Review: 3 Natural Soap Bars Everyone Will Love

If you hadn’t yet noticed, soap bars are having a revival moment. To quote one friend who recently stayed at mine and used one of the three soaps from Earthbits.com that I’ve reviewed here: ‘I haven’t used a soap bar in years – I’ve forgotten how good they are!’

For me natural soap bars are the ultimate in eco and sustainable beauty. If made with planet and people in mind, they could boast no plastic packaging, natural and non-polluting ingredients, zero-waste, kind on skin and can even be homemade.

Continue reading “Review: 3 Natural Soap Bars Everyone Will Love”

Weleda Teams Up with Terracycle to Increase Plastic Packaging Recycling

It’s been great hearing about all the recycling initiatives from brands this week for Recycling Week 2020.

If, like me, you’re frustrated with the limited recycling services offered by your local council then you’ll be pleased to hear that Weleda has partnered with TerraCycle to offer nationwide drop off points to recycle its soft plastic tubes.

Continue reading “Weleda Teams Up with Terracycle to Increase Plastic Packaging Recycling”

Review: Shampoo and Conditioner Bar by Morocco Method

This post contains affiliate links for products I’ve reviewed and recommend and this includes a discount for the reader

Looking at my inbox, I’d say soap bars are having a popular beauty moment. Lots of smaller brands are launching shampoo / cleansing bars for face, body and hair and I doubt it will be long before the bigger brands launch them too.

US-based Morocco Method recently got in touch to tell me about its zero-waste 100% natural shampoo soap bar. Was I interested to try it? Absolutely!

Continue reading “Review: Shampoo and Conditioner Bar by Morocco Method”

An Expert’s Guide to Plastic Ingredients in Beauty #PlasticFreeJuly

Microbeads commonly used in beauty products have been proven to pollute our ocean life and waterways and after much-deserved press, campaigning and consumer pressure the laws were changed. In 2018 in the UK, plastic microbeads in body scrubs and exfoliating rinse-off product were banned.

However, the story and fight for cleaner products and ocean conservation doesn’t end there. There are actually a host of other plastic-based ingredients commonly used in conventional beauty products that are less obvious than microbeads but still cause damage.

Continue reading “An Expert’s Guide to Plastic Ingredients in Beauty #PlasticFreeJuly”

Zero-waste Beauty News: Ren Skincare

I’ve recently been impressed with beauty brand Ren for its zero-waste 2021 targets, which have involved upgrading packaging to use Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) from landfill and ocean plastics.

It’s always reassuring when a brand takes an issue by its horns, gives things a shake up and is genuine in its efforts to tackle it.

Our Zero Waste Ambition: to use only packaging that’s recycled, recyclable or reusable by 2021.

Ren Skincare

To achieve the zero-waste goals Ren is redesigning packaging to reduce cardboard and plastic, using ocean and landfill plastic in bottles and caps, re-thinking processes for a circular economy and revisiting skincare formulas for an even cleaner makeover.

Continue reading “Zero-waste Beauty News: Ren Skincare”

New: CBD Olive Oil – What’s It All About?

Yes, you read right. CBD-infused olive oil for your kitchen cupboard and dinner table. You’ve probably heard of CBD products ranging from oral tinctures, topical salves and muscles rubs, and now introducing CBD Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Drops of Heal.

Firstly, what is CBD? It’s short for cannabidiol, which is the chemical extracted from the marijuana plant (through distillation) and does not contain the psychoactive ingredient, THC – so you cannot get high off CBD products.

Continue reading “New: CBD Olive Oil – What’s It All About?”

Step-by-Step Guide: How To Do a DIY Natural Beauty Home Facial

weleda Skin Food facial review

If you’ve been inspired by the continued rise of natural and organic beauty then you’ll love this DIY natural facial massage from Weleda, one of my favourite natural and organic beauty brands. It’s also a lovely, nourishing treat to give skin at this time of year as the season and temperatures change.

The key product in this facial is Weleda Skin Food – an iconic skincare product that contains natural extracts of calendula, chamomile, rosemary and lavender, with natural waxes and plant oils (now also available in light version, lip balm and body butter) – alongside a few other Weleda products.

Continue reading “Step-by-Step Guide: How To Do a DIY Natural Beauty Home Facial”

New Weleda Deodorant and New Eco-Design Packaging

weleda roll on natural deodorant

I’m always looking for the next great-working natural deodorant so I was pleased to hear Weleda has expanded its 24h Roll-On Deodorant collection to include a new scent, Sea Buckthorn. This joins Citrus, Men’s and Pomegranate in the range to try.

What makes these deodorants special?

They are formulated without zirconium or aluminium salts that block underarm sweat ducts in an anti-perspirant product. Instead, these Weleda deodorants will allow skin and sweat ducts to function naturally and healthily, so yes, you will sweat, but keep reading…

Yikes, does that mean I will smell of bad body odour?

Hopefully not! While these natural deodorants won’t block pores and you’ll still sweat naturally, there are ingredients that’ll help stop body odour from developing: organic witch hazel distillate should act as a natural astringent, and organic liquorice root extract has antimicrobial properties to inhibit odour-causing bacteria.

What else is in there (or not in there) I need to know about?

Pure essential oils fragrance help preserve the product, meaning artificial preservatives and parabens can be avoided. Over 70% of the ingredients are NATRUE-certified organic, all ingredients are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and dermatologically proven for skin tolerability.

Tell me about the new eco-packaging…

The packaging for all the deodorants in the range has been re-designed in recyclable bottles made from 70% recycled plastic. This is part of Weleda’s new eco-design programme.

Weleda says: ‘The new, fully recyclable HDPE bottles made from 70% post-consumer recyclate (PCR) has been carefully sourced from British food packaging such as milk bottles.’

Pretty cool, huh?

Read more about Weleda’s commitment to sustainability here

Read more about HDPE plastic bottles and recycling at wrap.org.uk.

Get more of my natural deodorant recommendations here and another here

Introducing Fjaka – the Mediterranean way of mindful living

saint-iris-adriatica-skincare

Saint Iris Adriatica, a luxury green beauty brand, takes its inspiration from the Adriatic sea, mountains, thermal spas and wild spaces.

Founder Sanela Lazic says the brand is all about channelling fjaka [pronounced: fyak.ka], which is a relaxed state that embodies the spirit and wellbeing of Croatian life.

Sanela has taken traditional Adriatic folk remedies and combined them with natural ingredients to create products that help to strengthen skin against the stresses of modern life and encourage a more balanced state of body and mind.

I asked Sanela to talk more about fjaka….

