Take the cosmetics FDA quiz and become a smart consumer!

Wanna have a little bit of fun while learning a great deal? Take the FDA quiz on cosmetics and test your knowledge about cosmetics, their ingredients and the common practices of this industry. The cosmetics industry in the USA is not well regulated and the quiz will help you make well or more informed decisions on your next cosmetic products purchase thanks to the fda regulations and cosmetic safety guidelines in place.

You can take the cosmetics FDA quiz here: How Smart are You About Cosmetics? in order to get your Smart Consumer certificate!

Note that organic products approved by the USDA must still comply with the regulations of the FDA.

Organic candies for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and when kids come knocking at the door this year, why not be prepared with organic candies? Colorful candies are fun and taste good but by simply reading the list of ingredients they contain, one can easily understand how harmful they are. As adults, we can chose to harm ourselves or not but feeding children with such candies is really giving them no choice but to get health complications. Indeed, regular candies are packed with not only refined sugar (a modified sugar deprived of all nutrients) or artificial sweeteners but also additives, preservatives, food coloring, pesticides, synthetic ingredients and more. Eating them once in a while is okay but the problem is that they are addictive so when a kid tried it, he/she will ask for more and the consequences will start to show. According to studies, additives and preservatives in food are linked to allergies and 20% of children now suffer from an allergy of some sort and from asthma in particularly. Further studies have even warned against the rise of ADD symptoms that have increased by 400% in the past 20 years, again because of the ingestion of food additives and preservatives. Such behavior issues are becoming problematic especially when children become adults but other studies have shown that a change in the diet that is free of chemicals and rather contains fresh and pesticides-free vegetables and fruits drastically improved the condition and behavior patterns. Besides such conditions, candies contribute to weight gain and it is not uncommon to see overweight and even obese children nowadays who will most likely develop further problems such as Type 2 diabetes or heart problems that could have been easily avoided with a proper diet.

If you want to know about what is inside the candies, just type in the ingredients one by one in your browser and look it up. Alternatively, the FDA warns against some additives that can create allergic reactions or even worse health complications and force companies to list such ingredients on the packaging so at least, we can make an informed decision as to whether we want to eat or not. There is also an excellent source to check whether your food ingredients are harmful or not: The center for science in the public interest. By simply searching for an ingredient, it will tell you if it is safe, if you need to cut back on it or to avoid it altogether.

As a safer choice to regular candies, you can go for alternatives such as dried fruits, organic chocolates, dark chocolate truffles, or organic candies that typically contain natural ingredients derived from fruits and won’t be as harmful but taking them in moderation is also recommended because they are sweet. However, organic candies are sweetened with natural sugar such as cane sugar, honey or maple syrup and they are dyed with natural plant extracts that can induce the color red, yellow or any other colors. They are free of chemicals, free of artificial coloring and flavoring and free of other harmful synthetic ingredients. However, as we always stress it out, organic products are in fashion and even when you buy organic candies, you should always read the list of ingredients to ensure that the candies are truly organic and natural.

We have listed few brands of organic candies and organic chocolates or dried fruits that are safe and can be fun to give to children for Halloween because you will ensure you are not hurting anyone!

Organic dark chocolate truffles

Organic dark chocolate truffles with goji berries

Contains organic cacao powder, organic Agave, organic cacao butter, dried bing cherries, organic cacao nibs, organic goji berries, organic vanilla beans, organic date sugar, and Celtic sea salt.
$16.95 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Dried organic goji berries

Dried organic goji berries by Navitas

Dried organic goji berries are provided by the company Navitas, an innovator in organic dried fruits. Dried organic goji berries can be eaten as is and taste really good while being rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and more. They are certified organic, kosher, vegan, sun-dried and raw. Even children will like them.
$13.67 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Organic assorted candies

Organic assorted candies by YummyEarth

YummyEarth Organic Candy Drops are 100% natural and certified organic candies made from real fruit extracts. They are gluten-free, chemicals and dyes-free and contain no allergens, eggs, soy, nuts, wheat or dairy. They come in different fruit flavors such as pomegranate, lemon, mango, orange and watermelon. They are the ideal organic candies for Halloween.
$21.54 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Happy Halloween!!

