Castile Soap All-Purpose Cleaner

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Castile Soap All Purpose Cleaner: While I LOVE my vinegar cleaner (Jess’s recipe) my husband does not like the smell and complains constantly about it. So I decided to mess around with two favorite ingredients: Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap (whew that’s long!) and Essential Oils! In fact this is an adaptation of the foaming hand soap that I posted awhile back…I have tried… this for a week on EVERYTHING from kitchen counters to toilets and WOW it cleans SO well and smells great too…thought I would share!!
***20oz hot water (I feel things mix better when initially warm to hot)
***1/3 c. liquid castile soap
***2 caps full (approx 15-20 drops) tea tree oil
***Mix it up!
Note: I prefer the baby mild because it is unscented and I can buy one large thing of it and use it from hair, face, kids, etc etc and it still cleans well. You can cheat and use the Tea Tree Dr. B’s…that would work as well…or you can use unscented and flavor with a citrus one as those tend to cut grease and sanitize well too!
2nd note: this can get a bit soapy if you use too much, a little goes a long way. After I clean I always go over with a hot damp cloth and dry with a microfiber cloth.
I’m telling you my counters are sparkling, I would let my kids eat off this counter, the smell is pleasant and I am officially in love

 

Who Owns Organic?

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Finally– the updated version of “Who owns Organic” is out, the previous version was from way back in 2009. ALWAYS eye-opening! “The latest update now includes the top 100 food processors in North America.” What does this mean?  I compare it to the fact that Tom’s of Maine is owned by Colgate, and Burt’s Bees by  Clorox. Many feel different about those products when they find that out. I used to buy Back to Nature organic Mac-N-Cheese, until I found out they were owned by Kraft. Big companies buy up smaller organic companies because as we all know organic is big business. I’ve gone back to buying Annie’s organic Mac-n-Cheese, even though it is $.50 more/box. Some of these big companies oppose GMO-labeling (not positive which ones, but I’m sure some did). It goes back to voting with our dollars, and many choose to support independently owned companies vs all our money going back to Haines, Kraft, etc….

Link to chart: http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/05/who-owns-organics-updated/

Link to Private Label Organic brands: http://www.cornucopia.org/graphics/OrganicPLabelJul07.pdf

Link to Independent Organic brands: http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/themes/Cornucopia/downloads/OrganicIndJan08.pdf

 

Deodorant Crystals- are they safe?

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I’ve had several questions recently about the deodorant crystals, sprays, roll-on’s. I think Naturally Fresh is the most well-known, and I used to use it myself before making my own as I felt it was a safe alternative to Tom’s, Nature’s Gate, etc. It’s readily available at Wal-Mart & other big box stores. BUT, is it safe? Many of the labels list “mineral salts” as a main ingredients. What are these mineral salts? As I’ve stated many times, I’m not a chemist, and always appreciate feedback from those of you who are. I’ve read many conflicting articles on this topic. I always advocate for erring on the side of caution, and since there is a shred of doubt in my mind about these, I can’t recommend them without concern. Here’s some of the issues regarding them, gathered from differing sources:

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll-on: “Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum), Zinc Ricinoleate, Xanthan Gum, Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis Flower), Phenoxyethanol (4 rating via EWG).

Naturally Fresh Spray Mist:  Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum).

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal: Natural Mineral Salts (Ammonium Alum), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Extract).

From Dr. Mercola’s site: “Some of the most popular natural deodorants are the “crystal” deodorant stones and sprays. But most people don’t know that these crystal deodorant products contain aluminum. The crystal deodorant stones are made from alum. The most widely used form of alum used in the personal care industry is potassium alum. The full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate. Let’s get this straight. Even though aluminum is widely distributed in the earth’s crust, it is NOT needed in ANY amounts in your body. All evidence to date points to aluminum as a poison that serves no beneficial role in your body and should be avoided. Aluminum is widely recognized as a neurotoxin, which has been found in increased concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.Unfortunately, if you use antiperspirants or some deodorants, you are most likely exposing yourself to aluminum. Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants. A review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body. According to the review, after a single underarm application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of the aluminum may be absorbed. Multiply this by one or more times a day for a lifetime and you can have a massive exposure to aluminum — a poison that is not meant to be in your body. Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/16/aluminum-lurks-in-crystal-deodorants.aspx.

EWG rates it at a 1, but with limited data: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705178/POTASSIUM_ALUM/.

Concerns listed: Organ system toxicity: Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful by Environment Canada Domestic Substance List.

Ecotoxicology: Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative.

From The People’s Pharmacy, a radio program I catch weekly on NPR: “It will probably take many more years to resolve the controversy about any relationship between aluminum and breast cancer. In the meantime, people who seek to avoid aluminum in their armpits will probably want to look beyond crystal-type natural deodorants. Many people find that milk of magnesia applied to the underarm helps against odor, so that may be an attractive alternative:http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/02/06/are-natural-alum-crystal-deodorants-safe/”

From Naturally Fresh’s Website: Do your products contain aluminum? No, Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystals contain the naturally occurring compound Alum (Potassium or Ammonium), not to be confused with harmful processed aluminum (Aluminum Zirconium or Aluminum Chlorohydrate). Technically speaking, aluminum is a metal while Alum is a compound.  Many of these processed aluminum molecules can be absorbed into the skin and bloodstream. Alum molecules create a barrier against odor causing bacteria and contain a large molecule which does not penetrate the surface of the skin.

Another online article: “Potassium alum is a naturally occurring form of aluminum salt. The difference between potassium alum and aluminum chlorohydrate is that potassium alum is a much larger molecule, not thought to be absorbable through human skin.” http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/stories/make-the-switch-to-a-natural-deodorant.

***I AM NOT posting this to sell my own deodorant, I want to share my concerns regarding this product. As one mama put it, she’s eliminated aluminum from her kitchen & everywhere else in her house, why would she roll it on her skin daily? I want you to know that I do make deodorant, which is safe enough to eat, yet the most effective natural deodorant I’ve ever used. It is available to purchase, and I’ll always share the recipe for those that want to make your own!

–Recipe with tons of Q & A: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=537190792963232&set=a.494009763948002.128085.397517646930548&type=3&theater

–Info on purchasing mine: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/jesss-homemade-deodorant-and-body-scrub-are-now-for-sale/645692072113103

MamaSuds Review

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Original review of castile & laundry soap published May 14, 2013. Updated 8/10/2016 to include automatic dish powder review & current prices.

