healing, health, Health & Wellness, Menopause, Skincare, Uncategorized

The “M Word”… and Skincare

I recently went on the Menopause: Facial, Hand and Foot Reflexology course with Ziggie Bergman and Louise Keet, which I absolutely loved by the way. So, I thought with today being International Women’s Day, it would be a good day to start writing this blog, albeit a little late to get it out there. Instagram v’s reality! 

I don’t remember anyone using the word Menopause 3 or 4 years ago. I never heard my mum use the word, like honestly, never. Perimenopause and Post menopause, that’s all new to me too. We have come so far; things have changed so much, and everything is out in the open and up for discussion these days. There is no doubt social media has played a huge part in this.

Menopause is such a hot topic, and if I’m honest, a bit of minefield that I find rather confusing. If I’m having a moment and I’m feeling a little off, am I perimenopausal? I could be, I’m 42, and when I talk to my friends about feeling a bit flat, it’s inevitable that someone will use the “M Word.” God forbid if I was just having a bad day. Menopause, it seems, is the “buzz word” used to label even the slightest of negative feelings, and if on the receiving end of this, it can be quite annoying.

We are all different, our bodies are different, our energy is different, our diets are different, and our lifestyles are different too. The age we become menopausal could be years apart from the girl we sat next to at school. I learned on my course that in western women menopause occurs on average at the age of 51 but can extend from your 30s to 60s. Menopause before the age of 40 is known as ‘Premature Menopause’ and between 41 and 45 is ‘Early Menopause’. I also learned that there are lots of symptoms we may experience, such as hot flushes, night sweats, irregular periods, loss of sex drive. We may feel depressed, moody, irritable, and tired. Brain fog is a common symptom. Oh, and menopause can cause hair loss, weight gain, allergies, bladder problems, dizziness, and changes to the appearance of our skin. Welcome to adult life ladies, it sounds like a hoot! The list is endless…

But on a lighter note, and there always must be a lighter note! There are lots of diet and lifestyle hacks we can make to guide us through the changes we experience as we mature, menopausal or not. According to the Environmental Working Group, on average women use at least 12 personal care products a day, such as toothpaste, face wash, toner, moisturiser, deodorant etc, exposing them to around 168 chemical ingredients. This is truly mind-blowing, and that’s before things like air fresheners and pesticides are thrown into the mix. So, if you’re not one for reading the small print, it might be a good time to start! You will be surprised at how many skincare products contain toxic ingredients, particularly exfoliators, face creams and body wash. And, as much as I don’t want to be Debbie downer, many toxic ingredients found in these products have been linked to hormonal disruptions, which can increase the risk of different cancers and skin irritations. 

So, if we think logically about what happens when we apply skincare products, we may reassess our choices. Any product we apply to our skin is absorbed through the epidermis and straight into our bloodstream. Therefore, the skincare choices we make play a huge contributing factor to our overall health and wellbeing. Just like the food we choose to eat, the exercise we choose to do (or not do), and what we feed our minds with. It’s all about balance and conscious choices, and if ever there was a time to clean up our beauty regime, it’s now. And, to all the brands that are working hard to support our health and wellbeing, we salute you! Especially the B Corp certified brands, who are doing everything in their power to protect and restore biodiversity. 

As I work with skincare products nearly every day of the week, it really got me thinking about menopause and skincare, and what happens to our skin as we mature. Hence, I wanted to shine the spotlight on “Clean Beauty”. It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, but this topic really got me going. Somehow I lost my creative spark and stopped writing. Life took over!

But what is “Clean Beauty” anyway and is it all its wrapped up to be?

“Clean Beauty” is quite hard to define, it’s a term used to describe cosmetic and skincare products that are free from harmful chemicals. There are so many amazing natural and organic products out there, with lots of impressive new brands really making their mark. We just need to look (and do a little research too). Bamford Skincare is certainly one to watch, Carole Bamford’s products do all sorts of amazing things for the senses. Rich in natural ingredients they help to nourish and heal the skin and Carole’s choice of fragrances in the skincare range are extremely calming, you relax instantly. I’m always amazed at how one inhalation of a scent can totally change how you feel.

One product I would highly recommend is Bamford’s Nourishing Cleansing Balm. It contains a nourishing base of organic shea butter with coconut and argan oils to deeply hydrate and protect the skin. The texture is so luxurious, you automatically want to massage your face as you rub it into your skin. Okay, it’s not cheap, and sits at the higher end of cleanser price tags, but it’s worth every penny (I promise). A tiny amount really does go a long way. It’s the jar that keeps on giving and by far my most favourite cleanser to work with. It also doubles up as an eye makeup remover, which I just love.

