British beauty – Skin and Tonic London

Skin and Tonic are a brand that launched with a bang, no sooner had they released their first products than suddenly they were stocked at Content Beauty in London, yes in green beauty terms that is the equivalent of going straight to Harrods beauty hall as far as I am concerned. Skin and Tonic was launched by a couple, Sarah and Josh who met in 2009 over a glass of Gin and Tonic, the romantic in me swooned when I read this. Sarah in 2010 got ill and quit her job in TV to retrain in aromatherapy and skincare formulation after being successful in creating products for herself, even managing to clear her dermatitis. In Sarah’s own words she couldn’t find anything out there “That was straight talking, organic and cool!”. So here’s the thing, I review a lot of products on this blog, the story of skincare entrepreneurs not being able to find what they wanted and therefore making it themselves comes up almost more times than I have had hot dinners, what distinguishes Skin and Tonic and gives them a little edge is that everything they do even though it is simple, they do it really well. Their marketing and packaging is on point, there is clearly a huge amount of thought put in to it, it’s fresh, young and for the most part unisex so they are covering a huge market here. Despite the fact that I think it will appeal to teen and twenty something’s it still doesn’t feel out of place of my bathroom cabinet alongside my higher end brands (Yeah I am in the older category for a blogger, but that’s OK).

Their ingredients policy is simple, every product has seven ingredients or less, there is nothing gimmicky here, no star ingredient sourced from the Amazon rainforest or anything we haven’t seen before but the products I have tested really don’t seem to need anything too novel, they work and they work well. There is a lot of information about their sustainable sourcing and policies which is always reassuring to me, where possible supporting local producers, sourcing from Fair trade women’s cooperatives, striving to be carbon neutral, it all get’s a big thumbs up from me, in this case details are good, companies take note, don’t just tell us your green, tell us why your green!

I have two products to review for you, as you can imagine using seven ingredients or less Skin and Tonic’s formulas are all water free and therefore preservative free too:

Steam clean (£27 for 50 grams) is a simple cleansing balm with grapeseed oil, beeswax, thistle oil (a totally underrated but gorgeous oil in my opinion!), Borage oil, Eucalyptus and spearmint. This is not a cleanser I can personally use daily as the essential oils really do pack a punch, but I find this is wonderful when your skin is looking really dull and needs a wake up call, almost like a hangover cure for your face. You massage in to dry skin and wash off with a cleansing cloth, despite the beeswax the other oils give this a lighter texture than you would expect and it sits firmly in the middle in terms of texture and feel, not too heavy but still easy to work in to skin and massage away. Used for a facial massage it will definitely get the blood flowing and induce a glow but I personally feel the Eucalyptus and mint combination is not the best for sensitive or rosacea prone skins such as mine so I reserve this for occasional use only which is a shame because if this was available in an unscented or milder version like chamomile, I could see me using it more regularly.

Gentle scrub (£18 for 100 grams) Is a powder exfoliator and mask which includes some of my favourite ingredients. Pink French clay, oats, cornstarch, pro-biotic yoghurt powder, dried rosehip seeds and geranium essential oil. If you are using it as a scrub simply mix with a little water in to a paste and apply, you can also add some oil if you have a drier skin but add the water first otherwise the texture won’t be quite right. As a mask you can go to town and play around, I have added rosewater, argan oil, calendula oil, honey and yoghurt. I will say that the oats in this mix are a little on the chunkier side than I personally would like, it doesn’t affect the performance of it at all (they are still very gentle). I have become used to slightly more refined powders but for the price point, Skin and Tonics version is one of the best I have used. Sensitive skins can use this knowing that the oats are gentle, the probiotics and the French clay are very soothing and there is nothing too harsh in there to upset the skin, with that said follow your skins lead and don’t overdo it. I personally love this as a mask, you will also get a gentle exfoliation from the oats as you remove it so you kill two birds with one stone. After removing my skin always looks calmer, brighter and more even toned thanks to the probiotics and gentle clays.

Green beauty details: Skin and Tonic are British, 100% natural and uses mostly certified organic ingredients (although don’t have an organic certification for the brand), they claim cruelty free status and are independent so no parent company. They pay considerable attention to sustainability throughout the business and they donate 10% of their profit to a water charity to provide clean sanitation to those who need it most. All packaging is glass and therefore recyclable.

There is an honesty to Skin and Tonic which is refreshing, they put all their cards on the table and have passion and faith in their products. The organic ingredients and simplicity of the formulas will appeal to purists and the results will appeal to skincare lovers regardless of their ingredients preferences. I am excited to see what else the brand creates and of course the Calm balm and British beauty oil also need to be mine, because you know I don’t have enough skincare… (Jokes!).

One I would recommend if you want simple, effective and stylish products that won’t break the bank.


Post contains PR Samples, please see my full disclaimer for details.
Ana Green

Written by Ana – A beauty industry professional who is passionate about product and helping people navigate the marketing hype in the beauty industry.