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Friday, August 1, 2014

Fundamental Chemical-Free Organic Shampoo Review

I've had the lovely opportunity to try a few products that are available at Earth Turns, who happen to be a very friendly company that carries a variety of really amazing quality products like supplements and natural or herbal products, and even a beauty department. All of the products Earth Turns carry are manufactured under Current Good Manufacturing Process Standards and are natural, safe and effective. I've recently been trying various samples of their product (like the "Relax Already that I recently reviewed) and this new, chemical-free shampoo. 

Before I get into the review for this interesting shampoo, I wanted to take a second to include that Earth Turns has an A+ BBB rating, and at the moment, they're doing free shipping for  US orders! You really can't beat free shipping these days.

Fundamental Shampoo is a chemical & SLS-free shampoo with organic ingredients designed to restore hair's shine and body. 

Obviously, as with any natural shampoo, you're going to experience little to no lather. This sometimes means you feel the need to use more product than normal, as I do, so when I dumped an entire hand-full of shampoo in my hair, I was shocked to learn that with the Fundamental Shampoo, that was not necessary! The stuff actually lathers as good as any typical shampoo! So, I kicked myself for wasting so much.

Something I love about Fundamental Shampoo is my hair always smells, feels and looks totally clean, even though I didn't use sulfates to clean it.  The shampoo has a minty scent that does not stay in hair.

 I once thought that natural shampoos that did not contain some sort of harsh sulfate couldn't truly clean my hair. I think we've all been kind of brainwashed as to what the real definition of clean is. It seems we've been thinking that "clean" means stripping all of our skin and hair of anything and everything. If any little natural oil was leftover (which cannot be seen when you first wash the hair with Fundamental Shampoo) is considered dirty.

In fact, my hair feels, looks and smells just as clean as when I use the average drug-store shampoo.

Another plus is that the scent of the Fundamental Shampoo is "acceptable" by either gender (male or female.)

After using the Fundamental Shampoo, my hair was different in texture and appearance. It had more fluff/volume than it normally does, which can be a great thing when hair is flat.

My ends, while they appeared a lot fuller than normal (plus!), they felt a tiny bit drier than they do when I use a good leave-in conditioner, but I made sure to use my leave-in the next night when washing my hair with Fundamental Shampoo  & that helped my ends a lot. I normally always use the leave-in since my ends have some damage, but I skipped when I used the shampoo for the first time because I wanted to be sure I could get the best idea of how this shampoo does. 

I do want to make it clear that I love this shampoo! I really do. My hair actually felt cleaner than it does with other shampoos, and I have been able to skip a day between washes (I normally do that) without my hair looking oily at all the last day. Very impressive.

Benefits of the Ingredients in Fundamental Shampoo
With ingredients like saponified olive oil and coconut oil, the Fundamental Shampoo is nicely moisturizing for hair, and will help with damage and promote shine.

Ginger extract is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, which makes it great for sensitive skin. Ginger extract may also be a useful remedy for hair loss and can make the hair stronger & healthier. Ginger plus olive oil makes a great dandruff remedy, so since the Fundamental Shampoo contains both, it'll be useful for that too. 

Honey, a natural anti-bacterial is an all-around amazing ingredient for health in general, which is why I try to consume pure, raw honey at least 5 times a week, daily when I can. As for hair, though, honey may be useful for preventing hair loss since it helps hair to retain moisture, and it's conditioning. It also makes hair shiny.

Comfrey Root Extract is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, too. It also prevents dryness, is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and may stimulate hair growth. The plant protein Mucilage in Comfrey is a foaming agent, which gives the Fundamental Shampoo a bit of sudsy-ness, it also softens hair.

Grape Seed Extract is an anti-septic and anti-inflammatory that may also be helpful for hair loss. GSE contains antioxidants, which help prevent damage and repair previous damage.

Rosemary Extract, an anti-microbial and anti-fungal with some scientific evidence showing that Rosemary oil may be able to help with hair growth. Rosemary extract will help soothe any scalp irritation and keep it clean while also preventing dandruff

Burdock Root Extract helps promote healthy scalp and hair. The Vitamin A, Mucilage and essential fatty acid content in Burdock helps nourish and strengthen skin and hair. It can also provide relief from itchy, inflamed and dry scalp problems.

What I Love About the Fundamental Shampoo:

  • Cruelty Free. Fundamental Earth products have been approved by Leaping Bunny & PETA as cruelty free products.
  •  The shampoo contains organic ingredients and vitamins.
  •  Is nourishing to hair
  • Won't damage hair at all as it's free of toxic chemicals, sulfates, parabens, etc.
  • Maintains hair's pH balance.
  • Doesn't dry out scalp

I can't say that I would actually go so far as to totally switch to this shampoo at this moment in my life. Mostly just because at $11 something for a full sized bottle, considering how much shampoo my hair uses, it just wouldn't be affordable right now. However, I have checked around and it appears that it's as much as $5 elsewhere online, so I certainly cannot complain about the $11 price for it at Earth Turns, especially with free shipping on top of it. I would certainly jump all over that offer when my usual budget allows just a bit extra spending, though.

