Vegan

Mount Olympus - Lemon Goat's Kefir + Mojito Water Kefir

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We’ve found searching for an alternative to traditional cow's milk kefir somewhat difficult, and the ever saturated kefir market is a minefield for both new and old kefir drinkers. Add to that the plethora of other healthy drinks, and you're probably equally as confused as us, at The Amazing Blog. Personally, I’m a goats milk drinker; therefore I was very happy to discover that Mount Olympus, a brand that prides itself on produces a range of different kefirs, also include a goats milk one! They kindly sent us two of their signature products, the Lemon Goat's Kefir and also a Vegan Water Kefir.

Conceived on the slopes of Mount Olympus (hence the name) by Greek founder Kostas Kapelas, whose background is as a holistic health therapist. Kostas' ethos is to work with small-scale and family-based Greek manufacturers, to produce the finest organic, natural and sustainable kefirs. Mount Olympus is against artificial stimulating hormones and antibiotics or any other additives. Additionally, while many kefir products on the market contain non-vegan ingredients, Mount Olympus provides kefir waters for the vegan consumer too, so here there is something for everyone.

If you’re not sure what kefir is, then you're probably not alone. Kefir is formed from lactic acid bacteria and yeast which is fermented (more commonly in milk), to provide a consistency similar to thin yoghurt. Milk based kefir is rich in fatty acids and has lower lactose levels than traditional cow's milk, making it easier to digest for our lactose intolerant friends. Typically, kefir of the dairy variety is made from cow, sheep, and goat's milk. It has been proven that goat's milk is easier to digest, and makes a smoother curd when fermented. So what is the added bonus? Drinking kefir restores microbiomes, which know to help heal troublesome skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.

We tried the Lemon Goat's Kefir which is delicious with its zingy flavour with a light citrus twist. We particularly like that the 100% natural ingredients come from local producers and suppliers and that this kefir contains Greek free-roaming goat's milk, kefir cultures, frozen lemon juice, stevia with inulin (a prebiotic). Many argue that this beverage is better for you than yoghurt, as goat's kefir contains live probiotics, billions of active bacteria, and is 100% preservative-free. We recommend keeping it refrigerated, as kefir is best enjoyed when chilled. Ensure that you shake it well before opening, to enjoy the full benefits of this healthy and tasty drink. For stockists of Mount Olympus’ Lemon Goats Kefir 300ml in the UK visit here.

Alternatively, as some members of our team are dairy intolerant, the Mojito Water Kefir 310ml proves to be a great alternative. As Mount Olympus explains, there are two kinds of kefir, water and milk. Water kefir is made from ‘good’ bacteria and as the name suggests, it’s fermented in water. We tried the ‘Mojito’ flavour, made from filtered water, sugar, frozen lemon juice, spearmint, mint & lime aroma, and vegan kefir cultures. It’s a refreshing taste with all the added benefits of 29 strains of live probiotics and billions of active bacteria, all critical for a healthy gut. It is also low in calories, 100% preservative-free, and contains 100% natural ingredients. Other beneficial ingredients include a wide range of organic acids, lactobacillus bacteria, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. The ‘Mojito’ Water Kefir has a natural fizz, making it a fun non alcoholic drink to sip on. As with the Lemon Goat's Kefir, the ‘Mojito’ Water Kefir is best served chilled, for optimum probiotic power. For stockists of Mount Olympus’ ‘Mojito’ Water Kefir 310ml in the UK visit here.

Myroo Skincare - Gentle Cleanser + Cloth

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As colder temperatures have set in, our skin at The Amazing Blog is beginning to suffer. As much as the crisp air and colourful leaves are a welcome element of the changing seasons, many of us are subject to heightened dry skin as a result of the colder climate. We were therefore pleased to discover Myroo Skincare, a brand that is formulated for sensitive, allergic and problem skin, and gentle enough to solve October woes for any skin type.

Myroo Skincare, based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, was founded by skincare expert Rachael Dunseath. Using her own experiences of allergies, Dunseath sought to create a range of products that leave you "comfortable in your own skin" and "confident in the ingredients". This ethos is embedded in the 100% plant-based products, which are handmade in small batches to preserve nutrients and guarantee freshness - a commendable philosophy that we were keen to try for ourselves.

