Switching to Green Beauty

 

You may have seen words such as “Green beauty, clean beauty, eco beauty, natural beauty, non toxic, low tox, cruelty free and organic beauty”  buzzing about EVERYWHERE!! It can be so confusing understanding what they mean, especially when we try and sift through the marketing jargon and “green washing”.

Generally these words simply describe a healthier more eco conscious personal care lifestyle.  We’ve been passionate about supporting and championing this industry for some time now, and here’s why?

No need for Harsh Chemicals –

If we care about what we put in our mouths, we should care about what we put on our skin!

We know about eating better right? We know to favour whole foods, we are or want to incorporate more organic produce into our diets. We  want to eliminate processed foods as much as possible. There are social trends around juicing, eating super foods, less meat, refined sugar and understanding gut health. There is so much information on food and health, that the message is being heard.

Green beauty is all about prioritising what we put on our skin in the same way as what we put in our mouths. The skin is our largest organ, it breathes and absorbs everything we put on it. Think about what we do to our skin everyday and have done so since we were all babies. We load it with body wash, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, primer, foundation, eye shadow, lip-gloss, sunscreen, nail polish and the list goes on and on. I’m sure I’ll be applying blush and lippy until I’m 95 years old. On average, women use about 12 personal care products a day, exposing themselves to 168 chemical ingredients. Men use about six, exposing themselves to 85 unique chemicals according to the Environmental Working Group.

So the question is, what are the health consequences from the build up of cosmetic ingredients? There is a lot of research around this hot topic, and the general consensus is that many of these synthetic chemicals found in cosmetics ‘particularly the ones we can’t pronounce’ are known carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, allergens, toxins and comdedogenic!!

As a start, if you do want to make the switch to low tox personal care products,  choose brands that are absolutely paraben, synthetic preservative, synthetic fragrance and phthalate free.

Animal Testing is F*#%ed –

Well this is a bit of a no brainer, let’s just NEVER test on animals. The testing processes are disgustingly barbaric, and it still happens in most of the high-end cosmetic brands you are probably using.

So to be absolutely sure your products are free of animal testing choose brands that are certified cruelty free. The ‘Leaping Bunny’ certification is the international gold standard for non-animal tested consumer products. Peta is also another incredible organisation which has up to date information on companies that do or don’t test on animals.

Environmental Damage Control –

We only have one Earth, so lets take care of it! Don’t be ignorant to the fact that cosmetic ingredients, packaging and production take toll on our environment.

Ingredients such as micro beads found in exfoliators, are essentially tiny balls of plastic that wash into our oceans killing marine life, as they mistake them for food.

Similarly oxybenzone is a main ingredient found in chemical sunscreen, and is largely contributing to the bleaching of coral reefs.

Palm oil is one of our biggest gripes, and is used in countless products. The rapid deforestation that is occurring for this ingredient is phenomenal. Approximately 300 football fields every hour are being destroyed for palm oil production. So please choose brands that are palm oil free.

Lets also think about packaging and whether we need all the bells and whistles that often accompany many cosmetic products. We would rather spend money on a product for its quality ingredients rather than fancy packaging. We love supporting brands that use minimal packaging, and can be recycled all in aid of reducing our carbon footprint.

Community Spirit –

The incredible organic ingredients found in natural cosmetics are made all over the world and often in remote communities on small-scale farms. We love finding brands that have fair trade arrangements with these communities. When you choose fair-trade farmers are getting a fair price for their product and you are also investing in community projects, such as providing clean drinking water and improving their local healthcare.

Also look out for brands that give back in other ways, such as donating proceeds to non-for profit groups and charities.

Looking and Feeling Amazing –

Personally we think you get better overall results from high quality natural products. The ingredients aren’t competing with a bunch of fillers to do the job they are meant to. You will find you need less of each product, and they will do more for your skin. They apply better, smell incredible, work faster, last longer and are less irritating.

The clean beauty movement champions inner beauty over outer beauty. It’s all about being more mindful, prioritising your own health, wellness and getting better at self love from the inside out.

Need some Guidance?

If you have never tried cleaner / greener beauty products before, start by looking through your bathroom and ditching any cosmetics you have had for more than a year. Next, only keep what you actually use and love and donate the rest. Then look for the gaps in your products and replace them with greener alternatives. Before you know it, you will be a complete convert. We promise you wont go back and soon you will be a complete addict like us.

