Clean beauty is here to stay blog post image

Clean Beauty Is Here To Stay

Have you head the term “clean beauty?” Most product-savvy consumers have. It’s the latest catchword in the personal care arsenal, alongside words like “natural” “organic” and “sustainable”, and it’s here to stay. It describes products made without certain potentially irritating or harmful ingredients. So what does “clean beauty” mean?

Why Clean Beauty?

Ever since the Environmental Working Group published the “Toxic Twenty” ingredients in cosmetics, consumers have been more curious about ingredients found in personal care products. Increasingly, consumers are reading product labels to screen out personal care products that may contain potential irritants or harmful ingredients. In the U.S., the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating cosmetics, but they do not approve them before they go to market. When cosmetics are used for therapeutic purposes they are classified as drugs, which require FDA approval. For more specifics on this, visit the FDA authority webpage.

One of the major issues to come up of late has to do with prohibited ingredients. The FDA currently prohibits 11 potentially toxic ingredients for use in cosmetics. You can view the list here. In Canada and Europe, however, the list of banned ingredients is much higher. If the FDA does not have to approve, or even recall, cosmetic products, what can we do as consumers to make educated purchasing decisions?

What Are Clean Beauty Products?

According to an article in Good Housekeeping, clean beauty products are formulated without potentially harmful ingredients, whether synthetic or natural. Beauty retailer Sephora has created its “Clean At Sephora” line of products made without 1) sulfates, 2) parabens, 3) formaldehyde, 4) phthalates, or 5) mineral oil, among others. A number of beauty brands have created their own lists of banned ingredients. Even Target has joined the bandwagon with their own “Clean Beauty” label. Their list also includes oxybenzone, BHA , BHT, aluminum and artificial sweeteners. Read more about this initiative here. It’s important to remember, though, that this label category is not a legal definition. The term is not regulated by the FDA. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Given the growing number of clean beauty options, it’s easier than ever for consumers to be able to choose products that meet their needs. If you’re like me and you have sensitive skin, as well, it’s important to avoid known toxins and other irritants. At WEBA Natural Products, we have created products that are free of the above-mentioned ingredients since from the beginning. In fact, we were “clean” before it became fashionable. You can check out our current lineup of clean products on our Shop page.

Comfrey Blog Post Pinterest graphic

Comfrey – All You Need To Know About This Amazing Herb

What Is Comfrey?

Common comfrey, or Symphytum officinale, is a flowering perennial from the Borage family. It has elongated basal leaves and bell-like flowers which are tempting to bees. It was originally cultivated in Asia, Europe and U.K., and is a common weed throughout North America. In the U.S., the FDA banned the consumption of comfrey roots and leaves in 2002 because of a high concentration of pryrolizidine alkaloids. Elsewhere, the roots, leaves and flowers have been consumed for thousands of years, and it has been used topically as well.

What is Comfrey Used For?

Comfrey has been used as a poultice for wounds, sprains and broken bones. On the African continent it earned the name “boneset” for its ability to help heal broken bones. It contains the ingredient allantoin, which speeds production of new cells and aids in healing.Today, allantoin is an emollient used in skincare products to ease skin irritation.

At WEBA Natural Products, we use olive oil infused with comfrey root and leaf for our, which includes arnica and turmeric extracts as well. Naturally derived and sustainably sourced, this preparation has been shown to soothe bruised, irritated skin.


More Uses for Body Balm photo

More Uses For Body Balm

A few years ago, I posted an article on the Ten Uses for Body Balm. Since then, balms have grown in popularity mainly because they are 1) waterless, 2) all natural, 3) multipurpose, 4) travel-friendly and 5) deeply moisturizing. Many of our customers agree; our All Purpose Body Balm with Lavender and Tea Tree Oil is one of our most popular items.

Balms are definitely here to stay. Today I would like to include a few more uses for our bestselling body balm:

  1. Cleansing balm – For those with sensitive skin, a cleansing balm can provide gentle cleansing while providing targeted moisture. It’s especially good at removing oil-based makeup like eye makeup without irritating the skin. Of course, it helps that our balm contains naturally-derived ingredients like olive and sweet almond oils and the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin E. If you use a cleansing oil like our, it provides a spill-proof, travel-friendly package when you need to remove makeup and dirt on the go.
  2. Beard balm – Balms are great for the guys, too. Beards can become dry and brittle, too, and balms are a good way to keep them shiny, smooth and soft. The lavender and tea tree oils also are also anti-bacterial. They are also good on razor stubble.
  3. Eyebrow conditioner – Brows are delicate things, and using a little balm to keep them shiny is a good way to highlight them. The castor oil in our balm helps soften them and provides a nice base for eyebrow products. You can use the balm to remove brow makeup, as well. Cleansing products that are too harsh can cause brow loss. A little balm goes a long way, so don’t use too much.
  4. Paint remover – believe it or not, oil-based balms can help remove paint from your skin. It’s always a good idea to wear gloves when painting, but if paint has had a chance to dry on your skin it can be tough to wash off. Just rub some balm all over the affected area, then use plain soap. It will create an emulsion that should remove the paint without irritating your skin.
Haircare mistakes and curly hair

