10 Honest Reviews Of Products We Tried In September
The Huffington Post Canada
Every month The Huffington Post Canada's Living team will review products or experiences that have sparked our curiosity, made us sweat or is the latest, trendiest thing in the world of healthy living.
Snoring can get annoying and even embarrassing for those of who us who have to share a bed with someone else. For this month's review series, we were quite intrigued by a new Canadian product that claimed to get rid of snoring — or at least make it less loud and disruptive.
First impressions: There is no way a jar of oil will clear my loud, annoying and regular snoring habit.
Pros: OK, I will admit I was skeptical when I first received this product, partly because I was in denial about my own snoring habits. But after accepting the truth, I thought I would give it a try. Instructions are simple: shake the jar before bed time, let the oils fill up your room, and go to sleep. In the morning, you should close the jar again. The oils help reduce inflammation of the mucus membrane and other tissues in your nose, basically opening up your airways and making you avoid mouth breathing.
After testing out the product alone, the first thing I noticed was how less groggy I was every morning — the oils definitely opened up my nose. I found it was a lot easier to wake up as well and for someone who doesn't like the smell of oils, it was kind of soothing. For the actual snoring, it didn't get rid of it, but my snores weren't as loud as usual. My breathing was lighter and wasn't disruptive.
Cons: The main con is that it didn't actually stop the snoring, but I wasn't expecting it to either. The only other complaint I have is the jar (and your hands, table, etc.) can get super oily — especially if you drop it or shake it while opened.
Final words: For anyone with a snoring problem, I get it, it can be embarrassing. But if something as simple as opening a jar beside your bed before going to sleep can help decrease the sound, I say, go for it!
First impressions: It seems a bit overwhelming at first because of all the settings and the app, but I'm excited to find a toothbrush that does a great job cleaning my teeth.
Pros: Motion sensor technology and video recognition lets you know whether you're brushing too hard, where you're brushing and whether you're brushing all areas equally, ensuring that no area is missed. The toothbrush comes with a charging travel case, a smartphone holder and an app. The app keeps track of your brushes so you know how you can improve your habits. It also times your brushes, has brushing challenges, gives you custom-made dental care so you can achieve certain goals, and even offers professional guidance, where you can share your brushing data with an expert and discuss improvement areas. It also uses Bluetooth so it's easy to connect to the app.
Cons: There are a few more steps involved compared to using a manual toothbrush, so it will add a couple minutes to your brushing routine.
Final words: Even though it took me longer to brush my teeth, I found that the toothbrush, combined with the app, did a really thorough job at cleaning my teeth. I'm more motivated to brush longer and more evenly and I like that the app keeps track of my brushes so I know how I can improve. I also like the different settings on the brush, including a tongue-brush mode and a soft brush mode. I definitely recommend it for anyone who really cares about their teeth.
Price: Varies on how much coffee you buy but delivery and pick-up are free.
Review by: Chloe Tejada, Living Editor
First impressions: I really like that GoJava is environmentally friendly and is actively reducing waste.
Pros: This service is convenient. All you have to do is go online and order your coffee (they come in pods for Keurig or Tassimo machines) and they will deliver it — and a recycle bin — for free. Once you're finished with your pods, they will pick up the bin and the recycled pods, at no extra cost. You don't have to go to your local grocery store and you're helping the environment.
Cons: I don't really have any cons.
Final words: I feel like not only would this service be great for individuals, but it would also be great for companies who want to reduce their waste contribution. And really, all companies should be striving to have less waste. I think it's a great service. And the coffee is good, too!
First impressions: Looks really cool but as someone who struggles with sensitive skin I think this razor is gonna burn.
Pros: The razor has a sleek design, is very compact, and is designed for facial hair of any length. The area of the actual shaving surface is about the same size as your usual three to five blade razor with a clipper on each edge of the "blade.” The dual clippers means you can shave in both directions but against the grain is much more effective and what the instructions recommend. My biggest fear was getting razor burn, something I've been plagued with, but the OneBlade was surprisingly gentle and didn't cause any more irritation than I'm used to. It works well wet, dry, with or without shaving gel, and can be used in the shower. Also comes with three combs to trim facial hair to various lengths.
