Archive for the ‘Etsy Finds’ Category

honey lime bee soapEvery once in a while I spend a little time browsing Etsy, as many of us do.  Etsy is such a great place to find safer bath goodies and we’ve reviewed some before. My newest find is a store full of handmade soap and spa goods made by Catherine Filippeli.  Her store is chock full of bar and guest soaps that look good enough to eat.  With scents like Oatmeal Lavender, Ginger Mint Fig Coconut Milk, and  Pomegranite Sage you are sure to find something that suits you.pomegranite sage soap

I was attracted to her lovely Honey Lime Bee Soaps full of lime oil and honey to boost circulation and clear  congested pores.   Plus the unusual shape makes this great for guests or just for something new and fun.  Sometimes it’s nice to depart from the usual rectangle bar.  Along with lip balm, my other collection habit is bar soap – so I’ll be ordering a few to get me through the summer.  Nothing like a shower with a fresh bar of soap that smells like citrus, honey or herbs.

Many of her soaps are made with only essential oils but a few do use other scents. A quick note to Catherine and she confirmed that all of her scents and oils are phthalate free.  Sweet!

Get Soap: You can check out Catherine’s shop on Etsy at catherinefilippelli.etsy.com

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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.


Since having to give up my Lush bath products (we’ll get to that post another day, ladies), I’ve been watching my garden tub with a lot of sadness and misery. Having a toddler means that taking a plain bath, while also enjoyable, is just not good enough. I need fluff and froofy girly bath products. I need something tactile.

So when I stumbled upon Moodygurl’s bath products, I immediately had to try them. I’ve been looking for sugar scrubs and bubble bars for awhile now and Moodygurl has both.  I tried the pink grapefruit sugar scrub out, which smells heavenly.  Nice and light.  It works well and doesn’t dry out my skin.  I can probably use this to exfoliate my face.

The bath taffy.  Holy mother.  It’s in a word… AWESOME! It’s very creamy and half a bar will make more than enough bubbles.  The best part is that it’s free of SLS‘s, even though it makes enough bubbles to last your whole bath (I hate it when the bubbles disappear half way through).

Most of Moodygurl’s products are made from natural ingredients, however there are a few scents where fragrance oils are utilized, and those are:  Portland Rain, Cherry Blossom and Coconut Lime.  All her fragrances are phthalate free!  All others are made with natural essential oils and have just enough of a scent for it to be pleasing, but not overpowering.  I can’t handle strong scents anymore, so this works for me.

She also has some great “Moody Mud, which is like aromatherapy and play-doh mixed together.  Great for stress relief and just all around fun.

Get It: You can order any of the products listed direct from Moodygurl’s Etsy site.  Seriously, what did I do before Etsy was around?

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