KRISSY REVIEWS

KRISSY REVIEWS

I’ve tried, tested, dug around and formed an opinion…

I thought it would be handy if I listed my opinions on products I’ve tried, all in one place, so that’s what I’ve done here. I’ll add to it as I try new products.

On occasion, businesses have gifted me products to try, but most often I have purchased them myself. Either way, I can assure you that whatever you read from me, or hear me say, is my unbiased opinion. I am never paid to review products.

Sometimes I am able to offer discount codes and sometimes these are affiliate links. That is a bonus, for you and me. I cannot, and will not, be bought. You can read more about my affiliate policy here.

123 Nourish Me

A bit about 123 Nourish Me…

I actually know Alisa and Dani from 123 Nourish Me personally, and I can assure you that they have the very best intentions when it comes to people and planet – we’ve had lengthy discussions about this! I love their genuine passion, health is their end-game, not profit. These local Perth girls are worth checking out.

Products I have tried…

Sunscreen – it goes on lovely and smooth, and smells nice. It leaves skin a little white but that is what you want with zinc-based barrier sun protection creams. We’ve used this when I’ve run out of my own DIY Sunscreen and it works just as well.

Tinted face stick – gives a light skin-toned colour to your skin, rather than white. I did find it a little grainy to apply; I tackled this by rubbing on my fingers first and then applying to skin. Great for extra face protection for the kids when they are heading into the pool for a big session in the sun.

Hand sanitiser – does it work? I don’t have any way to test this bacteria/virus-wise but with 70% alcohol, I believe it does. Smells nice and evaporates quickly. We like it.

Hand wash – I don’t really like gels now that I’m used to foam, I find most of it is wasted as it slides off hands and down the drain, especially when kids are using it. This gel is lovely though and if I was a gel kind of girl, I’d use it again.

Roll-on deodorant – it works. This may be because I am used to natural deodorants that don’t block sweat (keep this in mind), but if pastes gross you out, this certified organic alternative is worth trying. Took me a few months to use up, so worth the $14.95 price tag.

Ingredients…

Great – very clean! They don’t use parabens, sulphates or synthetic fragrance.

As with any pre-made products, it’s worth noting that sometimes preservatives are added. These guys add the purest available (note that when parfum is noted on the ingredients, it is the INCI name for the preservative approved for use in certified organic products). This information is readily available on their website – full transparency, love it!

Verdict…

I highly recommend 123 Nourish Me.

Banksia Gifts Australia

A bit about Banksia Gifts Australia…

Banksia Gifts Australia is a family-owned and operated business, established in 1985. They offer a range of giftware made from the Australian Native, Banksia Grandis seed pod.

The Banksia Grandis, commonly known as the Bull Banksia, can be found in Western Australia. It takes 24 months from flowering for the Banksia nut to reach maturity and it re-grows its pods over and over again making the Banksia an incredibly renewable resource.

Products I have tried…

Aroma pod diffuser – they are porous, soaking up your essential oils and slowly releasing a beautiful, subtle, natural aroma. It is a great way to naturally fragrance your toilet, bathroom and cupboards.

Note, the fragrance is very subtle. If you are coming straight from a plug-in air freshener, you may feel they are lacking in perfume power (this is a good thing!!).

I fill the little hole in the centre with essential oils, to the brim and extra so it spills over. I catch whiffs of the aroma for a week or so before I find it needs topping up. I tend to use my ‘cheaper’ oils – lemongrass, eucalytus, peppermint etc.

No flames and no electricity are needed with these natural diffusers.

100% pure Australian Eucalyptus essential oil – great, packs a beautiful punch.

Ingredients…

Where relevant (so the essential oil only), looks good to me.

Verdict…

I highly recommend Banksia Gifts Australia.

Use code krissy15 for 15% off your purchase.

bobo&boo

A bit about bobo&boo…

Naomi, founder of bobo&boo, went on a mission, after the birth of her first son, to minimise the chemicals and toxins he came in contact with, looking for eco-friendly alternatives.

bobo&boo’s dinnerware products are made from renewable bamboo fibres, and small amounts of other natural grains such as bran and cornstarch (for their bamboo dinnerware), and renewable fibres extracted from crops like corn, wheat, and sweet potatoes (for their plant-based range). Their dinnerware products are also non-toxic and biodegradable (the plant-based products are even compostable). Plus, it’s all dishwasher-safe – bonus!

Products I have tried…

Plant-based dinner set – performs like you would expect a plate, bowl or cup to perform. They’re fun and colourful for the kids, and great for the littlies as they’re more prone to dropping stuff! The range is dishwasher-safe which is very handy, and despite multiple washes, haven’t changed colour or shape at all. These are apparently microwave safe but we haven’t tried that out.

Bamboo straws – we tried them a few times, (and this is just my preference), but we prefer straws made from metal or silicone.

Ingredients…

They look top-notch to me.

Verdict…

I highly recommend bobo&boo.

Use code KRISSY15 for 15% off your purchase.

INIKA Organic

A bit about INIKA Organic…

Founded in 2006, this Australian-owned company wanted a cleaner beauty space free from toxic chemicals. They have strict formulating criteria and don’t use synthetic preservatives and fragrances.

