It’s a good question, isn’t it? Why should you switch to non-toxic skincare? Everything you’ve been using so far works for you, and you haven’t caught any nasty diseases yet. So what’s the big deal?
I’m about to tell you.
Harmful Ingredients – Let’s Explore
I – like many people I’m sure – knew about potential toxins in skincare & makeup. From Parabens to BHT (I always remember this one because it’s my initials!!), Formaldehyde (yes, really) to lead (yes, really). But I always thought “they wouldn’t be allowed to make the products if they were that harmful”. Fair enough, right?
Now I realise how stupid that is. I like to buy organic food where possible. Why? Because it’s free from toxins. When it comes to the things I put in my body, I’m hot on it. And I never think “oh, non-organic is fine because they wouldn’t be allowed to sell it if it wasn’t”. I think “I don’t want to be ingesting pesticides with everything I eat“.
Skincare is exactly the same. In fact, it’s worse!
So why are companies allowed to include these ingredients in their products? Well, firstly it depends when you are in the world. In the USA, for example, they have only banned eleven potentially harmful ingredients. That’s pretty shocking! Luckily for us in the UK, the European Union (who control products of cosmetics) have banned around 1,000. However, there are still thousands more that are used in our everyday products, including those I mentioned above.
And – more importantly – the toxins that are found in products are only in allowed very small amounts. That’s good, right? Wrong. What that means is that they are harmful. The regulation authorities have decided that very small amounts of lead (for example) can be present because it’s only a small amount. But, it’s a small amount every single day, possibly twice a day, for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years. Maybe longer!
If you only ever put products on your skin once every 10 years then – yes – you wouldn’t be harmed by the ingredients at all (or at least very unlikely to). However, if you are putting products on your skin every single day, those toxins are being released into your bloodstream every single day. True story! And over time there is a build up. I’m also not just talking about skincare & makeup. This applies to everything: body lotions, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, deodorant, lip balm, toothpaste. Everything.
A bit of Biology
A lot of the toxins in skincare & makeup are carcinogens (have the potential to cause cancer). They have also been linked to things like liver failure and infertility. You might be thinking, how is that even possible? It’s simple.
Your skin takes anywhere between 30 minutes and 30 seconds to absorb whatever you put on your skin. And absorption means straight into your blood stream. If you are putting toxins on your skin, they are going to end up in your bloodstream. They’re going to be running through your organs, latching onto cells, and helping out with whatever it is the blood does to keep you alive. News flash, that’s everything. I may have only done GCSE biology, but I know damn well how important our blood is. So why are we poisoning it?
The best way I can put it is, do you care about what you’re eating? Do you try and eat well, buy fresh (maybe even organic) fruit & veg? Get your 5 a-day? Exercise when you can, drink herbal teas, maybe take vitamin supplements, and just generally make sure your body is running properly? If you said yes to even just one of those things, but you’re still using skincare, makeup, shampoo etc that contain harmful substances, then you are wasting your time. There is no point in nourishing our bodies internally if we are harming it externally.
It’s time to switch things up!
Switching to Non-Toxic Skincare & Products
Okay, enough of the scary facts & reality checks. We’ve established how harmful toxins can be. Now for actually swapping to non-toxic skincare/make-up etc…
You could go through the highstreet stores checking the ingredients list on everything you’re buying and hope you don’t miss anything. (I don’t know if you’ve ever actually read the ingredients labels on beauty products, but they are bloody long!!!). Or, you could swap your entire bathroom cupboard & make-up drawer to a single brand that bans over 2,000 harmful ingredients.
Yep, that’s right. Swapping to one brand that you know is safe, non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, organic, paraben free, gluten & dairy free, non-GMO, hypoallergenic (I could go on & on), is the best way to ensure all your products are safe without having to read any labels. And the best part is, they do everything! So you needn’t use another brand again. You can thank me later…
Here is a link to Arbonne’s website, where you can find a huge range of amazing skincare, cruelty-free make-up, non-toxic haircare, and more. Plus they do nutrition products if those are of interest too!
Learn More About Non-Toxic Skincare
I hope this blog post has been helpful and you learnt some things you may not have known before! Enjoy your hopefully new non-toxic skincare journey!
And if you want to learn more about Arbonne, click here.