Organic Fundamental Face Scrub from Earth Turns *Review*

Recently, I have had the amazing opportunity to try a few products available at Earth Turns, who happen to be a very friendly company that carries a variety of high quality products like supplements and natural/herbal products, and even a beauty department. All of the products Earth Turns carry are manufactured under Current Good Manufacturing Process Standards and are natural, safe and effective. At this moment, I've been focusing on the wonders of their Fundamental Face Scrub.

Before I get into the review for the Fundamental Face Scrub (which I'm loving, by the way), I wanted to take a second to include that Earth Turns has an A+ BBB rating, and at the moment, they're doing free shipping for  US orders! You really can't beat free shipping these days.

The Fundamental Face Scrub from Earth Turns uses organic ingredients that are effective (and totally safe) for any skincare concern. Aloe Vera, for example is like my miracle plant for everything. It's included in the ingredients, which obviously make this Face Scrub great at soothing and healing.

What I love about the Fundamental Face Scrub is that it's simple. It uses the ingredients necessary for maintaining and promoting healthy, clean skin without the use of those dang chemicals you find in most skincare products.

The Fundamental Face Scrub is a neutral pH and contains antioxidants.

The Fundamental Face Scrub is clear with a gel-like consistency. There are a few apricot kernels within the gel, and they're very gentle on skin.  

Even though the ingredients are all great, it's not uncommon for my skin to still be dried out after washing with almost anything, so I was very impressed with how smooth and soft and totally not-dried out my face was after using this! My pores appeared a bit smaller, even and I was pretty satisfied to see that a lot of the breakouts I'd had were less inflamed and angry looking after using.

Why the Fundamental Face Scrub is So Fantastic
Aloe Vera soothes inflamed skin, is a natural anti-bacterial while honey moisturizes and is also a natural anti-bacterial, anti-biotic, and anti-microbial.

Spearmint Oil relaxes muscles and skin and combats acne.

Chamomile is an anti-septic and anti-spasmodic that helps heal wounds.

Apricot Kernels exfoliate skin. 

Avocado oil hydrates, moisturizes.

Hops Extract increases blood flow, tones, and calms irritations.

Olive Leaf Extract is a natural anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory that soothes skin. 

Ginger Extract is a natural anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory.

Balm Mint Extract an anti-spasmodic that soothes sensitive skin.

Yarrow Extract helps heal skin, regenerating damage, can provide relief from acne, reduce inflammation and redness.

Vitamin C  an antioxidant that balances skin's pH, restores elasticity, promotes healing, protects and repairs skin.

Grape Seed Extract is an anti-septic and anti-inflammatory that may also be helpful for hair loss. GSE contains antioxidants, which help prevent damage and repair previous damage.

Rosemary Extract is an anti-fungal, anti-microbial that also soothes irritation.

What I Love About Fundamental Face Scrub
  • No harsh ingredients or chemicals
  • Contains amazing ingredients that help heal skin like Aloe vera.
  • Neutral pH helps skin maintain its natural pH
  • Great for acne prone skin
  • Soothing
  • Not tested on animals, uses no animal ingredients
  • Contains certified organic herbs

The Fundamental Face Scrub is most certainly a skincare product I'd happily adopt into my long-term (forever and ever) skincare routine simply due to the fact that those ingredients are just what "works" for my odd, combination skin. Plus, with Earth Turns' prices, I'm happy to adopt it as a regular part of my skincare routine without feeling guilty for spending. Very affordable for all the help it does for my skin. And it's a product that doesn't require a bunch per use, so it's long-lasting.

I tend to require a lot of soothing and healing due to some previous breakouts that left minor scarring, and some breakouts that are recurring. So, aloe vera and the rest of the ingredients are really useful, especially since combination skin means both oily and dry. The natural ingredients like honey and avocado oil are useful for adding enough hydration without causing oily skin. 

 I've never been able to get by without a moisturizer though, (even when I've smothered my skin in olive oil!), so I love using the Fundamental Face Cream I have from Earth Turns in combination with this. 

 How do you guys feel about organic skincare products? Are you currently using organic? If so, what are your favorites and what do you love about them? I love hearing from you lovely folks.

Stay tuned for my upcoming review on the Face Cream from Earth Turns, which I am absolutely madly and insanely in love with!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Relax Already - Magnificent Herbal Sleep Aid from Earth Turns

I've had the lovely opportunity to try a few products that are available at Earth Turns, who happen to be a very friendly company that carries a variety of really amazing quality products like supplements and natural or herbal products, and even a beauty department. All of the products Earth Turns carry are manufactured under Current Good Manufacturing Process Standards and are natural, safe and effective. I've recently been trying samples of an herbal sleep aid they carry called "Relax Already." 

Before I get into the review for the Relax Already supplement (which I'm loving, by the way), I wanted to take a second to include that Earth Turns has an A+ BBB rating, and at the moment, they're doing free shipping for  US orders! You really can't beat free shipping these days.

