Natural beauty and well-being

31 August 2014

French beauty brands from the mountains...

The Alps form a magnificent and breathtaking natural spectacle - the white mountains, the pine tree forests, the green grass fields with grazing cows, stunning waterfalls, wild flowers (arnica, gentiane…) growing happily in high altitudes... and so on so forth. It is an obvious proof of what nature has to offer - wild, fresh and pure.

Spending my holidays there, on the French side of the Alps, I thought I would share with you a few french beauty brands (or products) that have been inspired/created by the mountains.

The first one is Pure altitude, a luxury beauty line. Originally it was exclusively created for  "Les fermes de Marie", a famous spa in the rich village of Megeve, but now can be found in other places and shops too. Edelweiss being their signature ingredient, Pure altitude combines efficacy, pleasure and well-being. For those who don't know, Edelweiss is a rare mountain white flower that only grow in an immaculate environnment. Its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are particularly appealing to sensitive and ageing skins.
The brand features 3 different skincare lines which one of them is certified organic by Ecocert.  If you are more interested in bodycare products, then check their wonderful body beauty oil or body scrub which sounds both really divine!

The second brand I would like to mention has been created by "Les thermes de St Gervais" and offers a range of skincare products featuring unique thermal water that originates from the privileged settings of the Mont-Blanc. Although all the products (helas!) are not 100% natural, I essentially want to focus here on the benefits of the thermal water used in the formula and which is (luckily!) available as a water spray on its own. This unique, pure, and isotonic water offers excellent therapeutical properties due to its exceptionnal composition: highly mineralised and rich in oligo-elements. St Gervais thermal water is often recommended by dermatologues when you suffer from skin conditions such as exczema, psioriasis or acne. Not only St Gervais water helps to promote wound healing, but its anti-inflammatory qualities are amazing too. It is a bit less well-known than Avene or La Roche-Posay but worth a look. I will soon dedicate a future post to all the (great) thermal waters sprays you can get in France and why we (I!) are all crazy about them.

The final brand I would like to mention is Huiles et Baumes, a French company that offers their own range of skincare/bodycare plus a plethora of raw plant oils, essential oils and much more. The Ecocert certified line features alpine pure spring water in all of their product formulation. Based in Annecy (if you have not been to this truly beautiful lake in between amazing mountains, then you are missing something), this line is mainly aimed at sensitive and dehydrated skins. Most of the products feature Activalps, a skin protective and calming complex made of eldelweis, genepi and arnica extracts. If you are a beauty oil and balms lover, then you may be tempted by their lovely SOS alpine balm or their lovely collection of 100% pure plant oils. All in all, worth a look!

Any questions or comments? let me know!


24 August 2014

Skin Likes natural deodorant

Scent, smell, fragance: broad topic! If you are a avid reader of my blog, you know that I am quite sensitive to a product's scent (perhaps who is not?).
I have not reviewed many deodorants so far, the main reason being that I have not been convinced by any and/or I also need to test some more.
However, one stood out (from the ones I used) and thought it would deserve a bit of attention in a specific post. Jim Steele, the founder of Skin Likes generously sent me its creation, a 100% natural deodorant to sample and after many months of use, here is what I think.

Product name: Skin Likes natural deodorant
Certified: no
Texture: gel (liquid)
For: ladies
Price: £10.00 for 70ml

My opinion

I am going to be honest. First impression: the packaging is so so-not enough attractive or glamorous, it looks almost a bit cheap.
Straight to the content now. I love it! The base of this deodorant is scottish spring water (which sounds really soothing) along with a mix of essential oils whose names have not been displayed. I contacted Jim to learn a bit more about the essential oil mixture, but he did not want to reveal the secret formula. My skin (in that area) can be sensitive to some essential oils, but luckily my delicate armpits tolerates the ones Skin Likes uses. I do not get any sort of reactions/irritations.
The roller glides very well to leave a thin and aromatic watery layer that really smells wonderful. I love the scent. Fresh, light yet strong.
Another benefit of this deodorant is that it does not leave white marks. Who has not been bothered by those indesirable white marks on clothes or under the armpits just after application of classical deos? So that's a great plus!
The retail price seems a bit high, but let me tell you that this deodorant, contrary to some sprays, lasts a very long time.
So, all in all, I love it a lot. The only thing, perhaps for some, is that I felt I had to re-apply in the afternoon to ensure a confortable protection until the evening. I does not bother me too much, but I see that it can be a bit unpractical.
So if you are looking for a very nice green alternative to classical deodorants, I would highly recommend this one. I have been pleasantly surprised by my experience (not hiding that I was a bit dubitative at the beginning). So here we go.
Last message for all my male readers out there: do not be jealous because you have one version specifically created for you!  Have a look on their website for more info.

