Five Minutes With: Edible Beauty Founder Anna Mitsios

As a naturopath and nutritionist, Anna Mitsios understands the complex relationship between our health and what we put in and on our bodies. She has witnessed first-hand the incredible power of herbs and natural foods to transform, nourish and revitalise, which prompted her to launch her incredibly successful brand Edible Beauty. Here we glean life advice (and more than a few words of wisdom!) from the founder of the beauty range that’s quite literally good enough to eat…

THE ECO EDIT: What initially sparked your interest in naturopathy and nutrition?

Anna : My interest in nutrition had been sparked (as it so often is) by my own health journey. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at the age of 18. As soon as I was diagnosed I became fascinated by herbs, nutrition and lifestyle as a way to manage my blood sugar levels.

Diabetes ended up being a great catalyst to ultimately changing my career path away from the finance industry and provided me with a passion to help myself and others using natural herbs and nourishing foods.

What role can herbs and natural foods play in people’s health?

I see herbs and natural foods as being critical to maintaining people’s day-to-day health. When it comes to both herbs and natural whole foods, they can both be easily incorporated into our daily diets just by making a few slight tweaks to what we are eating and drinking.

For instance, simple changes like replacing coffee with a cup or two of herbal tea and making a conscious effort to increase green veggies by having a large salad every day can have a profound impact on energy levels and our skin.

I am a huge believer in the powerful ability of herbs and nourishing foods to transform and revitalise us on a daily basis. They operate at a higher level than vitamins and powders as there is a synergy in the interplay of nutrients and minerals found in whole foods.

Do you think modern western society has lost touch with nature, and what impact does this have?

I do think we have lost touch with nature as the demands of our workplaces and families have become more involved, and technology has also become such a significant part of our lives. This affects everything from our relationships, to our physical movement, vitamin D intake and general outlook on life.

We have lost the grounding and stability that we obtain when we are experiencing the beauty of nature. I do feel that we are becoming more aware of the need to incorporate more time enjoying the sea, sun and earth – it would be a dream to have workspaces with outdoor areas and compulsory work hiking and camping trips!

What led you to create the Edible Beauty brand?

I became inspired to start my own skincare range when treating clients in a fertility clinic and seeking a way to improve the management of my own auto-immune condition. I was recommending products that were free of anything that would disrupt hormone balance, including fragrances, preservatives and alcohol.

As we absorb about 60% of what we put on our skin, I wanted to find something truly “edible”. The challenge was finding products that I could use and recommend that were both 100% natural and also luxurious. I felt there was a need for a product range which was pure enough to be “edible”, but that was also luxurious and a sensual delight to use.

So I embarked on creating my own range for women who want high-grade pure natural products that are also a pleasure to use. Healthy and therapeutic can absolutely also be luxurious.

In addition to skincare products, Edible Beauty also stocks herbal tea – tell us about them. 

The beauty tea range is all about beauty from the “inside out” and compliments the skincare line, which is working externally to nourish the skin. I have used the liquid herbal blends that I would normally use in my naturopathy practice and converted them to tea blends, which means that people can get the therapeutic benefit of the herbs on a daily basis.

The herbs I have used are potent and therapeutic but easy to drink which is what I love about them. We have so many men and women who use the skincare and tea hand in hand to get the most effective results in transforming their skin.

What is Edible Beauty’s best-selling tea?

Our No.10 Balancing Butterfly Blue Tea and No.4 Golden Glow are both best sellers. The No.10 blend was released last year and contains a beautiful flower called the Butterfly Pea, which has a beautiful blue hue due to its rich anthocyanin content which makes this a wonderful tea for the skin and hair.

The added benefit of this tea is that it contains blood sugar balancing herbs such as Gymnema, Goats Rue and Cinnamon, which also work to reduce sugar cravings. The tea has a naturally sweet flavour with a cinnamon overtone that makes it so easy to drink.

Our No.4 Golden Glow tea is one of our original blends and has potent hormone balancing herbs, which makes it perfect for anyone suffering from hormonal acne.

Edible Beauty has been a huge hit in Australia and already has over 13K followers on Instagram – what do you think has led to this success? 

