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Tagged "Natural Beauty Tips"

How To Detox Your Lifestyle

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

 

 

Over the last 50 years, approximately 80,000 to 90,000 chemicals have been introduced into our food supply chain and environment and this list continues to grow.   Whilst many of us may seem to be resilient to these toxins every individual has a toxic threshold to the chemicals we can process before our detoxification system becomes overwhelmed. Toxic overload may affect our reproductive, endocrine, nervous system and can neurological damage. Signs of toxicity may include:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Autism/ADHD
  • Infertility
  • Foggy thinking
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • An inability to lose weight (toxins are stored in fat cells, making the body reluctant to burn excess fat)
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Joint pain and inflammation

It is easy to see how toxins infiltrate our environment and cause damage when we consider the probability of being exposed to toxins on a daily basis. Chemicals and environmental pollutants can be found in everything from our beauty and personal care products, body care products, food supply, medications, food packaging and of course the air we are breathing.  

Whilst it can be hard to avoid all toxins due to the nature of our lifestyles, the approach I recommend is one where we reduce the most significant contributors to endocrine, immune and neurological disruption. Start with the products and foods that you are using on a regular basis. I have provided a few easy to follow tips below on reducing your toxic exposure.

 

  1. Skincare and Body Care

 From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we hop back into bed, we are using countless products, many of them toxic, on our bodies. We absorb over 60% of the ingredients we put on our skin… and we are putting a lot on it.  Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it is permeable. This means that when we apply something to our skin, it doesn't just sit on the surface. Rather, it penetrates through the skin and into the blood where any toxins present in the products can contribute to hormone disruption, lowered immunity, allergies and toxin overload.

Over the past fifteen years, more than 10,000 Americans have had their blood tested by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an attempt to determine their “chemical body burden.” The results of the CDC study were stunning: even those who lived in remote areas were found to have hundreds of synthetic chemicals in their bloodstream. Many of the toxins identified are common ingredients in our mainstream personal care products.

How to. A few tips to reduce exposure to chemicals absorbed through the personal care products you are using include:

  • Start to become aware of the ingredients list of the products you are using, this is the first step to making a change. Begin with the products you are using most frequently, for example your body wash, cleanser, lotion, lipstick and foundation. As you finish products, replace them with non-toxic alternatives and before you know it you will have a kit of natural and beautiful toxin-free personal care products. You will delight in finding natural and equally effective products by reputable companies!
  • Keep an eye out and avoid the ingredients below:
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) / Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and other sulfate-based detergents
  • Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol and various ingredients formulated with PEGs and PGs
  • Parabens (methyl, butyl, ethyl, propyl)
  • Phtalates (DBP, DEP, DEHP, and DMP):
  • Synthetic (FD&C and other) dyes and colourants
  • Benzyl Peroxide
  • DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) and TEA (Triethanolamine)
  • Formaldehyde

Read more about toxins in your beauty products in my posts below:

Why you should be using edible skincare products

How to create a toxin-free beauty regime

No so "natural" natural beauty product ingredients 

 

  1. Household Cleaning Products

When it comes to the home, many of our household cleaners can be as toxic as our skin care. By overhauling some of the main cleaning products we use, we can ensure our families’ health is not being impacted by harsh chemicals. You can power through most household dirt with inexpensive and effective homemade cleaners. You can also customise your cleaners with beautiful smelling bacteria-busting essential oils.

How to. A few tips on detoxing your cleaning products are below:

  • Baking Soda: A truly multitasking cleaner, baking soda is a perfect alternative to cleaning powders that scour sinks and tubs without scratching. It’s also great for wiping down and deodorising the fridge. Combined with an equal amount of vinegar, baking soda can freshen drains and prevent them from clogging.
  • Distilled White Vinegar: White vinegar is great at clearing grease and removing odour. Due to its neutralizing properties, white vinegar is also good for washing windows, cleaning kitchen counters and shining bathroom fixtures. Simply dilute 1 part vinegar in 4 parts water. Vinegar is also natural antibacterial due to its high acid contents so it makes a great alternative to caustic cleaners on toilets and floors.
  • Salt: Perfect for cutting through the grease in ovens, salt also works well for soaking up fresh carpet stains such as red wine or coffee. Pour salt on the wet stain. Let dry, then vacuum.
  • Vegetable Oil (Castille) Soap:This natural soap is great for floors and all-purpose cleaning when combined with vinegar or even warm water. For an all-purpose cleaner, add 1⁄2 teaspoon of soap to 2 cups of water. For floors, combine 2 teaspoons of soap with 6 cups of water. Make sure to rinse well to remove any dulling residue.
  • Lemons:Lemon’s citric acid content makes it perfect for cutting through stubborn grease and makes your home smell fresh. Undiluted lemon juice can also be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits.

