Beauty Kubes Shampoo Review

In 2018 there has been an uprising of companies, brands and creators, in general, trying to improve their ecological footprint and how eco-friendly their products are. From plastic straw bans to more vegan options in chain restaurants – it can be seen as a small but positive change that terms like ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘green’ are starting to edge their way into the spotlight, albeit the fact that not all companies who are suddenly trying to be more green are taking the best steps or are maybe doing it to appear more environmentally empathetic to make money, I do quite like the fact it’s becoming more accessible to find cruelty-free alternatives and that statistics and the discussion of global warming and environmental impacts are popping up a lot more than it used to.

Today I bring to you a product that falls under a lot of those good, eco-friendly categories. A product that has minimal packaging, is vegan, cruelty-free and made in the UK. These are the Beauty Kubes Shampoo cubes. They are little package-free, plastic bottle free alternatives to your regular shampoo and work just as well!

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The website describes the Kubes as ‘zero waste, organic beauty products – vegan friendly’ which is everything an environment-fan could dream of in terms of shampoo. The instructions are literally – take one of the solid shampoo Kubes into the shower, crumble it up in your hand, add water to create a paste and smooth into wet hair. It’s all very simple and the Kubes themselves smell amazing! The website claims that ’27 Kubes in each box is equivalent to a 250-300ml bottle of conventional shampoo.’ You could claim that a lot of cheap, branded haircare products such as a big bottle of Tresemme works out better in price in the long run but with Beauty Kubes you can rest easy knowing your money is going to ensure your haircare is vegan, cruelty-free and you are sending out barely any trash when you are finished with them. The most packaging it comes with is the parcel itself and the small recyclable box the Kubes arrive in. There’s no extra plastic like you would get with plastic bottle shampoo kits! According to Beauty Kubes website the UK chuck away around 16 MILLION plastic bottles every day so I think it can be worth it to invest in shampoo that prevents yourself from adding to that drastic number.

The website has a couple of different Beauty Kubes according to hair type including normal to dry hair, oily hair, unisex normal hair and hair & body wash for men. I have been using the Beauty Kubes for Oily Hair and I honestly think it’s made my hair feel so lovely and soft. The scent of the Kubes both in their first form and after you’ve lathered it up is really nice and not too perfumed/overwhelming. During my shower, I found it at first slightly difficult to create the shampoo paste as I kept dropping little bits of the Kube paste on the shower floor however once I did create a paste it lathered up amazingly! One tiny Kube was enough to wash my entire head of hair which is great considering I have quite long, thick hair.

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After washing with the Kube I followed it up with my normal hair conditioner (which at the moment is Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula) and overall my hair felt lovely, soft and light after drying. My hair felt very ‘squeaky clean’ and healthy. It’s suggested that some people felt just washing their hair with the Kube was enough and felt no need for conditioner, however, I have not tried that (mainly because my hair is already quite dry from dying etc. enough as it is).

A popular product to compare it to is probably LUSH’s Shampoo bars which I have also tried and enjoyed before, although I’m not sure if I could say getting Beauty Kubes works out cheaper, I personally felt my hair felt healthier and much easier to brush through after using the Beauty Kube compared to a LUSH bar and the solid paste lathered up way faster in comparison to my experiences with a LUSH bar. As well as that with LUSH bars they break up randomly over time so you’ll either be left with a big, nice slab of shampoo bar to use or tiny parts you can barely hold so you find yourself struggling to lather into anything worth putting on your hair. However, the Beauty Kubes come in organised, evenly cut cube shapes so you’ve always got the same amount each hair wash.

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Overall I really enjoyed using these in my hair and loved the way my hair felt afterwards. I think these would be really easy to pack and take on holiday or to a swimming bath instead of a big shampoo bottle as well. I’d definitely recommend them because of how great they made my hair feel and the environmental benefits of buying them! Plus it’s always amazing to support a small, independent business instead of a chain!

Thank you for reading and let me know if you have tried these before too!

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Favourite Cruelty-Free Products in May

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I can’t believe it’s already June and it’s like 3 months until I start University and 7 months until Christmas – where does the time go? So in honour of it being the end of May and that June has graced us with her presence; here’s a quick article of my favourite cruelty-free products this month!

1.Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow Pomade

I’m honestly so surprised and thankful that this product has the cruelty-free stamp! I’ve seen this brow gel used by many makeup artists/fanatics on youtube and whilst envying their perfect looking eyebrows, I decided to treat myself and get it. I’m so glad I did as I think it makes my brows look way better and more textured, plus the application is so easy. You do need to separately invest in a brush for using it and I literally just picked up a cheap seventeen angled eye brush from Boots and it applies fabulously. I bought mine on Beauty Bay for £15.00, I’m quite glad about the price as I think you definitely get what you pay for.

