Sep 302015
 

Thayers Rose Petal facial toner is quite popular and to some extent – arguably affordable.

Thayers Rose Petal Toner Review

Since I’ve received quite a lot of emails asking me about Thayers Rose Petal facial toner, I thought I’d get one for myself and review it.

My readers know that facial toners are a must in my cosmetic regimen. And that I demand quality when it comes to toners, too – and that means, first and foremost – quality ingredients.

Thayers Rose Petal facial toner comes in a clear plastic bottle; the amount of the toner is, I guess, generous – 355ml.

Immediately, upon opening the bottle, you notice the scent. Yes, it’s that of roses, and yes – it is a synthetic scent. If you were to smell natural rose oil and compare it with the smell of Thayers Rose Petal toner, you would recognize the difference immediately.

Thayers Rose Petal facial toner, while leaving a bit of a sticky feeling on the skin, it is refreshing and does leave the skin a bit soft. It also made my skin tingle basically every time I applied it and in my opinion, the synthetic fragrance is the cause of that.

But there’s one big problem I had with this facial toner – it made me develop a few painful cystic acne. What’s the source of this? Grapefruit seed extract.

So – what is the deal with the ingredients in this facial toner? Well…

Purified water, aloe barbadensis leaf juice (certified organic fillet of aloe vera), glycerin (vegetable), fragrance (natural rose), hamamelis virginiana extract (made from certified organic witch hazel), rosa centifolia (rose) flower water, citric acid, citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract.

Aloe vera hydrates and has anti-aging properties. It tightens skin and rejuvenates skin. Witch hazel has antibacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. It tightens the pores. It’s great for oily and acne prone skin. Rosa centifolia has antioxidant and astringent. Citric acid  is a pH adjuster, buffering and masking agent.

Potentially problematic ingredients?

  • Fragrance. On the ingredients list, fragrance is listed as being obtained from a natural rose, but the scent does not support this. Read more information on why synthetic fragrance is toxic.
  • Grapefruit seed extract (citrus grandis) : a preservative. Just as with Honeysuckle flower extract, there’s more or less nothing natural about this very natural sounding extract. Its trade name is Citricidal (but you won’t find it listed as such on ingredients lists) – a natural extract can not be patented and sold under a trade name. An actual grapefruit seed extract goes through a synthetic process, and the biggest concern with this preservative is the possible contamination with benzethonium chloride, methylparaben and triclosan. Grapefruit seed extract could be just that, obtained from grapefruit seeds and would not be contaminated. But – grapefruit seed extract is used as a “natural” preservative and in order for the extract to have the properties of a preservative, the compounds, with which the extract is contaminated, are the source of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

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My final word?

Sure, Thayers Rose Petal facial toner is affordable – it’s only $8,60 for a generous 355ml. But then again – the first ingredient on the list is water, which means this toner contains a good amount of it, followed by two hydrolates and aloe vera juice.

Yes, it can be refreshing, but my skin did not react pleasantly to it; from tingling to, as mentioned above, few painful cystic acne. As you know I am not fond of preservatives, but I’d rather this facial toner be preserved with, say, Potassium Sorbate as opposed to grapefruit seed extract.

Would I buy it again? Unlikely; I’m used to using facial toners of a much higher quality.

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Thayers Rose Petal facial is very popular – do you think its popularity is justifiable? Have you tried it? What’s your take on it?

Sep 252015
 

Hello greenies! The leaves are falling off, it’s getting a bit chilly… but still – Autumn is so beautiful, isn’t it? A walk through the forest, picking up some mushrooms… Oh, in case you’ve missed – I’ve put together a curated guide of health stores this week. Got anything planned for the weekend? Some Autumn beauty shopping? Then check the offers bellow!

 

Discounts and Free Organic Beauty Gifts #36

 

FeelUnique has:

– 20% off your order (code: SPLASHOUT20). Valid only on 25.9.2015
– 33% off on hair products
– £5 off on orders over £55 (code: 5feel55)
– £10 off on orders over £80 (code: FEEL1080)
– 5% off when you spend £25 (code: 5FEEL09) – FREE Beauty Bag worth over £60 when you spend £80 or more
FREE Balance Me Collagen Boost Restore & Replenish Face Cream (10ml) when you purchase any Collagen Boost moisturizer or cleanser
FREE Inika mineral blush when you spend £30 or more on Inika products
FREE Jason Aloe Vera Gel when you purchase any Jason sun care product
FREE Jurlique Rejuvenating Night Cream (worth £22,80) when you spend £40 or more on Jurlique products
FREE Kadalys banana lip balm when you spend £40 or more on Kadalys
FREE Melvita Smoothing&Repair Duo when you when you buy Melvita Nectar Supreme Cream

