Tag Archives: green beauty

the best shampoo bar on the market

The very first blog post I wrote on Steel City Wasteland was about zero waste shampoo and how I hate shampoo bars.

I’ve tried several different kinds. I’ve tried Lush, J.R. Liggett, and some other random brands that just weren’t up to par.

If you’re tried a shampoo bar, you know what I mean.

First of all, in most shampoo bars, the lather is nearly non-existent.

(I know, I know, the soapiness of a lather doesn’t have anything to do with cleanliness… it’s just a chemical called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, that makes consumers FEEL like our products are doing an even better job than they really are. But, hey, as a 20+ year all-things Dove girl, I know I’m an SLS addict.)

Second, it just feels weird to rub a bar of soap on your head. Maybe it’s just me, but something about it feels weird to get used to.

Third, the after-wash film. Shampoo bars always leave a nasty film on my crown and the nape of my neck.

If you’re unfamiliar with the filmy feel, imagine shampooing your hair, but not rinsing the shampoo out. When your hair is dry, it still looks like its coated in some sort of soapy oil.

Yeah, that’s what shampoo bars do. At least, that’s what they’ve always done for me.

Until I tried Ethique.

All about Ethique

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Ethique — pronounced “eh-teek”; it’s French for “ethical” — is a New Zealand-based beauty company that’s goal is to end the world of plastic waste.

The brand started in 2012 “as an alternative to the 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles thrown out globally each year,” according to their website.

They have tons of beauty products — all plastic free.

Here are a few things they carry:

HAIR PRODUCTS: shampoo, conditioner and hair masks
FACE PRODUCTS: cleanser, scrubs and moisturizers
BODY PRODUCTS: cleansers, moisturizers and deodorants
LAUNDRY: laundry bar and stain remover
PETS: dog shampoo
STORAGE UNITS: in-shower containers

Reasons to love Ethique

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1. Plastic-free
Ethique uses biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging.

2. Plant-based, but palm-oil free* and vegan
Ethique uses the best ingredients that are plant based and ethical.

*The problem with palm oil:

Palm oil is a controversial ingredient because of the way it’s obtained. Palm oil is cheap, and it can be found in lots of processed foods. The palm oil industry is destroying rain forests, especially in Indonesia. There’s a lot I could talk about surrounding the palm oil industry, like how it’s also contributing to increased CO2 in the atmosphere. But, as with a lot of things, there is some good to it. It’s creating a lot of jobs for Indonesians.

Interestingly, I went to the Borneo rain forest in Indonesia two years ago. While trekking with my friend, our guide — a local — talked to us about palm oil and how it’s harmful to the environment, but it’s helping the local economy. He said it’s a tough issue to have a strong stance on, because he’s seen the good and the bad. I think that’s a helpful reminder.

If you do buy something that contains palm oil, try to opt for one that is sustainably sourced — like Dr. Bronner’s soap. But, when in doubt, it may be better to just avoid palm oil altogether. The choice is yours.

3. Cruelty-free
Ethique doesn’t test their products on animals. In fact, they only test their products on willing humans. They are certified cruelty-free by CCF (Choose Cruelty Free), PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and SAFE (a New Zealand-based agency that certifies cruelty free companies).

4. Sustainable, and a B CORPORATION!
Ethique is a B Corporation, which should speak for itself. If you’re unfamiliar with B Corporations, here’s what their website says: “Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”

Essentially, B Corps are the most well-rounded, ethical, sustainable, transparent corporations in the world. Here are a few B Corps you may know: Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, Tom’s of Maine, Ben and Jerry’s, and Stonyfield Organic.

If you see a company that’s a certified B Corp, rest assured that company has gone through a serious vetting process to be dubbed a B Corp. They really are the best of the best — a company you can trust.

5. These products last, and they save you money

Ethique boasts that one shampoo bar can last anywhere from 6-8 months. I haven’t been able to attest to that, as I’ve only tried the sample size. But the bars are definitely concentrated and seem to last quite a while!

6. The sample bars are adorable

The sample kit is super cute. The bars are heart-shaped. They just make you want to use them!

How well do the products work?

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Honestly, their shampoo bars are excellent. Not just for a shampoo bar, but for a natural shampoo, they’re outstanding.

Both the shampoo and conditioner lather well and neither leave a film on my hair. I can rub the shampoo bar on my hands or rub it on my scalp, both ways give a good lather!