Natural collagen for your anti-aging needs

Collagen is a strong connective tissue made of white fibers that gives resilience, strength and protection to different parts of the body. It is made of very few cells and collagen binds with elastin, giving the skin its firm texture and elasticity. Over the years, collagen and elastin are less and less produced in the body, giving the skin its saggy look that nobody wants to cope with and this is why there is a huge market and offer for anti-aging creams containing collagen or elastin. The idea behind is to give the body through the skin what it can no longer produce naturally at a fast pace, which makes sense. However, collagen anti-wrinkle creams mostly contain synthetic collagen and the molecules are too big to penetrate the skin so that these creams do not work and each month, women or men are back for more, hoping that over the time, they will eventually see results. Also, anti-wrinkles creams are often packed with other chemicals that instead of improving the feel and look of the skin, actually manage to damage it even further.

Natural collagen occuring in plant extracts and essential oils

There are alternatives to synthetic collagen like natural collagen contained in plant extracts and organic essential oils. Such extracts or essential oils are made of tiny molecules that can easily penetrate the skin, enter the blood stream and perform their functions appropriately where tissue repair needs to take place.
gotu kolaExamples of these plant extracts are Gotu Kola or Centella asiatica, a small plant from Asia that is used in Ayurvedic medicine commonly to improve blood circulation, speed up wounds healing and is traditionally used to treat leprosy, one of the most devastating skin disease. Gotu Kola extract naturally stimulates collagen production in the body, hence its anti-aging properties. It is an super efficient remedy for scar healing or scar reduction and even stretch marks since stretch marks result from breaking elastin and collagen fibers. Gotu Kola has also natural anti-bacterial and natural anti-inflammatory properties so really, one plant extract can remedy many problems. Gotu Kola is not easily found but it is still present in many creams, lotions or as an oil and can be purchased online.

Organic gotu kola products are better because like any other organic products, they will ensure that they are free of chemicals. However, always read the label carefully because sometimes, even organic products can be inorganic 🙂

We have selected few organic gotu kola products that you can view below:

Gotu Kola Herb Organic

Gotu Kola Herb Organic

$17.71 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Gotu Kola Powder

Organic Gotu Kola Powder

$9.75 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Gotu Kola Cream

Gotu Kola Cream

– CLICK TO BUY

Another example is Helichrysum essential oil. Helichrysum essential oil is said to be one of the most valuable essential oils because of its powerful actions and is being recognized by the medical body for its efficiency in healing wounds, bruise and scaring at an incredible pace. It is a very expensive essential oil but expensive here is relative considering that only a few drops mixed in a carrier oil such as apricot kernel oil, organic evening primrose or calendula oil will be way more efficient than traditional cosmetics for which we spend a fortune anyways. Helichrysum essential oil penetrates the skin at deep levels and promotes cellular building blocks by stimulating fibroblast cells production. Fibroblast cells are the cells that produce elastin and collagen and hence, help in tissue repair. Helichrysum also has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and gives the skin a youthful appearance while getting rid of all the small blemishes. The downside is that Helichrysum essential oil has a very particular smell that might not appeal to everyone but when you get used to it, the smell tends to grow with you. Plus, it has other unique properties that you can read about in our post dedicated to helichrysum essential oil.Also, make sure that the essential oil is a therapeutic-grade oil and not a fragrance, otherwise, it will not work at all.

We suggest you try this therapeutic-grade helichrysum essential oil:

helichrysum essential oil

Organic Helichrysum essential oil

– CLICK TO BUY

Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser

Suki is an innovative company specialized in organic skin care products and organic hair care products. I use Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser and I fell in love in love with it. Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser is a deep cleansing product and rejuvenator because it contains alpha hydroxy acid or AHA derived from natural sugar. AHA is a water-binding agent that also exfoliates skin cells and normalizes over-thickened skin. It is widely used in cosmetics especially for damaged skin or as an anti-aging. However, AHA is often synthetically produced but Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser is made from AHA derived from natural sugar. It also contains rice flour derived from organic and non-GMO rice to stimulate the epidermis and organic lemongrass to purify the skin and give the product its very refreshing smell. It also contains calendula, chamomile, lavender, orange peel and seaweed.

