Elegantly Eco

eco beauty, fashion & info


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DIY: Two Ingredient Facial Cleanser

I actually found this recipe on the Girl Meets Real blog but I like it so much I wanted to share it with everyone.


Source

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

1-2 tablespoons chickpea flour (aka gram flour, Besan)

1-2 tablespoons ground oats

Instructions:

Grind oats in a blender or food processor until finely milled. You can keep it grainy if you prefer that texture. Once the oats are ground, combine with the chickpea flour and place into a container. A small jar works best. To use, put desired amount in your hand and mix with water then apply to your face.

Tips/Notes:

-You can also use oat flour. But for some reason it’s more expensive to buy oat flour than to get whole oats and grind them yourself.
-Make sure you don’t combine the cleanser with water until you’re ready to use it. This recipe lacks preservatives, so pre-mixing with water will only make it expire sooner.
-If you wear light makeup or organic/natural makeup ½ a teaspoon was enough to remove the makeup from my face. If you wear heavier makeup you may need to cleanse twice.
-Oats are great for: absorbing and removing excess oil and bacteria from your skin, exfoliates dead skin cells, helps to fight dull, flaky dryness, enhances wound healing, improves collagen deposition, healing dry and itchy skin. Source
-Chickpea flour is great for: reducing oiliness, fighting pimples, and naturally lightens the skin. Source

Thanks to Tehmina of Girl Meet Real blog for letting me repost this recipe


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@welldotca Haul: @TheGreenBeaver and @TheraWise

Green Beaver, Extra Gentle Castile Sunflower Liquid Soap in Zesty Orange

Ingredients: Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Potasium Cocoate** (saponified organic coconut oil), Potassium Sunflowerate** (saponified organic sunflower oil), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil*

100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. 31.7% of the total ingredients are from organic farming. *Ingredients from organic farming. ** Made using organic ingredients

This castile soap has a refreshing citrus scent thanks to the orange peel oil and lemon oil. As for appearance, it’s a light yellow colour that reminds me of vegetable oil. If you use it pure without diluting it can be a bit dry until you splash the water on your hands. Hubby seemed to have an allergic reaction to this soap so he’s stopped using it as a body wash. We’re currently using it as hand soap and for regular household cleaning as well. It’s slightly more expensive than Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and has a bit of an oily film to it when used for cleaning. Otherwise, it works well. We’re going to test this a bit longer and decide from there if we want to repurchase it.

Cost: $13.99 CAD, 495 ml / 17 oz
Available at: Well.ca
Rating: 4/5

TheraWise, SHO Healing Ointment

Ingredients: Calendula Extract, Organic Chamomile Extract, Burdock Root Extract, Barley Beta-Glucan Concentrate, Organic Rose Hip Seed Oil, Soya Sterols, Seabuckthorn Berry Oil, Organic Aloe Extract, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil (Containing- EFA’s , Tocopherol and Phytosterols), Organic Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin A, C, E, Olive Oil Emulsifiers and Waxes, Natural Plant Preservatives

This ointment is thick, white and smells mildly of Calendula and Chamomile. I tested it out for my All Natural First Aid Kit post and it worked amazingly well at healing some scratches I had on my legs. The scratches that I didn’t put the ointment on healed much slower. Hubby also used it when he got razor burn from shaving his beard off. His face was bright red, bumpy and inflamed where his beard was. I made him slather this ointment on every night. Within a couple of days his razor burn was almost entirely gone. This would also be great for those with little kids. If you don’t want to use something like polysporin, TheraWise’s Healing Ointment works just as well, if not better. I would definitely repurchase this.

Cost: $15.99 CAD, 28 g / 10 oz
Available at: Well.ca
Rating: 5/5


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Product Review: Niko, Travel Set

Way back when I went to the Green Living Show in April, one of the companies I encountered there was Niko. I was impressed by their USDA Organic accreditation and when I read the ingredients on some of their products they looked really intriguing. Plus they are made right here in Toronto! I bought one of their travel sets to try out. The pictures below are all taken from the Niko website. I’ve listed the prices for the full sized products as well.