Another intresting skincare brand to look out for is Zone Face Lift, it was created by Ziggie Bergman to compliment a treatment she developed called Zone Face Lift. You must try this treatment. It’s been hailed by Tatler as a spiritual facial like no other, and the skincare used has beaten brands like Dior and Channel in recent skincare awards. The Daily Radiance Moisturiser is a must have, the luxurious organic cream feeds the skin, strengthens elasticity, and uplifts your senses. With ingredients such as pomegranate seed which is packed with natural vitamin C, it makes it ideal for sensitive skins and anti ageing. This moisturiser really does take you to another dimension with it’s dreamy fragrance, especially for an organic product, where normally you can be left a little underwhelmed by the scent. Anyway, it wasn’t my intension to talk about products, but I couldn’t help myself, a little treat from time to time is good for the soul. 

As women, I think it’s important we embrace maturity. Beauty is not just about how we look, it’s about how we feel, and if we feel good our eyes sparkle our skin glows and our energy is high. So, anything we can do to keep us happy, healthy, and balanced should be a priority. Surely the best health care plan is a self-care plan.

Here’s 5 Skincare Tips to help mature skin.

~ Avoid products containing parabens at all costs, they interfere with hormones. You will be surprised at how many skincare products contain parabens.
~ Opt for a richer moisturiser for more hydration, skin loses moisture with age. Sometimes we think we need much more product when we may just need a different product with richer ingredients.
~ Add a night cream, oil, or serum into your skincare routine to further hydrate the skin (if you don’t like using heavy skincare products in the day, apply the oil or serum before bed for absorption through the night).

~ Rethink your makeup, some foundations and concealers tend to feel and look dry on skin as we age. If your products are sitting in your lines and wrinkles, it’s time for a change. Head to a good makeup counter for advice, it’s likely you need products with richer ingredients and a different texture. You could go one step further and switch to clean makeup too, but if I’m honest, I don’t think it’s as advanced as skincare yet.
~ Add regular massage facials to your routine. As we age and our hormone levels plummet our skin can become dry, slack, thin and dull. Massage facials will help promote healthy looking skin whilst relaxing your facial muscles. Your face will come back to life in colour, texture, tightness, and definition. The stress release from the holistic element too, is sure to soften your facial expression and leave you feeling calmer and much more relaxed. There are so many health benefits to massage facials, but that’s for another blog.

But honestly, if you’re thinking about exploring natural alternatives during any stage of menopause, maybe start by switching the bad stuff for the good stuff. Organic or natural all the way. Rethink Botox and filler, and maybe try a course of massage facials instead. And, if you want to go the whole hog, try clean makeup too. And please, if you find any good brands, tell me, I’d love to hear about them.

Of course, if I’m totally honest, I’m not quite there yet with the big switch! It’s expensive to make so many changes, but we can make small changes and replace any finished products with a cleaner alternative and slowly work towards building our “clean beauty” shrine. And, if you do have regular Botox, why not try a course of massage facials instead. Weigh up the costs, weigh up the results and see what you think. They are a much healthier alternative to Botox and you will benefit so much more from the holistic element too. But at the end of the day, do what makes you happy. Life is short! And if you do go for the switch, remember that big journeys begin with small steps.

Clean Beauty is here. The market is growing rapidly. The long-standing reputable brands are producing better, cleaner skincare products every day, and new brands are emerging born into the world of Clean Beauty. For me, it is all it’s wrapped up to be, but, you must do your research. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all, we all have different skin and different goals.

Complementary Therapy, Crystal Healing, healing, Health & Wellness, Stress & Anxiety

The Natural Secret To Anti-Ageing

When I have time to myself, I always find that I reflect on everything. My career, my friends, my family, my health, my current level of happiness, literally everything. 

Most of us set intentions in our lives. A final destination where we can stop, take stock and say “that’s it, I’m happy, I’m here. This is exactly what I wanted my life to look like or it’s as close as it’s going to get”.

I’ve always been driven, possibly a little to my detriment and I’ve continuously had an ongoing desire to create something and work for myself. My career before holistic therapy was extremely different (in fact it’s safe to say it was the polar opposite to healing). In terms of earning potential, the sky was the limit. I could earn as much as my little heart desired, as long as I put the work in. It sounds perfect doesn’t it, but the reality was that there was always something missing. I wanted to find more meaning to my life and I would always find myself going over the same question in my head, ”what is my life purpose”. 

I’m not sure why, but finding my life purpose was and still is something that is extremely important to me. That’s what fuelled my motivation to go back to college to gain a diploma in holistic therapy. It was hard slog (essential to any new path), I went through extreme periods of stress, trying to juggle college whilst also trying to keep my other business up and running. It was exhausting but somehow I knew it would be worth it in the end and it was. I went on to set up my new business, ”A Beautiful Therapy”. I love my brand, I love my treatments and literally, everything I had hoped for was slowly starting to fall into place. Then overnight everything changed. A halt to holistic therapy and a sudden halt to my business.

