February 18th 2017
Are you an organic beauty junkie looking to add a new moisturiser to your stash? Maybe you're just looking to switch up your routine and try something new or a bit more natural or ethical?
Organic beauty has upped its game technically and as more brands and products enter the market the choice is ever greater. But how do they measure up to the performance levels of their hi-tech counterparts?
We wanted to know whether being free of nasties meant maintaining performance. Right this way to see what we discovered...
The promise: “Helps to minimise the appearance of lines, wrinkles and age spots whilst smoothing, firming and moisturising the skin and boosting radiance”
We give it: 6/10
Review: “What I like about this cream is that it is designed to do pretty much everything at any time of the day, meaning I don’t have to faff around with a host of individual products to achieve different results. However (call me cynical), I am very wary of a moisturiser that claims it can do almost anything you need while being entirely non-synthetic.
"The packaging of House of Life London’s Day and Night Face Cream is certainly attractive, presenting the moisturiser in a tall slim transparent bottle with reflective silver branding, exposing the light shimmering liquid inside. Being a fan of a thick and creamy moisturisers that immediately seep deep into the skin, I found this cream a little too light and delicate. It feels as though it sits on the skin, paradoxically making this moisturiser feel a little synthetic. I also did not find the smell particularly appealing. House of Life London boasts that its moisturiser is fragranced with a hand-mixed blend of organic geranium and cedarwood essential oils, created to ‘destress’ the user. For me, the smell was a little overpowering and unnecessary. If you are an aromatherapy fan however, I guess this will be a big plus.
"This organic moisturiser is simple and easy to use and I am sure with continued use, one could see some marked results, but it’s light texture and robust scent, not to mention the hefty price tag, mean I won’t personally be repurchasing it.”
The promise: "A sensual and luxurious day cream that leaves skin completely nourished and radiant."
We give it: 6/10
Review: "I was first introduced to the Ila brand at Triyoga and Psycle - regular workout haunts for me. I immediately loved their zingy, energy-giving fragrances post workout and was therefore intrigued to trial this Glowing Radiance face cream. First up, the brand describes the cream as 'light and fluffy' - something that I would immediately challenge as I found it to be fairly thick in consistency. When first applied, it feels quite sticky/heavy on the skin and the key ingredients (sandalwood, damascena rose otto, rosehip seed) also make the fragrance fairly potent. However, I found that after a few minutes the fragrance became less noticeable and over time the cream absorbed nicely into the skin leaving a nice even finish. I would recommend this for dry skin as it definitely packs a hydration punch, and at this time of year, we could all do with a bit of that. I, however, found it to be a little overwhelming on my skin and would perhaps veer towards their lighter products in the range."
The promise: “Fights shininess and restores balance to oily and combination skin with a UV filter making it a great base for makeup.”
We give it: 9/10
Review: ”A face cream for me needs to be thick and nourishing and fortunately that is exactly what Susanne Kaufmann’s Day Cream is. It created a smooth, moisturised and non-greasy base on my normally oily and shiny skin. It is also scent free which makes me very happy. I personally don’t believe that facial moisturisers should be scented. They should provide a neutral canvas on to which you can apply your makeup and other scented products.
“The packaging is very basic and, at the risk of sounding materialistic, when I shop for beauty products, it’s not just the product I buy into, but also the look - after all, isn’t a part of beauty about being able to display your small luxuries? At the same time, it feels as though the money I am spending is going into the product itself rather than the packaging, giving me the sense of value for money.
"However, Susanne Kaufmann’s Day Cream is that good that I would overlook the whole packaging issue. I will just be talking about it rather than showing it off to my friends.
The promise: “With an ultra-light whipped texture, Aurelia Probiotic Skincare’s Revitalise Day Moisturiser stars a potent blend of anti-ageing powerhouses, to nurture and protect even sensitive skin types.”
