by: Sonya Vajifdar //
I started this review with nothing in mind but experimenting with new skin care and makeup. Due to my strong advocacy in sustainable fashion and using organic materials to manufacture my fashion line, I just wanted to see what the fuss was about when it came to organic skin care. I am now a month into organic products and have reached the point of never going back. As a lay user there were many changes I found, especially after the first two weeks. Detox – and a heavy one – was what my body went though! I had not really researched much on the products being used so I was learning about them while using them and actually experiencing the effects for myself. I dabbled with a few organic and natural products for my face, hair and body. The term ‘organic’ refers to how an ingredient was farmed – it must be prepared and grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, growth hormones or antibiotics. A ‘natural’ ingredient is considered to be anything that’s a plant, mineral or animal by-product.
I would compare it to food detox maybe, when you start eating healthily and your body goes through that uneasy low, drowsy feeling and then suddenly there is a boost of energy. For my skin, there was an initial breakout. Honestly, my skin has been extremely acne prone and has not been a good friend of mine, especially before important occasions! After the breakout settled, it was glowing central! The marks seem to be dying down as well. My hair, which has always been oily, has become fresher, less oily and just looks really healthy. There were a few interesting products and a few that just totally stood out for me.
I am going to start with an organic online store, based in Dubai, called Balmessence. They explained in detail the products I was trying and the back stories on how the products were created. One brand I worked with from this store was Esse Probiotic Skincare. The cocoa exfoliator smells like chocolate and has this really moist feel for an exfoliator. The sensitive trial pack, which includes a face cleanser and two hydrating and nourishing face creams, is a great introduction to organic products! Both of these products seemed extremely soothing, calm and mild on the skin.
Then there was Tabitha, a brand from the UK. I just loved the owner’s story. When she was pregnant she was asked to use products with no chemicals. Being a hairdresser by profession, she questioned why she should stay away from chemicals only while pregnant. As a result, she created her own organic hair care line, starting with professional retailing only and then to salons and spas. She swears by two scents, amber rose and older citrus. The products I tried ranged from a hair cleanser, a four-in-one conditioner, and the very interesting Hair Oil that had an amethyst stone inside which helps blend up the oils!
And now for my favourite from Balmessence – Living Nature’s Bee Venom Sheet Mask. I had to know more about this before I tried it! This 100% organic cotton sheet is infused with bee venom. Not being vegan, it is still completely ethical as no bees have been harmed nor have their stingers come off, as they secrete the venom on a glass which is scraped off, after which it goes through a cleansing process and, on being worn, gives the face a warm, soft tingling feel that stimulates collagen to plump your face. It’s recommended for brides the day before they marry, to get that fresh dewy look. When asked if there were going to be any more bee venom products added, the response from Living Nature was negative as they did not want to overwork their bees! Balmessence has also offered our readers in Dubai a 15% discount which lasts until 11th August 2018, using the code CPM15 at the check-out on their website www.balmessence.com. I have already placed my order!
Shirly Conlon Organic Skincare sent me their Fountain of Youth Face Cream as well as their Rosehip Oil. I love products that are organic; you feel them immediately. That was the case with Fountain of Youth – as well as their amazing fragrance! The Rosehip Oil (termed as the ‘miracle oil’), Carrot and Sea Buckthorn help repair sun damage and a Peruvian herb relaxes facial muscles giving an organic Botox effect. Fountain of Youth is the ultimate day/night face cream especially formulated with potent skin-loving botanical extracts to suit every skin type. Their other products look pretty interesting as well! Check them out at http://shirleyconlonorganics.com
Prtty Peaushun is a skin tightening cream for the face and body created by celebrity makeup artist Bethany Karlyn. I actually recommended this product to my family as well as I felt an instant response from my skin! This product is vegan, gluten free, fragrance free, paraben free and toxin free. We will also be running a contest with them shortly! Prtty Peaushun is available all over the world at stores and spas! All outlets are listed on http://www.prttypeaushun.com
Another brand with focus on just one product is The Gentle Label who have chosen to have their products certified by the Soil Association, the UK’s leading body for organic certification, internationally-recognized for their very high standards. Try their ‘do-it-all’ balm. Derived from papaya, Pawpaw is a natural alternative to chemical exfoliants. It contains the enzyme papain which gently removes dead skin cells to allow new ones to surface, perfectly prepping skin for the anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties of Calendula, available online at the https://thegentlelabel.com
Based in the US, Innersense was the first product I started my detox with. I was confused with the hair detox at the beginning though, as I did not know that the shampoos would not foam! Nor that even a little bit would clean the whole head! But the after effects – wow! The chemicals in regular shampoos strip us of our natural oils thus causing the head to secrete more, leading to an oily scalp. Organic products do not strip any oils so the first result I saw was that my hair looked cleaner for a longer period of time. I tried the Hydrating Hair Bath (winner of 2017 Allure best beauty award for natural sections), the Hydrating Cream Conditioner, The Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner, the I Create Lift (my personal favourite) and the Hydrating Hair mask. I also loved the stay-in conditioner here and honestly started getting enquiries very soon about where these products were available, after I posted them online. I loved the directions on the back of the bottle, which tell you to take a deep breath and then use and to remember to appreciate your hair. I also love the story behind the name, all available on their website – https://innersensebeauty.com
B’Atude from Hungary sent me my new favourite foaming and censing face wash! Honestly, I am obsessed! Not only does it absorb into the skin absolutely immediately but I have been unable to switch ever since. Again, all B’Atudes’ packaging is reusable and the brand has run a contest with us with the winner to be announced on our publishing date! This brand literally means – to be happy in the knowledge that you are honoring and freeing your mind, body and conscience because you have chosen something that is organic, natural and ethical.
