5 Body Positive South African Instagrammers You Should Follow

So, you’ve probably seen or heard the phrase “body positivity” floating around a lot lately. But what does it mean, and are you excluded if you aren’t ‘plus-size’? 

Body positivity is unlearning the idea that only certain bodies and physical appearances are worth acceptance and praise, and instead recognizing that all bodies are equally valuable. It’s about looking within and deciding what feels good and healthy for yourself. It’s about allowing others to do the same and understand that you deserve to live in your own body without prejudice from others. 

Listen: We’re all humans, and we’ve all been affected by the world around us. World media struggles with the concept & can often get it wrong, but it’s great to see magazines like Seventeen agree to stop airbrushing models and Women’s Health vow to ban “drop two sizes” and “bikini body” from its cover titles.

All you can do is try to be kind to yourself, recognise that the ideal of ‘perfection’ is unrealistic & that nobody can achieve it. If you’re feeling like you need a bit of a pick-me-up, we’ve rounded up our favourite South African Instagram babes who are rocking the body-positive messages.

1. Lesego “Thickleeyonce” Legobane

Thickleeyonce, who was one of the celebs who stripped down for the Marie Claire naked issue penned a letter about body positivity.

“Dear body, I cannot believe there was a time I disliked you and felt uncomfortable with how you looked…I cannot believe how I mistreated you and let society condition me into believing you were not worthy.”

Lesego has been a voice for ‘fat girls’ worldwide. Advocating complete self-love and standing up to the haters, making waves within the modelling world, walking the runway for Woolworths and working with international brands like Calvin Klein & more.

 

2. Kgothi “Iman” Dithebe

Embracing her African roots & a distinct birth mark, Iman is body positive #goals! Using her platform and modelling career, Iman is redefining beauty standards in South Africa. 

“Dear women… All shades are beautiful, your flaws, your imperfections, your scars. Beauty is not one shade! Or a fair skin. Never let society try to define you because by being yourself you are bringing something that was never there before! So next time you think of something beautiful don’t forget to count yourself?. #modelwithamark”

 

 

3. Alex Beazley

Alex’s relatable approach to getting healthier and more confident in your own abilities has helped many who were tired os saying “I’ll start on Monday”. She aims to help change the lives of women all over the world by creating a platform that is diverse, encouraging, informative, honest and mostly relatable.

“Chubby girls club ❤️? For those of you that don’t know, humans aren’t the only ones who struggle with their weight. My cat Maggie, sadly doesn’t have a ”I’m full” function ?? yes it’s funny and cute but far from healthy…it knocks off 3 years of their lives if it’s not sorted out quickly ? so here’s to getting fit and cute together ??? #lifesapeach”

 

 

4. Michelle Mosalakae

Breaking stigmatism attached to Albanism, rising star, Michelle is tearing down barriers in her industry becoming Revlon’s first ambassador with Albanism! Her partnership with Kotox and the #periodornotshecan campaign is empowering women across the country to embrace their feminine power & pride. 

“Never apologize for being phenomenal! We are mothers, teachers, CEO’s, artists, innovators, we are leaders, and every great leader has shed blood, there is no shame. There is no shame in being in pain (take care of yourself), there is no shame in needing to be alone, there is no shame in being a work of art!”

 

 

5. Claire Vögeli

Enjoying every aspect of life & loving herself for it, Claire shows us that we can love our bodies nomatter where we find ourselves. As a mentor with the South African College of Applied Psychology, we’re more than confident her influence will have a ripple effect.

“The way I see it, a woman’s body is not one of those cookie cutter, ginger bread man silhouettes. There is NO one size fits all. The way I see it, a woman’s body is a force of nature. A million seasons in one. Bumps and curves like a rough cut diamond. I see these “imperfections” as quirks and that your body is made to be 1 of a kind.”

Body positivity is about working toward a world where everyone can live in their bodies as they please while receiving the same respect, representation, and opportunities as everyone else. So explore why you feel the way you do about your body, decide based on those factors what the correct decisions are for you, and be kind and empathetic toward other bodies.

How To Boost Your Collagen With Plants

Hydrolysed collagen peptides are taking the health and beauty world by storm! With the ability to improve the elasticity of the skin, and reduce wrinkles it has been hailed as a miracle supplement. But since it’s made from animals (most often cows, chickens, and some commercially farmed fish types) vegans and vegetarians have been left in the lurch. If you’re looking for a vegan collagen, or bone broth alternative, you’re in luck! We’ll uncover the fundamental nutrition of your natural collagen production for beautifully soft, supple, ageless skin; plus a delicious, collagen boosting smoothie recipe.

WHAT IS COLLAGEN?

Collagen is a protein found in your skin, joints, ligaments, and cartilage. There are 16 different types of collagen, but the one we’re most interested in is Type I. It’s the most common type of collagen in the body, and is super important for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Collagen is made up of 8 amino acids and getting all of these in your vegan diet is actually pretty easy. Pea protein isolate contains all of them and more.

WHERE CAN I GET PLANT-BASED COLLAGEN?

