Natural Skincare

10 Chemicals To Avoid In Your Skincare Regime

The UK cosmetics industry is worth an estimated £4.5 billion but an article in the Daily Mail shows that added toxic ingredients present in some forms of make up can cause danger. Although the UK Government regulates these products there are always loopholes that can be exploited. Here are ten chemicals and products to avoid.

1. Dying your hair

Latex Gloves from Brosch Direct are an excellent way to protect your hands when using hair dyes and other chemicals, but they don’t stop your scalp from being damaged during the dying process. Although hair products have changed drastically over the years there are still certain compounds such as coal-tar, which can cause bladder cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

2. Aluminium pigments

Most skin care products are safe; mascara, eye shadow and eye pencils all contain aluminium powder, which can lead to neurotoxicity and cancer. There is a misconception that high cost and quality products are safe but these products are just as dangerous as their cheaper counterparts.

3. Sunscreens and vitamin A

Half of all sunscreens on the market contain an ingredient known as retinyl palmitate, or vitamin A palmitate. This chemical should not be put onto skin if you are going to be in direct sunlight, it is used in many night creams due to the fact that you can’t use it in daylight. If you use a sunscreen with this additive you can develop tumours.

4. Perfumes and fragrances

Any product that has the word fragrant on the advertising is probably not going to be good for your skin. Some alcohols used in the manufacture of perfumes have been known to cause hormone disruption and allergic reactions.

5. Propylene glycol

This clear odourless, tasteless liquid is used in food and cosmetics and is classed as safe, but it can cause brain, liver and kidney disorders if used incorrectly or regularly. When used in the chemical industry as revealed on the mindbodygreen website it is treated with great care by the people working with it.

6. Benzoyl peroxides and acne

Acne can be a horrendous problem for the young and old but most creams contain the chemical benzoyl peroxide which can cause cancers and also become a skin irritant.

7. Teeth cleaning

Brushing your teeth twice a day or maybe more should be a safe process but the toothpaste itself contains a chemical called triclosan which is linked to cancer cell growth and can cause damage to the gums and premature births if used long term.

8. Hair straightening

Some people prefer straight hair others curly; if you are using chemical hair straightening products you may not realise the damage you are doing to your hair and also your body. These products contain keratin which can cause nerve, chest pain and rashes.

9. Green isn’t always safe

Some so-called green products can still contain harmful chemicals such as chlorphenesin and neurotoxin. When buying cosmetics even reading the label won’t give you all the information you need. Some chemicals are left out.

10. Anti-perspirants

All of us use some form of anti-perspirant and don’t realise the possible dangers of the aluminium salts that are present which can cause of breast cancer and skin irritation.

August 30, 2015

The Beauty Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

Move over coconut oil, a new beauty secret has us all talking this season and it’s grapeseed oil! Why? It’s good for cooking, skincare, beauty and even pain relief since it’s packed with high levels of vitamin E – a must-have for healthy skin!

RELATED: Essential Oils For Women’s Health

Hair growth

Massage grapeseed oil slowly through your roots to stimulate hair growth and awaken the follicle.

Serum

Apply it all over your face and neck as an evening skincare serum to deeply hydrate your skin. It’s ideal for all skin types and won’t make you break out!

Body scrub

Combine one part castor oil and two parts grapeseed oil to create a luxurious body scrub that will leave your skin looking glowing and vibrant.

Leave-in conditioner

Use it as a hair mask to repair split ends, give your hair some extra shine and make it look super-sleek and smooth. Rinse with shampoo and cold water for best results.

Sun burn

Spent a little too much time in the sun? Mix a few drops of grapeseed oil into your sunscreen for ultimate protection. It can also help to minimise the appearance of age spots after extended use.

Stretch marks

Skip the usual moisturiser in favour of natural grapeseed oil which can decrease the severity of stretch marks.

Muscle Rub

Create your own homemade muscle scrub by combining coconut oil, castor oil and grapeseed oil, and rubbing onto freshly washed skin.

Acne treatment

Apply grapeseed oil as a concentrated spot treatment for acne spots and existing scars. It helps to regulate your natural oil production and will prevent future breakouts.

Makeup remover

Just 2-3 drops of grapeseed oil onto a cotton pad will remove even waterproof mascara – without any leftover residue. The extremely concentrated formula means that a little goes a long way!

Image via Livestrong

August 10, 2015

Beauty Superfoods For Healthy, Glowing Skin

Once the domain of the kitchen, superfoods are creeping into our beauty regimens – and for good reason! Beauty superfoods, as we like to call them, proves that our health consciousness is going mainstream as we put our trust in the power of these wonder foods.

RELATED: Simple Steps To Detoxing Your Pantry

Superfoods ingredients offer a holistic approach to achieving that elusive glowing skin. What you apply on the outside should go hand-in-hand with what you put in your mouth. The high nutrient content in superfoods has been proven to be beneficial to your health and wellbeing, inside and out.

But before you start slapping greens on your face, we explore why superfood-charged skincare is a growing trend and how it stacks up against those found in our diet.

Superfoods have been proven to help protect and support the skin’s structure and cells, greatly improving your overall health and most importantly, your skin! Cosmetic manufacturers have been able to harness the properties in these healthy foods for effective topical use.

Superfoods in beauty have been around for centuries but have been gaining popularity over the past few decades. Natural skincare ingredients like coconut, avocado, aloe vera, acai and honey are becoming increasingly popular – and for good reason. The variety of ingredients being incorporated into skincare has even started expanding.

Education plays a large role in this new trend. The elevated demand for superfoods is growing because more consumers are becoming aware of the benefits of superfoods in their skincare routines. People are starting to take steps towards doing the right thing for their overall health and wellbeing by not focusing on just one problem.

So why are these beauty superfoods so good? The foods we eat play a large role in our skin’s appearance and a healthy gut and digestion is key to a radiant, clear complexion. Applying these superfoods topically can wield the same benefits. When you apply these ingredients to your skin, they help to nourish and protect the upper and lower layers of the skin, creating visible results. However, consuming superfoods in your diet will reap these benefits on a cellular level and help make your whole body healthier.

This is because superfoods like kale and coconut supply a concentrated mix of antioxidants that can be beneficial in treating certain skin conditions and can aid in the prevention against the ageing process. Pomegranate, for example, is known for its ability to penetrate the skin’s surface and assist in cell regeneration and collagen protection that protects against cellular damage.

Key products that include superfoods

Nutrimetics Energise Daily Boost Creme-Gel: Formulated with beetroot extract, taro leaf extract and Japanese pagoda flower extract, this gel moisturiser helps to energise skin while protecting it from everyday environmental stress.

Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF50+ Moisturiser: Featuring pomegranate and mango seed butter, this daily hydrating moisturising protects against environmental elements and hydrates skin.

Image via theglow.com.au

August 9, 2015

What Is The Morocco Method Detox?

Ever heard of the Morocco Method? This hair detox has been used for years and basically all about using holistic methods to look after your hair.

If you’re looking for a sulfate-free alternative, the Morocco Method is the best way to give your hair some natural loving.

RELATED: How To Do A Digital Detox At Home?

Below are just a few benefits of the Morocco Method, especially if your needs little TLC every now and then.

