Organic Surge – Your Skin’s Best Friend

When the temperature and humidity increases, my skin gets uncomfortable – clamy, sticky, dry and oily. It’s the type of weather that keeps you in bed under the protection of central air (I’m already NOT a morning person). The summer weather wrecks havoc on my skin and sometimes I get the dreaded backacne (eww). This summer I have a great defense thanks to the Bath and Body skincare products from Organic Surge, a British organic and natural products beauty line that just launched from the UK with products starting under $15 and I’m starting in the shower.

The Citrus Mint Shower Gel blends purifying and stimulating organic essential oils with natural moisturizers, this shower gel refreshes and invigorates with no nasties or obscure chemicals for your skin to absorb. Natural skin healers and protective vitamin E work to soothe any skin irritation or blemishes. This amazingly refreshing shower gel cools me down instantly thanks to the organic peppermint, lemon and orange essentials oils. I feel invigorated and refreshed all day like there’s a cooling barrier that surrounds me. This stimulating gel also contains natural skin healers and protective Vitamin E that help me wash away any sign of backacne (hooray).

If peppermint is not your savior (like it is mine), take a look at one of the other shower gels. Enjoy your shower courtesy of the Refreshing Experiences Shower GelsFresh Ocean Shower Gel and Tropical Bergamot Shower Gel or from the Everyday Treats Shower Gels above – Peach Passion Shower Gel, Sugared Almond Shower Gel and Gentle Meadow Shower Gel.

To combat your dry skin, whether its due to genetics, weather or hard water like I have, then the Organic Surge Super-Intensive Daily Moisturizer is for you.

For skin that needs an extra surge of moisture this intensely hydrating cream is packed with natural humectants for the ultimate boost to restore dryness. Organic rose geranium essential oil is key to restoring skin balance and reviving a dull complexion. With the additional benefits of Aloe Vera, Shea and Cocoa butter, Natural glycerin, etc to repair, sooth and moisturise, skin will feel and look super soft. This moisturizer is especially great on my elbows, knees and feet and even after pounding the pavement in flip-flops, my feet were still hydrated.

If your skin is not so dry, then try one of Organic Surge’s other hydrators from their Natural Moisturizer RangeBlissful Daily Moisturizer and Overnight Sensation Night Cream.

And after you’ve fallen in love with the above products, you can move on to their Natural Haircare Products, Organic Facial Skincare Products and Natural Handcare Products.

Keep an eye out for Organic Surge products to hit your favorite store shelves very soon but for now, head over to Organic Surge at Drugstore.com.

DAGOBA Chai Drinking Chocolate – A Grown Up Hot Chocolate

You know it’s cold outside when your heater is complaining (that’s what I call all the wheezing, sputtering, etc – mine sounds like its struggling and possibly on its last hot breath). Not sure about you but I need more than socks (my feet are always cold), blanket, etc to keep me warm; when the temperature gets like this, I need vast amounts of hot liquids, so my hands are basically always wrapped around a hot mug. I have just about had every flavor of tea known to man and hot chocolate gets a bit boring plus I wanted something a bit more sophiscated and grown up which is why i’m reveling in my fourth mug of DAGOBA Chai Drinking Chocolate

I first learned about DAGOBA at the Food Fete event held during last summer; I love Chai tea (its actually my favorite), so when I came across this Chai chocolate, I stopped dead in my tracks. One taste and I swooned. It’s more than just the Chai that makes it special, the DAGOBA Chai Drinking Chocolate is also made with bits of pure organic dark chocolate, cacao powder, cane sugar and crystallized ginger (I love eating the bits of ginger – it’s like candy to me). Its perfect if you like a spicy palet

If Chai and Ginger are not your forte, don’t worry, there are other flavors available, maybe you prefer the regular DAGOBA Authentic Drinking Chocolate, or the spicier (made with chillies) DAGOBA Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate or even the healthier no sugar added (great for Diabetics) DAGOBA Unsweetened Drinking Chocolate. Either way, DAGOBA Drinking Chocolate is a great way to stay warm as the temperature drops.

Now don’t think DAGOBA only does drinking chocolate, they also do chocolate bars and baking products as well. DAGOBA’s award-winning chocolate collection includes 17 bars made from sustainably grown, organic cacao. Check out their 17 flavors by clicking HERE.

Rigoni di Asiago – Jams, Marmalades and Preserves. Oh My!

I’m certain, like me, many of you do not have the pleasure of living on a farm or fruit orchard – rather you live in a concrete jungle where trees are limited to one tree in a plot and/or city parks. In New York, we have the pleasure of having the Union Square Greenmarket which gives us the opportunity to get fresh, homemade, homegrown and organic fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Unfortunately, I don’t get to visit this market often so I have to get my homemade joy from somewhere else. In comes the All fruit jams, marmalades and spreads deliciousness from Rigoni di Asiago, an Italian maker of organic products.


I was introduced to this brand at the Hundreds Under $100 Media Event and I must say, it is one of the most wonderful things I have ever tasted. Rigoni di Asiago actually makes several products – DolceDì – a natural sweetener comes from organic apples (there is NO added sugar), Fiordifrutta is a range of organic jams and marmalades, Fruttosa is fresh, healthy organic chopped fruit, Miele, – a line or varied flavored Organic Honey and Nocciolata – a soft and fragrant blend of chocolate and hazelnuts.

