Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Is your toothpaste making you sick?

For many years, I have been getting an upset stomach after brushing my teeth in the morning and at bed at night. I assumed that it had something to do with swallowing a small amount of warm water when rinsing my mouth. However, I then started to read that being sensitive to fluoride, which is in most toothpastes, can cause this too. After reading a lot of things about fluoride and how it affects our health, I've recently got myself an all natural fluoride-free toothpaste and I no longer suffer from an upset stomach. So it was the toothpaste all along!

I am currently using Tom's of Maine anti-plaque propolis and myrrh toothpaste, which is all natural and fluoride-free. The ingredients are:
Calcium carbonate, Water, Glycerin, Xylitol, Spearmint and peppermint oils, Carrageenan, Sodium lauryl sulfate, Myrrh, Propolis.

The texture is nothing like most toothpastes. It's more of a soft paste than a gel, which is no surprise as it does contain chalk. I find that it gently cleans my teeth by using a very small amount even without foaming much. It also doesn't require much rinsing out either.

It is supposed to have a minty flavour but I only really taste the mint as I'm rinsing my mouth so it doesn't give me nice minty smelling breath afterwards but I don't mind.

Overall, it works really well, it's good value for money and makes my belly happy. However, in future I do want to try out different toothpastes and will be looking for one with a longer lasting flavour.

So, yeah.. a review on toothpaste. Not very inspiring but I hope I've assured you that natural toothpastes can work just as well as all the regular toothpastes out there and that they are much better for your health. Love Lula have a selection of natural toothpastes, including some for kids. I'm actually very tempted to get the Lavera strawberry and raspberry kids tooth gel... yumm! Whatever toothpaste you decide to get, always check the ingredients as even natural toothpastes may have added fluoride.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

GoGo Guarana Breeze drink review

A few days ago, I reviewed the GoGo Guarana vegicaps, which I quite liked. So I was happy to find the GoGo Guarana Breeze drink at Holland and Barrett as I find that energy drinks have some scary ingredients in them and I stay way clear of them.

The first thing I noticed was the smell. Do you know that 'dentist smell'? That strange smell of dental surgeries? That! That mixed with something very foul. Not tempting at all.

If you think that's bad, you haven't heard the rest of it. The taste is worse than the smell. I can't describe it because as much as I've tasted some pretty horrid things in my life, this is a new one. Yuck! I had to force it down me as I was so tired but I couldn't force myself to drink enough of it to feel the effects. The only effect I felt was that of disgust and fatigue. That's not a good combo.

I wonder if the makers of this drink trialled it as I can't imagine anyone enjoying it at all. But if you do like it, I would love to know!


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Burt's Bees Radiance Body Lotion review

I've been using this product for a while after getting it as part of a cute set from my friend on my birthday. The product isn't completely natural but very close with 98.2% natural ingredients.

As you can see, it is more or less like your average body lotion with a runny consistency. You only need a very small amount as it spreads so well. Unlike your average lotion, however, it contains mica, which gives a glowing effect. You can't see the tiny mica particles in the photo but you should be able to see the beautiful glow it gives off. Once massaged onto the skin, you can't see any 'sparkles' unless you really focus but you can see from this photo how it made my skin really glow.

I find that this is ok as an everyday moisturiser to use around the body but I wouldn't recommend it for dry skin as it doesn't seem to be strong enough to be effective. I'm happy using body oil instead.

I find it really good if you want to give your skin a very subtle colourless glow whether for daytime or for an evening occasion. I'm not a fan of the sweet smell and I have dry skin so I reserve this product for occasions to give my arms and legs a lovely healthy look.

I have more Burt's Bees product reviews coming up so watch out for those!


Monday, 14 November 2011

An alternative to coffee?

Being a university student, I need a constant supply of caffeine to get me through the day. So I decided to try an alternative to coffee just to try it out and see if it would be any better.

At my local Revital store, the lovely store assistant told me about GoGo Guarana vegicaps, which are all natural and vegan capsules containing guarana seed powder sourced from the Amazon, which gives the population a source of income, which is good to know. She also told me that the pills offer mental stimulation for hours instead of a quick peak then a crash that coffee usually gives. I've heard that guarana contains caffeine (although more recently I've also read that it contains something else entirely different that is often mistaken for caffeine) and that's all I needed to hear so at just over £4 for a pack of 20, which is cheaper than buying coffee all the time, I thought I'd give them a GoGo (see what I did there?). 

