Right before I moved to Greece I already changed my cosmetics, beauty and cleaning products in my household into natural and environmental friendly ones. It was in Hungary in 2017. It was part of a transition process in my life. Something inside of me made a revolution against all synthetic and artificial and non-true stuff. Suddenly I stopped dyeing my hair after 10 years, painting my nails, I stopped taking contraceptive pills, I stopped wearing even jewelleries, and I wanted to ensure that whatever contacts my skin, and whatever I eat are clean products and substances – although in today’s world it is a real challenge…
Why is this “clean lifestyle” important especially for a woman? Well first of all, us, humans are part of the natural environment of the planet. I mention this, because sometimes we forget about it. So whatever we use, it goes out there to our waterways and natural resources, and then backwards. Nowadays humanity is using ridiculous variety and amount of poison in literally each and every field of life. And it all effects our health. One obvious sign of our body being overloaded with this type of chemical stress from the environment is the fertility issues of women, and also problems around our cycle and period. There are some compounds that we cannot avoid unfortunately, but we still have plenty of choices to minimize poisons in our body and to protect our health. And not only our health, but our children’s and grandchildren’s health. Why do I go so far? It is very simple:
“Our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother. Each of us spent five months in our grandmother’s womb, and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother. We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother’s blood before she herself is born, and this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother.” – Layne Redmond
It’s not only about our health here and today, but the next generations’ and the planet’s health too. A woman should take care of her health and body as a sacred temple, where she carries the seeds of new life. We should think much forward than today and being super conscious about the following stuff, because they could cause hormonal disbalances and fertility or other health problems in women’s body the most easily:
- contraceptive pills
- cleaning products – especially on an island where the hospitality sector is huge and many many people work with all kinds of cleaning products in hotels, accomodations cafés and restaurants. Women should really avoid – at least minimize – working with chemicals!
- food additives
- cosmetical preservatives, artificial perfumes, colors in makeup and in all kinds of beauty products
- insecticide products
- hair coloring materials
- materials used for fashion nails
- nail polish
- chemicals and artificial odours in feminine hygiene products (sanitary pads, tampons)
They do not increase only the risk of hormonal disbalances, but they could also raise the risk of cancer, weakened liver and poor immune system, different kinds of allergy, eczema. So whatever we eat, drink, inhale, and whatever connect our skin should be super clean and natural – as much as it is possible. Also using too much artificial lights (especially after sunset) could disturb our cycle and circadian rhythm, and nervous system.
Days of rest are not luxury but a necessity
Another important factor of women’s health is our period and the way how we treat ourselves (and other women) during these days. “Traditionally cultural practices
allowed for woman to move away from daily responsibilities and into a state of
deep rest and nourishment during the “winter” of her cycle. Often women were supported by each other during this time and given the opportunity to completely withdraw from the world.” /source/
Although unfortunately our 21st century modern lifestyle in a capitalistic and globalized world does not allow women to withdraw for 3-4 days during their period. Sometimes not even for one single day. And sometimes I want to cry when I see women working 7 days a week during the summer season in Greece (or anywhere else). It goes against our nature and a healthy humanlike life. Erich Fromm said: “The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.” But if we start to become conscious about this necessity and develop a kind of sisterhood to support each other during the days of bleeding, this could help a lot to stay much more healthy, fertile and happy. It is about giving, and receiving, and empathy. If I have, then I offer. If I am not in the phase of period, I will help my fellow woman to carry weights who is there at the moment. In this case I am helping her to experience her feminine qualities and power. The ability to step back, to say no to things, to rest, to be passive and to let things go (also the ability to face death and nihil) are also forms of power. It is called feminine power. This is truly missing from the world and from our culture today. If we treat each other with sensitivity, the whole world will benefit from this empathy. There is actually a strong connection between women’s health and the health of planet Earth, our mother – as we call her.
So what can we do as women for a healthier balanced cycle and life?
- try to avoid hormonal contraceptives
- try to use 100% natural materials for cleaning, washing in our household (ask your grandmother – she knows! – soda, vinegar, 100% pure essential oils, washing nuts, citric acid, lemon, salt, etc…), and even if you have to work with chemicals in your job, at least use safety materials to protect skin contact and avoid inhaling these substances
- eat clean local and seasonal food: try to buy stuff from local farmers, go to the local market and ask about the products, choose carefully even there – a Greek island is full of goodies, it is a mistake to buy preserved, frozen stuff which travelled from far away land in plenty of packages, and yes, bring your textile bags with you for shopping always 😉
- try to use local herbs and spices – you can support your cycle with so many great herb tea mixes, Greece is rich in natural medicines
- eat local honey – it is too good for women’s health!
