Kani Botanicals Moon Milk

 

Behind the Brand

Stephanie Guerra, founder of Kani Botanicals started her line as a simple solution for her struggles with sensitive skin. After years of fighting terrible acne and allergic skin reactions to everything from laundry detergent to lotions, she became heavily interested in more holistic and natural methods of treating my skin. She began to learn about integrative herbology, holistic nutrition and cosmetic chemistry. She also finally began paying attention to her Colombian mother and aunts who always told her to try oils from fruits and plants that she had never heard of. She went from that girl who spent hundreds of dollars a month on “designer” skincare treatments to the one who would spend night after night in the kitchen experimenting on making her own skincare. Stephanie started reading labels and ingredient lists, and all of it made her shake her head.

The real turning point that changed her hobby into the adventure it is today was after traveling some years back to Finland and Sweden. She was really inspired by how the people there protected and nurtured their skin in extreme weather conditions and by their cultural use of saunas. It was then that she realized that her Colombian heritage was very similar to ones she had seen traveling, in that the people that inhabited these harsh areas took care of their skin with use of the similar natural ingredients; As a result, they had amazing skin. After many sleepless nights and constantly tinkering and tweaking back and forth with formulas, she developed Kani Botanicals. Stephanie was sick of seeing overpriced products, whose first ingredients were alcohol or water and were followed by a list of sulfates, parabens and phthalates. Kani is the exact opposite, and will always be handmade products from the best local, organic, fair-trade and vegan ingredients.

Stephanie named her line ‘Kani,’ because her childhood nickname was ‘rabbit’ because her two front teeth came in before the rest. The Finnish name for rabbit is ‘kani,’ and that namesake will always be her favorite animal.

 

Moon Milk

Kani Botanicals Moon Milk is a shimmering and nourishing oil for the body, face and hair that leaves you luminous and smooth. This is never going to make you look like the tin man. The oil is super lightweight, silky and it illuminates you with gold shimmer which complements all skin tones and complexions. To use, you smooth it over your skin, also highlighting your legs, arms, shoulders and décolleté. You can also gently tap it on your forehead, bridge of the nose and cheekbones for a lit from within glow, and then run what’s left on your hands through the ends of your hair to tame any frizz or split ends you might have. This beauty oil also moisturizes and protects dry skin and has the most intoxicating scent of tuberose, jasmine, bergamot and ylang ylang. When I received this in the mail, I could smell it through the box! This is an absolutely stunning product, just like every single product Stephanie puts her heart and soul into at Kani Botanicals.

 

Plaine Products

 

Behind the Brand

Did you know that only 1 in 5 people recycle plastic bottles and items from their bathroom? And even when you do recycle, only 5-10% of the world’s plastic is actually reclaimed for recycling and of those reclaimed, only 10-20% of the actual bottle itself can be recycled. What remains then gets downgraded into yet another form of single use plastic. If we don’t change this, by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. It’s this problem that Lindsey and Alison, the sisters behind Plaine Products want to help educate people on and solve. They founded Plaine Products to be able to provide the first natural, quality products in sustainable packaging, which would make it easier for everyone to use a little less plastic in their lives. They sell shampoo, conditioner and body wash all available to use, refill and reuse over and over again.

Lindsey’s background is in non-profit management and her and her husband were living in the Bahamas for the past 10 years, as her husband is Bahamian. While they were there, she worked with and ran environmental education organizations and because it is such a small island nation, she saw first hand the problems that single use plastic was causing. She witnesses so much trash on the beach and in the ocean which was in turn, killing marine life. Just as she saw this happening on and near the ocean, she also saw it happening on land; plastic bags, bottles and caps everywhere. When Lindsey realized that plastic never really goes away, and how much of it we use once and throw out, she knew she wanted to try to live differently. As she was starting to change the way she was living, she also wanted to help others do the same. She finds it incredibly exciting to get people involved in creating less waste, and giving them a concrete opportunity on making that choice for themselves and for the planet as a whole. Lindsey, her husband and son moved back to the states in 2015 to Wilmington, North Carolina, where she’s been working on Plaine Products ever since. Her sister, Alison, is in Cincinnati, Ohio and she helped Lindsey get the business started and going. Alison helps with the design, packaging and distribution of PP, while Lindsey handles the rest. All PP products are high quality and chemical free, making them safe for adults and children alike. The name Plaine Products came from the sisters’ maiden name: Delaplaine.

