Product review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
I am picky when it comes to body and skin care products: I only purchase products that are cruelty-free and preservative-free. If you are anything like me you know it is hard to find natural products that are reasonably priced, which is why I was excited when I heard about Ora's Amazing Herbal - they offer products that I am on board with.
Product review by EvG team member Amanda Shea.
Earth Science's products are a must try for anyone with sensitive skin. Their Multi-Therapy Ceramide Healthy Skin Lotion has lecithin and essential fatty acids to help heal dry skin, making it a wonderful product all year and excellent during the winter months. At $9.95, it's a great deal for the size and nutrients in the lotion.
Product review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
As a vegan committed to living a natural lifestyle, finding a great, non-toxic deodorant can be tricky. I have tried half a dozen over the years, struggling to find one that keeps up with my active lifestyle. Deodorants are unlike antiperspirants, which prevent you from sweating via harsh chemicals like parabens, aluminum, phthalates, and propylene glycol). These chemicals can also be found in deodorant, and I don’t know about you but I don’t want my body absorbing them! That's why I was thrilled at the results of the truly natural line from Schmidt’s.
Product review by EvG team member Courtney Rasbach:
I am a very active lady. Yoga, weight lifting, biking, crossfit, equestrian horse riding, dancing with friends...the list goes on! Needless to say I need a deodorant that can keep up with me. I also want a deodorant that is not full of harsh chemicals or is made by a company that does animal testing. Well I think I have found it everyone…
One of my favorite things about running Eco-Vegan Gal is meeting amazing people and fortunately it happens all the time, especially through social media. I can't remember exactly when or how I was introduced to Sally of Pure Snickety, but it happened via Twitter and it only took a few messages from her for me to feel good vibes. I've really enjoyed following her journey and I know you will too - I am thrilled that she wrote this beautiful, in depth piece to share her story:
"I am so honored to be chosen as Eco-Vegan Gal's Viewer of the Month! As with many things that have taken place since I started Pure Snickety, she contacted me at the perfect moment. I have recently decided to commit to being vegan and she has been one of the biggest influences in this decision.
I have preferred animals to humans my entire life ;-). I have always had a deep connection to the animals I was raised with and around. There is just something amazing and unique in the unconditional love they give. I suffered abuse from someone I loved and trusted throughout my entire childhood. I believe that was the basis for my forming such a deep love and appreciation for animals and the kindness they have in abundance.
I chose to be a vegetarian without really thinking about it. I simply did not like the look or taste of meat, so eating vegetarian came natural to me. I would eat a kosher hot dog smothered in ketchup on rare occasions to satisfy others, but I always felt sick to my stomach the next day. My digestive system clearly did not like meat either. As I have suffered digestive issues most of my life, this was just another reason to avoid meat. It was after I became a vegetarian that I learned about the horrors that take place on factory farms. I saw bits and pieces of undercover videos, always turning away or closing my eyes in response. It broke my heart and soul every time something like that crossed my path. I was unaware of how widespread the abuse in such farms was and still is or that it extended to dairy farms as well.
As I grew older, my choice of foods became very limited as I began making food for myself when my mother went back into the workplace. I became a very picky eater and largely dependent on processed, microwave foods. Not surprisingly, my health issues continued and became worse as I aged. I was diagnosed with acid reflux and irritable bowl disorder in my early 20's. Unfortunately, this only made my diet worse as I began avoiding foods that irritated my digestive system. Acidic foods that I love, like tomatoes and citrus fruits, were chosen less and less frequently. I have become caught in a cycle of sickness that is directly related to food and stress.
While getting my degree in web development, I was introduced to the healing powers of essential oil. As I loved mixing things as a child, the idea of mixing oils to create a lovely scent that can also heal really appealed to me. I was instantly hooked! My husband teases that I am always mixing things ;-). I began using oils for my health related issues. As a result, I started learning about all the ingredients that go into beauty products today. I was very shocked to find animal ingredients and synthetic chemicals linked to cancer in almost every products out there. This lead me to the decision to create my own body care products using essential oils. When one of my products lessened a friends eczema symptoms, Pure Snickety Vegan Body Care was formed.
Why did I create a vegan business when I am not vegan? Simple, I did not see why animal fat and other animal derived ingredients were necessary to moisturize or clean my skin. I also thought that it was extremely hypocritical for a company not to test on animals, yet have ingredients that involved animals in any way. What I didn't know is that this personal decision would change my life.
