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Stress and your skin

Improve Your 3 Top Skin Concerns naturally

If you are reading this, chances are you wish you could change or improve something about your skin. Whether it’s the occasional breakout, crows feet, pigmentation or sun damage – it’s unlikely that there are any women out there who feel like they have the perfect complexion. But having healthy, naturally glowing skin is not out of reach.

Find out here what is causing your most common skin concerns and how to improve them the natural way. 

1. Fine Lines & Wrinkles

wrinkles | creases | sagging

Wrinkles are creases or folds in the skin that increase over time,  predominately as a result of the natural ageing process but also  through free radical damage from things such as smoking,  pollution and sun exposure. Free radical damages decrease the skin’s elasticity resulting in sagging and wrinkles.

To decrease the appearance of wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming, the most important (and obvious) step to take is to protect your skin from the sun and stay hydrated. Second to that is to eat whole, clean foods – those that are free of additives and are rich in healthy fats, fibre and beauty nutrients.  And it goes without say that eating a diet rich in antioxidants will fight those free radicals that cause collagen and elastin fibres in the skin to break down.

5 Favourite antioxidant rich foods:

1. Blueberries

2. Papaya

3. Green Tea

4. Leafy green vegetables

5. Tomatoes

Kale

2. Pigmentation

Dark spots | light spots | uneven skin tone | dull skin | sun spots

Thought wrinkles were your skin’s worst enemy when it comes to ageing? Studies have shown that discolouration and pigmentation of the skin can visually add up to 12 years to your perceived age! And yes you guessed it, pigmentation is predominately caused by UV exposure as this increases the melanin (what gives our skin colour) production in our body. The two most common types of pigmentation are:

Hyper-pigmentation: where the melanin production is elevated leading to brown or tan spots on the skin.

Hypo-pigmentation: where the melanin production is lowered and patches of lighter skin appear.

To help fade imperfections, improve skin tone and brighten dull skin, Vitamin C is your best weapon. Vitamin C can accelerate the skin’s cell turnover mechanism, breaking up dark spots and dull skin tone as a result. It also helps to prevent new dark spots from appearing by fighting the formation of concentrated melanin patches (dark spots).

5 Favourite Vitamin C rich foods:

1. Citrus – Lemons, limes and oranges

2. Camu Camu

3. Capsicum

4. Broccoli

5. Berries

Raspberries

3. Acne

white heads | blackheads | hormonal breakouts | adult acne

There are countless reasons why people, of all ages get acne. Although acne occurs predominately in adolescence, about 20% of all cases occur in adults (and mostly in women!).

Basically pimples occur when the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) clog the pores or openings for hair follicles. If the openings are large, the clogs take the form of blackheads and if the openings stay small, the clogs take the form of whiteheads. The most common causes of acne and breakouts are:

Hormones: This is the most common cause of acne in adolescents as they experience an increase in hormone production. Both boys and girls during puberty produce high levels of androgens, hormones that include testosterone. Testosterone tells the body to make more sebum i.e. skin oil causing more pimples.

Bacteria:  Bacteria exists in all skin types. It grows in the pores or ‘openings’ as a result of excess sebum (skin oil) which has clogged them and can cause the follicle wall to break under the pressure of this buildup. When this happens, sebum leaks and forms more pimples.

Gut Health and diet: If you’re not getting enough nutrients or digesting food properly due to poor gut health, your skin will start to starve which can results in breakouts, dull skin and reduced skin elasticity. A diet high in sugar, processed foods and alcohol can result in low levels of good gut bacteria that help to maintain good digestion and keep our skin clear and glowing.

Sometimes the cause of acne can just be genetic and may needed to be treated by a doctor or dermatologist. However, you can greatly improve your skin’s health through applying gentle, natural skincare and makeup that is suited to your skin’s needs as well as eating a diet high in probiotics, fibre, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

5 Favourite acne fighting foods:

1. Unrefined or fermented grains for fibre and improved digestion/detoxification

2. Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut to improve gut health

3. Bone broth for gut health

4. Sunflower seeds and other foods rich in zinc for skin health

5. Flaxseed oil and other foods/oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation

Grains

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look feel be delicious

Top Foods for Glowing, Healthy Skin

At Luk, we’re about educating people on the link between food and beauty. We want to show you how you can get glowing, healthy skin [sans make-up] simply from eating the right foods (or as we call them, beautyfoods!) to enhance your natural beauty.

