Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

An Introduction to Natural and Sustainable Skincare ~ In Partnership with Codex Beauty

Beauty, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Review, Rituals, Sustainability, Vegan, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

For me, beauty is a major part of wellbeing. Not only does it affect our confidence and how we are often perceived and judged, our external appearance indicates our general state of wellbeing. Whatever is going on on the surface of our skin is an extension of what is going on internally, be that physically, physiologically and even mentally. Our skin is a powerful and wise transportation system and, when operating efficiently, acts as a pathway into deeper internal and external wellness, keeping us connected and protected. It protects our bones and muscles, and also allows good substances into the body whilst keeping harmful ones out.

Aside from eating well in order to strengthen the skin and keep the body 'clean' from within, there are many natural products which can also assist the skin in its natural renewal cycles, in standing as a strong and protective barrier, and in soothing any damage caused by external toxins and pollutants. As well as adopting a balanced diet, swapping chemical-laden beauty products with more natural ones is an essential step in taking better care of your skin and what's going on on a deeper level, within. Our skin is incredibly absorbent, and whatever you put on it will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Some substances are designed to contribute to cellular activity for growth and renewal, but products containing artificial components can be harmful, and instead of healing and strengthening the skin, often only cause further irritation.

I began to make the transition to a more natural and eco-friendly beauty regime a few years ago, and have been on an educational and experimental journey ever since. There is so much to learn, not just about the body, our skin and how external and internal factors and functions are interconnected and communicate, but - thanks to a noisy, busy and over-saturated industry - there is also so much to learn about the brands we have been trusting, the products we have been using and the ingredients we should be using and those we should be avoiding.

Needless to say, knowing what to put on your skin, and more importantly what’s right for your personal needs, is no easy feat. With so much unreliable information alongside dishonest brands and manufacturers, the confusion is real, which is why I love to share new brands and products that I trust.

Why is a natural and eco-friendly beauty regime so important for overall wellbeing?

And, does it really make a difference? Are commercial / mainstream products really so bad? To break it down easily and simply, here are a few reasons why I favour using more natural products, and why I’d recommend for you to introduce some in your own regime:

1. Many commercial / mainstream products contain artificial ingredients and harmful chemicals to make their products more affordable, but this often means they are also less effective and in some cases can even cause irritation and make things worse. It is important to remember that whatever you put on your skin can ultimately end up in circulation inside the body. This, to me, is one of the main reasons to swap artificial products with those containing natural ingredients that our bodies recognize that can support and heal them, both from the outside and the inside.

2. The chemicals and synthetic components found in artificially produced products are more and more being associated with illness and disease. Some have been known to affect our immunity, whilst others are thought to contribute to the accumulation of carcinogens and other harmful free radicals in the body.

3. Products made with only natural ingredients, on the other hand, are much more functional. They are made with nature’s ingredients (which are recognized by our bodies), and are also less artificially processed and made without preservatives, meaning the ingredients they use are pure and potent and sometimes even active and alive. They are life giving and powerful.

4. The packaging crisis is no joke. The rate at which we are consuming single-use packaging is unsustainable. Plastic is of course the culprit of the moment, but the truth is, if sourced irresponsibly, even things like glass, paper, cardboard can be considered unethical.

5. Many resources used to produce artificial products are not responsibly sourced. In a nutshell, many processes involved for sourcing certain ingredients require a lot of energy and generate a lot of carbon emissions. So just retrieving raw materials is damaging to the environment, before you even think about the production, testing, packaging, transportation and other processes involved to produce one single product. For this reason alone, buying from smaller brands who source their ingredients locally and keep their carbon emissions to a minimum is much more environmentally friendly.

6. Furthermore, the products we use, especially in the sink or shower, can end up in our water supply. Studies show that artificial components such as plastics and micro beads, amongst many others, are harmful to the environment when they end up in our waterways, endangering plants and ecosystems and their animal inhabitants and wildlife.

Things to avoid

1. Find brands you truly trust. This usually (but not always) means opting for smaller, more independent brands with a passion or mission behind their products who have an authentic story and reliable practices in place.

2. Avoid products tested on animals.

3. Avoid components like plastics (such as micro beads, phthalates, DBP, DEHP, DEP) , water (especially as the first ingredient listed), preservatives (such as formaldehyde and polyethylene glycol), aluminium, parabens (such as methylparaben, proplyparaben, isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben) and silicones.

4. Try to purchase products packaged in glass or plant-based packaging as much as possible. Even if the product itself is natural, if it is packaged in plastic, plastics could still end up on your skin or in circulation around the body.

Introducing Codex Beauty

Codex Beauty are taking skincare and beauty wellbeing to next levels. From the ingredients they are sourcing to the packaging they’re using, every element and every step of the journey of each of their products is authentic, pure and, above all, trustworthy. They are creating genuinely effective products with a minimum strain on the environment, and I’m into it. Their core missions is customer transparency and education, too, which I love, as more commercial brands and manufacturers often use dishonest messaging and marketing to promote their products as something they are not. With little legal regulation required for labelling on cosmetics, brands can get away with using terms like ‘natural’ loosely - without necessarily having to prove it - making their products seem something they are not. I believe, just like with food and diet, that education is key. Which is why I appreciate Codex Beauty’s integrity to educate consumers and openly share information on their products and their brand philosophy; and having nothing to hide.

What makes Codex Beauty’s products different to artificial products is their ingredients. Working with herbal scientists, foragers and expert formulators, each product contains native, wild harvested, local and organic ingredients that have been produced with sustainable manufacturing practices. The indigenous herbs used in this first range have been foraged from mountains and woods in Irelands lush landscapes - an optimal environment with low levels of pollution - meaning the purest and cleanest of conditions for their raw materials to thrive in. Above that, they use recyclable packaging made from renewable plant-based petrochemical materials, using airless, green polyurethane (a plastic resin made using sugarcane ethanol) containers made from plant-based biofuels. This basically means no fossil fuels are used and as a result there is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the production process.

Each product is built on a base of healing oil infusions, containing calendula officinalis (marigold), helichrysum italicum (curry plant) and symphytum officinale (comfrey), as well as hydrating water infusions of viola tricolor (wild pansy) and malva sylvestris (mallow). Food-grade emulsifiers help combine these oil and water ingredients, instead of artificial thickeners found in many mainstream products. Their first collaborative collection, The Bia Collection, is an essential unisex range designed to cleanse, hydrate and protect the skin.

The range consists of an exfoliating face wash, a day cream, a superfood treatment, a facial oil and an eye gel, designed to be used together or separately. I use the face wash morning and evening then follow it with the facial oil and day cream during the day, or the superfood treatment or facial oil at night. The eye gel I use a few times a week in the mornings, before applying the day cream.

I have noticed a difference in my skin already, and the exfoliating face wash is definitely my new favourite. It is light and creamy and both gentle but invigorating as an exfoliant too. It isn’t too intense but feels deeply cleansing. The day cream too is light and non-greasy, and feels breathable but deeply hydrating. The facial oil at night has been a saviour after long haul flights this month, and is not too heavy or greasy either. All in all, I am a massive fan of the products and have easily incorporated all of them into my morning and evening routines.

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