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

Losing My Hair Was The Best Thing That Happened To Me

My name is Katrien and I am the new CEO of Faithful to Nature. My team have encouraged me to share my story with you, in the hope that its uplifts and inspires those that are feeling challenged in anyway.

Growing up in an Afrikaans, conservative society it was impressed upon me from a very early age that getting married and having children was of the utmost importance. It appeared this was only achievable as a girl if you were Barbie pretty and

very thin. Like many girls I grew up with body, food and self-esteem issues. I was always competitive, trying my whole life to be a better version of myself and to be the best. It’s exhausting. You never really reach a stage of contentment. Once you achieve one goal you just reach further.

After many years of working on this, at the age of 34 I reached I point where finally I felt pretty. I had Botox, fillers and hair extensions, and I was very hungry.

What I didn’t realise, even though I always tried to be a good person at heart and kind to those around me, is that I was testing myself badly.

I never measured myself by the standards I had for others. I measured myself against a different crazy set of standards whereby only my appearance, performance and my great career counted. My heart and my mind were left undervalued and uncared for – especially after years of working 12-14 hours days. It was hectic, working 14 hours a day and squeezing lash fills and gym in between.

When It All Fell Out

At the age of 38, I was working in London as head of brand for Vodafone UK. I was very proud of what I had achieved, but moving to a new country all alone and having to perform at your max and look your best was becoming incredibly stressful. At the end of my time at Vodafone I started getting very tired, I used to always wake up early, like 5am, pray, run and then work a 12-hour day. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was exhausted all the time.

My hair started thinning, I had lesions(sores) on my head and in my ears. But I could still hide it, so I carried on. In the space of 6 months, it all finally caught up with me – all my hair had fallen out and I was covered in sores from my scalp down to mid-waist. I looked sick, tired and disgusting.

Then I was made redundant at Vodafone. What followed was the most traumatic 2 years of my life. Stuck in the UK not being able to work, waiting 18 months for a VISA that didn’t come. I ran out of money, I lost everything, including my hair, any self-esteem I had left, and sadly many friends. When you struggle and suffer, sadly friends sometimes think this is contagious, so they step away. I also became super sensitive and was in complete victim mode, so I also made some mistakes. I was in a very (very) bad place. Everything I had built my life on was gone.

Growing From Strength To Strength

Fast forward to returning to South Africa, needing to look for a job. Most of the sores had cleared, so I was OK to do interviews with a wig and lots of makeup. I saw the opening at Faithful to Nature and applied. I remember looking at Robyn (founder of FTN) on social media and I made the gut choice to go wigless – completely bald by now – for the interview with her. I just knew she would appreciate the authenticity. I was extremely grateful that I got this position.

When you lose everything, you are forced into introspection. You are forced into humility, authenticity and appreciation. For much of my journey I looked at my past, fabulous (although at times very superficial) life, and longed for the days where I had beautiful long hair, was thin and had a great wardrobe all propped up with Botox, lashes and hair extensions. I started to realise how wrong my approach to self-worth was.

At Faithful to Nature, I wore my wig in the beginning, scared of not being accepted. One afternoon after a long week, I just took the wig off, it was itching and hot and irritated the remaining sores on my scalp. A colleague said, “You look beautiful without your wig” and then another and another. Everyone started giving me advice on products and treatments. In about a week of internal struggle, I showed up at the office, walked into the warehouse with no wig. The staff started clapping.

What a very special moment, one I will treasure for the rest of my life. The joy I found in authenticity. They appreciated WHO I was, not WHAT I was. I have never put the wig back on.

 

I started using products from Faithful to Nature, such as Fire Tonic, turmeric tablets, collagen, shea butter, and CDB oil to name a few. My health started improving significantly. In January this year I did veganuary and my skin and health improved even further.

At the end of February, I was finally diagnosed correctly with Lupus which is an auto immune disease. The reason eating vegan made me healthier is that meat based products are like poison when you suffer from an auto immune disease. CBD oil has been proven to even alleviate symptoms of AIDS and cancer, so not strange that it improved my health significantly. I also have a heart condition and suffer from very bad circulation, something the CBD also fixed – no more swollen feet or bags under my eyes!

I now use conventional medicine in addition to all the wonderful natural products. My skin has cleared completely, and my hair is slowly growing back. I have gained weight from the conventional medicine and it bothers me, but I would rather be healthy than thin.