++ lovely scent, no white marks
- emballage, does not last the full day

My overal rating: 8/10

Composition: Scottish spring water, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum and a special blend of bacteria-busting therapeutic essential oils.

Have you tried it? which deodorant(s) are you using?

17 August 2014

Therapi skincare: Orange blossom gel cleanser and Lemon myrtle honey moisturiser

I have noticed that many of you are fan of honey (and so do I!), so listen. Therapi skincare, an english skincare beauty compagny certified organic by the Soil Association have recently launched a skincare line using honey as their key ingredient. Therapi offers a luxurious collection of three ranges specifically suited to the following skin type:
-Rosso Otto range for normal/dry skins.
-Orange Blossom range for normal skins of which I would be reviewing the cleanser.
-Lemon Myrtle range  for combination/oily skins of which I would be reviewing the moisturiser.
Big thanks to the Therapi team for kindly sending me these products.

Orange blossom honey gel cleanser N1

Therapi uses a beautiful and stylish white glass bottle as packaging format. Glass is a superior packaging option to ameliorate and protect the longlife shelve of a product. Easily recycled, glass is a very environnemently solution and I think this is important too. The cleanser comes with a handy pump dispenser that delivers a quite liquid gel... perhaps a bit too liquid to my taste. Having said that, the light brown/yellow colour of the cleanser looks yummy and reminds me of the honey texture. Well, no surprise, this cleanser contains a good proportion of honey, an awesome skin-friendly ingredient! Slightly foaming (there is a bit of Yucca extract which contains natural detergents saponins in addition to other gentle detergents) once you add water, it brillantly removes all traces of make-up and dirt and leaves the skin refreshed and invigorated.
I really enjoy using this cleanser in the morning as it brings a lot of peps and freshness to my routine, thanks to the fruity and citrussy aromatic essential oil blends. In the evening, I often use it with my Konjac sponge and this duo is a winner: it provides a super cleansed and glowing face. Not forgetting to mention Sea bucktorn oil present in the formula which is beautifully healing and regenerating.
Scent wise, it again stands out for me: a subtle mix of neroli and bergamot aroma with sweet orange peel oil on top which not only brings sweet and tangy notes but actually aims to bring some glow to the skin.
++ cleansing effect and really gentlte
- slightly too runny

Price: £25.00 for 100ml
Composition: Aqua, mel* (Honey), lauryl glucoside, decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine, gluconolactone, xanthan gum, Hippophae rhamnoides (sea bucktorn) oil*, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder*, Yucca schidigera (Y vera) extract, Citrus aurantium dulcis (sweet orange) peel oil*, Citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil*, Lavandula angustifolia (lavander) flower oil*, Citrus aurantium amara (Neroli) flower oil*, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate, parfum*, limonene+, linalool+
+naturally ocurring in essential oils

Lemon myrtle honey moisturiser N3

This onctuous creamy moisturiser has been carefully designed to hydrate yet clarify combination/oily skins.
Composition wise, I really like it. You find astringent witch hazel water, healing hemp oil, anti-bacterial honey, moisturising jojoba oil and apricot kernel oil plus a great collection of essential oils (lemon tea tree, grapefruit, lavender lemon myrtle) selected for their purifying and antiseptic properties.
Texture wise, it is slightly rich but if you only use like a pea size of cream to massage the entire face, it then just absorbs so fast and really keeps the skin hydrated and matte at the same time.
I occasionnaly (actually often!) even use it as a night cream as well. Well, let's face it: I am a bit addicted to this cream and its delicate scent. I just find it very well formulated and really pleasurable to use. Last point: bare in mind that this cream preservation system only lasts 6 months.
++ results
- expiration time

Price: £30.00 for 50ml
Composition: Aqua, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel) water*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil*, polyglyceryl-3 rice brannate, Helianthus anuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Cera alba* (beeswax), Alcohol*, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) kernel oil*, Mel* (honey), lecithin*, Olea europaea fruit oil*, Amorphophallus konjac root powder, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, Backhousia citriodora (Lemon myrtle) leaf oil*, Leptospermum petersonuu (Lemon tea tree) oil*, Citrus grandis (Grapefruit) peel oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) flower oil*, gluconolactone, soduim benzoate, calcium gluconate, parfum*, limonene+, linalool+
+naturally ocurring in essential oils

As an overall, Therapi offers a really lovely skincare line and I would be more than eager to complete my trial by adding their antibacterial facial toner.

Have you tried some of these products? what do you think?

