Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Toxins in our Skin Care

joli natural toxic free skin care

Propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates (pronounced thigh-lates), sodium lauryl (SLS) or laureth (SLES) sulphates… These names do no easily roll off the tongue; however they do roll of the ingredients list on the back of our skin care, makeup and bath products (as well as our cleaning products).
These synthetic scientist made chemicals are cheap and have excellent stabilising properties.   Which means when added to skin care, beauty and cleaning products they have the power to keep the products preserved for a great length of time.  Majority of these chemicals came into play around the 1940’s, left over from the war.  Once it was discovered what these chemicals could do they were added to mainstream products and used to stabilise and revolutionise the cosmetic and beauty industry.  Now products such as soap, cold creams and lipsticks could be shipped out world wide, in hot or cold weather, and still be in ‘good’ condition upon arrival to a new and foreign land.   This meant an increase in world wide sales and global occupation for cosmetic companies who soon became so large they now dominate cosmetic consumption.

Before the use of these chemicals skin care was rustic and pure, it was made in relatively small batches in a ‘supply on demand’, ‘made to order’ fashion.  It was not made in exponentially vast quantities in a ‘consume more’ fashion and shipped world wide, sitting on supermarket shelves for long periods of time, as it is done today.

Aside from how the use of these and many many other chemicals, have revolutionised the cosmetic industry, their use has a number of down sides.
1.
Numerous chemicals have hormone disrupting properties causing young girls who are exposed to the chemicals to reach puberty at a younger age. Hormones found in hair care products have strong hormone disrupting symptoms and has been found to cause young girls to develop breast buds… that disappear when they cease use of the product.
2. 
Studies of blood in adults and teens as well as blood of newborn baby’s shows that these chemicals are building up in our systems. Newborn babies are being found to have parabens and other fetal-developmental toxins in their blood streams, before they have ever been near any skin care product.
3. 
Cancerous tissues has been tested and found to contain parabens. It is not yet know if the parabens cause the cancer or if they are merely drawn to the cancerous tissue, however it does show parabens are definitely building up in our systems. Keep in mind, these chemicals are hazardous and are designed to kill (bacteria and the like).
4. 
One of the more sadder parts to this chemical warfare… the thousands of animals that have been tested on over the years so that scientists can try to determine at what ‘safe’ level these chemicals can be added to our skin care, beauty and cleaning products (cleaning products have higher levels of the chemicals).
5. 
People who clean a LOT and do not use gloves are developing dangerous levels of toxins in their bodies. More and more of the population are suffering from over-exposure to the constant chemical bombardment in our daily lives. It is no wonder that eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis are all on the rise, as is asthma.

All this seems a bit ‘doom and gloom’, but rest assured there are organisations and companies working towards cleaning up our skin care, beauty and cleaning products. One such organisation, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (www.safecosmetics.org) has set up a database where companies are ask to sign a pledge to eliminate the use of chemicals in their products.  Companies on the database have their products listed with safety/hazard ratings so consumers can make informed choices about their skin care and it notes whether companies Do or Do Not conduct animal testing.  See also Choose Cruelty Free to find companies that are accredited for No Animal Testing.

There ARE safe alternatives to synthetic preservatives and ingredients!

This is the driving force behind JOLI Natural Skin Care (www.jolinatural.com.au). To get ‘back to basics’ when it comes to skin care and being dedicated to making fresh ‘supply on demand’, ‘made to order’ quality skin care. A company which does NOT test on animals and is dedicated to not using ingredients that require animals testing.  Who have signed the compact for safe cosmetics and currently have a safety rating of 0-4 (a very low hazard rating).
JOLI Natural was started by a mother of three boys, all of whom have had severe skin reactions when using mainstream products (in particular the products in the goodie bags handed out by hospitals during pregnancy for use when baby is born). Upon learning about chemicals in skin care JOLI Natural set about creating natural skin care for body, beauty, bath and baby that is safe, gentle and effective.  Safe and gentle for use on newborn babies, as well as children and adults.

For further reading and for more information on chemicals in skin care the book Not Just a Pretty Face gives reference to action being taken and the types of things the public can do, such as contacting companies who use these chemicals and demanding they STOP! As well as moving away from companies who continue to use chemicals in their products and move TOWARDS companies who are dedicated to supplying YOU chemical free skin care.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Independent Ahh Bra Review

I know you’re all curious.  Many of us have seen the commercials and wondered about the Ahh Bra.  Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Well here is an independent review (by independent we mean it’s not written by someone who sells or endorses the product).  Neither do JOLI endorse or denounce the Ahh Bra.

