Words by Cindy Shute
When it comes to shopping for beauty products it can be an absolute minefield as it’s impossible to know what really works. With products constantly promising to make you look younger, but made with ingredients you can barely pronounce, we’ve put some of the best certified organic, and vegan products to the test, and none of them disappoint. So, if like many, you’re becoming more aware of what you’re putting onto your skin, then these products are for you.
Balade en Provence Body Bar
Made in Opio, a small village in the stunning region of Provence, France, these solid beauty bars are certified organic and ethically sourced, made using cold process. Adapting a traditional French artisan process, each product is blended with natural oils and butter, once the process is complete, they are left to rest for 30 days allowing the oils to blend. I recently used the Body Bar, which is enriched with a blend of coconut oil and shea butter and infused with delicate orange blossom. Made with 100% compostable packaging, the company is on a mission for people to move to solid and save on plastic. One bar replaces up to three bottles of shower gel, something I love about the brand. After using my skin felt beautifully soft and smelled squeaky clean! My husband is a total convert too and now refuses to buy bottled shower gel. I can’t wait to try the rest of the products in the collection.
Buy the Body Bar here
Skinny Tan Wonder Serum Express
Who doesn’t love a year-round glow? Skinny Tan’s new Wonder Serum Express contains skin-loving ingredients like aloe vera, rose water, vitamin E and guarana and is certified cruelty-free and suitable for vegans. What’s more, these clever ingredients are also anti-ageing meaning, not only, will you look healthier thanks to your new tan, but the ingredients work to help you look youthful too.
The product develops to your desired colour depending on how long you leave it on. Once exfoliated, apply the product with a Skinny Tan mitt and let it work its magic. For a light tan leave on for one hour, a medium tan; two hours and a dark tan; three hours. It’s that simple!
I wanted a medium tan, especially on my legs, which haven’t seen the light of day since last summer, the product comes out brown and has a silky serum consistency making for an easy application. It dries within two minutes leaving you free get on with your day before the time comes to wash it off.
I loved using this product and was left feeling youthful and tanned for two weeks – what’s not to love?
Buy the Wonder Serum Express here
Evolve Beauty Hyaluronic Serum
I love using serums and Evolve Beauty’s Hyaluronic serum has to be one of the best yet. With what seems to be the longest winter ever, my skin has been left dry and dehydrated with lines that don’t seem to be going anywhere. With the promise to hydrate skin from within and plump out fine-lines and wrinkles, I had high hopes. Since using this product morning and night for the past few weeks, I can really notice the results. The lines around my mouth are looking less deep and my skin-tone in general seems more even and has more glow. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water making it a highly effecting component in moisturisers. Ingredients include organic pomegranate extract, which softens and protects and it’s delicately fragranced with organic rosewater, which is known as a soothing ingredient. Evolve Beauty is made in a small studio in Hertfordshire, England. All of their products are vegan, cruelty-free and eco-friendly.
Buy the hyaluronic serum here
MONAT Super Norish Shampoo and MONAT Super Norish Oil Crème Conditioner
I have the thickest hair that requires lots of treatments and TLC and, with MONAT’s shampoo promising to nourish moisture-starved hair with the conditioner said to help improve manageability, I was pretty much sold.
Vegan, cruelty-free and sulphate free, the shampoo is made with plant-based ingredients like grapeseed, sweet almond, mango seed butter and pomegranate seed oils, which help to penetrate and transform dry strands to a smoother, healthier looking shine. I was (for once) desperate to wash my hair and give it a go. The shampoo has a light coconut aroma and felt oily upon application and, unlike other shampoos, it has a low lather, leaving my hair feeling silky as soon as I had shampooed. Having bleached by hair for many years, most shampoos leave my hair knotty and in desperate need of a conditioner but I could really feel the difference with MONAT.
I followed the shampoo with the Super Nourish Oil Crème Conditioner, which is ultra-nourishing for dry to ultra-dry hair. I left the conditioner in for a few minutes to give my hair the ultimate treatment and loved the results; my hair felt softer and stronger after one use and was much more manageable. Again, the conditioner is cruelty-free and uses only the best plant-based ingredients.
Buy the shampoo and conditioner duo here
IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ daily ultimate protection moisturiser SPF
This high-level sunscreen offers effective protection against UV rays. It’s ideal for high sun exposure and contains SPF 50 along with a blend of plant stem cells and potent anti-oxidents to protect skin against free radical damage caused by environmental exposure. I’ve been using this product for a couple of weeks and have fallen in love. Admittedly, in the past I’ve been lazy with using an SPF daily but IMAGE Skincare make using an SPF easy. It can be used as a daily hydrating moisturiser, it’s lovely to apply and on the right side of thick and creamy without you needing to work the lotion into your skin. The vitamin C accelerates collagen, something I’m in desperate need of now I’m approaching my mid-thirties. IMAGE Skincare creates clean clinical skincare that’s evidence based – they don’t use any parabens or artificial fragrance in their products and strive to use raw materials and natural ingredients. I have absolutely loved using this product and I’m a total convert to the brand.
Buy the moisturiser here