A Loaded Load: The Links Between Laundry Detergent & Your Child’s Skin Rash

As a parent, it can be heartbreaking to see your children suffering daily from skin sensitivity. It can also be impossibly frustrating to not know what’s causing it. Nonetheless, according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology, eczema — also known as atopic dermatitis — is a fact of life for 1 in every 5 children under the age of two.

One of the most distressing aspects of this form of skin sensitivity is the ‘scratch-and-itch’ cycle that perpetuates the reaction: when the skin’s protective barrier is damaged, the sufferer becomes more susceptible to allergens and irritants. Once the skin is irritated, chemicals are released that make the skin itchy. If the skin is then scratched, more chemicals are released and the itch worsens. Even as an adult, not to scratch seems like an impossible act of self-restraint. But for a child? Not a chance.

Many parents look far and wide for a way to stop their child’s eczema — creams, lotions, clothes made of non-irritating fabrics — all to no avail. But what if the cause of your skin irritation was under your nose this whole time? Or, more specifically, in your laundry cupboard?

 

Eczema in Children

Most eczema in children develops between the ages of 2 and 4, with the most severe symptoms usually found in the creases of elbows, behind the knees, across the ankles and even on the face, ears and neck. Although some children will outgrow their eczema, many will take it with them into adulthood. And even if they do outgrow it, this fact is often of little comfort at the time.

Contact with allergens will often worsen the child’s experience of eczema, and many offending substances are common household items — such as soap, water and cleaning chemicals — that are hard to avoid. In particular, children with skin problems will often be more prone to laundry detergent reactions, and the longer the exposure, the more severe the symptoms. As these chemicals strip the skin of its protective barrier, eczema begins develops more frequently.

baby skin rash

Two Types of Skin Reaction

Your child’s skin irritation will fall into either one of two categories:

  1. Irritation: The red, itchy rash will develop as soon as the child’s skin comes into contact with an irritant — for instance, a prickly sweater. If the rash falls into this category, it will go away shortly after the sweater is removed.
  2. Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This form of skin irritation exhibits the same symptom — a red, itchy rash — but the cause will be less obvious, as it will neither appear with immediate contact nor disappear when the irritant is removed. If laundry detergent and/or fabric softener are behind your child’s rash, you may not notice the symptoms for up to a week, as the immune system takes time to recognise allergens, and it can take multiple instances of exposure before the skin will react.

A quick way to determine whether or not the rash is being caused by your laundry detergent is to check under your infant’s nappy, where clothing doesn’t touch the skin. If the rash is there, then it’s not caused by detergent. If it’s not, you may have found your culprit.

 

Getting Rid of the Skin Rash

While there’s nothing good about your child suffering, at least if the skin irritation and sensitivity is being caused by harsh laundry detergents, the problem is comparatively easy — and cheap — to fix.

Allergen avoidance or minimisation is essential to stopping your child’s eczema flares. If the laundry detergent is a prime allergen, then the most effective and immediate action would be to stop using supermarket detergents and softeners — which contain artificial fragrances, dyes and enzymes — in favour of something all-natural and organic.

If your child suffers from skin irritation, then it is also well-advised to wash  store-bought clothing before they wear it. New clothing often carries formaldehyde releasers, which is known to trigger skin irritation and sensitivity. Alternatively, there are a huge variety of organic baby clothing brands in Australia which are perfect for children with sensitive skin, not to mention affordable. Aster & Oak and Purebaby are a couple of our tried-and-tested favourites.

 

Conclusion

1 in 5 Australian children under the age of two suffer from eczema, a recurring and nasty form of skin irritation. This red, itchy rash that results from a break-down of the skin barrier is made worse through contact with allergens and irritants, and perpetuates itself in a nasty scratch-and-itch cycle.

The harsh chemicals contained in common laundry detergents frequently act as irritants, seeping into clothes during the wash cycle and sitting against your child’s skin upon wear.

Although skin irritation that results from contact with allergens is not immediately obvious, it is easily fixed by simply removing the allergens. If your child is reacting to your laundry detergent, the irritation can be stopped by switching to an all-natural, organic baby laundry product that doesn’t contain any of the offending chemicals.

Surprising Health Benefits of Cucumber Water

Cucumber WaterThis summer has delivered many scorcher days across Australia, making so important to stay well hydrated. Make plain water taste better by adding some fresh fruits/veggies, so you’re likely to drink more H2O.

