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.

The Lakes Distillery Gin

The Lakes Distillery Final Blog.jpg

In recent years, the gin market has boomed, emerging a plethora of different tipples that we certainly enjoy exploring at The Amazing Blog. Recently, we were introduced to The Lakes Distillery's offerings, and I suppose you could say that our Friday afternoons have become much more interesting in the name of research!

From Cumbria myself, I was thrilled to introduce The Lakes Distillery to my colleagues. The company is based near Keswick, in the heart of the North Lakes, where co-founder Paul Currie and his team operate their distillery. The team compromises of multiple industry experts; production is overseen by whisky expert Alan Rutherford and distilling by Scottish expert Chris Anderson. You can therefore be safe in the knowledge that the Lakes Distillery's spirits are produced to the highest standard. Equally, the distillery is environmentally conscious - only fuel from sustainable sources is used, and barley waste from their whisky production is fed to local cattle. The considerations even go as far as to bear in mind the transport routes, choosing to refurbish an old barn on the main bus route to and from Keswick, encouraging staff and visitors alike to minimise the use of cars.

We tried The Lakes Gin, part of the Lakes Distillery’s core range, including 'The One Whisky' and 'The Lakes Vodka'. This gin is a special one; it is the only gin with true Cumbria provenance, made from local Cumbrian juniper, as well as a multitude of other specially selected botanicals, such as bilberry, heather and hawthorn. These are steeped overnight in both wheat spirit and Cumbrian water (sourced from the River Derwent), creating a truly Cumbrian outcome. Once steeped, the gin is distilled for up to 8 hours in a traditional and handmade copper pot, creating a smooth and refreshing taste. We found this gin pleasantly fruity in taste, with a citrusy zing that makes this tipple particularly fresh. The packaging is also sleek and elegant, the perfect addition to any spirit cabinet. I like to chill this gin and drink it neatly over ice. However, if you're feeling less adventurous, then it is equally delicious when mixed with a good quality tonic, and garnished with pink grapefruit.

We were also fortunate to try The Lakes Rhubarb and Rosehip Gin Liqueur, a liqueur with a fruity and floral taste that is delicious when mixed with apple presse. It can also be mixed with prosecco, for a sophisticated twist. As with the traditional The Lakes Gin, this liqueur is made with Cumbrian juniper and 13 other native Lake District National Park botanicals. We're sure this is one of the reasons that this gin was a Silver award winner in The Global Travel Retail Spirits awards this year. We must also point out the pretty packaging of this product, characteristically pink in colour; it is both enticing and aesthetically pleasing. This liqueur could easily be added to a vast array of cocktails or is particularly refreshing when mixed with ginger ale.

If you would like to try these Cumbrian delights for yourself, then you can purchase The Lakes Gin here or the Rhubarb and Rosehip Gin Liqueur here, both for £15.00 (20cl). They are great as a present for Christmas (if we're allowed to mention that yet) or simply to treat yourself as the cold weather creeps in!

BADGER Damascus Rose SPF 16 Face Sunscreen Lotion

London has officially become a chilly and humid city - winter is quickly approaching and I'm already wearing leather gloves, a wool scarf and my coveted leopard-print coat. This weather invites me to stay in with my cup of coffee and my beloved Kindle, as the sun is nowhere to be seen... and it's only October! My body care and skincare always tend to change by this time of the year; however, there's one thing that never changes in my skincare routine, and that's sunscreen. I'll admit I've become quite obsessed with skin aging and I try my best to keep it protected from the sun - for the past few years I've been wearing face sunscreen every single day. However, I've always disliked the smell and the feeling of sunscreen on my skin (not to mention the way it photographs! - it leaves a white cast on your face); every brand I've tried smells chemically or feels heavy on the skin. So in my hunt for a light-feeling and natural sunscreen I came across with BADGER'S Damascus Rose SPF 16 Face Sunscreen Lotion, which gently protects my skin from both UVA and UVB rays. This Damascus Rose Sunscreen keeps your skin nourished and soothed with a base of antioxidant and extracts of Rosehip, Seabuckthorn and Pomegranate. It also contains Organic Rose Otto essential oil, one of the most precious and expensive oils in the world (for which BADGER pays $4,000 per litre!) - this fabulous sunscreen is made from blossoms, handpicked before dawn and gently processed the same very day! This Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen also contains Lavender and Chamomile which leave a subtle and nice herbally scent (unlike regular sunscreens).

