Archive for the ‘Dr. Bronners’ Category

During an impromptu trip to Whole Foods last weekend I was greeted with the Valentine’s Day displays and was of course enamored with all the pink and red.  I spotted a big pile of Dr. Bronner’s Rose soap and decided to treat myself to a bar.  I love Dr. Bronner’s products for everything.  I use the liquid castille soaps as ingredients for DIY recipes, I use the bar soap for myself and my kids. I also love natural rose scented skin care so I snatched it up.

I’ve used Dr. Bronners bar soaps in the past and have loved them.. they lather well, clean great, smell great and last long enough to be worth the cost and not too long that I can’t indulge my addiction to bar soaps.  Really, each bar costs a few dollars so it’s not a huge commitment.  It cleanses without drying your skin and leaves you with a very very light rose scent.

It’s no secret that Dr. Bronner’s is an impressive company – Fair Trade, Certified Organic, eco-friendly packaging, no Animal Testing … do I need to go on?

Get It: You can pick up Dr. Bronner’s Soaps in many places like Whole Foods, most Natural Food stores, even Target.  Or you can order direct from their website DrBronner.com!

EWG SKin Deep Rating: 2

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Someone asked me recently if I would publish a list of products I use.  I was hesitant because like you, I am a work in progress and I sometimes think people expect me to have it all figured out.  I don’t, but I try. So here it goes…

Giovanni Colorflage Beautifully Blonde Shampoo: Ok this stuff isn’t nirvana when it comes to ingredients, it contains phenoxythanol and a few other questionable items but its better than a paraben, phthalate ridden shampoo and it works really well.  I spend a fortune on my toxic highlights (hey I’m vain ok? I like being blond!) and the last thing I want to do is ruin my expensive ‘do with lame shampoo.  This claims to protect from fading and enhance blonds.  So far I’m just really happy with the cleaning power and the softness.

Giovanni Organics 50:50 Balanced Conditioner: Again, not perfect but better than many.  Leaves my hair smooth and soft and works just as well as traditional conditioners.  I also like John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner but right now I can’t afford a $22 conditioner.  I love it, and when I can swing a bottle I’ll get it but let’s face it, it’s a fortune.  Giovanni is available at Target and only costs about $7-9 bucks.  I can handle that.

Tilvee  Shea Butter Bap Soap (Face):  I have very sensitive skin and mild rosacea and a dermatologist told me to use anti-bacterial Cetaphil.  Well, I’m not comfortable with the ingredients (fragrance, PEG’s and Triclosan as the anti-bacterial agent) so I set out to find a better soap that had few ingredients.  Tilvee was the winner/  I use their Shea Butter bar for dry and sensitive skin and it works great.  Plus no gross ingredients.

BAR SOAP:  Ok this is where my obsession is and it’s evident by the bar soap in my shower. I’ll just list them all. Kiss My Face Sudz C-Weed Sweet Orange and Hemp – I love citrus scents and this doesn’t disappoint. Bubble & Bee Coconut Lime Soap – another awesome one. Dr Bronner’s Lavender Bar Soap – cheap, works and available at Target, Kroger, etc.  One type of soap I don’t have right now that I love is bar soap from LuSa Organics. I like the Ylang ylang and Lavender Goats Milk Soap but they have a ton of choices for every preference.  All natural and they’re purely awesome. I love their sugar scrubs and their lip balms too… actually I love everything they make and need to place an order soon. Worth every penny.  There are tons of natural soaps to pick from – this is the easiest thing to change when going natural.

Weleda Birch Body Scrub: I got this on a whim and reviewed it but it doesn’t get much play in my shower.  It smells nice and I think if I tried it with a loofah it might work better but then its a body wash not a scrub so it gets neglected.  Read my review here.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Bamboo Body Scrub: I just reviewed this and really love it.  I’ve been using it often and I am buttery soft as a result. I love scrubs and although I don’t always have time to use them, when I do they have to be awesome.  This one is worth of my time for sure.

