shampoo

Is your shampoo hurting your head?

business, ethics, shampoo, Skin, Uncategorized

Healthy Hair-Something that so many of us put so much time and money into maintaining- can sometimes come completely unravelled just by using shampoo! It seems crazy that we are constantly told that the products designed to ‘nourish’, ‘bring back to life’ and ‘rejuvenate’ our hair, are very harsh chemicals that in reality can actually just strip the goodness away!

 The best thing you can do for healthy hair is understand what is really in the products you are using and shift the focus to your scalp! Because hair growth comes from the follicle, keeping you scalp happy and healthy is a fantastic way to get the growth you want and maintain the health of your hair.

Here at the ANSC we are strong advocates of ethical and informed consumerism and we love to brag about all the amazing natural ingredients we use and how they are fantastic for your skin and hair. Some companies out there can be really misleading and employ ‘greenwashing’ tactics (ironic, I know) to make you think the products we buy are good for our health, as well as the health of the environment. The best way to wise up to ‘greenwashing’ is to simply read the ingredients of the products you choose to use on our body. One of the biggest red flags out there is the inclusion of Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS). This nasty chemical is not only used to create a synthetic lather, but it is also used as a ‘filler’ ingredient in so many soaps and shampoos. Which means less beneficial ingredients for your $.  

 What is SLS you ask? SLS is a detergent and surfuctant which essentially means that it breaks surface tension and separates molecules in order to allow better interaction between the product and your hair. This in turn creates a lather which makes products like shampoo and toothpaste more effective cleaners. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is so effective and so inexpensive is that it’s found in a number of industrial cleaning agents such as engine degreaser and industrial strength detergents. It’s also widely used as a skin irritant when testing products used to heal skin conditions.

So it seems very counterintuitive that so many of us have been using products to repair our hair and scalps that have actually been creating a vicious cycle of damage. Absolutely crazy really! But the great news is that we have developed some amazing hair and skin products that use ingredients that are the complete opposite to SLS: truly natural!

 Our original Solid Shampoo is one of the products we are most proud of. Being a solid bar of shampoo that is plant oil based, it does not need the addition of any synthetic chemicals or preservatives to extent its shelf life The oils are already doing all the hard work! . (also no ‘filler’ ingredients here). We have a lot of people ask if it will actually lather, and boy-oh-boy does it ever. Because coconut oil is used as one of the base oils, The Original Solid Shampoo has one of the creamiest lathers around. All you need to do is rub the bar on you scalp and watch the magic unfold.

 In addition to the coconut oil you are also getting all the intense nourishment of sweet almond, grapeseed and olive oil. These three oils are fantastic for smoothing out your strands as they contain amazing amounts of vitamin E. Combine this with Petitgrain essential oil to help maintain the moisture and oil balance of the scalp, Patchouli essential oil which stimulates contractions in nerves and skin preventing hair loss and mandarin essential oil which promotes the growth of new cells and tissues, helping you get the growth you have always wanted.

 Best of all because the solid bar contains no nasties, it is completely biodegradable! So when you are on that once in a life time trip, in the middle of a rainforest with no bathroom in sight, you can wash your hair in fresh water without harming the environment around you! It is also fantastic in chuck in you beach bag or gym bag because despite being a ‘shampoo formula’ you can use the bar on your body also! It truly is the ultimate travel companion. Pick some up here and give it a try today!   

orangutanbanner

Orangutan Month

donations, ethics

So we have been a little quiet on the blog front for a while (so many exciting project taking up lots of time!) but we are very excited to be back with some very exciting news!

Here at The ANSC we are passionate about making products that are not only fantastic for your human (and pet…) skin, but also are envionmentally sustainable! This of course means we absolutely use no palm oil in our products, but more than this we are partnered with some amazing charities that support some of our most threatened furry friends!

Along with our donation soap (more info on this one to come soon!) we donate 50% of our profits of our tester soaps and tester packs to The Orangutan Project! Statistically speaking our testers are our best selling product both in store and online so we have been very excited to make our next donation to this fantastic charity!

We are really proud to be supporters of the The Orangutan Project and the incredible work they do! They are an incredible not-for-profit who work tirelessly to support a wide range of critical projects that address the holistic problem facing remaining fragmented orangutan populations – including fighting deforestation and habitat loss at the highest level.

We are so excited to announce that we have just donated a massive $5749 towards this amazing work with these wonderfull animals! Here is some info from the charity about how our donation has helped out our new friend Dora!

Sumatran orangutan release site, Bukit Tigapuluh, Sumatra

 The Orangutan Project provides funding for a Sumatran orangutan release site in Bukit Tigapuluh (BTP), Jambi, Sumatra. Over 165 orangutans have been released into the BTP ecosystem. It is imperative that populations of Sumatran orangutans be re-established in areas where they once lived.