Travel Set contains:

Orange Peel Invigorating Facial Cleanser (USDA Organic)

Ingredients: Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder*, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour*, Olea (Orange) Europaea Peel Powder*, Olea (Olive Leaf) Europaea Powder*, Salix (White Willow Bark) Alba Powder*, Chondrus (Irish Moss) Crispus Powder*, Pimpinella (Anise Seed) Anisum Powder*, Maranta (Arrowroot) Arundinacea Powder*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Powder*, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Powder* , Glycyrrhiza (Licorice Root) Glabra Powder*, Ascophyllum (Kelp) Nodosum Powder*, Echinacea Purpurea Herb Powder*, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Leaf Oil*, Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon) Bark Powder*, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract (* Denotes organically produced ingredients)

This facial cleanser has a lovely citrus smell to it. Not surprising given the Orange Peel Powder, Lemongrass Powder and Lemon Peel Powder. It comes in grainy powder format which you must mix with water to apply to your skin. While the ingredients list is quite stellar, it was too abrasive for me to use as a daily cleanser. I did try it as a daily cleanser at first and it made my skin peel too much as well as drying it out. This cleanser worked better for me as a weekly peel mask rather than a daily cleanser. While I liked the scent of the cleanser and the grainy texture of it, I much prefer chemical exfoliants these days to manual ones. My skin is so very sensitive, so this cleanser is a bit too rough for me. But I think this would work for those whose skin isn’t as sensitive as mine. I wouldn’t repurchase this since I already have an exfoliant I really love.

Cost: Travel Set $45.00 CAD, 6 g / 0.2 oz
Full Size: $51.99 CAD, 115g / 4oz
Available at: Niko
Rating: 3/5

Seaweed Ocean Mist Toner (USDA Organic)

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Juice 1% Solution CertifiedOrganic)*, SDA 38B Lavender Alcohol Certified Organic*, Fucus (Bladderwrack) Vesiculosus* (sea weed extract), Porphyra (Seaweed) Umbilicalis*, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract*, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract*, Punica Granatum Linn (Pomegranate) Oil*, Euterpe (Acai) Oleracea Extract*, Piper Methysticum (Kava Kava) Root Extract, Citrus Sinensis Peel Oil (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil*, Rosemarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary) Essential Oil, Lavandula Angustifolium Oil (Lavender) Essential Oil* (* Denotes organically produced ingredient)

This toner came in a size that was too small for me to really evaluate thoroughly. In any case, I wasn’t really impressed because it didn’t have any remarkable effects on my skin. I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t get to use it long enough, or what. It’s clear in appearance and the scent was mild to my nose. Once absorbed by my skin the scent essentially disappeared. It did feel nice and refreshing on my skin when I sprayed it on. I don’t think I would repurchase this, given I didn’t notice any improvements to my skin.

Cost: Travel Set $45.00 CAD, 8 ml / 0.5 oz
Full Size: $31.99 CAD, 120 ml/ 4 oz
Available at: Niko
Rating: 3/5

Kakadu Plum Antioxidant Day Moisturizer (USDA Organic)

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Juice 1% Solution Certified Organic)*, Butyspermum Parkii (Shea) Seed Butter*, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, SDA 38B Lavender Alcohol Certified Organic*, Xanthomonas Campestris (Xanthan) Gum non GMO, Lecithin*, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract*, Symphytum Officinale Root (Comfrey) Extract*, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract*, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil*, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Hips Oil*. (* Denotes organically produced ingredient)

To me Kakadu Plum has a really sharp almost citrus scent that is really refreshing. The Lavender Alcohol and Echinacea Root Extract lend astringent qualities to this moisturizer. It’s a white, opaque and medium weight in thickness, suitable for a day moisturizer for combination and oily skin types. I think this wouldn’t be moisturizing enough for those with dry to extremely dry skin. In any case, I notice a lot of the essential ingredients are in the other products above. Perhaps that’s why none of these products really wowed me.

Cost: Travel Set $45.00 CAD, 15 ml / 0.5 oz
Full Size: $49.99 CAD, 30 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Niko
Rating: 3/5

Seabuckthorn Anti-Aging Serum (USDA Organic)

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus Seed (Sunflower) Oil*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil Marigold flower, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil*, Chamelia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil*, Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolium Oil (Lavender) Essential Oil*, Rosemarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary) Essential Oil*, Anthemis Noblis (Chamomile) Flower Oil*, Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E) . (* Denotes organically produced ingredient)

This serum is a medium yellow in colour and has the smooth texture of an oil serum. The scent is mild to my nose and dissipated once absorbed by my skin. Alas, my skin didn’t love some the oils in this serum. For some reason Pumpkin Seed Oil and Sunflower Oil somehow made me breakout. It’s really too bad. I liked the other ingredients in this serum but it just didn’t work for me.