There is a growing awareness of ingestible beauty products, which are resonating with so many people – both men and women, which one of the key reasons for our success. We also have had incredible support from Sephora Australia in boosting the brand exposure to so many women, along with the support of health conscious consumers, the vegan community and small and local businesses.

Being made in Australia is something we are so proud of and is something that our followers recognise and value. I am honoured that Australia has been so encouraging and supportive of Edible Beauty Australia and lucky that I have the support of family and friends in growing the business. My great love for natural therapies and herbal medicine has made it effortless for me to be able to communicate the importance of herbs, nutrition and lifestyle in improving our skin and beauty from the “Inside Out”.

What are three of your favourite Edible Beauty skincare products at the moment, and what do you love about each one? 

My favourite product that I have trouble going a day or two without is the Edible Beauty & Gold Rush Eye Balm. This has specks of edible gold in it which work to brighten the area under the eye and reduce inflammation. The coffee in the product also helps to decrease eye puffiness. This is definitely “the one” if you are prone to late nights, computer work or have dark under-eye circle genes.

I would also have to say that our & Soothe Me Balm is also a skin saviour for me. It is the go-to if my skin is feeling lack lustre or if I have spots popping up. The blend of botanicals in this one makes it a quick fix for everything from acne, sunburn, eczema and irritated skin. It also smells like cucumber, so you may be tempted to eat this one!

My most recent favourite is the Bloom of Youth Infusion Mask. This is a bamboo sheet mask, which is great as a skin boosting treatment. I use this one when I have had a long week, if I have been traveling or if I have a special occasion that requires my skin to be looking fresh and vibrant. There is a potent extract in this one called Swertia Chirata which has been clinically shown to reduce fine lines in less than seven days so I am a little addicted to these sheet masks!

What habits or practices do you incorporate in your day-to-day life to help nurture your mind, body and soul? 

I ensure that I spend time in nature on a daily basis; it provides me with an opportunity to clear my mind, become grounded and put daily stressors into perspective. I am lucky to live across from the water so I am sure I take advantage of this.

The habit of making tea and sipping on this is also a daily nurturing ritual- chai is one of my favourites as I feel it is a wonderful calming tea and digestive aid. I am also a huge believer in a predominantly plant based diet so love nourishing my body with greens. Reading and music are my soul food and I indulge in these every day.

Ginseng: How It Can Transform Your Skin

Ginseng is an incredibly potent natural ingredient. Know for its invigorating, rejuvenating and revitalising properties, ground ginseng root is a popular health supplement that can boost lagging energy levels to help people function at their best. Read on to learn more about this natural super ingredient, and discover how it can work wonders for your complexion as well as your health.

ALL ABOUT GINSENG

Ginseng, which grows predominantly in east Asia and north America, has long been heralded as a natural way to reduce anxiety and increase mental clarity, and an extremely important component of traditional Chinese medicine. “Ginseng is an adaptogen, which means it can help to reduce the negative impact of stress,” says naturopath, presenter and author Emma Sutherland.

There are three main varieties; Siberian ginseng, Indian ginseng, and Korean red ginseng. “Korean red ginseng is the most powerful of all the ginsengs,” says Emma. “It’s the perfect tonic for fatigue and enhances both mental and physical health. Korean red ginseng actually protects our mitochondria – the batteries of our cells – from damage.” Healthy mitochondria results in better cell repair and reduced cell ageing and degeneration.

GINSENG IN SKINCARE

When used as an ingredient in skincare products like moisturisers, cleansers and face masks, ginseng can help boost healthy skin cell activity. “It increases skin cells’ ability to heal and repair by supporting the mitochondrial health of the cell,” says Emma. “Ginseng also increases skin hydration and collagen production and helps protect the skin against the effects of pollution and UV.”


