Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Natural’

Gallery

Homemade Fizzy Drink – A Bubbly Treat

Evening all!

Many people are worried about the contents of their food nowadays as more people are realizing things like is eating/drinking flourescent coloured foods alright?

Thankfully my mum randomly read about artificial flavourings, colourings, preservatives, the unnatural e-numbers, gelatine, aspartame and MSG 17 years ago and stopped me from eating foods with those obviously written on the label. It also got us thinking about what is really in our food; then when I went vegan just over 7 years ago I stopped drinking fizzy/carbonated drinks. However, having drank them quite regularly before the cravings didn’t cease straight away. Strangely enough I’d really crave them between January-March for the first two years and the rest of the time was fine though there would be a small desire at the back of mind. It took about 2.5 years to get over them.

One day some years afterwards I accidentally discovered/made my own by simply pouring fruit juice into a cup that still had water and sodium bicarbonate in it (common old fashioned remedy for alkalizing the system and preventing/alleviating indigestion and bloating). Note – when I say ‘bicarbonate of soda’ I mean sodium bicarbonate/baking soda and not baking powder.

THE PRACTICAL BIT

fruit

Basically I use just a dash or two of baking soda in a large glass, top up with fruit juice and that’s it.

If it’s too fizzy I either leave it a while or add water. If I don’t drink it all or leave it and it goes flat, just a tiny bit of baking soda will make it fizzy again. That’s is, no sugar or anything (though it’s up to to the person drinking if they want it sweeter). There’s no method either – I can either put the baking soda and/or water at the bottom adding the juice to it or vice versa. Neither the baking soda/water or juice have to be fresh out of the fridge/carton, it can just be bicarb water or juice I’ve had sitting out for some time and then just add one to the other = fizzy drink that tastes as if it’s just been opened.

I find the result of using grape juice is very much like cola imo and pineapple juice creates a fizzy orange taste.

SIDE NOTE:

Many people are worried about their sodium levels these days too but I personally think it’s easy to confuse the word ‘sodium’ for ‘table salt’. Personally I don’t use processed White table salt and prefer Pink Himalayan salt, Celtic salt, rock and sometimes sea salt and I don’t have a problem with bicarbonate of soda, epsom salt or the nigari I use for tofu. I’ve also heard good things about Red and Black salt. I believe those salts to be healthy and necessary for the human body (e.g. saline) as with natural sugar which many people avoid nowdays as well as natural and high fat oils over processed/refined ones. So this is just my preference and not a recommendation.

Also fizzy drink is just a treat not a staple part of my diet.

Gallery

Fruit Juice/Smoothie Deficiency – Fixed!

Hello hello hello,

I’m feeling a bit perky and inspired right now and I’ll tell you why – I’ve just had some long needed fruit drink! Sound trivial? Perhaps but for my body fruit is a major and favourite part of my diet. Oh fruit, how do I love thee? So for a person that’s practically lived off pure fruit drinks her whole life (with a late sojourn into herbal tea) the last 3 months have been tiresome. Why? I haven’t had fruit juice/smoothies for 3 months ‘tis why and have been living off various grass water (wheatgrass, spirulina etc), apple cider vinegar and when necessary sodium bicarbonate in water, oh wait and I rummaged around and found some clay bentonite. Those are all incredibly healthy drinks to have but I just need fruit drink… neeeeed. I love all the fruit I’ve tried (ok except jack fruit, I just, the stickiness, the gooey texture in the mouth and the strange sweetness… uck, *gag* I just can’t.)

I usually do my best to get fruit drinks that are not from concentrate and I stay away from the ‘red flagged’ ones which if you read up online will find all kinds of off putting info about e.g. the processing of orange and apple juice. I would prefer to make my own from scratch but have never had any space (even indoor space) to grow my own and unfortunately it works out as far more expensive to buy the fruit than to buy them ready made. Yep it’s a twisted actuality where food with tons of ingredients and bi-products both ‘natural’ and artificial are cheaper than whole foods that farmers don’t have to wear hazmat suits to grow and can be made into their finished products with the minimum of ingredients and processing. Plus is it just me or do the vouchers/coupons that manufacturers and supermarkets ‘give’ out mainly consist of junk food offers? That said I never buy sweetened, fizzy or drinks from concentrate that don’t state that they’ve used filtered water.

So during the 3 months of patient longing and wanting to drink less and less (reminiscent of the 5 weeks I spent without moisturizer, a sad experience where I started to understand how a person made of rubber might feel but that’s another story) one idea came to me. Why not make drink out of the fruit spread I had (which I had been previously using to make sourdough more appetizing). Mixing it with water did work as the fruit had been reduced in the first place so I was just re-hydrating it, however it took quite a lot each time to make the juice fruity instead of just flavoured water and so the small tub ran out quickly. Damn I thought, at least it’s a good thing I like to eat/drink soup.

suma-fruit-spread

Then earlier today lightning struck and mum said to me ‘Why not use your raisins?’ :O :O Shock, horror, dumbfounded; why the hell hadn’t I used the dried fruit?!?! Seriously how could such a beautiful notion elude me for so long and Her of the greater intellect and ability (mother)? I mean it, how bloody how? Doesn’t the fruit know how much I MISSED it?

😉

THE PRACTICAL BIT

mixed-dried-fruit-raisins-currants-sultanas

Okily dokily, here’s what I did:

I put 250g of mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, sultanas with no sulphur dioxide – I never buy dried fruit with that or processed White sugar) in a blender topped up to 1500ml of water (reverse osmosis and/or distillation people) and hit start (on the lower setting). A few seconds later and voila – honestly, I shake my head in embarrassment it was so simple to do. Maybe it’s because we’re so busy all the time making homemade this, that and the other that I just kept putting it aside and thinking of it as a future goal.

