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How to switch to a natural deodorant and why you should

Many of us are accustomed to buying and using deodorants from the supermarket. Because of the massive marketing of these antiperspirant products, and the ease of access at supermarkets, we often don’t stop to think about whether there is a better choice. After all, these aluminium deodorants, or antiperspirants, usually found in supermarkets are a quick fix to stop your body sweating. What you may not know though is that your body needs to sweat. Preventing yourself from sweating isn’t good for your health. We are here to offer you a quick guide on why you should make the switch and how to choose a natural deodorant. Your body will thank you for making the switch!

Why you might want to switch to natural deodorant

If you haven’t read our previous article yet about Why Use An Aluminium-Free Deodorant, I highly recommend doing so to dig deeper into the risks of aluminium in deodorant and benefits of choosing an aluminium free option.

To give you a quick overview of why you should switch to a natural, aluminium-free deodorant:

“Sweat is primarily made up of water and salt. Sweating is natural, it’s how we maintain our body temperature when we exercise or when it is just a hot day… Antiperspirant deodorant works by stopping up the sweat glands temporarily with an aluminium compound. So in essence, you can’t sweat. This makes it difficult for your body to regulate its temperature and can increase the risk of overheating.

Then of course there are also the potentially harmful effects of aluminium absorption.

The hottest months in Australia are from December to February. In these months, people are more active in strenuous outdoor activities, whether it’s having fun in the sun, working in the garden or even just routine exercise! We naturally sweat more during these months.

It’s pretty common to use a lot of deodorant when you are sweating more. However, regular use of antiperspirant deodorants can do more harm than good and can even create bacterial imbalance that may make your armpits smell worse.

Better Health Channel Victoria states:

“Sweat is produced by glands in the deeper layer of the skin, the dermis. Sweat glands occur all over the body, but are most numerous on the forehead, the armpits, the palms and the soles of the feet. Sweat is mainly water, but it also contains some salts. Its main function is to control body temperature. As the water in the sweat evaporates, the surface of the skin cools. An additional function of sweat is to help with gripping, by slightly moistening the palms.”

Thus when the heat is at its worst, it really is important for your body to be able to sweat naturally! Natural aluminium-free deodorant products do not block your sweat and instead work as an antibacterial agent to remove the bacteria that actually causes the smell when you sweat. It’s 100% natural so you can be confident that you aren’t putting harsh chemicals or aluminium on your skin. Just the way nature intended.

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The benefits of switching to a natural deodorant

Here’s three good reasons why you may want to switch to a natural aluminium-free deodorant.

It doesn’t block sweat

Sweat can help your body cool as it evaporates from your skin. Aluminium-free deodorant allows this natural cooling to happen, allowing your body to better manage its internal temperature. It is essential that we perspire, even more so in summer, and if we can continue to do so without the accompanying offensive odour then all the better for us and our health.

Works as an antibacterial agent to prevent odours from sweat

The smell is the main factor why most people use antiperspirant products. However, we know that this isn’t actually good for our health. The smell occurs when perspiration comes into contact with the naturally occurring bacteria on our skin. Thus, rather than blocking up your sweat glands and pouring chemicals on your skin, our natural aluminium-free deodorants work by using the 100% naturally occurring antibacterial agent, colloidal silver. Silver has been used since ancient times to guard against infection by killing bacteria, and underarm odour is nothing more than bacteria breeding in the moist conditions of our underarms.

Uses only natural ingredients (no aluminium)

Arianrhod’s range of aluminium-free deodorants has added anti-fungal Australian hemp seed oil and sodium bi-carbonate to help keep you dry without the potentially harmful side effects of aluminium. The hemp farm in Tasmania that we source our Hemp Seed Oil from goes through a very careful process to prepare the oil. Hemp Seed Oil absorbs quickly and doesn’t block the pores so will help the skin balance its oil production. Baking soda shines when it comes to neutralizing body odours and can eliminate the smell of sweat by making odours less acidic.

 

How to choose a natural deodorant

Natural deodorants come in many forms. Some are a paste that you apply, others are spray-on or roll-on. What type is right for you will come down to the ingredients and personal preference. I personally prefer spray-on because it is the easiest to apply, but I know others that swear by their roll-on.

At Arianrhod Aromatics, we take pride in choosing only the highest quality, synthetic-free, natural ingredients for our natural skincare products. You can learn more about the choices we make in selecting ingredients on our Ethical Choices page. Deodorant is no exception. When it comes to preventing underarm odours, choosing an aluminium-free deodorant is essential to avoiding the risks associated with preventing perspiration and aluminium absorption through your skin.

Check the ingredients list and make sure you can read it (and ideally recognise what everything is). If it sounds synthetic, it probably is.

Our aluminium-free deodorant range aims to prevent underarm odour by using natural antibacterial agents to remove the bacteria that actually causes the smell when you sweat and all our ingredients are easily recognisable.

Whether you prefer one of our fragrances or a fragrance-free aluminium-free underarm deodorant, they all come in either a spray bottle or roll-on deodorant form with 100% recyclable packaging. Your armpits will thank you!

Why use an aluminium free deodorant?

Aluminium-Free Deodorant (Fragrance-Free)

For the purist who doesn’t want any smell at all and just wants to block the BO. Grant, one of our customers, said "Been using this for years and haven’t had BO for the same time. Doesn’t stain clothes."

Deodorant Gentle Fragrance Aluminium Free

Moms would love this as they juggle their work and daily chores but still want to keep fresh when they welcome their loved ones home.

Deodorant Fresh Fragrance Aluminium Free

For the person who always wants to stay fresh as the morning breeze. If you find yourself feeling flat during the day at work, our fresh fragrance will pick you up!

Deodorant Oakmoss Fragrance Aluminium Free

Hit the gym or feel free to sweat playing your favourite sports. Our most popular fragrance for men who want to be performing at their best but still smell great all day long.

Deodorant Nimbin Fragrance Aluminium Free

Show off the confident woman in you. Kirsty personally loves this product and said "My all-time favourite deodorant. I’ve tried so many & this one smells gorgeous, works & is long-lasting."

What is Maskne and how to prevent it?

Wearing a face mask has now become a norm. It has become part of our daily routine whenever we go out of our homes. It is even more critical when going to public places like grocery stores, restaurants, and shops. While using a face mask helps slow the spread of COVID-19, prolonged use may lead to skin problems. One of these is maskne, which we will talk about more as you read this article.

What is Maskne?

According to Healthline.com, “maskne” is “an umbrella term for several skin conditions that can be caused by wearing a face mask or covering”. Maskne is the condition where you develop breakouts of common skin irritations and acne from wearing a mask, hence the term. Maskne not only causes pimples but may also include other skin issues like redness, bumpiness, and irritation.

How real is maskne? Dermal clinician Robyn Jackson in abc.net.au said that she has seen more people seeking treatment for maskne at her clinic on the Sunshine Coast.

“I have in the past probably three weeks seen an increase and we’ve sort of aligned it with the fact that masks are mandatory…Even older people are starting to get irritations and breaking out on the chin area.”

Dr. Joyce Park, a board-certified dermatologist, said: “It’s an extremely common skin condition right now, during the pandemic. However, ‘maskne’ is not just limited to acne. When people refer to maskne, they might sometimes be referring to exacerbations of other conditions, like rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis (eczema), or perioral dermatitis. This may be an exacerbation of a previous condition or new development of a skin condition.”

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What Causes Maskne?

Maskne is a form of “acne mechanica” – acne that occurs when friction and pressure is repeatedly applied to the skin. This type of acne breakout usually happens when your skin is rubbed, squeezed, or stretched, such as it might be when wearing masks regularly.

Common acne may be caused by a combination of clogged pores, hormones, and bacteria. Wearing a mask can exacerbate this by trapping for prolonged periods combined with additional humidity from your breathing. Add in the repeated friction of a mask against your skin that can cause inflammation over time as well and you have a recipe for maskne.

Dermal clinician Ms. Jackson said “maskne is caused by substances such as oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells becoming trapped under the mask that then blocks the pores and is a perfect environment for pimples. The masks trap the humidity because you’re breathing in and you’re perspiring under that mask area. [Other causes] can be friction, people touching the mask and moving it around, and the rubbing on the skin can create chafing and irritation.”

While friction, humidity and a bacteria jail from wearing a facemask may cause maskne, other factors can contribute to it.

  • Wearing makeup while using your face mask or covering can increase the clogging of pores.
  • Masks can trap sweat and humidity, and ironically, heat and sweat may also cause the skin to become dry, itchy, and raw, causing some other forms of maskne.

How do you know if you have maskne? Dr. Teo Wan Lin, one of Singapore’s prominent dermatologists explained

“The appearance of maskne is similar to that of typical acne and can take the form of comedones, papules, and cysts. However, much more significant is the distribution of these acne bumps…maskne exclusively affects the area covered by the face mask. This takes on more of an O-Zone pattern – the cheeks, the area around the mouth, around the nose, and the jawline.”

Tips to Prevent Maskne

While maskne is real and can harm our skin, wearing a facemask is required in many circumstances. Dermatologist Michael Freeman said it must stay on to ‘save lives.’ In Australia, when the Victorian state government mandated the wearing of masks during that state’s second outbreak, their guidelines stated ‘[y]ou must carry a face mask with you when leaving home’ (Department of Health and Human Services Victoria, 2021). The same has been especially true in NSW and has been seen in other states as well.

Since wearing a face mask is now part of our daily lives (and may continue to be so even as restrictions ease), how do we prevent maskne?

