How Skin Brightening Products Can Help Enhance Your Complexion

Skin Brightening with Antipodes

You may have noticed a growing number of skin-brightening products gracing the shelves of your local skincare stockists and wondered about this booming global trend for lighter and brighter skin. ‘Skin-brightening’ is the industry term for products and techniques that help to lighten the skin, and in doing so address age spots, redness and pigmentation.

Wellington-based premium natural and certified organic skincare brand Antipodes® is championing the use of skin-brightening products to help restore a youthful glow and even complexion. The green beauty brand’s Global Beauty Expert Deborah Sampson says skin-brightening products work by using an active ingredient, or a combination of ingredients, that reduce the amount of melanin (a naturally occurring pigment) in the skin.

“Skin colour is determined by the amount of melanin in the skin and how much melanin you have is primarily determined by your genetic makeup. However, sunlight exposure, hormones, pregnancy, skin damage and exposure to certain chemicals can also affect melanin production.”

Over time, higher levels of melanin in the skin can trigger localised changes in skin colour, resulting in age spots, freckles, blemishes, and pigmentation. “This is where skin-brighteners come into their own,” Deborah says. “They work to give you bright, radiant skin.”

Natural skin-brightening ingredients harnessed by Antipodes in its skincare and makeup include revolutionary antioxidant Vinanza® Grape & Kiwi, a botanical extract from New Zealand grape seeds and kiwifruit that has been clinically shown to brighten and lighten skin by inhibiting melanin production. It can also improve elasticity and firmness and keep the skin moist and supple. The natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of New Zealand manuka honey addresses blemishes and help to soothe the skin, while delicate and beautiful peony flowers have powerful skin-brightening properties thanks to their ability to inhibit the melanin overproduction that can lead to pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Another prized flower extract is Persian silk flower, which contains an active skin-brightening compound that can help fade dark circles and reduce puffiness under the delicate eye area.

Discover the amazing skin brightening products from the Antipodes range on our 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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Behind the Scenes with BioBalance ‘New’ Argan Oil

BioBalance argan oil

BioBalance have been sourcing Argan Oil from a women’s cooperative in remote Morocco for many years, but it wasn’t until 2017 when BioBalance staffer Lisa visited, that it really sunk in how much hard work goes into producing this amazing oil. BioBalance is beaming with pride at being one half of this sustainable business partnership — and in Morocco, the women workers and their children are reaping the benefits of their hard work.

The 450 Berber women in five villages in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco are all paid living wages for their work, and the money goes to them (not their husbands). They use this money to support their families while their husbands are away in the big cities seeking further income. The cooperative also supports the women with schooling for them and the children, Doctors visits and medicines for their remote area, fresh drinking water and lessons in traditional crafts such as weaving and sewing.

Argan oil kernals

When BioBalance found out that this product is created with such love by the Berber women they felt it deserved a revamp. Let’s face it girls—who doesn’t love a fresh, new look?

BioBalance Argan oil is now packaged in a 100% recycled cardboard tube, printed with soy inks. It will compost or recycle happily (unlike the old foil pouch) or you can re-use the tubes for makeup brushes or pens. The patterns and colours are inspired by local Moroccan clothing, tiles, and mosques that call the locals to prayer each day.

Inside you will find the same 100% cold pressed certified organic Moroccan Argan oil that you have been used to. It has an exceptionally high percentage of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid (Omega 6) ensuring the repair and defense of your precious skin and hair.

BioBalance Argan Oil Fresh New Look

This product replaces the two Argan Oil products BioBalance used to have – one for skin and another for hair treatment. It can be safely used to moisturize your skin, tame your frizzy mane or nourish thirsty hair. It can be used as an overnight hair treatment mask, or rubbed generously onto skin. It has no nasty chemicals, preservatives or additives and is not tested on animals – it is 100% Vegan. The Argan Tree is grown in a way that cares for and nurtures the Moroccan environment and this Argan oil is created by a group of entrepreneurial women for women all over the world to enjoy.