Anyway the result was delicious and refreshing! A perfect juice with bits in it (could blend further to smoothen) – not too watery and not too thick as to be difficult to properly quench the thirst. Naturally sweet but could easily be made sweeter with raw cane sugar/ demerara, molasses, muscovado or for non-sugar fans there is stevia, xylitol and pure fruit/argave/rice syrups.

From an economical point of view it’s also cheaper for me to do this as I buy in bulk and 250g of dried fruit is more fruitful (ahem) for me than buying the necessary amount of fresh fruit to get the same result. It’s even cheaper than buying readymade smoothies in particular as in the past few years I’ve noticed the ones I liked being repackaged/branded and as a result getting smaller whilst staying at the same price or increasing in price. There are also great offers from places like Holland & Barratt health stores (I’m not sure what a US alternative would be) who do ‘buy one get one free’ deals and ‘penny sales’ where you buy one product and get any other in the range for a penny. With the sky rocketing price of nuts and certain fruit it can be helpful to buy during those sales.

So basically after all this time I’ve turned to concentrated fruit juice but needs must and it’s healthier than store bought because the fruit is organic, the water used is less questionable and I can drink as much as want instead of rationing! Heck yeah!

homemade mixed-fruit-juice-raisins-currants-sultanas

Pukka Ayurveda Organic Skincare Collection

Pukka Products – Practical and Pretty

Pukka Ayurveda Organic Skincare Collection Gift Set Oil Serum Moisturiser Spray Toner Review 1

Disclaimer: I was kindly sent this gift set by Pukka’s online PR but all thoughts and opinions are my own after having tested the products. I made it clear that I could only test vegan friendly products and so a couple of the samples have not been reviewed but their details are given below for reference.

I was pleasantly surprised when Pukka PR contacted me, previously I had known Pukka only for their awesome teas and hadn’t realised they specialised in skincare, let alone ayurvedic skincare, as well.

WHAT IS AYURVEDA?

In brief ayurveda is an ancient and comprehensive medicinal and health care system from India. It focuses on balancing a natural healthy body with one’s surroundings in harmony mainly via prevention but also treatment. It encompasses the whole lifestyle and further depths cover areas such as foods beneficial for the body, mind and ‘spiritual’ capacities. In regards to skincare most of the companies I’ve seen that sell Ayurvedic products tend to go by the tri-dosha method where there are three general types of person (‘person’ meaning both the body type and personality) and hence provide products with ingredients that cater well to each of those types.

You can do a brief and fun quiz on Pukka to check your type here: Pukka Dosha Quiz

I personally have a huge crossover of two types with a small but still significant third type so when buying ayurvedic beauty products I tend to just have a general mindset and pick things based on ingredients I like and know work well for me. I find that acceptable for ‘light’ ayurvedic products such as the ones from Pukka with well known ingredients commonly used and grown or imported here but I tend to be more cautious with ‘heavier’ ayurvedic products with lots of exotic and often strong ingredients especially those with numerous spices. In those cases I think being a crossover type has more of a consequence since I’ve had skin irritation and long periods of breakouts after using strong products meant for one type.  After having tested some of the Pukka range I don’t personally think I need to worry about that and haven’t had any adverse reactions but I’m mentioning it for people who are new to ayurveda and are a crossover type who might think it’d be ok to use any ayurvedic product because one range was ok for them. In those cases where people are interested in a tailor made program or products they should seek the advice of experienced practitioners.

PUKKA AYURVEDA ORGANIC SKINCARE COLLECTION:

Pukka Ayurveda Organic Skincare Collection Gift Set Oil Serum Moisturiser Spray Toner Review

The darling sample set, attractively presented in a small gift box reminded me of a chocolate box – always a temptation – and contained 5 x 10ml mini sized products securely slotted inside the inner box thus safely surviving shipping and a ‘free’ 2ml sachet of oil.

1) Gentle Cleanser
2) Uplifting Toner
3) Radiance Serum – vegetarian friendly
4) Deep Moisture Day Cream – vegetarian friendly
5) Nourishing Night Cream
6) Firming Face Oil 2ml sachet
And an information leaflet

‘Completely free from parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances and colours’ and not only are the cardboard boxes recyclable but the plastic tubes along with their caps are as well.

Key for ingredient lists in review:

† Naturally occurs in essential oils
‡ Derived from plants
() Nature identical preservative system approved by Organic Standards

PRODUCT DETAILS:

1) Gentle cleanser – Organic Rosewater & Green Tea Skin Purifying Formula

INGREDIENTS
Aqua, Hemp Seed Oil*, Rose Flower Water*, Shea Butter*, Cocoa Seed Butter*, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Stearate‡, Sucrose Stearate‡, Coco-Glucoside‡, Castor Seed Oil*, Olive Fruit Oil*, Green Tea Leaf Extract*, Sunflower Seed Oil*, Aloe vera Leaf Juice Powder*, Soap Tree Bark*, Amla Fruit 100:1 Extract*, Gotu Kola Leaf 120:1 Extract*, Turmeric Root 20:1 Extract*, Manjishtha Root 70:1 Extract*, Neem Leaf 50:1 Extract*, Coconut Alcohol‡, Tocopherol‡, Xanthan Gum‡, Lactic Acid‡, Dehydroacetic Acid() , Benzyl Alcohol() , Citric Acid‡
Organic content: 92.9%

DIRECTIONS
Gently massage onto your face and neck. Rinse off with warm water.

EXPERIENCE
This product reminds me of a lotion; it’s White, creamy, has quite a thin consistency and subtle fragrance. The first time I used it I was surprised at how much grime it removed. I live in a congested city as shown by the ‘black snot’ that many of us suffer from by the end of the day but I’m still not used to seeing that much dirt on my cotton wool pad and I used more than one serving of the cleanser to completely clean my skin. I was also impressed with how soft and smooth my skin felt afterwards, another reason why this reminds me of a lotion.

