How to maintain clear adult braces + giveaway!

clear adult braces, robyn ruth thomas, be whole

Did you know that having oral health issues can affect the rest of your body?

Forgetting to brush your teeth and avoiding floss when you should really be doing it, can bring on far more problems than just bad breath.

I’ve been strict about maintaining a healthy dental care routine since I got my braces.

Trying to brush your teeth with brackets stuck to them can be tricky in the beginning but if you’re using the right cleansing method and products, it can actually be fun.

How I clean my teeth

I’m going to miss this metal when my teeth are fixed. I’ve finally gotten the hang of brushing the bristles up and down between my brackets to polish those hard-to-reach places.

I brush twice a day as recommended and keep a bottle of mouthwash in my bag for whenever I need to quickly gargle, after a stringy lunch or snack.

Flossing is not my favourite – I also carry a box of floss in my handbag but since I have gaps, I tend to prefer to swish, swish with an oral rinse.

Follow my adult braces journey below:

Vlog 1: Getting Clear Adult Braces

In this video I share what it felt like to get my braces put on, as well as which foods my orthodontist recommended that I avoid.

Vlog 2: Dealing with broken brackets

Watch what I had to do when I accidentally broke my first bracket.

Vlog 3: How quickly my teeth have moved

In just 4 months, the state of my teeth have improved dramatically. The only downside is that I’d developed an even bigger gap than I had before.

Vlog 4: What stained my clear bands

If you’re thinking of getting clear braces with clear bands, these are the foods to avoid so that your bands don’t stain.

Vlog 5: The best colour bands for clear braces

Find out what the best colour for clear braces is – hint: it’s not clear bands 😀

Giveaway!!

Win 1 of 5 Oral B Electric toothbrush hampers, including an Andolex-C Anti bacterial Oral Rinse

Enter to win below and share this post with someone you know would love to win too!

Terms and Conditions: 

*Entries open to South Africans only.

5 five winners will be notified via email on 25 March 2018.

This prize excludes any products not mentioned in this blog post.

*I am not a medical professional. This post is purely for informational purposes and true to the best of my knowledge. Please chat to a dentist if you have any questions or concerns.

Current Favourite Natural Hair Care Products – 2018

natural hair care products south africa, be whole, robyn ruth thomas

When I started my natural hair journey, I turned into a product junkie.

Back then, it was difficult to find products to suit my hair type so I’d tried a different brand every second week and ended up having a cupboard full of half-used hair products.

Newer and better hair products are hitting shelves every day and while it may have been difficult for us find a decent shampoo and conditioner in the past, we’re now so spoilt for choice that we’re actually even more confused about which product actually works.

What does it cost?

What’s in it?

What’s the size of the bottle though?

These are just a few things that spring to mind when choosing a hair product. Am I right?

Ladies, (and gents – hello, hi, if you’re reading), you’ll save a lot of time and money if you consider two things when you’re buying new hair products:

Is it right for my hair type?

Has someone with a similar hair type ever used it?

Read reviews. Don’t walk into that aisle without knowing what you’re looking for. Because. Even when you know, you may find yourself strolling back and forth in the aisle, doing research, until a security guard comes to ask if you’re okay.

Awks.

The best way to know which products work for your hair is to test them yourself.

But try to read reviews about products in advance, and if you don’t know what to look for, google your hair concern:

Products for dry natural hair

products for hair growth

deep conditioner for type 4 hair

best shampoo for natural hair

These are just examples. You know what you’re looking for. It helps to follow a natural hair blogger/vlogger with a similar hair type as yours, especially if he/she is sharing posts like this one.

If you’re a type 4 natural, check out this video of my current favourite hair products below:

Did you enjoy this post? I’d really love to know. Leave me a comment in the section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

WATCH: My experience as a pescatarian

pescatarian diet, robyn ruth thomas, be whole, food

Adopting a pescatarian diet has made a big difference to how I lead the rest of my life.

I’d say that it’s definitely better.

Are you thinking of going meat-free, or have you already? Drop me a note in the comment section below to let me know 🙂

If you’re new to my blog, (hello) I recently asked Youtube viewers what type of videos they would like to see from me and the majority of people requested uploads related to my diet.

So here we are:D

In this video I share more about my life as a pescatarian – what I mostly eat, and why I decided to go meat-free.