Every time one of the BioBalance Argan Oil products is purchased, BioBalance will donate $1 back to the local women’s cooperative to help make more of a difference. This year the ladies are saving up to buy a vehicle to drive the children to school across the rugged mountain terrain to save them walking in the blistering heat and freezing cold. So, let’s make a difference! When women support women, incredible things can happen.

Watch Lisa’s Journey below:

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Shop BioBalance Argan Oil online 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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5 Easy Steps to Treat Head Lice Naturally

natural treatment for headlice

When your child gets head lice for the first time it can be quite a shock. How can this tiny insect cause so much emotional upset, inconvenience and feelings of uncleanliness? The fact is that if left untreated adult lice can lay 7-10 eggs per day and multiply over a week. They are very active, cannot hop or fly, and instead crawl, moving from head to head quickly.

To make matters worse, the tiny eggs are firmly attached to the base of the hair shaft (approximately 4mm of the scalp) with a glue-like substance making them very hard to detect and remove. Incubated by body heat they stay close to the scalp where it’s warm and close to the blood supply for their source of food. Once dislodged, a louse can survive for only two days because it won’t have a source of heat or food.

To distinguish between the eggs of head lice from other types of debris you find on the head, such as dandruff or dead skin, other types will slide easily along the shaft of the hair, whereas eggs will not.

Lice vs Nits – The Difference and How to Tell Them Apart

  • Louse – (Pediculus humanus capitis) insect 2 to 3 mm long, 6 legs, tan to greyish-white in colour
  • Lice – Plural of louse. Many = Infestation
  • Nits – Lice eggs – unhatched = Opaque
  • Nit – Lice eggs – hatched = Clear

Treating an Infestation

If you have decided you want to treat your child’s head lice with natural ingredients then the best method is to use a professional head lice treatment product containing plant carrier and essential oils. Carrier oils (CO) are named so because they “carry” an essential oil (EO) to the skin, scalp & and hair. Carrier oils are typically cold-pressed oils that are produced from the fatty portions of a specific plant and are used to suffocate and immobilise the lice. A properly formulated head lice treatment oil will also contain essential oils which possess ovicidal, repellent and insecticidal properties and used safely are a natural alternative in helping to eradicate lice and eggs.

5 Steps to Eradicate Lice and Eggs

  1. Apply a natural Head Lice Treatment Oil and leave on as long as possible to immobilise and suffocate the live lice and penetrate the eggs.
  2. After an hour, using a fine-tooth comb, carefully section the hair and remove as many lice and eggs as possible. Leave the oil on as long as possible after the initial comb-out, even overnight if possible.
  3. Shampoo the oil from the hair. Adding the shampoo before introducing the water will activate the lather better. You may need to shampoo twice to remove all of the oil.
  4. Apply a Herbal Rinse to detach any remaining eggs and cool and soothe the scalp.
  5. As a preventative measure and to help avoid future infestation use a preventative spray before school.

Dealing with head lice naturally does mean taking a little more time. The alternative in using a product that may offer to kill the lice and eggs in 15-30 mins is the risk of having to use harsh synthetic chemicals.

Holistic Hair’s Showdown Head Lice Treatment Oil uses olive, coconut, lavender, tea tree, citronella and pink grapefruit oils for the natural treatment of head lice. Following treatment, try using Holistic Hair’s Herbal Finishing Rinse to help detach any remaining eggs. Holistic Hair’s Showdown Head Lice Shield Spray can also be used to help protect against infestation of head lice.

Shop Holistic Hair on our secure online store.

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What does ‘natural’ skincare really mean?

what does natural skincare really mean

The notion of ‘natural beauty’ inspires thoughts of clear, radiant, youthful-looking skin. But what exactly does this phrase mean?

Natural skincare and cosmetics are having a major moment. Not only do they feel great when applied to skin, but with the growing awareness of toxic ingredients like formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, petroleum bases, parabens, and hormone-disrupting fragrances, people are demanding healthful options more now than ever.

One of the major problems many new customers face when searching for so-called natural skincare, is that the meaning of the word ‘natural’ is very broad. It often portrays an idealisation of the product rather than hold any truth. For example, a cream might contain ‘natural herbal extracts’, and yet still include a raft of other synthetic chemicals which make up 95 per cent of the ingredients. If buying truly natural skincare is of utmost importance, you’ll want full transparency around exactly what’s in that jar.

Upon the inception of natural skincare, the ingredients used were mainly whole plant extracts – things like rosehip, sweet almond and carrot seed oils were easily recognisable on product labels. However, the advancement of technology and growth of the natural skincare industry makes it harder to establish if what you’re purchasing is derived from natural ingredients.

Everything is made of chemical compounds – even water – but many chemicals contained in skincare are derived from plants, and then isolated in a lab. These are still natural but may have longer, scientific names like capric triglyceride or sodium stearoyl glutamate. How is one meant to tell the difference between an isolated chemical derived from something natural, and a synthetic chemical derived from petroleum? Selecting natural skincare is certainly a minefield.

HealthPost created their Good Ingredients Promise in 2018, to remove the guesswork customers’ face when trying to make a natural, healthy and ethical choice. Their Red List contains ingredients plus any processes that may have negative impacts on human or environmental health. Any products therefore must not contain any ingredients on this list and must meet a number of specific natural, environmental and ethical standards.

Ingredients aside, many natural skincare companies are starting to employ environmental considerations to their packaging. This goes far beyond only the packaging being recyclable – what footprint does it have? Consumers nowadays demand to know where their products come from, and what trace they leave behind. Such values will be specific to each person, but the general consensus is a desire for improved natural skincare packaging options, that are better for the environment and don’t leave a lasting impact, while still protecting the precious contents within.

On the same vein lie personal care items, with their environmental impact being just as tenuous as the former. It’s astonishing to ponder the number of plastic toothbrushes that sit in landfill if everyone on the planet disposes of four plastic toothbrushes per year. With options like bamboo toothbrushes, refillable dental floss, menstrual cups, and compostable packaging, it’s great to see positive steps being taken to reduce waste or the use of plastic. If you want to make changes in your own bathroom cabinet but are feeling a bit overwhelmed, start by making one change at a time – even the simplest swap-out could make a massive difference.

With any beauty regimen, it’s important to remember that external appearance reflects internal health. Think of the body holistically – we should all form an understanding the importance of clean and abundant water, consuming plenty colourful vegetables high in antioxidants, as well as sources of protein to assist normal detoxification and collagen formation.

The body should be eliminating waste well so that the pores stay clear, which places emphasis on the health of the digestive tract, kidneys, and liver, achieved through good diet and lifestyle measures. Supplementing with the right nutrients also helps – think plenty of collagen, antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, essential fatty acids, fibre, and biotin.

Whatever additions you make to your natural beauty regimen, they should help clear, refine, plump, and smooth your naturally beautiful canvas.

Our Natural Skincare Picks:

HealthPosts top natural skincare picks

Whether you’re looking for cruelty-free, organic or environmentally-friendly skincare, our large selection of truly natural and Good Ingredients Promise approved products are sure to please.

The importance of cruelty-free skincare has been a point hammered home in recent years, but with it comes a rise of vegan products that are completely free from animal derivatives.

There’s a growing trend among conscious consumers to seek out naturally good products that are kind to the earth too. Ditch the plastic and opt for these recyclable alternatives.

New Zealand has a reputation for producing high-quality products that are highly regarded on a global scale. These natural personal and skincare products are lovingly made in our own backyard.

Opting for organic skincare means that you’re getting the healthiest ingredients, minus the harmful pesticides.

Shop online for these natural beauty products and more on our secure website.

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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Is Your Sunscreen Reef Safe?