INIKA Organic has won several awards for product excellence and innovation. They are the Organic Beauty Awards’ Best Skincare Brand 2020.

Products I have tried…

Bold Lash Mascara – this is by far the best natural mascara I have used (and I have tried many!). My lashes look thick and lush, it lasts the whole day and doesn’t smudge or leave me with panda eyes. The opening to the bottle could be a tad tighter, in my opinion, to reduce the amount of mascara on the wand.

Mineral Blusher Puff Pot – I don’t wear it often but when I do, it gives my cheeks a rosy glow.

Vegan Lipstick – I’ve tried the Flushed and Autumn Love – both gorgeous.

Ingredients…

They are by far among the cleanest make-up brands I’ve tried.

Verdict…

I can vouch for their make-up (haven’t tried their skincare yet – I make all of that!). I highly recommend INIKA Organic.

JuJu Menstrual Cups & Period Undies

A bit about JuJu…

JuJu’s mission is to educate and empower individuals to live a more sustainable lifestyle and to eradicate period poverty and the stigma associated with menstruation. They believe that menstruation is a gift, not a burden, and commit to using their platform to encourage open, honest conversations about menstruation.

They manufacture in Australia where possible.

Products I have tried…

Menstrual cup – I am 100% in; no reservations about the awesomeness of my JuJu menstrual cup. I have saved SO much money, landfill, stress. These are the BEST. I have an entire blog post dedicated to JuJu which you can read here. I cut the tip off mine as I found it jabbed into me, and I’ve changed models once I learned the first one I tried wasn’t the best fit for me.

I truly believe these are worth investing in. They’re manufactured here in Oz too.

Liners – a great alternative to disposable liners. I haven’t tried any other brands to know how they compare but these do the job for me at the tail-end of my cycle. I imagine they’d be suitable for light bladder leakage too.

Period undies – while they work perfectly well, in terms of fit I’ll be honest and say I prefer Modibodi. I have the full brief. Also, go to your true size, maybe even a size down, as I found them to be very generous.

Ingredients…

Cups are made from medical grade silicone, and undies from spandex/nylon and cotton. I can’t see any info on the production of their materials so until I find out, you can ask them here.

Verdict…

I highly recommend JuJu.

Kin Kin Naturals


A bit about Kin Kin…

Kin Kin Naturals is a family business, based in the Noosa Hinterland, passionate about making natural cleaning products. According to their website, they only use ingredients they would put in their own backyard or close to their children’s skin.

Felix, founder and formulator, used to work for OMO.

Products I have tried…

In late 2019, Felix sent me a few products to try: laundry liquid, dishwasher powder and dishwashing liquid.

I think they all performed very well. They are concentrated so only a little amount is needed. I personally didn’t notice a great difference between them and my DIY recipes, in terms of results. The dishwashing liquid did bubble quite a bit though (which led me to ask more about the surfactants used).

Ingredients…

On a whole, a truck-load better than what can be found on supermarket shelves. The website says their products are free from toxic ingredients, safe for greywater and septic systems, completely biodegradable, and safe for skin (“with no SLS or LAS”).

The ingredients listing does say “coconut-based anionic and nonionic surfactants”. When I questioned Felix about this he declined to share, responding that he was reluctant to share his key ingredients with a “DIY formulation forum”. Clearly I was misunderstood; I was searching for complete transparency, and while I understand his scepticism, I remain adamant that we, as consumers, deserve to know what ingredients we’re using. My main concern, in general, is that some coconut-based ingredients undergo processing that involves potentially toxic ingredients, and I believe attention should be given to these practices.

Verdict…

I would recommend Kin Kin Naturals as an option if DIY is not something you have time for, or are interested in. They are an Aussie business trying to do the right thing and tick most of my boxes.

Low Tox Life - Alexx Stuart

A bit about Low Tox Life – Alexx Stuart…

Well, I may be known as the ‘Queen of DIY’, but Alexx Stuart from Low Tox Life is the ‘Queen of Low Tox – all areas’. This girl is kicking some serious goals in the wellness space. Alexx founded her brand in 2010 after seeing the lack of transparency in the food system, personal care and cleaning products. She prides herself on her non-judgemental and positive approach and community.

Products I have tried…

Go Low Tox course – If you’re after recommendations on low tox mattresses, wall paint, clothing, kettles and cookware, etc., this course is a must. It has been about 4 years since I went through, but I don’t think it has changed much. Basically, you move through 4 ‘units’ a week, with some fluffy stuff on the 5th. It’s a gentle approach to reduce your toxin exposure (as it should always be!) and from memory, you have access to the course for longer than the month it takes to receive all content. I love learning and it is safe to say, I learnt a lot!

Low Tox Life book – this is a great reference. I did buy it when it first came out, and I read it cover to cover, and to be honest, haven’t gone back to read it again but it’s nice to know I have it. I love the way Alexx writes: information and knowledge delivered in a gentle and realistic way.

Ingredients…

n/a

Verdict…

I highly recommend Alexx.

