My easiest green switch yet…

Clay newborn

So, if you don’t know all that much about how our green journey started, it had to do with a really bad bum rash, on a teeny tiny newborn, with a panicked mom and nothing that seemed to help us. Until a new natural product arrived at my midwives clinic and she suggested I give it a go. I had honestly tried a plethora of creams, medicines, ointments, powders and nothing had helped, and so I was willing to give anything a shot. And it worked. Clay powder and calendula cream. That was it.

That word calendula holds a million emotions for me. It was the first thing I googled when this bleeding, blistering, bum rash started healing. How do I get my hands on more of this goodness, and can I smother it all over my newborn to keep him safe for-ev-er? And as my research into calendula grew, so did my knowledge and understanding of natural products; what they do, why they’re so effective, how much safer they are than regular store bought products… and and and.

During my exploration of how to care for this tender tush, I was advised to not use any wet wipes, often not even a towel directly on his bum. Picture the scene: There I am, a nervous 28yr old first time mom, holding my wriggling, gurgling newborn (like Rafiki does in The Lion King) under lukewarm water (with one hand) to wash his bum (with the other hand, that’s right, no cloth), and only to have pre-placed a towel in the slither of ‘sun’ on the 1m x 1m patch of grass found in the average Vancouver backyard. Straight from the bathroom, we headed outside to the towel, where we air-and-sun-dry the naked bottom. I spent many an afternoon chasing the sun with my newborns bottom, and reading magazines. This tush was the topic of most conversations between my hubby and I. Life was exciting.

Have you ever checked the ingredients in the packet of wipes you’re currently using?

FOR EG, Huggies Cucumber and Tea Tree Wipes… (don’t be fooled by the soothing sound of cucumber and tea tree).

Ingredients: Water, Potassium Laureth Phosphate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Malic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Fragrance.

These wipes have a hazard rating of 7 out of 10 and ingredients have been linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies, developmental problems, reproductive toxicity, organ dysfunction, endocrine disruption and cellular changes. (Source)

And so I scrapped all the wipes in the house – even the ‘sensitive’ ones (oh man, how deceived we were. I dare you to read the ingredients in ‘sensitive’ wipes). And I investigated making my own. I stumbled across Wellness Mama‘s recipe, and making ones own wipes became second nature in our house, and we used them for everything. I wrote a blog about it here.

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I was a wipes making machine. I could do it in my sleep, and as long as we were stocked up on good quality paper towel/tissues, we never ran out. Ever.

And then we moved back to South Africa. And life got busier, and we now had 2 kids, and my local grocery store didn’t sell the Bounty brand of thick paper towel, and once I ran out of my original raw supplies (bought online from the States), I was stuck. I found South African ingredients that worked, but for some reason it all seemed a lot harder to continue. It wasn’t as cost effective, and wasn’t as second nature. I cringed and closed my eyes as I bought regular wipes, knowing full well how much nonsense they had in them. Until, I found, quite possibly, my ALL TIME favourite Pure Beginnings product, their Biodegradable Baby Wipes (with Organic Aloe).

I absolutely LOVE this product. We have a pack of wipes in every school bag, handbag and car. First off, they’re biodegradable, so they’re not contributing to the destruction of our earth. And secondly, they contain organic aloe and organic tea tree. They’re properly legit, and affordable! And recently, Pure Beginnings brought out the triple pack. I didn’t think it was possible to get any more excited about their wipes until I saw the triple pack.

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Pure Beginnings Organic Wet Wipes:

  • 64 wet wipes per pack (or 192 in the triple pack),
  • Soft and gentle on delicate skin,
  • 100% biodegradable plant fibre,
  • Organic Aloe extract with soothing and anti-bacterial properties,
  • Organic Tea Tree oil with natural anti-septic and fungicide properties as well as wonderful healing properties.

If there was one thing I’d buy new moms, it’s these. They’re SO good for bubs, they’re safe, easy to use, they smell amazing and are biodegradable. Everyone wins!

You know how some people buy a box of nappies every month before their baby arrives? Well since we cloth diaper, I’ll be buying a Pure Beginnings Triple Pack (and some wine, and some camembert… because… I can’t wait for cheese and wine again).

(…And for the record, I haven’t made my own set of wipes since using these).

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My Pregnancy Pamper!

I hope you have read this post about my amazing experience last year at Peta’s The Little Green Box. Well, lucky me, it was pamper time again!

I have Peta to thank for the wealth of information I have on Esse Skincare, and the encouragement of my now-regular (previously never-so-regular) skincare routine. I’ve LOVED using Esse on my face and have genuinely noticed an incredible difference. Peta is a whats app away from any questions/concerns I might have, which I love.

