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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.

A week or so ago I received my second VoxBox from Influenster. This one has a “natural” theme and was more more useful for me than the first which had a “love” theme and included chocolates, fake nail color things, and other crazy stuff.

This box contained seven products:
The Original Dish Drying Mat $4.99
LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer $2.81 to $2.99
EBOOST $28 to $39
CleanWell Individual Hand Sanitizer Wipes $29.99
GEODEO $5.99
NECTRESSE $3.99 to $6.99
SheaMoisture Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Baby Bar Soap $4.99

The Original Dish Drying Mat

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I was immediately excited to use The Original Dish Drying Mat. It’s a layer of foam surrounded by microfiber and is mean to soak up all of the water that drips off of your dishes. Think big dishes washing loads and laying all of the dishes out on towels. For some reason kitchen towels are never overly absorbent so that is usually not very useful. I started using the mat right away and while I do like it I am happy that I didn’t actually purchase it.

We have little counter space in our kitchen so I’ve been setting the dish strainer on top of the left basin of our sink. Not ideal but it works. With the The Original Dish Drying Mat I thought I could go back to putting the dishes on the counter and simply put the mat away when finished – its way easier to put away than I an entire dish rack thing.

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We don’t have a dishwasher so I’m constantly hand washing dishes. This has caused the The Original Dish Drying Mat to constantly be wet. I try to let it hang up to air dry overnight but sometimes its still wet in the morning. I’m concerned about mildew but so far it’s been fine. It is machine washable but I don’t want to have to regularly wash it.. that probably makes it more inconvenient than convenient.

So… I like the product but don’t run out to get one unless you really see how it will fit into your routine.

LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer

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The tube is a little bulky but overall I really like this product. It’s made of pure beeswax, organic shea butter, and vitamins A and E. Instead of rotating the bottom to move the stick upward it has a little bee on the side that you push up. Cute, no?! I was concerned the bee would get pushed up in my pocket but so far this hasn’t happened, thankfully.

EBOOST

EBOOST is a powder (or shot) that is supposed to “boost” your mood, focus, and immunity. It claims to be “all natural” and comes in different flavors. I’m not really into things like this. I’ll drink water. And eat a banana. And I only got one so it’s hard to try it and actually gauge if it made you feel any different.

CleanWell Individual Hand Sanitizer Wipes

I’m sort of against hand sanitizer unless it’s a dire situation. I saw a funny thing the other day: “The first ingredient in hand sanitizer is paranoia.” HA. I’m sure you’ve heard… we over sanitize. For the most part bacteria is good. The world is filled with it. We NEED it. So I don’t want to kill it all. When in doubt… wash your hands. It should absolutely be the priority over hand sanitizing.

Only one little wipe was included in the box so it’s kind of hard to accurately tell you what I think, especially since I don’t even really want to use it in the first place. But if you need hand sanitizer this stuff is pretty mild and the ingredients are “all natural”.

GEODEO

I was really excited to find deodorante in the VoxBox. I use a natural deodorant that I like, has a subtle smell, and works well for me. Though I can go easily without deodorant so I’m not the best judge. I was excited because I’ve been making deodorante for Tyler but I guess he isn’t really enjoying it as much as I would have hoped. So when I saw the GEODO Natural Deodorant Plus Detox Complex in the box I thought it’d be great for him to try! But it’s super feminine smelling. We don’t use many fragranced things so I was pretty turned off by the smell – it isn’t terrible it’s just sort of strong. Though it’s worked great for me thus far.. so if you’re used to smells I’d say give it a try. It claims to be naturally-derived and specially formulated to be safe for your body and the world.

NECTRESSE

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Eww. I’ll start by saying that I don’t like stevia and I don’t like Truvia. I wasn’t at all expecting to like NECTRESSE. I was only given two small packets in the box, which was disappointing. I don’t sweeten my coffee anymore and I am only likely to use sweetener while baking but two packets is not enough for that. So I put some in my coffee this morning and… I couldn’t finish my coffee. I just don’t like the taste.