We tried their Gentle Cleanser, an organic and vegan cleanser that is free from gluten, nuts and dairy ingredients. We found the nut-free formula particularly interesting, as this includes inedible traces which are often found within other 'nut free' products. The cleanser is also free from all common food allergens, and the use of known synthetic irritants (including parabens), is prohibited. Quite an impressive list of considerations I'm sure you will agree! Equally as impressive, however, are the ingredients themselves, with the use of apricot kernel oil, starflower oil and orange blossom, which are packed with vitamin E and omega 6. These work together to create a silky and luxurious formula that helps to protect and repair the skin's natural barrier, encouraging it to regenerate, for a fresher and softer complexion.

Alongside the plethora of carefully considered ingredients, the cleanser is also cruelty-free, free from animal testing and available in a fragrance-free version. The Fragrance-Free Gentle Cleanser doesn't contain any of the common 26 cosmetic allergens, ensuring that even the most sensitive of skin is left looking refreshed and radiant. To use either product, we recommend utilising the double-sided organic cloth that is included in the packaging. When used alongside the cleanser, we found that our skin was both gently cleansed and exfoliated (without the use of microbeads), which encouraged brighter and fresher skin, as well as acting as an environmentally friendly alternative to other exfoliating products. It also allows the product to become a 2 in 1 solution, something we are always keen to promote! If you're continuously searching to simplify your skincare routines, then this may well be the answer.

To try this star product for yourself, massage 3-4 pumps over the face and neck, and remove with the hot cloth (use warm water for maximum effect). Do this twice a day to reap the full benefits. We found that a little goes a long way, so we recommend being economical with the amount applied. If you're suitably impelled to try Myroo Skincare, then click here to buy your own Gentle Cleanser + Cloth, or here for the Fragrance-Free version, both priced at £27. Happy cleansing!

Friday Favourites - Natural Cleansers

What’s more important to you… A skincare regime in the morning to pep up your skin? Or perhaps in the evening, to help get rid of the daily grim? When we did a quick poll in the office and found that we all tended to lean towards an evening ritual. Although maybe one or two of us might admit to having fallen asleep with our make up on - oh what a sin! Of course, when this is the case we’ve paid the price; you know the look of dark panda eyes, streaky cheeks and an irritated skin breakout. Today we at The Amazing Blog explore four natural, cruelty-free and gentle cleansing products to help you up your cleansing game - whether its for the day, night or both.

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First and foremost, we all know that we’ve got to remove our make up. Nadur is an Irish natural and vegan skincare brand that has a wonderfully gentle and effective make up remover. Nadur was a Pure Beauty Global Awards 2018 Finalist, and they are committed to crafting non-toxic and well-designed products that are safe for the environment and the user. The name ‘Nadur’ means nature and comes from the ancient celtic/viking alphabet ‘Ogham’, with their 20 symbols that represent sacred trees. They focus on the ‘acid mantle’ (the skins natural defense mechanism) and their products are a careful blend of science and artistry using ‘green chemistry’.

We tried their Genie Rinsable Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover and were pleased to find the naturally ethical formula is non-greasy and hydrating. This cleanser and make up remover hybrid works well for normal, oily, combination, and dry skin. To use it, smother over dry skin, wetting the face to emulsify it, and gently work it in. Give your face a rinse, and you’ll feel squeaky clean, without the tight sensation. This water-soluble solution is gentle on the skin’s natural protective barrier because of the inclusion of organic jojoba oil, which means the skin’s moisture levels are restored. We particularly like all the antioxidants and minerals, such as pomegranate seed, that help to rejuvenate the skin. The Genie Rinsable Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover is vegan, gluten, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and 100% natural. Its faint floral, nutty fragrance comes from the sweet almond oil and ylang-ylang flower extract. Purchase Nadur’s Genie Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover 200ml here for £25.00.



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Let’s move from Ireland to Britain, to explore Nakin Skincare. We’re particular fans of this new British brand which focuses on natural anti-ageing products, and recently featured their Active Dew Face Cream here. As a nominee for Best New Skincare Brand in the Pure Beauty Awards, founder Cris Beetham said: “Our whole ethos is about effective natural skincare, for people who want great skin without the use of harsh chemicals.” And we certainly do! Hyaluronic acid, seaweed and plant extracts, healing butters, and reviving oils are some of the powerful ingredients in Nakin’s products that help to enhance your skin’s natural beauty. All of their products are cruelty-free and are without parabens and artificial colour and fragrances.