Relax Already is a dietary supplement manufactured in America, by StoneAge Wellness and designed to not only help you sleep, but also to relax your muscles and relieve stress. If you've never used a natural or herbal based sleep product, then you'll be in for a big surprise because ingredients like Valerian root, passion flower and lemon balm are highly impressive sleep and relaxation aids. These ingredients also help relieve stress wonderfully and relax tense muscles.  What I love most about Relax Already is that I can take them and sleep amazingly well, but they don't leave me feeling out of my head or sluggish.  Also that they're so safe, natural and without negative side effects is a main reason I like them. Store-bought sleep aids have always left me feeling really out of it, and the effects leave me sluggish and irritable the next day. With such clean ingredients and effective herbs, Relax Already never leaves me feeling off or sluggish. In fact, I've woken up feeling better than I typically do. And you just can't beat the deep, relaxed sleep that comes about 40 minutes after taking it.

Taking only once capsule of Relax Already put me to sleep gently for about 6 hours before I ever woke up. After waking and having a snack, I went back to bed and read for a few minutes before falling back to sleep for another 4 hours. Waking up was easy and I felt wide awake once I'd slept off Relax Already's awesome effects. I didn't even remember dreaming for those first 6 hours. 

What Makes Relax Already so Effective:
Relax Already contains 100 milligrams of magnesium per serving. Magnesium itself is helpful for getting sleep since it relaxes the muscles.

A serving of Relax Already contains 1150 milligrams of ValFlora, StoneAge Wellness' proprietary blend of Valerian Root, Passion Flower, Lemon Balm, Chamomile & Cramp Bark.  This kind of blend is sure to relax and promote sleep due to Valerian Root being an anti-anxiety herb as well as a centuries old sleep remedy.

Lemon Balm
also has anti-anxiety properties and reduces stress, improves appetite, eases pain and discomfort, promotes sleep, eases bloating, gas and indigestion. When combined with herbs like Chamomile and Valerian (just like in the Relax Already supplement), Lemon Balm is soothing, calming and promotes relaxation.  Lemon Balm also has antibacterial properties. It also may improve cognitive function and help with Alzheimer's symptoms.

Passion Flower
has a calming effect and has been used as an aid for insomnia and anxiety.

Chamomile, with its mild sedative like effects have also been used for centuries to promote calming, help sleep and reduce anxiety, promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Cramp Bark  is a muscle relaxant and anti-spasmodic Cramp Bark, interestingly enough, also relieves uterine cramping.

Note: Many of the herbs in this product are helpful for digestive pains and discomforts, too.

The rest of the ingredients:
Vegetable cellulose (capsules), rice flour, vegetable stearate.

What I Love About Relax Already:
  • No artificial ingredients.
  • Safe and impressively effective.
  • Vegetarian, and the capsules are made of vegetable cellulose.
  • Free of wheat, dairy, soy, corn, sugar and yeast.
  •  Earth Turns' Price for the product. It's rare to see a supplement with these ingredients for such a decent price. At the moment, a bottle of 60 capsules is available on Earth Turns for only $11.49. That's coming from me, a big tight-wad.
  • The manufacturer of Relax Already, StoneAge Wellness uses tested ingredients for purity and ingredient potency.
  •  Relax Already is manufactured to cGMP (current Good Manufacturing) standards. You can read more about what that means here.

How to use Relax Already:
The packet says to take 2 capsules about 30 minutes before bedtime. I find that I only need one capsule to get the job done.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Shake The Crave Review & Free Sample Offer

Updated on 7/29/2014 (update at very bottom)

Shake the Crave is a healthy, filling shake that taste like dessert, and is intended to fill and curb cravings. Not only that, but Shake the Crave is supposed to help boost energy levels (since the glucose converts into ATP, which gives you energy) and may also provide some mental clarity to some folks.

Shake the Crave is a powdered drink mix made from 100% pure ingredients that you add to a glass of milk, designed by one of my favorite companies for health and skincare products -- Trusted Health Products, whom I've reviewed for in the past. Shake the Crave, with only 0.5 grams of fat is designed to fill you up, boost energy and help you feel full longer. Plus, it's only 120 calories and a pure, delicious experience.

Since Shake the Crave comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors. You get 1.16 pounds of Shake the Crave powder per container, which is 15 servings per container. They each come with a handy scooper inside for easily measuring out your portions. One serving is just one scoop, so it's a quick process.

 I love Shake the Craving because it helps satisfy my seemingly never ending, annoying craving for sweets, even though it only contains 20 grams of sugar. 

I much prefer healthy versions of sweets, and this totally does the trick.  An added bonus is the natural sugar in Shake the Crave converts to glucose, which fuels ATP production in the body, giving you energy mentally and physically. Just what I like -- good, clear thinking and plenty of energy to not only use my brain as well as I can (my job requires a lot of brain use!), but also be active and feel good throughout the day and while doing physical activity.

      My Thoughts after trying Shake the Crave:
I have a nearly intolerable craving for sweets, and always have. So, upon trying Shake the Crave in chocolate flavor, I was surprised at how satisfying the taste is. I'd have never been able to tell, on taste alone that this shake is any kind of healthy product meant to curb cravings and not some sugar-filled drink.

