It’s winter. Everyone’s getting sick, and you don’t want to be next. So you reach for the hand sanitiser. But wait! Before you slather that stuff all over your hands, and probably your kids’ hands, too (because who wants sick kids?), what’s actually in that stuff?
Today I’m smacking down two hand sanitisers, and in the interests of fairness, I’ve chosen two alcohol based ones.
The ingredients in this are pretty straightforward. There’s alcohol to kill the bugs. Then there’s some moisturising ingredients like rosehip oil, seaweed extract, aloe vera and glycerin. The palmarosa oil and the lime oil both smell good, but they also have extra antibacterial and antiseptic properties. There’s nothing to be concerned about in this list of ingredients, and it’s been tested and it kills 99.99% of germs.
The Aqium starts with alcohol again, and then there’s some glycerin and panthenol for skin moisturising. Then we’ve got some acrylates to give it that gel feel. The aminomethyl propanol balances the pH, but it’s also an irritant. Perfume is an irritant, too, as is limonene. And finally, the butylphenyl methypropional is a fragrance ingredient, and it too, is associated with allergies and contact dermatitis.
Wondering why your hands are getting dry and irritated in winter? It could be because you’re using a hand sanitiser like the Aqium.
Price: $3.50 for 70 mls
It’s more effective to wash your hands than it is to use a hand sanitiser. But we’re all busy. You’re out and about, and you’re touching stuff that you don’t really want to touch, but there’s nowhere to wash your hands. Hand sanitiser is a good choice in these situations, and it’s certainly better than nothing. Don’t use it too often, though, and choose a good one, or you’ll end up with dry, sore and irritated hands.
I’ve been going to the naturopath recently to try and clear up a few ongoing niggly health issues, like my migraines. It turns out that I have a magnesium deficiency, and according to the naturopath, I’m not alone in this. A study done by the US Department of Agriculture showed that nearly half of individuals weren’t getting enough magnesium in their diets, and this rose to 2/3rds of individuals aged 14-18. There’s no reason to suppose that Australians are any different.
Magnesium is an important mineral for many reasons. According to the US Government’s National Institutes of Health website:
Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.
you drink a lot of soft drinks or caffeinated drinks
you’re elderly (absorption descreases with age)
you have a gut issue, e.g. leaky gut syndrome
Other issues like kidney disease, diabetes, long term diabetes, pancreatitis, underactive parathyroid glands (hypoparathyroidism) and high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) can also mean you’re not getting enough magnesium.
How do you know if you’re low in magnesium?
It’s hard to measure magnesium, because most magnesium is inside soft tissue or the bones.
Migraines. It seems that people who get migraines have lower levels of magnesium than people who don’t get migraines, and there is some evidence to suggest that supplementing with magnesium can help reduce the incidences of migraines
nuts, especially brazils, almonds, walnuts and cashews
seeds, especially pumpkin seeds
cocoa and cacao
soy products, including edamame, tofu and soy milk
fish like mackerel, wild salmon, and tuna
Eating lots of foods that are high in magnesium isn’t going to cause you any problems, so if you suspect that you’re magnesium deficient, add some of these foods to your diet.
Transdermal Magnesium – Sprays, Roll Ons and Magnesium Flakes
If you’re struggling to get enough magnesium in your diet, or feel that you might need a boost you could try transdermal or topical magnesium. These are magnesium sprays, oils, rolls on and magnesium flakes like Epsom salts that you can add to your bath.
I suspected that I was magnesium deficient a while back, and added a magnesium spray to my daily routine. I could see results within a week. I fall asleep easily, but used to wake up 2 or 3 times a night and have problems getting back to sleep. After a couple of weeks on the magnesium spray, I started sleeping through the whole night. It’s made an incredible difference. If I stop using the spray for more than about a week, I start waking during the night again. I’ve tried this enough times that I’m sure it’s the magnesium that’s making a difference to my sleeping habits.
If you’re low in magnesium, the sprays (which are a concentrated form of magnesium) can itch when you first put them on. I’ve found that the best way to deal with this is to dilute the spray 50/50 with water, and then gradually increase the amount of magnesium you apply until you’re up to full strength.
I’ve also found that I prefer to put it on my legs, rather than anywhere else on my body. I just spray it on after my shower in the morning and then I’m done. You could also do this as part of your night time routine.
I looked and looked, but I couldn’t find anything reputable on whether you can overdose on transdermal magnesium, so you’d be best to check with a healthcare professional on this.
You can also take magnesium supplements. My naturopath has got me on magnesium supplements as well as continuing to use the transdermal spray while I’m trying to get my migraines under control.
I’m taking a liquid soluble supplement, as my naturopath says that these are better metabolised.
A warning on supplements, however. Whereas eating a lot of foods high in magnesium isn’t going to cause you any problems, taking too much magnesium in supplements can cause issues. You can end up with diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, and too much magnesium can be especially problematic for people with kidney issues. Excess magnesium can also cause calcium deficiencies, and low blood pressure.
There can also be adverse reactions with some medications.
Be sensible. If you think you’re magnesium deficient, add some high magnesium foods to your diet, or try some transdermal magnesium first and see if it makes a difference. Before you start supplements, however, go and see your healthcare professional.
Do you think you might be magnesium deficient? Share your thoughts below!
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Women in industrialised societies have around 450 periods in their lifetimes. That is a lot of tampons and pads. Not only does this have a huge environmental impact involved, but which products you choose to use can have an impact on your health. Which is why I thought it was time that I examined some eco friendly feminine products!
What are tampons made from?
It’s not that easy to find out what exactly is in tampons, as manufacturers don’t have to disclose what’s in them. Tampons have to be registered with the TGA in Australia, but they don’t have to disclose the ingredients.
Although many manufacturers would like you to think that tampons are made from nothing but clouds of cotton, tampons have a lot of ingredients.
Rayon: It is made from cellulose fibre (white cellulose being a natural fibre), which is transformed with the help of chemicals like carbon disulphide, sulphuric acid, chlorine and caustic soda.
Plastic: A normal hygiene pad contains around four bags of plastic.
Blend of synthetic rayon and cotton: Manufacturers mix a variety of fibres with cotton, to improve absorbency and help maintaining the shape of the tampon inside the body. These can be polyester, collagen, acetyl cellulose and polyurethane.
Cotton: There are concerns about pesticides and chemicals that are used producing the cotton. Approximately 22.5% of the insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides used in the world are used on cotton crops, which are also mostly genetically engineered.
Odour neutralizer, artificial fragrances
Bleach (to whiten and disinfect raw materials): Chlorine, which produces toxic dioxin and other disinfection by-products, is cheaper than elemental non-chlorine bleach. Dioxin is connected to breast cancer, endometriosis, immune system suppression and other ailments. Most of the manufacturers use non-chlorine bleach, but not every tampon producer, for example Tampax, explains the bleaching method on their packages.
In a study done by Women’s Voices, they explain that, “Hazardous ingredients may include dioxins and furans (from the chlorine bleaching process), pesticide residues and unknown fragrance chemicals.”
It also looks as though rayon in tampons increases the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), although this research isn’t conclusive.
Even the small amount of research that has been done on tampons and pads shows us how important it is to know exactly what we’re putting into our bodies every month.
What are feminine pads made from?
Again, manufacturers don’t have to tell us what’s in the pads that women use every month. But when they do, it doesn’t look great:
top sheet: polyolefins, petrolatum, zinc oxide
absorbent core: absorbent foam or wood cellulose with absorbent gel, rayon or polyester
adhesive: similar to craft glue sticks
Perfumes cause irritation, and of course there’s the issue of exposure to the chemicals in plastics. Like tampons, this is especially concerning when you consider how absorbent the vagina is.