Ready to incorporate this natural wonder ingredient into your skincare routine? Read on to discover our top product picks…


Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream

Boasting 99.6% natural ingredients, this incredibly hydrating, plumping and replenishing moisturiser is a total game-changer for masstige brand Kiehl’s. They’ve chosen to forgo artificial thickeners and emulsifiers, opting for plant-based ingredients instead – and the quality shows in the cream’s luxe, indulgent texture. Korean red ginseng and Manuka honey are the heroes of this nourishing moisturiser, and together they work to leave your skin looking fresh, radiant, smooth and plumped.

ginseng in skincare

Vanessa Megan Cryo Facelift Ice Cube Treatment

This unique treatment instantly leaves your skin looking brighter, more toned and refreshed. The kit consists of individual serum infusions encased in mini containers which you pop in the freezer prior to use, along with a muslin cloth which is used in to apply the frozen serum. To use, simply pop out one frozen serum from it’s container, wrap it inside the muslin cloth, and massage onto your face, neck and décolletage until completely absorbed. Containing active natural ingredients including ginseng, hyaluronic acid, quandong and green coffee seeds, the treatment feels amazingly soothing on your skin and helps to combat puffiness and dehydration while promoting a radiant, luminous glow.

ginseng in skincare

La Mav Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser

This is one of all-time favourite cleansers here at THE ECO EDIT, and while as a rule we generally prefer cream cleansers, this foaming cleanser is the perfect choice for those with oily or combination skin. Formulated with ginseng, sugar cane and papaya extract, this gentle foaming cleanser removes makeup, oil and impurities to leave your skin looking bright, clean and fresh. It also contains nourishing goji berry, antioxidant-rich Kakadu plum, refining and soothing Witch Hazel, along with soothing rosemary and marshmallow extract for an extra dose of nourishment for your skin.

ginseng in skincare

Nature’s Own Korean Ginseng 500mg Capsules

Combining a ginseng supplement with ginseng-based skincare is a great way to increase the potential benefits of this unique ingredient. Nature’s Own sell a ginseng 500mg supplement, which is one of the most potent options you’ll find at your local chemist. This supplement can help enhance stamina and endurance and may be particularly handy during times of stress. It could also help to boost and maintain a healthy immune system. We recommend taking this particular supplement in the morning – if you take it at night you can potentially experience some sleeplessness.

ginseng in skincare

How To Get The Best Skin Of Your Life

Radiant, glowing and beautifully healthy skin is something most women covet – but often it can feel out of reach. If you struggle with adult acne, dullness or temperamental and sensitive skin, you understand just how frustrating and demoralising it can be when you look in the mirror and aren’t happy with what’s reflected back at you.

And while genetics, hormones and environmental factors play a big role in how our skin behaves and looks, there are some simple lifestyle and dietary changes you can make – along with a selection of nourishing skincare products you can use – to help boost your skin’s health and create a complexion you’d be proud to show off to the world.

Healthy Skin Starts From Within

Just like your eyes are windows to your soul, your skin can be a proverbial mirror that reflects your internal health. “Your skin is most closely linked to your digestive, immune and endocrine (hormonal) systems,” explains naturopath, nutritionist and BioCeuticals Practitioner Educator Emily Seddon. “If your gut is not absorbing nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins and antioxidants, or if it’s being irritated by problematic foods, this can be reflected in the appearance and quality of your skin cells.”

The gut and skin are also similar in that they are both eliminatory systems. If you body isn’t eliminating toxins properly, it’s pretty near impossible to have to have healthy skin. “Issues with elimination organs like the liver can set off a chain of events that may cause the skin to become itchy and inflamed,” says Emily. Your hormone levels can also have a huge impact on the appearance of your skin. Ever noticed an extra pimple or two on your chin that pops up to say hi right before your period’s due? Fluctuating hormones are the likely culprit.

Ready to start balancing your internal health so you can begin healing and nourishing your skin from within? Here’s how:

  • Avoid highly processed foods. “Start by cutting out processed foods and avoid anything that is packaged,” advises nutritionist and wellness coach Jessica Sepel. “If you don’t understand the label, don’t eat it.” Jessica also advises giving up soda, cutting out artificial sweeteners, and avoiding foods labelled ‘low-fat’ or ‘fat-free’ – these are often loaded with sugar or are highly processed. Instead, opt for a variety of healthy wholefoods with a focus on fresh organic veggies and lean protein.
  • Reduce your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol can be quite dehydrating and irritating to your internal systems, with alcohol in particular affecting the appearance of your skin. “Excessive alcohol intake can cause trouble by dehydrating the body and skin and increasing inflammatory markers in the body,” says Emily Seddon. “This can result in irritating dermatitis, and an overall red appearance of the skin.” This doesn’t mean you have to cut out alcohol and caffeine altogether – just keep your consumption sensible; one coffee or tea a day, and a glass or two of wine on a Friday or Saturday night is completely fine.
  • Up your intake of antioxidant-rich foods. Foods that are high in antioxidants – such as brightly coloured fruits and vegetables – help to combat oxidative stress and cell damage, which are linked to premature skin ageing. “Some antioxidants, like zinc and Vitamin C also play a large role in wound healing,” explains accredited practicing dietician, nutritionist and BioCeuticals Practitioner Educator Natalie Bourke. Up your intake of antioxidant-rich foods like green tea, blueberries, green leafy veggies, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, carrots and sweet potato. If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough antioxidants in your diet, Natalie suggests you talk to your healthcare practitioner for a recommendation of a high quality supplement.
  • Eat more essential fatty acids. While we’ve often been taught to avoid fatty foods, our bodies actually need certain types of healthy fats in order to function properly – our skin in particular craves these healthy fats. “Fat is found in our subcutaneous tissue, which helps to provide the plump and smooth appearance of our skin,” says Natalie. “Beneficial fatty acids, like omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and chia seeds, have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body as well. Taken internally, they may help to reduce inflammation, redness and itching of the skin.” In addition to salmon and chia seeds, walnuts, mackerel, tuna, eggs (the yolk in particular) and flaxseeds are also great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. A supplement like fish oil liquid is also a great way to up you intake of omega-3.
  • Add probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are very important to your overall health and the appearance of your skin because they curb inflammatory processes that would otherwise go unchecked in your gut, which has a flow-on effect throughout the body. “Probiotics attune the release of ‘substance P’, which plays a huge role in several skin conditions,” says Natalie. “In fact there is research to suggest that probiotics can affect sebum production…one trial showed that 54% of acne sufferers had significant changes in their gut micro-biome.” Here at THE ECO EDIT, we love The Beauty Chef’s probiotic-enriched supplements, along with natural kombucha fermented tea.

healthy skin - The Beauty Chef Glow

  • Drink more water. This one’s pretty obvious, but adequate water intake is something that’s very easy to overlook on a day-to-day basis – and it plays a huge role in having healthy skin. Our skin is over 60% water, and it loses liquid very easily when the weather is dry or hot, or when we sweat. Drinking between 1.5 – 2L of water a day is ideal, as it will help to keep your body and your skin properly hydrated. If you struggle to drink that much water, you can also count healthy non-caffeinated beverages like coconut water and herbal tea towards your daily quota.

The best part of a healthy diet is that your skin won’t be the only thing that benefits. In addition to improving your overall health, you’ll feel more energised too. “When I feel healthy I feel like I can do anything,” says nutritionist and wellness coach Jessica Sepel. “When you embrace a healthy lifestyle, you realise that nothing feels as good as being healthy. I have more sustained energy, better quality sleep, my sugar cravings subside, I maintain a healthy weight, and my hormones stay balanced.”

Nourish Your Skin From The Outside

While your diet, overall health and genetics will play a critical role in the health and appearance of your skin, topical skincare also plays it part. Cleansing twice daily and replenishing your skin with nourishing, hydrating natural moisturiser is one of the best ways to ensure your complexion looks it best. This entire site is filled with information and recommendations for fantastic natural skincare products, but if you’re after some quick, fuss-free advice, we’ve included some of our favourite product picks below:

  • If you’re in need of a new cleanser, we recommend Mukti Hydrating Cleansing Lotion, which is ideal for all skin types and extremely gentle and nourishing. Generally speaking, we advise using cream cleansers rather than foaming cleansers or gels, as they tend to be gentler on your skin and are less likely to impair your skin’s natural barrier layer.
  • Exfoliating is also important as it removes dead skin cells, reduces congestion, and helps promote a healthy glow. The trick is to not overdo it – twice a week is plenty, and don’t apply too much pressure to your face when using an exfoliant. Try Madara Oil-To-Milk Exfoliating Scrub, which is gentle yet effective.

