Category Archives: Health & Beauty

How Your Used Mascara Wands Can Help Save Wildlife

Check Out How This Non-Profit Organization Repurposes Discarded Mascara Wands

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Did you know that your used mascara wand can help save small wildlife? Read on to find out how!

Wands For Wildlife—a non-profit organization based in North Carolina, is asking for your used mascara wands to help treat injured wildlife.

Why mascara wands? Because the tiny and compact bristles are the perfect size for removing stuff like fleas, ticks and other debris from the fur of small critters and wings of injured birds.

“Because the bristles of a mascara brush are so close together, it basically works really well to groom through the fur and through the feathers”.

📸: Wands For Wildlife

Wands For Wildlife began as a program at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, but has since become a separate organization due to its success.

“The initiative grew and expanded to share wands with other wildlife rehabilitators across the state of North Carolina. After three years, it became clear that the program was beyond the mission of Appalachian Wild’s focus on injured and orphaned wildlife in Western North Carolina”.

📸 : Wands For Wildlife

Donating used mascara wands to help injured and orphaned wildlife is such an awesome way to repurpose plastic that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

And if you’re someone who does not wear makeup, you can always collect mascara wands from family, friends, and co-workers, who will be more than ecstatic to pitch in!

April happens to be Wandraiser Month for Wands For Wildlife, so if you’d like to donate a wand or two, click here to find out more and take action to help wildlife!

YouTube | Appalachian Wildlife Rescue | Wands For Wildlife

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10 Best Zero-Waste Shampoo Bars Of 2022

Plastic Free Shampoo Bars For A Sustainable Hair Care Routine

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Shampoo bars are an awesome zero waste swap when it comes to hair care. They’re completely plastic-free and made with organic ingredients—making them completely biodegradable and eco-friendly.

The Benefits Of Using Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars are actually multi-purpose! That’s right! Not only are shampoo bars an excellent hair care product, they’re also great for your face, body and hands. So if you’re somewhat of a minimalist or someone who’s always late in the mornings, a shampoo bar is your one stop shop for cleanliness!

Shampoo bars are also eco friendly and made with nontoxic and biodegradable ingredients like essential oils and butters that are free of phthalates, parabens and carcinogens. So you’ll feel really good about what you’re putting on your body and down the drain.

Shampoo bars are perfect for travel and vacations! Let’s face it, nobody likes to use those tiny hotel shampoos. They’re more of a keepsake than personal care item. That’s where shampoo bars come in handy.

They’re easy to pack, won’t go rogue and spill all over your luggage, and they’ll keep you from spending money on bottled shampoo that you probably won’t use up in time and will have to leave for cleaning service to dispose of.

Lastly, my personal favorite benefit of owning a shampoo bar: they’re plastic free and save space. Before trying and falling in love with shampoo bars, my shower would be cluttered with plastic shampoo bottles—taking up so much space and spending who knows how long in a landfill. But with a shampoo bar, all you need is a really good soap dish! For more info on how to store your shampoo bar, and some really cool soap dish recommendations, see my article here!

How Do You Use A Shampoo Bar


Shampoo bars are pretty simple to use. Whether you’re in the shower or prefer to wash your hair in the sink, you basically take your shampoo bar and rub it in a circular motion against your wet hair, creating a lather. The you simply rinse and repeat—or not. It’s up to you.

Some shampoo bars are so moisturizing that you don’t need to follow up with a conditioner. However, if your hair absolutely needs some extra lovin’, you can always get a conditioner bar as well. Some of the brands below even sell them in combos.

The zero waste shampoo bars below are also all cruelty free and ethically made with natural and organic ingredients.

Best Overall

Simply Shea Shampoo Bar


Apple Valley Natural Soap Simply Shea Shampoo Bar

Made In | The USA

Apple Valley Natural Soap is a shampoo bar company that not too many people know about! This hidden gem is a family owned business that hand-makes all of their shampoo bars and other fabulous skin care products with all natural and organic ingredients.

Their signature “simply shea” shampoo bars leave hair super soft and luxurious that you won’t even need conditioner! It also has a gender-neutral scent that both men and women will enjoy.

These shampoo bars are always shipped in compostable packaging and the full size bars are a very generous size compared to most shampoo bar brands (and cost less too!).

Try A Sample Size, Half Size Or Full Size Today With 10% Off Using Code: AVNSDIARIES10

Best Shampoo Bar For Men

BossMan

Boss Man 4-In-1 Shampoo Bar

Made In | USA

Perfect for washing more than just hair, Boss Man is the ultimate men’s multi-tasking shampoo bar that tackles hair, face, beard and body. And if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and acne, rest assured that this rugged yet gentle shampoo bar contains all of the essential ingredients that will minimize inflammation and get you feeling good as new.

Best For Babies & Kids

Ethique

Ethique Oaty Delicious

Made In | New Zealand

The eco-friendly kids’ shampoo bar by Ethique called “OatyDelicious” is made from oats, cocoa butter, and oils consisting of chamomile, lavender and coconut. The bar is pH balanced, plant-based, vegan, cruelty free, compostable and of course, zero waste! It’s mild, has a subtle scent and is great for kids with eczema because it’s so gentle on the skin (it can double as a body wash).

Best For Fine/Oily Hair

Good Juju

Good JuJu

Made In | Canada

The Good Juju Shampoo Bar is made from all-organic ingredients that are vegan, cruelty free and color-safe. Made with rich antioxidants, polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory ingredients, this zero waste bar leaves hair nourished while stimulating hair growth.

