Colder weather and cozy central heating I love but my poor skin says ‘wah wah wah’ as it begins to shrivel up – unless I take precautions! I’ve incorporated protective skin care into my daily regime that complements my environment. And I have some superb new products that I’d like to share with you. First up is the Carrot Butter cleansing balm by Organic Pharmacy. This is my first time using a cleansing balm and I find it the most comforting experience. I scoop a penny sized amount and massage it over my entire face for a couple of minutes to boost the circulation, and it feels so, so, so good, the consistency is thick and greasy which sounds gross but feels great, especially if your skin is dry. I received a muslin cloth which I believe is sold separately, you should run this under hot water, wring out and press onto your face before wiping off the excess balm. This feels so incredible I can’t even explain. Next up is the eye cream and moisturiser from Grown Alchemist, this is a very cool natural brand from Australia. I like the minimal packaging but crucially it really nurtures my skin. Natural moisturisers absorb nicely into the skin which I put down to their lack of silicone or any petroleum type ingredients which tend to lay on the surface when I use them. This allows me to slather on a really thick layer and leave it to soak in. My skin begins to plump and I’m left looking socially acceptable again.

If you have any questions or suggestions you can leave a comment or tweet me!

In this post I have a round up of the best natural and organic soaps from a selection of different brands*. I like to lather up in the shower with an old school bar of soap and this selection suits a variety of different skin types.

GROWN ALCHEMIST BODY CLEANSING BAR – Geranium Leaf, Bergamot & Patchouli. This luxurious soap bar smells delicious and is perfect for gifting as it comes in it’s own sleek box. Bioactive ingredients detoxify and moisturise the skin. Available at NICHE-BEAUTY for 19,50 €. Suitable for all skin types.

BUCKLERS MOISTURE RICH SOAP. Fine grains of vanilla bean gently exfoliate the skin whilst shea butter, honey and almond oil moisturise. Available at WOODBERG for 12,00 €. For sensitive or dry skin.

LE BAIGNEUR LES TROIS SAVON DU BAIGNEUR. A collection of three soaps that come perfectly wrapped will also make a great gift. The first soap exfoliates using natural coconut pulp with peppermint oil to soothe. The Relaxant soap uses cedarwood oil which has relaxing properties, blended with uplifting petitgrain. The Tonifiant soap uses activated charcoal to draw out impurities and has a warm spicy aroma of black pepper and clove. Available at GREENGLAM for 27,00 €.

SOAPWALLA GLYCERIN SOAP BAR – Rosewood, Cedar & Clay. Perfect for oily or acne-prone skin whilst preventing over-drying. Can also be used as a shaving bar. Available at many destinations including SOAPWALLA for $10,00.

* All of the soaps featured were PR samples.

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IMG_7284I’d like to start this post with a great big AAARRRGGGGHHHHH, now, that’s better. My home is still under renovation and the only room that’s finished is my bedroom. I will be camping out in here until everything is done. Despite the mess I’m feeling good which could be due to my friends at TEATOX who sent me samples of their lovely immunity boosting tea. I try to go for a run every other morning and I like to drink a cup of this after my shower. I must say, it gives me a tiny headache after drinking it which I put down to the tea’s detoxifying properties. Hot water and lemon does the same thing, especially if I’ve had a glass of wine the night before. I try to boost my immune system at this time of year to fight off the inevitable coughs and colds everyone passes around during the colder months. Prevention is always better than cure! The nice and soft, oversize jumper I’m wearing in this picture is from Only & Son’s *.

* PR Samples

Natural cosmetics have been on my radar for a while, mainly due to my own brand Intensae which sits within this sector of the beauty industry. I’m drawn towards a healthy lifestyle and incorporating natural skincare into my daily routine was an easy choice, especially with recent formula developments. Demand for natural and organic cosmetics is on the rise and it’s set to increase year by year. According to consultancy company Kline it currently accounts for 13% of the beauty sector at a value of 33 billion dollars. These figures were taken from a recent article in The Business of Fashion. Once niche, natural beauty is becoming mainstream, Edwina Ings-Chambers health and beauty director, Sunday Times Style Magazine mentioned recently that the question she is most frequently asked right now is her opinion on natural beauty. This is a much debated subject with some stating organic can be harmful and synthetic doesn’t automatically mean harmful, see this article from Paula’s Choice as an example. These points are of course true, cyanide is natural after all and synthetic can be ok. But let’s put the extreme examples aside, it’s a fact that unregulated, potentially harmful ingredients such as petrochemicals (see this huff post article for more information) are used in every day products such as hair conditioner and moisturiser. My experience with natural and organic products has been extremely positive so unless it’s a dermatologist grade result I’m after then I’m all for the naturals baby.

It can be confusing differentiating the good from the bad or the healthy from the unhealthy when in fact everything including water is a chemical. When it comes to industry standards the words ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ can be used very loosely which can result in products that aren’t actually good for our skin. Luckily we have industry trailblazers such as Nina Kraus who founded GreenGlam store in Augsburg. Nina and her husband have a background as pharmacists with a Ph. D in Pharmacognosy. GreenGlam started with just two brands that have an origin as pharmacies, The Organic Pharmacy & KORRES. As the industry progressed Nina added new products from emerging brands, they now offer one of the largest selections of products from just over 100 different brands. This isn’t a case of taking anything and everything that’s natural or organic, brands are vetted beforehand and many don’t make it onto the coveted shelves at GreenGlam. Nina uses her intuition when selecting brands, she has to love the touch, the feel, the smell and the packaging. Her impressive credentials combined with impeccable taste and an astute intuition are no doubt the reason’s why her store has become so renowned.

I recently received my very own box of GreenGlam goodies which included a selection of products from The Organic Pharmacy and Le Baigneur, both of which I hadn’t tried before. The smell of The Organic Pharmacy Moisture Cream for Men is a game changer for me, it’s super luxurious. There is a lot more to say regarding these new products which I will include with more detail in my upcoming winter skincare post.

IMG_6344IMG_6388This is another crazy week, the bathroom is being renovated so I’m living in a state of dust and mess. It’s coming along nicely though, the wall tiles are done and once the marble arrives we can finish the floor and add the sink, toilet and lighting. The marble comment sounds a bit pretentious but with just 5 square meters of floor space we decided to go for it and then use basic white square tiles on the walls. It’s looking really good, I can’t wait to see it all finished. The weather on Monday was perfection, a little cold and super sunny. I decided to take a walk in the forest with the camera and take some shots. It was beautiful with the golden leaves and blue green pine trees. Today it’s gloomy and misty so I’m pleased I made the most of yesterdays sunlight. I was in Munich last week and picked up a copy of my favorite magazine – Fantastic Man. The interviews are really interesting and they offer some really cool fashion and lifestyle tips. In this issue they show you how to create a tight turn-up on trousers so they hug the ankle perfectly. I’ve already tried it on a loose pair of chino’s and it works! If I wear a looser style of trousers I still like it to be slim at the ankle so this technique is perfect. I have loads of apples at home and I got a huge bunch of kale at the market for 1€ so I made a kale and apple soup with walnuts (except I used sunflower seeds instead). The recipe came from BBC Good Food. It tasted interesting so I’m not sure if I will make it again but it was super healthy which is a good thing. Lastly, Green Glam in Augsburg sent me an amazing selection of products which I will tell you all about in my next post!