September 13, 2018
I’m often being asked what brands I love and use in my life (other than my own – obviously you need more than just great skincare products to get by). Given that spring is the perfect time to start switching out old for new and bad for good, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite natural and organic bathroom-cabinet brands, and why I love them so.
Sunscreen – We all need a good sunscreen, especially as the weather warms and we spend more time outdoors, and I have had a clear favourite for years. The Soleo Organics Sunscreen is my pick because it’s 100% natural and organic, and is not as thick and ‘zincy’ as some of the other natural ones.
Cosmetics – Whilst I don’t wear makeup every day, I have a few brands that I use consistently. My foundation is Inika, my compact powder is Gemma Vendetta and my eyeliner and eyebrow pencil are Ere Perez. LOVE all three of these brands for their natural and organic ingredients.
Toothpaste – I’ve used the same toothpaste for years on both myself and my family. Grants all natural toothpaste tastes great, does the job and doesn’t concern me if my little one’s swallow some. Mint is my favourite flavour but the cinnamon one is delicious too.
Deodorant – I inherited my father’s healthy sweating genes and so I’ve always needed a good deodorant to make me comfortable all day long. I’ve tried a few over the years and I keep coming back to the Miessence deodorant. It’s 100% natural and organic, smells great and it really works. I’ve also used the Black Chicken deodorant paste because it works well too, but I must admit I haven’t repurchased simply because I prefer a roll-on to paste.
Shampoo and Conditioner – I’m currently hooked on the Everescents Rose Shampoo and Conditioner. I LOVE the smell and it really makes my hair shine. Again, its 100% natural and organic, and their 100ml bottles are awesome for travel.
Soap – My recommendation on this one will change soon as we’re working on our very own liquid soap. But in the meantime, I use the Melrose Castille soap. I buy it in bulk and then add my own organic essential oils which vary according to where I’m using it. For example, in the kitchen I add lemon myrtle oil, in the bathroom lavender, and for the dog wash tea tree.
The other thing I love about these brands is that they are all Australian. We’ve got to support our local industry where possible.
I hope you find it helpful.
August 19, 2018
As you may know we’re currently running a giveaway with the stunning Byron-based organic cotton lingerie brand Eco Intimates (pictured). It got me thinking about the benefits of supporting small brands who work on a small scale and create their products ethically and consciously (a bit like ourselves).
In case you don’t know Eco Intimates is owned by a very talented woman called Madonna Bain who is based in Byron Bay. Each piece is hand crafted using GOTS certified organic cotton and remnant fabrics. And boy are they beautiful! Madonna says “My designs are carefully considered to deliver style, fit and comfort for every woman and create a garment with the quality to last and be worn many times.” Styles that Madonna is unable to produce in Australia she has made in Bali by seamstresses in their own homes, in their own time. Madonna says “This is not the cheapest way to produce, nor a way to produce large quantities. There are bigger factories there that can make clothing for much cheaper but that is not how I want to produce my emphasis is sustainability and quality.”
Another brand that we’re working with (watch this space) is Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics. This South Australian based vegan and cruelty free make up range was created in 2016 by its name-sake following a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, and a desire to interrupt the widely accepted manufacturing ethos’ of the ‘big brands’. Gemma believes that a natural approach to makeup doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality or your health. In fact since switching to natural make up Gemma has gone 10 years without a multiple sclerosis relapse, and 2 years without any disease progression.
The common thread that weaves through these boutique brands is that they truly care about the quality of their goods and there is no compromising. Your health and the environment also benefits, making each purchase an investment in the future.
Clémence Organics is growing and if I have my way it will soon be an international brand (watch out world, here I come!). This makes me so happy because the bigger my business gets, the more opportunities I have to disrupt the beauty world, and make natural and organic skincare the new norm. It also means I get to give back.
But I had to start somewhere and I’m proud of my market-stall roots. I’m grateful for the loyal customers who stuck with me and supported my growth.
So next time you’re browsing at your local market, or online marketplaces like Etsy, support small brands. You never know, the next purchase you make could be from the next million dollar business, and may shape a more ethical and conscious future.
July 19, 2018
Next week it will be 2 years since I launched Clémence Organics. 2 years! Where has that time gone? This past week I’ve been thinking, if I knew then what I know now, would I have done it? The answer, without a doubt, is yes! My passion for organic skincare, and everything that goes with it, has only increased. I am more obsessive about my work now than I ever was.
But skincare hasn’t always been a passion of mine. When I was in my last year of high school I was actually planning on studying law. I had read Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ and I wanted to make a difference in the world. It was only when I put my university plans on hold to spread my wings and explore, eventually landing work as a legal secretary in London, that I realised there was no way I was going to be a lawyer. The long hours and cutthroat nature of the firms I worked in, did not suit me. My grandfather (who was sooo keen on me studying law) was crushed when I told him the news (sorry Grandpa!)
So after several years in London and a heap of travel, I fell into a naturopathy degree. It felt easy and a natural progression of my interest in health and natural medicine. I loved it. It felt so good to help others with what seemed second nature to me. And natural skincare was always a part of that. Whilst I had dabbled in making products to soothe keloid scars I had suffered since childhood, more significant experience came when my father was diagnosed with throat cancer in my last year of university.
