Natural baby care: Anissa’s top five products to use on bubs

Weleda Baby Care Starter PackWe’re very lucky and thrilled that busy mama Anissa from Beautifully Glossy agreed to make an appearance on the Echolife blog!

Today she’s sharing her top five products to use on bubs. If you have one or more littlies in your nest, don’t forget to head over to Beautifully Glossy (after you’ve finished reading!) to enter the Weleda Baby Products Giveaway Anissa is hosting until March 26th. Read on to find out what made Anissa’s list!

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So proud: recent Echolife press

Echolife Macrobiotic Sea Salt Bath CrystalsWe love our Echolife products very much – we’d be quite happy to sing their praises all day, although admittedly it would get repetitive for those of you who’ve come to expect varied natural health, wellness and beauty related content over here.

Indulge us for a minute though – in the last week, our very own products have received some love from our favourite bloggers, so in case you missed it (and because we’re very proud), here’s a quick peek below. Enjoy (we did)!

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Beauty tips: a quick catch-up with Stacey from Add to Cart

Add to Cart Blog BannerAdd to Cart blogger extraordinaire Stacey has a busy enough life as it is – and yet she recently agreed to guinea-pig non-toxic nail products from Couleur Caramel and is currently hosting a giveaway sponsored by Echolife. She’s lovely like that. But wait, there’s more! We sent her a few questions about her summer routine and what products she’s been looking forward to – read on to find out what’s on Stacey’s radar. You know it will be good!

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Skin tantrums

Woman ScreamingWe’ve all been there – our skin can be an unpredictable beast, and just when everything seemed to be going well, bam! It hits us with: the mother of all pimple(s) / a breakout of epic proportion / redness and its cousin splotchy / uneven texture and feel / an oil production in overdrive / dry skin that feels tighter than a tambourine,…

While you’re scratching your head thinking a) What have I done to deserve this? and b) How did this happen?, it’s always helpful to remember that your skin isn’t an island: if you’ve been eating less than well, not getting enough sleep, feeling stressed out, it’s going to show inside and out – and out means on your face and body.

The more products you use as part of your skin care routine, the harder it will be to pinpoint the culprit when things go bad – and it may in fact not be a single product that your skin disagrees with, but a combination of ingredients from different products. Bah! What to do?

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Skin health: why pH is crucial

If there was a formula for healthy and glowing skin, you could say its pH plays a crucial role. Our skin maintains a delicate acid balance (which typically ranges from pH 4.5 to 6) that keeps it looking fresh and hydrated, as well as discourages the growth of bacteria – including bacteria responsible for acne breakouts. However most products we use on our skin are very alkaline, which disrupts our skin’s pH and can strip its beneficial acid mantle.

What then? Our skin has to work harder to balance its pH – it can take an astounding 8 hours for the skin to lower its pH back to an ideal 5.5. And if bombarded day after day with highly alkaline skin care products, our skin can become irritated, uneven, or show signs of premature ageing.

As most commercial soaps have a pH of 9 or more, ditching the soap to cleanse the skin with an all natural alternative is a good place to start.

pH-friendly skin cleansing routine

You can use some surprising all natural products to cleanse your skin instead of soap.

Milk: you can tailor the fat content to your skin type (skim for oily, full fat for dry or sensitive). Click here for full instructions on how to cleanse your skin with milk. Don’t use milk to clean the skin in the eye area.

Apple juice: slightly astringent, it makes a good toner and helps shrink pores too. Click here for an apple and lemon toner recipe. Be careful not to go near your eyes.

Cucumber juice: cooling and safe to remove eye make-up. It really does work to put slices on your eyes to relax, tone your skin and reduce puffiness!

Aloe vera gel: aloe vera absorbs quickly into the skin and brings it essential nutrients. It can also be used as an all natural moisturiser.  Click here for instructions on how to cleanse your skin with aloe vera gel.

Hydrated green clay: green clay makes for a fantastic all natural cleanser – it gently detoxes the skin by drawing out impurities without altering the skin’s ideal pH.

Honey: pure honey not only smells delicious during application and leaves your skin smelling sweet, but it is antibacterial and very moisturising. You can rinse it off straight away or leave it on for longer as a face masque. Recipe for a milk and honey facial scrub anyone?

And remember: gentle mechanical action – pressing and rubbing with your fingers – or the use of organic cotton pads or cotton balls is more than adequate to encourage make-up or grime off your skin (no vigorous scrubbing please!).

Evening Primrose Oil

evening primrose flower

evening primrose flowerEvening Primrose Oil contains high levels of GLA essential fatty acids which are particularly beneficial for dry and mature skin. Primrose Oil is well known for its ability to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by restoring skin elasticity.

Evening primrose Oil is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose flower which grows beside creeks and rivers and flowers in the later part of the day. The oil has been thought to help ease many symptoms of pre-menstrual problems and menopause. Although many doctors suggest that women try evening primrose oil to help with symptoms associated with these symptoms, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. Scientific studies and more extensive testing will help to reveal more conclusive evidence on the use of this product. Continue reading

Olive, a very healthy oil

Olive oil is not just delicious – it is indeed very healthy. It has been recognised as one of the healthiest sources of good fats and can help protect the body against coronary disease and ultimately even increase life expectancy*. The Better Health Channel recommends switching to olive oil as the primary source of dietary fat and points to countries where the Mediterranean Diet is prevalent and instances of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer are low as good evidence to support olive oil’s healthfulness.

Research has confirmed the link between a high consumption of olive oil and a decrease in bad cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. The benefits of olive oil include protecting our cells’ DNA against free radical damage*, anti-inflammatory properties and a positive lowering effect on blood sugar and blood pressure**.

Olive oil is not only a kitchen staple but a trusted traditional remedy for heartburn, constipation, blocked ears and earaches. Taking one tablespoon internally on an empty stomach can also help with digestion.

The different grades of olive oil:

If possible, try to buy an extra virgin or a virgin olive oil: the olives are always cold-pressed and the oil they yield is of a higher quality and has better nutritional value and flavour. The resulting oil should be dark yellow or greenish in colour, which is a sign of quality.

Pure, light and extra light olive oils are extracted and refined with the help of heat and chemicals: their nutritional value is much diminished and a small amount of virgin olive oil even has to be added to restore some flavour at the end of the refining process. Give them a miss!

Olive oil is also an excellent skin moisturiser – Talinga Grove and Botáni olive skin care are testament to this. More on this later! For now, try cooking with olive oil daily or serve it on the side with fresh bread at the dinner table. Even better if you can buy your olive oil from a local grower, as it will be fresher and richer in all the good fats and nutrients.

Source *Better Health Channel, **Wikipedia