Sunday, 21 December 2014

Friendship in the year 2014

I'm going to air a little bit of dirty laundry on the internet in the hopes that some type of psychological explanation will magically fall into my lap.

I don't know what your friendships are like however my friendships fall into two categories: those that reciprocate contact and initiate catch ups and those that don't.

For those friends who reciprocate, where I contact them and they contact me in return, I am thankful. For those that don't contact me and always wait for me to do the contacting I'm confused. I honestly don't understand what is going on or why it's happening.

A little bit of subject research (aka testing) is not beneath me so at the end of last year / the start of this year I contacted a handful of friends that don't contact me and initiated a catch up - even though I was the one who initiated the last x amount of catch ups with them. Then I waited. I wanted to see how long it would take for those people to contact me and initiate a catch up. Come December, 12 months into the year, a couple finally contacted me and said let's catch up while the others. Well, let's just say I'm still waiting.

It's a bit silly, this testing thing I do, because I've lost friendships this way. I tend to do this thing where I'll contact my friends several times in a row - around 3-5 times - then I'll stop, because quite frankly I feel like some crazy, stalker friend vying for their attention. When I stop something interesting happens. These people don't contact me in return and for some of them it's been about 2+ years since I've heard from them. After that amount of time I don't consider it friendship anymore yet these people when they see me will happily wave and ask how I'm doing. While I thinking, if you really cared you'd be in contact, right?

Having spoken to a number of people this seems to be a growing trend. I'm not sure if it's a global thing or a more personal thing as in it relates to certain people only. Perhaps it's me and they don't want to catch up - hey anything is possible - except that if I contact them and say let's catch up they'll say yes. Perhaps, and this is a likely scenario, they're busy with their lives and don't have or make the time. Trouble with that scenario is they magically have time to see other people.

Is it a Facebook thing? It is a situation where because we can see what our friends are up to on Facebook we no longer need to see them to know how they're doing? Is it a case of because we see them regularly on Facebook we become unaware of how long it's been since we saw them in person? I'm not sure. What do you think?


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Dr Ho's Electronic Device Review
Dr Ho features on one of those infomercial channels promoting his muscle massage device. It's a device that sticks to your body via sticky pads and a current of electricity passes up the cables and into your body, supposedly massage muscles and alleviating pain.

There have been and still are a number of these devices on the market and the peculiar thing is mostly they're supposed to be used to build your muscles up while you sit and do nothing. One item is a belt type device that you wear around your lower tummy and those electrical pulses running up the cables work your abs and lower back muscles. These devices don't build your muscles up either, of course, because they simply don't get in deep enough to activate muscles. Yet Dr Ho's device, while having the same principles, somehow cures aches and pains.

Recently I used a device similar to what Dr Ho promotes on my back because I've been in pain for a couple of weeks and wanted some relief. The sticky pads were attached to my shoulder blades and the electrical device pulsed up through my muscles for around 10 minutes. It did not feel as though it had helped at the time.

The following day I woke up with the most painful crick neck I've ever had. That is because the electrical pulses in my back muscles were triggering a mild workout along with the muscles around them, however, because the machine actually doesn't massage at all it left my muscles strained and tight, thus causing the severe crick neck which lasted well over a week.

Upon visiting an osteopath and talking to her about my neck and the device I'd used she explained to me that these devices, along with proper massage devices don't get in deep enough into the muscle tissue to work out any tightness and knots. Not only that, she confirmed, the device causes your muscles to spasm and this causes tightness which is also displaced to other muscles around the area the device is used.

My advice if you're thinking of getting a device like this is save your money and put it towards a professional masseuse.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Brothers Blend Nuts Review

This collection of goodies came in the mail for me the other day.  I purchased it for myself, this is not a paid presentation and the products and companies displayed have no idea I'm doing this product review.

The first thing I did was eat the Brothers Blend entertainer nuts and OMG! they're delicious.  It could be the dash of natural maple syrup they use to light coat the nuts or the dusting of sea salt.  Either way they're easily the most yummiest nuts I've ever had.  They're light enough that you don't have that usual heavy feel you (well I) get from eating nuts and moreish enough that you're not actually thinking about them being good for you - especially the sunflower kernels.

I liked that they came in a 35g bag because if the bag had been any bigger I might have just kept on eating.   A good guilt free snack size pack.

The company is Brookfarm, an Australian company situation in Byron Bay NSW.  The entertainer Brothers Blend are peanut free, gluten free and preservative free.  Visit their website and find a store near you and let me know what you think if you manage to eat some.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

November Gift Box Competition

JOLI are giving away another one of their famous Gift Boxes. In this box you get a stack of really awesome products:
  • A box of Naturally Good Gluten FREE Munchy Muesli COOKIES.
  • A stunning black and pearlescent necklace with matching earrings.
  • A gorgeous embroidered quality face washer with cute sea creatures - from Your Cheeky Monkey.
  • A beautiful red, white and black notebook with a blue pen.
  • Pure Olive Oil Soap Bar ~ Charcoal & Poppy - made by JOLI and great for use in the kitchen and after gardening.
  • A 220g block of Cadbury Diary Milk Fairtrade chocolate.
  • A box of Higher Living organic green chai tea - 20 tea bags.
  • A useful travel size nail file and cuticle stick.
  • A box or Oriental Garden notecards - 15 cards and envelopes. 2 cards are decorated, the others are blank for your own decoration. Comes in a gorgeous silver keepsake tin box.
To win this really awesome prize we're asking you to submit really awesome pics of you and your JOLI product(s). Actually you don't have to be in the picture. The most creative photo will win, with runners up receiving gift vouchers.

