It's been such a long time since I've had a LoveLula Beauty Box*, and I have to admit I was totally excited to get this box through the post this month! There literally is nothing better than knowing you are going to get a box of goodies to play with. Plus the added element of suspense not knowing what is going to be in it, then the surprise when you final unveil it! 

My first thoughts on this box where happy ones as I noticed how many of the products were certified organic, ideal for Organic September and Organic Beauty Week. It's great to see the 'green' and 'natural' beauty industry really make a definite shift to being organic as well as 'natural' to really enhance the 'clean' and 'toxic free' ethics. 

This month offered four full or trial size products and two little sample sachets. I was kindly sent this box to review as part of the Love Lula blogger scheme but to purchase it would cost £12.50 per month to receive this box. This month's box worth came to well over £45!

So lets take a look at some of the goodies included!

I know I've said this time and time again, but I love a facial waster/mist. I tend to shy away from Rose based products as often I'm not keen on the scent but this one smell just like the fresh petals of roses, with none of that 'old ladies knitted sweater' type of smell (you know what I mean). The ingredients are very simple. Rose Flower Distillate...that's it. Super pure. Super clean. 
As most floral waters this is a versatile product you can use as a toner or simply to freshen up. 
This spray is Soil Association certified organic, 100% natural, cruelty free (Leaping Bunny certified) and carries the RBM (Real beauty Manifesto) logo.

So OOH! has been a brand that has been on my radar for a while, but like many many brands it's just never made it's way into my stash. That's why I love beauty boxes, they introduce me to brands I haven't tried before and products I might never have picked up. I love facial oils, but I'm quite dedicated to those I am using lately, but this one really intrigues me. I've never used a product with Baobab before. I've used it in smoothies but never in skincare. Intrigued to see if it really is a transformative as it claims. As they say it is rich in Omega-3s i'm keen to give this a whirl on my scars and pigment spots. 
Although not certified this oil is purely (100%) made from organic Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil (Baobab). Again OOH! is part of the RBM and carries the logo. This product is also PhytoTrade Africa certified.

I've recently just used up a FOM anti-ageing hand cream and loved it so I have high hopes for this serum. This serum is designed to be used both days and night to give your skin a super hydration boost. The main base of this serum is rose water formulated with other powerful ingredients such as silk protein and fig extract among others. There's a lot of science based explanation surrounding the workings of this serum, but essentially it is to boost hydration, support collagen and help reduce pigmentation and even out skin tone. Pretty much everything I need for my skin after a long summer and heading into a cold dry winter.

Love Madara as a brand! I've used a lot of their products and always been impressed. I've noticed that lately they have really stepped up their offering and product/ packaging design and it's definitely kept me interested in them as a brand. I'm loyal to their comforting toner and skin tints so I'm hoping, fingers crossed this peel mask will prove to be just as good. Funnily enough I've just got back into exfoliating/ peel masks after not using them for years after a bad experience. The poor texture of my skin lately has mean that I've been experimenting with them more lately so this has come at the right time. AHAs have seen a surge in popularity in skincare of late especially with traditional skincare so it's great to see a natural skincare brand embracing this too.
This mask is 99% natural and ECOCERT organic certified (7% of total ingredients are from organic farming)

I have a love hate relationship with sachets, I love the idea of having them and think 'perfect for travelling' but then I forget about them or I open and then only use half of them and have to chuck them. However luckily these are from two of my fave brands so I'm popping these straight in my makeup bag. Again the MADARA Micellar Water is ECOCERT certified (13% of total ingredients from organic farming)  and is 99% natural origin. The Kimberley Sayer Cleansing Lotion is also made with certified organic ingredients (I'm not familiar with the logo so unsure if it is by a  particular body or not.)

And that my friends, rounds up the total collection of goodies in the LoveLula Beauty Box for September. While I'm really pleased with this box, I would like to see some makeup bits or body care products in future boxes, just to mix things up a little bit, I'm sure there will be.

