Natural

PHB Ethical Beauty's Gentle Cleanser

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Anyone with sensitive, dry or eczema-prone skin will know that finding skincare is somewhat of a challenge. It is particularly difficult to find a gentle and effective cleanser; and as some of us suffer from mild eczema at The Amazing Blog, we thought it was about time to actively search for new and effective products. This is when we returned to one of our trusted favourites: PHB Ethical Beauty, a vegan, ethical and organic brand, bringing gentle skincare to the market, without an ounce of medical looking packaging. Regular readers will recognise this brand, having featured both their Skin Brighten Gel (see here) and 2-in-1 Hand and Body Moisturiser (see here). With raving reviews previously, we were excited to test whether their Gentle Cleanser would live up to expectations.

PHB Ethical Beauty is a family-run company providing a range of natural, handmade and palm oil free products. The brand is similarly alcohol-free, and halal certified - inclusive to all, no matter skin type or religion. One particularly admirable element of the brand is their charitable contribution, with 20% of net profits going directly to charities across the UK and around the world. There is a reason for the name PHB Ethical Beauty, and this brand indeed is one that favours people over profit.

We tried their Gentle Cleanser with Rosehip and Avocado, a cleanser designed for sensitive, overly dry and eczema prone skin. Thanks to the addition of vitamins A and E, this cleanser not only soothes and softens the skin, but equally reduces inflammation and redness. Rosehip is known for its antioxidant properties, which we gather is the critical ingredient for attaining that youthful glow. On the other hand, avocado (the nation's best-loved brunch ingredient) is particularly effective at moisturising the skin, protecting against unnecessary dryness. The real winner here though is the use of organic ingredients, and avoidance of essential oils and fragrance. For anyone with reactive skin, you'll know this is a make or break element of any product, and in fact, we would suggest, products with either are best to be avoided for any skin type. Additionally, the packaging also feels very premium, with a lovely glass bottle and eco-friendly box - not a single cheap plastic bottle in sight! To try this bottle of goodness for yourself, visit the PHB Ethical Beauty website here, where is it available for £17.00.

Dadima's Panjiri

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We might be enticed by a good beauty product (or two) at The Amazing Blog , but we’re also equally interesting in discovering new (and delicious) foods. One thing we’ve concluded through our foodie research is that there is often a focus on new crazes and fads – and while there is no problem with this, the focus on tried, tested and traditional recipes can often be forgotten. We were therefore thrilled to discover Dadima’s, a brand sharing our desire to celebrate the wisdom of generations, providing us with their traditional and high energy Panjiri – a recipe that has well and truly stood the test of time.

Panjiri or Panjeri is a recipe and staple that originates from the Punjab and Hyderbad regions in India. It is treated as a nutritional supplement and has been used for thousands of years, by the ancient Hindus and Sikhs. It is usually eaten in the winter to ward off cold and also given to nursing mothers as it’s considered very nutritional. The story behind this brand is a lovely one. Founder, Anneeka, has taken inspiration from the wisdom and knowledge of her grandmother, creating a version of the Panjiri recipe which is full of tradition and flavour. This inspiration even draws as far as the brand name itself, taken directly from the name she uses to address her grandmother. We don’t mind admitting that we were novices in relation to Panjiri, however we are now huge lovers of this high energy snacking food. With a recipe deep rooted in Ayurvedic medicine. It boasts a plethora of health benefits, boosting energy and fibre levels simultaneously, and thanks to the handmade recipe, both artificial preservatives and added sugars are avoided.

For those wondering what this snack tastes like – we concluded that it is a cardamom and sultana infusion with a kick of almond, fennel, ginger and carom seeds. The texture is soft, making it easy to sprinkle over porridge, fruit or yoghurt. The texture comes from the use of semolina and ghee, while melon seeds, dessicated coconut and Arabic gum are all used to add flavour. We tried the no added sugar version, but for those with a sweeter tooth, the traditional version contains a little extra sweetness. Alternatively, we have added a sprinkling of Panjiri to a traditional British crumble, for a flavour kick, but also to add a little bit of goodness to a perhaps not to good pudding!

