Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

How to swap plastic beauty products for bamboo

I switched to bamboo beauty products. Here’s what happened.

Why use bamboo beauty products?

So why bamboo? It’s a sustainable resource that grows easily in poor soil–no need for fertilizers or pesticides. At the end of its life I can compost it, keeping it out of the landfill completely. Plus bamboo just feels luxurious. It’s fun to use these high-quality products knowing that I’m doing something good for the Earth.

Four Eco-friendly products to switch to right now

This year I discovered that many everyday products we all use that can be found in bamboo instead of plastic! So I switched to a bamboo comb, bamboo hair brush, even bamboo toothbrushes (and more!). Here’s what I used and what changes they resulted in for me.

I’ve linked to the products I use below, using affiliate links. There are tons of other brands that are probably just as good, these just happen to be the ones I used and liked.

1. Bamboo Comb

This comb is super affordable online (I paid twice as much for it at my local food store). Unlike plastic, bamboo combs have less pulling and no static. That makes it better for your hair, especially if you comb while it’s wet. I honestly can’t go back to using plastic combs anymore! They just don’t feel as sturdy when I comb through my thick, knotty hair.

2. Bamboo Toothbrush

From a friend who runs a Facebook group about zero waste living, I learned there is such a thing as bamboo toothbrushes! I’d never thought much about it before, but if you use 3-4 toothbrushes in a year, that amount of plastic adds up. So I decided to try a bamboo handled brush.

I ordered this 12 pack linked below for $10.50, which is easily the cheapest toothbrush option out there. I was a little concerned that the description said they were for “orcal care,” since I don’t have whales. But despite the sketchy copy editing, it seems like a decent product and you can’t beat the price. I will definitely order these again. The bristles are gentle and my teeth feel as clean as using any other toothbrush. No better or worse, just a good solid alternative to a plastic handled brush.

3. Bamboo Hairbrush

Also cost-effective, a bamboo bristle hairbrush should last you a long time! Like the bamboo comb, it’s anti-static and feels great on your scalp. If your hair is hard to brush through, thick or tangly, a brush like this is a must have. It’s supposedly gentler on hair and leads to less hair loss. It helps keep hair shiny and manageable, two things for which I will take all the help I can get! The only downside is that it’s a little more difficult to remove hair from the bristles of the brush.

4. Bamboo Straws

Refusing plastic straws is the way to go these days, since growing concerns about them littering oceans have made major media outlets. Once you’ve seen the video of what plastic straws can do to sea turtles, there’s no going back. Luckily, there are these reusable, sustainable alternatives to plastic straws. You may have heard that drinking tea and coffee through a straw helps prevent tooth staining. Bamboo straws are ideal for this because you don’t have to worry about the straw melting!

After each switch to a bamboo product, I can honestly say I can’t imagine going back! I personally think the products are well made as well as sustainable, and work just as well if not better than their plastic counterparts. What do you think? Is using bamboo beauty products weird or inspirational?

Natural Sun Protection

Protect your skin from the sun

It’s part of Beauty Secrets 101 to wear SPF all the time. It’s common sense, because sun exposure promotes aging, damage from free radicals and skin cancer. But maybe you’re concerned about the chemicals in most sunscreens. What then?

Coconut oil is popular for pretty much everything right now including sun protection, but it only shields from 20 percent of harmful rays, says Mayo Clinic. Better than nothing, you may say. But keep in mind that coconut oil is comodogenic and can make you break out, which no one wants. Then I found out about two other oils that are promising. They’re raspberry seed oil and carrot seed oil.

Natural oils for sun protection

Canadian study done in 2000 found that among the characteristics of raspberry seed oil is an SPF protection factor of 28-50 against UVB rays, and an SPF around 8 for UVA rays. Notice that it protects against UVB and UVA. Not all sunscreens do! When I lived in Switzerland for a summer, I learned that European sunscreens are higher quality than American ones, because they filter against broad spectrum rays. The FDA hasn’t yet approved widespread use of these filtering agents, according to the Environmental Working Group.