 Taste (Chocolate Version)

The chocolate Shake the Crave tastes resembles a cup of cold hot chocolate, but better. If you've ever had a cup of cold chocolate (instead of hot) then you can easily imagine the taste of Shake the Crave in chocolate flavor.  There are some nuances, of course between this healthy shake and your typical hot chocolate. For instance, there's a subtle minty-ness to it, which is refreshing.

I don't know about you, but I've always added at least 2 packets of cocoa powder to my mug of hot chocolate because if I didn't, it  always tasted watered down. 

Shake the Crave chocolate, on the other hand is surprisingly very flavorful. It's thicker than your typical hot chocolate. While probably not quite as sweet as a cup of sugary hot chocolate, it's still plenty sweet enough. When tasting just the powder, I detected something a bit savory or salty, and expected the shake to be very dull, unsweet and either with that icky vitamin-y taste that most shakes have, or too watery.

Let's just say the the chocolate shake is delicious enough that I left the brownie I had in my plate untouched. The chocolate shake was enjoyable enough that I preferred it over the brownie I'd been looking forward to all day.

Taste (Vanilla flavor)
The vanilla Shake the Crave was far more delicious than I expected since I typically prefer chocolate or strawberry flavors when it comes to shakes and ice cream. But, with the real vanilla flavor to it, I enjoyed the vanilla about as much as the chocolate.  There's just nothing quite like the sweet, yummy flavor of real vanilla, especially if it's a shake or ice cream. If you love real vanilla ice cream, then you'll no doubt love Shake the Crave in that flavor. It contains real vanilla bean, which is noticeable due to the tiny black specs in it. Once I saw those specs, I just knew it was the real deal. 

Like the chocolate, the vanilla is plenty sweet without any funky taste to it as you might expect with a healthy version of a shake. You won't ever be able to tell it isn't a typical shake, even though it isn't loaded with sugar. 

My results with the vanilla Shake the Crave seemed just a tiny bit different than when I'd tried the chocolate a day before. I was extra hungry on the day I used vanilla, so my hunger did not stay away for longer than a good hour before I gave in and finally ate. It did, however take care of my sweet-tooth, which normally lasts long after I've eaten sugar laden foods, so this is really wonderful.

 Does it Keep My Cravings Away? I'm feeling like Shake the Crave might actually be the one. If it can satisfy my sweet tooth and keep the craving for more and more sweets at bay, then that could be life-changing for me.
We all know that one of the dirtiest things about processed sugar is that instead of fully satisfying us after one candy bar, it makes us crave more. That's upsetting to me because I want to enjoy something I love so much without it biting me in the rear like that. It almost feels like a dirty trick.
In my photo of the chocolate, I didn't even add the entire packet of Shake the Crave and before I could even blend the drink and take a photo, I had drank the once full glass close to half way down. I actually ended up refilling the glass to with a little milk and added in the rest of what was left in the packet to finish, after I took the photo. I was just taste-testing when I had to stop myself before I drank the entire glass.

Does it Make me Feel Full?
Yes, but not so full that I feel like I'll pop. That's a good thing, though because if it did make you too full, the purpose would be defeated. You wouldn't want to move!
 I drank my first Shake the Crave, on a completely empty stomach, around dinner time. Since I knew I'd be feeling my hungriest, I thought it'd be a perfect time to put the shake to the test big time. I did end up letting my dinner sit for 3 hours, so the shake was great for filling me up. After a few hours, I had a very small portion of my dinner and didn't feel hungry again for another long while.
While the shake caused my appetite to subside pretty much entirely for a few hours, I think it could vary depending on the person. For someone who's used to eating a whole lot more than me, one shake might not keep actual hunger away for as long as it does me. It should definitely give the feeling of fullness and satisfaction, though.
One more thing I want to make note of in this section is that when I tried a hunger-curbing, weight loss shake in the past, it would give me a bloating sensation, which did keep me from scarfing down food, but once I felt hungry again, it seemed I was eating far more than I would've! It seemed to always have that effect on me, even if I had a meal before hand. Once the hunger came back, it was intense. That caused me to eat larger portions than what I normally would because I felt so starved.
After trying Shake the Crave, it seems when I find myself feeling hungry again, I hardly eat a full meal at one sitting. It may be that the shake is still lingering in my stomach after so long, and it's just taking a lot less food to fill me up. So it took 3 separate settings (within a 4 hour period) for me to finish my entire dinner. 
As for any added mental clarity or energy, I'm not 100% sure I had any changes there. Upon more frequent use, I would be able to better note the changes happening. Trusted Health Products does make mention of it taking longer for some people to notice results in how they feel and their energy or mental clarity levels. 
As you may see in my photos of the packets of Shake the Crave and the instructional paper, the directions say to add the powdered shake to 8 fl oz. of milk and blend on low  for 20 seconds, then 3 more seconds on high. Let sit for 1 minute and blend again, on low for 5 seconds and pour into glass. Then let it sit 1 more minute so ingredients can "rehydrate." Then, you finally get to drink it.
I'll admit, I didn't have time to do all that blending and sitting the first time I tried Shake the Crave, and I was so eager to taste it that I didn't wait. For the sake of doing it properly since I am reviewing Shake the Crave, I did follow instructions to a T the second time, when trying the vanilla flavor.
I can see why blending is useful since as you may notice in my photos, the powder doesn't mix in so well, but I sure didn't mind! It tasted fantastic and I just stirred with a straw.