- try to avoid insecticide – again: ask your grandma
- try to use bio, homemade, natural cosmetics without any chemicals, preservatives, colors and perfumes
- try to avoid hair coloring and fashion nails, or nail polishing – or at least minimize it
- change your single use feminine hygiene products into washable textile pads and/or menstruation cup
- try to avoid single use products in general!
I am sure that the list is much longer, and please add your tips and ideas in the comment section to expand the list and our consciousness on this topic.
Using natural products on Rhodes island
Since I live on Rhodes my greatest discovery is the local food market (λαϊκή αγορά). But the greatest discovery of the whole market is one specific spot, which is a kind of heaven for me. If you go to the market you cannot miss it, you will recognize this spot for sure…
The name of the business is called ‘Safran’ and here you’re going to find:
- many different types of local herbs & spices
- hand-picked local sea salt
- different tea mixes
- legumes, cereal, rice (even buckwheat!)
- a huge variety of vegetable oils (hazelnut, chamomile, macadamia, jojoba, avocado, aloe vera, calendula, black sesame, wheat, almond, carrot, rice, arnica, peach oil – just to name a few)
- a huge variety of 100% pure essential oils on a very reasonable price! (vanilla, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, thyme, levander, lemon, neroli, sage, orange, oregano, teatree, rose petals, strawberry, chamomile – just to mention a few)
- handmade soaps
- Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate)
- different kinds of clays for beauty and therapeutical use
- and really the best of all are the 100% natural handmade beauty products made by Maria. You can meet her personaly on the Saturday’s market (by the cemetery), and she is making her products only for order (because her cosmetics does not contain preservatives), but there are always some testers to check some products.
Maria’s beauty products are: different types of hair oils (for dry ends and for the skulp), natural deodorant (with essential oil of your choice and demand), body scrubs, body lotions (with essential oil of your choice and demand), makeup remover, lip balm, face creams.
I started to buy the herbs, oils, rice, legumes, spices first and then I tried some of Maria’s products. I can really recommend all of them to you. I am in love with all the natural cosmetics by Maria, they did miracles with my skin, more than anything else before.
Why to buy hand-made natural beauty products?
- they lack synthetic materials that you can find in conventional cosmetics
- no parabens, no artificial perfumes which disrupt estrogen production
- no chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors which actually cause quicker skin ageing
- all of these products are gentle on the skin even for people who suffer from eczema, dermatitis, or people with sensitive skin
- they are full of antioxidants, they do not effect our hormonal balance, the ingredients are the ones that our skin really needs and is able to absorb and utilize 100%
- you don’t have to throw the packaging of these products, you can use them for your next order also, or just give it back to Maria
- these cosmetics are custom made ones for your unique specific needs – because we are all different and we need different care
- support someone who is creating value in the local community align with nature for a healthier, balanced life – there is a great human value behind, and it is such a good feeling to know and meet the person who makes the products you buy and use
- by using natural products you can help to avoid painful period, also prevent fertility issues and other sympthoms related with chemicals accumulating in our body
- by using these products you act in a responsible way towards our planet, your own sacred body, and the future generation
In the following section I will introduce the products that I am using from Maria and also some other ones.
(The photos were taken on Nisyros island, not on Rhodes, but I found the volcanic stones and the almond tree flowers pretty decent for the shooting 😉 )
You can order the products of Maria or ask your questions about her products on the following phone number: +30 694 494 3949
Lip balm /by Maria
Ingredients: beeswax, almond oil, wheat oil, glycerin, vitamin E and essential oil neroli
I tested this lipbalm in the coldest windiest days of this winter and it is just amazing. We, who live on the Aegean on these windy islands, we need proper protection of our lips. Wonderful product, and having a very good taste too. 😉
Body Lotion version A /by Maria
Ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter, cacao butter, almond oil, aloe gel and essential oil rose
Essential oils in this body lotion are used according to your choice. I’ve chosen rose petals oil, and the scent is divine! After using these natural products with essential oils, you will be able to make a difference between natural and synthetic scents. This is the “heavier”, the richer body lotion, the more oily one for dry skin and for cold, windy days of the year. The best body lotion I have ever tried. My skin is very thirsty in general and this cream makes it soft, elastic, beautiful and hydrated. My skin absorbs it all, I can really feel the difference between a conventional cream and this handmade one.
Body lotion version B /by Maria
Ingredients: aloe gel, vitamin E, coconut oil and essential oil rose
Essential oils also goes according to your demand. I have chosen again rose petals for this one. Divine scent again. This is a lighter cream, probably for less dry skin and for the hot days of the year. I will start using it during spring, but I already tried it and same thing happens: my skin absorbs it all, I can really feel the difference between a conventional cream and this handmade one. Beautiful product!