Review of Castile & liquid laundry soap handmade & bottled by MamaSuds, located in Goodrich, MI. As all of us have different water types & expectations, of course results will vary. These are my experiences with these products, and I don’t expect any product to satisfy 100% of the people who try it…

Laundry Soap- 1 gal= $26, cloth diaper safe. Also a borate-free option for $27. Ingredients: Castile soap, water, sodium bicarbonate, sodium tetraborate. If you’ve been on my page for very long, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of soap nuts. If you’re new to the page, well, I’m a huge fan of soap nuts   However, not everyone who has tried them loves them as much as I do, so I was happy to try out the laundry soap from MamaSuds to have an alternate recommendation for a liquid laundry soap. Normally I don’t use products containing Borax (sodium tetraborate) in my home. Many are fine using it for laundry & even dishes, but the research I’ve done on it has led me to look for alternatives that don’t contain it (many with very sensitive skin have issues with it). However, this recipe uses 1/3 cup per 5 gallon batch, so one gallon has very, very little, and each load has a miniscule amount (many homemade recipes call for equal parts Borax & Washing Soda, so it’s being used in high amounts). So, what’s the purpose of such a tiny amount? Michelle, the mama behind MamaSuds, who was great at answering any questions I had, said this: “it allows clothes to absorb the soap to get out stains and rinse clean (no residue), chemically it raises the Ph of the water. I used a lot trial an error and this was the least amount I could use to get the formula to a 9.5 Ph.”

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I put my soap nuts aside for a few weeks & put this liquid laundry soap to the test on our daily laundry, and cloth diapers. It did a great job! Our daily laundry consists mainly of normal daily wear & tear, and dirt/mud stains this time of year, as Spring finally arrived and we spend a great portion of our day outside. I have no complaints whatsoever about it not getting my clothes as clean as I’d like. It did great on the diapers too. I also was impressed with how soft everything felt when transferring it to the dryer or line, and even after it was done drying (I use dryer balls, not fabric softener). It does not produce bubbles, something I was used to as soap nuts don’t either (bubbles require additional ingredients, I’m fine going without- the fewer ingredients the better is my motto). I used ¼ cup for diapers (2 oz.) and 3/8 cup (3 oz.) for a large load of laundry.  I have a top-loading regular (not HE) machine.

Info about the liquid laundry soap from MamaSuds website: Enjoy a chemical free, all natural laundry soap product made by hand and bottled by hand. We first developed this product to clean our cloth diapers and use it for all of our household laundry. Using our all natural castile soap developed by MamaSuds, we now offer a low cost high quality alternative laundry soap for cleaning cloth diapers and everyday laundry.

For normal loads of laundry – use two ounces of our MamaSuds Laundry Soap per load. For cleaning cloth diapers use two to four ounces of MamaSuds Laundry Soap per load. Do you have a High Efficiency laundry machine? Then MamaSuds laundry soap is a must have – only ONE OUNCE PER LOAD!

Castile Soap- $10.50/ 16 oz. bottle, can add essential oils for an extra $.50. Ingredients: olive oil, saponified lye, distilled water. “MamaSuds Castile Soap is perfect for cleaning ANYTHING around the house… From babies to toilets! 100% vegan, not tested on animals and made of pure olive oil. All natural, chemical free, bottled by hand.”

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I am (and I know many of you are) a huge fan of castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s is the most well-known brand, and what I normally recommend for an all-purpose soap. Several of you have commented in the past that you feel Dr. Bronner’s is harsh on your skin (although many making such comments weren’t aware of the need/ability to dilute it). Dr. Bronner’s does contain Citric Acid (EWG rates it a 2), an ingredient I was happy to see this castile soap doesn’t!  The same size bottle of Dr. Bronner’s (16 oz.) costs a little over $10 on their website, compared to $7 for a bottle from MamaSuds. Dr. Bronner’s does use a combination of 4 organic oils vs. just the olive oil in MamaSuds, but again, less ingredients isn’t a bad thing, especially considering MamaSuds doesn’t use Citric Acid. How does it work? I feel it works just as good as Dr. Bronner’s. I diluted some 50/50 with water in my foaming hand soap dispenser, and was very impressed with the lather it produced. I used it for a few other things I would normally use Dr. Bronner’s for, like shaving my legs, and as a body wash, and it honestly worked just as well. I have no hesitation recommending MamaSuds castile soap, or laundry soap (which has their castile soap as a primary ingredient). I know many of you are looking to support fellow mamas vs. large companies, and this is a chance for you to do so.

Here is a list of uses for the castile soap, from MamaSuds website (not all-inclusive): Can Be Used To Clean Everything! From Babies to Toilets!

•Body Wash

•Shaving “cream”

•Baby Wash – This also works great as a head to toe baby wash. You do have to be a little careful with it around their eyes because it’s not tear-free, but especially if you dilute it, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. •Hand Soap

•Baby Wipes Solution– I use castile soap mixed with water as a homemade solution for my baby wipes. These wipes are great for changing diapers, but also great just to use for wiping hands and faces after eating, for cleaning spots of spit-up or other stains off of clothing, just about anything you would use a disposable baby wipe for.

•Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner

Added 8/10/16 AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER POWDER:

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$16/ 30 ounces net weight / 60-90 loads. Ingredients: non-GMO citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate.

The dish powder works amazingly well for me, and I have very hard well water & no water softener. I use vinegar in the rinse compartment as instructed. I’ve not had great luck with natural auto dish detergents, but am very, very pleased with this. As with all products, results will vary from household to household. The outcome greatly depends on your machine, water type, and expectations. I HIGHLY recommend starting with a sample as they are available for only $5 & you can try several loads out! One other thing that really helps is I clean my filter after every other use, it really makes a difference in how sparkly my dishes come out!

Michelle has greatly expanded her line since I 1st did my review 3 years ago. Other popular items are her toilet bombs and lotions. She also has a pet shampoo, body wash, deodorant, bug spray, sun cream & several other items that are all made with minimal, safe, yet effective ingredients.

From their website: A little bit about us MamaSuds was the vision of a mother of two who was always seeking for an affordable yet safe way to clean her home and family. Michelle (mama) wanted to find an affordable cloth diaper detergent that rinsed, cleaned, and actually got the soil and stink out of the diapers! Michelle started searching detergents and wondered, why is everything that is natural, safe, and chemical-free come with a hefty price tag? After several recipes, she started giving it to friends and family to try. Shortly after Michelle started making all the soap in the house, and her husband Jim thought if their family benefited from the soap, why wouldn’t other families? MamaSuds was born!

