Green Beauty Review: Affordable Skincare Routine Featuring Blissoma, 100% Pure, Andalou Naturals, & The Wonder Seed

Crunchy Parent Green Beauty Review Affordable Skincare Routine Featuring Blissoma, 100% Pure, Andalou Naturals & The Wonder Seed

As I mentioned last week, new research out of University of California-Berkley has shown just how quickly a person’s chemical body burden can be decreased by swapping out conventional beauty and personal care products for greener, healthier choices. Specifically, researchers found that the detected levels of parabens, triclosan, and phthalates in the urine of a sample of teenage girls plummeted within three days of the girls switching to healthier personal care products. As a mother of two girls (and as a human who presumes that the the research findings likely generalize to other people beyond teenage girls,) these findings only serve to reinforce the importance of choosing healthy products to put on our bodies.

Although research supporting the importance of greener personal care and cosmetic items continues to mount, barriers remain when it comes to the average consumer accessing these products. It can be overwhelming to wade through the sea of “green” or “natural” products, some of which may be relying more on marketing hype and lax regulations than on truly beneficial and effective ingredients to sell products.

In addition, product cost can also deter consumers from viewing green products as accessible. The reality is that quality ingredients are often more expensive than fillers and synthetics. On the plus side, many green beauty brands spend relatively smaller amounts on marketing than their conventional counterparts, which can help to control costs.

I’ve talked before about my commitment to trying to break down barriers to living a greener, healthier, crunchier life. I think that if someone wants to make healthier lifestyle choices, cost should be removed as a barrier. Of course, no amount of money is well spent if the product purchased yields disappointing results. To that end, I want to continue my green beauty reviews today with a focus on an affordable, moderately-priced skincare routine.

Any of these products could be rotated into your regimen as your less green product gets used up, or if you are just looking for a new product to try. I am providing my own experience and opinions here, but I am not a dermatologist, herbalist, cosmetologist, etc. Please check out my video review of the products. Below the video you will find more details about ingredients, product pricing, where to buy, and more.

I’ve listed all of the product ingredients for your review. I have also indicated resources where you can purchase the products, sometimes for even less that the full retail price. Of course, everyone’s skin is different. I have tried to indicate the skin type(s) that each product was designed for. If it’s not a perfect match for you, there may be other similar products in the line better suited for your needs. You can also let me know in the comments what types of products you’d like to see reviewed and I’ll work on addressing them in future posts. If you have moderately priced skincare favorites, please mention those as well.

1. Fresh-Mild Rice Facial Cleanser by Blissoma (4 oz., $31.99) This soap-free cleanser is designed for all skin types. In addition to being 100% natural, the product is vegan and cruelty free.

The real magic in the formulation is due to its ingredients. Julie Longyear, the founder and formulator behind Blissoma, has background in chemistry and a passion for the power of plants to support wellness. A host of botanical infusions and oils combine in the Fresh formulation to gently cleanse, hydrate, balance, and detoxify the skin. Skin-soothing and healing herbs like marshmallow, chickweed, plantain, and chamomile lay the foundation for this nourishing product. Despite its bland appearance, the cleanser smells deliciously fresh and citrusy and leaves skin feeling soft.

See the complete list of ingredients below. I have not been able to find the Fresh cleanser for less than full retail price, but it can be ordered through Amazon with Free Prime shipping and is well worth the retail investment in my opinion.

