Soothe, nurture and repair is pretty much my mantra at this time of year. The change of seasons tends to lead to rapid changes in my routine, dry skin, lack of hydration and irritation all make themselves known. I have been testing a lot of products recently that I have yet to write about and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favourites for the season, although many of these are perfect all year round.
Haircare seems to be a strange thing to change with the seasons, but my scalp is often the first place to show signs of dryness. Finding a gentle shampoo that will cleanse without stripping my scalp is a must, I have been rather impressed with the Khadi Hibiscus shampoo (£11.90 for 210 mls) not only is this shampoo budget friendly for such good ingredients but it's performance outstrips many more expensive shampoos too. Khadi uses Ayurvedic principles to provide a healing and anti-inflammatory effect, Ayurveda is an ancient tradition, but with more brands using it in their products it's enjoying a bit of a moment in the spotlight. This shampoo contains only gentle foaming agents, lot's of herbal infusions and good ingredients and works really well at leaving my scalp and hair happy. It needs a bit more working in to the hair than it's more foaming varieties, but I really do feel it is worth it. Still on the topic of hair we have another new brand to me Saach organics, the Herbal Hair oil is one of the most impressive products I have tested this year. This is a beautiful, light hair oil, perfect for using on the scalp without weighing it down, it is much more easily absorbed than using coconut oil on it's own, and has a beautiful cooling effect thanks to the herbal infusions. A little goes a long long way and due to the light texture, nothing is wasted. It has a lovely selection of ingredients, including cotton seed oil, Indian gooseberry, rose and hibiscus.
For skincare at this time of year inevitably it is all about the cleansing balms. After a long day when my skin is facing the elements I adore the feeling of massaging my face until my skin is restored. The cleansing balm - Noer organics atelier (Sadly Discontinued!) Is the perfect way to restore dry skin. this is quick a thick and nourishing balm, with a variety of plant oils such as Marula, grapeseed and calendula as well as honey, arctic oat and pink clay. It is scented with some gentle spices such as anise, these really are subtle as in my pot I can smell the sweetness of the honey predominantly, but it gives the blend an enjoyable warming quality. I am usually against warming spices so it is a testament to Mia's formulating that I enjoyed them so much here. Take a small amount and warm it in your hands first, before massaging as much as you like, it will remove all make up with ease and leave skin, glowing. Removing with a warm, clean flannel is a must, water alone will not do the job. After my cleanse the Face cream #5 - AS Apothecary (£36 for 30 mls) has the most delightful texture of any face cream I have ever tried, it is like a whipped pudding, soft and sumptuous. This cream is hand blended with a beautiful rich but not clogging olive oil base and essential oils of rose, bergamot and clary sage. A real treat for sensitive and dry skins, a small amount under make up keeps my skin hydrated all day and prevents any flaking. Really beautiful product. Last but not least we have my latest eye cream discovery, the Purely Revitalising lifting eye cream - A'kin has been keeping the skin around my eyes nourished and bright. Although marketed for mature skin this eye cream manages to hydrate deeply with leaving any residue or feeling too heavy, A'Kin's formulas are consistently impressive across the range and this is no different, it is very hard to find an eye cream that will tackle all concerns but this does a bit of everything and does it well.
When it comes to bodycare oils tend to be my first point of call in this weather, all though I do admit I like to layer products. The Invigorating body oil - Ishga is such a treat to use, with a blend of botanical oils such as jojoba, almond and thistle and gently scented with rose, juniper and lavender is has a warm scent that feels comforting on these darker evenings. The oil itself comes in a great airless pump, very easy to use and reduces mess. The oil feels like silk on the skin, cushioning but easily absorbed, really wonderful. Ishga's range is one I would highly recommend (Face care review), all the products are infused with seaweed and feel lovely to use as well as performing brilliantly. The final product in my winter arsenal is a multi-purpose balm, the Skin rescue balm - Herbfarmacy is one of my favourites. I reviewed this balm almost three years ago, and my feelings about it haven't changed. This herb infused balm is a bit of a wonder product and perfect for sore, dry or chapped skin anywhere. I believe the fact that Herbfarmacy grow their own organic herbs (See my Behind the brand series) makes a real difference to the quality they produce and this one contains Marshmallow, calendula, chickweed and comfrey. I think of balms as the final step in my routine for face and body, a winter jacket to keep your skin protected.
I would to know if you use any of these products and what your Autumn winter staples are?
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