January 28, 2011

Lowila Sensitive Skin Soap-Free Bar is Back!

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If you have sensitive skin, soap can be drying and irritating. Lowila Care is recommended by dermatologists.

What actually sets it apart from other cleansers that address dry or itchy skin is that it is soap-free which means that it works to hydrate skin more so than bar soaps do, making it ideal for anyone with skin sensitivities. The product can be used on both body and face and if you or your friends have babies...it works on them too! Who doesn't love a win, win?

Lowila is ideal for those who suffer from dry or irritated skin conditions such as eczema. In fact, here are some stats we thought you might find of interest for you or your loved ones:


  • Atopic dermatitis is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects males and females at the same rate.

  • Although it may occur at any age, it often begins in infancy or childhood.

  • Though it's difficult to determine exactly how many people have eczema - since many never seek a formal diagnosis - it is estimated that 10-20% of infants and children experience symptoms of the disease and, of those, 60% continue to experience symptoms well into adulthood.*

Lowila has been reintroduced by Ranbaxy (it used to be made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.). The Environmental Working Group's hazard score rating for this product is six, but that was for the old bar. The ingredients list has changed; however, I would not consider this a natural product (nor does it claim to be), although some of the ingredients are derived from beeswax and coconut oil.  It is vegan and contains no artificial colors or fragrances, which are often the most toxic ingredients in beauty products.  

Lowila has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.


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

January 26, 2011

EVOLUTIONMAN Not Tested on Animals, Recyled Plastic Tubes

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Men's skincare options are often limited, and frankly, I am not sure why they can't use the same products targeted for women if they are not fragranced. EVOLUTIONMAN has got men and the environment in mind with their line of skincare and grooming products:

We are proud that all of our recyclable tubes are made with post-consumer recycled materials. Our boxes also use paper generated from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and bear the SFI logo. The EVMAN Bag is hand-made from recycled tires, right here in the United States. This is proof positive that environmental can be stylish.

We sampled 6 EVMAN products (and darn it, not the recycled tire bag!):

  1. EvolutionMan Lip Balm SPF 15

  2. EvolutionMan Cleanse & Shave

  3. EvolutionMan Wash & Buff - Facial Exfoliating Cleanser

  4. EvolutionMan Revitalize Eye Gel

  5. EvolutionMan Moisture Protect SPF 20 - Bronze

  6. EvolutionMan Moisture Protect SPF 20

Since I was sent only small samples (other than the lip balm), I am not privy to a full list of product ingredients (although the EVMAN website does identify "key" ingredients). The Environmental Working Group has not evaluated EVMAN, but the company assures:
We have also worked closely with our labs to ensure that we are using the friendliest ingredients for maximum function. Our products do not contain parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, dyes, GMOs, triclosan, camphor, formaldehyde donors, most don't contain silicones, and our Moisture Protect uses Titanium Dioxide to naturally block the sun's UVA/UVB rays. Our ingredient listings currently state fragrance - menthol is the only fragrance used in our products.

The lip balm I was sent does fully list the ingredients. I looked up PHENOXYETHANOL on Skin Deep, which is used as a preservative. It received a hazard score of four.

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

January 21, 2011

H2O Plus Skincare Uses the Nourishing Power of Milk and the Sea

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Made in the USA and opposed to animal cruelty, H2O Plus skincare products use milk proteins and sea minerals to improve your skin.

Stress, sun and dehydration all take their toll on the skin. There is no single cause of aging and the signs that reveal themselves in our skin. But while aging is an inevitable part of life, the damage to your skin doesn't have to be.

As we grow older, the biochemical processes that repair and regenerate cells begin to break down. The rate of this degeneration is mainly determined by our genetic makeup. At the same time, our skin is exposed to tissue damage caused by free radicals, particles that are created by normal metabolism but also by pollution and sun exposure. Antioxidant ingredients in many skin care products help fight free radical damage to nourish and protect the skin. Thankfully, sea-derived skincare brand H20 Plus provides a solution.

We tried the following H20 Plus products:

  • H2O Plus Milk Body Lotion
    A luxurious, nourishing body lotion that helps replenish depleted moisture, soften skin, and improve elasticity. (#466) Rich in concentrated milk proteins and milk lipids, this body lotion replenishes depleted moisture and strengthens skin while drenching it with wholesome goodness. Nourishing vitamins A, D, E, Provitamin B and natural oils help improve skin texture and elasticity. Milk proteins add a glossy sheen while binding high levels of moisture.
  • H2O Plus Milk Hand and Nail Cream
    A must-have treatment for hardworking hands, this hand cream soothes and heals while promoting healthy cuticles and nails. Essential vitamins protect hands from environmental exposure and maintain essential moisture balance. The soft aroma of our classic Milk scent, a blend of lily, jasmine, melon and cucumber, provides a fresh, clean and delicate scent.
  • H2O Plus Milk Shower Gel
    A luxurious, foaming shower gel enriched with milk proteins and lipids to moisturize and soften the skin while gently cleansing. (#465) Used in the shower or as a luxurious bubble bath, this silky shower gel contains Vitamins D, E and Provitamin B to restore moisture balance, soften skin, and aid in tissue repair while cleansing.
  • H2O Plus Sea Results Overnight Perfecting Peel
    A liquid peel formulated to revitalize and smooth skin's surface, this high performance treatment delivers balanced tone and clarity, prevents clogged pores and potential breakouts, all while revitalizing and brightening dull complexions. Reveals a softer, more youthful you.