Infusion of Althea officinalis* (marshmallow), Stellaria media* (chickweed), Plantago major* (plantain), Rosa damascena*, Arthemis nobilis* (chamomile), Glycerin*, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) Oil*, Oryza sativa* (brown rice), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Cocos nucifera (coconut) Oil*, Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernal Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate, Salix alba* (willowbark) extract, Cannabis sativa (hemp) Oil*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Gluconolactone, Echinacea purpurea Extract*, Populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, Essential Oils of Lavandula angustifolia, Litsea Cubeba, Cymbopogon martini (palmarosa), Canarium luzonicum (elemi), Boswellia carterii (frankincense), Vetiveria zizandoides (vetiver), Xanthan Gum, Rosemary Oleoresin Extract, Grain Alcohol*+
essential oils in this product contain: linalool**, geraniol**, limonene**, citral**
*from Certified Organic Agriculture
**natural components of essential oils

2. 100% Pure Jasmine Green Tea Tonique (4 oz., $29.00) After I cleanse my skin, I like to hydrate it with a toner or mist. The Jasmine Green Tea Tonique is intended for normal to dry skin types but is gentle enough for use on all types of skin. The product is 100% natural and vegan. Once again, these labels only give us part of a product’s story, for the full details we have to look at the ingredients. Soothing aloe vera juice and rose hydrosol (LINK) lead the way along with green tea extract and calendula hydrosol. Additional plant ingredients help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, soften and rejuvenate skin. The addition of the wildly popular hyroluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture and appear smoother.

My bottle has a spritz applicator although the current packaging does not. As I mention in the video, the product can either be applied with a cotton pad or cotton ball, or be transferred into a spray bottle if that is your preferred application method.

As of this writing, Amazon is currently selling the product for $28.00 with free shipping. 100% Pure also periodically runs sales through their website which might help you to find the product at a discount. Sign up for email alerts from 100% Pure to be alerted to sales and promotions.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Organic Aloe Juice)*, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (Organic Rose Hydrosol)*, Extracts of Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Leaf*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula Hydrosol) Flower, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf, Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) Flower, Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Hyssopus Officinalis (Hyssop) and Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle), Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine Essential Oil), Hyaluronic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol**, Benzyl Benzoate**, Linalool**
Certified Organic ** Component of Natural Essential Oil

3. 1000 Roses Moroccan Beauty Oil by Andalou Naturals (1 oz., $19.95). I am a huge fan of adding oils to my skincare routine. They give a wonderful boost to my normal-to-dry skin. Individuals with combination-to-oily complexions often focus attention on trying to remove oil from the skin, but stripping the skin of oil can have the opposite effect. The skin’s sebaceous glands can respond by kicking into overdrive, producing even more oil.

Andalou Natural’s 1000 Roses Moroccan Beauty Oil is designed to be gentle enough for sensitive skin. The product is vegan and cruelty-free, in addition to being gluten free and non-GMO certified. As always, I add these certifications as information, but they alone are not guarantees of product quality. The ingredients are the best place to look for clues about product quality and efficacy.

The Moroccan Beauty Oil uses a base of gentle, neutral oils including sunflower oil and jojoba oil. In addition to having many benefits to the skin, these oils are relatively inexpensive, keeping the product cost down. The sunflower and jojoba oils are fortified with a host of other beneficial oils and botanicals including antioxidant-rich rosehip and cranberry oils, as well as pomegranate and argan to help regenerate and balance the skin.

The lightweight oil feels absolutely gorgeous on the skin, and the rich rose scent is lush and beautiful. I love everything about this oil from the packaging and ingredients to the results and the price. The complete ingredients are:

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Rosa Canina (Rosehip), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry), Camelina Sativa, Argania Spinsosa (Argan) and Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oils*, Fruit Stem Cells (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex: [Hyaluronic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Leaf Cell and Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extracts], Sorbitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) and Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos)*^, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) and Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oils*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Oil

Non-GMO verified *Organic ^Fair Trade

You can purchase the product directly from Andalou Naturals. The $19.95 retail price is very affordable relative to many other skin oils. Of course, if you are looking to stretch your green beauty dollar (and who isn’t?), Amazon is selling the oil for $14.49 with free Prime shipping. Vitacost is currently selling the Moroccan Beauty oil for $15.96. Use this link for $10 off your first Vitacost purchase for more savings. The product is even less through Frontier Co-Op’s Wholesale program, although membership is required to purchase at Wholesale prices. For more about Frontier Co-Op, look here.

