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Highlighting the need to be curious

Highlighting the need to be curious

I walked past a stand at my local supermarket, and the ‘natural’ look of it made me stop and check out the products: Aeroguard’s range of insect killers.

On the front, I noticed the wording “100% Plant Based Active Ingredient”. Then I noticed that this ingredient accounts for 3% (3.0g/L), so 0.3% of the total formula.

I flipped it over to see exactly what was inside. It said: only the ingredients you need; for more information visit www.aeroguard.com.au

That was my first flag. Why not tell us on the label what is inside?

So. I jumped online and this is what I found.

Let me break down my observations based on my research and knowledge:

👁️ BHT, also known as butylated hydroxytoluene – EWG.org states that it causes moderate irritation of eyes skin and lungs (read more) and this study, which compares BHT, BHA and Vitamin E, states that although concentrations in food, drugs and cosmetics are probably harmless, specific toxic effects to the lungs have only been observed with BHT, and BHT induces liver tumours in long-term experiments.

👁️ Geraniol as fragrance – this is naturally occurring and found in plants like Neroli and Geranium, however, I do wonder if it is synthetically produced. I believe it is used for its insect-deterring properties.

👁️ Parrafin – petroleum-based.

👁️ Peg-40 – made by combining castor oil with ethylene oxide (highly toxic, known carcinogen; concerns over contamination within the ingredient).

👁️ Alkyl alcohol ethoxylate – impurity concerns with this synthetically produced ingredient and among other issues, is believed to be toxic to aquatics (you’ll note the ‘environmentally hazardous’ image on the bottle). Read more.

👁️ Methylisothiazolinone, benzisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone – these preservatives have some heavy use restrictions and been associated with lung toxicity, skin allergies and toxicity to wildlife.

I talk more about some of these ingredients on my list of questionable ingredients, here.

As usual, I’ll stress the importance of moving through this journey of awareness, and awakening, at your own pace. If you want to empower yourself with the knowledge to read product labels with confidence, sign up for my Becoming a Label Detective online short course.

If you want to use this product, please do so – at least you’re somewhat informed of some potential risks. 

Me? I wouldn’t touch it. I wouldn’t spray it around my home. I wouldn’t allow it to spread over anything my family, or my pets, walked on, sat on, ate, drank or touched.

I wish all manufacturers (cleaning and home care) were required to fully disclose their ingredients at the point of sale, like cosmetic manufacturers are. That would allow us all to make our own conscious, and informed, decisions when shopping.

You can join over 11,000 other people who are passionate about these laws changing, and sign my petition here. Please 🙏

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author and Advocate for natural living

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

Mess-Around Make-Up For Kids

Mess-Around Make-Up For Kids

This is a fun way for kids to play around with make-up, but without the copious ingredients often found in the mainstream make-up that is marketed towards kids.

The best part is that it is the only make-up the kids need – it can be applied to cheeks, eyelids and lips!

To remove it, simple rub olive oil over skin and use a warm wet face washer to wipe it off. So easy!

MESS-AROUND MAKE-UP

Makes: 5 Prep time: 20-30 min. (for kids)

Ingredients

50 g | 1.8 oz olive oil

5 g | 0.2 oz beeswax pellets

30 g | 1.1 oz arrowroot flour

Colourant x5; micas work best

Method

1. Grab a small glass jug and weigh in the olive oil and beeswax pellets.

2. Use a double boiler to melt the ingredients. Stir gently every now and again.

3. Now weigh in the arrowroot flour and stir well so that there are no lumpy bits.

4. Divide the mixture evenly between 5 small (approx 30g) pots and add a different colouring to each one, then mix carefully. **For best results, use at least 1 teaspoon of mica per pot.

5. Your make-up is ready to use, no need to wait for it to set!

⭐ For general information on using a thermal appliance (or microwave), click here.

To Use

Using a clean make-up brush, apply to your eyelids, lips or cheeks.

Recipe Notes

Be very careful not to inhale the loose mica dust. A face mask to cover your mouth and nose is a good idea (or ask a grown-up for help).

You’ll also find this recipe in my DIY recipe book for kids!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author and Advocate for natural living

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

My collaboration with GoodnessMe

My collaboration with GoodnessMe

Imagine my excitement when I received a phone call from the awesome people at GoodnessMe, asking if I’d be interested in being their Clean Beauty Advisor?!

The answer was YES.

I didn’t even think about it. I didn’t care what was ‘in it’ for me, I just knew straight away that this would be the perfect way to gently influence people to try truly natural products, rather than resort to the (often) greenwashed, ‘pretend natural’ mainstream products available. I was thrilled to have the chance to oversee what goes into their boxes, and into homes, all over AU and NZ!

GoodnessME is a subscription, product-sampling service; there is a beauty box and a health box available. Basically, you sign up to receive a box full of goodies to try out. It’s a great way to sample products and discover what you love before you commit to buying the full size. It’s also a fab way to learn about brands out there, trying to do what is best for humans and habitat.

