Beat The Blues Ilapothecary launch

Nowadays instead of greeting each other with a ‘hello’, people are more likely to lament how fast-paced life is and how exhausted they seem to be feeling. While this does hold true in many read more

Smell of nature: Corpus deodorants

At the time when I started to look into using more natural deodorant formulas, few were available & they didn’t look (or smell appealing). I wanted a reliable solution to my roll-on, but I read more

Summer scrubbing with Skin and Tonic

Summer wakes up our mind and senses and calls for some gentle action when it comes to the care we give to our body – something that we often leave on the back burner, unlike our skincare. Conveniently, British beauty brand Skin and Tonic just launched it’s first bodycare product – a Sea Salt Body Scrub – and I have been putting it to ‘vigorous’ use.

The scrub arrived in a chic silver sealable pouch, which makes it easy to use in the shower or bath and is practical to take with you on your travels or a holiday. Blending together sustainably harvested, mineral-rich Atlantic sea salt with certified organic bergamot, spearmint and rose oil, it makes a lovely first impression, but will it stand the rigorous efficiency test?

Some information about the ingredients, to start with:

Irish Sea Salt

The team has worked hard to source sustainably harvested, non-oxidised sea salt. Due to its sealed extraction from deep currents in the Atlantic Ocean, it contains lots of rich minerals and micronutrients that help to eliminate toxins and hydrate the skin.

Bergamot Oil

This beautiful, certified organic bergamot oil is cold-pressed from the rind of the fruit. Grown mainly in Southern Italy, this sweet, fresh citrus oil is widely used in perfumery. Fun fact: It takes 1,500kg of bergamot to produce 1 kilo of oil!

Rose Oil

Luxurious Rose Centifolia flower oil helps to even skin tone and balance skin moisture levels, whilst soothing away anxiety. Did you know rose is a natural anti-depressant? Nurture and nourishment for both body and soul

Spearmint Oil

Milder than peppermint, this antibacterial oil enlivens and invigorates the skin, helping to stimulate circulation. Spearmint’s fresh aroma will also help to clear headaches and de-stress the mind.

List of ingredients:

Sodium chloride (sea salt), Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil*, Citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil*, Mentha spicata (spearmint) leaf oil*, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond) oil*, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil*, Rose centifolia (rose) flower extract

*= Certified Organic



How to use:

  1. Massage onto clean

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Galina Loves: ‘Restore Balm’ from Mallow and White

At the time when the prices, as well as the number of ingredients going into beauty products seems to be climbing, some indie brands choose to stay accessible & make a positive impact via low numbers read more

Need to know: The Hayo’u Method part two, rituals & products

Having introduced you to the Hayo’u Method & its formidable founder Katie Brindle in the part one of my post, in my second post I want to talk to you about daily rituals and products that are part of the method. I will also talk about the effect they had on me in the last couple of months.

Katie devised four simple rituals – Beauty Restorer for the face, Body Restorer, Reset & Rescue Breath. Each ritual need only take one minute  of your time & will either calm & de-stress or rejuvenate & re-energise your system. A case of simple, but efficient results, when you commit to being a little bit more disciplined & take time to nurture yourself.

As to the products, there are four plus two tools. A jade Beauty Restorer de-Stress Face Tool, a steel Body Restorer, a Treat-Rite de-Stress Face Oil & Body Oils,  Bathe-Rite de-Stress Shower Minerals & Bath-Rite de-Stress Bath Minerals. During our meeting Katie’s honesty gripped my attention. She clearly prides herself on creating well-thoughtout & researched products, but says that if you already have your favourite bath, body or facial products, you don’t have to switch in order to use her face & body tools. Use them alongside the products that work for you and see what transpires. I often hear brand founders say how you should use only their products in your routine, as they have the best synergy, yet here is a woman who wants you to be happy in your skin & body by using what appeals to YOU.

Simple Daily Rituals & Practical Techniques

Hayo’u offers four daily self-treatments using techniques & tools that are most effective in protecting the read more

CRiL reviews: Botanic Garden products

I believe in getting to know brands and their products, before sharing my experiences with you. Jumping from skincare product to skincare product doesn’t serve your skin well, as sooner or later it will rebel. Taking your time will also allow you to build an accurate picture of what this or that product can do for your skin or a skin problem you are seeking to address. I have been using Botanic Garden products from last summer (you can read the interview with Elena & Anastasia, brand founders here) and below is my review of several BG face & body products, as well as herbal teas and a mini head & neck pillowette.

