CRiL Reviews: Nourish Skin Renew Cleanser & Bodhi & Birch Desert Rose Facial Oil

With so many beauty products being continuously launched, it is somewhat reassuring to review products from the brands that I already know well. When I know brand’s background & ethos, it becomes interesting to see what they come up with next. Recently I have been testing a new cleanser from Nourish London & a re-launched face oil from Bodhi & Birch, both are British brands that fall into my favourite ‘natural’ category.

Nourish London Skin Renew Cleanser, 100 ml, £20

Skin Renew Cleanser caught my eye on Nourish stand at the recent Natural & Organic trade show at Excel (the brand recently read more

New skincare brand on the block: Holistic Green Beauty

New skincare ranges are being launched all the time or so it seems to me lately, but it’s not often that a person that I know dares to dream big and launch a skincare brand within a couple of years of conceiving it. You might already be familiar with Danny, a wonderfully knowledgeable beauty blogger behind Holistic Green Beauty but now he took a big step into the spotlight in a different capacity – that of a founder of a skincare brand, alongside his business partner Scott.

FullSizeRender-3

Danny is quite young but ever since we started our first conversation about skincare, I knew that his interest in the subject ran quite deep. When Danny started developing products I was ‘entrusted’ with the secret and kept true to my word, even when he has sent me samples that were met with glowing approval by my skin and girlfriends or colleagues started asking what I was using or doing to my skin. To see someone realise his dream is a privilege, to be a trusted friend is an honour but to officially review that products is somewhat daunting, because I need to be honest, yet I feel protective towards Danny from the day when when Holistic Green Beauty was just a dream that he chose to confide in me. Truth be told, I needn’t have worried, as Danny takes skincare genuinely seriously and his perfectionism shows as soon as you pick up the packaged products.

IMG_0837

Danny has sent me preliminary information before an official launch and asked me what I wanted to try, having enquired about my skin type, just to be sure. I also took on board his recommendations and in late October I received a parcel with two full-sized products, a Chocolate Cleansing Balm and a Pink Lotus Cellular Repair Oil for my face. So the trial began, with me wearing ‘triple’ hat: that of consumer, of a journalist and the heaviest of them in this instance, a friend.

IMG_0836

The packaging is subtle but eye-catching and unique, you certainly won’t confuse it with another brand. There is reflection in it and attention to detail and the jar for the cleansing balm, as well as the face oil & mist bottles are made from Miron glass, to protect the ingredients and formula potency.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 19.23.55

Now, let me start with the HGB Chocolate Cleansing Balm that you are initially more likely to want to lick than put on your face, as it smells of chocolate, cookies and caramel – the best desert not meant for your stomach. Danny told me that the balm is solidified and to make sure I don’t keep it in a warm place, as it can melt. The jar comes with a little spatula with which you are meant to scoop a small amount of the product (making sure you don’t introduce dirt or bacteria in it, thus keeping the ‘integrity’ of the formula intact), put it on the tips of your fingers and gently emulsify it for a few seconds, before massaging it thoroughly all over your face, in the upward direction. By the time you start massaging the balm into your skin it softens and turns into a consistency that I can only describe as an almost liquid oil that smells of enticing happiness. Focus on massaging your face for at least thirty seconds ( regular massage stimulates the cells that release collagen, thus improving skin elasticity ), add some water, massage further, with a cleanser emulsifying and then take a muslin cloth that comes with the cleanser and wash it off you face. Danny & Scott recommend using the cloth in the evenings, for gentle exfoliation.

IMG_0898

To be honest I prefer to wash the cleanser off with my fingers and warm water, without the use of the cloth but bear in mind that a clean (!) cloth used daily will act as a gentle exfoliator and buffer for your skin, which is beneficial for speeding up cell turnover from 30 upwards. I have also tried using it with my Foreo and while the result is good, I still prefer to massage this product in to my face with the tips of my fingers, varying degree of pressure, inhaling the scent and letting the worries of the day go down the drain with the water. Goodbye grime and daily worries, hello beautifully cleansed, soft skin that feels moisturised even before I apply anything to it, following the cleanser.

Chocolate.Balm

Key Ingredients:

Wild-crafted Mafura Butter & Organic Cacao Butter: revitalises, calm & nourishes, leaving skin super soft.

Acai berry, Organic Cacao extract, Green Tea & Rosehip: potent antioxidants that help to fight free radical damage.

Organic Coconut, Almond, Avocado & Sunflower Oils: hydrate skin & provide it with essential nutrients that boost radiance.

Calendula & Copaiba: sooth skin & help to decongest it.

HGB Chocolate Cleansing Balm, 100mls, £45 (incl one organic muslin cloth)

HGB Pink Lotus Cellular Repair Oil is one of the two oils that is part of the initial Holistic Green Beauty product release, in part because Danny and Scott are big believers in the efficacy and power of facial oils, provided they are created from high quality ingredients. This oil is seabuckthorn orangey in colour and does have a strong smell – I wasn’t initially sure of it but after a few days of use, it grew on me. Scent is a very personal thing – some of us prefer stronger smelling products, others like subtle smells and of course there are those who like scent-free products for various reasons.

size-2pink-lotus-600x600

One or two drops of the oil ( the pump is quite good at dispensing the right amount of the oil that you will need and it doesn’t create a mess that some pumps do, spraying contents everywhere ) is enough for your face and neck. Apply it to a slightly damp skin and with gentle upward strokes massage it all over, avoiding lip and eye area. You can use it both in the morning and evening but I ‘tested’ it by using it at night-time. When you apply it, it leaves behind some sheen initially. Having said that, this oil sinks in within a couple of minutes without a trace, so you can easily apply make-up on top of it, if using it in the morning.

