FTC Disclosure:

I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baby Wipes aren’t just for babies: Review of Huggies Natural Care Thick N Clean Baby Wipes

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this review. I am not affiliated with the company that manufactures and distributes this product. I paid for this product with my own funds. This review reflects my own experience with and opinion of the product as a consumer. I am not a medical doctor so consult a doctor for advice about illness or whether this product is safe for you.



Huggies Baby Wipes

I have been using baby wipes for a number of years. I don’t have any babies (yet), but I find that baby wipes are very useful for adults. I started using them long before flushable wipes like Cottonelle brand or Vagasil feminine cleansing wipes were popular.

I use them mainly for freshening up during the course of the day. I am a very peculiar person and after I use the toilet I feel very self-conscious. I don’t feel clean even after thoroughly wiping with toilet paper. Human beings have normal flora or bacteria that exist naturally in our bodies and on the skin.  Normal bacterial flora are necessary to help keep humans healthy. However, the bacteria produce waste products and this along with sweat, and other human excretions can cause body odor. So, to make a long story shorter, I don’t want to walk around smelling like sweat, piss and doo-doo. By the way, baby wipes are also quite awesome for use during menstrual periods.

My first choice would be to grab a bar of soap and just jump in the shower after using the toilet.  As you already know, that’s not always practical. This is where baby wipes are a major solution to a major problem. I carry them with me every where I go, either in a pocket or my purse. They are available in small re-sealable packs, but it is cheaper to purchase them in larger sized packages. I usually buy the 184 count refill bags or larger boxes of baby wipes. In fact, I recently purchased a 448 count box of Huggies Natural Care baby wipes for $11 (minus coupons and other discounts) at Target. Most of the time I get unscented versions of baby wipes, because I don’t particularly like the idea of smelling like a baby.

If you plan on using them, make sure to store the wipes at room temp and tightly reseal the package. This will help prevent the wipes from drying out. Also, I don’t flush baby wipes because I don’t think that most are biodegradable or safe for plumbing.

Another good use for baby wipes is to clean your hands. I am one of those people who are always in a rush and usually eat on the go. If I can’t get to a restroom to wash my hands prior to eating, I whip out a couple of wipes to clean my hands. They are pretty good for cleaning hands after eating, provided that your hands aren’t too messy or sticky. My boyfriend likes using them after he helps me check the oil and fluids in my car.

I have tried many brands of baby wipes including Huggies, Pampers, Luvs, and store brands/ private label products. Many of them are good and effective but Huggies Natural Care, Thick “N” Clean is the brand that suits my needs the most. I like the texture of these baby wipes, because they are gentle, yet they have a grit to them. They aren’t abrasive at all. Each wipe is thick and durable, so they don’t break up easily with the rigors of cleaning. The texture is just gritty enough to remove dirt and debris in just a few strokes. I have sensitive skin and Huggies Natural Care baby wipes have never caused me to get a rash or any other adverse reaction.

I am a little confused as to why this product was labeled “natural”. Although it contains some natural ingredients like water and aloe, I don’t consider it natural at all. There are some chemicals in this product, which were obviously created in a laboratory.

© Copyright 2012

www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com
 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review of Alberto VO5 2-in-1 shampoo+ conditioner

Disclosure:
I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this review. I am not affiliated with the company that manufactures and distributes this product. I paid for this product with my own funds. This review reflects my own experience with and opinion of the product as a consumer.




V05 2-in-1 Shampoo+Conditioner

This is my product review of Alberto VO5 2-in-1 shampoo + conditioner, manufactured by Alberto-Culver USA, Inc. (now owned by Unilever). The product can be purchased at many retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS, etc. for $1 or less on sale. I do not typically purchase 2 in 1 shampoos + conditioners, but I tend to purchase these type of products when I am running low on money. The one that I bought comes in a 15 FL oz. bottle with a blue colored “Moisturizing” liquid.

My hair type is African-American, kinky, natural. This means that I do not process my hair with any strong, harsh, chemicals such as sodium hydroxide (lye) relaxers, texturizers, curly perms or dyes. My hair has been in this state since the late 1990s and through those years I tried many hair care products. Besides cleaning my hair, other things are important to me in a shampoo.