4. Hemp Facial Cream, English Daisy by The Wonder Seed (2.4 oz., $16.95). This product is also 100% vegan & cruelty free. The formulation is a reasonably lightweight emulsion of water, hemp and grape seed oils, and aloe vera, boosted by many additional botanicals. Hemp seed oil, which serves as the foundation for all of The Wonder Seed’s products, is very rich in essential fatty acids and can help to address various skin issues like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.

I like that the cream absorbs easily and has a gender-neutral scent, owed to the English daisy essential oil. I have encouraged Rich to use it after shaving. I have been using it on my neck and dellecotage in the evenings and anticipate that I will use it even more in the summer months when my skin benefits from a lighter moisturizer. I think that it is a great option for normal, combination, and oily skin types seeking an economical green option. The complete ingredients list can be seen below.

Purified Water (Aqua), Virgin Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Organic Aloe Vera, English Daisy Essential Oil, Organic Green Tea Extract, Glycerin (Vegetable), Behenic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Ginseng Extract, Mandarin White Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sorbitan Stearate (Natural Plant Based), Soybean Oil, Vegetable Glyceryl Stearate (Natural Plant Based), Chamomile Extract, Borage Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Oil Based), Retinyl Palmitate (Natural Plant Based), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Geranium Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Dextrin, Stearyl Alcohol (Natural Plant Based), Lauric Oil Extract, Wolf Berry Extract, Soluble Natural Plant Collagen, Potassium Sorbate (Natural Plant Based), Nutmeg Oil Extract, Sea Salt

This cream seems to be a little-known product at this point. Amazon looked like the most readily-available and fast retail option at $16.95 with free prime shipping.

I love discovering new green beauty products that perform well. I think that the secret is not only avoiding harmful ingredients, but including powerful plant-based ingredients that provide benefits to the skin. As with conventional skin care products, price and performance varies. I hope that the above selections represent a price range that will be accessible to many seeking greener options and will provide a level of performance that is well worth every penny.

To see my other green beauty reviews, take a look here. To discover new products in future reviews, subscribe to Crunchy Parent and the Crunchy Parent YouTube channel, and follow Crunchy Parent at your favorite social media outlet; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. If you have requests or suggestions for future green beauty reviews, please let me know.

All of these products were purchased by me and have been used by me over time with results that I have been pleased with. This post has not been sponsored by any of the brands featured, although it may contain affiliate links.

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Vegan Cuts Beauty Subscription Unboxing & Review: February 2016

Crunchy Parent Vegan Cuts Beauty Box Unboxing & Review February 2016

The Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is a monthly subscription service that sends 4-7 vegan, cruelty-free cosmetic and skincare items in each box. Products are a mix of full and sample sizes. Items are paraben-free and are often organic and natural.

Boxes cost $22.95 per month, which includes U. S. shipping. There are discounts for multi-month subscriptions. I purchased this box and was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own.

If you would like to see the live-action unboxing my February 2016 Vegan Cuts box, please enjoy the video unboxing below. If you prefer to skip right to the product close-ups and details, scroll down past the video.

Each month, Vegan Cuts includes an information card that provides photos, a brief description, and valuing information for all items in the box. The card also included the code FEBBEAUTY for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more at Vegan Cuts Beauty Shop. I think that Vegan Cuts (and their sister subscription company Goddess Provisions) have some of the best looking information cards that I’ve seen.

Vegan cuts beauty subscription February 2016 harvey prince parfum and 100% pure eyeshadow creamstick

The first item that I saw this month was a Harvey Prince Eau de Perfume mini roller in Madagascar Vanilla (8.8 ml, $23.00). Subscribers may have received this scent, or another variety of the Harvey Prince mini rollers. I have received Harvey Prince products from subscription boxes the past. Unfortunately, although I liked the scents that they offered, I tended to get headaches when I used them, which is my typical reaction to artificial fragrances.

