A wise mum once said to me, 'why do I feel I need to be a pharmacist to understand the ingredients label on the back of my baby's bath wash?', and you know what, she was right, as a consumer you should feel comfortable that what's in a product is only the best for you and your baby.
There are so many baby products on the market, and to choose which is the one that suits your baby's skin, or which you like the smell of, the amount of lather, the packaging, or the values associated with the brand all vary from parent to parent and baby to baby, but there is one common goal - nobody really wants to expose their precious bundle to chemicals.
Even though we cannot see it, skincare is absorbed into the skin, meaning it is absorbed into our blood flow, reaching our organs and cells around the body. As trends see more and more people switching from fast food to a healthy green smoothie or salad, we hope that society starts to understand the impact chemical absorption is making on our bodies and make the switch from products that would be too unhealthy to digest to start using certified organic products which benefit the skin and wellness overall.
Whilst we are Certified Organic, made of only the purest and most potent of ingredients, we can assure you that you are giving the best product that works to treat your baby's skin and also will protect them from having to use an alternative chemical based product.
Being a parent is so busy and we know that you get bombarded with so much information, not to mention living with the tired fog that comes with sleepless nights- so here is a list of 5 products that are a must have in your nursery. They are paraben free, talc free, sulphate free, formaldehyde free, propylene glycol free, petroleum free...and only supplied with ingredients given to us by nature.
Wow, these soaring temperatures make us feel like they will never subside and a good old fashioned home-made ice block isn't breaking the sweat. While we feel hot our babies have a harder time regulating their body temperature and we need to ensure that they are well hydrated and comfy. Along with keeping them cool in singlets made of light natural fibres, skincare can also alleviate some concerns.
Baby It's Cold Outside
Just the thought of a chilly and cold winter right now gives us goosebumps, though the cold has so many beautiful aspects like a warm hot cocoa in front of the fire, skiing down the powder white slopes and warm baby snuggles after a nighttime feed. There are some baby skincare concerns that do need to be addressed to that their fragile skin does not dry and crack.
We are proud of our organic certification, many many hours, days and years it takes to achieve a certification, but mostly we are proud to be providing our loyal customers with only the best for their baby.
Every year we are audited by the Australian Certified Organic assessor to ensure that all processes, ingredients, delivered products, packaging, and bi-products are organic in nature. Within the skin care industry, it is known that the Australian standards are so high that it is a challenge to pass, hence many Organic products do not have a certification.
The real winner out of all of these Certifications is the customer, you can be assured that what you are using on yours and your baby's skin is natural, chemical free, paraben free, sulphate free and is safe enough to eat.
You may have seen the word Organic on packaging for skincare and assumed that it is all natural and chemical free...it is a case of buyer beware- to make mention of the word Organic a brand can still have under 70% of ingredients as organic in nature.
So, we leave you with a thought starter, what do you feel more comfortable putting on your precious baby's / child's skin; something safe enough to eat or something made of ingredients you aren't quite sure of, either what they are or even if they are safe to absorb into the skin, and in turn into the blood stream?
Every baby is a miracle, we need to nurture that miracle and set it off in the right direction for wellness and health. While we have all heard reports about different cosmetic ingredients causing damaging and health alarming issues we can proudly say that the First Light Organics products are all natural, all chemical free, all paraben free, talc free and Certified Organic to the highest of Australian standard.
There are a few words/ terms/ ingredients you may have heard of but not exactly sure what they are, we hope that this blog helps to enlighten you on what makes a Certified Organic skincare product so special and to avoid the hidden nasties that you may not know you could be using on your precious baby's skin.
The most widely used preservative in skincare, parabens have recently been found during research that they may cause breast cancer as they mimic oestrogen which is the female hormone known to cause breast cells (both normal and cancerous) to grow and divide. Parabens have also been known to cause some allergic reactions, dermatitis and rosacea.
PETROLEUM BY - PRODUCTS
Just the sound of these ingredients rings alarm bells. While petroleum by-products may appear to be a skin barrier, they smother the skin giving it less room to breathe and disrupts body detoxification, therefore slowing the rate of skin renewal and speeding up dehydration.
