Goddess Argan Oil Hand & Body Wash – Ancienne Ambiance

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Goddess Argan Hand Body Wash_

I am a member of a number of beauty sites and one of them called latestinbeauty offers samples of expensive and different products at quite reasonable prices. This was one of the items I got in one of their beauty boxes. I knew nothing of this company or their products until this little bottle arrived.

Looking on Amazon I find that a 500 ml bottle cost £28 so my little bottle holding 50 ml should have cost £2.80 so a lot on money in my view. I know I paid nothing like that!

ANCIENNE AMBIENCE

This company is a London based British one which sells candles, toiletries , jewellery, and more. Their tagline is;
“Your Journey to Antiquity starts here… Step back in time & let your senses come alive…”
The website has an Ancient Greek looking figure with a pillar in subtle grey and white. I can’t say it really grabs me but I suspect it is meant to convey quality and individuality.

The company began in 2004 creating natural hand poured candles and has grown since then to create toiletries as well. They use fine fragrances which are inspired by ancient times. They use organic ingredients and all their products are paraben free and their packaging is all recyclable. None of their products or any ingredients in them have been tested on animals.

I was also impressed to see that this company supports a number of charities including KIDS which helps disabled kids and their families achieve their aspirations. PACT which helps missing and abducted children get back to their rightful parents. Finally HOPE RESCUE which helps save dogs from being put to sleep by re -homing them or getting them to a charity to help.

MY ANTIQUATED BOTTLE

This comes in a small plastic bottle with flip top lid. The bottle is clear and clearly shows the lovely golden syrup coloured fluid within. The lid is a deep brown colour and the graphics on the front are in gold and show the name and a stylised Greek looking series of columns.

Argan

MY TRIP TO ANCIENT TIMES

I opened the little bottle to sniff it as soon as I got my little box of goodies. It smelled quite creamy, very slightly of honey but not at all strong. It contains their famous goddess argan oil and is full of vitamin E and natural anti oxidants. It contains no animal fats and has instead a natural vegetable oil based on coconut oil which has a natural glycerine in it.

The hand wash body was is very luxurious in that it does foam but in a lovely creamy way which leaves my hands and body feeling as though I have actually washed them with a mild oil. They don’t feel greasy but as as I am washing with it I can feel the oil in the liquid making my skin feel well nourished and my hands not at all dry and tight after washing.

I love the smell, it really isn’t strong but it still evident and sweet and creamy but in a natural coconut sort of way. Not in a tropical sun cream way, it really is very subtle and classy and I have not smelled anything to compare it to.

This lovely product has been recommended by a number of beauty sites and places and these include Vogue, Wahanda, StyleNest, Latest In Beauty & Beauty Shortlist and Biteable Beauty.

coconut

coconut

OKAY SO LET’S LOOK AT THESES NATURAL INGREDIENTS

Initially I thought these looked far from natural but a bit of investigation found that some are more so than they sound.

The product is made using Aqua – water
Potassium Cocoate – this is a potassium salt that originates from the fatty acids present in coconut oil.
Glycerin – Vegetable glycerine which is used as a skin moisturiser
Fragrance – this seems too be a secret
Hydroxyethylcellulose – which is a thickening or gelling agent made from cellulose
Cocos Nucifera oil – coconut oil
Lauryl glucoside – surfactant derived from Coconut or palm kernel oil and corn
Polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate – not a clue what this does but is not on any unsafe list for chemicals so I assume it is safe
Potasium benzoate – which is a chemical preservative that is commonly added to some foods and drinks so presumably safe in toiletries
Potassium sorbate – is a crystalline salt of sorbic acid that is often used as a preservative in foods, cosmetics.
Argania spinosa oil – argan oil
Tocopherol – vitamin E
Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone – a skin conditioning perfume
Benzyl Benzoate – this is a natural component of cinnamon essential oil
Hexyl Cinnamal – which come from chamomile oil

I am not totally convinced with this natural claim, it sounds rather like Lush’s which is a bit questionable. However it isn’t as bad as I originally thought when looking at the chemical names.

argan fruit

RECOMEMENDED?