Next time I’ll give you the inside look at my after-shower body care and perhaps a peek into my make up bag!

I can’t believe I just found your site! (considering how long I’ve known about safemama).  Anyhow, I was browsing, but didn’t find anything on anti-aging skincare.  As I’m now in my mid 30’s I’m realizing I need to do more to keep my skin firm and pretty.  I tried samples from the arbonne anti-aging line, but hated the orange/toasted marshmallow smell.  I hear shaklee has an anti-aging line, as well.  Do you have any insight on safer anti-aging skin care lines?  or do you not even think it’s necessary to stick with a “line” of products.  I’ve always had individual favorites, but I feel like my cleanser, eye cream & face cream routine is not doing as much for me as I need it to….. thanks so much for this site!!

Welcome to the darkside, my friend.   You spend your 20’s being careless about your skin and before you know it, 30 starts to creep up and you see a line here and then a line there, and you wonder how you started to age so quickly.   Or you blame it on your kids, because let’s face it, they age you.

I was one of those people that treated my skin absolutely HORRIBLY in my 20’s.  I wish I could go back to my 23 year old self and punch her in the face for all the tanning and not wearing of sunscreen.   And don’t even get me started on the crap I slathered on my face.   And now I’m paying for it by aging quicker than I would like.

Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to in the anti-aging department, and a lot of them don’t require slathering products on your face, but for that, we do have a lot of suggestions for safer anti-aging lines.

Tips for slowing down the aging process:

Now, you can’t exactly stop the aging process, obviously.  It’s a part of life.  But you can do things to, shall we say, age gracefully:

  • Hydrate! I know we mention this a lot, don’t we?  And it seems like a no brainer, but hydration has so many benefits, and one of them is helping with those fine lines.  The more hydrated you are, the better elasticity your skin has, and this is something that will take you through life.    Drinking the appropriate amount of water will help plump your skin to minimize the damage already done and of course, keep your skin glowing and looking youthful.   How much water should you drink?   Well, that depends on your weight.   Generally, you want to divide your weight in half and that’s how many ounces you should drink.
  • Exfoliate! Exfoliation is an important process in the anti-aging process.   Your skin sloughs off the dead skin to make way for the new, but sometimes, that doesn’t always happen naturally.   Exfoliating at least once a week (preferably twice, unless your skin is very senstive) with a gentle exfoliant and a washcloth (I’ll get to that in a minute) will help keep wrinkles at bay.
  • Avoid harsh soaps! It’s important to keep your face clean, but you don’t want to use something that’s going to strip your face of it’s natural oils, and then dry it out (which would make you have to exfoliate more often).   I wash twice a day, once in the morning, when I shower and then once before bed.   I would stress the importance of washing more before bed, so that the days “road dirt” and makeup don’t go getting into your pillow, making you at risk for break outs.  Ew.
  • Eat a balanced diet of fresh fruits and veggies! Again, this is another common sense no brainer, but fruits and vegetables have natural properties to help heal and nourish your skin.   Fruits like açaí, blueberries, pomegranate, blackberries, raspberries and cherries to name a few.  All of these fruits have great antioxidant properties.  Try to eat them in their natural form, rather than in juices, which are mostly concentrates.
  • Moisturize! It’s important to also moisturize your face daily.  I try not to mess to much with my skin, especially after abusing it for so long, but in the winter, I definitely need help in the hydration department.
  • Wear Sunscreen! Ok, I’ll admit, this one is particularly tough for me.   I’m in the no sunscreen camp, unless I’m going to be spending all day in the sun, I generally skip it.  However, if you’re proned to skin cancer, or if you live in a particularly sunny climate, you’ll want to at least wear a 15-20 SPF daily.  You want something that will block out harmful rays, but still allow SOME rays through, because sunlight is actually good for you too (vitamin D and all of that).   If you wear mineral makeup, it contains titanium dioxide, which also helps with blocking out the suns rays as well, so don’t go overboard with SPF and mineral makeup.   Again, you do want to expose yourself to some sun.

