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Shea butter

Shea Butter
I often get asked why I choose the ingredients I do, and with so many wonderful, therapeutic options available to us now it’s a complex task. Here is an insight into why I chose one of my commonly used ingredients, shea butter. When choosing an ingredient, I have to look at many things; benefits for the skin, is it lovely to use, does it smell good in its raw unrefined state and it is ethically and organically produced? One goal with my formulations is to have as few ingredients as possible, so it’s vital that I choose wisely, to ensure my products are highly effective as well as lovely to use. In it’s raw, unrefined state it is, in my opinion and experience, one of...

A more technical read… but important. Our skin’s acid mantle.

Skin Anatomy
I am about to bring out two rounds of new products.... the first of which are formulated for skin that is really sensitive. The kind of skin that reacts to almost everything, feels tight and even sore all the time. The only skin care products that can be used on this kind of skin are the pharmaceutical creams and washes that do no apparent harm (in the short term) but certainly don't do anything to help heal and repair the skin and reverse the crippling sensitivities. In this blog I wanted to write about the pH of the surface of our skin and our "acid mantle". What is it? And why is it SO important? Especially for super sensitive skin. You have probably heard the terms...

Sun cream for all seasons!

Sun Cream for all seasons
As I look out my window and see the snow start to fall out of the heavy grey sky, the last thing I should be thinking about is sun cream. But, this time of year I start to get lots more questions about sun protection from two types of lucky customers. Firstly, the winter sun beach-seekers, and secondly, the blue-bird day snow-seekers. Sun protection products are some of the scariest on the market in my opinion, with high levels of toxic, irritating, hormone disrupting chemicals. They are the skin care product I get the most amount of questions about, from customers seeking alternatives due to many and severe adverse skin reactions. Thankfully there are more and more options on the market which don't have the...

The three drinks I’m having now for winter wellness and great skin

I'm always looking for new ways to add a boost to mine and my family's health. I have tried all sorts of weird and wonderful super foods but I often find them expensive and I don't necessarily feel any different. These 3 drinks I come back to every winter, they are inexpensive, mostly tasty and I really feel the good they do. Herbal teas. Winter has definitely arrived (my car was frozen shut this morning!) and the cold weather outside combined with the hot temperatures inside mean we need just as much, if not more water than in the warmer months. A dehydrated body means dry, flaky skin and water is the best remedy.I have a large basket filled with bags and jars of my...

(Flower) Water is the new black

Hibiscus & Hyaluronic Flower Water Detail
So we're a fickle bunch, us skin care users. In the beginning we hated oil, probably a good thing as it was often petroleum based (not plant based) and now we love oil (plant based only of course!). Plant oils are highly nutritious and have wonderful benefits for our skin, above and beyond simple "moisturizing". But is feeding our skin with these gorgeous oils enough? Our skin is actually made up more of water than oil. It is about 70% water. So surely it makes sense to be applying water based products to our skin, as much, if not more than oil based? Absolutely! And this also explains why one of the best ways to improve the health and look of your skin is quite...

What are the flower waters for?

Rose & Frankincense Flower Water Detail
I get asked lots of different questions when talking about my products but this is one of the most common ones.... What are the flower waters for?.... it's a great question! Our skin needs both water & oils to be fully hydrated and moisturized. Skin cells need both oils and water to function properly, using one but not the other will leave your skin lacking and not looking great. To get maximum moisture into the skin I recommend using a flower water and an oil (serum or moisturizer) together. Why do I keep oil & water separate? When oil and water are combined together into a traditional cream they require emulsifiers and preservatives. I keep oil and water separate because emulsifiers and preservatives are some...

My love of macerated oils

Wild Rose Petals
I first encountered macerated oil (oils that have been steeped with herbs so you get the benefit of the oil plus the herb) when working for Neal's Yard Remedies in the UK. We sold comfrey, calendula and St.John's wort in sunflower oil. I just loved the simplicity and effectiveness of them. It was the bright yellow one that started my love affair with the herb that is had miraculous results with my eczema and is now in the base of a few of my skin care products. So today is a very dreary, rainy day where I am so I thought a quick post about how to make these fab oils and to let you know what I have been making! So simple, anyone can...

Quick sunscreen checklist

Schmidt's
I tried to buy some sunscreen from my local drugstore yesterday, assuming that there would be at least one or two that I consider safe for me and my family, however there was not one that I would put on my skin, let alone my son's! I want to share my quick checklist when reading sunscreen labels. First the active ingredient: (These are the 4 most common.) Good: Zinc Oxide OK: Titanium Oxide (Note: Check these are not in nanoparticle form, it may say on the label, if not ask! Nanoparticles get absorbed into the skin which we do not want.) Not great: Avobenzone VERY BAD: Oxybenzone Scary stuff! (check out here to see why) Once you have got a good active ingredient check the...

My Oil Cleansing Method

Helena Lane Skincare Cleansers
Everyday I find myself talking to people about oil cleansing, I really do believe it's the key to healthy skin. Unfortunately oil has got a really bad reputation due to the mass usage of petroleum oil (mineral oil aka Vaseline) in the skin care industry. I'll blog about mineral oil later but basically it sits on the surface of our skin and dries it out rather than moisturizes it (!) and it blocks pores so can lead to unhealthy looking skin and spots. So I guess it's fair enough that people are scared of oil if it's that kind of oil. There are a few famous oil cleansers on the market by the big cosmetic brands using mineral oil, and this is often what people...