As we race between work, errands, social commitments, workouts and the endless ups and downs of life, our bodies are engaged in an endless battle with the outside world. And oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world. Our hair, skin and nails are subjected to some pretty rough wear and tear, and it’s important to show them some love every once in a while. Not only will you be protecting and preserving their wellbeing, you will also find that the mental, emotional and physical benefits of regular self-care can be life-changing.
It’s important to remember that not all beauty and personal care products are created equal. The market is full of chemically-laden beauty ‘solutions’ that can be harsh and harmful on you, animals and the earth. Luckily, Mother Nature is looking out for us, and there are a multitude of fully natural and safe ways to keep your body holistically happy and healthy.
Here is a handy A - Z of common beauty concerns and earth-friendly fixes...
As many of us know, acne is pretty darn awful. Unfortunately, it’s often caused by hormonal changes and it isn’t always possible to clear it up completely. However, there are certainly things that you can do to help your skin out. Most importantly, try to cut down on processed sugar, unsaturated fats and dairy, and incorporate lots of fresh fruit and veggies, healthy fats and water into your diet.
For some added TLC, treat your face to a raw honey clay mask two or three times a week. Bentonite clay is world-renowned for its skin-clearing properties thanks to its ability to absorb excess oils and deeply cleanse, while raw honey is a gentle and effective antibacterial agent.
Simply mix together a tablespoon of bentonite clay, a tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of Wellness Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (or water). Apply to the face after cleansing, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, rinse off with warm water, and apply your favourite moisturiser or serum.
Note: Avoid using metal instruments to mix your mask, as this will interfere with the ions in the clay and render it less effective.
Weak and brittle nails are subject to breakage, peeling and cracking. Keep your nails strong and healthy by hydrating them frequently with natural oils.
We recommend the Argan Green Nail & Cuticle Treatment Oil with argan oil to deeply hydrate and strengthen, as well as antiseptic and antibacterial tea tree oil to protect your nails and cuticles from fungus and infections. It may also be a good idea to give your nails an extra boost with Wellness Biotin supplements.
Pretty much every woman on the planet has cellulite somewhere, which makes it completely normal, natural and nothing to be embarrassed about. That said, if it makes you feel uncomfortable or insecure and you’re looking for a natural way to smooth out your skin and boost your confidence, you can try dry brushing.
Dry brushing is an age-old Ayurvedic technique in which you use a brush to gently rub the skin to exfoliate, improve circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system, and encourage collagen production. All of this works to slough off dead skin cells, firm up the skin, and smooth out the fat nodules and dimples that are responsible for cellulite.
How Do I Dry Brush Properly?
- The best time to dry brush is in the morning before a shower, as it is an extremely energising process and your shower will wash off the dead skin cells that have come loose. Try incorporating it into your morning routine, and do it as often as possible (every day is ideal!).
- Pick a brush with soft, natural bristles that are densely packed. It’s also a good idea to go for a brush with a long handle to get to those hard-to-reach areas.
- When you brush, you want to think about following your body’s circulatory system and brushing towards your heart. Using gentle pressure, start at the feet and brush up the legs with long strokes, working in sections (i.e. lower legs, thighs and then buttocks, etc.). Brush upwards on the small of your back and along the sides of your abdomen, and use circular motions on your stomach. Brush up the arms, and with very gentle pressure, brush down your neck and décolletage (never dry brush your face as this will irritate the skin). After brushing, take a shower and moisturise, as your skin will be primed to absorb products.
To complement your dry brushing routine, opt for a gentle and natural soap such as the Wellness Moisturising Soap Barwith ylang-ylang and coconut milk, or the fragrance-free Wellness Soothe Bar enriched with goats milk. Follow with a gentle and hydrating moisturiser like the Wellness Rejuvenating Body Butter with Orange & Rose.
It is often assumed that dandruff must be the result of a dry scalp due to the itchiness and skin flakes that it causes. However, dandruff can also occur if your scalp is too oily. Other potential causes include the overproduction of a yeast-like fungus called malassezia, or irritation from certain haircare products.
Because it can be difficult to figure out what is causing your dandruff, it can be risky to try out DIY home remedies. For example, your problem may be an oily scalp and therefore the coconut oil hair mask that your favourite DIY website recommends will only make things worse. The best course of action is to look for gentle haircare products that ditch the harmful chemicals in favour of natural ingredients.
Eczema is a skin condition that can cause dryness, inflammation, itching, redness, flaking, and even cracking of the skin. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which is a chronic condition. While there isn’t a cure, it can be easily managed, and often lies mostly dormant, with occasional flare-ups.
There are a number of natural treatments for eczema, one of the best being honey due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. You could keep it simple by dabbing some raw, natural honey onto the area, or get yourself a honey-based product for maximum effectiveness.
We love the Bee Natural Eczema & Skin Ailment Relief as it contains raw honey along with other ingredients from the beehive, such as beeswax, pollen and propolis, as well as antibacterial tea tree oil and avocado oil for max hydration.