But if you like stevia and Truvia it’s worth a try. NECTRESSE has no calories per tiny serving and is 100% natural – it is made from monk fruit and is also combined with other natural sweeteners. I wish I had more information about exactly how is was made and where monk fruit comes from. I could look that up.. but I don’t really want to. The first ingredient is Erythritol, the second is sugar, and the fourth is molasses. So… you decide. Just a friendly reminder to look at labels and use your brain. The cute little packet says “MADE FROM MONK FRUIT” all big and nice… but it seems more like a conglomerate of sweeteners made WITH some monk fruit all in the name of Splenda jumping on the natural sweeteners bandwagon.

Personally, I prefer maple syrup and honey. They’re pretty simple.

SheaMoisture Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Baby Bar Soap

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So… seeing as how I don’t really use soap… I don’t have much to say about this. Tyler switched it out with our natural aloe bar though, so I think he likes it. It says “baby” but it isn’t just for babies… like most “baby” products. The soap contains sea butter, argan oil, chamomile extract, frankincense, and myrrh. It is sulfate free and super safe. It claims to sooth inflammation, irritation, and itching associated with eczema. I’m all about finding something somewhat natural to combat those things, or anything really. So if you need to clean your face or you are bothered by any of those things I just mentioned, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try.

Do you have a baby?  Are you expecting a baby?  Do you know a baby?  Are you a baby?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above.. this post is for you!  :)

Tonight I’m going to be sharing with you our family’s experience with a Baltic amber teething necklace from the Etsy shop Amber for Sale.

Check out their Etsy shop or their website if you get a chance!

AFS Banner

:: About Amber for Sale ::

They are located in Riga, Latvia and sell teething necklaces made of 100% natural Baltic sea amber. They use AAA class jewelry grade raw amber material. They carry many shades of amber beads in both traditional and contemporary designs as well as different shapes. They sell worldwide. “If you like amber jewelry and want to buy a gift for your teething baby then you are in the right place. Browse through our site and see what you like.”

:: About Baltic Amber ::

Amber is not produced from tree sap, but rather from plant resin. Amber is the ancient resin of trees. The resin has gone through a number of changes over millions of years. The result of this metamorphosis is an exceptional gem with extraordinary properties. It is exploited and used by both craftsmen and scientist. Amber, which is in fact a fossil, is often held in the same class as semi-precious stones such as turquoise and jade because of its ornamental uses. Unlike these stones, amber is not mineralized. Rather, it is simple the fossil of resin, or tree sap.

Although considered a gem, amber is a wholly-organic material derived from the resin of extinct species of trees.

In the dense forests of the Middle Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, between 10 and 100 million years ago, these resin-bearing trees fell and were carried by rivers to coastal regions. There, the trees and their resins became covered with sediment, and over millions of years the resin hardened into amber. Although many amber deposits remain in ocean residue, geological events often repositioned the amber elsewhere.

Amber can be found on the shores of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The main producer of amber worldwide is Russia. In fact about 90% of the world’s available amber is located in the Kaliningrad region of Russia, which is located on the Baltic. Here, amber is washed up on the coast after being dislodged from the ocean floor by years of water and ocean currents. Amber can also be found in the forests of Ukraine. Ukranian amber, which is found within the marshy forest floor in the area surrounding the Volhyn-Polesie border, is prized for its wide range of tones and colors.

Amber is still widely used in jewelry and ornament today. Many jewelers who create stately designs enjoy working with amber because such large pieces are available. Furthermore, amber is significantly less expensive than gemstones. Because of the color range within amber, a necklace made of amber beads can include a stunning arrangement of tones and hues.

To learn more about Baltic amber click here.

The active ingredient in Baltic amber is succinic acid, which was analysed by the pioneer of modern bacteriology and Nobel-prize winner Robert Koch (1886). He confirmed its positive influences and discovered that there is no risk of the accumulation of surplus amounts of succinic acid in the human organism. Recent scientific research has also proved that succinic acid has a very positive influence on the human organism, iIt strengthens the body, improves immunity, the course of energy-related processes and the balance of acids. Current research shows that the micronization of amber improves its assimilation by the stress-weakened organism of the contemporary man. The unfavorable environmental conditions prevailing today block the natural flow of energy-related processes in cells. Blocks affect cellular metabolism and significantly weaken the immune system, but the natural energy of amber is able to stimulate its renewal.

For more frequently asked questions about using Baltic amber for teething click here.

