Tag Archives: natural skincare

My latest Little Green Box treat!

It’s been a while since I posted about a beauty review – and whoa, do I have a cracker for you! Recently I went to my fave little eco salon (The Little Green Box), which, if you’re concerned about chemicals on your skin at any beauty therapist – you don’t need to worry here! I was treated to the NEW Esse Age Defying Facial. Yes. Please.

If you haven’t read previous experiences that I’ve had with Peta, you can do so here and here (she is so very wonderful, and sooooo much in line with how I think and what I love). She is an Esse expert and beams organic, wholesome, holistic and non-judgemental light as soon as you walk into her space. She also told me I had little live friendly pac-man type creatures crawling all over my skin during the exfoliation… intrigued? Read on…

EVERY TIME I have a facial I think I need more facials because they are so goooood for my skin.

Here is a little about the facial itself: 

Esse products are (in my opinion) some of the best natural products out there. Formulated under incredible minds, these products are creme de la creme.

Esse is USP certified organic, they use natural and organic ingredients as well as live probiotics, and is considered a cosmeceutical (because of the delivery system and how the ingredients penetrate the cellular membrane). No nonsense here guys…

Probiotics are for the skin, like water is for a thirsty soul! They protect, hydrate, improve barrier function, skin firmness, slow the rate of aging and detoxify. Esse’s philosophy includes providing skincare that is ethical and sustainable. They care about being carbon neutral, committed to the Fairtrade movement and are Phytrotrade Africa accredited which monitors plant diversity. Esse are also cruelty free, and vegan.


Have you heard of the Human Microbiome Project? Basically it will challenge everything you thought about healthy bacteria and (extreme) cleanliness, and how desperately our skin microbiome needs attention.

In 2013, the Human Microbiome Project concluded that “microbes contribute more genes essential for human survival than humans do”.

What is the Microbiome?

The Microbiome is the sum total of all the microbes in and on your body.

What is a Microbe? 

A Microbe is a single celled organism.

What is a Probiotic?

Probiotics are beneficial microbes.

What is a Prebiotic?

Prebiotics are food sources for beneficial microbes. By giving them food, they proliferate and thrive thereby excluding the pathogenic (harmful) ones.

Microbes are essential for health. Esse treats the skin as an ecosystem, and every ingredient is carefully considered for its impact on the microbiome. Back in 2015, Esse launched their revolutionary Probiotic Serum. This serum contains 3 species of lactobacillus microbes. These probiotics are only activated on contact with water on the skin. They then seed the skin with billions of live probiotics which help to rectify imbalances in the skin as well as repair barrier function for a firmer, fuller and more radiant skin.

Sooooooo, back to where my experience came in… Peta gave me Esse’s Age Defy Facial (because I’m no spring chicken anymore guys, and well, my cross-face lines, they’re sinking in deep…).

The Age Defy Facial by Esse Organic Skincare:

  • It enhances preservation from probiotic and botanical actives, restores the skins vitality and promotes collagen and elastic formation (so, you see, those cross-lines are a goner).
  • It also boasts an advances skin smoothing mask with muscle relaxing properties.

A few things to note from the facial:

The Beta Hydroxy Exfoliation:

  • This is a light peel for getting skin back on track
  • Gently dissolves (Peta described this as little pac-man friends eating away at my old, dead skin and) the ‘cement’ that binds skin together.
  • It is very gentle. Not a ‘scrub-type’ exfoliation.

The Intensity Mask: 

  • This is a skin smoothing mask contains Marfane Extract – this is the crucial main ingredient. Considered as a natural alternative to botox (YES please!), it has a strong relaxing effect on muscles and takes 2hrs to activate.
  • It also gives an intense moisture boost.

We took before and after photos (but my phone died a slow and painful (for me) death and had to be wiped clean, l so I can’t show you the final result) but I dared to go out to do the school run with my naked face and felt amazing. It was soft and plump and healthy-looking. I will absolutely be back for another treatment!

I am constantly amazed at the current and on-going advancements in technology when it comes to organic skincare and how THIS is where significant discoveries are being made (such as the importance of our microbiome, keeping the skin of the pH accurate and feeding it, as opposed to scrubbing, smothering and simply ‘cleaning’ it).