When we talk about foods that “feed your beauty”, we’re talking about the Triple A’s: Alkalising, Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant rich foods. These foods contain key nutrients to feed your skin and to keep it healthy, clear, hydrated, and wrinkle-free because the health of your skin cells is directly influenced by what nutrients are available to them.

When your body lacks the right amount, or the right kinds of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and essential fatty acids, it shows; mainly through dull, irritated, uneven and prematurely aged skin. Although lifestyle and genetics play a large part in your skin’s health, you need to look after what you’re putting in your body to get the best out of it in terms of health, happiness, energy and beauty.

Read on to find out how you can eat yourself to glowing, beautiful and healthy skin through alkalising your body, eating anti-inflammatory foods and giving yourself a daily antioxidant boost.

SLIDESHOW - 3 BEST WAYS TO GET GLOWING, HEALTHY SKIN

Alkalise Your Body

Alkalise your body for healthier skin

Smoothie image via Pinterest

Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Eat anti-inflammatory foods to maintain plump, clear, healthy skin

Turmeric image via Pinterest

Give Yourself an Antioxidant Boost

Eat antioxidants rich foods to reduce free-radical damage

Bowl image via Pinterest

For a bit of help on how you can eat more of these beautifying foods, try one of our super quick, easy and tasty recipes! Like our anti-inflammatory super skin milk, alkalising go + glow smoothie or antioxidant rich pomegranate salad

Challenge yourself to incorporate more alkalising, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich foods into your diet for at least 30 days (roughly the life cycle of your skin) and tell us about the difference you see (and feel!) We’d love to hear about your experiences, leave a comment below, on our facebook page or send us an email!

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be delicious.... inside and out

Featured Image via Pinterest

beauty benefits of turmeric beauty food turmeric luk beautifood

beauty food | turmeric

beauty food for glowing skin | TURMERIC

beauty benefits of turmeric beauty food turmeric luk beautifood

Turmeric, commonly known as †˜haldi’ in India, is a spice derived from the roots of the curcuma longa plant, a rhizome belonging to the ginger family. Since times immemorial it is considered as an herbal remedy due to its anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties. Used extensively to flavour and colour curries in Sth East Asia.

FOOD ACTIVES:

Curcumin, manganese, iron, vitamin B6, copper, potassium.

BEAUTY BENEFITS:

Curcumin is the key active in turmeric that gives it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. To sustain a bright youthful appearance, turmeric reduces redness and puffiness – especially under the eyes by working to reduce inflammation.  Its antibacterial properties help fight acne and reduce skin pigmentation to keep your skin smooth and glowing. Curcumin’s antioxidant ability also preserves strong lush hair by aiding your scalp and preventing damage to hair follicles.

COOK:

Use every day in beverages such as a tea or almond milk. Mix with brown rice or lentils, egg salad or even sautéed apples or pop into poached pears. And of course – add to curries.

TIP:

Turmeric is often used in powdered form but is now available fresh in Australia. Can be grated or used like ginger. Watch out the colour is intense!

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PRINT THIS BEAUTY FOOD BITE TO KEEP HANDY

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous beauty food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Passata Making clean food luk beautifood

Homemade Tomato Passata

Treat your skin for the year with this delicious homemade Passata recipe – the perfect way to use the glut of tomatoes in late summer!

I am about a month late sharing this recipe as tomato season in Australia peaks at the end of summer in February, but there is no reason why you can’t slowly ripen egg tomatoes now and start a few passata making batches to keep over autumn and winter for when you feel like a little summer sunshine. I was introduced to the passata making ‘ritual’ by a good foodie friend when my kids were toddlers…it was a fun family passata making affair where thru trial and error we worked out how to bottle tomatoes.

Traditional passata is simply ‘pureed ripe tomatoes’. It’s skin delicious!