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♦ Love Lula has:

– 5% off when you spend £25 (code: AUTUMN5). Valid till 28.9.2015
– 10% off when you spend £40 (code: AUTUMN10). Valid till 28.9.2015
– 15% off when you spend £70 (code: AUTUMN15). Valid till 28.9.2015
– big discounts on selected products
– FREE August Beauty Box with any order over £40 (code: BOX40)
– FREE John Masters Organics 4-piece set when you spend £35 on John Masters Organics (code: FOUR)
– FREE John Masters Organics Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment with any John Masters Organics full size shampoo
– FREE Healthy Oils sample with every Healthy Oils scrub
– FREE REN Skincare Set (worth £34) when you spend £50 on REN (code: GIFT1)
– FREE Rahua Luxury Shower Gel and Body Lotion when you spend £50 on Rahua (code: GIFT2)
– FREE Aviela Shea Hand Butter with any Aviela order (code: GIFT3)
– FREE Balm Balm fragrance free set when you spend £40 or more on Balm Balm (code: 3FREE)
– FREE Luxsit anti-blemish gel (8ml) with every Luxsit order
– FREE Willow Organic Butterfly Travel Set (worth £49) when you buy any 2 Willow products (code: WINGS)
– FREE Onnen Organic olive oil face soap when you spend £20 or more on Onnen Organic products (code: ONNEN) – FREE Fair Squared Hand Cream when you spend £15 on Fair Squared (code: FAIR)
– FREE Nizou Romantic Damask Rose Scented Candle when you buy any 2 Nizou candles (code: NIZOU)
– FREE Bee Good Travel Sized Honey & Propolis Cream Cleanser with any Bee Good purchase over £25 (code: BEE25)
– FREE Hope’s Relief Goat’s Milk Soap when you spend £25 or more on Hope’s Relief (code: GOAT)
– FREE Willow Organic bath and shower oil when you buy any 2 Willow products (code: WILLOW)
– FREE Lovea hair oil when you spend £25 on Lovea (code: LOVEA)
– FREE Inika lip balm with any Inika foundation (code: INIKA)

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Green People has:

Green People Discount

– 20% off on superfoods range

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Onlynaturals has:

– big discounts in their sale section
FREE Affinity Organics Rosehip oil when you spend £50 or more (code: AFROSE)
FREE Pai Exfoliator (worth £24) when you spend £45 on Pai (code: PAIEXFOLIATE)
FREE Balm Balm Rose & Geranium lip balm when you spend £20 on Balm Balm products (code: BALMBALMLIP) – FREE Evolve Facial Polish when you buy any 2 Evolve products (code: DETOX)
FREE A’Kin Unscented 24 Hour Pure Moisture when you buy any 2 A’Kin products (code: PUREMOISTURE)
FREE Kimia Precious Eye Serum (worth £49) when you buy Kimia Rejuvenating Facial System (code: KIMIAEYE)
FREE Alva Sanddorn Skin Oil when you spend £25 or more on Alva products (code: SKINOIL)
FREE Green People Trial Size products when you spend £20 on Green People
FREE Inlight Under Eye Revive (sample size) when you buy any 2 Inlight products (code: INLIGHTEYE)
FREE Nourish Hand Cream when you buy any two Nourish products (code: NOURISHHAND)

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Ecco Verde has:

– 20% off on Everyday Minerals brushes

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iHerb has:

– 20% off on Andalou Naturals

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Happy weekend!

Sep 212015
 

Natural beauty: inside out. While Nature of Europe is a niche green blog, dedicated to natural and organic beauty, it is well known that taking care of yourself only on the outside is not sustainable long term, so in light of Organic September, I’ll touch a bit on the importance of supplements and where to buy them.

 

Curated Health Stores Guide

 

The importance of eating in moderation and with balance as well as eating healthy food should become our second nature. Supporting local organic farmers and eating seasonal food, is one of the main sources of eating healthy and taking care of the environment at the same time by buying the products, which do not require long transportation routes and various pesticides in order to make the food look appealing.

Aside from fresh and locally produced food, there’s a myriad of super – foods, vitamins, mineral and other supplements needed in order for our bodies to be healthier. While nowadays, we can buy many of the supplements locally, there are also various internet stores, selling such supplements and shipping them all over the world.

I’ve curated a selection of health stores, where you can buy various supplements (vitamins, minerals), super-foods, etc.

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Planet Organic

Planet Organic

Planet Organic opened its doors in 1995, and today, they offer a complete assortment needed for a healthy lifestyle.

