My natural hair care routine

After years of trying to tame my wild curls I finally have my hair routine nailed. So here’s a walkthrough of the products that are giving me happy hair days, with some tips I’ve picked up along the way. Hair … Continue reading

Words of wisdom from one mother to another

It’s Mother’s Day in the UK so who better to share their natural beauty secrets than my mum, Gilli. Mum is actually the inspiration behind this blog; without her I would never have sought out natural beauty products or questioned … 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

Intensae nail it with new 5-free nail lacquers

From the moment I opened the A Beautiful World A/W sampler box there was one product I couldn’t wait to get my mitts on, or rather, on my mitts: Intensae’s La Fideles nail polish. Many nail varnishes are jam-packed with nasty chemicals. Fortunately … Continue reading

Not sure what’s in your beauty products? Think dirty!

Think Dirty is a Canadian app which scans the bar code on beauty products in your bathroom, or when you’re out shopping, and shows you a toxicity score based on Think Dirty’s rating criteria. You can also search by product name or brand.

As well as an overall score, ingredients are listed with their individual ratings and you can drill down to find more information around each ingredient’s usage, potential health impact and even pseudonyms so you can see where companies are trying to sneak in nasties under different guises.

The product’s ‘dirty meter’ gives an indicator of how it fares on carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies and immunotoxicities. And it also suggests similar, safer products that you might consider as alternatives.

A few caveats around using it:

  • It’s aimed at the North American market so don’t expect smaller European brands to be covered
  • Read the ratings carefully – ingredients such as geraniol and citral push the rating up as they are potential allergens, even though they naturally occur in essential oils
  • I’m not sure it’s 100% accurate: my Aveda Curl Enhancer showed as containing parabens, which surprised me. I checked the packaging and couldn’t find any listed so I double checked online and Aveda firmly state that they do not use parabens in any of their products (I will follow this up with Think Dirty)

It’s a great quick reference resource and fun to use. I’m hoping for a UK version soon and the ability to search by ingredient (currently you can only access data on an ingredient after searching for a product which contains it).

For more info visit their site: http://www.thinkdirtyapp.com/

Lavender oil, a natural beauty staple

Over the years lavender essential oil has become my cures-all-miracle-product whether it’s a few drops in my bath, dotted on my pillow at night to help me nod off or applied directly to blemishes as a spot treatment. You can apply … Continue reading

Organic Beauty Week is here!

Organic Beauty Week 2014 has arrived. Running from 8-14 September, this Soil Association initiative aims to increase awareness of organic beauty products and the benefits of using them.

To celebrate Organic Beauty Week, Glamour Magazine have reviewed their favourite natural beauty products. A huge selection of natural products are covered from fake tans to lip balms and the list features well known natural brands such as Lavera and Neal’s Yard alongside new ones such as Adam and Eve. There’s something to suit every budget…so no excuses:

Not so Lush shampoos and conditioners

I don’t normally post bad reviews – I usually just relegate the fails to the bathroom bin and move on. But the Lush shampoos and conditioners are so bad that I feel compelled to get word out there. About a … 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