Best Travel Size

Ethique Hair Sampler Pack

Ethique Shampoo Bars

Made In | New Zealand

Ethique is a very popular shampoo bar brand headquartered in New Zealand and makes really wonderful shampoo bars with all natural and vegan ingredients—and they have a good range of bars for every hair type (including pets). Ethique’s sampler pack is perfect for travel. They’re small and compact, and include a couple of conditioner bars.

Best For Wavy/Curly Hair

Viori

Viori

Made In | USA

YouTube: Viori

Viori zero waste shampoo bars are handcrafted with ethically sourced Longsheng Rice from the Red Yao tribe in China. The creators were inspired by the women in the tribe, who, even at 70 and 80 years of age, had incredibly thick, long hair with zero gray. If you have damaged hair, Viori will moisturize, strengthen, rejuvenate, renew, volumize, increase natural shine, repair, and gently cleanse your hair and scalp.

Best For Daily Use

Tangie Rose Geranium Shampoo Bar

Tangie Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

Tangie shampoo bars by Zero Waste Products give your hair luxurious lather and softness, and they come in a lot of various fragrances. This shampoo bar is ultra concentrated and won’t irritate your scalp—making it safe to use everyday. This shampoo bar brand also has a 30 day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchased, which is very cool.

Best For Dry Or Damaged Hair

HiBAR

HiBAR Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

HiBAR is another one of my favorite shampoo bar brands that I got to sample a while ago and it does indeed live up to the hype when it comes to hair softness. Each bar contains high-quality, naturally-derived ingredients like nutrient-dense coconut oil, moisturizing shea butter, and fragrant essential oils. No added water means they’re super concentrated and a little bit goes a long way. Plus, all HiBAR products are also cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny Certified, meaning they’re never tested on animals!

Best For Itchy Scalp And Dandruff

Turmeric Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Bar

Chloe Mason Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

The Chloe Mason Soap Company has the most beautiful hand-made soap and shampoo bars that I have ever seen! They’re beautifully designed with flowery and shimmery decor, and full of natural ingredients that do wonders for your scalp and hair!

One of their most popular hand-made shampoo bars (shown above) is made with goat milk, apple cider vinegar and turmeric—two key ingredients that fight dandruff and oily hair. It’s also works great as acne treatment because of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Best For Pets

JR Liggett’s

JR Liggett’s Pet Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

These all-natural shampoo bars are made especially for pets with pet-safe ingredients. They’re hypoallergenic, made with organic ingredients, and infused with essential oils and added hemp, aloe vera and colloidal oatmeal to help sooth dry, itchy skin. These natural shampoo bars have excellent reviews, and pet owners love that they don’t leave a lingering scent like most bottle shampoo tends to do.

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Do Biodegradable Pregnancy Tests Exist?

Why It’s Time To Make The Switch To Eco Friendly Pregnancy Tests

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I read somewhere today that around 10 million pregnancy tests are purchased in the U.S. each year; and I realized that years ago, I contributed to that statistic with my own pregnancy journeys.

Don’t get me wrong, at-home pregnancy tests are great because whether you’re trying to conceive (TTC) or anxiously waiting to be reassured that you’re not pregnant, you get to do it conveniently, and in the privacy of your own home. You’re in complete control of the situation.

But still, 10 million single-use pregnancy tests making their way to the landfill each year is pretty alarming. And it tells us that the diagnostics industry hasn’t taken any steps to minimize plastic pollution on their part—until recently.

Biodegradable pregnancy tests are starting to make an appearance, and it’s about time.

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Pregnancy tests have desperately needed a makeover to reduce plastic waste, and one
such eco-friendly pregnancy test is called SolCraft, which is made from recycled and recyclable packaging and is currently 90 percent biodegradable. The company states that they are working on becoming 100 percent biodegradable in the future.

The SolCraft pregnancy test is over 99.9% accurate with easy to read results and costs about the same as the big name brands: Clear Blue and First Response—only, it’s way more environmentally friendly.

The brand also makes biodegradable ovulation tests that come in a pack of 2—which is yet another diagnostic test that many women rely on when it comes to getting pregnant.

SolCraft Pregnancy Test

Hopefully more companies within the diagnostics industry join the bandwagon and create plastic alternatives that are more environmentally friendly.

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How To Treat And Prevent Back Acne

Why Back Acne Occurs And What You Can Do About It

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Many people suffer from back acne—especially athletes and teenagers going through hormonal changes. Still others are simply victims of genetics. Either way, nobody likes it—it’s painful and it’s embarrassing.

What Causes Back Acne?

Just like the face, the back is prone to redness, inflammation and blemishes as a result of excess sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells building up in the pores. The only difference is that the back is much harder to treat because it’s hard to reach, and the skin is much thicker.

Another reason that back acne occurs and is more stubborn to get rid of than face acne is because it’s covered with fabric all-day long—unlike the face which has access to fresh air 24/7.

As a result, oil, sweat and dead skin cells get absorbed by what we wear and rub back onto our skin—suffocating the pores in the process. Your skin literally cannot breathe.

So now that you know the basics of why and how back acne occurs, let’s take a look at some ways that we can treat it effectively.

Treat Your Back Acne With These Natural Products

Exfoliate With A Salt Bar—Not Body Wash

Traditional body wash contains harsh ingredients and fragrance that can actually irritate the skin and make your inflammation even worse. So what cleanser should you be using instead to treat back acne? I’ll tell you—a Salt Bar.