Winners will be chosen by JOLI and the team and notified by email - with a mention on FB, Indulgence and our website.

The competition will be held on the JOLI website. Pop over for entry details and conditions.

 joli natural skin care gift box


Friday, 26 September 2014

Things We don't See Often Enough

The world is changing quite rapidly, more rapidly than people are able to easily adjust to. For example how relationships have changed with women doing more outside the house and men having a more hands on role - yet many expecting the same relationship their parents had even though times were different then.

For what ever the reasons some changes that are taking place aren't necessarily for the better (in my opinion). There are a bunch of things we just don't see happening openly anymore which is a shame:
Openly sharing preggy bellies without judgment or competition for whose is better or worse so that other women now experiencing pregnancy can see they come in all shapes and sizes.  We are only ever shown nice looking pert preggy bellies on young sexy mothers.
Openly breast feeding. Over the years breasts have became more about sex and less about feeding our babies. Only weeks ago my young sons were amazed to find that breasts supplied milk to babies because they'd never seen it happening (or were too young to remember). On that note I'm always amazed when I talk to women who say they would hate to see a woman get her breasts out in public to feed her baby and yet have no issue with their husbands reading men's mags or visiting strip clubs... ??
After birth belly. Believe it or not, once you've had your baby your tummy kind of resemble a basket ball slowly deflating. It is soft and wobbly and squishy. It doesn't bounce back to flat in a matter of days or even weeks like the celebrities would have us believe.
Women wearing cold cream face masks. I miss that 'beauty eternal' image of ladies wearing a cold cream mask (picture Elizabeth Taylor). It was a classic sign of pampering and caring for your skin.

Openly accepting stretchmarks and cellulite and generally accepting all the differences and changes in women's bodies, shapes and sizes. We are more concerned than ever about healthy vs unhealthy - which is a good concern to have. Yet we need to understand that we're all different and that is ok, in fact it's normal.  In fact we NEVER see images of cellulite in women unless it's to make fun of them for having it!
Having groups of women help other women who are struggling with children, marriage, work or life. These days women tend not to admit they're struggling let alone ask for help and sometimes they feel put down if advice is offered. Pity because it's a wonderful thing being able to help another woman in need.
Cooking from scratch has almost become a rarity - buying ready made foods has become a lifestyle choice. I miss those days when women cooked in groups; such as cooking scones together for morning tea or making large batches of pasta sauce.
Ageing. Yet another thing that happens, and yet it is shunned and shied away from and it's a pity because we've because so obsessed with youth and beauty that it puts the older women into some limbo category. Becoming older and ageing is treated like a bad thing and yet there is beauty and wisdom in older women.

Seeing other women give birth would have been normal when we lived in smaller communities. We watched and learned how to do it, how to breathe, when to push, when not to push. We learned that crying out because it's painful was normal. We learned that each woman handled birth differently. These days we've got bunches of women who boast about how they went through birth without any pain killers as though it's a competition who can 'take the pain' the best. We've got bunches of women wanting to have cesareans because they don't want to experience a normal birth. We have situations like mine where when I started making loud noises during my labour the midwife told me to stop yelling and my husband thought I did a 'bad job'. When did pregnancy and labour go from being a normal natural wonderful thing to being a competition about who can do it best?
The reason I think we should see more of these things is because many a new mum / parent is struggling with things like breast feeding because they've not watched many (if any) women do it. Many women body shame because they feel bad about imperfections (theirs and others). Many women struggle with raising their children because we no longer have a community of women around them to help.

The good news is a number of these 'old ways' are coming back into fashion with more and more women rebelling against these changes and that is a good thing!

Do you do or experience many of these with other women? Is there something else you'd add to things we should see more of?


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Giving Your Bathroom the Green Clean

You might be wondering what Green Cleaning has to do with skin care so I'll start by saying that majority of overexposure cases begin or are caused by household cleaning products. There are SO many hazardous chemicals in household cleaning products and we expose ourselves to them every time we choose to purchase a product from the supermarket cleaning isle.

The worst culprits are bleach and domestos, however most of them are hazardous to varying degrees and getting them on your skin or breathing in the fumes is NOT GOOD FOR YOU.

When it comes to Green Cleaning... what does a natural skin care specialist do?

Use green products such as Enjo cleaning cloths that are washable and reusable, Nature Direct cleaning liquids made with essential oils and DIY cleaning products. The odd scrub brush and shaggy dog toothbrush.  Use cotton gloves underneath your rubber gloves and moisturise hands when finished cleaning.

