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11 things your mother didn’t tell you

‘Show a stranger your underwear’ is probably something your mother didn’t tell you. But here’s why you should! We list 11 health and beauty tips to ponder and try 

1. Spend up in the bedroom

If you splurge on only one thing, your  humble pillowcase might be the one to upgrade. Silk pillowcases don’t come cheap, but they offer a host of benefits compared to traditional cotton slips. Silk is easier on your hair and the delicate skin of your face, plus hair slides more easily over silk, meaning it doesn’t tangle or frizz as readily when you’re tossing and turning. Because silk doesn’t soak up moisture as much as cotton, it won’t dry out your skin overnight. Check out the local company Silkbody, www.silkbody.co.nz, or New Zealand Nature, www.nznature.co.nz

2. Don’t leave the house 

To go shopping, that is! These days, it’s easy to get everyday products delivered to your door. Sign up for fresh, locally grown veggies from Food Box, www.foodbox.co.nz, or Ooooby, www.ooooby.org. Organic and free-range meat is available online from Moreish, www.moreish.co.nz. For gorgeous gifts and homewares try the stores Trade Aid, www.tradeaid.org.nz, Izzy and Jean Co, www.izzyandjean.co.nz and Green With Envy, www.greenwithenvy.co.nz.  Check out The Good Shopping Handbook online at www.good.net.nz/shopping for more goodies. 

3. Fake glowing skin 

Most of us look a little healthier and prettier with a sun-kissed glow. It’s frustrating that achieving a tan naturally is a guaranteed road to skin damage – or worse. That’s where fake tan comes in. Thankfully the industry has moved far beyond the orange shades of the 1970s towards products with natural ingredients that let us add colour a little at a time. Try Trilogy Instant Bronzing Gel, www.trilogyproducts.com, Kiri Organics Natural Dark Tan, www.kiriorganics.co.nz, which is certified organic by BioGro, or Eco Tan, www.ecotan.co.nz, which is certified organic by Australian Organic Food Chain.

4. Don’t be so clean

Compared to the rest of human history, we’re clean freaks – showering daily and hand-washing religiously. As the mercury drops and bath temperatures rise, hot water can dry out your skin, stripping it of its natural oils. Solutions? Make your washing routine cooler, quicker – or both. Follow up a hot soak with natural body oil to prevent scaly, dry skin and flaking. Similarly, shun antibacterial soaps – they could be doing us more harm than health. “Evidence these products provide any extra benefit is lacking,” says Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin. “There’s a chance they are doing us harm by reducing the effectiveness of drugs we rely on to fight infections when we do get sick.” Antibacterial soaps contain triclosan and triclocarban, which not only linger in our waterways but may increase antibiotic resistance. 

5. Buy an alarm clock 

This isn’t an excuse to increase the number of gadgets in your life – but as a way to avoid sleeping with your phone by your bed. Research confirms that we don’t sleep as well if we’ve been staring at screens just before turning in for the night, but it’s pretty difficult to resist looking up something on your phone just as you’re setting the alarm. Having a non-phone alarm means you can keep the phone in another room overnight. Try setting a radio or stereo on a timer switch to wake you up instead.

6. Cheat a little  

When it comes to getting ready to face the day, choose skincare and beauty products that let you accomplish more than one thing at once. Christchurch brand Oasis offers a suite of products which aim to cut down time spent in front of the mirror – from the clever three-in-one Lips & Lashes treatment to Fruit Smoothie, an exfoliator and face mask combo. The hero of the lot is BB Cream, which combines moisturiser, SPF25 and a light mineral foundation. Find out more at www.oasisbeauty.co.nz

7. Wear sunscreen in winter

The skies may be threatening rain and a wintry gale howling away, but that’s no excuse to banish the SPF to the back of the bathroom cabinet. Skin is damaged by the sun even in the depths of winter, and blocking its radiation is one of the best anti-ageing treatments around. Keep things simple by choosing a foundation or moisturiser which already contains SPF, and keep a tube of sunscreen in your handbag for sunny-day top-ups. Go to www.good.net.nz/sunscreen for a rundown of natural and organic options.

8. Talk to yourself 

All that self-talk you do in quiet moments? Imagine you’re saying it to someone else. If your words are insulting, rude or mean, change what you’re telling yourself. Internal negative dialogue is a terrible trap to fall into, preventing you from maintaining a good headspace. Life’s challenges are much easier to face if you can regularly take time to slow down, be mindful, and avoid becoming emotionally exhausted. Try going for a walk, reading a book, cooking yourself something special or just sitting watching the wind catch the leaves in the trees.
Check out Good’s articles on mindfulness at www.good.net.nz/mindfulness

9. Micromanage your meals 

Planning meals in advance is a smart way to avoid skimpy lunches, or time-consuming top-up trips to the supermarket. Cook in bulk and use each ingredient across two or three days by switching out what accompanies it, or how it’s served. Meal-planning ahead of time helps you stay on budget, eat a wide range of food – and avoid splurging on bought lunches.

10. Take nutritional shortcuts

Making sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs is often the last thing on the priority list – so add in some kitchen shortcuts to help you out. Hempseed oil, for instance, makes a quick, nutty-flavoured salad dressing, plus it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the ideal ratio for best absorption by the human body. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are those found in fish oil supplements – but you won’t need to pop a pill in order to get your recommended dose. Try The Hemp Farm’s hempseed oil, available online at www.thehempfarm.co.nz

11. Show a stranger your underwear

Making your clothes look nice is often down to what you’re wearing underneath, and for the perfectly fitted bra, you’ll probably need to let a stranger take a peek. A good bra not only makes you look slimmer, but can literally take weight off your shoulders. It’s also worth visiting the lingerie department more than once a decade, as breast size fluctuates and older lingerie loses it elasticity. Since underwear sizing is baffling at best, don’t get attached to a particular number. Switching up and down a few sizes is all part of it – it’s about the fit and feel. Local experts Rose & Thorne, www.roseandthorne.co.nz, offer affordable bras (pictured right) while Rich Lingerie, www.richlingerie.co.nz, stocks hard-to-find sizes – and both have professional staff to help with fittings.

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