Have you noticed it’s been a whole a month since I wrote about my favourite natural and organic make-up? I didn’t meant to keep you waiting this long – it just happened and I apologise for delay.
As you know, I am very very picky with what I use on and inside my body because, lets face it, we only have one and if something goes wrong with it, one way or another, there’s no substitute available.
I spent months and months looking for my perfect skincare regime and at this point I strongly feel that I finally nailed it. In the beginning all I wanted was paraben-free products, but as the time went by, my demands piled up. No longer paraben-free was enough… I wanted to find products that were almost good enough to eat. Ok, don’t panic, I wouldn’t actually attempt to use my face cream as a sandwich spread, but what I wanted was to find products containing easily recognisable and readable ingredients and formulas that wouldn’t take more than three lines to label. Basically I adopted the same rule I use for my food – clean and simple, no chemicals, ideally organic. I also wanted to find lines that are packed in glass (do not wish to add xenoestrogens to my system) and aren’t too expensive as they would have to be re-purchased regularly, so you’ll see a few options to suit different budgets.
The only natural ingredient I have avoided was honey. Honey is a nature’s gift and absolutely wonderful for many things, from treating the body from infections internally to keeping your skin beautiful when used as a mask or cream ingredient. However, my dermatologist told me once that I must avoid putting honey on my face because it’s not suitable for super sensitive skins, particularly with fragile blood vessels that are too close to the surface (my case). Additionally you should also be careful with honey-containing products if you are allergic to it (for obvious reasons) and have tendency for excessive facial hair growth (hirsutism).
Now all areas covered, lets talk creams, lotions and potions.
Just like my make-up, the skincare is also quite basic, although there are a few additions that I just like to turn to occasionally.
My biggest and favourite discovery was Trevarno organic skincare. I first bought an eye cream following a shocking discovery that my Korres eye cream contained parabens.
The Trevarno eye cream pot that I received contained 30ml of pure goodness. The cream was very light, absorbed easily and smelled nice. It was made purely of oils and herbal extracts blended in a base of olive oil and rose flower water. For less than £10 I finally found my little treasure that got me interested in the other products.
Coconut oil. I use raw organic virgin coconut oil by Biona (not pictured). I usually get a 400g jar (I also use it for cooking and eat a little every day as it is – it’s antibacterial) and de-cart some in a small container that lives in my bathroom. The most perfect make-up remover that calms the skin, too. Smells like paradise. Very important that your coconut oil is raw organic virgin oil packaged in a glass jar.
Trevarno Rose & Jojoba cleanser. Made with organic rose water, jojoba oil, wax, grapefruit seed extract, vitamin E and vanilla. It’s light, creamy and thinner than a regular creamy cleanser, but it won’t run. The smell is absolutely comforting. It is natural, herby with a sweet note, nothing close to perfume-like. I haven’t tried removing make-up with it, but as far as regular cleansing goes, it is my little hero. (RRP £19.90 for 100ml)
Alternatives I have also tried: Organic Surge Cleanser/Wash (£5.19 for 200ml) or ThisWorks Cleanser (£19.00 for 120ml). Both are ok, however packed in plastic. Organic Surge made my skin feel a bit tight afterwards.
Rosewater. I buy organic pure rose water and use it as a toner. Trevarno Rosewater & Chamomile toner (£19.90 for 100ml) is a wonderful product, too, but I prefer a pure rose fragrance without anything else, so I switch between the two.
Trevarno Rose & Jojoba Moisturiser. Made with organic rose water and oil, olive oil, calendula, cocoa butter, vitamin E, grapefruit seed extract and wax. I chose this one because I really wanted to have a cream with rose oil in it as I swear by it, particularly because of its anti-aging properties. Plus I loved the fact that the formula contained calming calendula (I’ve used extracts and tones since I was 12 – made them myself at home) and nourishing vitamin E. It’s very creamy, but light and spreads and sinks in easily. The colour is sort of like custard, which always makes me smile. Because of its rich texture, only a small quantity is required to cover the face and neck, so 30ml jar (£13.50) will last you a good month. I have to mention here that this particular moisturiser is more suitable for mature skins, so if you are in your twenties try the Day Cream instead.
