This is going to be my best year yet. I’m resolved to make it so after the hardest year of my life in 2018 when my Mum died. It wouldn’t take much effort to make 2019 a better year but it does take effort to make something your best. And I want that; for me, my family and friends. When I take good care of myself everyone benefits. When I don’t take care of myself I suffer, my children experience mediocre (sometimes rubbish) parenting and I feel isolated because feelings of overwhelm and guilt are too paralysing for company. Self-care should be as habitual as brushing your teeth but we all know that’s rarely the case.
When Luca turned one I slowly returned to blogging, inspired by a weekly challenge from Mary at MyHeartyLife to reflect on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrate small successes. Some weeks I felt like I scratched my head to finish #myheartylife post and notice the small successes. But I never struggled to notice ordinary moments of beauty or reasons to feel grateful. It’s with this in mind that I’m shaping the year ahead. I realised that any energy I have to give out to others in my new role as a Weleda Wellbeing Advisor has to start with nourishing myself. Making time for myself because my needs matter. It’s a practice that is slowly growing (I’m still a long way from mastering it). I’m determined to keep cultivating a practice of self-care and gratitude as I’ve noticed appreciating small things has the potential for a massive impact on wellbeing, purpose and joy.
2019 was kicked off with marking Mum’s birthday without her. I looked back to photos from her 70th birthday last January and saw how happy she was. She’d bought a new outfit, had taken her usual care over her hair and makeup and was surrounded by her family. Her skin had changed a lot over the 5 years she endured chemotherapy treatment and in her final weeks we saw what happens to a body when the liver fails. Mum looked beautiful and relaxed in the photos and I had the sudden realisation that I don’t really do anything to make myself look or feel better (on a good or bad days). When it was my birthday the following month I decided to treat myself to some new skin care products and started researching skincare brands that would nourish my skin without creating any toxicity in my body (did you know that 60% of what we apply to our skin goes into our skin!).
I went through my bathroom products and ditched anything with dubious ingredients. I was left with a handful of products labelled ‘Natural‘ from Weleda, Dr Organic, Super Facialist and Aveeno. You can read about that here and the natural products I love for practicing self-care. I looked at the websites of these ‘natural’ brands and particularly loved the feel of the Weleda site and that the company has been in existence for nearly 100 years. I’ve been using Weleda skincare products exclusively now for 6 weeks and have noticed a huge difference in how my skin looks and feels.
I first came across Weleda 15 years ago when my sister-in-law in Germany gifted me a bottle of arnica body oil for use on my tired muscles after a day on the allotment. I loved it and made it last 10 years by only using it when I really ached. I thought Weleda was a German brand and when it ran out I asked her to bring another one over for Christmas. Later when I was pregnant with Euan in 2011 a friend gifted me a tube of Skin Food, recommending it for dry hands. This friend happens to be German too confirming my believe that precious secrets were being shared. I didn’t think to Google it and find out what other secrets were in the Weleda closet. Finally when pregnant with Luca in 2016 I realised Weleda was available here and bought some White Mallow nappy cream and Calendula bath milk. When I looked more closely at the logo I made the connection with the Arnica homeopathic remedy I always kept in my bag.
I’m now pleased to have discovered that Weleda make over 100 natural health products including remedies for every day traumas and coughs and colds. So I thought I’d give you a little run down on what some of my favourites are, old and new:
Arnica body oil (old favourite) – Arnica massage oil and Skin Food original will always be my first Weleda loves. Arnica feels wonderful massaged into tired muscles and smells faintly woody and citrusy. Weleda also make an Arnica massage balm which contains a higher concentration of Arnica and is classed as a medicine. But I found I didn’t like the smell when I tried it (it’s hugely popular among Weleda Advisors who are also massage therapists). How you respond to the scent of different products is really important – I find I breathe differently and my body relaxes when I love the smell of something.
Birch Cellulite body oil (new favourite) – I’ve love Weleda’s Citrus body oil for it’s gorgeous lemony scent and the birch cellulite oil has a similar fragrance from grapefruit and cypress oil. It has the added benefit of detoxing and stimulating metabolism thanks to the organic birch leaf, rosemary and butchers broom it contains. All of the Weleda body oils feel amazing on your skin, especially straight after a shower, and my skin continues to feel nourished throughout the day. I’ve not been using the cellulite oil consistently enough yet to comment on whether it’s made a difference with reducing skin dimpling. But the anecdotal evidence from other Weleda advisors is compelling and the dermatalogical study carried out into noticeable benefits after twice daily use over 28 days resulted in 22% firmer skin and 21% with cellulite visibly reduced (from an holistic standpoint cellulite can indicate a build up of toxins within the body so regular massage with stimulating oils can support the body in it’s own internal cleansing process). To maximize the effects of using the birch cellulite oil I dry body brush before showering with the birch body scrub. I’m following an endurance athlete called Laura Try on Instagram who is about to start a 28 day birch cleanse and will be posting pictures and videos along the way.