At first using a shampoo bar may feel odd, but once you use a product that works well — like Ethique — you don’t even think twice about it. I hated using shampoo bars because they never worked for me. But Since using Ethique, I actually get weirdly excited to shampoo my hair in the shower.

Not to mention, all the products smell AMAZING, and every ingredient is not only listed, but on their website, Ethique goes into detail about what each ingredient does and where it comes from. LOVE the transparency.

I bought the hair sample kit to try a few different shampoos and conditioners before I invested in one.

I’d definitely recommend doing that! They also carry a sample kit for face wash and body wash, too.

The Ethique Hair Sampler is $16 and comes with three shampoos and two conditioners.

My favorite shampoo from the kit is the Heali Kiwi, because it’s good for my dry, sensitive scalp. Ethique also has shampoos for oily hair and dry, damaged hair. Basically, whatever your hair/scalp type, Ethique’s got you.

As far as their conditioners go, I liked The Guardian best.

Ethique’s conditioners are definitely the best bar conditioners I’ve used, but I would say I like the shampoo a little better than the conditioner. I’ll continue buying both, though, because I like them both! But I was really wowed by the shampoo.

I’ve also been using their face wash and I actually really like it!

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I’ve been using the SuperStar! cleanser. It smells like orange and I’ve noticed that it cleanses my skin without drying it.

I’d highly recommend it for dry skin folks!

Any downsides?

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Only one thing that comes to mind, though I wouldn’t consider it a downfall necessarily, is accessibility.

For most folks living in the USA, you’ll likely buy your Ethique products off Amazon.

This could be a positive thing to some people, because you can use your Amazon Prime membership! So that’s dope! But buying on Amazon means your package could come in plastic. Working with Amazon, Ethique doesn’t have much control over that.

Though, it should be noted that I ordered off of Amazon and my package only came in cardboard! So you never know!

ALSO! Ethique is slowly moving their products across the US. Right now, they’re working their way into Target stores, and are currently stocked in all Erewhon stores throughout California! Amazing!

Locally to Pittsburgh, Ethique products are available at Target at the Waterfront in Homestead.

Check out this link to see if there’s a Target that sells Ethique near you.

Overall, I love this brand and will continue buying their products! And, now that they’re available in more places locally, I’m even more floored to purchase from them!

I LOVE their shampoo. I’m thrilled to have found a zero waste, shampoo bar.

I’m still a big fan of Plaine Products shampoo and conditioner — check out that review here. But for now, I’m sticking with Ethique, and I couldn’t be happier.

deo update: fat and the moon keeps on slaying

I wrote a post several months ago comparing two of the best zero waste deodorants on the market — Meow Meow Tweet and Schmidt’s. And I still standby the fact that they are two great brands, with pros and cons to both of their deodorants. Check out that article here.

But, I’ve come to find my favorite deodorant. Dudes. It’s perfect.

I don’t smell, it’s all-natural with incredible ingredients, and the company is wonderful.

No surprise, the deodorant is made by Fat and the Moon — my favorite company.

Before I delve into why I’m freaking out over this dope deodorant, this is REALLY important to understand about natural deodorants…

you can’t switch overnight

Here’s why.

For years you’ve been bathing your pits in antiperspirant garbage. Your underarms have grown accustomed to what you’ve been lathering under there. You’ve gotta give your pits some breathing room. They’ve gotta detox.

People detox in several different ways. PureAndRadiant.org has an incredible explanation of why and how to detox your pits. Check out the blog post here.

Buuutttt, I didn’t do it their way. They tell you to make a spray (using essential oils *check out why I choose Young Living here* + apple cider vinegar) that you spritz on your armpits morning and night. And that’s a great idea and something I’d recommend, honestly!

What did I do? I simply didn’t wear deodorant for a few days.

Yeah…. I know… I’m foul. But I’m telling you, it worked well for me.

I didn’t wear deodorant for about a week and during that time, I would really exfoliate my underarms while I was in the shower (just using gentle, natural soap, like Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, and a wash cloth).

Typically within a week — though it can take shorter or longer depending on how your body feels — you’ll be able to use your natural deodorant.

That’s a big issue people run into with natural deodorants — they either get rashes or irritation or they think they just simply don’t work because they never gave their pits some time to breathe.

natural deodorants don’t have antiperspirant

I’m a big sweater. I’m one of those people who spend 20 minutes outside and get red-faced, dripping in sweat and smelling less than desirable.

In middle and high school, as well as college, I was super self-conscious about it. I remember when I would literally put paper towels underneath my clothes before going to school in the morning because I was petrified of having sweat stains.

