Does Tom’s Deodorant Really Work?

Recently, I have been looking for a new natural deodorant to use. I have had my fair share of disappointments in the past. Ranging from deodorants that stained, didn’t control odor, and others that irritated my skin. I had previously tried Tom’s of Maine deodorant before, and it fell into the category of not able to control odor, AKA I smelled! That’s the worse.

However, stopping into my local CVS, I realized my only option for natural deodorant was Tom’s. Peeking around the corner to see if I could find anything else, I reluctantly picked up a pack and figured this might be the best time to see if anything has changed. I did read on the label that there is an improved fragrance, and the packaging looked slightly different than I remembered. Here is hoping that the outcome is slightly different as well.

To my greatest relief when checking with Skin Deep’s database, the deodorant I picked up, Tom’s of Main long lasting, aluminum free deodorant stick in wild lavender, is registered as a 1! That is a fantastic score for a deodorant. Now I just have to see if it works.

My ultimate test is the gym. I decided that very next day, we had to put this deodorant through the ringer and go for a long run. I ran 3 miles at a gym that was overheated and poorly ventilated. Yet I didn’t smell! I was sweaty, but there was no odor. Since then, I ‘ve been using the deodorant consistently and still have not had a problem like I had before. I do still sweat when it is hot and humid, but I’ll take that over using nasty antiperspirants that are loaded in chemicals.

The greatest part is that the price is affordable, compared to other natural deodorants. It is less than $7, half of what I use to pay. I think I found my new favorite healthy deodorant!

Do you use Tom’s of Maine products? If so let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Sources:

“Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Natural Aluminum Free Deodorant Stick, Wild Lavender.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/463292/Tom%27s_of_Maine_Long_Lasting_Natural_Aluminum_Free_Deodorant_Stick%2C_Wild_Lavender/>.

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Is La Mer worth the $2,000 price tag?

There are a plethora of creams and skin care products on the market that register at an obscene price per ounce. La Mer being one of the most recognizable, pricing anywhere from $85 to $2,000. That is a whole lot of money for a cream! But is it worth it?

Typically, no. In fact, some of these extraordinarily expensive creams have the highest toxicity levels. La Mer cream registers a 9 in toxicity containing chemicals that affect the  developmental and reproductive organs (Think Dirty App). Culprits such as fragrance, petrolatum (petroleum jelly), zinc gluconate, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and methylisothiazolinone are found in this $2,000 per 16.9 oz cream. Not exactly what I would want to smear over my face for such a hefty price tag.

However, the lifting intensifier spray is registered as a 4  on the EWG’s Skin Deep database. The toxin, propylparaben, is found in the product causing the rating to go up a bit but still not as harmful as the cream. The highest risk is endocrine disruption. But don’t worry it only costs a cool $170.

My experience? Just because they are expensive, doesn’t always mean they are healthy for you. Certain organic, and natural products are pricier but often range around $30-$60. For these products, companies use better ingredients without preservatives. Anything $100 and above, I begin to question the quality and if it is worth the price tag.

What are you thoughts and opinions? Do you use products with hefty price tags?

 

“LA MER THE LIFTING INTENSIFIER (2007 Formulation).” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/143965/LA_MER_THE_LIFTING_INTENSIFIER_%282007_formulation%29/>.

“Think Dirty App.” Think Dirty. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2015. <http://www.thinkdirtyapp.com/>.

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Pura D’or Hair Care Review

My mom always told me that with great hair and nice shoes you can do anything. It didn’t take long into my 20’s to realize how right she was. Like with many products, the haircare industry is hard to navigate. Many shampoos and conditioners say they are healthy, nourishing, and replenishing, yet are loaded with toxic chemicals like Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Parabens. Which is why I was super grateful when Pura D’or, an  organic and natural hair care line, reached out. I am constantly looking for products that actually take care of my hair and health at the same time. When I receive a few gigantic size bottles of Pura D’or products, I could hardly wait to step in the shower and give them a whirl.

healthy hair pura d'or

 

What I received:

Pura D’or Hair Loss Prevention Therapy Shampoo

Pura D’or Healing Conditioner

Pura D’or Argan Oil

What I Experienced:

Starting with the shampoo, I was amazed by the very unique smell. It is invigorating and refreshing! There are cedarwood and lemon scents to it, which I appreciate after using so many floral and fruity fragrance shampoos. This one stuck out.

