Vegan Candles, yes they do exist!

Personally, I love candles they’re great as gifts and they are also great to set the mood and fill my home all year round with light and pleasant aromas.

The problem is that most brands use paraffin or beeswax and stearic acid, produced from animal fat in their candles.

Although most candles contain animal products, vegan candles are easy to find.

There are some brands making non-toxic, cruelty-free candles with high-quality essential oils. The one I love to use is produced locally near me by a certified aromatherapist called Kasia, and her husband. Kasia is the co-founder of LUMINESSENCE NATURALS and she makes the essential oils and creates the delicious aromas. 

They are a small business that sells mostly locally in the UK but they also export to other countries. Their candles are luxurious and smell deliciously.

Why choose 100% Natural Soy Candles with pure essential oils?

Soy candles are made from soybeans, derived from a Eco-friendly natural and renewable source. Plus soy wax is also biodegradable.

A candle made from soy wax burns cleaner and they are also non-toxic. When using Natural Soy Candles rather than paraffin-based candles you avoid breathing in toxic smoke or chemicals.

Soy candles typically last longer, you may pay more initially, but you won’t have to buy new candles as often.

The Luminessence Naturals Soy Candles contain the highest percentage of the best quality essential oils. Each Soy Candle is 100% Natural, ethically sourced & hand poured with absolutely no artificial ingredients. They not tested on animals, they are Vegan, Paraben & Chemical free.

Whether is to relax or lift your mood use eco-friendly, vegan candles 🌱🕯 and relax without the worry of any chemical nasties polluting your home 💙

Let me know if you knew about soy candles and if you have any thoughts or recommendations 🙂

(*Although I talk about a specific brand this post was NOT sponsored *)

SaveSave

SaveSave

Choose the best bar shampoo for you (made in the USA and Canada)

Choosing to use a bar shampoo instead of the traditional ones, has lots of cons.  They are environmentally friendly a fantastic way to avoid plastics, they are perfect to travel and are packed with natural ingredients, plus finding vegan options is quite easy.

Although it’s important to look carefully at the ingredients first. Because some companies use not-so-natural ingredients which make their products more similar to standard shampoo.

The brands mentioned here are the ones I like the most and the ones I highly recommend without any reserves.

Both companies have a philosophy that agrees profoundly with my ethics. So what you will read here is an honest review about my experience. That means that I’m not being paid to write this article, and I will not receive anything in return if you purchase any of the products below. This article is a mere recommendation to start you off on your journey to find the best bar shampoo for you.

The bar shampoos mentioned here are cruelty-free, eco-friendly, free from palm oil, and are from conscientious businesses 🌿💚

Soap Cauldron         

(USA 🇺🇸 )

IMG_7130

I’ve gone crazy and tried all their range of hair products and it’s practically impossible to find the words to describe it. Can I  just say WOW 😅.

I found all the products truly outstanding, from the impeccable design, packaging, to the ingredients in each shampoo.

My journey to find a good bar shampoo that agrees with my hair has not been easy. Apparently, I have a very picky hair, that doesn’t like change or natural products 😭 (this makes me so sad..) 

When trying other bar shampoos my hair wasn’t looking very happy, despite after a while my hair and scalp ended up accepting other shampoos I had to keep insisting until it started to work for me. BUT not with these ones 🎉

My hair just felt in love for these shampoos, mostly by the Rosemary and Orange shampoo. They left my hair full of life, shiny, and with a healthy look. This bar gently clarifies adding volume and silkiness, perfect for my thin hair.

It doesn’t lather like commercial soap, what is going to be something that you will need to get used to (if you are not yet), but that just means that they don’t have any detergents.

All the three bars were wonderful on my scalp. With some shampoo bars, it is common for the hair to have a wet-greasy texture after washing. I didn’t have that with these ones. I also found the smell amazing, not overpowering at all.

I’m really glad I found the Soap Cauldron. Compared to other brands, the quality and performance are outstanding!

