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Cruelty Free Beauty

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Vegan Makeup: My Favourite Products

So one of the perks of deciding to share all the cruelty-free and vegan goodies I find is that the kind and encouraging words from you lovely lot means I am even more motivated than ever to discover and test my favourites. Championing awesome ethical and vegan brands makes me smile and spreading good vibes is always encouraged! Being honest, I was a bit of a ‘makeup junkie’ a few years back, and so vegan makeup was a challenge to switch to at first. You know when you have those favourites that you think you’ll stick to for life? Surprisingly enough, I soon realised that there are so many great vegan makeup brands and even ones that suit my skin (which is a little on the oily side) and fussy makeup taste.

I love a quiet night in with a face mask and luxurious bath, and equally a glam dress-up dinner with friends. Delightfully, both are achievable without the need to harm any of our wonderful fluffy friends. Here are some of the awesome vegan makeup and beauty products that I’ve been loving this month….

Inika

Australian brand Inika have a lovely range of organic and natural makeup. I’ve noticed they seem to be available in more and more stores these days which is great. You can buy their products at Wholefoods and also boutique wellness gyms and yoga studios such as Bhuti in Richmond. And online of course 🙂

vegan makeup inika

I’ve brought the liquid foundation, baked mineral foundation, concealer, lip tint, eyeliner and mascara. All of these I’m planning on buying again when they run out. Really great products! The mascara isn’t waterproof, so not so good for gymming or holidays though.

LUSH

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Lush as they’re bloomin’ marvellous… but have you tried the Cup O’Coffee exfoliator yet? If not, you need it in your life. My lovely friend from Men’s Health recommended it to me, completely raved about it. Seriously, this one is a life essential! I tried it and have never looked back – smells amazing, works so well and gives you super soft baby skin all over! Incredible.

After a good exfoliation, and actually every morning, Karma Kreme is required. Smells divine as the body cream is infused with their signature perfume. Two in one, perfect for slathering on after a morning gym session.

Lush also do a lot of charity work – if you’re looking for an excuse to buy a bath bomb then look no further. Be kind to yourself and support a good cause at the same time. In other news, Lush have just opened a spa on the Kings Road. I will be going in the next few months so watch this space…

lush vegan makeup favourite products

Geo Organics

I was mooching around Wholefoods one evening waiting to meet a friend and I got chatting to this fun American lady in the beauty section. She recommended Geo Organics to me so I thought I’d give it a try as she was so convinced it was fabulous. I’ve been using the toothpaste and mouthwash for a month or so now and must agree, it is really great stuff. Takes a bit of getting used to, as the natural toothpastes don’t foam like the chemical ones. However, you get used to it quickly. I think my teeth feel cleaner for longer and the oil pulling mouthwash is a great addition to my teeth cleaning routine. Love them!

vegan makeup geoorganics

Andalou Naturals

So this find isn’t so recent, I first came across this brand when I was looking for a BB cream to take on holiday with me. I had a friends wedding in Bali so needed some dual purpose vegan makeup. I tested loads, and this one was by far the best. It smells amazing and has a good level of SPF 30 which is perfect for those pastier skin tones like mine. It sets well with a little bit of powder on top, and smells of roses. Which is so luxe.

Andalou vegan makeup

Hourglass

On the pricier side of things is Hourglass. They do the most amazing highlighters, great for ‘strobing’, contouring, generally looking like a glowing goddess – which is totally on my list of #goals. I find Hourglass bits from SpaceNK, however not all the products are vegan within the Hourglass range so it is best to check first. Another similar brand is Illamasqua who are vegan and cruelty free.

Dr.Haushcka

Another Wholefoods find is Dr.Haushcka, all the products are natural and organic. Actually natural and organic though, rather than just saying they are. I’ve nearly used up this bronzer, and will be buying a replacement. It’s a really great colour, and totally buildable depending on how bronzed and dark you want the colour.

drhauschka vegan makeup

There are tonnes of other great vegan makeup brands that I have to share with in the coming months so keep an eye out for these 🙂

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Vegan Makeup: Cruelty-Free Beauty

Why you should switch to using vegan makeup and cruelty free cosmetics…

The cosmetic industry is inspiring, creative, fun and inclusive. It also has a dark side. There are some pretty nasty things going on behind the scenes. Most of the products we buy are ‘manufactured’ on mass scale, and making lipsticks, face washes, mascara, shampoo etc comes at a cost to the planet and unfortunately animals too.

All across Europe millions of animals every year, (approx. 11.5 million!) are used in experiments. These experiments can include animals being poisoned, infected with diseases, brain damaged, mutilated, gassed, deprived of food/sleep/water, burned, electrocuted, and subjected to skin/eye irritants and psychological distress. Many are killed too. It’s insanity that this happens to millions of animals every year.

In the EU it is illegal to sell animal-tested cosmetics, however most of the large brands test on animals in order to sell to markets such as China (as it is the law there). So buying from these companies such as Estee Lauder, Lancome, Dior etc means you are indirectly supporting animal testing.

