This skincare and natural deodorant is made from apple cider vinegar

February 27, 2019 by  
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Transitioning to natural skincare isn’t always easy. If you’ve used conventional products for years, it can take some time for your skin to eliminate the build-up of chemicals. Sway is hoping to help with that transition with a line of detoxing natural deodorants and new vegan and cruelty-free skincare, all of which is primarily made from apple cider vinegar. Sway’s mission is to gently help your body adjust from a lifetime of personal care products laden with toxins, synthetic fragrances and more icky ingredients to items made from natural ingredients, like apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, aloe vera and rose water. While anyone can make the switch, Sway’s products aid your body in detoxing years of build-up of chemicals, such as the aluminum used in antiperspirants. Moving from conventional body care items to plant-based products can often cause itchiness and irritation, but using carefully selected ingredients, Sway makes the transition comfortable, quick and easy. Related: These are our favorite beauty retailers from the Indie Beauty Expo We tested Sway at the Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles , and we were blown away. Founder Rebecca So is as passionate about skincare as she is about natural ingredients — she helped us try all of her products and explained the ingredients and health benefits of each and every one. Naturally, we decided to push the products to the limit by trying them for several weeks at home, the office, the gym and any other general, everyday situation we could think of. Sway’s claim to fame is a detoxing deodorant as well as an armpit mask. The deodorant’s main ingredient is organic apple cider vinegar. While the deodorant is lightly scented (we tried vanilla), it’s clear upon opening that ACV is the star of the show. Luckily, this smell dissipates quickly. Interestingly enough, this deodorant was originally developed as a face toner, which shows just how gentle it is for skin. Alone, the deodorant works best if you reapply a couple times throughout the day, especially if you are in the process of ditching antiperspirant. While it doesn’t block sweat (and it shouldn’t — sweating is a natural bodily function!), it does keep unpleasant odors at bay. It does take awhile to dry, so it is recommended that you apply it right after a shower and as you get ready for the day. This does make a reapplication more difficult, but Sway offers a dry dusting powder that helps the deodorant last longer. We have not tested the powder, but it would be great to help cut back on the need to reapply the deodorant. The armpit mask is completely game-changing. It’s a charcoal-based mask, not unlike a mud mask you’d use to wind down on a lazy Sunday evening. Other impressive ingredients include the brand’s beloved ACV, as well as bentonite clay and jojoba oil. Together, this roster of plant-based materials helps remove chemical build-up, particularly aluminum, from under the arm. It smooths dryness and flakiness and makes transitioning to natural deodorant simple. Long-term use of antiperspirant is also known to cause underarm discoloration, and this mask helps even out the skin tone in this area. It’s easy (and admittedly pretty fun) to apply, and a quick hop in the shower rinses the mask and all the gunk away. Sway also debuted a brand new line of natural skincare at IBELA, and we’ve been talking about it ever since. Particularly appealing, the cucumber face toner, the Vitamin C serum and the daily moisturizer have all become integrated into our all-natural morning skincare routines. The texture of each is very light, while still providing plenty of moisture to dry, wintry skin. The smell is nice, too — each offers a refreshing, slightly fruity scent. “Extending the same philosophy we used to develop our detox deodorant, we recently launched our skincare line that offers total body care solutions,” So said. “We understand using only flower extracts and oils cannot change the appearance of wrinkles, so we combine the best of nature with biotechnology in making our products. As you can see, all our products are jam-packed with high-quality ingredients, such as peptides, apple stem cell, etc. without the price tag.” + Sway Images via Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Sway. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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This skincare and natural deodorant is made from apple cider vinegar