It’s also a good idea to use natural soaps with gentle ingredients that will cleanse your skin without damaging or dehydrating it. We recommend the Wellness Beeswax Soap with Orange & Rose or Lavender & Sandalwood.
Our feet quite literally carry us through life, and they take a fair amount of damage. Our heels, in particular, often end up dry and cracked, either because of harsh soaps, excessively hot baths or showers, cold winter weather, dehydration, or even frequent barefoot frolicking.
Try massaging your feet with a thick and creamy moisturiser each night, focusing on the heels or other particularly dry areas. We love Ultra Bee’s Cracked Heel Balm, which is enriched with antibacterial and healing beeswax, avocado oil and stimulating essential oils of peppermint and lemon peel.
It’s truly beautiful when someone is able to embrace his or her grey hairs and proudly wear a crown of silver, but there are many who would prefer to keep them at bay. Believe it or not, blackstrap molasses is a popular natural treatment for grey hairs due to its impressively high mineral content, which includes the hair helpers copper, iron, manganese and selenium.
Try eating a tablespoon each morning or, alternatively, apply to the roots of clean, damp hair, cover with a shower cap for 30 minutes, and rinse out with warm water (you can do this every other day).
It’s totally natural for your hair to become thinner as you age, but if your hairbrush looks like a poodle and you seem to have acquired a shower carpet, you may want to reassess your overall health. Hair loss is a common symptom of a number of nutrient deficiencies, particularly iron, vitamin D, zinc, biotin and omega 3 fatty acids. Make sure you’re getting these essential nutrients by including more fresh fruit and veggies, lean proteins, fatty fish, dark leafy greens, and raw nuts and seeds into your diet to restore those luscious locks!
Ingrown hairs – because who doesn’t love a leg pimple? If you’ve ever done any kind of body hair removal, you’ve probably encountered these little beasts. Ingrown hairs occur when a hair curls back on itself or grows sideways into the hair follicle instead of growing through the skin as it should. They present as small red bumps on the skin, and may be filled with pus, which makes them look like pimples.
Ingrown hairs will usually go away on their own after a while, but you can speed up the process with some exfoliation. Opt for a gentle and natural exfoliator such as the Wellness Balancing Body Scrub with stimulating peppermint and soothing lavender.
Or, if you’re in a DIY mood, simply make your own! Combine equal parts sugar and oil (we recommend jojoba, olive or coconut oil), and add 10 to 20 drops of tea tree oil (its antibacterial properties will help to fight off and prevent infected ingrown hairs). Use your scrub to gently exfoliate the affected area in the bath or shower each day until you see an improvement. To prevent future ingrown hairs, try exfoliating two or three times a week.
Jaundice is a yellow discolouration of the skin, tissue and mucous membrane due to excessively high bilirubin levels. There are a multitude of medical conditions that could be causing jaundiced skin, especially those relating to the liver (such as hepatitis), so make sure to check in with your doctor to see if there is an underlying problem. In the meantime, you can turn to the humble tomato for some at-home liver love! Tomatoes contain a large amount of a compound called lycopene, which is high in antioxidants, meaning that it may help to promote liver health and detoxification. The most efficient way to enjoy the benefits of lycopene is by drinking pure tomato juice. You can make your own by blanching and peeling four to five tomatoes and then pressing them through a sieve to extract the juice, or you can simply toss them in a juicer if you have one. For best results, drink a glass of tomato juice in the morning on an empty stomach.
Keratin is the protein that makes up our hair, skin and nails, and it’s important to make sure that your body has enough of it to keep your hair strong and your skin firm and healthy. Incorporate lots of orange fruit and veggies into your diet, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut, spanspek, apricots and oranges, as they contain beta-carotene which boosts keratin production.
Lice aren’t exactly sugar, spice and everything nice. If you’ve got some uninvited guests who have made your hair their home, try an olive oil soak to, uh, suffocate them to death (sorry, tiny friends!). Apply the oil all over the scalp and hair, leave under a shower cap overnight, and use a fine-tooth comb the next morning to brush out the lice and nits (which the oil will have loosened from the hair).
Mosquitos win the prize for the most annoying creature on the planet, and being covered in itchy little bites is enough to drive anyone insane. Luckily, there are a number of natural remedies that can help to ease the itch, such as aloe vera, honey, witchhazel and apple cider vinegar.
If you wear nail polish often, you may find that your nails become stained and look yellow. There is no instant fix, but you can apply a mix of one teaspoon baking soda, one teaspoon hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon water once a day to slowly lighten stains.
If you have hair that is prone to greasiness, you will probably find that dry shampoo is your next best friend when you’re running out of the house with no time to shower. However, aerosol sprays aren’t super earth-friendly. For an affordable and eco-friendly solution, simply sprinkle some baby powder on your scalp and brush through.
If you struggle with uneven skin tone, as many people do, reach for the citrus as a natural and gentle lightening agent. Simply dilute freshly-squeezed lemon juice in water at a one-to-three ratio, soak cotton balls in the solution, and gently apply to your face. Leave to sit for 20 minutes and rinse off with cool water. You can do this a few times a week or every other day.
