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 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 in some cases it might include 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”

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

Get more of my natural deodorant recommendations here and another here

Introducing Fjaka – the Mediterranean way of mindful living


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….

Continue reading “Introducing Fjaka – the Mediterranean way of mindful living”

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”

Best advice I’ve received: Lisa Bronner of Dr. Bronner beauty

lisa-bronner profile image

Lisa Bronner is the sister, wife and daughter to the Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps family and granddaughter to the founder Dr. Emanuel Bronner. I spoke to her on the phone to learn more about her passion for sustainable living, her interest in inspiring people on their journey for greener living (check out her blog Going Green with a Bronner Mom) and the best advice she’s ever received.

The best advice I’ve received

‘Live intentionally – if we are too aimless or thoughtless in our day to day decisions we go nowhere and accomplish nothing and let opportunities slide by. Realise the ability you have as an individual to influence people around you or start a movement. People don’t realise they have the power we do; if use it we’d can all get a lot done.’

Best advice for going green

‘Start simply with one product at a time; going out with too much gusto and clearing out everything will be too much of a headache. Newbies should start with one product, look at the ingredients you don’t understand and find an alternative you enjoy using. Then go onto the next. One step at a time.’

If you could be president for the day

‘Treat people with respect and courtesy. Listen to one another and do things to empower each individual to live to their full potential. Be proactive rather than reactive, strengthen people and educate them on wellness so health is stronger and inform the public to make better decisions. Give people the right tools to make the best choices for their lives.’

Check out more from Lisa…  her tips and tricks for green living here. 

Read more… When I met Mike Bronner of Dr Bronner skincare in London – and the six things I discovered about the brand.

6 reasons to love beauty brand Dr. Bronner


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:

  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.”

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 and check out a wealth of info about ethical sourcing, principles, campaigning, philanthropy and more on 

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”

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, 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

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! 

Vanzee Beauty Pitch to Rich 2015


1960s Vintage Makeup Tutorial

We’ve just stumbled upon this fantastic video at work in the BeautyMART office which shows a girl doing her make-up in 1969. It’s seriously slow but we loved it. Just check out the Alsatian dog watching her!

I think these videos are quite rare but Glamour Daze has sourced them and built an AMAZING archive of vintage fashion history, make-up guides, videos and tutorials from 1920-1950s. Really quite amazing, check them out. I’m hooked. and

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 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 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.


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,

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

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


What’s new in beauty this month – my April beauty pages in Health & Fitness

New spring scents, how to wear this year’s pantone of the year (a vibrant purple-fused-with-fuchsia called Radiant Orchid) my pick of the best vitamin C skincare and the candle that’s about the light up the earth. Plus expert insight from natural beauty expert Imelda Bourke, founder of Being Content. All in my beauty pages in this month’s Health & Fitness magazine (April issue). Get it now.

Health and Fitness, Beauty News April 2014  by Yanar Alkayat

Health Fitness Vitamin C April Issue  by Yanar Alkayat

See more at

A Spot of Bother?

Espa Purifying Tea Tree Gel on a Brighter Shade of Green

Espa Purifying Tea Tree Gel on a Brighter Shade of Green

If, thanks to a festive five-a-day diet of Celebrations, Cadbury’s Miniatures and Quality Street over Christmas, your skin has seen better days, then I recommend getting your mitts on ESPA Purifying Tea Tree Gel to tackle any peevy problems.

ESPA Purifying Tea Tree Gel is an all-round healing gel that helps to de-congest spots, reduce their inflammation and bring them to a state that’s definitely more manageable within 24 hours. That’s thanks to antibacterial tea tree oil and antiseptic thyme. Last night, I slathered it on a couple of spots that were raging to make their mark, and today, I can certainly say they’re on the mend. Calmer, smaller and quieter. The evening primrose oil which is hydrating, also makes it great for irritations and itches.

If you have a great spot-zapper to share, pray tell. We all need a little help to get through the new year with happier, clearer skin.

Happy new year, happy new skin.

