If you are new to natural skin care and looking to change to more skin friendly products you probably have many questions and whereas we are more than happy to answer any queries you may have, here you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Q: What do Natural Creams Look Like?
A: If you have only been using highstreet cosmetics, you may find our natural creams a little richer. Start with a tiny amount to see how much your skin requires and if necessary apply some more. If you find the creams on the heavy side, don't be put off. Next time you put some on make sure your skin is slightly damp (from face washing or apply a face toner) and use a little less. There is nothing in our products to clog your pores, just wonderful oils to soothe and nourish your skin.
Some of our creams have the consistency of a standard 'white' cream, others are a lot richer and have the look of a butter, balm or ointment. To be sure you understand what product you are ordering, simply check the ingredients list. If the product contains purified water or flower water (hydrolat), it will be of similar texture to a conventional white cream. If the product contains only oils and butters or waxes, then it will look like a butter.
Q: What Do Natural Shampoo & Shower Gel Look Like?
A: Our Shampoo & Shower Gels, based on the mild sugar derived detergent Coco Glucoside, look very similar to standard shampoo and shower gel, just a little bit cloudy and runny jelly like. They are very gentle and will not strip your skin from natural moisture. Because they are mild, you may find they don't foam as much as commercial products, but rest assured they cleanse just as effectively and will not damage your skin or hair. For best results when using a sulfate free shampoo, wet your hair thoroughly, apply the shampoo and wait a minute or so before rinsing.
Q: How Do I Use Natural Creams?
A: It is best to use a clean spatula or even a cotton bud to remove the creams from their jars as opposed to fingers, which may harbour bacteria and contaminate the creams. If you do decide to use your fingers, please make sure they are really clean. All our face creams and lotions are packaged in airless dispensers so there would be no contamination from fingers, simply apply like any other product.
If you are using a natural cream for the first time, it is advisable to do a patch test first, just to make sure you are not sensitive to any of the ingredients. We do sell our creams and butters in Travel sizes 15 ml, which are perfect for trialing a product over a period of a couple of weeks.
Q: How Much Do I put on?
Although we have tried our best to formulate products to match most skin types there would still be variations and the condition of your skin. Very often we hear from customers they have very dry skin, but their skin turns out to be anything but dry - they were using a very harsh cleanser. During the winter time, your skin will change and again, in the summer months. As you see there are many factors that will affect the condition of your skin.
For these reasons we recommend you to apply a little bit of cream on, see how much is absorbed by your skin, and if necessary, apply a little more. Your skin will only absorb what it needs, and any excess amount will stay on the surface and may give you a shiny face. As with all natural skin care, a little does go a long way, so try applying your natural cream sparingly and you will soon get used to the amount of cream your skin type needs.
Q: How long does it take to see any results?
A: It takes around 30 days or so for the deeper skin layers to come to the service and renew themselves. When switching from synthetic skin care, it is normal for the skin to go through a period of 'detox' while it clears away all toxins built up over the years, before it starts healing and looking healthy. Although our tester pots are good to discover if you are sensitive to any of ingredients, like the scent or the consistency of the product, it is best to continue using the cream for about month in order to see if there is an improvement in your skin tone, we are sure there will be.
Q: Why does my latest cream have a different consistency/colour/scent?
A: Unlike mass produced products, all Handmade Naturals products are made by hand, meaning everything is measured by hand and it is absolutely normal to have a slight variation in richness or consistency from one batch to another. Because all our ingredients are natural and are crop dependent, there can be a variation in the colour, richness or smell of an oil too, which can also affect the consistency of the final product. Any difference in scent or colour is due to a natural variation of the ingredients used to prepare it. This does not affect the quality of your cream.
Q: How Do I Store Natural Creams?
A: Due to the non-reliance on chemical preservatives, true natural creams will detiriorate faster than highstreet skin care products.
The creams are best stored away from direct sunlight and below 25C. Most creams have a shelf life of about 12 months unopened and 3-4 months once you start using them.
During warm weather, it is normal for the butters and creams to become a little runnier and slight separation of oils to occur. Do not worry, this is entirely normal, simply stir or shake the product to emulsify the ingredients. This does not affect the quality of the cream.
Q: HOW NATURAL IS NATURAL ?
A: Some people believe that 100% natural skin care should be made purely from vegetable oils, a thickening wax (beeswax, carnauba wax etc) and nothing else. All of our body butters are just that - a pure blend of cold pressed oils & butters! However, since these products do not contain water, they can be a little bit greasy and should be used straight after a shower (on the body) or in combination with a flower water (for facial use), their application requires more time to allow the product to soak into the skin, and this alternative way to moisturise your skin doesn't suit everyone, especially those that have a busy lifestyle.
Most people know that oil and water don't mix together, unless you want to shake everything vigorously prior to each application, something we did try a while back and didn't enjoy much. To make a light cream or lotion, which will not separate after a week or so after being made, an emulsifying wax should be added to the formulation to keep everything together. There is a lot of controversy about the emulsifiers used in skincare today, as many contain sls, pegs and other synthetic ingredients.
However, after extensive research we were able to source our emulsifying wax, which is extracted purely from plant oils and the process involved to produce it, does not employ the use of any chemicals or solvents. As a result we have been able to formulate a number of skin care products part of our range, which are light in texture, soak easily into the skin and are a joy to use.
And they are still 100% natural!
Q: SOAP or SOAP FREE?
A: You can use natural handmade soap not only for your body, but for your hair too, and if you would like to go the completely natural route, soap is perhaps the most natural product to use. However, soap doesn't suit everybody. If you have a long hair or would like to achieve a sleek appearance, washing it with soap, full of natural glycerine, simply can't achieve the result you want or expect. Of course, you can add an acidic rinse to your hair care regime, to counteract the coating effect soap has on the hair, but this may not suit everyone.
The other choice you have is to use a soap free wash/shampoo. These products are made with a foaming ingredient and the source, production method & chemical formula of these is what is most important. SLS (whether derived from petroleum oil or coconut oil) is extremely drying for the skin and irritating to the airways & eyes. The truth is that all sulfates (even ALS - ammonium laureth sulfate, as used by a popular 'natural' UK brand) are almost as harsh as SLS itself and changing to another sulfate based product may not improve anything, especially if there is a skin complaint involved. Throwing a few herbal extracts to such a product, will not make it any more natural or gentle compared to all the conventional washes that are full of chemicals.
Sulfates aside, there is another group of foaming ingredients - the glucosides (decyl, coco & lauryl) which are the mildest soap free foaming ingredients available. The glucosides are derived from either coconut, corn or palm oil, and because they are produced without chemicals, they have been approved by EcoCert as a green alternative to the widely available SLS.
All our face washes, shampoos, shower gels and hand washes are based on coco glucoside and offer a mild, natural and skin friendly alternative to SLS based foaming products.