Monday, 9 January 2017

Aging Gracefully

Isaiah 46:4  Even to your old age I am he, and to grey hairs I will carry you.  I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

Aging gracefully means to age with the grace of God with you.  Aging is nothing to be afraid of, growth and maturity is part of being the person God created us to be.

In terms of helping our skin as the condition changes as we age, here are a few suggestions to get things going.  Remember that serums are more potent in terms of anti aging skincare, so from about mid 30s, start first with anti aging moisturisers , and probably use masks for an extra boost, before you progress to the use of serums.  Otherwise your skin will just adapt to what you are using, losing its effectiveness and you'll run out of product options before you hit menopause.

As mentioned in my earlier post, Liz Earle is my go to natural skincare brand for their anti aging collection.  I have started using the Superskin moisturiser which is hydrating but not overly rich, leaving the skin soft and smooth.

I use the neroli option which has a slight fragrance and is slightly richer than the original.  It is great for dry skin, while the original is more suitable for normal/combinaton skin, or if your skin is extra sensitive.

The moisturiser by itself RRP at £39.  I have generally found it more cost effective to buy it as part of sets and deals on or if you use some of their other products.  

My absolute favourite natural skincare range has to be Juice Beauty, but as mentioned before, it is a US brand that is not distributed in the UK apart from Also, with the low sterling, the range has become much more expensive than it was.  However, if you can be bothered to order it from overseas at it has an expansive anti aging range, and is a pleasure to use.

I have started on the Green Apple range, which is more preventative in terms of brightening dull and uneven complexions, smoothing fine lines and providing greater levels of hydration compared to their standard ranges.  The Green Apple Age Defy Moisturiser has a wonderfully smooth texture, their botanical juice base gives a light fruity scent, and when applied, it has a richness without being greasy.  Your skin will feel wonderfully smooth and hydrated. 

If you have started getting more visible and inset lines and wrinkles, then it's worth stepping up to their Stem Cellular range.

While highlighting products that I love and recommend, I would also like to provide some feedback on other product ranges which I have chosen not to use, but could still be beneficial for some.

Neal's Yard Remedies anti aging range is their Frankincense Collection.  I have pretty much used all the products within the range, including the moisturises, serum, eye cream and mask.  However, I have not have much positive to say.

First of all, you have to be able to tolerate the scent, which is very pungent, and is definitely not suited for everyone.  Secondly, the range as a whole is extremely rich, even for my skin which is very dry, I feel a greasy layer on my skin throughout the day, and have ended up clogging the pores and causing some breakouts.  There are some advocates for this brand because of their high natural ingredients, but I would say avoid this collection unless you have very dry and mature skin.

Their mask is absolutely pointless, it is a gel mask which does absolutely nothing in terms of hydration, and I have not observed any improvement in the firmness of skin or reduction in fine lines after use.

The serum is okay if you can tolerate the scent, but considering the price point for this range compared to other natural skincare brands on the market, it scores rather poorly on my preferred list.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Blessed & Beautiful

1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Welcome to my new beauty blog, inspired by an appreciation of the beauty that comes from within, but sometimes with a little help from the natural resources God have blessed us with.  Natural beauty is the outshining of your spirit, but beauty can also come from nature.

I have been a keen enthusiast for natural beauty brands for over a decade and have seen how the industry has continually evolved over the years.  As appreciation of the harmful chemicals used in the mainstream beauty industry increases, the range of beauty products using natural ingredients have expanded.

I am not a clinician, therapist nor qualified in any way to provide any type of advice on the use or composition of the products I am going to write about, it is purely from my own personal use and experience.  With the start of the new year, rather than going into any depth the stream of brands and products I am particularly fond of or recommend, I will focus on highlighting any products that will come in handy over the coming weeks or months as the season changes, and as the needs of our skin change.

I am not a big make up wearer, my priority has always been in ensuring my skin looks healthy as we face the daily pollution and stress from every day life.  My skin is ultra dry, I do occasionally get eczema and psoriasis, while my face has some redness though probably not quite rosacea.  Therefore the products I use and recommend tends to be suitable for those who may similarly have dry skin, or just need a little more nourishment as the season changes.

