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Winter Organic Beauty Tips for the Modern Snow Queen and her King!

Calling snow queens (and kings), it’s time to prepare your skin for winter using healing and replenishing organic beauty oils, butters and elixirs made from potent herbs, flowers and plants in their most active, unadulterated state to nurture, soothe and feed your skin with calming nutrients, despite tempests, arctic blasts and icy rain and snow.

Cloak your skin in an organic beauty blanket 

In winter, it is perfectly natural that our activity slows down and we long to stay inside, to keep warm, to hibernate, and deal with the effects of the cold and short, darker days.  As a result, there is less blood flow to the skin’s surface and fewer nutrients and vitamins are absorbed into the skin. Add that to the lack of sunshine (which lowers the levels of vitamin D absorbed by the skin), resulting in the skin losing its rose colour and becoming paler, together with the constant transition between cold air and central indoor heating (which makes the face dryer and more sensitive), and the end result can be dry, sensitive, vulnerable rosacea-prone skin that has difficulty in adjusting and adapting to the constant climatic changes.

winter beauty skin 1

So what is the answer? Just as we feed our body organic food because we know that it has been scientifically proven to offer higher levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, why not do the same for our skin? The skin, just like our internal organs, does not easily recognise synthetic substances that are added into most mass-market beauty products and this can lead to allergies and irritation. Our skin needs the best organic and biodynamic food just like we do. When you switch to organic skincare without a plethora of obscure fillers, chemicals and harsh preservatives, you will find that you skin no longer needs to be constantly moisturized and a little goes a long way.

The biodynamic gardens at Kloster Wessobrunn, HQ for Martina Gebhardt

Honing the power of organic, biodynamically grown plants is the solution to rejuvenate our skin, as this practice focuses on enriching the soil with natural compost and crop rotation, and providing the optimal ground to grow fresher and more potent ingredients in ecological harmony. Brands such as Martina Gebhardt, who grows her own biodynamically-farmed plants for her skincare line in a restored convent in Germany, uses her organic herb and flower extracts that are proven to be richer in vitamins and nutrients, thus giving the skin the best organic beauty food money can buy. Are you intrigued? Here are some of the very best organic and biodynamic beauty brands to try, together with tips on how to protect and nourish your skin during winter, using the riches of nature’s own botanical garden.

Feed your skin with nourishing plant-based creams and butters

There’s a common misconception that exfoliating your skin constantly is the secret to radiant, soft skin. However, the truth is, our skin naturally sheds skin and by constantly taking away layers and layers of skin with scrubs and acid toners, the face is left more vulnerable and more prone to redness, irritation and increased sensitivity and can possibly exacerbate dryness, especially during colder months. When the temperature starts dropping, this is the prime time to switch to soothing and gentle organic creams to combat the damage done by the biting cold and wind. When shopping for your winter skincare routine, always be on the lookout for products containing nourishing ingredients, such as rose extract, shea butter and essential oils, the “soul food” for your skin. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin A and E, which are scientifically proven to help retain moisture, restore the skin’s resistance against harsh elements and improve the overall texture of the skin.

rose extract for winter beauty 1

Hero products: Weleda’s Skin Food is still the undefeated hero when it comes to winter skincare. With a gorgeous smells and thick texture, this cream does all the things it says on the tube in an instant: the wild pansy, chamomile, calendula and rosemary, known for their anti-inflammatory and collagen-producing properties, are the key ingredients that make this cream so potent in treating dry skin during winter times. As this cream is made of only natural, organic extracts, it gets easily absorbed into the skin, and within a few applications, you will see a significant difference in the texture and look of your face.

Our new-found marvel, however, is Martina Gebhardt. You’ll not find anything that is not a biodynamically organic ingredient and is the embodiment of simple, soulful skincare. Gebhardt offers a variety of ranges depending on skin problems; the Rose Cream, with the high concentration of vitamin A and C and antioxidants found in the pure rose extract, is perfect to balance the hydration levels and soothe sensitive skins, whereas if you’re looking for something more intense, the Shea Butter cream is a great choice, as its composition, free of any essential oils, alcohol, herbal extracts that could irritate allergy-prone faces, is key for hypersensitive skins and for preventing dryness and protect against aggressive environmental irritants. For people with mature skin, the Happy Aging range is the one to go for, as it contains pomegranate and grapeseed oils, known for their anti-ageing effect thanks to the antioxidants found in these ingredients.