To clean the basin, cabinets and mirror use an Enjo cleaning cloth with plain cold water along with an Enjo buffing cloth (dries surfaces and shines and polishes without leaving lint behind). You can clean with your household cleaning products if you like those lovely 'clean' scents.

To clean the shower use an Enjo cleaning cloth with Nature Direct Heavy Duty Cleaner (or your own DIY cleaner). For more baked on grime use a scrubbing brush and use a shaggy dog toothbrush to clean tile grout. You can make a tile cleaning paste by mixing bicarb soda and water into a paste. Add a drop or 2 of lemon or eucalyptus essential oil for a nice scent (both are safe to use on marble).

To clean the toilet again use your Enjo cleaning cloth and Enjo buffing cloth along with Heavy Duty Cleaner [yellow] for the outside parts of the toilet = seats, sides etc. A standard scrubbing brush for the inside of your loo is good... but AVOID bleaches and toilet cleaners. Firstly they're washed down our drains which is NOT good, secondly they're not good to breathe in and they're full of chemicals that are harmful (why buy into the manufacture of that??)

Nature Direct also have a Glass Cleaner [green] suitable for shower screens and mirrors.

For carpets make yourself a DIY carpet cleaner with bicarb soda and a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Store in an empty spice jar with holes in the top to sprinkle the powder onto your carpet.

You can see it is quite simple and easy to clean green. So DITCH all those toxic chemical cleaning products that are harming you and your family, not good for asthma and skin conditions, not good to inhale or come in contact with your skin, and not good for your pets to breathe in either! Choose to clean green and look after your skin, your body, your loved ones and the environment.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Apple Sable with Caramel Sauce

Apple Sable is French though I'm not sure what it means. What I do know is this recipe is yummy and because it uses apples it's practically, almost, nearly good for you ;)

You will need:
  • whole apples, one for each person
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • dollop of butter
  • 300ml cream
  • ice cream [optional]
Core and peel the apples leaving them whole. Pore 1 cup of sweet wine and 1 cup of water into a pot large enough to sit all the apples in (standing upright). Add the cloves, peppercorns and apples. Put the lid on the pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are tender all the way through.

To make the caramel sauce place the fry pan on the heat until you can feel the heat coming off it. Add the sugar and let it melt. Make sure it doesn't get too hot and burn. When fully melted remove from heat and allow to cool a little. Add a dollop of butter, pore in around 1/4 cup of cream carefully as the toffee will bubble and spit if still too hot. Stir well. Add more cream or butter if necessary. You're looking for a caramel coloured running sauce that doesn't set at room temp.

To serve strain the apples and make sure there are no cloves or peppercorns sticking to the apples. Place apples upright in separate bowls and pore the caramel sauce around the sides. Pore extra cream in the center of the apples allowing it to over flow down the sides and into the caramel sauce.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream and a glass of white wine (for he adults) [optional]


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Media Watch For Savvy Consumers

One thing my son and I enjoy is watching commercials or infomercials and picking apart what they present.  I mean lets face it their claims can be pretty far fetched, if not bold faced lies, and they're allowed to tell all sorts of non-truths in order to sell a product.  There is no governing body holding them accountable to keep it real.

As far as governments and officials are concerned it is up to us savvy parents to protect our children from these ploys and we're meant to be smart enough to know a fraud when we see one.

We often hear things like:
If you don't want your children watching it turn it off.
If you don't want retailers selling sexy clothing to children don't buy it.
If you don't want your children to eat unhealthy don't buy fast food.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Vote with your money.

It seems easier said than done... because for the most part parents/adults are NOT making these important stands with their money by not buying this stuff.

Here are some of the commercials for example.

Detol - it's the little thing we do that make up our mission for health.
Sounds good enough.  Yet what Detol don't mention is that their products are anything but healthy.  They contain so many harmful chemical ingredients it's not funny!  These ingredients kill off our bodies natural defense systems and can cause contact dermatitis (aka overexposure).

Sensodyne - have an ad where the 'creator and developer' professes to people 'coming up to me' to thank him for inventing the toothpaste.  Really?  How the heck would anyone know who Sensodyne's developer is let along being able to recognise him on the street to say thanks.  If they're lying to me about that how can I trust them?

Neutrogena 'naturals' - again are anything but natural.  Neutrogena used harsh chemicals in their products and are tested on animals.  There is nothing 'natural' about that.

Age perfect extraordinary oil by L'Oreal.  Well I don't even know what the heck that means let along what extraordinary oil is but apparently it's going to make me 'age perfect'.  Hmmmmm?

Cornflakes - have a new ad where they tell us Cornflakes are high in iron, and with calcium (milk) "Imagine what Kelogs Cornflakes can do".  They neglect to mention their cereal is high in sugar and no amount of iron will counteract the damage all that sugar does to your children's (and your) bodies.

Colgate Total toothpaste commercial where a man and woman are approached and asked how clean their teeth are.  They're asked to go away brushing their teeth as normal except the lady it to use Colgate Total and they'll note the difference.  The following day their teeth are scanned and her teeth show less plaque.  The silly thing is when they show his and her teeth in the scanned pics they are exactly the same set of teeth.

