Thursday, 13 September 2007

Wash and go in record time with Pure Nuff Stuff’s Hair and Body Bar

purenuffstuff.jpgFor many of us in the twenty-first century time is of the essence and we never seem to have enough of it. Yeah, it would be great to blend some essential oils and make our own shampoo and body washes, but in reality we sometimes prefer to let someone else do the work. Buying natural beauty products need not cost a small fortune if you are prepared for multi-functional items. Pure Nuff Stuff’s Hair and Body Bar is a quick and convenient way to wash and go without leaving unwanted chemical residues behind and it’s a snip at just £2.95.

Why waste all your hard earned money on soap, shampoo and unnecessary packaging, when you can just buy a catch all solution. Pure Nuff Stuff sell hand-made natural skincare products without SLS, parabens, urea, synthetic fragrances, DEAs, MEAs, TEAs and the thousands of other chemicals that are ever more frequently prompting health concerns. They offer a handy bespoke service, altering the essential oil mixtures if you prefer something different, which is great for allergy sufferers.

Refreshingly, Pure Nuff Stuff also avoid making ludicrous claims about the appearance enhancing properties of their products, none of their items are tested on animals, they are tested on family and friends and they all originate from natural sources. They are not certified organic but claim that many of the ingredients they use have never been farmed inorganically because the growers and producers cannot afford the chemicals and pesticides in the first place.

I am impressed by Pure Nuff Stuff’s honesty, range of products and prices and will certainly be going back for more.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Hold your hair in place the natural way with Suncoat

suncoat.jpgFor those who have switched to natural beauty and hair care products and for those sitting on the fence, I bet you never thought you’d be able to find natural hair spray. I had resigned myself to using a slick of moisturiser to keep my locks in place, that is, until I discovered Suncoat Hair Styling Spray. Regular hairsprays are fundamentally liquid plastic and overexposure to the stuff has been linked with a respiratory illness known as ‘hairdresser’s lung.’ Other health concerns related to hairspray include contact dermatitis, breathing problems and nail abnormalities. The synthetic resins used in hair spray, such as PVP (polyvinyl pyrrolidone polymer) and acrylate polymer are not very eco-friendly.

Suncoat’s hair spray is sugar based and derived from natural renewable sources, as well as being alcohol-free, to avoid dry hair. A quick look at the ingredients will reassure you of the innocuous nature of this styling product and a quick spray on your hair will have you converted. This hair spray provides plenty of hold without compromising your health or the environment. It certainly gets my vote and while you are perusing Suncoat’s website be sure to check out the other fantastic items, such as the sugar based mascara and liquid eyeliner. These are the most natural make-up items I have seen to date!

Porcelain Skin offer natural skincare solutions

porcelain%20skin.jpgFor beautifully packaged, richly textured and luxurious, (mostly) natural skincare products, Porcelain Skinis the brand to buy. The founder Alis McKay established Porcelain Skin to reduce the volume of chemicals she was routinely applying to her skin and utilises organic ingredients as much as possible in her skincare range. You won’t find a wealth of dubious ingredients such as mineral oils, SLS and SLES, DEAs and TEAs lurking within Porcelain Skin products. The main ingredients consist of cold-pressed oils, dried herbs and floral waters.

Some substances that have been identified as possible toxins are included in the range of products, such as: glycerin, lactic acid, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol and benzyl alcohol, but Porcelain Skin items are highly preferable to the chemical cocktail imbued goods produced by the global manufacturers of the most well-known personal care items. Plus, some of these ingredients act as anti-microbial preservatives to avoid contamination.

Porcelain Skin products are perfect as a gift for that special person, or simply to pamper yourself, coming neatly wrapped in muslin and grosgrain ribbon, which you can re-use in numerous nifty ways!

For silky smooth skin the
Cleansing Milkis a good option and to soothe and moisturise your skin before bedtime try the Passionflower Seed Night Cream. If your skin is incredibly dry opt for the Nourishing Facial Oil packed full of super natural ingredients such as almond oil, sea buckthorn oil and borage oil and for drawing out impurities you can’t beat the Nourishing Clay Masque.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Raw Gaia gift sets

My favourite organic skin care brand Raw Gaia are launching three luxurious gift sets, available for purchase from September 10th. I know it seems early to be thinking about Christmas, but it will be upon us before we know it and Raw Gaia's gift sets would make fab pressies for your loved ones. Raw Gaia use only organic, vegan, fairtrade where possible, hand-made and unheated beauty products, which maintains the nutritional integrity and is great news for your skin. All of Raw Gaia's beauty products have a wondeful smell and consistency, as well as gliding effortlessly onto your skin and making it feel nourished and nurtured.