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2. DIRTY Springwash Showergel from Lush Cosmetics

As mentioned a million times in past blogposts, Lush is one of my all time favourite stores and when I’m not able to stock up on their Winter Limited Editon shower gel which is Snow Fairy, my favourite showergel to invest in, especially during the summer, is Dirty. Now I only got a good whiff of their Dirty fragrance last year as one of my friends wears the body spray from Lush, but I absolutely love it; it’s so minty and almost cooling, so in showergel form it really works wonders on hot days or after exercise, it also has quite a calming side to it’s scent so I love using it in showers before bed too! I paid about £16 for a big bottle of it so it’ll last me a good few months however you can get smaller bottles in Lush for around £4.95!

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3. Superdrug Instant Cooling Spray

In regards to my previous blogpost, it’s been absolutely boiling some days recently. Either that or when I go to the gym I end up so humid and hot that it feels rather gross. Back in the days at high school and such, I’d always try to counteract my body reacting to heat and sweating by spraying tons of Impulse body spray on my school uniform as if that would do anything. However all I probably did was make the top layer of my uniform smell kind of fragranced for a few minutes and choke everybody else in the room with the smell of artificial vanilla. One day impulsively on the way to my boyfriends, I remember popping into superdrug for something small like pads or dry shampoo; something I probably forgot to pack and it was a very warm day so I decided to grab superdrug’s own cooling spray. As the majority, if not all, of superdrug’s own; the spray is cruelty-free stamped! I like spraying it on my wrists, inner elbows, forehead and neck if it gets too warm for me and it really does cool me down!

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4. Fritz-kola Stevia & Fritz-limo Melon

Unfortunately this ‘fave of the month’ might be a little less obtainable than the others, but I wanted to give it a special mention because at my lovely new job in a certain beloved vegan cafe/shop in Manchester; I am consuming these drinks so much recently if I want a soft drink! V Revolution in Manchester sell a range of fully vegan soft drink brand Fritz! Their drinks also contain all natural ingredients including their caffeine. My favourites are definitely the Fritz-limo melon and when I’m in mood for something that’s a bit more like coca-cola or pepsi, I go for the Fritz-kola stevia! I’m still intrigued to try Fritz-Sugar Free and the plain out Fritz-Kola so I’ll have to fill you all in if those are just as tasty!

So those are my cruelty-free favourites for the month! I hope soon in the future I can swap out more makeup products and such for cruelty-free ones. Have you got any favourite products you discovered in May? Would love to read your comments!

 

Thanks for reading,

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Small Steps to Cruelty Free

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Sometimes I feel very contradicting whenever I write about pro-veggie or cruelty free stuff in blog posts, cause in all honesty I do still use or consume products that are probably very against that ethic. I still have a few makeup products knocking around that are Maybelline or Benefit – both of which aren’t confirmed cruelty free, and I do still eat chocolate or products now and again that contain milk or eggs. I never confirm myself as vegan although I am interested in the research and evidence behind it and I know deep down, transitioning to a vegan lifestyle might benefit me in a lot of ways.

However my beliefs are mainly that if people are open to trying more pro-veggie and cruelty free products and reducing their ‘footprint’, if you could call it that. If someone goes vegetarian and uses more and more cruelty free products – that is better than nothing. If people go vegan for two days a week, that’s pretty impressive to me. I think transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle isn’t something anyone can just do. It requires money, time to prepare meals that are completely vegan, research and such. So I decided to write this blog post to introduce some small steps for different ‘areas’ in your daily life that you could switch out products to be more cruelty free/pro-animal.

Kitchen – Butter/Margarine

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Vitalite is only £1 in most supermarkets and is a full tub of dairy-free, sunflower oil based margarine. It’s an easy, food swap out that is vegan because it literally tastes no different to usual butter. In fact I personally prefer it because it feels a lot lighter than butter when used on toast, for example.

Living Room/Decoration – Wax Melt

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So these might be a little bit pricey to some, but if you’re a fan of Yankee Candles or decorations like such. This little UK based shop on Etsy called CarolineJaneCandles has a lovely selection of vegan wax melts and candles made with natural soy wax. The candles are a little bit pricier but the wax melts go at £1.50 so you can’t go wrong! They come in lovely scents as well, my favourite is the shop’s cinnamon whirl melts as the smell of bakeries and pastries are just divine.

