The best conditioner I’ve ever used

It isn’t Suave, it isn’t Paul Mitchell, or L’oreal and it’s not necessarily recognizable; although it should be as the company itself has been around since 1878. That being said The Grandpa Soap Company only came out with haircare just last year.

What drew me to try this conditioner at first was that it was made from pine tar. Something about seemed intriguing. I like the smell of pine and I figured turning the shower into a undersized, treeless forest for the duration of the conditioning didn’t seem like a half bad idea.

If you are thinking this smells like a Christmas tree, it doesn’t. That’s kind of what I expected. It smells earthy and possibly a little bit like bacon. It is a bit to get used to if I’m being honest, it’s a unique smell. I’ve never smelled pine tar itself, so someone who is familiar with it might say it smells just right.

Why do we use conditioner? Is it to coat the hair in something that makes it more manageable? Or is it to nourish the hair and the manageability is a byproduct? I used to not really care. As long as my hair felt better than it would had I skipped conditioning, it as far as I was concerned it did the job.  This product has changed my mind. My hair has never felt healthier. If you notice with most conditioners by the time the next day rolls around or whenever you wash your hair again it feels just as parched as before, you need the conditioner just as bad as you did the time before. I can tell that my hair is actually healthier for having used the pine tar conditioner even if I stopped using it tomorrow. This goes to show hair can be temporarily smoothed, but that does not mean it is actually in any better state.

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I appreciate that The Pine Tar Conditioner moisturizes the hair without making it oily. You know the look that you get when you use too much conditioner and your hair looks flat, well that never happens when using this. I also appreciate that it isn’t overly expensive. I don’t want to spend 20 plus dollars for a conditioner, maybe some day I will want to, but that day isn’t today.

There are other hair conditioners from the same brand in other scents, such as Rosemary and Witch Hazel, which I would venture to guess are just as good. You can explore them as an alternative if pine tar isn’t your speed.

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Biossance 100% Squalane/ Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil Review

When I first heard about squalane it was in aesthetics school. It stood out in my mind as one of the stranger ingredients we learned about because most squalane is derived from shark, more specifically the shark liver. Pretty gross, but then a lot of strange stuff is marketed all in the name of beauty. Previously I would have never considered trying squalane, but then I was doing some research and I found the brand Biossance which uses squalane formulated from sugarcane and it definitely peaked my interest. Thankfully they had free samples of both their 100% Squalane Oil & their Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. I had to try it.

The 100% Squalane can be used on hair, skin and nails. The first thing I noticed was the consistency was unlike any oil I had used before. It was extremely light and pretty much scentless. I liked the weightlessness of the oil. When I applied it to my skin it blended beautifully and gave my skin a healthy shimmer rather than an oily appearance. I put it all over my hands including my nails. I noticed a definite difference in my nails, they were moisturized and smooth even after taking nail polish off which usually leaves them dry. I generally wait a few days in between doing my nails to let them breathe, but after using the oil on them I feel like I could do them back to back without a problem.

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The Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil had a lovely pure rose smell. Initially I couldn’t put my finger on what happened when I applied the oil to my face, but it made my face almost “bouncy?” What I was experiencing was the firming/smoothing effect it has on the skin. I hadn’t come across a product that worked that effectively and quickly. As mentioned with the 100% Squalane it was extremely lightweight and my skin ate it up, it was really unique to use an oil that didn’t have an oily feel to it.

Overall I loved both products, I’m partial to the oil with the Vitamin C and rose oil, but it could be because of the smell. I love that Biossance uses sugarcane as a nice alternative and gives everyone a chance to try before buying, especially those who have never used squalane before. I definitely plan on getting the full sized oils next time.

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What Cured My Eczema

The summer before last I was met by a very unpleasant surprise. Eczema. It was caused by the perfect storm, in the morning I had used dry shampoo and it was raining buckets, I got soaked to the bone. I went to the air-conditioned indoors and everything dried. A few hours later it was still raining and I had to go out again, the cycle repeated. I got soaked, then on the ride home in the car it all dried. As soon as I got home of course I showered, but it seemed the damage was done. Somewhere along the way the between all drying, soaking and base of dry shampoo the balance of my scalp got way out of whack .

The next day I woke up and …”what is that feeling?” I thought. It was incredibly itchy, dry, but nothing visible. I didn’t make the connection. The  morning after that is when things got interesting. This time itchiness accompanied with soreness and redness were not able to be ignored. Something had gone wrong. I went to the dermatologist the same day she told me it was a little eczema. I was relieved that it was nothing too serious and took the cortisone spray she gave me and thought things were set. Due to how uncomfortable I was at the time I did the natural thing and completely saturated my hair and scalp with the spray. All it did was give me oily looking hair. I used it for the next two days and saw no improvement. The eczema, however was changing with great speed. What had been dry and scab-like had now developed into something similar to  pimples. The entire affected area was covered in them. Red, raised, painful. My hair looked awful, I was in pain, I was at a lost.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. After doing some reading it seemed I wasn’t the only one that didn’t have luck with cortisone. Bring in the natural remedies. They are always worth a shot. The one that I saw in several places was using a combination of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Thankfully I had both items already in the house.

Several times a day  I would use a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar over the area, let it dry and massage a small amount of coconut oil. Did this help with the appearance of my hair? No. Was it still oily looking? Yes, I was putting oil directly into my hair and on my scalp. Did it work? ABSOLUTELY.

Within 2 days it was almost completely gone. It was a miracle. Previous to that summer I had never experienced eczema. I can say it was by far one of the most painful and frustrating things to have. I am so grateful I was able to find something that worked and urge anyone to try these two “superheroes” that saved me.

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The Beauty of Coconut Oil

I’ve been using it for about 2 years and every time I go to use it as something else it somehow succeeds. There aren’t too many things that are as versatile as coconut oil. There are so many different uses, it doesn’t have any funky aromas, it’s natural and it’s fairly inexpensive. It can be bought at the supermarket that alone makes it appealing.

Combine it with coffee or sugar to exfoliate: Sometimes using just sugar, just coarse sea salt, or just coffee grounds can be irritating on the skin. If you mix coconut oil into any of the above it will make it moisturizing while turning it into a paste (better for storage too)

Create your own one ingredient makeup remover: Olive oil has also been said to be a great makeup remover, it’s true, it works well. The thing that I like about coconut oil better is that it is solid until it melts as you apply it . It gives you a bit more control. Any makeup comes off easily, there’s no scrubbing involved.

Replace your body lotion: You don’t need a lot, a thin layer will do the trick. Best done before bed because it is still oil, it will stain clothes if it’s not completely soaked into your skin.

Get shinier, healthier hair: Coconut oil can bring hair back to life. Run through hair (scalp to ends or just ends) , leave for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. This will do a job no conditioner can do. It’s so concentrated and nourishing. Your hair will be left softer, shinier and smelling nice.

Use it as a lip balm: Why not put it there? Your time with dry, dehydrated or cracked lips will fade away.

Make face masks:  Add in whatever you like, my favorite mask to make with coconut oil is with honey. You’ll want to use a little less honey than coconut oil to make it easier to apply. Leave for 8-10 minutes. Honey has antibacterial properties and the coconut oil as mentioned many times before works so well for moisturizing whatever it comes into contact with. Wash off with warm water to find your skin smooth and soft. I do this maybe once every 2 weeks to “reset” my skin.

Needless to say, I’m a big fan. I wanted to share the ways I use coconut oil. I’m sure there’s even more and I’m looking forward to trying them.