21 Days Till 30: Au Naturale

| Posted by Lou | The time is 9.50pm here in London UK |

One thing I am trying to do as a new lifetime habit is completely cut down on commercial cleaning products - be they for the self or the home.

I have for a long time been cutting down completely on what toiletries I use and what is in them. Unfortunately the harsh London winter means that using the barest of natural soaps doesn't work in winter as it would leave me looking like I have exzema of the face, but for 6 months of the year it is one natural bar of soap for face and body.

I'm yet to find a great natural facial moisturiser that will actually combat the death of the skin that the cold is already causing (that doesn't cost a week's salary), so would welcome suggestions. The one I use is a dermalogica - not sure how they rate on earth-friendly measures (how does one find these things out rather than using their own consumer judgement?).

A homemade facial mask that I've discovered which seems to go some way towards combatting it is this (you MUST try it - it leaves the skin feeling so lovely and soft):

A big dollop of greek yogurt
A swig of vodka

Mix them together, pat onto face, leave to 25 mins, and rinse.

(I find it much more convenient to do this before getting in the shower as it's not exactly easy to wash off!)

Another homemade product I've been loving is a good old sugar scrub:

Brown sugar
Olive Oil

No precise measures, but use a pile of sugar, put the olive oil in till it feels like the right consistency, and then mix in a teaspoon/ tablespoon of honey - put in a sealed container it keeps for ages. Rub on body in circular motions, and after the shower pat dry to allow the oil to stay on the skin and keep in moisture.

Would love to hear of any homemade natural products any of you use!

In terms of home cleaning, I have for a long while used only recycled/ sustainable bamboo toilet paper, and earth-friendly cleaners. I'm adding to this by trying to use as little as possible of them - let's just say I'm not in danger of clogging a toilet with a massive bunch of toilet paper, and I do not need to buy cleaners very often.

I will actually confess that as I live by myself now I've taken this to the extent of just indulging my reluctance to clean floors. In 2.5 months in the flat I've mopped them once, using a solution of vinegar and water. The rest of the time I just sweep, and if it's good enough for me...

Something I'm struggling with is my recycling - I recycle a LOT. But not in a good way - the amount I recycle highlights how much plastic and cardboard and glass I use without even be home very much. (I have a lot more recycling than I do rubbish.) This is even with never putting fruit and veg into plastic but rather throwing them all into a reusable cotton bag together.

Anyway - suggestions on other things I can do please!

*apologies for the lack of images to jazz this up - my laptop won't upload them grrr*

5 thoughts on “21 Days Till 30: Au Naturale”

  1. What you're doing already seems above and beyond - but if you are looking for further suggestions, have you thought about an indoor compost bin?? Apparently it is possible!

    http://www.bokashi.co.nz was recommended to me by the lovely folks at Grow From Here (that garden store on Cuba St) but I'm sure you could find something similar in the UK...?

  2. Facial products that I have heard good things about but have not tried are Trilogy (available at Harrods apparently but founded in the Hutt!) and Dr Hauschka... I know that in $NZ these are beyond my $10 price range and I'm not quite Beyonce enough at present to buy much beyond the shopping list. Also I quite like Avalon - it smells nice, if lavender is your thing.

    BUT may I make another suggestion? Whatever moisturiser you use, make sure it has SPF. I have noticed in recent years that as a result of being such a squinter and wearing SPF sunglasses almost all year, the skin around my eyes is in much better condition than the skin on the rest of my face, which leads me to the conclusion that sunscreen is very important.

    Also, Bel, excellent suggestion.

    I am now going to try your face mask, make too much and eat the rest.

  3. Gasp Lotte - you don't use SPF moisturiser?! Even in the British summer I use both SPF moisturiser and SPF foundation. (Futile in winter as my skin suffers more from NOT seeing the sun...)

    Compost bin is a no as my flat is too small to have that lingering around, and also I would have no use for the compost.

    Trilogy is freaking expensive here... but just noticed Boots has a 3 for 2 sale on some products including theirs so shall see if I can pick up a trio of Trilogy (gentle cleanser + intensive moisturiser + moisture mask should do the trick?).

    Also just read online that omega-3 fish oil supplements have been found to reduce winter flakiness...

  4. No, Lou - this is the genius thing: it is a tiny wee system for under your sink or whereever and it doesn't smell and all you get out at the end is a liquid (rather than conventional stinky piles of rotted waste) which you can than pour on your pot plants and so on...

    Also, I think olive oil supplements can have the same benefits as fish omega, but without the same impact on the environment in their production :)

    PS Lavender! Lotte! What a nana :P hahaha