The Secret Cure For Adult Acne Is The Last Thing You’d Expect

Nobody enjoys having acne, the bane of teenagers all over the world. But, the challenges of acne sufferers don’t always end when puberty does. Adult acne is an uncomfortable and embarrassing condition that many Australians deal with on a daily basis. They slather their faces in acids, undergo painful chemical peels and often find no success.

But we think we might have a solution: Oil.

It seems counterproductive, but in our society oil has gotten a pretty bad rap. Avoided oftentimes on principle only, there’s more than oil to meets the eye, and more health benefits than people might expect.

We’ve talked already about how oil can be used in the treatment of skin conditions, and in that way acne is just like eczema or psoriasis; a condition of the skin that needs regular treatment for management and control.

Acne is a challenge for many Australian adults Flickr/saludaudea

Acne is a challenge for many Australian adults Flickr/saludaudea

Misconceptions About Oil Treatments

The biggest issue that oil faces is the many misconceptions surrounding its use. We thought we would look at some of the big ones, and see if we can’t clear up oil’s reputation.

Oil Makes Pimples Worse: Conventional acne treatments are often about stripping the skin of oils that we believe are harmful, which can exacerbate the problem even more as the body works to replace those oils, often leading to imbalances. Oils on the other hand feed, protect and support the needs of the skin tissue, helping it to maintain a healthy balance of natural oils (called sebum) in the skin which keeps it moisturised and in shape.

Oil Blocks The Pores: A very common myth is that oil will clog your pores, which of course leads to more breakouts. In fact dehydration is the most common reason for blocked pores, as when the skin is dry it isn’t able to lubricate and your skin’s natural oil dries and gets stuck in our pores. Oil works to restore and maintain moisture, which in turn stops your pores getting congested.

Acne blemishes can draw embarrassing attention Flickr/chefranden

Acne blemishes can draw embarrassing attention Flickr/chefranden

Bonuses of Oil Treatments

So now that we’ve cleaned up the blemishes on oil’s reputation, let’s look at what else the right kinds of oils can do for you as you’re working to overcome adult acne.

Reduces Redness: A major issue for many acne sufferers, even if a pimple isn’t infected, is that it can get very inflamed. Many conventional treatments aren’t gentle enough to sooth these blemishes, and continuing to use them can worsen the situation. Coconut oil, lavender oil, and camellia oil can all work to both protect the skin and calm the redness, reducing inflammation without stressing the skin.

Protects The Skin: When your skin is dehydrated, perhaps from using drastic acne treatments, its purpose as a protective barrier breaks down. This leaves your skin open to further acne and infection. Using an oil treatment like borage or evening primrose will feed your skin and improve its protective qualities, as well as provide some anti-aging bonuses.

Prevents and Heals Scarring: In the past we’ve talked about how oils can repair scars, and the same is true for acne scarring, which often stays around long after the condition has passed. This scarring often appears worse as it is dry and dehydrated, or smothered in moisture-sucking makeup. Rosehip oil is the ideal treatment for these kinds of scars, as it is high in vitamin C that helps to fade scars when used sparingly.

Having adult acne does not need to be a life-long curse. As it is with any skin condition, a solid understanding of the reasons behind your blemishes, and a willingness to undertake health and lifestyle changes may see you enjoying clearer skin in just a few months.

You might not have grown out of acne, but you can treat it Flickr/kellinahandbasket

You might not have grown out of acne, but you can treat it Flickr/kellinahandbasket

 

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Tips For Starting A Fitness Habit That Actually Lasts

In just a little while it will be summer again in Australia, which means long sunny days spent enjoying the beautiful country we live in. Not surprisingly, summer is full of activity, and lots of people use this sunny respite from our mild winters to get back in shape. But, sometimes it’s hard to maintain a fitness habit long enough for it to make a difference, especially in the midst of celebrating holidays and enjoying that summer sun.

So, we thought we would give you all some tips to help you out. Tips to get yourself into a fitness habit that lasts long after the summer is over.

fitness-habit-1

Start your fitness journey slow Flickr/giuseppemilo

1. Ramp Up To It

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to starting something new is that they throw themselves into it without a long term plan. When it comes to fitness, this is a surefire way to lose your inspiration fast. So, instead of running wildly into your fitness dreams, start slow. Begin by putting aside time in the day to work on your fitness plan, and then little-by-little begin to bring a fitness habit into your life.