Bathroom – Toothpaste

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I have mentioned Kingfisher Toothpastes on a blog post in the past, and I still stand by the toothpaste now. You can get a three bulk pack of Kingfisher’s Fluoride Free Mint Toothpaste on Amazon for £8.91, and these toothpastes would definitely last you a good while, if not a year. They are fluoride free, vegan and cruelty free.

Handbag – Lipbalm

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Lush cosmetics is one of the favourites for many cruelty-free shoppers. They are very committed to their ethics and a lot of their products are vegan. The bath products of Lush are super popular and a great treat for yourself or friends however I want to promote the excellence of their lip balm tins. They are quite pricey but last a long time and definitely moisturise your lips. My favourite lip balm by them is Honey Trap because the ‘flavour’ is so lovely however they are only really ‘cruelty-free’. They are not labelled vegan because of the honey ingredient however Lush do many vegan alternatives like the lip balm ‘None of Your Beeswax‘.

Have you used any of these products before? Is there any other cheaper alternatives you may recommend to people on a budget who want to add more cruelty-free products to their life? Tell me in the comments below and share!

Thanks for reading,

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Cruelty-free beauty products under £10!

Recently I followed a useful twitter account that provides cruelty-free ‘dupes’ of popular makeup and beauty products. You can check their account out here! The account got me thinking of what cruelty-free products I own already and which ones I would love to try next time I need to purchase new makeup. However some of the ‘dupes’ are still quite expensive and make it hard for people who cannot afford say the eye palette from Too Faced or import Kat Von D’s makeup so I thought I’d put together a little list of cheap, under £15 cruelty-free makeup items you may enjoy!

#1 Superdrug’s ‘B.’ Brush Cleanser Spray

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Have I owned?: YES Price: £4.99 

When I was growing up, throughout high school and college, I struggled a lot with acne and skin picking, so makeup was an easy way of making my skin feel a bit cleaner and less gross but I never really thought about the importance of keeping my makeup brushes clean until the past year or so. Superdrug have their own brand ‘B.’ which is all cruelty-free and vegan so when I noticed they had a makeup brush cleanser I thought it’d be a sensible purchase to make and it was! This cleanser works by spraying a pump of the cleanser onto your makeup brush and massaging the brush into a tissue to remove residue. Since I started regularly cleaning my makeup brushes with this I have seen an improvement in my skin, obviously my diet and lifestyle also effect my skin/acne but keeping my brushes clean with this cheap, cruelty-free cleanser probably also helped a lot!

#2 Boots Natural Collection Pressed Powder

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Have I owned?: YES Price: £1.99

The Natural Collection at Boots are a wonderful, good for price, makeup brand that imply they do not animal test and are cruelty free. I can’t find any evidence about if they are vegan or not so if anybody could provide me more background on the brand that would be extremely helpful! I recently purchased their pressed powder as sometimes my concealer and face makeup easily wipes off over the course of the day and this one was extremely cheap and works fine for the price it is! A definite cheaper and better dupe to use compared to brands such as Rimmel or Max Factor.

#3 Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser

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Have I owned?: YES Price: £5.99

If you’re a fan of hot cloth cleansers you would of probably heard of the lovely Liz Earle hot cloth cleansers, which are very heavenly and I have to agree when I once got a little tester tube – made my skin feel so soft. Luckily for us cruelty-free fans Liz Earle claim on their website they do not test their ingredients or products on animals and do it on human volunteers! They also have the Leaping Bunny stamp of approval and point out on their FAQ which products are not vegan (e.g products with manuka honey/beeswax). Hooray! However Liz Earle’s products can be quite pricey for some of us and a fabulous, cheap dupe is Superdrug’s hot cloth cleanser! Only recently buying this (like literally yesterday), I have not yet tried and tested this product but it is suitable for vegans and cruelty free and has a lot of amazing reviews on their website so I cannot wait to introduce it into my skincare routine!

#4 Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lips

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Have I owned? NO Price: £4.99

Red lips are very much back in recently.  Loads of different shades suit loads of different people and I can definitely agree I am on the bandwagon and love having red lips and would love to own a quick, cheap cruelty free one I can keep in my bag to apply whenever. Barry M is cruelty free and have marked this cheap, convenient lip pencil as vegan! It comes in a couple of colours including a dark, plum-like red or an orange-tinted pink. This is an amazing dupe to the Bourjois lip crayon range.

#5 Cruelty-free shower gels

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IMPORTANT EDIT: I have been told unfortunately Original Source’s parent company is known for testing their ingredients on animals which means these aren’t completely cruelty-free products unfortunately – alas they are still vegan if you are looking for a good vegan cheap shower gel however some *definite* cruelty-free shower gels could include Superdrug’s own shower gels! These carry the leaping bunny logo and are only a brilliant 99p!!! They come in a wide variety of lovely scents including my beloved coconut scent. 

