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Natural Beauty

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The world of cosmetics, full of controversy, always a source of debate. It is true that a lot of commercially available cosmetic products are bad for the environment; a friend commented today that most exfoliants contain micro particles of plastic that end up in waterways, some cosmetics are still tested on animals, contain potentially harmful chemicals or are just packaged badly, using huge amounts of resources just to look good (see here for a case in point). But, does that mean that in order to be “green” we have to sacrifice looking good, treating our bodies, our little bit of pampering?

In an ideal world, maybe, we could all be content with washing with unpackaged soap, moisturising with olive oil and washing our hair with a rinse of vinegar or bicarbonate of soda. I know many people who do all those things. For the rest of us, though its a case of finding the middle ground. If I wash with soap I feel like my skin has been tucked behind my ears, the changes in temperatures at this time of year leave my skin dry and uncomfortable, I like to wallow in a scented bath, scrub myself to within an inch of my life and slather myself in sweet smelling moisturiser. It makes me feel good, it helps me unwind and it makes my skin healthier.

So what can we do? Well for a start, think about which products you really need to use and keep it to a minimum.

Look at the ingredients – are they natural, sustainable ingredients, for example it is possible to get exfoliators with no plastic in, in recyclable tins such as this one here

Can you make it yourself? See here for how to make your own bathsalts! If you search the internet you will be amazed at how many products you can make cheaply and easily in your own kitchen!

What sort of packaging is it in? Do you really need one in a plastic bottle, in a plasticated cardboard box inside plastic film? Or is there an alternative in sustainable packaging? Lush Cosmetics, Neals Yard Organics and Wikaniko are all companies that use minimal packaging in their toiletries.

It’s mostly common sense – just think, is this product costing the earth?

Categories
Uncategorised

Surviving summer with a baby, the green way!

I love summer. I adore summer. It would be fair to say I am a solar-powered person. In summer my energy levels are higher, my mood is better and my skin looks healthier.

However, summer with young children can be a bit of a balancing act between making the most of the good weather, and keeping your children safe and healthy.

We’ll start with the obvious – sunscreen. It is of course important to protect delicate skin from the effects of UV radiation, but it can be tricky to find a sunscreen that is not full of synthetic chemicals. There are a couple on the market though, including this one from Carribean Blue which uses natural Zinc Oxide to shield from the sun’s rays.

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Hot and bothered children often find it difficult to settle at night too. One thing I have found that can help is to cool them down before bed. After a lukewarm bath, smother them in something Aloe Vera based. Aloe Vera is naturally cooling, and moisturising, so can help replace some of the moisture lost in the heat and leaving their skin feeling cool and refreshed. A great aloe based aftersun is this one with lavender and peppermint to soothe and cool, and its in spray form, so if some is a little sore, you don’t need to touch! Image

Finally, there is the insect and stinging nettle problem! We spend as much of our summer out of doors as possible, but this invariably leads to someone having a run in with a midge or a stinging nettle at some point. This summers big find is this after bite spray. Again it has cooling aloe vera, along with eucalyptus, clove and tea tree oils. It takes the sting out. I used it tonight after 3 lots of nettle stings weeding the garden and it really works. There is a matching insect repellent too!

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Have a happy summer everyone and stay safe in the sun!

Categories
recycle

The art of refilling…

I used to hate it when a bottle of hand soap or multipurpose cleaner ran out. Although the bottles are easy to recycle, the tops, the bits that pump the soap are not. I used to feel guilty everytime I put one in the bin, as I hate waste! I particularly hate plastic waste as it doesn’t biodegrade.

Then one day I had an epiphany. Refill the bottles! It wasn’t rocket science, quite obvious when you think about it, but there you have it.

My first foray was not overly successful. I ordered a refill bottle of my favourite multipurpose cleaner from my wholesaler. Only, I hadn’t read the description properly. Thinking I was ordering 5 litres of Ecover multi-surface cleaner, imagine my surprise when 15 litres turned up! Now imagine trying to tip a bottle big enough to hold 15 litres to pour one litre into my existing bottle. AND I had to order a special tap to do it.

I made a mess, and I have enough multipurpose cleaner to last a couple of years I think!

Imagine my relief then when I found these little bottles of cleaning product, add to an existing bottle and top up with water and you’re good to go. Eco2life are a greener choice in cleaning products for your home and available in multipurpose cleaner, floor cleaner, glass cleaner and bath and shower, you need never throw a cleaner bottle away again.bathroomrefilldisp_1(1)

My favourite find though is this Lavender and Geranium Handwash. Vegan, BUAV approved and paraben free, it is green and gorgeous smelling. You can buy a pump action bottle of it, but I just bought the refill. It came in a little pouch, with a sticker for you to put on the bottle you are using so you know what’s in it. It’s also available in Aloe and Tea Tree.lavenderhwbotdisp_1

 

So what about you? Do you refill, or just throw out?