TOMATO BEAUTY BENEFITS

Packed full of lycopene, this homemade passata recipe is a savior for your skin. It’s high fat solubility makes it especially effective in your skin.  This provides us with a better protection against damaging UV rays and creates the ultimate protection against sagging and wrinkles. Vitamin A acts to add shine to your hair and keep it strong while also protect your eyes and maintain their brightness. The process of cooking the tomatoes in this passata allows more lycopene to released, providing you and your skin with the best possible beauty food. 

HOMEMADE TOMATO PASSATA MAKING RECIPE

You need to have the right equipment – a food mill for separating the skin and seeds from the flesh, glass bottles and lids to bottle the sauce and a large sauce pan and strong gas burner to ‘boil’ the bottles are mandatory.

YOU’LL NEED

Box/es of ripe tomatoes – roma are best because of rich flavour and high level of solids which makes thicker more robust sauce.

HOW TO
  1. Wash the tomatoes and plunge them in hot water to loosen the skin.
  2. Pop into a colander to drain. You don’t want to dilute your sauce.
  3. Feed the tomato flesh through a food mill. This separates the skin and seeds from the pulp, unlike a food processor, which mangles them all up rather than making a fine flavoured sauce.
  4. The thicker the  liquid – the better the passata. If thin liquid runs – try to catch it separately and out aside.
  5. The passata is bottled, capped (tight), and placed in a large pot (lined with tea towels to prevent the jars cracking as they jostle). The bottles don’t need to be pre-heated to sterilised as the heating does that.
  6. Fill the large saucepan with warm water couple and boil for couple of hours to sterilise and preserve the passata. Make sure the whole of the bottle is covered.
  7. Take care when removing the jars (or leave them to cool in the water), and store in a cool, dark place.
TIPS

Make passata making into a day event  with lunch and get another family or 2 to come along. It will need a little organising -eg 4-6 boxes of tomatoes, large bowls, lots of jars, gas burner to set up outside to boil the jars, large mill to get the volume of sauce thru.  Lots of red wine, home made pasta, green salads…you get the idea!

Most importantly ensure the tomatoes are ripe..buy them at least 10 days before you make the passata to ensure they are deep red and ripe – this way the passata is sweeter, richer and more balanced.

I have lots of beautiful photos from the two times we have made passata but I can’t find them, one day I am sure they will turn up.

 

Freshly Bottled Tomato Passata

Tomatoes are rich in the fat soluble antioxidant lycopene which helps filter the suns UV rays from the inside out. Image source: Pinterest

 

Passata Making

Skinning the tomatoes in hot water for passata making. Image via Pinterest – City Hippy Farm Girl

 

Featured image on Pinterest via Vaniglia

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beauty benefits of tomatoes beauty food tomatoes luk beautifood

beauty food | tomato

BEAUTY FOOD FOR GLOWING SKIN | TOMATO

Tomatoes are a delicious skin food protecting skin from UV rays and free radicals for a smooth, even glowing appearance whilst helping to diminish lines.

Bright red and juicy, tomatoes are the world’s most popular fruit – and yes, we know what you’re thinking, they are technically a fruit.   Because there are so many ways you can prepare and eat tomatoes, there is no reason why can’t feed your skin this delicious fruit every day.

FOOD ACTIVES:

Antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin A and vitamin C, fibre, vitamin K, copper and potassium.

BEAUTY BENEFITS:

Lycopene is twice as effective an antioxidant as vitamin A, making it a savior for your skin! It’s high fat solubility makes it especially effective in tissues which are full of fats and lipids such as our skin. This makes it perfect for UV protection as it is always ready to protect the skin from the suns rays. Vitamin A acts to add shine to your hair and keep it strong by protecting it from free radicals. It also works protect your eyes and maintain their brightness, vitamin K lessens darker patches which can form under the eyes, both working to refresh your complexion with an all natural glow.

 COOK:

Tomatoes can be eaten in so many ways such as raw, canned or cooked making it easy for you to protect your skin.

TIP:

Cooking tomatoes allows more lycopene to be released providing a greater protection against free radicals.

