IN CONVERSATION – NATURAL BEAUTY

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed about all things natural beauty by local writer, Rosie Dalton. The conversation took place at our Surry Hills store with a lovely intimate audience. Delicious and nutritious snacks were provided by Westmont Pickles. Below, you will find a summary of the main points discussed on the night. Enjoy!

Fay’s background in health and beauty

ROSIE: Fay, could you start things off by telling us a little bit about your journey so far and how you came to open Luna?

  • I’ve always had an interest in herbs, skincare, rituals.

  • I studied Beauty Therapy straight after high school. I was inspired by my mum having  studied beauty therapy and aromatherapy. I have always loved body care products and massage.

  • The following year, I went off the oral contraceptive pill and began experiencing terrible problems with my skin. It became consuming and I was riddled with anxiety which developed into depression.

  • After trying what felt like every product on the market, I realised you can't just rely on topical applications. I needed to look inward and wanted to study Naturopathy but was afraid. Finally, I took the plunge because I wanted to help myself regain emotional strength and to rebalance my skin.

  • Opening my own store has been apart of my plans for as long as I can remember. My idea of what it would look like as a whole though took years to develop and evolve but eventually the timing felt right.

What is natural beauty?
ROSIE: Luna’s ethos is grounded in natural beauty, but there is still quite a lot of confusion around what this term actually means. Can you tell us what your definition of natural beauty is?

  • For me, natural beauty is about using plant based products. Plants are naturally high in antioxidants which is what neutralises free radicals that cause the signs of damage and aging in the skin.

  • Natural beauty is about healthy, resilient skin that slows the breakdown of collagen and elasticity but doesn’t try to completely fight the aging process.

  • Every ingredient serves a purpose.

  • It’s active, with sophisticated formulas. It’s luxurious to use because it takes advantage of the natural textures and fragrances of extracts.


ROSIE: And how does this concept translate at Luna?

  • I believe there is a strong synergy between people and plants.

  • I like to help people start looking at topical products from a more prescriptive and medicinal aspect rather than lots of throw away products with little purpose.

  • When using natural products, it awakens the self nurturer within.

Greenwashing in the beauty space

ROSIE: Natural beauty is quite a broad term, which can sometimes invite a certain level of greenwashing, would you agree?

  • Unfortunately, the main offenders are the larger companies trying to tap into this part of the market.

    ROSIE: What are some steps that people can take to make sure the beauty products they’re buying are actually natural?

  • You must look beyond the individual product and assess the brand and their ethos. Who is behind the brand? Avoid products by companies who have an organic and non-organic range.

  • They should be transparent and genuine.

The idea that there is no beauty without health

ROSIE: Of course we can’t talk about beauty without also talking about health. Why do you believe at Luna that there’s no beauty without health?

  • Health ailments manifest differently for different people. For some, skin is their weak point.

  • Main triggers can be: stress, hormones, incorrect topical products, digestive imbalance, lack of quality sleep.

  • I see a consistent amount of cases where the lifestyle/food choices and health ailments are almost identical. Cannot be a coincidence.

How health manifests itself externally

ROSIE: Can you share any examples from your own life in which internal health has been reflected externally?

  • My skin is my weak point. As mentioned, that’s what lead me on this journey!

  • My main triggers are stress and hormones and my skin can be temperamental but I have helped strengthened it with a wholefoods diet.

ROSIE: What are some of your key takeaways for women looking to optimise health and beauty?

  • Don’t strive for perfection, aim for health. It often helps to shift the focus from something specific such as skin and create goals around overall health and wellbeing. Glowing skin will follow.

  • Don’t try to do it all! As long as we are happy, we don’t need to prove ourselves to others.

The Luna Story
ROSIE: The Luna experience certainly offers a holistic approach to health and beauty. Can you tell us a bit about the services you offer and what sets Luna apart?

  • Our services are multi-faceted and individualised.

  • Education is part of the process for each client.

  • We don’t try and sell an image of ‘perfection’.

  • Acknowledgement that your spiritual and mental well being are just as important for health.

Fay’s routine/practices/or experiences
ROSIE: Would you like to share your own personal routine with us?

