Natural beauty is not my thing for a number of reasons. First, my skin is quite sensitive and freaks out whenever irritating natural ingredients come within one foot of it. Second, I’m an advocate for many of the skin-loving chemicals (the ones that stop brands marketing their products as “natural”) that actually prevent the buildup of nasty bacteria in so many beauty products.
Most importantly, however, I am yet to find a natural skincare brand that actually works. While so many natural products offer top-notch hydration, when it comes to dealing with other skin issues, such as oiliness, breakouts, pigmentation and fine lines, they always seem to fall short. And mostly, I’ve been happy living my life avoiding natural skincare products wherever I can. But then, a few months ago, I discovered Wildsmith Skin, and everything changed.
While my disdain for natural skincare has always been undeniable, I go totally weak at the knees for any sort of spa product—and that is exactly why Wildsmith first ended up in my hands. As a natural brand that champions botanicals and bioactives, Wildsmith products aren’t traditionally my bag. However, the moment my shallow beauty-editor brain found out that Wildsmith products are used at Little Bothy Spa at Heckfield Place (if you haven’t had the joy of experiencing the Hampshire-based retreat, it’s basically like living in a Jane Austen novel without the stresses of love triangles and 19-century living), I was in.
Any beauty product that helps make my one-bedroom flat feel even a little bit spa-like gets my seal of approval, so I slapped on every Wildsmith product that came my way. It’s the delicious scents that hit you first—botanical and mind-soothing in all of the best ways—but it was the textures that really won me over. The cleansing balm (which is always my first port of call) is thick, rich and jelly-like, melting into the skin to create a sumptuous oil that removes every hint of makeup. The body serum is luxurious and creamy, leaving behind a non-greasy veil of moisture, while the body oils are lightweight and possess just the right amount of slip.
And while I am by no means underplaying the importance of a beauty routine that fills you with unparalleled levels of joy, above all else, in order for me to really jump on board the natural-beauty train, the products have to work. The craziest thing about Wildsmith is I have actually found myself reaching for its natural products over some of my most-loved, non-natural favourites. When my oiliness and congestion were out of control, the Dual-Action Exfoliating Treatment quite literally smoothed out my whole complexion. When the fine lines on my forehead were exacerbated by dryness, Active Repair Copper Peptide Serum turned my skin glowing and healthy-looking.
The cold hard truth is, up until now, I have never found a natural skincare range that harnesses powerful active ingredients quite like this. From gently exfoliating PHAs to high-tech copper peptides to help minimise the signs of ageing, Wildsmith has managed to blend the efficacious world of skincare seamlessly with that of natural beauty. It's like having your own little slice of luxury at home that gives truly spa-like results. If you enjoy all that luxury beauty has to offer but are fed up of false claims, I urge you to give it a go. Honestly, my skin is seriously thanking me for it.
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I am yet to find a handwash that fills me with as much calming joy as this one. It smells like a warm walk in a sun-drenched forest. Plus, it doesn't leave hands feeling dry and uncomfortable like so many other handwashes do.
The perfect sink-side partner to the aforementioned handwash, this lotion leaves hands feeling soft and supple. It's the sort of product that has you smelling the backs of your hands all day long.
The price tag on this little serum is enough to put anyone off, but it pains me to say it is truly excellent. The texture borders on that of a very lightweight lotion, but a tiny drop goes a long way. It utilises seriously impressive ingredients that encourage the skin's natural collagen production, leaving your complexion looking glowing, radiant and plump.
It's no secret that I am a total sucker for a cleansing balm. This stuff shares a similar price tag to some of my favourite formulas out there, so it had a lot to live up to. The texture is different from most others I have tried. It's jelly-like and thinner. However, the minute it meets the skin, it melts into a delicious oil that removes makeup and grime seamlessly. The best bit is, it leaves skin glowing and radiant without leaving a claggy film. It's so good it might have just knocked my usual go-to off the top spot.
Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) are some of my favourite exfoliating ingredients around. Whereas salicylic acid can leave the skin feeling dry and AHAs can cause serious irritation, PHAs help to unclog pores and boost glow with virtually no upset. The downside is they're hard to come by, with only a handful of brands offering them as a choice. It's needless to say, therefore, that I was totally blown away when I saw a natural skincare brand launch a PHA treatment. When my pores were playing up at the start of the year, this gentle treatment helped me get things back on track.
Perfect for when you're feeling a bit down in the dumps, this blend of energising essential oils will invigorate tired, heavy limbs and leave skin feeling silky-soft.
Helping to restore the skin's natural moisture barrier, this particular body oil possesses all of the great moisturising benefits of the previous Vitality oil but instead uses a blend of rose, lavender and chamomile to help unwind and de-stress. I keep a bottle on my bedside table to slather onto limbs pre-sleep.
This mask is without question my favourite beauty launch of the year, and my favourite product in the Wildsmith Skin offering. The clay blend helps to keep my oiliness in check without causing any dryness or irritation (which is basically unheard of when it comes to clay masks). Plus, when applied, it creates a sensation of heat that ignites instant calmness.
If you'd have asked me this time last year if I would spend more that £15 on an eye cream, the answer would have been no. While many experts say that eye cream is a totally unnecessary luxury, I have spent the past year dabbling in different products. This stuff is expensive, and it won't solve all of your eye woes. It is, however, lightweight and super-refreshing, meaning it totally eradicates any hint of puffiness first thing.
My love for body products knows no bounds, and I've fallen head over heels for this serum. Let's ignore the term "toning" in the product name. (No body cream will actually help tone, and it really gets under my skin.) It leaves skin looking almost unbelievably juicy and healthy. It's set to be my go-to body product this summer.