Peta is a wealth of knowledge, (she clearly LOVES this stuff) and I’d highly encourage you contact her if you have ANY questions about any skin concerns. She has numerous facial options for those wanting age-defying, or a hydrating, or a intense facial treatment.

The Little Green Box has become such an obvious spot to stop for any skincare need, as well as for gifts and gift vouchers (ask my friends). Besides all this, vote with your money. Support small, ethical, local business. Always (okay, or as much as you can…)

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 – 16:00
Saturday: 08:30 – 13:00
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Doing the best, with what you know…

Have you seen the latest list of Pure Beginnings’ Most Loved Products of 2016?

You can find the list here, and all of these products have been reviewed on the blog (because they are so super awesome), except I missed this one – #5 on the list, the Soothing Baby Lotion – how did it slip me by?

I’ve heard from many moms who have had issues with their kids’ skin and then changed body lotions (to Pure Beginning’s Soothing Baby Lotion) that voia la – problem solved! It is not per chance. Let me show you a bit more…

I’m naturally not the ‘scare you into change’ type, and more the ‘encourage you into change’ type, but this I must say – READ LABELS!

Why so often, does skin relax, or calm after using Pure Beginnings? Well let’s read here what they do NOT use:

  • Any ingredients that are tested on animals. Pure Beginnings is completely animal friendly.
  • Any ingredients red flagged by Ecocert such as:
    • Any petrochemical derived ingredients or mineral oil (propylene glycol/PPG/PEG, petrolatum, mineral oil)
    • Parabens (Methyl, Propyl/Ethyl/Butyl)
    • Sulphated Surfactants (SLS/SLES)
    • DEA (Diethanolamine) / TEA (trethanolamine)
    • Phthalathes (often hidden under “Parfum” or “Fragrance”. Also listed as phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP)
    • Aluminium
    • Fluoride
    • Synthetic Colourants & Fragrances
  • They don’t use any chemical disinfectant such as Triclosan.

If your child is having a reaction to something, it is usually something that is disagreeing with his/her skin. Badies.

For you label readers, here are the ingredients in Pure Beginning’s Soothing Baby Lotion with Organic Baobab:

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Inulin*, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Fruit Extract*, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oil, Lactic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol**

*ingredients from organic farming, **component of natural essential oils, 99.6% of the total ingredients are from Natural Origin, 96.4% of vegetable ingredients are from Organic Farming, 15% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming.

If you didn’t make it through that paragraph above, I understand. Just let me tell you that no nasties can get through EcoCert’s super strict standards – so it is a safe and trusted stamp of approval.

Spend time with your baby, connect during paused moments of cuddling and baby massage, but for goodness sake, don’t expose them to allergy/organ toxicity and skin immune issues while doing it.

When I chat to my mom about how she raised my brother and I, it often comes back to ‘doing the best with what you knew at the time’. Baby on their back to sleep, or baby on their front? Breast milk or formula? Solids at 4 months or 6 months? Research changes the way we do things over time – but take what you have and do with it, the best you can.

Aluminium under your armpits, anyone?

There was this amazing underarm I used to buy overseas. It was made by a popular store brought brand, and it smelled like watermelon. I LOVE anything watermelon and so this had my name all over it. With coupon culture as it goes in North America, I often used to get it half price, so… I was stocked up, on watermelon underarm.

I must now ask myself a few questions:

  1. WHY ON EARTH would I want my underarms smelling like watermelon?
  2. Surely there is nothing attractive about watermelon smelling underarms.
  3. (The glitzy sticker on the tube should’ve given that away)
  4. There is nothing normal about ones underarms smelling like watermelon.
  5. Oh, and… aluminium.

I will extend myself some grace as a then-ignorant-20-something, who just loved all things watermelon. But really, wow, how I’ve grown.

I had no idea that 99% of underarm/roll on/deodorants (call them what you will) have aluminium in them. Aluminium. ALU-MINIUM. Did you know this?