Aside from green beauty products, at Planet Organic you can buy:

groceries (cereals, honey, jam, dried nuts and fruits, snacks, bread, pasta, grains, oils, vinegar, sauces)
raw foods (super foods, chocolate, snacks, dried food)
supplements (super foods, vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements)

Make sure you check their Organic September offers.

Planet Organic ships internationally.

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Buy Whole Foods Online

Buy Whole Foods Online

Started in 2007 from the back garden shed, Buy Whole Foods Online is today one of the biggest wholefoods stores.

At Buy Whole Foods Online you can buy beauty products as well as:
tea and coffee
healthy snacks and dried food
– various culinary herbs and spices
nuts and seedschocolate

Buy Whole Foods Online ships internationally.

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Ethical Superstore

Ethical Superstore

The Ethical Superstore carriers products with ethical ethos; they carefully select brands which operate on a basis of fair trade, energy saving and Soil Association certification. Aside from a beauty products, they offer a wide selection of healthy food, including baby food. Not only that, you can also find ethical clothing, electronic products, products for home and garden etc.

At Ethical Superstore you can buy:
chocolate and sweets
pasta, rise & pulses
jams and spreads
biscuits and snacks
wine, beer and spirits
baby food

Make sure you check their summer sale section with up to 70% off as well as 10 off when you spend 70 with a code: X10PFC.

Ethical Superstore ships to UK only.


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iHerb

iHerb

One of my favorite stores, iHerb is probably the biggest health store in the world, offering more than 35,000 products at very affordable prices, from supplements, herbs, groceries and – of course – beauty products.

At iHerb you can buy:
supplements (vitamins, minerals, superfoods, etc.)
herbs
groceries (canned goods, coffee, dried fruits, honey, seeds, pasta, raw foods, spieces, tea, etc)

Make sure you check their specials section, where you can always find heavily discounted prices.

iHerb ships internationally at very low shipping rates.

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Do you supplement your food with vitamins, minerals and superfoods? Let me know which are your must-have products and your favorite stores.

Sep 182015
 

Hello greenies! Are you enjoying these warm and sunny early Autumn days? I know I am! I’ve spent nearly all day yesterday, wandering the forest and soaking up the sun! The Organic Beauty Week is ending, but I still have some pretty sweet deals for you to check out – in case you need to stock up on some beauty goodies! In case you’ve missed what happened on Nature of Europe this week – I reviewed Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Mask, I posted an article on another good ingredient, this time around Cocoa Butter and posted a polemic on what natural really is. So, 4 posts in one week – I was a busy bee!

 

Weekly Discounts and Free Organic Beauty Gifts #35

 

FeelUnique has:

– £5 off on orders over £55 (code: 5feel55)
– £10 off on orders over £80 (code: FEEL1080)
– 5% off when you spend £25 (code: 5FEEL09)
– 10% off on Inika
FREE Beauty Bag worth over £60 when you spend £80 or more
FREE Balance Me Collagen Boost Restore & Replenish Face Cream (10ml) when you purchase any Collagen Boost moisturizer or cleanser
FREE Inika mineral blush when you spend £30 or more on Inika products
FREE Jason Aloe Vera Gel when you purchase any Jason sun care product
FREE Jurlique Rejuvenating Night Cream (worth £22,80) when you spend £40 or more on Jurlique products
FREE Kadalys banana lip balm when you spend £40 or more on Kadalys
FREE Melvita Smoothing&Repair Duo when you when you buy Melvita Nectar Supreme Cream
FREE REN Radiance Kit (worth £18) when you spend £30 or more on REN products
FREE this works perfect skin miracle when you spend £30 or more on this works products

