Why You Should Avoid Petroleum Based Ingredients In Your Skincare

 

Let’s talk skincare ingredients...

More specifically, the ingredients in many of your personal care and beauty products that are really not so nice for your body. Ingredients that come from crude oil, known as petrolatum or petroleum based ingredients.

Petroleum based ingredients are incredibly common and generally act purely as a ‘lubricant’ meaning that they contain no nutritional benefits for the skin whatsoever and there is even some evidence to suggest that they may cause toxicity in the body.

For a moment, think of what oil does in water…that slick coating on the surface of water, not able to penetrate through the surface. Now think about your skin being that surface of the water. Not so bad, right? Just a little oily-ness on your skin, isn’t that good for it?

Well, it is when there are nutrients and minerals in the oil that the skin’s surface loves to soak up, but that’s not the case with petroleum based ingredients. These ingredients merely sit on the skin acting as a lubricant, and actually prevent the skin from absorbing any other goodies that may otherwise be soaked up from that product.

Furthermore, petroleum based ingredients in skincare products coat the skin and can clog your pores and block the ability for toxins to be eliminated in the natural way. These ingredients have also been linked to skin irritation and chronic conditions like acne, as well as hormone disruption.

The below ingredients are all byproducts of refining petroleum.

  • Paraffin wax
  • Mineral Oil / White Oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Petroleum Jelly

Plus: Toluene, Benzene, PEGs, DEAs, ingredients ending in ETH, anything with PROPYL, METHYL, BUTYL and ETHYL.

The products that generally contain many of these ingredients are often hair care, skincare (especially moisturizers, lipsticks and gloss), perfumes, baby balms and oils, and many kinds of makeup.

As they generally have no odor or color, they’re choice ingredients to use in skincare cosmetics as a ‘base’ ingredient. So while these moisturizing agents, when refined, are not necessarily toxic to  your body they are still not providing any nutritional benefit other than adding a layer of oil to the surface of your skin.  While many of these ingredients like mineral oil/white oil are highly refined, there is still limited legislation requirements, especially in the United States, to prove safe refinement of these ingredients.

So essentially, petroleum derived ingredients are byproducts of crude oil.  I know what you’re thinking - ‘I put THAT on my face and body?!’ If you had the choice to choose alternative oils, moitsurisers and balms that were derived from plant based sources and contains essential vitamins and minerals to support the health of your skin, wouldn’t you rather them? Yes, I’m with you on that one and that’s why all of my natural skincare products contain plant based oils, butters, and waxes to nourish your skin with key nutrients and never contain any petroleum derived ingredients. You can see the range here.

To recap, petroleum based ingredients:

  • Contain no nutritional benefit for your skin
  • Inhibit the body’s ability to dispel toxins from the skin
  • Are really only used for ‘texture’ and ‘lubricating’, rather than benefiting your body in any way.
  • Are derived from petrol sources rather than plant based sources

 

So, what to choose instead?

Now the juicy part - swapping those petroleum based ingredients for products that contain nourishing and plant-based additions will give your body the love and nourishment it deserves.

Below are some of the best alternatives:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Shea Butter

Others: Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, and Cocoa Butter.

All key ingredients in my nourishing body scrub, body oils, lip scrubs, moisturisers and more!

 

Shea Butter

Extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the Karite (Shea) tree, it’s rich in Vitamins A and E. The essential fatty acids in this butter provide the skin with collagen producing nutrients. It enhances the skins ability to produce natural oils, rather than creating an oily film around it.

Grape seed oil

This oil, pressed from seeds of grapes, is an excellent base for cosmetic products in the thick texture rich in Vitamins C, D and E. It penetrates the skin surface to cleanse and tone the pores, rather than adding a thick layer of oily-ness that can't absorb. Grape seed oil is also rich in antioxidants which can help to treat skin contains like acne. Not to mention the essential fatty acids like omega 6 and 3 which deeply moisturize the skin.

Coconut oil

Do I even need to say much about this? You probably already know how magical this oil is. The texture is very similar to petroleum jelly, in being solid at room temperature and melting when used, but contains a stack of vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. It absorbs easily into the skin without leaving an oily residue and is one of the most fatty oils (good fats), making it a great moisturizer for the skin.

Sweet Almond Oil

This oil is a lesser-known, amazing ingredient used for skincare products. It’s got all the goods - vitamin E and A, fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc. The high antioxidants help to protect the collagen layer in your skin, which gives that supple, fresh and youthful glow.

 

If you’re looking for an alternative to petroleum based body oils that include mineral oil, opt for our all natural plant based body oils that come in Rose & Hibiscus or Jasmine & Chamomile.