What is pescatarianism?

Pesce means fish so I’m basically a vegetarian who eats seafood.

I also don’t eat gluten and dairy, although I am allowed to have cheese and yoghurt since they are considered good bacteria.

Why I am pescatarian:

My diet is prescribed.

Recently in my video about my acne, I shared how my homeopath guided me towards eating foods that my body was happy with and away from stuff that gave me breakouts and left me feeling bloated.

After I stopped eating meat, drinking milk and cutting out gluten, I saw a dramatic improvement in my skin.

When did I stop eating meat?

2015.

I don’t miss meat at all.

I’d met a couple at a seminar who spoke about the changes they’d made to their diets due to the number of hormones that are injected into animals during farming.

I’d already dabbled with the idea of going meat-free so speaking to them just helped affirm my decision.

What I mostly eat?

I rarely eat fish and get most of my nutrients from veg, legumes, nuts, and fruit.

Brown rice is my staple. I use it to make rice cereal, stews with rice, savoury rice and because rice is gluten-free, I also have rice noodles, rice pasta, rice wraps.

Broccoli and spinach are also major sources of protein for me.

Polenta – cornmeal, is one of my breakfast options. Look for a GMO-free label on the packaging of products to know if it’s been genetically modified or not.

I also eat a lot of chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.

Milk alternatives include almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk. When cooking creamy dishes, coconut cream is my go-to.

Is it expensive?

Yes and no.

If you plan what you eat you can save a lot of money.

I love buying dry foods in bulk and storing it for later use, which also works out cheaper.

Fruit and veg are generally also more afforable if you only eat foods that are in season.

What to take to a Braai:

Being a guest of a meat-eating host can be awkward if your diet hasn’t been catered for.

Bringing a shareable portion of my favourites to gatherings has always eased any uncomfy feelings and soothed lots of tummies.

Braais are big in Cape Town but you don’t have to miss out. You can braai mielies, butternut, broccoli, and stuffed sweet potato wrapped in foil 😀

DIY: Avocado, Olive Oil and Banana Hair Mask

diy hair mask, avocado hair mask, be whole, robyn ruth thomas, mask, olive oil hair mask, banana hair mask,

Would you say that it’s difficult to find a hair mask that really works?

I’ve tried a bunch of different brands but when it comes down to a hair mask that will 100% treat your scalp and hair shafts, this avocado, olive oil, and banana hair mask wins.

Watch my easy masking routine to ensure to maintain the health of my hair and retain length:

 

To make this hair mask, you’ll need:

1 Ripe avocado

1 Large banana

1 Tbsp of olive oil

Method:

Mash or blend the ingredients together and apply.

I’m not joking. It’s that easy.

Why is this a great hair mask?

There are many great benefits of avocado  – one is that it’s rich in good fats that moisturise your hair. It’s  also well absorbed by the hair shafts and scalp.

Bananas are packed with potassium – great for improving the natural elasticity of your hair and preventing breakage.

Olive oil – one of my favourites – not only acts as a hydrator but as a shield to lock in any moisture that the hair already has.

When is the best time to mask?

Whenever you feel that your hair is dull or dry and needs a boost. I recommend masking twice a month for type 3 – 4 hair, and once a month for type 1 – 2 hair.

More about hair types, here.

Should my hair be wet or dry?

When applying a mask that contains oils, it’s best to apply it to dry hair. Since water repels oil, it will prevent the product from seeping into your hair follicles effectively.

If you’re applying a water-based mask, it will be effective on damp hair.

How long should I keep the hair mask on for?

As long as it takes. I’m kidding.

Your only side effect of leaving this organic hair mask on for too long would be carrying a fruity scent for lack of a proper rinse.

If I’m pressed for time, 30 minutes will do but I like applying the mask in the evening and rinsing it, the next morning – gives me the best results.

Make sure that your hair is completely covered if you decide to go my route so that you don’t get the mask all over your pillows.

But does it really work?

I love knowing what I’m putting on and into my body. It’s important to learn the ingredients list of your favourite products so that you know what works for you and which ingredients you should avoid.

Products that seem like great quality treatments are often packed with poisonous components that do our bodies more harm than good.

I’ve become a serious DIYer and a regular reader of ingredients list just to stay on top of what I’m feeding my body.

