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Homemade Moisturiser Recipe skincare paleo-min

Paleo Skincare – Homemade Moisturiser Recipe

Everyone loves to pamper their skin, and in the colder months a moisturiser can be especially useful help prevent dry, flaking skin caused by cold winds and heating. Unfortunately the many commercial brands of moisturiser seem to come with so many added chemicals. Moisturisers often have harmful chemicals such as parabens added in order to preserve the life of a product. When you’re being so careful to have a clean, natural Paleo diet – the last thing you want to do is let these chemicals soak into your skin.

Homemade Moisturiser Recipe skincare paleo-min

You can use coconut oil on your skin, but if you’re after something a little different, you might like to try making a homemade moisturiser.

The following recipe uses natural ingredients only and is designed to be kind and gentle to the skin, while also nourishing it through all of the seasons. Once set, this moisturiser is harder and firmer than traditional moisturises and can be used as a balm for the lips, elbows and any other areas of the skin with dry patches.

Natural skin moisturiser

Ingredients:

  • 28g (1oz) of Shea Butter
  • 21g (0.75oz) of cosmetic grade beeswax
  • 20 mls of vitamin e oil, wheat germ oil or almond oil
  • Essential oils:
  • For greasy skin ad 10 – 20 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil
  • For dry skin add 10 – 20 drops of lavender or geranium oil
  • For sensitive/combination skin add 15 – 20 drops of camomile essential oil
  • Storage jar

The more oil added, the stronger it will smell so add the oils gradually first and build up to the desired strength.

NB: Be careful when making this as the beeswax can get very hot; take care not to get it on your skin.

Add the Shea butter to a saucepan and melt it on low on an oven ring or melt in the microwave. Once it has melted, give it a stir and then add the beeswax. Melt the beeswax either on an oven ring or in the microwave. Mix the Shea butter and beeswax together and then add your oil. Stir in your chosen carrier oil and then add the essential oils.

Once it has all blended together, add the mix to a small glass jar. Be careful not to touch the sides of the jar as it will be extremely hot. Leave it in its place to cool down. It is probably best left until the next morning.

Once ready the mixture can be used like a salve to soften skin and moisturise.

NB: Pregnant women should take medical advice before using essential oils.

Natural alternatives to soap paleo healthcare skincare recipe-min

Natural Alternatives To Soap

So you’re careful to eat a natural paleo diet, but what skincare products do you use? Have you looked at the ingredients in the soap you use?

While soap is considered a necessity by most people for keeping clean, if often comes loaded with chemicals. Soap can also be very drying to a lot of skin types and strips the skin of its natural moisturisers and of its natural defences.

While there are many natural soaps based around essential oils and herbs, there are alternatives to keeping your skin clean without the need for soap.

Essential Oils

For some added fragrance when it comes to bath time, try adding some essential oils to the bath water. Camomile or lavender make an ideal combination if for relaxing, peppermint oils are good for stimulating and lifting your mood, and ylang ylang and geranium essential oils will increase your feeling of well-being.

Natural alternatives to soap paleo healthcare skincare recipe-min

Epsom Salts

Some people find that once they have stopped using soap their skin becomes much drier. For some people this might be temporary, while for others the skin can continue to remain dry. Adding some Epsom salts to a tub of bath water will help soften the skin. Epsom salts are also believed to have many health benefits. The magnesium content helps to relax nerves and muscles and reduce stress. Epsom salts are also thought to reduce toxins in the body and relieve muscle cramps and pain.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is great on the skin – and if you have dry skin, applying coconut oil will certainly help.

Instead of using soap, try filling a muslin cloth with your selected herbs and then add in five to ten drops of essential oils. Tie the muslin cloth to the bath tap and let the aromas spill out.  The muslin cloth can also be used to exfoliate the skin and slough away dead skin cells without the need for an exfoliator, which can be damaging to some skin types.

Do you use a commercial soap, or have you found a more natural alternative? Share your suggestions and recipes in the comments section.

Paleo Diet Primal Better Skin Care Acne Eczema Spots Breakouts-min

Paleo for Better Skin

I’ve read about so many people going onto a paleo diet and noticing significant improvements in their skin. With a few tweaks, eating this way seems to have helped a lot of people suffering from acne, eczema, spots, redness, blemishes and breakouts.

