Alaffia- Fair Trade + Natural Bath and Body Products

I'm sure many of you have heard about the "no poo" hair care method. When I first started cleaning up my beauty routine a few years ago (ethically made, free of chemicals, and so on) I tried it. I really did. I read all the blog posts and I did my research and I still ended up alternating between straw-like, dry hair and a greasy mess. I tried a shampoo bar, and that didn't work well for me, either. 

I may try again someday, but for now, especially in the winter months when the air is dryer here in Minnesota than it is in the Sahara desert, I needed "real" shampoo. Still, I was determined to at least find a natural and fair trade option, and I stumbled upon Alaffia. I've been using Alaffia shampoo since September, and it's been working beautifully! Alaffia's shampoo is coconut-based, and has less than 10 natural ingredients. Lauryl glucoside, the stuff that makes the shampoo all lathery, is derived from Coconut and is completely biodegradable. 

Though the plastic packaging isn't ideal, it is recyclable (I'll keep crossing my fingers that a coop near me starts stocking Alaffia shampoo in bulk!). 

Alaffia reached out to me recently and asked if I'd like to try a few of their other products. I chose the skin recovery face cream, the sculpting wax, and the pure fair trade shea butter

It may seem strange that I asked to try sculpting wax, since my hair is as straight and baby-fine as can be.... but I actually wanted to test it out on Andrew! Andrew's hair is thick and wavy and slightly unruly, and he usually styles it with a bit of product. I once tried to make him a natural, DIY alternative to his normal, chemical-ridden stuff... He HATED it and it didn't work for his hair at all. Good news: he actually likes Alaffia's sculpting wax and it makes his hair all shiny and soft after it's been washed out. I'm so happy to have found some middle ground that makes both of us feel good about the product that he's using. 

The face cream was for me. I normally have great skin, but in the winter it's a huge struggle to keep my skin moisturized enough that it doesn't flake off my face! I'm sure that this has something to do with the fact that I don't drink enough water in the winter months (I'm working on it), but also because I've always just used the same moisturizer year round. 

I've been applying Alaffia's skin cream at night for almost a month now, and it's really helped to reduce the wintertime dry skin spots that I tend to get on the sides of my nose and on my forehead! The lotion's scent is a bit strong and almost medicinal, but it doesn't bother me, especially since I'm using it as a night cream. 

The Shea butter has been a lifesaver for my poor winter-dry legs- I've been using it straight but I'm planning on making some homemade whipped body butter with it soon. I chose the unscented kind, since I wanted  to add my own scent later, and it's sort of earthy and smoky and really nice! 

I really can't say enough good things about the Alaffia products I've tried. They're natural, ethically sourced, and the prices are really reasonable! I've gotten my sister and several friends to try out the products as well and I've only heard good things. In addition to creating great skin and haircare products, Alaffia takes great care of the company's workers, paying fair wages and implementing several development and empowerment initiatives focused on women. All in all, a wonderful company for conscious consumers to support! 

Alaffia sent me some skin recovery face cream, sculpting wax, and pure fair trade shea butter in exchange for my honest review.