If you need some help choosing the right products for your particular needs, please send us an email and we can recommend some options for you to try.

Remember we are not striving for perfection with this switch, that would simply be impossible. If we can just get a bit better at trying to make conscious choices we will reap the positive health a happiness impacts for ourselves and the environment. The more we share this information the better too. We want to support and grow this movement as much as possible.

Happy Switching, Milly & Alex xx

Herbalism and Skincare

 

Hey Team ,

I want to introduce you to Herbal Hiraeth, a new brand I discovered this month!!

I began following Candice O’Shannessy the owner on Facebook. I love watching her informative videos on natural eco conscious skin care that is formulated with herbal remedies. Since then I have tried a few of her products and they are amazing!!!

She really is the new herbal skin care guru and I just had to learn more. So Candice was kind enough to contribute a write up on her brand and skincare philosophies for our Glowco blog. I have no doubt you will enjoy the read…

HH Profile Photo

What is a herbalist?

Hi, I’m Candice the founder and creator behind Herbal Hiraeth. I am a qualified Herbalist and Skincare Formulator. One question I get asked a lot is what is a Herbalist?

An Herbalist is one who studies and practices herbal medicine, it is the study and use of herbs and botanics to improve health, wellbeing, promote healing, and prevent and treat illness. I utilise herbal healing through many parts of my life from skincare to first aid to relaxation, illness and everyday aliments.

Even my partner who was sceptic at first now wouldn’t even think twice about reaching for a packet of paracetamol when he has a headache instead he asks for a cup of headache tea!

What inspired your business?

I was always fascinated with using herbs and plants for healing and remedies, quite often I felt like I was born in the wrong time, I feel very connected to the old healing ways when our ancestors found their remedies to colds, flus and skin issues and collected their food all from their backyard, along streams and in the wild. This is where Hiraeth comes from, pronounced as HEAR-eth. A welsh word describing the nostalgia and yearning for lost places or memories of the past. Herbal Hiraeth represents the souls longing to the herbal connection it once knew, the ancient wisdom of healing from herbs and the earth, hidden within our history and souls.

My journey with herbalism and herbal skincare started many years ago when my beautiful dog Lilo developed severe skin allergies and I myself developed a range of skin issues. Of course my main focus was on Lilo first so after trialling everything under the sun, spending thousands on vet bills and not finding anything that worked without harmful side effects I turned towards Herbalism, I formally began studying and still continually study to this day to further my knowledge. I developed a wholesome herbal approach to Lilo’s skin, after commencing this within two weeks she had significant improvements and a month later she no longer had skin issues and continuing this approach she lives an extremely happy playful and skin issue free life!

I then went on to studying natural skincare formulation formally and developed herbal skincare remedies for my own and my families skin which had incredible results especially with my own and friends acne!

I had friends of friends asking me to make them products for acne, skin pigmentation, flaky dry skin, oily skin and the products I developed had such wonderful reviews, I then decided to begin selling them. I also felt more in tuned with nature and grounded using natural products made from botanics that were also eco-friendly. I launched Herbal Hiraeth in 2018 to bring the herbal connection to everyday lives.

 What skincare ingredients should we try and avoid?

One of the greatest gifts I learnt from all my studies was the ability to read and understand cosmetic labels and ingredients and I think it is so important to completely understand exactly what you are putting on your skin. Up to 60% of what we put on our skin can be absorbed into our bodies, with many toxic ingredients in many common and big brand skincare products, we are putting our health at risk. Below are a few common harsh ingredients that should be avoided –

  • DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) – are chemicals that when combined with other ingredients, produce known carcinogens;
  • Phtalates – are hormone disruptors used to carry synthetic fragrance in perfumes and skincare. This can be hidden as “parfum”, “fragrance” or “perfume” on labels;
  • Fragrance/Parfum/Perfume – cosmetic labelling allows synthetic fragrances and preservatives to be labelled as parfum if under a certain percentage therefore always be cautious when you see this listed. Many toxic ingredients are used as fragrances, causing everything from skin reactions, headaches, depression and vomiting;
  • PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) – Potential carcinogen;
  • Urea – is quickly absorbed into the body, bringing other chemicals in the product along with it, it can cause dermatitis and contains formaldehyde a known carcinogen.