How MamaSuds got started. From Michelle: ” I just finished watching the documentary Food, inc., and while it really enraged me at the core, it really reminded me of how I started this journey that I am on. I have struggled a little bit along the way because I didn’t know where my path was leading me, and my Type A mentality was having trouble understanding how to go down a path without having a plan or a backup plan. The journey started when I began learning about essential oils and their natural healing ability. Then I decided to make my own baby food which led me looking into cloth diapers. While I was informing myself about cloth diapers and convincing my husband of all the benefits we had purchased new nursery furniture for our second baby that was on the way. I had left a bottle of Name-brand baby soap on the nursery dresser and it had fallen over and leaked a tiny amount onto the furniture. After I noticed it, I wiped it off to see it had eaten the varnish off of the new furniture. I remember thinking, huh- if it does that to furniture what’s it doing to the skin of a baby. This of course sent me straight to the Internet to research baby soap and I opened a whole world that I was not prepared for! I bought Castile soap off the Internet and was pretty happy with it except for the fact that it was expensive and I thought, hey let’s look to see if I can make it myself (I don’t have enough to do as it is, haha) Turns out, you can make it yourself but it’s daunting (potassium hydroxide is not easy to find or fun to work with) and it takes hours to make. Nonetheless, I made a few batches and was extremely satisfied. At the same time I was trying out recipes for laundry soap that would clean my cloth diapers.

My point is, sometimes you just have to let the path lead you, even when you can’t see around the corner. I just kept “making it myself” because it felt gratifying and it was for the good of my family. So after watching that riveting documentary it made me realize my Journey is really a path of Getting Back to Basics. Our Earth is an amazing place that really can provide us with everything that we need to be healthy! If I can make it and feel gratified and proud to use it on my family, I feel like it is good enough for yours!”

Please check out her website & Facebook pages:

Website: http://www.mamasuds.com/

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MamaSuds/257240647659779

Voting with our dollars

I say it often– every dollar spent is a vote, I know many of you feel the same. But how do we know our votes/dollars are making a difference? Well, Poofy organics has had so many orders coming in that they’re hiring a 5th person!! They make their products the day they are ordered, as they don’t use harsh preservatives this is very important! They made 200 tubes of sunscreen just yesterday! While I know not all orders are from y’all on this page, Kristina feels many of them are. WE helped create another US job. WE ARE sending a message about the products we want for our families. Change is change, no matter how small!! This all puts a huge smile on my face!!

What I use in my home for cleaning & personal care products

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I’ve been asked to provide examples of what I use in my home for some of the major categories, so here’s an overview. Of course not everything that works for me will work as well for you. We all have different hair/skin/water/expectations that play a role in our product satisfaction. I consider myself a product minimalist. If you are looking for something not on this list, let me know, I likely have a safe recommendation to offer! I originally shared this way back in May of 2013. My product choices have definitely shifted over the years, and you’ll see below that I use a lot of Poofy Organics. I truly believe them to be the safest products on the market, AND they work very well, which can’t always be said for all natural/organic products….

All-purpose cleaner: We all have to clean our homes, from stove-tops, to floors of all types, here is my favorite:

I’m a huge fan of Poofy Organics all-purpose concentrate. I truly use it for everything! This tiny $25 bottle makes ~16 refills of the 16 oz spray bottle! That makes it super economical, and super eco-friendly!  Available in Sprinted Mint, or I’ve switched to Medieval blend, which has germ-killing EO’s in it. Also available in a 16 oz, pre-diluted, spray bottle for $10: Link to the concentrate: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/products/1907-medieval-blend-all-purpose-soap-concentrate-organic.aspx

MAMA SUDS: I’ve also heard from many who love Mama Suds all-purpose spray, I’ve not tried it myself, but the ingredients are safe! https://www.mamasuds.com/products/all-purpose-cleaner

In the past I’ve used orange peel-infused vinegar: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=494009793947999&set=a.494009763948002.128085.397517646930548&type=3&theater

A thread on the numerous uses for both white & apple cider vinegar: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=630823000266677&set=a.599365280079116.149826.397517646930548&type=3&theater

And don’t forget about hydrogen peroxide, it’s a powerful cleanser & germ-killer, and more & more is my go-to! http://www.stopthestomachflu.com/hydrogen-peroxide-experiments

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Laundry: I used EcoNuts  for my 4 years of cloth diapering, never had a diaper rash once in either of my kids, never had to strip diapers once either! And I’ve used wool dryer balls for many years now: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/truly-natural-laundry-solutions-soap-nuts-wool-dryer-balls/556789574336687

I do feel soap nuts did an excellent job on our diapers, but our regular laundry is a challenge. We’re a super outdoorsy family, lots of time playing in dirt for the kids, chainsawing piles of wood for my Hubby…. We’ve used, and been happy with, Molly’s Suds, for many years now! We have a 10 year old, top-loading washer.  https://www.mollyssuds.com/

Mama Suds offers a liquid laundry detergent that many find to work well too. She offer a 16 oz sample size, enough for several loads, so I say give it a try as well!

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Dish  soap:  After years of looking for the perfect, safe, effective dish soap, Poofy really is the only one I can recommend… No, it is not cheap. But yes, it absolutely is the safest I’ve found on the market, and it really works too, which is why I can recommend it! https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/products/1911-citrus-punch-dishwashing-liquid.aspx

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 Dishwasher: I can only recommend 2 safe options for this category: MamaSuds (powder) & Better Life (gel). MamaSuds seems to have about a 50/50 satisfaction rate in those who’ve  reported back to me after they’ve tried it. The great news is, she offers samples for just $5 which gets you a few loads! So I highly recommend giving it a try before committing to a full size bag. I’m having the best results with Better Life myself. We have hard, non-softened, well water & I started having issues with MamaSuds coming out pretty grimy, that’s not happening with Better Life! I have found the best prices from Vitacost, although some of you may be lucky enough to find this locally.

