Tag Archives: natural hair

Review: Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner

Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner

This product was purchased by Nature’s Pulchritude. All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not be influenced in any way, shape, or form.

“Oh, Honey. It’s a natural humectant… nature’s gift for glowing, supple hair. Ah, Hemp Oil. With an incredibly rich array of Fatty Acids to ensure well-nourished tresses. Oh! Ah! Oyin’s Honey-Hemp Conditioner! How could it possibly be improved? Perhaps by adding just the smallest touch of Silk Protein and a generous dollop of Aloe Vera Gel… just to take the succulence over the top. ;o)”


I first started using this product about 4-5 years ago. I wanted to try the products for a few month and eventually got my hands on their ‘snack pack.’ I have since purchased 2 of the 33 ounce bottles. This product was pivotal on my natural hair “journey” and has been a staple. I use this conditioner both as a rinse out and deep conditioner, and have also experimented with using it as a leave-in. It is a fantastic moisturizer and leaves my hair feeling like silk!


This is a fantastic conditioner. Great ingredients, great quality all around. This product does what it claims. The 33 ounce bottle is very convenient because it has a pump. A little goes a long way. 1 33 ounce bottle last me about a year with minimum biweekly use. It has a moderately thick consistency–not runny, not stiffly thick, just right and easily spreadable.

1 Globe


Sweet Citrus. That is the best way to describe how Honey Hemp conditioner smells. It smells really, really, really good. Depending on the products you use after conditioning the faint scent of the product will linger in your hair.

1 Globe



Nourish and Moisture. Check, Check. This product does a great job moisturizing my hair. It works well as a rinse out, but works better as a deep conditioner. 30 minutes underneath a hooded dryer is enough. The moisturized feeling is not from a heavy silicones, waxes, etc. but from true moisturization! My hair feels moisturized after completely rinsing the product out of my hair. [Author’s Note: My hair type is predominately 4a, normal porosity, moderate density]

1 Globe


I typically don’t use this product to detangle but it does work well for detangling. My hair is so well moisturized it does not re-tangle at all after detangling, which makes styling much easier.

1 Globe

Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Behentremonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (emulsifier derived from colza oil), Honey, Virgin Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerine, Hydrolized Silk, Citrus Essences, Fragrance, Optiphen (preservative), and LOVE!

The only questionable ingredient in this product is optiphen, which is a mixture of Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl Glycol. Phenoxyethanol is widely used in natural products and prompted my series “Preservatives in Natural Products.” I don’t think this ingredient is cause for concern, but I’d still like more unbiased peer reviewed studies to fully deem this ingredient Safe!

.85 Globe

4.85/5 Globes

Nature’s Pulchritude All-Star!

Highly recommended!

Have you tried this product? What did you think?


Review: Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap

This product was purchased by Nature’s Pulchritude. All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not be influenced in any way, shape, or form.


I picked this product up in the natural product section of a local grocery store. I had been thinking about switching from castile soap to a true (saponified fat) bar soap and stumbled upon Nubian Heritage soaps. This product didn’t catch my eye when I was looking at their line online, but I figured I should try their soaps before I went making a big order.


This is a very high quality product. This soap fully cleanses my skin, but does not leave it feeling stripped. It leaves it feeling quite moisturized. The soap lasted through about 6 weeks of regular, exclusive use.

1 Globe



I cannot pin point exactly what this smells like. It doesn’t quite give me coconut and likely leans more papaya. I’m not quite sure. The smell is moderate in the shower and does not linger on the skin afterwards, which can be a positive or negative depending on the person. It did not bother me much.

1 Globe



This soap lathers really well! 2 rubs on a wet wash cloth and it was enough later for a full body cleanse. I often find that surfactant based soaps and my old castile soap need a bit more effort to lather well, and must be relathered at least 3 times. That was a big reason I decided to stop purchasing castile soap.

1 Globe



This product is a true soap, where fats (in this case organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, and palm oil) react with an alkali, typically Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) or Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). The alkali no longer remains after the reaction. No questionable ingredients, it is cruelty free, ethically sourced, and all ingredients are naturally derived. This is a winner!

