Tag Archives: beauty products

Time to Detox and balance my life! (The green way)

Sometimes in life you just know you have to make a change. You can feel it and see the signs.

That’s what happened almost four years ago when I decided to end my relationship with over consumption and start the Not Made in China Challenge. I was falling down the rabbit hole; starting to consume more than I ever had before I moved to the States.

Now, here I am again. Making changes. This time the “signs” that I must do so are on my face.

perioral dermatitis

After having a baby, breastfeeding and not eating near as well as I was before baby, my face decided to flaunt a bit of perioral dermatitis. This is a rash like skin condition around the month and nose, found mostly in women, and dermatologists are unsure why it happens. Beauty products too harsh for the skin, hormonal changes, allergy or acne medicines may be to blame. Either way, I don’t like looking “not good” and after trying a bunch of topical remedies (that didn’t work), I came to the conclusion that only way to help my body heal is to go vegan, clean and balanced. (And I must tell you that a dermatologist I went to see, immediately gave me antibiotics! All they want to do is sell medicines! I did not take it.)

Healing comes from within.

First, when it comes to eating plant-based food, that means ZERO cheating. No sprinkles of cheese. No “fine I’ll have the chicken rather than eating rabbit food”. No coffee and no alcohol either (that’s the detox part). I’ve been cooking up a storm these past two weeks (I’m sharing many of the dishes on my instagram account @sustainableanna if you want to see the yumminess!) and my skin is improving. Tuscon spicy lentil tacos anyone?

Second, clean means a vanity clean from junk. I spent last Saturday getting rid of everything toxic. Products containing parabens, SLS, alcohols and such. I’ve been using “mostly” clean products for a while so why keep the old nasties lying around disturbing my bathroom piece? I did get a kick out of how ridiculously few pieces of make-up I own (no need to toss anything!) though. Meredith Tested inspired me further when she published a new blog post on skin care, recommending simply washing my face with raw honey (I know, not vegan!) which is calming, soothing and tastes good. Love it. (Check out Meredith’s zero waste routine here.) I also added some beautiful, all natural, vegan, American-made, compostable products to my cabinet from Meow Meow Tweet.

Make up sustainable life
A pic of the make-up I own (except my mascara and eyeliner)

Third, a balanced life is a life with inner peace. Now, I’ve never been happier than I am right now with our little love-bug-baby, a safe home and a great work-life balance, but I needed to rid more toxins out of my life. Like what?

Like seeing stupid, dumb-ass posts on Facebook from below average IQ people. Facebook just HAD to go. I’ve been hesitant about deleting my profile for a while now, convincing myself I need it to “stay in touch with friends” and “promote my blog”. The truth is FB wasn’t driving very much traffic anyway and the people I really care about have my number. Off. It. Went. (I took the plunge and deleted the whole thing, deactivating it felt like Facebook still had some sort of hold on my personal information.)

Slowly, I am seeing my face clear up. It’s still red in areas and I still have my dermatitis but it’s moving in the right direction. It doesn’t hurt anymore. Though I am not ready for an “after picture” yet, I am feeling optimistic about this clearing for the first time in months (yes, months!) and really good inside. I lost almost all the baby weight I had left to lose in the last two weeks too. Bonus!

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, I want to promote a plant-based, healthy, toxic-free lifestyle.

It doesn’t only benefit us as humans but it helps the environment too. Go green!

AND I want to let you all know what I am up to. Making lifestyle changes takes a lot of time, time away from writing, blogging and sharing.

Are you making any lifestyle changes? Would love to hear your success stories!

 

 

 

With the right Attitude (shampoo), I can go days

Days without washing my hair that is. Let me elaborate on this.

You know I don’t often blog about beauty products, since I am not very savvy in that department, however when I see and try something great and eco-friendly that I am super impressed with, of course y’all have got to know about it too.

img_8797

So let’s talk about Attitude shampoo. I got it at Target, randomly, and it had me hooked immediately because it smells lovely AND my hair stays beautiful and fresh super long. How does washing it every four days sound? Yep. Four!

This is amazing to me because I have a lot of hair and it takes buckets of water and time to wash and rinse it; the fewer times a week I have to do it the better. Imagine the water savings! Because my hair stays clean so long, going through a bottle of shampoo takes quite a while too as you can imagine. Even though the bottle is made of HDPE #2 plastic, the easiest type to recycle, the fewer plastic bottles I use in a year the happier I am. Why? Well, “recycling” plastic actually means “down cycling” as the recycled plastic will become a lower grade product each time it’s recycled and eventually become useless. That’s why we should all avoid plastic products, even if we “recycle” them. (Yes, I’ve tried lots of plastic-free shampoos over the years, but nothing has worked like I want it to. I like shiny hair ;))

Made in Canada, Attitude Living’s shampoo has lots of eco benefits that I appreciate. Like the fact that it is made using 100% renewable energy, just like all Attitude products, and the company carbon compensates for their emissions by planting trees.

And that all ingredients are mineral- and/or plant-based, meaning completely vegan, worry free, natural and super safe. All products are hypo allergenic too. Cancer and rashes stay away!

