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  • Why Are Natural Beauty Products A Safer Alternative?

    If you use any kind of beauty products, then you may already be well aware of some of the ingredients contained in them. However, what about those beauty products that have an ingredients list that is a mile long, and it is hard to pronounce? Do you really know what is going into those beauty and cosmetic products you use on a daily basis? There are five main ingredients you can find in many shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, and cosmetics. These ingredients are chemicals that are used in the products to preserve them, improve their odor, or try to exemplify the way it cleans or moisturizes. Modern science has proven what was already assumed through common sense: toxins from our environment are, in large part, absorbed through our skin. Chemicals to Avoid in Beauty Products These chemicals should be avoided in beauty and cosmetic products. These are parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, formaldehyde, and oxybenzone. Parabens These are the preservatives commonly found in several beauty products ranging from lotions to makeup and everything in between. If the product you are using contains water, then it is most likely that it will also contain parabens because this is what manufacturers use to stop the growth of bacteria. Parabens have been known to disrupt endocrines while mimicking estrogen, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and potentially, breast cancer. This ingredient goes by several names, all of which contains the word paraben including methylparaben and propylparaben, to name a couple. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate These are the foaming agents that are used in beauty and cosmetic products. They can cause skin allergies and irritation. A common byproduct of sodium lauryl sulfate are nitrosamines, and approximately 90% of these chemical compounds are known carcinogens. Phthalates This ingredient is a plasticizer that is added to many plastic products to keep it from becoming brittle. They are commonly used in cosmetics, fragrances, and other personal care items. They are also known as endocrine disruptors and can cause hormonal imbalance as well as reproductive problems. Examples of phthalates contained in these products include DBP, DEHP, and DEP. Formaldehyde This ingredient is used in cosmetics as a preservative and is also known as a carcinogen that has been linked to asthma and neurotoxicity. On the ingredients list of your products, it may be listed as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, orimidazolidinyl urea. Oxybenzone This ingredient is mostly found in sunscreen and can be either in mineral or chemical filter form. Again, this chemical is known as an endocrine disruptor and has been known to alter the thyroid function. It can also be found in other beauty products, including makeup and moisturizers. Choosing safer options Why Choose Natural Skincare? With the beauty industry booming alongside the health and wellness industry, more people are concerned about the products they are using and what they are putting onto their skin. For this reason, many people are choosing natural alternatives to the chemical-filled products that are common. Here are a few reasons to consider natural skincare: Your skin and body absorb what it is put onto them. This also includes ingesting products such as breathing in hairspray or powders, and when we use lipstick or other lip cosmetics. All of the toxins and chemicals contained in these products end up in our body in some way. However, going for natural and plant-based products significantly diminishes the amount of chemicals your body is absorbing. Chemicals aren’t regulated in skincare products. Many things in the beauty industry are unregulated meaning that you will find that some labels or ingredient lists can be both misleading and deceptive. Some ingredients may even be purposely left off the list, and many products are not tested for safety. You are protecting your endocrine system. Phthalates and parabens are two of the biggest known endocrine disruptors. Continual use of products containing these chemicals can cause health problems later in life, including reproductive problems. Natural products work just as well as commercial products. When you use more natural substances, it is easier for your body to accept them and metabolize them. Chemicals can cause havoc in the body. Natural products still contain everything needed for the product to be effective, and they also nourish our body. Simple is always the best. Using beauty products with a shortlist of ingredients that you are familiar with and can pronounce can lead to you being able to make much simpler decisions when it comes to your beauty or cosmetic products. It can also reduce your overall costs, narrow down what you may have a reaction to, and can help control the amount of waste you produce as well. If you have made the decision to switch to a more natural alternative over commercially manufactured products, then you are doing what you need to do to take care of your skin and body. When making the switch, you should find a trusted source — a place like that offers great substitutions to the products containing chemicals. Choosing a natural skincare routine has never been easier than it is now with so many available choices. Choose natural products that only enhance your body’s natural functions. You should be able to notice a significant difference after switching from commercial products to all-natural products in as little as three to four weeks. When you first begin using natural products, your skin may go through a detoxification process, but then you will begin to notice brighter skin, healthier hair, even fewer breakouts and irritation. Choosing natural skincare will simplify your beauty routine while allowing you to be as healthy as you can be. #handmade #natural #safe #healthy #organic Source

