Grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, relax and enjoy!
Back in June, I was having a chat about skin care, as you do. I had commented on how beautiful and healthy a friend’s skin looked, being interested in that kind of thing. She said that she used an exfoliant every day but she wasn’t keen to use it anymore. Given how radiant her skin looked, you can imagine my confusion!
Linda went on to explain that she had discovered her cleanser contained microbeads which, when they are washed down your drain and consequently into rivers etc, are harmful to the environment. How very ethical, I thought!
For those wondering, microbeads are the little scrubbies in a lot of exfoliators and are made from…wait for it…plastic. Yup, you could be rubbing plastic all over your pan.
Enter Neal’s Yard Remedies, a line of organically sourced skincare products. Linda became a consultant for the Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic, which is going to be the best avenue to purchase through. The eagle eyed among you may have seen a selection of these products, at an elevated price might I add, in Marks and Sparks. I certainly had but, not knowing anything about the brand, did not purchase.
Linda had put together a ‘Pamper Hamper’ and very kindly allowed me to hold on to it for a few days to get a feel for the brand and test drive the products. I LOVE this idea. Given the money we all spend on skincare products, particularly as we age, and the fact that, in this country, we can’t return cosmetics that have been opened (oh to live in America, huh?), I thought this was so innovative and wondered, why has no one ever done this before?
Look at all those goodies! As soon as I saw this luxurious little package I couldn’t wait to get stuck in! I wasted no time in reading up on each of the products she had included and looked forward to the ultimate pamper session!
Neal’s Yard is a brand based in Covent Garden and has been in operation since 1981. Their ethos, from the outset, has revolved around natural, organic, good for you ingredients, believing that nature knows best. They pride themselves on bringing natural remedies and treatments to the market and shun the synthetic chemicals that many other skincare brands rely on.
The ethos of the company will appeal to so many of you too. NYR do not test on animals, trade ethically and fairly (many of their products don the Fairtrade mark), support various charitable campaigns (including Save the Bees 🐝) and ultimately want their clients to look and feel good naturally- from the inside out!
Friday Facial Products
As you know, I no longer remove my make up with my cleanser, so this wasn’t going to be an exception to that rule. I want the skincare benefits of a cleansing product, not a bar of soap. Apply this to dry skin, remove with a cloth (I’d recommend a muslin cloth or similar) and warm water and be left feeling squeaky, and I mean squeaky, clean. There’s no better feeling! Frankincense is known for it’s rejuvenating effect and supports toning and moisturising. The essential oil has also been shown to reduce scarring in acne sufferers over time, so that certainly appeals to me. This particular cleanser, as with a lot of the Neal’s Yard products, is suitable for all skin types, making it a perfect gift for someone in need of a treat. The gift of good skin? Yes ma’am!
Wild Rose Beauty Balm- 50g, £38
This is an award winner for Neal’s Yard. It’s a bit of an all rounder. Wild rose hip seed oil is a high level antioxidant and our skin not only needs antioxidants to protect cells, but it loves them to slow the aging process and give dull, lacklustre skin a boost. This is a balm that melts into an oil between the hands and can be used to cleanse, as a mask and as a moisturiser. Dry skinned gals…this is your saviour! A little goes a long way and I even applied this to my lips!
Rose Facial Oil- 30ml, £20
So this is for normal skin, which I don’t have. I’m usually a little reluctant to apply oil to mon visage as it seems counterintuitive to me for my skin type. I tried this anyway as I adore the scent (like really, I could eat it). Rose has amazing hydration properties and gives a natural glow to the complexion. I applied this after cleansing and really treated my skin to a good old massage. I used upward strokes to encourage the skin to lift and not sag south. It was heavenly! Did I wake up the next day looking like you could fry bacon on my face grease? Absolutely not. My skin was smooth, plump and healthy. High five!
