Detox in the New Year

With the new year comes the idea of getting rid of the old and making room for the new. Whether that be a fresh career start, a relationship that's run its course or your body screaming for a reboot. For me, it's my body. Tired and over-worked, charged up from too much time at the computer, and feeling run down, I decided this new year meant taking better care of myself. And that started with a detox. But a different sort. Not a radical cleanse or juice fast. Something on a deeper, cellular level. And that meant taking nightly baths, unplugging from devices and saying good-bye to toxins. 

I did this for a week straight, using all of the products you see above from a brilliant company called Pursoma. And I feel a whole lot "lighter," both physically, emotionally and mentally. 

These bath soaks require some "take care of yourself" time (before and after the bath) which you can read about here. It's well worth it. 

The philosophy of the line stems from founder Shannon Vaughn's own background as a fashion model and her concerns about the products that were being put on her face. After a health scare with an ovarian cyst, she turned toward a holistic health path and that meant practicing detoxification. This ultimately led to her launching Pursoma, a landmark beauty solution that will recharge your body. 

Check out this remarkable line at

Eco-Friendly Company: Oliviate

Remember the dreaded microbead issue we wrote about back in February? Well, if the presence of tiny, ubiquitous ocean-polluting plastic beads made you want to shun conventional exfoliants for good, you’re in luck.

Some creative entrepreneurs in the Bay Area are offering a wonderful alternative called Oliviate. They’ve crafted a scrub and mask made from whole, stone-ground California olive pomace. I’ve tried it and love it. This is good stuff in every sense—for one, it ditches environmentally damaging plastic microbeads for an exfoliating substance found in nature. The thick brown scrub has finely ground crushed olives that do an impressive job of sloughing off dead skin cells and livening up the skin. I was skeptical about the product’s self-proclaimed simultaneous moisturizing abilities, but it’s true—the trace amounts of olive oil included lend the scrub-slash-mask the ability to leave your face not only fresh and clean but also soft and quenched. (Olive oil reportedly contains inflammation and age-fighting antioxidants. It’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.)

If you aren’t jonesing for some by this point, you should be. But unfortunately, Oliviate isn’t available for purchase yet. The nascent company is currently undergoing an Indiegogo crowd-sourcing campaign to help launch the product out of the test kitchen and onto store shelves. If Oliviate sounds like something you’d like to get your hands on, visit the site and consider donating before the June 20 deadline. They’ve launched a referral program that could earn you some free goodies while you’re at it. 

Eco-Buzz: Blithe and Bonny Opens New Store

Blithe and Bonny is giving Santa Cruz bath-and-beauty product hounds a reason to rejoice: The Bonny Doon-based maker of delightful candles, soaps, natural essential oils and oh-so-much-more is opening a retail location all its own. (Read more about the company and its products in this review by The Penny Rose’s Christa Martin.) On top of using ingredients that are respectful of our health and the environment (for starters, they don’t use parabens), the products are locally made, giving items in the soon-to-be store a small transportation footprint. (Personally, I’m crazy for the almond and shea hand cream.) The company’s trademark large black bee already adorns the storefront (next to the old Staff of Life Market location on Water Street in Santa Cruz), and, when the store opens its doors for business on June 22, you know where I’ll “bee.” More info:

Eco-Beauty, Hotel Style

It’s no secret that pocketing the pint-size toiletries is one of the best parts of staying in a hotel. But when you’re committed to sticking to an eco-friendly lifestyle, there’s a fair chance that the mini soaps, conditioners, lotions, et all will be underwhelming or unusable. Just in case, I always pack my own trusty toiletries when I’m on the go. However, more and more hotels are stocking green, natural brands—an encouraging trend for eco-beauty jetsetters. Last night I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Paradox, the new chic, boutique hotel on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, Calif. Upon entering my stylish, sleek room I bee-lined for the bathroom to scope out the toiletry situation (as any good eco-beauty fiend would). I was delighted to find goodies from 99sixty, an ecologically responsible toiletries line found only in hotels. 99sixty is no EO (a truly luscious, certified organic, natural toiletry line made in Marin, Calif.), which I have found in hotels before (jackpot!), but it is paraben- and cruelty-free and packaged with 60 percent recycled, biodegradable plastic. The body lotion is particularly nice—creamy and nourishing, with no greasiness. Getting to keep the little bottles is an admittedly small perk, but a welcomed one for this eco-traveler. With some 99sixty products in tow, I was able to leave Hotel Paradox truly satisfied with my stay.