There have been studies that suggest that talc, when applied to the genital area, can be related to Ovarian Cancer, in addition to this talc containing asbestos when breathed in is also related to cancer, in particular, lung cancer.
First introduced into the cosmetics market over 50 years ago, PG is an organic alcohol made from the fermentation of yeast and carbohydrates. In turn, it keeps skincare products preserved and have a longer shelf life but there are natural ways to do that as well. Known to be associated with skin irritation and dermatitis.
Sulphates pretty much are corrosive cleaning agents which were initially created as a detergent and are often the basis of high lathering consumer products. Not only do they strip hair and skin of moisture but also strips away protective barriers leaving skin exposed to other conditions.
With the mention of links to cancer and skin irritation, our research shows that despite being banned from use in a number of countries, this preservative can still to this day be found in baby shampoo, baby soap, body wash, nail polish, cosmetic glues and colour cosmetics. Always check labelling and Google the derivative of the specific chemical. Formaldehyde comes in a number of different forms such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin... the list of names continue.
These days we are so lucky to have more resources on hand to understand exactly what is in the products we are using. Skincare is absorbed into our biggest organ, the skin, so product ingredients are not exempt from the possibility of entering the blood stream. So, let's protect our babies from anything that could impact on their health and wellness.
Get ready for Christmas, our gift packs are the most beautiful gift to give a baby and mum to be.
Be Naturally You
Aromatherapy can be a beautiful safe support through pregnancy and the early years of your child so we hope this article helps you feel more confident in enjoying the precious gifts of essential oils through this special stage of life.
Firstly we would like to acknowledge that there is a lot of confusing communication about the use of essential oils and pregnancy, on the internet and word of mouth.
As such, we recommend going to the experts and following good practice as set out by the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists - always using less than 1% dilution (generally that means using no more than 4 or 5 drops (0.25ml) per treatment or bath) and avoiding stimulating, detoxifying, sensitising oils.
We also recommend you consult your health professional if in any doubt.
Let it be noted however that “there are no records of abnormal fetuses or aborted fetuses due to the ‘normal’ use of essential oils, either by inhalation or topical application.” Bensouilah J, and Buck P. Aromadermatology. Abingdon, UK: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.
Further “there are no recorded cases of miscarriage or birth defect resulting from aromatherapy massage using therapeutic applications of any essential oil.” Tisserand, R., and Balacs, T. (1995). Essential Oil Safety. New York: Churchill Livingstone.
Here are the guidelines set out by the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists:
“As is evident, most oils are suitable for use during pregnancy; the real danger comes when the dosages are incorrect or irresponsible. Essential oils work with the body, not against it. The body always remains in control with low doses of oils. “
The issue of safety of essential oils during pregnancy is still open to debate because the quality of many essential oils provided to clients or therapists are doubtful. It is recommended that you thus seek out and use the highest quality essential oils, carrier oils and other aromatherapy products in order to promote health and well-being. Therapeutic essential oils can present a very little hazard in comparison to synthetic oils.
The use of essential oils during pregnancy can be very beneficial. As with any other stage of life, essential oils are metabolised in the body when applied or inhaled. The body’s natural intelligence “knows how to break them down and utilise them to balance the human physiology.”
There are however some differences in how the body responds to essential oils when pregnant, including:
Oils to use with safety according to the IFPA (below 1% dilution) during the whole of pregnancy (not a definitive or complete list)
Chamomile German (Chamomilla recutita)
Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile)
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Neroli (Citrus aurantium amara flos)
Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var amaraol)
Rose Otto (Rosa centifolia)
As is evident, most oils are suitable for use during pregnancy; the real danger comes when the dosages are incorrect or irresponsible or adulterated, synthetic or impure oils are used. It would be prudent to avoid the internal or undiluted application of even pure organic essential oils throughout pregnancy.
Shining some light on Domestic Violence
When we think of home we think of our own private sanctuary, a place where we feel safe, loved and protected. Yet statistics show for one in five children this is not the case. With domestic violence reaching epic proportions in our society, the chances of you knowing a man, woman or child that has been affected by domestic violence are high. We often wonder how can we help, what we can do? First Light Organics and Friends with Dignity believe that it is from the small actions we take that we see big change evolve.
