I received a little box at my front door. Inside I found a 4 fl oz bottle of Dermagist Detoxifying Cleanser and a 1.7 fl oz tub of Dermagist Clarifying Cream. I started to use them on Thursday, Sept 27 and did my bet to use them both twice a day, as the instructions suggest.

The fact that I’m reviewing this product is actually a little bit funny.  If you know me well or you follow my blog in relative detail you may know that I don’t use much soap, especially big complicated soaps.  I make my own laundry detergent, I use baking soda instead of shampoo and body wash, I sometimes make our toothpaste (not right now though, I dropped the ball in buying more coconut oil).  So.. me.. reviewing a face cleansing system?  I was approached about it and I thought it’d be interesting to try and to do some research about the actual product.

Unfortunately like became absurdly busy since receiving this package so I wasn’t able to do all of the research that I had hoped.  But I did a little bit and I’ll share that with you here. I’ll start off by saying I was disappointed that I could not find a full ingredient list on the Dermagist website. It’s possible that it’s there somewhere but I was unable to find it.

Detoxifying Cleanser
Aqua
Sodium coco sulphate – Basically the same thing as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is something that I avoid completely. Sodium coco sulphate (notice the special way of spelling sulfate differently?!) is less pure than SLS so it doesn’t lather quite as well and some companies seem to be using it because it doesn’t have quite as bad as a rap as SLS and sounds “better”. Coco sounds nice, right? Well SCS and SLS are both made from coconuts but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been linked to eye, skin, liver, and kidney damage.
Cocamidopropyl betaine – Another surfactant derived from coconuts. It is a known skin, eye, and lung irritant. So… good for your face?
Cocamide MEA – Coconuts, again. This actually safe!
Glycolic acid – A fruit acid most often used to remove rust. Pure Glycolic acid in high concentrations is considered to be deadly. The US government considers any product containing more than 10% Glycolic acid to be hazardous. It is commonly used in cosmetics as an exfoliant.
PEG-12 Dimethicone – Can cause cancer and contains toxins that affect reproduction.
PEG-150 Distearate – Can cause allergic reactions.
I’m not going to continue researching but here are the rest of the ingredients:
Glycol distearate
Pichia/resveratrol ferment extract
Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)
Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract
Aloe Vera leaf extract
Citrus Tangerino oil
citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fragrance
ammonium hydroxide
phenoxyetheanol
Potassium sorbate

Clarifying Cream
Aqua
Cetearyl olivate – Generally considered safe. Has never been found in any human tissue.
Sorbitan olivate – This is a relatively new chemical. It is derived from olive oil and is generally considered to be safe.
Isopropyl palmitate – Again derived from coconut. This is used in many products as it helps to moisturize. It has been known to cause acne, black heads and white heads when used in excess. A little odd wouldn’t you say?
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin c) – A powerful antioxidant.
Stopping my research here but the rest of the ingredients listed are as follows:
Cetearyl alcohol
Glycerine
Niaciamide
Pichia/resveratrol ferment extract
Tocopheryl acetate
Sclerotium gum
Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fragrance
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate
Phenoxyethanol
Caprylyl glycol

Regardless of how you feel about the chemicals and possible side effects I just listed I honestly wouldn’t recommend purchasing this product. It’s possible that my skin didn’t react overly well to it because I went from basically rarely washing my face and rarely using soap to using this.

What was my experience?

Both the cleanser and the cream were easy to apply.

I did not at all enjoy the smell of the cleanser so I was less than motivated to keep using it. The cleanser was creamy and didn’t lather too much, which I prefer. It didn’t sting my eyes or leave my skin feeling too dry.

The cream went on well and felt very full of moisture. It did not leave my face feeling like it had a sticky or dry film on it after applying, which I’ve found happens with many facial lotions.

After using both products per manufacturers instructions I found myself with one of the worst pimples I’ve had in a long time. A giant gross and painful whitehead. Not to mention other smaller pimples in various places across my face. I also saw no reduction in any facial scaring, but that could be because I was distracted by the pimples.

The products have a few great reviews on the Dermagist website so it’s possible that my experience was unusual but regardless of the effectiveness of these products I do not recommend them due to the list of the ingredients that I have shared with you. I assume if I kept doing research on the additional ingredients that I didn’t get to I would uncover additional information that wouldn’t sit well with me. But if I didn’t I still won’t use SCS or SLS on my skin or the skin of my family. And the contradictory ingredients in the cream seems somewhat shady to me.

I wanted to like this product. I wanted to find something safe and effective to help out with acne prone skin. But I didn’t find that in Dermagist Detoxifying Cleanser and Dermagist Clarifying Cream. I was prepared to offer a giveaway of this product but I can’t bring myself to giveaway a product that didn’t work well for me and that I will not willingly apply to my own skin.

