Organic Products I’ve Tried

I’ve tried various organic products over the years. Despite being a tomboy and growing up on a farm, one thing I do spend a lot of effort on is keeping my hair and skin healthy. I figure I’ve only got them at their best for a few years, may as well enjoy them before they start to deteriorate. I attempt to do the same with my body, but that’s not as easy. That’s one of the things I’d like to work on in 2009.

I also note that I have a patch of psoriasis on my knee, so I have to use things that don’t have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is a skin irritant (and in most soaps/shampoos believe it or not).

Here are some of the various products I’ve tried:

Haircare

Giovanni’s Smooth as Silk Shampoo/Conditioner – I liked these a lot. Nice scent, definitely cleans well, but usually enough build up after one bottle that I have to switch directly after. I like the sleekness it gives my hair, but they also use a chemical that is apparently unnecessary and unhealthy, so I’ve been avoiding them as of late.

Jason’s Damage Control Shampoo/Conditioner – This is by far my favorite out of everything I’ve tried. I love the scent, I love the way it makes my hair feel. The conditioner alone makes my scalp tingle and prevents any sort of dryness or dandruff.

Kiss my Face Mistreated Shampoo/Conditioner – While I absolutely love the scent, this dries out my scalp. I’ve been forced to add tea tree oil to it, which masks the scent and still doesn’t work as much as I’d like. So that sorta defeats the purpose.

Jason’s Jojoba Shampoo/Conditioner – This one made my hair feel oily and the scent wasn’t very pleasant at all. I had to stop using it.

Desert Essence Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo – The scent wasn’t all that great, but it did wash very well. I have to switch shampoos after each bottle is finished, so after this one was done I don’t think I’ll be using it again. It’s not bad, it’s just not all that great.

Dr. Bronner’s Shikakai Hair Rinse – I love this stuff. Isn’t that great on conditioning (but I supplement that with a leave-in conditioner which I’ll mention below), but it smells great and really makes my hair feel squeaky clean.

Giovanni’s Leave-In Conditioner – I love this stuff. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy, and I use it for extra moisturizing after any of the above shampoo and it never feels like there’s a build-up. Only need to use a small dab for my entire hair, so one bottle lasts months.

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Leave-In Conditioner – I haven’t used this as much, because the first few times I did I used too much and it made my hair feel oily. With the right application, this one does very well. You just have to be very careful with the amount you use.

Avalon Organics Peppermint Shampoo – This one smelled okay but it left a quick build-up in my hair. It also seemed to dry my scalp so I had to add tea tree oil to this one as well.

Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile Hydrating Shampoo/Conditioner for Normal Hair – I love the scent of this, it reminds me of a little herb shop somewhere. I just started using this at the beginning of April, and so far it feels good but we’ll see what the outcome is.

Burt’s Bees Super Shiney Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo – This stuff dried my scalp out quick after only a few uses. I had to stop using it.

Make-up

Origins Organic Black Eyeliner – I don’t like using liquid eyeliners or stick eyeliners, so I opt for the soft cream stick eyeliners. The only organic brand I found was from Origins, and was very expensive. I did buy one stick when I had extra money, and loved it. Amazing stuff, great dark color, just too damned expensive. With shipping it was like $20 each :x But again, it’s the only soft cream stick out there that is organic.

Lagona Organic Liquid Foundation – I actually don’t wear foundation in the traditional sense. I use it as sort of a concealer, and have to use ivory color. The smell of this foundation is actually very pleasant, and for my purpose it works well. But since I don’t use it as a normal foundation, I can’t comment on its cover-up.

Skincare

DHC Mild Soap – DHC isn’t really an organic company, but they are better than a lot of the conventional stuff you’ll get, just more expensive. They base most of their products around olive oil, including their soaps. I wanted something that cleaned gently but effectively, and I got some free samples in the mail. Once I tried out this Mild Soap, I was addicted. The smell is very fresh and calming, and their products are amazing. The only problem with this soap is that it’s very soft, so you can’t leave it where it will stay damp for a long period of time (like in the soap dish), because it will start to break down faster.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Before, I used to break out along my jawline quite a bit, mainly because my job forced me to be on the phone a lot so there was a lot of irritation there. When I started wiping down problem areas with diluted apple cider vinegar daily, the problems went away completely. I always rinse and moisturize afterwards though, but this stuff is amazing.

DHC Acerola Toner and DHC Acerola Gel – Since I don’t like greasy things on my face, even though I have used olive oil in the winter time, I had to find a good moisturizer that’s not oil-based. The Acerola toner and gel’s were perfect, and do a wonderful job. I just love the feel of them.

Psoriasis

Psoriaflora- Smells great, sooths itching, but doesn’t seem to do much other than that. Maybe my case is so severe it can’t handle it.

PsoriaSalve – The scent of this stuff is my favorite scent in the whole world. It’s like a concentration of some old witches herb shop in a little tin. I wish I had a massage oil with this scent :D The feel is somewhat greasy, but it does seem to moisturize well. Still doesn’t seem to lessen the psoriasis though.

Emu Oil and Castor Oil – These are my next tries. I’ve heard good stories about both.

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Homemade Face Mask Recipes

Courtesy of Mother Earth News. The green one sounds nummy :)

Talk about perfect timing. Just as the weather is getting cooler and we’re approaching dry-skin season, Mother Earth News reader Pamela Koontz sent in a few of her favorite homemade skincare recipes. As she pointed out, when compared to commercial products, homemade skincare can save you money, is often easier on the environment, and makes it easy to care for your skin naturally. So, go ahead, “whip one of these up and let nature do all of the work!”

Farmer’s Wife Secret Mask
2 chilled egg whites
1/8 tsp cornstarch

Whip the egg whites until they form peaks; then slowly add the cornstarch. Apply the mixture immediately to your face, leaving it on for 20 minutes. Rinse face with cool water.

Bumblebee Facial Mask
1 tbsp dried milk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp honey

Mix honey with the egg yolk and then stir in the dried milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply. Remove after 20 minutes with cool water.

Glorious Green Face Mask
1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 smashed avocado
1/3 cup of honey

In a bowl, mix smashed avocado with the honey, then continuously add oatmeal. When all ingredients are mixed well, apply to face and relax for 15-20 minutes. Remove with a splash of cool water.

No Monkey Business Mask
1/2 banana
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sour cream

Smash the banana and add the honey and sour cream. Apply to face and leave on 15-20 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp cotton wash cloth.
Pamela Koontz
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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Weekend Canning and 10 Year Parole

Today at the Grove we held a canning workshop of fruits and veggies. We made blackberry jam and dilled garlic carrots. I’m excited to try them out :) We tasted some of the blackberry jam earlier and it was delicious.

We also had the John Deere dropped off today, so dad will be plowing up the soil tomorrow to get things ready for spring. Everything is really starting to feel like home here. His friend Buzz is going to help us build the back deck, and says they can finish it in a weekend. I also hope we get the wood-stove soon because mornings are chilly up here in Gettysburg.

All that is left is 2 trailers and my yellow bronco. The blue one I will be selling probably. The two trailers hold 6 cord of wood and a bunch of outside equipment. Then we’ll have everything back again.

A lot of people came up to visit today while I was at the Grove, which makes me sad that I missed them. Still not sure when to start having people up to see the place.

My cousin Jon’s murderer’s are up for parole next month, 10 years after his murder. My mom wants me to write a victim impact statement to be read during the parole hearing. I will have to work on that in the coming weeks.

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