Soap Cauldron

Creates and sells natural artisan bar soaps. They use natural plant oils, pure essential oils, and herbal ingredients to create bars that gently cleanse and nurture, bringing back the simplicity and reverence for nature with their products. They make all the products in small batches at their studio, in Sonoma County, California.

The Three Sisters Apothecary bar shampoos are free of SLS, parabens, and petroleum-based ingredients.

As part of their hair care products they also have 3 types of conditioning oils.

The oils are really moisturizing and a great alternative for the acidic rinse with vinegar or lemon. 

***

Skipping Stone soap

(Canada 🇨🇦)

IMG_7158
PURE : Shampoo Bar – Unscented  $9 ( 3.3 oz/92 g)

I’ve tried the PURE: shampoo bar Unscented,  without any perfume or additives, perfect for sensitive skin.

The shampoo lathered up beautifully and is quite moisturizing, probably because of the plant-based oils such as avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, macadamia nut oil and argan oil.

My hair took only 1 weeks to adapt completely to this bar shampoo (not much 😊).

During that week my hair was a bit dry and heavy. I started to use an apple cider vinegar rinse, and that helped a lot. After that, my hair started to feel really soft, shiny and clean.

This shampoo works marvelously on my hair, it has a rich creamy lather and won’t strip off the natural oils from the hair. Plus doesn’t require the use of conditioner at all (at least for me).

I also found that works really well as a face and body soap, because is so gentle does not irritate my skin. This soap contains no synthetic chemicals, detergent, preservatives, paraben, phthalate, alcohol, urea, silicone, synthetic colorant, EDTA, TEA, and DEA. And no plastic bottles 👍🏼

skipping Stone
The skipping stone products are all handcraft with fine quality, natural, and locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. They use highest quality plant-based oils and butters, and they sell three different kinds of shampoo bars. All made in small batches using a cold process method.
I can’t wait to try all of them 🙂

📍Important

For most people, there is an adjustment period of about 1 month on chemically treated hair when using a natural bar shampoo.

So if your hair doesn’t look great after the first wash that’s normal. Just keep using it until your scalp rebalance.

Shampoo bars may not perform as well in hard water. Have you tried the apple cider vinegar rinse? That might be the solution.

Find here how to use a bar shampoo.

I hope you found the post useful!! Leave in the comments box any questions or tips you may have!

Love Ana x💆🏻x

Choose the best bar shampoo for you (made in the UK)

Well, let’s talk about bar shampoo!

As you all know I’m vegan, what you don’t know yet is why I went vegan in the first place. A plant-based diet came to me very naturally as my knowledge grew about the devastating implication that animal exploitation has on our planet.

So for me, it’s not only a diet but making thoughtful choices about everything in my life in order to cause the less impact on the planet as possible.

I probably consider myself to be an environmentalist first. A plant-based diet just fit on it naturally, because is the most environmentally-friendly way to live.

Nowadays I’m vegan for many reasons, for the environment, for the animals and, for my health. All the choices I make in my life go in this line. Choosing a shampoo couldn’t be any different 💆🏻💚

For obvious reasons, starting to use a bar shampoo is the right way to go, but the problem is to know what to choose.

I hope that you will find this post useful. Because for me when I decided to swap for a bar shampoo it was quite hard to find information and to know what was good on the market.

The brands

The brands mentioned here are all from the United Kingdom and all have a philosophy that agrees profoundly with my ethics.

All the shampoos were tried by me and also my partner (he volunteered himself 😅).

So what is written here is a completely honest review about the experience we had with the products. A mere recommendation to start you off on your journey to find the best shampoo bar for you.

All bar shampoos mentioned here are cruelty-free, eco-friendly, free from palm oil, and are from conscientious businesses 🌿💚

probably, it’s also important to say that I’m not being paid to write this article, and I will not receive anything in return if you purchase a product from the list 😊 

***

Caros Creams
IMG_20170928_094642
NEEM & Rosemary   £5.50  (100g)

Caroline’s NEEM & Rosemary bar shampoo is precious, it has a delicate smell and is packed with goodness. You can feel by the touch and smell how careful she is at choosing the ingredients.  

I just love the ethics behind her small business.

