Tag Archives: natural beauty products

My Introduction to L’Occitane

You know what really gets me riled up?

When companies plaster “eco-friendly” or “natural” claims all over their SO-not-natural products just because they think consumers aren’t savvy or educated enough to know the difference. It’s called greenwashing, it’s everywhere, and it’s wrong.

But you know what I really love?

I love when I find a company or product that I’m interested in and want to buy, and then I do my research and find out that the company has an underlying commitment to sustainability and the betterment of our planet. You see, if a company has a really great products and a great commitment to sustainability, it doesn’t have to use one to sell the other.

…and to find one, well, it makes me feel like I’ve unearthed a true treasure. :D

This is exactly what happened when I found L’Occitane beauty products. I had heard the name many times before, but I had never really looked into the company much. But when I finally did: Wow! I was surprised – and uplifted! – to learn of their widespread commitment to sustainability, natural ingredients and ethical business practices.

L’Occitane, as a company, is committed to sustainability from its ingredients to its packaging and store practices. The folks there work to source sustainable ingredients, lessen the consumption of limited resources, and engage in fair trade and ethical treatment of the people creating their products.

“For the past two years our staff have been travelling to West Africa toteach the L’OCCITANE way of making soap to women in the Burkina Faso co-operative, where our pure shea butter is made.” ~ Olivier Baussan, L’Occitane Founder

In reading about L’Occitane, the one thing that really stood out to me was that they don’t claim to be perfect, but they have a tremendous dedication to continuous improvement. They detail SO many plans for how they plan to make their processes even better – like adopting a Life Cycle Analysis for many of their products, which means they can analyze the sustainability of each product from production to packaging, finding ways to improve along the way.

And, to top it all off, their products are gorgeously packaged, with a huge selection including bath and body care, home fragrance, haircare, and baby and men’s items, too! The ingredients and scents are deliciously tempting, which is SO much fun, since scent is usually the first thing to go when you decide to go a little greener.

Visit L’Occitane’s website to browse their selection of  beauty products and anti-aging skincare, and learn more about their commitment to sustainability and the future of our planet. Or, stop by one of their 170 boutique locations!

 

This is a sponsored post. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

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Filed under Green Living, Product & Service Reviews

Coconut Oil: Not just for butts anymore!

I’ve been using coconut oil as a cloth-diaper-safe butt cream for over a year now. Luckily, we haven’t had to deal with diaper rash, but teething sometimes makes Little Man’s bum a little angry, and a swipe of coconut oil calms it right down every time without causing my diapers to repel.

But this week, I fell in love with coconut oil all over again for a completely different reason. 

Those of you who tweet may have seen me mentioning the horrible case of hives I had last week. At least I thought they were hives. It turns out I had an allergic reaction to something (who knows what) that I had come in contact with, and I was a mess.

I had a red, itchy, swollen rash all over my face, neck, torso and hands. I think my right pointer finger was the worst, and it blistered so much I was actually afraid it might scar. When I went to the doctor, he seemed concerned about infection because it was getting pretty ugly.

He immediately prescribed a round of Prednisone. When I mentioned that I am nursing and we are trying to conceive, he decided against that prescription. (I was relieved because I just hate medication in all forms, and I have to be pretty much dying to agree to it…)

The rash seemed to be calming on its own a little, but he still wanted to prescribe Triamcinolone Acetonide cream. But only for my hands. Not my face, because it’s more vascular and too much could enter my bloodstream.

Sorry, but does that sound safe to you? Uh, no thanks. :?

OTC hydrocortisone? I think I’ll skip that too.

So I left and went home, happy in the knowledge that I didn’t have some kind of incurable skin crud, but not sure what to do about the severe itching and raw skin on my hands and face.

And then I remembered: A jar of Tropical Traditions virgin coconut oil in my cupboard.

Could that work? Why not!? With all I’d read about the different uses of coconut oil, it made perfect sense. :idea:

I immediately put a thin layer on my face and a slightly thicker layer on my hands. On the really bad parts, I applied it a few times.

That was yesterday and, long story short, you can barely see where the blisters were. No lie – the parts of my hands that were affected actually feel better than the rest. This stuff is amazing: just one simple ingredient that’s 100% pure and safe for me as a mama, my baby, and the baby that we’re already looking out for, just in case. ;)

Prednisone disaster averted. 

Just one more reason I plan to keep a jar of coconut oil in my house at all times. Thanks so much to Tropical Traditions for a great product, and I look forward to finding out what other tricks it can do! :)

I was not compensated in any way for this post. I just really, really want you all to know how great this stuff is!

