Over time, mothers seem to be able to create a sort of mental checklist when it comes to products that live up to their claims, tips and tricks about raising children, and other assorted tidbits. (Now I said mothers because I am speaking from experience, so you fathers out there relax-I’m sure that you do the same…) Now back to the point of my post-I thought it might be fun to share some of my newfound “facts”, “falsehoods”, and the “undecided” with the hopes that you either learn something new, or can empathize with me. I'll start with product knowledge first...
When it comes to purchasing new products, I generally take my time before deciding on a change, and when it’s a big-ticket purchase, like an appliance, I often hop onto the Internet to search for product reviews. And if something looks as if it has more negative responses than positive, I won’t make the purchase. The following is a list of products that have been on my tried-and-true list or are a recent addition, those that just didn’t make the grade, or products I am still unsure about.
Cascade liquid vs. Finish powerball: As long as I can remember I’ve used Cascade for the dishwasher. My mother used it in powder form when I was little, and swore by its effectiveness, so I just continued to use it. But after we moved to our current house with a well and septic system, I noticed that my glasses and dishes weren’t as clear and clean as they once were. First my husband blamed it on the age of the glasses, but after replacing some, I noticed that they too came out of the dishwasher with a cloudy appearance. Then we both decided that it must be the old dishwasher that we inherited with the house, so we purchased a brand new dishwasher, but the results were still the same-I guess Cascade just can’t cut it with well water. I started buying smaller amounts of other brands to test them out, and the clear-cut winner happens to be Finish Powerball-even my older glasses look new again.
Spray ‘N’ Wash vs. Shout: Those of you with infants are all too familiar with the term “stain” since pretty much everything that goes in baby comes right back out (in various forms.) I used Dreft for washing all the baby clothes, but even though I knew it was gentle, it’s stain-fighting ability was nothing to write home about. This time I didn’t have to purchase all the stain fighting formulas out there to pick the best because a co-worker’s daughter compared all the major brands as part of a school project. She slowly narrowed the field down to two major brands, but Shout won out in the end. I have been using Shout ever since, and although some stains (chocolate ice cream on a white t-shirt-ugh!) need both a pre-treat and repeat wash, I am pretty happy with the results.
Dove, Ivory, Oil of Olay: As my kids get older, I get older, and as I mentioned before, things “ain’t what they used to be” when it comes to my skin, but I have to be careful when it comes to my soap choice. My skin has always been sensitive, in fact I can’t tolerate any perfumed soaps-I break out in hives, and for at least 15 minutes I look like I suffer from leprosy. I started using Ivory mainly because of their cool adds boasting about their purity, but the soap left my skin tight and dry, and women my age need to keep moisture in their skin. Oil of Olay as a beauty bar seemed to work fairly well since I didn’t develop hives after using it, but I did itch. My doctor told me to switch to Dove, and I use the bar made for sensitive skin-the result was no blotches, no itch, and my skin isn't as tight.
The shampoo wars: I basically bought the shampoo that was on sale, never really forming a relationship with one brand over another, until I decided to save money and buy one shampoo that everyone could use-baby shampoo. The thing is, baby shampoo is formulated for baby hair, and not adult hair-our well water and the chemicals in the baby shampoo began to wage a silent war against my hair follicles. I started noticing small changes like how both my daughter and my hair seemed to tangle more easily, but then bigger changes like the fact that I seemed to be “shedding” more of my hair than I used to, especially after I washed it. My hairdresser finally shed a light on our problem when she asked if my daughter and I had been swimming lately-it was winter! She pointed out how both of us had and extreme amount of build up caused both by the shampoo and the well water, and this was causing the tangles and hair loss. So, I switched to Infusium 23 (my sister told me about this shampoo), maximum body shampoo, and we all (even my husband) noticed the change in how our hair felt almost immediately.
Now there are still a few products I purchased that I am still unsure of-Olay age defying anti-wrinkle night cream vs. Olay ProX wrinkle smoothing cream, ProX age repair lotion with SPF 30 vs. Eucerin Everyday Protection SPF 30, ProX eye restoration, and my new EasyTone training shoes from Reebok-so I will just give you some of my impressions. I have been admiring some of the new training tennis shoes that promise not only to give you a better workout, but also to help tone you while you go about your everyday activities. I hesitated due to the mixed reviews online, the cost, and due to the fact that I am a natural klutz, and I as worried that any shoe that puts me “off balance” would literally send me to the ground. But my husband must have been sick over my indecision and for Mother’s day he and the kids presented me with a pair of Easytones. Now I haven’t worn them to work out in yet, but I have tried wearing them after work and out-and-about. They are very comfortable and not hard to walk in, but I don’t feel as if I am walking in sand or off balance. And while I did notice a little tightening in my upper thighs when going cross-country across several soccer fields this past weekend, I didn’t notice anything unusual during regular wear. I hope to update you more on these in future posts.
And I am undecided about the Olay ProX products-I have only been using them for a couple weeks now, and I am trying to compare them to the products I already use by applying them only to one half of my face. So far, my face feels much smoother, (I notice this in the morning and throughout the day), brighter, and I have to admit that the dark circles that seem to haunt me these days aren’t that apparent anymore, but I need to use these a little longer to see if they are worth the price.
I'm starting to sound like an infomercial so I better end things now. Besides, my husband keeps stopping to read over my shoulder (he thinks I’m going to write about our disagreement concerning a newfangled grill he wants to buy-but I fooled him!) and he mutters, “Boring” every time he leaves… Stay tuned for my takes on family “facts”, “falsehoods”, and the “undecided”-you won’t be sorry! Goodnight everybody.