 

#6 e.l.f Studio Eyeshadow Primer

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Have I owned? NO Price: £4.50

A lot of makeup reviewers/artists swear by the ‘Urban Decay’ eyeshadow primer and I am sure, considering it’s hype, it is a very trustworthy product however I am never sure of Urban Decay’s cruelty-free stance as some days I’ll hear people say it is cruelty free and other days people claim they’re lying. It’s all a bit of a fuss and personally the price is quite peak and not really made for a broke consumer either! E.L.F is a company that have the cruelty-free bunny stamp and do not test on animals and their products are extremely cheap so why not try their eyeshadow primer!

So yeah there are some cheap, cruelty-free alternatives you may want to check out next time you treat yourself on the beauty isle! Is there any cruelty-free products you stand by and love that you’d recommend to me? Feel free to comment!

 

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

My eco-friendly resolutions for 2016

Being environmentally friendly has been a lowkey obsession in the back of my brain since I was a child and first heard about global warming. As a young kid with anxiety, the thought of destroying the earth really fuelled me with fear and guilt. I was very scared for everyone in my life and would get really upset whenever anyone in my family did ‘non’ environmentally friendly things like chucking away paper.

I always related heavily to that one episode of My Name is Earl where Earl tries to help a guy he wronged in the past, to find out this guy helps out at an Environment commune. He is educated on global warming then goes into a frenzy of trying to convince everyone to help the earth, he then hears news about pollution in China and feels like that he is doing nothing good. The leader of the commune then teaches him to spend 5 minutes a day helping save the planet. Everyone has to do their little bit. This has always stuck with me and I firmly believe everyone has a small responsibility to help the earth even in the smallest way they can. Whether it’s switching off lights that shouldn’t be on, walking instead of driving, taking public transport, gardening and planting more, donating to animal/environmental conservation – even if it’s £1 a month, anything is better than nothing!

It still saddens me to hear that global warming is taking it’s toll on the earth, especially lately when a lot of land near me was distraught from floods caused by ‘Storm Desmond’. I want to see change as I grow older and I want my children to grow up knowing they need to look after the planet they are on as there is only one earth.

I’ve not made many resolutions for the new year however I’ve decided, it’s time I make a couple! I’m going to try and stick to some environmental resolutions this year and here is what I’m going to do!

  1. Walk more – I have a bad habit of pestering my parents for lifts when I can’t be bothered. Which is really lazy and cheeky of me really, however this year I am trying to convince myself to walk more. Not only is it healthy for me, it also saves any emissions from car or taxi rides.
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  2. Cut out even more dairy/meat productsAgriculture is responsible for 80% of US water consumption and 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. The news never tells us that does it? Even scarier – livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land. Imagine how many forests, conservation or even homes could be in those places instead of mass breeding of livestock and food for said livestock. In 2015 I have slowly transitioned into a vegetarian lifestyle and in 2016 I am going to continue making sure I do not contribute to the meat industry footprint, I am going as far to even try and teach myself more vegan recipes so I can use even less animal product.
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  3. Save that greywater – It’s recently clocked to me how much water we just let go down the drain during showers/morning washes/baths and let the water turn into soiled, sewer water. However you can reuse this ‘grey water’ in some ways. Using buckets or tubs or whatever you can to catch shower water or scoop up bath water after use, you can then reuse it to do many things, for example ‘bucket’ flush the toilet (some toilets can use up to 5 gallons of water each flush), water non-edible plants outside (it has been recommended to pour this water on the soil surrounding plants) or even possibly handwash small items! As long as the water doesn’t go down the plug it’s perfectly ok to reuse it! 
  4. Open the damn blinds or get up earlier– This one could be seen as nit picky, but when I am in my bedroom I tend to have the main light turned on majority of the day. Which now I look at it, I could save a lot of energy from making some changes. If I woke up early and did anything I needed to do in my room in the daylight with the blinds open and then spent any evening time downstairs sharing the living room light with my family. I’d save so much!
  5. Shampoo Bars over Bottles – LUSH do a lovely range of ‘shampoo’ and ‘conditioner’ bars which are solid blocks of organic product you can just massage into your hair and they will instantly lather up. I’m almost finishing a small bar of Lush Seanik and it is very lovely and now to save the waste of plastic bottles I am considering getting another shampoo bar when this one is completely and utterly dissolved. This idea should work well alongside my previous idea of saving greywater.
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  6. Reusable Sanitary Pads – I have mentioned these in a previous post and here I am bringing up this unspeakable idea again. Reusable cloth sanitary pads are really useful for both you and the environment. Apparently in North America it is estimated 20 billion pads and tampons are discarded each year. Using, washing and keeping care of reusable pads is a completely other topic I am not going to go in to, but I have used them before and I have had positive experiences with these so this year I am going to try and keep on using them!
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So yeah those are my 2016 resolutions to reduce my global warming footprint! Are you guys doing anything to help the planet this year? Feel free to comment and follow me on Instagram for any updates in my planet loving life!

