What is clean beauty?

The UK wellbeing and organic beauty market is riding high. Meanwhile European beauty products certified with Soil Association COSMOS in 2018 doubled to stretch to over 10,000 products from among 794 brands. The clean beauty trend is now becoming mainstream.

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Defining clean beauty

A focus on detoxification and wellness is fuelling a demand for ‘clean’ ingredients in beauty and diet products, with consumers reading labels more carefully. Mintel suggests that 21 per cent of US customers seek skincare products with the lowest possible number of ingredients.

To say that something is ‘chemical-free’, ‘green’ or ‘natural’ is no longer useful – there is no set definition for clean beauty, and such terms can be open to misuse. Victoria Buchanan at The Future Laboratory remarks that ‘zero-irritants’ are going to set a new beauty standard.

Among firms getting on board, Clarins cosmetics now boasts a vegan skincare line (with recycled packaging), while Wella Professionals has introduced plant-based hair colour.

Toxic ingredients to avoid

Steer clear of synthetic chemicals and aggressive ingredients. Mineral oils (petrolatum, petroleum, paraffinum liquidum) and artificial colours, silicones (like dimethicone), sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), phthalates (DEHP, DBP, DEP, BPA) and parabens (ethyl-, methyl-, butyl-, propyl-) can all cause skin problems.

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Some skincare ranges omit the ‘suspicious six’: alcohols, essential oils, chemical screens, silicones, SLS and fragrance/dyes and a rise in sensitive skin caused by exposure to pollution and stress is driving a shift towards honest, natural ingredients.

Natural versus organic products

‘Natural’ products contain plant and natural ingredients and are minimally processed. ‘Organic’ products go further: they use non-GMO ingredients that have been produced without herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics or fungicides.

Vegan products

A properly vegan product has no ingredients derived from animals – including collagen, honey, albumen, carmine, cholesterol and gelatin. In hair care, the use of vegetable ingredients – including algaes, wheat protein, shea butter and argan oil – has replaced keratin, beeswax and lanolin.

Clarins cosmetics is among brands going vegan.

The Guardian explores the clean beauty trend here: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/feb/04/is-clean-beauty-a-skincare-revolution-or-a-pointless-indulgence.

The environmental impact

In 2018, Zero Waste Week reported that 120 billion packaging units are produced each year by the worldwide cosmetics industry, much of which can’t be recycled.

Promoting sustainability, glass can be reused many times. Plastic resin derived from corn is a renewable resource instead of petroleum, while soy-based ink can be used for printing.

Frequently asked questions about building with oak

The tradition of oak building in the UK is a long one and people love its rich character and versatility. It can be used in both traditional and contemporary homes and yet there are still many misconceptions surrounding oak. Here are some of the questions people ask about before choosing oak frames:

Is it difficult to get insurance for oak-framed houses? Is there a higher risk of fire?

There is no increased risk of fire with an oak-framed building. Every house or building must adhere to the same Building Regulations whether they are constructed with timber, bricks or oak. The rumours about problems with fire risk and insurance date back to the Eighties when regulations weren’t as strict and there was a problem with softwood construction.
Oak is highly fire resistant and, in a fire, the outside of the wood will char and protect the inner core. Using a reputable oak supplier means that there should be no problem whatsoever with finding insurance.

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Is oak more expensive?

Building with oak doesn’t have to be expensive. It depends on the amount of oak you use, and you can mix it with other types of timber to keep the cost down. Perhaps you can introduce a little of the warmth of oak by adding traditional oak beams in the living room and different wood in the rest of the house. Choosing Bespoke Oak Frames for a porch or carport is another economic way to enjoy the look and feel of this popular wood. For more information, visit  http://www.bespoaktimberframes.co.uk

If you suffer from allergies, are there any benefits to building with oak?

Oak frames contain no chemicals or preservatives so can be used in any area of the home, including as a flooring option.

Is building with oak energy efficient and sustainable?

Oak is both sustainable and has a low environmental impact. The brilliant thing about oak is that it’s carbon neutral, meaning the emissions created by preparing, transporting and constructing oak is offset by how long the oak frames last.

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Can you add an oak frame extension to a brick house?

Of course you can. An oak extension is in no way different to any other type of extension and adds huge amounts of charm and character to a property.

There is a rumour that green oak frames can shrink and move. Is this true?