Women’s Voices For the Earth released a research paper called Chem Fatale, on the potential health effects of toxic chemicals in feminine care products. They found potential health hazards in pads:
“Hazardous ingredients may include dioxins and furans, pesticide residues, unknown fragrance chemicals, and adhesive chemicals such as methyldibromo glutaronitrile. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. Studies link pad use to allergic rashes.”
Andrea Donsky, from Naturally Savvy, did some research a few years back. She got in touch with Always Pads to ask what ingredients they used. At the time, Proctor & Gamble (the manufacturer) would only say that they contained ‘foam and Infinicel’. She tried burning an Always pad and a Natracare organic cotton pad. It makes for interesting watching:
Eco friendly feminine products – what to use?
The good news is that there are lots of alternatives to mainstream tampons and pads, and it’s not that hard to find eco friendly feminine products.
Organic cotton tampons and pads
Natracare: 100% organic cotton tampons, pads are organic cotton and biodegradable bioplastic.
Tom Organic: 100% organic cotton tampons, pads have 100% organic top sheet and core.
Organyc: 100% organic cotton tampons, pads with 100% organic top sheet and core.
Moxie have a line of organic tampons, but be aware that most of their range is mainstream.
There’s a huge range of reusable cloth pads available. Charlie Banana have a range of washable pads, as do companies like Moon Pads. Cloth Pad Shop has an entire store dedicated to eco friendly feminine products.
Menstrual cups are having a moment. There’s more and more information available, and more and more versions available, too.
But there are also lots of converts. Here’s an article on Mamamia singing the praises of the menstrual cup, and another one on 1 Million Women which answers a lot of questions about using one.
If you’re interested in trying one, here’s a few brands:
Period undies seem to be having a moment, too. You wear them like normal undies, but they’ve got an absorbent lining. You can use them on their own and free bleed, or you can use them as back up when you’re wearing a tampon or if you’re not sure when your period will start. They look like normal undies, and frankly, they look pretty comfortable.
Again, 1 Million Women has tried out period undies and reported back favourably.
Crocheted tampons: yes, apparently these are a thing, too. Here’s a set available on Etsy. I hear macrame is coming back, too, so who knows? Perhaps you could pick up an on trend macramaed set!
The Verdict on Eco Options for Tampons and Pads
A quick poll around the (all female) Hello Charlie office showed me that most women don’t want to go ‘too weird’ when it comes to pads and tampons. Menstrual cups, reusable pads, sea sponges, reusable tampons, and period underwear are not going to get a look in with most women.
But choosing an organic brand like Natracare, Tom Organic, or Organyc, is the same as using a mainstream multinational brands, but without all the hidden nasties.
What do you use for your period? Share your thoughts below!
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If you’ve got kids, you’ll know how keen they are on having a bandaid on every little bump. But those bandaids are all made of plastic, and every time you discard one it ends up in landfill, or worse, in the ocean.
All those little bits of plastic add up, so that’s where Everyday Good Co. comes in.
Everyday Good Co. is a Melbourne startup that’s aiming to do big things! They’re selling sustainably sourced products that you use everyday, that are good quality and are biodegradable, recycled or both.
Half of their profits are donated to The Hunger Project, a charity who works with impoverished communities around the world to help empower individuals and help teach them about farming, entepreneurship, income generation, food security, disease prevention and education. With the help of the Hunger Project, members of these small communities get together to build schools, hospitals and toilets.
Everyday Good Co. have pledged that 50% of the profits from all sales will go towards Hunger Project Australia. This not-for-profit works with communities in Africa, India, Bangladesh and Latin America to empower them to be self sufficient and pull themselves out of extreme poverty. They do this through:
empowering women as key change agents
educating communities about human rights, health and how to form effective partnerships with their
working with them to build their own infrastructure
The bandaid style bandages (the word bandaid is trademarked) are awesome:
degradable within 1.5 to 2 years
biodegradable within 3-4 years
suitable for sensitive skin
partly made from recycled materials (10-15%)
latex and BPA free
packaged using 100% recycled materials
They all come in packs of 20, and they’re available in emojis, nude or clear.
Of course, we love the emojis, and we have no doubt that kids will, too. There are 10 different emoji faces on the bright yellow bandaids.
The nude ones are designed especially for sensitive skin, with a special glue that means that they stick on, but won’t irritate. As anyone who’s ever had a reaction to a bandaid, where you end up scratching all around the edges of the wound because the sticky stuff makes you itch, you’ll know that this is a good thing!
The clear ones are thin and stretchy and extra sticky. Whack one of these on over that paper cut that stings like billy-o, and it’ll still be on after you’ve done the dishes or had a shower.
All the bandaids are sterilised, and individually packaged in sterile paper packages, and they’re perfect for small bumps as well as for minor grown up wounds, too.
They retail at $3.95 ($3.50 for the nude ones), so they’re well priced, too! When there are such good alternatives to the mainstream brands, why wouldn’t you give the Everyday Good Co. ones a go?
Mama Body Tea is the brainchild of Melbourne mums and best friends Jessica Spencer and Jessica O’Brien. They were looking for natural products to help them with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, and enlisted the help of naturopath Anne Cousins. Together, they came up with this lovely range of organic tea blends.
We’re loving Mama Body Teas! Here’s why:
naturopath blended teas
all organic ingredients
all caffeine free
no flavours or sugar added
can be drunk hot or cold
loose leaf tea for the best quality
28 servings per pouch
I’ve just starting stocking these delicious teas at Hello Charlie, and I thought it would be helpful to give you a run down of which tea to drink when.
Which Mama Body Tea should you choose?
Morning Wellness tea: any time, by anyone, but especially good in the first trimester to help with morning sickness
Soothing tea: any time, by anyone, and especially good in the last trimester when you’re feeling full all the time
Raspberry leaf blend: avoid in the first trimester, great in the last trimester to help prepare for labour and birth. Also good post birth, and for general female reproductive health.
Mama’s Milk: after birth to help with milk supply and breastfeeding.
Baby Bliss: especially good for breastfeeding mums to help a colicky and windy baby. Good for anyone at any time, especially if you’re feeling stressed or before bed to help sleep.
You can drink Morning Wellness tea any time to help with upset tummy or feelings of nausea, but it’s especially good in the first trimester to help relieve morning sickness during early stages of pregnancy.
Drink it morning, noon and night!
Ingredients: peppermint leaf, ginger root, fennel seed, rose hip shells and marshmallow root (all organic)
Soothing tea can be drunk at any time, by anyone! It’s ideal to drink towards the end of pregnancy, when you’re starting to feel full all the time. It will help your digestion and help to ease that bloated feeling. Soothing tea will make life a little more comfortable for heavily pregnant mamas.
This refreshing tea is perfect for anyone to drink after meals to help soothe and calm your digestion. It’s caffeine free, as are all the teas from Mama Body Tea, so you can drink it at any time of the day or night.
Raspberry leaf blend
Ingredients: raspberry leaf, peppermint and stinging nettle leaf (all organic)
Raspberry leaf tea should be avoided during the first trimester, but is super helpful during the third trimester and post birth. Drinking Mama Body Tea’s Raspberry leaf blend during the third trimester will help prepare your uterus and your body for birth.
After you’ve had your baby, drink Raspberry leaf blend to help decrease uterine swelling and cut down on post partum bleeding.
Raspberry leaf tea is rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc. It’s helpful for the health of women’s reproductive systems, so you can drink it at any time if you’re not pregnant.
A warning on raspberry leaf tea. Herbal teas can be very powerful, and it’s always best to consult your healthcare professional before you take herbal remedies. Don’t drink it until your third trimester, and then only drink 3 cups per day.
The Mama’s Milk tea has been blended especially to help increase your breast milk supply and promote a healthy milk flow. It helps assist you with breastfeeding, and also helps with digestion and to ease colic and wind symptoms in babies.
The naturopath blended ingredients include fenugreek seed, goats rue and fennel seeds, which are all known for their assistance with milk production, while spearmint, caraway and aniseed help with colic and wind, and marshmallow root helps with digestion for mums and babies.