Collagen production isn’t just a simple matter of getting all aminos, and calling it a day. Your body still needs to absorb them. One of hydrolysed collagen’s biggest benefits is that it’s so highly bioavailable. The hydrolysation process breaks the raw collagen material down into much smaller peptides that rapidly pass through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream. But wouldn’t you know it, Mother Nature has a plant-based solution to this one too. It’s the world’s sexiest fruit: pineapple!

Pineapple has an enzyme in it called bromelain which hydrolyses proteins. Research published in the International Journal of Food Properties has proven that bromelain improves the bioavailability of pea protein. Their findings were taken a step further by researchers publishing in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition who found that bromelain (and papain) were able to reduce the difference in bioavailability between plant-based proteins, and animal ones.

HOW TO BOOST COLLAGEN PRODUCTION

Healthy collagen production needs some other nutrients too, besides the raw amino acids. Vitamin C is the most important one. It’s the primary cofactor for the generation of collagen within the body. A deficiency of vitamin C, aka scurvy, leaves sufferers with sores on their gums because collagen production has begun to shut down. Thankfully, our delicious, prickly friend the pineapple has that in abundance!

The right protein source, made bioavailable with a digestive enzyme, together with vitamin C is the recipe for vegan collagen success! There’s much more to learn about the role of silica, magnesium and even cortisol, but that’s the foundation. Watch this space for our upcoming collagen support guide. In the meantime, try out this Vegan Collagen-Boosting Smoothie recipe.

VEGAN COLLAGEN BOOSTING SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Soak chia seeds in water for 20 minutes until they reach a gel-like consistency.
  2. Pop pineapple, papaya, and banana into your blender and add 2 cups of almond milk.
  3. Spoon in the 4 heaped tablespoons of pea protein, and the soaked Chia Seeds.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Sip, and savour your way to softer, more supple skin.

 

 

References:

  1. Plant proteases improve the absorption and bioavailability of plant-based protein including pea protein, by hydrolysing it into its constituent peptides: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4595032/ ; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942912.2015.1123269 ;
  2. Silicon markedly increases the action of fibroblast cells: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6263024

Collagen 101: What Is The Hype All About?

Rooibos & Cinnamon Infused Collagen Jellies

 

What’s The Deal With Essential Oils?

Aromatherapy is a relaxation and restorative technique that uses plant oils to heal the body. Quite literally, as you inhale, the molecules from the essential oils through the ‘aroma’,  begin to work on stress levels, cognitive performance and circulation – among other things. When receiving an aromatherapy massage, the masseuse or aromatherapist might typically light a few scented candles as well as massage you with essential oils. Some psychologists even utilise aromatherapy to create stress-free environments, while others’ intentions are to trigger certain memories and experiences.

So where do you start? Since we’re heading into the colder months, it might be a good idea to stock up on a few immune-boosting, chest-clearing oils, but I’ll include a few versatile evergreen essential oils:

(Remember: you MUST keep your oils in dark glass bottles, and away from direct sunlight otherwise they will degrade and lose their effectiveness)

Please Note: Faithful to Nature is an online retail store. Our green team is all about helping you unlock your full potential to live a healthy life; however we are not medical professionals. Please do consult your registered healthcare practitioner when seeking medical advice. In general, when using essential oils, you should always adhere to the following: 

  • Mix your essential oil with a carrier oil before applying to your skin or in a bath
  • Always patch-test the oil on a small area of your skin for any possibility of a reaction
  • If you are pregnant/ breastfeeding, please ask your practitioner before using any essential oils
  • Using essential oils internally must ONLY be done under the guidance of a registered practitioner
  • To find a qualified & registered aromatherapist, visit AROMA SA

Chamomile

Some of you might be drinking dried chamomile flowers it in your tea. If that’s you, you’re not wrong. Light a few chamomile candles if you want to create a very relaxing and soothing atmosphere. To make the most of the sleep-inducing oil, I recommend adding 5-10 drops to your bath (along with a carrier oil like jojoba) so you can slide from the tub and straight into bed.

Eucalyptus

Mother’s medicine cabinet was always stocked with this decongestant because I had asthma as a child which meant I was always phlegmy. Kick the flu in one night through steam inhalation (add a few drops of eucalyptus into boiling water, cover yourself in a towel and inhale the fumes) or by rubbing some directly onto your chest with a carrier oil.
Some of you might not know this, but eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic and pain-reliever too. Massage bruised or torn muscles with the eucalyptus-carrier oil combo, and it’ll work as well as Arnica.

Geranium

If you suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), you’ll be happy you bought a diffuser just before winter really sets in. Geranium comes in a whole manner of vibrant colours and variations, while the oil itself has relaxing and mood-lifting qualities. 

Rosemary

If you have an excitable child who struggles with settling down, rosemary oil could be effective in getting them to work.  Allow rosemary essential oil to diffuse lightly in their room or where they sit down to work and it will help to clear your little ones mind while stimulating their curiosity in a productive way.

