SOAP NUTS – A NATURAL DETERGENT

Good morning beautiful souls,

Today I thought I would tackle the next change on my plant based eco journey, namely switching to a low impact laundry detergent. As with many household items we are just so used to seeing them stacked in single use containers along the supermarket aisles that we don’t stop to consider the impact they have anymore or what less harmful & low impact alternatives might be out there. Most laundry detergents are packaged in plastic, tested on animals and of course contain many chemicals which especially for sensitive skins aren’t often great. However there are some great alternatives out there (for example my cousin washes her clothes with walnuts which contain a natural soap element – who knew!?!) all you need to do is set aside a little time to have a browse to see what works best for you. Now I can’t speak for all alternatives as I’ve personally only tried one so far, but I am so happy with the results of this swap that I had to share it with you.

I have swapped form the usual detergent culprits such as Persil to using Soapnuts – a natural, organic, biodegradable, vegan, ethical & sustainable laundry detergent (now you can’t get more eco-friendly than that can you!?!).

Soapnuts or Soapberries are dried fruit shells which contain real natural soap and are 100% completely natural. They are a vegan friendly, non-polluting, compostable, alternative to conventional laundry detergents and synthetic soaps. No fillers, foaming agents, bleach, phthalates, phosphates or parabens. The Soapberries contain a natural soap called saponin, which is released when they come into contact with water and thus they wash your laundry as good as any other conventional detergent.

There are a couple of ways to use the soap nuts; you can soak them in water to release the detergent and then pour the liquid into your washing machine as you would other laundry detergents, or you can pop a couple of soapnuts into the muslin bag provided and then pop that into the washing machine with your laundry. I use the latter method.

In our day and age we are so used to freshly washed clothes smelling “clean” because of all the chemical scents added to detergents. Soapnuts don’t really release a scent, so you won’t get that “clean” smell; however you can add a scent to your laundry by using an essential oil. One of my favourite oils to use is lavender; I put about 10 drops onto the muslin bag containing the soapnuts and then pop it into the wash – and voila out come your clothes with a fresh scent of lavender – the results are great!

I really cannot recommend this natural vegan biodegradable laundry detergent enough and urge you all to try it! They sell starter packs (a great way to give soapnuts a trial) which contain soapnuts, a stain remover bar, soda crystals and an essential oil. The small starter pack costs £14.70 which admittedly you might first think sounds expensive, but let me assure you, the sopanuts go a long way – one filled muslin bag can be used for about 3 washes until all the soap has been released.

(the starter pack pictured in my photos is a large)

The Living Naturally Soapnut Company also not only sell laundry detergent but have haircare and skincare products on offer too. I have yet to try these but if the laundry detergent is anything to go by, I know I’ll love these products too.

So I hope I have given you something to think about. Again, I can’t recommend these highly enough and would love to know – do you think this is a change/a swap you would be willing to try?! I’d love to hear some of you giving soapnuts a go! If you’d like to inform yourselves more on the products available and further benefits of soapnuts go have a look on their website here.

Until next time lovelies ❤

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HENNA HAIR DYE

Good evening beautiful souls,

Some of you might have already seen from my Instagram stories that I dyed my hair with henna yesterday. I know not many are familiar with henna hair dye and so I thought I’d share the process with you incase you wanted to try it for yourself.

Firstly henna is a natural permanent dye and because it is a natural product it means that instead of damaging your hair with lots of chemicals the way most boxed hair dyes do, it nourishes it instead.

The one I use, the caca rouge henna from lush, is also vegan which is even better. It’s £10. 95 a block which as my hair is short, will last me for 6 hair dyes. Lush sells 4 different colours, but I’ve only ever tried the red so I can’t say anything about the others really, but I do love the natural look of the cacao rouge especially when the sun shines on it, it has the most beautiful sparkle! I think I used henna for the first time a good 8 years ago or so and gave been using it ever since when I wanted a nice gingery red.

Well let’s get started. Here’s a before photo of my hair with still a slight purply tint to it from the semi permanent dye I put on two weeks or so ago.

You will need:

  • Henna
  • Vaseline
  • Cling film
  • A fork
  • An old bowl
  • An old towel
  • Old clothing
  • Thin hair dye gloves

Firstly boil the kettle. Now the henna block comes in 6 squares and for my short hair I only needed 1. Just grab a knife and crack a square off. Place into your bowl and pour some warm water over it (beware I used too much here, so start of with a little, you can always keep adding too it). Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then using a fork start mushing it up into a tick paste, add more water as needed. It should be a kind of porridge consistency not too runny (which mines is here – oops) don’t worry if it’s bitty, it won’t fully dissolve.

Now make sure you are wearing old clothes you don’t mind doing staining because the henna will get everywhere! Also choose a tilled floor room as it is easiest to clean and won’t stain.

Next put Vaseline around your hairline before putting on your gloves and beginning to apply the henna to your hair (make sure your hair is damp/towel dry). If you have long hair separate your hair into sections starting at the bottom and working your way to the top layers. As it’s a grainy substance it will not spread as easily as the hair dyes you’re used to, so if you have someone to help you it’ll make it easier.

Once your hair is all covered in dye wrap it up in clingfilm and wipe any dye that has gotten onto your skin away. Now the next step is almost the worst. You have to keep the henna on your head for 2-3hs, the longer its on the more vibrant the result. However as your scalp heats up under the clingfilm the henna will start to run so carry a roll of kitchen paper with you as you’ll be wiping away the dribbles every few minutes haha.

One the time is finally up, pop on your gloves again and rinse your hair until water is clear before giving it a wash and blow dry.

And here’s the finished result, beautiful soft fiery red henna hair!

If you’ve ever tried henna or fancy having a go, I’d love to know!!

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MY FAVOURITE FACE CREAM

Good evening beautiful souls,

For Christmas a friend of mine gifted me with one of her beautiful handmade face & body creams. As I still had plenty of face creams open at the time I didn’t use it immediately. I was excited though because it smelt divine!

Now I know this review won’t be of much use to you as it is not a cream you can buy, however I’m so in love with it that I had to share!

It’s a thick cream but softens quickly through the warmth of my skin making the application nice and easy. At first I thought it would take forever to sink into my skin as it seemed somewhat oily once applied, however to my delight I was mistaken. It soaks up quickly and leaves my skin glow and smooth. What I also love is that it still feels like my skin can breath unlike some thick creams which feel like they leave a layer on my face. Best of all because it’s homemade there’s no nasties or preservatives in it, just natural goodness!

So as you can see my beautiful readers I’m in love with this cream and hope my friend will keep making it for me once this little tub of gold has run out!

Has anyone else tried any homemade creams??

Love Carina xo