I’ve only tried the volume and shine shampoo so far ($10) but I am definitely interested in trying more of their products. They’ve got cleaners, body washes, baby bath products, diapers made from cellulose, dishwasher pouches and more.

I love it when I find safe products in common places, like Target. It’s convenient, and important, to not have to buy everything eco-friendly online. I sure hope Target will offer more items from the Attitude product line in stores soon, just like they got the full line from the Honest company.

For now, at least my hair’s got the right attitude; shiny, eco and clean (I’m on day three ;)).

Wipe that stuff off your face – organically and reusably

I don’t know about you, but mascara and eyeliner make my life a little bit more beautiful. On average, I use eye make-up six days a week, typically skipping it on either Saturday or Sunday, depending on our plans.

With a bit of make-up, comes a bit of make-up remover and, naturally, quite a few cotton rounds. All bought, used once and discarded in the process. As I have been looking into simple ways to reduce my waste lately, I decided to target cotton rounds – there must be reusable ones somewhere to be found!

By chance, when reading another sustainability blog, I stumbled across exactly what I was looking for. The solution to my waste problem: organic cotton, reusable eye make-up remover pads by Skin Deep Naturals. Where’s the purchase button?

As I am on a mission to shop local, I asked the company about origin, and I can confirm that these pads are American-made of fabric milled in the USA!

Now, let’s look at some of the benefits of the reusable rounds (I’ll be using acronym SDN), compared to conventional ones (like what you’d pick up at Target or ULTA).

IMG_7348
Reusable make-up remover wipes: Soft, fluffy & eco

SDN are made of organic cotton, where conventional ones are normally not. Organic cotton means fewer pesticides, fertilizers, happier soil and happier farmers. Overall, a better choice.

SDN don’t create any landfill waste, which means less methane emissions.

SDN saves energy. I’m not going to estimate how much energy it takes to wash the rounds in the washing machine. I mean, I just throw them in with the rest of the load. I’ve been washing them warm, hot, or in sanitize mode, depending on what else I am washing. The conventional rounds take a lot of energy to produce as the cotton is grown, harvested, formed and packaged for use in a disposable product.

SDN saves plastic! The store-bought rounds come in a plastic tube, whereas SDN came in a recycled cardboard envelope without any additional packaging. If you, like me, use make-up an average of six days a week, amounting to 312 cotton rounds used per year. 312 rounds not bought, means at least three plastic tubes saved, as they are packaged 100 rounds per tube normally. Every time you say no to one-time-use plastic you are helping the environment and making oil-moguls miss out on making another buck. This is a GREAT cause folks.

By buying SDN you are supporting a local, small, eco-friendly business.

SDN saves you money! Conventional cotton rounds cost between $1.50 and 4 dollars for a tube of 100, depending on the brand and quality. Let’s use $2.50 as the price for this comparison. SDN cost me $12 for eight rounds – that’s more than enough to sustain me between washes – versus a yearly cost of $7.80 for regular ones. Now, if you keep your SDN rounds longer than a year and half (which seems VERY likely), you’re starting to save money every time you wipe that junk off your face. Keep them for five years; you’ve saved almost 30 dollars. Ok, that’s not a fortune, but it proves a point that eco-friendly products can benefit both the environment and your wallet.

I do have one tip: wash them before your first use, as they tend to lint a little bit before they’ve had their first go-around in the machine.

Sold on this product yet, ladies? Maybe you want some organic facial cloths or reusable diaper wipes too? This is the time to wipe disposable wipes off the table!

Buy it ALL at SkinDeepNaturals.com

(You might be wondering how this purchase fits in with my 2016 shopping challenge? Well, these rounds were my only purchase in February! So far, I have spent $36 this year on two eco-friendly items, one per month, as planned. Yay.)

I first read about these at SustainableDaisy.com

Two years of blogging and the best stuff of made right (here)

Woo! 2 years ago I started this blog with a few trembling words and a commitment in my heart to change my shopping habits and inspire America to do the same. (Yep, I aim high.)

I am celebrating my blogging fun with a list of the five most loved, awesome or unexpected items I have bought since the challenge started. All made right here of course! If it wasn’t for the restrictions I set for myself back in 2014, I may never have gone looking and found these brands.

1. Best all-around purchase
Wow, have we saved a lot of styrofoam, plastics and paper cups from hitting landfills this past year! #loveyou. My made in USA Life Factory glass bottle is my trusty companion and partner in reduce waste crime. Of course I’ve had reusable bottles before but non as handy as this one. “How often do you wash that thing?” I was once asked after countless lunches with my colleagues. That’s between me and my bottle.

Just hanging on the couch
Just hanging on the couch

2. Best baby item
The award for best toy or kids item must go to the recycling truck from Green Toys Inc. Safe, BPA-free, made of recycled milk jugs, packaged in un-bleached carton without plastic and made right here. I think it is so wonderful that someone is producing responsibly-made plastic toys, since plastic seems to be very popular in the kiddos’ first years of playing and chewing. They have so many items – trucks, buckets, bath toys, kitchen sets, teethers – anything your kid will need, reasonably priced and often on sale on Amazon.