Below are some of our mask usage tips:

  • Clean your fabric masks daily and single-use masks should not be used repeatedly (we want to avoid that build-up of oils, dead skin and bacteria).
  • Avoid touching your mask. It can cause friction and also bring bacteria and more oils from your hands that could lead to infection.
  • The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends removing your mask for 15 minutes every 4 hours to give your skin a break.
  • Dr. Thivi Maruthappu, a Consultant Dermatologist, said “Consider choosing soft fabrics such as cotton, which is gentler on the skin and is less likely to cause friction than synthetic fibers such as polyester.”
  • Healthline.com recommends applying a moisturiser before wearing a mask. If your skin tends to be dry, a mask may irritate it. Applying a non-comedogenic moisturiser like Sativa Fade can help hydrate your skin.
  • Simplify your skincare routine and avoid wearing makeup when using face masks.
  • Wash your face before and after using a face mask.
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Dermatologists also recommend doing these strategies at home to take care of your face and prevent the breakout of maskne.

Apply a Topical Antibiotic Cream

Bacteria may build-up due to prolonged usage of masks which may cause acne. Dermatologists advise applying a topical antibiotic cream or gel on your face to avoid this.

Moisturise Often

A mask may irritate your skin and dry it out. If you have dry skin, help hydrate your skin by applying a non-comedogenic moisturiser. A moisturiser can lessen the friction and put a barrier between your skin and the mask.

We recommend using Mari-J-Majik Facial Moisturiser – a luxuriously rich facial moisturiser which absorbs to feed your skin with just the right balance of nutrients and moisture it needs. It also has cold-pressed Australian Hemp Seed Oil which is well known for aiding in clearing up acne.

Use a Gentle Skin Cleanser

Excess oil, sweat, and bacteria can be removed with the help of gentle cleansers. Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or perfume to avoid extra skin irritation.

Our Sativa Clear Facial Cleanser products are formulated especially for oily, ‘hormonal’ skin conditions, particularly for acne at any age and those dealing with sensitive damaged skin.

How to Treat Maskne?

The likelihood of developing maskne with frequent mask use is high. And if you are one of those who suffer from this break-out, it is not the end. There are several ways to treat maskne symptoms.

Wash Your Face Regularly

You should continue doing your regular skincare routine even in this time of pandemic and that includes washing your face. To keep your face clean and oil-free, wash it regularly. You should wash early in the morning, after sweating or after wearing a face mask, and before going to bed at night. It is best to use lukewarm water when washing your face and then pat it dry with a clean towel. Avoid touching your face or rubbing your face that may lead to irritation.

Use a Gentle Cleanser and a Non-Comedogenic Moisturiser

You probably want to get rid of your maskne immediately but make sure to choose a gentle cleanser and a non-comedogenic moisturiser. Products that contain alcohol and perfume are often irritating to the skin and can also clog your pores which may worsen the condition.
If you have sensitive skin, make sure to ask your doctor or dermatologist for the best type of medicated cleanser to use for your skin.

Apply Moisturiser with Ceramides

To help relieve itching and irritation, experts suggest you may apply a moisturiser that contains ceramides or by increasing your intake of foods that induce natural ceramide production in your skin, like sweet potatoes, soy, wheat, rice and corn. Our Sausage Tree Cream is rich in lipids, the fatty acids that are known as ceramides and is a great option to help relieve itching and irritation.

Take a Break From Make-Up

Allow your face to breathe by skipping make-up while treating your maskne. Make-up products may further irritate your skin and clog your pores causing the healing to take much longer.
“By avoiding the application of foundation and blush, the skin is allowed to return to its natural oil balance and hydration,” explains Nadia Kihiczak, MD, a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City.

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Maskne is real and it happens more frequently than you might think, even pre-pandemic. Take care of your skin to help prevent it and save yourself from unwanted break-outs. If you have a particularly severe maskne that goes beyond bad acne make sure to consult or follow up with your doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible.

6 tips to the perfect winter skincare routine for dry skin

Winter is often associated with the “most wonderful time of the year”. It gets cool outside and we just might get cosy with heating or even a fire, however, it brings with it some less than wonderful consequences for your skin, especially if you don’t have your winter skincare routine ready. 

The dry air and cold winds, in combination with the use of indoor heating, have the potential to leave your skin stripped of the natural oils that make it healthy and radiant. 

Winter is also notorious for introducing a host of other skin woes including sensitivity, irritation, and its associated redness. 

Bearing all of this in mind, you need to be vigilant so that you can survive the harsh weather conditions and come out on the other side with beautiful, glowing skin intact. 

If this sounds impossible, fear not, here are 6 tips you can use to craft the perfect winter skincare routine for your dry skin.

Not sure if you have dry skin? Take our skin quiz!

1. STAY HYDRATED

The importance of staying hydrated as part of your winter skincare routine cannot be overstressed! So much so that we’ve talked about it here, here, and here as well.

Adequate hydration is needed for the regeneration of skin cells, but in winter, we often forget to drink water as much as we do in warmer months.

Hitting a target of eight (8) to ten (10) cups of water every day will keep your body and skin in optimal condition.

Water is an essential part of your winter skincare routine
What you put in your body is a key component to winter skincare routines.

2. MODIFY YOUR DIET

A direct correlation has been found between gut and skin health. 

A diet that is rich in fats such as avocados, olive oil, and walnuts can help to kick dry skin to the curb where it belongs and help you to wake up with glowing skin as part of your skincare routine this winter. 

Additionally, you should avoid coffee and alcohol because these are diuretics and will cause your body to lose water, which is the exact opposite of what you want to be doing during winter.

3. AVOID RIDICULOUSLY HOT (AND LONG) SHOWERS

Trust me, I understand. After facing the cold winter air, nothing sounds better than luxuriating in a piping hot bath or shower. However, hot water does much more harm than good by causing increased evaporation of the natural hydration and moisture of your skin. 

It is advisable as part of your winter routine that you keep showers to no longer than ten (10) minutes (with lukewarm water) to prevent excessively drying your skin. 

You can make your shower more moisturizing by avoiding soaps and gels that are drying and substituting them with more natural ones that will help to protect and add to the skin’s moisture. 

A product that fits this description well is the Arianrhod Satin Skin Hand & Body Wash with Lemon Myrtle

This is the perfect answer to a hand and body wash for dry skin because of its amazing combination of mild, natural Hemp Castille liquid soap and the aroma and antiseptic properties of Lemon Myrtle

Skip those harsh chemicals and drying detergents and try this body wash that will leave your skin clean, fresh, and most importantly, hydrated! 

If Lemon Myrtle isn’t your scent of choice or you have skin conditions, try our Hemp Body Wash that is specially formulated for those who have sensitive skin or suffer from skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis that experience terrible flare-ups and skin irritation during winter. 

4. USE A THICKER MOISTURISER AND MOISTURISE MULTIPLE TIMES PER DAY

After you have showered your next step is to use a moisturiser on your damp skin to lock in the hydration. 

A thick hydrating moisturiser is best for dry skin during winter because it will seal the moisturising ingredients into dry skin and it will adhere for a longer time, facilitating more time for healing and repair. 

Body butter naturally has a thicker consistency than most moisturisers and lotions and they are usually chock full of moisturizing and nourishing ingredients like natural oils, that make them well-suited for this purpose. 

The Arianrhod Mango & Coconut Body Butter is perfect for this.  

Rich in saturated fats and antioxidants, our body butter is especially beneficial for dry skin, a common problem during winter, and it is so safe that it is even edible! 

The fats are easily absorbed so that they remain on the body for hours nourishing it, all without leaving any annoying residue. 

This all-natural body butter is formulated with shea butter, blended with essential fatty acids, phytosterols, and vitamins A and D from rice bran oil, cocoa butter and mango butter. It’s a veritable superfood for your skin! 

Not only does it have a fantastic aroma because of the mango butter, but it is rich in oleic acid which has been recognized as being a powerful aid in repairing skin damage and improving the elasticity of the skin. 

Using good quality body butter in the morning and before bed will do wonders for your skin.

For more information on the difference between moisturising lotions and body, check out our article called “Body Lotion or Body Butter – Which one is right for you?”

5. AVOID WASHING YOUR FACE TOO FREQUENTLY

Some recommend washing the face only once: at night. Crazy right? 

This is because most facial cleansers contain harsh ingredients that will dehydrate your skin. 

To prevent this from happening, wash your face less often and choose a gentle cleanser like the Arianrhod Sativa Revive Foaming Face Wash for all skin types

Made with cold-pressed hemp seed oil, kigelia extract, and silk amino acids, this product has been specially formulated to be nutrient-rich, deeply penetrating, non-greasy and to help in moisture retention and the healing of the skin.

Another way to ensure that your face remains adequately hydrated is to add moisture by using a specialised facial moisturiser. 

Ideally, you want your skin to be properly hydrated but not feel greasy. 

Arianrhod Aromatics Sativa Restore could be what you need. 

Not only does it have an exotic scent because of the essential oils present (frankincense, rose, and sandalwood) but it is suitable for most skin types

The base of Australian hemp seed oil and the presence of cold-pressed oils including argan oil, and rosehip oil is also ideal for combatting the effects of adverse weather conditions (winter anyone??).

A woman applying lip balm as part of a winter sknicare routine

6. PROTECT YOUR LIPS

Do not forget your lips! 

The thin skin of your lips is especially susceptible to damage from the harsh winter elements. 

