Product Review: Swak Tooth Brush

Swak love your teeth
http://swak-shop.com/ (UK)
http://swak.de/ (Germany)
Price £10.50 or 11,90 EUR to get started
£9.00 – £28.00 for replacement heads

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

About the company

The company strives to be zero waste and a healthy option for your teeth. I have talked to the UK dealer and she is a wonderful person who and is very passionate about healthy teeth and sustainable living!

They promote healthy teeth and gums without the use of toothpaste. You can use toothpaste, but not needed. They also offer oil and tooth salt to use too. I want to try the oil!

The website is full of very useful information and videos and I recommend looking that over!

Keep in mind this is a German company first. While the page itself is in English (UK one) some of the Facebook may have German. Do not be thrown off by this! It is a small company that is only just expanding out to the UK, and I hope to the USA someday!

About the product

I was offered this toothbrush free, for a honest review. This review is for the 2.0 but it seems like there is only a few minor changes from the 2.0 and the 3.4. The heads of the toothbrush look the same and that is the important part.

The one I got was plastic but they do have a wooden Miswak. Since the head is replaceable I am not so anti-plastic in this case. This is not a one use toothbrush! Also the plastic is made from GMO free sugar [Polylactid Acid (PLA)] and that kinda blows my mind! (at least the 3.4) I had no idea sugar plastic was a thing and I Love it!

This is where things get really interesting:

The toothbrush head

The head of the brush is made from frayed Miswak wood. When I first read that I was both worried and excited. I was worried if that would hurt, but excited at the true zero waste options! When you are done with a head it can be tossed in the compost! Also, turns out it is super soft!

 

The packaging:

I was warned up front that the packaging on the discontinued brush I got is different than the new one. This one has plastic packaging, but they have moved away from that in the newer ones.

Other than a small plastic bag (no longer used) it was all paper. It was shipped in a brown paper envelope and over all looks like they avoided as much waste as possible! I I have yet to find a use for the bag but I have not given up! I might use it when I gift an essential oil or something.

My experience

I have bad teeth. I do what I can to keep them healthy and have tried a wide rage products and things to try to improve my oral health. (Both fluoride and fluoride free toothpaste, oil pulling essential oils and more.) Even with a soft brush and light brushing my gums tend to bleed. After two days of using this brush my gums were not bleeding and my teeth felt cleaner. They felt more like they were polished and I liked that.

The first time I used it I used toothpaste, and it worked well and I used less toothpaste I think. I am pretty mindful of the amount I use before this brush too. I found I had to use more after I finished the top teeth, but I think I still used less. My teeth felt great most of the day. Day two I repeated that process and my teeth were pretty happy till dinner when I brushed again.

Day 3 I tried without toothpaste to see how I felt. It seemed to work well but I found by mid day I needed to do it again, and then again at dinner. I think if I kept up without the toothpaste this would decrease as my mouth adjusted (may like no poo you have to detox?) but I prefer the way my mouth felt with the toothpaste.

I would be willing to try their tooth oil, but I may also look into mixing something myself. I might just try Thieves oil too!

The only reason it got 4 1/2 stars rather than 5 was the fact that it is a little hard to get and it would be a big upfront investment for a household of 5. The replacement head price is totally perfect so it would be worth it when I could afford it.

Am I still using it?

Yes I am! Since I am so used to my old toothbrush sometimes I grab that one first when I’m still half asleep in the morning, but I have started taking this one with me when I go somewhere since you do not NEED toothpaste and I use it before bed every night.

It’s been a few weeks since I got it but due to Hurricane Harvey and stress from Harvey I took my time writing this.

I am not sure how long the heads last, I will update later (if I remember to update) when the head dies. I think the website says 3 months.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very sustainable
  • GMO free plastic
  • Supports a smallish company that wants to do good
  • Very good for your teeth
  • Easier to use than expected
  • easy to care for
  • fluoride free oral health options
  • More polished feeling teeth

Cons

  • Only in UK and Germany for now
  • Price is a little high
  • Takes getting used to
  • They seem to run out of product because a small company

Overall this is worth trying! The Pros are way better than the Cons! Will I buy more? Maybe! I am in the US so it is hard but I have been told I can place a bulk order directly so I will be seeing if anyone else is interested! Would I buy more if I lived in the UK? I think I would!

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Product Review: Dr Bronner’s Hemp Peppermint Soap

Dr Bronner’s Hemp Peppermint Soap

4 Stars
Buy on Amazon $11.99 for 2 bars
Better deals in the store. We pay about $3.50 a bar at the store
https://www.drbronner.com/

About the Company:

First let me tell you, this company is Amazing (capital A). They are certified Organic (3 certifications),  Fair Trade, Vegan, GMO Free, and Kosher! That is just the tip of the iceberg! You really need to read that website to see how amazing this company is!

The soap!

So far we have only used the Hemp and Peppermint. The scent is AMAZING, and we have not really wanted to try another one, because the scent is AMAZING. We tend to buy 1 bar and cut it into about 4 pieces. (We do this with all soaps) This soap is good for the whole family, for both face and body.