 

Thanks for reading,

Helena x x

my favourite guilt-free products! including vegan choices!

I’ll start this with my usual disclaimer that I am not a vegan. I care very much about animals and reducing animal cruelty however I do consume dairy and recently have applied for jobs where I’d be working with animal produce so I would never take a title as careful as vegan or fully vegetarian because, lately, I feel like I would be lying to people and people who are actually vegetarian and vegan who are true to their ethics deserve a lot of credit because of how much good they are doing for animals and the environment. I do not want to be a liar. I am on my way to trying to become a definite ethical vegetarian, I haven’t eaten meat for 5 months aside two slip ups and I plan to try and learn a lot more recipes and invest in a lot more substitutes for meat. As well as this I definitely want to reduce my dairy intake! When you’re young and living with family, it can be quite hard to stick to a definite diet, especially when you are very much against food waste. Sometimes my parents will make me cups of tea without my oat milk and as much as I hate having dairy milk, I cannot reject and chuck it down the sink because I hate wasting food.

But like I said, I want to reduce my animal cruelty footprint as much as possible, so in the past year I’ve been changing a lot of things I buy for myself and I want to share some today!

First of all is definitely my Oat milk! The brand I buy is called Oatly! and I’ve been having it in my teas, coffees, cereals, porridge etc for months now. I think it tastes so much sweeter than normal milk and I’m definitely a fan of sweetness! I’ve also seen a reduction in spots and acne which is great! You can get a carton from most supermarkets and it is definitely a gorgeous dairy-free substitute to have. I believe they also do ‘cream’ and chocolate ‘milk’ however I have yet to try them!

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Next up is Nakd bars. I have mentioned them in one of my previous blog posts about starting college or university and I still stand by how much I enjoy them. They are healthy gluten-free snack bars made of fruits and nuts that come in a wide variety of flavours! You can find most flavours in a local Holland and Barretts, and supermarkets sometimes do multi-packs also! I used to order a big box on Nakd’s own website as you can get boxes that have one of each flavour so you can discover your favourite. They also do ‘oat’ and ‘crunch’ bars for protein and all of them are vegan! My favourite flavours are definitely Gingerbread, Cherry Bakewell and the Cocoa crunch ones!

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If you know me well, you’ll know how much I adore Lush Cosmetics. If you never know what to get me for my birthday or Christmas, just get me a Lush gift card! Lush are known for their amazing stand against animal cruelty and handmade products. Their website states they do not buy raw materials from any company that tests on animals for any purpose. I think their company is amazing and whenever I am looking for part-time jobs or retail jobs I always consult their website first because I’d love to represent them. Lush do so many products, some of which are vegan! Some of my favourite vegan products from them include their Rub Rub Rub shower scrub, Jumping Juniper shampoo bar (no plastic bottle means environmentally friendly!), Yog Nog bath bomb (I believe this might be Christmas exclusive, so grab it whilst you can!) and Dirty Springwash shower gel. If you’re vegan and a fan of lovely smell stuff I recommend going to a Lush store!

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My final favourite guilt-free product is very different from bathing products and food and is in fact a toothpaste! Currently I am very obsessed with Lush’s toothy tabs but my go-to toothpaste for the past two years has been… (drum roll)
Kingfisher Fluoride-Free Fennel Toothpaste! 
I have read a lot of articles about the dangers of fluoride and how it’s a good idea to reduce your fluoride intake so back last year I decided to invest in some fluoride-free toothpaste! I got the Kingfisher toothpaste from my local Holland and Barrett and have loved it since! I’ve never turned back to my old toothpastes and have stuck with Kingfisher! I’ve noticed a definite decrease in sensitivity in my teeth too! I used to have very sensitive teeth and sometimes even bleeding gums but I have not had that since this toothpaste change! The fennel flavour is very soothing and not too harsh on my mouth and you can also get Kingfisher toothpaste in mint flavours and aloe vera! Just make sure you double-check for the ‘fluoride free’ mark on the front! I have bought the Mint one before and enjoyed it also, but I find it harder to find that flavour so just stick with fennel! I love it so much!
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So yes those are my top guilt-free products! As I continue on my journey of swapping in guilt free products into my life I shall share them because I think we can all help in small baby steps!

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x