Like most girls, I love all things beauty! I remember being only 10 years old when I first became interested in caring for my skin. My mum’s good friend, Pam, was a beauty therapist and I remember vividly her telling me one day to always moisturise my skin. She suggested to pat dry, not rub my skin and to always moisturise in an upward motion to minimise wrinkles and creases later in life! When I was a teenager my mum gave me a bottle of apricot oil that I applied every day and it smelt delicious…I never had skin problems growing up and much to my friends’ amusement (as we were only 15yrs old!), would tell them that apricot oil was my “beauty secret”. Hehe
During my modeling years, I was forced to try many different brands of make-up on shoots! Before I knew how many chemical were in them, I enjoyed shopping around and trying the myriad of brands out there such as Nars and MAC plus the latest ‘anti-aging’ skin products. With my greater awareness to the amount of harmful chemicals found in cosmetics and beauty products, I have been experimenting with ‘natural’ products on and off for years. You’d think I’d be completely chemical-free by now but it’s a work in progress! I’m sure once I have my own garden and veggie patch one day, this will become easier as I’d love to grow my own herbs and follow Maria Hannaford’s from Econest, natural beauty guide! More on this later!
Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered some amazing organic, chemical-free brands, thanks to bloggers and organic grocers/beauty salons that have started to stock these products. I haven’t tried absolutely all of the ones listed below, however their recommendations come from people who’s opinion I trust! Sarah Wilson has written a lot about this topic too, and Maria Hannaford has given me some great ideas!
Natural Make-Up Brands
- Ere Perez - Ere was born in Mexico where her family have been involved in natural therapies for generations! She has lived in Australia now for 10 years, and was inspired to start her own make-up brand after discovering Australians passion for nature and natural products! I haven’t tried it yet, but I know a lot of people love her almond oil mascara.
- Priori - I use their 100% natural mineral powder that has coffeeberry extract, thanks to my lovely beauty therapist who put me onto it! Coffeeberry extract is nature’s most potent anti-aging botanical, to fight free radicals and the causes of skin aging. It’s also beautifully packaged in eco-friendly packaging made from biodegradable plant plastics—not from oil!
- Miessence – Started by Narelle Chenery who is considered on of the most reputable cosmetic producers in the world. This amazing brand which is committed to sustainability and was ranked in Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Top Five Brands; producers beautiful, certified organic products including cosmetics, skin, hair, body, home care and superfood nutrition.
- INIKA – All natural certified organic mineral cosmetics brand started by Aussies, Miranda Bond and Jenni Williams. Their 100% natural beauty brand incorporates mineral makeup, vegan and organic products that are completely free from synthetic chemicals and harmful ingredients, particularly endocrine disrupters. I absolutely LOVE INIKA’s “uniquely stylish and fashion forward make-up”! I use their mineral blush and I hear they make a fantastic mineral illuminisor!
Body, Skin, Hair
There are some fantastic brands and natural plant oils and herbs you can use on your body, face and hair! Chemicals run rampant in your every day products (I’ve listed below which chemicals do what to your hormones/body), so it is important to start to become aware of your alternatives…and there are many! Plus, I promise they will still make you smell lovely AND I can guarantee your skin/hair will look incredible!
- MooGoo – an Australian company that has natural, safe products designed to help people with skin and scalp problems. Fantastic for those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, acne, fungal skin conditions and baby skin conditions.
- Sukin Organics – another fabulous organic, Aussie brand with a commitment to sustainability. Stocked in most leading pharmacy’s and extremely reasonably priced, I love their body wash, body moisturiser and cream cleanser.
- Miessence - as mentioned above, this leading brand in natural, organic and sustainable products, also has an extensive hair, skin and body range.
- Trilogy, Kosmea and A’kin – all three of these Aussie companies, make beautiful rosehip oil. The benefits of this oil have been used for centuries to heal and rejuvenate skin. It is particularly good on sensitive skin. I often mix it in with my Priori night complex coffeeberry moisturiser, and my skin looks flawless in the morning!
The Healing Powers of Plant Oils and Herbs
I first became aware of Maria Hannaford after I read a guest post she wrote on Sarah Wilson’s blog…you can read it here. Maria works for a small environmental group and is on a ‘journey’ to living her life more sustainably. She has a fabulous blog, Econest, and recently launched her free Natural Beauty Guide which I absolutely love!