Paleo Diet Primal Better Skin Care Acne Eczema Spots Breakouts-min

What causes skin problems?

It seems that a lot of issues are down to inflammation. Of course, grains are inflammatory, so removing them from the diet – and being very strict and vigilant, especially where gluten is concerned, will make a big difference.
Gut health and permeability also appear to be significant factors in skin. Heal your gut – and heal your complexion.
Hormones are another big factor. Eating foods like soy can interfere with hormones – so obviously following a paleo protocol (and ditching those legumes) will mitigate this issue.

Natural skin care

The chemicals in many of the commercial products are frightening. Lots of people on the paleo community swear by coconut oil.

Eat more fat

Getting over fear of fat seems to have helped many people with their skin issues. Try to get more fat in your diet – from good Paleo sources, of course.

Gelatin

Another paleo skin cure seems to be bone broth. Regularly consuming a high quality home made bone broth could be what is standing between you and beautiful blemish free, glowing, skin!
Liz Wolfe has produced a natural, paleo skin care guide, called “The Skintervention Guide“, so if you’re still have problems with your complexion – and want to find a natural solutions, you can check it out here.

Has your skin changed since you went paleo? Please share your tips in the comments below!
Paleo Diet Primal Shampoo No Poo Kombucha SLS Paraben Ingredients Chemicals-min

What’s in Your Shampoo?

As people become more aware of the damaging chemicals contained within everyday products (like shampoo, conditioner, make up and lotions), it is a natural instinct to start looking for natural alternatives – or even making your own products so you know exactly what has gone into them.

Cleansing products we use everyday such as shampoo offer contain sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) and Parabens, which seem to be very damaging, both to our health and the environment.

SLS is a favourite of manufactures, as it helps to make their products lather and form a thick constituency – but it can be very irritating, not to mention toxic. With the skin being our biggest organ, and able to absorb whatever we apply to it, it makes sense to be very cautious about the products you use.

Avoiding Chemical Shampoo

Increasing numbers of people are going “no poo” – that is, going without shampoo entirely. For some, this might be a step too far – in which case, have you considered cleansing your hair with Kombucha?

For a simple, chemical free hair rinse, all you need is some water and some Kombucha. Although it is often drunk as a tea for its health benefits, it also has some beauty applications.

Using Kombucha will give the hair a natural sheen without the need for chemicals, and make it easier to control oily hair.  Kombucha will also make the hair lighter and easier to control.

Paleo Diet Primal Shampoo No Poo Kombucha SLS Paraben Ingredients Chemicals-min

The Kombucha should be diluted with one- two parts water before being used as rinse.

Herbs can be added to the mix to give a delicate scent. Herbs such as camomile and lavender will work well with normal, dry/itchy and oily hair. Camomile will also help to lighten blonde hair. For dark hair, rosemary will work well. The herbs can either be added directly to the hair rinse or lighted boiled first.  When it comes to quantities of herbs, just add a small handful, enough to give some fragrance, but not so much that the herbs swamp the water.

Another way to cleanse the hair naturally is to use baking soda. Just apply the baking soda to a brush and brush it through the same way you would a dry shampoo or wet your hair with a cup of water and then apply the baking soda.

How do you wash your hair – or do you go without? Are you careful to avoid certain ingredients in commercial shampoos and hair care products? Please leave your comments or share your recipes below.

Paleo Diet Primal Vitamin H Biotin Deficiency-min

Vitamin H (Biotin) & the Paleo Diet

Biotin – also known as Vitamin H – actually belongs to B-complex vitamins. This means that its main function in the body is to help along in the production of energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein. But that’s not all, Biotin also aids in the regulation and production of certain amino acids and glucose. If you’re interested in looking healthy, adequate Biotin consumption can help, since it contributes to the strength of your hair and nails, and to the health of your skin.

But how do you know you might be deficient? If you have skin problems, that might be sign of Biotin deficiency. Also, hair loss, muscle cramps, and lack of muscle tone or coordination can point to the need of more Biotin in your food. Extended use of antibiotics and anti-seizure medications can increase the risk of deficiency. Worry not, however, there are a number of great sources for Biotin that you can get from whole foods under the Paleo Diet, to support your health in a natural way.

