PerioBrite Natural Whitening Toothpaste (Coolmint) by Nature’s Answer

periotBrite_new_webAs far as natural toothpastes go, PerioBrite is now #1 for tartar control, whitening, flavor, and freshness here at “greenly.”  Ignore the fact that it’s brown and non-foaming, pop a pea-size amount on your toothbrush, and get those teeth and gums healthy and clean!  This everyday whitening toothpaste is low on silica (which is slightly abrasive) but is packed with tons of mouth-friendly natural ingredients; not to mention it is free of SLS, Fluoride, Alcohol, Synthetic Solvents, Artificial Sweeteners, Colors and Dyes.  It is Dentist Formulated (Dee bumped into one of PerioBrite’s original contributors at a natural products convention!) and contains CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10 is found naturally in our bodies to provide energy for promoting cell growth and maintenance, and is an antioxidant) and Folic Acid for healthy gum support, Oregano, Cinnamon, Clove, Black Walnut and Grapefruit Seed to discourage microbes, Chlorophyll and Peppermint to freshen breath, Aloe to soothe, and other beneficial bits listed below.

Many agree that this great tasting toothpaste really brightens, whitens, and keeps mouths clean.  Found at your local health food store or online for around $4-6 for a 4 oz tube.

PerioBrite Ingredients:

Phytoplenalin Bio-Chelated Extracts of: Calendula Flowers, Chamomile Flowers, Echinacea Purpurea Tops, Gotu Kola Whole Herb,Prickly Ash Bark, Olive Leaf, Grapefruit Seed, Black Walnut Green Hulls, Green Tea, Essential Oils of: Peppermint, Oregano, Lavender, Clove, Eucalyptus, & Thyme, Cinnamon Bark, Bio-Saponins™ [Yucca spp, Quillaia Bark, Sarsparilla Root, Wild Yam Root], Folic Acid, Co-Enzyme Q10, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan Gum, Chlorophyll, L-Lysine, Xylitol, Aloe Vera.


Vegetable Glycerin, Purified Water, Calcium Carbonate, Silica.



Product Review, Toothpaste , , , , , , ,

Baby Wash & Shampoo by Vermont Soap Organics

vermontbaby These hippies don’t lie. Vermont Soap Organics Baby Wash and Shampoo is the stuff of super-natural livin’.  This ultra-gentle baby wash rinses off easily, leaving little ones soft and clean.  It is a nontoxic, fragrance-free formula used for hair and body (avoid eye area of course), with USDA Certified Organic ingredients.  It is pure, simple, and safe, and the 8 oz pump bottle (about $10) lasts quite awhile. Slightly old-school packaging (Vermont Soap products have been around for 20 years) doesn’t compare to the colors and designs found on labels of trendier organic baby goods, but the quality of the product is right up there with the rest, and you know Vermont Soap has the health and safety of your baby in mind.

Ingredients: Saponified Organic Coconut, Olive, and Jojoba Oils, Vegetable Gycerin, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Rosemary Extract

Baby, Product Review

Mascara by Gabriel Cosmetics

gabriel-color-mascaraSwitching to natural cosmetics from the traditional brands you’ve been using for years is not easy.  We all love products that make us look good, and that includes mascara that makes lashes long and luxurious. Gabriel Color Mascara is the first natural mascara we tried here at greenly, and it has been our go-to, even after trying options from several other brands (including Josie Maran, which contains phenoxyethanol, and Jane Iredale, which seems to get flaky).

Gabriel’s Mascara in black is quite dark (we have not tried the brown hue), goes on thin without clumping, and has a nicely shaped brush.  If your lashes are already naturally long, this mascara is perfect with just one or two coats. If you need more volume or length, an extra coat may do the trick.  It stays on all day and doesn’t end up under you eyes unless you accidentally walk through the sprinklers or start bawling.

Although this mascara is the only product we currently use from Gabriel, we know the company is passionate about providing high-quality clean cosmetics at a decent price, and have previewed some of their compacts, nail polishes, and synthetic brushes.  Look for more from Gabriel on our site soon.

Gabriel Color Mascara is affordably priced between $15-$16.

