It’s always interesting to review products that are created by someone who hasn’t just worked in the beauty industry for a while, but also has a variety of knowledge including chemistry, botany and aromatherapy. Antonia Burrell isn’t just a facialist and skincare expert, she is also a lecturer in the Chemistry of Aromatherapy at the London College of Fashion, so I was intrigued to try & review of couple of her holistic skincare products, a Natural Glow Cleansing Oil and Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum.
Antonia’s collection of products ( there are currently six facial products ) aims ‘to transform the monotony of your daily skincare regime into an indulgent time for calm, well-being and healing by harnessing potent pure plant alchemy‘. The products smell, which help to melt away not just impurities but stresses of the day focus on anti-ageing and anti-blemish results and help you enjoy the ‘me time’ in front of the mirror in the morning and in the evening, helping you to balance yourself and your skin.
Another bonus is that the products were created to be multi-tasking, fusing proprietary blends of bioactive ingredients that are sourced from around the world and Antonia choses to work with producers who share her commitment to the environment ( all the product bottles are recyclable ) and sustainable working practises, a fact that still often goes to the back of the queue when it comes to priorities of beauty brands. Each product is distilled into Swiss violet glass that helps to preserve and protect plant’s bio actives energy. My only gripe here – and it is just my visual reaction to the violet glass packaging – is that the bottles, down to the pump and tops are exactly the same as a few other brands on the market. The type/paper packaging is distinct of Antonia but if there was no branding on the actual bottles I would confuse it with a few other brands that I use.
Natural Glow Cleansing Oil, £39.50, 100 mls: this was the first product that I tried from Antonia’s range and it came highly recommended. This cleansing oil emulsifies when coming in contact with water, turning it into a cleansing milk and giving you an effective double cleanse that will help remove impurities, dirt and even waterproof make-up – I have used it to remove mascara ( it acts as a gentle eye make-up remover when you combine it with water ). Antonia recommends shaking the bottle gently before dispencing & smoothing four to six pumps of the oil on your dry face but I find that for me three or four are more than adequate. As you apply it to your face, massage it in, working your fingers into the contours of your face, gliding it over your skin, inhaling its uplifting aroma. Massage it around for a couple of minutes, untill you feel that your skin has warmed up and then start adding water until the oil turns milky, before washing it off with a muslin cloth.
The following ingredients in this cleansing oil are worth mentioning for reference:
–Tuscan Cypress Tree Extract is an astringent that helps to speed up the process of cellular regeneration
–Bitter Orange is known for its skin clarifying benefits and helping treat the blemish prone skin.
Citrus Medica Limona helps to wake-up your skin from slumber and improves hyper-pigmentation.
Tea Tree is a wonderful skin purifier
Lavender has calming, as well as cell regenerating qualities. It also helps to sooth the skin after the sun exposure.
When I use this cleansing oil my skin feels nurtured and fresh and if I was in my 20s I probably wouldn’t bother to apply serum or moisturiser. It’s uplifting citrusy smell is very invigorating without being overpowering and it feels very smoothing when you massage it in. It really is a beautiful product that I enjoy using because of its gentle yet thorough cleansing, as well as olfactory power.
Antonia Burrell Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum, £58.50, 15 mls: this facial serum blends together 21 plant extracts and aims to make your skin look radiant and well-hydrated. As it penetrates your skin, it will help to ‘purify, heal, refine and regulate the natural balance in both oily and dry skin’. The serum contains Organic Sandalwood ( to help calm down irritated or itchy skin with its potent natural healing properties and sooth a busy mind ), Kiwi Seed ( a natural anti-oxidant which is also rich in essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It helps to reduce pore size and redness, while plumping the skin at the same time ), Vetiver ( it balances the hormones and regulates sebaceous glands while nurturing dry skin or absorbing extra oil from oily skin ), Melaleuca Viridflora Leaf ( a powerful antiseptic that can help heal scar tissue in acne prone skin ) and Tea Tree Extract ( it helps to heal damaged skin ).
Antonia recommends ‘using one to three pumps of this oil serum either in the morning and evening, which is enough to treat and control blemishes, spots, congestion and blackheads, leaving you with calm, clear and radiant skin – not to mention a boost
in confidence’! Apply the serum to slightly damp skin and gently tap it into your skin. I must admit that I was slightly surprised by the smell of this serum – initially you smell delicate flowers and as you tap it into your skin ( I find that two pumps of this oil serum is enough for both my face and my neck ) it instantly adds a subtle glow to your skin but then the smell changes and becomes somewhat bland. While many face oils or serums might smell overpowering, the smell of this oil serum bewilders me a little, as I struggle to describe it. It does sink in quickly and makes skin soft, soothed and well-hydrated. When used in the summer it can easily replace your evening serum+moisturiser, making it a good travel companion as well.
Some products might not smell amazing but you end up noticing the difference in your skin when using it. Try following Antonia’s advice and applying it to your skin while you shower or take a bath and see what you think, as hot water helps to not just open up your pores but lets you experience and discover the smell of products.