Friday, 4 April 2014

guest: harmful beauty revisted

A little while ago I asked my sister to guest blog on my blog here. I then asked her to guest my blog again, and she has done a follow up on what she wrote last August.

In July last year, I discovered that most beauty products, particularly the affordable ones you can buy on the high street, contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, sodium sulphate and parabens that can cause all kinds of horrible illness’ and diseases. So I started a quest, to discover homemade substitutes for each beauty product I used. I must admit that at this point I was quite lazy with my beauty routine. I didn’t take great care of my hair and I hadn’t used toner or moisturiser on my skin in years. But I thought I would give it a go and see what I found.

Hair care
When I wrote my last post I had just started using my homemade shampoo made from water and bicarbonate of soda and my homemade conditioner made from water and honey. At first everything was going great. I couldn’t believe that my hair felt the same and I was using natural products on it! But after a few weeks everything started to change. I noticed that my long hair was breaking a lot easier than it had been, my split ends were getting worse and my hair felt very dry.  I went to get my haircut and my hairdresser asked me what shampoo and conditioner I was using. I was a bit scared at what she would say about me using homemade shampoo and conditioner so I told her my last shampoo. “You’ve got to stop using it!” She said to me. “Your hair is in such bad condition!” She washed my hair, cut all the split ends off and styled it. I could not believe how much better my hair looked! So much healthier! This was where I discovered the joys of Moroccan oil. As I was living in Australia at the time, I needed a product that would protect my hair from the Australian heat and this did just that plus so much more. I changed my shampoo straight away and the health of my hair improved immediately. I started using hair masks, which again I hadn’t done for years. Lo’s coconut oil and egg one is great, but I also find that a mashed up avocado with coconut oil does wonders for your hair too. If you insist on using a shop bought one, I love Aussie Miracles, which surprisingly I have never been able to buy in Australia! I still use my all natural coco dry shampoo though, made from half coco powder and half cornflour. It works and it’s homemade, so why not. Plus it leaves my hair smelling like chocolate. A couple of months ago I had 6 inches cut off my hair to help it grow better and so I didn’t have damaged hair. Now I am growing it again, but looking after it and getting regular trims.

I also tried out my own homemade skin products. After trying my own exfoliator made from coconut oil and bicarbonate of soda, which was just a bit too oily for my skin, I discovered the Neutrogena Naturals collection. No parabens, no sodium sulphate and no chemicals. I use the face wash every day, twice a day and the exfoliating scrub twice a week. I discovered this amazing recipe for a facemask that is made from a handful of strawberries and spoonful of sour cream. Blitz it up in the blender and put it on your face, it helps even out your complexion and reduce the appearance of scars. I promise you it will look amazing afterwards just not while it’s on your face. I have recently started using toner and moisturiser again as well. I found that the Olay Oil Reducing Toner works best for me and has barely any chemicals in it. Unfortunately it does contain alcohol but personally toners don’t seem to work on me unless they have alcohol in them. My new favourite moisturiser is Nude’s Oil Minimising Moisturiser.

Make Up
I spent most of June and July last year staying with a family who own an organic farm and beauty spa just outside of Byron Bay and they introduced me to health food stores and we had a great one down the road from us. Health food stores are a great source for natural ingredients to go into homemade products and most of them have a selection of natural beauty products as well, including makeup. It just so happened that in July most of my makeup needed replacing. So I went down to the local health food store and picked Lavera’s Long Lash Mascara and Lavera’s So Fresh Mineral Rouge Powder. I love both these products, they are not cheap but they are totally worth splashing out on, especially if you wear makeup every day. As I am much more tanned than I was when I bought my last foundation I thought it was about time to replace this as well and get something that was actually the same colour as my skin. I went for Nude by Nature’s Liquid Mineral Foundation, which has no parabens, no bismuth and no talc. It’s a great product and Nude do a whole range of amazing makeup products from primer to finishing veil and everything in between. I do indulge in some MAC products too though, and I’m booked in to a makeup tutorial with them next week where the cost is fully redeemable on products which I’m very excited about!

I have found that a good balance between homemade products and shop bought products is the best way to go. Remember that it’s what works best for you that you’ve got to stick to. I tend to have an oily t-zone so oil reducing natural products are great for me and I have found some awesome ones. But you might have normal skin and have found a great face mask but not exfoliator. The same goes for your hair too. You’re not always going to be able to find a recipe for something homemade that works for you, but you might be able to find a product with minimal chemicals in it that works great! Just remember to treat your skin and your hair well. 

If you want to here more from sister follow her on her new blog: 

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