Say “No” to Plastic Microbeads

plastic microbeads ban

Microbeads are tiny plastic particles smaller than 5mm that are frequently used in cosmetic products, such as face and body scrubs and even toothpastes, for their exfoliating qualities. They are designed to buff away dead skin cells and grime from the teeth, and are relatively gentle on the skin surface.

In one product there can be over 100,000 tiny beads, which pass down the drain, unable to be filtered, and into the ocean. This becomes micro marine litter that is impossible to remove. Micro-plastic can also be created by larger plastic items breaking into smaller pieces in the ocean. These can come from plastic bags, polystyrene, synthetic clothing, and tyres. Approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year.

Once in the ocean, microbeads travel large distances. Because these micro-plastics aren’t biodegradable, they accumulate in the water and are often mistaken for food by sea animals and sea birds, posing a great threat to all marine life. Fortunately, there are many options available that are environmentally friendly and great for exfoliating both the face and body, but first, we think you should know what to look out for.

Here’s What to Look Out for in Your Products

There are over 67 names for plastics used in microbeads, but some of the most common names we have listed below. Look out for these names on the ingredients panel of your product, and if one or more are there, you know it’s not an environmentally friendly option.

  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
  • Nylon (PA)

Look for Natural Alternatives

There are many environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic microbeads – some with more exfoliating power than others, designed for different areas of the body. The skin on the face for example, should be exfoliated regularly to assist a healthy clear complexion, but the ingredient shouldn’t be too rough. For the face, look for:

  • Jojoba ‘beads’ (don’t worry, it’s just the waxy component of Jojoba oil, known for its nourishing qualities)
  • Bentonite clay
  • Bamboo powder
  • Pumice powder

For other parts of the body needing more exfoliating power, look for:

  • Ground walnut shells
  • Coffee
  • Sea Salt
  • Sugar
  • Ground seeds

Your Good Ingredients Guide - Plastic Mircobead Free

Other Ways You Can Help Our Oceans

There are many other ways you can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the ocean. These include:

  • Recycle. Both hard and soft plastic can be recycled. Ask your council for more information about what can be recycled
  • Pick up rubbish when you see it, particularly on beaches or near drains
  • Reduce your purchase of plastic, and take fabric bags with you when you shop
  • Re-think craft. Glitter is microplastic too.
  • Purchase natural fibre clothing, rather than synthetic fibre.

The use of micro-plastics is coming to an end in New Zealand, thank goodness, and if you can avoid them earlier, do so. Our Good Ingredient Promise means that every product that HealthPost sells has gone through a rigorous ingredient review. We can confidently say that none of our products contain microbeads. You can shop free of worry, knowing that our exfoliants aren’t damaging aquatic life.

Check out some recommendations from our customers below:

antipodes reincarnation pure facial exfoliator
Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This beautifully effective and gentle facial exfoliator uses avocado oil and jojoba beads to lift away lifeless skin, leaving a fresh and glowing complexion.

“This is the best Exfoliater I have used love this range. I have a mature super senstive skin this product leaves skin feeling very clean and refreshed”. – Kerry

weleda birch body scrub
Weleda Birch Body Scrub⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Natural plant wax pearls and pure plant oils gently massage the skin, supporting cell renewal without drying or disturbing the skins balance.

“Personally I think this is the best scrub ever, it’s creamy and not at all harsh, it really does leave your skin soft and moist. Best of all, little goes a long way.” – Leanne

Evolu Renewing Facial Exfoliator
Evolu Renewing Facial Exfoliator⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Natural clarifiers of jojoba beads and papaya extract work to gentle buff away impurities and assist cell renewal.

I absolutely LOVE this Exfoliator! It leaves my skin feeling so fresh and clean, without scratching or agitating my skin. I can’t wait to use it each time, and love how soft my skin always feels after using it.” – Rachel 

trilogy exfoliating body balm
Trilogy Exfoliating Body Balm⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Finely ground rosehip seeds gently buff and refine the skins texture without compromising the skin’s natural barrier function.

“Totally rate this product. I’d been looking for a body exfoliator for some time and came across this. It’s so smoothing. What’s more when you get out of the shower your skin is left hydrated and ready to go! Totally recommend.” – Kijaco

Shop our full range of natural exfoliators and scrubs now on our secure online store.
 
