As promised in my recent Insta video, this post is dedicated to a Russian ‘first’ – and no, I am not talking about President Putin. I mean a luxe natural skincare brand Berezka
Olivia worked in investment banking, but eventually gave it up to create an online forum called Vanderohe.com, where she wrote editorials about beauty and wellness. Not long after starting it, Olivia became pregnant with her first son and was warned by the doctor to be weary of some beauty products, as some contain ingredients harmful to the development of the baby during pregnancy. Olivia admits to not considering this prior to getting pregnant and eagerly adopting a new philosophy ‘if it wasn’t good enough for baby, it wasn’t good enough for me!’
Olivia began examining labels and spoke to brand founders, while also researching the benefits of using plant oils in beauty routine. She also noticed that her skin changed after giving birth, becoming quite sensitive. Olivia’s gaze tuned towards natural products that addressed her skin’s needs and concerns effectively. During her second pregnancy she struggled to find skincare product the scent of which didn’t irritate her nose and senses in general – as those of you who have been pregnant know, each pregnancy can be a minefield of symptoms, aches, pains and irritations – physically and mentally. All of those things led Olivia to blend her own oils.
But it was a close friend of Olivia’s who has somewhat inspired the creation of her first skincare product, No.1 Nourishing Face Serum. She asked Olivia to create an anti-scarring oil serum and the rest, as they say, is history. Olivia chose potent essential oils known for their anti-scarring qualities and added multiple anti-ageing and nourishing ingredients into the blend, making sure her nose played ‘an active part’, as scent is such an important aspect when it comes to skincare and in many instances the word ‘perfume’ can mask a lot of unpleasant ingredients, which can have long-term adverse effect on one’s health. As Olivia perfected the blend, she realised how much she and her skin liked it. Then compliments about your skin’s natural glow started rolling in. After making the samples and testing them on willing friends and family, Vanderohe No.1 Nourishing Face Serum was born.
When you see serum’s external packaging you will notice that it grabs your attention, by it’s subtle and unusual combination of colours – you certainly won’t mistake Vanderohe for another brand. The synergistic blend itself, combines high-grade organic, cold-pressed and wild-harvested oils and is housed in a glass Miron bottle, to protect the potency and quality of the product. It was also important for Olivia to create a product that not only will address a multitude of modern skin does, from moisture loss to pigmentation and wrinkles, but made sure that women who use it benefit from aromatherapeutic effect through its delicate scent. So what started with personal interest and skincare workshops, culminated in Olivia’s blend of oils that makes sure that the balance is precise and that the synergistic benefit of ingredients is optimised, in order to bring maxim benefits to your skin safely.
The actual ‘perfectionism’ of the formula took about two years, as Olivia believes that ‘beauty is in details’. When it came to sourcing and selecting the ingredients, Olivia went for Soil Association certified organic cold-pressed oils, which were complimented by eight active wild-harvested essential oils, each chosen to enhance the formula. Expect balancing, anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, moisture-boosting and skin-strengething effect on your skin over-time and with regular use, as well as reduction in pigmentation, redness and scarring.
I tend to use this oil nightly, but as it acts as a perfect base for make-up (more on this later), you can use it day and night. Apply three drops with a pipette to the palm of your hand, take a couple of deep breaths, inhaling the flowery aroma and massage it into clean skin, pressing carefully around the eyes. You can use it on its own (it has the texture of the oil) or add a few drops to your usual moisturiser for an active boost. It is very smooth and glides wonderfully over your skin. I had to forego using my eye cream when testing this and have to say that delicate eye area likes it as much, as the skin on my face. As the scent opens up, you are enveloped in the sunny, flowery scent, which was particularly uplifting on dark and gloomy nights when I first started testing this serum – Maria, thank you for letting me on about this serum!
Each ingredient of this serum is ‘native’, meaning it comes from the original source or the country, which is widely known for growing it for centuries. Responsible sourcing is important to Olivia, so as she sources the oils directly from countries of origin, she takes into account the carbon footprint and offsets it with tree planting donation. In addition, Vanderohe donates 10% of its profits to the marine savers programme at Four Seasons at Landaa Giravaaru, which acts as a ‘base’ for research on mantra rays and coral reefscaping into the Baa Atoll, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve – it is heart-warming to see that more and more brands bring charity into the fabric of their work.
Olivia is someone who is interested in many things, apart from beauty, including architecture, nature and art, which explains something that nestles alongside the serum bottle
Late last year I attended the ‘Meet the Makers‘ event with Antonia at Wakeman Road, where she talked about the effect of plants on mind and body and her preference for simple skincare & effective beauty routine. Antonia is going to be celebrating her 25th year in the beauty business this year and her drive, in part, stems from her passion for healthy skin. She says that a good skincare therapist has an intrinsic desire to help the client to solve their problems and that’s why one of the main areas of her focus are ageing & problematic skin.
Antonia Burrell Radiant Light Facial Oil Serum, 15 mls, £58.80
This bright orange, the colour of sea buckthorn berries, Facial Oil serum has a texture of the oil and smells
As I often write about skincare brands and products, I always look at them in detail, trying to find an answer to the question what makes the product or skincare line unique