On the following occasions I used the cleanser as recommended in the directions above so I couldn’t physically see how much dirt it removed but my skin felt clean and just as soft and smooth as the first time so I was happy. The cleanser removes both make up and dirt well and when I used cotton wool to rub my skin with it I used two pea sizes for my face, and three for the front and back of my neck and ears. When using the washing method I used approximately three pea sized drops in total.

I’d rate this as a 5/5

Prices:
Full size 50ml – £11.00
Individual sample 10ml – £2.50

2) Uplifting Toner – Organic Rose & Orange Flower Skin Firming Formula

INGREDIENTS
Rose Flower Water*, Orange Flower Water*, Alchohol*, Aqua, Calendula Extract*, Chamomile Flower Extract*, Marshmallow Root Extract*, Gotu Kola Leaf Extract*
Organic content: 100% of the agricultural ingredients are organic.

DIRECTIONS
Spray onto your face after cleansing or as a refresher over make-up.

EXPERIENCE
This is a handbag bonus imo, it comes in a solid glass bottle with a securely fitted spray dispenser and strong plastic lid. It’s a watery thin liquid perfect for a spray and Gold in colour. The first time I used this I was feeling very tired and insufficiently hydrated and as soon as I sprayed my face I felt instantly refreshed and invigorated. I became wide awake and all traces of sleepiness were gone. It absorbed very quickly and left my skin feeling a bit more toned.

I don’t usually use sprays over my make up but since the directions say it’s ok to do so I thought I should give it a try. It was those attempts that emphasized the only downside of this product imo, and it’s to do with the packaging not the cosmetic. The spray nozzle has one small hole in it which meant that whenever I sprayed my face with it, it came out in a splurt rather than a fine mist and that happened regardless of the pressure I used on the pump. Hence when the liquid came into contact with my skin it instantly fell down to my neck and chest if I wasn’t quick enough to stop it. Therefore I didn’t find it suitable for spraying over make up, that is unless you wear make up that won’t streak or wash off easily and it’s not something you’d want to try unless you have your make up on you to reapply afterwards just in case. To rectify the issue I sprayed the palm of one hand (both hands cleaned beforehand) to then quickly pat together with the other hand and spread the liquid over my face/neck manually, and when wearing make up lightly dabbing my hands over my face.

Overall I liked using this product before or after moisturizing in the mornings, or by itself during the day to benefit from that instant revitalization. With a nozzle adjustment it would be perfect for long haul trips too. I’d rate this as 4/5 due to the packaging which makes it difficult to fulfill its purpose, but the liquid itself does what it says in the title.

Price:
Full size 100ml – £17.50
No sample info available on site

5) Nourishing Night Cream – Organic Frankincense & Avacado Total Repair Complex

INGREDIENTS
Aqua, Hemp Seed Oil*, Rose Flower Water*, Starflower Seed Oil*, Avocado Oil*, Perilla Seed Oil*, Shea Butter*, Cocoa Seed Butter*, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Stearate‡, Sucrose Stearate‡, Coco-Glucoside‡, Pomegranate Seed Oil*, Sesame Seed Oil*, Aloe vera Leaf Juice Powder*, Amla Fruit 100:1 Extract*, Gotu Kola Leaf 120:1 Extract*, Turmeric Root 20:1 Extract*, Manjishtha Root 70:1 Extract*, Neem Leaf 50:1 Extract*, Frankincense Oil*, Australian Sandalwood Wood Oil*, Coconut Alcohol‡, Tocopherol‡, Xanthan Gum‡, Lactic Acid‡, Dehydroacetic Acid()­, Benzyl Alcohol()­, Limonene†
Organic content: 92.9%

DIRECTIONS
Apply a blueberry sized amount to your face and neck after cleansing and toning.

EXPERIENCE
This product is a White cream, with a subtle smell and slightly more oily feeling/texture than the cleanser mentioned above. Using the recommended method of application I could just about spread it all over my face and the front of my neck if I was fast since it absorbs very quickly so I found that it’d sink into my hands or fingertips faster than I could apply it and it absorbed into my face just as quickly. I had to apply it swiftly in one direction over my face to get it everywhere otherwise parts would be missed if applied randomly and there wouldn’t be enough left on the hands/fingertips to spread in different directions. There was not enough for the back of the neck and ears so I had to use extra.

The cream left my skin feeling soft and full but not moisturized to the level I usually associate with night creams. That thought was validated in the morning when my skin felt dry. My solution was to either use more before going to bed or topping up during the night. However that still didn’t leave my skin feeling or looking well nourished or significantly softer.

Overall I’d rate this as a 3.5/5 as according to the leaflet the cream is designed for dry to damaged skin whereas I have normal skin and dehydrate internally quickly yet the cream didn’t last long enough or work deep enough for me so I don’t know how dry skin would fare. It might work better for people with normal to moist/oily skin however bearing in mind that this is an ayurvedic product it is blended with certain body balances in mind which was the reason why I didn’t combine it with another moisturizer or oil to further provide for my skin overnight.

It might have properties that work best slowly overnight but personally I see the night and sleep time as the perfect opportunity to make up for what the skin goes through during the day as well as a chance to add the nourishment the skin could have gotten through the day but didn’t i.e. because it wouldn’t be very presentable to have a visible layer of moisturizer on. Hence I like a night cream to give me extra in all those important areas both visibly and invisibly e.g. nourishment, softness, suppleness and if I’m lucky a youthful radiance. I don’t expect it to last throughout the day but I like it to last at least until I wake up and wash. I couldn’t really see or feel those factors in the mornings after using this cream.