This is a very nice and rather luxurious hand wash, not that I allowed this out of my clutches for others to try. I have used it to wash my hands and also in my bath. I have applied It rather sparingly as I feel it is a little like liquid gold It certainly looks like liquid gold and the price is also giving that impression. I do like this and love the way it makes my skin feel BUT would I pay £22 for a bottle? Probably, not scratch that, definitely not. I can’t imagine ever paying that for a hand wash and it is highly unlikely that I would pay that for a body wash either.

I admire the company ethics and love that is is a British product but why the whopping price tag? It obviously appeals to those who have a lot more spare money than I have to spend. There is a very slight chance that I might treat myself using Amazon vouchers as I don’t count those earned through surveys etc as ‘real’ money. They I use for my treats and for buying birthday and Christmas gifts for family.

I am glad I got to try this small 50ml bottle as there is no way I would have bought the full sized one. That is the beauty of these sites that offers trials and samples as I get to try things I never usually would be able to.

Anyway if you have lots of money or want a lovely treat than this is great.. I’d love to try the Goddess oil made by them but will have to save up or hope it comes in a sample one day!

Weleda Insight Day

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A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a Weleda Insight Day. We were asked to arrive by 9.30 and as everyone was gradually arriving from paces as far away as Northern Ireland, London and so on we were offered a drink and biscuits. The drinks ranged from delicious organic cordials, fresh filtered water and a range of organic fruit and herb teas as well as the usual tea and coffee.

Once everyone was there we had a short introduction before we were taken by mini bus to the thirteen acre organic and biodynamic gardens about a mile from the main Weleda buildings. This site is in Ilkeston in Derbyshire and is the pharmaceutical side of Weleda. They don’t make any of the skin care products here, only the medicinal stuff.

Thistle

We were given a tour of the gardens by the ex head gardener at Weleda who had been there thirty years. He was fascinating and told us so much about the work of Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Weleda. Steiner observed the plants and they way they grew and from these observations and studies he developed his medicines, both homeopathic and for general use.

Every product made by Weleda is created using their philosophy “ In harmony with nature and the human being”.

So not only are the medicines made this way but also all their skin and beauty products too. There is nothing in any Weleda product that does not have a job to do. There is no padding or bulking out with unnecessary scents or perfumes. Every single Weleda product is 100% natural, there are no parabens or other synthetic preservatives, no colourants, no mineral oil derivatives and ever since they were founded Weleda has never tested on animals other than will human volunteers.DSCF3268

After our tour of the garden we went into a marquee where the current head gardener showed us ,with the help of a couple of volunteers, how they made the tinctures for the calendula through using the fresh maceration method. Our volunteers had to chop up a weighed amount of calendula plant, the whole plant minus the root. This chopped mixture had a very specific amount of plant based ethanol added to it. They weigh the calendula, work out its moisture content and the ethanol added is based on that calculation.

The calendula chopped up

This mix is then allowed to sit for a fortnight before being pressed and strained. The resulting tincture can then be stored for up to five years until needed for whatever medicine or product requires that tincture. The ethanol is the natural preservative.

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Having made our tincture we were then transported back to the Weleda base for a really lovely lunch. It was a bit like a posh afternoon tea with mini sandwiches, a tasty salad, strawberries dipped in chocolate and some cakes and scones.

Then came the second fun part. We were told about the products, how they are beneficial and much more. We got to try different oils so that we could tell which were natural and which were petroleum based. Interestingly one oil we tried was actually a well known product sold as a natural oil which in fact is far more petroleum based if you look at the ingredients.

We got to try lots of the lovely Weleda products and my arms and legs have never been so well fed with cream and oils.They also let us try some of their new products recently released and then told us what was about to be released later this year.

The ladies who did the talks were not only informative but we also so enthusiastic about the company, its ethics and the products that it was a real pleasure to see and share their excitement.

