Feminine Product Comparison – Natracare v. Always Pure & Clean

(FYI, for all of the men that follow this blog, you might want to sit this one out. Or, show it to a lady in your life who still gets her cycles.) 

So, keeping up with my tradition of reviewing not just vegan restaurants, but also vegan products, I decided to also review sanitary napkins aka menstrual pads. (Disclaimer: I don’t wear tampons so I can’t give a review on those.)

As I become older and bit more health conscious, I want to make better choices. And as much as I love the Always brand and been using it for years, I also discovered what’s good for me may not have been that good.

I began to wonder…is there a correlation between heavy, painful periods and certain chemicals in the maxi pads?

In all fairness, a woman can have painful, heavy periods for various reasons – weight, diet, certain types of medication, environment, etc. I wanted to do my own non-scientific and totally biased experiment on my own.

For a whole day in my recent cycle, I decided to switch out my usual Always pads that I get and try something different. I chose Natracare pads for the day and Always Pure & Clean during the night. I wanted to see if there was a significant difference in how I felt in comparison to the previous full day of bleeding.

This is where it gets interesting:

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When I wore the Natracare pad, it seemed I didn’t bleed as much. I felt lighter and I didn’t need to take so much Advil. I had a lot more energy and was able to do a ton more.

I think the biggest difference was Natracare was just that – natural. It’s nothing but cotton. In fact, the packaging is cotton:

I also didn’t leak and the pad stayed put despite how active I was. Color me a new fan. I will purchase nothing but Natracare pads, period. (Ba dum tsss!)

However, how great these are, they’re a little pricey: a pack of 10 can range from $4 to $6. Most women would need to buy at least two boxes, possibly three. So, for being natural it does come at a cost, however, your overall health has no price tag on it.

NatraCare is 100% vegan.

Bottom Line: Highly recommend. 

Next up, the Always Pure and Clean:

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I’ve tried the daytime version of this and I did like it, though not as much as the Natracare brand. I decided to try the nighttime version.

The very first thing I noticed on the packaging is how it’s free of dyes and fragrances. Always is known to have rather colorful pads and some of them smell fragrant to take away the period stench. It’s one of those incidentals where you probably think, ‘Hey, this is cool’ until you realize, ‘maybe that’s not so cool.’

So, I decided to test-drive these pads for nighttime. I have to say I’m impressed. The pad stayed on (I toss and turn a lot), and there were absolutely no leaks. The packaging isn’t cotton, but rather the typical plastic Always has used:

 

Just like with Natracare, these were a bit on the pricier side. Some were as low as $6 and some were as high as $8. Unlike the Natracare pads, you do get a bit more for your buck with the Always brand.

The Always brand didn’t state it was vegan (most products do), so I can’t recommend this for absolute certainty, you’re getting a vegan product. However, Always has been known to be a product that does test on animals, so if you are vegan and cruelty-free, this is something to be very aware of.

Bottom Line: Buyer beware: they do test on animals and aren’t considered to be cruelty-free. 

A follower did recommend I try the Diva Cup, so I’m going to do some more research on that before I do a review. I hope to do one later this year. 🙂

 

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Potty Packs Reviews

So, a while back ago…like last month (really, my bad), I was sent some material to personally review. I like to give a personal shout-out to Marc for being patient with me as I reviewed these. I’ll leave the video I did with Bear at the end of this post, but I like to talk about the potty packs themselves.

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Please excuse one of them being opened. I only had one left. The potty pack was very popular with my friends and family

These packs are meant to be emergency kits and are for single use. They’re veteran-owned (which I love as someone who has veterans in my family. Please, please, please support our veterans!) and they’re made in the USA. Two bonuses right there, folks!

The potty pack was awesome because when you need to go in a place that’s kinda iffy and you don’t have the option of holding it or finding a secluded spot, it’s perfect. It comes with a toilet seat cover, y’all!!! Omggggggg

The potty pack really came in handy when I was out with Bear and he had to go and there were no available toilets for him to go. Luckily, I always have his potty in the car but the potty packs came in super handy to get his hands clean. I seriously recommend these.

The park pack was similar to the potty pack. It contained:

  • sunscreen (the package said suntan but it really had sunscreen)
  • insect repellent
  • ear plugs
  • lip balm
  • wet wipe (just one)
  • hand wipe (just one)
  • hand sanitizer

I think these would be perfect for a day out in the park, going to your kids’ practices, and outdoor concerts. I recommend these.

The period packs were kinda iffy for me. While they contained a variety of goodness, I felt it lacked one major thing.