The strange thing is – I’m almost sad to get my hair back. It allowed me to be vulnerable in a way I am naturally not. It also allows you to see if others are sincere. I could not have dreamt for a job that would have supported my journey to self-discovery of authenticity, truth and health any better than FTN has. What a privilege. I am grateful every day for the struggles I have had, and I can look back and know that even though it has been unimaginably tough, I am all the better for it.

 

A DIY Mother’s Day

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” – William Makepeace Thackeray

Mothers are pretty amazing – I’m sure we can all agree. So how do we adequately show our appreciation to the brave few who’ve hazarded one of the hardest jobs out there? The answer is we can’t. But don’t let that discourage you; there are many ways for us to get incredibly close, and Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity!

Gift vouchers, floral bouquets and brunch all sounds lovely, but if you want to give your mama a gift from the heart, consider rolling your sleeves up and making her something unique. Thankfully, most of us have graduated from pasta art and finger paintings, so we can make something really beautiful that our mothers will treasure.

A Spin on Flowers

As pretty as they are, flowers don’t last. Ensure your gift survives the week by swapping out a bouquet of roses with a tray of pansy or purslane planters. If your mom regularly whips up yummy treats in the kitchen, she’ll enjoy decorating her plates with these delicious edible flowers that have wonderful health benefits too.

If your mum has a sweet tooth, she can grab a lollipop made with edible flowers as she dashes out to run errands.

Why not upcycle an old bowl to make a gorgeous hanging planter your mama can grow herbs and spices in? Or remind your mommy how long lasting your love for her is, with a bowl of hardy succulents that will outlive any sunflower steeped in a vase of water would.

Not Your Regular Pillow

If we know anything about women, it’s that they generally love a creative assortment of scatter cushions. Whether they’re lounging on a bed, decorating the couch, or setting up a cosy reading nook, pillowscaping is an art form. Take your mother’s love of upholstery  to the next level. Make her a cuddle cushion out of your embrace so she can snuggle up to your proxy when she misses you.

If you’re not the only chicklet your mother hen cares for, it would elate her to see cuddle cushions of all her kids – but you are still the favourite. She knows it, you know it too.

Compile a pamper pack

Being a mother is a tireless job that never ends. Between all the late-night phone calls, impromptu babysitting requests and surprise baked goods, your mom might find the time for a relaxing bath. This is your chance to show her you care about her R&R time.

Make a bunch of bath bombs with lavender, chamomile, and other fragrances you know your mama will love. They’re difficult to get right, so settle for homemade bath salts if you’re not completely confident in your capabilities. 

Amp up her relaxation by converting antique tea sets into literal tealight candles. Raid your local thrift shop for crockery that will cost you pennies, and make them at home

Hook. Line. And here’s the sinker: if your mother is anything like mine, a custom tea blend would be the perfect pairing for a relaxing candle lit bath. The internet is a great resource for recipes and tutorials; make sure your tea is made of plants and spices that have healing properties. Who knows, you might make tea so good, you’ll start getting regular orders from your mother and her friends.

Upcycle

Very few things will excite an eco-mom more than an impressive upcycled gift. Get the little ones involved with this cost effective present of converting a mason jar into a framed vase. Slap a fresh coat of pastel paint on a vase with a picture of the family on it, and the woman of the house will think of you all when she’s tending to her indoor plants.

Why not give your old bedding a second chance by using it to make bedtime eye mask. Printed lavender sachets would be a great gift too. Not only is she keeping her closet smelling fresh, but she’ll have cute picture of her loved ones waiting to surprise her every time she opens the cupboard door.

Mother’s Day Recipes: A Menu to Spoil Mom

 

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!

How the Cape Town Drought Saved my Hair: A Quick Guide to Oil Training

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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5 Toning Every Day Desk-Ercises for a Summer Body

3 Flower-Infused Meditations for Spring

Three Tried and Tested Homemade Face Masks

Taking care of yourself is something you simply must work into your routine. For your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you. Whether you’re a mom trying to tame the terrible twos or a student balancing the demands of academic achievement and the rewards of a beautifully active social life, we all need to take a bit of time out to just love ourselves once in a while.

