green makeup

Body care

Cold-pressed oils: Olive oil

olive oil

“Homer called it “liquid gold.” In ancient Greece, athletes ritually rubbed it all over their bodies. Olive oil has been more than mere food to the people of the Mediterranean: it has been medicinal, magical, an endless source of fascination and wonder and the fountain of great wealth and power.” (History of olive oil)

Finally, in my blog there is space for one of my first organic inner and outer beauty products: olive oil! Being grown in the Mediterranean country, olive oil was since ever the king in our kitchen. But just in last years I realized that I can use it also for other purposes, like moisturizing my skin.

Before I start counting all the goodness you can receive from it, let me explain you some facts about several types of olive oil. Bear in mind that not every olive oil is good enough for our skin and diet. Regarding every oil (not just olive oil), the price is most often the measure of quality. But be aware not to buy olive oil in famous turist points, because it’s often mixed with lower quality olive oil, even though the prices can be quite high. The best you can do, is to go to a local producer and try there his olive oil. Ask him also to show you how they produce the oil and where/how they grow the olive trees.

I am a big fan of olive oil. I adore tasting it on bread, or adding it to salads and some dishes. Wherever I go, I try to find and taste the local olive oil, if there is a possibility. I have tried many excellent olive oils from our local Slovenian producers and also some Tuscan, Croatian, and even Greek olive oils fascinate me.

 

There are two types of extraction from the olive fruit to oil:

– traditional method of pressure from which derives the best cold-pressed olive oil; The highest class must be extra virgin olive oil with full flavor and maximum acidity of 1%. Extra virgin oil after a year become mostly just virgin oil, because of oxidation (when the percentage of acids increases). When the acid exceed the allowed limit of acid percentage, they refine the oil and reuse it in food industry for cheaper and lower quality products.

– modern method of centrifugation (when the oil is chemically treated to neutralize the strong taste and acid content); you get from it the refined oil, which is a lower quality oil.

Another important fact concerning the widely spread olive oil trend these days is that not every olive oil is good. Several countries with huge, hundred kilometers of plantations don’t grow olive trees in organic way, without pesticides and they don’t pick the fruits by hands. They even don’t extract the oil by cold-pressing, but chemically. The same is when we talk about olive oil in cosmetic industry. Mostly, that kind of products haven’t seen the real olive oil. Only a lot of nice words about olive oil benefits are reaching to us.

 

Types of olive oil

Cold Pressed Olive Oil is considered to be premium quality olive oil, due to a special process of production that preserves its delicate taste. Cold pressed oil is the result of the first press.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil It’s a very high quality olive oil since it comes from the first press only. This allows it to acquire perfect flavour, aroma, and balanced acidity. This olive oil is less processed than Virgin olive oil and is very delicate in flavour. It’s perfect for dipping bread, salad dressings, marinades, and for dressing rough food.

Virgin Olive Oil virgin means the olive oil was produced without any chemical additives, so it contains no refined oil. It has an acidity that’s less than 2%, so it tastes better. Basically, virgin olive oil is the result of olive press with no (or very little) further manipulation or processing, hence the term “virgin”.

Regular or Pure Olive Oil
 This olive oil is of lower quality and usually the least expensive. Regular or pure olive oil has undergone a chemical process whereby it has been refined and filtered to neutralize both undesirable strong tastes and acid content.

(source: All about olive oil)

Olive oil benefits

– Because of precious oleic acid, olive oil is extremely rich in monounsaturated fats; a type of fat that has excellent health benefits. The monounsaturated fats in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil help lower your bad cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and prevent many other diseases.

– It has beneficial effect in maintaining the digestive tract in good health (recommended for people with stomach and colon problems)

– Rich in antioxidants: vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), carotenoids and phenolic compounds are all antioxidants whose activity has been demonstrated in many studies, revealing further advantages in the prevention of certain diseases and also of aging. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is particularly rich in these substances and it has a strong antioxidant effect, protecting against damage from free radicals and against the formation of cancer.

– Cold-pressed olive oil is an excellent emollient (soothes and softens the skin). It helps people with skin problems such as eczema, extra dry skin and hair.

NOTE  Beneficial properties of olive oil are the best when ingesting it raw (on salads, bread, or added at the end), because high temperatures (heating, cooking) will reduce its benefits. Store it in a dry place at room temperature and in a dark bottle.

 

Olive oil in cosmetics

Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and Iron. It helps the body to maintain strong levels of vitamin E, which is a great helper in delaying the aging process. You can use olive oil as face moisturizer since the healthy fatty acid existing in olive oil make the skin softer.

 

Some ideas how to use olive oil in your beauty routine

Manicure  soak your nails for 5-10 min in the mixture of warm olive oil where you add a tablespoon of lemon juice. It will soften the cuticles and strengthen the nails.