1 Globe

4/4 Globes

Nature’s Pulchritude MVP!

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

Year In Review: 2015

2015 has been a great year! Nature’s Pulchritude wasn’t as active as I would have liked but that will improve in 2016. Nature’s Pulchritude has grown significantly in 2015 and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow in 2016! There were a lot of things I did not get a chance to show this year, mainly recipes and product reviews, but stay tuned for exciting content in 2016.

Top Posts


1) How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXXX. Are “naturally derived” products as good as they claim? This one in particular checked out to be okay!

2) SheaMoisture & Bain Capital Partnership Controversy. This controversy was and still is a touchy subject for many SheaMoisture fans. I can see the positives and negatives of this partnership, but the old waiting game applies here and we will see how it turns out.


3) Swatches: Exclusive Zoya Mini Trio. The mini trio featured exclusive colors from NYFW.


4) How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXXXII. This Label Poise covered a fairly widely available natural hair product that touts being paraben and mineral oil free though it has a host of unfavorable ingredients.

5) Triphenyl phosphate, found in ‘eco-friendly’ nail polish, spurs worries. This was another semi-controversial subject for many nail polish fans. The ingredient in question is most harmful through skin contact not through inhalation, which means with the right precautions you can avoid harm if it is in any of your polishes!


My Favorite Products


Dr. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.  Remedy in a Bottle! Internally, Externally. Hair, Skin. Cooking Purposes. This product is all natural (really) and is certified organic! Amazing-ness!


InstaNatural Peppermint & Lemon Essential Oils.  Ahhh the scent of fresh lemon and peppermint! These are great for aromatherapy and I even use them in a foot soak and a homemade “shampoo!”

SheaMoisture & Bain Capital Partnership Controversy

This post is the first of a series called “Thoughts & Things” where Nature’s Pulchritude will weigh in on relevant topics related to natural and organic beauty and food.

Deep. Sigh.  Finding out that one of your favorite indie/small/niche brands has been bought out or funded by a large privately held entity typically causes loyal supporters to let out a collective deep sigh as they often feel the quality of their favorite brand is soon to decline.  It is not always true, but it most definitely is not uncommon. 

I remember the aftermath in the blogosphere after a well known nail polish brand was acquired by a large beauty company (OPI & Coty).  I also cannot help but recollect when a niche hair and skin brand (Carol’s Daughter) had celebrity investors, changed its marketing strategy, abandoned its core customers, and the debacle that occurred when the brand’s quality declined.  Needless to say, many of the brand’s loyal customers jumped ship once they figured out what was happening.  Said brand went bankrupt before being acquired by a major beauty corporation (L’Oreal).  That brings me to the controversy surrounding the announcement of Bain Capital investing in Sundial Brands LLC which produces SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage.  Many on the internet have been abuzz about this and have been vociferous about their discontent with the investment partnership.  We have seen this movie before, or have we?  

The Facts

Copyright Sundial Brands, LLC

SheaMoisture is a beauty company that was founded in 1992 that produces hair and skin products that has until recently been exclusively marketed to women of African decent to meet their unique hair needs.  SheaMoisture uses 4 generations old recipes that date back to 1912, started by the founder’s grandmother.  SheaMoisture became a household name natural hair brand when their Curl Enhancing Smoothie became the go-to product for natural hair gurus.

SheaMoisture is widely available at Walgreen’s, CVS, Walmart, Sally Beauty, Ulta and a host of brick-and-mortar and online retailers. Their hair and body products are sold at an affordable price point (typically $10, $20 for professional series) and can often be found on sale.  SheaMoisture has over 20 different collections (including men’s, kids, men and women’s shave, hair color, and makeup), many of which have been introduced in the last 2 years.  All of the hair and skin products contain fair trade and certified organic ingredients, most notably the namesake ingredient (Shea Butter), which is often one of the first 5 ingredients.

Sundial Brands (SheaMoisture’s parent company) is valued at $700 million , with annual venue’s of $200 million, according to Wall Street Journal (via MarketWatch).  Bain Capital’s investment amount is unknown.

