Anyone invested in healthy living knows unwanted chemicals are prolific in foods, cleaners and personal care products. However, it’s not always easy to find all-natural products void of the greenwashing that makes them look more wholesome than they are. Canada-based innovator and entrepreneur Bruce Mullen decided to tackle this problem by producing a safe and effective line of products, made from by-products of his existing business, a juice bar.
Mullen first became focused on cutting the chemicals from every corner of his house when his wife was battling breast cancer. Following her passing, Mullen wanted to create a reliable product line for the sake of his family and everyone else on the planet.
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“I created JUSU because I was not satisfied with the products that were available on the market,” Mullen said. “I wanted to be able to provide my family with natural products that are safe and effective. That mission was at the core of everything we developed.”
JUSU began as a single juice bar, located in Victoria, Canada. Through the running of the business, Mullen began to wonder if there was a way to use the by-products from juicing. While composting was an option, the company committed to producing all-natural, healthy products from the rinds and peels instead while also working toward a zero-waste goal.
The first products comprised the JUSU Body line, which include lotion, bar and liquid soaps, deodorant and lip balm. Subsequently, the company invested in technology that allowed it to develop face care, natural hair putty and a honey-shea hair treatment. There is also a baby shampoo and wash, aromatherapy products and a variety of household cleaners. Bundles provide customers the chance to sample a range of goods. The company also recently announced that it has expanded its cold-press juice availability, now delivering JUSU to Calgary through an online store.
The past year proved to be another notable one for the company as it was sold to Better Plant Sciences, Inc., a Canadian health, wellness and lifestyle brand.
“The Better Plant Sciences team is exactly the kind of partner that I have been looking for. Their team has the knowledge, drive, and experience to take what I have built with JUSU to the next level,” Mullen said.
The deal will allow Better Plant Sciences, Inc. to further expand on the 300 plant-based products made up of whole-food vitamins, minerals and enzymes and create competition within industries historically associated with fillers, chemicals, carcinogens, irritants and allergens. Bruce believes these ingredients get absorbed into the body with toxic results. “All of the products we use, in one way or another, come in contact with our bodies,” Mullen explained. “Whether you are using something on your skin or on the surfaces in your home, it has a way of making its way into our bodies, affecting our health in uncertain and often detrimental ways.”
Our JUSU review
The company reached out with an offer to send some sample products, which arrived quickly in plastic-free packaging. I received five products.
The first is the Eucalyptus Mint Lip Balm. In short, I love it. I’m a bit of a lip balm addict — as in there are tubes in multiple locations throughout my house and vehicle. This lip balm is an experience. It’s not subtle in its mintiness — a characteristic I adore. The texture is luxurious, nurturing and long-lasting. My husband also described it as nourishing and picked up on the eucalyptus immediately. The first ingredient is cacao seed butter. Although the second ingredient is beeswax, we discussed how it doesn’t have a waxy feel at all. This is something I look for in lip balm, especially during the cold, winter months.
The second gift was the plant-based soap. Labeled, “Good for you, Good for your Family, Good for your Earth,” it immediately made me question some of the other personal hygiene products I use. The soap was also the eucalyptus mint scent, which I found to be very mild. It did not leave a scent on my hands after use. The bar is a standard 4.8-oz size and is appealing with a natural color woven throughout. I would describe the feel as slippery in a way that is thinner than typical soap. It makes a nice foam during use and rinses easily.
Next up was the Belly Butter with Sweet Orange and Vanilla. Although it was formulated with growing pregnant bellies in mind, it’s a lotion, and a very nice one at that. The texture is ultra-creamy, with an almost whipped appearance. My husband and I challenged each other to identify the scent before looking. I picked up on the vanilla and something that reminded me of marzipan or almond. It’s not sweet as the name might imply, but pleasantly subtle. I am ultra-sensitive to scents, so most of my lotions end up going to my daughter. This one will stay on my shelf. In addition to the satisfying scent, the application was delightful. The Belly Butter absorbed quickly with zero greasy feeling. There’s just nothing worse than a lotion that stays on your hands instead of inside your skin. It left a soft, supple feel to my skin for many hours after application. There is a long list of ingredients, mostly oils and extracts coming from an impressive array of plants such as elderberry, sunflower, grapeseed, coconut and lavender.
The fourth item was the all-purpose cleaner. This stuff exceeded my expectations. The smell is discreet yet distinctive. It’s labeled cinnamon orange, and I agree with that scent profile, although it’s very faint. I used it on a bar with sticky candy cane residue, let it sit a few seconds, and wiped it away. It worked great. The ingredients are all non-toxic — welcome news for food prep surfaces yet strong enough to tackle the bathroom, too. The only upgrade I would like to see is moving away from the plastic spray bottle.
Finally, I tried out the Dishwashing Soap. The scent is natural-smelling. I know that may not be a scent, but it just kept coming to mind as I cleared the sink. It’s blended with lemongrass and sweet basil. Although I might lean a bit more toward a pine description, I could sense a bit of basil. Regardless, it performed well. It’s a concentrate, so a little goes a long way; this is especially nice if you do dishes by the sink-full. I really put it to the test in a container that literally held grease and it was just okay. Although it didn’t blow my socks off with that level of grease-cutting performance, it is a pleasant product for everyday washing, and I love that I don’t have to worry about chemicals left behind on my dishware.
While I often end up re-gifting review samples, I’ll be keeping all of these items for myself. Since I recently moved to a home with a septic, I’m looking into some of their other natural home care products from JUSU as well.
Images via JUSU and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat
Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by JUSU. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.