In 2015, Harvey Prince re-branded themselves as Harvey Prince Organics. The “Organic” term technically holds no real meaning in the cosmetic industry unless paired with some sort of certification from an established agency. That said, in referencing the rebranding, the Harvey Prince website states,“We take great pride in using only the best essential oils and finest natural ingredients for each note in every scent, with no toxic chemicals still found in many commonly used perfumes.” and “…never compromise our belief that all beauty products should be cruelty free and organic.” Given that information, I am not sure if they have reformulated their products to remove synthetic fragrances. The ingredients still list parfum/fragrance as opposed to essential oils so I’m unclear about how that relates to the above statement about essential oils and finest natural ingredients.

Harvey Prince Eau de Parfum leaked in February Vegan Cuts Beauty Box

As you can see on the video and in the photos, the bottle that I received had leaked significantly during shipping. I reached out the Vegan Cuts through their website and completed a short form about having received a damaged item. Vegan Cuts responded promptly with an offer to send a full replacement box, which I received several days later. I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with this level of customer service.

The next item in the box was one that had been released in the Vegan Cuts preview video for the month; a dual eye creamstick liner from 100% Pure (2.6g, $25.00). Vegan Cuts lists the value of this product as $18.00 on their card, but the product is $25.00 on the 100% Pure site for the same size and colors so I am deferring to that value. Subscribers received one of two color combinations of this dual-purpose product that can be used as an eye-liner or eye shadow. The formulation blends nourishing natural butters and waxes along with sea minerals, minerals, fruit powers, and tea to create these beautiful and natural shades. I typically use powdered mineral eye products, but look forward to trying out this creamstick. The colors are beautiful and very wearable, and I like the idea of a stick application. I often find that despite my steadiest hand, I inevitably drop a speck of mineral powder during application and end up with pigment on my face where it doesn’t belong. I suspect that I will quickly warm up to the ease of application offered in this product.

Vegan Cuts The Wonder Seed Facial Cream and Tara Smith hair serum

The next item to catch my eye was a deluxe sample-sized, pump bottle of Tara Smith Base Coat Serum emblazoned with a bright pink exotic bird (25 ml, $13.00). This serum is designed to smooth and add shine to hair; to control frizz without weighing hair down.

The product is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. The website states, “Every product is free from animal-derived ingredients, parabens, SLES, glycols, phthalates, PEGS, artificial coloring, and synthetic fragrances.” The linked product page as well as the bottle label also boasts botanical ingredients like starflower seed extract and Tegosoft CT coconut oil to smooth and hydrate hair, although I do not see these ingredients listed on the actual product. According to the bottle the ingredients are:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconal, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Borago (Borage) Seed Oil, Fragrance/Parfum, Linalool, Limonene

I’m guessed that the Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride must be the referenced Tegosoft CT coconut oil, but I had to Google to figure out that borage seed oil is code for starflower seed extract. I’m also surprised to see a second product in the box claiming to not use synthetic fragrance but sampling listing fragrance/parfum on the bottle. I know that I always assume that fragrance in an ingredient list means synthetic. I applaud these brands and their conscious movement to select natural ingredients, but I’d love to see it made clearer on the labels (e.g., natural fragrance, essential oil, etc.)

The final item in the box was a full size tube of The Wonder Seed’s Hemp Facial Cream, English Daisy (2.4 oz. $16.95). I had heard of this brand, built around hemp seed as their signature ingredient. I had been eager to try their products so I was excited to see this one included as a sneak peek item for the February box. The facial cream is absolutely packed with botanical ingredients. I couldn’t pick out just a handful of ingredients to highlight, so here they are in full:

Purified Water (Aqua), Virgin Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Organic Aloe Vera, English Daisy Essential Oil, Organic Green Tea Extract, Glycerin (Vegetable), Behenic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Ginseng Extract, Mandarin White Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sorbitan Stearate (Natural Plant Based), Soybean Oil, Vegetable Glyceryl Stearate (Natural Plant Based), Chamomile Extract, Borage Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Oil Based), Retinyl Palmitate (Natural Plant Based), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Geranium Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Dextrin, Stearyl Alcohol (Natural Plant Based), Lauric Oil Extract, Wolf Berry Extract, Soluble Natural Plant Collagen, Potassium Sorbate (Natural Plant Based), Nutmeg Oil Extract, Sea Salt