Peeling  mix olive oil and sugar for your hand, feet, body or even face peeling.

Face cleanser  apply a small amount of olive oil on your face and remove it gently with a cotton pad. Then remove the excess with a dampen cotton cloth soaked in warm water. This will remove the dirt, leaving the skin radiant.

Bath add to your bath water 4 tbsp of olive oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Olive oil will make your skin soft, while essential oil will give additional benefits (lavender for relaxing,…)

Hair  Many women find this a great remedy for dry hair: Rub into scalp and hair some warm olive oil. Cover your head with a towel and leave it for 30min to 1h. Then rinse off with a gentle shampoo. This will add shine and softness to your hair.

Feet  if you have dry skin on your feet, one of the best remedies is to apply a rich quantity of olive oil and rub it into your feet. Then cover your feet with white cotton socks during the night (I recommend to have a pair of socks just for this treatment) and your feet will gain the softness during a few repetitions.

International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (abbreviated INCI on cosmetic products): OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) OIL


Safe sun creams for a carefree summer!

Natural sunscreens

As I promised you in my previous post, I’ve tried my best to provide you more practical informations about sun creams and which ones I recommend you this summer.
As we already know, the sun light is very important for our health, though is not good to exaggerate with the sun exposure, especially if we aren’t used to go out on the sun the most part of the year. Too much sun exposure can cause damage on the skin and cells. In every case we need a really good and safe sunscreen to protect our skin.
Many proofs and scientific results regarding the harmful properties of conventional chemical sun creams are emerging out more and more. Furthermore, recent discoveries result that skin cancer is strongly related with toxic chemical ingredients in conventional sunscreens.

First, let’s discover what is the difference between a conventional sunscreen and an organic one:

Chemical sunscreens: They are called so, because their active ingredients are chemicals, that prevent sunburns on the skin by absorbing mainly UVB rays. These are very popular among consumers, because they penetrate quick in the skin and feel quite light. But their ability to irritate the skin and cause allergies due to harsh chemicals, is very high. Usually, people blame the “harmful” sun for the allergies, without knowing that the main cause can be their chemical sunscreen. What is more, in many shops happened many times that they sold old sun creams from the previous season, which can be even more harmful. I can confirm this from my personal experience. Read what Dr. Barry Groves says about chemical sunscreens:

“A sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 filters out approximately ninety-four percent of the UVB rays. Using one with a SPF of 30 does not double to protection – filtering out ninety-seven percent means that it only increases protection by about three percent. And this quoted SPF applies to UVB rays only. The protection provided against UVA rays in chemical sunscreens is much less at about ten percent of the UVB rating.”

Many people have already discovered by themselves that high chemical SPF factors can cause many skin diseases instead of really protecting the skin. This is especially a problem when high SPF with toxic chemicals are applied on your child’s delicate and sensitive young skin. I want to share with you a real story regarding chemical sunscreens that happened in my family a few years ago . My grandfather had a small wound and a bacteria infection on his ear (outside, on the skin). After some simple cures in the beginning, the situation has improved, the skin was becoming healthy. Since the doctors needed to check his state regularly, one day in the beginning of the summer, the doctor prescribed(!) him to start using a very well-known brand of chemical sunscreen with the SPF 60! When he told us about this, we were surprised. We knew that he doesn’t need it, since he never went out on the sun. But he is the type of person who obeys the doctors and he decided that he would use the prescribed sunscreen, even though there was no need, since the wound on his ear was going better and better. Guess what happened? The wound was small, but it started to getting worse and worse after applying that sunscreen. That occasion made me start to reflect even more about toxic chemicals and the pharmaceutical industry selling us drugs without curing us. The conclusion of the story is even worse: the state of my grandfather’s ear got so worse, that they started to apply him many other drugs and creams on and on. Today he is without his ear. But this is the beginning of another story.

Physical sunscreens: these are sunscreens with mineral origins and are mainly found in organic sunscreens. Julie Gabriel in her book The green beauty guide states about them:

” Wearing a mineral sunscreen is like wearing thousands of tiny mirrors on the skin that reflect the sun’s rays. They sit on top of the skin. Mineral sunscreens include zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Both minerals have a wider spectral range of activity than any synthetic sunscreen ingredient. While the entire range of UVA and UVB radiation is 280-400nm, titanium dioxide’s range of protection is 270-700nm, and zinc dioxide shields from rays ranging from 290-700nm.” 

Apart these two minerals, a high quality sunscreen has to contain also some herbal and plant extracts to soothe the skin with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and calming effects. Among plants with an excellent function in a sunscreen, there are: aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba oil,… They don’t oxidize on the sun and they provide a lot of benefits for our skin.

