Before you have your baby, you have certain ideas about breastfeeding. It’ll be simple, so easy, you think to yourself. Just pop out a boob and away we go. And for some people, it can be. For others, not so much.
And what nobody seems to tell you is how complicated it can be. It’s embarrassing at first to get your breasts out in public. Your nipples hurt. Your whole breast hurts. You get tired of having your baby latched on to you for what seems like all day, every day, and you want someone else to take over – just for a while. Your back aches. Your boobs leak. Yep, I’ve been there and done that.
In honour of World Breastfeeding Week next week, which is from August 1 to 7 around the world, I asked a few breastfeeding mamas for their advice on what helped make their breastfeeding journey easier.
Here’s our list of breast feeding essentials to help you get through those first tricky weeks:
A water bottle you can open with one hand
You’re going to need lots and lots of hydration, and there’s nothing better than water. Of course, you’ll need a good, non toxic water bottle, and it’s really handy to have one that you can open with one hand.
You could just drink from a glass, but we promise you that you’ll spill less if you’re drinking out of a water bottle!
If you’re looking for a one handed glass drinking bottle, with a silicone cover that won’t break when you drop it, try the Contigo Glass Water Bottle ( you can see it here on Amazon).
I love the Onya Stainless Steel Water Bottle (it’s here at Hello Charlie). This one has an uncoated stainless steel body and the flip and flow lid which you can open with one hand.
Another great one handed stainless steel option is the Contigo Autoseal Vacuum Insulated bottle (see it here on Amazon). This one is perfect if you like chilled water.
Your boobs will leak milk. They’ll leak in the shower, they’ll leak while you’re shopping, and most of all – they’ll leak when you hear your baby crying. In fact, some days, you’re going to feel like a Jersey cow.
Which is why you’re going to need breast pads. You can go with disposable breast pads, or you can go with reusable breast pads. Or you can do both. To start with, it’s great to have some disposable ones so that you don’t have think about extra washing in the first few weeks. Then grab some washable breast pads and you’re good to go.
If you’re choosing disposable, I’d always recommend organic disposable nursing pads – it’s better for the environment and there’s no perfumes or toxic chemicals next to your tender nipples. Some mums say that they prefer the disposable breast pads because washable ones can be rougher, which is tough when your nipples are already sore.
We like the Organyc nursing pads (US & UK readers can find them here on Amazon). They’re made from 100% organic cotton.
We love the Nature’s Child organic cotton resusable breast pads, as they come in sizes. Not sizes for how big your breasts are, but for how much absorbency you need. Genius! We also love the Pea Pods bamboo ones, because bamboo is just so soft and so absorbent.
US & UK readers, I’d recommend these ones on Amazon.
A good, organic nipple balm
I hate to tell you this, but your nipples are going to be sore. Toe curlingly sore. You’re going to need a good, organic breastfeeding cream that you don’t have to wipe off (ouch!) before you feed your baby.
I remember when I went out in public for the very first time with my eldest son. We’d been to friends’ places, where I could sit in the bedroom and feed, but we hadn’t been out publicly. We went to the local shopping centre, and of course, there was nowhere to breastfeed. I was mortified. I hadn’t got the hang of the whole breast feeding thing, and the thought of whipping my breasts out in public was just so embarrassing. (Of course, by the second baby, you’re the one embarrassing people with your complete indifference to having your boobs hanging out whenever and wherever!)
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to cover up if you want to and I think the easiest way to do it is with a muslin. You don’t need a special breastfeeding wrap – go with something that’s multipurpose.
You can also use the muslin as a towel for wiping up baby vomits, or the milk that (inevitably) gets sprayed everywhere when your baby gets distracted and looks away!
I love the HeyBaby muslins. They’re super soft and in gorgeous colours and I gave them to both of my beautiful sisters-in-law (who also love them!). If you’re in the US or UK, check these out instead.
A breast pump
I can’t tell you how much of a relief a breastfeeding pump is until your breasts are engorged. The sheer relief is beyond explanation. A breast pump is one of those things that you may not think you need, until you NEED it. It’s worth investing in a simple, manual breast pump until your milk supply has regulated, and then you can review whether you’ll be needing anything fancier.
There are a couple of good, low cost manual options which work perfectly and are great to have as backup. I had a Medela manual breast pump which was all I ever needed. Find the Medela pump here if you’re in Australia, or here if you’re in the US or UK. Medela also do great electric breast pumps, too.
Sore, engorged breasts? You’ll love these gel breast pads from BodyIce – they work just like a standard cooling ice pack. The reason you need these ones, rather than a standard cooling ice pack, is that they fit around your breasts and don’t touch sore nipples. You can even use these warm to help your milk flow more easily. Brilliant!
Breastfeeding shields can be a lifesaver when you’ve got sore nipples. It can be a good idea to talk to a breastfeeding consultant to make sure that breastfeeding is going well in other respects before you start to use a nipple shield, though.
You’ll be doing a lot of breastfeeding. A lot. (And a lot of watching TV and checking Facebook, BTW.) And if you don’t want to completely do your back in, you’ll want a comfortable breastfeeding chair and you’ll need to grab yourself a breastfeeding support pillow. Try these gorgeous ones from My Brest Friend (find them in Australia here, and the UK & US here).
You don’t have to go fancy with a breastfeeding pillow, though. A standard U shaped one like this will do the trick, too.
I love that you can use this later, too – to prop baby up when he’s learning to sit, to rest your laptop on, or to just chillax with.
Non toxic baby bottles
If you’re expressing milk so that you can go back to work, or even just to get out for a while for a mental health break while someone else feeds your baby, you’re going to want some non toxic baby bottles.
We choose glass – it’s the safest material there is when it comes to non toxic feeding, and we love the non slip sleeves and the drop guarantee on the Cherub Baby ones.
I also love the LifeFactory glass baby bottles. You can find them in the US & UK here. One of the things that I love about glass bottles is that they’re safe for baby, but you can use them again when baby’s finished with them. They make the best salad dressing mixers!
Breast milk storage bags
If you’re pumping milk, you’ll need to think about storing breastmilk. These handy dandy breast milk storage bags from Cherub Baby are the way to go. They’re BPA free, of course, and pre-sterilised. What’s cool is that they’ll stand up on their own (handy for storing in the fridge or freezer), and there’s even a spot to mark your name and the date on it. They’re leak proof with the ziplock top, and they even have a measuring scale on. Super easy.
I remember when I finished breastfeeding, I felt like having a ceremonial nursing bra burning. I was so sick of wearing my three ugly but supportive breastfeeding bras day and night. Thankfully, things have changed on the breastfeeding bra front, too.
You need comfortable clothes that are going to allow you easy access to your boobs. There’s nothing worse than a hungry, screaming baby and you can’t get them out fast enough. It’s not necessary to buy special breastfeeding clothes – the best breastfeeding shirts are things like V necks, halter necks and low cut scoop neck tops.
Breastfeeding tea and lactation biscuits
Many breastfeeding mamas I asked recommended using a herbal nursing tea and breastfeeding biscuits (breastfeeding cookies to all you US mamas!). Breastfeeding teas use traditional herbal ingredients like fenugreek, fennel and caraway to help increase breast milk.
If you’re not a tea drinker, try a biscuit! Franjo’s Kitchen here in Australia have a delicious, healthy and vegan range. In the UK, Boobbix have great ingredients and in the US, go with Milkmakers Cookies.
If you’re a baker (or know someone who will bake for you), there are plenty of recipes online for you to try your hand at.