Sea Buckthorn Juice

At the end of the day we had to go to their little shop to hand in our badges and be given a bag full of great products as well. Inside the bag was a voucher for 25% off so I felt it would be rude not to take advantage of that and treated myself to a full sized bottle of Birch cellulite oil and also a bottle of their new hayfever relief oromucosal spray as I do suffer from hayfever and would love not to have to take ant histamines daily all summer.

The Wild Rose range

This was a fantastic day and I would like to thank Weleda for treating us to such a lovely welcoming and interesting day. I met a few other bloggers too and we all got on so well that I feel I have also made new friends as well.

 

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Skin Doctors – Antarctilyne – The Cosmetic Alternative To Collagen

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I had a few pounds in Amazon vouchers and so when the sales were on just after Christmas I treated my skin to a few presents that would hopefully make me look years younger.
I have bought creams from the Skin Doctor’s range before and found it to be very good so I thought I would try a few of their other products and this was one I chose.
THE COMPANY

Prior to buying one of their products from Amazon I had never heard of the company before but it turns out it is an Australian company originally but has now spread across the world.

 

The company do not test any of their products on animals.

I am informed on their facebook page that they are ‘industry leaders in the development and marketing of breakthrough cosmeceutical products ‘Well that is a new word in my world so of course I had to go and investigate what that meant.

I discovered on several sites that:

“Cosmeceuticals represent a marriage between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Like cosmetics, cosmeceuticals are topically applied, but they contain ingredients that influence the biological function of the skin. Cosmeceuticals improve appearance, but they do so by delivering nutrients necessary for healthy skin.”

I tell you review writing and reading enlightens me and increases my knowledge every day. Apparently these new products are subject to safety testing but not necessarily to testing as to their claims so you have to be prepared to test them yourself or read someone‘s review to see what they thought.

So their products are creams that you apply to the skin as alternatives to cosmetic surgery. Again according to their facebook page their products are award winners;
“ …based on painstaking, cutting-edge research and are packed with more ingredients, at the highest dosage allowable. No wonder consumers notice visible improvement in just a matter of days.”

 

THE PRODUCT
This jar comes in a cardboard box with clear plastic packing. The jar is glass and the contents is 50ml of white cream which costs £23.75 on Amazon at the present time but it has a RRP of £39.95 so that is a good price.

It is very well packaged which means that the glass jar arrives unbroken but does mean that you get excess packaging for landfill which is not so great.

What the product claims:

“Topical alternative to collagen injections
Advanced peptide technology stimulates collagen production within the skin to plump up fine lines and wrinkles
These peptides also help protect your collagen from breaking down helping you to retain younger looking skin for longer
A reduction in wrinkles caused through the decline of collagen should be seen in as little as 30 days.”

 

MY EXPERIENCE

I have been using this since mid January so I thought I’d given it a fair try. Now I’ll be honest with you, no-one has said ‘Gosh you are looking younger’ but neither have they said ‘You look tired’ which is the euphemism for you look pretty awful!

The cream is white and very soft so you don’t need much as it spreads very easily on my face. I sort of gently pat it on to my lined areas. The worst being my ‘laughter’ lines from my mouth to my nose and my ‘frown’ lines on my forehead and between my eye brows. I obviously spend too much time laughing and alternating this with frowning. I do know the frown lines are not helped as I squint in the bright sun and indeed the ‘laughter lines’ come from me screwing up my face when the sun is glaring and I am driving.

The cream contains ‘Trylagen’ which had ‘scientifically’ been proven to triple the appearance of collagen in seven days. It boosts collagen, keeps the skin looking younger and former and also prevents further degeneration.

Checking on the pack for the ingredients I can’t actually see ‘Tryagen’ so I feel it must be a combination of the many chemical sounding ingredients on the list. This does not appear to be a very ‘natural’ product from the list of ingredients.

The instructions tell me to apply twice a day to face and neck, morning and at night but before first using they suggest a patch test to check for any allergic reaction. I didn’t use this on my neck at all I used my normal moisturiser and limited my use of this to my face concentrating on the lined and wrinkled areas.

The little instruction leaflet that comes with the pot is actually only very small in detail but is presented in sixteen different languages so ends up quite a large piece of paper, about A4 in size.

