A Lavender Hat Trick

Whilst I love the smell of lavender, it’s not necessarily something I’d go for when it comes to beauty products. I much prefer something like coconut or vanilla. So it’s a bit surprising that I currently have three lavender scented products on the go. They are all different, and I wanted to share them with you. Here they are:

First up is the Lavender Flower Water by Heritage Store, which I use as a toner. I know some view toners as unnecessary, but I have been using them religiously for years and they are as much part of my beauty regime as my day cream. I used to think that with the  right cleansing product there would be no need to finish off with a toner, but even with the best cleanser and meticulous routine in place, I find that my toner-soaked cotton pad still manages to find that tiny bit of subway grime I have missed. It also gets rid of any residue left around my eye area, where I hesitate to scrub too vigorously with my muslin cloth. That means I need a toner that is gentle, yet effective. And won’t break the bank. This lovely flower water ticks all boxes.

I bought this flower water following a suggestion by one of the sales assistants in WholeFoods. I was reluctant to spend over $30 on a Dr Hauschka toner, and for $6 (for 4 fl oz) this was definitely worth trying out. The ingredients are pretty much what you would expect from lavender water, namely water and lavender oil. Well, it’s actually ‘water that has been vortexed and magnetised to raise the energy to a higher vibration’ that the manufacturers believe to be more beneficial. I’ll just let that stand as it is. You can do your own research on whether water with higher vibrations is more beneficial. I will say this, though: this is a really good product.

Lavender Water

The lavender smell is not overpowering, and the product feels very gentle. It doesn’t dry out my skin or irritate it. The water is dispensed through a spray pump that produces a very fine mist, covering a fairly large area. That means you can use one quick spray to freshen up your face in the heat. The scent of lavender is delicate and doesn’t linger too long. I find this so pleasant to use, and will definitely buy it again once I’m through this bottle. It’s a very pure and very gentle toner at a bargain price. You really can’t go wrong with it.

Next up is the Lavender Body Butter by Whish. I have written about Whish in a previous blog post, where I reviewed their underarm wipes. As I mentioned then, this is not a brand that is as natural as people might think. They do use some good ingredients in their products, but these are mixed in with some questionable ones. Also, on their website this product is described as ‘natural and organic’, but shouldn’t all ingredients be organic for a product to qualify for that? Otherwise it should be ‘made with organic ingredients’. Here are the ingredients:

Water (aqua, eau), aloe barbadensis (organic aloe vera) leaf juice, butyrospermum parkii (organic shea butter), isopropyl palmitate, glycerin, helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, sclerotium gum, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) extract, oryza sativa (rice) germ oil, oryza sativa (organic rice) bran oil, lentinus edodes (shiitake) extract, algae (organic seaweed) extract, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, octyldodecanol, beeswax, rubus idaeus (organic raspberry) juice, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, xanthan gum, fragrance (parfum), citronellol, coumarin, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, limonene, linalool.

Here’s an interesting article about Phenoxyethanol on the Pai website (a company whose products are fantastic for sensitive skin). Some of it is relevant to the UK market, but it’s still interesting to read. This is just as an aside.

The reason I ended up with this product is because Ricky’s were giving out freebies (it retails at $24 for 5 oz), so I thought I might as well try it. To start off with, I wouldn’t really call this a body butter. The product is not very thick, so body lotion is more appropriate in my opinion. It’s fairly lightweight, absorbs quite quickly and serves basic moisturising needs, but it doesn’t make me feel pampered and it certainly doesn’t feel luxurious. I should probably say that I really like thick body butters, so if you are looking for something very light, this might be more congenial to your preferences.

Whish Lavender Body Butter

The consistency and feel of it reminded me too much of your standard drugstore lotion. The scent is a mix of lavender and vanilla (to my nose, at least) but it has an artificial edge to it. I couldn’t discern any of the almond or raspberry and something about the scent just didn’t sit right with me.

Had I paid $24 for this, I would have been somewhat disappointed. As it stands, I just won’t be purchasing this product. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not awful, and I’m sure lots of people will love it, but I have tried some amazing natural body butters in my time, and this just doesn’t make the cut.

Last but not least we have the Lavender & Wild Orchid Hand & Body Scrub by Shea Moisture ($9.99 for 12 oz), a sugar scrub with shea butter and cocoa butter. I really like Shea Moisture and have reviewed their products before. They use really good ingredients and are socially engaged, which is fantastic. Their products are more than reasonably priced and excellent value for money.

I bought this product primarily to help me drift off at night, as my sleep over the past couple of weeks has been a bit unsettled. The combination with the wild orchid sounded intriguing and there is definitely a ‘flowery’ scent mixed in with the lavender, although I’m not sure I’d be able to tell whether it’s an orchid or not. The product has the consistency of wet sand, and if I’m honest I prefer oilier scrubs, such as the Ila Spa one, which I absolutely adore (available through NuboNau in the USA). The sugar crystals are quite small and don’t dissolve straight away, which is great – I’m not keen on those scrubs that dissolve as soon as they touch your skin. Here’s the beautiful array of ingredients:

Sugar, Safflower Oil*, Lavender Buds, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Cymbidium Grandiflorum Flower Extract (Orchid), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Essential oil Blend, Calendula Extract, Lavender Oil, Rose Extract, Chamomile Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient

Lavender & Wild Orchid Scrub

Sounds good, right? The scrub moisturises enough to skip the body butter afterwards, but I tend to use mine anyway, out of habit more than anything else. This product is great for smoothing out any rough patches and makes my skin feel soft. There are tiny lavender buds mixed in with the product, so you really get the sense of using something with real lavender, which is why I love natural products so much. You get the real deal, not some fake fragrance concoted in a lab.

Despite my reservations about the oil content, I still like this scrub and will probably buy it again. Although I think next time I will go for the Coconut & Hibiscus one. I am also sleeping better, although that might be linked to the fact that I have recently discovered cider… 🙂

love, lou x