Monday, 17 June 2013

Natural Beauty

We are all encouraged to read our food labels to see what we are really eating but do you ever read the ingredients on your beauty items? Once you do it can all get a bit worrying.

Liquid Paraffin, Petrolatum, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, none of these are good for us but if you go and read the labels of your beauty products you will find these are the most common ingredients in all of them. Liquid Paraffin and Petrolatum are mineral oils. In a nutshell mineral oils are a by product of petrol (nice) its a really cheap ingredient, hence why its in everything! Mineral Oils create a barrier on your skin, so when you apply a product that's full of mineral oil like Vaseline it will feel really moisturising on your skin but in reality its completely useless as the barrier stops it penetrating your skin, so  only the surface of your skin that will feel like its moisturised. Over time you will find you need to apply more and more and none of it will do anything to improve the dryness of your skin. Its all a temporary measure, as my friend Chloe is always telling those Vaseline users out there. 

It would be pretty impossible to avoid these ingredients completely and in most beauty products the actual amount is very minimal and wont cause you any actual harm but still its not a nice thought. Which is why I have been trying to use more natural products. Natural products are becoming more and more easily available. They do tend to be more expensive but I do believe you get what you pay for.

So I thought I would share with you all a few of my favourite natural products and brands.

By far my favourite natural brand is Yes to, I am a teeny tiny bit obsessed.

Yes to has four different ranges;

Yes to Carrots  - All the products in the Carrots range are designed for dryer skin/hair that needs more hydration and nourishment.

Yes to Cucumbers - Designed for sensitive skin/hair that needs a bit more of a soothing, calming touch.

Yes to Blueberries - Blueberries focuses on ageing, so more suitable for mature skin.

Yes to Tomatoes - Tackles problem blemish prone skin, ideal for younger skin.

My favourite products are the shower gels (Carrots is my favourite), face moisturisers (I have tried every single one except Blueberries and still cant pick a favourite) and the Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel which feels so nice and cooling on my puffy morning eyes.

There are a few other natural skin care brands and products I like. Korres is a Greek brand who use natural ingredients in their products. I have been using their Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturising Brightening Cream and have been impressed at how hydrating it is.

Kiehls is an American brand that has been going since 1851, pretty impressive! Kiehls only use ingredients that are beneficial to the skin. I love their Midnight Recovery Concentrate which is an oil you apply to your face at night. I swear when I use this I wake up in the morning and my skin looks brighter. Its also made from 99.8% naturally derived ingredients.

Liz Earle is another great skincare brand who use naturally active ingredients. I love using Cleanse and Polish to remove my make up, and the Instant Boost Skin Tonic is a lovely hydrating toner. Only thing I would say, if you have particularly sensitive skin you may have to be careful as natural ingredients can irritate, so try and get a sample to test out first. Liz Earle are also a cruelty-free certified company.

For hair I really recommend checking out Tara Smith's haircare line which you can buy from good old Marks and Spencer's. Tara's products are natural and 100% vegan, plus to please your shallow side the packaging is amazing. I did a more in depth review of her Shine on Shampoo and Conditioner here

Now I am not a Lush fan, in fact I am a bit of a Lush hater but their Big Shampoo is amazing I will give them that. Its full of sea salt which makes your hair feel so clean and bouncy and ohmygod this stuff smells so bloody good. Now there is sodium lauryl sulfate in this which I understand Lush are phasing out, but all in all Lush are a good brand to support. Clearly defined ethics on animal testing and using vegetarian ingredients, maybe I shouldn't be so harsh on them. If only their shops didn't smell so awful I might be more tempted to spend more time in there!

Back to Korres now, but this time I am talking about their Lip Butters. Trade in your Vaseline for one of these and you will not regret it. There are no hidden nasties in the ingredients list and instead hydrate your lips with natural oils, shea butter and rice wax. Even better these are tinted, a tinted lip balm is possibly my favourite thing in the whole entire world!

From left to right we have Jasmine, Pomegranate and Wild Rose.

My last natural category is hands and nails, Ive even included feet!

Its hard to beat L'Occitane's hand and foot creams. I am a hand cream hater and I have come to the conclusion its impossible to find a "non greasy" one but I like the L'Occitane ones and I don't find myself rubbing my hands on my leggings afterwards!

 Another great hand cream is the Balance Me Rose Otto Hand Cream which contains ingredients that are 98.8% natural origin. I also like how they make it clear on their packaging what their products don't contain, makes life a lot easier. If you haven't seen Balance Me products before you can find them in larger Waitrose stores (I do love Waitrose).

Burts Bee's are one of the more famous natural brands but this is the only product I have actually tried by them. I love the smell of their Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, I like to warm a bit up in my hands first then massage onto my nails and cuticles to nourish them.

 And finally to prove that natural products are increasing in popularity I have managed to find a nail polish. Kure Bazaar's nail polishes contain up to 85% natural ingredients (wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn). Their colour range is impressive, I have the colour Or Rose which is a beautiful Rose Gold colour. Kure Bazaar is available online and in Selfridges.

So there is my round up of some of my favourite natural beauty products. I definitely want to incorporate more natural products into my beauty routine so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

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