Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Natural One Ingredient Decongestant

If you're not familiar with using an oil or plant butter as a natural remedy then the notion of using shea butter as a natural decongestant might sound strange at first. But it is actually a Traditional Nigerian Medicine remedy. Research has also shown that shea butter is as effective as conventional nasal drops, and that it can help reduce nasal inflammation, so we wanted to put it to the test...all we needed was a cold.

Then, winter came as did early morning commutes and being crammed onto the tube and soon enough I had a virulent cold that I proceeded to share with my housemates. All in the name of science ;) For this trial we had 3 testers, all suffering from a pretty nasty cold.

As the research suggested, we applied 2-3grams of shea butter inside our nostrils (being careful to melt, or at the very least, soften it).
On first application, the effects set in almost immediately and lasted about an hour, a tiny amount needs to be used, but when the effects wear off you FEEL it. Stuffy head, mild headache and earache all come back to you within 1-2minutes, the blocked nose however isn't half as bad.... Thankfully it's pretty easy to re-apply.

Once you have re-applied 8 times, the effects still set in almost immediately but they last a lot longer; up to two days.

So we can say that it works and it is much nicer than vicks, it doesn't mean you have to keep sniffing menthol or eucalyptus mixes, or use those nasal stick inhaler things that are advertised a lot at this time of year.

Do you have any folk remedies that you would like to share? Have you ever used shea butter as a decongestant?

Thursday, 27 November 2014

#bodyimage. . . .Spot the typo. . . .

So I was curious to read the Independent article about the UK's first plus size magazine to hit the shelves (it's called "Slink", by the way), but then I hit this typo and it distracted my attention away from the whole article. . . what's that old addage about slips of the tongue not being wholly accidental? Do you think it applies to the keyboard?

The "typo" reads "In 2012, Vogue pledged to only use models over the age of 16 and under a healthy body weight". . . . .ahem. It's also interesting because the title of the article questions whether a plus size magazine is healthy. Go figure.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Intelligent Nutrients Plant Stem Cell Renewal Complex Review!!

Rating: 4/5, available from Being Content for £52 (inc p&p), Feelunique for £52 (inc worldwide p&p), Naturisimo for £42.60 (inc p&p).

So, I'm a bit slow posting on this one but I felt like we should weigh in on Intelligent Nutrients® Plant Stem Cell Skin Science Renewal Complex. According to  Intelligent Nutrients®  it is designed to be used as targeted treatment for areas such as wrinkles surrounding the mouth, upper lip, delicate eye area, forehead, age spots, stretch marks, scars and other skin imperfections.

It also claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps reduce redness and other skin discolorations—and firms, lifts, smooth and softens while increasing collagen synthesis. Plant Stem Cell Renewal Complex is also completely eco-sustainable and features antioxidant-rich plant stem cells cultivated in the purest lab, without the use of soil. 

Let's take a look at the ingredients:

Aloe Vera is full of antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E which can help improve the skin's natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated. It can also help reduce stretch marks and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a multipurpose skin treatment. 
Edelweiss contains many antioxidants, and also has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has excellent protection properties to increase the youth of skin cells and keeps the skin fresh and youthful with a road to destroy harmful free radicals. It reduces wrinkles and helps maintain skin firmness, rejuvenates damaged cells and reduces the signs of photoageing. Check out this article at annmariegianni.com if you want to find out more about edelweiss. 

Coneflower (Echinacea Angustifolia) has antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal qualities and stimulates collagen synthesis (cell renewal), increases hydration and elasticity and revitalizes dull and tired skin. 

Pennywort (also known as gotu kola) can improve skin metabolism and even skin tone, improve elasticity and firm the skin. 

Glycerin is a tricky one - Clinical studies have shown that glycerin is more of a friend than a foe, click here for more info.

Dehydroacetic Acid is a synthetic preservative, fungicide and bactericide with low hazards according to Skin Deep and Truth In Aging 

Sodium hydroxide is a ph adjuster, is also known as a very strong irritant and sometimes goes by the name of lye or caustic soda. Considered a moderate hazard by Skin Deep  and Truth in Aging. In short, be careful with anything that has this ingredient in.

Aside from the last two ingredients, those are some natural beauty product heavyweights!

The review

We tested it over 4 different age groups of women;
 26 -30, 31 - 40, 41 - 50 and 50+ (51, 54, 58, 64, 81 years)

All participants over 40 responded the best, over the course of 2 months their lines became finer and their skin plumper. Our lovely 81 year old volunteer used it on her liverspots and it did help lighten them, which has triggered a couple of the other members in our 50+ and 41 - 50 group to start using it for that purpose too. So far the results are looking good.
We didn't combine this skin serum with anti-aging moisturisers, just a bit of olive oil.