Firstly, let me introduce some of my favourite natural skincare brands that I have explored and tried over the years. I must admit that over the years, I have faced up to the reality that some compromises had to be made, in avoiding harmful chemicals in your beauty routine, the results of some products are not always what they claim to be, and the texture and stability of the products would not match up to their mainstream counterparts.  However, I still think it's a price worth paying, and the effectiveness and formulas of the products have greatly improved over the years, I will highlight some of my findings for some of the brands I have been using regularly.

Juice Beauty

An American brand which has a fantastic range of natural beauty products, their unique botanical juice base forms the basis of the majority of their range.  Their range is expansive, covering the majority of needs for dry skin, anti aging as well as combination/oily.  Their products are a very high standard in terms of texture, fragrance and stability, and I have been very happy with the results of the products I have used to give a clear smooth complexion.

The only drawback is that they are not readily available in the UK.  You can now order them on the website, but I usually prefer to order from which has regular promotions and would work out cheaper even with postage and custom charges.  Though with the sterling at rock bottom, prices which once seem very reasonable for a premium range now is definitely in the higher price range.  Let's hope the sterling will recover in the not too far future.

Liz Earle

A prestige UK brand, a fairly recent favourite, particularly of their Superskin range, which has expanded to an elaborate range of products in the past year.  The ingredients used in their superskin range are of better quality, and seemingly more natural than their standard range.  For natural skincare brands, their anti aging ranges tends to be more lacking.  Therefore the Liz Earle Superskin range is the go to for effective anti aging skincare.  Their shampoo is also the best I have found (again shampoo is the primary product that fails miserably for the other brands, as the composition of the product is so hard to get right for the hard water in the UK).  The Superskin range can be a bit pricey, but look out for good deals on

Dr Hauschka

A German brand which is an old favourite of mine.  The key reason I have phased off is due to their lack of anti aging products, as I head into my mid 30s, their standard range is no longer effective on my ultra dry skin, although I continue to be a big fan of their face masks which are great, nourishing yet lightweight and their shower creams are also ultra nourishing for those with dry or sensitive skin.  They are a pricey range in the UK, but good deals can be found on


A fairly niche range designed for people who have dry skin and are suitable for those prone to eczema, psoriasis and dry/itchy skin.  They are a UK brand and the quality of their products are exceptional, the skin feels silky soft on application, the cream though extremely moisturising is surprisingly lightweight.  I use their balm for my psoriasis which is extremely soothing, and their daily moisturising cream and hand cream for general bodycare.  Their range is quite limited, but definitely worth exploring if you have problematic dry skin.  The best place for promotions are when they have promotions on, while offers deals for their supersize products.

John Masters Organics

An American brand renowned for their haircare products.  Unfortunately their haircare are not effective in hard water areas, and the hair becomes sticky and greasy, with the products not washing out properly.  However, they have good treatment products, and their skincare range is worth a try.  I love their Calendula Hydrating and Toning Mask, it's extremely rich and nourishing, which is great for the dry winter months.

Neal's Yard Remedies

I have very mixed feelings about this brand.  I love to support British brands, and there are some products in the range which are okay, but I have also experienced some significant drawbacks.  For example, stability of formulations is a significant issue, I have brought several products which have gone off before the expiry date on the jar.  The texture of their products are generally not great, they tend to be quite greasy and the high oil content tends to stay on the skin even for my dry skin, so is not particularly comfortable and definitely not recommended for combination/oily skin.  Their facial oils are brilliant, as are some of their body moisturisers and hand creams, I have tended to steer away from their face products and cleansing products.

SBC (Simply Beautiful Collection)

Big caveat is that I don't see this as a natural skincare brand.  I have just started to try it out for their therapeutic benefits, their formulations are very straight forward, the majority of their product range are gel based, with herbal extracts added.  Therefore, you can pick and choose for specific issues you are experiencing at any time, and the gels are easy to apply and absorb really quickly.  This is definitely one to try for oily/combination skin as their formulations are non greasy.  The ease of use and choice of products is a big plus for those who like to prepare their own blends and mixes, most of the gels can be combined and used together.  They are also an extremely cost effective brand, particularly if you buy from or