Keep them hydrated and protected, soft and smooth by wearing the Arianrhod Manuka Lip Balm that is packed with skin-loving ingredients (including jojoba, calendula, and Manuka). 

If you prefer a vegan option, the Arianrhod Aromatics Vegan Hemp Lip Balm is an excellent option to protect and hydrate your lips this winter.

Apply it in the morning and reapply it throughout the day as part of your winter skincare routine.

Putting together the perfect winter skincare routine for dry skin

Combine these tips together into the perfect winter skincare routine for your dry skin. 

Think about your day and how you can incorporate these tips without making life harder.

There is no need for your winter skincare routine to be a burden.

These simple tips can have you leaving winter like it was a beautiful, sunny day in the park. 

Don’t let winter strip your skin of its glory. 

Take the necessary steps to remain hydrated and moisturised and you will see that winter really can be the “most wonderful time of the year” for your skin too.

References

1. Bakkila, B, Franzino A. (2020, January 15). 11 Soothing Remedies for Dry Skin in the Winter. Good Housekeeping. 

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/tips/a23739/winter-dry-skin-remedies/

2. Hong, H. (2020, November 2). Winter Is Coming—Here’s How to Transition Your Skincare Routine. Real Simple.

https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/winter-skincare

3. Rennert, J. (2019, December 3). The Definitive Guide to Preventing Dry Skin—From a Top Dermatologist. Vogue.

https://www.vogue.com/article/how-to-get-rid-of-dry-skin-winter-eye-cream-face-serum-mask-scrub

 

How to wake up with glowing skin every morning

We all want to wake up and feel our best and a big part of feeling our best is looking our best. We all want skin that is so radiant that it dispels our Monday morning blues or carries us over the Wednesday hump. So, how can you achieve skin so beautiful and glowing that it makes your heart sing and sets a positive tone for the rest of your day? Below are a few helpful tips:

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Beauty sleep is real, people! Getting a good night’s sleep is the best weapon in the anti-aging arsenal that there is. Studies have shown that our circadian rhythms can affect skin repair and function and inadequate sleep can cause your skin to become dull, cause the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, cause your eyes to appear puffy, and cause dark circles under your eyes. Research has indicated that mitosis (the process that enables cell division and repair) occurs roughly between 11 p.m. and midnight, irrespective of whether you are asleep or not. However, sleeping during the peak of mitosis will bestow more benefits on your skin.

Though it is not always possible to get the recommended eight (8) hours of uninterrupted sleep, getting as close to that as possible should be your aim. Some helpful tips include having a set bedtime every night and turning off your phone (crazy, right?) or at the least putting it on silent.

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SLEEP THE RIGHT WAY

Okay, so I know this sounds weird, but hear me out your sleeping habits can affect the way you look. We’ve previously written about getting better sleep naturally, but there is more you can do to help yourself wake up with glowing skin. For instance, it is recommended that you avoid sleeping on your side. Sleeping this way can cause your skin to be creased and tugged throughout the night and this can cause wrinkles. Instead, it is recommended that you sleep on your back with extra pillows to support your head. Elevating your head prevents the pooling of fluid that can cause swollen eyes and a puffy face. 

Now if you want to go the extra mile, it is also recommended that you sleep on a silk pillowcase (fancy, right?). The thinking behind this is that cotton pillowcases will pull moisture and sebum (oil) out of your skin, effectively drying it out overnight. Some dermatologists also believe that silk provides a smoother surface for your skin to rub against and this helps to prevent wrinkles.

KEEP HYDRATED

We have long been told of all the wonders that drinking water can do for your skin. Not only does drinking water keep your skin hydrated (and ward off wrinkles) but taking a sip of water before bedtime can rid the body of toxins while you sleep. This may mean placing a bottle of water by your bedside table so that you can sip water before going to bed and when you wake up. A few drops of a probiotic (containing beneficial bacteria) in the water can give your skin added nutrients that it needs to glow.

Additionally, serums can give your skin an extra glowing boost since most of them are filled with moisturizing ingredients that will add hydration. Serums are usually lightweight (so that they can be easily absorbed by the skin) and are applied before moisturizers. One product that you could try is the Arianrhod Aromatics Antioxidant Facial Serum. Antioxidants have been proven to fight oxygen radicals that damage skin cells and lead to aging, so what could be better than working this into your daily routine to not only add hydration but to fight premature aging as well. This serum formulation contains Kukui nut oil, which is excellent for dry and aging skin, as well as frankincense which has an exotic aroma and healing properties. The oil can be used to massage the face before bed or during the day. However, using it before bed will take advantage of the skin’s natural recovery mechanism to reverse damage sustained throughout the day (UV exposure, pollutants) by infusing the skin with the hydrating ingredients, leaving your skin looking refreshed and your complexion glowing the next day. This product is also vegan, so not only are you saving your skin, but you are being environmentally conscious while doing so. Talk about a win-win!

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CLEANSE AND MOISTURISE YOUR SKIN

Washing your face after a long day out and about will remove dirt and pollutants that it has been exposed to all day. Skin cells regenerate at night and the dead ones are removed with this process working best on clean skin. Using a mild face wash can greatly enhance what you see in the mirror the next day. One such product is the Arianrhod Aromatics Sativa Revive Foaming Face Wash for all skin types. This product uses cold-pressed Australian hemp seed oil for a nutrient-rich, deeply penetrating oil that leaves skin looking vibrant. Kigelia extract and silk amino acids help the skin to retain moisture and assist the daily rejuvenation and healing process of the skin. Following up with the companion Sativa Restore Facial Moisturiser with its similar formulation will help retain moisture and restore your skin.

EAT THE RIGHT THINGS

Healthier food choices will help your skin to have a noticeable radiance. Fats that are good for the body such as those found in avocado and sweet potato are also good for the skin, while sunflower seeds, which are chock full of vitamin E, can give skin a youthful, glowing appearance.

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EXCERCISE

Though this is not a step to be done at night, working up an early morning sweat will boost your glow. Aerobic exercise can help the body to get rid of toxins, gets your blood pumping and oxygen flowing. During exercise, your skin will also start producing natural oils that will keep your skin looking healthy and moisturized.

By following these simple steps and investing in your self-care routine at the end of the day (and early morning in the case of exercise) you will wake up well-rested and with the healthy, glowing skin that you have always wanted.

REFERENCES

1. Mitrokostas, S. (2018, July 18). 11 things you can do before bed to wake up with glowing skin. INSIDER.
https://www.insider.com/clear-your-skin-while-you-sleep-2018-7
2. Mourato, B. (2019, May 5). This Evening Routine Will Help You Wake Up With Glowy Skin. CAREER GIRL DAILY LONDON.
https://www.careergirldaily.com/this-evening-routine-will-help-you-wake-up-with-glowy-skin/
3. URBANCLAPBEAUTY. (2017, September 4). 11 Ways To Wake Up to A Ultra Bright Morning Face. The Urban Guide.
https://www.urbancompany.com/blog/beauty/ways-to-wake-up-to-a-bright-morning-and-a-brighter-face/
4. PLUM. (n.d.). 4 easy early morning habits of people with glowing skin.
https://plumgoodness.com/blogs/tips-tricks-easy-hacks-more/4-early-morning-habits-of-people-with-glowing-skin
5. Robinson, R. (2021, July 25). SLEEP ON IT: 5 BEST TIPS ON HOW TO WAKE UP WITH GLOWING, RADIANT SKIN EVERY MORNING. BeautyStat Cosmetics.
https://www.beautystat.com/skincare/sleep-on-it-5-best-tips-on-how-to-wake-up-with-glowing-radiant-skin-every-morning/
6. OGEE LUXURY ORGANICS. (n.d.). How to Wake Up With the Most Radiant Skin of Your Life.
https://ogee.com/blogs/the-daily-good/how-to-wake-up-with-the-most-radiant-skin-of-your-life

How safe are your After-Sun skincare products?

Here in Australia we’ve been having a pretty merry time out at the beach, especially on the weekends. I know I’ve been out most afternoons lately as the days are so long in summer and the weather has been brilliant for it. However, with the sun, comes sun-kissed skin if we aren’t very careful. Of course, we should do our best to protect our skin when we are in the sun, but sometimes sunburn still happens and then to get some relief, we put on an after-sun lotion or gel. My favourite was always an aloe vera gel.

For a long time, I just assumed that aloe vera gels were made from aloe vera, something natural that I am very familiar with and have even grown myself for a while. The thing is, that’s a pretty easy assumption to make. Many after-sun skincare products, designed to soothe sun-burned skin, are marketed as natural and usually make prominent displays of aloe vera which, of course, is natural. So you would expect it should be natural, right? Have a look at the ingredients list next time you see it, either on the shelf at home or out at the shops. Just how natural are after-sun gels and creams really?

I’ve picked three different after-sun products available from major Australian supermarket chains across different categories to have a look at. I checked the gel, lotion, and spray that had the best ingredients from a variety of brands and here is what I found.

Aloe Vera After Sun Lotion

This particular one was the cheapest after sun product I found at the supermarket, however, it also had the fewest questionable ingredients. All other after sun lotions that I checked had a longer ingredient list, chock full of things, including the second-most expensive after-sun product on the shelf which is a lotion that contains a whopping 37 ingredients, more than anything else I looked at by more than double!

Ingredients
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aqua, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, CI 19140, CI 42090.