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PRINT YOUR TOMATOES BEAUTY FOOD BITE

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

DIY Mask for Summer Spots

DIY Face Mask to lighten and blur sun spots

Summer is at its end, and if you’re like me and love to spend time outside, chances are a few extra sun spots have appeared and your existing ones may have darkened. Instead of spending thousands on painful, invasive laser treatments try our beautifully thin and light DIY face mask, specifically tailored to lighten and blur those sun spots.

Our DIY face mask combines apple cider vinegar, lemon and honey to help minimise the appearance of sun spots (and hyperpigmentation) whilst moisturising and nourishing the skin.

Apple cider vinegar helps to inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment in the skin that creates dark spots and helps them to appear lighter over time. It’s also a great natural option for those who suffer from breaks outs as it is a natural source of Alpha Hydroxy Acids [a mild acid used in many face creams] which helps to remove dead skin cells and balance the PH levels of the skin. It is also a natural antibacterial.

Apple cider vinegar can trigger irritation for those with sensitive skin so we recommend doing a patch test first.

Lemons are a fantastic skin lightener as they are packed full of  antioxidants which are proven to reduce the amount of melanin that is produced when applied to your skin and used regularly. The citric acid also works as a natural exfoliant to break and remove dead skin skills which is essential to a lighter, glowing complexion.

And finally, the skin superfood: honey. Honey draws moisture into the skin, therefore acting as an emollient in skin lightening, meaning it helps to soothe and soften the skin as the lemon and apple cider vinegar work their magic.

For best results, do this mask once a week and incorporate Lee Holmes’ beauty trick into your daily routine: dabbing a mixture of fresh lemon and apple cider vinegar to your dark spots each night before bed. We also recommend you invest in a natural sunscreen or tinted moisturiser with SPF to prevent any further damage.

HOW TO

1. Combine 1/2- 1 tablespoons of raw organic honey and 1-2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar [ensure that is has ‘the mother’]

[TIP: ensure the honey is a room temperature before starting as it will be alot easier to mix and combine the ingredients]

2. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon

3. Stir well

4. Apply to a clean face and leave for 10-20 minutes

5. Rinse with warm water and finish with your favourite natural beauty balm or moisturiser

RELAX & ENJOY

Click here to find more of our DIY spa recipes to nourish your skin, hair and body.

Aimee-Lili x

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Store in an air tight container at room temperate for up to 2-3 days
  • Patch test first to ensure you do not react with the apple cider vinegar
  • Obviously lemon can sting so avoid any areas of the skin that maybe broken, scabbed or raw

be delicious.... inside and out

 

Natural beauty

5 favorite natural makeup brands and where to buy

We know our lük women already glow from the inside out and that sometimes you want just a little extra radiance –  so do it the natural way with our guide to 5 top natural makeup brands.  

1. LUK LIP NOURISH – of course!

We are 100% natural lipstick made from superfoods. We have seven shades which are gently flavoured with cold pressed citrus and spice oils to give your lips a gorgeous sheer colour whilst nourishing and deeply moisturising them. We have a shade for everyone, click here to find out which one suits you best!

This year we’ll be developing more food-grade makeup but with organic, raw, vegan ingredients, so stay tuned!

One of our most popular natrual lipsticks: Orange & Juniper Lip Nourish in a sheer dusky pink

One of our most popular natural lipsticks: Orange & Juniper Lip Nourish in sheer dusky pink

2. ERE PEREZ

This is one of my personal favourites. They are an Australian owned company that produce natural make up from quality ingredients including organic oils, plant extracts and minerals that are gentle on the skin and packed full of antioxidants. With no animal testing and very reasonable prices, Ere Perez is at the top of our list.

My skin is super sensitive so it’s hard to find a foundation that won’t react with my skin or cause a break out but their oat milk liquid foundation is very gentle and has great coverage. Also, their award winning glossy black almond oil mascara, stays on for hours and never clumps! (But it does smudge quite easily when you first apply it, so give it a little time to ‘set’)

You can it find at Nourished Life or direct from their website.

