Aurelia Probiotic Skincare

When I spotted this British organic beauty brand in Liberty I was drawn in like a beauty homing pigeon. Faultless natural credentials? Check. Pioneering ingredients promising results? Check. And expensive enough that surely it had to work? Checkeroo. Aurelia Probiotic … Continue reading

Elate Clean Cosmetics

At last! A breakthrough in my search for high performing natural make-up. Elate Clean Cosmetics make products that are free from harsh chemicals, totally natural and vegan friendly. They score brilliantly on the Think Dirty app, boast beautiful packaging and, … Continue reading

Weleda Calendula Baby Care range

If you have sensitive skin or a young child you really should try out Weleda’s Calendula Baby Care range. Products span from bath creams to massage oils and all are made using organic calendula, reputed for its healing effect on … Continue reading

Natural lip balm round up

If all that kissing under the mistletoe has left your lips in need of some TLC then read on for my natural lip balm round up. Considering how much of this stuff we get through, and the fact we swallow … Continue reading

Homemade facial oil

It’s at this time of year that a full on burka makes sense to me. Christmas indulgence, sun and sleep deprivation, and cold weather make me want to bury my scaly skin and dry hair under a layer of clothes … Continue reading

Natural make-up overhaul

Although I’ve been using natural and organic hair and skincare for years now I’ve been slower to switch over my make-up bag, mainly due to cost and waste. Last month I finally started the move to natural make-up brands by … Continue reading

A’kin Rosehip & Shea Intensive Moisture Antioxidant Creme

I’d heard so much hype about A’kin’s Radiance Rosehip Oil, and rosehip as an anti-ageing ingredient in general, that when I was looking for a new face cream their Rosehip & Shea Intensive Moisture Antioxidant Creme was high up my list. … Continue reading

Badger zinc oxide sunscreen for babies

I’ve become a bit obsessed with finding a ‘safe’ suncream recently, one that protects from the sun but isn’t packed full of nasty chemicals. I’ve been poring over horror stories on the internet about how skin cancer rates have actually gone up since we started using sunscreens, the dangers of nanoparticles and how many of the most commonly used ingredients are known to produce free radicals under UV light. Scary stuff.
Badger-suncream
I came to the conclusion, and this is very much a personal opinion, that plain old zinc oxide is the safest sunscreen out there. And that led me to US firm Badger, makers of the famous Badger Balm.

I’ve been putting their SPF 30 Sunscreen for Babies through its paces all summer, both on me and my 16 month old. It’s easy to apply, holds up to water exposure (it was actually quite hard to wash off) and has a pleasant smell. It also contains soothing chamomile and calendula, with sunflower oil and vitamin E to mop up free radicals produced in the sun. It does make you look a bit like you’re auditioning as an extra in a Twilight movie but I found that more of an issue for me than for the baby.

Badger also produces an SPF 15 for adults which is meant to be less whitening and they are reworking their adult lotions so I will be road testing these too and reporting back. To see all Badger’s sunscreens follow the link below:

In short, highly recommended for kids but grown ups might find the formula a bit white as an all over sunscreen.

Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen for Babies: £14.95 for 87ml

Natural credentials: 100% certified natural and 94% organic; non nano zinc oxide

Available from: 24/7 Healthfoods (£1.99 shipping cost)

Waitrose baby bottom butter: too good for babies…

Don’t let the fact it’s advertised as a baby bottom butter fool you. This is an intensely nourishing moisturiser with a rich, buttery texture that’s great as a night cream, body and hand cream, even a lip balm.
Waitrose baby bottom butter
Comprising just four ingredients (olive oil, hydrogenated olive oil, vanillin and chamomile oil), it smells slightly of white chocolate, not unlike Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, and the chamomile calms dry, irritated skin. Researching the product I even found a review of how it had helped a psoriasis sufferer, confirming its gentle, soothing properties.

I’m actually a bit slow off the mark with this one. Vogue reviewed it back in 2008 (followed by every beauty editor in the UK and beyond) but it only came to my attention when my friend Smooch was stocking up on it to send to a friend in Australia. It’ll cost a fortune in postage, surely? It’s worth it, came the response. I have to agree.

Try decanting some into a small travel pot and keep it in your handbag for dry skin emergencies.

Waitrose baby bottom butter £2.89 for 125ml

Natural credentials: Olive oil and vanillin with chamomile oil to calm the skin

Available from: Ocado and Waitrose

Moroccan retreat in SW1

If there was one thing I badly needed last week it was a bit of pampering. And fortunately for me I live just around the corner from The Spa at Dolphin Square, a Moroccan inspired haven with a traditional hammam and rhassoul, and a range of treatments.

Once we had changed into the dressing gowns and slippers provided we took part in the traditional Moroccan hand washing ceremony before chilling in the relaxation room with mint tea, dates and almonds.

I had booked in for the Argan Facial, which uses La Sultane de Saba products. La Sultane de Saba take their inspiration from beauty secrets from far-flung places. As a result they smell AMAZING! (The Spa told me the brand uses only natural ingredients but I haven’t been able to check myself. They are paraben-free, according to the website.)

For the next 55 minutes I was treated to a supremely relaxing facial. As my face was ‘steamed’ Monica, my therapist, massaged my feet and during the face mask I was given a head massage. A facial, reflexology session and an Indian head massage in one treatment! At the end Monica left me to rest for a bit before taking me back to the relaxation room. Bliss. There was no hard sell on the products afterwards either. Just a friendly recommendation to use lavender oil on any spots to clear them up quickly and safely.

I’ve had a few treatments at The Spa and none have disappointed; the therapists are highly knowledgeable and very friendly to boot. What I particularly love is the way you feel like you’ve been transported to a genuine Moroccan retreat when you go in. Everything from the lighting to the decor lets you slip away from the hectic pace outside. Well worth a visit.

Argan Facial, £75 for 55 minutes, The Spa at Dolphin Square.