Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Simplify your skincare routine: Manuka Floral Water and Apricot Kernel Oil

Manuka Floral Water and Apricot Kernel Oil

Following my recent visit to the Dermatologist I have been rethinking my skincare routine. I decided I needed to simplify things in order to bring back control and then I will re-introduce my favourite products. I previously mentioned looking for antibacterial ingredients and I chose to include manuka in my routine. It’s always been a firm favourite for me but I forgot how good it is despite always recommending to others. Essential oils can be potent (which may irritate skin) so I think floral water is a nice compromise. Floral waters make great toners so that is exactly how I intend to use this Manuka Honey water. I have patches of seborrhoeic dermatitis on my face and the idea is that sweeping over floral water could help calm skin and impart antibacterial properties. 

I also bought Apricot Kernel oil which initially I thought I would use in a DIY for moisturising, cleansing or both. I chose Apricot as it is light oil, absorbs easily and should work well on my sensitive skin. According to the information I have read, it is rich linoleic acid, oleic acid, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B17 and Vitamin E. Apricot oil has a faint smell of marzipan which I adore and at the moment I enjoy using this plain (without mixing with other ingredients) as a cleansing oil.

I bought both products from Naturally Thinking, a site I have not used for quite some time. They sell a wide variety of items for DIY projects - carrier oils, floral waters, essential oils, cosmetic bases and bottles/jars. They also have their own skincare and haircare products. One word of warning is I found order processing slow and they have failed to reply to a query. I placed an order on 6th January, I received a packing noticed on the 9th, shipping noticed on the 12th and my parcel arrived on the 14th January. The question I asked was relating to the manufacturing process of the Manuka Honey floral water. The product description suggests this is derived from manuka oil (from the tree not honey) which would make it suitable for Vegans. To date my request for clarification has gone unanswered.

Whilst I may not be impressed with the website, the products are (to the best of my knowledge) reasonable and good quality. I will have to update you with my progress but for the time being these serve their purpose and I am happy to incorporate into my routine. Have you ever considered stripping back a skincare routine? Which ingredients do you like using to target skin problems?

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Monday, 26 January 2015

Guest Post for Bodhi Luxe - HOW TO: Read Food Labels

Last week Bodhi Luxe published my article titled "How To Read Ingredients Labels & Understand New Food Labelling Laws" (Click here). In this post, I am giving a brief overview of the new EU Regulations regarding labelling of food allergens for pre-packaged foods, eating out and food served loose (non-prepackaged).

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Sunday, 25 January 2015

2015 FreeFrom Skincare Awards open 2nd February

FreeFrom Skincare Award Winners 2014 FFSA
You all know I am a supporter of the FreeFrom Skincare Awards and I am always excited to spread the word. If you are a brand with 'free from' products which you think could be a winner, this year entries open up on 2nd February. Details of categories, rules, entry criteria, sponsorship, publicity and previous years’ winners can be located at www.freefromskincareawards.co.uk.

The Awards seek out products with strong natural qualities, formulated for skin health, or which are suitable for people with skin or other sensitivities and allergies. They reward beneficial ingredients, the absence of undesirable ingredients, and clear, accurate labelling. This year there are thirteen categories, including a new ‘Fresh and Fragrant’ category for fragrances, personal hygiene and oral care. Returning categories include Family Skincare (sponsored by longstanding supporters NATorigin), Men’s Grooming, Hair Care, Oils and Serums, and the ever-popular Problem Skin.

“We’re particularly excited about the new ‘Fresh and Fragrant’ category, because it means many companies specialising only in perfumes and scents, toothpastes and mouthwashes, and feminine hygiene will be able to enter the Awards for the first time,” says Alex Gazzola, the Awards co-ordinator.

There has been a slight change to the judging format. Beauty Bible testing of all entered products takes place until April. Final judging sessions are in May, with the presentations to the winners taking place at the Love Natural Love Organic Show at Olympia on 3rd July.

I have a cupboard full of brands that should be entering these awards so what are you waiting for? 

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Pudology Yogs - Natural Coconut Yoghurts

"Pudology was born out of a passion for food. I wanted to create a dessert that anyone could enjoy – regardless of their dietary requirements"

Pudology have come a long way since I first discovered them at the 2012 at The Allergy & Free From Show (link). I have eagerly awaited every announcement for more stockists and I have been buying my own body weight in Banoffee puds. The reason I support Pudology is because Lucy, the creator of these magically puddings, understands allergies and from her own experiences she knows the struggles we can face.

I was super excited to learn that Pudology will be launching a coconut yoghurt (aka Yogs) into Holland & Barrett. At the time of writing this I don't have a launch date but it will happen this month. Lucy kindly sent me a sneak peak and I eagerly sat waiting for my delivery with spoon in hand. There are two other brands of coconut yoghurt on the market, one I dislike and the other gave me mystery stomach aches. I can tell you Pudology Yogs have a different consistency to the competition, no more clotted cream gloop these are similar to regular soya (or dairy) yoghurts. I am also pleased to say no mystery tummy rumbles probably because Pudology appreciate the need to produce products without cross contamination risks. The yogs are plain so my sweet tooth does protest a little but this is easily overcome by adding fruits, granola or a drizzle of choc shot. I also think the yogs would work well in savoury dishes, I imagine they would be great for dairy free dips and curries.

Follow Pudology on Twitter or Facebook so you don't miss the announcement of a launch date.

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Disclaimer - PR samples, 100% my own opinions after filling my belly full of samples!