If you’ve been rubbing petroleum jelly on your lips and want to opt for a natural alternative, our natural lip scrubs contain plant based butters, oils and waxes to exfoliate and nourish your lips and leave a moisturizing layer. Available in Matcha-Lime, Choc-Mint, Lemon, Coffee-Vanilla and Pink Grapefruit.

 

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References:
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/petrolatum/
http://www.organicauthority.com/4-vaseline-alternative-products-to-break-your-toxic-petroleum-jelly-addiction/
http://www.green-organic-world.com/cosmetic-ingredients.html

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Common Misconceptions About "Going Natural"

 

So you’ve decided to take on a more natural lifestyle, and are looking into what kind of changes and actions you’ll need to take…

Already feeling a little out of your depth? For many people, it can be an overwhelming, or even paralyzing arena to navigate. What does it even mean to “go natural”? Is it just buying more products that have “natural” on their label? Does it mean you have to give up your whole lifestyle in one day?

These are some of the considerations you may ponder about this topic, so I’ll offer some guidance in breaking down a few of the most common misconceptions about “going natural”.

 

First up - what going “natural” means

Generally, transitioning to a natural lifestyle encompasses making changes across a range of different areas in your life, including:

  • Food consumption = opting for natural, unprocessed, whole foods that are often organic and non-GMO.
  • Health and wellness = opting for herbal remedies and natural supplements over medications or prescribed chemical based pills.
  • Personal Care products = opting for ingredients that are natural and free from synthetic ingredients, nature-identical, fragrances and more.
  • Cleaning = opting for products with natural and environmentally friendly ingredients, or opting for home made natural cleaning recipes.
  • Packaging = being proactive with recycling and composting, avoiding the use of plastic and purchasing plastic where possible, ethical purchasing of products with the environment in mind.
  • Consumerism = opting for walking or riding rather than driving, choosing products that are made from more durable items such as choosing wooden toys over plastic toys for children, using reusable coffee mugs.

It’s a big list, and can often feel overwhelming to people who want to start living a more natural lifestyle. The overwhelm and many areas where natural living can be implemented, can often cause people to develop misconceptions about going natural and ultimately avoiding making important switches. So what kinds of beliefs can get in the way of a successful transition to natural living?

 

#1: We all have to be in it for the same reason

There are so many motivators for making the switch to a more natural lifestyle. For some people, the concern over the environment and the impact on humans’ consumption is the driving force. For others, it’s a health focus on how society can create a cleaner way of supporting our future. For many, it may be a little bit of both. Whatever your reasons are for implementing a more natural lifestyle, these reasons are yours to own and do not mean that you’re not ‘doing things right’. There are countless reasons why someone may choose to invest in more natural products and living and these can remain unique to that individual.

 

#2: It will be a quick transition

Transitioning into a more natural lifestyle takes time, as there are so many life areas to consider. Those who believe this transition will be quick, can often set themselves up for failure and lose their drive to choose natural products when it isn’t as straightforward as expected. You may feel inclined to throw out everything in your pantry and bathroom at once, but the advice here is to develop a progressive plan and start with what area is most important to you. If you are more health inclined, you may begin with your food and personal care product choices. If you are more environmentally inclined, you may begin with reducing your consumption of plastics and one-use items. Making little changes each day, will boost your confidence and capacity as you settle in and you can begin to tackle additional life areas as you progress.

 

Some small lifestyle change ideas to start with:

 

#3: The ‘Natural’ label means what it says

The world ‘natural’ is still a relatively unregulated word in the commercial arena. It does not have to refer at all to how the food is processed, grown, harvested, raised or slaughtered. Though most people think of fresh, healthy, minimally processed or no synthetic ingredients when they hear the word natural, the truth is that the use of this word on labeling and naming products is far from fitting this ideal every time. How to know when it’s just an added word there to make you buy it?

  • Choose organic - organic foods & ingredients refer to that which is grown and harvested without any synthetic fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides, and without genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Certified Organic is the most trusted, as farmers must adhere to strict guidelines in order to be certified.
  • Educate yourself - find information about which brands are in line with your ideals, so that you come prepared when you’re out shopping. Read the labels, if there’s an ingredient you don’t understand - look it up.

At Buddy Scrub, I’m all about sticking to my word and that’s why my ingredients are carefully selected to ensure that they are natural and free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, animal by-products, nature-identical, harsh cleansers, PEGs and other nasties. See the range here.

 

#4: That everything works the same way

Have patience. Sometimes natural alternatives to quick fix products take more time to do their job. Maybe the peppermint essential oil blend on your temple may not be as fast working as a strong painkiller, but this alternative leaves you without side effects and extra synthetic ingredients in your body. Be patient and allow this lifestyle and the changes in it be a way for you to find a slower pace of life.