 

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How Botanical Oils Can Help Your Skin

Rosehip oil for skin

Topical use of oils on the skin, especially oils high in essential fatty acids, are well proven to benefit all skin types. Modern diets that are lacking in essential fats, skin exposure to environmental stresses like air-conditioning and heating, not drinking enough water, drinking too much dehydrating coffee and alcohol, can result in skin that is crying out for additional nourishment and protection.

Using botanical oils as part of your daily skincare routine can help to feed, nourish and re-hydrate the skin. Many plants, flowers and seeds produce beneficial oils which contain a variety of bioactive molecules with incredible skin healing and nourishing properties. The fine molecular structure of these plant oils, allows them to be readily absorbed helping to protect, repair and nourish the skin. This is the main difference between botanical oils and synthetically produced oils and oils derived from petroleum, which have a very course molecular structure and cannot be absorbed deep into the skin layers.

Rosehip Oil: Rosa canina

Rosehip oil contains many essential nutrients, vitamins A & C, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, giving it extraordinary skin benefits. Essential fatty acids help nourish, repair and regenerate damaged skin, while the antioxidant properties help to fight free radical damage caused by environmental exposure and responsible for ageing. Many celebrities swear by Rosehip oil to help treat the signs of premature ageing, improve skin discolouration and texture and reduce scarring. Oily skin sufferers also find this light and easily absorbed oil beneficial as the astringent properties help to tighten the pores and brighten the skin.

Evening Primrose Oil: Oenothera biennis

The yellow, often fragrant, flowers only last a day, and are at their best in the evening before they fade and die, hence their name. Evening primrose oil is extracted from the small seeds by means of a cold pressing, ensuring the integrity and purity of the beneficial components that comprise this amazing oil.

Rich in unsaturated fatty acids of Gamma-Linolenic, Linoleic, Palmitic, Steric & Oleic acids, makes it ideal to provide beneficial properties for the skin. Regular topical use helps to feed and nourish the skin, assisting with healthy skin elasticity and helps to soothe dry, irritated skin.

Almond Oil: Prunus amygdalus dulcis

Extracted from the ripe seeds of the sweet almond tree, almond oil is obtained by cold pressing, releasing the beneficial oils contained within the nut without damaging the properties of the extracted oil.

Rich in essential fatty acids and known for its excellent moisturising and emollient properties, there is a reason this beneficial oil is widely used in the cosmetic, aromatherapy and beauty industry. Almond oil is composed of Oleic, Linoleic, Palmitic and Stearic essential fatty acids. Its soothing skin conditioning and lasting nourishing properties is especially useful on dry skins.

Calendula Oil: Calendula officinalis

Calendula flowers are rich in flavonoids and beta-carotene which gives them their bright yellow colour. As the flower petals themselves do not contain a lot of oil, they are steeped in cold almond or jojoba oil for approximately 4 – 6 weeks, releasing and infusing their beneficial skin properties into the oil.

Containing skin healing properties, calendula oil is well known for its soothing and calming skin properties. It is excellent when used on irritated skin, helping to nourish and calm. Its skin healing and regeneration ability improves blood flow to the skin cells, provides antioxidant protection against ageing free radicals, as well as reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps to even out skin tone and age related pigmentation.

Lavender Oil: Lavendula angustifolia

Lavender oil is one of the most recognised fragrances and widely used essential oils in the world. For centuries it has been used for its fragrance, as well as for its cleansing and skin healing properties. Its calming and soothing properties have a balancing effect on the skin and is commonly used to help soothe irritated skin as well as support healthy, spot-free skin. Lavender oil is also well known for its antiseptic properties and is most commonly associated with burns and healing of the skin. Due to its balancing properties, it is beneficial on all skin types.

Living Nature’s Ultimate Day Oil offers a divine blend of nutrient rich, botanical oils to provide daily enhanced nourishment and hydration, leaving the skin beautifully soft, radiant and rejuvenated. The Rosehip, Evening Primrose and Calendula Oils are all certified organic for enhanced purity. This fine, easily absorbed oil is beneficial for all skin types and all ages, including oily skins. Buy it now from our secure online store.

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Hannah’s Top Natural Skincare Picks

Hannah's top natural skincare picks

We’re excited for Hannah, our new Auckland in-store naturopath, to join the HealthPost team! Read on for some of Hannah’s natural skincare favourites and find out why using natural skincare over synthetic based products is important.

With our skin being our largest organ, it’s no surprise that up to 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into the body.  For this reason, choosing natural and organic plant based skincare products over artificial, toxic products means there is no additional strain on our sometimes already overburdened detoxification organs.