Therefore even if a product is labelled as “natural” it is always wise to check the ingredients list to be absolutely aware of what you are putting on your skin.

Do you feel a connection between daily rituals and skincare?

Skincare to me is a part of a self-care and self-love ritual that I practice each day, it allows me to wash away the day’s stressors and take a moment to practice mindfulness. When I developed the Herbal Hiraeth range, the essential oils and herbs chosen had a twofold purpose one for the skin loving benefits and the other for the grounding aroma they had, a few of my favourites are lavender, roman chamomile, frankincense and geranium. The range is earthy and grounding to connect us with our natural world that we are so often neglected from in our busy day to day hectic lives, it re-establishes that connection to nature, and for a moment you can enjoy the pure peace and relaxation it offers. By practicing self-care, we can significantly improve our well-being. Well-being dramatically affects our mental health and our ability to handle stress.

 Can you let us in on one of your DIY beauty recipes?

There are many DIY options you can make to practice self-love in a beauty routine! One of my favourites is a DIY Formula for a Tranquil Herbal Bath Tea!

This Bath Tea recipe is extremely nourishing and soothing especially for dry skin, it is gentle enough for all skin types including children. The aroma of lavender is relaxing and grounding to sit back and enjoy and be nourished by nature. You can experiment with other skin loving herbs as well such as chamomile, calendula, rose petals, just be sure to use organic herbs to avoid the contamination of pesticides in your bath!

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Thanks so much Candice!!!

What an incredible business and story…

check out her website here www.herbalhiraeth.com.au

Milly xx

Mindful May Reflection

After a month of engaging a more mindful mindset within myself, I’ve certainly realised you don’t need to be around the perfect sunset and flowing palm trees to have success at it. (Mindfulness meaning – being fully present and living in the moment, a clear thinker, more focused, not overly reactive and making conscious choices) It does however take daily practice.. especially when you are functioning on less sleep than you would like, and have a few too many plates spinning at times.

I am only beginning this journey and one month in I am absolutely no expert, but I have found these beginner tips to be essential to my overall happiness.

  1. Having a daily gratitude practice – Whether you write it down, say it out loud or within. Simply let yourself know what are you grateful for each and every day, this practice truly puts life in perspective.
  2. Getting back into an exercise routine – I have a bad habit of floating in and out of exercising regularly, but I’m motivated at the moment and it feels amazing. Hopefully it lasts! The endorphins kick in, energy levels increase, stress is relieved and you begin to crave that feeling of zoning out and being mindful. If you haven’t worked out in a while like me, try easing into it with an exercise you love. I’ve always enjoyed hiking, yoga and Pilates and now I’m slowly getting back into jogging and resistance training at the gym. This feels like a huge achievement, as I haven’t done anything like this for over a year.
  3. Making time and being fully present for your true priorities – For me this is family. Day to day life can become hectic and it is easy to get to the end of the week and think, ‘when did I last sit down and really play with my kids? ‘when did I last call my sister or best friend, or have a date night with my partner?’, but life is way to short to live like this! Once you really re focus on your true priorities, life becomes way more fun, and it is amazing how the smallest actions count the most.
  4. Clearing space in the house and re organising – De cluttering is absolutely a skill I have had to practice over the years. If you have always been a bit messy like me, the best thing to do is simply have less stuff. It works a treat. I am now further inspired to keep going and explore my own version of minimalism that works for our family. I believe that when you make new space in the home by minimising your possessions, cleaning up, and re organising, you naturally create more space in the mind and can enjoy a healthier flow of energy all around you.
  5. Self compassion and going easy on yourself – Self-compassion is a must to achieve a more mindful lifestyle. Imagine our mindset if we obsessed about the things ‘we loved about ourselves and what we have achieved’, instead of what ‘we hated about ourselves and what we haven’t achieved’. This is such an energy sucker and I know self-criticism holds me back at times. A great tip for shaking this habit is first a for most being aware of your own ‘bitchy’ inner critic, and then trying to separate her from your true self. With this greater awareness I am able to visualise kicking her away and out of my mind, and then replacing her negative vibe with some self-love instead. I’m not going to lie this practice is still a work in progress for me, but I have already noticed some awesome benefits. I am feeling happier, more positive, more focused, more compassionate, and simply living with a greater sense of purpose.

