Schmidt's Deodorant Geranium Sensitive Skin Formula

August 28, 2016

After my long love affair with the original Schmidt's deodorant in the scent Ylang-Ylang + Calendula, it was time to break it off. I didn't want to because I absolutely loved using it (finally a natural deodorant that worked on me!) but unfortunately I grew intolerant to baking soda. What a massive bummer! Especially now that they came up with a new scent (Rose + Vanilla), which sounds so lovely. The hunt for a new effective natural deodorant started all over again. Ugh. I've tried many of them before so I didn't bother with my smelly self again (none of them worked) and so I started using some nasty and horrible deodorant (but effective) from drugstore. Luckily somewhere around that time I discovered a UK brand The Natural Deodorant Co. and they just came up with their new baking soda free deodorants. Yes!

 I don't want to go too much in details, but I tried The Natural Deodorant Co. Gentle Deodorant Cream in Tangerine and it didn't really work as I was hoping it would be. Some ladies love it, I know the gorgeous Alessandra does. The lovely Laurie then so kindly sent me their other deodorant with a lower percentage of baking soda (Clean Deodorant Balm in Lemon & Geranium*) which works great but I can only use it a few days in a row. So still not a solution. Then Schmidt's launched their new deodorants without baking soda. Hell yes! I hopped on Reina Organics and ordered the coral one with Geranium. Spoiler alert, I love it!
Schmidt's Natural Deodorant in Geranium is especially designed for sensitive skin types and formulated without baking soda. Free of aluminiums, phtalates, parabens and gluten. Certified vegan and cruelty-free. I'm no expert but it's probably Magnesium Hydroxide and Arrowroot Powder (and Coconut Oil) that help to neutralize underarm odor (and absorb wetness - not an antiperspirant tho!). The brand came a long way from jars to the "normal" deodorant packaging and these for sensitive skin are only available in stick form. Sometimes I feel like I use more that way but if I had the option I would still probably go with the stick version. Here I'd like to say that I always had massive problems with deodorants, underarms and sweating. It all started at that "beautiful" puberty time. I'd sweat like no other and I constantly had to change up my deodorants (which actually isn't that uncommon). Not to mention I would also sweat under my arms even if I wasn't hot or nervous. Sometimes I still do. Not fun. I won't say I hated my underarms but it's safe to say I didn't like them. But when I started using a deodorant in a jar something changed. It was the fact that you have to apply it fingers that changed my mind about my underarms. Way more intimate than just using your standard roll-on or stick deodorant. It looks like that really helped me and I started to feel differently about them. Still not there yet but I sure am on a good path. Now back to the review. :)

This deodorant smells like Geranium - it only contains geranium essential oils. I like this floral scent, but I can totally get why someone won't like it. There is something about it that makes you wonder if you like it or not, don't know how to explain it. Deodorant works all day, even on hot summer days, but because I am who I am I sometimes reapply it. Have to be perfectly sure I'm not a stinky mess. I'm pretty positive that isn't really necessary because it does last, but still, I almost always have it with me in my bag. I already repurchased it so it's safe to say I love it! It does have a flaw or two. It can leave white traces and residue on clothes and even though it is for sensitive skin, sometimes it still irritates my skin. I get the same rash as I get when using baking soda based deodorants, and my skin gets itchy. Sometimes it helps if I apply a calming cream (I love Kris D'Amour's Soothing Face and Body Balm* - so freaking soothing!) or I use some other deodorant for a day or two. Sometimes it just goes away even if I don't do any of these things (even tho it is stated that you should discontinue use if rash or irritation develops).

