Organic Ecocert Sunscreens and Lovea

The weather is finally improving in Belgium and I was searching for organic ecocert – certified sunscreens! I found the French brand Lovea at Holland & Barrett (before De Tuinen) in Maastricht.

Organic Ecocert Lovea Sunscreen

Why I love Lovea’s organic ecocert products?

  • Natural (Ecocert/Cosmebio certified)
  • Mineral sunscreens, PABA & Paraben free
  • Safety formulas, complying with European standards
  • Very high UVA – UVB protection
  • Moisturizing properties (Monoï of Tahiti)
  • Water resistant, non greasy

Why 30+ SPFs?
In general, dermatologists suggest products with SPFs no lower than 30 and no higher than 50. In addition to an SPF of 30+, your sunscreen should include some combination of the following UVA-blocking ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, and oxybenzone. Sunscreens with both UVA and UVB protection may be labeled multi spectrum, broad spectrum, or UVA/UVB protection.

Why organic ECOCERT products?

 

Ecocert Logo


Founded in France in 1991 ECOCERT is one of the largest organic certification organisations in the world, carrying out inspections in over 80 countries. In relation to natural and organic cosmetics ECOCERT defines criteria for a natural and/or organic standard that guarantees respect for the environment throughout the production line, through respect for the consumer and the promotion of natural substances. ECOCERT is one of the most recognised organic certification bodies in the world and one of the most respected.

Clean Cuisine posted an interesting article about “The Organic Sunscreen Myth” and mentioned Lovea.

Scary Sunscreen Ingredients:

  • OMC (octyl methoxycinnamate)
  • Octocrylene
  • Avobenzone
  • Oxybenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Octinoxate
  • Octisalate
  • Micronized and Nano Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide

Read more about the trouble with Oxybenzone and other sunscreen chemicals and WebMD’s article about sunscreen labels.

 

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Neal’s Yard Remedies: Ethical Organic Health & Beauty

Neal’s Yard Remedies is an ethical organic health and beauty shop in London. It’s one of Britain’s best-loved beauty brands and I haven’t seen the brand in any other country yet. They won lots of health and beauty rewards (Natural Health Magazine Beauty Awards 2016, veggie award, winner CEW Beauty Award 2015 etc.) and I fell in love with the brand when I noticed the organically produced ingredients in the products.

Neal's Yard Remedies Covent Garden

In general, you see a lot of “organic” or “100% natural” on products’ packaging. However, when you look at the ingredients, they still contain  some toxic ingredients (I always try to search for eco-certified brands). Therefore, a few months ago I created the following “instaguide” for my instagram followers:

Instaguide series The Organic Label

 

They can make a screenshot and save it on their phone to always have it handy when they go shopping for non-toxic beauty and personal care products.

Now back to Neal’s Yard Remedies. In their Convent Garden’s store (their first shop opened in 1981), I mentioned I’m blogging about organic toxic-free products and they were really friendly and explained all the interesting products and the story behind the brand. For my skin issue (expression lines and combined skin) I got some samples that I will try out and review soon. They also mentioned that I have to drink lots of water and gave me brochures about herbal remedies. Aaaand I could NOT leave the store without buying their organic certified “Vitamin E and avocado night cream” and lengthening mascara. I will also post a review about them soon! 🙂

Neal's Yard Remedies Certifications

Inside Neal's Yard Remedies London

Inside Neal's Yard Remedies

 

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Organic Veggie Café in London

Hi Organic Lovers,

I’m back!

I recently moved to my new home in Belgium and didn’t have much time to spend on my blog. But I’m finally settled and found time to share my experience of my organic journey in London a few weeks ago.

As mentioned earlier in one of my posts, I lived in London for two years. I see it, after Belgium and NYC, as my 3rd home. London is super close to Belgium (approx. 2 hours from Brussels and via Eurostar). As a result, I go there often to combine business with pleasure hehe.

 

Wild Food Café Covent Garden

A few weeks ago, I had lunch at one of my favorite places in beautiful Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden: Wild Food Café. WFC is a raw and wholefood veggie café. Every time I go there, I have the feeling I’m in exotic Cuba! If you go there, you know what I mean! 🙂 The food is really fresh and from local independent suppliers and organic producers!

Wild Food Cafe Covent Garden

Wild Food Cafe Inside

Wild Food Cafe London

Wild Food Cafe London

If you love raw, vegan and nutrient-packed food you should definitely try out Wild Food Café!

Next week I will write about the health and skincare shop: Neal’s Yard Remedies. One of Britain’s best-loved beauty brands!

Stay tuned!