The cream doesn’t smell of much really, a bit like Nivea, clean and fairly unnoticeable and certainly won’t cause any offense by being too strong or unpleasant.

RESULTS?

I am not going to say that I look years younger but I do think it has helped reduce those deeper lines and around my eyes my crow’s feet are looking more like blue tit’s feet and my deeper lines are definitely less entrenched, not disappeared but certainly less defined than they were.

The problem with this sort of test is that it is very subjective as even a photograph from early January and then now may not even be accurate as it depends on how the light shines on my face as to what my skin looks like. However I do feel like I have had some improvement in the firmness of my skin and the lines and wrinkles are less obvious.

WOULD I BUY THIS AGAIN?

Really this means did it do enough to make you think it is worth spending £40 on again. If it was going for the RRP then probably I would try something else but if I had spare Amazon vouchers and it was around the £23 again then yes I think it has been enough of an improvement to encourage me to buy this one again.

I use it in conjunction with other Skin Doctor products that I bought at the same time and also a cream with Argan in it so it is hard to say which of the products has had most effect but I have had no adverse reaction to the cream and it feels like it is ‘feeding’ my aged skin with something good. It feels firmer and looks brighter so I am reasonably happy with the results. It isn’t cheap and if I had to buy it in Boots and pay real money for it then I might be less inclined to hand over the hard cash but it is something nice to treat myself to with my Amazon vouchers from various survey sites.

Baylis & Harding Skin Spa – Rose Ylang ylang &patchouli body smoothing polish

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I finished this a while back and because I liked it so much I kept the last dregs and the container to write a review. I am not sure where I got this or if it was a gift but I really loved the smell and would buy it again for the smell alone.

BAYLIS & HARDING

This is another family based British company which was started by a Birmingham couple who wanted to created affordable yet high quality products in bath and beauty. They named the company after their grandmothers as a tribute to their family values and hard work.

I am not sure about their naturalness of the ingredients or their eco friendly values but as their products are manufactured in the UK they cannot be tested on animals. They are on the cruelty free website but are not vegan or vegetarian.

Their products are sold in a wide range of high street and on line stores but you may have to hunt for specific products.

THE BODY POLISHYellow Rose

This comes in a recyclable upside down plastic tube so that the product is down at the end you squeeze it out of so easy to get it all out with no waste.

The tube is basically white with the traditional black imagery and design that is often found on Baylis & Harding products. I do think it is quite a classy minimalist look and it attracted me anyway.

The actual contents are a creamy white with mini gritty bits that exfoliate gently as you rub this over your body before rinsing it off under the shower.

The product smells absolutely lovely of a combination of rose mix with exotic patchouli which is lifted by the ylang ylang. I love rose when it has a north African, Middle Eastern touch which you get here from the patchouli. It is far from being old lady rose scented as the patchouli gives the real exotic .earthy hippy part of this product’s aroma. I am a sucker for anything with this rose /patchouli combination and so I was pretty much going to fall for this .

It gave a good exfoliate but didn’t give me a nasty red looking skin after I used it. The bits that scrubbed were quite fine yet also obvious, they were gritty like ground rice rather than sandy.

I wish that the ingredients were more obvious but looking at them I do suspect that they are not that natural as we have things like methylsothiazolinone – and similar and I have no idea what that is or does.

Rose or patchouli or ylang ylang are not mentioned in the ingredients unless they have another name I don’t recognise. It does have parfam so I suspect the scent is a synthetic one which is disappointing. I guess if it was all natural it would be less affordable.

patchouli

Patchouli

RECOMMENDED?
Well it depends on how strongly you feel about eco friendly and natural products. It is affordable and certainly more so that Lush and Bodhi and other companies that do promise ethical and natural ingredients. These don’t make that promise. They say they make quality and affordable products for the average person.

If you want a reasonably priced exfoliating shower product that smells lovely then this is worth a try bit if ethical and natural stuff is vital then I would try another brand.

My most recent Empties

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My empties

I have far more creams and potions that I need but still I get tempted by more. In the last couple of weeks I have used up these items.

