Nature AND Nurture
I guess some things naturally go hand-in-hand, like gin and tonic, wine and cheese, champagne and strawberries (sorry, there's a bit of a theme there...), anyway, what I have found since I started my training is that appreciating the outdoors means protecting all that is natural. I'm gradually getting greener in my ways, but I've also rediscovered my appreciation for natural and organic skin care. I used to be really good at avoiding products containing SLS/SLES, but if you shop in local supermarkets and chemists, its difficult to keep up with your good intentions. Thanks to my pal G (whom I should add I got into natural products in the first place), I've been uncovering a array of products that I can order online (often without paying any postage) and I can honestly say they've been life altering.
Among my favourites are Dr Hauschka for my face, Faith in Nature for my hair, Lavera for sun protection, Jason for shower gel and Avalon Organics for deodorant.
Why am I so in love with these products?
Well, I've had quite a few compliments on my hair since I started using Faith in Nature and unlike other SLS/SLES-free shampoos that I've tried in the past, their products really, thoroughly clean my hair but also leave it soft and shiny - shinier than any of those awful silicon-filled products like Pantene or anything else that gets endlessly advertised. Its a pet peeve of mine that so-called Herbal Essences don't appear to contain even a trace of a herb! If I was going to get all hot and bothered in the shower (over a shampoo that is), it wouldn't have anything to do with these chemical-filled nasties, but Faith in Nature can get me pretty excited!
Dr Hauschka products, which are a really treat, not only leave my skin clean and clear, but they are also extremely relaxing to use. I love getting to the end of the day and immersing myself in all manner of oils and unguents crammed with essential oils and plant extracts. At the moment I actually look forward to taking my make-up off!
The real winner for me though, the complete revelation, is the Jason Satin Wash Shower/Bath gel. I have very dry skin and occasional eczema, and have NEVER found a shower product that left my skin feeling comfortable and as a result have been addicted to the strongest body moisturisers and oils I can find. I'm always itchy after showering and can get itchier as the day goes on, sometimes even after applying loads of creams. This is why I got into soap-making last year, although soap-making requires a lot of time and effort so I prefer to reserve it for gifts and special occasions. Anyway, the Jason Satin Wash is the first product I have EVER used which doesn't leave my skin all dry and sore and in need of some serious TLC. I can just wash and go! ;-) I get really wound up when I see adverts for body washes by Dove and Imperial Leather which suggest all manner of added ingredients will leave your skin like silk or cashmere, because when you look at the list of ingredients, usually the second biggest (after water) is SLS/SLES which dries your skin out terribly. Never mind silk extract, if you've already washed in a big helping of drying SLS/SLES, if you have dry skin, nothing is going to get the moisture back. Satin Wash however leaves your skin soooooooooo much softer than any of those heavily advertised washes and, curiously, as the day goes on, my skin seems to get softer!
I can honestly say you can keep your Clinique and Clarins, dump your Dove and anything by Pantene can just push-off, there is nothing (absolutely nothing) like a bit of natural!