Enjoy exercise, don't stress yourself! Flickr/bozdoz

Enjoy exercise, don’t stress yourself! Flickr/bozdoz

2. Don’t Overexert Yourself

This is another important factor, on some of the same lines as our first point. Fitness isn’t something that you can just jump back into. Unlike riding a bike, it takes time to reach your old fitness level, especially if you’ve had time out. So, do yourself a favour and don’t try to climb the mountain in one day. Instead, keep your fitness exertions in line with the amount of rest you’re getting, and your own capability. That way you won’t have exhaustion as an excuse, and you’re likely to avoid injury too.

Take the time to set a goal Flickr/

Take the time to set a goal Flickr/

3. Set A Goal, Have A Plan

Starting something new is a challenge, especially when the goal you have in mind is as vague as ‘getting fit’. Don’t let your inspiration flounder without clear direction, instead sit down and set yourself a clear goal, with a deadline to match. At the same time you’re setting a goal, put together a fitness plan that includes possible back-up activities for those days when life just gets in the way. With a clear goal, a solid plan, and a backup for emergencies, you’re helping to cement that fitness habit.

Make sure there's lots of variation in your plan Flickr/29233640@N07

Make sure there’s lots of variation in your plan Flickr/29233640@N07

4. Keep It Varied

Nobody likes doing the same thing over and over again. When it comes to getting fit, continually repeating the same exercises and activities is an easy way to lose your inspiration, and fail your body. Your body (and your mind) become adjusted to regularly doing the same thing, meaning the positive effects the activity might have had are lost. Instead, bring lots of variation into your workout plan, ensuring that it is as unique as you are, with lots of room for changes.

Get fit with friends! Flickr/fortrucker

Get fit with friends! Flickr/fortrucker

5. Get Involved and Be Involved

Bringing others into your fitness habit is a great way to stay motivated. By organising to workout with friends and family, you’re able to make yourself accountable, as well as bring more entertainment and fun into your fitness. Getting involved in local community fitness programs, like charity runs and similar activities, are another ideal fitness motivation, perfect for the days when it seems too hard to get out of bed!

The idea of getting fit and being fit can seem far off to some people, especially when they try and contend with all the busyness, stress and activity in their day-to-day lives. But, the truth is that there should always be time for your health and prioritising that, as well as following our simple steps, are a great way to start your own fitness journey.

 

Yes, Oils Can Treat Common Skin Conditions – Here’s How

The skin is an amazing organ. It is the largest organ in the human body, made to protect us, but it is by no means perfect. Like us, it needs to be looked after, maintained and taken care of to look and feel the best.

Our skin is at risk of a large number of skin conditions, which any one of us might encounter at different times in our lives. These conditions can be debilitating, affecting us both physically and emotionally, as well as challenging to treat. The issue with skin conditions is many of them make the skin overwhelmingly sensitive, which means natural treatments work the best.

Today, we thought we would investigate how to use one of our favourite natural ingredients, oil, to treat some commonly occurring skin conditions, and give you some tips on doing the same.

Eczema can be uncomfortable Flickr/75491103@N00

Eczema can be uncomfortable Flickr/75491103@N00

Eczema

Australia happens to have one of the highest incidence of eczema in the world, affecting one in three Australians at some point in their lives. In simple terms, eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, that leaves the skin red, dry, itchy and uncomfortable.

Health professionals suggest that the best way to treat eczema is to keep the skin soft and supple. Oils are particularly effective in this as they allow the skin to form an oily layer that traps moisture, resulting in a barrier from allergens as well as a moisturized skin.

There are a number of oils that have shown themselves effective in the treatment of eczema, including almond oil, jojoba oil, hemp seed oil, evening primrose oil, chamomile oil, rosehip oil, and sesame oil. Combinations of these oils, as found in this pitta oil, have also been found to be very effective in treating eczema.

