I’m one of those women who will empty out her wallet for a really good beauty product. I get caught up in the fancy packaging and the “new and improved” labels and end up with a medicine cabinet full of overpriced potions, all guaranteed to keep me cute. While I have my beauty staples, I do enjoy trying new products. My go-to trick used to be sampling things while on vacation with my girls. I’d test out their beauty picks from their suitcases and come home with some new ideas. Thanks friends. ;-)
But I admit, although I love the instant perks of today's beauty products, I'm guilty of not considering the long-term effects. There's so much information out there about the harmful effects of the toxins in some of these beauty lines and if we read it all we might consider giving up our beloved products all together. Just kidding, I need my beauty junk. But how do I even begin to figure out the best organic products for me?
The answer may very well be Bare Bliss Box, an online subscription service that lets you to sample some of the best organic, vegan and toxin free beauty products. Every month (or every 3 or 6 months if you prefer) they ship you a Bare Bliss Box straight to your front door. Each box has 4-6 products curated especially for you and designed to “change your body and enhance your life.” Each month the folks at Bare Bliss switch up their roster of featured brand partners and they kindly let me try it out this past January.
I had decided to go on a little getaway to Cabo for my birthday, so I threw the box into my suitcase and took it with me on my trip. When I arrived, I cracked it open and was surprised to find a little welcome note from the founder of Bare Bliss Box, Shelli Price. Along with the note, there was an array of goodies for me to try.
One of my faves was the crème deodorant by Pura Bella. I had been looking for a natural deodorant for a while – one that wouldn't leave me funky by lunchtime. Pura Bella has a unique application for its deodorant -- you rub it together between your fingers to warm and then apply under your arm. It kept me feeling fresh and dry all day and I loved the scent. Also in the box was Simplicity Cosmetics “Moth” Eye Shadow, which went on smoothly and stayed in place as I toured the city. Excessive makeup is a little unnecessary in the Cabo sun, so the only other makeup I wore during vacation was Southern Magnolia’s Sun Kiss Bronzer which helped to highlight my tan, but felt light.
Other fun items in the box were Yogi Cinnamon and Vanilla Healthy Skin and Skin De Tox tea and Adorn nail polish. I happily sipped my organic tea and painted my nails with my all-natural nail polish while on vacay. Weleda’s Pomegrante Regenerating Body Lotion was another big hit. I loved the fruity scent and my skin felt super moisturized after use. I wasn't a big fan of the Kosmatology’s Lotion Bar (and neither was my skin) but that’s the beauty of it! You get another set of products to try next month.
What was interesting to me about the Bare Bliss Box is that beyond a sampling service it serves as a platform for green beauty brands to promote their products. I had heard of brands like Weleda and Yogi before, but others were new to me. This is something I definitely would try again to see what other mix of items I get - sort of like a surprise gift to myself. If you're thinking of going green with your beauty products, stop by bareblissbox.com and subscribe to start getting your beauty by mail.
Many of us have heard that we ought to buy certified organic berries, kale, and fuzzy fruits (remember the dirty dozen?), over conventionally grown counterparts to avoid eating genetically modified or pesticide-laden plant products (the list is updated every year; check out the new one here). The label, organic, has become synonymous with being the better option for selecting produce and other groceries. At what point, however, did it become a catch-all term for everything associated with being healthy?
I know, I know, organic fruits and vegetables are healthy. What I’m talking about, though, are the certified organic meats, cheeses, sugary cereals, and cookies. I’ve overheard some people say in the cookie aisle, “this one’s organic, so I’m gonna get it cuz it’s healthy.” (You can also insert gluten-free or vegan, in place of organic.)
Sadly,these foods are not necessarily healthy (yes, meats, cheeses, and dark chocolate, in small portions can have health benefits, but read: small portions). You can’t eat as much as you want simply because the food is organic.
The organic label means that a product is a better option over the conventionally grown/raised food. It’s a good guide for avoiding unwanted pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that may leach into your food, unbeknownst to you. Some research has indicated that organically grown and raised produce and meats have greater nutritional value because they have not been genetically modified. And organically raised animals are fed a healthier diet and are often raised under healthier conditions (not in cages or pumped with steroids or other meds). However, there are other studies that suggest that there is not a significant difference between conventional and organic foods. The Organic Trade Association took a look at the major studies that compared the nutritional value of organic versus conventional produce, and concluding... that more studies need to be conducted. But take a look at their report, and form your own opinions.
If avoiding chemicals in your food is your aim, then stick to organic foods -- if your pocketbook permits it -- otherwise, refer to the list of dirty dozen produce items that you should buy organic and go conventional with anything else. To ensure you don’t gain a few extra pounds, use good judgment and remember that the organic label isn’t a green light to eat as much as you want. Moderation is always the best policy.