Easy Off BAM - an interview with a woman starts off with her talking about how her children draw on the bath with soap and it's really hard to clean, spray on Easy Off BAM on the shower screen, love how it foams up with a wide spray, and just wipe off.  Hang on!  Thought she was talking about how the bath is hard to clean and now she's talking about how well the product cleans the shower.  Did it clean the bath or not?

Consider also the new free to air channels we now have.  All of them are about being 'better than you are' such as; a domestic goddess (vacuums, steam mops etc), beautiful (hair care products, skin care products), looking glamours (jewellery, clothing) and being FIT (exercise machines designed to sell to those who sit at home gaining weight watching infomercials).

Sarah & Jess are the same person, with one side altered to look like saggy boob.

Feeling crap about yourself yet?  Because that is what these ads are designed for.

It's all lies and manipulation designed to have you believing you're not good enough and all these gimmicks will have you looking GREAT in no time.  Take the Soup Diet man for example.  The picture of him before his soup diet is exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) the same and his after picture except for a computer generated gut drawn on to his body.  His arms are exactly the same fatness (in fact they're lean and muscular), as are his head, neck and legs.  Yet we're meant to believe (tricked) he lost all that weight from eating yummy soups day in day out for a week.

I would LOVE (with capitals) for more and more people to start voting with their money

So I ask you, how savvy are you as a parent or as an individual?  Do you buy into the bogus false ads?  Or do you see right through them and see them for what they truly are (lies and deception)?

That being said my son and I love these ads because it gives us something to chuckle over together and I'm teaching him how to be a savvy consumer.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Spelt Flour Pancakes with Toffeed Apple and Fresh Bananas


1 cup wholemeal spelt flour (plain)
1 cup milk (any type - I like to use coconut milk)
1 egg
1 apple
1 banana
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 lemon


1) Mix flour, milk and egg together in a medium bowl to make a smooth batter. Add a dash more milk if batter is too thick.

2) Peel and core apple, dice into approx 1cm pieces.

3) Add a dollop of butter to a fry pan over medium heat.  Add apple pieces and stir now and then until apples are golden and soft, lightly stewing apple.

4) When the apples are soft, add the brown sugar around the edge of the apple pieces and leave on medium heat to let the sugar melt and turn into toffee.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the apples and sugar (this stops the toffee becoming hard and burning).

5) Remove toffeed apples from heat and pore into a bowl.

6) Add a dollop of butter to fry pan with a dash of oil (to stop butter from burning).  Scoop pancake mix into pan and cook in batches.  Repeat until all the batter is used up. 
The good thing about spelt flour is it can take heat and takes a while to cook each side so you don't have to worry about being side tracked while cooking (which is usually what happens in my world).

7) To serve place pancakes on plate(s).  Dollop toffeed apples onto stack.  Peel and slice banana and sprinkle over pancakes.

Makes about 15 medium sized pancakes.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Create & Win YOUR own Gift Pack ~ Competition

JOLI Customers, it's PARTY Time!!

We're celebrating 5 years of online retail :-)

 - WIN your very own specially created Gift Pack*
- 3 x $15 vouchers for the runners up

How to Enter:
1) Have a look through our current catalog to see which products you'd love to have in your very own Gift Pack. {Make sure you check out our current Gift Packs to see whats already available.}

2) SUBMIT your Gift Pack idea(s) to JOLI.

3) You can submit up to 3 gift pack ideas.

NOTE: you also have the chance to have YOUR winning Gift Pack listed on the JOLI website.

1) Open to JOLI Customers only. If you wish to enter this competition you can become a customer HERE.

2) *Gift Packs must be a maximum of $80.

3) Submissions start Friday 1st August until Friday 15th August.  Plenty of time to research and get your pack ideas together. Feel free to ask me questions (you've got my email).

4) Gift Pack ideas will be posted on the bottom of this blog as they come in and guests are invited to vote on which pack they like the most on this blog (leaving their initials).  Just write the word VOTE on the pack you like best.

4) Voting starts Saturday 16th August, until Friday 22nd August.

5) Entrants will be asked to encourage votes from the public, family or friends for their Gift Pack to win!

6) Winner announced (first name onlyFriday 22nd August 6pm here and on Facebook (and via email to the winner and runners up).

Some Gift Pack Ideas to get you thinking:
Gift Pack of all three Moisturising Lip Balm colours
Design you own Bath Time gift pack
Design your own For Him gift pack
Gift Pack for little boys or girls
Soothing Pack
Bub Travel Pack

Subscribe to JOLI's e-news Indulgence



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chocolate Cherry Marshmallow pizza recipe

What you will need:

Pita bread
Chocolate spread
A handful of marshmallows
A handful of fresh cherries
Paste the chocolate spread onto pita bread.  I used Lovingearth Raw Organic Coconut Chocolate Butter (because it's better for our health than hazelnut spread).
Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over chocolate base.
Cut the cherries in halves, remove and discard seeds and stems. Sprinkle cherries evenly over base.  You don't need too many.
Bake in 160 degree oven for around 10-15mins, until marshmallows have spread out and cherries are releasing their yummy juices.
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes because the marshmallow will be too hot and sticky to eat straight away.  Slice up and serve.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Perioral Dermatitis part 2

treating perioral dermatitis naturally
After a week of trying natural remedies let me tell you what I tried and the results I found. [read part1 here]

For three days (Fri, Sat, Sun) I tried an application of three different creams - none of which are natural: Clearasil, cold sore cream and antibacterial cream.