Cost: Travel Set $45.00 CAD, 8 ml / 03 oz
Full Size: $54.99 CAD, 30 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Niko
Rating: 2/5

Overview:

I’m sad to report that my skin didn’t love Niko’s products. I love supporting Canadian companies but unfortunately not everything agrees with my skin. So while I was impressed with all the ingredients in each product & their USDA Organic accreditation, nothing really produced any considerable improvements to my skin. Maybe these products would work better for someone with a different skin type.

Have you ever tried Niko’s products? What worked for you?


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I’ve been nominated for the Leibster Award!

Thanks to Kendel Seigler for nominating be for the Liebster Award!

Here are the rules as per Kendel’s post.

  1. You must link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. You must answer the 11 questions given to you by said blogger.
  3. You must nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and provide them with 11 unique questions.
  4. You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.
  5. You must inform your nominees by providing a link to your post explaining the award and rules.

Here are the questions that Kendel gave me:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
    I wanted to share my journey towards becoming eco-friendly. Especially living in a Canadian city not all the amazing American brands are available here. I’ve since discovered there are many unsung Canadian organic and natural brands that I can share with the world!
  2. What do you hope to achieve through blogging?
    I want everyone to realize that there are toxic chemicals in normal cosmetics that are not good for your body or the environment, much less the animals that they test the cosmetics on.
  3. Do you find it hard to stay motivated or keep up with posts?
    Sometimes when work or personal life is really busy it can be hard to find the energy and time to post. I’ve found a method that works for me which helps with that issue.
  4. Where do you find your inspiration?
    I get inspired by so many things. Mostly by what I see around me, read, or people that I meet.
  5. What nail polish are you wearing right now, if any?
    Just clear nail polish from Cheeky Monkey which is 5 Free.
  6. What is your signature scent/perfume?
    I don’t have one because I get bored very easily with scents so I always change it up. Brands I’ve used in the past are Lotus Wei, Province Apothecary, and Essence of Vali. There’s a new perfume line I’d heard about called Evoke the Elements which I’d like to try in the future.
  7. What beauty advice would you give your younger self?
    Don’t wear foundation too young and be gentle to your skin.
  8. What lippies are in your bag right now?
    Red Apple Lipstick and Crawford Street Lip Balm.
  9. How do you store all your makeup?
    In my makeup drawers. See my posts about what I currently have in each drawer here, here and here.
  10. Sephora or Ulta?
    Neither. They don’t have any brands I like.
  11. If you could look like one celebrity, who would it be?
    That’s difficult. Not sure I’d want to look like any celebrity but I admire Cate Blanchett’s individuality and style. Her clothes always look interesting.

I nominate:

Here are your questions ladies!

  1. What skincare product can you not live without?
  2. Where is the most exotic or exciting place you have travelled?
  3. What is your favourite DIY recipe?
  4. If you could have one wish what would it be?
  5. What is currently in your purse?
  6. If you have a talent that nobody knows about, what is it?
  7. If you could have any super power in the world what would it be and why?
  8. What are your favourite brands in beauty?
  9. What is your favourite exercise?
  10. Do you prefer camping or cottaging?
  11. What is your favourite snack?

Please follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Bloglovin.


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July/August: Empties


 

Holistic Vanity, Repairing Rosehip Tonic

No review. This Rosehip tonic smells very faintly of roses. It’s almost completely clear in colour with a slight yellowish tinge but goes on the skin clear. When first placed on the skin it feels slightly tacky until it’s absorbed into the skin. While this is a nice and gentle tonic, it didn’t have any appreciable effects on my skin. It was pretty mediocre for my skin type. For that reason I wouldn’t repurchase this tonic. The tonic I really love is the Holistic Vanity Healing Immortelle Tonic.
Cost: $38.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available atPure + Simple
Rating: 3/5

Susdatorium, Conditioner Sampler Set, Duck Duck Booze and I Drink Your Milkshake

Review of Conditioner Sampler Set to come. I’ll do a full review of the conditioner sampler set when I’ve used all the 13 sample sizes up. Duck Duck Booze was the third conditioner sample that I finished in this set. Duck Duck Booze has a milder scent than some of the other conditioners in this set. I can smell a hint of the vegan stout beer in this conditioner. As for the effects on my hair, it was great at making my hair shiny and soft! I Drink Your Milkshake is a sweet and strongly smelling conditioner. You can definitely smell the agave, vanilla and strawberries in this. This conditioner made my hair soft but it also got tangled much easier. I don’t think this will be one of my favourite conditioners when all is said and done.
Cost: $58.95 CAD, 60 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Sudsatorium Etsy Shop
Rating: 4/5