Nourished Life

A bit about Nourished Life…

Irene Falcon is the founder of Nourished Life, and it all began in 2011 when she, like me, woke up to the vast number of unrecognisable chemicals in everyday cosmetics (and the rest) and became focused on creating change and giving people options.

They now sell over 7,000 products, including brands like Ethique and 100% Pure, to Modibodi and Grants, you can do a lot of your toxin-free shopping in one place, and earn rewards at the same time.

Products I have tried…

They sell too many to mention, and many of the products will get reviewed on this page anyway.

Ingredients…

Check every label! I know their standards are ‘strict’ but there are some sneaky ingredients in products that I am personally not a big fan of – doesn’t mean I won’t buy the product, just that you need to be alert to see that each product meets your needs.

Verdict…

I cautiously recommend Nourished Life, as in, many brands are FAB but there may be a few that don’t meet your needs.

Resparkle

 

A bit about Resparkle…

Resparkle was founded in 2015. The founder, Pearl, has made a commitment to help humans reduce the amount of plastic (and chemicals) they use. Pearl believes that Australians deserve viable, sustainable and natural cleaning alternatives.

Resparkle’s range is waterless, meaning less weight (water weight in most cases when it comes to cleaning products) is being shipped over the country, so you basically add a sachet of powder and water to your bottle and off you go!

Products I have tried…

Dish liquid – performs really well. Bubbles up, but not insanely so, and the scent is very light. Great if you aren’t satisfied with castile soap or one of my DIY dishwasher tablets when hand washing dishes.

All-purpose cleaning spray – good, although I don’t notice a huge difference between that and my Citrus Cleaning Spray (which is a much cheaper option).

Foaming Hand Soap – once again, great product but I don’t notice any difference between it and my DIY version. Would be good for anyone who isn’t comfortable with the lack of chemical preservatives in DIY.

Washing powder – great but just as effective as my DIY powder.

Copper scrubbing brush – sadly I only had mine for 2 weeks before if started falling apart, but I really love the way it gently scrubs stubborn food from dishes.

Ingredients…

Here’s where it gets tricky. Cleaning companies are not required to tell you what is in their products (ridiculous really, and the reason I have a petition going to hopefully one day change this). Resparkle do tell you what is inside and it is a far cry better than most of the mainstream stuff available. However, there is still the broad term of coconut-derived surfactants in the ingredients list, and interestingly, the dish wash, hand wash and all-purpose cleaner all have the same ingredients list.

Sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are both petroleum-based (although listed as nature-identical) ingredients but are probably the most favourable of the chemical preservatives available.

Verdict…

Great for those who don’t have time to DIY, but want a better option to supermarket brands.

Waters Co Australia


A bit about Waters Co…

Waters Co have been going since 1984. Their environmental goal is to provide a healthier and more sustainable option to disposable bottled water therefore lessening the impact on our planet’s precious resources, landfill and littering of our land, rivers and oceans.

Products I have tried…

Mini Waterman Portable Water Filter – OMG I love it! If I am leaving the house for longer than the day, I literally never leave without this bad boy in my handbag. It allows me to filter water on the go (very handy when I’m interstate and in hotel rooms!) and eliminates the need for plastic bottles.

Waterman’s central cartridge contains alkaline minerals, magnets and activated carbon filter medium. It re-mineralises and ionises ordinary tap water while filtering out up to 99% of chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, chemicals and bacteria. Each filter replaces around 500x 600ml bottles.

It is a plastic bottle, but I am ok with that.

Ingredients…

The Waterman is made from BPA free materials, is non-leeching and due to the nature of the filter, it retains a bacteriostatic function which prevents the propagation of bacteria (one of the biggest problems with other plastic bottles).

A key feature of this product is an activated coconut shell carbon bonded with silver, which reduces impurities – chlorine, heavy metals & bacteria.

Verdict…

I highly recommend this product.

123 Nourish Me

A bit about 123 Nourish Me…

I actually know Alisa and Dani from 123 Nourish Me personally, and I can assure you that they have the very best intentions when it comes to people and planet – we’ve had lengthy discussions about this! I love their genuine passion, health is their end-game, not profit. These local Perth girls are worth checking out.

Products I have tried…

Sunscreen – it goes on lovely and smooth, and smells nice. It leaves skin a little white but that is what you want with zinc-based barrier sun protection creams. We’ve used this when I’ve run out of my own DIY Sunscreen and it works just as well.

Tinted face stick – gives a light skin-toned colour to your skin, rather than white. I did find it a little grainy to apply; I tackled this by rubbing on my fingers first and then applying to skin. Great for extra face protection for the kids when they are heading into the pool for a big session in the sun.

Hand sanitiser – does it work? I don’t have any way to test this bacteria/virus-wise but with 70% alcohol, I believe it does. Smells nice and evaporates quickly. We like it.

Hand wash – I don’t really like gels now that I’m used to foam, I find most of it is wasted as it slides off hands and down the drain, especially when kids are using it. This gel is lovely though and if I was a gel kind of girl, I’d use it again.

Roll-on deodorant – it works. This may be because I am used to natural deodorants that don’t block sweat (keep this in mind), but if pastes gross you out, this certified organic alternative is worth trying. Took me a few months to use up, so worth the $14.95 price tag.