Salt bars are soap bars that contain a generous combination of sea salt and rich moisturizers like coconut oil and Shea butter; and you’ll often hear people referring to them as “Spa Soap” because of the luxurious benefits that they provide for your skin.

Contrary to what many may think, salt bars do not dry out your skin. It’s quite the opposite. Because salt bars contain rich moisturizers, salt bars produce a very creamy lather that works extremely well in combination with the exfoliating texture of the soap.

Salt is also extremely hostile to bacteria, which is what causes and sustains back acne. So when you ‘exfoliate’ with salt bars by gently rubbing it on the skin, you’re drawing out and killing all the toxics and bacteria that lurk within the pores. Does it work on the face too? You bet.

I highly recommend salt bars made specifically by Apple Valley Natural Soap for back acne treatment. It’s a family owned online shop where they hand-make their salt bars right here in the U.S. with all-natural and organic ingredients, and sell inexpensive yet generous sized bars.

The problem with buying most salt bars online is that they can be over $25 and typically made overseas in countries like China. Why do that when you can get a Pink Himalayan Salt Bar by Apple Valley Natural Soap with a transparent ingredient list at a whopping 9 ounces for less than $12 (plus more varieties).

The Pink Himalayan Salt Bar

Dab On Some Hemp Seed Oil

To help your back heal, one of the best products that you can put on your skin (whether it’s your back or face) is organic CBD hemp seed oil. And Apple Valley Natural Soap makes excellent quality hemp seed oil.

Hemp seed oil is anti-inflammatory and moisturizes your skin without clogging pores. It also helps regulate how much oil your skin produces—because as you know, excess oil results in clogged pores.

According to Healthline, “Dryness can also cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can stimulate acne. Hemp oil can prevent dry skin without clogging pores. This helps reduce acne that’s caused by excess oil”.

Use this in combination with a vitamin c serum and some hyaluronic acid serum, and your back (or face) will look like a whole new person.

Apple Valley Natural Soap Hemp Seed Oil

Switch To A Plant-Based Laundry Detergent

EarthBreeze Laundry Strips

If your clothing tends to make you itch and makes your back acne flare up, the culprit might be your laundry detergent—which contains a ton of synthetic chemicals that aggravate your skin. And it exacerbates the inflammation especially when you sweat—have you noticed that?

Perhaps you should do what many other health conscious individuals are doing and switch to plant-based, nontoxic laundry strips which are hypoallergenic and won’t cause your back to flare up. I’ve been using EarthBreeze for a while and can attest to all the benefits that these pre-measured laundry strips have to offer. They’re also only $12 when you join the subscription program. Give it a try and see it helps!

Swap The Fancy Athletic Shirts For Natural Fabric

You’re going to hate me—especially if you just went shopping for new gym clothes. However, fancy “dry fit”, “moisture wicking” and “heat gear” apparel are actually causing your back acne. Unlike cotton, for example, these new “tech” fabrics obstruct air flow and help bacteria to breed.

What you should be wearing instead is an organic cotton or bamboo t-shirt. Unlike other fabric, bamboo fabric is breathable, hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin.

Big Boy Bamboo

Zero Waste Toothpaste: Noice Dental Gel Review

A Guide To Organic And Eco-Friendly Oral Care

This post contains affiliate links which may earn us a commission. Also, I was recently gifted the product to try out, and the opinion is my own.

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Finally! A Toothpaste That Keeps Both Our Teeth And The Ocean Clean!

Hey Eco Fam! I promise you’ll love this product as much as I do!

Want naturally whiter teeth while doing good for the planet? Read on!

In the United States, an estimated 400 million toothpaste tubes end up in the landfill—and more than a billion world-wide.

Unfortunately, not all toothpaste tubes can be recycled because they’re a combination of different plastics and only a thin layer of aluminum.

Even toothpaste tubes that claim they can be recycled can only actually be recycled in special facilities (like Colgate or Terra Cycle) and not your local recycling center—they’ll just take them off of the sorting belt and toss them along with trash. For more on recycling tips, check out my article on recycling 101.

So imagine how excited I was when I came across a company called NOICE [Dental Gel] that’s packaged in recyclable glass and qualifies for curbside recycling.

The product itself is an all-natural, organic and vegan black-colored gel that cleans, whitens and leaves your breath feeling fresher than any traditional toothpaste out on the market. And the packaging is glass with a plastic pump that can be transferred and reused on a new bottle if you decide to purchase refills.

First Impressions

I was pleasantly surprised with the scent, taste and cleaning power of Noice. It’s actually a gel and all I had to do was easily pump two pea sized amounts of it onto my toothbrush and go at it.

Now, I brush my teeth twice a day, which makes them pretty clean already, but the NOICE gel gave my teeth a smooth finish that I only experience at the hands of my hygienist when I get my yearly [professional] cleaning. Not to mention the fact that they appear whiter every time I brush—I believe it’s due to the activated charcoal which is an Ingredient in this all-natural toothpaste.

My breath also feels like I have just used mouthwash—only it doesn’t sting the way mouthwash does. So the fact that my teeth felt like a brand new waxed car, appeared a shade whiter and my breath smelled amazing the very first time I brushed with this product, makes this zero-waste toothpaste a definite recommendation.

Ingredients

Courtesy of NOICE

The NOICE toothpaste gel is made up of 99.3% all-natural and organic botanical ingredients. This means that this all-natural toothpaste is healthy for both you and the environment.

