Living Life Naturally

Posts tagged ‘SkinKiss’

So This Is Christmas…….

I know, I know, it’s still only October but let’s face it, the Christmas adverts have already started with a vengeance, all encouraging us to buy, buy, buy!

Maybe it’s my age (very old!) but these days I cynically think of Christmas as ‘over-hyped, overpriced and over in a day’!

So many people go overboard – spending money they can’t afford on gifts for people they barely know or even like, buying too much food and too much ‘stuff’ – much of it plastic and much of it unwanted, unneeded, and wasted.

Naturally my close family & friends have long called me Scrooge and Bah Humbug but, tell me, how ridiculous is it to go into debt to show people how much you love them? Or to visit friends/family that you would normally avoid, if it will endanger your mental health?

The conflict for me is that I do run a business and I do need to sell my products to make money (only to be able to eat, you understand!!).

With this in mind I decided that rather than making things that I would like to receive (we’re all different, okay) I would offer people the chance to buy what they wanted and would then offer a natural bag, basket, or pouch to put their presents in. I will also gladly attach a Christmas Gift Tag for FREE.

I have also kept the minimum order to qualify as reasonable as possible – just £15 – as I’m sure this year is likely to be a difficult one for a lot of us.

As for me, all the gifts I give will be either made by me ( like my Winters’ Geode Bath Bombs shown above) or purchased from other small local businesses.

In this way I a) save money, b) help other small businesses, and c) significantly reduce my carbon footprint.

I will NOT be buying from major companies, most especially those ones that do not pay their fair share of tax. (Are you listening Amazon?!)

I do hope you will visit http://www.skinkiss.org.uk and take a look at what I have to offer.

love & stuff

Lesley x

Why Natural Matters To Me

Those of you who follow my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/skinkissathome will know that I am PASSIONATE about using natural products in and on my body whilst also protecting our planet.

I thought it was about time  I told you how I ended up on this journey;

I was diagnosed, aged 44, with an under-active thyroid.

“There you go, take these Levothyroxine tablets for the rest of your life” said my Dr.

And that was pretty much it!

Well, I plodded on, taking my tablets & not really feeling much better. The dose had to be raised twice & still I felt rubbish.

So I joined a Thyroid group on Facebook & started to learn………

I learned that Levothyroxine is foisted on EVERYBODY with this condition. Now, firstly, one size most definitely does NOT fit all. Secondly, I discovered that Levo (we’ll just stick with that – easier for me to type ) contains lactose and – guess what – I’m highly lactose intolerant. No wonder I still felt like s**t. Oh, and thirdly that delightful little tablet causes bone-thinning with prolonged use. Now pardon me if I sound appalled BUT since, once you are diagnosed you are on these for LIFE, how is that not going to constitute ‘prolonged use’? And why don’t they tell you this when they prescribe them.

I also learned that there are 2 types of UAT (Under active thyroid.) The first is exactly as it says – an under-active thyroid. The second type is a bag of worms to be honest; it’s an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. BUT when they do the original test they don’t bother checking whether you also have the autoimmune antibodies and, believe me, this makes it a whole new ball game.

So, a year after first being diagnosed, I marched in to my Dr, armed with all this information & demanded they do the test for antibodies – and sure enough, there the little blighters were, nibbling away at my poor thyroid.

At this point I also mentioned the lactose AND the osteoporosis problems. Quite sure my Dr couldn’t wait to get rid of me, after all, how dare I question the way things have always been done!

Anyway, fast forward to 2013 & after struggling to get lactose-free Levo I insisted they put me on Natural Dessicated Thyroid (NDT) and they agreed. Things started to improve……

The thing with Hashimotos is that it starts in the gut where it causes ‘leaky gut’ – a fairly unpleasant experience involving long periods spend in the bathroom! TMI, I know. It is also very difficult to properly treat since, as with any autoimmune disease, there are always going to be occasional flare-ups.

Well, this downturn in my health started me looking at what I was actually putting INTO my body. Something had to change & gluten was the first to go. The reason gluten seems to be a problem for those with Hashis (another typing shortcut!) is that the gluten molecule strongly resembles the thyroid molecules and our poor bodies get confused. Symptoms eased & I carried on with my journey. I will always be on this journey as it takes very little to cause a setback ( stress is a biggie) but I am determined to regain as much of my health as I can.

When people say ‘we are what we eat’ they are pretty much right. So these days there are no processed foods in my life, no fast food, and definitely no junk food. And, boy, did I used to enjoy KFC, dammit.

Cheers!

Lesley

Fair Enough!

I have a really good excuse for not blogging these last few weeks – honest!

I have been meeting myself coming back in an effort to be ready for some up and coming Craft Fairs. There is so much to prepare; new products, packaging, labels, table decorations…………. the list seems endless.