Since long and luxurious baths are no longer an option (remember those days, hey Capetonians?) I’ve taken to another little self-care regime: concocting random homemade face masks with healthy ingredients from my pantry.

Even though I’d hardly call myself a DIY beauty connoisseur, my little experiments have been super fun so far and I’ve even discovered three go-to home-made face mask recipes to try:

 

            1.) AVOCADO, CACAO & HONEY

  1. Mix the ingredients together in your blender or even by mashing them finely with a fork for at least half a minute – just make sure they form a smooth brownish paste.
  2. Wash your hands and gently smear all over your face, avoiding the sensitive area around your eyes and lips. OR use a large, clean makeup brush to do the same.
  3. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.

BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS:

Cacao – this chocolaty powder is full of antioxidants, which helps fight off free radicals and ultimately rejuvenates your skin. It’s also great for exfoliation, hydration and firming the skin.
Maca – this invigorating adaptogen will boost circulation to the face and help detox the skin naturally.
Honey – if you’re vegan, you may want to give this ingredient a skip. If you’re not, however, honey is a great addition to any skin regime. It’s antibacterial and helps fight off acne; full of antioxidants, which minimise the effects of ageing; naturally moisturising and also clarifying.

Ease of application: The smoother you blend it, the easier it is to apply. So, rather spend an extra few seconds mixing together.
Texture: Blend the mixture until it takes on the texture of a creamy body butter.
Smell: The main scent will be that of cacao powder. If you find it too overwhelming, blend in a drop of an essential oil of your choice – lavender, rose geranium and tea tree are all great options!
Washing off: By the time twenty minutes have passed, the mask would have formed a pretty solid crust all over your face. To minimise water wastage, fill a small bowl with warm water and place it in your sink. Use this water to splash all over your face until the mask has been washed off entirely.
Effect: This mask leaves your skin feeling beautifully nourished and moisturised. Even if you have a naturally oily skin (like I do), it leaves it glowing rather than greasy and also seems to assist in making the pores just a little smaller.

 

            2.) BANANA AND BICARB

  1. Mash the two ingredients together till it looks light and fluffy. Wash your hands and gently smear all over your face, avoiding the sensitive area around your eyes and lips. OR use a large, clean makeup brush to do the same.
  2. Leave on for 15 minutes and wash off with warm water.

BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS:

Banana – rich in antioxidants, potassium and a range of vitamins, bananas are truly a power fruit. They bring moisture to dry/aging skin and fight acne-causing germs in combination/oily skin.
Bicarb – it’s a great exfoliator that helps remove dead skin cells and it also assists in balancing the pH level of the skin.

Ease of application: I found it a little more difficult to apply than the avo and cacao mask, as it was a little lumpy and gooey and kept slipping through my fingers.
Messiness: It can get a bit messy, so work over an easy-to-clean surface.
Texture: As I mentioned earlier, it’s a little gooey and lumpy. If you’re sensitive to gross-feeling textures, it’s probably a mask you should avoid. Also, once on the face, it dries in clumps here and there, which can lead to itching in those spots.
Smell: Some people can’t stand the smell of bananas, so if you’re one of those, once again, best avoid this mask. If it doesn’t bother you, you’ll hardly notice it, however, as the bicarb also neutralises it somewhat.
Washing off: This tends to get messy. To minimise water wastage, fill a small bowl with warm water and place it in your sink. Use this water to splash all over your face until the mask has been washed off entirely.
Effect: It left my skin feeling soft, smooth and revitalised. Not quite as glowy as the avo and cacao mask, however.

            3. OATMEAL, TURMERIC AND COCONUT OIL

  1. Blend ingredients together until they form a thick paste. Wash your hands and gently smear all over your face, avoiding the sensitive area around your eyes and lips. OR use a large, clean makeup brush to do the same.
  2. Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off with warm water.

BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS:

Oatmeal – more than just a wholesome breakfast, oatmeal contains chemicals known as saponins that have intense cleansing abilities.
Turmeric – this wonder spice is known far and wide for its anti-inflammatory properties. This will calm your skin during a breakout and also help reduce scarring.
Olive oil – packed with antioxidants and highly hydrating, olive oil is a great addition to any beauty treatment.