To try this family classic for yourself, then both the original and no added sugar Panjiri products can be purchased from the Dadima’s website here for £6.99. Enjoy!

Myrto Natural Cosmetic's Summer Face Oil and Argan Eye Serum

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We're almost at the end of February, and if we're honest, our New Years Resolution to make a better effort with skincare has slightly fallen slightly to the wayside. That’s why we have turned to Myrto Natural Cosmetics, and their all-natural, vegan, alcohol-free and perfume-free products. Made by hand in small production, we were quickly encouraged to up our skincare game after discovering their richly laden ingredients. Having tried their Argan Eye Serum and Summer Face Oil - we couldn't wait to share our new found secret for healthier skin on The Amazing Blog.

Founded by Eva Silvana Kruck (who has over 20 years of research and experience in natural cosmetic skincare) and Professor Dr Peter Kruck (the technology driver of the company) - this brand aims to produce premium quality products that are free from preservatives, conventional additives and emulsifiers. In a less technical sense, their products do not contain chemicals and processed ingredients.

Firstly, having noticed ever increasing dark circles (thank you cold weather and deadlines) we were keen to try Myrto's Bio Argan Eye Serum Roll On. Promising to firm the under eye area, with the use of specific ingredients which promote regeneration and hydration, this serum contains organic and hand-pressed Argan oil, to regenerate vitamin C; and hyaluronic acid, added to improve hydration and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The formula also contains powerhouse ingredients such as pomegranate extract, sea buckthorn fruit oil and rose water - all of which are organic, working simultaneously to hydrate, counteracting pesky dark circles and premature ageing. Packaged in a sleek glass roll-on-bottle, this is best applied twice a day to reap the full benefits. We found the bottle lasted well and were thankful for the floral fragrance. To purchase this little bottle of magic for yourself, click here, where it is available for £24.50.

Secondly, we noticed that many of our go-to facial oils are great at hydrating our skin, but not so great at protecting it. We were therefore pleased to discover the Bio Summer Day Oil , an effective anti-ageing oil that also contains herbal sunscreen. Despite the summer feeling oh so far away, we try our best to protect our skin on a daily basis, so a 2-in-1 face oil and sunscreen which entirely ticks the box. Designed mainly for blemish-prone combination skin, this day oil moisturises without a greasy finish. Bio Summer Day Oil contains powerful ingredients: organic grapeseed oil for strengthening properties, organic seabuckthorn pulp oil to delay UV damage and schizandra berry extract for anti-inflammatory results. However, the star ingredient has to be avellana oil, a natural sunscreen with factor 10 to reduce skin ageing. This oil has helped to not only hydrate our problem skin but also to protect it against daily UV rays. To try this multi-tasking product for yourself, visit the Myrto Natural Cosmetics website here, where it is available for £29.90.

Ecologic Cosmetics

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They say prevention is better than cure and this certainly applies when taking care of our complexions. Welcome our latest #amazingfind  Ecologic Cosmetics; founded in Mallorca, it’s a brand that has created natural, organic, sustainable and vegan beauty products for over 25 years. Following the hashtag #ClimateFriendlyCosmetics, their motto is: “Caring for your Beauty, Caring for our world”. This is certainly something we can get behind at The Amazing Blog, and were excited to learn more.

We particularly like about this brand is its credentials with environmentally conscious packaging (100% recycled), plus their simple and straight forward organic ingredients. As explained by founder, Linda Nicolau - a trained skincare professional and therapist:, “What we put on our skin enters our bloodstream, and matters. I cannot emphasise enough that it is never too late to care for your skin with natural, respectful, non-toxic ingredients.” Something we heartily agree with.