Your body is your temple. Yes. Yawn. You’ve heard that cliche phrase a hundred times before. But just imagine that your body is your car and in order for you to drive, you have to refuel once a week. There’s no way that you’re throwing alcohol and bubble bath into your tank, is there? You’ve paid a lot for that car and you need it to work.

Well, you only have one body for your entire life. You can’t trade it in. 

I really love this hair mask. Try it and comment below if you have a mask recipe that you’d like to share with the tribe 🙂

Watch: How I treated my acne

acne treatment, robyn ruth thomas, be whole, natural acne remedy

Why are we so obsessed with having clear skin?

Skin experts tell us that clear skin is beautiful, clean, and healthy. Pimples are definitely a warning from our bodies, letting us know that something is not right internally.

I’m not a doctor but I’ve been to many who all say the same thing: watch what you eat.

That’s a topic for another blog post but if you really want to clear your skin, it’s important to understand what’s causing it first.

Watch my story on how I’ve been treating my acne below:

Here’s some pics of how bad my acne was. I’m wearing makeup in all of them because, for some reason, it made me feel like it was less noticeable. Ironically, you can see it clearly here:

Taken 2015: I had just stopped using the strong medication prescribed my dermatologist because it was affecting my health. After a few months off YAZ, the breakouts returned.
Taken 2016: New year, new breakouts. My poor pores on my forehead were covered in a Mac foundation which just made my breakouts worse.
Taken early 2017: I’m not wearing any makeup here. I had changed my diet after seeing a homeopath and my breakouts had begun to clear but I still had a lot of scarring.
September 2017: I still get some breakouts before menstruation but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. I’m not wearing foundation in this photo and my hair is covering the sides of my face but that’s where I mostly still have scarring.

Here’s what I’ve been using to help reduce my acne scarring:

Toner

A toner is one of the most underrated products of a skincare routine. It helps to balance your body’s PH levels so that after you’ve cleansed, your body won’t try to produce excess oil to keep your skin hydrated. I’ve been using a Beaucience alcohol-free toner that you can get at Wellness Warehouse for around R 89.

Exfoliating Brush

I’ve recently upgraded from my sorbet face brush to the Clarisonic Smart Profile. The Clarisonic is the Porshe of face brushes.

I immediately fell in love when I started using it. Aside from cleansing and exfoliating my skin, the visible difference is how polished my face looks after using the face brush. I use it in the morning and evening.

Head over to Clarisonic shop SA to get 25% off, using my discount code: CLSNC-25-962

I apply a face wash to the bristles of my brush and then scrub my face gently to help remove dead skin and lighten my acne scars. It’s made a huge difference.

Clay Mask

Before acne, masks were a rare treat but now that clear skin has become a mission, I’ve started using masks more frequently. I was gifted the Loreal Detox Clay Mask at the launch of Loreal Elvive’s Curl Pride and decided to try it one night after my skin was looking dull. It really works! I use it once a week now.

Sunscreen

Brown people need sunscreen too! I never bothered applying sunscreen because I’d always worn a moisturizer or foundation with a low SPF. But if you have acne scars and get sunburnt, your scars will be darker so make sure that you protect your skin by applying a good sunscreen.

I use the YungSkin SPF 40 sunscreen which isn’t greasy at all. It has a matte finish, light, creamy texture, and smells really good.

A natural way to clear zits quickly

Cue the angels for tea tree oil.

It has a distinct minty aroma and feels a bit burny if you apply too much.

Pure tea tree oil will dry your skin if you apply oil to areas that aren’t excessively oily. My oily t-panel is where pimples show themselves first but then I apply tea tree oil and the bumps disappear within days.

Was this post helpful to you? Let me know in the comment section below and share it with a friend who may want to reduce his or her acne scarring.

REVIEW: Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Braid Refresher

dark and lovely au naturale

There’s a new addition to Dark and Lovely’s Au Naturale Range.

Formulated with Jojoba Oil and Peppermint oil, this new wash-free braid refresher promises to condition your hair and scalp while eliminating unpleasant smells.

twist braids, braided hair, be whole, robyn ruth thomas
What my twist braids look like

dark and lovely au naturale braid refersher, be whole, robyn ruth thomasDoes the Braid Refresher deliver on its promise?

