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For as long as LovelyMama has been around, people have been asking us for a safer facial moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30.   And at the time, the most of the recommendations were to wear an SPF of 15.  Well, John Masters Organics realizes that just isn’t enough (something all of us realized a long time ago).   I have been having some laser treatments on my face for age spots.   And people, I’m only 35.  So while I totally am in the age gracefully camp, I’m not going down that early. Not without a fight.   Because of the costly procedures, my esthetician has been badgering me that I now have to wear an SPF of at least 30, on my face, every single day.   At first, I was like, yeah yeah.  I’ve long gone on about not being in the sunscreen camp, for daily use, as to not block absorption of vitamin D.   If I’m going to spend all day outside, I will apply apply it until the sun has set.  But if I’m going to spend an hour in the sun playing with my kids, I generally didn’t wear the sunscreen.   But then it dawned on me:  An hour here, an hour there.  We spend A LOT of time outside in the summer and all that time adds up.  So I accepted my fate and invested in one of my favorite brands: John Masters.

This is by no means cheap.  A 2 ounce bottle is about $32.  Ouch, but it is wonderful.  It coats evenly, leaves absolutely no white, or ghost looking mask to it.   It moisturizes perfectly.  My face feels soft and not at all greasy or heavy.  A big plus in my sunscreen must haves.

I realize that not everyone wants to spend as much on a sunscreen, and there are cheaper alternatives out there.  I’ve used Badger on my face, and it works well but it is a little heavy and greasy.   It was fine when we went on vacation, and I do use it on my body.  It’s our go-to sunscreen for the summer.  But for every day facial use, the heaviness of it on my face would drive me nuts.

Get it: You can find John Masters at your local Whole Foods, and at places like Saffron Rouge and Amazon.com

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Categories: John Masters Organics, Sunscreen

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Even though I don’t wear much makeup (or hardly ever on a daily basis), one of the #1 main things I have to have in my minimalist, severely lacking, pathetically sized make-up regime is blush.  I would liken my love of blush to be akin to Kathy’s love of lip gloss, and lip balm.   Though unlike her I don’t have a billion containers of blush lying around.   Especially since greening my make-up collection most of it is powder and I don’t really want to take the risk of my blush exploding in my handbag.    But I need blush.  It makes me feel alive and happy, in an otherwise, very pale existence.  I love having a sun kissed look.

But then! Oh!  Revolution Organics came into my life in the form of Freedom Glow Beauty Balm.   It’s a lip color, it’s an eye color, it’s a blush!   It’s a multi purpose bit of heaven in a tube.   Made from cold pressed olive oil and organic beeswax, it goes on really smooth and blends in perfectly.   So I don’t ever worry about looking like a kewpie doll.    I haven’t used it on my lips yet (I’m horrible with remembering lip color or gloss), but the sun-kissed color I purchased is perfect for giving you the rosy look to your lips, whereas bronze would be perfect for a night on the town.

Revolution Organics has great products that are nearly guilt free (the highest rating in skin deep on any of their products is a 3, which isn’t bad at all), and they’ve really cornered the market with this product because I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else.

Get it: You can order Freedom Glow Beauty Balm, directly from Revolution Organics website.  The price is a little steep at $34, but it’s a quality product, and I’m considering ordering another just to have one to keep in my handbag.

Skin Deep Rating: 3

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Categories: Blush, Lipstick, Revolution Organics

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I’m not sure where you live.  But if it’s someplace warm, with the exact perfect amount of humidity to give you the worlds most perfect skin, I just might hate you a teeny tiny bit. Because here winter feels as if it’ll never go away and because of that everyone’s face is chapped and dry.   I’m thinking positive spring thoughts, but in the meantime, I’ve had to give my skin some extra TLC.

Two things that are (or should be) essential to everyone’s beauty regime is a good facial moisturizer and a good mild exfoliant.   Especially in the winter when your skin is flaking more which causes excess build-up.    But the moisturizing means nothing if you’re not getting rid of that excess layer of dead skin on your face.  Plus ladies, it helps keeps your skin looking youthful longer.

So when Nieves contacted me about her hand made natural beauty care line I was definitely interested.  Nieves has 17 years experience in the natural cosmetics industry and seriously, look at her.  Does she look like she’s old enough to have that many years of experience?  Her glowing skin is a testament to her product line.

I had the pleasure of trying out two great products:  The “C” Perfect Skin and the Face Fix Scrub and Mask.