 

Harmful ingredients in conventional sunscreens

PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid): causes allergic dermatitis, photosensitivity, produces free radicals that cause mutations, lead to cell death, may be implicated in cardiovascular diseases, causes changes in blood components.

Benzophenones (benzophenone-3, sulisobenzone and dioxybenzone) =UVA filters: strong photoallergen, endocrine disruptor, produces free radicals that increase skin aging, environmental toxicant

Cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamate, cinoxate and methoxycinnamate) =UVB filter: lead to cell death, a penetration enhancer, cause skin irritation and contact allergies

Salicylates(octyl salicylate) =UVB filter: increase breast cancer cells

Dibenzoylmethanes(avobenzone) =commonly used UVA filter in EU: produces free radicals under UV light, which can lead to DNA damage, it’s unstable under UV light, breaking down into several chemicals, can cause contact allergies

Octocrylene = UVB filter: it is absorbed into the nucleated epidermal layers, can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis.

Camphor derivatives(4-methylbenzylidene or 4-MBC) = UVB filters: endocrine disruptor, lead to hypothyroidism, can cause photoallergic dermatitis, bioaccumulative in the environment.

 

There is another alarming fact concerning chemical sun creams and the environment

“Chemical constituents of sunscreens have reached detectable levels in fresh water and seawater systems, with experts estimating that around a quarter of the sunscreen ingredients applied to the skin are released in water over the course of a 20 minute submersion. Certain sunscreen and personal care ingredients have been found to cause coral bleaching, even at low concentration, promoting viral infection in coral reefs and threatening the survival of endangered tropical ecosystems.” (from the book Toxic beauty by Dawn Mellowship)

 

Which sun creams are safe and good for the skin?

There are several organic sun creams on the market that are safe with its formulations, but don’t trust just to the words on the package. My favorite sunscreens are absolutely the Lavera Sun sensitive collection. They have a wide range of products from sprays to lotions:

Lavera Baby & Children Sun Screen SPF 20 contains precious organic ingredients such as beeswax, canola oil, shea butter, organic carotene and organic sunflower oil. This lotion is suitable even for the delicate baby skin. Due to its precious oils and plant extracts it protects the skin from moisture loss and the skin cells from damage.

Another very good brand is Petite Marie Organics from the above mentioned Julie Gabriel, with a totally safe product named Ounce of prevention. This is a mineral based sun cream with SPF 30+ with zinc and anti aging antioxidants like green tea, lycopene and precious oils like argan, starflower and black currant oils.

The Organic pharmacy has also a collection of sunscreens on a zinc oxide basis. They contain many natural beneficial ingredients like sweet almond, sweet orange, rose hip, honeysuckle, aloe vera and shea butter.

Green makeup tip: Don’t forget to protect even your lips with a lip balm with a SPF. Lavera has an excellent one!

Truly safe sunscreens contain only herbal ingredients and mineral filters that do NOT include nano particles. A safe sunscreen has to protect the skin in a safe way, without irritating it. Independent certifications such as Ecocert, Cosmebio (Cosmetique Bio), Soil Association, BDIH, Natrue,etc. forbid the use of nano particles and toxic chemicals and guarantee us more security than just a normal pretty advertising in the magazines. Though, for me the most important thing is still to read the labels with ingredients.

Enjoy your summer sunny days!

 

 

Top picture: Green makeup favorite selection of sunscreens

Check out more about the toxicity in sunscreens at: http://www.ewg.org

Another very good article that I recently found concerning sunscreens at: http://www.naturalnews.com

Is the sun really our enemy?

Dreamstime.com

I couldn’t help myself to write my thoughts concerning the every year’s biggest summer issue – the sun and sun creams. When the first hot sunny days start, populist medias are full of generic articles about sun creams and skin cancer, which want to convince us that the sun is our huge enemy. Stop and think for a moment. Do you really believe that the sun is our big enemy? I belong to the type of people who love going out to enjoy and recharge themselves on a nice sunny day. I’ve never felt (and still don’t) the sun is harmful, for I’ve always enjoyed it. So I wanted to unveil what does stand behind this regular bombardment with fear, skin cancer, forcing with highest SPF creams,…

Let’s start at the beginning. Since ancient times the man worshiped the nature and the sun as a source of life. He knew that the sun is the source of all living existence. Nowadays, the industrialization has torn apart man from nature, from the source. We still think that is normal working entire days under artificial light, eating artificially grown food which haven’t seen the sun and real soil, but chemicals. We apply cosmetics and eat medicines with toxic chemicals poisoning our bodies and much more. Do you really think this is normal? You can still open yourself to hear the other part of this story.

Nowadays, many scientific sources already know that without sun = natural light, there is no real life. The sun is the main source of vitamin D, which is essential for our health and strong immune system. Read further, what Dr. Michael Holick, who opposes to the chemical and cosmetic industry, states in his book: The vitamin D solution.