Saint Iris Adriatica instagram
@saintirisadriatica

What is fjaka and how can you create the Fjaka feeling?

‘Fjaka is a way of life from Croatia but also practised in Italy, Spain and Latin America (with different spellings across these regions).

‘Fjaka is about being relaxed yet powerfully alive with a sense of mindfulness. It’s a blissful Adriatic state of mind that comes from simply feeling great in your own body and doing what you love.

‘Fjaka is taking time for yourself, which shouldn’t be seen as lazy or selfish; in Croatia and Italy this is seen as an essential part of self-love. Only by investing in yourself can you give back to others.

‘Often, in Croatia, you’ll hear people saying “pomalo” or “polako”, which means “bit by bit” or “slowly” and we’re now returning to some of these slower lifestyle qualities: slow-cooked food, slow fashion, self-care time – this is all fjaka in action.

How can we create fjaka?

Saint Iris Adriatica

‘Start by asking yourself, what brings you joy? What makes you feel good in body and mind? Think long-term and tune into your needs and energy.

‘The world today is skewed towards a masculine, fast-paced energy that can drain us, bring stress and self-doubt, chase the ideal, compete or fight rather than slow down or flow. Fjaka helps to create a balance of energies.’

Saint Iris Adriatica is a natural and cruelty-free brand and contains no parabens, sulphates, propylene glycol or synthetic fragrances.

Dr Hauschka Shower Cream now comes in packaging made from recycled plastic milk bottles

dr hauschka shower cream recycled packaging

This new Dr Hauschka Shower Cream comes in innovative sustainable packaging, made from PCR (post-consumer recycled) material, which includes plastic milk bottles. This apparently has saved over 65% of raw oil normally used to make conventional plastic tubes.

The shower cream has a gorgeously soft, creamy texture and an instantly uplifting lemon and lemongrass scent (developed by an in-house perfumer).  I’ve been told the shower cream can also double up as a facial cleanser as it has anti-microbial properties. A pea-sized amount is all you need.

Here’s a mini Q&A with Tara O’Rourke, Dr. Hauschka’s brand trainer and expert who explains more about the recycled packaging and Dr Hauschka’s approach to sustainability:

Continue reading “Dr Hauschka Shower Cream now comes in packaging made from recycled plastic milk bottles”

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What to give

Not another bunch of flowers website

Every October it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research to support the 55,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer every year – that’s one person every ten minutes.

Brands across beauty, fashion and lifestyle release products to support the cause and it’s easy to spot these every October as they’re usually in some shade of pink (apart from Jane Iredale’s this year, which goes against the grain in green!). Whatever your thoughts on this charitable twist in commercialism, it does generate a lot of money (and awareness) for breast cancer charities, which I’m sure, can’t be a bad thing.

breast cancer awareness beauty For October issue Health & Fitness magazine, I picked my three favourite breast cancer awareness beauty buys:

  1. Jane Iredale Lemongrass Love Hydration Spray – in a fitting shade of green for lemongrass, profits from this uplifting facial mist will support Against Breast Cancer charity.
  2. Paul Mitchell United in Pink Paddle Brush – a great budget-friendly brush that’s also useful.
  3. GHD limited edition Electric Pink – makes a great gift, with £10 from each appliance going to Breast Cancer Now.

As well as these, a few other interesting things popped into my mailbox which I couldn’t squeeze onto the page but definitely worth a shout out:

Not Another Bunch of Flowers
notanotherbunchofflowers.com – launched by Annika Burton, who was suffering from an illness herself and received so many gifts she couldn’t use during treatment she decided to set up a site with more suitable pampering gifts. You’ll find a whole variety of crafty ideas and cards that don’t shy away from the subject of illnesses such as cancer, and may even put a smile on someone’s face. It reminded me of Not On The High Street website but with a specialist spin. There’s also a great blog so check it out.

Not another bunch of flowers websiteBeauty Despite Cancer
beautydespitecancer.co.uk
 – a site dedicated to maintaining health, beauty and vitality despite the difficulties of illness, treatment and hair loss. Founder, Jennifer Young has dedicated her time to create skincare, beauty and even makeup suitable for patients undergoing cancer treatment and has even written a book to support this journey which would make a touching gift this month. Buy Recognise Yourself, Beauty Despite Cancer on amazon. The site also offers a wealth of resources, inspiration and motivation for cancer patients.

beauty-despite-cancer-book-jennifer-youngYou can read more about the products Jennifer Young has produced for cancer patients in an interview I did with her previously for Healthista.com here.

If you’ve spotted any interesting breast cancer  awareness buys or like to mark the awareness month in any particular way, do let me know – in the comments below or on Twitter @Yanarbeauty.

x

 

Happy Organic September! 

organic beauty week 2016

organic beauty week 2016 Every September the Soil Association celebrates going organic – for food, fashion, health, beauty, even holidays – and 19th September is officially the start of Organic Beauty Week, where we get to big up brilliant brands doing great things with natural ingredients and better farming methods (organic produce is grown with no synthetic fertilisers and lower levels of pesticides, which is better for farmers, the soil, the environment, the end product and ultimately our health).

Supporting organic is a no brainer – according the World Health Organisation, over 350,000 unintentional deaths occur each year, mainly in developing countries as a result of pesticide use. Closer to home in the EU, two thirds of all antibiotics are used on livestock (contributing to serious bacteria resistance) but under Soil Association certification routine use of antibiotics wouldn’t be allowed. Check out the Soil Association’s Save our Antibiotics campaign here.

In beauty, the focus is on labelling. Next time you need to buy a new moisturiser or change up a skin or bath product, instead of turning to any pretty packaging with a leaf or floral print, look for a certified label instead. This proves the brand has been regulated and accredited with rigorous scrutiny across the whole of its supply chain to prove every element is as sustainable as possible – accrediting bodies like Soil Association really put brands through their paces so that stamp is well earned!

organic-beauty-week-soil-association-2016-postcard
What being certified means….

So #lookforthelogo or check out the Soil Association certified organic beauty brands and find your favourites or try something new.
organic-beauty-week-soil-association-2016

My beauty recommendations? I featured a few of my favourites in September issue Health & Fitness magazine so check out Botanicals facial oils, Neal’s Yard Remedies new oil-free hydrating serum, Pai moisturisers and Odylique’s new sunscreen.

organic beauty week 2016 health & fitness magazine

 

Let me know what you’ve tried and loved. Happy organic September!

 

Happy birthday Weleda Skin Food + Your chance to WIN!

weleda skin food 90 birthday blog

weleda skin food 90 birthday

The iconic beauty product Weleda Skin Food is celebrating its 90th birthday! Happy birthday!

