Supercharge your skin with Tropic’s little bottle of green goodness!

Winner of the Best New Skincare Product Launch 2016/17 at the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2017, Tropic’s gorgeous super green skin saviour is not to be missed.

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It turns out, Mum was right…eating your greens really can improve your health! And now you can go one step further by massaging them directly into your skin! A few drops a day of this healthy green juice will boost your skin’s natural defences and nutrient levels, leaving you with a bright, healthy-looking complexion that’s full of vitality. This fast absorbing, lightweight serum is especially effective on skin that’s irritated, red, sensitive, blemished or tired looking. And what’s more, it’s 100% naturally derived (not even a synthetic preservative in sight), freshly handmade, cruelty-free and vegan friendly. What’s not to like?

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Tropic have harnessed the power of 18 pure plant extracts within the Super Greens to deliver a myriad of skin benefits. Here’s just a few of the hero ingredients that make this serum so effective…

Super Greens Ingredients

Green Coffee Oil – Rich in natural caffeine to energise the skin, brighten your complexion and supercharge your anti-ageing game plan.

Tamanu Oil – Accelerates skin repair and reduces blemishes.

Sea buckthorn – Helps to treat Rosacea and Acne.

Super Greens Ingredients 2
Kale, Chlorophyll, and Maca Root Extracts – These superfoods deliver essential vitamins and minerals to the deeper layers of your skin, to boost skin health and its natural defences. Bid farewell to unwanted blemishes thanks to kale extract’s high vitamin K content, and call on Maca root extract to increase collagen production for firmer, younger looking skin.

Marula Oil – This oil is incredibly rich in fatty acids, helping to calm skin irritation and soothe redness. Marula oil is traditionally used by Ovambo women in northern Namibia for its nourishing properties.

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Tropic’s Super Greens retails at £42 which might seem a bit pricey, but with only a few drops a day required and coming in an easy to dispense dropper bottle, this little beauty will keep you going longer than you think! And, from now until midnight on the 8th of May 2017, I’m offering a £10 discount off of the Super Greens when you spend £30 or more on any other Tropic Skincare products from my personal website… http://www.tropicskincare.co.uk/shop/lindsaycope

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Eat Beautiful by Neal’s Yard Remedies

Beauty can mean different things to different people. For some it’s an outward appearance, for others it’s an internal feeling or quality and how these are radiated on the outside. After all, people are often described as being “beautiful on the inside and out”. So perhaps beauty is best considered a combination of factors, and ultimately the way we look on the outside as a reflection of what’s going on on the inside.

I was recently gifted the Eat Beautiful book by Neal’s Yard Remedies. Written by a nutritional therapist, a naturopathic herbalist and a qualified homeopath and naturopath, this book is all about enhancing beauty through diet to help us feel and look our best at any age. It tells us how we can cleanse and detox our bodies and details which foods are our beauty superfood heroes, even splitting them into categories; foods for the face, body, hair, hands and feet, and mouth. It also provides 100 mouth-watering beauty-enhancing recipes!

If you’re interested in clean eating and healthy living, this book is definitely worthy of its £16.99 price tag and a space on your bookshelf.

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This week I tried out their Courgette Noodles with Basil Pesto recipe. They even include a dairy-free alternative recipe for the pesto suitable for Vegans and the dairy intolerant – as a Vegan, I opted for this version. This recipe was highlighted as being good for anti-ageing, skin smoothing, skin calming, and for healthy teeth and gums and here’s why…

…Courgettes
Refreshing courgettes have an especially high water content that makes them super-hydrating for our skin and gums. They’re also naturally high in the anti-ageing antioxidant betacarotene and Vitamin C, which promotes clear, firm skin.

…Pine Nuts
“With anti-inflammatory properties, pine nuts help soothe and calm sensitive skin, and their high vitamin E content adds lustre and shine to dull hair”. They also provide important minerals for teeth health and the final sprinkling of pine nuts in this recipe will also help to remove stains by exfoliation.

…Lemon Zest and Juice
Citrus fruits increase saliva flow and contain a lot of water which helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth.

…Olive Oil
“A good source of skin-repairing antioxidant vitamin E, the fat in olive oil is up to 75% omega-9 (oleic acid), which aids the absorption of omega-3 fats, enhancing our uptake of nutrients. And cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is especially good for dry skin as it has anti-inflammatory properties”.

Recipe
For the Courgette Noodles…
Place two spiralized courgettes (one yellow and one green) in a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and if desired, a little lemon zest. Combine with your hands.