Ingredients: (info from Gabriel Cosmetics Inc website)

Aqua (Infusion of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice), Cellulose Gum (Cell walls of plants), Sorbitol (a humectant found in various berries and fruits, Stearic Acid (from various vegetable fats), Cetearyl Alcohol (from vegetable fats/waxes), Lecithin (Non-GMO soy), Panthenol, Vitamin B-Complex, Crithmum Maritimum (Sea Fennel) Extract, Tocopherol Acetate (derived from non-GMO soy), Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Xanthan Gum (from various plant cells i.e. cotton), Iron Oxides (several natural oxides of iron used for color), Hectorite (Clay), Titanium Dioxide (mineral functions as a natural sunblock), Potassium Sorbate (plant derived, functions as a food grade preservative)

Cosmetics, mascara, Product Review

Deodorant Cream by Soapwalla Kitchen

soapwalla-deodorantEveryone here at greenly loves Soapwalla Deodorant Cream.  Word of mouth led to us order some from Etsy, where Soapwalla chef Rachel Winard began selling an awesome assortment of homemade natural products that she developed in her kitchen.  Her amazing deodorant is now gracing the underarms of people all over the world.  If you are wondering if this deodorant lives up to the buzz its created, the answer is - absolutely!

It may seem strange at first to stick your finger in this tub of butter-colored cream, swirl it around to mix it up, and swipe it under your arm, but you’ll soon be relying on your little blue container of Soapwalla to keep you fresh and odor-free all day.

What is so magical about this cream?  The ingredients are organic and really effective.  The most noticeable is the clay, which has a powerful drying affect, and the lavender essential oil, which is mildly fragrant. Vegetable powders and other food-grade components can also be found here.  The consistency can be a bit more like paste than cream, so mix it well.

The Soapwalla website gives a cautionary heads-up about using the deodorant immediately after shaving underarms, in case of irritation.  A few of us found this to be true and had some unsightly and irritated red bumps, so we suggest waiting awhile to apply if you have sensitive skin.  Otherwise, Soapwalla Deodorant Cream could be the natural deodorant that is just right for you!

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream is about $14 plus shipping (which on some sites is as much as $5 for one tub).

Ingredients: (from Soapwalla website)

(*: certified organic, +: food-grade)
Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil*; Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*; Rosehip Seed Oil*; Butyrospermun parkii (Shea) Butter; Corn Starch*+; Sodium Bicarbonate+; Kaolin Clay; Vegan Kosher Glycerin*+; a custom blend of essential oils, including: Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender)*; Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)*; Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange); Mentha Piperita (Peppermint)*; Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergaptene-free Bergamot)*; Non-GMO Vitamin E*+.



Deodorant, Product Review , , , ,

Leave-In Conditioner and Protectant by Cabella

cabellaTired of heat damaged hair with dry ends?  This fantastic Leave-In Conditioner and Protectant by Cabella should have a permanent place in your hair care repertoire.  Run just a smidgen of this sweet-smelling stuff through wet hair, style as desired, and revel in the softness.

A few weeks ago I went for a long overdue haircut and told my stylist to hack off the crispy ends.  Because she liked the length, she only trimmed an inch at most, and lightly coated my ends with Cabella Leave-In.  My usually super dry hair had never been so soft.  I was instantly hooked.

True to its word, this product really does condition, detangle, protect color, and protect hair from heat and environmental damage.  It maintains body and shine, and best of all, it is made with lots of specially chosen organic and natural ingredients, including quinoa protein for strength, rice hull extract for thermal protection, and a special B Reparative Complex with certified organic essential oil blend of sea buckthorn seed oil, bilberry seed oil, and black currant seed oil, meant to make hair healthy inside and out.
Using simply pure ingredients such as argan oil or aloe to condition hair is always an option, but Cabella Leave-In is a multi-tasking, specially formulated product that gives a specific desired affect.  Therefore, it is made up of several ingredients that could throw you for a loop. Cetearyl Alcohol is an alcohol derived from fatty acids, and probably helps with the texture of the product and how it affects your hair.  Behentrimonium Chloride is an alluminum salt that is a conditioning agent and in this case probably what is making the hair so soft. Alone or in concentrated amounts it could cause minor irritation to the skin and eyes.  Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey is simply honey broken down to its most moisturizing molecules.  Leuconostoc is a bacteria found in kimchi and used to ferment radish roots to create an anti-microbial preservative, instead of nasty formaldehyde or questionable phenoxyethanol.  As a company, Cabella prides itself on being cruelty free and environmentally safe; evidence of intent to create great natural products.

