By Mary-Anne Mills, 14-Oct-2013 09:22:00
I met a lady at an event recently. She told me she had very dry skin and wondered if I might know why. I asked her one simple question: “Do you think you drink enough water?” She immediately said no. Water is so vital to the health and proper functioning of our entire body & such a large percentage of our body composition is water. On average, males tend to be 60% water and females 55%. People feel thirsty when they are already 2-3% dehydrated yet it only takes for us to be 1% dehydrated for it to affect our mental and physical performance. Scary! Dehydrated cells can easily result in dry skin. Environmental conditions can of course also dry out the skin & appropriate quality skincare will help with this. However, the best way to care for your skin and body is from within. Eating well and keeping yourself well hydrated is essential. What is also important is to consume the right types of fluids. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are not good! They will dehydrate you. Try not to consume too many sugary drinks too – that includes fruit juices. Ultimately filtered and or mineral/spring water and herbal teas are ideal. The amount of water you need to drink will depend on your size and activity level. Drinking plenty of water will help keep your skin clear as it flushes out the toxins (via your urine) that can build up. Toxic excess in your body can manifest in different ways but with your skin it can result in spots. Hydrated skin cells can mean more youthful looking, refreshed, clear and vibrant skin. The skin is after all the largest organ of your body and it can reflect the health of your entire body, inside and out. After all, when you tell someone that they look well, you are judging mainly by the appearance of their skin. It is important not to counter-balance drinking plenty of water by using skincare that will dehydrate you skin. Watch out for products that contain alcohol and petroleum. You may be surprised at just how many products contain these ingredients. Alcohol is well known for being dehydrating and it is just the same when applied to your skin as it is in a drink. Petroleum forms a layer on top of the skin, suffocates it, preventing it from breathing and dries it out underneath. Not good!
There can never be enough emphasis on the importance of drinking enough water. After all, if you drained our bodies of water, there wouldn’t be a huge amount of us left! So keep your body topped up to stay healthy!
By Mary-Anne Mills, 23-Aug-2013 11:58:00
Making organic, natural & vegan skincare is a passion of mine because I believe in the importance of putting purity onto your skin. What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your blood stream so for me it is as necessary to feed your skin organically, just as much as it is to eat organic foods. You really are what you eat but also you are what you absorb. There are so many other important ways to achieve a healthy body and mind. I have a background in health & fitness, nutrition and Information, Advice & Guidance (a combination of life coaching, careers guidance and counselling) so I appreciate the different aspects of healthy living. You could be eating well and exercising enough to keep your heart and bones strong yet the stress in your life could be such that it negatively impacts upon your health. This is why quite a few of the posts that I share on social media are not directly linked to skincare. I like to promote a healthy lifestyle.
I remember once leaving an event that I had attended and a young man started chatting to me on the stairs. He asked what my advice was for combatting bad skin with acne. My response was with one word “diet”. He immediately agreed and said knew he needed to change his eating habits. Our skincare is designed to feed your body with goodness, to nourish & cleanse it without stripping it of its natural goodness or polluting it with chemicals. However, having a good organic skincare routine is only one aspect to healthy living. If what you eat is full of hormones and chemicals, this is going to have an impact on your body’s well-being. For me, eating organic foods is a must. So many animals are pumped full of hormones & antibiotics in their short life span in order to produce food for human consumption. Dairy milk contains an allowable percentage of pus in it! I am glad to also hear the latest government push to get us to consume less meat. The sustainability of the planet is at risk with the consumption of meat at its current level. A plant-based diet can meet our needs adequately. Non-organic fruit, vegetables and crops are sprayed with chemical fertilisers and pesticides. All of the aforementioned nasties are absorbed into a person’s blood stream if they consume non-organic foods. I witness so many people who don’t consume the government recommended 5 a day of fruit and vegetables. I find this shocking; especially considering 5 is really the absolute minimum we should eat. In addition to this the ratio of fruit and vegetables really should be 30% fruit and 70% vegetables. Whilst we all know we shouldn’t consume too much sugar, consuming too much fruit (high in fructose) is also not wise.
Organic living does not stop at food. So many people forget what they use around the home to clean with. Most of these high street products are laden with chemicals. The ‘irritant’ sign says enough surely! A lot of these cleaning products are inhaled as well as absorbed by the skin on contact. I have known many people who have seen a great improvement in their and their family’s health by stopping the use of chemical cleaners. All I use around the house to clean with are white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, tea tree & lavender essential oil. Not only is it cheap, it is not harmful to health. I could write a book on the wonders of bicarbonate of soda but many people have already done that!
Drinking plenty of water is essential as well. Water (filtered or mineral is best) forms a massive percentage of our body’s composition. Water is so important to keeping the body in top health. It cannot be emphasised enough. Leave the fizzy drinks alone!
So we move on to exercise! Again the government recommend 30 minutes of exercise a day. Yet it is surprising how many people don’t meet this basic need. The cells in our body need oxygen to be function properly. Exercise oxygenates our body cells. Lack of exercise makes our body sluggish. The less we exercise, the less inclined we will be to exercise! It can become a downward spiral. But it doesn’t have to be! Exercising releases feel good endorphins that will boost our mood and energise us even more! Therefore revisiting the previous point I made about stress! I will never forget one evening about 10 years ago when for some reason I was in a foul mood. I went out for my evening run. I think I ran the fastest I had ever run and I also returned in a wonderful mood! Exercise is such a wonderful way to keep your soul happy! Cardiovascular health is key but just so is bone health. We can drastically reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis by including exercises using weights in our weekly work-out.