I remember visiting the oncologist to hear all about his intended treatment and to ensure I could prescribe complementary medicines alongside his conventional treatment. This was all fine. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was the barrier cream they gave him to ‘help’ his radiation burn. The petroleum based tube of cream went straight in the bin and instead I made him a natural cream based on calendula and vitamin E. Not far into his treatment, the oncology nurses were commenting on his radiation burn, and how much less it was compared to other patients. In fact he had very little redness at all which minimised his pain. I was so happy. I was also caught on the fact that sometimes it’s the little things you do for someone (like swap one cream for another) that can make a big difference. This was a bit of an ‘aha’ moment for me.
This lesson was further imprinted on me years later when I went into private practice and started making skincare formulations for clients. I treated everything from acne to psoriasis, and the feedback I got from patients inspired me to do more.
I know this sounds a bit silly, and whilst I’m not changing the world anywhere near the scale of Nelson Mandela, I get to make little differences in people’s lives and I love it. Whether it’s a child with painful eczema or a woman with facial rosacea, sometimes all it takes is swapping one cream for another to make a life-changing difference. I do what I do because I want to make a difference in the world. Not only do I want to make people’s lives a little bit easier, but I want to make them healthier. That’s what Clémence Organics is all about.
So as challenging as the past 2 years have been (honestly I’ve wanted to throw in the towel at least once), I’ve loved the ride and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve got so much planned for the next few years, making Clémence Organics much more than a skincare brand, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
July 02, 2018
Acne is the most common skin disease with around 80% of the population experiencing it at some point in their life. It can range from mild (the odd pimple) to severe (multiple sites, severe redness and pitting). Because it often presents in puberty, it can cause embarrassment and leave not only physical scars, but mental ones too.
When I developed acne as a teenager I picked, squeezed and basically went to town on any zit that dared present itself (seriously regretted now because of the scarring I caused). I tried Clearasil and any other acne treatments my Mum would supply me with. I was so embarrassed by my acne. If only I knew then what I know now!
So what causes acne?
It’s a complex beast. There is generally not one cause but many factors which play a role in its development including diet, stress, genetics, hormones and barrier dysfunction.
What can I do about it?
Because of its complexity and its tendency to vary from person to person, there is no one size fits all treatment approach. Having said that, the following recommendations have been helpful to many of my naturopathic clients and can reduce acne occurrence:
Cleansing is key. You want to keep your skin clean and remove excess oil, without stripping it and upsetting the natural sebum balance. That’s why it’s important to steer clear of foaming cleansers and opt for light cream cleansers instead. I also recommend cleansing only once daily where possible. Choose the time of day when your skin is at its dirtiest, most commonly the evening, to use our Refining Cleanser. When you’re not cleansing, you can simply splash your face with cool or warm water or use a moistened face cloth.
Exfoliation should take the place of cleansing 2-3 times weekly to increase skin cell turnover and reduce scarring. Use a gentle exfoliant (steering away from the micro-bead varieties) such as our 2 in 1 Face Exfoliant + Mask and don’t over-scrub.
It’s also important to keep pH levels in check and reduce any inflammation with a gentle toner. After cleansing or exfoliating, spritz with a mild astringent to balance pH levels and soothe any redness. Our Tone + Hydrate Spritz comes highly recommended!
Last but not least you need a moisturising product that is non-comedogenic (won’t block pores) and contains all the right vitamins to help repair scar tissue. Our Repair Face Serum is the perfect combination of moisture + repair.
Reduce your dairy intake. Several studies, including a recent meta-analysis, have shown that high dairy intake is associated with a higher incidence of acne (particularly milk and ice cream). Yoghurt and cheese shows no significant association.
Increase anti-inflammatory foods, such as those that feature in the Mediterranean diet. This diet is high in antioxidants and has a low glycaemic index. It’s also rich in whole grains, low in refined sugar, and contains those all-important, skin-loving omega 3s (e.g. avocado, olive oils, fatty fish).
Probiotics should also be added to your diet (e.g. kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, supplements). Good gut flora can help improve the absorption of key nutrients necessary for healthy skin, including zinc and vitamins A, C, D and E. It also benefits the immune system and is anti-inflammatory.
Stress can aggravate acne because it affects hormone levels, particularly the key stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol has an inflammatory effect on skin and can contribute to flare-ups. To reduce stress, use daily stress management practices e.g. yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Exercise can also help regulate cortisol levels.
Get some sleep! When you sleep your body goes into repair mode, increasing collagen and elastin production to repair damaged skin. Cortisol levels also decrease significantly as you slumber.
Spend 10-15 minutes in the sun each day. UV light has been shown to reduce acne by killing bacteria known to aggravate acne. It also stimulates production of the all-important vitamin D, necessary to reduce acne occurrence.
I have put together a Naturopathic Skin Protocol on Acne which goes into further detail on my recommendations above. You can also hit the ‘Shop by Skin Condition‘ link for Acne to view recommended skincare products.
As always, I’m here to help so please feel free to reach out if you have any queries.
I hope you find it helpful.