How can we make a difference?
First Light Organics believes all children deserve the best. They are both the future and our responsibility. Their vulnerability means they depend upon our care and the choices we make for them. The First Light products have been created to nurture mums and their babies with the very best skin care from nature.
“We have chosen to do this as we believe in giving back to the community and would love mums and bubs in need to also be able to enjoy our products” says Theme Rains, who founded Synthesis Organics in 2006 in northern NSW and then went on to research and develop the mother and child range, First Light Organics.
“It's not the size of the gift or donations we receive that matters, it is the power of what it does. These gifts help survivors by restoring their faith, their dignity and giving them hope. As a Community, we need to SpeakOut against domestic violence, and StepUp and Support each other, one friend at a time!” says Lauren Eather, Volunteer.
Help us #shinelight and brighten up some mums and bubs by sharing these links:
Every bub is different as we all know, some fair, some dark, some chatty, some quiet, some sleep so soundly, others...well we all know the others. But when it comes to the epidermis the same rules apply, skin can vary not only from child to child but also, season to season, as a reaction to foods, plants, pets or chemicals, stress, heat or even by the wonder of genetics.
When formulating the First Light Organics range we always have your baby's at the forefront of our minds. We have heard how you worry about eczema, dry skin from exposure to heaters and air conditioning, nappy rash, cradle cap and even skin concerns from being in the great outdoors.
There is one baby skin condition that not only looks sore, but it also bothers your bub as it itches and makes them feel uncomfortable, and that is eczema/ dermatitis. The First Light Organics range helps to ease the discomfort and clear it up. Eczema is a very common skin condition, but often one that's hard to find out the trigger for it to flare up.
Did you know that your newborn baby's skin is paper thin, it helps them not only to show you what their mood and temperature are like but also helps them to regulate their temperature. That's why it's so important to treat it with tender loving care, especially until it starts to thicken at around 1 year of age.
Ingredients that we use to help soothe and treat eczema include:
With so many of our us exposed to mosquito infected disease-prone areas, we decided to ask a natural health doctor about the best way to protect ourselves, and our family, naturally…
This is the response we are happy to share with you here:
By Dr. Johnathon Dao MD(AM) cureplanet.com
While the media hype on the Zika virus seems relentless, I was asked to put together an article on protecting yourself with natural means rather than using toxic chemicals such as DEET and pharmaceutical drugs that are recommended by mainstream medicine. The big question is; are natural remedies as effective and safe, or is it better to go the chemical route and risk the toxic effects? Well, this is what I’ve discovered and personally use myself and recommend to my patients when they travel to dangerous areas where little nasties hang out.
DEET vs Natural essential oils:
Yes, it’s true that toxic chemicals like DEET help prevent mosquitoes but they also compromise your health. The CDC give DEET a class D Carcinogen meaning they need more data to prove it causes cancer. While it’s is an unknown carcinogen it surely is a neurotoxin. Although it was initially thought that DEET works by repelling mosquitos by hiding a person's “skin smell” which mosquitos are attracted to (the same way organic essential oils do), this was not entirely true. New research now proves that it also affects mosquito’s nervous systems disabling it much in the same way that Nerve Gas did when used in the WW2 on humans. So while DEET does deter with smell it also seems to be an insecticide with neurological toxicity that we are urged to spray on our kids!
My feeling is that they are still recommending it because it is the only man-made patentable treatment they have managed to cook up in a laboratory that works as well as mother nature.
Luckily, spraying deadly chemicals on your family as a form of "protection" against mosquitoes may not be worth the risk thanks to Mother Nature. Numerous essential oils have been clinically trialled and appear to outperform DEET, and these essential oils are contained within First Light Insect Repellent. Although these natural oils can perform as well as if not better than DEET, they need to be applied more regularly because they absorb better into the skin, unlike DEET which lasts longer and why it’s touted as being more effective. Personally, I prefer not to use toxic chemicals and apply my beautiful smelling organic insect repellent more regularly with sheer joy. Remember anything you put on your skin you absorb and the skin “eats”. My philosophy is that if you are not prepared to eat it don’t put it on your skin. Anyone for a DEET flavoured drink? Or a DEET sprayed sandwich? No thanks! I prefer organic essential oils which have been shown to be safe for thousands of years. Those Egyptians were wise beyond their time in my opinion who used essential oils to prevent insects.
