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Out of Africa Shea Body Butter Review

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Out of Africa

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

About Out of Africa:

How We Got Started:


Victor Lulla, a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles, has long nurtured interests in healthy lifestyles, the environment and social responsibility. After briefly considering an early retirement after the sale of his electronics firm in 2002, he instead created California Inside & Out, a manufacturing and distribution company that developed and marketed natural skin and body care products, based in Venice, CA.

Gilles Adamon, owner of Natura Sarl, headquartered in Benin, West Africa, attended the 2005 Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA hoping to find a distributor for his shea butter cosmetic products. As luck would have it, Victor was at the Expo looking for an interesting opportunity to help expand his product line.

The two men found that they shared not only an interest in natural products, but in social responsibility as well. A friendship ensued and Out of Africa was founded later that year as an exclusive joint venture.

The founders agreed that Lulla would purchase state of the art production equipment and raw materials, while Adamon’s team, in collaboration with a West African women’s cooperative, would supply locally-source pure unrefined shea butter. The company-owned factory in Benin now produces 200,000 bars of soap a month, along with an expanding array of other shea butter products. The products are shipped to California Inside & Out for distribution under the trademarked brand Out of Africa.

Shea Butter: Nature’s Miracle Moisturizer. Out of Africa’s shea butter products nourish the skin with 100% pure unrefined shea butter direct from Benin, West Africa. A natural moisturizer and emollient, shea butter contains antioxidant vitamins A, E and F and beneficial fatty acids that leave skin feeling restored and refreshed. The Out of Africa line includes organic shea butter bar soaps, hand and body washes, body butters, lip balms, lotions, body oils and pure unrefined shea butter tins. The natural scents used in our shea butter products are also available in the Out of Africa line of aroma fragrance reed diffusers.

Our “other” mission: Producing premium quality skincare products is only half of our story. Lulla and Adamon’s partnership supports several women’s cooperatives and helps to create jobs in democratic Benin, West Africa. Out of Africa shea butter skincare also sponsors a groundbreaking project in Benin called SCHOOL CHILDREN UNITE. A portion of all sales is being donated to this global leadership initiative.

Thank You! Your purchase helps to support education and local enterprise in Benin, West Africa. “A houana ka ka” *, thank you very much.”

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Vanilla Body Butter

About:

“Summer, winter, spring, or fall, your skin needs hydration and nourishment to remain smooth, supple and healthy. Out of Africa’s® new Natural Shea Body Butter – creamy, rich, and fast absorbing but never greasy – is the all-natural, seasonless solution. With a generous helping of nature’s perfect food for skin.
Harnesses the ultra-hydrating and healing properties of the planet’s finest unrefined shea butter, harvested by hand without the use of chemical or synthetic agents by women’s cooperatives in West Africa. Organic Shea butter content of 30% far outstrips the tiny percentage found in conventional body lotions and creams

• Rich in healthy fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins A, E and F
• Treats the senses as it pampers skin: choose from three all natural scents – african wild citrus, vanilla, lemon verbena, or lavender
• 100% natural
• Never sticky or greasy, absorbs easily into skin
• Apply after bath or shower, or anytime skin needs an infusion of moisture
• Highly concentrated; no need to re-apply frequently
• No parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, phthalates or artificial coloring
• No mineral oil
• Cruelty-free and eco-friendly

• A portion of proceeds are donated to programs providing education and medical care to the children and families of West Africa
• Available at natural products stores, Duane Reade, Vitamin Shoppes and Sally’s. Also, find local retailers or purchase directly at www.outofafricashea.com.

Ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate-60, Fragrance (Parfum), Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Bean Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide.

All-Natural. Paraben-Free. Mineral-Free. Eco-Friendly. Cruelty-Free.”

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My Thoughts:

When you’re somewhat of a skin care snob like I am (having been spoiled by mailing entirely-organic lines of skin care products), your standards are high. Overall as a brand, I think Out of Africa is doing great things in reference to helping children and families in Africa. I do appreciate that they are committed to not using parabens, phthalates, sulfates, SLS and artificial colors. Those are all positives. However, it still leave this product just slightly above average for me.

I still see a few questionable ingredients (polysorbate-60, phennoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol) that I don’t like seeing in the mix. Besides that, the ingredients that are clearly plant-derived aren’t organic.

This body butter does an okay job of moisturizing. When you compare this product to an entirely organic body butter, well–there’s no comparison. When your skin feels like it’s only quenched for a mere 10 minutes after application, this is usually indicative of a less than pure & less than awesome ingredient lists that contains some “fillers” and water.

Again, I appreciate the efforts to decrease the amount of harsh ingredients, but I simply don’t want to flip over my tube of body butter and see crummy ingredients. That doesn’t make me eager to apply it to my skin. I’d like to see Out of Africa commit to no junky ingredients and more organic ingredients. As it is, I wouldn’t recommend this body butter simply because I know of many other organic alternatives that easily trump it.