So what did I think of them? Was it a GoGo or a NoNo?

I tried them for a few days and I quite like them. I have since ran out and I would like to buy some more soon. What I liked about them is that keep me focussed in class even with little sleep instead of my mind wandering. They keep me slightly awake but not as much as coffee and when I take them in the late afternoon, I feel less sleepy.

I wouldn't say that there was a placebo effect as I would normally have trouble staying awake and focussed and from refraining from yawning when I have had little sleep. So I am very sure that these effects were due to the pills.

What I don't like about GoGo Guarana is that it is too weak when I'm extremely tired and I miss the coffee buzz. I was told that I won't feel the crash at the end of the day but this is completely untrue as some days I come home and I'd feel so tired that not even more pills would keep me awake.

But overall I would still recommend them. If, for whatever reason, you would like to try an alternative to coffee, this may help keep you awake and focussed. But if you are looking for something stronger than coffee, this won't be it.

You can find GoGo guarana vegicaps at Revital stores on the Rio Health website.


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Autumn Gold

Dress - People Tree
Earrings - People Tree
Butter London 3-free polish in West End Wonderland
Bangle - Just Trade
Mineral eyeshadow - Gold Dust by Inika

Friday, 11 November 2011

How to cook less, use leftovers AND save money

I've grown up being literally force fed. I wasn't allowed to be fussy with my food or not finish my dinner. But luckily I've grown up to like pretty much anything and I love trying new food. I've also learned to not be wasteful and to always finish what I'm eating or to put it away for another time. I can't count the number of times my mother told me that there are hungry people in the world who would do anything for a bite to eat. So putting perfectly good food in the bin is not an option for me. I'd feel too guilty.

However, one thing that I am guilty of is buying too much food (I really need to stop shopping when I'm hungry) and then it never gets eaten quickly enough before it expires. So I have to throw it away.

Thankfully, there is a campaign, which you may or may not have heard about, called Love Food Hate Waste. It is full of resources that shows you how much food to cook depending on how many you are cooking for and also how to store food to keep it fresh. My favourite part of the website is how to use up leftovers.

Tips and recipes to reduce food waste - Love Food Hate Waste

So check out the website and tell your friends. Let's all minimise waste together.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Thea Skincare Rebalance Clarity Creme Foaming Face Cleanser and Moisturiser

Thea Skincare is a completely natural skincare line with products to suit different skin types. The products I'm reviewing are the Rebalance Clarity Creme Foaming Face Cleanser and Moisturiser for oily/ acne skin.

I got sick of using oily cleansers as they left my skin greasy, especially when natural cosmetics contain a lot of oils too. So I was happy that there is a cleanser that is suitable for oily skin. The cleanser is a light gel that can be quickly and easily massaged onto the skin to create a little foam.

It has a beautiful sweet smell (floral perhaps?) which I absolutely adore. It is very easily washed off unlike oily cleansers which require a lot of rubbing and if anything gets in my eyes (and something always does) it doesn't sting my eyes at all. I am left with a completely cleansed face without the natural oils stripped from my skin. It's not exactly a make up remover but it removes make up very gently. Removing mascara requires some working in of the product so I recommend using an eye make up remover if you don't wish to rub your eyes.

I don't normally use moisturiser after cleansing but after using a microdermabrasion system my skin was fairly dry and sore for a few days. The Clarity Creme Face Moisturiser was a lifesaver as it cooled down my skin and reduced the soreness and also kept my skin moisturised, hydrated and soft without making it greasy.

I don't like the smell so much.. it's a little medicinal. There isn't a full ingredients list on the website or the packaging so I'm not entirely sure what it is. But the smell is very mild you wouldn't even notice. The fact that no fragrance is added was perfect for me as my skin was feeling sensitive and fragranced moisturisers made it feel more inflamed. Even though the consistency is a thick cream, it isn't greasy at all, it is absorbed really well and it didn't give me any blemishes.

The only flaws I can find are the double cap on the cleanser (see above), which is a bit of a waste, the bigger cap comes off really easily when in an overnight bag for example and the lack of a full ingredients list on the website. Other than that I can't fault the products at all and they work amazingly well.

Overall, I love these products. They're not fussy with packaging and fragrances and clearly focus on making products that work great. I think from what I've tried from this range so far, it is very good quality and one of the best natural skincare ranges I've tried.

