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Clean Those Brushes!

We all know that the products we use on our skin can affect its health… but what about the tools we use to apply these products? So this month I’ve been delving into the world of mucky brushes! Most of us probably don’t clean our brushes half as often as we should… myself included! And there’s a few really good reasons we should keep on top of things!

Brushes get a huge build up of powders and creams before you know it!

1. Breakouts!

Ever get breakouts of small annoying little spots all over your face? When it doesn’t seem to be hormonal, or anything you ate? The problem could well be your make up brushes! So every time you use your make up brush, you’re not just applying your make up. The bristles are also picking up dirt, oils, dead skin cells, bacteria… anything that’s already on your face. Over time, and in amongst the moisture trapped in the bristles, this bacteria breeds, and then the next time you use your brush, its transferred to your face! Not a pleasant thought!

2. Smoother Application

I can always tell when my foundation brush needs a good clean. My make up doesn’t go on smoothly and I end up with a patchy, caked on look. Not the best look! Again, this is down to the build up of old make up within the bristles. It’s like trying to paint a picture with a brush covered in dried paint… it just doesn’t work!

3. Contamination

That’s a scary word isn’t it?! But it’s true! Remember the bacteria and dead skin cells that get trapped in the bristles? Well when you go to apply more make up, that bacteria gets transferred to your make up! Most make up is stored in a dark place (in a cupboard or make up bag) which is the perfect place for bacteria to grow. This is not only bad for your skin, but it will cause your make up to break down more quickly.

It’s also worth mentioning that make up has an expiration date. Mascara tends to last around three months, creams are good for about a year, and powders can last up to two years. Knowing when to chuck your out of date make up is important. You wouldn’t eat out of date food, so why put out of date products on your face?

Lather up your brushes with hand soap, washing up liquid or specialist brush cleaner.

4. Longer lasting brushes

Want your brushes to last longer? Keep them clean! All that build up of bacteria and gunk on your brush will break down the bristles faster.

So how often should you clean your brushes? The answer is… as often as you like! You don’t need to do it every day, but it all depends on how much make up you wear.

Personally, I like to do mine roughly once a week… by then I’m starting to notice that my make up isn’t going on as smoothly as it should, and my bristles are getting a bit clumpy. You can use a specially developed make up brush cleaner, but I like to use either liquid hand soap or washing up liquid. I find they break down the build up easily enough, and my brushes are left smelling lovely when I’m done!

The bottom line is, as long as you add brush cleaning into your skincare routine, they’ll last a good long while and your skin will thank you for it!

For more skincare tips, check out our best top tips!

You can also head to our Facebook and Instagram pages for loads more top tips!

Natural Kisses Lip Balm

Hello again! How’s your January shaping up? Are you settling nicely into 2019?

This week Mum and I wanted to share with you why we love our lip balm! It’s a personal favourite of mine because when I first learned about aromatherapy, lip balm was my very first make! I must have only been fourteen or fifteen at the time because I remember writing about it in my business studies coursework! I wanted this kind of business even way back then!

Early Aromatherapy Business Plan
Back in the day when I was still in school!

Mum has developed a much better recipe than mine was back then thank goodness! So lets look at some of the ingredients we’ve used!

First of all we’ve got Shea Butter! This wonderfully nourishing butter is jam packed with fatty acids, vitamins, and healing properties. It also works really well as an anti-inflammatory ingredient! These properties are no doubt the reason so many cosmetics companies are using shea butter as a skin softening powerhouse!

Next up we have Beeswax! Now I love this because it forms a natural wall against the skin which locks in moisture and protects the skin against the cold weather and all the nasty bugs and dryness that come with it! Just like the shea butter, beeswax is a natural anti-inflammatory, and also has anti-bacterial properties too! And bonus… It won’t clog your pores like many petroleum based balms will!

Natural Kisses Lip Balm

To see more reasons to avoid petroleum based products, click here!

Product Feature – Sweet Dreams Night Cream!