 

Eco Friendly Packaging

While plastic makes life (and bottling) easier, Lindsey and Alison knew there had to be a better way. They decided to use aluminum bottles for several reasons. Unlike plastic, aluminum is able to be completely recycled without any loss in quality at a fraction of the initial production cost and energy requirements. The bottles are strong enough to survive a number of trips – so they will be well worn before they recycle them. Historically, aluminum has proven to be one of the most important materials in successful recycling programs. They are easily cleaned and sterilized, so they can ensure that our bottles are safe to use again and again. They chose to work with EcoEnclose, whose boxes are made from a mix of 95% post-consumer waste and 5% post-industrial waste. There are absolutely NO new materials used in the manufacturing of their green shipping cartons. Best of all, EcoEnclose worked with Plaine Products to develop boxes that will stand up to shipping refills and the return of empty jars to be refilled and reused.

 

Circular Economy & the Environment

In the past, it’s often been the environment versus the economy, but the Plaine Product’s model supports both. Plaine Products is designed to be part of the circular economy, which functions more like a natural ecosystem – nothing is ever wasted. Also, by cleaning and reusing the jars, Plaine Products is able to create jobs. Research indicates that reuse and remanufacture creates 8 – 20 jobs per thousand tons of material compared to 5-10 jobs created per thousand tons of material by traditional recycling.

 

The Products

Shampoo – the best organic ingredients combine to bring back manageability, sheen and softness to the hair

Conditioner – restores essential nutrients to the hair to enhance your hair’s texture which results in luminous, silky, smooth hair

Body Wash – gently cleanse your skin by restoring it with powerful nutrients and antioxidants

(click on pink text to shop the products)

All three of the above products have the same soothing and intoxicating scent: rosemary, mint and vanilla. Rosemary is healing, mint is uplifting and vanilla is comforting and calming. I have been using all of these products over the past few weeks and they are so simple but super effective. The shampoo and body wash do not strip the skin or scalp from natural oils. The conditioner does not weight down the hair at all. I’m actually not a huge vanilla person, but in this combination, the vanilla balances out the rosemary and mint. It is a total aromatherapy experience smelling and using these products that were made with so much love. All of these products are hypoallergenic, baby safe, color safe, biodegradable, vegan, cruelty free and Plaine Products never do any animal testing when formulating these products. Also, their products are great for all skin types and never contain any parabens, PEGs, sulfates, dyes, petrochemicals or synthetic fragrances. When ordering your subscription, you can choose between a refill once every two, three or four months. You can specify to get a pump included on your first initial order, and for refills thereafter, no pump since you already have the one you previously got, so even less waste!

 

 

Think Dirty February Limited Edition Beauty Box

 

What is Think Dirty?

Think Dirty is an app that aims to help you uncover the truths within the beauty industry. We are overloaded daily with hundreds of chemicals that are present in our daily skin, hair and body care – and most people have no clue that they are absorbing (through our largest organ), hormone and endocrine disruptors and cancer causing chemicals. There is little to no transparency in the formulation and labeling of beauty products in the industry, but luckily, there are a lot of green beauty companies and brands who are (and have been for years) trying to change that.  The founder and CEO of Think Dirty, Lily Tse, wants to help you find those products that you can use with peace of mind.

How to Use the App

The app is one of my favorites, and lives on the front page of my iPhone, which is hard to do since I have so many apps I use daily and love, but Think Dirty is something that I have been using every week consistently. As soon as you go into the app, you will see a ‘Scan Products’ button which you tap on and can literally scan the barcode of any product. It could already be in their extensive database and if it is, you tap on the product and you learn in depth on each and every single ingredient in that product. If the product is not in the database yet, you have an option to submit the product to the TD team for evaluation to be ranked, and to help the TD community learn more in depth on the ingredients of new products. You simply type the name of the brand, name of the product, and submit a picture of the front of the product as well as back (ingredient label) of it. This is truly what I love about the app and the community within it, everyone is collectively trying to help each learn more on these ingredients so we can buy with transparency.

The Dirty Meter

Think Dirty also ranks its products on their ‘Dirty Meter,’ which is a number scale from 0 to 10. Products ranked from 0-3 do not contain any ingredients which have a documented potential health impact. Products ranked from 4-7 have a potential moderate negative long-term health effect. Products ranked 8-10 have potential series long-term negative health effects. There is one more ranking which is N/R, which means the ingredient(s) have not yet been rated. This is more often than not due to the fact that, in some cases, manufacturers choose to define an ingredient or group of ingredients as ‘proprietary,’ which therefore makes them confidential. Those ingredients are not publicly disclosed and cannot be evaluated using health and safety data. An example would be when you see “fragrance” listed on the side of the product. This is extremely vague and inscrutable. You can read more on their website by navigating to their ‘About’ section, and then ‘Methodology’ on the side bar. I highly recommend downloading their free app so you can start to educate yourself on what you are putting on your face, body and hair.