  • 10 Best Essential Oils

    Your sense of smell enables you to experience your surroundings in a powerful way. Essential oils are used to stimulate the sense of smell through aromatherapy. They can also be mixed with carrier oils and used directly on the skin or hair. Distilled from the leaves, flowers, and seeds of plants, there are so many kinds of essential oils. To help you sift through the essential oil shelf, we rounded up a list of oils, along with specific recommendations. Peppermint essential oil In addition to having a delightful scent that many people associate with winter holidays, peppermint oil has health benefits for athletic performance and can improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. The peppermint essential oil is sourced from the peppermint plant, Mentha x piperita, in the Pacific Northwest and acquired via steam distillation. Lavender essential oil Lavender essential oil provides a soothing and relaxing scent. It’s often used in aromatherapy to relieve stress. Lavender oil also makes an excellent massage oil when mixed with a carrier oil. This essential oil is made from certified organically grown lavender and imported from France. It’s steam distilled. Tea tree oil Tea tree (melaleuca) oil is thought to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s used in wound care, to eliminate head lice, and to control dandruff. Tea tree oil can be added to shampoos or used in diluted form on the skin for minor fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. It can be irritating to the eyes, so be careful if you use it in shampoo or as a lice treatment. This tea tree oil is steam distilled from the leaves of Australian Melaleuca alternifolia trees. Bergamot essential oil Bergamot essential oil comes from the rinds of Citrus bergamia fruits, a hybrid combination of oranges and lemons. It’s enticing, distinctive scent enhances body lotions, massage oils, and colognes. Bergamot essential oil may help reduce stress. It contains compounds that may also help to alleviate pain and inflammation. Some people find bergamot oil irritating to the skin, so make sure to always dilute and do a patch test (more on that below). As a citrus oil, bergamot essential oil can cause skin to be photosensitive. If applying it to your skin, be sure to cover up before going outside or use it at a time when you can avoid going out in the sunshine. Chamomile essential oil The comforting scent of chamomile has coaxed many people into slumber over the centuries. Chamomile essential oil has multiple benefits for health, including anxiety reduction. There are two types of chamomile, German and Roman. German chamomile is higher in chamazulene, an active ingredient that’s thought to give chamomile its health benefits. Jasmine essential oil If you enjoy the stuff of legends, you probably know that jasmine is thought to be an aphrodisiac, and no wonder. Its lusciously sweet scent is used to lace popular desserts and fragrances. This is the one solvent-extracted oil that made it on our list. Jasmine oil is more expensive than many other oils — a little goes a long way. For this reason, we chose the Jasmine Sambac Absolute oil for its price point and ease of use, since it’s already diluted to 10 percent mixed with fractionated coconut oil. Note that it’s not recommended for aromatherapy use. Ylang ylang essential oil Ylang ylang has a light, floral scent and is used in aromatherapy to reduce tension and stress. Some users say it’s also beneficial for insomnia. This ylang ylang oil comes from certified organic flowers and is steam distilled. Eucalyptus essential oil The refreshing and distinctive scent of eucalyptus essential oil can help eliminate mildew odours. Eucalyptus is also beneficial for calming down coughs and relieving nasal congestion. This version can be used in humidifiers and other aromatherapy devices, such as diffusers. Rose geranium essential oil Rose geranium essential oil comes from a geranium plant with leaves that have a subtle rose scent. Some users find that it helps repel flying and stinging insects. Others mix it with carrier oil and use it as a facial treatment for dry skin. This essential oil isn’t organic, but gets high marks for purity and steam distillation. It’s grown and cultivated from the leaves of Pelargonium roseum and P. graveolens plants in South Africa. Patchouli essential oil Some people associate the scent of patchouli with the Woodstock era. Others enjoy its spicy, woodsy notes, or appreciate its antibacterial properties. The oil has a pleasing musky-sweet scent and is steam distilled. #bestessentialoils #naturaloils #essentialoil #top10 Source

  • Why Choose Handmade, Natural Soap?