Jergens Skin firming lotion

 

Jergens skin firming body lotion. I can’t say I noticed much firmer skin so I won’t bother with that one again.

 

Dirty Works – Best Foot Forward

Best Foot Forward Foot butter from Dirty Works which I feel is a bit of a copy cat brand looking like Soap & Glory I think. The Foot butter was quite good and kept me feet soft but I wasn’t minty which I like in a foot butter so not sure I will buy it again.

Ancienne Ambience Bath Crystals

A sample of Ancienne Ambiennce bath crystals which didn’t smell of much and as they are very expensive i will not be buying them in the future. I know they are all natural and all that but I like my bath stuff to smell quite strongly and these didn’t.

 

Birch anti cellulite oil

Weleda Birch oil. I have had several samples which I have now finished and I did buy a bottle when I had my day at Weleda. I wrote a post about this lovely anti cellulite oil on here before.

 

Burt’s Bees Eye cream

Burt’s bees eye cream was nice enough and did a good job of keeping the area around my eyes moisturised without making them weep as some products do/ I would buy this again but I have several eye creams in my stash so won’t be for a while.

 

Olay anti aging moisturiser

The sample of Olay Total effects wake up wonder for tired skin. This was a pleasant enough moisturiser and effective but personally I prefer more natural moisturisers. I am happy to get samples but probably wouldn’t spend more on a moisturiser with petroleum based oils in it.

 

So there you are another five products tried and finished. Some good and some not so great.

Gerlinde Naturals -Avocado and Jasmine hand therapy cream

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Gerlinde Naturals is another great British company which makes 100% natural skin and beauty products. They are free of skin irritants, vegan friendly and gentle to all skin types.

When you buy their products they come beautifully packaged in a small brown cardboard box with and little gift tag on it. The gift tag has a cut out decal which gives a kind of 3D effect and there is also a small silver charm heart attached with the words ‘Made with love’ engraved on the heart.

Inside the product is safely packed in paper straw and all that is of course recyclable.

My hand cream came in a small plastic screw top pot with the name of the product on the lid. There are no ingredients listed on my pot as it is the small trial size 10 ml pot which costs £2.50 but it does have the web address so you can look it up and find the full list of natural ingredients that are in this hand cream.

The cream is quite a thick white cream that smells truly lovely. You can smell jasmine as soon as you unscrew the lid and then when you apply it to your hands it is quite strong and lasts for some time.

The cream is quickly absorbed but leaves a nice well nourished effect, not at all greasy and you get no slippery feeling. My skin instantly looks better. It looks less dry and more alive.

It is great to apply after a time in the garden or after coking and washing things up as it feeds back in all the moisture your skin lost in the washing and cleaning up process.

It also smells lovely, obvious but not too’ in your face strong’ so that you are overwhelmed.

The full sized product comes in a recyclable glass screw top pot holding 50 ml for £7.90 so a very good price for a product that is 100% natural with no nasty parabens and synthetic scents or mineral oils.

I have been very happy to be able to try this which I won in a facebook competition.

Peppy Galore Star Face moisturiser

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Peppy Galore-moisturisers

Peppy Galore STAR face moisturiser is created for normal skins

Again this was a trial for beautyontrial and I was lucky enough to get this free. I love getting these products and have found ones that I would never have heard about otherwise. This is one of those I have never come across before and yet they are another lovely little British company.

ABOUT PEPPY GALORE
The founder of this Bristol based company Jessi Frey who was formerly in a rock band. The idea behind her products is that they are natural and fun. ‘Beauty with attitude’ is how she puts it. The products are ‘fun, contemporary and affordable, but don’t cut corners on natural ingredients. Having beautifully scented and packaged skin care is also very important. Natural skin care doesn’t have to mean using boring, earthy products! ‘

ABOUT THE PRODUCTS
I like the fact that this is another British company and that all their skin care products are made from natural ingredients yet they are affordable and packed in nice fresh young looking packaging. They are ideal for sensitive skin as they are not only natural but also free from parabens, SLS, SLES, silicons, petrochemicals and other nasty ingredients.