SheaMoisture “Sells Out”

The worst case scenario is that SheaMoisture “sells out.”  What exactly is selling out?  SheaMoisture abandons its core customer base for the sake of becoming a “renaissance brand,” its formulas gradually begin to change and the organic and fair trade ingredients slowly but surely disappear, then silicones, mineral oil and the whole gang begin getting added into formulas, etc.  You get the point.  SheaMoisture will go the route of Carol’s Daughter and will lose the quality and integrity that attracted early and loyal customers in the first place.

Many SheaMoisture fans are greatly concerned about the choice of investment partner, as Bain Capital was founded by a former republican Presidential candidate (in the US).  Frankly, I am not sure why this is an issue for some.  If you look at various different organizations it is not unlikely you will find a senior level executive(s) with “eccentric” world views, or some “questionable” practices.  Yes it is very much possible that this particular investment firm may not “understand” the mission and values of SheaMoisture and its customers, but that is the responsibility of Sundial Brands to be firm in their values and establish investor criteria that support those values.

SheaMoisture Stays True to its Mission (and Customers)

Power.  Move.  The best case scenario is the SheaMoisture will stay true to its loyal customer base and ‘self’ as a brand, though they are persuing means to increase their profits, valuation, and market share.  Or in other words this is just a good business move.  It should be noted that Sundial Brands was receiving offers to be purchased (wholly acquired), so perhaps it should be heartening that they chose a minority stake investor instead.  

Ideally, once SheaMoisture reaches the financial level they desire they will pay back their investment, buy out Bain Capital’s minority stake, and continue to make quality products.  They will continue to offer products that meet the hair and skin needs of their core customer base, but will also have offerings that will suit the hair and skin needs of other demographics.  SheaMoisture is no longer aiming to be a great “niche” brand but is instead looking to become a beauty powerhouse that happens to have “clean/natural” formulas and use organic and fair trade ingredients in their products.

This partnership could go either way, but it is likely to go one of the two.  Sundial Brands CEO has noticed and responded to the backlash, trying to ensure customers that SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage products will retain their integrity.

What are your thoughts on this partnership?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Sundial Brands Announce Strategic Partnership to Drive Its Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship

A well known beauty brand that produces quality products with fair trade and certified organics products via SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage recently announced an investment partnership that has been met with controversy. Check back tomorrow for my take on this partnership and why you should or should not be concerned!

Copyright Sundial Brands LLC (No Copyright Infringement Intended)

New York – (September 2, 2015) – Sundial Brands, the natural skin care and hair care manufacturer widely recognized for introducing the New General Market concept to beauty and retail, today announced that it has signed an agreement to enter into a strategic partnership with Bain Capital Private Equity, a leading global investment firm, to accelerate the company’s growth. Sundial founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis will continue to provide vision and leadership for the company, which will remain majority family-owned and operated including board, management and day-to-day operationsThe partnership will drive Sundial’s social entrepreneurship model, accelerate its multi-brand portfolio strategy – including investments in community-minded entrepreneurs and brands – and advance its transformative approach to serving New General Market consumers. It also ensures that Sundial’s community of consumers will remain at the forefront of the beauty landscape. Financial terms of the minority investment were not disclosed.

Copyright Sundial Brands LLC (No Copyright Infringement Intended)

“Our love of people has always been our motivation and our competitive advantage,” said Dennis. “While we have been presented several opportunities to be acquired by multinational corporations, we are most excited that our collaboration with Bain Capital fulfills our commitment to remain an independent family-owned and operated company with a purpose-driven business model that puts community at our core. Our consumers have always been partners with us, and now they can continue to walk with us on this journey. We recognize that African-American women have long been at the forefront of the natural hair and body movement that has created the dynamic cultural shift that we see today. It is exciting for us to see how Naturalistas have now empowered women from all backgrounds to embrace their natural beauty. In addition, they have compelled multinational beauty brands and retailers to acknowledge and be more respectful of their needs. Our family has understood this since 1912 – the value of listening to underserved consumers and delivering on their unmet needs. We are moving forward to build Sundial into a global family-owned-and-operated consumer brand of which they can be even more proud.”