“Vitamin D is not a vitamin but a hormone. It is unique in that it is made in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. Photosynthesis of vitamin D has been occurring on earth for more than 750 million years. Some of the earliest life forms that were exposed to sunlight for their energy requirement were also photosynthesizing vitamin D. Both children and adults have in the past depended on adequate sun exposure to satisfy their vitamin D requirement. It is well documented that at the turn of the last century upwards of 80% of children in the industrialized, polluted cities of northern Europe and northeastern United States suffered from the devastating consequences of vitamin D deficiency rickets. The skin has a large capacity to make vitamin D. Exposure of a person in a bathing suit to a minimal erythemal dose of sunlight, which is typically no more than 15-20 minutes on Cape Cod in June or July at noon time, is the equivalent to taking 20,000 IU of vitamin D orally. It is now well documented that in the absence of any sun exposure 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day is necessary to maintain healthy levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the circulation.”

In addition, have you ever asked yourself, why our grandparents, 40 years ago, while working entire days outside on the sun, without a sun cream, haven’t had any problems with skin cancers? The answer is simple. Since the sun is the source of life, it has also provided our skin a great self-protecting mechanism, in order not to get sunburns. This mechanism is the nice brown tan, that should be accomplished GRADUALLY. When we expose to the sun gradually, our skin becomes firmer, absorbs and produces a lot of vitamin D. Step by step, it give us a brown color, which is the self-protective barrier that prevents us to obtain burns.

Unfortunately, man has changed the direction of living and put us in closed buildings where we cannot see the light, except artificial one. And here comes the main problem about sun exposing. The industry has invented chemical cocktails that act on your skin as “protection”, so that you can quickly go out from your office, directly exposing yourself to high temperatures in ultra hot vacation destinations. People don’t go out on the sun step by step, but directly exposing their body to a high amount of sun radiation. This is not normal, especially for pale skin, non-adapted to the sun. Applying a sun cream, full of harmful substances, that acts on our body with preventing the skin to get the tan, it’s not a happy news. Have you ever asked yourself what does a cream like this contain and how does affect and block your body functions, so that the sun cannot do its natural process? Don’t you think there is a more logical connection between skin cancer and chemical sunscreens?

“Incidence rates of melanoma have risen especially steeply since the mid-1970s. The two principal strategies for reduction of risk of melanoma and other skin cancers during this period were sun avoidance and use of chemical sunscreens. Rising trends in the incidence of and mortality from melanoma have continued since the 1970s and 1980s, when sunscreens with high sun protection factors became widely used. Indeed, the Garland brothers strongly believe that the increased use of chemical sunscreens is the primary cause of the skin cancer epidemic. Recent studies by them have shown a higher rate of melanoma among men who regularly use sunscreens and a higher rate of basal cell carcinoma among women using sunscreens. This was confirmed by another study group who found that ‘always users’ of sunscreens had 3.7 times as many malignant melanomas as those ‘never using’.”

This makes sense to me! I want to point out another fact concerning skin cancer:

“British doctors R Marks and D Whiteman are unconvinced of the sunlight/melanoma link. They point out that:
– Melanoma can be found on ovaries
– Melanoma occurs less frequently on sun-exposed areas
– In Japan forty percent of pedal melanomas are on the soles of the feet
– There is 5-times more melanoma in Scotland on the feet than on the hands
– And melanoma in Orkney and Shetland is ten times that of the Mediterranean islands.
Other clinicians agree. Karnauchow says: “The simplistic idea of a sun/melanoma relationship is based more on a belief than science.”. . . “As with other neoplasms, the cause of melanoma remains an enigma and most probably the sun has little, if anything, to do with it.”

(source: Barry Groves, PhD)

To conclude, there is no doubt that too much sun exposure causes severe skin sunburns, stress and skin aging, that can lead to skin cancer. Even though, there are many obvious evidences and proofs regarding conventional sun creams that are even more carcinogenic than the sun. I will explain the difference between safe organic sun creams and the regular sun creams, full of harmful ingredients in my next post.

 

What is the solution?

The solution is always a midway between, a middle path, that means:

– DON’T EXAGGERATE, even with sun exposure. It’s obvious that the sun radiance in peak hours (from 11 -16) is very strong and may cause severe burns! It’s not natural to be exposed on the sun in this time of the day. Even mediterranean nations, who are adapted more to sun, know there is siesta time (relax) during that time of the day. This is why we have to avoid the sun. If you will expose on sun, when it is not so strong, there is no need to worry. Use a natural organic sunscreen without harmful chemicals and apply it several times during the day. It’s better to protect your skin several times with a lower SPF than force the skin with high number of SPF such as 40 or 60. It’s just against the body nature. The higher the SPF, more toxic chemicals contains. This is the reason why organic sun creams does not have so high factors. And the reason why dermatologists claim that high SPF is good, is because they have to sell the pharmaceutical products.

