Wardrobe and Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tips

Wardrobe and Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tips

organicsforpoverty Admin

The saying ‘If it hasn’t been worn/used for a year, get rid of it’ is a thing of the past. People are becoming more environmentally aware about landfill and waste issues, so it makes sense to think about how something can be repurposed rather than thrown away.

The beginning of spring is the perfect time to reorganise and clean your home. When you get in the ‘zone’, it is tempting to be ruthless and throw everything away, but the following advice will help you rethink what to keep, recycle, or throw away:

Sort into three piles

The best way to spring clean your wardrobe properly is to take out all your clothes and sort them into three piles:

1. Still in love with ─ This pile is easy because you can just pop the clothes straight back into your wardrobe.
 
2. Great condition but you’ve had your wear ─ For the ones that are in great condition, but you have had your wear out of them (or maybe they don’t fit quite the same as they once did), take them to a clothes swap or a charity. Clothes swaps are fun and a great way to make your trash someone else’s treasure; and you might even find some treasures to restock your wardrobe. Organics for Poverty is holding a fashion swap in Brisbane on the 6th of October. Click here for details.
And don’t throw those old t-shirts out! Make a new singlet from an old t-shirt. Check out these 27 inspiring ideas
 

3. Torn/stained/unwearable ─ If it’s unwearable, then the local charity shop probably won’t accept it either. Rather than adding to landfill, see if you can salvage sections of material to make a scarf, cloth bag, or rags for cleaning. 

Smell it

Make your own lip glossEver wondered what the little illustration of a container with an open lid is on cosmetic products? The number on it indicates the shelf life of the product once opened. If you’re not sure when you bought the product, try smelling it. Many commercial products contain a lot of chemicals to preserve the life of the product for longer, and they are often heavily perfumed to mask any ‘stale’ smells. Organic and natural products, on the other hand, will start to smell old when they have past their best before date. Liquid products should definitely be discarded if they are well past their expiry. However, many powders can be repurposed. For example, the leftover particles of face powder can be mixed with your favourite face cream for a tinted moisturiser. Or try doing the same thing with a facial sunscreen for an extra bit of colour coverage. And don’t be in a hurry to throw away old blush powder. You can make yourself a new tinted lip gloss by mixing the blush with clear lip balm.

Treat your legs

We’ve all bought shampoo and conditioner our hair didn’t love, but there’s no need to throw it away. Conditioner makes for an excellent shaving cream, and it also makes the skin on your legs oh-so-silky smooth. And the shampoo? Use it up as a shower gel!

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Premature Menopause – Could Bathroom Products be a Factor?

Premature Menopause – Could Bathroom Products be a Factor?

Cat T.
Who doesn’t love a deluxe bath bomb? Slipping into a hot bath and watching a glittery bright ball dissolve into a swirl of aromatic steam and colourful effervescence is my idea of heaven. Many bath bombs contain essential oils to sooth sore muscles while moisturising your skin. Their wafting fragrances such as lavender, rose, ylang ylang or vanilla can be luxurious and intoxicating indeed.

However, it may be a shock to discover that chemicals in certain brands of scented bombs and bath salts can actually speed up the transition to menopause! This (cheekily non-scientific) parallel between a bath bomb recipe and the human body may explain.

So visualise this — you’re about to slip in your fizzy, scented bomb into your hot water bath. Your bath bomb contains baking powder and citric acid as the base ingredients and when wet, these respective alkaline and acidic substances react against each other. Your bath bomb needs the right ingredient ratio for the maximum fizzing effect. If the balance is wrong, it won’t produce the fizzy chemical reaction you’re expecting.

Likewise, your body relies on a delicate balance of hormones to regulate your inner-workings and when they’re out of balance, you notice it right away! The hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, both work in opposition and harmony with each other to regulate your body’s functions (such as menstruation). If you have too little oestrogen, you may experience irregular periods, mood swings, hot flashes and headaches. Too little progesterone may result in weight gain, endometriosis and thyroid dysfunction.

Leading up to menopause, women experience a drop in both their oestrogen and progesterone levels, with the balance between both hormones being out of whack. There’s a greater ratio of oestrogen relative to progesterone, resulting in hot flashes, chills, night sweats, sleep problems, mood changes, weight gain and other symptoms.

So how could certain varieties of fizzy bombs and bath salts accelerate menopause? Some contain 'endocrine disruptors', which interfere with your hormone levels. A subset of this group, xenoestrogens, are synthetic chemicals that mimic oestrogen. When this toxin is absorbed through your skin and enters the bloodstream, it increases the total amount of oestrogen in your body. This artificial spike has been linked to breast cancer, infertility, endometriosis, miscarriages and early menopause. Some reports state that these toxins can push women into menopause four years early!

Many bath bombs and bath salts contain a type of xenoestrogen called parabens, a preservative. They may also contain called phthalates, a chemical used to enhance the flexibility of plastic and vinyl. Bath products may also contain a fragrance compound called Acetaldehyde, which is potentially carcinogenic and can damage the kidneys, nervous system and lungs.