  • tampon
  • panty liner
  • wet wipe
  • hand wipe
  • hand sanitizer
  • pain relief
  • stain remover wipe

The period pack didn’t contain maxi pads. With all how thin the maxi pads are becoming, I feel they should include one. Also, a lot of women don’t wear tampons so there needs to be a maxi pad alternative.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with them. Again, my friends and family snatched all of them so I only have the three above left, LOL. But I highly recommend them if you want to purchase.

To purchase some potty packs, click here.

To check out the video Bear and I did, click below:

Product Review: Shea Moisture Baby Box

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A few weeks I received my latest Shea Moisture box and I have to say I liked this box a bit more than other ones. Now, it’s not to say the other boxes weren’t great, but I felt this one was more catered to having a small child in my care, than a baby. I also found a lot of great uses for it as an adult!

Enough babbling, let’s review each product:

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Raw Shea & Argan Oil Baby Wipes

Here’s a tip for the new mothers out there – you won’t stop using baby wipes when your kid is out of diapers. In fact, you won’t stop using wipes well, until forever, honestly, LOL.

I love these wipes because they’re not heavily scented nor are they so cheap and flimsy, they don’t do anything. Plus, they smell great!

Bottom Line: I recommend these joints.

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Raw Shea & Argan Oil Baby Lotion

I like this lotion a lot because of the smell. I have a super sensitive nose (a permanent side effect of pregnancy) and I really can’t stand to wear or be around anything too heavy. This lotion is perfect because not only does it work wonders on my dry skin but it keeps it nice and supple. Bear loves it as well because it’s not too heavy on his skin and it doesn’t clog his nose with a fragrance he can’t shake.

Bottom Line: I recommend this for both babies and adults. I really think the mothers would love this!

Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil All Purpose Diaper Ointment

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You’re probably wondering how can I be using diaper cream still since Bear’s out of diapers? Well, there are other uses for it! I personally like using this as a temporary relief for my chapped lips (no, I don’t carry the whole thing. I put it on before I go to bed and a little goes a long way!).

I also use the ointment to treat scrapes and burns, as well as smooth my feet before I put socks on them (a not-so secret to keep your feet smooth), and my elbows. Try it!

Bottom Line: Even if you don’t have a baby, this is something you should have in your medicine cabinet.

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Marshmallow Root & Blueberry Kids 2-in-1 Body Wash and Lotion

I’m going to keep it one hundred…I was a little confused on how something can be both a body wash and lotion at the same time. You see, I have dry skin otherwise known as being ashy in the black community. If I don’t lotion my feet, it looks like I was playing kickball with flour. I may be medium skin toned but trust, you can still see the Ashy Larry within me.

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I tried it on Bear and it had a bit of lather. I personally like soaps/body washes with lather because one, I like to see the suds, but also two, I want to see the dirt coming off Bear in those suds.

This soap didn’t have any suds (after all, it is part-lotion) so my jury is still out on well it cleans. It smells wonderful and it has the right fragrance for sensitive noses for small and big alike.

Bottom Line: Not sure about this one personally, but try it if you want to do something different.

Overall, I liked this newest box. This was definitely my favorite out of the three so far.

What’s your favorite Shea Moisture product?

 

New Shea Moisture Box! #sheamom

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It’s like Christmas in every box.

So, over the weekend, I recently received a new Shea Moisture box. As I did the last box, I  will do a full review of the contents inside with the pros and cons. Ready? Let’s go!

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This Shea Moisture box was catered more to wellness and had a lot of products dedicated specifically for that. Bear just happened to be sick so this box was right on time! Let’s go over each one by one:

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Eucalyptus and African Water Mint wash and bubble bath.

I really like it because it’s nice and light. It’s not overpowering and it has the nice touch of eucalyptus and mint that’s perfect for the baby’s nose. I know Bear felt a lot better after a nice hot bath with this.

Pros: Easy on the nose.

Cons: It might be too easy on the nose for adults.

Bottom Line: I recommend it for babies. If you have a sensitive nose, it might be perfect for you as an adult.

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Eucalyptus and African Water Mint Lotion

Just like with the accompanying bubble bath and wash, it also has a nice fragrance. The plus about this lotion is it’s thick, but not too heavy. It was perfect on my dry skin and Bear had no complaints at all.

Pros: A little goes a long way. It’s not as thick as a butter but it’s much thicker than regular lotion.

Cons: You might squeeze out too much by accident, hence the above tip.

Bottom Line: I do recommend this lotion! Buy it!

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Eucalyptus and African Water Mint Baby Chest Rub

This is supposed to be a friendlier, child version of the widely-popular Vicks Chest Rub. While I can’t say for sure it helped Bear breathe better, he had no complaints when I put it on his chest and back.