Ere Perez Almond Oil Natural Mascara

Ere Perez Almond Oil Natural Mascara

3. 100% PURE

Is huge in the US and they are starting to make a name for themselves here in Aus. Their range of cosmetics and skin care is vegan, gluten free and made from 100% natural & organic ingredients plus they are one of the most affordable natural brands around.

I also personally love their  passion for cruelty free products. None of their products are tested on animals at any stage and even their make-up brushes are made from high quality synthetic fibres instead of animal fur!

My favourite product is their 100% natural, 100% vegetarian black tea mascara, which is coloured with black tea and berry pigments. It thickens and lengthens my lashes and are slightly more water and smudge resistant than Ere Perez’s almond oil mascara.

Our own Cindy Luken is big fan of their fruit pigmented lip cream sticks, that look gorgeous under any of our Lip Nourish. They are coloured with fruit and vegetable pigments instead of minerals and dyes. I love that these ‘lip liners’ don’t dry out my lips or leave a waxy finish.

You can find them  at luk beautifood!

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Creamstick

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Creamstick

4. LAVERA

From Germany, Lavera has a great range of organic cosmetics, mineral make up and self tanners made specifically for those with sensitive and allergy based skin. From ‘glow powders’ and liquid foundation to volumising mascara and award winning eyeliner, you will have no trouble finding a number of products to suit your colouring and skin type. They also have a number of gluten free and vegan products available.

But the Lavera favourite has got to be their 6-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream, a global best seller. It gives the skin a gorgeous dewy look (which I love as I have quite dry skin) whilst providing good, light coverage. The best part – it’s made from organic acai berry which moisturises the skin and is full of wrinkle-fighting antioxidants.

My other favourite from Lavera is their beautifully gentle, vegan eye make remover.

You can find them at BioLiving

5. RMS

My favourite thing about RMS is the fact their philosophy is not just about making great organic make up but is also to create products that actually heal and nourish your skin. All their products are formulated with raw, food grade organic ingredients full of living enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. They are also free of all toxins, synthetic preservatives, damaging chemicals and are gluten, GMO and soy free. WOW. Many of their products use coconut oil as a base.

We love their gorgeous lip2cheek balm. It comes in six different shades from sheer coral to ‘true’ red and gives a gorgeous natural colour that can be applied to both lips and cheeks. My favourite is the ‘promise’ shade which is salmon-pink with a really subtle shimmer. It gives my cheeks a really nice ‘warm’ tint and is the perfect handbag accessory so you never get caught out!

Now, although I have not personally tried the RMS’ ‘living luminizer’ I could not miss giving it a mention as I have heard so many good things about it and it is their BIGGEST seller. It’s described as ‘ultra sheer’ with a ‘stain pearl finish’ that highlights the skin and creates a natural ‘luminous glow’ without being sticky or greasy. This is one is definitely on my list.

Buy direct from their website or at MV Organic Skincare

RMS Lip2Cheek

RMS Lip2Cheek

 

We hope you love these natural make-up brands as much as we do!

Aimee-Lili x  be delicious.... inside and out

 

 

DIY Strawberry Face Scrub

For bright, glowing skin, it’s just as important to exfoliate as it is to moisturise. Without exfoliating, dead skin cells start to pile up on the skin’s surface leaving it looking dull, dry and ‘rough’. Try our super easy strawberry face scrub and let your skin shine!

Strawberries are a proven beauty enhancers, containing vitamin C, salicylic acid, antioxidants and natural exfoliating properties to brighten skin and clear complexion. Salicylic acid removes dead cells from the face whilst vitamin C works to improve collagen production.

Strawberries also contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which, when applied to the skin, help to break up the outer layer of dead skin.

By adding a small squeeze of lemon to the mix you’ll get an extra kick of vitamin C and antioxidants. Lemon also contains a natural acid which helps remove the dead layer of skin from the face while the sweet almond oil in this recipe will moisturise, nourish the ‘new’ skin cells.

This recipe is safe for those who suffer from acne as both lemon and strawberries are both great natural disinfectants and help to heal up blemishes, sores, acne scars, and skin rashes.

