Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Nivea 'pure & natural' Body Lotion


Nivea using the words 'pure & natural' on their Body Lotion. Joining the 'pure, natural, organic' wagon because they know this is what more and more consumers are looking for.

The ingredients:
Nivea not so pure and natural
aqua, glycerin, alcohol denatured, cetearyl alcohol (3rd & 4th on the ingredients listing which means there's a lot of alcohol - though yes technically alcohol is natural), isopropyl palmitate, glyceryl stearate citrate, octyldodecanol, argania spinosa kernel oil, glyceryl glucoside, sodium carbomer, methylisothiazolinone, phenoxyethanol, linalool, limonene, citronellol, benzyl alcohol, butylphenyl methylpropional, alpha-isomethyl ionone, geraniol, parfum.

Can you read all that? It's hard to know what's in the product with all those technical names and there are a number of ingredients in there that I personally choose to AVOID.

So let's investigate.
  1. isopropyl palmitate = it's a type of stearic palmitic acid with alcohol
  2. glyceryl stearate citrate = is a citric acid
  3. octyldodecanol = a long chain fatty alcohol
  4. argania spinosa kernel oil = argan oil
  5. sodium carbomer = sodium salt of carbomer
  6. methylisothiazolinone = preservative [hazard rating 5 out of 10 - irritation]
  7. phenoxyethanol = prservative
  8. linalool = is a terpene (a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants, especially conifers and citrus trees) [hazard rating 6 out of 10 - irritation]
  9. limonene = limonene is a scent ingredient and solvent naturally occurring in the rind of citrus fruit
  10. citronellol = a natural occurring scent derived from plants
  11. benzyl alcohol = a naturally occurring and synthetic ingredient used as solvent and preservative; has been associated with contact allergy.
  12. butylphenyl methylpropional (also called lilial) = is a synthetic scent ingredient; associated with allergies and contact dermatitis [hazard rating 7 out of 10]
  13. alpha-isomethyl ionone = a group of naturally occurring and synthetically produced scent chemicals
  14. geraniol = a naturally occurring scent oil found in plants [hazard rating 7 out of 10]
  15. parfum = fragrance [high hazard rating]
The product is 'pure & natural' because it contains NO parabens, silicones, colorants or mineral oils. It's a good start. Nivea are owned by a European country and it Europe many of the chemicals we use are banned.

As to whether Nivea test on animals, for all appearances they do not, however, they do state: "we cannot guarantee that ingredients we purchase have not been tested for or by someone else."

Regarding selling their products in China they state: "The answer to this problem is to convince the Chinese authorities that animal testing for cosmetic products is unnecessary. AND: According to our (website) statement concerning animal testing we do not or make anyone else do animal tests for us and we are the great promoter of alternative test methods wherever possible."
[from Surprisingly Vegan]

Compare the above product to JOLI's
Light Moisturiser face & body lotion:

The Ingredients:
aqua, almond oil, chamomile,citrus seed extract,cypress,emulsifying wax, natural preservative, pro vitamin B5, rosehip oil, vitamin E.

Can you read that? Yes! It's nice and simple isn't it. This is what I choose for my 'pure & natural' moisturiser. Do you?

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Monday, 17 March 2014

Rubber Glove Syndrome

I'll start off by saying I don't think there really is such a 'syndrome'. I'm using the above title to point out wearing rubber gloves causes a number of skin conditions such as contact dermatitis.

In my line of work I hear from a lot of nurses and cleaners who spend their days with their hands stuffed inside rubber gloves. On top of that they're often exposed to and using chemical cleaners and washing their hands often. They present with extremely itchy rashes on their hands that won't go away.

Wearing rubber gloves can be toxic to some who are allergic to latex. It can be annoying at best to others. There are people who never wear rubber gloves for these reasons.

Having wet hands while wearing rubber gloves heightens skin reactions which is why nurses and cleaners often have more severe cases of rashes on their hands. Their hands are often wet either before or during wearing their gloves.
Sweating while wearing gloves is also another cause.

Recently I had a skin reaction on my right hand, I started getting hang nails (those painful little pieces of skin that peel back from the cuticle) and my thumb started to feel like it was burning. It was red and very painful to touch. This is followed by a layer of skin peeling off leaving me more exposed to pain and sensitivity. At first I didn't understand why it was happening and I thought it might have been caused by the increased paperwork I've been doing (organising and revamping my office). Working with paper can cause our hands to become dry and have symptoms such as hang nails and dry sensitive skin.


One morning I decide to wrap my thumb in bandage tape because the pain was unbearable. I began doing the dishes, put the rubber gloves on and could feel wetness inside the right glove. I realised the glove had a hole in it and all the time I'd been doing dishes that week I was exposing myself to wet latex and it was causing my skin reaction. Time to throw away those leaky gloves and get a new pair!

Time also to do some natural healing by applyingRich Cream Moisturiser on daily, along with Fancy Cuticle Oil.

