REVIEW: Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Your whole life, the beauty industry has mislead you. It has lied to you. It has convinced you that if your shampoo doesn’t lather, or if it doesn’t leave your hair smelling like fresh daisies, that it’s not actually doing its job. What the beauty industry doesn’t tell you, is those suds you’re so used to are caused by sulfates. These sulfates are an aggressive detergent, meant to remove dirt and grime from your hair – which they do. But in addition to cleansing they often also dry out your scalp, strip your hair of its natural oils, and in some cases can even cause severe skin irritation. And that fresh daisy scent that makes your hair smell so clean? That’s an added fragrance… more specifically, a toxic chemical. It is added to your shampoos and conditioners, to trick you into thinking you have clean hair, when really you’ve just added who knows how many additional chemicals in that bottle to get that fresh, clean smell.

The quick solution? Never wash your hair again.

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The long-term solution? Find a better product to wash your hair with.

That is where Maple Holistics comes in. The company is headquartered in Farmingdale, New Jersey, and provides all natural, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, made-in-the-USA products through their online shop. The company started in 2001 but became commercially available around the country in 2012, and I was fortunate enough to recently receive their Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner set to try out.

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*Note: Maple Holistics kindly sent me these products to review,
but all opinions in this post are always, completely my own.*

After my Halloween baby powder blunder, my hair was in dire need of some TLC. These products came into my life at the perfect time. I had a feeling they would restore the much-needed moisture back into my hair, but had some concerns over using an all-natural product for the long term. Would my hair become over-oily? Would it ever actually feel “clean”? Would a lack of added fragrance mean if I don’t wash it for a couple days, it will start to look and smell dirty? All of these concerns, while valid, are definitely a by-product of the beauty industry standards of adding unnecessary ingredients to shampoos and conditioners to manipulate what we believe actually constitutes as clean.

What’s in it?

Argan oil is derived from the nuts of Argania spinosa, a native desert tree in Morocco. It can be ingested, and in Morocco is often used for dipping bread, on couscous, or in salads. It’s also increased in popularity recently for cosmetic use, in the hair, skin, and nails. The benefits of Argan oil are pretty clear when using in your hair: it’s non-greasy, tames frizz and fly-aways, provides shine, and protects your hair against the heat of dryers, curlers, and flat irons.

Maple Holsitics uses all-natural ingredients in conjunction with Argan oil to bring forth an effective tool for anyone who wants to bring their hair back to life. Free of sulfates, parabens, and fragrance, the company uses a natural and gentle surfactant in their shampoo, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, instead of the typical kinds of sulfates found in commercial shampoos and conditioners. A quick google search of most of the major ingredients in their products (most of which I was unfamiliar with) show they are mostly derived from coconut oil (another *amazing* product for your skin and hair) and other various organic compounds and oils.

The results are in…

I have pretty healthy hair to begin with – it’s not color treated, I only blow dry it once every week or so, and typically wash it two or three times per week. I do tend to flat iron my hair daily. After the first week of using the Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, I didn’t see much of a difference in the overall appearance of my styled hair. This was actually a positive in my eyes, since I feared the oil might weigh my hair down or make it appear greasy. What I did notice immediately was added shine; again, much needed after that baby powder sucked all the natural oils out of my hair. My dry, straw-like hair was back to normal in no time.

After about a month and a half of continued use, I have also noticed a dramatic decrease to flakes and dandruff, especially going on day two or three without washing. This is definitely a side-effect of removing sulfates from my hair care routine.

My unstyled hair has always had this natural, unattractive “kink” to it – not straight but not quite curly/wavy. It kinda just flips out where it wants, much to my disdain. But ever since using these products, when I let my hair naturally dry, it has become much more tame and dries less frizzy. Even after a vigorous workout at the gym (with short hair I can’t really put it in a pony), my sweaty hair largely stays put, which is in sharp contrast to the gross, uncontrollable flip-out it was doing just a couple months ago. I couldn’t believe it – to actually be able to run to the store/bar/wherever after the gym and not worry about what my hair is doing. What a feeling!

I do feel like it has lost a little bit of volume over the last month, but it’s nothing a little dry shampoo or teasing can’t fix. The smell of both these products are subtle and pleasant. I started to notice after a while, my hair took on more of my own natural scent which was also pretty delightful – no smelly hair after a few days without washing (seriously – I’ve had my closest friends perform the sniff test). The picture below is on day three (!!) without washing, and I just can’t tell you enough how much my hair has changed for the better since I went all-natural.

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Overall, the benefits of switching to an all-natural hair routine have made me a believer. My hair feels and looks so much better, it’s so much less dry and static-y (just in time for winter!), and I know I can feel good about the ingredients in the bottle.

