Sorry folks for taking sooooooo long to get back onto this website and back into the throw of all things skincare-y. I have still been trading, albeit slightly low key, but have been somewhat distracted this year up until now.
Some major changes have taken place in my home and work life, and i have been attending to those - adjusting to life as a single mother, adjusting to life as an 'employee' (its been some 10 years since i started freelancing and stopped being employed - back into the fold now as a Macmillan professional), and adjusting to life with (another!) new business venture.
So 'Single Parenting' has resulted from an unexpected turn of events in 2016. I am managing life maybe slightly better than expected (she says tentatively...) and i think me and the boys are doing ok. There's a lot of firsts to come.....in particular first Christmas without daddy at home....but if I brace myself, we seem to get through most things together.
As already mentioned, i've become 'employed' this year too. I have freelanced as an Occupational Therapist for around 10 years, but this year i decided to 'settle' down a little and commit myself to some permanent employment. I have loved freelancing so very much, that it was going to have to be a very special job that would lure me away from that - and special job it is! I am working under Macmillan for a local Palliative Care inpatient unit, with patients suffering from life-limiting or terminal conditions. I won't gush on too much about it here, but it would be fair to say that i adore the work and feel incredibly privileged to be part of something so very valuable and important.
The other enormous change that has occurred for me in 2016, is I have (again in an unexpected turn of events) launched another new business venture. Following the closure of a community hydrotherapy service, I launched a fundraising campaign and have been blessed to receive sufficient support to allow me to re-open the service under my own management. Hydrotherapy is a field in which i specialised very early on my Occupational Therapy career and it gives me great joy to now provide the service under my own North East Aquatic Therapy www.neaquatictherapy.org.uk
What remains to say, is THANK YOU. Thank you dear friends, and dear customers, for staying with me throughout this crazy year - despite things being so quiet on the skincare front. I am still trading, I am still creating, and I am looking forward to being able to now free up some time (and head space) to come back to my utter passion and love for this little company.
When I say things have been 'quiet' in this business in 2016........I might be forgetting to mention.......I did win a little award this year for my products once again. 4th year in a row..... Best keep on going then ;) xxxxx
I am frequently contacted by parents seeking advice on how to cope with their child's eczema, and so I thought I'd post up the typical type of recommendations that I make in one easy list.
I draw upon my experience as a parent of a child with eczema, my experience in natural skincare, and my experience as an Occupational Therapist - and I hope that in reading this, you find some useful tips as well as some comfort and reassurance. Here goes:
My family are still finding ways to stay on top of my son's eczema. And year after year we are
learning more about things that set it off, and things that soothe it.
Good luck. I feel your pain.
When my first son was battling eczema, the solution seemed to be so out of reach.
I tried different products – dozens of them.
i researched different ingredients.
i drove myself insane trying to find a way to end his suffering.
It consumed me. Day and night. (Yep I became quite a bore! My poor husband…..)
So son number two has been showing some signs of the dreaded eczema too. But I’m on it like a hawk.
My ingredient of choice is Shea butter. 100%. I love the stuff. My baby butter is rich in the stuff and my baby is lathered in it All. The. Time.
Because you see, I discovered the secret of heading it off at the pass. Or keeping it under control if you’re already it it’s clutches. There’s no magic remedy for eczema. No special magic ingredient. No one thing that works for all. It’s just incredibly simple really. Apply, apply, apply.
I expect my first son’s skin was somewhat dehydrated. I thought I was doing enough. Body butter in the morning. Body butter at night. But now I see the results on baby number two. I’m covering him, massaging him, stroking his skin with my delicious baby butter over and over again. Repeatedly through the day. And I seem to be winning this battle this time.
Find your product of choice (or mine!) and just keep going.
It really is that simple.
Did you know that here in the EU, there are no regulations governing use of the terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ in cosmetic labelling/branding? You can (if you have very little in the way of moral conscience) produce a cosmetic ‘health/beauty’ product that contains only a tiny amount of organic matter – and sell it to the consumer as ‘organic’.
Boots (the parent’s favourite no??) did this just recently – in 2012 the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) investigated Boots ‘little me organics oh so gentle body wash’. They concluded that the label was misleading, as organic ingredients made up only 5% of this product. And there are other culprits. Nivea ‘Pure and Natural’ handcream, is found to contain an ingredient (Methylisothiazolinone if you must know….) which is suspected to be carcinogenic. Organix ‘coconut shampoo’ apparently contains no organic ingredients whatsoever. According to Peter Melchett, Soil Association policy director, “Ingredients ofetn found in antifreeze, floor cleaner, oven cleaner and car oil, and ingredients banned in children’s food and toys are making their way into non-certified beauty products labelled as organic or natural due to a lack of industry regulation”
Oh. My. Lord.
I have a massive issue with this. Massive.
Seems that if you are big enough, brash enough, and (of course) high-profile enough, you can make any (very loosely termed) ‘beauty product’ out of any load of toxic old crap. And call it ‘natural’. Am i right?
I dont want to frighten you or anything – but here is a list of non-organic ingredients that the Soil Association has found in products labelled as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’:
If parenting is about keeping your kids at a distance. And teaching them to cope on their own. And refusing to give them things. And restricting, and routine, and ‘letting them know who’s boss’….. then i am happy to admit, i am really really rubbish at it.
My eldest son and i took a huge sack of stuff to the charity shop (thrift store) the other day. We have an agreement – if he helps me, he can choose a ‘new’ (used) toy from the same place that we deliver our bag.
When i was speaking with the shop assistant, i happened to mention that agreement. Her response really threw me. “You’ll create a bad habit there if you’re not careful”. I can only assume that by ‘bad habit’ she meant that my son will expect something for helping me.
Some people might call me ‘soft’, but when did being a parent become ‘them against us’? I mean, its ok to give my child a gift right? And its ok to ‘reward’ him for his help? We’re on the same ‘team’. And i love them. And this is not a military operation. I’m not raising a little army.
I’m regularly offered advice (aka opinions) on how to raise my kids. My neighbour will openly tell me that my ‘downfall’ (as she so kindly put it) is that i carry and cuddle my kids too much……that i pick them up when they want me. And that thats wrong.
There’s an army of folks ready to tell me how i should put my kids in their bedroom and let them cry to sleep. How thats the only way i’ll ever get them to sleep alone. The only way i’ll ever stop them waking in the night. I’d really rather not. I like my kids. Even if they do ‘play me like a fiddle’ (to quote another warning i received). Even if i don’t get nearly enough sleep. Even if i often wake with a tiny foot in my face, or a finger in my ear.
I’m not a perfect parent. I probably get it wrong at some point every day. But i love my kids, and i also like them. And here’s the ‘bad habits’ i am happily letting them develop:
1. When they cry, i cuddle them. And i love it.
2. If they need me in the night, they can have me. Anytime. For as long as they want.
3. I carry them. Albeit for less time than i could when they were tiny. But they like to be carried. So i carry them.
4. If they don’t want to eat it, they don’t have to eat it.
5. I buy them treats. When i feel like it. As often as i can afford.
6. If they help me, i reward them. Sometimes its a biscuit. Sometimes its a trip to the park. But i reward them.
7. They can make a mess. This is their house as well as mine. They can leave their toys on the floor, they can leave comics lying around, they can pull out the contents of the bookcase. We’ll tidy it before bed.
If cherishing and treating and keeping my kids close is creating ‘bad habits’, so be it. My kids won’t always be ‘kids’. For now, I’m just throwing myself into it. They’re kids – lets throw caution to the wind and just enjoy it.
I am obsessed with natural skincare – and in particular, natural skincare for children.