Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Cruelty Free Cold & Flu Essentials

Cruelty Free Cold and Flu

It's that age old mantra, 'write what you know', and so far this month I have become well acquainted with feeling freaking lousy.

The day before New Year's Eve, I could feel it coming. That scratchy, sharp pain at the back of the throat, the tell-tale sign that a sore throat is looming. We were hosting on New Year's Eve and I was determined to not let it get to me, but by half-past midnight I had admitted defeat and hit the orange juice.



New Year's Day arrived and there was no denying it. This wasn't a hangover. This was full-blown winter flu. Urghhhhh.

And so, my friends, I have spent the beginning of 2016 in bed with the dog and my old pal Netflix. I thought I'd share some of the hints, tips and products I've been relying on to drag myself through to the other side where I will hopefully emerge into 2016 as a newly energised person who will never take breathing through her nose for granted ever again.

*DISCLAIMER: I won't be talking about medicinal products in this post. I know that the use of medicinal products to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu are disputed anyway but even more so in the vegan world where all medicines have at some time or another been tested on animals. If you want to use cold and flu relief, that's entirely your prerogative. You do you.

1. TEA

Twinings Camomile and Lemon & Ginger tea


Let's face it, tea makes everything better. But when you're feeling a bit under the weather and dehydrated, caffeine can make things worse. An old-school natural cold remedy is warm lemon and honey, but since vegans don't consume honey, this lemon and ginger offering from Twinings is a good alternative. Warm, zingy and revitalising, the soothing vibes from this caffeine-free tea can help to loosen a stuffy nose and soothe a sore throat.
Having trouble nodding off? Try a camomile tea to send you on your merry way to sleep.

2. VITAMINS*

Vertese Beetroot B12 & Iron Vitamins

When I'm ill I never want regular food. I'm all about bland, stodgy carbs. White toast? Gimme. Plain pasta? I'm all over it. That means any nutritional value being consumed is negligible. I may stretch to a banana. May. It's quite ironic really, since nurturing my body with all-things-good would probably help me on the road to recovery, but that's where these Vertese vitamins have been a godsend.
I've been taking the Beetroot, B12 and Iron complex throughout December but admittedly had forgotten on a few days where I'd rushed out the door to work. For once my forgetfulness came in quite handy as it means I've got a handful of these left which I've been taking to help boost my poor immune system.

I've been seriously impressed with these (you can find my previous post on them here). They are quite large but the capsule shell makes them easy to swallow. I was worried they might have a weird taste as many vitamins do, but on the rare occasion I do get any after-taste from these it's a pleasant berry flavour.

I've found my concentration levels have been higher than usual and I on the days where I've remembered to take this I don't flag in the afternoon which has been really pleasantly surprising. I'll be buying another box of these, it just helps to put your mind at rest that you're covering off everything you need on those days where you don't quite manage to fulfil your fruit and veg quota.

3. CLEANSE

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

When we're ill our skin is something which can often be neglected and I am guilty as charged of doing just that. Staying hydrated is so important to help our bodies recover from whatever the hell's going on in there, but it'll also really help out your skin.

I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to relating cleansing with make up removal and because I'm not wearing make up when I'm sick, my whole routine goes out of the window. I'm suffering for this now, after a couple of days of wallowing in my own germs without a thorough cleanse my skin was NOT happy. So this is a reminder not to be stupid like me. Keep on top of your skincare and get rid of that sweaty flu residue, even though you can't be bothered.

My skin gets really sensitive when I have a cold as I'm constantly blowing my nose, so I find a nice gentle oil-based or cream cleanser is best. I've reviewed this Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil before here - it's become a real staple part of my routine now and it's perfect when you want a nice, deep cleanse without over-drying or irritating the skin.

4. MOISTURISE

Sukin Moisture Restoring Night Cream


In much the same vein as cleansing, my moisturising mantra goes out of the window when I'm sick, and - ironically - could probably really do with it.

After a few days of continuous nose-blowing my poor face is destroyed. My nose is redder than Rudolph's and my skin is seriously dry and peeling. This calls for some industrial strength moisturiser. The kind of moisturiser you want to slather on in a thick mask and leave to quench your thirsty skin overnight. This is that moisturiser.

I picked up this Sukin Moisture Restoring Night Cream in TK Maxx for about £7 and it's wonderful stuff. Vegan, cruelty free and paraben free, it's packed full of nourishing oils to repair and revive dry skin. You can buy it online at Feel Unique here.

5. LIPS LIPS LIPS


Crazy Rumors Bubble Gum Lip Balm

My lips are one of the first things to suffer when I'm feeling run down, cracking and peeling and really not helping matters. A good slather of lip balm tends to soothe things over, and my favourite at the moment is this one by Crazy Rumors which I picked up at Veganz when we were in Berlin.

This is a real throwback to my childhood years, a true bubble gum scent like those Lip Smackers you used to get and pretend were lipstick. Unlike those, this lip balm actually does the job, with the melty shea butter soothing and nourishing dry lips. You can buy these online at Cute Cosmetics but I've also seen these pop up in Holland and Barrett from time to time.

Hope these tips have helped - feel better soon (and let me know your top tips for feeling better during a cold!)

Emily xo
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