The Mama’s Milk tea is fragrant and nourishing for all breastfeeding mums to enjoy.
Baby Bliss tea can be drunk at any time, by any one. It’s a lovely calming cup of tea, and is ideal when you’re feeling stressed or need help to relax before getting to sleep.
Mama Body Tea’s organic Baby Bliss tea blend is full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and C, Thiamine and Zinc. It can help settle and comfort your baby if they’re restless with colic, wind or teething.
While adults can drink this tea like any other tea, babies and toddlers have different recommendations:
from 2 weeks to 3 months – give baby 20ml per day
from 3 to 6 months – give baby 20-40ml per day
from 6 to 12 months – give baby 40-60ml per day
from 12 to 18 months – give your toddler 100ml per day
from 18 months onwards – you can give your toddler 250ml per day
Herbal tea isn’t a substitute for breastmilk or formula, and it isn’t a remedy or a drug. Please consult your healthcare practitioner about the advisability of giving it to your baby or toddler, and check the recommended quantities. Always serve it lukewarm to cold (never hot!), and you can use a dropper, a bottle or a sippy cup.
A year ago, I decided to go supermarket free. I was tired of giving money to Coles and Woolworths. They’re basically a duopoly, I think they’re unethical in the way they treat their suppliers, and they have far too much market share. I don’t like the way you’re manipulated by their store designs so that you spend $50 every time you go in, even if you’ve only just gone in for milk.
So I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and stop buying from them. How has my supermarket free year worked out?
I’m happy to say that it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it might be, and I’ll never go back! My husband was fairly easy to convince from the outset, although my kids were a little more tricky to win over. Going cold turkey was the easiest way to handle it, and they’ve gradually got used to the ‘new normal’.
When we were first thinking of going supermarket free, lots of my friends predicted that we wouldn’t be able to do it. But it really hasn’t been that hard. Here’s how we’ve done it.
Where to buy fruit and vegetables
We’re lucky to have a good local greengrocer. They don’t sell any organics, but we don’t eat exclusively organic anyway. I do try to avoid the Dirty Dozen, and buy these organic though.
We have a great farmers market out at St Andrews, but it’s not always easy to get there when the kids have Saturday morning activities. When we can, we get out there and stock up. Then we come home and chop and freeze any excess.
There’s another local farmers market in Eltham, which is easier to get to for us because it’s on a Sunday. So we go there and buy lovely produce in season.
Friends with farms and big backyards share stuff with us when they’ve got bumper crops, and we turn things into chutneys and jams and give them some back.
And the best thing is that the fruit and veg we buy from these places lasts longer because it’s fresh. It hasn’t been kept in cold storage for weeks or even months.
If you don’t have a good local greengrocer, have a look at someone like Aussie Farmers Direct or if you’re looking for organic, try an organic box delivery service or your local farmers market.
I’ve always been pretty keen on making my kids eat fruit and veg instead of packaged snacks, and if you don’t go to the supermarket, packaged snacks are much harder to find. So keeping lots of fruit and snacking type veg on hand gives the kids something healthy to munch when they’re feeling peckish. Changing your habits is a big part of eating healthier.
Where to buy meat
We have a great local butcher who sells free range and organic meat, so we often shop there. Their meat is properly free range, and I’ve checked all their suppliers to make sure.
I’ve bought free range meat from our local farmers market in Eltham, and one of the local suppliers has actually opened a butcher in Eltham, too.
I get bones and make stock, so I don’t have to buy that, either.
My dad used to supply us with a bit of fish, but we’re not getting so much off him at the moment. Fortunately, we have a reasonably good fishmonger locally, too.
Where to buy dairy and eggs
We get our dairy products and eggs from Aussie Farmers Direct, who deliver to our door twice a week. Our milk is biodynamic (and I swear it’s the best milk I’ve ever tasted) and our eggs are certified organic and free range. We get cheese and yoghurt, too, although for good cheese we sometimes treat ourselves to something from Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder or Jones the Grocer.
If we run out of milk or yoghurt, we either go without until our next delivery, or I nip down to our local deli that has a good range of organic and independent dairy products.
Where to buy bread
We don’t eat an awful lot of bread, but I usually keep a couple of loaves in the freezer. We buy them at the farmers market, at a local bakery that does sourdough bread, or we sometimes make our own bread in the breadmaker.
What to do about breakfast cereals when you’re supermarket free
This is one huge advantage to going supermarket free. I hate packaged cereals. They’re overprocessed and packed with sugar. So that was one thing I was glad to ditch. My kids weren’t quite so happy about it, but after some inevitable whining, they soon got used to it. Instead, we eat oats. Oats in porridge, oats in bircher muesli, toasted into yoghurt toppings, and oats blitzed into smoothies.
We eat eggs. Boiled with soldiers, fried, omelettes, scrambled, with avocado and fetta, with bacon and sausage, in a sandwich on the go.
We have smoothies. Oats, chia seeds, coconut milk, cows milk, fruit, nuts, LSA, protein powders, cacao powder. We’ve all got really good at throwing together a smoothie that will keep us going til lunchtime, even my youngest. My husband makes sure we’ve got chopped bananas and frozen fruit in the freezer, and I keep small portions of frozen coconut milk in the freezer to chuck in, too.
Occasionally, we make pancakes or pikelets and make extras so that we can reheat them and eat them during the week.
We eat leftovers for breakfast. Yes, sometimes it’s pizza (although that’s pretty rare). But often it’s roasted veggies from the weekend, topped with an egg or mixed into an omelette. It might be mashed potato mixed up into bubble and squeak, or mixed into a hash with some leftover meat. When it’s good leftovers, it’s curry and dahl – my favourite weird breakfast foods. There’s nothing wrong with leftovers for breakfast, and they’re a damn sight better for you than packaged cereals.
What about personal products?
Obviously, I buy all my personal products through Hello Charlie. It is my business, after all! It’s been years since I’ve bought shampoo, shower gel, makeup, skincare, even personal care products at a supermarket or chemist, because I’m lucky enough to be able to get all these things at work.
But it’s not that hard – there’s plenty of places like Hello Charlie where you can buy products online. You can also go to your local healthfood shop or organic store, or even a locally owned chemist (I count the likes of Priceline and Chemist Warehouse direct as ‘supermarkets’).
Where to buy cleaning products
I do get a lot of my cleaning products at Hello Charlie, too. I love Ecostore, Abode and Ecover and use them all at home. But I bought Enjo products years ago, and am still using them. I do have a cleaner who comes once a fortnight, but she uses Enjo stuff, too. This really cuts down on how many cleaning products I need.
What about toilet paper?
I found a local supplier of cleaning products who sells toilet paper that’s made from bamboo, straw, and sugarcane pulp and they deliver Australia wide. I may have slightly overestimated last year when I was ordering, because we’ve only just run out of my initial purchase! (Good thing we have a big garage for storage!).
Although I don’t use paper towels or serviettes at home (we use reusable versions instead) you can probably buy these at a similar supplier.
Where you do buy basic groceries?
Basic groceries for things like flour, tea, sugar, rice, oats, dried fruit, nuts, beans, and tinned stuff we tend to buy in bulk online and have it delivered. Honest to Goodness has a good range of stuff, as does The Source Bulk Foods and we also do trips to Asian grocery stores and Mediterranean grocery stores to stock up on stuff like spices, noodles, pasta and things like pickles in jars.
We buy honey locally, make most of our own jam (which is really not as hard as you’d think – my husband is a dab hand at it now!) and buy it at farmers markets and craft markets. We make biscuits and cakes, and we don’t do it that often, so it’s helped my family to cut back on sugar, too.
What about treats?