I was lucky to have tried their body cream, eye cream and night anti-aging cream and a creamy green tea facemask as well. Products are available on http://batude.com/batude-home
All the way to Sweden now with True Organic of Sweden, starting with ‘All You Need Is Me’, an intensive cream for extra ordinary care. I liked this one best as it had so many functions to it. I saw visible effects on my lips although it can be used on almost every part of the body! I also tested the ‘Undercover Agent’, a natural deodorant. It’s made from citric acid, natural mineral salt, bicarbonate, ho leaf bestial oil and spree essential oil! I like the suggestion of the ‘Say Hello To The Glow’ pamphlet sent along with the products which lets us recreate a spa treatment at home with their ‘Sea Me’ mask. The ‘Face It’ serum helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and helps to restore skin elasticity. These products range from 50 – 150 dollars and are all available at www.trueorganicofsweden.com
Distributer in UAE, Beautylicious, represents two other brands I tried – Eminence Organic Skincare and BCL. I can totally vouch for the Age Correcting Exfoliator. How great is it to have a natural age corrector and exfoliator all in one! That means you can use it as much as you want and trust me, this one is definitely a product you will use more than once. I hope the ban on the manufacture of cosmetics containing ‘microbeads’ (tiny pieces of plastic found in face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels) has come into force all over so people can buy more products like this! Actually all the products from Eminence have given me results quickly, which included the Neroli age corrective hydrating mist, the stone crop body lotion and the roseship and lemongrass repair balm. They use Stone Crop, which is good for hydrating for uneven skin tones; it helps to reduce the appearance of age spots and skin blotches. The other product tested from Beautylicious is BCL Critical Repair Cream. I am really having a go at this one as my feet are absolutely exhausted at the end of the day. This cream is supposed to instantly deliver intense moisture without the greasy feel. It relieves dry, itchy skin while nourishing and repairing the skin’s moisture barrier and healing and protecting against cracked skin, made specifically from Organic Arnica, Shea Butter and Argan Oil. Beautylicious specializes in brands that are globally inspired, innovative, unique, revolutionary, eclectic, contemporary, stylish and, most importantly, result-oriented. They can be found on www.instagram.com/beautylicious_co
Neal’s Yard sent me a whole bunch of products and I was delighted to know they opened their doors in 1981 in Neal’s Yard, a once forgotten corner of Covent Garden, in the heart of central London, England. Their passionate belief that beauty should be natural, not synthetic, has won them an enormous amount of awards and they build their relationships through supporting organic farming, sustainable wild harvesting and fair trade programs. I don’t need to say more! The products I tested were the Frankincense and Mandarin shower cream which had a beautiful aroma and feels very rich on the body. The same for the Rosemary and Elderflower shower gel – I don’t even need perfume afterwards as the aroma stays quite a while on the skin! However, on the topic of deodorant, this one has to be my pick from the lot so far! The peppermint fragrance is really one for the books! I found all the anti-aging products surprisingly rich and potent for natural products like the Anti-aging Frankincense intense cream, Frankincense intense serum and Frankincense intense eye cream, Rosehip seed oil, and antibacterial wash. What I really liked is they also give the consumer trial-time periods and say how long it will take to actually start showing on the skin. I found a Neal’s Yard store in the mall just opposite my house – DANGER! Although the prices may be slightly steep the products have given me visible effects! Products range from 12 pounds onwards and are available at http://www.nealsyardremedies.com as well as outlets all over the world.
MOA (Magic Organic Apothecary) have the most unique and trendy packaging I’ve seen so far and are recyclable of course. Their products are grown on an organic farm in Summerset have really been worth the wait! Their original product, the green balm, is an organic multipurpose balm and although it is their best seller my attention had to be torn away from the ‘daily calming ritual’. It comes with a bamboo face cloth and a pot of the balm, which is also used to take off makeup and clean the face! Finally – a strong enough natural makeup remover! Going onto the face oil, which is rich in damask rose essential oil, which helps with blemishes, and the organic yarrow essential oil helps to even the skin tone. I think it is very important for every organic product not only to help your skin to detox but to help you as well! MOA has an amazing fortifying bath lotion which de-stresses and relives pain and the best part is, it actually does exactly that! I tried it after the gym and my bottle may be empty very soon! These products are all available on www.moa.co.uk and start from as little as 4 pounds a product! There really is no reason not to try!
Something for the men? Here it is! Pavanito is a line of skincare and hair products originated from Dubai. The products are individually manufactured by hand and I was able to speak to Pavanito himself after he sent over the products. All products are made in very small batches, as the lines are very luxurious and expensive. I am so happy someone is catering specifically to men as well! He personally sent over a peppermint smelling facewash, hair and face oil – I think I just got my husband to switch to organic products as well! Find the products and more information on the brand here – https://pavanito.ecwid.com
Over to Denver, Colorado with KHUS + KHUS. This brand uses essential oils as their base product and contains botanical antioxidant rich formulas. They sent me the face wax, face serum, body wax and body serum to try. Massaging the body with flower essence calms the outer mind and sensory levels connecting us to a deeper level of healing. I particularly liked the face serum as even though it was made with oils, it did not leave the face even slightly sticky or oily and gave a glow matt after effect. The products range from 40-85 dollars and are all available on https://khus-khus.com
Saving the best for last, in my opinion, I travelled to California this month and Osea sent me a couple of their products to try. I am a huge fan of the seaside so when all the products felt like I was taking a dive underwater but left me feeling tingly fresh and super refreshed, I was totally excited about it. Osea is actually from Malibu and incorporates algae in all its products. I tried the Osea cleansing mud, the ocean cleanser, eyes and lips, and my favourite, the sea mineral mist. They have a huge list of celebrity clients as well who, without a doubt, will be recommending these products! Prices range from 44 dollars upwards and are available on www.oseamalibu.com