We tried Ecologic Cosmetics’ Hydrating Lipsome Serum and Bio Facial Elixir. We were very pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of the Hydrating Liposome Serum. This 10 day action water-based serum contains vitamins C and E, helping to lock hydration into the skin. The formula also contains marine plants and botanical hyaluronic acids, making it 99% of natural origin, containing 89% eco-certified ingredients. This serum is powerful at cell-repairing and moisturising, leaving the skin both smooth and luminous. It can be applied around the eyes, as well as on your face, neck and décolleté. Simply add a thin layer over the desired areas, after cleansing. It smells light and natural, and the wooden lid of the clear bottle gives it a simple and pure touch. This super hydrating serum also closes open pores, regenerates the skin and diminishes wrinkles and blemishes. What more could we ask for?

We were similarly impressed by the Bio Facial Elixir. Restoring and regenerating, this elixir contains organic botanical oils, including rosehip chia seed and geranium, an excellent combination for anti-ageing. With 99% eco-certified ingredients, this elixir is also suitable for all skin types. The rich and luxurious formula helps your skin to recover and replenish, while the unique blend of essential and organic oils helps to improve elasticity and firmness, The elixir’s lightly sweet scent and silky rich composition immediately relaxes your skin and facial muscles. It regenerates, recovers and replenishes, for progressive and long-lasting effects.

To restore your skin, by giving it a hydrating boost and healthy glow, purchase the Hydrating Lipsome Serum here for £69 (30ml) and the Bio Facial Elixir here for £49 (30ml).

Far Side Cold Brew Coffee

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Do you ever get the feeling that the very human need to enjoy some of our simple daily pleasures, is being slowly eroded away by reports that we shouldn’t be eating this or applying that because if it isn’t destroying the planet, then it is probably destroying us? Take the glorious indulgence of our routine grabbing of the 'first thing in the morning skinny latté with an extra shot’ - and judging by the desperation on some faces at The Amazing Blog we should perhaps make that ‘the glorious addiction…’ whichever noun applies here, the concept remains the same.

However, what if we were to tell you of a coffee company that could sweep away any feelings of guilt in one delicious and prolonged gulp, meet Far Side Coffee. For with every sip that is savoured, we are supporting an incredible initiative, engaging with members of The International Women’s Coffee Alliance which brings ‘every woman together in the coffee sector from Crop to Cup, by transforming their lives and wellbeing through strong relationships at regional and global levels’. However, maybe some background on Far Side Coffee would be appropriate here, as the company clearly shares their mission with this global movement of the empowerment women across the board. Founded by Kadie Regan just two years ago, Far Side Coffee began from a need to swig a really good brew … does that sound familiar? Some of us, simply pop in to grab a cup from our favourite barista, but Kadie went a whole other route further, brewing her libation from fresh, and distributing it locally throughout the South West of the UK. In order to expand to further markets, Kadie needed to prolong the coffee’s shelf life, but without compromising the cold brew process or adding any ‘nasties’. In 2018, the process was completed, giving a stable shelf life and no changes to the process or indeed flavour.

The results speak for themselves, and at our fingertips, we have a choice of two to enjoy - the Peruvian Cold Brew which offers up some intriguingly bold flavours and the Rwanda Cold Brew, which is an altogether more mellow journey with hints of maple nectar and a burst of lemon. However, the Peruvian probably nudges to the top of our chart for it’s darkly bold taste, with an unexpected top note of orange peel. For those who believe their coffee can only come hot in a cardboard cup, we urge you to give one of these two beauties a try. Despite their very different flavours, with each bottle containing the equivalent of 3 shots of espresso in caffeine content,.they are wonderfully refreshing (obviously drunk cold), which gives us the hit we need at whatever time of the day.

Priced at around the cost of our aforementioned latté, these goodies can be purchased in a pack of 12 for £36, or a pack of 4 for £13 from their online shop here where there is also an option to order a box of 12 containing a handy mix of origins. And in case the Taste Police are watching, they are all vegan, sugar, dairy AND gluten free, meaning a hit of the rich stuff comes without the pangs of guilt.