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Cosmetic Vampires

PE, PP, PET, PMMA – modern day cosmetic vampires

Recently an environmental topic has come to light and it’s one that I think needs further discussion to really get the message out there. Many people who use cosmetic products that contain microbeads, will be unaware of the damage they are causing and that they’re unknowingly contributing to a huge environmental problem.

Microbeads can be found in a huge range of beauty products, commonly in the toothpaste, facial scrub and soap that you’re using on a daily basis. Essentially, microbeads are tiny plastic beads that are barely visible to the naked eye. They’re easily swilled down our sinks and then seep through the water treatment filters and into our lakes, rivers and seas.

This is part of a plastic crisis – microbeads are extremely durable and are no different from littering with other forms of plastic. They contaminate our waters and don’t go anywhere, clogging up our seas, lakes and river. A recent survey of North America’s Great Lakes found up to 1.1 million beads per square kilometre of water. An estimated 8 trillion microbeads per day are being released into the waterways in the US alone – that’s enough to cover more than 300 tennis courts. Shockingly, this figure only accounts for the 1% of microbeads that get into the water drainage. 99% of microbeads end up in sewage where they are spread over land and eventually make their way into water.

Think about it, however small and harmless microbeads may seem to us, they are the perfect size for fish and animals on land to eat. Once eaten, they swell and clog up the stomach so that the fish/animal literally starves to death. What’s more, microbeads actually attract other pollutants such as pesticides which means that the fish are frequently eating even more harmful chemicals than the microbeads themselves. When we eat the fish that we catch from these infested waters, these pollutants are passed up the food chain to humans.

It’s important to know that microbeads are in no way essential. There are plenty of non-toxic and biodegradable cosmetic options on offer that can get you all the results that microbeads do. Remember that natural ingredients such as sugar and salt also make for excellent exfoliants.
 
Celgenics, BeatTheMicroBeadWhilst some US states have now officially banned microbead products, Europe is lagging behind. The Netherlands look like they will be the first European country to follow suit and put a ban in place, however the topic is definitely not discussed or spoken about here in the UK.

So, just as you wouldn’t or shouldn’t, leave your plastic rubbish on the beach, consider whether it’s time to ‘vote with your credit card’ and stop using products with microbeads which are going to be flushed  down the sink. Beat The Microbead is an organisation that has been set up to tackle this harmful yet widely unheard of environmental problem. You can find out more about the organisation and the science behind the microbead here.

Fabulous testimonial

This is such an amazing testimonial it has a blog page all to itself:

“For as long as I can remember I have always had trouble with my skin. By trouble I don’t mean the odd spot like most “normal” people, I get horrible and horrendously painful spots. Yes this was worse during puberty,and people kept saying you’ll grow out of it, well I can say I never did. Since I’ve been of working age earning and spending my own money I have been on a mission to sort my problem out, and I can safely say I have probably spent too much on this quest.

Along this journey I have been prescribed such strong antibiotics I have been violently ill, i’ve tried so many wonder treatments and new gadgets at some of the top skin clinics in the area I’ve lost count and on a number of times whilst having treatments I have been brought to tears by unsympathetic and judgemental therapists who seem to think my issue is either poor diet, hygiene or both. Through out this time I’ve never shyed away from trying (within financial reason) any of the lotions, cleansers etc that come highly recommended- which there has been a lot.

I had given up on ever sorting this out, and had resigned myself to layering on my mac foundation when someone introduced me to the healing hands of Lynn. Lynn has the patience and the heart of a saint. The difference with Lynn was that she listened to me, to what I do, how I felt and she really cared and wanted to help. Just from working with Lynn and her healing hands my skin instantly changed, but there always something underlying, a flare up that could happen over night with no reason.

After working together for a while Lynn introduced me to a new range of products called CELGENICS At this time my skin had taken another turn for the worse with spots both on and under the skin, lots of blocked pores. I was also due to get married in three months and Lynn was determined to sort this out.

It took a lot of trust to try something new so close to my big day, and I have to say I was sceptical to start. I tried just a cleanser and toner to start with for 2 weeks, and then went for a check.

Celgenics winner

My skin literally changed over night. I remember the first time I used the cleanser I got quite annoyed with it because it took so long to get my skin clean- of course days after when my skin was already feeling and looking clearer and brighter I soon realised that was what my cleansers should have been doing all along.