Ease of application: This was by far the easiest of the three masks to apply, thanks to the stiff consistency of the paste.
Messiness: Let’s just say, you shouldn’t wear any item of clothing you really love. As great as turmeric is for your wellbeing, it’s not so great for your clothes and could stain them yellow for a long time to come. Also, any white surface. And… now here’s the real kicker – also your skin. So, be sure not to leave it on for longer than 10 minutes.
Texture: The firm paste will be pretty inoffensive to anyone with tactile sensitivities.
Smell: It hardly has any scent.
Washing off: Once again, be very careful when removing this mask not to splash too wildly and send the turmeric everywhere. Rather was it off gently using a warm face cloth and dry with an older, darker towel.
Effect: I had experienced a little hormonal breakout just before applying it and definitely saw a decrease in inflammation after applying the mask.

 

What is your go-to homemade face mask? Let us know in the comment section below.

Read more about the benefits of turmeric here

For more information on the benefits of honey and coconut oil  read this post.

 

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.

5 Champion Oils for Anti-Ageing Hair Care

From disastrous haircuts to delightful highlights, sexy styling and whimsical hairdos, as you go through life, your hair is a part of you that constantly allows for new expression, colour, and style.  As you get older though it also begins to go through some changes of the more involuntary sort, caused by changes in your hormones and a slowdown in your body’s rate of renewal in general, as well genetic factors.

As we pass our forties our hair can become finer and more limp, dull and brittle as the follicles start shrinking. The colour can also change – darkening or greying due to changes in melanin.


These days as we are becoming younger older people, your age doesn’t need to mean that you give up on lustrous healthy locks. And you don’t have to wait until you go purple either. There a number of things you can do for a shiny mop you can be proud of, amongst them some super plant oils that make superb, natural, non-toxic hair treatments and are renowned for their splendid anti-ageing, growth-enhancing hair benefits.

Take a peek these fantastic anti-ageing hair care oils, and some tips for renewing your hair’s lost and sumptuous youth.


Our Top 5 Hair Care Oils

When you want to give your hair some special loving care that will blow it backwards and give it a new lease on life, you can’t go wrong with natural oils. They’re one of those beauty secrets that just work because they are naturally suited to your body. Your skin and hair just love healthy oils, because they are nature’s version of your very own body oils. By using natural oils to anti-age your hair, you also avoid adding the excess burden of more additives and toxins.


Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been prized since ancient India for its ability to boost hair growth and health, and still holds its own.

  • Boosts hair growth: Antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin K and iron, will coax back your hair’s softness and lustre.
  • Stimulate blood circulation in the scalp – you can spoil yourself with a coconut oil head massage too.
  • Conditions: Fatty acids bind to hair protein, protecting both the roots and strands from breakage. Lauric acid easily penetrates the hair shaft to smooth it.
  • Hydrophobic: it repels water and helps your hair retain valuable moisture, also protecting it from heat.
  • Smooth: an excellent treatment for dry brittle hair and those frustrating frizzy hair moments.
  • Anti-Dandruff: The various fatty acids present in coconut oil are effective for dandruff.
Crede Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Crede Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Encourage Hair Growth with Coconut Oil

  • Warm coconut oil by placing a jar of warm water, don’t destroy its precious structure by microwaving okay?
  • Dampen your hair with warm water
  • Apply oil to hair and directly to roots with fingertips
  • Massage
  • Cover with Shower cap or towel and leave for up to half an hour, or even overnight
Hey Gorgeous Coconut Hair Oil
Hey Gorgeous Coconut Hair Oil

Baobab Oil

Our next hair hero is from the fruit of our quirky local friend the Baobab Tree.

  • Shine: Although it’s oil, its effect isn’t greasy. It moisturises your hair and gives it a lustre that will brighten your day
  • Deeply penetrating: Baobab penetrates your hair deeply, so it has a wonderful effect on elasticity and suppleness
  • Hair food: Vitamin E protects hair from environmental damage and has an impressive fatty acid profile that creates a protective film on the hair’s surface. This detangles and shines your hair as it seals in moisture
  • Fragile dry hair: All the nourishing and protective properties mean that Baobab oil is particularly excellent for fragile, dry and damaged hair
Nautica Organic Baobab Oil
Nautica Organic Baobab Oil

Castor Oil

Don’t think horrible thoughts about being made to down a tablespoon of castor oil. This stuff is good and really works well for thickening and plumping your hair back to happiness.