Prices:
Full size 50ml – £28.00
Individual sample 10ml – £2.50

6) Firming face oil – Organic Starflower, Arnica & Rosehip Mature Skin Formula

INGREDIENTS
Evening Primrose Seed Oil*, Hemp Seed Oil*, Sesame Seed Oil*, Rosehip Fruit Oil*, Sunflower Seed Oil*, Starflower Seed Oil*, Poppy Seed Oil*, Wheatgerm Oil*, Neroli Flower Oil*, St John’s Wort Extract*, Tocopherol‡, Petitgrain Leaf Oil*, Arnica Flower Extract*, Amla Fruit 100:1 Extract*, Gotu Kola Leaf 120:1 Extract*, Turmeric Root 20:1 Extract*, Manjishtha 70:1 Extract*, Neem 50:1 Extract*, Citral†, Geraniol†, Farnesol†, Limonene†, Linalool†.
Organic content: 99.9%

DIRECTIONS
Apply a small amount to your face and neck before, or instead of, moisturising.

EXPERIENCE
Even though this oil is described as for mature skin, I’m 30 years old hence my skin isn’t young or old but it’s not far off from either and since I love oils I was still glad to give this a try. Plus looking at the ingredients I figured that even though they may be particularly beneficial for mature skin they wouldn’t be detrimental to younger skin, though I’m no expert and don’t claim to know how the combinations of the ingredients would work – but still, I risked it and wasn’t worse for wear 🙂

My first impression was that it was a nice, light oil and the scent strangely reminded me of soap – not a bad thing in the slightest as I love natural soaps, also some people might find that refreshing. I found that a little went a long way and it absorbed quickly in comparison to most of the oils I’ve used.

It left my skin feeling soft and a bit more taught around the eyes and mouth. Those benefits lasted with multiple uses and the oil is light enough to wear during the day if you use a thin layer and have a little time to let it sink in fully if you want to add make up afterwards, but it also works well overnight if you use a suitable amount to last. I found that when I used it twice a day the overall condition of my skin felt better, it didn’t have a noticeably youthful effect but the skin felt improved. I surmise that with long term use the benefits would be recognized more and since a little of the oil goes a long way a full sized version should show that.

I’d  rate this as a 4.5/5 since it’s not really designed for my skin but did help it a little.

Prices:
Full size 30ml – £38.00
Individual sample 2ml – £0.40

PRODUCTS NOT TESTED

3) Radiance Serum – Organic Aloe Vera & Manuka Honey Revitalising Formula

INGREDIENTS
Aloe Vera Leaf Juice*, Manuka Honey*, Xanthan Gum‡, Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Roman Chamomile Flower Water*, Australian Sandalwood Wood Oil*, Olive Leaf 1:1 Extract*, Amla Fruit 100:1 Extract*, Gotu Kola Leaf 120:1 Extract*, Turmeric Root 20:1 Extract*, Tulsi Leaf 70:1 Extract*, Lemon Balm Leaf 1:1 Extract*, Passion Flower 1:1 Extract*, Citric Acid‡, Potassium Sorbate()­
Organic content: 97.5%

DIRECTIONS
Apply a thin layer to your face and neck before moisturising.

DESCRIPTION
Aloe vera and manuka honey to soothe and refresh. Gotu kola and lemon balm to tone and brighten the complexion.

Prices:
Full size 50ml – £32.00
Individual sample 10ml – £2.50

4) Deep Moisture Day Cream – Organic Neroli & Shea Butter Deep Nuture Complex

INGREDIENTS
Aqua, Hemp Seed Oil*, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Shea Butter*, Beeswax*, Rose Flower Water*, Rosehip Fruit Oil*, Poppy Seed Oil*, Cocoa Seed Butter*, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Stearate‡, Coco-Glucoside‡, Sucrose Stearate‡, Coconut Alcohol‡, Amla Fruit 100:1 Extract*, Gotu Kola Leaf 120:1 Extract*, Turmeric Root 20:1 Extract*, Tulsi Leaf 70:1 Extract*, Pomegranate Seed Oil*, Aloe vera Leaf Juice Powder*, Neroli Flower Oil*, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil*, Tocopherol‡, Xanthan Gum‡, Lactic Acid‡, Dehydroacetic Acid() , Benzyl Alcohol() , Citral †, Eugenol †, Iso Eugenol †, Benzyl Salicylate †, Geraniol †, Farnesol †, Linalool
Organic content: 92.6%

DIRECTIONS
Apply a blueberry sized amount to your face and neck after cleansing and toning.

DESCRIPTION
Neroli flower and shea butter to soothe and soften. Rosehip and poppy seed oil to firm and protect.

Prices:
Full size 50ml – £26.00
Individual size 10ml – £2.50

CONCLUSION

This is a lovely set of high quality products with practical variety and caters to various skincare needs. It’s presented just right for a gift or personal treat and makes an interesting introduction to complex skincare principles.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to try these and share my experiences.

The set can be purchased at http://www.pukkaherbs.com/organic-skincare-collection.html for £18.90

Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps – Which is your fave?

Dr Bronner Magic Castile Liquid 18 Soaps

LtoR – Almond, Rose, Citrus Orange, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint.

Who doesn’t love Dr Bronner’s Magic Castile Soaps, from those who’ve tried them? (‘Castile’ refers to olive oil based soaps made in the same/similar style to that originally in Castile, Spain.)

Dr Bronner’s soaps are some of the best known all natural, environmentally friendly and vegan friendly soaps on the market. They have a ton of uses but are officially recorded to have ’18-in-1′ uses and are also packaged with the most unique labelling I’ve ever seen. There’s so much information packed onto the label template that there’s no space and it’s full of his philosophy, I don’t agree with all of it but it makes an interesting read.