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Five Minutes With: The Beauty Chef’s Carla Oates

As an organic beauty and health expert and a former beauty editor, Carla Oates knows more about the secret to great skin than the average gal.

Carla is an avid naturalist and product formulator, and she has spent the better part of the last two decades creating beauty products using foods from her kitchen and herbs from her garden, which resulted in the development of her successful beauty supplement and skin health range, The Beauty Chef.

Carla was kind enough to take five minutes out of her busy schedule to chat with us and reveal her secrets for a healthy, radiant complexion.

EE: When did you first develop an interest in nutrition?

CARLA: I had eczema and allergies as a child, and I went to a naturopath when I was a teenager who put me on a diet. From eliminating certain foods and eating others, I noticed a big difference in my skin and wellbeing.

I was working as a beauty editor around 17 years ago and was concerned with the amount of toxic chemicals in skincare, and because of my own personal experience, I understood that radiant, healthy skin comes from within. So I made it my mission to help educate people on healthier skincare options.

I made it my mission to help educate people on healthier skincare options

I wrote a book published a book called Feeding Your Skin, and over the last fifteen years I have written hundreds of articles on natural beauty and health and researched the benefits of plant-based foods for our skin.

My daughter had eczema as a child, and so around 10 years ago I was researching gut health, lacto-fermented foods, and probiotics. I started making lacto-fermented foods and noticed a big difference in her skin and wellbeing.

I created quite a demand, and that demand grew to friends of friends – so it seemed a natural progression to launch The Beauty Chef. Glow Inner Beauty Powder was my first product – containing 24 bio-fermented, skin-loving super foods.

Glow Inner Beauty Powder

How does our gut affect the way our skin looks?

At The Beauty Chef, our ethos is ‘beauty begins in the belly.’ Digestive health is key for healthy, radiant skin. Our gut is where 70% of the immune system lies, where we metabolise hormones, where we make detoxifying enzymes and where we make nutrients.

So much of what goes on in our digestive system can impact our skin – more and more research shows this link. For example, those with healthier gut microbiota have a better fatty acid profile in their skin; meaning their skin is more moisturised and hydrated.

Those with dermatitis have been shown to have a disruption of normal gut microbiota. Where there is gut inflammation, there will be skin inflammation.

What are some of the biggest nutrition and health hurdles women face today?

The prevalence of processed and high human intervention foods in the average diet. I also believe that an overload of synthetic and questionable chemicals in our food, personal care and skincare is problematic to our health, which is why I recommend buying certified organic food, skincare and personal care products wherever possible.

Also stress! Stress and a lack of sleep. Stress robs the body of nutrients and increases stress hormones that can be as problematic to the body as refined sugar. When we sleep we release important antioxidants and youth hormones. A lack of sleep raises stress hormones, interferes with hunger regulating hormones, and depletes us of anti-ageing antioxidants, melatonin and human growth hormone.

What does a typical day on a plate look like for you?

When I get up, I drink our Glow Inner Beauty Powder in water with a splash of lemon juice. This is usually followed by a breakfast of eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes and salmon, or a buckwheat, miso, apple and date porridge.

For lunch I’ll have a big chicken or salmon salad with nuts, sprouts and avocado. For afternoon tea I’ll have a cold pressed juice, or perhaps a black bean and cacao protein truffle made using The Beauty Chef Chocolate Body Inner Beauty Powder.

Dinner is usually light – mostly salads, veggies and a protein source, like lamb or barramundi. In general I eat lots of carrots, nuts and fruit and drink two litres of filtered water throughout the day.

I love curries, slow cooked soups and stews with bone broth, lots of vegetables, herbs and spices – these are easily digested and great for gut health. We have some great recipes available on our website thebeautychef.com.

You recently launched a topical skincare range – what prompted this?

I became concerned with the amount of toxic chemicals in skincare and cosmetic products. I believe that many of those harsh chemicals can not only compromise the skin’s protective acid mantle and therefore the health of the skin, but may also be absorbed into the blood stream.

One of my favourite products from the range is the Probiotic Skin Refiner, which embraces fermentation for the same reasons we use it with our inner beauty range. Research is showing that by supporting the flora on the skin topically, you can boost your immune system – so there is a direct relationship between what you put on your skin and your immune system.