Honey and Orange Facial Scrub- 75g, £16
This is my pick of the whole bunch. Initially I was dubious that I would like this one because of it’s reasonably strong scent. Then again, I said that about my beloved Cleanse and Polish from Liz Earle, but my oh my, this packs a punch! A little tiny bit goes such a long way so this jar will last you a long time. Take a small amount in the palm of your hand, add a little bit of warm water to loosen it and gently, in circular motions, apply to the skin. No need to go mad or you’ll be beaming like a beetroot and it won’t be any more effective that way. Rinse off and your skin will feel sensational! I kid yee not. Mon visage looked clear and bright and felt so velvety soft I wasn’t sure I was touching my own cheek. Amazing, well and truly. Bonus jonus…this doesn’t contain microbeads but sloughs away dead skin using organic rice powder. So much better for your complexion and for the fishies! Honey has amazing healing and skin conditioning properties too. Nature is amazing! My make up sat beautifully on top of my skin after using this for two days. I am in LOVE!
White Tea Facial Mist- 45ml, £11.50
I can imagine just how soothing this would be during a hot summer day if you had kept it in the fridge over night. A quick spritz on bare skin or even over make up will leave you feeling refreshed, hydrated and soothed. White tea is renowned for its calming properties too and is packed full of antioxidants which go hand in hand with excellent skin health. As a make up lover (did you know??) this worked perfectly over my full face of slap and actually removed some of the powdery texture that my oil slick skin requires.
White Tea Toning Eye Gel- 10ml, £24
As with a lot of Neal’s Yard products you only need a teeny amount of this and I mean teeny weeny. Don’t waste it by using too much. The skin around our eyes is so delicate and loses elasticity quickly so an eye product with toning properties…yes please! Tap, don’t rub and you’ll find this is a great base for undereye concealer. It has a slight tacky texture before it completely soaks in and makes your concealer last so much longer for that reason.
Palmarosa Purifying Facial Mask- 50g, £26.50
Linda kindly added this into the Pamper Hamper, specifically for my oily complexion. This mask contains green clay which is a natural cleansing agent and helps to rebalance the skin. It will literally suck all the dirt and grease out of your pores. Think detox. It dries down quickly, has a slight warming sensation as it does so, and then feels tight, as most clay masks do. This meant I had that oh so satisfying task of ‘cracking’ the mask before removal! I removed this with a wee sponge that I use for face masks and once I did, my skin looked decongested and matte. It’s not designed for dry or normal skin and will be far too drying for you if you fall in either if those camps, but my oily/combo girls? You’re going to love this! Palmarosa will also help to reduce the redness and inflammation of blemishes and minimise their appearance. Right up my street and the instant mattifying effect pleased me no end! Friday nights are now face mask nights!
By the by, always, always, always exfoliate before applying a face mask. All those skin loving ingredients need to penetrate the complexion to get to work. Your mask will not be able to do that if it is blocked by dead skin cells! If you find your face masks aren’t making much of a difference to your skin’s health…that’s probably why!
Preparing for Sleep
So… I am not the best sleeper. I take forever to fall over, wake throughout the night and any sleep I do manage to get is dream ridden. I was delighted that Linda had popped some goodies into the hamper that she felt might help me have a more restful night.
Beauty Sleep Body Butter- 200g, £23
So this isn’t specifically for the sleep deprived insomniacs of the world but I wasn’t taking any chances. It has sleep in the name…get it on me! First off, this is the thickest body cream I have ever come across. It contains both shea and cocoa butter, as well as ylang ylang which is said to calm the mind. Immediately this feels luxurious and a real treat for the body. Little dabs all over and just before bed and you’ll start to unwind and relax.
Beauty Sleep Concentrate- 30ml, £32.50
I’ve strayed away from cream and oil based moisturisers as my oily skin tends to cope better with hydration from a gel like, water based formula. Subsequently I was a little reluctant to try this, in case it broke me out. I’m happy to report…it didn’t! And here’s why…it’s designed to support your skin’s renewal process as you sleep! That’s why you should never go to bed without your night cream girls! Your skin is hard at work and anything to help revitalise and rejuvenate it…I’m in!
Goodnight Pillow Mist- 45ml, £15
So we all know that we shouldn’t have technology in the bedroom, we shouldn’t have coffee after a certain time in the day and a cooler room aids restful sleep. Well, I’m not very good at sticking to any of those rules and I don’t think I ever “switch off” so having something that will, at the very least, make me feel calm, sounds good to me. First of, just take a whiff of this and you’ll immediately start to de-stress. Spritz it onto your pillow and around the room, even a wee dab like you’re applying perfume, and you can’t help but relax. Even I did, and that’s saying something!