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Dragon Fruit: The Surprising Health Benefits

The Dragon Fruit (also called “pitaya”) is the fruit of the cactus genus Hylocereus. I believe it is an extremely beautiful fruit. It has its origins in Mexico, South America, and Central America. According to organicfacts.net, New World settlers probably brought it to Southeast Asian nations like Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, where it remains an important part of the dietary fruit intake.

Dragon FruitWhen you open the fruit, the texture is like a kiwi, and the meat is filled with small black seeds which must be chewed if they are to be digested. The leaves of dragon fruit can be steeped for a very healthy form of tea. The rough outer skin has little nutritional value and is rarely eaten.

Health benefits:

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Contain vitamin C (equivalent to 10% of the daily value)
  • Polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids
  • B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism
  • Carotene
  • Protein

There are no health risks associated with dragon fruits, and studies have even shown that pregnant women and breast-feeding women are safe to eat dragon fruits without any worry of risks.

Check out DailyBurn for some healthy and creative dragon fruit recipes!

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Hemp Seeds & The Cannabis Plant

I recently discovered the amazing health benefits of hemp seeds!

Hemp seeds are produced from the hemp plant,Cannabis sativa L. While hemp is commonly confused with marijuana, as it belongs to the same family, the two plants are quite different. Most notably is the level of THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Hemp contains less than 1% of the psychoactive drug while marijuana contains up to 20% or more.

Hemp Plant

I love the organic hulled raw seeds of Vitanza HQ.  A couple of spoonfuls of the hemp seeds packs a serious amount of essential nutrients! They have a pleasantly nutty taste, like a cross between a sunflower seed and a pine nut. I often sprinkle the seeds into salads, smoothies, yoghurt, cereal or oats!!! Very yummy & healthy!!

Organic Hemp Seeds

Health benefits of raw hemp seeds:

  • Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA in the perfect balance
  • More digestible protein than meat, whole eggs, cheese, human milk, cows milk or any other high protein food
  • Rich in Vitamin E
  • Can be eaten by those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten, lactose or sugar
  • There are no known allergies to hemp foods.
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Organic Nail Polish Removers & KOH Cosmetics

Hi Organic Fashionistas!

For those using nail polish and remover often, it’s worth knowing that chemicals in nail polish can be harmful if you’re regularly exposed to them. The two most common chemicals are formaldehyde and toluene. Formaldehyde is used as a hardener in nail polish and toluene is used to help nail polish glide on more smoothly. Especially when you are pregnant it is recommended to use nail polish that’s free from both chemicals.

In addition, if you are exposed to large doses of acetone over long periods of time, there’s a small possibility that this could lead to developmental problems and birth defects. Many beauty bloggers mention the US organic brand Karma Naturals. This soybean based oil contains propylene carbonate, soybean oil methyl exter, and tocopheryl acetate as ingredients- no acetone whatsoever!

Yesterday, I went shopping in Antwerp to find organic nail polish removers. No organic brand that sparked my interest but at Parfuma I noticed the “Purifying Polish Remover” from KOH Cosmetics with no acetone (however this means another chemical namely ethylacetate which is less drying and healthier for cuticles!) with vitamin E, almond oil and castor oil.

KOH Cosmetics

Furthermore, I noticed KOH’s  “Calcium Nail Whitener”. I love the small  fashionable black box that comes along. After applying, I noticed a healthy-looking pink nail bed! Love it!!!

I love the brand and wondering whether there are other organic healthier alternatives? Let me know!! 🙂

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Oranges: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts

Happy Tuesday Organic Lovers!

It’s finally March and winter is almost over! This year spring begins March 20th!

As you all know, colds and flus are most common in the winter or rainy seasons. And to boost my immune system, I often drink freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning.

Fresh Orange Juice

Health benefits of freshly pressed orange juice:

  • Ability to boost immune system function
  • Reduces signs of aging
  • Protects against cancer
  • Boosts cellular repair and metabolism
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Lowers cholesterol levels

The skin & pulp in oranges have considerable health benefits!

Can vitamin C cure colds?
The answer is NO. According to MedlinePlus, despite the popular belief that vitamin C can cure the common cold, research about this claim is conflicting. Large doses of vitamin C may help reduce how long a cold lasts, but they do not appear to protect against getting a cold.

Natural cold and flu remedies
In addition to orange juice, I drink plenty of water; warm water with lemon juice and honey (is known to be antimicrobial and helps the immune system fight infection; teas (clears the nasal passages); soups and I add lots of RAW garlic (powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties) and onion to my food (no kissing :P). Medical professionals also recommend that you should spend about 10 to 15 minutes in a steam shower, up to three times per day.

