Mahogany Naturals

Winter Skincare Wardrobe

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As the colours change, and temperatures drop, the state of skin is temperamental, agitated and protesting the change. Over the years, I’ve come to a solid conclusion my skin has a mind of its own and I need to adapt it’s care needs accordingly.

With fluctuating environments of strong wind chills, to artificially heated offices, cars and homes my skin is almost in an eternally dehydrated and confused state. Whilst it’s predominantly combination skin, with an oily T-zone and drier cheeks, during winter the ‘combination situation’ is exasperated. In addition, let’s not forget to complicate matters worse with a bout of dehydration and breakouts. Now that the problem is sufficiently moaned about, here’s how I adapt my skincare regime.

Aim of the game is similar to Asian beauty routines, where a number of thin layers of hydration and nourishment products are slapped on. With this method, the skin remains hydrated and nourished for longer.

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Cleansers typically I use oils or balms to remove makeup and second cleanse. Well that wouldn’t change for the evenings. However my morning cleanses, will include a lot more nourishing cream cleansers. Some of my faves in this category are, MV Organic Gentle Cream Cleanser, Trilogy Cream Cleanser and, and Good Things Manuka Cleanser.

Some mornings where I could get away without cream cleanser, I resort to milk cleansers and a strong fave has always been Institut Esthederm Osmoclean or Bioderma cleansing milks. New on the block is Forest Essentials Deeply Nourishing Cleansing Paste with ground paste of almonds, pistachios, and other lush Ayurvedic ingredients which provide skin gentle exfoliation and nourishment in one step. Smells Delish too!

Acid or other forms of exfoliation is driven strictly by my skin need, of how strong of an acid I use and which specific type of acid I use.  

Combination of various Acids: Dr Dennis Gross peels (of varying strengths), Biologique Recherché P50 range, MD Sun Skin Exfoliation Pads, Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads, M61 Power Peel, Neogen Wine Peeling Gauze

Glycolic Acid: Alpha H Liquid Gold, Bravura London Calendula Toner, Pixi Glow Tonic, Cane & Austin Miracle+ Pads, Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexurising Peel

Lactic Acid: Kate Somerville Clinic to go,  Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel

Milk Peels (the new thing!) – Primary Raw or Dr Jart+ milk peels are gentler on skin OR Pre Lab Toning Peeling tap which is essentially exfoliating with enzymes.

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“Toning Mist & Amp up with Essences” A regular toning spritz post acid to stabilize the pH level in skin. Some examples could be basic floral hydrosols such as Rose Water by MV Organic, Alteya Organic, Santa Maria Novella, Whamisa Damask Rose, Andalou Naturals, Forest Essentials, Kama Ayurveda, Just Herbs etc. Or Zinc based like La Roche Posay Serozinc. Other toners with a combination of ingredients to hydrate and provide other benefits to skin could include Farmacy Skindew, Patyka Revitalizing Toner, Sjal Mineral Kalla toner, Antipodes, Aesop or Trilogy toners.

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These toning mists are then followed by serious hydrating or fermented essences to inject and plump the skin. My absolute fave is Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Toner, and from same brand Refresh and Original are just as wonderful. To name a few others: Decleor HydraFloral Essence Lotion, Blithe Vital Treatment Essences, Earth’s Recipe Energy Boosting Toner, Missha Time Revolution The First Essence Mist, Bio Essence 24 Gold Water, Shiseido Ibuki essence, Rohto Hadalabo Shirojyun or Gokujun.

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Masks including Sheet Masks Lots of hydration and moisturizing masks, good ol’ sheet masks are fabulous in this category. In saying so, I also throw in one detoxifying or purifying mask, least once a week. I tend to incorporate this everyday if not every second day. Masks are the best way to turbo boost and treat the skin.

Serums or Ampoules are used as usual to specifically target the problem of the day/week/month/season. I have a whole separate post on Guide to Serums for all conditions and skins.

Moisturisers and Oils are the cornerstone of protecting skin’s barrier and thoroughly nurturing it with lovely oils and ingredients. Some wonders which have stood the test of time with me are; Decleor HydraFloral, Mahogany Naturals Manuka Honey Cream, Whamisa Fermented Water Cream and Nourishing Cream, Bravura London Azulene Cream, Pistache Skincare Hydrating Moisturiser, Missha Misa Geum Sul Emulsion, Yuri Pibu Asiatica, Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream.

Here’s a tip if you don’t want to invest in a separate night cream however are quite content with your  regular moisturiser, just add few drops of oil to your day cream and use in your night routine.

