English International Naturkosmetik

News and reviews from the world of organic beauty: 6


Dear international readers of Beautyjagd,

Welcome to the sixth English-language edition of Beautyjagd! This is a condensed version of the most important articles that have appeared on my blog over the last two weeks. For more information about this new format, click here. And now: enjoy the best of Beautyjagd in English!

Best wishes


An Interview with Birgit Corall from Living Nature and cobicos

Hello everyone and welcome to the next installment of Beautyjagd in English! At the NaturkosmetikCamp this June (NaturkosmetikCamp is the biggest bar camp for the organic beauty industry in German-speaking Europe) I sat next to a really interesting woman: Birgit Corall works for New Zealand beauty brand Living Nature and she is also the founder of German serum brand cobicos. I was fascinated by the story of how Birgit joined Living Nature and then launched her own beauty brand so I decided to turn it into a proper interview! The original article is in German but here is a condensed version in English:

In the early 1990s Birgit was working in Frankfurt as a retail specialist. There she met Clare from New Zealand. The two hit it off straight away and decided that one day they would go into business together. Their first project was to sell New Zealand arts and crafts in Germany – Clare was looking for interesting artists and craftsmen in her home country while Birgit researched possible distribution partners in Germany. In 1993 the two organised a very successful Christmas event in Munich’s premier luxury department store Ludwig Beck: at the “Weihnachtshaus” Birgit and Clare showcased the work of five New Zealand artists; they also sold artwork and handicrafts from other New Zealand craftspeople. One year later Ludwig Beck asked them to organize another event featuring New Zealand products. Birgit went to NZ to visit Clare and to meet some of their artists – and there she met Suzanne Hall, who had founded Living Nature in 1987.

Over the next few years Birgit and Clare continued to sell New Zealand-made products in Germany. After a while they began to focus more on cosmetics and eventually, on the products of Living Nature. There were several reasons for this: Birgit had very dry skin and was fascinated by Living Nature’s high quality regional ingredients.

New Zealand is an island state in the South Pacific: the country consists of two main islands and a whole clutch of smaller islands. This isolated location means that New Zealand has indigenous plants that grow nowhere else in the world – famous NZ ingredients include manuka honey, harakeke (a leaf gel which is rich in polysaccharides) and Totarol, a naturally-occuring anti-oxidant compound. These three ingredients are a key part of the Living Nature product range. At that time Living Nature was also the only organic beauty brand in NZ with a full INCI declaration listed on its products. This was and still is one of the most important criteria for the sale of beauty products in Europe: every single beauty product that is sold in any of the EU markets must list all of the ingredients on the packaging.

Anyway, this is how Birgit discovered Living Nature – and she liked the brand so much that she pretty much single-handedly built up the distribution of Living Nature in Germany. After ten years of working as Living Nature’s German distributor, Birgit decided that it was time to launch a high-end skin care range which would complement and extend the product portfolio of Living Nature. She found a product developer and together they launched cobicos. The first cobicos products were three serums formulated with an especially high percentage of active New Zealand ingredients – organic manuka honey, for example, with an MGO of 100+. MGO stands for methylglyoxal, a natural antibacterial complex which occurs in manuka honey. At certain times of the flowering cycle of a manuka tree the MGO count rises – basically, the higher the MGO concentration the more antibacterial and effective is the honey. Currently cobicos is working with MGO 240+. Besides manuka honey with high MGO percentages, cobicos also uses ingredients like hibiscus extract or smithsonite crystal: the products are manufactured by Living Nature and retailed in Germany together with Living Nature products. The latest two cobicos products are Perfect Day Cream and Luxury Night Cream. [Im Interview: Birgit Corall von Living Nature und cobicos]


Looking for Speik

A short while ago I was invited by organic beauty manufacturer Speick to spend a weekend in the Carinthian Nockberge mountains – I already mentioned this in the last Beauty Notes and you can also see it on Instagram! All of Speick’s products contain a small amount of Speik extract and the name of the plant (Speick is an older spelling of “Speik”) also inspired the name of the company. The Speik plant (celtica valeriana) only grows in the higher Alpine regions (1800 m to 3000 m); it’s has been an endangered species since 1936. In the 1980s Speick (the company) initiated a nature conservation program in the Carinthian Alps to save the Speik plant. As a result, the company received an exclusive license to harvest small amounts of Speik by controlled wild harvesting.

