Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying 2019 so far. I started this year by switching my skincare, including body care & oral care, to brands which are more natural. My husband and I joke that I am turning into a bit of a hippie with my new natural product craze – but I find that to be a positive thing! I am excited and happy and I think this journey is one that will benefit me greatly in the long run. I am sure it will also benefit my unborn baby, since I will be using more natural and wholesome products.
I’ve already discussed my natural skincare routine in my previous post, and I am still awaiting the last couple of items. I am thinking this will be my second to last post in this natural skincare series. In this post, I want to focus on the brand new products I have acquired. In the next and final post I will include the two products I am waiting on from Andalou Naturals, as well as my thoughts on the other Andalou Naturals products I have purchased.
In terms of body care and skincare, the way I look at it is: my skin is my biggest organ. It is a living part of my body just like my liver and heart. Which is what initially jolted me into switching things over to a more natural approach. If I rub synthetic chemicals all over my body, my skin absorbs them. Consequently, these chemicals get into my bloodstream. Yikes. Not something I want. I wouldn’t rub weird (possibly toxic) ingredients onto my other organs, so why would I do that to my skin? Anyhow, for fear of becoming preachy, I am fully aware that some of the synthetic chemicals aren’t “harmful”, but what could be better than getting our skincare from naturally sourced ingredients (especially if they are minimally processed)? I am not proposing we all open our own herbalist apothecary shops in our garages, I am simply acknowledging that getting our skincare from brands that protect nature, preserve it’s integrity, and work with clean ingredients is a good thing. Of course I will never be able to fully avoid all synthetics and additives, which is fine – I may not even want that in certain cases; I feel happy as long as I am doing my best and trying to buy consciously.
Before we begin with the new products, I want to address some mistakes most of us make/have made when choosing our skincare.
Common mistakes we make with our skincare:
- Not considering our skin type. Oftentimes, we buy what’s hyped up or what seems like it would be nice, but we might not always get the right products for our skin type. If I buy a product that’s raved about on the internet, for example, and it is for acne-prone skin but I have dry sensitive skin, my skin will not respond well to that product. To get the results you want and the results you expect, you must first learn which products are curated to your skin type. So, make sure you figure out your skin type before buying products.
- Not buying age-appropriate skincare. If you’re 18, you don’t need retinoids, acid peels, or other harsh ingredients used for anti-aging. If you’re 45, you don’t want to be buying one simple hydrating moisturizer and calling it a day. Every age group has it’s own skincare needs and, while it all comes down to preference, in the long-run using age-appropriate skincare is going to benefit you greatly.
- Buying too many products. Everyone needs a set skincare routine that works for them, but not everyone needs 15 different bottles lined up on their counter. Unless you have prescriptions for extra items, there is simply no need to use so many ingredients on your face at one time. In fact, using fewer products on your skin at one time provide better results.
- Not knowing which products to use together and what time of day to use each. It can be harmful for our skin to use certain products together. Similarly, it can be harmful to use certain products at the wrong time of the day. If you are using any kind of acid peel, they should be used at night and followed by a gentle moisturizer, and then you must use sunscreen when going out the following day. Further, using an an AHA/BHA acid and combining it with a vitamin C product is a big no-no. Both are acids and over-exfoliation can lead to nasty results. Same goes for retinoids, they should not be combined with acids; and you should never use vitamin C with a retinoid, that’s a recipe for serious irritation and UV damage. You get the picture, just be wise with what you combine and when you use each type of product.
- Not throwing products away after expiration. I know skincare isn’t cheap, and finding that 2 year old half-used moisturizer in your cupboard might seem like a stroke of luck, but it isn’t. The ingredients in there have deteriorated and/or gone sour. We’re not in an apocalyptic situation, lucky. There are plenty of stores to grab yourself a new product…so don’t hesitate to toss an old product (even if it isn’t finished). Old products will not deliver results and, depending on the product, they can even have adverse effects like causing irritation or acne.
- Using too many different brands/product lines. While it is totally fine to combine a few different product lines from the same brand to target your needs, it is not advisable to switch your skincare products too often. You will not get the results you want from your vitamin C serum if you use it once a week and use other serums in between. Using a single product line together will almost guarantee results, compared to using a number of different product lines every day. Similarly, different brands might have similar ingredients, but they are not always made to work together with another brand’s line. Now, this isn’t for every case, of course, but sticking to one brand is a way to ensure that your products deliver the results you want. Obviously, there are exceptions to these rules, but if you are not getting the results you were hoping for, try to stick with one brand/one product line.