Sunscreen damage to coral reefs

As if all the plastic waste wasn’t enough, researchers estimate up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion enters oceans worldwide each year, killing coral reefs. Coral reefs play a fundamental role in the food chain, yet up to 10% are seriously under threat by sunscreen-induced damage.

It’s scary to think that the products we’re applying to protect our skin can be causing harm to our oceans and marine life. The reality is that common chemical sunscreen ingredients are causing catastrophic effects, from bleaching coral reefs to poisoning sea urchins, algae, and fish.

Ingredients Causing Harm

Oxybenzone is one of the main chemical ingredients used in many sunscreens. It works by creating a chemical reaction within our skin, absorbing UV rays from the sun which can then be released as heat. Unfortunately, this chemical ingredient among others, such as Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, have been shown to kill or bleach coral reefs, even at extremely low concentrations. Just one drop in enough water to fill 6 olympic sized swimming pools has been shown to cause toxic effects. These chemical compounds are known to disrupt the coral’s growth cycles and reproduction, and leave young coral deformed. Oxybenzone in particular has shown to awaken dormant viruses in symbiotic algae, known as Zooxanthellae, which live inside reef-building corals. Zooxanthellae provides the corals with energy through photosynthesis giving corals the vibrant colours we all admire so much. Without them, the corals start to bleach, turn white and eventually die.

Even an “organic” certification doesn’t mean a product is safe for the environment. A number of plant-based oils can actually be toxic to reef organisms. Some natural ingredients used in organic sunscreens such as neem, eucalyptus and lavender oils are also toxic to reef organisms, particularly arthropods.

coral bleaching - sunscreen damaging coral

Reefs at Risk

The amount of sunscreen entering the ocean each year puts coral reefs all over the world at risk. Of course, popular tourist destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands make the coral there especially vulnerable. Some countries are now starting to take the lead, placing a ban on both the use and sale of sunscreens containing harmful chemical UV agents such as oxybenzone. Multiple parks in Mexico’s Riviera Maya and surrounding region including Xel-Ha Park have banned any sunscreen that is not mineral based and biodegradable. This year, Hawaii followed suit, passing a bill prohibiting the sale of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which comes into effect in 2021. Just this month on November 1st, the small nation of Palau announced that they too would be placing a ban on the use and sale of reef-toxic sunscreens. Their list of prohibited ingredients includes oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, triclosan and several parabens, all of which will be banned under the new Act which kicks in from January 1st 2020.

Protecting Your Skin AND the Ocean

With New Zealand’s depleted ozone layer and the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, it’s more than important we protect ourselves from the suns rays. The good news is that there are a number of natural and reef-safe sunscreens available which are mineral based and offer great protection. Look for mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are more gentle for sensitive skin, plus have the added bonus of working immediately. Always be sure to check they have been independently tested to ensure they meet their SPF label claim, plus be sure to check that they are coral-reef safe on the label.

One of our favourites is Solimara Truly Natural Sunscreen. With shea butter, jojoba and sweet almond oil, this reef-safe sunscreen is nourishing as well as protective for the skin.

Check out some of our customer reviews:

“I love this sunscreen because it’s reef safe and 2-hour water resistant, so ideal for the beach. It’s thick, but rubs in easily and doesn’t leave a white cast. The scent is gorgeous.”–  Je t’aime

“Really pleased with this product as I’ve been looking for a good natural sunscreen for a while! Doesn’t have that whiteness to it that some zinc-based sunscreens do which I like. I wear it under makeup and seems to work well. Spreads really easily, I had expected it to be stickier.” – Anna

“It smells fresh and pleasant suitable for the whole family. It rubs in clear and it does protect my skin from sunburn when using as directed. No nasties! Love it.”– Susan

As part of HealthPost’s Good Ingredients Promise and to ensure that we only stock the healthiest products, all sunscreens that we stock have had independent testing to ensure they meet the SPF label claim. We will only stock sunscreens that have undergone rigorous independent testing to verify any claims made about the UVA and UVB protection, as well as the SPF rating, and water resistance.

