Balance is achieved through many avenues; one way we feel we can attain it is through self-care. The way we strive for this balance is unique to each individual. Self-care practices can be done in the comfort of our homes, while others happen in the wide-open spaces of the outdoors. Through traditional marketing, women have been infiltrated with tangible products to achieve what they’ve been told they need – while men, without the pressure of the cosmetics industry, have looked to alternative avenues to feel balanced, satisfying their needs through a human innate need to connect with nature.
If you suffer from Acne chances are you have heard of, tried or thinking about trying Roacutanne (also known as Accutane or Isotretinoin). We’ll discuss its role in the treatment of acne, how it relates to Vitamin A and the natural alternatives for treatment.
Roacutanne is a prescribed medication with the active ingredient Isotretinoin. It’s indicated for those with severe cystic acne. It belongs to a group of medicines called retinoids, similar to Vitamin A, however is a synthetic retinoic acid.
The air you’re breathing is composed of more than just oxygen. In that delicious and nourishing fresh breath of air you’ll also find nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, and trace gases, lingering, manoeuvring and being absorbed by your respiratory system and skin.
If you’re in a city or area with high pollution, that air cocktail just became much more complicated. Not to mention potentially detrimental to your health. 92% of the global population lives in an environment that fails the World Health Organisations air quality standards. And that pollution? It’s been tied to 6½ million deaths globally.
This seriously is the best face mask for clearing out clogged pores. It’s easy to prepare and cost effective to make. Not only does it pull out impurities deep within the skin, but also brightens, refreshes and heals.
In natural medicine we use certain clays and charcoals internally and externally for detoxification. This is due to their excellent ability to draw out toxins – from the gut, mouth and skin.
How can we contribute to making the world a bit more beautiful?
By actively reducing our individual plastic use and consumption. Transitioning to a plastic-free lifestyle tends to focus on the kitchen, where packaging and plastic waste is a bit more obvious. But when was the last time you’ve gone through your bathroom cupboard and taken account of how much plastic you are harbouring?
The answer: likely a lot. Most beauty and cleansing products, regardless of the ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ ingredients, are packaged in single-use vessels. It is so easy to let your inhibitions loose when collecting bathroom products - the more the merrier, right? The beauty world contributes heavily to the global carbon footprint, especially with the use of hard-to-recycle packaging, microplastics and single-use products like face wipes.
I think we can all comfortably say our culture’s current holistic obsession has been the Crystal Movement. Yes, I named it. From carrying a pebble-sized clear quartz in your pocket to amplify energy, to having a black obsidian situated on your desk to deflect negative energy, right through to wearing jewellery with your birth stone – we’ve all dabbled in the Movement in some way or another.
The most successful new to the masses trend – the crystal face roller. The reason I say new to the masses is this – this technique is an ancient Chinese beauty ritual made popular by the new-age beauty industry. The traditional practice was originally with a Gua sha tool – a flat Jade stone with a more rigid end to gently scrape over the skin, promoting oxygenation and regeneration.
As the facial rollers have infiltrated the market, I’m here to answer two questions I get asked more times than I can count – if they actually work, and what the difference is between all the stones.
Humans are nothing more than (highly-refined) animals. We walk around in circles, gravitate towards specific spaces, feed ourselves, move as packs and engage in similar habits throughout our life. Of course, there is diversification in human activities and choices based on our background, environment and experience, but in the big picture we are creatures of habit that are easily swayed by our environment. That environment encompasses the people we surround ourselves with, the products we invite into our life and the physical spaces in which we spend our time.
Everything we do, every action we take is either contributing to or depleting our picture of health. Armed with this fact we can ensure we make the choices that protect our health for betterment. But we are not made to be perfect. So, our body does its best in trying to rectify the consequences of decisions we have made. Common balance disruptors include cigarettes, alcohol and processed foods - our intake of these products can more or less be controlled.
There are other balance disruptors that slip beneath our radar. We’re talking about toilet paper, cash receipts, and water bottles. The chemicals in these are beyond the regulating systems of the body and can have damaging effects throughout.
After months of glorious Aussie sun, perhaps your skin is feeling a little congested, lacklustre or dry from all the sunscreen, Prosecco and good times. With this simple skin detox guide you will be able to rejuvenate your skin – inside and out, in preparation for Autumn.
If you’re new to the world of detoxing, you may wonder why your skin would need one. What could a skin detox do for you? Your skin is one of the major organs involved in eliminating wastes and impurities from your body, mainly through perspiration.
You may have heard of this ingredient as a supplement to support vitamin B3 deficiency – that or Niacin. More recently, the skincare industry is going mad over the topical treatment of Niacinamide due to its ability to penetrate the stratum corneum – the outer most layer of the skin – while delivering antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, photo-protective, sebum-reducing, and lightening effects when applied topically. Now that’s more than a few benefits.
