Tag Archives: cruelty-free

Breakouts are so 10 years ago.

30 Jul

A couple of months ago, I decided to nix my old skin routine and try a different line of facial cleansing products. My old products (to remain nameless) were just not cutting it. As a yogi who teaches in heated rooms and sweats a lot, AND a self-proclaimed face-toucher and -rubber, I tend to break out. I’ve noticed that my breakouts center around the places where I lean my head on my hands, and the parts of my chin that I lean on the floor or my mat while practicing yoga. The previous skin regimen I had was making matters worse, making my face feel simultaneously oily and dry. It felt like a confused teen in the midst of an identity crisis. However, I loved the products because they were vegan and cruelty-free, and easily available in Montreal. They were also inexpensive. I decided to expand my search to online retailers, but kept my pre-requisites to the products being vegan, cruelty-free and budget friendly. During one of my internet searches, I stumbled upon Just The Goods, a company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their products are natural, vegan, certified cruelty-free, and Canadian, so I decided to give them a whirl.

On my first purchase, I bought the cleanser, toner and moisturizer for sensitive skin. Milena, the sweet owner, also threw in a sample of the spot treatment and a foot scrub for me to try. The price of each bottle ranged from 5-9$. (YES, you heard me right, 5-9$ per bottle…!! Even more budget-friendly than I had hoped!) On my first evening, I washed my face with the cleanser, toned with the toner, and used the spot treatment on problem areas. My first impression was the incredibly soft, natural smell of the products. They smell and feel very fresh. My skin felt clean, not weighed down, and very light. For as long as I can remember, cleansers have made my skin feel taut. Not this one! On my first morning, I woke up to visible improvement in problem areas. I washed, toned and moisturized, and applied a light coat of pressed powder. It was love at first (and second) wash.

I kept using the sensitive skin line for about a month. My skin became healthy and looked fresh. Any flaky zones I used to have to deal with went away completely, and the color of my skin went from blotchy to uniform. However, the breakouts continued. I decided to switch to the acne-prone skin line, and bought a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. And then the magic happened. My breakouts began to diminish and my skin began to clear. I’ve been using Just the Goods for a couple of months now, and I absolutely adore these products. Now, I only get breakouts if I have been touching my face a lot (which I have been making a conscious effort to stop doing!!).

Check out Milena’s awesome Canadian company at www.justthegoods.net. If you’re in the market for natural, vegan beauty products, they’re a must-try!

The “no shampoo” challenge – Day 1, or “What have i gotten myself into?” – a shower manifesto

11 Sep

Yesterday marked my first day into my self-imposed 21-day “no shampoo” challenge. Inspired by a challenge undertaken by teachers at a local yoga studio, and many articles and posts i have read about the dangers of commercial hair products, I’ve decided to undertake a 21-day challenge of my own. For the next 3 weeks, i will be ditching all hair products, and using homemade shampoo and conditioner! EEEEK! Through my research, i have realized how much i have come to depend on commercial hair products. Even though the products i use are “all-natural” and not tested on animals, they still create a dependency, either drying my hair and scalp, forcing me to either wash very frequently, or use conditioner on a more frequent basis. All that product can weigh a girl’s hair down!

What I’ve come to learn is many people have switched to using baking soda as shampoo, and apple cider vinegar as conditioner, with great results! They reported going from washing their hair with commercial shampoo every 2 days, to washing their hair with baking soda twice / once a week! I’ve read that they saw a difference in the health and quality of their locks, ranging from no more frizz and static, to disappearance of dandruff and flakes.

When i first started reading all this baking soda business, I have to admit i was skeptical. It all sounded a little too dirty to me. But i figured i might as well give it a try. I’m counting on my network of friends and family that i see on a daily basis to tell me if i start to look a little grimy.

Last night was my first attempt at trying this home concoction. I took a Tupperware and filled it with baking soda. I also took a plastic bottle and made an apple cider vinegar concoction. I poured 1 tablespoon of ACV for every cup of water i filled the bottle with. I closed the bottle and gave it a good shake. I was ready.

Firstly, i wet my hair in the shower. I took about 2 tablespoons of baking soda in the palm of my hand, and added a bit of water. I made a paste with my fingers, and started massaging into my scalp. I’m not going to lie, it felt gross. The posts i read instructed to massage the paste into the scalp, and then work your way to the ends. I tried my best, but it was hard to tell if i got my whole head because of the lack of foam and suds. Once i felt like my whole head was covered (hopefully…), i rinsed well.

I then flipped my head to the front, took the ACV mixture, and poured some over my scalp. I flipped my head back and poured a bit more towards the back, trying to get my whole scalp. (Make sure not to get any in your eyes. She stings, this one.) I let it sit on my scalp for 3 minutes, then rinsed. I towel-dried my hair, and brushed it out.

The first thing i observed was the lack of tangles. There were NO tangles in my hair, at all. I also felt like my hair was a bit softer than usual. While i was pouring the ACV on my head, the bathroom smelt like a salad bar, but as i towel-dried, i noticed that my hair did not smell at all. I got my hubs to smell me as well, and he couldn’t distinguish any weird smells either. Success!

I keep reading that the first week or 2 is quite challenging, because your hair goes through this transition of going from chemically weighed down to natural. It’s kind of like a detox, but with your hair and scalp. Many have reported having a hard time sticking with the challenge because of that first week, but I’m going to try to last the full 21 days, and report back as i progress. I feel this challenge can go both ways. I can either love it, thus saving money on shampoo and becoming even more of a tree-hugger than i already am ;), or i can realize I’m losing friends due to my dirty hair, start to develop dreads not by choice (though let’s be honest, dreads are cool!) and go back to spending large sums of money on toxic shampoos and conditioners. Let’s hope it’s the first choice, as i don’t think i have the face for dreads…

Stay tuned!


Original article that inspired me: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8040/why-i-will-never-go-back-to-using-commercialized-hair-products.html