Starting With Baby Massage

Giving your little one a massage is more than just about relaxation. Studies have shown that baby massage can have numerable benefits including calming colic, constipation, gas and reflux, helping babies sleep better, stimulating their nervous systems and boosting their psychological and social development. As long as you’re gentle with your baby, and responsive to their reactions, baby massage is a wonderful experience for both parents and bubs.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to starting –

  1. Always ensure a comfortable room temperature and a firm and safe surface before you begin the massage. Gather everything you need so you’re ready to begin as soon as your baby is there.
  2. Always use a safe, fragrance-free baby oil. Any product used during a massage will be absorbed by the skin in even higher quantities so make sure the product you choose is as natural and nourishing as possible. Warm a little of the oil up in the palms of your hands before beginning.
  3. Always begin with your baby on their back, so you can see exactly how they respond to the massage. As you begin, check to see if your baby is responding happily to the massage. Always stop if your baby shows discomfort at any point. Chat to your baby, telling him or her exactly what you’re doing at each point.
  4. Start with baby’s feet, massaging with your thumbs down the foot, and up the toes. Then follow on with long strokes on your baby’s legs.
  5. Then massage your baby’s hands, starting with circular motions with your thumb on their palms, then up the fingers, and then long strokes up their arms.
  6. Around sensitive areas such as the face & tummy, use the lightest touch possible or skip this step if you’re not comfortable massaging those areas. Avoid the scalp and genitals at all times.
  7. Finally, turn your baby on their front, and use long strokes down their back and legs.

A baby massage doesn’t have to be long for your baby and you to reap its rewards! So why not make it a part of your daily routine? Post-bath and before sleep is a wonderful time, but any time of the day when baby’s relaxed but alert is great too. It can be one of the most enjoyable daily rituals you have with your baby.

Our Baby Oil is one of the richest, natural blends of absorbable oils. Extra virgin cold-pressed macadamia, sweet almond and apricot kernel bring a combination of emollient and nourishing benefits, making it perfect for delicate skin and baby massage.

What Goes Into Our Baby Lotion

We know how hard it is to find the perfect moisturiser, that’s why our Baby Lotion was the product Nanna probably spent the most time formulating – and it shows 🙂 Our Baby Lotion is quite possibly the product we get the most reviews for and we have a pretty good idea why! And don’t let it’s name fool you, although Nanna originally designed it for newborns and babies, we quickly realised how wonderfully it worked for all ages and types of skin:)

So what exactly goes into a moisturiser? At Four Cow Farm, every ingredient is carefully selected by Nanna to create products that are as nourishing and beneficial for skin as possible. Most skincare brands formulate their moisturisers towards fragrance and feel but, at Four Cow Farm Nanna started with the ingredients – she wanted ingredients that helped skin first and foremost.

Four Cow Farm Baby Lotion was created to revolve around two key extra virgin cold-pressed oils:

1: Sweet Almond Oil

With a history of more than 6000 years, mentioned in the Bible and found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, the humble almond is known as the ‘King of Nuts’ for good reason. The oil it produces is rich in Vitamins E and K, and contains all the essential fatty acids excellent for protecting and improving skin. Ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic and Greco-Persian schools of Medicine all recommended Almonds for dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema! A medium-light oil, it is non-comedogenic (ie doesn’t block pores), antibacterial, non-greasy, and quickly absorbed by the skin, making it excellent on all types of skin.

2: Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot kernel oil has a history stretching back 3000 years and has been used by the Ancient Romans, Greeks and in Ayurvedic and Ancient Chinese Medicine as well. We now know that it’s extremely rich in Vitamins A and E which makes it an excellent protective and reparative oil. Its special combination of fatty acids gives it its softening, hydrating, rejuvenating, and nourishing properties and its consistency means it is also easily absorbed by the skin, penetrating deeper than other oils.

In addition to their benefits, all our oils used in our range are extra virgin cold-pressed and premium food-grade, and because we source from local producers and farmers, we know that the quality of oil we get is the highest quality possible.

So, if you haven’t tried our Baby Lotion yet we hope you’ll give it a try! 

