My Natural Beauty Journey by Lou from The Beauty Bank Blog

My Natural Beauty Journey

Hello lovely people, hope you have been enjoying the hot weather we've had the last few days! As many of you know, my due date was on Monday 17th July so this weather is not so good for me! I'm hanging in there though....and bringing you the 4th guest blog post in #MyNaturalBeautyJourney series....

This has been written by the lovely Lou who blogs at The Beauty Bank. She kindly reviewed May's Beauty of Simplicity box last month, you can read her wonderful review here.

Here is her story....

Hi I'm Lou, a fun loving green beauty blogger & mum of two (Ella, 4 & Lucas, 7 months). I've currently just returned to real life after a magical 9 months of maternity & in that time took the plunge to completely change my way of living to a natural & organic one. Trying to eat healthily, create a sense of self through my blog & self care routines & I love sharing the importance of taking care of your mental wellbeing through a good self care routine. 

Lou, The Beauty Bank

Whilst I was on maternity I became uncomfortably aware of what I was consuming and how much I loved my life. My daughter Ella loves 'playing beauty' & I've always been uncomfortable with her putting products on her skin. Firstly as she doesn't need them, and secondly due to the chemicals they had in them. I started using Neal's Yard over a year ago and it suddenly dawned on me the amazing results I had seen by comparison to my old chemically based routine, and how my makeup was counteracting my skincare process. So with this all in mind I made the switch, and have never looked back. I wanted to share my journey as it can be a bit of a minefield at times. I've come across many brands that claim to be organic or natural and just aren't. In that breath I have to say I've also tried some fantastic & genuine organic/ natural products that aren't certified & wanted to share my journey.

I've become so much more comfortable since making the switch. My skin has improved greatly and I feel I can teach my daughter the 'right way' when it comes to good self care.

As I've gone on through this journey, I also have to say that the blogging community is amazing. Everyone is supportive, communicative & it allows me to stay sociable with other adults while I've been on maternity. It's been a great project to keep me active & I've met some wonderful people.

Within the natural skincare & makeup world it was completely obvious that other consumers & bloggers strive for cruelty free products. For some reason in my old way of being I had become blind to the dark side of the industry & I really should have been more conscious in what I was buying. It's not something a lot of mainstream brands scream about, whereas here everyone is loud & proud about it, which is great. 

I personally chose natural skincare & beauty products mainly for the benefits to my skin & health to begin with. Now I embrace the power of essential oils and what they can add to your routine and general wellbeing. Furthermore, green skincare and beauty companies pride themselves in being environmentally friendly. A lot of these small changes could make a massive difference to our planet.

A little about my routines...

I love my my skincare routine, it's my pat on the back for surviving a mad day & my wake up call in the mornings.

My morning routine is super simple with a quick facial wash, spritz of facial mist followed by a good Vitamin C serum to feed the skin & a light non-greasy moisturiser. As I use a lot of different products throughout the year. My choice of brand or product differs pretty much every season.

My evening routine is a super indulgent wind down experience with a lovely cream or oil cleanser, alcohol free eye makeup remover to remove the days dirt & grime. I use a Toner to begin the hydration process, close my pores & remove remaining dirt, followed by a deeply nourishing facial oil to begin the repair process from the day. My evening moisturiser is usually a super rich and intensive cream or balm to nourish my skin & help prevent any unnecessary ageing!

My skin has been transformed by switching. I can't tell you how much better my skin is. The cleansing & toning process no longer strips my skins' natural oils leaving me dry & lifeless. Through it all, my skin is so much more balanced, moisturised & generally brighter from a natural way of being. I can't recommend it enough. Breakouts have definitely calmed down, I've just seen overall a massive improvement in all areas. I'm yet to find an eye cream that completely eradicated bags, that's one thing still on my list!

My makeup routine is super simple, as with two kids there just isn't the time to be as glamorous any more, nor do I need to be when I'm mainly running around trying to sort everything out. I always swear by a good primer to prepare the skin for my makeup, leaving 5-10 minutes for it to dry. I simply use a kabuki brush to apply liquid foundation, use a concealer to hide my dreadful bags, followed by a good brow workout & a blossoming blush to perk up my complexion. Finally I like to finish with a deep black mascara to finish the look. One of these days it will all get a bit more glam again. I'm longing for eye shadows & lipstick to make a comeback in my everyday. Sadly when you're covered in baby food, sick or dribble it's all a bit lost!

In terms of favourite brands and products, here are a few that stick in my mind as being the top contenders. Skin Elixir has the most amazing Organic Frankincense & May Chang Moisturiser. It's a truly amazing experience with the great blend of ingredients & the smell takes you away to somewhere else! You can read a full review here.

I love Bodhi & Birch's body range, I'm yet to try the skincare range. However their shower gels & body oils are so luxurious. Made with the best and most unique blend of oils to leave your skin glowing & smelling gorgeous.

I also adore Freyaluna for their ranges. Like Bodhi & Birch, Sami has created a fantastic array of body & skincare products with the most beautiful essential oils. I love how the brand strives itself on women loving and investing in themselves, creating rituals to nourish & nurture while the benefits of having a good self care routine builds a better sense of wellbeing, confidence & empowerment.

If I could only choose one product, I have to say my ultimate favourite product would have to be the Balmology Exotic Rose Facial Oil. It's one of the first products I tried and my skin was just so full of life. I loved it. Such a beautiful blend of Rose Otto, Rosehip, Hazelnut & Avocado. The super skin foods that completely nourish your skin into new life without leaving a trace of that oily or greasy feel afterwards. It's the best I've tried.

The biggest struggle for me has been hair care. Hair care is much more expensive than my old brand & finding a truly natural yet effective brand has been difficult. At some point affordability has to come into play & this is where I struggle.

My advice for anyone looking to make the switch would be to start off with certified products if you want to do it properly. Look for the logo's to ensure what you,re buying is truly natural or organic. As you read & learn more about what ingredients should & shouldn't go into your skincare or makeup, start experimenting. I've been caught out a few times & somehow feel cheated in my attempts to be natural & green. Have fun & enjoy the aromatic experience that natural skincare has to offer, & if you're stuck, head to my blog for brand and product reviews and green beauty guides. 

I would encourage anybody to make the change. The health benefits, skin benefits, the sense of care & wellbeing you get, It's magical. All you need to do is read one or two articles on why to make the change & you'll see. The amount of unregulated chemicals that go into cosmetics that are actually detrimental to your skin & overall health. I'm shocked as to why more isn't being done about it. Everything we consume as food or drink for our bodies is thoroughly tested & regulated, yet for our bodies largest organ (our skin) it's not! Now is the time for change. As society becomes more aware of healthy lifestyles, the importance of taking care of ourselves & what we consume, it has to happen & it's great to say we're a part of that.

Lou x 

Thanks Lou for sharing your journey. Like me, I didn't make the switch until my early 30's either but noticed a huge difference in my skin within just a few days. It really is remarkable. At the same time it's worrying about what harm I've been doing to my skin and body over the years. It's the accumulation of many different chemicals/toxins that build up over time that can cause problems, so even if you don't make the switch entirely, every little helps to reduce your overall toxic body burden. I also must say, I'm struggling with hair care too. If anyone has any suggestions for myself or Lou, feel free to comment below. 

Thanks for reading, I will be bringing you more stories over the next few weeks....and hopefully some good news soon on the safe arrival of baby Ronan. 

Take care, Emma x 

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