And if you decide to do that, there are a number of medical problems you may be preventing by consuming a good amount of Biotin, including neuromuscular conditions like seizures, intestinal conditions like IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and chronic diarrhoea, as well as a number of skin conditions and hair loss.

How much Vitamin H do you need in your diet?

Biotin deficiency is very rare, since intestinal bacteria usually produce high amounts of Biotin by themselves. The needed daily amount is 35 mcg per day, but if you aim to address certain medical issues or strengthen your hair and nails, you can go much higher than that. Since the body easily gets rid of excessive Biotin through urine, you shouldn’t worry about excess consumption from whole foods.

Paleo Diet Primal Vitamin H Biotin Deficiency-min

Which foods can you get Biotin from?

There are a number of great natural sources of Biotin that you are encouraged to consume under the Paleo Diet – below are some of the best.

  1. Eggs – A daily dose of Biotin is another reason to keep eating eggs, with Biotin provided mostly in egg yolks.
  2. Liver – Biotin is among the many micronutrient benefits you will get from eating liver. Whether you prefer to fry it up by itself, make pate, or add it to your minced meat, liver is a great addition to your diet.
  3. Almonds – For a Biotin-rich snack, grab a handful of almonds or indulge in some almond butter!
  4. Walnuts – Another nut rich in Biotin is the walnut, which is great as a snack, but also a wonderful addition to salads.
  5. Swiss chard – As a side to those eggs, why not have some Swiss chard? Leafy greens are a good source of Biotin, with Swiss chard as the forerunner among them.
  6. Carrots – Grab a carrot or prepare a salad for another kick of Biotin!
  7. Strawberries and raspberries – To add Biotin to your dessert course, add a few handfuls of berries – preferably strawberries or raspberries that have the highest amount.
  8. Halibut – If you crave fish for dinner and wish to increase your Biotin consumption – go for halibut!
  9. Mushrooms – Mushrooms are another good source for Biotin in your diet, so feel free to add them to your salads, soups and stews!

What else do you need to know about Vitamin H consumption?

Biotin is a stable vitamin, and exposure to heat, light and oxygen doesn’t lessen its content in foods. Therefore you shouldn’t worry much about cooking and storage methods when focused on Biotin consumption. However, strong and acidic conditions can lessen a food’s Vitamin H content. Also, there is a protein present in raw egg whites – called avidin – that disrupts Biotin absorption, so if you’re concerned about your food’s Vitamin H content, you shouldn’t combine it with raw egg whites. Cooking eggs eliminates this issue.

Are you thinking of increasing your Biotin consumption? Do you have any recipes to share with the specific ingredients? Share them in the comments!

Zinc and the paleo diet deficiency-min

Zinc & The Paleo Diet

Zinc is one of the key minerals which are required in the body in order to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. It offers a vast range of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular performance and a clearer complexion. It is also thought that high levels of zinc in the body can help to stave off serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Zinc is traceable in all of the tissues throughout the body, which is why it is so important to keep the levels at a consistent rate.

Zinc is also an antioxidant which is essential for the immune system and to help keep the body in working order. There are a range of notable side effects which can result from low zinc levels in the body, including a decline in energy levels, inability to concentrate and a lack of memory. The side effects can be severe and they can result in more serious conditions, such as infertility and problems in cardiovascular health. The proper function of red and white blood cells relies on good levels of zinc throughout the body, which means it is essential in maintaining a good health.

If you suffer from a lot of flus and colds and they take a while to shift, it may be because your zinc levels are too low. If you notice white spots on your finger nails, it may be due to a lack of zinc or other essential minerals. A sufficient amount of zinc is thought to be around 20mg, which isn’t really a lot and is quite easy to introduce into your diet.  If you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, it is a good idea to try and increase your level of zinc, rather than using creams.

Zinc and the paleo diet deficiency-min

A lack of zinc as well as other minerals and vitamins, can lead to malnutrition and the body failing to function the way it should. It is important to ensure the right amount of zinc is consumed as too much can cause other illnesses such as anaemia. It is not healthy to substitute zinc with high levels of other minerals as it is essential for the proper functioning of our bodies.