In cooperation with women’s magazine Vital, Speick had invited a group of Vital readers, blogger Jenny from naturalbeauty.de and me for a weekend in the Nockberge mountains to see the Speik plant in its natural habitat! The Nockberge biosphere is a UNESCO-protected landscape and it is beautiful. We hiked up to the Oswalder Bockhütte farm, where we met one of the two licensed farmers who harvest the Speik plant. He showed us what the plant looks like – around 5 to 15 cm high, with yellow lancet-shaped leaves and a creamy white center; it is very pretty. The plant is harvested by hand (the farmer showed us how he gently loosens the plant from the surrounding top soil!) and only from the middle of August to the middle of September. The farmers make sure that they never harvest from the same patch of soil two years in a row so that the plant has a chance to regenerate and spread around.

The owner of Speick, Wikhart Teuffel whom I met when I visited the Speick factory a few months ago (see Chapter Three!), travels to Carinthia once a year to collect the harvested Speik. The plants are carefully dried for three weeks and then used to manufacture various extracts with glycerin, CO2 and alcohol as well as an essential oil. These ingredients are then used in the Speick cosmetics.

The Speik plant is traditionally used in herbal medicine because it has a harmonizing effect on our central nervous system and at the same time stimulates the vegetative nervous system. You can either ingest it or apply it to the skin. All of Speick’s cosmetics (the line-up includes more than 100 products!) contain a small amount of the Speik plant. This also gives the cosmetics their distinctive herbal fragrance! You can buy the entire Speick product range in the new Speick flagship store in Stuttgart. This store also has special products which you won’t find in other organic stores, like scented Speick candles. [For more pictures click here for the original German article Auf der Suche nach dem Speik]


Beauty Notes, 2.10.2015

A while ago I received the Bronzer Sonnenkuss from German organic colour cosmetics brand marie w. – and much as I love marie w., I must admit that I wasn’t too sure at first whether I liked the product; the colour looked really orangey-red. But as it turned out I judged too quickly. When I applied it to my face I was surprised by how well the powder looked on my skin! Although the colour is a little startling when you see it in the jar, it’s actually not very highly pigmented at all. The shade is a brown coral tone with very little red undertones and no shimmer or glitter whatsoever. I applied the bronzer onto my cheekbones and my skin looked really fresh – it’s an amazingly natural looking colour. Very nice!

In my latest blog article for online store najoba I’ve written about my favourite topic: new trends in the organic beauty industry! I’m covering different trends and regions, from Asian influences over minimalism to luxury cosmetics. The article is available in German only, sorry!

I recently discovered the Chamomile & Vanilla Tea from Higher Living in my local organic supermarket. Around ten years ago I went through a phase of intensive vanilla-and-camomile tea drinking. My beverage of choice was from Twinings. However, after a while the strong artificial flavours started to get on my nerves so I stopped drinking the Twinings tea. When I saw that Higher Living had an organic version of this tea I simply couldn’t resist! I was a little irritated at first because the herbal mixture is based on fennel but once the tea has steeped you can barely taste it. The Higher Living tea is a slightly sweet and vanilla-flavoured chamomile tea (it also contains orange peel, liquorice root and melissa).

And speaking of organic supermarkets: I recently published another article for organic supermarket chain denn’s blog – it’s one of my regular editorial projects. In the denn’s article I’m writing about six best-selling beauty products you can find in German organic supermarkets.