The reasons I tried Clearasil is because benzyl peroxide is meant to be useful for treating PD.

The reason I tried an anti-bacterial cream is because I read that often PD can result from not cleaning your skin regularly (or using harsh cleansers).  PD can also occur after an acne/pimple breakout.  Both suggest to me an element of bacteria as a potential cause.

The reason I tried an anti-fungal cream is because I read that PD can often result from an overgrowth of candida in the body which is fungal.

I applied each cream in different areas so I could note each result.  The acne cream was put on the outer part of my nose (to the right of the top pic), the anti-bacterial was applied to the Philtrum, and the cold sore cream the area in between the two.

The results of each:
1 - The acne cream seemed to help the rash not spread but didn't make the rash go away.
2 - The cold sore cream did very little, if anything the skin felt more irritated and itchy.
3 - New blisters appeared on the area where the anti-bacterial cream was applied.

All up the skin was irritated and itchy and started to look more angry and was spreading into the nostril. I'd say non of those creams were beneficial for treating perioral dermatitis.  After 3 days I stopped applying the creams altogether.  Stopping the creams left me with extremely itchy red skin, in fact I'm pretty sure the rash was looking worse.
Late at night out of sheer irritation I went outside and cut a piece of aloe Vera leaf and applied natural aloe to the area.  The relief was practically instant, although it left my skin dry and flaky.

I'd been taking evening primrose oil since Saturday morning and wasn't really sure it was doing much since the creams seemed to exacerbate the rash.  On the fourth day I ditched the dreams and began the natural remedies.

The results of the natural remedies: 
1 - I stopped drinking caffeine since the rash can be stress related, my caffeine intake would have been increasing my stress levels.  Left me with a vague foggy brain and a dull head ache for days however I think this made a big difference.
2 - Evening primrose tablets - two per day.  I really have no idea what or if the tablets are doing anything because it's hard to measure an internal result.  All I know is evening primrose is good for soothing PMS symptoms, is natural and good for the skin.
3 - Washing my face regularly with a sulfate free cleanser [Facial & Body Wash].  I found the skin really cooled down and the rash eased after I cleansed my face.  As mentioned above since bacteria plays a part in the condition regular cleansing helps keep the skin clean and fresh.  Also perioral dermatitis can often appear after a bout of acne or a bad break out and regular cleansing helps keep those nasty break outs at bay.
4 - Moisturising with a natural moisturiser [Rich Cream Moisturiser] free of harsh chemicals and additives. I used this moisturiser for a cold cream application as well and found it soothed the skin and the rash for the rest of the night.
5 - Aloe Vera gel fresh from my garden applied to the area helped stop the itch and keep it at bay for a good while.  It also seemed to help heal the rash.  It did leave the skin dry and peeling yet I found I could remove the dry flaky skin and the rash was still looking better.
6 - After a couple of days I stopped applying the aloe vera and used Sothing Salve instead, mainly because I have it on hand and it's easier to apply.  Also didn't leave my skin flaky, while soothing the itch fast.  I applied the salve whenever the rash is itchy for some instant relief.
7 - Natural mineral makeup to hide the rash, with the added zinc being beneficial in helping treat the rash.  It's important to clean your brushes regularly to remove bacteria and make sure the rash doesn't spread.  NOTE: It is important to have as many makeup FREE days as you can and if you wear makeup wash it off at the end of each day.
8 - Not touching my face.  Again it's a bacteria thing touching grotty fingers to face as well as spreading the bacteria across my face.

All up, a week later I'm finding the rash is starting to simmer down.  I have no new blisters and the bumps from the previous blisters have pretty much gone away.  Now I'm left with a dull pink/red rash and I'm hoping through keeping this treatment up the rash will be gone within another week.  Fingers crossed.

The trouble with this rash is it gives a false sense of security.  It's often said that just when sufferers think they've got the rash under control... BAM... it suddenly flairs up again.
*    *    *    *
Struggling to rid yourself of the rash?  Try the above tips and see if it makes a difference for you and let us know how you go.
*    *    *    *


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Perioral Dermatitis (PD / POD)

I have written about this condition before in my article Overexposure ~ a skin reaction that occurs when your body cannot deal with the constant chemical influx anymore, when it has reached a point of 'critical mass' and you begin to see skin reactions as a result: contact dermatitis aka overexposure.

I have had perioral dermatitis a number of times in my life, when I was 21, 26 and 31.  When I got perioral dermatitis again at 31 I realised the ingredients in the skin care products and makeup I was using were causing or exacerbating the problem.  That was when I began investigating chemicals in products and began creating my own skin care range to use on myself, my children, family and friends.  Since making the change to all natural products my skin has been better than ever.

Yet... now many years later the perioral dermatitis has come back!