Unfortunately, despite the regulations it is still possible to test cosmetics and other products on animals in the EU if there is a possibility the workforce could be exposed to the chemicals during manufacturing process. This begs the question as to why you would ever want to use products with this sort of chemicals in! I certainly stay away from all products with strange ingredients in now, choosing natural and organic as much as possible (plus cruelty free of course). I’ve also started to look into making products at home too.

Most of us live very busy lives, we live unconsciously for the most part. More and more people are stopping to think about where these seductively positioned luxuries have come from. In the modern western world, it is all too easy to get sucked into the glitz and glamour peddled by celebrities endorsing the latest shampoo/perfume/eyeshadow etc. However, there are so many brands appearing that champion cruelty free ethical production and ingredients. Let’s support these guys who are doing it right.

This year I’ve made simple changes to the items I buy, and have really streamlined my life in the process. I’ve gradually switched to buying organic/natural washing powder, shower gel, shampoo, vegan makeup etc. There are lots of awesome brands championing cruelty free and natural, using gorgeous ingredients such as essential oils, vegetable waxes, and plants. It’s a pleasure discovering the little gems and new products, especially knowing you are supporting brands that are ethical.

Keep a look out for an upcoming post where I’ll be sharing some of my favourite vegan makeup and cruelty free beauty brands. *Update find the post here, and some of my favourite cruelty free travel essentials can be found in this post here.

Spread some kindness and remember every purchase is a vote for the type of world you want to live in…

Ruth xx

Check below for an edit of some of my favourite cruelty free beauty products…

Natural Deodorant: Why I’ve made the switch

As I learn more and more about the chemicals, pollutants and toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, I pay even more attention to the ingredients in products I use.  I’ve slowly switched what I buy so that almost all the products I use now are natural and organic.  The first switch I made was to natural deodorant, and here’s a bit of information why It’s important to be mindful of what you’re exposing yourself to when it comes to anti-perspirants and deodorants.

One of the most interesting books I’ve read in this area is ‘Slow Death by Rubber Duck’ – It is a really thought-provoking read based on scientific results.  Typically we think of pollution as car fumes and  big rubbish dumps.  However, unfortunately there are many more polluting and toxic substances in everyday items too.  At a recent health expo, I learned a lot talking to the charity Breast Cancer UK.  This charity are are doing some amazing work in bringing greater awareness of the risks of some of these chemicals (among many other important issues).

One of the most well researched and discussed compounds when it comes to breast cancer is Aluminium.  Aluminium salts are used in antiperspirants to block the sweat ducts to stop sweating. Doesn’t that sound pretty dreadful and unnatural in itself when you think about it?

Aluminium is absorbed through the skin, however when applied after shaving 6x the amount can be absorbed, plus as it’s left there all day continuous exposure occurs.  I’ve been shocked to learn that Aluminium containing products are linked to many neurological diseases and illnesses –  most famously Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  We come into contact with 25+ different types of aluminium compounds in products like lipsticks, toothpastes, antacids and vaccinations – pretty scary stuff!

Many health advocates have long supported a ban on the use of these risky compounds in cosmetics and food,  particularly in under-arm antiperspirants. Lukily, there have been some positive developments in this area recently with France, Norway and Germany all concluding that ‘based on current knowledge, aluminium in cosmetic products cannot be considered safe’.  At least some countries seem to have some sense!

As with many chemicals found in products made by huge multinationals, despite many questions and challenges born from concerning results and statistics, these are mostly ignored due to ‘no direct causal link’.  However, a recent scientific review collated the most concerning results such as; 50% of breast cancers in the UK start in the area near the underarm, and aluminium has been found at higher levels in women with breast cancer than those without.  Seems logical to avoid nasty chemical deodorants when you hear stats like these.

Dr Organic Natural Deodorant - The Vegan Edit

Natural Organic Deodorants – Aluminium Free

So most importantly, what can you do to ensure you avoid aluminium whilst staying fresh?  Here are some fabulous websites that offer a range of safe and effective alternatives. Many offer worldwide delivery or free UK delivery.

Green People – https://www.greenpeople.co.uk/

LoveLula.com – https://www.lovelula.com/

Naturismo.com – http://www.naturisimo.com/

MyPure – http://www.mypure.co.uk/

Holland & Barrett – http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/natural-beauty/washing-bathing/deodorant/

I personally use Dr Organic deodorant from Holland & Barrett. The range includes a variety of smells such as rose, lavender, etc

What I found when first switching to natural deodorant is that it does take a week or so to get used to it.  At first you may notice a difference, however its quick and easy get used to and worth the minor inconvenience.  I now find the stench of anti-perspirant products awful and can’t believe how severe and chemically they are.

(In case you’re wondering, Deodorant works by using perfumes to mask the smell and antibiotics to kill bacteria which cause the undesirable odour, vs antiperspirants that work by blocking the sweat ducts).