Before I go into the million and one ways you can use Skin Food I just want to share what a skin-saver it is for any kind of ghastly dermatitis. I developed an allergic reaction to a plastic material in a pair of shoes recently which caused intense itching, burning and inflammation that went on for days even after I stopped wearing them. The only thing that would calm this awful reaction and let the skin heal was Weleda Skin Food. I can’t recommend it enough!

Back to the celebrations….

Weleda Skin Food is the number one selling skincare product for Weleda in the UK and loved by a host of celebrities: Victoria Beckham, Adele, Julia Roberts, Erin O’Connor, Alexa Chung, Helena Christensen, and many more are true fans.

“I put it on my hands after I wash dishes and wind up putting it on my elbows and feet. Before you know it, I’ve squeezed this poor little green tube into a twist”. Julia Roberts

It’s a staple backstage at London Fashion Week and other shows as models and makeup artists love using it too to keep skin soft, hydrated, nourished and glowing. It’s also a favourite at The Model Zone which is where models can unwind, relax, get pampered and prepped ready for their next show.

weleda skin food 90 birthday facial

Skin Food was one of the original Weleda products developed in the 1920s

Weleda was born in 1921 in Switzerland and the British arm launched in London in 1925. Weleda was inspired by Rudolf Steiner, a scientist and philosopher who founded the organic agriculture movement with biodynamic farming. He also founded Steiner education and anthroposophic medicine (a holistic approach to healthcare of mind, body, spirit) so was a true visionary and his ideas still shape and drive the brand today. Manufacturing products “in harmony with nature and the human being” was a founding principle and still a cornerstone of the brands today – an inspiring concept to live by and one of the reasons I really rate Weleda.

weleda skin food 90 birthday blog

My favourite way to use Weleda Skin Food…..

Come winter, my ultimate beauty tip is to pop a mini 15ml tube of Weleda Skin Food in my handbag and use it as a cold-weather lip salve. The rich oils from organic sweet almond, sunflower seed, beeswax and lanolin as well as organic plant actives from calendula, chamomile, rosemary and wild pansy, gently soothe, nourish, heal and protect. It does the same for any patch of dry or irritated skin. In fact I remember it cleared up a another little bout of dermatitis I had a few years ago after using too much cheap hand soap in an office I was working at. (I’m a sensitive one!).

weleda skin food mini 90 birthday

 

Book a Weleda Skin Food Facial!

Yes, Skin Food facials are now available all around the UK via Weleda Wellbeing Advisors. Some of them are giving them away for free with Weleda product purchases. Others are selling the facials, particularly  if they are facialists, but you get a free Skin Food thrown in so it’s definitely worth it! Find your nearest Weleda Wellbeing Advisor here.

GIVEAWAY! 

Fancy winning a Weleda Skin Food facial collection worth around £80? Of course you do! The collection includes:

  • 30ml Skin Food
  • 200ml Rosemary Invigorating Bath Milk
  • 75ml Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion
  • 50ml Almond Soothing Facial Oil
  • 30ml Almond Soothing Facial Lotion
  • 200ml Lavender Relaxing Bath Milk
  • Two organic cotton muslins, and organic cotton pads, plus a chamomile tea bag for the infusion!
  • PLUS a booklet detailing the Skin Food 30 minute miracle worker facial routine so you can try it at home – on yourself or a friend/loved on/anyone willing.

TO ENTER: Simply follow @YanarBeauty and @WeledaUK on Twitter and share this blog post on any of your social media channels with the hashtags #celebrateskinfood.

Competition small print:
Entries close Friday 29th July 2016 at 5pm
Open to UK residents only
One entry per person
No cash alternative
Winner announced Monday 1st August 2016

6 reasons to love beauty brand Dr. Bronner

mike-bronner-at-natural-products-show-london

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mike Bronner who is one half of Dr Bronner beauty brand. If you love a brand that’s truly passionate about social and environmental issues, involved in activism and practises what they preach, you will love Dr. Bronner –  famous for its magic multi-use all-in-one liquid soap but involved in a whole lot more.

My interview with Mike was at the Natural and Organics Show and we chatted for over an hour as he reeled off endless nuggets of inspiration and insight into the brand’s history, commitment to fair-trade, missions and principles.

I’ve rounded up six reasons why Dr Bronner resonates with me and why it totally ROCKS.

1. Dr. Bronner has a long history

The Dr Bronner story spans 150 years and is at the heart of everything the company does today. Here is a brief overview of this soap brand’s fascinating story as told by Mike…

“I’m a 5th generation soap maker, going back to 1858 when my great great grandfather started making soap in Germany. He came to US in 1929, very poor without a penny to his name. He tried to persuade his parents to leave Germany but they thought Hitler would pass. Of course he didn’t and eventually a letter came from a camp to say ‘you were right’.

My great grandfather then decided to go on a mission to unite people and the planet to prevent something like Hitler from happening again. He said it doesn’t matter what religion you are, we’re all one. We may be different and have different customs but underneath it all it’s the same divine. We need to understand that or we’ll destroy ourselves.

He started talking about his peace plan on the steps of University of Chicago but authorities thought he was crazy and put him in a mental hospital and gave him shock treatments. I like to say the line between madness and visionary is very thin; yesterday’s crack pot is today’s visionary.

He escaped twice, put back in. Third time he made it to California and Persian Square in LA. It was a hotbed of political activity and he fit right in so he started giving lectures about his peace plan. He became very popular and moved into auditoriums, and people were listening to him.

He was still a soap maker so he made liquid soap at home and gave it out to people. The soap became so popular people were coming to take the soap and leaving and not listening to him.

So my grandfather decided to put his philosophy on the soap bottle so people would take it into the shower and read it and they would have no where to hide. And that’s how this label came to be.

The soap became a vehicle to get the message out. Usually the label is the way to get the product out but this was vice versa.

This soap was very underground in early days in 1940s. People thought natural things were backwards so people kind of laughed at him but he was behind the times and ahead of the times. In the 1960s the counter culture came in and the hippies discovered the soap. The label was all about peace and at the time the Vietnam war was happening. My great grandfather put his phone number on every bottle so they could actually dial and talk to Dr Bronner.

Just by word of mouth this soap became the number one selling soap in America. My great grandfather has no sales force and no advertising and in 1968 it was a sell out.”

2. Dr. Bronner is a for-profit company with the DNA of a non-profit

Salaries are capped at 5:1 so the  highest salary is never more than 5 x higher than the lowest and 25% bonus to all employees plus many other benefits.