When I first used the shampoo my hair got in a mess, was very oily and kind of waxy; I found it difficult to create a good lather and to rinse.

This is not an uncommon issue for some people when using a new bar shampoo!!

So I kept trying and my reward was a healthy, soft and silky hair, after 2 weeks 🙂  I found that with this shampoo was easier to create foam on my hands, and only use the foam to wash my hair, instead of rubbing the bar directly on my hair.

From day one I didn’t need to use conditioner with this shampoo, what was great. The shampoo is made with great natural ingredients and the packaging is very environmentally friendly! The product arrived very quickly, was packaged well, no plastic involved, and the ingredients were all listed.

All Caroline’s products are handmade with locally foraged herbs and she uses predominantly organic ingredients.  Her products are based on herbal extracts, non-GMO, no artificial colorants or dyes, chemical free, no parabens, and no synthetic fragrances. 

***
Friendly soap
IMG_7015
Friendly soap    £2.18   (95g)

I’ve tried all the 3 different bar shampoos they have. The one with Lavender and Geranium,  the one with Lavender and Tea Tree and the Travel Soap, that contains lemongrass, lavender, tea tree and peppermint.

They all smell amazingly and I found the performance between the three quite similar on my hair, my favorite in terms of essence was the Travel Soap.

Plus I found the travel soup’s idea quite clever because it’s formulated to be antiseptic, anti-fungal and insect repellent. You can’t really ask for more when traveling, can you?

All 3 shampoos lathered up super easily (actually its quite impressive for a natural shampoo), and rinsed well.  I didn’t need to use conditioner (only an acidic (ACV) rinse twice a week).

During the first week I had to wash my hair every day because was super oily and greasy, but now I can go 3-4 days without washing my hair. It worked better for me to cut the bars in half, to have more hand-sized pieces.

The Friendly soap bars are the ones with the best value for money, between all the bars I’ve tried. The product arrived very quickly, was packaged well on a paper box so no plastic involved. The individual paper boxes contain the list of all ingredients.

Friendly soap is a company from West Yorkshire (UK) with a strong connection to nature, so their products have little impact on nature and health as possible. Every bar is poured, cut, stamped and packed by hand. 

They don’t use any animal products or by-products. They only use naturally biodegradable ingredients, plant-based oils, essential oils, flowers, spices and herbs and buy fair-trade ingredients.

IMG_7245
Rosemary, Lemongrass and Aloe Vera   £4.00  (70g)

I’ve tried the Rosemary and Lemongrass bar shampoo and it worked quite well on my hair.

During the first month, my hair was quite sticky. After that, I felt a boost on my hairs health. The Shampoo is extremely moisturizing yet lightweight and cleans well. The essence it’s also amazing, it smells lovely but doesn’t foam much.

I do an ACV rinse twice a week when I’m using this shampoo to help de-tangle and to add softness.

The product arrived quickly, on a lovely package, with a personalized letter and small note with instruction and the list ingredients. It was lovely to receive something so thoughtful. Because of the presentation this bar shampoo is great to offer as a gift. 

Zoralou Organics is a mother & daughter business founded and based in The Lake District, UK. They create synergistic blends, with handmade products that are vegan-friendly. Everything they do is non-toxic, chemical and paraben free. They also have a resident Aromatherapist that is available to advise and tailor make specific blends on request to suit any individual needs, what is really cool.

***

Pure Chimp
IMG_7020
Natural Shampoo   £6.95  (80g)
I just loved the shape of this bar shampoo, much easier to hold and apply than the regular rectangular ones, really fits right into your palm.
The Pure Chimp only sells 1 type of shampoo, or you like this one or you don’t. One of its pros is the fact that only has literally 5 ingredients. Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Beer, Banana Extract, what for a shampoo is pretty amazing.
The smell reminded me of a banana bubble-gum that I used to eat when I was a child, not really a fan of the smell, but it’s imperceptible on the hair when rinsed. So not really a problem. The shampoo is incredibly easy to lather and rinsing was not an issue. During the first couple of washes my hair was a bit heavier than normal like it had wax, but naturally, after a couple of weeks that sensation reduced and my hair started to get soft and looked healthy and clean.

