By Eluxe Staff
You know what some ladies do when they discover a brilliant beauty product for achieving flawless skin? They stockpile a not-so-secret stash, especially when it is an elusive find. But when this discovery is truly fabulous, it’s too good not to share.
Here, Eluxe Beauty Editor Sophia Hussain, Staff Writer Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi and Editor in Chief Chere Di Boscio share what they believe are the very best natural beauty products around.
Arwa Lodhi, Writer
Karmameju Face Oils
I just discovered this Danish beauty brand, and I am impressed!
After experimenting with skin creams, I found that some sink in fast, and that’s it–their job is done. I’ve had to reapply several times a day to get a moisturised effect. But not so with Karmameju skin oils.
The brand uses a dynamic blend of organic ingredients especially formulated for dry skin. I particularly love their face oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E. Rosehip, Sea Buckthorn and Argan oil. It’s more like a serum with its powerful antioxidants and delivers protection from damaging environmental effects while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It smells good, too, thanks to concentrated Sandalwood oil, which also supports skin’s health, restores elasticity, and promotes tissue regeneration.
Micellar Cleansers are a growing trend in skincare, and Odeia makes one of the only all-natural ones around. As I wear a lot of makeup most days, and because I live in a polluted city, finding a deep cleansing product that doesn’t strip my skin is a top priority. Odeia Triple Action Cleansing Foam is a deep cleanser, and also claims to stimulate and improve the microcirculation of the skin.
For me, it was love at first try with this Finnish brand. The originality of this serum is its texture–it’s a combination of a gel and a cream, kind of like a milk, but it does all the heavy lifting of a serum. Of course, it’s prepared without any parabens and is based in all natural ingredients. I find that in addition to adding quick moisture to my skin, it also kind of tones it–firms it up a bit, which is great when I’m looking a bit tired.
Sophia Hussain, Beauty Editor
A French staple in my bathroom cabinet, one spray of this refreshing mist calms the most irritated skin. Containing only thermal spring water which has natural skin-soothing properties, and housed in an ozone-friendly tin too. This multi-functional water spray hydrates the face to reveal soft skin. I find this one is perfect to refresh your face after a long-haul flight, and is gentle enough to even soothe a baby’s nappy rash too.
Apparently, one bottle of this divinely scented oil is sold every 6 seconds in the world, and no wonder. I love this oil because it really dries quickly to give healthy, shine-free skin and can also be used to add life back to dry dull hair. I have fairly olive skin, but for those with paler complexions in need of some colour, there is a ‘golden’ version of this that gives a slight glow. Of course the oil is natural, and contains nourishing vitamin E, and a blend of six organic oils from: macadamia, almond, hazel, olive, camellia, and sunflower.
A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet as this indulgent day cream. It quenches dry skin with precious extracts of rose petals and wild rose hips, while Shea butter, rose petal wax and avocado oil help retain moisture. Extracts of marshmallow and St. John’s Wort soothe redness, hydrate the skin beautifully and smells wonderful too. No surprise that this is a celeb favourite, with Madonna and Kate Hudson being fans.
I truly believe the easiest cosmetic way to enhance your beauty is by wearing lipstick. These luxe organic lipsticks are highly-pigmented and available in beautiful hues that keep lips feeling super soft too. The lipsticks contain nourishing organic cocoa butter and oils from castor seed, sesame, and grape–all good enough to eat.
A creative alternative to the status quo stick lip balms, these cute chic recyclable spheres deliver smooth lips by simply gliding it across your lips. The Sweet Mint version doubles as an instant lip plumper due to the tingly peppermint effect. The spheres are lightly scented with their corresponding flavour, and contain organic beeswax, Shea butter, and jojoba oil.
Chere Di Boscio, Editor in Chief
Once just called Bodhi, the brand has since changed its name to Bodhi and Birch, but the excellent quality of its products is the same. Bodhi and Birth Skincare’s Jasmine Falls is one of the most delicious smelling creams I’ve ever tried. A gentle floral with absolutely no soapy, over-sweetness about it, I love the classy black bottles it comes in, too.