  • Increases hair growth and controls hair loss with Ricinoleic acid and omega- 6 essential fatty acids which accelerate blood circulation to the scalp, encouraging the growth of copious thick locks
  • Anti-dandruff and anti-bacterial properties fight off the beasties such as dandruff
  • Smoothes frizzy hair and split ends: Because it penetrates so deeply, it smooths the hair cuticles and helps to make quite a dramatic difference in the little hair foible of frizziness, helping regain lost shine and texture. It can doctor split ends too
  • Natural conditioner and moisturiser: Castor oil leaves a coating on the hair shaft that locks precious moisture in
  • Apply some castor oil in your hair at least 15 minutes before using a shampoo. Leave this on for half an hour before a thorough wash
nautica-castor-oil
Nautica Cold Pressed Castor Oil

Argan Oil

Argan oil is sometimes called liquid gold and is wowed by hairdressers as a magic bullet for hair, whether as a nourishing treatment, or for styling it to a smooth, flawless finish.

  • Essential fatty acids and nutrients: Argan is a fount of fatty acids and vitamin E, the usual skin and hair suspects, which do amazing things for damaged, dry, coarse or unruly hair
  • Frizz: Its most popular application is smoothing that frantic frizz down, for shimmering flowing, manageable hair
  • Antioxidants: Boosts scalp cells and encourages them to produce healthy hair as well as regrowth
  • Style: Argan tames your hair and makes it easier to manage and style. It absorbs easily doesn’t leave a greasy residue. It makes hair oh-so-soft and shiny
  • Conditioning: locks in moisture and protects your hair
  • Healing: good for dandruff and also can help reverse the damage done by artificial chemicals
  • Non-irritating
Argan & Vanilla Conditioner
Argan & Vanilla Conditioner

Some Argan Style

Give your hair an immediate gloss and tame your frizz by smoothing a pea-size amount of argan oil through it when you style.


Shea Butter

Shea butter rounds off our champions with a potent punch in the young hair department. Shea butter is a wonder for restoring hair growth and shine.

  • Growth: Shea butter stimulate hair growth
  • Rejuvenates the scalp and so promotes super-thick fast-growing hair
  • Remedies falling hair
  • Conditions with fatty acids and is rich in vitamins
  • Non-clogging and Soothing for dandruff and dry scalp
  • Vitamin A: supports healthy hair oil production

Treat your Hair

Melt some shea butter and working through your hair. Cover with shower cap or towel and leave on for 30 minutes or longer. Wash out with a natural shampoo.

Nautica Unrefined Shea Butter
Nautica Unrefined Shea Butter

Some General Anti-Ageing Hair Care Tips

Good Nutrition

Hair is one of those things you can feed from the inside and out. Firstly make sure you get plenty of:

  • Protein
  • Silica found in cucumber, mango, green leaves, beans, celery and also in the herb horsetail
  • Zinc is high in pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and eggs
  • Vitamin A is needed by the body to make oily sebum which provides a natural moisturiser and conditioner for a healthy scalp
  • Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex, encourages hair and scalp health found in nuts, brown rice and oats
  • Also, make sure you have enough iron in your diet

Once your hair is out there, there are taking care of and maintaining it on the outside is the next step. Hair renewal is a bottle away, and not only that, there are natural solutions that are pure natural goodness. Harsh chemicals in many hair care products build up on your hair, and worse, can be absorbed into your scalp, creating more damage by interfering with your hair’s own natural functioning.

Water

Use a water filter on your showerhead to avoid excessive minerals and chlorine.

Washing

  • Washing your hair too often can lead to dried out hair and an imbalanced scalp
  • Don’t overburden your hair with too much shampoo
  • Use a good non-toxic shampoo that doesn’t dry out your hair
  • Be gentle with your hair when it is wet as it is more fragile, detangle it gently with a wide tooth comb while it has conditioner in it

Drying

  • Use a less damaging ionic hairdryer if you are going to heat-style your hair.

Colour

Like never before, there is a choice of some lovely and effective non-toxic natural hair dyes for you to brighten and flatter your beautiful face with. Choose colours that are softening and suite your skin tone.

Here’s to many a happy hair day!

Back to our Roots: Herbal Hair Dyes

How the Cape Town Drought Saved my Hair: A Quick Guide to Oil Training

5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Hair Healthy