Use face masks to boost your skin defence

Who doesn’t love a good pampering with a face mask? But while during warmer days, applying face masks is more of a treat to yourself, as soon as winter makes its way, it becomes more of a necessity. As they are more intensive products, by adding face masks into your winter beauty routine twice a week, you’re bringing in the “cavalry” of skincare and will greatly improve the look and feel of your skin, as well as its resistance to the harsh elements. Use soothing and hydrating formulas that contain nourishing ingredients, such as jojoba, sweet almond and avocado oils. These ingredients contain high levels of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which offer the necessary nutrients to retain the skin’s moisture, promote skin regeneration and improve skin elasticity.

avocado 1

Hero product: Our top pick is Dr. Hauschka’s Hydrating Cream Mask; this gentle face mask, imbued with almond, avocado and jojoba oils, is designed to rescue dry, damaged skin. The wax structure of the jojoba oil is similar to the natural oils of our skin, which makes this soft, creamy texture absorbs into the face in minutes, leaving you with baby-soft skin, whereas the vitamins A and E offer the skin a boost of collagen and nourishment and the rose wax in this product locks in the moisture to keep the hydration levels throughout the day. We’re also in love with the Martina Gebhardt Happy Aging Vital mask and the Tata Harper Moisturizing mask. The first one, designed for mature skins, hones the power of sweet almond oil, honey and evening primrose oil and their high doses of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E, to combat anti-aging signs and dehydration, whereas the Tata Harper mask is targeted towards dry, dull skin (thanks to the shea butter and olive oil, well known for restoring skin moisture) but also acne-prone skin, as the coconut fruit extract has antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that help soothe inflammation and fight acne infections.

Add oils into your routine

During winter time, face oils are the piece de resistance in the battle against damage caused by the cold weather. Adding natural, organic oils, such as argan or rosehip oil, into your skincare routine will feed your skin and will make a difference in texture and look almost immediately, as the skin will feel softer, bouncier and more radiant in just a few uses. Make sure you only use organic, plant-based products; their structure, similar to our sebaceous oils, will absorb quickly into your skin and offer immediate relief, while also giving your skin much needed hydration and protection against the elements. Studies have also shows that rosehip oil contains a high amount of vitamin A and essential fatty acids, which help improve skin texture.

Rose Hips 3

Hero product: We’re in love with Pai Rosehip Oil at the moment, a beautiful, all organic product that does exactly what it says on the pack. The high concentrations of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids will give a boost of collagen to your skin, all while the vitamins A and C packed in this oily goodness will hydrate and repair damaged skin. Another one of our favourites is the Inlight Organic Daily Face Oil. This handmade, organically certified bottle of goodness is perfect for hydrating and repairing your skin. Its star ingredients, blue mallow, rosehip oil, lavender, evening primrose oil and jojoba oil, renowned for their hydrating and pumping properties thanks to the vitamins and antioxidants in them, will give your skin an immediate moisture boost and leave your skin with a rose-hued glow by just massaging a pea-amount onto your face, neck and décolletage. Not only that, but the smell of vanilla, with a hint of chocolate, will uplift your senses.

Written By Andreea Dulgheru and Alison Jane Reid. Research by Andreea Dulgheru. 

How to Buy Martina Gebhardt Organic Skincare

If you would like to purchase Martina Gebhardt products, visit our online shop here to support us to create more informative pieces just for you and promote good journalism. #Media4Good

We’re back again with yet another new Good Organic Hair Salon entry, especially tailored for our lovely readers up in Scotland. Whether you live in the land of shortbread and tartan, or you’re just passing by and you are in need of a good, organic blow-out, we found one of the best places to visit to get a well-deserved hair pampering and make your tresses look fabulous with the power of herbs and plants: Alchemy Creative Collective.

Alchemy Creative Collective Organic Hair Salon

alchemy hair salon glasgow 1

Philosophy

Located in the vibrant and bustling city centre of Glasgow in a beautiful, rustic-looking building with floor-to-ceiling windows, Alchemy is one of the leading organic hair salons in Scotland. With a passion for great, organic hair dressing and haircare and a skilled team of professionals whose masterpieces have been featured in glossy magazines, such as Elle and GQ, this salon is fully dedicated to providing the best natural and organic hair treatments, cuts and styling services, whether you want a traditional blowout or a funky, avant-garde hairstyle based on the latest trends. Alchemy combines years of expertise with relaxed, trendy vibes and a warm atmosphere to give customers a great organic hair experience, tailored to their specific preferences.

alchemy hair salon glasgow hair 5

Price range

Mid range

Services

The salon offers a variety of cutting, styling and colour treatments, which the customer can choose from after a hair consultation. In terms of hair cutting services, a cut and blowdry package costs between £30 – £65 for women (based on the stylist chosen), and £10 – £15 for children up to 12 years old. A total clipper cut, shampoo & head massage for men costs between £20 – £25 and the salon also offers beard trims (£7 – £10) and a style, head massage and blowdry package (£35 – £45). For colouring, ladies have a number of options, including a colour blowdry (£25), a permanent tint (costing between £50 – £75) or a semi permanent tint (costing between £35 – £55). Students have a 25% discount off all hairdressing services with selected stylists Monday-Wednesday 9.00am-5.00pm.

alchemy hair salon glasgow hair 1

The salon also offers hair replacement system services, with a free initial consultation. The hair system price starts from £319 and the application process, including cut, styling and finish, costs £150 for men and £200 for women.