When I first looked at the “C” Perfect Skin I was excited but when I received it, I was a little gun shy about actually trying it because it’s all oils, and my face doesn’t really do well with oils.   In the interest of a review I plugged on and wow, my face felt AH.MA.ZING.  The oil absorbed into my skin quite nicely, not leaving it feeling the least bit heavy or greasy.   I know I shouldn’t have with all the germs, but I couldn’t stop feeling how soft my face was.   “C” Perfect Skin is a mix of organic oils and essential oils, making it a great combination for nourishing any type of skin.

The Face Fix Scrub is another great product.   A mix of clays and natural herbs like Licorice horsetail, chamomile, and rose petal, to name a few.  The dry powder gives a nice mild exfoliating ability or you can also use it as a mask for great skin regeneration properties.   I love a product with multiple uses!  Because it’s mild, it works well with any skin type.   And it has no type of cleaning surfactants to dry out your skin.

Get it: You can order “C” Perfect Skin, Face Fix, or any of Nieves other products, from bynieves.com.   Products are a little more expensive, but did I mention they’re handmade?  They’re oh so worth it.   Use code LOVELYSAFE when you check out for a free gift with any order.

WIN IT

I have, for one lucky person, your very own bottle of “C” Perfect Skin and a bottle of Face Fix.

To Enter: (Required)

Leave a comment after visiting ByNieves.com.  Check out their awesome goods and tell me what you think you’d like the best!

For Extra Entries: (Make sure you leave a comment for each of them to count)

  • Subscribe to LovelySafeMama.com via feedburner email
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook (leave the link)
  • Like SafeMama on Facebook (first name, last initial)
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  • Follow @SafeMama on Twitter (leave Twitter name)
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  • Tweet this giveaway (CAN BE RETWEETED DAILY – Just leave the link to the tweet itself each day in the comments):  #WIN @ByNieves products from Lovely @safemama #giveaway http://tinyurl.com/4jvee3v

Giveaway open to US residents only.  One winner will be chosen via Random.org. Entries accepted until midnight EST on March 16th.  Good Luck! :)

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Categories: Exfoliation, Masks, Moisturizer

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Given the claims that conventional mascara makes (“Your lashes will punch others in the face with their girth and length!“), it’s no wonder that our reviews of safer mascara are, well, lacking.  The majority of conventional mascaras work based on the type of wand (most of the volumizing wands are now made of silicone), and I’m sure it does add some semblance of a “clumping effect” albeit slight, so that it gives the illusion that your lashes are longer and fuller.   But no mascara really does that for me so I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to science.

Now that my kids are getting older and allow me five minutes to put myself together (not the whole five minutes to myself, and not without a lot of tattling, screaming, and shoving each other, I might add), I’ve slowly been remembering to wear at least a little makeup every day.    So, I treated myself to some new stuff, one of them being mascara.  And as far as “green” mascara goes your choices are limited and as far as green AND volumizing?  Well, Dr. Hauschka’s volumizing mascara is pretty much all that there is.

Dr. Hauschka’s volumizing mascara will not make the same claims that its conventional counterparts will.  Your lashes will not precede you when walking into a room.  It’s a very simple mascara, and it did give my lashes more volume but realize that I have little nubbins for lashes so anything is an improvement for me and this isn’t a complaint.  I take any mascara at face value because I think what mascara promises is ridiculous.   It smells fantastic, like rose petals, which beats any other brand in my book (I big puffy heart the scent).  Most mascara smells like mud in my opinion.   It doesn’t make my eyes itch and it gives me nice pleasant natural looking lashes without making me look like a drag queen.

So overall?  If you’re going for a more natural look and you’re looking to green up your mascara?  This is a sure winner.  The price isn’t majorly expensive (about the same as a good conventional mascara, more expensive than your typical drug store mascara), about $30. If you’re looking for something that will give you more of a supermodel look? Yeah sorry, you’re going to have to stick with Loreal.

Skin Deep Rating: 6

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Categories: Dr. Hauschka, Mascara

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When I was younger, and first learning about applying makeup (albeit, probably not correctly), I used liquid foundation.  It seemed like the right thing to do.   I probably picked out the wrong color for my skin tone, and I also probably had the mask look,  where the makeup ended and my naked skin began.   Ahh youth.   And then at some point in my twenties, I switched to a lighter liquid foundation and a pressed powder, eventually migrating away from foundation altogether, mainly because foundation started making me claustrophobic.  It was always too heavy, I liked that if I needed to put more on, I simply had a compact, and I didn’t need a sandblaster to take it off at night.   Not to mention, the smudges liquid foundation left on your favorite shirt.   I hate that!