Young orangutans are kept in pre-release cages at the release site. As well as their standard diet, orangutans are given a wide variety of jungle food to eat including fruits, leaves, rotan stem and termites. Suitable orangutans also partake in ‘jungle school’ as part of their rehabilitation and training to return to the wild. Here they learn how to forage for food and make nests high in the canopy.

It is vital that orangutans in pre-release training receive a good quality diet and medical care. $5,000 will cover the cost of food and medical care for the orangutans undergoing pre-release training for six months. Little Dora here is very close to being released after undergoing jungle school training for two years. Your help has been invaluable to the orangutans at BTP. Thank you!

dora

For more info about this amazing organisation please visit orangutan.org.au and to help us help them and treat yourself at the same time you can purchase our tester packs here !

Keeping Your Winter Skin Hydrated.

Skin, Uncategorized

If you are finding that the cooler seasons suck your skin dry of moisture, you are not alone! We all get the winter skin blues and experience the tight, flaky dryness that comes with the season. During winter the humidity levels drop, meaning the moisture from your skin evaporates for more quickly – especially when exposed to windy conditions! Indoor heating and long, hot showers may feel like blissful escapes from the cold, but they, too, are actually stripping your skin and mucous membranes of their good oils! So, while there is little chance at avoiding these conditions (unless you can afford a three month holiday every year… in which case, avoid away!), you can at least protect yourself from the worst of it by following these few simple steps.

  1. Scrub away the dead skin cells. When we go from heated rooms to freezing outdoors, our skin becomes dehydrated and flakey. Since we are usually covered from head to toe in clothing to stay warm, the dead skin cells build up and are trapped underneath. If you have oily skin you could scrub once or twice a week, if you have dry skin you might stretch it out to every fortnight. Our Pharmaoil scrub is made with sea salt and plant oils which work to really buff the skin smooth and hydrate it at the same time.
  2. Cleanse gently. Since winter tends to leave us dry, you don’t want to over clean your skin and make the problem worse by removing the good, natural oils and throwing out the balance. We highly recommend the Absolute Avocado soap, which has more oil than any of our other soaps, to softly pull away dirt, sweat and makeup. Avocado is also naturally antibacterial, so it’s a good choice for many skin conditions.
  3. Hydrate… immediately. Straight after you bathe your pores are open and your skin is supple. This is the prime time to moisturise because it will be absorbed far more deeply than if you applied it to dry skin. For this reason, it’s important to be wary of what ingredients you are applying to your skin in this time frame. Our Pharmaoil Skin Therapy is made of 100% pure plant oils and does not contain any preservatives or additives, so you can use as much as you like without a worry! Your skin will love you for the healthy serving of essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
  4. Drink up. Nothing will save you from the dryness more than drinking lots of water! We know it’s a lot harder to keep up with when it’s cold than when it’s hot and you’re actually thirsty, but this will be the key factor in bright, radiant skin all year round. Also aim to eat more foods that contain “good fats”, especially omega 3 fatty acids, to keep your skin cells soft and flexible!

5 Ways To Convert A Soap Dodger

Skin, Uncategorized

Soap dodgers. Whether you are one, you know one or you are trying to raise one… We get it. After switching over to all natural skin care, the thought of using commercial products makes us cringe! More often than not they dry out your skin and cause uncomfortable irritation. Soap is one the worst culprits – so it’s no wonder that people are trying to dodge it!

We often hear from customers that their children don’t like washing with soap (you’re not alone!) so we thought we would write up some helpful suggestions for you on how to convert them to the clean team!

  1. Buy natural soap. In case you missed that point, using only natural ingredients on the skin will greatly reduce the occurrence of irritation and makes for a much more pleasant experience – for us and for the planet! If your child is a conscious consumer at all, perhaps they can be swayed by knowing they are supporting a good cause like The Orangutan Project by using our tester soaps or our Donation Soap.
  2. Fun (but safe) scents and colours. We have a few deliciously scented soaps that are a big hit with kids such as lemon & lime, liquorice allsorts, spearmint and cinnamon which are all scented with pure essential oils instead of artificial fragrances, which are known skin irritants. We also have some brightly coloured soaps like the pink clay, coloured only by natural clay with a yummy lemongrass scent, and the bright green of our avocado soap which is unscented, so it’s perfect for those who are dodging strong smells!
  3. Let them buy their own soap. Bring them into the store and let them wander around for a good sniff! There are around 50 types of soap to choose from and kids love to explore the different types and find their personal favourite. Giving them the money to pay for it also enforces that it is their special soap and they will feel good about taking it home to use it.
  4. Liquid soap. Maybe they don’t like holding the slippery bars of soap and simply prefer something they can’t drop! Use it straight from the hands or pump some onto a cloth or loofah to create a more satisfying lather. We have four types of liquid soaps, including the warming scent of cinnamon & spearmint, and the fresh minty scent of lavender, eucalyptus & peppermint.
  5. Let boys be boys. Beer soap is a winner for teenage boys who can’t yet drink the stuff, but get a kick out of knowing they are using it to get clean! Beer is actually a great natural ingredient and makes a very gentle, softening soap (just don’t tell them that!).