The conditioner has a soothing scent of cocoa butter and the consistency is very thick. I didn’t need much of the product to cover all of my hair, and I have a lot of hair! It consists of a rich texture and full of moisture. The quality is impeccable.

The argan oil is 100% oil, not watered down at all! This is the real deal. For that reason, again, I didn’t need too much for it to make a difference. I used the oil for styling and as a heat protected when flat ironing my hair. It worked beautifully.

pura dor

healthy hair products

The Ingredients:

All of Pura D’or products are free from SLS, Parabens, and chemical preservatives. The Argan Oil is USDA Organic certified and only consists of organic Argan kern from Morocco. It is registered as a 1 (very low) on the Think Dirty App for toxicity. An excellent and healthy product.

As for the Shampoo, the ingredients are derived from non-GMO products. I really appreciated that there are no use of fragrances and that each listed ingredient had a thorough explanation of what it is. Most of the ingredients registered as a 0-2 in the EWG’s Skin Deep database with the exception of the following:

Cocamidopropyl Betaine- (4) fair data reporting concerns of allergies and immunotoxicity

Zinc Pyrithione- (3) limited data reporting concerns of allergies and of toxicity

Phenoxyethanol- (4) limited data reporting concerns of allergies and of toxicity

The conditioner is 99% plant-based ingredients and no added fragrance once again! With fewer ingredients and each listing under a 2 rating in the EWG’s database, this is an incredibly conditioner.

Overall, Pura D’or is a wonderful choice for a healthy hair care solution. I love the smell, the texture, and the way it has made my hair shine consistently this past week. If you have questions feel free to reach out or comment bellow!

“COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701520/COCAMIDOPROPYL_BETAINE/>.

“PHENOXYETHANOL.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/704811/PHENOXYETHANOL/>.

“ZINC PYRITHIONE.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/707074/ZINC_PYRITHIONE/>.




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Are These Sunscreens Really Healthy?

Summer is here, and that means plenty of time in the sun. Protecting our skin is essential, but do you know some sunscreens can cause more problems than help? Even “natural” sunscreens contain elements that are pretty toxic.

So, I went straight to Sephora and bought the two highly advertised “healthy” sunscreens. Due to my reward points, I was able to obtain a free sample of a well-recognized healthy face sunscreen. Score! So, are these really toxic free? Here is what I discovered.

coola

 

First is Coola, a sunscreen used by the popular Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina! I am initially drawn to the beautiful packaging and fun name. Marketed as a sunscreen that uses certified organic ingredients, I bought the unscented in SPF 50. I know well enough to avoid fragrance, and anything under 50 SPF is best. I would have purchased the lotion form if it were available, but Sephora only had the aerosol can.

The rest I went to EWGs Skin Deep database to learn more. I found my purchase was rated a 3 in toxicity while there were many others rated a 1 (considered a great rating in the database). The reason for concern is that there is an ingredient Octinoxate that may cause disruption in the endocrine, developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as other organ toxicity. The data on these concerns are limited, and the determination of how severe is still to be decided. Overall, a 3 is considered low exposure and much better than most sunscreens on the market.

From my personal use of the product, I discovered it left me feeling very sticky if I didn’t rub in the lotion properly. There is a shiny glaze, looking like I had put oil on my skin. I didn’t mind that as much, but some might be put off by the effect.