So if you have oily or acne skin and find natural products too oily then I would recommend trying these products out. If you have a different skin type then check them out as they have something for everyone. Oh and also check out the lovely gift sets too!

The cleansers costs £7.95 for 50ml and £13.95 for 100ml and the moisturiser is £22.95 for 50ml at Theaskincare.com.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Benjoy Pot Snacks review by Mama Angel

Hello Angels,

My son Maxwell, has been accustomed to the organix goodies food range since weaning began at 6 months but after receiving the free samples of Benjoy Munchcups, I discovered that Max is very fond of them so they will be a new addition to our shopping list. I am very interested to see what other snacks are available in the range.

The content of 100% natural ingredients was very pleasing for myself as a mother who is very cautious of unhealthy food products aimed at children.

The nutrition breakdown of both the vegetable mini crisps and the crunchy grape slices left me very satisfied indeed and was happy for my son to munch away.

It is a relief to see new brands promoting and providing healthy snacks for babies, toddlers and children. This new range has a very unique and different approach in terms of the adventurous variations.

Whilst observing Max, I found the snack pots were easy for his small hands to grasp. The anti-spill layer worked really well as Max avoided dropping any and the pot allowed enough room for my son’s fingers to reach inside. The aesthetics were very interesting, Max liked looking at the colourful designs.

We found these to be suitable as a mid morning snack. Max enjoyed the crunchy texture and was able to manage the easy bite size pieces. I tried one and found them deliciously sweet. It is good to acknowledge that when the water is removed from the grape, the nutrition is still high and it is counted as one of the 5 a day recommendations. The absence of unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients was very good to see.

Max ate all the contents of one pot per day over four days and I am pleased to his stools were normal. Max seemed full until dinnertime. The after effects in terms of mess were not too bad although he did need to wash his hand and have his face wiped but there was no major clearing up. The empty pots and cardboard were recyclable which as an environmentalist, I approve of very much.

Max enjoyed these very much and being high in Vitamin A and fibre, I enjoyed watching him eating them. However, it was a shame that they were not to be considered as one portion of fruit & veg but the nutritional value did keep Max happy and full up before his evening meal.

After trying one, I found their taste had a lot of flavours, without salt and no artificial ingredients too was very pleasing. The crisps left crumbs, more so than the grape slices but nothing damaging to clothes. Maxwell did have sticky fingers and a messy face after consuming the crisps.

Overall, Maxwell 'benjoyed' the snacks very much and they make a filling and healthy snack.

Find Benjoy snacks at Morrisons and Waitrose starting at 79p a pot or £2.49 for a pack of 4. See the list of stockists here.

Love Mama Anna xx

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Rawganic Organic Face Cleansing Balm

A few days ago, I reviewed the Rawganic 3-in-1 facial wipes. But did you know that they also have an Organic Face Cleansing Balm in their range too?

This is a moisturising and cleansing balm that comes in a cute little tin. It has a beautiful rosey smell.

The consistency is quite oily making is very easy to spread around the face and on the eyes. It solidifies in cooler temperatures so you just need to rub your fingers in it a few times to warm it up and get enough to cover your face.

It removes make up very easily. I do use natural make up which is easy to remove anyway so I wouldn't know how well it would work on heavy professional make up. With eye make up, it removes it well but only after rubbing my lashes a few times, which I'd rather not do as the skin around my eyes is quite thin and sensitive.

Once my face is completely cleansed, it feels moisturised. If you have dry skin then it might be of benefit to you but if you have oily skin then that might not be something that you'd want. However, instead of leaving an oily film over your face, which can clog pores, it is absorbed into the skin after a few minutes.

A great thing about this product is that it's so space saving and multifunctional when you're travelling and don't want to take a lot of products with you. It also fits into your make up bag if you want to cleanse and reapply your make up during the day. What I love about this, and I really am surprised that it wasn't marketed this way, is that it makes a great correcter. Do you know how sometimes you make a big mess of your eyeliner or you blink and get mascara around your eyes and have to remove the whole thing and start again? I like to get some of this stuff onto a cotton bud and it removes the uh-oh right off. So it's useful to have this in your make up bag at all times.

Overall, this is a good product that cleanses the skin from make up and dirt. However, it is moisturising so I wouldn't recommend this if you have oily skin. But I would recommend it for any other skin type, including sensitive, as it's very light and gentle. I would also recommend this to use a correcter for make up mistakes for any skin type.

Rawganic Organic Cleansing Balm can be bought for only £4.90 at Naturisimo.com.