Perhaps the Most Versatile Oil Ever: Jojoba Oil

jojoba plant

jojoba plant

I love this jojoba oil from Foxbrim! Can you hear the excitement in my voice? Yes, I really do 100% love this product!

The jojoba oil is so light I can saturate my hair with it and get lots of softness and shine without any greasiness or drooping.

I can also apply the oil to my skin and have it vanish in seconds, leaving me feeling comfortably hydrated without being sticky or tacky.

Best yet, to me the jojoba oil smells a little bit like coffee! I am not sure if it smells like coffee to other people, or if I just have a weird nose, but I happen to be a coffee addict, so to me this scent is fantastic. The aroma is also light like the oil itself, and not at all overbearing, so if you don’t like coffee, I don’t think this scent will bother you.

I am also excited that I like this jojoba oil so much because I needed a good carrier oil to help me make bath salts and scrubs with my lemon oil. Used alone, the lemon oil can be too strong. The jojoba oil dilutes the lemon oil enough that it does not cause irritation, ensuring I get a brisk lemon scent without any burning or sensitivity (note: citrus-based oils can sting if not diluted with carrier oils).

I have also heard that jojoba oil can be used for shaving and scalp massage–two applications I have not tried yet, but plan to try next.

All in all, this jojoba oil delivers on all it promises and is so versatile it will become a staple in my bath and body product arsenal.

If you are interested in blending essential oils for use in your skin care and hair care, you should consider this jojoba oil as a non-irritating, proven carrier oil.

Side note: I was given a free sample of this product in exchange for my honest opinions.

Where I got my jojoba oil, and you can get yours: Amazon

Another Great Fractionated Coconut Oil Option from goPURE Naturals


The versatile coconut

I genuinely love this fractionated coconut oil from goPURE Naturals! It has so many practical uses, and its lightweight, non-greasy texture is very appealing. Thus far I have used the coconut oil to moisturize my skin, as a bath oil and as a hair conditioner.

The fractionated coconut oil works great as a substitute for lotion and absorbs into skin quickly, yet leaves it feeling soft and hydrated. For example, I was able to apply the dry oil to my hands, rub my fingers together for a few brief seconds, and immediately start using my Kindle without leaving any oily smears on the screen. I love how fast the coconut oil dissipates; I don’t have to interrupt any activities to use it, so any time my hands feel dry, I can apply the oil and return to whatever I am doing without leaving grease marks everywhere.

I used a few tablespoons of the oil in a warm bath to soothe dry winter skin. The water felt slick and moisturizing, but the oil did not leave any dangerous residue on the bottom of my bath tub (which is a hazard of some bath oils.) This fractionated coconut oil is a great option for people who enjoy baths without the presence of any scents or perfumes–it is virtually odorless. (I use the caveat “virtually” because if you use too much oil in the bath, you eventually can detect an unpleasant odor. The key is to experiment to find the right number of tablespoons to use so you get the hydration effect on your skin, yet smell nothing.)

I initially tried to use the oil as a leave-in conditioner, but that was too much for my hair, which is fine and thin; it ended up looking sort of greasy and piece-y. I imagine people with other hair textures will not have this same issue, but ultra-fine baby-like hair like mine tends to react badly to many leave-in conditioners.

Next, I used the oil as a rinse-out conditioner, and the results were amazing! My dry, static-plagued locks became soft and shiny, and they regained their bouncy waves. (When my hair is dry, it goes completely flat; but when it is moisturized properly, I have lots of waves.) Now that I have discovered coconut oil is the secret to revive my hair when it is in a winter funk, I will never lose my beloved waves again!

From my experience, I would advise that if you have fine, thin hair like mine, you should use the coconut oil as a rinse-out conditioner rather than a leave-in. You will get all of the desired results without weighing down your hair.

My experiment using the oil as a leave-in hair product also produced the same odor as when I poured too many tablespoons into my bath. Again, moderation and balance is paramount–you need to experiment with the quantity to find what amount is right for your hair, and how much is too much. When you find the sweet spot, the oil is odorless and functions as designed. Don’t let this matter of scent discourage you. By using the right amount, you will not smell anything. If you overdose on the coconut oil, you will be able to tell you applied too much from the scent (which is not a coconut scent, by the way; I find the scent hard to describe. The best word that comes to mind is “funky.”)