Most antiperspirant concerns center around the active ingredient – an aluminum-based compound that temporarily plugs the sweat ducts and prevents you from perspiring. Typically, antiperspirants are coupled with a deodorant, which contains the pleasant scent that stops you from smelling.

That pleasant fragrance comes with it’s problems too – often accompanied by the endocrine disrupting phthalates. A number of studies in recent years have clearly linked aluminum-based antiperspirants with the increase the risk for breast cancer. Source

Right then. Fresh perspective. We need an alternative. We need to be more careful.

Here is it. Pure Beginnings have 4 different natural deodorants which do not contain aluminium. Their amazing different scents include Monsoon, Forest, Sahara and Fragrance Free (for super sensitive skins).

These eco-deo’s are awesome. They are safe, natural and smell amazing. While I do still perspire when I use it, I’m okay sweating. I know it is our bodies’ natural way to cool ourselves down. What makes me more concerned is when I don’t sweat. And so this deo ticks all the boxes for me.

Give it a go, and tell me what you think? You can order it online here and it retails for only R59.85.

It doesn’t get better than this, in my humble opinion…


pb_sensitive_cream_webHere are just a few of the ingredients they use and why they’re so different to anything else you are putting on your newborns skin…

  • Baobab Fruit Extract – a natural prebiotic which is also packed with anti-oxidants,
  • Inulin & Lactic Acid – prebiotics which deliver a food source to the good microbes, assisting them to colonise over the pathogenic ones,
  • Lactobacillus Ferment – the probiotic additive in the product that will protect the skin from pathogenic microbes but also assisting in the production of good microbes.

Both of these beauties are essential oil and fragrance free (fragrances being a real skin irritant for sensitive skins). The pH is balanced at the same as skin to ensure the skin is not stripped of natural oils and the microbiome is not disrupted, and of course it is certified by Ecocert Greenlife.

I know you want them – so here’s where you can get them. The Probiotic Baby Sensitive Cream Wash (200ml) retails for R99.99 and the Probiotic Baby Sensitive Body Cream (250ml) for R109.99.

Not to terrify you but…

Sometimes I think that other moms must look at me all like “she’s so overboard on her stainless steel sippy cups, and her glass mason jars and her kids’ fabric snack bags, and her vegan nailpolish”, and sometimes, I wonder if I’m a little over the top myself. Then I read something like this (below) and I’m reminded that I’m NOT and that in fact, there is MORE I can do. Yes. I know. Because while, yeah, this requires extra thought, time, patience, and energy – I’m driven. I’m inspired, I want to do this.

kids sitting on beach

The world is changing (hellllooooo, Trump is in office?) and we are changing too. We are evolving, and not in the right way. We’ve all heard of BPA and phthalates and their dangers, but really… we don’t all have time to consider those things and their negative consequences with the millions of thoughts running through our heads on a minute by minute basis… It takes serious conviction and intentionality.

The more research I do, the more I learn, the more important it is. The way the world is changing is bringing with it terrifying truths such as hormone disruption in kids. Now, I could say that my journey towards green-ness came from my concern for the environment, but I’d be lying. It all happened after I had kids. And that is why THIS scares me so much.

Read the full article here – this calls for change.

Avoiding Hormone-Disrupting Substances is Crucial for Children and Adults Alike:

While young girls may show obvious signs of exposure to hormone-disrupting substances via early puberty, other signals are more insidious and may not show up until a disease is already present. Here are 11 measures you can implement right away to help protect yourself and your children from common toxic substances that could cause precocious puberty and other long-term health problems:

1. As much as possible, buy and eat organic produce and free-range, organic meats to reduce your exposure to added hormones, pesticides and fertilizers. Also avoid milk and other dairy products that contain the genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST)

2. Eat mostly raw, fresh foods (helllooooo paleo). Processed, prepackaged foods (of all kinds) are a major source of soy and chemicals such as BPA and phthalates.

3. Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods (which are often lined with BPA-containing liners).

4. Use glass baby bottles and BPA-free sippy cups for your little ones. (I stick with glass or stainless steel).

5. Make sure your baby’s toys are BPA-free, such as pacifiers, teething rings and anything your child may be prone to suck on.

