How to easily break up with toxic skincare

img_7631

Ok I’m not going to lie. My beauty routine used to be a lot more extensive. Since becoming a mum last year, I have been neglecting my beauty routine big time. Morning routine basically consists of washing my face and applying moisturiser at some point during the morning or the day. Make up gets put on all at once on a good day and in stages on a bad day.  My bedtime routine is a hit or miss. I have days when I take my make up off thoroughly, wash my face, apply eye cream and a face oil and then I have days when I brush my teeth and go to bed. Being a mum really rules my life and my skin care is no exception.

That’s why I started paying a lot more attention to what products I was using and what I was putting on my face. When I became pregnant I started noticing the ingredients of my skincare products and generally just started being more interested in alternative products rather than the mainstream chemical ones. I just became a lot more aware about my choices and how it affects my health and my unborn child for that matter. The ideal scenario would be to bin all off my beauty products and start again. Because if you look around your bathroom you will just see chemicals everywhere – your shampoo has sulphates in it, your toothpaste has fluoride in it, your deodorant has alluminium in it. If you are wondering how these are harmful to your health just google it, it is eye opening. And very scary. The skin is the largest organ of your body and you really should think about how you treat it.

Now lets be real. Alternative and natural skincare and beauty products are a privilige not everyone can afford. Unless you make them yourself. So binning the entire contents of your bathroom in one go will break your bank. What I did (and I am still doing as I write this article,) is binning one skincare or bathroom product a month and replacing it with a natural one. I started with my deodorant and body lotion. The reason is that a deodorant is used on your armpits. These are really close to the milk glands and I didn’t want that to be affected. The body lotion was straightforward too – as you apply it all over your body, it has a bigger effect than other products. And especially during pregnancy when I was moisturising my bump a couple of times a day at some point (because unlike now I actually had the time to do it and because it itched like hell when it was stretching). And so I went on slowly replacing one product every month – I continued with toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, face wash, moisturiser etc.

One of the products I really had to replace during my pregnancy was my nail varnish. Every time I wanted to use any of my nail varnishes I could not stand the smell. To the point where I had to sit by an open window and try not to breathe because I would actually gag from the smell. It actually sounds ridiculous thinking about it now, that we put these chemicals into our bodies without giving it a second thought. After I have done some research I found that nail varnishes are very tricky and you have to try really hard to find ones without any chemicals in them, it is nearly impossible. At the end I settled for 100% Pure – although they are not completely chemical free, they are definitely a better option.

So let me introduce my current skincare favourites that are a staple in my bathroom (from left to right):

img_7625

Agent Nateur holi C – this is one of the few non GMO vitamin C products on the market. I love using this product because it feels like alchemy every time I use it. You have to sprinkle some in your palms, mix it with a couple of drops of water and add your face oil or moisturiser. It freshens up your complexion and is suitable for acne prone skin. My spots unfortunatelly seem to be unaffected by this product for now – damn you hormones.

Agent Nateur holi(stick) deodorant – it contains lavender and eucalyptus and smells divine. Finding a natural deodorant that works might as well compare to finding the holy grail, because it’s a mission in itself! And living in the desert I need something I can rely on completely. The one thing that I found with natural deodorant is, that you have to apply it a couple of times a day (especially on those hot days) as it won’t stop you sweating, but it will surely stop you from smelling like chicken soup.

Agent Nateur in itself is a great brand and the owner Jenna is an incredible fountain of knowledge so if you are into natural products, she should definitely be on your follow list.

Herbivore Lapis balancing facial oil – an icredible dry face oil which is ideal for combination and acne prone skin. Again it hasn’t completely done that for me (I blame the hormones as I can’t completely take them out of the equasion), but it does leave my skin feeling incredibly smooth. It has an unusual scent (to me it smells like green tea) that takes some getting used to but once you do it is a great product. I’m on my second bottle already and whilst it is a pricey produc,t the first bottle lasted me a year. That’s with me only applying it at night as I find it too greasy for day use.