LoveLula Beauty Box // September 2016

Back in June I went on holiday. I headed to Morocco for a week and as you can imagine it was scorching, averaging temperate was about 35 degrees, sometimes plus. As a result, I got a fabulous tan (using all natural sun protection of course!) What with my mixed ethnicity, I tan quite easily and develop quite a nice golden colour. I love being tanned, everything about it makes me feel better, and when it starts to disappear, I genuinely get quite sad. So I decided that I'd 'fake it til I make it' (to another holiday). In the past I've dabbled in different natural tanning oils, creams and lotions, but by the the best one for me has been this Biosolis one.

I got this Biosolis Self tanning Spray* through BigGreenSmile, the online natural products retailer. It's a new brand to their site and I had never heard of it before. After checking out the brand and seeing that suncare products and tan were their USP I thought I would be in good hands. After all I've had some disasters in the past.

This tanning spray is ECOCERT certified, Cosmebio certified and FDA certified, 99% of the ingredients are from natural origin and 83% are from organic farming. The tanning factor of the formula is achieved with DHA (Dihydroxyacetone).

So how good is it really? Well, last time I headed home I was chilling out with my mum and sister, trying on clothes and whatnot when my sister suddenly pointed at me and shouted 'Why are you so tan?!' I looked at my legs and they were indeed glowing gorgeously. I told her it was fake tan and she was genuinely surprised! Neither she nor my mum could get over how natural it looked in colour and how streak free it was. They both thought it was my real tan. That is how good it is on me. In fact they both insisted I send them the link, which I dutifully did, because they want to buy it too.

The application is amazingly easy, the easiest I've ever tried. the formula is a milk and very thin and fluid. This makes it really easy to blend and control when you apply it to your skin. As it's not thick , it doesn't congeal or gather in nooks and crannies, it glides over your skin and sinks in fast but not so fast that you have to work like a mad man. The packaging comes with a spray which is a pretty decent spray but I actually found for me the easiest and fastest way to apply was to spray it directly into my hand and then apply to my body**. This way I know how many pumps each part of me received and required. Simple. I think the fluidity of the formula is why it is so amazingly streak free and even, no patches or overly dark marks. 
I can apply this to my whole body in a matter of minutes and be dry and able to sit down and head to bed etc within 10 mins of application. Also only once did it slightly mark my white sheets and that was after a super hot and muggy night. It washed out of my sheets without a problem too. The tan develops after three hours but after 24 hours it has intensified which is why I like to tan before bed so I wake with a glow and keep on glowing throughout the day. By the end of the day, I'm golden!

On me this tan lasts about three days before it really fades so I apply about every three to four days. Like a traditional tan, after application the top layer as it were, does wash away a little but it helps reveal the true tan underneath. Unlike a traditional tan I don't really need to exfoliate before hand. Another effect of this tanning spray is super soft skin. The formula is blended with Aloe Vera,  Avocado oil, Shea butter amongst other ingredients and by gosh do they make my skin feel smooth and soft and very supple! It also includes beeswax so may not be suitable for vegans.

For me this tanning spray is a total winner and when it runs out I will definitely by purchasing it - It's £12.99 for 150ml from BGS.

**Just a note, as I said I apply this with my bare hand and have never tried it with a tanning mitt. I can't imagine a mitt making things easier, actually I reckon it would make things harder and more fumbly. I don't know.

Topping up my Tan Organically // Biosolis

Transitioning from traditional products to natural ones is quite a daunting task in itself, but to add the specification of organic into the mix, well that's actually quite a big task. When you look at all the areas that we've covered this month on going organic, it's pretty huge. But with beauty it doesn't need to be too hard. There's a lot of focus on going organic with the actual beauty products and the ingredients they are made with, but lets not forget the extras in your beauty regime too! There's a wonderful market of organic cotton products to cover all your beauty needs and replace the traditional options. 

Below I have created a pretty little infographic with a snapshot selection of some of my fave picks to make things easier. This is by no means the be all and end all list, rather it's a good starting point to ease into the transition. The majority of these picks are Soil Association certified or ECOCERT certified so you know they really are organic.

Why switch to organic cotton? Check out my post HERE.

Organic 'Beauty Essentials' Swaps

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this lipstick is? The packaging, the colour, the shape. Gorgeous. This beautiful lipstick is from Living Nature and it is the first of its kind (along with another shade) to be fully COSMOS certified organic.