Botanical Therapeutic, Liquid Crystal Deodorant 

No review. This is one of the few natural deodorants that work for me. I’m allergic to baking soda unfortunately. This liquid crystal deodorant is great because it goes on clear and dries clear. It didn’t stain any of my clothing. As for smell it really doesn’t have much of one. Though to me it smells like minerals. The smell dissipates once it dries. It lasts on me all day on a regular work day and into the next day even. Another plus is the price. It’s very affordable. The only thing I don’t like is the spray. I think you lose more product spraying this on your armpits than if it was a roll-on. It doesn’t come in a roll-on format though so you’ll have to use an old container if you have one.
Cost: $8.99 CAD, 120 ml / 4.0 oz
Available at:
Well.ca
Rating: 4/5



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Repurchased: @holisticvanity and @Pure_and_Simple

Holistic Vanity, Rosacea Care, Healing Immortelle Tonic

Ingredients: Helichrysum Italicum*
*100% organic ingredients.

Read my full review here. After trying other toners and tonics, I’ve decided that the Healing Immortelle Tonic is the best for my skin. It calms & soothes my skin. My breakouts are fewer when I use this tonic. I think I might have found my HG toner!

Cost: $26.00 CAD, 100 ml
Available at: Pure + Simple
Rating: 5/5

Pure + Simple, Refining Peach Enzyme Treatment

Ingredients List: Water, Sea Algae Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Ferment Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow Bark) Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Extract, Prunus Salicina (Plum) Extract, Hydrolyzed Fucus Vesiculosus Protein (Marine Algae Derivative), Faex (Yeast) Extract, Sodium Levulinate, Anhydroxylitol + Xylitol + Xylitylglucoside (Natural Sugar Derived Humectants), Saccharomyces Lysate (Yeast) Extract, Sclerotium Gum Powder (Sugar Derived Thickener), Vigna Aconitifolia Seed (Indian Moth Bean) Extract, Sodium Citrate (Citric Acid Salt), Sodium Anisate (Licorice Derived), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Extract, Rhodiola Rosea (Rose) Root Extract.

Read my full review here. Well I have to say, this chemical exfoliator has become one of my faves. It works quickly. You only need to leave it on for 10 minutes. But I usually leave it on for longer. It goes on clear so I can walk around the house and even in the garden without looking like a mud monster. After I wash it off, it leaves my skin super smooth so that when I put my makeup on there isn’t any dry flaky skin. Also it smells great & has never irritated my skin despite repeated use. Wins all around!

Cost: $49.45 CAD, 50 ml
Available at: Pure + Simple
Rating: 5/5


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Book Review: Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash To Chemical Utopia Is Making Lab Rats of Us All by Monona Rossol


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About the author

Monona Rossol, an industrial hygienist, divides her time between inspecting work sites, training workers, and delivering expert testimony in court cases involving chemical exposure. She is the President and founder of Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, Inc., and a regular guest on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. She has lectured and consulted in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Mexico, and Portugal.

Book Review:

Whoa. This is one seriously scary book. Rossol talks about several issues she’s had first had experience with in regards to toxic chemicals and safety. She fell into the safety aspects of art due to her background in chemistry and seeing how artists were dealing with toxic chemicals without safety standards. She states that basically every person in the world has been exposed to hundreds of chemicals and due to lack of medical study we do not know what their effects will be in our bodies. For example, asbestos was commonly used in buildings until it was proven that people exposed to asbestos would contract terminal illnesses. But it still took a long time to for people to stop using asbestos and to ban its use. The first documented death due to asbestos exposure was in 1906 but it was not banned entirely until 2003. Although this book is well researched I had a hard time getting through this book due to all the jargon that Rossol uses. Also, Rossol’s tone in this book is really quite pessimistic. I can understand her frustration that people are still using toxic chemicals in inappropriate ways. However I don’t think this was conducive to getting her point across in the book. The average person (like me) would just get terrified after reading this book and immediately want to get tested for everything under the sun. I don’t think panic is a good reaction to provoke in readers. You would want the reader to become thoughtful about the issues you present so that they would want to act, but not run screaming from your book. The tips that Rossol presents near the end of the book were too generic. I’ve read other books with better tips on eliminating toxic chemicals from your personal hygiene.

Rating: 2/5

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