Dry Skin Trio : 3 Steps To Protecting Sensitive Skin

If you or your little one suffers from dry and sensitive skin, having the right skincare regimen is incredibly important. Besides identifying any external food or allergen triggers, here are three simple steps to a daily skincare regimen that can help soothe and protect sensitive skin:

Step 1 : Wash and cleanse. The most harmful time for dry and sensitive skin is in the bath or shower as water and harsh commercial soaps and shampoos combine to strip skin of its natural sebum and protection. Most soaps and shampoos have fragrances, preservatives and foaming ingredients which are far too harsh for skin let alone dry and sensitive skin. Our wash and cleansers are handcrafted natural castile soaps which contain only extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil. Each has only four ingredients, no preservatives, no additives and no strong fragrances, which means they are as gentle as can be on skin and hair that needs special care.

Step 2 : Moisturise all over. The next step is to moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Again, most moisturisers are loaded with heavy oils. Heavy synthetic oils include propylene glycol and mineral oil, whilst heavy natural oils include coconut and palm. Heavy oils coat the skin and although they give a short-term sensation of smoothness they prevent the skin from “breathing” and learning to produce its own sebum. Dry and sensitive skin needs moisturising which protects and soothes, but also allows it to breathe and react. Selecting a moisturiser which has the right natural oils which match the skin’s own sebum and help it learn to restore balance on its own is vital. Our Baby Lotion is designed to do that lightly and gently.

Step 3 : Added care for sensitive areas. Dry and sensitive skin needs extra care in some places and that’s where a richer, thicker cream or balm comes in. We don’t believe in slathering rich, thick balm or cream all-over, instead, get to know your skin and give it that extra boost where it’s needed, but otherwise, let it breathe and learn to restore itself on its own. Our Calendula Remedy was designed to give that rich, boosting effect to extremely dry areas which need extra soothing and it’s organic formula – with over 80% organic calendula hand-infused extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil – means it’s perfect for daily use.

Nanna’s handcrafted range was originally created for a baby – her first grandchild – with very dry and sensitive eczema-affected skin, so every product in our range has been carefully formulated to prepare, soothe and protect skin that needs that extra care.

Our Dry Skin Trio Kit were thoughtfully formulated to work together to help dry and sensitive skin repair itself and learn to heal itself. When it comes to your body’s largest organ, keeping a careful eye on what it needs to look after itself is key.

 

The Difference with Castile Washes

 

It’s the one skincare product that nearly everyone uses; cleansers in the form of facial cleansers, soaps, liquid washes etc. come in a wide variety of colours, fragrances and ingredients. Even shampoos are part of this group as one of the most important functions of a shampoo is its ability to cleanse the scalp, which is where sebum is produced and hair growth originates. Hair itself is merely dead cells, so in reality, a beautiful, bouncy head of hair has more to do with the health of the scalp than the hair itself 🙂

Don’t forget that your skin is the largest organ in your body. It’s a living, breathing and essential part of our defence system against germs, viruses and bacteria. It constantly renews itself and also produces its own form of moisturiser, known as the “natural moisturising factor” which helps it retain its own moisture and protect its deeper layers from water loss. This “natural moisturising factor”, a mixture of amino acids and salts, is unfortunately easily washed away (being water soluble). Normal, healthy skin will replenish itself naturally. But when harsh soaps or detergents are used, or when the skin is exposed to solvents, the skin can lose its natural ability to hold onto moisture, and become dry and even crack. The same happens to skin affected by eczema and psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions.

This means that selecting a good soap or cleanser is one of the most important parts of a good skincare regime. Modern soaps and shampoos use a combination of detergent ingredients and perfumes – the former to create foam and the latter to lend a pleasant fragrance to the product. However, detergent ingredients are much too harsh on normal skin and perfume ingredients are the most common source of irritation of the skin.

