Tag Archives: natural skin care

Review: Alaffia Everyday Coconut Face Wash

I was stocking up on some essentials on Vitacost when this face wash caught my eye. It was pretty affordable, so I went ahead and ordered it and I’ve been using it for my evening cleanse for a few weeks now.

Though it has coconut water and coconut oil, unfortunately, it does not smell like coconut. However, it’s still pretty great. The smallest amount produces a really soft, luxurious lather that leaves my skin feeling clean, but not dry.

This same range has many more products and I may have to pick up their toner or lip balm one of these days. Have you tried anything from Alaffia?

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New Book: Skin Cleanse

all my books are from the library

all my books are from the library

I recently picked up the book “Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin” by Adina Grigore. Grigore believes diet plays a crucial role in skin health and advocates for a super minimal routine that includes everyday pantry staples (think olive and coconut oils, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda) and very little (natural) make-up.

While there is a lot of sense in Grigore’s ideas, I think, like many things, they may be best used in moderation. I love my junky processed foods and gin and tonics too much to give up on them, but I’m going to try to be more mindful of my dairy intake. I really like using a variety of products and make-up, but perhaps I will work on paring things down a bit. While not entirely practical, Grigore’s book is a good reminder that healthy skin starts from the inside.

Have you read this yet? Would you ever replace all your beloved skin care products with pantry staples?

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Face Serums

I often wonder if face serums are worth their expensive price tag. Supposedly, they are a crucial component of a skincare routine packed with anti-aging ingredients that keep your skin looking young. However, because they are generally touted as offering long-term results, it’s hard to justify spending lots of money on products that don’t seem to be doing much on a day-to-day basis.

In my case, I do usually spend more on serums than other products. I figure why spend a fortune on a cleanser that is going to be rinsed off in a minute or a toner that is just going to evaporate off my skin? If serums do what they claim, then where is my credit card?

(I’m not too concerned with going all natural when it comes to serums – you want some powerful anti-aging action, you’re going to need some chemicals.)

Though skincare gurus tell you to use a serum in the morning and evening, because they are expensive, I only use them in the evening. I cleanse, spritz on some rosewater, and while my skin is still damp, I apply a bit of serum. I’ve been alternating between two as of late:

Neither seems to be doing much for my skin in the short-term, besides providing some extra moisture. Ask me again in 25 years.

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Affordable Natural Skincare

When it comes to creating a natural skin care routine, there’s no need to break the bank. Here are a few affordable and natural skin care products I’ve been trying out:

  • On the high end of the affordable spectrum is this Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream. I’ve been using this as a night cream and it is lovely. Smells like marzipan and absorbs well.
  • I just started using this Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Creme with Argan Oil and Mint. A really nice simple cream cleanser that smells like a mojito and rinses off cleanly.
  • When my skin is breaking-out, I like to use this Now European Clay Powder as a face mask. The first time I used it, I followed the directions and mixed it with water, but after a minute or two on my face, it started drying out and got SO ITCHY and I couldn’t stand it and had to rinse it off immediately. I now mix it with honey and a tiny tiny bit of water and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Maybe it’s psychosomatic, but after I use it, my skin seems to glow.

When it comes to skin care, do you stick to high-end products or are you more a fan of budget buys?

p.s. Use the code QZC051 for a discount at iherb.com.

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One Love Organics

One Love Organics has become quite the darling of the green skincare community with awards, lots of positive press, and every natural skincare blog singing their praises. I decided to check out a couple of their products to see if they live up to the hype.

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Active Moisture Cleansing Oil and Makeup RemoverOf all the OLO products, this is the one that I hear the most about. It is a lovely light oil with an amazing pineapple scent that does an excellent job of gently removing make-up. Best of all, after you rub this all over your face, you add some water and the oil transforms into a cleansing milk and can be rinsed away –  no washcloth required!

I do really like this cleansing oil, but after some use, I’ve found that I prefer using it for my second cleanse. This product is just too good/expensive for my first cleanse, the one where I want to just get my make-up off. For that, plain oil or a mix of oils (coconut, olive, jojoba, castor) does just fine. Using this as my second cleanse, I can really spend some time massaging it into my skin and I’m not just using it to move around the make-up and dirt on my face before rinsing it off.

Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Masque. I’ve been mixing this product with raw honey and a bit of water and using it once a week as a masque. Again, it has that wonderful pineapple scent, and while I don’t notice a lot of difference in my skin since I started using it, I do feel like it helps my make-up apply more evenly. Plus, that bit of me-time and the luxury of this product is a nice weekly treat.