This ingredients list starts out well with Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Aqua right at the top. These are two natural ingredients that should make up the majority of the product. From there though, it goes downhill. Before I go too far, I should probably note that even natural ingredients can have their downside. If this Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice contains non-decolorised whole leaf aloe vera, then it has been linked with cancer. If it is the decolorised version then it is safe. We don’t know from this ingredient list but it’s probably fair to assume it would be the decolorised version making it perfectly safe. Even so, men, maybe don’t drink it if you are planning on having children (if you are ever tempted to take a swig of your after-sun lotion or gel). The Cosmetic Ingredient Review found Aloe Barbadensis to cause sperm damage in rats and mice when ingested.

Polysorbate 20 and Carbomer are not natural, but they aren’t too bad either. That isn’t where it stops though. Phenoxyethanol, used as both a preservative and fragrance ingredient has been linked to contact uritica (hives) and dermatitis. It gets worse as we progress. Another form of alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol carries a hazardous chemical warning as a severe eye irritant and is harmful if swallowed or inhaled. 

Next up is an unidentified alcohol followed by Diazolidinyl Urea, a formaldehyde releaser that acts as a preservative. Now, Diazolidinyl Urea is typically used in very small quantities and on its own is not that great, studies have found it to be an allergen and toxic to humans. The bigger concern, though, is what happens the longer that this product is unused. Diazolidinyl Urea slowly releases formaldehyde in a process called off-gassing in order to kill off microbes. You might recognise formaldehyde as a known carcinogen that carries an awful lot of warning labels including: fatal if inhaled, toxic if swallowed, toxic in contact with skin, causes severe skin burn and eye damage, may cause allergic skin reactions, may cause cancer by inhalation, and toxic to aquatic life. Even in small quantities, is that worth the risk? Thanks, but no thanks.

Moving on from that health scare…

Sodium Hydroxide is interesting. It’s considered safe in low quantities, but, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review report released in December 2015 found that Sodium Hydroxide causes eye irritation, skin water loss (that’s kind of bad when you are already burned, right?), and skin irritation. In fact, Sodium Hydroxide was noted in the report to be used as a positive control, in other words, it is used to cause skin irritation in order to test skin creams. So, while safe, could it actually be exacerbating your sunburn, encouraging you to use more of the product?

Parfum is next. Also known as fragrance. Like the unidentified alcohol earlier in the ingredients list, this doesn’t actually break down what the fragrance comes from, which is a worry. The Environmental Working Group gives parfum/fragrance an 8/10 where 10 is the most toxic of ingredients. Why? It’s not fully labelled so that is part of it, but studies have shown that “parfum” causes allergic reactions in adults and children, causes contact dermatitis and exacerbates asthma. Hmmm…

Almost to the end of the list! Tocopheryl Acetate is not rated particularly badly in the Environmental Working Group database and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review found that Tocopheryl Acetate can help prevent contact dermatitis and may have some photoprotective effects. It sounds a little bit like it is added to help overcome the effects of sodium hydroxide and parfum! However, while some photoprotective effects were reported by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, at least one study has found that Tocopheryl Acetate can “enhance” photocarcinogenesis (or cancer caused by light) in animals. So, this isn’t sounding great and there are still three more ingredients.

Panthenol. Ah, a breath of fresh air, so to speak. Panthenol is both naturally occurring and synthetically made vitamin B5. The ingredients list doesn’t specifically state which one it is, however, natural Panthenol should be labelled as D-Panthenol so it is most likely synthetic. Vitamin B5 serves as a skin conditioner and both the natural and synthetic versions are considered to be quite safe. But, what about those two numbered ingredients at the end of the list? 

CI 19140 is a synthetic yellow colour and CI 42090 is a synthetic blue colour, combined to give the lotion a green colour. Both are considered safe in low concentrations, however, they have both been found to contribute to or cause skin allergies even at low dosages with more severe effects in higher concentrations. Yellow is linked to liver effects and hyperactivity in children, and both yellow and blue are connected to neurobehavioural effects and potential neurotoxicity. It’s unlikely that you’ll find such high concentrations in a consumer product, however, the risk is increased when CI 42090 (blue) is used on damaged skin, around the mouth, on the lips, or around the eyes, as these all increase the risk of absorption. Now, if you are using an after-sun cream on sun-burned skin, chances are your skin is damaged. Chances are also pretty high you are using it around your mouth, lips and eyes. I don’t know about you, but I usually just lather it all over my face!

Now, every after-sun lotion, gel or spray that I looked at in the supermarket has an ingredient list like this. Some are even longer. Only one product (the after sun gel below) had a shorter ingredient list, but it was still made up of many of these potentially harmful ingredients.

Aloe Vera After Sun Gel

Aloe Vera after sun gels seem to be the best choice if you are picking something up off a supermarket shelf. This particular product had the best ingredient list of any after sun gels I could find at the supermarket, however, this one lists “Aloe vera gel” as the first ingredient. As aloe vera gel is typically made up of other things, this suggests there might be something to hide.

Ingredients
Aloe Vera Gel, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate.

Let’s dive into these ingredients. Other gels listed their first three ingredients as “Water, Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice”. None of them identify what the alcohol is, but it is probably safe to assume that since the product here doesn’t show an ingredient breakdown, it could contain something nasty OR the manufacturer wanted aloe vera to appear as though it is the largest ingredient, which does not appear to be the case in any other gel and so is most likely not the case in this one either. To be completely fair, I have come across products claiming to be 100% natural, organic, alcohol-free that list aloe vera gel as a standalone ingredient. So, the skeptic in me says it is questionable (same with the claims of the natural product), but we will give them the benefit of the doubt here.

So, moving onto the ingredients that are identified!

Triethanolamine is an artificial fragrance and an emulsifier. It is also used as a masking agent (to cover up or counter the effects of another substance. It has a rating of 5/10 on the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database, in part because there are a lot of gaps in the research on this ingredient. Based on the currently available data, it is generally considered safe for use on the skin in low dosage (diluted to 5% of it’s normal strength), there is, however, some evidence that it can cause skin irritation, particularly with repeated use or dosages where the dilution ratio sees it at higher than 5%. In this kind of product it should be less than 5% anyway, but also being the second ingredient raises my eyebrows.

Carbomer is a synthetic ingredient we spoke about earlier, but what is DMDM Hydantoin? It’s a formaldehyde releaser. We’ve already talked about what this is and why you really don’t want to be using a product that produces formaldehyde, so I won’t go into it now, however, it is, in and of itself somewhat less of an allergen then the formaldehyde releaser in the after sun lotion we looked at first. Except…the very next ingredient is the same formaldehyde releaser we looked at earlier, Diazolidinyl Urea.

This begs the question, why do we need two formaldehyde releasers? Did we reach the maximum recommended limits for one and it wasn’t enough? Is the manufacturer getting around that by adding a second one? We’ll probably never know, but it is a big cause for concern, especially since the second last ingredient in the list is Tetrasodium EDTA. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review found that Tetrasodium EDTA is cytotoxic and slightly genotoxic, but is safe for use in cosmetics in small amounts…UNLESS there are ingredients in the formulation that are dangerous if absorbed through the skin because Tetrasodium EDTA increases the penetration of other ingredients into your skin. This is good for getting those helpful ingredients into your sunburned skin, however, your damaged skin is already more susceptible to absorption of toxins. Tetrasodium EDTA is magnifying the risk of absorbing the nasties.

Which brings us to the last ingredient, Tocopheryl Acetate, which you may recall as enhancing photocarcinogenesis. At least there are no synthetic colours in this one, right?

You are most likely to find salicylates in products that are marketed as anti-dandruff, anti-acne or exfoliating. This is because salicylates help to lift and remove the outer layer of dead skin. You will also want to look for any fruit extracts and essential oils. The percentage of salicylates in fruit extracts and essential oils is much higher than in the whole food form, so they are more likely to contribute to sensitivity than simply eating the food.

Think of it like fruit juice. It is easy to drink 1 litre of orange juice. It’s a lot harder to eat the number of oranges required to get 1 litre of juice. In having the juice, you are having higher quantities of things like sugar (and salicylates) than you might have had were you to have eaten the whole fruit. Essential oils and fruit extracts are the same.

Continuing with the above metaphor, if you are on a salicylate-free diet, a piece of fruit alone might not trigger a reaction, but a small amount of juice could since it is more concentrated. Essential oils and fruit extracts are concentrated even further.

Aloe Vera After Sun Spray

Ingredients
Water, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Lauryl Glycol Ether PPG-1-PEG-9, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Polysorbate 80, Glycereth 7, Fragrance, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Sodium PCA, Musa Sapientum Banana Leaf Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract

This ingredient list isn’t looking promising. At least I can see some fruit extracts in here.

First up is Water followed by Butylene Glycol. This is an alcohol derived from petroleum that is used as a fragrance and skin conditioner. Refreshingly, it is considered safe. We are already familiar with Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, so let’s look at Phenoxyethanol.

Phenoxyethanol is considered safe for external use, but should not be used around the lips or eyes and the European Chemicals Agency warns it is harmful if swallowed and causes serious eye irritation. So maybe keep this spray away from your sun burned face!

Triethanolamine we’ve covered already and it’s not great. What about Lauryl Glycol Ether PPG-1-PEG-9? The National Library of Medicine warns that Lauryl Glycol Ether is a skin and eye irritant that is toxic to aquatic life. Hmm.

PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate? A synthetic polymer that enhances skin absorption. On it’s own, this ingredient has generally been found to be safe, as has Polysorbate 80, a denaturant, surfactant and fragrance.