HOW TO

1. Finely mash with a fork or puree three to four fresh, preferably organic, strawberries [with the tops cut off]

2. Add in a small squeeze of fresh lemon

3. Add a tablespoon of brown sugar and about two teaspoons of sweet almond oil

4. Stir well.

5.  Gently massage into clean skin [I cleansed my skin and removed all make up first] and wash off with warm water. Follow with your preferred moisturiser or try one of our DIY face masks if your skin is particularly dry.

Relax and Enjoy

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Store in an air tight container in the fridge but do not keep for longer than a day or two.
  • You can grate some fresh lemon into to the mix

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be delicious.... inside and out

Natural Beauty interview with Vanessa Gray of www.vanessamegan.com

Vanessa Gray is the founder and director of her own luxury, organic and eco-friendly skincare company †˜Vanessa Megan’. Her philosophy is †œyou should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat” so naturally we were drawn to her to be our ‘delicious woman’ of October.

Starting out in her own kitchen in 2009, Vanessa made natural skin care products for friends and family. Word grew quickly and within 9 months, her range was being sold all over Australia. Read on to find out how she did it.

Vanessa looking gorgeous at Marrickville's 'West Juliett' Café

Vanessa looking gorgeous at Marrickville’s ‘West Juliett’ Café for her interview

 

West Juliett's amazing baked treats

West Juliett’s amazing baked treats

 

VANESSA’S GORGEOUS BUSINESS

Tell us about your journey. How did you go from being an actress and a model to creating your own business?

After modelling for a number of years  I went through a bit of a crisis when I was 22. I was freaking out about what I was going to do with my life so I started acting and eventually got into NIDA.  I absolutely loved acting but all through my time at NIDA  I was always really into essential oils, herbs and herbal teas for people suffering from different ailments from pimples to migraines. I was kind of like the witch doctor.

Not long after I graduated from NIDA I was speaking to a friend who told me, “you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat” and that just made so much sense to me, it was my light bulb moment.

The day after that I went out to find a skin care range with no chemicals in it and there was nothing. So, I started researching and developing this love for biochemistry. Then I began creating my own products for friends and family which they absolutely loved and it just evolved from there. That was in 2001.

When I began branding the products, I decided to call the business Vanessa Megan because when I was going through hard times my dad called me his “strong butterfly” because Vanessa means butterfly and my middle name, Megan, means strong and I really loved that concept and the whole metamorphous of the butterfly and doing that naturally with our skin.

Then in 2008 I started a stall at the Bondi Markets with nine products and two weeks later someone came up to my stall who was on their phone saying “yeah yeah i’m here what do you want” and it was like oh my god, I got a request! Then when word grew and I got into a couple shops and a couple more until eventually I couldn’t sustain it in my apartment so I got a warehouse in Marrickville where we still make everything onsite.

And now, over 10 years later, I  get up every morning and I do what I love. That’s something my parents always said to me: do what you love and it won’t be a job, if you’re doing something that you love then money will follow.

In New South Wales alone our products are sold in About Life, Natural Progression Nutrition and Health, Dr Earth, Yoganic Pregnancy Yoga Studio, Body Mind Life, Go Vita, Iku, Mr Vitamin, Healthlands Leichardt, House of Yoga, Spell and Sydney Nourished Life Showroom.

[For Vanessa Megan’s full retail and online stocklists around Australia head to her website where you can find the perfect product for your skin ranging roughly from $10-$150]

You’re philosophy and inspiration continues to be †œyou should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat† tell us about that and how you apply it to your products?

First of all, we source the best quality ingredients and get everything tested and if it doesn’t pass we send it back. Plus, we now have our Australian Certified Organic [ACO] accreditation which has been three years in the making!

All ingredients are plant based and from a natural source because I really believe that we can get great skin from the earth, I mean, what person have you seen using a generic anti-wrinkle cream that has given them that ‘magical’  transformation that everyone wants?

We still make everything by hand and don’t use alcohol in any of our products, which is often used as an anti-fungal and anti-mould agent but it dries your skin out so we’ve found this fantastic preservative which is a radish root extract. We’ve also got this new anti-ageing ingredient from a flower bulb as well as many other amazing skin loving extracts from natural sources which no else is using.

