Have your Mum round for tea and healthy treats this Sunday.
DIY Herbal Tea
Make your own herbal tea blend with some of your mum’s favourite flavours. Some ideas include mint leaves and lavender, tarragon with sliced orange or thyme with apple and ginger. Steep your chosen blend of ingredients in boiling water for five minutes.
Cacao Bliss Balls
Measure out half a cup each of dates, apricots, cashews, almonds and boiling water. Soak the fruit in the water for a few minutes until soft and then blend it with the nuts, half the soaking water and three tablespoons of raw cacao powder. Roll into bite-sized balls and dredge in shredded coconut.
Lettuce cups and spring rolls
Fresh spring rolls are tasty and are even healthier when wrapped with fresh green lettuce leaves such as cos or iceberg. They can be filled with just about anything, but a lovely combination is fresh salmon or prawns paired with crispy julienned vegetables, plenty of fresh herbs and a flavoursome Asian-style dressing.
If you’re going for an alcoholic beverage, why not do it like the Italians do? The Aperol Spritz makes a refreshing change to champagne and is lower in alcohol. Fill a white wine glass with ice and a slice of orange. Top with three parts Prosecco or other sparkling wine, two parts Aperol and one part soda water.
Our hands are one of the first places to show the signs of aging. While we might pay plenty of attention to the skin on our face, we often don’t notice wrinkles, age spots and thinning skin on the backs of our hands until one day when we get quite a shock!
What we forget is that hands are exposed daily to damaging environmental factors like UV and other toxins. But there are several steps we can take to ensure our hands are treated with care they deserve.
Be Religious About SPF
UV exposure doesn’t just happen when we spend time enjoying the outdoors. Our hands can be exposed to the sun’s damaging rays when we’re driving the car or typing on the computer by a window. Apply SPF to the back of your hands as part of your morning routine. And be sure to keep a tube in the car and at your desk for top ups throughout the day.
Gloves are a great way to protect our hands from things like harsh cleaning products and UV rays. Try and wear them whenever you’re doing something that might cause damage, whether it’s cleaning, gardening, skiing or driving the car a long distance.
Treat Them Kindly
Regular use of a nourishing hand cream will keep the skin hydrated and protected. Apply a nourishing oil to your cuticles, pushing them back rather than cutting them which can lead to ragged growth. And when you use a face mask, apply a little to the back of your hands too. They’ll thank you for it.
Smoothies are the ultimate convenience food – easy to make, portable and, usually, quite nutritious. But not all smoothies are created equal when it comes to our skin health, with some high in sugar and other potentially inflammatory ingredients.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to add skin-loving ingredients in our smoothies and skip the stuff that isn’t so great. Here are some ideas:
Vitamins A, C and E are the holy trinity of skincare vitamins, thanks to their ability to fight the free radicals that contribute to premature aging and other skin damage. Adding foods which contain these to your smoothies is one of the easiest ways to get healthy, glowing skin.
- Vitamin A: Foods rich in carotenoids which the body converts to vitamin A include dark leafy greens, carrots and some tropical fruits such as mango, papaya and melon. Go easy on the latter as they can be high in sugar.
- Vitamin C: Choose kiwifruit or dark berries for a low-sugar option, dark leafy greens, or a whole organic lemon; leaving the skin on for the maximum vitamin hit.
- Vitamin E: Excellent sources of this skin-loving vitamin to add to your smoothie include almond butter, avocado, sunflower seeds and, again, those dark leafy greens.
Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 is an excellent inflammation-fighter and inflammation is linked to many skin problems from redness to sensitivity and premature aging. Add these “good fats” to your smoothie with a sprinkle of flaxseeds or a glug of quality flaxseed oil, some blended walnuts or a handful of chia seeds.
Find a Skin-Loving Substitute
The all-important texture of your smoothie is often down to any liquid and thickening ingredients you add. Some of these, like fresh juice, milk and sugary fruits like bananas are okay in small amounts, but are easy to overdo when it comes to a guzzling a delicious smoothie! Try using filtered water or coconut water instead of juice, homemade almond milk instead of cow’s milk, and oats or chia seeds for the thickening effect of banana. All these will add to the skincare benefits of your smoothie.
