If you’re struggling for Christmas gift ideas, sales or just sick of giving and receiving those dreaded ‘smellies’ gift sets produced by high street chains (which are then consigned to live out their days in the ‘present drawer’) then check out several green beauty brands that are lovingly made with natural ingredients, are adept at soothing parched winter skin and – most importantly – care for the planet.
Handmade in her Hackney home, aromatherapist Andrea Garland’s organic beauty balms are presented in gorgeous vintage tins and compacts which she sources from all over the world (and are cleaned and sterilised before the balm is poured in.) Her Rosy Beauty Balm for the face contains shea butter, sweet almond oil, vitamin E and rose geranium – making it perfect to slap on during the winter months (expect many ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ when the pretty compact emerges from your handbag!) All ingredients are ethically sourced and Garland even offers to re-fill the vintage compacts once they are emptied at a fraction of the price, resulting in no excess packaging and a pretty keepsake.
Rosy Beauty Balm is £32 for a medium-sized compact (refill £12) available from AndreaGarland.co.uk
Moa – The Green Balm
Illustration by Karolina Burdon
This gorgeous green gloop was created by Icelandic herbalist Thury Gudmundsdóttir from a recipe handed down by her grandmother, who used to concoct her beauty remedies by boiling herbs in a pan over her stove. Made with 100% natural and organic ingredients which include tea tree oil, beeswax, coconut and sweet almond oil, not only does it keep skin on both the face and body renewed and radiant but it can also be used as an aftershave balm, a baby massage and a barrier to protect the skin in extreme cold weather. A very little of this balm (which melts instantly on contact) goes a very long way, making it an essential winter handbag staple.
Available at £5 for 20ml at Lovelula.com
Illustration by Darren Fletcher
With numerous endorsements from celebrities to The Soil Association, Balm Balm has gained somewhat of a cult following since its creation five years ago. Founded by aromatherapist and perfumer Glenda Taylor, the 100% organic balms come in recyclable packaging and target sensitive and irritated skin types. The shining star of the range has to be their much-hyped lip balm – which contains jojoba oil, beeswax and shea butter for super soft lips, and can be used on other dry areas too. They come in rose geranium, tea tree and fragrance free flavours (the last of which won a Green Beauty Bible award) and make perfect little stocking fillers.
Lip Balm is £2.99 for 7ml from Bath and Unwind
Illustration by Leeay Aikawa
One of the more well-known brands, Burt’s Bees haven’t abandoned their environmental commitments despite their global success – their products contain on average 99% natural ingredients and all use recyclable packaging. Starting out in 1984 selling honey from his beehive and wondering what to do with the leftover wax, Burt Shavitz teamed up with Roxanne Quimby and began selling it in the form of candles at local craft fairs in Maine, USA. Through word of mouth, the brand grew and the now famous beauty range was born after Roxanne stumbled across a 19th century book on homemade beauty remedies. An ideal hand treat is their 100% natural Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme packed with lemon oil perfect for nourishing brittle fingernails, and with its kitsch little tin how could anyone resist?
Lemon Butter Cuticle Crème is £5.99 from burtsbees.co.uk
Illustration by Joana Faria
Created by celebrity make-up artist Rose- Marie Swift, this is the first make-up range made from natural raw ingredients that interact and ‘create a dialogue’ with the skin. Her reasoning behind the range is that unlike other ingredients contained in many ‘natural’ cosmetic brands, hers aren’t heated to high temperatures and therefore retain their beneficial nutrients which are so great for the skin. The Mineral Cream Eye Shadows contain natural mineral pigments and also double up as an eye-cream to nourish the delicate skin around the eyes. These cute little pots come in a variety of warm, earthy colours, and use recyclable glass and metal packaging. A perfect way to revamp your make-up bag for the New Year and treat your skin at the same time.
RMS Beauty Mineral Cream Eyeshadows are £18 each, available from CultBeauty.co.uk
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