Keep some easy snacks on hand because you’re going to be hungry! One experienced breastfeeder said that she gives new mums lactation smoothie boxes with bananas, peanut butter, oats, LSA or flaxseed, and milk (plant based if you prefer). That’s everything you need to whip up a healthy, filling smoothie that will help your breastmilk supply. What a great idea!
It’s a good idea to keep the sugar down when you’re nursing, so think savoury muffins, avocado and goats cheese crackers, and dark chocolate if you need a sweetness hit.
For breastfeeding support, you can’t go past the wonderful people at breastfeeding associations.
In Australia, it’s the ABA. In the UK, you’ll find help through the NHS, and in the US, try the La Leche League.
Are you an old hand at breastfeeding? What are your essential breastfeeding products, tips and tricks? Share below!
Like many people, I love my morning coffee. My day doesn’t feel properly started without it. But as a working mother with two kids, I’m often in the car with my coffee. To me, a travel coffee cup is not a ‘nice to have’, it’s an essential!
Over the years, I’ve owned many reusable coffee cups. Recently, I found myself in the market for another one, so I’m sharing my research and reviews on the best reusable coffee cup right here.
Why Use Reusable Coffee Cups?
It’s estimated that 500 million coffee cups are discarded every year in Australia. That’s a massive landfill problem. Disposable coffee cups may seem pretty innocuous, but most cups are non-biodegradable because of the plastic coatings used to help make them water tight, and of course they have plastic lids. That means they never break down, and are non-recyclable.
You could make sure to always drink from a ceramic cup, but that doesn’t help if you want your hot drink on the go. Reusable coffee cups with lids are the answer.
Grab yourself a reusable cup, and you can use it anywhere, any time.
The Winners: Best Reusable Coffee Cups
It’s important to think about how you’ll use your coffee cup. I work from home, so I usually make my coffee at home and drink it in the car. I want leakproof and I want insulated.
If you want to take your reusable coffee mug to a cafe, you’ll want something that’s barista friendly.
Are reusable coffee cups better for the environment?
It depends on what kind of reusable cup you are using. If you are using a glass coffee cup, it takes just 6 uses before you’re making a positive environmental impact.
A reusable plastic cup can make an impact in as few as 7 uses, while a ceramic cup needs to be used 15 times before it’s better than a single use disposable cup. The impact of using a stainless steel coffee mug is harder to calculate.
While you also need to take into account the energy used for washing, and the chemicals in the soap, if you use your reusable coffee cup every day for a year, it’s definitely better for the environment. Just don’t lose it!
What to look for when you’re buying BYO coffee cups
What should you look for when you’re buying a reusable coffee cup? It’s important to think about what you want to use it for. If you’re taking it to your local coffee shop everyday, it’s probably important that it fits under the coffee machine.
I’m a slow coffee drinker who gets sidetracked easily, so insulation is important for me. And I’m often in the car, so I want it to fit in the cup holder.
And if you’re a parent who wants a hot drink around little ones, having a leakproof cup is important to prevent accidents.
You might want to avoid plastic, or perhaps you’ve broken your glass coffee cup, so you want something more durable.
Heat Retention and Insulation
If you’re a slow drinker and want something to keep your coffee or tea hot for a while, you’re best to look at double wall coffee cups. A stainless steel coffee cup holds the heat longer than a double glass coffee cup, a ceramic coffee cup or a silicone coffee cup.
I’ve had a Cheeki coffee cup for years, as well as a Thermos Thermocafe and have found they both keep hot drinks hot for hours.
Materials: What are reusable coffee cups made of?
Plastic is lightweight, easy to care for and hard to break. Be sure to look for BPA free reusable coffee cups, and other safe plastics. One of the issues with plastic, even safe plastics, is that it can retain taste of what’s been in the cup previously. Usually, this is easily solveable by soaking the cup in bicarb soda and water overnight.
If you want to go plastic free, as well as zero waste, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from.
You can find glass coffee cups, and these usually have a silicone or sometimes cork band to protect your hand from the heat of the drink. The lids are often made of silicone or plastic. The problem with glass coffee cups is that they can break easily. I managed to break two before I decided that I wasn’t sensible enough to own a glass reusable coffee cup!
If you prefer porcelain, you can find a ceramic reusable coffee cup with lid or a ceramic travel mug. These often have a silicone or plastic lid, too.
If you’re looking for something that’s biodegradable at the end of it’s life cycle, why not try a bamboo coffee cup? Made from bamboo byproduct, they’re a great option for sustainable coffee cups.
A stainless steel coffee cup is durable and hardwearing and will last for years. This has definitely been the best option for me.
Are reusable coffee cups safe?
In 2018, a South Australian chain of takeaway coffee retailers banned serving coffee in reusable cups and mugs, citing food safety reasons.
However, according to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, there’s nothing to stop a business from accepting your reusable cup.
Just make sure to do the right thing, and clean your reusable cup before you take it to the coffee shop!
What size reusable coffee cup?
How do you know what size coffee cup to buy? That depends on what sized coffee you usually get at the coffee shop. Here’s a handy guide to help:
double insulation to keep the cup from getting too hot, not really for keeping
your drink hot
from: rice husk fibre bioplastic
into drink holder: yes
Pros: Now here’s an eco cup indeed! It’s made from rice husk bioplastic, so not only are you avoiding single use plastic, you’re using a biodegradable cup. It’s dishwasher friendly and easy to clean, with a screw top lid. It’s lightweight, and the double insulation means you won’t burn your hands, but you don’t need a silicone sleeve.
Cons: These bio cups aren’t really insulated, so will only keep your coffee warm for an hour or so. There are some complaints that the paint can smudge and come off on your hands, but this seems like a great choice of travel coffee mugs!
Made from: base is made from 304 stainless steel, lid from copolymer. BPA & BPS free, FDA/EU approved and recyclable at end of life.
Barista approved: yes
Fits into drink holder: yes
Pros: The Frank Green coffee cup lid is dishwasher safe, and also pulls apart for a more thorough cleaning. The double wall stainless steel keeps your drink hotter for much longer than the original version.
The stainless steel coffee cups are made in China, unlike the original and next generation versions.
Cons: the stainless steel base isn’t dishwasher safe. As mentioned with the original, there are many complaints that the lids don’t seal properly and leak, and that the body gets marked easily.
The lids can also hold water after washing, leaving you with a mouthful of washing up water instead of coffee.
Enough that drinks stay hot for an hour
227ml or 340ml
from: recycled coffee
approved: fits under
into drink holder: yes
Pros: This travel mug from rCup is definitely a contender for the most eco coffee cup. The pop down lid is totally leakproof, you can drink from any angle and open and close it with one hand. It’s dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean. But the best part about this reusable cup is that it’s made from recycled single use coffee cups. Brilliant!
Made from: tempered glass coffee cup, LDPE lid, plug is TPU and the thermal band is silicone.
Barista approved: yes
Fits into drink holder: yes
Best for: taking to your favourite coffee shop
Pros: These glass takeaway coffee cups are easy to use and to drink from, and the splash guard keeps your drink from spilling.
All the parts are replaceable, from the glass cup to the Keep Cup lid. The lid is great, with a clip on lid that stops your coffee splashing – important if you’re walking or in the car. I love that you don’t have to replace the whole thing if you break or lose a part – it really is an eco Keep Cup. It’s also very easy to clean.
Cons: There’s no insulation in the glass Keep Cup, so your coffee gets cold quickly, and the glass can be hot on your fingers as the silicone coffee cup sleeves are quite narrow. And if you’re klutzy like me, the glass is easy to break.
I also found that the lid tastes plasticky, and you have to soak it in bicarb overnight to remove the taste.
