Ethical Organic Skin Care : The Body Shop Nutriganics

As I work towards being more ethical in the products I use, I am still on the search for natural skin care that is best for me.

My problems are; dry to very dry skin, occasional pimples on my cheeks, nose & chin, black pores on my nose, dark circles under my eyes & a general dull look.

The assistant at my beloved The Body Shop recommended me this series - ‘Nutriganics’ Refreshing Toner and Drops of Youth. I will use this with The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream daily and post up reviews in about 2 weeks! So far, pretty good :)

from Tumblr


Sick as a dog.

Not that I dislike dogs and wish to use their name in a negative way, but I am a big cat lover.

That aside, I am sick.

Not sick so as I am coughing in bed with a fever, but there is something fishy going on with my body. These recent years I appear to have an outburst of odd illnesses which I have never really experienced in the past all at once, be fine for a while, then get a sudden outburst again.

What I was prescribed only to stop the itchiness, not fix it.
It started off in what I recall was mid-January of this year, when I found out from a dermatologist visist that I have 'pityriasis rosea Gibert'...again. The previous time I had it about 2 years ago I had a handful of other illnesses too, however the pity-rose-whatnot ended up to be nothing serious and it was gone within a month.

This time, I'm not so lucky. It started out around my back, waist and tummy area, and then spread all over down my arms and around my ankles and calves. It is also incredibly itchy. I would suddenly notice my unstoppable twitching fingers scraping my skin when I was asleep or when I would be deep in thought. This has lead to horrible "scrape-y" skin which bleeds when I catch it on things or when I scratch without much thought. Luckily on my arms it's not too noticeable, and I can easily cover my arms, legs, back and chest. But it still leaves me feeling blue.

Illness number 2 is that my right toenail has gotten infected.
I originally lost my nail about 2 years ago because, being the graceful creature I am, I thwacked it against the pavement. Because of that I began going to a nail salon to have my toes shellac-ed, adding sculpture/acrylic nails to my sorry looking stub of keratin to make it look longer and like, well....a normal nail. It had worked fine all this time, especially as my natural nail had begun to grow. However, when I went to the salon to have them redone last week I was told by the lovely lady there who often sees to my BFG tootsies that it appeared to be infected, and that I should get it seen by a doctor and not have my nails done.
Back to the dermatologist I go, then...

The third is an odd one, as I am not entirely sure if it is an illness or not.
About a month ago, I noticed a squeezing, slightly painful sensation in the upper area of my left side, above my breast. I thought nothing of it at first, as I think I had had a similar experience before and it has always resulted to nothing by the time I'd forgotten about it. Yet this time, it happened once a day about every 2 days, and then at one point I had it once a day for 2 days, then twice a day. But then nothing again for about a week.
It suddenly attacked me again yesterday evening, so I decided on going to see a doctor who specialised in internal medicine ("naika" in Japanese). I had my both my heart and lungs checked, to a result of "nothing peculiar".
It is a relief to know my heart and lungs are of good health but still worrying as I still occasionally get a tingling sensation in my left chest and below my ribs. After discussing it with a number of people I was told that it could be something in my breast such as the mammary gland, or maybe something to do with my nerves system.
It's annoying as it isn't such a pain, both metaphorically and literally, that I can't do anything, yet by the time I forget I feel sudden jabs. I'm not really sure what doctor I should go to if I do need to go to one. I suppose I should get everything checked up on, even if it does end up to be nothing and a one-time thing.

On the other hand, the wheels have started turning on both my new jobs. It's quite exciting! Though I really don't need or can't be sick. I should probably overlook my general lifestyle in terms of health too.

The Search for beauty products not Tested on Animals in Japan

Looking back at my sorry resolutions list, I noted that I hadn't done as much charity or ethical work as I could have.

I think some people will agree that it's difficult to try and actively participate in charity events in our busy schedules, as well as trying to donate on a regular basis when one slaps their hand to their forehead when they see this month's heating bill. Which is why, as I suggested in a previous post, one way of trying is by making it a part of our daily lives.

One of the ways we can do this, especially us women, is to think about what beauty and skin products we use.

Since there is a now an EU Official ban on animal testing since March 2013 it may seem safer to buy European brands, but it's difficult to say as animal testing is still legal in countries such as China, and some brands may continue to have their products tested there. As I found on this post at 'People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' website, we must beware of companies "concealing the whole truth from customers".

In terms of Japan, being in Asia, though appearing to have a few laws, things are rather blurred when it comes to animal testing. It was difficult for me to find some sort of solid source stating that animal testing is illegal or banned here, which leads to me thinking it isn't (one source here). If you clicked the link above for the post at the PETA site, you'll see that big Japanese brand 'Shiseido' eliminated animal testing quite recently, but it's only "mostly". Therefore, unless the company boldly states it is animal testing-free, background research is needed to find "cruelty free" Japanese cosmetics.

I will admit that, because at one point last year I wasn't earning a lot of money, I had to resort to cheap make up and skincare, one of them being the Korean brand 'ETUDE HOUSE'. I researched into this brand, and found that though "customer services claim that they don't test on animals, their head offices were unable to confirm further". Their uncertain response has made me certain that I won't be buying their products again, also as I hear that Korean beauty products sold in Japan are not safe (though I'll post about that another time).
You can find a list of beauty products that are cruelty free and sold in Korea at this website.

As a result, I have decided in myself that I will try and stick mostly to buying products which openly and confidently state that they;
  • have never tested their products on animals and do not plan to do so
  • uses organic, natural ingredients not containing any substance of animals in a way that may harm them
  • support fairtrade
The companies I have found to best fit the above are; The Body Shop, LUSH and L'occitane.
The ironic yet wonderful thing is that two of those companies are British!

Yet, everyone's skin type and make-up preference is different, as is mine. Although I wish to stick with these three, I would still like to find the best products that fit me. In that case, I will search for other products, but make sure I do background research. Check out this great link which lists all Japanese companies that are animal cruelty free, as it lists cleaning products, baby care products and even toothpaste!

It now leaves me looking at my still-in-use Japanese make up products with unease (especially as I found out that Kanebo still test on animals). When I think of money and waste, I don't want to throw it away, but I will feel a bit sick when I put my usual eyeliner on my eyelid. Though, when I think of the pain the animal went through, or how many poor animals were lost to create such product, I feel like I must use the product till the end for the sake of those poor souls.

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