Claim your free sample!

As an added gift to you, Maple Holistics is offering a Free Sample to anyone who visits their page and fills out this form! They even let you pick what sample you want to receive… what do you have to lose?


Check out Maple Holistic’s wide range of organic and natural beauty products on their website, www.mapleholistics.com or visit their page on Amazon!

I found a new oil and it’s changing my life

If you know me, you know the struggles I’ve faced with my complexion throughout the years. My teenage years were filled with oily, pimply skin and harsh acne creams. When it finally cleared up, I was left with a ton of acne scars, awkward combination skin, and random breakouts that could strike at any moment.

A couple years ago I stumbled across rosehip oil, and it helped with some of the issues I experienced, but it wasn’t my complete solution. I still dealt with breakouts and oily skin at the end of a long day. Then about six months ago, my mom got me hip to witch hazel wipes, and that has truly been a life saver. I saw a noticeable difference in my complexion, my makeup started going on smoother, and I was less oily throughout the typical day. But, throw a stressful week of work at me and I still found myself trying to fend off a painful zit with spot acne treatment or even resorting to — gasp — popping them. I figured keeping this routine was as good as it was going to get for me. Boy, was I wrong.

My December Ipsy bag seemed like nothing out of the ordinary. A lip treatment that reminded me of a milder Carmex, a pricey concealer brush (honestly the item I was most excited about), an eyeliner that I haven’t even opened yet, another highlighter to add to the growing collection… and then there was this tiny 0.23 fl oz bottle of maracuja oil from Tarte Cosmetics.

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So, my first thought was WTF. Ever since discovering rosehip oil, I’m always down for the latest and greatest face oil, but I’m used to buying oils from brands like Aura Acacia or Trader Joe’s…and I’m not necessarily all that trusting of one sold by a cosmetics line. Second, my friend just told me about a bad experience she had throwing an oil on her face all willy-nilly one night, only to wake up with her eyes swollen shut. I was hesitant to say the least, but did some light research on it and figured I’d give it a shot. After all, it was called “Pure Maracuja Oil” and the only ingredient was 100% maracuja oil. What could be the harm in trying it out? It was the best decision I ever made.

This shit has no joke changed my life. I can recall a night in my late teens, it’s seriously still so clear in my mind: I stared closely at the details of my face, all the craters and scars and blemishes, and cried so helplessly because I thought the damage to my face as a result of my struggles with acne were going to be permanent. And I’ve since accepted that fact. But in just two months of use, my acne scars are fading; my pores are shrinking; and my breakouts are fewer and father in-between. I even had the start of a painful zit just before Valentine’s Day (one that even my witch hazel wipes haven’t saved me from in the past), I applied the oil day and night… and. The. Zit. Disappeared. My friends are starting to notice the change in my complexion. They told me they thought the scars were permanent too. So what the hell is this magical oil?

Maracujá is Portuguese for passion fruit, and maracuja oil can be derived from either the passion fruit flower itself or its seeds — the benefits and properties, no matter the derivative, are very similar.

According to Tarte’s product description:

  • maracuja oil: rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin C for firmer, brighter, smoother skin; helps promote active skin recovery and rejuvenation while delivering maximum hydration

Product performance: This powerful, precious skincare oil is cold-pressed from the maracuja fruit, naturally rich in brightening vitamin C and replenishing essential fatty acids to nourish, protect and feed your skin. Harvested from the best in nature to restore balance and harmony, you can apply a few drops of this daily moisturizing face oil to quench dry skin and seal in hydration, as the gentle multi-tasker helps calm excess sebum production on oily and acne-prone skin. You can also mix it with your foundation for enhanced moisture and anti-aging benefits with a dewy, radiant finish. The weightless, hypoallergenic formula helps firm and soften without clogging pores, and works to provide an antioxidant barrier against environmental attack.

In a 6-week consumer study of 53 women,

  • 96% of women saw an overall visible improvement in skin
  • 91% of women saw a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
  • 94% of women saw a visible improvement in skin texture
  • 94% of women thought skin appeared renewed and rejuvenated.

So, my next question is, why is Tarte Cosmetics the only company selling this miraculous product? One website suggests, “only one crop is harvested each year by the amazonian women… Tarte has a cooperative in the Amazon that supports the women of the region.” I wasn’t able to find any information to support that claim, though let’s be real, I didn’t look that deep into it.

I would categorize it as a dry oil, as it absorbs into the skin quick and leaves no oily residue. The smell is pretty neutral, and you aren’t using enough of it at once to really notice it at all. It’s not cheap: a half-ounce bottle will cost you around $15, and 1.7 fl oz at a small discount, $45 (it’s like a $3 savings… yes, I did the math). But 2 drops per night is all you need to experience the multitude of benefits. Attached to the cap is a convenient pump-action eye dropper to help you really control how much you use. My Ipsy sample from December (less than a quarter-ounce) lasted me until last weekend, and I used it every single night.