Skip the Sweetener
Smoothies with a fruit element often don’t need added sweeteners like honey. Try leaving them out and train your tastebuds to adapt! If you do need a little bit of sweetness, add a medjool date to the blender. These do contain natural sugar but they have lots of other nutrients too.
It’s said that the eyes are the window to the soul, and they can certainly tell us plenty about how we live our lives. From how much sleep we get to whether or not we drink enough water to how often we’ve smiled – they reveal both the good and the bad.
Evolu founder Kati Kasza remembers her aunt telling her to smile differently so she wouldn’t get lines around her eyes when she was in her twenties. “I was somewhat surprised and offended,” Kati says. “I believe smile lines make a person and are very attractive.”
But smile lines are one thing; neglect is another. The eye area has delicate, thin skin that requires a gentler touch than the rest of the face. Kati says: “Eye products are important, but more important is how they’re applied. Use the ring finger and apply it onto the orbital bone gently from the outside in. That way the product doesn’t seep into the eye pocket and leave fatty deposits, which can cause ‘bags’ under the eye.”
Sun protection is also vital for protecting the area. Physical protection is best, so invest in some good quality sunglasses, a sun hat and sit in the shade if you can. Don’t rely on sunscreen to protect they area, as they are often too greasy for the skin and can irritate the eye itself.
A gentle touch is also required when applying eye makeup. Avoid pulling or tugging the skin around the eye, particularly when putting on eyeliner. Keep brushes clean and update products as soon as they expire, especially mascara.
Kati also recommends being “religious” about removing eye make-up before cleansing each night. A little rosehip oil on a cotton pad works well, and it nourishes the skin at the same time. These tips won’t guarantee your eyes are wrinkle-free, but they’ll ensure the lines that are there are good ones.
Moisturiser can be one of the most confusing parts of skincare. There is an abundance of products on offer, each claiming to be the answer to your skincare concerns.
But do you really need moisturiser? And which one should you choose?
Do I need a moisturiser? The short answer is yes. As we age, our skin undergoes many changes including the breakdown of its lipid content which leads to dry and depleted skin. Babies and children don’t generally need moisturiser as their skin has a high lipid content, making it plump and smooth.
Moisturisers contain ingredients called ‘humectants’ to attract and bind moisture to the skin, ’emollients’ to soothe and soften it and ‘occlusives’ to form a protective barrier and prevent further moisture loss.
What should my moisturiser contain? Your moisturiser should contain a balance of emollients, occlusives and humectants to suit your skin type. You can tell what this balance is from the texture or ‘feel’ of a product. For instance, people with oily or acne-prone skin should avoid thick creams that feel heavy as they can cause further congestion. Evolu is known for light, easily absorbed creams that are still packed full of nourishment.
You should also look for ingredients which deliver benefits to your skin over and above just retaining moisture. Antioxidants are the most helpful as they can reverse damage that has already occurred and protect skin against further harm. There are lots of different types of antioxidants, and no single one is the best. Evolu moisturisers all contain a blend of antioxidants to make sure you’re getting the best possible nourishment.
What should it not contain? There have been red flags raised around many common skincare ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, phthalates and mineral oil. We choose not to use any of these as we’ve found safe, natural alternatives. We figure – why risk it if you don’t have to?
Mornings are busy times and the last thing you might feel like you need is yet another task to complete. But what you do and how you feel in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day and making a few simple changes can help with productivity, positivity and stress.
Here are some three strategies to try:
Start with a positive thought. Often we wake up and immediately start thinking about our long to-do lists. But if we consciously and purposefully turn our minds to something simple and positive upon waking, it sets a happier tone for the day. Even for just a few seconds focus your mind on someone you love, hum a bit of your favourite song or just take time to stretch out and enjoy the sensation of your warm bed.