Now, I look back and laugh. I was so self-conscious (about my weight, my skin, my sweating, my voice — everything!) and it kept me self-consumed and self-destructive. I was unhealthy in so many ways back then — especially mentally.

But now I don’t feel worried about sweating. I don’t care that I get pit stains when it’s warm. I don’t feel restricted to just wear baggy clothes all of the time because my BMI is less than ideal.

Sweating is healthy. It’s our body’s way of cooling itself down. Deodorants that clog your pores and claim to stop you from sweating aren’t actually doing your body any favors! They’re just fulfilling a false standard of beauty that our society has thrown onto us.

Sweating is good, not bad or ugly!

Natural deodorants may not stop you from sweating because they lack antiperspirant. Antiperspirant may be linked to hormonal issues…. so you’re better off without it!

But if you find the right natural deo, they should tame your B.O. and keep you feeling fresh, even when it’s hot as heck out and you’re sweating bullets.

fat and the moon’s deodorant cream to the rescue

Fat and the Moon sent me this deodorant to try and let me tell you what, I was so surprised at how good it worked I almost didn’t believe it. I actually had my husband smell me to make sure it wasn’t in my head.

I put some on before work and was impressed I didn’t smell bad all day. It wasn’t hot outside, so I was thinking maybe it was a fluke…

So then I put it to the REAL test. Hot yoga.

If you’re not familiar with hot yoga, it’s a yoga class in a room that’s jacked up to 80-90 degrees. You’re essentially doing a vinyasa flow in a sauna. And it’s HOT. So hot that everybody sweats in places they never knew they could sweat.

Knee caps sweat? Well they sure do at hot yoga.

I was driving home after my yoga class and thought, I wonder if this little cream worked at all?

I smelled my pits and… smelled… nothing.

I laughed. There’s no way this all-natural, zero waste deodorant actually held up during hot freaking yoga.

I got home and asked Mike if he smelled anything. He didn’t.

I was immediately sold. This is the best deodorant — not just “natural, zero waste” deo, but deodorant in general — that I’ve ever used.

let’s take a closer look at this deo

The cream comes in a glass jar with a metal lid (sustainable A.F.!). I reuse these containers constantly for diys. They’re the BEST.

Here are the ingredients:

coconut oil*
baking soda (aluminum free)
arrowroot starch*
beeswax
essential oils of black pepper*
clary sage*
bergamot*
tea tree*
grapefruit*
(*Organic)

You take a little bit of the cream onto your finger (about a pea-size) and rub it on your pits. If you haven’t used a cream deodorant like this before, it may feel a little weird at first, but within a couple uses you totally get used to it. I don’t even think about it anymore!

Something important to note: some folks notice redness and irritation when they use products with baking soda. I haven’t noticed that with this.

They also have a sensitive pit cream option, but the normal version works a lot better for me!

Also, my friend used this deodorant cream and got a little red under her arms. She kept using it and about a week later her body was used to it!

Go with your body and what works for you. If you’re experiencing irritation, you may be allergic to baking soda. Or, there’s a chance your body hasn’t detoxed enough from traditional products.

When in doubt, play it safe and trust what your body is telling you!

it may be a bit pricey for some folks

So… this deodorant isn’t cheap. But you get what you pay for!

With this product, there are three sizes: 0.5 ounces, 2 ounces and 6 ounces.

This stuff lasts months because a little goes a long way!

And the 6 ounce jar is really big. (It’s the one I have in my pictures.)

My suggestion? Try out the little 0.5 ounce tin and see if you like it! If you do, keep it for when you travel and purchase a larger size! And once you’re done with the little tin, you can reuse it or refill it with deo from your larger jar! :]

The majority of the ingredients in this deodorant are organic. Each product is handmade. Fat and the Moon is sustainable, ethical, eco-friendly, inclusive, body-positive, and female owned.

I’m in love with every single product I’ve used from them. Right now, their aloe lotion is doubling as a moisturizer and primer for me before I put my makeup on, and it’s THE BEST.

Check out my review of their brand to find out why I’m so obsessed with their stuff! You can read that review here.

what deo do you use? :]

brand review: fat and the moon

I first heard about Fat and the Moon almost a year ago when I was researching zero waste makeup brands.

But this brand doesn’t just do makeup. They’ve branched out into making anything for the body, from deodorant, salves and perfume to cleansers, moisturizers and masks. And I can honestly say that everything I’ve tried I’ve loved.