All in all it's a beautiful deodorant and I really really like using it! If you're not a fan of floral scent then you can try their Tea Tree or Fragrance Free version. Available at many places, I got mine at Reina Organics and then I repurchased it at a Slovenian store Specia. Love both stores.<3

Much love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided

Argan Republic Manuka Orchid Facial

August 19, 2016

Check out this gorgeous dark mauve, pinkish red creation. Today I'm going to review this beauty from Argan Republic, an American brand founded by the lovely Marissa. I've been eyeing her products for a while, they do look beautiful, so when I got a chance to try a product I jumped with joy. Among the gorgeous all natural and hand crafted products with loads of organic, non-GMO and wild crafted ingredients, I decided to go with one of her masks - the Manuka Orchid Facial with Pineapple Enzyme*. If you're wondering then the answer is yes, it is as lovely as it sounds.
 First let's check some ingredients which are nicely blended in Certified Organic, Cold Pressed, Unrefined, Morocaan Argan Oil. I love argan oil but what excites me with this mask are the bee products it contains - 4 actively beneficial bee products to create the ultimate facial for healthy, radiant skin. Those are Bee Propolis, Raw New Zealand Manuka Honey, Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly. There is a lot more information about each and every ingredient in the product description, but just to mention a few things - all the bee ingredients they use are pesticide-free, chemical-free, and anti-biotic-free. Bee products encourage tissue repair and regeneration, they are antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-acne, anti-inflammatory and have huge antioxidant properties which prevent free-radicals that cause aging. Honey and other bee products are so amazing, like truly amazing! I said it many, many times before, but go and slather some raw honey on your face. It seems like I link my post about honey in every post I wrote, but here it is again. The thing that is important here is that bees are treated as humanely as possible and keep interference in the bees life to a minimum. This is actually written on their website so yay for that. :)

The product also contains one of my favourite flowers, the wonderful and potent Hibiscus, also known as "botox plant". Find how I like to use it here. Of course there is also Pineapple Extract, which works as an enzyme, meaning it removes dead skin cells and reduces swelling and inflammation. It also softens skin and clears the complexion due to the vitamin C content. I love that it contains White Kaolin and Rose Clay too. Both are suitable for sensitive skin. Now the scent. Based on the ingredient flower list - Jasmine, Plumeria, Neroli and Orchid, I was expecting a beautiful floral scent. Amm if you want to try this product for the scent, then skip it. I mean it's not unpleasant, it's just not my favourite and different than what I expected. If I'm not mistaken, it's mostly Neroli.
This intoxicating concentrated bee blend promises "an ultra exfoliating, healing, and regenerative, luxury facial. The amazingly strong anti-bacterial properties of bee products will reduce acne as well as reduce allergenic skin issues like dermatitis. Bee products are notorious for improving collagen production while promoting skin cell regeneration to reveal youthful, radiant skin. Certified organic argan oil, botanical oils and extracts nourish, tone and tighten while gentle kaolin clays remove impurities and increase circulation." My experience - it ticks all the boxes for me, but one. It's very healing and luxury, it reduces acne and works anti-bacterial. It's all good, I just don't see it as an ultra exfoliating mask. I'd say it works more like a gentle and light exfoliator. At least on my skin. Which is not a bad thing, because then I can use it more regularly. Over-exfoliation is a thing and I tend not to exfoliate too much. I probably still do it too often. Fyi we were thought in beautician school to exfoliate once every three weeks but now I see the use of exfoliators and scrubs being very popular and doing it more than two times a week. How often do you do exfoliate your skin?
Mask is suitable for all skin types, especially dry skin prone to dermatitis & eczema, but also skin prone to acne or aging skin. gentle enough for sensitive skin, and can be used as needed. I really fell in love with it when I was away on holidays and it was the only mask I took with me. Note that it isn't too travel-friendly because the argan oil did spill a little and the outside of the jar (and other products in my beauty bag) were a bit oily. You can leave the mask on for 15 minutes or more. I tend to leave it on for half an hour to one hour. It doesn't dry on the skin and in actually rather moisturizing. After I rinse it off I'm left with soft skin due to the wonderful argan oil. Anti-aging, acne control, detoxification and nourish - this is how the mask is described and I think it does all that. I will say that I don't see immediate results but with regular use I certainly do. It's a beautiful mask and you will do good to your skin if you try it. Get it here.