Sage

Burning sage, to cleanse the energy in a space, is a ritual I have not been inducted into. What I do religiously use sage for, however, is for balancing my hormones, and treat menstrual cramps. The essential oil balances thyroid levels and has been linked to improving depression too. Remember, seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner before using essential oils to treat medical conditions. 

Tea tree

White heads, acne scars and dandruff be gone! This antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral essential oil works magic on your skin without leaving it dry and flaky. For your skin, use tea tree oil with carrier oil like shea butter after you’ve washed your face. To combat dandruff, simply add about 5 drops into your regular shampoo. Shake the bottle well, and wash and condition hair as normal. 

Ylang ylang

Just saying ‘Ylang ylang’ already has me feeling better. Get that instant relaxation feeling by applying it directly to your temples with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil. It smells absolutely delicious, so keep a carrier-oil combo ready and dab a few drops onto your wrist if you’re low on body mist. The oil has been proven to increase sexual desire; perhaps it can even be your own kind of love potion?

 

 

The perfect starter kit to your Essential Oil journey from OCO Life.
Get it through our online store for R999

Getting Down To Earth

We sat down with Marlize Nel, owner of Down To Earth, to discuss what inspired her to start this all-natural skincare range and what being part of the Faithful To Nature family has meant to her.

“For years I have been using the African Potato Cream for my sunburn, never did I dream that I would one day own the brand.” – Marlize Nel

1.WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THIS BRAND?

Spanning a career of more than 13 years in the financial services sector, I never felt settled or at home in the corporate world. The opportunity to run a business that matches my personality and interests was something I could not allow to pass by.

I have long been passionate about the restorative potential of nature and have developed a keen interest in natural products: to be part of an industry that promotes health and wellness inspires me. So, in 2014 I bit the bullet and bought the Down to Earth brand. Back then it was a small company with a good presence along the KZN coastline. It was founded by a medical herbalist who has lectured abroad and is a strong advocate for natural medicine.

Once the company was under my leadership, we updated our brand and re-launched a few core products as part of the product line offering, remaining true to the ethos on which the company was founded.

2. HAVE YOU FOUND A MASSIVE CHANGE IN YOUR OWN HEALTH & LIFESTYLE CHOICES SINCE STARTING YOUR COMPANY?

Changes in my eco-awareness and subsequent health and lifestyle choices happened long before my Down to Earth venture.

Having sensitive and reactive skin, it was inevitable that I naturally progressed from conventional skincare and personal care products to natural products. That was the nudge that pushed me into the green culture. Around the same time, my husband started with Meat Free Mondays which gradually evolved into a more dedicated vegetarian lifestyle for our family. We recycle, grow our own vegetables and consider the environment with the purchases we make.

3. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?

We’d like to think of ourselves as the go-to brand for anyone seeking natural relief from pain, inflammation, abrasions or skin problems, as well as those wanting to make and keep their skin healthy. We see our customers as people who are concerned about all the harmful ingredients in conventional products, people who choose because they want to minimise the burden on the environment as far as is within their means.

4. THE ECO MARKET IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE COMPETITIVE – WHAT GAVE YOU THE INSIGHT/ CONFIDENCE TO THINK YOUR BRAND WOULD BE A HIT?

We didn’t necessarily consider this to such a great extent. For me, it was more about following my passion. It started with creating a brand for me and my family with products that we would use. So far I have been thrilled to find out that others appreciate the brand and what we do.

With regards to the newly launched products, I worked with my teenage daughter to develop the Refresh Range targeted at people with more problematic skin. We hope others will benefit from the products too.

5. INGREDIENTS PLAY A MASSIVE ROLE IN FAITHFUL TO NATURE, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PLACE THE SAME IMPORTANCE IN YOUR PRODUCTS?

Years ago I noticed that conventional skincare and personal care products were burning my skin and causing sensitivities. Even conventional household products left the skin on my hands dry and flakey. And so I educated myself about the effects of different ingredients. When I made the switch to natural products, I experienced an immediate improvement in my skin health and respiratory function.

We encourage consumers to educate themselves about what they are consuming. What we put in and on our bodies has a direct impact on our health and on the environment.

6. HOW CAN YOU VERIFY YOUR ORGANIC AND ETHICAL CLAIMS?

The organic ingredients used in our products are certified by an accredited certification authority. We obtain copies of these certificates when purchasing the extracts.

We do not test our products on animals, nor do we use any animal-tested ingredients. We are proudly endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty and our products are vegan-friendly, except where beeswax is used (in the African Potato Cream).

7. WHAT DEVELOPMENTS AND CHANGES CAN YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE?

In addition to further catering to the needs of different groups of people with different skin types and problems, we hope to increase our international presence.

8. PERSONALLY, WHAT ONE THING IS THE ONE THING YOU CUT FROM YOUR DIET AND AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE?

Sugar. I find it very addictive. It affects my mood and mental clarity, not to mention my skin health. In addition to that, I avoid animal products, particularly those coming from factory farms.

