Oliva by CCS Body Lotion Review

Living in Sweden body lotion is a necessary item for me. The winter is cold, dry and long, our body needs a lot of nourishing and protection. For me, without a layer of lotion, my skin gets very dry and itchy, making the long winter harder to endure.

oliva-by-ccs-body-lotion-review
Ingredients: (perfumed version)
Aqua, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Canola Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Dicitrate/Stearate, Butyrospermum, Parkii Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Olive Oil Decyl Esters, Betaine, Shea Butter Oleyl, Esters, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Squalene, Parfum , Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Citric Acid.
98% content of natural origin
Organic olive oil.
Cruelty-free. MIGHT be vegan. (I said “might” because some ingredients can be extracted from both animal and plant sources. However judging from the price I would say it’s largely from plant source. I have inquired the company on this but didn’t get any reply by the time of writing.)

Oliva by CCS is one of the local drug store brand that I tried and loved. It’s available in two kinds, one is perfumed and another unperfumed for those with sensitive skin. I used the unperfumed one first. Although as you might know, all of those unperfumed products still have a smell of their original materials, some might not be to your liking. The solution is to add essential oil of your choice to make them smell and function better. I usually add quite some lavender essential oil to this one. Then I also tried the perfumed one and loved the light and fresh fragrance. Since then I have stuck to this one.

Where to buy: available both online and in actual store so it’s easy to buy when you live or travel in Sweden.
Price: relatively inexpensive.
Texture: it is not very thick, so it’s silky and easy to spread over. It’s very easy to absorb into skin and works very well.

The only downside of those 500ml bottles is that the last 10-15% of lotion won’t be reached by the pump tube, so you have to cut it open, scoop out the remaining lotion and put them into a jar to finish. Or you can try 250ml tubes, which is easier to squeeze out the last bits. Other than that I quite like this one and recommend it for those who live or travel in Sweden, want to find a relatively inexpensive, easy to buy lotion with organic ingredients.

Estelle and Thild All in One Tinted Moisturizer Review

estelle-and-thild-all-in-one-tinted-moisturizer-light
Estelle and Thild is one of the best brands that feature organic, natural, non-toxic ingredients in their skincare products. And it’s from Sweden. While a small country, in recent few years I definitely see that Sweden is following the organic food and skincare trends. There are more and more imported products available here, although not as varied as those in the USA when it comes to brands and budgets, it’s still better than nothing. However, Estelle and Thild is a local brand from Stockholm, which you can easily order online, or buy in local pharmacies or makeup stores if you live in Sweden.

The first one I decided to try is the All in One Tinted Moisturizer. I don’t have particular skin problems so I don’t always want to wear full coverage foundation. (Not to mention I still haven’t found the right shade for myself yet). This moisturizer with a bit sheer coverage is just perfect for me.

estelle-and-thild-all-in-one-tinted-moisturizer-light-swatch
Estelle and Thild All in One Tinted Moisturizer – LIGHT
Ingredients: aqua, titanium dioxide, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, rosa damascena flower water*, glycerin**, prunus armeniaca kernel oil*, coco-caprylate/caprate, simmondsia chinensis seed oil*, butyrospermum parkii butter*, glyceryl stearate citrate, lecithin*, gluconolactone, sodium hyaluronate, glyceryl caprylate, tocopherol, cetearyl olivate, sclerotium gum, xanthan gum, sorbitan olivate, parfum, limonene, linalool, sodium gluconate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sorbic acid, CI 77491,CI 77492, CI 77499.* Ingredient from Organic Farming **Made using organic ingredients.
99,87% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. 24,976% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming. Natural and Organic Cosmetic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at http://cosmetics.ecocert.com
Cruelty-free.Vegan.

Although I normally prefer glass bottle to plastic one, I found this one light and convenient to travel with. It’s not slippery so it’s easy to hold and apply. The pump works perfectly so the liquid has less contact with the air to keep it fresh longer. It is also easy to control the amount you apply on your face.

It feels silky and light on my skin. I usually feel a bit heavy when I use foundation. It’s available in two shades: light and medium. I used the light shade and it works alright. It’s only sheer coverage, so my skin color is not altered but skin texture is smoother. It also smells nice from the rose water. I normally try to use fragrance-free products, but those usually smell a bit weird. So recently I started to use some products that add natural fragrance such as from essential oil or floral water as the flavor. Believe me, that makes your skin care or make up routine more enjoyable. 😉

It’s the first product from Estelle&Thild I tried, and I definitely fell in love with it. I think it would be perfect for summer when you absolutely need something lighter on your face. If you need a sheer coverage for your face, and can find it online or in your local health store, I urge you to try it!

Hugo Naturals All Over Lotion Review

When the cold chilly weather approaches, I want to have a body lotion that has the most natural ingredients and functions well. After some research, I came across Hugo Naturals all over lotion. As a minimalist, I actually love the idea of not using multiple products. With this one I can use both on my face and body. So far I have tried four different flavors with similar texture. All of them are hydrating lotion, work especially well on the body skin. It’s not very thin, but enough to spread and absorb well. When used on the face, the lotion feels a bit thicker and greasy first, but after some gentle tapping all around, it absorbs well eventually. I will share some of my opinions on the ones I have tried.

On the bottles:
The spray bottle (shown in the left picture) makes it easy to get the bits when applying each time, but when it has 10% left and the tube can’t reach the bottom, you would have to cut it open to get the rest. I guess that’s the problem with all those types of bottles.

The travel size (shown in the middle picture) is convenient to carry around but after using half it isn’t easy to get the rest coming out. Eventually you might have to cut it open to get the rest of it.

