Friday, August 11, 2017

Natural Beauty, Skincare and Haircare Haul

I have VERY sensitive, combination skin, so after years of having allergic reactions and breakouts I switched to using only natural, plant based skincare products, and that seems to work for me. I also like that the products have less of an impact on the earth. For years I swore by the Waitrose Pure range, which is made from 97% natural ingredients, fragrance free, cruelty free, and also fairly reasonably priced. However, there isn't a Waitrose which stocks the full Pure range anywhere near me, their packaging is not entirely recyclable, and they insist on continuing to advertise in The Daily Mail, so when my stockpile of their products ran out at the beginning of the summer, I decided it was time to move on to new things.
Turns out, I didn't have to look too far. I popped into an Oxfam shop on one of my thrifting trips, and realised that they sell Faith In Nature products. So I picked up the Shampoo, Conditioner, and Shower Gel & Foam Bath, in the Coconut fragrance and the Lavender & Geranium fragrance.

Faith In Nature was one of the first natural skincare brands I tried, back in my teens when I started getting into being more eco friendly. They are really good quality products, they smell amazing, and they are really effective. The Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner in particular make my hair lovely and silky, and the Shower Gel & Foam Bath leaves me feeling squeaky clean. It really lathers so is also great to pour into a bath for lots of bubbles. Faith In Nature products are made from natural ingredients, some of which are organic, including essential oils and plant extracts. They are cruelty free, vegan, made in the UK (so for me, that means they haven't been transported so far and use less resources), and the bottles are recyclable. I am really happy to have rediscovered these products! I think I'll be using them for the foreseeable future. You can get Faith In Nature products from Oxfam, from a lot of health food shops, or you can order directly from the Faith In Nature website.

I also picked up some Dr. Bronner's Almond Pure Castile Liquid Soap, which is one of my all time favourite products. It can be used to wash your hair, body, clothes, and can even be use for cleaning and doing dishes. It comes in a range of scents including rose, tea tree, and lavender, but I always get the almond because it smells like marzipan and I love that. It's pretty gentle and I mostly use it in place of shower gel, but I can't use it on my face as my skin there is a bit too sensitive for soap. It's also great for washing makeup brushes, and weirdly is the only natural product I've found so far that will get dye stains off my skin. It's made from natural and organic ingredients, is free from synthetic preservatives, detergents and foaming agents, uses 70% Fair Trade ingredients, is cruelty free and vegan. So it's kind of a natural super product. I did a fuller review of the Rose Liquid Soap here.

I needed a new mascara which didn't clump and flake everywhere, so it seemed to make sense that if I was stocking up on natural products I should look for a natural mascara. I ended up getting this one from Benecos, the Maximum Volume Mascara in Deep Black. It darkens and defines my eyelashes without looking fake and clumpy, which is exactly what I wanted. The only downside is that it smudges very easily, so if I rub my eyes at all I end up with panda eyes. It's really easy to remove though and I'm generally happy with it. Benecos is also cruelty free and they have a lot of vegan products.

After trying the mascara I decided to order some more Benecos products from Holland and Barrett. I got the Natural Liquid Eyeliner in Black, which I've only used once but from that try it seems pretty great. It goes on smoothly, has a small brush so application isn't too difficult, and it lasted quite well.

I also picked up a Benecos Natural Lipliner in Pink. I've been wanting a lipliner to go under my dark piquid lipsticks (which I haven't managed to find a natural alternative to yet, does anyone have any recommendations?) so that they look a bit neater and don't bleed so much. I couldn't find a natural lipliner in any of the colours of my liquid lipsticks,  so I went for pink. My lips are quite pink anyway, so this is actually a pretty good match to my own lip colour. 

While I was ordering from Holland and Barrett I thought I might as well grab a couple of essentials. so I got some Yes To Carrot Gentle Cleansing Wipes. These were great for removing stubborn eye makeup, but unfortunately if I used them anywhere on my face apart from my eyes I had a reaction. I guess my sensitive skin just doesn't get on with them.

A more successful purchase was this Purity Facial Wash. It's a lightly foaming face wash made from plant based ingredients and sugars, and it seems to really agree with my skin. It's gentle but still gives a clean feeling, and I feel like my skin has really improved since I started using this. I am getting a lot less redness after I shower, and my skin has generally been pretty clear.

I previously posted about going to the Amphora Aromatics/AA Skincare event, and this is one of the products they kindly gifted me, the Botanical Boost Frankincense, Rose & Argan Oil Shampoo Bar. I've only just started using this but it smells absolutely divine, lathers really well and makes my hair feel clean but not dried out.

I was also gifted the Frankincense & Rose Moisturising Face Lotion, which I've been using for a couple of weeks now. This smells amazing too, and is really moisturising without leaving an oily residue. Again, this seems to be reducing a lot of the redness I get, possibly as it contains rosehip oil which is great for skin.

Another product I was gifted was this Ooharr Dead Sea Cooler Deep Cleansing Face Mask, which I haven't tried yet but am really looking forward to testing out! It has lots of good ingredients like Witch Hazel, Tea Tree and Sweet Almond Oil, and is paraben free.

I was so impressed with the AA Skincare products at the event that I went back and bought myself one of the natural deodorants I'd been eyeing. It's the Bergamot & Aloe Deodorant, which is suitable for sensitive skin. I love the smell, it's very gender neutral. I really dislike how most deodorants are either super girly and floral smelling or smell like aftershave and gyms, and I have been looking for something a bit more woodsy and neutral for ages, so this is a godsend in that regard. It's really gentle and doesn't give that stingy feeling some deodorants have. It's also in a glass bottle!!! so the packaging is recyclable and potentially reusable. The only downside is that I have to reapply it quite often for it to be effective.

I'm really enjoying trying new natural products and I'm hoping to test out some more in the coming months as I replace more of my makeup and skincare. Which product from this post would you most like to try?


  1. This was really useful for me as I struggle with reactions to products myself, and have/get terrible dry skin that results in lots of itching if I use the wrong thing so going down the organic/plant based haul sounds like something worth trying. I'd heard of Faith In Nature before but hadn't used anything by them, so glad to hear they're worth trying out! Thanks for the advice here Polly! - Tasha