Monday, 25 January 2016

Colour Changing Nail Polish Review

Yeah, I know I'm not 13 anymore and I shouldn't be so excited about colour changing nail polish, but I am. 

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Clay for Skin: Bentonite Clay | Part I

After reviewing Aztec Secret Healing Clay a couple of days ago, I thought it would be interesting to go through the different types of clays that are being used all over the world. I think everyone needs a pure clay in their skincare arsenal, and depending on your skin type and concerns, one may work better than another.

Since I'm still doing my Tea for Skin series, I thought 'Clay for Skin' was an apt name.

Bentonite Clay: smectite clay, consists mostly of the mineral montmorillonite.

How does it form: usually when volcanic ash formed under ancient oceans evolves through time through many transformations over millions of years. Can also formed through other processes, but always involves water.

Where is it found: mined all over the world: USA, China and Greece are the largest producers

Varieties: two main types used in skincare/cosmetics
  • sodium bentonite: highly active and with a high swell rate
  • calcium bentonite: moderately active, lower swell rate (Enartis Vinquiry, 2012)
Swell rate: bentonite is an expansive clay, it has the ability to swell or shrink depending on the water content. This is why the mask 'cracks' when it dries/'shrinks'.

'Bentonite 1' by penjelly licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
  • adsorbent (binding) of fats, oils, and has a high cation exchange capacity (due to their partners; calcium, sodium etc)
  • which is the basis behind the theory that bentonite 'pulls impurities and toxins' from skin
  • some have antibacterial properties (Williams, Haydel et al., 2009)
Colour: can range from green, grey to beige

What to buy
Calcium Bentonite
Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Bentonite Clay - Pure
Natural Escentials Indian Healing Detox Clay - Pure

Sodium Bentonite
Ultra Pure Clay Harmony Sodium Bentonite Clay (80+ Facials) Bag w/ Scoop 
Molivera Organics Bentonite Clay 16 oz
Majestic Pure Bentonite Clay

Store bought Clays
GLAMGLOW Power Mud Dual Cleanse Treatment - Second ingredient, after water
Lush Mask of Magnaminty - First ingredient

Enartis Vinquiry Website
Williams, L. B., Haydel, S. E., & Ferrell, R. E. (2009). Bentonite, Bandaids, and Borborygmi. Elements (Quebec, Quebec)5(2), 99–104.

*Amazon links are affiliate

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Review + Before and Afters

This mask has a bit of a cult following online. When I looked it up, it was just bentonite clay; I was sure I could get that anywhere. Apparently not. It's really hard to find in pure powder form, or maybe I just didn't look hard enough. So, I bought this Aztec Secret Clay, which is from Death Valley, California, so I could use it in Australia. Well, they do claim this clay is sun-dried for up to six months in temperatures that sometimes reach 134 degrees. My impulsiveness and online shopping are not a great combination. I think I actually paid more for the shipping.

It comes in two sizes, one is two pounds, while the one I have is 1 pound. I didn't want to have two pounds of dirt from California if it didn't work.

I've used this about five times and it's hardly left a dent. It is infinitely more cost effective than buying masks with many added ingredients, preservatives and filler. Unless, ofcourse, you like the added benefits. I usually do.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

I'm a huge tea drinker, and I almost always reach for something naughty to accompany my hot beverage. A muffin, chocolate chip cookie or shortbread are the usual culprits, So, to cut back, (I definitely can't quit completely, who am I kidding?) I decided to make a healthier alternative. These are a little on the sweeter side so I would probably add a little more oats next time, but you can also alter the sweetness to your preference, by not adding as many dates.

Vegan Oatmeal Banana Cookies

PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 15 mins

2 cups of rolled oats
2 large bananas
1/2 cup of dates, pitted (makes about 1/4 chopped)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Foods that may be triggering your acne backed up by Science

A few years ago, the whole 'food doesn't cause acne' statement made me make a lot of bad decisions, namely invest in so many skincare products that were marketed towards 'anti-acne', 'oil-free' 'anti-bacterial' etc. While, it might be true for a few, I think acne in most people can be reduced and completely cured by a change in diet.

Here's a more science-based post: I'll link some studies and literature reviews about foods that may be triggering your acne.

Milk and Other Dairy Products

Saturated and trans-fats

'pizza 002' by British Mum licensed under CC BY 2.0

High Glycemic Foods: Glycemic Index measures blood sugar levels after a meal

High insulinemic foods: different types of food release different insulin levels
  • Dietary intervention in acne (2012): talks about the link between the Western diet, and how it effects hormone and chemical pathways that 'activates' acne
  • Increased consumption of high insulogenic foods like milk, and meat contributes to high insulin and insulin-like growth factor levels, which then promotes acne through different chemical pathways.
  • Low glycemic foods can be high insulogenic foods, for example meat, zero carbs, but it is still highly insulogenic. 
You could also have a food allergy or slight sensitivity that is showing up as inflammation (acne). If you think one of these foods has an effect on your skin, I would try to eliminate it for a week or two and see how it goes. For most, I really think dairy is the culprit, as it is contains saturated fat, is highly insulogenic, has a high GI, and effects hormones through different pathways. Let me know how you go in the comments below!

xo, Amali
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