Sunday, June 24, 2012

Arm & Hammer's New Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin - With Fragrance!

We're a family of sensitive skin. OK, maybe not my husband - his skin can withstand anything. But both of daughters inherited my rash-prone skin that reacts to any tiny affront. Our skin erupts into an itchy rash at chemicals, fragrances, grass...too many things to list. As a result, we can't use lotions with fragrance or too many chemicals in them, we have to sleep on cotton sheets, and we need laundry detergent that is completely dye and fragrance free.

Or so I thought.

Mom Central asked if I was interested in trying the new Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Plus Skin-Friendly Fresh Scent laundry detergent, and beyond the long name, I was intrigued by the product's claims. Unlike other sensitive skin formulas, which are usually dye-free and fragrance-free, this one has an added "fresh scent" that is designed to keep sensitive skin free of irritation. Pretty big claim for me, so I was willing to put it to the test.

I've appreciated that our other previous laundry detergents kept us itch-free, but I'll admit I do regret that they don't leave my clothing with that fresh laundry scent. But keeping our skin safe has always been my first concern, and with no clothes lines allowed in our neighborhood I've resigned myself to laundry with no scent when clean. (Which I guess is still better than dirty scented laundry.)

I tried the detergent with a load of my own clothing first, choosing to play the guinea pig before taking the risk of making my girls uncomfortable. As I poured in the liquid detergent, I was surprised at how strong the scent was. At first I was worried that this might be a bad idea, but added my clothing and hoped for the best.

After washing and then drying, I pulled my clothing into a laundry basket and took a deep breath over the pile of warm clothing. The strong scent of the detergent had mellowed out quite a bit, leaving behind a light, fresh scent. (In case you were wondering, I used a fragrance-free laundry softener in the washer.) It was actually quite nice.

The moment of truth was putting on my first set of clothing from this load of laundry. Thanks to an unusually hot few weeks, I put a lot of sweat into the outfit (which often makes reactions worse for me), but had no difficulties with itching or redness. Yay!

After a week I switched my kids' clothing to the Arm & Hammer laundry detergent. They spent the past week out in the hot, humid weather every day with no issues at all. My five year old told me she liked that her dresses smelled "pretty" now.

As for the cleaning power of the laundry detergent, I saw no noticeable differences between it and my previous detergent - both did an excellent job at stain fighting. 

So for us it's been a success. We're nearly all the way through the bottle of detergent that we received and no reactions so far. I know it can sometimes take a few exposures to see a reaction, but after two weeks I'm ready to declare it safe for us.

I appreciate that Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Plus Skin-Friendly Fresh Scent laundry detergent has a pleasant scent that is safe for sensitive skin. (Finally!) I also like that the scent is very light on dry clothing - you'll notice it when you put something on, but it won't be overpowering and will fade after a bit against your own skin.

For more information on Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Plus Skin-Friendly Fresh Scent laundry detergent, check out the product page on the Arm & Hammer's website, or visit their Facebook page

Full disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Arm & Hammer and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Friday, June 15, 2012

My (Geeky) Father's Day Gift Roundup

Yes, Father's Day is Sunday, and so this is kinda last minute, but I thought I'd share a few items to consider for that fatherly figure in your life, whether it's your own dad, a man who has been like a dad to you, or the father of your kids. You may not have time to get them for this Father's Day, but hopefully these suggestions will spark some ideas for the geek dad in your life.

Darth Vader and Son - What would daily life be like if Darth Vader was parenting a 4-year old Luke? Adorable picture book for any geek dad to read with his Jedi (or Sith) wannabe child.

Tools - Oh, your geek dad may not be all that handy with a real screwdriver, but chances are he'll know just what to do with a Sonic Screwdriver. Instead of trying to decide which brand of tools to get him, you'll be faced with the harder decision of 10th Doctor or 11th Doctor? Choose wisely.

Power - For the dad who spends a lot of time in the car, yet also spends a lot of time on his electronic devices, this coffee cup charger is a must. Plug it into your car (in what used to be the cigarette lighter), pop the cup into a cup holder, and you've got two outlets and a USB charging port. He'll keep everything fully charged and never run out of battery life when on the phone with you!

Clothing, for when he has to look presentable - There are times when dad has to take off the Superman t-shirt and just be a super man, but he probably doesn't want to spend a lot of time caring for his good clothing. So when he has to put on the button up shirt and tie, he can be comfy in these Lee Motion Comfort flat-front pants. They're wrinkle-resistant, stain-resistant and even have wicking technology to keep your guy cool when the temperature rises. These pants are about as carefree as they come for the guy who'd rather spend his mornings checking his Zombie Farm on his iPhone instead of ironing his pants for work. (My husband will be sharing a review of these pants soon - will let you know what he thinks!)

Accessories, for when he has to look presentable - So his boss insists that bow ties aren't cool and requires a standard long tie for everyone. Unless his boss knows binary, only dad will know that his ThinkGeek tie is secretly making a statement while he conforms to dress code. For a slightly bolder statement, try these "more than meets the eye" Transformers cufflinks.

Clothing and accessories, for when he can just be his geeky self - Oh, there's too much to even link to in this category. Just browse through the ThinkGeek clothing section to find dad's particular geek obsession - there's sure to be something for whatever he likes. My current favorite? The Iron Man Power Bands, exact replicas of the ones from The Avengers. I also wouldn't mind seeing my husband in the Captain Jack Harkness replica coat.

Geek food/drink - For those long XBox Live gaming sessions, he'll need some caffeine to keep him going. One of the tastiest options I've tried is RootJack Pirate Root Beer. Not only is there 120mg of caffeine in each bottle, but also a full daily serving of Vitamin C. You know, to prevent scurvy.

So there you are, my suggestions for the best geek Father's Day gifts. Not exactly the lists you'll see everywhere else, but then the geek dad in your life isn't like the other dads, is he?

Chances are he'll love any of these gifts far more than a set of golf clubs...unless he's practicing his swing in preparation for a zombie uprising.

Disclosure: Any products linked to Amazon have my affiliate code in them, meaning if you buy anything through clicking that link I get a few cents for sending you their way. All other links have no affiliate connection, although ThinkGeek is welcome to contact me at any point for future promotions considering how much we love them. All opinions shared here are entirely my own.