Nothing compares to a traditionally made Castile wash, and Four Cow Farm’s Castile washes and shampoo are unlike most other Castile washes which use harsher coconut and palm oils. Our Castile washes are made ONLY from extra virgin cold-pressed Australian-grown olive oil, the king of cleansing oils. Handcrafted carefully over a low heat for several days, and blended carefully with selected herbs, there’s nothing like our family of Castile washes for cleansing and protecting the skin & scalp 🙂

The Bornean Orangutan Population Has Fallen by Nearly 150,000 in Just 16 Years – EcoWatch

The Bornean Orangutan Population Has Fallen by Nearly 150,000 in Just 16 Years – EcoWatch

Palm oil is unfortunately a part of most cosmetic and skincare products. The price for that cumulative demand is this. Why responsible skincare buying is so important –

Rapid and relentless deforestation for industrial-scale agriculture, particularly palm oil and timber plantations, leaves orangutans without food and shelter, exposing them to hunters who kill orangutans and capture their babies to sell as pets. The apes are also in danger of coming into conflict with local people as they stray into villages and onto farmland in search of food. Fires started on an annual basis as part of land clearance operations in Indonesia are also responsible for the loss of thousands of acres of rainforest and the lives of hundreds if not thousands of orangutans.

In 2016, the Bornean orangutan joined the Sumatran orangutan on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, an indication that the species is coming perilously close to extinction. Further evidence of the population’s decline came in a report published in the journal Biology in February this year. Its authors concluded that the Bornean orangutan population had fallen by 148,000 between 1999 and 2015 and now stands at between 70,000 and 100,000 individuals. The numbers could fall by at least another 45,000 in the next 35 years, the conservationists predict. What, then, can be done to pull the orangutan back from the brink of extinction?

Source: The Bornean Orangutan Population Has Fallen by Nearly 150,000 in Just 16 Years – EcoWatch

Toxic chemicals in your home could be linked to cancer, autism, and reproductive issues. Here are 4 of the most concerning. 

Toxic chemicals in your home could be linked to cancer, autism, and reproductive issues. Here are 4 of the most concerning. 

A very handy guide! A good way to start getting toxins out of your home –

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Where it resides: Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical commonly found in plastics such as water bottles and food packaging. It’s also hidden in household items like paper receipts and the linings of aluminium cans.

The potential health effects: Numerous scientists, including Trasande, have uncovered a link between BPA and obesity. The chemical has also been associated with coronary artery disease, increased blood pressure, and issues with female reproductive development. While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that BPA is safe for humans, their assertion has been widely challenged by the scientific community.

How to limit exposure: To avoid BPA exposure, Trasande said, homeowners should stop microwaving plastic, scale back on canned food consumption, and replace plastic containers with an alternative like glass or stainless steel.

Source: Toxic chemicals in your home could be linked to cancer, autism, and reproductive issues. Here are 4 of the most concerning. | Business Insider

Scallops Absorb Billions of Microplastics in Just 6 Hours – EcoWatch

Scallops Absorb Billions of Microplastics in Just 6 Hours – EcoWatch

Yikes! –

One of the biggest concerns surrounding the proliferation of microplastics in the world’s oceans is how they might move up the food web from smaller to larger marine life, eventually ending up in our stomachs.

Now, a first-of-its-kind study has shown just how quickly the tiny particles can accumulate in the bodies of shellfish under current levels of marine plastic pollution. The answer? Billions in just six hours.

Researchers led by a team at the University of Plymouth exposed the commonly sold great scallop (Pecten maximus) in the laboratory to concentrations of plastic nanoparticles equivalent to those found in the marine environment. After six hours, billions of 250 nanometer (nm) particles had spread through the scallops’ intestines, while even more tiny 20 nm particles had lodge themselves in the mollusks’ other organs including their kidneys, gills and muscles.

Source: Scallops Absorb Billions of Microplastics in Just 6 Hours – EcoWatch

Tests find PFAS Chemicals in Cosmetics at ‘Elevated Levels’ | EWG

Tests find PFAS Chemicals in Cosmetics at ‘Elevated Levels’ | EWG

Yikes! Why the products we put on our largest living organ every single day need to be monitored –

WASHINGTON – A new study from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency found toxic fluorinated, or PFAS, chemicals at high levels in nearly one-third of the cosmetics products it tested.