    The word ‘soap’ is used to take in all manner of skin cleansers, solid, liquid or even powder, and within each of these categories there are various colours, scents, shapes, packaging, and claims surrounding them. Some soaps deodorize, others are antimicrobial, antiaging, moisturizing and more. Soap is something that almost every person uses, several times a day in most cases, and is one of the primary tools in preventing transmission of some bacterial and viral diseases. But not all soaps are equal in potency or efficacy, and not every soap is good for your skin. There are two basic types of soap: Handmade, ‘natural’ soaps Commercially made soaps Commercially made soaps are usually considerably cheaper than handmade soaps, but there may be a good reason why this is the case. Let’s explore the world of natural soap and see if the benefits it offers are worth the added cost. Modern science has proven what was already assumed through common sense: toxins from our environment are, in large part, absorbed through our skin. Soap, since it is purposely rubbed on our skin – all over our skin in fact – should be of primary concern when we consider this reality. Once we take due care in the water we drink and the food we eat, what we expose our skin to, should be the top priority when it comes to physical health. One way to reduce exposure to potentially harmful toxins is to use a handmade, natural soap. What is natural soap? Natural soaps start with natural ingredients. Organic soaps use organic natural ingredients. Natural soaps normally consist of blended butter and oils derived from various plants. This substance is rich in vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Human skin, hair and other parts of the body need these substances to grow, live and/or remain healthy. Many natural soaps have other beneficial ingredients added as well, such as clays, salts, essential oils and botanical extracts. Handmade soaps take longer to produce, and usually use higher quality ingredients, hence the added cost, but they do tend to be easier on sensitive skin. Benefits of Using Natural Soap Real Soap Instead of "Fake Soap" Many products that are advertised or displayed using terms like ‘cleanser,’ ‘body bar,’ ‘body wash,’ ‘beauty bar,’ ‘skincare bar,’ and even ‘deodorant soap’ are actually detergent based products, and not really soaps. Natural Soap is Highly Moisturizing One of the benefits of using real soap is that one of the by-products of the production process is glycerine. Glycerine is an excellent skin moisturizer because it attracts moisture to itself in and around the skin. Traditionally made soaps contain glycerine, and so they hydrate the skin during bathing, whereas many commercially manufactured soaps can dry skin out. Why? Because store-bought, commercial soaps usually undergo a process designed specifically to remove the glycerine. Instead of leaving glycerine in the soap to benefit your skin, it is extracted and used in other products, such as moisturizers and similar skincare products – which you will need more of if you use their soap, since it has had the glycerine removed. Soap devoid of glycerine can leave skin dry, ashy, itchy and looking far from its best. Handmade soap, however, traditionally made so as to retain its glycerine content, will leave your skin more moisturized and healthy-looking. Better Ingredients Used When a company manufactures hundreds of thousands, or even millions of bars of soap at a time, part of the profit margin is gained from mass production, and part is gained from using the cheapest products available – and these are often synthetic substitutes for the real thing. Many believe that these synthetic products can sometimes be damaging to the endocrine, reproductive, respiratory and immune systems – not to mention the potential damage they do by drying out your skin. Commercial soaps are known to regularly contain Parabens, Sulphates, and Triclosan, which are thought to trigger allergies, to influence hormone levels, and possibly increase risk of some cancers. Natural soaps, however, usually use natural ingredients like olive and coconut oils, Shea butter, and grass-fed tallow. These are believed to be very healthy and nourishing for the skin. Cruelty-Free and Animal-Friendly Another great benefit of natural, organic soaps is that you can rest assured they are not hurting any animals in the testing or production phases. Ingredients are almost always exclusively plant-based (some soaps use animal fat as an ingredient, thought this is rare), are organic, and do not require large-scale factories and other facilities that cause widespread environmental damage. Organic manufacturers, by comparison, tend to be smaller facilities and rely on botanical herbs and extracts to achieve their final product. Coconut and palm oils form the base of the ingredients, and to this is added essential oils from different plants, flowers, spices, and fruits. In some cases, natural soaps will use tallow or lard, which are animal products, but they will be clearly labelled in those cases. Very importantly, animal