Have a lovely weekend!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Expert Selection

August 12, 2016

Let the sun in! The theme of August's Beauty Heroes box*, featuring the one and only Laurel Whole Plant Organics. I have been following the brand on Instagram for quite a while but even before I saw all the beautiful pictures of products and behind the scenes photos, I wanted to try Laurel's magical blends. I heard so many beautiful things about her products and they didn't disappoint. Not at all. Laurel Whole Plant Organics is a leader of the slow beauty movement - Laurel harvests her ingredients from organic farms within a 100 mile radius from her Northern California studio, ensuring that her oils and infusions, each vibrant in color and bursting with plant energy, meet her exacting standards. Now how could you not want to try such a brand? A brand with products created with founders strongest conviction: that beauty should be a loving, ritualistic practice with the finest raw, organic, farm-sourced and hand-crafted materials. Love Laurel's philosophy.
Beauty Heroes has already featured the brand in one of their previous boxes and I'm so excited and beyond happy they decided to feature it again. Like every month, the box came beautifully packaged. August's beauty discovery really made me smile with its vibrant yellow tissue that embraced the products and the theme of this month's box is really speaking to me. I'm a sun worshiper. Excitement was real, let me tell you. Inside August BH box you will find three products and let's start this review with the hero.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Sun Damage Repair Serum was created especially for sun damaged or mature skin. Not really skin problems I'm dealing with, especially not after July's box and its hero - Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28. You can also see my previous post about three non-nano based zinc oxide - I really don't have any problems with applying sunscreen on a daily. Nonetheless, I was very excited to test it out. I immediately fell in love with the ingredient list, which is btw all organic (hence the brand's name). Contains ingredients like Rosehip Seed, Red Raspberry Seed, Cranberry Seed Oil and more beautiful oils, and also in-house biodynamic proprietary blend of Calendula, Licorice (which naturally breaks up melanin patches), Chamomile, Marshamallow, and I could go on. Full list of these stunning ingredients here. Due to some oils with vibrant and rich colour, like Sea Buckthorn and Rosehip Oil, the serum has beautiful orange / golden yellow colour. I adore such coloured oils.
The serum helps to reverse signs of sun damage, including freckles and hyper-pigmentation. I was very fortunate to get this box way earlier than previous Beauty Heroes boxes and have been using it for a few weeks already. At first I didn't really see much results on my skin. Like I said, I don't have problems with sun damaged skin so I was thinking I wouldn't see anything special on my skin. But because of the wonderful ingredient list I continued with the use of the serum. And I'm so happy I did. You know what? My skin is not damaged by sun (at least not visibly) but I do suffer from hyperpigmentation! How silly am I for not thinking it sooner? I'm dealing with red blemishes or red acne scars, ugh. This serum really helps with fading these blemishes and is making my skin happier. It's a beautiful oil and I feel so lucky I had a chance to try it out.
Okay so I'm in love with the Hero, what about the two sidekicks? Before and After Sun Body Oil (100 ml, $ 80) acts as prevention and cure. Ultra-concentrated with Avocado, Red Raspberry Seed and Coconut Oil, each ingredient has been proven to help prevent and repair from sun's loving rays. Glide it on in addition to sun protection and then reapply to sun-drenched skin for maximum benefit. I haven't tried it before or after sun exposure like they recommend, so I can't say how it works for that but it did make my skin soft and moisturized. It's lovely but that's pretty much all I have to say since I only used it once, trying to save it for these photos.
Last but certainly not least is Laurel's first product that picked my interest I don't know how long time ago. I'm talking about Honey Berry Enzyme Mask, with 5 beneficial active ingredients. One is my absolute favourite skincare ingredient - Honey. With a capital letter. Have you read my article about the magic of honey? Here is the link if you want to know why you need to incorporate honey into your routine. Okay so there is Honey and also Royal Jelly, Strawberry, Blueberry and Grapefruit Essential Oil. This mask is a favourite among many green beauty bloggers and I can totally understand why. I'm a bit biased 'cause I love honey and yes, as you might imagine I really enjoy using this mask. It's brightening and I'm all about that. I love the scent of it as well - it straight up smells like honey + berries. Duuh. It's literally good enough to eat! Yum. Aah, organic products are the best. <3
It's safe to say I love this month's Beauty Heroes expert selection and Laurel Whole Plant Organics is a brand you would want to try. Trust me. I almost forget one thing, products are literally macerated by Laurel's hands. Whole plant - not exracts. There's a difference.