The texture of the product is very pleasant and only a little ball the size of a cherry is enough to clean the whole face. You add a little bit of water to it and apply on the skin in circular movements until the product starts forming a white paste or foam. When massaging the product into the skin, you can really feel it cleansing the skin deeply and the refreshing smell wakes you up. When used 2 or 3 times a week, you can really see the difference because the pores are unclogged and the skin is left very smooth, brighter and renewed. It also makes disappear all the small blemishes thanks to the lemongrass, lavender and chamomile that act as natural anti-bacterial. The product is suitable for all skin types except for acne-prone skins and rosacea as it might be too harsh for these conditions.

suki-exfoliateSuki balancing toner and the Suki balancing day lotion in a very nice little black pouch can be reused for your makeup.

The Suki balancing toner is also amazing and contains organic rose, aloe vera, lavender, calendula, chamomile, vitamin C, white willow bark extract, seaweed and honeysuckle flower extract. When used after the exfoliation, it refreshes the skin and leaves it extra smooth and purified and ready to be moisturized.

The Suki balancing day lotion was my least favorite and I would not recommend it if you want a day cream that stays all day long as it tends to be absorbed very quickly into the skin. If you don’t have a very dry skin, it can work perfectly though, It contains very nice and organic ingredients like organic chamomile, calendula, green tea infusion, organic jojoba, hazelnut, rose hips, rice germ, borage, evening primrose, calendula, chamomile, organic rose hip, vitamin c & retinol liposomes, shea butter, beeswax and aloe amongst others.

To enjoy Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser and free Suki balancing toner and Suki balancing day lotion, click here.

If you are not interested in free samples, you can also order the product alone. Click here.

Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser travel packIt even comes in Travel Size of 30ml. Click here for more details.

View more natural exfoliants.

Organic manuka honey

Organic manuka honey is produced from bees that feed from the Manuka tree. The manuka tree is also known under its latin name Leptospermum scoparium and even called tea tree falsely because Captain Cook used to make tea with its leaves. It is a small evergreen shrub from New-Zealand and Australia that measures between 2m to 5m and produces white flowers whose nectar is gathered by the bees.manuka-tree

Manuka honey benefits

Organic manuka honey has a unique taste and is stronger and darker than most honeys. Manuka honey is reputable for its extraordinary natural anti-bacterial properties and scientists have discovered that this is due to a protein called defensin-1 made by the bee and added to the honey. Defensin-1 kills bacteria and is efficient to treat infections and act against bacteria that have become antibiotic-resistant. Further research is being done to produce natural antibiotic with manuka honey. Manuka honey is also rich in proteins, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and is an amazing product to add to the diet. It is a good product to use against persistent coughs.
Manuka honey is also excellent for the skin as it can help treat skin infections, skin irritations, rashes, wounds, burns while retaining the moisture of the skin and promoting cell reproduction; it is ideal for dry skin and manuka honey is widely used in the medical field. It leaves the skin soft and nourished and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. People with acne can try it because it is very beneficial and will cure spots in no time.

We recommend a certified organic manuka honey as the organic seal will give you peace of mind when buying organic products. Raw manuka honey is ideal if you want to eat honey and if you want to use it for your skin. However, you can also find ready manuka honey moisturizer or manuka honey cleanser for the skin.

Homemade face mask

An organic face mask is great to hydrate the skin or to nourish it and can be tailored-made depending on your skin type or skin condition. We have a few organic masks on our website but if you haven’t found the perfect one, here is a homemade face mask recipe that we hope you will love. This is suitable for dry skin and it will leave your skin extra soft, hydrated and firm. We only use organic and natural ingredients resulting in a chemical-free face mask.

