You know that feeling when you stumble on a new product or service or show? And you want to tell people about it, because sharing is caring, and the people should know if it is good or bad or will change your life. Welcome to all the things we found this month, a monthly series where we share all the random little things we liked, loved or would rather just skip.
#1 Daily peach cotton makeup removal + toning pads
Daily Peach is a new local brand founded by Courtney Patrick. The brand locally produces washable (and 100% compostable) makeup removal and toning pads.
They sell two types of pads – cotton and bamboo which both come in small and medium sizes. The cotton is more exfoliating and good for long lasting foundations and matte lipsticks, whereas the bamboo is more gentle and good for eye makeup and toning. They also sell a drawstring washbag for you to throw your used pads into for the washing machine, but you can also hand wash them.
I was sent a tub of the small peach cotton makeup removal + toning pads and loved them at first sight. The branding is spot on and the packaging is beautifully done, perfectly reflecting their goal to reduce waste is the cosmetic sector. Not too long ago we delved into the topic of recycling makeup, but we didn’t touch on the waste that is created by removing makeup. I use at least one cotton pad every day and hadn’t quite digested how much waste I was creating. This product is truly genius and a necessary item in any makeup kit – they cost less than a drugstore foundation and will long outlive a 30ml bottle.
The tub containing the pads instructs you to wash them pre-use and let them dry flat. I did this by hand. I started using them once dry as a complete cotton pad replacement. I pour micellar water onto one and remove my makeup as normal. I have found that they do require a bit more liquid than a cotton pad – as the pads have texture to them in the form of the crochet stitches. I love the textured element because it provides great grip to the pad which makes it feel like its removing makeup better. I’ve been able to get off all my makeup with just one pad, making the tub of 6 the perfect amount for a workday week of makeup use before my weekly laundry load. It also provides an added exfoliating element which has been amazingly soothing on itchy skin and effective at clearing up little patches of dry skin that I have been experiencing (see #11).
The tube-like tub is comes in is great for repurposing anything but I use both sides for the pads – 1 side to store the clean pads and the other to store the used ones. I have yet to clean them in the washing machine but hand washing has been incredibly easy.
Get them here (R99 for small cotton. + they offer free shipping for orders over R300)
Duolingo is “the world’s most popular language learning platform”. I was recently introduced to their free language learning app and I am loving it. They offer a huge range of language choices and it is the perfect mix of gaming meets education.
When I downloaded it (16 days ago) I chose Hebrew as the first language I want to tackle (you can do multiple at the same time) and set my goal at 10 minutes per day. I have not missed a day and most days I’ve wanted to learn more than the minimum.
The lessons are perfectly structured in bite sizes combining a good mix of hearing, seeing and typing. The free version is supported by ads which you’ll see after every lesson and are given the option to watch more to earn hearts and gems. Hearts are needed to tackle each lesson – you’re given 5 and you lose one with every mistake. You can get more hearts by buying them with your gems (which you earn by watching ads, reaching your daily goal and reaching milestones). You can also earn one heart for practice lessons and they are refilled every few hours.
The plus version costs $6.99/ per month, which is nothing compared to a formal language course and you can cancel anytime. It gives you no ads, offline courses and progress quizzes.
Get it here (available on desktop, apple and android)
#3 Woolworths Tuna packs
These new tuna packs from Woolworths come in 3 different flavours (plus plain). I’ve tried the lemon and lime and Mexican salsa and they’re incredibly tasty. I add them to salads or sandwiches, but I think where these can really shine is as a food option for travelling, camping or even snacks with some crackers for days you forget lunch or need something extra. They’re already spiced and come in an easy to open packet eliminating the need for a tin opener.
Get them here (R24.99)
#4 Africology Vitamin C Skin Boosting Serum
What it Does
This Vitamin C serum combines vitamins and minerals that refine the skin and reduces the signs of ageing. It has Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant to help build collagen and prevent aging. It also helps with pigmentation and smooths the skin for a glow. Vitamin C can also help minimize sun damage (although it is not a replacement for SPF).
How it works
Serums are applied between cleansing and moisturizing and deliver powerful ingredients directly onto your skin. Serums are made up of smaller molecules which penetrate the skin better giving you a high dose of active ingredients. In this case it’s a Vitamin C which increases collagen production, enhances the skin’s repair process, and reduces inflammation.
It comes in a small opaque orange bottle with a dropper. It’s the perfect packaging for a Vitamin C serum as Vitamin C destabilizes when it encounters air, so you want to get it in dark smaller bottles you can use before it expires. It has a soft citrus scent most likely from the orange peel oil in it. I was sent a bottle to try and I’ve been using it for just over a month. It feels good on the skin and doesn’t leave it feeling tacky. I have been letting it sit for a few minutes before moisturizing, and while it may have moisturizing ingredients in it, I still feel like I need a proper moisturizer after. The most noticeable difference is that my skin looks brighter and less tired, which at this time of year is a welcome sight! I find the Africology packaging and products make you feel like you’re at a spa and I really enjoy using it. They’re also free from any toxins and microplastics which is a big win. It also goes a long way; with a month of daily use the 30 ml bottle still feels full.
Get it here (R450)
#5 Woolworths cleaning range
Woolworths recently relaunched their Earth Friendly Range and I was sent a few to try out. The first great thing about this new range is the packaging – they’ve streamline it and made it simple yet elegant ie. the type of cleaning supplies you happily display. The packaging (more importantly) is also fully recyclable and contains a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled plastics. The next pro is the fragrances of these cleaning supplies. I love that they’ve used not only natural scents, but scents you can identify before you buy. Not calling out any cleaning products in particular but what is spring fresh or luxury? I have no idea! But I can tell you what lemongrass smells like and it’s divine (that’s the tile cleaner which makes your house smell amazingly fresh). Their scents are also subtle and smell nothing like chemical cleaners do.
