A quick word in your ear please.

No reviews today, just some follow up comments on previous posts.

Firstly after four months of owning my silk bedlinen I am disappointed with the wear of the duvet cover in particular. It looks at least 2 years old and has bad pilling on the surface. This has happened to the sheet too but only very slightly. I spoke to Jasmine Silk and they were not very helpful. I wanted to say that maybe this was not the best quality bedlinen after all. I would suggest looking somewhere else if you wish to – maybe a large well known store such as John Lewis as they would have better customer service. I have not checked if they sell silk bedlinen, but I know they have great customer care.

I am still very much in favour of silk and will continue to use my lovely bedlinen, but in the future I will look else where when I need to replace them.

Secondly I thought it was important to mention that I always use my apple cider vinegar spray on towel dried hair, no matter what shampoo or “no poo” product I use. If I had to say hand on heart what was the most successful method of washing my hair it would be my “no poo” method using bicarbonate of soda and the apple cider vinegar spray – this makes my hair look and feel the best over any bought product.

Until next time.

marilyn monroe

The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey…. And the only reason for making honey, is so as I can eat it. – Winnie the Pooh

Winnie might believe that honey is just for eating (I am sure many of you would agree) but the wonders of honey don’t stop there – honey is one of the best natural skincare products available.

People who have known me for years would never put the words ‘Mollie’ ‘love’ and ‘honey’ in the same sentence. When I was a little girl I hated the smell and taste of honey. I never thought it would be something that I would come to adore. I still hate the taste and the smell can be a little much sometimes but as a skincare product I love love love it.

You can use honey in skincare, haircare, for first aid, burns, blemishes – the list goes on and on.

If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I use it every night to wash my and my 5 year old daughter’s faces.

I wanted to let you know of another way to treat your skin using this lovely product – as a face mask. This will smooth your skin and treat any blemishes that are threatening to invade your prefect complexion:

Wash you face with Oliva. Use the bicarbonate of soda face scrub if you want to. Then dry off your face. Plaster on your chosen honey and lie back for at least 10 minutes, more if you can be bothered. I like to do this in the bath. If your skin isn’t dry when you apply the honey it will slide off your face. Wash off and reveal smoother, happy skin.

I have been experimenting with a new honey I picked up from Waitrose – Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly. This lovely organic, wildflower honey has royal jelly added. I found this information about royal jelly on the dr organic website:

“The unique combination of nutrients, amino acids and plant hormones makes Organic Royal Jelly a superb ingredient to help maintain a youthful appearance. Throughout history this wonderful ingredient has been heralded as natures fountain of youth. It is ideal for rejuvenating and nourishing the skin, while its anti-aging properties help maintain the skins elasticity, texture and tone.”

Who knows if it is really adding anything special, but my skin is feeling extra smooth at the moment so this could be down to this royal additive. It is only £4.75 so I am happy to use it!

Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly

A great tip if you feel a spot (zit) nudging away at your skin trying to get noticed, dab a bit of honey on it and leave it over night, the next day it should be gone or at least smaller. You can use manuka honey for this as it is super strong and has a higher concentration of anti-bacterial qualities to zap that spot. Don’t use manuka as a wash or face mask though, unless you have super strong skin, it can be too harsh and might reduce your skin to tears and tantrums.

On a side note, away from the golden elixir, this year I am trying lots of new things and will be working hard so my posts might be more infrequent – just a couple maybe even only one a month. I’ll still be here, trying new things and letting you know about them, just not as often as I have been. So don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while I promise I am still around.

Give your skin a present this Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but I find with all this cold weather and central heating my skin becomes incredibly dry. Well never fear – I have a wonderful solution to bring back baby soft skin.

To achieve this I am going to use two, maybe three of my favorite products. The first is Weleda Skin Food. I buy mine from naturisimo but you can buy it in many places online or in the shops. This is such an amazing product which you can use all over your body. It is especially fabulous for feet, hands and elbows. The smell is heaven too – evoking strolls through sun drenched orange groves.

weleda skin food

Secondly Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda). I am especially enamored with Waitrose’s own brand at the moment. I believe it creates a smoother paste than the previous brands I have tried. Also the packaging is pretty. Arm and Hammer do a great one too.

waitrose bicarbonate of soda

And maybe some honey depending on how deep a scrub you want – organic please.

organic sainsbury runny honey

I usually save this treat for night time.

Start with clean skin – remove any makeup or dirt you have accumulated throughout the day. I use Oliva soap for this.

With your skin still damp tip about a tablespoon of Bicarbonate of Soda into your palm. Add water to make a smooth paste – not too runny – not too dry.

