Mental Health Week runs from Monday 8 – Saturday 14 October, 2017 to highlight the fact that one in five Australians are impacted by mental illness and help shine a more positive light on the issue.

Exercise and relaxation have been found to be the most powerful antidepressants available with a new study from Griffith University, published in Frontiers in Public Health, showing that physical activity in nature can prevent, delay, or alleviate the mental health components of chronic disease.

This comes as no surprise for Wild Women On Top Founder and Chief Adventure Chick, Di Westaway who’s built a career out of motivating women to get outdoors and improve their mental and physical health through exercise and hiking adventures.

“I know thousands of women who use hiking to improve their mental health. Hiking ticks more boxes for mental wellbeing than a gym workout or an urban jog because it’s natural movement in nature. When you’re outside you have the wind in your hair, sunshine on your skin, trees and birds and gorgeous views, all these things make us feel good inside. Throw in some girlfriends for a good bit of conversation and you have the perfect recipe for mental wellbeing.”

We need to embrace the fact that exercise and other lifestyle changes have been shown to improve mental health, and we need to make it easier for people to access them,” says Westaway.

To celebrate and demonstrate the incredible feeling a hike in nature can have on one’s mental health Wild Women On Top return Tuesday 10 October with another FREE hike along Sydney’s stunning coastline.

Starting 7am at Sydney’s iconic Opera House, the 5km coastal hike will loop though the enchanting Botanical Gardens. The hike offers Sydneysiders a fun opportunity to meet inspired, driven, like-minded women committed to experiencing the tremendous positivity hiking has on mental health.

Women can register for the FREE hike at

Wild Women On Top are famous for their annual Coastrek events in Sydney, Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast. Coastrek is a team trekking challenge where participants hike either 30km or 60km’s to get happy and support charity. Since it began in Sydney in 2010, Coastrek has inspired more than 23,000 trekkers, mostly women, and raised nearly $20m for The Fred Hollows Foundation. It’s a great match because nearly 60% of the world’s blind are women.

Sydney Coastrek 2018 registrations are now open for a March 16th event in 2018. It is one of the state’s most popular adventure challenges because it’s not a race. 4,000 trekkers, (at least 50% female), will hike the beautiful beaches, bays and clifftops of Sydney Harbour from Manly or Kirribilli to Bondi to raise $2.8 million for The Foundation to continue its fight to end avoidable blindness.

To register for Sydney Coastrek 2018 head to

Blister Balm: the all-natural blister prevention relief balm making footwear comfortable

In today’s trend driven culture, it’s safe to say that many Australians often choose fashion over fit when it comes to their footwear.

With a plethora of options for work, play and even gym, finding the ultimate designer lace-up, winter boot, summer wedge, kitten heel, office pump, practical flat, sandal or runner can prove no easy feat.

According to the Australian Podiatry Association, footwear materials and shape are the biggest factors associated with shoe discomfort. On a mission to remedy this age-old affliction, all natural Australian company, Blister Balm, have created the ultimate spot-relief balm to combat shoe chaffing.

Ideal for men, women and children alike, Blister Balm’s unique waxy formulation is applied to high-friction areas of the feet, such as toes, heels, instep and outstep, in order to ease discomfort, protect from infection and repair skin.

Source: Blister Balm 

The world's ugliest summer rashie? Even the Cancer Council thinks so

Australia’s much-loved answer to the Ugly Xmas Sweater is back for 2017 – with a new, true-blue cockatoo design!

Cancer Council’s 2017 limited edition Ugly Xmas Rashie, manufactured by Scody Australia and featuring a cockatoo, is set to be an, well, a noticeable addition to the beach this summer.

The Ugly Xmas Rashie first launched in 2015 and sold out within 48 hours – and has been an Aussie tradition ever since. Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the charity was proud to launch another new design of the Ugly Xmas Rashie – Australia’s answer to a global Christmas trend.

“It’s too hot for us to don Ugly Xmas Sweaters in summer in Australia – but the Ugly Xmas Rashie ensures Aussies can stay on trend and sun safe while supporting a great cause,” Ms McMillan said.

“What better way to incorporate sun safety into your Christmas get-up and stay festive all summer long?

“With two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime – we are always looking for ways to make sure Australians can safely have fun in the sun – and this product does just that.

“The rashie is rated UPF50+, keeping trendsetters safe while at the beach, with the added bonus of supporting our work in cancer research, patient support and prevention programs.”