Avoid soap

Using too many suds in your hair can strip the scalp of its natural oils. If you’re looking for a little detox, invest in shampoos and conditioners with no added Sodium Laurel or Laureth Sulfate which usually cause the most damage. Natural shampoos replace these chemicals with cocamide diethanolamine (DEA) which is actually made from coconut oil.

Switch it up

Rather than using the exact same shampoo and conditioning treatments, keep your scalp guessing with new products. Rotate your haircare on a regular basis so your scalp doesn’t rely on the same ingredients – otherwise your money is going down the drain!

Hair rinse

Treat your hair to a rinse at least once a week to remove excess skin and oils from the scalp. This is particularly handy if you suffer from a dry scalp which is producing too much dandruff.

Use an apple cider vinegar rinse to carefully exfoliate the scalp without making your skin extra sensitive afterwards. Simply rinse with warm water and leave hair to air-dry.

Henna as dye

Rather than damaging your hair with peroxide and other nasties to achieve that perfect colour, use henna instead. From blonde to black, there are a variety of natural-based hair colorants which are semi-permanent, but won’t leave your hair feeling dry and brittle.

The Morocco Method Detox

Morocco Method Natural Henna Hair Dye: Light Blonde, $9.50

Image via Wiki How

May 12, 2015

Hair Removal: What Is Sugaring?

While we’ve all heard about waxing, shaving, and threading, sugaring is often a practice which is barely mention as much as its popular counterparts.

Sugaring is actually an old Persian way of removing hair using a natural, sticky gel made from water, sugar and water to completely remove hair from the follicle.

RELATED: Brazilian Waxing FAQs

How does it work?

The act of sugaring actually works by using a thick paste which is warmed between the hands, applied on the legs, then quickly ripped off (somewhat like waxing).

You also place the gel in the direction of the hair to remove it completely without ripping or causing any in-grown nightmares.

Pros

  • Sugaring is actually a quick and easy way to remove hair without causing your body unbearable pain. Even though there aren’t too many salons which offering sugaring, if you find one – stick to it!
  • The process takes no time at all, and can remove lots of hair at once. Unlike waxing, if you miss a few hairs, you can easily apply the paste over without causing additional irritation to the pore or hair follicle.
  • Did you know that sugaring can actually stunt the hair growth? It can cause damage to the hair follicle and actually leave your legs, arms, and bikini line with less hair over time.
  • There are many DIY kits available both in-store and online so you can remove your hair at home. Alternatively, you could also create your own paste at home.

Cons

  • Your hair actually needs to be quick long before sugaring can take place – longer than if you’re waxing! Not a good idea if you need to show your legs off over the weekend.
  • If you have decided to remove hair via sugaring at home, just beware that it can leave your skin feeling red and inflamed. Just be careful, and use clean products, jars, and find a sanitary area to remove hair from your legs. After you’re done, wash up with shower gel and pat the area dry with a clean towel. Apply a moisturiser containing aloe vera over the top to soothe the skin.

DIY sugaring

If you would prefer to do it at home, use this easy recipe to create a gel and remove hair directly from the follicle.

Ingredients

2 cups white sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 water

Instructions

1. Combine all of the ingredients into a deep pan and cook on high. Wait until the sugar begins to caramelise, then remove from the heat and allow it to cool. By now, the water will evaporate out, and you will be left with the raw mixture.

2. Use a thermometer and wait until it drops in temperature. It should be of a slimy consistency.

Image via About

April 12, 2015

5 Baby-Safe Skincare Products

Since the temperature is already dropping and winter is just around the corner, now is the best time to invest in some skincare products for your baby.

RELATED: Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

From cradle cap to simply dry skin, sometimes it’s difficult to track down products which are safe for both mum and bub. Our selections, however, are gentle, perfect for all budgets and can be delivered right to your door!

Bambini Baby Massage Oil, $4.79

Keep skin soft and hydrated with a fragrance-free moisturising oil. Use generously on dry patches to heal the skin and bring back added moisture.

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Gaia Baby Moisturiser, $10.99

One of the best moisturisers from the drugstore is this classic formula by Gaia. A light and non-greasy formula, which soaks quickly into the skin, and won’t cause any irritation.

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Mustela Bebe Foam Shampoo for Newborns, $19.95

The perfect shampoo for newborns – and even toddlers – which helps to eliminate dry patches, without removing additional moisture from the skin. Use daily, or every few days for best results. Ideal for babies suffering from cradle cap.

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L’Occitane Bonne Mere Rosemary Shower Gel, $22

A relaxing shower gel enriched with rosemary essential oils to calm your baby right before bed, and lead them into a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep. Dermatologically tested and ideal for both mum and baby.

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Jurlique Baby’s Soothing Moisturising Cream, $35

A gentle moisturiser which keeps baby’s skin feeling hydrated for all seasons. Use after a bath, or on a nappy rash, to subside the side effects and soothe the skin.

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What are some of your favourite baby-safe products?

Image via iStock

April 10, 2015

Do Cellulite Treatments Actually Work?

There’s no denying how cute dimples are when you smile, but dimples that appear on your other cheeks is one that most women and men would like to change. The dimple-like appearance that finds a home on your hips, thighs and buttocks – known as cellulite – is one of the biggest body complaints among women.

RELATED: An Expert’s Tips To Treating Cellulite

A cosmetic condition that affects nearly 90% of women and 10% of men, cellulite can affect all body shapes and sizes in men and women of all ages. Whilst not everything has been proven, there’s many factors said to influence the on-set of cellulite from hormonal issues to genetics. Whilst the condition is known to men too, it’s much more common in women due to the lack of strength in the tissue fat (septae) compared to that of men.

With so many myths surrounding the treatment of cellulite, women and men question all over what will really work for them. Here’s a few to get you started:

1. Cellulite is just regular fat

When it comes to treating cellulite, one of the biggest myths people believe is that cellulite is just regular fat. Women and men attempt dramatic dieting to rid the dreaded dimples and wonder why it’s not working. Whilst cellulite does indeed involve fat, it’s not that extra weight we immediately think of. Cellulite is a type of fat that accumulates in small sections just below the skin which cause the skin to appear dimpled.

Because it’s not the standard fat around you stomach and thighs, it goes without saying that cellulite can occur on anyone. You can be super skinny and still suffer from the cosmetic condition, or you can be a regular weight or obese. That being said, its important drastic diet measures should not be taken to try rid cellulite.

What you can do instead: Maintain a healthy weight and a healthy diet. Whilst this will by no means cure cellulite, a healthier lifestyle will minimise the chance of your body fat converting to cellulite fat.

2. Cellulite can be cured by miracle creams

Contrary to popular belief, applying creams and other body lotions that claim to make cellulite disappear won’t help either. The problem with cellulite is below the skin’s surface to using over-the-counter treatments that get applied to the outside of your skin aren’t going to do the trick.

The reason these creams are promoted as cellulite saving solutions is because of the caffeine they contain in them. Caffeine can be a useful ingredient to temporarily tighten the skin and consequently, it can give the impression it will work. Unfortunately though, this really is just a temporary solution and doesn’t tackle the underlying problem.