Some of these products do contain sodium laureth sulfate, which is "naturally" derived, but can cause skin irritation. It is an ingredient I try to avoid in beauty products (makes a great engine cleaner though).

H2o Plus products receive hazard scores from four to eight on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic database. From cancer to organ system toxicity, some of the company's ingredients are 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

January 20, 2011

Scientists Call Collagen Wrinkle Creams "Waste of Money"

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Women (and men) spend tons of money on products to fight the aging process. One popular ingredient of anti-wrinkle remedies is collagen, but scientists have proven these products are not effective. For example, L'Oreal Paris Collagen Filler Wrinkle Treatment claims:

New Anti-Wrinkle Action: Collagen Filler can be applied on all wrinkles: Forehead wrinkles; Wrinkles around the eyes; Brow furrows; Laugh lines and Vertical lines around the mouth. Actions: Collagen Bio-Spheres penetrate the surface of the skin. As they come into contact with water naturally found in the skin, they expand to plump and fill facial lines and wrinkles. Results: Visibly Smoothes Wrinkle Creases: Immediately, the appearance of expression lines and crow's feet is softened and diffused by up to 20%. With Continuous Use, Consumers Saw Improved Results: In 1 week, 38% saw fewer forehead wrinkles and 44% saw fewer lines around the eyes. In 3 weeks, 46% saw fewer forehead wrinkles and 54% saw fewer lines around the eyes.

The Daily Mail reports these claims are false and biologically impossible:
But scientists have disputed the claims made by many beauty firms, saying the collagen molecules used are too large to penetrate the skin's outer surface.

Richard Guy, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Bath, said: 'The idea created by many of these products is that collagen can get through the upper layers of skin and reinforce our own natural collagen, but this is preposterous.'The simple fact is that collagen is a huge molecule and the skin is designed to keep such substances out.

Save your money and drink water! Hydrated skin is the best method to fight the signs of premature aging.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 14, 2011

All-Natural Beauty Care: Jess' Bee Natural

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I love featuring handmade, truly natural beauty products, especially when they come from my home town! Jess' Bee Natural makes delightful products you can trust!

Jess' Bee Natural is an eco-conscious business specializing in high quality skin care. Our lip balms and lotions are produced in small batches using some of nature's purest ingredients known for their moisturizing, healing, and soothing capabilities. Ingredients like rich shea butter, all natural beeswax, vitamin E, and the purest essential oils ensure that you are only putting the best on your skin. We also hand pour all of our products to ensure every batch is perfect.

Here are the chemical-free products we tried:

  • Lip Balm: Comes in six flavors of natural, lime, cinnamon, peppermint, tangerine, and grapefruit. These lip balms are also available in bulk!

  • Shea Butter Lotion: Comes in three flavors of natural, tangerine, and lavender.

 The prices on these products are all affordable. Lip balm is only $3 (bulk $22.50 for 10) and the shea butter lotion is $8.00.

These are great products you can rest assured are truly natural.  Jess' Bee Natural has signed on to the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.

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

December 29, 2010

Natural Beauty: Derma e Peptide Plus Wrinkle Reverse Eye Creme

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I am a fan of Derma e products, so I was excited to try the derma e Peptides Plus Double-Action Wrinkle Reverse Crème. Relatively odorless, this eye cream has a milky consistency that is thinner than my regular Dr. Hauschka Eye Contour Day Balm.

This revolutionary double-action peptide creme includes two of the most powerful peptides that bio-science has to offer. Formulated with Palmitoyl Pentapeptide to smooth away wrinkles and Acetyl Hexapeptide to relax muscles for healthier, younger-looking skin. Improves skin's resilience, tone and texture and also helps increase collagen and elastin production. A rich and luxurious moisturizing creme that saturates your skin with nutrients and softens even the deepest wrinkles. No animal testing. Made in USA.

Dr. Oz has recognized the peptide Argireline as an effective treatment for crow's feet because it relaxes facial muscles similar to the effects of Botox®. I can't say one way or another if this is true, as I have, nor would ever, resort to Botox.

Wrinkles are an inevitable part of the aging process. I think Americans' obsession with always looking twenty-years-old is unhealthy. We should embrace aging. I will use Derma e products because I like them, not because they promise to reverse the signs of aging.

