Five Minutes With: Hanako Therapies Co-Founder Rachel Holm

Essential oils are not only beautifully aromatic, but are also known for their ability to promote physiological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. They can have an incredibly powerful effect on our emotional state, and also encourage us to achieve a more positive mindset. Hanako Therapies harnesses these powerful natural essences in order to bring balance, clarity and tranquility to the lives of others. Here we chat with Hanako Therapies co-founder Rachel Holm, a woman whose courage, resilience and kind spirit paved the way for a truly beautiful brand to take form.

EE: How did Hanako Therapies begin?

Rachel: Many things came together to lead to the creation of Hanako Therapies, but at the time it really felt like it came out of nowhere. I never sat down and thought ‘right – I’m going to start a business’ – it just happened organically after we decided to take our little family on a year of adventure and move to the USA – my husband’s native land. Finding ourselves in LA and completely out of our comfort zone, life got very interesting. Back home in Sydney I had my usual go-to people when life felt a little shaky – people like my acupuncturist, massage therapist, and healer – but here I was yet to find my new people.

Having finished a diploma in energetic and spiritual healing two years prior and in the midst of studying aromatherapy and Kundalini yoga teacher training, I knew what I could do to support and nourish myself during this time. I also have a love for natural perfumes and was yet to find one that I really liked, and so I began blending my own – not just for scent purposes, but for an all over energetic effect. Using my knowledge from my studies and my intuition, the blends started coming together. In the end, I had crafted 34 products for my own personal use – but I would also use them when giving healings, and my clients kept asking ‘what is that and where can I get it?’ – and so began the journey of Hanako Therapies.

Tell us a little about the Hanako Therapies product range…

We have the I AM… aromatherapy elixirs, a natural perfume range that helps to raise your spirits and energetic being; not only through scent but the energetic properties each ingredient holds. We also have the Meridian Blend range that were carefully created to complement the 12 main lines of energy that flow within our energy anatomy known as the meridian system. These aromatherapy blends get placed onto specific acupressure points to encourage harmony, flow and balance within.

In addition we have Hanako Essences; under-the-tongue remedies that help support emotional wellbeing and encourage transformation, soul development and growth. There is also an easy to use range for mums and bubs that are soothing, calming, nourishing and balancing, and we have a stand-alone product called Happy Tracks, which is a natural remedy for upset and anxious tummies. The overall message is to intuitively choose what you feel you need most now in your life, and then mindfully use it as a daily ritual to help set a beautiful self-caring space for yourself and for the day ahead – or alternatively to shift and transform your current personal challenges.

What’s the most popular Hanako Therapies product?

We have two top sellers and they are I AM…Inspired and I Am…Bliss. I AM… Inspired is a great unisex scent that contains the pure essential oils of sandalwood, bergamot and lemon verbena along with five other pure essential oils. It is clean, refreshing, stabilising and uplifting, and it encourages a deep sense of peace, clarity of thought and lightness of spirit.

Then we have I AM… Bliss, which is great for people that tend to feel overwhelmed and anxious, and also fantastic for new mums. It’s a fresh floral scent that encourages you to come back to your heart space and live in the present moment – the only moment that counts. We get so many lovely emails from people that have been using these or even trying them for the first time and saying that as soon as they sprayed it they immediately felt a shift in their mood. I think what most people like about them is that they’re fresh and light and just make you feel good.

What’s your favourite Hanako blend?

My personal favourite is I AM…Faith. It’s very feminine yet a little mysterious and musky in scent – a good one for bathing in your Divine Goddess energy and creativity. I spray this one throughout the day over the crown of my head, on and around my body and into my hair. You’ll always find this one in my handbag!

What makes essential oils so powerful and effective?

While perfumes and fragrances may smell nice, only pure essential oils have the power to shift and change our brain waves and to have a therapeutic effect on body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of pure and natural essential oils. These oils are concentrated extracts from flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, resins and seeds.

When applied topically, essential oils absorb into the skin and enter the bloodstream. This action promotes healing properties to work inside as well as out. Inhaling essential oils can have many positive effects on the body, mind and spirit as well. As you inhale, particles of the essential oils travel down the windpipe and enter the lungs, and are then carried into the bloodstream, allowing the healing properties to take effect.

It also takes just a few seconds for scent to influence the limbic system, part of the brain that is also known as the ‘emotional brain’ where we contain our stored memories and emotions. This also connects to the parts of the brain that control blood pressure, heart rate, stress levels, hormone balance and breathing.

Each Hanako Therapies blend is carefully created using only pure essential oils, gem and flower essences, and crystal-infused water. Each one has also been bathed in a different ancient mantra from start to seal. Every ingredient used for each different blend has its own unique natural healing power, energetic vibrational frequency and quality that are congruent with the overall intention whether it be grounding, balancing, uplifting or supporting.

