Oil Cleansing Method - Where have you been all my life :)

So many people I talk to about oil cleansing will admit to not fully understanding the concept, let alone have tried it! So I am hoping to fly the little “oil cleansing” flag and try get some new friends for this amazing cleansing method that could work wonders for your skin. What is the oil cleansing method? Well oil cleansing is just that, it is a method of cleansing the face using oil or at least oil based products.

And I know that even just the description will have some people saying “oh no, no, not for me I have oily skin that’s the last thing I need!” but this is not the case my friend, not the case at all.

So just to put a bit of background to the story! A lot of the time mainstream cleansers play a role in stripping the natural oils from our skin, which then can make the skin feel tight, and cause the skin over-produce natural oils to counterbalance the initial stripping of the natural oils. It can tend to be a viscous cycle and leaves your skin feeling dehydrated not long after cleansing, but then a follow up of feeling like you have a build up of oil on your face over time. Not cool!

The concept of oil cleansing is an ancient tradition, which existed before soap became commercially available. It works on the method that oil is used to cleanse the skin by entering the pores, dissolving any oil hardened by impurities like dirt and bacteria, a hot face cloth laid over the face then creates steam which draws out and removes the oil. So, basically like attracts like! Acne.org explains the science bit very well! “The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition”.

The method itself centres around massaging oil into the skin for at least 2 minutes, then using a warm face cloth to remove & cleanse away excess oil and impurities. Oil cleansing method in conjunction with double cleansing is the way forward! Using a Cleanse Off Mitt to do an initial cleanse (you have to read the Skin Nerds blog on this and you will never look back!) and then using a suitable oil-based cleanser to definitively remove any excess make up, sunscreen, sweat or dirt will ensure that your skin is well and truly squeaky clean! Our Peachy Aloe Vera Based cleanser is in fact an aloe vera and oil-based cleanser. We use a blend of oils low on the comedogenic scale (meaning the they do not clog your pores) to nourish and moisturise your skin while providing a thorough cleanse.

Why not give it a try, contact me at www.peachy.ie (shameless plug eeeek 😊)

Natural Sunscreen

I feel like I’m always quoting the same fact, but it is true that we absorb up to 60% of what we put on our skin. And that means it goes into our bodies, and sometimes the ingredients of products can have a lasting, damaging effect.

So, because we are basically living in the costa del Ireland at the moment, which has been A MAY ZING!! I have been getting a few questions about the danger of sunscreen and the benefits of maybe choosing a natural alternative!

The active ingredients in sunscreen can be mineral based or chemical based, chemical based means it has the potential to enter the blood stream (which makes me shudder even writing that). Mineral sunscreens contain things like zinc oxide (non-nano) and titanium dioxide and they create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun. You know when you see cricket players or surfers with their noses covered with a thick layer of “cream” – usually zinc oxide! It physically blocks/diverts the rays of the sun.

Chemical sunscreens do as they say on the tin, they use chemicals. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) say chemicals in sunscreen can be classified as endocrine disruptors, estrogenic and can interfere with thyroid and other hormone processes.

But we are lucky we live in Europe, as we have the Scientific Committee on Consumers Safety (SCCS) which provides recommendations on the safety of cosmetic products. As sunscreen is something that comes into contact with our skin it is considered a “cosmetic product” and falls under the SCCS. The committee makes some guidelines in relation to the standard of sunscreen and the UVA and UVB protection including the minimum allowed  = SPF6, UVA protection must be 1/3 of UVB (Pirotta G, 2015) .

We now have  good access to mineral sunscreen which protects against UVA and UVB and in the most do not penetrate the skin barrier or act as hormone disruptors. In the US they are still waiting for some of these less toxic options to be regulated and made available…. insert eye roll here!

I think what most people are concerned about is an ingredient called oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is one of the most common ingredients in chemical sunscreen available in the US – pretty worrying when it has been linked to hormone disruption and mentioned in links to endometriosis in women. Oxybenzone is one of the reasons you see warnings against children or pregnant breastfeeding women using sunscreens with it as an ingredient!

Overall, in my opinion, there are some great natural mineral based sunscreens out there and they really do work! Some don’t have it just right yet, they are very heavy in the physical barrier element and can be difficult to rub in and can leave that pasty look, others can split meaning the oil-based element comes apart from the other ingredients so make sure to give the tube a good shake before dispensing! Regular reapplication is also very important.

So, if it is a possible option for you then maybe give one a go! All sunscreen serves a purpose, a very important purpose, but sometimes we should really be aware of the consequences of that purpose. Asking questions like will It cross the skin barrier? Will it have hormone disrupting properties etc, are sometimes genuinely worth asking.

Hope this helps a little,

Be Kind to Yourself, Be Peachy! X

 

My Low Tox Journey ..... so far!

As some of you may have noticed recently, I began a journey to reduce the amount of plastic and chemicals I use in the home and day to day life. I’m calling it a “low tox” approach after the name of the course I completed. It is all aimed at becoming more aware of the amount of potentially harmful toxins and chemicals that we use every day …… stick with me now, stick with me 😊

Ok so, I started making a conscious effort in January of this year. I had wanted to do something like this for a very long time. Over the years I was just becoming so aware of the potential affect the ingredients in our skincare can have on our health (hence Peachy!). I started to read more and more papers/articles highlighting the potential affect of plastic on our health, and I just thought, ok I’m going to give this a go!

