Natural Product Reviews

Gift Ideas from Pacifica

I love to use Pacifica products because of their high quality natural ingredients and incredible fragrances. I also love to give Pacifica products for these same reasons plus their colorful and eye-catching packaging just make them perfect for gifting.

These are some of my latest favorites from the line:

Island Vanilla Take Me There Set ($18.00 ($26.00 value)) – contains a 2.5 oz Body Butter, .33oz Perfume Roll-on & their new Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint. You can currently find this set at Sephora.

Crème de Menthe Soy Candle 3 OZ ($6.00) – tiny and cute, but it a packs a strong scent of chocolatey peppermint goodness. Burns cleans for up to 30 hours.

Satsuma Pillar 3 X 3 ($16.00)- a spicy citrus scent that is sure to lift your spirits. Burns up to 50 hours.

 

Free shipping on orders over $50 right now!

Love Lavender?

If you’re a big fan of lavender then you will love this Lavender Aromatherapy Stick by Aura Cacia.  It is made with 100% pure lavender essential oil so it smells just like the real stuff.  I’ve been using it as my everyday perfume lately and I’m really loving it.

Some pluses (aside from the wonderful scent itself) — it’s under $10, it’s easy to carry with you, it promotes relaxation, and it never gives me headaches (like many conventional perfumes). The stick also comes in Tea Tree (great for bug bites & blemishes), Eucalyptus (helps with cold symptoms) and Peppermint (excellent for headache relief).

 

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

 

 

Best Natural Deodorant

It’s so easy to go natural when it comes to lotion, shampoo and many other beauty products, but I think deodorant is the hardest yet most worthwhile natural switch to make. Yes, it’s true that the natural brands don’t actually stop you from sweating like the commercial brands do, but they definitely can keep sweat under control with natural ingredients (like baking soda). Plus, sweating is a key part of detoxifying your system so it’s really not a bad thing, especially if you can find a natural deodorant that actually keeps you smelling pleasantly.

Well after many, many years and many, many natural deodorants, I think I have finally found one that I’m going to stick with. It’s Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant.  I specifically like the Vanilla Lavender version of this silky deodorant, but there are a few other great scent options. I have to warn you about the price… it’s $18… I know, so expensive for a deodorant, but my thrifty self actually thinks it’s worth it. It smells so nice and the scent really lasts all day. In a way, you can consider it an $18 perfume — now that’s a good deal, right? Let me know if you give it a try!

Dry Skin?

I hate to bring this to everyone’s attention, but we are now just a month and a few days away from the official start of winter! With that said, the colder weather has already been shocking a lot of us and that shock often comes in the form of dry skin – like really, really dry skin, which is not very pleasant or pretty.

If you’re someone who experiences dryness and is looking for a really rich yet natural facial moisturizer I would highly recommend Pomega5’s Healing Cream. It is ultra nourishing and reparative with key ingredients like pomegranate oil, shea butter, calendula oil and carrot oil.  It’s a tad pricey ($70), but a little goes a long way and the ingredients are sooo therapeutic. Let me know if you give it a try!

Have a great weekend :)

Acure Organics

I recently found a new line and new product that I’m seriously impressed with.  The line is Acure Organics and the product is their brightening facial scrub sea kelp + chlorella growth factor($14.99).

This scrub thoroughly, but not harshly, exfoliates skin through two main ingredients — sea kelp and walnut. After using this scrub your face immediately feels super clean and refreshed, but not dry. The natural ingredients in this scrub actually accomplish 3 goals with 1 product —  the top layer of skin is exfoliated, pores are cleansed and new cell growth is stimulated. The scent? Mild, refreshing and minty. Oh and did I mention the color? Dark, dark green – like shockingly green – it’s quite fun.  This is a strong claim, but I really think it might be the best scrub I’ve used to date!

 

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Fall-Ready Skin Care

As the colder weather crawls in for many of us, there are definitely two things you’ll want to have on hand – lip balm and hand cream.  No one wants chapped lips or rough hands so here are two recommendations to keep them both smooth, bright and well-hydrated.

{Certified Organic Cocoa Powder with a hint of Essential Oil of Lavender & Organic Blueberry Flavor! .15 oz Tube  $3.49}

Eco Lips makes some of the best petroleum-free lip balm on the market with a line that includes both 100% organic options as well as a vegan balm. They have a flavor for everyone, especially since they teamed up with Honest Tea® and Dagoba® chocolate to bring us some seriously fun and unique flavors (like the one above).  AND they have tinted options as well!  For the quality, you can’t beat the prices – lip balms are all under $3.50 and the tinted are under $4.50.

