Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LUSH Travel Solutions

Post by Stacy

For me, air travel and beauty products are a big problem. Most of my flights are quick hops for overnighters or weekends, but I always have to check a bag (thanks to the ongoing idiocy of the liquids restriction). While I was perusing LUSH’s website, I saw that they have things in bar/solid form that I would never have thought of.  Knowing this could be life changing, I made a complete order. I tried each product out at home before taking it on the road. I didn’t want to discover flat hair and a wicked breakout while at a conference or a reunion. Disclaimer: I still can’t squeeze my liquids into one quart-sized bag, but I can now get them into two – and that’s easy enough to slide by security. Shhh…

Face Wash: Herbalism
This is a daily use for me, but it’s great for travel. It’s technically a solid, and I’ve passed it through airport security several times with no issue. The container is a bit large for short trips, so I have a small plastic tub that I use for smaller doses. Beyond its travel cred, Herbalism is a great product. The ground almonds make for great exfoliation, the herbal combo is soothing, and the sage and chamomile oils keep my skin from drying out. Its only weak point is make-up removal, so I have started using LUSH’s Ultrabland at night and Herbalism in the morning. Still, I used only Herbalism for months (and was pretty happy with it) and am planning to use it as a standalone for short trips.

Shampoo: NEW!
I selected this particular bar because it is meant for fine hair. My biggest concern was just, well, was it going to be weird or hard to use? It’s really not. You just wet your hair, wet the bar, and rub the bar around your head until you feel sudsy enough – and that doesn’t take long. It lathers up quickly and abundantly. Then I rinse the bar and set it back in the tin (which I bought separately from LUSH, and it’s perfect).
It has a strong clove and cinnamon smell, which is meant to be stimulating. I only use it while traveling, but I’ve been perfectly happy with it. It feels nice during and after, and it hasn’t left my hair flat or dried out.

Conditioner: Big
I opted for this one because it, too, is meant for fine hair.  It uses coconut oil and seaweed for moisture, and sea salt for volume. Weird, but groovy. It has a great smell and nice feel. The bar is really soft, making it a little trickier to use. You can either rub it right on your head, same as the shampoo, or you can squeeze off a piece and make a paste of it. I’ve opted for the latter, because I don’t feel like the bar will hold up for long if you over-wet it or handle it too roughly. I don’t use it for my daily, but it’s worked well on my trips.

Soap: Figs and Leaves
I love figs, so that was the deciding factor for this bar. You’ve met soap before, so I won’t belabor the mechanics. This has a rough texture, meant to exfoliate., but I use it with a pouf or cloth. The soap itself is fine, but I don’t love the smell - a little perfumey. I’ll opt for a different flavor next time.

Toothpaste: Atomic Toothy Tabs
Solid toothpaste? This was probably the biggest stretch out of my comfort zone. The tabs are small, a bit smaller than an Altoid. You put one between your front teeth and nibble it down into smaller crumbs, and the texture is soft enough that this is easy to do. Then you brush as per usual. It foams up very well, and it does leave me feeling clean and refreshed.

The Atomic flavor is a little intense: cinnamon, clove, and – strangely – coffee. I like it – it has an astringent effect and leaves you feeling like you’ve just had a mint. My man is not a fan and refuses to use it, but he’s a traditionalist and has a general aversion to strong flavors.  My only concern is that it doesn’t have fluoride, but since I only use it on the road and the necessity of fluoride is hotly contested, I don’t lose any sleep over it.

Deodorant: The Greench
This is the star of the show. As far as travel goes, you can probably get away with a typical solid, so this isn’t a critical find in that regard. I actually decided to try it for other reasons.

Anti-perspirants contain aluminum, which science has been linking to cognitive problems in later life. We all fear the Alzheimer’s, am I right? So I’ve tried to find deodorant-only options that work, and it’s been a no-go. I’ve tried Tom’s, several of the crystal-based varieties, and some simple essential oil options. None of them have been good at odor control, and many of them cause itching and burning. As it turns out, scratching my smelly pits made me feel less than delicate. And even when I go back to the dark mistress, I still have never found even an anti-perspirant that really controlled odor. Apparently, I have Beyond B.O.

Enter The Greench. It is absolutely the best odor control I’ve ever experienced – all day long, any weather. I once saw a news segment about chlorophyll supplements that control body odor in pigs and humans, and The Greench has chlorophyll – this has to be the magic key. Otherwise, it has an earthy/herby scent that isn’t overpowering. The powder texture feels silky, and it helps absorb the sweat of the day.  Even if I take a lunch walk and work up a bit of a sweat, I still don’t stink. Hallelujah!

If you check LUSH’s site, there are complaints about the messiness. I pour about two teaspoons into my hand, rub together, then apply to the underarm. There is spillage, but I manage to get most of it into the sink. Some have suggested pouring it into a dish, then using a powder brush to apply. I haven’t tried that, but it sounds reasonable. I also make sure to put it on before I get dressed, lest I get powder on my clothes. If you do get some powder on your clothes, though, it is far less of a catastrophe than with typical solids.

I did have some minor itching and redness when I first started using it, particularly after shaving. I couldn’t bear to give it up, though, so I forged ahead. I used my old anti-perspirant intermittently, definitely on shave days, to see if I could build up a tolerance to The Greench. This seems to have worked, and now I can use it daily without a problem.