Two energy-efficient cork homes are elevated off the landscape in northern Spain

February 27, 2019 by  
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Barcelona-based firm López-Rivera Arquitectos has unveiled two beautiful homes tucked into a dense forest in northern Spain. The natural forest, which is comprised of cork and pine trees, inspired the architects to clad both homes in a gorgeous cork facade . The sustainable material helped create an energy-efficient and resilient design that is also raised off the ground to reduce the impact on the landscape. Located in Platfrugell, Catalonia, the two cork houses are located on a rugged landscape, marked by uneven and steep terrain. The challenging topography, as well as the architects’ respect for nature, inspired the design to go vertical. Anchored into a strong base of concrete, the two homes are elevated on cross-laminated timber supports, which were locally-sourced. Related: Solar-powered cork house pursues healthy, sustainable living Both of the homes are entirely clad in two layers of cork to connect the homes into the environment, which is a dense, wooded landscape dominated by the presence of cork trees. The designers also chose the material for its durable and long-lasting features, and for its ability to tightly insulate the homes, conserving energy throughout the year. In fact, the project’s many passive features have earned both of the homes a Class A energy rating. The interior design of the two structures was also based on their natural setting. The wooden walls were left exposed to continue the cabin-the-woods atmosphere. To keep the residents warm and cozy in the cold months, the ceramic-tiled floors are heated through a system of underfloor heating. During the summer months, the adjustable casement wood windows enable almost constant air ventilation  through the interior. For those searing hot days, an adjacent swimming pool is the perfect cool-down spot. With no hallways and rooms of varying sizes, the living spaces were arranged so that there is no clear distinction between them. According to the architects, this was strategic so that the interior spaces would be defined by their relationship to the outdoors. Large open-air decks are at the heart of the design and offer stunning views of the surrounding forest as well as distant views of the sea. + López-Rivera Arquitectos Photos by José Hevia and Juande Jarrillo via López-Rivera Arquitectos

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Two energy-efficient cork homes are elevated off the landscape in northern Spain

Designer creates algae-sourced alternative for plastic packaging

February 27, 2019 by  
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Food packaging has a become a target in the world of sustainability and environmentalism. Walk down the aisle of any supermarket or look in your own shopping cart, and you’re likely to see package after package made from petroleum-based plastic. A few resourceful scientists and engineers have chosen to tackle the problem, including designer Margarita Talep, who has developed an algae-based alternative to plastic. With the short lifecycle of most packaging, Talep wanted to create a material that would stand up to the task of holding food and other products but break down quickly once it hit the waste stream. Related: Nuatan is the bioplastic that could answer the plastic pollution crisis Agar, a gel-like substance sourced from seaweed, is not new to the food world, as it is commonly used as a food thickener. With that understanding, Talep heats the agar to create a polymer and then adds water as a plasticizer and natural dyes for color. To achieve the goal of all-natural ingredients, natural dyes are sourced from fruits and vegetables such as beets, carrots, blueberries and purple cabbage. After the mixture of agar and other ingredients is heated, it is cooled, a process that transforms it into a gel. At this point, the mixture is turned into thin plastic or poured into molds to cool. By adjusting the ingredients, Talep has created a firm material that will mold into shapes, such as the trays that a package of donuts sit in. The technique is versatile enough that it can also create a replacement for plastic bags, like those pasta is sold in. With the overarching goal of replacing single-use , disposable packaging, the algae packaging breaks down naturally within two to three months during warm summer months, depending on the thickness of the material. In the colder winter months, the material still breaks down, but requires a few extra weeks. + Margarita Talep Images via Margarita Talep

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Designer creates algae-sourced alternative for plastic packaging