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Vanessa Megan’s Blood Orange Foaming Body Wash from the new ‘Body and Home’ Range

Vanessa Megan's Bergamont Shaving Cream for Men

Vanessa Megan’s Bergamont Shaving Cream for Men

 

What is a typical work day for you?  

Every day is different- I get into work at about 7:30am, do a little work out with my neighbour every third day, meditate before my staff arrive to get me ready for the day and then start working at 9am, going through till about 6pm, sometimes later. During the day it’s a mish mash of everything which is hard but I have a beautiful team behind me that helps me.

I used to be work work work, working on weekends, nights, everything, because there was such an expansion in the business that I really needed to give my all. The business is my baby so I needed to give it all my attention but I’m much better now at having that work/life balance.

For others out there wanting to start their own business, what is your advice?

Starting a business; if you’re going to be taken seriously you need to get your foundations laid down straight. Take your business seriously and take yourself seriously and whatever your strength is, stay there and whatever your weakness is be honest with yourself and get others to do it for you.

Also, have a great relationship with your bank, your accountant and lawyer, it makes life so much easier if you have that trust in them.

BEAUTY

What are the benefits of using organic, chemical-free products on your skin? Tell us about the differences you can see and feel?

From the feedback we get, the results are almost instant. The fact that you’re putting completely natural products on your skin makes such a difference to how it looks and feels. It’s like the difference between drinking a can of coke and a green smoothie, you can really feel it.

I think in 5 to 10 years time, we’ll look back on the products we used to use and say “can you believe we put these chemicals on our skin?!”

Also, when people use organic, chemical-free products they don’t wear as much make up as your skin has already got that glow.  Our NEO face oil is our biggest seller, made up of argan oil, sea buck oil and pumpkin seed, because it instantly gives you this gorgeous, natural glow. Personally it’s all I wear in summer.

anessa explains to us how she gets 'the glow', the natural way

Vanessa explains to us how she gets ‘the glow’, the natural way

How important is it for your health and your skin to use products free from chemicals?

Its really important.

Parabens and Polyethylene Glycols [PEG] which are in nearly all skin products are being linked to breast cancer. When you think about the amount that’s in most deodorants that you put on every single day in an area that’s part of the lining of your breast tissue, it really rings true that these chemicals are being ingested by your skin.

Other harmful ingredients include mineral oils, which are the second biggest ageing agent, number one is the sun, and they’re in 90% of skin care.  They’re actually a petrochemical and also come under the name of “liquid paraffin”. They don’t allow anything good to be absorbed into your skin and they block anything bad from getting out- they’re stopping your body’s major organ from breathing.

The top 4 ingredients we say to watch out for that are mineral oils, Sodium laurel sulphates [SLS’s], parabens and PEGs.

What is your daily ‘skin routine’?

I always cleanse and wash my face at the end of the day. In Summer I only use our Petitgrain Cleanser and the NEO oil and then in Winter when the atmosphere is much dryer, I use our rose and chamomile cream or the marine collagen anti-ageing cream . I’ve also just begun using our new serum ‘Resurrect’  for extra hydration and anti-ageing benefits but that’s it – I’m a simple girl.

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Vanessa Megan’s Nature’s Elixir Face Oil Serum

What is your best kept beauty secret?

There are a few beauty tips straight from your fridge which I would never even try to replicate.

One of my favourites is a face mask I make out of Greek yoghurt and turmeric. Just mix the two together,  apply to dry skin, wash it off after 10-20 minutes and all the redness in the skin is gone. It’s especially great for thread veins, redness and spots, even my pigmentation goes down when I use it, it’s unbelievable! Whenever I do one every asks me what I have done to my skin!

[See this month’s DIY beauty mask recipe we were inspired to create for you]

FOOD

How do you nourish your body from the inside to keep yourself looking gorgeous on the outside? Can you see the difference that eating organic, nourishing, wholefoods has on your skin, eyes, hair and nails?