We give it: 10/10
Review: “2016 was the year I absolutely fell in love with Aurelia. All of their products I've tried are absolutely incredible but I hadn’t actually given their moisturisers a try before and so I welcomed in 2017 by trying this one from the brand. My skin is often on the dry side, especially at this time of year and can sometimes be a little sensitive. This moisturiser is absolutely perfect for that. It’s a thick but not heavy cream, that hydrates my skin perfectly before I continue on with my makeup. It sinks in quickly and even outs my skin tone giving it a smooth, radiant and shine-free finish to the skin. It smells incredible and I have to admit I look forward to using it every morning.”
The promise: “This intensely moisturising cream is perfect for night-time use, containing fragrant botanics with a relaxing aroma to help you drift off and enrich the skin while you sleep.”
We give it: 8/10
Review: “When it comes to luxury beauty, the first thing I always ask myself before wanting to try it, consciously or subconsciously, is what the packaging looks like. If the packaging is incredible, I generally find myself looking forward to using it a whole lot more. This moisturiser from Dr Jackson really does deliver on that front. The beautiful brown apothecary-style bottle makes a great addition to my dressing table. I found my boyfriend eagerly wanting to try it too.
“At night I like applying a thick hydrator, so I wake up with soft skin. This cream doesn’t disappoint. The application is easy with the small spatula. It’s thick, moisturising and leaves my skin so soft and radiant looking in the morning with the baobab and mango seed included in the formula. My skin can become a little irritated, but the frankincense and kigelia calm everything down. The lovely scent also makes the product feel a treat.
“My only qualm is the lack of information on the packaging. I like to be able to read directly from the bottle how to apply it and what the benefits and ingredients are. Packaging and information aside, the product really lived up to my expectations.”
The promise: “Dramatically boosts skin hydration and repairs damage”
We give it: 8/10
Review: "The Nourish team aren’t having you on the hydration front - if you’re after a thick winter skin blanket, so to speak, this moisturiser will do the job. Almost honey-like in texture, the cream absorbed surprisingly quickly, but unless you’re suffering from Sahara levels of dryness, I’d recommend Skin Renew as a night cream rather than a daytime moisturiser - my makeup didn’t play ball with this as a base. Applied before bed, however, it feels particularly comforting and nourishing, and I can see how the impressive clinical studies regarding improved water retention over a 24 hour period (Skin Renew is proven to boost moisture by 80% apparently) would stand up. 85% organic, it does smell a little funky in
"Applied before bed, however, it feels particularly comforting and nourishing, and I can see how the impressive clinical studies regarding improved water retention over a 24 hour period (Skin Renew is proven to boost moisture by 80 per cent apparently) would stand up. 85 per cent organic, it does smell a little funky in a herbal kind of way, but the fact that it makes skin look and feel healthier pretty much immediately means that this is forgivable. If you’re prone to shininess and spots I’d opt for something lighter, but otherwise it’s got skin TLC down, and you don’t need to trowel it on to feel the emollient effects.”
The promise: “An intense skin food for dry or ageing skin.”
We give it: 9/10
Review: “Certified by the Soil Association, Herbfarmacy’s products are homegrown here in the UK, with beautiful ingredients and even prettier packaging - this jar wins points on looks alone. However, the 85 per cent organic face cream itself is also worthy of praise; a rich, buttery cream containing marshmallow, calendula, ginkgo, rosehip and damask rose, it really does help in the hydration stakes. My naturally dry skin was even more dehydrated over the party season, worsened by both the cold weather and the cold that’s doing the rounds, so it was a welcome relief to apply this in the evening after a gentle cleanse. The scent is certainly ‘organic’ but not unpleasant in the slightest thanks to the rose, and it sinks in beautifully despite being a thicker texture. Damask rose does sometimes leave my sensitive skin tingling a little, which is why I’ve knocked a mark off, but otherwise it’s a dream cream for parched complexions.”
The promise: “Rich in antioxidants, a day cream that soothes and support even the most sensitive and reactive skin.”