We do the occasional trip to our local IGA, and there’s a small supermarket/deli in the next suburb that I’ll sometimes make a trip to for things like chips and crackers if we really fancy some. They also sell frozen berries and stuff like frozen peas and corn that we usually keep in the freezer, as well as puff and filo pastry that we’re not very good at making! We also get things like vegemite and ground coffee beans from the little locally owned supermarket/deli.
I make popcorn in the popcorn maker, and flavour it up. We buy raw nuts in bulk and roast them off with sweet and savoury flavourings.
I buy dark chocolate in bulk from a shop that I discovered a while ago. Whereas my husband will sit and eat a whole block of Cadbury’s if we’ve got it in the house, he doesn’t do that with dark chocolate. The kids have got used to dark chocolate, and it means they still get treats. Plus I can bake it into things like choc chip cookies, which everyone loves.
We buy cakes at cake stalls and freeze them. I love doing this. You’re helping local community groups, and you get a great variety of stuff to try at home.
My husband misses things like HP Sauce (he is English, after all) and Worcestershire sauce, but there are independent supermarkets around where you can get this kind of stuff. We do a couple of visits a year to Leo’s in Kew or Heidelberg for stuff that you really need to buy in a supermarket, like matches, olive oil and tomato sauce.
Think about where you buy your alcohol
BWS, Dan Murphy’s, Vintage Cellars, 1st Choice and Liquorland are all owned by the supermarkets (Woolworths and Wesfarmers), so we won’t shop there either. We’re very fortunate to have an excellent local bottle shop called Nillumbik Cellars (who ship Australia wide) and their service is brilliant. They’ve got an amazing range of stuff, and they always, always carry my purchases out to the car for me.
Changing your thinking and your habits to go supermarket free
One of the best (and according to my kids, worst) things about being supermarket free is that you don’t get a lot of packaged foods. So if your weekly grocery shop includes jars of pasta sauce, muesli bars, chips, crackers, juices and soft drinks, avoiding the supermarkets gets a lot more difficult.
It’s meant that we have to cook most things from scratch. But even that’s not as difficult as it sounds. We’ll often spend a couple of hours at the weekend cooking in batches, but it’s certainly not every weekend. I work full time, my husband works full time, he does voluntary work as a director on a board, and between them, our children have activities every day except Sunday. So it’s not like either of us have a lot of spare time up our sleeve. Somehow, though, we cook dinner every night and don’t resort to packaged food from the supermarket.
When you can’t (or won’t) run down to the supermarket for things you’ve forgotten, you have to get more creative with what you’ve got in the cupboard or fridge. You get better at combining what’s already there, and learning what substitutes well. You have to get better at planning ahead, and you waste less food.
Admittedly, some things are more expensive. But we tend not to overbuy, and it’s not often that we buy stuff that we don’t need just because it’s on special. I reckon we spend about the same, and we definitely eat better.
Buying in bulk means that we don’t have to go shopping every week (except for fruit and veg), so it saves time, too.
Shopping locally means being part of your community
I think my favourite part of not going to the supermarket is that I’ve got to know my local shopkeepers. I’m on first name terms at the greengrocers, which also means that I get all the best and freshest fruit and veg. They tell me if my husband has already been in that day, because they know my whole family. My butcher cuts meat for me just how I want it, and saves me bones for stocks and for my big dog. Which reminds me, I buy pet food and cat litter from my lovely local pet shop, too.
The guy at my local independent coffee shop knows what coffee I want without asking me, and my local bottle shop will get specialty beer in for my beer loving English husband.
I actually know these people in my community, and it’s a pleasure to go and spend my money there, knowing it’s going to be put back into the community and support local families, rather than paying out to shareholders and squeezing farmers.
When I first started talking about going supermarket free, I was amazed at how many other people were doing it, too. It turns out there’s a whole movement out there. If you’re sick of Coles and Woolworths, ditch them. Have a look at the Supermarket Free website for even more ideas on how you can go supermarket free, too!
Have I inspired you to go supermarket free? Share your thoughts and questions!
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Here’s a topic close to my heart (or my armpit!) – natural deodorants. This is one product that people have lots of qualms about going natural with. You really don’t want to be stinky in your quest for a safer deodorant! The good news is that there are some great natural options out there, that really work.
I’ve reviewed over 50 natural deodorants here to help you sort through the greenwash.
Comments: Horrible! And the icing on this toxic cake is that even though it’s supposed to be unscented, it still contains fragrance. No wonder we’re all looking for better alternatives!
Here’s our round up of natural deodorants
Name: 808 Dude No More Stinky Pits Deodorant For Teens Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Extract Organic, Zinc Gluconate, Polysorbate 20, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil Organic, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil Organic, Citrus Nobilis (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil Organic, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Oil Organic, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil Organic, Myroxylon Pereirae (Balsam Peru) Oil, Elettaria Cardamom (Cardamom) Seed Oil Organic, Santalum Spicatum (Sandalwood) Oil Organic, Citric Acid, d-Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citronellol* (*Component of Essential Oil). EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 70 g for $7.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: I love this one. It’s certified organic, even though the packaging is quiet about it, and the ingredients are good. What I really love, though, is that it’s such a great option for teen boys who would otherwise only have those supertoxic body sprays to use. And teen boys love it. (It works, too – both my husband and I have tested it out).
Name: BIOLOGIKA Roll-on Deodorant – Vanilla Kiss Ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Purified Water, Calendula Extract, Rosehip Extract, Lavender Extract, Chamomile Extract, Vanilla Extract, Almond Extract, Olive Leaf Extract, Neroli Essential Oil, Jojoba Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan Gum, Organic Ethanol, Australian Bush Extract of Kakadu Plum. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 70ml for $10.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: Nothing scary in this one. There’s some nice calming essential oils in this, and some bicarb soda to combat smells.
Name: BIOLOGIKA Lemon Kiss Deodorant Ingredients:Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Purified Water, Calendula Extract, Rosehip Extract, Lavender Extract, Chamomile Extract, Vanilla Extract, Almond Extract, Olive Leaf Extract, Organic Lemon Scented Tea Tree Essential Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Jojoba Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan Gum, Organic Ethanol, Australian Bush Extract of Kakadu. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 70ml for $10.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: There’s nothing scary in this, either (unless lemon is an irritant for you) and this has good antibacterial essential oils plus sodium bicarb to neutralize smells.
Name: BIOLOGIKA Passion Spray Ingredients:Organic Aloe Vera, Purified Water, Organic Sugar Cane Ethanol, Xanthan Gum, Rose geranium Essential Oil, Oranic Palma Rosa Essential Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract (and) Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract (and) Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract (and) Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract (and) Lavandula Augustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract (and) Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract (and) Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract (and) Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Root Extract (and) Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a
Cost: 125ml for $10.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: Nothing scary in here, either. The alcohol will help keep smells down (although will sting on newly shaven skin!) and there’s a lot of good essential oils to neutralize odours and keep the bacteria at bay.
Name: Black Chicken Axilla Natural Deodorant Paste Ingredients: Shea Butter*, Coconut oil*, Camellia Tea oil*, Sodium Bicarbonate, Arrowroot, Kaolin Clay, Vitamin E, Vegetable Glycerin* and essential oils of Peppermint*, Cajaput*, Mandarin*, Clove, Rose Geranium, Lime*, Lavender* and Cedarwood*.* Certified Organic ingredients EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75g for $16.00 Comments: This looks great. Coconut oil and shea butter are awesome in natural deodorants, and so are the sodium bicarb and kaolin clay. Lots of essential oils, so check to make sure you don’t have issues with any of them. If you haven’t used a deodorant paste before, they can take some getting used to, but they sure do work.
Name: Crystal Body Deodorant Spray – Unscented Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Potassium Alum (Natural Mineral Salts), Sodium Bicarbonate, Benzoic Acid (natural preservative), Zinc Gluconate (natural preservative) EWG Skin Deep Rating: 1 (Low hazard) Cost: 118ml for$6.95 Comments: Here’s where it gets tricky. This scores low on EWG, but it contains Potassium Alum. We choose not to use crystal deodorants – here’s why.
