I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day (if you’re here in the U.S.)…or Bank Holiday (if you’re in Great Britain)…or beautiful Monday to start your week (wherever you are!). Now that the week is underway, here at Imperfect Zen we’re doing our first Product Review! I’m a little nervous about this, in that I’ve NEVER reviewed a product, but given that I would like this to become a monthly feature, I imagine I’ll get better and better at it (with your help, of course!), so let’s forego nerves and just dive in! Our first product: Ameerah’s Naturals
First, a quick word…
I’ve become more and more serious about going completely cruelty-free in all my personal care products…make-up, shampoos & conditioners, lotions, soap, etc. I can no longer ignore 1) the reality that animals suffer for our vanity, and 2) the fact that products I’ve been putting on my body have such bizarre ingredients that they have to be tested on another living creature first to make sure their safe for me! All that said, I want to be clear…I’m not judging anyone who uses products that aren’t cruelty-free. Life is complicated and unmanageable, at the best of times, and it’s hard to do all the things we know we should! Goodness knows, I fail at this and other important goals more than I care to admit. But even if you feel like you don’t have time to think about another good cause, or fear there’s no way you could be successful at it, I still want to introduce us all to natural, affordable products…do the thinking for you, so to speak!…so that if and when you’re ready to go cruelty-free, all you’ll have is the good feelings and fun of trying new products.
On to the product: Ameerah’s Naturals
I discovered Ameerah’s Naturals when I was searching for a natural eczema treatment for the little bouts I get on my hands. (Eczema, for those who aren’t familiar, is a non-contagious skin condition caused by genetics and allergic reactions; you can learn more about it at the National Eczema Association website.) I did indeed find an eczema treatment at Ameerah’s, which is one of the products I purchased and tried, but soon I was exploring all their products…from handcrafted soaps and scrubs and moisturizers to made-to-order, personalized body butters!
Ameerah’s Naturals was started by a woman in honor of the daughter she lost soon after childbirth. “Ameerah”, she tells us on her Our Story page, means princess (in Arabic, I think). “Ameerah’s – A natural, holistic brand for healing and preserving beauty is my loving tribute.” It was also an effort to find and share products that didn’t cause her skin to break-out. So she “decided to create a brand that provides freshly made, natural, non-gmo & vegan personal care.”
What I bought and what I thought
Of course I bought the eczema cream, since that’s what got me there in the first place, but then I also indulged in a bar of soap and some body butter. Because I signed up for the newsletter I got 10% off my order, and because my total was over $10, I got free shipping! I’ve included links to the products I purchased, as well as their cost.
Thanks to having a kitty and living in one of the most allergen-filled counties in California, I’ve had ample opportunity to use the Eczema Relief Treatment. A little goes a long way and the smell is strong and…unusual, at least to my nose. The ingredients are composed of almost every butter and oil imaginable, including calendula oil (which may be the source of the unusual smell, but that’s a guess!), aiming to moisturize and naturally medicate. And it did help my eczema, but slower than other products, such as Eucerin Skin Calming Creme. Unfortunately, while Eucerin and their parent company, Beiersdorf, don’t test on animals, there is still some question as to whether Beiersdorf pays other companies to do so, especially given the mandated law in China to have products animal-tested to be officially registered and certified safe. (Source: Ethical Elephant blog) So, for now I will keep using Ameerah’s Eczema Relief Treatment!
The Whipped Mango Butter was, first off, so fun to make. It took time and research but I feel like I was really able to get something that was tailor made for my skin type. I opted for mango butter because I wanted something light that didn’t leave a greasy feel. I chose the one with olive oil because I’m half Italian and figured my skin would love it. And I was able to go without scent since my husband is really sensitive to fragrances. But if you want a Whipped Cocoa Butter with Sweet Almond Oil and a cucumber melon fragrance, no problem! Or a Whipped Shea Butter with Coconut Oil and Vitamin E added, you can have that too. There are so many fun combinations.
