The products are from a company called Green Virgin Products, who graciously sent them to me at no charge, in exchange for the possibility of a review. Of course, I am under no obligation to post a review, positive or otherwise. However, I have no problem letting you know that I really like these products.
Let's start with the Soap Nut Peppermint Bar Soap. This 5 oz. bar ($6.49) has a fabulously invigorating scent and lathers up nicely. Made from the fruit of the Chinese Soap Berry Tree, the bar soaps from Green Virgin Products are made using the finest natural vegan ingredients. They are completely non-toxic and there was nothing I didn't like about the Soap Nut Peppermint Bar Soap I received.
Sticking with the soap nuts... I was excited to try the Soap Nuts Liquid laundry detergent. I've used another brand of soap nuts for the past couple of years and was eager to see if there was a difference. There was. First, I loved the scent of the liquid, which was slightly sweet. Second, I liked being about to simply pump the detergent into the washing machine rather than putting the soap nuts into a small bag, fishing it out before throwing the wet laundry into the dryer (on the days I can't hang out my laundry), and not having to guess if the berries were still effective after several loads. With the liquid, I just keep using it until the bottle is empty.
An 8 oz. bottle ($18.95) lasts for 120 HE wash loads; somewhat less for top loaders. This means it costs less than the conventional toxin-filled laundry detergents sold in stores, and considerably less than some of the eco-friendly detergents out there. It is 100% non-toxic and has a net negative carbon footprint! I love that it's totally safe for babies and people who have sensitive skin.
If you've never heard of soap nuts, you're probably wondering how exactly a berry can be turned into soaps and detergent. After harvesting, the Chinese soap berries are dried in the sun. Green Virgin Products sell Sapindus Mukorossi soap nuts, as these nuts are the largest and have the highest saponoin content of any other soap nut species. Saponin is a natural soap that has cleaning properties equal to the those you find in toxic chemical detergents. The liquid is made with USDA Certified Sapindus Mukorossi Soap Nuts, filtered with plain water. Since they are a fruit extract, preservatives are needed. This was the real challenge for the folks at Green Virgin Products because the common preservative for soap nuts liquids rates a 3 on the Skin Deep Database (out of 10 as the most toxic). While that's not terrible, it's still higher than they wanted. As a result, they worked on a formula that was successful, using caprylyl glycol and phenethyl alcohol, which rate a 0 and a 1 on the same database. Using these as preservatives, the liquid has a 2 year shelf life.
But how effective is it? I found it was adequate in cleaning my laundry, provided there were no stains that were left untreated. The laundry is clean and fresh smelling when it comes out of the machine.
Although I haven't tried it, I read that it makes an awesome window cleaner. Just dilute 50 parts water with 1 part soap nuts liquid and voila! Sparkling clean windows.
Finally, I've been using Moringa Oil (4 oz. $26.95) for the past several weeks. Moringa has gained popularity since Dr. Oz recommended it. The most nutrient dense plant ever tested, it has more vitamins, minerals, proteins, anti-oxidants and amino-acids than any other food, it has countless benefits when taken internally. The oil, however, is known as an anti-aging miracle, often found in high end beauty creams. After applying it on my face and neck once to twice per day for nearly a month, I must say I don't see much of a difference in my skin. My post-menopausal skin has the feel of fine sandpaper, so the oil has been wonderful as a makeup base. Even though I apply it at night, by morning, the sandpaper feeling is back.
It is possible that there is a slight reduction in the wrinkles around my mouth and eyes and my skin does feel a bit tighter. Perhaps I just haven't used it long enough to see significant improvement. On the plus side, it hasn't created any breakouts and the age spot on my cheek seems to be fading, which is wonderful.
So my overall review of these Green Virgin Products is two green thumbs up. Want to check them out for yourself? Here's your chance. Just enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the US only; 18 and over, and will end at 11:59 Monday June 23rd. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before an alternate winner is chosen.