Soap is something my husband and I both kinda obsess about. We have requirements for soap, before we buy it, and certain things for us to say we love it.

  • Must be non toxic ✓
  • Must be no waste ✓
  • Must be cost effective (Willing to bend on that if it is good soap.) ✓
  •  Not a Glycerin soap (I am not a fan) ✓

For us to love it:

  • Must not dry skin
  • Must leave us feeling clean ✓✓
  • Must smell good without “fragrance” (non natural ones at lease) ✓

I do find it a little drying but not unbearable.

I mentioned Non-Toxic it checks out on Think Dirty! It is on there twice, once as a 0 and once as a 3 for allergens! This checks out for me!!

Screenshot_20170802-211505

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan, Kosher
  • Uses essential oils, not “fragrance”
  • Smells so good I wish I could eat it
  • Whole family loves it
  • Paper packaging

Cons:

  • The bar goes fast we have to buy more often than some of the other brands we buy.
  • Drys my skin out. Okay for the summer but come winter I may need to switch soaps.

The Packaging:

Paper. We do not order off the internet, since we are able to get it easy local, so not sure about packaging when you order online.

Waste: 0! Paper is compostable, and when the bar gets small we put it in a soap saver.

Fine print: This review is not endorsed in any way by the company, this is a product I already buy. Amazon link is an affiliate link.

Product Review: Mariah Shaving Oil

Miriah Shaving Oil from Young Living

2 1/2 stars out of 5 (for shaving) 4 out of 5 for other things
retail $29.93
https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/mirah-shave-oil

 

 

I was not impressed with this product. I have been looking for new shaving products. I always used shampoo for shaving but I am no-poo now. I am okay with most Bar soaps sore shaving my legs, but not that most sensitive bikini area. So I give in and use my husband’s shampoo. I had hoped that this was the answer.

I had never used a shaving oil before and that may have been the biggest issue. I found the razor got clogged up too easy and it was hard for me to get a good shave. I tried it twice.

I did think it made a great after shave! After reading the label closer I found it was full of great oils for skin. So I now use it for my face!

About the Packaging:

Little waste. The bottle is hard plastic and I think it will be reusable! It has a solid plastic lid that may not be needed. It looks recyclable. I still have mine just in case. Also sealed in plastic that was not needed.

 

waste: Plastic wrap around the bottle

Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • smells good
  • makes so
  • ft skin
  • Good for more than shaving

Cons

  • Not sure I like shave oil
  • Seems to have unnecessary packaging.

This product is great if you like shave oil, and it is a great skin product! I still use mine, just not to shave with.

 

Fine print: This review is not endorsed in any way by the company, this is a product I already buy. I am a Young Living independent distributor.

Product Review: Dr Perfect Bamboo Toothbrush

Dr. Perfect Bamboo Toothbrush

4 out of 5 stars
Buy on Amazon I bought 12 for $10.50 with Prime
http://www.iteethbrush.com/bamboo-toothbrush/

My checklist:

  • Cost effective  ✔
  • Sustainable product ✔
  • Little to no waste ✔

These are the first Bamboo Toothbrushes I have ever bought! I was excited about the price! It is about the price of the ones that are so bad for the environment! On Amazon, it did not say these were small, but it does say they are soft bristle. I think these are kids brushes but I am okay with that.

The bristles are soft and made of nylon and made to look like a natural fiber. I thought that was kinda cool. Before tossing them in the compost, you have to pull the bristles out. They are recyclable!

My husband wishes they were bigger so I think next time I buy I will only get 6 and get 4 adult size ones.

Image from Amazon

About the packaging:

They are individually wrapped but in a compostable paper so I like that! I bought in bulk and that will keep them clean until we are ready to use them without causing waste. I bought them on Amazon, and they were in an envelope in a box, and I found that annoying. The box is compostable, and the air packaging in the box is recyclable and easy to repurpose. The envelope though was not recyclable and that alone seemed so wasteful. This produces some but minimal waste.

Waste: 1 non-recyclable envelope for about a year’s worth of toothbrushes.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • sustainable product: bamboo is the worlds fastest growing plant.
  • little waste
  • cheap!
  • soft bristles

Cons:

  • Smaller than expected
  • Made in China (most bamboo brushes are) That always makes me worried
  • Unneeded packaging
  • They all look the same. (We marked mine with a purple stripe) I am not 100% sure how the kids are keeping theirs apart.

 

See, mine has the purple

 

I do recommend these brushes! None of the Cons are deal breakers and we will be trying the larger brushes for my husband later on, and I am sure we will be happy with them as well!

Fine print: This review is not endorsed in any way by the company, this is a product I already buy. Amazon link is an affiliate link.

DIY Cotton Face Scrubs

Without thinking, I bought some of those cotton rounds because I wanted to test some recipes and improve my skin. The first time I used one of those cotton rounds two thoughts crossed my mind.

  1. This is handy to have!
  2. Oh, my look how wasteful that is!

I still have them, but I feel a tinge of guilt every time I use one. A while back I posted two face cleaner recipes (these are the recipes I was testing)

So I decided to make some of my own. At first, I was going to make them round but I felt that was a little wasteful. (All those corners being trimmed off.) So I made squares!