I also want to show you the really weird looking Beauty-Shots from organic beauty brand Annemarie Börlind! You squeeze the lower part of the flacon and a longish cannula dispenses the fluid. Interesting packaging choice! There are five different Beauty-Shots variants; all include the key ingredient phyto plankton from the Bretagne region in France. I am currently testing the SOS Sensitive Intensive Concentrate which I was recently sent by the company. You apply the concentrate onto the cleansed skin; either on its own or with a cream or face oil on top. The Sensitive Concentrate is tinted a light green and is said to tone down red patches and soothe irritated skin. The texture is great; it is super light and instantly penetrates the skin. The percentage of alcohol in the product is less than 10%, by the way (I checked with the company); the fluid also contains glycerin, processed oils, blackcurrant seed oil, liquorice root extract and other plant-based extracts and oils. The SOS Sensitive Beauty-Shot costs 38 Euro, you can find it here.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an amazing crowd funding project: Projekt Bienenretter (Project Save the Bees) is planning to manufacture organic cosmetics made with regional bee honey, beeswax, propolis and other bee-derived ingredients. The money generated by the sales of these cosmetics will be used to finance the already existing Projekt Bienenretter (which received a UNESCO award): supporting sustainable urban beekeeping and saving the honey bees. The Bienenretter crowd funding project is on German platform Startnext – I wish them every success! The campaign is running until 28.10.15.

This weekend I am going to Berlin to attend the annual Natural Cosmetics Conference – and with me I’m taking the new limited edition Körperpflege Verwöhn-Set from organic aloe vera brand Santaverde (Body Care Pampering Set). Santaverde sent me a set a little while ago; it is available throughout October and contains three travel sizes with 50 ml each of the Aloe Vera Shower Gel, Aloe Vera Body Lotion Sensitive and Pure Aloe Vera Gel. Santaverde already launched an introductory set of skin care this spring which I took with me when I visited their aloe vera farm in Andalusia.

Have you seen the beautiful eyeshadow palette on the photo above? I discovered Palette Eye essential from French colour cosmetics brand Couleur Caramel in the online store Monde Bio and ordered it straight away – it is gorgeous! Twelve different powder eyeshadow in different finishes: satin, shimmering, metallic, matte……I don’t know if and when the palette will be launched in the German market but I simply had to include it in these Beauty Notes!

And if you read German, here are two reading tips: I was interviewed for an article on Das Rezept der Schönheit (A Recipe for Beauty) by German newspaper Welt am Sonntaghere is the online version. I am also quoted in another article, this time on the role of organic fragrances in the perfume industry: fragrance expert Bodo Kubartz wrote this article on the blog Sturm und Drang which is published by a trend research agency.

And these are some of the most interesting organic beauty news I’ve discovered this week:

  • German organic beauty brand Weleda will launch three fragrances: Eaux Naturelles Parfumées „Jardin de Vie”. And in Japanese magazine Bea’s Up I read that Weleda will also launch a Nachtkerze Serum (Evening Primrose Oil Serum) which should be available in Germany soon.
  • DM’s organic brand Alverde is introducing two foam bath sachets: Blütenregen (Rain of Flowers) and Seifenblasenschaum (Soap Bubble Foam).
  • Rossmann’s organic own label brand Alterra is launching a new SOS Anti-Pickel Gel (Anti-Pimple Gel) in the Hamamelis & Lotusblüte (Witch Hazel & Lotus Flower) range.
  • On Herbs & Flowers, Ida has posted an article on the Bio Nord organic trade show. She says that Benecos will launch a new Eau de Toilette called Heaven Can Wait. And Swiss organic brand Farfalla is also introducing two new fragrances: Femme Sauvage and Essence Divine. [Beauty-Notizen 2.10.2015]


A spa day with Joik

What I like about autumn is that it is the perfect season for pampering yourself – lighting scented candles, drinking tea, taking a bath, putting on a face mask…..and this is exactly what I did last weekend! Sirkku from Hilla Naturkosmetik and I had been planning a post on Estonian brand Joik for quite some time now and Sirkku had the idea of creating a sort of beauty ritual to go with it. Please join me for relaxing wellness Sunday (it’s rather cold and wet outside at the moment – the ideal home spa weather!)