As you can see you get a whole lot for $39 (+ shipping cost) - the whole box is valued at $102, which is just amazing. If you fancy what you hear, you can subscribe here. It really is a very good value for the price. This month (if you subscribe to the 20th of August) you will get this facial oil and then a facial oil won't be featured again for a few months. I'm also telling you this if you're already a member and have enough serums to go through. Beauty Heroes also attempts to make it so that we international members, don't have to pay any additional taxes. When you are a Beauty Heroes member you automatically receive an exclusive 15% ongoing discount, on all green hero products in their Beauty Store. Talking about the store, there is a beautiful and sadly limited Love More promotion going on - spend $125 and you'll receive a full-size Prickly Pear Seed Oil Rollerball by Kahina Giving Beauty ($40 value!). Looks divine.

That's pretty much everything I wanted to share regarding August's Beauty Heroes Box. Hope you enjoyed reading.

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Three Beautiful Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Sunscreens

August 07, 2016

After my last post about Zinc Oxide I had a few upcoming sunscreen posts in mind but it's already August, which means summer is coming to an end and summer inspired posts aren't as "in" as they were a month or two ago. Well if I would manage to post more often then I wouldn't have this problem. Oh well, I think I'm still going to post them haha. Since I've shared that non-nano! Zinc Oxide is pretty much the best UV filter out there, I decided to share some of my favourite facial sunscreens with Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, which I'm currently using.
First one is from a gorgeous, gorgeous brand, the amazing Earthwise Beauty. Oh my gosh, I love this brand so much! I don't say it much on my blog, but I really, really love Ava and her blends, she really knows what she is doing. I can ask her anything (I bet she is sick of my questions :P) and she always responds with so much knowledge and integrity. Love. Also, it's so exciting following the brand on Instagram, I highly recommend it! I have learned so many new things about ingredients and the magic of plants. Not to mention that Ava is on a roll with creating new products and her new launches are beyond exciting.
Ava's sunscreen is unique. It's called Farizad's Veil SPF 30+ Powder* and I've already proclaimed my love for it here. Contains uncoated non-nano Zinc Oxide, Aloe and flowers like Rose Absolute and Geranium Oil, to name most of them. Now if you remember I wrote that zinc oxide is safe up to concentration of maximum 25%. This product contains 94%. BUT all is not lost! I was worried for a hot minute but Ava completely reassured me. Let me quote a little bit of what she said:

Farizad's Veil is not meant to be used separately but as a component of a sunscreen lotion made up of an oil part and the powder part. It would be very unlikely for a customer to create a paste that contains more than 25% zinc oxide because it would be pretty whitening (I have a few sunscreens as testers from other brands and one contains 22.5% zinc oxide and is somewhat whitening, more noticeably than most people would want.