I wanted to dedicate space on my website to explain my processes when deciding if a product ticks the boxes for me.

Together with GoodnessMe, we pledge to bring you the best possible premade beauty and personal care products available.

I L.O.V.E do-it-yourself, you guys probably know that about me.

I make 95% of everything my family and I use on our bodies and in our home. I will always advocate for natural DIY because I firmly believe it is the best way to be 100% sure of what you’re using.

I totally understand that DIY isn’t for everyone though, and even if DIY is your ‘thing’, it may not be something you want to do all of the time, or for every product you use.

That’s where my collaboration with GoodnessME comes in!

Each quarter, the GM team sends me a list of products from brands that wish to be included in their box. I pour over, and research, each ingredient and give my recommendations.

I have declined a few products because their ingredient lists don’t meet my standards (for example, fragrance and preservatives like phenoxyethanol are firm no’s from me).

I need to be clear that on occasion you may see the odd ingredient that in isolation, or at a high concentration, wouldn’t usually make it through. For example, colouring or sodium benzoate: while I’m not the biggest fan, sometimes, when a product is otherwise top-notch, and these ingredients are included as a very small percentage of the final product, it may make it through.

80/20 will always be my motto (I talk about that here). Let’s give ourselves permission not to be ‘perfect’ all of the time (gosh, that’s stressful and impossible!).

Remember, I am helping GoodnessMe pick the ‘best of the bunch’.

In my notes to GM, I make my opinion on all ‘firm no’ and ‘I’m not a fan but it’s not the worst’ ingredients, clear. At the end of the day, I give them my recommendations, but the final call is theirs, and theirs alone.

I truly hope that more of you discover the goodness that is GoodnessMe – they are doing great things for us all, and they’re giving many little hero brands a platform to become recognised and shine!

Watch the Summer Beauty box reveal here!

This post contains affiliate links.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author and Advocate for natural living

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

Tips to naturally handle static electricity and clingy clothes

Tips to naturally handle static electricity and clingy clothes

Urgh, we all know (and dread) the zap that static electricity causes.

According to Oxford Languages, static electricity is a stationary electric charge, typically produced by friction. I remember as a kid, rubbing my feet on carpet and zapping my brother (and anyone within arms-reach to be honest!). That was fun, but what’s not fun is when you’ve got a shirt, or skirt, that relentlessly sticks to your body!

You might notice it to be particularly noticeable after removing clothes from the drier, and when the weather is dry. The type of fibre also plays a role in how staticky clothing can be; I notice synthetic materials, like nylon and polyester, to be more of an issue than cotton or hemp, for example. So when purchasing new clothing, try to avoid the synthetic stuff (although this can be difficult these days!)

How do we get rid of static electricity?

Well, David Harris, a physicist and curator of the Physics Museum at University of Queensland says that the best way to get rid of static is to discharge it.

One of the best ways I have personally found to discharge static in an outfit is to ‘ground’. Have you heard of it? Grounding (or earthing) is basically getting your bare feet on, well, the ground or earth. So simple, and it offers a crazy number of health benefits too. Alexx Stuart taught me all about it – you can read more here.

Think about how we tend to live these days… We’re typically in rubber/plastic-soled shoes when outdoors, or we’re inside houses and buildings; we’re in contact with earth less than ever before in history. So when static is an issue, it needs help to go away: when you’re getting ready to go out, and static rears its ugly head, get outside and place your bare feet (hands work too) onto the earth. It’s worked for me; hopefully, you find success in this little trick too!

Here are some other tips and tricks to try:

Tip 1 – Use vinegar as a fabric softener

The theory here is that vinegar helps to keep clothes soft, and soft clothing creates less friction, therefore less static. I only ever use this recipe or plain white vinegar as fabric softener, and I rarely have issues with static.

Tip 2 – Dry clothes on the line

It’s free, the sun kills bacteria and it gets you outdoors – winning! Of course, rainy days are an issue here, but rather than a dryer, opt for an indoor clothes horse. Either way, rain or shine, avoid those energy-sucking machines at all costs!

Tip 3 – If you must use a clothes dryer, use dryer balls

Not only do these reduce drying time, but they also reduce static – here are some natural, wool dryer balls to check out. You can also get them here – use the code “Krissy” for 5% off your order. I’ve heard a few safety pins on a sock also help when using a clothes dryer.

Tip 4 – Spray clothing lightly with water

Tip 5 – Moisturise your skin

This is a great recipe if you fancy some DIY.

Some of these tips I’ve had personal success with, others are floating around as suggestions on my social platforms. I’d love for you to leave a comment if you have any other useful tips to add!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author and Advocate for natural living

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Please read here for more information.

 

A naturally perfect gift idea

A naturally perfect gift idea

The jolly season is almost upon us and I know people are starting to think about gifts for their favourites!