To find out more about what chemicals are found in your cleaning products read our post here

For a natural disinfectant recipe see our post here.

 

  1. Food

There is a growing body of scientific evidence linking chemicals food in our food supply to neurological and reproductive health concerns. Research is particularly strong linking pesticide exposure to reduced sperm count and quality, early puberty in girls, birth defects, miscarriage and stillbirth. In the first study of its kind, scientists at Harvard found that men who ate food with more pesticide residue had lower sperm counts and reduced levels of normal sperm. Exposure to the herbicide atrazine has been linked to menstrual disorders,birth defects and immune system disruption. 

How to. To reduce chemical exposure in your food supply:

  • Choose organic fruit and vegetables and reduce conventional meat and dairy consumption.
  • Find local farmer markets that can speak to you about how they grow their produce, whilst they may not be certified organic they may practice pesticide-free and sustainable farming methods.
  • Wash all of your fruit and veggies using a veggie wash or add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to your sink of water and let your fruit and veggies soak before gently scrubbing, rinsing and storing.
  • Avoid all preservatives – basically anything that includes a number should be avoided. You are likely to find preservatives in commercial dressings, dried fruit, snacks, packaged fruit, fruit juices, breads and most processed foods.
  • If it is difficult for you to buy organic produce, make an extra effort to buy the below foods organic. They are classified as the “dirty dozen” due to their generally higher concentration of pesticides.
    • The Dirty Dozen: Apples, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Potatoes, Snap Peas, Spinach, Strawberries, Capsicum.
  1. Water

Hydration is the key to vital health, both in terms of providing our cells with lifeforce and energy and also helping us to remove and flush out toxins. Sadly, water quality issues have been an issue for decades. Industrial dumping, pesticide runoff, leaky storage tanks, and government mandates have made it difficult to trust our water supply. Just some of the toxins found in water include chlorine, arsenic, dioxins, lead, mercury, drug residues and PCB’s.

How to. To avoid toxins in your water

  • Find a good quality water filtration system which removes chlorine, disinfectant by-products (DBP’s), pesticides, drug residue and other toxins. Look for a filter with a pore size of less than 0.2 micron as this will ensure contaminants are being adequately filtered.
  • Maintain your water filter regularly to ensure that it is continuing to operate efficiently.
  • I prefer filters which clean your water, reduce bacterial and chemical contamination, and then rebalance, remineralise, protect and restructure the water after doing so. One of my favourite filters is the Zazen Alkaline water filtrations sytem.
  • Note that boiling water does not remove these and the purity of bottled water is questionable (and they are often packaged in plastic) so a good water filter is crucial.

 

  1. Packaging and Cooking Utensils

Plastics contain dioxins, which are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that leach from the plastic into your drinking water/food. This gets worse if you heat food in plastic, or if you’re leaving plastic water bottles in hot cars.

How to. To reduce your exposure to plastics:

  • Use glass containers to store food and left overs (this also reduces the need to use plastic wrap).
  • Use a glass water bottle or glass jug to store water.
  • Store nuts and seeds in the fridge in glass containers to reduce the chances of them becoming rancid.
  • Avoid “take out” which comes in plastic containers.

Start to become more aware of how you are preparing your food and your cooking utensils.

  • Get rid of your microwave (if you have one). Microwaves not only affect your health and fertility because of the radiation emitted, but also because of the changes caused to food molecules as a result of using a microwave. The damage to nutrients impairs assimilation, affecting the absorption of other important building blocks such as essential fats and proteins.
  • Replace all Teflon and aluminium pots (tea and others) and pans with glass or enamel-coated cast iron. Consider replacing stainless steel pots and pans (with glass or enamel-coated cast iron), as they also leach heavy metals.

Whilst it can be daunting making these changes to your home and lifestyle, start by tackling the issues which you can see as being a biggest concern to you and your family. It may be that you are always drinking tap water or eating takeout in plastic containers or you may be using cleansers/lotions and body washes that are not as pure as they could be. Once you identify your biggest area of concern, replace these products with natural alternatives as you finish them and give yourself a time frame for tackling other goals such as changing your water filter system or cooking utensils.

 

Photo credit: Rusty Crawshaw

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Your Inside Out Guide to Healthy Skin

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

Determining your skin type is the first step to properly caring for your body’s largest organ. You can tell if your face is oily or dry, but “normal” is a bit harder to define.

So let’s break it down: The term is widely used to describe skin that’s well balanced and free of conditions such as acne, rosacea or dermatitis. Basically, it’s the Goldilocks of complexions. And you’ve got it, so congrats.

Just because you have normal skin doesn’t mean you get a free pass when it comes to your regimen. Proper care is essential to maintain good condition. As such it’s important to develop a routine that combines topicals and healthy habits (e.g., eating clean and drinking plenty of H20).

