Do you dread winter? Do you get sick and struggle to get over it? Well, have no fear! I have some awesome tips to prevent you getting sick in the cold and flu season as well as to help you get better quicker if you ever do.

Growing up I used to get sick with a bad cold at the beginning of every winter. I would get a throat infection and all the awful symptoms that went along with it. It was a chronic infection that I could never get rid of because my immune system wasn’t strong enough. I would also continue to get more common colds and flu throughout the year. Sometimes even without an external cause.

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Have you ever looked on the back of a moisturizer or shampoo bottle and seen a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce? Chances are the majority of these hard-to-pronounce ingredients are harmful chemicals to the body but are used so commonly and widely that many people don’t even question the safety of them. Until recently with more awareness being spread through media and internet, many people are becoming aware of the healthier alternatives available and are choosing these instead.

My awareness began when I was at university when I was searching a cure for eczema.

My skin started to break out in irritation after putting make-up and other products on my skin. I woke up in the morning and my face was covered in infected eczema and dryness. I felt ugly and it was painful. This lead to me searching the internet one day for answers and I discovered a whole lot of alternative products I never knew existed. I immediately loved the idea of using natural plant-based products!

After more research, I was shocked to find that most cosmetics, personal products and household products found in supermarkets, chemists and shops contain toxic chemicals harmful to health and the environment too. I discovered that almost 90% of chemicals used in cosmetics and personal products have not been tested for safety to human health. These chemicals are commonly found in shampoos, moisturisers, soaps, antiperspirant deodorant, toothpaste with fluoride, mouthwashes, hair dyes, nail polish, perfumes, sunscreen, cosmetics, cleaning products and laundry detergents etc.

Nail polish is one of the worst and inhaling it goes straight into the bloodstream. This goes for perfumes too which are cocktails of chemicals. No wonder I used to get headaches after smelling them! Antiperspirants contain aluminium, a very toxic metal.  Most hair dyes are very toxic and have been shown to increase the risk of health problems. I read an article once about how much lipstick women consume a year just from wearing it. The shampoo is used on the head right next to the brain and toothpaste is used in the mouth, the most easily absorbed place in the body.

I immediately began swapping over to healthier natural products and I haven’t looked back.

Now my skin is more beautiful, soft and clearer than ever. I only use natural products with simple ingredients and I don’t put any more products on my skin than necessary. My motto is, if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. Our skin is like a sponge and absorbs anything we put on it straight into our bloodstream.

The good thing is natural, plant-based products are becoming increasingly popular and accessible.These days they can be found in health stores, online and are popping up more commonly in supermarkets and chemists. There is a wide variety to choose from and sometimes you have to try different brands to find what you like best. Be careful what is advertised as ‘natural’. Some products labelled as natural, only contain one or two natural products and the rest is filled with chemicals. Read the labels and make sure they contain plant-based products.

Many ingredients in your kitchen are also wonderful to use on your skin. Sugar is a great exfoliator. Natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil or shea butter can be used as a moisturiser and almond oil is a great makeup remover. Use sparingly though to allow the skin to breathe.

After going all natural, my skin looks healthier and clearer, I no longer get irritations and I don’t get headaches from smelly perfumes or cleaning products. I love knowing I’m using safe, environmentally-friendly products and supporting the companies that believe in this too.

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