Insulated: no, but better than drinking out of a paper cup
Sizes: 120ml, 177ml, 227ml, 340ml, 454ml
Made from: polypropylene coffee cup, LDPE lid, plug is TPU and the thermal band is silicone.
Barista approved: yes
Fits into drink holder: yes
Best for: taking to your local coffee shop
This polypropylene coffee cup was one of the first reusable coffee cups on the market, and they’re still immensely popular.
Pros: Lots of great, customisable colours available for this eco coffee cup. The best coffee keep cups are the ones you’re going to use, right, so why not choose an AFL or Star Wars themed one?
I love the lid with the clip that slides away to reveal both the spout and the air hole.
Dishwasher safe. The cup, lid and plug are all made in right here in Melbourne, Australia.
Cons: The lid on mine started leaking within about two weeks. When I checked the website, KeepCup says that “even minor abrasion to the rim of the cup or lid seal area will compromise the seal.” It does also say that you can put it on the top rack of the dishwasher, and I guess that’s where mine got the ‘minor abrasion’. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s annoying.
I do find that it doesn’t keep your drink hot for very long, which is a problem for me because I’m a slow coffee drinker. If you wanted to keep your drink hot until you got to work, you might find this a problem.
My other problem with these is that the plastic makes your coffee taste, well, plasticky. Yes, you can soak them in bicarb soda and the plastic flavour goes away for a while, but who can be bothered doing that every other day?
Barista approved: yes, should fit under most machines
Fits into drink holder: yes
Pros: The Mira Brands insulated coffee mug has triple wall insulation to keep your drink or (or cold). The lid screws on lid screws on to make it leakproof, and the flip lid locks into place. I also like the fact that the lids are compatible with both cup sizes.
Cons: Although it’s easy to clean, it’s handwash only for the cup part. The lid can go into the dishwasher, though. There are a few reports that the lids of these insulated coffee cups can be hard to open with one hand.
Leakproof: spillproof, but the Hydro Flip Lid isn’t leakproof
Sizes: 354ml, 473ml, 592ml
Made from: stainless steel and BPA free, phthalate free plastic
Barista approved: small one will fit under most machines, larger ones won’t
Fits into drink holder: yes
Pros: Extremely popular US brand, these thermal coffee mugs have a lifetime warranty, and they’re powder coated so the colour is durable. The flip top lid is easy to use, too. I love the wide mouth, which is perfect for iced coffees or juices. Drinks apparently stay hot for up to 6 hours.
Cons: Hydro Flask is another one that’s handwash only for the bottom half, although the lid can go into the dishwasher. The biggest complaint about this reusable coffee mug is that the lid can hold some of the liquid, causing it to splash when it’s closed.
Leakproof: yes (although many reviews say that the cafe cap is not fully leakproof)
Sizes: 355ml, 437ml, 592ml
Made from: 18/8 stainless steel
Barista approved: depends on size
Fits into drink holder: yes
Best for: making drinks at home for taking on the go
Comments: A great eco coffee mug if you’re looking for something insulated to keep your hot drinks hot for a few hours.
Pros: It’s very versatile as you can use it for both hot and cold drinks, and you can get a loop cap if you want to use it as a water bottle. I love stainless steel insulated coffee mugs to keep drinks at the right temperature, and because it doesn’t retain flavours.
The cafe cap is nice to drink from, and so is the stainless steel neck if you take the lid off. It’s easy to clean and the powder coating is chip resistant.
Cons: It’s not dishwasher safe, so you need to clean it by hand (but the wide neck makes this easy). There are lots of comments that the cafe cap is not actually leakproof, only spill proof.
Best for: small coffees at the cafe, camping, keeping your cocktail cold!
This is a combination product – travel cup and tumbler. You could use these as insulated coffee cups for hot drinks, but you could also use it for cold drinks and alcoholic drinks. It would make a great camping cup.
Pros: Insulated, so it keeps drinks hot or cold as you want. It’s very durable, and the powder coating is chip resistant. The stainless steel interior means that you don’t get a crossover of flavours. If you’re using it for drinks with ice in, the ice takes ages to melt so your drinks aren’t diluted.
Cons: it’s not dishwasher safe, so you have to clean it by hand (but it’s easy to clean). The plastic lid is a little tricky to drink out of, and it’s much nicer to drink without the lid.
Made from: Joco cup is glass, with silicone sleeve and lid
Barista approved: Yes
Fits into drink holder: Yes, and the silicone sleeve seems to stop it from moving around, too.
Best for: taking to your favourite coffee shop
Pros: The Joco coffee cup feels great in your hand and is nice and lightweight. The silicone sleeve is nice and grippy and protects your hand from the heat of the drink.
They’re designed like takeaway glass coffee cups, so there’s an extra hole to make drinking easy, and it’s splashproof. The lid design means that your nose doesn’t get in the way. The Joco coffee cup is microwave safe, so even though the cup isn’t insulated, you can pop it in the microwave if you’re a reheater like me! Joco cup is dishwasher safe on the top rack.
Cons: Not insulated so it’s no good for keeping your drink hot. That’s always an issue for me because I get distracted easily.
The silicone lid on the Joco reusable coffee cup can start to taste funny, although it’s easily resolved by either putting it through the dishwasher or just leaving it out in the warm sun for a couple of hours. Not leakproof or spillproof, but it is splashproof. The glass can break if you’re not careful with it.
Made from: porcelain reusable coffee cup, silicone lid
Barista approved: yes
Fits into drink holder: yes
Best for: cooler drinks at cafe or home
Pros: This ceramic coffee mug with lid looks great, and feels nice in your hand. You can take off the lid and drink straight out of the mug. It’s easy to clean, although handwashing is recommended because of the hand glazing.
Cons: There’s no cover for the hole to drink out of, so your drink can splash out, which means it’s hard to walk with and it’s not great for the car as it spills. It’s not insulated, so if you’ve got tea or a really hot drink, you can’t actually handle the cup. I like the idea of ceramic reusable coffee cups, but this one is not very practical.
Made from: double wall stainless steel, silicone band, thermoplastic rubber (TPR) and polypropylene (PP). All are considered safe plastics.
Barista approved: no (height, 18.5cms)
Fits into drink holder: yes
Best for: making drinks at home and using on the go
Pros: This Bodum travel mug looks great, and feels good in your hand. The lid screws on, there’s a flick cap to cover the drinking hole which is easy to open with one hand. As a whole, the Bodum coffee cups are easy to drink from and to clean.
Cons: It’s spill proof, not leak proof. The stainless steel mug needs to be handwashed, but it is easy to clean.
Made from: double wall stainless steel, polypropylene lid
Barista approved: no (20.7cms high)
Fits into drink holder: yes
Best for: making drinks at home and using on the go
Pros: The Thermos thermocafe mug will last forever. I’ve had mine for over 10 years, and it’s still going strong. I like that it’s so big – I fill mine up and jump in the car and that’s my coffee for the morning. It’s reasonably priced and it’s easy to clean (although it is handwash only). I also like the handle, as it’s easy to carry when you’ve got a handbag, laptop and a cup of coffee.
Cons: The Thermocafe travel mug is big, it’s bulky and it doesn’t fit under the coffee machine in the coffee shop. It doesn’t go in the dishwasher.
Made from: Double wall stainless steel, polypropylene lid
Barista approved: Yes
Fits into drink holder: Yes
Pros: I’ve had one of these for years, and I love it. My son even uses one as an insulated lunch container for things like soup, so we’re very qualified to do a Cheeki coffee mug review.