9. WHAT PRODUCT OR FOOD ITEM WOULD NEVER GO WITHOUT?

Vegetables! Growing my own vegetables gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction, and it has done wonders for my family’s health.

We have planted lettuce, rocket, asparagus, celery, sweet potato, potato, ginger and turmeric. In the retaining wall, we have a whole lot of herbs growing, like parsley, mint, sorrel, thyme and many more!

Being based in KwaZulu-Natal near the Kranskloof Gorge, we have monkeys that regularly come onto the property, so we are limited in what we can plant and grow, but that does not slow us down!   

10. WHAT IS THE FAVOURITE PRODUCT IN YOUR RANGE?

Revive Moisturiser. I use it daily and love it. Now accompanied by the new Revive Cleanser, the pair is an absolute winner for me.

However, I must mention that the African Potato Cream is a close second – I use it for a stiff shoulder that I get from working too much behind my computer. During dry seasons I use it as a general moisturiser, and ever since I started using it, I have never had cracked heels.

 

Shop the Down To Earth range here.

Back to our Roots: Herbal Hair Dyes

Mad about Myhru: A Q&A with founder Klara Coetzee

What’s in Our Natural Make-Up Bag?

Back to our Roots: Herbal Hair Dyes

Humans have been making use of Mother Nature and all her natural secrets for thousands of years, from the air we breathe to the nutrients we gain from the foods she provides. One such natural gem is different plants and their ability to dye our hair and skin. Two such plant dyes, and the most well-known ones, are indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) and henna (Lawsonia inermis), which are still used today as effective hair dyes and conditioners. And as only Mother Nature can provide, it is now becoming more widely known that these plants not only colour and condition hair but also benefit the whole body.

Henna maintains the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp that helps to eliminate dandruff, itchiness and premature hair loss. It binds to the keratin protein in hair and colours hair by coating each strand in a protective film. This seals and repairs the hair cuticle, reducing breakage and giving hair a lovely shine.

Henna is not only good for hair though, it can be used to cool burns and sooth ringworm, eczema and fungal infections. Indigo has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat depression and to detoxify the liver. A simple paste made from its leaves helps heal sores and ulcers.

When henna and indigo are used together, they work synergistically to dye hair in rich shades of red to black.

Of course, our quick fix culture puts a higher demand on, well, everything. The same is true with hair dye. Chemical hair dyes came about as a solution to this quick fix desire and have been around for just over 150 years. Chemical hair dye has fast action and colour reliability; especially when covering grey hair, but these come with a price of possible health problems and allergic reactions.

However, as we move into a time when we realise that our health is the one true thing that we have full control over, and as we create awareness around those things that are harmful to us, more people want to switch to healthier options to colour their hair. These options include 100% herbal hair dyes (which rely on henna and indigo to colour the hair) and low chemical hair dyes that have been formulated with the lowest possible concentrations of chemicals.

It helps to be informed about hair dye chemicals so that the best choices can be made. All chemical hair dyes contain one or more of the Para-dyes. This is unavoidable unfortunately. Chemicals such as para- phenylenediamine and M-aminophenol are Para-dyes and will trigger adverse reactions in anyone sensitive to this group of chemicals. Choose a low chemical hair dye that has the lowest concentrations of Para-dyes possible.

Common hair dye chemicals which you can avoid entirely are ethanolamine, all the resorcinol chemicals, toluene chemicals, naphthol and ammonia. These are known carcinogens and hormone-disruptors and have no place on our hair!

Luckily, we are able to bring you a 100% herbal solution to any hair colouring desires with products like Love My Hair. The certified organic 100% Herbal hair dyes contain no chemicals at all, just henna, indigo and five wonderful Ayurvedic herbs to colour and condition your hair and scalp. The Low Chemical hair dyes contain only seven chemicals in extremely low quantities, as well as five certified organic Ayurvedic herbal extracts.

Using herbal and low chemical hair dyes has many advantages. There is no doubt that using plant extracts to dye and condition our hair not only nourishes our hair and scalp, it also helps to reduce the chemical load on our bodies and the environment. This can only bring good health!

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5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Hair Healthy

5 Champion Oils for Anti-Ageing Hair Care

 

 

What the Heck is Face Yoga? And Why You Should Add it to Your Daily Practice

Most, if not all, of us understand that regular exercise is a great way to maintain health and vitality. An added advantage to weekly spinning or Pilates classes is looking great in your favourite pair of jeans or rocking your swimsuit on the beach.

Anyone who says they don’t care about how they look would be lying. So when we read that stimulating massages or facial exercises are as effective for obtaining a youthful looking face as a botox injection, the idea becomes extremely appealing.

Face Yoga is a wellness fad that we can’t get enough of. The poses are so simple and don’t require you to unroll your yoga mat, but the benefits contend with finding the fountain of youth itself. Not only are you facilitating increased blood flow and circulation to your face, you are increasing the collagen in your skin which will give you a healthy complexion and beautiful glow.