I haven’t tried everything, only a few of the Fiordifrutta All Fruit Jams and the Nocciolata Hazelnut Spread but trust me, that is enough to make you fall in love with Rigoni di Asiago. My favorite Fiordifrutta Jam was Plums (Prugne in Italian)

A delicious bitter-sweet preserve that is contains antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, is high in fiber and is Gluten-free. It is also fat free, has no sodium and only has 8 grams of Carbohydrates. It is addictive. It is delicious. Although it’s great with crackers, biscuits, bread, etc, I ate the entire thing directly out of the jar (almost in one sitting) – it IS THAT amazing. My other favorite flavors include Raspberry, Cherry and Gooseberry. A big added bonus is Fiordifrutta is safe and healthy for Diabetics.

Now on to Nocciolata – oh my goodness! If you like Nutella, you’ll throw it away after one taste of Nocciolata. In my opinion, it is smoother, creamier and better tasting.

This creamy, chocolaty heaven contains the following organic ingredients – dark chocolate, hazelnuts (16%) brown sugar, skim milk powder, cocoa butter and sunflower oil. I dipped just about everything in this creamy goodness – bananas, pretzels, crackers, apples, a spoon, etc (lol). I shared it with a few friends and I think I converted a few Nutella fans. It is certified organic and Weight Watchers has given Nocciolata 2 points in their current issue.

You can purchase Rigoni di Asiago products at Dean & DeLuca, Zabar’s and other gourmet and organic stores.

The Remarkable Beauty of Patyka

Holistic and plant-based luxury French Skincare line, Patyka, is a treat for your body and mind. Containing 98.28% of organic ingredients, it both treats and protects your skin and you don’t have to worry about negative effects chemical ingredients might have on your skin. With skin as oily as mine, I need all the help I can get, which is why I tried the Abolis range from Patyka.

Patyka is an amazing skincare collection suitable for all skin types, even gentle enough for the most sensitive and delicate skin but definitely does its job. Abolis Patyka comes in to formulations – Combination Skin and Dry Skin.

The Spearmint Foaming Cleanser (shown above) is a purifying soap-free gel that delicately foams to cleanse combination skin without causing any aggression, this soothing cleanser respects moisture levels in the most delicate of skin. It leaves the skin fresh and
purified.

The next step in this skincare regime is the Witch Hazel Face Toner. This alcohol-free lotion – tap water substitute Toner purifies and restores balance. Alcohol-free, it is comprised of floral witch hazel water which refines the surface of the skin (which is excellent in helping minimize enlarged pores)

To moisturize, the Tea Tree Face Cream is a must. As we all know Tea Tree Oil is excellent for oily skin and this light and moisturizing cream helps to restore the balance in combination skin and boosts its self-defense mechanisms. It also contains micronized minerals that unify and enhance the complexion for an immediate, noticeable effect plus it’s an excellent make-up primer.

You can see the entire Abolis Patyka line in the photo below. I also highly recommend the Body Washes. The Spearmint Body Wash (my favorite) is invigorating it refreshes the body while stimulating the mind. Precious Woods Body Wash is a warm scent that envelopes you in tranquility. Neroli Body Wash is for you if you love sweet scents and the Mandarin Body Wash is a subtle fruit scent that is sure to give you that much needed morning pick me up.

The entire line of Abolis Patyka can be purchased at the New London Pharmacy and NewLondonPharmacy.com in New York.

Wembe Soaps with Amazonian Soul at NYIGF

I had the pleasure of meeting these amazing young men (I state it this way because they’re much younger than I am) who have created a wondrous line of organic soaps with ingredients from the Amazon called Wembe. Wembe is a Paraguayan company headquartered in Dumbo, Brooklyn. It was originally founded by a mother and son duo (Rolando and his mother used to create products out of their home kitchen). Continued by Rolando Zuccolillo and his old high school roommate, Jonathan Medina (both a mere 20 years of age) have continued this amazing line of soaps

The word Wembe is devrived from the word Guarani “guembe”, the name given by a Guaraní tribe to the monster fruit of the Southern Atlantic rainforest, a tropical plant considered as the Amazon’s rare jewels. Below are a few of my favorite Wembe natural soaps:

Chocolate Cleansing Blend – Chocolate, the jungle’s greatest aphrodisiac. Do you need to hear more?

Coconut Exfoliating Blend – uses two varieties of coconut for this soap. It is astringent and slightly defoliant. It may be used as a shampoo and is particularly good for the oily skin and hair.

Citric Cleansing Blend – Contains the essential oils of all citric fruits we know plus orange and lemon juice freshly squeezed with their skins

Dulce de Leche – This little bar softly exfoliates and nourishes your skin at the same time

I tested (and fell in love with) the Loofah Exfoliating Blend. I may have gone a little over board as it only lasted three showers.

Enclosed in this soap is a natural (vegetable) loofah sponge which eliminates dead skin cells, stimulates blood circulation, cleanses the body and improves the complexion; this I can say is very true as the skin on my legs, elbows, etc were very soft and smooth after the second use. I had a small patch of dry skin on my leg and thanks to the Loofah Exfoliating Blend, it’s gone – and the scent is wonderful with sensational ingredients such as Almond Oil and Dill.

Check out my video interview (in two parts) with the very young and impressive Rolando of Wembe