Cocoa for a Winter’s Day

I have always been a sucker for delicious food and drink smelling body washes–which made me the ideal consumer for beauty brands like Philosophy. I bought a bottle of Philosophy’s Belgian Waffles body wash last year and loved the smell of it. Shortly after that I bought Vanilla Birthday Cake. I had to stop myself from buying a handful of other flavors until I used up the flavors I already owned. But after a few weeks of using my new body washes in the shower, I noticed a disclaimer on the back of the bottles that explicitly states: “NOT FOR USE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 4.”

This immediately gave me pause for concern. I myself have a child under 4…so that disclaimer just didn’t sound right. I figured it was probably time to rethink the dangerous ingredients I was making an allowance for in my shower gels just because I was so enamored with the sweet-smelling flavors.

That’s when I decided to throw out my two half-full bottles of Philosophy body washes and go in search of a completely pure, all-natural body wash that didn’t pose a threat to my 1-year-old. The trouble was, I wanted to find one without the gross ingredients that still smelled every bit as delicious as Philosophy’s. I tried a few brands that just didn’t stack up until I recently came across the body washes from 100% Pure. My absolute favorite flavor so far is the Cocoa Kona Body Wash which makes my shower smell like a a cup of cafe mocha every morning. It’s the best form of comfort on a cold winter’s day.

On the FAQ on the 100% Pure website, someone asks, “Are your products safe for kids?” Their answer is: “Since 100% Pure products do not contain any synthetic chemicals, parabens, sulfates or harsh detergents, artificial fragrances or color, phthalates, 100% Pure is safe for kids to use.”

It’s about time.

I’d still like to ask the higher-ups at Philosophy what it is that happens to a child after he or she turns 4 that makes their body washes suddenly safe? Do their systems magically become strong enough to handle all the harsh and dangerous chemicals in the body washes? Think I’m exaggerating with the words harsh and dangerous? Check out this list of what was in my Vanilla Birthday Cake body wash and you tell me if, aside from the water part, you want the rest of this crap all over your skin or, more importantly, your child’s skin?

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Tea-Lauryl Sulfate, Ppg-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Stearate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Fragrance (Parfum), Polyquaternium-7, Peg-150 Distearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Buteth-3, Tributyl Citrate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Propylene Glycol, Caramel, Red 40 (Ci 16035), Red 33 (Ci 17200).

On the other hand, here is an ingredients list of what’s in the Cocoa Kona Body Wash from 100% Pure. I think you’ll notice a pretty striking difference:

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Juice 1, Organic Rose Hydrosol 2, Organic Lavender Hydrosol 3, Saponified Coconut Oil, Cacao Oil, Chocolate Extract, Pure Chocolate Absolute, Hazelnut, Organic Green Tea 4, Calendula, Prickly Pear, Pomegranate, Acai Berry, Goji Berry, Noni Fruit, Maqui Berry, Elderberry, Blackberry, Organic Raspberry 5, Grapefruit Seed and Japanese Honeysuckle, Hyaluronic Acid

So if you agree with me that there’s nothing as delicious as a cup of chocolate flavored coffee to kick off the day, you must try Cocoa Kona Hydrating Body Wash by 100% Pure.

An All-Natural Deodorant That Works?

Many women have a tale of how they tried switching over to an all-natural deodorant after learning about the dangerous chemicals in their regular daily deodorant. Most of these women say they tried an all-natural deodorant for about a week and then quickly realized it didn’t keep perspiration away like the mass market deodorants do.

Well, I’m happy to say I think I’ve found an all-natural deodorant that actually works. I learned about this particular brand after reading numerous online reviews from women who were surprised to have found a safe deodorant l that actually did what it was supposed to do. The deodorant is from a company called In Love With Body Care.

In Love is a small, independent brand started by a group of sisters concerned about their health. Their founding concept was simple: They wanted to “only put on the skin ingredients that also nourish the body, and to put into the body that which will promote all over health and beauty.”

I have now been using In Love all-natural deodorant for three weeks and have been very impressed with the results. I have not experienced any difference whatsoever when it comes to wetness, odor, etc. The deodorant has kept me completely dry.

