With all the ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ skincare and beauty products on the market these days it’s a challenge to spot the reals from the fakes. So many products label themselves ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ when they’re in fact full of unnatural, synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals. The laws surrounding the labeling of cosmetics are still vague enough to give marketers the opportunity to confuse and even deceive consumers into thinking they’re buying a natural or organic product when in fact it might simply contain only a very small quantity of just one organic ingredient. In order to ensure you are buying a truly organic product you need to look out for a stamp of approval from an organic certifying body such as The Soil Association (SA) or the Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G).
Amongst the ‘reals’ is a small English independent company called The Green Grocery. Run by founder, Skye Connelly, each product is 100% organic, certified by the OF&G, handmade, hand poured and personally checked for quality. The packaging is even 100% recyclable and, where possible, 100% fair trade. Skye sent me four sample-size pots of product to try – a body balm, hand salve, foot salve and firming face and neck treatment.
I have to say, on first impression of the products I was a little confused about what to do with them! I don’t really use anything on my hands or feet (unless they’re really dry) and I’ve never used a salve or a balm before anywhere other than my lips so it was a new experience for me. But I embraced it.
Out of the four I was pleasantly surprised by the hand salve and foot salve. The body balm was nice although I don’t think I’d use it regularly as I prefer creams or oils on my body. The face & neck treatment I must confess I didn’t try. I have so many face products on the go right now I don’t really want to add another into the mix just yet. Plus I wasn’t a huge fan of the smell of this one. The salves are great though and smell divine.
Hand Salve: Marshmallow & Lavender (£5.99 for 50ml)
This is my favourite smelling of the products I tried. If you like lavender you’ll love this. The texture of the product is very soft and oily and it sinks easily into the skin. It’s a different effect to using a cream based product; while it does moisturise as a cream would do, it doesn’t absorb quite as deeply. In fact it leaves a subtle sheen on the skin (but not in a greasy way) which makes me think this would be great as a barrier to the elements in the winter months. I really like the way this feels on my skin and it makes my hands feel soft and protected. I’ll definitely be keeping it in my handbag for when the weather gets colder and windier.
Ingredients: Olea europaea, Carthamus tinctorius, Cera alba, Althea officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia oil
Foot Salve: Avocado, Lemon & Shea Butter (£5.99 for 50ml)
The foot salve has a similar texture to the hand salve although it’s a little denser – perhaps due to the shea butter. It also smells divine – like a lemon tart – good enough to eat! Again I found this left a sheen on my feet and would work well as a barrier to air and water. It would be a great product to use if you work out or run a lot as it will help protect your feet from perspiration and friction which can dry out and harden your skin. It’s also lovely to rub into you feet, and if you’re lucky enough to have a partner who will give you a foot massage (I’m not), this is a great product for a pampering treat. Warning though – don’t run barefoot on slippery floors straight after applying (I nearly went flying!).
Ingredients: Olea europaea, Carthamus tinctorius, Persea gratissima, Butyospermum parkii, Cera alba, Citrus medica limonum
I won’t review the other two products in full as I didn’t use them enough (or at all) to do them justice. However, I would definitely recommend the hand and foot salves, and since all the products are 100% organic, they’d all be worth a try in my opinion.The body oil looks particularly appealing.
You’ll find all the Green Grocery products on their website.