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How do you find the best skincare products?

Good, better, best skincare products. Not all brands are created equal.  With so many companies touting their wares, and making promises about dewy complexions, looking 10 years younger and so on, the choice can be overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could find a skincare company that delivers on the simple promise delivering what it says it will? Like cleansing without drying…toning without the damaging effects of alcohol…rejuvenating without clogging the pores and providing deep hydration where you need it most. Natural Beauty Care talks about moisturising. The small miracles a tube of moisturising cream is supposed to deliver give pause for thought, don’t they? A refreshing find would be moisturiser that
  • Was affordable
  • Hydrated deeply with lasting moisturising effect.
  • Non-greasy.
  • Not pimple-forming.
  • Not over-perfumed.
  • Didn’t make your T-zone look like a shiny ski ramp
  • Doesn’t cause a rash.
  • And is kind to bunnies – being ethically produced, that is never tested on animals.
Now after that (rather demanding) wish list, add these wishes. A skincare range that is:
  • Plant based
  • Harnesses the healing power of nature
  • Is manufactured in clinical conditions – that’s a must I recon.
  • Created by a small family business.
  • The supports the local community in which it is home.
  • A range whose main ingredients are grown organically.
  • The ingredients grow on ground that is no use for anything else – you can’t grow crop on it or even graze sheep as it’s so steep.
  • A skincare range made possible with a freelance workforce whose office is the land on which they work.
  • Workers who pay no ‘rent’ for the land. They do a handshake deal with the farmer and land is  promised to them, for FREE, for, well, almost forever, as long as the farmer and his family stay there too.
Sounds too good to be true? Not really, Aloe Ferox natural skincare products answer the full wish list. Mostly because they are not competing with the global, big brands mass produced and retailed in department stores and supermarkets. Small, ethical, sound, they use distributors and are ‘never on the high street’. If you want to get your hands on Aloe Ferox  you can, right here. It’s exclusively available in the UK through us at Natural Beauty Care.
‘In my humble opinion, one of the best skincare  product ranges around.’ Michelle Mitchell, Owner, Natural Beauty Care..
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How to fight off colds and sniffles and take charge of your wellbeing, naturally

The common cold. We’ve all had one. Runny nose, congestion, sore throat, sneezing.  While cold symptoms vary widely and can include headaches and fever, all colds are respiratory infections. And there are apparently more than 200 responsible viruses. A cold is usually caused by a weakened immune system that ‘opens the door’ to your being unwell. There’s no magic solution for combatting a cold. And once you have one, there is no sure fire cure. But you can help ward off a cold by including foods and nutrients into your diet which are helpful in prevention and remedy of a one. Here are seven foods to include in your diet to maintain (or regain) a healthy immune system.

Peppers

Packed with vitamin C, it’s a more satisfying option that a vitamic C pill. A yellow bell pepper is the ideal one to choose, superseding red and green peppers with its vitamin C content. Scoff one down and enjoy 5 x more than your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C has long been thought to be helpful in treating respiratory infections, and while not wholly correct it is useful in helping to relieve the symptoms of a cold. And an added benefit is that vitamin C may help shorten the your poorly spell and lessen the severity of your symptoms. Certain people benefit more from the intake of vitamin C when it comes to boosting immunity; children, athletes, elderly and heavy smokers.

Mushrooms

The humble fungi is rich in B vitamins, selenium and antioxidants. For a considerable time mushrooms have been considered to offer immune-boosting benefits. Now it’s considered that mushrooms have an antiviral effect and eating them may be responsible for an increased production of cells responsible for fighting infection. When your body has reduced amounts of the mineral selenium (which is notoriously difficult to find in food items) it’s been found that there is a greater risk of developing flu. The B vitamins, niacin and thiamine, in mushrooms, help keep the immune system strong. Which ones do you put on your shopping list? Maitake and shiitake mushrooms have the highest nutrients that appear to have an immune-boosting ability. Sauté, grill or use fresh. There are plenty of recipes for soups, starters and mains to bring the fungi to your table.