For the Pesto…
Pulse together one clove of garlic, a pinch of pink Himalayan salt, and 30g of fresh basil leaves. Add 30g of pine nuts and pulse again. Add 30g of Parmesan (or 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes if Vegan) and then add 70ml olive oil and blitz again. (Browning the pine nuts in a dry pan for three minutes prior to blitzing can also add a deeper flavour which is lost if not using cheese). Season with freshly ground black pepper and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Put a dollop of pesto onto the noodles, add a sprinkle of pine nuts, and serve.

And here’s my result…

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Ok, so I may not have had both yellow and green courgettes as the recipe recommended, and I may not own a spiralizer, so had to make do with julienne courgettes instead. But although my attempt may not look quite as pretty as it does in the book, it was incredibly tasty! This really is a winning recipe if you’re looking for a quick, filling, healthy, beauty-enhancing meal. Delicious and nutritious!

For more beauty-enhancing recipes, get your hands on Neal’s Yard’s Eat Beautiful book here

Is your sunscreen actually doing you more harm than good?

With summer soon to be upon us, sunscreen is a pretty hot topic at Pura Vida at the moment, and one I’m keen to share with you.

We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun, right? It’s something that’s been drummed into us from an early age by our parents, doctors, teachers, and a multitude of marketing campaigns. In fact UVA and UVB rays are the primary causes of skin ageing and skin damage, and are commonly linked to skin cancer. So, there really is no question – sun protection is literally the most important thing you can do for your skin. But, what if I told you there are two kinds of sunscreen – Chemical and Physical – and that the former could actually be putting you and our environment at greater risk?

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The Body Burden
So let’s think about things from a health perspective to start with.

Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients (chemical filters) which absorb UV radiation to prevent them from penetrating the skin. However many of these chemicals are actually highly toxic and damaging to our bodies. After all, let’s not forget our skin is a semi-permeable membrane which means much of what we put onto it is absorbed into our blood stream, and fast. And what’s worse is that these chemicals have the ability to bioaccumulate in our bodies, gradually increasing our toxicity over time and disrupting normal bodily functions.

A study in the US called the National Biomonitoring Study is the world’s largest test to determine just how much our bodies are burdened by these synthetic chemicals. The researchers assess exposure to 200 man-made chemicals in 2500 test subjects of varying ages, ethnicities and geographical locations every other year. Through biomonitoring they can assess the environmental chemicals to which people have been exposed and also the amounts of these chemicals that are actually in people’s bodies. The latest results detected known carcinogenic (cancer-promoting), synthetic chemicals in almost 100% of the test subjects, including those chemicals found in chemical sunscreens. In fact, it’s been found that the amount of time these synthetic chemicals can remain in our bodies can be anything from a number of hours up to a number of decades after exposure!

One of the most common and troublesome chemicals found in most high street brands of sunscreen is Oxybenzone. Whilst it’s effective at absorbing UV radiation, it’s also been found to have hormone disrupting qualities and promote the growth of cancer cells (source) – ironically the very thing we’re trying to prevent by using sunscreen in the first place! And worryingly, due to its small molecular size, this is one of those chemicals that can potentially remain in our bodies for years!

According to the Environmental Working Group, “commonly used in sunscreens, the chemical Oxybenzone penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like oestrogen in the body. It can trigger allergic reactions. Data are preliminary, but studies have found a link between higher concentrations of Oxybenzone and health harms. One study has linked Oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of Oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters”. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are plenty more studies like these linking Oxybenzone to a vast array of serious health concerns.

Then there’s Retinyl Palmitate (a form of vitamin A). A report published in 2012 by the National Toxicology Program suggests that Retinyl Palmitate may speed the development of skin tumours and lesions when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight. Again suggesting that “sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A and its derivatives, Retinol, and Retinyl Palmitate” (Dr Mercola, 2014).

The Environmental Concern
But things don’t just stop there. If all of this wasn’t already scary enough, let’s now look at the environmental issues of using chemical sunscreen, in particular the detrimental impact it’s having on our coral reefs.

The well-being of our coral reefs and marine life is a hotly discussed topic at the moment and it’s easy to see why. Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet and are really important in the ever-increasing fight against global warming. They serve as ‘carbon sinks’, absorbing carbon dioxide and helping to alleviate climate change to protect the global environment. 90% of the Great Barrier Reef is already dead – a very sad, but true fact.

