e Advanced Wrinkle Treatment Crème, Vitamin A and Green Tea is a lovely moisturizer that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Retinol (20,000 IU per 100 g) enhances cell renewal to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, crows' feet, wrinkles, and irregularities. Green Tea, an antioxidant, protects cells from free radical damage and is beneficial for sun-damaged skin. Leaves skin toned and refined. No animal testing. Made in USA.

I really love the texture of this cream. It does not leave your skin feeling oily, yet it feels like it really does the job hydrating the face, besides derma e is a company you can trust.

All derma e® product packaging contains a Natural & Organic Seal to indicate that our formulas contain natural, and often certified organic active ingredients. The products themselves are not certified organic. Additionally, all of our products have a safe, effective delivery system free of parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors and are 100% vegetarian and cruelty-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

May 16, 2011

Really Natural Beauty: Skin by Monica Travel Kit

Packing for trips has become more challenging with TSA regulations. Although I try to avoid tiny packaging, sometimes you need those smaller bottles when jet setting. I have recently stayed in two hotels with bulk EO beauty products in the shower, but you can't always count on natural products at every vacation spot.

Skin by Monica makes a great travel kit:

TSA hasn't been making it exactly easy on women when packing for a trip. To make your life easier, we have manufactured travel size versions of your favorite Skin by Monica products packaged in a clear TSA approved travel kit. Just because you're on the go doesn't mean you can't treat yourself to spa quality products! Travel kit contains: LUSCIOUS moisturizing shampoo, SILK moisturizing conditioner, NUDE moisture- rich body lotion, DRY antiperspirant & deodorant, PERFECTION-C vitamin c crème, O2 pH balancing spray, and RESTORE MSM facial cleanser...

SKIN by Monica Olsen is a revolutionary natural skin care line. Free of parabens, urea, alcohol, petroleum and other harmful chemicals, this is 100% pure skin care without all the junk. It is nourishing, rejuvenating and gentle enough for a baby.

This is truly a convenience item, and I wish the outer packaging that contained the travel kit was made of cloth, such has hemp, to be truly reusable, washable, and long outlast the small travel size bottles. The products are great and are made with many organic ingredients. I love the folding toothbrush.

Skin by Monica also makes a Travel Kit for Men and Baby Travel Kit.

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

May 13, 2011

Natural Poison Oak Remedies: Derma e Stop Itch

My son has recently been covered in an extensive poison oak rash. Lavender oil and tea tree oil have offered some relief, but I needed to find some other alternative to help deal with the itch, which is really hard to resist when you are six-years-old. Given my experience with the Derma e products we've been sent to review in the past, I purchased Derma E Stop Itch Instant Relief Cream.

Instantly relieve the discomfort of dry, itchy or irritated skin with this soothing, cooling and calming crème. This instant itch relief lasts for hours and works for all types of itching associated with dry skin, insect bites, poison oak, ivy or sumac, and itching from unknown causes. Formulated with derma e®'s unique herbal complex featuring Oat Extract, Chamomile, Chickweed, Evening Primrose Oil and Calendula Oil to provide long-lasting moisture and soothing itch relief. It is also infused with Peppermint Oil for a cooling calming sensation.

Last night when my son was scratching his arm incessantly in his sleep, I smeared some Stop Itch on his arm. The relief was instant, and he was able to go back to restful dreams.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 27, 2011

Really Natural Beauty: Exfoliate Naturally with derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub

We love derma e and were very excited to try derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub. Cruelty-free, paraben-free, eco-friendly, not tested on animals, etc...it's everything you would expect from derma e.

A salon skin treatment alternative. Exfoliant. Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub immediately improves your skin's appearance by utilizing a crystal blend system to remove dead skin cells in this safe and effective formula. Markedly diminishes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. Retexturizes skin and leaves it silky smooth. This product uses Aluminum Oxide as part of the crystal blend system. Because it is the crystal and is only on the skin for several minutes, there is no absorption. No animal testing. Made in USA.

I appreciate derma e's full disclosure of ingredients, including the aluminum.

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub really does exfoliate! You can feel the dead skin being removed as you use it. A gentle touch should be used; if you scrub too hard it may make your face feel raw. A slight citrusy smell accompanies this scrub leaving your skin feeling refreshed and new. It is recommended this product be used twice a week.

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

April 22, 2011

Dr. Hauschka Daily Body Care Kit: Holistic Skin Care You Can Trust

Dr. Hauschka is my most favorite, trusted brand of beauty care products. This German company has been making holistic products since 1967, before it became trendy and simply a marketing term. The company was founded on the real Dr. Hauschka's mission "to heal humanity and the earth." This may be a noble goal for a skincare company, but once you try these products, you understand.

