There are hundreds of health benefits of incorporating more natural and organic products into your day to day which include improved moods, lower blood pressure and weight loss. The money-saving potential of cutting meat out from your diet temporarily has been widely reported for environmental impacts, as animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the trains, planes, cars, lorries and boats put together.

Injecting greenery into your everyday lifestyle means you’re doing your bit for your community, your pocket and the world. But if these reasons aren’t doing it for you, it is also a great way to improve niggling and uncomfortable beauty problems like dry skin, weak and flakey nails or brittle hair. Here are five ways you can get started:


EATING FOR BEAUTY

Your diet may be a contributing factor which is causing your skin to act up and break out.
Dairy products, sugar, and coffee can aggravate poor complexions. It so follows that one of the most effective ways to give your skin a fighting chance on the outside is by maintaining a clean and nutritious diet that takes care of the inside.

For food that purifies the skin you only need look to your fruit basket. The humble apple contains malic acid that promotes a firm and youthful complexion, whilst bananas contain potassium that is hydrating and has a high vitamin A, B, and E content- all anti-aging.

By increasing the fruit and vegetables in your diet, the abundance of varying vitamins will no doubt rejuvenate and strengthen your skin, hair and nails. It’s been scientifically proven that cutting out high levels of sugar in favour of natural foods does wonders for your locks. When you consume large quantities of sugar your body releases insulin to regulate the influx. This has a detrimental effect on your hair as insulin damages blood vessels, making it more difficult for oxygen to reach the scalp. As a consequence hair struggles and weakens.

Luckily, there are plenty of foods that are great for hair. If it’s long hair you’re after, complex carbohydrates, such as bulgur wheat, parsnips, legumes, fresh fruit and whole grains will encourage growth.

For a refreshing meal that will optimise hair growth, Quinoa salad with feta, beetroot, and pumpkin is perfect. If you’re after something a little more wholesome, try this spinach and tofu cannelloni. A great idea for a lunch that will enrich your locks is Bulgur wheat and spinach fritters, make your own chutney for an extra kick.


ORGANIC VS MAINSTREAM BEAUTY BRANDS

One of the best ways to enhance the greenery in your day to day beauty regime is to opt for vegetarian products. The reason being is that there are some less-than-pleasant animal derivatives in non-vegetarian cosmetics. Some ingredients include collagen, emu oil, fish scales, gelatin, shark cartilage, ambergris and many more.
These far from appealing additions which are found in some mascaras from well-known high street brands often contain a whole host of damaging chemicals that can actually cause lashes to become dry, brittle and even fall out – then you end up adding more product to make your lashes look thicker, which then causes even more damage.
This can be the same story with foundation as the mainstream brand incorporates polymethyl methacrylate, which adds a soft, smooth feel but worryingly some studies have reportedly linked this ingredient to skin allergies and even the disruption of the immune system. These chemical ingredients are swiftly avoided with organic and natural products which even avoid testing on animals.

 

MEALS AND RECIPE PLANS

A great opportunity to improve your health and gain more beauty benefits is by introducing more greenery into your diet.

There are a number of animal-free, protein-rich foods available at your fingertips, including eggs, beans, soy products, nuts and seeds. For a colourful meal that’s rich in protein why not try a twist on a Spanish classic with a red and white bean and basil frittata. If you fancy something sweet for breakfast then cookie dough overnight oats are a great way to go. For those that can handle a little heat, try spicy bean burgers, stuffed full of vegetarian protein.

 

HOMEMADE FACE MASKS

When you’re up against the elements, keeping skin healthy can feel like a daily challenge. Cold weather, sun damage and air pollution can all cause or exacerbate skin problems like blemishes, clogged pores, dryness or breakouts. Contrary to what you might think, a lot of beauty products can be detrimental to healthy skin, containing ingredients such as alcohol, parabens and acrylics that clog and suffocate pores. But all is not lost, as fruits also work well as part of natural, homemade skin products.

If you have dry or blemished skin, papaya is great as an exfoliator, cleanser and moisturiser. Exfoliate your skin with the inner seeds and pulp for around a minute. To make a face mask, blend the papaya with 2 tablespoons of honey or yoghurt, apply to the face and leave for 20 minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water. If soaking up the sun has dulled or damaged your skin, a strawberry face mask is the way to go. Mix strawberry pulp with a little water, massage it into the skin and wash off after 20 minutes or so. This brightens and helps repair skin.


CHECK THE PACKAGING

There are lots of effective products out there which are guilt-free and, free from animal testing.

Ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate and phthalates, which are often used because they’re cheap can give you short term benefits but, used long-term, they can damage your hair, leaving it dry, brittle and prone to frizz.

Some of the most common chemicals used in shampoos have been linked to skin irritation, sore eyes and even cancer.

Many of these chemicals are harmful to the environment. Washed down the drain, they end up polluting rivers, seas and soil.

Most natural brands have good ethical standards, so they’re better for you, the planet and the people who grow the ingredients. The brands we’ve recommended are all also cruelty-free and suitable for vegetarians. A handy resource is www.leapingbunny.org/guide/brands, which lists all the brands that are accredited with the Leaping Bunny, cruelty-free logo.

Ultimately, enhancing your lifestyle in places where green doesn’t shine through will mean that you will notice the impacts quickly. It’s a means of reassessing your lifestyle, getting reacquainted with your body and helping the planet in the process. So what is there to lose? Get on board and go green!

 

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