Last little tidbit… If you live at high altitude, or if you take it on a plane or driving over mountain passes, be careful when you open it the first time.  Myself and my editor both live in the mountains, and we both had a powder explosion. Not a great way to start your day, so try unscrewing the top slowly instead of popping the lid right away.

LUSH does not test on animals

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Calling bullshit on "pink" October

Post by Beth

I don’t want to get off a rant here, but I’m a gonna.  I’m calling bullshit on the pink ribbon commercialization that hits us every October in support of breast cancer awareness month.  I have no issue with being aware of breast cancer; in fact, the disease has taken someone quite close to me.  The more awareness the better. What I have a problem with is corporations profiteering off the pink ribbon support campaign.  Numerous companies make special “pink” products that people can buy and proceeds from that sale are then donated to breast cancer research.  Here’s an idea—just donate money to breast cancer research.  Don’t play off consumers’ sympathy for a cause to get them to buy your stuff, in order to have a part of the sale (often a very small, small part) to be donated.

What galls me more is that a majority of these “pink” products are offered by cosmetics companies and contain a number of ingredients known to cause cancer!  They also contain endocrine disruptors and hormone disruptors, you know, that make cancer—breast cancer in particular—worse!  If cosmetics companies really cared about finding a cure for breast cancer, a good place to start would cleaning up the ingredients in their own products.

Ok, rant over.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Angel Face Botanicals Lavender Oil-Free Clarifying Serum

Post by Beth

I am begging all of you who have acneic skin to try this product—it has worked wonders for me! I received this product in my September Goodebox, and started using it soon thereafter.  Within a week my skin was clear and brighter and smoother.  I’m a believer!

With hyaluronic Acid, MSM, DMAE & botanical antioxidants, including green tea and witch hazel this serum balances oil sebum production, de-clogs pores and fights blemishes.  It is incredibly calming and soothing as well, making a good choice for those with rosacea.

The serum is lightweight and absorbs into the skin.  It doesn’t interfere with make-up application or sunscreen.

And if all this wasn’t enough, Angel Face Botanicals are “further infused with the Universal Healing Energy of Reiki and lots of love!!”


Key Ingredients: 
Lavender is beneficial in skin care as it works to regulate sebum production, fosters the regeneration of new skin cells and soothes inflamed skin. Known to be cooling, healing & tonic, Lavender Hydrosol is both relaxing and revitalizing for your mind, body and spirit. It is an adaptogen which means that works with your body's specific needs adapting itself to be soothing or revitalizing as needed. 

Aloe Vera is known for its healing, soothing, antibacterial and moisturizing properties. Naturally cooling, Aloe Vera is used to relieve burning, itching, irritated skin. Recent studies indicate that Aloe Vera has the ability to accelerate skin cell growth. 

Green Tea is a rich source of polyphenals and antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and

Vitamin E which are widely believed to help repair the effects of aging and environmental factors.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally substance in your skin that diminishes with age. HA helps skin absorb and retain moisture and promotes collagen and elastin. Specifically beneficial used in conjunction with Vitamin C to help smooth wrinkles and fine lines for a more youthful appearance.

Hydrating DMAE is beneficial for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. DMAE extends the life of cells and gives your skin a firmer and more toned appearance. 

MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in plants, meats, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables that contributes to healthy skin. MSM is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. It feeds the formation of collagen and elastin and discourages the formation of wrinkles and scar tissue. 

Rooibos is a powerful antioxidant. Japanese scientists have discovered that rooibos tea contains a mimic of the enzyme Super Oxide Dismutase (S.O.D.), an amazing antioxidant that attacks free radicals, thereby limiting their damaging effects on our skin. 

Witch Hazel is a natural anti-inflammatory astringent that helps tighten pores. Witch Hazel provides protection from scavenging free radicals and it soothes inflamed skin.

Astringent & anti-inflammatory, Black Willow Bark is also known to possess potent anti-microbial properties while stimulating circulation & cellular renewal. Black Willow contains phyto-estrogens which can boost collagen levels and ease the signs of aging.

Angel face Botanicals does not test on animals.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Today’s Tidbit: Loopholes in Labeling Laws Part 2

Generic terms on labels often hide the identity of some toxic ingredients.  For example, the term “Fragrance Free” may sound as if it means no fragrance chemicals have been added to the product, but manufacturers can legally add unidentified fragrance ingredients to mask foul odors generated by other chemicals and still call the product “Fragrance Free.”  Since fragrances are treated as valuable trade secrets by fragrance and perfume manufacturers, hundreds of the chemicals that show up in fragrances in personal-care products are never listed on labels.  And data complied by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health indicated that of 3,000 ingredients commonly used by the fragrance industry, about 900 have been identified as toxic. (p61)

Epstein, Samuel S., MD. (2009) Healthy Beauty:  Your Guide to Ingredients to Avoid and Products You Can Trust. Dallas, Texas: Benbella Books, Inc.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mask of Magnaminty by Lush

Post by Beth

Mask of Magnaminty is a regular part of my facial care regime.  It is especially useful for when my skin starts looking dull or is thinking about having a breakout.

This deep cleansing mask from Lush, features China clay and fresh peppermint to reach deep down and pull the debris from your pores.  The mint manages to be highly refreshing without being overpowering.  The mask has chunks of stuff that looks kind of like seeds, which are aduki beans to exfoliate flaky or dry skin.  With this exfoliation, it is also surprisingly soothing.

Lush does not test on animals