If you’re interested in getting started, we’ve given you step-by-step instructions for a few poses and exercises. REMEMBER: it is recommended that you wash and moisturise your face after face yoga and not before.

 

THE GIRAFFE: Targets loose skin on the neck

 

  1. Looking straight out in front of you, place your finger tips at the bottom of the neck and lightly stroke the skin downwards as you tilt your head back.
  2. Bring the head back down until your chin meets your chest. Repeat twice more.
  3. Push the lower lip out as far as possible, then pull the corners of the mouth down. Place your fingertips back on your collarbone with the chin pointed towards the ceiling. Hold for four deep breaths.

 

THE PUPPET FACE: Lift sagging lines around the nose (nasolabial folds)

  1. Smile with your teeth showing, then gently press you fingertips into the line between your nose and lips.
  2. Lift the skin up and press your fingertips into your face into the muscles for
    slight resistance.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds

 

 

 

 

FISH FACE: Get rid of fat cheeks

  1. Smile. Then, to create a fish face, suck the inside of your cheeks into the gap between the sides of your teeth.
  2. Repeat five times.

 

 

 

THE V: Fights droopy eyelids, crow’s feet and puffy eyebags.

  1. Press your middle fingers together in between your eyebrows, then with the index fingers, apply pressure to the outer corners of the eyebrows.
  2. Looking up, raise your lower eyelids upwards to make a strong squint, and then relax.
  3. Repeat six times then squeeze your eyes shut tightly for 10 seconds.

 

 

THE FLIRTY EYES: Works on droopy eyebrows and eye hollows

  1. Place an index finger under each eye, pointing towards your nose.
  2. Pull upper lip down over your teeth, keeping mouth open.
  3. Flutter the upper eyelids while gazing at the ceiling
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

 

 


SURPRISE ME:
Smooth out the forehead

  1. Widen your eyes as much as you can without engaging your forehead, and hold until your eyes start to water.

 

 

 

 

SMOOTH THE BROW: Works on forehead lines

  1. Spread both hands across your forehead facing them in, then gently sweep the fingers outwards across the forehead, applying light pressure to tighten your skin.
  2. Repeat 10 times.

 

 

 

THE SMILE SMOOTHER: Targets cheek lines and sagging skin

  1. Make an ‘O’ shape with you mouth.
  2. Smile widely while keeping the teeth hidden behind your lips and repeat six times.
  3. Once you’ve done six movements, hold your open, toothless smile and place one index finger on your chin. Move your jaw up and down as you gently tilt your head back.
  4. Relax and repeat twice.

 

BABY BIRD: Fight chin and neck sagging

  1. Press your tongue up to the roof of your mouth and angle your chin towards the ceiling.
  2. Smile and swallow for 30 seconds

THE BUDDHA FACE: Returns your worked face to a state of neutral

  1. Close your eyes, visualize a light coming from the point between your eyebrows, and make a very slight smile.
  2. Chant “om” for up to 2 minutes.

 

If you dedicate 15 minutes every morning, or just before bed, to do these facial exercises you’ll notice a difference after two weeks. After four months, your skin will be considerably tighter with less age lines.

 

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3 Flower-Infused Meditations for Spring

Essentials for Sensational Summer Skin

summer sskin

Peel off those sweatpants and stow away your UGG boots until next June – it’s summertime! The weather is getting warmer and your skin doesn’t have to suffer the low humidity of winter that causes it to dry out. But this season brings skin irritations of its own; heat rashes, sweat related acne and breakouts, melasma and of course sunburn. To make sure you look as good as you feel this summer, take note of the suggestions we’ve included below:

ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN

Whether you’re planning on spending a day lounging around the pool, or if you’re just popping out, your skin needs to be protected from UV rays. Wearing sunscreen is so important as it not only prevents the premature ageing of your skin as well evening out your skin tone, but it lowers the risk of skin cancer as well.

The easiest way to ensure you apply sunscreen is by purchasing an SPF face cream. Most moisturisers only have an SPF of 25, so you’ll have to add another layer of protection if you plan on spending more than half an hour in the sun.

Note: natural sunscreen is the ideal choice as chemicals and toxins used in synthetic sunscreen can be extremely damaging to your skin.

STAY HYDRATED

What we mean is drink water and moisturise your skin to make sure it doesn’t get tight and flaky. Water is effective with hydration and cleansing. By making sure to drink your recommended two litres of H2O a day, your body is being cleaned of toxins that affect your skin. Once you start drinking water regularly (and eating less oily, fatty and sugar-dense food), you’ll notice that you’ll suffer fewer breakouts.

Remember, when we say ‘hydrate’ we mean your body over, so don’t forget to give your lips some love too. NEVER lick your lips when they are dry as saliva has the opposite effect.

Same can be said for your hands, not about not licking them (obviously don’t) but they need to be moisturised too.

