I’ve been raving about Neal’s Yard Remedies to everybody I know for a long time now, and I’m finally getting around to writing a proper review. Somehow skincare products are so much harder to write about, and it seems that people are not always keen to read about them. But good things need to be shared, and NYR definitely deserves some mention!
Neal’s Yard Remedies is an independent producer and retailer of organic natural health and beauty products. It was founded in 1981 in London as an apothecary focusing on herb-based remedies, and had a holistic approach to health and beauty. To date, the company still passionately believes in discovering and delivering natural ways to improve health and wellbeing, and has a strong ingredients policy that bans animal testing, genetically modified organisms, nanoparticles, and synthetic ingredients. NYR has also entered into a research program with the University of Westminister and worked with Kingston University to publish various papers on alternative medicine.
I wouldn’t profess to be a health nut, nor am I committed to using only organic and natural products, because firstly I’m too lazy, and secondly I’ve been disillusioned by too many ineffective products bearing the organic/natural label (read my rants here). So it was with apprehension that I approached Neal’s Yard Remedies, and was pleasantly surprised!
My first foray into Neal’s Yard Remedies’ skincare line is centered around 2 products from their Frankincense Collection. Frankincense is known to improve skin tone and condition, and acts as a balancer to reduce excess dryness or oilyness, returning the skin back to its equilibrium condition. Its regeneration properties help to diminish spots and scars, and encourage the growth of new skin cells. NYR uses the world’s first FairWild certified organic frankincense, sourced from trees that grow organically in Northern Kenya, far away from chemical contamination. It is gathered by the women of the Samburu Tribe, providing them a source of income to send their children to schools, and building a working water pump within their village for easily accessible safe drinking water.
The Rejuvenating Frankincense Refining Cleanser is a cream cleanser that goes on silkily and does not feel heavy for a cream texture. It melts upon contact with skin so it is easy to massage over a dry face, and quickly goes to work dissolving all traces of makeup. I like to leave it on for a couple of minutes when my skin feels particularly dehydrated, and then gently wipe it off under running water using the soft organic muslin cloth that came free with the cleanser. My skin feels clean without any greasy feeling, and all trace of makeup is effectively removed. The muslin cloth also serves to gently exfoliate and refine the surface of the skin.
The Frankincense Intense Cream contains plant stem cells from Gardenia and a peptide complex to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, firm, tone, boost suppleness and hydrate. It has a fairly heavy cream texture, but is quickly absorbed into the skin and does not leave an oily film. It feels very soothing and moisturizing on my skin, and I wake up the next morning looking visibly rested, brighter and firmer. This cream really impressed me as I was not expecting much from a non-departmental store label and at its price point (there I said it, that’s how my stereotyped mind works!). And to be completely honest, I think it is more effective than many more expensive high end creams I’ve tried!
I must admit that I had some reservations about using these products initially, as I have had bad experiences with products containing essential oils in the past. But ever since I got to know Neal’s Yard Remedies, I’ve developed an appreciation for high quality, pure essential oils, you can read more about that here. The 2 products above have a strong natural scent of frankincense, which is different from the floral and light-hearted scents favored by most mass market brands; and takes some getting used to. However, I got accustomed to it much quicker than I had expected, and the scent never caused any headaches or irritation as synthetic fragrances tend to.
I also received a set of mini deluxe-sized versions of some of NYR’s best sellers.
If you are in search for something that smells decadently beautiful, do try NYR’s best selling Wild Rose Beauty Balm. This is a typical balm cleanser that feels quite solid in the jar, but melts upon contact with the skin to dissolve all traces of makeup. It contains high levels of wild rosehip oil, an antioxidant that helps repair, firm and smooth the skin. It also contains geranium, starflower, hemp and rosemary oil, to help decongest and enrich the skin, restoring its natural radiance.
There is also an organic muslin cloth included for washing off the balm from the face, and as a light exfoliation. I found this Wild Rose Beauty Balm really helps soothe my skin when it is feeling stressed and irritated – I leave it on for a few minutes while I am in the shower, it mingles with the steam and forms a comforting mask of sorts, and then I gently remove it. My skin usually feel much more hydrated after this. But as with all balm cleansers, I would follow with a bit of foaming cleanser just to remove the residual oils from my face.
I also received a small deluxe sample of the White Tea Enriching Facial Mask, which is a clay mask suitable for the most sensitive and dry skin. When I first received it, I was so confused by the name that I thought it was a leave-on overnight moisturizing mask, and that was what I did! Imagine leaving a clay mask on overnight, most of us would have turned into dried prunes, but amazingly, this one did not! Now before you attempt my mistake, all I am trying to illustrate with this story is the fact that this little nugget indeed cleanses without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
I have several clay masks on hand (not least of which this and this), and Neal’s Yard Remedies White Tea Enriching Facial Mask is the gentlest of all. It dries but never to an uncomfortable hard shell, gives my skin that deep cleanse, and leaves it looking brighter than before.
I also received a small deluxe-sized sample of the Beauty Sleep Concentrate, which is a night-time moisturizer that contains regenerative narcissus tazetta bulb extract, a smoothing tri-peptide and antioxidant-rich nourishing grape seed oil. It also has a blend of soothing essential oils to help you sleep better.
Personally, I did not find this to be very remarkable. For a moisturizer that packs as much benefits as it does, it is incredibly lightweight and pleasant to use. It is perfectly lovely for those seeking a lighter night time treatment. However since I’ve grown accustomed to heavy creams, this seemed inadequate somehow (I also blame my old lady skin).
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed Neal’s Yard Remedies products so far. Generally speaking, they are affordably priced for their quality and efficacy. I particularly loved the Wild Rose Beauty Balm and Frankincense Intense Cream, both of which have become staples in my beauty arsenal!
The products introduced above were kindly provided to me for my consideration. Regardless, I have not received any payment of any kind for this post, and the views expressed above are my honest, unbiased opinions.