I started my wellness day by lighting a scented candle. I love the fragrance of honeysuckle, so I decided to try out the Scented Soywax Candle Honeysuckle from Joik. Scented candles were actually Joik’s very first product: founder Eva-Maria Õunapuu had been searching for paraffin-free scented candles and since she couldn’t find any in the stores, she started to make her own. This was in 2005. Her hobby turned into a proper business, Joik started to add face, skin and body care to its portfolio and today it is the biggest organic beauty brand in Estonia. Joik products are also sold in 15 international markets and besides Latvian brand Mádara, it is one of the most successful Baltic beauty brands. Anyway, to return to the honeysuckle candle: it is made from GMO-free soy wax with a cotton wick; the fragrances contain a mixture of natural essential oils and synthetic fragrance ingredients which make the scent last longer. The honeysuckle candle smells lovely; Joik’s candle range also includes other beautiful fragrances – Crème Brulée, for example, or Lovely Lilac. A Joik candle contains 145 gr. It will last for approx. 30 hours of burning time and costs 16.90 Euro.

In winter 2013/2014 I discovered Joik’s Kräuter-Badetrüffel mit Wacholder (Herbal Bath Truffles with Juniper) which are great – even if you don’t have a cold! However, at the moment I have a passion for lavender so this time I went for the Lavendel Badetrüffel (Lavender Bath Truffles). The bath truffle contains soda bicarbonate (so it dissolves quickly), a whole load of cocoa butter, citric acid, some starch and lavender essential oils – and that’s it! The bath truffle dissolves really quickly in the warm bath water, it leaves a light moisturizing film on my skin and the soothing scent of lavender is lovely. After the bath I rinse myself off with clear water and pat the skin dry. Afterwards I might use the Zitronen Vanille Bodylotion from Joik (Lemon Vanilla Body Lotion) which has a wonderful scent of Tarte au citron. Oh yes, and one more tip: because the cocoa butter can make the bath tub slippery I rinse it out with water and some washing up liquid – and presto, the last traces of oil are gone! A pack of bath truffles weighs 220gr and contains 6 pieces, it costs 12.90 Euro. Sirkku says that her bestseller is the Badetrüffel mit weißer Schokolade (Bath Truffles with White Chocolate) which sound very tempting – I might try them out after my craving for lavender is over 😉 .

While the bath truffle is dissolving I use the time to cleanse my face. The tenside-free Peeling-Gesichtscreme (Facial Scrub Cream) contains fruit enzymes, lemon, orange, cane sugar and maple extracts, bamboo powder and finely-milled olive kernels. Although this is one of the gentlest face scrubs I’ve ever come across I suggest that you only use it once a week if you have dry or sensitive skin. The scrub is scented with subtle notes of lemon and buttermilk. If you don’t like fragrance in your skin care this might not be the product for you, but I was impressed by how moisturizing the scrub was. This is probably because it also contains coconut oil, sunflower oil and thistle oil. A jar of the Peeling-Gesichtscreme contains 75gr and costs 17.90 Euro.

Although I have short hair and don’t really need any rich moisturizing hair products I wanted to show you this Ölmaske (Oil Mask) for the hair. I particularly love the light texture: it’s a two-phase product so you have to shake the bottle first. The oil phase contains olive oil, grapeseed kernel oil, jojoba oil plus – and this is my favourite – monoi oil! The result is a gorgeous tropical fragrance which is surprisingly subtle. I apply the Oil Mask onto the hair and leave it on for 30 minutes. You can also leave it on overnight if you want, but it works best if the head is being kept warm. The oil mask is easy to wash out, just use your regular shampoo – my hair felt moisturized and soft but not heavy. I’d be interested in hearing what the longer-haired beauties amongst you think about this mask! The colour of the oil comes from the red palm oil that is contained in the product, by the way. The mask also includes moisturizing oat proteins. The Ölmaske contains 100 ml and costs 23.50 Euro.

If you don’t have a bath tub or you simply don’t have time for elaborate beauty rituals you can also go for plan B: a foot bath! I love foot baths especially when it is cold outside, since they not only warm you up but also have an invigorating effect. The warming Fußbadesalz (Foot Bath Salts) from Joik contains ginger and mustard which boosts the blood circulation in your feet. Just add one or two spoonfuls of the yellow bath salts. A word of warning: the foot salts smell like mustard, ginger and citrus fruit which can be a little overwhelming at first. But they really work and the feet are warmed up beautifully. A jar of the Fußbad contains 250 gr and costs 10.90 Euro.

