The largest organ in our body is the skin. It absorbs most of what it comes in contact with. The majority of store-bought beauty products have artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives and stabilizers that gets absorbed through the skin’s pores right into the bloodstream. These products cause a range of negative long-term health effects. Skin sensitivity, allergic reactions, hormonal imbalances, cancer… the list of side effects and reactions to these chemical ingredients is long and scary. Not to mention the negative impact the production and the waste of these products have on the environment.
Last year I became more aware of the beauty products I use and decided to start using more natural ones. I even started making some of them myself.
Today I share with you the products I use for my face:
Argan oil: As a makeup remover and moisturizer. I first wet a reusable makeup pad, then put some drops of the argan oil and then I rub it in my face. It leaves my skin clean from makeup and at the same time it moistures it.
Apple cider vinegar: As a cleanser and toner. I dilute it with water and rub it on my face after I removed my make up.
Baking soda: Once per month as a deep cleanser mask. Baking soda is a good exfoliating agent that helps to remove dead cells. It also balances the pH level of the skin and it has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. To make the mask I mix one tablespoon of baking soda with some drops of fresh lemon juice, just enough to make a paste. Then I add a couple of drops of wether argan or almond oil. I apply the paste to my face and let it for one minute, then I rub it off using my fingers and lukewarm water.
Coffee grounds: As a daily body scrub. I make it myself by mixing one cup of coffee grounds, one cup of organic sugar, 1/2 cup organic coconut oil and some drops of vanilla essential oil. Coffee and coconut oil are rich in antioxidants, which are very beneficial for the skin. I use it on my face and on my body.
Papaya and sugar face mask from Apsara Skin Care: Once per week as an exfoliator. This facial mask is made with natural ayurvedic ingredients. It has papaya extract, turmeric, and raw sugar which gently loosen dead skin cells so that they can be easily washed off.
Sun safe from The Ohm Collection: As sunscreen. I use it in the summer and for example when I go to Colombia (where I come from). The ingredients are certified organic and from natural essential oils.
Next week, I´ll be sharing the products I use for my hair. Stay tuned!
Let´s be honest, do you read the ingredients of the cosmetics you use? And do you know what are those ingredients? Well, I never cared. Why would I? I grew up using creams, shampoos, make-up and my favorite: nail polish. I was never aware of the ingredients until I started to walk this conscious path of mine. I do my best to stay away from animal products in my food, and now I am doing the same to stay away from cosmetics that have animal ingredients in it or has been tested on animals. One day, out of curiosity, I took a nail polish bottle and I was surprised that I actually did not know any of these ingredients. While doing research I found out that some of the bottles containes toxic ingredients like:
-Toluene: a solvent, degreases the skin and may lead to inflammation. -Dibutyl phthalate and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP): a plasticizer. -Formaldehyde- resin: a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many household products. -Colophonium: a sticky flammable substance. -Paraben: a chemical preservatives. It´s not proven to be bad, but also not proven to be totally ok to use it on a regular basis. -Xylol: a solvent. May be a health hazard when absorbed through the skin and the respiratory tract. -Acetone: a chemical solvent. -Silicone: Recognize by the names that end in -cone or -siloxane.
Besides, some of the bottles contains animal-derived ingredients. Why on earth would there be animal-derived substances in your nail polish?! Still, I´m in shock. Animal-derived ingredients that can be found in nail polish are:
-Guanine: It might be listed as ‘pearl essence’. But guanine is derived from fish scales and acids that are located in animal tissue. You’re most likely to find it in products that have a shimmery, pearly effect. Or in glitter polish colors. -Carmine: Red hues of nail polish are a warning sign, they often contain carmine. By boiling and crushing beetles, the red color is created and that’s what gives the color. -Oleic Acid: Comes from the hard fat found at the animal’s kidneys, stomach, and other organs. In cosmetics, oleic acid can be used to thicken a solution.
One of my new goals is to find as much as possible animal-friendly products and add them to my daily basis. While searching for a vegan and non-toxic brand, I found the German brand OZN. They are an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional nail polishes.
The nail polish looks just like a regular one. Though the smell is less strong and the covering is as good as a normal one. The paint dries very fast. When I used the color pink, I needed two coats, whereas the color red and black only needed one. The biggest surprise for me was the nail polish remover. It is odorless! And after I used it I felt my nails rather soft and oily than dry.