TREAT YO-SELF

A rejuvenating turmeric mask will give your skin a radiant glow, while the antioxidants in this spice will fight acne and even diminish scarring on your skin. Ginger is an effective anti-ageing root that can also be used to rejuvenate the skin and balance your complexion. Full body scrubs remove dead skin cells and gently exfoliate your skin to keep it smooth for when you want to slip into your swimsuit and head to the beach. The added benefits of a good body scrub is that, through application, you facilitate the blood flow to your thighs and butt which is a great way of getting rid of cellulite. A thorough body scrub will also drain your lymph nodes which attacks water retention and promotes healthy skin.

EATING FOR BETTER SKIN

Each bite of a watermelon contains 92% water. This summer snack is a great way to hydrate from the inside out. Don’t spit out the seeds; watermelon and grape seeds form part of the chia, flax and pumpkin seed group packed with skin rejuvenating properties. Grape seeds are full of flavonoids, which will improve your skin’s texture and reduce the signs of ageing. The Omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds help your skin excrete more oil, keeping them moisturised all day long while chia seeds protect your skin against infection. Meals with Vitamin C and E rich foods like carrots, oranges, pomegranates and almonds, have the potential to protect you from sun damage. Great to keep that in mind when fixing your next breakfast smoothie bowl.

Summer skincare is simple but so important. If you remember to give your skin a little attention throughout the day, it’ll reciprocate with a most youthful glow all season.

___________________

RESOURCES

https://www.instyle.com/beauty/25-best-summer-skin-tips-ever?slide=3325786#3325786

https://www.rewardme.in/wellness/healthy-eating/article/15-amazing-to-use-flax-seeds

https://www.canyonranch.com/blog/beauty/the-skin-benefits-of-grape-seeds/

https://www.superlife.com/natural-sun-protection/

 

The Green Goddess Guide: Earth-Friendly Cosmetics

Our Ultimate Guide to Natural Beauty DIY

Turmeric Face Mask For Radiant Summer Skin

Scent-sational and Simple Body Mist Recipes for Summer

body mist

We all love smelling good, but perfume can be pretty expensive luxury. Some beauty brands make alcohol-based eau de toilettes, which can be harmful to your skin, while other cosmetic companies use chemicals that consumers have allergies to. Now that people know the truths behind the scents it has caused many to seek alternatives. If you would like to ensure that your body spray is the perfect scent for your personality and lifestyle, as well as cruelty-free, and eco-friendly, why not consider making your own body mist?

I’m all about cosmetic DIY. From natural face masks and body scrubs to homemade egg-scara, I love taking on the challenge of making earth-friendly products that can stand up against the store-bought stuff. And as the weather begins to warm, I’m keen to try out a few refreshing body mist recipes that will keep me cool and smelling sweet all summer long. Below is a basic body mist recipe, followed by four fragrance combinations I’ve come to love.

INGREDIENTS

For 240ml of body mist

  • 10 tablespoons of witch hazel – an equally effective substitute for alcohol which preserves the mist and keeps the oils from collecting at the bottom of the bottle
  • ½ tablespoon of essential oil(s)
  • 4 tablespoons of distilled water – to ensure your mist lasts longer
  • ½ tablespoon of vegetable glycerin – to bind all the ingredients

METHOD

In a clean bowl, stir witch hazel and essential oil(s) together thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, mix the vegetable glycerin and distilled water.
In your body mist bottle, pour both mixtures together and shake well for about 30 seconds.
Store in a cool dark place for at least two weeks. This will let the ingredients infuse successfully for a wonderfully fragrant mist.

TIPS:

Use dark bottles to store your body mist as exposure to sunlight can diminish the scent.
Using rose water or orange blossom water instead of distilled water will add to the fragrance notes, but also have the benefits of being mood enhancers and skin toners.
If you can’t find vegetable glycerin, vegetable oil or jojoba oil will work just as well.
Shake your body mist well before every use.
For a longer lasting fragrance, apply body mist right after you get out the shower. Your open pores will absorb and hold the fragrance.
Spray body mist from afar and direct it towards your pulse points (neck or chest, inside the elbow or inside the wrist, behind the knee). By targeting the warmest parts of your body, you amplify the scent. Spraying from afar means the mist covers a greater surface area of your skin.

 


CREATING YOUR OWN INFUSION

Now the fun part. Below is a selection of some of my favourite fragrance combinations. They are named based on the positive effects they have on your skin and body.

CLEANSING

7 drops juniper berry – to combat oily skin, muscle and joint pain, as well as muscle fatigue.
3 drops ginger – restores colour and radiance to dull skin.
4 drops sweet basil – an antiseptic that controls the outbreak of acne and boils.

REFRESHING

6 drops eucalyptus – the antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial keeps skin irritations at bay.
3 drops peppermint – to help cool and soothe the skin.
3 drops sweet orange – to produce collagen, even your complexion and stimulate blood flow.
4 drops balsam fir – pain reliever and combats body odor.

CALMING

7 drops lavender – effectively treats eczema and dermatitis. Great relaxing aid.
5 drops rose – natural skin toner and great moisturiser.
3 drops coriander seed – the antioxidant tones and rejuvenates skin. Also great for minimising breakouts.