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Balms have a special place in my heart and stash! I view them as amplified  version of oils, and of course more lush experience as well. Strong fave continues to be Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm, followed by Mahogany Naturals Blue Lover, May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo Balm, Darphin Purifying balm, Decleor Rose d’Orient balm. In terms of lip balm, there was one and always be the one, Nuxe Reve de Miel. The rich beeswax coats the lips and leaves it matte. In saying so, I have a separate post on Lip Balms which explores other lip products too.

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Since I complete my evening skincare routine by 5pm, I Re-balm or Re-Oil my skin one more time before bed. Or mist SKII Overnight Essence, which is moisturizing to skin but also leaves a tingly refreshed feel on the skin. Other categories to nourish much drier skins also includes Overnight Masks which can be argued is a richer version of a night cream.

How do you plan to amp up your skincare routine for the winter?

HHW.com

xx

Insight – Mahogany Naturals

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Many of you may have noticed on my Instagram account my new found love for Mahogany Naturals products. Mahogany Naturals is created by hair stylist Tope Beesley in 2012 to specifically address the needs of curly, textured and afro hair. Tope is also a certified Aromatherapist & Beauty Therapist so she understands how ingredients and essential oils affect different skins, hair and scalp conditions.

Tope believes everything has a purpose but most importantly, the products are meant to de-stress and relieve anxiety. As with any artisanal skincare, Mahogany Naturals is also hand made in small batches to retain its freshness in the historical town of Bletchley Milton Keynes, UK. They are PETA CERTIFIED as a cruelty free company and all  ingredients are 100% natural, organic, not tested on animals and are vegetarian friendly.

SNEAK PEEK: Keep an eye out on my Instagram, a giveaway of products will be announced to win some of the products mentioned below.

Meet Tope, below is my lil chat with this gorgeous talented woman

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1. Why Mahogany Naturals (why the name and why create this brand)?
The name Mahogany has always been a part of me. I remember using it since I was a teenager. It means strength, luxury and the best from mother nature.
2. The new trend of ‘Green Beauty’ is falsely misleading some customers as they’re not all completely natural or green….your thoughts? How is Mahogany Naturals truly natural? 
Everything we use is completely natural. I started out mixing formulations in my kitchen from my fridge to my food cabinet.  Even our preservative is naturally derived. I do roll my eyes when I see well known brands slap “natural” on the front label but then you look at the ingredients list and silicons and harsh chemicals are in the first 5 ingredients. I urge everyone to go straight to the ingredients list and familiarize themselves with it.
(You see why I love Tope so much, she insists on same thing, check the ingredient listing, get the past the claims of the product)
3. What motivates you to create new products? How are you inspired with different ingredients?
First of all my family is number one, my children and husband inspire me to start formulation my own recipes. I am also a qualified Hairstylist and Aromatherapist so I have the knowledge of the effects of essential oils and how to blend them. I also see a problem when a client comes to me and if I don’t have a product that solves their issue I work on formulating something.
4. Skincare market is saturated and everyday new brands are coming up. How does Mahogany Naturals distinguish itself from other brands in market?
I stay true to the essentials. I keep it simple with my ingredients and use only the best and highest quality ingredients. I don’t make any wild claims. I let the products speak for themselves and work their magic.
5. What skincare advise did you receive as a little girl and what advise do you give your children?
I don’t think I specifically got any skincare advice as a kid. I just grew a passion for it as I got older. My kids use everything I use from head to toe. My girls are always very moisturised. I explain to them that if you look after yourself from a young age you grow old gracefully and stay looking youthful for longer.

You can follow Tope and the brand on Instagram (click here)

EXPRESS REVIEWS

IMG_9266This is where my love affair with Mahogany Naturals began. Hair Mask with Rhassoul Cocoa, Honey Deep Hair Treatment. Its rich, delicious, intoxicating, intriguing texture had me all over it. Admittedly slightly heavy for my hair type (fine, thin and flat), but I can see this would be deeply adored with very dry and brittle hair. I carefully glanced at ingredient listing and decided to use as face mask! Fabulous deeply moisturizing for skin. Have a closer look at this decadent pot of lushness.
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Rhassoul, Raw honey, (Theobroma Cacao) Organic cocoa powder, Theobroma cacao Unrefined cocoa butter, (Aloe Barbadensis) Organic aloe vera, (Olea Europa) Extra virgin olive oil, (ulmus rub) Slippery elm, Guar, emulsifier, essential oils.

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Next hair treatment I tried was the Coconut Water Restorative Hair Mask, this suited my hair perfectly. I’ve used it as pre shampoo and post shampoo and my hair loves this mask. Also it smells beautiful (as with all Mahogany Naturals product). Scent wise I’ve yet to come across any product from this brand that I don’t like. This hair mask is not as dense as Rhassoul Clay and glides effortlessly through the hair strands.