My personal opinion is that I would rather purchase the baby suncare that is listed as a 1 in toxicity in lotion form.

supergoop

Next is Supergoop! I saw so many bloggers last year raving about this sunscreen and couldn’t wait to test it out for myself. On the can, it reads that it is non-aerosol and uses 35% less alcohol. It is infused with vitamins and antioxidants, which rarely means anything. I went straight to EWG to discover that it is chock full of toxins. Rated a 4, and considered moderate, it contained higher marked ingredients than Coola. Not only did it contain Octinoxate, but also alcohol, homoslate, octisalate to name a few. Most of these are used for skin absorption. The effects are for such ingredient may lead to cancer, reproductive disruption, and organ toxicity.

My personal experience is that I coughed each time spraying the solution on. It is pretty potent stuff. I also still felt like I was being burned from the sun on my shoulders even though I placed ample sunscreen on. Though a 4 is still better than most, I feel that if I am going to spend $20 on sunscreen I want better quality and a product that won’t cause me to cough when applying. To me, I will pass.

tarteguard

 

Lastly is the little sample I received of Tartegaurd. I was happy that it came in a lotion and is specifically for my face. The brand as a whole is known as a natural, paraben-free company. But what about their new sun care line?

Here is what I found. It is formulated without parabens, mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, and triclosan much like most of Tarte’s products. Since it is a new sunscreen, it is not on the EWG or Think Dirty database. So I looked up the rest of the ingredients one by one. Most inactive ingredients registered as a 0-1 (very low), with the exception of the following:

  • Polysorbate 20- (3 score) contaminant concern
  • Phenoxyethanol- (4 score) irritation
  • Propylene- (3 score) irritation
  • Fragrance- unknown ingredients

Active ingredients are:

  • Titanium dioxide- (1-3 score) May be carcinogenic if in aerosol form.
  • Zinc Oxide- (2-3 score)  might be linked to allergies, and occupational hazard when in aerosol.

Overall, this product contains low toxicity! I loved that if felt like lotion when applied. There was no stinging or irritation.

After all the research and testing, Tartegaurd is my personal favorite healthy sunscreen. Let me know if you have any toxic free favorites!

 

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Rain NYC Store & Product Review

Recently, I was fortunate to have been invited to the Rain NYC store located in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Intrigued by their mission on using wild harvest ingredients, and promoting fair trade work, I was eagered to learn more! Exactly how invested are they in bringing natural products to consumers? Do they live up to their promises posted on their website? And what about quality and smell! Needless to say, I eagerly booked a date to go and find out all the answers to my questions.

Arriving at the infamous 30 Rock building, I quickly located the beautifully bright Rain store along the North Side of 49th street. Before even entering, I noticed the beautiful display of avocado shaped soaps and jars full of what I later discovered were “earth eggs”. I was immediately allured! I could have easily mistaken it for real food.

Rain NYC Store Review
I was greeted by this beautiful display.

Stepping through the heavy doors, I was immediately hit with all the calming scent of lavender. Wow, was it beautiful inside! Rows of fresh products organized so neatly. The manager for the day gave me a private tour of all Rain’s products. I was blown away as she explained how each oil is the perfect cure for different skin ailments. I noticed quickly that the products are grouped in themes. There is one whole section dedicated to honey bees, and another to wild cotton. There is a whole wall dedicated to pressed oils, and the middle section equipped with any type of soap you might ever need. I could spend all day in the store listening and learning about the ingredients.

Speaking of ingredients, how exactly do this products live up the to the organic way? Good question. On the Rain website, it states the company use ingredients grown naturally in Africa. There are no Parabens, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, liquid paraffin, or petroleum chemicals used in any other their products. I’d say that is off to a great start.

They also use local women who know how to harvest the fields to work for their company using fair trade wages. No child labor of any sort is involved. The fact that I loved discovering the most was how dedicated the company is in providing jobs, especially to women and the disabled. Low technology involvement and high labor are the root to their success. The quality of the products are extraordinary better due to it.

Rain Africa New York City Store Review
All sorts of bathtime fun.
Rain Africa product review and NYC Store
Rock shaped soaps!

