I grew up in a household where women used cosmetics alongside homemade skin and haircare masks, so it is not surprising that while I follow the latest beauty trends, I appreciate simple skincare as well. Mallow and White is a natural brand that was only launched this year, but it is making impressive strides with products that use six or less ingredients.
Joanna White, Mallow & White founder, worked for BBC Radio for 20 years, studio producing for ‘live’ news programmes, as well as presenting. However her sensitive skin led her to experiment with natural ingredients in her free time, in order to find solution for itching and discomfort. As her experiments successfully evolved, she realised that simple recipes actually delivered effective results, so for seven years she continued to research, did courses and testing, before re-branding & launching her Mallow & White products ( she used to make soaps and sell them at craft fairs under the brand name White Wash Soaps ). For more insights from Joanna herself, click on her guest post for Curious Russian in London here
Herdfordshire-based, Mallow & White is a 100% natural capsule facial skincare range, harnessing the potent power of botanical ingredients that promise to pamper & nurture your skin, irrespective of age. The range itself consists of three face oils and three face mask powders. Each is tailored to the special needs of normal/dry (Restore, five ingredients), mature (Revitalise, six ingredients) or sensitive skin (Sooth, five & four ingredients). Products are not mass-produced but hand-crafted instead, with ‘best before’ dates & batch numbers written by hand. My mask also had a lovely ‘made with love’ message.
Mallow & White’s packaging deserves a special mention, if not column inches. It is not just the fact that Joanne consciously tries to use minimal packaging (don’t worry, everything is securely packaged and arrives intact), but using recycled or recyclable materials, such as class for the face oils and masks. My parcel arrived and when I opened it and found the products lovingly packaged in popcorn and petals, I whooped with delight, like a child. As Joanna explained to me, in reply to my gushing e-mail about her unique packaging concept, ‘it is also fully compostable and great bird food’.
In addition, 10% of profits is donated to KIVA, a charity that helps to elevate people from poverty. So by purchasing the products ( which are quite well priced: £36 for the 30 mls face oil and £20 for the 30 g face mask ), you will also contribute to changing the world, while enjoying effective, natural skincare.
Before Joanna has sent me her products to try, she asked me about my skin and suggested the products, but as I wanted to give you a little bit of a wider overview in terms of the skin type, I decided to trial RESTORE face Oil, which is suitable for normal & dry skin and SOOTH Face mask for sensitive skin.
Mallow & White RESTORE Facial Oil
The oil comes in a bottle with a handy pipette, so you can control dispensation of the product. Put two to three drops on top of your fingers, warm them up for a few seconds and massage it all over your neck and face, in the upward motion. I tend to apply face oil to my skin when it is slightly damp after cleansing or have been misted gently with tonic or face mist. This oil gives the skin a lovely sheen but does have a ‘dry oil’ feel – by that I simply mean that it doesn’t feel too glossy or too ‘runny. It sinks in within a minute or two, leaving skin feeling well-moisturised. Joanna says that you can use this oil under your make-up in the morning and having tested it, I will agree that it works well but do take into account particularities of your own skin. When I use face oil in the morning I tend to cleanse, apply it, have breakfast and then apply my make-up, but that is purely a personal preference, you certainly can apply your make-up a few minutes after the oil & get on with the rest of your day. Do take into account particularities of your skin and remember that your morning skincare routine should focus on protecting your skin from environmental aggressors, while night-time skincare should assist rejuvenation.
Below are the instructions that accompany this face oil on the best ways to put it to good use on the Mallow & White website:
RESTORE oil is multi-functional and can be used in various ways:
- As a hydrating enriching boost. Add 2 drops of Restore to your normal daily moisturiser.
- As an easy way to put on make-up. Massage two drops onto a cleansed face before putting on your make-up to help it glide on without clogging.
- At night-time, place a couple of drops in the palm of your hand and massage Restore oil in a gentle circular motion onto cleansed skin until fully absorbed. This facial massage technique stimulates the muscles and helps plump the skin.