The Cheeki travel mug made from unlined, double walled stainless steel, so it keeps your coffee hot (and I mean HOT), without burning your hands, and it doesn’t taint the flavour of your drink. The lids are made of polypropylene, which is a safe plastic.
Cheeki coffee mugs have great lids. They’re round, and they pop up and down so that you can drink from any side. Pop them down and they don’t leak. Really, truly, they don’t leak, even if you dump the mug with dregs into the bottom of your handbag. That’s impressive.
The Cheeki mug is slim enough to fit into the cup holders of my car and not slide around.
You can’t put them in the dishwasher, but if you’re a bit slack and don’t do the dishes for a couple of days, the three day old coffee dregs still come off easily, and don’t leave any taste to spoil your next drink.
Cons: They can sometimes keep your coffee too hot, and it can be hard to cool your drink down in a hurry. Not sure this is really a disadvantage, though!
You can’t put them in the dishwasher, and the lid can be hard to clean (but the lid on the 2019 version, pictured, can be disassembled for easy cleaning).
Zojirushi coffee thermos rates consistently well across reusable coffee cup
reviews. It looks like a flask, but you can drink directly out of the lid. The
lid is tight fitting, so it retains temperatures (hot and cold) for up to 6
hours. It pulls apart so you can wash it easily. I like the wide mouth, too, so
that you can put ice cubes in for cold drinks. And I love that there’s a lock
on the lid so it can’t come open accidentally and leak.
Cons: It’s not dishwasher safe at all, so the whole thing requires handwashing. Otherwise, nothing to complain about.
Made from: bamboo powder, PLA resin, cornstarch, water based colour and water. Silicone ring in lid.
Barista approved: yes
Fits into drink holder: yes
Pros: This reusable bamboo coffee cup from ecosoulife is made from biodegradable materials, yet it will go into your dishwasher. The lid screws closed so it’s nice and secure.
Cons: There are lots of complaints that the lid on this bamboo coffee mug leaks, and that it breaks quite easily if dropped. There’s nothing to cover the drinking hole, so it can splash drinks around a bit.
Made from: stainless steel insulated body, BPA free plastic lid
Barista approved: Contigo says it is, but I think it’s probably too tall at 19cms
Fits into drink holder: yes
Pros: The Contigo travel mug is insulated and keeps your coffee hot for a good long while. You can also use it for cold drinks. It’s leakproof with a one handed opening so it’s great for the car. The lids are all dishwasher safe, and they’re easy to clean.
Cons: Lots of users say they’ve had problems with the mug leaking, but Contigo do seem to stand by their guarantees so instead of chucking it, go back to Contigo and get it sorted out.
Made from: silicone cup and lid stopper, polypropylene lid and heat sleeve
Barista approved: yes
Fits into drink holder: yes
Pros: It’s easy to see the pros with this silicone reusable coffee cup, as it collapses down to just 5cms high. They’re great for stashing in your handbag, and the portability means that you’re much more likely to have it with you when you go out for coffee. Great for travelling, too. They’re dishwasher safe, and easy to clean.
Cons: It’s not the sturdiest cup out of the eco coffee mugs, and it can get hot if you’ve got very hot drinks in it. The lid can be hard to screw down properly and the holder ring can slip down.
Pros: This eco glass coffee cup has a good, wide silicone band so it’s easy to hold and doesn’t get hot like some other glass coffee cups. The glass cups are made from hand blown glass, and they’re lovely to drink from even without the lid. It’s an Australian company, and I like that you can buy spare parts, too.
There’s no cover on the lid, so it can splash in the car or if you’re walking.
Cons: The same issue for me as with all glass cups, I’m klutzy and don’t find glass durable enough. The single wall glass doesn’t keep coffee hot for long enough for me.
Good dental hygiene is important for your overall health. But it’s important to realise that your mouth is one of the most absorbent parts of your body. Even though you spit your toothpaste out, you’re still ingesting some of the ingredients.
This cheat sheet, and our natural toothpaste reviews will help you choose the best toothpaste for you and your family.
You should be cleaning your teeth twice a day, in the morning, and before bed. That’s a lot of toothpaste over a lifetime.
In this cheat sheet, I’m aiming to help you work out which natural toothpaste is best for you and your family.
Why Use Natural Toothpaste?
Choosing a toothpaste with natural ingredients doesn’t mean that you’re going to have cavities in your teeth, or that your teeth won’t be as clean as if you use ‘normal’ toothpaste.
With many natural toothpastes, you’ll get just as good a clean and you won’t be ingesting toxins or impurities.
Brushing your teeth with a toothbrush does most of the physical act of cleaning, and you could do this with just water, removing leftover food from your teeth. To eliminate bacteria that cause gum disease and halitosis, you need a toothpaste that contains ingredients to help with this. If you’re wondering, is natural toothpaste effective? The answer is yes. There are plenty of natural toothpastes that will do a great job of cleaning your teeth, preventing gum disease, and freshening your breath.
Toxic Toothpaste Ingredients
What’s actually in toothpaste?
I’ve written a whole article about toothpaste ingredients, but here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll find in toothpaste:
Abrasives (to help your toothbrush remove food, plaque and stains)
Humectants and binders (to keep your toothpaste moist and stop it from going hard in the tube)
Detergents (to help loosen food and to foam up, which isn’t necessary, but people seem to like)
Flavours (either synthetic or natural, to make your toothpaste taste good)
Preservatives (so that your toothpaste doesn’t go off or harbour harmful bacteria)
Colourings (titanium dioxide to make it white, or other colours for tooth gels and toothpastes)
Therapeutics (like fluoride to help prevent tooth decay)
So which toxic ingredients in toothpaste should you avoid?
Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and Sodium laureth sulphate (SLES)
What is the best natural toothpaste to use? There are lots of great natural toothpaste options, and trying to keep it to just five is hard for me! I’ve tried dozens of toothpastes over the years, but these are the ones that I keep coming back to:
The Humble Co Charcoal Toothpaste: if you’re into charcoal toothpaste, but want fluoride, this is awesome. Great natural ingredients and this company gives back by providing dental care to children in need.
Weleda Salt Toothpaste: my all time favourite. I’ve been using this for years, and although I mix it up (I usually have at least two toothpastes on the go) this is the one that I’m never without. Love, love, love!
Best of Toothpaste for Children and Adult, Reviewed A-Z
A Bit Hippy Remineralising Natural Toothpaste
Comments: This one looks pretty good apart from a couple of things. I’m not super keen on added flavour, even if it is ‘natural’, but that’s a small quibble. The sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is a penetration enhancer, and there can be concerns with nitrosamine contamination. This ingredient only scores a 3 in EWG, so it’s not a big concern.
Aloe Dent Whitening Aloe Vera Toothpaste – Fluoride Free
Comments: It’s the sodium hydroxymethylglycinate that stands out on this one for me. It’s a formaldehyde releaser and scores a 6 in EWG. Even though it’s in small quantities, it’s enough for me not to recommend this one. There’s also sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, which is a penetration enhancer, and there can be concerns with nitrosamine contamination. This ingredient only scores a 3 in EWG, so it’s not a big concern.
Comments: This ayurvedic herbal toothpaste scores a 4 in EWG because of the clove and cinnamon, which can be an issue if you use too much of them. But there’s not a lot of them in here, and I’m fine with all the other ingredients, too.
Comments: There’s a few ingredients that stand out here. The SLS, which is an irritant. There’s saccharin, which doesn’t score high in EWG, but it’s an artificial sweetener and I always avoid those, and paraffin which is a petrochemical. Plus there’s artificial flavour. All in all, not one that I would use.