Do I see the coronavirus as an injustice, no not really! In reality, there are bigger things to worry about right now. I’d be lying if I said that this current situation isn’t a blow, it is, but somehow I always manage to see the silver lining. I’ve had my fair share of knockbacks over the years and each and every time I dusted myself off and continued to push forward. I honestly believe that if you truly want something you can have it. 

So rather than see this time (#stayathome) as a negative, I’m using this period to brush up on my holistic skills and look at how I can become more creative with my offerings. In essence, what is proving to be a rather bleak period has enabled me to slow down and reflect, and with all this time to reflect, I think I’ve found my focus. My passion for holistic therapy is naturally pulling me more towards holistic facials. Have you ever experienced one? They are divine. With various facial massage techniques, you really do get lost in the moment and escape the realities of life. A holistic facial is not just a facial, it’s a mind, body, spirit connection offering a deep sense of peace and harmony to compliment glowing skin.

I’ve often wondered if I would ever use my meditation qualification. I mean I loved the course, I love meditation, but I haven’t had a natural affinity to teach. Now I’ve had time to think and my creative juices are flowing, I’ve realized that I want to incorporate meditation into some of my facial treatments. I think it will heighten the feeling of relaxation even more.

The physical results from my holistic facials are amazing too. Considering they are natural non-evasive treatments, you surprisingly see instant results. I lift and sculpt the skin, leaving a plump and more youthful complexion.

So there you have it, time alone is underrated. I’m starting to understand more of what I love and I have an opportunity to become even more creative with my offerings. If you haven’t yet, make sure you try a holistic facial. With the touch of healing hands, beautiful jade massage crystals and my new love of Gua Sha, I’d love to share the experience with you. 

If you have a minute, slowly, softly and gently close your eyes and take three long deep breaths in through your nose. After each deep breath exhale slowly into your abdomen. Now take an even deeper longer breath into your heart and feel that love radiate in your heart centre. As you feel the warmth of your love radiate in your heart, imagine a small green heart shape slowly expanding. Take one last deep inhalation and as you exhale slowly, feel the green heart expand even further. As the green heart continues to expand experience that feeling of love, more love than you have ever felt before in heart centre. Now send that feeling out into the universe and just sit in this moment for a while and notice how you are feeling. Then when you’re ready, slowly softly and gently open your eyes and smile. I hope my green heart meditation lifted your spirit.

Complementary Therapy, healing, health, Health & Wellness, meditation, Motivation, Positivity, Stress & Anxiety, Uncategorized

Time On My Hands

Rather than worry about what’s to come, I’ve decided to make the most of my spare time by doing the things that help keep me grounded and centred. The first on my list is meditation and I’ve promised myself I’ll do at least 1 hour practise every day.

If ever I feel stuck and need answers, meditation is always my go-to and over the years I’ve realised that the more I practise, the more clear my life path becomes.

Rewind 6 months ago when I was working flat out on a cruise ship. One thing I craved the most was time to myself, I was literally a workhorse giving my energy to guests all day long. It was the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever experienced and time was so precious, it was like gold dust. I remember waking up one morning and thinking right, I’ve had enough, I need to go home, and just like that I booked a flight and was out of there. Thank God. I can not begin to imagine what it’s been like, to be stuck on a cruise ship whilst all this is going on. I can’t help but think someone was watching over me 😇.

So here we are in a situation that’s out of our control and right now, against all odds, I have all the time in the world. I feel truly grateful to be around my family, the only thing that makes me feel safe when things go wrong. So what do I do with all this spare time?

I’ve decided to make a room here at my dads into a beautiful calm space. I have my Tibetan bowls which I love, they remind me of my trip to India, a deeply spiritual time where I met some beautiful souls such as Pegah, check out her page @yes2healthyminds.

Did you know that Tibetan bowls are amazing for relaxation and healing? The vibration gets me every time. I’ve also managed to find my little bag of Palo Santo (thank you god), I love the aroma. It’s one of my favourite essential oils and it’s great for aromatherapy and healing. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my love for Palo Santo. It has so many amazing benefits and it’s a natural alternative medicine for relieving flu symptoms, common colds, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, emotional pain and many other conditions. If ever there was a time to invest in Palo Santo it’s now!

It’s also great for clearing energy, be it your bedroom, office, car or even your whole house. If you’re anything like me and can literally walk into a place and feel the mood, Palo Santo may be your go-to. I use it before I start any meditation to clear the energy and boost my mood. I’m fascinated by energy!

Now I have time on my hands, I’m going to dedicate more time to blogging, another love of mine. I hope you find a way to find peace in this surreal time. I’m counting my blessings and feeling grateful for the little things in life, no matter how trying things are ✨.

Image via Pinterest