On top of all that, we then place on the bottle an affirmation that can be repeated silently or aloud when you are using the product. Affirmations create conscious control of our thoughts and can restructure and rewire the brain. This can help us break the patterns of negative thinking and promote the process of healthy change. When you use Hanako, you are not only hit with a beautiful scent, but also invisible energetic forces that help create balance.

What are some of your favourite essential oils?

With all the oils that I have and use, I still have an absolute love affair with sweet orange oil and lavender and often combing these two together at home to diffuse our space. With two little ones running around, both of these pure essential oils are winners! Lavender is beautiful, calming and relaxing and works on balancing the auric field, while sweet orange oil is uplifting, balancing and joyful. It’s a nice and simple blend that’s refreshing and peaceful in the home, and leaves me with a feeling of ‘aaaahhhhhh’. Benzoin is also another beautiful oil that I love; the consistency is a thick and rich – a little like honey – and is so warming, uplifting and nurturing.

Hanako Therapies supports Bears of Hope. Can you tell us a little bit about this charity, and why giving back is so important to you? 

We knew when we were creating the brand that we wanted to give back to the community, and we chose Bears of Hope due to our own personal journey after losing our firstborn to stillbirth. We were very lucky to be given the care that we received when we found out the life changing news two days before our little Angel’s due date.

The Hospital we were with were incredible and made our short Earth time with this precious little soul very special, even given the devastation of the circumstance. We realised that not all those that will unfortunately travel this path will receive the same level of care. Bears of Hope offers leading support and exceptional care for families who experience the loss of their baby.

They seek to provide crucial information and embrace families during their difficult time of loss, and beyond. Bears of Hope guide families through their choices when saying hello and goodbye to their much-loved baby. As a registered non-profit organisation, they are dedicated to the care of others.

After getting through our own experience, I knew that whatever I did in the future I wanted to be able to help others that will also share this path. For us Bears of Hope was our first choice. If we can help just one person that must travel this path and contribute to making this devastating time a little easier, I’m humbled and grateful.


Click here to learn more about Bears of Hope and donate to this worthy cause.

Five Minutes With: Fairlings Founders Michael & Masa

Here at THE ECO EDIT, we love discovering fresh, thoughtful, and ethical new businesses that are governed not only by a stylish brand vision, but also a strong moral compass and sense of responsibility to consumers and the environment. Fairlings readily meets each and every one of these criteria with its dedication to the best products and sustainable business practices.

Operating as an online essentials store that curates fair trade, vegan, organic and eco-friendly products, Fairlings was created in 2015 by Canberra-based husband and wife team Michael and Masa. Frustrated with a lack of high quality and ethical cosmetics, toiletries and day-to-day essential items in one centralised place, Michael and Masa decided to take matters into their own hands.

Here the minimalism-loving entrepreneurs reveal what prompted them to launch Fairlings, and what guiding principles they follow in their daily business practices.

THE ECO EDIT: What led you to open an online store?

Michael & Masa: As ethical minimalists ourselves, we have very high standards when making purchasing decisions. Inevitably we grew tired of wasting our time and money testing a bunch of natural products from a dozen different shops until we finally found one that worked.

It’s the combination of performance and ethics that is hard to come by. That’s why we created Fairlings – to help eliminate that decision fatigue and enable our customers to shop freely with a clear conscious. We do all the hard work for you through our selection process.

Why are natural and ethical cosmetics important to you both?

Natural products are extremely important to us because the general public aren’t aware of the toxic and unethical nature of mainstream products. The big brands are solely interested in increasing their profit margins and as a result, they do damage to the environment, animals, workers and our health.

We’re living in an exciting time where we have courageous and passionate entrepreneurs who a making amazing products that are as close to nature as possible. We feel like we have an obligation to make people aware of these alternatives and hopefully shift the demand of ethical everyday essentials.

You prefer to stock just one of each type of product – why is this?

Again, as minimalists, we hate clutter – especially mental clutter. What we found when we were trying to buy products at health food stores was the pain of deciding between 11 different natural deodorants. Masa is an obsessive label reader and it was excruciating process to decide which product to buy.

Ultimately, we didn’t want to buy a product that didn’t perform. We all know that feeling right? You’re in two minds of whether to push through and use it anyway (even though you don’t want to), or leave it to collect dust on your shelf, creating more clutter in the house. Other alternatives include throwing it out, or re-gifting the products to friends – none of these options seems like the right thing.

We thought it would be so much easier if the stores put their best foot forward and stocked what they thought was the best brand in a particular product category. We didn’t see that model anywhere, so we decided to start it ourselves.

A lot of retailers claim that they curate the best natural products but they still stock multiple brands per category, which mind you doesn’t always end up the healthier option. We’ve taken a more polarising approach by attempting to stock only the best.

Sure, there’s a risk of perhaps not being suitable for everyone, but it’s a risk we are willing to take in order to create a more pleasurable and simpler shopping experience for our customers.

Who the Fairlings customer is, and what are they looking for?