Comments: Nothing to be concerned about here – a good list of ingredients. Note that it does contain carrageenan, which may mean that it’s not suitable for children if they’re still swallowing toothpaste!
Comments: This one contains hydrogen peroxide, presumably for it’s teeth whitening properties. It’s considered safe in small quantities, but it can cause mouth irritation. The other ingredients are good, so if you’re after a whitening effect, this could be a good choice.
Comments: This one also has sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. As I mentioned above, it’s a penetration enhancer, and there can be concerns with nitrosamine contamination. This ingredient only scores a 3 in EWG, so it’s not really worth worrying about. Do also note that there’s carrageenan, which may make it unsuitable for kids if they’re not spitting toothpaste out yet. All in all, a reasonable choice with good ingredients.
Comments: This toothpaste has carrageenan (so probably not suitable for children who aren’t yet spitting toothpaste), sodium lauroyl sarcosinate and titanium dioxide. None of these are big concerns, but they may add up to a product you don’t want to use.
There’s also wintergreen essential oil. It’s in very small quantities, but it’s not suitable for children or pregnant women.
Comments: If you’ve tried black charcoal toothpaste and don’t like the mess that it makes of your bathroom, this is the toothpaste for you. It’s an activated charcoal toothpaste, but it’s not black and messy. I don’t know how they do it, but this dentist developed natural toothpaste is a winner.
Comments: The only ingredient that I’m not super keen on here is the sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, but it’s not a big concern. This looks like a good toothpaste, and is a good choice if you’re looking for a natural toothpaste with fluoride.
Other flavours: Activated Charcoal (do note that this contains phenoxyethanol)
Essenzza Fuss Free Activated Charcoal Toothpaste – Winter Green
Comments: The only ingredient to take note of is the wintergreen oil, which shouldn’t be used by children or pregnant women, but it’s in a very small quantity. A good choice for a natural charcoal toothpaste (or charcle toothpaste, as I’ve also seen it spelled!).
Comments: There’s sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this is a small concern. It’s an Australian made toothpaste, and one of the first to be made here. A great choice of natural toothpaste!
Comments: All the ingredients look good, and I’m happy to recommend this. The only question that might arise with this one is the carrageenan. There can be issues if you ingest it, but as you don’t swallow toothpaste, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s worth noting that the kids’ version doesn’t contain carrageenan, so it’s fine if littlies are swallowing it!
Comments: The only thing that I don’t like in this Jason toothpaste is the flavour, but it’s a good ingredients list otherwise. Do be aware that this is a sensitive toothpaste containing potassium nitrate, so this toothpaste is not suitable for children. Another good choice for a natural fluoride toothpaste.
Comments: There’s titanium dioxide in this, too, but see my comments above about EcoCert. I don’t have any problems with this, and I’ve used it at home. Also, if you’re looking for a vegan toothpaste with fluoride, you’ve found one!
Macleans Multi Action Original Fluoride Toothpaste
Comments: There’s a lot of ingredients here that I don’t like. There’s PEG’s, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic flavour, titanium dioxide (I couldn’t find out whether this was non-nano), saccharin, carrageenan, and some synthetic colours that I really don’t like. So this one definitely doesn’t make my list!
Comments: This herbal toothpaste has a long list of ingredients, most of which are ayurvedic herbs, considered to be beneficial to the teeth. The only thing that I can see that might be of concern is the carrageenan, but otherwise this looks good.
Comments: This toothpaste has sodium lauryl sulphate and artificial flavour, so it’s not going to make to the top of my list. There’s also carrageenan, so even if the SLS is okay with you, this isn’t a children’s toothpaste.
Comments: There’s PEG’s, flavour, SLS, saccharin and sucralose, cocamidopropyl betaine, carrageenan and titanium dioxide. I couldn’t find out whether the titanium dioxide contained nanoparticles, but because of all the other ingredients, I wouldn’t be using this anyway.
Comments: There’s SLS here (which is described on their website as a coconut based foaming cleanser). Yes, it is, but it’s still an irritant, and it’s so far removed from coconut that it’s basically synthetic. There’s also saccharin in this one.
Comments: A slightly different ingredients list to the other flavours, above, but a good choice of organic toothpaste. Note that “parfum” here is the legal name for an organic approved preservative, it’s not actually fragrance.
Comments: This Tom’s of Maine toothpaste has fluoride in it, and if you don’t find SLS irritating, this is a reasonably good choice if you’re looking for a natural fluoride toothpaste. Do note that it’s not suitable for children, with both fluoride and carrageenan.
Comments: This is mostly okay (with a couple of concerns) until you get to the Methyl Hydroxybenzoate Sodium, which is another name for methylparaben. I don’t do parabens, so this one is not on my favourites list!
EWG Ratings: not listed
Ingredients: Fine Chalk, Water, Sorbitol, Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate, Gum Tragacanth, Extracts Of Indian Licorice Root, Currant, Common Jujube, Rose Apple, Barleria Priontis, Asian Holly Oak, Persian Walnut, Prickly Ash, Indian Almond, Bedda Nut, Bishop’s Weed, Sarsaparilla, Catechu, Sappan Wood, Medlar, Cinnamon, Gum Arabic, Bengal Madder, Mayweed, Flavour, Sodium Saccharin, Methyl Hydroxybenzoate Sodium.
Comments: This looks like a reasonable list of ingredients, too.
EWG Ratings: not listed
Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Hydrated Silicate, Calcium Phosphate, Kaolin Clay, Calcium Montmorillonite, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Green Tea Extract, Aloe Vera Gel, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Nisin, Polylysine.
Have I missed any?
Have I missed your favourite natural toothpaste? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get it added.
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A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting these two amazing ladies, Canelle and Morgan, from Petit Kiddo. Hello Charlie was one of the first stockists of Petit Kiddo, and it’s a great product. The best way to describe it is as a 3 in 1 baby bum cleanser. It replaces wipes, barrier cream and powder and it’s based on a traditional French recipe called liniment oleo calcaire. Or in Australian, calcium oil liniment.
Whatever you call it, we love Petit Kiddo. It’s made in Australia and born in Bondi.
Recently, I caught up with Canelle and Morgan to find out more…
Tell us a bit about Petit Kiddo
Our business was born in Bondi, about 2 years ago. We decided to make an Australian version of some of the baby products we were missing. We want the best of our French background and our Aussie lives.
Petit Kiddo is about unique skincare for babies and children, inspired by French recipes, and made in Australia.
Our very first product is the Petit Kiddo Baby Bum Cleanser which is our very own version of the French liniment oleo calcaire; every French parents’ best kept secret.
What’s your background?
Let’s start with you, Canelle.
Good question! From a professional point of view; I studied Business and Marketing in a very Parisian Business and Management School. After that, my jobs went from managing teams for crew of helicopters on luxury yachts, to various roles as a PA, EA, marketing admin in the cosmetic industry, music industry, video games to name a few – in France, USA, and Australia.
On the personal side, I was born in France. I grew up in a tiny cute village – Seillans- on the hills located behind St. Tropez and Cannes. My parents had a restaurant where I met people from all over the world at a very young age. Away from the craziness of the French Riviera but not too far. Studying in Paris was a bit of a shock to the system but it was a good shock. All those experiences combined gave me the travel bug, and I studied in Italy, lived in NYC, and visited many other countries. When I met my soulmate it was clear we would keep travelling. We ended up in Sydney with 2 backpacks, and 1 job. This was almost 13 years ago.
How about you, Morgan?
I am initially a country girl from Dordogne, South West of France and grew up very connected to nature and natural products, just because that was what surrounded us.
I became a city girl when I started studying Architecture in Bordeaux, then I moved Delft in The Netherlands and from there finally to Sydney back in 2003.
