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
Joanna actually launched three cleansing oils – there is also REVITALISE for mature skin, but I have been testing two of the above since October and have to say that it’s been the case of ‘like’ at a first sniff and a much deeper appreciation the longer I used the oils. I tend to use cleansing oils in the evening, to properly and thoroughly cleanse my skin, getting rid of make-up and pollutants, massage my face and make skin ready for the serums or creams or oils that I apply as part of my evening skincare ritual.
Joanna is not the one to rush to expand the range because it is often expected in the beauty industry – I call it the ‘false novelty bandwagon’ – so ‘developing a trio of cleansing oils was done in order to complement and complete the products that are already on offer and result in a simple, paired down and effective set that is all you need for your skin – cleansing, gentle exfoliation and moisturising. I realise that there are other steps that can be added, but for me, these are the basic essentials ( it is all I use!). As the whole idea of the products is simplicity in ingredients, I wanted the range to be simple too’.
Sooth Cleansing Oil is fragrance free and was developed with sensitive skin in mind. When I opened the bottle and inhaled, I could clearly smell the freshness of cucumber notes and that was very special, as I don’t know many face skincare products with this smell.
The two star ingredients of the Soothe cleansing oil are the Rice Bran Oil (Oryza Sativa) and the Cucumber Oil (Cucumus Sativus). Joanna loves the softness of rice bran oil, which is also known as an oil suitable for irritated skin. She also added Apricot Kernel Oil in the mix because of all of its wonderful properties, but it was equally important to make sure that the oil smelt nice, even though it is unscented. ”(Maybe brands don’t use it precisely because its scent would clash with other fragrances they are using?)”. Cucumber oil was an obvious one for Joanna – it smells beautiful, but also has various properties she was looking for, including skin’s nourishment ( Omegas 6 and 9), it ‘spreads’ easily and absorbs fairly quickly into the skin to help moisturise, as well as cleanse. ”On a more technical note, it contains phytosterols, and studies have shown that these help stimulate the regeneration of healthy skin cells. I figure this must be good for those with sensitive skin,” – adds Joanna.
I apply a few drops of this cleansing oil to my fingers first and then spread it all over my face, gently massaging it. If I am going to shower, I leave the oil on for a few minutes and then cleanse it off with a damp flannel, leaving my skin nurtured, soft and sample. While I don’t have sensitive skin, as it becomes colder and radiators are working full blast, my skin becomes dryer, so using this cleansing oil supports my skin’s matrix and gently cleanses make-up and daily pollutants off.
The oil’s pale yellow colour is easy on the eye and feels richly nourishing, yet not at all greasy, for those of you who are wondering about trying oil cleanser for the skin. I also recommend that you check Mallow & White website for tips on the best way to use each product, as this oil cleanser can be used three ways. Click here to find out more. There is also additional information on key ingredient benefits, as well as the full list of ingredients, which is as follows: Cucumber Seed Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Apricot kernel oil, Jojoba oil.
Joanna’s products don’t contain mineral oils, SLS or other harsh sulphates which are harsh abrasive cleaners and all of her products are hand-blended in small batches, in order to maintain maximum freshness, in Hertfordshire, where she lives. They are also vegan and tested on friends, not animals and if you think or know that you have sensitive skin, Joanna recommends that you do a patch test first.
Cleansing Oil was developed for normal & dry skin types. The
Today I want to present to you Joanna White, founder of British skincare brand Mallow + White:
GAP: What is your professional background?
JW: My professional background has nothing to do with beauty and skincare. I worked at BBC Radio for many years, both on Radio 4 programmes, such as Women’s Hour and Desert Island Discs, and then in the news studios of BBC World Service.
My passion, however, has always deviated towards evocative scents, beautiful looking and feeling skincare. One of my first memories is of picking up handfuls of stunningly scented rose petals and stirring them vigorously in jam jars for homemade perfume.
For years I had shelves upon shelves of moisturisers, perfumes and hand creams. Unfortunately, my skin started reacting violently to the many highly fragrant products crammed onto my shelves. Doctors prescribed steroid creams, but I wasn’t too happy with that & instead started cutting down on what I was putting on my skin, and my skin calmed down. I realised that the simpler my skincare was, the better my skin looked and felt.
GAP: What inspired you to start Mallow and White?
JW: My Eureka moment happened eight years ago, whilst working at the BBC. I was reading a newspaper article about making soap from scratch with olive oil. I tried it, and it was a revelation! A simple olive oil recipe was so soothing and moisturising and so completely different from anything that could be found in the shops. For my sensitive skin, 100% natural and minimalist ingredients really worked, so an obsession was born !
Encouraged by a growing band of enthusiastic family and friends, I started selling in craft markets. All of my spare time was taken up by researching the properties of ingredients and designing recipes. My customers loved the effective simplicity of the ingredients in the increasing number of products. There is nothing so satisfying as hearing the delighted “oohs” and “aahs” of customers trying out the tester pots!
Mallow and White was launched after taking voluntary redundancy from the BBC. Without wanting to sound too morbid, I didn’t want to be lying on my deathbed and wondering what if I’d given it a go. I knew that my simply minimalist recipes were effective and my growing band of loyal customers loved the results on their skin. I just had to go for it. Mallow + White is the result of that big, scary and exciting leap.