What you can do instead: Opt for an in-salon treatment known as mesotherapy. This process requires the use of vitamin and plant extract injections which assist in improving your body’s circulation and metabolism. Alternatively, the non-invasive Velasmooth is the newest laser treatment out and works by ‘smoothing out’ the cellulite by radio frequency and a vacuum suction which helps to break down the far cells under your skin.

3. Liposuction is an ideal treatment for cellulite

Whilst liposuction can be a good treatment for some conditions relating to the build-up of fat in your body, it’s not ideal for cellulite. It’s not uncommon for both women and men to consider liposuction to remove cellulite as a quick and easy fix, but it can end up causing your condition to be much worse.

This myth goes hand-in-hand with “if I lose weight, I’ll be less likely to get cellulite”. But, if all women and men in any shape can get cellulite, losing weight is not going to fix things. Lipo is a process that enables you to lose weight very quickly – and it’s this fast unnatural weight loss that’ll cause your skin to sag and your cellulite to appear more obvious.

What you can do instead: Another in-salon ‘smoothing out’ treatment that’s beneficial for cellulite is Endermologie Lipomassage. Based on a French method that focuses on massage, the idea behind this treatment is to deliver a serious deep-tissue massage. By massaging deep into the skin, Endermologie helps to boost circulation, drain excess fluid, firm the skin and re-sculpt your figure to smooth out the cellulite. This treatment is effective for both women and men that may struggle with a slow and steady weight loss, is non-surgical and FDA approved.

4. Cellulite cannot be cured with exercise

There’s a lot of talk going around that exercise won’t cure cellulite… and in that sense, it’s right. While exercise will not cure cellulite, leading a healthy and active lifestyle will help to eliminate the chance. Specific exercises like weight training will help tone your body and define your mussels resulting in smoother skin.

As with any healthy lifestyle plan, excessive drinking, caffeine intake and smoking doesn’t do any favours for your body so should be kept to a minimum. Foods that are process or high in artificial flavours are all liable to contribute to that dreaded dimple cellulite skin too.

What you can do instead: Maintain a healthy lifestyle by giving your body adequate rest and watching what you put into it. No exercise and diet alone can cure cellulite, but giving your body the best chance it has to fight against excess fat is ideal.

5. Tanning doesn’t hide cellulite

Summer-bronzed skin may look attractive, but unfortunately it’s not going to hide your cellulite. Women often apply fake tan to mask that orange-peel appearance of cellulite, but it can cause the texture of your skin to look worse as the golden colour fades.

For those that hope getting a good dose of vitamin c by baking outside in the sun will eliminate cellulite, it’s not going to work either. The sun’s UV rays are harmful to your skin with and without cellulite and can contribute to your skin thinning out, resulting in a more prominent condition of cellulite.

What you can do instead: It doesn’t mean to say though, you need to avoid the sun altogether – just be smart. Applying adequate sunscreen to your body and cellulite prone areas will help to protect your skin from the UV rays.

By Jemma Stergiou, the owner and director of Keturah Day Spa Group, a leading provider of massages and Endermologie treatments in Perth, WA. Keturah also own the only Integral Endermologie machine in Perth! Connect with Jemma on Google+

December 9, 2014

Take A Selfie For A Good Cause

Australian-made natural beauty company, Cactus Skincare, has announced a fundraising initiative through social media that will see the family-owned business raise funds and awareness about human trafficking.

RELATED: How To Make The Switch To Natural Skincare

Cactus Skincare has vowed to donate $1 from every sample pack (RRP$5) and $5 from every White Clay Mask (RRP$59.95) to Project Futures – an organisation that aims to create an empowered world where every person can take action against human trafficking and exploitation.

To help spread the word, the brand is leveraging their already-popular White Clay Mask selfies on Instagram and Facebook, and encouraging customers to spread the word using the hashtag ‘#MercyMask’. New and existing customers are being asked to upload a picture of themselves in the Cactus Skincare White Clay Mask with the #MercyMask hashtag and a brief statistic on human trafficking.

“The #MercyMask activation is a perceptible way for us to get the message out there that human trafficking is not to be ignored, and to get donations for Project Futures,” said co-founder Ryan Clark.

“According to UNICEF, 2 million children will be sold into the sex trade in the next year, which is a horrifying statistic and just one of many reasons Cactus Skincare decided to help.”

Through digital efforts and tangible donations, Cactus Skincare hope to work with Project Futures to raise awareness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

To get involved, follow @cactusskincare, @projectfutures and the #MercyMask hashtag on Instagram

October 22, 2014

Wrinkles Schminkles Launches New Skincare Range

Anti-ageing beauty brand Wrinkles Schminkles has just recently launched their range of new and innovative age-defying wrinkle treatments. Perfect to apply on the neck, chest, around the eyes, and even on the décolletage to prevent premature ageing, and diminish existing lines.

RELATED: How To Avoid Premature Ageing

The new range has been specifically designed around the Wrinkle Relieving Silicone Pads ($35.95), which are quick and easy to use on the entire face and neck to prevent lines and wrinkles overnight! Simply apply the pads before bedtime, and let the product work its magic whilst you sleep. In the morning, skin will feel hydrated due to the advanced formula, and with time will soften lines and wrinkles.

Follow up this treatment with the fabulous Morning After Glow Serum ($38.95) which is specially formulated to moisturise dry patches of skin, and leave your entire face feeling smooth and soft.

Wrinkles Schminkles Launches New Skincare Range

“I created the range after beginning to notice fine lines and wrinkles on my chest,” said Gabrielle Requena, who founded Wrinkles Schminkles.

“While there are countless lotions and potions for the face, a cream alone cannot treat other areas of the body, and I found there was a distinct lack of simple, practical treatments available for places like the chest – which can tend to act its age.”

Why not try the new collection for yourself? You can purchase each individual product exclusively from their website, and enjoy a free cleaning solution when you buy any 3 smoothing kits.

www.wrinklesschminkles.com

October 17, 2014

Get Set For Jet Set: Holiday Skin Survival

As the holidays loom ever closer, regular business traveller and MD of GAIA Skin Naturals Australia, Michelle Vogrinec, shares with us her routine for ‘Skin Survival before Arrival’:

RELATED: Beauty Tips Using Avocado

Water works

“The pressurised air in a plane’s cabin can often leave your skin feeling dehydrated and dry through moisture evaporation – particularly if your skin is already dry. So if I know I’ll be flying out in the next few days, the first thing I do is up my water intake in advance to keep my skin hydrated from the inside out. Prevention is always better than cure!” Michelle says.

“Then once I’m in the air, I avoid inflight drinks as alcohol only further dehydrates the skin – and choose pure water and herbal teas instead. This leads to the great exercise of getting up and down to the bathroom, which is perfect for stretching your legs!”

The pack is back

“I also make sure I pack my ‘carry-on’ bag with miniature bottles of anything I might need in-flight – cleanser, refreshing toner sprays, moisturiser etc.  These can then be used for when I’m away – no need for an extra bulky toiletries bag.  I always choose refillable bottles in a clear pack which will comply with the government’s laws for liquids on international flights.  If needed I can always top up with full-sized bottles from my checked luggage – depending on how long I’m going for,” she said.