This Exfoliage Natural Hand Cream by TonicCare is normally $24.99, but with the current online sale it’s now $12.99. It’s specifically designed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on hands (aka one of the places where aging often shows the most and the soonest). Some of the beneficial natural ingredients include Grape Seed Oil, Algae Extract, Chamomile Oil, Almond Oil and Papaya Fruit Extract.

More fall beauty recommendations to come! Have a great Monday. 

A Better Antibacterial Cleaner

I recently tried this antibacterial kitchen cleaner by method and I’m definitely a fan. It naturally kills 99.9% of household germs including influenza A, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella enterica and E. coli. Yes, I did say “naturally”! I love that they used CleanWell’s herbal antibacterial formula (thyme oil & oregano oil) to power this cleaner (CleanWell has an entire line of naturally antibacterial products).

If you’re going to use antibacterial cleaning products this is one of the best and healthiest options on the market right now. Choose between two delightful scents – lemon verbena or orange zest – for just $3.99 or less. I opted for the lemon verbena (from Target), but I think I would like the orange zest scent even more.

Why make the switch to a natural antibacterial cleaner? Research is continually showing that antibacterial products can cause bacterial resistance, thus decreasing the effectiveness of antibiotics. The most common ingredient in antibacterial products is a chemical compound called triclosan, which has been proven to have some serious negative side effects on your health (see previous post for more info).

Undo Summer Hair Damage

As summer winds down, your hair is probably looking less than its best after beach and pool time took their toll. But have no fear because it’s nothing a good hair mask (and a trim) can’t fix. One ultra  nourishing hair treatment I recently tried is by California Sunshine. Their three ingredient “Radiant Beach” hair mask is meant to be used once a week for an immediately noticeable difference in your locks in the form of less dryness and more shine. I definitely saw an improvement after just one treatment!

Radiant Beach’s 2 active ingredients:

  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – Penetrates hair shaft for superior, natural conditioning and moisturizing. Medium chain triglycerides to protect against hair loss and promote thick hair. Contains natural Vitamin E and fatty acids to prevent dandruff.
  • Organic Ricinus Communis Oil – Curative and medicinal. Known to thicken hair, moisturize, protect scalp, and promote shininess.

*Since this mask can easily turn to liquid, you might want to keep it in the fridge.  I keep mine in the shower since I don’t mind it turning to liquid (it’s actually even easier to apply that way).

Beauty Benefits of Pomegranate

Hello! Hope everyone has been doing great. I’m slowly trying to get back into my usual routine, but it’s been hard. Now that the same “Happy Wednesday!” has been up for two Wednesdays, I think it’s definitely time for a new post…

I’ve been meaning to mention another awesome natural beauty line called Pomega5. It’s awesome both in terms of quality and effectiveness. The company’s name is an ode to it’s signature, rare ingredient – Omega 5 oil, which comes from pomegranate seeds. This oil, along with the line’s other top notch botanical ingredients, gives skin a serious dose of rejuvenation. One product that I am particularly fond of lately is their Daily Revitalizing Concentrate – each little capsule goes a surprisingly long way and nourishes skin with 60% Omega 5 oil with the other 40% mainly being a mix of calendula, rosehip, and jojoba oils. I especially love it for very dry spots on my face, but it’s also quite magical on cuticles.


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Father’s Day Inspiration

With Father’s Day soon upon us, here are some gift ideas that won’t break the bank, but are sure to be much enjoyed.

For the dad who appreciates some quality spirits…

Hudson Manhattan Rye ~ Tuthilltown ($44.28 – must buy on premises though) Any unique or local spirit/wine/beer would be fun!

For the dad that could use some relaxation on a regular basis…

Brazilian Hammock in a Bag by Bliss Hammocks ($29.99)

For the dad into being (or trying to be) healthy…

Circulation Sandals (therapeutic sandals that gently stimulate blood flow, enhance circulation and reduce fatigue) from Gaiam ($68)

For the dad who loves to grow things*…

Mushroom Garden from Back to the Roots ($20)

*Green thumb not required. These mushrooms grow like weeds! (But more like, mushrooms)

For the dad who loves to snack…

Help him do it in a health way with a gift basket like this one from GiftBaskets.com ($58.99)

For the dad that doesn’t like “stuff”, but loves to be pampered and could use some de-stressing…

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That’s my dad so I decided to get him a massage at a great spa. This is the one I picked: Acqua Aveda (prices vary)

Good luck with your shopping!

p.s. Just give me a category or tell me a little bit about your dad and I would love to give you more suggestions :)

HollyBeth’s Grits & Honey Scrub

To me, an ideal facial scrub is one that thoroughly exfoliates, but in the most gentle way. With HollyBeth’s Natural Luxury Grits & Honey Scrub, that’s the exact balance you get — it has the perfect grittiness (thanks to the grits :)) with a calming and antibacterial base of sweet honey.  This super natural scrub is literally good enough to eat! And don’t worry, it’s not messy or sticky.  Your skin will feel noticeably smoother after just one use.