Looking up the causes of PD they say things like steroid creams, fluoride in toothpaste, SLES/SLS, mineral/petroleum products, heavy creams and ointments, sunscreens, chemicals/additives in skin care and hormones all play a part (though for the most part there is no known cause or cure for PD). Mainly women get perioral dermatitis which further suggests that our hormones (as appose to men's) play a part in the condition.  Apparently PD will more likely appear during winter and doesn't like hot water.

It's been a long time since I actively used any of those types of products so that can't be what is causing my current outbreak.  Although at the time the rash came back I had been using a moisturiser (for 2 weeks) a friend gave me to sample containing cetearyl alcohol, triethanolamine, diazolidinyl, urea, methyl and propyl parabens.  I stopped using that cream as soon as the rash appeared yet that didn't make it go away.  As for hormones... well... looking back it just so happens that each time I got perioral dermatitis major stressful events occurred in my life, which would equal a rise in cortisol levels (a steroid hormone) and each time I was drinking more coffee than usual.

I have also considered weather caffeine is part of the problem since I've been drinking more lately and I drank a huge amount, 12 cups of coffee a day, when I first got the rash.  Which makes sense because caffeine also increase stress levels within the body.

When I last had the rash I was prescribed a triamcinolone cream.  Applying that cream on this rash made it worse and so it would since it's a corticosteroid cream (as are Advantan, DermAid and Celestone M) and steroid creams must NOT be used on perioral dermatitis.  When I stopped using the cream the rash became worse as it states will happen - supposedly it gets worse before it gets better.  Ironically applying Clearasil previously also made the rash worse even though benzyl peroxide is the active ingredient and is meant to work well on perioral dermatitis: along with metronidazole, erythromycin, tacrolimus, clindamycin, pimecrolimus, sodium sulfacetamide. 

Some natural remedies that (supposedly*) help decrease PD symptoms are apple cider vinegar - diluted and applied to the area and drinking a shot each day, vitamin E oil applied to area, tea tree oil diluated and applied to area, evening primrose tablets, zinc (natural - without chemicals) topical and tablets, regularly cleansing the skin with a SLES/SLS free cleanser.  Some even say bicarb soda and anti-fungal creams help.  *I say supposedly because I've not tried or proven any of them myself.  I can see how evening primrose would help since it reduces stress and is good for relieving PMS symptoms (PD can occur or flare up during or prior to menstruation).  Most mineral makeup powders (the good brands) use zinc powder.  I found using a mineral makeup cream (not the loose powder) made the rash worse.  I just started using Rich Cream Moisturiser which soothes and reduces the symptoms and is natural and toxin free.  I'll use it for a couple more days and see if it keeps the rash soothed.

perioral dermatitis
At the moment the rash is just a few small red lumps near my nose that are itchy and red.  However if left untreated it has the potential to spread all around my mouth and nose and even inside my nose.  I may eventually have to bite the bullet and see a doctor to have the correct cream prescribed (maybe even antibiotics - though I hope not because I don't like taking them).  In the mean time (since I'm not a fan of non-natural remedies) I will try some natural remedies and see what happens.

What I will try:
~ Regularly cleansing with a SLES/SLS free Facial & Body Wash with moderately hot water.
Rich Cream Moisturiser to reduce dry skin naturally.
~ Evening primrose oil tablets to aid with dry skin and help reduce stress symptoms.
~ Zinc in my natural makeup because zinc is meant to help and I NEED to apply makeup to hide the angry red rash.
~ Clearasil: I'm going to try applying this to a specific area to see if the benzyl peroxide helps reduce the rash.  I'll  also try an application of anti fungal cream and a cold-sore cream, in specific areas and note the results. 
~ Reduce my caffeine intake (hopefully to zero).

I'll have to try/test these remedies for a number of days/weeks and note the results before knowing if any of these things are working.  I will keep you posted on the findings.
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Have you had encounters with perioral dermatitis?  Did you have success with any natural remedies? Tell us your story :-)


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

. • :*˙˙˙*: • . Shine JOLI Shine . • :*˙˙˙*: • .

Article written by founding direction of JOLI Natural Skin Care for Build a Little Biz - SHINE


My focus is on skin care made the traditional way, the way nature intended it.  Making skin care upon request so it is fresh and ready to use as apposed to skin care that is mass produced and sitting around on store shelves for long periods of time.  I am incredibly passionate about making skin care free of the harmful chemical cocktails found in most skin care.  Creating beauty products that are good for people as well as the environment.

My inspiration and the idea for a new skin care line came from my babies.  All of my children (from newborn to toddlers) were unable to use the skin care given in the hospital goodie bags without getting rashes on their skin and severe nappy rash.  I looked around for products that were gentler and tried so many different brands only to find none of them worked and they still contained iffy ingredients.  For a very long time they bathed in plain water because it was the only thing I could put on their skin.

