Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Must Have Organic Beauty Buys

  • Raw, organic coconut & rose cream (My own formulation) I can't live without this product now. I use coconut oil to remove my make up, nourish dry skin, as a body moisturiser, on the ends of my hair to give it a gloss and as a lipbalm. I have added rose to give a therapeutic, uplifting, floral dimension and it smells incredible. Coconut oil has to be my biggest discovery of 2013. If you're not already using it I implore you go get some!
  • Soapwalla Deodorant Cream  I have spent years looking for an effective, natural deodorant (synthetic deodorants often contain nasties such as parabens and aluminium) which can be absorbed into the blood stream and into breast tissue. Soapwalla have created a great alternative deodorant cream that works brilliantly. Made with simple clays & powders it has been a staple product for me throughout 2013.
  • Shiffa Healing Balm At the more luxe end of organic beauty I love this healing balm. Full of wonderful ingredients such as lavender, chamomile, arnica and meadowfoam, this balm is another staple that I keep in my handbag at all times for dry skin flare ups. I adore the packaging and calming scent.
  • Lotus Wei Infinite Love As you all know I can't get enough of the Lotus Wei products! This perfume is just magic! It smells amazing and contains rose, red mandarin & honey along with various healing flower essences. I'm looking forward to seeing where this incredible, therapeutic brand goes in 2014. 
  • Intelligent Nutrients Total Body Elixir Restore Created by the founder of Aveda this is a wonderful eco-consious, organic skincare/ haircare line. My favourite product is the total body elixir in 'Restore' it smells of warm, spicy incense and brings a calming, peaceful moment into my evening routine. 
  • Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm  This is a lovely, natural cleansing balm that a good friend introduced me to last year. Smooth, light and deeply cleansing. I use this balm with my Clarisonic and nothing else I have tried leaves my skin looking so radiant and bright.
  • Neal's Yard Beauty Sleep Concentrate  This moisturiser is heavenly. It smells of ylang,ylang, patchouli, benzoin and clary sage. It is lightweight and easily absorbed. Best of all it's like giving yourself an aromatherapy facial every night.
  • Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence By far the best organic toner I have ever used (If only it wasn't so expensive 125ml $85!) It contains hyaluronic acid to preserve the skins natural hydration, beetroot extract to minimise fine lines and gotu kolu extract to improve the skins elasticity. My skin was in the best condition it has been all year when using this toner.
  • Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate oil I have been a big fan of rosehip oil for many years but in my opinion this is the best one on the market. Not only does it contain the seed oil but also that of the rosehip fruit. It is amazing at reducing skin damage, fine lines and to heal scar tissue and stretch marks. 
What were your favourite organic beauty buys of 2013?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Therapi Honey Skincare. A review.

A couple of months ago I was sent some products from a new organic skincare line called Therapi.
The line was created by apiarist Tanya Hawkes who wanted to create a highly therapeutic, organic skincare range using honey.
I am sure many of you already know that honey is a wonderful moisturiser. It has been used for thousands of years in many different cultures and is rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants. I often incorporate honey into my homemade masks and am a big fan of its moisturising effect on my skin.
I was intrigued to find out how effective the Therapi formulations would be if they contained honey.
Therapi has great eco credentials and gives 5% of profits to support the conservation of bees. Therapi is made in England and has certification from the soil association.
I have reviewed two of the products from their line; Rose Otto Honey Gel Cleanser and Orange Blossom Honey moisturiser. Here are my thoughts;

Rose Otto Honey Gel Cleanser 100ml £25
Nourishing for normal/dry skin
This has to be my favourite product from the line, I loved it. I usually stick to balm/oil cleansers as I find foaming/gel cleansers often strip my sensitive skin and leave it feeling tight and dry.
I think Therapi's gel cleanser is the first I have used in years that has the opposite effect.  The cleanser uses honey and yucca to gently lift grime and impurities, it is a honey coloured liquid (possibly a tad watery for my liking) and is dispensed through a beautiful, glass pump bottle.
When I used on my face it gently lathered into a soft foam. I have now been using it for 3 weeks and I haven't had any adverse effects, my skin is clear and well hydrated.
As much as I am a huge advocate for cleansing balms there is nothing quite like giving your face a good wash! This is a quick and easy alternative product to the balm cleansing systems if you have very sensitive skin. It has a subtle scent of rose and geranium essential oils and it feels like you're applying nothing but pure 'goodness'.
I also felt £25 was reasonably priced for the quality and quantity of this luxe, organic cleanser.

Orange Blossom Honey Moisturiser 50ml £30
This is another great product from this range. I was a little worried when I saw I had been sent a moisturiser for 'normal' skin (as mine is anything but 'normal'...)
However, I liked this moisturiser. It was light, nourishing and gentle. It didn't cause any irritation or flare ups and it soaked in well. The moisturiser contains honey, calendula extract, sea buckthorn oil and orange blossom and if, like me, you're a sucker for beautiful scents then you will fall in love with this moisturiser. It smells of sweet, uplifting neroli and reminded me of wonderful trips to the south of France.
My only real negative point was the container. I am not a fan of jars for moisturisers (especially those that only have a 6 month shelf life and are easily contaminated). I would have preferred this moisturiser to be in an airtight pump jar instead (by the end of the first week using I already had bits of fluff, hair and dirt in it...)