Alberto V05 2-in-1 shampoo + conditioner lathers up really good, and leaves my hair feeling soft and squeaky clean. The product is neither heavy, nor oily, and rinses away without leaving a residue. It smells okay, too. This product contains a 5 pro- vitamin blend plus soy milk protein to get your hair moisturized cleaned, and conditioned in one step. As far as conditioning and moisturizing are concerned, I think that this V05 shampoo falls short.

My hair is really thick and coarse, so after shampooing, I definitely need a good quality conditioner. Otherwise, my hair will be difficult to manage and style after washing. When I wash with this product it is always necessary for me to follow up with another conditioner. Even though the shampoo initially leaves my hair soft, it doesn’t detangle my hair. So, I am not convinced that V05 2-1 shampoo + conditioner gets my hair type adequately moisturized. Also, I don’t believe that long term use of this product does anything to protect against hair breakage or split ends. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for people who have brittle, damaged hair.

I tried some of their other shampoos and conditioners (strawberries and cream moisture milks ) with similar results, although the scents are amazing. I don’t feel comfortable using this product every week on my hair. I use this shampoo as a cost effective way to gently clean my synthetic hair wigs. I could be wrong (I am no expert), but I think this product works better for Caucasian hair types or people that keep their hair cut very low. This is a shampoo more for people whom just want to wash and go with no hassles.

There is no need to bash the product by saying that it is bad. That would be disingenuous. It really is a good “cheap” product and I don’t expect for it to meet my needs in the same way that other more costly brands may. At a price of $.79, I know I got what I paid for.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, EAU) Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium chloride, glycol distearate, silicon quaternion-22, laureth-7, fragrance (parfum), guar, hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, myristyl ether, dmdm hydantoin, dipropylene glycol, citric acid, bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 amino ethyl PG-propyl dimethicone, disodium EDTA, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, sodium cocoamphoacetate, polyquaternium-7, butylphenyl methylpropional, blue 1, (CI 42090) hydrolyzed keratin, ext. violet 2 (CI60730), propylene glycol, Red 33 (CI 17200), soymilk

 

Visit
www.VO5.com for more information. 

Copyright 2012 www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review of Aquaphor Healing Ointment



Aquaphor Healing Ointment

I have real problems with the skin on my hands due to exposure to certain cleaning solutions, frequent hand washing, etc. My skin is really dry and sometimes it itches, cracks and peels. Therefore, I need a product that will provide my hands with moisture and protection from dryness. I won’t go into further detail on the problem here, but I do talk about it in another blog post.

My hands are so dry that my 8-year old nephew laughed at me one day and said “ Auntie, your hands look like granddaddy’s”. His mom (whom happens to be my sister) noticed how dry and wrinkled my hands looked and she recommended a product called Aquaphor Healing Ointment. She told me that when her son was an infant, he had eczema really bad. His eczema was so bad that he would scratch his skin until it was red and raw. She said Aquaphor was the only product that was effective against her son’s eczema. I don’t have eczema. At the same time, I figured that since Aquaphor Healing Ointment is dermatologist recommended, it wouldn’t hurt me to try the product.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is manufactured by Beiersdorf, Inc. which also makes Eucerin lotions and creams. I purchased a small tube of it for about $6.50 at CVS (minus discounts). I purchased it in the flexible 1.75 oz. size tube, which I like very well. It is small enough to carry around in a purse or pocket. The lotion itself is odorless, very thick and greasy. It contains 41% petrolatum and this explains the greasy consistency.

The first time that I used Aquaphor Healing Ointment, my hands definitely felt and looked better immediately. The itching stopped right away and my hands looked smoother. After a few days of using it, the skin on my hands looked almost completely restored to normal.

So yes, the product really works, but I have some issues with it. For one, it is too expensive. I don’t understand why a product that is 41% petroleum jelly should cost so much. I mean, why not just use plain Vaseline (100% petrolatum) on top of some good lotion? This would be much more economical. There is no other ingredient in the product that justifies the higher cost, either.

Another thing that I dislike about Aquaphor is the greasiness of it. My skin looks really shiny and greasy when I wear it. So, I do not tend to use it during the day, while I am at work or on the go. I use it mainly at night while I am sleeping. I prefer to rub it on my hands just before bed. Then, I put on a pair of Essence of Beauty spa gloves. This locks in the moisture and protects my bedding and night clothes from the grease. During the day I use other creams and lotions to keep my hands moisturized.