Added Pros and Benefits of Shake the Crave:
⦁    Contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, preservatives, or isolated/synthetic vitamins.

  • Good source of protein and calcium 
  • Contains fiber and trace minerals, which explains why some people feel so great after using the shakes! Replacing the trace minerals that most of us are deficient in can change everything.

⦁    No gluten, soy, egg, GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, fillers or binders.
  • Contains organic, non-fat dry milk from naturally raised cows 

(major kudos to Trusted Health Products for these factors!)

 Shake the Crave (Chocolate) Ingredients:Organic, unrefined cane sugar, organic non-fat dry milk, organic cocoa powder, organic coconut powder,  Electrolyte Blend (Potassium Citrate, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Sulfate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride).

Shake the Crave (Vanilla) Ingredients:
Organic non-fat, dry milk, organic, unrefined cane sugar, organic coconut powder, organic ground vanilla bean, electrolytes from mineral salts (Potassium Citrate, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Sulfate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride).

Something I adore about Trusted Health Products is that they have a lot of educational information about their products and more. For example, Shake the Crave has its own information including an article on "why diets don't work," which is useful because you can learn how to take care of yourself. The article mentions how diets are basically deprivation, usually and that is why they fail and why you tend to feel guilty or as if you've "cheated" when you indulge. I personally have never been a believer in depriving yourself of something you really love and enjoy eating, so I tend to prefer a moderation approach. Trusted Health Products says this is how dieting goes and why it fails: Motivation > Deprivation > Craving, Indulgence Guilt and Loss of Motivation.

The article talks about how diet foods tend to be filled with ingredients that aren't giving your body the nutrients it needs, which is where their product Shake the Crave comes in. It contains 100% pure ingredients, is so satisfying and you can enjoy your indulgence without going through the guilt cycle, which actually makes it even harder for you to lose weight (seriously, think Law of Attraction.)

* Try Shake the Crave vanilla and chocolate shake mix! For a limited time, the manufacturer is willing to offer my readers 2 free sample packets of Shake the Crave vanilla or chocolate shake mix. They said they would love to have readers try out Shake the Crave and agreed to send the 2 sample packets if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge of $4.95. This is a one-time only offer. Click here to get your 2 FREE sample packets now! (PLEASE NOTE: There's no shipping and handling charge for product reviewers. This  offer  is for any product review  reader that would like to try the product.) 

Visit the Trusted Health Products website
Like Trusted Health Products on Facebook!
Like (one of my absolute favorites) OraMD on Facebook!

UPDATE (7/29/2014):

Since I loved everything about Shake the Crave so much that I could actually see myself benefiting greatly from the product, I've decided to go through with a 90 day challenge using Trusted Health Products' instructions, suggestions and their Shake the Crave product. 

Since today is only my first day, officially, of the challenge, I don't have any major results to post about, but I wanted to let my readers know that ya'll can stay tuned to see my regular updates on the program. 

Since Shake the Crave comes with a sort of "plan" to help you succeed, I've decided to follow that plan as closely as I can, which means I'll be making some minor changes to my lifestyle. I already exercise on a regular basis, including strength training, and I typically eat a pretty healthy diet, although I'm certainly no stranger to fast food. That's really the only part of my diet that isn't healthy. I tend to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and of course I take many nutritionally supplements to keep myself in good health.

So, these changes shouldn't be too major for me. I'll probably pick up a bit more exercise and instead of having fast food when time doesn't allow for real food, I'll instead opt for Shake The Crave, which is what I've done tonight, actually.

I  hope you guys are excited as I am about this new journey! I'm hoping to tone things up a lot and gain more muscle, and be all around healthier. I also am hoping to use Shake the Crave to work my way out of this sweet tooth I engage so often. So far, it's working well.

As of tonight, the only update I have is that I think these taste better and better each time I have one. Secondly, I've had a few halved, mini red potatoes and a very tiny portion of steak tonight. I then had Shake the Crave in chocolate flavor and can tell I'll be full for a very long time to come. 

I'm looking forward to it! I hope you guys will follow me through this journey & if any of you take on a challenge like this one, please share. We can discuss our journies together. 

Update #2:

I've noticed I've been waking up feeling energetic rather than like passing back out the past couple of days. It wasn't until tonight that I went over in my head the changes I may have made to cause this. I believe I'm seeing the results that Shake the Crave can have -- a sense of well-being and more energy. It's been a long time since I've woke up with a clear head and felt instantly like starting my day as soon as I wake, so this is a great effect that I'm loving! I hope this continues to happen for me. Thought I'd include that in my update.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ritual Discovery Kit by Tatcha -- Review/My Results

   If you guys have been following Ribbons & Pearls for a long time, you may already know my deep, love for Tatcha the Japanese skincare company. Tatcha & I have collaborated together in the past, which is where I'd first tried their products, and also where my deep, ever-lasting love for them began.