Sweet Dreams Night Cream

Sweet Dreams Night Cream

So this time round we wanted to get a little more in depth with our Sweet Dreams Night Cream. Now I love a good night cream. I don’t know why, but I think it just feels nice right before I go to bed, to give myself a mini facial! Why not right?! Well it turns out there’s actual science to backup my randomness! According to scientists it’s actually beneficial to carry out most of your skincare routine at night rather than in the morning! Your skin will naturally repair itself while you sleep so giving it a little extra nourishment during the night is no bad thing!

 

Ingredients Matter!

So what have we put in it? Well, knowing that night time is the best time to feed your skin, our thoughts immediately went to Rosehip oil. If you’ve met us at an event, you’ll know just how much we love the stuff. It is quite literally a superfood for your skin! We also wanted to throw some peppermint in there too! Did you know that its great for helping to prevent acne?! Its true! Peppermint helps to regulate the skin’s oil production, and also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, making it a great addition to any skincare regime!

Our night cream is deliberately richer than our Fantastic Face Whip. Why? Because we wanted it to work for you while you slept. We used Shea and Coconut butters that will sink into the skin and really deeply nourish it. Plus if you have really dry skin, or your skin is suffering in the colder months, a richer moisturiser will work wonders! We might call it a night cream, but you can absolutely use it in the morning too!

Sweet Dreams Night Cream

Have you tried our Sweet Dreams Night Cream yet? If you have we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a coment or email and let us know what you think!

Ingredient Spotlight – Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang!

So as well as telling you some behind the scenes stories about our own products, we wanted to showcase some of the amazing natural ingredients we use! This time around we’re going with Ylang Ylag!

First off… lets sort the pronunciation. Its pretty simple once you know. Ee-lang Ee-lang. Easy, right?

Now that’s out of the way… Ylang Ylang comes from the Cananga odorata tree which is native to Asia. Its delicate yellow flowers have a similar fragrance to Jasmine (that’s why I love it so much!) making it super popular with perfumeries and aromatherapists the world over.

Ylang Ylang

As well as having a wonderful fragrance, this little beauty packs quite a punch in the benefits department too!

Its probably most commonly known for its affect on the libido. It has long been associated with weddings or couples massage treatments for this very reason! Its also why we use it in our Stress Less Massage Oil!

While some may find the fragrance quite heavy and overpowering, it has wonderfully calming properties and is amazing for relieving stress, anxiety and depression! This also makes it a great help if you’re struggling to sleep!

Its great for your hair too! Helping to stimulate and boost hair growth!

Got a cut or burn? Ylang Ylang is a great antiseptic! Research has found that Ylang Ylang essential oil can help avoid both sepsis and tetanus by inhibiting microbial growth and disinfecting wounds!  Its antiseptic properties also help protect the wound from further infection!

Told you it was a powerful little sucker!

Top 10 Skin Care Tips

So you probably see tonnes and tonnes of articles about how best to look after your skin. They’re probably all perfectly valid. We just wanted to share our favourite natural tips!

 

1. Start from the inside!

Cow’s milk is the Joker to my Batman… It does horrid things to my skin but I love cheese! and pizza! So many foods can have an impact on not only our waistline, but our skin too! My face loves to tell me when I’ve had too much milk! Keep track of what you’re puttng into your body, and the effect it has on your skin. If in doubt, make a rainbow with your fruit and veg! colourful food can’t be a bad thing, can it??

 

colourful food for your skin

2. Massage more!

Now I’m not talking full body massage here… unless you’ve got time for one! Simply take a few seconds to massage your cleanser and moisturiser into you skin rather than just applying and wiping. The little extra pressure will boost circulation and help improve your complexion!

 

3. Exfoliate regularly, but softly!

Yup. little and often is the key here. Your skin cells do replace themselves and it really helps to get rid of the old, dead skin cells and allow the new ones to shine through! Go gently though or you run the risk of damaging the newly formed cells. Once or twice a week sould be plenty, depending on your skin type!

