Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Naturally Fresh Chrystal Deodorant

I was told about Chrystal deodorants by a friend of mine (thanks MW) after reading my blog post Stinky Stuff. So off I went to my nearest Clicks store only to find that these deodorants are not kept on the shelf! When I asked for assistance, the lady went into the store room and hauled out four different packs of the same brand - Naturally Fresh - what a lovely name, Naturally Fresh, it just said it all. Obviously this is not a top seller as, being in the FMCG game for almost 20 years, I was not even aware that stores kept items "in the back" so that in order to get one you have to sound like you're initiating a drug deal.

Anyhoo, I chose the smallest pack so that I could try it out. It claimed to NOT have all the toxic ingredients that all the naturalists have been warning are so bad, including the almost lethal, Alzheimer-inducing aluminum (aluminium to us in South Africa), so I was super excited about my purchase. The directions say that you just need to wet the crystal and apply, simple as that. I did this for a week and my poor hubby would be forced to bury his nose in my armpit to confirm its daily efficacy! Gotta love a man who is that committed to my hair-brained schemes. Well he gave it the all-odour-clear thumbs up and I was thrilled to be so healthy......... until I read the reviews online.

Turns out my chrystal deodorant is made of Alum - a derivative of wait for it ......... aluminum! All the research I've found basically states that, although alum is of the same compound, it is not the same as aluminum, however safety of absorption, over a long period of time, as with aluminum, has not yet been established. Now I'm no chemist and Lord knows I have such a vague recollection of the periodic table that it would be dangerous for me to even try to go there, but are we jumping out of the anti-perspirant frying pan into the Chrystal fire? I don't know. Apparently the safest, most effective method of avoiding BO is Milk of Magnesia - seriously! Take a cotton swab and smear it under your pit and viola! White, chalky stink-free mess! But then someone posted a comment with a link showing that Milk of Magnesia had been withdrawn from the shelves due to its high sodium content and has to be reformulated to comply with FDA regs! So just when you think you're getting somewhere, you're actually not. For more info read this - Are natural alum crystal deodorants safe?

That being said, What I do know, is that the Chrystal Deo doesn't have all the other bad ingredients, so I think I'll stick with it for a little a little while longer to see how it goes. As I have mentioned in other posts, it is extremely difficult to find completely natural products, and even some "natural" materials should not be consumed or smeared on our skin for days on end, so we need to strive for excellence, not perfection when it comes to natural products.

The small stick that I purchased, retails at R29,99 at Clicks and I'm sure it is going to last a heck of a lot longer than my usual brand, so it is very cost effective. Also, it has absolutely no smell so it is for men and women and comes in a huge range from roll ons to sprays.

Again I am reminded that this natural journey has more pot holes in it than the road out of my suburb and health-conscious consumers need to be ingredient and techno-savvy to wade through all the chemicals to see the nature beyond.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

On the Go Fusion Snacks

On the Go Fusion SnacksIn my attempt to be healthier, I am reducing my gluten, wheat and sugar intake as it causes inflammation in our bodies and inflammation is the kiss of death for me! Also I am trying to eliminate all preservatives and colourants, which cuts out a HUGE amount of things that I can pop into my trolley!

So being on a restricted diet, it is really difficult to buy a quick and easy snack when I'm out and about (and starving) which is sadly more often than not. I usually have breakfast but lunch doesn't happen often, so by 3-4pm I'm a little ravenous! Usually I'd just buy a chocolate, wolf it and feel a bit sick and then have to deal with the sugar crash 10 minutes later, but if I'm avoiding chocs, there really isn't much out there. Woolies have started with some snacks but they are quite expensive, so I was very excited when I spotted this new pack in Clicks. The website is a year and a half old, so maybe I've just not seen these in store before.

I had a packet of peanuts and raisins in my hand when I discovered On the Go Fusion Snacks! I chose the "Trail Mix with a Zing" the "zing" was lemon pieces. It had raw nuts, seeds, dried bananas, sultanas and a whole lot more. It also only had one preservative in it (sulphur dioxide, presumably from the sultanas, so not suitable for kids under 4 years, it does state this on the pack). It was delicious. I bought the 50g pack but there is also a larger, re-sealable 100g pack available. I didn't buy that one because let's face it, when you've skipped lunch and you're ready to chew through your arm, that seal is never going to be used!!

I'm not sure if all variants are gluten-free but I would assume so. Check out their website for more info: On the Go Fusion Snacks

On the Go Fusion Snacks are aimed at sports people who need an extra boost, but quite honestly they should have a pack aimed at exhausted working moms too!!

These don't come cheap at R10,50 for a 50g but as I said before, there is a gap in this section of the market, so they are at a premium. Great for a healthy lunchbox treat!

Friday, February 7, 2014


I have always battled tremendously with my 2 daughters' fine hair. It seems to mat into clumps overnight like wet Saint Bernard fur and no amount of brushing seems to keep it looking good. We have resorted to once-a-week marathon brushing sessions which literally take 1½ hours to get both girls' hair under control, while they watch a movie and my arm breaks off!

I bought a hair bean which has helped with the screaming of  "ow ow OWWW"  every morning but eventually I found Eco.Kid Daily Tonic.

It is in a great easy-to-use spray and doesn't work like other leave-in conditioners which make their hair dull and oily. It has a bit of a weird smell which the kids don't seem to mind but apparently a nifty side-effect is that lice don't like the smell, so the little pests tend not to attach to hair smelling like this product (told you it smelled weird!)

It is organic and has green-friendly, organic certificates to their credit.  Their website states that it is 82% organic which seems a bit weird - what is the other 18%?

Unfortunately I paid the hefty fee of R230 for this product at the kiddy hairdresser that we go to. I have priced it elsewhere and the pricing seems to be the same wherever I look, so shopping around doesn't seem to help.

It is imported from Australia along with a range of other hair care and body products, bubble baths etc I get really grumpy that we have to pay more to reduce the chemicals we ingest through our skin, what about people who can't afford to make these changes?

HAIR PRODUCTS - Earthsap Conditioner

I was strolling down the aisles at Pick n Pay, remembering that I had run out of my fancy shmancy conditioner. Now my hair is tinted, very fine and knots easily, so I don't just go changing my brand of conditioner, so I thought I'd just buy a cheapie to use once or twice before I get to the hairdresser.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Earthsap. 

It is biodegradable (yay, it's even good for the environment - added bonus because I'm a greenie at heart!) and it is natural, non-toxic and fee from harmful chemicals!

Earthsap have an entire range of non-toxic products from washing powder to toothpaste to detergents, sounds fabulous right?


It is almost impossible to find Earthsap products! I have contacted the company with no response at all. From the look of their website, they have no idea about technology (it actually has places that state "add text here" probably from the website developer!!) 

As a marketing person this drives me CRAZY!!!! There is so much potential for this product and their entire range but nobody knows about it. I have only tried the conditioner because it was at Pick n Pay and they have been out of the shampoo for almost 4 weeks. You can purchase the products on line but what a mission and the prices are higher which makes no sense at all.

I would LOVE to get hold of this brand and help promote it, I have offered my services free of charge to the company and I have had no response! I really think that they just don't check their emails and there are no phone numbers. CRM (customer relationship management) is sadly lacking.

Anyway as bad as their marketing is, their conditioner is really great and while I usually spend a fortune on conditioner, this retails for only R40 because it's made locally in South Africa!

Great purchase!