10 August 2014

Dr Organic Tea Tree Blemish stick

Right. Tackling something that we all dislike: breakouts and blemishes.We all have gone through a time (that can last from a couple of days to much more) where our skin
doesn't seem to be happy. Breakouts are often the results of bad diet/hormonal unbalances/stress/wrong beauty routine and is really a individual problem. One solution for one person.
I recently purchased a couple of products from Dr Organic and one of them is the organic Blemish Tea tree stick.

Product name: Tea tree Blemish stick
Certified: No
For: Blemishes
Texture: gel
Price: 7£ for 30ml

My opinion

This handy roll-on stick aims to zip out any undesirable spots, the (my!) worst skin ennemies that always seem to pop up at the wrong occasions (but luckily not that often). This super light gel contains the quite famous tea tree oil, which has gained a lot of popularity these last few years.
Reasons? Tea tree oil is renowned for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was originally used by arborigines in Australia one thousand years ago to treat skin infections and nowdays lots of beauty companies feature this wonderful essential oil.
Combined with extra-soothing aloe vera gel, the Dr Organic Blemish gel (quite liquid) is transparent, greasy- and sticky-free. I use it most often in the evening after my face cleansing routine. I just apply the roller on the appropriate area. It feels really fresh, treating and not that drying (considering the amount of alcohol present in the composition written below). I have not seen any noticeable dry patches after use...nor has the skin been left sort of "flaky".
Talking about the (overnight!) results now: I am really enthousiast! Not only are the small breakouts calmed, but redness is disminished, and skin is almost cleared. The time frame of action is amazingly quick - which is the most impressing about this product.

This stick is a real performer and there is no way I would stop using it. It works marvelously, has a great price, and leaves my skin as I want. What more could I ask for?

++ great performance
 - presence of alcohol

My overal rating: 9/10

Composition: alcohol denat, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, aqua, Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil, hydroxypropyl guar, limonene

Have you tried this product? What do you use as a blemish zapper?

03 August 2014

Mustela stretch marks care oil

Becoming a mother is a true transformation for any woman, both mentally and physically. Having two little ones, I have experienced this myself. During my pregnancies I used a few products to help my skin remaining elastic and moisturised (to name one, I was massaging my tummy and any needed areas after a shower with Weleda pregnancy oil).
Recently I received the strech mark oil from Mustela to try out. Although I am not pregnant (and don't plan to be either :-) ) and not suffering from any stretchmarks, I was still happy to test it.
As a french native I know Mustela very well. In France it is a really well-known brand aimed at babies and mothers. And for those UK citizens who are curious, Mustela will soon launch in the UK!

Product name: Mustela 9 months stretch marks oil
Certified: No
For: stretched skins
Texture: oil
Price: 15€ for 100 ml

My opinion

The beautiful body oil has been designed to prevent stretch marks that often occurs during pregnancy. The combination of natural plant oils such as nourishing baobab seed oil and regenerative rosehip oil ensures skin protection and regeneration. What is exclusive about this body oil is the presence of Lupeol extract, a patented actif ingredient that is supposed to increase collagen production and promote skin firmness. Its concentrated formula also contains pomegranate oil which is naturally rich in fatty acids (especially punicic acid) and anti-oxidants making it the ultimate repairing skin elixir.

I find the texture of this beautyfing oil really pleasant, fast absorbing but still onctuous. After showering, I like to spray a bit of oil in my hands, then warm it up, followed by a generous massage insisting on the areas more prone to a lack of elasticity such as belly, hips and legs. I cannot really comment on dramatic improvements (because I don't have the stretch marks :-) ), but I really find my skin less dry and more nourished. Although the scent is listed under "parfum", my skin tolerates the soft and fresh aroma well.
An excellent point to remember is that the usage of this oil is compatible with breastfeeding (make sure to properly clean and remove before feeding though).

I read on the package that some clinical trials were conducted on this oil, but I always take results with "pincette". I will soon explain my view regarding this in another post.
The packaging is simple and nothing really fancy. Well, that is what I expect from french "pharmacy" brands anyway.
Mineral oil-free and silicone-free, award winning "Victoire de la beaute 2013/2014"and pricing at around 15 euros, I think this oil is a perfect beauty tool for mamas and mamas to be and actually any of you (and me!) who definitely need lots of pampering... so great choice mesdames!

++ super soothing
 -  packaging not really glamorous

My overal rating: 8.5/10

Composition: Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, parfum (fragance), tocopherol, punica granatum (pomegranate) seed oil, Adansonia digitata (baobab) seed oil, Lupinus albus (white lupin) seed extract.
Do you know Mustela? do you like body oils?
Blogger Template Created by pipdig