Glycereth 7 is a synthetic skin conditioner that is considered safe as well, but then we have that unidentified “Fragrance” which is typically made from lots of things that aren’t good, 

Then we head into parabens. Parabens are artificial preservatives that bioaccumulate in the human body and other animals over time and have been linked to decreased fertility, preterm birth, decreased birth weight, endocrine disruption, cancer (including breast cancer), skin irritation, coral death and more. This spray contains two parabens, Propylparaben (one of the worst offenders in the paraben family) and Methylparaben.

Sodium PCA is a hair and skin conditioner derived from proline, a naturally occurring amino acid. It is considered a safe ingredient.

Then we have two totally natural ingredients right at the end that are safe. Musa Sapientum Banana Leaf Extract, or plantain leaf extract and Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract.

So in some ways, this spray is the best of the supermarket options since it doesn’t have a formaldehyde releaser in it and with the exception of the parabens, most of the other ingredients are not “too” bad, not great, but not terrible. There are a couple of extra natural ingredients in this one, which is nice to see. However, the presence of parabens is a serious red flag and confirms that none of the supermarket after-sun options are truly safe for use. Remember, the three that I’ve looked at were the three BEST after sun products I could find on the supermarket shelves in each category.

What should you be looking for in an after sun lotion, cream or gel?

Your skin is a living breathing organ and is very sensitive to its surroundings so you want to be looking for natural ingredients, or at the very least, for a product that does not contain chemicals that are known to be harmful to the human body. In after sun products, the biggest ones to avoid are formaldehyde releasers and parabens, but as we saw from these ingredient lists, there are other things going into these products that are not good for your skin, extremely irritating to the eyes, and are also dangerous to aquatic life.

While after sun gel is not sunscreen and we are less likely to put it on directly before swimming, I’m sure I’m not the only one that has in the past put on some aloe vera lotion to soothe a previous sunburn before later hopping in the water without washing it off first. Parabens have been linked directly to coral bleaching, so why take the risk, both with our own body but also with our precious reefs?

Another thing to look out for is unidentified ingredients such as alcohol, parfum or fragrance. These are usually hiding something nasty.

Instead, look for ingredients that are predominantly plant-derived. These ingredients usually cause no irritation except in the most sensitive of skin, and will usually have no known side effects or toxins to the human body. When in doubt, look up the ingredients in the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep® database and look for ones that are rated 3/10 or lower for safety concerns. This database is one of the most comprehensive and unbiased sources of ingredient information that is easily digestible. For more detail, you can also look up ingredients on the Cosmetic Ingredient Review database that goes into in depth analysis of the scientific data available and provides research reports on cosmetic ingredients.

We recommend our Sativa Nourish After Sun Body Lotion as a low-irritant, safe, natural alternative to supermarket after sun products that are full of nasties. Let’s have a look at the ingredients for comparison.

Sativa Nourish After Sun Body Lotion

Sativa Nourish After Sun Body Lotion

Sativa Nourish is based around the soothing properties of aloe vera and cucumber blended with natural ingredients that protect the skin from further moisture loss and help to break down the build up of melanin to help counteract the damage done by the sun’s rays.

Ingredients

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis), Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) Seed Oil, Cupuaçu (Theobroma Grandiflorum) Butter, Meadowfoam (Limnanthes Alba) Oil, Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) Oil, Cetearyl Olivate & Sorbitan Olivate, Grapefruit (Citrus Paradise) Seed Extract, Colloidal Silver, Kigelia (Kigelia Africana) Extract, Hydrolysed Silk, Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia), Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin). Here’s what one of our customers has said about Sativa Nourish After Sun Body Lotion:

“So cooling and refreshing after a bit much sun – wonderful product. Draws the heat out and calms the redness very quickly.” – Melissa E.

Aloe Vera, we already know is a natural ingredient that is one of the most well-known for sun-burn soothing properties, but that is the only ingredient in Sativa Nourish After Sun Body Lotion that overlaps with the supermarket product range. So, what about the rest?

Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) Seed Oil is extracted from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant and works on the skin as a conditioner. Our hemp seed oil comes from only Australian-grown hemp plants. 

Cupuaçu (Theobroma Grandiflorum) Butter comes from the cupuaçu tree and is related to the cacao tree. This butter is completely safe for human consumption and is great for sensitive skin as it is full of fatty acids like omega 9 oleic acid that helps condition the skin and hair, and laboratory tests have shown that it does not cause dermal irritation. EWG gives it the lowest risk score of 1/0.

Meadowfoam (Limnanthes Alba) Oil comes from the seeds of the meadowfoam plant and acts as a skin-conditioner containing many fatty acids that help to lock moisture into the skin. Studies have found that Meadowfoam Oil is non-irritating and very safe to use on your skin. EWG gives it the lowest risk score of 1/10.

Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) Oil comes from the seeds of cool, refreshing cucumbers and is also a non-irritating skin-conditioner. Cucumber Oil has a fresh scent, light consistency and absorbs into the skin easily delivering the phytosterols, also known as plant sterols, it is carrying in large quantities. Plant sterols are perhaps most well known for their cholesterol-reducing properties when ingested, however, phytosterols also have the ability to stimulate skin cell regeneration, which is exactly what you want when you have sunburned skin. Phytosterols help the skin to strengthen its lipid barrier, restore moisture balance, improve skin elasticity and smooth the surface of the skin. Mighty for your skin is the lowly cucumber. EWG gives Cucumber Oil the lowest risk score of 1/10.

On a side-note, while studies have not been conducted directly on cucumber oil and absorption through the skin, when ingested, phytosterols have been found to induce cell-death in cancer cells and attenuate (or lessen) their spread, including melanoma. So applying a phytosterol-rich cream to sunburned skin just might not be a bad idea.

Cetearyl Olivate & Sorbitan Olivate is a natural PEG-free olive oil-based blend that serves as an emulsifier. Being derived from olive oil, it also has a high moisturising effect, is hypoallergenic, reduces skin-water loss and bio-mimics the skin making it the ideal emulsifier for use in a product aimed at soothing sunburned skin. Cetearyl Olivate & Sorbitan Olivate both score 1/10 on the EWG database.

Grapefruit (Citrus Paradise) Seed Extract comes from that big, tart, red-fleshed citrus, the grapefruit. Now, grapefruit seed extract is one that we do need to be a little more careful with. While it is 100% natural, it can cause irritation to skin, eyes and lungs if it isn’t correctly prepared. However, grapefruit seed extract serves as a natural anti-microbial, antibiotic, disinfectant, antiseptic, antibacterial ingredient that also has some antioxidant properties. It serves as a natural preservative that also helps to kill off any bacteria trying to force its way through your sun-damaged skin. Rich in both Vitamin C and Vitamin A, grapefruit seed extract provides extra nourishment and protection for your skin. EWG gives it a 1-4/10 risk rating depending on how it is formulated – ours is prepared to be non-sensitising and non-irritating as defined by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review.

Colloidal Silver is microscopic particles of naturally occurring silver suspended in liquid. It acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal that disables the oxygen-metabolism enzumer in single-celled pathogens. Colloidal silver gets a 4-5/10 risk rating by EWG as the microscopic particles can easily absorb into the skin and there is not a lot of research around possible bioaccumulation. Some governments (eg Canada) have speculated that it may be bioaccumulative, others from the same government have indicated that it isn’t believed to be.

Kigelia (Kigelia Africana) Extract is one of natures wonder ingredients. More well-known as the sausage tree, it has long been used in traditional African medicines with recent scientific studies suggesting that Kigelia has impressive healing and conditioning effects on the skin with no known side-effects. This fruit extract has been scientifically proven to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer with researchers from Northern Ireland finding that it is able to halt the spread of human melanoma cells. These properties are all key to helping your sunburned skin recover. EGW gives Kigelia Extract a 1/10 risk rating, the safest rating.

Hydrolysed Silk is derived silk produced by none other than the silk worm. When applied to the skin, silk gives it a soft, velvet feel and helps your skin to retain moisture. EWG gives it a 1/0 risk rating.

Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia) is probably best known for its purple flowers and recognisable, strong fragrance, but it also serves as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory that is able to penetrate your pores. This anti-inflammatory property helps to reduce redness and soreness from sunburn. Lavender has been rated 2/10 on the EWG risk scale as it can cause irritation in the most sensitive skin and some studies have found it to promote the production of estrogen in children after repeated exposure.

Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin) is an aromatic shrub that has a very strong scent, and that’s a big part of the role it plays in our Sativa Nourish After Sun Lotion, but it does have a second purpose. There is very little scientific study into the benefits of patchouli, but traditional uses suggest it could be a tissue regenerator that promotes the regrowth of skin cells. While this hasn’t been confirmed, this luxurious fragrance has a 1/10 risk rating according to EWG, so it’s one of the best choices for fragrance on sunburned skin.

When it comes down to safety and effectiveness, there is nothing better than natural ingredients!

Summing it all up

At Arianrhod Aromatics, we select ingredients for our after-sun body lotion (and all our products) that are not synthetic (made in a laboratory), and that have the lowest risk possible to both you, your family, and the environment. We aim to process each ingredient, by hand, as minimally as possible to help keep the ingredients as close as possible to their original form and full of their original goodness. With this in mind, when you read product labels, look for ingredients that have names that you recognise from a natural product. Most of the time, this is a great place to start and an easy rule of thumb to follow. If in doubt, do a search on the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database for the ingredient to find out more about it. 