As for it’s use, I’ve mainly been using it on my face, chest, and big ol’ surgical scar. It keeps my face nicely moisturized without making it break out, and works well under makeup. I hope it’s keeping my décolletage well-preserved! But most importantly, it’s really been helping the 12-inch surgical scar running down my tricep (from a broken arm a few years ago). Most of the scar is neat and tight, thanks to a good surgeon, but even he had challenges at the elbow and near the shoulder, where the scar has stayed red and raised. After using the body butter the past few months I feel like I’m seeing subtle improvements (sorry, I didn’t think to do before & after photos!). I think I’m going to get the next jar with added Argan oil and keep working on it!
I loved the Green Tea Peppermint Soap. It had a wonderfully mellow mint scent, lathered very nicely, and (thanks to the green tea leaves) gave a gentle exfoliation. I found myself looking forward to using it and left with smooth, tingly, and moisturized skin! It’s on sale again right now and I’m definitely ordering another bar. There are other types and scents…oatmeal honey & goat milk, bentonite goat milk, and lavender shea butter…but I want a little more of this first!
- Everything is made to order and fresh.
- All products are cruelty-free and some manner of natural.
- It’s like having your very own natural, magical apothecary on hand!
- There are so many choices!
- They have fun sample kits to choose from if you’re not sure where to start.
- You get 10% off your first order if you sign up for the Newsletter.
- Delivery is quick and comes in a simple and appealing brown bag.
- There’s free shipping for all orders over $10, which is easy to accomplish!
- They have a rewards program.
- They really do practice transparency, fully listing ingredients, as well as what those ingredients supposedly do.
A few Cons:
- The eczema cream really does make you smell like you’ve been to the medieval apothecary.
- There are a lot of choices! I listed this as a pro, but I want to recognize that choices can be overwhelming and not for everyone. I found it fun, but if you don’t then that’s something to keep in mind. I don’t think it means you can’t enjoy this product, just that you’ll have to know what you want going in or ask for some assistance.
- At the bottom of the website it says that Ameerah’s Naturals is a Bobbi Jean’s Inc Company. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I couldn’t easily find what other brands Bobbi Jean’s Inc Company manufactures/supports (except maybe chef knives). I just like to be sure I know who’s in the background. I touched on this above, but for another example, Urban Decay makeup line is cruelty-free, BUT Urban Decay is owned by L’Oréal which is NOT cruelty-free. That creates a conflict of interest for me…as much as I love Urban Decay’s products I can’t give them my money knowing it’s ultimately supporting L’Oréal and animal testing for cosmetics!
And that’s it…not many cons at all but some to consider. Still, I’d whole-heartedly recommend Ameerah’s Naturals. The products have been truly enjoyable to use and I love the idea that someone is out there concocting magical potions for me that hurt no other living creature! I’m going back for more for sure.
If you want to learn more about animal testing & going cruelty-free
As I mentioned, there are so many great products out there that are completely cruelty-free, with more and more every day as we earthlings rise in our consciousness, and with many at affordable prices. We’re going to explore lots of these products here at Imperfect Zen. But if you’d like to get a head-start, or want to find out if your current products are cruelty-free, or just better understand the nuances of “cruelty-free”, I recommend this blog: Cruelty-Free Kitty. Suzi has done a lot of research and really cares. You’ll find lists of companies that test, companies that don’t, as well as information on what testing entails. She’s one of my go-to resources when I’m looking for a new product.
I’m going to say it one last time…on this post at least: with all the amazing new cruelty-free skin, hair, and makeup products out there, there’s no reason to buy anything that’s been tested on animals. That said, I get it…we’re imperfect. For example, my absolute favorite long-lasting lip color is a Revlon product and it’s killing me that I have to give it up after my last tube runs out! But as Michael Jackson sang in “Man in the Mirror” (our May New Moon Missive song of the month):
I’m starting with the man in the mirror; I’m asking him to change his ways. If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself, and then make a change!
All buttered up!
Disclosure: I’m not an affiliate of Ameerah’s Naturals and get no monetary gain from this review or links. But if that changes I’ll let you know!