Homemade face mask recipe

Here is what you need:

rye flour (for binding purposes). You can also use oatmeal or rice flour.
– Rose water: Rose water is soothing for skin irritation, it is a natural anti-bacterial, has anti-aging properties and improves dry skin.
– Pure vitamin E oil: Vitamin E oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it helps the skin retain its natural moisture.
– Apricot kernel oil: Apricot kernel oil is the best carrier oil for dry skin.
evening primrose oil
– Rose essential oil: Rose essential oil was already praised in Egypt 3000 years ago as a beauty enhancer. It has anti-bacterial and tonic properties and is a very good oil to combat dry skin, aging skin and dull complexions.
– Chamomile essential oil: Chamomile essential oil is anti-inflammatory and is used on dry skin and even in case of acne, dermatitis, eczema, itchy skin.
– Geranium essential oil: Geranium essential oil re balances the skin and has cicatrisant properties while smelling great and being uplifting for the mind.
Manuka honey: Manuka honey has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. It is a great skin moisturizer that helps new skin layers to grow faster and is ideal for wound healing or scars. It kills all the bad skin bacteria.

Take 4 tea spoons of rye flour. Add 2 tea spoons of rose water and start mixing until you get a nice consistency that is not too liquid nor too hard, just perfect to apply on your face. Add a few drops of pure vitamin E oil, half a spoon of apricot kernel oil, half a spoon of evening primrose oil and 2 drops of rose essential oil, 2 drops of chamomile essential oil and 1 drop of geranium essential oil. You can add rye flour or rose water to obtain the right consistency and at the last minute, add a tea spoon of manuka honey.

Apply on a clean skin, leave the mask on for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water.

This is a truly organic face mask that is easy to make while being very efficient to soothe the skin and nourish it.

Organic rye flour

Organic rye flour comes from rye, a cereal grain that, when growing, looks like a grass. Rye is also known as Secale cereale and belongs to the Poaceae just like barley and wheat. Rye flour is used to make pumpernickelpumpernickel bread and is a great alternative to white bread. Rye flour is milled from the whole rye berries and grains and because the germ and the bran are not separated during the milling of the flour, it is way richer in nutrients that processed white flour. Rye flour can be of very dark color or lighter color, depending on how much bran has been removed.

ryeOrganic rye flour comes from rye that has not been sprayed with chemicals and is therefore better than other rye flours. Organic rye flour is ideal to bake although it is very low in gluten, preventing bread or cakes to rise properly. You can always mix rye flour with an organic white flour to ensure that the cake won’t be a disaster and you can add other organic products to the cake such as blueberries or organic goji berries.

Rye flour nutritional benefits

Rye flour is very rich in fibers (especially soluble), proteins, vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, calcium and zinc. Therefore, it is used as a prebiotic to stimulate the growth of good bacteria and hence the digestive system. The fibers slow down the absorption of sugars and it is a good way to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Rye flour is also very low in gluten so it is ideal for people who don’t agree with gluten. It is also advised to prevent cardio-vascular conditions and to boost the immune system.

Organic cocoa butter

Cocoa butter benefits

Cocoa butter naturally occurs in cocoa beans that contain 40% to 50% fats. Cocoa butter, and even better, organic cocoa butter organic cacao butteris very beneficial for the skin. Cocoa butter is one of the most stable natural fat and is an amazing moisturizer that prevents from dehydration and leaves the skin extra smooth, especially for dry skin. It is also efficient for skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema and is one of the main ingredients in creams that are formulated against stretch marks. Organic cocoa butter should be favored because it is free from chemicals, petroleum and preservatives and has been mechanically extracted so it can provide the expected results. Also organic cocoa butter has not been heated so all the beneficial nutrients remain. You can find organic cocoa butter at local health stores or online.

organic cocoa butter creamCocoa butter is found in many organic skin care products such as organic cocoa butter cream but can also be used raw. It has naturally occurring antioxidants and therefore has a shelf life of 2 to 5 years if conserved in a cool and dark place. You can cut a piece of cocoa butter that will sort of melt in your hands and apply it on your face and body, especially on areas that are dry. The texture is very nice and the smell very pleasant.

A truly raw and organic cocoa butter can also be eaten and because it has high content of stearic acid, it actually contributes to lowering cholesterol levels. You cannot cook with cocoa butter though and it should not be used in the pans, only slightly heated to melt it and make chocolate bars (with organic cocoa powder) for example.