Levels of zinc can be improved through the consumption of the right food groups and a healthy diet. The Paleo diet is one which helps to promote good levels of zinc due to the fact that it involves eating large quantities of meats, seafood and fish. These foods are high in zinc levels and as such, are important to ensure a healthy diet is maintained. There are lots of other foods which are high in zinc, so there is no need to feel deprived on the Paleo diet, including seeds, nuts and roasted pumpkin seeds which are also full of other essential minerals.

As the Paleo diet is low in foods which contain phytic acid, it really helps to enhance the levels of zinc as the phytic acid prevents the minerals from being absorbed into the system. The main foods which the Paleo diet encourages followers to stay away from, including whole grains and legumes may contain zinc but as they also contain high levels of phytic acid. As a result, they don’t allow zinc to be absorbed into the body, which means they are not beneficial to staving off these serious illnesses.

It is essential to follow a diet which allows zinc and other key minerals to be absorbed into the blood stream, which is why the Paleo follows a strict range of food groups which are beneficial to the body and in no way detrimental. These food groups are not only rich in zinc but are also full of vitamins and nutrients which encourages the body to function properly.

It is human nature to wait until something affects us before we take some action to resolve the problem and some of the side effects of low levels of zinc can be easily dismissed as just feeling under the weather, until they become more severe. The Paleo diet, if followed correctly, will really help to improve zinc levels and there should be noticeable improvements in energy and concentration levels, particularly if these have declined in recent times.

You will also start to notice the difference in your skin as it will become clearer and will have a healthy glow. It is quite simple to incorporate zinc into the Paleo diet as most of the foods will contain a good level of it and it is worth it for the numerous health benefits.

Salicylates & Paleo diet NSAIDS allergies-min

Salicylates & Paleo

Salicylates occur naturally in plants as a defence mechanism, to protect the plant against any threat such as disease or pests. Most people have no issues with eating plants containing Salicylates – but some people however can experience all sorts of problems from these natural chemicals, from migraines, hives, IBS, asthma and even sleep issues and ADHD. Since aspirin and NSAID’s are Salicylates, most people with these intolerances will react badly to these drugs.

If I eat a lot of foods containing high levels of Salicylates, my skin becomes itchy, swollen and covered in hives. Since I’ve been eating a Paleo diet I’ve not had a bad reaction and I’m conscious to reduce my consumption of the foods that I know are high in Salicylates – and seem to affect me the worst. Unfortunately (because they are a favourites) tomatoes seem to be a particular trigger. Other people with Salicylate sensitivity seem to react in different ways to different foods.

It appears that in those with Salicylate sensitivity, there is an acceptable level of exposure to foods containing high levels – but once “too large” a dose of the high Salicylate food is eaten the effects of the sensitivity kick in. I can eat a tomato based sauce with no problems, but if I eat several meals in a row containing high levels of these foods, my skin starts to break out in hives! People with Salicylate sensitivity seems to have very varied tolerance levels.

Salicylates and Paleo

As Salicylates are naturally occurring, this is one intolerance that a Paleo or Primal diet can’t solve. However, processed food often contains ingredients high in salicylates, so a Paleo diet enables you to control and know exactly what you are eating. It’s certainly possible to eat a low Salicylate Paleo diet as there are plenty of foods that contain negligible, low or moderate levels of Salicylates.

Salicylates & Paleo diet NSAIDS allergies-min

Food High In Salicylates

Broadly speaking, foods such as tomatoes, peppers, capsicum, cucumber, sweet potato and watercress seem to be high in Salicylates. Lots of fruits have high levels, particularly dried fruit. Coconut and olive oil are also reported to contain high levels of Salicylates, though I’ve never had a reaction from them and use these oils almost everyday. Fortunately meat (in a Paleo – i.e. unprocessed) capacity seems to contain very low levels.

A Low-Salicylate Paleo Diet

With some planning and substitutions, there’s no reason not to keep a Paleo diet low in Salicylates. One of the hardest things to replace is tomatoes (also a nightshade), as tomatoes are a common base for sauces and recipes. I’ve been experimenting with some tomato-free Paleo sauces and will share the recipe I’ve come up with tomorrow. It’s definitely possible to make a tomato-like sauce without tomatoes!

Do you have a Salicylate intolerance? I’d love to hear which foods you are sensitive to and how you incorporate this into your Paleo diet.