I’m always struck by the difference between the two lifestyles. On one hand I envy the way my family still lives in France with their own veggie garden, and have a lifestyle that’s very connected to the elements of nature. On the other hand, I also like a big city lifestyle like the one I have in Sydney. But then you have to deal with the constant search for good natural products because I don’t always feel that mass production is healthy enough to consume. I lived for the past 5 years in Rome and that was actually a very good middle ground between my life in Australia and France.
How did you come to start Petit Kiddo?
Canelle: I’d been doing my version of what is now known as our Baby Bum Cleanser Liniment in my own kitchen for my kids. I always wanted to share it and make it in bigger batches but kids, jobs, moves, and life in general didn’t let it happen until about 2 years ago.
Very quickly I realised how big this project could be and also how good it would be to bounce my ideas, share my doubts, and enjoy the wins with a sidekick. So I asked Morgan if she would be interested in joining me. Back then, Morgan was in Europe, slowly making her way back to Australia with her family. I knew she had been using this particular baby liniment for years and I knew we could work well together.
A few months later, our first batch arrived in her home even before her furniture – which was still on a loading dock in Italy!
Petit Kiddo baby liniment is a natural product specially formulated for the nappy area. You use it instead of using wet wipes. A bit of our liniment on a cotton pad or washcloth will leave the skin perfectly cleansed but also moisturised and protected by a thin layer of olive oil. It’s easy to use and no rinsing needed. Anyone who tries it is amazed at how good it feels on the skin.
Do you have any upcoming or new products?
Canelle: We recently developed a Face Paint Remover. It’s a make up remover specially formulated for children’s sensitive skin.
All our products are the results of our experiences and busy lives. Both Morgan and I have 3 kids, aged from nearly 11 to 4 1/2 years old. There’s a good mix of boys and girls. We have a great network of friends but no relatives nearby to support us. We have been through a lot together! A lot of fun, cuddles, laughs, as well as challenges and bumps.
Petit Kiddo’s range of products are unique. We are offering Australian parents the best ‘earth friendly’ option. Better than just water as it cleanses and moisturises; better than wipes as it replaces the combo wipes+moisturiser+powder. As a result, it minimises waste.
When we realised we were not the only ones to be missing out on this, got working on it and Petit Kiddo was born.
What’s your favourite organic/natural product? (not a Petit Kiddo one)
Canelle: I’d say another French staple ‘Le Savon de Marseille’ but as I can’t always get it, I love Dr. Bronner’s soap bars and liquid soap. Another one of my faves is the mascara from Ere Perez.
Morgan: I love some of Caudalie skincare products as well as the Bio Nuxe moisturiser.
In Australia, I recently discovered the coconut body polish from Coconut Tree, Tsuno pads and Noosa Basics. All amazing products!
Tell us a guilty pleasure of yours
Canelle: A good mojito and a good chat with no filters with my girl friends. Also, I recently started surfing – yeah right after 12 years in Australia, it was about time! – and I’m not that good yet, but this feeling when I manage to stand up on the board…it’s good!
Morgan: No more guilt feelings anymore…just pleasure 😉 in moderation. I love a glass of wine, a healthy treat, and a spa treatment. Like most mums I think? 😉
What’s something that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face?
Canelle: My kids playing, laughing, and dancing. Me listening to Jamaican music, from rock steady to reggae, anything… If live it’s even better. Live music with my kids is the perfect combo to make me smile.
Morgan: Funny comments from kids, meeting friends I have not seen for a long time, and staring across South Coogee Park watching for whales.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
Canelle: My first name Canelle means cinnamon. Only my dad wasn’t sure of the spelling! (It should have two ‘n’s in French, too.)
Morgan: I have a few things. Funny? Most people call me Momo instead of Morgan. I’ve never worn make up in my entire life. And I have two professions, one as an architect and the other as a business owner of cosmetic for kids and babies – and I love both.
What are you reading, listening, or watching at the moment?
Canelle: Reading, I’m struggling to get through ‘Corps et Ame’ from Frank Conroy. Actually I’m looking forward to going to France to have time to sit back, relax, and start the Vernon Subutex trilogy from Virginie Despente.
Listening, when working from home I listen to French online radios like Radio Meuh, Djam Radio or France Inter (when I need to keep informed about the French news). In my car I listen to East Side Radio and FBi Radio when the kids let me choose. And always some good old Gregory Isaacs, Bob Marley, NTM, Noir Desir (French bands) on the playlist.
Watching, currently I’m binge watching ‘The Legend Of Korra’ on ABC iView with my kids.
In terms of movies, I only watch feel good movies. I can’t watch any apocalyptic or end of worlds or drama movies since I’ve had my first kid.
Morgan: I am reading a wonderful book by Elena Ferrante (part of the trilogy) ‘A Brilliant Friend’. I am listening to French radio when working, and I don’t watch TV at all so I really am unaware of anything being broadcasted…
We’ve been hearing lots of good things about The Australian Natural Soap Company for some time now. And we finally have them in stock!
The Australian Natural Soap Company (ANSC) are makers of a wide range of natural soap and skincare products that are natural, ethical, detergent free, paraben free, vegan, cruelty free, and proudly Australian sourced. Their natural soap and shampoo bars really tick all the right boxes for us, which is why we’re so proud to be able to make them available to you.
About Australian Natural Soap Company
The first ANSC soaps were made right in the kitchen of Emma and her husband Anthony. The couple had grown tired of looking for soaps without harsh detergents, sulphates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances, and so began making some of their own. It wasn’t long before people began to fall in love with their luxurious and all natural soaps and shampoo bars.
Why we love ANSC
There are so many things we love about this company, not least of which is their commitment to ditching plastic and reducing their environmental footprint.
We’ve already said no to things like disposable coffee cups and plastic toothbrushes, so it’s a relief to finally be able to stop buying toiletries in plastic bottles as well. Australian Natural Soap Company products are fully biodegradable, as is their gorgeous packaging.
Handmade in Melbourne with ingredients sourced from all over Australia, ANSC soaps and shampoo bars are super nourishing and leave your skin and hair feeling so good long after you’ve stepped out of the shower.
ANSC uses only the highest quality plant oils, which makes their soaps so much more gentle on skin than store bought soaps. They have natural soaps that cater to all skin types, even really sensitive and easily irritated skin.
All ANSC soaps are palm oil free, sulphate free, paraben free, and detergent free. They’re easy to use, non drying, and last much longer than regular soaps. They don’t foam as much as conventional soaps, but that’s actually quite reassuring as we now know how bad foaming agents like sulphates are for skin.
Natural soap and shampoo bars are perfect if you’re striving for a waste free lifestyle. The products are concentrated, which means you’re not transporting heavy products that are mostly made of water. It’s also easier to avoid using too much. Instead of pouring shampoo into your hand, you’re just lathering it straight onto your hair.
They’re also perfect for travel! The soap and shampoo bars are solid so you can bring them in your carry on without problem. And if you’ll only be away for a few days, just slice a little bit off so you don’t have to bring the whole bar.
Our favourite products from ANSC
We love the Original Solid Shampoo Bar, which is great for itchy scalps but doesn’t leave your hair greasy. I’ve been testing this one at home, and I’m super impressed with it. No more dry and itchy scalp, but my hair is also not as oily. Not sure how that works, but it really does work!
I’m super excited to introduce you to Weleda’s new natural beauty balms. This 5-in-1 BB cream will save you time on your daily beauty routine. It moisturises, mattifies, and gives you a subtle glow and a sheer tint. It also refines the appearance of your skin, covers minor blemishes and strengthens your skin’s natural protective function.