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Hair:  This is a very, very tough category. What works for one person does not always work for the next. It has been years since I used a conventional product for this category, so my hair has definitely “detoxed”. I currently wash my hair ~2x/week, and usually it’s with Poofy’s Mighty Mane. I say usually because sometimes I use salonsolids if I have it on hand, which you can read about below. The Mighty Mane line was actually developed with those suffering from hair loss in mind. But so many have found it to be the perfect every day, or a few times/week shampoo, as I have. Poofy also offers other shampoo’s, and you will find others who love those options: orange/lav is a very popular option, there’s also a dandruff shampoo, a 2-in-1, even a lice prevention option! This is in addition to the best-selling unscented baby shampoo (many adults who prefer no scent also use this!). I use a few spritzes of the Mighty Mane Leave-in Spray after my hair has towel-dried. In the winter months my hair & scalp tend to dry out a lot more, then I will use Poofy’s cream conditioner weekly, and just last winter started using the argan hair treatment on my scalp to help with dandruff, and it really worked well! https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/products/1293-mighty-mane-shampoo.aspx

salonsolids is another option that has worked very well for me. I absolutely LOVE the dedication to plastic-free with this option. It’s a powder that you mix with hot water. And it works very well with my hair too!  https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2016/12/10/salonsolids-review/

Hair colorhttps://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2016/01/05/how-to-hennaindigo-your-hair/

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BABY SOAP/LOTION: I didn’t use any soap at all on my babes until they were several years old. Even now, at 5 & 7 years old, they rarely get soap. A warm bath & wash cloth really does clean them up properly. But since I get asked a lot about a safe, mild baby soap, I will recommend Poofy’s baby shampoo here. It is one of the most loved Poofy products! You will find it, as well as the unscented baby lotion, via this link: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/category/154-organic-baby-products.aspx

Other options: Josiah’s Oils makes a ‘bare’ head-to-toe liquid soap. Dr. Bronners offers an unscented baby liquid.

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Other soap needs:  Poofy soap concentrate. Poofy offers many soap concentrates. 1 bottle of this makes numerous 8oz foaming pumps, making it both economical & eco-friendly, the best combo! https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/search.aspx?searchterms=concentrate

MamaSuds also makes a liquid castile that has very minimal ingredients & doesn’t include citric acid, so is even milder than Dr. Bronners- here’s my review of this product & her liquid laundry soap:

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Facial Moisturizer: I used Poofy’s Flawless Face Moisturizer as needed for several years. At night I would dab on the Vivid Eye Serum on top of it, a combo I was pretty happy with. I was also very proud that I got my Mom to switch to the Flawless Face Moisturizer after a lifetime of Clinique, Oil of Olay, etc. She absolutely loves the FF cream! Then Kristina came out with the Flawless Face Pm cream, and so many of us fell in love, my Mom included (I gifted it to her for her 60th B-day, then Mother’s Day, and will keep her stocked). The Pm cream is all I, and many others, use both day & night. It is not heavy, does not make my skin greasy, but takes care of any dry spots I have, and is really doing a great job combating my almost-40 fine lines & wrinkles under my eyes, on my forehead, and on my neck. I’m very, very happy with this cream & will never use anything else! The ingredients are superb & selected to target anti-aging: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/products/1727-flawless-face-pm.aspx

Other options I’m aware of that are safe: MamaSuds age-defying, Josiah’s

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Toothpaste: I do make my own homemade paste, it’s a coconut oil base so it’s not tube-stable. It comes in a 4oz glass mason jar, just like my deodorant. I absolutely love it, so do my kids, and many others! But we’re also huge fans of variety so you will also find a tube of Poofy’s Cherry paste, and more than 1 flavor of Earthpaste in my bathroom!

My paste info: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/buying-clubdeomy-poofy-organics/eco-friendly-usa-homemade-toothpaste/

Poofy paste: 2 options, Cherry which is loved by many, and the Happy Teeth which many will say is ‘spicy’. It totally grew on me, and others will say the same. It leaves your mouth feeling clean & refreshed. But if you can’t handle spicy/hot, this might not be the paste for you. Poofy also offers a toothpowder which any LOVE! https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/search.aspx?searchterms=toothpaste

Earthpaste: My kids love Lemon, we always have a tube of that on hand, and I usually keep at least 2 other tubes in our rotation. They have a peppermint w/ activated charcoal option now, in addition to spearmint (w/o xylitol), wintergreen, cinnamon, and peppermint w/o charcoal too. They also now offer several toothpowders! https://www.earthpaste.com/

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Deodorant: I’ve made my own for almost 6 years now! But I do keep a stick of Poofy’s Jasmine Joy around as of late, the smell is soooooo good that I cannot resist!  Here’s the link to the recipe to make your own: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/buying-clubdeomy-poofy-organics/homemade-deodorant-body-scrub-info/

Josiah’s

BlueEgg Farmstore

MamaSuds

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First AidI have a whole separate post on this! https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2017/09/06/my-natural-remedy-collection/

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Facial Cleanser– Since I don’t wear make-up, I don’t have a nightly face wash routine. If my skin is oily I use Witchazel as an astringent, which I get from Mountain Rose Herbs. Poofy’s Flawless Face Cleanser is a great option, and you can dilute it 50/50 with distilled water in a foaming pump even! Poofy also offers a Zit Zapper line which includes a face wash. Josiah’s Oils offers an acne wash, and strawberry face wash too: https://www.josiahsoils.com/apps/search?q=face+wash

Poofy Organics Review

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As all of us have different skin/hair/water/expectations, of course results will vary. These are my experiences with these products, and I don’t expect any product to satisfy 100% of the people who try it… AND, I did become an “official” affiliate of Poofy Organics as of 6/15/14 after more than a year of recommending these products every, single day. So, I truly appreciate your support if/when ordering your Poofy products, by using this link:  https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/

THANK YOU in advance 🙂

Poofy Organics has been on my “approved” list for several months, after it was suggested I check out the line by someone on my page. Looking them up in EWG put a huge smile on my face, as did reading several of their labels. EWG lists 115 products rating 0-3. You have to scroll a really long way to get past the products that rate at 0 (nearly 2 pages) to even find ones that rate at 1, only 7/115 they list rate at 2. And, as always EWG is not all that up-to-date, and I noticed several products listed that aren’t currently offered via Poofy’s website. Indeed, the 4 products that EWG rated at a 3 have been eliminated from Poofy’s line! There are no harsh preservatives to be found, the ingredient lists are minimal, and the array of organic ingredients used in each product is astounding. I liked what I saw & added them to my list. But, I hadn’t tried any of the products, so was always hesitant to recommend anything specific when asked for recommendations for frequently asked questions such as shampoo/conditioner, etc. I am SO thankful that Kristina, the owner of Poofy Organics (and one of the 4 employees in addition to her mother) agreed to send me several samples. I’m well aware that companies such as Poofy get multiple requests a day for product samples from bloggers such as myself, and would go broke if they agreed to all of them. Kristina knew she could count on me to give my honest opinion of her products, and that you all place great value in my reviews, so she agreed to send me several samples! The amazing thing about dealing with a very small company like this is any time I had a question (and I ask a LOT of questions!), Kristina had them answered beyond satisfaction within hours. She knows everything there is to know about these products. Why? Because she makes them herself. I wish I could say the same for experiences I’ve had with other companies. I’ve had questions go unanswered for a month as the person selling them is so far removed from actually making them.