Most importantly though is that they work. It’s a very comprehensive range that includes every cleaning item you can think of. They’ve also included a kitchen spray in the range (and you know how I love a good kitchen cleaner and have tried them all!).
Find them here (Starts from R39.99)
#6 Woolworths Earth Friendly Bamboo Range
Part of the relaunched earth friendly range is a range of bamboo plastic alternative items like travel mugs, cutlery and lunch containers. Bamboo seems to be the new big material when it comes to earth-friendly utensils and storage and it has a certain appeal to it. It has an earthy, matte look and can withstand falling on floors. Their bamboo range is a stone like colour. It’s simple yet practical. The mug is one of the few smaller sized travels mugs we’ve had, which I like. The cutlery comes in a carry case making it easy to store (especially after it’s been used and needs to travel back home with you).
#7 Nomu Rich Dark Cocoa Powder
It’s not important why I need to buy a bulk pack of cocoa, the important part is that I discovered you can buy that really good Nomu cocoa powder in a 1kg pack. I believe it took me so long to discover this because you can only get them directly from Nomu or Yuppie Chef. Only the small tins are found in grocery stores and the fact that I feel I need 1kg should tell you that the little tin will not last long. It’s a really good quality cocoa and works well in both baking and in drinks see here and here for places it’ll go well. And before you balk at the price, divide that by 4 to get 250g which is the average size of regular cocoa. Very much worth it.
Get it here (R179)
#8 WAHOO Aquatic Centre
This is where I did my long swims in preparation for the most harrowing race I’ve swum. You can read about that here. The Wahoo Aquatic Centre has 3 25m pools. It also has a small gym. If you’re looking for a pool to do laps in and aren’t keen on going to gym where the pool is often placed front and centre, this is a really nice option. There are plenty pools, so you’ll get a lane, and it’s not a scene. It’s just a really pleasant place to swim and go on a treadmill or do some weights if that’s your vibe. You can get day passes or opt for a membership.
Find out more here
#9 Sir Juice Cold-Pressed Juice Shots
I found this in Dis-chem while suffering from a bout of flu so felt inclined to give them a try. It was refreshing to see a regular brand do something so health centric.
They come in 3 types; spicey turmeric, daily greens and fiery ginger and are a nice and easy way to consume these power ingredients.
My favourite is the ginger, the ginger flavour is strong and it’s just what I feel I need when I have a sore throat. The turmeric combines the taste of turmeric and ginger so is a good option if you want both ingredients. The greens I wouldn’t bother getting as it tastes mainly like watered down cucumber – a green juice would be a better option.
Get them instore or here – I only find the greens online (R15.95)
#10 Label MakerI borrowed a label maker and lived my organisational dreams. I’m also currently reading the life changing manga of tidying up by Marie Kondo and let me tell you this label maker sparks joy. It also helps in the pursuit of tidying up and getting organised. I strongly suggest either getting a label maker or finding someone in your life who has one you can borrow one from. This one is easy to use and lets you choose different fonts and sizes. It sparks joy I tell you.
Get a similar one here (R699)
#11 Benzac AC 5 Gel
I am deep in research mode on adult acne so stay tuned next year for a thrilling expose (you can subscribe to our newsletter here to be notified when it is published. It rounds up our weekly articles with some extra newsletter only content).
In one podcast I was listening to, a dermatologist said that benzoyl peroxide is better proven to clear pimples than salicylic acid. Being that all my pimple clearing products are salicylic acid based and currently not working on what feels like the worst year long breakout, I decided it was time to find a Benzoyl peroxide-based spot treatment.
Further research online led me to Benzac AC 5 Gel, it has sterling reviews and is inexpensive, so I gave it a tentative try. I was incredibly mindful to not let it touch my clothes or hair as it can bleach them and at first went very lightly with it. It turns out it works very well – it won’t clear you up overnight but definitely reduces pimple sizes overnight and within a week, big ones are virtually gone. I have found that when you get a small dot onto a new developing pimple right at the beginning, it is very effective at getting rid of them fast.
BUT proceed with caution. Let’s say I got a little too trigger happy. I used it for 5 days with great results. On Day 6 or 7, instead of applying a single small dot to pimples I applied an even layer to my chin (which had quite a few pimples brewing). It felt slightly tingly at the time which was a sensation I hadn’t yet experienced. The next morning my chin was red and the next few days I was left with itchy, inflamed and highly aggravated skin. I immediately stopped all use and slowly the area has been lightly flaking and returning to normal.
I’m currently on a back to basics skin regime but will keep this in my arsenal for sporadic minimal use.
Get it here (R99.95)
#12 Broken Brain with Dhru Purohit [podcast]
Part of my adult acne research has been listening to every podcast on the subject. I came across Broken Brain through an episode entitled “A functional medicine approach to treating and healing acne with Dr Robin Berzin”. I enjoyed it so much, that I started listening to more episodes and when I liked those too, I decided it was worthwhile to subscribe to.
Broken brain is a podcast that tackles a lot of health issues and innovations. Host Dhru Purohit interviews top experts in neuroplasticity, epigenetics, biohacking, mindfulness and functional medicine. The episodes are quite long (1 -2 hours depending) but are well researched and executed and contain practical tips that you can take into your life.
Find it here