Lather is the PETA-approved skincare that reminds us all to slow down

February 22, 2019 by  
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From its natural ingredients to its carbon-neutral operations and its eco-friendly packaging, you’re going to want to lather up with Lather. First spied by Inhabitat at this year’s Indie Beauty Expo, Lather’s long line of sustainable skincare products have made themselves a new home in our medicine cabinets. Founded in 1999, Lather was started by Emilie Hoyt after she battled with migraines — which were partially caused by the harmful ingredients found in conventional skincare and cosmetics. Hoyt is an “explorer at heart” with a deep appreciation for nature, so she drew upon this passion when creating a wellness brand that emphasizes natural ingredients while also keeping the planet in mind at every stage of production. Related: These are our favorite beauty retailers from the Indie Beauty Expo In addition to using ingredients straight from nature, Lather does not test on animals, nor does it work with manufacturers that do. Furthering its commitment to sustainability, Lather is a carbon-neutral company that uses EcoPure, recycled materials and soy-based inks in all of its packaging. As if that wasn’t enough to love, Lather also supports eco-focused charities such as the Baobab Guardians Program, which “employs and empowers women and works hard to ensure the survival of the oldest trees on Earth.” It’s hard to narrow down the products to our favorites, but we must say that the bamboo lemongrass body scrub is one of the most popular Lather products for good reason. The scrub has become an essential part of our showering routine — the scrub suds up to cleanse you while also gently exfoliating skin and emitting a really pleasant, natural fragrance. Follow this up with the matching body lotion for a refreshing scent that invigorates you and a moisturizer that leaves your freshly exfoliated skin at its softest. Along the lines of keeping your skin happy and hydrated, we recommend keeping Lather’s Hand Therapy with you at all times. This restorative lotion is made with shea, oats and olive. The scent is earthy in a pleasant way, and the cream helps relieve cracked hands and dry cuticles. Lather also offers a multitude of face cleansers that target various skin concerns, from dryness to oily textures and sensitivity to blemishes. There are also different formulas, such as gels, creams, oils, and soap bars. We tested the Ultra Mild Face Wash. It’s a powerful cleanser that removes makeup with ease without leaving skin feeling dry or tight. We weren’t in love with the smell, but we didn’t hate it, either. We followed this face wash with the Ultra Light Face Lotion, which doesn’t have much of a scent to it. It was perfect for a daily moisturizer — hydrating enough to banish dryness, but light enough to wear all day without feeling heavy or greasy. Overall wellness is a prime factor behind all of Lather’s products, which is why the company developed a gel based pain reliever for muscle aches and pain. The gel provides temporary pain relief with formulated herbal extracts used by the native tribes of Northern Mexico. The gel is incredibly fast acting once its massaged onto joints or muscles and has a lingering cooling and heating effect that is felt almost instantly thanks to the menthol, camphor and capsaicin in the product. While the scent is powerful, it’s not overbearing and definitely worth it as this gel can quickly alleviate pain. We have made this our go-to pain relieving gel. While Lather is designed to enjoy at home as its own act of self care, the company’s passion for wellness extends in-store, too. From free Pamper Parties for groups to indulge in an afternoon of natural  skincare to relaxation stations with cozy seating and “5-minute stories” from a machine that offers short stories for guests to read, Lather encourages clients to take a moment to breathe and enjoy each passing moment. The brand’s ethos to care about yourself and the environment is evident through and through. + Lather Images via Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Lather. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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Lather is the PETA-approved skincare that reminds us all to slow down

Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit

October 24, 2016 by  
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If you are sick and tired of having your bicycle stolen stolen, then we have just the thing for you. After he and several of his friends lost their bikes to sneaky thieves, inventor Daniel Idzkowski came up with the most bizarre solution. SkunkLock prevents bike theft by releasing a chemical deterrent released when a would-be thief tries to cut through the lock , and it’s noxious enough, nobody would want to stick around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1OLoPIBfY Made with hardened medium-carbon steel , the black and white U-Lock contains a hidden pressurized deterrent that the company says actually induces vomiting in most cases. These noxious chemicals are so strong they “elicit an instinctive response to run away immediately,” according to the company’s Indiegogo page. They say it’s possible a bike might smell if the chemicals are released, but not likely, although they include disinfection instructions with their locks. Related: Engineering Students Create the World’s First Unstealable Bike What chemicals do they use? SkunkLock doesn’t quite disclose that information, saying they prefer to keep their formula a secret so thieves can’t figure out a way around it. They do say on their Indiegogo page that capsaicin compounds may be present in the lock, but that SkunkLock isn’t “strictly a pepper spray product.” While some bike owners may be deterred by the idea of noxious chemicals, SkunkLock assures people their bike lock is safe and legal. The company purposely skewed away from electronic and smart locks, saying electronics can fail or be dismantled. Instead their lock fights back, as per the company slogan. Once the chemicals are released, the company says the structural integrity should still be there but the lock won’t deter against thieves in the unique skunk-like fashion any more. There’s no expiration date on the bike lock, but the company plans to keep improving the technology and hopes SkunkLock owners will buy updated versions in the future. SkunkLock is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo . A limited number of people can snag a SkunkLock for $99; from there the price goes up to $109 and then to $119. You can check out the campaign here . + SkunkLock + SkunkLock Indiegogo Campaign Images via SkunkLock Facebook and SkunkLock

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Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit

World’s first urban cargo scooter carries up to 50 lbs on the go

April 8, 2016 by  
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There are plenty of good reasons to go without a car for short errands and trips, including exercise and a reduced carbon footprint . But there’s one big problem that holds a lot of people back: when you’re carrying a heavy load, it can be a struggle to carry it by hand. That’s why Nimble Scooters has created a line of innovative cargo push scooters, allowing everyday people to rely on cars less while doing chores, commuting to work, or shopping. The newest model, the Nimble Urban Scooter, is currently funding on IndieGoGo . Read the rest of World’s first urban cargo scooter carries up to 50 lbs on the go

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World’s first urban cargo scooter carries up to 50 lbs on the go

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