At the extreme end of the spectrum, our customers are minimalist vegans. We’re talking about the hardcore label readers who don’t want to create any excess waste or clutter in their lives. Our goal is to serve the strictest of customers and this is what we initially set out to do.

What we’re finding however is a large chunk of our customer base are women who are realising the harm that their current products are doing to their bodies and the environment. They’ve recently started their natural product journey and are finding what combinations work best for them.

They look at our products and read about what we do, and feel like they are in safe hands. They don’t have to read every ingredient and double check the products for safety. These customers used to have the perception that natural products are nice in theory, but they wonder, “do they actually perform?” We aim to debunk this myth and shift the paradigm with our handpicked range.

How does minimalism fit into your lives, and why is it important to you?

Minimalism to us means keeping what you deem as essential and eliminating the rest. We were mentally weighed down and overwhelmed with life. Minimalism was an outlet for us to detox our minds.

We started by decluttering our physical environment. We soon realised that minimalism is much more than decluttering your house – it’s a mindset. You start looking at your calendar, your inbox, your friendships, your mode of transport, pretty much everything, differently.

The question of, “is this essential?” aids of all our decisions. And it’s extremely liberating. The combination of minimalism and veganism has heightened our level of consciousness like we could never of imagined. It’s through this lens that we are now able to live a fulfilling, purpose-driven lifestyle each and every day.

What are some of your top Fairlings product picks?

It will be hard to pick only a few, as we love everything! Truly, that’s why we stock them. But if we had to pick our personal favourites as well as the ones that our customers are loving, here they are:

1. Mukti Hydrating Cleansing Lotion, $54.95

The best quality cleanser we’ve come across. It not only keeps your skin feeling clean, soft and nourished, it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry like many other cleansers.

fairlings mukti

2. Vanessa Megan Organic Blood Orange Foaming Hand & Body Wash, $54.95

We love the 2-in-1 aspect of this product, both a hand wash and body wash. Smells AMAZING, leaves your skin feeling fresh and soft. This was one of the trickier items to find that was reasonably priced, felt great and contained quality ingredients.

fairlings vanessa megan

3. The Divine Company Organic Peppermint Tooth Mousse, $19.95

Probably our favourite product. Cleans your teeth without the nasties! Has a wonderful flavour but an interesting texture because there is no plastic particles like most conventional toothpastes have.

fairlings divine company

4. One Seed Organic Perfume Sample Set, $37

A perfect gift or a great way to try a few different scents before committing to a bigger bottle. Organic perfume is a must if you love perfumes, conventional ones are super toxic!

fairlings one seed

5. Moonrise Creek Organic Vegan Mascara, $29.95

A beautiful vegan, organic and handmade thick mascara that will last you all day.

fairlings moonrise creek

What’s next for Fairlings?

Our focus for 2017 is simple. Continue to find and work with amazing brands and build a community around our products and ethos.

More specifically, it’s our goal to bring on at least one new brand a month and to develop our community through our Ambassador Program.

We’re currently testing a brand that makes certified organic house cleaning products. This has been extremely hard to come by, especially in Australia, so we’re excited about that!

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Survive Silly Season With These Five Beauty Essentials

The festive season is well and truly upon us, and with it comes a barrage of parties, catch-ups, stressful deadlines and endless commitments. And while the family-related meltdowns and champagne headaches that are bound to accompany silly season might prove overwhelming, you can still manage look pretty as a picture with a little help from these five beauty essentials…

1. Kjaer Weis Cream Blush

The festive season is incredibly hectic, so a timesaving multi-tasker like Kjaer Weis’ beautiful Cream Blush is a godsend at this time of year.

This little stunner gives your complexion a healthy-looking flush and also hydrates your skin with nourishing ingredients like jojoba and rosehip oil.

There are plenty of colours to choose from, but if you’re looking for a universally flattering hue, we suggest the gorgeous shade ‘Blossoming’ (pictured below).

Simply dab a little cream onto your lips and blend into the apples of your cheeks and you’re good to go.

kjaer-weis-cream-blush-blossoming

2. Lily Lolo Pedal To The Metal Eyeshadow Palette

No party look is complete without a smoky eye, and Lily Lolo’s Eyeshadow Palette in Pedal To The Metal is your ticket to captivatingly pretty peepers.

This dazzling mineral makeup palette features eight highly pigmented metallic eyeshadows that blend together beautifully.

There are soft browns and shimmery beiges for a subtle effect, along with dark grey and black for dramatically shimmering lids.

Nab yourself one of these beauties quick though, because it’s limited edition and bound to sell out before silly season is over.

lily-lolo-pedal-to-the-metal-eyeshadow-palette

3. Vanessa Megan Prebiotic + C Brightening Exfoliator

Your skin can tend to look dull and lifeless when life gets busy and your diet slips, so a brightening exfoliant like this beauty from Vanessa Megan is a fantastic solution.

