Rogaining Blog

How to Choose Organic Personal Care Products

Will R. Cross •

So you’ve decided to go organic with your skin care routine, but what comes next? You may go to a conventional drugstore and find entire aisles of products labeled as “natural” or “organic” but what exactly does that mean and how can you know which brands to trust? Conversely, a trip to a specialised or reputable health store may leave you wondering if your wallet can sustain this new organic lifestyle.

Fortunately, these two simple steps can guide you through the process of choosing organic personal care products.

Look For Raw Ingredients

When it comes to natural ingredients, there are many beneficial ingredients which are important to understand because they can serve multiple purposes.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Take, for example, extra-virgin coconut oil, which is laden with natural benefits. In its pure form, coconut oil can be used as a deep conditioner or a styling product to untangle knots and give your hair a healthy shine. Additionally, coconut oil is said to encourage faster hair growth and because the oil naturally has a sun protection factor or SPF of 5 it can offer moderate protection from sun damage.

Coconut oil is also an entirely natural moisturiser, a key ingredient in many organic body balms, and an effective makeup remover. As icing on the cake, coconut oil can also be eaten and has many health benefits when added to your diet.

Apple Cider Vinegar (with “the Mother”)

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is yet another wonder-product of nature. Like coconut oil, it can be added to your diet and offers plenty of benefits. In fact, apple cider vinegar has been shown to aid in weight loss and it may offer protection against cancer.

Why use conventional products with known carcinogens on your skin when you can use a cancer-fighting agent instead--and still get results?

In your beauty routine, apple cider vinegar can be used in numerous ways. Firstly, you can dilute it in water and use it to fight acne in the place of a regular facial toner. Apple cider vinegar also works wonders in your hair. In fact, a vinegar rinse can be used after conditioning or replace the need for hair conditioner entirely, leaving your hair healthy, shiny, and smooth.

Finally, apple cider can be used in oral care for stain removal and teeth whitening. To remove a stain, apply the vinegar directly to your teeth and rinse with water. To whiten your teeth overall, you can simple dilute apple cider vinegar with water and swish it around in your mouth.

There are many other natural ingredients that can be used for personal care and serve many purposes. For example, you can make or buy charcoal toothpaste as another all-natural whitener.

Read the Labels

Now that you have your basic multipurpose beauty ingredients, your shopping list should be significantly shortened and this should make the errand of picking up beauty products from the store much more manageable. For example, you might now be picking up an organic body wash.

By being aware of what a few simple, natural ingredients can do, you will know what to look for in store-bought beauty products. Buying these products online is also a great alternative if you cannot find the products you need locally in-store. In my experience, finding a natural deodorant can be the most difficult of organic products to find, especially when looking for an aluminium free deodorant which actually does the job. When looking for a natural deodorant, remember that you are consuming what you put on your skin through your pores so you need to understand what that means for your skin and the overall health. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients found in an organic deodorant you should stay away from it as it will likely do more harm than good for your health.

When buying organic products online, be careful not to let appealing statements on the website sway you to toss an item in your shopping cart without further consideration. Instead, stop and take the time to read everything thoroughly, including the list of ingredients and other fine print on the back.

Many brands will feature loudly and proudly state such claims as “100% natural fragrance!” While this may be true, it is not an immediate reason to choose this product. Think carefully about the words chosen: the product itself is not one hundred percent natural--only the fragrance is. Take a closer look at the list of ingredients on the back and you may be surprised to find many unnatural and even harmful items on the list.

How To Enjoy Your Homes Outdoors All Year Round

Will R. Cross •

Enjoying the outdoors at home is something a lot of people like to do, yes, even in the rain. Sometimes, you just want to take your dog, sit on the deck and just watch those mud puddles forming. It may sound strange but hey, it is a fun pass time for many people. But without shade, your deck could just be eating up space that could have otherwise be part of the house because let's face it, some days can get undeniably hot making the allure of an afternoon outdoors a punishment more than the leisurely activity it is meant to be.

Here are a few tips to make your outdoors weatherproof.

The first thing you need to do is cover up the outdoor area. This is important to keep your deck and patio furniture dry. Invest in a roof or pergola to keep your entertaining area prone to weather damage. If you are not fully invested in the idea of having a permanent structure, then you could always have a retractable roof or retractable pergola fitted. The Australian sun can get a little harsh at times and put an end to an enjoyable afternoon.

Retractable roofs and pergolas are a great option for people who still want to let the light in. The retractable function gives you the option to bask in the sun when you want to and at times just let in the light without the heat. Most of the roofing materials used for pergolas let in the light while blocking out the harmful UV rays. With skin cancer on the rise, this is a welcome piece of information.

Secondly, remember to pay attention to the sides.

If your area is prone to strong winds or changing weather then you may want to look into getting some outdoor awnings for your area, not only do awnings help you enjoy the outdoors with shelter but they can help protect furniture when the area is not being used. As mentioned, the easy to install awnings can be let out on cold or rainy days and can be retracted during good or windy weather.

The last thing you need to do is add a heater. Depending on how your space is set up, you could choose to install a wood or gas heater. However, a lot of people have always been partial to a fire pit. Now, with a deck, a ground fire pit would be ill advised. Your best move would be an above ground cast iron fire pit. You could have a slab of cement as a base to protect your wooden deck or just cut out a piece of the deck before you place the pit.

It is important to note that built-in heaters cost more than their portable counterparts. The decision between the two will depend entirely on your budget but don't forget that there is something for everyone. And as mentioned before, a cast iron fire pit has just as much allure and beauty. Besides, who would not want a rustic feel to their back yard?

In conclusion, the secret to year round outdoor living is simple – shade. Nothing beats some quality deck time. Whether it is just sitting back sipping on a cold one or grilling for the family barbecue. So, go on and get yourself a pergola or at least an awning, to begin with.