– In hot summer days, when the sun radiation is high, drink a lot of pure water, so that your body will be hydrated.

– Eat orange-colored vegetables and fruits such as: carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, and sweet potatoes. They contain significant amounts of alpha and beta-carotene, which protect our body against free radicals. Eat great sources of vitamin E that slows the aging effect: cold-pressed olive oil, broccoli, avocado, mango, sunflower seeds and oil, wheat germ oil.

– Even if you are in the shadow during the peak time (11-16h), dress with light clothes and cover the body, cause the sun rays can burn you everywhere. Imagine how Tuareg people from Sahara desert wear their clothes, long layers of natural fabric, that protect them from the sun.

Finally, don’t be so afraid about everything that the chemical industry connected with big corporations wants you to fear (=focus on). Remember this every time you think about cancer, other diseases and “harmful” sun: Where the attention goes, the energy flows.

 

(foto: dreamstime.com)

Cold-pressed oils: Organic virgin coconut oil

Continuing my series of cold-pressed oils, I’d like to pay homage to one of my favorite oils: the virgin coconut oil. I also have to admit, that I’m a huge fan of coconut in all its forms. Apart all the benefits, I go mad for its divine smell and taste! Before listing all its precious benefits and properties, that my friend Sheen from Agape Oils already put together in her very educative article, I’d like to mention how I prefer using it.

I use organic coconut oil for many purposes

– for removing make-up (I adore it! for every skin type)

– as a body massage oil (excellent for every skin type and it absorbs quite quickly)

– for cooking: I love its amazing taste!

– you can also use it on your hair (I don’t feel the need, because of my short hair 🙂 but it’s one of the best natural nutrition for hair!

coconut oil

My friend Sheen from Agape oils wrote:

Coconut oil provides a natural UV protection and is an excellent sunscreen lotion. It has wonderful anti-oxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage and when consumed or used topically on our skin, it helps our bodies absorb other nutrients more effectively, such as Vitamin E, another powerful anti-oxidant nutrient that protects the skin.

The most powerful of all coconut oils is virgin coconut oil, which is extracted from fresh coconuts. Virgin coconut oil is treasure trove of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and is also a major source of lauric acid and vitamin E. It protects the skin from infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. Virgin coconut oil is ideal for infants. It is also great for the scalp and is useful in preventing dandruff and hair loss.

The versatile coconut is accepted as a health and beauty aid in many tropical countries. It conditions hair, cleanses the body, and detoxifies the skin. Coconut is also a light moisturizer that decreases excessive oil on the skin. In fact, coconut in its various forms, such as, water, pulp, oil and cream is the best way to tone up your skin and makes you glow from great health!”

International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (abbreviated INCI ingredient on cosmetic products): COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL

Freshly made: deodorant

deodorant

In the previous article I have explained how the process of sweating works. In this article I want to explain the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants, harmful ingredients to avoid in them and how to make an amazing deodorant at home.

Antiperspirants: they prevent the formation of sweat (= interfere in the natural function processes of the body!)

Deodorants: they cover/mask the underarm odour through the addition of antimicrobial agents such as triclosan, farnesol, alcohols or ammonium compounds that try to disable and kill the bacteria(even the good ones!) on the skin.

 

Harmful substances to avoid in deodorants/antiperspirants

Unfortunately, most of the substances, which are acting against sweat or bacteria, is very controversial for our health. Some of the main important to avoid are:

Triclosan: endocrine disruptor, strong skin irritant, environmental toxicant, affects thyroid hormone, caused fetal death in animals

Aluminum salts and all aluminum compounds (aluminum chlorohydrate, ammonium aluminum sulfate, potassium aluminum sulfate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly): can cause contact dermatitis, are related to many diseases (asthma, lung disorders, reproductive disorders, …). Studies against aluminum show also that it accumulates in the brain over time and may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancers.

Phthalates: which may be hiding under the name “fragrance”. They are dangerous endocrine disrupters, which also affect the liver, kidneys and reproductive organs, they can cause allergies, itching, redness, breathing difficulties,…

Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl), are all derived from toluene, a toxic petrochemical derivat. (related to contact allergies, skin sensatizations, found in breast tissue of women diagnosed with breast cancer)

Toluene: skin and lung toxicant, accumulates in fat tissue, soil contaminant, can cause strong skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation. Inhalation can cause nausea, headaches,…

Talc: even when it contains no asbestos, was proven fibrogenic (causes tissue injury and fibrosis), skin and lung irritation

Propylene glycol: can cause eye irritation and conjunctivitis, as well as upper respiratory tract irritation

(sources: Julie Gabriel: Green beauty guide, Dawn Mellowship: Toxic beauty)

 

How to stay fresh smelling naturally an entire day?