Coconut oil is a great treatment for psoriasis Flickr/mealmakeovermoms

Coconut oil is a great treatment for psoriasis Flickr/mealmakeovermoms

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is another common inflammatory skin condition that causes red scaly patches on the skin, as well as itchiness and flaking. Around 300,000 Australians suffer from psoriasis, but it is often misidentified and subsequently mismanaged.

There are a range of medical treatment options available to psoriasis sufferers, which are particularly useful if you are suffering from an advanced form of the condition. However, it is also possible to treat the condition naturally and at home with nothing more than coconut oil.

Coconut oil is an amazing natural oil, and in the treatment of psoriasis it can either be eaten or spread onto the skin. The coconut oil helps to both relieve the itchiness and moisturise the skin, reducing inflammation and redness.

Some essential oils are key for rosacea treatment Flickr/jdickert

Some essential oils are key for rosacea treatment Flickr/jdickert

Rosacea

Yet another common skin condition, rosacea is characterised by red patches on the face, which are often very dry and sensitive[5]. Although there is no cure for this condition, which is often aggravated by the sufferer’s environment, there are a number of treatment options.

One of these options is the use of pure essential oils. Some favourites for treating rosacea include borage oil, which is a natural anti-inflammatory that reduces reddening, chamomile oil, which soothes the skin, jojoba oil, which helps to keep the skin soft, rosehip oil, which is an antiseptic that regulates the natural oil production of your body, lavender oil, which calms the skin, and evening primrose oil, which promotes hydration and calming effects.

Remember that the use of cheap or low-quality versions of these oils is more likely to worsen your rosacea than improve it, so be aware and shop smart.

Lavender oil is an amazing skin treatment! Flickr/jamsjoys

Lavender oil is an amazing skin treatment! Flickr/jamsjoys

What Sugar Does To Your Skin, That Will Make You Quit It

Sugar is in almost all of the foods we eat, even in places we don’t expect it. Anti-sugar campaigners say that our love of sugar is an addiction, and our substance of choice is just as hard to kick as any Class A drug, except we feed this one to our children.

Of course, everyone knows that eating too much sugar can be bad for your health. But we usually think about that health in terms of our weight and our waistlines. The truth is that sugar doesn’t just wreak havoc on the scales, it also does serious damage to the skin, which perhaps is motivation enough to kick your addiction.

The effect that sugar can have on the skin varies from person to person. But, in general a diet that is high in sugars, particularly processed sugars will see skin problems like:

Sugar seems great, but it could be ruining your skin Flickr/iain

Sugar seems great, but it could be ruining your skin Flickr/iain

Inflammation and Acne

An overabundance of sugar in your diet can cause skin inflammation and acne. This process happens when your body works to digest the sugar – a high-glycemic food – and your blood sugar levels rise dramatically and then fall due. Researches have proposed that insulin resistance in people following high-glycemic diets may fuel inflammation and also speed up the production of sebum, which causes acne on the skin. Low-glycemic foods are broken down by the body more slowly, and don’t cause that spike in blood sugar, so opt for those where you can.

Dullness and Dehydration

Sugar has the ability to absorb water out of your cells, which means if you eat a lot of sugar and don’t drink a lot of water, you could end up getting very dehydrated. This has an immediate effect on the skin, leaving it dry and dull, and causing unusual puffiness and even circles under your eyes. Sometimes, even if you drink enough water, a high sugar diet will still leave your body dehydrated.

A sugar addiction can be hard to crack Flickr/nolivorange

A sugar addiction can be hard to crack Flickr/nolivorange

Rashes

The inflammatory effects of sugar don’t stop at acne, they can also cause sugar-lovers to experience redness and rashes on the skin. Often, these rashes are caused by a yeast imbalance in the body, also the result of consuming too much sugar which fuels the candida in the body and on the skin. By removing the sugar from your diet, you’re able to starve that candida bacteria, which in turn improves the condition of skin rashes.

Wrinkles

The inflammatory characteristics of sugar can also affect the way that you skin ages. When you eat a diet that is high in sugar, the resulting inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, leaving your skin more saggy and wrinkled. This process is the same that causes outbreaks of acne, but it can be more obvious in older sugar-lovers.