But endocrine disruptors are used in more than just bath bombs! They can be found in pesticides, plastics and industrial chemicals and in foods, such as non-organic dairy and meat. In your home, you may find personal care products with endocrine disruptors in:
  • Sunscreen lotion – commonly containing 4-methylbenzylidene camphor and benzophenone
  • Skincare products, shampoo and deodorants – many contain parabens (which aren’t always listed as such, and may appear on your label as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben) 
  • Hairspray and perfume – often contain phthalates (which usually isn’t listed as such on the label, and may or may not be hidden by a reference to fragrances). 
  • Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitisers – many contain triclosan and triclocarban, which can weaken the immune system and disrupt thyroid function.

To minimise your exposure to endocrine disruptors, please carefully read the labels of products before purchasing them. Better still, you can make the switch to certified organic products that are free of synthetic chemicals, which is easy to do now that many retailers stock organic products. Organics for Poverty sells a range of bath, shower, skincare, makeup, baby and laundry products that are safe and natural, and all their profits go towards helping to relieve poverty. After all, your health is everything. You deserve peace of mind as far as your personal care is concerned. Especially when you take that relaxing, stress-free soak in the tub.


Cat is a writer and editor with a special interest in natural skincare and community development. She is currently living the dream — travelling, writing, and volunteering in developing countries. In her spare time, she enjoys wrangling ditties on her out-of-tune ukulele, photography, and freshly brewed coffee.

 

References

http://menopausematterstoday.com/xenoestrogens-the-hidden-cause-of-your-menopause-symptoms/ https://womeninbalance.org/2012/10/26/xenoestrogens-what-are-they-how-to-avoid-them/ http://menopausematterstoday.com/xenoestrogens-the-hidden-cause-of-your-menopause-symptoms/ http://alsearsmd.com/aac4w/aac4w-may-2016-final.pdf https://ozonedeodorant.com/the-toxic-12-ingredients-in-deodorant/ http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2015/03/top-2-ingredients-avoid-shampoo/ https://www.nrdc.org/stories/dirt-antibacterial-soaps

 

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Death By Makeup — Toxic Metals in Cosmetics and Skincare

Death By Makeup — Toxic Metals in Cosmetics and Skincare

C. Cat

How much lead, arsenic and mercury would you consume for beauty? Enough to cause life-threatening results, or just a few adverse side effects? These questions may be tongue-in-cheek, but you might be surprised by the attitudes of makeup wearers throughout history. More surprising still, is the continued relevance of this question in today’s world.

But before diving into some of the issues with modern cosmetics, let’s first look a couple of examples in history and explore just how far people were willing to go in pursuit of fashion.

Would die for – Maria Coventry, a tragic Cinderella story

Maria_Coventry_Countess_of_CoventryLike something out of a fairy tale, stunning Irish commoner Maria Gunning caught the eye of royalty at a ball, wearing a borrowed dress. Soon a celebrity, Maria was invited to several glamorous parties and balls before she married Earl George Coventry in 1752.

Maria famously wore ceruse, a whitening powder made of lead oxide, hydroxide, and carbonate. Unfortunately, the mixture of hydroxide, carbonate and moisture in her skin formed acids that slowly ate away at her face. To cover her erupting blemishes, Maria piled on more powder! She used mercuric fucus daily to give her lips a red finish. She died at 27 from tuberculosis, with lead and mercury poisoning believed to have contributed to her premature death. The less than charitable local press in 1760 described her as a “victim of cosmetics”.

Would risk developing cancer for – American consumers of an arsenic “wonder food”

Imagine a health supplement with arsenic as its active ingredient! In 1902, a US chain store catalogue advertised “Arsenic Complexion Wafers” which promised to give its users smooth, clear skin. The product guaranteed that it was harmless and would remove freckles, blackheads and pimples. Given arsenic has been used by serial killers throughout the ages, it’s shocking to think people voluntary bought and consumed these wafers.

You might be thinking that in today’s world, using newfangled makeup that poses potential health risks is the reserve of wannabe celebrities and reality television stars. After all, the tried and true brands on your supermarket shelves can be trusted, right?

A test in America showed the 400 types of lipstick, including Maybelline and L’Oreal, contain lead. We ingest lipstick every time we apply it. If it contains lead, repeated exposure can accumulate in our bodies over time. In Australia, the government passed laws to limit the amount of lead in household paint to 0.1%, as elevated levels can result in brain damage. It’s ironic that while lead use is heavily regulated in paint, there are no restrictions on makeup.

Small amounts of mercury are also used in many brands of mascara as a preservative. Imagine the very substance used in some batteries, light bulbs and thermometers being applied to your face! This toxic metal has been linked to kidney damage and neurological problems.

Studies have also shown that arsenic is an ingredient in many eyeliners on the market. Of course, many argue it’s only used in miniscule amounts and cannot result in arsenic poisoning, which can cause damage to the lungs, skin, kidneys and liver.

After all, sceptics and some health authorities label reports about the dangers of toxic metals in makeup as alarmist. On the other hand, many reputable experts or peak safety bodies argue a compelling case there are no safe levels of substances such as lead, in the bloodstream.

