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Itchy, dry, cracked lips (Perioral Dermatitis) – cured naturally

I have been struggling on and off with itchy, dry, cracked lips (called perioral dermatitis) for several years now.
It started with dry, scaly lips that didn’t seem to get better. Recently it’s escalated to an itchy, burning sensation deep inside the lip which quickly turns into a swollen, bumpy rash with more itching and soreness. At first I thought I was getting a cold sore – mine start with an itch under the skin on the lip. But it didn’t turn into a cold sore.
A dermatologist told me to use a steroid cream to settle down my itchy, dry, cracked lips, but from experience I know that steroid creams aren’t the long term solution. I’ve had autoimmune problems for many years. I suffered with scalp psoriasis for 5 years, so I know the western medicine drill.

I cured my scalp psoriasis by doing a detox and changing my diet. I also did a yoga teacher training course at the same time and found a way to manage my stress through yoga. It’s only recently occurred to me that I might need to do the same again for my lips.

I thought that it might be what I put on my lips that is causing the itchy, dry, cracked lips, so I made more lip balm using different ingredients to try to work out if I was allergic to what I was using. Nothing seemed to help. I also thought that it might be the chemicals and pesticides that are used on my golf course (I play 3 days a week), but very few others seem to have the same symptoms.

I went to the GP to discuss the problem and asked for a referral for an allergy test. He advised me (based on his own experience) that they can’t really pinpoint a particular allergen and that it is rather generic and they might tell you that you are allergic to dust mites. I have a strong belief that the gut is responsible for what happens elsewhere in the body, so it occurred to me that I could do this myself.

2 weeks ago I decided to go on an elimination diet of my own to cut out possible foods that might be causing the problem. I mostly avoid gluten anyway, but sometimes I have something glutenous when I’m out. So I’ve been very strict with myself and I’ve cut out all wheat, gluten, nuts, alcohol and dairy. I’m now 2 weeks into my new diet and my lips have never felt better. They are soft and normal with no scale or dry skin peeling off. I’ve had mild itching a couple of times but it has settled down very quickly using calamine lotion. I can use my natural lip balm on them and they feel wonderful.

I will continue for a few more weeks with my elimination diet to make sure that this isn’t just coincidence. Then I will introduce alcohol, then dairy and see if the lips break out again. Oooh – almost forgot. Another benefit has been that I’ve lost 2 kg!

We are all different. What triggers my autoimmune reaction might be different to what triggers your autoimmune responses. We have to work it out for ourselves because western medicine isn’t interested in helping us. They just want to sell us pharmaceuticals to keep their medical economy ticking over and making lots of money.

I was inspired to write this article because I read of someone else’s experience (thanks Phoebe) –

No longer itchy dry cracked lips - they feel normal again
No longer itchy dry cracked lips – they feel normal again


Perioral dermatitis is a facial rash, most commonly occurring in women. It is usually around the mouth but can also be on the sides of the nose. It presents as small raised pink bumps and feels rough and scaly.

The rash causes the lips and surrounds to turn red, the lip definition blurs in with the rash and it is difficult to smile, eat and talk. And forget kissing or putting on lipstick! Eating hot, spicy foods can feel like an acid burn and even drinking a hot drink can feel very uncomfortable. Because it’s in the middle of the face, a sufferer feels very conspicuous and self conscious.

It’s also considered to be a recurring condition, and many dermatologists will offer the same treatment over and over again.

The overuse of steroid creams and nasal sprays is known to be a cause. However, the reason that perioral dermatitis recurs is unknown. It would seem that it is your body telling you that something is out of balance. The trick is figuring out what is out of balance and bringing it back into balance.

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Solid conditioner bars made on Sydney’s northern beaches

A solid conditioner bar is so much more practical and eco friendly than liquid conditioner. There is no plastic bottle to dispose of and there are no bad ingredients in solid conditioner bars.

Most commercial liquid conditioners contain some questionable ingredients that can be bad for you and bad for the environment. Have a read of the small print ingredient list on the back of a conditioner bottle and there will be many ingredients that you won’t be familiar with. Compare that with the ingredient list for beepure solid conditioners and you will find that you’ve heard of most of the ingredients. That’s because beepure solid conditioners contain oils and butters.