 

4. Don’t sleep in your make up!

I’m so guilty of doing this and I really should know better! How does this sound… make up, sweat, general pollutants from the day, bacteria, all mixed up on your pillowcase and nestled lovingly against your skin all night while you sleep. Gross, right?! Take your make up off before you go to bed. A couple of minutes to save all that yuk clogging your pores all night!

 

5. Get your beauty sleep!

While we’re talking sleep… make sure you get yours! Studies have shown that lack of sleep, and poor sleep quality can increase the signs of ageing and reduce the skin’s ability to act as an effective barrier. Think how tired your body and mind feel when you’ve not slept properly for a couple of days… Your skin feels it too!

beauty sleep for skin health

 

6. Fingers off your face!

Your fingers are covered in bacteria of one kind or another throughout the day. When you touch your face, you’re transferring that bacteria onto your face. There it sits, in your pores until you cleanse your face at the end of the day. Touching your face is especially a no no if, like me,  you suffer from breakouts. Leave them well alone and let them heal by themselves. (Its tough… believe me, I know!)

 

7. Chill out! Slow your roll!

I know… I’m so down with the kids! But seriously… Have you ever noticed that you always get a spot or breakout the day before a big event or occasion?? Its stress! Many studies have shown that the two are linked! So try and take some time for yourself every now and then!

 

8. Take more time at night!

That’s right… Spend more time on your skincare routine at night.Your skin repairs itself naturally while you sleep, so thats the best time to really nourish it! There’s no need to overwhelm your skin in the morning, and it will save you time getting ready!

 

9. Hydrate!

This is one you definitely will have seen everywhere! But the value of drinking plenty of water every day cant be overstated. Water will help keep your skin from looking dry and dull, and as an added bonus it helps flush out your system and reduces bloating! If, like me, you live in an area where the tap water doesn’t taste the best, try adding a couple of slices of lemon and cucumber to your water bottle, or infusing some berries!

hydrate your skin

 

10. Switch it up!

Just like with your clothes, you need to switch up your skincare with the seasons… or at least winter & summer! Colder months mean drier air which isn’t great for your skin. Try using a richer, more nourishing moisturier during the winter, and a lighter one for the warmer months!

 

5 Ways to Take Care of Your Skin This Winter!

Ok, you and your skin can tell… The weather has officially turned! At least we had a decent summer this year though right?!

So what does this change in weather mean for your skin?

 

Cooler weather

When the air is dry, it causes the moisture in your skin to evaporate! Great! Not! It means that you’re more likely to suffer from dry flakey skin, particularly if you’re prone to suffering with eczema or other dry skin conditions. What can you do? Opt for richer moisturizers that are more nourishing for your skin. You change your clothes when its colder outside, so why not your skincare products?!

 

Cold weather = Comfort eating

I know… Pizza, hot chocolate, blanket, sofa & movie night. When its freezing cold raining outside there’s really no better feeling is there? BUT we all know that what we eat has an impact on our complexion. Cold weather tends to mean comfort food, which is usually made up of bad carbs. Now I’m definitely not a dietitian, and I LOVE my comfort food, but I also know when I’ve over indulged. I breakout. A lot. That’s because foods which have a higher GI (Glycemic index) make your sugar levels spike which increase hormones that are responsible for acne. So during winter months, try to stick to slow release carbs if you can, like wholemeal bread, oatmeal and brown rice. Avoid white bread, crisps & potatoes. I know! I’m sorry! But your skin will thank you, I promise!

 

Heating

Around your home & in your car

Ever notice your lips suffer in the colder months? When you’ve got your heating on more at home or in the car, the air is dryer. And we know now that this means the air sucks the moisture from your skin. To combat this at home, place a couple of bowls of water near your radiators. (It’ll be cheaper than buying a humidifier!) Make sure you open your windows for a little while to avoid condensation and get a good airflow through the house. Also, make sure you stay hydrated! Its harder to drink more water when its not really warm outside, I know. But it really is the best thing you can do for your skin.