The Ordinary launched in 2016, and quickly dominated the skin-care industry by providing affordable, effective skincare with the science to prove it. Their minimal lab-esque packaging encouraged absolute beginners to feel comfortable in buying their no BS products, while simultaneously targeting ‘skintellectuals’ to take their obsessions to the next level – providing them with the resources to create their very own at-home lab.
Oenothera biennis is derived from evening primrose, a delicate goblet-like flower native to North America, Europe and Asia. The oil is extracted from the seeds and contains gamma-linolenic acid, a hearty fatty acid that encourages healthy cell membranes and balanced hormones. The seeds also contain proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. You’ll find oenothera biennis in soaps and cosmetics because of its potent hormone strengthening properties that alleviate common skin problems like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil is a restorative treatment for correcting lines and wrinkles, as well as sun and pollution damage to skin. The formulation is a retinol based, with cold-pressed avocado, chia and grape seed oils to leave a glowing complexion to the skin. With the rich blend of high-fat oils, this repair treatment aims to combat dryness and rough textures, as well as minimising pores. The potent synergy between natural botanicals and a powerful retinol application works so harmoniously due to the inclusion of a new retinol formulation known as Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate.
A cult favourite – the Activator 7 Oil from Sans [ceuticals] is a multifunctional reparative, potent vitamin oil that boosts the skin’s hydration levels, stimulates cell repair, increases collagen production and improves skin tone. Recommended to treat scars, stretch marks, dry skin, sun damaged and acne-prone skin, this bathroom staple is a necessary staple product in the bathroom for daily use.
The Kakadu Plum Vitamin C face serum is one of Rohr Remedy’s most sought-after products. The Kakadu Plum itself is reported to contain 55 times more Vitamin C than oranges, stimulating collagen production and smoothing out fine lines and signs of ageing. It’s prized for its medicinal and food value by indigenous Australians, finding it’s way into brightening and anti-ageing products alike.
The added benefits of Aloe Vera and Vitamin E bring healing qualities to this product, while Tamarind seed extract - a natural source of Hyaluronic Acid - smooths fine lines and plumps the skin with added hydration.
The Signature Mineral Mask is an award-winning mineral clay mask designed to soothe, strengthen and refine the skin. This product is a miracle-worker in reducing redness and evening out skin tone, with the ability to deliver instantaneous results after just one use.
It has one key ingredient in the product - Kaolin Clay; its mineral composition rich in Silica and Aluminium, including traces of Iron Oxide, Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. Kaolin Clay is less drying on the skin surface, absorbing less water than other clays; a more suitable option for those who suffer from dry, irritated and sensitive skin.
Sodashi’s Calm range is a gentle alternative specifically designed for those with sensitivities, reactive and irritated skin types. The soothing formulation of Jojoba, Macadamia, Apricot Kernel and Almond oils leave the skin feeling moisturised and supple. The addition of Activated White Clay and Sandalwood gentle purify the skin, adding minerals back into the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.
The Multi-Nutrient Facial Oil from SKIN by ecostore delivers an antioxidant-packed, replenishing face oil to help stimulate collagen production for glowing, healthy-looking complexions. The formulation of ingredients provides a nourishing barrier to the environmental pollutants of the world, as well as deeply hydrating the skin on a cellular level.
The Mukti Organics Age Defiance Day Serum has been coined a ‘natural alternative to Botox’. This certified organic product containing highly compatible, clinically proven combination of essential fatty acids and Australian extracts, peptides and vitamins to smooth, hydrate and ‘reverse’ the signs of ageing. The formula aims to prevent, reduce, and slow the appearance of ageing through the bioactive extracts that target these specific areas.
Bath bombs aren’t for everyone. Usually because you need a tub to even use it. Despite this, we thought to cover one of our favourite products for those who are lucky enough to have a bath or who one day aspire to live the luxe life. The LeQure Detox Bomb is made from 100% all natural and vegan ingredients to detoxify and nourish your body. It’s a cylinder shaped, charcoal fizzy that makes the tub a murky grey once dissolved. Doesn’t seem too appealing? Read on.
The Rosalina face cleanser is a gentle, slightly astringent face cleanser aiming to deeply cleanse, made possible by the product’s hero ingredient – Rosalina. A pea sized amount is needed to create a gentle lather from the gel-like consistency and to be used on the whole face. The formulation is Aloe Vera and Water based, delivering the active ingredients deeper into the skin for vital hydration.
A Konjac sponge is made from the Konjac plant native to East Asia. Its integral part in Traditional Chinese Medicine has been irreplaceable for over 1500 years, and more recently has evolved into the skincare industry as a natural exfoliant even for those with sensitivities. The vitamin-rich Konjac plant is what the sponge is made from – 100% natural vegetable fibres derived from the plant roots.
The Ordinary’s simple 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc Serum is one of the best-selling products in The Ordinary’s offering. It’s essentially an anti-blemish formula containing high concentrations of both Niacinamide and Zinc, targeting the effects of congested complexions as well as minimising the appearances and severity of blemishes. It’s designed for oily and acne-prone skin as high-performance treatment to even out textured skin and assist in other targeted treatments to work more effectively. The Ordinary promote these benefits, however also disclaim that this serum is not a treatment for acne.