This is a fast easy project that even a beginner can do! It is also truly 100% zero waste if you are using cotton and have a compost pit! 

DIY Cotton Squares

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How the Toothbrush changed my home

I am on a mission to reduce the trash from my home! Have you heard of the Zero Waste movement? No? That’s okay… Go Google it right after you read this!

The more I learn about Zero Waste, the more I realize there are things I have overlooked. I always thought I was pretty good about living sustainably. Reduce, reuse, recycle and everything.

The big thing I have managed to overlook was Toothbrushes! This one thing is making me rethink so many other things.

I read a blog, that I wish I saved, about a woman who lived on an island. She said while walking on the beach she found 14 old toothbrushes! She was not looking for them, they had washed up on the beach. The implications of that made my eyes tear up! I never thought about toothbrushes. I mean it seems so obvious! I always just bought the cheapest ones and never thought about it when it was time to replace them. After reading that I vowed to never buy another plastic toothbrush again.

I was wanting to replace my toothbrush soon so I got to work doing my research. The first thing I saw is most bamboo toothbrushes cost so much. Bamboo is the world’s fastest growing plant and is crazy sustainable so I can not justify $5 for 1 toothbrush. We are used to buying 3 for $2. We have a family of 5 and we buy them in bulk when we can.

For me, the cost is almost as important as the product. I am willing to slightly bend in ways to save, but I always try to buy with great thought. I found some bamboo brushes that fit my cost! They are compostable with recyclable bristles. They are kind of flat so the husband says he may use them as plant markers when we are done with them.

We also order a lot of things. (I know so much packaging! ) So when I could not find bamboo toothbrushes near my home (I am sure they are in Austin just not where I go) I ordered off Amazon. We got these:

So far I am very happy with them! They are $10.50 for 12 and that seems pretty good for me. I prefer soft bristles but the husband is not thrilled. He also feels they are small and feels like he is using a kid’s toothbrush. I may look into other ones for him when these are gone. I did look at the other Dr. Perfect toothbrushes and we see some we might try for him!

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Savvy Minerals from Young Living

OMG So this is really big! I am so excited about this!  One of the biggest arguments I have with my teen daughter is over toxic beauty products. Honestly, that is one reason I started my Sustainable Hair care and Hygiene Facebook group.

Personally, I don’t wear makeup, but that is more because I don’t care for it. My daughter, on the other hand, thinks about going to beauty school. I want to support her but I hate buying all of that toxic stuff for her. We tend to fight and more than I care to admit, I give in and but whatever nail or makeup she is asking for. I try to find the healthiest version of what she is asking for, but that is hard to do.

So when this was announced, I work that girl child up! I showed her the images as I saw them! She wishes there were more colors (rumors say they will be expanding), but she is so excited and I will start building her collection in July!

Let’s start with the ingredients!

  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan-friendly

*ingredients may not be included in all products–this is a comprehensive list:

  • arrowroot powder: a powdery starch from the roots of several tropical plants, used as a thickening agent in natural cosmetics
  • kaolin clay: a naturally-occurring clay from tropical environments, reduces the production of sebum (bye, oily face)
  • jojoba oil: a wonderfully moisturizing fat-based oil
  • mica colors: for shine
  • aloe: for hydration
  • Boron nitride: helps minerals to stick
  • Lauroyl lysine: a naturally-occurring amino acid for skin conditioning
  • Populus tremuloides bark extract: Aspen tree bark, for skin conditioning and anti-flaking
  • Silica: found naturally in sandstone & granite, anti-caking and adds opacity
  • iron oxides: for color
  • tin oxide: for color
  • ultramarine: for color
  • titanium dioxide: for color
  • manganese violet: for color
  • Castor seed oil: another great cleansing fat-based oil for the skin
  • Beeswax: used in the lipstick, skin-softening and protecting
  • Polyhydroxystearic Acid: an emulsifier
  • Olive fruit oil: fat-based carrier oil, moisturizing
  • Sunflower seed oil: fat-based carrier oil, great for acne-prone skin
  • Peppermint essential oil: yumm, in the lipgloss!
  • Vitamin E: nourishing
  • Sweet Almond oil: fat-based carrier oil, great for mature skin
  • Candelilla wax: a vegetable wax that provides gloss and slippery-ness to the lipgloss
  • Potassium sorbate: a naturally-occurring antimicrobial preservative
  • Sodium levulinate: skin conditioner
  • Sodium Anisate: derived from fennel, a natural antimicrobial preservative
  • glycerin: vegetable-based, improves skin’s smoothness & moisture
  • Geranium essential oil
  • Bergamot essential oil
  • Copaiba essential oil
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Black Spruce essential oil
  • Orange essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Lime essential oil
  • Citric acid: an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found in citrus fruits, preservative, maintains pH balance
  • Vanilla extract: great for irritated skin
  • Sage essential oil
  • Ocotea essential oil
  • Rose essential oil (cue angels singing)

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