Don’t just say it, spray it

“The stresses of jetlag and lack of sleep can send your hormones a little haywire which may contribute to breakouts or blotchiness.  To cool, soothe and hydrate skin in flight, I take a leaf out of the REX Airlines flight attendant’s book and spritz on a natural floral water tonic.   Preferably choose something containing calendula and/or green tea. Organic green tea and organic calendula extracts soothe, detoxify and tone while balancing, softening and refreshing skin,” Michelle said.

The no gripe wipe

“To keep skin clean, make-up smudges to a minimum and excess oil at bay, I never leave home with my trusty travel wipes. They’re suitable to use on face, hands – everywhere – to keep you staying fresh.  But be warned – these will be popular with other travellers – so be prepared for requests to ‘share a spare’,” Michelle said.

Snore and restore

“Finally, getting as much ‘shut-eye’ as I can, helps my skin restore and repair itself naturally.  So I pop on my eye mask, and a few meditation tracks, and let my skin do its own work,” says Michelle.

October 1, 2014

10 essential Tips To Help Manage Eczema

Australia has one of the highest incidences of eczema in the world, with one in four children developing the condition before age two. Symptoms include scaling, flaking, itchiness and fluid-filled blisters that weep and ooze then form a crust. While getting to the root of the cause can be challenging, there are natural ways to manage eczema, says leading nutritionist, naturopath and herbalist Janella Purcell.

“Eczema is one of the oldest known diseases and also one of the most difficult to cure,” Purcell says. “Those who suffer from any of these conditions will often tell you that when the symptoms of one disappear, another set appears.”

“Stress is a huge trigger for eczema and other inflammatory conditions, so you need to learn how to avoid and handle stress well, and also what prompts your stress.”

Here are Janella’s top tips to managing eczema

1. Soothe and heal the skin with Lifestream Vitamin C and Lifestream Aloe Vera, which can be used internally and topically is highly beneficial to reduce the allergic response.

2. Introduce Omega-3 foods and supplements including sustainably caught deep sea fish. Add in vegetable sources such as flaxseed, chia and hemp seeds. Micro algae and seaweed are also high in omega oils. Include a high quality supplement.

3. Eat probiotic foods and add in live bacteria supplementation to help populate, heal and balance the gut, such as Lifestream Bowel Biotics.

4.  Goats milk is the closest in composition to mother’s milk and has been known to be helpful in soothing eczema internally and externally.

5. Foods rich in Vitamin A to help with immunity and skin health. These can include carrots, kale, paw paw, sweet potato, spinach pumpkin, leafy green vegetables and watercress. I also recommend a high quality greens powder such as Lifestream Essential Greens+Spirulina or Wheatgrass, which can help support the liver.

Triggers to Avoid

  • Inflammatory and acidic foods, such as red meat, processed dairy products, refined wheat such as white bread and pasta, nightshade vegetables such as white potatoes, capsicum, eggplant, tomatoes and chillies.
  • White sugar – a common culprit behind many inflammatory conditions. When high amounts of sugar are consumed, the body releases insulin. Harmful free radicals are released along with the insulin hormone. This has the potential to damage cells.
  • Say no to refined fats and oils including fried and junk foods.
  • Dried fruit, which generally contain sulphates, a compound known to trigger allergies and cause other negative health issues.
  • Too much citrus. Loading up on lots of fruit causes build up of citric acid, which may irritate the gut and show up on the skin, particularly those who are susceptible to skin irritations

Image via vitademinstitute.com

 

 

 

 

September 17, 2014

Say Goodbye To Puffy Eyes

Puffy eyes can often be a symptom of a poor diet, lack of sleep or simply just genetics. Even though there are many over-the-counter treatments aiming to completely eradicate puffy eyes, sometimes it’s best to take the simple approach. Keep reading for some easy home remedies you can whip up with ingredients straight from the kitchen.

Tea

Green and black tea both work well at reducing the appearance of swollen and puffy eyes. The caffeine targets swelling, while chamomile and green tea soothe any redness and inflammation with just a few treatments. Allow 2 teabags to cool down, then place over eyelids for 5-10 minutes.

Cucumbers

For years cucumbers have been used on the sensitive eye areas for their healing properties, and natural ability to reduce swelling and redness. Cool, fresh and extremely easy to get your hands on – apply a slice on each eye before relaxing and taking it easy.

Potato

Potatoes have some amazing benefits which help to relieve pain from joints, headaches and even reduce swollen glands. Peel, wash and dry a potato then mash until you have a fine paste. Apply onto the eyelids and relax for 10-15 minutes.

Spoons

Pop 2 teaspoons into the freezer, then place over the eyelids for 5-10 minutes to deflate any puffiness from your face. Now is also the best time to relax and enjoy some soothing music, and even burnt some lavender incense.

Salt

Who knew that salt could cure puffy eyes? Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt with 1 quart of lukewarm water, then apply a cotton ball into the solution and pat on the eyelids and under-eye area. Rest for 5-10 minutes with the cotton balls over your eyes to see a major change when you wakeup.

How do you cure puffy eyes?

Image via Club Vivre

September 8, 2014

Natural Underarm Whitening Scrub

Do you or someone you know have extremely discoloured underarms? This is most prominent in women (and men) with a darker skin tone, and can often prove difficult to deal with – especially during the summer months. Here is a homemade scrub you can use to eliminate any discolouration from your underarms.

Ingredients

1/2 cup cucumber juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon tumeric powder

Instructions

  1. Combine the mixture, then apply a think layer onto skin for 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse with lukewarm water, then repeat this step again until you’ve reach your desired results.

Tips

  • Avoid using deodorants which are packed with fragrances, since these chemicals could be causing more harm than good. For a more natural deodorant, use baby powder which won’t discolour or discomfort your skin in anyway.
  • Sometimes even shaving can cause irritation to the sensitive skin under your arms. Try other hair removal techniques such as waxing or laser treatments.
  • Exfoliate the dead skin cells under your arms. This will leave your underarms looking and feeling their best – especially if you want to apply fake tan.
  • Try dry body brushing at least once. All you need to do is apply a dry loofah on your skin in small, circular motions. Not only will it remove dead skin cells, but also improve your circulation.

Image via Stock Photo

September 7, 2014

How To Apply Face Oils

Not only are facial oils an essential part of a balanced skincare routine, but they are often designed to regulate skin, and are pretty easy to apply. If your skin is feeling extra sensitive, try and avoid oils which are scented since this could only aggravate your skin even more. Below are just a few helpful tips on how to apply, and get the most out of face oils.

Organic ingredients

Most facial oils are derived from natural ingredients, which means that they are pure and free from preservatives. A variety of special ingredients such as botanical and argan oils are rich in antioxidants, which help to improve the appearance of skin.

Can I apply onto acne?

As a general rule, it is best to observe how bad your acne actually is before applying a product onto it. If your breakouts are extremely red and inflamed, it is best to avoid the area since it could only aggravate the problem. Otherwise, if there are only small bumps under the skin, apply the facial oil as normal.

Skin damage

Not only do face oils help to rejuvenate and even out skin tone, but they are also helpful for minimising skin damage and scarring. However, you need to use the product consistently to notice any real results.

When to apply face oils?