I had this problem where my ultra-fancy, natural face moisturizer didn’t have SPF. Have you ever encountered this? Solution: combine it with a little raspberry seed oil or carrot seed oil. I use a high quality oil by Leven Rose. If you’re not sold on raspberry seed oil as a sunscreen option, it also makes a great face moisturizer. Carrot seed oil is also touted as a remedy for thinning hair.

Now, to my knowledge there has only been that one study done and it was 17 years ago. So more research needs to be done on the topic.

The Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Sunscreen advises that it’s wisest to not rely on sunscreen alone for sun protection. Hats, sunglasses, clothing, and umbrellas are all part of a good sun protection plan.

How do you stay sun safe in the summer?

Evian Mist Spray Review

Evian mist spray reviewWhen I was offered the opportunity to do an evian mist spray review, at first I was a little skeptical of this product! It’s literally just water in a spray bottle. That’s it. There are two ingredients: water and nitrogen. I’m not a frivolous spender or a name brand water snob, but I was so curious I just had to try it out. I was sent a bottle for review through BrandBacker, and guess what? Of all the new products I’ve tried recently this is one of the ones I am most excited about.

Evian Mist Spray Review

So what can you do with evian® water in a spray can? The season has been so dry where I live and this spray is like having a little humidifier for my face. I can use it throughout the day for a refreshing moisture boost.

The best use I can think of for this is travel. The company sells travel sized bottles, which would be perfect for taking on a long airplane trip. The air on planes is so dry, a little mist spray would be so very welcome.  A few weeks ago I was on a flight that was almost five hours long and my eyes were miserable afterward. After my evian mist spray review I am definitely adding it to my list of carry on essentials.

When putting on stage makeup for Irish dance or princessing, I like to mix powdered eyeshadow with a little water on a brush. This product works well for that purpose. I also sprayed the mist on after applying mineral powder to set the makeup and give it a blended tone. It seemed to work, since my makeup still was intact after a few hours of intense dress rehearsals for St. Patrick’s Day.

Can you think of any other uses for this product? Let me know!

Tips for growing healthy nails, naturally

grow your nails naturallyHow to Get Long, Strong Nails

I’m blessed with healthy, fast-growing nails, almost to the point of annoyance since I need to trim them every week or two. Now before you get super jealous, know that this does not mean I have luxurious, quickly growing hair. Quite the opposite, I have brittle hair that refuses to grow past a certain point and I would trade my nails in a heartbeat to have better hair. But if you’re on a quest to get healthier, longer nails, there are some natural nail tricks that don’t require toxic chemicals or salon trips.

Everyone from nail salon artists to my dental hygienist have complimented my naturally long nails. I often get asked how I get my nails so long, which I never had a good answer to. I never did anything special to my nails, or really gave them much thought. I would shrug it off as good genes and explain that they just grew that way. But when I started putting some cause and effect pieces together, I realized that some of my habits were affecting my nails. Here are some tips I’ve found that can make a huge difference in your nail health.

5 tips for healthy nails5 Tips for Longer Nails, Naturally

1. Eat as healthy a diet as you can manage, filled with good fats and a variety of vegetables and skip the junk (especially sugar and highly processed foods). I’ve noticed that during times when my diet wasn’t the best, my nails constantly broke and wouldn’t grow long. What you put in your body really, truly affects how it functions and looks.

2. I started taking fermented cod liver oil capsules, and while it sounds gross you can’t taste it at all. After just two weeks, my nails have never looked better. And they haven’t broken or chipped, even though I’ve been gardening and cleaning without gloves.

3. Biotin, a B vitamin, is known to be great for growing hair and nails. I I try to take it every day for my hair. It’s fairly inexpensive and you can buy it at a health food or vitamin store. (Note: consult a health professional before starting any dietary supplements.)

4. Keep nails filed neatly, and if you do get a snag or rough edge file it smooth to prevent further breakage.

5. Go all natural: give your nails the chance to breathe by going polish-free at least one week every month.

Have you ever tried any of these? If you have a trick for healthy nails, I want to hear it! Thanks for reading and good luck growing those pretty nails.