A Natural Skincare Routine

If you’re anything like me, you get to the bathroom to clean your teeth at the later end of the evening, stare at yourself and your bedraggled hair in the mirror and think, I should wash my face and do all those things that other people do to look after the face that is going to be on the front of my head for my entire life. Then you spit your toothpaste out and go to bed. I don’t wear makeup often which helps to encourage this c’est la vie, shrug-of-the-shoulders kind of attitude.

Part of my skincare dilemma is finding products that fit with my ethos. I don’t use any products tested on animals, I like to avoid palm oil and I don’t like using products with nasty things in them. Sometimes I have bought things from local markets and so on, only to find that stall is not there the next time I need the product. So more often than not I’ve thrown up my hands and put skincare in the too-hard basket. And gone to bed.

When I was offered some products from biome* recently, and knew it was my chance. I have been an affiliate for biome for a number of years, and continue to be impressed. They have recently declared themselves to be palm oil free and have written a post* explaining the truths behind the use of palm oil (and its so-called ‘sustainable’ derivatives). Initially, I thought about choosing cleaning products (as you do) but then, after careful consideration I decided, to hell with it, I’m going all out for me and my face.

I chose*:

// cedar + stone hemp and rose foaming cleanser

// clay face block

// vegan skin food moisturiser

// tinderbox orange flower toner

I’ve spent the last couple of months using these products and getting a feel for them, and I am genuinely happy with all of them. I absolutely love the vegan skin food in particular, but it is quite heavy, which I like as I feel as though it is really nourishing my skin, however if a thick moisturiser isn’t for you, you could try another from their moisturiser range*. The foaming cleanser is beautiful and fresh feeling, and the clay face block (of which I wasn’t sure what to except) is surprisingly easy on the skin, leaving my face feeling revitalised. I often grab the orange flower toner throughout the day, when I need a bit of a pep up. It’s safe to say I’m now someone who has a solid morning and evening skin care routine! It has only taken me 35 years…

I want to mention that I am regularly offered products for trial, from linen to books to gift vouchers and so on. I think in all the years I have been blogging I have said yes to three things, these products from biome* being one. I strongly believe in biome products and this is the only reason I accepted their offer. I am not interested in spending time blogging about products I don’t personally find value in, and which don’t fit with my ethical beliefs.I will  absolutely be purchasing all of the items I trialled once mine have run out. Phew, political statement over!

If you’re looking for a new skin care range for yourself, or a little eco-friendly something for Christmas gifts (books, lunch boxes, drink bottles, the list goes on), I would highly recommend you have a look at biome* and see what you think.

*If you purchase something using my affiliate links I will earn a small commission. I will only ever use affiliate links for things I use and enjoy myself in my own home, for my own family. Thank you so much for your support. 

re-evaluating

 

It’s nearly the new year, it’s the come down after Christmas, and for me that always involves a lot of thinking. Some who know me would argue that my entire life is burdened with (over) thinking… yes I suppose it’s true, but at this time of year particularly so. (Many apologies to those around me during this time.)

My intense thinking period usually begins around November when I’m deciding what to make for Christmas gifts. That gets me thinking about how I can teach the girls to care and understand the plight of other people (not just think about what presents they are going to get), how we can avoid the onslaught and pressure to buy everything at this time of year, why we celebrate Christmas (given we are not religious), what we value and then of course how to support those values in our everyday lives which therefore equals what we want to align ourselves more closely with and how we should try to live in the following year to achieve that. With me so far?

KB and I both give ourselves a small fortnightly allowance to spend on things like coffee and books and individual pursuits (mainly so we don’t argue about who has spent more on takeaway coffee: sideways glare) and for a long time I have been looking for a cause or an issue close to my heart to donate to. In the end I chose an organisation that supports women and girls, with a focus on birth control and sexual protection and education, as having three little women of my own it’s an issue I understand and strongly support.