The photo above is to showcase Tatcha's elegant, beautiful packaging, which includes the box, swaddled in purple tissue paper and the 4 skin-beautifying products each placed in their lavender colored slots and of course the guide and instructions to the Ritual Discovery kit. The 4 wonderful products presented inside such lovely packaging makes this a totally gift-worthy kit, and the ultimate gift for a gal like me who loves her high-quality Tatcha products.


Yea, Tatcha is one of those companies. The one you call your "go-to" for all your skincare needs. The one that never fails you, no matter what your skin may be doing at the moment. Dry and flaky? I know without a doubt Tatcha will have a product for that -- and one that will not only fix me right up, but also leaving me with the feeling that I've just dipped my face in an elegant bath of velvet.

      Luxury Skincare Inpspired by Geisha Rituals is Tatchas "logo," (I guess you call it,) and it sums up their skincare line well.
     You can read -- and I encourage you to do so -- Tatcha's intriguing, geniune journey/heritage here.
    Now that I've professed my dying love for such unique, effective skincare products... 

   You might recall reviews I've written about some of Tatcha's products in the past. Tatcha now has  them all put together -- based on your skincare needs -- in one easy-to-use kit: the Ritual Discovery Kit (for combination skin, like mine) which you'll read all about in this review post. Tatcha has also formulated a kit for other skin types, too:

    Tatcha is a health-conscious company. Their products are safe and  formulated free of awful, harmful ingredients like Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.

Ritual Discovery Kit contents

Tatcha has incorporated safe, effective and some of the finest  ingredients -- such as rice bran oil -- into their products for beautifying, cleansing and keeping skin looking youthful. Those are my words based off my opinion of Tatcha.  

 Rice Bran Oil -- An Ingredient for Youth & Beauty

 Back to rice bran oil for a moment. This is found in most of Tatcha products (perhaps even all?). Rice bran oil in Japan, is a popular tradition for skin and hair care as it's known for its ability to keep skin looking youthful and smooth as it increases skins elasticity.

 It also contains Squalane, which increases skin’s ability to regenerate, nourish, hydrate, oxygenate and protect itself.
    Rice bran oil contains antioxidants, which explains its ability to keep skin youthful and protect against damage.  It also contains Vitamins B and E.

   I could spend an entire post on just the benefits of rice bran oil on skin, but I'll try to sum it all up now: Rice bran oil exfoliates, soothes skin, promotes blood micro-circulation -- which has its own benefits such as reducing dark spots,  -- has anti-melanin properties, can lighten skin, has healing and restorative properties. If you guys want the whole she-bang about rice bran oil and its benefits alone, let me know & we'll just dedicate an entire post to that, too.  

   Another reason I love Tatcha is that they've put together this kit, which provides you with everything your skin type needs, allowing you to go about your life without having to pick and prod to find which moisturizer, cleanser etc you need. That's always been something I despised about skincare products. Having to search for the right moisturizer for my skin, which believe it or not has always been a tremendous feat thanks to my weirdly and intensively dry skin. Then, having to find the product to fix the only spots on my face that aren't so dry they flake -- my forehead, which is so shiny that folks around me could use it as a mirror! Combination skin is a b****, and so is trying to find the right products for it.

    You see, a lot of folks, like myself absolutely need a moisturizer. I know some people are able to just cleanse with whatever soap happens to be in their shower & go. Not me. I have to slather on moisturizer, and usually, I have to after showering and as I wake up! 

    The Ritual Discovery kit is quite perfect for my skincare needs, and not only because it's all put together in one kit, based off my own skin-type, but also because the 4 products, especially my all-time favorite skin-saving Tatcha items (to be revealed momentarily) are included.

A look Inside the Ritual Discover Kit's Contents

Ritual Discovery Kit is a 4-step kit, containing:
Step 1: Pure
 One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil.

Step 2: Polished

Rice Enzyme Powder.

Step 3. Radiant

Radiant Deep Brightening Serum.

Step 4. Supple 
Moisture Rich Silk Cream Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream.

Another Close-up of All Products Within Ritual Discovery Kit

  Now we'll discuss each of them and how they work

One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil:
I'll start in order, with the One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. If some of you still haven't come around to the idea of using oil on your face, let me please just beg you now to try. After all, I have guinea pigged myself right here on Ribbons & Pearls multiple times in the last 2 years by  sharing my adventures into using different oils (olive oil was first) on my skin. Using oil, especially Tatcha's Camellia Oil has been a constant, daily part of my routine ever since I first used an oil on my face.

In fact, I really loved olive oil for my skin. It, for some reason worked so wonderful for me that I kept going back to it, even after trying others like coconut oil!  That was quickly replaced with the Camellia Oil as soon as I used it, I guess a year or so ago. 

In fact, I still had a bit of the Camellia Oil left, even when the Ritual Discovery Kit arrived to me. I have used the Camellia Oil daily, without exception. If I'm not using it as a cleanser (rare, but I do switch up with an exfoliator every few days), I'm always using it upon waking, to remove any left-over makeup & leave my skin glowing. 

Is Oil Really Appropriate for Cleansing Skin?