I wish we had a microscopic scale on hand to figure out the typical zinc oxide content in a customer's mix: we would need to weight the 7-8-9 drops of oil a person uses and then weight the amount of Farizad's Veil a person uses (and subtract the aloe content). While visually, many people will mix about half oil and half Farizad's Veil, once you weight the two, you would see that the powder content is a small percentage (typically 10-20% max.) because powders are light. It takes a lot of powder to weigh the equivalent of a heavy oil.
So as you see, because you mix the powder with the oil, the concentration of zinc oxide is much, much smaller than 94% so you don't have to worry one bit. Just don't go crazy with the powder and you'll be perfectly alright. Not only that Farizad's Veil (love the name!) protects my skin from the sun and doesn't break me out, the thing I love most about it is that I can mix it with my favourite facial oil to create my own custom blend, my own "DIY" sunscreen. I still get all the nutrients from oil but with that extra treat. The oil I use is also not as oily and sinks in quicker because the powder makes it a bit lighter. Lighter and dryer in texture but not drying to the skin. I've tried it with a few different oils and it was a beautiful experience every time. It's a wonderful product and I really recommend it. Just a quick note on the application - I apply a few drops of oil into the palm of my hand and sprinkle some Farizad's Veil on top (it has a twist and lock sifter, so it's all very easy to do). Mix and apply. On the first photo bellow I used a bit too much and if that happens (which is rare) I just add more oil and apply it to my neck and hands. Check out Ava's instructions here. If you want to try it, you can use my code "Loveliness" (not affiliated) and get 15% off your order.
Next sunscreen is one that is already mixed together - powdered zinc oxide and oils are already mixed and ready to go. Of course I'm talking about July's BH Hero, the beautiful Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28**. Here is all you need to know about this product so I don't want to write another novel for a product (like I did with the Farizad's Veil). 
I still have to mention, that it contains 17% Zinc Oxide and some very gorgeous oils, like Red Raspberry Seed and French Plum Oil. It's formulated without a drop of water but loaded with Macadamia, Kukui, Avocado and Jojoba oils, and Vitamin E. It's such a stunning product and I've been loving it to bits. This product was featured in July's Beauty Heroes box but you can buy it in the Beauty Heroes Beauty Store, where you can get 15% off your order if you are subscribed to their beauty subscription service. If you're interested, you can do it here. Right now they are having a gorgeous giveaway with Thoughtfully Magazine. All details here.

Now onto the product you will want to eat because it smells so yummy! Say hello to Canadian brand Ryz Rémi and their Day Balm Concentrate* with 20% non-nano Zinc Oxide. The Day Balm Concentrate is a rich medley of premium organic & wild (and ethically sourced) ingredients - buttery raw Shea & Virgin Coconut Oil hand-blended with cold-pressed Rosehip, Jojoba & Green Tea Seed Oil. Minimally processed & nutrient-packed. Enjoy the calming aroma of sweet Calendula & golden Chamomile, with hints of creamy Vanilla Bean & dark Cocoa. Rich & very concentrated, this day balm contains no water or fillers.
First is the scent. It smells like a rich chocolate (contains Cocoa powder) with vanilla. Omg, so delicious. Rich and seductive. It looks like a super milky chocolate too, so be careful not to eat it haha. Based on ingredients, I was expecting a rich and super nourishing cream but to my surprise it doesn't feel that rich. Which I like and enjoy. Because it is not as rich nor oily as I thought, I like to apply a small amount of facial oil under it. That way I can massage it onto my skin more easily (it also applies beautifully without an oil!) but I just like that combo. Also, a little goes a long way. The cream doesn't break me out (none of the three do!) and makes my skin soft. The product is just lovely. Natasha, one of the founders of Ryz Rémi, obviously knows what she is doing blending.
It has a different consistency than the other two (at least if you mix Farizad's Veil with facial oil). This SPF cream has a balmy texture but it sinks into the skin like a moisturizer. Rich moisturizer. It's a mix between a balm and a moisturizer. It's gorgeous and I love using it. Not that I mind taking a bit of extra time massaging SPF product into my skin, but I really love that I don't have to deal with that with this product. It blends in seamlessly and leaves my skin protected, nourished and soft. Use code "LOVELINESS" (not affiliated) to get 15% off your order.

Have a happy week!

Much love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links
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