Skincare + haircare

Eco Bath Products

Posted by Penny on June 13, 2013
Skincare + haircare / 1 Comment

A look at the weather forecast for Melbourne, and most of the Southern Hemisphere, shows that we’re definitely (finally) transitioning straight into winter. There’s lots to love about winter, hot chocolate next to the heater, mulled wine, not getting public transport on 40 degree days. One of the things I don’t love is feeling chilled to the bone, so I do appreciate my bath tub in winter.

When you’re hanging out in the bath water for awhile it’s nice to get products that are good for your skin – sitting in the tub means products have more time to soak into your skin. Choose wisely! Plus we should always look for products that aren’t animal tested, and we should be concerned about not pouring harmful chemicals down the drain. So have fun in the bath!


1. Jasmine Orange Bubble Bath by Holly Beth Organics – bubble bath is the best. Bubbles are fun to play with, the gentle sounds of them slowly popping is so relaxing, and taking a bubble bath is like being a kid again.

2. Apple & Green Tea Bath Salts by Mozi – bath salts are usually pretty great for soothing tired muscles and softening skin. The ones from Mozi are just so beautifully packaged too!

3. Rockpool Bathing Whip by Vice and Velvet – whipped soap is so lovely and luxurious to use, and all their products are SLS free. Enjoy!

4. Blackberry Bath Bomb by Lush – bath bombs are baking soda based, so like bath salts they are great for softening skin. Plus, Lush’s ‘solid’ products are packaged only in paper bags – so eco!

5. Organic Cotton Bath Mitt at Biome – because if you’re going to have a bath mitt, why not have a bird shaped one?

6. Nocturnalia Owl Soap in Cherry Blossom by Seventh Tree Soaps – I love cold process soaps because they’re good for my skin and it’s a great soap making method – there are heaps of small businesses around making cold process soap so when you buy one at a craft market or an independent retailer you’re usually supporting local business, fantastic!


Two honourable mention bubble baths are Call Me Bubbles by Eco.Kid and Bubble Bath by Eco Store – totally fun for big kids as well as little ones!

Prunella Soaps: Interview

Posted by Penny on January 16, 2012
Interview, Skincare + haircare / 2 Comments

Top: L. Blood Orange Ginger Soap // R. Peppermint Vanilla Soap
Bottom: L. Lavender Handmade Soap // R. Pink Grapefruit Oatmeal Soap

I’ve first found out about Prunella Soap when someone posted on twitter ‘awesome photography’ and a link to the store. And definitely, it’s pretty hard to disagree with the fact that Prunella Soap, created by Janell Anderson, is packaged and photographed awesomely. Prunella Soap is all cold-process & handmade in lovely Portland, Oregon. I definitely agree that cold process is the best type of soap – it’s just lovely!

Janell was lovely enough to answer my questions about Prunella – hope you enjoy her answers! And definitely take a peek at her website and online store for beautiful, soapy goodness.

How did Prunella Soap begin? Has the business changed much since you started?

I started Prunella Soap in the fall of 2010 after finishing graduate school and being interested in starting my own business. I had been thinking a lot about handmade processes and techniques that are gradually becoming “lost arts” such as baking from scratch, weaving, quilting and woodworking…and old-fashioned cold process soap making was also something that I found fewer people are doing these days. Not much has changed over the past year except that I make 8 logs of soap at a time now instead of 2.

What is the benefit of cold process soap over other types?

I can’t speak for all versions of cold process soap, but the recipe I use contains only plant-based oils and ingredients, nothing derived from animals. (Traditionally cold process soap was made on farms using beef tallow as the main ingredient, and many contain goat’s milk or honey.) So the main benefit of Prunella soap is that I use primarily certified organic ingredients that are mostly food-grade and no synthetic chemicals, dyes or artificial fragrances in the soap, only essential oils for scent. Cold process soap has a lower pH than most drugstore bar soaps, so it is less detergent-like and many people find that their skin doesn’t get as dry after using handmade soap.

50 Wedding Soap Favors // Vegan & Organic

Standing out from the crowd is so important for an online store, and your photography and packaging, which I LOVE, definitely helps Prunella to do that! How did you develop them?

I knew I didn’t want to use any sort of plastic or shrink wrapping for the packaging, so I started experimenting with materials I had on hand to package the soap. Originally I cut strips from brown paper grocery sacks to wrap the soap, and had a ball of hemp from my jewelry-making days that I used to tie the ends. I just wanted to keep everything very simple. I actually had very elaborate ideas about how I wanted to photograph the soap, but not being a photographer I ended up just putting a dog on top of the bar of soap one day, and it made my nieces laugh, so I went with it.

Cinnamon Coffee Bean Travel Soap // Adventure Sticks // Soap To Go

Can you recommend a scent from your range?

One of the most popular is the Pink Grapefruit + Oatmeal soap, the fragrance is very mild, and you can rarely go wrong with a citrus scent for both males and females. Some people prefer a smooth soap, with no “exfoliants” (oatmeal) included, so I always recommend the Blood Orange + Ginger as a good starter soap.


Thanks so much to Janell for answering my questions!

Check out: Prunella Soap ShopJanell’s blogPrunella Soap twitter

Jack & Jill – Natural Toothpaste

Posted by Penny on December 05, 2011
Babies, Skincare + haircare / No Comments

Jack & Jill Natural Toothpaste!

Toothpaste it’s tricky. I’m so aware of the need to eat nutritionally sound, healthy food, and yet toothpaste goes in our mouths and I conveniently just ignore the ingredients on my tube of Colgate. Lately I’ve been on a bit of a mission to purge my skincare & haircare of SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), which is a foaming agent that can irritate the skin in high doses, and personally I don’t think belongs in my mouth!

Obviously children (especially little tykes!) can have more sensitive skin, which is why Jack & Jill is a little bit awesome. You can see their ingredients here, and what kid wouldn’t want to choose between a cute tube of strawberry or blueberry toothpaste in the morning? (Well, it might make them slightly more amenable to teeth brushing anyway).

Jack & Jill Blackcurrant Toothpaste

While Jack & Jill is obviously marketed as a kids product, it’s kind of a nice option for those who aren’t into their morning minty-freshness (or if you just want a bit of a mix up!)

You can find some other great natural toothpastes at Biome & Shop Naturally. In case you’re wondering, my paste of choice is generally Red Seal for minty fresh teeth, but I think I might be willing to give strawberry a go (maybe for special occasions?)