I was very kindly sent this Living Nature Lipstick* by Botanical Brands and I knew it would be perfect for Organic September and better yet Organic Beauty Week. The fact that I've got a growing obsession with lipsticks in every shade and variety going, just made it that much easier to give this a whirl. This particular shade is called Pure Passion and it is the darker more vampy shade of the two available.
They surprised me with the shade, but as I had seen this lipstick and it's partner on other lovely blogs, I knew that either would be right up my street!

 In the tube Pure Passion looks like a very deep rich dark vary red. A perfect autumn colour. As with most things, depending on the light this can look very different. I find on me the colour comes out a lot brighter and lighter than expected but still has a lovely deep rich cherry red hue to it. This is definitely not a pillar-box red. I actually think the colour is much truer to the colour sticker on the lipstick time than what it looks like in its unapplied form. I have to say I am very much in love with this colour.
With my mixed skin tone it can be hard to match the right red, I'm not pale but I'm not dark toned either. My skin is also a mix of both yellow/olive and pink undertones and for me it's not as simple as always opting for warm or cool undertones. Both can look flattering and unflattering in equal measure. Personally I think this is a really flattering shade on me and I love it. I took it on its first outing at a friends wedding and it really pulled my look together, striking without being over the top!

The formula of the lipstick is wonderful. It is super creamy and applies very easily, not a hint of chalkiness in sight. For staying power, as I mentioned I wore this to a wedding and I only had to re-apply a few times throughout the day. The info describes it as long lasting and I can certainly attest to that. A great aspect of this lipstick is that it doesn't tend to smudge too easily and doesn't bleed at all, so you can maintain a fairly crisp outline. When swacteched this lipstick does look semi-matt but I do find that once on my lips it loses its semi-matt finish and becomes a little more silky looking.
Luckily for me it is also very hydrating and doesn't highlight any dry patches too much, which as someone who is constantly battering dry lips is a real blessing in both aspects. To help them moisturise while being worn, this lipsticks is formulated with organic coconut oil, organic carnauba wax and organic beeswax.

Which brings me nicely onto one of the most important factors about this lipstick. It is 100% natural and 90% organic. Fully COSMOS certified. Organic makeup is hard to find and the fact that this is certified by the biggest and strictest organic certifying body out there is amazing!

Additionally these two organic lipsticks are cruelty free and gluten free. Just a note they do contain beeswax so are not vegan.

Organic Lipstick // Living Nature

It's been a very long time since I've purchased a beauty box, but when I saw that YOU Beauty had collaborated with the Soil Association on a special organic beauty box I knew it was one I would be scooping up quickly!

As expected all the products within the box are certified by Soil Association and includes a mix of skincare, makeup and health. I know all of the brands in the box, but I've only actually used two of them which was part of the reason I was so keen to purchase this box. 
Here's what it includes:

 Terre Verdi GoodOils Cleansing Oil 

I've never tried a Terre Verdi product before and with this being a cleansing oil it the perfect introduction to the brand. This oil is a blend of jojoba, camellia,castor and organ oil.

 Skin & Tonic Rose Mist 

Another brand I am very familiar with but have never used. I love a face mist, but I'm not a huge rose fan so we will see how I get along with this one. formulated with aloe vera and glycerine along with the rose water, this spray is designed as multi-purpose spray for cooling down, toning and even as a makeup setting spray.

 Botanicals Radiance Facial Serum 

Yet another brand I know a lot about but for some reason haven't tried out.  This serum is suitable for all skin types and is a blend of avocado, grapeseed oil and reship oil so it sound like it will be super hydrating. 

 NYR Wild Rose Beauty Balm 

I've used this balm before in other samples and it's really lovely, I'm pleased to have a bigger sample to give it more a lengthy trial. However, what I didn't realise is that this can be used as a face mask! Time to get playing around with this some more!

 Odylique Organic Eye Liner 

I was so pleased to see a makeup item included in this box, especially because it's all about certified organic products. More often than the not the focus is on skincare and it's great to see that makeup is being highlighted too especially as the area of organic makeup is growing each year.

 Natracare Cleansing Make-up Removal Wipes 

My favourite wipes. I've used these lots and always grab a pack if I find them. These single ones are going to be perfect for popping in my handbag.

The final product is a totally different product that focuses on beauty from the inside out. This is the Kiki Health Acai Berry Powder; Baobab Powder; Camu Camu Powder; Maca Powder and Wheatgrass Powder bundle of sachets. They also come with recipes so you can have a tasty explore into superfoods.