Why Mosquitos attack certain people over others:
Turns out mosquitos don’t care about certain blood types, rather they choose their victim due to the amount of smelly bacteria on the skin. So when exercising you’re bound to sweat more and produce more bacteria and be more of a target. That being said people with unhealthy levels of candida in the blood produce more bacteria on the skin so they increase their attractiveness, so it pays to clean up your insides to prevent the outsides being a target. In my clinic, I help my patients clear up candida on a regular basis with diet and herbs and funny enough they report getting bitten much less. Also, mosquitos are attracted to CO2, so the more you exercise the more you produce. Showering regularly and eating a healthy diet are also ways that can help prevent excess bacteria on the skin. They are also attracted to dark colours so wearing white or light colours makes you less attractive. Some studies as early as 1960 show that taking vitamin B1 can help also help you appear more unattractive to most insects as well as eating garlic.
Facts about Zika:
While Zika has been around since 1957, it still has no recorded deaths from initial infection which only last 7 days, most people have little or no symptoms, yet the virus can linger in the system and weaken the immune system causing muscle weakness and nerve paralysis which is known as Guillian-Barre Syndrome. This is where the immune system is weakened and begins attaching itself which is common in lingering viral infections that go untreated. Symptoms are similar to mild dengue fever including fever, joint and muscle pain, along with skin rash and red eyes, headache, weakness, and fatigue. Like Malaria it is not spread from person to person like the flu, so it is not contagious from association but is sexually transmitted says the CDC.
There have been claims that Zika is linked to women who give birth to babies with microcephaly but other sources link to side effects of the TDAP Vaccine which has become mandatory in Brazil for pregnant women. Microcephaly was extremely rear in Brazil until the vaccine became mandated and since the mandate microcephaly has risen 13000%. Interestingly several other countries show Zika has infected up to 75% of the population at some stages with minimal results of Microcephaly, why just Brazil? Some media sources and a united doctors group in Brazil claim that there is a strong link between the larvicide chemical called "Pyroproxyfen," which has been radically dumped into the water supplies of Brazil since Microcephaly has become widespread. The chemical happens to be manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a sister company of Monsanto corp. Pyriproxyfen is a growth inhibitor of mosquito larvae, which alters the development process from larva from pupa to adult, thus generating malformations in developing mosquitoes and killing or disabling them. This should raise any question marks with anyone when considering the underdeveloped cranial and neurological systems of the children being victimized with Microcephaly?
While the verdict is still out on this subject, prevention is better than cure. So if you are having a baby and positive for Zika, I would recommend scanning your baby while treating yourself naturally with non-toxic herbs for the virus as no drug treatments exist.
Creating a barrier between mosquitoes is the best prevention by avoiding being outdoors during the peak mosquito feeding times or early morning and sundown. Wear protective clothing and close off openings at your wrists and ankles. Apply an organic mosquito repellent such as First Light Insect Repellent and apply it regularly every 1-2 hours. Keep screen doors closed and sleep under a mosquito net. To prevent mosquitos breeding near your living space, empty objects that can contain standing water like flowerpots, fountains, and buckets.
Notes for your children:
Look at your product directions for age-related guidelines before using any product on your child’s skin. Always do small patch tests on the sensitive inside of the forearm to see if they react to any natural ingredients. If so wash off immediately with soap and water and apply Synthesis Organics Aloe Herbal Gel. For small kids apply it yourself with your own hands and avoid open wounds and mouths and avoid putting on their hands if they have a tendency to suck their hands. If you have an infant in a stroller use a mosquito net over it, and consider spraying your child’s clothes also which does not wash off as easily like the skin to increase deterring insects.