Alcohol

Taking a tipple to treat a cold isn’t actually a good idea. Boozing when you are already sick in a (desperate) attempt to treat a cold isn’t advisable. It could make you dehydrated, worsen your congestion and react badly with medicines. But, there is a line of thinking that a daily drink might make you less likely to get sick in the first place. Apparently some studies show that regular and moderate consumption of alcohol may be associated with lower prevalence of the common cold.  In general terms a moderate alcohol intake is thought to be one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Cheers to that. I’ll think of it as making my body a hostile environment.

Chicken Soup

It’s not an old wives myth. There’s science to support the sentiment that chicken soup helps cure the common cold. Being pretty practical about it, the the warm liquid is hydrating which helps to loosen mucus and eases sore throats. Now for the science bit. Preliminary research shows the ingredients in chicken soup may have unique medicinal properties. According to a laboratory test at the University of Nebraska Medical Center the broth, vegetables and chicken all showed anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers studied the movement of neutrophils (white blood cells). They found they were reduced by chicken soup, suggesting the soup might have an anti-inflammatory effect Known as “Grandma’s Soup,” the recipe used in the study includes chicken, onions, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery stems, parsley, salt and pepper. Having made this myself, many times, I have learned that using a whole chicken with the skin on is the best thing to do. The chicken fat has a role to play with easing congestion. And if it’s made with love, that always helps too.

Citrus – especially the zest

We all know that oranges, lemons, grapefruits and other citrus fruits are jam packed with vitamin C. So tuck in regularly to keep your immune system bolstered. I didn’t appreciate that one medium orange exceeds your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C (117% apparently). Vitamin C is renowned for boosting immunity by fighting cell-damaging free radicals. As such it’s been snapped up by the beauty industry for its anti-ageing properties. But from a wellbeing point of view there may be an added benefit for those suffering from severe colds. The part that we usually throw away, the peel has a natural chemical, limonene. It’s thought it could play a potential role in the treatment of bronchitis, though more research is needed to know for sure. Preliminary data also shows that limonene may help fight cancer and aid in weight loss. So how do you use citrus peel in your meal plans? You can make a citrusy vinaigrette salad dressing by whisking together fresh orange juice and a generous pinch of grated orange peel (zest) with olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice. Or do as we do in South Africa and never throw away the peel but slice it into thin strips and dry it. Add to stews, casseroles and cakes to enliven them and – as it turns out – make use of limonene.

Ginger

Highly versatile, ginger is also a spice with one of the longest medicinal histories. For over 2,000 years Eastern medicine has made use of ginger to help cure and prevent numerous health conditions. In Japanese, Chinse and Ayurvedic medicine ginger has been used for treating colds Sipping a cup of ginger tea is thought to be helpful at the beginning of a cold. A warm cup of fresh ginger tea with honey and lemon juice can help sooth a sore throat but loosening mucus, ease discomfort of a scratchy throat and reducing nausea. Ginger is also helpful for pregnancy-related nausea, but as always, if you are preggers, talk to your health care professional first. So whether you prefer ginger in your holiday cookies or your beef-and-broccoli stir-fry, dried or fresh or as a tea, do make it part of your everyday.

Sardines

I know. I know. But fatty fish is high in omega-3 fats, which are proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation in the body. A new study in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology demonstrates how omega-3s may also help boost the immune system by enhancing the functioning of immune cells. Sardines beat other oily fish, fin down – -when it comes to omega-3s. Considering a three-ounce servicing Canned sardines              1259 milligrams of omega-3s. That’s impressive compared to; Rainbow trout (905), salmon (805) or a family favourite canned tuna (196) Omega-3s aside, sardines also provide other important nutrients to keep your immune system firing on all cylinders including; protein, alcium and Vitamin D.

Aloe Ferox Whole-leaf Juice

With over 130 natural medicinal properties, the juice is bursting with goodness. And a bit more palatable than sardines. Just enjoy a measure daily of Aloe Ferox Whole-Leaf Juice to improve your overall vigour and boost your immune system to ward off the common cold. Have ‘neat’, mix with fruit juice or blend into your favourite smoothie. Be well. Michelle
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The sun has put its hat on, we’re all out to play.