Watch out for pesky sugars Flickr/lbrummphoto

Watch out for pesky sugars Flickr/lbrummphoto

Reducing The Sugar In Your Diet

By now you’re probably very interested in getting rid of the excess sugar in your diet, but as we said before sugar is addictive. So, what’s the best way to reduce the sugar you’re eating to a healthy amount?

1. Read the Labels

Read the labels of the food that you’re eating, and do the math so you are fully aware of how many grams are contained in the amount you’re eating, and how many grams of sugar you should be consuming in one day.

2. Know the Names

On labels and packaging, sugar is referred to by a variety of different names, including maltose, sucrose, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, cane sugar, syrup, honey, raw sugar and fruit juice concentrate. All of these items are still sugar substances.

3. Consider Sugary Drinks

Everyone knows that soft drinks are high in sugar, but did you know that many other supposedly ‘healthy’ drinks like fruit juice and vitamin water are also very high in sugar. Take the time to educate yourself on what’s healthy, and what isn’t, when it comes to their sugar content.

4. Look Out for Hidden Sugars

At the start of this article we mentioned that sugar is hiding in many of the foods that we eat, and we’re often unaware. Before you eat something, really consider what the sugar content of that food is, and remember that processed foods like cereals, ready-made meals and stir-in sauces, as well as many take-away food items, can be very high in sugar.

5. Eat Good Sugars

Naturally occurring sugars, like the kinds found in fruits, are the sorts you should be having in your diet. It still isn’t smart to eat too much fruit, but try swapping out your sugar-laden snacks for a piece of fruit when you get peckish.

Tastes so good, but is so bad! Flickr/21160499@N04

Tastes so good, but is so bad! Flickr/21160499@N04

 

Does Oil Really Reduce Scarring?

It might be said that scars are the roadmap of our life, but that doesn’t mean they’re always welcome.

Scars, which can be caused by a variety of accidents and injuries, can appear anytime we get a wound in our skin. The skin is an amazing organ, but even it has limits, and sometimes although years have passed since the injury, your scar remains. Sometimes scars aren’t a worry at all, but other times they can be annoying or limit your movement, or simply an embarrassing flaw you’d like to correct.

But can you do anything about them?

Another recent beauty trend we’ve been looking into is the use of oils in the treatment of scars, and whether they really can make a difference.

Anything can be scarred Flickr/specmode

Anything can be scarred Flickr/specmode

All About Scars

Scarring is an often necessary result of the healing process that we go through after an injury. It can’t be avoided, but the appearance of some scars can be reduced. Now, we feel obliged to say here that, passionate though we are for all things health and beauty, the Scentrelle ladies are not medical professionals. So, if you have serious questions, talk to your doctor about your scars, and get their advice too.

Now, we all know that many scars fade over a period of time, but this can take several years (or even decades), and some people just can’t wait. The good news is, there are something that you can do to reduce your scars.

As with most things, these methods work best if treatment happens right from the start, which might not be possible if your scars are old ones. That isn’t to say they won’t work, but the process will be longer.

Scars come in all shapes and sizes Flickr/midstofliving

Scars come in all shapes and sizes Flickr/midstofliving

Oils and Your Scars

Oils can make a noticeable difference to the scars on your skin thanks to the fatty acids in them, which can encourage the healing process. Their moisturising effect can also help to promote collagen production in the skin, further increasing the speed of healing.

The key with using oils in the treatment of your scars is to do so regularly. Don’t rush the application of the oils, as this isn’t as simple as slapping it on the skin. You’ll need to gentle work the oil into your skin, with massage or simple circular motions. Massage is particularly effective as it can have the added effect of stimulating blood flow and warmth, which is generally associated with healing.

Luckily, scars don't have to be forever Flickr/atomicjeep

Luckily, scars don’t have to be forever Flickr/atomicjeep

The Best Oils To Use

Olive Oil: Containing large amounts of both vitamin E and vitamin K, olive oil can help to eliminate scarring, and can be applied throughout the day.

Sandalwood Oil: Can be applied directly to the surface of the scar and left overnight, and has been shown to lighten and diminish scar tissue.

Tea Tree Oil: More to prevent scarring than to eliminate existing scars, tea tree oil is a perfect infection fighter.

