Monday, 27 September 2010

Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

I love lotions and potions. That’s a fact. Somedays our kitchen is more like a chemist shop. I love nice smelling stuff, but what I don’t love is Petroleum. Or funky hormone disrupting chemicals. I try to subscribe to the theory that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. After all your skin is your largest organ. I think I manage this with everything but shampoo. But even the shampoo we use doesn’t use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is very strong surfactant (making things all bubbly) and is used as an industrial degreaser. It is also extremely irritating causing us for years to think Spiderman had dandruff when it was just eczema. It also doesn’t include Propylene Glycol who is a cousin to antifreeze. No thanks. Our shampoo hardly lathers but really cleans. And I never use hormone disrupting Paraben preservatives. Several studies have found traces of parabens in women with breast cancer. They are not sure there’s a link, but I’m taking no chances.

But anything I put on my face or body I want to be edible. Enter coconut butter. This stuff is amazing. It is solid at room temperature, but melts on contact with your skin. You only need a dab to make your skin feel all silky smooth. In the hottest summer days (which admittedly were not many this year) I kept in the fridge. You can scent it with some essential oils like lavender. I order mine from   and I get 1kg for £7.95. It lasts for ages. I just store some in the bathroom in an empty salsa jar. I also make deodorant with it. Did I mention that it is antibacterial as well?

And it is food grade so you can cook with it. Here is a recipe for raw brownies from one of my favourite blogs. This recipe will feature in Dreena Burton’s new cookbook that will be out in about a year. I can hardly wait. .

As for my face I wash with a mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil. Ewwww I hear you cry. I’ve got oily skin I don’t want to put oil on it. Actually you might. I have combination skin and the oily bits used to be in a vicious cycle of clean with overdrying cleanser, follow up with sea breeze (remember that stuff that felt like it was burning your skin off with its alcoholic peppermint stink???) and having dry tight patches that need moisturising. Then when you put a dab of oil free lotion--PRESTO! Zits. Or spots as they are called here. Whatever you call them, nobody wants them so you wash your face ever more vigorously and the whole cycle starts all over again. Not so with oil. Oil actually attracts oil and dirt and rubs them away without over drying. Then follow up with rosewater. Not alcohol which dries the skin and forces it to produce more oil to compensate for the protective oil you stripped away. Then a few drops Vitamin E on my face and neck to counteract the signs of aging. I am 40 and it is slightly beginning to show. That’s it. I have been told over and over how good my skin looks. How clear. Some of that is a healthy diet and exercise, but most of it is down to washing with stuff you can eat.

You are what you eat.

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