The November Glowing Beets box arrived last week and as always I dropped everything to see what was inside! This month we have three treats. AMIDA, a toning and brightening serum by Wabi-Sabi Botanicals; a coconut hot oil hair mask by St. Tropica and some Whipped Lotion by Moody Sisters.
Also, as we gear up for the holidays, Glowing Beets will be offering Mystery Boxes for 19.97 – and each box values over $60! I mean, 20 bucks!? This makes a fantastic stocking stuffer, perfect for a co-worker or Yankee Swap and don’t even think twice about a sister, mom or bestie – sold! Glowing Beets brings it hard with some fantastic green beauty brands like Josh Rosebrook, Leah Lani Skincare, Gia Minerals, Zao Organic Makeup, Hynt Beauty, Apoterra Skin Care, LilFox, Prim Botanicals and more! I mean there is really no risk here, just reward. Boxes will be available from 11/20-11/30 ONLY so get on it! You can pick up yours here.
Okay so on the Glowing Beets November Box! I wanted take you guys behind the TOG scenes and show you my product vetting process. This means I am talking a little differently about these picks this month – let me know what you think. I got a chance to talk with each brand and ask some questions about formulation so I wanted to open it up so you can see what I am doing before I recommend products to you guys! I am hoping the value is two-fold. First we get to learn a little more about ingredients that we are seeing on green beauty product labels and second you can see examples of questions to ask. Let me know what you think of this format – interesting or too much?
AMIDA Infinite Light – Illuminating Floral Essence
AMIDA is a Buddhist term meaning “infinite light.” The AMIDA Infinite Light is an elixir that tones, hydrates and balances made by Wabi-Sabi Botanicals. It is made from mostly organic hydrosols and plant extracts. This goes on after washing and before your moisturizer or oil. It is a thin gel-like consistency and as it dries, there is a faint tightening effect before it conforms into a barley-there state.
I had a few questions about this formula and I wanted to share the company’s answerers with you in case you were thinking the same thing!
AMIDA Ingredients and Wabi- Sabi Botanicals Q & A
To start, here is their ingredient list so you can follow along with the Q&A:
Organic Bulgarian Rose Otto Distillate, Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Sustainably Sourced Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood Distillate, Organic Cistus Distillate, Organic Witch Hazel Distillate, Organic White Willow Bark Extract, Organic Green Tea Leaf Extract, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sclerotium Gum, Sustainably Sourced Essential Oil of Rosewood.
Q: What preservative system do you use?
A: There is a preservative listed in the ingredients; Radish Root Ferment Filtrate (also known as Leuconostoc).
There is some controversy in the green beauty realm about using Radish Root Ferment Filtrate. Badger had to allegedly recall some of their products that contained this preservative only to state later that it was not because of this ingredient. Plus it seems there is more than one way to derive RRFF, you can read more about what the buzz is here. The jury is still out for me.
Q: Several extracts are listed. These quite frequently are preserved with questionable preservatives. Can you shine some light on these?
A: The extracts we use are certified organic and therefore, do not contain any harsh preservatives. The pure extracts are dissolved in pure water and then preserved with food-grade Potassium Sorbate.
Okay, good to know!
More on AMIDA
This formula is super light and assimilates in moments. It has a slight floral scent and feels so nice when applied – like it feels as if you are giving your skin a huge drink of water but it does fully sink in so you will need a moisturizer applied after.
Wabi-Sabi Botanicals uses White Willow Bark and Green Tea Leaf to work harmoniously to heal blemishes, reduce skin damage and prevent premature aging. Organic Aloe Leaf and Witch hazel calm and sooth skin while imparting moisture and controlling excess oil.
Love that this is packaged in glass and shipped with 100% recyclable/post-consumer recycled materials too.
Wabi-Sabi Botanicals blossomed out of the founder’s journey towards self-acceptance and a passion to eliminate both internal and external toxins. All products are formulated and handmade by the founder in the Wabi-Sabi studio.
Moody Sisters Whipped Lotion
The Moody Sisters grew up in Central Washington. They both struggled with skin problems including excess oil production, acne, rosacea, eczema and allergic reactions. Fed up after spending hundreds of dollars at the doctors and no answers, the Moody Sisters turned to nature for their remedy and founded Moody Sisters Skincare.
This whipped lotion comes in Cocoa Bean, Lavender Citrus, Sweet Orange, Rosemary Mint, Berries + Cream and Chai. Glowing Beets members get to try the Cocoa Bean which is super chocolaty!
Whipped Lotion Ingredients + Q & A with The Moody Sisters
This formula is made with 87% certified organic ingredients – and that is by ingredient listed. Certified organic ingredients by volume make up an even higher %. And here they are:
Organic Heal All Infused Water, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Glyceryl Sterate/Cetearyl Alcohol/Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Organic Glycerin, Palm Stearic Acid, Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Non-Micronized Zinc Oxide, Kaolin Clay, Vitamin E Acetate, Rosemary Seed Extract, Silver Citrate, Radish Root Ferment. Preservatives: Propanediol, Ethylexyl Glycerin and Potassium Sorbate, Cocoa Absolute
Q: What is the “Heal All Infused Water”?