6. Only use natural cleaning products in your home to avoid phthalates. (You can even make them yourself).

7. Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has a great safety guide to help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates, parabens and other potentially dangerous chemicals. BAHHHH!!! THIS! This is where so much of where my mind is at, and which is why I love Pure Beginnings so much.

8. Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances, many of which can also disrupt your hormone balance. (Stick with organic essential oils!)

9. Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.

10. When redoing your home, look for “green,” toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.

11. Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric.

12. Avoid non-fermented soy, especially if you’re pregnant and in infant formula.

Theo Colburn’s book Our Stolen Future is a great source for further investigation as it identifies the numerous ways in which environmental pollutants are disrupting human reproductive patterns.

I’ll leave it right there. A LOT of food for thought. You don’t need to overhaul everything. Just pick a few which are manageable and go for it.

With love, from my family to yours xxx

Beautiful, Beautiful Baby Bum Cream


It’s amazing how my journey towards greenness started with a bleeding, horribly rashy newborn bum and how far we’ve all come since then. That bum is now 4.5 years old and thriving. If you’ve read any of my initial posts about this, you’ll know that it took calendula cream and clay powder to heal that bum after no medicated options worked.

So, the after the birth of our little girl, we swore we’d do anything to avoid that pa-lava. Enter Pure Beginnings. I religiously slapped their heavenly-smelling bum cream onto our newest tush after EVERY bum change. And have we had a problem? Heyyyyy no!

Pure Beginnings Baby Bum Cream is a therapeutic baby bum cream. It is natural and organic (obviously) and certified by EcoCert Greenlife (we love EcoCert things – they’re reliable and honest. You don’t get much past EcoCert).

Here is some more information on the cream:

  • Contains baobab fruit extract which is high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants (helps with skin elasticity and protecting against free radical damage) and also contains vitamins A and B which assists in firming and hydrating as well as having anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Organic lavender oil, which has soothing and anti-septic properties.
  • Organic tea tree oil, which has anti-fungal, anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Extremely effective barrier cream due to its natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
  • Can be used to treat nappy rash as well as little insect bites and stings. (Winning!)

Sure, you can go simple and lather your baby with organic coconut oil or a variation of natural go-to’s, but what I really like is that this concoction is so well thought out. Lavender for calming, tea tree for anti-fungal and anti-septic. It is packed with vitamins that assist the delicate natural of the skin.

And our little Brea’s bum, with the help of Pure Beginnings, is perfection.

The Pure Beginnings Baby Bum Cream (125ml) costs R84.99 and can be purchased directly from them online, Faithful to Nature, BabyGroup, Baby City, Dischem (a new retailer on board) and many other retailers here.


I ask you with tears in my eyes – please put down the Vaseline and Johnson & Johnson’s and give this cream a go! You will not regret it.

Keeping bugs away, Pure Beginnings’ way

We were recently up in Durbs doing some work and visiting friends and our little gorgeous terrors were their usual gorgeous terror selves. One afternoon we went to see our friends’ beautiful new home and our eldest needed the bathroom. (Why is it, that they still need to tell us each time they go?) Anyways, so I pointed out the bathroom feeling quite chuffed he was old enough to go through the routine of ‘lift seat, pull down pants, aim well, flush toilet, wash hands… aaaaand you’re done’ all by himself. It’s the small things guys, the small things.

Next minute I hear some strange wailing from the bathroom. I pop my head in and my littlie is balancing his (fortunately dressed) bum on the basin edge, tears streaming down his cheeks and his facial expression matching that of a deer in the headlights. “Sohhh-ryyyy, sohhh- ryyy” coming from his mouth, I look to the floor and there lay a smashed ceramic liquid soap dispenser with liquid soap spilling all over the tiles. My poor child, so obedient on the post-pee hand washing, had struggled with the pump and it had caused the whole bottle to slide off the counter and smash on the floor. Oh man, it was a little heart-breaking. Shame, it turns out it was a tricky one to use and needed replacing – or so our wonderfully forgiving friends said.

