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.

I was lucky to have this facial – also known as the 30-minute miracle worker by Weleda therapists as it’s so good at boosting the complexion – at Valley Fest in Bristol this summer.

Weleda Skin Food - Product Still

Valley Fest is a lovely family-friendly weekend of music, local food and fancy dress. Weleda had a corner with a fabulous van stocked full of products and therapy tents for the perfect post-party respite.

There were also talks and workshops on natural skincare, with special guest such as Emine Ali Rushton, sharing her wisdom on holistic and Ayurvedic living, following the launch of her book, Sattva.

weleda tent valley fest.JPG

If you’re not familiar with the community of Weleda therapists, they’re a lovely bunch who work remotely around the country and who are available for products, treatments, and knowledge-sharing on skincare and ingredients.

If you don’t live near a Weleda therapist then you can try this facial on yourself at home. Here’s a complete step-by-step guide to the Skin Food Facial – get ready for some personal pamper time…

weleda tent valley fest.JPG
Me enjoying my Skin Food facial at Valley Fest

Step 1.

COMPRESS

Soak a face flannel in hot water with a little Rosemary Bath Milk, wring the flannel so it’s only damp but still warm and apply to the face to open up the pores and wake up/perk up the circulation. If skin would benefit from calming/soothing rather than stimulating, try the Lavender Bath Milk. If skin is hypersensitive, the gentle Calendula Baby Cream Bath could be used instead which is less aromatic.

Step 2.

CLEANSE

Using the Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion on two damp cotton wool pads, remove grime and make-up. Use both hands simultaneously, mirror image, for a lovely balanced feeling. Around the eyes, gently cleanse with Almond Soothing Facial Oil to remove eye make-up. Warm or luke-warm cotton wool pads are preferable to very cold water on the eyes.

Optional extra.

PUFFINESS

If more time, an organic unbleached chamomile tea bag can be used to make as an infusion for an eye compress (lightly soak cotton wool pads in the tea which has been allowed to cool slightly in a bowl before applying; cotton pads can be folded into half moons) whilst the facial massage is being done or the mask is on (to complete the Skin Food experience). The calming chamomile fragrance relaxes.

Step 3.

MASSAGE

Using the fragrance-free Almond Soothing Facial Oil, gently massage the face to stimulate the circulation and relax the soft tissues, tailoring the massage to the individual.

weleda skin food facial how to

Step 4.

MASK

Apply a generous layer of Skin Food, warming it between your hands to make it easier to work with, and leave on the face as an intensive treatment for five minutes (or longer if time allows). If you have combination skin with an oily T-zone, just use Skin Food on the cheeks and drier areas, to avoid overloading the skin.

Step 5.

COMPRESS

Soak a face flannel in hot water with a little Lavender Bath Milk and apply to the face to melt and release the mask. Gently lift away any excess Skin Food with the flannel and gently wipe/tidy any remaining thick areas of cream using a damp cotton pad (this may not be necessary if it has been absorbed).

Step 6.

MOISTURISE

Depending on the skin, finish with a light application of Skin Food Light to moisturise (for younger/oilier skin, this may not be necessary if Skin Food has worked its magic), and a little Skin Food Lip Balm on the lips.

Would love to hear if you’ve had this facial with a Weleda therapist or if you give it a go at home!

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

 

The weekend’s hangover cure

lavera-cooling-eye-roll-onI’m not one for exaggerating the claims of beauty products but this modest looking roll-on actually made my peepers feel ever-so slightly better on a hangover day, yesterday.

While I wanted to tell you all about it I was actually hard at work on a 1500 word feature on radiation (gulp) for Natural Health magazine (out in July if you fancy it).

So little ol’ Lavera Cooling Eye Roll-On – with white tea and karanja oil – was my desk-buddy for the day. Massaging around my eyes in little mini circles every hour on the hour.

Cooling (quite cold actually) and definitely refreshing. It impressed the Beauty Bible judges too as it has a big sticker saying ‘award winner’ on it.