Lavender Oil: Purported to have skin cell rejuvenating properties that help to lessen the appearance of scars, and can be applied several times daily.

Coconut Oil: A particularly effective treatment for scars, coconut oil is a great moisturiser and skin treatment.

So, if you’ve got a scar you really don’t like, don’t despair. It’s easier than you think to take steps to treat and reduce your scar, leaving nothing more than the memory.

 

Paleo Dieting – What You Should Know About This Caveman Craze

By now, we can almost guarantee you’ve heard all about the new Paleo dieting craze, which is currently spreading like wildfire everywhere from Hollywood to Hawthorn. There have been countess reports, blogs, articles and coverage proclaiming that this diet of the past is actually the future, and we thought it high time to investigate.

Delicious healthy Paleo breakfast Flick/amyselleck

Delicious healthy Paleo breakfast Flick/amyselleck

So, What Is The Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet, or Paleolithic diet if you’re being specific, is an ancient way of eating that has recently become the newest trend of the modern world. Lauded by followers as the ‘world’s healthiest diet’, the Paleo diet is based on the concept that the best diet to follow is one we’re genetically adapted for. It encourages a shift from the evolved and processed diet that we currently exist on, to something more basic and ‘primal’.

This idea has gained considerable traction, especially when compared to the vastly unhealthy eating habits of many modern humans, and the ever increasing prevalence of obesity.

The diet has been growing in popularity for years Flickr/toolmantim

The diet has been growing in popularity for years Flickr/toolmantim

The Benefits of Paleo

Judging the benefits of any diet is a challenge, mostly because each diet guru will tell you theirs is best for a plethora of human health issues. The same is true for Paleo, with experts claiming that those adopting a Paleo diet may experience less risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, weight loss, improved athletic performance, clearer skin, more energy, a higher libido, improved mental clarity and a longer life.

Seems like there’s a lot on offer, so let’s look at it a little more.

Lots of fresh foods Flick/mark_mrwizard

Lots of fresh foods Flick/mark_mrwizard

Why It Might Work

We’re not going to give the Paleo diet up before we’ve even looked into the specifics, because at its core there are some great things about this dieting concept.

To follow the Paleo diet, you need to give up on all grains, sugars and processed foods, eating instead lots of grass-fed meats, fowl, fish, eggs, vegetables, oils, fruits, nuts and tubers.

This, in part, is what makes Paleo a healthy choice. The emphasis on whole foods, lean proteins, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and good fats mean that there’s a lot to love in Paleo. Nutritionally it’s rich in natural produce, lean proteins, omega-3 and other polyunsaturated fats, while also being low in processed sugars, salts and carbs. All of this means that it’s highly likely Paleo followers, should they tick all the boxes of the diet correctly, might see improved health and wellbeing.

But of course the Paleo diet, like all those that came before it, is far from perfect.

Paleo seed bread is one grain substitute Flickr/oh_darling

Paleo seed bread is one grain substitute Flickr/oh_darling

Why It’s Flawed

No Grains: The Paleo diet does not allow legumes or whole grains, as in their philosophy the consumption of them is linked to inflammation and a greater risk of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Although some studies have indeed shown this link, the results remain inconclusive. Of course, excessive consumption is certainly bad, as with anything, but many nutritionists suggest that in moderation legumes and whole grains have benefits. These include boosting good digestional bacteria, improving insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels.

One-Size-Fits-All: Today, everyone seems to be looking for the ultimate placebo for their health worries and woes, but by now it should be obvious that no one solution works for everybody. From some perspectives, the Paleo diet is a great concept, but you don’t need to go all in to reap the health benefits. Instead of stepping backwards in time, try making healthy changes that suit you. Add more fresh produce into your daily diet, and work to eliminate some of those processed baddies, even if it’s just cutting your daily sugar intake. Any step in this direction is a healthy one, even if you aren’t following in your ancestor’s footprints.

 

15 Things You Should Be Doing With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is everywhere now, the latest in a long line of ‘superfoods’ that health-conscious folks worldwide are touting as the ‘food to include’ in your diet this year. Like many healthy food trends, there are still questions about the validity of claims about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Some studies suggest that the combination of fatty acids in coconut oil have positive effects on health, that include increased brain function and even weight loss. Other studies argue that the high level of saturated fats in coconut oils make it an unhealthy addition to any diet in large amounts.