Gently please – your skin loves you so treat her well – massage the paste into your face – paying particular attention to the dry, flaky areas.

For an extra strong scrub use about a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda and substitute the water for a squeeze of honey. Be extra gentle with this as it makes a harsher, deeper face scrub.

Do not use either to scrub your skin around your delicate eye area – she will be very miserable.

Wash the scrub off with water.

You can follow with a wash of honey if you fancy it but you don’t have to.

You can also go with a wipe of witch hazel on a cotton pad – a similar ritual to my night time skin routine post.

Now I slather on – I really go to town here – Weleda Skin Food. It turns your face white and you look very silly – but it eventually sinks in.

If you are allergic to Lanolin this treat is not for you. You could try a generous amount of Rosehip oil or Weleda Almond Lotion instead. Lanolin is the main ingredient that lends its soft hands to repair your dry skin. There is some confusion surrounding Lanolin as to whether it can clog your pores. A very informative website I have referred to many times clears this up for us – zerozits – the name speaks for itself.

“Lanolin Oil confuses many individuals. Natural Lanolin Oil comes from the wool of a sheep and does not cause acne. Synthetic Lanolins (man-made) do cause acne and leave you feeling very oily!”

I have used this many times over the past two years and it has never once (touch wood) caused me problems.

Off to bed with you – sweet dreams – wake to beautiful baby soft skin.

Disclaimer: If something works for me I am not saying that it will definitely work for you. ­I do hope it does but I cannot promise or give any guarantees. Your use of these products or suggestions is entirely at your own risk. Please use any product or idea with caution and of course do not use anything with an ingredient that you know, or think, you might be allergic to. Thank you and happy reading.

In my defence, your Honour, the packaging was just so beautiful!

I felt I needed a follow on post from the last one about my “no poo” method of hair washing.

For the last week or so my scalp had been writing me rather mean letters. I couldn’t understand why it had turned against me and was throwing an itching fit. My first worry was that my daughter had brought some unwanted critters home in her head from school and we were all infested – just the thought makes you itch and feel your skin crawl. But she seemed perfectly fine and her scalp was sending her love notes not hate mail so it must be something else. Off I went to my shower and had a peek at my newly bought and expensive purchase from Korres. It seems dear reader that I had fallen foul to everything I had been preaching to you all about. The beautiful packaging and snazzy words had made me believe this was an all natural product free from all the nasties I so hate – for some reason I had been taken over by the old Mollie and not looked at the ingredient list. There in black and white (actually I think it was a lovely taupe colour) was the dreaded Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, number 2 on the list. On further inspection there was fragrance and alcohol! How I held my head low in shame. Straight in the bin went the shampoo with its lovely smelling conditioner too. I sat down and spoke lovingly to my hair and scalp and apologised for not being more careful – promised it wouldn’t happen again and that I now understood its rebellion.

To get everything back to a happy situation I brought out the bicarbonate of soda and went to work. Immediately my scalp started singing my praises – bur unfortunately my hair wasn’t quite so easily placated. It has been a while since I had done the “no poo” method at my home in England. I had forgotten that bicarbonate of soda and hard water are not friends. There is a way around this though. Firstly use much less powder, no more than 2 teaspoons with water – rather than a heaped tablespoon that I usually use. Make sure it is thoroughly washed out. Then follow with conditioner on the ends and dry parts of your hair. Natural conditioner please – Neal’s Yard does some good ones.(I promise to cover natural shampoos and conditioners soon.) Wash or leave in the conditioner as the directions tell you.

Bicarbonate of soda and soft water though love each other dearly. When I was in Maine, for a month over the summer, I only used bicarbonate of soda to wash my hair and my apple cider vinegar spray – my hair was lovely, soft and healthy.

I do hope this got to you all before any of you had tried the method in a hard water place. If you did, please try again. Trust me it does work.

No more itchy, flakey scalp – let’s cook up a storm.

Don’t worry I haven’t decided to give you my secret recipe for fruit cake – I am still talking about natural beauty. This is going to be a long one though so do hold in there – I promise it will be worth it.

It was my hair that started off my obsession for natural products so I thought it was only fitting to write a post about my method of shampooing – or as it is known the ‘no poo’ method. If I was being totally true to this method it would mean that I would be advising you to never wash your hair again. Apparently the natural oils in your skin and scalp will cleanse your hair. It will become beautiful and natural just as it would have been if we were cavewomen (or cavemen for you males reading this). Firstly I see a major flaw with this. We live in a society with pollution – not running around in the forest with no exhausts being pumped in to the atmosphere. We need to have someway of washing this out of our hair and scalp. Secondly who wants to look like a cavewoman! What I mean by ‘no poo’ is – there is rubbish in your hair washing product.

