You’re no doubt familiar with shea butter (Butyrosperum Parkii) as an ingredient in many skincare products, especially natural beauty ones. It’s a top-notch moisturiser and skin superfood with high levels of vitamins and fatty acids and a host of benefits that have seen it rise … Continue reading
I often get asked for reviews of natural face creams with SPF. They’ve been somewhat lacking on the blog as my own preference is for non-nano zinc oxide as a UV blocker and when I started there weren’t that many … Continue reading
For a few months I’ve been on the hunt for a really decent all natural body moisturiser. I got off to a good start with Organic Surge Sweet Blossom Body Cream. It smells fabulous, a bit like sherbet, and has … Continue reading
I’d heard so much hype about A’kin’s Radiance Rosehip Oil, and rosehip as an anti-ageing ingredient in general, that when I was looking for a new face cream their Rosehip & Shea Intensive Moisture Antioxidant Creme was high up my list. … Continue reading
From the moment I opened the A Beautiful World A/W sampler box there was one product I couldn’t wait to get my mitts on, or rather, on my mitts: Intensae’s La Fideles nail polish. Many nail varnishes are jam-packed with nasty chemicals. Fortunately … Continue reading
Think Dirty is a Canadian app which scans the bar code on beauty products in your bathroom, or when you’re out shopping, and shows you a toxicity score based on Think Dirty’s rating criteria. You can also search by product name or brand.
As well as an overall score, ingredients are listed with their individual ratings and you can drill down to find more information around each ingredient’s usage, potential health impact and even pseudonyms so you can see where companies are trying to sneak in nasties under different guises.
The product’s ‘dirty meter’ gives an indicator of how it fares on carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies and immunotoxicities. And it also suggests similar, safer products that you might consider as alternatives.
A few caveats around using it:
- It’s aimed at the North American market so don’t expect smaller European brands to be covered
- Read the ratings carefully – ingredients such as geraniol and citral push the rating up as they are potential allergens, even though they naturally occur in essential oils
- I’m not sure it’s 100% accurate: my Aveda Curl Enhancer showed as containing parabens, which surprised me. I checked the packaging and couldn’t find any listed so I double checked online and Aveda firmly state that they do not use parabens in any of their products (I will follow this up with Think Dirty)
It’s a great quick reference resource and fun to use. I’m hoping for a UK version soon and the ability to search by ingredient (currently you can only access data on an ingredient after searching for a product which contains it).
For more info visit their site: http://www.thinkdirtyapp.com/
I don’t normally post bad reviews – I usually just relegate the fails to the bathroom bin and move on. But the Lush shampoos and conditioners are so bad that I feel compelled to get word out there. About a … Continue reading
I’ve become a bit obsessed with finding a ‘safe’ suncream recently, one that protects from the sun but isn’t packed full of nasty chemicals. I’ve been poring over horror stories on the internet about how skin cancer rates have actually gone up since we started using sunscreens, the dangers of nanoparticles and how many of the most commonly used ingredients are known to produce free radicals under UV light. Scary stuff.
I came to the conclusion, and this is very much a personal opinion, that plain old zinc oxide is the safest sunscreen out there. And that led me to US firm Badger, makers of the famous Badger Balm.
I’ve been putting their SPF 30 Sunscreen for Babies through its paces all summer, both on me and my 16 month old. It’s easy to apply, holds up to water exposure (it was actually quite hard to wash off) and has a pleasant smell. It also contains soothing chamomile and calendula, with sunflower oil and vitamin E to mop up free radicals produced in the sun. It does make you look a bit like you’re auditioning as an extra in a Twilight movie but I found that more of an issue for me than for the baby.
Badger also produces an SPF 15 for adults which is meant to be less whitening and they are reworking their adult lotions so I will be road testing these too and reporting back. To see all Badger’s sunscreens follow the link below:
In short, highly recommended for kids but grown ups might find the formula a bit white as an all over sunscreen.
Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen for Babies: £14.95 for 87ml
Natural credentials: 100% certified natural and 94% organic; non nano zinc oxide
Available from: 24/7 Healthfoods (£1.99 shipping cost)
Don’t let the fact it’s advertised as a baby bottom butter fool you. This is an intensely nourishing moisturiser with a rich, buttery texture that’s great as a night cream, body and hand cream, even a lip balm.
Comprising just four ingredients (olive oil, hydrogenated olive oil, vanillin and chamomile oil), it smells slightly of white chocolate, not unlike Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, and the chamomile calms dry, irritated skin. Researching the product I even found a review of how it had helped a psoriasis sufferer, confirming its gentle, soothing properties.
I’m actually a bit slow off the mark with this one. Vogue reviewed it back in 2008 (followed by every beauty editor in the UK and beyond) but it only came to my attention when my friend Smooch was stocking up on it to send to a friend in Australia. It’ll cost a fortune in postage, surely? It’s worth it, came the response. I have to agree.
Try decanting some into a small travel pot and keep it in your handbag for dry skin emergencies.
Waitrose baby bottom butter £2.89 for 125ml
Natural credentials: Olive oil and vanillin with chamomile oil to calm the skin
I discovered this mosquito repellent when I was pregnant and heading to a part of France that I knew was rife with mozzies. Realising I couldn’t use standard repellents I was desperate for a product that didn’t contain DEET, which isn’t recommended for use by pregnant women or infants under two.
incognito is 100% natural, meets UK safety and efficacy standards, and is repellent to ALL insects. It’s even safe for babies and those with sensitive skin (they suggest a patch test first, just in case).
The incognito website makes some fantastic claims as to its potency against insects. I can’t vouch for all the claims but it is easily as efficient as any other product I have used. Normally I am a beacon for mosquitos and I had read that pregnancy hormones would make me even more desirable, but on said holiday I was the only one out of a group of twenty who didn’t get bitten. I’ve used it ever since.
The smell – a lovely citrusy scent with a tinge of eucalyptus – means it doubles up as a summery perfume and is far less stinky than its more toxic competitors.
Incognito anti-mosquito: £9.55 for 100ml (product has a 24 month shelf life once open too)
Natural credentials: 100% natural ingredients; free from parabens, SLS and DEET