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What a week—the clock falls back (I can always use an extra hour of sleep), the presidential race finished (phew, no more election commercials), and the marathon of midterms finally finished! No better way to celebrate Friday than volunteering at the Food Bank, practicing my downward facing dog, and trying out my new Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Moisture Cream. This product was recommended by one of my dearest childhood friend who just got married in Pebble Beach. In preparing for her wedding, she told me radiant skin secret was this product.



Because of this project, I now double and triple check ingredients list for all my skincare products before I smear anything on my body. Origins has always been one of my preferred brands because of their business philosophy to create products that are “powered by nature and proven by science”. However, I still consulted Google for a full review of every ingredient on the back label just to be sure they met to my standards (Yes, it definitely took more time than I’d like to admit!).

My first impulse is to verify that the compounds I couldn’t pronounce are considered safe by the Environmental Working Group. After I got those guys out of the way, I couldn't help researching the others. Surprisingly, the ones that caught my attention were the ones that I automatically assume were safe—the citrus oils. While these oils are not considered unsafe, they are phototoxic, meaning that they cause a sunburn-like reaction when exposed to light. Yikes!

Prior to the start of this project, I believed that natural ingredients are synonymous with safe ingredients. However, research has shown that this seemingly logical assumption is actually untrue. Millikan (2001) notes that many natural ingredients can actually be poisonous to the skin and more irritating than synthetic alternatives. Additionally, completely natural sourcing is nearly impossible to ensure batch-to-batch consistency. Given that teensy differences in ingredient concentration can result in adverse skin reactions (especially for people like myself with sensitive skin), it makes it tricky for product formulators to develop the perfect product. So how do you make the choice between natural and synthetic, irritant or effective? Maybe it is not such an easy choice after all.

... Got a little off track--back to the product. Thankfully, this PM specific moisture is only meant for night use, so the potential for the sunburn like reaction is probably pretty minimal. Additionally, I fragrant citrus smell of this product reminds me of my childhood days of stealing, uh, picking my neighbor’s oranges in Florida during the summertime. So, I am going to test this product out this week and report back next Friday!


 
 
And the holiday-like week continues #pleasedontletitstop. For the last seven days, our doorstep has been covered with boxes of samples from companies we love. After months of researching these brands, our team was finally able to touch and see the products firsthand—this is a HUGE step in moving our project along. We are starting to see the tangible benefits of our hard work and cannot wait to how this progress continues over the next few months. But we could not have done any of it without the help of our brand sponsors. 

The generosity of Pretty Mommies, Susan Brown’s Baby Company, Lavender Ranch, Topricin, Jadience, and Mother Love allowed our team to transform our idea into a tangible product—and we are so thankful for this opportunity! Not only are these brands products fantastic, but the people that stand behind the brands rock too. Our team has had the opportunity to speak to brands’ representatives about everything from their products ingredients to how this industry works to why they love their company. The time that these people have taken aside to help us out is an invaluable part of moving our project further and giving our team a better understanding of how to fix this widespread problem.

So this week, we toast to our brand sponsors and cheers Thank You, Gracias, Merci, Grazi, and Danke to helping us pursue our project.

P.S. here’s a sneak peek of the samples!



 
 
This Friday, the Holidays Came Early!

We are not the type of girls that regularly receives packages in the mail. In fact, most weeks our mailbox is either completely empty or filled with bills and junk mail. But this Friday was different. You know that feeling you get when your boyfriend surprises you with a beautiful bouquet of flowers or when you run downstairs to the tree on Christmas morning? That’s how Team BabyLove felt when we saw the UPS man bringing two big boxes with our name on the top to the doorstep. These packages were overflowing with three new samples from two of our favorite brands--Pretty Mommies and Susan Brown’s Baby Company! 

Not only are these samples adorably packaged, but moms love how great the stuff is on the inside. And it’s easy to see why: both Pretty Mommies products and Susan Brown’s Baby Natural Sensitive Lotion-to-Powder is free of talc, fragrance, parabens, and phthalates as well as recommended by dermatologists. And they work!

The women behind the brands are equally as remarkable as their products. We heard firsthand how committed the founders are to revolutionizing the maternity skincare industry and making great products that are safe too. We are so grateful that companies like these exist and are even more excited helping BabyLove get up and running. So stay posted for updates about the launch of our product—we cannot wait to share these products with you!  

 
 
Our First Favorite Friday

Happy Friday Mamas! Starting this week, we are finding out what products moms like you have grown to love during pregnancy or motherhood. By sharing our favorites, hopefully we all can find the absolute healthiest skincare products that still get the job done.

Our guest star this week is a close friend of mine, Haley, who is pregnant with her first child (a baby boy!) and just entered her third trimester. Her sister, who is a mother to two adorable preschoolers, highly recommended that Haley try Dr. Hauschka’s Blackthorn Body Oil to minimize the risk of stretch marks. Considering that the woman had a knock-out post-baby body with zero stretch marks, Haley knew she had to give it a try. And even though this is not a mommy specific product, Haley considers it a must-have for her pregnancy skincare regiment (please watch the volume on the video- I apologize for the echoing, it was my first time using ecamm call recorder for Skype). 
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Dr. Hauschka Skincare has also earned top beauty awards from Instyle, Natural Health, The Green Beauty Bible Awards, and UK Cool Brands. With over 40 years of experience, this company knows a thing or two about developing a great product. But what we think is great is that they only use organic and wild-crafted ingredients (such as avocado oil and rose wax) and leave out the rest—you know, the bad guys like phthalates and petrochemicals. And not only are their products healthier for you and your little one, but are leading the way as skincare environmental stewards. This company minimizes its environmental impact by investing in energy reducing technologies and uses recycled rather than raw materials whenever possible (if you find these projects as cool as we do, click here).