OUTSIDE

Stage 1: Week 1 - 3

Using our essential core four (cleanser, toner, serum and lotion), plus an eye cream, will ensure your skin stays hydrated, protected and radiant.

  • Cleanse: Washing your face removes impurities and keeps pores clear. Formulas that contain sulfates, parabens or synthetic AHAs and BHAs can change the pH of your skin, leaving it prone to sensitivity, UV damage and premature ageing. Our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk is free of toxins and other nasties. It maintains barrier strength and encourages youthful skin with a combination of nourishing coconut oil, moisturising zizyphus, brightening fruit extracts and salicylic acid, which purifies without stripping natural oils.
  • Balance: Toning is an often forgotten step in daily routines, but it shouldn’t be. Our No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist harnesses the powerful astringent properties of may chang to remove excess oil and refine pores. Coupled with stress-relieving calendula and fig, it leaves skin fresh and radiant.
  • Plump and protect: Nourishing and protecting your complexion is essential regardless of your skin type. Our No.3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum contains hyaluronic acid, which in conjunction with beta glucan helps plump by attracting 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s also supercharged with botanical antioxidants that guard against damage. Edelweiss enhances natural DNA protective actions and blocks UV light absorption, while white tea extract accelerates repair. Kakadu plumthe world’s highest plant-based source of vitamin Cboosts collagen production and brightens.
  • Hydrate: Skipping moisturiser is a major no-no. Our best-selling No.4 Vanilla Silk Lotion is a lightweight blend of camellia seed oil, shea butter, rosella extract, black raspberry and lemon aspen that deeply hydrates, moisturises and supports elasticity.
  • Firm and defend: Your peepers requires a little extra TLC. Our & Gold Rush Eye Cream is formulated with gold leaf, a luxurious ingredient that’s renowned for its ability to brighten, refine fine lines, soothe inflammation and promote collagen productionessential for keeping skin firm and youthful. Passionfruit and blueberry have an abundance of antioxidants to protect against UV and free radical damage.

Stage 2: Week 4+

The secret to youthful skin for years to come? Speeding up cellular turnover and nourishing your complexion with age-reversing vitamins.

  • Encourage cellular renewal: Slowing of the epidermal turnover rate contributes to dullness and loss of fullness. So, it’s critical to kickstart this process in a natural way. Our & Desert Lime Micro-Exfoliant sloughs away dead skin, which increases radiance and softness, and ensures that the active ingredients are penetrating deeply into the skin to work their magic.
  • Promote collagen production: Vitamins A, C and E exert powerful protection against oxidative stress. Snowflower seed oil, the star of our & Snowflower Illuminating Face Oil, exhibits 100 times the antioxidant action of vitamin C, making it wonderful for repair and enhancing collagen production. Jojoba oil is loaded with omegas and vitamin A, which are important for cellular regeneration. It also replenishes natural moisture and potentiates the abilities of vitamin E.
  • Nourish and repair: While you snooze, your body goes into repair mode, so an overnight mask is a must. & Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse is packed with healing pink clay, soothing aloe vera, avocado (5 Alpha Avocuta) and glow-getting snowflower seed oil to nourish, replenish moisture, improve barrier function and boost radiance overnight.

Ingredients to Avoid

Sadly, in many cases, the products we use to combat our skin concerns can be the very cause of them. These are the topical ingredients ageing complexions should avoid:

  • Sodium laureth sulfate: Sodium laureth sulfate (commonly added to face wash to make it foam) is what gives skin that squeaky clean feeling. The problem is that it strips skin of its natural oils and leads to over-drying.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is an active ingredient in cleansers, makeup removing wipes, acne treatments and more. The problem is that it breaks down the skin's natural protective barrier, leading to dryness and irritation.
  • Synthetic fragrances: Synthetic fragrances are a major source of irritation for most skin types and are shown to trigger redness and inflammation.
  • Preservatives: Preservatives found in most beauty formulas, including parabens, ethylhexanol and even those claiming to be natural, are among the most common irritants. Instead, we use sodium anisate (derived from aniseed) and sodium levulinate (a cellulose starch) to keep our product stable.

INSIDE

Healthy skin is more than just deep. Targeted nutrition and drinking plenty of water are crucial to keeping your complexion in tip-top shape.