Dr. Hauschka Daily Body Care Kit

This handy tin features six products that soothe, nurture and renew skin: Hand Cream, Lavender Bath, Quince Body Moisturizer, Rose Body Moisturizer, Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil and Rose Body Oil.

  • A selection of Body Care products to soothe, nurture and renew

  • A great introduction to the Dr.Hauschka Body Care range

  • Perfect for travel, providing holistic body care on-the-go.

  • Features a selection of holistic products beneficial to all skin conditions

 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 18, 2011

From Soy Candles to Castile Soap: Kiss My Face Peace Products

Kiss My Face's line of Peace products supports Seeds of Peace.

Seeds of Peace is an organization that pioneers programs and ideals dedicated to challenging widely accepted perceptions and taught to children in countries of conflict. We both believe that by questioning the established way of thinking and spearheading a new movement, change will come... and a new, better way will become the norm.

Founded in 1993 by journalist John Wallach, Seeds of Peace is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence.

We adore all of the Kiss My Face Peace products and support their mission!
Kiss My Face Soy Peace Candle, Pomegranate Acai
Give Peace a chance! Peace candles, that is. Each soy wax candle is hand poured with an unbleached cotton wick and scented to bring serenity to your favorite haven.

  • Environmentally safe, no petroleum based wax

  • Soy based, renewable

  • Natural cotton wick
Kiss My Face Peace Soap Grassy Mint Castile
Give Peace Soap a chance! You'll love it. (Peace & love....some things never go out of style.) Combining organic olive oil with coconut, hemp and jojoba oils for luxurious lather and mildness, we have created a totally pleasurable cleaning experience- from head to toe, ceiling to floor, our castile soap cleans skin and much more. Veggie, countertop, dishes or sweater, it does it all and it does it better.

Castile soap has been used for centuries around the world, originating in the Castile region of Spain. This simple soap formula is so effective that it has changed little in 500 years.

Kiss My Face Peace Soap Lavender Mandarin Castile Hand Soap
Same awesome 100% natural castile soap in a self-foaming bottle. Our natural castile soap starts with pure olive oil and natural essential oil fragrances ... lemongrass clary sage, lavender manderin, grassy mint, and pomegranate acai and is bottled in a cool, self-foaming bottle made of 50% post consumer recycled material.
 Kiss My Face was the first all natural beauty line I tried when I first made the switch to a healthier lifestyle at age 16. The company makes me feel nostalgic, and their Peace line does that for anyone who remembers a more idealistic time. 

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 4, 2011

Really Natural Beauty: Zi Ran Nature's Beauty is Pure

Screen shot 2011-02-27 at 10.27.59 AM.png
I always love discovering new beauty products that are handmade and truly natural! Zi Ran's philosophy is "Natures Beauty is Pure," and the company lives by this motto with the ingredients they use.

Our Basically Beautiful Lotion line contains;
Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Honey, Emulsifying wax (vegetable derived), Vitamin E, Grapefruitseed Extract, Essential Oils (fragrance of your choice) Shake well before each use!!!!!!!

Our All Natural Body Butter contains;
Purified Distilled Water, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Raw African Shea Butter, Emulsifying wax (vegetable derived), Vitamin E, Grapefruitseed Extract, Essential Oils (fragrance of your choice)

Our Super Scrub Soap contains;
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Purified Distilled Water, Raw African Shea Butter, Tallow, Vitamin E, Grapefruitseed Extract, Lye. Essential Oils (Lemon Oil, and Eucalyptus oil at the moment)

Like any truly natural beauty product, Zi Ran products have a shelf life of six months. Rather than this being a negative, I see it as a positive. When companies include this information on their labels, it means they truly are all-natural.  Natural ingredients do not last indefinitely!

The aromas of the body butter and moisturizer are beautiful! These are products you can truly feel safe about applying to your skin.

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 25, 2011

H2O + Sea Results Eye Mender Plus Reduces Wrinkles and Puffiness

h20_sea_results.jpgH2O Plus Sea Results Eye Mender Plus claims to:

    • Over 28 days see a 47% decrease in wrinkle depth

    • 24% reduction in puffiness

    • 19% increase in firmness

    • Patented Marine Micropatch Technology delivers intensive ongoing hydration with long-term preservation of the dermal water reserve
I personally cannot attest to such claims, but I did look up the product on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, where this product received a hazard score of seven.

The list of ingredients is very long, and I would not call it all natural. For example, it has Polysorbate 60, which is:

Derived from sorbitan and esterified with fatty acids, polysorbates are oily liquids. The number 60 following polysorbate refers to the fatty acid chemically associated with the polyoxyethylene sorbitan component of the molecule, in this case monostearate.

This is a nice eye cream, but you may want to chose one whose ingredients you can trust as truly all natural, like Dr. Hauschka Daily Revitalizing Eye Cream.

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

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