Look for Cabella Leave-In ($25 for a 5.6 oz bottle, it will last a long time!) at a nearby organic salon or at

- Dee

Ingredients: Purified Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Brazil Nut Protein, Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, Blackcurrant Seed Oil, Bilberry Seed Oil, Lycium Bararum (Gogiberry) Fruit Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract, Oryza Sative (Rice) Hul Extract, Wasaba Japonica (Wasabi) Extract, Melanin, Super Oxide Dismutase, Sodium Gluconate, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Peel) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Vanillin, Citrus Aurantium Bergama (Bergamot) Extract, Geraniol, Sanctalum Spicata (Sandalwood) Oil, Bulnsia Sarmientoi (Guaiacwood) Extract, Citronellol

Hair Care, Product Review

Evening Primrose Shampoo for Dry Hair by John Masters Organics

JM Evening PrimroseHey everyone, Dee here! For years I have been using Evening Primrose Shampoo by John Masters Organics.  I was turned on to it by a hairstylist friend, and soon I was swooning over every product by this awesome company.  This extremely low-lathering shampoo is a gel-like substance with a golden brown hue and light earthy scent.  The featured ingredient, evening primrose oil, adds moisture and strength to fine, limp hair.  It is combined with other certified organic plant oils and extracts (21 certified organic ingredients total!) as well as nutrient rich proteins and amino acids. Because it is SLS free it is safe for color treated hair.  Some of the other highlighted ingredients include hyaluronic acid which is the same acid found in young hair, wheat amino acids which help with comb-through and shine, and geranium which regenerates cells and strengthens hair shaft.

When shampooing with this product, I recommend using a generous amount if you have long hair (I would say a dollup about the size of a 50 cent piece, for all of you out there with 5o cent pieces in your wallets).  Lather it up as best you can in your hands and massage it into your scalp.  Its super refreshing and really nurtures fine, dry hair like mine.  Although I wash my hair every few days, I wouldnt be afraid to wash daily with this shampoo because it is so gentle.  I follow with John Masters Rosemary and Peppermint Detangler, another fantastic JM Organics product I can’t live without.  The Evening Primrose Shampoo is $16 for 8 oz but is also available in 32 oz size.

Ingredients (from JM website)

Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, aqua
(water), babassuamidopropyl betaine, decyl glucoside, sodium lauryl
sulfoacetate, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, panthenol (vitamin B5), simmondsia
chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, sodium chloride, sodium sulfate, urtica dioica
(nettle) root extract*, sorbitol, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower
extract, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil*, glycerin, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium
chloride, hydrolyzed soy protein, chamomilla recutita (chamomile) flower
extract*, equisetum hyemale (horsetail) extract*, lavandula angustifolia
(lavender) extract,* symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf extract*, achillea
millefolium (yarrow) extract*, camellia sinensis (white tea) extract*, potassium
sorbate, salix alba (willow) bark extract*, arginine, serine & threonine
(amino acids), sodium benzoate, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), sodium
pca, wheat amino acid, borago officinalis (borage) seed oil*, helianthus annuus
(sunflower) seed oil*, linum usitatissimum (flax) seed oil*, oenothera biennis
(evening primrose) oil*, sulfur, tocopherol, cananga odorata (ylang ylang)
flower oil*, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil*, juniperus mexicana
(cedarwood) oil*, pelargonium pelatum graveolens (geranium) flower oil*,
pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil*, santalum album (sandalwood) oil*, linalool†,