Our skin is the first line of defence for our immune system – if this protective barrier is compromised by using harsh detergents and undesirable ingredients, our bodies can be more prone to potential invasion by pathogens. These harsh products aren’t just impacting on us, but the environmental effects are widespread. Just think of all those toxic ingredients being washed away down the drain and out into our oceans!

Natural and organic skin care products tend to be more gentle on the skin. They gently cleanse, nourish and hydrate while protecting the natural balance of the skins protective oils. You can feel rest assured that using natural products are safer for our environment, and especially marine life.

1. Artemis Kidney Cleanse Tea

This beautifully gentle, medicinal tea is a combination of nutrient dense herbs that support normal detoxification through the kidneys which in turn aids clear skin. If the kidneys are under stress, the skin can suffer, potentially leading to skin breakouts.

2. Weleda Citrus Deodorant

Free from aluminum, this refreshing deodorant spray uses lemon peel oil to combat the bacteria that lead to unpleasant odour. The spray can be used as often as needed throughout the day to provide a fresh gentle fragrance.

3. Antipodes Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser

With the change in temperature as we head towards winter, our skin often cries out for more moisture. This beautiful cleanser gently nourishes and protects without stripping our natural oils. The addition of Kawakawa provides protection and nutrition to the skin.

4. Kiwi Herb Baby Balm

We always have a jar of balm on hand at home. Barely a day goes by that we don’t use it for something. Chapped lips, scratches, itchy bits, the list goes on and on. Despite the name, this versatile balm is not only for baby’s bottoms! My babies are well past this stage and we still use this nourishing balm often.

5. Dr Bronners Pure- Castille Soap

With certified Fairtrade ingredients and nourishing organic oils you can rely on this versatile product. It is gentle enough for the little ones in the family, yet provides a powerful enough cleansing action that it can be used as a household cleaner and even dog shampoo.

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Say “No” to Parabens

what are parabens?

With a load of big words on the back of your skincare products, it can be really hard to decipher what’s what! As more people become interested in natural beauty and skincare, “Paraben free” is something to keep an eye out for. But what exactly are parabens and why should they be avoided?

What are Parabens?

Parabens are a group of chemicals (p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) esters) which are used as preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. This basically means that they help the product last for a longer time and prevents spoiling.

The parabens group includes Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, and Benzylparaben. Parabens are frequently found in moisturisers, hair care products, shaving products, make up and even food. They are only allowed to be used in cosmetics in very low concentrations, but because of the wide range of products they can be found in, it’s estimated that daily use can exceed 17gm for adults. To give some context to this, parabens are often restricted to 4-8 grams per kilogram of product.

Why should we go Paraben free?

In recent years, people are increasingly concerned about the adverse effects of not just a single chemical, but the combination of many chemicals in the skin care products they are using. As we know, whatever we put on our skin is eventually absorbed into our bloodstream. This is no different for parabens, which can absorb through our skin layers and enter our circulation.

Parabens have been found to have estrogenic activity within the body, including in breast, ovarian and testicular tissue, potentially contributing to lowered sperm counts and altered sperm motility. Parabens have also been detected in human urine, blood, fat tissue, amniotic fluid, placenta, and even in breast cancer tissue.

The effects on the body isn’t the only problem with parabens. Because of their widespread use, they are found in high concentrations in waste water treatment plants and require time to degrade. Even though there are methods in place to capture these molecules, parabens have been found in fish, marine mammals, marine birds, and even more remotely in polar bears.

Say no to parabens

What to Look Out for in Your Products

Have a hunt in the ingredients list to make sure you’re avoiding parabens in your products. At first glance they may seem like long and scary words, but simply hunt for “paraben” at the end of each ingredient.

  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Benzylparaben

Our hormone balance is delicate! Avoiding hormone disrupting chemicals like parabens is an important part of maintaining overall wellness throughout life. It’s essential to make sure products are properly preserved so that bacteria, fungi and other microbes don’t grow. The type of preservative however, should be chosen carefully by manufacturers, for both efficacy as well as safety reasons. Fortunately, there are natural options to preserve products, many of which are derived from plants.

We believe that endocrine disrupting chemicals like parabens have no place in cosmetics, which is why parabens and other chemicals are on our Red List. Thanks to our Good Ingredients Promise, you can shop worry-free knowing our products are not only free from nasty chemicals, but environmental pollutants and animal testing too.

Shop our paraben free natural skin care, body carehair care, and natural makeup range now.