Grits & Honey Scrub

Other great products by HollyBeth:

Wildflower Dry Oil – so nourishing to the face and neck with a regenerative mix of oils and plant extracts.

Lavender Hand Cream (98% organic) – rich and relaxing with sweet almond oil as the #1 ingredient and of course, lavender.

Happy happy weekend everyone!

The Wonders of Neem

Neem is an ancient herb from India, which is known for its medicinal benefits externally and internally. Neem’s extremely high antioxidant content, high levels of fatty acids as well as its anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial abilities makes it an excellent choice for people with chronically dry or irritated skin. Some people have even reported healing of precancerous cells!

When taken internally, neem is said to support the health of skin, immune system response, blood purification, and healthy bowel function.

The one thing I must warn you about is that neem has a VERY distinct odor. I would say it’s like a mix of peanuts and garlic. I know that doesn’t sound very appealing, but when mixed with other scents, it’s not so noticeable. Plus, its benefits can be well worth getting used to the unique scent.

Here are some beauty products with neem that I really love:

Organix’s Theraneem Ultimate Support Orange & Ylang Ylang – Excellent for sensitive skin. I love using it instead of face wash. ( $5.56)

Organix’s Neem, Lemon & Peppermint TheraNeem Scalp Therape Shampoo – Clarifies and rejuvenates the scalp. (on sale for $11.96)

Auromère’s Ayurvedic Lavender-Neem Soap – Lavender + Neem + 16 other herbal extracts to cleanse and restore skin. ($2.95)

Dr.Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil – Ideal for an irritated scalp and dry/damaged hair. Also adds great shine! ($39.95)

 

Have you tried any products that contained neem before?

Award-Winning Skincare for Babies!

You might remember my previous post about Skincando’s Combat-Ready Balm — the wonder salve that’s even effective for troops in the harshest of conditions. Now, there is a version for babies and kids! This miracle cream has similar ingredients, which soothe and heal some of the most delicate skin on earth aka a baby’s. But this is totally an adult product as well. Baby skincare products are great for adult skin, especially if it’s sensitive.  I just love how multifunctional this one is — it’s magical for dry skin, eczema, diaper rash, eczema, bug bites, sunburn, and more! I can’t wait to buy this for some of the soon-to-be new moms in my life.

2 Perfect Summer Moisturizers

With warm weather upon us now and summer right around the corner, I thought everyone would appreciate hearing about these two lotions I am loving right now…

The first is one of my latest finds – an organic jasmine + neroli body lotion by kō denmark (if the name sounds familiar,  you might have seen their recent feature in GOOP). As you would expect, this lotion has the soothing, light floral scent of jasmine (and neroli, but more jasmine I think). It is extremely light weight – you definitely get the feeling that aloe is the #1 ingredient – and it absorbs sooo quickly.  I like the “100% simple” on the label – it truly is with a perfect lineup of natural ingredients and no parabens, perfume, sulfates, mineral oil, or artificial colors.

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Burt’s Bees Richly Replenishing Body Lotion with Cocoa and Cupuaçu Butters is another perfect option for the warmer weather. The scent alone just screams summer/vacation with dreamy aromas of cocoa and vanilla.  Other key reasons I love it for summer (and anytime of year) include its non-greasy consistency, quick absorption, and it is clinically proven to keep skin moisturized for 24 hours! That’s a strong claim, but after using it for a few weeks now, I am now a believer.

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Poppy’s Naturally Clean

I wanted to let everyone know about another great eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning option for the home – Poppy’s Naturally Clean. I especially like the All Purpose Spray Cleaner, which of course contains only natural ingredients and is 100% toxin free. It’s perfect for countertops, appliances and pretty much all of those other commonly cleaned surfaces (minus marble and granite).

It’s important to go natural with your cleaning routine so you can not only feel good about the appearance of your home, but more importantly, your own health! Have you done any major spring cleaning lately?