There are many healthy choices to choose instead of toxic chemicals who can cause many disorders. Start to look after deodorants with ingredients like vegetable glycerin, natural preservatives, herbs or herbal extracts, green tea, aloe vera juice, baking soda and natural essential oils. You can also make an amazing and easy deodorant at home. Here I share with you the recipe below. I am using this deodorant a few weeks and it works great! The deodorant is also tested by many other people who are very satisfied and now ex users of traditional antiperspirants/deodorants. The best thing is that it smells amazing and it lasts up to whole day.

 

Recipe for a natural deodorant

– 1 / 4 cup of cornstarch

– 1 / 4 cup of baking soda

– 10-20 drops of essential oil of your choice (I like the freshness of lemongrass essential oil)*

– 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Mix corn starch and baking soda in a bowl and then add to this mixture partially melted coconut oil and the essential oil. Stir well and put this mixture in a clean pot. Start to use it after 1-2 days. You need a small amount of deodorant, as the deodorant is highly effective even in small quantities.

* I’ve added the lemongrass essential oil, which is for my taste a great choice for hot summer days. When the fresh smell of lemongrass mixes with the nice sweet smell of coconut oil, the result is a fresh and lightly sweet tropical scent.

You should know that coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties, as does baking soda, but without killing the microorganisms that are useful in our body. The nature has provided us everything we need to balance our body, mind and spirit 🙂 I’d be happy to hear from you that you have made this deodorant at home and your thoughts about it. Or maybe you already have any other natural recipes & experiences with natural deodorants to share with me?

The fresh smell of summer

About antiperspirants and deodorants

Hot days already arrived and we start to worry about our unpleasant underarm odours. I decided to write this post, cause a dear friend of mine asked me about this issue. She ended to make her own “green” deodorant at home, which is great and I am using it, too. More about this comes in my next post.

Usually, people tend to try the last advertised antiperspirant that promises you non-stop fresh smells. But have you ever asked yourself what is the purpose of our sweating and what is its function? Furthermore, do you really think that your unpleasant smell issue is resolved just with an antiperspirant? And why do our body produce unpleasant smells? Where this odour has its roots? Why some people have an unpleasant smell and others don’t? As you can see, the cause always lies deeper and sometimes posing ourselves questions is good. I will try to make things easier and explain you how the process of sweating works.

Did you know that our body has it’s our own natural “air condition” that regulates the body temperature and that detoxifies through sweating? Through our body we eliminate daily up to 3 liters of sweat. But this process is roughly interrupted while using aggressive chemical substances, such as antiperspirants that literally block the formation of sweat. Consequently, the body cannot eliminate toxins from our body through sweat anymore and it begins to store them in the lymph nodes. Obviously, this can lead to body disfunctions and serious health diseases.

I’d like to share with you an excerpt from the book: Toxic beauty written by Dawn Mellowship, explaining why we develop underarm odour:

“The skin has 2 types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands exist over most of the body and open out onto the surface of the skin. These regulate body temperature by secreting sweat onto the skin, which cools the body down as it evaporates. Apocrine sweat glands develop during puberty and are predominantly present under the armpits, around the nipples of the breast and the genital area. Emotional stress leads the apocrine glands to push the fatty sweat produced in the gland tubule onto the surface of the skin, which causes a strong odour as bacteria decompose the organic compounds in the sweat.”

The fact is that we apply a lot of chemicals exactly on the areas of the body where are the main lymphatic centers and where the chemicals go directly in our blood system. Imagine what happens when you use antiperspirants and other chemicals directly on the skin after shaving! They penetrate through the small wound into the blood. That means your body is overloaded with cleaning the toxins out of your body. And toxins from antiperspirants are just the tip of the iceberg among other substances that we put onto and into our body.

When using chemical antiperspirants everyday, your body is in a vicious circle; you don’t understand why you still smell unpleasant. The reason is that when the body is full of toxins and under stress, it has a much more unpleasant odour.
From my experience I can assure you that you need some changes, if you want to eliminate the unpleasant odour:

– eliminate all chemical cosmetics (especially antiperspirants and deodorants) and change them with non-toxic ones

– drink a lot of water, cause in summer with sweating you also loose a lot of water

– eat unprocessed food: fresh fruit and vegetables, avoid heavy spices (=avoid junk and industrial made food)

– become the master of your mind = do relaxative techniques, meditation. You will avoid stress and worries (-> our emotion imbalance causes unpleasant smells)

– move your body a lot so that it will release a lot of sweat. You must know that also no sweating is a disorder. You must accept sweating as a natural and very important body process.