  • A 45 min walk at centennial every morning with husband and dog. If I have time, I will opt for a coastal walk instead.

  • Tongue scraping.

  • Coffee and /or smoothie.

  • Always eat a cooked breakfast before work.

  • In the evenings, change into comfortable clothing, cook dinner, skincare routine and relax!

Rosie’s routine/practices/or experiences

  • Since coming to see you, I have also discovered a few transformative products. Like Josh Rosebrook’s Nutrient Day Cream, which I use every morning. And the Lesse Ritual Serum, which I love applying before bed. My copper tongue scraper is also an important part of my morning routine and one that you put me onto.

ROSIE: What are some simple steps people can implement into their everyday? Health and beauty are obviously highly personal to the individual. But to finish off, could you share with us a few simple health and beauty guidelines that you feel are universal?

  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables every day.

  • Buy the best quality meat, eggs and dairy you can.

  • Organic where possible.

  • Move your body each day, even if it’s walking.

  • Keep your skincare simple but thorough and update seasonally.

  • Get some sunlight, we are like plants and need light and time in nature.

  • Your immune system is all you have so look after yourself!

BEAUTYSCOPES

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To celebrate the full moon in Libra.

By resident Tarot Reader, Sophia Somerville.

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The Easter full moon that just passed was in Libra, making it the second full moon in a row in this sign (the first was on March 20). This occurrence is known as a Double Full Moon, and marks an ideal time to focus on what you’ve been avoiding – specifically when it comes to your self-care. During the two weeks following this moon you are being asked to cycle back to what feels unresolved in your relationship to yourself. Libran energy corresponds to partnership, the relationship between self and other, and is also an archetype associated with beauty, aesthetics and balance. In this way, you may also take these next 14 days as an opportunity to examine the ways your self-care and beauty rituals influence your interactions with others and inspire action in the wider world.

Be open to any psychic downloads (otherwise known as: those flashes of an idea that you get at the most inconvenient times but feel compelled to write down in the notes section of your phone nonetheless) that are coming through for you at this time. Notice how your relationships act as mirrors, and what those mirrors are showing you about your own nature. Be brave enough to open your eyes and look. You are worthy of the truth.

Here are your Beautyscopes for the two weeks following the Full Moon in Libra, from April 20 to May 3. I have pulled a card for each sign. Read for your sun, moon and rising signs, if you know all three. Take what resonates and leave the rest. I have used the Motherpeace tarot deck for this reading.

Here are your Beautyscopes for the two weeks following the Full Moon in Libra, from April 20 to May 3. I have pulled a card for each sign. Read for your sun, moon and rising signs, if you know all three. Take what resonates and leave the rest. I have used the Motherpeace tarot deck for this reading.

ARIES: Page of Cups

You are at the threshold of a plethora of feeling – and not the heavy, burdensome kind. This moon wants to cascade a waterfall of supportive emotions all over your spirit. This has the power to lift your heart, and might even bring a long-forgotten dream to the surface. Sip on some Turmeric Tea to calm your nervous system enough to be able to receive the soothing sensations that want to flow through you.

TAURUS: Hermit

It’s your birthday season, Taurus! What better time to schedule in some me-time? The Hermit wants you to use this fortnight to reconnect to your body and rest your mind. Create a container of peace around you, and give yourself permission to forget about the outside world for a while. Place a Bodha Aromatherapy Eye Pillow over your lids for maximum bliss.

GEMINI: King of Swords

Some hard but necessary truths want to be voiced at this time. Don’t get ahead of yourself though Gemini - it’s important that you communicate to yourself first in a judgement free manner, so you can clarify what the truth of the matter is. Try free-writing out your feelings, insights and ideas on some Supply Paper without censoring or editing your words. From there, you can speak your truth from a place of backing yourself.

CANCER: Hanged Man

A necessary pause is being experienced right now. Don’t fight it. Use this halt-in-outer-progress as a way of ramping up your inner progress. Get intimate with your physical needs - any cleansing rituals or clearing practices are favoured at this time, especially those that you have not tried before. Clear away mental clutter by dry body brushing or going for a swim. You gain personal power when you prioritise your pause. Make the most of it.