We highly recommend simply adding cucumber & mint. This is not only adds super refreshing flavour, cucumbers are chock full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, vitamin K and potassium. That means you could be reaping benefits like great skin just by adding some slices to your water. If it sounds easy, that’s because it is.

So what’s so great about cucumber water? Here are 4 surprising healthy benefits of cucumber water:

  1. Weight Loss benefits :

 Cucumbers act as a natural diuretic helping you get rid of that excess water and bloating. Not only that, but cucumber water makes plain water taste better, so you’re likely to drink more H2O. Water is an important factor in preventing constipation, which can cause swelling in the abdomen and add on a few extra pounds. Also, sufficient water intake helps your body’s natural detoxificationprocesses, which makes it function more efficiently, thereby facilitating weight loss.

 

2. Detoxing Properties

Use cucumber water during a detox program. It contains antioxidants that will help battle free radicals, and helps the body flush out built-up toxins thanks to its hydrating effect. Detoxing the body doesn’t have to be a drastic 1 time event, you can cultivate healthy every day habits to help your body stay clean with daily attention to the foods that you’re taking in, as well as avoiding foods that are known as being toxic to the body. This sort of regular maintenance keeps you feeling great all year long.

3. Healthy Skin: 

To give your skin even more cucumber benefits, you can wash your face with cucumber water. It refreshes the skin, closes pores and helps prevent oiliness. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own cucumber cleanser with this recipe from The Times of India .The silica and antioxidants help your skin stay clear and supple. Wash your face with cucumber water in addition to your usual acne routine to reduce redness.

4. Strong Muscles

The same silica in cucumbers that helps the skin, also helps your muscle tissues healthy. It’s a great choice if you’ve added a strength training regimen such as barre or pilates workouts to your lifestyle, or if you want to make sure that your muscles have all of the nutrients needed to function at their best. A daily glass of cucumber water makes a great contribution to the overall health of your muscles, and your body in general.

 

 

A Home Sanctuary in 3 Easy (Budget Friendly) Ways

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life. You may be constantly pulled in different directions whether as a super mum, corporate/business high-flyer. After a long day, our home is a place where we want to feel supported, at peace, inspired and free to be ourselves. In a nutshell, our homes should be sanctuaries for our bodies, minds, and spirits. It should be restorative and far from the stress-filled world of work, deadlines, and traffic jams.

But if your house isn’t the sanctuary you need it to be, here are 3 tips to help you create that calming atmosphere, without breaking your bank:

  1. Create a special “me” corner

Corner290290The need for privacy is universal, and an effective sanctuary is a retreat from outside intrusions. So corners, nooks, alcoves and even a whole room (if space permits) are among the most welcoming, natural sanctuary spaces.

Once you’ve picked your “Me” spot, there should be an element of familiarity to your sanctuary, so decorate yours with the things you really love. Keep it simple though as clutter will only distract you from getting into the “calm” zone. I’m personally loving the idea in the above photo. I can imagine myself reading, napping and sipping tea in that corner all day.

If you’re thinking, “I’m a mum, I don’t have me time, much less a me spot”. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier (instead of watching TV) and spend some time in your me spot and do whatever relaxes you.

2. Go with the flow

MJ-99-56-water-4Nothing brings calm to your home instantly than the gentle sound of flowing water. Place this near your me-spot and let the flowing water bring stress relief and relaxation.

You can also make a fountain yourself with a small water pump (often found in aquarium stores and pond suppliers, for less than $10), rocks from your garden, and a bowl. Some of the best fountains are the ones that are homemade. Learn how to make your own water feature in our last post.

 

3. Scent is key

Scent is Key! Studies show that 75% of emotions are triggered by smell which is linked to pleasure, well-being, emotion and memory. I find this fascinating and quite true. Here’s my go to “happy calm” essential oil blend which I use in our aroma-diffuser: 4 drops Lavender + 2 drops Cedarwood + 2 drops Orange. For more essential oil blend recipes, Easy Aromatherapy is a great resource.

On this note, make sure the indoor air in your home is free from toxic pollutants released from chemical cleaners. The simple solution to this is to switch to 100% natural cleaners such as Resparkle.

There’s no better time than to take the opportunity of this brand new year to re-establish your home as a wellness sanctuary. We’d love to see photos of your home sanctuary! Share it on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag #livehealthychoosebetter

 

 

Let’s get Ready for Christmas | Week #3 | Gifts & Giving

gift&giving

WEEK #3 – GIFTS & GIVING 

It’s the time we focus on gift lists, gift buying and gift wrapping – I’m sure you agree that this is the biggest organisational challenge of them all.  For many families, gift-giving is a prime source of holiday financial stress. Instead of heading to kmart & buying something just to fill the Christmas stockings, why not make something. It’s more environmentally friendly, won’t break the budget and the recipient would appreciate it a whole lot more.