  • Up your antioxidant intake: Antioxidants work on both the inside and outside to protect the body against damage. Top antioxidant-rich foods include maqui (in powder form, it’s awesome in smoothies), kiwi, kakadu plum, and hibiscus (great in tea such as our No.2 Fountain of Youth).
  • Eat more healthy fats: Essential fatty acids are a key component of the skin’s intercellular matrix. Incorporate omega-rich foods like avocados, flax and walnuts into your daily diet. Not only are they tasty, but they help lock in moisture to keep your skin firm, plump and supple. Did you know linoleic acid plays an important role in the skin’s own synthesis  of ceramide, a lipid that’s important for keeping barrier function intact. Bonus: Omegas boost brain and heart health.
  • Keep your liver healthy: Making sure the body is ridding itself of toxins and free radicals is the key to combating damage. Load up on dandelion, cruciferous veggies, turmeric and lemons. And sip on our No.1 Green Goddess Detox throughout the day for a hit of liver-loving herbs.
  • Increase vitamin A and C: Eating a vitamin-rich diet can actually slow down the ageing process. Sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, papaya and melon are great sources of vitamin A. Rev up your vitamin C with kakadu plum, hibiscus and maqui.
  • Pack in protein: Become conscious of your protein intake. Fill your plate with plant-based sources such as hemp seeds, legumes, nuts and seeds. Adequate protein levels ensure you have the building blocks for optimal collagen production and skin repair.
  • Drink more H20: Aim to guzzle at least 2 litres of water daily. You can add lemon juice and chlorophyll to improve hydration. Non-caffeinated, herbal tea like our No.4 Golden Glow Tea is another great option.
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Six Ways to Keep Your Sparkle This Holiday Season

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

With social events, entertaining and beach visits on our agendas, if there is ever a time that we want to be sparkling with youth and vitality, it's during the festive holiday period. It can be a challenge maintaining our healthy glow as this time of the year is filled with many unavoidable beauty depleting activities! A lack of sleep, poor diet, the stress of word demands, increased alcohol consumption and dehydration can often leave our skin and body feeling a little lack lustre.

Below we provide six inside out beauty tips to keep you sparkling this Christmas season:

Glorious Greens. If you are going a bit overboard with sugar and alcohol, ensure you are balancing this all out by having at least a bowl or two of greens. Greens, in particular bitter greens such as arugula, rocket, radicchio, rocket leaves, dandelion, spinach, chicory and mustard leaves are wonderful liver toners. They also help to increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood. Bitter greens will assist you in digesting your food, in particular fats so munch on a few leaves before your meal, and they will act as a great aperitif. Greens are also rich in folate and B vitamins which are essential for your body’s energy and detoxification pathways which tend to become compromised in the holiday season.

Intermittent Fasting. When eating excessive calories on a daily basis, as tends to happen during the holiday period, our hunger hormones such as ghrelin and leptin, can become imbalanced which reduces our ability to burn fat. Intermittent fasting for one or two days of the week during the holiday season can be a great way to reset your hunger hormones and increase your metabolism even if you are over indulging. Fasting may involve restricting calories on one or two days of the week and eating normally on other days or restricting caloric intake between a certain time e.g. between 12 pm to 8 pm.

Liquid Beauty Boosters.  Increasing water intake is something we all know we must do to keep our skin moist and dewy and our body’s detoxification and digestive system intact. Supercharging water with antioxidant rich botanicals makes it work even better for you. During the holiday season iced versions of our Edible Beauty No.2 Fountain of Youth Tea and No.1 Green Goddess Detox Tea are refreshing, hydrating and a treat for the skin and liver. To make iced versions of these blends, just brew them as normal and refrigerate infused with berries, sliced citrus and herbs.

Mask It. Late nights, sugar and alcohol consumption show up in our complexion. Sleeping masks are literally an overnight beauty fix when it comes to dull, red or lack lustre skin. We love using the Edible Beauty & Coco Bliss Intensive Repair Mask to boost the plumpness of the skin, reduce redness and bring back a youthful glow. Apply this all over the face in the evening as a thick layer and do not remove it. You will wake fresh faced and in awe of this miracle mask. The secret ingredients in this mask include B vitamins and Vitamin E which work to repair the skin, reduce inflammation and eliminate redness. If acne or sunburn is affecting your golden glow, use the Edible Beauty Soothe Me Balm as a leave on mask at night. Aloe gel, Cucumber, Calendula and Chamomile in this blend work to calm the skin, balance oil production and heal scarring and sunburn.

Sweat It Out. Whether it be hitting the gym, having an infra-red sauna or sweating it out at the beach, building up a sweat is a wonderful gift for your skin. It allows the skin pores to open which releases the build up inside them. Toxins that can clog pores and plague the skin with pimples and blemishes are purged through the action of sweating. Circulation is also increased to the peripheries and skin cells which boost skin cell turnover. These skin benefits only apply to mild or moderate sweating.

Bright Eyed. Giving your eyes a pick me up is as easy as a providing them with a caffeine hit. Dip cotton pads in iced black coffee or cold Edible Beauty No.6 Puff Away Tea and apply over closed lids for 10 to 20 minutes. Caffeine found in both coffee and our Puff Away Blend acts to constrict blood vessels to diminish discolouration and reduce puffiness.

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