In 2017, I got to test some lovely natural skincare and beauty products so in this post, I’m bringing you my top choices that I found the most beneficial to my skin and that I will keep going back to again and again. You can also check out my YouTube video where I discuss each of these products (scroll down for a link).

natural skincare and beauty of 2017

Body care

I’ve kept things very simple with my body care for the past two years. After ditching high street body lotions which had always made my skin feel dry and tight, and look dull, I fell head over heels in love with raw unrefined organic shea butter – it’s just the best skin nourishment, especially for dry and eczema-prone skin . It’s also so versatile – there’s so many ways to use it! I’ve used two UK brands that make the finest shea butter, Akoma and Fushi, and choosing between them is like choosing your favourite child. Both their shea butters are superior quality (raw, unrefined and cold-pressed) as well as fair trade and certified organic by Soil Association so you really can’t go wrong with either of them (although Akoma does work out cheaper). 

I’ve also used Akoma’s shea butter to make my own whipped body cream (yep, you heard that right – whipped! With a kitchen electric whisk!) – I make three different variations (recipes here) depending on what raw skincare ingredients I have and who I make it for. Coconut oil doesn’t quite agree with my older son Leo’s eczema so for him I make a version with higher dose of shea butter whereas the husband likes a slightly lighter option. 

In the shower, I use a natural soap bar as i’ve found they’re much gentler on my sensitive skin than shower gels, even the natural ones. Plus they work out so much cheaper than natural shower gels! My faves last year were from PHB Ethical Beauty. If I have a bath, then I’ll use my homemade bath melts (recipe coming soon) or homemade oatmeal bath bombs (recipe here). To exfoliate, I’ve either used my own homemade body scrubs (zesty sea salt one) or Fruu’s Coconut Coffee Scrub.

Another body care product that I enjoyed using in 2017 was the Earth Conscious natural deodorant – after testing several other natural deodorants which failed all tests, this UK brand gets my vote of confidence (you can read a full review in my post Earth Conscious natural deodorants {Review}. I’d previously used a really good natural deodorant from an American brand Schmidt’s but it’s twice as expensive and tricky to get in the UK. They’ve now been bought by the global giant Unilever so who knows whether they’ll keep their natural credentials anyway!

earth conscious natural deodorants

One of my biggest natural skincare discoveries of 2017 was finding Trevarno’s shaving soap*Specifically formulated not only to aid hair removal but also to keep the post-shaved skin feeling soft and free from irritation, it’s such an excellent product that I wish I’d discovered it years ago. No more chemical-laden shaving foams and instead – gentle ingredients and great results. 

For my contact dermatitis prone hands, which I wash way too often and have surely stripped off all natural oils over the years and which had been treated with all sorts of local steroid creams from various doctors and dermatologists in my ‘youth’, I swear by raw shea butter (as healing remedy on days when my skin cracks and sometimes even bleeds) but also Weleda’s Skin Food (on ‘better’ days when I want to continue to protect my skin and prevent more damage) – check out my full review here

Face care

To cleanse, my go-to products in 2017 were Lyonsleaf’s Beauty Balm and Balm Balm’s Frankincense Deep Cleansing Balm. Both are amazing value for money, not only efficient at removing make-up but most importantly, superior at leaving your skin super hydrated and soft afterwards. Oil cleansing may be seen as a bit of a hype at the moment but until you try it, you won’t know the real difference it makes to your skin. If you do convert, don’t forget to use a good-quality face cloth with your cleansing oils – they’re a must to properly remove make-up. My faves are the muslin cloths from herbfarmacy and Balm Balm.

After taking off my make-up, I then like to use a toner and my huge discovery was the Facial Toner with Aloe Vera and Sea Buckthorn* from the Estonian brand JOIK. It’s absolutely amazing and I sometimes don’t even bother following up with a moisturiser at night and yet I still wake up with a soft and hydrated skin, undoubtedly thanks to the aloe vera in this toner.

My favourite eye cream was and is still the LaidBare Pack Your Bags Lighten and Tighten Eye Cream* – great value for money, comes in a big 30ml tube which lasts months and months, and is really effective at reducing puffiness and dark circles.

Every week or so, I also use face masks and the Balm Balm hibiscus mask* is just so lush! The rose geranium and hibiscus scent combo is so lovely and the rice flour gently exfoliates the skin. Madara’s SOS Hydrating Mask* and Active AHA Brightening Peel Mask* are also great – I often use them one after another for ultimate skin cleansing and nourishment. They’re a bit too pricey for what they are, if I’m honest, but they do come in big tubes so they’re good value for money I guess.

When it comes to daily moisturising, I prefer facial oils over creams. Being the self-proclaimed facial oil fanatic that I am, I tested a number of them in 2017. I mean, at least one every month!! I couldn’t choose just one for this post so the five that I loved in 2017 are: organic prickly pear oil from a UK brand Naissance (my full review here), anti-ageing cacay oil from Ooh! Oils of Heaven (my full review here), Akoma’s organic rosehip oil (super cheap at £5.61 for 30ml!), Laidbare’s From Dusk Till Dawn Vitamin C serum, as well as my own handmade rejuvenating facial serum with rosehip and jojoba oils (recipe here). In my post Face oils: What’s all the fuss?, I go through all the reasons why facial oils have transformed my skin so if you’re on the fence with oils, do check it out. To help facial oils absorb properly into my skin, I spritz my face with hydrating toners and hydrosols, and my absolute favourite last year was Balm Balm’s Organic Rose Floral Water Hydrosol.

Naissance Prickly Pear Oil Review and Giveaway

Make-up

Switching to natural and organic make-up has been harder than with skincare. I tested a few natural foundations and after many failed attempts to find the right one for me, I finally came across Inika’s foundation and it was love at first sight. You can read my post Inika Organic Liquid Foundation {Review} for a full review. I also loved Inika’s Organic Lip and Cheek Cream which I use as a blusher.

Inika organic liquid foundation

I still haven’t found a natural bronzer and highlighter that I like so if you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments below. The same goes for a natural mascara really – most smudge really badly, although I have found PHB Ethical Beauty’s Black All-in-One Mascara* was the best out of all of them (as long as I don’t use too much of it on the bottom lashes).

As for the finishing powder, my favourite one was the Antipodes Skin Brightening Finishing Powder. It mattifies my skin whilst also brightening it, and has a very natural finish. To conceal my dark circles I depend on a good concealer and I tried two or three last year. Most were quite good but towards the end of the year I finally succumbed and got myself the ‘holy grail’ concealer among green beauty bloggers, the RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up* and it is a great product. Too expensive in my view but nonetheless, good at what it does.

I’m not a huge lippy person and I don’t tend to use anything too ‘out there’ during the day, be it at work or when picking up the kids from school, so I enjoyed using Weleda’s latest Tinted Lip Balm (in rose shade) for just enough of colour to make my lips stand out. Mine came in a pack of three, with two different shades, so I’m covered for lip balms for the next few months 🙂 I also loved the vegan lipstick from Inika – the Naked Kiss shade is rather lovely for this time of the year – and I’d love to try out a bolder colour for nights out.

Other beauty products

To look after my nails, I’ve been using the Glossworks Cuticle Oil with avocado oil and juniper oil. It smells lovely and keeps both nails and cuticles in good shape. When it comes to nail colour, I’ve only used two over the past year – either a nude one in the winter (both Maggie Anne – Jasper and Glossworks – Tanfastic get my vote) or a coral one (Zoya – Kara is perfect for summer, especially when you’re tanned!). As base and top coat, I used Glossworks 3-in-1 whereas to remove the polish, I find Zoya Remover simply the best.

natural skincare favourites

I also tested a couple of natural perfumes last year and the one that I enjoyed more was the A Little Star Dust* perfume from LoveLula’s own brand, Walden. It has a rather unisex scent, with key notes of iris and coffee, and sandalwood base notes but these sort of scents are definitely more up my streets than more floral scents.

And finally, while it’s not strictly a skin-related product, I find it is contributing to how I look and I how I feel about my appearance – I’m talking here about toothpaste. Finding Weleda’s Salt Toothpaste (probably in 2016) was a huge discovery for me and I continued to use it and enjoy its benefits (including improved colouring of my teeth and reduced plaque) well into 2017.  

Check out my latest YouTube video about all of these 2017 favourites

Have you used any of these products? And what are your own favourites from last year?

Disclaimer:

Items marked with an asterisk (*) were sent to me to test, some as part of my involvement in LoveLula’s Accredited Bloggers Program. Nonetheless, all views expressed in this post are my own and 100% honest and genuine. 

 

5 comments on “The Best of 2017: My natural skincare and beauty favourites”

  1. Gorgeous post! Would love to try shea butter for my hands. I have really dry hands and nothing seems to touch them. Love your favourites! Balm Balm’s rose hydrosol is a favourite of mine too ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.