“We are also excited to welcome Bain Capital as a valuable partner who shares our commitment to our communities globally and understands how our brand of social entrepreneurism can be enhanced to achieve our vision for growth and impact,” Dennis added.  “Sundial is now in the strongest position to continue to lead this beauty revolution, alongside all of our consumers, so that no one gets left behind.” Deval Patrick, a Managing Director at Bain Capital and the former Governor of Massachusetts, played an active role in the partnership discussions and will join the Board of Directors of Sundial.

Copyright Sundial Brands LLC (No Copyright Infringement Intended)

In 1992, Dennis founded Sundial with his college roommate, Nyema Tubman, and his mother, Mary Dennis, shortly after graduating from Babson College and being unable to return to his home country of Liberia because of civil war.  With a passion for entrepreneurship and a vision to fill unmet consumer needs, Dennis decided to pursue a bold concept: address skin and hair care issues traditionally ignored by mass market companies.  Drawing from culturally-authentic traditions born out of his family’s roots in Africa and passed down to him from his grandmother, Dennis incorporated four generations of recipes, wisdom and global experiences into efficacious natural bath and body care products.  In two short decades, Sundial has grown from selling products on the streets of New York City to having distribution and co-creation of its flagship brands – SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage – with major retailers across the United States. Via its purpose-driven Community Commerce business model, the company creates opportunities for sustainable social and economic empowerment throughout its supply chain and communities in the U.S. and Africa, focusing on entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, education and wellness.

“We are strategically aligned with our new partner around the elevation of the New General Market as a key growth driver and the opportunity to identify and invest in new ways to better serve our consumer community,” said Dennis.  “We have defined the New General Market as ‘an amalgamation of cultures, ethnicities and demographics aligned against commonalities, need states and lifestyles.’  Most critical are the commonalities and employing multi-need strategies that acknowledge both the differences within populations and the similarities across populations.  We all share similar needs that are often unmet or under-served.  When we focus on those, we can provide solutions that serve everyone in much more meaningful, relevant ways.”

Bain Capital Private Equity has a long track record of investing in and partnering with management teams to help grow companies.  Some of its consumer and retail investments have included TOMS, Canada Goose and Bright Horizons Family Solutions.

“Richelieu and his family have built an amazing business and community centered on the idea of the New General Market, an idea that is very well aligned with where we as consumers and as a country are headed. We could not be more excited to partner with Sundial Brands to continue to enhance this differentiated approach to innovation, social entrepreneurship and community engagement,” said Ryan Cotton, a Managing Director at Bain Capital.


Product Review: Radha Argan Oil

These items were provided by Radha Beauty for review. All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not be influenced in any way, shape, or form.


Product Details

Consistency: Liquid
Color: Yellow
Scent: None
Environmentally Friendly?: Yes, Recyclable Glass Container.
Animal Testing?: No.


This is a really great oil!  It is slightly more viscous than olive oil and has no smell.  It absorbs well into hair.

1 Globe


This product can be used for hair or skin.  I used this product on the ends of my hair and have already seen a reduction in split and broken ends!  Amazing!

1 Globe



This product is only 1 ingredient, pure Argan Oil!  The bottle of this product says “100% organic” but it does not have a seal of the organization that certified it.  Being that the argan oil is imported from Morocco, it is possible it was certified there, thus not having the USDA seal.

.8 Globes

2.8/3 Globes

Overall, this is an excellent product and will most definitely be a staple in my hair regimen!  I will see how it does on skin and will update this post!

How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XLIII

It has been a particularly harsh winter, which has resulted in your hands being dry and rough.  You are ready for spring and want moisturized hands along with it!  You are looking for a high quality moisturizer, so you went to a health food store to explore their products.  You find a hand cream that has 4 ingredients!  There is nothing you cannot pronounce and nothing looks too chemical-ish, but is the product what it seems?  Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label


The Ingredients

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: Safe!  This ingredient is derived from the nut of the Shea Tree and is used for its moisturizing properties.  (MSDS)

