The Importance of Organic Skincare and Sun protection - With Alteya Organics

As some of you may know if you follow me on my Instagram I was recently in Southern Italy. A bit of a change from my usual environment to say the least! 

Taking care of our skin is so important day today but it is especially important when we go on holiday to hotter countries to take care of our skin. I am not always the best at this and often forget to put suncream on ending up with a red nose or odd straplines a screaming signal to the locals that I am British! 

There has also been a lot of talk in environmental circles about the dangers associated with a lot of sunscreens that are being used and the chemicals that are in them. (Let me know if you would like a full blog post on this).

I personally moved last year to only using sun protection that was natural as my concerns grew about what was in some of the other products on the market. It was lovely this year to then be able to try out an organic suncream on my holiday from Alteya Organics. I wanted to try this as, mainly, it is a natural organic suncream for your face which is always the area I struggle with the most when I go on holiday. 

Alteya Organics was founded in 1999 in Bulgaria as a family business and was born out of their family tradition to care for roses. This is something that I love, as family businesses are quite hard to find these days and that entrepreneurial spirit seems to become somewhat lost when a brand sells up to a larger conglomerate. 

The suncream is lightweight and protects your skin while combatting the signs of ageing. The product can also be used as a lightweight day lotion for your face without leaving a thick sticky finish so you can also choose to wear under makeup (which I did). It also contains Acai and Sea buckthorn to sooth and enriches skin - while also acting as a source of antioxidants.

I enjoyed wearing this on holiday as I felt like it was moisturising as well as protecting my skin. My skin always goes really dry and tight in the heat and as the temperature rose to 33 degrees my skin did start to get painful. It was nice to have this to hand and provided some relief and protection for my delicate pale skin.

Click here to visit Alteyas site and buy the suncream or click here to read my post on what organic means and why it is important. 

The Eco Survival Kit that is Perfect for Festivals this Summer - Cruelty free and vegan

We all know that familiar dread of the festival shower, is there anything grosser? The bathrooms at festivals can be very dirty places - and also very wasteful.

A new company called full circle is aiming to tackle the problems of festival showers and the waste that is often left behind after. The beauty of these 'festival kits' is that they have everything you need in them for a muddy weekend. They are waterless so you don't need to brave the shower, the products are eco-friendly and you are supporting a charity with every purchase!

The reusable bag you get includes essential products you require to stay fresh and clean including:
  • Unisex antiperspirant in a recyclable aluminium can
  • Fresh Mint toothpaste in a zero-waste reusable aluminium pot
  • Biodegradable bamboo toothbrush
  • Alcohol hand gel in a zero-waste reusable aluminium bottle
  • No-rinse body wash in a zero-waste reusable aluminium bottle
  • Tropical dry shampoo in a recyclable aluminium can
  • Plastic-free biodegradable face-wipes
  • Biodegradable eco-towel
  • 100% recycled Eco-leaf toilet paper
I was recently kindly gifted one of these kits to try out - and although I had the intention of taking it to a festival with me I couldn't wait that long!

I ended up bringing my kit in my luggage on holiday instead of buying minis - another way I thought to stay eco -friendly on my travels! I found these really useful while I was away, keeping me clean and dry. The toothbrush was really good along with the little pot of toothpaste and I felt like it kept my mouth fresh. I also really loved the eco-friendly dry shampoo which was really useful as I hate washing my hair on holiday!

All of the products are a good size and I am hoping to take them with me to the Big Green in a few weeks!

Most of our products are sustainably sourced and from natural ingredients, all made in the UK, non-animal tested and vegan-friendly, they are either reusable, biodegradable or recyclable which is great for the environment.

For more information or to get your own pack click festival hygiene pack.

Why are bees dying out? What is killing the bees...

The bees are dying out. Quickly, in under 100 years, their numbers have plummeted which is bad news not only for bees but for us as well. Bees pollinate about one-third of all the food we eat meaning the death of the bees will result in either a loss of this food for us/or prices for food to skyrocket. The death of bee populations will also have massive effects of the world's biodiversity in terms of flowers, plants and other animals that depend on them.

I've laid out in simple terms below the top reasons I think bees are dying, however, all is not lost some simple things that you can do to help bees are eat and purchase organic products and plant lots of flowers wherever you can!

"According to a recent UN report, more than 70 of the 100 crops that provide 90 percent of the world's food rely on bees for pollination. Managed honey bees remain the most economically important pollinator, contributing over $19 billion annually to the U.S. economy."

1. One of the biggest problems for bee populations is the use of pesticides that have skyrocketed since the '40s. Neonicotinoid (similar to nicotien) 24% of the global pesticide market pesticides have emerged as one of the biggest problems for bees; often a very high dose of pesticide will be added to a plant which can result in the immediate death of a bee who tries to help pollinate the plant. However, if the dose is lower, then this can still result in a lot of long term problems for bees including the following:

  • Compromised immune response
  • Shortened adult life cycles
  • Impaired memory and learning
  • Reduced social communication (reduces foraging efficacy)
  • Disorientation, which also impairs foraging
  • Delayed larval development and disrupted brood cycle
  • “Gut” microbe disruption, leading to malnutrition

2. Habitat loss

With more and more of the world surface being taken up with human activities, that leaves less space for nature. Farming and the rise of large urban areas has led to less space being available for plants and flowers that bees need to feed on. This is a big problem for bees not only due to the lack of food and habitat available to make their homes but also as it means travelling longer and longer distances from the hive for food.

3. Monocultures

 The two last revolutions in farming have allowed us to produce huge amounts of food that we now waste. In order for farmers to produce large amounts of food, they must operate under certain types of farming systems if they are to keep up with demand and get contracts. This has resulted in poor nutrition for bees as biodiversity has been destroyed with the large monoculture systems that now dominate much of the world's agriculture.

4. Parasites 

Mites that live in the tracheas of honey bees are causing distress and suffocate the bees. These mites are having devastating effects on already weakened hives.  

I know this is a little different from my usual content but I wanted to raise awareness about this important issue. Bees dying out will have huge implications on our food systems and impact not only fruit and veg but milk and meat production as well.

Please leave a comment below if I have missed something or if you are interested in posts like this in the future.