There’s nothing I love more than a skincare discovery sesh and today I’ve got one for you in collaboration with Formula Botanica. You may not have heard the name before but if you’re a fan of indie, artisan, green beauty I’m willing to bet you’ve heard of at least one of their graduates.
Formula Botanica is the world’s leading accredited online school for organic cosmetic formulation with 5000 students from over 130 countries. I think of them a little like the UN of skincare! Last year I attended their annual conference in London and it was so inspiring to witness the supportive community of students from all over the globe and at different stages from hobbyists to entrepreneurs stocked in leading department stores. In fact I’ve signed up to do a course myself and will be speaking on a panel at this year’s conference!
I was thrilled to have the chance to get my hands on a small selection of products from some of the most successful Formula Botanica graduates, which I have put through their paces. Join me as a globetrot around the natural and organic skincare world……
Formula Botanica Graduate Beauty Box
Jalue is a London-born, currently Istanbul-based creation from Azerbajani entrepreneur Jale Demirchi, inspired by Russian herbal remedies and skincare traditions. The aim is to offer ancient skincare rituals made convenient for modern living.
Jalue Ice Therapy (vegan-friendly)
The Jalue Ice Therapy kit combines the healing powers of herbs with cryotherapy (cold therapy). Russian empress Catherine the Great is said to have used ice every day on her face and décolletage to keep her looking young and revitalised. In Ancient Egypt and Greece, cryotherapy was used to treat inflammation and injuries. There really is nothing new under the sun!
Skincare benefits of cryotherapy are a reduction in puffiness, temporary tightening of the skin, reducing the appearance of pores and giving skin radiance.
Jalue Ice Therapy ingredients: Oak bark, chamomile, sage, nettle, rose.
this looks cool! A very simple but genius idea, beautifully presented.
cardboard, muslin and silicone. Refills of mould and herbal sachets bags available.
to use you steep the herbal tea bag, leave to cool, pour in to silicone cone mould then pop in the freezer to make an ice lolly, which instead of licking, you rub across your face.
Each sachet is meant to last a week but I’m finding that in the scorching weather I’m using up much faster than that as it melts. My tip is to use a little more water than the packaging states, then store the extra liquid in the fridge and refill the mould.
I slot Jalue Ice Therapy in to my morning skincare routine right after cleansing. Jalue’s tag line is ‘wake up the skin’ and I really do think of this as an espresso shot for my face. It quickly perks up the face with an almost immediate firming effect and is as good as a disco nap if you’re heading for a big night out. It’s also great around sore hay fever ravaged eyes.
During this long hot summer we’re enjoying, it’s become an indispensable part of my skincare routine. Just remember to resist drinking the tea or licking the lolly 😉
Nice ice baby. Who say’s Green beauty can’t be fun and jump on trends too.
Lilfox is a Miami based, artisan, apothecary style skincare line founded by certified aromatherapist Alexis Rose that I’ve been dying to try. The enchanting aesthetic is all about sensual beauty rituals getting in touch with your inner vixen or fox. The extensive range includes skincare, bodycare, fragrance as well as Mr Fox, one of the very few green beauty lines I’ve seen designed for men.
Lilfox Bamboo Charcoal Purifying Mask (vegan-friendly)
The Lilfox Bamboo Charcoal Purifying mask is a weekly facial treatment designed to detox and soothe. The powder mask contains a mouthwatering list of powerful and nourishing botanical ingredients that soothe and repair the skin including activated raw cacao, lavender, frankincense, gotu kola, marshmallow root and turmeric. Rhassoul clay, dead sea clay and activated bamboo charcoal help to detox skin and deep cleanse the skin.
Lilfox Bamboo Charcoal Purifying Mask Ingredients: Rhassoul Clay, Dead Sea Clay, Activated Bamboo Charcoal, T.cacoa (Raw Cacoa)*, L.angustifolia (Lavender)*, Fullers Earth Clay, C.asiatica (Gotu Kola)*, B.carterii, (Frankincense)**, A.officinalis (Marshmallow) Root*, C.longa (Tumeric Root)* *Organic **Wildcrafted.
love the botanical illustrations and boho chic vibe. The power of plant magic practically leaps out of the box.