Before greening up my beauty lifestyle, I was a devout M.A.C. person.  I always had at least three of the pressed powders at any given time.  It made my skin glow and allowed it to breathe.  Once I had kids, I wore it less frequently anyway.  My only option when going green was loose powder.  A few years ago, it was much more difficult to find a pressed powder that didn’t have a hot bed of cancerous chemicals in it.   Cut to current day and I’m kind of sick of loose powder.  It makes a huge mess, and it was just never my favorite.   So I decided to look back into liquid foundation, more for those days when I was going out somewhere where I wanted to look a shade more decent than my regular state.

Liquid foundation is just as I remember it.  I picked out Living Nature’s foundation, based on the fact that it was Saffron Rouge’s top pick, and while it was expensive, it was middle of the road.  But it was still liquid foundation, and it was in the middle in terms of weight.  It’s listed as a lighter weight foundation, which is true, but it’s not sheer.  The coverage is good, but it dries quickly as you’re applying it, so I feel as if I have this cakey look to my face if I’m not careful.  If you have a quick hand you may have better luck.  I wasn’t thrilled with the way it smelled either.

Thankfully if you’re looking for alternatives, there are a few, but they’re going to cost you.  Suki has a great line of products, including a liquid tinted moisturizer that Kathy has had better results with.   My advice?  If you’re looking for a liquid foundation, go with either Suki’s tinted moisturizer or one of Nvey’s foundation options.  I’ve never had a bad experience with either of these brands.  Kathy likes Miessence Liquid Foundation too.  Keep in mind that none of these options include sunscreen in their formulas.  So don’t forget to put a sunscreen on before you put your foundation on.

I fully am expecting Stephanie, from Bubble and Bee to take over the world, sometime soon.   I noticed that she had come out with a facial care line, and I have been dying to try it.  And with going through a major winter depression, I decided that the time was now, and I treated myself to some new goodies.  I didn’t treat myself to enough goodies, but that’s neither here nor there.

My face is… weird (insert bad joke here).  It’s never really consistent.  It’s sensitive.  It isn’t sensitive.  It’s dry.  It’s oily.  It’s flaky.  It’s itchy.  It’s shiny.   I wish it would pick something and stick with it.   So when I went to choose a facial cleanser to try out I made a faux pas in not trying out the sample pack.  Instead I chose the Pineapple facial cleanser for normal skin.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  That all of those things equal an average round about to normal skin?  Yeah, my logic isn’t so logical sometimes.

This stuff is awesome.  It cleaned as it should but it was a little too drying for my particular skin and I chalk this up to winter, and my skin just being a jerk right now.   It cleaned really well and didn’t leave my face overly dry.   I would say if you’re in the middle of a bitterly cold and raw winter, and your skin is throwing a tantrum about it, go for something for sensitive skin. Bubble and Bee has two other facial cleansers including a gentle Honey & Rosehip cleanser which is suited for more dry and sensitive skin.

What I love about the facial cleanser is that lathers nicely.  I’m not a “cleanser” kind of girl, rather, more of a face wash kind of girl.  I need a little lather in order to get the road dirt off.   It smells awesome and of course I never even so much as flinch with a worry when buying Bubble and Bee products.   The list of ingredients is always short and it’s never anything that I can’t pronounce.   I always feel as if I’m treating my skin to the best that nature has to offer when I buy from them.

You can purchase any of Bubble and Bee’s facial cleansers right from BubbleandBee.com, or if you’re taking a vacation to Utah, go and visit her store and see all the other goodies Stephanie has to offer.

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Categories: Bubble and Bee, Face Wash

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Let’s face it, even though we all know that too much sun is bad for us, most of us love the healthy glow of sun kissed skin.  Now, we’ve said it before, you need some sun.  Studies show that in this day and age, we don’t get nearly enough vitamin D, especially in the winter (and sure, supplements help, but one of the main sources is the sun), so when summer rolls around, we like to spend a lot of time outside.  It helps even out my family’s moods, and we all sleep better at night.