They are also not tested on animals , freshly made in the UK and made using 100% renewable gas and electricity.

Peppy Galore – STAR

STAR MOISURISER
As I said I knew nothing about the company or product prior to trying it when it arrived from beautyontrial so I had no preconceptions at all.

The product comes in a small 50 ml plastic push pump container with a clear plastic lid to keep it clean and from germs when not in use. The container is white with yellow patterning and the label at the front has the product name and a red heart. To me it looks fresh and bright but quite young as though it would appeal more to teens and youngsters than old people like me.

In fact I did wonder with the name Peppy whether it was for a younger audience too but I gave it a try. When i looked more closely it does say for normal skin and doesn’t make any anti aging claims although it was created to ‘ to nourish and protect your skin against the damaging effect of sun and pollution, so that your skin stays soft, healthy and wrinkle free.

Something I was pleased to see was that it is made with olive, avocado and apricot kernel oils, which are natural sunblocks and packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It is not often that a natural product claims to be a sun block as well although there is no specific SPF rating on the container.

The moisturiser is a white soft cream that is dispensed easily and cleanly through the push pump dispenser. The only downside of the packing is that you don’t know how close you are to the end and there is no scraping out the final morsels as you cannot get into the packaging at all.

The cream is soft and yet quite thick, it does soak in but does have a bit of a greasy feel for a few minutes once applied. It smells lovely of fresh lavender and rose geranium and you easily pick the notes of those fresh ingredients out. I like the smell on my face as it is uplifting yet not overpowering at all .

Having used this for some time now, I think that it is more for someone with normal to dry skin and probably is a bit heavy for younger greasier skins. When I apply a little extra on my lips at times when they are dry I can feel them tingle a little so something is doing some good. After just minutes my lips feel less dry and yet no greasy like you get from lip salves like Vaseline.

Both lavender and the rose geranium are regarded as being good for improving circulation so maybe that is the tingly feeling. They also help to balance the skin’s sebum product so maybe it would be okay for younger skins. All the oils are natural and plant based , there are no synthetic or oil based ingredients.

This needs to be used on the face but away from your eyes and should not be used on broken skin so if you have really bad acne then beware. They do say it is advised for normal to dry skin on the product.

WHAT IS IN THIS ONE?
The cream is made from Water, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate (Emulsifier), Glycerin, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Vitamin E, Lavender Oil, Rose Geranium Oil

avocado

I was a little less thrilled to see the preservative sodium benzoate as it has been linked to cancer but I am not sure if that is only if you consume it. It is a food based preservative. “Organic consumers and nutritionists may already know, but the rest of the general population does not know about sodium benzoate. It has the ability to deprive the cells of oxygen, break down the immune system and cause cancer. This killer is flying under consumer radar with its user friendly tag.  http://www.naturalnews.com/033726_sodium_benzoate_cancer.html)

I was interested to find out that “Gluconolactone is composed of multiple water-attracting hydroxyl groups, which hydrate the skin, resulting in enhanced degrees of moisturization. “ it is also “ capable of chelating metals and may also function by scavenging free radicals, thereby protecting skin from some of the damaging effects of UV radiation. Gluconolactone provided up to 50% protection against UV radiation and UV radiation-induced elastin promotor activation. Contrary to some scientific fears, it does not significantly increase sunburn cells in human skin.” (http://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/gluconolactone).

I would say that is a positive ingredient then. The others look pretty okay so all in all pretty good. I wish you could know for certain who is telling the truth with ingredients as some say one thing is safe while others say it is linked to cancer. I think I would like to err on the side of caution if possible considering that scientists have told us many other things were safe in the past that have been proven to be hazardous.

RECOMMENDED?
Yes i would say that this is a basically natural moisturiser with lots of good points. I like the fact that it is a British small company and that they are not tested on animals and they are creating products that are affordable and yet natural. This moisturiser for example costs £12.50 for the 50 ml pot so compared to many natural moisturisers that is a pretty fair price