*Please note, I run a side business using Arbonne products so I do receive an affiliate % when you buy through my link*
Happy January lovely people! 2020 is a really big year for me, what with a wedding and all!! So I wanted to focus on putting some changes in place to ensure I’m happy & healthy in 2020. New year, new routine is a common thing amongst us humans, but it’s not always easy to stick to.
Back in November I mentioned on my Instagram stories that I wanted to start putting plans in place for the new year, to give myself time to adjust. New routines don’t happen overnight, and I didn’t want to start a fresh in the new year, I wanted to go into the new year having already started.
Well, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet but what a beyond brilliant idea that was. Honestly, it’s the best decision I made in 2019! Instead of putting pressure on myself with the whole new year, new routine business, I’m simply carrying on with what I started a couple of months ago. Which has meant I’ve also got more headspace to focus on some other goals for the new year…
New Year, New Routine – The Low Down
So this routine of mine; what am I actually talking about? Mainly it’s my morning routine, but I guess a few ‘life’ adjustments too. The main aim is to keep me feeling my best and keep my head in a good place. As well as increasing motivation & productivity!
Most days (usually week days) I will get up at 6.30am, and go straight downstairs to wash my face. This not only wakes me up but also stops me from looking at my phone first thing and wasting 10 minutes lying in bed.
Next up I do a very short workout. Usually nothing more that 15 minutes, but often a lot less. The type of workout I do varies, but I like to focus on toning exercises that will put my mind & body in a good place to tackle the day ahead. *Note* this is not a weight-loss thing. Too often exercise is linked with wanting to lose weight (for obvious reasons). But, what we forget is we should be exercising to feel good and keep our bodies moving as much as anything else!
Then it’s time for my shiny new skincare routine (more on that later). I find that if I get my face ready at this time in the morning, it’s not a chore. I’m doing it to look after my skin, rather than because I’m getting ready to go out. If that makes sense… Whilst I’m getting my face ready, I’ve been listening to a number of motivational/educational podcasts. They’re amazing and I would highly recommend fitting some into your day wherever you can!
I then will sit down for 30 mins or so and do some work. Whether that’s blog writing, content planning, replying to messages/emails, goal setting… It varies each day! Having an extra 30 mins or so is super helpful and really sets you up for the day.
At this point, Euan will usually emerge and it’s time for breakfast & getting on with whatever lies ahead for that day!
Other Day-to-Day Changes
A few other bits I’ve been slotting in are:
Evening yoga, anywhere between 20-40 minutes depending on the day I’ve had. I won’t do this every evening, but it really helps me to unwind if I’ve had a particularly stressful/bad day.
Weekly meal planning, 3 meals a day. This is a relatively new change but one I’m really hoping to stick to. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve rediscovered my love for cooking, and I’m determined that it’s here to stay!
Just doing it! Finding excuses to not do something is so easy. Staying in bed past your alarm is easy. Not going for a run is easy. Not getting ahead of tomorrow’s workload is easy. But I am sick to death of easy. Instead, I have been making a conscious effort to fight through those feelings of ‘I’ll do it later/tomorrow’ and Just.Getting.On.With.It!
As this post is already long enough, I’ll chat through some of my 2020 goals in another post. I’ve got lots of content planned for January & already some of February, so make sure you’re checking in regularly. And don’t forget, you can also subscribe!
Earlier this month I chatted a bit about having an eco-conscious Christmas & sustainable gift buying. I wanted to build on that with a bit about my goal for keeping my Christmas shopping as local as possible, and how it has gone this year!
*I live in a lovely market town with many super-cute independent shops. Not everyone is as fortunate to have so much on their doorstep, so this really is for the people who are able to shop locally! Everyone & their situations are different, and I’d never want to make anyone feel bad for not shopping locally this Christmas. So – as always – if you’re able to implement what I’m chatting about into your life, please do! But if you aren’t able to, then don’t feel like I’m preachin’ (’cause I ain’t!).*
Christmas Shopping Locally – How did it go?
So, y’all know I love shopping locally & using independent companies as much as possible. And with so much literally outside my front door, I thought it’d be a sin to not make the most of it this year!