Fresh orange juice during pregnancy?
According to babycenter.com, most unpasteurized juice is not safe, because your immune system is suppressed when you’re pregnant. You should drink only pasteurized juice products unless the fruit is freshly washed and squeezed immediately before you drink it (as fresh orange juice often is).

If fruit juice is not pasteurized during pregnancy, e.g. if you buy it freshly pressed, that means it has not been heated enough to kill the bacteria in the juice. This can be harmful to the baby or mom.

Not only is orange juice high in vitamin C and folic acid, it’s also a good source of potassium, which has been shown to help lower high blood pressure, a particular danger during pregnancy.

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REN Skincare and The Golden Globes 2016

If you have seen the Golden Globes 2016, you have probably noticed Rachel McAdams’ glowing skin:

Rachel McAdams Golden Globes 2016
Photo: Getty Images

According to Birchbox and Rachel McAdams’ make-up artist (her sister!) Kayleen McAdams, to get her flawless complexion, McAdams used the following skincare products by REN:

  • Glycolatic Radiance Renewal Mask
  • Instant Brightening Beauty Shot
  • Instant Firming Beauty Shot
  • Global Protection Day Cream

I definitely want to try out the above products, as I’m very happy with the brand. Moreover, a few weeks ago I tried REN’s anti-ageing products for the first time.

REN Anti-Ageing Skincare

My Reviews:

KEEP YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL™ FIRM AND LIFT EYE CREAM

When buying eye creams, I always try to find natural/organic products which absorb into the skin easily, and are gentle on sensitive skin. Creams that are too oily or thick can ruin my eye makeup. I like the creamy texture of this product. It absorbs nicely and goes well under makeup (concealer looks natural after applying). People do complain about the packaging, as they can’t see when it’s time to buy a new product. However, creams must be packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable (no jars!). Therefore, if you really like the product, it is always good to have another one in stock.

Bio Extracts and Results:

  • Hexapeptide-11 from Yeast Fermentation increases firmness and reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Native Peptides from Wheat fill in wrinkles, lift and reduce the appearance of expression lines and deep wrinkles
  • Hydroxyproline from Aminoacids Lipovector plumps the skin
  • Alpha-Linoleic Acid from Arctic Lingonberry Seed oil lightens skin colour and increases moisture level
  • Ceramide from Carthame Oil captures water and strengthens skin’s surface


BIO RETINOID™ ANTI-AGEING CREAM

I have a “sensitive combination” skin. Therefore, I always try to find natural/organic creams that contain the right ingredients for my concerns and are not too oily. Because this REN product doesn’t have an SPF, I use it as a night cream. I like the luxurious, silky texture of the cream and I noticed that my skin is much smoother and clearer. It is a natural, non-irritating retinoid product. I will definitely keep using it.

Bio Extracts and Results:

  • Retinoid Analogue from Brazilian Organic White Beggar’s-Tick Flower, boosts collagen and dramatically reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Galactan from Red Algae, repairs cells and protects DNA which prevents premature ageing
  • Oleuropein from Olive Leaf. An anti-oxidant that detoxifies and boosts radiance
  • Phycocolloids from Porphyridium Cruentum Microalga, instantly lift and firm skin
  • Hyaluronic Acid from Yeast, replenishes and plumps skin

I can’t wait to try out REN’s “Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot” and the other above mentioned products!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will review my favourite “organic winter” teas :)!

 

*If you like to stay up to date with my reviews, you can also follow me via The Organic Label’s  FB page or Instagram

 

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The Organic Label in London

First of all, I  hope you had a great holiday and I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year filled with new hope, new joy and new beginnings.

During Christmas time,  I went to London. I love the city in that time of the year (the Christmas lights and decorations on Regent Street were really beautiful!) and I always look forward to catch up with my friends and discover/buy new interesting green products.

My two favorite “Organic” stores in Covent Garden are Lab Organic and The Organic Pharmacy:

Lab Organic
They serve organic cold pressed juices and healthy plant-based food recipes. All dairy, gluten and sugar free and sooo delicious! I also love the fact that everything is eco-friendly. When I was working in London, you could find me there often during lunch time :).

Lab Organic London

Lab Organic Sweets

Lab Organic Juices

Lab Organic Food

Lab Organic Decoration

Lab Organic Bottles

 

The Organic Pharmacy
The Organic Pharmacy’s skin care is based on homeopathic and (organic) herbal medicine. The first store opened in 2002 in London and today they have stores and distribution all over the world. I bought supplements and skin care products of the brand and I’m very happy with the results. I love The Organic Pharmacy’s products.

The Organic Pharmacy Covent Garden London

The Organic Pharmacy Window

The Organic Pharmacy Inside

I hope you will have the chance to visit both stores. When you are in London, they are must-sees for every Organic Lover 🙂

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