I’ll say this, unless you have a history of skin cancer,  or you’re one of those people that burns even if it’s a cloudy day and you’re in your house with long sleeves on, ditch the sunscreen if you’re going to be out for a short while (say an hour).  Opt for a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, but let the sun do its magic.  I’m not a habitual sunscreen user.  I feel it does more harm than good.   However, if you’re going to be out at the local pool, or a day trip to the beach,  make sure you use a sunscreen of at least a 30SPF, and keep reapplying, per the directions on the bottle.

Now, with that said, I’m guessing a lot of you probably have a nice summer glow going on right about now, don’t you?  And it makes you feel pretty good.  It makes your skin look more even, and toned.  Not to mention, it helps with some other skin disorders, like keratosis pilaris (of which everyone in my family suffers from, sadly), eczema, and psoriasis (my father suffers from it and his dermatologist went against everything he stood for and told him to high tail it to a tanning bed) and others.  But, with being at the beach or the pool on a regular basis, your skin is probably dry.  Especially if you’re a woman and have to shave every day in the summer.

So how do you keep your skin looking smooth like a lotion commercial, without having to dip yourself into a vat of phthalates and petroleum based products?   Here’s my regimen so far this summer:

Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe has great healing properties. It keeps your skin from drying out and also prolongs your tan.  Not to mention it’s really cool and soothing if you happen to get burned.

A good baby/body oil: You can probably easily make your own, but my favorite, that I recommend to everyone, is the Tippy Toes Baby Oil by Mambino Organics.  I love this because it’s very light, and absorbs perfectly.  It’s a simple list of ingredients, and it nourishes my skin.  I added a mixture of a few drops of my favorite essential oils to my bottle and it’s like having my own personalized scent.

I put both of these on immediately after my shower, while my skin is still damp.  It takes me an extra two minutes and my skin has never felt better.  And I actually feel good about showing it off this summer.

(Kathy chiming in here): I love Statia’s tips and totally agree.  I am using a body oil as well as a scrub in the shower to keep the bumps and dryness away all year long. My faves right now are Rocky Mountain Soap Company Bamboo Body Scrub and LuSa Organics Organic Sugar Scrub

You can pick up Aloe Vera Gel (look for preservative free or organic) on Amazon.com or at a local health food store.  Check out Lily Of The Desert Aloe Vera Gel or their Lily of The Desert Aloe 80 Soothing Gel on Amazon.

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Categories: Articles, Exfoliation, Sunscreen

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My husband reluctantly switched his body products to greener products.  It was a slow process, but over the last two years, we’ve made progress.  If you have a boyfriend, or husband, you know how stubborn men can be.  My husband would sneak poisonous toothpaste on business trips, because he hated the “hippie stuff” I was using.

One of the last things to give up, on his list of products, was antiperspirant.   It took me forever to get him to stop using the toxic, aluminum laden axe or whatever he could find on sale.  “But I don’t want to pit ouuuuuuuuuuuuuut,” he would whine.  But I bought him a stick of Tom’s anyway, and he wasn’t impressed.  When my husband isn’t impressed, he takes to the internet.   He came up with an awesome recipe for making your own deodorant, and it’s really easy:

What you’ll need:

  • A deodorant container (save your old one, and re-purpose it)
  • coconut oil (the solid kind)
  • baking soda
  • essential oil (whatever your favorite is, which is nice, you don’t have to smell like “fake baby butt”)
  • vitamin e oil
  • corn starch

To Mix:

  1. Add the dry ingredients in a bowl first.  Mix equal parts corn starch and baking soda.
  2. Add equal parts coconut oil, mix thoroughly.
  3. Add a few drops of vitamin e and your essential oil.  You can add as much as you like, but I wouldn’t go overboard.  The mixture will be a bit more flaky if you use more oil.
  4. Knead the mixture with your fingers until it forms a ball like consistency, it should be hard enough to put into the deodorant container, but still malleable and not crumbly.  Put the cap on and let set overnight, and voilà!

Keep in mind that this is obviously a deodorant, not an antiperspirant.  You will still sweat using this stuff, but you won’t stink.  I’ve used this recipe on some pretty hot days, as well as during workouts and I haven’t smelled at all.   Needless to say, since making this deodorant, my husband has been a convert.

 

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Categories: Deodorant, DIY Recipes

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Normally, it’s not my style to post something negative about a green company.   But sadly, after today’s drama surrounding 100% Pure and their unprofessional-ism in answering direct questions and being rude to people asking them a simple question on facebook (it appears 100% Pure has removed their fan page), I will no longer stand behind 100% Pure, which sadly was one of my favorite brands.