I think this is a lovely box, a great mix of brands, and quite refreshing to see some 'food' and makeup in there also. My only point would be that it would have been nice to have one of the products more of a body focused one. However for only £20 for a collection that is worth over £75, I think it's certainly a bit of a bargain! You can still grab one for yourself here!

What do you think of this box?


Happy Organic Beauty Week!

This is the part of Organic September where I can really delve into beauty much more and share some amazing products, brands, tips, tricks, ideas and thoughts with you!

The Soil Association have a lovely little hashtag going this year for their Organic Beauty Week campaign - #LookForTheLogo. The message being if you are unsure on whether something is organic or not, then check to see if the product has their logo...if not then the chances are it isn't - unless of course there is another real certification on there.

Keep up to date with the Soil Association's wonderful #LookForTheLogo campaign this year through the Soil Association's Beauty instagram >> @soilassociationbeauty

You can also check out their OBW page online here.

Don't forget to also check out:

Enjoy a week of pure organic beauty!

Organic Beauty Week // 2016

Ah tea! The most favourite of British past times. I'll admit I'm a tea fan, and was raised on the stuff. I have fond memories of being snuggled in bed in the morning drinking a 'little cup of tea' which was just the last mouthful or two of my mums cup of tea, when I was a little one. This end of the tea was super sweet and sugary and I loved it. As I got older my tea habit grew as did my sugar consumption. It was scary how much sugar I had in my tea. Then I started getting wise and reducing and then cutting out sugar from my tea. Next came exploring herbal teas and now at the final height of tea love comes the organic teas!

And my go to choice for organic tea is always Pukka
I first tried Pukka when I got samples in health boxes and they were a brill introduction. Now my two go-tos at the moment are Pukka Supreme Matcha Green and Pukka Detox.

I choose the Detox tea, not for it's cleansing properties as I'm not overly into the whole 'detox' thing, but because it tastes like a lightly flavoured bobbly sweet from allsorts (you know the pink and blue bobbly ones) a little bit of aniseed and fennel. Delicious.  
The Matcha tea gives me an amazing boost when I'm feeling drowsy but doesn't give me the shakes like coffee does.

Why Pukka? Because I think they are one of the best organic tea brands available, they leave no little detail untouched. 
They are Soil Association and USDA certified, and when they say they are organic and GM free they mean more than just with the plants and herbs that they use. Even the cotton used to make the teabag string is organic!

Pukka teas are also made with sustainably grown herbs and plant ingredients and the company are part of the FairWild scheme which guarantees sustainable growing and harvesting methods as well as being fair to the workers with fair pay and working conditions etc. Going forward Pukka are also working towards having all their teas certified as 'Fair' by the Fair For Life scheme. Many of their teas are already certified FairTrade.
Even all of the Pukka packaging is sustainable and eco. As I mentioned the string on the bags is made from organic cotton and they don't use staples so the bags are 100% biodegradable. The bags themselves are made from wood pulp and Acaba /Manila hemp (they never use bags made from oil derived nylon or GMO Corn Starch)
The boxes are also made from FSC renewable wood sources and full recyclable. The ink used on the packaging is also non toxic vegetable ink. 

And there's more. Pukka earn extra brownie points with these little extras:

Did you know...? 'Pukka' means 'real' in Hindi. And we often use the term to mean 'good' or 'perfect'. Jamie Oliver loves using the term! You can see why the founders chose it can't you? 

If you want more info on Pukka you need to check out their website as it is literally overflowing with amazing information everywhere you look. They are so passionate and involve din every aspect it's really inspiring! If you are London based then also try to grab a copy of Balance magazine - I couldn't believe it when I saw the article on Pukka in there. I had to re-setup my photo background to include  snap of the magazine in this blog post too!

Go organic with your whole tea routine and make sure you also choose organic milk if you use it and also opt for Fair Trade Organic sugar ( try Equal Exchange Raw Cane sugar!) if you can.

Would You Like a Cup of (Organic) Tea?