I haven’t tried all of their products, so that’s important to note. But I’ve heard amazing things about their deodorant and cleansers and products for pregnant mamas.

Here are a few reasons I love Fat and the Moon besides their excellent quality:

ZERO WASTE PACKAGING

While some companies boast an eco-friendly mindset, Fat and the Moon puts their philosophies to practice. When their package arrives in your mailbox — or for small mailbox folks like me, on your stoop — there isn’t any plastic in sight.

The packaging is all paper and plastic-free — including the tape! And all of their products come in sustainable containers like glass and aluminum.

THEY’RE DOWN-TO-EARTH AND ALL ABOUT SELF-LOVE

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From their website to their labels, Fat and the Moon speaks the language of the people. AKA — they don’t use pretentious language to make you think they’re elitists.

For instance, they’re lipsticks — “lip paint” — says “paint your pucker” on the back of the package. I just love that.

Also, if you follow them on Instagram you’ll notice they’re all about equality and self-love. No matter who you are or what you believe, you’re invited to enjoy their handmade products.

INGREDIENTS ARE SPELLED OUT

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They list all of their ingredients (which are usually minimal and always natural) on the back of their packaging in clearly stated language. There’s never a doubt about what’s going on your skin. I appreciate that transparency.

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Again, I haven’t tried all of their products, but here are the ones I have tried/will review below:

EYE COAL
BEAM
ARTEMIS AT DAWN
LIP PAINT
MASA AND OLIVE FACE PASTE
SAGE AND ROSE FACE MIST

1. earth eye coal

I use their brown eye coal as an eyebrow filler and gentle eye shadow. It’s build-able and I usually apply it with my finger or sometimes I’ll use an eye shadow fluffy brush to blend it out a bit. I’ve been using it everyday for the last seven months and, as you can see in the photo above, I’ve hardly put a dent in it.

I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using anything else to touch up my brows and add a little depth to my eye lids.

As far as packaging goes, it comes in an aluminum tin that can either be recycled or cleaned out and reused for something else.

2. beam highlight

It’s perhaps my favorite product. Beam is the best highlight I’ve ever used. It gives a natural glow that lasts. But it’s also super easy to apply again.

I use it just about everyday on the inner corner of my eyes and on my brow bone. But if you do more of a full face of makeup, you can for sure use this on your cheek bones and anywhere else that suits you. If you’re a highlight fan, this is an excellent purchase. And I’ve also had this guy for seven months and have plenty left.

3. artemis at dawn perfume

It’s a musky perfume that is surprisingly light and actually blends well with other essential oils. I tend to mix it with either white angelica or bergamot and wear it as a perfume. (Wondering where I get my oils? click here.)

The smell is gently peppery and has a gentle woodsy scent. It’s hard to explain, but if you’re into more muskier scents, you’ll love it, I guarantee. And you don’t have to worry about it spilling in your bag if you carry it with you, because it comes in a reusable aluminum container, like the rest of their makeup.

4. mortar and pestle lip paint

 

 

This is my most recent purchase from Fat and the Moon and I have to say I’m impressed. The staying/lasting power of the lipstick is to be expected with a super natural lipstick — this isn’t gonna last you 12 hours and through breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But I don’t necessarily need that everyday. It’s moisturizing and gentle on the lips. It’s also build-able and is super easy to reapply during the day. And it wears off really nicely — doesn’t leave weird lines or anything. I love this little tin of reddish/orange lip paint.

5. masa and olive face paste

Potentially the best mask I’ve ever used — no kidding! It’s incredibly gentle but also moisturizes and exfoliates my sensitive, dry skin.

Only bummer is I left mine in the shower and it started growing a bit of mold inside. It even warns you not to do that on the packaging because of the natural ingredients mixing with water and being trapped in a container. But for whatever reason I ignored that clearly presented advice.

Regardless, it’s an awesome product! And it comes in a reusable glass container.

6. sage and rose face mist

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I used this all the time! I finished my bottle off, but the gentle mist was delightful. I used it in the morning and night. It is definitely refreshing and hydrating. I only wish it came in a large bottle because I would spray it all over my face all day long!

So overall this brand is DOPE. I will continue buying the products I already have and I hope to try out their deodorant sometime, and potentially their aloe lotion, too! It sounds wonderful.

Their products are quality and their philosophies are kind and inclusive. I love this brand 🙂

Have you tried Fat and the Moon? If not, DO IT. I’m not being sponsored by them or anything… I just truly love this brand!