*I love reading product reviews, so I figured it would be fun to do some of my own! These are my tried-and-true products; I’ve used them all for at least one month, but more often for much longer. Everything is cruelty free [for me to consider a company “cruelty free,” the company and its parent company must have an absolute ban on all forms of animal testing, including third-party testing of ingredients], and I’ll note if there are other feel-good things of note, like being made in the USA or recyclable packaging. I hope I help you find something that works for you!
*I did not receive these items for free, nor was I reimbursed in any fashion.
Original Face Scrub by Bulldog is what I use every other morning. The Bull Dog line is “formulated for men”, but IDGAF. What can be a deal breaker for me when it comes to exfoliants is what the exfoliating bits are made of: synthetic “beads” get into our water system and cause all kinds of nastiness. This scrub uses pumice and coconut shell; give it up for all natural exfoliation! *Crowd goes wild!* Coconut shells can be too rough for some skin, so I don’t recommend this for skin with active blemishes or sensitive skin. The base of this scrub is incredibly moisturizing, which is great for my dry skin.
Bull Dog products are vegan
. A huge plus for me is that on the Bull Dog website they explain what each and every ingredient is and how it is derived. Awesome!
Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Quick Thinking Wipes You guys, these wipes are awesome. I have dry skin, but I could get away with using these and not moisturizing after. Of course, I still do, but it’s nice to know for nights when I just want to fall into bed drunk. #noshame
Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 30 For Face And Neck is my daily facial moisturizer, which I picked because I wanted a moisturizer that had SPF but had the right texture to be worn under makeup. I only look for mineral, rather than synthetic, sunscreen, and this is the first I’ve tried that didn’t leave that funky white cast on my skin. This stuff is awesome. It isn’t thick or greasy, but a little goes a long way and it’s incredibly hydrating. I have very dry skin, and this makes my skin feel perfect for hours. It is a little pricy (about $12 for 2oz), but like I said a little goes a long way. If it was cheaper I’d use it as a night moisturizer too, that’s how much I love it.
My favorite smell is rosemary, and rosemary combined with mint has a great reviving effect. This rosemary mint soap from Ten Thousand Villages has a great smell that doesn’t linger on the skin enough to matter if you use a scented lotion, and it has a creamy lather. Ten Thousand Villages is a great company, that only sells fair trade products, and gives you information about where the products come from. I use this soap with one of those loose-weave, rough-textured shower cloths you can find in a drugstore; it enhances the lather and acts as an exfoliator.
I’ve been using Raw Shea Butter Body Lotion from Shea Moisture for years. It’s a good all-around body lotion, but it also fades the redness out of my stretch marks, and I am completely enamored of the smell. The scent is “Frankincense & Myrrh,” and I have no idea how to explain it. Maybe a sort of herbal woodsiness? I don’t know, but I really dig it. You don’t want to get dressed right after using it, because it needs to sink in, but at the same time it isn’t greasy at all. Shea Moisture uses a lot of certified organic & ethically sourced ingredients.
My favorite kind of shampoo is baby shampoo, but I haven’t found a good cruelty free one yet. This shampoo from Alba Botanica does what I want: detangles, and cleans my scalp but doesn’t strip moisture from my hair. I sometimes pick up a cruelty free baby shampoo to try out, but that’s mostly from habit because this shampoo is great. The bottle is made of 100% recycled material.
This conditioner could stand to be a little thicker, but otherwise I have no complaints. It deals with my thick, very dry hair without product buildup and I like the smell. I do have to make sure I don’t put it on my roots, because it weighs them down and my hair style looks funky with no root volume. I use this daily, and I don’t rinse all of it out before getting out of the shower. When my hair is an especially hot mess, I’ll use twice my normal amount, not rinse it out, and go to bed with my hair in a towel. My hair is crunchy when I wake up, but once I shower my curls are perfectly defined, frizz free, and bouncy. If I were more committed to looking good I guess I could do that every other night, but two or three times a month is my norm. Plus, I don’t want to spend that much on hair product. The bottle is made of 100% recycled material.
Intense Hydration Night Cream
by Yes to Carrots. Not much to say about this, it’s your basic night cream. I don’t know that I’d call it “intense hydration,” but it does a good job of soothing any dry patches I have while not being oily. It’s unscented, but smells to me faintly of cinnamon candy.
African Black Soap Purification Mask Ok, look: I hate the smell of this, and it lingers. I use it at night, because it weighs down my hair, and then I wash my hair in the morning to get rid of the smell. It doesn’t smell bad, mind, it just isn’t my cup of tea. However, it does what it says it will do, and then some. Now and again my scalp gets quite flaky, and this mask takes care of whatever issues are causing the flakes. It also moisturizes my hair phenomenally well even though that’s not its purpose. I slather it on in the shower, massaging it into my scalp, and then rinse it out when I’m done doing everything else in the shower. If you have scalp issues, I highly recommend it, smell not withstanding.
Shea Moisture uses a lot of certified organic & ethically sourced ingredients