Making a change in the New Year

Stop the world I want to get off

As the new year approaches take some time to see how you can make some changes to your attitude to life.
Plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Mankind has rushed at every new idea with alacrity and, after, the wheel has rolled at high speed down the hill then taken the time to think of the consequences. If we had had the twenty/twenty vision to see the destruction we were bringing to our planet, would that have changed the way we acted? I fear we would not.
A lot of things were developed out of necessity such as when we needed crops to grow fast and not fail so we proudly developed Pesticides and now we know how they can do harm we want to change back to organic. However as with all inflammatory stories not all pesticides are equal and they can do amazing things as well as some not so fantastic.
The same can be said for all of the following and the alternatives we are now being told are better for our planet and its population.

Global travel – Bucket and spade in the UK shivering behind a windbreak wearing a jumper over our bikinis.
Baby formula – breast is best and those unable to manage are made to feel inferior.
Man made fibres – cotton, linen and silk all of which crease without a smidge of nylon mixed in.
I pods and CD’s – vinyl, scratches on sight.
Fuel consumption – bikes and walking.
Food importing – Buying British and eating seasonally.
Disposable nappies – terry cloth and pins and buckets of soaking soiled greying cotton.
Plastic – wood and planting trees to offset a carbon footprint.
Ready meals – cooking from scratch – horrors!
Big gas guzzling cars – small hybrids
White sliced bread – artisan, wheat free, the darker and chewier the better
Plastic bags for free – Bags for Life and wicker baskets and paying for plastic because we endlessly forget our wicker basket at home
Detergents – simple soaps and a nod to not using so much bleach
Nannies/au pairs – stay at home Mums who have start up companies in the garden shed and become millionaires overnight
Colour photography – black and white and sepia tones of nostalgia
Massive crops – small holdings with one very bored sheep and a row of carrots
Genetic modification – rare breeds – see above
Microwaves – Aga’s, I put my hand up, I have an Aga and love it but it uses oil so am I really helping?
Waste – Recycling obsessively with each item debated and driven to the dump in the afore mentioned gas guzzling car
Mass produced clothing exploiting the Third World – hand produced small lines by local crafts people which cost more than we can afford so stick with what we know most of the time
Insert your own example here.

We have become used to having what we want when we want it and although we make a gesture to being better behaved and saving the planet mostly we want a nice holiday in the sun and strawberries in the supermarket twelve months a year.
It’s all too much, the guilt is overwhelming – will my choice of soap powder really have an effect on future generations? Being environmentally friendly is a rich person’s game for the most part and they are having a field day being smug about their Green existence and look askance at those not able to fit ‘Organic Everything’ into their daily lives. So jolly to exhort us to change our car and nappies to those that are environmentally friendly but these products often have a high price tag that is out of reach for those many families on a budget. But we can all do something no matter how small even if we cannot make a grand gesture. If you look at all areas of your life I am sure you can find at least one that can be made more Planet friendly without extra expense.

Beauty products have suffered the same fate as all the things mentioned above. After decades of pumping our products full of artificial ingredients the pendulum has swung back so that ‘all natural’ ingredients are the big heroes. At last we can feel good about the products we put on our bodies. ‘Lush’ soaps and ‘Organics’ like so many other companies have cleaned up recently.
Here are some of the ingredients to embrace in your future purchases. Just remember that your skin absorbs 60 percent of what you put on it and it reaches your blood stream.
Algae/seaweed extract – this is an emollient which restores moisture content of the skin and claims to have antioxidant properties.
Beeswax – a waxy component that provides moisture as well as acting as a barrier. It also helps oil and water blend together.
Caffeine – this is used to reduce puffiness under the eyes.
Glycerine – hydrates and provides a skin barrier. It helps the other ingredients in the product to glide on smoothly.
Grape seed extract – this is a botanical extract that is an effective antioxidant.
Green tea extract – is a very powerful antioxidant.
Liquorice Extract – a good skin lightener and is more powerful than Vitamin C for this use.
Rose Hips – botanical extract of rose petals that have high concentrations of Vitamin C.
Vitamin A – good for dry skin. It minimises pore size and helps keep pores clean and reduces the appearance of fine wrinkle lines – a Top Ingredient
Vitamin B – helps improve chemical effectiveness.
Vitamin C – stimulates collagen productivity and is a vital antioxidant
Vitamin D – regulates cell turnover.
Vitamin E – helps prevent ultra violet light damage to the skin so is found in daily use products and sunscreens.
Water – this is the most commonly listed ingredient in skin care products. Water acts a carrier for the other components of the product. It is used in its purest form with all minerals, salts and other chemicals removed. Under the names, distilled, deionised, purified etc.

Let’s just take a quick look at the word antioxidant. You hear it all the time and it’s thrown around like the Holy Grail of anti ageing products.
Antioxidants are more and more present in skin care and for a good reason. Our environment can severely damage our skin, by oxidising and deteriorating our cells like rust on a car, in the form of free radicals. Antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent much of the damage. You can eat foods containing antioxidants such as dark green vegetables, red berries, nuts, whole grains, oily fish and even the humble potato.

Each month this magazine will have a beauty product recipe made from ingredients found in the kitchen. Our aim is for you to be using the most natural, unadulterated foods that have stood the test of time and have proven results. If you buy an avocado, mash it up and spread it on your face you know exactly what your body is absorbing.
If you just swop out one product for a home made one you will be reducing all sorts of things from packaging waste to chemicals absorbed into your body and cost.

Who knows maybe we will really be able to make a difference one face mask at a time.

Post Author: Rowena Kitchen

Rowena Kitchen
I am a qualified beautician active in the industry for over 20 years. To me health and beauty go hand in hand. What you put in your body is as important as what you put on it. My USP is my love of finding ideas to make money go a long way by making informed choices about what to invest in. I love everything about the beauty business and bring my joy and caution in equal measure to my writing and exploration.

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