Brands we love:

As a rule, you don’t have to purchase all from one line and in fact, I find that it’s better to pick and choose.  Find what works for you.  Buy some samples from different lines and then see what you love and buy the full sizes.   Chances are,  you’ll find a line, buy the whole damn thing, and then find end up hating half of it.    Even if you find a few different brands of, say, exfoliant, it’s absolutely ok to rotate them, if you wanted to buy a couple of different  brands.

Exfoliants:

100% Pure sugar scrubAll of 100% Pure’s scrubs are great, but they seem to all have a different consistency based on the flavor.  My personal favorite for facial exfoliation is the chocolate mocha.  It’s got real coffee grounds in it, making it a little more gentle on the face and an added bonus is, should you accidentally get some in your mouth, it’s sweet, so you can get your daily dose of chocolate right there in the shower!

Moody Girl Sugar Scrubs – I love Moody Girl’s product line.  She has great scrubs and bath taffy (bubble bars).   The sugar scrub makes a great exfoliant, but I’d recommend hers maybe once a week as it’s pretty sugary, and it does make my face residually red for about 12 hours after use.  Best before bed, but the ingredients are pretty natural.   Not all of her scents are phthalate free, but she will disclose which ones are if you ask her.

Burts Bees Citrus Facial Scrub – This has been an on and off staple in my life for at least the last ten years or so.  It’s inexpensive and effective.   It exfoliates without drying the skin and doesn’t irritate even my sensitive skin.

Facial Cleansers:

Weleda Iris Cleansing Lotion – This is a good cleanser for those who might get dry flaky skin easily due to anything that lathers.   My skin has a tendency to do that from time to time.  So I use this when my skin is really dry.  It does take some getting used to.   The whole no lather thing throws me for a loop, but my face does feel clean.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap – This is another great staple of mine that works great as a facial cleanser (proof that you don’t have to buy a cleanser specifically for your face).  The only thing is that I’ve had to put it aside for the winter because we’ve had all sorts of dry skin problems here from the weather, but it doesn’t strip my face of the oils and and winter aside, it’s been good to my face.   Plus, it’s inexpensive and readily available just about everywhere.   It also lasts forever.

100% Pure Facial Cleanser – It’s no secret I love this line.  Although, to keep in line with my statement from before, I do try to rotate it with other stuff, because I feel that it works better this way.   This is a great gentle cleanser though.  It’s got lather, but it doesn’t dry.   It makes my skin feel really soft after use.

Moody Girl’s Bath Icing – This is one of my utilitarian products.  I use this for shaving, a sometimes body wash, and also for washing my face.   I was afraid that the lather would dry my face out, but it hasn’t.  It’s decadent without being bad for you.

Moisturizers:

Dr. Hauschka’s Moisturizing Day Cream – This is definitely a higher end  product (I actually have not found a “cheap” moisturizer that has worked on my face and believe me, I’ve tried), but I it worked well for keeping my face hydrated without leaving it feeling greasy.  That is one of my big issues with moisturizers for the face.  It has to be light.

John Master’s Rose and Apricot Antioxidant Day Cream – This is one of Kathy’s staples and favorite picks.  We totally adore John Masters hair products and after trying to cut down on the budget and rotating through different hair products, I’ve switched back to my favorite John Master’s products and I’ll never use anything else again.    Anyway, this is a great moisturizer for everyday use.  It’s light and great for sensitive skin.   Kathy says: “I use during the day..its still really gentle (I look for stuff with no or little citrus for my sensitive skin and rosacea) and has antioxidants to help me fight aging. ”   It’s also supposed to help with age spots (which means I will be running out and buying this cream pronto).   Again, this is a little on the pricey side ($28), but given how much you use on a regular basis, and the quality of the product, it’ll last awhile.  You’ll use less and get more with John Masters.  Trust me.  A bottle of their styling gel has lasted me nine months and I still have some left.