The product arrived very quickly, was wrapped in recyclable black pepper, with a sticker listing all the ingredients.

Pure Chimp products are all 100% natural and vegan-friendly, plus they give 5% of their profits to charity. They are a small company from Huntingdon, UK.

***

Wild Sage
IMG_7146
Rosemary and Lavender  £5.00 (100g)

After a short adaptation period, of about a week, where my hair didn’t look really happy (neither I 😅),  I can go now for about 3 days before my hair needs to be washed again. So far I didn’t need to use conditioner with this shampoo. I only do an ACV rinse once/twice a week and my hair is very smooth. I’m really happy with the results.

This bar shampoo foams really well which helps to massage your scalp.

I cut the soap into 4 pieces to get the most out of it. The lather is amazing, and my hair feels soft and smells great. My partner also loved this shampoo.

The product arrived very quickly, involved in a strip of recycled paper which can be composted with all the ingredients listed and a note inside with instructions, hits, and tips.

Wild Sage is a small family-run business hand crafting cold processed soaps and skin-loving balms from natural ingredients, from their cottage in the Herefordshire countryside. “Simple, honest and good”. 

All the soaps they sell are made with 100% natural, Vegan ingredients, The shampoo I’ve tried has Rapeseed oil and Organic Apple Cider Vinegar along with their home-grown Rosemary, and infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Truly amazing.

 

***

Lush 
IMG_7047
Soak And Float    £6.50  (55g)

The bar shampoo I’ve tried was the Soak And Float, and as everything on the Lush shop this product is quite appealing visually and the smell is absolutely delicious. The size is perfect and easy to hold and use.

The Soak And Float shampoo is specific for dandruff/itchy scalp. But they have more than a dozen solid shampoos to choose from.  

This shampoo gives a deep cleanse, from the very first wash. My hair felt healthy, light and bouncy. 

This was the only bar shampoo that my hair accepted from day one. So I didn’t go through the adjustment period like I did with the other ones.

The shampoo foams so much more than any other bar shampoo I’ve used and has a good smelling lather. My experience with this shampoo was more than positive I only think that is a shame that they use SLS on their shampoos.

The product arrived very quickly, inside a colorful paper bag with a sticker with all the ingredients listed.

Lush is a cosmetics retailer headquartered in Poole, UK; they sell creams, soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, scrubs, masks and other cosmetics using vegetarian or vegan recipes, and use parabens to preserve their products.

The company do not support animal testing, and since 2008 they removed all traces of palm oil from the products. Lush donates 100% of the price of every ‘Charity Pot’ purchased to charities that promote environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights.

***

Which one to go for?

It is a matter of taste and type of hair. All the ones mentioned here are really good!!

So look for one that can be adapted to your hair, and persist if the shampoo doesn’t agree with you straight away, it will be worth it.

Keep in mind that bar shampoos do not strip hair in the same way as detergent-based shampoos so its normal that your hair will feel different to the touch after washing.

I found that shampoo bars worked well on my hair after the adaptation period. Although my partner had a different experience. His hair didn’t require any adaptation and was really easy for him to switch to a shampoo bar. That made me so mad and super jealous😅.

Personally, after using the bar shampoos I’m not using conditioner, that I used to use after every hair wash. The nourishing butters and oils that the bars have worked really well for me. So far they have been enough to keep my hair smooth and healthy.

📍Important

There is usually an adjustment period of about 1 month on chemically treated hair when using natural products.  So if your hair doesn’t look great after the first wash that’s normal, just keep persisting.

Shampoo bars may not perform as well in hard water. So it may be worth to try an apple cider vinegar rinse (ACV).

If you still think after a while that the bar shampoo is not agreeing with your hair,  you are probably not using the right one for your hair. The true is everyone’s hair and scalp are unique so try different samples, until you find the one that is perfect for you.