So, here’s a list of products I was sent, their ingredients, prices, and my thoughts on them. Followed by additional info on this company and their products that I enjoyed learning about, and hope you will too.

Dish Soap– A safe, effective dish soap is one of the most FAQ I get on this page, and I’ve been very frustrated with the options, even the safest ones have ingredients of concern. The ingredients in this are fabulous, and it works SO well The 1st time I tried it was with a tiny sink of dishes, just to see how it worked. I did the dishes, went outside for an hour or more, and came back & there were still bubbles in the sink! Then I let the dishes build up to the point where I had 2 sinks full and put it to the test again, the bubbles lasted through the whole load, and it was a pretty greasy load too! Last night hubby did dishes & without me asking for feedback he said “Wow, this stuff gets them squeaky clean”, and it really, really did. The dishes were so clean, no leftover grease or grime that I’ve experienced with some of the more eco-friendly brands I’ve tried. I cannot recommend this highly enough, and hope many of you are as excited as I am. Ingredients: Purified Water, Saponified Organic Oils of Coconut, Olive & Jojoba, Decyl Polyglucose ( EWG rating of 0!), Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Xanthan Gum (EWG rating of 0), Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Essential oils of Lemon & Rosemary, rosemary extract. Price=$10.00/16 oz. bottle. Many brands say just use a tiny amount, but I always find myself squirting quite a bit in for desired effect, but you honestly just need a little squirt of this stuff. AND, it has a wonderful, clean, fresh scent! he Xanthan gum and Decyl Polyglucose are from non-gmo corn and the glycerine is USDA organic from soy.

Shampoo– $13/ 8 oz.  I was sent Orange Sweetness (I’m a huge citrus-scent fan). One of the most frequently asked questions asked on the page is about shampoo & conditioners. I had been using the No Poo method for several months (largely due to my frustration at finding a safe option), and was quite happy with it, but really wanted to have an answer to this question when asked, as I know the No Poo method isn’t for everyone. I had been pointing those asking to my list of ~15 ‘Approved’ companies & telling them to choose one from there, but that can be daunting too. So, I was really happy when Poofy Organics agreed to send me samples of these 2 products! Yes, the ingredient labels look great, but I always hate to recommend a product without trying it, as it’s nice to know if it really is effective. I now know that I can recommend them without hesitation. A little bit goes a long way (I did chop my hair shoulder-length recently though), it lathers, it smells great, it has all the features we all want shampoo to have. I used it a few times without conditioner, and my hair felt great, as apple cider vinegar is an ingredient that conditions also. My hair felt clean & not weighed down. I’ve been using this for about a month and have used ~1/4 of the bottle. The ingredient label is one of the most minimal I’ve seen on any shampoo: Purified Water, Decyl Polyglucose, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Essential Oil, Xanthan Gum. Here’s the link to the page with all shampoo/conditioner options:

Conditioner– $15 for 8 oz. I was sent the Hair Hero Intensive conditioner. As the name implies, it’s very intensive, and not recommended for everyday use. If you have wonderful, healthy hair, this may be too much for your needs, but if you have dry/damaged hair, this is the one for you! This works well with my hair washing routine which stems from my No Poo experience, which is washing it just a couple times/week. Also, $15 may seem expensive, but HONESTLY, you need a teeny, tiny dab of this stuff, any more & you’ll have greasy hair. I literally use a pea-sized amount, rub it around in my palms a bit, and gently finger it through the ends of my hair. I did recently chop my hair to shoulder-length though, so you’ll need a bit more with longer hair obviously, but still this will be the most minimal-use conditioner you’ll ever use. It leaves my hair feeling so soft, healthy & shiny-looking, I truly love it. I was also sent a spray/leave-in conditioner which is different from the one they are currently offering. The current formula was a bit greasy, so Kristina reworked it to make it less greasy, and appropriate for kids & adults alike. I’ve only sampled it a couple of times but loved how my hair felt after drying. It was soft, yet not oily or greasy whatsoever. Kristina is putting the final touches on this product & it should be available in the next month- I’ll surely let you know when it is! Ingredients for Hair Hero Intensive Conditioner: Distilled Water, Organic Safflower Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Grapeseed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Organic Rosemary Extract, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (Kimchi Seaweed), Organic Lemon essential Oil, Organic Rosemary Essential Oil.

Toothpaste– First USDA Organic toothpaste on market!! $8.00 for 3.4 oz. tube. The search for safe, effective toothpaste has not been easy. So many of the “natural” ones on the market (Tom’s, Jason, etc) contain ingredients such as SLS, carrageenan, and others that I don’t want to use myself, let alone let my toddler put in his mouth. If you’ve been on my page for any length of time you know I’m a huge Earthpaste lover. But, it is not certified organic, which I know many of you care about—so this is the paste for you! The version I sampled leaves your mouth feeling incredibly clean & fresh, cardamom & cinnamon are the overwhelming tastes that are left in my mouth. It is too intense for my toddler, he made quite the face when sampling it, but they have a cherry flavored one for kids ($6 for that version, it does contain organic glycerin which some like to avoid in toothpaste, others are fine with, I encourage you to research this & decide for yourself).  Ingredients: Distilled Water, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Organic Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Powder, Bentonite Clay, Aluminum-Free Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Organic Erythritol, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Essential Oil, Organic Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Essential Oil, Organic Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom) Essential Oil, Organic Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Essential Oil. This link provides more details about the ingredients used and their purpose/benefits to your teeth:

Deodorant—$10 for 2.65 oz. stick. I was sent a Peppymint tea, other scents include Piña Colada, and Patchouli Citrus Clove in stick form. They also offer a spray, and cream. This is one of the few products my hubby has been excited to have some input on. I make my own deodorant, it’s a very basic recipe that doesn’t work well as a stick so you need to apply it with your fingers, which he just isn’t thrilled about (I don’t mind it at all). Also, I’m not a huge peppermint fan, but hubby is, so this was the perfect product for him to try out. My husband is a very active outdoorsy-type, and has been using this deodorant for about a month. He really likes it! He feels it is very effective at eliminating odor and preventing sweat. Arrowroot powder is a natural moisture absorber. The beeswax and other butters seem to help clog pores to reduce sweating also, at least that’s the conclusion we’ve come to. I don’t know that that’s a scientific fact, but the stuff really works!  Ingredients: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Aluminum-Free Baking Soda, Organic Essential Oils of Peppermint & Tea Tree