:: Our Thoughts & Experiences ::

Olive and I were sitting on the front step waiting for my husband to get home from work when the mailman passed by and handed us this package. We opened it immediately and I put it right on Olive!

I was able to choose which necklace I wanted for Olive. I love the contrast between the light and dark beads on this necklace!

It’s just over 12 inches long.

When Olive began wearing a Baltic amber teething necklace (at 5.5 months old) there were no visible signs that she was teething. At around 3 months of age Olive had a few tips of teeth peeking through her gums that were not giving her any trouble but they had since disappeared. I can say that, as of today (at 7.5 months old), Olive has two teeth! The bottom center right tooth came in first and is nearly all the way in and the other bottom center tooth to the left of the first one broke through about a week ago. There have been a few times that Olive has suddenly become upset and was nearly inconsolable for some reason that we were unable to figure out. After giving her a little bit of gripe water she was able to calm down. It’s possible that these few difficult times were due to teething pain. But overall it seems that Olive has had very little pain during the process of cutting her first tooth and I have seen virtually no swelling of her gums. Olive has bouts of significant drooling during the teething process but it rarely lasts an entire day. She continues to mouth numerous objects but I think she’s been doing that consistently since gaining decent hand coordination. :)

When Olive’s second tooth was coming close to breaking through the skin I could tell for a few days prior that it would be happening soon.. I could see the tooth getting closer and closer to the surface. And then one morning there it was! There were no signs during those couple of days that Olive was having an increase in pain or swelling or any other typical symptoms (save for drooling). That’s amazing!

But unfortunately I cannot ask Olive for her opinions for the purpose of this review so I can only tell you that during the appearance of her first two teeth Olive seemed to be in little to no pain.

In an effort to come up with a little more content for this review I began wearing Olive’s teething necklace around my ankle at night. You see, I have rheumatoid arthritis and my joins, specifically my ankles, are extremely stiff in the morning. I am happy to report that my ankles were noticeably less stiff on the mornings that I wore the necklace to bed! My ankles were still not as flexible and limber as normal ankles but were significantly better than the way they had been recently. I wore it on my ankle on and off so as to avoid any sort of placebo effect I may be experiencing. It came to a point that I couldn’t really remember if I had it on or not upon waking so I judged the stiffness of my ankles before looking down! After not wearing the necklace to bed for a few nights in a row the significant stiffness returned, leaving me hobbling into the hallway like an old woman.

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Note: Amber teething necklaces are not recommended for chewing on. Olive is just too grabby and can’t resist sometimes. I typically keep it between her clothing and her skin (as it works best when as much surface area of the beads is touching the skin as possible).

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Note: Amber teething necklaces should be worn directly on the skin – the necklaces is on top of Olive’s clothing for the purpose of these photos.

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Clearly Olive loves her necklace. :)

:: Conclusion ::

I am a firm believer in natural and homeopathic strategies for ailments of all kinds. I would rather take time to explore those options before jumping to a more medical approach or conclusion, depending on the situation at hand. For teething pain and discomfort I hope to explore various strategies for Olive and I to use before jumping into the world of meds. Hopefully it won’t get to that point and we’ll find safe and natural ways to ease any discomfort she may have. So do I recommend you try a baltic amber teething necklace? Yes, I do! It doesn’t hurt and it’s better than unnatural meds so I 100% support it. The necklaces may not work for every baby but it is worth the try! My personal experiences with decreased ankle stiffness in the morning makes me support the use of amber even more! For around $20 you’d be silly not to try!

:: GIVEAWAY!!! ::

Would you like to try a Baltic amber teething necklace? One lucky reader can win a necklace of their choice from Amber for Sale! You can use the necklace for your own little one or win it as a gift for a friend!
To enter visit Amber for Sale’s Etsy shop and come back here and leave a comment telling me which teething necklace you would choose if you won.
For additional entries do any or all of the following & leave a comment for each:
~ “Heart” Amber for Sale on Etsy
~ Subscribe to this blog or follow via a reader
~ Follow @bymyelf http://twitter.com/#!/bymyelf
~ “Like” my photography Facebook page
~ Tweet about this giveaway & include @bymyelf in your tweet
~ Blog about this giveaway (leave a link for me to see)
This giveaway is open to all! The winner will be chosen via random.org in the evening on Monday, October 10th

** I was provided an amber teething necklace free of charge for the purpose of this review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review – all opinions stated are completely my own. **

I am so excited to share with you today our experience with an amber teething necklace from Amber Artisans!