Body scrub /by Maria
Ingredients: shop body mousse, sugar and aroma coconut
When I first felt the scent of this product I wanted to eat it. 😀 The scent is just heavenly beautiful. And not only the scent… I use this scrub on dry skin right before shower. Perfect for any period of the year. It is not only exfoliating, but has a hydrating effect also. You scrub it on your skin until you skin absorbs the cream and then you can wash it off.
Deodorant /by Maria
Ingredients: soda, potato starch, coconut oil, shea butter, essential oil tea tree and essential oil of your choice
Above the basic ingredients of course you can choose essential oils also for this product. I tried 2 different types, but my favourite became the one with tea tree & levander essential oil. First of all, this antiperspirant is a very economic product. Under daily use it could last even for half a year, but for months for sure. Second of all, this is a product that us women really should consider about, to prevent toxins accumulating around the area of the breasts. This antiperspirant is safe to use also during pregnancy and during the months/years of breast-feeding. Clean natural product that would not cause any harm for you or your baby.
Makeup remover /by Maria
Ingredients: water, coconut oil, witch hazel, essential oil of your choice and cotton pads
One of my favourite products. I don’t have to use foundation or BB cream since I clean my face with this one! It did miracles with my skin and the scent again: divine!!! Cottonpads are soaked into this beautiful liquid made by Maria. It is also an economic product, works very effectively. It washes off the waterproof mascara too, but it takes a bit more effort. My skin is hydrated, soft, smooth after use, and I am sure that it also balances the oily/combination skin.
Black sesame oil /from Maria
It is one of my favourite oils.
First of all I use it as a night cream on my face and neck – just a few drops especially around the eyes. It is full of E, B and A vitamins for a young, firm skin. It has antibacterial and inflammatory effects too.
Second of all, I use it against cellulitis on other parts of my body after shower – because of its firming and detoxifying effect. I create a mix of black sesame oil and some drops of the folowing essential oils: Juniperus virginiana and Cupressus sempervirens (I bougth them in Hungary, and I still have them so I did not look for it at Maria – maybe she has).
* Please note, that during pregnancy and breastfeeding the use of some essential oils and herbs are not recommended. Check my list at the end of this post for more information.
It is a beautiful massage oil also with rejuvenescent effect, appropriate even for people with eczema, and very dry skin. Perfect base oil for any kind of massage.
“Eating one spoon before breakfast gives you great energy for the day. Good for stomach ache, digestive and cardiovascular problems.” – I am reading it in Maria’s summary about this oil. Consuming black sesame oil helps to have healthy bones and beautiful healthy hair. Relieving the pain of period and migraine.
In Greece it is a common ingredient of different cakes and sweets, so it is easy to get it from any supermarket. I use it as a toner on my face after cleaning it, before applying cream or the makeup.
You can also consume it. I put one teaspoon to a glass water and I drink it in the morning. But you can use it in porridge, or any kind of sweet breakfast. It is full of B3, C, D, E vitamins, antioxidants. Good for any digestive and stomach problems, decreses nausea, supports women’s hormonal system, it has a detoxifying and inflammatory effect.
Soap for face /from Korres
Since I live in Greece I use the pomegranate face soap of Korres. I like the paper packaging and I like that it is enough for half a year – at least.
Other essential oils
During period: I use basil (Ocimum basilicum) and clary sage (Salvia sclarea) essential oil for pain relief massage before and during my period. You can always put a few drops into a spoon of olive oil, or any other preferred vegetable oil.
Antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic essential oils: Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Laurel (Laurus Nobilis), Lemon Peel (Citrus limonum ze)
Essential oils for stress relief and better sleap: Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisii ZE.), Majoram (Origanum majorana), Sandalwood (Santalum album), Verbena (Lippia citriodora), Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata extra), Lemon Peel (Citrus limonum ze), Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Please note, that during your pregnancy and the breast-feeding period you should use only 100% pure natural essential oils (volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted) and NOT other oils.
* List of some essential oils NOT recommended during pregnancy and breast-feeding:
- clary sage, sage
* List of some herbs NOT recommended during pregnancy and breast-feeding:
- cherry leaf
- juniper berries
* List of some essential oils can be used during pregnancy:
- tea tree essential oil
- mandarin essential oil
- lemon essential oil
* List of some herbs can be used during pregnancy:
- lemongrass tree (for stress, tension, nausea)
- hibiscus tea (for edema, and water retention and high blood pressure)
- chamomile tea (for nause)
Of course before using any essential oils during pregnancy or breast feeding always consult with your doctor.
This blog post does not contain any paid advertisement. Everything I share above is based on personal experience, opinions and on certain personal beliefs of mine.