Review: Pura D’or Dandruff & Acne Treatment

Hey guys, long time no post. This is mostly my bad (Okay, it’s ALL my bad). But as an olive branch, I come bearing reviews. Please, reserve your fruit throwing for after the article.

This week I’m doing a throw-back on the benefits of Argan Oil by covering a few products from my favorite carrier of the stuff: Pura D’or. I received some very generous samples of both their Dandruff Shampoo and Acne Treatment, and trust me when I say, you’re going to want to hear these results.
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The main feature here is on the stellar shampoo and conditioner I was lucky enough to try from this amazing brand. While I don’t suffer from scalp issues myself, my guy is prone to some pretty severe flaking, and nothing we’ve tried has been able to remedy this. I know it’s something he’s expressed embarrassment over before, and so off we went with the all-natural approach!

As I said, I was already a fan of Pura D’or before discovering that they had an extended beauty line. All of their products are free of SLS, parabens, and other harsh chemicals, and contain only the purest, organic ingredients. The shampoo comes in a bottle more resembling a vat–16 oz in size and fitted with a pump for easy use. And both the shampoo and conditioner offer an inviting aroma. The conditioner, while not dandruff specific, is very rich, and smells strongly of lavender. We both loved this scent. The shampoo maintains an invigorating peppermint smell, which my boyfriend was less than fond of. If you take your showers in the morning, as I do, this is a great way to wake up your senses!

ArganShampoo2The products are very clean feeling, and don’t lather up as well as many commercial brands. I felt that they were actually infusing my hair with awesome nutrients, instead of just coating the follicles in crud. Following the first use, I noted immediately a healthier, shinier appearance to my hair. The Argan Oil which I often use post-styling to add life back to my heat-damaged locks became unnecessary on days that I showered, as all of that goodness is already right there in the bottle.

And what about my guy, you ask? Well… I had him adhere to the dandruff treatment for over a week, and he had some pretty impressive things to say about it in the end. For starters, his flaking has greatly diminished, and he is now able to both style and maintain his hair with ease. He adores the fact that we’re not putting any toxic chemicals into our skin. And his locks have never been quite so soft and touchable as they are now. He loves the confidence it’s given him. I love that he loves it.

On the satisfaction scale, I could not be more pleased. I never expected such long-lasting, fantastic results.

Rating: 5/5
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ArganAcneThe pièce de résistance though has to be the Acne Treatment I have now proudly added to my routine. Consisting largely of all natural oils, a few drops of this stuff is tough enough to clear up my biggest blemishes. I was shocked when, after applying the night before, my pimples had completely disappeared by the following morning! Apparently it works by controlling sebum to treat and prevent breakouts. However it works, it works like a boss!

I simply could not live without this little miracle any more. It’s not only improved my skin and reduced redness, it has replaced my moisturizer altogether. Instructions state to add 2-3 drops to trouble areas up to twice daily. I use it about once, on average, and a few dots is enough to spread over my entire face. It does have a very oily consistency, which I’d say is the only thing I may not like. However, my makeup goes on smooth over it, and even seems to absorb better into my skin. Living zit free… and here I thought I’d found heaven in a cheesecake.

Rating: 4.5/5
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*FTC Disclosure: The above products were gifted to me by Pura D’or in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own, and do not in any way represent the opinions of Pura D’or.

Review: Shea Moisture Body Products


Today I’m taking a moment to cover a rather underappreciated category of beauty products: bath and body items. I’m typically a handmade soap kind of person (the kind that other people make, anyways), so I felt keen on exploring the avenue of bath and shower-time pampering just a bit more.

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Shea Moisture is a drugstore brand that caught my eye. They come in pretty packaging and scents of all variety, but I chose the coconut and hibiscus because it was light, floral but not overpowering, and already vaguely relaxing. The sticker on each item touts their cute origins story, as well as a list of no-no’s these beauties are free from. *Ahem* No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates. And also–NO animal testing. Nice!

So how did they fare in my extensive trials? Good, for sure. Better than great, and just shy of grand. For the affordability factor, they can’t be beat. Each one ranges from $7-$10, and typically, they seem to be on sale. There was a nice one running when I stopped in, so I got all of mine BOGO 50% off!

SheaM3The best product, in my opinion, was the Dry Oil Mist. The label proclaims that it is for “brightening and toning”, but really, it’s just a quick, awesome way to add moisture to your skin. Phenomenal to spritz on in the morning, or just after a shower. This is probably my favorite item because it absorbs with such ease. Fantastic as a finishing touch to keep legs and arms silky smooth.

The Hand & Body Scrub was selected for my guy. He has issues with dry, sensitive skin, and whole-body exfoliating seemed to be the way to go! I sampled this once in the shower, but personally, I found it a tad too abrasive. For myself, the Foaming Milk & Body Wash was much better. Ultra rich and creamy, working this into a good lather makes me feel like I’ve stepped out of the spa every time!

SheaM4Back to the scrub. For a person who has rougher, drier skin, this number seems to work wonders. My boyfriend swears by it now, actually preferring it to the body wash (which is apparently too slick for him to really do anything). The first ingredient in this, and what it is largely made of, is sugar. Now I’ve never tried a sugar scrub at home, but I’ve heard of the exfoliating benefits of sugar before, and this stuff really takes the cake! Since using this, my boyfriend has noted less irritation, less flaking, and healthier skin overall. As I said, it is very abrasive, so it may not be for you if you already have naturally soft skin. But for the end results, it’s definitely worth a try!