*  *  *

"When I first put the bra on it really was an ‘ahhh’ moment.  The bras are seamless with no tags to itch, straps to fall down or hooks to do up.  The bras are stretchy and comfortable and bounce right back when you wash them (I wash in cold water – don’t know if that makes a difference).

The bra gives very little support.  You could not exercise in it and even walking you can feel yourself bouncing.  It’s like wearing a tight T.shirt under your clothes for all the support you get and it also looks like I don’t have a bra on at all.
On TV it looks like the bra lifts and shapes but it doesn’t really.  I stood next to a wall and marked the natural hang of my boobs.  Put the bra on and noticed the hang was pretty much the same.  It flattens my boobs out instead of giving me a nice rounded curve the way under wire bras do.

Customer service told me that wearing 2 bras gives more support or I could go for the next size down (I did shop for my top size).  If I wear 2 at a time there is more support and the lift is better.  Still couldn’t jog in them.  Not that you can jog in a normal bra anyway.

The adds say they won’t roll up.  They do roll a bit and they do creep up so the bottom of the bra wedges under my boobs and sits there even when I wear 2 bras at a time.  I always have to pull the bra back down.

Comfort rules though.  I pretty much wear the bras all the time, 2 if I’m going out, 1 if I’m staying home and I sleep in them sometimes too.  They are really comfortable and easier to put on than normal bras.

I don’t know what would happen to my boobs in old age if I only wear the Ahh Bra for the rest of my life.  Will I be more saggy or not?

Oh and I’m a around a 12b cup which I think is medium size.  My mum has some Ahh Bras as well and her experience is the same as mine."

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Skin Care While Camping

When you think of camping you hardly think of skin care in the same sentence.

If you’re like me, when you go camping you take the bare necessities, food, esky, tent, children, husband, sleeping bags, a shovel, hats.
When it comes to the beauty side of things the foundation, lipstick, hair spray, perfume and rouge are all left at home.  Maybe the eyeliner is brought along although it doesn’t end up getting used.

By the end of the camping trip all that smoke and great outdoors has left your skin and pores looking worse for ware.  Your blackhead count has increased considerably.

Even though camping is not about beauty there are some things you can do to take care of your skin while your in the great outdoors.  Wearing a hat and staying out of the sun is one of them.

For me there are a couple of beauty necessities I HAVE to have when camping.

Our little one still wears nappies at night time.  Should he end up with a nappy rash the salve relieves redness and discomfort immediately and heals very quickly, so he gets to camp in comfort.

If we’re bitten by mozzies, as is usually the case regardless of how many incense sticks we have around, the salve stops the itch almost instantly.

The salve is perfect for moisturising children’s tender skin.

If you burn yourself on the grill while cooking this salve will soothe the burn and stop the pain.


The lippy may be left at home so I’m not getting around in pouty red lips while camping, however, the Lip Balm is a must for keeping my lips moistened.  Applied morning, noon and night.


When ever I remember I apply a light layer of Light Moisturiser.  Though I do confess I remember once towards the end up the trip.
 

This is actually one of my favourite things to bring and use while camping.  All the smoke, ash and dirt play havoc with my skin and without the luxury of running water and showers there is little to clean my skin with.  Yes I could use baby wipes (but just between you and me… do you know what’s in those things!).

I like to apply the toner to an exfoliating glove (yes I bring along an exfoliating glove), then gently massage the toner over my face exfoliating as I go.  Not only is my skin left feeling really smooth, it is clean and clear.  You can also wipe your face and body down with the cleansing toner on a face washer or cotton balls.

I apply moisturiser after I have cleansed my skin with the toner.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

DIY Natural Hair Dyes

 As mentioned in our recent Hair Care blog, hair dyes are some of the most toxic beauty applications there are.

Many of us love having a new hair colour, especially if we have a few grey hairs.  There are very few of us today who choose to age naturally and never dye our hair.  The statistics on how many women have dyed their hair at least once during their life time is quite high.

We are advised to always do a test patch 48 hours before applying the hair dye which I would strongly recommend.  However, this doesn't guarantee you won't have an allergic reaction.

As was the case for Lois Queen who applied the allergy test patch 48 hours prior to dying her hair and still had a severe allergic reaction.
 
You may have dyed your hair a couple of months ago, or even a year ago and you may be thinking this means you are not allergic to ingredients in hair dye - since all was fine back then.  This doesn't mean you won't ever have an allergic reaction.  Who's to say the ingredients in hair dyes haven't changed since you last dyed your hair.