I could go into much more detail about each of the points I have made but fear not; I won’t! But to summarise, my message to living a holistically healthy lifestyle is: eat organic foods, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, use organic skincare and household cleaning products and laugh a lot too!!
By Mary-Anne Mills, 19-Aug-2013 11:33:00
The skin on your face is particularly delicate and is one of the most exposed parts of your body. This is why it is even more important to care for it gently and effectively, the way nature intended. With the apparent advancement in technologies, some skincare is being heralded as revolutionary. I find most of it extremely scary. For me, when it comes to facial care, simplicity is best. Facial pores can clog up easily with dirt and your body’s natural oils. If you don’t cleanse your face regularly this can lead to black heads and spots. Cleansing does not have to a chemical warfare against dirt or a foaming frenzy in a bid to eradicate any unwanted ‘unsightliness’. Cleansing is best done at night time before bed, to help your skin breathe overnight when your body is rejuvenating and rebuilding its cells. It also makes sense as it is the time of day when people remove their make- up (which can really clog up the pores). We recommend using a rose water cleanser. Rose water has anti-inflammatory & healing properties as well as hydrating the skin whilst cleansing it. Rose water also acts as a toner so it is an excellent two in one! In addition to cleansing it is good practise to exfoliate your face once or twice a week. This will help work any deeper dirt out of the pores, get rid of the dead skin cells and allow the skin to breathe. The skin is the largest organ in your body so it is vital that it is allowed to function properly. Caring for your skin is not all about what you put on your skin though. Eating a balanced and colourful range of foods as well as drinking plenty of water whilst avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol will dehydrate your body which is why I find it so ironic that alcohol is a common ingredient in many skincare products!
Moisturising! Again you need a moisturiser that will nourish your skin without compromise. By that I mean that is it not filled with chemicals or comedogenic (pore-blocking) ingredients. Facial oils are something that many consumers have still not got their heads around. A lot of people instinctively think oil means oily. This is not the case. In fact if you have oily skin, facial oils are excellent as oil actually helps dissolve excess oil. You should only need 2-3 drops of oil per application to leave your skin feeling fully moisturised and not oily at all! Many oils are naturally rich in vitamin E and have brilliant antioxidant powers. I would never use any other form of moisturiser on my face.
Masks! Many of us love the pampering feeling of a face mask. They can give that extra deep cleanse and pull out toxins as well as nourish the skin. We recommend clay masks. Bentonite clay, aka fuller’s earth is an incredibly detoxifying clay and when I say incredible, I really mean incredible! We love to mix it with kelp powder for that nutritional boost too!
You are what you consume and consuming is not about eating, your skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it so it is essential to feed your face with goodness! That goodness should always be organic too! Leave the chemicals in a lab!
By Mary-Anne Mills, 13-Jun-2013 13:35:00
I love the phrase “the longer the shelf life, the shorter yours’”.
How true I believe this to be. It is said that females apply over 200 chemicals daily to their skin by using non-organic skincare products. That is a shocking statistic. Yet, sadly one that doesn’t seem to have helped the organic cause quite enough yet. More and more people are turning to organic skincare (and indeed living an organic lifestyle). We won’t be happy until everyone is living an organic lifestyle! So often, I will speak to people about the dangers of chemicals that surround us in everyday life, that in the main we can avoid. Yet, I know that, for example, some of my friends will still be using a lot chemical filled products and skincare at home, whilst at the same time agreeing with every word I say. We need to change this!
There are so many of them chemical preservatives in non-organic skincare, and sometimes even in organic skincare (be careful, always read the label). Parabens are now becoming widely known to being damaging to us. There are many different types of Parabens (Isopropyl, Ethyl, Propyl, Methyl, Benzyl, and Butyl) but there are also other chemical preservatives which mustn’t be dismissed as okay for us. They include:
• Alcohol – very drying – just as drinking alcohol dehydrates us, applying it to our skin in a product does the same and is hard on the liver.
• Formaldehyde – this is a known carcinogen and irritant to the skin (it is also used in vaccinations but that is another topic!)
• Sodium benzoate – found naturally in some fruits in low levels but in skincare this is synthesized in a laboratory. It is known as a carcinogenic additive.
• Methylisothiazolinone- a preservative that commonly triggers irritation and allergic reactions
• Phenoxyethanol – this is being used increasingly as a replacement for parabens. It is glycol ether. Glycols are found in things like jet fuel and paint.
This list is far from exhaustive but I wanted to portray the general picture. Some would dispute this information. However, I would remind the sceptics about the use of asbestos in the 70s. It was thought then to be entirely safe but not now!
These preservatives prolong the life of products for possibly well over two years. At Heavenly Organics Skin Care, we never use any these preservatives. Nature provides us with natural preservatives. For example, our body scrubs are made with salt; therefore there is no need for an additional preservative. Our products contain essential oils, many of which are anti-bacterial, which is therefore a natural preservative. We do use a home-made preservative for use in a select few of our products that would otherwise have to be used within a week or two. For these we blend organic grapefruit seed essential oil and a small amount of organic vegetable glycerine. Nothing else! Vitamin E is another wonderful natural preservative which we may introduce, if necessary in future products. However, most of our products have a natural shelf life of 12-18 months from date of production, without additional preservatives. For us and our lovely customers, that is more than enough! Our customers use them up quickly because they are packed full of natural, organic goodness and actually work! So next time you are purchasing some skincare, stop, think, read & research!
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