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Have you ever used coconut oil? What is your favorite use for it?

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Filed under Green Living, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food

Excuse me, there’s something green on your face…

What’s your first stop when you hit the mall?

Soft pretzel? Lingerie store? That weird store that’s all dark inside and sells clothes for teens that look like they should fit a toddler?

My first stop always used to be that “bath and body” stuff store. You know the one…you can smell it a few stores down. You can go in there and spritz, spray and sample to your heart’s content, only to walk out enveloped in more scent than a Yankee candle. Something about the whole process just made me feel thoroughly girly, and I liked it.

Now I know that if you can smell it, that means it’s entering your bloodstream, so I stay away from synthetic fragrances, and I’m trying to move away from synthetic ingredients altogether. I’d like to get to a point, someday, where I don’t put anything on my body that I wouldn’t eat. It’s a major life change, though, so it’s slow going. (I just can’t seem to part with my bottle of “special occasion” perfume…)

One tool that has provided lots of motivation for me is the book, Green Babies, Sage Moms: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Organic Baby by Lynda Fassa. (Read about Lynda here.)

I devoured this book in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is expecting a baby, hoping for a baby….and, frankly, anyone who’s ever been a baby! I guarantee you’ll find tons of eye-opening information that pertains directly to YOU.

Fassa writes, “The skin is the body’s largest organ. Sixty percent of what we put on our bodies is absorbed into the skin. If in doubt, consider the effectiveness of the nicotine patch. The Chinese call the skin the third lung because it is such a direct pathway to our bloodstream!”

If you really think about it, it’s just weird that you have to pay several dollars for one rose, but you can buy rose-scented body lotion at the dollar store for, well, a dollar. In most products available today, ingredients like flower petals and natural essences have been replaced with petroleum-based alternatives, chock full of phthalates and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. I figure, I wouldn’t coat my body in paint stripping chemicals, so why use beauty products that contain the same ingredients? It may make you look or smell pretty, but in my opinion, there’s really nothing uglier.

Especially now that I spend most of my time with a baby boy clinging to my body, licking my face and burying his nose in my hair. A good example of his effect on me: It wasn’t long after his birth that I gave up foundation/powder makeup. At first, I switched to a natural brand, but now that he’s giving kisses, I just don’t feel like he should come away with a mouthful of makeup.

I’m not trying to say that I’ve given up everything, or that I think you should. Heaven knows I need a little help in the beauty department right now, and with my only real “me” time being my daily shower, a pretty scent helps rejuvenate me and makes me feel like me again!

Luckily, those of us who aspire to a greener beauty regimen don’t have to go cold turkey. Lots of companies are getting on board and offering low-phthalate or phthalate-free products, and those with all natural ingredients. (But beware of companies who “greenwash”  in an attempt to score your dollars. See where your favorites score on the toxicity scale at Skin Deep: The Cosmetic Safety Database.)  

Essential oils are a great choice, too. And if you’re feeling really crafty, you can even make your own  beauty products with a few simple ingredients you already have in your kitchen! Avocadoes, bananas, yogurt, honey, sugar, ground almonds, oatmeal, mint, and many others…they all go beyond the breakfast table with properties that have the potential to beautify (without jeopardizing your health!) 

Here are a few beauty recipes from Lynda Fassa’s book that I have tried with great results. They provide a great way to spoil yourself, and feel doubly good about it!

Frozen Margarita Body Scrub

  • 1/2 lemon (seeds removed)
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup papaya nectar
  • juice from 1 grapefruit

Combine the 1/2 lemon and sugar in food processor and pulse until well incorporated. Add other ingredients. Puree together in food processor. Freeze in ice cube trays. Pop from trays and store in plastic storage bag in freezer. Use in shower as invigorating natural hand-held body scrub. On stressful days, body scrub cubes can be put into blender for spontaneious virgin-margarita parties! Or, when not pregnant or breastfeeding, add white tequila or Cointreau for emergencies!

Soothing Treatment for Rough Heels

  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon almond oil

Mix well. Apply generously to the soles of feet, then slide feet into heavy socks. Sleep with mixture on and wash it off in the morning. Or, if unable to sleep with it on overnight, leave on for a minimum of 30 minutes, then wash off. For cracked heels, repeat 2 to 3 times a week for ideal results.

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Do you have a favorite beauty product recipe? Do share!

If you found out a favorite beauty product had toxic ingredients, would you stop using it?

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Filed under Green Living, The Everyday