I can’t say enough good things about my experience using this miracle oil. If you have issues like me, or if you are even just looking for a good nightly product to lock in moisture and even out your skin…

What are you waiting for? 

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*Worth noting that no one even paid me to write this. That’s how much I love this shit.

Time for a lesson in witch hazel

So you might recall a post I did last year about my newest skin obsession, rosehip oil. I still use it on a daily basis and am still reaping the benefits of elasticity and much-needed moisture to my face. I’ll admit, though, I’ve still been experiencing breakouts… to the point where I actually went out and bought some salicylic acid spot treatment. Yeah… no one ever mentioned your mid-twenties would be spent battling both acne and wrinkles. Ugh. Anyway. It hasn’t been ideal.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago, my mom started going on and on about some wipes she found in the store that she swears by; something she called witch hazel.

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Um. What? When I think of witch hazel, I think of that character on Looney Toons. I honestly thought witch hazel was like a weird name for a supplement, like St. John’s Wort. And let’s just say my mom believes anything Dr. Oz tells her, even after he got sued for giving people false information. Like a ton of times. All that taken into consideration, I did some research, asked around, tried it out for myself… now I can confidently say that after three weeks of use, this shit should be sold by the ton.

Okay, so… what is it?

Witch hazel is a plant. Easy enough. The leaves, bark, and twigs of this plant are used to produce an astringent that can be used for various medicinal purposes. The essential oil is not sold separately as a consumer product, simply because the plant does not produce enough essential oil to make that production viable. Most witch hazel that is on the shelves is distilled with either water or alcohol, depending on the use you want out of it. From what I’ve read, if you get it in liquid form as witch hazel water, that is more for ingesting, and anything distilled with alcohol is used either as a liquid or wet wipe as an astringent centered around skin care.

I’m currently using these towelettes by Dickinson’s, which can now be found at almost any drug store and grocery store in the skin care aisle. The ingredients include: All Natural Witch Hazel (Containing Natural Grain Alcohol 14% and Witch Hazel Extract), Benzethonium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.

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And… what do I do with it?

Let me preface this by saying my research only goes as far as uses for these astringent towelettes.

First and foremost, it is used as a natural astringent. It has the ability to remove excess oil from the skin and to minimize the appearance of pores. This aids in treating and preventing blemishes and acne from forming. I have been using the Dickinson’s wipes every night after removing my makeup and have realized my pores (which are normally huge) have noticeably shrunk down. My make up looks better and better sitting on my skin every day, and even when I go makeup free, I don’t worry as much. Stress and premenstrual break outs are not nearly what they were a month ago.

It also has  skin-tightening  properties and can help reduce swelling on the skin. This makes it ideal for brightening and firming the skin around your eyes, shrinking swollen/varicose veins, minimizing the appearance of bruises, and even relieves hemorrhoid pain. I’ve read that it is like “nature’s Neosporin,” so it can be applied to minor cuts and scrapes to disinfect, stop bleeding, and help the healing process.

As if that wasn’t enough, this stuff is the best after-sun treatment I’ve ever used. Never mind those expensive aloe- and cucumber-based lotions… there is aloe added into the wipes that I buy, but even the all-natural aloe gel I have never gave me these kind of results. After spending hours in the sun one lazy Saturday, I applied it to the redness on my nose and on my thighs where I got more sun than intended. It immediately took the burning sensation and tenderness out, and by the end of the night most of the redness was gone! I woke up the next morning feeling fine. I think this particular experience caused me to be a true believer in this shit.

And there are still more uses! I’ve also read it can relieve the itch from insect bites–though, I still have not tested out this theory yet (only because my Skin So Soft works so well I haven’t really gotten bit much this summer, thankfully). My coworker said when she was younger, that’s what her mom used to use on her for mosquito bites. Another use is razor burn and skin irritation, which I have tested, and it definitely helped in the bikini area. Not any more than using Listerine though (astringent hack, btw). WedMD says that it is “possibly ineffective” for treatment of itchy and inflamed skin (i.e., eczema or similar rash), and hydro-cortisone seems to be a better option. But either way, I’m convinced this stuff is a god-send. Like, why don’t more people know about it?

Is there a downside to this magnificent product?

The only con I’ve found thus far is the smell of the towelettes I use. The “signature botanical scent” they mention on the packaging doesn’t really do it for me.

And honestly, with all these benefits, if that is my only complaint… why are you still reading this? Go to the store and get some!