– wash your clothes regularly

– wash off the skin all your deodorants with soap and water

I know that the last 2 sentences seem obvious, but I realized that this is NOT obvious to many people, so I thought to mention them.

To make things short: while using so many chemicals on your body, you don’t allow your body to do its natural functions and to eliminate toxins from the body. Because of the overloaded and unprocessed chemicals in the body and some stress in addition, your body odour is constantly unpleasant. This becomes a vicious circle.

Natural deodorants

From left to right: Lovlis deodorant, Lavera soft deo roll-on and Lavera fresh deo spray, Petite Marie Organics AROMAT: Organic Aluminum-Free Deodorant

In the second part I will show you how to make at home a totally safe deodorant and which ingredients you should avoid:)

Do you still remember the cult cream in tin box?

New all-round cream from Lavera

lavera skincare

A few days ago, I needed a rich and nourishing cream and I didn’t have enough time to search a lot. Of course, I wanted a safe cream, without parabens or any other bad ingredients. Suddenly, I found out this Lavera basis sensitive cream. It reminded me of the old cult packaging from Nivea, that we all used to have. Unfortunately, Nivea is not so safe, considering their use of paraffin based ingredients and other chemicals.

I decided to try this cream and I was really surprised about its quality. It’s the kind of really rich and nourishing cream, suited especially for dry skin. You can really feel that inside there is a lot of shea butter, which is a very good moisturizer with anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectant properties. Shea butter has been claimed to be an effective treatment for: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, severely dry skin, chapped lips in lessening the irritation of psoriasis an many others.
This nice cream has a natural smell, similar to nuts. Despite its rich and thick consistency, the cream absorbs quickly in the skin, leaving it moisturized and nourished, without leaving the greasy effect on your skin.

If you search for a cheap and all-around cream, this basic cream will satisfy your needs, especially for the body & hand care. And the tin package will bring you back old memories from childhood 🙂

After holidays body treatments

 

organic body care treatments

I thought it’d be useful to give you some advices for your wellbeing, especially after holidays parties, when the skin is dehydrated, rough and dull. These guidelines are good for you entire body from inside out, because good looking skin is just the mirror of the inner situation.

 

These suggestions will help your skin to regenerate:

Drink a lot of pure water: first you need to hydrate the body from inside out. This will help your digestion and consequently even your skin will look better. Drinking water will help you purify and remove toxins from the body.

Prepare herbal detox tea: during the day prepare yourself a detoxifying herbal tea like: nettle, birch, green tea,… Herbs will help you clean one or more organs. The key is to choose an appropriate blend of herbs for yourself. Our body helps us remove toxins from the body through our main organs; the skin, colon, liver, kidneys, blood, lungs, and immune system. This is why it’s good to detoxify the body, especially if you have eaten too much, if you haven’t slept enough, …

Eat a lot of fresh organic fruits and vegetables to regain vitamins and minerals. Home made smoothies from organic vegetables and fruits are an amazing and tasteful choice.

Clean your body and face with a clay mask that help detoxify your skin and remove impurities.

Nourish the skin with high quality organic oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil,…and massage them gently into the skin with circular motions. It will improve the blood circulation and aid the increase of lymph flow.

Aromatherapy will help you to put your body and mind in balance: choose essential oils that you need depending on your mood; lavender for relaxation, eucalyptus to refresh and disinfect (good for keeping the air fresh if you put it in a diffuser), ginger stimulates and energizes the body,… You can dilute the essential oils with the massage oil (jojoba, avocado,…) and massage your body. You can also add a few drops in the bath water or just refresh the air with essential oils diluted in hot water.

Include herbs that help you clean toxins from the body also in your meals; marjoram, rosemary, curry, ginger,…

Pamper yourself with a body and face massage. This will help you relax, regain energy and stimulate your body to clean from toxins in a natural way.

If you don’t have time for a SPA treatment don’t worry, do it at home. I’ve prepared a nice list with safe and non toxic products that will help your skin to regenerate. Make a commitment and start choosing organic and chemicals free products that are good not just for you skin and health, but also for the planet.

Peeling: Detox and clean dead cells with Sanctum body polish. I like it very much because of its texture and natural vanilla and coffee scent. Gently massage it all over the body and then rinse well with water. The skin will be like new because of the nourishing oils that help renewing the skin and remove dead cells. Suitable for all skin types.

Body wash: I like very much all 100%pure body washes, they are based on green tea(a natural preservative) and they have a numerous amount of scents for every need: mango, lavender, vanilla, tangerine,… They hydrate the skin, are made from carefully selected ingredients and they smell so good,that you want to eat them! Very gentle for your skin.