Feel free to stop by their Etsy shop and their website.

:: About Amber Artisans ::

Amber Artisans is located in Lithuania which is home to natural Baltic Amber.  Each piece of amber comes straight from the Baltic Sea and is polished by hand and carefully molded into pieces such as teething necklaces, bracelets, healing necklaces, and more!  “We our passionate about Baltic amber…it is in our blood; it is our destiny and the source of our livelihood. We are obsessed with amber’s history, beauty, mythology and the amazing healing properties that only natural Baltic amber possesses.”

:: About Baltic Amber ::

One of the most significant uses of Baltic amber is to reduce inflammation.  It is also said to stimulate to thyroid glands and accelerate our natural immune system (via inflammation reduction).  It is a useful non-medical tool for things such as teething and arthritis.  The amber is actually a fossil that is quite old.  It is the resin from pine trees which grew in Europe.  Specifically it is 79% carbon, 10.5% hydrogen and 10.5% oxygen.  The amber releases succinic acid and that is absorbed into skin that comes into contact with the beads.

The following excerpt was taken from Amber Artisan’s teething FAQ page.
The active ingredient in Baltic amber is succinic acid, which was analysed by the pioneer of modern bacteriology and Nobel-prize winner Robert Koch (1886). He confirmed its positive influences and discovered that there is no risk of the accumulation of surplus amounts of succinic acid in the human organism. Recent scientific research has also proved that succinic acid has a very positive influence on the human organism, iIt strengthens the body, improves immunity, the course of energy-related processes and the balance of acids. Current research shows that the micronization of amber improves its assimilation by the stress-weakened organism of the contemporary man. The unfavorable environmental conditions prevailing today block the natural flow of energy-related processes in cells. Blocks affect cellular metabolism and significantly weaken the immune system, but the natural energy of amber is able to stimulate its renewal.

For more information about the benefits of using Baltic amber during teething visit Amber Artisan’s teething FAQ page.

:: Our Thoughts & Experiences ::

I picked up this very well packaged necklace from the post office as I was gone when the mailman attempted delivery and the package required a signature. After getting back into our car I opened it immediately and put it on Olive. I was very impressed by the care of the packaging and I love the little pouch that it came in.

The necklace that I was given is a wonderful light amber color and it is approximately 13″ long.


When Olive began wearing the necklace about a month ago (at 5.5 months old) there were no visible signs that she was teething. At around 3 months of age Olive had a few tips of teeth peeking through her gums that were not giving her any trouble but they had since disappeared. I can say that, as of today (at nearly 7 months old), Olive has the entire top ridge of a bottom tooth showing as well as the tips of a few more. There have been a few times over the past month that Olive has suddenly become upset and was nearly inconsolable for some reason that we were unable to figure out. After giving her a little bit of gripe water she was able to calm down. It’s possible that these few difficult times were due to teething pain. But overall it seems that Olive has had very little pain during the process of cutting her first tooth and I have seen virtually no swelling of her gums.  (While in the midst of writing this review Olive has begun showing additional signs of teething – increased drooling & mouthing of objects, as well as more fussiness than usual.)

Unfortunately I cannot ask Olive for her opinions for the purpose of this review so I can only tell you that for her first teething experience Olive seemed to be in little to no pain.

In an effort to come up with a little more content for this review I began wearing Olive’s teething necklace around my ankle at night. You see, I have rheumatoid arthritis and my joins, specifically my ankles, are extremely stiff in the morning. I am happy to report that my ankles were noticeably less stiff on the mornings that I wore the necklace to bed! My ankles were still not as flexible and limber as normal ankles but were significantly better than the way they had been recently. I wore it on my ankle on and off so as to avoid any sort of placebo effect I may be experiencing. It came to a point that I couldn’t really remember if I had it on or not upon waking so I judged the stiffness of my ankles before looking down!  After not wearing the necklace to bed for a few nights in a row the significant stiffness returned, leaving me hobbling into the hallway like an old woman.


Note: Amber teething necklaces should be worn directly on the skin – the necklaces is on top of Olive’s clothing for the purpose of these photos.