We took their Natural Anti-Ageing Advanced Cleansing Milk for a spin. This cleanser is 98% natural and wheat and gluten-free. We particularly enjoyed using this product because of how gentle it is on sensitive and dry skin, and it proved to be a great hit with our Exec Editor. The Cleansing Milk is easy to apply, simply massage in circular motion before removing with a cotton pad - it’s brilliant for removing stubborn make up. The hyaluronic acid and pomegranate fruit extract help to fight the key signs of ageing. The seaweed extract also helps to even skin tone. The completely natural, light floral fragrance is refreshing but more importantly we liked that this cleanser was effective. If you’d like to try Nakin Skincare’s Natural Anti-Ageing Advance Cleansing Milk, it can be purchased 150ml here for £15.00.

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If you’re in the mood to try something different, then Speak Skin Beauty has got you covered. They are a natural skincare company founded by Nisa and Tiara, who wanted to make a difference. Their mission is to empower women with fair and reliable information on skincare ingredients, to allow them to make an informed decision; and wishing to make a positive impact on their community and environment. Both had struggled on their journey to find a suitable skincare for their complexions; Nisa with dermatitis and Tiara for her ever-changing, hormonal skin. This skincare brand is all about advocating good clean and conscious products. They carefully choose their ingredients to ensure that their products are appropriate for even the most sensitive skin. We love how they are minimising waste by getting rid of unnecessary packaging. We received their 01 Cleansing Powder in a charming fabric mini tote all made from recycled material. This packaging makes the product all the more meaningful in our eyes. They’re strictly cruelty and paraben-free, and make all their products in small batches.

Speak’s 01 Cleansing Powder system was new to most of the team here, as they hadn’t used a powder cleanser before. It is a gentle, soap-free cleansing powder that has only four ingredients: organic oats, lavendar extract, kaolin clay and sweet almond oil. It’s simplicity at it’s best. The scent is particularly enticing, the fragrance of this almost poultice-like texture is lead by the combination of lavender and oatmeal. The oats help to soothe the skin; the lavender calms redness; the sweet almond oil prevents dryness and hydrates, and the kaolin clay diminishes sebum production. This cleanser proved very popular with those of us who have more oily skin with frequent breakouts, as it helps to calm and stabilise. Mix the powder in the palm of your hand with warm water to make a paste, then apply by gently massaging the paste on the face, rinse off, et voila! You too can purchase Speak Skin Beauty’s 01 Cleansing Powder 60g here for £8.88.

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Last but by no means least, we found Skincare with Compassion, an organic skincare company founded to be entirely cruelty-free and vegan. Based on the Island of Jersey, founder Emma Froch explains that the brand is “dedicated to changing the way in which people think about skin care” by advocating natural and animal-friendly products. Emma’s thirst for expertise in the skincare industry began over nine years ago when she realised that cruelty-free and vegan products were in short supply. She made it her mission to formulate 100% natural and non-animal derived products, working with beauty experts to discover ethical ingredients without nasty additives. We certainly admire the ethics of the company and were thrilled to try the Geranium and Thyme Purifying Face Wash.

This face wash is designed for those with oily or spot prone skin, a welcome discovery for certain members of The Amazing Blog team who suffer from hormonal blemishes. It contains 83.7% certified organic ingredients, including four superpower botanicals: geranium, thyme, lavender flower and rosemary. The geranium provides the benefit of minimising the look of wrinkles whilst still leaving your face feeling moisturised and supple. The thyme is a powerful force against bacteria, helping to eliminate and calm sebum levels. Similarly, lavender flower has antibacterial properties, reducing blemishes and fighting against the dark spots and scars that we are often availed with (as if having the spot in the first place wasn’t bad enough!) Finally, rosemary is antiseptic, helping to reduce redness and puffiness, by balancing congested skin. All in all, a robust set of ingredients that not only soothe our skin, but smell light and fresh.

To see the results for yourself, apply a small amount of the cleanser to wet skin (we suggest opening your pores with warm water first) and gently massage. You’ll be met with a silky foam, which needs only to be rinsed with warm water to remove. To purchase a 100ml bottle of Skincare with Compassion’s Geranium and Thyme Purifying Face Wash for £18, then click here.

