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
www.juicebeauty.com

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 www.naturisimo.com website, but I usually prefer to order from www.skinstore.com 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  
http://uk.lizearle.com/


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 www.qvckuk.com

Dr Hauschka
https://www.dr.hauschka.com/en_GB/

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 https://www.belladonna-naturkosmetik.de/en/

PurePotions
http://www.purepotions.co.uk/

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 http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/ when they have promotions on, while www.qvcuk.com offers deals for their supersize products.

John Masters Organics
http://johnmasters.co.uk/

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
http://www.nealsyardremedies.com/


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)
www.sbcgels.co.uk


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 www.qvcuk.com or https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?merchant=A1DBPPVR1DDUEK&fallThrough=1





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