Harsh chemicals not only compromise the skin’s protective acid mantle…but may also be absorbed into the blood stream

I love the fact that lacto-fermentation is a completely natural biological process. It breaks ingredients down (natural bacteria pre-digest the ingredients), making the nutrients more bio-available. We don’t need to make super-duper synthetic ingredients in a lab (which may send our skin and health into imbalance) to create ‘active’ ingredients.

Here, we have this incredible process that turns natural ingredients into super-natural ingredients that are active, balanced and rejuvenating – and it’s all done by nature! I love our Probiotic Skin Refiner as it is a skin hydrator, exfoliant and collagen booster – all in one.

Probiotic Skin Refiner

What’s a surprising fact about our skin that people might not know?

The skin, hair and nails are the last places in the body to receive nutrients, as they go to more important organs first, so nutrition is important for glowing skin.

What’s next for The Beauty Chef?

We’re launching The Beauty Chef Cookbook*. It contains more than 150 gluten-free and dairy-free recipes including healthy spins on traditional dishes, special occasion treats, simple family meals and time-honoured ferments.

*The Beauty Chef Cookbook by Carla Oates, $49.95, is available from October 2016 from thebeautychef.com and leading bookstores.

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The Great Skin Diet

When it comes to having an amazing complexion with radiant, glowing skin, the fact is that anti-wrinkle cream and illuminator can only do so much. Your diet plays an integral part in both the function and appearance of your skin, and if you arm yourself with a little know-how and a nutritious pantry, you will nourish you skin from the inside out and be rewarded with an amazing complexion.

“Our diet provides us with nutrients to nourish our skin, including zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C and bioflavonoids to name a few,” says respected Sydney-based nutritionist and naturopath Tania Flack. In addition to nourishing our bodies and our complexions, our diet also also provides us with a range of antioxidants that help us fight the ageing process by combating free radicals (molecules which are a leading cause of skin stress, inflammation and accelerated skin ageing).

“If our diet is poor and we are eating processed foods that contain a high level of chemicals, additives, herbicides and pesticides, then this accelerates the ageing process,” says Tania. Continue reading to discover more of Tania’s top nutritional tips, and learn how you can eat your way to gorgeous, glowing skin.

BEWARE THE SWEET STUFF

While we all worry about that chocolate fudge brownie with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate syrup going straight to our hips, it turns out that it could be contributing to our crow’s feet as well.

“Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains and are part of a healthy wholefoods diet. However, extra sugars added to the diet are associated with accelerated ageing,” says Tania. Accelerated skin ageing can be caused by a number of things like sun damage and smoking, but one of the major causes is glycation.

Extra sugars added to the diet are associated with accelerated ageing

Glycation is a natural process that occurs within our bodies, and it involves protein molecules linking up with sugar, which triggers an inflammatory and oxidative process that damages the collagen and elastin within our skin.

While this process is normal and natural, an excessively sugary diet will intensify glycation, which will in turn speed up the ageing process – hence why sugar is one of your skin’s biggest enemies. “Ideally we should all try to avoid added sugar in our day-to-day diets and use it as a treat occasionally for special celebrations such as birthdays,” says Tania.

DAIRY – A FACTOR IN ADULT ACNE?

If you’ve well and truly left your teenage years behind but still struggle with acne and blemishes, reducing your dairy intake might help you on your way to a glowing, spot-free complexion.

“I do see significant improvements in skin when people eliminate dairy from their diet as part of a detoxification program to improve skin,” says Tania. “In clinic I have observed that dairy consumption seems to be associated with skin congestion, however the reasons for this are unclear. It is possible that the milk proteins including casein and whey may cause problems for some people and impact gut function.”

Impaired gut function can cause a whole host of problems for you and your skin, as it can ultimately interfere with your body’s detoxification processes, which will in turn put more pressure on the eliminatory function of your skin.

If you do decide to ditch dairy in an effort to reduce skin congestion, it’s important that you still consume plenty of calcium to keep your bones healthy and happy. Eating foods like canned salmon and sardines, kale, bok choy, watercress, almonds, calcium-fortified soy milk and tofu, chia seeds and sesame seeds will help boost your calcium intake.

