Eczema

PHB Ethical Beauty's Gentle Cleanser

PHB Final Blog Image.jpg

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.

Marie Reynolds - MRL Restore

MRL Final Blog Image.jpg

Here at The Amazing Blog, we are all in agreement that a girls night in, is long overdue. We’ve got our chick flicks, chocolate (and wine) lined up, but one thing we couldn’t forget, is a good face mask. We were therefore pleased to discover MRL Restore by Marie Reynolds, part of a successful skincare range designed to balance and brighten the skin. Marie is most well known for her facial treatments, which she undertakes at Fortnum & Mason in London and her clinic in Norfolk.

This very special skin food facial mask supports imbalances within the epidermal flora, and is completely cruelty-free. It is also 100% organic and uses no artificial colours or preservatives. The product is entirely natural and, just like all Marie Reynolds products, it doesn’t only focus on visual and physical causes of skin imbalances, but also aims to combat the impacts of stress and lifestyle.

The mask adapts to every skin type and condition, balancing the skin’s natural flora and fauna. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating and brightening results thanks to the plant-produced chemicals (phytonutrients) which are used to protect the skin from environmental toxicity. Using eight strains of live bacteria during the production process, a wide range of imbalances in the skin are targeted. The MSL Restore multi-strain formula works in multiple areas, providing protection against a wide range of harmful bacteria, fungi and yeasts that may be present on the skin.

We can confirm that the cleansing effect kicks in immediately, and as one jar contains about 19 applications, you can deliver a refreshing cleanse time and time again. To use this mask, you simply mix one teaspoon of MRL Restore with a small amount of water. Blend this into a smooth paste and apply it evenly on your face and neck. After 10 to 15 minutes, loosen the mask with wet hands, massage it again for a further minute and then remove the residue with warm water. This process is best followed by moisturising your skin, preferably using the Marie Reynolds’ Epidermal Blanket, but of course, any desired moisturiser is suitable.

Ramp up your girls night, and purchase your own MRL Restore jar for £68.00 (80g) here. Pass us the popcorn!

Friday Favourites: Body Care Products

When The Amazing Blog did a quick beauty poll amongst some friends, it seems that body care products are something frequently overlooked. We all take great care to moisturise our faces, but what about our poor hard-working bodies? Today we have reviewed some of our #amazingfinds for the body, which we hope will tempt even the most sceptical or lackadaisical among you.

49820765_294660011396920_6613749813315895296_n.jpg

Let’s begin with Lavera, a brand that we know and love (see here for more). Lavera never fails to live up to our expectations with their 100% certified organic ingredients, all of which are dermatologically proven, vegan and with all the free-froms. We like a good multi-tasker and with their Firming Body Milk we have found just that. Not only does it help to moisturise, but it also works to firm up the skin too. Lavera claims that when used every day, there will be a noticeable difference in your skin texture within two weeks – quite a claim, but one we can justify! Gently fragranced, the use of key ingredients, organic green coffee bean and green tea, help to stimulate the skin, for a soft and smooth finish. On the other hand, the use of rosemary and grape help to leave skin feeling silky-soft. It is lightweight to use and absorbs quickly, thankfully leaving no sticky residue. They suggest exfoliating first (Lavera has a rather lovely Smoothing Body Scrub) and applying daily. Whether you’re looking for body firming or not, we really liked the fragrance, feel and texture. Sensibly priced at £10.95 for a 200ml tube , it is available here.

50031878_369547003620739_2237309573281087488_n.jpg

Next, we have CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream, an impressive hyaluronic acid and ceramide based barrier cream, suitable for use on both the body and face, and gentle enough for eczema-prone skin. What are ceramides, I hear you ask; they are lipids that not only help to form the skin’s barrier and retain moisture but also protect against environmental pollution. This body moisturiser is particularly suitable for anyone with dry or very dry sensitive skin. CeraVe is a US brand developed in tandem with dermatologists, they have over 70 products to offer and what makes their product unique is their revolutionary delivery system: MultiVesicular Emulsion Technology (MVE). This technology releases moisturising ingredients over a 24 hour period, layer by layer, to help keep skin soft all day long. Ingredients are not natural, but they are fragrance free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. CeraVe are also quick to point out that they have received more Seal of Acceptance awards from the National Eczema Association than any other brand, which makes them a very tried and tested brand. Available from Boots or Superdrug, this is an economical product, £8.50 for 177ml.