Which brings me to quality and smell! The Rain NYC store sent me home with three deliciously smelling products to test and try for myself. All included the beautiful, relaxing lavender scent that I adore. The body scrub I received was very gentle to my skin yet got rid of dead skin. The body butter was super luxurious! It melts in your hands and is the most incredible feeling ever. It moisturizes even the driest part of my skin. The last item I receive was the artisan soap bar. I was most impressed on how long it lasted. Usually, bars of soap goes quickly, but this one lasted and left me feeling refreshed. Each included some sort of oil that helped nurture my skin.

Rain Africa Oil 100% natural
A wall dedicated to natural oils.
All natural baby products from Rain Africa NYC store
They even have a line of baby products.

 

How does it measure up in regard to the EWG’s Skin deep database? It is currently not on the database, but I am in talks with the company for a precise list of ingredients. The fact each product excludes parabens, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, liquid paraffin, or petroleum chemicals is a huge step above the rest of the products on the market. I also appreciate that the ingredients are organic due to the natural harvest method. I do wish to learn if any perfumes are added, or additive ingredients to create lathering effects.

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Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Review

Don’t you ever wish you can get your eyelashes looking like they are inches long but don’t want to glue on ugly falsies. Yep me too, mainly because I have no hidden talents in gluing structured hair onto my face. I tried once and the lashes became extensions to my already full-figured eyebrows…it wasn’t pretty. And while I love my natural eyelashes (work what you have, girlfriend!) I also have so much fun testing out beauty products that essentially make me feel like a movie star.

Enter Younique 3D Fiber Lashes. As a gift from the lovely Debi Jackson who works for Younique, I was able to try out the amazing beauty product that enhances lashes within minutes. The best part is that they are paraben free! Only registering a 3 on Think Diry App as containing ingredients that could possible cause irritation. This blew my mind on how healthy this product is compared to other leading names on the market.

What is Younique 3D Fiber Lashes:

Well, to clarify it is not false eyelashes, and it isn’t exactly mascara. The formula of success for this product is a balance application of black gel and tiny black fibers applied in a similar manner as mascara. The gel is not glue, thank goodness or I would be in the ER with doctors trying to pry my eyes back open. Instead, what I experience was the gel having very similar consistency and look as mascara but slightly more fluid and stronger to hold the fibers in place.

Total time to apply the product was maybe 2-3 minutes. Pretty quick. Which brings us to…

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Review
Top is the mascara holding gel; Bottom is the fibers!

Application:

It is easy. Again, thank goodness! Just like regular mascara you swipe the gel onto the lashes first, then follow it by swiping on the 3D fibers. You can repeat this process depending on how long and full you want your lashes. I did the process twice and that created the perfect Hollywood glam look I wanted.

To seal the fibers in, you can use the gel or a mascara. But frankly I wanted to see what happened if you used neither. Would the fibers fall off, or fade throughout the day? To really put this product through the ringer, I walked by the beach and let the salt-water air brush against my face.

Guess what happened? The fibers were still in tack! I didn’t have any random pieces under my eye, nothing running down my face. I was amazed how well they held up. My hair was another story, but the lashes still looked amazing.


Rinse off:

What is great about the Younique 3D Fiber lashes is that they wash off easily at the end of the day. I used warm water and tear-free soap to rinse away the beautiful lashes without a struggle. When I went to pat my face dry, there was no residue on my towel. Score! Looking back in the mirror, my natural eyelashes were still entact and looking healthy. I mean, this product made me smile from start to finish. It has been a long time since I’ve been this impressed with any type of makeup.

Final thoughts:

Why are you still reading this, go get the product! I rarely suggest buying something immediately, but this is one of those treats that just will make your day. It is perfect for the holiday season with tons of events and parties to attend. It is fun, photographs well, and makes me fee so glamorous. I know my New Years Eve look is now complete because of Younique 3D Fiber Lashes.




For more information on product ingredients, or to order, feel free to contact Debi at Younique!

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