I am a total foundation addict. Since the age of 15 I've been hooked. Things hit an all time high at university when my go-to must have foundation was Maybelline Dream Matt Mousse. Super matt almost chalky foundation that was thick and about two shades darker than my skin tone was my thing *shudder*! Then thankfully I started my journey to natural makeup and found my way wading through mineral powder foundations. However you can imagine my struggle when I tried out liquid foundations. Traditional liquid foundations and natural liquid ones are earths apart and since then I've been on a real journey of discovery. So I've tried and tested a lot of foundations and I recently I have been trying our this Living Nature Foundation*.

I chose the Living Nature Foundation in the shade Pure Sand as it offers a blend of both yellow and pink undertones, which suits my skin tone the best. As it stands it is actually a pretty good blend of the two undertone colours, often I find some too yellow or too pink, but this one is pretty good.

The formula is described as lightweight and I would agree that sitting on the skin it does feel very light. However in terms of coverage I would describe it as medium to full coverage. One of the best points of this foundation is how buildable it is. It works really well layering it if you want to go for a much more full coverage look without being cakey. The consistency is really creamy but not too thick and it's easy to apply and blend. I've tried this with buffing brushes, beauty sponges and fingers and all work really well with minimal streaking and as I mentioned it doesn't tend to clump or get cakey. After a long day without any touch ups you obviously do get the usual buildup and creasing around the nose etc, but nothing unusual from any other foundation.

The finish of this is quite natural, definitely a matt finish but because the consistency of the formula is so creamy is doesn't have a chalky effect to it and you can still see a hint of your natural glow through if you only use one layer.

As for the colour, it's a fairly good match. The pic below is two layers of foundation and does make it look too dark for my natural skin, however that is on my underarms which are dramatically paler than the rest of my body and also I do love a bit of fake tan so I always choose a foundation that is a shade darker than I actually am.
One important thing I would note however is that this foundation does oxidise a fair bit. The photo below shows the foundation after it has been sitting for a couple of minutes, when first applied the shade is much close to that of my skin, paler and a lot cooler toned. The oxidisation makes the foundation a hint darker and a little bit warmer in tone too. If I was going for a more true to skin (untanned) colour I might go a shade lighter to compensate for this.

This Living Nature Foundation costs £28 for 30ml (available at LoveLula) so it is on the higher price range of foundations, but since using it almost everyday I have barely made a dent in it as you can really work well with a small amount so it should last quite a while.

Additionally, because I love packaging design, I have to mention how handy the bottle is. The pump has a twist and lock system so that you don't get any spillages in your make up bag and I think it locks the air out to stop it ruining the foundation too. Also the cardboard packaging is made from trees from renewable forests, completely recyclable and hasn't been process with any chlorine or bleaches. This foundation is also cruelty free and vegan (NB. not all LN products are) but it does have Talc in it, although the LN website does explain that they have taken care to make it as safe as possible. 

Living Nature Foundation

So the focus this month has been all about organic, but the realities are that often organic produce is unavailable or simply too expensive when you are buying everything organic. However, this doesn't mean that it has to be an all or nothing approach. By using the EWGs handy guide you can get the low down on which fruit and veg is more important to go organic with than others. This can help you spread the cost and make shopping a little easier. The list over the years does tend to get tweaked here and there, often potatoes find their way on and other small changes are made, but here is the most recent list that I follow.

The reason to choose organic is as we've mentioned before is due to trying to consume less pesticides and chemical residues on our food (check out my 6 reasons to go organic here). This list breaks down the Dirty 12 (dozen) which often have the highest pesticide residues and are those which have the least, the Clean 15. If you are wanting to buy more organic produce then the list shows you which fruit and veg it is better to choose organic with and the fruit/veg where you're kinda ok not too.

However, whether you are buying organic or not my advice is to always wash your fruit and veg before hand. Even organic fruit and veg can have residues and natural fertilisers and some natural pesticides can and are sometimes used, and anyway with all the transportation food goes through these days it's bound to pick up some grime here and there.

To wash fruit and veggies I use the apple cider vinegar method. Splash about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into your sink full of cool water and let sit for a few minutes. I like to give me a shuffle about occasionally and for potatoes etc a gentle scrub with a brush is also great. Rinse with cold clean water and you are done!