Solid conditioner bars will last up to around 100 washes, so far more economical than bottled conditioner. Our solid conditioner bars are a concentrate that is not diluted with water.
There is around 80% of water in commercial conditioners, so you are paying a lot for the 20% of commercial conditioner ingredients.

To use the solid conditioner bar, wash your hair with our solid shampoo bar first and while the hair is sudsy, finger comb out all the knots, then rinse out the shampoo. Next, swipe the solid conditioner bar down the length of the hair avoiding the scalp. You just want to condition your hair, not your scalp! A little bit goes a long way, so try to just swipe it 3 or 4 times, then work it through the ends of the hair. Then rinse.

Keep the solid conditioner bar and solid shampoo bar dry between uses and ensure that they don’t get wet every time the shower is used. This will ensure longevity of the bars.

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Solid shampoo bars made on Sydney’s northern beaches

A solid shampoo bar is so much more practical and eco friendly than liquid shampoo. There is no plastic bottle to dispose of and there are no bad ingredients in solid shampoo bars.

Most commercial liquid shampoos contain some questionable ingredients that can be bad for you and bad for the environment. Have a read of the small print ingredient list on the back of a shampoo bottle and there will be many ingredients that you won’t be familiar with. Compare that with the ingredient list for beepure solid shampoos and you will find that you’ve heard of all the ingredients. That’s because beepure solid shampoos contain saponified oils made in the traditional cold process method of soap making. What did people do before the days of liquid shampoo? They used soap to wash their hair. Our solid shampoo bars are basically a soap bar with additional oils and botanicals to help clean the hair and scalp. Plus they can be used as a body soap too.

Solid shampoo bars will last up to around 80 washes, so far more economical than bottled shampoo. Our solid shampoo bars are a concentrate that is not diluted with water.
There is around 80% of water in commercial shampoos, so you are paying a lot for the 20% of commercial shampoo ingredients.

After using a solid shampoo bar for a few weeks, your hair will need fewer washes. I used to wash my hair every day but now only need to wash it twice a week.

A solid shampoo bar could also help with some scalp conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff. I had psoriasis on the back of my scalp for 5 years and tried everything including cortisone prescribed by the dermatologist. Nothing worked and I was desperate. That was when I started making my own shampoos. Within a few months my psoriasis had cleared up completely and I remain free of the revolting scaly, flaky, itchy scalp.

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Shampoo bars instead of plastic bottles

Shampoo and conditioner bottles

We discard more than 10,000 tonnes of detergent and shampoo bottles in Australia every year.

If everyone started using solid shampoo bars instead of buying liquid shampoo in plastic bottles, the earth would sigh with relief.

Plus there are other reasons not to use commercial liquid shampoo:

. Liquid shampoo contains up to 80% water

. Liquid shampoo often contains synthetics like ammonium lauryl sulphate, ammonium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate which can cause skin irritation and allergies

. Liquid shampoo can spill when travelling, making a mess of your luggage

. Liquid shampoo often contains other ingredients that are harmful to the environment

So why not try a shampoo bar? Some benefits are:

. Lasts a long time

. Easy to travel with

. Compact and lightweight

. Good for the environment

. Good for your hair, skin, body

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Reusable, triple layer cloth/cotton face masks – northern beaches Sydney

Cotton face masks for COVID-19

Cloth/cotton face masks are now in short supply on the northern beaches of Sydney. Our reusable, cloth/cotton face masks are flying out the door. They are made with 3 layers and are washable and reusable.
The outer layer is cotton, middle layer is fusible interfacing and the inner layer is soft, white t-shirt fabric.
They are soft on the face and the face masks are easy to breathe through.
We also make a reversible cotton face mask which has cotton on both sides with a fusible interfacing in the middle.
The current price is $20 but may increase due to the unprecedented demand.
Our cloth/cotton face masks can be made with elastic around the back of the head and neck or with ear loops.