Since starting on these products my skin is the complete opposite to where its ever been, they really are a miracle product. The difference it has made I can not be put into words, everything about my skin is different from pore size, to texture and how its looks (in comparison now I think it use to look greyish). I would say I’m quite a confident person, but especially at my wedding I just felt amazing.

Having tried too many products to count I can safely say my quest is finally over and I have finally found something that has made a real difference. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone else, especially to those like me who they think they are a lost cause because you’re really not, CELGENICS and Lynn at ROOM 92 [@whitstable92] are the products to change things for you too.  [enquiries@roomninetytwo.co.uk]

7 tips for winter skin

Central heating on = Skin turning off!

The autumn nights really feel like they’re closing in now and winter is definitely on its way.
This week I gave in to the chilly evenings and turned the central heating on – as much to keep warm as to stop feeling damp from all the rain we’ve had.

It’s made my home lovely and cosy but of course the down side is that if I’m not careful my skin will soon feel very dry and lose its summer glow. It’s a well-known phenomenon that central heating dries out our skin, leaving it feeling taut, dry and more prone to crinkly lines as well as dull and even itchy. So what can you do to counter this unfortunate side-effect of modern day living?

Here are my 7 Top Tips that will help your skin to stay supple and your body healthy during the winter months.

1 Hydration: Drinking plenty of water is perhaps obvious but an absolute must. Without adequate water, your skin looks dull, dry and lines look more prominent. When skin is properly hydrated it’s plump with good elasticity and doesn’t crack so easily. Try warm water with a slice of lemon in the morning and last thing at night. Sipping water during the day is a good way to increase your water intake if you don’t like drinking large glassfuls of water, which many people don’t. Hot water is often easier for people to drink than cold water especially in the winter.

2 Skincare: Make sure you use more moisturiser and include a regular exfoliating regime; I like to use this very simple sugar scrub to exfoliate.

1 cup of organic olive oil or coconut oil and 1 cup of sugar.
Mix them together, put into a jar in the fridge and use when you need to.

Apply to your face and body and wash off after about 10 minutes; it leaves skin feeling very fresh and looking much clearer as the dead skin cells are removed.

3 Ventilate your home: Open the windows! Central heating dries out the air and many houses and flats now have double-glazing and are essentially air-tight – not the naturally draughty rooms I grew up in – so it’s actually great to get some fresh air circulating around your home on a daily basis. Have a window open in your bedroom at night and turn off the heating! Try real wool blankets to keep you warm, not the man-made polyester blankets which frankly are useless at keeping you warm. If your house or flat gets very dry, consider using a humidifier to put some moisture back into the air.

4 Exercise: How many of us think we can hibernate in the winter and not bother about keeping up our fitness regime that we followed so assiduously in the summer. We no longer have the incentive of getting into a bikini and looking great in summer clothes but exercise increases blood flow and your blood carries oxygen and vital nutrients to all the cells in your body, including skin cells. At the same time, exercise increases lymphatic flow by as much as 25% and your lymphatic system is like an internal hoover, removing waste products and substances that cannot be re-absorbed into the blood.

5 Use sunscreen: Even though it’s cold and you can’t feel the warmth of the sun, don’t be fooled into thinking that it isn’t there and isn’t affecting you.

UV radiation is the number one factor responsible for skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. In fact, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have identified broad spectrum UV as a human carcinogen.

UV radiation has 3 specific wavebands; they differ in their biological activity and the depth to which they penetrate into the skin. The two you need to know about are UVA and UVB.
UVA accounts for up to 95 percent of the solar UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.
It can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and has for years been thought to play a major part in skin ageing and wrinkling. The important thing to remember is that UVA rays are present during all daylight hours including the winter months so we need to protect ourselves. It’s also useful to know that it can penetrate through clouds and glass – which means that any windows you sit by are not protecting you!
UVB is the middle-range of UV. It’s responsible for burning, tanning and acceleration of skin ageing and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer. It doesn’t penetrate through glass like UVA. Find protection that offers multi spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB. Just because a sunscreen states a high SPF rating, it doesn’t mean it protects against both forms of UV radiation.

6. Don’t forget your hands and lips:  Our hands and lips are especially sensitive to the cold. Try and moisturise your hands every time you wash them. Better still, use gloves where possible to prevent dry, cracked skin.