What I’ve learned
Apparently, my hair is very picky. Almost all shampoos left residue on my hair and caused oiliness. I really had to keep trying until my hair and scalp got used to it.
I blame the water (hihi 😝) from where I live that is just too hard to handle natural shampoo 😆
Although I was able to make the change and I couldn’t be happier with that.
No more harsh chemicals, no more plastic bottles, zero effect on the environment. Yupy 🎉
What kind of shampoo do you use? have you tried to use a solid shampoo before?
Let me know your thoughts.💙 

SaveSaveSaveSave

How to Remove Product Build up From the Hair

All of those commercial products that we all have been using to make our hair “look good” can build up over time, because they often contain waxes, synthetic silicones, and silica that coats our hair.

Even if you are already using more natural products it can be iron and calcium deposits from hard water or sebum secretion on the scalp that are not helping you to have a healthy hair.

Build up can make adjusting to natural shampoo bars especially frustrating.

These substances are hard to remove from our hair and scalp, the best way to remove product buildup from the hair is to provide a good natural in-depth cleansing.

🌿Apple Cider Vinegar

Using apple cider vinegar is a great way to remove product buildup.  You just need to wash your hair, as usual, rise with a mix of 2-4 tbsp apple cider vinegar with 1/2 litre cool/warm water let the mixture sit on your hair for 1-2 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

🌿Lemon Juice

You can use lemon juice just like you use the apple cider vinegar. Mixing 2-4 tbsp tablespoons of lemon juice with 1/2 litre cool/warm water. 

After the shampoo, rinse your hair and massage your scalp working through your hair. Allow it to soak in for 2-3 minutes, then wash it out with a good water rinse.

🌿Baking Soda

Baking soda is another great way to remove product build up from hair. Baking soda naturally lifts grease and product residue from your hair.

Combine 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 – 2 cups warm water in a spray bottle or cup and rinse on your hair and work it through. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water, then shampooing as usual.

Removing product build up is essential for keeping your scalp and hair clean and healthy. 

What are your secrets to remove build up? Let me know everything 🙂 🌿💚

SaveSaveSaveSave

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Despite the fact that sounds a bit weird to use Vinegar on your Hair, it is not a joke, it’s actually something that you should consider. If you never tried it, I’m sure you probably are a bit skeptical, to say the least 🙂

After starting making my own apple cider vinegar at home, I started to get more and more interested about its benefits for the health, hair, and skin. And one thing let to the other I said goodbye to the traditional conditioners and shampoos for god.

Now I use apple cider vinegar (ACV) to rinse my hair and works wonderfully. It is one of my favorite ways to keep my hair healthy, detangled, and shiny.And I assure you 100% that after you rinse out the vinegar from your hair and your hair dries, it will no longer smell like vinegar at all.

And I assure you 100% that after you rinse out the vinegar from your hair and your hair dries, it will no longer smell like vinegar at all.

Apple cider vinegar is simply the by-product of the fermentation of apples.

Choose the right Apple Cider Vinegar

You can do the vinegar easily at home or you can buy it at any supermarket or health store, the best ones to use on your hair are the ones that are organic, raw and unfiltered.

How To Do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Mix:  2-4 tbsp apple cider vinegar  + 1/2 liter cool/warm water

(Ues more vinegar for oily hair or dandruff, less vinegar for dry hair, but you can adjust this blend over time to see what works best for you)

  1. Use the shampoo,
  2. Rinse your hair,
  3. Mix the apple cider vinegar and water, in a bottle or jar,
  4. Pour the rinse over your entire scalp, allowing the mixture to run through,
  5. Let the mixture sit on your hair for 1-2 minutes,
  6. Rinse out the vinegar.
Reasons to do an ACV hair rinse
  1. It helps to balance the pH of the hair.
  2. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties
  3. prevents and helps with dandruff
  4. removes build-up
  5. great natural detangler
  6. stimulate hair growth
  7. can prevent hair loss

Please share any experiences or questions, I’d really love to hear from you! 💙🌱

SaveSave

SaveSave

Shampoo Bars – Pros and Cons

Shampoo bars have been my latest obsession 🙂 they are great for someone like me that cares about the environment and avoids plastic, travels often, prefers to use natural products and only buys vegan products. Most of the Shampoo Bars will tick all those boxes easily.

