Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Clearing Out The Crap

chemicals in skin care
It may surprise you to know that I wasn't always a natural skin care guru!  Once upon a time I used the same dodgy stuff (i.e. chemical filled rubbish) as everyone else.

I used Australis foundation, The Body Shop's strawberry facial scrub (admittedly it was a gift), Clinique, Bio Oil, Nivea, Impulse, Gillette shaving foam and other brands of hair moose, deodorant and toothpaste.

Once upon a time I was as naive as the next person when it came to personal care products being FULL of harmful chemicals.  Without giving it a second thought I simply purchased these items and used them because: 1) TV and people told me to and 2) No-one advised me they weren't safe.

It's a simple mistake that many of us make.  The TV commercials make it look all so enticing.  Our friends use the products and swear by them.  Our mum's give us products to use in our teens and we continue to use them as adults.  Then we pass the same things onto our friends and children to use.

Much as teens and young adults (and even older adults) are doing today I was simply unaware of the dangers of chemicals in skin care.  Chemicals in products was not discussed among friends or on TV.  Even today with more hype about it than ever before there are still billions and gazillions of people unaware that the products they're using are harmful to themselves, the environment and their loved ones.  (And some people don't want to know about the dangers that lurk in their beauty products because it's easier to stay in the dark).

The above picture is of me cleaning my bathroom cabinet out a couple of years ago - and to be honest I really didn't have a great deal of nasty stuff, thankfully.  Then again one could argue that even one harmful product is one too many.

Here is a list of chemicals to look out for.  If your personal care (and cleaning products) contain any of these ingredients it's time for a fresh start!  Aside from skin care, if you want to know of other safe brands to use let me know and I'll be happy to give advice.

When did you first learn about hazardous chemicals in skin care?
Have you done a clean out of your bathroom cabinet to rid yourself of these badies?

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

DIY Home Made Bread & Dip 3 Ways

There is something about a really good anti pesto platter that makes me salivate at the thought of it.  Especially if it's home grown organic produce.  Olives, dips, freshly baked bread, grapes, dolmades...  I could go on...

Home made bread & three dips
One of my favourite and Oh So Simple bread recipes is Beer Bread.  Made with 375ml beer (any type) and 2 1/2 cups self raising flour.  Told you it was simple!  All you do is mix the beer with the flour really well, pour into an oiled bread tin and bake for around 35mins at 180c.  After 35mins, drizzle some olive oil or butter over the top and bake for another 10mins.  You can also add olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, capsicum and other tasty foods to the mix before baking.

Hummus Dip

400gm chick peas (soaked over night) or tinned chick peas
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons chives (finely cut)
salt & pepper to taste (optional)

Drain the chick peas.  Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix into a paste.  Add more olive oil and/or lemon juice if mixture is too thick.
Serve with crackers or smeared on home made pieces of bread.

Parsley Pesto

I have loads of parsley growing in my garden and this is a simple recipe to make good use of that fresh parsley.

A good handful or two of parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 handful of pine nuts
1 handful of grated Parmesan cheese

Wash the parsley well and shake off excess water.  Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix into a paste.  Add more olive oil and/or lemon juice if mixture is too thick.
Serve with crackers, smeared on home made bread, tossed through cooked pasta or as an accompaniment to any dish as a side, sauce or paste.

Olio Aceto

In a bowl drizzle equal portions of Balsamic vinegar and olive oil (about 1/2 a cup each).  Make sure it's a good brand of vinegar and oil.  If it's not a nice tasting brand it won't taste that good.
This is a really good dipping liquid for home made beer bread.  You can also add some chilli for a bit of spice.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Decolletage ~ A Neglected Body Part

Emily Symon plays Marilyn Chambers in Home and Away.  She is 44 years old and for all appearances looks to be in her mid 30's.  She is a stunning woman who has looked after her skin well, she barely looks a day older than when she first appeared on Home and Away.

Emily Symon

Like the rest of us, Emily will become prone to those creases we get on our decolletage above our breasts.  Sadly these creases are a natural part of aging and tend to show our true age regardless of how well we've looked after our skin. Primarily because our decolletage is a very neglected body part.  It's also one of those body parts we should look after the most!

How often do you ponder your decolletage?  How often do you do anything beauty related to yours?  Is it some long forgotten body part, sparing only a thought about what necklace to wear to cover it, or what top to wear to expose it?  Or do you think of your decolletage and pamper it often?

Your decolletage is one of those body parts, like your hands and elbows, that shows your age long before your face does.  Take notice of how many older ladies you know who have lovely skin, yet the skin on their neck and decolletage is wrinkled, dry and neglected.  Consider also our decolletage is quite often, if not all the time, exposed to wind, sun, water - which has a dramatic ageing effect.

decolletage shows your true age
Here are some easy pampering tips for you to indulge in to keep your decolletage looking its best.

1. Exfoliate your decolletage frequently.  Every 2nd or 3rd day or at least once a week.  This ensures the dead cells that build up on the surface of your skin are scrubbed away exposing fresh radiant more youthful skin.

2. Apply Toner to your decolletage, either in a spritz or dabbed onto a cotton ball and wiped cross your skin.  Toner tightens and refreshes your skin and cleans away daily grime.  Do this often!

3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!  Very important.  Cannot stress this enough!  Moisturiser your decolletage (and neck) daily, even twice daily with a suitable moisturiser such as Whipped Cream to keep those creases at bay.  Before bed is also a good time to moisturise this area.

4. When going out for a special occasion or a night on the town dust some silver mica (or mineral makeup powder) onto your decolletage. The sparkle gives you a glowing youthful look with a touch of glamour, and helps disguise the creases.

5. Keep your decolletage covered up as much as possible - either high collared clothing, a scarf etc. - to limit the exposure to the elements and only exposure your decolletage on special occasions.

Do you have any decolletage tips you'd like to share with us. Please comment below. AND remember the reactions buttons x