Spa at home

Health and Fitness magazine, Jan 2014 Spa at home, Yanar Alkayat
‘Picture this. You’ve just had a luxurious body treatment and are enveloped in a sea of warm aromatic water, petals and herbs scattered on its surface. There’s a cup of fresh mint tea at your side and a blend of fragrant essential oils fills the air with an uplifting scent. As you lie back and close your eyes, the distant sound of waves gently drifts towards you… No, you’re not relaxing at an exotic spa, this is your private retreat, right in your own home.’
Health and Fitness magazine,  Jan 2014 Spa at home, Yanar Alkayat
My piece in the January issue of Health & Fitness magazine is on creating the perfect spa experience at home, out now, featuring some of my favourite spa brands, Ila, Decleor, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Elemis, Balance Me, Ushvani, Elemental Herbology, Aveda, Sultane de Saba – the brand to turn to for an authentic Hammam-style black soap – and many more.
There is also expert insight and recommendations from Carole Jones of Germaine de Cappuccini,

Katharine Mackenzie Paterson from Spa Illuminata and Melissa Choi from Choi Time Teas, for creating the right ambience and setting as well as tools and spa rituals for a bespoke spa experience at home.
Now is definitely the season, weather and time for retreating indoors for a cosy, rejuvenating and pampering night in. Pick up a copy here. Enjoy!

Stocking filler #1 Organic Wipes

mendill organic lavender wipes brightershadeofgreen

mendill organic lavender wipes brightershadeofgreen

Admittedly, not a very sexy sounding Christmas present but if you’re into new eco beauty and if you’re off on festive travels, stick with me.

Plastic ingredients in skincare is kind of uncool. Traditional wet wipes use plastic resins like polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene which don’t break down easily in landfill but they’re cheaper than using a woven fabric such as cotton.

Having said that, you can get your hands on wipes that don’t go down the faux cotton route and don’t use silicones and mineral oils (to make the product feel soft), preservatives (to keep them bacteria-free) and mild detergents. There are alternative ways and natural ingredients that do a great job too.

I tried and loved Neal’s Yard Remedies Facial Wipes, (£5.50) which are 100% organic cotton, soaked in aloe vera and white tea. A few more pennies than your usual supermarket fare but hey, you’re getting 100% organic cotton. Super soft on skin and very hydrating. Can’t recommend them enough for face cleansing as well as travel.

A new kid on the block is Mendill, a brand recently picked up by BeautyMART. Individually wrapped towelettes made from 100% organic cotton, soaked in 100% organic essential oils and sans parabens, preservatives or synthetic fragrances. I’m hoping the little plastic wraps are recyclable / biodegradeable.


Five varieties and five uplifting scents with antibacterial and antiseptic properties. A joy to use as the scent keeps on giving. Apart from cleansing hands, wiping a runny nose, deodorising armpits and removing make-up, you can also use one in the tumble dryer to scent linen – if I had a tumble dryer I’d certainly be trying that one.

Each box contains 20 sachets (£10) so you can pop a few in a stocking or gift the whole box for a whole season of on-the-go hygiene and care. Available in lavender and eucalyptus from BeautyMART or other flavours from LoveLula.

Bohemian Chic Minerals

Bohemian Chic Minerals Eyeliner Sambuca on Brightershadeofgreen

Bohemian Chic Minerals Eyeliner in Sambuca

What is it:

A loose, mineral powder in a sooty black for creating eyeliner flicks or dark, smoky definition. With a great name too that reminds me of last night!

Why you need it:

Use with an angled eyeliner brush to create a clean, well defined line which stays on nearly all day. I also discovered it doubles up excellently as a brow shadow, to define and fill in eyebrows. But this would obviously only work if you have dark / black brows like I do.

Good for you:

100% pure, natural minerals suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skins. The creator of the brand was not impressed to discover Bismuth – Oxychloride (a by product of refined lead and copper) and carmine (crushed beetle) in the mineral make-up products she was previously using. So she created Bohemian Chic Minerals formulations without either. Better for sensitive skins and better for poor beetles!

If you find conventional eye make-up irritates your eyes or makes them water (I certainly have a few eye products that make my eyes sting and stream with tears) this is a great option to try. Suitable for vegans and halal use.

Good for the world:

Carmine is a reddy pigment produced from carminic acid, extracted from the crushed bodies of cochineal insects. Let’s face it, who wants crushed beetles in their cosmetics? Look out for it in lipstick formulations too! Keep your beauty kit animal-free and beetles happy. Follow Bohemian Chic’s example and just say no to carmine. The beetles will thank you for it.