Packaging wise all products come in plastic containers (not flimsy at all) with all information on labels. They are environmentally friendly and recognize the fact that we throw boxes!!!

(Aloe Barbadensis) Aloe vera, Coconut water, Organic castor oil, (Ricinus communis) Shea butter, Organic coconut oil (Cocos nucifera). Organic honey (Prunus Dulcis), Sweet almond oil, (Tocopherol) vitamin E, Vegatable glycerine, (Olea Europaea) Extra Virgin olive oil, silk amino acids, cetearyl alcohol, optiphen

P1040247My personal favorite skincare range from this brand is truly de-stressing component of my skincare regime. It really uplifts my mood from the shittiest day in the history of my existence. If asked to choose one product from this line up, I would walk away from all three because I cannot choose. Its all or nothing.

Cleansing Oil – perfect as morning or second cleanse, I dont prefer using this lush oil for makeup removal because I want direct contact to feed and nourish my skin and not deal with my war paint issues. Doesn’t emulsify with water but comes off effortlessly with hot cloth. I don’t need to specifically talk about the scent, just glance at inci list below.

(vitis vinifera) Grape Seed Oil, (olea europaea) olive oil, (citus sinensis) sweet Orange Oil, (melaleuca alternifolia) tea tree oil , Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Oil, lavender, camomile,  Eucalyptus radiata oil.

Next up, Face Hydrating Repair Oil. Yes we all know I have a major weakness for oils. But oils like this, where the Man of house calls it his own, means we have a clear winner. We need a moment here, to appreciate my Man uses face oil, this in the past has always been a forced measure. Now he is willingly doing it himself. Reasons behind this you may ask: well the uplifting scent, with instantly absorbing formulation, leaving the skin with a hydrated plump feel. What more could I ask for?!

(Oenothera fiennis) Evening primrose, (Sclerocarya birrea) macula, (Adansonia Digitata) baobab, (tocopherol) vitamin e, camellia, (Rosa canina) rosehip, (Persea americana) avocado, teatree, (Anthemis Nobilis) camomile, (Rosmarinus officinalis) rosemary.

Now the one that took me by surprise, Manuka Face Cream. I’ll be honest I don’t like or appreciate creams as much as face oils (in case you didn’t already know that!). However if you ask why that is the case, please click here as I have detailed post on this.

The first point of difference with this cream, the first ingredient is Aloe Vera. Second the addition of Manuka Honey 20+ factor as third ingredient. Tope is not mucking about with rubbish ingredients, she knows the true value of good quality ingredients. Much to my surprise the addition of Shea Butter did not congest or break me out. The preservative and emulsifier is also from natural source. Another reason why this won my heart, it’s in a bottle with a pump, no filthy fingering business.

Instantly absorbs, in same scent profile as other skincare products, immediate softness and plumpness in skin. Fabulous as makeup base or for basic Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize routine.

Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf extract, Light Coconut Oil, Manuka Honey 20+, Avocado oil, Butyrosperum Parkii (Organic Shea Butter), Rosemary oil, Glyceryl stearate, Stearic acid, Glycerin, Collagen (Marine), Cetyl Alcohol, Hippohae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn seed oil), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)

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Lastly the body care category, my favourite from this range is the body oil. The best combination is soak in bath salts and then slap on the body oil. I smell and feel bloody amazing.

Body Oil: (Vitis vinifera) Grapeseed oil, (Olea europaea) Virgin Olive Oil, Eucalyptus radiate, Lavandula officinalis oil, (Citrus Grandis) Grapefruit oil.

Bath Salts: Sodium Chloride Rock Crystal, Geranium Oil, Vegetable Glycerine, rose oil, eucalyptus oil, Allura Red

The deodorant is used more as body mist for me, I’m a woman who needs clinical protection deodorant for my kinda activities.

Have you tried anything from this brand? Alsooooo keep your eyes peeled for the giveaway on my Instagram.

HHW.com

xx

Array of Cleansing Oils

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Cleansing Oils….. we’ve all tried, tested, used, liked, loved, adopted, gifted, repurchased, reviewed, raved and done everything in between. These are my current cleansing oils on rotation for cleansing skin and removing makeup. The array of selection is from various geographical regions and price points. Due to the very nature of oils, all skin types can use cleansing oils. In terms of removal methods, some prefer emulsifying I prefer hot cloth steam.

Bravura London First Cleanse Oil 

£14.50/USD$21 150ml=$0.14 per ml

I’ve said it before and I will say it again in exact same words: Simple, Basic, Fuss free, Effective & Efficient at dissolving and removing makeup, Emulsifying, Non Sticky, One pump job, Inexpensive.