One way to avoid the potential for allergic reaction is to opt for natural hair dyes and rinses.  They may not give as good a coverage as commercial hair dyes, however, they will be kinder to your hair, skin and body as well as the environment.  Keep in mind too that ALL hair dyes are washed down the drain!

Brunettes and dark redheads:
Coffee hair rinse - 8 cups of warm brewed coffee.  Either instant or filtered peculated coffee (though peculated gives a stronger result).  Wash hair as normal, condition hair if necessary, then rinse your hair with the brewed coffee.  Do not wash the coffee out.  Leave in hair and style as normal.  Hair should be left with a rich deep shine.
You can also try 8 cups of strong brewed black tea.

Blond Highlights:
1 cup lemon juice
3 cups chamomile tea (brewed, cooled, filtered)
Mix juice and tea together and pour over damp hair.  Leave in hair for one hour before rinsing.

Red Highlights:
1/2 cup beetroot juice
1/2 cup carrot juice
Mix juices together and pour over damp hair.  Leave in hair for one hour before rinsing.

Covering Grey:
1/2 cup dried sage
2 cups water.
Simmer sage in water for 30mins (do not boil).  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Leave to sit for several hours before filtering the liquid.  Apply sage rinse to hair and leave to dry naturally.  Rinse hair with warm water and allow to dry.  Repeat weekly until desired shade is reached, then repeat monthly to maintain colour.

Disclaimer: Not all recipes have been tested by JOLI and results may vary from person to person.  Do a test patch before applying to hair fully, to test if the results will be suitable for your hair.
Of course if you apply these natural hair dyes and would love to share your results please leave us a COMMENT.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

DIY Christmas Baubles

Hand Made Christmas Baubles

You will need:
polystyrene or cardboard balls
PVA glue
bits of coloured paper
sequins
coloured ribbon
pins
paint brushes
a couple of beer bottle caps

other ideas:
glitter
glitter glue
coloured sand
paint

To begin, paint a section of the ball with PVA and apply your desired decoration (sequins, starts, bits of paper etc.)  Sit the ball on an up-side-down beer bottle cap and allow to dry.
Continue until the bauble is decorated to your or your children's desires.
When complete and dry, cut a piece of ribbon, dollop a small amount of glue onto the top of the bauble and secure the ribbon to the bauble by stabbing the pin through the ribbon and firmly into the ball.  Leave to dry.

Keep baubles for many years to come and children get to see their decorations hanging from the family Christmas tree.

By JOLI

Chocolate Slice Recipe

* This recipe is a family favourite which I have been making for over 27 years *

You will need:
1 cup crushed Weetbix / Vitabrits (great for using the crumbs in the bottom of the bag)
1 cup desicated coconut
1 cup SR flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbl spn cocoa powder
125gms butter, margarine or vegan alternative

Icing:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar - sifted
1 tbl spn cocoa powder - sifted
water

OR

100g butter
100g chocolate

Place weetbix, coconut, SR flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Melt butter or margarine and pour into dry ingredients and mix really well until all dry ingredients are coated and sticking together.
Pour mix into a flat lamington tray, pressing down mixture firmly.  Bake in an over at 180c for 15 minutes.  Remove from over and cut into bite size pieces while still in the tray.  Do not remove slice from tray.  Leave to cool.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder together, gradually adding water and mixing into a paste.  The perfect consistency is when you can make a figure 8 on the surface and it holds for a little while.  Pour icing onto cooled slice, sprinkle with extra coconut (optional) and chill until icing is set.

Alternatively.  Melt butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan placed over a larger saucepan filled with hot water.  When thoroughly melted and combined pour over cooled slice, sprinkle with extra coconut (optional) and chill in the fridge until icing is set.

Remove from fridge and break slice along previous cuts - re slice if necessary.  Remove slices from tray and place them on a pretty serving dish ready to eat.

By JOLI

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

DIY Multi Purpose Green Clean


You will need:

500ml spritz bottle
450ml water
35ml vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons bicarb soda (optional – gives the cleaner a gentle scrubbing action and leaves a matte finish to surfaces)
¼ teaspoon essential oil(s)*

Add vinegar and bicarb to water and mix well.  Add essential oil(s) and mix again.  Pour solution into 500ml bottle.  Shake gently before each use.

Use on many surfaces, bench tops, splash backs, cupboards, basins, toilet, bath and shower, floors [tiles, laminate, floor boards etc.], appliances [toaster, kettle, washing machine – be careful not to rub away writing off the appliance].

Note: recommend - do a test patch before doing full clean just in case cleaner is not suitable to your particular surface.

