I was recently offered skincare samples from the previously unknown to me company, Neal's Yard Remedies on twitter, and I gladly accepted. I was sent a slew of sample size products to try, along with a catalog. What a great line of offerings! They are certified organic in the UK, and they are made in England where every single bottle, pot and tube is checked by hand. They have won numerous awards in the beauty world, one of which is Champion status by the The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. They grow some of their own ingredients, and what they don't grow they source fairly through sustainable farming. Oh, and they use eco-friendly packaging to boot. Wow!
Most of the products I was sent are for dry skin, so I was a bit nervous. My skin is sometimes dry, sometimes oily- combination skin really, depending on the weather. Since going almost all vegan and raw, my skin has cleared up dramatically, though- there is rarely a blemish to speak of and some of the vegetables and fruit I eat have caused me to tan a bit (without much sun exposure. It's the carotenes in carrots, etc.) So I figured, if my skin does react to the samples, it would clear up quickly.
I started out with the night time products. First I cleansed with the Wild Rose Beauty Balm. I massaged it into wet skin, then soaked a washcloth in hot water, held it on my face a few minutes to open pores and then wiped the cleanser away. I rinsed with warm water for good measure. While the balm was VERY emollient- almost greasy-feeling- my skin did not have any residue. It felt clean and soft. Next, I used Beauty Sleep Concentrate (for all skin types) and Nourishing Orange Flower Night Cream (dry skin) over the serum. Together they made my skin feel soft, hydrated and firm. I hoped they would continue their work over night. I also used the Frankincense and Mandarin Body Lotion- absorbed quickly, was not greasy, and it smells heavenly, if you like the scent of Frankincense.
In the morning, I was still soft and hydrated, but not greasy- yay! I rinsed with very warm water and a washcloth, and applied a White Tea Enriching Facial Mask to still damp skin. The mask contains kaolin, a clay. I use other facial masks that contain clay, and while they are effective at clearing out the pores and tightening skin, the mask can be thick and dry and tough to work with, and as it dries on the skin, it can be uncomfortable and tight. This mask was creamy coming out of the tube, easy to apply, and easy to wash off. It did not leave my skin feeling dry or tight, only soft and clear and my pores were minimized (always a plus in hot humid summer weather.) I followed up with the Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum and Wild Rose Daily Moisture. The Frankincense scent is quite strong in the serum as well- hours later I could still smell it. If one is sensitive to scents (I am not) a different serum might be better. While I always use a daytime moisturizer, I typically keep it minimal and avoid layering products so that a. my skin doesn't get clogged or greasy, b. I don't have a reaction by being out in the heat or sun, and c. I don't attract bees or other bugs with strong scents. This seems to have left my skin hydrated, however. It does not feel as though it is sitting ON TOP of my skin- it absorbed well.
If you are in the market for new skincare, and want to try something more natural, sustainable, fair trade, and organic, give Neal's Yard Remedies a try. According to the catalog they sent me they offer MANY more products, for every skin type.
Do you have a company that offers natural, organic, and/or fair trade products? What is different about them?