Name: Crystal Essence Body Spray Chamomile Ingredients: Purified Water, Natural Mineral Salts, Natural Fragrance Made With Chamomile And Green Tea Essential Oils And Extracts EWG Skin Deep Rating:3 (Moderate hazard) Cost: 118ml for $8.95 Comments: The natural mineral salts are potassium alum. The higher score is for the fragrance.
Name: Crystal Rock Deo Body Spray Cobalt Sky Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Potassium Alum (Natural Mineral Salts), Natural Fragrance, Sodium Bicarbonate, Benzoic Acid, Zinc Gluconate EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 118ml for $9.95 Comments: Another crystal deodorant spray, this one with ‘natural fragrance’ as well as a couple of preservatives because it’s water based. It’s not awful, but there are better choices.
Name: Divine by Therese Kerr Natural Deodorant Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Aqua (Purified Water), Ethanol*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan Gum, Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil*, Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) leaf Extract*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil*. *Certified Organic Ingredients. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 100ml for $18.95 Comments: A pretty good ingredients list. There’s alcohol and sodium bicarb, so it’s not for sensitive armpits, but it’ll work!
Name: Dermalogica Environmental Control Deodorant Ingredients: Butylene Glycol, Water (Aqua), Isoteareth-20, Sodium Stearate, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil; PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Triclosan, Farnesol, Dimethyl Phenylpropanol, Ethoxydiglycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Silica, Linalool, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, Citral, Benzyl Salicylate, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil.. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a but we estimate a 4 on EWG Cost: 64g for $29.00 Comments: Not so keen on this one. There’s triclosan, and PEGs. There’s also clove flower extract, which although natural, is an irritant. Butylene glycol is also an irritant. All in all, there are better choices out there.
Name: Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Aqua, Zinc ricinoleate, Triethyl citrate, Lauryl glucoside, Polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, Glycerin, Cetearyl alcohol, Glyceryl caprylate, Sodium bicarbonate, Polyglyceryl-3 stearate, Sodium stearoyl lactylate, Isocetyl palmitate, Punica granatum extract, Cetraria islandica extract, Glycyrrhetinic acid, Aroma, Rosmarinus officinalis oil, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus seed oil, Chondrus crispus extract, Xanthan gum, Sodium phytate, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, Citric acid, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Hexyl cinnamal, Linalool. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a but we estimate this to be a 4 Cost: 50ml for $12.95 Comments: The biggest killer here is the fragrance, otherwise there’s nothing too alarming. Greenwash alert: there’s nothing organic either, Dr Organic. There’s better options available.
Name: Earths Purities Ladies Natural Deodorant Ingredients: Organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic arrowroot, organic beeswax, aluminium free bicarbonate soda, organic carnauba wax, diatomaceous earth, organic bentonite clay, lemon myrtle essential oil, tangerine essential oil, Peru balsam essential, lavender essential oil & vitamin E oil EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 50g for $12.95 Comments: Another good cream style deodorant, with great ingredients.
Name: Earths Purities Men’s Natural Deodorant Ingredients: Organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic arrowroot, organic beeswax, aluminium free bicarbonate soda, organic carnauba wax, diatomaceous earth, organic bentonite clay, lemon myrtle essential oil, petit grain essential oil, bergamot essential oil, frankincense essential oil, lavender essential oil & vitamin E oil. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost:50gm for $12.95 Comments: Just as good as the ladies version!
Name: Eco Tan Certified Organic Coconut Roll On Deodorant Ingredients: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice *Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract **Sodium Bicarbonate, **Coconut Flavour, *Glycerin, *Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Centaurea Cyanus (Corn Flower) Extract*, *Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, **Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Xanthan Gum** *Certified Organic **Natural. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 125ml for $14.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: Nothing too scary in this one, and the coconut flavour is ACO approved. It is an ACO certified organic product, too. I’m not a fan of coconut scented products, but this does work, and it’s good for blokes, too.
Name: EO Certified Organic Deodorant Spray – Lavender Ingredients: Organic Ethanol, Purified Water, EO Essential Oil Blend [Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Organic Lavandula Hybrida Oil EWG Skin Deep Rating:1 (Low hazard) Cost: 120ml for $11.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: This has good ingredients, too, although the ethanol will sting on newly shaved underarms.
Name: EO Certified Organic Deodorant Spray – Vetiver Ingredients: Organic Ethanol, Purified Water, EO Essential Oil Blend [Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Organic Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Organic Geranium Maculatum Oil, Organic Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Organic Cedrus Deodara Wood Oil, Organic Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil EWG Skin Deep Rating:3 (Moderate hazard) Cost: 120ml for $11.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: I love this. I’ve used it and it works. I love the smell, and although the essential oils are what pushes the EWG rating up, it’s a good choice.
Name: Erica Brooke Natural Deodorant Creme – Neroli & Vanilla Ingredients: Shea Butter*, Coconut Oil*, Sodium Bicarbonate, Arrowroot*, Jojoba Oil, Beeswax*, Natural Tocopherol*, Neroli Essential Oil, Fruit Extract, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil* Organic EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 65g for $15.00 Comments: Looks great. Good ingredients, and they’re ingredients that will do the job. Another good choice.
Name: Fresca Natural Deodorant – Citrus Fresh Ingredients: Purified water, aerated salt (saleratus), vegetable gum, essential oils of grapefruit peel, lime fruit peel, tangerine, mandarin, neroli, verbena, chamomile and geranium. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 50ml for $14.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: Saleratus is another name for bicarb soda, which is a great deodoriser. It’s convenient in a roll on, the ingredients are good, and I can tell you from experience that it works. The oils in this are suitable for pregnancy, too.
Name: Fresca Natural Deodorant – Unscented Ingredients: Purified water, aerated salt (saleratus), vegetable gum, vitamin E, essential oils of katafray, cabrueva, elemi and grapefruit seed extract. *Contains emmenogogue oils. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 50ml for $14.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: This is the unscented version. The essential oils used in this are antibacterial and healing for the skin, so it’s could be a good choice if you have issues with any of the oils in the other Fresca deodorants in the range. It’s another good choice. Please be aware that there are emmenagogue essential oils in this, and it’s not recommended for pregnancy.
Name: Harmoni’s Kiss Organic Deodorant
Ingredients: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice*, Witch Hazel Extract*, Glycerine*, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Guar Gum*, Zinc Oxide, Lime Oil*, Orange Oil*, Lavender Flower Oil*, Frankincense Oil*, Sweet Fennel Oil*, Rose flower Oil*, Fragrance (totally plant based).*Certified Organic EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 50ml for $8.95 Comments: Here’s another one aimed at teens/tweens and it’s another good one. So great to see better choices for this age group! Good ingredients, certified organic, packaging that appeals. I love it.
Name: KAI Deodorant Ingredients: Butylene glycol, glycerin, water, sodium stearate, hamamelis virginiana l. (plant extract), ceteareth-20, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, fragrance, peg-12 dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin e), bisabolol (essential oil of chamomile), propylene glycol EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 74g for $32.00 Comments: Eek! It looks clean and pretty, but there are some ugly ingredients in this. PEG’s, contamination concerns in the ceteareth-20, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol … Give it a miss!
Name: LAFE’S Organic Fresh Deodorant Ingredients: Purified Water, Mineral Salts, Polyquaternium-10, Aloe Vera Extract, Sage Extract, Hemp Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract EWG Skin Deep Rating: 1 (Low hazard) Cost: 89ml for $9.95 Comments: It looks scary with the Polyquaternium-10, but I’m more concerned about the mineral salts, which are potassium alum by another name. If you’re trying to avoid aluminium, give this a miss.