We understand that moderation is a smart move, but there are just so many different ways to use coconut oil that we can’t stop! Here are some of our favourites:

coconut-oil-1

Delicious coconuts! Flick/yimhafiz

1. Cook With It. Coconut oil has a very high smoke point, which makes it great for stir-frys and a variety of other cooking methods. It can also add another level to flavours that you don’t expect.

2. Treat Your Hair. Coconut oil can do wonders for your hair. Just get a small amount on your fingertips and work it into the ends of your hair.

3. Beat Dry Nails. Applying coconut oil to the cuticles of your nails can moisturise the nail bed and improve dry skin conditions and nail health.

4. Use It As Sunscreen. Coconut oil is a natural sun shield, offering around SPF 4 levels of UV protection. Eating coconut oil is also supposed to help to increase your sun tolerance.

5. Spread It On Toast. Thanks to the delightfully, delicious taste that coconut oil brings to the palate, its easy to enjoy it in a number of ways. We like to spread it on toast with a little cinnamon on top.

coconut-oil-2

Coconut milk is great, but oil is always better Flick/phuthinhco

6. Enjoy A Massage. Don’t waste money on expensive branded massage oils, just warm up a little coconut oil, perhaps with a few drops of your favourite essential oils, for an atmosphere of total bliss.

7. Ditch The Gloss. Coconut oil makes a great replacement for lip balm and gloss. It helps to moisturise the lips, and leave them with that glowing shine.

8. Moisturize Your Skin. If you’re got sensitive skin, of if you’re just looking for something different, coconut oil can make a great skin moisturizer. It’s especially good on scaly areas like your elbows.

9. Boost Your Bath. Add a big spoonful of coconut oil to your next hot bath for a seriously moisturising soak for silky skin, with a couple of essential oils for relaxation.

10. Invigorate Your Face. Mix up a little bit of coconut oil with some baking soda for an amazing, cheap exfoliant that leaves your skins gorgeous and glowing.

Let your DIY imagination run wild with coconut oil Flick/ijokhio

Let your DIY imagination run wild with coconut oil Flick/ijokhio

11. Treat Rash and Chafing. With summer on the way, there’s nothing worse than spending the day uncomfortable from chafe. Coconut oil is great in preventing this, and treating it!

12. Increase Your Metabolism (maybe). The jury is still out on this one, but logically medium-chain saturated fats like the kind found in coconut oil are easy to digest, and can encourage energy and fat burning.

13. Cut Your Butter. If you want to get rid of the dairy in your life, coconut oil can be a great replacement. Use it in baking, sandwiches and even to grease your pans.

14. Improve Your Immunity. Some studies have suggested that eating coconut oil can help boost your immune system as it can boost the white blood cell count. So, next time the flu comes knocking, grab the coconut oil!

15. Fight Acne. We know, it sounds too good to be true, but coconut oil can combat redness and irritation, as well as moisturising your skin. Just cleanse your face as normal, and add a very thin layer. Remember to give it time to sink in.

Differing kinds of coconut oil brands Flickr/gloriamunty

Differing kinds of coconut oil brands Flickr/gloriamunty

Things To Remember With Coconut Oil

It isn’t just any coconut oil that works wonders on the human body. The best kind of coconut oil is unrefined virgin coconut oil, sometimes advertised as organic, raw coconut oil. This hasn’t got any unexpected surprises added in, and is the purest form you can get without making it yourself.

5 Avocado Meals We Know You’ve Never Made

Avocados have long been lauded as a superfood, something that everyone should be aiming to add to their diet on a regular basis. In particular, avocado is perfect for your skin. So perfect in fact, that it’s basically the soulmate your skin never realised it had.

Avocados are rich in antioxidant carotenoids, like alpha carotene, beta carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which protect your skin from damage and improve general skin health and tone. They also contain high levels of both vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids, all of which work together to give your skin a kick start no product can replicate.