Pink.Lotus

The main aim of this particular face oil is to help repair & heal the skin from the damage inflicted by daily stress and pollution. It not only hydrates your skin ( and is even more effective when you apply it to slightly damp skin) but helps to improve elasticity (thus making wrinkles and fine lines more plumped up then grooved into your face), assists in repairing sun damage ( consider incorporating sun protection into your daily skincare routine and your skin will thank you by somewhat ‘slower’ appearance of the signs of ageing, like pigmentation ) and adds radiance to lacking complexions. And thanks to the Pink Lotus, known for its antioxidant properties and natural AHAs, you cell renewal process will be improved, which is particularly handy if you are – no, not over the rainbow, but over the age of 30.

Would I say it is the best face oil that I have tried, considering the price? No, it didn’t move my favourite face oils off from the shelf for the time being but it certainly deserves the spotlight for its reparative properties alone, as the list of ingredients that work hard on improving your skin, particularly if it has taken the beating from the elements, stress and pollution is impressive. Would I buy it myself ? In order to answer that question, I will need to finish the bottle first and look in the magnifying mirror without prejudice. For now my skin is plump and even but I at this stage I, personally, contribute this to the effect of the cleanser. I have , however, been getting compliments on my skin lately, which is a good endorsement of the skincare routine that I currently follow.

Key Ingredients:

Pink Lotus: encourages process of cell renewal

Organic read more

Bodhi Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil Limited Pink Edition

I wanted to include =&0=& in my August post about summer face oils but then I found out that this amazing eco-luxury British skincare brand will be launching a =&1=&. Before I tell you in more detail about both this =&2=& and Bodhi face oil, let me explain why is this cause particularly special to my heart.

IMG_2811

According to Breast Cancer Care charity, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and currently there are over 550,000 women who are diagnosed with it. Many years ago my maternal grandmother Irena found a lump in her breast. Initially she didn’t think much of it and time just went by. By the time she eventually went to see a doctor, her diagnosis was much more severe. She passed away three years later, after fighting the disease with all her might but those three years changed not only the course of her life but that of her family as well.

My grandmother was an extraordinary woman whose smile always shone brightly from the depth of her eyes, who never raised her voice or said a harsh word to anyone in order to make a point and who had a meaningful and kind impact on all the people who came into contact with her. She taught literature and history at high school and her former students used to come and visit my grandparents modest, but always welcoming apartment, for years after their school graduation. Endless cups of tea and plates of cakes were consumed and life dilemmas were told to her in confidence-and she always gave wise and practical advice that made a difference to whoever she was imparting it on, be it a woman or a man. When she passed away the light has gone out of my grandfather’s eyes and even we returned, it was its pale dimmer….To this day I remember her beautiful eyes, colourful long necklaces that she loved and I wanted to play with (they wouldn’t be out of fashion even today) and the most amazing fried potatoes and meat cutlets that she made-the likes of which I haven’t tasted since she passed away. She had flair and an amazing joy of ‘just being’ and she spread this joy with  tireless generosity.

Why am I telling you this? Simply because this disease is widespread and even though constant progress in being made in the medical field, one can’t rest on the laurels until this disease is beaten or even maybe (one can dream !), completely eradicated and Breast Cancer Care Charity plays a big part in that. It is the only UK-wide charity that is dedicated to providing round-the-clock emotional and practical support for women ( and their families ) living with breast cancer.

=&3=&ethos is based on enhancing one’s personal care rituals in order to improve general well-being. =&4=&, a wonderfully generous brand’s founder and a wise man of many talents, draws inspiration  from the potent healing powers of nature and traditional botanical remedies and all of Bodhi products, be for face or for the body, are created from 100% pure botanical essences selected for their skincare and therapeutic benefits. Many brands claim to be natural or organic, while Bodhi truly is! From the practical and eco-friendly packaging to beauty transforming formulas, those products will change your mood, lift your spirits and enhance your well-being while making you feel beautiful on the outside.

=&5=&. Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil is based on the most revered of the roses: the Bulgarian Damask one. It contains Damask Rose Otto from the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria, organic Argan oil from Essaouria in Morocco and Rose Hip Oil which is known for its anti-ageing and scar-diminishing properties. With the limited pink edition of this wonderfully potent face oil the brand aims, according to Elijah ‘to empower and inspire women to support this tremendous cause by helping to reinforce body confidence during breast cancer’.

IMG_2812

This face oil was designed for women with dry skin, but it will also benefit people with normal, dehydrated, mature, stressed or lacklustre skin. I use it in the summer, in the evening, after thoroughly cleaning my face and find that I wake up with radiant and well-hydrated skin in the morning, even when I spend a fair amount of time on the beach and in the sea. You only need one or two pumps of it at a time, which you then gently tap it on your skin with the tips of your fingers, all over your face, inwards. You can also use it on your neck and decoletage, as those are the areas where signs of ageing start to appear first. You can use it on top of your serum, if you find that you skin feels dry, but I prefer to use it on its own. The oil is light in colour and smells of honey-dew and roses, which I am sure will help to lifting the mood of any woman fighting the gruelling disease and struggling to feel feminine during the haze of fear, exhaustion and helplessness. Elijah also advises to use the ‘excess’ oil, left on your fingers, to nurture and protect cuticle beds.

Key Active Botanical Ingredients:

Bulgarian Damask Rose Otto is a highly nourishing emollient. This legendary precious oil helps to read more