Remember, in order to be sun safe, it’s also essential to consider seeking shade at peak times of sun exposure. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after being in the water. Wear loose, light clothing that covers skin and wear a wide brimmed hat.

Shop Solimara Truly Natural Sunscreen and our natural sunscreen category online.

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Sunscreen and My Family – Why I Choose Natural

Natural sunscreen with good ingredients

It’s not easy finding the perfect sunscreen. Of course, I want products that are safe and effective, but like most people, my wish list doesn’t end there. I don’t want it to be messy or sticky, turn me as white as a ghost, pill under makeup, or leave hand-prints stuck to the car doors and seats. And because applying sunscreen to small children is like wrestling alligators, it has to rub in quickly too.

Sadly, oh-so-convenient sunscreen sprays are ozone depleting and I really don’t want to inhale the ingredients. Plus, I was recently horrified to discover that the spray sticks to sand, which is then carried out into the ocean when the tide comes in. Some sunscreen ingredients (oxybenzone and octinoxate), have irreparably damaged the coral reef, and even a number of plant-based oils including neem, eucalyptus and lavender can be toxic to reef organisms, so it’s important to check your sunscreen is reef safe before you swim.

Chemical or Physical Sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreens use synthetic compounds which create a chemical reaction in our skin to change UV rays from the sun into heat, which then is released into the air. Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients (zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide), which sit on top of the skin to deflect UV rays away. I prefer to use a natural, physical sunscreen with mineral UV filters as they are suitable for sensitive skin and work immediately – you don’t have to wait 20 minutes before going into the sun, which is a big plus when you have kids racing out the door. BUT, they do require a little more care with application. Instead of smearing it on, you’ll get far better results if you dot it on exposed skin before you blend.

Natural Sunscreen Tried and Tested

I tried a few ‘HealthPost approved’ natural sunscreens on the whole family to see which ones got the thumbs up.

    • Solimara Truly Natural SPF30 Sunscreen contains nourishing Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil to help moisturise your skin. It’s also reef safe and 2-hour water resistant, so ideal for the beach. It’s thick, but rubs in easily and doesn’t leave a white cast. The scent is gorgeous.
    • Oasis Sun SPF 40 Sport  is water and sweat-resistant (for up to two hours), photo-stable, reef safe and vegan-friendly. It’s also free of fragrance, colouring, parabens, phthalates and sulphates. The texture is wonderful; it rubs in easily, absorbs quickly, leaves no white cast and the finish is dry-touch. This gets my pick to keep everyone in the family happy and protected.
    • Coola Sport SPF30 Sunscreen is comprised of 98% natural ingredients, including 70%+ certified organic ingredients that help to ‘treat’ the skin as well as protect from sun damage. It is 80-minute water resistant and has a delightful natural citrus scent.
      • Packed with rich organic oils and butters, Goodbye Ouch Sun Balm SPF50 helps to nourish the entire body as well as the lips. It doesn’t leave a white cast, but the finish is ‘balmy’ so it’s best used at the beach and not under a silk dress or makeup. I love applying this to the kids as it rubs in quickly. A major bonus: the day after using this my skin feels silky soft, so it definitely doubles as a moisturiser.

Being sun smart used to mean simply ‘apply sunscreen and cover up’, but these days things are more complex. It means being aware of the effects that sunscreen can have on our health and just as importantly, the health of our planet. And what could be more important than that?

Shop HealthPost’s range of natural and reef safe sunscreens online now.

Article by Je t’aime Hayr, HealthPost customer ambassador

jet'aime-6A self-confessed ‘Green Smoothie Queen’, Je t’aime loves to write about health, wellness and eco-living, and has not-so-secret hopes that her words may help to ‘save the world’ while inspiring people to live their best life. She lives in Auckland with her partner and their two boisterous twin boys, and when she’s not busy writing or wrangling her toddlers, you’ll probably find her dancing, at the gym or unwinding on her shakti mat while reading one of the many books she has on the go. 

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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