Sunday, 29 November 2015

A Natural Approach to Problem Skin with Living Nature

Problem skin and acne isn’t fun. Since my teens I’ve had to deal with acne, hormonal break outs, a shiny t-zone and there are times when I’ve longed for so called “normal” skin. However, if I’m honest I don’t really believe normal skin exists.

Everyone’s skin has those times, those moments when it has a tantrum, whether that be dryness, redness, greasiness, spots, acne, even boils. So many factors can change the way our skin behaves; the weather, what we eat, hydration levels, our stress levels and emotions, in addition to what we put on it.

Everyone’s skin is unique and learning what makes it tick is key to choosing the right skincare products to keep it at its best.

Since I transitioned to natural and organic skincare, I have seen a significant change to my skin. It is clearer, my pores appear reduced and I no longer have clusters of blackheads in certain areas such as my nose. I still get break outs, oily areas and sadly the scarring on my jaw line is unlikely to ever completely disappear, however I can vouch for the results a much more natural approach to your skincare regime can produce.

I was recently asked if I’d like to try out Living Nature’s skincare range for problem / acne prone skin. I was happy to oblige particularly as many of the reviews I’ve read about Living Nature are very positive.

When it comes to problem skin, Living Nature draws on the curative properties and combined synergistic actions of some of New Zealand’s unique botanicals to provide a natural and effective approach for your skin. Using active Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, Harakeke, a New Zealand Flax Plant and Halloysite Clay, Living Nature’s gentle yet effective skincare is nature at its best.

Founded in 1987 by Suzanne Hall and inspired by the healing properties of New Zealand’s native plants to remedy her own skin conditions, Living Nature now offer gentle skincare for all skin types in addition to natural cosmetics.

I was sent a 30ml sample set of their purifying cleanser, hydrating toner, balancing day lotion, manuka honey gel and deep cleansing mask.

As always I tested the products for about 4 weeks. I liked the fact that they are almost fragrance free, so no overbearing fragrances to contend with. I enjoyed using the purifying cleanser. I like a facial wash in the morning and this one was gentle yet effective. No stinging eyes and no dryness after using it.

The hydrating toning gel was a unique experience. With harakeke, active manuka honey and larch tree extract this toner is nourishing for the skin, however it took a while to get used to a gel rather than a liquid toner. I enjoy spritzing my face in the morning, so the gel didn’t quite give me that fresh, zingy feeling. However, popped into the fridge in the summer, I imagine it would be super cooling on the skin.

The balancing day lotion was light and non-greasy. You don’t need a lot so this 30ml bottle went a long way. Easily absorbed into the skin, it made a good base for make-up.

The Manuka Honey Gel is for those spots and break outs we all get from time to time. This smells strongly of tea tree, so if this essential oil is not your cup of tea, you’re likely to struggle with it. Sophia tried it on her spots but struggled with the aroma. I can deal with it and it is very effective in soothing red, sore skin.

The Deep Cleansing Mask is a clay mask using purifying Halloysite Clay. It is a drying clay mask so you do get that tightening effect when you use it beyond 10 minutes. It left my skin feeling clean and soft. I just had to avoid smiling whilst it was on !

Living Nature’s skincare range is not the cheapest of ranges with prices starting in the UK at about £11.50 for the 10ml Manuka Gel all the way up to £48.00 for their radiance oil.

I wouldn’t say this is for the teen market, however they do have their sister brand, Natural Being which is aimed at the younger market but still with manuka honey and manuka oil in their formulations. I’ve tried the Manuka Honey Day Cream for oily to normal skin and it is very effective.

If you are keen to know what ingredients are in all the products mentioned above then take a look at each ingredient lists below:

Purifying Cleanser: Aqua (water), Decyl glucoside, Sodium lauroyl glutamate, Glycerin (vegetable glycerin)**, Sclerotium gum, Galactoarabinan (larch tree gum), Glucose, Mel (manuka honey), Pomaderris kumerahou flower/leaf extract, Parfum fragrance)*, Glucose oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil.
*From natural essential oils: Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool.  **Certified organic.

Hydrating Toning Gel: Aqua (water), Glycerin (vegetable glycerin)**, Sclerotium gum, Glucose, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil**, Parfum (fragrance)*, Phormium tenax leaf juice (NZ flax gel), Bisabolol, Zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract, Mel (manuka honey), Glucose oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil.
*From natural essential oils: Limonene, Linalool. **Certified organic.

Balancing Day Lotion: Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Squalane (vegetable squalane), Caprylic/Capric triglyceride, Parfum (fragrance)*, Glucose, Mel (manuka honey), Phormium tenax leaf juice (NZ flax gel), Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, Sclerotium gum, Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter**, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Totarol**, Glucose oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil**, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil. *From natural essential oils: Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. **Certified organic.