Lastly, keep in mind that expensive doesn’t equal better. In fact, the most expensive product at the supermarket was the worst, so always read the ingredients. That said, natural products will typically be more expensive than supermarket products that use large amounts of synthetic ingredients. Can you put a price on the health of yourself, your family and the environment? We can’t. That’s why our environment policy is in place. Every ingredient is scrutinised against this policy to ensure that they truly are the best for both you and the environment.

 

References

 

What are salicylates and how can they impact you?

What are salicylates and and how can they affect you Header

Do you experience unexplained skin reactions after eating certain foods or using cosmetics with ingredients derived from certain plants? If you don’t have any allergies, then salicylates could be the guilty party. This chemical compound occurs naturally in many plants that we eat every day, like strawberries, broccoli, spinach, ginger, honey, and many more. Besides naturally occurring in our food, salicylates are also synthetically manufactured and both the natural and synthetic versions are widely used in medications, skincare products, food, hair care, perfume, and other products. Salicylates are typically used because of the properties that make them a preservative, bactericidal (kills bacteria), and antiseptic.

Most of us have no problem with salicylates. Our bodies can handle the quantities that are in our food perfectly fine. The added salicylates coming through medications and cosmetics are also processed and broken down safely for most of us. However, large doses can cause problems for anyone.

What is salicylate sensitivity?

Some people have a salicylate sensitivity (sometimes referred to as salicylate intolerance) where the body is unable to properly metabolise and excrete salicylates and even a small quantity can be a problem. Salicylate sensitivity is an adverse reaction to the presence of salicylates that manifests in allergy-like symptoms. It’s not known what percentage of people have salicylate sensitivity, but studies have found that rates are more frequent in people who suffer from asthma, food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease (reference). Salicylate sensitivity can also be developed through over-exposure to high quantities of salicylates for long periods of time.

Salicylate sensitivity can be tough to identify since it manifests like a food allergy with responses that can include stomach pain, diarrhoea, swelling, itchy skin, hives, rashes, skin discolouration, breathing difficulty, fatigue, itchy eyes, and more (reference). There are currently no tests for salicylate sensitivity either, so one way of identifying the sensitivity is to rule out other allergies. If you think you might have a salicylate sensitivity it is best to see your doctor.

Woman looking at camera
Jar of cream

Salicylates in skincare

Salicylates naturally occur in most, if not all essential oils, and so even skincare products that are 100% organic, made solely from natural ingredients can trigger adverse reactions for people with salicylate sensitivities if they use ingredients that naturally contain salicylates. Totally avoiding salicylates can be nearly impossible, but as a guide, if you have salicylate sensitivity or have reactions to your skincare products look for ingredients marked as salicylic acid (often labelled as beta hydroxy acid or BHA), methyl salicylate, sodium salicylate and calcium salicylate. 

You are most likely to find salicylates in products that are marketed as anti-dandruff, anti-acne or exfoliating. This is because salicylates help to lift and remove the outer layer of dead skin. You will also want to look for any fruit extracts and essential oils. The percentage of salicylates in fruit extracts and essential oils is much higher than in the whole food form, so they are more likely to contribute to sensitivity than simply eating the food. 

Think of it like fruit juice. It is easy to drink 1 litre of orange juice. It’s a lot harder to eat the number of oranges required to get 1 litre of juice. In having the juice, you are having higher quantities of things like sugar (and salicylates) than you might have had were you to have eaten the whole fruit. Essential oils and fruit extracts are the same.

Continuing with the above metaphor, if you are on a salicylate-free diet, a piece of fruit alone might not trigger a reaction, but a small amount of juice could since it is more concentrated. Essential oils and fruit extracts are concentrated even further.

Salicylate-free ingredients in skincare

Generally, oils from seeds and butters do not contain salicylates or are extremely low in salicylates. Waxes are also usually free from salicylates. Look for ingredients like:

Hemp oil in a glass jar and hemp seeds

Moisturisers for salicylate sensitive skin

Moisturisation makes a huge difference when you have dry, flaky, itchy, scaly skin that comes with an intolerance to salicylates. Being able to lock that moisture in reduces the itchiness and risk of skin breakage that can make salicylate sensitivity even less tolerable.

Zero Tolerance Cream All Over Moisturiser

At Arianrhod Aromatics, Iamme specifically developed the Zero Tolerance Cream for people who have extremely sensitive skin and who cannot tolerate salicylates or essential oils.

Zero Tolerance Cream is a 100% natural primary moisturiser intended to provide hydration all over the body without any fragrances or other ingredients that may cause irritation. The base ingredients of Zero Tolerance Cream are cocoa butter, cupuaçu butter and rice bran oil, all of which are salicylate-free and will help soothe your irritated skin. Combined with a touch of silk amino acids to lock in the moisture and Zero Tolerance Cream will keep your skin hydrated and itch-free.

Here’s what one of our customers has said about Zero Tolerance Cream:

“Always a winner. I have been buying this for years & now buy for my daughter & sister who love it too.”

Hemp Cream All Over Moisturiser

A second choice from the Arianrhod Aromatics range is Hemp Cream. As the name suggests, Hemp Cream is based on hemp flower oil combined with rice bran oil and silk amino acids to provide a nutrient-rich moisturiser for use all over your body that is both salicylate-free and histamine-free.

Arianrhod Aromatics Hemp Cream was developed to be an alternative to Zero Tolerance Cream for customers who are looking for the benefits of a completely natural hemp-based moisturiser. Hemp has been used throughout the ages in skincare routines as it is an excellent skin rejuvenator with healing properties that are second to none.

If your skin is already suffering from severe salicylate sensitivity dryness and irritation, Hemp Cream is the best choice to help your skin heal. Our customers rave about how effective our Hemp Cream is, here’s what Tanya told us:

“Quality product! Easily absorbed into the skin. Very soothing, so incredibly healing. I have been struggling with redness & scarring on my face & neck for many years. Noticeable difference within one month, I couldn’t be happier. Thank you Arianrhod Aromatics.”

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How to determine what skin type you have and take care of it

Does your skin confuse you? Does it seem like some days it’s oily and other days it’s dry? Skin can seem like it is all over the place. Especially as weather changes can impact how our skin behaves each season, and as we age, our skin can change too. So, how do you determine what skin type you have right now and what key things should you be paying attention to with your skin? Let’s find out!

Otherwise, if you just want to know your skin type, take our skin type quiz to find out!

What are the different skin types?

There are five types of skin. These types are used to describe three key attributes of your skin: Oilyness, hydration and sensitivity. So what are these skin types?

  1. Normal – Middle of the road, a balance between oily, dry and not sensitive.
  2. Oily – Your skin has an above-average level of oil present.
  3. Dry – Your skin has a below-average level of water present.
  4. Combination – Some of your skin is dry and some is oily.
  5. Sensitive – Your skin might not be particularly oily or dry, but it is sensitive to what you put on it.
Woman looking at camera
A Woman With Normal Skin

Normal skin

Normal skin is not too oily and not too dry. The sebum production of your skin is balanced, producing just enough to keep your skin hydrated.

How to identify normal skin

  • Low pore visibility
  • Few imperfections
  • Not noticeably sensitive
  • Often described as a glowing complexion

How to take care of your normal skin

Normal skin doesn’t usually require any special care, but it is still important to look after it.

  • Avoid conditions that can contribute to dry or oily skin
  • Protect your skin from the sun and apply after sun lotion if you get sun burned
  • Take care when using cleaning products and don’t overuse scented products, normal skin can become sensitive skin from overexposure
  • Use a natural moisturiser and look for natural products in the rest of your skincare and haircare routine

Oily skin

Oily skin is caused by excessive sebum production and tends to change throughout the year and can become particularly more prominent during hot and humid weather when you are sweating more frequently.

How to identify oily skin

  • Large pores that are easily visible
  • A complexion that is shiny
  • Skin may have an oily residue on it
  • Frequent blackheads, pimples and other related skin blemishes

Factors that can contribute to oily skin

  • Genetics that contribute to excess sebum production
  • Stress
  • Puberty
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Heat
  • Humidity

How to take care of your oily skin

  • Wash your skin after you have sweated
  • Try not to wash your skin more than twice per day
  • Use gentle cleansers designed for oily skin
  • Don’t scrub your skin
  • Exfoliate very gently as excess oil can trap dead skin and contribute to acne
  • As tempting as it is, try to avoid squeezing your pimples.
  • Use a light, oil-free moisturiser designed for oily skin to help keep your skin hydrated while signalling to your skin that it doesn’t need to produce as much sebum.
  • Look for skincare products that are labelled as non-clogging. The technical term is “noncomedogenic” which means that it won’t block your pores.
Woman with oily skin
Dry hand

Dry skin

Dry skin is the result of a lack of sebum and can be caused by a lot of environmental factors including the wind and climate control systems, it also tends to be quite irritating.