To be totally fair, I want to continue using this in the warmer, summer months before giving it a 100% Guru stamp of approval, but for right now, I can easily say that this is the best all-natural deodorant I’ve found thus far.

Here is what the In Love website says about this particular deodorant:

HOW IT WORKS

IN LOVE deodorant addresses the cause of the odor rather than
just covering it up with synthetic fragrances. It also cuts back on
perspiration without using aluminum (a harsh astringent) to clog
pores. IN LOVE feeds your body the essential minerals potassium and magnesium, which most people are deficient in, taking deodorant a step further and actually providing health benefits.

IN LOVE deodorant is completely free of all toxic ingredients.
Every ingredient is good for your body and safe for the earth.

**Note: Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and brain disorders, and is a possible risk factor in breast cancer.

INGREDIENTS

Natural Mineral Salts– Certified to be free of aluminum
Castor Oil
Beeswax
Coconut Oil
Jojoba Oil
Grain Alcohol
– A natural alcohol derived from grain, and distilled (which eliminates any allergens present in grain.) When combined with Boric Acid it creates a catalyst that speeds up the reaction between the odor causing organic acids and the mineral salts to eliminate odor immediately.
Boric Acid – Naturally mined Boron salt (a mineral).

NOTHING ELSE ADDED.

One more thing about this deodorant: Because natural mineral salts are a primary ingredient, should you cut your armpit while shaving, be prepared to get a little “salt in the wound.” I did this once and it really stung. But I’d take a little stinging any day in exchange for the knowledge that I’m not putting dangerous chemicals under my arms on a regular basis.

A stick of this stuff only costs $8.50 and it lasts for a really long time.

Embracing Your Curls

Like most women with curly hair, I spent my life at war with my curls. I coveted my best friend’s stick straight hair. As a result, I purchased a series of horrible $4 box straighteners at Walgreens. The outcome: My hair did indeed become straight…it also became the texture of straw.

While getting a haircut my freshman year of college, the stylist—in a moment of truth—commented on my over-processed locks: “Wow, you really fried your hair.” Two weeks later I returned to her and said, “Cut it all off.” I let her cut off everything but two inches. I needed a fresh start. (In the interest of total disclosure I should also add that my boyfriend at the time kept telling me I’d look good with super short hair. Well, he was wrong. I looked like the long lost twin of John F. Kennedy Jr.—RIP.)

While sporting my healthy but not-so-attractive new hair at the beach one day, my natural curl had the chance to emerge for the first time in well over a decade. My girlfriends couldn’t stop complimenting me on how gorgeous my curls were. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I realized they were right. My curls were beautiful—but the frizz that accompanied them was not. The frizz was so bad, in fact, it drove me right back to my old habits. A week later I had regressed to using paddle brushes, straightening irons and an arsenal of other weapons to achieve stick-straight hair once again.

Thankfully, after college I stumbled upon the website NaturallyCurly.com. There I read reviews from fellow curly-haired girls describing which hair products worked to tame frizz and separate and define curl. I followed their recommendations and bought some of the suggested products, and guess what? I now rarely go a day without a stranger stopping me to complement me on my gorgeous curly hair. All I was missing was a little knowledge about the right products for a total beauty transformation.

But here’s the catch…finding all-natural products for curly, frizz-prone hair can be a little trickier. Here are a few that I’ve found to actually work.

One product that tames frizz pretty well is Simply Organics Anti-Frizz Calming Cream.

Glossy Locks Hair Balm will also definitely tame your frizz, but I must warn you that a little goes a long way with this stuff. The ingredients are very potent and using too much of it makes hair look greasy right away. Yes, even frizzy, dry, curly hair will look instantly greasy if you put too much of this on.

Ingredients are: Avocado Butter, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Rosehip Oil, Lavender Essential Oil

I’m also a fan of Intelligent Nutrients hair line. Today I have their Organic Leave-In Conditioner and their Certified Organic Styling Gel in my hair.

A little goes a long way with these products too. I will warn you that the aroma of the leave-in conditioner may be a little reminiscent of your local health food. But with ingredients such as Rice Bran Extract and Black Cumin Seed Oil, you can understand why.

All Intelligent Nutrients products are free of silicones, parabens, chemicals, phthalates and artificial fragrances.