One of the major ingredients in all shampoos (even baby shampoos) is Sodium Laureth Sulfate or its cousin Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). These ingredients produce that lovely foam that we associate with cleanliness and especially with shampoo. These ingredients are used in many other skincare products – something I will mention another time. To explain why this is a horrible ingredient and why we don’t want it anywhere near us or our children let me quote from the natural health information centre website:

Unfortunately, both sodium laureth sulfate and its cousin are also very dangerous, highly irritating chemicals. Far from giving “healthy shining hair” and “beautiful skin”, soaps and shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate can lead to direct damage to the hair follicle, skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity.

When you are washing your hair not only is this poison getting into your hair and scalp it is also running down your face and body when you wash it out.  So coating and drying out your skin – eczema anyone!

Shampoos not only have this ingredient but many other irritating and poisonous chemicals – the list of which is too long and boring to go into now. Alcohol is also another ingredient found in nearly all hair products – this is extremely drying on the hair and skin.

I do realise that some new products are now available in our chemist (drug stores) and supermarkets (grocery stores) that claim to be low in SLS or free from parabens (another nasty) but if you look at the ingredients you will be forgiven for thinking you are reading a chemistry table. To be totally sure you are not harming yourself or your hair I would recommend my method below.

I say in the title ‘let’s cook up a storm’ because most of the ingredients you need can be found in your very own cupboards.

Firstly let start with one of my favorite products – this can be used for more than just your hair – more another time though. Bicarbonate of Soda or Baking Soda for the Americans. This is not to be confused with Baking Powder.

This is the brand I use only because it is what they sell in my local store but you can use any brand.

bicarbonate of soda

You will also need organic (yes, it must be organic) apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and a little spray bottle.

organic cider vinegar vinegar and witch hazel spray

Again you don’t have to use the same brands as I do. I would recommend Sainsbury’s witch hazel – it is the only place I can find that sells witch hazel sans alcohol. You must buy the witch hazel without alcohol as this alcohol will only irritate your scalp and skin and make your hair dry. I am sorry to say when I was in America I found it nearly impossible to find any without alcohol – so good luck, I am sure there is some out there.

If this is the first time you are doing this I would recommend washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any build up of plastics and nasties from your other products. You can buy natural clarifying ones. Right – now onto the good bit or should I say weird bit as we are all so used to using foaming shampoos:

  • Wet your hair as normal.
  • Tip a good sized lump of bicarbonate of soda into your palm and add a small bit of water to make a paste.
  • Use it as you would a shampoo – really getting it in to the scalp. It might feel drying and horrid but trust me it won’t when you have washed it out.
  • Squeeze any excess water from your hair.
  • After you are out of the shower or wherever you are washing your hair then you need to add the spray. The reason for this is your skin is a certain pH and you want it to be the correct one. Bicarbonate of soda is alkaline and apple cider vinegar is acidic so the two complement each other. You make up your spray by using the ratio 1 of vinegar to 5 of witch hazel. You don’t actually have to use witch hazel; you could use water – I just like that witch hazel is moisturizing and I use this on my face too (again more another time). Mix together in your spray bottle and liberally spray your hair.
  • Then comb through and dry as you want.

I will warn you here that your hair which is used to being coated in plastic and stripped of all goodness will probably freak out. It takes at least a week for you to see the benefits (hopefully sooner for some). My hair looked a little strange at first – then it was fuller and bouncer than it had ever been. It was no longer weighed down by the strands being coated in plastic – no longer stripped of any natural and healthy oils. But best of all for me – no more itchy scalp!

Okay, I wish I could say that I was a total zealot about this and never used another product again – but I love the feel and smell of shampoo and conditioner and I am not quite ready to give them up. I will never use “high street” or big brand products. I am not fooled anymore by brands pretending to be natural. (Yes, Aveda I am talking about you among many others). I have in my arsenal some gorgeous smelling, wonderful, natural shampoos and conditioners that I use – I promise to let you in on the secret of those soon. I do though have to frequently come back to the baking soda method. This is because no matter how natural and how small the ingredient list I will still get the itchiness back and this is the only thing that cures it without fail every time.

Wow that was long – I hope some of you managed to get through all that. Happy natural hair washing – until next time.

Disclaimer: If something works for me I am not saying that it will definitely work for you. ­I do hope it does but I cannot promise or give any guarantees. Your use of these products or suggestions is entirely at your own risk. Please use any product or idea with caution and of course do not use anything with an ingredient that you know, or think, you might be allergic to. Thank you and happy reading.