The Dirty 12 (Dozen) & The Clean 15

There's been a lot of talk about organic on this blog recently especially in terms of beauty and food, but today's post is focusing a bit more on textiles and the importance especially of organic cotton in particular for both our clothing and beauty products and feminine care and even more.

Cotton as a raw material is used in a huge range of items that we have in our modern lives, from t-shirts to jeans, cotton pads for makeup, cotton buds and tampons, from shoes to bags, towels and bedsheets to cloths, rugs and throws. They all can incorporate beautiful cotton. However not all cotton products are made equal.

Traditional 'cotton' products are not always 100% cotton, they can be blended with rayon and synthetics including thermoplastic polymers such as polyester or even polypropylene. In the UK if a product is labelled with any of the terms '100%', 'Pure', or 'all' in relation to a raw material such as cotton then it legally has to be solely made from, in our case, cotton (however it may legally contain up to 2% of other fibres to account for impurities or fibres used for anti-static properties). A pure cotton product doesn't have to state it is pure even if it is, so sometimes it can be hard to tell. Just make sure you look out for that 100%/pure/all label.

However, this doesn't mean that this cotton is still lovely and pure in the terms of chemicals and modification. Non organic cotton can be grown using GM seeds, in fact a whopping 30% of cotton grown worldwide is from GM seeds, in the USA alone it is 70% of their cotton that is grown from GM seeds! On top of that, worldwide, non organic cotton accounts for 16% of global insecticide use and a fourth of the global use of insecticides and pesticides combined! GMOs are bad news for wildlife and biodiversity and human health.

Organic cotton however is never grown using GM seeds, all GMOs are banned from being used in any aspect of organic farming for cotton (in fact for growing anything organic!) Similarly the use of all synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are prohibited in organic cotton farming and growing. Instead natural manure is used for fertiliser and natural pesticides such as Neem are used to control pests instead of wiping them out. Using these natural fertilisers and pesticides are better for both humans and the environment in terms of wildlife, soil health, biodiversity and clean water etc. Farmers are not exposed to harmful chemicals doing the farming process and consumers are not harmed by residues on the end product. 

To get non-organic cotton to look bright white it is often bleached with chemicals such as chlorine. Using this bleaching process can cause additional toxic carcinogens such as dioxin and trihalomethane which are both classed as disinfection-by-products (DBP). Dioxin in cotton can also be present due to synthetic pesticides. These chemical residues can be found in the fatty tissue of humans and even animals and can cause allergies, rashes and many other negative side affects.

Non-organic cotton, on the other hand, is not bleached using chlorine, instead much friendlier and safer and naturally occurring disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide are used.

Furthermore organic cotton is always processed using dyes and inks that adhere to strict toxicity and biodegradability guidelines.

Additionally the cotton industry is known to be one of the worse in terms of poor working conditions. By choosing organic cotton not only are your supporting farmers who do not expose their workers to toxic chemicals but also you are supporting organisations who adhere to strict guidelines. In the case of Soil Association certified organic cotton, workers are protected by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions which monitor workers hours, wages, working conditions and treatment among other aspects.

To make sure that you are choosing the best organic cotton products always look for the logo! Below are the two main logos to check for. There are other logos and certifiers but many only account for the organic growing or farming of the cotton and do not cover the organic practices within processing and manufacturing. The two below: Soil Association and GOTS both cover every aspect of the organic process from farm to fashion etc.

All About Organic Cotton

So it's Organic September and you may be thinking, why should I go organic, what does it do for me? Well the correct question you should be asking is what does it do for 'us' - as in the whole population, the animals and the people and the earth as an entity of it's own. Now I'm not overly keen on the word 'should', everyone is free to make their own minds up, but if you're thinking about it, here's six quick snippet reasons as to why you might want to 'go organic'.

For more detail scroll down to below my infographic!

 1 // Wildlife 

Biodiversity is essential to the earth, everything relies on it, from the smallest microbes to the largest animals. Everything is one long complex food chain. Without insect diversity humans would have little of limited food or raw materials for non food essentials such as cotton and hemp etc. as insects are paramount in pollination of plants and crops. Some insects will only pollinate one type of plant, some insects eat insects that eat the plants. Some animals feed off the plants that these insect eating insects protect, some animals rely on eating the insects that eat the plants, humans eat both the plants and the animals, and heck even some of the insects too! 