Miron glass jar with heavy duty plastic lid.
Powder masks are generally a winner with me. The flexibility to mix as I please and no water so no preservatives to irritate my sensitive skin. I liked mixing the Lilfox Bamboo Charcoal Purifying mask with water or rosewater making sure it didn’t dry on my skin. Clay based masks should never be left to dry as that equals sucking the life out of your skin.
Oh and the scent is divine. The grounding cacoa and frankincense dance around a subtle herbal aroma. After using my skin feels soft, smoother and looks brighter. I think this mask would rock the skin world of oily and acne-prone vixens.
Green skincare is often very earnest. Nothing wrong with that but it’s fab to see Lilfox putting a lil bit of sass and playfulness in to the mix, without any sacrifice on effectiveness.
Lilfox Bamboo Charcoal Purifying Mask, $58 lilfox.miami
Mettā Skincare is an Australian natural skincare founded by Anca Grigoras following a career in occupational health and safety. The company takes it name from an ancient Asian mediation style that encourages ‘loving-kindness’ to yourself’ and the world around you. This is said to foster a sense of belonging and connection with other living beings. Mettā aims to help reconnect our daily skincare routine to nature through practicing similar loving-kindness to our skin. In a world we’re so often marketed to based on attacking and fixing our flaws, I think that’s a wonderful philosophy.
Mettā has a strong focus on being a social enterprise using 50% of its profit to support not for profit organisations working to eradicate poverty.
Metta Body Oil (vegan-friendly)
Mettā body oil is a blend of natural and organic nut and seed plant oils including grapeseed, macadamia, jojoba and sweet almond as well as lavender essential oil.
Mettā Body Oil Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Seed Oil*, Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil* (contains linalyl acetate, linalool and limonene as naturally occurring components of lavender essential oil)*denotes certified organic ingredient.
delightfully lush lavender scent.
amber glass bottle with plastic lid. labels are printed on tree-free stone paper which is photodegradable and recylable
lightweight yet nourishing oil that kept my Sahara dry skin looking and feeling silky. I applied to damp skin in the mornings and my skin was still looking hydrated at the end of the day.
Loving-kindess is something the world could certainly do with more of.
OKOKO Cosmetiques is a Vancouver-based ecoluxe skincare brand founded by Oyéta Kokoroko, born in Togo, raised in Montreal. Finely crafted spa quality treatments using rare and exotic ingredients in innovative formulations seems to be their forte. I’ve been intrigued by the sounds of the products so was delighted to try one of their most popular items.
Okoko Sublime Multi-purpose Radiance Balm (vegan-friendly)
The Okoko Sublime balm is described as the ultimate multi-tasker that does more than just moisturise and can be used as a cleanser. The gourmet banquet of an ingredient list is quite unlike any other balm I’ve used. Ingredients include antioxidant-rich astaxanthin (eating this is what makes salmon and flamingos pink), lycopene-rich tomato oil, fermented willow bark which boosts skin hydration and reduces inflammation, AHAs that helps to brighten skin as well as a blend of glycolic, lactic and citric acid with exfoliating properties.
Okoko Cosmetiques Sublime Balm Ingredients: *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, **Garcinia Indica (Kokum)Seed Butter, Dilauryl Citrate***, *Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower)Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Aqua, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus/Salix Alba Bark (White Willow) Ferment Filtrate, Kaolin (White Clay), *Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Sterols, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, *Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil Expressed, Allantoin, *Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Leaf Oil, *Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Flower Oil, Bisabolol, Haematococcus Pluvialis (Astaxanthin) Extract, *Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil Expressed, *Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Extract, *Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange)Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, *Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Calendula CO2), Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract * Certified Organic ** Wild Harvested ***Dilauryl Citrate is a natural plant source, PEG-free, biodegradable emulsifier made from the esters of glycerin and fatty acids. This biodegradable emulsifier is certified by Ecocert..