Almost every product in this line contains a combo of vitamin E, coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, olive oil, and aloe–all ingredients your body will thank you for. They smell heavenly, and leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. If I had to suggest just one item (an impossibility!) I would have to say to give their massage oils a try. Longest lasting product I’ve found, slightly warming, and sooo indulgent. Try this on yourself or a partner and be amazed. You can thank me later. 😉

Rating: 4.5/5
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The Miracle of Argan Oil

Argan OilArgan Oil. It’s fantastic. If you aren’t using this by now, you should be.

What’s Argan Oil, you say?

I happened upon this little gem a while back when looking for a way to tame the frizzful mess that I often call my hair. Other than being immensely hydrating and very rejuvenating for dry or damaged locks, it’s also fantastic for just about anything you can think of. Nighttime moisturizer? Check. Skin toning and exfoliating? Easy peasy with a few simple ingredients. Keeping up your healthy hands and nails? You bet. I usually apply a pea sized amount to my face every morning right on top of my daily moisturizer. It’s silky and soothing as heck, and really helps to tone under and around your eyes. If you’re worried about feeling greasy, fret not – this stuff soaks into your skin and dries evenly.

So what’s the deal with this? Well let’s start with: organic and cold pressed. That’s right, nothing but the good stuff. I use Pura D’or currently, and it’s imported straight from Morocco. Best stuff money can buy, and downright affordable if you grab it up online! How long will it last you? Until the end of time. Alright, well maybe not that long… but a good while to be sure. I’ve had mine for months, using daily, and have barely put a dent in the thing. The key here is, a little goes a long way.

The best way to use it, in my humble opinion, is as a leave in conditioner. You can squirt a small amount into your hands and then work it into damp or dry hair. Aside from giving you a natural, healthy shine, it also works great at protecting your hair from heat damage brought on by blow drying, straightening, and other styling methods. If chapped lips are an issue for you, a small dab of this in the winter keeps lips nourished and happy; not to mention helps color absorb easier. Apply as an all over moisturizer or to help reduce scars and other marks. However you use it, do so to your heart’s content.

Trust me. Your body will thank you.


Real Beauty: A Cry to Bare It All

What is beauty?

I found myself deciphering that question one day while watching the unknown faces drift by. Every one of them I managed to summon some positive comment or characteristic for. Surprisingly, most of them were less about physical attractiveness and more about personality. A gentle smile, a kind laugh… the natural allure of a person’s sparkling eyes. Beauty, the most undermined and over abused topic in our daily lives, is not dead, my friends; it’s merely strung up in a coma and in desperate need of some fluids.

Let’s talk for a second about what it means to be beautiful. 

Beauty comes by many definitions. This, perhaps, is the most compelling:

The qualities in a person / thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind.

So beauty, by our very definition, is a fallible, feeble concept. A matter, as we so often put it, of taste. And yet we have been bombarded, dare I say overwhelmed in our waking lives with the all-consuming trends of today. “Buy this, and you’ll know allure.” “Wear that to receive acknowledgement.” “The brighter, flashier, younger–the better!” Beauty has become a beast we can no longer afford to feed. Thanks to outrageous societal norms, even the most naturally blessed can now look at themselves and find flaw. It’s not enough to merely be beautiful, or thin, curvy or fair; golden skin and flowing locks just don’t cut it anymore. We’re in a generation of disappointment and dashed expectations. If I don’t look like the men/women/kids in magazines, if I can’t command the presence and glamour of the stars in the media, then I’m undeserving of attention. Less than is our new popular phrase.

The unworthiness bug is catching quick, and hundreds of petitions and cries for realistic role-models aren’t changing things any. The fact is, this is a worldwide crisis, and it starts with judgement. Now I’m not talking about judging others strictly, but rather drawing from the outside and coming to judgments about ourselves. My nose is too big, my calves could be smaller, and on and on! Just a short time ago, awareness of our own image wasn’t even that great – and now we have social media and other self-obsessed hobbies to keep us company. It’s no wonder that public morale is down. Instead of spending time with others, we’re turning all of our energy (and destructive energy at that) inwards. In a world of so much connectivity, we have never been more alone… and we’re suffering for it.

What we’ll find is that we’re filling this world with angry, unrealistic people. People who watch television and think that celebrities look that flawless all the time, or that someone who has good skin or a great figure doesn’t have to work hard to achieve those things. Instead of expressing our humanity in a positive way, we reflect negatively upon ourselves and spend time brooding over how we could be better. And makeup is largely to blame. It’s one thing to improve your appearance and boost your confidence by covering up a pimple, or dabbing a little color on your lips. It is far another to conceal and fearfully hide every aspect of your true self.

Best accessory? Your smile.

Best accessory? Your smile.

And if you respond with, What if that is my true self?” Here is my answer: Does any of that make you happier? Each day, does it get easier to accept that you are a beautiful person, inside and out? Or is that mask on your face just helping to grow and fester your own backwards sense of insecurity? The truth is, beauty comes from inside. Cliché, I know, but that’s realer than any woman in a Covergirl commercial. And if you don’t believe me, try going without that face for one day, and see how, emotionally, you fare. Until you can step outside with a bright smile and a confident heart, maybe it’s time to reconsider your daily “beauty” routine.