After the foot bath you can put on warm socks or, if you feel like it, use the Maske für Hände und Füße (Scrub Mask for Hand & Feet). I already introduced this scrub in the Beauty Notes of 7.8.15 this summer and am still a huge fan: you massage the thick oily paste onto the feet and soles and rinse them off with lots of water. The scrub is so moisturizing that you don’t need an additional foot cream – just pull on a pair of comfy socks and put up your feet 🙂 . A jar of the Hand- & Fußmaske contains 50 ml and costs 11.90 Euro.

No wellness day without a face mask! Last year I discovered Joik’s Chocolate Face Mask which I absolutely love – and now I am trying out the Gesichtsmaske mit Cranberry und schwarzer Johannisbeere (Face Mask with Cranberry & Blackcurrant). It’s a pink-tinted powder which is based on white clay; you add a teaspoon of liquid (tap water, hydrosol or herbal tea – anything you like!) and mix it into a thick paste. Apply it to the skin with a thin brush and leave it on for around 10 minutes. Compared to other clay masks this face mask doesn’t dry rock-hard, probably because it contains milk powder, honey and the two berry powders. Rinse off the mask and pat the face dry. I find the Joik face masks quite moisturizing, the skin feels clean and soft afterwards. A jar of the Gesichtsmaske mit schwarzer Johannisbeere und Cranberry contains 50 gr and costs 11.90 Euro.

The Joik products are available through Hilla Naturkosmetik (who also supplied the products I mentioned in the article) but you can also buy them at the Naturdrogerie and Najoba. [For more pictures click here for the original German article Ein Wellness-Sonntag mit Joik]


Just arrived: Hair styling products

Over the last few weeks a number of hair styling products seems to have collected on my desk – so I decided to introduce the five most interesting products in one post! During our last meeting Sirkku from Hilla Naturkosmetik gave me the new Styling Mousse mit starkem Halt (Styling Foam with Strong Hold) from Danish brand Unique. I had already seen this product at Unique’s stand at the Vivaness trade show this year – and now I finally had a chance to try it out! I have short hair and the styling foam created a good bit of volume and hold so I only use a small, walnut-sized amount. First you shake the bottle and then squeeze out the foam. You can apply it on dry hair (which is what I did) or put it into damp hair before blow-drying or styling it. The styling foam reminded me of Unique’s Haarspray; it has similar ingredients – like water, shellack and aloe vera – and doesn’t contain fragrance or alcohol. It is certified by Ecocert. A bottle of the Styling Mousse contains 150 ml and costs 13.99 Euro. There is also a variant for normal hold. The product is available at Hilla Naturkosmetik and other online stores.

Some time ago I received a sample of the Cream Wax from US organic brand Rahua – I liked the cream so much that I ordered the full-sized product. Usually I don’t like hair wax; it is often too heavy for my short hair. Styling creams, on the other hand, don’t offer enough hold and they can make my hair look greasy. For me, the Rahua Cream Wax is the perfect hybrid product: the texture is creamy soft at first; after you apply it to the hair (because the wax is so creamy it is really easy to distribute the product evenly) it becomes a little firmer but doesn’t harden completely. The Cream Wax offers a medium hold and the hair doesn’t clump or look stringy. So far I have only used the wax on dry hair as a finishing touch, but I think you could probably also use it for the hair tips or to define individual hair strands. Compared to the Limesoufflé from Austrian brand Less is More, the cream wax is less greasy and offers more hold. I also like the subtle Rahua fragrance. The wax is based on water and contains a plant-based emulsifier, castor oil and glycerin. A jar with 86 ml costs 29 Euro; I bought mine at Amazingy online store.