The best time to apply a facial oil is right after cleansing and toning the skin. This is a perfect time since the skin has been prepped and ready to receive a bunch of natural antioxidants. Then feel free to apply your moisturiser after the oils have soaked into the skin.

Patch test

If you’ve never used this particular facial oil before, it is a good idea to perform a patch test on an inconspicuous part of your body. Apply the product at the back of your neck, and monitor its activity for the next 24 hours.

Do I apply it all over my face?

Face oils work well on every skin type, but are fantastic for people who suffer from dry patches. Pay a little more attention to these areas of the face, since antioxidants will really help to even out the skin with continual use. Dab the product into small circles on the apples of your cheeks, and on the chin. For the forehead area, it is best to swipe the product upwards and dab well into problem areas such as lines or wrinkles.

Try the following face oils if you suffer from – 

Dry skin: Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose Facial Oil 50ml, $42.96

Oily skin: Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil 30ml, $49

Combination skin: Natio Restore Antioxidant Face Serum, $26.95

Acne-prone skin: Grown Facial Serum Rosehip and Camellia Seed, $24.95

Image via Allure

August 23, 2014

10 At-Home Skincare Treatments

For many of us, a bad skin day can lay an almighty blow to our self-confidence. Over a lifetime, a woman will spend thousands of dollars on overly expensive skincare products to prevent a range of skin disorders, from ageing to acne. Many of these products are full of chemicals that have the potential to do more harm than good to sensitive skin. What you may not know is that you can find potent skincare solutions in your own home. Save a little money by introducing these products into your skincare regime.

Water
Hydration is vital to healthy skin, and more generally, a healthy body. Most professionals recommend drinking at least eight glasses per day.

Green tea
Green tea is an antioxidant and will help flush the bad toxins from your skin. It is high in polyphenols and can help fight the aging process. Aim for a minimum three cups per day.

Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a hardy plant that is easy to grow in your own home! It is rich in vitamin E, and is said to have healing properties for all types of skin conditions. Just look at these 7 Benefits of Aloe Vera For Skincare.

Oatmeal
Oatmeal is great for sensitive skin and can even be used for babies. For an full body treatment, put some oatmeal into a nylon sock or cut-off pantyhose, and put in your bath. Soak yourself and emerge with silky, smooth skin.

Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is used for cleaning and healing all types of wounds and skin impurities. It’s miraculous antisceptic agents also mean that it is often included in cleaning products. Concentrated tea tree oil is very strong, but dab just a bit on your problem spots and watch them dry out.

Lemon
Lemon juice is great for balancing uneven skin tone. It can be added to almost any DIY facemask or exfoliating scrub.

Sugar
While processed sugars can be detrimental to the skin when consumed, cane sugar can be applied directly to the face for fresh-looking skin. Combine with lemon juice and olive oil to make a moisturizing, exfoliation scrub for your legs. 

Salt
If you’ve ever taken a dip in the ocean, you’ll know that afterward your skin feels amazing! Salt is antibacterial and can also help dry-out oily skin. Recreate that beachy look with a lemon and salt face scrub.

Avocado
Avocado is rich in vitamin E and when applied directly, is great for skin hydration. Try this DIY honey and avocado facemask.

Salmon
Oily fish types are high in omega 3and good fats – which are great for your skin! Salmon is great for skin elasticity and fighting ageing. See this full list of anti-aging foods.

August 9, 2014

How To Use Multitasking Coconut Oil

We’re all guilty of product hoarding in our bathrooms. Vanities overrun with bottles, jars and canisters of stuff containing ingredients that claimed to be the next miracle fix for something and countless hundreds of dollars down the sink when we discover, these “cures” are no more than hope in a bottle. But what if you could clear your shelves, uncomplicate your routine and save both time and money while still looking your optimum best?

Celebrities are already on to it, with beauties including Gisele Bundchen and Kourtney Kardashian turning away from complex and expensive routines and onto an all-natural, purely organic fix with virgin, cold pressed coconut oil heralded as their new favourite go-to beauty product.

Coconut guru and author of Going Coconuts, Brynley King, uses coconut oil for just about everything and she is sharing her secrets on what this wonder oil can do for you, your face, body and even your man:

Hair treatment

Indulge lack-lustre, frazzled and over styled locks with a DIY coconut oil treatment that will leave hair soft, shiny and with that ‘just-stepped-out-of-the-salon’ look. Comb a dollop through the ends of your hair for a quick frizz fix, or coat the whole hair (including scalp), cover with a shower cap or towel and leave in for 30 minutes or overnight for an intensive, fragrant and super charged moisturising treatment.

Toothpaste

Coconut oil is perfect for promoting oral health due to the bevy of anti-bacterial and detoxifying properties it contains. If you are looking for a whiter, brighter and sweeter smelling smile simply combine three tablespoons of organic coconut oil with three tablespoons of aluminium-free baking soda and 25 drops of natural peppermint oil to make your very own homemade toothpaste. It tastes great and is a fabulous natural alternative to toothpaste.

Moisturiser

Dump your collection of expensive lotions, creams and ointments, and cut your morning and night routine in half. Coconut oil is the perfect organic moisturiser as it is absorbed into the skin deeper than regular lotions and hydrates without feeling greasy or oily. Try massaging into skin after showering in the evening and wake up with baby soft skin at a fraction of the price.

Makeup remover

Unlike harsh makeup removers that seem to take off the top layer of skin along with your foundation, coconut oil is effective at cleansing the face but gentle enough to nourish the skin as well. Apply a small amount to your face, eyelids and eyelashes before gently wiping off with a moist cloth. And even those stubborn waterproof mascaras and long stay lipsticks – gone, with a smear of coconut oil and a gentle wipe.

Dandruff treatment

Instead of using chemical laden anti-dandruff shampoos, massage a dollop of coconut oil into your scalp and leave in overnight. The oil not only moisturises and soothes but protects the hair follicle, promoting hair growth for those long and luscious tresses you’ve always wanted without the flaking, itching or redness.

Eyebrow tamer

If your brows are looking a little less Cara Delevingne and a little more Jack Nicholson, smooth a tiny amount of coconut oil onto unkempt brows and sweep a comb through for brows for all day stay put power. Use regularly and will also discover over plucked brows can regain some fullness due to coconut oils hair growth-boosting properties.

Natural lubricant

Using this wonder product on your more sensitive areas may seem a bit strange; however coconut oil is a great natural alternative to other synthetic personal lubricants which can contain multiple parabens and other toxic nasties.

After-sun lotion

Spent a little too long soaking up the vitamin D? The anti-inflammatory properties in coconut oil will aid in repairing the damage done by the sun’s harmful rays, relieving any burns and redness, and preventing wrinkles caused by sun exposure.

Shaving cream

Achieve a clean shave by coating each leg in about a teaspoon of coconut oil before taking up the razor, for silky smooth pins without the cost of expensive shaving creams.

Exfoliator

Create an inexpensive DIY body and face exfoliator by mixing 1 ½ cups of coconut oil with 1/3 cup coffee, salt or sugar for an all-natural solution to removing dead skin. Adding vanilla bean, cinnamon, chai tea or orange grind will create a subtle burst of flavour for delectably silky smooth skin that smells amazing.