Oil like the Camellia Oil is a magnificent cleanser for our skin. When I first began using oil, I felt the same thing some of you may be thinking: but oil can't possibly remove all dirt and grime. I was proved wrong. It does remove all of that. In fact it removes even the thickest black makeup and far better than any soap based cleanser. Yes, even better than any make-up remover, including the handy wipes. Nothing comes close to removing makeup and crud from my face like the oil.

If you don't believe me, you can test it yourself, just as I did. Cleanse your face with your regular soap, then go back over it after you're finished with the oil on a cloth or cotton ball. You'll be shocked at what was left behind. 

Camellia Oil washes away dirt and impurities, but does not strip away natural oils.

Aside from the deep cleansing Camellia Oil provides, we can't deny the fact nature never intended for us to strip away all oils from our skin. Sure we should clean it well, and make sure the build-up, sweat, dirt, pollutants, etc. are removed. Being left with skin so dry and tight it felt as if it would crack (not to mention how it looked!) after using any drugstore bought facial cleanser, and even many natural cleansers, was proof enough for me to come to terms with the fact that I simply couldn't use most cleansers. Camellia Oil has been a life-saver for my skin.

What is Camellia Oil, anyways?
The Camellia Oil from Tatcha is a blend of Camellia and rice bran oils.
Camellia oil comes from Camellia Japonica Seed. 

And for the days when my skin needs a good exfolliating, the Rice Enzyme Powder serves it up just perfectly!
  • Camellia Oil is good for all skin types.
  • Non-irritating. Non-sensitizing. Dermatologist tested.
  • Formulated without:
Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

 Step 2: The always promising and one of my favorites -- the little Rice Enzyme Powder super heroes.  

The Rice Enzyme Powder gently exfoliates skin, while giving pores a nice deep cleaning and leaving your skin feeling soft as can be! With ingredients like papaya extract and algae extract, the Rice Enzyme Powder never fails to exfoliate away all the old, while green tea extract soothes.  

It's a dry, white-colored powder that when mixed with water, transforms into a lovely white creamy paste. Add water to before applying.  For some reason, this process always excites me! I love mixing it and the way it feels to apply it, massaging it all over my face is pleasing. Not sure why that is, but something about it feels good, and I especially love that it actually feels as if the creamy product is going way deep down into every pore and totally cleaning it inside and out! I've never felt such a cleansing experience.

 Just what I need in an exfoliator because it allows me to have a deep cleaning without being so harsh it leaves my skin raw or dry as a bone. I like this because a harsh exfoliator used to seem like the only route as anything less than harsh wouldn't seem to really cleanse well.

Know what makes this Ritual Discovery Kit even better? Two of the products -- the Rice Enzyme Powder and Camellia Oil can be combined, which is my preferred method.

I combine a drop of the Camellia oil with the dry Rice Enzyme Powder to add immediate moisturization and glow to my skin as it's being cleansed and exfoliated. This also helps prevent any dryness that might occur.  I even find the powder soothing when there's irritations on my skin.

Other times when time permits, knowing how beneficial the ingredients in the Rice Enzyme Powder are, I love to massage my face well, then just let it dry there. Once dry, it's almost like a face mask, and I just feel like the longer I can keep these awesome ingredients in the powder on my skin, the better. And the best part: it never dries me out! Other products, I wouldn't dare let sit on my skin, or even massage too long because it'd end up drying it out. This never dries my skin out, but provides the deepest clean ever.

What is Rice Enzyme Powder?

A water-activated enzyme powder of rice bran, papaya + HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex.

  • Gentle for dry/sensitive skin. Classic for normal/combination skin, and Deep for oily/acne-prone skin. 
  • Non-irritating. Non-sensitizing. Dermatologist tested.
  • *The Classic Rice Enzyme Powder and Deep Rice Enzyme Powder have been reformulated with cellulose (plant fiber) beads instead of polyethylene.

Classic: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polyethylene*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Papain (Papaya Extract), Dextrin, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin (Pearl) Protein,  Phenoxyethanol.
 Gentle: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Papain, Dextrin, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinesis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Cl 73360, Iron Oxides (Cl 77492).
Deep: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polyethylene*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Papain, Dextrin, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinesis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Houttuynia Cordata Extract (Dokudami), Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ultramarines, Iron Oxides (Cl 77492)

Step 3 Deep Brightening Serum

Contains :
Asian botanicals + HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex for radiant looking skin.
The Deep Brightening Serum is one of the items in the kit that can be easy to skip over when lacking time.  However, I've learned that when I do take the time to use all steps of the kit, my skin does appear somewhat better for it. The Deep Brightening Serum does give a serious glow to my skin, not so richly moisturizing as Step 4, but definitely leaves shine. I like to use it at night so it has time to really absorb well. 

The thing about the Deep Brightening Serum is that it does give your skin a radiant look, and it also brightens/lightens skin such as dark spots.  So, I've found that dark circles under my eyes  have started to improve, thank God! I've tried everything under the sun for those suckers. 

The Deep Brightening serum is lightweight and thinner than a thick, creamy, rich moisturizer. It may even double as a moisturizer for people without severe dry skin. 