Combining the pure organic ingredients with natural actives from yoghurt, grapefruit and rice enzymes, this clever exfoliant helps your skin look smoother, brighter and more even-toned in an instant.

Simply pour a little powder onto your palm, and blend with water to form a paste before applying to your skin.

With its gentle yet effective formula, your can use it every second day as an exfoliant, or twice a week as an intensely active brightening mask.

vanessa-megan-prebioticc-brightening-exfoliator

4. WOTNOT Facial Wipes Dry/Sensitive Skin

If you find yourself out partying late at night this silly season, or are simply exhausted after a busy and stressful year, properly cleansing your skin before bed will be right at the bottom of your to-do list.

Thankfully WOTNOT Facial Wipes are here to make your life just that little bit easier – simply pop a pack next to your bed and you can cleanse your mug quickly before getting some much-needed shut-eye.

WOTNOT sell a selection of facial wipes, but we highly recommend the variety developed for dry and sensitive skin.

They’re enriched with all natural ingredients including certified organic aloe vera, sweet almond oil and rosehip oil to restore lost moisture, calm inflammation, and leave your skin feeling clean, smooth, supple and glowing.

wotnot-facial-wipes-dry-sensitive-skin

5. Madara SOS Hydra Recharge Cream

Pair a hot Aussie summer with non-stop partying, sugary foods and booze galore, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for cranky, stressed-out skin.

Replenish lost moisture with Madara’s intensely hydrating SOS Hydra Recharge Cream. This lush moisturiser reduced the look of fine lines and plumps up your complexion for a supple, youthful-looking skin.

This clever cream helps combat the signs of ageing with a cocktail of active ingredients including antioxidant-rich Northern Baltic peony, nourishing linseed, and plumping hyaluronic acid.

madara-sos-hydra-recharge-cream

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10 Eco-Chic Gift Ideas For People You Love

With Christmas just around the corner, now’s the time to get those festive season pressies wrapped and under the tree. But if you’re stuck for gift ideas, don’t fret! We’ve put together a list of gorgeous natural beauty products, kits and treatments that will ensure you’re in everyone’s good books.

1. Madara Happy Skin Essentials Pack

This cute little kit from holistic skincare brand Madara is the perfect treat for all skin types. Featuring Madara’s award winning Micellar Cleansing Water and their innovative Oil-To-Milk Exfoliating Scrub, this set would put a smile on anyone’s dial.

gift ideas madara

2. Lily Lolo Iconic Eye Collection

Who wouldn’t want pretty peepers for Christmas? The Lily Lolo Iconic Eye Collection features the brand’s cult favourite Laid Bare Eyeshadow Palette along with a must-have Black Eye Pencil Natural Mascara for long, fluttery jet-black lashes.

lily-lolo-iconic-eye-collection

3. Frank Body Babe Island Kit

Perfect for the gal (or guy) who likes to have silky smooth and tropically scented skin, Frank Body’s cute-as-a-button Babe Island Kit includes a delectable Coconut Coffee Scrub and lush Coconut Body Balm.

gift ideas frank body

4. Endota Spa Gift Voucher

Handing out one of these beauties will make you a firm favourite this Christmas. You can select from a range of treatment options when ordering a gift voucher – we highly recommend Endota’s New Age Light Therapy Facial, which combines active natural skincare with the latest LED technology for gorgeous, glowing skin.

endota-spa-gift-voucher

5. Pai Instant Calm Discovery Collection

This beautiful skincare pack is the perfect gift for people with sensitive skin. This exquisite kit features Pai’s Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Skin Tonic, Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream, plus an organic muslin cloth.

pai-skincare-instant-calm-discovery-collection

6. Inika Limited Edition Discover Kit

This lovely kit is the perfect pressie for a friend or relative who is keen to try mineral makeup. The set includes some of Inika’s hero products including their Certified Organic Pure Primer, Certified Organic Liquid foundation, Certified Organic BB Cream, Mineral Foundation, plus a Kabuki Brush.

gift ideas inika

7. Acorelle Absolute Tiare Eau de Parfum

This heavenly scent will make for an enchanting gift this Christmas. The fresh floral fragrance features top notes of orange and tangerine, a heart of ylang ylang, jasmine and tiare, and a sensual base of vanilla.

acorelle-absolute-tiare-perfume

8. Vanessa Megan VM Men Citrus & Spice Natural Cologne

Any self-respecting bloke who takes pride in his appearance and grooming habits will appreciate this crisp cologne. With a warm, spicy blend of mandarin, patchouli and clove, this chic scent is uplifting, alluring, and 100% natural.

vanessa-megan-men-citrus-spice-cologne

9. The Beauty Chef Cookbook

Looking for great gift ideas for the domestic goddesses and green juice junkies in your life? They’ll adore this beautifully photographed cookbook that’s jam-packed with delicious, nutritious, and complexion-enhancing meal ideas. With over 150 gluten-free, dairy-free recipes, this clever cookbook promotes gut health and boosts beauty from the inside out.

gift ideas the beauty chef

10. Essano Limitless Luxuries Pack

Containing an array of beauty boosting plant extracts and natural ingredients like rosehip and Argan oil, New Zealand brand Essano is a truly gorgeous range that captures nature’s essence. This affordable travel bag includes Essano’s cult favourite micellar water, moisturiser, eye cream, body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner.

essano-limitless-luxuries-gift-ideas

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10 Eco-Chic Beauty Buys Under $10

Cheap Organic Beauty Products. Impossible?