- Not using SPF. We hear sun damaged skin ages faster, we hear the risks of skin cancer, yet still a surprising amount of people forgo using SPF daily. SPF is necessary even on cloudy days when the sun isn’t shining since the UV rays are still coming through. So, go get yourself a good quality face sunscreen and wear it. Your skin will thank you.
- Not considering the ingredients. I already spoke about organic and natural skincare, so I will not bore you with it once again…but, please consider the ingredients of what you are putting on your skin. You do not need to buy only organic products or 100% natural products, that is totally your choice, but you should definitely be aware of what you are putting on your skin and into your body.
- Not removing your makeup thoroughly enough. Removing all traces of makeup and daily build-up is a vital component of skincare. Washing everything off properly ensures that your skin is breathing, clean, and provides a fresh canvas for your skincare. Even if you’re exhausted, this step is crucial for maintaining your skin’s optimal health.
Now, on to the fun stuff – the haul! Let’s get into it…
Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh Mouthwash:
Honestly, fluoride is such a controversial topic. So I decided to try going fluoride free for the most part. I have heard some dentists say if you brush your teeth and floss, the fluoride is not necessary, especially because it’s not really doing much for your teeth when used in such small amounts. I have also heard the other side of the spectrum; dentists claiming that you must never stop using fluoride or your teeth will deteriorate way quicker.
Fluoride aside, toothpaste and mouthwash have a lot of pretty nasty chemicals which get absorbed from your gums into your body. For that reason, I decided to brush my teeth with natural, fluoride-free toothpaste and rinse with fluoride-free mouthwash twice a day, and at night use fluoride toothpaste. Why? Because at night is when my teeth have been through the most – all the meals, all the snacks, all the drinks, etc. So, if anything, that would be the best time to reinforce the teeth with a little fluoride. That’s just my thinking. Whether or not I will continue using the regular toothpaste once a day or stop altogether will remain to be seen. I like it so far, it’s a lovely fresh flavor, it leaves your mouth feeling extra clean, and it doesn’t burn.
Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Toothpaste:
This toothpaste has incredible reviews everywhere I checked, so I had to give it a try. People claim it heals their gums and it works wonders on their oral health. It will remain to be seen whether or not the toothpaste lives up to that, but so far I am loving it.
The flavor is quite nice, surprisingly. It’s minty and earthy with a hint of tea tree flavor. It also isn’t at all a weird transition as it foams up just enough to resemble the common drugstore toothpaste, and the toothpaste doesn’t leave a lingering flavor, but it does leave your mouth feeling very clean and very fresh. Awesome, awesome.
Jason Sea Fresh Strengthening Paste:
This paste I have also heard many great reviews on, but have yet to try it. I bought it on discount as a backup for when the Thursday Plantation one runs out. I look forward to giving it a go and I hope that it works for me. This one is supposedly most similar to “regular” toothpaste, according to some reviews.
There is a big world of natural toothpastes to discover. I do hear Tom’s of Maine makes a great toothpaste with fluoride, so I will use that as my fluoride dose for the day once my current “normal” paste is out. At least I will get the benefits of a natural toothpaste as well as fluoride.
The Green Beaver Company Deodorant (Lavender):
If you have yet to hear about how absolutely awful aluminum is for our system, then please go and Google it. It’s scary as all heck. Not only that but the other stuff in the conventional deodorants is not healthy either. So, I decided it’s best to go natural.
I’ve done a lot of research on natural deodorants and the consensus is that they kinda work and kinda don’t. That’s totally fair – we have become accustomed to zero sweat and zero smell. It’s fantastic and revolutionary, but also incredibly harmful. A person is supposed to sweat, but a person doesn’t have to stink. Which is why I went with this brand and scent. According to the majority of people, The Green Beaver Company makes the “longest lasting” natural deodorant. Particularly the Lavender one is most people’s favorite both in terms of longevity and scent. Hey, if I can avoid being smelly and also evade possible side effects of conventional deodorants, I don’t mind reapplying my deodorant once or twice during the day.