“We think everything in life connects, from root to fruit, so we try to make every part of the company as best and fair as it can be – not just for farmers but for all employees.”   dr bronners campaigning compassion farming

3. Not just a beauty brand, Dr. Bronner is an activist organisation too

The brand is well known for its all-in-one liquid soap which can be used in 18 different ways but did you know the company is an active campaigner and charity supporter too? Next time you see a Dr Bronner product take a moment to read the small print covering the box and you’ll see there’s more to it than meets the eye. Each product has a powerful story and message to get across.   

“Last year almost 7% of revenue went to charity or activism. That equals about half of profits. It’s usually the more edgy ones that either haven’t caught on yet or don’t get as much media attention that we back.” 

Causes Dr. Bronner company is currently supporting:

  1. INDUSTRIAL HEMP
  2. FAIR PAY TODAY – “It’s not just a fairness issue for employers, it’s a smart business choice too. We have less than 6% employee turnover – nobody wants to leave. Employees feel invested in and give 120%. If businesses were smart they would adopt fair pay too.”
  3. ANIMAL WELFARE
  4. DRUG REFORM POLICY
  5. GMO LABELLING
  6. YOUTH PROGRAMMES

Read more about each cause and Dr. Bronner activism here.

dr bronners campaigning fair pay

4. Dr. Bronner went fair trade in 2007

Dr Bronner products are multi-ingredient fair-trade, not just one or two.

“We’re not doing this for us. We’re doing this for what fair-trade represents in the world. It’s about farmers making a living. If brands can get the fair-trade label by using just 1 or 2% fair-trade ingredients then the vast majority of ingredients are not being sourced from farmers getting a fair deal. We call that fairtrade-washing.”

5. Dr. Bronner launched the first ever organic and fair-trade project for coconut oil

Dr. Bronner started its own fair-trade coconut facility in Sri Lanka in 2007 because there was no other fair-trade supplier to source from.

“We wanted to go fair-trade in our soaps but the number one ingredient is coconut oil – it’s 25% of the product. At the time there was no fair-trade coconut in the world so we developed it.”

Read more about Dr. Bronner ethical sourcing here.

6. Brushing your teeth with Dr. Bronner just got a whole lot better

Dr-Bronner-Toothpaste-mike bronner interview

Everyone knows you can brush your teeth with Dr Bronner Pure Castile Soaps – as well as do you laundry, wash your hair, wash the dishes, mop the floor and wash the dog! (check out the cheat sheet for how to dilute for different uses here) – however, a stand alone toothpaste has now arrived.

The new Dr. Bronner All in One Toothpaste has been in the making for three to four years.

“It’s fluoride-free, with no artificial foaming agents. Like all our products, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. It contains coconut oil (to give it slip), baking soda, silica, minerals and organic menthol crystals. It contains no artificial colour, flavours, preservatives or sweetners. It helps to whiten, freshen breath, reduce plaque, and has a nice taste.”

Seven months worth of product were sold in just one month after the US launch.

Only around one or two products are launched every few years but whatever launches, sticks. One of my favourites, other than the liquid soap, is the Lavender Hand Sanitising Spray.

“New products have to be highly functional and meet all our core values. We’ll only make something if it can be certified organic and fair-trade we won’t use any synthetics.”

Shop at drbronner.co.uk and check out a wealth of info about ethical sourcing, principles, campaigning, philanthropy and more on drbronner.com 

Love Dr Bronner too? Let me know! Comments below or tweet me @YanarBeauty.

How Weleda makes fairtrade argan oil in Morocco

I’m on the west coast of Morocco in a tiny village outside Essouira watching 30-40 local Berber women crack argan oil kernels with little rocks and nimble fingers onto big slabs of stone. The sound of tick-tick-tack-tack fills the air above the low murmur of chitter chatter. I’m with Weleda UK, the health and beauty brand that sources its fairtrade and organic argan oil from this women’s cooperative.

These Berber women have been shelling argan for generations but now they’re being paid a better wage with good working conditions and even family benefits. They kindly let us film and photograph this fascinating process, which was a very special experience so I’m really pleased to be able to share it with you.

Continue reading “How Weleda makes fairtrade argan oil in Morocco”

6 Best Natural Sleep Products 

Viridian Cherry Night best natural sleep products

If you’re stressed out by sleepless nights you’re not alone. Apparently 56% of adults say lack of sleep is stressing them out*. April was Stress Awareness Month so here are my favourite natural sleep and relaxation products from supplements to sprays that I use, recommend and often write about.Wishing you a calmer and more peaceful night…

1. A.Vogel Dormeasan

When I’ve struggled to sleep in the past, this has been my favourite way to nod. Made from organically grown valerian root and hops. Simply add 30 drops to a dash of water, 30 minutes before bedtime and swig it back. You may not like the taste but it’s short and sharp, works beautifully and worth the restful night. avogel.co.uk  

A.Vogel Dormeasan

2. Viridian Cherry Night

A powder mix of magnesium, red date, cherry extracts and the amino acid glycine. Add one teaspoon to water or juice and drink half an hour before bed. A friend of mine swears by this and was surprised how quickly it brought on sleep and how deep that sleep was. Viridian.co.uk

Viridian Cherry Night

3. Potter’s Nodoff Plus Mixture

This has the consistency of a cough syrup which makes it super convenient to take. You can easily reach for a teaspoon and jump into bed. Contains passionflower, hops, valerian and skullcap, all clinically proven to aid sleep. pottersherbals.co.uk

Potter’s Nodoff Plus Mixture.jpg

 

4. Pukka Night Time

If you prefer popping a capsule pill then try Pukka Night Time. Containing valerian too but also the ancient Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha root which aids relaxation. The outer capsule shell is vegetable based / vegan and all the herbs are harvested from highly fertile organic soils via Pukka’s fairtrade programmes.  Contains no dairy, wheat, gluten, added sugar or soya and no GMO ingredients. pukkaherbs.com

pukka herbs nighttime.jpeg

5. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

I was sceptical about a pillow spray at first but after diligent testing night after night, I became a total convert and dare I say a bit of an addict. I loved spritzing my pillow and duvet edges with this and letting the aromatherapeutic scents drift around and work their magic. You don’t need to suffer from sleepless nights to experience this product – if you’re prone to endless thoughts before falling asleep this gently relaxes and unwinds. thisworks.com

best natural sleep products This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

6. Fushi Passion Seed Oil

For an alternative to tinctures, supplements and sprays I’ve also tried a calming natural body oil. This maracuja oil by herbal health and beauty brand Fushi is obtained from the the passion flower, known for its calming and stress relieving properties. Harvested from Uganda and supporting over 200 families via a women’s cooperative. I recommend adding a few drops to your bath or applying it as a body oil before bed. I also found an impressive array of Fushi night time tinctures here – can’t wait to try them!