While toxin-free cosmetics are a beautiful, safe and healthy option, they rarely come cheap. This is often due to the nature of the ingredients used, and the costs associated with manufacturing organic products. But thankfully going green doesn’t always have to cost a fortune, as these natural cosmetics and cheap organic beauty products go to show.

1. EcoCare Organic Apple & Honey Facial Cleansing Wipes, $8.99

ecocare face wipes

Ideal for oily and combination skin, these refreshing face wipes will leave your skin feeling clean, soft, and supple. With crisp apple, luscious honey, and antioxidant-rich green tea, these certified organic cotton wipes nourish and soothe while they cleanse.

2. Dr Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Lavender Soap, $7.95

dr bronners soap

With a soothing blend lavender and lavandin oils, this castile soap bar will calm the mind while it cleanses your body. Lovingly created with fair trade ingredients and organic hemp oil, it won’t leave your skin feeling dry or tight. The product is also 100% biodegradable and features 100% post-consumer recycled packaging. 

3. Sukin Cream Cleanser, $9.95

sukin cream cleanser

This gentle cream cleanser contains a beautiful blend of essential oils and botanical extracts to remove makeup and grime as it nourishes the skin. The sulphate free formula features lush ingredients like rosehip, avocado, aloe vera, and nettle to leave skin feeling clean and refreshed.

4. Vanessa Megan Lip Balm, $9.95 

vanessa megan lip balm

With nourishing certified organic shea butter, cocoa butter and bees wax, this lush balm soothes and hydrates dry, chapped lips. The clever formula seals in moisture and protects your lips from the elements, to ensure your pout looks gorgeous all year round.

5. Essano Gentle Facial Cleansing Micellar Water, $5.99

essano micellar water

If you haven’t experienced the magic that is micellar water, this product is a gorgeous and ultra-affordable way to try it out. Active micellar water molecules latch onto makeup, dirt and impurities on your skin, and gently remove them to leave your face feeling cleansed and refreshed. The formula supports your skin’s natural pH balance, and soothes with certified organic rosehip oil and aloe vera.

6. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer, $9.95

burts-bees-lip-shimmer

Give your lips a subtle touch of colour and a gorgeous glossy sheen with this nifty conditioning lip balm. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers come in a range of flattering colours and are made from 100% natural ingredients. This bad boy will keep your kisser hydrated and happy throughout the day with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, strawberry and apricot seed oil, and soothing rosemary.

7. Comvita Natural Whitening Toothpaste, $9.95

comvita toothpaste

This natural toothpaste alternative helps brighten your smile while also cleaning and your teeth. The formula doesn’t contain any nasty chemical bleaches or harsh abrasives – instead baking soda gently polishes and whitens teeth while essential oils freshen your breath naturally. Xylitol, a natural substance found in birch trees, helps prevent stain build-up with regular brushing.

8. PearlBar Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush, $8.95

pearlbar charcoal toothbrush

The perfect accompaniment to natural toothpaste, this 100% biodegradable toothbrush is an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic toothbrushes. The bristles are infused with charcoal, which acts as a natural cleaning, absorbing and antibacterial agent. As well as effectively cleaning your teeth, charcoal also acts as a natural tooth whitener.

9. 100% Pure Bright Eyes Eye Mask, $9.95

100-per-cent-pure-bright-eyes-eye-mask

If you suffer from puffy eyes and dark circles, give this natural eye mask a whirl. Made with organic aloe, plant cellulose, and green coffee, this clever mask helps to de-puff and brighten tired eyes. The hydrating natural formula will gradually absorb into you skin, and it feels incredibly cooling and refreshing on the delicate eye area.

10. LAVANILA Mini Rollerball Fragrance, $10 

lavanila rollerball

For a crisp $10 you can trial LAVANILA’s range of delectable natural scents, which combine warm Madagascar vanilla with pure essential oils. Choose from Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Coconut, Vanilla Lavender, Fresh Vanilla Lemon, and Vanilla Grapefruit.

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Five Minutes With: Beautiful Because Founder Nina Weston

Hailing from picturesque Cornwall in the UK, businesswoman and entrepreneur Nina Weston moved to Australia in 2010 and founded her ever-expanding eco-chic online boutique Beautiful Because in 2013.

Boasting a stunning array of certified organic, natural and toxin-free beauty brands, the store’s fan base grew rapidly thanks to its and unrivalled customer service, which includes complimentary samples and generous reward points.

Here Nina divulges her insights into the natural beauty industry, and shares the story behind her success.

EE: What first sparked your interest in natural beauty?

Nina: I’ve always loved boutique and handcrafted brands, but it wasn’t until I did a makeup artistry course that I really started to question the ingredients listed on the boxes of the mainstream products in my kit.

After years of trying every brand I possibly could in search of the holy grail of beauty, I woke up to the reality that most are tarred with the same toxic brush – and there was no turning back! I no longer wanted to use these products on myself, let alone apply them to others.

How did the idea to create Beautiful Because come about?

In a nutshell, I feel strongly that we shouldn’t have to fear toxins in our skincare and cosmetics, and I became frustrated by mainstream players in the industry falsely marketing themselves – often through celebrity-endorsed campaigns. Upon making the switch to support more ethical, cruelty-free brands myself, I was delighted to discover so many here in Australia with really effective, all-natural formulas.

I woke up to the reality that most beauty products are tarred with the same toxic brush.

I felt compelled to create an educational platform to showcase the finest, together and in one place, and help raise awareness that going green doesn’t mean a compromise on performance. Beautiful Because started as a passionate hobby between jobs, but I soon discovered there was little time for anything else!

Has the swift success and growth of Beautiful Because taken you by surprise, and why?

Yes and no. Natural and organic beauty is growing as an industry, yet I never expected the store to become so popular so quickly. I am very grateful for our loyal and savvy customers who are beautiful because they choose healthy and kind beauty.

What’s been the most challenging part of running your own business?

Expanding the shop while keeping the personalised service our customers love. Juggling many roles in the one day; from helping my staff pack orders on busy mornings, to advising customers, liaising with brands, creative and promotional tasks, etc, etc! Taking work home is all too easy when it’s your own business and sometimes it can be hard to switch off.

And what’s been the most rewarding part?

Working with like-minded people and helping to make a positive difference – be it small – to the lives of our customers and the wider world. It feels good to advocate for brands that are beautiful from the core, and I feel privileged to do so.

What are your top five natural beauty must-haves for summer?

In addition to one of our natural sunscreens (which is of course a must for that strong Australian sun), I will definitely be using the following products this summer:

1. Erica Brooke Deodorant Cream in Neroli & Vanilla

I love this because it works – even in the summer heat. I’m also a fan of its refreshing floral scent.

Erica Brooke Deodorant Cream in Neroli & Vanilla

2. Madara Sunflower Tinting Fluid

This mineral tint blurs the line between makeup and skincare. It provides great antioxidant protection with a beautiful flawless tint to boot.

Madara Sunflower Tinting Fluid

3. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

This is a real treat for skin in need of some extra TLC this summer. A highly nourishing and nutrient rich balm, it envelops skin in a cooling wave of azure blue goodness.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

4. Axiology Lipstick in Devotion

I adore this ethical lippie brand that proves eco-friendly beauty can be luxurious. My fave shade is Devotion, which gives your that perfect “my lips but better” natural look.

Axiology Lipstick in Devotion

5. INDAH Coconut Oil To Go

Coconut oil is the minimalist’s multitasking beauty essential. It gives you glowing skin and strong healthy hair, and it doesn’t get purer than INDAH’s cold-pressed extra virgin oil that comes in funky portable packaging – making it superb for using on-the-go.

INDAH Coconut Oil To Go

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The Dirty Dozen: 12 Common Toxins Found In Beauty Products

While there are countless artificial ingredients and toxic nasties hiding in most mainstream beauty products, there are 12 in particular that give cause for major concern.

Often referred to as The Dirty Dozen, these ingredients and chemicals have been shown to be highly questionable with potentially devastating health implications.

Grab a pen and paper and familiarise yourself with these common toxins so that you can steer clear of them next time you’re shopping for cosmetics and toiletries.

1. PARABENS

Found in basically every mainstream beauty product you can get your mitts on, parabens (which usually appear on the ingredients list with prefixes like Butyl, Isobutyl, Propyl, Methyl, Ethyl etc.) are artificial preservatives that are added to products to help prevent bacteria and mould growth.

Parabens are a concern because they can mimic our own natural hormones, which can lead to endocrine disruption; a condition which has been linked to some types of cancer. Parabens have also been associated with skin irritation, dermatitis, rosacea, increased sun damage, headaches and dizziness.

2. ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE

If that department store beauty product you’re testing has even the slightest hint of a scent to it, chances are it’s loaded with synthetic fragrance. Usually listed as ‘parfum,’ or ‘fragrance,’ on the ingredients label, an artificial fragrance can have dozens – even hundreds – of ingredients.

It’s impossible to know exactly what chemicals have been used to create that specific scent, because beauty companies aren’t legally required to reveal their fragrance compositions. Artificial and synthetic fragrances have been linked to headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, nausea and endocrine disruption.