The three sets being launched are the Pamper Box for £48 - containing some of Raw Gaia's best selling products: For Her Daughters Living Moisturiser, Floral Face Toner, Living Facial Cleanser, Wild Crafted and Fairly Traded Shea Butter, Sun-dried Green Clay Face Pack and Sweet Orange Living Lip Balm, the Lovely Box for £29 - a starter pack which includes the For Her Daughters Living Moisturiser, Floral Face Toner, Detox Living Massage Bar and Sweet Orange Living Lip Balm and the Baby Box for £27 - allowing parents to provide their babies with pure, natural skin care, rather than chemical filled products. This set consists of: For Her Babies Living Cream, Massage Oil For Her Babies and Floral Water Spray For Her Babies.

I will definitely be buying my mum the Lovely Box this Christmas and I might even buy it for myself as a treat!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Get the crème de la crème of organic beauty buys at Kickfresh

kickfresh.jpgFor a selection of natural and organic beauty products, available online, take a look at Kickfresh offer a range of products for the skin, hair and body by well-known beauty brands such as: Aubrey Organics, Beauty Bible fave - Spiezia, Suki, Mother Earth and Weleda.

Kickfresh was established by Kerry Ojari. During her pregnancy Kerry became concerned about the nature of the products she was using on her skin and how these might affect her unborn baby. As a result, she refrained from buying most of her usual beauty products, which led to another problem, how to avoid smelling a bit whiffy. Kelly says,

“I quickly realised there aren't many places to shop where you could get a wide choice of really good quality skin care products, so there and then I decided to start my own business selling natural and organic skin care for all the family. Every product is tested out on my willing human guinea pigs to make sure they really are as good as they promise and if they don’t pass the grade they don’t get on the website. Every product on the website features a review by its guinea pigs.”

All the products available on Kickfresh are cruelty-free, natural or organic and many of them are Soil Association certified. Kelly is now passionate about using natural products,

“I have always been environmentally aware but becoming a mum is the most powerful incentive for ensuring that not only would you do your utmost to ensure the planet has a future but also to protect yourself and your loved ones. I am extremely dedicated to issues now that I would never have crossed my mind before. I think it's never too late for anyone to start getting interested in what they eat, what they put on their skin and the environment.”

There are some fabulous products available at Kickfresh and you can rest assured that you are purchasing skin care solutions that are both natural and excellent quality, without having to scour the internet for hours!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Brand of the week: Organic Botanics

Considering that 60% of what we apply to our skin is absorbed into our bodies and most conventional beauty products contain a cornucopia of synthetic chemicals that have been linked with a variety of illnesses, including cancer, it seems crazy not to buy organic beauty products. Almost 100% of all plant products used in cosmetics are grown with artificial chemical fertilisers and sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, leaving residues of these substances in non-organic ingredients and therefore products. If you think about it logically, a pestcide is designed to repel or destroy particular pests, whether insects, fungi or bacteria and so it follows on that these chemicals can cause adverse reactions in our skin cells. Such chemicals may not affect our body as a whole instantaneously, but over a period of time they have the ability to damage our infinitely smaller cells. More people than ever are suffering from sensitive skin and allergies, so those brands who stick their neck out and create genuinely natural products are a breath of fresh air in a world of mass-produced, chemical infused 'beauty' products.

My brand of the week, Organic Botanics, is an ethical, family run company, which was established by herbalist and vegetarian Celsi Richfield and her family, over eight years ago. Celsi has been producing natural skincare for over 20 years and eventually she came up with Organic Botanics, a range of unique vegan and cruelty free products with certified organic ingredients and thankfully without chemical nasties, such as: parabens, artificial colour, synthetic perfume, chemical UV filters and petro-chemicals.

Organic Botanic's range of skin-care products consist of organically grown cool-pressed plant oils, herbal extracts, floral waters, aloe-vera, pure essential oils and other lush, natural ingredients. Having sampled a few of their products I am now officially a huge fan and their Moisturising Nutritive creams (rich in natural vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants with a natural UV filter) and Satin Body Lotion (rich in vitamin E and sunflower, almond and apricot kernel oil) will be taking pride of place on my bathroom shelf, alongside my other organic beauty brand favourite, Raw Gaia. If you haven't tried Organic Botanics yet, I suggest you do so right away!

Friday, 13 July 2007

Lula Lewis: Queen of the organic apothecary

Sourcing organic beauty products used to be a time consuming chore, but now it's becoming an absolute joy, thanks to brands like Love Lula, founded by Naturopath Claire 'Lula' Lewis, springing up and providing a plethora of choices in terms of natural skincare. Love Lula is a contemporary and subliminally stylish, online apothecary with Soil Association approval, which means you can be sure that the beauty products truly are natural and organic. None of the beauty products provided by the brand contain potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates and sodium lauryl and laureth sulphates. Forget about lack of options, Love Lula sells over 350 beauty products from leading natural brands such as: Lavera, Weleda, Trilogy, Spiezia and Badger, so you are spoilt for choice!