As you see above, OZN has a wide color palette. A bottle costs 14,90€.
You can shop them online HERE or at The Beauty Editor in Amsterdam at the Eerste Van der Helstraat 1 A25
I hope you enjoy this post and please let me know in the comments below if you know of any other vegan, cruelty-free and less toxic nail polish brands.
I am always in search of original – and all natural products. By coincidence this time, I found a product that helps whiten teeth. Let me introduce to you: CHARWHITE. This is an all natural teeth whitener that brightens and polishes teeth and it remineralizes and strengthens the enamel. For me, it is important to have a clean and white smile. I have used non-natural whitening stripes, but my teeth were left very sensitive then. So I’m happy that I have found a natural whitener. My teeth are not very yellow, but I drink a lot of tea and coffee which stains my teeth with the time. Anyway, they were less shiny and white than before.
I tried CHARWHITE for one month.
As you can see, my teeth are not very yellow, but they weren’t really white neither.
My first week had begun and I didn´t see a crazy difference. I was using it once per day, mostly at night and I kept on drinking coffee and tea as usual.
By the second week, I started to see the change. My teeth started to look shinier and cleaner.
By the third and fourth week, my teeth started to look whiter and shinier. I am very happy with the result.
How to use it:
Dip a clean and wet toothbrush into CHARWHITE
Brush in small, gentle circles for two minutes
Keep your lips closed while brushing
Spit carefully and rinse very well
Use CHARWHITE daily andNote: do not inhale the powder
In my experience, the process with natural products takes a little bit longer than with harsh chemicals. It took me 8 to 10 days to see results. And since then, my teeth got only better. If you want to start using it, please remember that it might be different for everyone. Just be consistent and patient.
Currently, I use CHARWHITE at least three times per week. I encourage you to give it a try and experience with this black magic powder. You can buy it for €35,- HERE
Before & After:
CHARWHITE is made in Germany with high quality – and safe ingredients for the everyday use. The ingredients are activated coconut shell charcoal, calcium bentonite clay, organic orange peel powder, organic peppermint powder, limonene (from natural substances). Content: 50 ml averages 150 uses.
Get that gorgeous smile with the power of all natural ingredients today.
Last month I went to Berlin to visit my girlfriends who live there. As you may recall, I lived in Germany for eight years and I still have a lot of connections there. Every time I go to Germany I like to go shopping for vegan products. What I love about this country is that veganism is far developed already (further than The Netherlands)! All the restaurants I went to, had vegan options. And I do not only mean salad and fries! This time I went on the search for vegan and cruelty-free makeup and here is what I found.
I went directly to the shop called “DM” and went straight ahead to their home brand section “Alverde”. This brand is one of the most famous certified natural cosmetic brands. Please note that not all their products are vegan, most of them are, but to be sure check if it has the V symbol at the back of the package
don’t contain any synthetic fragrances or dyes
are free from derivatives of petroleum
are silicones- and derivatives free
do not contain any genetically modified substances
are all animal cruelty-free (they are not tested on animals)
For me this was motivating enough to get all my makeup essentials from this brand.
Alverde vegan make up
I bought ten things that I use on a regular basis. I don’t use all of this every day, but occasionally I use eye shadow, red lipstick and black mascara. For all this items I paid €33,60! Crazy right?! Next time you go to Germany, stop by at the DM and treat yourself with some vegan and cruelty-free makeup 😉
Alverde has more cosmetics than the ones I bought. You can check the complete collection here and make sure to visit the DM shop, next time you go to Germany.
Every woman has to deal with menstruation. Single-use tampons and pads are the most common products to handle our monthly process. No one really likes to talk about it, but this is a topic that interests me a lot. These products bring environmental – and health costs with it.
Tampons and pads are made to be used once and to be thrown away after that. Facts show that the average woman uses roughly 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. It takes centuries for a tampon or pad to degrade in a landfill. In addition, the process of manufacturing these products is both resource and chemical intensive. All these chemicals can be toxic to our health and could cause sicknesses like the Toxic Shock Syndrome. Tampons and pads typically contain additives like bleach, chlorine, glue, lotion and perfume. Tampons are the worst because they dry out your skin.