Initially a friend and I began playing around with skin care recipes to see which ones we liked and which ones gave excellent results.  At the start we were just playing around, experimenting if you will.  Though after some time I realised we were onto something because I now had products I could use on my children’s skin with impressive results.  It is a long story of how the business grew from there.  In short I wanted to make the products available to everyone, certain that there must be other mothers in the same plight as me.  Other people with sensitive skin needing skin care they could use without issue.  With this in mind I invested serious time, effort, training, research and money into launching a new range of skin care that is unique in its absence of known skin irritants.


Soon after the product / website launch (albeit a humble and quiet event) I was approached by someone talking about the Skin Deep Database and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, sites promoting businesses who supply safe skin care, asking if JOLI would like to be part of this campaign.  Naturally I said yes and proceeded to work with the database which highlights companies manufacturing low hazard rating skin care.  It is wonderful to be part of such an important campaign.

Not long after being accepted by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics I was approached by someone representing PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] wanting us to be a part of that also.  Animal rights and animal testing had not been our focus, however since we don’t test on animals I applied and was approved by PETA as a company who does not test on animals and who does not use animal ingredients where supply of the ingredient harms an animal.

Similarly we were also approved by an other animal welfare advocate group Choose Cruelty Free, the Australian version of PETA whose accreditation application is considerably more stringent, and are please to be accredited by them also, as well as being part of their publication Cruelty Free List.


You don’t know what you don’t know.

Boy did I find this out the hard way.  Due to my previous employment positions, training and eduction I was naive to the fact that I actually knew so little about what I was getting myself into.  I thought it was child’s play and that I knew all I needed to know about running a small business.  That I would just put my feet on the ground and start off running.

I soon found out this was not the case and when I needed someone to turn to all I had were people with no experience running a business.  People who would give me all sorts of advice about changing the colour of the logo and the website colour scheme to the company name not being satisfactory enough.  Foolishly I followed a number of their suggestions much to the detriment of the direction I wanted to take.

Seeking more knowledge I turned to other small business women and books.  Reading as much as I could about running a small business.  I have learned much about what works and what doesn’t.  Mistake were made and while I wish they hadn’t been, having made the mistakes is what created learning, understanding and knowledge.  From knowledge comes growth.

My Inspirations:
  • Diary of a Small Business Owner – written by Anita F. Brattina
  • Lessons of a Lipstick Queen – written by Poppy King


When my friend and I first started making products we made our own labels using Avery, choosing our own fonts, colour, background and so forth.  The labels were neither water nor smudge resistance.  There was no logo or something with which you could identify the product or brand.  We were only making for ourselves, family and friends, and to sell at markets, so we didn't think it mattered much.  Once I started to sell to the public I kept going with the same tacky labels for a while Making changes to the colouring, wording and font here and there trying to establish some type of recognisable ‘brand’. I cringe now when I think of this yet it’s the truth.

After some advice from a friend I approached a number of printing companies however very few wanted to deal with my small print runs.  One printing company was nice enough to take me on and new waterproof, smudge resistant labels were created with a logo I designed myself.  Nice enough and fairly eye catching while still not saying what I needed it to say at a glance.  Quality skin care.  I had invested all this time and money into packaging, ingredients and all manner of other necessary items without sparing any real thought to labels.


By chance another business woman and I struck up a friendship and she spoke to me about branding.  Turns out she knows someone in the business of branding, put me in contact with them and thus the BRAND was finally formed.  I now had a unique yet recognisable logo to show people who the company is at a glance.

If I had my time again and knew then what I know now I would have invested in branding right from the start.  It would have been the very first thing I did and yet I didn’t know anyone who did branding when I first set out nor did I know anything about branding in order to seek it out in the first place.  It was really an amazing coincidence that it came to me the way it did and the time it did.

What I learned about branding while  working with Additiv Design and Print [now Ideapro] was how important BRAND is.  From the style to the colour scheme.  The message I wanted to send was ‘I am as professional as my competitors and my products are excellent quality’.  Colour scheme was equally important as it has to appeal to my specific clientele.  Pink would not work for example as it doesn’t say natural nor does it appeal to both men and women.  We chose chocolate and sunset for the colours and stayed with my previous butterfly theme, for 1. so previous customers would still have something to recognise the product/brand by. 2. butterflies symbolise renewal which is was great skin care is all about. 3. who doesn't love chocolate and sunsets :)


Customer Love

One of the things that I felt was important was giving back to my customers since they are the one’s supporting the business and helping me grow.  To achieve this I implemented a Customer Loyalty Rewards scheme where customers receive discounts on subsequent orders when they open online accounts.  In doing this customers are rewarded for their purchases and I’m sure they are a little bit please when they receive their discounts.
Also customers are able to put in requests and tell me about their skin care requirements and I am able to work with them to come up with a product blend or scent that is just right for them.

Sales Tactics

I also like to include product samples and / or a free gift with outgoing orders.  This way customers get to try a product and see if it’s suitable for their needs.  If so they can purchase the product on their next order already knowing it will perform well.  I know there is bound to be a product suitable for a particular skin type or condition they have and they’re unaware of the benefits until they try the product.

Setting up an online shop
To begin with I sold online on a group selling site.  Set up a store and listed my products selling to the public.  This was enjoyable to begin with then numerous changes came into play and selling there became too competitive, expensive and un-worthwhile.  Sales slowed while fees increased.