For anyone who is interested here is a list of dates and venues where I can be found;

  • Saturday 12th October 2013 Llandudno Town Hall
  • Saturday 16th November 2013 Llandudno Town Hall
  • Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th November 2013 Penmachno Village School
  • Saturday 21st December 2013 Llandudno Town Hall
  • Saturday 11th January 2014 Llandudno Town Hall
  • Saturday 8th February 2014 Llandudno Town Hall
  • Saturday 8th March 2014 Llandudno Town Hall

PHEW!

And here are some of the product I will be selling……………

De-Stress Bath Muffins

De-Stress Bath Muffins

St Clements bath Muffin

St Clements bath Muffin

Just a touch of natural food colouring

The best nights sleep you’ll ever have

Most relaxing way to get your oats!

Most relaxing way to get your oats!

Fragrant Skin Food

Fragrant Skin Food

Bath Bombs

Bath Bombs

Bath Salts

Bath Salts

Bath Salts, Bath Oils & a Soothing Foot Soak

Bath Salts, Bath Oils & a Soothing Foot Soak

A Medley Of Melts

A Medley Of Melts

 

 

 

 

Hopefully there is something there that appeals but if not why not leave me a comment saying what you would like me to make 🙂

Till next time

Lesley xx

Going For It!

After a long chat with Rachael at Cosmetic Safety Assessments I have decided to continue making SkinKiss bath and shower goodies in spite of the EU’s attempts to make life impossible for small-scale producers like myself.

I am STILL awaiting validation from the EU site but have been advised that I can carry on as usual.

So, last week I created my first new product for ages;

Introducing SkinKiss Bath Muffins

100_1973

This one is called De-Stress. It contains essential oils of Lavender, Neroli and Ylang Ylang to calm and relax plus the addition of cocoa butter to soften the skin. Smells divine. 🙂

100_1975

And this one is called St Clements – a revitalising blend of Orange and Lemon essential oils with a pretty slice of orange on top and added cocoa butter again.

Next on my to-do list is a new range of Bath Melts.

And you will see them here FIRST!

Hope you are as excited as I am.

Till then

Lesley xx

Process Of Elimination

Today is the first day of ………….. my very determined attempt to eliminate as many unnecessary chemicals from my lifestyle as possible.

As someone who has numerous allergies and food intolerances I am used to reading EVERY label when I shop. Drives me nuts sometimes but what else can I do?!

The last few years have been ones of major lifestyle changes for me; no more bubble baths because the SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulphate) upsets my skin, no more shampoo for my hair – just good old Bicarbonate of Soda followed by a vinegar rinse, no more fancy cleaning products – just vinegar and Bicarb again, home-made natural air fresheners without a chemical in sight.

All these changes have seen a major improvement in my health; the cleaners and air fresheners used to leave me coughing and wheezing all the time and as far as I can see the house hasn’t suffered without them!

But the biggest improvement has to be to my bank balance! Bicarbonate of Soda is pretty cheap, vinegar too, in fact my biggest expense is probably the essential oils I use for my home-made air freshener.

I have now started making my own toothpaste; Strange but this was one item I never really read the ingredients list on, just bought it and used. But a couple of  weeks ago I took a glance and was appalled to find that it also contains SLS.

Now just to explain: SLS was originally developed many years ago as an industrial cleaner!!! So why on earth should it be in my tube of toothpaste, or my bubble bath for that matter. Well, enough is enough!

Here is my recipe for home-made toothpaste. No chemicals, no fluoride and does a lovely job too. 🙂

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

2 Tbsp. baking soda

20 drops essential oil (I use spearmint.)

A bit of Stevia if you want sugar-free sweetness (I don’t bother with this)

After mixing the toothpaste keep it in a glass container with a lid. Then just spoon some out or dip your dry toothbrush into it. The mixture does not need to be refrigerated.

So, that’s another chemical eliminated! Onwards and upwards 🙂

 

Lesley xx

 

Going All The Way…… Naturally

I have long believed in living a ‘natural’ life – that is, using as many all-natural products as possible, eating foods without additives, recycling, upcycling, anything that is gentler on ourselves and gentler on our precious planet.

When I started SkinKiss I took the decision that as much as I wanted to emulate the gloriously coloured bath goodies I saw in places like Lush it was never going to be possible using only natural ingredients.

I do occasionally use natural food colouring  but on the whole I prefer to make my products look special with the clever use of botanicals.

Just a touch of natural food colouring

The best nights sleep you’ll ever have

This is one of my favourite SkinKiss products; A Lavender & Clary Sage Bath Fizz.

Just a hint of natural green food colouring and a few lavender buds. Pop one of          these into your evening bath and you will soon find your eyelids

drooping as you drift off to sleep. 🙂

A Sweet Orange scented Bath Bomb – no colour – just a few delicate cornflower and calendula petals and a delicious scent.