LEO: Queen of Cups

The part of you that feels everything deeply wants to be celebrated and seen. Not in a drama-queen way, but in a more creative and spiritual manner. Use this time to create a ritual to honour your emotional body. This may involve cooking yourself a nourishing, colourful meal using seasonal ingredients, or appealing to your senses with Bodha Calm Ritual Spray. Whatever you do, make it feel good. Let it feel like an affirmation.

VIRGO: Four of Cups

You have a choice to make. Things may feel cloudy at the moment, with little hope of getting out of the mud. Acknowledge your frustrations but do not believe them, Virgo. This wading is not a waste of time. Diffuse some Peppermint Oil to inspire clarity; breathe it in daily as a way of reminding yourself that you are on your way to a sense of finality. There is closure coming, and with it a whole lotta freedom. It’s important that you don’t abandon yourself at this stage of the journey my love.

LIBRA: Ace of Pentacles

A new beginning is at your doorstep. Whether you feel ready or not, you are being offered a brand new way of living your days. A fresh approach to routine is being emphasised at this time, one that wants you to infuse more intentionality to the more mundane aspects of your existence. Burn some Peruvian Palo Santo Incense to set your intentions in a tangible, effervescent way, and fill your home space with its energy. Let this be a time of using your physical routines to water what you want to grow.

SCORPIO: Moon

This moon is illuminating the magic of the unknown, a realm that you do not tend to shy away from. This time is about renewing your vows to all that is mysterious, dark, shadowy, untapped, raw and mystical - and surrendering to its power. You draw beauty from all that is unseen. That is something rare and wonderful to behold. Pop a tube of Moon Balm in your purse as a lunar talisman you can carry with you as you move through this moonlit world.

SAGITTARIUS: Knight of Pentacles

True to form, your desires are plentiful right now. The long weekend may have hit you with a reality check, and unearthed some frustration about how long something that you want is likely to take. Don’t shy away from calling it like it is, but don’t use it as an excuse to abandon your dreams. This time is encouraging you to embrace the path you are on wholeheartedly, and find the benefits of the slow burn. The medicine of Ayurveda may help you see the wisdom in aiming before you shoot - try Ayu’s Kapha Body Oil after a shower.

CAPRICORN: Empress

You’ve been on your grind, Capricorn. While I love to see you in your proactive element, it’s time for you to reconnect with your receptive side (yes, you have one!). Following the full moon, you are encouraged to experience opulence through your physical body and through nature – as Rachel Pollack says “the Empress wears the universe as her jewellery”. My prescription? Give yourself a lymphatic massage using Odacité’s Crystal Contour Gua Sha. This is a divine way to channel you’re a natural ability to give as well as allowing yourself to receive. Soak up the pleasure and healing that you offer yourself. Let it all the way in.

AQUARIUS: King of Cups

Your relationships are demanding a lot from you, Aqua babes. There may be some fatigue, some weariness, some confusion making its way to the surface of your psyche. Let it up and out – and take note of what it’s telling you. Are there certain folks who make you feel dead inside? Is there an energy vampire in your midst who you need to distance yourself from? Are you giving your partner a chance to support you in the ways you support them? Use this time to clarify your emotional needs. Try burning a Wild Sage Smudge Stick to clear any stagnant energy from your space and banish any emotions that don’t belong to you.

PISCES: Ace of Wands

The spark of a fresh inspiration is lit. Rejoice in its glow, dear Pisces, for it is the answer to an old prayer. This new fire brings a certain fortitude and lust for life that you haven’t experienced in a while. Sink into this feeling, and allow it to engulf you. The beauty of fire is that it connects you to your inherent liberty and free will. What do you want to create? What do you want to bring to life? Light a Beeswax Tealight Candle and make your wishes known.

Daily Tips For Health

  • The first step is to do a stock take of your fridge and pantry. It’s best to remove all packaged, processed foods to eliminate temptation! Replace with quality, real ingredients. A well stocked pantry means quick and nutritious meals no matter what.

  • Can you read and pronounce the ingredients? If no, don’t buy. If a packaged food has its own tv commercial, don't buy. 