Now that I know the proper amount of oil to use, I am going through my bottle like gangbusters and applying it every day. I am a sucker for lightweight hydration that absorbs fast, which this fractionated coconut oil provides, so I expect I will use this entire bottle up during the remainder of the winter season. This product is definitely one of my recent favorites.

I was provided a free sample bottle of this coconut oil in exchange for an honest review.

Where I got my oil, and you can get yours: Amazon

Liquid Fractionated Coconut Oil from Pure Body Naturals is Versatile and Soothing

Pure Body Naturals Fractionated Coconut Oil

Pure Body Naturals Fractionated Coconut Oil

If you make bath and body products at home, you have likely struggled to mix coconut oil–which typically comes in a semi-solid, spreadable form–with other ingredients, mixing and blending for precious minutes that you would rather be doing something else.

Did you know that fractionated coconut oil, which has been treated to remain in liquid form at room temperature–is a safe alternative to use in your homemade beauty products? Gone are the days of endlessly churning away at the lumpy materials in your mixing bowl–with this liquified coconut oil, you can whip up your favorite homemade bath and beauty products in mere seconds.

Fractionated coconut oil from Pure Body Naturals is an example of liquified coconut oil that you can mix with essential oils, Dead Sea salts, Epsom salts or other ingredients to make your own lotions, scrubs, bath soaks and more. It is incredible versatile, odorless, natural and soothing to hair, nails and skin.

Although this product is also hypoallergenic, as with any cosmetic ingredient you have not used before, please do a patch test to see if you react to the oil before applying it to your face for the first time. I am allergic to almost anything and everything you can think of, and yet I did not have any reactions to this oil, even when I soaked in a bath using several tablespoons of it.

I also used this product as a slick-on skin moisturizer and as a conditioner for my hair; each experiment was successful. This fractionated coconut oil is excellent as a skin treatment–it is non-greasy and absorbs quickly, so you can, for example,  read the newspaper (or a Kindle) within a few seconds of rubbing the oil into your hands.

As a hair conditioner, I found the most success by using the coconut oil as a rinse-out conditioner, rather than a leave-in treatment. The texture of my hair is thin, fine and wavy. This fractionated coconut oil brought out my waves and gave me a lot of shine without weighing down my thin strands. (I could not use the coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner, however; this approach might be better for people with thicker or dryer hair than mine.)

This bottle of fractionated coconut oil from Pure Body Naturals is a whopping 16 ounces in size, so you can concoct all sorts of bath and body product formulas at an economical cost.

Few other bath and body product ingredients are as versatile, or as soothing. I am definitely a convert, so from here forward, I will use fractionated coconut oil rather than exhausting myself mixing ingredients with semi-solid coconut oil.

On a final note, I received a free bottle of this product in exchange for an honest review.

Where I got my coconut oil, and where you can get yours: Amazon


My Experiments with a Salicylic Acid Peel from Dr Song

Dr Song 20% Salicylic Acid Peel

Dr Song 20% Salicylic Acid Peel

Sometimes scrubs and cleansers just don’t seem tough enough to handle my acne and problem skin. Therefore, I recently decided I needed something stronger to help me: a medical spa-like acid peel.

Acid peels don’t actually peel off visible layers of skin, like you might see happening on your back or on your shoulder after a bad sunburn heals. No, not at all. Instead, the acids simply dissolve the top few layers of dead skin cells, revealing fresh, vibrant new skin below that is ready to soak up your serum or moisturizer.

A properly applied peel should not hurt you, although if you have sensitive skin, you should probably stay away from at-home peels altogether, and consult with a dermatologist before even considering a medical spa peel.

In this case, I selected the Dr Song 20% Salicylic Acid Peel by Dr Song Medical. Dr. Song Medical generously gave me a free bottle to use as a sample, so I was able to try the product in different ways over several weeks.

This peel is different from other acid peels on the market because of its high concentration of ance-fighting salicylic acid. Most bath and body products only contain 2% salicylic acid, and this is considered strong. In contrast, this gel from Dr Song has 20% salicylic acid content, making it an acne destroyer extraordinaire.