This is a lovely organic skincare line. I really like the focus on honey and the fact bees & 'Britishness' are at the heart of the Therapi brand. If you are looking for a gentle, therapeutic, eco-concious skincare products then do try the Therapi line and let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vintage'13 by Abel. A new organic perfume.

A few weeks ago I decide to go on a little mission to find a new, organic perfume. There are a couple of perfume brands that I really love (and I've previously written reviews on); Strange Invisible Perfumes, Honore des Pres and Lotus Wei.

To my delight my mission to find a new brand didn't last very long, I very quickly came across an exciting, organic perfume called Vintage '13 by the brand Abel.
I contacted Abel's founder (the lovely) Frances Shoemack who is an native New Zealander living in Amsterdam.  Frances started her career in the wine industry so she has a real taste for the finer things in life. After looking to wear an organic perfume and not being able to find a good one Frances decided to create one of her own scent. Vintage'13 was born. Frances hired Milan trained 'Nose' Issac Sinclair to help create her perfume (Issac has also been part of the team to launch Ecoya candles. and has worked for the world's leading perfume houses.
Vintage '13 oozes style and class. Its bottle (which can be personally engraved) is made from reclaimed wood and recyclable glass and was designed by skilled craftsmen and designers in Amsterdam.

So what's the verdict?
Frances sent me a Vintage '13 sample to try. It is a complex scent that has a warm, woody, smoky soul as well as some sweet, fresh top notes which give it a subtle fragrance. I could really smell the vetiver, black pepper and clove which were comforting on these cold, winter evenings. The perfume also has a hint of fresh bergamot, thyme, vanilla and sandalwood and is suitable for men and women.
For me its warmth made it the perfect evening scent.

I love the fact this perfume is 100% organic. It is far more sophisticated than any synthetic perfume you might find in a department store.
At 115 euros for 50ml it is pretty pricey, but it does make a truly stylish, hand-crafted, unique gift. You can find out more Vintage '13 here:

Have you tried any organic perfumes recently? What are your favourite organic scents?

Friday, November 15, 2013

A review. Pai Skincare.

Pai was created by Sarah Brown, who after suffering with a bad skin allergy caused by chemicals in skincare, decided to create a clean, plant-based skincare line that was created for people with sensitive skin.

I suffer with a hormone related dermatitis which can flare up at any time and is aggravated by chemicals in skincare. I therefore only stick to organic products and was delighted when this brand launched.
I am a huge fan of Pai's Chamomile and Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream, it has worked a treat on my delicate skin and has become a staple product on my bathroom shelf.
Check out a previous review here

Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil 30ml £20 
I am now besotted with Pai's Rosehip BioRegenerate oil. (The evidence is the empty bottle below...)
I love Rosehip oil and have been using it for many years but this one is of an exceptional quality (you can literally smell the fruit and feel its intense healing and nourishing properties as soon as it is applied). Unlike many other Rosehip oils which are made from just the seed, this oil is made from the fruit AND the seed via CO2 super critical extraction, meaning it has five times the carotenoids of most Rosehip oils.
The BioRegenerate oil is brilliant at helping to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, sun damage and fine lines. I use mine at night for a moisture boost and I like to think it does all the hard work whilst I sleep, after using it I wake up with glowing, bright, beautiful skin.

Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Toner 50ml £30ml
I am also a big fan of Pai's Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Toner. I am quite fussy with toners, I want them to be light, refreshing and hydrating but I often struggle to see the difference they make to my skin tone.
However, like my all time favourite toner (Tata Harper's Hydrating Floral Essence) this toner makes a significant difference to my skin.
 Pai's Lotus & Orange Blossom Affinity Toner contains 'living waters' from lotus root which are rich in amino acids, vitamins and trace minerals, they are incredibly hydrating and soothing on any inflammation. I also love this toner because unlike many others it doesn't contain alcohol (which dehydrates and irritates the skin). It is simply made with a variety of gentle flower waters and a glycerine to help draw moisture into the skin and to help maintain the skin's natural PH. I noticed after using this toner for a couple of weeks that my skin felt plumper and less irritated. It smells incredible too.

Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream 30ml £30
Finally, I decided to swap my Chamomile and Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream and try the Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream. In all honesty I was expecting to dislike this moisturiser in comparison to the former, but to my surprise I really liked it.
I actually preferred the scent (May Chang and Jasmine) to the Chamomile. The consistency is quite thick and nourishing which is perfect for these cold winter days when my skin is dry, delicate & far more reactive than usual. The cream uses wonderful oils such as avocado and jojoba which are known to soften and combat dryness.
However, I do think overuse with this hydrating cream could possibly make my skin feel a little clogged and in the summer I think I wouldn't appreciate the consistency quite so much as I do right now.
This is a lovely moisturiser and would suit those with very dehydrated, dry skin. Due to my highly sensitive skin my one true love from this range continues to be the Chamomile and Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream.