7. Consider supplements: Omega oils and hyaluronic acid can both help your skin to lock in moisture, making the most of all the water you drink .

We need a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids to feed skin from inside.
If you don’t like oily fish which is a source of omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, sardines or herring, take a supplement of fish oils.
The other important essential fatty acid is Omega 6 found in Evening primrose oil, Blackcurrant seed oil and Borage oil. If you’re on any blood thinning medication [anti-coagulants], blood pressure medication, anti-depressants or medication to control seizures then you need to check with your doctor first as there are well known interactions with certain essential fatty acids.

Start now to make changes so that when the really cold weather arrives, you’ve got your new regime in place – any questions, do let me know.  x

 

Sensitive Skin – Save money and raid your kitchen cupboard!

Sensitive Skin – save money and treat it yourself!

Millions of women suffer from sensitive skin but struggle to find products and remedies that effectively treat it without adding to the problem. Very often the harsh chemicals that are frequently found in non-organic skincare products tend to aggravate sensitive skin further.
Besides using Celgenics products which obviously we’re recommending, because they’re organic and were created for women with sensitive skin, I thought it would be useful to know about a few things you can do yourself with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen and which are great for sensitive skin.

1. Honey – Honey is not only a natural healer but is also a natural antibacterial which makes it the perfect option for those prone to breakouts. You can combine honey with cinnamon and little lemon juice for a lightly exfoliating DIY mask that will deter acne and infections. Coconut oil also works well with honey for a soothing and cleansing mask. This will leave your skin healed and hydrated which is perfect for the colder winter months. Honey can also be applied directly to a blemish to calm the skin. If you’re looking for a more intense exfoliating remedy for your skin then simply mix honey and sugar for an organic scrub that will remove dead skin cells. If you’re not sure if your skin will like any of these options do a patch test on a very small area first.Celgenics and lavender for skin

2. Yogurt – is a great, easy base to add different ingredients to. Even using it just on its own will give you soft, supple skin. To give yourself a facial, first cleanse your face, making sure you remove all make up and dirt from the day. Then smooth some organic, creamy yogurt all over your face and neck. It contains lactic acid, a natural exfoliator, so leave it on for about 10 minutes and then wash off. Be sure to use only organic yogurt and one that’s thick and rich in active probiotic cultures. You can add cinnamon powder to yogurt but make sure you’re not allergic to it by doing a patch test. Cinnamon is fantastic for unclogging pores, it’s a powerful anti bacterial and helps with itchy skin.

3. Oatmeal – Sensitive skin and eczema or rosacea often go hand in hand; oatmeal is a great anti inflammatory as well as having cleansing and hydrating properties. As an anti oxidant it’s full of vitamins and minerals that benefit skin so using it in the bath means you really get to soak up all its goodness. Savvy mums use oatmeal to relieve the symptoms of chickenpox. Pour a cup of plain oatmeal into a bath as it fills up then add either some dried lavender or one or two drops of organic lavender oil. Lie back and enjoy the calming and soothing effect on your skin.

4. Chamomile –  is one of the best skincare herbs available and is really useful for skin conditions such as contact dermatitis (eczema). It has anti – fungal, anti – inflammatory and anti –bacterial properties so is very useful for skin irritants and inflammation. Simply use a cooled chamomile tea bag on the skin for 15 minutes; its anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe and calm any inflammation.

5. Aloe Vera – You might not have this in your kitchen cupboard but it’s well worth getting some for the times you burn yourself on a hot pan, spill burning fat, cut yourself chopping vegetables, it’s something I wouldn’t be without! In fact, I grow it myself so I always have it to hand.

aloe vera for sensitive skinIn ancient Egypt Aloe Vera was called the plant of immortality and is probably the most promoted organic ingredient for sensitive skin because of its all round benefits. It’s full of anti-oxidants, is a natural anti-inflammatory and is well known for helping with wounds and blisters. If you’re in a country where Aloe Vera grows naturally, breaking off a tip will give instant relief for sunburn. It helps with acne and stretch marks, it promotes firmness and elasticity in the skin and moisturises your skin without leaving a greasy feel. Taking Aloe Vera internally as a drink can be beneficial as it helps to heal the gut which is often where skin problems start.
We think aloe vera is brilliant and use it in our Deep Cleansing Lotion.