Natural Treatments for Malaria, Dengue Fever & Zika:
Regarding malaria, its turns out the Chinese have known about a cure for the disease for over 1600 years as it appeared in Chinese medical literature classics, and that cure was Artemisia Annua (Sweet Wormwood). Only recently has the female doctor Dr. Tu Youyou who pioneered this research during the Vietnam War for China (Chairman Mao’s top-secret Project 523), and was finally recognised with a Nobel Prize in 2015. Prior to the issuing of the medicine to Vietnamese soldiers, more deaths were occurring from malaria than from the war itself. Since her discovery proving that Wormwood cures malaria, several drugs synthesized from the herb have entered the market and saved millions of lives. That being said the herb alone has stand-alone treatment for centuries in Asia but the information was lost during the Cultural Revolution.
As for Zika, there is no effective Pharma drug treatment, but once again it seems that that Mother Nature has gracefully supplied a treatment. The Ayurvedic herb Andrographis Paniculata has proven effective in eliminating Zika in clinical cell cultures and animals but is yet to be 100% trailed in humans. The herb also is safe to take during pregnancy. The University of Technology UTM in Malaysia also has found a possible cure for Zika using extracts of Papaya leaf & Coconut oil that have already been shown to cure Dengue and safe for pregnancy. Also, studies on Colloidal Silver (Cell Culture) & MMS (Red Cross human study) eliminating the virus are also underway and look promising given the track record of them both eliminating most viruses.
That being said if you are planning on getting pregnant and have been in Zika areas I would recommend to get tested and if positive, I would personally use a course of herbal medicine and compounds like those listed above along with a natural immune boosting protocol to eliminate the virus and prevent passing it on to your child. Remember to work with a trained natural doctor to get the dosage and potency required for successful treatment and don’t try it alone.
Stay safe and take common sense precautions to protect yourself. Remember to use a natural insect repellent and apply regularly, while also following the prevention steps outlined here and enjoy your travels.
Whilst we embrace the beautiful little soul still inside a pregnant belly, there are some things that you may not want to hang around after your precious bundle has arrived...and they are stretch marks.
Like the term states, stretch marks are pretty much scar like streaky areas that appear over overstretched skin. That being said, in pregnancy to accommodate the baby and increased milk supply most stretch marks are found on the tummy, hips and breasts. All bodies and pregnancies vary with their response to stretch marks and did you know that stretch marks are not only pregnancy related, they can occur as a result of weight gain, medical conditions and also changes to hormone levels.
Prevention is the greatest step, though if you do get stretch marks you may find that after birth if you use creams they may reduce existing stretch marks from a red to a silvery colour and fade over time.
With the vision to help stretching and growing skin Theme Rains, founder of First Light Organics, went in search for the most luxurious hydrating cream, enriched with omegas, vitamins and minerals to improve skin elasticity, reduce scarring and soothe dry skin. By gently massaging First Light Organics Stretch Mark Cream into Mummy-to-be's tummy, thighs and sides/ upper breast area with care and loving attention to smooth away marks and settle discomfort.Available online and selected stockists, our First Light Organics Stretch Mark Cream is definitely one to add to the baby registry and have a spare bottle ready for the hospital bag too.Sources:
How often has a family day in the park, bush or beach become short-lived due to annoying mosquitos, flies and bugs in general? Thankfully, insect repellent has allowed us to continue enjoying our time outdoors. However, have you ever wondered about the ingredients contained in the repellents and its possible affects on us?
What is DEET?
DEET (N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) is an active ingredient commonly found in most repellents to ward off mosquitos and many biting insects. It was developed by the United States Army in 1946 following its experience of jungle warfare during World War II and was tested as a pesticide. It was registered for use by the general public in 1957.
A Natural Alternative
Essential oils have been found to be a safe and natural alternative for repelling insects. We often forget that our skin is the largest organ of our body. Skin has remarkable powers of absorption, taking in both healing and harmful substances. Therefore, our skin deserves to be cared for by using the most beneficial, supportive and natural products. Theme Rains, founder of First Light Organics believes that product ingredients should be safe enough to eat.
The First Light Insect Repellent is 100% natural and made from 96% certified organics ingredients. It is DEET free and contains a blend of ten special Australian essential oils such as eucalyptus, lemon, citronella and tea tree. It has a lovely aromatic smell and can also be used as room deodoriser and purifier.