Scentwise, it smells a bit marzipan-y but that soon dissipates. The texture feels like a cross between water and a very light gel and it soaks into the skin quite fast.

Skin imperfections: In terms of dry skin patches we found that it did nothing. 

Scars: As it turned out Em's Aunt managed to burn her face with a barbecue skewer this summer. That's right, someone got a bit impatient and couldn't resist tasting the scrumptious kebabed delight straight from the barbecue. It left her with a 3 inch scar that we decided to treat with this product.
The results were visible within a day, this isn't to say that the scar disappeared immediately (that took 2 months of daily application), but the skin responded to the serum very quickly and 2 months on it's as if she never tried to eat from a fiery skewer.

Warning: if you are not old enough to be using anti-aging skincare (i.e. under 35), do not apply this to your entire face - I did and I woke up to a swollen, kind-of-bloated version of my own face the following day. Do, however use it as it is designed to be used - as a targeted treatment. Worried about frownlines? use a drop, a little goes a long way.

All in all, we would recommend this product as a preventative measure and as an anti-aging treatment. It is expensive, but it lasts for longer than you'd imagine and the results have to be seen to be believed. But because of the price tag it is definitely under the "treat" section of cosmetics shopping.

Have you used Intelligent Nutrients® Plant Stem Cell Skin Science Renewal Complex? What did you think?

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin *, Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) stem cell culture*, Pennywort (Centella asiatica) stem cell culture**, Coneflower (Echinacea) stem cell culture**, Xantham Gum, Benzyl alcohol*, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide.
*Certified Organic
** Plant stem cell antioxidant

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

2-for-1 on massive no-no's: part 2 - Orogold review

After the experience in part 1 we managed to spend another 2 hours at the fair, eventually succumbing to sleepiness we left. As we walked towards High Street Kensington we caught the attention of an Orogold member of staff who was handing out sachets of samples. I didn't want one, I didn't even want to go in, but it would seem that sleepy feet and tired bodies gravitate to the prospect of a chair quicker than I gravitate towards a table full of sweet treats.

Dressed in a black suit, guiding us to the comfiest leather chairs I have ever come across (OK, maybe not ever, or at all. But my cousin can attest that we were very tired and that a cardboard box would have been welcomed at that point). Our 20-something Orogold sales assistant didn't introduce himself, but asked us about our skin regimes, "have you ever used a peel?" he asked, "Well no, how old do you think I am?" I responded, he smiled and continued with his pitch. Apparently Orogold has "no chemicals in" and is "non-allergenic", my spidey senses were tingling, this wasn't right. He refused to tell us what was in the product and before I knew it he had grabbed my wrist and was already applying this peel while talking to me.
My brain snapped back into function and I blurted out "I want you to stop because you are freaking me out", thankfully he listened and took it off, spritzing my wrist with toner. He then couldn't believe that I didn't detect any difference between my "peeled wrist" and my normal one.

But then, my wrist started burning. We asked for water, initially he refused and only offered toner. "No, I know my skin and something is wrong, I need water" I said, he wandered off to his senior and asked for directions. We had a bottle of water in our bag and started using the cotton balls on the counter to try and soothe what had now turned into the kind of burning you would get if you rubbed an open chilli into a papercut. Sharp, stingy and unstoppable.

The orogold sales assistant returned with water "don't touch it! your skin will get better if you don't touch it!" he insisted.

 "Really, I know my skin" I replied. My cousin then grabbed the box, "oh, sh**!", "ohh sh******!!!!!!" she said as she read each passing ingredient. . . "wait, this has nuts in?!" she said to the orogold sales assistant who, by this point, was loosing his calm exterior, "are you freaking serious?!" she said, "you can't pull people in off the street and apply it to their skin, what if they have an anaphylactic shock?! Oh my god, this place is awful! How can you charge so much for something this bad?!?!"

Orogold sales assistant hit meltdown "erm, erm, do you guys have a nut allergy?", without missing a beat my cousin replied "yes", she grabbed our bags and headed out of the shop "come on Layla, we have to get you to a doctor", I got up, a bit dazed, my phone dropped to the floor and the assistant picked it up for me, profusely apologising, but to be honest I couldn't hear what he was saying over the pain.

I don't have a nut allergy, my cousin does. While I am dealing with a painful, inflamed rash, I'm glad he grabbed my wrist and not my cousin's because if that was the case I would be writing a very different post.