We believe everyone can become a soap lover if they just try the right soap. Bathing should be a good experience, we do it every day, after all! So let’s help those soap dodgers find their happy place in the shower – shop natural soap now at theansc.com.au

mothersday_banner (1)

Mother’s Day

business, donations, ethics, Uncategorized

The point of this day can get a bit lost in the fluff of flowers & chocolates, but deep down it’s not just another hallmark holiday; it’s a chance to celebrate and empower women.

It’s an acknowledgment of the strength it takes to raise a family (or the choice not to), build a valuable career, pursue unique dreams or to live any particular way of life as a woman in this world which still struggles widely with issues of equality. As a small business run almost entirely by women, we value the importance of encouragement and support for each other. Not everyone does things the same way, but it’s about accepting that and embracing our differences – not fighting them!

We wanted to do something different this Mother’s Day to support and share those values, so we decided to partner up with The Beauty Bank – An amazing team who take in donations to create gift packs for people in need who wouldn’t normally be able to treat themselves to little luxuries like shampoo & candles.

Nice soap is one of those things that few people buy for themselves, but we all know it makes for a great gift. This means a lot people come in to shop with us for unique presents to give their relatives or friends (and often leave with a cheeky piece for themselves!). But what if for a few extra dollars with your purchase you could pay a soap forward to a woman who is a victim of domestic violence? Or a teenage girl who has to wear the same uniform all week because her parents can’t afford spares? We like to think that you would do it.

So as of now & for the next few weeks, when you come to visit one of our shops or you browse our website, you have the option to pay a soap forward. You buy a soap, we put it in the donation basket, The Beauty Bank packs it up for someone they believe it will bring a little light of joy to. Simple!

It’s a chance for you to treat the women in your life, as well as women you’ve never met, to something a little bit special that might just be the sign of support that they needed!

Leadbeater’s Possum Awareness Week

donations, ethics, Uncategorized
Monday March 28th until Sunday 3rd April 2016 is the Leadbeater’s Possum awareness week – a time for learning and sharing about this precious endangered species.

The tiny Leadbeater’s Possum was presumed extinct by 1960, simply because none had been seen for 50 years. Then, in 1961, a single possum was rediscovered by naturalist Eric Wilkinson near Marysville, 90 minutes east of Melbourne – a long way from it’s original habitat in Gippsland! In 1968 it was made the official faunal emblem of Victoria.   Also known as Fairy Possum, the Leadbeater’s Possum is a tiny, nocturnal creature with large eyes and a long tail measuring around 10 to 15cm in length. It requires old growth eucalypt trees with established hollows for its home.

poss

Due to the effects of logging and the Black Saturday bush fires, much of the Possums natural habitat has been lost. With numbers as low as 1500, they have been declared as critically endangered.

How you can help them:

  • Buy some Donation Soap from us – Profits go to the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum inc. who are a team of volunteers working hard at preserving and protecting our little furry friends. You can also join them to help out on one of their projects.

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Happy Leadbeater’s Possum awareness week!

Easter

A Cruelty Free Easter

ethics, Holidays, Uncategorized

As usual, another holiday season has snuck up on us! Easter is just around the corner and as we started putting our White Chocolate Soap on the shelves, we got to thinking about the mass consumption of chocolate that’s about to take place around the world.

We know all too well how easy it is to be sucked into the vortex of brightly wrapped eggs and bunnies that fill supermarket shelves, but after learning a few key things about their ingredients your impulsive egg-buying practises may change drastically! The true cost of chocolate is more than you think…

  1. Many popular chocolates contain unsustainable palm oil, destroying the lives and habitats of orangutans in Borneo. If you haven’t heard about the palm oil issue, read up on it here.
  1. Chocolate is usually made with milk, and there are some sad things you may not know about the dairy industry. Read more here.
  1. 60% of all cocoa is sourced from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where working conditions are awful and child labour is rife. Most of these workers earn an average of $2.07 a day and have never even tasted chocolate in their life. You can learn more in this informative article.

We love chocolate as much as you do, but is a quick fix for that sweet tooth really worth all of the above mentioned suffering when there are so many delicious alternatives out there? Look for chocolate that is vegan and fair trade certified to be sure that you aren’t contributing to animal cruelty or slave trade. And as for the palm oil issue, there is an app which lets you scan barcodes to find out if they contain palm oil! How easy is that? Get it for your phone in the App Store.

Or, for a really fun and vegan alternative, you could try our White Chocolate Soap made with shea butter and peppermint oil which smells good enough to eat!