But my god did I underestimate the amount of plastic that we use each day!! Holy sh1t like it is everywhere! E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. From everyday things like brushing our teeth, to storing our food, to grabbing a coffee, to shaving our legs! It just felt like almost every single thing that happened in the day had some plastic element to it! And I will admit I got a little disheartened before I even began. I just thought how on earth can I even attempt this when it is just everywhere! But then I just did what I always do, I started with small little changes and went from there, yep I’m very simple minded when it comes down to it 😊

One of the first changes I made was with my little boy, most days we head off for walks around our home town and I always bring a little food bag with some fruit, water and a little sandwich. I used to use plastic sandwich bags for storage, but then I made the switch to using little paper bags. Very small change but it was a start none the less! And so on from there it went.

Listen, I don’t want to get all technical and “sciencey” on you about the effect of plastic in food alone for example, other than to say quite simply, the containers do not just “hold” your food for you. The type of plastic the food is held in has the potential to leach into the food product, and when ingested, this chemical is not exactly an ideal thing to have in your body.  I’ve put some links to some articles and papers at the bottom if anyone is interested in reading into it in more detail. Some of the newspaper articles are a little scare mongering, this is a relatively new area of research, so read with an open mind.

I am always amazed each week at how so much of our food is provided in plastic containers, fruit, veg, sliced ham, cheese, pre packed meats …..you get my drift! When we do a “big shop” I remove all the plastic packaging from the food, and transfer the different items into either glass/wood or stainless-steel bowls. We changed from plastic cooking utensils to stainless steel, one of my first steps was to bin all the plastic ones! So many changes can be made, to reduce chemicals even making your own antibacterial sprays for the kitchen and bathroom see www.facebook.com/peachynaturalskincare for recipes! There are biodegradable toothbrushes out there! Made from corn starch no less or bamboo! For little man Peachy we use Jack and Jill corn starch toothbrush and they also have a natural toothpaste all available on www.earthmother.ie. Even buying fruit and vegetables from smaller grocers where there is little to no packaging helps, and making your own sugar/salt scrubs at home to try to avoid microbeads are all small steps that make big changes!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not milking my own cows out the back garden or anything, but I’m just trying a more natural approach. I do believe it all makes a difference somewhere along the way and sure it’s not hurting anyone! And listen there are times when I still end up having to use plastic, we haven’t thrown out all of the plastic Tupperware just yet ….. Mr. Peachy is holding firm on that one lol. But my point is I believe in this approach, I am doing what I can to make it work for our day to day life, and I just wanted to share the journey! There has been a positive response so far, with a good few people also trying to make changes now too!

Most people think “what’s the problem anyway it’s only a bit of plastic!!” Mr. Peachy thinks I’m mad, a lot of people do! And maybe I am. Sometimes I think, ok maybe this is complete and utter madness. Like for instance, the food we buy is generally wrapped in plastic, sometimes plastic wrapped in plastic again! It has probably travelled all around the world and back again before it even reaches our table…..and all that time it’s been wrapped in plastic, so …… are my little changes even making a difference? Well in my heart of hearts I feel I am making a small difference in my life and that of my family …. I hope 😊  

Follow me on Instagram @peachynaturalskincare for more info!

Thanks for reading,

Sinéad x

 

Some light reading 😊

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/plastics-in-our-diet/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385451/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/toxic-chemicals-poison-warning-food-plastic-air-study-a7114226.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28531345

Microbeads - it's not us.... it's you!

Recently there has been an awful lot of kerfuffle about these teeeeeeny tiiiiiiny little chaps called microbeads. Sure, if they are so small what harm can they do I hear you say? Well let’s just say safety in numbers does not apply here.

In most cases the little things you feel on your face and body when you exfoliate? They’re microbeads. A microbead is a piece of plastic, less than 2mm in size, that you will find in most every day personal care products including wait for it ….. toothpaste!

One of the main problems is that these little guys are not biodegradable, meaning they cannot be broken down by environmental or bacterial factors and so they become a pollutant to the environment. Its estimated that 100’s of 1000’s of them go down the drain each time you exfoliate in the shower, or brush your teeth. They have also been known to absorb toxins, meaning they can be potentially harmful to humans and wildlife depending on where they end up in the environment.

According to GreenPeace, around 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year. I find this figure staggering, this is HUGE! And what is worse, is the plastic ends up being ingested by marine wildlife putting them all at risk. Have you ever seen that video of the turtle that had a straw stuck in its nostril? It sounds funny …… it’s not, it’s terrible & had he not been rescued he would have died. The BEAT THE MICROBEADS campaign is fantastic, and has led the good fight in this problem resulting in a large number of multintational companies promising to end their use of microbeads within the next few years….. which is a pretty long time no?

To avoid being part of this “little” problem, why not try a natural approach to exfoliation? Here at Peachy we only use unrefined sugar and poppy seeds, Epsom salts and Pink Himalayan sea salt as our exfoliants, which are gentle on your skin, allow a thorough gentle exfoliation, and do not harm the environment. Hey everybody wins J

Here is a link to a clip that gives a good idea of the impact of microbeads on the environment. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bic7QEVRNe4