How to identify dry skin

  • Very small, almost invisible pores
  • A dull complexion that has a rough appearance
  • The skin is often covered in a layer of flaky dead skin cells
  • Poor skin elasticity
  • Patchy red spots
  • Skin lines tend to be more prominent
  • Skin cracks and peels easily
  • Tends to become quite itchy
  • If it is extremely dry it can become rough and scaly both visibly and also to touch

Factors that can contribute to dry skin

  • Genetics that contribute to lower sebum production
  • Medications
  • Soaps, cosmetics, cleansers and hand sanitisers
  • Exposure to hot water for extended periods, eg long, hot baths
  • Aging
  • Hormonal changes
  • The weather, especially the sun, wind and colder temperatures
  • UV radiation
  • Climate control systems, especially heating

How to take care of your dry skin

  • Use mild soaps and cleansers
  • Use mildy-fragranced soaps that derive their fragrance from an essential oil – sandalwood, geranium, and lavender are all good essential oils for dry skin
  • Choose hand sanitisers that contain ingredients to help retain moisture rather than dry it out.
  • Don’t scrub your skin when washing it
  • Don’t scrub your skin when drying it
  • Make hot baths and showers as short as possible and don’t have more than one a day unless essential
  • Keep your skin hydrated
  • Use a gentle body butter or moisturising lotion immediately after washing
  • If your dry skin is aging related, switch to washes and moisturisers that have been formulated to assist aging skin, like our Sativa Restore Moisturiser
  • Use a humidifier, especially during cold weather when indoor heating is operating
  • Keep indoor heating as low as possible
  • Avoid direct contact with harsh chemicals and use gloves when you are doing the dishes or using any cleaning products
  • For men, consider natural shaving lotion and aftershave that lock in moisture rather than drying your face out.

Combination skin

As the name suggests, combination skin can be oily in some places, dry in others and perhaps normal in others. The T-zone in your face is often used as an example of this where the T itself, your forehead, nose and chin get oily, but the rest of your face is dry. This isn’t always the case, but it is the most common way that combination skin manifests.

It’s also worth noting that combination skin may occur in larger zones around your body and not just your face. For example, your face might be oily but your have dry skin on your arms and legs.

How to identify combination skin

  • Pores in oily areas look larger than normal
  • Shiny skin in some places and dull skin in others
  • Blackheads in some places, but dry irritations in others

Factors that can contribute to combination skin

The same factors that contribute to dry and oily skin also contribute to combination skin. Your skin just happens to be more prone to those factors in some places than others. This can make looking after it a little tricky since you don’t want to add more moisture to oily areas but you do want to hydrate those dry spots!

How to take care of your combination skin

Care is much the same as oily and dry skin, but more topical. Unfortunately, that makes things a little trickier since you should not use the same products all over.

  • Don’t use heavy moisturisers on areas that are already oily
  • Use lighter, oil-free moisturisers on the oily areas of your skin, like our Sativa Clear Moisturiser for Oily Skin
  • Exfoliate gently to help clear clogged pores and remove dead skin
  • Avoid fragrances, particularly on the dry areas of your skin
  • Use soaps that help to lock in moisture rather than dry the skin out.
The T-Zone
Woman with sensitive skin applying moisturiser on her chest

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin can be tough to manage. It will often get irritated at the slightest thing, including food. Most people with sensitive skin will be able to identify consistent things that trigger their skin.

How to identify sensitive skin

  • Redness with or without dryness
  • Itching with or without dry, flaky skin
  • Burning sensations
  • Dryness

Factors that can contribute to sensitive skin

  • Scented products
  • Harsh chemicals
  • Over-exfoliation
  • Excessive scrubbing

How to take care of your sensitive skin

  • Use washes that are formulated for sensitive skin, like our Hemp Body Wash for Sensitive Skin.
  • Use moisturisers and body butter with minimal ingredients that are intended for skin that is sensitive, like our Zero Tolerance Cream 
  • Avoid synthetic ingredients in your skincare – choose natural products
  • Avoid scented products, even if the scent is natural
  • Avoid scents and strong chemicals in other products too, like shampoos and conditioners
  • Look out for strong foods that might trigger your skin
  • Identify what triggers your skin
  • Avoid direct contact with harsh chemicals and use gloves when you are doing the dishes or using any cleaning products.
  • For men, as with dry skin, consider natural shaving lotion and aftershave that lock in moisture rather than drying your face out and that don’t have harsh chemicals in them.

So, have you figured out what skin type you are?

Do you know what skin type you have yet? Oily? Dry? Normal skin perhaps? Or do you have combination skin? Maybe your skin is sensitive? If you aren’t sure, take our handy skin type quiz to help you identify what skin type you have.

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I know my skin type, do you?
How to identify your skin type and take care of it

8 healthy habits to naturally calm your nerves before an exam and improve your results

It seems like only yesterday that I was coming up to the end of year 12 and was preparing for my own HSC exams. I don’t stress easily, in fact, I’ve been accused of being too nonchalant about things. However, there was so much pressure on my HSC exams, it was perhaps one of the most stressful times that I recall, and I was on remote Scottish islands in mid-March 2020 when borders began closing and we had to find our way back to Australia, so that’s saying something! Those same border closures lead to lockdowns and severe disruptions for students this year. I can only imagine how much more stressful it will be with Coronavirus disrupting usual learning routines, creating disconnects in social environments, and putting even more anxiety on students.

Since finishing my HSC exams back in 2006 and (fortunately) beating out my UAI requirements, I’ve gone to complete two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s degree and various industry certification exams. In that time, I’ve learned a few things about preparing for exams. The thing is, they never get any less stressful. However, there are things you can do to reduce that stress and to improve your exam performance.

To help, I’ve put together this guide, based on my own experience and research on natural habits that will help to calm your nerves before exams and improve your results.

HEALTHY HABIT 1

Study in advance rather than cramming

Exams and studying are stressful, it’s tempting to cram the night before, in all honesty, that’s what I used to do. But, if you get organised it makes a massive difference! Do plenty of study in advance so you can get proper sleep while you are studying and especially avoid that late night/all night cram before each exam. I’ll be the first to admit, cramming was my go-to study method for years, and honestly, there is value to having everything you need stuffed into your short-term memory, but it isn’t the best way.

Being organised in advance will help reduce your stress and anxiety simply due to the mental knowledge you have. You know how much preparation you have done. You know how much you know about the subjects being tested, and you know you are prepared. That goes a long way to reducing stress and anxiety. Not to mention, knowing what you know means you can relax before an exam. You might still choose to review your notes while you wait to start the exam, but it’s not a last-ditch effort to make sure you know it, because you already know you know it.

HEALTHY HABIT 2:

avoiding alcohol and sugary beverages

For many students, the last year of school becomes a time of parties and alcohol, but excessive consumption of alcohol has been shown to damage memory recall of both short and long term memory (reference). Ongoing excessive consumption of alcohol can damage the part of the brain that is vital for memory function, the hippocampus (reference). While finishing off your HSC is a time of celebration, maybe save the alcohol until after your exams, and definitely not the night before an exam! No one wants to go into an exam hungover.

It isn’t just alcohol though. 

Excessive sugar consumption has been shown to lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume (reference). This isn’t just soft drink’s though, it’s also energy drinks. Energy drinks tend to be chock full of sugars, so while they might give you a boost of energy, the sugar is damaging your memory. Instead of relying on these drinks to get you through exams, use other methods of improving your energy, like sleep, exercise, and aromatherapy. 

Reducing your sugar intake is also good for your overall health and wellbeing, which in turn can actually improve your energy and general mental state too.

Instead, drink lots of water and if you want to change it up, flavour it naturally with a slice of lemon, orange, or some berries.

HEALTHY HABIT 3:

regular sleep

Getting good quality, regular sleep is important, both during your study time and in the nights leading up to each exam.

Our brains consolidate memories during our sleep, and in doing so, they are strengthening our synapses, making it easier to remember the things we learn each day (reference). If we don’t get enough sleep each night, then we are missing out on that memory consolidation.

It’s also important to remember to sleep well the night before an exam. Yes, I know, you want to get in every last little bit of cramming, but if you don’t sleep much, or at all, it can leave you feeling rotten on the day of the exam. This won’t help you to remember things and won’t help your confidence either.

Another side effect of missing out on sleep is increased anxiety and irritability which is not great in an exam. This is exacerbated with energy drinks and caffeine. The best solution is to get plenty of sleep.

If you have trouble winding down and sleeping during this stressful time, have a look at our blog post on how to get better sleep naturally.

HEALTHY HABIT 4:

regular EXERCISE

A number of studies have been conducted into the effects of exercise on cognitive function and memory. The results show that even just 15 minutes worth of exercise on a stationary bike is enough to improve your cognitive ability and recall (reference).

I am terrible at exercising. In all honesty, I would probably be a hermit that disappears into my own little virtual world, if I could. However, I can’t, and regular exercise has been shown to improve the growth and development of neurons in your brain (reference).

At the same time as improving your mental capability, exercise is also helping to improve your physical fitness. Two birds, one stone, even if you do have to do something you don’t like.

I’ll admit, even though I struggle to get motivated to exercise, I do feel much better afterwards and most of my best ideas happen when I go out for a walk!

HEALTHY HABIT 5:

regular, short breaks

While it can be tempting to cram in as much ‘learning’ as possible for as long as possible, it’s important to stop and take regular short breaks where you’re not actually taking in or processing any information. This gives your mind and body an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate, and it gives your brain a chance to process everything you’ve just taken in. First identified over 100 years ago, subsequent research has found that taking 10-15 minute breaks between topics of study can help with memory retention. Just make sure you spend that time either thinking about what you learned, going for a walk, or meditating, and not things that will occupy your mind with other thoughts, like TV, games, or chores.

Where possible, I like to break my study time into 15-20 minute chunks with a 10-minute break in between.

HEALTHY HABIT 6:

AROMATHERAPY

Aromatherapy is the use of aromas and natural compounds found in essential oils for health and wellbeing. Certain essential oils have been found to improve focus and memory retention while others can reduce tension and anxiety.