I’ve used all seven of the classic ones with the Almond and Lavender being my favourites and the Rose and Tea Tree coming a close second. They share the ingredients below along with their title top note:

INGREDIENTS: Water, Saponified Organic Coconut*, Organic Palm* and Organic Olive* Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils**, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

I like that they come in a variety of practical sizes, liquids and solid soaps, and are very good value for money both in price and quality – they are much more economical than many of the other healthy alternative soaps I’ve tried and last a long time. I initially found them too drying/strong for my skin when using ‘normal’ amounts but quickly realized a few drops were more than enough and cleaned just as well. They also have a rich and sizable amount of lather, which isn’t necessary in soap at all but it makes it easier for those trying natural soaps after having gotten used to commercial soaps that have synthetic ingredients added specifically to make lather. Basically, people have gotten used to it and like it so having it naturally is a bonus.

I find these soaps particularly helpful to take out with me in a small bottle or as refills. Before I was vegan I never liked the soaps at work or public places with their awful colours, textures, smells and questionable quality but was too lazy to take my own. Then I went vegan and had to take my own soap and found these ones beneficial.

What are the 18-in-1 uses?

Dr. Bronner recorded the “18 in 1 uses” on his label, which we have left mostly intact since his passing in 1997; however, people have told us many, many more uses for it than that. Here is his version.

Dr. Bronner’s version:Always dilute for Shave-Shampoo-Massage-Dental Soap-Bath! Peppermint is nature’s own unsurpassed fragrant Deodorant! A drop is best Mint Toothpaste; brushes Dentures Clean! A dash in water is the ideal Breath Freshener & Mouth Wash! Peppermint Oil Soap for Dispensers, Uniforms, Baby, Beach! Dilute for ideal After Shave, Body Rub, Foot Bath, Douche. Hot Towel-Massage the entire body, always towards your heart. Pets, silk, wool & body tingles head to toe – keeps cool! 3 dashes in water rinse most Sprays Off fruit & vegetables! 1/4 oz in qt H2O is Pest Spray! Dash, no rash Diaper-Soap!

Which of the recommendations have you tried and have you tried other ways? I’ve used them for hands/face, shower, shampoo, washing clothes and general household cleaning like surfaces. I love the idea of trying them on fruit/veg! I’ve never used the solid soap bars so would be interested in reading your views on those.

Renowned for their quality, versatility and eco-friendliness, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps enjoyed a small but loyal following in the early years. In the late 1960s, however, soap sales started to explode, due to the unsurpassed ecological quality combined with Dr. Bronner’s urgent message to realize our transcendent unity across religious and ethnic divides. Word-of-mouth soon made Dr. Bronner’s the iconic soap of that era, and in the decades that followed the soaps spread into every health food store in the U.S. and then into the mainstream as well — winning over fans from all walks of life on the way to becoming the number-one-selling natural brand of soap in North America.

Link (if you want to know more about the history, look at the timeline tab it’s very interesting!)

dr-bronners-magic-castile-soap-lavender-amazondr-bronners-magic-castile-soap-citrus-orange-amazondr-bronners-magic-castile-soap-rose-amazondr-bronners-magic-castile-soap-tea-tree-amazon

MuLondon Promotion – Send in a review for freebies!

MuLove = free MuLondon products & accessories (worldwide)

mulondon-natural-organic-vegan-skincare

I love a company that listens to its customers and rewards them and so was happy to be informed about a great promotion from the fabulous MuLondon.

Here’s what you do and what you get:

– Video review (2 minutes+): FREE MuLondon product + accessory of your choice, sent to anywhere in the world! Worth £35+.

– Text review (100 words+) with an image of you and your MuLondon product: £8 MuLondon voucher + T-shirt or a cosmetic bag! Worth £18.

– Text review (100 words+): £3 MuLondon voucher + small coin purse! Worth £8.

Outstanding videos and images will get extra prizes! Worldwide entries are welcome.

Rules:

Make your submissions through my contact page: http://www.mulondon.com/contact/ – Mark your entry “MuLove” and enclose the links to your image or video. You will get a personal response within 48 hours.

Text reviews need to be at least 100 words. Images should be submitted as high-resolution files, at least 800x800px. Videos can be uploaded via YoutTube or Vimeo and need to be at least 2 minutes long and in English. This promotion is available worldwide and subject to quality control. Complimentary accessories are sent out with your next order. MuLondon reserves the right to disqualify invalid or inappropriate entries. One submission per person per month. The promotion applies to new reviews only. By submitting text, images and video, you grant MuLondon the rights to use these. That said – have fun, be creative – and please share to let your friends know.

For more info about the promotion, prizes and tips go HERE

Bomb Cosmetics – They are ‘da domb!’ (and make great gifts)

I had the distinct pleasure of being introduced to bomb cosmetics recently, by the same friend who introduced me to Lush years ago (thank you friend!) and wow – I was impressed.

Bomb cosmetics have a wide variety of delightful and delicious looking (don’t eat them!) products that really appeal both asthetically and nutritionally for your body. Just looking at their product displays is somewhat overwhelming, it’s like being a child on their first trip to a candy store. The designs, colours, smells and for an adult, knowing that the company is one with values.

Now I’m the kind of person that likes to give gifts, for whatever reason or even no reason, if I like someone (and sometimes even if I don’t lol) I like to give gifts. It’s just my nature and I’m always looking for ethically minded gifts that people in general will like, whether we share the same ethics or not. That way I’m not going against my principles and the recipient still gets something truly beautiful and enjoyable.

