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”

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