Herbivore Jasmin body oil – I absolutely love this oil and the scent. Jasmine has alwas been one of my favourite scents as it’s so rich and decadent. I used this oil all through my pregnancy and used it for my bump and never got a single stretch mark (even though I can’t contribute this fact solely to this oil). It’s a dry oil so doesn’t leave you feeling greasy and it absorbs well. After my pregnancy I found out that jasmine should not be used during pregnancy as it can induce labour so I wouldn’t recommend it (on the other hand, jasmine oil used during labour can help strenghten the contractions) but I still use it now all over my body.

img_7628

Dr Woods Tea Tree facial cleanser – perfect for oily and combination skin. It’s full of good ingredients and no nasties. It’s a recent purchase but so far I love it.

Weleda – Awakening day cream Pomegranate – I love Weleda and their products and I really like this one. For me a day cream has to be light and moisturising and this one ticks all the boxes. It even has a anti aging properties – which lets be honest is needed after all those sleepless nights.

Antonym Baked Foundation (Dark) – quite a recent purchase but I love this one. I use it as a bronzer to create some contouring on my face and it has a lovely warm pigmented colour. It’s nice and matt which I like and lasts all day. One of the only natural products that are currently in my make up bag and I will definitely buy it again. It comes in a beautiful wooden box with a mirror.

I still have a long way to go and I’m currently working on remaking my make up bag. I feel like this will be the biggest challenge as it is tricky to find natural products which last and perform in the same way as the chemical ones. So if you have any suggestions please send them my way.

The body issue

It started with my husband telling me that one of our friends mentioned how skinny I got after seeing us in the supermarket the other day. You wouldn’t even think anything of it. Just another person telling me I  was skinny. Like I didn’t know. I’m one of these lucky bitches that can absolutely eat whatever they want and won’t put any weight on. I have never been on a diet in my whole life. I definitely tried to eat clean, but never dieted. My whole life people have been telling me that I’m skinny and even underweight and how I should eat more to get some meat on my bones (insert eye roll here). I am so used to it I don’t even blink an eye. Yeah sure, tell me something new.

I have been hearing these comments my whole life so why does it bother me now? Because I became a mother. It’s that simple, yet so significant. I loved my body before I was pregnant. Not always, especially when I was a teenager and wanted a few more curves, but throughout my twenties I taught myself how to love my body, how to look after it and how to be grateful that I was healthy and had a body that many women would aspire to. When I became pregnant, I loved all the weight gain. There might be women who dread to step on that scale to see how much they have gained. I loved it! I would’ve never been able to weight this much if I wasn’t pregnant. I finally knew what it was like to have more curves (even if they were in the wrong places – hello baby bump) and I absolutely embraced it. I felt feminine. Every day I was in awe of how my body was growing this little human inside and kept me going at the same time. After Max was born and I saw what my body was capable of, I was even more in love with it.

The postpartum time where your body is this strange shape of a deflated baloon and you have parts of your body that have been stretched and haven’t quite got back to how they used to be, I didn’t mind. I knew my body was healing and that it was taking its time to recover. Breastfeeding made me be in awe of my body. I was amazed that my body could produce and deliver a perfect baby and then keep him alive by giving him the best nurture possible. I gained a whole new respect for my body. So when I started loosing all the baby weight, I didn’t see somebody weak. I saw somebody who has created a human being, is keeping him alive and is running around him all day long (or after him as of recently). So I think it’s very rude to be commenting on my body and telling me I got skinny. I think it’s disrespectful. I feel like showing my perfect baby boy and saying: look what it created! How dare you judge my body?

So before you pass a comment on another mother’s body again – just stop. Stop right there. Unless you want to praise her body for the miracle of creating life, you have no right to say anything.

P.S. I don’t think passing judgement on a woman’s body is right – whether she is a mother or not. Whether she is skinny or fat or square or round. Just let her be.