I made a pact with myself that I would only shop in my highstreet shops this year (or as much as possible), and do you know what? I’ve done pretty bloomin’ well. All the gifts I’ve bought for my parents & brothers (apart from one little thing for my youngest brother) I bought in Tavistock. My other brother will be especially pleased about that as he’s very eco-conscious. I’ve also bought everything for our friends (and children of friends!) in Tavistock as well – yay!
Where I fell down was with presents for Euan – why are men so hard to buy for?! The shops we have in Tavistock are wonderful, but they do lack a bit when it comes to Euan’s taste. However, his entire stocking are gifts from shops on my highstreet, and I’d say 40% of his presents. That’s pretty good, right?!
The Importance of Shopping Locally
So why is it actually important to shop locally? There are many reasons, but these are the ones which resonate the most for me.
Firstly, the environment. In the grand scheme of things, Christmas shopping locally won’t make a huge impact on the crisis. But every little helps! Items in highstreet shops are already there. They have already been shipped, so you’re not adding to your carbon footprint by having things delivered! And if – like me – you live within walking distance of shops, that’s even better! No need to drive to get your Christmas shopping done.
Secondly, supporting local businesses. This is done by both shopping in their stores and shopping along the highstreet, even if that’s a chain. How? Well, a highstreet only thrives if it’s desirable. It’s only desirable if it has a wide range of shops, and shops that people have heard of. If we don’t shop in our highstreets (chains, independents, or otherwise) then shops will close – including the big ones! Highstreet chains are equally as important as independent shops, because without the chains you wouldn’t have the footfall for the independent shops!
In turn, that also means more jobs for the town. The more shops we have, the more employment there is. The more employment, the more people stay living here. The more people living here, the more money gets spent in the town… and so on. You get the picture anyway!
Lastly… It’s fun! And festive. Nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas more than a stroll down a christmassy highstreet, popping in & out of shops, and eventually stopping for a coffee (or maybe even something stronger…!).
Let me know if you did any local Christmas shopping this year! What is your favourite thing to do to get you in the festive mood?!
If you’re needing a bit of festive inspo to help get you in the mood, check out some of my previous posts…
I know, sounds weird (super weird), but I promise it isn’t as weird as it sounds! I wanted to make an effort to do some Christmas baking this year. Of course gingerbread men & mince pies are next on my list, but I fancied making a cake. But not just any cake. A festive, gluten-free, kidney bean cake, with raspberry & white chocolate. What could go wrong?
So I originally wanted to post the method as an IGTV, but sadly Instagram won’t let me… But instead I’ve uploaded the video clips to my stories & I will save them in my highlights. Head over to my Instagram page to have a watch!
Kidney Bean Cake – The Ingredients
You will need…
1 tin of kidney beans (400g)
100g of gluten free plain flour
50g of cocoa powder
75g of coconut oil (if you aren’t a fan, butter is fine)
125g of brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
250g of raspberries
1 bar of white chocolate
Icing sugar & other items to decorate
Kidney Bean Cake – The Method
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a 20″ baking tin.
Use a blender to blend the kidney beans into a smooth paste-like texture. Then, measure out the rest of your ingredients (apart from the chocolate & raspberries) and add it all into a mixing bowl.
Mix well until all the ingredients have combined, then add the raspberries. Gently stir the raspberries into the mixture, and add around 3/4s of the white chocolate (breaking it into small chunks as you add).
Pour the ingredients into your baking tin and bake for 25 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, melt the rest of the white chocolate.
Roughly coat the top of the cake with the chocolate (I found a teaspoon the easiest way to do this), and add your decoration!
For my cake I used edible sugar holly leaves & berries and lightly dusted the top with icing sugar. But you can be even more creative, or just leave it with the melted chocolate!
Of course, this cake will work just as well with ordinary plain flower. You can also use butter instead of coconut oil, and milk-free chocolate if you want it to be dairy free too! Why not get creative and try different berries, or even dark chocolate?
Are you doing any Christmas baking this year? Tempted to try this cake? Let me know!
Okay, so who doesn’t love a Christmas film? I am alllll about snuggling up with a feel good film, especially at this time of year. Everyone’s festive film favourites will be different, but I thought I’d run through mine. You never know, there may be one or two you forgot even existed!