A recent study published by the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology found that Oxybenzone (yes, the same Oxybenzone that promotes cancer cell growth and hormone disruption in people) has toxic effects on young coral that causes endocrine disruption, DNA damage to the coral, heightened coral bleaching (a process by which coral lose their pigmentation and subsequently reject symbiotic organisms), and even coral death. And according to the Archives, between 6,000 and 14,000 TONNES of sunscreen end up in coral reef areas each year from swimmers, scuba divers, and snorkellers! Lead researcher and author Omri Bronstein explained how this was a huge amount of sunscreen considering how little it takes for toxic effects to occur – the research shows that toxicity to coral reef occurs at a concentration of 62 parts per trillion. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of one drop of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool! Ultimately, the study concluded that “Oxybenzone poses a hazard to coral reef conservation and threatens the resiliency of coral reefs to climate change”.

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(Image courtesy of R. Vevers, XL Catlin Seaview Survey).

 
So where do we go from here?
I expect you’re wondering why chemical sunscreens are so popular? Well, it’s simple – money. They’re quick and easy to formulate which means they’re cheap. And that’s all.

But fear not, there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel – and it comes in the form of Physical sunscreen! Physical sunscreens use mineral filters (normally zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) that physically reflect and block the sun’s rays – they literally form a suit of armour on your skin. Their particle size is much larger than the chemical filters found in chemical sunscreens which means they aren’t even absorbed into your blood stream. So what’s great is that whilst they’re reflecting the UV rays back into the atmosphere, they’re completely inert, meaning they aren’t causing any other damage to your skin or body. Seems like common sense to me, whilst you’re protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, you shouldn’t in the process be causing it any other kind of damage, right?

And furthermore, due to their naturally derived ingredients, using a mineral sunscreen is kinder to the coral reefs and marine life and thus avoids contributing to the problem of climate change as well! Win-win.

Top 5 Reasons for choosing Mineral over Chemical sunscreen:
1. No nasty chemicals absorbed into our bodies.
2. No risk of cancer-promoting cell damage.
3. No hormone disrupting properties.
4. No risk to coral reef and marine life.
5. Does not contribute to climate change and global warming – in fact by switching to a mineral sunscreen, you’ll help to protect the coral reef and slow the rate of global warming.

Introducing Tropic Skin Shade Mineral Sun Protection…
Tropic offer a broad spectrum (protects from UVA and UVB rays), water resistant mineral sunscreen range to keep skin protected from the sun, and prevent premature skin ageing. With an SPF range of 15, 30 and 50, there’s something to suit all. They’ve even got a tinted sun protection for the face when foundation isn’t required.

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10 Reasons why Tropic Skin Shade should be your go-to sunscreen…
1. Naturally derived.
2. Chemical-free.
3. Fragrance-free which means they’re perfect for children and anyone with sensitive skin. (In fact, before I knew any better, I spent years trying to find a sunscreen that I wouldn’t react to, and it was near impossible! Now I realise that I probably have a sensitivity to Oxybenzone so mineral sunscreen and Tropic Skin Shade in particular has been a game changer for me – no stinging, no rash, no blotchiness!).
4. Water resistant.
5. New innovative technology in the formulation process means Tropic’s sunscreens are much easier to rub in than other mineral sunscreens – even the factor 50.
6. Skin-coloured lotion makes them blend translucently onto the skin, which means you aren’t left looking like a snowman for 10 minutes after application! Always a bonus!
7. Applies as a cream, but dries with a non-sticky, powder finish that’s great for those who hate collecting sand on the beach! (I swear this stuff was made with me in mind!)
8. Extracts of Australian kakadu and illawarra plum provide immediate and long-lasting hydration and nourishment for the skin, and are also rich in antioxidants that protect your skin from free radicals.
9. Two shades of tinted skin shade for the face – perfect for those who want a little bit of coverage whilst make-up free.
10. Cruelty-free and Vegan friendly.

Sound too good to be true?
In a word, No. The only downside is that mineral sunscreen is more expensive to formulate and so it’s a little bit pricier than chemical sunscreen. Tropic’s Skin Shade retails at £28 for 200ml.

There’s no question that we all love a bargain, but surely we’ve all got to start asking ‘at what cost?’. With all things considered, £28 seems like a very small price to pay, doesn’t it?

You can purchase your Tropic Skin Shade direct from Pura Vida here or contact us to find out about free local delivery in the Bath and BANES area.