Star Buy

Davines Flamboyage (£65 – £105) – colour service which blends bright and saturated tones for a natural looking hair colour.

alchemy hair salon glasgow hair 2

Products

Alchemy only uses the Davines hair range for both colouring, cleaning and styling services. The award-winning company, founded in 1983 by the Bollati family in Parma, Italy, is dedicated towards providing professional organic products from shampoos to hair dyes in over 70 countries, with a clear emphasis on sustainable beauty. The company is well-loved by A-list celebrities as well, from Emma Stone to Nicole Richie. The products are made from natural, organic ingredients and are not tested on animals, and the company uses recyclable material wherever possible. One of their popular product ranges is The Circle Chronicles, which won the Marie Claire Italy Prix d’Excellence de la Beauté award in 2018.

Address

Alchemy Salon, 14 South Frederick Street, Glasgow, G1 1HJ, Telephone: 0141 255 0550, Email: reception@iamalchemy.co.uk; Website: https://www.iamalchemy.co.uk/ 

alchemy hair salon 2

 

Written by editorial intern Andreea Dulgheru. Andreea is studying for an MA in journalism at Kingston University

Clothing with a conscience: the sustainable scarf of dreams

Your grandmother knitting away inside the house for the family, playing in the snow as a child, taking a stroll through a park while enchanting snowflakes are dancing around in the air: all these images come to life through this beautiful, handcrafted, fair trade wool scarf from People Tree.

people tree scarf 3

Crafted by artisans from Nepal with a heavyweight ribbed-knit from 100% wool, which comes in two colours: a seductive, rich burgundy reminiscent of pomegranates, and an magnetic, deep blue as though made from sapphires, this scarf will keep you protected from the harsh cold, while simultaneously adding a luxurious and sophisticated pop of colour to your winter outfit. The scarf would make a wonderful investment fashion piece or Christmas gift to treasure.

The simplicity, yet attention to detail is what makes this scarf so special. Instead of opting for the traditional tartan or multi-coloured patterns, the artisans working for People Tree have chosen to let the vibrant colours and texture shine, as the intricate honeycomb pattern is simply a sight for sore eyes and it combines elegance and comfort in this fair trade piece of clothing.

The eco-friendly fashion winter hero

There’s a reason why pure wool is a staple to keep the cold at bay during winter time: the fibres trap dry, warm air near the skin, protecting you from the harsh wind and low temperatures much more effectively during the cold months. This, together with the long durability of the wool fibres, and the hypoallergenic properties of the material, are only a few of the amazing qualities of this 100% wool handmade scarf.

But it’s not just this that makes this scarf so sublime: it’s the people. No machine has touched this garment; it was made by artisans at the Kumbeshwar Technical School in Nepal, who produce high-quality, hand-knitted cardigans, jumpers, hats and other clothing items and accessories. Every loop and every inch of this scarf has its unique story and journey, and just like us, there are no two alike. And by buying this scarf, you’re keeping the story alive, as the funds are used to further support fair trade income-generating programmes for its producers and allow artisans to continue their dreams of making beautiful clothing without compromising their integrity or family life.

People Tree Textured Scarf – £49.00

Written by editorial intern Andreea Dulgheru. Andreea is studying for an MA in journalism at Kingston University

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Tabitha James Kraan photo 1

Everyone deserves to have great hair, and we at Ethical Hedonist believe the only way to achieve that is to use all-natural, organic hair products made from the freshest and most potent herbs and plants; after all, we feed our body the best organic food, so why not do the same with hair? But often times, experts know better, whether it’s about a fabulous blow-out or reviving your tresses with chemical-free dye. We are creating the Best Organic Hair Salon Guide to offer you the top salons in the UK where you can get fabulous organic hair care, without contaminating your locks and scalp with toxic substances, but instead nourishing them with sustainable and cruelty-free products, imbued with all the minerals, vitamins and nutrients Mother Nature has to give.

Tabitha James Kraan Organic Hair Salon

organic hair salons 1

Philosophy

Set in the picturesque Cotswolds, home to A-list celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant, Tabitha James Kraan is a trailblazing organic hairdresser, with a plethora of industry awards, including the Best Regional Hair Salon award at the Marie Claire Hair Awards 2019,  her own organic product range and a cutting edge organic hair salon in the pretty, golden-hued village of Stow.  (Think Kate Winslet’s cottage in the Holiday). Like all top hair stylists, Tabitha is an artist at heart, and she combines a fascination for organic beauty and plants with running a destination organic hair salon with trendy, avant-garde styles that continues to evolve and reinvent itself at the same pace as fashion and hair trends.