Kyson Daner

Summer sun natural skin care tips for beautiful, naturally gorgeous skin.

The sun is out, the legs are out and other body bits, usually kept under wraps – exposed. And a few days later, once white skin is a rather unattractive shade of pink. Followed by a quick fade and often peeling. Sound familiar? And every year, we repeat the pattern with summer taking its toll on our skin. Tteam scorching heat with pollution and humidity and before you know it, your skin has lost its natural glow. To avoid looking crocodile-like or suffering from sunburn here are some easy-peasy ways to keep your skin in tip-top condition this summer season.

Never step out without sunscreen.

I’m a fan of prevention rather than cure. Please do bin last year’s unused sunscreen for a new bottle they lose their effectiveness with time. Choose a sunscreen that has UVA and UVB products and comes in SPF 30 and SPF 70. And now, just apply liberally. Apparently few of us use enough and a fun way to measure it is to use the equivalent of a full shot glass for your body and a full teaspoon just on your face. Reapply every 1-2 hours when you are soaking up the sun to ensure a summer of safe sun fun and no sunburn. If you are unfortunate enough to get sunburned, Aloe Ferox Super Aloe Gel takes the sting out of your skin. If you apply it quickly enough, and regularly, three times a day, a deep burn can be prevented from unsightly peeling.

Water is your best friend.

You’ve heard it so many times before, try to enjoy 8 glasses of water a day. Rather than chugging down two glasses when you remember, folk find it easier to carry water bottle and sip every 30 mins or so. Water not only helps cool you down when the heat is on, but  prevents dehydration and flushes your body – and skin of toxins.

Hydrate with a lighter lotion for summer.

It’s time to pack away your thick winter body creams and butters for more light summery lotions. You’ve got better things to do than wait for thick creams and butters to melt into your skin. Choose something light and quickly absorbed in a gel like Aloe Ferox Super Aloe Gel that is fragrance-free. Or choose Aloe Ferox Hand and Body Lotion – a two for one solution with the light summery scent of geranium. I think of it as a happy fragrance. Applying gels or lotions when your skin is still damp after your shower or bath helps maximise their moisturising action.

Exfoliate top to toe

Perhaps the most important time of the year for exfoliating your body, since so much is on show, but also for skin health. Our bodies sheds skin cells continually and if you don’t slough them off, with a good old scrub, the dead skin cells settle on the surface making skin look dull and dry. A hydrating body lotion certainly helps, but for optimal glowing skin just exfoliate. When you are in the shower, take a body scrub and rub gently in circular movements on your entire body from the shoulders down. Do use a different exfoliator on your face and neck. Rinse and repeat about twice a week for beautiful skin.

Sans sun summer glow.

Tanning beds are ‘so yesterday’. Using a sunless tanner will kick start your summer glow. If you’re like me I can’t get my pins out without a little forgiving tan spray. You may not be a fan of sunless tanners all over your body but can happily use them on your face. You can alternate your facial moisturizer with one that builds a bit of colour, or mix a drop of your tanner into your moisturiser. Rub on and good to glow. Most tanners build colour gradually, and by alternating with your regular moisturiser; you’ll never get too dark. Especially if you are exfoliating regularly – a buffed skin provides the ideal base and helps avoid patchy, darker spots on areas like knees and elbows. That said, a tiny bit of moisturising on knees and elbows before you apply the self-tanner avoids the tell-tale tan from a bottle look.

Go au natural in the make-up department.

During summer is better to use less make-up. When you are under the bright, and let’s face it, completely exposing shine of a bright day, natural make-up looks are most flattering. If you intend to use foundation, I personally can’t go out without it, then apply over your sun protection and following with a light dusting of face powder to avoid your skin looking greasy. Your lips can be protected with a gloss or a lip balm with an SPF of 15. If you can live without it, ditch the eye make over summer. Here’s to a beautiful summer.   Michelle
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Look in the mirror – your skin reflects your wellbeing.