I was quite proud though, that my almost-4-year-old had taken the hand-washing so seriously. Fighting what felt like a plague of bugs pre-Durbs, I was going overboard with juicing my fave health booster juice (orange, carrot and ginger) and dealing with snotty noses, coughs and general gross-ness, I had almost forgotten about the importance of hand washing

I stand with the whole ‘don’t over sanitise’ tribe, and love dirt and mud and getting messy. But I absolutely believe in washing ones hands as well. Kids need to be exposed to all sorts of things, and while I don’t believe in extreme hospital hygiene measures at home, I do recommend a healthy hand washing routine, especially after the toilet, and most certainly during winter.

Kids hygiene hand wash

And that’s why I love Pure Beginnings’ Hygiene Hand Wash. It:

  • is anti-bacterial*, and protects against the spread of germs (*laboratory tested to kill over 99.9% of bacteria in accordance with SABS standard SANS 5261),
  • is free of triclosan and other harmful chemical ingredients,
  • contains Organic Rooibos Leaf Extract – rich in anti-oxidants,
  • has powerful soothing and healing properties,
  • and then it’s just super cute and looks great in any bathroom (and with the EcoCert certified plastic packaging, it won’t smash).

All round this is a win win! My kids think it is adorable, it keeps them bug free, and it has no nonsense in it. No ‘nasties‘ as they like to call it – no parabens, phalates, sulfates, petrochemicals or formaldehyde, among others.

Next time you hit up your local grocery store for your new liquid soap, have a little rethink about what is in it, what it then on your hands, and what you do and touch every day. Ermmm… safe to say, I think you’ll want to wash hands the Pure Beginnings way.

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.


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).

spa solutions 2 - Copy

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).

spa solutions 1

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.

Little Green Box 1 - Copy

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

Let the journey begin…

Debbie Pregnancy Journey

It feels as if my name has been called, I’ve walked onto a stage and I’ve been crowned – a Pure Beginnings Pregnancy Ambassador! And as the music plays, (natural) bath bubbles fall from the sky and Ruby the Rhino, Max & Minky (the Monkeys) and Ollie the Owl have joined me. (To me, this is WAY more exciting than any other pageant).

I am thrilled to partner with Pure Beginnings, one of my favorite organic and eco-certified South African brands, to document the journey of this, our 3rd pregnancy and the birth and newborn life that follows. I can’t imagine a better brand to walk this road with.

Let’s recap…

It was in January that this little life made itself known, and from the minute I saw those two pink lines, I knew this one would be different (least of which, was that it would be a she and not a he, which came as a HUGE surprise after 2 boys!). Waaa… what do I do with a girl?

It was roughly 3 minutes and 47 seconds after seeing those lines that the indescribable, inhumane, unlike-anything-ever-known-to-man exhaustion hit. If you’ve been pregnant, I’m sure you know the feeling. It’s not fun, especially with 2 boys in the house. Wow.


Having had both our boys in Vancouver, I was not new to pregnancy but somehow this pregnancy seemed new to me. Which prenatal vitamins and supplements should I take? Who would my midwife be? How would I find a doula? Where would I birth? How would I birth? It all seemed so different. My immediate thought was to run back to Canada, but alas, that wasn’t a viable option.

clay and ryler at midwives

Over the years in which I have been thinking, researching and getting my hands really dirty (more like oily) in the ‘natural world’, and as I’ve blogged my findings, I’ve become more and more aware (and at times terrified) of how much is going on around us or within us that we simply don’t know or question. Slowly, and (more importantly) consistently, my choice of skincare has changed. While I could be better in the eating department (my month of strict Paleo starts soon – it’s birthday season and the cake is out of control), there are some new(ish) non-negotiables in our house regarding skincare. Having read an alarming article on the horrific number of chemicals found in a baby’s umbilical cord compared to generations ago, I now have a fresh start, and during this pregnancy I want to expose myself (and my helpless unborn) to as little nonsense as possible. Studies have shown that the average woman directly applies more than 200 chemicals to her skin via personal care products every day. Ermmm… that is terrifying… because we have no idea what these chemicals are or what they do.