EAT YOUR WAY TO GLOWING SKIN

Upping your intake of fibre and wholefoods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds will give your diet a massive nutritional boost and ensure that your skin (and body) is getting the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it’s craves.

In addition, eating the healthy fats will also improve your complexion. “Essential fatty acids found in fish and seafood provides an array of benefits for the skin. They are strongly anti-inflammatory and help to slow the ageing process,” says Tania.

Essential fatty acids can specifically help your skin by nourishing cell membranes, which will in turn strengthen your skin. Essential fatty acids have also been shown to support healthy hormone balance as well, which is a fantastic added benefit for women.

Great sources of essential fatty acids include fresh sardines, mackerel, salmon, prawns and scallops. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, all isn’t lost – foods like avocado, coconut oil and chia seeds will help boost your intake of the good, skin-loving types of fat.

H20 TO THE RESCUE

We’ve all heard the old ‘eight glasses of water a day’ adage, but does your daily water intake actually play that big of a role in how your skin looks? According to Tania, the answer is a resounding yes.

“Dehydration can cause skin to look dry, and we should aim for a minimum of 1.5 litres of water per day and avoid excess alcohol and caffeine, which accelerate dehydration.” If you can’t part ways with your daily cup of tea or coffee or that cheeky glass of pinot on a Friday night (hey, we get it), make sure you have an extra glass of water for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink.

In addition, if you’re exercising you should aim to drink an extra two glasses of water for every half hour of exercise you do.

SUPPLEMENT YOUR SKIN

While supplements should never be used as a substitute for eating healthily, they can help give your diet and your skin a helping hand.

One of our favourite supplements for amazing skin is The Beauty Chef’s Glow Inner Beauty Powder. This tasty berry-flavoured powder combines a blend of organic and natural ingredients that are bio-fermented for gut health and packed full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and amino acids, which nourish your skin from the inside to help give your skin a healthy glow on the outside.

The Beauty Chef’s Glow Inner Beauty Powder

Another supplement we love is Amazonia Raw Prebiotic Women’s Multi. Not only does this wholefood-loaded supplement boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, but it also contains fermented ingredients that act as powerful pre- and probiotics that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Healthy intestinal flora help your body extract maximum nutrition from the foods you eat, which in turn boosts your overall health and wellbeing, and can also improve the appearance of your skin.

Amazonia Raw Prebiotic Women's Multi.

We know that antioxidants are one of your skin’s best friends when it comes to anti-ageing, but ensuring that you eat enough antioxidant-rich foods to create a noticeable improvement in your skin can be a tricky task (how many blueberries can one person eat in a day, right?). Enter Matcha Maiden Green Tea. Made entirely of stone-ground organic green tea leaves, this vibrant green powder contains the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of antioxidant-rich green tea, which helps your body combat age-accelerating free radicals.

Matcha Maiden Green Tea

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Neo Deo: The Natural Deodorant Revolution

ALUMINIUM IN DEODORANT

You apply deodorant every day, but have you ever stopped to wonder what ingredients are lurking inside? Unlike natural deodorant, most mainstream antiperspirant deodorants contain aluminium compounds, which block your sweat glands to inhibit sweating.

While there’s no question that antiperspirants are effective at reducing sweat and body odour, aluminium in deodorant is a cause for concern. The aluminium-based compounds used in these products are made up of extremely small molecules that have the potential to be absorbed into your body.

Aluminium accumulation in the body has been linked to breast cancer, liver toxicity and Alzheimer’s disease; which is extremely worrying when you consider how many people use aluminium-based deodorants on a daily basis.

Read on to learn more about the potential dangers of regular antiperspirant, and why you should make the switch to natural deodorant today.

OTHER TOXINS IN DEODORANT

In addition to aluminium, most antiperspirant sprays and roll-on deodorants contain many artificial additives and chemicals that are known to be toxic. Some of these include:

  • Phthalates. These are plasticising chemicals that make cosmetic products adhere to our skin, and they are often found in heavily fragranced beauty products like perfumes and deodorants. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors (meaning they muck around with our hormone levels), and scientific studies have linked them to reduced testosterone and lower sperm quality in men.
  • Parabens. These are used as a cheap preservative. While they’re currently considered ‘safe’ for use in personal care products and cosmetics, parabens 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 headaches, dizziness, skin irritation and dermatitis.
  • Triclosan. This is an antibacterial agent that’s often used in deodorants and antiperspirants. “Triclosan has been shown to interfere with thyroid signalling,” says Chey Birch, founder of popular natural deodorant and skincare brand Black Chicken. “Australia’s regulators said there is no immediate cause for public concern, but in the very same report they also stated that triclosan may be bio-accumulative, persistent in the environment, and very toxic to aquatic organisms. Products for human use that contain more than 0.3% triclosan must be labelled as poison.”

Perhaps what’s most worrying is the fact that tighter government regulations, stricter labelling laws, and more extensive research into the safely of these chemicals are pitted against the enormous profits earned by the big global businesses that dominate the personal care and cosmetic industries.

This is something that Chey finds very troubling. “When it’s not possible to prove beyond doubt the toxic load of a chemical, then the ingredient is deemed ‘safe to use’ – at least until accumulated evidence and hindsight proves otherwise,” says Chey, “and by then, for some of us, the damage is done.”

SWEAT ISN’T THE ENEMY

Despite what those antiperspirant TV commercials might lead you to believe, sweat is actually a healthy – and necessary – process. “When we sweat, it’s the body’s way of getting rid of toxins and waste so your whole system can run more efficiently,” says Chey. “Sweating also helps us maintain a healthy immune system because it reduces the amount of waste and toxins the body has to deal with – and of course, it helps regulate our body temperature too.”

Sweat is the body’s way of getting rid of toxins

As it turns out, sweat itself isn’t even the main cause of body odour – that particular (dis)honour goes to bacteria. “Body odour is caused when bacteria break down certain proteins in underarm sweat,” says Chey. Luckily, there are some fantastic toxin-free deodorants on the market that are not only safe and gentle on your pits, but they also neutralise bacteria naturally, helping to prevent body odour from developing.

HOW TO SWITCH TO NATURAL DEODORANT

Most people find it easy to make the switch from antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, but sometimes there can be a bit of a transitional period. “Occasionally, for first time users, it can trigger a pit detox,” says Chey. “The body begins to release all those clogged toxins as your pores relax and do their thing – body odour can be stronger than usual at this time.”

You can help speed up this detox process by working up more of a sweat and drinking plenty of water to flush out the toxins. “Eat well and maybe cut back your alcohol and caffeine intake until your system regains its natural balance,” suggests Chey.

NATURAL DEODORANTS WE LOVE

If you’re ready to make the switch to natural deodorant, a deodorant paste is a great starting point. To apply, you simply use a pea-sized amount of product and warm it up between your fingers before massaging it into your underarms using a slow, circular motion. Black Chicken is currently the most popular natural deodorant brand in Australia, and it’s also friendly on the wallet when you consider that one tub will last you for weeks on end.

black chicken deodorant axilla

Here at THE ECO EDIT we’re big fans Erica Brooke’s range of unisex deodorant pastes. The pastes contain nourishing, soothing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E to keep your pits happy and hydrated, and there are a variety of scents to choose from like wildflowers, neroli and vanilla. Erica also makes a double-strength formula, which is perfect for gym days. The brand also offers an unscented version for those with sensitive pits.

erica-brooke-wildflowers-deodorant-creme

If you’re currently using an aerosol or spray-on deodorant, we highly recommend trying Indah No. 5 Active Spray Deodorant. They’ve cleverly used colloidal silver instead of aluminium, which is blended with a mixture of powerful herbal actives that will keep you smelling fresh. As a bonus, the gorgeous scent of this deodorant spray is so nice that you can use it as a natural perfume too.

indah active spray natural deodorant

If you’re more of a roll-on girl (or guy) and prefer a hands-free deo, we recommend Madara Bio-Active Deodorant. This little beauty comes with an easy-to-use roller ball applicator, which makes it perfect for popping in your gym bag – or for days when you just want a fuss-free deodorant option.

madara-bioactive-deodorant

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