Sure, you can smear it on your face and gain some of the benefits of this amazing fruit, but why do that when there are so many unusual ways to eat it? With that in mind, here are five of the weirdest avocado recipes, that we know you’ve never tried.

avocado-eggcado

1. Eggcado

If you’re looking for a recipe to sneak some delicious avocado to your morning routine, this is the meal you’ve been looking for. The Eggcado is an avocado baked with an egg inside, making it the perfect mix of healthy breakfast food and unusual culinary adventure. You can find the recipe for this one here, but you’re not likely to need it, as it is super simple.

avocado-sorbet

2. Avocado Sorbet

Avocado has been making its way into healthy green smoothies for a couple of years now, so its definitely starting to bridge the gap between savoury and sweet. We thought we’d just bypass that slow evolution by offering you this recipe: Avocado Sorbet! The best thing about this healthy desert is that it takes only 5 minutes to prepare (not including freezing time). Top with coriander for an unusual twist.

avocado-hummus

3. Avocado Hummus

For those health addicts out there swearing by the positives of protein-packed hummus, this is going to be your new favourite treat. Avocado hummus is a great twist on an already loved dip, made tastier and silky smooth by the addition of those little green miracles. Think of it like a mash-up of hummus and tangy guacamole!

avocado-lime-tart

4. Raw Avocado Lime Tart

Here avocado doesn’t just dip a toe into the world of desserts, it dives right in. With a crust made up of macadamia nuts, coconut and dates, and a filling bursting with silky avocados, coconut meat and lots of lime, this tart has something for every taste bud. If you want, you can even add coconut cream topping for a flavour sensation. And the best thing? The tart is raw and vegan, so its delicious and healthy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5. Avocado Strawberry Salsa

We know that avocado is a fruit that doesn’t mind a bit of sweetness, but can you mix that into something savoury? This salsa certainly stretches the boundaries, combining sweet summer strawberries with the smooth tastes of avocado. With a little mint and coriander, as well as a burst of lime, this salsa will make you re-imagine finger food, and love avocados even more.

So, there’s five new avocado flavours for you to try, but have we missed any unusual additions you love? How else do you add amazing avocados to your diet?

 

N.B. All images sourced from recipe links and are the property of their original creators. 

Treating Your Hair With Oils – The Ultimate Guide

We live in a world where new beauty trends are as regular and changing as the seasons. They’re so regular in fact, that there comes a point where it becomes a real challenge to keep up with what’s new, and more importantly, what is legitimate.

As it has been with skin, using oil on your hair has something of a touchy reputation with beauty-conscious women. After all, greasy hair is the last thing you want in your life, and isn’t oil to blame for that?

Well, not quite. In fact, treating your hair with oil might be one of the best things you can do for it, and for your health.

hair-oil-1

Gorgeous hair can be easy Flick/joeyparsons

Why Use Hair Oil?

Using hair oils is hardly a new trend; in fact treating the hair with oil has been around for thousands of years, meaning that the benefits of using oils on hair are well documented.

There are a few different kinds of oils for hair treatments, the specifics of which we’ll discuss later, but in simple terms the oil works to hydrate and protect the hair. It does this by copying your hair’s natural action of sebum production, which maintains good hair hydration. At the same time certain oils, particularly those rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin E, can also help to treat and repair hair at the same time.

hair-oil-2

Treat your hair right Flickr/75982291@N07

What Oils Are Best?

Although the decision is ultimately up to you, we’ve found that natural oils tend to be better for your hair, your wallet and your health. These particular oils, with their naturally occurring ingredients, can all have a difference effect on your hair, so which one you use will depend on your specific needs.

Argan Oil: A popular ingredient in many commercial hair oils, Argan Oil protects the hair and reduces frizz for a smoother, shinier glow.

Olive Oil: Not just great for cooking, olive oil can restore elasticity and shine in dull and dry hair. However, people with fine or thin hair may find it too heavy, and difficult to remove.

Coconut Oil: Ideal for general hair improvements, coconut oil makes your hair smell amazing, and helps to strengthen the hair and revitalize the scalp.

Grapeseed Oil: Odourless and non-greasy, this oil is a natural sunscreen, and the perfect base for concocting your own hair and scalp treatments.