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Is Your Screen-Time Damaging Your Skin?

is blue light damaging your skin

How much of your day is spent in front of the computer screen? What about browsing on your smartphone or watching TV? The average adult spends about 9 hours a day in front of a screen. In the modern world we live in where we’re constantly checking emails, texting, Facebook-ing, and Googling, it’s not all that surprising. While we know that a lot of screen time isn’t so good for our eyes or our sleep, what’s not often thought of is the damage it could be doing to our skin.

Blue Light and Skin Damage

Like UVA and UVB rays, HEV (high energy visible light) is another type of light ray emitted by the sun. More commonly known as blue light, HEV light makes up the blue portion of visible light and is one of the shortest and highest energy wavelengths in in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Although emitted naturally via the sun, blue light is also emitted artificially through devices such as computers, TVs, smartphones, and also LED and fluorescent lighting. While most of us are aware of the damage that UVA and UVB rays can do to our skin, more evidence is now emerging of the harmful effects blue light can also have.
Just as UVA and UVB can cause damage, research now shows that HEV, or blue light, causes oxidative damage and inflammation within the skin. Due to its wavelength, blue light penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin, and over time can result in pigmentation, sagging skin, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles. Many of us work in an environment facing one or two computer screens. This coupled with fluorescent office lighting and staring at our phones half the time is not an ideal recipe for healthy skin – or eyes!  Although there is no evidence of HEV light causing skin cancer, it’s still worth protecting your skin from these rays to avoid long-term damage. Fortunately, there are some easy and natural ways to help.
 

Protecting Your Skin from Blue Light

Whether we’re spending hours in front of a computer screen, simply texting a friend or relaxing outside, our skin is still exposed to blue light. Follow these simple tips to protect your skin and keep it looking and feeling healthy.
 
1. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide protects against UVA, UBA and HEV rays. If you’re outside or if your seat at work is next to a window, this is particularly important!

2. Alter your display. Many computers, smartphones and tablets have a built-in blue light or night mode filter. This allows you to adjust your screen to a more yellow, warm tone, and limits blue light emission.

3. Invest in a filter. If your device doesn’t have a built-in filter option, you can purchase filters for your screen which will filter out the blue light, without it affecting your display.

4. Up the antioxidants. A diet rich in antioxidants will help to combat oxidative stress. A moisturiser or serum with added antioxidants like vitamin C and E will help to protect and defend your skin.

5. Wear glasses with blue blocker lenses. To protect your eyes, you can get blue light blocking lenses for your glasses. This helps to reduce eye-strain and prevents disruptions in your circadian rhythm.

Shop online for our range of natural sunscreens and SPF moisturisers.

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Say “NO” to Petroleum

say no to petroleum

Petroleum is found in numerous skincare and cosmetic products and has been used in the industry for decades. From lip balm to lubricants, an array of petroleum-based ingredients can be found lurking in commercial products. Unfortunately, these ingredients pose a risk to our health and our environment. We explain what ingredients to look out for, why to avoid them, and the best natural alternatives you can use.

What is Petroleum?

Petroleum is a thick, yellow-to-black liquid which is formed deep within the Earth’s crust. It is a fossil fuel formed naturally when large amounts of dead organisms are exposed to extremely high pressures and temperatures beneath the Earth’s surface. The crude oil produced is then drilled out of the ground and goes through a number of refining processes before it can be used. After refining, it can then be used to produce petrol as well as petrochemicals used in the production of plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and skincare.

Petroleum Derived Ingredients in Skincare

Common skincare ingredients derived from petroleum include petrolatum (commonly known as petroleum jelly), mineral oil and liquid paraffin. These ingredients are frequently used in skincare products such as moisturisers, balms, creams, lotions, ointments and oils. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), petrolatum is found in one out of every 14 cosmetic products and is found in over 40% of baby lotions, and 15% of lipsticks.

Why should we avoid Petroleum based products?

While petroleum-based skin care products are thought to moisturise the skin, they tend to work more as an occlusive moisturiser. This means that it traps moisture inside the skin by sealing off the skin like a barrier, rather than actually adding extra moisture. Due to its make-up, petroleum tends to just cover the pores, trapping in sweat and doesn’t add any nutrition to the skin.
Some petroleum-derived ingredients may also have gone through an incomplete refining process. This means they could potentially be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – or PAHs for short. PAHs are known to have negative effects on human health, such as endocrine disruption, allergies and skin irritation, and are a possible carcinogen. In fact, the European Union categorise petrolatum as a carcinogen and therefore restricts its use in cosmetics.