  • Pick one day of the week to go shopping and get prepared for your week. Set aside a couple of hours to prepare some healthy snacks/healthy bread/soups to freeze etc.

  • Start your day with a good savoury breakfast that consists of a protein and good quality fats. Eggs are always the best option.  You can fry them in a bit of butter, make an omelette or frittata, scramble or boil them. Serve with sides such as haloumi, avocado, basil, spinach, mushrooms with a small slice of spelt sourdough. Or try Scottish oatmeal with coconut oil, chia seeds, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, organic berries and natural Greek yoghurt.

  • Always be prepared with snacks. A few simple ideas include:

    • Activated macadamias with cinnamon, berries and desiccated coconut.

    • Homemade guacamole with carrot and celery sticks.

    • Low GI fruit options such as berries, apples, pears, and nectarines.

    • Homemade sweet potato fries baked in coconut oil and paprika (optional) 

  • Chew your food until it is liquid for maximum digestibility. 

  • Try to avoid eating when stressed as blood diverts away from the digestive system in times of stress.

  • Add herbs and spices to all your meals. They instantly make meals tasty, boosts the nutrition content and takes no extra time. Can be fresh or dried eg. rosemary, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, cinnamon, turmeric, parsley, coriander, fennel, garlic, sage. Most are blood purifying and antimicrobial.  

  • Swap table salt for Himalayan salt/Celtic salt instead. 

  • More fat! Use a variety of extra virgin olive oil, avocado, pure butter, ghee and coconut oil. Just make sure to keep away from industrial seed oils such as canola and deep fried foods. 

  • Swap refined sugar for delicious, wholesome alternatives such as vanilla bean powder, raw honey, organic maple syrup, cinnamon, stevia or low GI fruits such as berries. 

  • Indulge in your favorite foods 1-2x/week. Balance is key. Life is too short. But remember, healthy eating is not deprivation, it's a way of living longer and better. Your body will thank you.

  • Water, water, water all day long. Filtered is best. To make it more enticing, you can add lemon, mint and cucumber. Just remember it's best not to drink with meals but around 30 mins either side of eating. Add a small pinch of Himalayan salt 1/8th teaspoon to 1 L water) to ensure proper uptake of water into cells.

  • Embrace herbal tea. So many to choose from but you can't go wrong with green or peppermint or ginger tea in the morning and chamomile in the evening. It counts towards your total water intake. Just make sure it's not artificially flavoured. 

    Always strive for long term, sustainable changes.

If you suffer from ongoing skin conditions, digestive upset or menstrual irregularity it’s important to talk with your trusted health professional. Increased intestinal permeability, exposure to exogenous endocrine disruptors, high stress and an underfunctioning liver can all contribute to a state of imbalance.

A Useful Exercise In Complexion Care

What does your skin feel like right now? Balanced, calm, comfortable? Or oily, tight, inflamed?

What will your intentions be tonight when you cleanse and moisturise your skin? Do you take your time, carefully working the product into the skin? 

Do you have a skincare strategy? Do you buy what's most popular, prescribed or convenient?

This exercise is about frequent evaluation of both the current condition of your skin and products on hand. You may have noticed your skin doesn’t feel the same every single day depending on food consumed, hormones, weather or stress. Taking this into consideration, I don’t believe in being too rigid with skincare routines but rather flexible and adaptable to these factors. I highly recommend having two different cleansers and moisturisers or oils on hand to accomodate your most common fluctuations or at elast to update your routine seasonally. The next part of this exercise is to look at the individual components of your routine. It is easy to forget our skin is a living, breathing organ. We often take for granted the environmental assault and general wear and tear we expose ourselves to every day. I believe there is an over-emphasis on anti-aging and under-emphasis on ritual, protection and nourishment.

Our skin responds well to rituals. 