After doing some searching, it turns out that Orogold's reputation preceeds them. DO NOT ACCEPT A SAMPLE FROM THEM, DON'T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THEM, EVEN IF YOU ARE VERY TIRED.

Hanne @ Beautylovin posted a similar experience, and from the list of comments it sounds like this is how they do things.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

2 for 1 on massive no-no's: Part 1 - Ignorance

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow. . .there's no point in drowning you in a massive post!

Yesterday we were in London for a food trade fair, you see the reason that I've not been posting is because I've been helping my cousin with her social enterprise, 9 Tea Cups which is a great company and I am super proud to be involved. But I'll be letting you guys know about what I'll be doing there in a future post.

So there we were doing our job and minding our own business when we found a stall filled with sweets from our childhood. For those of you who read the blog regularly you will know that my ethnic background is mixed. I gravitated towards this particular exhibitor so excitedly, the table was full of sweets from a place that I hold very dear to my heart.

So I ask about these sweets with their original names, not the translated names written in english, the stallholder (also from the place I hold dear to my heart) metaphorically leaps at me and starts an interrogation line of questions whilst scanning my face "how do you know the names?!", "you aren't !", "your name isn't  , sorry!" and "your skin colour isn't !". She then turned to her assistant and asks here what she thinks, thankfully her assistant wasn't an idiot and just smiled helplessly, then the woman starts on my cousin. I stupidly answered all of her questions, providing more info than necessary at some points. I'm proud of my heritage, the only reason that I haven't included it here is that it is irrelevant to the ultimate point of these paragraphs. 

I tried to bring her back around to what we were there to talk about; food. But she couldn't get over her own issues with her definition of what it was to share a genetic background. Maybe she was having a bad day, but that is no excuse. I'm used to people approaching me with curiousity, I'm used to the face scan to detect features that back-up what I am saying, I'm used to comments about the colour of my skin, I'm used to other ethnicities being offered up "I'd say you were x, y,z, maybe even p, but not a", not to mention the unintentionally hurtful "huh, you don't look it". But what I will never understand in those circumstances is what can only be described as a compulsive desperation on the part of the listener to tear down what I'm saying, instead opting to decide that I am lying about something that has no impact on anyone but me.

Badgering anyone with questions like that is the same as having someone insist to you that you are not male or female. Not only is it ignorant, it's frustrating and it's offensive. 

So this post is for anyone who has ever been marginalised, for whatever reason. You are worth so much more than a passing comment.

Then we came across part 2: Orogold. Check back later.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

New layout...new post!

It's about time, right?

Massive sorries for the state of our header, for some reason blogger doesn't like pixlr's white......but we'll sort that in time!

How have you been? what products have you been using? let us know!


Monday, 17 December 2012

All Nighter Dry Shampoo Review

Rating: 4/5, usually available from Being Content (but they seem to be out right now!)

Created as an alternative to  hair powders that were full of parabens, aluminium, silica and talc the All Nighter was the first all natural colour-matched dry shampoo on the market.

All Nighter Dry Shampoo arrived in the UK in 2010 after becoming a cult favourite in the US. Made using a mixture of  pure rice and tapioca starches, cruelty free silk powder, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this stuff isn't just meant to postpone hair washing but to revive a blow dry, tussle the hair, and absorb extra oils in the hair. So how does it do it and how does it compare to it's unnatural alternatives?

Battle#1: Versus batiste?

Okay okay, I know I shouldn't like batiste, it's full of things that we at TBT don't like to use on our bodies. But, when you're caught in a pinch it's surprising how fast the rules can be thrown to the wayside. Batiste is remarkably effective and is easier to apply, however, the scent can be overpowering and is a little synthetic. The All Nighter isn't scented and it does work as a dry shampoo, but it needs to be worked into the hair much more than Batiste dry shampoo.

Battle #2: Versus L'oreal super dust?
In terms of staying powder both products die down after a while, but to revitalise super dust charged hair all you need to do is scrunch it up. For All Nighter charged hair you need to reapply and given that it's pigmented you need to make sure it's brushed in properly otherwise you will have pigmented dots on your head that are difficult to get out, which might not be a problem if you have thick or fair hair. But if your hair is an average thickness and you use redhead, golden brunette or dark brown/black then you're going to need to make sure that you brush it in really well...and that it doesn't get on your clothes because it does stain.

The conclusion!
Ultimately the natural alternative, the All Nighter is a little more maintenance than L'oreal's superdust and batiste, but the effects are just as good. If you have the time and are willing to try a natural alternative it is worth a go but it is pricey, if you can get hold of it. Alternatively, try out a home remedy for dry shampoo which would be a lot more cost effective

Have you tried the All Nighter? what did you think?