Trevarno Overnight Replenishing Cream. Ingredients are similar to the moisturiser, but the formula also contains wheatgerm, frankincense, rosewood and cedarwood oils. The last three have very particular fragrances, so you will probably notice it when you first apply the cream. They are, of course, very pleasant, especially if you, like me, love essential oils, but if you are used to confectionary sweet smells of regular creams, you may need a couple of days to get used to it. Frankly, I am positive you will soon be addicted as the smell has a wonderful ability to help you unwind and relax at night. I also get 30ml version every 5 weeks or so, for £13.50.
Alternatives I used: Organic Surge Super Intensive Daily Moisturiser and Organic Surge Overnight Sensation Night Cream, both £8.99 for 50ml. I liked the smell very much. I also liked the texture of the night cream. The daily moisturiser had a consistency of cold cream (think Ponds), but melted quickly and was easy to apply. What I found, though, is if it blocked my pores or created sort of a film over my skin. The big bonus of these two, apart from the price, is that they both contain organic aloe vera known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Although the come in glass jars, the label design is sort of too busy and too 1980s for me to process aesthetically – I would never leave Organic Surge products on a shelf for that reason.
Trevarno Revitalising Facial Oil. Oh, I am so so so excited and in love with this one! I only have a tiny bottle of the beauty elixir made with rose water, jojoba oil, vanilla and wheatgerm, and use it a few times a week after cleansing and before applying my night cream. It smells heavenly of vanilla and sunshine. About 4-5 drops are enough for the entire face to make skin super-soft and happy. £13 for 30ml.
Trevarno Calendula Ointment. A very rich product that melts in your hands to be used on irritated skin. As much as I believe in herbals for skin health I was a tiny bit sceptical to try this one, but it really worked wonders. I had an angry little spot that was buzzing ready to come out, so I used a little ointment to calm it down. I had a wedding to attend next morning and had absolutely no hopes of going spot-free. In the morning the spot gone all quiet and looked very pale and barely there. The most wonderful thing is that the skin around it was no longer inflamed as it often happens with spots. Miracle product. 30ml for £9.50 will last you ages.
Aveeno Intense Relief Handcream is always on stand-by for a daily dose of softness (paraben-free), however, once or twice a week I indulge in a little Trevarno Gardener’s Hand Salve that is, first of all organic and natural and secondly, created for very dry hands. No other cream made my hands this soft, ever. It is thick and takes time to absorb, so I use it almost as a hand mask – apply and relax for about 10 minutes. 30ml for £9.50.
Kevin Murphy Hydrate.Me. Wash + Conditioner (not pictured) is the only shampoo I use. It is not organic, but paraben and SLS free. £14.95 for 250ml - try the full range, you will love it.
Argan oil. I don’t use any regular moisturisers or branded argan oil products. Instead I pour a little cold pressed pure oil in my hand, add a few drops of either neroli or rose oil, mix up and apply. Tons of pleasure and 100% natural.
Organic Trevarno soap. I switch between chamomile, rose&jojoba and calendula. It’s inexpensive (£3.90 for 75g bar), simple, non-fussy, unpretentious and kind to the skin. Smells like baby products – soft, gentle and comforting. Didn’t dry the skin out like many soaps and gels do.
Alternatives I have tried: Organic Surge shower gels (£4.00 for 250ml) and Balance Me Rose Otto body wash (£12.25 for 260ml)
Green People Organic Self-tan lotion. Yes, this is a self-tanning lotion that develops into a golden tan within 3 hours. Organic and free from parabens, lanolin, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants. It is the purest one available around. Not only the results are wonderful, it also doesn’t have that horrible fake tan smell that lasts for days. Instead you get sandalwood fragrance that fades away after a few minutes. I would not use anything else. It’s easy to apply, although it’s a good idea to wait a few minutes before getting dressed. The colour is very beautiful and personally I used it once every 5 days without re-applying to maintain a sun-kissed glow.
And that’s about it. The only things I haven’t mentioned are masks and scrubs because most of them are actually home-made or have been mentioned on the blog before.
Remember that if you have never tried natural skincare, it’s wise to order samples first to check if your skin is happy with the ingredients. If you don’t develop any reaction within 24 hours, just go for it and enjoy.
Photo source: Vogue Italia Beauty May 2010 (Ellen von Unwerth)