I do believe Christmas can be done naturally, it can be done on a budget, and it can be just as merry (even more so) when the health of people and planet are taken into consideration.

I’ve spoken about simple gifting ideas here, and ways to have a more sustainable Christmas here. I also have a free Christmas eBook here – see, lots of tips, tricks and recipes to give you a greener Christmas!

Well, I have another trick up my sleeve!

I’m so excited to share this little gift idea with you, something perfect for the kids (5-12 is the target age group but I do believe it would work well for a broader age group too)! 

This is guaranteed to keep the kids entertained, and happy, and productive, and excited, for hours!!!

Make & Play Gift Hamper

Why not put together a hamper of ingredients and a copy of Make & Play, and make a kid’s day?!! It would even be perfect for a family of kids, and that makes this gifting concept even more affordable ?

Including the book, colouring and one bottle of essential oil, this hamper works out to be under $80 (of course, this depends on whether you buy in bulk, and how many colours and oils you include).

Depending on your budget, you could include more or less than what you see pictured.

The ingredients I’ve included cover 10 recipes from Make & Play:

⭐️  Lip Balm

⭐️  Foaming Sludge

⭐️  Bath Bombs

⭐️  Wobbly Jelly Soap

⭐️  Soapy Dough

⭐️  Doughnut Moisturising Bars

⭐️  Paper Paint

⭐️  Puffy Paint

⭐️  Driveway Clay Chalk

⭐️  Spotty Goop

The breakdown of ingredients are as follows, along with approximate costings:

Activated charcoal powder, 1 tsp – 50c

Arrowroot flour, 385g – $1

Beeswax, 35g – 3.5

Bicarb soda, 220g – $1

Chia seeds, 10g – 17c

Citric acid, 85g – 70c

Cocoa powder, ½ tsp – 5c

Epsom salt, 30g – 20c

Gelatin powder, 10g – 40c

Liquid castile soap, 200g – $7

Olive oil, 100g – 60c

Salt (fine), 170g – 15c

Self-raising flour, 80g – 10c

Shea butter, 75g – $1.50

White clay, 105g – $3.4

Colouring, x3 – $7.5

EO, x1 (optional) – $10

Lip balm tubes x5 – $4

Moulds (arrow/hearts/doughnut/bath bombs) – $10

Paintbrush x1 – $1

Of course, to save on costs, you could include enough ingredients to cover 2 or 3 recipes – it’s up to you! The most common ingredients, used in Make & Play can be found via this link – it should help you decide.

So there we have it. A super fun gift idea, under $80 that will keep the kids happy for hours on end! Enjoy 🤩

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author and Advocate for natural living

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

Skin Scrub With Bicarb & Vodka

Skin Scrub With Bicarb & Vodka

This recipe/concept/practice of Gua Sha isn’t new, I didn’t invent it. It has actually been around for a lonnnnnnng time, but I don’t think it gets the airplay it deserves so I’m going to bring awareness to it!

Skin exfoliation, and purification, with sodium bicarbonate and vodka, is what I am talking about.

Gua Sha (Guasha – I’ve seen it spelled both ways), historically used in ancient Chinese medicine, involved using a tool to scrape the skin, promoting wellness by cleansing the skin of unwanted toxins, bacteria, yeast, fungus etc. The way I understand it, is that modern cultures have replaced the Gua Sha tool (and painful practice – seriously, it leaves skin red and bruised) with a simple mix of bicarb and vodka. Sounds easy enough, right?

So, if you haven’t given it a go yet, you’re missing out. The squeaky clean feel you get afterwards really is somethin’ else and according to Tyler Tolman, it cleanses the skin to such a level that it will help you to tan without burning, and will keep your skin looking fresh and healthy.

I must add that, in my opinion, this is something you might not want to do more than once a week. I’m not a big fan of alcohol in skin care and find this practice to be quite drying. My concern is that doing this daily, as some suggest, would strip the skin of essential fats and bacteria. It’s also important to moisturise afterwards, either with olive or coconut oil, or with something like my Whipped Body Cream or Sunscreen.

Skin Scrub With Bicarb & Vodka

Makes: enough for single use Prep time: < 5

Ingredients

200 g | 7 oz sodium bicarbonate

65 g | 2.3 oz vodka (triple distilled is best)

5 drops of essential oils

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are lavender and lemon, but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

Method

Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl, or jar, and mix until a putty-like paste forms.

To Use

Jump in the shower and wet your body. Turn the water off (purely to save that precious resource) and firmly massage the mixture over your body, starting with your feet and working your way up to your neck (face is best avoided, or very gently massaged). Thoroughly rinse the mixture off, and follow with a moisturiser (olive or coconut oil will do the job).

Recipe Notes

You could totally double or triple this mixture and store it for future use.

If you find the mix to be too thick, add a touch more vodka.

You can leave the essential oils out of this one if you prefer.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author and Advocate for natural living

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

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