 

Argan Oil– 100% pure & raw, USDA organic. $30 for 2 oz glass bottle. I’m totally new to this product. I’ve been seeing it pop up more & more in products recently, and recommended often by others, so was very happy when this item was sent for me to review- I always love to try new products as long as I have no concern over their ingredients/source. I’m assuming many of you are as unfamiliar with this oil as I am/was, so here’s some info on it that I gleaned from Poofy’s site: “The Argan, a Moroccan tree exist no-where-else in the world! Very rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E and more, AO is famous for its pure natural hydrating and revitalizing properties. An anti-wrinkle product that is made by mother nature.” They give many suggested uses for it: revitalizing oil for face and body, strengthening soft & brittle nails, emollient (capillary mask for beautiful hair), massage therapy, and I’m sure there are plenty of more uses for it. I have mainly been using it after washing my face before bed as a moisturizer. YES, it is expensive. BUT, it comes with a dropper, and you honestly do just need a drop here & there. I put a drop on my finger for under each eye, 2-3 drops on my chin/neck, and a couple of drops for the rest of my face. I’ve used it in my hair a few times after shampooing with no conditioner. I let my hair dry, drop 3-4 drops of the oil in the palm of my hand & lightly run my hands through my hair. It does a wonderful job taming dry, winter, static hair.

Sunscreen– $14 3.4 oz tube– SPF 30. Safe for the whole family! The only other sunscreen I’ve used on my babe, on the occasion when covering up isn’t practical, is Badger Balm. Poofy’s sunscreen is very similar to Badger’s, both contain non-nano particle zinc (a must!). The one difference that many of you who’ve tried Badger will like is that Poofy’s isn’t as thick so it applies easier & smoother. Spring has been very, very late in arriving here in Wisconsin this year, and I’ve only sampled this on my babe once so far when we went to the park for a few hours on a nice day. As it was some of his 1st sun exposure of the year I was nervous about him turning pink quickly. He kept his hat on for 1 hour, and the other hour I left the hat off to let him absorb some Vitamin D, and applied the sunscreen to his face, which didn’t turn even the slightest shade of pink. I will update my post on this as summer finally gets here & I have more occasion to sample it, but I have no doubt it is an effective, safe sunscreen that I have no hesitation recommending. Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Beeswax, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Camellia Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Zinc Oxide, Organic Rosemary Extract, Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Natural Vitamin E.

***And here’s an article Jolene just wrote about all things sunscreen-related: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/sunscreen-spf-is-it-just-a-numbers-game/656768194338824

All Purpose Cleaner- $8 for 17 oz. I usually use orange peel-infused vinegar as my all-purpose, but this happened to arrive right as I was at the end of a batch of that, and I didn’t have the next batch soaking yet which takes a couple of weeks, so the timing was perfect to put this to the test. I have used this on numerous surfaces in my home: everything in the bathroom & the kitchen, mirrors, anything you would use an all-purpose cleaner on. In addition to working great, what I love about it is being able to spray down my bathroom & get some cleaning done while my toddler is taking his bath right next to me with absolutely no concern for what we are both inhaling in the air. The spray has a wonderful, clean smell, and really, truly works on all surfaces I’ve tried. Ingredients: Saponified Organic Oils of Coconut, Olive & Jojoba, Organic Aloe Vera, Essential Oils of Peppermint, Lavender & Tea Tree, Rosemary Extract. h

Bug spray– $10 for 2.8 oz. I know many of you live in climates where you do have pests year-round, so wanted to bring this option to your attention. I live on the banks of a river and it’s just a matter of time before mosquitos are a real issue here. I will update this post & let you all know as soon as I’ve had a few opportunities to put this to the test. I can tell from the ingredients that it should be an effective, yet very safe option for our families! Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil, Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil, Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Organic Geranium Rose Essential Oil, Organic Clove Essential Oil, Organic Rosemary Essential Oil.

Kristina loves making new products, and I have samples of a couple more products en route that she would like feedback on. I’m excited to try them out, and be part of this growing line of great products. Other categories of Poofy Products, with several options in each category: Holiday Gifts & Baskets, Baby & Mommy, Bath & Shower, Body Butter, Lotion, & Scrubs, Cosmetics, Deodorant & Toothpaste, Eczema Relief & Natural Remedies, Essential Oils, Facial Care, Hair Care, Henna for hair & body, Lip Balm, Nail Polish & Remover, Soap & Sanitizer, Sunscreen & Bug Spray, and their I AM goddess line.

Additional info about Poofy Organics that I’d like to share with you:

You’ve now got two lines – Poofy Naturals and Poofy Organics. What is the difference (from interview: http://www.healthybeautyproject.com/beauty-space/understanding-organic-certification-poofy-organics/)? “Poofy Organics is entirely USDA organic.  EVERY product in the line is certified USDA organic.  On the other hand, Poofy Supernaturals uses USDA organic ingredients; however, because technically the organic standards are not separated for food & personal care products, any ingredients not allowed in food are not allowed in personal care either.  So, ingredients such as decyl polyglucose which is a corn sugar (non-GMO) is not certifiable.  Rest assured, it is a completely safe and benign ingredient and used as a saponifiying agent in our shampoos. NSF allows it in their certification process, but the USDA does not.  Because of this, we have Poofy Supernaturals.  I think what makes Poofy Supernaturals different from your typical company trying to use organic ingredients with conventional ingredients is that we still uphold the strictest standards in those products.  With some companies, you can see organic ingredients mixed with chemicals.  We feel that defeats the purpose of the organic ingredient and would never do so!”

*They actually have 3 lines, with a teen line in the works! The I AM Goddess collection is a direct sales/middle-level marketing/home party line, I’m sure you’re all familiar with this idea. Here’s what Kristina had to say about this approach: “So far, with our Direct Sales portion, we have 12 DIVAs- they are doing a great job spreading the word… we do not have all the same products in the I AM goddess collection- it is much smaller in comparison to POOFY… it’s just that at the time, people were asking to do parties, so I gave in”. For $150 you can buy a starter kit & get started selling these great products from home!