Her award-winning salon, with an eclectic design that combines city style with the elegant and cosy Cotswolds atmosphere, aims to provide a luxurious and relaxing experience for clients. Tabitha James Kraan’s philosophy is delivering holistic hair treatments, using only organic ingredients with the most potent vitamins, nutrients and minerals to rejuvenate and nourish the hair and scalp, without polluting the skin with harsh or irritating chemicals.

Tabitha James Kraan hair salon 4

Price range

Mid – high end

Services

The salon offers a range of services, from cuts & finishes, to colouring and highlighting using the salon’s own organic hair product range researched and formulated by Tabitha for 20 years, following an initial consultation with the client. A regular cleanse, cut and finish costs between £40 – £95 for ladies and between £38 – £60 for men, depending on the stylist chosen to offer this service. Teens have a 10% discount on haircuts, which start from £20 – £30 pounds. Semi-permanent colour treatments range between £35 – £65, whereas a design colour treatment starts from £60 and can go up to £145. More information about treatments can be found online.

The salon also offers additional services, such as the Bespoke Balancing Treatment (£10), using Tabitha James Kraan’s signature Scented Hair Oil and The Hair Elixer (£30) for coloured or damaged hair.

Star Buy

The Booster (£8) – a scalp massage with coconut and argan oil to increase circulation and offer the hair a healthy shine

Products

For all their treatments, the salon uses its own range of organic hair products, launched in 2015 which are available for purchase online. The range includes her signature Scented Hair Oil (certified by the Soil Association Cosmos), with a delicate aroma of rose, and Dry Organic Shampoo (two versions for fair and dark hair). All ingredients used, like argan oil (restores hair moisture thanks to vitamin E and fatty acids) and goji berry oil (rich in vitamins A and C, which help with the iron absorption in the scalp) are certified organic and none of the products are tested on animals.

Best kept secret: Use the Dry Organic Shampoo to create your own fabulous, big hair blow, that will also soothe an itchy scalp.Tabitha James Kraan organic dry shampoo

Eco Cred

Besides focusing on organic hair care, Tabitha James Kraan hair salon is passionate about environmental sustainability. The salon runs on 100% energy from renewable sources, uses recyclable towels and cleaning products and uses low-energy light bulbs, as well as recycles 85% of total waste.

Address

Tabitha James Kraan salon screenshot

Tabitha James Kraan Organic Hairdressing, Brewery Yard, Stow on the Wold, GL54 1AA, +44 1451 831 999

Written by editorial intern Andreea Dulgheru. Andreea is studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism at Kingston University.

We are growing our organic hair guide as we speak! Get in touch if you are the founder of an organic hair salon or company and would like to be featured in our guide.

 

Martina Gebhardt, biodynamic skincare founder

Ah, biodynamic shea butter: what can’t this ingredient do? From its proven moisturising and healing abilities, thanks to the high concentration of fatty acids and the rich tree nut oils that soak into the skin and seal in moisture, to its power to aid the skin’s natural collagen production and its ability to combat oxidative stress and encourage healthy cell turnover (as a result of oleic, linoleic & stearic acids), organic shea butter does it all. We know how great this gift from Mother Nature is, and we want to offer you a chance to discover its amazing properties yourself!

Sheabutter biodynamic beauty by Martina Gebhardt

We’re giving away a Martina Gebhardt Shea Butter Trial Kit, worth £30, to one of our fantastic, dedicated readers! The kit contains:

  • 1 x Shea Butter Cream, 15 ml
  • 1 x Shea Butter Lotion, 30 ml
  • 1 x Shea Butter Tonic, 30 ml
  • 1 x Shea Butter Cleanser, 30 ml

The organic and biodynamic winter beauty hero for dry and sensitive skin

The biodynamic gardens at Martina Gebhardt Germany

This luxurious skincare range is tailored specifically for hypersensitive and allergy-prone skin, as it does not contain any essential oils, alcohol, herbal extracts that might cause a reaction, and is free of bee products, synthetic ingredients or mineral oil. The Shea Butter range is certified by Demeter and is not tested on animals.

The kit is great for travel lovers, as it will fit perfectly in your carry-on bag, or even for people who love having a little beauty treat in their handbag for any skincare emergencies or just extra papering on the road. Not to mention the simple, yet decadent glass bottles are great for keeping the products fresh (the skincare range does not contain any preservatives, just natural, organic ingredients), but also gives a lesson in sustainability, as there is no plastic packaging.

To be in for a chance to win this luxurious skincare gift, leave a comment down below telling us why you think you should be the lucky winner and make sure you share our first article in the Good Organic Hair Salon Guide on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winners will be announced on 14th of December.

You can purchase Martina Gebhardt products here:  Buy Martina Gebhardt Biodynamic Skincare 

Written by editorial intern Andreea Dulgheru. Andreea is studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism at Kingston University.