Who should we believe? And if we’re unsure, just how much of a risk are we willing to take? Fortunately, there are excellent, high quality alternatives, for example, certified organic makeup such as Zuii Organic, which does not contain toxic metals or other undesirable ingredients.

So perhaps the question we should ask ourselves is this: if faced with brands that have been proven to contain potentially dangerous substances or a safe option, why is it even a choice?

Cat is a writer and editor with a special interest in natural skincare and community development. She is currently living the dream — travelling, writing, and volunteering in developing countries. In her spare time, she enjoys wrangling ditties on her out-of-tune ukulele, photography, and freshly brewed coffee.

References
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151541/Vanity-mirror-used-tragic-18th-century-society-beauty-27-died-make-poisoning-sells-300-000.html
http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/dr-roses-french-arsenic-complexion-wafers-1902-sears-roebuck-catalog/
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lead-found-in-400-types-of-lipstick-which-has-most/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/in-the-public-eye-mascara-exempt-from-mercury-treaty/
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/04/opinion/rasanayagam-lipstick-lead/index.html

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9 Reasons You Should Switch to Organic Flora Makeup

9 Reasons You Should Switch to Organic Flora Makeup

Cat Tô
Does your makeup make your pores appear larger? Do your cosmetics leave your skin feeling itchy or red? Are you applying increasing amounts of foundation and powder to cover sensitive skin or breakouts? If so, you’re in good company.

Globally, 84 per cent of people describe their skin as being sensitive. While there are a wide host of factors that account for skin condition – from genetics to diet, climate and pollution – the fact is, what we put on our face affects our appearance and health. Perhaps bestselling ‘natural’ cosmetics are even contributing to this seeming rise in skin sensitivity.

For example, many women use makeup with high concentrations of titanium dioxide (a pigment found in paint!) and talc (used to make talcum powder). Titanium dioxide is a carcinogen while talcum powder has been linked to ovarian cancer. Yet, oxides and talc are the base in mineral makeup, which has been touted as a ‘natural’ option.

In addition, petrochemicals (derived from petroleum), parabens (chemicals that mimic oestrogen) and nanoparticles (tiny particles that can penetrate the skin and be absorbed into the body) are also common ingredients in many cosmetics and skincare products.

As someone who has suffered lifelong eczema (and mild, persistent acne throughout my teens), I reached a point where I stopped using makeup altogether. Even popular so-called organic products that were marketed as hypoallergenic, inflamed and caused blemishes on my oily combination skin. Mineral cosmetics, touted as the saviour of those with acne, made my face and neck itch, and look blotchy and raw after washing it off.

So I was intrigued when a friend recommended Zuii Organic, the only certified organic cosmetic range in the entire world in which all of its powder products are made with real flowers. The base of Zuii’s pressed powder foundation, loose powder foundation, eyeshadow and blush is made from the crushed petals of rose, jasmine and chamomile.

I tried Zuii’s foundation and powder and found it didn’t clog my pores or cause flare ups. Its non-comedogenic formulation felt light and smooth on my face. While long lasting with a lovely finish, it was very easy to wash off at the end of the day.

I rode around on my motorbike all day, wearing a helmet without a visor in light rain and even in the tropical heat, it didn’t wash off or smudge one bit. Best of all, it didn’t irritate my skin or make it feel itchy after a full day of wear in humid, windy conditions.

Here are nine reasons to use Zuii’s certified organic flora makeup:
  1. Zuii’s cosmetics and skincare products are perfect for those who have sensitive skin or prone to acne and breakouts.
  2. You won’t find any preservatives, petrochemicals, parabens, nanoparticles or other toxic chemicals harmful to your health in a Zuii product. 
  3. It’s cruelty-free and not tested on animals.
  4. It’s affordable - Zuii liquid foundation costs $44.95 and its powder costs $59.95.
  5. It has a natural sun protection factor of around 12 (but without the nasty chemicals).
  6. Its powder products contain a natural blend of essential oils, so it treats your skin as you’re wearing it.
  7. It’s certified by NASAA (National Association of Sustainable Agriculture, Australia), BDIH & COSMOS (European Certifying Body).
  8. The products have a lovely floral aroma from its natural ingredients alone, and not from any artificial scents. 
  9. The company makes every effort to ensure its ingredients are sourced ethically under its Organic Certifications.

Vegans will be happy to hear that Zuii has vegan-friendly options too.

Australians may be pleased to know that if you’re buying a Zuii product, you’re supporting local industry. Zuii makes all of its organic cosmetics in Australia.

Cat is a writer and editor with a special interest in natural skincare and community development. She is currently living the dream — travelling, writing, and volunteering in developing countries. In her spare time, she enjoys wrangling ditties on her out-of-tune ukulele, photography, and freshly brewed coffee.

References:
https://file.scirp.org/pdf/JCDSA20120300011_99724346.pdf
https://www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/beauty-and-personal-care/skin-care-and-cosmetics/articles/chemicals-in-cosmetics

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