WOWZAS. That colour. Wow. Delectable. It reminds me of palm oil (the good stuff made straight from my grandmother’s trees)
miron glass jar with heavy plastic lid.
the rich orange balm has a light texture that melts on contact with the skin, leaving it soft, smooth and radiant. The gorgeous scent reminds me of the most elegant chocolate orange if it was made by the world’s finest chocolatier. On my skin it’s a subtle blend of cacoa and citrus with floral notes in the background.
Honestly I was a little sceptical about the claim that the OKOKO Sublime balm could be used as a cleanser, as my experience is that gorgeous rich balms very rarely rinse off cleanly. Well like magic this does. If you have very dry skin like moi, I’d suggest you wipe rather than rinse the cleanser off, as though not uncomfortable, my skin did feel a little stripped when used with water.
The balm also boasts several ingredients that are great for boosting UV protection which has made it perfect in the scorching weather. I also found that it really soothed heat rash on my arm. The extreme heat has turned the balm liquid so be sure sure to keep the lid screwed tightly and store in the fridge to keep solid.
The OKOKO sublime balm is an exquisitely crafted blend of ingredients that are a feast for the skin and senses. Looking at the rest of the collection makes me think of exotic adventures along the Spice Route. Sumptous and opulent springs to mind. The kind of products Cleopatra would have reached for.
OKOKO Cosmetiques Sublime Multi-purpose Radiance Balm, C$95, okokocosmetiques.com
Skin Dewi was the one brand out of the selection that I’d never heard of before. Based in Indonesia, the range was inspired by Dewi the founder’s search for a treatment for her child’s severe allergies and dermatitis. A Chemical Engineering graduate, the line is dedicated to offering high performance, targeted treatments made with natural ingredients. Dewi now also runs workshops herself educating others in organic cosmetic formulation.
Skin Dewi Helichrysum Brightening Vitamin C Treatment (vegan-friendly)
This is the best selling product in the range. A multiaction serum designed to target hyperpigmentation and scars, correct uneven dull skin tone and stimulate collagen synthesis. Brightening ingredients include powerful doses of Vitamin C from Ascorbic Acid as well as Kakadu plum, one of the world’s richest sources as well as liquorice to tackle dark spots. I was excited to see Helichrysum Italicum on the ingredients list – also known as Immortelle, it’s one of the most powerful and priciest essential oils with great skin healing properties.
Skin Dewi Helichrysum Brightening Vitamin C Treatment Ingredients: Aqua, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Glycerine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sorbitan Olivate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Thioctic Acid, D-alpha-Tocopherol, Benzyl Alcohol, Rosa Canina Fruit CO2 Extract, Scleroglucan, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Bisabolol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Glycine Soja Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Helichrysum Italicum Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Juniperus Virginiana Oil, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Dehydroacetic Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Citric Acid, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide. *Citral, *Citronellol, *Limonen, *linalool, *Geraniol. *from natural essential oils. Bold = Organic.
olive green glass bottle with plastic pump which is good for keeping the Vitamin C stable
the serum has a light lotion texture that is quickly absorbed. As the weather has got to record breaking heat levels, my usually Sahara dry skin is less so and I have found the serum is moisturing enough on to be used on its own thanks to raspberry and rosehip oil.
Smells divine – I’d love a body product with the same scent. The flip side to that is if you are sensitive to fragrant essential oils this might not be the best product for you.
The treatment has brightened and made my skin look better. So far I haven’t noticed a reduction on hyperpigmentation. However hyperpigmentation is notoriously difficult to treat in darker skin tones. It’s also been the hottest British summer in my lifetime so there’s no avoiding the sun, which also triggers hyperpigmentation!
Skin Dewi Helichrysum Brightening Vitamin C Treatment €69.60 skindewi.com
Have you tried any products from any of the Formula Botanica graduate companies above? They’ve all left me gagging to explore more of their ranges! All very different but all embody the reasons I love and choose to use and buy natural and artisan skincare. A commitment to using quality and ethically sourced ingredients that harness the best of nature with passion and personality. Nothing cookie cutter about them. Most importantly they work!
I’d also recommend tuning in to the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversation podcast which is always a great listen pondering some of the issues and challenges of the natural and organic beauty business.
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post produced in collaboration with Formula Botanica. All words and opinions are my own.