Below are some of the effective ingredients you’ll find in NOICE which all work perfectly to provide you with healthy teeth and gums:

  • Bamboo derived charcoal
  • Licorice 
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Anise seed oil
  • Chamomile
  • Organic Peppermint
  • Menthol
  • Citrus
  • Sage
  • Tea tree
  • Soy-derived Lecithin
  • Glycerin
  • Cellulose Gum
  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

For More Info On How NOICE natural toothpaste works, check out their video below!

Source: YouTube: Noice

The Benefits Of Charcoal Facial Soap

How Incorporating Activated Charcoal Soap Into Your Daily Skin Cleansing Routine Can Help Fight Acne, Wrinkles And Blemishes

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I’ve always been a huge fan of activated charcoal powder, and I happen to take it in capsule form several times a week for digestive health.

Activated charcoal is created by burning carbon-rich materials such as coconut shells, bamboo, wood, coal or even olive pits—resulting in a very porous version of carbon that can bind to many other elements.

When taken in capsule form, activated charcoal absorbs and traps toxins, gas, and chemicals in your intestines—preventing your body from absorbing them, and instead, eliminating them out of your body when you go to the bathroom. This results in less stinky farts and less bloat. Activated charcoal is truly wonderful!

It’s even been used as a poison antidote since the early 1800s. According to Healthline.com, “studies show that when a single dose of 50–100 grams of activated charcoal is taken within five minutes of drug ingestion, it may reduce drug absorption in adults by up to 74%”.

If activated charcoal can do all that within your body, can you imagine the awesome benefits of applying it to the outside of your body?

Activated Charcoal In Facial Soap

With that said, activated charcoal is an excellent ingredient in facial soap. Similar to its miracle work in your gut, activated charcoal pulls toxins and impurities out of your skin, resulting in cleaner, smaller pores and tighter skin. It has even been known to clear up psoriasis and eczema.

Treats Acne And Blackheads

Activated Charcoal is amazing for acne treatment. In addition to drawing out toxins and impurities that clog pores, activated charcoal calms inflammation, allowing acne to dry up and heal.

Controls Oily Skin

Activated charcoal is great for oily skin and can help keep it under control. Oil clogs pores, resulting in blackheads and other skin issues like acne, so by cleansing your skin with activated charcoal in the morning and evening, you’re helping to maintain healthy pores.

Results In Firmer Skin

Whenever I wash my skin with activated charcoal soap, it feels a lot firmer without feeling dry. That’s because activated charcoal shrinks your pores, resulting in tighter skin. It’s a great addition to your anti-aging regimen.

Treats Beard Dandruff

Activated charcoal soap can be used to treat beard dandruff. Dandruff is often brought on by oily skin and fungal overgrowth, hence, activated charcoal absorbs both of those impurities, resulting in flake-free skin. It’s a great addition to one’s beard grooming routine.

Charcoal Detox Face And Body Bar By Apple Valley Natural Soap

Apple Valley Natural Soap

I get my charcoal facial soap from Apple Valley Natural Soap—a family-owned online store that specializes in handmade soap and shampoo bars. All of their cleansing products are made with natural and organic ingredients, and are always shipped in compostable shipping material. So, I may be a little biased, but I love this particular activated charcoal facial soap and how it leaves my skin feeling cleaner and firmer and each night.

“You’ll love the herbal, minty, licorice scent – and the midnight black coloring is gorgeous” -AVNS

Activated Charcoal And Cracked Black Pepper Exfoliant Bar

Jungle Culture

This unique cold-pressed bar by Jungle Culture is hand made in Vietnam and has an interesting combination of all-natural ingredients. Combined with activated charcoal, black pepper is used to exfoliate dead skin and stimulate blood circulation. This in turn drives more oxygen to your face and leaves you with a healthy, glowing complexion.

“In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, each and every soap bar is handmade using a cold process. The dry ingredients, and then the wet ingredients, are all mixed together over several hours until the blend reaches the perfect consistency. The soap makers pour the mixture into aluminium moulds and line them up on a rack, letting them dry naturally. Even at this stage, where extra heat could speed things along, we prefer to keep it natural. Around six weeks later, the bars are finally ready. They’re hand cut and carefully wrapped in recycled paper” – Jungle Culture

Activated Charcoal Soap For Men By Viking Revolution

Viking Revolution

This activated charcoal soap by Viking Revolution is another awesome activated charcoal soap bar made with all natural and organic ingredients. It’s a masculine looking hockey puck that smells like peppermint and eucalyptus—a clean smell that isn’t too overpowering. It cleans your pores, eliminates beard dandruff and leaves you smelling fresh.

“cleans pores, removes blackheads and tackles acne while cleansing the facial skin, but with no waiting. Just wash your face in the shower and you’re done” -Viking Revolution

Septoplasty Recovery Tips

My Septoplasty Experience With Latera Implants


This post contains affiliate links which may earn us a commission.


I have recently undergone Septoplasty surgery to correct a deviated septum. Due to trauma, it had basically shifted into my right nostril at age 13 and obstructed my breathing ever since. Needless to say I was tired of getting adult ear infections and having a difficult time breathing during exercise—particularly running. So I decided to finally correct it.

My primary care doctor referred me to an ENT specialist (ear nose and throat) and when the ENT doc examined me, he noticed a couple more things besides a crooked septum that needed to be taken care of.