Buy it: £6.50,


Glow Girl – My new column on Yanar Alkayat Glow Girl alkaline diet yanar alkayat is the brand new website for women’s health and every fortnight I’ll be writing a column under the name of Glow Girl. My first post was on the alkaline diet i.e. eating your greens, and why this no-diet diet is so good for health and glowing skin. Expect an honest story of bloated tummies and belchy bellies and new found ways to turn a new, greener leaf. Read it here.

As well as talking about how I coerced myself away from daily glasses of red wine and the foods that I personally keep on and off the menu, I also spoke to Natasha Corrett, founder of Honestly Healthy, a fantastic recipe book and food delivery service that celebrates alkaline eating. is the brainchild of health journalist and author Anna Magee who I’ve been lucky to work with on and off for the past several years. We first met when I assisted her on Red magazine where she was Health Director and I was just beginning my career in editorial. We’ve kept in touch ever since and it’s fantastic that our paths have continued to cross and I’m now contributing to this impressive new site, which is right up my street. offers a wealth of knowledge for women (and men!) who want to feel empowered by deeper health knowledge – whether it’s mind, body, beauty, nutrition, sex, fertility or surgery – this site has it covered. There’s also a huge list of health experts involved so you’ll never be short of renowned expertise on these essential topics.

Join me on the Glow Girl column each week as I unveil the must-have health and beauty secrets and my quest for inner health and outer beauty – and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think! You can follow the Healthista team on Twitter too – @HealthistaTV and myself on @YanarBeauty.


Winter beauty alchemy

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion

The February freeze keeps coming and going and with it goes the integrity of our skin. So it’s another chance to share the winter beauty alchemy I’ve been swearing by this winter – the mix of lotions and potions that have saved my skin and kept it super soft and strong.

This has been my morning routine every day for the past few months:

1. Add a few drops of facial oil to face moisturiser.

My oil of choice at the moment is Maggie Brown’s Yin 1 (rose oil) perfect for winter as it strengthens skin’s barrier against the cold and plumps it up with nourishing essential fatty acids.  I’ve been mixing this with Origins Make A Difference Cream which is a hydrating gel-like cream.

2. Add a few pumps of body oil to body moisturiser.

I’ve been using two or three pumps of  Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Body Oil muddled with Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion, all over my body from neck to toes. It’s a luscious mixture that I can’t get enough of. I love both products on their own (and would be perfect for spring) but together they make cold mornings worth getting out the shower for.

Finally, a great quote from Geraldine Howard, founder of Aromatherapy Associates on why essential oils carry so many skin benefits which is so apt for this time of year:

“Essential oils are made up of very small molecules and therefore able to penetrate into the bloodstream and optimise the cell renewal process. The skin absorbs oil-soluble substances more easily than water soluble ones, so as essential oils are oil soluble, when diluted with a plant or vegetable carrier oil (most are too potent to apply directly to the skin), they travel through the epidermis, into the dermis, delivering results deeper down than products that do not contain essential oils.”

So get some oil into your beauty regime and you’ll welcome spring with better skin. What beauty concoctions do you swear by?


Beauty acupuncture

I’ve decided to hit the needle. Having just had my second beauty acupuncture session with the delightful Maggie Brown (who I reviewed a few months ago for Natural Health magazine) I’ve decided facial acupuncture is going to be my anti-ageing splurge – let’s call it an investment to save my face.

Unlike Botox – which freezes the muscles and makes them redundant – acupuncture and acupressure massage activate and strengthen the muscles; they wake up the face by bringing life and energy into it through the surge of oxygen and blood flow.

Having just spent the last few months juggling the stress of a new job, daily rush hour tube travel, late nights and general life ups and downs, my skin was breaking out and dragging down before my eyes. I decided I needed to help before it was too late so I called Maggie for an appointment. Pronto. As a beauty journalist I get almost unlimited access to beauty treatments and services so to actually pay for something (quelle horreur!) is a real testament to its value.

Maggie does facial acupuncture in a gorgeous town house in north London but as well as the needles, it’s also a good 90 mins of genuine beauty therapy: Vigorous acupressure massage, hand-blended oils, leaf tea, lots of chat to solve your beauty problems and homework. Yes, lots of homework  – facial massage to improve muscle tone, lymphatic drainage to sweep away toxins and regular pressure point activation to release tension and sluggishness. I’ve got it all written down and I’m ready to go.  See the cute drawings that are my take-away instructions below. Love.