* Certified Organic          † A natural component of essential oils

Hair Care, Product Review

Herbal Deodorant by Burt’s Bees

burts deo We have tried lots of deodorant – spritzes and sprays, solids and sticks, tubes and pastes….and so far we have only told you about the products we REALLY like.  This herbal spray deodorant by Burt’s Bees REALLY works and is one of our TOP choices for women and men because of its excellent odor-masking ability.  The main ingredient is denatured alcohol, which is basically ethyl alcohol that has been made unsuitable for drinking by adding substances (denaturants) to make it unpleasant to taste or smell (the product itself smells quite pleasant if you like fresh, herbal scents).  If you shave under your arms you should be cautious about spraying this on immediately afterward, as it may burn a bit.  The alcohol and other ingredients are not organic, but the simplicity of this product makes us feel good. It allows your body to naturally perspire and get rid of toxins, but the sage, lemon peel and lavandin oil minimizes unpleasant odor (lavandin is a hybrid related to the lavender plant).

Dee uses Burt’s Bees Herbal Deodorant once a day, every day.  That is all that is needed with this awesome product.  A few spritzes in the morning keeps underarms from feeling sticky or smelling icky after a long day.  This product flies off the shelves (our local stores are always out of stock) and is pretty affordable at $8 for 4 0z.

Ingredients:  SD alcohol 40-B, water, salvia officinalis (sage) oil, lavandin oil, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil

Deodorant, Product Review

All-Natural Hand Sanitizer, Original Scent by Clean Well

cleanwell-spray-1oz-citrus-herb-2A sweet-smelling hand sani that is alcohol free.  The Original scent has a citrusy aroma that reminds us of fruit loops, which isn’t a bad thing if you don’t mind your hands smelling like sugary fruit cereal. We havn’t tried the Vanilla Orange or Vanilla scent, but we’re thinking the vanilla could be more appealing to adults (ladies in particular).  The bottle size is very convenient for a pocket or a purse, with a flip-top cap that won’t get lost.  A single pump releases a very fine mist, and it seems like you may need two squirts to really feel it on your skin (guess we are minimalists, the package says to spray until hands are wet and then rub thoroughly til they are dry)  The packaging is cute and recycleable but unfortunately not refillable as far as we know (we took it apart to see if you could pour more liquid into it).  The moms and teachers we asked really love this product because its “kid safe” formula is true to form; it doesn’t sting if you have a cut or scratch, and there are no concerns about kids ingesting any alcohol).  Clean Well also advertises that it is free of benzalkonium chloride.  This anitseptic ingredient has safely treated childhood scrapes and cuts for years in the product Bactine, but studies show that benzalkonium chloride can be toxic to animals, cause allergic reactions in humans, and is hazardous at amounts above 10%, especially if swallowed (so for this kid-friendly recipe they did right to leave it out).

Instead of alcohol, the main germ-killing ingredient is the company’s patented formulation of thyme oil, which has been used as a natural antiseptic for thousands of years.  Most other hand sanitizers are made up of about 60% alcohol, which is rough on skin and strips it down with overuse, leaving it dry and crackly.  Many companies add aloe vera or natural oils as conditioners, and in our opinion the more natural ingredients you see on the label, the better (occasionally you may see questionable ingredients, such as triclosan, an antibacterial/antifungal agent developed as a pesticide which the FDA is studying but has not been proven harmful to humans). There is debate about washing hands versus using sanitizer and which is more effective, so we try to balance it out – if hands are visibly dirty it’s probably best to wash em, but if you can’t get to soap and water then sani will definitely come to the rescue. When sanitizers claim that they kill 99.9 % of germs or bacteria, that also includes any good bacteria that lives on your skin. When hands start to look and feel dry, it could be time to ease up and let skin’s natural barrier replenish.

Clean Well hand sanitizer (which also claims to kill 99.9 % of germs) seems to slowly sink into the skin rather than alcohol based products that dry quickly and decimate everything on the surface.  With Clean Well, in between fingers feel a tad sticky until they are completely dry. If you feel that alcohol-based sanitizer is too hard on hands, if your skin is cut or cracked, or if you are a little kid who licks your hands or accidently sprays hand sanitizer in your mouth, then Clean Well could be the right fit for you.  It’s about $3.50 for a 1 oz bottle.

Ingredients : (From their website. We appreciate the descriptions.)