August 7, 2014

6 Skincare Hacks You Didn’t Know

Ever wanted to know how to brighten your skin at home, or even reduce the colour of over-painted nails? There are a variety of skincare and beauty hacks which can be made from natural ingredients straight from your pantry, or even extracted from the garden. Below are just a few helpful tips and tricks to improve your skincare routine.

Whiten teeth 

Have you been curious about whitening any stains on your teeth, but hesitant to use harmful chemicals such as peroxide? Next time dip a cotton ball into a mixture of natural lemon juice and baking soda. Allow the solution to sit on your teeth for at least one minute, then wash off.

10 Skincare Hacks You Didn't Know

Painless hair removal

A mixture of 2 tablespoons coffee grounds, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda rubbed onto the skin helps to break down hair at the root. Coffee is a gentle exfoliant which won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin. Use for at least one week to see results. Finally a natural way to remove unwanted hair without the risk of breaking out into a rash, or damaging the hair follicle!

10 Skincare Hacks You Didn't Know

Minimise breakouts

Next time you have an irritating pimple breakout onto the surface of the skin, use a single peppermint leaf to relieve redness. Peppermint contains large volumes of menthol and menthone which helps to reduce inflammation. The best way to treat these breakouts is by grabbing a handful of peppermint leaves and mixing with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in the food processor. Leave on for 10 minutes then wash off.

10 Skincare Hacks You Didn't Know

Remove blackheads

Don’t attempt to squeeze your blackheads the next time they pop up on your face. This could only lead to infection, since bacteria is exposed to an open area. Simply apply some toothpaste onto a clean brush and gently exfoliate the problem area. Wash face with a mild cleanser then apply moisturiser as usual.

10 Skincare Hacks You Didn't Know

Under eye circles

If you suffer from visible under eye circles, there are a few different ways to relieve this symptom naturally. Cold tea bags help to reduce the harsh colour if placed onto the eyes on a regular basis. Make sure they are cold, so pop them into a refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes before applying onto the eyes.

10 Skincare Hacks You Didn't Know

Soft legs

Use a mild exfoliator once a week to remove dry skin cells, and leave your legs feeling silky soft. Combine 1.25 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons citrus juice (lime or lemon) onto skin to remove any dry skin. Also great to use if before fake tanning.

10 Skincare Hacks You Didn't Know

Images via Woman’s Day, Fashion Over Reason, Offbeat and Inspired, Safari of Smiles, Style Ramp, Mash Medical Supply

July 27, 2014

3 DIY Face Masks For Dry Skin

Treating dry skin can often be a nightmare, especially since the cold weather will often cause more breakage on the skins surface. If you prefer to use natural products on your skin, face masks are easy to prepare at home and can be personalised to your particular skin type. Only a few ingredients are required to create a hydrating face mask which will repair the appearance of your skin and soften any harsh lines.

Honey and avocado

Both of these ingredients are perfect for dry skin since they are hydrating, but also brighten the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.

Ingredients

1/2 avocado (ripe)

1/4 cup honey

Method

  1. Mash the avocado in a small bowl, then stir in the honey and mix well.
  2. Apply onto the skin and neck and leave for 10 minutes. Try and relax until the mask has penetrated the pores of your skin.
  3. Wash off with cool water then moisturise as usual.

Banana

Works for both dry and sensitive skin, this mask will decrease the appearance of spots and keep the face feeling cool and hydrated. Not only do bananas work to naturally exfoliate the skin but combined with egg yolk, helps to prevent future breakouts since they are packed with zinc, vitamin B2 and vitamin B3.

Ingredients

1 egg yolk

1 mashed banana

2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil

Method

  1. Combine the egg yolk, mashed banana and 2 teaspoons of oil into a small bowl. Then mix well until they create a clump-free paste.
  2. Apply onto the face in a thin layer and work into dry areas such as the t-zone. Allow the mixture to set for 20 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water.

Seaweed

This revitalising mask is easy to create at home and will help to repair inflamed skin while also targeting clogged pores. Gentle enough to use on any skin type, the mixture is packed with essential vitamins and minerals which leaves skin feeling youthful and soft.

Ingredients

Kelp powder

Aloe vera gel

Distilled water

Method

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of kelp powder and 1 tablespoon of water into a small bowl.
  2. Squeeze out the juice from one aloe vera leaf, or use aloe vera from a bottle. Then mix it all together until there is a fine paste.
  3. Apply onto the face and neck, then leave it on for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture hardens.
  4. Remove with lukewarm water and pat your face dry.

Recipes and Image via Delighted Momma, DIY Confessions, All Women Stalk, Metro

July 18, 2014

Do Natural Makeup Products Actually Work?

If you’re looking for a 12-hour mascara which requires no touching up but is also free from ingredients such as petrochemicals – you must be dreaming? Natural products are free from harmful chemicals which could cause terrible breakouts, block pores and even cause premature ageing, but this also means they won’t stick to the skin as well either. So how exactly do natural makeup products work, and what are they made from?

No dangerous chemicals

Natural makeup products are a popular alternative to conventional brands since they aren’t made with dangerous chemicals. Recently, chemical preservatives such as parabens and triclosans have been associated with cancer and the hormonal or endocrinal system which is directly linked to the circulatory system in the human body. If you want to go natural always read the ingredients on the label, and try to avoid parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene and fragrance.

Better for sensitive skin

If you suffer from regular breakouts or sensitive skin, making the switch to natural cosmetics seems like a no-brainer. Big brands pump their products full of ingredients which can irritate the skin, resulting in unwanted rashes and sensitivity. Synthetic preservatives are used so products have a longer shelf life, which ultimately has the ability to disrupt the skincare regime of some consumers.

Safe ingredients

Although natural makeup products usually have a reputation for not working as effectively as their big-brand counterparts, there are many up-and-coming cosmetic brands which are proving this theory wrong. Australian brand INIKA has one of the strictest ingredients criteria of any makeup company. Every single product in the natural cosmetic collection is certified organic or vegan, halal, and cruelty-free. Instead, natural ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, tamanu oil and shea butter are just a few ingredients used in the natural cosmetic range. Not only is INIKA makeup 100% natural, but it’s used in various magazine editorials and is well known for its flawless coverage and long lasting wearability.

Where to buy natural makeup?

Foundation

There are a number of different foundations which safe and chemical-free which won’t harm your skin. Pressed or loose powder foundations are simple and effective since they don’t require much product to conceal any imperfections, and they won’t clog your pores.

We recommend: Eco Minerals Flawless Mineral Foundation In A Jar, $33

Eye liner

A staple in everyone’s makeup kit, a black liquid liner is not only easy to apply but the staying power should be undefeated. Opt for a super-fine brush if you’re just starting out, since this will make it easier to achieve a signature cat-eye flick.

We recommend: Jane Iredale Liquid Liner, $21

Blush

An essential part of your everyday makeup routine, blush can instantly give the entire face a much needed pop of colour. Not only does a neutral/pink shade suit all skin types, but the light formula is highly pigmented and won’t require any additional touch-ups either.

We recommend: INIKA Mineral Blush – Rosy Glow, $45

Mascara

Mascara is an absolute must-have since it works effectively to make eyes look wider and brighter with just a few applications. Simply curl your lashes before and after you apply mascara, to make them last longer.