The Serum is definitely worth sticking with for the results in the long run. Plus, it too has a lovely, fresh scent. The only real hesitation I have about the serum is one of the ingredients, Cyclopentasiloxane. This is usually used in skin-related products for the consistency or to make it have a silky feel. It's recently been showing up in almost every single foundation/cover up cosmetic in stores. I literally found TWO in Wal-Mart that did not contain it. Even Physician's Formula has started using it.  The point, though, it seemed that the cyclopentasiloxane had been causing my skin to break out. I could be wrong about it, but I knew that once I narrowed down every ingredient I was using on my face, only when I removed anything with cyclopentasiloxane did I see improvements. And they were quite major improvements. So, I could do without that being so high up on the serum's ingredient list. We'll see how it goes, though as I continue using the kit. **See my note (below, in the section about the moisturizer) about other reviewers' posted experiences regarding the Tatcha products that contain cyclopentasiloxane.

  • All Skin Types. Non-irritating. Non-sensitizing. Dermatologist tested.
  • Formulated without:  Kojic Acid, Hydroquinone, Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.

Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Squalane (Olive Origin), Isocetyl Stearate, Inositol (Rice Extract), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Isostearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Sericin (Silk Extract), Arginine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Hyaluronate, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sorbitan Stearate, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenerated Lecithin (Soy Origin), Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

Step 4 Supple  - Moisture rich silk cream

There's nothing I adore more about the Supple Rich Silk Cream than its amazing, fresh scent. It dissipates soon after absorbing into the skin, but the scent makes applying it a real nice experience. It's so herb-y and fresh.

The Supple Rich Silk Cream is definitely rich. It's somewhat thick, spreads easily. It leaves a ... glow behind on skin, and for oily skin, it seems like it might contribute to more shine. However, a little powder does the trick for my already shiny forehead.

As good as a moisturizer may smell, it's totally useless if it doesn't do what it's supposed to do -- moisturize! And it's almost shameful the huge amount of moisturizers piled up in the corner of my room because they didn't moisturize, or they left my skin sticky (something I vehemently loathe). 

While you might have some shine left behind, the Supple cream certainly won't leave you with any of those dry patches or flakes! Like I've said, some parts of my skin are so severely dry that I've literally caked on lotions and moisturizers to no avail! Even those intensively moisturizing foot creams. Yea, that bad. Even after slathering olive or coconut oil on overnight, I still have to apply moisturizer when I wake up.

It's so rare that I find a moisturizer that actually takes care of my dry patches that I'm impressed with this one. It takes great care of any dryness. In fact, ever since I started using the Ritual Discovery kit, I've not had to go the extra mile and add more moisturizer. I've only had to apply it once daily. This is big progress for me! However, this one also has cyclopentasiloxane high on the ingredient list, so I'm going to be on the lookout and hope this won't break out my skin the way previous products containing this ingredient have. 

**Note regarding the ingredient cyclopentasiloxane: It's important to note that while reading several other accounts of folks who've also used the two products from Tatcha that contain it (The Silk moisturizer and Serum), none of them have mentioned any acne or increases in irritation/acne. In fact, out of all the testimonials I read, more than a couple mentioned major improvements in problems like rosacea, while using these. Most testimonials found online, of all these 4 products mention huge improvements in their skin after regular use, so my worries are probably nothing. I will update, though.

Something else I can label a big pro is that this Silk moisturizer can be applied minutes before applying makeup. It works well underneath makeup.

  • All Skin Types. Non-irritating. Non-sensitizing. Dermatologist tested.
  • No sticky, heavy left-behind residues.
  •   Formulated without: Mineral Oil, Synthetic fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.

Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isocetyl Stearate, Squalane (Olive Origin), Inositol (Rice Extract), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbitan Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin (Soy Origin), Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Batyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Arginine, Bis-behenyl/Isostearyl/Phytosteryl Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Carbomer, Sericin (Silk Extract), Xanthan Gum, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Thymus Serpillum Extract, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Fragrance (Natural) , Phenoxyethanol.

Pros/Cons - Recap-
Without becoming too exhaustive, lets sum up the biggest pros (things I love) about the Tatcha products in the Ritual Discovery Kit:

  • Very effective, high quality, well-researched ingredients in all the products. 
  • Major benefits include anti-aging, reversing dark spots/sun-spots/age spots.
  • Many people have said they seen all -around major improvements in their skin after regular use for a few months. I'll update as time goes on.
  • Highly moisturizing.
  • Smooth, soft skin that's no longer dry with improvements of dark circles under eyes have been my improvements. 
  • Works well under makeup.
  • Deep cleansing (rice powder and Camellia oil.)
  •  No left-behind residues
  •  Impressive company. 
  • 4-steps is totally worth the benefits from using these 4 Tatcha products.

 Only thing I'm not 100% certain about is the ingredient cyclopentasiloxane in 2 of the products (because of previous acne that I thought was caused from that ingredient). This 'thought' may actually be useless, as I said when I mentioned it earlier. It left me unsure, but I feel like with all the other sensitive-skin testimonials saying such great things, I will probably be just fine.