Avocado Oil: The ideal tool for fighting hair breakage, this amino, vitamin and fatty acid rich oil improve your hair’s strength and shine.

Of course, this is just the beginning, so make sure you really shop around the wondrous world of natural oil options before making your decision.

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Don’t fear the oil! Flickr/vegan-baking

Tips to Remember

Beware the Scalp: In almost all cases, hair oil can work wonders on your hair, but it has to be applied carefully. Never use too much of it, and try and keep it to the ends of your hair. Applying too much oil, or putting it too close to your scalp, is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

Natural/Chemical: The big choice when it comes to using hair oils is whether to go with naturally existing oils or a refined beauty product. Ultimately the choice is yours, but you’ll often find the natural products are more wholesome, and much cheaper.

We love our hair, you should too! Flickr/louphotography

We love our hair, you should too! Flickr/louphotography

Meditate Your Way To Beautiful Skin

It seems that today’s skincare world is an endless stream of new miracle cures for acne, wrinkles and a myriad of other skin conditions. Although we know that some products and practices can have a marked positive effect on the skin, we believe that everything needs to be taken understood before its undertaken.

That is our thought about the growing trend we’ve been thinking on lately: Meditation for Skin Health. Now, let us tell you straight away, this is not an overnight panacea for your skin issues. But, with a dedicated practice, there is certainly evidence that meditation might be just what your skin is waiting for.

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Meditation might be as ordered as this… Flickr/r_x

Meditation Is…

If you aren’t familiar with the practice of meditation, it’s easy enough to explain. Despite what many people might think, meditation is not a form or worship, or a prayer. In fact, meditation isn’t even an activity or a specific practice, it is really just a state of mind.

Meditation is about awareness; living totally in the moment and being free of all distraction. In being in this state of mind, meditation can have a positive effect on the body, best illustrated by the meaning of the word itself, which is based in Latin.

Meditation = meditari (to think, to exercise the mind) + mederi (to heal)

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Or as simple as this Flickr/rzganoza

What Does Stress Do To The Skin

When we’re particularly stressed, we feel that physically through our entire bodies. Stress causes a chemical response in the body, spiking all kinds of hormones. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that one of the first places this shows is on our body’s largest organ: the skin.

When you’re stressed, higher levels of Cortisol and other hormones fill your body. These hormones tell your sebaceous gland to produce more oil, making you break out, and can also shut down the immune system, making it easier for you to get sick.

If that wasn’t bad enough, stress has been shown to affect skin conditions you already have, like eczema or psoriasis, and make them worse. The overabundance of hormones impairs the correction function of your skin, causing it to dry out and reducing its protective abilities.

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Enjoy a moment of peace Flickr/jakub_hlavaty

What Can Meditation Do For The Skin

All the side effects of stress are more than enough motivation to try something new, especially if you find stress particularly hard to manage. Luckily, meditation has some answers.

When you meditate, your body enters a deeper state of consciousness that switches its priority from worry about stress to physical healing. Studies have also shown that meditation is a powerful stress-reliever, and the combination of deep breathing and slower heart rates can help to reduce the amount of Cortisol in the body. As the Cortisol levels fall, your immune response improves, and you feel better both mentally and physically, a feeling that shows right on the surface!

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And there’s more Flickr/minoru_ntt

Bonus Benefits

Of course, meditation isn’t just really good for your skin. There are a variety of other health benefits, both physical and emotional, that might be gained from a regular meditation practice.

These benefits include an increase in endorphins that can make us happy, an improvement in our ability to focus, a lowering of blood pressure and an increase in our personal empathy.

And let’s not forget that regular meditation helps not just to relieve stress, but to deal with it better when we face it!

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So take a deep breath, and enjoy it Flickr/skedonk

Tips To Start Meditating

There’s no definite right or wrong way to bring meditation into your life, as every person and brain is different, but here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Try to do it every day.
  • Start with breathing and stretching.
  • Remember that meditation is active, not passive. Focus your attentions!
  • Don’t be afraid of picking up a book and reading up on meditation if you want to know more. Alternatively, consider a few of the guided meditation tracks available online.
  • Don’t expect miracles overnight. Meditation is a lifelong practice for those dedicated enough to bring it into their lives every day.