A bar shampoo is basically a solid shampoo in a bar form, often made from just a few and more natural ingredients plus they are Plastic packaging-free

IMG_7244

pros & cons
PROS
  • Travel-friendly (lightweight & compact size)
  • Most shampoo bars don’t contain SLS and use more natural ingredients
  • Cost effective (lasts longer than the liquids)
  • Plastic packaging-free
  • Reduced carbon footprint (because of their smaller size, more can fit into the lorries that transport them)
  • Affordable (lots of options under £6/€7/$10)
  • Shampoo bars can also be used for other purposes like washing your body, or clothes while traveling.
  • Great smell
CONS
  • Some companies might try to hide their ingredients and try to make it sound better than it really is
  • They are made of natural products, most expire within 6 months (unless otherwise indicated on the product)
  • Build-up can make adjusting to natural shampoo bars especially frustrating
  • If you live in an area with hard water, the bars shampoo may not perform as expected
  • You may have to play around with different bars to find the one that works for you.
  • Some people need an adjustment period before the scalp becomes used to the new shampoo.

If you’re interested in giving one a try look carefully at the ingredients, and keep in mind that for most people there is an adjustment period of about 1 month on chemically treated hair when using a natural bar shampoo.

Do you use a bar shampoo? have you ever tried one?  Please let me know if you have any questions and comments!

As always I would love to hear from you 💚

Love Ana x🌱💆🏻x

Shampoo Bars are here ⭐️ what you need to know

As someone that travels for long periods with minimal luggage, finding ways to save space, weight and avoid liquids can be a bit like rocket science 😅. The use of shampoo bars sounds an idea from heaven, not only because is not liquid, but because is small, compact, zero-waist, and seemingly longer-lasting than liquid shampoo.

A bar shampoo it’s essentially a solid shampoo in bar form, often made from just a few and more natural ingredients plus there is no plastic package.

Shampoo bars will likely have Little lather or bubbles to them because they often don’t contain an artificial lathering agent. So if you like lots of bubbles this is probably not for you.

The key is to know what to choose. Try to avoid chemicals and artificial ingredients, palm oil, SLS – aka Sodium Laurel Sulfate, artificial fragrances, harsh preservatives and, dyes. None of these additions are good for you, either the planet. Better to look for shampoo bars with highly nourishing butters, oils, essential oils and botanical extracts.

If you’re vegan, I’m too, so there is no problem here 🙂 there are many brands which make vegan-friendly shampoo bars. When you are looking for a bar shampoo just avoid ingredients like milks, honeys, or other animal products.

I know that it may sound a bit complicated at the beginning…

It’s hard to know what kind of shampoos are there in the market, and which ones are the best ones for your hair type.

In the end, choosing the right shampoo bar will really be a result of trial and error. But I might turn your life just a little bit easier 🙂  > check it here <

To help you (and me 😊) to choose, I’ve been trying different bar shampoos, if you do some research you’ll be amazed at the variety and quantity available on the market (what makes it harder to choose).

How to use a shampoo bar?

First wet your hair thoroughly.

For me workes the best rubbing the bar between my hands first, instead of applying it directly on my hair.

Only a little of shampoo is needed, the bars are quite concentrated. If you use too much they can leave your hair feeling greasy and or waxy when dry. Take your time to wash out properly.

If you keep having the feeling that you are not raising your hair properly or if you live in a hard water area, you may need to do an acidic rise, with apple cider vinegar or diluted lemon juice to help balance and restore a healthy pH to the scalp and to remove old chemicals. Also brushing your hair often helps to redistribute the oils throughout the hair.

Make sure you store your bars in a dry place to prevent them from breaking down or melting. The bar should be completely dry between uses.

Note: for most people, there is an adjustment period of about 1 month on chemically treated hair when using a natural bar shampoo.

I hope you are thinking that this might be a good idea. If that is the case just think about the amount of plastic you can avoid and you will make your mind in a second 🙂

Leave in the comments box any questions or tips you may have!

Lots of Love Ana x💆🏻x

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave