sustainable skin care Feed

Getting ready for the Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge

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I've mentioned before that I wash my face with honey.

I love that i'm washing my face with something that's simple, natural, package-free, renewable, frugal and I can totally see the benefits to my skin. In contrast to many of the toxic chemical ingredients typically found in commercial skin care products, honey is a natural renewable resource. I’m sticking to honey!

Crunchy Betty, is challenging people to wash their face with nothing but honey (and water) for two whole weeks.

I really wanted to join in, but given that I already wash my face with honey I felt like I was cheating. To make it a real challenge I managed to convince Daddy Eco to give it a go. So the whole Little Eco family are in. Starting today we are washing our face with nothing but honey for two weeks. Want to join us? Head on over to Crunch Betty's to find out more

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How to detox and simplify your personal care {and a natural deodorant giveaway}

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Over the past few years I’ve detoxed and simplified my personal care. I wash my face with honey, moisturise my face with a locally made natural cream, wash and moisturise my body with Almond oil, use a natural deodorant, dye my hair with henna, use diluted liquid castile soap in a foaming pump as a hand wash, and no longer use shampoo or conditioner. Every now and then, if my hair or skin is extra dry, i'll use a moisturising body bar and treat myself to some pantry pampering.

Wondering why? Watch the Story of Cosmetics:

All you have to do is change one product at a time

Initially, when I decided to switch to safer more sustainable options, I was overwhelmed. There were toxic chemicals in so much of what I used. How do I know what to use instead?

I've since decided to take it slowly. Each time something runs out I replace it with a safer more sustainable alternative. Make-up lasts me so long that I'm still using a lipstick that likely contains lead and a foundation that is probably full of nasties.

How to choose safer more sustainable alternatives

1. Firstly, I consider whether there's something in my pantry that I can use. I figure that if it's safe enough to eat, slathering it all over my skin and hair won't hurt either. Hence the washing my face with honey and using bicarb and vinegar to wash my hair. I love pantry pampering, or as Crunchy Betty puts it, 'putting food on my face'.

2. I then consider making something myself with ingredients I know and trust. I've found both New Directions and Aussie Soap Supplies are geat sources for natural ingredients.The web provides an endless source of recipes. Simply google whatever you need. For example, 'natural + face wash + recipe' or 'natural + hair + conditioner + recipe'.

3. If the pantry or hand-making doesn't deliver, I then consider purchasing a commercial 'natural' and safe product. This is where I find it can get confusing. There's the embodied energy of the product, it's packaging and it's transport to consider. The confusion increases when you consider words like 'natural' and 'organic'. Unfortunately, these words don't mean a product is safe or environmentally friendly.

As described by Nicile Brijlsma in Healthy Home Healthy Family, 'natural' is a loose term that is defined as 'derived from a natural substance'. Think about it - asbestos, uranium and all of the heavy metals - all of which can kill you, are naturally found in the earth. The term 'derived from' is equally misleading as it usually indicates that the product is synthetically made. For example, 'Sodium Laureth Sulphate' (derived from coconut) is made by adding sulphuric acid to coconut. 'Organic' is just as bad. The cosmetics industry's definition of 'organic' is the same as the scientific definition which means 'any substance that contains a carbon atom'. Genuine organic products will be certified by a credible organisation.

With all this confusion I often resort to brands I think I can trust. You won't find these brands in your local supermarket, department store or chemist. Instead head to your local organic or health food store or an online store that specialises in natural and safe products.

Don't give up

Some changes took me a while to get used to, like using henna to dye my hair. At first I struggled to apply the grainy dark mud-like mix, and ended up with more on the floor than on my head. Now, after some practice, I manage to keep almost all of it on my head.

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Other changes involved trying or considering a few products before finding something that suited me, like deodorant. At first I switched to a natural crystal deodorant. It was OK in winter, but not so great in summer. I'd considered making a batch of Angry Chicken's deodorant, as i'd heard good things about it, but hadn't gotten around to making a batch before I tried and fell in love with Weleda's wild rose deodorant. The downside is it's imported and hence comes with a comparatively large transport footprint, but it has plenty going for it to compensate. It doesn't contain any of the nasties typically found in deodorant (particularly Aluminium) and instead uses only pure essential oils and plant extracts. It's packaged in a reuseable glass bottle rather than plastic, it works, and it lasts for ages. I'm only onto my second bottle after using it for well over a year. 

Discount and Giveaway from Echolife Australia

I was recently contacted by Ecoholife Australia. In their words, Echolife..."stock a carefully hand-picked range of health products and skin care - we're basically biased towards all natural products that use organic and fair-trade ingredients wherever possible (we think it's the responsible thing to do - and we also like giving as much information as possible about every product we sell, because that's only fair!)."