When launching Pure Snickety's products on the market this past September, I discovered a large online vegan community. I learned so much, so quickly, that it was a bit overwhelming. I was shocked to learn that something as simple as sugar was processed with animal bone ash. I was horrified to learn that my favorite foods, cheese and butter, came from conditions just as abusive as meat farms. I began learned more about GMO's and gluten. I had to really face the way I was treating my body and animals by doing something as simple as eating. I went through a period of feeling helpless and ashamed. That is, until I found Whitney of Eco-Vegan Gal.
Whitney has been very influential in showing me "how" to be vegan. She is friendly, honest, true to herself, and most importantly, kind and compassionate to those who are not yet vegan. She, and others like her, have taught me that in order to be compassionate to animals, I also need to be compassionate and patient with myself. The importance of this life lesson cannot be put into words. I am forever grateful to those who played a part in this "ah-ha" moment.
Now, two months into Pure Snickety, I am ready to make the change from vegetarian to vegan. After my first ever surgery this Thursday (Nov 1st), my lifelong dream of becoming a mother is closer than ever. Thanks to the vegan community and starting my business, I am keenly aware of how unhealthy my diet is. Honestly, I would not be happy with myself if I continued to eat the way that I do now while pregnant. I want so much for my potential child, growing up without abuse and health issues are top on that list. If you would like to offer guidance, please, please, please do so! You can find my "I Want To Be Vegan" 1 & 2 posts on my websites blog.
My favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video is a message to Jasmine, and others like her, who feel that they are all alone in being vegan. I do not live in a community where veganism is commonplace. All but my oldest stepson are committed meat and/or dairy eaters and the closest Whole Foods is an hour drive from my home. I can relate to Jasmine and appreciate Whitney taking the time to give encouragement and advice to those who rely on the online vegan community for support."
FAQ: What To Do When No One Else You Know Is Vegan
Eco Vegan Gal Fan $2 Charity Discount: (Code: EVG)
My business is so new that any income I make goes straight back into repaying start-up costs and creating new product. However, I want to bring something positive to the community. It isn't much, but I am donating a dollar for every purchase made with Pure Snickety to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. As a special thank you to the vegan community and Whitney, I have set up a coupon for Eco-Vegan Gal fans during the month of November that will make that one dollar donation two dollars! The coupon code to receive $2 off which, will be donated to BFAS in December is: EVG
About Best Friends Animal Sanctuary:
At the heart of Best Friends is the Sanctuary, where, at any given time, about 1,700 animals are turning their lives around, receiving the medical help they need, and getting love and acceptance to help them overcome their past. While searching for their forever homes, they live in a scenic, healing environment among human and animal friends.
The Sanctuary lies on 3,700 acres of beautiful western landscape, surrounded by 30,000 additional acres that are leased from the federal government. Nearly 30,000 people visit every year to meet the animals and tour what has become the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Learn more about the Sanctuary.
Sally & Pure Snickety Online:
Main Site: http://puresnickety.com
Main Shop: http://shop.puresnickety.com
Backup Blog: http://puresnickety.wordpress.com
One of my big eco-vegan missions is making my own everything, from meals to cleaning solutions to personal care products. Recently, it occured to me that I was wasting a lot of plastic containers every time I bought a new chapstick, and at $4-5 a pop it was getting expensive. So I decided to learn how to make it myself and discovered it was extremely easy, fast, and fun! Making it reduces packaging, saves money, and you get to control exactly what ingredients are used - talk about being eco-vegan! Here's how you can do it too (watch video or read written recipe):
Whats a good natural deodorant?
The Crystal is amazing - been using it for years (click to read my review)! It's just salt, and you can get it as a solid rock or as a spray (the former has less or no packaging). Some people also use baking soda - rub it on with a bit of water or oil (like coconut oil).
A while back I did a survey and asked EVG readers what they liked best about the site, and most people answered that they like the video content. Thus, I have been feeling super guilty about my lack of video posts recently...or lack of original posts all together. So, I decided to try to do some quick YouTube updates and feature all the amazing companies I've been meaning to review for so long.
Avoiding gluten in food has been much easier than I thought it was going to be, but I didn't expect to find it in beauty products. Turns out, much like animal products, gluten sneaks into some of the oddest places. If you are seriously sensitive or allergic to gluten this will be a big problem:
Gluten sensitivity is a systemic immune reaction to gluten anywhere in the body, not just that entering the body via the gut. Therefore, topically applied lotions, creams, shampoos, etc. containing gluten would indeed provide a source of gluten to the body (Celiac.com)
Winners: Melanie, KrisL, and Vicola!