One of the things that we love the most about Badger is that their products are 100% natural and made from Certified Organic ingredients and pure essential oils sourced from around the globe for their therapeutic powers. At The Amazing Blog we've also tried two of their famous balms: the Lip & Body Balm and the Sleep Balm, and we can't wait to test more. We're delighted with the brand and its open approach to explaining their ingredients and what they use to produce their effective products.

You can buy BADGER's organic products from Health Monthly. And remember to keep your skin protected, it's so much better on the long run!


Shangri La Organics Guardian Angel Rescue Balm

With the great British Summer as indecisive as ever - baking hot one day, thunderstorms the next and so on and so forth, it's little wonder that our skin bears much of the brunt of the changing winds. And while most of last week's sun fell during office hours (what else did we expect?!) it's fair to say that most of us had the opportunity to spend at least a few hours in the sun, with the result being a few rosy faces and burnt shoulders here at The Amazing Blog. Thankfully, we recently came across Guardian Angel Rescue Balm by Shangri La Organics which is 100% plant based and contains only the finest certified organic ingredients. With no parabens, chemicals or any other hidden nasties that are frequently found in so-called 'rescue' products, it's certainly a great investment to make, especially given the unpredictable weather here in the UK and the consequential effect on our skin. The lavender-scented balm melts effortlessly into dry, fatigued skin and really helps to boost moisture levels. Blended organic oils of Apricot kernel and Rosehip with divinely rich natural, Organic Shea and Cocoa Butter help to soothe and restore even the most stressed out skin.

It's the perfect handbag product as it's a fabulous multi-tasker that can be used for a whole host of skin complaints including dry, chapped lips, stretch marks, scars, cracked feet and heels and insect bites to name but a few! And it's also a great addition to any yummy mummys bag; due to its completely natural composition it can be used to soothe nappy rash, cradel cap and dry patches.

And so, if you're after the next big thing in beauty; our best are on this beautifully packaged multi-tasking balm. Check it out here.

Raw Gaia

If you've been a loyal follower of The Amazing Blog, or even if you've just found us, it's pretty safe to say that we love anything natural and organic. Whether it's skincare or food or pretty much anything, the more natural it is the better. So when we came across Raw Gaia we simply had to try out a few of their wonderfully organic skincare range! All the Raw Gaia products are made with your benefit and the environment in mind. The products are all cold-pressed, organic, vegan, cruelty and chemical free. By using the process they use, the range maintains all the amazing benefits of the raw ingredients. And as we can attest, the products are so lovely on your skin as well. We've tried the Cold-Pressed Carrier Face Oils in Rosehip and Argan as well as their Moroccan Lava Clay and loved them.When you're using the oils I'd recommend having a slightly damp face - you want enough moisture that the oil spreads but not so much that it doesn't sink in. I'd also say that you should start with a bit less than you think you need and then use more as you need it, you'd be surprised how far a small amount takes you. Your skin will feel softer than when you use a normal moisturiser. As for the mask, if you've ever mixed a face mask at home you'll know how easy it is and the Moroccan Lava Clay mask is no different. Simply mix the powder with water until you have a nice thick mask. Apply it to your face, grab a magazine, and leave your skin to reap the benefits! Once you take it off your skin will feel so smooth, and there's enough clay to make a lot of masks. Their whole range of skincare are at very reasonable price points, especially considering the quality of ingredients and process.

Have a browse through Raw Gaia's range on their website and you're sure to find a few of these natural products to fit into your skincare routine.