Not sure if this is slightly unconventional or not, but I absolutely adore this film. The cast is amazing to start with (yes – Eva Longoria is in this, thank you very much). But I genuinely love the take on the whole ‘Father Christmas’ story; they make it so legit, to the point where I genuinely could believe such an operation exists…! And who doesn’t love a cheeky cartoon at Christmas?
Home Alone #2
I also love #1, but I have to say Home Alone #2 is one of my festive film favourites. Not sure why, but it’s an absolute must-watch of mine at Christmas! I haven’t actually watched 3 or 4, and I think there might even be a fifth one?! Anyway, love this one. And every time I watch it, it makes me sooo desperate to visit New York!
The Snowman & Father Christmas
Another animation (I think I’m secretly still 6 years old) but I think this film is soooo cute. And I feel like it’s also seriously underrated?! It’s an easy watch, and the music is just gorgeous. I happen to have the double DVD which includes Father Christmas – not complaining! Another super cute silent film. Gosh, all this film talk is making me want to grab a hot chocolate and snuggle in!
So, maybe I’m just a sucker for a big cast… But I can’t get through the festive season without watching The Holiday. Fun fact! They filmed it in a village near where I grew up, and one day we actually went to the set & watched them filming. My mum loves Jude Law, and we stood at the front of a crowd of people and watched them film him crossing a road about 145 times. In the end they actually cut that scene from the film – gutting! They also covered the church in fake snow but it looked so magical. And, Kate Winslet’s house was actually only ‘built’ for the show (obviously not properly) so isn’t a real house at all. Sorry for the spoilers….!
Saving the best until last… This is my all time favourite Christmas film, and I’d almost go as far as saying it’s my favourite film full stop (it’s definitely in my top 5 anyway!). The cast is obvs second-to-none and I love the way they make the storylines in this film. The music is sensational throughout and the opening scene honestly makes me cry (let alone the rest of it). If someone said I had to choose between never being able to watch Love Actually again, or it being the only film I’m ever allowed to watch for the rest of my life… You bet yo’ bottom dollar that I’d drop all other films in a heartbeat!
To Conclude Festive Film Favourites
What are your film favourites at Christmas? Do you love an all-star cast like me, or prefer the more traditional films? Let me know – I’m always up for discovering new Christmas films!
In my last post I chatted about being eco-conscious this Christmas, which included a bit about gifts. But, I thought I’d delve deeper into the gift topic and find some sustainable Christmas gift ideas & companies to share with you…
Wearth – Sustainable Christmas Gift Company
I came across Wearth a few months ago and absolutely adore their products. It’s a bit like Etsy or Not on the Highstreet, in that they partner with over 125 independent UK brands. But instead, these brands exclusively make contemporary eco-friendly and ethical products. You can shop by values, or just generally browse, and I’ve selected a few gifts that matched my ‘values’… Perfect for a sustainable Christmas gift or two!
The Body Shop
I adore The Body Shop, particularly taking into consideration their cruelty-free & fair trade ethos. Whilst most of their products are contained in some form of plastic (which is a shame), I came across these two gift bundles which come without packaging. Instead they are presented in a reusable festive sacks, cutting down on the waste that usually comes with buying containers/boxes etc.
Anyone else find Etsy to be a bit of a mixed bag? Sometimes I find amazing products, other times I wonder how they let certain things onto the site. Anyway, I did a bit of searching and found a sustainable Christmas gift for him which I thought I’d share!
The Dartmoor Soap Company
This company is actually a local one for me, which is one of the reasons I wanted to include it. But the company in general use natural & sustainable ingredients to make their products. And they only make in small batch too, making each item a little bit extra special.
The Empty Box Company
*Disclaimer, this is my family’s company and whilst I have not been ask or paid to promote their products, it is my family business so I have to make you aware of my connection to it*
As mentioned above, The Empty Box Company is my family’s company but they are an eco-conscious, sustainable company and all the products are made using sustainable & recycled materials from within the UK (where possible). They make a range of stationery products which make perfect gifts, but mainly they make beautiful handmade boxes (perfect for presenting gifts in!).
I hope you enjoyed my little sustainable Christmas gift & companies blog post! Seeing as my house is now decorated, I’ll be writing a light-hearted ‘decorating the house’ post for you to enjoy next!