Goat’s Milk: Safe! Goat’s Milk is used in cosmetics for its high moisturizing effects. Goat’s Milk contains various vitamins ((A, B6, B12, E), proteins, beta casein, and triglycerides which give it its moisturizing capabilities. Avoid!  if vegan, vegetarian, or you have a milk allergy. Goat’s Milk is not known to be toxic, nor a skin, eye, or lung irritant in individuals without a milk allergy. (MSDS; MSDS; MSDS)

Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract:  Beware! Green Tea extract is used for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, astringent, emollient, skin conditioning, uv absorption, and humectant properites. It is typically used in concentrations not exceeding 2% in leave-on products, and 1% in rinse-off products and are considered safe for use in cosmetics when formulated to be non sensitizing. Green Tea Extract is a slight skin, eye, and lung irritant in pure form.  No information on developmental, reproductive, or teratogenic toxicity available. (MSDS;CIR)

Rose Extract: Safe!/Beware! This ingredient is obtained from Rose buds and petals. It is typically used in concentrations of 5-10% as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, and emollient. This ingredient is not known to be an irritant to skin, eyes, or lungs, nor is it known to be carcinogenic. (MSDS)


Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict: 4 ingredients. The Green Tea and Rose extracts are likely in concentrations of less than 5% each and are likely of minimal concern!  Looks like your Label Poise is really developing!

Cosmetic Preservative In ‘Natural’ Products Causes Allergic Reactions

This article is not surprising.  The ingredients in question have been featured here before.  Once it again it is important to know what ingredients are in your products and to pay attention to any irritation or sensitization and see what common ingredients are in the products you are using!

(Sydney Lupkin, March 11, 2015)–Skin-care products may have labels touting natural and hypoallergenic ingredients, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause allergic reactions, doctors say. 

Studies have shown that some people are allergic to a preservative called methylchloroisothiazolinone that appears in some skin, hair and other personal care products and household goods. Diana Wilson of Houston said she thinks she’s among them because she developed an itchy mystery rash on her hands that doctors at first thought might have been eczema.

 No Copyright Infringement Intended

“I was just at my wits’ end,” Wilson told ABC’s Houston station KTRK. “This is when it was at its worst. It was cracking, it was hurting. It was very painful. I couldn’t touch anything, couldn’t do anything, and it looked awful.”

She said she found the preservative listed on many products in her home, even her dish detergents. But what struck her as odd was that most of her products were labeled hypoallergenic or all-natural.

“That was the most frustrating part,” Wilson told KTRK.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone and its relative methylisothiazolinone — MCI or MI for short — have been used in products in the United States for years, experts said. Though allergies to them are considered rare, they’ve been on the rise, said Dr. Stacy Dorris, a pediatrics professor at Vanderbilt University Medical School who specializes in allergies. The American Contact Dermatitis Society named MI “allergen of the year” in 2013, she noted.

Dorris said she sees these allergies most often in adults and children who are using diaper wipes or other wet wipes, and it initially causes what looks like chronic eczema that doesn’t clear up on the face, hands or rear-end, she said.  Since she’s on the lookout for it, she tells parents to stop using the wipes, and the rash clears up in about a month.

Hypoallergenic products can be “a little bit of a misnomer,” she said, because the label really means these products contain chemicals that aren’t likely to cause allergic reactions.

It doesn’t mean it’s absolutely not going to cause allergies,” she said.

The wipes tend to be a bigger issue than face wash, for example, because it is a leave-on product, she said.

Dr. Corey Hilmas, the Natural Products Association’s senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, said the more MCI or MI a product contains, the more likely it is to cause sensitivity.

Neither MCI nor MI are allowed in products that bear an NPA certification seal, he said.  But not all natural products are certified.

“Any time you see the word ‘natural,’ you always have to ask yourself as a consumer, ‘What is the standard they’re using?’ ‘Is it a marketing ploy?'” Hilmas said.

Still, Hilmas stressed that preservatives in general are important because they prevent bacteria, fungus and other microbials from growing in personal care products.

Having a preserve is not something that’s optional,” he said, explaining that they prevent products from growing things like E. coli.

But there are alternatives, such as benzyl alcohol. And there are natural alternatives, such as grapefruit seed extract, he said.

(via ABC News)