Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Cruelty-Free Body Wash for Men

I'm always excited to see new personal care products for men, and darn near ecstatic when I find one that isn't tested on animals. So, you can imagine my enthusiasm when I came across a new cruelty-free body wash for men, Every Man Jack. Not that I mind the other body washes I've tried, as they aren't necessarily for women only, though I wouldn't describe the scents as all that manly. And many of the scents, as I've described in previous posts, I really enjoy, however feminine they may be. So, I smell like a Midnight Tuberose. So what?! A guy can't small all flowery and sweet? But I digress.

There is something nice about being catered to, as a guy, when it comes to things like body washes. Other than this new one, the only other cruelty-free company that I can think of that had a men's personal care product line was the Body Shop. And it's not very convenient to find a Body Shop store whenever I need new shampoo, shaving cream or body wash. So, good for Every Man Jack to find what I hope is a large, untapped market. I say 'I hope' because I'd really like to think that there are lots of other men out there who prefer to buy products that aren't tested on animals. Plus, aside from that, most of these products also use natural ingredients, rather than these overly perfumed, chemically saturated products that you typically find in grocery stores. So, I've found that, in most cases, I like the natural, cruelty-free products far better than the products from companies that do test on animals, and that's without taking into account the ethical and environmental factors.

Every Man Jack has a few choices in their body wash line: Cedarwood, Citrus Scrub, and Signature Mint. I opted for the Cedarwood this time, because what's more manly than smelling like lumber? However, the smell is not at all lumber-like, but rather somewhat musky in a good way. Though I wouldn't necessarily equate the smell with cedar, it is not at all unpleasant. In fact, I like it a lot. And unlike the JASON body wash that I've tried, I'm well over halfway through the bottle and enjoy it just as much each day as I did on the first.

I read a review on Amazon that the reviewer felt like it wasn't getting him as clean as other body washes, that he still felt that he had oily residue left on his skin after using it. I don't feel that's the case at all. I feel completely clean and smelling good. In fact, if I had to register any complaint at all with the Every Man Jack body wash, it would be that the bottle itself just seems kind of cheap. And I can't really explain why. I'm not sure if it's the color, which is a grayish-brown, or the fake wood cap. But I remember seeing it in the store and almost dismissing it because it didn't look like it would be body wash. The first thing that came to mind when I saw it was those old Hartz dog shampoo bottles (they've since changed their packaging). But this is obviously a small and insignificant complaint for what is really a great product. It smells good, keeps me clean and, best of all, it's inexpensive at just $6.99 (on Amazon) for a 17oz. bottle.

If you're a man, or a woman shopping for the man in your life, I would highly recommend Every Man Jack's body wash.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cruelty-Free Dandruff Shampoo

My dermatologist tells me I have Seborrheic dermatitis, which is a condition that's essentially the same as dandruff, except that it causes flaking and redness on other parts of the body. For me, it's on my face, which I effectively treat with a combination of a couple different prescription creams. For the scalp, she (my dermatologist) explained that people can sometimes have success with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos, though she suggested I try this prescription foam (I believe she said it was a foam). So, I went to pick up the prescription, only to find out at the pharmacy that it would set me back $280! I politely declined, so I'm now on a quest to find not only a dandruff shampoo that works for me, but one that does not test on animals. And that is going to be no small challenge. I've found that, as you move into the more medicated side of things, it's far more difficult to find cruelty-free products. I've found and tried two different shampoos thus far:

Avalon Organics Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Shampoo - I've seen a few different brands with Tea Tree offerings that claim to have anti-dandruff properties. In the product description for this one, it says, "This shampoo balances the scalp's delicate chemistry and gently cleanses, as restorative beta glucan helps reduce dryness and irritation." The shampoo is nice, has a pleasant scent, but I haven't found that it makes any difference for my flaking and itchiness. It's fairly inexpensive, though, which is nice.

Regenepure DR Scalp Treatment anti Hair Loss and Dandruff Shampoo topical with Ketoconazole - I found this on Amazon and was very hopeful. It's expensive at $25, and it contains Ketoconazole, which is one of the lotions that I use on my face to treat my Seborrheic dermatitis, so I was feeling optimistic about this one. And, amazingly, it says that it contains no animal by-products and, on the bottle itself, says that it is only tested on humans. Nice. Although I referred to PETA's list of companies that do and don't test on animals and couldn't find Regenepure, or their parent company, Salonceuticals, on either list. But on the Regenepure site, they say they don't test on animals, so I'm inclined to trust that. The first application of the shampoo was interesting, as there was a definite tingling feeling happening, so I figured it must really be working. Unfortunately, I didn't notice any difference at all in the flaking or itchiness. I've been using it for over a week now, and haven't noticed anything in the way of resolving this issue. The other thing that it reports to do is to help hair look and feel thicker. Haven't really noticed much of that going on either. I think I'll try using it two or three times a week, and rotating in the Avalon Organics shampoo to see if that helps.