When it comes to skincare, I like to keep things as minimal and as natural as possible.
It tends to go something like this: Every season I’ll spend a short while finding the products that work for me, and then I’ll loyally stick to them until I am squeezing out the very last remnants left in the bottle before – most likely – heading back directly to the shop to get my eager hands on a shiny new one.
Well, if it ain’t broke… Right?!
The thing is, as much as I like the idea of having a Pinterest worthy bathroom cabinet full of ‘must have’ lotions, potions and tools – it just doesn’t do anything for me.
In reality, most of them will be shunned to the back – and then by the time I get to them they are regretfully forced to take a one way ticket to the waste bin. (Yeah… Sorry about that, unused cleanser for combination skin… It was just never going to work out between us. No hard feelings?)
During the winter, my skin needs ALL the love it can get – so after trying and testing a few different products over the past few weeks and months, I thought I’d share my 7 holy grail products that finally made the cut and can therefore join me for hot dates in the shower on a daily basis.
Who needs a man when you have you have your dream cleanser, anyway? *Tries to kid one self whilst crying in the shower and singing ‘All By Myself’ a la Bridget Jones.*
1. THE BODY BRUSH
Body brushing is a method I have actually only just started to incorporate in to my skin routine. To be honest, I thought it was one of those things that is a little too time consuming and over rated – especially if you’re in a rush. ‘Ahh, come on – who can be bothered to perform a procedure of circular motions with a giant scratchy brush every day?’
But when I saw one hanging there in the bathroom section of a home store, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. ‘Hey, if I don’t use it – it will look pretty cool just to hang in the corner… You know, as a homely touch.’ Well – good news for the bamboo brush: It in fact serves a very purposeful and useful life; giving me ‘too good not to touch’ silky smooth skin (and yes, still looking very rustic chic in it’s designated corner spot).
Before hopping under the shower, I brush my skin all over using a natural bristle brush – always making sure I’m going towards the heart. N’aww. Not only does it get those itches and scratches in the hard to reach parts; but it also helps to remove dead skin cells, boost circulation and rid the body of toxins. I’ll admit I was wrong, body brush… Never will I underestimate the power of you and your 1 minute miracle work again!
2. THE SHOWER GEL
I like my shower gels to have a citrus aroma about them; I just find that lemony zesty smell is what wakes me up the best and gives me that refreshed feeling before I start the daily grind. I used to be a total devotee of the Dr Bronner Citrus Soap – but when my local store stopped stocking it I took it as a gentle push to try something new. And what better place to go than Neals Yard: The homiest home of organic natural beauty products?
The Neals Yard Citrus Shower Gel gel is pretty much everything that you want it to be: Perfectly foamy, super uplifting and you’ll be glad to hear that I always come out feeling very clean, too. Always a bonus I guess…
The essential oils from lemon, grapefruit and lime are like a wake up in a bottle – plus they’re nicely gentle, so will suit all pretty much skin types. Plus, at £14 a decent sized bottle, you can’t go wrong.
Now I like to generously apply mine with my third product – which I will, ahem, ‘brush on’ next…
3. THE EXFOLIATING MITT
This is not just any exfoliating mitt. Oh no. This is an organic Egyptian loofah exfoliating mitt. And it is all kinds of genius.
So why choose this over the plastic kind? Well, the natural fibres are considered one of the best ways to give your body a quick and effective all over exfoliation; helping to remove dead skin cells and let your skin have a glow – even in the winter. Although they feel unappealingly hard when dry – the fibres will soften with water and make your cleanser foam up like a total dream. No shower of mine would be complete with out one of these at hand… Take it from a ex-plastic glove user convert!
4. THE SHAMPOO
You may have seen me raving about all things Liz Earle on Insta – and this Botanical Shine shampoo is just another reason to love her beautifully crafting products. It’s so damn creamy that it makes even the most brisk of hair wash’s feel luxurious – and the outcome will make you feel like tousling your new shiny locks in a shampoo advert type manner every where you go. Come on – I’m not the only one who does that on a good hair day… Right?
Now, Liz has kept the shampoo range to just the one product which is suitable for all hair types; a truly delicious blend of West African shea butter (oh, you fancy huh?) plus fruity apple and orange extracts. Of course, it goes with out saying that this shampoo is free from sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate… ‘Cause would you expect anything different from Liz, the Queen of natural beauty?
5. THE CONDITIONER
If you want to make the most of the shampoo – you gotta go in and get in on the conditioner action too, right? I feel quite lucky to have thick hair (and lots of it!) – but it can definitely feel dry easily and a decent conditioner is exactly what is needed to take my locks from ‘Yeah… It’ll do’ to ‘FEEL MY HAIR! FEEL IT!’ in a matter of minutes. The Liz Earle Botanical Shine conditioner definitely does not disappoint; loaded with melon oil, blue seakale and a harmonious blend of 8 essential oils – this will not only make your hair feel really good, but it will also do it good.
That, for me, is when you know a product is worth keeping at the front of the bathroom cabinet.
6. THE FACIAL CLEANSER
This is my auntie’s holy grail of cleansers; has been for a good while now. Up until a couple of months ago, every time I stayed with her I just couldn’t resist sneaking in to her cosmetics draw to get me some of her Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser to wake up my face. The smell is just DI-VINE (although I know from speaking to people that it’s not for every one!) and I pretty much class it as the ultimate all in one cleansing balm: It removes your make up, gently exfoliates and polishes off the skin to reveal a gleaming complexion, every morning and night. Or so I’d like to think.
Sure, it’s a little on the pricey side (that’ll be £40 per bottle, please) – but I gotta hand it to Eve Lom… This cleanser does so much more than what it says on the tube. It comforts you with it’s uplifting aroma of Egyptian camomile and gives you a glow that your morning face or melted make up face was perhaps lacking in. Dare I say, it makes you feel… Special. Don’t ask me how a cleanser can do that: But it just does.
Apply a small amount (a little goes a long way – meaning you get your moneys worth), leave it on for a few minutes whilst you brush your teeth and use a muslim cloth or warm water to remove. Et voila – you look alive!
7. THE BODY OIL
Just like you can make your own face masks using ingredients you’d find hidden away in your kitchen cupboard – you can also make your own body oil. Now body oil’s/moisturisers are arguably one of the most, shall we say, ‘unfriendly’ towards our easily swayed purses – but the bizarre thing is is that you can head to your health store or even selected supermarkets and pick up the key ingredients to make your own personal blend.
Lately I’ve been lathering on this concoction to lock in the moisture that is so easily lost at this time of year. From freezing temperatures to central heating – I find that my skin is in need of something more intensive to keep it feeling nicely nourished, and body oils are my favourite way to go about this. This snazzy little combo is grapeseed oil (the base), frankinsense and ylang ylang. It’s honestly just as good (if not better) than what you’d fork out for in the shops – and actually the making up of it is all part of the fun. Have a play around and see what suits you, what aromas you’re most drawn to and don’t be afraid to get a little inventive.
The way I look at it is that nothing beats a hearty home cooked meal that you put all the love in to making, so why should what you put on your skin be any different? Remember that 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed by our clever bodies – so make whatever you choose to treat it with count.
So that’s my holy grail products to get me ready in the AM, but enough about me. I’d really love to know what your go to products are lately – particularly if you’re in to natural beauty yourself. Be sure to leave a lil comment below and share!