Organic evening primrose oil for dry skin

Evening primrose is a plant originating from North- America that has been used by Amerindiens since centuries as a food (the root) and also as a traditional medicine remedy (leaves and seeds) to ease various conditions such as respiratory problems, skin conditions or to heal wounds or bruises thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

In the 18th century, the plant found its way to Europe and in the 20th century, evening primrose started to be widely used for its rich content of essential fatty acids (Omega 6).

Also known under the latin name Œnothera biennis, and the King’s cure-all plant, evening primrose grows from June to September up to 1000 meter high. It is around 1.50 meter and the yellow flowers are made of 4 petals. Evening primrose belongs to the family of Onagraceae. The flower has a very short life span of 24 hours. It opens around nineish in the evening in one minute or so and therefore is also called moon flower.

Roots, leaves and seeds are used in phytotherapy but the most widely used part is the seeds for their high content in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Gamma-linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid scarcely found in nature, only in a few plants such as evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil or spirulina and has anti-inflammatory properties without the side effects of other anti-inflammatory drugs. Evening primrose oil is made from evening primerose seeds.

organic evening primroseOrganic evening primrose oil is recommended for cardiovascular health as it may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is used for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or rheumatism. It also said to alleviate premenstrual syndromes, to boost the immune-system, to have an hepato-protector activity in case of over-consumption of alcohol and even to help in case of hang-overs.

Evening primrose is mainly sold in capsules containing the yellowish thick oil of the seeds but also in bottles. Results are expected to be seen 6 weeks to 3 months after starting taking evening primrose.

As a topical application, evening primrose oil can help to get rid of eczema, acne, skin inflammation (such as rosacea) and even psoriasis. It is a powerful nourishing ingredient for very dry skin and is also used as an anti-aging remedy (internally and externally) thanks to its skin cell-regenerating properties. It smoothers fine lines and wrinkles and gives a better skin elasticity. Evening primrose oil capsules can be used directly on the skin to give it a better looking feel in general. Additionally, an internal treatment should complement the topical use but only under the supervision of a doctor or naturopath. It can be combined or used in alternance with organic borage oil.

Organic evening primrose oil should be favored for the way the plant is grown and processed. Organic farming uses natural fertilizers vs. chemicals to promote the growth of the soil and plant; insects and birds are used to prevent diseases vs. insecticides; crops are used in a rotating manner to avoid the growth of weed vs. the use of herbicides. Organic farming guarantees that the plant itself won’t be contaminated by chemicals that we would innavoidably intake or apply on our skin if it was not the case. However, like for any other organic products, always check the ingredients and the origin of the product to ensure it is truly organic.

Organic cramp bark to release spasms and painful cramps

Organic cramp bark is issued from the Viburnum opulus tree belonging to the Adoxaceae family. The Viburnum opulus tree grows in Europe and Asia and is also called the Snowball tree or European cranberrybush. It grows 2m to 4m high and produces small hermaphrodite white flowers in the summer resembling of a snow ball that transform into small red fruits during the fall. cramp bark fruitsThe fruits are not edible and can even be toxic. What is interesting about this tree is the bark, also called cramp bark for its health properties. The bark is taken during the spring and dried to manufacture cramp bark tincture.

Cramp bark tincture is a very powerful anti-spasmodic that also help muscles to relax and is very useful for muscular cramps, stomach cramps, colon irritation, constipation, asthma and menstrual cramps, the latest being the most common condition for which it is prescribed particularly if the cramps are induced by uterus contractions. Cramps are usually of nervous origin and can be so painful that people often need to rely on anti-spasmodic drugs that can also have pretty harsh side effects but the cramp bark tincture is as effective and natural and will serve as a muscle relaxant.

cramp-bark1 tea spoon 2 or 3 times a day in water during spasms or 2 days before and after menstruation will do the trick and will help relieve the pain but cramp bark should not be taken on a regular basis. It can also be applied topically especially during muscles spasms (for skeleton and smooth muscles) creating back pain.

Organic cramp bark tincture or cramp bark tincture from natural source is better as like with all organic products, it ensures that the product has not been sprayed or mixed with chemicals. You can find organic cramp bark tincture at your local store or online.

Learn about organic products and herbal remedies and buy organic products online including organic cosmetics, organic food, organic essential oils and organic clothes to fit your organic lifestyle.