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TheraNeem Men's Shaving & Complexion Botanical Cleansing Bar

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Face Care for Men
January 5, 2009 Reviewed by admin 2 Comments
I'm a double air sign so I have the tendency to be a little spacey. I'm also easily distracted and my friends say I have the attention span of a gnat. While this may have absolutely nothing to do with my star sign or living in NYC (where there's so much stimulation vying for your attention), it definitely contributes to flaking on brand loyalty, which I often do considering I'm always finding great new products that rival the one I'm currently using.

One such product that temporarily distracted me is TheraNeem Men's Shaving & Complexion Botanical Cleansing Bar ($5.35).

First, let's talk about neem. It's an evergreen tree grown in exotic countries (aside from Florida, the only state it currently grows in the US) and, for thousands of years, it has been used for medicinal purposes as it's an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and helps support in the immune system is various ways, from digestive health to dental problems. I like to think of neem (leaf, bark, oil, seed) as the the indie of the organics: it's not overly exposed or hyped (like tea tree oil) but packs quite a punch.

Topically, it helps prevent skin damage caused by aging or over exposure to the sun. Why? As an antioxidant, it combats free radicals which is one of the main causes of aging. There's no gimmick or unnatural chemical ingredient involved... it's totally all natural.

The first thing I noticed about the cleansing bar was its scent—very refreshing and 'earthy'. Most of all, it was pretty masculine (the scent is oakmoss and cedarwood), so I know my roommate is not going to use it all up. When lathering on my face, it felt... well, like something used by man hundreds of years ago before fancy lines started taking over. Of course this makes sense considering it's all natural and there's no preservatives or chemicals. 90% of the soap is certified organic, including shea butter, oakmoss and, obviously, neem (about 10%). I actually think this is the first time I have used any of these top three ingredients facially. The most unusual to me is shea butter as I generally associate it with hydrating the body. While I doubt a metrosexual will race to the store for this (even after applying, it doesn't feel like something for the modern man), it's fine for someone who's on a budget, health-conscious and maybe a little bohemian.

The bar does come to a light lather (you need to work it) so guys can kill two birds, one stone, if you're not picky about your shaving cream (the lather is quite mild). As my roommate put it, the packaging is a little too "I was a bought in a family-run health food store" (we, as guys, are a little weird about this, I have no idea why). My thoughts? It's coming out of its package anyway.

Ingredients in Thera Neem Men's Shaving Soap

Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Water, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil*, Sodium Hydroxide, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil*, Wild Crafted Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, (Cedarwood) Essential Oil, Abies Sibirica (Fir Needle), Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss) Absolute, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract.
  • January 19, 2009

    by Trinity Ava

    Greetings Joyce-

    We sincerely appreciate your concern and applaud your inquiry and dedication to sustainable products. Our Palm oil comes from a certified organic farm in Brazil. It is Eco-Cert, which typically includes a sustainability portion. Here is what our supplier of our organic Palm oil had to say.

    "These questions have been going around and it is good your customers are concerned with issues as this. They are mostly concerned with the slash/burn and deforestation that has occurred from the increase in demand of palm oils. This is mostly happening in Indonesia areas.

    Our production is in the North East Brazil, and over 70% of the plantation is dedicated to forest restoration and preservation. I have not been to our palm production in Brazil yet, but here is a note from my colleague who visited":

    I am an organic farmer with over 25 years experience in organic production. I visited our organic PalmFruit production in northeast Brazil in mid-November of 2005. The farm is not far from the mouth of the Amazon River, an area that has undergone significant environmental change over the past three hundred years of European settlement. The lands that are planted in organic (and conventional) palm oil trees had been cleared by previous settlers in decades prior to the establishment of the palm production. In tropical areas, this means that most of the stored carbon that had resided in the living forest had been removed. In tropical areas, the temperature and humidity result in the rapid biological decomposition of carbonaceous materials (even without burning). The re-establishment of forest of oil palm, while obviously not as diverse as the original native forest eco-system, is a vast improvement over grass or row crops such as soybeans. Many native species of birds have returned to the area as they now have habitat, and there is an on-going biological monitoring program documenting this.

    The organic palm plantation is planted with the trees farther apart than on a conventional palm planting, because the under story plants, a plant related to soybeans that fix nitrogen in the soil, need room to grow to fertilize the organic palm trees. The entire residue from the palm oil processing – the remaining husks and other plant material are also returned and 'sheet composted' under the tree canopy, returning the nutrients to the system. Growing in the shade under the palms are also plants that provide a food source for the palm oil pollinators, and other plants that provide food and habitat for beneficial insects that control pestiferous insects that can damage the palm trees. Other insect controls used include various types of traps using pheromones and scent lures.

    Also, our organic palm shortening is the first certified Eco Social. Our marketing team is working on formulizing a Press Release and package on our Eco Social Palm Fruit shortening, and it will probably be a few weeks before I have something formal to send.

    IBD (EcoSocial Certification)

    Thank you again for your helping to shed light on this situation.

    We hope we have answered your question.

    In health,
    The Organix-South Team

  • January 6, 2009

    by Joyce Major

    I see that your product uses palm oil. Where do you get this from? Most is not sustainably grown & is currently the main reason that orangutans are threatened with extinction. It's those connections that we easily overlook. I'd appreciate your help and look forward to hearing from you.

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