Environmental Effects

Unfortunately, petroleum derived ingredients and their processes are far from eco-friendly. Crude oil is a non-renewable resource, and the refining processes it undergoes cause toxins to be released into the atmosphere. This not only poses a threat to us, but also a threat to our ecosystem. Any oil spills that might occur during the drilling process, transport or use, also greatly affect our environment.

Petroleum free nappy cream

What You Should Look Out For

Keep an eye out for these common names on your product labels when trying to avoid petroleum-derived ingredients:

  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Liquid paraffin
  • Paraffin oil/wax
  • Petroleum jelly
  • White petroleum

Natural Alternatives

There are plenty of natural ingredients you can use to moisturise and soothe dry, cracked or irritated skin. Look for natural based products with ingredients such as beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba and calendula and sweet almond oil.

Our Good Ingredients Promise means you won’t find any petroleum-derived ingredients in any of our products. You can shop worry-free knowing our products are not only free from nasty chemicals, but environmental pollutants and animal testing too.

Shop our petroleum free beauty balms, baby barrier balmslip care, and natural lubricant range now.

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The Green Beauty Movement: What’s Trending for 2019?

Natural beauty trends for 2019

Year after year, more people are turning to natural products for their skin and beauty needs. As we head into 2019, here are our top beauty trends to help maintain a youthful and glowing complexion, naturally.

BEAUTY FROM WITHIN
To look at skin health more completely, it’s important to look at what’s going into the body through nutrition and how the body is functioning. Healthy skin from the inside out is a key concept to embrace and includes consuming a sufficient amount of water, clean whole foods, omegas – including hemp oil, probiotics, and food-based antioxidants to support protection from the aging process. And collagen. Lots of collagen. Following on from eating superfoods to support our wellbeing, we will start to see more superfood ingredients in skincare products such as kale, spinach and green tea, all of which contain antioxidants that help support skin structure and integrity.

NATURAL AND CLEAN LABEL
Consumers want to know what’s in their product, if it’s good for them, and of course, want products that work. Gone are the days where choosing natural means you’re sacrificing effectiveness. The rise of natural products has meant a rise in technology of patented natural ingredients that have scientific studies behind them. With concentrated plant extracts, plant peptides and enzymes, it’s never been a better time to switch to natural and clean label products. Plant-based and vegan products are likely to continue to increase as the cruelty-free movement grows.

GOOD FOR THE EARTH TOO
As well as being healthy to use with ‘good’ ingredients, people are also considering the impact their product will have on the environment. Will the empty bottle that our favourite shampoo was contained in take 1000 years to break down? Was it made from fossil fuels?
As consumers, we’re looking for products that do better – for us, and for the planet – but that doesn’t mean we want to give up anything in terms of quality. NZ beauty brand Ethique are a strong contender in this space, with completely compostable packaging. They’ve already saved the planet from over 1 million bottles of personal care.

YOUNG INDEPENDENT BRANDS
The time of supporting local, small businesses who stand by their values is resonating strongly with consumers who want to make sure their dollar is going somewhere worthy. Smaller boutique brands are competing well with the bigger cosmetic companies, with more agility and flexibility for changing formulations based on feedback.
A more realistic and authentic beauty movement is shaking things up as smaller independent makers with a philosophy of ‘Real Beauty’ and no photoshopping is appealing to many consumers.

PERSONALISATION
We want to know that what we are buying is going to work for us, and thanks to technology, this capability is expected to grow in the skin care industry. Manufacturers are finding ways to give us a personalised experience in order to get the exact product we’re after. We’ll be able to choose our skincare based on quick tests and come away with a formulation that’s suited especially for our needs.

TRENDING INGREDIENTS
Hemp seed oil
An exciting ingredient being introduced into skincare, Hemp Seed oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids that help to hydrate and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hemp helps to balance oil production and doesn’t clog pores so it’s ideal for those trying to balance oily skin and acne. Hemp seed oil doesn’t contain any psychoactive substances, so no need to worry.

Probiotics
It’s no surprise that probiotics may start to be found in our serums when there is so much popularity around fermented foods with consumers at the moment. Certain probiotics in skincare can support immune response and reactivity as well as support healthy regeneration of skin cells.

Author: Liz McNamara is the Natural Health Expert at HealthPost and has over 16 years of experience in natural health. As a Registered Naturopath and the President of the Naturopaths & Medical Herbalists of New Zealand (NMHNZ), Liz is passionate about health education and helping others to lead naturally healthy lives.
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