* * *

♦ Love Lula has: Love Lula Discount

– 15% off on your order when you add any one product with Soil Association certification (code: OBW15). Valid till 20.9.2015
– big discounts on selected products
– FREE August Beauty Box with any order over £40 (code: BOX40)
– FREE John Masters Organics 4-piece set when you spend £35 on John Masters Organics (code: FOUR)
– FREE John Masters Organics Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment with any John Masters Organics full size shampoo
– FREE Healthy Oils sample with every Healthy Oils scrub
– FREE REN Skincare Set (worth £34) when you spend £50 on REN (code: GIFT1)
– FREE Rahua Luxury Shower Gel and Body Lotion when you spend £50 on Rahua (code: GIFT2)
– FREE Aviela Shea Hand Butter with any Aviela order (code: GIFT3)
– FREE Balm Balm fragrance free set when you spend £40 or more on Balm Balm (code: 3FREE)
– FREE Luxsit anti-blemish gel (8ml) with every Luxsit order
– FREE Willow Organic Butterfly Travel Set (worth £49) when you buy any 2 Willow products (code: WINGS)
– FREE Onnen Organic olive oil face soap when you spend £20 or more on Onnen Organic products (code: ONNEN) – FREE Fair Squared Hand Cream when you spend £15 on Fair Squared (code: FAIR)
– FREE Nizou Romantic Damask Rose Scented Candle when you buy any 2 Nizou candles (code: NIZOU)
– FREE Bee Good Travel Sized Honey & Propolis Cream Cleanser with any Bee Good purchase over £25 (code: BEE25)
– FREE Hope’s Relief Goat’s Milk Soap when you spend £25 or more on Hope’s Relief (code: GOAT)
– FREE Willow Organic bath and shower oil when you buy any 2 Willow products (code: WILLOW)
– FREE Lovea hair oil when you spend £25 on Lovea (code: LOVEA)
– FREE Inika lip balm with any Inika foundation (code: INIKA)

* * *

 

Green People has:

– 10% off with our exclusive discount (code: NOE10). Valid till 20.9.2015
10% off when you buy 2 products from superfood range
15% off when you buy 3 products from superfood range
20% off when you buy 4 products from superfood range

* * *

 

Akamuti has:

– 15% off your order + FREE Honey & Chamomile Lip Balm exclusive for readers of Nature of Europe with a code: BEAUTY . Valid during Organic Beauty Week.

* * *

 

 

Onlynaturals has:

– 10% off when you buy any Soil Association certified organic product (code: ORGANIC10)
– big discounts in their sale section
FREE Affinity Organics Rosehip oil when you spend £50 or more (code: AFROSE)
FREE Pai Exfoliator (worth £24) when you spend £45 on Pai (code: PAIEXFOLIATE)
FREE Balm Balm Rose & Geranium lip balm when you spend £20 on Balm Balm products (code: BALMBALMLIP) – FREE Evolve Facial Polish when you buy any 2 Evolve products (code: DETOX)
FREE A’Kin Unscented 24 Hour Pure Moisture when you buy any 2 A’Kin products (code: PUREMOISTURE)
FREE Kimia Precious Eye Serum (worth £49) when you buy Kimia Rejuvenating Facial System (code: KIMIAEYE)
FREE Alva Sanddorn Skin Oil when you spend £25 or more on Alva products (code: SKINOIL)
FREE Green People Trial Size products when you spend £20 on Green People
FREE Inlight Under Eye Revive (sample size) when you buy any 2 Inlight products (code: INLIGHTEYE)
FREE Nourish Hand Cream when you buy any two Nourish products (code: NOURISHHAND)

 

 

 

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Ecco Verde has:

– 20% off on Everyday Minerals brushes
FREE CMD nourishing oil when you spend €40 on CMD products
FREE Crazy Rumors lip balm when you spend €79,99

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iHerb has:

– 20% off on Everyday Minerals

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Happy Weekend!

Sep 162015
 

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask is a green clay dry facial mask, infused with 14 active ingredients, targeting oily and acne prone skin, as well as congested skin in need of detox.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask Review
When it comes to facial masks, I can be quite picky, as there aren’t many facial masks, whether detoxifying or hydrating, that would suit my moody and sensitive skin. I’m often trying to balance just how long should I let the facial mask on in order for it to work and not over irritate my skin at the same time. I mostly prefer making my own facial masks. Specifically – green clay based facial masks. I mix green clay with various hydrolates, and, depending on my skin’s need at the moment, I use various essential oils, carrier oils or even serum in my green clay facial mask mix.

As natural beauty is evolving, this idea of a dry clay mask infused with various essential oils, is quite interesting. No wonder I was curious about Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask.

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The Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask comes in an elegant (even the sample pot) miron glass. The scent of this facial mask is pretty similar to other Laurel products – herbal, earthly and natural. Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask ReviewI take about a tea-spoon of the mask, and mix it with hydrolate (usually tea tree and/or rose hydrolate) in a ceramic bowl.I suggest using either a ceramic bowl, wooden bowl or a glass bowl to mix the clay in it. Do not use plastic materials, as the green clay absorbs the the toxins from the plastic.

If you’re not used to using green clay as a facial mask, a bit of a practice of clay : hydrolate ratio will be needed; the clay has to be of the right consistency – not too liquid and not too dry. You can apply the facial mask with a brush or fingers. The application of this facial mask can be tricky and a bit more difficult than just applying dry clay mixed with hydrolates. There can  be some difficulties of mixing the facial mask with hydrolates into a paste which would be easily applied onto the skin; every now and again the paste would fall off the skin, not sticking onto the skin.