You can read the whole exchange over at Stephanie’s, Chemical of the Day blog.  I’ll wait.

I’ll preface this by first saying, that while we’re fans of Stephanie’s products and appreciate her knowledge, we’re not taking sides with Stephanie.  We really liked most of  100% Pure’s products.  So when it came to light, the information regarding Japanese Honeysuckle extract containing para-hydroxy benzoic acid, we were a kind of bummed, because it’s in quite a few brands, including some of the products 100% Pure sells.   Granted, it wasn’t all, which made me happy that I still had options, but the way they’ve handled the whole situation is very sucker in the dirt.  Instead of answering the question asked, point blank, does your Japanese Honeysuckle contain para-hydroxy benzoic acid, a simple yes or no question, they instead decided to skirt this issue with accusatory responses, telling people that they have no idea what they’re talking about, and telling people “We DO the research ourselves. in a LAB.”  As if capitalizing words makes it more important and somehow drowns out the fact that they have not answered the question, and on top of that, have turned blame around on the commenters who were simply stating that they hadn’t answered the question, and “reading things on the internet doesn’t make you a scientist.”

Look, I get that anyone can read things on the internet and be an “expert.”  There’s a lot of false information out there, but I trust Stephanie’s research isn’t limited to sitting around reading wikipedia just so that she can “defame” brands.

I’m not going to get into the whole arguement about para-hydroxy benzoic acid.  It seems to be two sided on 100% Pure’s part.  All I know is that the manner in which they handled the whole issue dissapoints me.  Either they need to get a less angry PR rep, who actually has some knowledge of what she’s talking about, or answer the question as it was asked.   Until then, I will no longer purchase or recommend their products to people.

This is another reason why we encourage people to do their own research and make decisions about what works for them.

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Categories: 100% Pure

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Ok, you know how much we SafeMama girls love our cheat sheets.  And I know you’re thinking, sure, our kids are covered, but what about us?   We get a lot of questions asking about particular products, and while we would LOVE to try every single one of them, there is just not enough time or money possible for us to do so.  But with that in mind, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t compile a list of products for you to have at the ready when you’re looking for information on whether or not we think your favorite product is safe enough to use.

Notice: Please do not redistribute this list anywhere without our prior written consent. If you would like to share this information with your readers, please use the handy little button we created for doing just that and link back here. We spent time away from our kids, pouring over ingredients lists, digging in the Skin Deep Database and learning about chemicals and processes. Please help us make that worth our time and energy by not copy/pasting our work on other websites.  Thank you!

Please keep in mind that this is not a full list of products.  This is what we’ve found so far, and this will be a constantly updated list as we find things, or as you submit your findings to us. But we think this is a great starting off point. [Last updated April 5, 2014]

Best Choices – Our top picks

These are the products that are free of all of the chemicals we avoid along with labels that have ingredients you can actually pronounce.

Better Choices

These are the products that are free of all the big chemicals we like to avoid, such as parabens, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, SLS’s, PEGs, propylene glycol, dimethicone, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Benzoate as well as some others, but they just weren’t squeaky clean enough for us to warrant putting them on our “best” list.  Maybe they have a couple of stearates or a few more synthetics than we’d like to see. However, they’re still pretty great and we even use some of ’em.

Good Choices

These are brands that may have a few products with questionable ingredients on our list of ingredients we like to avoid or maybe they have more synthetic ingredients than we’d like to see, however, they are FAR better than your conventional, chemical counterparts.  While they’re not going to make you sprout a second head, this is something where you’re going to have to be the one to make the judgment call whether or not you want to use these products.

* The ever wonderful Stephanie Greenwood of Bubble and Bee and publisher of the Chemical of the Day Blog, brought to our attention, sadly, that there are “hidden parabens” in some of our favorite products (as noted by the asterisk).   We were bummed to find out that great brands like John Masters and 100% Pure are included in this list of products.    Go over and read the article and then make the call for yourself on whether or not you would still want to use these products.   It may not be every single product in the brand, just a select few, but she’ll tell you what to look for and breaks the slight chemical difference down into layman’s terms.   This is where she helps you become empowered to read labels and learn how to decipher bad ingredients vs. the good ones.   Stephanie is one of the true good people in this business.

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Categories: Bath & Body

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