 

 

Here’s a Coffee Scrub Recipe that would take you less than 30 minutes tops.

CoffeScrubGift

Coconut Coffee Anti-Cellulite Scrub

INGREDIENTS
1 cup coffee grinds, used or unused
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS:
In a bowl, mix all ingredients until the the texture becomes pasty and scrub-like. If necessary, add more of any ingredient until you reach desired consistency. Transfer to an air-tight jar or container, and enjoy!

Next week we’ll start to think about decorating.

See you then!

 

……………………………………

DOWNLOADS  

ChristmasGiftPlanner

ChristmasStocking

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WANT SOME GIFT INSPIRATION?  

Check out these wonderful businesses, doing wonderful things for You, Your Family and the Planet.

SKIN-CARE/Cosmetics

  1. DNA Elements
  2. Simple as That
  3. 100% Pure 
  4. Jacqueline Evans
  5. Luk Beautifood Lipstick
  6. Nourished Life: One-stop for non-toxic skincare, cosmetics & home-care products.

TOOTHPASTE

  1. Grants of Australia 

SHAMPOO

  1. Weleda Hair-care 

GO PLASTIC FREE

  1. 4 My Earth: Lunch boxes, Food Wraps & all things non-plastic
  2. Biome Eco Store

Organic Cotton

  1. Bhumi Organic Cotton : Bedsheets, Quilts, Towels, Throws.
  2. Pure Baby: Organic baby clothes

Food for Every Day Health

  1. Matcha Maiden : 100% pure organic green tea leaves ground into powder. Up to 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea!
  2. Remedy Kombucha: A super healthy alternative to frizzy drinks!
  3. Whole Kids: Healthy snacks for kids and adults too!

Household Cleaners

Resparkle of course! We’re the only home-care brand in Australia that is truly 100% natural and hold a organic certification by NASAA.

There you have it. All you need to KEEP CALM & QUIT CHEMICALS.

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Let’s Get Ready for Christmas | Week #2 | Reality Check

 

SantaPig
WEEK #2 – REALITY CHECK (15-21ST NOVEMBER

It’s week two of the Countdown and time to consider the darker side of the holiday season. Though we may not be conscious of them, hidden holiday forces work to over-run our budgets and alter our decision-making.  Not to worry! Coming face to face with the reality of outside pressures will make us stronger and empower us to say ‘no’ if and when required.

 

 

 

 

TO DO THIS WEEK

1) Make a holiday budget – work together with your spouse to set a comfortable level of holiday spending

+  Create a list/budget for each category; Groceries (incl Drinks), Decorations, Gifts (bought & DIY),

+ Cards/Wrapping/Postage, Travel, Spending Money and Other

+ Remove any items that you may already have from last year

+ Allocate a budget for each item

+  Do a little research for big ticket items online or in sales catalogues – see if you can save yourself a bit of dosh

+ Transfer overall totals for each category to your Master Budget.  This will  give you an overall picture of your outlays.

+ Continue to rework until you are comfortable with your overall budget

2) Divide your gift list up into five and aim to buy one fifth of your gifts each week (you don’t want to be rushing around with everyone else in week seven). The gifts that require posting need to be purchased and sent out this week!!!!

3) Write up the Christmas cards & get them out

4) Check out the family wardrobe and put any “To Buy” items on your budget and shopping list

5) Schedule family haircut appointments

 

STAY TRUE TO YOUR VALUES & YOUR BUDGET  

To help you with your planning, please see downloads below.

See you next week for Week #3 – Gifts and Giving

……………………………………

DOWNLOADS  

GroceryDrinks_Budget

ChristmasDecorationList

CardsWrapsPostage_Budget

ChristmasGiftPlanner1

Travel_Budget

SpendingMoney_Budget

Other_Budget

Master_Budget

……………………………………

WANT SOME GIFT INSPIRATION?  

Check out these wonderful businesses, doing wonderful things for You, Your Family and the Planet.

SKIN-CARE/Cosmetics

  1. DNA Elements
  2. Simple as That
  3. 100% Pure 
  4. Jacqueline Evans
  5. Luk Beautifood Lipstick
  6. Nourished Life: One-stop for non-toxic skincare, cosmetics & home-care products.

