Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Your conscience can be as clear as your skin!

healthy, organic, safe, beauty
Beauty products you can trust
I'd be lying if I said I'm not tempted by cult beauty items - with their whiff of cool, promise of eternal youth and the inevitable celeb endorsement. But the more I learn about the products on our shelves - the more I worry about what I'm putting on and in my body. And what my children are exposed to - both physically and culturally. And what the wider impact of those products is - be it on other populations, other living creatures or the environment. Even how the multi-billion beauty industry is making us (and my daughters) believe that looking real - and realistic - just isn't good enough. And I'm not even a worrier!

So this year, a more conscious shopper has emerged within me, I want to make sure I'm buying ethical, fairly-traded, sustainable products that aren't tested on animals - but that still work! Which is why I'm so fond of Neal's Yard Remedies (NYR) - an 80's pioneer in organic beauty and wellbeing that remains a British, family business and was the UK's first certified organic natural health and beauty company, as well as the first retailer of certified organic essential oils. Even the famous blue jars (which actually serve to protect your products from the light, allowing skincare with few, if any, preservatives) are 100 per cent recyclable.

Why is this brand better?

Ethical, safe, organic, cruelty-free cosmetics, beauty
A gift that shows you care
In terms of health, NYR has a basic philosophy of not using anything that it believes could cause you, or the planet, harm. This means a big fat NO to the following nasties often found in beauty products: parabens (linked to oestrogen overproduction), synthetic fragrances, GMO ingredients, animal testing, silicones (which coat the skin and stop it behaving naturally), phthalates (reported to be toxic to both humans and animals), nano, the un-biodegradable EDTA, BHT (linked to breathing and lung impairment),  DEA and propylene glycol, carbomer, mineral oils and acrylates (which are all derived from petroleum). This is pure certified organic beauty. 

The company designs, tests and manufactures all its own products, grows as many of its ingredients as it can and supports fair trading when it does buy out. NYR even works out of an eco-factory fitted with solar panels, clay flooring and high-level windows and uses rainwater to flush the loos there! 

Staying in, the new going out

organic, beauty, cult products,
Christmas shopping can be fun...
As a mum - and new puppy owner - my shopping time is limited. I don't always have the luxury of cruising around shops trying out new products, asking sales assistants for their undivided attention for a couple of hours. My socialising time is also very precious - who doesn't want more time with their close friends and confidants (ideally without being interrupted every two minutes...)?

Which is why hosting a NYR party seemed like a great way to learn more about the product range and have some fun doing so. I had a local consultant Jo Winterton ( come over to talk us through a whole slew of products - and as the demonstration model I even got a mini-facial. My guests and I were able to try out the items, and ask Jo which sort of ranges were best for our individual wants and needs. Plenty of Christmas shopping was achieved too - as NYR do gift sets, candles and mother and baby items as well as a range of skincare and bath and body products to suit everyone.

As a host I got free stuff (who doesn't like free stuff!!!) dependent on how much my guests spent (no pressure ladies!) - and was able to buy other products at a discount. I was always up for getting myself some shampoo and conditioner - and knew I had several relatives I wanted to buy for too. I also treated myself to a diffuser and some aromatherapy oil - as my house smelt fantastic after Jo had used hers that evening. An extra Orange Flower Facial Oil may also have found its way onto my order sheet too...

So if you're looking for an effective but ethical approach to beauty and skincare, or fancy a good night in with some friends, I'd recommend Neal's Yard Remedies - and its hosted parties. Because of the quality of the products, you can expect the items to last you a while too - but not too long I hope, as I want to go to another event soon!