Name: LaVanila Deodorant Vanilla Lavender Ingredients:Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Aloe juice, water/aqua), Propanediol (Corn derived), Zea mays (Corn) starch, Sodium stearate (Coconut derived), Silica, Carrageenan (Seaweed derived), Stearyl behenate (Coconut derived), Citrus medica limonum (Lemon peel oil), Inulin (Artichoke derived), Saccharomyces ferment, Alpha-Glucan oligosaccharide (Sugar derived), Yeast beta glucan, Lonicera caprifolium (Honeysuckle) flower extract, Usnea barbata (Lichen) extract, Valeriana officinalis root extract (Valerian), Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal) extract, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree) flower/leaf/stem extract, Lycium barbarum fruit extract (Goji berry), Botanical fragrance blend. EWG Skin Deep Rating:4(Moderate hazard) Cost: 56g for $24.95 Comments: It’s the fragrance that pushes this up. The other one is the lemon peel oil – it’s an irritant for many people, so it pushes the EWG score up, too. Otherwise it’s a good product, but why not use fragrance made from essential oils and then let us know which ones they are? I wouldn’t use this simply because of the fragrance, so it’s a shame.
Name: Lavera Basis Roll On Deodorant Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Zinc Oxide, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Zinc Ricinoleate, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water*, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Limonene**, Linalool**, Geraniol**, Citral**, Citronellol**, Benzyl Benzoate** (* Ingredients from certified organic agriculture, ** ingredients from natural essential oils) EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 50ml for $14.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: It’s good to see a natural deodorant that doesn’t contain sodium bicarbonate, as many people (including my husband) find that it can be irritating. Instead, zinc oxide is used as a deodorizing agent, and although I haven’t tried this, zinc oxide is supposed to be very effective. All the other ingredients are good, too.
Name: Lavera Natural Deodorant Spray – Lime Verbena Ingredients: Alcohol*, Water (Aqua), Triethyl Citrate, Verbena Officinalis Leaf Water*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract*, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract*, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Caproyl Lactylate, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Limonene**, Citral**, Geraniol**, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Benzyl Benzoate** (* ingredients from certified organic agriculture, ** natural essential oils). EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75ml for $16.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: An alcohol based deodorant spray, which is scented with essential oils. Although this stings on newly shaven skin, I like this one. It’s fresh and works well, and the ingredients are all good, too.
Name: Lemon Myrtle Fragrances Deodorant Spray Ingredients: Aqua, Alcohol, Zinc phenolsulfonate, Triethyl Citrate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lemon Myrtle Oil, Lemon Scented Eucalyptus Oil EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 125ml for $13.95 Comments: This is okay, and would score low on the EWG database, but there are better ingredients than the zinc phenolsulfonate, which is suspected of being a toxin.
Name: Lush T’eo Deodorant Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate (Sodium Bicarbonate), ^Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid), ^Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca), Blue Wax (Specerit Blue C), ^Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), ^Magnesium Carbonate (Magnesium Carbonate), ^Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), ^Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis), ^Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogon citratus), ^Fresh Green Grapes (Vitis vinifera), ^Blue Cornflower Petals (Centaurea cyanus), Citral (Citral), Geraniol (Geraniol), Eugenol (Eugenol), Citronellol (Citronellol), *Limonene (*Limonene), *Linalool (*Linalool), Perfume (Perfume) (^Natural ingredients, * Occurs naturally in essential oils) EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 90g for $9.95 Comments: This is okay, except for the perfume and the blue wax (which they use so you can hold on to the wax to apply the product as it doesn’t come packaged). Again, there are better choices out there.
Name: Meditree Deodorant Roll On with Tea Tree & Myrrh Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, Olive (olea europaea) leaf extract*, Decyl Glucoside, Triethyl Citrate, Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) Oil, Myrrh (commiphora abyssinica) Resin Extract, Xantham gum, Honeysuckle (lonicera caprifolium) flower extract, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Oil, Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) leaf oil, Honeysuckle (lonicera japonica) flower extract, Armoise (Artemisia vulgaris) oil, Basil (ocimum basillicum) oil, linalool, eugenol *Certified Organic EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75ml for $ 8.50 Comments: This is another one that looks good. Lots of good essential oils, and nothing scary. Worth a try.
Name: Miessence Ancient Spice Roll-on Deodorant Ingredients: Certified organic aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Non-GMO Xanthan Gum, certified organic citrus bergamia (bergamot) essential oil, certified organic citrus aurantifolia (lime) essential oil, certified organic boswellia carteri (frankincense) essential oil, certified organic cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) leaf essential oil,certified organic syzygium aromatica (clove) bud essential oil, certified organic vanilla planifolia CO2 extract EWG Skin Deep Rating:2 (Low hazard) Cost: 60ml for $10.55 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: This looks great, as well. I love Miessence products, and I know this works. The citrus oils can be irritants, which is what pushes the score up on this. But if you have no problem with citrus oils, give it a go.
Name: Miessence Aroma Free Roll-on Deodorant Ingredients: certified organic aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Non-GMO Xanthan Gum EWG Skin Deep Rating:0 (Low hazard) Cost: 60ml for $10.50 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comments: No essential oils in this, so it gets a 0 score on EWG. A great choice, although I prefer the extra help that you get from the essential oils 🙂
Name: Moogoo Fresh Cream Deodorant Ingredients: Aqua, Magnesium Hydroxide (Milk Of Magnesia), Xantham Gum (Food Grade Thickener), Backhousia Citriodora Leaf Oil (Aussie Lemon Myrtle), Zea Mays (Corn) Seed Flour, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 60ml for $8.50 Comments: This is a good choice if you react to bicarb soda under your arms. Being low in magnesium is one of the reasons that you get B.O. in the first place, so it makes sense to include it in a deodorant. The ingredients are good, too, so a good one to try.
Name: Mount Romance Sandalwood Deodorant Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Fragrance, Polysorbate 20, Methylcellulose, Fusanus spicatus (Australian Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MI), Triclosan, Farnesol EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a but we estimate a 5 Cost: 60ml for $ 8.95 Comments: Oh dear. A horrible list of ingredients: propylene glycol, fragrance, triclosan, MIT, MI – this is like a list of what you should be avoiding in your deodorants. Give it a miss.
Name: Mukti Unisex Roll-On Deodorant Ingredients: Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) Hydrosol*; Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) Extract*; Glycerin (Vegetarian)*; Sodium Bicarbonate; Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice*. Essential Oils of Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), Sandalwood (Santalum Album), Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin) & Sage (Salvia Officinalis)*; Xanthan Gum; Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Grandis) Extract.*Certified organic by the Organic Food Chain (OFC).Naturally occurring constituents in essential oils: citral, eugenol, limonene, linalool. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75ml for $14.95 Comments: Lovely! Looks great and I’d give it a go. Can’t see anything to be concerned about with this one.
Name: Nasanta Magnesium Deodorant Women Ingredients: Water, Magnesium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Menthol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazalinone EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 60ml for $ 12.90 Comments: It was all looking good until the preservatives, and unfortunately they’re two you should avoid. It’s a shame, because there aren’t many magnesium deodorants around.
Name: Natural Scents Exotic Spice Deodorant Ingredients: Purified Water, Naturally Occurring Mineral Salts, Almond and Coconut Oil Based Solubilizer, Xanthan Gum, Citricidal, Essential Oils of Sweet Orange, Patchouli, Clove Bud, Nutmeg, Sandalwood, Cinnamon Bark EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 100ml for $9.95 Comments: It looks okay, except for the mineral salts, which are potassium alum. If you’re trying to avoid aluminium, this isn’t the deodorant for you.
Name: Natural Scents Exotic Spice Spray Ingredients: Purified water (aqua pura), naturally occuring mineral salts (potash alum), almond & coconut oil based solubilizer, citricidal (grapefruit extract). Essential oils of sweet orange (citrus sinensis), patchouli (pogostemon cablin), olianum (boswellia carterii), australian sandlewood (santalum spicatum), nutmeg (myristica fragrans), cinnamon bark (cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove bud (syzygium aromaticum). EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 125ml for $12.95 Comments: Again with the mineral salts and the potash (potassium) alum. Not one if you’re trying to avoid aluminium, but otherwise okay.