I’m also using Maggie’s own face as an incentive to keep me on track and massaging daily. She says she’s been having facial acupuncture and doing nightly massages regularly for the last 15 years and no exaggeration, she looks about ten years younger (without any other kind of needle). Her skin is totally toned and glowing so if I can look like that in a few years time, I’m in. In fact, I’ve just booked appointments every three weeks for the next three months.

If you’re looking for that next step in anti-ageing, I highly recommended the whole natural needle approach – it’s not a quick fix (which is why I’m starting early, at 32) but a long term investment. If you’re in London check out Maggie – Beaute Chinoise  –


Pure perfumes

Embrace by PG Organics

Embrace by PG OrganicsI’ve recently been chatting on Twitter to the lovely Patricia Gallagher, founder of PG Organics, about why we need natural and organic perfumes. She created Embrace after learning the almost-forgotten art of traditional and natural perfume making and she talks passionately about why we need to keep the practice going…

Patricia is a strong advocate of using natural and organic ingredients in perfume and not the 10-40 chemicals that can usually be found in a mainstream spritz. The Environmental Working Group wrote a report on this last year, discovering many hidden and undisclosed chemicals in bottles. Popular perfumes usually contain a mixture of natural extracts and synthetic chemicals but the report revealed many secret chems too.

PG Organics is one of the few niche brands committed 100 percent natural ingredients and small batch production using traditional methods. What’s interesting is that many people who suffer from allergies and sensitivities, such as asthma or eczema, can react badly to conventional perfumes – anything from a mild or severe headache to itching or rashes on the skin. Patricia says customers often turn to natural perfumes for less sensitivity.

The brand uses only natural materials with the highest possible content of organic ingredients, no animal derived products and testing on animals.  Check out her gorgeous site

My Aveda purple crush

Aveda Smoothing Lip Color in Tanzanite

Aveda Smoothing Lip Color in TanzaniteA few months ago I was at a wedding where a young pretty thing was wearing a hot purple lipstick, which looked totally awesome – slightly eighties of course – but with a cool factor of about 110. She was also wearing it with a sharp, retro bob in a piquant orange shade which helped my style-envy no end. Anyway, her lipstick was MAC, unsurprisingly, and since then I’ve had a thirst for purple and been on the spy for more fabulous shades of purple lipsticks.

This morning I met Aveda Smoothing Lip Color in Tanzanite. Yum, yum, yum…. this is *the* perfect purple without looking too Boy George. There are few enticing shades on the horizon from counter make-up brands this autumn-winter – FYI Clinique has re-launched its Black-Honey shade, for those who follow cult-berry shades.

Aveda’s Tanzanite is not the electric, mulberry purple I saw on my wedding-girl-crush but more of a royal, red-purple, like Merlot wine stained lips but with a high gloss finish. That deep, plum purple suits olive skins like mine, whereas whiter skins can go for the brilliant, head-turning blue-toned purple. If only I could!

For all you colour-loving greenies, this is Aveda’s message on the modestly designed packaging: ‘50% post-consumer recycled fibre/Forest Stewardship Council-certified fiber and 100% wind power-generated carton, printed with soy ink.’

This new crush of mine is part of the Aveda Jewels of the Earth collection out now. Feeling tempted? Try it, you might like it! I’m definitely going to be wearing this shade all season long…Enjoy x

Tried and loved: New Year’s day massage in Zanzibar

Me at Mrembo Spa, Zanzibar

Having just returned from my big Tanzanian adventure, I couldn’t wait to tell you about my New Year’s day massage by a local, blind therapist on Zanzibar (island off Africa’s east coast). This turned out to be an unbeatable way to see in 2011!

After a few too many drinks the night before in Stone Town – a sleepy tourist town with hundreds of years of Arabic and Portuguese history – I woke up to a wonderful invite by my friend, to go to Mrembo Spa – ‘mrembo’ meaning a woman who loves to pamper herself, in Swahilli – for a massage by Aisha, their blind therapist. An offer I couldn’t refuse as I’ve many massages but never one by a blind person.

Continue reading “Tried and loved: New Year’s day massage in Zanzibar”