Saturday, 10 May 2014

Ishga Skincare Inspired by the Sea



    I say it again and again but there are so many brands I never would have discovered if it wasn't for blogging and I feel completely spoiled for choice these days when it comes to my skincare regime. A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to win an entire skincare range from the brand Ishga Scottish Seaweed  courtesy of the amazing Beauty Shortlist which is a treasure trove of beauty finds run by Fiona Klonarides who in my opinion is also one of the nicest people in blogging. As a lover of seaweed skincare and of course natural products I was jumping for joy and incredibly excited to find out I had won, and that excitement continued with the opening and testing of the products. 

    The name Ishga comes from the Gaelic word for water, the healing and soothing properties of Seaweed and sea water are very much at the heart of this range. The Seaweed and sea water used are sourced from the Hebrides which has some of the cleanest waters in the world, the reason these ingredients are included in the Ishga range is due to the high levels antioxidants they have which can anti-ageing properties. Whilst it is essentially an anti-ageing line I think Ishga is accessible to all age groups and in my case works well as a preventative line rather than purely for treating the signs of ageing, so if you are yet to see any signs of ageing don't be put off you can still enjoy the range. There is a whole team of people behind Ishga, which is based on the Isle of Lewis, the backgrounds of the team are varied and cover science, beauty and seaweed harvesting itself, you certainly get a feel for this variety of experience in the quality of the products themselves and the attention to detail that they have put in to the range. 

     The products themselves were a pleasure to test and use and a few have made it in to my regular skincare routine and have now become a permanent feature, considering the amount of products I test that isn't easily done so it gives you an idea of how good they are. The results of these products are good straight away but it's not until after a few months of testing that you realise just how good they are, the products in the range compliment each other well and each step enhances the next. 

    Active cleansing lotion (£30 for 100 mls) Is a very light and fresh creamy cleanser, an absolute joy to wake up to and use in the morning. Jojoba oil, cocoa butter, seaweed and Hebridean sea water are all included. The cleanser has a beautiful light citrus scent from the lemon oil and bergamot oil, really nice. I love this as a morning cleanse or a second cleanse after using a balm, it isn't stripping but it is light so I can imagine combination and oily skins would like this a lot. 

    Exfoliating Face mask (£35 for 50 mls) Sadly I wasn't able to test this product properly as it was just a little bit too active for highly sensitive skin (with the beginnings of Rosacea), I was extremely disappointed but I do these days have to be extremely careful about how I exfoliate my skin and these types of masks are generally a no go, so it's not just this one I can't use but most products if it's kind. It is a really interesting product, it is a dark green/black colour due to the Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed powder, I used some on my chin and it left the skin very soft, it looks like a spa treatment at home so perfect for a spot of pampering. 

    Hebridean Marine toner (£25 for 150 mls) I love a good spray toner and this one didn't disappoint. It has Hebridean spring water, Aloe vera and cucumber extract and is scented with lemon and mandarin oils. This is my go to spritz if I ever get a blemish, have you ever noticed that when you go to the beach your skin is always clear, the combination of sea salt and sun work wonders, well this is the closest thing I have found to be being on the beach but in a bottle, it helps the skin to heal that bit faster and it lovely and hydrating too. 

   Antioxidant Marine cream (£70 for 50 mls) There is an element in this review of me leaving the best until last, these last two products are the ones that honestly now I feel I wouldn't want to live without. The anti-oxidant Marine cream has a very unique texture for a natural product it is almost a gel cream incredibly light but also very nourishing. This cream has some great organic ingredients, Shea butter, apricot kernel oil and macadamia nut oil to name a few and they are of course enriched with the signature seaweed extract. This leaves the skin so supremely soft and with a gentle glow, it has a fairly matter finish but despite this my dry skin loved it, it also layers well with other products. It improves the luminosity of the skin so if dullness is an issue for you I think this is a very good investment. There is no getting away from the fact that it's pricey but it is a very high quality product and one that is lovely to use. 

    Regenerating Face serum (£60 for 50 mls) This is the product in the line that surprised me the most and the one that I would be hard pressed to remove from my routine now, I am big fan of oils but don't use as many water based serums, however using this product has made a really big difference to hydration and smoothness of my skin, I mix a pump of this with a pump or two of oil mornings and evenings and apply after toner and before moisturiser. This works beautifully with the Anti-oxidant Marine cream and both are pure luxury to use but with great results. This serum comes out as a brown looking gel, quite thick but easily absorbed, as you would expect this product is all about the seaweed itself, it is showing off it's benefits in a really simple but effective way. There is some great information about the benefits of seaweed on the Ishga site which I recommend you read, but it is a fantastic ingredient for soothing and repairing the skin and is very popular in spa treatments for this reason. This serum is for me the star of the show, can't say enough good things. 

    A quick mention for the packaging which manages to be both functional and beautiful, the deep purple colour looks great on any dressing table. Although the packaging looks completely opaque there is a small clear strip on the sides of the cleanser and the serum so you can see how much product you left, when you test a lot of beauty products it's details like this that make all the difference and I thought it was a really great touch. Lot's of lovely organic ingredients with Seaweed at it's heart, a commitment to sustainable sourcing and a real passion for the Scottish sea sums up Ishga for me. Using the products I couldn't help but feel the range was missing an oil, you know how much I love my oils and low and behold Ishga have now added a facial oil and some gorgeous looking body care products to the range which is wonderful to see, of course they have gone straight on my wish list too. Ishga are highly recommended by me if you after a luxury line with great results and ethics, big thank you to both Ishga and the Beauty Shortlist for my amazing prize. 

Ana x 
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16 comments

  1. How lovely to be able to test a whole range. Looks like you have had a great time putting it through it's paces. Is that Scarborough in the postcard behind? x

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    1. It was lovely to be able to test everything together! The picture is from Spain in the 1960's it's from where my Dad lives, I spent many a happy day playing with the seaweed on the beach so I thought it a fitting for the background for the photo! :) Xx

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  2. Fantastic win! Sounds like a fantastic range. Especially the antioxidant marine cream, I will definitely save for it!! Xx

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    1. The cream is lovely, definitely one to try if you can! :) Xx

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  3. These sound gorgeous. Great review Ana x

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    1. Thanks Sandra, it is a great line and one I am sure you would enjoy Xx

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  4. Wow what an amazing prize! I love the packaging and that's so great it has the strip on the side so you know how much is left, that's a pet peeve with mine, not knowing how much is left especially in my OSKIA gel cleanser grr I think I'm getting close to the end but I just can't tell! These all sound lovely, especially the serum! x

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    1. It's such a simple detail but it really makes a difference, I am the same with the Oskia cleanser I know I very nearly at the end but you can never quite tell. Xx

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  5. Hi Ana
    Amazing prize great to test pf the range. I have entered their competitions but not won any yet
    Sounds like some great products x
    Love discovering new natural beauty brands

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    1. Good luck in the competition these are all lovely well worth taking a look at! :) Xx

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  6. Love your reviews Ana, these all look fantastic!

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    1. Aww thanks Amber! They are all great products :) Xx

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  7. Ana you are so lucky when it comes to giveaway prizes! :) These sound great! :) xx

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    1. Ha ha! Yes I am quite lucky it has to be said, I enter a lot though only for green beauty products ;) Xx

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  8. It looks like a great brand and so lovely products!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a nice week!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed reading Helena :) Xx

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