testing is not necessary for these products, as they do not contain pesticides and they are free of synthetically derived chemicals. Wider Choice As mentioned above, organic soaps are normally made in small batches by a local producer. Small batches not only mean easier control, but also a wider variety of products. Each batch is easily changed to a new scent or style without having to retool large factory equipment. These soaps are therefore easily customizable too. Colour, shape, size, grainy or smooth texture, scent, batch size, and other features are frequently changed to provide maximum choice for the consumer. You can even buy organic soaps in coffee, cinnamon, peppermint, or fruit scents! Unique, Handmade Product Mass-produced commercial soaps are made for efficiency of production, which means many, many, units of the exact same size and composition. Focus is on profit, often at the expense of the health of the consumers who pay for them. Organic bars are different in that they do vary slightly from bar to bar, just as natural ingredients vary slightly depending on a given year’s weather and other conditions. Where they do not vary, however, is in the lack of harmful ingredients and the abundance of healthy ones that are in each bar. Better for the Environment Organic soaps do not produce harmful environmental poisons or toxins. The soap breaks down more easily after use and does not harm the water cycle or the wildlife that shares the water in our rivers, lakes, and the oceans. This eco-friendliness would be a strong argument for using organic soaps, even if all else was equal. Add to it the great quality and efficacy of the soaps, and the pleasure you get from a more unique product, and they are a clear winner. Rich in Antioxidants Since the ingredients used in organic soaps include many that are natural antioxidants, and since the process doesn’t extract these substances for other purposes, organic soaps can actually help to repair the skin by reducing inflammation, keeping skin hydrated, and therefore helping the user to have young-looking, healthier skin. The gentler pH levels of organic soaps (usually between 9 and 10) help care for your skin in the long term, as well as keeping you looking and feeling clean and fresh now. Lots of Glycerine for Natural Skin Benefits Glycerine, also called glycerol, naturally attracts alcohol and water, as well as cleaning skin. Since it attracts alcohol and water, it has long been one of the best moisturizers for human skin and, according to Science Daily, it can even help to clear up skin disease. Skin regularly exposed to glycerine has improved texture and protection from outside irritants. It acts as a boost for sensitive skin, rather than being just another thing to cause irritation. When companies mass-produce soap and beauty bars, however, the glycerine is extracted from the bars for two reasons. First, it improves the shelf life of the soap, so it can sit in a warehouse or on a shelf for years before use. The second is that the extracted glycerine is used to produce moisturizing products. But why not leave it in the soap in the first place, and save us from having to buy an additional product? Why dry out the skin and have to buy something to put it right again? Our philosophy is to keep the glycerine in the soap, not to damage the skin in the first place, and to keep soap products fresher through smaller batches. The soap may cost a bit more, but it is still less than a mass-commercial bar of soap plus a moisturizer! They Don't Use Preservatives Organic products do have a shorter shelf life, but that is for good reason. The preservatives used in non-organic products tend to be toxic to humans or the environment. It sometimes comes down to a choice: do you want the product to be able to sit, unused, on a shelf for a long time, or do you want it to be healthier for the user? The answer is clear. Natural Antibacterial Properties In most antibacterial soaps you will find triclosan, parabens, sulphates and other toxic chemicals that are thought to increase the risk of some cancers, can alter hormonal balance, and can affect your reproductive system. Organic soaps, on the other hand, do not contain these chemicals and instead use antibacterial agents like essential oils. Not only do these help fight harmful bacteria, but they also have great fragrances, like lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and peppermint, to name a few. Natural Scents for Real Aromatherapy The scents used for natural soap can help to sooth your mind and body through aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is thought to relieve stress and improve overall mood and outlook. The chemical composition of essential oils cannot be recreated in a laboratory. When natural products are replaced with synthetic versions of them, the therapeutic aspects are lost. The natural essential oils cause the release of neurochemicals in the brain that can improve your mind, body and spirit. #handmade #natural #soap #healthy #organic Source

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