I know this is slightly off-topic to the kind of stuff I normally blog about (I never in a million years visualised myself writing a beauty-related post!), but I wanted to write about my recent foray into the world of natural skincare as it’s something I’ve recently become weirdly evangelical about. I’m not joking, it’s kind of changed my life.
OK, that may be a bit extreme – but honestly my skin has never felt or looked this good EVER. And I don’t think it’s because my “hormones are finally settling down” since I’ve been on the same pill for the past 10 years. But anyway, let’s save that debate for another time.
As a long-time eczema sufferer who got her first break-out at the age of nine (causing one boy to call me “Spotted Dick” which was highly traumatic as you can imagine), I have always had a flaky – pun intended – relationship with my skin.
Dry, patchy, red, itchy, sore, greasy, spotty – I’ve had it all in well-worn cycles. Until now.
Now, I must stress that products alone do not a miracle make. I must have spent half my Pizza Hut wages in Boots as a teenager, desperately searching for something that would evaporate my pores – but alas nothing worked.
When I realised how much rubbish I was putting into my body on a daily basis, it all started to make sense. I spent my formative adolescent years working over a greasy pizza oven, a deep fat fryer and a takeaway counter. And my skin is still exposed to lots of city-based pollution, so it’s not like I’m now in some clean-aired haven. But since adopting a healthier diet including lots of great skin-foods e.g. nuts, berries, avocados, tomatoes and tons of water, I have definitely seen an improvement.
The biggest thing that helped my skin though was this simple truth which I now want to shout from the rooftops to all you make-up wipe users – DON’T USE MAKE-UP WIPES!
Seriously, they strip all the natural oils from your face – no wonder my face was always slightly sore after using them. Not cool.
Natural products are undoubtedly a great investment if you can find something that works for your skin type. I’ve discovered some amazing brands recently, and though you might be hesitant to spend £50 on a face cream the good news is there are affordable yet good quality options available.
Here are some of my favourites:
I love Tropic, and this cleanser comes with a soft bamboo cloth which makes your skin radiate after it’s taken off all those pesky impurities. All of the ingredients are 100% natural, meaning it doesn’t matter if you rub it in your eyes – there will be no pain!
This is made with organic extracts and smells incredible, and again doesn’t leave your eyes feeling sore or dry.
Now I know what you might be thinking… water in a can?! Is she for real?! Trust me on this. My cousin introduced me to Avene products as they’re a brand known for helping sensitive skin. I can vouch as I’ve used their sister products Aveeno for many years to help with eczema. This spritz comes fresh from their thermal spring in the South of France and is a soothing anti-irritant for the sticky London heat. Lifesaver.
This again was recommended to me by a trusted friend, and I have to say if you’re feeling tired or dull in the mornings (or hungover… who me?!) then THIS is the best scrub to wash it all away and brighten up your cells. This mix of Panax Ginseng and finely ground coffee beans smells divine but also super refreshing. The whole Origins range is available through Boots and is sourced from pure plant extracts.
I’m slightly biased on this as I work with the woman behind this fantastic brand. But Chuckling Goat are doing something totally different and are still to my knowledge the only company making skin products from organic goats’ milk kefir. The break-out lotion includes essential oils like tea tree so is great for spots and blemishes. Shann recommends taking their 21-day course of kefir to clean your insides as well as using the skin products if you suffer from more severe skin disorders such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis.
This is good for any dry bits to apply during the day. Or if I’m in the mood for a quick scent boost I just rub a bit on my temples and inhale the gorgeous scent of roses. Hey, who says I can’t smell like roses? I definitely want to try more of the NYR essential oils – I think smelling something divine instantly lifts my mood when I need a boost. N.B. The product in the photo was a limited edition mini-pot – not the £38 version!
And finally (drumroll…) the #1 product that has done more than anything to improve my skin, and it’s probably the thing that most of us already have lurking in the kitchen!
When I’ve read other blogs that effuse the benefits of coconut oil as a moisturiser, I would roll my eyes and think “Oh great. More PR for the coconut oil companies. What should we do next, bathe in it?”
But as far as my parched skin goes, after little over two months of applying it daily my skin has never felt as nourished or clean as it does right now.
I try not to use too much as I know for some people it heightens their natural greasiness. But with the myriad of health benefits spouted including sunburn relief, anti-bacterial properties, make-up removing, anti-ageing – and duh, moisturising – if you get one thing off this list, make it this. You can thank me later.
Last but not least, if you want a much more comprehensive guide to achieving glowing skin, you should deffo check out my friend Ailish Lucas over on the Glow Getter. Her ebook has some amazing DIY recipes for face creams and exfoliators using everyday items from your kitchen cupboard, plus she really knows her stuff when it comes to routines and make-up and all that jazz.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly self-indulgent post of mine. I would love to hear any of your tips and recommendations for natural and organic skincare if you have any! I know not all of the products I use are organic (hey a girl needs her Dove Summer Glow) but I’m no expert just yet… give me time 😉