OrganiCup environmental friendly
As a more sustainable and healthy option, I found the OrganiCup. This is a cup made out of medical grade silicone that collects the blood. The silicone is hygienic and antibacterial. Unlike tampons, this cup does not cause irritation and dryness while ensuring the natural pH balance stays intact. OrganiCup has no bleach, chlorine, glue, lotion or perfume and has never been associated with TSS, nor any allergies. If used correctly, you can reuse your OrganiCup for up to ten years. #savemoney!
My personal experience:
I ordered the menstrual cup from this site: https://www.organicup.eu The order took eight days to arrive. Once I got my period I took the menstrual cup out of the package and I boiled it for five minutes to ensure it was sterilized. After it cooled down and read the instructions, I started using it. I have to admit that I felt a little nervous but soon enough it felt normal. I didn´t have any pain and I felt nothing while doing sport.
Can I sleep with it? Absolutely. The OrganiCup is very comfortable, it is secured in position by a light vacuum. Over four nights I didn’t experience any leaking accidents at all.
I was very much surprised by the amount of blood that comes out. Because it is actually a very small amount! I was doubting if I should clean the cup after five hours, but then I waited patiently for twelve hours. How positively surprised I was to see that the amount of blood is way less than I eventually thought. Another positive surprise was the neutral smell! Really! Unlike the pads and tampons, the collected blood in the cup it doesn´t stink at all!
How do I clean it? Just simply rinse it with water and put it back in. If you are not at home but in a public bathroom with a separate sink, you can wipe it with toilet paper and rinse it when you get home.
My routine was like this: In the morning I put it in under the shower and after twelve hours I would take it out. I flushed the blood away in the toilet, rinse the cup with water and put it back in.
By choosing a menstrual cup you help reducing the impact on our natural environment. You keep your body healthier, your life easier and your wallet fuller as well. And you will get to know your body better. Why is this option not marketed often? Because this kind of products does not offer a huge profit to major corporations and multinationals. You only need to buy a menstrual cup once in ten years!
The OrganiCup comes in two sizes. For women who have NOT given birth vaginally and for women that have. Order the official OrganiCup and get 10% discount with the code “chalmers”. The price is €25,60 with discount included!
Lack of confidence is a topic that I am currently working on. Since I am more active on social media, I feel more aware of my insecurities. Every time I post a picture I am aware that people might criticize. And for some time, it affected me. That´s when I realized that I needed to work on my self-esteem.
I have some personal insecurities and one of them has to do with my smile. It took me years to accept the fact that I have big gums and little teeth, and for that many years I was ashamed of laughing to hard because then my gums would show… How crazy is that right? Just like this insecurity I have some other that I am currently working on. Thanks to my friend Laura, I started reading the book “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. This book was for me a life changing experience. While reading it I highlighted my favourite quotes and here they are:
1. “What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.” ― Jen Sincero
2. “You created the reality you now exist in with your thoughts, which means you can use the very same power of thought to change it.” ― Jen Sincero
3. “What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.” ― Jen Sincero
4. “You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it.” ― Jen Sincero
5. “Our greatest fears are the greatest waste of time.” ― Jen Sincero
6. “Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.” ― Jen Sincero
7. “It’s just as easy to believe we’re awesome as it is to believe we’re giant sucking things.” ― Jen Sincero
8. “So often, we pretend we’ve made a decision, when what we’ve really done is signed up to try until it gets too uncomfortable.” ― Jen Sincero
9. “All that matters is what’s true for you, and if you can stay connected to that without straying, you will be a mighty superhero.” ― Jen Sincero
10. “We are so unbelievably blessed to have all the things we have, all the opportunities and ideas and people and tasks and interests and experiences and responsibilities – choosing to freak out about it all, rather than enjoying the living of our lives, is like throwing pearls before swine. Such a waste of such a glorious gift.” ― Jen Sincero
Picture by Marisa Elisa
Picture by Marisa Elisa
Picture by Marisa Elisa
Hello smiling Alisson. Hello to my gums and my little teeth! 🙂
11. “Holding on to my bad feelings about this is doing nothing but harming me, and everyone else, and preventing me from enjoying my life fully. I am an awesome person. I choose to enjoy my life. I choose to let this go.” ― Jen Sincero
12. “You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life. If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you’ve to do things you’ve never done.” ― Jen Sincero
13. “Say nice things about your body, dress it up, and take it out. Give it hot sex, luxurious baths, and massages. Move it, stretch it, nourish it, hydrate it, pay attention to it—The better our bodies feel, the happier and more productive we are.” ― Jen Sincero
14. “There will never be anyone exactly like you. You were given special gifts and talents to share with the world, and even though everybody has special gifts and talents, nobody will use theirs quite the same way you do.” ― Jen Sincero
15. “Our thoughts become our words, our words become our beliefs, our beliefs become our actions, our actions become our habits, and our habits become our realities.” ― Jen Sincero
16. “Follow what feels good in the moment, every moment, and it will lead you through a most excellent life.” ― Jen Sincero
17. “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. —Lao Tzu; ancient Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism, could have been one guy or a mythical compilation of many, nobody really knows for sure”” ― Jen Sincero
18. “You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you.” ― Jen Sincero
19. “Forgiveness is all about taking care of you, not the person you need to forgive. It’s about putting your desire to feel good before your desire to be right. It’s about taking responsibility for your own happiness instead of pretending it’s in somebody else’s hands. It’s about owning your power by giving all your anger, resentment, and hurt the heave-ho.” ― Jen Sincero
20. “You are a badass. You were one when you came screaming onto this planet and you are one now. The Universe wouldn’t have bothered with you otherwise. You can’t screw up so majorly that your badassery disappears. It is who you are. It’s who you always will be. It’s not up for negotiation.” ― Jen Sincero
I hope you enjoy them and get inspired to read the whole book.