TOOTHPASTE

  1. Grants of Australia 

SHAMPOO

  1. Weleda Hair-care 

GO PLASTIC FREE

  1. 4 My Earth: Lunch boxes, Food Wraps & all things non-plastic
  2. Biome Eco Store

Organic Cotton

  1. Bhumi Organic Cotton : Bedsheets, Quilts, Towels, Throws.
  2. Pure Baby: Organic baby clothes

Food for Every Day Health

  1. Matcha Maiden : 100% pure organic green tea leaves ground into powder. Up to 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea!
  2. Remedy Kombucha: A super healthy alternative to frizzy drinks!
  3. Whole Kids: Healthy snacks for kids and adults too!

Household Cleaners

Resparkle of course! We’re the only home-care brand in Australia that is truly 100% natural and hold a organic certification by NASAA.

There you have it. All you need to KEEP CALM & QUIT CHEMICALS.

—————————————————————————————————————————

 

Think Pink Go Green (October Special)

BCAThumbnailIn 2015, approximately 42 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer each day. Globally, over the last two decades, breast cancer rates have risen from a lifetime risk of one in 20 to one in eight.

The fact is the average women are exposed to 168 chemicals daily from cosmetics, skincare and cleaning products. Cancer News Australia reports that breast cancer risks were found to be twice likely with women who use cleaning chemicals and air-fresheners the most than those who use them the least.  Cleaning chemicals may contribute to breast cancer because it contains mammary gland carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals. These chemical cleaners contain many toxic ingredients – such as Alkylphenols, Phthalates, Triclosan, etc. – that are endocrine disrupters, and are known to alter mammary gland development in rats. The list of household chemicals that contribute to breast cancer risk is long and we encourage to have a read here.

thinkPinkGoGreenThumbnailYes, we live in a toxic world but don’t let that overwhelm you into in-action. The goods news is eradicating your home and daily life of toxic chemicals is easier than it may seem. So let’s all take the opportunity of Breast Cancer Awareness month to Think Pink & Go Green. To share this important message to your family and friends simply click on the facebook/twitter/pinterest button to the left of this page.

To help you go green for breast health, we’ve compiled a little directory of safer choices. The founders of these brands all share Resparkle’s commitment to being 100% honest and creating products that are truly natural & safe. They are also tried and tested by Resparkle’s founder – Pearl. These are products she uses daily.

 

……………………………………

SKIN-CARE/Cosmetics

  1. DNA Elements
  2. Simple as That
  3. 100% Pure 
  4. Jacqueline Evans
  5. Luk Beautifood Lipstick
  6. Nourished Life: One-stop for non-toxic skincare, cosmetics & home-care products.

TOOTHPASTE

  1. Grants of Australia 

SHAMPOO

  1. Weleda Hair-care 

GO PLASTIC FREE

  1. 4 My Earth: Lunch boxes, Food Wraps & all things non-plastic
  2. Biome Eco Store

Organic Cotton

  1. Bhumi Organic Cotton : Bedsheets, Quilts, Towels, Throws.
  2. Pure Baby: Organic baby clothes

Food for Every Day Health

  1. Matcha Maiden : 100% pure organic green tea leaves ground into powder. Up to 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea!
  2. Remedy Kombucha: A super healthy alternative to frizzy drinks!
  3. Whole Kids: Healthy snacks for kids and adults too!

Household Cleaners

Resparkle of course! We’re the only home-care brand in Australia that is truly 100% natural and hold a organic certification by NASAA.

There you have it. All you need to KEEP CALM & QUIT CHEMICALS.

Totally do-able isn’t it?

—————————————————————————————————————————

Resparkle October Special – Breast Cancer Awareness Home-Care Pack 

Only $49 + Free Shipping to all Metro Cities!

Breast Cancer Awareness Australia

 

 

Love & Good Health Begins at Home

Discover how you can easily create a safe & healthy sanctuary for your family by CLICKING ON THE POINTS on the image.

home-safe-banner-big
floors

Area of concern: Floors

The soles of our feet is one of the most absorbent part of our body. Many commercial cleaners contain harsh petro-chemicals and irritating scents that leave behind a residue, even after rinsing.

Children and pets are particularly vulnerable due to their smaller size and proximity to the ground. For instance, bleach or chlorine found in some floor cleaners poses risk of cancer, liver and kidney damage.

Healthier Choice

Regularly mop your floors with non-toxic cleaners like Resparkle’s Organic Floor Cleaner Concentrate. The added lemon & mint essential oils leave your home smelling fresh and clean without chemicals.