Wonderful certified organic carrier oils are used such as Safflower, Avocado and Vitamin which perform an excellent job whilst essential oils such as Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary give it an extra edge from a pleasing scent perspective.

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride(From Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate (emulsifier), Tocopherol (Vit.E), Anthemis Nobilis Oil* (Roman Chamomile Essential Oil), Lavandula Officinalis Oil* (Lavender Essential Oil), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*. 

*Certified Organic

Mahogany Naturals Soothing Cleansing Oil 

£35/USD$50 120ml =$0.41 per ml

A new entrant on my cleansing oil scene, but one I instantly love for cleansing my skin or morning cleanse. Its a rather simple formulation with a soothing blend of grape seed oil, olive and lovely essential oils (sweet orange, tea tree, jasmine, lavender, camomile, eucalyptus). With tea tree and eucalyptus it has a beautiful uplifting scent. This oil doesn’t emulsify with water but cleanses effortlessly with hot cloth.

Grape Seed Oil (vitis vinifera), olive oil (Olea europaea), Sweet Orange Oil (citus sinensis), Tea Tree oil (melaleuca alternifolia), Jasmine Flower Oil (Jasminum Officinale), Lavender, Camomile,  Eucalyptus radiata oil.

Aesop Parsley Cleansing Oil

$57 6.8fl.oz/200ml=$0.28 per ml

A gentle cleanser that activates with water and converts to beautiful milky emulsion. I’ve used it to remove makeup and cleanse skin as well. Possibly my fave Aesop cleanser with gorgeous earthy scent in a whopping 200ml glass bottle.

Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, C12-13 Pareth-3, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Bisabolol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Beta-Carotene, Linalool.

MV Organic 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic

AUD$99/USD$98 65ml =$1.50 per ml

This be the Rolls Royce of cleansing oils denting the pocket by $1.50 per ml but leaves distressed, angry, irritated skin, as calm, soothed and nourished as possible. Definitely not for makeup removal, just wrong. However as morning or second cleanse it is perfect. Ideally removed with hot cloth, no emulsifying milky action here either. I’ve used this as a nourishing oil after a serum and it has worked wonderfully for my skin. Adding a drop or two to intense clay or mud masks like May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver mask makes it a lush detoxifying yet hydrating treatment.

Camellia (Camellia Oleifera) Oil *, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil *, Infused Centella (Centella Asiatica Extract) Oil, Vitamin E – non GM (Tocopherol), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract *, With essential Oils of: Bitter Orange, Lavender, Geranium, Sandalwood, Rosewood and Carrot Seed (*Organically Grown)

Badger Argan Face Cleansing Oil

$19.99 2fl.oz/60ml =$0.34 per ml

Badger claim Castor oil lifts impurities while Argan, Sunflower, and Jojoba replenish essential vitamins, fatty acids, and lipids. Yet another cleanser I love as skin cleanse and not as makeup remover. The addition of menthol crystals leaves the skin with slightest tingly refreshing feel, very unusual in cleansing oil category. The smell is divine, bitter lemon peel. This oil is an absolute treasure and quite frankly extremely underrated.

*Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, *Menthol (Menthol Crystals), Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), *Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil (*= Certified Organic)

Nutrir Nourishing Cleansing Oil

AUD$24.95 100ml =AUD$0.25 per ml

Whilst not a typical traditional formulation of a cleansing oil, it is an antioxidant rich oil based cleanser, that foams (very slight) in contact with water. Considering it foams, it eliminates the need for a hot cloth. This is by far the most unusual consistency and performance. Similar to Badger, it does leave a refreshing tingly feel on skin which makes it perfect morning cleanse. The scent is wonderful to elevate mood levels. The sale of this line is limited to Australia only.

Water, Glycerin, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Hrdrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Rosa Canina Fruit (Rosehip) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) oil, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sachi Inchi) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Myrciaria Dubia (Camu camu) Fruit Extract, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Xanthan Gum, Citric acid, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Eucalyptus Dives Leaf/Twig Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf (Lemon Myrtle) Oil, Parfum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool

Forest Essentials Makeup Removal Oil 

Rs 675 /USD$11 for 100ml =$0.11 per ml

Possibly the most underrated cleanser from Forest Essentials line. They claim this makeup remover is 100% natural with fresh organic oils infused with flowers and herbs. It smells like a beautiful flower garden. No escaping hot cloth with this oil, the steam mixing with gorgeous florals of this oil is a heavenly experience. Effective and efficient at makeup removal but even better as skin cleanse. The consistency is slightly more runnier oil than others.
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Which cleansing oils are you using? What would you recommend using?
HHW.com
xx