I follow the same rule with Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask as I do when applying green clay and hydrolates mask as to how long I leave the mask on my skin: approximately 10 min. The facial mask dries pretty fast, so leaving the mask on the skin for too long would result in skin absorbing the toxins the clay facial mask just detoxed your skin from. Also, if you leave the facial mask on the skin for too long, it may leave your skin feeling too tight and too dry, which could result in your skin producing more oil.

Just as with my home-made green clay facial mask, I use Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask about every 5 days or so. You will quickly notice the results – the facial mask will suck out the impurities and dry and calm acne. When you feel an acne forming, apply a bit of this mask on the acne – even several times a day if needed, in order to stop the acne. you can, of course, mix the facial mask with a drop of a tea tree oil as well. Likewise, this facial mask, aside from being a great detox companion, can be used for irritated and inflamed skin as well.

I then gently rinse the facial mask, and then generously use a facial toner (of course – Laurel elixir works great) and pamper the skin with facial oil or facial serum; Laurel Serum for oily skin works amazingly!

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How about ingredients?

French Green Clay*, Chamomile˚, Passionflower˚, Burdock Root˚, Dandelion Root˚, Lavender˚, Marshmallow Root˚, Yarrow˚, Self Heal˚, Aloe Vera˚, Dulse Seaweed˚; essential oils of Lavender˚, Blue Chamomile˚, Roman Chamomile˚, Helichrysum˚, Palmarosa˚ ˚signifies certified organic *all clay is wildcrafted

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask Review
French Green Clay tones and cleans the skin of toxins. It absorbs oil, and promotes circulation. Chamomile a potent antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties. Suitable for dry, sensitive skin and acne-prone skin. Passionflower has high content of essential fatty acids. It has antibacterial properties; for itchy and irritated skin. Burdock Root has anti-inflammatory properties; it’s used for treating of skin eruptions, such as acne. Dandelion Root has detoxifying properties. Lavender is antiseptic and antibacterial. Marshmallow Root has rich content of flavonoids. It has anti-inflammatory, softening and soothing properties.

Yarrow has rich content of azulene. It has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties and works as a skin cleanser and toner, suitable for acne prone skin. Self Heal or Prunella, has astringent properties. Aloe Vera has a potent moisturizing and anti-aging properties. It’s a blood circulation stimulant. It tightens and rejuvenates skin. Dulse Seaweed is easily absorbed into skin to nourish, tighten, and provide smooth supple skin. Helichrysum, also known as Immortelle oil, is one of the most expensive oils. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging and restorative properties. Palmarosa oil has antiseptic and antiviral properties. It moisturizes and balances the the skin. It rejuvenates and regenerates the skin.

Potentially problematic ingredients? None.

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My final word?

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask is a great detox facial mask for oily, combination and acne prone skin. It consists of all the ingredients (although you’d expect tea tree oil somewhere in the mix as well) needed to purify, detox and clear up oily skin. It does not irritate the skin, although I’d suggest finding the balance as to how long you’d keep it on your skin.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask Review

While it does leave a bit a tight feeling on your skin – and that’s perfectly normal for clay based facial mask – the tightness does not last long, especially if you treat your skin with some quality toner after. Also, do not exaggerate with frequency of using this facial mask, as you’d want to keep your skin balanced – once every week will be most suitable; when battling with acne – apply a small amount of the facial mask directly onto the problematic spot, as many times as needed.

I’ve been testing the Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask for several months now (I’ve received a sample pot size), and given I am pretty modest with how much I use it, I’d wager and say a 50ml pot could last for about 8 months. As the facial mask’s formulation is dry, you don’t have to worry about going rancid, but do make sure the mask, while in the pot, does not come in contact with water.

How about price? Well, 50ml of this facial mask costs $50, and even though it’s a great mask and would last for quite a long time as well as having great ingredients in it, I think the price is a bit too stiff – but still reasonable given all positive aspects of it.

At any rate – if you have oily and acne prone skin in need of detox – and are looking for a high quality facial mask, then Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask  would be a great choice for you.

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Do you use facial masks? What type of facial masks do you prefer – hydrating, purifying? Have you ever made your own facial mask? How about Laurel Whole Plant Organics Facial Mask – anyone tried it yet?

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You can get Laurel Whole Plant Organics products at The Detox Market.

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Laurel Whole Plant Organics Detox Facial Mask has been provided to Nature of Europe by Laurel Whole Plant Organics for the purpose of an honest review.