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Introducing: Company Checkup

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I HAVE A CONFESSION to make: I hardly ever buy cosmetic products anymore. Every time I go out looking for something new (and each time I think: this time I’m going to buy something and not just browse), I end up dividing the products I look at into two categories. The first category consists of products with only a few ingredients, all of which I recognize and probably already have at home, and I find it totally unnecessary to pay heaps of money for something that I could just as well make myself. The other category are products with a long ingredient list, and a lot of ingredients that I don’t recognize, and I don’t want to buy it because I don’t know what these ingredients are going to do on my skin. They might be beneficial for the skin (or at least not harmful), but since I don’t know, I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry and just go home and make something similar instead.

THERE ARE SO MANY cosmetic companies out there, all making all kinds of claims of being organic and natural. As you can see, my starting point is to be skeptical of all of them, until proven otherwise. But since I never actually end up buying and trying anything, I never am proven wrong. This is one of the reasons to why I decided to start a new post series. In this vast series of blog posts that I’ve decided to call Company Checkup, I’m going to go through a whole bunch of cosmetic companies who, in one way or another, claim to be “natural”, have a look at them and some of the ingredients they use, and try to make my own verdict of whether they are a go or a no. This includes everything from using words such as “earth” or “nature” in their brand names to being certified organic products. My aim here is to see if the brand actually lives up to their promises of being “natural”, which by no means is an assesment of the product in itself – only of their claims and of how well they live up to it. (more…)

Boar bristle brushes

What You Need To Know About Buying Boar Bristle Brushes

Boar bristle brushesWhen it comes to hair brushes, boar bristle brushes (BBB) are really the best way to go if you want to brush your hair with something that doesn’t break your hair at the same time. But make sure you get the right kind of brush – sometimes you might think you got a pure BBB, while you actually got one that was part nylon. Here are a few tips on how you can tell if the hair brush is actually made out of pure boar bristle.

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The 5 Best Apps For Your Toxic-Free Life

Smartphones and tablets have really become a widespread phenomenon, and there are no limits to the kinds of apps you can get to your phone. But when I was going to look up some good no ‘poo apps I noticed that there were really few of them. I still managed to get myself a few, and by thinking a bit creatively I found no ‘poo-uses for apps actually meant for cooking.

Here are my five favorite apps that come in handy when you’re either making your own skin care products, or when you’re shopping for good products. All of them, except for one, are free. Enjoy!

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homemade hair mousse from egg white

Egg White Hair Mousse Plus Egg Yolk Recipes

homemade hair mousse from egg white One of the things I often miss when making my own skin and hair care product is the fact that the products don’t always act the same way as store-bought products do. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar might make my hair super clean and softer than any shampoo ever has, but it doesn’t foam, and thus it doesn’t feel like a shampoo. An olive oil-sugar body scrub cleanses your body just like soap, only it doesn’t dry you out at all, but again… where’s the foam? I guess we’ve gotten so used to the fact that something has to foam to be cleansing, but it really doesn’t. The foaming ingredient is usually one of the worst ingredients in a cosmetic product, and will only dry out skin and hair.

But there are exceptions, and this wonderful, easy hair mousse recipe is one of them, and that’s one of the things that I absolutely love about it. It looks like a hair mousse, it feels like a hair mousse and it works like a hair mousse! The only thing you need for this is one egg and a beater. You heard me – egg, and nothing else. (more…)

Curl that Hair – No Heat Required

Pop quiz: what can you do with an old T-shirt, a head band and an odd sock? It might not be what you think.

Do you also have an old t-shirt that is badly homemade, with a reference that no one understands because they didn't grow up with the same children's shows as you did, and besides you need a partner for the thing to work? ...Yeah, there are better things to use this for than wearing it.

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The Difference Between A Chemical And Organic Hair Salon

I once heard somewhere that hairdressers is the occupational group that are forced to retire the earliest due to work-related health issues. I know, I know, you’ll have to look a long way before you find a source vaguer than this, but just thinking about all those chemicals, peroxides, ammonium and what-nots they have to inhale every day makes me think that it can’t be far from the truth. Lucky for the hairdressers, and lucky for us as consumers, there are now alternatives to conventional hair salons. In organic hair salons, the products used on the hair contain far less toxic chemicals than the products used in traditional hair care salons. (more…)

Get Your Sesame Oil Unroasted

Sesame seed oil is a great ingredient to use in homemade skin care, and is used extensively in ayurvedic medicine. If you have ever bought sesame seed oil for cooking, you know it has a deep brown color and a rather strong smell. A few years back, I ordered some cosmetic sesame seed oil from one of my favorite online raw material shops, the german kosmetische rohstoffe. I was surprised to see that it hardly had any smell and the color was much paler than the grocery store version. I thought that there was a mistake and I had gotten some other oil. But recently I found out that the sesame seeds that are used in cooking have been roasted, which give them the characteristic smell and color. Unfortunately, roasting the seeds also take out most of the nutrients. So if you’re using sesame seed oil in skin care, be sure to buy the light, unroasted kind. Then you have a fatty oil perfect as it is as a massage oil, face or body oil and cuticle oil!

 

The Guaranteed Chemical Free Eye Enhancer

Finding a good mascara that doesn’t smudge and stays on long can be rather tricky. Especially if you’re looking for something of the natural, no ‘poo variety. Personally, I don’t even use mascara right now, which is partly because I haven’t found a good one and I’m too lazy to go out looking for one. The other reason is that I’ve discovered the glory of a product that I, only a year or so back, would have awarded with the-most-unneccessary-product-of-the-century.

It’s this little guy.

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Cute Jars and Bottles for Your Products

Since a few years back, the safety regulations on airplanes have gotten all the stricter – nowadays there’s a restriction to the size of the liquid containers you can bring in your hand luggage. While this regulation can really be a pain in the behind for us who fly more often than we would like to, there’s also one unforeseen upside to this. In stores of all kinds you can now find small travel-size plastic jars and bottles of all kinds; spray bottles, lotion bottles, pump bottles… These small sized kits are perfect if you’re making your own products! I often start out by making a few different version of a product, but in very small quantities, and then try them out to see what works best. Lately, I’ve especially been drooling for these great bottles and jars from Muji. (more…)

Cocoa Powder – Hair Cleansing On The Fly

We’ve all been there. You’ve pushed that snooze button a few times too many, and all of a sudden you notice you have  to be at work in 20 minutes. There’s no time for reading the morning paper, and taking a shower is definitely out of the question. Luckily, I’ve found this truly miraculous cure for making hair that hasn’t been washed for three days look like you’ve just come out of a spa treatment at the hair dresser’s.

It’s cocoa powder. (more…)