Weleda Almond Intenstive Face Cream – This is another one that Kathy loves.   It’s a little bit thicker of a cream, but absorbs nicely.  This isn’t something you would use everyday.   But rather a good follow up to a facial treatment.   It’s  about $20 for a one ounce tube (whoa) but again, it’s not an everyday lotion.   It’s also available at most Target stores, which is great for the convenient factor.

Sunscreens:

I haven’t found anything sunscreen wise that I’ve been in love with, but Kathy recently did a post about sunscreens, because we get asked this question a lot.

A great site that has a lot of different products to choose from, including anti-aging serums, is Saffron Rouge.  While they do carry a lot of the more expensive lines (and they also have a sample club for about $35 a year, and you get a few new samples a month), they have some affordable stuff.  Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to at least one higher end product if it’s something you really like, and then mix it in with more affordable skin care.  You don’t have to drop a mint to keep your skin looking healthy.  In fact, you can easily make an exfoliator yourself out of brown sugar, almond oil and a little bit of essential oil.  It lasts for about six months and works just as well as a store bought product (I made some for my son whose arms have been like alligator skin this winter and it worked well to get the leather off).

So there you have it.   You don’t need to load up on anti-aging products, one or two might suffice, but rather, take the preventative measures with stuff that you already have and make them count.   Try to find samples of products to try out so that you’re not out of a lot of money if you don’t like it.


I have switched to natural deodorant recently, with no real trouble.  However, I have yet to find anything that cuts the mustard for my manly husband, especially in the Texas summer!  Not to mention most of the alternatives I have found smell rather girly.  Any suggestions?  Do your husbands use natural deodorants, and have they found one they can count on?

We are shamed to say it, but our husbands are pretty stubborn when it comes to switching their products over to natural products.   My husband was pretty annoyed when I tried to switch his toothpaste over and now secretly looks forward to business trips because I know he keeps a secret stash of Colgate in his toiletries bag.  So he still uses his trusty old Axe.  You can lead a horse to water and all of that (although, I did get him to switch his chemically enhanced shampoo to Dr. Bronner’s.  Baby steps).

However, we do tell people that it definitely takes time to switch over to have it work properly, and men are no exception.  We did post some tips on switching over, you no doubt have read (and I’ve also tried to drill into my husband’s head as well), but they bear reposting:

Be patient. You’ll need at least 2 weeks to adjust (and sometimes longer), so if you go a couple days on a new deodorant and you smell this could mean your body is still ridding itself of toxins.  You might have to try a brand or two to find the right one for your body chemistry too, so give it some time.

Exfoliate. Its a good idea to GENTLY exfoliate your armpits once in a while to remove any dead skin blocking your sweat glands and pores.  Use a really soft washcloth and gently massage the area.  Don’t use scrubs or salts as this might damage the delicate skin of your armpits.

Sweat! The reason deodorant makers put Aluminum in their product is to prevent you from sweating.  There is a major problem with this in that you are supposed to sweat, sweating is your body’s way of ridding itself from toxins and impurities.   Once your body is used to not having antiperspirant it can actually regulate your sweating.  Since switching to Weleda I have not noticed being “wet” unless I am huffing and puffing on the treadmill, in which case who cares.  What matters is I don’t SMELL like sweat.

And of course, to add another:

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate:  The more water you consume, the less likely you are to smell as water flushes toxins out of your system.