Are these products only available online? The do have one retail location in Rutherford NJ. Otherwise you will find them stocked in select Whole Foods locations on the East Coast, and they also have outlets in 6 states (one in WI even, I’m hoping to make that 2 as I work to get the line on the shelves of my food co-op!). This may lead you to believe this is a large company. Poofy Organics has only 4 employees 2 of those being Kristina (the owner) and her mother. Which leads me into my next topic which I absolutely LOVE about this company. Most people think only huge companies can take the necessary steps to become organic certified. Not true. Poofy Organics is a great case in point that anyone with enough determination can make this happen. It’s not an easy process, but one I’ll gladly support by paying a couple extra dollars per product to reward. The following paragraph discusses why they decided to go for the certification, and there is a fabulous article attached that discusses what the entire process entails.

Why did you decide to get USDA certification? We wanted to show our customers what we already knew! Anyone can claim organic status. We wanted our customers to have peace of mind. I know when I look at a product, I feel better when it has a seal on it- otherwise, it’s just hearsay. There are a lot of bath & body companies who have recently launched in response to the realization that the government allows such horrendous ingredients into our products. We wanted to stand out from our competitors. Plus, I wanted my company to be the best it could possibly be. I looked at it as a challenge that I wanted to complete! To read the entire article which discusses organic certification and so much more, please follow this link: http://www.healthybeautyproject.com/beauty-space/understanding-organic-certification-poofy-organics/

I LOVE this Q & A from their FAQ section:

Q: How quickly will I receive my products?
A: We do our best to create your product the day you order it. Because all of our products are fresh, we cannot overstock our items. (How many companies can say that?!)

As you can tell, I’m VERY impressed with the products & the company philosophy of Poofy Organics. This line truly has something for everyone. I hope you found this info useful & it will help you when making future decisions regarding safe products you need for your family. For more info, please visit their Website and/or Facebook page.

Website: poofyorganics.com/ecofriendlyusa

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poofy-Organics/137445399609077

Sunscreen SPF – Is It Just a Numbers Game?

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Written by Jolene

Recommendations  The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people use an SPF of 30 when going out into the sun for extended periods of time. For children or people with very sensitive skin, it is also recommended that on top of applying sunscreen often, you should also be using a physical barrier between you and the sun such at hats, sunglasses, shirts, etc. For how often you should reapply sunscreen you should refer to the instructions of the specific sunscreen you are using, but generally every 2-3 hours, after excessive sweating, or after swimming/towel drying. Since SPF is not a linear progression, meaning that 30 SPF does not offer double the protection that SPF15 does, when you start getting into higher SPF’s they are not worth the excessive cost that ‘promises’ you better protection. (See chart below) SPF Effectiveness When you look at a sunscreen’s SPF it is referring to the amount of protection you are going to receive from the sun’s UVB rays. The UVB rays are what causes people’s skin to burn (and suntan). Below is a simple guide to how effective each lower SPF category is in terms of blocking the sun’s UVB rays: · SPF 15, blocks 94% of the sun’s rays · SPF 30, blocks 97% of the sun’s rays · SPF 45, blocks 98% of the sun’s rays *Keep in mind that there is no sunscreen that blocks 100% of the sun’s rays. (Carpenter, Los Angeles Times)

Paying More for More “Relief” While it is not a substantial raise in cost for SPF 30 versus SPF 110 (yes that’s right Neutrogena makes an SPF 110!) it is something to consider when you are buying natural sunscreen without harmful chemicals versus one with cancer causing ingredients. Many people feel it is hard to shell out extra bucks for a natural sunscreen such as Badger Balm when it only has SPF’s of 30 and 34, when they can pay the same price if not less, for an SPF of 70-110. Be rest assured that since you only need the recommended amount of 30 SPF in order to protect yourself from UVB rays, do yourself the favor and spend the extra bucks knowing that you are not causing other problems to your family’s health. Even though Water Babies offers an SPF of 70 (and market to, well, babies/children) their ingredients are too disturbing to even think about using. Their EWG.org/skindeep rating is at a 7. This is because there is a moderate hazard of cancer (how ironic), and high hazards of allergies, immunotoxicity, endocrine disruptions, as well as high hazards of developmental and reproductive toxicities. Not something I would put on my baby, child, a pregnant mother, or anyone else for that matter. Water Babies are not the only brand that receives a high rating from the EWG for their dangerous ingredients used. The long list includes Neutrogena, Coppertone, Banana Boat, amongst many others, several who claim to be ‘natural’ and ‘safe’.

A Side Note on UVB vs. UVA Because UVB rating (SPF) is simply not enough to look at anymore for proper cancer prevention, the FDA has revised their labeling as of recent (2011). Companies are now not allowed to solely put the SPF number, put waterproof, sunblock, prevent wrinkles, prevent cancer, or promise complete protection from the sun. They also must warn you if the SPF is under 15, and will recommend other sun protection methods to help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. For a look at how the FDA has changed their labels please follow the link below. It shows an example of the 2011 Final Ruling on Labeling for the front and the back. Spring 2013 marks when companies are all supposed to have the new labeling on any sunscreens coming out for consumer purchase. The only exceptions will be sunscreens that were produced before the deadline and still happen to be on shelving. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/27/sunscreen-labels-fda/2113075/

SO, WHAT DO WE RECOMMEND: BADGER: They offer several to choose from. The one I’ve used is the Baby Cream: $15.99 for 2.9 oz tube, SPF 30. Active Sunscreen Ingredient: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75%. Other Sunscreen Ingredients: *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), CO2 Extracts of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Organic Seabuckthorn), and *Calenduls Officinalis (Organic Calendula), *Anthemis Nobilis (Organic Chamomile) Essential Oil, and Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E). * = Certified Organic.  Badger is available in many more food co-ops, pharmacies & stores, so for those of you who don’t like to order online this may something you like about this option. For those that like to use Amazon, here’s a link to the baby version, they offer many options! http://www.badgerbalm.com/c-47-kids-baby-sunscreens.aspx

POOFY ORGANICS: $16 for a 3.4oz tube, SPF 30, also available in stick form. Very similar to Badger, but the only complaint I’ve ever heard about Badger is it’s too thick & hard to rub in. Poofy’s is thinner & easier to apply. Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Beeswax, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Camellia Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, NON-NANO Zinc Oxide. It is also available in stick form You can purchase it through my affiliate link (became an affiliate 6/15/14, after recommending the products daily for a year+), I even offer 10% off your 1st order via a rebate after the order is placed (since I can’t create my own coupon code). https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/products/1475-the-sunscreen.aspx

Adding, Josiah’s Oils, Just Skin Food, Blue Egg Farmstore, Goddess Garden & Babo to the list, I will add a post for each as soon as I have time! **While these seem expensive, I had one tube of Badger last me all summer last year. Of course, covering up as much as possible is always the best sunscreen! My kids wear rashguard suits & hats, so they’re covered to their elbows & knees. That’s a lot less sunscreen to rub on vs if my girl was in a bikini…

Also, you may want to read this thought provoking article: http://theunboundedspirit.com/scientists-blow-the-lid-on-cancer-sunscreen-myth/

Homemade Mosquito Trap

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Homemade mosquito trap- posted on a friends personal page. I can’t wait to try this when mosquitos get bad here, which they inevitably will soon as I live on the banks of a river!
Items needed:
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 …gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle
HOW:
1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

Plumberry Parade-Buyer Beware!