- Smooth any excess onto your hands and massage into your cuticles to nourish and protect your skin.
Patch test if you think you might be sensitive to any of the ingredients. Store in cool, dry place. Use within 6 months of opening.
This particular oil has a combination of the following organic oils:
- Rosehip oil, rich in anti-oxidant Vitamin C and Omegas 3 & 6 that help boost skin elasticity and encourage cellular renewal; skin healing properties; helps to reduce scarring, wrinkles and pigmentation, as well as improve elasticity.
- Apricot Kernal oil which is rich in Vitamins A, B1, B6, B17 and Vitamin E & helps to nourish your skin & retain its suppleness and clarity.
- Grapeseed oil, a lightweight oil that absorbs quickly and helps encourage the production of elastin in the skin. A powerful anti-oxidant.
- Jojoba oil, rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids to help keep the skin supple and radiant. It is moisture-retaining, and will help protect, soften and smooth your skin
- Rose Geranium essential oil to help uplift, refresh and rebalance your skin
plus geraniol, citral, citronnelol, limonene & linalool.
Some oils can feel or make you skin look greasy but this oil not only has wonderfully calming and soothing smell, it also adds instant veil of radiance to the skin. It might be a simple product but it feels like a small bottle of luxury in your hand and is a testament that effective skincare product needn’t be complicated or cost you a small fortune ( it also gave a run for its money to some of my ‘old-favourites’, some of which are somewhat pricier ).
Mallow & White SOOTH Face Mask
If I am honest, I don’t often use masks as part of my regular weekly skincare ritual & am more likely to use one when I am on the plane ( only if it looks like a moisturiser, as you won’t be seeing me ‘masking’ publicly otherwise, as I believe that some of female tricks and skincare treats should be done in the sanctity of our bathrooms or when our other halves aren’t around. Call it a veil of female mystery !) or having a rare, long bath. However, any facialist is likely to tell you that you skin can only benefit from a weekly mask treat, depending on what your skin is craving. It doesn’t matter what age you are, even though our skin needs more help in making it look its best as we face the passing of time.
For convenience I like masks that I can just squeeze out and apply directly to my skin but Mallow & White powder masks really take you back to basics, but in a modern way. Take the one tsp of powered mask, put it into a small cup or little bowl, add ingredients in proportions suggested below and blend with a spoon or preferably a special brush ( make sure it is clean and not the one you normally use to apply your make-up ), before applying it to your cleansed skin:
– 1 tsp of water
– add facial oil, honey or yogurt for extra nourishment.
Leave one for two minutes and then wash off with warm, not cold or hot water.
Another way to use this mask, is as exfoliator. Mix it with water, as suggested above & gently massage into cleansed skin. Then rinse off with warm water.
SOOTH Mask contains the following organic ingredients:
- White clay, the mildest of all clays, mineral rich, yet deeply cleansing.
- Organic Marshmallow root powder has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help treat skin conditions, such as rosacea, and promote healthy cell growth.
- Organic Cornstarch: gently cleansing, soothing and softening for the skin.
- Organic Lavender essential oil helps soothe inflammatory conditions and promotes growth of the new cells.
plus Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.
Whichever way I used the mask, I ended up with soft, calm & nurtured skin. Even if I had some redness on my skin after a busy day spent at my work desk, not far away from the radiator, somehow my skin felt cleaner and calmer after using this mask ( I used it once or twice a week, in the course of a few weeks ).
Using both of those products took me back to my childhood and made me reminisce of the happy but much simpler times, when women managed to look beautiful without the plethora of skincare, cosmetics or gadgets that we have now. I thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity of the Mallow & White routine and being my own facialist, mixing things and just enjoying my peaceful evening beauty ritual ( mornings, admittedly, are always rushed, even with the best intentions ). I am not suggesting that we turn back the time and go backwards, but I do want you to think whether complex is always infinitely better than simple.
For more information about Mallow & White products, please go to their website by clicking here