It sure does.

I sprayed the product throughout my hair, making sure that not a spot on my scalp was missing out.

I noticed that the spray has an oily residue that started to drip down my neck, which is likely due to the jojoba and peppermint oil included.

Be careful not to spray a lot of this product, even if you feel that your scalp is quite dry as this can cause a build-up of oil on your scalp.

My braids smelled great and looked hydrated but by the end of the day, my scalp was itchy and felt as though I needed a wash because I had probably applied too much product.

This product is perfect to spritz on your locs if you’re heading out and want to feel fresh.

It’s free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum and of course includes fragrance – the ingredients of the fragrance isn’t specified.

Remember that the spray hydrates and adds a fresh scent to your hair but it doesn’t clean your scalp so be sure to still cleanse your scalp while using this product.

Jojoba and peppermint oils are both comedogenic, which means that it can be easily absorbed by your hair follicles but if you haven’t washed your hair in a while, bear in mind that the oils may not be able to reach your hair if you have already applied other products or if your hair is dirty.

How long do you normally keep your braids?

Let me know in the comment section below.

I like to keep my hair braided for about 4 to 6 weeks depending on how neat they look and/or whether I think it’s time for my afro to make an appearance.

One thing I really love about having braids – if they’re done properly, is that I can just get up and go, there’s not a lot of fuss to apply products, or waiting for my hair to dry.

But one thing that I have noticed about wearing braids over the years is that it can get really itchy if the braids are tight, and can begin to give off a not-so-great odour if you haven’t washed your hair in a really long time.

I still wash my hair because I’m so used to wetting my hair when I hop into the shower. I shampoo my hair using the Stylin’ Dredz Spray Shampoo (available at Clicks) and only focus on cleansing my scalp since the rinse will wash the shampoo down my braids.

Why it’s a bad idea to wash your hair without a spray applicator when you have braids:

1. Your hair strands become fragile when wet and are more prone to breakage.

If you’re wearing heavy braids and wet your hair, chances are that you’re going to be left with lots of broken-off strands of hair once you remove the braids, especially with rigorous movements.

2. You strip your hair of moisture without replenishing.

It’s pretty hard to moisturise your braided hair if you’re not using a spray applicator so try to make sure that whenever your hair is losing moisture, that you replenish it by spraying your favourite hydration product.

Giveaway! Capture your 2018 moments with a Nikon Coolpix camera

nikon coolpix, be whole, robyn ruth thomas

Stand a chance to win this cool Nikon CoolPix camera by subscribing to Be Whole.

You have a whole year ahead of you.

No matter what, it’s going to be an adventure.

There will be moments so beautiful that you’d wished you’d had a cool camera to capture the moment to look back on it.

One lucky reader will.

Subscribe to join the tribe below for your chance to win:

*Giveaway closed! * Congratulations Tarryn-lee Veldsman

What’s cool about the Nikon Coolpix?

nikon coolpix, be whole. robyn ruth thomas

It’s super lightweight.

Its 20-megapixel camera is great for taking those spur-of-the-moment pics or videos. You could pop it into your bag or carry it in your pocket with ease if you’re heading to a concert.

The pics are high-resolution. There’s nothing worse than having an awesome night and taking lots of pics, only to find that most of them are blurry and the only clear photo didn’t capture your good side. You don’t have to worry about blurry pics with the Nikon Coolpix’s auto-detect feature. The camera will focus on your intended subjects automatically to make sure that your snaps are clear.

It also has a tripod portal so that you can connect your selfie stick to make sure that you’ve got the best angle.

Zoom for days. The optical zoom feature lets you zoom in on objects a good distance away and snap them at a high resolution. No grainy pics unless that’s the look you’re going for.

How many pics can you take?

As many as you’d like. Similar to most digital cameras, the Nikon Coolpix has a memory card slot for you to decide how much storage space you need. While the camera itself doesn’t come with a memory card, once you have your own memory card, sharing photos and videos is made easy by simply inserting the card into your pc.

Increase your chance of winning by letting me know why you want to win in the comment section below:

NOTE:

  • This competition is valid for South African entrants only.
  • Only one entry per person will be allowed.
  • The winner will be announced on this post on 6 February 2018 and contacted via the email address provided.