So what does this change look like? Well regarding pregnancy, my prenatals don’t need to be coated in sugar, coloured pink and look like over-sized smarties. I’ve done enough research to know to take folate over folic acid and I’m upping my number of magnesium baths and probiotics (to avoid GBS). I won’t be bringing aluminium anywhere near my ever-growing breasts (did you know your off-the-counter deo most likely contains aluminium) and the nasties such as parabens, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS) and other hard-to-pronounce, no-one-really-knows-what-they-are ingredients won’t be coming near my skin (as much as I can control).

Pregnancy is a beautiful gift. I’ve always thought of it as carrying the most incredible responsibility with the least amount of control. I cannot control the growth of this little life, the amount of amniotic fluid I have, my baby’s sex, eye colour or the number of chambers in its heart. What I can control, is what I expose myself to, what I consume and what I smear on my skin. I can read, research and learn, and with that, make better choices for myself and this little life. I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m trying.

I’d love for you to join me in this conversation, and on this journey!


*WIN* a Pure Beginnings Organic Baby Gift Set! Enter on our Facebook page by commenting on what your fave PB product is and tag a friend for an extra entry! Compo is nationwide and closes on Monday 23 May, 2016.

Baby-Gift-Pack-large-510x600Good Luck!

A little love for Oh-lief


My journey to a green(er) lifestyle came in 2012 when my oldest responded incredibly well to a natural skin product (after trying many medical alternatives). So I could completely relate to sisters Christine Buchanan and Louiza Rademan who had the same conviction when it came to Christine’s pregnancy and her little boys birth. We felt like kindred spirits.

After arriving back in SA in 2014, this brand was one of the few I noticed popping up all over the place. And one I was excited to see was locally and hand made in South Africa (Cape Town!), with love.

Their Story

Growing up in a household where green and organic were valued principles, Christine found herself in a predicament while pregnant with Liam, her first baby boy. In her quest to find a skin care range to use during her pregnancy, Christine was dissatisfied with the conventional body products on the market. Not satisfied with using, harmful products, Christine and Louiza set out to develop a new range of natural baby and body products, based on old family recipes.

The result was Oh-lief’s complete range of Natural Body products, made from 100% natural and organic, raw ingredients, sourced locally.

Their Philosophy

“We believe in safe products for babies, toddlers and families, which is why none of our products are harmful to sensitive skin or the environment.”

100 % Natural. 100% Good.

Founded in 2010 by sisters Christine and Louiza, Oh-lief was born out of their love for nature and the desire to use products that would not harm their skin or the environment. (The perfect green combination – rethinking what is truly healthy as well as being environmentally aware).

Oh-lief = REAL Organic Products, Made with Love.

Their name references olive oil, which is the main ingredient found in all their products, as well as their love for all things natural. Their products do not contain any harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, petroleum, parabens, artificial colours or nut oils. They use a base of organic olive oil and beeswax, which is combined with the natural properties of a number of other organic ingredients to form a complete range of products that is ideal for all skin types. Voila. Fantastic.Oh lief

Overseas I started making a number of my own baby and skin products, based on Wellness Mama’s Baby Care recipes, and so for me the colours, smells and textures of the oh-lief range felt incredibly familiar. Based with olive oil and beeswax (as are mine and many of Wellness Mama’s), the products last a long time. Really, you need such a small amount – it goes far!

So recently I tried two of their Body Range products, The Natural Olive Hand Wax and the Grapefruit & Sweet Orange Natural Body Wash. I love a good body wash and I’m becoming more and more aware of my skin as an organ and what I put onto it, becoming what sinks into it. The body wash has a gentle citrus scent, but is not overpowering. I also love a pump bottle (portion control and all). The hand wax is perfect for dry skin and a very effective moisturizer. The beeswax is also great for strengthening your nails, and the tin is a super addition to your handbag.


Psssst: The family sunscreen goes with me everywhere, as does the insect balm. Mozzies drive me insane. 

Personally, as a mom (and as a doula), I feel like this is another one of those great (local) brands, doing great things while using minimal and quality ingredients. If you’re a label watcher – you’ll love these guys.

For more info you can contact them on their website, facebook, twitter or email them on info@ohlief.com.

Images: www.ohlief.com