* peppermint essential oil is good for keeping mice at bay
* tea tree essential oil is good for keeping cockroaches away
* orange essential oil and tea tree oil are natural disinfectants
* eucalyptus cuts through grease and grim
* lemon essential oil smells clean and fresh

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Green Ideas to cut down on packaging & save money

Now that the carbon tax bill has passed many people are worried about how this will affect them and their families.  There has been concern about rising amenity costs, groceries, fuel and other every day necessities. 

People have given examples of how they think these costs will occur: for example the cost of manufacturing plastic bags to hold dried fruits, nuts, lollies etc. will cost the manufacture more to produce due to the carbon tax.  To cover losses the manufacturer will then raise the price of the plastic bags they make, the buyer will then up the price of their end product and once this product hits the supermarket shelves it will cost more than it use to.

The main point behind carbon tax is to try and stop consumers from over spending / companies from overproducing.  We are at a crucial moment in our history were if we want it we go out and get it , with many people not even considering their global footprint.  There are things we can do ourselves to make the situation a little bit easier on the hip pocket, though not all these ideas will be options for everyone.  Some of them may help.  

The main ideas are cutting down on packaging and ways to cut spending.

1.      Grow your own herbs, such as fennel, oregano, curry, thyme, rosemary, lavender, bay leaf, lemon grass, chili – this saves on packaging and the cost of buying fresh herbs from the shop.

2.     Dry your herbs out so you can use them out of season.

3.     Make your own herb blends with your dried herbs for sauces and seasoning.  Give any over abundance of herbs to family and friends.

4.     Make your own herbal teas with herbs such as peppermint, chamomile and lemon verbena.

5.      If you have the room, grow your own fruit tree(s).  Pick a fruit you will use often and in various ways.

6.       Preserve the fruit you grow so you can enjoy it out of season, or make your own jam.

7.       When you’ve finished with some jars (i.e. jam jars) keep them and reuse them to preserve your fruit in.

8.       Dry out your fruit so you can enjoy it out of season.

9.      Purchase some fregie sacks – available from Your Cheeky Monkey.  Place the fresh produce you purchase from the shops in these reusable bags instead of the plastic bags supplied.

10.    Take reusable bags shopping with you or invest in some really trendy hand made reusable fabric bags.

11.    Purchase reusable cloth nappies – Bubbalooba have some adorable hand made cloth nappies.

12.   Make your own house hold cleaning products and reuse the containers again and again.  My Green Sopabox has some excellent ideas and recipes for home made goods.  As does this JOLI blog.

13.   Visit second hand clothing shops instead of always purchasing brand new clothes simply because you can afford to do so.  This is a double win as the money spent in these shops goes towards people who are struggling to make ends meet.

14.  Collect water in buckets whenever you rinse your dishes and use this water on your garden to bring down your water bill.

15.   Get back to basics and make your own cookies, bread, pasta etc.  You avoid the preservatives and additives in food by doing this, cut down on the amount of packaging you discard as well as having fresh produce to enjoy.

16.    When buying eggs, visit local egg farms to purchase your eggs.  They're cheaper and you can return the cardboard egg trays when you're finished with it.  Or if you've got the room and desire, have some pet chickens.

17.    Use flannels instead of throw away dish cloths.  You can wash and reuse them indefinitely.

18.   Buy in bulk. You'll end up having less packaging to throw away.

These are just a few suggestions.  As I think of more I will add them to the list.  If you have any other suggestions please share them with us.  We’d love to hear from you.

By JOLI Natural Skin Care

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bamboo Toothbrush Review


Independent product review by JOLI

I was reading the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of G Magazine – Green Living Made Easy, about toothbrushes and how modern toothbrushes are not recyclable due to being made with a number of different types of plastic.  These plastics are recyclable separately however once joined together on the toothbrush the plastics cannot be separated.  The article also talked about electric toothbrushes vs hand held toothbrush – which is better for the environment.  The general consensus is that bamboo tooth brushes have the least impact on our planet, with regards to manufacture, materials and waste.

After reading the article I purchase a box of bamboo toothbrushes from The Cruelty Free Shop online.  I did wonder how well the toothbrushes would clean since they don’t have all the bells and whistles of the fancy toothbrushes available these days.  I have to say they clean just as good.  I don’t feel as though areas are being missed even though the bamboo toothbrush doesn’t offer flexi grips or build in tongue cleaner, with extended bristles to reach those ‘hard to get’ places.  My teeth are still coming out clean.

Bamboo toothbrushes last as long as other toothbrushes and as an added bonus come in recyclable packaging.  The toothbrushes cost $3.50 each, though when you buy a box of 12 they cost $38 which equals $3.16 per toothbrush – which is much the same as the cost of other toothbrushes.

Unlike other toothbrushes they come in only one colour so to tell our toothbrushes apart I write our names on the brush handles or attach coloured hair elastics to the handles so we know whose brush is whose.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Head Lice Treatment

Let’s start with some basic facts.

Head lice go through 3 molting phases before they become adults who are able to mate.  Around 8-9 days is how long this takes, if lice have continuous access to a human host.  Mating can begin within the first 10 hours of adult life.  Females lay about 3-4 eggs daily and during its lifespan of four weeks a female lays 50-150 eggs (nits).  Lice hatch around 6-9 days later.

Egg laying is temperature dependent to be conducive to proper embryo development.  In cool climates eggs are laid closer to the skull for warmth, around 1cm up the hair shaft.  While in warmer climates eggs may be laid a good 6inches down the hair shaft.

Head lice are blood-feeders and bite the skin four to five times daily to feed.  To feed the lice bite through the skin and inject saliva to prevent blood from clotting.  It then sucks the blood into its digestive tract.  Blood sucking can continue for a long period if the lice are not disturbed.  Head lice live for around 35 days and will die of starvation within 1-2 days if removed from the scalp and do not find a new host/blood source.

Lice favour the nape of the neck and behind the ears.  This is where eggs are usually laid.  This is because head lice are repelled by light and you will often see them moving towards the shadows or dark coloured objects once disturbed.
Knowing the cycle helps deal with lice.  You now know when is the best time to treat them and how to tell males from females.
* * *
Many products on the market today offer chemical treatments to kill off head lice.  Research has shown that lice are becoming resistant to these chemicals.  Aside from their resistance many parents, and rightly so, are not comfortable with using harsh chemicals on their children’s hair.  And usually these chemical treatments require reapplication again and again.
* * *
Infestation story:

“As a little girl I never got head lice at all.  I figured I was lucky but really didn’t think much of it.  Then as an adult with small children, where other children would come to visit and have overnight stays I found myself getting head lice.  I got head lice 3 times in one year after never having them as a child.

I was using the usual chemical applications to get rid of my lice; lotions, shampoos etc.  On the third infestation I was using lotions and shampoos around every 3 to 7 days.  Combing through my hair each time and finding nothing, and it wasn’t getting rid of the lice.  All my bedding was regularly stripped and washed, along with clothes, in lice lotion.  Still the lice wouldn’t die.  I had hubby keep checking my hair and telling me he couldn’t find any trace of lice… but I KNEW they were there.

My five year old ended up with head lice and much to my dismay so did my baby boy, not yet one.  I knew I couldn’t treat my baby boy with over the counter chemical filled products and I wasn’t winning my own battle with head lice.  So I went searching through my natural remedies book for head lice treatment.  Found one and  applied the lotion to my five year old and it worked.  Then I applied the lotion to my baby boy knowing it was gentle enough to use on him and again it worked.

I used the lotion on myself and sure enough I combed out a couple of good sized adult lice along with some young lice and eggs.  I had been certain they were there all along!  I also washed all our clothes, bedding, cushion covers, towels etc. in eucalyptus oil.  I waited a couple of days and rechecked everyone’s hair.  Nothing.  I waited longer thinking perhaps eggs just needed to hatch.  Still nothing.  I was so happy with the results.

The lotion is viscous.  It is easy to use - though it might be tricky for those with thick long hair (I have long hair).  Still, the results are great.

What was the 'lotion' my natural remedy book recommend?  Humble old olive oil!  It literally overpowers the lice and they suffocate to death within minutes.  Simple, and gooey, yet effective.

* * *
To use the Head Lice lotion:

Comb or brush out all knots so hair is tangle free.

Apply the lotion in small batches to the scalp, starting from the front of the head.  Massage the lotion into the scalp and up the hair shaft, then apply the next dollop working your way back to the nape of the neck.  Repeat until all the scalp and as much hair as possible is coated.  Much the same way you apply hair dye.

Comb through the hair with a normal wide tooth comb or bush making sure hair is tangle free and manageable.

Working in sections, comb through the hair with the head lice comb slowing working your way through the hair to scoop out the lice.  You may need a white plate or bowl and a toothpick to take the lice and eggs out of the comb and place on the plate.

Continue until all the hair has been combed through and repeat several times.  Good news is even if you miss some lice they will have suffocated to death.

Put on a cap (or plastic bag) over the hair and leave to stand for 10 minutes.  Then repeat the combing process once more.

In most cases one application is all that’s needed.  Though if necessary repeat 3-7 days later as per the lice cycle.

Wash hair as per normal.  You will need to wash your hair a couple of times before the lotion is fully removed.

* * *
To do a pre lice check before applying the lotion, to find out if there are head lice to begin with.  Spritz hair with a solution of 2 parts water 1 part vinegar.  Vinegar is a mild acid and slows down the ability for lice to run and escape.  Comb hair with a normal comb or brush to untangle hair, then go through hair with a lice comb to see if the person has head lice.  If they do follow through with the head lice treatment.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Perfume Info & Rose Water Perfume recipe

“The world's oldest known perfumes have been found on the island reputed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust, and beauty, Italian archaeologists announced last week.”
John Roach
for National Geographic News
March 29, 2007

The article goes on to say that these perfumes, stored in clay jugs, contained extracts of anise, pine, coriander, bergamot, almond, and parsley are among the ingredients the ancient perfume-makers preferred.  The herbs were ground up and mixed with olive oil.  Also mentioned is the fact that we have lost the real world of natural fragrances, as most perfumes today are made with chemical / synthetic reproductions of natural fragrances and scents.


Fundamentally perfumes are made with specially blended essential oils of top notes, middle notes and base notes, to give an over all scent that is appealing – each perfume different from the next.

Top notes are the scents you smell immediately upon application.  Top notes tend to be earthy, floral, fresh and fruity.

Middle notes begin to appear just as the top notes are fading. Middle notes tend to be rich, heady, green in character, musty.

Base notes bring depth to the perfume and are the scents that last the longest.  Base notes tend to be spicy, warm, woody, sweet.

For example Dolce & Gabbana perfume has the following scents:
Top: Petitgrain, tangerine, basil, ivy, freesia, aldehydes.
Middle: rose, orange flower, jasmine, carnation, lily of the valley, marigold, cilantro.
Base: sandalwood, vanilla, tonka, musk.

* * Some truths about perfume: some fragrances contain animal hormones and many perfumes contain musk from anal glands of deers, and synthetic hormone-like ingredients called phthalates, and parabens, as well as a long list of other 'secret' ingredients. In fact, perfumes and fragrances are top secret and ingredients don’t need to be disclosed. Who really knows what we are applying to our skin? * *

There are also floral water perfumes such as rose water.  My son likes to make perfumes by soaking scented rose petals or daisies in water – a budding little alchemist.

If you’re wanting to make some natural perfumes yourself, perfumes that don’t contain chemicals or synthetically derived ingredients (including parabens) try these recipes:

Floral Water Perfume
·         1 tablespoon fresh rose petals
·         1 tablespoon fresh lavender flowers
·         zest of lemon
·         ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary
·         1/s tablespoon fresh peppermint
·         2 cups water
·         1 cup vodka (to preserve and draw out the fragrance of herbs)

Place water in a pan.  Add rose, lavender, lemon zest, rosemary and peppermint to water.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Do not bring to boil.  Allow to cool completely before adding the vodka.  Pour contents into an airtight jar and stand jar in a cool dry place for 2 weeks.  After 2 weeks strain the liquid into a spray bottle, discarding all solids, ready for use as a perfume or room deodoriser.

Rosewater Perfume
·         50ml glass bottle
·         10ml vodka
·         40ml rosewater (or plain water if you don’t have rosewater)
·         8 drops bergamot EO
·         4 drops geranium EO
·         2 drops patchouli EO

Place all ingredients in a 50ml glass jar and leave to sit up opened for two weeks.  Shaking contents daily.  After two weeks, pour perfume into another container, rinse your 50ml glass jar and allow to dry.  Then filter the liquid back into the glass jar with a coffee filter.

The alcohol acts as a preservative and has the ability to stabilise ingredients and enhance fragrance and scent.  It can be omitted if you prefer, though this may affect the shelf life and scent of your home made perfume.

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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Herbal Shampoo Bar

Regular shampoos and conditioners leave product in your hair, coating your hair, and this product can build up over time.  You may have been to the hairdressers to get your hair coloured or permed and may have been asked if you use particular brands of shampoo.  This is because hairdressers know that certain brands leave product in your hair that can affect colouring and styling.

JOLI Herbal Shampoo Bar
Herbal Shampoo Bar is a natural alternative to mainstream shampoo and in most cases does not require conditioning afterward.  If you should require conditioner see below Leave-in Hair Detangler recipe.

The benefits to using Herbal Shampoo Bars instead of mainstream shampoos and conditioners, is that you get to alleviate all the product build up in your hair, in fact the shampoo bar helps break down current product build up on your hair leaving your hair and scalp free of build up.