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Plumberry Parade– BUYER BEWARE!! When I asked y’all if I should start doing reviews, everyone that responded said yes for various reasons. One response in particular really resonated with me- the person said just because a product has a great ingredient list, it doesn’t mean the product is necessarily great. And that has proven to be very true, and the main reason I now want to review as many pro…ducts that I’m recommending as possible. Whenever I see a personal care product, I always go straight to the ingredient list, usually for either a bubble bath or shampoo. That really says a lot about a product, I’m mainly looking for what’s NOT in it. So, when I was sent a message asking if I’d please share the grand opening of an online boutique run by 2 Work-at-home-moms (WAHM) who are sisters, of course I was interested. I’ve only chatted with 1/2 of the front people for this business. She told me upfront they were not actually making any of the products, just buying them wholesale & reselling. Fair enough, that happens all the time. I checked out the website (http://plumberryparade.com/) which claim is that all products are made in the USA (actually, it’s not clear at all that ALL products are made in the USA, only the clothing, but she assured me everything was & it was just an oversight by the web designer), with certified organic clothing & personal care products, and eco-friendly toys & accessories. I went straight for the ingredient list in the toddler shampoo/body wash: “Purified Water, Organic Potassium cocoate (cleansing agent), Organic Potassium olivate (cleansing agent), Kosher Vegetable glycerin, Potassium citrate (pH adjuster), Butyrospermun parkii (organic shea) butter, Calendula officinalis (organic calendula) flower extract, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Hemp & Organic Jojoba Oils, proprietary blend of pure essential oils.” All products are eco-friendly & free from animal testing, no animal ingredients, SLS Sodium Laurel Sulfate FREE, SLES Sodium Laureth Sulfate FREE, Synthetic Fragrance FREE, Colors and Dyes FREE, Parabens FREE, Phthalates FREE, TEA and DEA FREE, Petrochemical FREE, Packaging is 100% Recyclable. Nut FREE. Looks great- I was very interested. So, I agree to plug the page on the grand opening, the samples of the products they agreed to send still hadn’t arrived, but I was excited to share these great products with y’all. LESSON LEARNED. I will never, ever again share a new venture with my page until I’ve fully checked out all details, and tried the products. Here’s what happened. On the day of the grand opening, it occurred to me– are these products CERTIFIED organic?? So, I headed over to Plumberry’s FB page & asked the simple question: Are your products USDA certified? Or some other agency?  The answer “yes”. My question back- yes they are USDA certified?  No response. So I send a message to the inbox, we’d been chatting back & forth, ” Are your products USDA certified organic– I don’t see the stamp anywhere on your bottle or website”  The response: “all of our products are private label so they are certified organic USA made products and clothes. The only items that are NOT certified are the toys. The labels were made through graphic artist companies and purchased in bulk before certification and we now have 20,000 labels left.” STILL NOT ANSWERING MY QUESTION ABOUT WHO THEIR PRODUCTS ARE CERTIFIED THROUGH. One more time- me: OK, but who are your products certified BY. The final response: “I can’t release anything other than what I’ve already said because almost 65% of all organic companies are selling the exact products as far as skincare that we are. It can be purchased just like we are and sold private label and our ideas stolen easily. I’m not willing to answer any other questions.”
On to those eco-friendly toys- I was very excited to find a wooden magnetic alphabet set. My question: “Can you tell me, or find out from the manufacturer, what type of wood & what type of paints are used.” The response: “The magnets are by a private company that doesn’t offer public purchases. And no longer available. So I can’t find out now.”  This was within days of the grand opening. And, it just was another factor in this whole thing that showed me the owner of this boutique had no idea about the products she was selling. Also, there is a silent partner involved, so I received several responses such as the following: “I have a partner and a silent partner and can’t tell anyone who actually makes our stuff- otherwise everyone would want to copy us”. It goes on & on, but that’s the gist of the brick walls I hit every time I tried to get more info.
Then, a couple days ago the product samples arrived, in teeny tiny vials. I cracked them open (a toddler lotion & body wash) I actually don’t use these products in general on my babe, but thought I’d try them on myself. The proprietary blend of essential oils smelled very perfumy to me. I’ve been buying natural/organic products for quite some time & am familiar with the way products scented with essential oils typically smell. It just didn’t smell right to me. Also, the body wash had a pearly sheen to it, like Pantene, not familiar with organic products looking like that. Given all my suspicions already with this product I decided not to even test them on myself. I’m not sharing this info with you to be mean, hyper-critical, or anything else. I’m sharing this info with you because I shared a link to this online store with you on the day of the grand opening, and I know several of you went over & liked the page & even placed orders. I feel completely obligated to get this info out there & let you decide for yourself whether or not to support these products. They do have a 30 day refund policy if you did order something but change your mind due to what I’ve told you.
My main point with my experience here is that they’re telling me that the product is indeed certified (the labels & website just say 100% organic, not certified, but in answer to various questions she’s said yes, it is certified), but can’t tell me by who, due to proprietary information. BS. Total BS. And, I know the certification process is not easy, and is very expensive. ANY & EVERY company that is indeed USDA or OTCO (Oregon Tilth- Earth Mama Angel Baby goes through them) sure the heck is going to make sure that is on the label, and on the website…
This is been a huge lesson for me. I honestly was very skeptical the entire time, but really, really wanted to be proven wrong. I was hoping my questions could be answered with honesty & transparency. Not the case. I informed the mama I’d had all the contact with that I’d not be able to endorse their product or give it a favorable review, and offered to let her/them read my review before publishing it, and I never heard back… I look forward to many POSITIVE reviews in the future. IF THEY’RE DESERVED… The only thing I’m interested in is finding the best of the best products on the market for my babe, and YOURS.

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