Fushi Passion Seed Oil

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that since adopting a regular breathing practice before bed I’m now able to nod off fairly calmly without help from herbal remedies. This has been a transformative habit and highly recommend it as a way to de-stress the body and mind. You can read more about my bedtime breathing practices here.

Let me know if there’s a product or practice that works for you!

*Research conducted by the Henry Potter Advisory Committee on behalf of Potter’s Herbals.

5 things you should know about Ananné skincare

ananne skincare serum

‘Super natural skincare’ is the tagline at Ananné so if you like your beauty products to be high end luxurious, plant and oil based and free from any synthetic ingredients this new brand is definitely one to watch. Here are five things you should know about Ananné skincare:

1.  

Ananné was founded by a neuroscientist named Professor Urs Pohlman in 2010 after he was commissioned to study the physiological processes of the skin. He went on to develop a range of products that worked in synergy with the natural functions of the skin, ensuring ingredients enhanced and supported skin cell health.

2.

The formulations are powerful but simple and unfussy. They contain an abundance of high quality and natural active ingredients, many you might be familiar with – rosehip seed, borage seed, sea buckthorn – others are more interesting and less commonly heard of in skincare: brown algae, papaya leaf, cape chestnut, moringa, plum kernels, gutu kola and carrageenan moss.

3.

Ananné ingredients are certified vegan (by the Vegan Society) and contain ingredients sourced under fairtrade and ethical principles. Preference is given to organic ingredients but certification can be tricky with some ingredients, says founder Dr Pohlman: “In some areas organic is not certifiable due to high costs (the certifying agent has to travel and the travel costs have to be covered by the initiative) or because the ingredient is grown in the wild. For instance moringa seed oil from moringa trees in West or East Africa are not certified by eco cert.  We know the supplier, sometimes the ingredients are introduced to us via a foundation who supports projects in the area. We LOVE those initiatives and do all the product analysis here in Switzerland before production.”

4.

All products are made in small batches in Switzerland and Ananné facials are also available at Hotel Schloss Elmau and Hotel Palace Lucerne, both exclusive 5 star hotels in Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich, Vienna, Zürich and Bern. While Ananné facials are not (yet!) available in the UK I’m eagerly waiting their arrival.

I was invited to try one recently at Fenwick, Bond Street and it was quite possibly the most relaxing facial I’d ever had. There was no heavy pressure or stimulating massage techniques – just light, feathery touches that soothed and calmed, so much so, I think I nodded off several times! If you’re looking for a soft, gentle facial keep Ananné on your radar (apparently there are stronger facials too) and fingers crossed for a UK launch sometime in the near future.

5.

The range consists of a cleanser, exfoliant and toner suitable for all skin types and then day cream, night cream and serum available for three skin types each (dry, normal, sensitive). Ananné is currently available at Fenwick, Bond Street and online at ananne.co.uk but we’re looking forward to seeing it at more retailers this year!

ananne skincare

 

#QuoteOfTheDay…

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison (1751-1836), US politician and 4th president of United States.

Quote of the Day Sophia Loren James Madison

Thanks to Kay Montano for sharing this on her Instagram feed which I then regrammed on my Instagram). Marking one week since the horrifying terror attacks in Paris, which had followed equally terrible attacks in Ankara Turkey and then Beirut. Not to mention the daily attacks in Baghdad, and of course Syria. Later in the week it was Nigeria and we ended with Mali. Thinking of everyone. Praying for peace.

x

ReBlog: But why shouldn’t she take some responsibility too for the rape?

I was on my way home tonight from Cardiff, having run a half marathon earlier today I was pretty exhausted so I ended up checking my WordPress feed without refreshing and as a result happened to see the post below about the responsibility of rape. (I tried to ‘reblog’ it but failed, so had to post it this way).

This post refers to another post written more than a couple of years ago (now both quite timely in light of Chrissie Hynde’s latest outburst on the responsibility of rape) but so poignant I had to share. 

I hope you get a chance to read both, along with some of the comments, which make up half the story. 

The most fascinating thing is hearing the guy’s firm opinion that girls should ‘take precautions’ against the possibility of rape. As though it’s a formula. As though walking in daylight not the dark means you won’t get raped, or wearing a long skirt not a short one means you won’t get raped, or being sober not drunk means you won’t get raped. Sadly it doesn’t work like that. 

And even though countless women reply, share their stories, and make some attempt at trying to explain how absurd this thinking is, he still persists down this line of argument, somewhat naively.

But what the women (and a few men) failed to argue ( I managed to skim read a few hundred of the 600+ comments!) is how do you measure and qualify what’s good enough ‘precaution’. Who would be tasked with identifying this ideal level of precaution and where would you draw the line for what is or isn’t satisfactory precaution? 

This guy’s thinking is frustrating to hear and I expect, sadly, shared by many, which goes some way in excusing men’s actions and lending the license to rape.

There were several links posted in the comments that examined this. If you don’t have time to scroll, a really good one was this, on rape culture. http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html?m=1 

Anyway, I didn’t want to just bookmark these posts for myself; they should be shared and shared again. Excerpt and link below:

…….

I am going to assume the person who left this comment on my post ‘Don’t get raped’ is a man: When it comes to any kind of crime, I think it is important to make a distinction between blame and responsibility. In all cases all of the blame belongs to the perpetrators. However, in some […]

https://bluemilk.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/but-why-shouldnt-she-take-some-responsibility-too-for-the-rape/

Animal Liberation, Peter Singer, and #WorldVegetarianDay

 

Gemma Correll
 
Yesterday I read Industrial Farming is One of the Worst Crimes in History, an article by Yuval Noa Harari, and had to write this. Especially apt as it’s World Vegetarian Day…

The points he made are some of the reasons I became a vegetarian at 9 years old – not because of some new found fad or even environmental or health movement, but because it dawned on me so quickly there was something inherently wrong, morally and ethically, with the way we eat meat. I then discovered the dairy industry was just as guilty as the meat industry of inhumane, intensive farming so I stopped eating dairy about ten years ago. Best thing I ever did!

The pressure to change farming methods to take into account what sentient creatures go through, has grown gradually since Peter Singer wrote Animal Liberation 40 years ago (a must read for anyone interested in this subject. While you’re there, check out his other book, Writings on an Ethical Life) and now, finally, kinder, more conscientious farming, including organic, is on people’s radars…..