3. PHTHALATES

Found in some of the most popular beauty products on the market (including perfumes, nail polishes, and hairsprays), common phthalates include Diethyl Phthalate and Dibutyl Phthalate.

Phthalates are a type of plasticising chemical that’s used to make a product’s texture more spreadable or pliable, or alternatively to make a product adhere to the skin.

Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, and they have been linked to lung, kidney and liver damage, and can potentially cause birth defects as well.

4. SLS & SLES

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) are found in products that lather up (think shampoo, foaming cleansers, body wash, liquid soap, bubble bath and even toothpaste) and are a type of foaming agent.

They are incredibly harsh ingredients and can often be found in industrial cleaning products like engine degreasers. Both SLS and SLES irritate the skin by stripping away it’s natural protective barrier, and have also been linked to allergies, eye problems, and hair growth issues.

5. TRICLOSAN

An antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, Triclosan is added to common toiletries like hand soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, hand sanitiser, and cosmetics.

While the idea of a germ-fighting additive might not sound bad in theory, Triclosan has been linked to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (known as ‘superbugs’) and also ends up in our water systems where it can affect the aquatic environment.

In addition, Triclosan has also been linked to endocrine disruption which can lead to serious medical conditions.

6. PETROLEUM & MINERAL OIL

Petroleum and petroleum-derived substances including mineral oil and paraffin are commonly found in lip balms, lipsticks, lip glosses, body oils, moisturisers, body balms, hair gels and conditioners.

Petroleum is a type of petrochemical that’s derived from crude oil, and it can cause a wide array of skin problems as it coats and clogs your pores and leaves a slick barrier on top of the skin.

In addition to preventing the skin from ‘breathing,’ petroleum, mineral oil and paraffin can also be contaminated with all kinds of toxins and impurities.

7. FORMALDEHYDE

Listed on the ingredients label as Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Quaternium, DMDM Hydantoin, Nitropropane, Bronopol, Oxaldehyde and Glyoxal, Formaldehyde is commonly found in nail polishes and hair straightening treatments.

It’s been banned from use in cosmetics in some countries and is a known carcinogen that has been linked to lung disease (including lung cancer), lymphoma and leukaemia.

It makes it’s way into the body through fume inhalation, and can cause eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, and has the potential to accumulate in the body which can lead to toxicity.

8. HYDROQUINONE

Also known as Quinol, Benzene and Diol, Hydroquinone inhibits melanin production and can be found in some skin lightening creams and anti-pigmentation products like brightening serums and skin whitening treatments.

It has been banned in some countries, and the FDA has stated that Hydroquinone may be carcinogenic, as studies have linked it to the development of tumours and leukaemia. It has also been linked to skin sensitivity and increased sun damage, skin irritation and organ toxicity.

9. MERCURY 

While it’s not commonly found in Australian-made beauty products, mercury can be lurking in certain mascaras, acne treatments and skin creams, along with ear and eye drops.

It will be listed on the ingredients label as Calomel, Mercurous Chloride, Thimerosal, Merthiolate, Mercurio, or Mercuric.

Mercury exposure can lead to mercury poisoning, symptoms of which can include tremors, numbness and tingling, irritability and depression, memory problems, vision and hearing problems, and organ damage – including brain damage.

10. PROPYLENE GLYCOL

You’ll find this anti-freeze solvent in brake and hydraulic fluids, along with some of the most common personal care and toiletry products like deodorant, baby wipes, toothpaste, moisturisers, shampoo, and run-of-the-mill cosmetics.

Propylene Glycol has the potential to cause serious health issues, including central nervous system disruption and organ damage. It has also been linked to hives, eczema, and allergic reactions.

11. COAL TAR DYES

Used primarily as a colouring agent in hair dyes and makeup, and also an active ingredient in some anti-dandruff shampoos, coal tar dyes will appear in the ingredients list with names like Aminophenol, Phenylenediamine and Diaminobenzene.

Coal tar dyes are known to be carcinogenic, and in some instances might also be contaminated with toxic heavy metals. In addition to this, coal tar dyes have also been shown to cause skin irritation and sensitivity.

12. BHA & BHT

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) are synthetic antioxidants, which are added to cosmetics like lipstick, moisturiser, and even baby products like nappy creams to extend the product’s shelf life.

They are suspected carcinogens and they also have the potential to cause endocrine disruption and have the potential to cause thyroid, kidney, and liver issues.

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Choose Natural Perfume For A Scentual Summer

Just a few short years ago, it was quite the epic mission to find a natural perfume that was as complex and alluring as its department store counterpart.

Thankfully these days you needn’t sacrifice olfactory pleasure when opting for a natural fragrance alternative, as the perfumes we’re about to introduce you to will prove.

Read on to discover a selection of our favourite floral and fruity natural fragrances and perfumes that will invigorate your senses and keep you feeling beautiful and fresh throughout those long, hot summer days and balmy nights.