I have always been a really healthy eater,  in portion size and as well as with what I eat. Luckily I’m much more of a savoury person because I do notice if I do have chocolate i’ll get a pimple, it sounds silly but what I eat really effects my skin.

I eat a lot of “skin loving” quinoa salad…I have a quinoa salad recipe and it has become very famous in my circle of friends. Everywhere we go they ask if I can make some quinoa salad and even though I have shown my friends how to make it three times they say theirs never tastes the same as mine!

Vanessa’s ‘famous’ quinoa salad|

What you need

  • 1 ½ metric cups of quinoa
  • 3 metric cups water
  • 1 bunch Gai-lan
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves purple garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

For the dressing:

  • Juice the lemons, removing pips and pour into an empty jar.
  • Add equal portions of olive oil.
  • Crush garlic cloves into the dressing.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

How to

  • Pour the quinoa & water into a saucepan, bring to the boil.
  • Turn down to low heat and put the lid on the saucepan. Cover until water has evaporated and the germ has popped out of the quinoa.
  • Take off heat.  Cool. [Alternatively you can soak the quinoa grain overnight, instead of cooking it]
  • Chop Gai-lan, like you would cabbage for a coleslaw and put in a large bowl.
  • Peel and slice carrots thinly, add to bowl.
  • Chop spring onion using white & green parts, add to bowl.
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  • Add quinoa to the other ingredients and pour dressing over the top.
    Mix well.

Describe your day on a plate for us:

Im not a big morning eater. I’ll get up, do my meditation, have a cup of black tea with honey and milk and then i’ll have yoghurt with a piece of fruit, rice bran and some nuts and dates.

For lunch, I’ll generally have some sort of ham and salad roll or sandwich and an apple.

For snacks, we have little healthy nibbles at the office like pepita slice.

At night, dinner is a super rich green leafy meal with some kind of organic meat like a slow roast chook. I’m big on organic meat and eggs. Some nights if i’m on my own  i’ll just have scrambled eggs with some quinoa! Easy, nourishing and tastes delicious.

I grew up on a farm so when I cook it’s very rustic. There’s nothing cavier about my cooking.

What are your top three †˜cant’ live without’ ingredients when you cook?

  1. Turmeric
  2. Quinoa
  3. Miso paste- this is my new ‘stock’. I’ve just started making slow roast lamb shoulder using brown rice miso paste instead of stock, mixed with balsamic, vinegar, coconut sugar which I pour over the lamb with some lemon and rosemary. It’s AMAZING.
LIFE

What is happiness to you?

Happiness to me keeps evolving. Being a new learner of meditation,  happiness to me at the moment is being in a space of ‘no thought’ and having space around you to breath.

In meditation there’s a place I go to where I’m just in pure joy and that’s happiness. When there’s no thought, I’m in bliss.

What is the best advice you have ever been given and how do you live it?

Mum and dad have always said “follow you heart” which has really stuck with me. “Follow your heart and everything else with follow, follow your dreams,  trust your intuition.” I feel really blessed I have such a supportive family.

What is your personal Monday morning mantra? What gets you out of bed?

I’m more visual. I use visualisation to project where I want to be. The power of the mind is so great; if you visualise what you want from the day ahead and put it out there into the universe, it will come to you. I do this in all areas of my life. I see myself as happy and I don’t know quite how I’ll get there but I know I will happen somehow.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future personally and for Vanessa Megan?

For the business, it’s on the cusp of turning into a new era. It’s really exciting what we’ve done with our certified organic facelift!

And personally, I would love a family. I’d also love my own hobby farm with a big house and a veranda that goes all the way around and big veggie patch!

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Vanessa Megan’s Bubba Bath Massage Oil from the Baby Range

If you’re not already a fan of Vanessa’s products, then unlock the beauty for your self at Vanessa Megan website  like her on facebook at or you can book tickets to one of  ‘about life’s’ healthy skin evenings where Vanessa will take you through a DIY facial, advise on which products will suit your specific skin needs and talk about skin healthy foods [or as we call them, beautifoods], with tips on how to include them in your diet. For more details and to book tickets, head to About Life. 

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