Ingredients…

Great – very clean! They don’t use parabens, sulphates or synthetic fragrance.

As with any pre-made products, it’s worth noting that sometimes preservatives are added. These guys add the purest available (note that when parfum is noted on the ingredients, it is the INCI name for the preservative approved for use in certified organic products). This information is readily available on their website – full transparency, love it!

Verdict…

I highly recommend 123 Nourish Me.

Banksia Gifts Australia

A bit about Banksia Gifts Australia…

Banksia Gifts Australia is a family-owned and operated business, established in 1985. They offer a range of giftware made from the Australian Native, Banksia Grandis seed pod.

The Banksia Grandis, commonly known as the Bull Banksia, can be found in Western Australia. It takes 24 months from flowering for the Banksia nut to reach maturity and it re-grows its pods over and over again making the Banksia an incredibly renewable resource.

Products I have tried…

Aroma pod diffuser – they are porous, soaking up your essential oils and slowly releasing a beautiful, subtle, natural aroma. It is a great way to naturally fragrance your toilet, bathroom and cupboards.

Note, the fragrance is very subtle. If you are coming straight from a plug-in air freshener, you may feel they are lacking in perfume power (this is a good thing!!).

I fill the little hole in the centre with essential oils, to the brim and extra so it spills over. I catch whiffs of the aroma for a week or so before I find it needs topping up. I tend to use my ‘cheaper’ oils – lemongrass, eucalytus, peppermint etc.

No flames and no electricity are needed with these natural diffusers.

100% pure Australian Eucalyptus essential oil – great, packs a beautiful punch.

Ingredients…

Where relevant (so the essential oil only), looks good to me.

Verdict…

I highly recommend Banksia Gifts Australia.

Use code krissy15 for 15% off your purchase.

bobo&boo

A bit about bobo&boo…

Naomi, founder of bobo&boo, went on a mission, after the birth of her first son, to minimise the chemicals and toxins he came in contact with, looking for eco-friendly alternatives.

bobo&boo’s dinnerware products are made from renewable bamboo fibres, and small amounts of other natural grains such as bran and cornstarch (for their bamboo dinnerware), and renewable fibres extracted from crops like corn, wheat, and sweet potatoes (for their plant-based range). Their dinnerware products are also non-toxic and biodegradable (the plant-based products are even compostable). Plus, it’s all dishwasher-safe – bonus!

Products I have tried…

Plant-based dinner set – performs like you would expect a plate, bowl or cup to perform. They’re fun and colourful for the kids, and great for the littlies as they’re more prone to dropping stuff! The range is dishwasher-safe which is very handy, and despite multiple washes, haven’t changed colour or shape at all. These are apparently microwave safe but we haven’t tried that out.

Bamboo straws – we tried them a few times, (and this is just my preference), but we prefer straws made from metal or silicone.

Ingredients…

They look top-notch to me.

Verdict…

I highly recommend bobo&boo.

Use code KRISSY15 for 15% off your purchase.

INIKA Organic

A bit about INIKA Organic…

Founded in 2006, this Australian-owned company wanted a cleaner beauty space free from toxic chemicals. They have strict formulating criteria and don’t use synthetic preservatives and fragrances.

INIKA Organic has won several awards for product excellence and innovation. They are the Organic Beauty Awards’ Best Skincare Brand 2020.

Products I have tried…

Bold Lash Mascara – this is by far the best natural mascara I have used (and I have tried many!). My lashes look thick and lush, it lasts the whole day and doesn’t smudge or leave me with panda eyes. The opening to the bottle could be a tad tighter, in my opinion, to reduce the amount of mascara on the wand.

Mineral Blusher Puff Pot – I don’t wear it often but when I do, it gives my cheeks a rosy glow.

Vegan Lipstick – I’ve tried the Flushed and Autumn Love – both gorgeous.

Ingredients…

They are by far among the cleanest make-up brands I’ve tried.

Verdict…

I can vouch for their make-up (haven’t tried their skincare yet – I make all of that!). I highly recommend INIKA Organic.

JuJu Menstrual Cups & Period Undies

A bit about JuJu…

JuJu’s mission is to educate and empower individuals to live a more sustainable lifestyle and to eradicate period poverty and the stigma associated with menstruation. They believe that menstruation is a gift, not a burden, and commit to using their platform to encourage open, honest conversations about menstruation.

They manufacture in Australia where possible.

Products I have tried…

Menstrual cup – I am 100% in; no reservations about the awesomeness of my JuJu menstrual cup. I have saved SO much money, landfill, stress. These are the BEST. I have an entire blog post dedicated to JuJu which you can read here. I cut the tip off mine as I found it jabbed into me, and I’ve changed models once I learned the first one I tried wasn’t the best fit for me.

I truly believe these are worth investing in. They’re manufactured here in Oz too.

Liners – a great alternative to disposable liners. I haven’t tried any other brands to know how they compare but these do the job for me at the tail-end of my cycle. I imagine they’d be suitable for light bladder leakage too.

Period undies – while they work perfectly well, in terms of fit I’ll be honest and say I prefer Modibodi. I have the full brief. Also, go to your true size, maybe even a size down, as I found them to be very generous.