Manuka Honey Gel: Aqua (water), Mel (manuka honey), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil, Xanthan gum, Phormium tenax extract (NZ flax gel), Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E).

Deep Cleansing Mask:  Aqua (water), Kaolin (Halloysite clay), Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond) oil, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Mel (manuka honey), Cetearyl wheat straw glycosides, Cetearyl alcohol, Citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract, Zinc oxide, Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Sclerotium gum, Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil**, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, Citrus medica limonum (lemon) oil*, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil, Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) oil*, Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, Totarol**.
*From natural essential oils: Citral, Limonene. **Certified organic.

All in all, I enjoyed my first experience of Living Nature’s natural skincare.  I have one of their Gentle Make-up Removers and some of their make-up which was in the goody bag from the Gorgeously Green Gathering. I have yet to use them, but if they’re as good as what I’ve tried so far, I’m sure they’ll be a hit.

Have any of you tried Living Nature’s Natural Skincare? Do leave me a comment if you have.

Until next time x


If you want to connect, then you’ll find me here:

Disclaimer: I was kindly sent a sample set of Living Nature's Natural Skincare for problem and acne prone skin for review. All opinions and views are honest and my own.


Can Green Clean? Review of Ecover’s New and Improved Washing-up Liquid

Washing up. Not the most fun activity, however one that needs doing if you don’t use a dishwasher for everything. We hand wash most of our glasses, the children’s cups, our chef's knives and anything else which doesn’t survive a dishwasher.

I’ve always tried to choose eco alternatives to your mainstream options when it comes to washing-up liquid. However, there are times when the alternative hasn’t always come up to my cleaning standards.

Ecover recently launched their new and improved washing-up liquid and asked if I’d like to try it out. I was sent a pack with their new and improved Lemon & Aloe Vera washing up liquid, a recycled washing-up brush made from Plantplastic® derived from sugarcane and recycled plastic, a super sized tea towel, some healthy recipe cards and their washing-up tips for getting your plates sparkling.

We took our new and improved Ecover on holiday with us. We normally holiday in our trusty caravan in Cornwall, and wash up every day. Using an eco-friendly washing-up liquid is really important whilst camping or caravanning, so we were really able to put Ecover’s washing-up liquid through its paces.

Their original offering was OK, however this new and improved version was excellent. It claims to wash 40% more plates and contains 20% more plant-based content resulting in a powerful clean which is 98.8% plant based. I really liked this new formula. It created more bubbles and you needed less of it than its predecessor. I know bubbles have nothing to do with its cleaning power, however psychologically it made me happy to see more bubbles. I know, I’m sad !

Ecover have looked to nature and used plant based ingredients such as sugar and coconut oil instead of petro-chemical additives.

As Tom Domen, Innovation Manager for Ecover said, “Ecover has been on a journey to not only make products even less harmful to the environment, but to ensure they match the performance of conventional cleaners, which is good for our customers and the planet. Going forward we’ll continue to look to nature to create the ecologically powerful cleaning products for the home and for busy lives. It’s our commitment to lessening the burden on the earth’s resources.”

Ecover also sent me their top tips for getting the most out of your Ecover washing-up liquid to ensure your plates and glassware look sparkly clean:
  • Clean the sink before you start. Make sure you wipe down the draining board too as this is where nasties like limescale and bacteria build up.
  • For burnt on and tough stains on cookware, sprinkle them with baking soda to absorb grease and dissolve grime. Leave for 30 minutes and then wash to return your kitchenware to its former glory.
  • For an easy clean, pre-treat tea and coffee stained mugs with lemon juice before washing up.
  • After washing each item, rinse them in clean hot water under the tap
  • Dry dishes with a clean cloth or tea towel.
  • Rinse your washing up tools regularly and keep dry when not in use to prolong their life.
  • Read the instructions on the back of your Ecover bottle and only used the recommended amount. One squeeze is enough for a sink full of dirty dishes.
I really liked this new improved Ecover washing-up liquid. The bottle lasted 2 months with us washing up several times a day for the first week whilst we were away on our caravanning holiday and then about once a day until the bottle was finished. You needed far less to get the same if not better cleaning power than the old version. I’ve purchased another bottle since and will continue to do so.

I’m hoping that Ecover are planning to upgrade all their products. If their washing-up liquid is anything to go by then we can expect to see a great new range of eco-friendly products for the home.

Have any of you tried the new, improved Ecover washing-up liquid? What are your thoughts?

Until next time x


If you want to connect, then you’ll find me here:

Disclaimer: I was kindly sent Ecover's new & improved washing-up pack for review. All opinions and views are honest and my own.

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