In addition to enlarged turbinates that needed to be shrunk, my nasal valve was collapsing every time I sniffed or took a breath through my nose—so I needed an implant on both sides called a Latera implant.

Image source: Latera.com

Latera implants are polymers and get injected on each side of your nose and keep your nose stabilized when you breathe in—allowing you to get a full breath of air. And the cool thing about these implants is that after a year, they get absorbed by your body and create scar tissue that acts on behalf of the implant.

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Day Of Surgery

I arrive at the surgery center a week after my Septoplasty consult and I was pretty nervous. I’ve had quite a few surgeries before but never on my face—especially a delicate part like my nose. I was so nervous that I asked the nurse for a vomit bin and they ended up putting Zofran into my IV to keep me from throwing up.

Basically I had two huge fears while I was waiting on my hospital bed: the first was that I would wake up extremely stuffed up due to blood and the splints that they put up your nose to stabilize it, and therefore choke or suffocate, and the second fear had to do with pain—because let’s face it—even plucking one nose hair makes your eyes water, and in this case, they’d be taking out small chunks of cartilage.

POST SURGERY (Day 1)

After my Septoplasty surgery, I woke up actually being able to breathe through my nose—silicone tubes and all. And I wasn’t in any pain because of the local anesthetic that the doctor injected all throughout my nose—in addition to whatever was going through my IV line. So no worries, you won’t be in any pain at all.

However, when I stood up to get ready to go home, my nose began to drain blood and I instantly felt congested. I definitely had to go full mouth-breather. The nurse showed me how to tape gauze underneath my nose to catch the blood, and told me to begin using saline the next day to keep all the blood from crusting over—which also makes nasal splint removal more difficult later on (they removed mine 4 days later).

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At home I laid down and drifted in and out of sleep from the anesthesia. I used a reusable compress mask that went around my nose and not directly on it—trust me, any pressure on your nose is painful. And the ones that they give you at the hospital are awful because they leak, so I’m glad I preordered my own after reading about this in a facebook Septoplasty Recovery group.

I tried to eat, but my front teeth were sore, so I stuck to liquids and yogurt. I definitely used the pain meds that were prescribed to me when the local anesthetic wore off. I also took a capsule of turmeric/curcumin which is an anti inflammatory supplement known to reduce swelling.

That night was pretty rough. Not due to pain because the medication kept it under control, but because of the congestion. I had to sleep propped up, which wasn’t comfortable, and I kept waking due to dry mouth and a dry throat. I’m also pretty sure I stopped breathing a couple of times while I slept because I would jerk awake gasping for air. I’m pretty sure many people have experienced the same thing while recovering from Septoplasty surgery.

Day 2

I woke up tired and was pretty frustrated throughout the entire day. I wanted my nose to clear out, but that’s not possible. I used my saline nasal spray (very gently), but all that seemed to do was make my nose stuffier (I did that about 3-4 times that day). My nose still bled so I had to continue wearing gauze underneath my nose.

I also caved today and got a humidifier to help me sleep better at night and to keep my mouth and throat less dry. Prior to bed I took my first hot shower since the night prior to my surgery with the shower head turned away and it felt great! I had to have the shower head turned slightly away though.

Day 3

I’m having panick attacks from time to time because i can barely get air in through my tubes and it’s making me feel claustrophobic. Saline solution clears it out for a little while but then it begins to dry and crust over all over again. I tell myself to hang in there as I’m getting my splints out tomorrow.

I also went out today and absolutely had to wear sunglasses because it’s so bright out but, they hurt my nose due to the Latera implants which have become swollen and are poking out through my skin. Luckily, someone online told me about a headband that lifts the glasses off of your nasal bridge and I ordered a pair because I really need to wear my sunglasses when I drive.

Day 4

I went to get my splints removed today and it REALLY hurt. There’s really no subtle way to yank splints out, so having them taken out with force is pretty painful. I can honestly say that I was in more pain having splints taken out than the day I had surgery. The doctor also told me that I will have dissolvable stitches in there for a while, and to not tug on them.

Below are my before and after photos. You can definitely see how bad the septum was and how great of a difference Septoplasty made. It even changed the shape of my nose tip—making it more symmetrical.

Before & After

Even though Septoplasty splint removal was super painful, I was able to take in a huge whiff of fresh air, and it was wonderful.

The only concern were the Latera implants, which were looking too superficial, but the ENT doctor told me to wait it out and see if the swelling goes down. If it doesn’t, and the implants are still poking through, then I will have to go back and have them removed in-office. The removal might create a tiny scar, but makeup does wonders these days.

Day 5

Last night I slept great! My nose still feels tender and slightly congested, but nothing compared to the previous days. I barely have to use my saline solution, and there is only a tiny amount of blood tinged mucus when I blow my nose. It still kind of hurts to blow, but it’s getting much better.

Moving Forward

The next two weeks of Septoplasty recovery, I noticed my nose going back to a normal slim shape. The nostrils aren’t perfectly symmetrical, but it’s a huge improvement aesthetically. My nose also isn’t tender anymore. If my child accidently bumps it with their head I’m not crying in pain—I barely feel it.

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Overall, having Septoplasty surgery was a great decision. I am able to breathe freely without any obstruction and my sense of smell has improved also.

If you’re having Septoplasty surgery, or considering having a Septoplasty, just remember that the first 3 days are the worst, but after the splints are removed, it’s smooth sailing, and you’ll have a life changing new nose.