100% Pure’s Multi Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum is a potent formula of stabilised vitamins working in synergy to reduce lines and wrinkles, increase firmness and elasticity, brighten and even skin tone. The hero ingredients are highly active, including Niacinamide and Vitamin C as two anti-ageing powerhouses, Vitamin E for protection against environmental damage, CoQ10 for reversing the signs of sun damage, and Retinol for an injection of firmness to the skin.
Made for sensitives and delicate skin, the Sukin Sensitive Gel Cleanser targets those who suffer from combination/oily skin types who need that gentler touch. The product aims to leave a non-drying finish so that the skin still feels moisturised and nourished while lifting any impurities and excess oils. The blend of Green Tea, Cucumber and Avocado Oil refreshes the skin while leaving it soft and balanced.
Trilogy’s Botanical Body Wash is a gentle gel-like textured formula, that lightly foams to create a delicate, gentle wash. The fresh, invigorating scent is owed to the three hero ingredients: Rosehip oil for hydration and repair, Kawakawa for stimulation and antioxidant properties, and Amla for its traditional use of healing and toning properties. It creates a spa-like aroma-therapeutic experience once the lather infuses the shower-steamed air. The gel formula leaves a non-drying finish to the skin, keeping it hydrating and nourished while feeling clean.
With sun beds out the window, the market is pumping with self-tan products, particularly those gradual tans that have the added benefit of moisturising the skin. On the top of the list are ones that we don’t have to wash off in the morning – dream! Eco Tan’s Invisible Tan is just that – a gradual tanning lotion infused with Avocado, Aloe Vera and Rose Geranium for a soft, nourishing lotion to hydrate and soothe skin while providing it with a sun-kissed glow.
A new generation of acid exfoliators have made their way into the mainstream. In the past, this type of exfoliation was something skin specialists and beauty therapists only could provide, however with the ban of micro-beads and sensitive skin types on the rise, chemical exfoliation has become the go-to in sloughing off those dead skin cells in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re interested in Vitamin A, chances are you’ve gotten here because you’re suffering from acne, hyperpigmentation, or trying to reverse the signs of ageing. The skin condition I’m going to focus here on is acne – even though there has been incredible research on Vitamin A for the latter two. This is because I’ve noticed how much concern there is for acne-sufferers to try a highly active ingredient such as Retinol – particularly when such an inflammatory skin condition can cause sensitivities.
Regarded as the ‘healing clay,’ bentonite has been used internally and externally to cure ailments for centuries. Clay is general is known for its detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and nourishing properties because of its ability to pull metals and toxins from the skin. Found in many skin products, especially face masks, bentonite clay is a natural and effective ingredient for fresh, detoxified skin.
Light green in colour and bulbous in shape, the Kakadu Plum resembles a standard pear. Found in the rugged Northern Territory of Australia, the small, sour fruit is gaining notoriety in the health and wellness scene because of its healing properties and surprising skincare benefits.
Kakadu Plum is also known as gubinge, bush plum, billy goat plum and salty plum.
Activated charcoal is equally a buzzword as it is a potent ingredient for internal and external cleansing. You’ll recognise it by its dark appearance moonlighting in everything from ice cream, to cocktails, to toothpaste. As the health and wellness worlds’ darling, charcoal is revered for its detoxifying properties and aesthetically pleasing colour. Activated charcoal has been linked to whitening teeth, cleaning hair, promoting a healthy digestion track, clearing skin and reducing bloating.
You probably haven’t heard of Magnesium Sulphate as a common ingredient found in your products. Perhaps Epsom salts rings more of a bell? The chemical name for Epsom Salts is Magnesium Sulphate - these are the mineral salt flakes that makes your muscles relax and free of any pain, what usually goes into luxury exfoliating products, and what you can buy in bulk at the health food store to have a maximum chill-out session in the bathtub.
Zinc Oxide is a topical preparation of Zinc; an inorganic chemical compound that has been used in skincare applications as one of the oldest cures for treating open wounds. Today, it is used to address skin damage, irritations, and act as a protective agent against environmental damage – particularly as an active ingredient in mineral sunscreen.
Ever wondered what the big deal is with retinol when it comes to skincare? Retinoids are touted as the fountain of youth but do they actually work? And what’s with all the side effects? Karen Saunders delves into Retinol, the contentious, highly coveted and ultra popular ingredient heralded for youthful, glowing skin.
Don’t let the word “acid” fool you here – this water-holding molecule is the cornerstone to great skincare. The hype of Hyaluronic begun when research released its humectant properties; its ability to hold up to six litres of water. In a race against time – actually – Hyaluronic Acid rapidly became one of the most sought for anti-ageing ingredients.
The natural ageing process as well as over-exposure to UV radiation, smoking and pollution all effect optimum levels of hyaluronic acid in your skin. To replenish the moisture levels and restore skin elasticity, Hyaluronic Acid serum was born.