Here’s the ingredients list for Aquaphor Healing Ointment:

Petrolatum (41%), Mineral Oil, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, Glycerin, Bisabolol

My final conclusion about Aquaphor Healing Ointment is that it does work, but it is too expensive. I won’t buy it again unless I can get it at a much lower price. Also, I plan to try Vaseline to see how much I would like it compared to Aquaphor.

For more information or to ask questions about this product, call 1-800-227-4703.

Copyright 2012
www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com
 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review of McDonald’s McCafe Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Disclosure:
I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this review. I am not affiliated with the company that manufactures and distributes this product. I paid for this product with my own funds. This review reflects my own experience with and opinion of the product as a consumer.

McDonald's McCafe
Stawberry Banana Smoothie
Let me say right away that although I enjoy occasional eating at fast food restaurants, I am not a strong proponent of overindulging fast food. With that said, I felt inspired to write this review after I visited a McDonald’s restaurant recently. While I was there, I decided to order a small, 12 fl oz. McDonald's McCafe Strawberry Banana Smoothie for $2.59, plus tax.

Prior to this last visit, it has been months since I had a McCafe Strawberry Banana Smoothie. My experience is that they are fairly good as far as taste goes. They are made with“real fruit”, namely strawberries, banana, low fat yogurt, ice, and some of other ingredients. You can definitely tell that the ingredients are not fresh, but rather come from a prepared, frozen blend. The servers “make” the smoothie in a matter of minutes. Quite honestly, since the smoothie is offered up by a fast food restaurant, I don’t expect the ingredients to be fresh.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of ingredients in the McCafe Strawberry Banana smoothie:

Strawberry puree, banana puree, water, grape juice concentrate, clarified demineralized pineapple juice concentrate, sugar, contains less than 1% of the following: natural (botanical source) and artificial flavors, cellulose powder, pear juice concentrate, peach juice concentrate, xanthan gum, citric acid, pectin, colored with fruit and vegetable juice, ascorbic acid concentrate, also contains milk

Additional nutrition info:

Serving size is 12 fl. Oz.

210 Calories

2 g protein

0.5g Fat

49 g Carbohydrate

35 mg Sodium

The smoothie itself is creamy and smooth with a balanced sweetness. I don’t feel that it is overly sweet. The concentration of neither fruit flavor is consistent from batch to batch. Sometimes the banana is the dominating flavor in the drink and other times I taste the strawberry flavor more.

I have had several McCafe Strawberry Smoothies since McDonald’s first introduced this drink. In the past, I would visit McDonald’s many times a week to get one of these. I used to think that they were all that and a bag of chips. That was before I purchased a Ninja blender and started to make my own smoothies. There is a vast difference in the taste of homemade smoothies, prepared with fresh fruit vs. a McDonald’s McCafe smoothie.

Now that I have experienced the taste of a real homemade smoothie, I think that McDonald’s McCafe smoothies are watered down. The concentration of the banana and strawberries is not great. It seems that there is more yogurt than any other ingredient in this smoothie. Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that McCafe smoothies are bad. I am saying that they are tasty, but in a run-of-the mill way.

Therefore, I have mixed emotions about this product. On the one hand, I think they are okay if you are looking for quick treat. They are also convenient if you’re too lazy or don’t have the wherewithal to make a smoothie from scratch. They are affordable and palatable. McCafe smoothies may be better in a nutritional sense, than drinking soda or artificial juice drinks.

In the same breath, you would do well, to go ahead and make your own smoothie. In this way you are getting the freshest of ingredients and loads of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Once fruits and vegetables are processed, the vitamins begin to degrade in them. That’s one reason why smoothies with fresh fruits are best.

In closing, the McDonald’s McCafe Strawberry Banana smoothie is a mediocre drink. In my opinion, they aren’t health drinks per se or even real smoothies. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend them, unless you are drinking them mainly for the taste and convenience.

 
 

Sources:

http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.mccafe.488.strawberry-banana-smoothie-12-fl-oz-cup.html

© Copyright 2012   www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

 

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