Insects and animals and plants rely on humans as much as we rely on them. As the Disney classic The Lion King defines it- 'it's the circle of life, and it moves us all.' If diversity starts lessening and the circle gets smaller, things stop working the way they should and that is bad news for the whole globe.

Did you know that in the United States some farmers have to hire out bees at great cost to pollinate their crops because the local population has been decimated and can't provide the natural service they would normally do? How crazy is that, and why do they have to do that- because of toxic 'fertilisers' and pesticides. Meanwhile, some studies have found that organic farms and fields contain more species of wild plants, insects, birds and other mammals than non-organic farms and fields. So the maths is pretty simple and straightforward.

 2 // Nutrition 

Now this is an area that can be a bit of a hot topic, but the evidence is growing that organic food is more nutritionally beneficial in some aspects than non organic. In one of the most recent studies this year a research study lead by Newcastle university found that organic food such as meat, milk and other dairy products contain approximately 50% more Omega-3 fatty acids than non organic meat, milk and dairy products (this is due to the higher levels of natural grass and clover organic cattle eat). Organic milk and dairy also contained 40% more CLA (conjugated linoleum acid) which is being researched for its health benefits. Similarly milk nd dairy was found to have slightly higher levels of Vitamin E, Zinc and Iron.

In fruit and veg multiple studies have found that organic fruit and vegetables contain between 18% and 69% more antioxidants (polyphenols) than non organic equivalents. Oppositely it was found that organic produce contained 48% less toxic cadmium (a metal that is toxic to humans).

 3 // Welfare 

Choosing organic is not just about humans, it's about animals (as well as wildlife) that we raise too. Under organic guidelines animals raised for meat production or animal by-product production have a much higher standard of care, health and life. They have more respect and appreciation and are acknowledge as being vital to our lives rather than simply considered a means to an end that is to be exploited.

On organic farms cows (both beef and dairy) have to be raised outside. They may be house inside in the winter as long as the indoors space meets strict guidelines with space, hygiene etc. The time they spend indoors must never be more than 1/5 of their lifetime. They also must only be fed on organic, GMO free food, which has to compromise of 60% roughage, silage and/ or fodder (hay, straw, grass, fermented grass etc) and 40% concentrates (barley, oats, corn, soy etc). For calves they are left to naturally suckle and are only weaned when they are able to be sustained by solids such as those just mentioned, and never before 3 months for dairy cows and 9 months for beef cows. Milk production is also a lot less intensive.

Other animals must also be raised under these same free range conditions and again must have a strictly GMO free diet comprised of both organically grown fodder to supplement their diet and organic free range grazing. This means that any pastures of fields they are in must also meet the organic standard. The use of hormones and animal cloning are also banned. Antibiotics must not be used regularly if at all.

Other practices such as nose rings, tail docking (cutting), crating and large herds in pig farming are all banned under organic standards. Poultry/Fowl (chickens and turkeys) must also be free range and fed organic GMO free food. Beak clipping is banned as are cages. For sheep worming is limited and managed naturally and sheep dips are banned. Even fish farming has to adhere to similar guidelines.

 4 // Farmers 

This is not often something that crops up as much as the other reasons, but that doesn't mean it's any less important. By using less chemicals, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides fro crops and in animal feed farmers themselves are less exposed to dangerous levels of these chemicals, lowering their health risks.
Costs for organic produce, especially milk is much fairer at about 20-30% higher premium than non organic food. It is notoriously known that traditional dairy farmers are under increasing pressure to reduce costs and are suffering as a result. Organic farmers are paid a much fairer price that covers their cost inputs much more appropriately.

 5 // Less Toxins 

Whether it's beauty products, textiles, food or water - undesirable chemicals seem to creep into just about every aspect of our lives, whether it's from our furniture to the paint we use for our bedroom. And while the amounts may be small, after a while and with such regularity they start to build up. They build up to the point where they are found in breast tissue and in the brain, in our blood stream and our excretions. Sometimes you see an outward reaction such as a rash or a cough, other times you would never know (but it doesn't mean it/they aren't there). Choosing organic products in all aspects of your life can help minimise your exposure to these undesirable chemicals by cutting out the pesticides and the chlorine and plastics etc and potentially help reduce the presence of illness and ailments, both physically and mentally.