 

Peacock Republic

I recently discovered another awesome green beauty line called Peacock Republic and it has quickly become one of my favorites. I’m especially loving having this gem in my shower right now – their lemongrass love body wash. The scent is just perfect – invigorating in the morning yet calming in the evening and enjoyed by male and female noses alike. I also love their fragrant sugar scrubs and rich body lotions.

Bottom line: definitely add Peacock Republic to your must-try list of natural beauty companies!

Peacock Republic doesn’t stop at making luxurious, green body care products – for each bottle and bar sold, they donate a bar to those without basic necessities. And for all other products sold, they donate a portion of the profits to charities. Even more of a reason to give them a try (if you haven’t already).

You can purchase online or check out the list of boutiques that carry them across the U.S. here: peacockrepublic.myshopify.com/pages/stockists AND starting next month Peacock Republic will be at Anthropologie and online at www.anthropologie.com!


Bring the Spa to Your Shower

Want a spa-like experience, but can’t even find time to make yourself a nice, hot bath? Well there’s another option! Try these shower infusers by bath by bettijo for some instant aromatherapy. Simply add one of these little wafers to your next hot shower and you’ll instantly have the scent of sweet peppermint infusing the air and melting your stress away.

Now you really don’t have any excuse not to treat yourself! I just love how it makes a shower that much more therapeutic and fun! This peppermint variety is especially great for when you’re having sinus issues or are just plain old tired.

How to: (1) Wet a tablet, (2) place it on the shower floor (*out of the direct water stream*) and (3) let the at-home spa time begin!


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DOLLY&MILA

Dolly and Mila originated in a tiny kitchen in NYC after the founders traveled through Central America and spent years studying Indigenous remedies, anthropology and holistic nutrition. The founders are best friends from childhood, but they’re names are actually not Dolly and Mila. The line was named after two special women who inspired them throughout their lives (so sweet!). Having always dreamed of starting a company with a best friend, I especially love the story and bond behind this fabulous line. And of course, I also love that everything  is 100% natural and wild-crafted using organic, free and fair trade ingredients.

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So far, the Blossom Honey and Organic Coffee Intensive Facial Exfoliant is definitely my favorite from the line. Talk about a perfect morning beauty product! It truly perks you up inside and out. If you like natural products, you’ll just love how unprocessed and raw this scrub smells and feels. Its ingredient list is superbly clean and pure with not a single questionable ingredient.  It also doubles as a natural cellulite treatment – use it as a mask and scrub for any current or potential areas of concern. What a great bonus, right?!

SOS for PMS

One of my favorite natural beauty companies, BUDDHA NOSE, makes this seriously awesome Girl Balm. It’s specifically meant to aid the common woes of PMS. Simply rub the balm on your lower belly and/or lower back to ease cramps and brighten your mood. The warming and mellowing mix of Clary Sage, Rose Geranium, Ginger Root and Black Pepper are sure to leave you feeling noticeably calmer and skin noticeably softer within minutes. The smell of it alone makes me feel better – it’s definitely one of my favorites!


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Unfortunately, so many of us females deal with the negative side effects of fluctuating hormones, but in addition to this magical balm there are other easy efforts you can make on a daily basis.

Some other tips to ease PMS and help stabilize hormones include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Stress reduction (yoga, meditation, just plain old relaxation, etc)
  • Reducing your intakes of refined sugar, salt, alcohol, and caffeine.
  • Increasing your intake of complex carbohydrates, omega 3-rich foods, fruits, and veggies (especially leafy green ones).
  • More tips here: 5 Natural Tips to Take the Syndrome Out of PMS

The Girl Balm is currently on sale and the price ($21.60) is really worth every penny for the high quality ingredients and therapeutic benefits. Plus, a little truly goes a long way. If you give it a try, I would love to hear what you think!

Cool Glacier Candle

I love this candle by skyn ICELAND for so many reasons. First, it’s soy with a cotton wick, which means it burns REALLY clean. The scent? A relaxing, therapeutic mix of so many interesting fragrances including bergamot, peach, melon, lily, orris, cyclamen, white lavender, and sandalwood (just to name a few). Last but not least, I just love the shape and color of the holder.  I think this candle is ideal for the bathroom…well, especially when you have it sea-themed like I do :)

Skyn also has a great, stress-targeting array of natural skincare. Has anyone tried? I haven’t yet, but I think I will soon!

Cool Glacier Candle - Burns for 45 hours and retails at $35.

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