Body lotion is a quick and effective choice for the one who doesn’t have time for oil treatment. You want a hydrated skin and quick absorbing. I like Lavera body lotions because they are light  in their consistency and nourishing at the same time. They smell good and they are very handy because of their packaging.

Body oil is a great choice for people who want to take more time and pamper their skin. Body oils are deeply nourishing and have also a therapeutic effect if they are blended with essential oils. I adore the luxurious Neom organic oils, especially the Real Luxury organic body oil that boost your skin with an incredible mix of nourishing organic Safflower and Jojoba oil for rehydration and softness. Lavender, jasmine & brazilian rosewood blended together to pamper your senses. Apply directly to the skin and massage in after shower.

These are some guidelines to help you start caring for your wellbeing.

When you will feel good everyone around will feel good, too!

Freshly made: A quick scrub for face and hands

akamuti natural cosmetics

Today I want to share with you an amazing and quick tip for renewing the skin on your face and hands. Each of us is sometimes in a situation when you’d like to look your best, but you don’t have enough time to do the facial care and manicure. Well, this is an inexpensive but very effective advice when you need to refresh your skin and look radiant. If you wear makeup, remove it first with an organic cleanser. Then you proceed with this great and easy home-made peeling.

The most important factor here is the quality of the oil. You don’t want to use just a normal oil that would clog your pores. Instead choose an organic cold pressed oil for skin.

I suggest an organic grapeseed oil, because of its nourishing properties. Akamuti grapeseed oil is a nice choice. This light oil absorbs easily, without leaving that greasy feeling on your hands and face. Because of a high level of essential proteins and linoleic acid, it helps to protect the skin. It’s suitable for all skin types.

You need: 2 teaspoons of sugar and a few drops of grapeseed oil. Mix together these 2 ingredients until you achieve a smooth texture. If it’s too dry add more oil. If you make it too much, don’t worry, you can put it in a glass jar, where it lasts a few weeks. Anyway, I always prefer it freshly made. If you don’t like its natural smell, add a drop of rose organic essential oil, Akamuti Rose Otto Essential Oil for example.

Apply this mixture on your face and massage gently, then remove it with water. Repeat the same on your hands. The result is a radiant healthy looking skin with a really slight glow on your face, but not looking greasy. When you have no time, this is a quick and effective radiance booster that refreshes your skin. The skin is also prepared for makeup, if you want to wear it.

Detox your body and prepare it for winter with organic herbal tea

tea

As we enter into these cold and wet months, our body craves for hot drinks, among them the most common is a cup of tea. And if you choose a blend of organic herbs that help your body detoxify and raise your immune system – so much better!

This post is going to be a little different; about herbs, because I often like to research their various benefits. You can use herbs in many different ways; as infusions, compresses, facial steams, in culinary, make teas and many other things. Herbal teas have been used for centuries, because of their healing properties and as tasty and refreshing drinks.

I have a few favorite mixes of herbal teas. One of them is the Blood cleaning tea that I purchase in the slovenian online shop Herbavitalis.net (there is also an english version!). Their herbal mixes are excellent, tasty natural flavors, all organically grown.

The Blood cleaning tea is a mix of nettle, birch and yarrow. Here I want to present you some good effects of these herbs:

Stinging nettle(Urtica dioica):

Is a very well known plant with a long history of use in medicine and foods. You can prepare a cup of herbal tea, make a smoothie from fresh plant, or eat it in soups and other dishes. It’s beneficial because full of minerals and vitamins: iron, calcium, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, beta carotene, vitamin B group, carotenoids and flavonoids. Many of them act as antioxidants in the body. What are the main nettle’s properties? It helps to strengthen immune system, better and cleaner blood, a more efficient metabolism, rich intestinal flora, less excess water that accumulates in the body.

Birch (Betula)

Birch properties are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. It’s also known for alleviating joint problems, it helps fighting urinary disorders and also some dermatological problems. In general is said that birch tea cleanses the body waste system.

Yarrow(Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow has anti-inflammatory properties, stops bleedings, stimulates appetite, promotes secretion digestive juices in the stomach and contains anti-allergy substances. It’s also used to clean the blood, lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation. Very useful is the infusion of its flowers that can be used as a restorative facial lotion, to strengthen the scalp or for a relaxing bath.

Making herbal tea is easy. First, boil the water and then put 1 teaspoon/cup of the herbal mix in a teapot. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let them steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain if needed, then pour hot tea into each cup. Wait a couple of minutes to cold :-). This is just a raw guide, for a detailed one, always read the instructions when you purchase a herbal tea. The preparation may vary depending on the herb you use.

Drinking herbal teas warms up your body and provides many benefits to your health.

I think that the more we approach to the resources that nature provides us with, the better we feel inside and outside.

I’d like to conclude with this nice thought:

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”   Albert Einstein      

 

(photo: stock.xchng photo)

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