Also, just because there are many different alternatives to the regular, processed, unnatural products, it doesn’t mean that all of the alternatives are equal. It’s important to consider quality when purchasing as brands can use different ingredient blends and processes. Educate yourself to be able to check labels and know what ingredients you want in and out of your life. The higher quality goods may mean a bigger price tag, but they will deliver on their promise and naturally enrich your life if you really are ready to invest in a natural lifestyle.

 

So, the takeaway here is - be gentle on yourself. Celebrate the decision to transition into a natural lifestyle, and then take it step by step. You won’t get it right all the time, but the intention to lead a more natural life and the education you can give yourself in this area will really help you to make a difference to your own life and to the environment. This is your journey, your own path. Enjoy it.

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6 Steps to Perfecting Your Work/Life Balance


It can often be difficult finding the right balance between your work and personal life these days, and it’s a common challenge that many can face at some point in their careers. Overcoming it can be confronting, confusing and downright hard to do, but it is possible. Often it can feel like if you focus on one area, such as your job, other areas of your life will suffer, like your family and friendships. But cultivating a healthy balance between all the necessary puzzle pieces to your life is not only necessary, it’s relatively easy to do – you just need to know how! So, here are 6 steps to perfecting your work/life balance.


Work out your priorities

Set aside some time to sit down and think about all the different tasks you do in every aspect of your life, from work to home and all the pieces in between. Write down all these things, then label each one as high, medium or low priority. This will help you see just how much you actually have on your plate, and having it set out clearly in front of you can help you notice where you might be spending time on things that aren’t as important as others. Prioritise the things you do that make you feel good, like catching up with friends and exercising and things that make you feel productive, while trying to cut back on things that don’t seem to add much value, like scrolling endlessly through social media and binge-watching Netflix for hours on end.


Establish your boundaries

Boundaries are so important, because without them, any priorities you’ve set will likely not last very long. So make sure you know your boundaries, and be comfortable sticking to them. Healthy boundaries include being able to mentally and emotionally check out of work once your day is done, leaving it all at your desk so you can enjoy your personal life without having your mind split between the two, avoiding personal phone calls and texts while you’re at work (emergencies aside, of course), and not checking work emails while you’re with friends.


Learn when to disconnect

Everyone is now constantly connected to one another, and whether it’s for work or relaxation it can still be hugely detrimental to your emotional and mental wellbeing. Learning how and when to disconnect completely from your smartphone can really help you feel more balanced and happier. You might not have an ‘off’ button, but technology does. So you should use it! Start putting all technology aside for at least 30 minutes each day, and use the time to hit your reset button. Do things that you used to enjoy, but can’t seem to find time to do anymore. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, going for a walk, taking a long, relaxing shower or just sitting down and spending time with a loved one, unplugging can be the best thing to do for your health.

 

Get help if you need it

You have a support system around you, whether you know it or not. So utilise it! Recognise if and when you’re struggling, and ask for help when you need it. This is imperative to maintaining a work/life balance because without support, juggling everything can be much more difficult. Feeling so much pressure can cause you to suffer from stress, which will end up impacting all of the different aspects of your life. And sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that it’s weak to ask for help – but it’s not. Those who support you will always be happy to help you when they can. So don’t ever be afraid to ask! Get some help from a colleague at work, ask your partner or family members for assistance at home, and vent to a friend if it all just gets too much.

 

Get selfish with self-care

You are so important. Taking care of yourself should always be your first priority, so don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and put your self-care first – especially if those around you try to persuade you to push yourself beyond the point of wellbeing. There is no shame in saying ‘no’, and in order to have a better work/life balance, that is a word you should get comfortable saying. Some of the best and most effective self-care activities are gratitude journaling, meditating, exercising, cooking nutritious food, getting more sleep and anything else that essentially helps you relax and makes you happy. My top self care tip is of course taking a warm bath and scrubbing up with one of my all natural body scrubs!

Stop trying to be perfect
Sometimes we struggle finding that work/life balance because we’re trying to perfect each and every task we do. But perfection is not sustainable! Aiming to be perfect at everything we do can exhaust even the most resilient person, so learn how to accept things as they are. As long as you try your best at everything you do, it’s okay if it’s not completely perfect.

 

While it might seem difficult to imagine a well-balanced life, it is very achievable as long as you keep realistic expectations and avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. But by implementing these steps in your life, you’ll be able to achieve that perfect work/life balance and make your way to better health.