Note: Amber teething necklaces are not recommended for chewing on. Olive is just too grabby and can’t resist sometimes. I typically keep it between her clothing and her skin (as it works best when as much surface area of the beads is touching the skin as possible).

:: Conclusion ::

I am a firm believer in natural and homeopathic strategies for ailments of all kinds.  I would rather take time to explore those options before jumping to a more medical approach or conclusion, depending on the situation at hand.  For teething pain and discomfort I hope to explore various strategies for Olive and I to use before jumping into the world of meds.  Hopefully it won’t get to that point and we’ll find safe and natural ways to ease any discomfort she may have.  So do I recommend you try a baltic amber teething necklace?  Yes, I do!  It doesn’t hurt and it’s better than unnatural meds so I 100% support it.  The necklaces may not work for every baby but it is worth the try!  My personal experiences with decreased ankle stiffness in the morning makes me support the use of amber even more!  For around $20 you’d be silly not to try!

:: GIVEAWAY!!! ::

Would you like to try a Baltic amber teething necklace?  One lucky reader can win a necklace of their choice from Amber Artisans!  You can use the necklace for your own little one or win it as a gift for a friend!
To enter visit Amber Artisan’s Etsy shop and come back here and leave a comment telling me which teething necklace you would choose if you won.
For additional entries do any or all of the following & leave a comment for each:
~ “Heart” Amber Artisans on Etsy
~ Subscribe to this blog or follow via a reader
~ Follow @bymyelf on twitter
~ “Like” my photography Facebook page
~ Tweet about this giveaway & include @bymyelf in your tweet
~ Blog about this giveaway (leave a link for me to see)
This giveaway is open to all!  The winner will be chosen via random.org in the evening on Friday, September 23rd

 

** I was provided an amber teething necklace free of charge for the purpose of this review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review – all opinions stated are completely my own. **

I have to apologize for taking so long to get to this post – things have been hectic around here and a switch to a new computer and being without internet for two weeks really slowed me down! I’m sure you understand and will forgive me. :)

I was approached by a Swanson employee about doing another product review and I jumped at the idea. It was wonderful timing as my husband and I were nearly out of our vitamins so we decided to try something new. I also got one stick of chap stick since I had a little left to spend after the vitamins. :)

In the past we both used whatever cheap vitamins I could find at whatever store I happened to be shopping at at the time. Our last batch of vitamins were purchased quite a while ago and since then we’ve started shopping at local co-ops almost exclusively. I buy most of our hygiene products from Swanson because the prices are significantly better than the co-op (or “regular” stores for that matter). I had briefly glanced at the vitamin selections when shopping and was taken aback by the prices. If I were to stock up on our vitamins I would surely use our entire grocery budget on two bottles of vitamins, a gallon of milk, and a potato.

For myself I chose Nature’s Way Completia Prenatal Vitamins. No, we’re not having another baby. I’m taking them because I’m nursing so it keeps me stocked with extra important vitamins for both myself and for Olive.

The actual vitamins are a little large and a serving size is two tablets. I typically dislike taking any sort of pill (usually because of the size) but I do my best with prenatals as I know they’re important. While these are large (which always bothers me) they seem comparable in size to other prenatal vitamins that I have tried so I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, but I suppose it’s not a good thing either.

However the vitamins have a rather unfortunate smell. It only bothers me slightly right now but I can imagine that the smell may bother a pregnant woman immensely so I would have to suggest not purchasing these vitamins if you’re sensitive to smells during your pregnancy.  If the vitamin smell doesn’t bother you then go right ahead and order yourself a bottle!  :)  They’re a wonderful addition to my morning routine and make me feel great!  There is no yucky vitamin feeling on an empty tummy either.

Some of my favorite features of these vitamins are that they do not contain preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, yeast, milk, lactose, wheat, or corn. The bottle contains 120 tablets making it a 60 day supply and costs $9.78 (retail is $16.99). Click on the image below to see the nutrition information in more detail.

For my husband I ordered Country Life Core Daily 1 Multivitamins for men.