Face Oil with Chrysanthemum Flowers for face, neck & decollate: this oil was given to me as a gift and I couldn’t be more delighted with the results I was seeing with continued use. The oil works well for mature skin and while I don’t fit into that category just yet, I found that it works well in the summer (when used with a light touch), when the skin tends to get dry, particularly if you are spending the time in the hot climate, as well as in the winter, when the skin can feel parched due to temperature variations inside and outside. Carrier  and essential oils (Macadamia Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Almond Oil, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil, Grapefruit Essential Oil ) assist the process of skin regeneration, while also restoring elasticity and plumping up wrinkles, making them less noticeable. The star ingredient here is the Chrysanthemum Flowers, as substances that they contain help purify the skin and remove toxins.

I like the richness of the texture of this oil, but it doesn’t prevent the oil from sinking into the skin fairly quickly, making your skin look well hydrated, plumped up and even.  Elena and Anastasia recommend applying this oil to clean, wet face with light massaging movements. They also say that ‘it’s crucial to leave oil applied for 15-20 minutes’. You can use it day and night – if used in the morning it acts as a lovely make-up ‘primer’ and in the evening I tend to massage it in for a little longer, easing the tension our of my face muscles, while inhaling its subtle flower aroma.

It also should be noted that since my initial use of this oil, Botanic Garden has slightly changed its packaging, or rather the bottle’s stopper, making it more ‘leak-proof’ and adapted for European consumers. It is always a positive sign when the brand takes note of customer feedback and makes changes, when necessary.

Cornflour and Melissa Body Oil: My initial impression was that of simple beauty, when you take the time to put the bottle in front of you and just observe the clarity of oil and the flowers that it is infused with. Products like that are like a mini-meditation – just put it in front of you, take deep breaths and enjoy examining it like a painting you might linger at in the art gallery or museum. It really is my definition of the simplicity of beauty!

This body oil was created to moisturise dry skin, including elbows, knees and soles. Thanks to the high content of unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E, which is like an elixir for the skin, expect your skin to look and feel more hydrated with regular use.

You can use this body oil in the morning, but I tend to favour it at night-time, applying it to slightly damp skin after a bath or shower and massaging it upwards, starting with the soles of my feet and ending up at neckline. I will be honest that it’s not my favourite smelling body oil, as it has a slightly herby, medicinal smell, but it doesn’t linger on the skin for too long. It sinks in quickly and you can feel its effect almost instantly, going from ‘zero to hero’, when it comes to how your skin feels in terms of dry vs well-moisturised.

Ingredients: Walnut Oil, Macadamia Oil, Almond Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Palmarosa Essential Oil, Melissa Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Cornflower Blossoms.

Face Cleansing Composition for sensitive skin: One of the founding principles of Botanic Garden is the wisdom of Ayurveda. When it comes to daily skin cleansing (essential, if you want health and beautiful looking skin, irrespective of your age or skin type) Ayurveda uses flour blends made from various ground cereals, spices and herbs. From the Ayurveda perspective it is highly important that skincare products are edible and do not contain any toxic or carcinogenic substances – because skin absorbs everything we put onto it within a few minutes of application.

This cleansing composition took me right back to my childhood and memories of the fruit, vegetables and herbs growing in the garden, adjustment to our country house, lovingly tended to by my family. A herbal paste with ground cereals and spices will gently cleanse the skin, helping in its faster recovery and improving its resistance to inflammation. Ground leaves of ribwort and henna contain a significant amount of the vitamin K, providing anti-inflammatory, regenerative and bactericidal action. Before using it, particularly if I had a hectic day and feel somewhat un-balanced, I close my eyes and inhale the herbal smell, before mixing it and applying to my skin. Just don’t inhale too deeply, nor put your nose too close to the glass jar, like I did the first time. My sneeze was epic, but luckily I moved my face away quickly, so not too much of the product dispersed into the air .)

Curiously, cleansing composition can replace several skin care products, saving you time, without compromising on the efficacy of your daily skincare ritual. This one thoroughly cleanses skin and can also serve as a base for a face mask. For daily cleansing, take a small amount of composition (I use one tsp) and mix it with water right in your palm, then apply to the clean, wet face. If you want to have more ‘control’ & precision, mix it with a brush in a small bowl you use for skin rituals. Rinse off with warm water after five minutes and examine how you skin looks and feels. Try experimenting with the varying thickness of the resulting mixture – from paste-like, gently removing dirt, to almost dry powder-like for use as a tender facial scrub.

Top Tip From Elena & Anastasia: ”If you mix composition with oil suitable for your type of skin or with lactic acid whey, read more