We recommend: Josie Maran GOGO Natural Volume Argan Mascara, $22

Image via Suplementos Deportivos

July 13, 2014

A Guide To Paraben-Free Cosmetics

Parabens are commonly referred to as little microbes which can be absorbed into the body, usually through the skin, blood stream and even the digestive system. Many independent makeup brands are moving towards making their products paraben-free since they have been linked to breast cancer and have other harmful effects to the body.

What are parabens?

These preservatives are added into shampoos, conditioners, makeup and almost any skincare product to last longer. They have been used for years since they are very cheap, but also help products have a longer shelf-life. If you check out the ingredients on the back of many products, they are easy to identify because almost all ingredients end in the word ‘paraben.’ Just a few examples include methylparaben, proplyparaben, isopropylparaben and sodium butylparaben.

Should they be avoided?

Many people are choosing to avoid cosmetics and skincare products with parabens because of their links to breast cancer. This is mainly because parabens have a unique quality which is known to mimic oestrogen and cause problems if continuously used on the skin and underarm area. A problem because it soaks up deodorants and moisturiser through the glands. As of recent, this is more of a personal issue, and can differ for each person.

Where can I get paraben-free cosmetics?

Many smaller skincare companies are releasing products specifically catering to the paraben-free market. Although some of these products are often more expensive, they do support a good cause and are usually made of organic materials which do not harm the skin or include any toxic chemicals. Natural Glow Organic Beauty is an online community which stocks natural makeup free from harmful ingredients, but still offers great variety and coverage.

We recommend: La Mav Certified Organic BB Creme 50ml $39.95

Where can I get paraben-free skincare?

Paraben-free skincare is becoming more common and relates directly to environmental issues to keep each other and the planet free from harmful impurities. Appelles is an Australian owned skincare brand which uses native certified organic Australian oils, most packaging is nearly 100% biodegradable and best of all the entire collection is paraben-free.

We recommend: Appelles Comfrey Hand & Body Wash 500ml $34.95

Image via Salon Spa

July 13, 2014

How To Banish Panda Eyes

If too many late nights, poor food choices or one too many cocktails have taken their toll, you may be noticing puffy eyes and dark circles creeping in. When baggy eyes or dark shadows linger, the cause is often less than temporary. Dark circles can be due to a multitude of different reasons ranging from genetics to food intolerances. Health and beauty expert Fiona Tuck, MD of Skinstitut Australia and author of The Myth Minx, investigates…

Dark circles can be a pigment issue which causes under-eye discoloration and is particularly common among people of Asian or African descent. These types of dark circles tend to be genetic which means no amount of eye cream will be able to fix this. Good concealers and sneaky make up tricks are the secret to camouflaging away the underlying pigment.

Age also contributes to dark circles. With age, the skin around the eye thins, exposing the tiny blood vessels that lie just below, resulting in dark shadows. Most often, dark circles aren’t about changes in the colour of the skin at all. Instead, they are created by a loss of volume in the area around the eye. This exposes the orbital bone, creating a hollow trough that shows up as a dark circle. With the delicate eye area one of the first spots to reveal signs of aging, hollowing can  happen as early as 30s or 40s.

What can be done? 

Makeup can help conceal dark circles. Hiding dark circles with  concealer is easier than you may think. Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone, rather than a lighter tone which only accentuates the issue. If your shadows are more prominent, go for more coverage with a light reflecting cream concealer. Lightly pat the concealer on from the inner corner of your eye to just past the outer corner. Skin lightening serums that contain ingredients such as daisy flower extract, licorice, niacinamide, glycolic acid may also diminish the darkness.

If the darkness is due to stagnant blood around the eye area, eye creams that contain caffeine or green coffee extract have also proven beneficial by increasing the micro circulation.

Dermal fillers such as hylauronic acid can be injected into hollows around the orbital rim to plump up they eye area. This is a fantastic way to not only diminish these dark circles but also restore youthful contours.

Top tips 

Here are five things you can do – without needles or knives – to help keep your eyes looking youthful:

  1. Always apply a sunscreen and wear sunglasses when exposed to UV rays. UV rays weaken collagen and cause premature wrinkling and sagging. Wearing sunglasses will prevent squinting and the wrinkle formation that is associated with it.
  2. Keep the eye area hydrated and look for nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and collagen boosting peptides.
  3. Calm puffy eyes and dark circles, place chilled green tea bags or slices of cucumbers under your eyes. The cool temperature and anti-inflammatory ingredients reduce swelling.
  4. Sleep well. Getting at least 8hrs of good quality sleep every evening does wonders for brightening the eyes. If you are prone to puffy eyes try sleeping with an extra pillow to elevate the head and assist with the prevention of fluid accumulation around the eye area.
  5. Eat well. Avoid highly processed foods, excessive consumption of inflammatory foods such as sugar foods, fizzy drinks, fatty foods and alcohol. Certain food intolerances can also aggravate dark circles so if you notice the darkness worsening after consumption of certain foods e.g. wheat, dairy it may be time to reduce these in your diet. A good intake of Omega 3 fatty acids commonly found in oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados is essential for healthy cell membrane function and may even help to reduce puffy eyes by strengthening the cell membrane integrity.
July 6, 2014

How To Avoid Skin Rashes

For some of us, skin rashes are an inevitable part of life due to makeup, shaving and exfoliating our skin. Are there easy ways to avoid an inevitable full-blown break out? Keep a skin diary and document what exactly has broken out your skin in the past, and be sure to read up on common ingredients included in your daily skincare and makeup routine. Here are some simple ways to avoid skin rashes, and what to do when they are terrorising your skin.

Shaving creme

It’s fairly obvious, but using a shaving creme and a brand new razor every time you shave will avoid any nasty rashes or bleeding popping up soon after you’re done. Make sure the razor isn’t blunt and you’re using it in fluid motions (don’t move it back and forth over a patch of skin a number of times).

There are also creme’s available for sensitive skin which are soap-free and help to moisturise and replenish the skin before you know it. Remember to moisturise your legs afterwards, and leave the skin to breathe and relax. This is not the time to apply shimmer, fake tan or any type of body make-up onto the skin either.

Dermatitis

Sometimes skin rashes arise because of an underlying skin condition such as dermatitis. Both bacterial and fungal infections are the main culprit in this situation, as well as allergens which make skin feel itchy, inflamed and difficult to deal with. Make sure the area is clean, and avoid using fake tan or any body makeup while your skin is damaged. Seek medical attention if your condition is too difficult to manage with home remedies.

Aloe Vera

Natural aloe vera from the source or even packaged is a great way to soothe skin which is damaged and breaking out into a red rash. Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties which help to cool down an infected area and decrease any harsh symptoms such as itchiness.

Makeup ingredients

Ingredients used in particular products can not only break out skin, but cause distressing rashes across the face and body. Popular areas include the cheeks and forehead which usually break out into little red spots and are irritating to manage. Make sure to check the ingredients before you buy a new product, and definitely perform a skin test on your arm or leg before using it on the face.

Olive oil

Olive oil has been proven as a fantastic way to cure an incoming skin rash. Apply a small amount of olive oil onto the exposed area, then simply massage into the skin. Try to include olive oil into your daily diet as it has properties similar to ibuprofen, which help to cure psoriasis, dermatitis and help decrease the amount of dandruff the body produces when skin is cracked and dry.