The first time I used this product, I applied a thin layer of the gel-like peel all over my face, taking care to avoid the eyes, mouth and nostrils. The peel smelled slightly medicinal, but not in an off-putting way.

I started to feel my skin tingling almost immediately, so I followed the instructions and rinsed everything off using lukewarm water after only 60 seconds. My skin felt clean, but not tight, afterwards. I had wanted a little more softness, but I was still pleased with the fresh, sanitized feeling.

The next time I used the peel, I kept it on my face for 120 seconds. The glass-tipped applicator made it easy to spread the gel without getting it into my eyes or mouth. At 120 seconds, the tingling was intense, so I rinsed everything off before “tingly” became “searing pain.” Once again, I liked the clean, healthy feeling of my skin after the peel, but I did not see major differences–yet.

The next morning, I noticed one of my burgeoning zits had shrunk, dried and ceased looking red and angry like it had looked the night before. Success! The peel halted a bout of acne in its tracks before my forehead got taken over by ginormous red bumps.

A few days later, I applied the Dr Song peel as a spot treatment for acne only. I used a specialized, narrow-tipped swab from the beauty store (the kind you usually use to apply eyeliner and cosmetics), dabbed my acne spots precisely without spreading the gel anywhere else and waited 120 seconds.

The gel tingled as expected, and after the two minutes were over, I rinsed off the peel and examined my forehead in a magnifying mirror. (TMI warning: The next sentence about my acne might be too much information for some, so proceed with caution from here.) To my great excitement, my acne spots had little white heads on them now, indicating the top layers of oils and dead skin cells that had clogged my pores had been removed, allowing impurities to exit my skin. I am always excited when a bath and body product shows evidence it is actually working, and this was clear enough evidence to me that the product was helping.

The next day, my acne had shrunk, dried and calmed down completely. I still had a little healing to do, but a massive outbreak was avoided.

In conclusion, this peel is effective as a spot treatment to conquer acne quickly–a major benefit, especially if you have a party or a wedding coming up and need instant help without visiting the doctor for a cortisone shot.

As a general weekly acid peel, I think Dr Song 20% Salicylic Acid Peel does what it is intended to do: it thoroughly sloughs off dead skin cells, oils and debris, leaving your skin feeling clean and re-set. You won’t see an instant visual result, but your skin texture will prove the product worked. You can use this peel if you have normal or oily skin. Sensitive skin types should avoid all peel products. I will definitely use this product again.

Where you can get your acid peel (and where I got mine): Amazon

Play Love Laugh All Natural Nail Polish is a Game Changer: Long Wearing, Fast Drying, Full of Gorgeous Sparkle

Play Love Laugh Nail Polish in Sweet Purple

Play Love Laugh Nail Polish in Sweet Purple by Hugo Naturals

I stopped wearing nail polish about a decade ago because of my concerns about toxins, so I was mega-excited to finally find a safe, all natural alternative to allow me to wear nail polish again: Play Love Laugh Nail Polish by Hugo Naturals.

Play Love Laugh Nail Polish is all natural, so there are no nasty fumes or odors, and best yet: it dries fast! This means you won’t accidentally smear or dent your fastidiously applied nail polish mere moments after application.

Two coats will last for about 5 to 7 days. Touch-ups extend the life of the polish even longer. Can you believe it–long wearing, quick drying nail polish that is made out of fruits, vegetables, and other natural ingredients? Once you start using this polish, you won’t want to go back to others ever again.

Right now there are 12 fashionable and fun Play Love Laugh Nail Polish colors to choose from; I went for Sweet Purple, which is a blue-based lavender embedded with tiny, delicate sparkles. It’s a great color for any spring nail polish wardrobe–so cheerful! I received many compliments when wearing this polish, even from guys who don’t normally notice when I make a change to my appearance.

If you are the type of person who wants to match your nails to your outfits daily, this polish peels off after soaking in warm water. It slips off easily without damaging your nail bed. This allows you to wear a different shade every day without harming your nails. You also save money because you don’t have to buy a separate polish remover.