Lula is an eco entrepreneur, natural beauty expert, healer, naturopath and natural lifestyle advocate, who believes in using the power of nature to correct physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances within our bodies, of which our skin is a reflection. Here she reveals her organic beauty secrets to Dawn Mellowship.

Why should we all be using organic beauty products?

"There are so many reasons why I love organic beauty products – the organic and natural ingredients in organic beauty products offer all the active nutrients healthy skin needs and in the most absorbable and most alive, therefore most effective, form. The use of chemicals in beauty products became popular because they offered large cosmetic companies a cheap way of producing beauty products that they could sell in the mass market. Today innovation in natural skincare means that organic products can be created without needing to resort to chemicals that come with a big question mark over their impact on our health. For me health and beauty are all tied up together….how can something be called a ‘beauty’ product if what it contains are ingredients such as formaldehyde or phthalates that can damage your health?"

When and why did you first becoming interested in natural skincare products?

"As a teenager I fell hook line and sinker for the marketing promises of the big brands and spent my pocket money finding out that they didn’t work. It was clear to me even then that chemicals couldn’t nurture the skin to be glowing and naturally healthy. I was always intuitively drawn to more natural products, although in those days they were virtually impossible to buy, so I’d make my own products.

My passion for natural skin care was fully sparked on a wonderful year spent travelling the globe. Spending time in vast wildernesses untouched by man triggered a realisation in me of the sheer power and beauty of nature. For me natural skincare that is formulated with carefully grown and sourced ingredients offers a touch point to this magical power in our everyday lives."

What are your top three organic beauty products?

"Top 3? That’s hard! The products that get the most compliments from customers are Kimberly Sayer’s Ultra Light Day Cream with SPF 25, Lavere’s Lifting Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Naturetis’ Lily Oil Hand Balm."

What is your morning and evening beauty regime?

"Morning – Suki’s Lemongrass Exfoliating Cleanser (love love love this cleanser), Pangea Organics Argentinean Tangerine & Thyme Toner, Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Day Cream with spf 25, Kimberly Sayer Eyelift Gel & Balm Balm Rose Lip Balm. I’m prone to the odd out break so I use Harley Street Cosmetics Tea Tree Gel before applying day cream if I feel I need to treat my skin.

Evening – Pangea Organics Calendula Cleanser followed by Kimberly Sayer Restore Anti Aging Cream. I also apply a clay based mask a couple of times a week to keep my skin clear; I use Pangea Organic’s Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry Facial Mask."

What should consumers look out for when trying to source organic and natural beauty products?

"I got a reminder last week how hard it is for consumers when I was sent some product samples from a company that markets itself as offering clean and natural skincare free from all the commonly listed ingredients such as sls or parabens. When I read the ingredients on the bottles though they were mostly petrochemicals; the main ingredient in the baby oil was liquid paraffin with no natural or organic ingredients in sight.

The only way to tell if a product is natural or not is to read the ingredient label (and don’t get fobbed off with a list of the active ingredients only). At Love Lula we always list the complete ingredients of the products we sell on our website because we believe this is the only way you can actually know exactly what you’re buying. Campaign groups such as WEN offer lots of great advice on ingredients to look out for and avoid.

Some products are also certified by various organic and natural bodies which helps to give weight to the validity of marketing claims. Reputable certifiers include the BDIH, the Soil Association and Ecocert. However be warned – there are brands that make up their own ‘certification standards’ so they look like they’ve been given 3rd party approval (cheeky!)."

In your opinion, what is the key to having healthy skin?

"Love yourself. Be kind to yourself…and then you can intuitively give your skin (and the rest of your body and soul) exactly what it needs."

Are there any good organic beauty books that you can recommend?

"Pure Skin by Barbara Close is a great book for helping to understand how organic and natural skincare works with your skin and what ingredients and regimes are ideal for different skin types. Natural Organic Hair and Skin Care: Including A to Z Guide to Natural and Synthetic Chemicals in Cosmetics by Aubrey Hampton is a passionately written book on natural ingredients and how chemicals interfere with the effectiveness of natural skincare products. The Ultimate Natural Beauty Book by Jo Fairley is a great introduction to making your own products and Authentic Woman by Leslie and Susannah Kenton embodies, for me, the spirit of what organic and natural beauty is about and applies it to the wider context of how women can access and live from their own unique beauty.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My dogs come and tell me when they think it’s time for me to get up.