Last week I spent a very fun day at Skins Matters Towers looking at all the lovely skincare products entered into the problem skin category. Never have I felt so lucky to have eczema! We had a really great day and it was lovely to see Alex Gazzola – coeliac and health journalist, Michelle Berridale-Johnson of Foods Matter and Sue Cane (gluten free beer expert). It was also great to learn so much about beauty products from expert skincare blogger Sarah at @Sugarpuffish and from a producer of organic natural beauty products, Abi at @Odylique. One of my highlights was ten laps of the garden with Alex and Abi to burn off the huge lunch we managed to stuff down. It’s hard work being a FreeFrom Skincare judge! But also so much fun. I look forward to the judging every year and very proud to be a problem skin judge again this year! Who knew cleansers, moisturisers and balms could be so much fun!
There are some fantastic products out there from the bigger well know companies and also from small independent companies who are creating natural products because of a need in the family, a passion for skincare or because they can’t find what they need for their own sensitive skin in the shops.
Where do you buy your skincare products?
If you have eczema you probably have tubs of emollients which are great. I’m not knocking Epaderm or Diprobase or any of the other brilliant products out there, I use so much I could never get by without them. But I don’t want to always be smothering on gloopy, petroleum based slimy emollients, I want something a bit more special. But where do you start? How do you decide which shampoo or cleanser is actually natural and safe for your skin? Because you might know this but a huge percentage of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. It’s just as important to take care with skincare products as it is with the food you eat.
If you often struggle to find natural, healthy shampoo, moisturiser and make-up for your sensitive skin or just want to be using products that are better for your body and health, there are some amazing products in the FreeFrom SkinCare Awards line-up this year. I discovered some really great and also very affordable options which I will definitely be buying in the shops.
You may have to buy some of these lovely products online but many can be found in health food shops and Waitrose so keep your eyes peeled and get to know which products are really good for sensitive skin, because Dove and Sanex are not quite as natural and good as they might seem from the marketing.
Whilst Sanex doesn’t irritate my skin, its ingredient are not really that special so I’m well on the way not to finding some healthier and more healing, natural washing products and shampoos. Watch this space for blogs.
Let’s get down the awards stuff
Over 150 products from more than 100 skincare brands have made the shortlist of the fourth annual FreeFrom Skincare Awards, here and see a picture of me sniffing some moisturiser or something on my hand, looks like I’m not quite sure about that one…
Neal’s Yard Remedies lead the way with five shortlisted products, followed by four brands with four shortlisted products – Ayumi, Botanicals, JustBe Botanicals and Zk’in.
The shortlist follows a two-month period of intensive testing of the entries by a 100-strong team of dedicated Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible testers, each with sensitive or reactive skin, or with a specific interest in natural, organic and ‘free from’ skincare.
Both the Family Skincare and Face Care (‘Leave on’) categories – sponsored by NATorigin and Barefoot SOS respectively – boast a healthy variety of creams, balms and ointments, while the new ‘Fresh and Fragrant’ category includes a mix of facial spritzes, deodorants and feminine care products.
“The Shortlist includes only products which performed well on a day-to-day basis and offered longer term benefits too,” said Alex Gazzola, Awards Co-ordinator. “It’ll be for our panels of expert judges to have a final say on overall winners!”
Expert judging panels assess products for ‘free from’ qualities, skin-healthy ingredients, innovation, clarity of labelling, preservative content, and much more. Judges include beauty journalists, product formulators, cosmetic experts, skincare bloggers and allergy specialists.
Winners and runners-up in all thirteen categories – plus an additional award for Best FreeFrom Skincare Brand, Best FreeFrom Achievement, and of course Best Overall FreeFrom Skincare Product – will be announced at the Love Natural, Love Organic show at Olympia on 3rd July 2015, to be presented by Janey Lee Grace.
The Shortlist is at www.skinsmatter.com/freefrom_skin_care_awards/shortlist-15.html
Notes for Editors:
The Free From Skincare Awards were founded in 2012 to encourage and reward manufacturers of skincare products that are ‘free from’ many of the allergens, ingredients, additives and artificial fragrances associated with skin sensitivities, health concerns, as well as ethical, personal and environmental issues.
They are run by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, editor of the FreeFrom Matters allergy and intolerance resource sites, and organiser of the hugely successful Free From Food Awards, now in their eighth year, and Alex Gazzola, deputy editor of SkinsMatter.com and a health writer specialising in allergies, coeliac disease and intolerances.
The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible – www.beautybible.com
Love Natural, Love Organic Show – www.lnlo.co.uk
NATorigin – www.natorigin.co.uk
Barefoot SOS – www.barefoot-sos.com
Janey Lee Grace – www.imperfectlynatural.com