Lacking funds for a proper pamper? No worries. Naturopath Cassie Mendoza-Jones reckons a kitchen raid is all you need. Here are the natural goodies that will keep your skin glowing.
Coconut oil is a beautiful hydrator for skin. It’s has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and has been known to soothe irritated and red skin, such as in the case of eczema or psoriasis.
How to apply: Apply coconut oil to your skin after cleansing morning and night. It can be used on your face and all over your body. It speeds up healing of bites, rashes and sores and even helps to remove makeup.
Yoghurt contains lactic acid which helps to prevent the signs of ageing, such as wrinkles, and gives the skin a fresh, youthful glow. Yoghurt is also a wonderful hydrator.
How to apply: To improve dull or dry skin, apply natural yoghurt to your skin for about 10-20 minutes. If you have extremely dry skin, add some honey, and if you have extremely dull skin, add a natural exfoliator such as sugar, salt or oats to brighten your skin.
Oats are a natural absorbent making them perfect for oily skin. Using them in a homemade scrub helps to deeply cleanse your pores, removing excess sebum.
How to apply: Add to a mixture of natural yoghurt or coconut oil plus some honey. Rub into your skin to gentle exfoliate cleanse, then rinse off. If you have very sensitive skin, brown sugar is an even more gentle option for exfoliation.
CUCUMBER + CHAMOMILE
The signature ‘home-made facial’ look of cucumber slices over your eyes actually works. You could also use refrigerated chamomile tea bags. Both cucumber and chamomile are anti-inflammatory and work really well to calm down irritated skin, and de-puff and reduce redness, irritation and fluid retention.
How to apply: Place cucumber slices over your eyes. Or, if you’re using chamomile tea bags, dip them in water, then place in the fridge or freezer for a short time to cool them. Then apply over eyes for ten minutes.
Honey is antibacterial and helps to kill germs and bacteria which may affect or worsen acne. It also gentle moisturises the skin.
How to apply: Add to a mixture of coconut oil and oats, rub onto your skin, leave for 2-3 minutes then wash off with warm water.
Cassie Mendoza-Jones is a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and entrepreneur who believes in the healing power of nature (and a good dark chocolate). She founded Elevate Vitality, a boutique naturopathic clinic which specialises in healing digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression.
Beauty/fashion/home makeovers aside… your superannuation might need a bit of makeover too. Here’s the (non-boring, but really important) the lowdown…
Here’s a crazy stat: on average, a woman’s super payout at retirement is 43% less than a man’s. As part of International Women’s Day today (happy IWD!) the Australian Taxation Office has launched a campaign to make sure Aussie women know how to make the most out of their super (and you don’t have to earn big cash or have a fancy degree in economics to do so). Bridge the whopping gap with this five-step super health check:
1. Check your statements
We know, it’s easy to just throw super statements in a stack of other paper that never gets read but you should be checking these things: is your employer paying the right rate (amount equal to at least 9.25% of your pay) each quarter? And does your statement show ALL your contributions, insurance and fees?
2. Make sure your fund has your Tax File Number
If not, you’ll be paying more tax (eek!) and it makes it harder to keep track of all your current and past super accounts (a lot of us have plenty floating around from different jobs…).
3. Keep track of all your accounts
Find any lost super (ahem, aforementioned accounts) and transfer to one preferred account (whether it’s the one your current employer contributes to, or a fresh one you’ve done some research on).
4. Find out if you’re eligible for government contributions
These can boost your super – who doesn’t want that?! Head to www.ato.gov.au/boostmysuper to suss out if you qualify and if so, what you need to do.
5. Start contributing too
You’re probs not putting any extra dollars into your super fund, right? Start making extra payments, either through salary sacrificing (chat to your work) or from your after-tax pay. We bet there’s something you can give up now so that you can put your feet up by a pool when you’re old and grey…
We get the expert advice from Miss Minit resident podiatrist, Kate McArthur
By Coordinator/Editor’s PA Jaymie
When we’re not in our trainers, chances are we’re slipping into our favourite pair of heels. But unlike the strangely satisfying burn we feel in our limbs after a morning at boot camp, our poor feet are often left feeling abused and tender after a night out or a day at the office.
Wearing heels doesn’t have to be as traumatic as watching an episode of Game of Thrones, though. If you wear them right, you can skip the pain altogether. Try choosing shoes with a thicker heel for more stability and a rounded toe for more space. “Wedges or chunky heels are a great option,” Kate says. But if you can’t stay away from the pumps, try sneaking Kate’s exercises into your day:
• Pick up a towel with the toes on your right foot for 1 minute. Change feet and repeat.
• Holding your big toe still and straight, wave your little toes up and down. 3x10 reps per foot.
• Sit in a chair and place your foot on the ground. Flex the top of your foot and hold the stretch for 2 minutes. (This one’s easy to do under your desk at the office!)
This reinvigorating but calming yoga move will have you facing the world head on
How to master it:
1. Stand with your feet together and arms in a relaxed position by your side. Step your left leg back into a lunge (you can place your fingertips to the floor for support), making sure your right knee is directly above your ankle and your thigh is parallel to the ground.