All this in one tube!
About the company
Dr. Rudolf Steiner and Dr. Ita Wegman (one of the first women physicians in Europe) launched Weleda back in 1921.
After 97 years, Weleda still “strive to make the best non-toxic, cruelty-free, paraben-free, GMO-free, phthalates-free and synthetic fragrance-free products available in the marketplace.”
As a result, Weleda is one of the most established and respected natural personal care companies in the world. Which is why we get so excited when they release new products!
What are Beauty Balms (BB Creams)?
Beauty balms are a combination of skin care and makeup. This versatile product is a moisturiser, foundation, primer, and concealer all in one tube.
“The idea of a well-formulated BB cream is that it’s the only product you’ll need after you wash your face.”
BB creams is short for blemish or beauty balms. They were first developed in Germany by Dr. Christine Schrammek way back in the 1960’s. However, they only gained popularity around mid 2000’s when these creams reached the Asian markets. Then in 2011, BB creams arrived in the western market and the rest is history.
About Weleda’s Natural Beauty Balms
Aside from it’s versatility, Weleda’s natural beauty balm is also 100% Certified Natural by NaTrue.
This BB cream is also vegan and gluten free. And because it’s from Weleda, it’s naturally cruelty free and not tested on animals.
Weleda’s natural BB cream is available in two shades; bronze and nude.
It is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive ones. The texture is silky and light and it has a pleasant, lightly floral smell. It won’t clog your pores, but still provides a good coverage for minor blemishes.
Benefits of using this 5-in-1 natural beauty balms
Hydrates your skin
Sheer, buildable tint and a subtle glow
Refines skin appearance
Strengthens skin’s natural protective function
Jojoba Oil is a light moisturiser and is easily absorbed by the skin. Aside from these, jojoba oil also helps in reducing the signs of premature aging.
Cucumber fruit extract is a humectant, which provides lasting moisture to the skin. While humectants are good in hydration it should be combined with occlusives to work its magic. Which is where Shea Butter comes in.
Shea Butter is great at protecting your skin from moisture loss. It is also known for its skin healing properties.
Witch Hazel distillate, don’t be intimidated by its name. This wonder ingredient is a known astringent which is capable of reducing acne, insect bites, and inflammation.
Iris Germanica Root extract also known as the bearded iris. The root of this plant is normally used for its fragrance because it smells similar to violets. Aside from its smell, this plant also has a mild anti inflammatory property.
Babassu Oil comes from a South American plant called Babasu. Babassu oil has a lot of benefits. But when it comes to skin care, this oil helps with acne. It is also as a good moisturiser.
Mineral pigments provides mattifying properties and a subtle tint.
Fragrance: Rose geranium, ylang ylang, and vanilla.
I’ve been testing this at home, and I like it. It’s easy to apply, either with your fingers or a foundation brush. You can just do one layer for a sheer tint, or if you want to apply more, you’ll find that it’s easily buildable. And if you can’t quite get the colour you want, you can blend the two shades together. As they’re mineral based colours, they blend really well into your skin tone.
I love how fast it is to apply, and how easy. Even if you’re blending colours, it takes no time at all.
And even though there’s titanium dioxide in this (which often irritates me), I find that even after a full day of wear, my skin is fine.
I’ve been wearing mine over moisturiser, because my skin is really dry. Especially at the moment, as we head into winter and I’m adjusting to cold air and drying heaters. But for normal skin, or summer skin, you wouldn’t even need a moisturiser. Gotta love that!
There are more people today who are interested in natural cleaning products. Maybe because there are more information out there about the effects that mainstream cleaners have on the environment and our health. Because of this, more consumers are now looking for safer and greener cleaners. Organic Clean aims to fill in that need.
How it all began
The company owners have 50 years experience between them in the organic food and cosmetic industries.
When it comes to cleaning, they noticed that the market lacked Australian Certified Organic (ACO) approved products. If there were existing in the market, they’re normally not transparent with their labelling.
Some comes with ingredients that weren’t as safe as claimed. And some products don’t disclose their ingredients at all. After all, Australia doesn’t require this from cleaning products.
That’s when Organic Clean was born. They aim to make natural cleaning products with transparent labelling. Products that will only use safe and organic ingredients.
Organic Clean ingredients
The surfactants used in Organic Clean products come from coconut oil extracts and the soap nut tree.
Essential oils can add pleasant scents, yes. But they also add germ killing and deodorising properties to products. Here’s a list of the essential oils Organic Clean use:
Lavender is a versatile oil and has a relaxing trait. But it’s also deodorising and an antibacterial.
Cinnamon Bark has a great and lovely smell. But it is also a disinfectant, antiseptic, and an anti fungal.
Peppermint is a hybrid between watermint and spearmint. It is a great insect repellent and have strong antibacterial properties.
Sweet orange and its main ingredient limonene is a good grease cutter. Sweet orange is an antibacterial and anti fungal. But it also has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties.
Tea Tree extract is famous for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. But it’s also an anti fungal.
Lemon is a powerful and popular cleaning agent. It has antiviral, antibacterial, grease cutting, and deodorising properties.
Lemongrass is a broad spectrum antibiotic, antiviral, and anti fungal. It is also a used as an insect repellent and as a deodorant.
Organic Clean has spent years of testing to make sure that their products are as safe and effective. They never contain bleach, phosphates, or ammonia. Plus, all are septic tank friendly.
They don’t use any artificial perfumes or fragrances either. Essential oils are a much better alternative for a scent sensitive person.
These products are as tough on dirt as any standard cleaner. For old built up grease, just spray and let soak for 30 seconds before wiping.
Certified by multiple agencies
Organic Clean’s products only uses organic ingredients. And all their ingredients are from certified organic farms. Only approved to use in organic products were used for their non plant substances. And no GMOs can be found in their ingredients.
Currently, ACO doesn’t cover cleaning products. But Organic Clean is certified with the Allowed Input Standard for Australia.
Organic Clean is Vegan Accredited and is Choose Cruelty Free Certified.
You’ve probably heard about Dr Bronner’s soaps. This family-owned company has been in business since 1948, and they’re one of my favourite ethical brands. Dr Bronner’s castile soaps have been around from the start, but the pump soaps are a more recent addition. So what’s the difference between the two?
The castile soap is the result of generations of soap making expertise. Dr Bronner’s castile soaps are pure, and that purity means that you can use them for so many different things.
So why make a new type of soap when the castile soap is so good?
Dr Bronner’s say that over the years many people have asked for a thicker, more moisturising soap. They wanted one that could be used with a pump dispenser, and a soap that is USDA certified organic. (The pure castile soap is not USDA certified. The water and saponification agents used in manufacture are inorganic and can’t go towards the 95% organic ingredients necessary to get the USDA label.)
About Dr Bronner’s Pump Soap
Which is where Dr Bronner’s pump soap comes in. It’s made with shikakai, a form of Acacia concinna, an Ayurvedic medicinal plant that has been used in skin and hair care for hundreds of years. The bark is powdered and added to the soap for its moisturising effects, as well as acting as a thickener. It also has antifungal properties that make it a great dandruff shampoo for non colour treated hair.
If you find the castile soap a little dry for personal care, you’ll like the pump soap. I’ve never found Dr Bronner’s castile soap drying, even with my super dry skin. But I’ve been trying the pump soap in the shower, and I do like the extra hydration.
In addition to the shikakai, the pump soap also contains organic grape juice and sucrose. These ingredients act as humectants, helping the skin hold on to its natural moisture (and incidentally bringing the tally of organic ingredients up over 95%, making this soap USDA organic).