Below are the items I’ve used to help aid my recovery and to be more comfortable during the healing process—I call it my “recovery tool kit”. Hopefully, these items will help you as well!

My Septoplasty Recovery Toolkit

Reusable Heating/Cooling Pad

MyCare Cooling Pad

Pro-Optics Nose Guard

Pro-Optics

Cool Mist Humidifier

AquaOasis

Best Vegan Hair Dyes

These Ethical And Cruelty-Free Hair Dye Brands Will Leave You Feeling Fun And Flirty This Summer!

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Have you ever dyed your hair with traditional at-home hair color and almost had to call 911 because the fumes nearly killed you? I think we all made that mistake one time or another. Unfortunately, vegan hair dye wasn’t always available on store shelves. But, these days, they are plentiful, and some of the colors are incredibly fun, flirty and vibrant.

So what are your plans this summer? No, really! Let me know in the comments!


Last summer was a dud due to Covid, but this year, you get a chance to go out and actually live. And what better way to celebrate than to give your hair a little makeover with some ethical vegan hair color that’ll turn heads!

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Vegan hair dye is:

  • PPD Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Ammonia Free
  • GMO Free
  • Cruelty Free

And I wish that all hair dye consisted of these qualities, but unfortunately, they don’t. Not only is traditional dye horrible for your health, it’s also bad for the environment, because you’re rinsing it out in sink, and all of those chemicals go down the drain.

Vegan hair dye on the other hand, is nontoxic and eco-friendly, so you won’t feel bad about using it. And many are semi-permanent, which is great because you get to experiment with different shades without damaging your hair!

So this summer, change it up a notch, and enjoy life! Metallic type of shades like greys and silver are tending this year—and you’ll look great at the beach, raves or wherever else life takes you. Take a look below for some inspiration and have fun responsibly!

Punky Semi-Permanent Vegan Hair Colour

Punky

Punky semi-permanent hair dye has beautiful vibrant colors that can be applied to both light and dark hair—it actually leaves awesome highlights and shine on dark hair! This vegan dye lasts up to 35 washes and looks great with ombré hair!

INH Vegan Hair Dye

INH

This semi-permanent vegan hair dye by INH deep conditions as you dye your hair! It’s great for all hair types and all shades, and leaves your hair feeling soft and nourished, instead dry and unmanageable. It’s available in many colors and has really good reviews!

Brite Vegan Hair Dye

Brite

The Brite vegan hair dye comes in fun and flirty pastel colors—like this pastel pink! It lasts from 5-30 washes, depending on hair type and leaves your hair feeling hydrated! This vegan hair dye works particularly better on light colored hair, but the great news is that they also sell a vegan and ammonia free bleach kit if you’re wanting to go that route!

Arctic Fox Vegan Hair Dye

Photo Cred: Arctic Dye & @mermaidcat_prr

Arctic Dye is another great semi-permanent vegan hair dye that deposits insanely vivid color! It nourishes as it sets and fades out gracefully. The cool thing about this brand is that 15% of all profits go toward charities who work to end animal abuse.

Smart Beauty Vegan Hair Dye

Smart Beauty

Unlike most vegan hair dyes which tend to be only semi-permanent, the this Smart Beauty hair color is permanent. It’s perfect for achieving a metallic pastel shade that looks fun and vibrant!

Manic Panic Vegan Hair Dye

Manic Panic

Manic Panic is a really fun hair care line and they have awesome vegan hair dyes as well! Their formula lasts for about 4-6 weeks and gradually fades. They have many shades available that are fun, vibrant and easy to apply!

Apple Valley Natural Soap Co Review

Unique Hand-Made Shampoo Bars You Need To Lather Up With!

Updated February 6, 2022



This post contains affiliate links which may earn us a commission.

The Organic Shampoo Bars You’ll Fall In Love With!

A few years ago, the glorious shampoo bar emerged and challenged the norm of traditional haircare. The beauty industry was overflowing with plastic packaging and eventually consumers began to feel suffocated with all the BPA and artificial ingredients that did more harm than good. So little by little, female consumers began to test out solid shampoo in the form of bars—and they liked it!

Shampoo bar manufacturing thus, became a big deal. And many small companies began to create different variations of these little bars. Eventually, men too, began to see the benefits of these gems on their hair and beards and demanded their own masculine shampoo bar lines—which did indeed happen (read about the best men’s shampoos here).


Fast shampoo bar manufacturing, just like fast fashion, can be a problem. Before long, many shampoo bar companies began to use ingredients that weren’t healthy. Some even went as far as to hide their ingredient list.

Why Shop At Apple Valley Natural Soap?

The solution to finding a good non-toxic shampoo bar is to buy from a small business that’s transparent about their ingredients—whether from your local Farmer’s Market or a family owned business online. There aren’t too many, but we know of one that is really great and their products are all natural and hand-made—shampoo bars and soaps that look and smell so good, you’ll be tempted to take a bite of one!

Meet Apple Valley Natural Soap Co— The company was purchased a few years back by a female entrepreneur whose hobby was soap making—it still is! And with the help of her family, they sell some of the most wonderful shampoo bars in the country.

Apple Valley Natural Soap.com sells women’s, men’s, kids, and even pet shampoo bars that are incredibly gentle, aesthetically beautiful, and have fun names to match.

Apple Valley Natural Soap also disclose product ingredients under every product and even provide directions with how to use them—going above and beyond for their customers.