Mindful May has been great, and I’ll keep you posted as I continue to grow through this life long mindfulness journey.

Milly xx

 

Hemp The Wonder Crop

I first discovered and learnt about Hemp based products when I worked at The Body Shop who has been championing it since 1992. The Body Shop has always been such a pioneering business influencing so many of us charging forward in this clean beauty movement.

Yes, hemp is the same species that is used to produce the drug cannabis, but a non-psychoactive variety of hemp produces beautifully rich hydrating oil. It is seriously a wonder crop!

Hemp is the most moisturising and conditioning oil known to humankind. Once applied it will create a barrier on the surface of the skin to prevent moisture loss without clogging the pores. It helps with skin conditions including psoriasis, acne, eczema and dermatitis. Hemp has incredible anti aging, anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties too!

Basically Hemp seed oil is a beauty sensation because of its high ratio of essential fatty acids Omega 3, 6 and 9.

My top 3 favourite Hemp facts (un-beauty related)

  1. Hemp is four times more effective at capturing CO2 than trees.
  2. Hemp can be grown as a renewable source for raw materials that can be incorporated into thousands of products (eg. ropes for sailing ships, textiles, clothing, insulation, paper, cardboard, biofuel, ethanol, biodegradable plastic.) The whole crop can be used producing less waste whilst reducing our carbon footprint.
  3. Hemp doesn’t require much water, grows quickly and farmers don’t need to spray the crop with pesticide as it is resistant to pests.

Product Review –

I came across a new skincare brand called ‘Hempme’ and being a supporter of anything Hemp related I wanted to give it a go.

They have developed an incredible nourishing all-natural, certified organic face cream made in Australia. It is great for sensitive skin too!

The face cream is packed in a biodegradable tube to ensure a low environmental impact, and their product is animal cruelty free too.

I am so excited to see where this brand goes as they develop more products.

www.hempme.com.au

Milly xx

Essential Oils – My Basics

Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants. Their benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is no secret that adding a few essential oils to your medicine cabinet will provide a wider source of health, home and beauty remedies.

My essential oil collection is pretty simple at the moment, but it is growing as I learn more and enjoy the results from their uses.

I would highly recommend checking out Hanako Therapies website. https://www.hanakotherapies.com/

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They have so many beautiful organic essential oil based products and a whole lot of information to get you started. They specialise in meridian blends, combining a variety of essential oils and natural ingredients to target particular health and lifestyle concerns.

I like to use essential oils for sleep, dealing with stress and anxiety, and concentration.

This is what I am currently using

Stress and Anxiety

Clary Sage:

  • Boosts self esteem
  • Fights addictions
  • Helps control depressive emotions
  • Boosts libido

Lavender:

  • Increase the time you spend in ‘deep sleep’
  • It’s a natural pain relief

Eucalyptus:

  • A natural uplifting air freshener
  • Helps you breathe easier
  • Relieves headaches
  • Increases energy
  • Prevents infections

Sleep

Roman Chamomile:

  • A natural sedative
  • Relaxes the body
  • Calms the nervous system

Ylang Ylang:

  • Helps to balance your hormones

Vetiver

  • Relaxes and calms the body

Concentration

Cedarwood:

  • Increases oxygenation to the brain which improves concentration

Rosemary

  • Eliminates mental fatigue
  • Improves memory
  • Improves cognitive function

Peppermint

  • Increases alertness
  • Lowers stress
  • Improves focus

I like these particular essential oils because their benefits cross over into multiple other uses too.

The main ways I have used them are through a vaporiser, a spritz or inhalation.

Vaporising: Fill your vaporiser with water to the level indicated. Add the recommended essential oil drops to the water and light the candle at the base. Or you can use an electronic vaporiser.

Spritz: Fill a spritz bottle with about 100mL of water. Add 2 to 3 drops of essential oils, shake well and spritz into the surrounding air. Keep away from eyes. Normally this solution would last around 1 week

Inhalation: Add around 2/ 3 drops of essential oils into a bowl of hot steamy water. Place a towel over your head and inhale deeply for 10 minutes.

 I’d love to hear how you use essential oils, and what your favourites are. Please comment and share below.

 Milly xx