BUT at the same time hideous, mass, intensive farming is the norm (see US and China.. and coming to the UK soon!). Read Farmageddon, the true cost of cheap meat. 

I have no idea what the solution is because the richer people get the more meat they demand and sadly, most humans in power really don’t care about how mass livestock lives or dies. I guess the only thing left is for people to keep demanding more humane ways to farm, and maybe we’ll keep seeing small increments of change over years to come.

AND as a side, even if you don’t care about the animals, you might care about what you eat, especially if you’re a meat-lover. And the better an animal’s life, the better the quality of meat, so win-win for all.

I’ll leave you with my very favourite illustration/cartoon (above): Who invited the herbivore, by Gemma Correll. Happy World Vegetarian Day! 

What’s all the buzz about organic beauty?

soil association's organic beauty week part of organic september

soil association's organic beauty week part of organic september

Organic this and organic that. From tea and coffee to cotton and clothes, it’s like a buzzword that’s everywhere. So what’s all the fuss about and why should beauty be organic too? Organic Beauty Week part of Organic September backed by Soil Association, is a time to celebrate the beauty of organic and promote the organic in beauty.

Why? Because pesticide-free farming is kinder on the earth, the farmers and workers and ultimately on us. Oh, and it makes beauty products that little bit better too as plants are usually grown in healthier, nutrient-rich soil making their power more potent.

But the word organic (and natural) has been banded about so much and stuck on labels wherever possible, even if a product carries only small traces of organic ingredients, paying lip-service to an important movement and maybe even misleading consumers. So the Soil Association launched a Campaign for Clarity to help people make some sense of the minefield that is organic and natural beauty.

Being an organic brand truly reflects a company’s commitment to the environment and being accredited goes that one step further in building trust. Always look for an official stamp of approval by Soil Association or another body such as EcoCert (they will soon all merge under the umbrella name of COSMOS so look out for that in the near future too).

I wrote a quick cheat sheet on organic beauty for my column on Healthista.com, check it out:

7 Things You Need To Know About Organic Beauty.

I also featured the Campaign for Clarity as my top beauty news (see a little snap below) in September’s issue of Health & Fitness magazine. Did you see it?

To make choosing organic beauty that little bit easier here is a full list of accredited beauty brands by the Soil Association – bookmark it and don’t go shopping without it!

My favourite organic brands are included in my Healthista article so do check it out, and if there’s a brand that isn’t on there and you think it should be, let me know! Give me a shout on Twitter @YanarBeauty.

Happy organic beauty week x

Organic Beauty Campaign for Clarity by Soil Association

Recycled coffee made into shampoo 

oright recoffee coffee recycled into shampo

I loved this range as soon as I read the press release, before I’d even seen the product – and then loved it more after I tried it: shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hair oil by O’Right made from recycled coffee grounds collected from cafes and coffee shops in Taiwan. The granules are ground down into an oil and infused into the products. How cool is that?

As well as being super savvy on the recycling front, the ground coffee is also good for hair, they say. Apparently the caffeine can help stimulate the hair shaft encouraging hair growth. Labelled moisturising for dry/damaged hair, the shampoo which I use, leaves my hair very soft even without conditioner. The scent is mild – not like smelling a coffee bean as you might expect – but just the faintest hint of its former life. 

All the products are free from sulphates and manufactured in an eco friendly factory that uses solar and wind power for production. I also love the (biodegradable) packaging that’s strikingly modern, with little wooden tops and sleek necks. Like nothing else in my shower. I’d like to try the hair oil next. 

For more eco points, the Tree in a Bottle products have coffee seeds built into the base so you can plant your Recoffee bottle once you’ve finished with it and you might end up with a coffee tree of your very own, starting the cycle all over again. Smart.

O’Right does is a Taiwanese company that is flying the flag for eco haircare and their tagline is The World’s Greenest Shampoo. Love it. Check out the range at oright.co.uk

Health & Fitness magazine – holiday make-up tips..

Off on holidays soon? For a recent beauty story in Health & Fitness magazine, I asked one of my make-up artist friends Louise Dartford for her tips on keeping make-up looking fresh in the heat. I also featured some of my favourite natural / organic make-up: Ilia, Balance Me, BareMinerals, and RMS beauty. Check out the page and her great tips. Thanks Lou!

Louise Dartford - Make-up Artist

With a heatwave forecast here in the UK and summer holidays on the horizon, it can be hard to keep make-up looking fresh in the heat. So here are some of my tips, as seen in July’s Health & Fitness, to keep you looking cool…

D6_HAF187_BEAUTY.indd

Words – Yanar Alkayat

Anyone else got any tips or favourite products for the heat?

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FreeFrom Skincare Awards – a Judge’s Day Out + Shortlist Announced

FreeFrom Skincare awards2015
Last week I was invited, for the second year, to judge on the FreeFrom Skincare Awards, an annual event in its fourth year, celebrating skincare brands with natural, organic and free-from qualities. It’s a fabulously fun day testing old favourites and new, and up and coming brands who are doing great things. Read on and check out who made it to the shortlist…

The judging panel included myself, Sarah Stacey journalist and co-founder of The Beauty Bible, the lovely Abi Weeds, creator of Odylique (which does a brilliant SLS-free shampoo by the way) skincare blogger Sarah Coleman aka Sugarpuffish, and several others. The categories I judged on were: Bodycare, Family Skincare, Haircare, Hands-Nails-Feet, and Soaps.

Over 100 brands and 150 products (without allergens, artificial fragrances, additives and other allergy- and sensitivity-prone ingredients) were put to the test by 100 testers over two months. These guys test purely on use: Does it work? Is it nice to use? Does it feel good? Then only the products that perform well make it onto the shortlist for us, the judges, to scrutinise.

We assessed the shortlist to award winners and considered: Is there clarity in labelling (important if you do have a sensitivity and need to easily check if a product is suitable for you), are there good quality ingredients and a clean formula? What’s the brand’s commitment to ethical and environmental issues? From this, as well as usability and efficacy, we award bronze, silver and gold!

 

It was great to see trusted favourites Neal’s Yard Remedies with five products that made it through as well as other great brands Green People, Pai Skincare Saaf recognised for more than a few. Smaller brands which I hadn’t tried before, but really stood out for me included Bathing Beauty Pop Effervescent and All Natural Soap Company so do check them out if you get the chance.

Thank you to FreeFrom team, Alex Gazzola, who organises the nuts and bolts of this and the Free From Food Awards, and Michelle Berriedale-Johnson who founded both awards. Both such a pleasure to be around and work tirelessly to produce these awards.