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How To Cope When You're The Only Vegan In The House

 

Boyfriend, wife, kids, parents or friends - spending your life with people who don’t share your values or actions can be hard. When we are enthusiastic about a lifestyle, it is only natural to want to share this with the people we love and spend time with. It’s not so easy being the odd one out, and realising that our passion and enthusiasm isn’t quite matched by those around us. So what to do when you’re the only vegan in the house, to not only cope with the challenges, but to thrive? Read below for some of my tips.

 

Let them know

First of all, it’s important to explain to people why you have chosen this lifestyle, and what it means for you. Sometimes, we expect people to know what Veganism means. Though some people really don’t understand how it really looks in practise. They may have heard something like ‘vegans don’t eat meat’, and their definition of meat is ‘red meat’, therefore, cook you fish for dinner. It’s not just that - some restaurants, friends, families, or restaurant staff are well meaning, and unknowing. Some will also think it is only about what you eat. So if you’re sharing a life, house, or fridge, with people who aren’t vegan you may need to clearly express to them how your lifestyle is different from theirs. It can also be helpful to share your favourite brands, products, and of course - Buddy Scrub product with your loved ones, so that come holidays and birthdays they will be able to give you gifts that are aligned with your lifestyle.

 

Share Your Passion

There are so many ways to feel connected to those you live with, whilst staying strong in your beliefs and understanding of others. There is a big difference between lecturing our loved ones, and sharing some interesting information. Knowing how to find the balance with sharing information is key to helping people in your life better understand the vegan lifestyle.

Rather than demand that all members eat the same as you, or begin to tell them how their meal is not ethical or compassionate, why not gently share your efforts by offering to cook for the whole house once (or more!) a week? Offer from a place of genuinely wanting to share and nourish them, and stay humble through the process. They will see - and taste - for themselves, how delicious and accessible this lifestyle can be. They don’t need to convert, or even hear why the meal is ethical and cruelty free - and sometimes they may just ask themselves! When something is shoved down out throats (literally and figuratively) then they may be far less likely to want to absorb the information and be open to it. You may find that the less ‘intense’ you are about trying to convert your family in particular, the more curious they may be on their own to ask about your lifestyle and reasons.

If you can, offer to buy some more groceries for the house, stocking up full of vegan products and ingredients. Explaining how to use these products and how to cook with the ingredients is a way to include others in your lifestyle. They may even like that vegan cheese more than the dairy!

 

Have a sense of humour

People like to tease, annoy, and make jokes. Maybe your family is super supportive and happy for you, or maybe some remarks get to you and leave you feeling disconnected and frustrated. Remember, not everyone will understand your decision, and not everyone is where you are at with their values. Maybe one day… but for now, try to keep a sense of humour and not take others so seriously when they make comments about your choices. You can stay strong and steady with your own boundaries, without having to get defensive or senstitive about their comments. Often people’s comments and jokes come from a lack of understanding about Veganism. Staying strong in these moments helps to ensure that your compassionate energy remains strong.

 

Stay Informed

If you are newly transitioning, or unsure o f which items in your household are suited to your lifestyle, make sure you keep yourself informed by looking up information online. When it comes to nutrition, there is a great amount of resources about nutrient sources, vitamins and minerals and everything you need to know and consume. This will also keep you prepared when you’re asked the question you’ll probably hear countless times in your life: ‘where do you get your protein?!’

 

Keep Snacks

Vegan snacks can be delicious. Bliss balls, exotic fruits, nuts, granola, crackers, and so much more. So delicious that others may want to nibble on them too! Make sure you are clear in what is yours, and whether you are up for sharing or not. You can even suggest replacing their cheese dips with hummus if they really like it, and help the whole household in the process! Otherwise, respect their snacks, and ask for respect for yours.

 

Compassion is Key

Know that we are all on our own journey, and if being compassionate and giving more love is one of your values and reasons for living a vegan lifestyle, then it only makes sense to treat all others - no matter their lifestyle - with compassion and love. Though it can be easy to get stuck in feelings of helplessness and sadness when we see injustice and a lack of understanding, know that you can contribute your knowledge and action to helping to create changes in yours and others lives, whilst still staying open and inclusive of everyone. Stay confident in your choices, and you may see others having more confidence in your choices as well.

 

Join a group

If you find that you’re continuing to feel isolated as a vegan in your household, then there are many ways to connect with others who have a vegan lifestyle. There are many communities that you can join, such as Instagram pages, Facebook groups, groups via meetup.com.au or attending vegan community events in your city. Connecting with people who have a similar lifestyle and values to you, will help you to feel less isolated and perhaps even make some new friends.

 

 

For more tips:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/how-to-survive-as-a-vegan-in-a-non-vegan-household

https://www.plantbuilt.com/vegan-understanding-everyone-understands/

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