Name: Noosa Basics Alley Oop Roll on Deodorant – Unscented Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Baking Soda (Aluminium free), Australian Kaolin Clay and 100% Pure Essential oils. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 88ml for $14.95 Comments: Looks pretty good. I’d prefer it if they’d list the essential oils (like they’re supposed to), but generally this is good. Nothing nasty, but if you’re looking to avoid any oils, you wouldn’t know what’s in this.
Name: Noosa Basics Alley Oop Deodorant Cream Tub – Rosemary Ingredients: Organic Fair trade Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Baking Soda (Aluminium free), Australian Kaolin Clay and 100% Pure Essential oils. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75gm for $14.95 Comments: Again, looks pretty good, although the same comments apply about the lack of description of what the essential oils are.
Name: NUTRIBIOTIC Lavender Deodorant Ingredients: Deionized Water, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Witch Hazel Distillate, Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), Lavender Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Lemon Oil, Eucalyptus Oil EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75g for $12.95 Comments: You lost me at propylene glycol. Otherwise not too bad.
Name: Refreshed Lemon Myrtle Deodorant Ingredients: Purified water, ethanol (plant derived), Usnea barbata (lichen) extract, caprylic/capric triglycerides (plant derived), sorbitan stearate (plant derived), glyceryl stearate (plant derived), polysorbate 20, hydroxyethyl cellulose (plant derived), lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) oil, phenoxyethanol (plant derived), citric acid and silver citrate (silver ions). EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 60ml for $ 9.95 Comments: I’m not keen on phenoxyethanol, and the polysorbate-20 and it’s contamination concerns don’t thrill me, but this is otherwise okay.
Name: Sanctum Men’s Natural Deodorant Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Olive (Olea europaea) Leaf Extract*, Decyl Glucoside, Triethyl Citrate, Aqua, Myrrh (Commiphora abyssinica) Extract, Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) Bark Oil, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Oil*, Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) Flower Extract, Bergamot (Citrus aurantium bergamia) Oil*, Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) Oil, Geranium maculatum Oil, Sandalwood (Santalum album) Oil, linalool, limonene (*certified organic). EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75g for $9.95 Comment: Another good ingredients list, and it’s good to have another option that’s free from bicarb soda, too.
Name: Sanctum Women’s Natural Deodorant Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Olive (Olea europaea) Leaf Extract*, Decyl Glucoside, Triethyl Citrate, Myrrh (Commiphora abyssinica) Extract, Aqua, Silver Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Lemongrass (Cymbopogon schoenanthus) Oil*, Grapefruit (Citrus grandis) Oil, Orange (Citrus aurantium dulcis) Oil, citral (* certified organic). EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75g for $9.95 Comment: Another good ingredients list, and another choice that’s free from bicarb soda, too.
Name: Schmidt’s Deodorant Fragrance-Free Ingredients: Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Humulus lupulus (hop) extract EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 56g for $14.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comment: I love a cream deodorant, and this is no exception. Great ingredients, great choice.
Name: Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick Bergamot & Lime Ingredients: Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (candelilla) Wax, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citrus bergamia (bergamot) essential oil, Citrus aurantifolia (lime) essential oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E) EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75g for $17.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comment: This is a little easier to use than the jar, and it’s certainly easier to throw into a gym bag. Great ingredients, and it works well, too.
Name: Sukin Natural Deodorant Spray
Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Alcohol, Zinc Phenolsulfonate, Ceteareth-20, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Articum Lappa (Burdock) Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Vanillin, Vanilla Planifolia Extract, Linalool,* Limonene,** Natural component of essential oils. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 125ml for $5.95 Comment: Zinc Phenolsulfonate and Ceteareth-20 don’t make me the biggest fan of this deodorant, but it’s not the worst out there.
Name: The Body Crystal Crystal Roll On Deodorant Botanica Ingredients: Water, Potassium Alum, Aloe Vera Extract (Aloe Barbadensis), Hydroxyethylcellulose (Cellulose Derived), Natural Benzoic Acid (Plant Derived), Perfume, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 80ml for $ 8.75 Comment: Even if you’re okay with potassium alum, the perfume and the PEG’s should tell you to look elsewhere.
Name: Tisserand Rose Blend Deodorant (24 Hour Protection) Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Steareth-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Steareth-21, Zinc Ricinoleate, Glyceryl Laurate, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprylate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Tocopherol, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides (Vetivert) Oil, Camellia Sinesis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Crataugus Monogyna (Hawthorn) Fruit Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Leaf Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Pink Grapefruit) Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Oil, Tris-BHT Mesitylene, Rosa Borboniana (Rose) Flower Extract, Citral*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool* EWG Skin Deep Rating:4 (Moderate hazard) Cost: 35ml for $ 13.90 Comment: There’s a few questionable ingredients in here: benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol and the steareth-21 are enough to make me move on.
Name: VRINDAVAN Deodorant Roll-on Mystic Nature Ingredients: Distilled Water, Certified Organic Lavender Hydrosol, Mineral Salts, Guar Gum, Certified Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Certified Organic Essential Ylang Ylang, Grapefruit Seed Extract. EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 50ml for $9.95 Comment: Once again, this is okay except for the mineral salts – aka potassium alum.
Name: Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant Ingredients: Alcohol, Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*, Rosa Damascena Extract, Rosa Moschata Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate.* from natural essential oils EWG Skin Deep Rating:7 (High hazard) Cost: 100mL for $27.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comment: This is where you really need to question EWG. Weleda is one of the BEST companies in the world for natural products, and uses only essential oils in their products and fragrances. The problem is that EWG can lack safety information on ingredients that are natural. For example, Benzyl Salicylate can be synthetic, and scores very high on EWG’s database. However, it’s a naturally occurring component of some essential oils, and EWG doesn’t distinguish between synthetic versions, and the ones that are part of essential oils. So it comes down to your trust in the company. Do I trust Weleda? Absolutely! So I’d use and recommend this one.
Name: Weleda Citrus Deodorant Ingredients: Alcohol, Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum)*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Farnesol*.* from natural essential oils EWG Skin Deep Rating:5 (Moderate hazard) Cost: 100mL for $20.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comment: See my comments on Weleda deodorants and EWG, above. I’ve used and love this!
Name: Weleda Sage Deodorant Ingredients: Alcohol, Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum)*, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Coumarin*.* from natural essential oils EWG Skin Deep Rating: 3 (Moderate hazard) Cost: 100mL for $20.95 (Buy at Hello Charlie) Comment: Again, see comments on Weleda’s Rose Deodorant.
Name: Woohoo! Body All Natural Deodorant Paste Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Kaolin Clay, Isoamyl Laurate, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelilla) Wax, Triethyl Citrate, Zinc Oxide, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Wood (Cedarwood Atlas) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Oil and Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla) Extract EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 70g for $17.95 Comment: Nothing nasty in here. Another good paste deodorant with good ingredients
Name: Zoo Natural Deodorant Ingredients: Shea Butter*, Arrowroot Powder, Coconut Oil*, Kaolin Clay, Himalayan Salt, Glycerin^, Bergamot Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Vitamin E. (*Certified Organic Ingredient ^Coconut Oil Based ). EWG Skin Deep Rating: n/a Cost: 75gm for $22.00 (NZD) Comment: Another good cream deodorant. This one is free from sodium bicarb, too, which makes it a good choice for anyone sensitive to bicarb.
Have we missed any? What’s your favourite natural deodorant?
Copyright Hello Charlie 2015.
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When I was at the Naturally Good Expo a few weeks back, I got a sample of possibly the weirdest thing I’ve even seen. It’s called My Magic Mud and it turns your teeth black, then naturally white.