The easiest to use is the soft tube (shown in the right picture). However it also happens to be more expensive than the other types, I have no idea why.

UPDATE: (on Nov 22nd, 2016) now 237ml (size in the far left picture) is also available in soft tube form.

Hugo Naturals Allover Lotion
Ingredients:
Aqua/water, glyceryl stearate SE, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, glycerin squalane, cetyl alcohol, sodium stearoyl lactylate, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, tocopherol (red palm oil), allantoin, candelila wax, oryza sativa, polyglyceryl, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, aloe barbadensis leaf extract*, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, coffea arabica (coffee) seed extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) extract, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) fruit extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, xanthan gum, gluconolactone.
*Certified Organic
Cruelty-free.Vegan.

Hugo Naturals All Over Lotion, Nourishing Creamy Coconut
I am a big fan of coconut, but unfortunately, the fragrance doesn’t match the name description. It smells more flowery, only with a bit hint of coconut and with a hint of waxy smell too.

Hugo Naturals All Over Lotion, French Lavender
As a lavender fan this smells authentic. If you ever use lavender essential oil you would absolutely love this calming fragrance. I think it’s perfect to use it after a bath, when you want to have a good sleep. Lavender can soothe your nerve and help you go back to a calming state.

Hugo Naturals All Over Lotion, Vanilla and Sweet Orange
So far this is my absolutely fav!!! It’s a very strong orange smell with sweet vanilla scent, reminding me of the Christmas cookie frosting. As a foodie I have the tendency to fall in love with scent that could be eaten, so I love this one the first time I use it.

Hugo Naturals All Over Lotion, Grapefruit
I like citrus smell as it’s light and fresh, however sometimes it’s not the best idea to be “authentic”. This one has a top note of grapefruit, but after applying it dies down and a bitter and slightly sour smell remains. It’s not my idealist choice of citrus smell.

Hugo Naturals All Over Lotion Chamomile Vanilla
Hugo Naturals, Baby, Oh-So-Soft Lotion with Shea Butter, Chamomile & Vanilla
Ingredients
Aqua/water, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, olea europaea (olive) oil*, glyceryl stearate SE, sodium stearoyl lactylate, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, cetearyl glucoside, allantoin, squalane, polyglyceryl, tocopherol (red palm oil), chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, candelilla wax, oryza sativa, arnica montana flower extract, althaea officinalis leaf/root extract, symphytum officinale leaf extract, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, coffea arabica (coffee) seed extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) fruit extract, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, prunus armeniaca (apricot) fruit extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, xanthan gum, gluconolactone, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract.
*Certified Organic
Cruelty-free.Vegan.
The baby lotion smells mild chamomile and vanilla and has very silky and thicker consistency than the other all over lotions. It feels super soft and easy to sink into skin. This one should be excellent for those with extra sensitive skin, since chamomile has calming effect on the irritation of the skin.

The Basic Facial Oil

The Basic Facial Oil
A few years ago I met a representative from a small family-owned olive farm business at a food expo and he told me that: for years, his sister only used olive oil as her skin care and her skin has been so good all the time. I asked him: “Are you sure she only used that? Nothing else?” “Nope, she only used that. It’s that simple.” he answered.

Back then I was still believing that we must use various industrial products to maintain a clean and healthy face, so I didn’t immediately believed him. It was only until recent years I started to explore the most natural and inexpensive way of taking care of the skin, since I decided to become a minimalist. After I finished my last jar of moisturizer, I started to use pure coconut oil as facial oil. However, it was always a bit greasy on my face, and I don’t necessarily feel hydrated on my face. Then one day I started to recall what that Italian man at the expo has told me long time ago, and I decided to use extra virgin olive oil. And surprisingly, it works really well for me!

After cleaning (see my oil facial cleanser), I use the dropper to drop 3-4 drops on my forehead, nose and cheeks, then smudge them evenly with my warm hands. The oil gets absorbed quickly and soon I feel hydrated enough. When I just apply it, I could smell a strong olive oil scent, but they disappear quickly. I use them in warmer and more humid weather, and it is very simple and functional.

Besides using cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, I also suggest adding a few drops of essential oil to make it more interesting, such as:
geranium oil (helps balancing the serum)
lavender oil (helps calming irritated skin and scar recovery)
ti-tree oil (especially if you’re prone to have acne)

Hope you enjoy it!

Eco-Dent Vegan Dental Floss Review

Eco-Dent Vegan Floss Cinnamon

Since I eat vegan diet, I try to apply the principle to my life as much as possible. Dental floss might seem totally vegan on the surface, but there is a chance the waxed type is made of bee-wax, which makes it not vegan. After some research, I found a vegan dental floss: Eco-Dent Veganfloss Premium Dental Floss Cinnamon
Ingredients:
Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax, cinnamomum cassia leaf oil, anethole, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, foeniculum vulgare (fennel) oil, illicium verum (anise) oil, pelargonium graveolens flower oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, ocimum basilicum (basil) oil, rose flower oil.
Cruelty-free.Vegan.

Here are the pros and cons I would like to share:
Pros

  • eco-friendly paper packing (although you have to be careful opening it, don’t destroy the package accidentally as it is supposed to be your dental floss container!)
  • available in mint-alternative flavor (I love cinnamon better!)
  • natural ingredients, made of candelilla wax, rice bran wax and lots of essential oils

Cons

  • occasionally thread gets stuck between the teeth
  • the paper package might get soaked with water and rendered unusable
  • the paper package is easily smashed in toiletries bag

So I guess the solution is that you might need a small plastic box to protect your dental floss package from getting wet or smashed. But in all it’s a good product that I enjoy using daily.