Ingredients…

Cups are made from medical grade silicone, and undies from spandex/nylon and cotton. I can’t see any info on the production of their materials so until I find out, you can ask them here.

Verdict…

I highly recommend JuJu.

Kin Kin Naturals


A bit about Kin Kin…

Kin Kin Naturals is a family business, based in the Noosa Hinterland, passionate about making natural cleaning products. According to their website, they only use ingredients they would put in their own backyard or close to their children’s skin.

Felix, founder and formulator, used to work for OMO.

Products I have tried…

In late 2019, Felix sent me a few products to try: laundry liquid, dishwasher powder and dishwashing liquid.

I think they all performed very well. They are concentrated so only a little amount is needed. I personally didn’t notice a great difference between them and my DIY recipes, in terms of results. The dishwashing liquid did bubble quite a bit though (which led me to ask more about the surfactants used).

Ingredients…

On a whole, a truck-load better than what can be found on supermarket shelves. The website says their products are free from toxic ingredients, safe for greywater and septic systems, completely biodegradable, and safe for skin (“with no SLS or LAS”).

The ingredients listing does say “coconut-based anionic and nonionic surfactants”. When I questioned Felix about this he declined to share, responding that he was reluctant to share his key ingredients with a “DIY formulation forum”. Clearly I was misunderstood; I was searching for complete transparency, and while I understand his scepticism, I remain adamant that we, as consumers, deserve to know what ingredients we’re using. My main concern, in general, is that some coconut-based ingredients undergo processing that involves potentially toxic ingredients, and I believe attention should be given to these practices.

Verdict…

I would recommend Kin Kin Naturals as an option if DIY is not something you have time for, or are interested in. They are an Aussie business trying to do the right thing and tick most of my boxes.

Low Tox Life - Alexx Stuart

A bit about Low Tox Life – Alexx Stuart…

Well, I may be known as the ‘Queen of DIY’, but Alexx Stuart from Low Tox Life is the ‘Queen of Low Tox – all areas’. This girl is kicking some serious goals in the wellness space. Alexx founded her brand in 2010 after seeing the lack of transparency in the food system, personal care and cleaning products. She prides herself on her non-judgemental and positive approach and community.

Products I have tried…

Go Low Tox course – If you’re after recommendations on low tox mattresses, wall paint, clothing, kettles and cookware, etc., this course is a must. It has been about 4 years since I went through, but I don’t think it has changed much. Basically, you move through 4 ‘units’ a week, with some fluffy stuff on the 5th. It’s a gentle approach to reduce your toxin exposure (as it should always be!) and from memory, you have access to the course for longer than the month it takes to receive all content. I love learning and it is safe to say, I learnt a lot!

Low Tox Life book – this is a great reference. I did buy it when it first came out, and I read it cover to cover, and to be honest, haven’t gone back to read it again but it’s nice to know I have it. I love the way Alexx writes: information and knowledge delivered in a gentle and realistic way.

Ingredients…

n/a

Verdict…

I highly recommend Alexx.

Nourished Life

A bit about Nourished Life…

Irene Falcon is the founder of Nourished Life, and it all began in 2011 when she, like me, woke up to the vast number of unrecognisable chemicals in everyday cosmetics (and the rest) and became focused on creating change and giving people options.

They now sell over 7,000 products, including brands like Ethique and 100% Pure, to Modibodi and Grants, you can do a lot of your toxin-free shopping in one place, and earn rewards at the same time.

Products I have tried…

They sell too many to mention, and many of the products will get reviewed on this page anyway.

Ingredients…

Check every label! I know their standards are ‘strict’ but there are some sneaky ingredients in products that I am personally not a big fan of – doesn’t mean I won’t buy the product, just that you need to be alert to see that each product meets your needs.

Verdict…

I cautiously recommend Nourished Life, as in, many brands are FAB but there may be a few that don’t meet your needs.

Resparkle

 

A bit about Resparkle…

Resparkle was founded in 2015. The founder, Pearl, has made a commitment to help humans reduce the amount of plastic (and chemicals) they use. Pearl believes that Australians deserve viable, sustainable and natural cleaning alternatives.

Resparkle’s range is waterless, meaning less weight (water weight in most cases when it comes to cleaning products) is being shipped over the country, so you basically add a sachet of powder and water to your bottle and off you go!

Products I have tried…

Dish liquid – performs really well. Bubbles up, but not insanely so, and the scent is very light. Great if you aren’t satisfied with castile soap or one of my DIY dishwasher tablets when hand washing dishes.

All-purpose cleaning spray – good, although I don’t notice a huge difference between that and my Citrus Cleaning Spray (which is a much cheaper option).

Foaming Hand Soap – once again, great product but I don’t notice any difference between it and my DIY version. Would be good for anyone who isn’t comfortable with the lack of chemical preservatives in DIY.

Washing powder – great but just as effective as my DIY powder.

Copper scrubbing brush – sadly I only had mine for 2 weeks before if started falling apart, but I really love the way it gently scrubs stubborn food from dishes.

