There are many times when I have felt that stripping my skincare routine back to a simpler one has been beneficial. Testing beauty products is part of what I do and I love it, but sometimes my skin relishes simple, but high quality formulas to calm and bring back balance.
Martina Gebhardt is a brand that does this so well, perfect for confused skin, sensitised skin or if you favour a routine that is simple, gentle but also effective. It is a relatively new brand to the UK, but it is thirty years since the brand was first launched. The brand uses high quality natural, organic and biodynamic ingredients and is certified by Demeter. Biodynamics isn’t quite as well known as organic agriculture, but it is a system that is very in tune with natures rhythm’s and it’s proponents claim it can help to nurture soil health, leading to potent plant ingredients.
The range is named after the founder Martina Gebhardt, whose passion for truly natural skincare started when she was introduced to a herbal salve recipe by her former paediatrician. Martina suffered a traumatic dog bite on her face that left her with scarring, followed by difficult skin in her teenage years, the incredible results she experienced treating those with that single herbal salve was the beginning of her own range.
The range is all housed in recyclable white glass packaging and no outer boxes. Making it perfect for anyone wanting to cut down on packaging. The brand is quite comprehensive with in its offering, with ranges specifically designed for sensitive, acne prone and mature skin and also offering body care. I especially love that the mature skin range is called happy ageing! To choose the right range for you, you can simply pick based on your skin concerns, but there is also a fun quiz on the Martina Gebhardt UK website that will help you narrow down your choices – Find that here.
I was kindly sent the Rose trial set for my skin, which is sensitive and prone to dry patches on my cheeks but I also get some congestion on my chin (a tricky combination!). I was also lucky enough to receive a lovely bespoke treatment by Elizabeth King, an experienced holistic therapist who uses the Martina Gebhardt range in her treatments. The treatment was very different to any other I have ever experienced, it was gentle and relaxing but also powerful and I remember thinking how wonderful the aromas of all the products were as I was lying down. Natural ingredients are incredible and synthetics just don’t have the same effect on mood and wellbeing in my experience.
After my wonderful treatment with Elizabeth, where she talked me through how to make the most of the range and its philosophy, I used the trial set exclusively for two weeks. After the first two weeks I incorporated with other products, to see how they would work in a multi-range routine. As a truly holistic range, there is no exfoliation step. I will address the holistic view on exfoliation in another post because I lot of the ideas are very interesting to me, I think we have become obsessed with exfoliation as the cure for all skin woes, when in fact many of us are overdoing it leading to other issues such as an impaired barrier. Ideally with this range, you only moisturise at night, however I am firmly set in a routine with my skincare and I continued to use all the products twice a day.
The products are an utter pleasure to use, luxurious, honest formulas and quality ingredients and in my opinion excellent value for money when you compare them to other ranges with a similar philosophy. Here is how I got on with each product:
Rose Cleanser (£18 for 150 ml) – Good skin begins with proper cleansing. Whenever I use a product that is too harsh and stripping for my skin, it can cause so many issues. The Rose cleanser from Martina Gebhardt is beautifully gentle and a very unique texture. It is a creamy cleanser, that when you add a few drops of water feels like a light milk, but has a surprising amount of slip, enabling you to thoroughly massage the skin. It is cooling and soothing on the skin and only a little is it needed to cleanse the whole face. It works well to remove most make up, as I use quite a natural make up routine as well I can’t attest to its power with waterproof items, but for my needs it worked perfectly and I didn’t feel I needed to reach for anything extra. You can remove by splashing with water or use a flannel or even muslin cloth. This cleanser has a blend of olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, sweet almond oil and of course rose extracts. If you are someone who has tried rose products before and you have found the scent a little bit old fashioned, truly natural rose is a revelation. In the cleanser the rose oil blends with the slight chocolate scent of the cocoa butter, to create a sweet but fresh and comforting scent. Skin is left very comfortable, no tightness or dryness and feeling soft and cared for.
Rose Toner (£14 for 100 ml) – I love to spritz my toners liberally, as I have tendency to get quite hot and this step helps to cool my skin. I also like to use toners during the day as a quick pick me up, perks of working from home! So it isn’t surprising that this was the first product I finished. As well as containing rose water, which can be very soothing on the skin, it also contains balancing witch hazel and rosehip extract. This toner is lovely used with the other products in the range, but if you are a face oil user it also works perfectly applied before the oil of your choice, helping it absorb in to the skin.
Rose Cream* (£20 for 50 ml and £8 for 10 ml) The cream has a delicious texture, rich and creamy but still sinks in to the skin fairly quickly leaving a healthy glow on the skin. Like the cleanser it contains olive oil and other nourishing oils such as avocado. You can see in the image below that it is almost buttery in consistency. It is perfect for anyone with very dry or dull skin needing a boost. I also used this generously on my décolleté, which is an area I sadly often neglect and it gave me some much needed hydration. On my face, I often used a small amount on my drier areas such as my cheeks and avoided my chin and other problem areas. This also makes a lovely mask to tackle dry skin, if you have been outside or battling the elements, this product feels like a hug in a jar for your skin.
Rose Lotion* (£25 for 100 ml) – As expected the Rose lotion is a much lighter, easily absorbed texture compared to the richer, more nourishing cream. It feels comforting but light on the skin. You do not need both products at the same time, you can simply choose which one you think your skin needs, but in my case as I was testing both I used a layer of the lotion with a small amount of the cream in areas that I felt needed it. It is interesting to me that although the range shares many of the same ingredients, all the formulas feel very different, which goes to show you can’t always tell how a product will perform from ingredients lists alone, although that is important.
I think these are extremely well formulated and versatile products. For anyone who generally avoids any synthetics, including preservatives which can sometimes be harsh on the skin, this range has some wonderful options. The products work harmoniously together, but also work well with other ranges. I had been reading a lot about Martina Gebhardt on some of the German blogs, where it quite well known and I can see why it is so popular. At the end of my two week trial, I felt my skin had been allowed to return to balance and was less sensitive overall.
Martina Gebhardt skincare* is available at selected stockists, including Love Lula who ship internationally.
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