As mentioned before, organic food in several studies was found to be 48% lower in cadmium. Levels of pesticides in organic food are around only 32% compared to the high 75% in non-organic food. Similarly organic crops show only 10% pesticide residues, dramatically lower than non organic food.

 6 // Clean Air 

Not just clean air, but clean soil and clean water too! Agriculture accounts for about 14% of green house gases produced worldwide. Swapping to organic farming could lower the UK contribution by at least 23%! Organic farming could help save over 64 tonnes of carbon from cultivated land in the space of 20 years, that equates to taking over a million cars of the road!
Chemical run off pollutes our waters for humans and animals alike, it can also cause some insects and weeds to become resistant and hard to control.
Soil is crucial for all life on the planet, it helps filter the chemicals and reduce water pollution as well as obviously being he foundation for all our farming. Healthy soil also helps prevent erosion and flash floods. And of course it doesn't just stop there, but this has already turned into a mammoth post so I'll keep it to just this!

Six reasons to go organic

The term 'organic', like everything these days is quite a tricky word to really pin down the meaning of. If you look at different sectors it can mean different things depending on whether there are legal labels and definitions.

Within the food and textiles industry there is a legal system in place that enforces and guides the use of the term organic, however in beauty this is not (yet) the case. 
But seeing as we are talking about organic all this month, it's a good idea to have a general idea of what organic means.


If you look up the term 'organic' in the dictionary you will get a range of meanings that cover all sense of the word. The sense that we are interested in however, is what it means for our food, ingredients, beauty, textiles etc. which is defined in point 2!

While the above in the dictionary implies that no pesticides are used in organic farming, in reality in some exceptional cases naturally derived pesticides can be used. So, organic food is food (plants and animals) that has been farmed with no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and lower levels of pesticides than traditional farms. Animals have not been fed with additives in their feed or raised with antibiotics and GMOs are banned. Organic farming also means that a conscious effort has been made to keep the connection with the wildlife and natural process of the earth, using sustainable farming methods, including crop rotation, animal management etc.

For food to be legally called organic it has to be certified by a certification body approved by DEFRA. 
The same also applies for organic textiles, which again have to adhere to certifications and laws.  Raw products of organic textiles such as cotton, silk, jute, hemp must be grown on organic farms and which are also manufactured without any chemicals in the process of making the raw fibres into fabric and materials.

However, as mentioned it is not the case for beauty products, although certifications such as SoilAssociation, Cosmos and Ecocert among others are used by many companies to ensure us that their products are truly organic. With these certifications you know that the ingredients have been gown on organic farms much like organic food. We will touch on this much more in Organic beauty Week.

For me choosing organic means that you have a clear understanding of your food or fabric or beauty product as a whole by being able to clearly see how the small 'parts' are made/grown or sourced. Whether it is the fruit, vegetables, plants and animals (& animal byproducts) that make up our food or beauty products as a whole, or the plants that are used to make our textiles. Each of the smaller parts can be organic and make a final 'product' that itself is organic. Remember to know if something is definitely organic: #Lookforthelogo!

What does 'Organic' mean?

Happy September! And what is more, happy Organic September!

This year, I thought I would love to give this month/cause a lot more exposure on my blog and a lot more attention than I have in the past! I've never blogged consistently throughout a month before and while I wont be posting every day, as that is one hell of a work load, I will be posting as much as I can about all things Organic!

What to expect?
Well I'm hoping to cover a vast area to included beauty, especially through Organic Beauty Week, as well as more lifestyle, fashion and food topics as these are all areas my interests have been growing in lately and I want to share that more on this blog in the future. Beauty is great, but there is so much more to explore like:

  • Different certifications within beauty, fashion and food
  • Reviews of organic products (B/F/L etc etc)
  • Tips & Tricks
  • General chit chat
  • Exploring terminology
  • Organic shopping
  • Reading materials
  • Amazing facts
  • etc etc etc
Of course if there is anything that you would like me to write about feel free to drop me a line on email or on here or on social!

Keep up to date with Organic September through social with #organicseptember and #organicbeautyweek - you'll probably be seeing lots of my posts on there!

I really hope you enjoy this month of Organic Everything with me!

Happy Organic September!

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