Sudden changes in temperature

Again this is related to heating and going from cold weather outside to a heated room or car. According to Harley Street dermatologist Dr. Ariel Haus, when there is a rapid temperature change, the capillaries in your skin contract and expand which can lead to broken veins and redness. So try and remember to wrap up warm when you go outside to reduce the difference in temperature from outside to indoors. Also look for products with anti inflammatory and anti irritant ingredients such as Rosehip, Frankincense and Lavender.  (We LOVE these ingredients and use them  our Sweet Dreams Night Cream, Pretty Peepers Eye Cream)

Hot baths & Shower!

I’ll admit, I was devastated to learn this because I love nothing more than a hot (And I mean HOT) bubble bath when its cold and dark outside. But its not great, because when the water in your bath or shower is too hot it can actually dissolve the protective barrier that your skin naturally produces! Instead, stick to warm baths and showers to protect your skin.

(I’m sorry… how pretty is this bath?? Totally going on my wishlist!)

Seriously though, its super easy to take care of your skin in the colder month! Have these tips helped?

Why Avoid Petroleum Based Products

Vaseline… What’s so wrong with it?

 

So… Winter is well and truly on the way. Nights are getting darker, the clocks go back soon, and we all know that colder days mean drier skin. Out comes the tin of petroleum jelly for your lips right?

And what’s so bad about that? Its cheap enough and it does the job. It just works! I’m not about to argue with that! I love saving money too! Put it this way though… You’re bloody starving and you eat a boat load of junk food rather than cooking a proper dinner. It fills a hole but doesn’t fuel you properly or nourish your body. Petroleum based products are exactly the same. They make a super effective barrier but they don’t have any ‘nutritional value’ whatsover for your skin!

 

So why is it even used?

Basically, because it’s cheap. Petroleum jelly is a by-product of the oil refinery pocess. It’s essentially the gunk that builds up in the machinery (Thats how it was discovered on an oil rig back in the 1800’s!)

But it’s used in major brands so it must be safe to use right?

The problem here is that as consumers, we have no way of knowing if the refining process used is high or low grade. And cosmetics companies will sometimes give in to temptation and use lower grade oils to reduce their expenses. Business is business after all. Now this is where the dangers are. When the refining is done at a lower grade, the petroleum will retain some of the more toxic (And even cancer causing) chemicals.

 

Petroleum Refinery

 

So what should I do now then??

Well obviously we’re going to say look out for plant based products. Replace petroleum, petroleum jelly, mineral oil and parffin with shea or cocoa butter, beeswax and vegetable/plant based oils!

Check out our Natural Kisses Lip Balm to see examples of some of the nourshing ingredients to look out for!

Happy Hands Cream!

So we thought we’d share some behind the scenes information on one of our newest product! Our happy hands cream!

 

Happy Hands Cream

 

So whats the big deal???

For us, having a hand cream in our range of products was essential. Mum has suffered with sore hands for a long time thanks, in part, to working hours on end in the kitchen when we owned a pub in North Wales. And my nails have been way more brittle since having my son (The joys of children, right?!)

 

Its something we’ve been working on for what feels like forever, but we’ve never been able to get a consistency we were happy with. We knew one of the base ingredient should be coconut oil. Because its just ace. And as with all our products, we knew we couldn’t add water to thin it out. But… the problem with coconut oil, as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve used it yourself, is that it liquefies with the slightest amount of heat! Plus it solidifies again as soon as it cools! Nightmare when you’re trying to make a nice smooth cream!

 

Fast forward two years. We’ve played around with a few different recipes. Still haven’t come up with anything we’d be happy to let you guys use! Then, quite randomly, one of the parents at school asked if we made a tattoo balm! Ummmm no, but we could! (If you know me personally you know I tend to say yes immediately and then figure out how to make it work!) So we set about researching what bases and essential oils would work best.

 

Ingredients
Choosing our ingredients!