Choose an essential oil or blend of essential oils to use while you study that will help you to focus and retain what you are learning, and then use one that will help you to relax in your downtime. If you have trouble sleeping, consider using a blend of oils that will help you to sleep, either in a diffuser or in the form of a pillow mist, sprayed on your pillow before you go to bed.

Aromatherapy for concentration and memory retention

Rosemary and lavender essential oils have been found to help with the retention of image memory, however, while rosemary has also been found to help with number memory, lavender is detrimental to it (reference). This could perhaps in part be a side effect of the calming properties of lavender compared to the stimulating properties of rosemary (reference). Using lavender during your break time, though, can help to release stress and improve concentration when you go back to your studies (reference).

Peppermint essential oil, like lavender, can serve multiple purposes. You see, peppermint stimulates and relaxes at the same time. Peppermint essential oil has been found to help calm nerves, reduce fatigue and improve oxygen delivery to the brain (reference), all great things while you are studying! By the way, peppermint tea can help with this too!

Lemon essential oil has been shown to improve cognitive function (reference) and improve memory (reference). While the studies into lemon essential oils are largely around patients suffering from illnesses that affect memory, the demonstrated positive effects make it a worthwhile inclusion in your study arsenal!

Then there is basil. Basil essential oil contains a compound called linalool which has been found to reduce memory loss, particularly during times of insufficient sleep (reference). You wouldn’t be missing out on sleep during exam periods by any chance, would you? I know you are making sure to get lots of sleep as we talked about earlier, but regardless, choosing an essential oil blend that has basil in it, or simply using basil essential oil on its own, can be helpful during exam time to reduce memory loss, especially if you are short on sleep.

Our 100% pure essential oil blend, Wakey Wakey is designed to help perk you up, either at the start of a day, or when you are feeling tired partway through the day. Wakey Wakey is also a great choice for exam time. This special blend of basil, cypress (increases concentration), lime, peppermint, and rosemary has been designed specifically to help improve your focus, boost your energy and improve your memory retention, exactly what you need while you are studying.

Aromatherapy for Relaxation

To help you relax in between studying and in your downtime between exams choose essential oils that are known for their calming and relaxing properties. We mentioned lavender earlier, as it is known to help calm the nerves and reduce stress, but there are other essential oils you can choose. Consider chamomile, patchouli, frankincense (linked to improved spatial memory and reduced anxiety), ylang-ylang (a natural relaxant that helps improve focus), vetiver (reduces stress), and sandalwood (promotes mental clarity) too.

We have two blends that are specifically focused on helping you relax, and you will find ingredients in both of these that are designed to help bring calm and harmony to the mind and body.

Peace Essential Oil Blend: Peace isn’t a ‘restful’ aroma, but rather a spicy blend of lavender, bergamot, cypress, sweet orange and vetiver. Peace helps to clear your mind and bring it to a state of calm. I personally like to have this one diffusing while I work, especially when I have a lot going on.

After Hours Essential Oil Blend: Like Peace, After Hours has a spicy note to it and has been crafted to soothe and uplift after a long day. The tantalising blend of bergamot, cinnamon leaf, clover, lavender, lemon, and rose geranium will help you to unwind after a study session.

Unwind Essential Oil Blend:Designed to help your body to relax and unwind after a stressful day. This can be a good choice to use earlier in the evening. Note, Unwind does not have lavender in it if you are specifically looking for a blend with lavender.

Aromatherapy for Sleep

When it comes to sleep, lavender is a great choice, in fact, we have a pillow mist specifically crafted around lavender to help you sleep, Lavender Dreams, but there are other options too. Our Sweet Dreams essential oil blend is formulated specifically to help you drift off to sleep, and our Calm Mind pillow mist will help to settle the restless mind so you can sleep easier.

Sweet Dreams Essential Oil Blend: This essential oil blend is formulated precisely for the purpose of helping you to relax into the warm embrace of sleep. This is one of my personal favourite essential oil blends! Also available as a pillow mist.

Aromatherapy for concentration and memory retention

Rosemary and lavender essential oils have been found to help with the retention of image memory, however, while rosemary has also been found to help with number memory, lavender is detrimental to it (reference). This could perhaps in part be a side effect of the calming properties of lavender compared to the stimulating properties of rosemary (reference). Using lavender during your break time, though, can help to release stress and improve concentration when you go back to your studies (reference).

HEALTHY HABIT 7:

EATing WELL

What you put into your body goes a long way towards what you get out of it. Choosing healthy food makes a big difference. A diet rich in foods that are anti-inflammatory can help improve your memory! This means lots of fruit, vegetables and teas, particularly herbal teas. This kind of diet has been found to lower the risk of cognitive decline (reference) and studies on the intake of foods like blueberries and strawberries that are particularly high in antioxidants like flavonoids and anthocyanins makes a big difference to memory retention (reference)!

Curcumin, a natural compound found in turmeric, has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the brain. Curcumin reduces inflammation to the brain and lowers the amount of amyloid plaque accumulating on your brain neurons (reference). Why is this important? These plaques lead to cell and tissue death that cause memory loss. Maybe not such a big deal while you are younger, but every little bit helps, especially as you prepare to enter the next stage of your life, be it tertiary education or the workforce.

Now, I know, sometimes you just need some comfort food during stressful times, I’ve been there (frequently), but eating well doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Chocolate can also be rich in flavonoids! The darker the chocolate (and the lower the sugar), the better! 

Studies have shown that people who consume dark chocolate, which is rich in flavonoids, have better memory recall than people who consume white chocolate, which has no flavonoids (reference). Look for 70% cacao mass or higher!

I love chocolate!

HEALTHY HABIT 8:

Listening to classical music while studying

Many studies have been conducted into the effects of music on learning, and while the debate continues, one thing is clear: Classical music helps you learn.

Labelled the Mozart effect, classical music won’t make you smarter as some have suggested, but, like everything else on this list, it can help you to focus and recall what you learn.

Personally, I find it makes a huge difference to my focus when I am studying, and I definitely remember things better. I’ll be completely honest with you, for a long time, I wasn’t convinced, I thought all music was distracting. However, as my master’s degree was nearing completion, I found I had increasing difficulty staying focused while studying. 

I decided to try listening to classical music and soon discovered that it did help. Initially, I thought it was just because it reduced the prominence of distractions. I am easily distracted anyway, but let’s be honest, distractions are extremely easy to come by while you are studying. Even a car driving past or a bird singing can be a study distraction! Classical music reduced that. Soon I realised that classical music was not only reducing the distractions, but my mind was wandering less and I was remembering things better too.

I highly recommend giving it a try!

Bringing it all together

There are so many ways that you can calm your nerves before an exam and improve your overall performance during stressful exam periods. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some things are going to work for you and some things won’t. The only way to know for sure is to give them a try.

For me, I spent a long time convinced that cramming the day before and the morning of an exam worked the best. It wasn’t until I started researching and experimenting with different techniques and longer-term habits that I discovered that planning my study out in advance, listening to classical music, using aromatherapy, exercising regularly, and eating better actually made a big difference.

During my HSC and my first bachelor’s degree, I drank a lot of energy drinks (especially my first degree), but I’ve since discovered that eating right, sleeping, and exercising give me more energy and are better choices for my health and overall mental state. There is honestly nothing better than going into an exam with mental clarity and virtually no anxiety, except for finishing an exam and knowing that you knew the answers to every question!

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Is hand sanitiser starting to dry out and crack your skin?

Is hand sanitiser drying out your skin? Here's the solution.

How are your hands?

With all that is going on in the world at the moment, we are all being more cautious with our hygiene. Hand sanitiser is getting used more frequently than ever. The problem is, alcohol-based hand sanitiser has a side effect when used extensively:

Dry, flaky, itchy, cracked skin

Matt's dry, cracked knuckles and hand.

Our web designer, Matt, sent us the photo above of his hand after using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser regularly for the last few weeks. Ouch!

But what’s the solution?

We have to be cautious with our hygiene, but frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser dries out the skin. Taking the time to wash our hands with warm water and a soap that not only cleans your hands but moisturises them at the same time can help counteract that dryness. Our hemp soaps contain hemp seed oilolive oil and shea butter, three key ingredients that hydrate the skin and help to prevent dry, flaky skin.

So, make sure that you use warm water and a moisturising soap whenever you wash your hands. Try to keep hand sanitisers for use while you are out and use your moisturising soap to keep your hands clean while you are at home. If you prefer liquid soap to hard soap, try our Hemp Body Wash for sensitive skin or one of our liquid hand and body soaps as an alternative.

What else can you do?

Make sure to use a good quality moisturiser on your hands regularly. Men, this is especially true for you. I know, most men don’t even think about using a moisturiser, but using one on your hands will help prevent dryness caused by hand sanitiser.

If your hands are already cracking, like Matt’s, make sure to use a moisturiser that is designed to help your skin repair itself while being gentle on exposed areas. Our Sativa Repair cream is designed for hands and feet that are cracking and painful. The Kigelia and Tamanu ingredients help your skin to recover while also providing you with an extra line of defence due to their antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

Use a Moisturising Hand Sanitiser

Hand sanitiser doesn’t need to dry your skin out. That’s why we developed our natural hand sanitiser with the requisite amount of naturally-sourced alcohol combined with natural ingredients that help to rehydrate your skin and lock the moisture in!

Have a question?

Get in touch with us today via email, phone or send us a message on Facebook.

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Is hand sanitiser drying out your skin? Here's the solution.
Is hand sanitiser drying out your skin? Here's the solution.
Is hand sanitiser drying out your skin? Try a moisturising soap.
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