Thymus Vulgaris Oil (thyme oil, a natural antimicrobial), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (aloe vera, a natural emollient and skin conditioner), Citric Acid (an antioxidant and environmentally benign cleaning agent), Copper PCA (a skin conditioner and naturally occurring mineral found in human skin), Sodium Decylglucosides Hydroxypropyl Sulfonate (a plant-based emulsifier derived from corn sugar and coconut oil), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (a plant based emulsifier derived from coconut), Hydrolized Oats (a skin conditioner), Sodium Citrate (a natural pH balancer), Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Oil (a natural essential oil fragrance), Water

and the original scent also contains  Litsea Cubeba (Litsea) Oil (a natural essential oil), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil

Additional Resources


Hand Sanitizer

Volumizing Mist by Natu Hair Care

natu If you have fine hair like I do, you are probably searching for a product that will give your hair body without leaving it sticky or stiff. This 99.5% natural Volumizing Mist by Natu Hair Care was specially formulated to give hair fullness without resins, silicones, or any other synthetic thickeners. The first time I used it I washed my hair with Natu Liberating Shampoo and Reawakening Conditioner, and spritzed it on while my hair was still wet.  I combed it through then blow-dryed my hair for just a few minutes before letting it air dry.  As it dried I twisted my hair into a loose bun (I have wavy hair so this helps control the frizz/curl) and when it was down and dry my hair felt so soft, full, and silky.  Now I also use the volumizing mist before I go to bed to soften and condition my hair (its dry and needs a trim), which keeps it manageable between washes.  Obviously, I am a fan!

When I came across Natu Hair Care I was instantly drawn to the company’s passion for creating products using natural-born proteins, lipids, and nutrients that hair needs to stay healthy.  I also like Natu’s shampoo and conditioner, which works best if you havn’t washed your hair in a few days (it really gives your hair a deep clean).  Although I know that Natu has done its research, there are still several ingredients in the shampoo and conditioner that seem questionable.  For now, I will keep them in rotation.

There are many pure, natural ingredients and oils that can be applied directly to hair for treatment and conditioning.  Yet to get fullness and body for fine hair I think that naturally formulated volumizers are the best bet. Natu’s Volumizing Mist is a really great product (I alternate it with Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment and Volumizer by John Masters Organics), and I appreciate the thought that went into creating it.  It costs $18 for 3 oz, and if you use it generously it will go fast!

Natu advertises (the following info is from their website)


Natu Volumizing Mist -99.5% Natural

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin (Vegetable), Avena Sativa (oat) Peptide, Panthenol, Betaine, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Tilia Tomentosa Bud Extract, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Lonerica Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonerica Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Gluconolactone

Hair Care, Product Review

Ora-heal Holistic Toothbalm in Morning Mint

oraheal Could this little tube of toothpaste be the answer to our prayers? We were longing to find an all-natural, fresh-tasting toothpaste with ingredients we don’t need to fret about, and this product is just that.  We came across it online and knew we had to try it; the fact that it ships from England didn’t stop us one bit.  It cost about $27 for 3 tubes (and the tubes are on the small side, 50 ml = 1.69 oz) including shipping.  Expensive, yes, but after several weeks of brushing we are loving this stuff and wanting to order more.  This tooth “balm” has a great consistency (somewhere between cream and paste), is white in appearance (though it does not claim to whiten your teeth!), has a light/sweet minty flavor (we use Morning Mint, there’s also Mellow Mint and Fennel Exotic),  and leaves your mouth surprisingly fresh.  The flip-top tube shows off a pretty botanical design, and the packaging comes with info about the Ora-heal principles, good and bad ingredients, and how to brush.  Ora-heal is a health-care manufacturer established in 2005 which claims to have “a collective experience in preventive dentistry of several decades from holistic dentists and therapists.” We havn’t found any reviews of this toothpaste online, though the website states that it’s formula is clinically proven.  So until our next trip to the dentist, we are going to put our trust in Ora-heal.  And pray that we don’t have any cavities.


Aloe Vera, Calcium Carbonate (Chalk), White Clay, Stevia, Xanthan gum, Carrageenan, Peppermint oil, Fennel oil, Blend of organic herbal essences

Other ingredients: Spring Water, Vegetable based Glycerin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sea Salt, Pure Organic Herbal Essences.


Product Review, Toothpaste