Natural beauty and well-being

28 September 2011

Pai Bergamot orange organic lip balm


Product description: organic lip care
Certified: Soil Association (UK)
For: all lips, even the most sensitive
Presentation: light pot
Texture: balm (even yellow color)
Price: £7 for 50g

My opinion

Because the epidermis of the lips are at least 5 times thinner than the rest of the visage, lips really require a special care.

The bergamot orange organic balm from Pai Skincare is made up of a delicate mixture of organic soothing plant butters and oils. Infused with a gentle note of bergamot orange, the ingredient list is quite minimal but extremely high quality.

The smell of this lovely balm is absolutely divine, feminine and slightly uplifting. I have to say that I was nicely suprised as I always tend to be a bit cautious and reluctant when it comes to essential oils as the smell can be sometimes overpowering.

Ideal to use as a moisturising overnight treatment or anytime during the day as a lip rescue balm, this super and handy organic balm really leaves the lips repaired, soft, and hydrated....a real pamper treat !

The only downside is that I would have preferred the texture to be slighlty more consistant. However, in terms of results, I have tried many natural lip balms, and this is by far my favorite!

Fancy one? You can buy it at www.paiskincare.com

Because your lips are worth it :-)!

Overall Rating : 9/10


Product composition: Prunus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil*, Butyrospermum paarki (Shea) butter*, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) butter*, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Ricinus communis (Castor) oil*, Citrus bergamia (Bergamot orange) oil*, d-limonene, linalool.
The * means that all ingredients have been grown organically.
Ingredients have been carefully selected for their wonderful properties and includes:

Almond oil: often used as a carrier oil, this delicate and emollient oil is rich in oleic acid and in phytosterols, excellent to protect, soothe and leave skin soft. It is really suitable for fragile or irritated epidermis as it brings an instant confort.

Shea butter: listed as one of the best ingredient for the epidermis, it leaves skin repaired and supple and has very interesting anti-inflammatories properties. It is very rich in polyphenols, powerful anti-oxidants.

Cocoa butter: rich in polyphenols and squalene, this anti-oxidant-rich component makes your lips nourished and supple. It also stands as a good base for balm.

Beeswax: commonly used in balm as a texture agent, beeswax is very protective and acts as a nice barrier against dehydration.

Castor oil: containing a high percentage of fatty acids such as ricinoleic acid, this oil is a beauty delight for the epidermis. It leaves lips, healed, regenerated and soft.

Bergamot essential oil: brings the delicious fruity, fresh, zesty and mischievous smell to this lip balm but still remains subtle and discreet. Wonderful.
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22 September 2011

A healthy skin in simple steps

The skin is a very important organ of the body as it enables protection, breathing, and detoxification. It reflects our general health status and also our inner-self and psychological state. External agressions (wind, UV rays, pollution, harsh skincare products), hormonal unbalances or poor food diet (too fatty, low proteins, not enough vitamins and minerals) are the main causes of skin disconfort such as being too dry, too sensitive, too oily or too reactive.



Having a specific and consistant skincare routine is one of the key rules to get a healthy, glowing and radiant (face) skin. So what to do?


1-Determining your skin type

A normal skin is soothe, with an even texture and tolerate external factors quite well.
A dry skin has lost suppleness and show tight feelings and signs of disconfort due to a thin hydrolipidic film.
An oily skin has dilated pores, produces an excessive amount of sebum, and is often prone to outbreaks and blemishes.
A combination skin presents enlarged pores and is shiny on the T zone (forehead, nose, ) but dry cheeks and jawlines.

In addition, skin can become sensitive, dehydrated, dull or acneic.


2- Some examples of great skincare ranges

Your skin type determines for a great part which product you choose. There are specific products for each skin type. Many natural brands propose a range of products for all the different types of skins. Some of the best (and natural!) brands available in the UK are: Neal's Yard Remedies, Weleda, Suti, Ren Skincare, Dr Hauschka, Pai skincare, Evolve beauty, L'Occitane, Spieza Organics, and Liz Earle.
If french products are some of your favorites, here is a list of some of the natural brands that propose very good products available to buy directly on their website: Bio Beaute Nuxe, Caudalie, Les Douces Angevines, Doux Me, Melvita, Pulpe de vie, Kibio, Sno Bioflowers and So' Bio Etic.


3- Respecting the following facial care ritual
1. Cleansing- This is an essential first step. It removes impurities, dirts, excess of secretions, dead cells or make up. It must be really gentle without upsteing skin's balance. This step really allows face skin to breathe and leaves it confortable and supple.

2. Toning- After the cleansing a toner perfectly refreshes, helps to remove the remaining impurities from the skin and may act as a delicate rinse. It leaves the skin fresh, soft, luminous and receptive for the next step.

3. Moisturising- final step to restaure or nurture the moisturising level of the skin, brings all the right amount of water and nutrients to preserve or regain a radiant and soft complexion.

4- Occasional special care treatments

Exfoliating- Facial polish cleanses and helps removing dead cells. It reveals a smoother, finer skin texture and the skin feels as renewed. It can be used once or twice a week depending on the skin type. It is ideally applied after the cleaning and before the toner.

Facial mask- It is great to complement the benefits of exfoliation. There different types of facial mask, depending on skin type and need: Moisturizing, purifying, lifting, soothing, calming. With a mask skin can soak up all the natural goodness during the 20 min treatment. It can be applied once a week (but not more often) right after the exfoliating. It brings new feelings of well being, softness and face skin feels ultra-confortable.