Skin Food (old favourite) – if I could only keep one Weleda product it would be Skin Food. I love the richness of this head-to-toe cream and it’s comfortingly distinct orange/rosemary/pansy scent. My hands never need any additional attention now I use Skin Food on my face each day. I adore Skin Food as night cream and after swimming and it’s great under make up too for a natural dewy glow (I learnt that phrase from celebrity make up artist Katie Jane Hughes on IG stories!)
Skin food light (new favourite) – I thought my loyalty to Skin Food original would diminish my reaction to Skin Food light. But it’s a bit like having more than one child or pet when you would never say one was your favourite but you appreciate their differences and unique qualities. I use Skin Food light in the daytime or when I feel like my skin is a bit thirsty (the beauty of not wearing make up means you can top up your moisturiser whenever you feel like it). It’s deeply nourishing but lighter than Skin Food original so better suited to hotter weather or oilier skin.
Everon lip balm (old favourite) – this lip balm is a fab all rounder when it comes to dry lips. It contains rose oil but it smells quite neutral so I’d have no problem recommending it to men and women alike. Everon lip balm will celebrate it’s 37th birthday this year and I love the fact that unlike some brands who are now removing petro-chemicals from their products Weleda have only used natural ingredients since launching in 1921. I like the matt finish of the Everon lip balm for the days I don’t fancy glossy lips.
Tinted lip balm – I love lip balm but don’t like lipstick. I wasn’t sure if I would find the Weleda tinted lip balms too lipsticky . I ordered the lip balm trio (nude, rose and dark berry) so I would know what to recommend to clients having facials. I usually go for lighter/nude colours but the dark berry lip balm is my favourite (I didn’t see that coming). I can never have just one lip balm on the go so the triple pack is a really great addition to my facial kit and for personal use. My husband can’t understand why one lip balm in one place doesn’t work but I kind of like not knowing which lip balm I’ll find when I reach into my bag, coat pocket, under the pillow, in the drawer. There’s no such thing as having too many lip balms! I think they make great gifts too as they’re only £6.95 (or £16.95 for the trio).
Sage spray deodorant (old favourite). I only discovered Weleda’s spray deodorants last month so it’s not strictly an ‘old’ favourite. But as Weleda’s spray deodorants were developed in the 90s there are no doubt plenty of people for whom they are an old favourite. I have been using the citrus roll on since the start of the year but wanted to have a deo spray in my advisor kit as it’s more suitable for sampling. It’s so much more than an under arm spray – try a refreshing spritz on the chest or arms on a hot day or to freshen the room (we have an incontinent cat so I particularly like the fact I know I won’t be breathing in any chemicals in my attempts to freshen the air). It took a little while for the smell to grow on me for use on my body (it contains rosemary, pine, lavender and thyme as well as sage) but I like the aromatherapeutic qualities of these herbs ie. sage for clearing negative energy, thyme as an anti-bacterial, lavender to relax.
Seabuckhtorn 24hr roll on deodorant (new favourite). I love the smell of the Sea Buckthorn range so was excited to hear the news of it being added as a roll on deodorant. The scent is as lovely as the catalogue suggests – “fruity essential oils of mandarin and grapefruit and a base note of sandalwood provide a summery scent of marmalade-mellowness that relaxes and refreshes”. Weleda’s roll on deodorants offer 24hr reliable protection from body odour without chemical nasties. I prefer them for daily use as the glass bottles of the deodorant spray are not for the fainted hearted (especially post shower with oiled hands and hard floors). They’re great for slinging in your gym bag and contain natural astringent and anti-microbial properties to allow your skin to breathe as it neutralises your body odour.
For more info about these products see the Weleda brochure on-line. If you live in Gloucester they can be ordered through me and delivered to your door with a free 30 day money back guarantee. The Sea Buckthorn deodorant is free this month with all orders over £50.
* Image credit for the lovely Weleda banner – Big Green Smile, a one stop shop for organic lifestyle and natural beauty products.
Disclosure: I buy all these products directly from Weleda for my personal use. On this occasion the Sea Buckthorn deodorant (priced £7.95) was gifted to me for feedback.