After years of using mainstream shampoos, your scalp and hair may require from 3 to 7 days or more before adjusting to he natural formulation of  Herbal Shampoo Bars. If your hair should appear greasier, flatter or feel heavier after the first few washes this is normal. This is a good indication the shampoo bar is dissolving the build up left in your hair from use of mainstream shampoos. These symptoms will gradually disappear until your hair appears more voluminous and free of build up.
You will notice this does NOT occur with children who do not have the same amount of product build up in their hair.


[vegan] - scented with essential oils

DIY Recipe


Leave in Hair Detangler
·         50ml spritz bottle.
·         ½ - 1 teaspoon Rich Cream Moisturiser
·         water.


Place moisturiser in the spritz bottle and fill with water (leaving room to shake contents).  Shake contents thoroughly daily until cream amalgamates completely with water.  Spritz onto tangles and comb knots out.  Shake well before use.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Sugar Babe + Pomegranate Body Scrub recipe

How good is sugar for you?  I’d love to say sugar is the cure all for all that ails you.  Though the truth is more likely sugar is the cause of all that ails you.

Once upon a time manufacturers realized if they added sugar to a product (bread, pizza, cereal, sauces, fruit and soft drinks, milk, take away food, etc.) they sold more product and made more profit.  Hey presto!  Over night sensation.  And they all lived sadly ever after.

Sugar is one of the most damaging things we consume and the level at which we consume sugar has risen by 400% since the 1800s.

Our livers cannot process the amount of sugar we are consuming in any one sitting.  This creates psoriasis of the liver - scar tissue that reduces the ability of the liver to work properly.  And of course causes us to gain weight since our bodies cannot process all that sugar.  Not to mention what sugar is doing to our and our children’s teeth.  Studies have shown that eating sugar also causes us to want to eat more.
 
However this is a beauty blog  and you’re probably wondering what has sugar got to do with beauty?

Well… now that you ask ...

That mumbo jumbo guru term we all hear but don't really understand... Free radicals.  When cells get energy from mixing glucose with oxygen (oxidation) this creates atoms called free radicals. Free radicals damage our DNA and skin cells.  Your body then tries to replace these damaged skin cells with healthy skin cells.  The more sugar in your diet the more your skin cells are damaged and the harder your body has to work at replacing them.  Our bodies can only work so hard to replace these damaged skin cells.  After a while you start to notice premature ageing as these free radicals continue to attack your skin cells.

An example of oxidation is watching an apple, a banana, an avocado or potato change colour when exposed to the air. Oxidation is defined as the loss of at least one electron when two or more substances interact.  Emphasis on the word “loss”.

Picturing the fruit changing colour… imagine what sugar in your blood stream is doing to your body and your skin.

Look younger by eating less sugar or try to go sugar free as much as you can.

In fact the best thing you can do with your sugar is make some Orange Coffee Body Scrub or Pomegranate Scrub for your body.  You can use this scrub on cellulite and dry skin to exfoliate and promote blood flow to specific areas of your body.

An interesting note: your body cannot turn fat into fat without sugar.

 
Pomegranate Body Scrub
·         1 table spoon fresh whole pomegranate seeds
·         1 table spoon raw sugar
·         ¼ teaspoon olive oil
·         2 drops vanilla essence or extract

Mix all ingredients in a small dish until ingredients are coated thoroughly in olive oil.  You will notice straight away how yummy the scrub smells.  Makes enough for one immediate application to thighs, buttocks, tummy and legs in shower or bath.  If you would like to make more double or triple the quantities and store in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Bubble Baths and Urinary Tract Infections

When I was in my late teens I loved having decadent bubble baths every other day.  I would pour the bubble bath lotion in creating loads of fluffy white bubbles, add a dash of baby oil (made with mineral oil) or one of those little round scented balls where the skin would melt away and the scented oil would ooze out into the water, moisturising my skin and making me smell nice while I soaked.  (Or so I thought.)

I would soak in my bath while listening to my Taylor Dayne album, singing my guts out.  When the album was finished I dragged myself out of my enjoyable bath, all pruned and relaxed and smelling good.

I kept getting urinary tract infections one after the other after the other.  Finishing my course of antibiotics only to get yet another bout of UTI.  Again!  After so many infections and loads of pain and discomfort later when I next visited the doctor I asked him why I was getting reoccurring infections.  He asked me if I was having baths or showers.  Baths.  Was I using any products in the bath?  Yes, I tell him, and proudly list my vast collection of bath goodies.  He told me to stop using the bubble bath and lotions and potions in the bath.  I didn’t stop altogether, though I did start having baths less often.