FLORAL-BASED NATURAL PERFUME

If you’re after a sexy and sensual summer fragrance, look no further than AROMANTIK’s delightful and ethereal The Blossom Thief Natural Perfume Oil.

Built upon a heady base of jasmine and musk, this floral scent also combines the gorgeous notes of gardenia, tuberose and creamy white blossoms in full bloom to create a complex and intoxicating scent that’s ideal for summer.

This lush fragrance manages to maintain a clean and fresh feel, whilst also exuding incredible warmth and allure.

If you’re unfamiliar with the AROMANTIK brand, now’s the perfect time to get acquainted. The natural perfume business was founded by professional perfumer Sally Woodward-Hawes, who carefully hand-blends the beautiful natural fragrances from her studio in Manly, Sydney.

Sally only selects the finest natural essential oils, resins and ingredients when creating her fragrances, ensuring every AROMANTIK scent is a veritable work of olfactory art.

Aromantik Blossom Thief

Van Der Faun Hummingbird Eau de Parfum is a sweet, flirty and all-natural scent that’s been created using certified organic ingredients.

The perfume is fresh, light and utterly feminine, making it the perfect summer scent for the playful and care-free woman. This delightful perfume features notes of fresh rose, honeysuckle and geranium essentials oils.

The scent is perfect for both day and night, and is a beautiful option for women who prefer fresher, lighter scents.

The Van Der Faun brand itself is a truly artisanal in nature, and use only 100% certified organic ingredients to create lush scents from nature’s purest and most beautiful sources.

Van Der Faun is all about grace and style, and the company draws on these elements to create scents that are both luxurious and timeless. The Australian brand is also extremely eco conscious, and all of their products are cruelty-free.

Van Der Faun Hummingbird

If you love warm, sweet, feminine florals you’ll love Acorelle Harmonising Silky Rose Eau de Parfum.

With a fresh bouquet of rosebud, lychee, Bulgarian rose, Egyptian geranium and fresh freesia at its heart along with a fruity base of raspberry, this zesty and warm perfume will remind you of a beautiful and feminine rose garden in high spring.

An offshoot of French beauty house Laboratoire Odysu, Acorelle’s sophisticated and invigorating perfumes will capture you from the very first encounter.

Containing complex and alluring notes derived from essential oils, Acorelle offers Ecocert certified-organic perfumes that combine performance and respect for the skin while also providing high quality fragrance at an affordable price.

Acorelle Silky Rose

FRUIT-BASED NATURAL PERFUME

If you’re looking for a bubbly, sun-kissed scent that smells like summer in a bottle, try LAVANILA Vanilla Summer Eau de Toilette.

Featuring mouth-watering tropical notes like mango, juicy pineapple, creamy coconut milk, and island sugar cane that’s been steeped in a warm base of Madagascar vanilla, LAVANILA Vanilla Summer is the ultimate for fragrance for women who adore the idea of breathtaking sunsets set against the sound of lapping waves.

Here at THE ECO EDIT, LAVANILA is one of our favourite fragrance houses. The brand carefully infuses pure essential oils with 100% natural botanicals to create scents that are clean, fresh, and inviting.

With each spritz, LAVANILA also nurtures the skin with the potent antioxidant properties of goji berry and Kakadu plum, and soothing willow herb, and hydrating olive leaf for a healthy dose of 30 essential vitamins and minerals and 19 amino acids.

Lavanila Fresh Vanilla Summer

The Little Alchemist Passionfruit & Lime Natural Perfume is a fresh, citrus-based scent that’s like a tart, summery dessert.

The fragrance is bright and uplifting with a heart of sparkling, zesty lime blended with sweet layers of tropical passionfruit and mango all piled on top of a base of delicate coconut and creamy sandalwoods.

This little beauty will transport you to your happy place – just what you want on those long, hot summer days.

We love the philosophy behind The Little Alchemist. This luxe Aussie brand is committed to using the rarest and most precious aromatics and natural essences from around the world to create unique botanical blends.

But they don’t just smell amazing – they also feed your skin a daily dose of over 40 essential nutrients, including açai and goji berry, along with wheatgrass and a mélange of nourishing vitamins.

The Little Alchemist Passionfruit-lime

The perfect pick-me-up on any given day, Vanessa Megan Limelight Natural Perfume will invigorate your senses and refresh your spirit.

Featuring a zesty blend of orchard citrus essential that are known to energise and help lift the spirits and freshen your mind. This perfect summery scent contains the essential oils of fresh lime, mandarin, lemon tea and sweet orange, and is the perfect fragrance choice for those days when you need to perform at your best.

We love the story behind the Vanessa Megan brand. Founded by Vanessa Megan Gray, the idea for business was born when Vanessa’s best friend shared this clever pearl of wisdom: “You should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.”

The phrase stuck a chord with Vanessa, and sparked the launch of what is today proving to be an incredibly successful skincare and fragrance brand, and one of our most loved brands here at THE ECO EDIT.

vanessa-megan-limelight-perfume