Congrats to all who entered and have been shortlisted! You can check out the shortlist here. Winners will be announced at Love Natural, Love Organic Show at Olympia on 3rd July, presented by Janey Lee Grace, and I’ll be back after that to update. See you soon!

 

freefrom skincare awards 2015 shortlist

 

5 Steps to Start your Beauty Detox – VanZee Beauty #PitchtoRich

Check out this cool, pop-arty video by make-up artist Nat van Zee, who’s trying to spread the word about natural and organic beauty and a less is more approach – something I’ve always been a fan of. It’s bold, sassy and makes a change from the usual fluffy botanicals….

 

Nat is in the running for Virgin Pitch to Rich 2015 with a vision to build a natural and organic beauty recommendations portal so check out her page and vote for Vanzee BeautyShe’s also giving away a hamper of gorgeous natural beauty products to one lucky winner, from votes cast between now and 20th May at 5pm. Something in it for everyone, get voting now! www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk 

Vanzee Beauty Pitch to Rich 2015

 

I Never Liked You Anyway….

If you weren’t feeling the love this Valentine’s Day, don’t worry, I’m sure you weren’t alone. While our social feeds were blooming with gushing shows of affection, there were alternatives to be found. Check out the BeautyMART blog where editor Anna-Marie Solowij was feeling the pressure of Valentine’s Daythe sold out t-shirt that I wish I could get my hands on, Barbie and Ken keeping it real, and the Highgate pub serving  garlic and bitters for all the Valentines-haters. See you there… I never liked you anyway tee shirt topshop tshirt     barbie and ken valentines love   dukes head highgate anti-valentines day

Pack It! Winter Sun Natural Mosquito Spray (that works)

mrs-whites-unstung-hero-insect-repellent-blog-review-natural mosquito spray

While everyone’s talking Christmas Eve Eve (a phrase which I’ve never heard before but is now strangely trending on Twitter right now), I’m talking insect sprays, because instead of packing presents I’m in battle against mosquitoes on holiday in Asia – a very un-Christmasy situation! (But trust me, I’m so not into Christmas I’d rather be waging war against mosquitos than fighting another kind of battle on Oxford Street).

Luckily I’d recently been sent some natural insect repellent to try. And luckily for me on this amazing winter sun holiday, it doesn’t just work but is genuinely gorgeous to use too. If you’re in a hotter climate that calls for mozzy spray but want to avoid the awful stench of deet (the most common ingredient used to ward off biting insects but so powerful it can send you dizzy too), then meet Mrs White’s Unstung Hero.

mrs-whites-unstung-hero-insect-repellent-blog-review-natural mosquito spray

 

A cologne that cleverly doubles up as a bug repellent but smells like a fragrance you might actually like to wear. It’s uplifting and citrusy – like a summer breeze blowing through a lemon orchard – and leaves skin lightly refreshed.

I love the vintage-style, apothecary-inspired glass bottle but as it’s not made for travel, sadly I have gone away with a decanted version in a far less-glamorous 100ml spray.

I’ve been splashing Mrs White’s religiously onto my ankles, legs and arms this holiday and remained bite-free for 10 days in India but as I hit destination no.2, Indonesia, I relaxed for one night only and took my eyes off the ball, or should I say the fragrance off my skin. I paid the price as I instantly became prime mozzie target and now have the war wounds to show for it.

If you want to avoid deet or even looking for an alternative to citronella, the most common botanical ingredient used in anti-mosquito spray (after travelling through Thailand ten years ago, the smell of citronella for me, is forever locked in with drunken nights on SangSom whiskey buckets) then what a find Mrs White’s Unstung Hero is. A cool cologne that takes the bite out of mozzy sprays. Don’t go away without her.

£20 for 250ml, roullierwhite.com

 

Wish list beauty: RMS Beauty

Rose-Marie Swift founder of RMS beauty
Rose-Marie Swift founder of RMS beauty

I had the pleasure of meeting founder of RMS Beauty, Rose-Marie Swift a few weeks ago who was an absolute delight and inspiration – one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done for a long time. A vibrant and striking ex-make-up artist, Rose-Marie seemed to have an infectious spirit that was alive and kicking with a passion for beauty and natural skincare that’s good for us as well as good on us.

RMS Beauty was born after Rose-Marie experienced a few health scares – toxicity tests revealed worrying levels of pesticides and heavy metals in her body. Horrified, it prompted her to change her life and seek ways to promote greater healthy beauty.

She’d spent years working as a world-renowned make-up artist and felt the link between her career and ill health was too strong. Rose-Marie has since become a passionate speaker about toxic chemicals found in beauty products.

She formulated RMS products using food grade, natural oils such as coconut oil Brazilian Buriti oil, that are cold-pressed to retain their high antioxidant levels and goodness. Buriti oil is very high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, This is skincare good enough to eat.

RMS products for your wish-list:

RMS Packaging is quiet and understated but the contents speak volumes. You really need to touch and apply these products to believe how amazing the textures are.

The foundation/concealer (in one) is so light but still miraculously evens skin tone. That’s why it’s called Un-Cover. It slips on like the thinnest of veils and imparts the softest glow.

The new Eye Polish Cream Eyeshadow colours are a medley of shimmering shades. My favourite from the new collection (out in September) is Imagine which Rose-Marie enthusiastically applied on me – a copper-tinted mauve that’s very sheer and looks awesome on my olivey-skin.

RMS beauty brightershadeofgreen

Raw Coconut Cream was another favourite, obviously as I’m a devout believer in the miracles of coconut oil, so thank goodness there’s a brand owner championing it too. This stuff is amazing – it’s raw, no heat applied so all the skin-healing properties and antioxidants are still there. It removes mascara effortlessly, even waterproof, and nourishes skin while it’s there.

There’s a wealth of knowledge on her educational site, Beauty Truth, with an insightful section on preservatives as she name-checks some particularly pesky ones to watch.

All RMS Beauty is available at Being Content www.beingcontent.com and some autumn-winter shades (hopefully) coming soon to BeautyMART.

3 of the Best Natural Deodorants

If you’re trying to reduce your chemical overload and have turned your attention to your deodorant, then check out my 3 of the best natural deodorants in my column in this month’s Health & Fitness magazine – and yes, I promise, they really do work.

Health and Fitness, Beauty News June 2014 Yanar Alkayat

 

Up until recently, it’s been practically impossible to pop into a mainstream supermarket or chemist such as Boots and buy a deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminium or doesn’t work by blocking sweat glands.

I’m not sure how everyone else feels about this but I’m not really keen on a product that works by inhibiting sweat glands from doing their job. They’re there for a reason. Before we go any further, it might be useful to recap what is the difference between deodorant vs antiperspirant:

>> An antiperspirant will block sweat ducts, usually using minute compounds of aluminium which enter cells, swell and block the sweat ducts.

