Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Natural Skin Care on Trial

Hi, everyone! Apologies if lipsticks and/or natural skin care are not your favourite topics; that's pretty much all I've been chatting about lately! But I'm a firm believer in writing about the things that drive your passions, so for now: lipsticks and natural skin care it is! 

Recent followers of the blog will know that I've begun efforts to transition to a more natural, gentle, ethically sourced skin care routine. I've always been interested in "natural" skin care (I use that term loosely, as many brands do), but my early experiences with such products largely left my skin irritated and spotty. More recently, however, the natural skin care world has really exploded and has begun to offer products that are effective, but soothing, entirely eco-friendly, but completely chic and appealing to my sense of luxury. Colour me excited! As a result, I've been frequenting local shops, including Jacob & Sebastian, Husk, The Detox Market, and The Big Carrot, all of which have been helping to feed my obsession. 

This quest has left me with a bathroom full of mini products that I have been putting to the test. I've been aiming to do so as gradually and as scientifically as possible, so if my sensitive, acne-prone skin begins to act up, I can pinpoint and nail the culprit rather quickly. Some of these products have been gracing my shelves for several weeks, while others are newer to the game. I thought it might be helpful to share my reactions will all of you, in case you are on a similar skin care path! 

First up is the Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Balancing Facial Oil, which I picked up from Husk a couple months back but have just started to use regularly. Everything this oil promises is music to my ears: it is designed to soothe redness and irritation, balance oil production, and heal blemishes while lightly hydrating the skin. Yes, yes, and yes! The oil is a gorgeous azure blue colour (thanks to the blue tansy oil) and conveniently comes in a small trial-sized roller ball format. I have been using this at night between my serum and night cream and have been waking up with seriously calm, even skin each morning. So far, this is a winner! 

Last month I was lucky enough to meet Graydon Moffat, the founder of Graydon skin care. I was sent home with a bevy of sample-sized treats from the line and have found a few firm favourites. The first is The Serum, which is jam-packed full of berry seed oils for hydration and antioxidant protection. It has an oily consistency, but does not leave me greasy- instead I look quite glowy! Perhaps my favourite is The Green Cream, which is dubbed as a "salad for your skin". It features broccoli seed oil and several herbal extracts, which creates quite the stimulating scent! I use this as a night cream and it always leaves my skin feeling calm and hydrated by morning. (Spoiler alert: I have purchased full sizes of both of these).

We all know that I love a little Pai, and during my latest visit to Jacob & Sebastian, the owner Joel was kind enough to provide me with deluxe sample sizes of three of their beautiful day creams. Up for trial very soon is their  Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream and Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Creams, which are both designed for hydrating finicky, sensitive skin. Their Geranium & Thistle Day Cream is a firm favourite of mine, so I expect nothing less from these varieties! 

Another brand that had totally been tempting me was The Body Deli, due to its ultra fresh ingredients and foodie sensibilities. This curiosity coincided with a rather bad breakout, so I marched over to Husk and snagged sample sizes of two of the line's blemish busters, the Sage & Grapefruit Cleanser and the Light Facial Emulsion. I have been absolutely loving both of them and will definitely be buying full sizes of both! The cleanser smells like a fresh green smoothie and contains the kale, sage, and tea tree to warrant the pigment. It also contains 2% salicylic acid to really clean out pores. It has seriously cleared out my skin without any dryness. Impressive! And the moisturizer is perhaps the best lightweight, yet hydrating lotion I've tried. It contains minerals like sulphur and 1% salicylic to clear skin, sinks into skin beautifully, and wears perfectly under makeup. 

Finally, after hearing Caroline Hirons rave on and on about Tata Harper, I finally caved and brought some home. Jacob & Sebastian stocks Tata's Daily Essentials Natural Antiaging Skin Care Discovery Kit, which features minis of 7 products to try, and at a phenomenal value (the brand isn't cheap!). For the sake of science, I didn't throw the whole range on my face at once. Instead, I decided to start with three products: the Hydrating Floral Essence, Rejuvenating Serum, and the Resurfacing Mask. As of now, my impressions are mixed. I'm pretty sure the serum broke me out. There are several essential oils involved, and I knew it was a risk. The mask is quite nice, leaving my skin even and smooth without irritation, but is not mind-blowing, given the price. My fave of the bunch so far is the face mist- it really leaves my complexion calm, balanced, and even! 

So there you go, a not-so-concise review of my current skin care trials. Given that my skin can be so reactive, I am always so grateful when brands offer samples, mini sizes, and trial kits. I appreciate the gesture, and so does my skin! 

Did I tempt you with anything here? What skin care are you testing out at the moment? Any of you natural skin care junkies like me?

Thanks for dropping by! xo


  1. I tried to switch my routine to an all-natural one at a time but it didn't work too well for me. Now, I try to mix things up. For example, I love using organic vegetal oils (rosehip, argan,...). Thanks for sharing your transition! It's always nice to hear about new natural products because just as you said, brands and quality evolve so quickly. x
    Alexandra | Glam O’Clock

  2. Wonderful products, I also use natural products for my skin because it is so sensitive. Lovely greets Ness

  3. I've been thinking of going natural with my skin care, too. One of my friends is really strict about what she puts on her face, and she's been scaring me lately with all this chemical knowledge haha. These all sound like they do an excellent job- now the tough thing will be just choosing one or two! Did you have a favorite one?

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  4. I want to try these out!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  5. Fantastic post as always! I wanna try some of Pai's products.

    Facebook / Bloglovin

  6. Looking stunning!


  7. Amazing group of products. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Tata Harper line. I have been debating on purchasing the very same set for month, but have been to afraid to take the plunge.
    Amazing post :)

  8. Thanks for sharing these - I've been thinking about changing up some of the products I use (starting getting break outs all of a sudden). I will keep your recommendations in mind (:

    - Deniz

  9. I have the Pai chamomile cream and I love it! For me it's even thick enough at nighttime, but I also layer serums and oils underneath it so maybe that's why! Been meaning to try Tata Harper! I think I had some little samples before and liked a couple of things. I just can't remember exactly what they were!

  10. I love the sound of that Herbivore Botanicals oil!

  11. this is definitely up my alley so I'm thrilled you posted this! =D


  12. LET'S BE REAL, THE ONLY REASON WHY I'D BUY THAT HERBIVORE OIL IS FOR IT'S SERIOUSLY GORGEOUS COLOUR. IT'S BENEFITS ARE JUST PERKS. Tata Harper is a brand I've been intrigued about but have yet to try--been wanting to try the resurfacing mask but will give some second thought into that!


All of your lovely comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your musings, ideas, and opinions. Feel free to leave a link to your blog- I'd be happy to check it out :)