Haircare Mistakes And Curly Hair

Which haircare mistakes to we tend to engage in? A lot can depend on your hair type and lifestyle. For those with curly hair, a little TLC is often required due to the nature of the curl strands and their susceptibility to damage. Wavy and curly hair are created by the presence of an oval hair follicle. Curly hair is softer and more susceptible to breakage. It also tends to have less sebum present, making it drier. Hence, it’s important to know which practices can negatively impact on curly locks, and what to do instead. Below are some of the most common haircare mistakes.

Shampooing too often

As mentioned before, curly hair tends to be drier. This can also extend to the scalp. Therefore, it’s not necessary to hit the shampoo bottle every day, or even every other day. A lot depends upon how active you are and what condition your curls are in. According to the experts at Ouidad , it’s ok to wash or co-wash your hair between 1 and 3 times per week. As a general rule, the drier your hair and scalp, the less often you should wash it.

Using the wrong shampoo

There are a mind-boggling number of shampoo formulas out there, and it’s important to use one that is tailored to your hair type. If your hair is extra curly, it will benefit from an extra-moisturizing formula. Or opt for what is called co-washing (conditioner-only washing). Most conditioners contain a few cationic surfactants (cleansers) like benhetrimonium chloride, which remove dirt without stripping the hair. If your hair and scalp tend to be dry, this may be the best option for you. Also avoid shampoos containing a lot of foaming agents like sodium laureth sulfate and cocamide DEA, which can cause allergic reactions and tend to be drying. Believe it or not, you don’t need lather to get hair clean. If in doubt, read the ingredient labels before buying. For a list of common shampoo ingredients read this Newsweek article.

Using the wrong styling products

It’s important for people with curly hair in particular to use styling products. They help with frizziness, dryness, tangling and other issues. Even if you air-dry your hair, it’s a good idea to add protection and definition with styling products. However, the wrong styling products can wreak havoc on your hair. For example, styling gels containing alcohols can dry out your hair. Opt for alcohol-free cream formulas that add definition and shine. Another problematic ingredient is silicones. On the label, they usually end in -one or -oxane. They are synthetic polymers that create slip and providing some heat protection. While not all silicones are created equal, they all do have a tendency to build up on your hair, ultimately leaving it dry and dull. They are hydrophobic, which means they are hard to wash out. You’ll then need a clarifying shampoo to remove them, which causes more drying, and on and on. This is especially true for thick silicones like dimethicone. It’s a cycle that you just don’t want to get into.

If you still want to use silicones, opt for a water-soluble one like cyclomethicone.

Not protecting your hair from the elements

Whether or not you color your hair, this is a common mistake that can really cost you down the line. Things like heat, humidity, chlorine, and ultraviolet light have an especially strong impact on curly hair. Aside from avoiding pools and sunlight, there are few things that you can do before hitting the pool or the beach. Yes, you can apply your barrier sunscreen to hair. Usually the ingredients found in sunscreens for the skin are ok for the hair, too. (Yes, you should be using sunscreen on your skin, too.) You can also try products containing oils like jojoba, carrot seed oil, red raspberry oil, almond oil, and shea butter. These ingredients provide natural sunscreen protection. Look for brands like Alba Botanica, or take a look at our All Purpose Dry Oil. If you don’t have any products available, wear a hat.

Too much heat styling

Let’s face it, we all life hectic lifestyles that often necessitate quick hair drying. However, it’s important that we give our curly hair a break from heat styling whenever possible. Even with a diffuser, hair dryers can damage the hair cuticle and dry out curly hair. Sometimes we can avoid heat styling by getting the right haircut. Also buy the best blow dryer you can afford, usually an ionic or ceramic hair dryer, or a combination of both. They tend to cost more than regular hair dryers, but it’s worth it to get less frizz and a shorter drying time. However, air drying is best for curly hair. The right styling product can make your curly hair wash-and-go.

Over-manipulation of hair

Again, a good haircut makes over-manipulation of hair less likely to occur. One should also never comb out curly hair when it’s dry. Use a conditioner or cowash that detangles and use a wide-tooth comb to detangle gently. Separate tight curls with the fingers if possible. Don’t over-brush.

Not protecting your curls while you sleep

It’s so easy to protect your curly hair at night. Just buy a satin sleep cap or a silk pillow case. The fabric helps to reduce friction, reducing damage to your curls while you sleep. Also avoid wearing tight bands or other restraints in your hair while you sleep. Curlers are a no-no! A silk pillowcase is also kinder to your face.