>> A deodorant lets you perspire but uses ingredients to help prevent odour-causing bacteria from forming. Many natural deodorants used to (attempt) masking the smell of bacteria but the latest versions are much more effective at actually controlling the bacteria itself.

Once upon a time the only alternative to antiperspirant was either Crystal Rock, which involved wetting the armpit every time before applying it (and let’s be honest, who could be bothered to do that?) or bad natural deodorant which didn’t mask smelliness very well. That’s why I inevitably ended up buying Sure again.

Now cosmetic technology has improved and choice is a million times better. Pitrok (featured below) passes my running-for-the-bus-in-vintage-polyester-test, it doesn’t involve any messy armpit wetting and is available at Boots stores nationwide; I even found it at Heathrow Airport recently.

So the thee natural deodorants I use, love and recommend are:

PitRok

PitROK natural spray deodorant

A great new deodorant that’s widely available so no need to hunt it down in an obscure health food shop. According to product details, it’s free from aluminium chlorohydrate, aluminium zirconium, parabens, propylene glycol or silicone. Choose from roller-ball or spray and a different scent option for men and women – all are very effective. Give it a go and let me know what you think. www.pitrok.co.uk

Weleda

Weleda Citrus Deodorant100ML

 

From one of my favourite natural beauty brands, this refreshing deodorant spray has an uplifting citrus scent and 100% organic. Available in a 100ml travel size too which makes it perfect to travel with. £8.95, www.weleda.co.uk

MooGoo Fresh Cream Deodorant

MooGoo Deodorant-Front

An Australian brand that Gwyneth Paltrow recently wrote about on her blog. I enjoy using this as the scent is so gentle, barely there actually, and the site is full of interesting things to read about the brand and beyond. £5.90 moogooskincare.co.uk

Would love to hear what natural deodorants you have tried and trusted, hated or loved.

 

What is co-washing aka no-poo shampoo?

Co-washing or no-poo as it’s also commonly known, is the latest craze in hair and beauty that’s likely to be this year’s biggest buzzword, especially with the launch of Ojon Cleansing Conditioner and Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme. But what is co-washing or no-poo exactly?

Short for conditioner-washing, co-washing is also called no-poo because this new beauty phenomenon is all about ditching regular shampoo and turning to conditioner to wash hair instead. It’s a trend that started over the pond where US women with afro, thick, curly or coarse hair have literally been washing their hair with conditioner. RIP for shampoo? Let’s see.

What is the benefit of washing with conditioner? People recommend co-washing for a more nourishing and hydrating way to cleanse, especially for curly, dry or afro hair. As textured hair is coarser and dryer, sulphate-loaded shampoos can simply be too drying. In fact, most people’s hair would benefit from silicone and sulphate-free cleansing (see a few of my recommendations here).

How does co-washing work? Cleansing conditioners contain no foaming agents, just a blend of essential oils that work to break down dirt and oil on the scalp and hair. There is no lathering or foaming but you just massage product onto scalp and hair and spread it through the lengths and leave it on for a few minutes. It might feel strange not having a soapy wash but results are worth it. Cue shiny, soft and plumped-up hair.

As the trend has spread, haircare brands have responded by launching cleansing conditioners as new, separate products. Wen by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner is one of them that landed on my desk a few months ago via QVC.

wen hair cleansing conditioner reviewWen Cleansing Conditioner is a luscious cream conditioner packed with at least five different plant oils, all fairly high up on the ingredients list, and free from Sodium Laurel Sulphate. It smells mildly sweet and refreshingly minty, just as the label says.

I found the instructions tricky to follow at first, just because it’s so different to what we’re used to doing. But that’s a psychological issue of getting used to doing something completely different, i.e. washing foam-free with conditioner.

Instead of a small dollop, you need 10-16 pumps of product, which is a lot, so of course the first few times I tried it I never used quite enough (kind of got tired of pumping and worried I’d have nothing left in the bottle for next time).

Then you have to massage into hair for at least three-five minutes; again I got tired and probably didn’t massage for long enough so never quite achieved the right effect.

Hmmm, I persevered and tried again.

This time I followed the instructions to the letter. Much better! I used the recommended number of pumps so there was enough product to move around the scalp and through the lengths of hair; adding a little bit of water helped with the consistency. I also tried splitting the recommended amount between two rounds of washing, that was also an excellent tip.

I felt like I’d cracked the co-washing thing – massage scalp deeply, allow it to settle for a few minutes and don’t expect the same washing experience as with a shampoo – this is nothing like shampooing so it’s best not to compare. Even the results are different.

Once I got it right, the results were amazing – very shiny and very soft hair but not at all limp, like you might expect. This was plumped-up soft and full of life. I don’t have thick, dry or curly hair – it’s actually quite fine but lots of it – and this made it feel thicker and fuller. (To keep the experiment real, I made no difference to styling: I rough blow-dried and tied in a bun as usual and shook it all out when fully dry).

1 month later….. At first, I couldn’t co-wash all the time because I was still used to the squeaky clean feeling of conventional shampoo. But then I saw how well my hair was looking and feeling and found I was washing less frequently too.

With WEN my hair genuinely stays fresher, fuller and cleaner for longer, with no limpness for several more days than normal shampoo – that’s that bit I love the most. Now I find it hard to reach for shampoo again as I know it’s not as kind to hair and my hair won’t stay as fresh for so long.

Since the experiment started I’ve also tried Ojon Cleansing Conditioner and new Purely Perfect Creme Cleanser (review to follow) and now I only go back to shampoo occasionally. I genuinely believe cleansing conditioners are the way forward – they’re so much kinder on hair, because they don’t contain synthetic foaming agents, and make a statement with impressive results.

Another great conditioning product to try – Ogario Restore and Shine Hair Masque. This amazing product has been winning awards all over the place in recent months and well-deserved too: ingredients lean on the natural and botanical – avocado oil, lavender, and eight essential oils – and even the protein complex that’s exclusively created by the brand, is a mixture of plant-derived proteins. So hair is basically getting a really good feed.

ogario_restore_shine-hair-masque

Again, results are very very shiny and soft hair – almost like you can’t believe it’s your own hair. This product has also been recommended for co-washing but I’m yet to try.

What price great hair? Well, neither come in at high street prices (Wen is £26.95 and Ogario is £26.50) but they will last for a really long time and whether you use them for co-washing or normal conditioning, you’ll have genuinely great hair in return (none of this fake silicone shine). So not a bad deal really.