Some of the PFAS concentrations detected “exceeded” limits that will soon be in place under the EU’s chemical regulatory program called “Regulation, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals,” or REACH, widely considered the most comprehensive and rigorous chemical law in the world.

PFAS chemicals are linked to cancer, thyroid disease, weakened immunity and other health problems.According to the study, one or more PFAS substances was identified in 17 products, including hair spray and eyeliner. The highest concentration of a single substance was found in a foundation, and the highest concentration of total PFAS was found in a concealer. In addition, for two of the products, both of them foundations, PFOA was found in concentrations above the forthcoming EU limit.

Source: Tests find PFAS Chemicals in Cosmetics at ‘Elevated Levels’ | EWG

Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt – EcoWatch

Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt – EcoWatch

Yikes! Why we need to keep an eye on what the companies who supply us do –

Seasonal spikes of atrazine–a weed killer that can disrupt hormones and harm developing fetuses–contaminate drinking water in corn-growing areas of the Midwest and beyond, according to an analysis of federal records by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data show that in some Corn Belt communities, atrazine levels can spike three to seven times above the legal limit in late spring and early summer. But by avoiding water testing during peak periods, some water utilities stay in compliance with drinking water regulations—and don’t have to tell customers they were exposed to a hazardous chemical in their tap water.

“Our investigation found that nearly 30 million Americans have atrazine in their tap water,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG senior science advisor for children’s environmental health. “But many may never know, because outdated federal policies allow utilities to test for atrazine before or after the spike.”

Source: Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt – EcoWatch

Scientists urge ban of insecticides tied to brain impairment in kids 

There’s more and more evidence mounting against the effect of chemicals on our little ones, why we need to take action now –

(Reuters Health) – – Pregnant women should not be exposed to even low levels of a group of chemicals associated with a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, scientists argue.

Pesticides known as organophosphates were originally developed as nerve gases and weapons of war, and today are used to control insects at farms, golf courses, shopping malls and schools. People can be exposed to these chemicals through the food they eat, the water they drink and the air they breathe.

Restrictions on these chemicals have reduced but not eliminated human exposure in recent years. The chemicals should be banned outright because even at low levels currently allowed for agricultural use, organophosphates have been linked to lasting brain impairment in children, scientists argue in a policy statement published in PLoS Medicine.

Source: Scientists urge ban of insecticides tied to brain impairment in kids | News | The Mighty 790 KFGO

Toxic chemicals discovered in children’s car seats, worrying study reveals – Mirror Online

Every product makes a difference! Imagine the cumulative effect of all those different products we bring into our homes –

Toxic flame retardants have been discovered in children’s car seats, a new study has revealed.Researchers from Indiana University discovered the toxic chemicals in 15 of 18 new car seats tested, sparking concerns for children’s health.

Dr Marta Venier, who led the study, said: “New replacement flame retardants, often marketed as safer alternatives, are lurking in children’s products without rigorous safety testing and may pose risks for children’s health. The abundance of emerging flame retardant chemicals in children’s car seats and the key role these products play as potential sources of chemical exposure is a cause for concern.”

Source: Toxic chemicals discovered in children’s car seats, worrying study reveals – Mirror Online

Australia Cuts 80% of Plastic Bag Use in 3 Short Months – EcoWatch

Australia Cuts 80% of Plastic Bag Use in 3 Short Months – EcoWatch

Woohoo! –

Despite a few hiccups along the way, Australia’s plastic bag consumption has dropped drastically. Three months after two of the largest supermarket chains banned plastic grocery bags, an estimated 1.5 billion bags have been prevented from use, the Australian Associated Press reported, citing the National Retail Association. Overall, the bans introduced by Coles and Woolworths last summer resulted in an 80 percent reduction in the country’s overall use of the single-use item, the retail group revealed. “Indeed, some retailers are reporting reduction rates as high as 90 per cent,” National Retail Association’s David Stout told the news service.

Source: Australia Cuts 80% of Plastic Bag Use in 3 Short Months – EcoWatch