When you have short hair one of the classic styling products is hair gel. A little while ago Swiss brand Farfalla relaunched its hair care rage including the Haargel mit starkem Halt (Hair Gel with Strong Hold). It has a subtle floral fragrance with notes of vanilla; the actual level of hold I’d describe as medium – the Mascobadogel from Less is More, for example, offers a stronger hold – at least when you apply it to dry hair. However, the Farfalla hair gel leaves my hair feeling nice and soft. The BDIH-certified product is based on water, alcohol, olive leaf extract, shellac and sorbitol. A bottle contains 150 ml and costs 9.90 Euro. I received my product as a press sample. The Farfalla hair gel is available in selected organic stores or online, for example at the Naturdrogerie.

A tip from my reader Petra was the Paris-India Herbal Hair Cream from Dayna which I bought during my visit to Berlin this summer. I didn’t know this French-Indian Ayurveda-inspired brand at all and was interested to find out that it was launched by a hairdresser and an artist. The Dayna products look amazing: the shampoo is based on soap nuts, the hair oils have a great composition and there are two styling products – the hair cream I mentioned above and a hair wax. The Herbal Hair Cream has a gorgeous jasmine fragrance – I actually use it as a hair fragrance because I love jasmine so much. However, the cream also works great as hair tip treatment. It has a gel-like texture and is based on water, aloe vera, sesame oil, carrot extract, liquorice root extract and jasmine essential oil. A bottle of the hair cream contains 50ml, it costs 22 Euro. I bought my Herbal Hair Cream at Down by Retro store in Berlin – at the moment this store is the only Dayna stockist in Germany. All international Dayna retailers and salons are listed on the company’s website.

This July German organic brand Logona launched Feuchtigkeits-Hitzeschutzspray Bio-Aloe Vera (Moisturising Heat Protection Spray Aloe Vera). Although I have short hair and don’t really have to worry about hair breakage I bought the spray because I was curious: this is a type of styling product that is difficult to find amongst the organic brands. A heat protection spray is supposed to form a protective layer around each hair to reduce moisture loss from heat styling tools. Conventional sprays often use silicones or synthetic smootheners to achieve this effect. The Logona spray contains bamboo extract which is said to help protect the hair against the heat. The brand says that the spray protects hair for up to six minutes against heat of 200 C. The formula also includes moisturizing aloe vera, betaine, and hydrolised starch which helps to bind moisture within the hair. I sprayed the Hitzeschutzspray into my hair before blow-drying it – it has a refreshing citrus fragrance and doesn’t weigh the hair down. I also had the impression that my hair was indeed a little smoother. However, I’d be really interesting to hear from any long-haired readers who have used the product – has anyone tried it out yet? The heat protection spray is certified by BDIH and NaTrue and is based on water, alcohol, aloe vera juice and an emulsifier. DM’s organic own label brand Alverde has also announced that it will launch a heat protection spray soon. The spray contains 150 ml and costs 9.95 Euro. It is available in organic stores or online, for example at Najoba. [For more pictures click here for the original German article New in: Styling-Produkte fürs Haar]


Beauty Notes, 9.10.15

No, the little white gadget with the two metal balls is not what you might think 😉 . It’s actually a face massager – the Twin Ball Revitalising Face Massager – which I bought at The Body Shop in Berlin’s Central Station last week. These face massage tools are very popular in Asia; you gently go up and down the face with the two metal balls, massaging the contours of the face and around the eyes and nose – always from the inside to the outside! – and ideally after you have applied a face oil. I love the sensation; the massage is cooling and very pleasant especially if you are feeling tired and sluggish in the morning. I’ll be travelling to Asia soon, by the way, and have already decided that I definitely need to check out this product sector while I am over there!

The highlight of my week was the annual Natural Cosmetics Conference in Berlin! As always, the two days were packed with interesting lectures and presentations; I also enjoyed the meetings with the other conference participants in the coffee breaks and during the evening get-together. The conference program included market research presentations, lectures on consumer behaviour, brand development and social media, debates on the proposed international ISO guideline for organic cosmetics and what this might mean for the industry and a forum on halal certifications – click here for the complete program. Although the lectures focused on different topics they all dealt with the same question: how and where will the organic cosmetics industry go from here? Demographic changes, societal developments and changing consumer behavior are all contributing to rapidly changing market parameters. And the organic cosmetics industry – retailers, companies and brands – will have to come up with new strategies to tackle these challenges. The conference definitely gave me a lot to think about. I think I’ll also explore several of the topics in more detail at some point – and I’m already looking forward to the next Natural Cosmetics Conference!