DELICIOUS

6 drops vanilla – smells SCENTsational, and an effective treatment for acne and has anti-aging properties.
4 drops lavender – reduces anxiety and emotional stress, as well as memory and general improve brain function.

Q&A with Le Riche Naturals: Making Your Own Perfume with Essential Oils

5 Essential Oils You Need For Your Clean, Green Home

Five Essential Oils for Naturally Gorgeous Skin

 

The Green Goddess Guide: Earth-Friendly Cosmetics

It is often said that from dust we came, and to dust we shall return. We are all creatures from Mother Nature. It only seems fitting, then, that we work to honour and preserve her the best way we can. As women, we have a more intimate connection to the planet – she boasts the miracle of life, and we have the ability to do similar by giving birth to children. So by celebrating Earth, we celebrate an entity not much different to ours. 

There are many ways of doing this. In the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing how every green goddess can do her bit to protect our big blue marble in fashion, camping and adventures, and cooking. My final installment is on cosmetics and make-up.


ADOPT A GREEN ROUTINE


In
Green Goddess Guide: The Eco-Friendly Fashionista, I spoke about how less is more (chic) and the same can be said for cosmetics. A streamlined toiletry bag is as environmentally responsible as a minimalistic wardrobe.

Consider investing in a body wash that doubles as shampoo and conditioner. Not only are the combination products more cost effective, but you’ll be cutting down your waste by over 60%. 

Since we’re on the subject, you really don’t have to wash your hair every second day. Instead of hemorrhaging through water and stripping your luscious locks of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and glossy, wash your hair twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday night or Monday and Thursday morning) and experiment with some fun French plaits or daring hats and headwraps in between. For advice on how to train your hair into a more eco-friendly routine go here.

Lastly, biodegradable soaps shouldn’t just be used on camping trips. The earth-friendly products make it possible for you to catch your grey water from the shower and use it to water your plants and garden.


COSMETICS DIY


The golden rule for my skincare regime is: if I wouldn’t put it in my body, it won’t go on my body.

I did away with toners containing alcohol and face creams heavy in Mercury, Nickel and Titanium Dioxide a very long time ago. They claim to have anti-aging properties but all they do is poison your skin. Grapes, honey, strawberries, cherries, orange peels, papaya and full-cream yogurt are equally (if not more) effective and completely natural.

You needn’t look far for fantastic recipes for face masks, body scrubs and skin lotions. You can literally make toothpaste and mosquito repellent at home. The more experienced green goddess might go as far as to make her own perfume from essential oils or eyeliner from activated charcoal and coconut oil. The possibilities of homemade cosmetics are as extensive as your creativity, patience and commitment to preserving the earth will reach.
Don’t keep these natural gems to yourself either. A jar of foot scrub would make the perfect birthday, anniversary or appreciation gift.


READ YOUR LABELS


Though it continues to astonish me that cosmetic companies still test on animals, and that it hasn’t been outlawed yet, you’ll certainly be doing Mother Nature a service if you avoid those labels all together. You can
identify cruelty-free cosmetics by the bunny logo printed on the product.

It’s incredibly important that you not only read what beauty brands are legally required to brandish on their products, but that you understand what you are reading too. Knowing what to keep an eye out for can save you from purchasing single-use plastic, ditch anything that comes in a plastic container. The switch might be a little more expensive but you can reuse a glass pot for your homemade masks, facial scrubs or as mini-planters for herbs and spices you’ll eventually transfer to your kitchen garden.

Look out for the mobius loop. The triangle made of arrows speaks to the lifespan of the products packaging. If the symbol is placed inside a solid circle, you can be sure that the tub or tube is made from recycled materials. The ECOCERT symbol is an organic certification. Reading, and understanding, the labels on your favourite mascara, toner and nail polish takes only a few moments but has the potential to save the planet in the long run.

So you see, being more eco-friendly is extremely easy. Embrace your inner green goddess and honour Mother Nature through your cosmetic choices.

 

Read more green goddess guides:

 

The Green Goddess Guide: The Eco-Friendly Fashionista

The Green Goddess Guide to Creating an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

The Green Goddess Guide to Eco-Friendly Camping

Dry Brushing: What Is It and How Can It Improve My Health?

Dry brushing

Feeling a bit sluggish lately? Missing your skin’s summer glow? Want to help your body detox more efficiently? There’s a single solution to all these wishes and it’s as simple as brushing your skin for five to ten minutes every morning.

Just like your hair and teeth need a bristled clean on a daily basis, so too your skin could benefit from regular brushing.

WHAT IS DRY BRUSHING?

While dry brushing has gained popularity among wellness experts over the past few years, this practice has been around for centuries.

Called ‘garshana’ in Sanskrit, dry brushing forms part of the ayurvedic tradition and is typically prescribed to help the body rid itself of toxins (or ‘ama’ in Ayurvedic speak).

Being the body’s largest organ, the skin plays a major role in eliminating waste from our systems. This takes place in two basic ways: excretion of perspiration through the sweat glands and the sloughing off of dead epidermal cells.

