28 May 2012

My favorite vegan products

I may as well call this the “My Favorite Vegan Products: The Shea Butter Edition” because shea butter is the running theme in my recent favorite products. Thank goodness for that because between the heat and humidity the summer brings, my skin and hair can use a new best friend.

 - Out of Africa 100 % Pure and Unrefined Shea Butter: I don’t have a lot of experience with shea butter as it’s a recent obsession, but I have so much love for this product. First, the ingredient list is so short: pure, organic unrefined shea butter and essential oils (unless you get unscented). It’s ultra moisturizing and absorbs into the skin fairly quickly with no greasiness. It’s easy to use, and comes in a 2 oz. tin, which makes it portable -- a huge plus for me. I use it for everything: as a hand cream, as a night cream for my face (the lavender scented tin is so soothing before bed), as a lip balm, for massage and, in a pinch, it works great as a hair style to smooth frizz (thank you summer humidity) and shape any out-of-place pieces. If the quality of the product itself wasn’t enough, a portion of each sale also goes toward furthering education and job creation in Benin, Africa.

- Nubian Heritage Coconut and Papaya Soap with Vanilla Beans: This soap is pure gold. I adore the smell of coconut, and combined with shea butter, this soap has a mellow tropical scent that is perfect for summer. These are also the main ingredients in the soap, making it ultra moisturizing with a creamy lather, which is often difficult to find in a vegan soap. It also contains vanilla beans and papaya enzymes to buff and dissolve dry skin. It’s also been a lifesaver for shaving --recently my legs had been breaking out every time I shaved, even with shaving cream. I tried shaving with this and was pleasantly surprised to find myself smooth and razor burn free.

- Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner: Thanks to constantly coloring and straight ironing, my hair is considerably dry and damaged, a condition I need to remedy. With this conditioner I may be well on my way. Made with raw shea butter, argan oil and sea kelp, I can feel the difference in my hair every time I use it. There are no parabans, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or any other toxic fillers either – just natural, healthy ingredients for healthy hair. The only downside to this conditioner is the pump bottle it comes in because it’s a bit difficult to get the last bit of product at the end of the bottle.

Jessica Bader | Facebook | Twitter
Waldorf, Maryland Jessica is a graduate of Western Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She adopted a plant-based diet seven years ago after making the connection between the food on her plate and the animals she loved; she went vegan four years later after an “aha!” moment while watching The Cove and hasn’t looked back. For her, veganism isn’t just about compassion, but has expanded to an obsessive interest in sustainable living, nutrition and holistic health. The only thing she enjoys more than talking about food is eating it, or talking about her bowtie-wearing cat.

Photo credit: Out of Africa