Another Berlin purchase last week was the limited edition Coldcream Avocadoöl & Bio-Mandelöl from Rossmann’s organic label brand Alterra – this was actually a suggestion from one of my readers! A cold cream is a water-in-oil emulsion which is richer than normal creams; it forms a protective shield on the skin which locks in the moisture. This type of cream has a long tradition, by the way; it even plays a role in classical European literature – like in the The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg) from German author Thomas Mann or in the famous Madame Bovary from French author Gustave Flaubert. Alterra’s cold cream is a classic version: the product contains water, olive oil, sweet almond oil and beeswax and has a light floral scent. At the moment the cream is still too rich for my skin, I think, but in winter time this should be a great product for dry skin. I also want to try using it as a face mask.

Although here in Europe it is a little late for mosquito repellent – we are already in the middle of the autumn season – I still want to show you the following product: Botanical Fragrance & Insect Repellent from US brand Aromaflage. When I first saw this product (it was sent to me by the company) I was immediately interested. I like the unusual fragrance concept: usually insect repellants contains citronella which, as you probably know, is a really strong and overpowering scent. Aromaflage, on the other hand, is a company which combines fragrance and insect repellant and they have launched two scented anti-mosquito sprays that were inspired by South East Asian fragrance traditions. The company says that for a period of around for 2.5 hours, its fragrance sprays work just as effectively as the controversial chemical mosquito repellant diethyltoluamide (DEET). The sprays contain essential oils – in the case of the flacon shown above, the essential oils include orange, cedar and vanilla extract; it has a fruity-sweet fragrance with pleasant undertones of vanilla. The other insect repellant spray, Wild, is fresher and more woody, with notes of fir tree, cardamom and cedar. Both sprays are available as a small pocket atomizer containing 15 ml, in a full-size version (50 ml) and as a scented candle. In Germany you can buy the sprays at online perfumeries Lanur and Greenglam.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Sanddorn & Orange Shower Gel which German beauty brand Benecos sent me recently. It smells amazing: you have notes of fruity mango combined with the refreshing tartness of citrus. The shower gel is based on coco sulfates, sugar tensides and apple juice. I found it refreshing and it didn’t dry out my skin – then again I always use a body lotion or body oil after showering. A tube contains 200 ml and costs 3.99 Euro. In Germany the shower gel is available in most organic supermarkets and of course online, for example through Ecco-Verde or najoba.

Have you seen the cute little cat brooch? I couldn’t help myself, I simply had to order it – not only do I love cats but I also like UK brand Andrea Garland. Aromatherapist Andrea Garland is based in London, she manufactures skin and body care. A few years ago, Andrea started to sell lip balms in vintage cosmetics tins. When I was in London in 2011 I bought one of these tins – check out the post here (German only, sorry!); the next year I bought a squirrel tin – and now I was so charmed by the little cat’s face that I couldn’t resist. It’s a brooch which contains a lip balm. The balm is based on sweet almond oil, beeswax and shea butter and here is the best thing: you can also get refills. The brooch cost 28 GBP – not cheap but so pretty! At the moment, the brooch is only available through Andrea Garland’s online store. You can choose between a black and a white cat.

And last not least, here is another reading suggestion (German only): I wrote an article for the new blog of NaturkosmetikCamp about why I think that Instagram and organic cosmetics go really well together.

And here are some of the most existing organic beauty news I’ve seen last week:

  • UK mineral cosmetics brand Lily Lolo is launching a new eyeshadow palette, Smoke & Mirrors. More information on Instagram.
  • US brand RMS Beauty will soon introduce Coco Cleanser cleansing wipes – for more infos, click here. [Beauty-Notizen 9.10.2015]

Good-bye everyone and see you soon!


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