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Chasing Waterfalls

Posted by Charlotte O'Neill on

Special guest blogger Charlotte O'Neill, travel writer, photographer, Instagram queen and solo adventurer, talks about her affinity with water and how water forms an integral part of caring for our lives and our skin. 

It was 12am. The moon was bright, high and shooting light over the entire landscape as we drove through back roads into the night. It was a warm Summer night, a light breeze was leafing through the trees and our hands were stuck out ofthe windows into the dark. We pulled up, no car-park here just a dirt clearing from constant four wheel drive access and a skinny path into the bush. We walked slowly, eyes lifted, no need for fluorescent torches in the moon dappled rainforest. When we reached our destination the boys lit a fire, the flames throwing more light onto what we had really come for – the glittering waterfall flowing from the edge of the bush down into a deep hole, round and black and cool. The water was soft and clear, glow worms sticking to the side of the cliff and green moss growing up it’s the sides of the fall. Somebody dared to jump first and then we were in in a deep plunge, oxygen filled pockets bursting to the surface like stars. 

There’s no denying the revitalising nature of water in any form. It’s the most rejuvenating experience to swim, on a hot day, as a refreshing icy plunge, after a difficult morning of coffee and sun- bathinging… It’s peaceful; mentally healing. It’s also the most recycled product on the planet, as a non-renewable resource that is constantly regenerating itself through plants, the atmosphere, humans, and our earth. In fact, it's a little unnerving if you think about it too much. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed with water – growing up as a surfer and after developing a passion for photography and the natural world, it just seemed natural to me to follow streams and enjoy the way my brain feels when completely subservient to nature’s greatest healing power.

Water has been seen as a form of salvation (Christendom), a gateway to the netherworld (Greece), and a way of staying alive (anyone, ever). It’s the most sought after commodity on earth and one of the most fought over. It traverses two thirds of the globe, moving constantly and is the lifeblood of hundreds of thousands of communities. The Ganges River that runs through India floods it’s banks and wets the rice fields that support the local income. It serves as the carrier beneath funeral pyres that float ash into watery graves. The river system itself is one of the oldest forms of transport, allowing commerce to flourish based on its banks, surface and the ecosystem that thrives below it. It is everything, and for most of us, it flows out of our taps into our homes, every day.

Freshwater, particularly streams running from fresh springs, is rich with minerals as it runs over dirt-beds, rocks and fossicks away at them over time taking particles with it. Hot springs, with their mineral rich water and temperature that open the pores and relaxes the body, are a form of hydrotherapy that has become popular in day spas built around natural springs. H2O is a natural solvent, which means it absorbs things into it as it flows – also the reason that water holds so many different products that can be either harmful or healthful. Regular freshwater, imbued with natural minerals, high in oxygen and clean, is one of the most beneficial things to seek out in your lifestyle, from immersing yourself in it as it rushes through gorges or enjoying a peaceful day lakeside.

Magnesium, zinc, trace b vitamins, and other vital minerals can be found in high quantities in salt water. Salt water, highly cleansing and potent is also refreshing and awakening. It is even healthful to gulp a few mouthfuls of it as drinking salt water stimulates the digestive tract, helping to eliminate harmful toxins. Water that is mineral rich helps the body’s natural detoxification processes and rids the body of the toxins absorbed through the skin, in food and drinks and other environmental factors such as pollution. The mineral content in salt water helps maintain bone strength, and the physical presence of salt water on your skin at the beach cleanses the skin, removes oils and bacteria and restores the skin’s proper pH levels. It’s no wonder that we feel as though it’s a physical ‘need’ to adventure to wild water sources, or dive into the sea.

Water in all forms contains a crucial ingredient involved in skin regeneration and healing – hyaluronic acid. This compound is naturally present in the body’s fluids, however it is also being tested as a treatment for burns, scarring, wounds, ulcers – and in moisturisers. Hyaluronic acid as an internal fluid keeps joints supple and healthy, and it can do the same thing for the skin. Due to it’s ability to retain incredible amounts of moisture, utilizing hyaluronic acid is an obvious response to the aging process, drying, moisture-less skin. Hyaloronic acid can actually be applied topically in moisturiser to allow the skin to maintain it’s natural, youthful moisture and glow.

All of this is not to mention the mentally calming, almost meditative state that water immersion can bring intrinsically. The sound is soothing and the feel of water over skin calms the muscles and is highly relaxing. Even better – waterholes, waterfalls and beaches are often reasonably remote, providing a peaceful place to reconnect with nature, a practice that more and more people are finding themselves in need of. Water immersion, easily accessible and mentally and physically restorative is the ideal wellness experience. 

Vanessa Megan knows the power of water for your skin. We use active hyaluronic acid in some of our most potent natural skincare - our active range. Try our Triple Action Eye Lift Serum or Advanced Anti-Aging Epi-Cell Serum to see the effects for yourself. The hyaluronic acid holds tight to the moisture in your skin keeping it supple, moist and strong.

You can find Charlotte on Instagram at instagram.com/_charlotteoneill and online at charlotteoneill.net

Vanessa Megan