Did you already read the book? How did you like it? Leave the comments below!
P.S. You can buy the book in NL HERE or in English HERE.
On November 2016 I stopped using regular shampoo. I started the “No Poo” (no shampoo) method and haven’t washed my hair with commercial shampoo since… Honestly, I haven’t been happier with my hair!
To go “No Poo” is to stop using shampoo and use natural ingredients like rye flour or baking soda instead. Why would you want to do this? Chemicals in shampoo can irritate and dry out your scalp and hair. They can be hazardous to your health and to the environment. And the most important reason is that your body produces oil to naturally condition your hair and keep it healthy. Using shampoo daily upsets the natural balance and causes you to produce more oil than necessary to compensate.
In a past post I explained my reasons why I stopped. You can read more about it here.
Today I want to give you an update of how is my life is going without commercial shampoo.
To my surprise, the first week went OK. I washed my hair for the first time with a mix of rye flower and water (two spoons each). At the tips of my hair I used apple vinegar as conditioner. My hair was clean but greasy, it was a different kind of grease than it was in the past. This didn’t bother me much. I played around with hairstyles and wore hats, braids and beanies. That week I washed my hair twice. My advice is to strain the rye flower a couple of times and put away the waste. I didn’t do it right the first time and I got little white pieces of the flour in my hair. Once my hair was dry, the white pieces fell down and my hair looked fine. From that time on, I strain the rye flower a couple of times before I mix it with water.
No poo day one
Noo poo day two
No poo day three
The first and second week went the same but from the third week on my hair got a little better. I could see some improvement, which inspired me to continue with this method. My hair was less oily and my natural waves came back! The back of my scalp was still the oiliest part, but it did not look bad. That week I washed my hair only once with rye flour and apple vinegar. And in between days I used corn flour as dry shampoo.
No poo just washed
No poo waves
By the end of the fourth week I washed my hair only once per week and I used dry shampoo in between washing. My hair was clean and normal. Only the back of my scalp was still very greasy. But I was very happy to see my natural waves again!
A little problem occurred in week five. I had developed dandruff. To remedy this, I took one lemon. Before I washed my hair I cut the lemon in half and massaged my hair with it, let it sit for a couple of minutes and rinsed it off. After that I continued with my washing method. Since then I massage my hair with lemon once per month.
No poo just washed
No poo at the office
Happy no pooer
From week 6 on, my scalp and me were use to this method and finally my hair started looking less greasy and more like it used to look before. During that week I was traveling, but I still didn’t had any problem with my shampoo, because I still was only washing my hair once per week, and using dry shampoo in between washes.
From week six on, my scalp and me were used to this method. Finally my hair started to look like how it was before. I still washed my hair only once per week and used dry shampoo in between washing.
Since then my hair and my scalp are back to normal. It´s been fourteen weeks since I started and my hair looks good and healthy!
This is my routine:
I wash my hair once per week with rye flour as shampoo and apple vinegar as conditioner. I only use the vinegar for the tips of my hair. Every 3-4 washes I use baking soda as shampoo.