And of course, diet also has a play.  If you’re going to eat stinky foods, they have to come out somehow, and going to the bathroom isn’t the only way your body excretes waste.  Which is why you tend to smell like an 18 year old brewery after a night of drinking heavily.   Garlic, onions, red meat.  It’ll also come out in your pores as well.   Which makes me wonder if I’d smell like vanilla cupcakes if I lived on a diet of them…. hmmm food for thought…

As for brands, we personally like both Bubble and Bee’s Pit Putty (they have other varieties as well) and Weleda.  Weleda’s deodorant is more of an alcohol base which might help curb odors for your husband, better than Bubble and Bee, and I know my husband has said that the original Bubble and Bee is a little bit too feminine smelling for him.   Weleda makes a Sage variety that isn’t girly smelling.   I’ve used both Bubble and Bee and Weleda doing yard work in the hot summer sun and while, yes, I did sweat, I didn’t smell at all.  I would say to buy a couple of varieties, find what works and then rotate based on your needs.  Guys tend to be simpler with their body care needs, but sometimes, they need to go the extra mile to find a product that works for them too.

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I’d been on the hunt for a new soap for awhile.  A long time Cetaphil girl, I was looking to find something that would be safe, and also work as well on my face.  I’m leery of bar soaps, because they tend to dry out my face more than a traditional face wash, but I was having a hard time finding a liquid face wash that lathered enough to make my face feel clean.

I walked by the Dr. Bronner’s display quite a few times, eyeing it up cautiously before finally relenting and purchasing a bar.  And I really wish I hadn’t waited so long,  because I really love it.  I tend to have combination skin, and not the typical T-zone.   My face is both dry and oily, and the only way I can describe it, is to tell you that if I were to run into a window, you’d see oil and dry flakes in the same place.  Yeah, I’m an anomaly like that.

I can’t really talk up a bar of soap to make you think it was made by Jesus (but in this case, it may as well be for how much I love it), but the main things are that it lathers well, which is hard to find in a natural soap.  It lasts FOREVER.  I bought my bar of soap back in the spring and there’s still more than half left.  It cleans well, without stripping your skin of all of its features (my sister, whose face resembles the Exxon Valdese was skeptical, as she tends to prefer expensive chemically laden face washes, was very impressed) and best of all, it’s inexpensive.   You can’t beat the price for the quality of the product.

Also, their liquid soaps are great for a multitude of things.  And they also go a long way.

Dr. Bronner’s uses all organic ingredients and were recently certified USDA organic, as well as certified fair trade.  And they use minimal packaging, which I love.

We give all of Dr. Bronner’s soaps the LovelyMama Seal of Approval!

Get It: You can find Dr. Bronner’s products on Amazon, as well as most Whole Foods stores.

Coming soon: a John Master’s giveaway. Stay tuned for more details!

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I love lip products.  I have become a huge Dr. Bronner’s fan over the past year for many reasons.  Dr. Bronner’s uses mainly organic ingredients, many certified organic.  The company holds much pride in their Fair Trade and no animal testing policies.  Anyway, I spotted their lip balms in the new “Natural” section of the Target Beauty aisles and snapped up a tube of Peppermint and a Lemon Lime.

I consider myself a lip balm enthusiast… I try every balm I can find that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients.  This is quickly becoming a favorite.  This balm doesn’t have a shea butter base like many others do which gives it a much smoother feel and easy application.  I love shea butter lip balms for their healing qualities but they tend to get a little bumpy if they haven’t been used in a little while.  Dr. Bronner’s is a smooth silky application that glides on.  Even my 2 year old likes it.  Some of the natural balms tend to get overly fragrant with the essential oils but this is on the subtle side.  All Dr. Bronner’s lip balms are USDA Certified Organic and have the  Coalition for Consumer information on Cosmetics rabbit seal (not tested on animals).

One of the other things I adore about Dr. Bronners is that it isn’t hideously over-priced like so many organic things are.  This lip balm is $2.99 and its worth it.

Get it here: I found them at Target but you can also order them on Dr. Bronner’s website.  They come in Lemon Lime, Peppermint, Orange Ginger (I WANT THAT), and Naked Organic.

Skin Deep Rating: 1

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Categories: Dr. Bronners, Lip Balm

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