No silicone or mineral oils (used in products to give that slippy-slidy feel that makes people say ooh it feels lovely). This one uses organic plant extracts, lecithin, a natural antioxidant and emollient, fair trade green tea extract, an Indian seed oil – pongamia  glabra – used as a skin conditioner. Plus lots of other natural and organic ingredients you’d love.

Stimulating circulation around the face is the best way of keeping skin looking fresh and this kind of does the job for you…and is exactly what I need right now.

Hangover cure #1: Lavera Soothing Eye Roll-On

lavera-cooling-eye-roll-onI’m not one for exaggerating the claims of beauty products but this modest looking roll-on actually made my peepers feel ever-so slightly better on a hangover day, yesterday.

While I wanted to tell you all about it I was actually hard at work on a 1500 word feature on radiation (gulp) for Natural Health magazine (out in July if you fancy it).

So little ol’ Lavera Cooling Eye Roll-On – with white tea and karanja oil – was my desk-buddy for the day. Massaging around my eyes in little mini circles every hour on the hour.

Cooling (quite cold actually) and definitely refreshing. It impressed the Beauty Bible judges too as it has a big sticker saying ‘award winner’ on it.

No silicone or mineral oils (used in products to give that slippy-slidy feel that makes people say ooh it feels lovely). This one uses organic plant extracts, lecithin, a natural antioxidant and emollient, fair trade green tea extract, an Indian seed oil – pongamia  glabra – used as a skin conditioner. Plus lots of other natural and organic ingredients you’d love.

Stimulating circulation around the face is the best way of keeping skin looking fresh and this kind of does the job for you…and is exactly what I need right now.

Out now: Bamford Bath and Body

Bamford Bath and Body Rosemary Polish

You can always tell a good beauty collection by the quality of its body scrub and this is exactly why the new and very beautiful Bamford Bath & Body collection is worth getting your fingers into: the Body Polish (£32) is a dense mixture of oils (sesame and olive) with a salt and sugar mix for an intense and thorough scrub. No slippery mess, just gorgeous smooth skin.

The Bamford team unveiled the updated collection at the majestic, Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, London last month. It’s now on shelves with new packaging that’s more environmentally friendly, new aromas and a few new products, all certified by the Soil Association; lots of beautiful products to get excited about!

Best of all, is the Organic Baby collection (also certified by the Soil Association) and free from talc, artificial fragrances and detergents such as SLS. The Organic Moisture Balm would be perfect for baby botties.

You can find Bamford Body at Bamford and Daylesford stores in London and Gloucestershire, Liberty’s in London and Barney’s in New York.

www.daylesfordorganic.com

Out now: Neal’s Yard Remedies make-up

Neals Yard Remedies makeup

British natural beauty brand, Neal’s Yard Remedies‘ make-up collection is on shelves now – the first cosmetics line with the Soil Association seal of organic approval. The range is a simple offering of three eye pencils, four mineral eye shadows and six lip glosses and took a few years to develop because it’s so difficult to create organic make-up.

I talked to Lou Green, Head of Sustainability at Neal’s Yard, to understand why it’s such a mean feat.

“We had to challenge convention and challenge why certain ingredients are used and offer alternatives. Mineral oils and paraffin are so cheap and it’s what everyone uses but it’s an oil base so we replaced that with an organic plant oil. And we replaced talc with cornstarch, which actually works beautifully and created an organic lip gloss base with our suppliers in Gujarat.”

Synthetic fragrances were out, and essential oils were in giving products a gorgeous sweet smell. Standard preservatives out and combinations of white tea powder and vitamin E used instead for their preserving power.

Not all the ingredients can be organic because anything that’s not farmed – e.g. minerals or water, by default cannot be organic. Instead they have to meet high ecological standards in processing, environmental impact, biodegradability, among others.

So what are the results like? Well, the lip glosses are an absolute pleasure to use with a subtle orange scent thanks to the sweet orange peel. The eye pencils are perfect for day wear – you may not get a Twiggy smoky eye but add a dab of  mineral eye powder and you could be on your way. They are great for sensitive eyes and the eco-credentials are seriously impressive. Well done Neal’s Yard.

Mineral Eye Shadow, £10.25/Colour Lip Gloss, £9/Eye Liner, £9

Available in stores and www.nealsyardremedies.com