There is however, a current trend towards traumatising the skin in order to encourage healing. The science behind it is based around 'up-regulation' of the skin's function. In other words, it is thought that wounded skin will heal to a point of enhanced appearance. The benefits are short lived. I am often alarmed by the amount of cases of sensitised skin from overuse of cosmeceutical products and invasive procedures. This doesn't apply to those using an AHA/BHA/Retinol based product 2-3 times per week. To me, overuse means cleansing with an AHA cleanser, applying a lightening serum and layering that with retinol cream. I like to call this type of skin 'stressed'. It usually appears, reactive, inflamed, and imbalanced (slightly oily but tight and dehydrated). It is a common misconception that just because you've been using a product for a long time, you won't react to it. While active products can be useful, be weary of brands that promise miracle results in a flash. Inflammation caused by aggressive products leads to the formation of ‘self-destruct' enzymes that eventually breakdown collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Sounds counter-intuitive to me! This is why it is imperative to evaluate each step of your routine. Are you layering too many cosmeceutical style products in an attempt to achieve faster results?

Our skin has a very rhythmic pattern of shedding so a little patience will allow the correct products for your skin to work and show real results.

This isn't to say you have to miss out on a daily dose of powerful ingredients, simply opt for ingredients that are strengthening such as fat soluble Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid and Hyaluronic acid. 

The skin can be healed in a much more profound way with barrier restoration, dermal nutrients and adequate hydration. It is much more preferable to encourage the skin to perform as it should, a state of homeostasis. Let's not forget that beauty comes from within so it is only logical that wellness in beauty is about working with body processes, not against them. 

We are here anytime to help you expand or streamline your skincare straetgy as needed. No two people have the same skin so we welcome you to share your skincare concerns and goals with us for a personalised approach!

Grocery Guide

I believe in keeping meal guidelines relatively traditional, simple and easy to follow. I don’t believe we should be too restritive but we absolutley should be fussy about the quality of our food for envrionmental, ethical and health reasons. Clients and customers often ask me where I shop for groceries, pantry items and produce. This is information I share with my Naturopathy clients but would love to share with everyone. So, i’ve compiled a list of my go-tos.

WHERE TO SHOP

•        Wholefoods House Woollahra or Rosebery. Good for pantry items. They stock Inglewood chicken, Egganic eggs, Canadian Way Salmon, organic produce (but not always local), Argyle Meat, Bundarra Berkshires.

•        Kingsmore Meats Rose Bay

•        Feather & Bone- Online delivery

•        EthicalFarmers.com.au

•        Broth Bar & Larder Bronte for frozen/ fresh bone broth and good snack ideas that are nutritional eg Pate.

•        Entertainment Quarter produce markets (Wednesdays) or Marrickville market (sundays) or Bondi Farmer market (Saturdays) or Tramsheds Farmer Market (Sundays).

WHERE TO LOOK FOR RECIPES

•        River Cottage

•        Jamie Oliver

•        Hemsley + Hemsley

•        The Naturalista (Xochi Balfour)

•        Tess Ward

•        Soulla Chamberlain/ Star Anise blog

•        The Healthy Chef

•        Honey From a Weed by Patience Gray

•        Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

The Eight Pillars of Good Health

Good health isn’t just about food, it’s about a healthy life! Here are some of the core elements I believe help form healthy habits, attitudes and an all-round balanced routine.

·       Food

Variety, traditional, Mediterranean, seasonal, organic, real ingredients.

·       Movement

For tone, strength, fitness, metabolism, endorphins, circulation.

·       The elements

Sunlight, earth, water, embracing the seasons, grounding, floating, vitamin D.

·       Sleep

Enhances cognitive function, energy, physical and psychological rest, repair, healing.

·       Nervous system support

Developing a healthy stress response, adrenal gland support, energy, stable mood.

·       Routine and relaxation

Well stocked fridge and pantry for meal preparation, beauty and spiritual rituals, making time for life administration, making time for fun.

·       Environment

Outside and inside the home, reducing exposure to environmental toxins, health friendly cleaning agents, minimal clutter, organised, free of mould and synthetic fragrance, bedroom conducive to good sleep.

·       Community

Connecting and doing good for others, feel safe and supported.

Stay attuned to body’s signals and be open to making adjustments to your routine through the seasons. Play an active role in your health. It is vital we take responsibility for our own health. Find caring and knowledgeable practitioners to assist you along the way.