That sounds fair to me. I've noticed they also offer free shipping for orders within Australia.

5 % discount

Echolife wanted to offer Little Eco Footprints readers a 5% reusable discount, valid on everything in their online store. To claim the discount simply enter 'eco footprints' (without the quote marks) on the shopping cart page or during checkout and 5% will be automatically taken off the total.  Contact Echolife if you have any problems with the discount code working. The code is valid for the whole of 2011 and not limited per person per use - so anyone can use it as much as they want.

The giveaway

I noticed Echolife sell the deodorant I use, so I cheekily asked if they'd be willing to offer my readers a deodorant giveaway. They agreed. So available to win is a bottle of Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant.You can smell just like me ;-)

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To enter, simply decide upon a personal care product you need to detox, head on over to Echolife to see if they stock a kinder alternative, and head back here and leave a comment sharing your findings. Those of you reading this by email will need to head on over to the blog (by clicking on the title) to leave a comment.

One entry per person, please. Sorry, entries only open to those with Australian addresses.

Entries close midnight (Australian EST) Saturday 16th April. The winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced here in this post by Monday 18th. I'll contact the winner directly by email. 

Comments closed.

Thank you for all your entires. The winner was comment number 38, by Savingplaneta.blogspot.com. Congratularions Clare.


I wash my face with honey

I used to make Julie's lovely honey facial cleanser. Early last year I ran out and, while waiting to find the time to make another batch, I started washing my face with just honey.

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I've used nothing but honey to wash my face since. I love that i'm washing my face with something thats simple, natural, package-free, renewable, frugal and I can totally see the benefits to my skin. In contrast to many of the toxic chemical ingredients typically found in commercial skin care products, honey is a natural renewable resource. I’m sticking to honey!

I simply place a little honey on a face washer – and wash, then rinse.

A friend mentioned that adding wheat germ to the honey makes a lovely face scrub. Wheat germ contains vitamin E and B and is apparently really nourishing – so I’ll definitely give it a go.

I'm collecting a few other honey pantry pampering recipies i'd like to try. On the 'try soon' list is wheat germ and honey body scrub, egg-white, honey and lemon juice facial mask, oatmeal and honey face mask, a honey hair mask, and definately this honey, wine and chocolate facial mask.

Go on, I dare you, wash your face with honey :-)


Homemade moisturising body bar recipe

This is my favorite homemade moisturising body bar recipe. Its super easy. Little eco and I whipped up a batch this morning after breakfast. We also made a batch of Julie's honey facial cleanser which has become a favorite around here.

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Moisturising body bar recipe

1 part bees wax
1 part coconut oil
1 part shea butter
a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil (I used lavender this morning)

Throw all the ingredients in a pot, melt, and then pour into molds. I use silicone cup cake cases, but you could use anything as long as you cooled the mix down before pouring if your mold is not heat resistant. Cool, and remove from the molds. To use you simply rub the bar on your skin. They last for ages and are great for dry skin.

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Oats, oil, salt, lemon and egg...its bath time

IMG_6052 I had a busy week this week– so decided to treat myself to a little luxury this morning: a kitchen pantry pampering. You can find all the ingredients you need for a luxurious home spa treatment in your pantry.....

My skin has been feeling dry and flaky and my hair super frizzy – so this morning’s treat focused on moisturising. Here’s what I used....

 

Salt exfoliating body scrub
Place the juice of one lemon and an equal volume of olive oil in a jar and shake. Stirring, add salt until you have a thick paste like scrub. The salt dissolves initially so you have to add a fair amount. The salt and lemon exfoliates away dead skin cells and allows the moisturising oil to penetrate more easily. IMG_6055

Egg and oil hair treatment
Place two eggs and an equal volume of olive oil in a jar and shake.

Porridge bath
Rolled oats is a well known soothing bath soak. Most instructions suggest placing rolled oats in a stocking or muslin bag....but I prefer to just toss a couple of cups of oats in the bath. It makes a messy but super moisturising porridge soak.

I jump in, put the treatment in my hair and exfoliate with the scrub, and then sit back and relax. Pure luxury...without the eco footprint (or cost) of most body and hair treatments.

Whats your favorite kitchen pantry pampering?

Speaking of pantry pampering...i've been thinking of doing the no poo thing (it seems to be a simple living rite of passage). What I want to know is...has anyone given up shampoo permanently, or are you all tempted back to the poo eventually?