2. Press firmly into the balls of your back foot (heel lifting) while keeping your hips facing forward. Keep your weight evenly distributed across both feet and legs. Allow your torso to lift out of your legs and keep your stomach active so your whole body works together. Fix your gaze at a point in the sand ahead of you. 3. Inhale and stretch your arms overhead, palms pressed together. Remain looking forward or look up towards your thumbs or the sky.
4. Hold and breathe deeply for five breaths. Repeat on other side for the same duration.
TIP: Change it up by dropping your back knee down into the sand for extra support.
It’s our favourite day of the year - Pancake Day! Who said this sweet treat can’t be good for you? Join in on the celebrations with this healthy alternative
Serves: 4 or 8-10 crepes
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Cost per serve: $3.75
2 egg yolks
125g buckwheat flour
½ tbsp caster sugar
1 pnt raspberries
¼ bunch mint, roughly chopped or torn
4 tsp honey
1. Place eggs, yolks, buckwheat flour and milk in a bowl. Using a whisk, mix to a smooth batter.
2. Heat a non-stick frying pan and spray lightly with oil.
3. Pour in some batter and swirl the pan around to evenly and thinly cover the base, cook until lightly browned before turning. Cook other side until lightly browned, set aside and repeat the process until all of the batter is used.
4. Peel and cut the pineapple into chunks and place into a bowl.
5. Cut passionfruit in half and squeeze over the pineapple, adding raspberries, honey and mint.
6. Fold crepes into quarters, place onto a plate and top with fruit mixture.
Rest the crepe mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes before use, giving the gluten a chance to relax ensuring a smooth and delicate crepe.
Low fat yoghurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
A blog post you should send to your boss.
By Deputy Ed, Samera
If you’re following Women’s Fitness on Instagram your feed was no doubt flooded with our visual boasting this week – health-retreat-trip-away kinda boasting. Every now and then you end up lucky enough to work for someone who cares about your wellbeing not only at work, but outside of the office walls too. At WF this comes in the form of our lovely Editor Rach and an email she sent a few months ago with the subject line “Shall we? Looks awful : )”. What followed was a link to Solar Springs Health Retreat in the Southern Highlands, NSW. Think: Pampering. Healthy food. Meditation. And kangaroos! Suffice to say, there was nothing awful about this email. And we were all IN.
We sauna-d and spa-d. We played Pictionary. We brainstormed about how to keep making an awesome mag for you guys each month. But most importantly, we bonded in a way that deadlines/meetings/day-to-day workloads just don’t allow.
While a road trip with your workmates might sound/feel weird (particularly if you’ve never even had a cheeky after-work drink with them) I learnt a few lessons these past two days that should be printed in a “How to holiday with your work colleagues guide” (hello book publishers? Anyone?).
Lesson #1: Beauty rituals, be gone
I’m no Kardashian wannabe, but I GHD my hair and slap on some make-up for work every day. I also wear sky-high heels every single Monday to Friday (shortness, it’s a condition). And no colleagues (past or present) have ever seen me in denim (not that there’s a single thing wrong with wearing denim to the office). But this out-of-office trip meant Casual Samera was coming out to play. Was I worried the WF girls were going to discover how short I really am? Can’t say I was. That they would judge the breakout on my chin sans make-up? Hmm, no. Because we’re grown women. And grown women should appreciate other grown women, shortness/breakouts and all.
The first time we dined fresh-faced one of us remarked how nice it actually was to see each other make-up free. Sure, my hair was the kinkiest it’s been since the GHD was invented, but dressed in my best hoodie and Cons I feel like my workmates got to unpeel a little layer of Work Samera.
Lesson #2: Ditch ‘no’ from your vocab
Party-pooper, a definition: Someone who tarnishes a good vibe simply because they don’t want to do something they’ve never done/don’t normally do. Yeah okay, if the itinerary lists sky-diving, go ahead and be a party-pooper. But as a general rule, most team bonding activities don’t involve you to be 10,000 feet off the ground. Which means, you’ve got no excuse not to GET INVOLVED. Nothing says “team player” to your workmates like getting involved. Trust me, I saw “team player” written all over my co-workers when they got their go-getter on to bushwalk in total darkness, silently meditate for an hour and do aquarobics with a pool full of nanas (which is an underrated workout, PS).
Lesson #3: Be grateful
When you’re in any kind of perk-friendly job it’s so easy to forget how lucky you are, and to possibly even just expect the perks to be thrown your way on a regular basis. Or, if you’re in a total perk-free job but the boss decides one day to whisk you all away on a team bonding trip it’s easy to think, “Really? A weekend away with these clowns?”. Whether you’re a little Column A, or a little Column B, chucking the word “thank you” at the forefront of your vocabulary (you’ve got plenty of room in it now that you’ve ditched “no”) will serve you well. Sure, you might think you’d rather be poolside with your best girls, the ones you don’t see for eight long hours every day, but make a point to be grateful that your boss is invested enough in the relationships you have in those eight long hours everyday. I know Casual Samera is.