As an overall, a good skincare routine is very important. However, remember that general healthy nutritious diet (make sure you eat all the lovely veggies and fruits) with plenty of water, fresh air, exercise amd good night sleep are equally essential!
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20 September 2011

Neil's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm




Product description: rich cleanser, gentle exfoliant or deeply nourishing balm
A fine organic muslin square is supplied with the Beauty Balm.

Certified: Soil Association (UK)
For: all types of skins
Presentation: pot
Texture: balm (irregular yellow colour)
Price: £ 35.25 for 50g

My opinion


The Wild Rose Beauty Balm is a multitask miracle balm, formulated with a blend of fantastic replenishing and soothing plant oils combined with a Neal's Yard Remedies "savoir faire".

I love the richness and the pureness of the fomula. The smell is natural, a bit in between herbs and roses. The balm gently melts once you warm it up in the plams of the hands and is very easy to spread and massage on the skin.

However, I do prefer it as a night treatment rather than as a cleansing melt.The reason is that because of its richness I find it a bit hard to completely wash off - even with the cloth provided and recommended warm water. I have a combination (sensitive) skin and for my cleansing routine (morning and evening) I personally prefer lighter textures.

As a night beauty balm, I think the Wild Rose Beauty Balm does wonders for me: my skin is soothed, rejuvanated and calmed the morning after. It really works! Night time is an ideal moment to use a cream or balm. Not only the skin is "at rest", but the cellular regeneration phase is at its best. The skin is then very receptive to nutrients and nourishing plant oils.

In regards to the packaging, the pot is perhaps a bit heavy when it comes to travelling. However tinted glass is thought to preserve the integrity of the formulation, as it increases shelf life by protecting better from light, heat and other external factors.

The value for money is excellent as you only need a tiny amount per use.

A must-have in your beauty cabinet!

Overall rating: 8/10

Enjoy testing or buying the Wild Rose Beauty Balm at www.nealsyardremedies.com


Product composition: Rosa canina (Wild rose) seed oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter)*, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil*, Borago officinalis (Starflower) seed oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) herb oil*, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil*, Ascorbyl palmitate, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.
The * means that the ingredients have been organically produced.


Ingredients have been carefully selected for their wonderful properties and include (from the highest proportion in the product to the lowest):

Wild rose seed oil has the highest concentration in this product. This oil is particularly used for its toning, nourishing and regenerative properties, ideal for dry and sensitive skin. It has an exceptionnal high content of essential fatty acids such as oleic, linoleic and linolenic acid. In addition, it is very rich in Vitamin A, an anti-wrinkle and line softener by excellence.

Jojoba oil is often used as a carrier oil. It means that it is a basic component for creams, balm etc...This does not undermine its superb repairing and calming effects leaving the skin suppled and smooth. Interestingly, sebum and jojoba oil are very similar which makes this oil very penetrable in the skin.

Beeswax is naturally produced and secreted by bees. This texture agent helps to prevent skin deshydratation but also increases the filmogen power of the balm. If used af the right propertion, beeswax is not comedogenic.

Shea butter is one the top classical raw ingredient used by skincare product manufacturers. Rich in unsaponifiables, shea butter is excellent to soothe, moisturize and prevent skin allergies. Super ingredient for dry and cracked skin.

Hemp seed oil is reknowm for its high content of skin-nourishing essential fatty acids. The oil reduces inflammation leaving skin soothed and calmed.

The Beauty Balm is also enriched in Frankincense and Palmarosa oil which contributes to the light and delicate smell.

What do you think? Have you tried it?
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02 September 2011

What's on the market?

Very interesting question!

The beauty market is dominated by the big brands such as Nivea, L’Oreal, Garnier, Boots etc... It is a very competitive market and very difficult to penetrate. However, there is still a very interesting range of smaller brands, some of which target niche markets. One of those niche markets is the organic and natural market (which is growing growing growing....).

Although we do find an interesting variety of natural products, the market is still in development. New products are being launched on a regular basis and the good news is that more and more people start prefering natural (chemical-free) over synthetic products.

I personally have a strong preference for organic products. They are better for me and have wonderful effects on my skin, bien-etre and mood. Since I started using those products, I have never used non-organic ever again.

But how do we know what is truly natural or organic?

There are a few organisations in Europe and USA that control the origin and quality of organic products. They provide certifications which brands can use to claim that their products are truly organic. The main certification bodies include Soil Association in the UK, Ecocert in France and Europe, BDIH in Germany, and USDA in the USA. These bodies ensure that sourcing and product manufacturing are done in regards to strict guidelines and in respect to the environnment. Of course, differences exist between the certifications bodies and each have their respective rules.

Although being certified guarantees a certain standard and ethic, I would like to highlight that there are also small organic brands on the natural market that do not have this certificate and still have great ethic and values. One possible reason could be cost (especially for small business) because having products certified incurs reasonable costs.

- A few great examples of certified brands are Neil’s Yard Remedies, Melvita, Dr Hauschka, Weleda,  Pai skincare, Les Douces Angevines, Bio Beaute from Nuxe and much more...

- A few great examples of not certified brands include Suti, Akamuti, Beyond Organic, Ren Skincare, Juice Beauty...
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