My fav 5 tips from her guide and her guest post are:
- multi purpose plant oils! Depending on your skin type, most of the following oils can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser and hair mosituriser: coconut oil, macadamia oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and argan oil (Maria recommends Mira’s Hand authentic Moroccan oil).
- lavender oil is great on blemishes as its’ antibacterial properties will dry up the spots. It also works as a refreshing antiseptic toner (the herb boiled in water and cooled!) for blemished-prone skin.
- use almond or coconut oil as shaving cream!
- lighten hair using a strong chamomile tea and give your hair a natural shine by using an apple cider vinegar rinse (1-2 tbls mixed in 1 cup of water).
- banana mash scrub – 2tsp rolled oats, 2tsp mashed banana, 1tsp raw honey and 1 tsp milk. Smooth over face and leave for 10mins before using as a scrub. Love it!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on a quest to find a natural, aluminum-free deodorant that WORKS! I’ve tried quite a few, and the one I have settled on for now is Biolgika roll-on in Vanilla-Kiss. Smells so yummy! Got a great tip after I left a comment on Maria’s guest post, wanting to know if anyone could recommend a good deodorant, and a lovely lady named Jane, left this recipe for me:
1 tbl bicarb soda
4 tbl arrowroot powder or cornflour
2 tbl coconut oil (solid state)
5-10 drops of essential oil (tea tree oil & peppermint is a nice blend)
Combine in a bowl and mix really well with a fork till you have a nice paste. I usually do this in front of the TV, though it only takes a few minutes really.
As the coconut oil is prone to change texture with the weather, I find it easiest to manage in a small shallow sealable container. It doesn’t tend to work that well in a twist up container or roll on. If it’s cold and it hardens up, I either pop it in my bed where it’s still warm to soften up, or just scrape some off with like a teaspoon or whatever. It softens in no time. When it’s hot and the oil melts, just be aware the oil can separate from the arrowroot and bicarb, so you need to just give it a mix and you’re good to go.
The Nasty Chemical You Must Avoid
This excerpt is from one of Sarah’s posts – she has pretty much mentioned all of the nasty stuff I was going to in this following list:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This is a really good starting point. Anything with SLS…high-tail from it – it’s a common ingredient in anti-freeze and engine degreasers. For a full rundown,see Dr Mercola‘s site.
- Paraben, a chemical found in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics that has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen and can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
- Phthalates, plasticizing ingredients (present in nearly three-quarters of 72 products tested by the US Environmental Working Group), which have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men.
- Talc, which has been linked to ovarian cancer
- Musks, used as fragrances, can accumulate in your body, and have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption, and cancer in laboratory studies.
- Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.
- Toluene, made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.
- Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum, these products coat your skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They also slow cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging, and are a suspected cause of cancer and disruption to hormonal activity.
I would also add to this list, Propylene Glycol which acts as a “surfactant” (wetting agent and solvent) and penetrates the skin and weakens protein and cellular structure. Nasty, Nasty!
Some Bonus Extras…
- finally there are organic cotton tampons available!!! TOM organic tampons (Aussie owned) and Organcy organic feminine care are great brands!
- according to Environmental Working Group (EWG), when buying sunscreen look for these active ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mexoryl SX, avobenzone (3%). Avoid: oxybenzone, vit a and high SPF. Some good brands of sunscreen are Wotnot, Soleo Organics and Elle’s Invisible Zinc.
- also be very aware of household cleaners including dish washing powder and washing detergent! Try Eco Store and Earth brand is a good one found at the supermarket!
- an MLM company I want to make special mention of is Neways. It has been around for years and I started using their products 10 years ago when my mum became a fan! They have chemical-free, eco friendly products for your house, skin, hair, personal care, mineral make-up (the first mineral make-up I ever used and still love it) plus also nutrition & well-being vitamins and minerals, wholistic foods and aromatherapy. It’s not an Australian company, however the products bought from the Aussie website that I linked above, means it only takes a couple of days to be delivered.
Hope this has been helpful! Do you have your own beauty secrets, tips or tricks? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below