As you can see, they’re very similar. The main difference between the two (aside from the moisturising) is in the look, scent, and texture. The pump soap looks quite different from the clear pure castile soap, since the shikakai is brown and about the consistency of cinnamon powder.
The formulation of the peppermint pump soap is different, using a different mint blend with spearmint oil, so it’s not as cooling as the pure castile soap version.
Classic Dr Bronner’s castile soap is only suitable for foam pump dispensers (diluted with three times as much water). If you use it in a normal pump dispenser, it tends to get clogged, which can be frustrating. The pure castile soap also makes a better household cleaner, since bathrooms, dishes and countertops don’t need moisturising.
In general, whether you use the pump soap or pure castile soap is a matter of personal preference based on how your skin reacts – they’re both great cleansers.
Weleda has been one of the top natural beauty brands since it was founded in 1921. They’ve been making the best natural body oils since 1926, when they launched the Arnica Body Oil, beloved of athletes and weekend warriors worldwide.
They’ve recently redesigned the packaging of their all natural, plant based body oils. The new bottles are made from 85% recycled dark glass. And there’s a new pump top to prevent oxidization and spillage.
What are body oils and why should I use them?
If you’ve always used a body lotion or moisturiser, body oils might be a new thing for you. They’re more intensively moisturising than body lotions, and if you’ve got dry skin, these might just be your new favourite thing this winter. Plant based oils are similar to your skin’s natural lipids. They support skin metabolism, and help your skin to build a protective layer.
Body oils made with mineral oil – petroleum byproducts – are a whole different ballgame. They don’t allow skin to breathe and can’t be metabolised. Plant based, natural body oils have regenerating, nutritive and antioxidant benefits that mineral oils simply can’t match.
Your skin quickly absorbs Weleda’s plant based oils. You won’t feel like you’ve just done a shift at the local chip shop. They leave your skin with a subtle sheen, not an oil slick.
If you have acne prone skin, don’t worry. Weleda uses plant oils that are noncomedogenic (don’t clog pores).
Apply your body oil when you get out of the shower, while your skin is still damp. You can also use them for massages, or right before you go to bed. The oils protect your skin’s lipid barrier and stop moisture from evaporating.
About Weleda natural body oils
Weleda has a range of eight body oils, from specialty oils like the Arnica Massage Oil to beauty oils like the Wild Rose Pampering Body Oil. They’re made of pure natural essential oils and cold pressed plant derived oils (except for the sea buckthorn oil, which is CO2 extracted).
All the scents are made purely from natural essential oils. They’re all designed to work harmoniously with the different plant oils chosen in each blend. Let’s have a look at each one.
Stretch Mark Massage Oil
This natural body oil helps prevent and fade stretch marks caused by pregnancy, weight gain or growth spurts. Made with sweet almond and jojoba oils, plus wheat germ oil (rich in vitamin E) and organic arnica flower extract to improve skin tone and elasticity. The Stretch Mark Massage Oil uses rose, neroli and myrrh essential oils for a subtle floral scent that boosts feelings of confidence and calm. Just divine!
Arnica Massage Oil
Used before and after exercise, this body oil increases circulation and helps relax muscles and prevent soreness, too. Arnica blossom and birch leaf extracts strengthen the skin, while rosemary and lavender essential oils have a balancing effect.
Birch Cellulite Oil
Massage this oil into your skin twice a day and you can see and feel the difference in skin firmness and elasticity in just one month. Birch leaf, rosemary and ruscus (butcher’s broom) extracts renew the skin, supported by grapefruit and cypress essential oils. Apricot kernel and jojoba oils give your skin a silky soft finish.
Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil
Perfect for mature skin, with organic pomegranate oil and golden millet to regenerate skin. Macadamia nut and jojoba oils nourish it. This is one of my favourite scents, with orange, davana and vanilla. It’s fresh but feminine. Gorgeous.
Lavender Relaxing Body Oil
The newest addition to the Weleda Body Oil range, the lavender oil leaves your skin soft and has an emotionally calming effect. Pure lavender essential oil balances your skin and helps you relax. It’s a bright, fresh lavender smell, not musty or old lady-ish. Sweet almond and sesame seeds oils moisturise your skin.
Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Oil
Organic sea buckthorn and sesame oils are full of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin content, helping to restore your skin’s lipid layer. The result is soft and supple skin. This is one of my favourite scents, with grapefruit, mandarin orange and sandalwood essential oils. It’s fresh and bright, but warm, too. Independent testing showed a 30% increase in skin’s moisture after using this for 4 weeks.
Wild Rose Pampering Body Oil
Organic wild rose, sweet almond and jojoba oils stimulate skin regeneration and improve elasticity. Damascus rose, ylang-ylang and rose geranium give this body oil a luxurious floral fragrance. Again, it’s a fresh, bright scent, not musty or cloying.
Evening Primrose Revitalising Body Oil
I tried this for the first time last week, and am in love with it. It’s a rich body oil, perfect for mature skin. Evening primrose, jojoba and wheat germ oils help increase skin firmness, tone and elasticity. The scent is soft and subtle, with magnolia, cardamom and sandalwood for spicy floral scent with woody undertones. Lovely!
Shop the full range of Weleda Body Oils right here at Hello Charlie.
I get asked for natural sunscreen sticks all the time. And until now, I’ve had to say that I didn’t know of any.
So when one of my customers asked me to check out 123 Nourish Me’s Facestick, I got a little excited. Lots of kindies ask for parents to provide roll on or stick sunscreens, because they’re easier to apply. So I’m super happy to say that I’ve finally found a good one!
This zinc-based mineral sunscreen has an SPF 30, and it’s safe for children six months old and above. Zinc is the most soothing of the natural sunscreen ingredients, so it won’t irritate your little one’s skin.
Sunscreen for toddlers
Applying sunscreen to young children can be challenging – chasing them down and smearing them with cream while they scream and squirm. Honestly, who can blame them? Sunscreen creams can feel sticky and greasy, smell odd and taste terrible. And once kids hit the “I can do it myself!” stage you’ll have to contend with them trying to apply it on their own (and the subsequent mess).
This stick is so easy to use that my friend’s five-year-old son takes it to kindergarten and applies it all by himself. It’s a good way to get kids into the sun-protection habit early. Regular use of a natural sunscreen is a must, what with our bright Australian sunshine.
Mineral sunscreens offer safe and effective broad spectrum sun protection, but they can leave you looking like you’re wearing clown makeup. The 123 Nourish Me Sunscreen goes on clear, thanks to the micronised (non nano) zinc, and it’s easy to rub in (even on my husband’s unshaven face).
The stick does have a fairly firm texture, especially when it’s cold. You could try rubbing it between your palms for a couple of minutes before application to warm it up. We found that the best way was to rub it back and forth on your skin and it soon warms up and glides on.
I’m absolutely loving this for the kids. The stick has a firm lid that’s not going to pop off in the bottom of a bag, but kids can still open it easily. Throw it into the bottom of their beach or swimming bag and they’re covered. It’s water resistant, but still needs reapplication every two hours if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
I’m completely happy with the Hello Sunshine ingredients, too. The mineral sunscreen formulation and natural ingredients mean you don’t have to worry about what your children are being exposed to. It’s gentle and doesn’t cause adverse reactions, even on sensitive skin. My kids break out in rashes with chemical sunscreen (we had an incident at school camp recently where my son decided to try his friend’s sunscreen instead of his own), but not with this one.
And I have to mention the smell. Hello Sunshine uses food grade vanilla, and I swear this smells like vanilla ice cream. My youngest loves this just because of the divine scent.