Play Love Laugh Nail Polish is safe for use by children and pregnant women; it is even safe to use on pets. It is gluten-free, noncarcinogenic and vegan, and it is made here in the USA. There are no alcohols or acetones. This nail polish is worry-free and eco-friendly. It was invented by a mother of small children who wanted a non-toxic nail polish alternative her kids could use. If your child applies the polish in a messy way, you can simply tidy it up by peeling off any polish that gets onto the skin.

Available colors include several shades of pink, a pastel yellow, a light green, and a few blues–gorgeous colors for spring.

Where I got my polish, and where you can get yours: Play Love Laugh website

Foxbrim Seaweed Complex Lotion is Light but Effective

Foxbrim Seaweed Complex Lotion

Foxbrim Seaweed Complex Lotion

Seaweed is known for its anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and detoxifying properties, so it used in a variety of skincare and hair care products, including acne-fighting formulations.

If you are new to the benefits of seaweed and would like to try it out, a good place to start is with Foxbrim Seaweed Complex Lotion, which can be used on both the face and the body.

Although this lotion is thicker than a gel, it is not greasy or oily, so it won’t clog your pores. The lotion absorbs quickly, leaving a pleasant, soft texture behind. In fact, I was really impressed by how soft my winter-battered hands felt after using this product, which smells relaxing and oceanic. (Caution: I enjoyed the scent of this lotion, but those with sensitive noses should try an unscented lotion instead.)

Foxbrim’s seaweed lotion contains other natural ingredients that are powerful hydrators, yet lightweight in texture: safflower oil, aloe and jojoba oil. Green tea is also included to brighten, clear and invigorate the skin.

Another benefit of this lotion is no animal testing is ever used in its production, and it is Made in the USA. The container has a pump dispenser mechanism and a small nozzle, so you can carefully control how much lotion you use each time without worrying about spills.

Where I got my seaweed lotion: Amazon

Where you can get your seaweed lotion: Amazon

I was provided a free container of this product in exchange for my honest review.

Use Coupon Code BubblesandFoam to Get $10 off Adovia Purifying Mud Mask Now Through February 22

As many readers of this blog already know, I am a fan of the Adovia line of skincare, bath and body products, all of which are incredibly effective and contain luxurious Dead Sea salts and minerals from Israel.

Adovia Purifying Mud Mask

Adovia Purifying Mud Mask

For a limited time, you can get $10 off the Adovia Purifying Mud Mask, which uses smooth Dead Sea mud to help wick dirt and oil out of your pores, by ordering at the Cleopatra’s Choice website and using the coupon code “BubblesandFoam” at checkout.

When I started using this mask, I was battling an unusual bout of adult acne and facial oiliness. I eagerly slathered on Adovia’s mask, which felt smooth, silky and cool upon application.

After a few moments, my face began to tingle, but this never caused any irritation or redness. As the mask dried on my face, the color changed from a dark, almost black tone of gray to a smoky light gray, indicating it was time to rinse off with warm water. Although there was a slight scent to the mud, it was very mild, barely detectable and not unpleasant.

The mask rinsed off quickly and without difficulty with just a little bit of water, leaving my face feeling fresh, clean and devoid of oil. My skin was left soft and hydrated because the mask contains aloe, olive oil, jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, and other nurturing natural ingredients to prevent dryness.

Over the next 24 hours, I noticed immediate improvement in my acne, which started to shrink and dry. The redness in my blemishes was measurably reduced as well. This redness reducing effect might be from the chamomile in the mask.

All in all, this mask delivered on its promises and helped me to combat an unusually bad bout of oiliness and acne without drying out my skin.

Adovia Purifying Mud Mask comes in a large tube, so you are guaranteed dozens of applications of the product. It can be used weekly, or more often if your skin is oily.

Where I got my mud mask: Cleopatra’s Choice

Where you can get your mud mask: Amazon 

This Unisex Scrub from Dr. Stiffie’s is an Orange and Cream Dream

Dr Stiffies Orange and Cream Scrub

Dr Stiffies Orange and Cream Scrub

Whether you are a guy or a gal, you probably suffer from dry skin now and again, and maybe you don’t like using lotions and creams. Now you have a delicious-smelling alternative to help you hydrate and invigorate while in the shower: Dr. Stiffie’s Orange and Cream Scrub, brought to you by Dr. Stiffie’s apothecary of Winchester, Virginia.