Wake up your skin. Taking a little extra care with your skincare routine can do wonders for your complexion, and turn the mundane into the luxurious. Try removing your cleanser with a hot, damp muslin cloth, taking time to press it gently into your skin. This hot compress gives a deeper cleanse and brings blood to the surface of the skin, assisting with detoxification and radiance. Or, try applying your moisturiser or serum with a gentle facial massage, using small circular motions. This improves skin texture and muscle tone and helps products absorb faster.
The simple mindfulness of these techniques means you’ll both see and feel the benefits.
Eat That Frog. Having a daunting or unpleasant task hanging over our heads introduces a lot of unnecessary stress and worry to our day. Instead of putting it off, commit to doing that task first up – eat that frog – and you’ll set the rest of your day up for being more productive. Once you’ve structured your morning like this enough times, it will become second nature.
Clay masks are popular because of their ability to absorb and remove impurities like dirt, excess sebum and dead cells from the skin. This gives a deep cleanse which is otherwise difficult to achieve at home.
Using a clay mask can have a range of other benefits too, provided you use the correct one for your skin.
In our brand new Triple Action Oil Control Clay Mask we’ve used kaolin, a fine white clay which is gentle enough for even sensitive skin. Unlike bentonite, which is also commonly used in masks, it doesn’t dry out or irritate the skin. We’ve also added in a range of other botanical actives like lentil seed, kiwifruit seed, balm mint, fennel and hops to not only cleanse the skin but regulate sebum and brighten the complexion too.
People with oily or normal skin can use a clay mask up to twice a week as needed, but a good starting point for most people is to apply it weekly. And here’s another tip: If you don’t like the uncomfortable “concrete” feel of a completely dry clay mask, just remove it while it is still slightly damp – you’ll still get all the skin-loving benefits.
Homemade nut milk is nothing like the watery, preservative-laden stuff most people know from the supermarket shelves. It’s creamy, delicious and much better for us as it leaves out the fillers and packs in the nutrients.
Any nuts can be used, but almonds are a great place to start. Macadamias, hazelnuts and brazil nuts are nice too, just make sure they are raw, unsalted and organic if possible.
Homemade nut milk is very easy to make, and only requires a blender and fine sieve or muslin cloth. There are four simple steps to follow:
- Soak: Soak the nuts overnight in filtered water to make them easier to digest.
- Rinse: Rinse with fresh water.
- Blend: Blend the nuts with the same volume of fresh filtered water (i.e. if you used 1 cup of almonds, blend first with 1 cup of water.) Then add the same amount of water again, along with any other flavour additions you want to make, and blend further. Blending in two stages ensures the nuts are well crushed.
- Strain: Strain the mixture into a jar through a fine sieve or muslin cloth. Squeeze as much water out as you can.
*Adding a dash of maple syrup or natural sweetener, vanilla and a pinch of salt will enhance the flavour of your milk.
**Homemade nut milk will keep covered in the fridge for a couple of days. Just give it a shake before serving.
The short answer is YES.
Although putting oil on your skin in summer might seem like a bad idea, modern skincare oils are very different to the dangerous tanning oils we might have used in the past.
They are packed with skin-loving ingredients and are easily absorbed, helping your skin deal with the effects of increased UV exposure and air pollution during the warmer months.
They keep skin hydrated
Hydrated skin is healthy skin and skincare oils are excellent hydrators. Good hydration signals to the skin that it does not need to produce excessive amounts of its own oil (or sebum), which can cause congestion and breakouts.
They deliver antioxidants
Our skincare oils contain potent antioxidants including the essential vitamins A, C and E. These counter the effects of free radical damage that comes with exposure to things like UV light and air pollution, which increases during the summer. Some ingredients can become less effective in sunlight, so we recommend our Facial Serum is only used at night. Our Certified Organic Rosehip Oil can be safely used in the morning however, underneath your usual sun protection.
They are easily absorbed
Modern skincare oils have a “dry” texture, so a couple of drops smoothed across the face and décolletage will absorb very quickly. This means they are excellent at delivering nourishing ingredients to the deeper layers of the skin and do not sit on the surface causing shininess or congestion.