I have popped a couple of DIY’s on the blog over the last few months, so I thought it was about time that I showed you some of the natural skin and body care that I use. Ideally, I look for products that use natural/organic and sustainably sourced materials, are cruelty free and from companies with a planet-friendly ethos. I have ver fair, quite sensitive skin, so using naturally-dervived products tends to keep my skin happier, although I am careful around harsher ingredients such as tea tree oil. One thing to bear in mind, is that “natural” as a label, really doesn’t mean anything; it gives you no guarantees about the product. Look for certifications on the packaging, such as the leaping bunny (cruelty free), or the soil association (organic material). These markers are the gold standard to proving that you are buying something that you can trust. I do find that I am starting to become quite loyal to a handful of brands, as trust is something very important when buying natural or cruelty free products. My two most go-to brands at the moment are Neal’s Yard and Lush. They are very different brands, but I feel like both represent my views very well.
Neal’s Yard Rose Otto Cleanser
This cleanser is my absolute miracle product. Until I switched to it a month or two ago, I was still using products aimed at oily skin. After a foray with my coconut oil scrub, my skin seemed to respond well to the added moisture, so I decided it was time to make the switch. The cleanser is aimed at normal and sensitive sin types, so really is perfect for me. It comes as a gel rather than drying foam, or rich milk, so is perfectly light. I like to massage it into damp skin with my fingertips, before dabbing off with a flannel and splashing with cold water. I’ve really seen an improvement in my skin texture and clarity, so I am really impressed!
Neal’s Yard Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the natural beauty hero product of the moment. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are anti fungal and antibacterial, so I like the thought of this for my skin. Double cleansing has recently become popular with beauty bloggers, and using a face oil counts as the first of your two face washes, in order to get a squeaky clean finish. I melt the oil in my fingers and use a cotton pad to lightly wipe around my face and eyes to remove grime and make up before using my rose cleanser. I originally bought a pot of coconut oil for the bathroom simply because conventional make up removers were hurting my eyes. Now, I find it absolutely indispensable, and is more hygienic than using the same oil for in the kitchen and bathroom. It makes a lovely moisturiser, deep hair conditioner, sun burn relief, and just a great all-rounder. I know coconut oil is having a bit of a thing at the moment, but if you don’t want to jump on the band wagon, or deal with melting the oil, try almond oil or similar.
Elemis has created a range aimed at young adults, with gentle products aimed to help skin in its transition from oily teenage, to normal or dry adult. I use the scrub once or twice a week to get rid of any dead skin cells and declog any pores. It has a subtle, grapefruit-like scent that is really lovely. Whilst Elemis doesn’t advertise itself as a natural brand in the way that others featured do, it is surprisingly good. Cruelty-free, and containing active plant ingredients, including cherry powder, jojoba beads (no plastic micro bead nasties here!!) and mandarin. It is quite a gentle scrub, which is perfect. And the price tag comes in at much lower than some other Elemis products, making it a great introduction to the brand. Unforteuntely, it seems to be a little difficult to find online now. I have spotted the range in TK Maxx, so you may get lucky.
I still haven’t found my “perfect” moisturiser (if it’s out there!), but I am really happy with the Botanic’s range so far. The award winning range is a partnership between Boots and Kew Gardens and has been recognised as a sustainable business. Organic and paraben-free, I know that my skin won’t suffer with these moisturisers. I have been using the night cream as well, but I haven’t replaced it. The day cream is SPF 15 and 5* UVA protecting. It’s currently half price, making it a pinch at £2.50. The Botanics range is also often on offer for 3 for 2, so keep your eyes peeled!
I have to say, I am very tempted to try a moisturising oil in the place of a night cream. I have heard some really good things about Pai’s Rose Oil and would love to try that! In the mean time though, I’ll be sticking with my trusty Boots products.
Lush Charity Pot (Hand and Body Lotion)
Lush has got me pretty well sold on their haircare. I love the packaging-free solid shampoo bars, hair masks in returnable/reusable pots and the Avocado co-wash (that’s a shampoo and conditioner in one to you and me) is next on my list to buy. However, I haven’t really used all that much of their other products. I usually buy one of the £1 mini charity pots whenever I am at the till, but after my friend and I spotted Fin Fighters on the top of on of the larger charity pots, we both had to buy them! Fin Fighters is a charity that I am passionate about, and they are committed to ending the distribution and sale of shark products in the UK and beyond. To be able to buy a yummy-smelling moisturiser that ticks all the boxes mentioned above, AND to donate to a cause that I support? It’s brilliant.
Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream
I mentioned the Bee Lovely range in my post about Neal’s Yard in York. I absolutely love this hand cream as it is so moisturising without being too sticky. It smells heavenly and supports the protection of bees -so far the range has raised £60 000! It is full of goodness including, of course, honey that keeps my skin happy during busy days. Students get a handy 10% off as well.
I hope you found this post interesting and useful, do let me know if you use any of these products, or have any favourites of your own!