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My Favorite Finds from the Green Festival

I went to the New York Green Festival this past weekend and found some awesome small green companies that are doing great work.  Here were some of my faves:

If you are into essential oils then you need to know about Noctua-Diem.  Founded by Certified Natural Health Professional, John Vega, the line is all created by hand and the serums are all essential oil blends and range from Camphor Blemish + Spot Serum (with Chamomile and Geranium Oils) to the Carrot + Pumpkin Seed Anti-Aging Serum (with Lavender and Evening Primrose Oils) covering all skin concerns.

Most Shea Butter moisturizers need "mixers" - oils or other butters - as Shea Butter is generally quite thick and hard to blend into skin on its own.  It has a cousin, Shea Nilotica, which is only produced in Uganda and the Sudan, is referred to as East African Shea Butter and it is AWESOME.  Kiroja's is certified organic, fair trade, processed by a women's co-op and it melts into your skin.  My favorite "flavor", Lavender, only contains the Shea Nilotica and Organic Lavender Essential Oil - love!

You know I love Peppermint anything and Alapure's Botanical Handmade Marula Mint Soaps are made with Peppermint Oil, Organic Mint Leaves and Marula Oil - Alapure's key ingredient - which is from Marula trees in South Africa and is high in Vitamin C and has numerous healing properties.  I'm into it.

Violets Are Blue defines philanthropy as they give each woman who enters Mt. Sinai's chemotherapy program for treatment of breast cancer their Beloved Skincare Package.  It contains a facial cleanser, body lotion, facial serum, foot salve and lip balm to combat the drying nature of chemo and all products are fragrance, chemical and dye-free.  You can also purchase this package as a set or individually in addition to other assorted goodies that they make.

Hydroquinone is the leading ingredient to help with fading hyperpigmentation (spots on the skin due to age, sun or hormones) but it gets into your blood stream and is linked to all sorts of unsavory situations.  The Ayurvedic based line, Om Botanical, has a product called Skin Glow which employs Sake, Licorice and Tumeric instead of chemicals.  Founder, Sudhir Shah, showed me a before and after pic that would make you sign up on the spot (no pun intended!).

And out of left field, beauty wise anyhow, I wanted to share the company Bees Wrap - it's so cool!  Think of how much Saran Wrap you use - for wrapping cheese, covering plates of leftover dinner, etc - and how much plastic you're throwing away - no bueno for the Earth (nor is plastic super healthy for you and your kiddos).  Bees Wrap is made with organic cotton muslin, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin.  They're reusable, antibacterial and washable.

The Green Festival is open to the public and will take place later this year in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland so if you live nearby check it out!


Why Tea is Awesome in Your Skincare

Teas are super antioxidants and are amazing when taken orally or topically.  But what does that mean?  What's an antioxidant really?  First off, think of what happens when something oxidizes -

Metal rusts, apples turn brown and thus those items break down, right?  An antioxidant helps to slow down the process.  For example, it's why my mom squirted lemon juice on the apple slices she put in my lunch box in elementary school - it kept them fresh and pretty :).

In our skincare that translates as blocking what we call free radicals - those are the jerks that cause damage to our skincells (in the world of the apple it's what makes it turn brown and shrivel up).  Think of them as fancy lemon juice for your face - keeping you bright and shiny.

Green Tea contains a cocktail of potent antioxidants called catechins (which are also anti-bacterial- bonus!) that are Power Ranger types for fighting those free radical.  It also is anti-inflammatory and can help with redness/rosacea in skin.  

Rooibos Tea is not a true tea but an herb and boy is it power packed!  It's super soothing so it's idea for acneic or irritated skin (even sunburns) and has Alpha Hydroxy Acid which encourage cell turnover making it an ideal anti-ager.

White Tea will seriously hook your skin up - it has been tested to be 3-6 times more effective than green tea as a skin matrix protector - meaning, it keeps your skin firm and wrinkles at bay. 

Some products with White Tea include Erin's Faces Clarifying Serum (are you noticing a theme here?  I almost called this guy Three Tea Clarifying Serum for a reason), Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion with White Tea (Origins is killing it on the White Tea front) and DERMAdoctor's Wrinkle Revenge Ultimate Hyaluronic Serum.

So, bottom line, tea is awesome in your skincare - so give your skin a drink!


DIY All-Natural* Dishwashing Detergent

I am all about the DIY situations for home cleaners and this guy works great!  I've been using this "recipe" for the past year or so and it does a wonderful job, doesn't leave spots on your glassware and is CHEAP.

You need 
*Washing Soda
*Salt (technically Kosher Salt but I went with what I have)
*Citric Acid (OR Lemonade Flavored Kool Aid - remember, you have to add the sugar to lemonade so the lemonade flavor is basically just citric acid and lemon fragrance - built in fresh smell!) 

Throw 1 cup of the Borax and the Washing Soda 
together with 
1/2 cup each of Salt and Citric Acid (about 17 packets of Lemonade Kool-Aid)

In a blender (or you can mix it in a bowl)

And that's it!!

I use a little scoop/spoon from a canister of powdered greens I had but you can use whatever you want - and it just takes one scoop!

You can also throw a little white vinegar in the dishwasher's rinse aid reservoir for added goodness. 

For my DIY All-Natural Laundry Detergent click HERE
For my DIY All- Natural All-Purpose Cleaner click HERE 

*and no, the fragrance in the Lemonade Kool-Aid isn't all natural but I'm okay with it :)