As a rule, you should ALWAYS check the ingredients of your personal care and beauty products, and research any chemicals that you haven’t heard of before. Here’s a quick checklist for safe and gentle products:
- The ingredients should be naturally derived
- Everything should be non-toxic
- The shorter the ingredients list, the better
Rosacea is a common skin problem in which you get patches of redness on the chin, cheeks and nose (as well as other areas of the face). While you can’t banish it completely, you can use essential oils to calm inflammation and redness. Simply mix a tablespoon of organic coconut oil (or another carrier oil of your choice) with one drop each of soothing lavender and antibacterial tea tree oil, and apply to the affected areas each night before you go to sleep.
There is no way to repair split ends, but you can prevent them by keeping your hair strong and hydrated. For an easy conditioning treatment, grab some Wellness Organic Shea Butter and gently massage a small amount into the ends of your hair. Leave on overnight, and rinse out with warm water the next morning. Or, if you want to go the extra mile, you can whip up an easy egg and avocado hair mask. Eggs are great for DIY hair treatments, as their high protein content helps to strengthen the hair, while avocados are packed with vitamins and healthy fats for maximum hydration.
Simply mash up one ripe avocado until smooth, crack in an egg, and combine until fully incorporated. Apply the mixture to clean, damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
Whether caused by age, sun damage, acne scars or a multitude of other issues, textured skin can make anyone feel insecure. You may not be able to smooth out your skin completely, but exfoliating regularly can help to slough off dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production. We love the Alba Botanical Hawaiian Facial Scrub with pore-purifying pineapple enzymes.
Make sure to keep your skin hydrated after exfoliating by using a cleanser that contains natural oils such as the Wellness Daily Facial Cleanser with Castor Oil. You may be worried that a cleanser like this will make your skin overly greasy, but the natural oils are gentle and light enough to give your freshly-scrubbed skin maximum nourishment with no greasy residue.
In today’s fast-paced world of long working hours, endless errands, late nights and mild caffeine addictions, it’s no wonder half of us are walking around looking like racoons. Luckily, there are dozens of natural DIY remedies for puffy eyes and dark circles. Here are just two of our favourites:
- Minty Fresh Cucumber Cooler
Blend together a handful of fresh mint leaves and a few slices of (refrigerated) cucumber. Once you have a relatively smooth mixture, apply to the under-eye area and let sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.
- Tea Bags for Eye Bags
Steep two black or green tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove and place in the fridge until completely cool (around 30 minutes). Place the cold teabags over your eyes and let sit for about 15 minutes. The caffeine, tannins and antioxidants in the tea work together to reduce swelling, lighten dark areas, and stimulate blood circulation.
Varicose veins occur when superficial veins become enlarged and twisted, resulting in visible blue-purple veins that can be painful. There is no quick fix for varicose veins, but you can keep them at bay by getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight to regulate circulation. You should also try to incorporate natural anti-inflammatories into your diet, such as ginger, almonds, blueberries and leafy green veggies.
Whether we like it or not, wrinkles are coming for us all. Luckily, there are a ton of products on the market that work to fight the signs of ageing by encouraging collagen production and restoring elasticity to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient to reach for, as it is a bio-identical substance that keeps the skin hydrated and firm. We love the NOW Hyaluronic Acid Firming Serum. We also recommend choosing a moisturiser with an SPF content, such as the Wellness SPF15 Daily Moisturiser with Lavender & Neroli, to protect your skin from free radical damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.
Having oily skin means that, at some point during the day, your face will be borderline reflective. A great quick on-the-go fix is to carry a mattifying powder compact, or even a toner with you. Back 2 Nature’s Apple Cider & Tea Tree Tonerhelps to clean out clogged pores and remove excess oil and sebum. Simply dash to the bathroom, splash your face with some water, and gently apply the toner with a cotton pad.
One of the strangest yet most effective ways to get bright, pearly whites is to use an activated charcoal tooth powder. Activated charcoal is specifically produced to have high absorption powers for use in industries and medicine, which comes in handy for teeth-whitening as it helps to absorb stain-causing bacteria and debris. We love the easy application and minty freshness of The Great Living Co.’s Activated Coconut Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder.
There are few things worse than spotting a huge volcano on your face before a date, meeting or important presentation. While there is no way to banish a zit completely, you can reduce redness and inflammation with a dab of organic tea tree oil thanks to its antibacterial properties.
Switching up your hair and skin care products and routines can be scary, and you’ll likely have to go through some trial and error before finding out exactly what works for you – especially when you are trying to solve a stubborn problem. It can be so tempting to reach for the chemically-laden cure-alls that dominate the market but, more often than not, these over-promise and under-deliver, while also harming your body and wallet. It may take some extra time, patience and experimentation, but you will soon discover that truly sustainable and enduring beauty tends to grow from the gentle simplicity of the earth.