A: Heal All is an herb – also known as Woundwort or Self-Heal. Here is some info about the plant: AllNature.com
Q:Tocopheryl Acetate or Vitamin E Acetate is a little concerning, some studies show this to be allergen/toxin.
A: The Tocopheryl Acetate is Vitamin E – we use this version of the Vitamin E because it is more stable, vegetable-based (so we can always make sure this particular lotion is vegan) and less acidic than other forms of Vitamin E, while still providing the skin conditioning benefits. It’s included in very tiny quantities in the formula, I believe it’s less than 1%.
Q:These ingredients are listed in the EWG database to cause irritation: Propanediol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin and Potassium Sorbate.
A: These 3 ingredients are the preservative system we use in the lotion – it’s also called Linatural. The three ingredients combined are less than 2% of the formula. Here is a bit more about each ingredient:
- Propanediol: Is the 1st component within the preservative system. This ingredient can be either synthetically produced or natural. The version that is inside this blend is the naturally derived version. It comes from non-GMO corn and it’s approved by ECO-Cert, NPA, Health Canada and USDA as a bio-based – all natural derived preservative which is also kosher certified. This ingredient CAN be synthetically produced – and that is not the type that is in our formulation.
- Ethylhexyl Glycerin: The 2nd component within the Linatural preservative system. It is derived from glycerin, just as the name sounds. It provides an added benefit over being a preservative as a skin conditioner. This ingredients has shown to be as effective as a paraben based preservative but contains ZERO parabens.
- Potassium Sorbate: The 3rd component within the Linatural system – this last additive is widely used in certified organic foods like salsa and other aquatic based foods that tend to mold easily.
We always have to choose between the lesser of two evils when it comes to preservatives – we want to protect our formulas from growing nasty bacteria, which is hard to do without introducing harsh chemicals. We’ve found the Linatural to be the best preservative with the lowest EWG ratings possible. Linatural is a broad spectrum preservative, that is non-formaldehyde donating. It’s effective against pathogens, bacteria, yeast and fungi.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the surfactants included like Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol and Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate – not toxins by any means but can be irritating to the skin.
A: These three ingredients are actually our emulsification system. They are what bind the oils to the waters and create the lotion itself. These are also known as the product ECOMulse – which is EcoCert approved for Organic and non-GMO recipes. Each of these ingredients are listed only as a 1 on the EWG skin deep database.
Q: Absolutes are made using chemical solvents – typically Hexane. Do you know if this is true for the Cocoa Absolute?
A: Benign Solvent Extracted Absolute (Natural Grape Spirits is the solvent used, no Hexane).
Q: Silver Citrate is listed on the EWG Skin Deep Database to cause wildlife and environmentally toxicity by the EPA. Can you clarify?
A: Silver Citrate is our “backup” preservative in the formula – it is a water -soluble preservative – so in the formula (which is very heavy in waters vs. oils) it is an added antimicrobial ingredient helping to protect the formula. It is used at less than .5% of the total formula.
So interesting right?! I have to mention too The Moody Sisters were so quick with their response to all of my questions. They definitely seem to be making informed decisions – ones that they have thought about carefully. Comparatively speaking, sometimes I will ask a question and the company won’t know the answer and that in itself is very telling. I really value this level of thoroughness, thoughtfulness and ownership.
St. Tropica Organic Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask
My heart flipped and then it flopped as I read the St. Tropica Organic Hot Oil Hair Mask ingredients. Okay first of all this treatment is made from 100% organic ingredients – holla! But wait, it’s recommended to leave on for 20 mins or up to OVER NIGHT? Lets be real, any inkling of a threat to my REM pattern is straight up blasphemy. That being said, I gave it a try….for 2 hours. I was actually really excited to use this because Hairprint has a drying effect on my scalp (like my scalp gets itchy the day or two after application) so I was excited to see if this helped.
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Butter, Organic Coconut Fruit Extract, Organic Biotin, Organic Horsetail, Organic Amla, Organic Hibiscus, Organic Green Tea.
St. Tropica website says they use coconut oil which is the only natural hair oil ever proven to increase hair strength by reducing protein loss. Their coconut oil is also certified organic, unrefined and cold-pressed.
So St. Tropica promises “stronger, longer, thicker hair with brilliant shine.” And guess what my friends, it delivers. First you heat up the oil in it’s BPA-free packaging. (I heated a cup of water and put the packet in to warm the oil). Then this is applied to dry hair and covered with a shower cap or towel. I left this treatment on for two hours and shampooed twice as instructed.
My hair was definitely more moisturized and my curls more defined from the treatment. I think I actually could have used a third round of shampoo to get all of the product out. But my hair was super shiny and my scalp felt conditioned. This was definitely a treat – I mean it’s not everyday that you make space for a 2 hour hair treatment.
It’s A Wrap
To catch you up, Glowing Beets is a subscription box delivering natural beauty and healthy living products to your door every month. Each box contains 3-4 deluxe size products (bigger than a sample and smaller than full size) and the subscription goes for 29.95 + shipping. Loving this subscription for several reasons. First I can play with the products and get a feel for what works with my skin before committing to a full size. Second, I can use the products with ease knowing they have been vetted and are void of toxins. Third, who doesn’t want a box of green beauty products in the mail?!
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