My little nephew loved his recycling truck
My little nephew loved his recycling truck

3. Best life changing product
I might have found this brand even if I wasn’t on the challenge, but it has changed my skin and therefore changed my life. Skin Ceuticals are made in USA and cost a fortune. I pay a whopping 250 dollars every 4-5 months for my correct and prevent regime. And yes, I am probably overdosing on these acids but it’s working and I’m worth it! I’ll take “acid-addict” over blemishes and lines any day.

Miracle workers.
Miracle workers.

4. Best surprise
Did you know that the Home Depot has screws and bolts made in USA & Germany now? Spax is the brand and this was the biggest (best) surprise I got last year. I always randomly check tags at the Home Depot and finally there’s hardware not made in China (or Taiwan). My hubs says they’re great, and as he makes up for what I lack in the DIY department, I need to take his word for it.

So awesome!
So awesome!

5. Best break-the-rules impulse item
You know I hardly ever buy anything big-brand leather, and I stay away from “want to haves”, but this Tory Burch leather gold emblem bangle has proven more than worthy of an exception. I wear this made in USA bling at least twice a week. It just goes with everything I own!! If you want one, don’t get it online though, few bracelets are actually USA made and they all sort of look alike. I got this one at the Tory Burch outlet for about 60 dollars.

Made in USA bling
Made in USA bling

When you shop as few and carefully chosen items as I do, all things become more valuable, memorable and special. I truly recommend a shopping-challenge to anyone wanting a more grateful attitude in life :)

Read my very first post here.

The best butter is Booda’s – spread the goodness

It’s finally fall, my favorite Houston season. And even though I love that crisp feeling in the morning, it is that time of year when my hands get really dry due to the colder, dryer air. It’s time for some beauty on the blog!

What you put on your body, goes in your body, right?!

Introducing the Booda Butter daily moisturizer. Handmade in Washington State with lots of love, this butter doesn’t contain anything I can’t pronounce. It’s simply made of organic shea butter, certified organic and unrefined coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and Fair Trade organic cocoa butter – delicious! It is, as you can see from the list of ingredients, vegan and cruelty free. I imagine it is also extremely low waste thru production, since it is 100% plant based (compost!) and made in small batches with raw ingredients. All this goodness is wrapped up in a reusable tin can.

Booda is ALL natural. And I love his little face!
Booda is ALL natural. And I love his little face!

Personally, the butter is a little bit too rich for me, in order to use it on my entire body. So, that’s why I use it as my luxury, super soft and smoothing hand cream. Mmm, smells like chocolate cake in here! My first can has lasted forever by now; it takes a very little amount of butter to give my hands a quick spa day.

Booda Organics also offers all-in-one soap bars (which fit inside the old butter tin cans for storage), and lip-balm (I actually use my butter on my lips sometimes too). The source of water used in the soap process is filtered from a nearby spring, and leaves no residue of chemicals, chlorine or fluoride in the finished product.

This is beauty simplified, honest and safe. For all of us challenged in the d-i-y department; this is pure bliss.

Love it!

I am a beauty-blogger too. No, not, really.

I don’t blog about beauty. Two reasons:

1. I don’t really invest any time or money in make-up. My best friend, who is a bit of an expert, would laugh if she had to read a beauty blog by me. What should I be sharing, my semi-annual mascara purchase?
2. It is so easy to buy domestic beauty products. They are everywhere actually. Favorites include Burt’s Bees, Ole Henriksen and Neutrogena (nothing with microbeads though!). You might want to check these brands out immediately, based on my extensive research and experience mentioned in point 1.

Yet, here I am, blogging about beauty products. Well, it’s right up my alley this time.

My skin had been acting out, so I decided to get a Bare Minerals foundation (splurge!) and I needed a brush. The lovely lady that color-matched me at ULTA showed me a brush she liked. To her surprise, I asked her if she had something not made in China, maybe something domestic or European. She had never had that request before and she wanted to help me look.

We flipped over a lot of packages without success. Surely something as expensive as Lancôme ($48.50) must be made in France? But no. She was shocked and asked me why I was doing a not made in China challenge. I told her about my cause, the pollution issue, the transport, the horrible working conditions.

After we established that all the brushes at ULTA were made in China she said she couldn’t believe it, that she had never thought about it before and how could that be? (Yay, I made an impact.)

I left without a brush, but continued my search. I checked all of the common places like CVS, Walgreens, Sephora, Macy’s, Target. Sephora had quite a few brushes where the tags didn’t even say. That seems illegal to me, and normally means China.

aveda

Having no luck there, I went to Origins, Aveda and Mac too. AND The winner is Aveda’s foundation brush.

40 dollars, assembled in USA, partly sourced in Korea. Origins is a close second, also assembled in USA, but the tag didnt’t tell me where the materials are from, so a bit of a gamble. Mac has brushes from Japan and France. Happy to see there are some not made in China options at least!

After all that investigative work, I ended up finding a brush at the bottom of my drawer, which I rejuvenated. Reuse and reduce is always the best option – even a shiny, fluffy brush from Aveda can’t beat that.