Tag Archives: packaging

SKIN CARE revealed

I know I have written about this earlier but I find I need to bring it up again, seeing as there are so many questions around the whole thing. For earlier posts, check under tags: product information and skin-care.

Truths about skin care products:

  • CLAIMS: There are no rules or regulations whatsoever around what you may say about skin care, this is the Wild West. You can claim anything you want as a producer and you don’t even have to prove it. Take the word hypo-allergenic; this means that if your skin is extremely sensitive or you suffer from allergies, this is the product to use. The claim hypo-allergenic makes you believe that it is widely tested and formulated for any sensitivities…WRONG. It is just a product like all others, but it sounds good. So you’re in the shit, or rather your skin is. The only way you can determine if a product will work for you is by reading the INCI-list.
  • INCI-list: This is the only regulation that exists around skin-care, you have to list all the ingredients in order of amount, largest amount is at the top. Great thing, now you can check for the stuff you are sensitive to. The ingredients are listed with chemical and botanical names to be internationally viable. This definitely makes sense, but most people don’t understand what they are reading. Do you know what the botanical name of shea-butter is? If you want to know what is in your creme, google it. There is massive information on the internet.
  • BIO or ORGANIC: Sounds good when it is stamped on a product, now you get the “real” thing, or do you? All it takes is one organic ingredient in the formula and you can get BIO-certification. There are no specific rules around this, each certifying body (and there are quite a few) can decide as they like. Or there might be ingredients chemically derived from botanical or organic sources, this will count for BIO as well.
  • REGISTRATION: Each skin care product must be registered, at a fee of course, before it can be put on the market. Small producers of “clean” skin care most often don’t have the economy for this, so they are effectively shut out from the market-place leaving only the big players such as L’Oreal, Nivea, Dove.
  • €€€: It’s all about the money; by keeping production costs down, there is a big return in money on every sale. Natural & organic substances are expensive and would radically minimize the monetary gain on products, so cheap ingredients are used instead, even in very expensive products. Don’t be fooled…An expensive product in a beautiful package does not mean it is necessarily any good.

…And so on and so forth. Get the picture?

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Living the experiment…part 2

After 15 years in the Swedish forest I moved to Luxembourg. I found a nice house with a wonderful garden in a nice village with nice people. Life was great…And comfortable; streetlights, paved roads, water and plumbing all done, woopwoop! I was looking forward to a life more comfortable and easier than the years in the forest, but within a sustainable frame.  Trust me, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes thought and planning:

  • Shopping is done in stores – always. This means packaging galore and boy are people into packaging! So I make choices based on the packaging and of course the foodstuffs; no expensive crappy packaged and processed food.
  • Trash: Luxembourg is amazing in that you get little bins for recycling that then are collected at your house every 2 weeks – impressive! I started a compost where a lot of stuff goes, including the ashes from the stove. The bonus of the compost is that the moles have stopped killing off my plants and instead hang out in the compost which we now call the mole-feeder 🙂 I ordered the smallest dustbin, 60 liters, which is collected once a week. Thanks to the mole-feeder and the brilliant recycling, this tiny dustbin is more than enough, even when my house is full.
  • Heating: Luxembourg is a lot less cold in winter than Sweden and already that simplifies a lot. I have electric heating in the house and during winter keeping the house warm would cost me a fortune, so I installed a wood-burning stove that heats more or less the whole house. It takes work and planning but it functions beautifully and I can keep my living-area wonderfully warm. I absolutely detest cold weather and refuse to go outside unnecessarily in winter, the wood-work forces me out every day for some good strength-training…Automatic health 🙂
  • Water: There seems to be unlimited amounts of water all the time, the hot water is created in a boiler. It is so easy to just use, use, use…This is a bit trickier to keep check of, but I keep the usage down, no need to use everything just because it’s there. And the garden must survive the occasional dry spell in summer.

At the end of the day my bills are down, my house is warm, the moles are fed and my garden gives me berries and fruit in abundance…I love making jam 🙂 I don’t grow my food as I used to in the forest because I am really enjoying the comfort of life here and growing food is a lot of work.

Conclusion: Even if I was stinking rich and could get everything I wanted in the amounts I wanted it, I would still live this way. What might have started out as an economical solution or necessity has turned into a life-style of respect for the Earth and all the gifts she showers us with. Everything has a price even if we don’t notice it and we need to remember that.

Another noteworthy point is that sustainable living is automatically healthy and even if it takes some work and planning, it is still both easier and cheaper than going to the gym or trying to stay on a diet. You can only win.