Your skin reflects what’s happening inside your body. Diet and nutrition do show on the outside. So one of the pleasing side effects of a clean, nourishing diet is a glowing complexion. If you were a habitual ‘bad eater’ and are changing your habits, you will be amazed at not only how much better you feel, but also how much better you look. Spending at the makeup counter is, in my opinion, about covering up. Why cover up your skin when it’s gorgeous, and the solution is as close as your kitchen. Here’s a low down on how food directly affects your skin.
  1. Embrace essential fatty acids – not all fats are created equal.

Good fats, that is, essential fatty acids, are a building block to naturally healthy skin. But our bodies, clever as they are don’t make them on its own, so you need to get them from the foods you eat. A telltale sign that you aren’t getting enough essential fatty acids is skin that is dry, inflamed, irritated, prone to breakouts, acne….the list goes on. Essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s are essential for glowing skin. Including them in your diet keeps your skin hydrated, plump and thereby less prone to wrinkles and sagging. Reach for seeds and nuts (especially walnuts) as they are packed with omega-3s and other anti-inflammatories. Tasty main meal additions include salmon, flax, eggs and sardines – yes sardines. All skin saviours. A short-cut that delivers is chia seeds. There are no end of new, inventive recipes and easy tricks like adding chia seeds to your smoothie for an extra boost, or putting a sprinkle into  your favourite and cooking or baking. The same can be said with the now famous superfood, coconut oil which adds a delicious dose of omega-3s to your diet. Much as we’re chatting about omega-3, omega-6 is supposed to be eaten in equal quantities. Here’s how. One of the best dietary source of omega-6 is hemp seed as the seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid, the active omega-6 form. Omega-6 is also found in sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and raw nuts, but in the inactive, linoleic acid form. To optimize your fatty acid balance, here are some simple tips:
  • Substitute hemp seeds for chia seeds in your salad.
  • Opt for hemp-seed oil instead of flax oil in your smoothie .
  • Choose to make a tahini salad dressing, as sesame seeds are rich in omega-6’s.
  • If you eat three tablespoons chia seed or a 6 ounce piece of wild salmon per day as your diet is sufficient in omega-3’s – so skip the omega-3 supplement.
  • Choose to snack on pumpkin seeds, raw or dehydrated, as they are rich in omega-6 and zinc, which helps with the conversion of inactive linoleic acid form to active gamma-linolenic acid.
  • Kale salad with a handful of sunflower seeds adds crunch plus a rich source of omega-6 and zinc.
  • Look for crackers made with flax seeds and sunflower seeds for a better omega 6:3 ratio
  1. Think, could your skin be affected by dairy, gluten or sugar?

You may love cheese, ice cream, lattes, but if you are getting skin flare-ups, it may be worth cutting dairy out of your diet – completely for a two week trial period. This is often the beginning, and the end, of the elimination exercise as by cutting out dairy, skin issues often ccclear up immediately. There isn’t much scientific evidence to prove this, so it’s not well known. But there is often a direct connection between dairy and skin health. But if that doesn’t do the trick, don’t despair. You still have an elimination trial to do with gluten and sugar. Not at the same time, one by one so that cause and effect is more obvious.  What happens when your body is gluten-intolerant, it works to fight off gluten – which it sees as an invader – by releasing histamine, which leads to inflammation. Since acne is an inflammation of the skin, the connection is easy to spot. Ditto foor sugar.
  1. For good skin health (and  pretty much everything else) proper digestion is key.

Do you realise how closely skin health and digestion are related? You would be unusually well-informed. Most people don’t. Most people think that great skin is about expensive moisturisers, clever makeup, but don’t see how important digestion is. Simple example, if you’re breaking out on your chin, it’s almost always because of a problem with digestion.  Take charge by keeping hydrated throughout the day. Carrying a water ‘camel’ around with you is a constant reminder to sip continually. We know now that if you drink when you are actually thirsty, it’s not a good sign. Better to avoid thirst. Indulge in probiotic-rich foods to keep your gut (and skin!) happy and healthy. You deserve it. And remember if you are having problems with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or constipation, there is a range of effective Aloe Ferox natural constipation remedies from Natural Beauty Care. Be well. Stay well. Michelle  

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