I am obsessed with this brand’s super-rich, easily absorbed creams, and their sophisticated, slightly woody scents. The Mogra & Indian Rose Gold Cream for dry skin contains 24k gold dust, reducing inflammation and redness, and avocado and Macedemia nut oil provide anti-oxidants. I have to order this from Australia but it’s well worth it!
Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge once said that while she respected organic cosmetics, she found it difficult to find richly pigmented products. I guess she’d never tried AEOS eye shadows. The mineral based metallic ones are so colourful and last so long, it almost looks like you’ve applied liquid gold to your lids.
I had my doubts about these scrubs at first. I read that they contain brown sugar and oil, and my initial reaction was: ‘why don’t I just make my own’? But after trying them and seeing the results, these are now a staple in my bathroom. The scrubs come in amazing scents–Gingerbread Pumpkin is one of my faves, as is Tahitian Jasmine–but the best thing of all is how they leave your skin: supple, smooth, soft and beautifully scented.
This all natural, chem-free shampoo is really gentle on my very fine and delicate hair. It leaves my locks feeling clean but not stripped, while the mint oil stimulates the scalp, and apparently, hair growth. It comes in a gorgeous black pump bottle that looks super elegant in my bathroom, too.
Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, Staff Writer
My must-have natural lipstick was founded in 2009 by the rocker-model-mum Theo Kogan. A former actress and model for Calvin Klein and Burberry, Kogan is an adamant eco-advocate. This luscious line of long wearing lipsticks is paraben free, gluten free, uses no animal testing ever (there’s a vegan lipstick line) and is environmentally friendly, of course. I love it because it stays on all day and moisturises with its base of Shea Butter, Avocado, Mango and Olive butters and oils, Grape seed oil and Vitamin E. I’m not the only one who’s obsessed: Armour lip gloss has quickly become the fave of rock chicks like Karen O, Joan Jett and Kim Gordon.
Does this qualify as makeup? I love a bit of drama and TAT2U gives you the chance of enjoying temporary body art without committing to a permanent tattoo. I love this because I can get punky at the weekends and tend to go a bit crazy with their ink pens and the tattoos, putting them on my arms normally but sometimes even on my face! They are easy to apply, and after you’ve had your share of fun, you remove them instantly–they come off easily with the first wash. I don’t think they’re organic, but apparently they are fully non-toxic…and surely better for your skin than a real tattoo?
Canada is known for its nature, and this brand is made from indigenous plants and botanicals from the surrounding land and sea of Newfoundland & Labrador in Canada. The company produces natural beauty products, including spa treatments, made with iceberg water, seaweed, berry products and aloe. I’ve found that these natural elements calm my sometimes red skin, and so I don’t at all doubt the company’s claims that they remineralise the skin and firm up the epidermis through a cleansing process that takes all of the toxins and trapped water in each cell, forcing it into the lymphatic system. In 2012 it got the Heather Stone award for Best New Product, but it gets my thumbs up any day!
We all need a sunscreen every day, but I found it difficult to find one that combines a transparent texture, feel and appearance on the skin with truly effective and safe protection, especially when using natural ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide. CōTZ to the rescue! CōTZ is vastly different and healthier than chemical sunscreens, since a physical sunscreen sits atop the skin and deflects UV rays before the rays can touch or penetrate the skin, whereas chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin, allow sunlight to penetrate the skin and transform the rays into heat, which can damage the dermis. It does take a bit longer to rub in if you want to ensure no whiteness, but for me, the protection it offers is worth it.
As an Italian, I am a bit obsessed with grapes. They not only make great wine, they can also make great skin, and M. Asam products prove it. Grape seed extract is a common ingredient in many European skincare brands. Called OPC, it is the natural “youth enzyme” that combats visible signs of skin ageing, caused by free radicals and is extracted from grape seeds, using a complex process. It is the strongest natural antioxidant researched to date, 6 times as strong as the antioxidant vitamin C and 20 times as effective as vitamin E. I’m still fairly young but I use this as protection from city grime and pollution, and so far, so good–no wrinkles yet!