These vitamins were attractive to me for multiple reasons but primarily the prostate health components sold me. They contain saw palmetto, pygeum, lycopene, and pumpkin seed for prostate health which is important to me because prostate cancer has crept up in both of our families. Another selling point is that it contains probiotics and enzymes for healthy digestion which I was hoping would help my husband’s occasional tummy upsets. In addition it’s base is comprised of whole, raw, fermented fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, and sprouts! And it does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. And while it is not important to us the vitamins do not contain wheat or gluten.

The bottle contains 60 tablets and a serving size is only 1 making the bottle a 60 day supply. It costs $9.20 and retails for $19.99.

He hasn’t given me too much information about the vitamins, it’s a little harder to have things to say about a vitamin than a bottle of lotion, but from what I can tell he likes them! Taking only one pill a day is very convenient, they don’t have a noticeable smell or taste, and the benefits are plentiful.

Click on the image below to see the nutrition information in more detail.

For myself I threw in a Naturally Fresh MoistStic with Tea Tree Oil. This little chap stick has only six ingredients and they’re so simple and easy to pronounce! :) Coconut oil, beeswax, lanolin, peppermint oil, vitamin E, and tea tree oil! I am particularly picky about products that go on my skin and lips and in my mouth because inevitably it is ingested by us and by our baby whom currently likes to explore our mouths with her fingers and whom we kiss quite frequently. I feel safe putting this product on my lips and it works great! The peppermint oil is so refreshing – I absolutely love it and for only $1.98 I highly suggest you try it, too!  :)

Once again I only have positive things to say about the new products that I have tried from Swanson Health Products. I encourage you to try them out if you haven’t already! Shipping is FAST and it costs $4.99 (but it’s usually pretty easy to find a coupon code for $1.99). In fact, if you use code DONTWAIT at www.swansonvitamins.com you can take 10% off of your entire order AND get $1.99 shipping! The code is good until midnight CDT 9/13/11. Enjoy! :) And thanks again Swanson for the great deals and the chance to try out even more of what you have to offer! :)

Last week I received new nursing pads from a shop on etsy called Young Blood for the purpose of this review!
I received the two patterns pictured below.



Let me tell you a little bit about Young Blood nursing pads:
– They’re constructed of 4 layers of super soft 100% cotton flannel, 1 layer of polyurethane laminate so you don’t leak, and a pretty 100% cotton outer layer.
– They’re about 4.25″ in diameter.
– They’re pretty! There are many different patterns offered.
– They’re machine washable.
– They’re only $3.50 a pair!!!

And let me tell you a little bit about Jenny, from Young Blood:
Jenny has a BFA in fibers/textile design from the Savannah College of Art & Design (I wish I had one of those!) and she’s at work at home momma to a little baby girl (yay!). Like me, she knew right away that she wanted to cloth diaper and started making her own so her little babe could have a cute bum! She’s been working on her diaper design ever since and now sells them, along with these nursing pads, bibs, and more, at her etsy shop, Young Blood, at craft shows, and in boutiques. Make sure you check out her shop – she’s also trade friendly! :)

I began my trial of these nursing pads after trying the Bamboobies nursing pads for one week.  I immediately noticed the difference in size.  Young Blood nursing pads are much thicker then the regular Bamboobies but still thinner than the common store bought types I have tried previously (both reusable and disposable).

I used them immediately after opening the package because I was really excited!  The nursing pads were very rigid and looked really silly through my shirt so I proceeded to wash them in hopes of softening them a bit.  It worked!  I wear pretty thin nursing bras and it was pretty easy to see the shape of the pads as well as wrinkles in the pads through my shirt if it were a form fitting shirt.  The pads seem to become softer each time I wash them and the shape seen through my shirt decreases each time.

Over the past week of wearing these nursing pads I have not leaked through or around them.  They stay in place really well and are a great size.  The flannel layers are super soft and the stitching along the edges seems to be of good quality, but I have only had them for about a week.  And I can’t forget.. they’re such a great deal!

Overall, I would suggest these nursing pads be used in thicker bras than I wear so as to avoid the weird shape and the bumps.  Personally I will be using these nursing pads at night due to their thickness and absorbency.  I suggest you pick up a pair – you can’t go wrong for $3.50!

In conclusion…

Do I recommend Young Blood nursing pads for leaky boobies?

Yes!

If you wear a regular (not sleep) bra these would be great! They are perfect for overnight use!  And they’re very affordable!