From Bomb Cosmetics I think that the Bomb Cosmetics Luxury Ballotin Assortment Bath Gift Set would make an excellent introductory purchase or gift since it lets you can try six of their best selling cocoa and shea butter based bath products for a much lower price than if you bought them separately – bargain!

bath_bombs_melts

The set includes:

Rose Bath Creamer, Purple Bath Mallow, Marigold Bath Creamer, Rosebud Buttercup, Pink Bath Gem and Jade/Turquoise Bath Gem. Great for some luxuriating bath times and all vegan friendly.

OR for the more creative and quirky tastes there is:

Soap_paints_bath_fun_decoration

The Bomb Cosmetics Soap Paint Gift Pack is a gift set with three colours; rich raspberry (pink), crunchy apple (green) and oceanic wave (blue).  They are fruity, rich and cleansing soap paints are enriched with essential oils and make bath time for fun especially if bath time is shared (not suitable for children of 3 and under).

Some more info about their company:

Bathing…

One of life’s necessities but also one of life’s greatest pleasures. At Bomb Cosmetics we believe bathing is a time to indulge, a time to reflect upon and enjoy those increasingly rare opportunities to spend a little quality time by yourself. But being a little selfish and enjoying some “me time” doesn’t need to come at a price to the environment.

Environmental Issues

At Bomb Cosmetics, we aim to run our business in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. For example, the card we use in our products has a minimum recycled content of 70%. We use glass, aluminium and PET for our jars and bottles, all of which are easily recycled.

Animal Testing

Animals shouldn’t suffer because we choose to take these little pleasures in life. We ensure that none of our suppliers test our ingredients on animals by committing to a fixed cut off date policy in line with major animal right groups recommendations. We never will and never have tested our finished products on animals. We will support raw material manufacturers who fund alternative methods of testing the raw materials we buy.

Our manufacturing is very simple – we make everything by hand.

All of our products are mixed, pressed, moulded, rolled and shaped by hand. We don’t use anyone else to make our products and all of our products are made in our factories by our own trained staff. This way, we make sure our product quality is of the highest order – all of our products are 100% inspected before they are packed.

Our commitment to animal rights and the protection of our environment are commitments we take very seriously.

Hand Made Soaps

Our soaps are all made by hand in our own factory by hand. Each block is poured by hand, and then sliced by hand. All the shapes you see in the slices are made of soap and they are made by hand too. We use the finest quality ingredients and essential oils to make our soaps. They all contain Glycerine (from Palm oil) which is proven to lock moisture into the skin, meaning our soaps moisturise while gently cleansing your skin. They are very mild, having a pH of around 7 which is neutral. Our soaps contain the very finest perfume oils which means they leave your bathroom smelling fantastic, even when they are not being used. Why not treat yourself and find out how good they really are?

We take the art of bathing seriously

At Bomb Cosmetics we take the art of bathing seriously. Whether you want to relax after a hard day, refresh yourself before you go out or just lock yourself away for a little time to pamper yourself, we have designed our products with all of these situations in mind.

Our aim is to design products that make you feel special every time you use them. We combine fragrances that make your mouth water, or remind you of special times, or simply make you smell divine, with the finest, carefully selected essential oils.

And to complement our fragrances, we use natural ingredients like Cocoa Butter, rare oils like Gold of Pleasure and exotic naturals like Tabatinga White Clay which is harvested from the rainforests of the Amazon in a sustainable manner.

Their ingredients are not 100% natural but they are head and shoulders above many of the normal high street brands. This is a great introduction into the world of natural health.

They also sell soaps, face/body cosmetics and fragrances; a one stop shop for skincare 🙂

Enjoy!

Weleda Products Review – Oils and Body Wash

Weleda Goodies – Mini Oils and Creamy Body Wash

Weleda is the world’s leading producer of anthroposophical medicines and natural cosmetics. We exist to serve humanity and the world as a whole. We believe that every human is a unique individual, connected to the world in body, soul and spirit.

For the past ninety years we have been working in harmony with nature and the human being, using the purest natural ingredients to create meaningful products that enhance your body’s own vitality and the ability to nurture and heal.

100% Pure and Natural. All our products are certified natural by Nature and we aim to use only the purest wild-crafted, biodynamic or organically grown ingredients.
– No petroleum derived ingredients
– No synthetic chemicals
– No synthetic preservatives
– No synthetic fragrances
– No GMOs
– Never tested on animals

Disclaimer: I was kindly sent these sample size goodies by Weleda PR but all thoughts and opinions are my own after having tested the products. All of the products tested are vegan friendly.

Weleda Oils Body Wash Rose Lavender Sea Buckthorn Pomegranate Sweet Almond

Oils that do the business! 10ml

I am a big fan of natural oils, for food, skincare and healing so I was more than a little excited to try these and I have to say that I was and continue to be very impressed. They are packaged in small yet solid glass bottles/vials, with a leaflet inside a cardboard box.

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Ingredients – Sesame Seed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Fragrance* Limonene*, Linalool*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Farnesol*. (*From natural essential oils)

This was the first oil I tried and even after having used many oils, I was still a Sea Buckthorn oil newbie and for the first time in a long time I had a ‘Wow’ feeling after using this. I hadn’t really moisturized that much during the Summer heat especially not with oils but with the change in temperature my skin was ready for some pampering nourishment and it got it, and then some, with this oil.

It is a bright Orange rich/heavy oil with a subtle (and imo lovely), slightly heady smell. I primarily used it overnight, first cleansing my skin and then putting a little on before going to sleep, and when I woke up in the morning had the pleasant surprise of glowing and ultra soft skin. For the first week I woke up to these lovely results and my skin also looked a little fuller (alas with age the face tends to get more defined and the ‘rounded’ face of youth becomes a memory). After that my skin stopped glowing and the youthful look wasn’t as pronounced but my skin was still extremely soft whilst looking and feeling well nourished. I also found it especially helpful to use after steaming e.g. having a bath, when the skin needed moisturizing more this oil really stepped up to the plate and my skin did not feel like it lost anything through the exposure to water.