Looking into alternatives there were web hosts whose fees were quite reasonable.  I could purchase a domain name from them, have monthly hosting and also use their web templates if I wanted.  Doing the math I found that if I set up a domain name, set up web hosting and created a website I would be better off costs wise than selling on the group site.  So this is what I did.

To set up a website I purchase a web creation program that thankfully came with a ‘How To’ book because I was starting from scratch knowing absolutely zero about setting up a website.  It took me three long stressful months of working all day and staying up late to put it all together.  I’m sure I went insane at some point because it was so complicated and hard work.  The end result was worth it – for the most part what I learned from the experience was priceless.

Would I do it all again.  Mostly likely I would because I have the kind of mind that loves a stimulating challenge.  Yet setting up of the website took up all of my time and energy and the family came second to the work I was doing.  It would have been easier to let someone else set up a website for me, someone who knew what they were doing and could have done it sooner.  Nonetheless it was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve done to date and I’m so glad I went down the path of launching my own independent website.

Work Life Balance

After the website was complete hubby and I came to an agreement that my work hours would be set (10am - 6pm, Monday to Friday) and I would be off the computer at 6 spending time with the children before they went to bed, with weekends free for family time and tending to the house.  Having agreed to this I find it quite easy to adhere to this routine.  Each day is pretty much set by a routine that includes breaks and lunch time just as it would any other office based job.  By 6pm I am quite exhausted after a hard day at the office so it’s easy to want to leave the office and enjoy time with the family.  On occasion I’ll do some overtime.  Not often though.  I try to ensure I treat my business and my hours much the same as I would normal office hours.

Once clocked off my family have my undivided attention for the most part – I’m often still thinking about work.  Having regular set hours has helped organise my day and my time.  I tend to look forward to starting my day because I have left over tasks to do; something that wasn’t happening when I stayed up all night trying to get everything done.


This is a something my eldest son told me when I was having a bad ‘why am I bothering? I should just quit’ day.

“If you quit because you think you’re failing then you will have failed.”

When I have those quiet moments where sales slow down, I feel un-loved and un-appreciated, I hold on to what my son said. That quote keeps me going, pushing on, moving forward. 

Another quote I have posted to my office wall is:

“Think Big when you’re making plans for your business and ignore the voices (including yours) that say “you can’t do that yet.” ~ Belinda Copywrite Matters


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Digging Deeper into the Real Beauty Campaign

You might have heard about the Dove Real Beauty Real Women campaign.  I was reading an article about the campaign which I shared on our Facebook page, and it talked about:

1. How the models are still heavily photoshopped.  In fact the photographer goes on to say that due to their imperfections they required more photoshopping than usual.

2. How the campaign increased Dove sales by 700%.

3. How the beauty industry is based on making women feel bad about their hair, their body, their clothes, their feet, their hands, their looks, their wrinkles, their weight, their cellulite and scars etc etc etc.

From someone who works in the beauty industry I dislike the idea of being all about making women feel bad about their appearance.  I've struggled enough with my own self image without wishing that struggle upon other women and I'm not in this industry to change how you look because you're not good enough, I'm in it to help you keep your assets in the best condition you possibly can.  [Mind you I've always wondered where that dislike of ones self stems from: the media, peers, upbringing, nature, nurture?]

For me JOLI is not about changing who you are because you're not good enough.  JOLI is about embracing your awesome qualities and making the most of them because you ARE good enough.  It doesn't matter if you're big, little, older or younger.  There are things about you - good hands, good feet, great legs, nice boobs, pretty eyes, nice lips - that are awesome and special and worth looking after.  It is as simple as that.

There is also 'comfort' to consider.  For example after my shower if I don't moisturise it feels as though my face will crack.  Yes moisturising is about hydrating my skin, keeping it in top condition and if it keeps some wrinkles at bay them I'm happy with that too, however, mostly it's about being comfortable with my skin and feeling better when I've applied moisturiser.  It's the same with my sons eczema, it is comforting to have salve applied to stop the itch.

There is a big difference in taking care of your skin because you desire to do so and taking care of your skin because the media tells you you're not good enough if you don't.

One thing you will notice about JOLI is the distinct lack of 'pretty young girl' images for a number of reasons.
1) JOLI don't wish to spread the message that being a pretty, slim, young girl is the be all and end all of our existence.  There is enough of that message in the media already.
2) JOLI don't want my customers looking at a picture of somebody and feeling they have to aspire to that or feeling bad if they don't look like the person in the picture.
3) JOLI don't want my customers thinking if they use JOLI products they will look like that.  Sorry... if you're in your 40's (Go you!) you're not going to look 20 no matter how much Rich Cream Moisturiser you slather on ;)
4) JOLI don't want to buy into false advertising or contribute to the growing number of women who dislike themselves or their appearance.

Bottom line is you're going to remain looking like you and that is OK... it's better than OK.  It's great, perfect and exactly who you should be.  At JOLI our aim is to help you be you as comfortable and happy in your skin as possible xo

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What are your views on advertising campaigns and their affect of self esteem?
Share your thoughts, we'd love to hear them.