I was provided a free sample from Young Blood in exchange for this review.
I was under no obligation to write a positive review of this product!!  I promise!


Look for review #3 in the nursing pad series coming next Wednesday! I hope you find this information as useful as I do! :)

Last week I received a very tiny but very powerful package.  Inside the package were two pairs of Bamboobies.

What’s a “Bamboobie” you ask?

Well let me tell you! Bamboobies are nursing pads made of organic bamboo and hemp! I was extra excited to try these because Olive’s gDiaper inserts are bamboo so I thought we could maybe.. match.. kind of. I was also extra excited because I know how absorbent bamboo can be. And I was maybe also a little excited that they’re called Bamboobies. Say it with me – Bamboobies!!! ha! Oh, and they’re in the shape of hearts!

But let’s be serious. Bamboobies claim the following:
1. Simply the Softest Nursing Pads on the market!
2. Heart-shaped pads cup without wrinkling… Fewer Wrinkles = Less Visibility
3. Ultra-thin, High performance Eco-fabrics

1. I agree. In my experience with four other brands of nursing pads I have never felt pads this soft! They’re actually softer than Olive’s bamboo gDiaper inserts and those are so soft that I considered wearing them myself, just for comfort.
2. The regular Bamboobies are heart shaped which does reduce wrinkling though I still had a few visible wrinkles. I bet this is a little different for everyone though, depending on the size of your girlie parts and the bra you’re wearing. While a little wrinkle was present it was by far less of a wrinkle than with most reusable nursing pads I have used. The overnights are round and therefore get wrinkly but if you and your significant other don’t mind then it shouldn’t be a problem!
3. The regular Bamboobies are extremely thin – I’m really surprised! The overnights are quite thick but not any thicker than other brand’s regular pads. And they’re for overnight… so that’s kind of the point.

“Bamboobies were born out of my frustration with wrinkly, plastic disposables and thick, rough cotton
washable pads that showed through my shirt and still leaked!” says Kerry Gilmartin, mother of three in
Boulder, CO and creator of Bamboobies.

I’ve had a leaky start to breastfeeding Olive. The leaking varies day to day so I’m never sure what to expect. I worry when out in public or when having visitors because I never know if a big dark dot is going to show up and how long it’s going to take me to realize it. After a few days using Bamboobies I have not experienced a single wet spot despite finding the pads wet. Honestly I was a little skeptical at first because I have leaked through everything else – how could these work? I thought the leaking had possibly slowed.. but wouldn’t that be ironic timing? After a little investigation I decided that I was in fact leaking just the same but the regular Bamboobies held in all of the moisture and my shirt stayed dry! I even went out of the house this evening for a meeting and didn’t feel nervous or stressed out about my shirt. What a relief! I did notice that the regular pads move around a little bit but not enough to cause a problem. I think they slide a bit because they’re so soft. But with how many times I need to be messing with my bra when feeding Olive there is ample opportunity to adjust them. My only complaint is that I don’t have enough!

The reason for the superb protection is in the construction. Below is a diagram of the regular pads.

And the overnight pads..

There is a lot of interesting information on the Bamboobies website about pad comparisons. For example did you know that a nine month supply of disposable pads costs approximately $360 while a pack of four Bamboobies costs less than $30? I don’t use disposable pads and this reminds me why! (In addition to the environmental impact.) This is also one of the many reasons we cloth diaper.

In addition to being extremely effective at preventing leaks and reducing wrinkles, as well as being cost effective, Bamboobies are eco-friendly. Bamboobies fabric producers meet the Global Organic Textile Standards or are certified annually by OEKO Tex 100, OCIA or USDA and the fibers are not treated with toxic chemicals and only water-based dyes are used.

I encourage you to stop by Bamboobies and place an order for yourself or for a friend.  I am certainly going to order more regular Bamboobies and will most likely give these as a gift to expectant moms in the future.

In conclusion…

Do I recommend Bamboobies for leaky boobies?

Yes!

Use coupon code OWL20 for 20% off your purchase!!!

I was provided a free sample of Bamboobies in exchange for this review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review of this product. But I did! Because I like ’em! So go get some!

Look for review #2 in the nursing pad series coming next Wednesday! I hope you find this information as useful as I do! :)

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