Green oak is used sometimes as it contains a high moisture content, making the timber easier to cut to exact shapes and sizes. When oak frames are first fitted, it’s good for them to move a little as they settle. Q. We’ve heard that green oak frames move and shrink, is this a problem?
A. We build in green oak because of the high moisture content, which makes the timbers easier to cut and shape to exact sizes. We want the oak timbers to move a little when they’re first fitted to allow them to settle into place. Over time, oak will season and shrink back, causing the joints to tighten and improve the overall structural strength of the frames.


Six common boiler and heating FAQs

Let’s take a look at six of the most common boiler and heating FAQs:

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Which is cheapest – an electric boiler or gas?

Boiler prices are similar, but installing an electric boiler is easier and therefore cheaper. Electricity is easy to reach, whereas gas boilers may need extensive new plumbing to connect them. Gas boilers also require vents to take waste gases away, while electric boilers have no waste products to worry about.

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Which is cheaper to run?

Electric appliances can achieve higher energy efficiency. Some manufacturers claim 99 per cent efficiency in turning electricity into heat, while gas boilers struggle to achieve 90 per cent. Whether this makes them cheaper depends on the cost of electricity in the first place, with gas boilers currently costing substantially less in fuel.

What are the environmental differences?

Don’t be deceived by the 99 per cent efficiency boast if you are motivated by environmental concerns. This 99 per cent does not include the efficiency of the power station and electricity supply grid. Waste and pollution are simply further away; however, having fewer flues venting waste gases near your home might be a plus.

What are the servicing costs?

Real costs also depend on your maintenance bills. Theoretically, it is most important to service gas appliances; in fact, this is often required by law and by insurance companies. This doesn’t mean gas boilers are less reliable, as countless gas boilers have been operating problem-free for 25 years without a service.

A Bristol boiler service avoids the danger of a sudden large bill if the boiler breaks down and keeps it running efficiently.

What are boiler regulations?

Any boiler installation is a job for the professionals, such as https://www.bristolboilerservice.co.uk/. Regulations are strictest in regard to gas appliances., with Gas Safety regulations introduced in 1998 and amended in 2018. Gas appliances can only be installed by Gas Safe registered engineers.

What are combi boilers

Combination boilers power both your heating and your hot water. There are both gas and electric combis.

Combis don’t have storage tanks; instead, the water is heated as it is needed and delivered at mains pressure. This makes combi boilers easier and cheaper to install. It is important to get a combi powerful enough to fill your bath quickly and cope with the number of taps in your home

How to Tackle Flu Effectively

Flu is a serious viral infection that is also very contagious. When the flu season hits, it’s highly likely you’ll fall foul of the illness at least once every year. There are plenty of things you can do to reduce the chances of catching flu, such as eating oranges, vegetables, and shellfish. Making sure you’re fit and healthy with regular exercise and plenty of sleep is also going to make a difference.

If you become sick with the flu, the most important thing to do it stay at home. Rather than spread the infection further, take some time off from work and stay indoors. As well as preventing the spread of the flu, it will also help your recovery. While you’re at home, make sure you follow these tips.

  • Keep Hydrated

The symptoms of flu include a high fever, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. You need to replace these lost fluids in order to help your body fight off the infection. Drink plenty of water, herbal teas or hot water with lemon and honey. Another option is hydration therapy. This is a way of providing your body with all the fluid, medication and nutrients it needs to fight off the flu. You can learn more by visiting www.resetiv.com.

  • Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is what your body will need when it’s fighting the flu. Sleep in, go to bed early, even take a nap during the day if you want to. Your stuffy nose and cough might make sleeping a little more difficult, but you can do something about it. Use an extra pillow, sleep with a vaporizer or humidifier, or take a hot shower or bath before you go to bed; all these methods will help you breathe easier.

  • Healthy Diet

When you’re feeling under the weather, it’s easy to be tempted by comfort foods such as a bag of potato chips and ice cream. However, don’t give in! Opt for healthier foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. These are what will provide you with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your immune system needs.

  • Medication

There are a wide variety of medications you can buy over the counter to relieve the symptoms of the flu. Some treat specific symptoms, while others are a more general solution. Before you take anything, make sure you read the label first and follow the dosage instructions carefully.

  • Honey

If you’ve got a sore throat or cough, honey can be an effective treatment. Add a spoonful to your tea, and it will also be a great way to stay hydrated.

  • Be Positive

Your emotions and attitude can have a profound effect on how your feeling, so try to stay as positive as you can. You might not feel like a million dollars, but having a positive attitude may help your recovery.

The best thing for anyone recovering from flu is plenty of sleep, rest and lots of fluid. If you’re able to catch your symptoms early, it will significantly reduce the risk of any complications.