The cream is also free from gluten, parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, and sulfates in addition to being vegan and cruelty free. I would say that the cream has a clean, almost soap-like scent. It is a lightweight cream that absorbs quickly, yet left my skin feeling noticeably softer and more moisturized. I can see this being a good formulation for me during the spring and summer months. I also might suggest that Rich give it a try. The scent is gender-neutral and I think it would provide a perfect amount of moisture for his skin. The tube is a very generous size at 2.4 oz., especially given the price. I imagine that it will last me a long time.

I was very pleased with this box by Vegan Cuts. I especially liked the well-rounded curation. The box included an item for haircare, skincare, cosmetics, and fragrance. Although I am still a little confused about the synthetic versus natural fragrances used in some of the products, all of the items focused attention on emphasizing more natural ingredients, which is already a step in the right direction. I also need to remind myself that Vegan Cuts is foremost a box for vegan and cruelty-free beauty items. Many of the items also contain natural ingredients, but that is not the primary focus of the box (just a frequent added bonus). Vegan Cuts’ sister company, Goddess Provisions offers a lifestyle box where the beauty items are cruelty-free, vegan, and natural, and I love that box too (see Goddess Provisions reviews here).

The overall value of this month’s box is The value of this month’s box is $77.95. I think that this is an amazing value for the $22.95 box price. I also appreciate that the items were all full size or generous deluxe-sample sizes that will allow me to get a good sense of product performance over an extended period of time. I think that the Wonder Seed cream is my favorite new discovery in the box so far. Did you find a new favorite in this month’s Vegan Cuts? If you would like to see my reviews of past Vegan Cuts Beauty Boxes, look here.

If you are curious to learn about the March Vegan Cuts box, they have released a sneak-peek video that reveals two fantastic spoiler items. Among other items, the box will include a travel size bottle of Dermorganic 8 way Thermal Spray (value $10.00) and a full size rollerball of Pacifica’s new fragrance, Tunisian Jasmine Lime (value $12.00). I love Pacifica rollerballs, and I have been looking forward to trying this new fragrance.

If you would like to see the most recent Crunchy Parent List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes, you can find that here. To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos or reviews, please let me know in the comments.

To keep up with all the Crunchy Parent happenings, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel be sure to subscribe to CrunchyParent.com and the Crunchy Parent YouTube channel and visit me on Facebook Pinterest and Twitter!

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Vegan Cuts Offering Bonus Gift to New Subscribers

Vegan Cuts July 2015 Box + Bonus

Vegan Cuts is one of the many crunchy-friendly subscription box services featured in the Crunchy Parent List of Crunchy-Friendly Subscription Boxes. They source and send quality, 100% cruelty-free cosmetic, skin care, and beauty products. Their products also tend to be low in toxins and contain high-quality, and often organic ingredients. Each month Vegan Cuts sends 4-7 sample and full-sized products for $19.99/month including shipping.

Vegan Cuts has revealed two products for their upcoming July box, the first is an eye shadow trio in one of two palettes (value $10.00) from Pacifica, a brand that I love. The second previewed item is Spring Lavender Hand Cream, from new-to-me brand The Wonder Seed (value $12.95). The cream has amazing all-natural ingredients, including hemp seed, as referenced in the brand’s name. Check out this video to see the previewed items for the Vegan Cuts July box. In addition, they have announced a bonus gift for the first 500 first-time subscribers, a full size Dew Puff Konjac Sponge (value $8.00). Konjac sponges are made from the root of the Konjac plant and offer an all-natural and reusable way to gently exfoliate and soften skin. If you’ve been on the fence about trying this subscription, this may be the perfect time.

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