Overall I’d give this product a 9/10 because it does what it says on the packaging though I would have liked the initial reactions to have lasted a bit longer before my skin got used to it. But anything that naturally makes my skin both look and feel younger has my appreciation!

Sea Buckthorn Body Oil. Intensely nourishes and revitalizes. Helps skin regain its natural vitality.

Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil

Ingredients – Jojoba Seed Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Millet Seed Extract, Fragrance*, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Sunflower Petal Extract, Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Eugenol*, Coumarin*, Farnesol. (*From natural essential oils)

As you can see this particular product is like an oil powerhouse. I don’t usually use so many in combination as I find, even with the best ingredients they can have different effects and some ingredients will downplay or overwhelm others hence it’s hard to get the full range of benefits. However, using this product showed me that the recipe was balanced and complimentary in its effect.

This oil is the more traditional Yellowish tone and has a strong scent that reminds me of sweets/candy but with a sourness too. I used it mostly as an overnight product due to its ‘richness’ and because of all the different oils included I was slightly worried about how long it would take to absorb. It turns out that I was right and that it served best overnight on my ‘normal’ skin (not too dry or greasy), as well as an after-steam moisturizer.

It didn’t have the same ‘Wow’ factor as the Sea-Buckthorn but I was still more than pleased with it – I had the initial (though shorter lasting than the Sea-Buckthorn) ‘glow’ that I tend to have when trying new products and deeply moisturized feeling but the difference was that with product the softness lasted all day. I’d top up my skin’s condition with cream/lotion after washing, but overall the skin was still soft so I didn’t need to use as much. With long term use I’d guess that I wouldn’t need to top up with lotion as much because the oil would improve the overall condition of my skin.

Overall I’d rate this as 8/10 – it does what it says on the box and over time I think would be good value for both younger and mature skin but with the combination of oils might noticeably work differently for different people.

Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil. Promotes skin renewal. Helps to increase appearance of skin firmness.

Almond Soothing Facial Oil

Ingredients – Sweet Almond Oil, Plum Seed Oil, Blackthorn Flower Extract

When I read the ingredients list on this one I thought ‘now this is my kind of product’ – I like such lists to have few and whole ingredients, though that is just my preference and I’m not adverse to longer lists as long as they show quality over quantity.

As many of you will know sweet almond oil makes an excellent base for other oils that need to be used more sparingly and as such it is quite mild and suitable for many skin types. I therefore knew that I could use it more casually than the Sea Buckthorn and Pomegranate oils and was happy to see it combined with what I’ve read as ‘super’ nourishing and beneficial ingredients. It has a very light Yellow tone and very subtle smell that I can’t quite figure out what it reminds me of – but nevertheless should please those who dislike fragrant products.

I used this particularly after the temperature/climate significantly told us ‘Winter is here’ when my facial skin was feeling sensitive and a bit sore. I found the oil to be gentle and soothing like a light barrier, and it absorbed quite quickly with some massaging. It didn’t act so much as a preventative or very protective shield for the cold as it did a soothing balm but it isn’t supposed to be – it worked well for what is was/is, all day mid-level to cold (but not too cold) weather conditioner and buffer for sensitive to normal skin. Coupled with warm clothing it did the business.

Overall I’d give this a 7.5/10 because again this product does what it claims is a gentle general/all purpose oil but does not have the extra noticeable benefits that many are looking for nowadays like regained youthfulness, extra softening, sustained results over time, firmness yet elasticity etc. (Note – the full facial oil product size is 50ml, whereas the body oils reviewed are 100ml.)

Almond Soothing Facial Oil. Calms and nourishes sensitive skin. Ideal to use an eye makeup remover.

Lavender Relaxing Body Oil

Ingredients – Sweet Almond Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Lavender Oil, Fragrance*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Coumarin*. (*From natural essential oils)

Lavender is well known for its relaxing yet uplifting properties for both the skin and the mind. What is lesser known about it is that it has anti-sceptic and anti-inflammatory properties – two things that I gladly welcomed when for the first time in years my lips were invaded by cold sores! Perhaps its age combined with life and the quick change in whether we experienced in the UK recently but whatever the reason(s) I was not happy about them and was glad that I had a helper, in the form of Lavender oil on hand. In addition to using it as a shield on the more exposed parts of the body (hands, face and neck) I carefully used it around the cold sores (both when fresh and after having dried and turned into scabs) and noticed that even though the cold sores were still present and stayed as long as cold sores do, there wasn’t any actual ‘soreness’ to the skin. It didn’t hurt or later itch when using the oil and most importantly they didn’t spread or resurface in later infections.

The oil has a barely Yellow tone and doesn’t have as strong a smell as other branded Lavender oils I’ve used but that may be because there are two oils before the Lavender in the Weleda version whereas I am used to one base/carrier oil.

Overall I’d rate this as an 8/10. The oil isn’t as softening as other oils but it’s special in its soothing/calming properties and health care value, also a little goes a long way and it absorbs quicker than heavier oils. The main point I’m unsure about is based on people’s preferences – if you prefer a bigger dose of lavender this may not be for you as it is more subtle than others I’ve tried, but on the other hand a milder version might just be what you are looking for.

Lavender Relaxing Body Oil. Soothes and calms. Helps to reduce tension and harmonize the mind.

Wild Rose Body Oil

Ingredients – Jojoba Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Fragrance*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*. (*From natural essential oils)

I had’t been too impressed with many other rose products that I’d tried so far but that was until I tried this rose oil…

The first things I noticed was that this oil has quite a strong Yellow colour and the smell, wow the smell – The first time I opened the bottle and got a waft of the scent I thought ‘beautiful’ and then when I put it on the palms of my hands to put on my face and it warmed with the temperature, only then did I realize fully how beautiful the aroma is. It is enchanting and I can see why rose oils have been used since ancient times to attract one’s love interest. It really is like walking into a rose garden every time I use it.