Ingredients…

Here’s where it gets tricky. Cleaning companies are not required to tell you what is in their products (ridiculous really, and the reason I have a petition going to hopefully one day change this). Resparkle do tell you what is inside and it is a far cry better than most of the mainstream stuff available. However, there is still the broad term of coconut-derived surfactants in the ingredients list, and interestingly, the dish wash, hand wash and all-purpose cleaner all have the same ingredients list.

Sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are both petroleum-based (although listed as nature-identical) ingredients but are probably the most favourable of the chemical preservatives available.

Verdict…

Great for those who don’t have time to DIY, but want a better option to supermarket brands.

Waters Co Australia


A bit about Waters Co…

Waters Co have been going since 1984. Their environmental goal is to provide a healthier and more sustainable option to disposable bottled water therefore lessening the impact on our planet’s precious resources, landfill and littering of our land, rivers and oceans.

Products I have tried…

Mini Waterman Portable Water Filter – OMG I love it! If I am leaving the house for longer than the day, I literally never leave without this bad boy in my handbag. It allows me to filter water on the go (very handy when I’m interstate and in hotel rooms!) and eliminates the need for plastic bottles.

Waterman’s central cartridge contains alkaline minerals, magnets and activated carbon filter medium. It re-mineralises and ionises ordinary tap water while filtering out up to 99% of chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, chemicals and bacteria. Each filter replaces around 500x 600ml bottles.

It is a plastic bottle, but I am ok with that.

Ingredients…

The Waterman is made from BPA free materials, is non-leeching and due to the nature of the filter, it retains a bacteriostatic function which prevents the propagation of bacteria (one of the biggest problems with other plastic bottles).

A key feature of this product is an activated coconut shell carbon bonded with silver, which reduces impurities – chlorine, heavy metals & bacteria.

Verdict…

I highly recommend this product.

123 Nourish Me

A bit about 123 Nourish Me…

I actually know Alisa and Dani from 123 Nourish Me personally, and I can assure you that they have the very best intentions when it comes to people and planet – we’ve had lengthy discussions about this! I love their genuine passion, health is their end-game, not profit. These local Perth girls are worth checking out.

Products I have tried…

Sunscreen – it goes on lovely and smooth, and smells nice. It leaves skin a little white but that is what you want with zinc-based barrier sun protection creams. We’ve used this when I’ve run out of my own DIY Sunscreen and it works just as well.

Tinted face stick – gives a light skin-toned colour to your skin, rather than white. I did find it a little grainy to apply; I tackled this by rubbing on my fingers first and then applying to skin. Great for extra face protection for the kids when they are heading into the pool for a big session in the sun.

Hand sanitiser – does it work? I don’t have any way to test this bacteria/virus-wise but with 70% alcohol, I believe it does. Smells nice and evaporates quickly. We like it.

Hand wash – I don’t really like gels now that I’m used to foam, I find most of it is wasted as it slides off hands and down the drain, especially when kids are using it. This gel is lovely though and if I was a gel kind of girl, I’d use it again.

Roll-on deodorant – it works. This may be because I am used to natural deodorants that don’t block sweat (keep this in mind), but if pastes gross you out, this certified organic alternative is worth trying. Took me a few months to use up, so worth the $14.95 price tag.

Ingredients…

Great – very clean! They don’t use parabens, sulphates or synthetic fragrance.

As with any pre-made products, it’s worth noting that sometimes preservatives are added. These guys add the purest available (note that when parfum is noted on the ingredients, it is the INCI name for the preservative approved for use in certified organic products). This information is readily available on their website – full transparency, love it!

Verdict…

I highly recommend 123 Nourish Me.

Banksia Gifts Australia

A bit about Banksia Gifts Australia…

Banksia Gifts Australia is a family-owned and operated business, established in 1985. They offer a range of giftware made from the Australian Native, Banksia Grandis seed pod.

The Banksia Grandis, commonly known as the Bull Banksia, can be found in Western Australia. It takes 24 months from flowering for the Banksia nut to reach maturity and it re-grows its pods over and over again making the Banksia an incredibly renewable resource.

Products I have tried…

Aroma pod diffuser – they are porous, soaking up your essential oils and slowly releasing a beautiful, subtle, natural aroma. It is a great way to naturally fragrance your toilet, bathroom and cupboards.

Note, the fragrance is very subtle. If you are coming straight from a plug-in air freshener, you may feel they are lacking in perfume power (this is a good thing!!).

I fill the little hole in the centre with essential oils, to the brim and extra so it spills over. I catch whiffs of the aroma for a week or so before I find it needs topping up. I tend to use my ‘cheaper’ oils – lemongrass, eucalytus, peppermint etc.

No flames and no electricity are needed with these natural diffusers.

100% pure Australian Eucalyptus essential oil – great, packs a beautiful punch.

Ingredients…

Where relevant (so the essential oil only), looks good to me.

Verdict…

I highly recommend Banksia Gifts Australia.