And they don’t just sell shampoo bars—Apple Valley Soap co also creates relaxing bath and body gift sets and beard grooming kits—in addition to luxurious body butters, hair rinses, soy candles and hemp skin care products which are all vegan.

Apple Valley Natural Soap products are also shipped in compostable, plastic free packaging and beautifully wrapped! My latest order pictured before are two half size bars which are Pink Lemonade (for my daughter) and The Cowboy Bar (for my son).

Let me quickly tell you—both of my kids love the scent of these shampoo bars! My daughter said “wow, this bar smells like pink Starburst candy!” Also, the lather is luxurious. My daughter has long hair down to her waist and this shampoo bar leaves her hair incredibly soft and helps detangle it!

With that said, I’m going to show you a few products that Apple Valley Natural Soap sells which are amazing, affordable and best of all, cruelty free!

A Guide To Apple Valley Natural Soap

Best Selling Shampoo Bars For Women And Kids

Below you’ll find some of the most popular Apple Valley Natural Soap shampoo bars for women and children. These happen to be my favorite scents as well.

Pink Lemonade Shampoo Bar

The Pink Lemonade shampoo bar is a favorite amongst women and especially children due to its vibrant, sweet smell! Click here for details.

Simply Shea Shampoo Bar

Moisture drenching, unrefined shea nut butter and olive oil make the shea moisture shampoo bar an excellent choice for dry, sensitive skin and damaged, blow-fried hair.  Click here for details.

Marshmallow And Aloe Shampoo Bar

This Marshmallow and Aloe shampoo bar is great for smoothing the scalp and detangling hair. Aloe Vera is anti inflammatory and nourishes dry scalp, while marshmallow root softens and detangles dry hair Click here for details.

Below are the most popular shampoo bars for men or people who prefer a masculine scent.

Cowboy Shampoo Bar

The cowboy shampoo bar is a favorite amongst many men. Smoky vetiver, spicy black pepper, crisp bergamot, and blood orange blend together to create an incredibly adventurous bar. It’s Click here for details.

MAN Body And Shampoo Bar

If you’re searching for the ultimate “manly” smelling shampoo bar, then the MAN body and shampoo bar might be for you. It’s infused with neem oil, which has a strong masculine scent, and also prevents grays, baldness and calms eczema. Click here for details.

The Buck Shampoo And Body Bar

The Buck shampoo and body bar contains an exhilarating scent of the outdoors. So if you love the fresh smell of woods while nourishing your hair with avocado oil and cocoa butter, then you’ll love this bar. With it’s warm, woodsy, pine scent this bar is moisturizing, rejuvenating and conditioning. Click here for details.

Not Sure What Shampoo Bars To Try? Get A Sample Pack!

The great thing about Apple Valley Soap.com is that they sell quarter sized samples of shampoo bars so that you can experiment and find what’s right for you! These shampoo bar samples are little, but mighty, and if stored properly, will last a good while!

Don’t Forget The Soap Mat!

These Eco-Friendly soap mats made from bioplastic allow water to drain and air to circulate, preventing your natural soap from turning to mush. To clean, just hold it under running water! 

Coupon Code Available!

As a thank you for shopping at Apple Valley Natural Soap, please take 10% off using the coupon code below! Just copy and paste AVNSDIARIES10 at check out!

10 Zero-Waste Handbag Essentials

10 Sustainable And Eco-Friendly Must-Have Items For Your Purse!


This post contains affiliate links which may earn us a small commission.

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Are you looking to extend your zero-waste lifestyle beyond your home? Would you like to make your travel and outings more sustainable and eco-friendly? Well, it’s actually quite easy—especially if you have a handbag! And in this article, I’m going to show you all of the best zero-waste items that you can keep in your handbag, and utilize on your outings while reducing your carbon footprint.

Keep in mind that you do not need all of the items that I’m going to recommend. They are simply what is inside of my zero-waste purse. I personally love really large purses because I have kids and I need to store some items for them as well from time to time—so having a big shoulder bag is really handy for me. And for that reason I enjoy bags that are made of a linen/cotton blend because they stretch and are perfect for outings like the beach and road trips.

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However, there are times when I prefer to be more of a minimalist and choose a smaller purse with less items—like when I’m shopping alone or doing a lot of walking. But, no matter how I choose to accessorize, I always have to have two main zero-waste items with me at all times: a reusable water bottle and reusable straw. I live in Florida where the heat is insane during the summer months, so those are two must-have items.

I hope the zero-waste travel items below inspire you to create your own zero-waste handbag kit! I myself am always looking for new products to add that can help me become more sustainable outside of my home.

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Zero Waste Handbag Essentials

  1. Reusable Water Bottle

I have several reusable water bottles that I use depending on where I go and what I am doing. I have one that specifically fits my jogging stroller, a large one for the gym, and a pretty teal one by Hydrapeak that I take with me when I am running errands—that’s the one that’s constantly in my purse. It’s made of stainless steel and it’s insulated, so it does a great job of keeping my water cold—especially during the hot summer months. So when choosing a reusable water bottle for your hand bag, go for anything that’s zero-waste like stainless steel, titanium, copper, silicone or glass.

Now Designs


2. REUSABLE COLLAPSIBLE COFFEE CUP

If you’re a coffee lover like me, then you probably own a reusable tumbler, and use it on your commutes (most likely in the mornings). And again, if you’re like me, you probably accidentally leave it in your cup holder where the remaining remnants spoil over night. We’ve all been there. That’s why I love these new collapsible silicone coffee mugs that have recently become popular. Once you’re done drinking out of it, you can squash it and throw it into your handbag right away so you don’t forget about it. Some even come with reusable straws, and are much more convenient for park outings or camping trips than bulky tumblers.