So what did this doctor know that I didn’t know?

Turns out that many experts are all too aware that the ingredients and chemicals used in bubble baths and other bath products are known to cause urinary tract infections.  Manufacturers are even starting to put warning labels on some bubble and bath products stating: “avoid prolonged exposure, may cause urinary tract infection”.
Horrifying isn’t it!  Even more horrifying when you consider we use these products on our babies and children.
Does this mean never enjoying another bubble bath as long as I live?

No, not quite, so don't despair.
  
* Use your bubble bath lotions and potions sparingly and don’t remain in the bath for too long – particularly with children and babies (i.e. more than 10mins)

* Instead of adding bubbles to your bath opt for some natural bath melts, milks or bath salts, bath bombs or even a dash of natural massage oil to perfume the water and your body.

* Use a bubble bath that is SLES, propylene glycol and paraben free.  This may not bubble as profusely as its SLES cousin, however, it cuts down on the amount of potentially UTI causing chemicals you and your children are exposed to.

* Avoid bath products made with mineral oils.

* Add a sachet of rose and/or lavender petals to the warm bath water.

* Wash your children using natural soaps and nothing else.  If they must have some bath time fun invest in natural skin care to look after their gentle skin.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Getting use to Skin Care without Chemicals


The modern day skin care on offer today brings us a number of “you-beaut-and-wonderful” properties we consumers have grown very accustomed to.  We weren’t aware that we were becoming accustomed to certain types of results and we weren’t aware that these types of results were at the expense of new chemicals (quietly) being added to our skin care.

For example:
·         Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) suddenly appear in our cleansing products unbeknown to us: our bubble bath, soaps, facial cleansers, dish liquid and washing detergents suddenly have super amazing bubble power. Wow!
·         Mineral oil / petroleum appear in our cosmetic and beauty products and leave us feeling like our skin is being protected from the elements – while in reality it is coating our skin with an impenetrable layer of oil, clogging pores and interfering with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and eczema and resulting in premature ageing.
·         Triclosan is now in hand cleansers to kill off  99.9% of germs before they kill us.

When we are first given an all natural product to use that does not contain these chemicals we are so used to loads and loads of bubbles, mineral oil coated skin and death to ALL germs that we think the ‘natural’ alternative doesn’t work as well because it doesn’t offer the same properties.
Use a natural soap bar without SLES / SLS and we’re left thinking “This isn’t bubbling up enough”.  Use a natural moisturiser that doesn’t contain mineral oil and we’re left thinking “It’s not coating the surface of my skin protecting me from the elements and it doesn’t last me 20 years”.

The truth is a soap free from SLES that doesn’t bubble up wildly still works equally as well as its chemical counterpart and is all the better for you because SLES is a known skin irritant that contributes to eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.  Your skin still comes out squeaky clean when using a natural soap regardless of the amount of bubbles produced.

Shaving cream that doesn’t contain chemical propellants and foaming agents may not be as frothy or expanding, however a traditional shaving cream made with traditional ingredients is considerably better for your skin.  It doesn’t clog pores or contain chemicals that irritate the skin and when you wash it down the drain it won’t wreck and ravage the environment.

Moisturisers that contain natural oils instead of mineral oil are far better for your skin as they’re less likely to clog pores.  Also the natural oils they contain seep into your skin hydrating your skin from within.  Moisturisers that don’t contain chemical preservatives may not sit on your bathroom bench for the next 10 to 20 years – and nor should they.  Keep in mind that numerous moisturisers are made with mineral oil and mineral oil takes a very, very long time to break down, which is why the moisturiser can last for a very long time.  Mineral oil draws moisturiser out of your skin leaving your skin looking older.
Moisturisers are made to be used regularly, daily, and ideally should be used within 12months - and disgarded if not being used regularly.   

There are some wonderful natural preservatives, which JOLI uses, (certain essential oils have great preservative properties) to preserve your skin care for the duration it was intended to be used without causing toxins to build up within your body.

Next time you use natural skin care and wonder about how it compares to mainstream skin care, just remember skin care without all the chemicals works equally well, if not better, than skin care containing chemical additives.  After a while you and your skin will become accustomed to the new feel of natural skin care, your skin will look and feel better and you will wonder why you ever thought over-the-counter skin care was good.  Once accustomed to natural skin care it will be hard to go back.

ONE of the main benefits to using JOLI Natural Skin Care with its lack of chemical additives, is it is especially beneficial for Sensitive Skin.