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

December 17, 2010

Not Eco-Friendly: Brow Beauty Bubble Features Tweezers and 10x Mirror

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I feel obligated to review every product we are sent for reviewing, even if it is not eco-friendly. The very point that a product is not natural is important for consumers to know. 

 
Tweezerman Brow Beauty Bubble, Candy Cane Wonderland might make it easier to pluck your eyebrows, but the product is housed in a plastic container that is sure to break if dropped repeatedly.

    • Our famous stainless steel Mini Slant Tweezer in red with white glitter-striped Candy Cane Print, featuring our award-winning, perfectly aligned, hand-filed precision tips for expert brow shaping
    • Great for "on-the-go" grooming, or coordinating, travel-ready Tweezermate 10X Magnify Mirror is optically correct - clear from edge to edge - with no distortion - for perfecttweezing
    • Clear Bubble Case is cute and super-packable while keeping mirror & tweezer easy to find, safely stored together, clean and protected. Perfectly packable for holiday gift giving - it's a wrap
    • Perfect for purse and travel
    • Fun and cute design
First, the candy cane striping does make this seem festive, but I really think it would be a strange stocking stuff. Also, the on-the-go marketing concerns me, as I just watched a woman applying makeup as she was driving on the freeway. Would someone be tempted to pluck while driving?

 

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

November 30, 2010

Deodorant Crystal Fights Body Odor Naturally

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Last year, we reviewed Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal spray on and roll on products. Both of these products do not hold up under rigorous testing and need reapplication; however, I have had better success with the Naturally Fresh Crystal Deodorant with Aloe Vera.

Ingredients
Natural Mineral Salts, Ammonium Alum.

I've tried deodorant crystals before without much luck, but perhaps I've always done it wrong. I didn't know you were suppose to wet the crystal first.

Another wonderful feature of a deodorant crystal, besides the safety of the simple, natural ingredients, is that it lasts a really, really long time.

If you are looking for a very cheap, effective natural deodorant, sprinkle baking soda in your armpits. It really works!

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

November 23, 2010

The All Nighter Styling Powder: Save Water, Save Your Hair & Scalp

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I used to shampoo my hair every day until my hair dresser suggest I cut back. Not only does my natural shampoo last twice as long as a result, the texture of my hair has improved, as well as my scratchy scalp. In fact, many people advocate abandoning shampoo all together.

Although, I am not ready to go completely "No Poo", my reduced shampooing schedule does sometimes leave my hair looking a little greasy in front. One solution is to use a powder for this small problem area.

The All Nighter Styling Powder - Hair Powder / Dry Shampoo - Brown/brunette is 100% all natural and does not contain talc.

The ALL NIGHTER Styling PowderTM is the ULTIMATE all natural hair powder / dry shampoo / styling product to build volume, absorb excess oil, freshen hair and extend your blowout. It gives body to limp, lifeless hair and eliminates the need for excessive shampooing. It gives matte texture and awesome volume and body. The ALL NIGHTER Styling PowderTM is effective on sqeaky clean hair and really works wonders on hair that is 2nd or 3rd day between washings! Scrunch. Zhuzh. Fluff.

According a Princeton University study, the average women in the US uses 2500 gallons a year washing her hair four and half times a week. That's a lot of water this product could help you save, as well reduce your exposure to chemicals if you don't use natural beauty products. 

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

October 25, 2010

Tom's of Maine Wicked Fresh! Toothpaste and Mouthwash Clinically Proven to Fight Bad Breath

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Wicked Fresh Toothpaste and Wicked Fresh Mouthwash are "Clincally proven to reduce VSC's - what bad breath germs produce".  That's a good thing, as I once had a student ask why teachers always have bad breath.  I told him it was the coffee :) 

 I've always been wary of toothpastes that promise fresh breath, as they are usually super strong in flavor. I was pleasantly surprised Wicked Fresh is actually mild-flavored. 


  • Cool Peppermint Wicked Fresh! Toothpaste: "the first toothpaste to feature the company's patent-pending, flavorless botanical licorice root extract combined with a punch of powerful natural mint flavor oils for refreshing taste that will help banish bad breath."

  • Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash:  "powered by the naturally sourced mineral zinc-chloride to help stop bad breath and uses a proprietary blend of natural mint oils to deliver great taste and a clean, cool feeling in your mouth."

This toothpaste does contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which I tend to avoid.  Tom's response:

As formulated for cosmetic use, SLS has not been found to cause cancer in any recognized scientific research studies. When used in our toothpaste, SLS has limited contact with the gums and is then rinsed out. In the body sprays, a very low level of SLS is used, just enough to disperse the fragrance oils. And to ensure consumer safety, a clinical study was run on the body spray to verify that this level of SLS in the product did not cause irritation when left on the skin. At the levels used in our products, SLS has no known toxicity--not even when ingested.

Tom's does make an alternative SLS-Free toothpaste.

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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