If you’re still interested though, this set can be purchased for $89.99.

I was not paid for reviewing this product or writing this review. I was given Dermagist products free of charge for the purpose of this review.

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quickpickle

I cannot adequately express to you how many tomatoes we had from our garden this year nor the emotions those tomatoes brought forth. When I noticed there were too many tomato plants growing what did I do? I allowed them all to grow. When I noticed that I’d have 1,000,000,005 tomatoes this year what did I do? I picked every single one. I hate wasting when I grow. So that has left me in somewhat of a panic trying to figure out what to do with all of the tomatoes.

I experienced some wonderful picked vegetables at my CSA’s Chef-in-the-Box demonstration. I immediately thought it’d be a good way to use some of my tomatoes but immediately forgot the quick pickle process right after I asked. Oops.

After some searching online I found a few ideas and modified a few things. I had to remove the sugar and increase amounts as I’m dealing with large volumes of tomatoes here. Seriously.

So here it is… a super simple and quick pickle recipe for tiny tomatoes. It’s easy, yummy, versatiles, and has a bit of a kick!

You’ll need:
1 1/2 c raw apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 c water
8 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
24 oz small tomatoes (cherry, pear, or grape)
1/4 c fresh chopped dill
4 medium thinly sliced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

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Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.

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Combine apple cider vinegar, water, kosher salt, maple syrup, and lemon juice and heat until salt is dissolved. Set aside and let cool for 25 minutes.

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Cut the tomatoes in half and put in a large bowl.

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Add the dill, garlic, red pepper flakes and mix.

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Put the mixture into whatever container you plan to use. This recipe fits perfectly into three mason jars.

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Cover the tomatoes with the cider vinegar mixture and let sit open for a few hours.

Refrigerate for up to three weeks and use however you wish!

Some suggestions for use:
As a side
On top of a salad
On chips or crackers, along with sour cream (would be a great hors d’oeuvre or snack for guests)
Give as a hostess gift

Last weekend I photographed a lovely wedding in downtown Minneapolis. Unfortunately the weather made the day a bit more difficult but the wedding, portrait time, and reception, were all perfect.

Here are a few of my favorite photos (sorry about the weird formatting/frames, I pulled this from my frost on flower blogger):

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Posting to Instagram. :) My favorite couple yet.
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The bride is a school bus driver.
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So we got a few shots of her in the driver’s seat of one of the shuttle buses.
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A big wedding party but I managed to squeeze them all in.
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Mr. Bridesmaid didn’t really like to smile.
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A lot of thought when into which pair of shoes the bride would wear.
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Groom & Officant
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Some goofy stuff.
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Some normal stuff.
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Overall it was a ton of fun.
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We did some jumping photos by the Stone Arch Bridge.
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I wish I could have stayed to enjoy one of these!
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I absolutely loved the bride’s bouquet.
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Congratulations!!! :)

I’ve been meaning to make granola for months and months and months. I’ve seen many more granola recipes pinned on Pinterest lately – I assume partly due to the cooler weather and a desire for us to use our ovens and due to an increase in anything that can be made with pumpkin.

pumpkingranola

This was easy, pumpkiny, and yummy.

What you’ll need:
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or chopped not of your choice)
1/2 cup raisins (or dried berry of your choice)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
1/4 cup (heaping) pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch or more of:
nutmeg
cinnamon
allspice
cloves
sea salt

Preheat your oven to 325 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (because that makes making almost everything a million times easier), spread out the oats and the quinoa and toast for 10-15 minutes, stirring it every 5 minutes or so.

In a blow combine the flaxseed, pecans, and raisins. When the oats and quinoa are finished add them to the bowl and toss. Reduce the oven to 300 F.

In a smaller bowl combine the maple syrup, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Mix this together and pour it over the dry mixture.

Spread this over the same parchment paper lined baking sheet (because wasting parchment paper is silly) and cook for 35 minutes.

See how simple that is? :)

Have you made your own granola? I can’t believe I’m only just doing it now. Olive really likes it, which is great seeing as there are so many good things crammed in there (oat, quinoa, flax, oh my!).

Welcome to the second installment of Forty Chore Friday. I wonder if anyone will join me in this. I guess I kind of doubt it because 40 chores are kind of a lot. And it’s Friday. But maybe someone else will understand my reasoning and find that they feel the same. :)

Here is my list:

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I failed at grocery shopping earlier in this week and have to do it today, unfortunately. So I got a head start on a few of these things yesterday when I realized my problem. Stopping at the Farmer’s Market AND the Co-op usually knocks out the entire first part of our day.

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