If you have any favourite recipes, do send them to us, we’d love to add them and share with everyone. Who knows, if we get enough we could create an ebook of your tried and tested home-made skin remedies.

A good skin cleansing routine is key to perfect skin!

 Proper cleansing – there are no short cuts!

You might have already heard but Celgenics Deep Cleansing Lotion has been voted best cleanser in the Janey Loves Awards 2015! One of the most common questions we get asked by the lovely customers who use our Deep Cleansing Lotion is “what is a good skin cleansing routine”,  “how do you effectively cleanse your face” “Is there a right or a wrong way to do it”?
We’ve put together some helpful tips on how to use our award winning Deep Cleansing Lotion combined with our Classic Rose Water Toner to create a skincare regime that will protect your skin against its daily challenges and give you glowing,healthy skin that you will love.

The Deep Cleansing Lotion is designed to work deeply into your pores  to lift out even the most stubborn dirt and makeup. It can be used to remove both foundation and the more difficult makeup such as mascara and kohl. If you don’t wear make-up, it’s still important to cleanse especially if you live in a city where you’re exposed to traffic pollution; London is a great example of a highly polluted city!

The first step is to apply the cleanser to your face with light, circular movements of your fingers or use the cleanser direct on a dampened cotton pad. Once you have worked the product into your skin, we recommend using either cotton wool pads or a damp sponge to remove the cleansing lotion depending on your preference and what your skin likes best. You may prefer to use water for a refreshing feeling and to make sure that you have no excess product left on your skin. I designed the cleanser so you can use it either way; I’m old fashioned and I like to feel water on my face.

Our Deep Cleansing lotion is suitable for all skin types and is completely organic. Its key ingredients include organic castor oil, organic Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. You can grow your own Aloe Vera at home and use it if you burn yourself – it’s incredibly cooling and soothing. aloe vera plant

Castor Oil dissolves the oil and dirt that gets stuck in your pores; don’t worry if your skin tends to be oily, it won’t react negatively to extra oil, as this is the skin’s natural lubricant. Hormone imbalances and bacteria are more commonly associated with causing breakouts. The organic Aloe Vera we use is a healing remedy that has been used for centuries because of its beneficial properties; it works as an antimicrobial to protect the skin from bacterial infection. We also use Vitamin E, which is also extremely beneficial because it repairs and protects cell membranes against free radical damage.

To make sure that all dirt and make-up is removed from your face, we highly recommend double cleansing. This means that you cleanse your face twice using the cleanser. The first time will remove the surface dirt and make-up, the second time you really get deep into the pores which is so important. We incorporate an ‘energy recipe’ of cleansing frequencies into the cleanser which stimulates the lymphatic system to cleanse at a very deep level.
After cleansing twice, we recommend you finish with our Classic Rose Water Toner. Rose water has been used for centuries for skin care and is especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin. Apply the toner to your skin with a cotton pad in light, upward movements to remove any lingering, stubborn makeup.

We have formulated our Classic Rose Water Toner to work on any skin type. Key ingredients besides rose water are lavender, rosewood and sandalwood, which together work to soften and tone, stimulate cell growth and leaves your skin feeling extremely clean, refreshed and with a great feeling of rejuvenation.

If you cleanse like this for at least 2 weeks, you will see and feel the difference!

FEED YOUR SKIN Part 5

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the most abundant anti oxidant found in human skin, it’s function is to remove free radicals from the body as they will otherwise damage cell membranes with the knock on effect of inflammation, ageing, interference with metabolism and even mutation of cells.
 
You absorb vitamin E from your gut with the help of bile salts, so a good functioning liver and gall bladder make quite a difference.
Oily skin types have higher levels of vitamin E but like vitamin C, UV light exposure will lower the vitamin E content of the skin. Levels go down as we age. If you smoke, vitamin E is even more important as it helps with the free radical damage caused by cigarette smoke.

Deficiency:

A deficiency of vitamin E is rare but will be more likely if you have problems metabolising fat or have liver disease. It will speed up collagen cross linking which is not reversible and is often seen on the skin of people who’ve smoked cigarettes for many years. A deficiency can also cause neurological symptoms and problems with the eyes.
If you eat a lot of bacon or meat where nitrites are added for preservation, vitamin E will help minimise the toxic effects.
 
Foods containing Vitamin E
Wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, grains, meat, poultry.