The average person’s body is pretty adept at getting rid of any nasties through the skin but giving it an extra boost with regular exfoliation can only be beneficial. Which is – of course – one of the main purposes of dry brushing.

Apart from this, the light massage of the brush’s bristles stimulates the lymphatic system – which consists of vessels that run just below the surface of the skin – and also improves circulation. This, in turn, helps the body ward off infections.

DRY BRUSHING BENEFITS

Along with the elimination of toxins, boosting immunity and improving circulation, dry brushing also offers a number of related benefits:

  1. Soft, glowing skin: You’ll notice a difference in your skin tone and texture within the first few days. This is due to the fact that you’re helping your body get rid of dead skin cells more quickly and also reaping the rewards of quicker circulation.
  1. Smaller, cleaner pores: Dry brushing helps clear the build-up of oil and dirt from your pores and keeps them nice and small, just the way we like them.
  1. Reduced cellulite: Notoriously impossible to get rid of, that pesky orange peel texture so many women abhor on their thighs, bums or stomachs may have a cure after all. By stimulating lymphatic drainage and improving blood circulation, dry brushing can certainly help break down excess fat and flush out toxins in the affected areas, which will also improve the skin tone. While there isn’t any scientific evidence for this, many women swear dry brushing has helped reduced the appearance of cellulite. So, might as well try it! (Plus, it’s a lot more cost-effective than fancy creams and painful treatments.)
  1. More energy: One of the more surprising benefits of dry brushing is the fact that it offers an instant pick-me-up – especially if you’re doing it first thing in the morning. Paired with some greet-the-dawn yoga, the increased blood flow has the power of 10 espressos (also not scientifically proven), but none of the shaky side effects.
  1. Improved sleep: Strangely enough, the converse is also true. If – like me – you prefer dry brushing at night, the delicious bath time massage is a great way to relax before hopping into bed.

HOW TO DRY BRUSH

  • Always start at your feet, making sure to brush the soles as well.
  • Move upward using long, smooth strokes. The basic premise is to brush in the direction of your heart, as this is where the lymph system drains.
  • When brushing joints, such as knees, elbows, wrists and shoulders, be sure to use a clockwise circular motion.
  • Also, use a clockwise circular motion when brushing your stomach and chest.
  • Don’t forget to brush under your arms to stimulate the lymph nodes here!
  • Be gentle. Don’t put yourself off dry brushing forever by applying too much pressure. A soft stroke is perfectly effective!
  • For the best results, you should dry brush for between 5 and 10 minutes at a time. Instead of setting a boring old clock, why not time yourself with a favourite song (or two)?
  • Use a softer brush or a glove for your face.
  • Clean your brush once a week by washing it with some shampoo and leaving it to dry in a sunny spot.

WHEN TO DRY BRUSH

The general rule of thumb is to dry brush in the mornings BEFORE showering. This way it will help boost your energy levels and the shower water will wash any dead skin cells right away.

It is important to do what works best for your routine, however.

If you don’t normally shower in the mornings and find it hard to switch your routine around, dry brushing at night is better than not dry brushing at all!

SELECTING A BRUSH

To reap the full benefits of this practise, you will need a brush with firm bristles made from natural fibres. It’s best to avoid anything synthetic.

If you have sensitive skin, it may be a good idea to start with a cleansing mitten – or a loofah.

OTHER PRODUCTS TO ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE

Once you’ve dry brushed and washed all the dead skin cells away, it’s extremely important to pamper your skin with some moisture.

If fighting orange peel is your main aim, you can choose from Natraloe Anti-Cellulite Cream, Bee Pure Rejuvenating Body Balm or Healing Earth African Ginger Corrective Firming & Slimming Cream.

If assisting your body with waste reduction is what you’re after, massage some of this Seed Oil Detox into your skin before or after dry brushing. You can also sip on some Phyto-Force Detox tea and add Amorganic Fulvic Acid Detox capsules to your daily supplements.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

After starting and stopping dry brushing several times now over the past few years (mostly to get rid of cellulite), I’ve been at it daily for a bit more than two months now and super excited that it has become a natural part of my routine. Seems like good habits really do form if you stick to them for longer than 60 days.

  1. Working it into my routine

As mentioned, I normally shower in the evening and prefer getting into bed feeling clean and warm. So, instead of dry brushing first thing in the morning, I do it AFTER my evening shower. It really helps me relax and I believe, it’s been a huge factor in improving my quality of sleep.

Basically, you simply can’t go wrong if you do what works best for you!

  1. Cellulite

I haven’t noticed any change in my cellulite, but I do feel like my skin tone is better overall. While I haven’t been dry brushing my face, I’ve noticed the overall positive effect there too. I’ve had fewer breakouts, my skin seems firmer and my pores look smaller. If it helps me feel great, it might help me look good too.

  1. Holistic is best

Finally, I find that the benefits of dry brushing are most obvious when I’ve been eating a lot of fresh fruit and veg, drinking loads of water and keeping my alcohol, sugar and caffeine intake to a reasonable amount.