The best way to combat Rubber Glove Syndrome is to avoid wearing gloves when your hands are wet or damp or sweaty and avoid wearing gloves that allow your hands to be exposed to water while you're wearing them. Another option is to wear cotton gloves underneath your rubber gloves.

It is VERY important to rehydrate your hands afterwards. Make sure to moisturise with an all natural moisturiser like Rich Cream and AVOID chemical moisturisers because they'll only exacerbate your condition.


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Thursday, 13 March 2014

DIY Toilet Bombs & Scented Rocks

Toilet Bombs ~ deodorise & kill bacteria

You will need:
2/3 cup baking soda (bicarb soda)
1/4 cup citric acid
30 drops each lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils (I used 30 drops of eucalyptus and lemon eo)
cold water in a spritz bottle

Sift baking soda and citric acid in a bowl.  Add the essential oils and mix well.  Spritz the water onto the dry ingredients and mix well before mix starts to react and bubble.  Keep spritzing a little water at a time until mixture comes together to form clumps.

Roll mixture into teaspoon size balls and place on baking paper on a flat surface.  Leave to dry thoroughly before storing in a pretty jar.

Note: I found the balls swelled up and became much larger (probably added too much water).

Alternatively you can place the mixture flat (a slab of mixture) onto the baking paper and leave to dry. You can then break it up into pieces when it's completely dry.

Plop one ball into the toilet water to freshen the air or add a ball to the toilet water before giving your toilet a clean.

Scented Rocks ~ room, draw, car deodorisers (from JOLI Natural Skin Care)

You will need:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup table salt
1/3 cup cold water
1/8 teaspoon fragrance
1 drop food colouring
*makes about 15 balls


Sift flour and salt into a bowl.  Add fragrance and colouring to cold water then add the water to dry ingredients.  Mix into a soft dough.

Roll mixture into teaspoon size balls and place on baking paper.  Leave to dry over night.

Groups of balls can be placed in organza bags and stored in the car, your nicker draw or hanging off the toilet door.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Chemicals In Our Day To Day Life

There are chemicals all around us – in our skincare, food, drinks, household cleaners... everywhere.  I never used to pay too much attention to how many chemicals I was exposed to – I was always a little blasé and didn’t really care, up until a few years ago when my mother-in-law introduced me to natural & chemical free skincare, which I feel in love with instantly.  Chemical free skincare sometimes has the ‘label’ of being more expensive than regular over the counter ranges.  Some of the more expensive beauty counter brands are packed full of chemicals – why pay higher amounts just for the brand even though it’s full of nasty chemicals?  If you were to be given a list of all these nasty chemicals in these products (without being told what products these chemicals are composed in) and if you were asked if you would expose yourself and your body to these, your answer would probably be no – so why pay high $$ for a beauty product, just because it has a well known brand name written on it?

After only using chemical free skincare over these past few years, I can no longer tolerate chemical-filled ones.  They smell just as nasty as the ingredient listing reads, and some feel quite ‘yucky’ too.  I was recently given a sample of a well-known brand’s most recently released face cream.  I was intrigued to try it, so off I went to the bathroom mirror and delicately applied it to my face, neck & décolletage.  Approximately 5 minutes later, I could actually taste the face cream.  I thought back to how I had applied it – had I somehow put some on my lips?  I was fairly certain not, but was starting to think that maybe I had...  The following day, I used the remainder of the sample sachet, being very careful to make sure I went no where near my lips... again, within 5 minutes I could actually taste it again.  I could not believe how nasty this product was for me to be able to taste it after applying it – what is this nasty face cream doing to my body and blood stream??  The following day I was very keen to use my chemical free face cream again and not being able to taste it.

Anything we put on our skin gets absorbed in to our blood stream, therefore I like to be very careful with all my skincare and makeup products.  I have been using chemical free lip balm for over 5 years now, and I can no longer wear store bought lip balms – as soon as I apply them I can taste the chemicals. 

My body has definitely thanked me for eliminating chemicals from my daily skincare regime – did you know that the average woman applies 14 different skincare & makeup products each day?  I was alarmed when I first heard this, until I listed all mine:
1.       Morning – face cleanser
2.       Morning – face toner
3.       Morning – moisturiser
4.       Morning – deodorant
5.       Morning – perfume
6.       Morning – foundation
7.       Morning – mascara
8.       Morning – lip gloss or lip stick
9.       Night – Shampoo
10.   Night – Conditioner
11.   Night – face cleanser
12.   Night – face toner
13.   Night – moisturiser
14.   Night – foot cream
15.   Night – hand cream

That’s pretty scary!!

With such a wide range of chemical-free skincare and makeup on the market these days, we are sure to be able to easily find a range or product which suits our personal budget and needs.  It’s fun to go out and start investigating these ranges and products, so if you’re only just beginning your chemical-free skincare journey, I am sure that you will enjoy every step of your learning path, and I can be fairly sure that you will not want to go back to chemicals.

Guest Blog by Rebecca