If you’re not into buying products online, check out your local independent health food store.

I urge you to have a think about the products you come into contact with every day, and whether some unnecessary chemicals can be avoided.

Look after yourself, your body needs to last you a long time, and it’s difficult to get spare parts!
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Here are some of the studies relating to this article:

Darbre PD (2010) Environmental oestrogens and breast cancer: evidence for combined involvement of dietary, household and cosmetic xenoestrogens. Anticancer Research

Mannello F, Exley C, Darbre PD (2013) Aluminium and breast cancer: sources of exposure, tissue measurements and mechanisms of toxicological actions on breast biology. J. Inorg. Biochem

European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (2014) Opinion on the safety of aluminium in cosmetic products.

House E, Polwart A, Darbre P, Barr L, Metaxas G, Exley C (2013) The aluminium content of breast tissue taken from women with breast cancer.

Food for Healthy Skin: How to Eat Yourself Beautiful!

We all know that we are what we eat, but nowhere do the results of this show up more obviously than in the largest organ of the body, our skin! Mother Nature has blessed us with lots of amazing food for healthy skin, and most are easy to get hold of, cheap to buy and delicious and enjoyable to eat too!

Whilst the glossy magazines may try to convince us that the latest wonder balm full of chemicals and synthetics is the answer, in reality it’s much simpler.  It might not seem glam… but beautiful glowing skin begins in the gut!  Outer beauty really does come from within, so before splurging on the latest miracle cream, first invest your time and money in eating right and improving your digestive health.

So here you go, the best food for healthy skin…

Power up the Protein

Good quality plant proteins are exactly what the body needs to build Collagen Elastin.  Collagen is the most common protein found in your body, it forms the connective tissues which give skin it’s texture and suppleness. Loss of collagen is a visible sign of ageing, and so having a diet rich in proteins  is super important for maintaining a youthful appearance! Go for beans, peas, lentils chickpeas, tofu, nuts and seeds.

Friendly Carbs

Carbs have an unfair bad reputation, however if you opt for complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato and pulses then you can’t really go wrong!  Complex carbs are ‘low GI’ which means they digested slowly, and so the sugar is released into your bloodstream more slowly.  This helps to maintain stable insulin levels meaning you’ll be less likely to reach for a sugary snack.  Sugar laden foods damage the skin’s collagen as the sugar molecules stick to the collagen fibres making them less effective. This leads to wrinkles and sagging of the skin.  Fill up on sweet potato, oats, beans, lentils, peas and green vegetables.  Complex carbs for the win, they’re far friendlier!

Good Fats

Fats are a bit of a contentious topic largely due to confusion over which are good or bad.  Some fats known as ‘Essential Fatty Acids’ are an essential part of a healthy diet, and the proper functioning of our whole body. These EFA’s are grouped into Omega’s 3 and 6; Omegas 3 and 6 are really important for skin health as they work to hydrate cells and repair cell membranes restoring the skin’s barrier and locking in moisture. Their natural anti-inflammatory effect also helps to calm redness and heal blemishes.

One amazing product I’ve recently discovered is Neal’s Yard Organic Beauty Oil, it’s a blend of healthy fats, specifically formulated to match the ratios of Omega 3, 6 and 9 required when living in the UK climate.  The nourishing supplement contains hemp seed oil, evening primrose oil, flax seed oil and avocado oil.  I love to add into smoothies for a skin-boost – I highly recommend it and you can get your mitts on this wonderful concoction here!

NYR Organic Beauty Oil

Go Nuts!

When eaten in their natural unprocessed form, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds all provide a rich source of Omega 3 and 6.  Brazil nuts are also rich in zinc and selenium which are essential minerals for calming redness and repairing the skin.

Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Turmeric, garlic and ginger aren’t just tasty ingredients for your cooking, but also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties – great for healing damaged or frazzled skin. Turmeric, spice of the moment, has been used in Ayurvedic practices for centuries to even out skin tone and pigmentation. Garlic is rich in anti-inflammatory sulphur which is great for clearing up blemishes.

This will help you achieve a smooth and balanced complexion, reducing the amount of skin products you need to get your skin looking flawless and glowing!

 

Beauty Berry Smoothie

Purple Beauty Berries

Berries are a great food for healthy skin, and especially dark pigment rich purple fruits such as blackberries, black cherries and blueberries as they contain anthocyanins. These compounds are especially skin-friendly due to the high levels of antioxidants they contain. Juices and smoothies open up a whole new world of nutritious, skin-friendly treats.  Add berries to your morning granola, smoothies and desserts to load up on even more skin boosting nutrients more often.

If you’re eating a balanced diet full of these nutrient rich foods you will be feeding your skin from within, and glowing in no time 🙂 Then if you want to enhance your gorgeous skin, then check out this post where I recommend some of my favourite vegan cruelty-free make up products!

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