I have to say, however, because this is just as light as the above body wash and lotion, you may not know for sure it’s working.

Pros: Goes on relatively easy with no sticky residue.

Cons: Not sure if it actually works.

Bottom Line: Buyer Beware. I can’t say for sure if this works.


Now something strictly for the adults…keep on scrollin’, Mom and Dad.

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Eucalyptus Essential Oil

I love me some essential oils. I love them so much I actually considered creating my own body care line (still debating on doing that). So, I was super jazzed about opening this gem.

Despite how light the other products were, this eucalyptus oil is the real deal. Your senses will thank you! It makes the entire home smell just wonderful and ugh…I wish they actually sent more of this.

Pros: Not light at all, very fragrant, smells wonderful.

Cons: It might be too heavy on your nose. Not for child use.

Bottom Line: If you love essential oils, pick this one up!

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African Water Mint & Ginger Bath Sugar Cubes

I don’t have a bathtub so I can’t do this review in terms of a bathtub experience. I can, however, do this review in terms of using these sugar cubes of giving myself a mani and pedi.

The cubes are strongly-scented. In other words, you open the jar and your nose will get a whiff of goodness. In water, the cubes dissolve very quickly with a fuzzy feeling over your toes (especially, OMG, on your toes!).

After soaking them for about ten minutes, you can do your usual scrub and then use the body lotion on the toes. For an extra bonus, wear socks for a bit so your feet can feel every softer.

Pros: Great smell, and has multiple uses other than bath.

Cons: Might be too strong for your nose.

Bottom Line: I do recommend these cubes!

 

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I also received some swag! A towel to help dry off my feet and a t-shirt!

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Dopeness.

What’s your favorite Shea Moisture product?

Product Review: K-Beauty SkinFood BrownSugar Cleansing Wipes

I have to admit from the jump, I wasn’t sure if any K-beauty products would work for my skin. I’m older (38, I ain’t ashamed), still get acnes and blackheads (like wth??), and my skin is either crazy oily or crazy dry. It’s like it can’t decide what it wants to do and it often feels me like:

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Finding a great makeup remover has been quite the challenge, especially when there are products who promise they’ll remove all of the makeup and well, not really.

Ulta has their own K-Beauty section so after walking throughout the store, I naturally ended up there. I’ve many a great things about K-beauty so I figured let me dive my toes a bit more and review another product.

Enter Skinfood.

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Obviously, I can’t read Korean, but I can read English so I flipped it over.

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Sounds promising. Now what are the ingredients?

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It’s not a great picture so here are the ingredients listed:

Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dipropylene glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Cyclohexasiloxane, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Isopentyldiol, Black Sugar Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Lepidium Meyenii Root Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Extract, Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake), Sucrose, Trehalose, Butylene glycol, Poloxamer 184, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Malic Acid, Fragrance.

Yeah. That’s a whole lot. I love the fact it has so much fruit in it – orange, papaya, and lemon. Hell, it even has sake in it! I love sake!

But some of these other ones? Let’s check them out for a minute:

Ethylhexyl Palmitate

I learned that this is an organic replacement for silicone. So hey, those who are allergic or don’t want to use any products containing silicone, these wipes might be in your interest.

Dipropylene glycol

This is a common fragrance found in nearly all hair and beauty products as a masking agent. It provides fragrance.

Cyclopentasiloxane

Remember when I just said this product might be good to use if you want to avoid silicones? Yeah, scratch that. Cyclopentasiloxane (and yeah, I can’t pronounce it, neither) is a silicone, but apparently, it’s a healthy silicone. It acts as a hair conditioning agent.

PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides

The jury is still out on this out. I read from this blog, this is an ingredient to be avoided. Then I read here, it’s actually good for you. So consumer beware. This is an ingredient that helps with taking off makeup.

So, now that we know the players, let’s play the game:

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Yes, this is an old picture of me since I just removed my braids. But I have to show me with a face full of makeup.

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I just took off my lipstick and well, it’s all on there.

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It thoroughly took off my face makeup.

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And yes, this is me with no makeup, y’all. My face isn’t even clean with soap.

Let’s review:

Pros:

  • Cheap. I paid around $9 for this.
  • Available at Ulta and online. I’m not sure if it’s available at other places. It seems pretty elusive to find.
  • It removed all of my makeup!
  • It smells clean, with a tiny bit of sweetness.

Cons:

  • Some of the ingredients might be off-putting.
  • If you want to avoid silicones, avoid this because it does contain silicones even if it’s a tiny bit.
  • In comparison to other makeup removal tissues, it’s a bit on the pricey side.

Bottom Line:

I do recommend it with some reservations. You really have to try it to see.

If you’ve tried it, what do you think?