There is a natural cleanser here to suit almost every skin type. We think that all four of these cleansers are fabulous alternatives to the plethora of chemical-infused cleansers, that are so readily available on the high street. Please let us know if you get try out some of our new finds, otherwise we hope that we’ve inspired you to go and search out new cleansing alternatives.

EliRose Skincare - Nourishing Organic Serum

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As regular readers will know, we at The Amazing Blog team are particularly careful about the skincare products that we use, always erring on the side caution. Very happily, we recently discovered a new skincare launch:  EliRose Skincare, a luxurious British brand that is certified organic, vegan, and cruelty-free. Their niche area is to cater to those who suffer from excessively dry skin, eczema, and acne. The Canadian founder Claudia Bussieres wanted to find an 100% organic product, but felt deceived by so many products’ labels. Claudia commented it appeared that 'natural' beauty companies all prioritised product longevity, shelf life, and regulation for cash flow as being more important than the side effects. As a solution, she worked with a team of chemists for over six year, developing her first product the Nourishing Organic Serum, and the start of creating a line of skincare with trusted ingredients.

Since some members of our team have sensitive skin and eczema, they were thrilled to try EliRose’s Nourishing Organic Serum with the hope they would experience some relief. The lovely floral fragrance immediately caught our attention. The serum is loaded with beautiful organic oils, such as Bulgarian rose otto oil, evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, jasmine essential oil, geranium leaf oil, and rosehip seed oil. Combining these oils has a balancing effect, which helps to maintain moisture, prevent hormonal acne, and increase collagen production. This non-greasy formula is a Pure Beauty Global Awards 2018 Winner and made without gluten, PEGs, GMOs, Parabens, silicone, mineral oils, and artificial fragrances. The Nourishing Organic Serum’s soothing formula also applies smoothly with quick absorption time.

You can purchase the Eli Rose Nourishing Organic Serum 30ml here for £68.00.

Neighbourhood Botanicals – Facial Oil and Lip Balm

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Mainstream skin and body care products can be costly, and we at The Amazing Blog never want to forfeit the quality of the regular skincare that we use, just for cheaper products that don't use the same top ingredients. Micaela Nisbet, the founder of Neighbourhood Botanicals, agrees with us here too. After moving from Australia to London to pursue a music career, Micaela found herself spending a large chunk of her paycheck on such products. This inspired Micaela to follow her love for the magic of natural oils and blend her own skincare. The result was the formation of Neighbourhood Botanicals, a reliable natural oil-based skin care line made in the UK.

We were happy to try out the Neighbourhood Botanicals’ Dream Dream Dream Facial Oil. This facial oil is a blend of Moringa seed oil, rosehip fruit oil, apricot kernel oil, geranium oil, ylang-ylang flower oil, vitamin E, blackcurrant seed oil, lavender oil, and is wonderful for all complexions. Since its non-irritant, all natural, and hypoallergenic it is suited to everyone's skin type. In the morning, our skin felt soft and replenished. The contents of the Dream Dream Dream Facial Oil contain essential fatty acids and vitamins, to renew the skin while we sleep. Plus, we reaped the benefits from the phytosterols and vitamin C, which stimulate skin elasticity and collagen regeneration. The floral fragrance left us feeling calm and pampered for bedtime. This 100% cruelty-free and vegan facial oil can also be used during the day on top of a moisturiser, or with foundation. Neighbourhood Botanicals’ Dream Dream Dream Facial Oil 30ml can be purchased here for £28.00.

We also mustn't forget to mention their cute ‘Mon Amour’ by Rejjie Snow lip balm, which is in collaboration with Neighbourhood Botanicals. This wonderful tiny pocket-sized lip balm is also made in the UK. ‘Mon Amour’ lip balm is 100% natural (yay) and applies easily, keeping our lips well-conditioned. It is made from sweet almond oil, shea butter, beeswax, cocoa, white clay to cut the shine, vegetable glycerin, organic honey and vanilla flavours. Our favourite part of this lip balm is its cocoa scent! You can purchase the Mon Amour’ by Rejjie Snow lip balm here for £5.00.