Don’t believe me? Check out the photos below, where I was testing it out.
I had loads of fun freaking my kids out while I was using it. It looks like some kind of joke shop stuff, because it turns your mouth totally black. But then it rinses out and you’re left with normal teeth, and whiter and cleaner ones at that.
I’m a complete convert to My Magic Mud. It feels strange at first. It’s a powder, so you wet your toothbrush first and dip it into the powder (on the little spoon provided). You can also put it under your tongue, according to the instructions, but I much prefer to put it on my toothbrush. Then you start brushing your teeth like you normally do.
It feels a little chalky. Not gritty, just a bit chalky. It doesn’t really taste like anything, either.
What it does seem to do is really, really clean your teeth. My teeth feel like I’ve just been to the dentist for a clean, and they’re definitely whiter after a week of use.
The instructions say that you’re best to use it at night to give it a chance to work its mud magic, but it was a week before I actually read the instructions. By then I’d already noticed a difference, so I don’t think morning or night is an issue.
You only need to use it once a day, and you follow it up with flossing. If you’re using it at night, you use your normal toothpaste in the morning and vice versa.
Does it stain?
For a tooth whitening powder, it’s pretty damn black. I managed to get this stuff everywhere in my bathroom – white, of course. But it wipes off easily and doesn’t stain anything. Again, reading the instructions (such useful things!) I read that you’re supposed to be really careful opening the little container, and brush your teeth with your lips closed so that the black powder doesn’t go everywhere. It does make a difference, but it’s so easy to wipe up that I haven’t really bothered. Besides, half the fun of this stuff is watching how black your teeth go!
While My Magic Mud seems expensive at $39.95 for the jar, the pack says that you’ll get 150 uses. I can believe it when I’ve seen how long the small sample jar I’ve got is lasting. You really don’t need much for each clean, and I saw results within a week.
Compare that to a round of teeth whitening at the dentist, and it’s a bargain. Plus, you don’t get any sensitivity and it’s gentle on your enamel. It’s been lab tested and has a pH level of 9.16. The lower the pH level, the more acidic your toothpaste is, and the more damaging it is to your enamel. According to Colgate, their whitening toothpastes are around 6.6, so My Magic Mud is significantly better for your teeth. And it’s entirely natural.
What’s in My Magic Mud?
The ingredients are awesome. They’re all completely natural. The charcoal and clay aren’t organic, because they can’t be grown, so they can’t be classified as organic. They are food grade and purified, though, and are of the highest quality.
I’m sold. I love this stuff. My teeth feel really clean, which is a bonus, and they’re definitely looking whiter. If you’re looking for a natural teeth whitening product, I reckon that this is the way to go.
Have you tried a charcoal based teeth whitener? What do you think?
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I had heard that mascara, like toothbrushes, should be replaced every three months. But it wasn’t until my beloved mascara began irritating my eyes that I started to wonder why. Turns out that it isn’t just cosmetic manufacturers wanting to sell more products – you really should replace mascara every three months.
Every time you apply that mascara wand to your lashes, then put it back into the tube, you’re transferring bacteria into the mascara. You’re contaminating your mascara every time you use it. And although the preservatives in the mascara do their job at first, they become less and less effective over time.
The moist, dark environment of the mascara tube is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Go check the ingredients in your mascara. The first one is water, right? The water is necessary to get the right formulation for a mascara that will glide onto your lashes. But water is exactly what bacteria need to grow.
Mascara and liquid eyeliner are particularly problematic, because unlike most water based products, you’re putting the applicator back inside the tube each time. This is why mascara and liquid eyeliner are the makeup products with the shortest shelf life.
“97.9% of women use makeup after the expiry date”
But most of us continue to use our mascaras well past the recommended use by date. A study of female medical students in Brazil found that 97.9% of them admitted to using makeup after the expiry date. Mascara was the most frequently mentioned product.
The researchers in the Brazilian study found Staphylococcus aureus in 79% of mascara samples from the students, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in 13% of their expired mascaras. The study doesn’t mention how far out of date the mascaras were.
However, another study shows the levels of microbial contamination after using mascara for just three months. In this study, 40 women used mascara every day for three months. At the end of three months, 36.4% of the mascara tubes contained microbial growth. These microbes were mainly Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus species, or fungi.
The authors of this study thought that using a mascara for three months was the outside limit, and that you should probably be replacing it more often.
So what’s the problem with microbes in mascara? Microbes are everywhere, right?
You apply mascara to your eyelashes, which are right next to your eyes. And I know I’m not the only one who’s stabbed themselves in the eye with their eyelash wand, or got a bit of mascara into her eye!
I swear by Olbas Oil. When I get a cold in winter, out comes the bottle of Olbas Oil. It’s something I picked up from my mother in law, and it’s a natural remedy that’s been around for years. Over 100 years, in fact. Olbas Oil originated in Basel, Switzerland and it’s a herbal remedy made up of a powerful mixture of essential oils.
The ingredients are simple and 100% natural: peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, cajeput oil, wintergreen oil, juniper berry oil, and clove oil.
What’s in Olbas Oil?
Peppermint oil opens your breathing passages and helps to maximise your respiratory function. The menthol in peppermint gives a cooling sensation that is great for relaxing tense muscles and alleviating minor strains and muscular discomforts.
Aromatherapists also recommend peppermint oil’s invigorating scent to help your mental focus and concentration, increase alertness, and to ease tension and stress.
Eucalyptus oil is well known for helping sinus and throat infections, fevers and flu. It’s a drying oil, so it especially helps with coughs and colds with excessive mucus.
It has a brisk and energizing scent which clears the mind, enhances focus, and increases mental alertness.
Eucalyptus is a great antiseptic and antiviral oil, too. It’s a native Australian remedy to help relieve minor joint discomforts and sore muscles.
Cajeput oil is a type of melaleuca or tea tree oil, so it’s a great antiseptic and antibacterial oil. Melaleuca oil is one of the best known remedies for respiratory problems. It’s very helpful with flu and colds, as it helps the throat, sinus and respiratory tracts.
It’s a traditional remedy in South East Asia for muscular and joint pains. In aromatherapy, it’s known for stimulating the mind and helping with clear thinking.
Wintergreen oil is a very warm and soothing oil. It warms muscles by increasing the blood circulation. The main constituent of wintergreen is methyl salicylate. You’ll find this an active ingredient in lots of over-the-counter balms and ointments that help relieve the pain of arthritis, backache, overworked muscles and sore joints.
Wintergreen essential oil has a refreshing, uplifting scent that revitalizes the senses. It’s a very potent oil, so the Olbas Oil formula contains only a very small amount of Wintergreen oil (less than 4%).
Juniper berry oil is an antibacterial and antiviral oil. In France, juniper branches used to be burned in hospitals to help ward off contagious diseases. It has a long history of use in massage therapy to soothe back, joint and muscle pains. The fragrance of the oil enhances the breathing passages and supports healthy respiratory function.
Aromatherapists suggest that juniper’s uplifting scent helps to ease tension and stress, as well as to clear the thoughts.
Clove bud oil is a natural remedy for helping with colds, flu, and bronchial congestion. It’s a powerful antioxidant and a strong antiseptic, too. Clove oil is warming, so it’s great for massaging sore muscles and helping to relieve arthritic pain.
It’s another oil that helps fight mental fatigue and can even help poor memory.
What does Olbas Oil do?
Olbas Oil uses all these essential oils in combination to help:
ease sore throats
clear stuffy, blocked noses
fight the lethargy and mental fatigue that comes with a cold
open the respiratory passages to help you breathe more easily
relieve aches and pains
If you’ve got a cold or a cough, if you’ve got the flu, or bronchitis, you can inhale Olbas Oil to help ease the symptoms. You can add 2 or 3 drops to a hanky or tissue and breathe it in. You can add 2 or 3 drops to a diffuser and allow the scent to waft around the room.