This scrub smells exactly like those orangesicle Push-up Pops that ice cream trucks used to sell us in the summertime; both the citrus and the cream notes in the scrub are strong and balanced, which I love. I don’t want wimpy bath and body products that exude only a whisper of scent; I want bold, decisive scents that last, like in this scrub. The scrub elicits happy childhood summer memories every time I use it.

Sold in an attractive, vintage style Ball jar, Dr. Stiffie’s Orange and Cream scrub contains both salt and sugar granules to exfoliate the skin, along with a variety of natural ingredients known for their ability to soften and moisturize: almond, sunflower and coconut oils. The resulting blend is lightweight enough to rinse off quickly after use, but strong enough to leave a layer of protective moisture behind. Maximize the hydration by patting yourself dry with a towel after your shower, rather than rubbing.

Dr. Stiffie’s prioritizes the use of natural and organic ingredients in its formulations whenever possible, and all product testing is performed on humans, not animals. This scrub is Made in the USA by a small, independent business and helps to support a family. Not only will their products help you look good and smell good, but you will also feel good knowing you supported a growing American enterprise.

Where to buy this scrub:

You can find this orange and cream scrub sold on Ebay under seller name “australianfrenchkiss” or via the brand’s Facebook page, which is: Simply leave the owners a message on their Facebook page and they will get back to you quickly with the price (including postage) and availability. (The scrubs are custom-made in small batches, so always check availability first, and get on the wait list if needed–you won’t regret it.)

Versatile Lemon Essential Oil for Grooming and Cleaning

Pure Body Naturals Lemon Oil

Pure Body Naturals Lemon Oil

If you are new to the world of essential oils, cold pressed Lemon Oil from Pure Body Naturals is a great place to begin your experiments in creating homemade bath and body, grooming and cleaning products.

As you can imagine, this lemon oil has a perky, zesty citrus scent that can be rather intense, and it is in a concentrated formulation. Therefore this lemon oil should almost always be used in diluted form to ensure you don’t experience any adverse or allergic reactions to it (and the citrus scent does not overpower you).

You can simply mix this lemon oil with water and spritz it on your face as an antiseptic toner, or you can spritz it on your shower, sink and bathtub to help degrease, cleanse and deoderize those surfaces.

I enjoyed mixing the lemon oil and water with some plain, unscented Dead Sea salts to create a custom homemade salt scrub. The flaky Dead Sea salts have a gentle texture as compared to table salt, and the lemon scent is divine.

Pure Body Naturals notes you can add a few drops of lemon essential oil to jojoba oil to create a refreshing moisturizer. I have not tried this yet myself, but when I do, I will report the results back to you.

In general, this versatile, all natural product is a great additive to scrubs, lotions, cleaning products and more. The ample 4 ounce glass bottle will last a long time, because you usually will only need 1-3 drops of the oil at a time.

I received a free bottle of this product in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Where I got my lemon oil: Amazon

Where you can get your lemon oil: Amazon

Lightweight Hydration without Irritation Using Body Merry Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Body Merry Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Body Merry Hyaluronic Acid Serum

This gentle and non-irritating Body Merry Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a light, pleasant gel hydrator with a mildly herbal scent. It comes in a pretty blue glass bottle equipped with an eye dropper-style applicator (so you can control how much serum you dispense).

The serum contains hyaluronic acid that is plant derived, meaning it is all natural and soothing to the skin. Green tea and antioxidants are also included in the formulation to help keep your facial skin bright and even toned.

The serum sinks in quickly, so you can add other products on top without any fuss. As always, I am pleased when a product absorbs without leaving any oily or greasy residue behind, and this serum certainly delivers. Your skin will feel clean and dewy, not sticky or overpowered by product. I found this serum to be refreshing and moisturizing.

My only quibble is the scent; I did not really like it. But others have commented that they enjoy it, so this element comes down to personal preference.

The scent dissipates as the serum absorbs, so the serum does not perfume the skin or conflict with the scent of other facial products.

All in all, this is a pleasant hydrator that helps maintain the overall condition of your skin while leaving you feeling fresh-faced.

Where I got my serum: Amazon

Where you can get your serum: Amazon