Cons: When using shaving gel I found that this little guy makes it difficult to keep track of where you’ve already shaved so you'll need to feel around for stubble before rinsing. This is a trade-off to its small size. Blades need be replaced every four months based on two shaves per week so keep costs in mind based on your own shaving habits. That being said, replacing a blade is as straightforward as a regular razor.
Final words: Something this tiny shouldn't have worked as well as it did and although it’s not effective enough to make it my primary shaving method, it's a great tool for lazy days when you're not willing to put in the effort.
First Impressions: A shirt I’ll never have to wash? I’m a little skeptical on that claim.
Pros: This is one comfortable shirt. The wool doesn’t feel scratchy and the stretch in the fabric helps with movement when it comes to travel or exercise. I can definitely see myself bringing this shirt while abroad.
Cons: It was about three weeks before the shirt starting picking up a funky smell from daily wear and a few yoga sessions. I didn’t get any complaints from people at the gym, but after a while, you start feeling uncomfortable in something that hasn’t been washed for more than 20 days.
Final Words: For $50 USD and shipping, this isn’t a cheap t-shirt by any means. If you’re the kind of traveller who doesn’t care so much about their outfits while abroad, I can see some value in this. But if you’re really committed to travelling light, it might be more economical to buy a handful of cheaper shirts you don’t mind parting with at the end of your trip.
First impressions: How dry are these dry roasted coconut chips? And are they salty?
Pros: These coconut chips are 80 calories (per 1/4 cup), have three grams of sugar (cane juice) and 100 mg of sodium. They are spicy (and this is a good thing), not dry and make a great afternoon snack.
Cons: I don't have any cons for the flavour or packaging, but these can get pretty addictive. And since you're not getting any A or C vitamins, I would limit each serving to the recommended amount.
Final words: A great cheap snack that is better for you than potato chips.
First impressions: Sweet, I can finally fry things without the fear of getting burned by hot oil!
Pros: This machine lets you enjoy "fried foods" with little to no oil. Cooking time is fast and prep time is reduced. Food remains tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. And since you're barely using oil, clean up is a breeze.
Cons: The user manual is intimidating, with three languages and fine print. The manual made me feel like the machine would be complicated to use. I also didn't like that the manual recommended recipes that called for a baking pan that did not come with the machine. I would have loved to make the cheesecake recipe, but none of my baking pans fit in the machine. The machine is also very large, so you can't leave it on your counter.
Final words: This machine is great for people who crave fried foods but are looking for something healthier.
Pros: I was able to fit my keys, puffer, cellphone and cash/cards with me on long runs without feeling weighed down. This belt comes with a hook for your keys you can be sure they'll never slip and fall out. The belt didn't bounce around as I ran, nor did it dig in to my stomach. The fun colours also blend in with most workout pants making it look like part of the band.
Cons: This version doesn't have a zipper, so I'd advise against carrying loose change in it. Since the belt is flat it is also a little awkward when you have oddly shaped items in it. There's no disguising my puffer when the mouth piece sticks out of my hip, or my large rectangular cellphone on my back.
Final words: If you want to bring stuff with you on a run, but don't want to carry a backpack or fanny pack, slide this sleek band over your hips.
First impressions: This smart watch looks fairly similar to all the other fitness bands out there.
Pros: As an S Health user, I was thrilled that this watch is compatible with the program. Unlike other bands I've tried, this band was just as good at helping me train as it was at helping me track my fitness, thanks to progress alerts sent to me during my workout. Similar to other popular bands, the Fit Gear 2 promotes healthy competition by allowing you to set up challenges with friends. As far as fit goes, this band seemed to have a wider range and a longer (customizable) screen.
Cons: Charging this band is tricky. When I first placed it on its dock it didn't charge. Be sure to wait for the lightening bolt icon to appear to ensure it is charging correctly.
Final words: If you like and frequently use S Health (and are looking to invest in a smart watch), this could be the watch for you. Otherwise, just stick to your phone.