PBH Hand and Body Cream.jpg

Our third body moisturiser is from the award-winning British brand PHB (Pure Handmade British) Ethical Beauty which is stuffed to the gunnels with delicious superfoods. This 2-in-1 Hand & Body Moisturiser has had us all cooing and oohing. We’ve been long-standing fans of PHB Ethical Beauty and have reviewed several of their products (and we hope many more) - see here. So when given the opportunity to try their new Hand & Body Moisturiser – we leapt at the chance! This brand is very special with 20% of their profits going to The OneLove Foundation (founded by PHB Ethical Beauty in 2015). All their products are made with ethically harvested and responsibly sourced ingredients that are 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free and alcohol-free (Halal certified). They call this a “no-nonsense moisturiser” and we couldn’t agree more. It absorbs quickly and comes with a list of simple, natural and certified organic ingredients that perform; it feeds the skin with a pure and powerful blend of mango, shea butter, apricot and pumpkin seeds – we love both the fragrance and simplicity. It is available on the PHB website here for £16.60, in a 150ml recyclable tube.


49732779_3006420902717525_3289153626781515776_n.jpg

Our final discovery are Liquid Body Washes from Fil Blanc (meaning “white thread” in French), perhaps best known for their high-quality Hammam Turkish cotton towelling (we have our eye on their multi-coloured hand woven bath robe). The brand’s inspiration is taken from Mediterranean luxury living, with a touch of bohemia thrown in. Fil Blanc is based in historical St. Nicholas Market at the Exchange Hall, Bristol where they started three years ago. All products are sourced or designed by the founder Gulsum Gok. She very kindly sent us two of their body washes Relaxing and Orange & Jasmine. All body washes are 99% natural with a 81.98 % organic base, also vegan, cruelty and paraben free. Again they come with a very simple list of ingredients: Relaxing is made with essential oils of geranium, lavender, orange and ylang-ylang; whereas Orange & Jasmine has only these. Both contain honey and aloe vera with an Argan oil base. At a reasonably priced £12 for 259ml you can purchase both here, or alternatively make a visit to their Bristol HQ.

Now there is no excuse not to implement a little body pampering!

MOA's The Green Balm

MOA Final Blog.jpg

Happy New Year! We’re back in the office at The Amazing Blog, and are ready to make 2019 the best year yet. We’re kicking off the week with an overhaul of our beauty products, in an attempt to rectify the previous year of hoarding. The general office consensus is that multi-purpose products are the way forward, so we were excited to try the relaunch of MOA's The Green Balm. We were very pleasantly surprised, and wanted to share our findings with you…

MOA (Magic Organic Apothecary), began in 2010, when founder Charlie Fowler found a distinct lack of natural eczema products. Given that her daughter suffered from this condition, Charlie made it her mission to fomulate a natural and organic product, that would soothe, cleanse, tone and moisturise the skin. And so The Green Balm was born. Encased in a lightweight glass jar, this product is the ultimate multi-purpose beauty balm. As well as working as a cleanser and moisturiser, it is particularly effective at soothing skin post-shaving, waxing and threading. Additionally, it acts as an eyelash moisturiser and works to help fade stretchmarks. For those of you who have dry hands, knees, elbows and cracked heels then this balm also nourishes and moisturises these significantly. Finally, if that's not enough, then it acts as an effective eye makeup remover, taking it off quickly without any need to rub forcefully. What more could you ask for?

With ingredients like organic yarrow, known for its nourishing and healing properties, and tea tree oil know as a naturally powerful antiseptic; these all natural ingredients help to nourish and soothe all dry and itchy skin. Other ingredients such as coconut, sweet almond, beeswax and soy bean oil work as the carrier and also help to make this balm smell delicious. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose product that works wonders on your skin, then take our word for it, MOA's The Green Balm is our new go-to product for 2019. It has a great price point making it affordable at £6 for 15ml or £15 for 50ml. Click here to purchase your very own pot of magic.

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

kefir final.jpg

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.