Ms McMillan said pre-orders were now available for the new cockatoo design, and the original Ugly Xmas Rashie kangaroo design, in a range of unisex adults and kids’ sizes.

“Get your orders in today to get your hands on a limited addition rashie or cycling jersey before they sell out,” Ms McMillan said. “They’re the perfect gift for the whole family and play a key role in keeping you SunSmart.

“When you head outdoors, pair the rashie with a pair of sunnies, a hat and some sunscreen, and seek shade to help protect your skin from the sun and reduce your risk of skin cancer later in life.”

Scody Australia Bernard Schreiber said the Ugly Xmas Rashie was an Australian tradition, crafted to the highest quality. “We’re thrilled to partner with Cancer Council this year in the promotion of the Ugly Xmas Rashie and give Australians the opportunity to get festive for a good cause,” Bernard said.

Scody has also released an Ugly Xmas Cycling Jersey which will be available in the original kangaroo design to help keep cyclists festive while out on the road.

The Ugly Xmas Rashie is now available for pre-order online at and will be in some Cancer Council stores across Australia from October 2017.

Aussies can share their pics wearing their Ugly Xmas Rashie with the hashtag #uglyxmasrashie and visit @uglyxmasrashie on Instagram or Facebook to raise awareness.

Skin Cancer stats

  • Skin cancers account for around 80 per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers
  • Between 95 and 99 per cent of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
  • GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
  • The incidence of skin cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.

Cancer Council provides vital research, support services and cancer prevention programs for those affected by cancer. For more information, visit or phone 13 11 20.

Source: Cancer Council 

lululemon athletica becomes official Mindfulness Partner of Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia and lululemon are excited to announce that the Canadian technical athletic apparel brand is the first Yoga and Mindfulness Partner of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team from Monday August 7.

The partnership comes at a time when holistic health, wellbeing, and mindfulness are fast becoming important conversations in households, workplaces, and notably, elite sport. This partnership will see lululemon provide the Australian Dolphins Swim Team and Swimming Australia staff with yoga and mindfulness resources in and outside of the pool.

Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation remain at the core of what lululemon stands for, aside from its technical athletic apparel offering. Yoga, meditation, and personal development workshops will be a cornerstone of lululemon’s partnership with Swimming Australia and how they bring their unique company culture to the organisation.

Swimming Australia Executive Manager High Performance, Wayne Lomas says the team’s emphasis on mindfulness continues to be a focus as they prepare for key international events.“Mindfulness is an integral part of the modern athletes’ skill set. Here with the Dolphins we have a focus on encouraging our athlete to have a clear mind, feel calm, and have clarity in their training and competition environment,” Lomas said.

Swimming Australia General Manager of Sponsorship Miles Rose said both the swimmers and staff were excited to be joining forces with lululemon. “The mood around the office and poolside has been really positive with the news of our partnership with lululemon,” Rose said.

“lululemon provides people with the tools and resources to help them unlock their best, and we’re looking forward to being able to provide our athletes with products and resources that assist them to achieve their goals.” Rose said.
For Ben Jackson, Director of Brand and Community at lululemon Australia/New Zealand, the partnership is a reflection of lululemon’s commitment to regionally authentic programs for the community.

“Our partnership with Swimming Australia stems from a great relationship developed out of shared values. Mindful performance in elite sport, as well as in everyday life, has and will continue to be an integral part of the lululemon DNA,” Jackson said.

“We’re honoured and excited to share our unique company culture of mindfulness and personal development with the athletes and staff involved with Swimming Australia.” Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said this partnership would benefit not only the Dolphins Team but also the wider Swimming Australia organisation.

“Swimming Australia is delighted to be partnering with such an iconic global brand. lululemon will provide our athletes with tools to support them in their quest to attain their personal best,” Anderson said. “But it’s not only our swimmers that will benefit from the new partnership; our staff will be involved in yoga and mindfulness activities as we look to build on our organisation being an enjoyable, healthy and performance orientated workplace.

“We are excited to announce this new partnership with lululemon that will provide benefits
both in and out of the water.”

Source: Lululemon

Eye Spy: Beauty Secrets Your Optometrist Needs to Tell You

5 Beauty secrets only your optometrist can tell you

No matter what you’re packing in your makeup kit, bloodshot and puffy eyes are never beautiful. Eyes are particularly vulnerable to infection and some beauty procedures even put your vision at risk.