We give it: 8/10
Review: “I would not describe my skin type as particularly sensitive, so I wouldn’t normally be on the lookout for a cream that addresses sensitive skin types or redness/rosacea. However, whether your skin is sensitive or not, this best-selling Pai day cream is both pleasingly soothing with its chamomile and rosehip extracts and delicately fragranced with the addition of eucalyptus, peppermint and menthol (all of which also work toward calming any flare ups or redness) . I found that 1 ½ pumps was sufficient to give full coverage for my face, so a little goes a long way. I also like Pai’s credentials of being Soil Association approved (not an easy feat!) as well as vegan and cruelty free. The only drawback I found was that it took longer to absorb than I’m used to with other products, so you have to spend a little longer working it into the skin. That said, spending 15 more seconds applying moisturiser in the morning is surely time well spent!”
The promise: “In just 60 days, our clinically proven age-defying cream reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, firms, tones, plumps and boosts your skin’s suppleness. Skin is instantly hydrated and stays nourished for up to 24 hours.”
We give it: 7/10
Review: “Neal’s Yard Frankincense range has long won plaudits and awards and I know that I should love this award-winning natural organic alternative to synthetic anti-ageing creams more than I do; truth is, I struggle with the 'earthy' smell.
“I used it as a night cream - I found it a little thick for daytime even though I have dry skin - and in the morning when I rinsed my face I could feel a film of the cream washing off. I’m not sure whether this is good or bad - does it mean moisture is locked in or that the product doesn’t absorb as well as it could, even after I’d massaged it in?
My skin didn’t feel at all dry in the morning, in fact, it felt pleasantly supple. After a week of use I liked the result - my skin wasn’t its usual thirsty self in the mornings and looked revived. I’m yet to see whether it lives up to its 60-day promise, but in the organic sector its reputation as a power player leaves me quietly confident.”
The promise: “A light and non-oily facial day cream to enhance your skin's natural hydration.”
We give it: 5.5/10
Review: “Antipodes as a brand always gets me really excited - I love their packaging and branding and other products I've tried in the range. I have dry skin but don’t like to overload my face with product first thing in the morning so the idea of a light moisturiser really appealed to me. This, however, just isn’t that light and the squeezy tube packaging also means it's easy to take out a little too much product. You are left with a tacky residue on the skin that takes quite a while to work in and sink in. That being said, once the product has (finally) sunk in it leaves my skin feeling super hydrated throughout the day. If you’ve got a little bit of time on your hands then the finished result can be worth waiting for.”
The promise: “Wake up every morning with your face looking fresh as a daisy.”
We give it: 7/10
Review: “I’ll be honest, when it comes to facial moisturisers I don’t ever go for an organic option. I use organic oils, yes but when it comes to moisturisers, I have always felt they wouldn’t really help my skin, and I’m looking for something that will vastly improve the state of my 41-year-old face. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this Re-energising Sleeping Cream from certified organic brand Lavera. Containing organic grape and vitamin E extract as well as almond and olive oil it is said to ‘lead to a revitalised, radiant and beautiful looking complexion.' On first impressions, I was a little put off by the scent which reminded me of a Magic Tree air freshener (a scent I’m really not keen on), but the effects were great. Soft and silky on the skin, I awoke each morning to an unbelievably soft complexion. Does it help repair the skin from environmental damage? I’m not sure, but despite the scent it did leave me looming remarkably glowy. Would I buy it again? Perhaps yes, although it's going to be hard to ditch the hi-tech brands for good.”
The promise: "An extra-rich cream for dry or dehydrated skin enriched with strawberry seed oil to deeply nourish."
We give it: 8/10
Review: “When a moisturiser claims to be extra rich, I usually steer clear as I hate the feeling of a thick and heavy cream on my face, regardless of how dry my skin is. This Bamford moisturising cream, however, feels both light and soothing and is probably richer in natural ingredients as opposed to texture-heavy as I first thought. It doesn't include SPF, so it’s the perfect thickness for layering one over the top. This intensely hydrating cream includes strawberry seed oil, protective rosemary extract and soothing aloe vera to nourish very dry skin that needs both hydration and protection from environmental factors. With a refreshing scent of ylang ylang, neroli and lemon myrtle, I love using it in the morning for a wake up of the senses - it suggests using it as an overnight cream too, but I think I prefer something a little thicker and calming for night. £80 is a little steep for me for a 50ml day cream which is the only factor that would put me off repurchasing.”
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