What do you get in the box?

TD has started their own monthly box subscription and is also starting to add individual products for purchase on their Think Dirty Clean Boutique. I recently received their February Limited Edition Beauty Box and I wanted to share my experience with the box as well as the value you get. This box is valued at over $180, but you would only pay $95! TD partners with 0-3 ranked beauty brand sponsors who support their mission on bringing cleaner products to you! Here’s what I received in my box:

Fitglow Beauty Good Gloss in Cherry (8 ml)

This gorgeous gloss contains a natural formula of certified organic coconut oil, shea butter and jojoba. This gloss hydrates, enhances and protects the lips without petroleum-based ingredients, fragrance or chemicals. This is also gluten-free and vegetarian friendly!

Moondani Natural Breath Mist (5 ml)

This is a specially formulated blend of natural breath fresheners like cardamom, fennel and ginger. This organic, tastes great and is convenient! The name ‘Moondani’ actually means ‘everlasting’ in Farsi – pretty cool, right? (This breath mist was only available with the first 15 orders, but still wanted to mention it since I got it in my box and in case anyone wanted to purchase it individually.)

Elate Cosmetics Twinkle Loose Eye Colours in Fairy and Magi (4 g each)

These shadows are made from bamboo stem extract and are super easy to blend. Can be used wet or dry and could even use super lightly as a highlighter on top of the cheekbones! The color Fairy is shimmery peach and Magi is a shimmery pink.

Radha Organics Anti-aging Younger Face Cream (1.7 fl oz, 50 ml)

An all-natural, hypo-allergenic formula made with carefully selected botanical ingredients that helps reduce lines/ wrinkles and stimulates collagen production for younger looking skin. This nourishing cream helps to diminish fine lines and hyper pigmentation, brightens, restores hydration, and increases skin firmness. It is also vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, soy-free, non-gmo, made only of essential oils, plant extracts and fruit and plant based butters. It is also suitable for all skin types.

Lymph Candy Chemical Free Deodorant (2 oz, 57 g)

This deodorant is vegan, aluminum free, and non-toxic. It only has 6 ingredients: cold-pressed organic coconut oil, arrowroot, candelilla wax, food-grade diatomaceous earth, aluminum-free baking soda and 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil.  Lymph Candy Deodorant is designed to allow your lymphatic system to detoxify naturally by staying out of the way.  Without any harsh chemicals in our deodorant, your body’s natural process is free to work without being clogged up with any chemicals or antiperspirants.

nyl Skincare Body Soak Trio (2 fl oz per bottle)

This bath soak/salt set includes: (1) Shimmer Soak – Himalayan, Dead Sea, Epsom Salts + Shimmer, (2) Sea Salt Bath Soak – Himalayan, Dead Sea and Epsom Salts and (3) Coconut Jasmine Bath Soak. All of these are vegan, cruelty-free, 100% organic, gluten-free soy-free and hand made right here in the US in small batches.

Antonina Naturals Mango Lip Balm (0.15 oz, 4.25g)
Made with all natural ingredients our lip balms will keep your lips moisturized and kissable. Our mango butter lip balms are made with real mango butter to keep your lips happy and hydrated.

St. Tropica Coconut Oil Hair Mask – 3 Pack (1.5oz)

This is a powerhouse formula of raw & unrefined hair superfoods that repairs any hair damage instantly. It strengthens dry hair and locks in moisture on frizzy and split ends. This is certified cruelty-free, vegan, USDA organic, paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, 100% chemical free and even the packaging is BPA-free.

Nature Bare Body Care For Harsh Hands – Hydrating Hand Butter (1oz – sold out but will be replaced with an item of equal value)

This hand butter is formulated with all natural butters, oils and aloe vera gel to help hydrate and soften extremely dry skin. This can also be used as an all-over body moisturizer as well.

ELIXIR Apothecary Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Body Polish (sample: 1oz)
This body polish is made with 100% pure himalayan sea salt, lavender and rose essential oil and hand-ground rose petals. This polish rejuvenates the skin and deposits over 75 nourishing minerals into your body through your skin’s pores, replacing the toxins which it extracts.

Final Thoughts

I absolutely love the Think Dirty app and am thrilled that they started this monthly box! I love that you get such a huge value for what you pay, and you are discovering tons of clean brands in all different categories. I think that this is just as fun of a discovery for the clean beauty novice as is it for someone who has been into green beauty for years. I have really enjoyed testing and using the products in the box, and I will be giving samples to friends and family to try who are making transitions into cleaner beauty. I would highly recommend this box! If you choose to buy, feel free to use my code YATRAPROJECT5OFF for $5 off.