To prevent dandruff, I massage my scalp with lemon every three or four weeks.
I use corn flour as dry shampoo once or twice in between washes. I apply the shampoo to my hair with a make up brush.
Once per month I use 100% natural argan oil as hair serum.
If possible I let my hair air-dry. If this is not possible, I dry my hair in the lowest heat of my hair dryer.
To strengthen my waves, every other day I sleep with my hair breaded.
This is my experience with the no poo method. So far I like it and I will keep doing it. The coming month I will be traveling to Colombia and I am looking forward to see how this experience is going to be over there! Don´t worry, I will keep you posted 😉
If you feel inspire and want to read more about the no poo method and the different kind of ingredients you can use as replacement of commercial shampoo, I recommend you to read more about it here. I found there ,a lot of inspirations and options to start this journey.
Do you feel inspired and do you want to read more about the no poo method? I recommend you to read more about it here. I found there a lot of inspiration and ingredients options to start this journey.
Do you use this method? Please let me know in the comments what your routine looks like! You might have tips as well.
Van jongs af gebruik ik producten om mijn haar sterk en roosvrij te houden. Mijn moeder heeft daar een grote rol in gespeeld. Minstens een keer per maand maakte mijn moeder een masker speciaal voor mijn haar. Ze gebruikte avocado, aloë vera, citroen en soms zelfs mayonaise. Toen ik ouder werd had ik geen tijd meer voor om deze goede gewoonte door te zetten en begon ik producten uit de winkel te gebruiken. Ik realiseerde mij nooit dat al deze items veel chemicaliën bevatten die heel slecht zijn voor mijn en ook voor het milieu.
Mijn haar wassen met deze producten was onderdeel van mijn routine… Totdat ik mij realiseerde welke ingrediënten er in die – voor mij oh zo belangrijke – haarcosmetica zitten. Toen ik de documentaire “Before The Flood” van Leonardo DiCaprio zag, werd ik me bewust van de niet duurzame keuzes die ik tot nu toe gemaakt had in mijn leven. De chemische ingrediënten van mijn haarverzorging zijn niet alleen slecht voor mijn haar en gezondheid, maar ze komen ook in ons watersysteem terecht. Met als gevolg; beschadiging en verwoesting van het milieu. Dus ik besloot om de producten die ik gebruikte in te ruilen voor natuurlijke en meer duurzame alternatieven. Het eerste dat ik wilde aanpakken was mijn shampoo.
Ik deed onderzoek op internet en vond een methode genaamd ‘no poo’. Deze methode suggereert dat je jouw haar het beste kunt wassen met roggemeel in plaats van shampoo. Conditioner kun je vervangen voor appelazijn. ‘No poo’ geeft ook andere opties aan, maar ik koos ervoor om mijn experiment te starten met deze ingrediënten. Mijn nieuwe haar essentials zijn nu roggemeel, appelazijn, arganolie en zetmeel.
Het roggemeel mix ik met een beetje water en dat gebruik ik als shampoo. Ik laat het een paar minuten in mijn haar en dan spoel ik het uit met water.
De appelazijn mix ik met water in een spuitfles. De verhouding is een eetlepel appelazijn en tien eetlepels water. Deze mix gebruik ik als conditioner. Het kan een sterke geur geven in de douche, maar daarna ruikt je haar neutraal.
Het zetmeel gebruik ik als droogshampoo. In totaal was ik mijn haar twee keer per week. De droogshampoo gebruik ik alleen wanneer mijn haar vettig aanvoelt. Gewoon op dezelfde manier als hoe ik voorheen mijn droogshampoo toepaste.
De arganolie gebruik ik als mijn haar droog aanvoelt.
Verder stop ik met alle haarproducten die chemicalien bevatten en ik gebruik ook geen haardroger en geen stijltang meer. Als dit voor jou nog te extreem is kun je ook genuanceerder overstappen naar een natuurlijke shampoo. Ik raad je dan aan om shampoo te kopen bij Lush. Deze winkel heeft goede milieuvriendelijke opties voor shampoo en andere haarproducten. Maar als je een stap verder wilt gaan, dan zou ik voor de methode gaan die ik hanteer. Uiteindelijk heb je niets te verliezen!
Hoe gaat het nu met mijn haar? Binnenkort schrijf ik hoe de ‘no poo’ mij vergaat. Heb je een vraag of feedback? Laat een comment achter!