Remedies to Roll Night Time- 9ml, £6.50
Applying this mix of pure essential oils, including chamomile, to your pulse points will help to further promote a sense of calm and prepare you for sleep. Your blood vessels are closer to the surface of your skin at your pulse points and products will therefore absorb into the body faster when applied here. So, this on your wrists, the back of the neck and the temples will complement the Pillow Mist perfectly. What I really like is NYR don’t stop there with the roller ball boyos. They also sell ones to help with concentration, energy levels, travel fatigue and relaxation. Maybe we need them all!!
Seaweed Salt Scrub- 200g, £18.50
If I’m going to pick a top product then I best be fair and pick a bottom one. Not to say that this isn’t a great in shower scrub, it is, and all you self tanners out there would adore it, but I had a bit of an issue with the packaging. I gave the tube a good shake but getting this scrubby boy out of its tube with slippy hands is challenging. Sea salt is a fabulous exfoliant; too harsh for the face, but perfect for harder, tougher, more robust skin. This on tired, dry, ashy feet would be amazing, but because the salt crystals are not uniform in size I think it would be better suited in a pot form, with a wee scoop of some sort. Larger grains were clogging up the cap and whilst taking the cap off was a vast improvement, I just felt there would be a simpler way to do this!! I must say though, my skin felt smooth and not in the least bit dried out, but it was a bit of a hassle to get to this point. Just being honest with you! Perhaps a wee point for NYR to consider in the future.
Seaweed and Arnica Foaming Bath- 200ml, £15.50
I’m not a big bath fan, so I wasn’t expecting to try this yolk at all. That was annoying me. So I figured..it’s foaming, like shower gel. See where I’m going with this? A drop onto one of thon shower puff do das that no one knows the name of and it will lather for days!! You’ll also turn your shower room into a spa at home. It’s unreal how it transports you! I know this isn’t supposed to be used as a shower foam but it worked! It worked beautifully! As with the facial cleanser, I felt squeaky clean!! It’s supposed to help with tired and aching muscles and given the scent alone makes you relax, I can only imagine what a long soak in the tub would do! Arnica is fab for bruises and aching muscles and seaweed is rich in minerals to soothe and restore the skin to health.
I have to say, I had the most relaxing, pamper filled weekend trying all these goodies. I also have to be honest with you all…I expected to like one, maybe two items, if I was lucky. I figured if this was so good, I’d have heard more about the brand. Everyone would be talking about it and there’d be Neal’s Yard products on every bathroom shelf in the country. The pessimist in me had dismissed the whole line, before I even tried it.
I could not have been more wrong. Ladies (and gentlemen if any are reading this- thank you kindly by the way) I am so genuinely impressed with the products I trialed in this hamper. I have tried and tested so many things, from so many brands, that I expect so much more from every new item I try. This is real skincare people and it’s packed full of ‘good for you ingredients.’ I am shocked at the impact they had on my skin in such a short time. The fact that my pores look smaller, my blackheads have disappeared and I didn’t feel the need to cake my face with foundation, is testament to their power. Just phenomenal!
Even if the products I’ve mentioned don’t appeal to you they have such a huge range of skincare, body products, pure essential oils, supplements, teas, even make up, you’re sure to find a new love. Feeling as though my skin looks good is so incredibly important to me, as a former sufferer of cystic acne. I have certainly felt a real boost in self esteem knowing my skin has been treated to natural, organic ingredients and the difference they have made in such a short space of time, well, I can’t believe it!
That’ll teach me to be a negative Nelly!
Click below for Linda’s details…
I would advise that you use the links above to view and order via Linda’s Neal’s Yard Organic website. She will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding products and pricing if you get in touch.
Thanks so much to Linda for allowing me to ‘Try Before I Buy’! I have loved every second, and so has my skin!
Let me know if you have any goodies from Neal’s Yard in the comments below. Your recommendations might help someone find their skin saviour!! We all want that!
Thanks for stopping by!
**Prices displayed are true as of 8th August 2017 when purchased via https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/lindalewis_2**
- What to buy…what to buy?
- Pamper party.