 

Then how to mix??? We hadn’t decided at this point if we wanted a cream or solid balm so we decided to try something we hadn’t attempted before… just a different way of combining the bases, nothing fancy… but it worked!!! I’m not kidding when I say it was like a scene from a TV show… Mum and I looked at each other and both practically screamed “Hand cream!” It was a proper light bulb moment!

 

So what next???

 

So… when we’d calmed down enough we let the experiment settle, and even put it in the fridge to see if it went solid. we put some more in a sample bottle… I literally sat with it under my armpit to try and melt it! It didn’t melt! Well that decided us! We’d only flippin’ done it!

 

Now keep in mind that this was supposed to be a tattoo balm! Not a hand cream! So of course we had to change some of the ingredients round to better suit its purpose, but once we’d done a couple more experiments we had the product you can now find on our website! It’s got a lovely uplifting fragrance, courtesy of Orange and Benzoin essential oils.

 

If you’ve never heard of benzoin before, its an amazing little oil that can help improve circulation, protect wounds from infection and can also help to relieve arthritis! powerful little sucker isn’t it?!

 

So that’s the story of how our hand cream came into being! When we say we research and experiment a lot with every single one of our products, this is the classic example! Almost two years in the making!

Five Reasons to go Natural!

Five Reasons to go Natural!

So… There’s a growing awareness that products with natural ingredients are better for you. But why is that? When you do your household shop, you’ve seen bottles of glass cleaner on the shelves that ‘contain vinegar’ right? Washing up liquid with ‘lemon & lime’? Why? Because they actually work! I know… shocking isn’t it???

And while its awesome that these companies recognize the power of natural ingredients, they’re often lost among the other ingredients in that little bottle! So why is going properly natural best?

 

It helps the environment!

Products made from conventionally produced ingredients often have a negative impact on the environment. Take sunscreens for example… We’re only just now realising the damage that chemicals within conventional sunscreens are doing to our marine life! Poor fishies!

 

It avoids irritation!

Chemicals, artificial colours, fragrances and fillers can all cause irritation, redness and sore skin! A lot of these extras are used to bulk out products, so manufacturers can get more out of a batch and increase their profits… Some are added as preservatives. But most of them aren’t great for our skin long-term!

 

They’re nice and gentle!

Yes! Natural products are gentler to your body! It’s not rocket science! We are part of nature, so natural ingredients will work well with our systems! Its only in the last hundred years or so that we’ve been able to synthesize chemicals to have the same effect as plants & herbs. Why? Because its cheaper, quicker and easier for manufacturers!

 

There’s no bizarre side effects!

Ever tried a new moisturiser or shower gel and come out in a weird rash? Or borrowed someone else’s perfume and got a stonking headache? Horrible isn’t it?! And what a waste of money too! With natural products, you’re far less likely to suffer an adverse reaction, simply because there’s less nasties in there! Obviously you will still need to watch any allergies, but generally speaking, you should be far safer. Did you know… many manufacturers use ingredients which actually dry out your skin over time. They’re not daft. They want you to use more of the product so you end up buying more! Petroleum in lip balm… classic example!

 

Fresh air to breathe!

How many times have you sprayed bathroom cleaner and had to open all the windows? A fair few I’ll bet! Same with cleaning the oven, am I right?? There’s a lingering smell and sometimes it can really get on your chest! Not fun. Natural products don’t do that! They leave the air smelling lovely and fresh and with no nasty feeling in your lungs!

 

Bottom line? Natural products will always be better for you. Manufacturers wouldn’t be using natural ingredients in their products if they didn’t work! As with any new product, we always recommend trying it out slowly, just in case!

 

Interested in trying your own natural products? Its dead easy (And cheap) to make your own! We’ve come up with a really simple bathroom (Or kitchen) spray that works incredibly well! Want to get your hands on it? There’s even a couple of bonus recipes in there for you too! Just click here to grab the FREE recipes! It couldn’t be easier!