No colour, just a delicious scent and cornflower and calendula petals

No colour, just a delicious scent and cornflower and calendula petals

Another of my most popular products is my Rose heart Bath Melt. This is such a simple recipe but so very pretty.

Fragrant Skin Food

Fragrant Skin Food

So you see, you really don’t need all those damaging artificial colours and fragrances – just pure ingredients and a bit of imagination.

Hope you have enjoyed a little stroll through some of my products.

Till next time

Lesley xx

Nobody Likes A Quitter But ………………………….

Now I know that none of like a quitter but there are some things it really is worth giving up on.

I have suffered from an under active thyroid for longer than I care to remember. This condition causes a few problems for most sufferers; unremitting tiredness, lethargic metabolism, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, but for me the worst part was the weight gain. I started to feel that even if I lived on a lettuce leaf per day I would still pile on the pounds!

My age was against me too – in middle age your whole body shape seems to alter – and no matter how careful I was my weight kept creeping up. 😦

I have always tried to maintain a healthy diet but it just wasn’t having any effect on my weight. I would eye the bathroom scales in despair, convinced they must be lying to me!

Well this situation continued for several years and my weight continued to hover around the 11 stone mark which was far too heavy for a shortie like me – I am only 5′ 4″ – and it showed, in all the wrong places naturally.

Then I decided to ‘tweak’ a few things:

  • I cut my coffee intake down to just 2 cups per day
  • I started drinking only water  for the rest of the day (the cheapest bottled kind because with UAT you should avoid fluoride)
  • I reduced my weekend alcohol intake though I was never a heavyweight in that area anyway
  • I cut out ALL sugar from my diet (and that included 3 tsp per cup of coffee!)
  • I started using honey to sweeten my coffee and the occasional herbal teas

The result has seen me drop from a size 14 to a size 10/12 which for me is fairly amazing. And the best bit is that I just don’t miss sugar at all.

I am including a link here that you may find useful:

http://www.organicburst.com/community/madeleine_shaw/

Hope I have inspired you to try quitting!

Till next time

Lesley xx

Beating The Bugs Away

I think I may just have mentioned how much I enjoy walking. The scenery in this part of North Wales is SO stunning. And walking is FREE – another of my favourite things!

This weather being as glorious as it is though does tend to bring the insects out to play.

Apparently it is the temperature of your blood which attracts them and I suspect that mine must be just right!

It’s not that I begrudge them the right to eat – I just wish they wouldn’t always eat ME!

So, not to let a little thing like being someone’s favourite meal get in the way of my enjoyment I came up with a simple recipe to keep them at bay. My own insect repellent is quick and easy to make, a whole lot cheaper than anything you will find in the shops, contains no nasty chemicals, and………….. IT WORKS!

I make a large batch and then store it in a well-scoured glass bottle. I fill a perfume atomiser (found one cheaply in a discount store) and carry it with me to top up as and when I need.

Here’s the recipe if you want to make your own:

20 Drops Lemon grass Essential Oil

20 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

4 Fluid Ounces Water

Directions:

Combine in a  bottle and shake well then transfer what you require to an atomiser.

Spray on clothes, shoes and yourself, including hair, to repel ticks and bugs.

Hope it works for you too

Till next time

Lesley xx

Best Feet Forward!

What wonderful weather we are having at the moment – even here in (normally) wet Wales.

One of my favourite things during this type of weather is a long walk in the Gwydir Forest close to where I live in Llanrwst. My partner and I often walk right up to a small lake and sit there dangling our feet in the cool water, enjoying the sun on our backs and watching the beautiful dragonflies as they dart about their business. Last week we found a small toad, somewhat dehydrated, which we carefully returned to the water.

Trying to get to the water

Trying to get to the water

This particular walk is around  5 miles and though I have proper walking sandals, as you can imagine, by the time we get back my feet are quite hot and in need of some TLC.

So on our return I always treat my feet to a Peppermint Foot Soak from SkinKiss. Not only does it soothe the feet and soften the skin but it makes your feet smell wonderful.

TLC for tired feet

TLC for tired feet

If you would like to try this for yourself the recipe is here:

2 Parts Coarse Sea Salt

1 Part Epsom Salts

Peppermint Essential Oil – 2ml per 100g

Few Drops Natural Blue Food Colouring (optional)

Directions:

Mix salt and Epsom Salts together. Add essential oil & mix thoroughly. Add food colouring if wanted and again mix thoroughly.

Fill a bowl big enough to take both feet with hot (but not boiling) water. Add some of the salts and ‘swish’ to dissolve. Pop your feet in, sit back, relax and enjoy.

Hope you will try this – it really is a lovely treat for the feet. Oh, and great for my partner’s very smelly feet!