Lansinoh HPA Landolin:
Becoming pregnant has lead me to rethink a lot of things, as you can already tell. Interestingly, it also lead me to rethink conventional healing agents for dry lips. And yes, this is a nipple ointment. It is made of 100% pure medical grade lanolin which is hypoallergenic and totally safe to use on the lips, of course.
Lanolin is actually most commonly derived from sheep’s wool, however no sheep has to die for it – they simple shave the sheep for it’s wool and extract the lanolin from the wool. Anyhow, this magical potion is touted to be a miracle worker not only for breastfeeding moms, but also for anyone who wants to heal their chapped lips! I think that’s pretty fantastic, and I quite like that it is a naturally derived product that doesn’t contain anything else except the active ingredient. I am excited to try this!
EOS organic Lip Balm Stick (Sweet Mint):
I have tried EOS lip balms in the normal spheres before, and I hated the spherical shape because it was impractical and uncomfortable to use. However, now that I have discovered this easy-to-work-with shape, I am pretty excited. I am also very happy that this lip balm is organic and has naturally sources ingredients. Plus, this balm is petrolatum-free!! Petrolatum is disgusting and not at all good for you, so having that in so many lip balms is a little concerning. I actually have sworn by Blistex Lip Medex for years to cure my lips, and it does a phenomenal job. However, the petroleum jelly content has totally turned me off it. Anyway, the EOS balm is great, and I will be using it whenever I am on the go and cannot bring my tube of lanolin haha. Also, this sweet mint flavor is the greatest. I love minty things and I really enjoy having a scent or flavor that I will not get sick of.
Live Clean Hydrating Body Wash (Fresh Water):
Yes, body wash matters, too! I know there is castile soap, and I plan to purchase that as my next body wash. However, this body wash is simple and clean enough for me at the moment. Body wash doesn’t stay on the skin long enough for me to be too concerned about it. However, I will be getting a castile soap next, as I have mentioned.
I like that it is relatively inexpensive and has pretty decent ingredients in it. I also like the mild yet fresh fragrance and the fact that it does not dry my skin out.
Premium Nature Sweet Almond Oil (100% pure and cold pressed):
I wanted a product that can be used as a makeup cleanser, a base for making lip scrub, as well as a body moisturizer. I also did not want to invest in a body lotion that isn’t pure. Body lotion sits on the skin for a very long time and a great deal of it gets absorbed…and there is a lot of surface area for absorption. So, I figured why not use something pure and healing?
Sweet almond oil is very safe for all skin types, even acne prone and sensitive. It is rich in zinc, calcium, vitamins A, E , B, & also D, which means you are getting a whole cocktail of nutrients for your skin. In fact, some people use this as their face cleanser and moisturizer and note that their skin concerns have dramatically decreased. Sweet almond oil is actually used for a number of medical purposes as well, making it one of the most versatile and people-friendly oils around. And a final point about this oil is that it does not clog pores and it absorbs into the skin very well, so it will not leave a film of oil on your face or body.
Manitoba Harvest Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil (non-GMO):
Hemp seed oil, that’s a new one for me. I have only started looking into hemp seed oil several days ago, when I first ordered my Andalou Naturals CannaCell skincare. This is an incredible discovery for me because hemp oil is allegedly quite a miracle worker. You can use it on your salads, or in your smoothies, or you can simply take it like a vitamin, or you can apply it directly onto the skin. No, this oil does not contain THC or CBD, thank goodness.
Hemp seed oil is supposed to be filled to the brim with nutrients and health benefits. This oil is packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 and gamma-linolic acid (GLA). Further, if applied topically, it can help treat atopic dermatitis, boasts anti-aging properties, is very moisturizing, and soothes inflammation. Talk about a powerful amalgamation.
And so, I have opted to give this oil a try, since the benefits sound rather promising. We shall see!
Well, that brings us to the end of my recently purchased items. I am quite happy with everything and I am looking forward to exploring each product and seeing how they work for me. My hopes are up, though, when it comes to these things working well.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post! Have any of you taken a more natural approach to a certain part of your life? Alternatively, have any of you tried the products I’ve mentioned before or have suggestions for use? Leave any comments and/or suggestions in the comments section and I will definitely be happy to read them!