TripsGeo

3. Reusable Straw

I added a reusable straw to my zero-waste handbag kit about two years ago. In fact, switching to reusable straws was my very first step to a greener lifestyle, and it progressed from there. I remember that video of a helpless sea turtle with a plastic straw in his nose and that was it for me.

FinalStraw

With that said I tried a lot of reusable straws (stainless steel, silicone, glass and bamboo), and each one has a unique aftertaste—and I prefer to drink out of stainless steel straws with silicone tips (because accidentally hitting your front teeth with a metal straw hurts A LOT). If you’re not sure what kind of straw is best for you, check out my article on the best reusable straws of 2021. Having these in your handbag allows you to avoid plastic straws whenever you eat out and it’s certainly a great feeling to know that you didn’t contribute any single-use plastic to the landfill.

4. Reusable Travel Utensils

Yes, I carry around reusable cutlery in my handbag for two very important reasons. The first and obvious one is that if I am eating out or traveling, I don’t have to rely on plastic utensils which are sometimes wrapped in even more plastic. The second reason is germs. I don’t care how sanitized restaurant utensils are—I refuse to put something in my mouth that thousands of other people have put into their mouth. It’s just not happening.

Topbooc

So because of these reasons, I purchased a stainless steel travel utensil kit. And depending on your preference, you can buy one as well—they have kits made of stainless steel, bamboo, wheatgrass, rice husks and titanium. You can check out my article on best travel utensils if you’re interested in adding this to your zero-waste handbag!

5. REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS

In order to be an eco-conscious and mindful shopper, I use reusable shopping bags. This helps me avoid the need to use plastic bags, and reusable bags are more durable (plus you can fit more items inside). A lot of people like the idea of using reusable shopping bags, but most (especially men) don’t actually put this idea to use. That’s because they think that reusable bags are too “bulky”, but what they don’t realize is that many reusable bags come in foldable compact designs that can fit into your back pocket, and then unfold into large capacity bags that can hold up to 40-50 pounds. I use LuckyTreyvon bags (pictured below) and they are incredibly, incredibly awesome! Not to mention have the cutest designs. I got these in a pack of 6 and they easily fit in my handbag.

LuckyTreyvon

6. Reusable Tissues

One of the newest additions to my zero waste handbag is a reusable tissue kit. I was given a LastTissue kit for Christmas last year and it’s the coolest and cutest product ever. It consists of 6 organic cotton tissues that are housed in a dishwasher safe silicone container. The tissues can be re-washed up to over 400 times and they’re completely non-toxic. They feel a little stiff at first, but after a few washes, they soften up. It’s a great way to save trees and money. You can also purchase cloth handkerchiefs and store them in a small coin purse or used mint tin.

LastTissue

7. ZERO WASTE DEODORANT BAR

One of my ‘must-have’ hygiene items is a spare zero waste, natural deodorant. If you’re like me and use natural deodorant, you know that a major side effect of switching from traditional deodorant is sweat and body odor—so having a travel size deodorant in your handbag is very useful. Many people carry around disposable deodorant wipes, but those (even if they are labeled biodegradable) are not zero waste. They may be eco-friendly because they eventually breakdown, but they’re not zero waste—and that’s our goal for this zero-waste handbag kit.

Ethique

8. WOODEN SUNGLASSES

Polarized sunglasses are a must-have item—especially for driving. I have a pair in my purse at all times, and one extra pair in my glove compartment. And lately I’ve been really liking wooden [bamboo] sunglass frames. I don’t know about you, but in the past I’ve gone through a bunch of sunglasses because I’d either break them or lose them—they’re like socks, they just disappear. And they were all cheap plastic. That’s why wooden sunglasses are so much better to own—especially sustainable ones made from bamboo. If you loose them or they happen to break, just compost the frames!

Cloudfield

9. REUSABLE PERIOD PADS

We’ve all been there—running errands or at work and Mother Nature decides to crash the party earlier than expected. And of course we realize that we forgot to pack some period protection. Well, if you haven’t given reusable period pads a try yet, you really should consider it! When it comes to landfill waste, menstrual products as just as bad as baby diapers and single-use plastic water bottles that never biodegrade.

Teamoy

And the majority of reusable period pads contain charcoal bamboo layers which absorb twice as much as traditional menstrual pads—without the harsh and toxic ingredients. And if you’d like to know more about zero-waste period products check out my article on best zero-waste period starter kits! These reusable period pads are so great to have in your handbag and they come with a super cute storage pouch.

10. REUSABLE MINI BENTO BOX

There are times when I am eating out and don’t quite finish my meal—and the same goes with my kids. And in those situations, we used to take our food home in styrofoam to-go boxes provided free of charge by the restaurant. And now I realize just how unnecessary and wasteful it was to use those single-use containers. So when bento boxes started becoming popular a couple of years ago, the idea of using one as a to-go box really appealed to me. And the good news is that bento boxes come in all kinds of sizes, so you can get a very small one that fits right in your handbag and is incredibly light weight. They also make perfect on-the go snack containers for you or your kids (and they contain dividers which is awesome!).

LunchBots

Do you have any of these items in your handbag? What zero-waste items would you add?