We are using lots of different fabric for the face masks so that they will appeal to the whole family.
Solid colours or checks for the men, florals and attractive prints for the ladies and cute prints for the kids.
See some of our range of cloth/cotton face masks

We are based on Sydney’s northern beaches and we welcome pickup orders which can be contact free.
Given the current surge in COVID-19 cases in the last couple of weeks, there is a high demand for these sorts of face masks.
They are very handy when going to the shops, on public transport and anywhere in public where it is difficult to keep your distance.

Because the Corona Virus is so virulent and easy to contract, it is important that we all try to do the right thing. Wearing a mask in public is another way to protect yourself and protect others in case you are asymptomatic. Of course, the other health precautions are still necessary – wash your hands regularly with soap or use hand sanitiser, don’t touch your face when you’re in public places, cough or sneeze only into your handkerchief, shirt, elbow.

We’re struggling to keep up with demand and taking limited orders. Please contact Sue on 0425252180 for more information on our cotton face masks.

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How to use a solid shampoo bar

If you haven’t used a natural shampoo before, I’d recommend a one-off prewash treatment to remove any build up from commercial shampoos.

Mix up a paste of 2 tsp bi carb soda with water and work this through your wet hair.  Then rinse.
Next, use my shampoo, working it all over your hair to build up a lather.  Work this through for a minute or so, finger comb to remove tangles, then rinse.

50g solid shampoo bar
50g solid shampoo bar

A solid, natural shampoo can take up to several washes before it feels good.  This is because of the build up of silicones and other residuals in store bought shampoo.  Also, your hair may be damaged, treated or may not respond well to a natural shampoo.  Give it time and allow your hair and scalp to adjust.

Some people find that the shampoo doesn’t lather very well.  This could be because you have hard water and any shampoo (or any soap) will struggle to lather.  You could try mixing up a bucket of water with some water softener crystals and using this for washing your hair.

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How to use a solid conditioner bar

Apply the conditioner to the hair straight after shampooing, either by rubbing the conditioner onto the hands or by stroking the bar down the hair starting about 4cm from the scalp.  Leave in for a minute or two.  The conditioner removes tangles and allows you to comb your hair with your fingers before rinsing out.

The 30g bar conditioner should last for around 90 days based on everyday hairwash use on shoulder length hair. Try to keep the bar dry between washes and don’t leave it sitting in water.

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Vegan Christmas Present Ideas

If you are looking for a Christmas present for a vegan, why not give them a solid shampoo and solid conditioner bar set. Our solid hair bars are vegan and contain only pure, natural ingredients. They are good for the environment, are waste free, have minimal packaging and are great value. A solid shampoo bar can last up to 80 washes (depending on the way you use it of course). The conditioner bar lasts much longer.

Don’t buy the synthetic ones from Lush – get a good, old fashioned shampoo bar from a local Sydney business. Lush make a bar called a syndet which stands for synthetic/detergent. These aren’t good for the environment and probably aren’t that good for your body either.

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What are syndet bars?

Some people have heard of a natural syndet soap like the ones that Dove or Lush make. However, there is no such thing as a “natural” syndet bar.

Syndet is a blended word made by combining the words “synthetic” and “detergent.” Technically it is a cleansing product made by the binding of different synthetic detergents.

Although the word syndet may be new to many people, the first syndet bar, Dove, was introduced in 1955.

Continue reading What are syndet bars?
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About solid shampoo bars

What Are Solid Shampoo Bars?

Shampoo bars (which I love) are natural conditioning shampoos in a solid bar form. Although they may seem new to many, solid soap shampoos were commonly used before liquid detergent shampoos became popular in the 1940’s.

If you are not used to solid shampoo bars, the concept may sound a bit strange, but they are WONDERFUL! They are super rich with loads of fluffy lather. Our natural shampoo bars are made in small batches using recipes carefully developed to naturally clean and condition your scalp and leave your hair soft, shiny, clean, and, most of all, healthy.

Why I Began Making Solid Shampoo Bars

Continue reading About solid shampoo bars