Use code krissy15 for 15% off your purchase.

bobo&boo

A bit about bobo&boo…

Naomi, founder of bobo&boo, went on a mission, after the birth of her first son, to minimise the chemicals and toxins he came in contact with, looking for eco-friendly alternatives.

bobo&boo’s dinnerware products are made from renewable bamboo fibres, and small amounts of other natural grains such as bran and cornstarch (for their bamboo dinnerware), and renewable fibres extracted from crops like corn, wheat, and sweet potatoes (for their plant-based range). Their dinnerware products are also non-toxic and biodegradable (the plant-based products are even compostable). Plus, it’s all dishwasher-safe – bonus!

Products I have tried…

Plant-based dinner set – performs like you would expect a plate, bowl or cup to perform. They’re fun and colourful for the kids, and great for the littlies as they’re more prone to dropping stuff! The range is dishwasher-safe which is very handy, and despite multiple washes, haven’t changed colour or shape at all. These are apparently microwave safe but we haven’t tried that out.

Bamboo straws – we tried them a few times, (and this is just my preference), but we prefer straws made from metal or silicone.

Ingredients…

They look top-notch to me.

Verdict…

I highly recommend bobo&boo.

Use code KRISSY15 for 15% off your purchase.

INIKA Organic

A bit about INIKA Organic…

Founded in 2006, this Australian-owned company wanted a cleaner beauty space free from toxic chemicals. They have strict formulating criteria and don’t use synthetic preservatives and fragrances.

INIKA Organic has won several awards for product excellence and innovation. They are the Organic Beauty Awards’ Best Skincare Brand 2020.

Products I have tried…

Bold Lash Mascara – this is by far the best natural mascara I have used (and I have tried many!). My lashes look thick and lush, it lasts the whole day and doesn’t smudge or leave me with panda eyes. The opening to the bottle could be a tad tighter, in my opinion, to reduce the amount of mascara on the wand.

Mineral Blusher Puff Pot – I don’t wear it often but when I do, it gives my cheeks a rosy glow.

Vegan Lipstick – I’ve tried the Flushed and Autumn Love – both gorgeous.

Ingredients…

They are by far among the cleanest make-up brands I’ve tried.

Verdict…

I can vouch for their make-up (haven’t tried their skincare yet – I make all of that!). I highly recommend INIKA Organic.

JuJu Menstrual Cups & Period Undies

A bit about JuJu…

JuJu’s mission is to educate and empower individuals to live a more sustainable lifestyle and to eradicate period poverty and the stigma associated with menstruation. They believe that menstruation is a gift, not a burden, and commit to using their platform to encourage open, honest conversations about menstruation.

They manufacture in Australia where possible.

Products I have tried…

Menstrual cup – I am 100% in; no reservations about the awesomeness of my JuJu menstrual cup. I have saved SO much money, landfill, stress. These are the BEST. I have an entire blog post dedicated to JuJu which you can read here. I cut the tip off mine as I found it jabbed into me, and I’ve changed models once I learned the first one I tried wasn’t the best fit for me.

I truly believe these are worth investing in. They’re manufactured here in Oz too.

Liners – a great alternative to disposable liners. I haven’t tried any other brands to know how they compare but these do the job for me at the tail-end of my cycle. I imagine they’d be suitable for light bladder leakage too.

Period undies – while they work perfectly well, in terms of fit I’ll be honest and say I prefer Modibodi. I have the full brief. Also, go to your true size, maybe even a size down, as I found them to be very generous.

Ingredients…

Cups are made from medical grade silicone, and undies from spandex/nylon and cotton. I can’t see any info on the production of their materials so until I find out, you can ask them here.

Verdict…

I highly recommend JuJu.

Kin Kin Naturals


A bit about Kin Kin…

Kin Kin Naturals is a family business, based in the Noosa Hinterland, passionate about making natural cleaning products. According to their website, they only use ingredients they would put in their own backyard or close to their children’s skin.

Felix, founder and formulator, used to work for OMO.

Products I have tried…

In late 2019, Felix sent me a few products to try: laundry liquid, dishwasher powder and dishwashing liquid.

I think they all performed very well. They are concentrated so only a little amount is needed. I personally didn’t notice a great difference between them and my DIY recipes, in terms of results. The dishwashing liquid did bubble quite a bit though (which led me to ask more about the surfactants used).

Ingredients…

On a whole, a truck-load better than what can be found on supermarket shelves. The website says their products are free from toxic ingredients, safe for greywater and septic systems, completely biodegradable, and safe for skin (“with no SLS or LAS”).

The ingredients listing does say “coconut-based anionic and nonionic surfactants”. When I questioned Felix about this he declined to share, responding that he was reluctant to share his key ingredients with a “DIY formulation forum”. Clearly I was misunderstood; I was searching for complete transparency, and while I understand his scepticism, I remain adamant that we, as consumers, deserve to know what ingredients we’re using. My main concern, in general, is that some coconut-based ingredients undergo processing that involves potentially toxic ingredients, and I believe attention should be given to these practices.

Verdict…

I would recommend Kin Kin Naturals as an option if DIY is not something you have time for, or are interested in. They are an Aussie business trying to do the right thing and tick most of my boxes.