Healthy eyes are beautiful eyes. While there are literally thousands of YouTube tutorials dedicated to nailing perfect winged eyeliner, when it comes to your eyes, the best beauty advice is dispensed by an optometrist.

Optometry Australia’s resident optometrist, Luke Arundel, has seen first-hand the damage caused by common cosmetic mistakes.

Here are his top beauty tips, backed by science:

Watch where you put that eyeliner

Optometrists call the fragile skin around the eyes ‘periocular skin’ and they have a strong opinion about where on that skin you should apply your eyeliner.

There has even been a small study to set the record straight about the dangers of what beauticians refer to as ‘waterlining’ or ‘tightlining’– applying eyeliner inside your lower lash line – a make-up technique said to give the impression of dramatic, smoky eyes.

The study quantified the migration of a conventional cosmetic eye pencil in two different locations: behind the lash line and inside the lash line (the waterline).

The results showed the glitter particles of the pencil eyeliner migrated more readily and contaminated the tear film when applied inside the waterline.

This has implications for contact lens wearers and patients with dry eye syndrome or sensitive eyes. Is that smoky eye look really worth it if they end up red and itchy?

Chuck it out

How many people actually abide by the expiry dates for cosmetics?
A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found 97.9 % (43/44) of participants reported using or previously using make-up after the expiration date, with mascara being the most frequently mentioned product.

Yet, the microbiological analysis of 40 mascara samples revealed the presence of bacteria and fungi which can cause nasty bacterial eye infections.

By law, cosmetic manufacturers don’t have to put a use-by date on their products. However, you can check a product’s official expiry date by running the batch code through or apps like Check Your Cosmetics.

Generally, the use-by date for liquid or gel eyeliner and mascara is 3 months. Pencil eyeliner lasts about 2 years.
Need a reminder? Of course, there is an app for that, too.

Eyelash extensions

Eyelash extensions – just one of the cosmetic procedures propelled back into fashion by the Kardashians – come with a risk to your eyes. Namely, infections of the cornea and eyelid, the permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes, eyelid swelling and allergic reactions.

Optometry Australia first raised this issue to its members back in 2010 and since then there has been a steady increase in the number of cases associated with allergic reactions to the glue used to adhere extensions to existing lashes, the loss of natural eyelashes, conjunctivitis and even corneal damage due to tweezer injury.

Repeated use of eyelash extensions can cause tractional alopecia, where the natural lash falls out due to excessive tension and weight placed on the hair shaft.

This can damage the hair follicle, which can slow down or cease any further production of natural lashes.

If people must take the risk, they need to ensure that their beauty therapist has been trained in this procedure, that the equipment used has been sterilised and that the environment where the procedure will take place is clean.

They should ask their therapist what glue they will use and avoid places that only use formaldehyde-based adhesives as these are often linked to allergic reactions.

If there is any discomfort after the procedure, any noticeable inflammation of the eyelid, grittiness, blurred vision or loss of the natural eyelashes, you should see your optometrist immediately.

Novelty contact lenses

Halloween can be a scary time for optometrists, for all the wrong reasons.

Buying novelty lenses online or over the counter can lead to eye infections, damage, and even permanent blindness.

The surface of the eye is extremely delicate and wearing non-prescribed novelty contact lenses, particularly those from a dubious source, could cause eye damage ranging from mild infections to sight-threatening conditions such as corneal scarring and even blindness.

Contact lenses are not ‘one size fits all’.

If people want to enhance their Halloween look with fancy dress lenses, or perhaps change the colour of their eyes for a big event, it is important to make sure the lenses are prescribed by an optometrist who will measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how the eye responds to contact lens wear using a microscope.

The optometrist will then instruct them on appropriate insertion and removal techniques and correct contact lens care to minimise the risk of irreversible eye damage.

This advice is backed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Optometry Australia.

Get your eyes tested

Itchy and sore eyes aren’t pretty. If they persist for more than a few days, see an optometrist.

You may think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting an optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination is the only way to really be sure.

Not only may it lead to improved everyday vision – and quality of life – it could detect that something more serious is going on, and prevent loss of vision.

If you can squeeze in the time to see a beautician, you can manage an appointment with an optometrist.
Find an optometrist in your local area here.

Source: Optometry Australia