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Chia Derm Review

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Chia Derm

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Chia Derm:

THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHIA PEOPLE, LLC

CHIA DERM+ SKIN AND HAIR CARE

Steven Jefferies discovered the miraculous health benefits of chia seeds while looking for a ‘superfood’ ingredient that would sustain him through long nights in law school studies and intense jujitsu training. At the dinner table one evening, Steven explained his findings to his aunt, Kelley Walker, as he poured chia seeds in water. Kelley listened to Steven talk about the endless benefits of the seeds as they formed a caviar type orb of hydration. As Kelley listened to the benefits, including extensive amounts of antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and dietary fiber, she thought, “Why wouldn’t this be beneficial for our skin and hair?”

She began experimenting in her kitchen and researching online when she discovered the unlimited benefits of chia seeds – for both ingesting and skin application. She came across a study conducted by The Korean University of Dermatology, which concluded that chia seed oil can be used as an adjuvant moisturizing agent for pruritic (itching) skin, including that of End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. Chia seeds can be used for anti-aging, scars, hydration, healing and skin protection. With additional research, she found that the little seed contained Biotin, which strengthens hair and nails.

Kelley and Steven traveled to areas around the world known for growing chia seeds and uncovered additional medicinal uses for chia seed oil used for centuries. After spending time deep in the Amazon with medicine men and women and learning the healing benefits of botanicals, they returned home with a new purpose: to formulate products using natural ingredients with clinical results.

Once back home in Houston, Kelley and Steven sought out and partnered with a highly respected and experienced formulator. They spent three years tirelessly researching and testing different formulas featuring chia seeds as a main ingredient, until they created the perfect formula.
The family business began with the CHIA DERM+ Serum and Balm. After listening to the demand from our customers for more ways to incorporate chia seeds into their skin and hair care routines, future products are already on the way including a line of men’s products!”

Facial Serum

About:

“A “superfood” for your skin.

CHIA DERM+ Serum contains just one ingredient – pure chia seed extract – packed with an abundance of valuable nutrients so its benefits are infinite. With unrivaled levels of Omega 3s, antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and rare trace elements, the CHIA DERM+ Serum provides a powerful complex of constituents to help heal, protect and preserve your skin against signs of aging.

No filler, no chemicals, no parabens, no gluten, no pesticides, non-GMO, no nonsense – just a pure, all natural, ultra premium solution for complete skin care.

Uses: For areas of concern that require high-potency spot treatment – crow’s feet, forehead, neck lines, hands, around the eyes, etc. Also ideal for hair care – apply to hair ends to promote a healthy shine and shield against damage.

Directions: Apply 2-4 drops as needed where restorative treatment is desired. To increase staying power on skin, follow up by applying CHIA DERM+ Balm. Add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer for extra hydration.

Ingredients: Chia Seed Extract.”

Facial Balm

About:

“Meet your new best friend – The ultimate balm. Chia extract is paired with complementary ingredients such as bergamot, a rare Italian citrus fruit extract with medicinal properties. Other key ingredients include beeswax, honey and royal jelly extract to increase emollient properties.

All natural, no nonsense, endless benefits.

Uses: For age-susceptible areas that require protection from the elements with staying power – lips, around the eyes, elbows, knees, feet, hands, cuticles, between fingers, etc. A natural antibacterial and anti-fungal product, the balm can be applied to burnt, cut or pruritic (dry/ irritated) skin, expediting the healing process and reducing the appearance of redness and scarring.

Directions: Apply generously where restorative treatment is desired. To increase potency, use as a follow up treatment with CHIA DERM+ Serum.

Ingredients: Soybean extract, Beeswax, Chia Seed Extract, Safflower Oil, Hydrogenated Soy Polyglycerides, C15-23 Alkane, Olive Fruit Oil, Honey, Royal Jelly Extract, Propolis Extract, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil.”

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My Thoughts:

I love the idea of a skin care brand that harnesses the nature-given healing benefits of the chia seed. I know chia seeds to be a healthy source of fiber, fat and plant based protein (when ingested). I am a big fan of putting superfoods on your face (in facial masks, etc.). If it’s good to eat, it’s likely good for your skin.

So, as most of my readers are well aware (I’m sure), I hone in on ingredients when it comes to skin care. That is of the utmost importance to me when forming my opinion about skin care products–not effectiveness, not packing. Ingredients. I really appreciate the junk-free ingredient lists of the balm and serum. The serum is the ultimate in simplicity, with one ingredient. Non-gmo, paraben free and “no harsh chemicals” is a good thing to see, and after inquiring with Chia Derm, I’ve learned that:

“the Chia Seeds are absolutely grown organically. The chia seed plant has no know pests and no chemicals are used. Also the facility that manufactures Chia-Derm products will only accept certified organic ingredients Into their facility.”

Organic is awesome. Organic chia skin care? Even more awesome.

As far as how these two products perform, they’re both very dense–a little goes a long way. I only use a few drops of the serum on my finger tips and a tiny amount of the balm. You can use them in combination (serum before balm) if your skin needs a hefty dose of hydration. My skin only needs one or the other, as I have combination/oily skin. It leaves my skin completely quenched, glowing and fresh. I like them best when used after a clarifying cleanser like facial soap.