Image via She Knows

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 28, 2014

5 Things You Should Know About Ubiquinol

Get the lowdown on the multitude of health benefits that Ubiquinol, the active form of CoQ10 and one of the vital nutrients in our body, has to offer. Ubiquinol is considered to be one of the essential enzymes our body needs in order to function properly. So why exactly is Ubiquinol so important? What should everyone really know about Ubiquinol?

What is the difference between CoQ10 and Ubiquinol?

Coenzyme Q10, commonly referred to as CoQ10, is a nutrient that is produced within the body and is found in every body cell. There are two forms of CoQ10; the inactive form and the active form, known as Ubiquinol, which is the major form of CoQ10 that naturally occurs in the body. Ubiquinol makes up more than 95% of the total CoQ10 in the body of a healthy individual. Ubiquinol is three to eight times more absorbable and is therefore the most effective form of CoQ10.

Super antioxidant power

CoQ10 in the Ubiquinol form is one of the strongest naturally occurring antioxidants in the body that functions by helping to defend against oxidation and free radical activity that occurs in all cells. Oxidation and free radical damage may interfere with the normal functioning of cells, therefore antioxidants are essential in the body to minimise this change in cells and help stop the chain reaction that free radicals have started. It is important to get plenty of antioxidants in the diet because your body is not likely to produce enough antioxidants for optimal health.

Supports healthy ageing

Studies have shown that as we age, the ability of our body to produce CoQ10 declines, and the ability of our body to efficiently convert CoQ10 to Ubiquinol is also diminished. In addition to this, the free radical activity and oxidative stress that occurs in our body from normal metabolism, even in healthy individuals, increases as we get older. One of the main roles of antioxidants in the body is to help combat free radical activity and oxidative stress, therefore, requirements for antioxidants like Ubiquinol may increase to help minimise the activity that may impair normal functioning of cells.

Powers your body

Ubiquinol is a criticial component of energy production for every cell of your body, therefore it is concentrated in organs that require the most energy, such as the heart, liver, muscles and kidneys. Because of its role in promoting energy production, Ubiquinol is important for normal metabolism in the body, including the breakdown of sugars, fats and proteins from food to be used in the body as energy. Ubiquinol has also been shown to help enhance physical performance by promoting energy production in the body, including the heart and muscles.

Supports heart health

Because of the high energy requirement of the heart, Ubiquinol is very important for heart health. It is important for the heart to have a consistent flow of optimal energy in order to function efficiently, therefore Ubiquinol is supportive of overall heart health. It has also been shown that heart disease may suppress levels of Ubiquinol in the body, highlighting a correlation between health conditions and depleted Ubiquinol levels in the body.

For more information visit www.kanekaqh.info/

By Stephen Eddey, a qualified nutritionist and naturopath, and is the principal of Australia’s longest established natural medicine college, Health Schools Australia. He has completed a Bachelor of Complementary Medicine as well as a Masters in Health Science.

June 9, 2014

Best Environmentally Friendly Beauty Brands

We all remember the trademark blue eye shadow of the 80s, but this makeup generation should be known for its love of green – environmentally friendly beauty products, that is. And these green products continue to grow in popularity with even the most sceptical of product junkies. With the entire cosmetic industry jumping aboard the ‘eco-friendly’ and or ‘natural’ train, it can be hard to tell the difference between products that are genuine and those that are just wolves dressed in green clothing.  

So the experts at beautyheaven.com.au scoured the beauty terrain and found some great eco-friendly brands that will keep beauty lovers (and the environment) very happy in honour of World Environment Day today: 

EcoTools: Not only is EcoTools set on ensuring women use quality brushes and body products, they’re all about taking care of the environment, too. The brush bristles are synthetic and cruelty-free, while the handles are made from bamboo – a renewable resource that can grow up to three feet per day. Plus, the packaging is reusable and the pouches are printed with plant-based ink.

Burt’s Bees: The Burt’s Bees products are known for being 100 percent natural, but they’re actually environmentally friendly, too. The products are packaged in recycled materials and are recyclable. The brand is also committed to sending zero waste to landfills – so much so that each month, its employees volunteer to check over 400 recycling and composting bins to ensure that everything is sorted properly. 

Natures Organics: Natures Organics has a philosophy of creating environmentally responsible products. The products are also competitively priced, to incentivise people to protect the planet by using more eco-sensitive products that are just as good and don’t cost the world. Many of the ingredients used in the Natures Organics products are obtained from renewable, sustainable sources and the brand is committed to producing products that utilise recycled materials as often as possible. 

The Body Shop: The Body Shop is all about protecting the planet, defending human rights, supporting community trade and taking a strong stance against animal testing. It also has a strong focus on using environmentally sustainable resources wherever possible – like using LED lighting in their stores to be more energy efficient, or using palm oil in the products that has been certified sustainable. 

AVEDA: AVEDA’s mission is to care for the world and give back to society. The brand is committed to developing products that are responsibly sourced, manufactured, used and then recycled. The packaging of the products can be continuously cycled and they’re actually manufactures with 100 percent certified wind power.

June 4, 2014

How To Avoid Premature Ageing

Rather than depending on miracle cures which promise to reduce signs of premature ageing, be proactive with your skincare regime and try to live in a way which will benefit your health. The best way is to work with what you’ve got, and try to give a little more tender loving care to the delicate skin on your face. The number one trick is the best and most effective; apply sunscreen onto your face every single day. Here are some other helpful tips you can apply to your skincare regime and keep signs of premature ageing at bay.

Sun damage

If you’re heading out to the beach or simply taking a leisurely stroll, remember to always apply sunscreen. Most sunscreens can fee oily and cast a white shadow across the face, but if this bothers you choose a foundation with a high SPF and this should do the trick instead. A wide-brim hat is the perfect way to protect yourself against the dangerous ultraviolet rays which penetrate deep into the skin. Continuous exposure to the skin is responsible for liver spots across the face and body. If you are planning a trip to the beach or park, avoid direct sunlight between 10am-3pm, this is when the suns rays can cause the most damage.

Stop smoking

Even if you aren’t a smoker yourself, being exposed to continuous second hand smoke is just as harmful. Wrinkles are more prominent in people who are smokers and are the number one sign of premature ageing. Smokers will also experience crow’s feet around the outer eyelid, droopy skin under the eyebrows and a large amount of defined lines on the forehead, than a non-smoker.

Alcohol

Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol has been proven to be toxic to a healthy, youthful appearance. Women who consume more than one standard drink a day run the chance of depriving their skin of nutrients, and dehydrating the body both inside and out. Avoid binge drinking since it is detrimental to both your skin and good health in general.

Moisturise

Moisturising your face and body on a day-to-day basis is the best way to avoid any lines and wrinkles coming through. Not only do they help the skin to retain more water, but keep it firm and tight throughout the day and night. Use a gentle cleanser on your face as part of a simple skincare routine, and choose a nourishing night cream to prevent skin from completely drying out. Avoid using soaps to wash your skin, since they are extremely drying and strip all natural oils from the surface. 

Image via Health Veda

May 28, 2014
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