While exploring and flipping this way and that in my mind, I realised that no matter what the cause, the issue or the side of the fence I sit on, there’s always going to be evidence to support my point of view, as well as the opposing. I could sit around for years thinking “will I or won’t I?” but there comes a time when I need to stop reading books and articles and watching TED talks (guilty!) and just decide one way or another where I stand in that moment. Sometimes it won’t be the “right” side of the fence and I may go through a period of discovery. Sometimes thoughts on an issue might change. But if a decision isn’t made at some point the danger is that I will just continue passively reading and observing and sitting on the fence and thinking things like “Oh, that’s terrible,” or “But the issue is just too big for me to have an impact,” and not actually take any positive action. Making a decision (even if temporary) means that for now, someone benefits from my decision in some tiny way, and if it should change in the future then so be it. And please don’t mistake what I am saying: I don’t believe you have to donate money to an issue to have an impact. Every step you take, every purchase you make (or don’t make), everything you eat/wear/say/do can have an impact – good or bad. It’s your choice as to which way you go.

Christmas day was a fantastic day for us. Since having children we’ve slowly been embedding traditions that sit with our values around Christmas time: thinking of others, making that the real meaning behind Christmas. This year the girls chose a gift for a child in need and that process of going to the shops, choosing a gift, purchasing it and writing a card was really tangible for them, as opposed to donating online. Every year I feel more and more uncomfortable about the consumerism surrounding Christmas, and every year I desperately try to balance it out by continually coming back to our values around Christmas in the best and most ethical way I can think of: by making gifts, by making thoughtful and ethical purchases, and by supporting others as best we can during this time which is not always pleasant for everyone.

Our lives are very short. Personally I feel that I have a responsibility to educate myself and make decisions about my values as a consumer, as an employee, as a mother, as a human being. If I change my mind in the future, if I learn something new that changes things, that’s ok too. The important thing to me right now is to take action in the best way I possibly can without entertaining any illusions that I need to be perfect or make the perfect decision. I don’t want to stumble blindly through life.

Are you searching to make some positive change in your life in 2016? It might not be about a charity or a cause or a political issue, it might be about a way of life, a way of eating, or to shape a thought. If you are interested in the things that I’m interested in, you may like the following websites, blogs and documentaries that I have enjoyed this year (just some super light holiday reading/watching for you…!):

// 80,000 hours: how to make a difference with your career

// The why and how of effective altruism: TED Talk

// Give Well: top charities

// Down to Earth: simple living

// CowspiracyMission BlueThe True Cost and Chasing Ice: my favourite documentaries of 2015

I hope that wherever you are, and whatever you believe in, you are happy and well.

community

It was 2.15pm this afternoon that I picked up the phone and called for help. It’s such a hard thing to do, to reach out. There are all those conflicting feelings; you’re putting someone out, you should be able to cope on your own, you’re putting someone on the spot. But it was 2.15pm, it was hot, I’d been in and out of the car with the kids what felt like a thousand times, little Pea had barely slept a wink all day and the Pixie had fallen asleep half an hour before Bird’s school pick up. A dear friend from mother’s group is always offering to help and I thought: now is the time. I picked up the phone and dialled her number. Half an hour later she arrived with her two children, took the baby from my arms and sent me off to school pick up, SOLO. Ah, the freedom of getting in and out of a car ALONE! In the playground I saw one of our other friends and invited her and her daughter over too. Twenty minutes later the three of us were sitting in my lounge room with hot cups of tea and coffee while the children ran in and out, shedding more and more items of clothing each time we saw them until over half of them were naked. Kids!

It’s amazing how community can enrich your life, give you confidence, make you feel at ease. Belonging is a wonderful thing.

By the time my friends had left one had washed my dishes (which, by the way, were climbing the walls) and the other had brought in a bag of hand me down clothes for Birdie, and I was feeling moderately sane again after some adult conversation and good company.

We really aren’t designed to live in silos, are we? I will forever be wondering why…