While I really enjoy the two OLO products I have, I doubt I will re-purchase either of them as I don’t like to spend my skincare money on cleansers and masques/exfoliators that do not sit on the skin for very long. However, I think if you’re into natural skincare and don’t mind spending some extra money, these products are super lovely.

Have you tried anything from One Love Organics?

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Review: Lavanila Healthy Deodorant

Generally, I’m a fan of Schmidt’s deodorant, though I’ve noticed that sometimes it makes my armpits sting. I’ve done some research and this stinging is not uncommon and is usually the result of baking soda, one of the main ingredients in Schmidt’s.

As my tub of Schmidt’s was nearing its end, I ordered a stick of Lavanila Healthy deodorant, which is baking-soda free. It also doesn’t have aluminum, sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, mineral oil, and synthetic dyes or fragrance.

The stick format of this deodorant makes it much easier to apply than the Schmidt’s deodorant, though the formula is much wetter so I need to be more careful when dressing after applying it. I’d say it works just as well as the Schmidt’s, though the warmer months will be the true test of its effectiveness. I got the vanilla grapefruit scent and it pretty much smells like you would expect.

Next on my list of natural deodorant’s to try: Meow Meow Tweet’s. The best way to get it in Canada seems to be through Petit Vour (I hope they have the grapefruit scent when I’m ready to order…).

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iHerb “Haul”

iHerb has become one of my go-to online shops for lower-end natural/green skincare. Because it’s based in the U.S., I never purchase that much in one go as I don’t want to get stuck paying duty. I’ve found I can spend about $40 and not get dinged. Here is my most recent iHerb purchase:


If you’re interested in placing an order with iHerb, use the code QZC051 to get a discount.

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You’ll Never Guess What I Wash My Face With…


Well, you probably will, now that you’ve seen this picture. Honey! It’s one of the weirder products I use since transitioning to a more natural skin care routine, but I find it’s really great for my morning face cleanse. I simply scoop a bit out with wet hands, rub it over my face, rinse it off, and then use a damp washcloth to make sure it’s all off. Honey is naturally antibacterial and doesn’t dry out my skin like traditional cleansers.

Are there any weird products in your skin care routine?

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Toners, What are They Good For?


I’ve only really developed a proper skin care routine in the last year. Before that, I washed my face with Ivory soap morning and night, put on some SPF during the day, and that was that.

I forget what the impetus was towards developing a better routine, but I’ve since added a morning toner, evening serum, and night cream. I’ve also changed from Ivory soap to a dedicated face cleanser and usually do a double cleanse at night.

There are still certain steps in this routine that, according to skin care ‘experts’, I am lacking. I don’t exfoliate, use a serum during the day, or use a dedicated eye cream, because I just don’t know if these are worthwhile steps. I feel similarly about toner.

Apparently toner helps re-adjust your skin’s pH level after cleansing and adds a bit of moisture back into the skin. Honestly, I don’t think toner does anything. I can go without it and see no change in my skin. However, it is a step I’ve come to really like. I use rosewater and find spritizing it on in the morning is super refreshing.

Of the two brands of rosewater I’ve used, I prefer the Thayer’s as the smell is less perfumey than the one from the Heritage Store.  However, the Thayer’s does not have a spray top, so I need to decant it into another vessel. Not a deal-breaker.

Do you use a toner? Do you find it makes any difference to your skin?

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Review: Schmidt’s Deodorant

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I heard that Schmidt’s deodorant was among the best of the natural deodorants, so it’s the first one I’ve tried in my quest to find a chemical-free option.

I have hyperhidrosis (i.e. I sweat a lot), so the best I can hope for with any non-prescription product is that it will keep sweat at bay and prevent odour. The Schmidt’s deodorant does exactly that.

I picked up the Bergamot and Lime for myself and the scent is lovely, though I wish it smelled more like the former than the latter. I got the Cedarwood and Juniper for my husband, but the smell is definitely something both sexes could get away with.

The one downside of this deodorant is in the application. It comes in a tub, rather than in a traditional roller, and you use it by scooping up a little of the product with the included spatula, warming it up between your fingers, and then slathering it on your armpits. It takes probably three or four times longer to apply than traditional deodorant, but 2 minutes really is not a huge inconvenience.

Next on my list of natural deodorant to try: Lavanila and Siglarr brands. When I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I might even try to make my own.
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