Low Tox Life - Alexx Stuart

A bit about Low Tox Life – Alexx Stuart…

Well, I may be known as the ‘Queen of DIY’, but Alexx Stuart from Low Tox Life is the ‘Queen of Low Tox – all areas’. This girl is kicking some serious goals in the wellness space. Alexx founded her brand in 2010 after seeing the lack of transparency in the food system, personal care and cleaning products. She prides herself on her non-judgemental and positive approach and community.

Products I have tried…

Go Low Tox course – If you’re after recommendations on low tox mattresses, wall paint, clothing, kettles and cookware, etc., this course is a must. It has been about 4 years since I went through, but I don’t think it has changed much. Basically, you move through 4 ‘units’ a week, with some fluffy stuff on the 5th. It’s a gentle approach to reduce your toxin exposure (as it should always be!) and from memory, you have access to the course for longer than the month it takes to receive all content. I love learning and it is safe to say, I learnt a lot!

Low Tox Life book – this is a great reference. I did buy it when it first came out, and I read it cover to cover, and to be honest, haven’t gone back to read it again but it’s nice to know I have it. I love the way Alexx writes: information and knowledge delivered in a gentle and realistic way.

Ingredients…

n/a

Verdict…

I highly recommend Alexx.

Nourished Life

A bit about Nourished Life…

Irene Falcon is the founder of Nourished Life, and it all began in 2011 when she, like me, woke up to the vast number of unrecognisable chemicals in everyday cosmetics (and the rest) and became focused on creating change and giving people options.

They now sell over 7,000 products, including brands like Ethique and 100% Pure, to Modibodi and Grants, you can do a lot of your toxin-free shopping in one place, and earn rewards at the same time.

Products I have tried…

They sell too many to mention, and many of the products will get reviewed on this page anyway.

Ingredients…

Check every label! I know their standards are ‘strict’ but there are some sneaky ingredients in products that I am personally not a big fan of – doesn’t mean I won’t buy the product, just that you need to be alert to see that each product meets your needs.

Verdict…

I cautiously recommend Nourished Life, as in, many brands are FAB but there may be a few that don’t meet your needs.

Resparkle

 

A bit about Resparkle…

Resparkle was founded in 2015. The founder, Pearl, has made a commitment to help humans reduce the amount of plastic (and chemicals) they use. Pearl believes that Australians deserve viable, sustainable and natural cleaning alternatives.

Resparkle’s range is waterless, meaning less weight (water weight in most cases when it comes to cleaning products) is being shipped over the country, so you basically add a sachet of powder and water to your bottle and off you go!

Products I have tried…

Dish liquid – performs really well. Bubbles up, but not insanely so, and the scent is very light. Great if you aren’t satisfied with castile soap or one of my DIY dishwasher tablets when hand washing dishes.

All-purpose cleaning spray – good, although I don’t notice a huge difference between that and my Citrus Cleaning Spray (which is a much cheaper option).

Foaming Hand Soap – once again, great product but I don’t notice any difference between it and my DIY version. Would be good for anyone who isn’t comfortable with the lack of chemical preservatives in DIY.

Washing powder – great but just as effective as my DIY powder.

Copper scrubbing brush – sadly I only had mine for 2 weeks before if started falling apart, but I really love the way it gently scrubs stubborn food from dishes.

Ingredients…

Here’s where it gets tricky. Cleaning companies are not required to tell you what is in their products (ridiculous really, and the reason I have a petition going to hopefully one day change this). Resparkle do tell you what is inside and it is a far cry better than most of the mainstream stuff available. However, there is still the broad term of coconut-derived surfactants in the ingredients list, and interestingly, the dish wash, hand wash and all-purpose cleaner all have the same ingredients list.

Sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are both petroleum-based (although listed as nature-identical) ingredients but are probably the most favourable of the chemical preservatives available.

Verdict…

Great for those who don’t have time to DIY, but want a better option to supermarket brands.

Waters Co Australia


A bit about Waters Co…

Waters Co have been going since 1984. Their environmental goal is to provide a healthier and more sustainable option to disposable bottled water therefore lessening the impact on our planet’s precious resources, landfill and littering of our land, rivers and oceans.

Products I have tried…

Mini Waterman Portable Water Filter – OMG I love it! If I am leaving the house for longer than the day, I literally never leave without this bad boy in my handbag. It allows me to filter water on the go (very handy when I’m interstate and in hotel rooms!) and eliminates the need for plastic bottles.

Waterman’s central cartridge contains alkaline minerals, magnets and activated carbon filter medium. It re-mineralises and ionises ordinary tap water while filtering out up to 99% of chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, chemicals and bacteria. Each filter replaces around 500x 600ml bottles.

It is a plastic bottle, but I am ok with that.

Ingredients…

The Waterman is made from BPA free materials, is non-leeching and due to the nature of the filter, it retains a bacteriostatic function which prevents the propagation of bacteria (one of the biggest problems with other plastic bottles).

A key feature of this product is an activated coconut shell carbon bonded with silver, which reduces impurities – chlorine, heavy metals & bacteria.

Verdict…

I highly recommend this product.

This post contains affiliate links and codes. If you have a product you’d like me to try and review, get in touch!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

AUTHOR & ADVOCATE FOR NATURAL LIVING

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 50,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ free natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

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