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Well, Peta recently invited me back to her Little Green Box for a Spa Solutions treatment, a new range she is stocking which she is really excited about and which compliments Esse wonderfully. There were a couple emails going backwards and forwards about the safety of the products in pregnancy (which, let’s be honest, it’s an eco-salon, I was in the best hands), and Peta went the extra mile doing her research and offering me different options depending on my level of comfort. I arrived at my appointment excited and confident – this coming from the green-preggo who has not ONCE painted her nails since seeing the two pink lines on the pregnancy test – even with natural nailpolish (!)

So, back to my Spa Solutions treatment. Spa Solutions is a proudly South African skincare brand using 70% organic and 97% natural ingredients. It is a new generation range of products based on active botanicals, vitamins, peptides and stem cells. It (obviously) contains no parabens, petrochemicals (mineral oil), synthetic colourants, fragrances, lanolin or any know skin irritants. It is also cruelty free and non comedogenic (which basically means it doesn’t cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin).

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I had the Antioxidant Repair Facial (R390/60min). Oh, WOW. It was in-credible. The facial included a cleanse containing Vit A, C & E, a tone with strong anti-inflamatory properties, an exfoliating enzyme containing Papain and Papaya (which loosens and removes dead skin cells) and the massage. Oh the massage. I then had an anti-oxidant repair mask applied (packed with free radicals, Co-Q10 to repair cellular damage, it is hydrating, cell energising, with an anti-inflammatory effect).

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THEN (I know, it goes on…) a French Pinotage Peel Off Mask (extra R90 per treatment). This is a combination of marine algae and Grape March. Grape March is high in tannins which have a regulating effect on collagen fibres therefore helping to restructure the skin. It is firming and lifting, anti aging, brightening and it also aids the penetration of the cream mask. And of course while this was settling on my skin, Peta gave me a gentle foot massage. Oh yes. More massage!

She finished off with an Intensive Night Repair Moisturiser. And I went off on my merry way with incredibly hydrated and happy skin.

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I love my mornings with Peta, because we can chat away and I can ask seemingly stupid questions, like… “What is a Peel“. Peta explained to me the benefit of the new Spa Solutions Peel she was offering, and how excited she was about it.

“I chose the Spa Solutions light peel because I was looking for a light natural peel that would compliment Esse Organic Skincare. I don’t believe in over exfoliating the skin but in helping to maintain a youthful appearance by reducing inflammation and ensuring good overall skin health.

The 15% light peel is a synergist blend of a few different AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids). This means that each of the AHA’s enhances and boosts the other making the peel more powerful and effective.” Peta.

If you’ve ever been interested in a peel, but have been a little ignorant or nervous about it (like I have), this is for you. It’s an amazing combination of an effective exfoliation, (something more serious than what you can do at home) but never coming close to the intensity of some salons which can leave your skin damaged and raw.

Here is a little more info on the Spa Solutions 15% AHA Light Peel (R400/45min) which Peta offers:

– it is a light natural peel,
– it contains natural AHA’s such as Lactic Acid, Citric, Malic, Gluconic and Glycolic,

– the natural AHA’s are not chemically stabilised or preserved, and are shown to be more skin friendly, more easily tolerated and offer more therapeutic benefits without side effects.

Benefits include:
– anti-aging effect by increasing cell turnover,
– anti inflammatory and healing,
– anti pigmentation and brightening,
– improves overall skin texture,

– improves penetration of home care products.

This light peel can either be done as a stand alone treatment or in a course of 6 every 2 weeks. Please chat to Peta about what you think might be best for you!

Little Green Box Salon

I am NEVER disappointed after a visit to The Little Green Box. I’m always left inspired by who Peta is, what she does and her conviction to doing things differently. Aaaaaand I LOVE that she threads my eyebrows, quickly and relatively painlessly and I feel like a million bucks after. I’ve come to think that keeping ones eyebrows neat is suuuuch a drag and yet can take 1 min if you get a professional to do it, and can make you feel like a different person.

Check out the full The Little Green Box Price List and don’t forget that Gift Vouchers and Spa Packages are also available. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates and more info.

Contact Details:

41 Meadow Way, Constantia Meadows

Tel: 074 816 7794 (or whatsapp)
Email: littlegreenboxskincare@gmail.com
Web: www.greenboxskincare.co.za

The Little Green Box – Eco Skincare 

Monday to Friday: 08:30 – 17:00
Saturday: 008:00 – 14:00
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays