Friday, 26 December 2008

January Detox - Winter Offers

With Christmas and all its indulgences behind us, many of us begin to turn our thoughts to the new year. New year is often a time of reflection about what we have done, of pondering of where we are now and of optimism of where we will be in the new year ahead of us.

Although spring is only a few weeks away (I like to use 'weeks' because it makes it seem closer), we are still in the grip of winter and are often exposed to rather extreme elements. Outside it is very cold and inside it is very warm. This daily onslaught of extremes is not ideal for our poor skins and couple that with the ravages of over-indulgence over Christmas will leave most skins begging for a little TLC as well as something to kick start a healthier lifestyle in the new year (some would call it a 'detox')

Exfoliating is a key way to help with any detox program. It really helps to boost a sluggish circulation bringing oxygen and nutrients from the blood to the area. It also helps to slough off dead skin cells leaving the skin soft, vibrant and glowing. Exfoliating also helps to improve the absorption of other products into the skin (such as moisturising). A good, rich moisturiser will help to protect the skin from becoming dry and chapped - a common problem in winter time.

Here are a few suggested products you could use:

From Essentially Soaps

Natural hand made body scrubs, with fair trade demerara sugar, cocoa butter & other skin loving butters & oils. Choose from...

Fennel and Grapefruit - a 'cellulite busting' blend of essential oils said to help with fluid retention & cellulite. Leave's your skin feeling so soft & moisturised.

125ml jar RRP £8.00 Sale price £6.50

Lavender & geranium blend of essential oils - calming a soothing.

125ml jar RRP £8.00 Sale price £6.50

Dead Sea therapeutic bath salts with Epson salts & oatmeal, to gently cleanse & detoxify your body.

400g RRP £4.50 Sale price £3.75

Hand Care Set

Just what you need, when the weather is cold & wet, to care for those hands & nails.
Cuticle & nail balm with jojoba oil Shea butter & Cocoa butter & a blend of essential oils, which include lemon, to help heal sore cuticles & strengthen finger nails 25ml jar

Hand healing balm with chickweed infused oil, carrot tissue oil & our special blend of essential oils which include Benzoin & lavender 25ml jar
RRP £7.00 Sale price £6.00 Can be put in a Jute tote bag for 50p extra

Foot Care Set

Don't forget your feet this winter. You may not see them a whole lot, especially in winter, but they still need to be pampered.

'Healing foot balm' Treat those feet with chickweed infused oil, carrot tissue oil & a special blend of essential oils which include lemon & peppermint to help heal cracked heals & sooth sore tired feet.

Cuticle & nail balm with jojoba oil Shea butter Cocoa butter & a blend of essential oils which include lemon, to help heal sore cuticles & strengthen your toe nails, 25ml jar

RRP £7.00 Sale price £6.00 Can be put in a Jute tote gift bag for 50p extra

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Christmas Gift Ideas & Extra Special Offers!!

Christmas is such a lovely time of year but for most of us, it can be a stressful one too, not knowing what to buy for someone special. Nothing quite compares to something that has been lovingly handcrafted and a number of members from the Fresholi Community have come up trumps, each offering very individual and unique gift ideas at exceptionally good value for money.

PLUS!! Make extra savings!! Enjoy some great exclusive offers when you purchase these or any other products from any of the featured sites:

For the man in your life….

From Essentially Soaps, a gift bag for the Man who has everything.

A Jute Tote bag (No pink in sight) with a lovely gift tag and packed with lots of goodies includining:

- 60ml roller ball bottle
- Herbal sage aluminium free deodorant
- 50ml jar Moisturising Soothing Sandalwood aftershave cream
- 'Spice of life' hand made hand cut soap fragranced with Essentially Soap's 'Spice of Life' blendof essential oils.

Only £14.00 from Essentially Soaps

PLUS!! During the Christmas period, all Essentially Soaps' soaps are only £2.00, perfect for extra stocking fillers or just a treat for yourself!!

And from Maia Skin Care, Rose Petal Bath truffles

Wildly decadent nourishing rose petal bath truffles to pamper, soothe the skin and elevate the mind. Each truffle is enriched with all natural creamy cocoa butter and shea butter, pure essential oils and hand rolled in luxurious rose petals.
Feel like a queen surrounded in a warm bath of rose petals. Don't want petals floating in the bath? No worries, an organza bag is included! Six beautiful truffles nestled in tissue paper and presented in a gorgeous gold gift box with ribbon.

Only £12.95 from Maia Skin Care

PLUS! Get 15% discount by using the code 'FRESHMAS' (expires 21/12/08)

And finally, from Natroma and Natural Soapworks...

The Blue Lagoon Hamper - Just £17.95 (Note: with aqua ribbon in above picture)

A hamper featuring a lovely new soap called Blue Lagoon which contains Monoi de Tahiti and a blend of essential oils (think sweet with woody tones). The hamper also includes:

- Blue Lagoon bath bomb – it’s truly luxurious since it’s enriched with Monoi de Tahiti and the same essential oil blend as the soap.

- A brand new coconut and frangipani salt glow body scrub. This is a fine grain salt scrub with Monoi de Tahiti, odour retained coconut oil, nilotica shea butter, honey, D-Panthenol and Vitamin E. The odour is boosted with frangipani absolute .... so it’s a heavenly aroma that leaves the skin feeling silky.

- The final item in the hamper is special since it’s a preview of one of the 2009 Natroma balm products. It contains Nilotica shea and mango butters with ricebran and jojoba oils, odour retained coconut oil, squalane, and is further enriched with sea buckthorn and calendula botanical extracts. It’s completely natural, protected with both vitamin E and rosemary anti-oxidant.

Christmas Spice soap only £3.25 (a little bird say this one is selling fast, and once it’s gone, it's gone!)

Containing a blend of sweet essentail oils (palmarosa, ylang ylang, sweet orange) with a dash of cinnamon for a warm Christmassy fragrance.

It’s naturally coloured with paprika and a deep cinnamon swirl.NSW also have 2 other Christmas soaps this year – the ever popular Frankincense and Myrrh, and another new one called Gluwein (cloves, orange and cinnamon).

PLUS! Enjoy one of 3 GREAT OFFERS....

At The Natural Soapworks:
All orders will receive a free gift: Christmas Mini. This is 3 of NSW Christmas mini soaps (25g each) wrapped with a gold and cream ribbon. The retail value is £2.85.

But if you spend over £30, instead of the mini soaps you’ll be upgraded to the Blue Ballotin gift set (see piccie).

This is a lovely little gift box which contains: a pretty cup cake goat’s milk soap (decorated with petals/rose buds etc), a mini soap bar, a round snowflake bath bomb, and some bath melts (these contain cocoa/shea butters, odour retained coconut oil, sweet almond oil and a blend of essential oils). There are various fragrances in each box, and it has a retail value of £5.50.

The Natural Soapworks: quote NATFRESH in the Paypal notes box at the checkout to receive your gift.

Receive 10% discount at Natroma by quoting NATFRESH at the checkout for a 10% discount!

Natroma gift packaging

Natroma are using high quality blue coloured cardboard gift boxes which are decorated with foiled silver stars, finished off with an organza bow. Pictured here (left) is the facial starter kit, and includes the cleanser, toner and moisturizer with a muslin cloth for £24.50.

The Natroma range includes mainly organic ingredients, luxurious butters and oils and the cream products are enriched with D-Panthenol, squalane and numerous botanical extracts. Natroma products have a light skin-feel, but are very concentrated.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Organic Virgin Cocoa Butter

The purity and decedance of virgin raw materials is something to behold. Rich, aromatic, unadulterated. Such purity seems almost magical and powers the senses, sending your mind off on subliminal journeys.

Organic Virgin Cocoa Butter. In its unfiltered state, it has the look and aroma of rich chocolate. Filtered, it is smooth, rich and has the most wonderful creamy colour. It is different and you know it is different with just one look.

Imagine, a lip balm, cream, massage bar or soap containing all the richly antioxidant properties that come from the unique method of product.
Most often, cocoa butter is a by-product of confectionary, but organic virgin cocoa butter is pressed from the whole bean, retaining the maximum goodies.
Fresholi's unfiltered virgin cocoa butter does not contain any other material and the colour comes from the naturally ocurring cocoa solids from pressing and is sourced from organic plantations where a fair price is paid to farmers and the community and environment is respected.

Among the skin care benefits of cocoa butter, it is said to:
- Have been used for centuries to help keep the skin soft and supple and has been called 'the ultimate moisturiser'.

- Excellent for use on very dry, dehydrated and chapped skin as it moisturises, soothes and protects.

- It is a natural source of vitamin E which has numerous skin benefits.

- Melts on skin contact and is absorbed slowly by the skin making it ideal in massage bases (especially when blended with essential oils), ointments, lip balms (chocolate taste without the calories - perfect!) etc...

- Contains tocopherols and polyphenols that have antioxidant properties to suppress free radicals soothe irritations.

- Cocoa butter is often added to suntan product as it can help to enhance the appearance of a suntan (although be aware that cocoa butter itself does not contain a SPF).

- Often recommended for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, not only for its moisturising properties but it also contains CMP (cocoa mass polyphenol) that inhibits the production of immuno globulin IgE, (which may exacerbate the symptoms of asthma and dermatitis).

- Helps to protect sensitive skin from external elements by providing a moisture-retaining barrier to the environment.

- Cocoa butter has a long tradition of being used by pregnant women to help prevent stretch marks as well as reduce their appearance.

- Recent researched has indicated the possible health benefits gained from eating chocolate but there has also been indications that massaging with cocoa butter may help to relieve stress and boost the immune system and could help to prevent cancer.
For more on Organic, Virgin Cocoa Butter, please visit Fresholi...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Organic Skin Care

I have been using a range of certified organic products from the triple award winning skincare company, Beyond.

Sea buckthorn features heavily throughout the range and Beyond are particularly interested in harnessing the unique properties of this wonder plant, since it “it is the only plant in the world known to include omega 3, 6, 7 & 9”. Beyond are proud to say their products “contain more than one hundred and ninety biologically active compounds”.

But what is it like to use? Well, I can say first hand that Beyond have created a range that is quite different. Despite their complexity at molecular level and the clever combining of biological actives, I feel it is a range that has been ‘stripped back’ and is a range that loses all the unnecessaries and ‘fluff’. I think Beyond have focussed most of their attention on really goes on at skin level and it is this that I think makes it a very different product to use.

A Closer Look…

The products I have been using include:

Rejuvenating Serum – An extremely concentrated oil-based serum that has a most powerful aromatic quality. The essential oils, combined with some pretty potent plant extracts, is constructed to deliver anti-oxidants, vitamins and bio-active compounds to work deep in the skin and help cellular regeneration (great for mature skins).

As I said, a most lovely aroma and really only a few drops are needed to soften and comfort the skin and can be applied to all areas of the face and neck (including the delicate eye contour area).

I wore this underneath the moisturiser but I really don’t think you would actually need to moisturise if your skin is not particularly dry. Although initially I was applying it morning and night, I soon realised that I didn’t need it during the day, so used it only at night after cleansing.
Generally, the serum leave’s the skin soft and supple with a satin-like look and feel and lovely healthy glow.

Firming Eye Cream – This is a light, unfragranced cream, containing soothing eyebright (a fave in eye products because it is renowned for being helpful in reducing puffiness), anti-wrinkle rosehip and toning cornflower.

Verdict: The smallest, most teeny, weeny amount is needed and it really does cool and soothe the eye area and absorbs fantastically. It is really good to use in the morning as it really helps to give the eyes an ‘I’m awake!’ look.

Moisturising Day Cream – Containing a powerful combination of minerals, fatty acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 & E, this is a skin-loving preparation that has been designed to create a protective moisture barrier. It also contains soothing rose and cell regenerating seabuckthorn oil, so is a clever synergy ideal for sensitive, dry and mature skins.

Regenerating Night Cream – This award winning, incredibly rich cream contains cleverly blended bio-active compounds and is fortified with rosehip, seabuckthorn and macadamia nut oils. They works hard and in harmony with each other to help replenish and rebuild skin tissue.
Verdict: It is using the moisturisers that really demonstrates how Beyond strip back and get down to the real nitty gritty. This is no-fluff, extreme skin care.

Verdict: The moisturisers are different to apply and have a different skin feel. I have to honest, upon first application, they just didn’t behave like I expected a cream to. They were richer and, particularly true of the night cream, denser.

Unlike creams that I am probably more used to, spreadability was somewhat reduced. Was this a problem? Well, after all the cream had absorbed and my skin felt AMAZING, I soon realised that this cream could not be treated like most others. It is different because it is no-fluff purity. It would not contain substances to help improve spreadability or speed up absorption. This is bare bones skin food (and boy, does this stuff deliver).

Anyway, I found that by applying a small amount to each fingertip and tapping my fingertips over my face, a few light-touch strokes to evenly spread the cream and then a press-and-role action with the flats of my hands, the delivery is perfect and the skin feels alive from the massaging action.

Overall Summary: I just love how these products love my skin. Mine is not a particularly dry skin but I still have been blessed with fantastic results from using it as my skin feels enveloped in a comforting veil.

I think if you are going to use the range for the first time, forget what other products feel like when they are applied. This is unique. If I am honest, I think I have developed a bit of an addiction because I love how my skin is looking and feeling (especially in the morning after using the serum and night cream the night before).

A Final Word: The Beyond range is broad but product choice very simple. There is something for everyone (including a range aimed at professional salons and spas).

Other products from the range include (all organic):

Detoxifying Cleanser & Revitalising Toner
Rescue Salve
Enriching Body Butter
Boob and Butt Pick Me Up
Replenishing Hand Cream
Hydrating Body Oil
Stretchmark Cream
Baby Oil
Lip Balms

You can visit the Beyond Skin Care website at or call 0845 500 3550 (local rate) for sales and enquiries.

Tip! Try their Weekender kit £21.60, that contains all the products reviewed here and I would reckon that it would last a good 2-4 weeks of daily use, which I think is truly excellent value for money.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

First Time??

Sometimes I am just in awe of the skills and talents of others. Below are some pictures of a long-standing member of Fresholi who has just had her first ever craft fair. I know there's a first time for everything but, when you see these pics, it is hard to believe that this is the first. Liz (who you might see peeping from behind that wonderful display) from La Croix Roisin created the most wonderful dispaly don't you think?

Shhhh...... Apparently she had a bit of help though (from her son.... Aw.....)

Doesn't is look great? Very inspiring too, knowing that such a high level of professionalism can be achieved right from the get go. I hear she had a pretty successful two days (not surprising because I don't think I could just walk by without treating myself :o)).
I would like to say well done Liz and lets hope this is first of many successes :o))))

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Feet Treat - Step by Step

I am very privileged to be able to not only pamper myself in the most beautifully created products made from wonderful natural ingredients but I can also share this with my clients. As a practising beauty and complementary therapist, I often work with products that have been sent to me by the kind members of Fresholi. These products often stimulate new ideas for treatments/methods of application.

After being sent some lovely products recently, I decided to work on a foot pampering treatment and thought it would be a good idea to let members see how the products are being used and what sort of results can be achieved.


Please note that since this was the first time I have used these products in treatment, I wasn’t really sure how much I would require to complete it

Rosemary Soap - A handcrafted, cold process soap with rosemary & rosemary essential oil (a slither cut from a bar to maintain hygiene) – by a most wonderfully kind lady, Ruth, who incidentally hand spins, dyes and knits the most incredible scarves using the most exotic yarns such as angora - beautiful

Marzipan Scrublet - by Elaine from Briallen, who creates the purest and most carefully considered products and the most carefully crafted corn dollies. These come in a six pack and here you see two cubes that I have cut in half – I only needed to use one cube, half on each foot. Contains ground almonds, golden granulated sugar natural oils and butters including sweet almond butter and the gorgeous plum kernel oil

Chamomile and Apricot Buttercream – by Ruth (see above). Containing apricot butter, healing calendula, vitamin E, arrowroot and Roman chamomile essential oil (very soothing and healing – perfect for sore, cracked skin).

Normally I would begin a pedicure with a foot bath but occasionally, I void the foot bath if the skin on the feet is particularly dry and flaky – treatment, in my opinion is, much more effective (although if the skin has become thickened, then a foot bath is very much indicated).

As you can see, my client’s feet were dry quite dry (especially around the heels) with only small, isolated areas of thickening and in this case, I began treatment without bathing.

After wiping over the feet with antiseptic, I began removing the dry, flaking skin using a foot file. First working with the course side of the file and finishing with the finer side. I am not sure whether it shows clearly enough here but this part of the treatment generates an awful lot of fine powder (in which case a face mask is indicated).

Next I began exfoliating with the wonderful scrublets. I first warmed the scrublet in the palms of my hands to melt the butters and turn it into a kind of paste.

I then applied to the whole of the foot and the lower leg in circular motions working from the extremities towards the heart, paying particular attention to the dryer, flakier areas.

This was a real dream to work with. The sugar crystals and almond grounds spread so evenly and exfoliation was both gentle yet stimulating to the blood circulation. I then enveloped the feet in cling film to help the lovely butters and oils penetrate more efficiently.

I then wrapped the feet together in a warm towel (I kept them together to help maintain warmth).

Notice that I left the toes free to allow me to continue working on the nails and cuticles, first the nails are clipped….

Then filed…

Then the cuticle work (using a pumice stick, hoof stick and nippers to remove excess dead cells from the nail plate)…

After about 10-15 minutes, I removed the wraps from the feet and at this point, they looked positively drenched in lovely emollient oils/butters and felt so incredibly soft. Using dry cloths in sweeping downward strokes, I removed the excess scrub particles and then cleansed the feet and lower leg using the rosemary soap (with its lush, creamy bubbles and wonderful fresh scent). I removed the soap using hot cloths.

I then began massage with the lovely, aromatic chamomile and apricot butter cream which is an excellent massage medium for the feet. With its light creamy texture, healing and moisturising properties it provided enough slip to complete the massage but was both penetrative and non-greasy. The skin felt just divine afterwards.

As you can see, the result is just excellent. The feet look revived, moisturised and the flakiness remedied.

ith a touch of polish the feet look transformed from dry, tired-looking feet into totally rejuvenated, show me the dance floor feet. Brilliant!!

Although there are a few things I may change to the general application routine, to fine-tune it, the products were just wonderful to work with, very effective and made for a lovely, pampering treatment for my client. My client was thrilled with the treatment and remarked how soft and comfortable her feet felt.

My sincere thanks to my lovely client, Elaine and Ruth for their incredible kindness for sending me such lovely, quality products that are (as always) a joy to use and work with).

Friday, 31 October 2008

Shhh....... Its a Secret

Look what arrived by special delivery this morning. At special times a year, we do a sectret something (secret santa, secret bunny, sectret spirit) whereby members of the Melting Pot Cafe Forum send a prezzie to another member. One person organises it so most us don't know who our prezzie is from.

The secret spitit was excellently arranged by Elaine of Briallen Traditional Crafts (affectionately known as 'Mum'). I don't know who it is from but I know it is going to be a lot of fun guessing (well it will drive me crazy but I think it will be most enjoyable to witness, lol)

Everything smells so lovely. I got:

2 Autumn Spice aroma beads in lovely black organza bags (they are now making the house smell all gorgeous)

Sweet Spice perfume oil (that went on straight away - Mmmmm.)

Conditioning shampoo with cedarwood, rosewood and ylang EO's (which I will be using tomorrow )

5 x Sweet pumpkin bath fizzies in these cute little paper pots (which I can't wait to use, they smell just lovely)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my SS, whoever you may be (I will try to find out you know), I just love, love, love all my lovely things. The next one will be the Secret Santa, he, he... how fun!!!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

I Got Nominated!!

Ah... my friend at Lomond Soap has nominated me for The Friendship Around the World Award (how lovely). The rules for acceptance of the award are as follows:

Pick 8 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on their creativity, design, interesting material and also for contributing to the blogging community, in any language.

How lovely that this can be passed on. I would like to nominate...

I could really go on but can only select eight (and shhh..... I added nine, lol).
Thank you Corrie xx

Monday, 27 October 2008

Spicy Stuff

A while back, I was perusing the supermarket looking for potential ingredients that could be used in creams, lotions & potions (forget putting food in ones belly, there are far more interesting things to be doing in the kitchen).

Anyway, I came upon the herbs and spices and, when one is in the mindset that I was that day, you don't see flavours. You see colours, textures, aromas, functionality, brief glimpses of finished products and the effects that could be achieved from them.

What really caught my eye this day was the ground cardomon. So fine, so delicate, soooo aromatic and certainly not a spice that I keep in my cupboard (I'm not an adventurous or creative cook). I bought it and took it home.

Cardomon is not the cheapest of essential oils but the aroma is just lovely and few people dislike it. The ground spice is equally as lovely, being warm, spicy-sweet & balsamic and, like the essential oil, its aroma strength is very good and certainly a much cheaper alternative.

The powder of the ground cardomon is super-fine and got me thinking about its potential for gentle exfoliation and facial skin refinement. I tried it in a cleansing cream wash that I made previously, adding about a heaped teaspoon to roughly 50g of cream and worked this into my face for about a minute (using gentle pressure and working in small circles) and the result was truly outstanding. My skin felt fresh, clean and so very, very smooth. No stinging, no irritation. What's more, the aroma was wonderful and seemed to last an age - just lovely. Now, I just use it a couple of times a week, mixing a small amount into my usual measure of cleanser.

I've not tried it in soap (yet) although I did use ground cinnamon, clove and sugar M&P soap. Here, I used the cinnamon and a dash of tumeric for colour (which was just lovely) and it gave the soap a multi-grade exfoliant texture - a good compliment to to the courser grade of the sugar. The aroma of the cinnamon was fairly good although I did boost it with some essential oil.

Going back to the cardomon, I wonder what it, or any other spice for that matter, is like infused in oil? I wonder if you could harness the wonderful aroma. I feel an experiment coming on :o)

We have had a number of discussion on the Melting Pot Cafe Forum at Fresholi about herbs/spices in products. I would love to hear your experiences in soaps, products and infusions.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Whipped Shea Body Butter

Shea butter, in all varieties, is a wonderfully healing and moisturising, naturally occurring butter. The following recipe is very simple and makes the most lovely, light and fluffy body butter - perfect for special gifts or just to give parched skin a luxurious treat. You could play around with the recipe, such as change the ratios to produce different textures or using different combinations of fixed oils chosen for their specific properties (there are lots of oil profiles in the resource bank at Fresholi that may help offer a guide).

Anyway, enjoy and I would love to hear your comments if you have tried this or anything similar!!


80g Shea Butter
18g Fixed oil of choice (almond oil is a wonderful emollient or you may wish to use a drier oil such as sunflower)
1g Vitamin E
1g Fragrance/essential oils of choice


1. Melt the shea butter (if it is refined) in a non-aluminium bowl over a pan of boiling water
2. Add the fixed oil and stir well.
3. Remove from heat, add fixed oil and stir well.
4. Allow to cool then cover and put in the freezer for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from the freezer, add essential oils (or fragrance), vitamin E and using a hand whisk or stick blender, begin whipping the mixture for a good 5 minutes.
6. Return to the freezer for 5 then whip for 5 & repeat until mixture becomes light in colour and fluffy.
7. Spoon into a jar and label.

Notes: The shea butter would only really need melting if it is the harder, refined variety however, if using unrefined shea or especially the even softer nilotica shea, you probably wouldn't need to melt it at all. Simply add your fixed oil a little at a time as you are whipping. No need to keep freezing either. Add in your vitamin E and essential/fragrance oils when the mixture has softened enough to ensure even distribution.

More recipes can be found at

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Shop With Sparkle

Most of us only dream about opening a shop but here's one Fresholi member who is living that dream....

Purple Sparkle Crafts Is Open For Business

This pretty and inviting shop has opened its doors in Wincanton and has lots Purply Sparkly Crafts on offer. Aw.... everything this crafter does has her purply stamp on it.

I for one would like to wish her every success in the expansion of her business and I am sure this is echoed by all her friends at Fresholi. Good luck Becky, may you continue to go from success to success.

If you don't live in the Wincanton area, please do pay Purple Sparkle Crafts a visit online for a wonderful range of soaps, bath & body products and candles, all handcrafted and beautifully finished.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Which One Are You?

Self Skin Analysis

Being able to identify the type of skin you have will help you to make more appropriate product choices to achieve optimum results.

There are five basic skin types…

1. Normal
2. Dry
3. Sensitive
4. Greasy (oily)
5. Combination

Identifying your skin type.

In good light (daylight is best) look carefully in a mirror at your skin and see if you can recognise any of the characteristics that are identified in each of the five categories.

1. Normal Skin – This skin type is not often seen accept in pre-puberty children (before the hormonal changes occur). Characteristics include…

> Even colour and texture
> Clear and blemish free
> Feels soft, smooth and has an even texture
> Neither too dry or too oily, not shiny not dull
> Is firm and plump
> Has a pink radiant glow

2. Dry Skin

> Tends to feel tight after washing
> Often looks pale
> Tends to be flaky
> Can become irritated & red easily
> Pores look small
> Prone to milia (white spots)
> Broken capillaries (‘spider veins’) are common
> Can look prematurely aged/lined
> Can be inherent or caused by inappropriate product application or environmental factors (such as the sun or dry living/working environments)

3. Sensitive Skin

> Can go hand in hand with dry skin
> Can display all/some of the characteristics of a dry skin
> Reacts easily to environmental factors or the application of an inappropriate product by becoming red, inflamed, itchy or blotchy
> Skins affected by acne will often be sensitive

4. Greasy/ Oily Skin – The skin contains oil glands (called sebaceous glands) that secrete oil (sebum) onto the skin’s surface. This has a protective role so its presence is important. However, an over production of sebum (oil) can result in oily skin, which is characterised by the following…

> Skin can have a shiny appearance or develop one over the course of the day
> The pores appear enlarged and often become congested (black heads)
> Prone to spots and even acne
> The skin can appear sallow
> Often prevalent in teenagers (hormonal)

Oil secretions are largely governed by the hormones although diet, lifestyle and methods of skin care also have their influences

5. Combination Skin – Probably the most common skin type and is characterised by combination of two or more skin types mentioned above. A typical example of a combination skin might be an oily T-zone (forehead, nose & chin) & dry/sensitive cheeks.

When the skin shows signs of having combinations that are in extremes, for example an extremely oily T-zone and extremely dry cheeks, it might be worth considering treating them separately, using separate products designed to for each skin type.

This will, hopefully, help you to establish your basic skin type and with this knowledge, you should be better able to select appropriate products to suit you. However, it is always best to consult a qualified therapist who will be able to answer any particular concerns and give you guidance on product choices and advice on how best to use them.

You will find lots of information & recipes for skin care at Fresholi. If you don't want to make if yourself, there are lots of Fresholi members who make gorgeous natural, handcrafted soaps, creams, bath and body products there too (see galleries, links etc...). If you are wanting something a little more specific, why not make a request on the forum?

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Really Clever Cleansing

Being completely pure and containing absolutely nothing but natural ingredients, Really Clever Cleansing Balm from Maia Skin Care has the most wonderful aroma and super-soft constistency. It doesn't matter what skin type you have, this balm is suitable.

It works by gently dissolving grease and make-up without stripping the skin of its vital oils. In fact, after I used it, my skin felt really comfortable, so much so that I didn't feel the need to moisturise at all.

It contains a rich cocktail of the most delicious oils, including papaya, watermelon, coconut and jojoba as well as the most purifying aromatic blend of essential oils to help moisturise, boost and balance the skin, leaving it looking radiant. It also contains absolutely no preservatives at all.

Only a really small amount is needed to do the most fantastic cleanse and removed using a hot muslin cloth (which not only adds a touch of everyday luxury by giving the face a mini-steam treatment but also helps to gently exfoliate dead skin cells).

What is REALLY clever about this gorgeous balm is that it can be left on the skin either as a treatment mask or overnight for oily/congested skins. It comes in a dark violet glass jar (made in Switzerland) to retain the bio energy of the product, has its own little spatula and offer's excellent value for money at £15.97. Very little is needed and its uses go way beyond cleansing - it is more of an experience!

There is also a cleansing kit available which includes 15g of the Really Clever Cleansing Balm and a lovely organic muslin cloth, all for just £7.45 as well as a range of handbag-sized products.

See more of this lovely, pure range at the Maia Skin Care website...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Skin Care - Naturally...

I just love skin care products and am particularly smitten with facial creams, lotions and potions. I recently learned of the launch of a new skin care range, Natroma from The Natural Soapworks, and I am really excited.

Why am I excited? Well, I know that Sarah (founder of NSW and Natroma) is a stickler for absolute top quality ingredients, that you would expect to see on the labels of high-end commercial products. However, I also know that Natroma will contain these ingredients in high concentration – no skimping, no way! Here’s the beauty though, after browsing through the range, the prices are so very, very reasonable.

Among the luxurious ingredients are the premium shea butter – nilotica, plant extracts (such as echium and arctic cranberry), luxurious nut and seed oils, D-panthenol, Co-enzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, ginseng and other wonderful ingredients.

The full and complete range includes:

· Cleansers
· Toners
· Concetrated moisturisers
· Q10 moisturisers
· Serums
· Treatment masks

As well as maintaining Natroma’s philosophy for creating handmade, safe, luxurious and affordable products, they also guarantee:

NO animal testing
NO animal derived ingredients
NO parabens
NO artificial colourings or fragrances
NO petrochemicals / SLS detergents

The presentation is immaculate, the packaging simple and airless containers used where possible. This is skincare with a conscience, a soul. It has been created with exceptional attention to detail for what really matters – what’s inside (the bottle that is).

The Natroma website is so welcoming and easy to browse (kind of leave’s you feeling rather calm really). I would highly recommend it :o)

I also hear that there are going to be some really great offers coming up very soon, on the run up to Christmas, so it would be well worth signing up to the newsletter so you don’t miss out (I have, lol)