Have you tried any products from Pai? What are your thoughts?

Friday, October 11, 2013

5 'Must Have' Winter skincare products

Winter is coming....

Yesterday the weather in London turned very cold. Over the past week my skin has changed quite radically, my dermatitis is in flare and I have a patch of eczema that has appeared out of nowhere on my right eye lid. My skin is literally freaking out at the change in temperature, that is why it is so important to keep my skin hydrated and nourished.
In the winter I try to improve my diet. I eat even more foods with omega 3,6,9 such as linseed and flaxseed, fish oils and eggs. More dark green veg (minerals and iron) and plenty berries and juices that are high in antioxidants. I also increase my liquid intake, in the summer I drink lots of water but as the cold sets in my thirst diminishes so I have to make an extra effort to ensure that I am staying hydrated.

It is important to protect your skin during the winter and we need products that are highly hydrating and nourishing to help with dry, raw, cracked skin. These are my top 5 buys for Autumn/ Winter 2013.

1. Autumn Facial Oil de Mamiel £60
This beautiful facial oil is perfect for cold autumn days. You massage a couple of drops into your face in upward strokes morning or night and it promises to:

  • Soothe post summer skin and hydrate in time for autumn and winter.
  • Helps to regenerate the skin and tone the complexion
  • Deeply nourishes to help heal and plump up the skin to reduce the appearance of ageing.
  • The ingredients are organic and include: Jasmine Sambac, Green Mandarin, Grapefruit, Geranium, Argan oil, Prickly Pear oil, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Rosehip and Carrot oil.

2. Goe Oil 85gm £32.00

This years ultimate beauty product. Goe oil is wonderfully multifunctional. I keep one in my handbag to use on my hands, cuticles and lips during the day.  I also keep one in the bathroom to use as a shaving oil, to nourish the tips of my hair, as a moisturizer for dry patches of skin and as a make up remover. Goe uses Jojoba oil and the beautifully scented Monoi oil, Pumpkin oil, Avocado oil, Meadowfoam, Chamomile and Calendula. It smells heavenly and works a treat. Who needs Elizabeth
Arden 8 hour cream when you have this totally natural version?!!

3. Organic Rose Water

It is important to keep your face well hydrated during the winter months. If I'm indoors with central heating on my skin can feel dry and tight so I love to keep a bottle of rose floral water nearby and give my face a hydrating spritz.
You can buy floral waters for anything up to £40 (which is very expensive) I find the basic ones from organic suppliers are just as effective. My favourites are Primevera Rose Water Hydrosol (£13) or Rose Floral Water from Materia Aromatic (£7 for 100ml).

4. Intelligent Nutrients Total Body Elixir 'Restore' £22

A favourite of mine. I adore this body oil. It is a thick, viscous body oil but strangely it is not greasy. It sinks in very quickly to leave your skin feeling like silk and very hydrated. It smells warm and spicy using many ancient medicinal oils such as Cinnamon, Ravensara, Oregano, Thyme and Patchouli. Perfect for a cold winter night after a bath.

5. Pai Organic Bergamont Lip Butter 10g £7.00

It's really important to protect your lips from the cold and wind during the winter months. There is nothing worse than sore, cracked lips!
My 'must have' lipbalm for this winter is by new, cult organic skincare brand Pai. It is very nourishing and contains Beeswax and Almond oil with the sweet citrus scent of Bergamot.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rosemary & Lemon DIY Sugar Scrub Recipe

Sugar scrubs are amazing for your skin. They are fab for exfoliation and deeply hydrating but at prices ranging from £15-£50 it may be easier to make your own and save some pennies! They are so simple to make there is no excuse.
This scrub can be used for the body and I keep mine for use in the bath and shower (do not use on your face as the sugar granules are too abrasive)

Here's how it goes...

Basic sugar scrub recipe
1 cup of brown, fair trade cane sugar
1/2 a cup of organic coconut oil
1/2 a cup of almond oil
If you want to add scent:
6 drops of Lemon essential oil
6 drops of Rosemary essential oil

Ta da!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Today's star organic beauty buy....

The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan (100ml) £29.95 

With the days becoming shorter and darker summer is starting to feel like a distant memory. Alas, my lovely, golden colour is starting to fade and it is time to pull out my Organic Pharmacy Self Tan.
This is a staple product of mine during the autumn and winter months. I really like it because it is the first, effective, organic self tan I have used, gone are my days of using St Tropez, covering sheets in bright orange stains and smelling like a chemical cocktail!
This self tan creates a subtle, natural, golden tone that I absolutely love. It contains Shea Butter, Aloe Vera and DHA (the tanning agent) produced from 100% natural Sugar Beet. The consistency is light and smooth and it absorbs into the skin well. I use it about three times a week to maintain a 'healthy glow' during the winter months.
The real selling point for me is that this self tan is free from preservatives, colourants, fragrances and petrochemicals.
I apply the self tan to my face and neck after cleansing and moisturising. It can also be applied to the rest of the body if needed.

Score 7/10