The oil is fairly absorbent and doesn’t take too long to sink in with massaging so I was able to use it during the day (hands, face and neck) as well as overnight. I noticed that not only was my skin very soft, it was also smooth and more taut. There were a few nights during the testing period where I was too tired to moisturize before bed and where I didn’t sleep in good positions i.e. I ended up sleeping on my face but the following mornings I noticed that the tautness remained from the day use of the rose oil, all the way through the night and to the next morning. My skin would be drier than when I’d first applied it but as soon as I got up it went straight back into place rather than leaving sleep lines.

Overall I’d give this 10/10 – again it’s a Weleda oil that does was it says on the box, but it also has everything my skin needs. It’s moisturising, nourishing, improves the skin’s aging condition, is absorbent, long lasting and smells heavenly.

Wild Rose Body Oil. Pampering care. Helps improve skin’s suppleness and elasticity leaving it smooth and radiant.

(From advertising received) Musk rose oil is rich in skin-caring essential fatty acids, and helps stimulate the skin’s natural functions. The Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Care range contains a selection of products to protect, moisturise and care intensively for delicate skin. The scent is uplifting, refreshing and feminine. It takes three tonnes of fresh rose petals to make just one litre of precious essential oil of rose.

Weleda’s European beauty consultant, Lilith Schwertle, explains: “In our 30s the skin retains still its youthful resilience and elasticity but is also starting to show the fist signs of ageing, mostly around the eyes. Our unique facial characteristics are beginning to form. The skin may not glow as much as it used to in our 20s, and may be drier. At this time it’s important to support the regenerating processes in the skin with ingredients high in polyunsaturated fatty acids such as Rosa Mosqueta seed oil. This helps skin stay elastic and firm, strengthens the skin and builds up the protective barrier functions. Rose seed oil has also been traditionally used to counteract and reduce scar tissue and pigmentation, and to stimulate skin cell renewal. This nourishing oil contains vitamins A and E which help minimise the signs of ageing. Rosa Mosqueta helps the skin to maintain a harmonious balance.”

Shower Special

Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash 20ml

Ingredients: Water, Coco-Glucoside, Sesame Seed Oil, Alcohol, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sunflower Seed Oil, Glycerin, Fragance*, Carrageenan, Macadamia Seed Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Millet Seed Extract, Sunflower Petal Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid (non-milk, plant based [confirmed by Weleda PR]), Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Coumarin*. (*From natural essential oils)

For those special minutes showering each morning that I need to wake me up properly, I also worry about losing skin moisture. I’ve tried a number of shower cleansers and have liked very few. In this case as the name said it was creamy, and soft – but not only that, it actually felt somewhat revitalizing. I say somewhat because in general I use just enough and don’t lather up in soapy way but it’s enough to make me feel more awake and alive lol.

My skin felt instantly softer underneath it and retained some of that softness after toweling dry, unlike a number of other products I’ve tried where none of the softness stayed once washed off. The smell wasn’t one I particularly cared for as it was a tangy sweet smell that generally reminded me of lozenges but as I no longer use anything with artificial perfumes/fragrances, I appreciate that it’s the smell of natural ingredients and it doesn’t last after the wash. However my skin quickly got ‘used’ to this product and the post-towel softness decreased.

Overall I give this product a 6.5/10 because I have products that moisturize more, are more creamy and luxurious feeling and I personally enjoy the smell of more (which hence serves to enhance my mornings). The product also doesn’t really say ‘pomegranate’ to me, but it does clean and softens well whilst washing. The full size product is 200ml (in recyclable plastic) and this sample lasted just over a week so it would have been long last and value for money had I bought a full sized squeezy tube.

Here are choice quotes I found interesting from the advertising I received:

Enjoy this ultra-creamy cleanser with the confidence that the eco-friendly ingredients are as gentle on the planet as they are on skin. In standard shower gels the foaming agents – tensides – can adversely affect the environment as well as upset your skin’s natural balance. But the genuinely natural cleansing agents in this Weleda body wash are especially mild, are made from sugar and coconut, are quickly and entirely biodegradable and ecologically-sound even for aquatic life. Unlike many shower gels which can irritate delicate skin due to their high alkali content, this creamy body wash is naturally pH balanced, and it’s also free from sulphates (SLS/SLES) which are known skin irritants.

Weleda’s organic pomegranate comes from the fertile valleys in the coastal region of Icel in southern Turkey. This thriving fair trade farming partnership ensures Weleda has a top quality supply of organic pomegranate, and guarantees the farmers a reliable income. Harvesting begins just after dawn, the crop is hand picked, carefully and laboriously, to ensure the best quality fruit. The juice is extracted (for Weleda’s new hydrating Pomegranate Facial Serum) and the seeds are then dried before they are cold pressed to extract the valuable oil for this Creamy Body Wash. To produce just 1kg of the precious oil requires 500kg of pomegranates.

As aforementioned, Weleda caters to people in general, not just specific target groups and so they also offer cosmetic lines for Mother and Baby Care, Mens skincare, Oral Care (for all people) and natural Medicine (helping issues like muscular pain, stress, upset stomach, first aid and coughs/colds) and homeopathic remedies. One particular line I’m interested in are their additive free, sugar free (diabetic friendly) juices and elixirs – some of which are also honey free (vegan friendly). So if anyone has tried them please let me know!

I hope, dear reader, that you have found this review helpful and interesting; my thanks to you and to Weleda PR for giving me the opportunity to review these products.

All the best!