Skincare… skincare genuinely is something I do as a form of self care. Sometimes, my skin might not be screaming ‘OATIFIX’ at me, but my mind is screaming ‘put that refrigerated fresh, handmade concoction of bananas and illipe butter on my face, right now’.
I have to say, I do go through periods using no face mask at all, but there are a few parts of my daily routine I could not go a day without.
What are these?
Since you’ve asked so nicely, I will happily delve into my pot of skincare secrets for you. Every day, I use:
- Ultrabland Facial Cleanser, LUSH
- Let The Good Times Roll Face And Body Cleanser and Scrub, LUSH
Let The Good Times Roll
Let the good times roll isn’t something I used until until last winter (2016), I believe. I can’t say I remember the first time I used it but it was over a year ago now. I have incredibly dry skin, and this fresh facial cleanser is for those with dry skin. A huge appeal for many is the sweet, popcorn smell that accompanies it, and though I do love the smell, I am a firm believer in picking products to suit your skin, not for the smell… So it’s an added bonus!
Maize flour gently exfoliates, which in my opinion is the perfect face-wake up, and polenta, too, works a treat being packed with vitamins and mineral as. It also has stimulating cinnamon powder and restorative corn oil for moisture. Nothing works a treat better than Let The Good Times Roll, and it’s perfect when accompanied with moisturisers like imperialis for a light moisture, or skin drink for something a little more.
Let the Good Times Roll retails at £7.50 per 100g, and can be bought in 100g pots or larger of miscasllaneous weights.
Ultrabland is a product I’ve been using since I was 16. I remember, my obsessive Lushie self went into my favourite shop and having not really cared for skincare wanted to branch out. Lush, since I agreed with their ethics, was a place I trusted. When I began to respect lush for more than just bath bombs and shower gels, skincare was the first area I wanted to go to. Having suffered from depression for years already, it really did impact my basic functions (mostly in the sense I struggled to wash my hair, I didn’t take make up off properly etc), so self care via skincare was needed.
How do you use it?
Just put a smidge on a facial cloth* (ideally made of sustainably sourced material) and transfer to your face. Wash off the lovely beeswax based cleanser with hot water on the cloth and taaadaaa! Your skin is now cleansed, and soft.
*Using a facial cloth is not only the best way, but also considers environmental responsibility. Why go through so many disposable cotton pads when it’s infact cheaper, and easier to use a cloth!
The Ultrabland 30 day challenge
Have you ever heard of this? When I was first converted to Ultrabland by a Lush employee, I was informed about the 30 day challenge. Though I’d not really engaged in much skincare before, I was informed: “Use only Ultrabland for 30 days and see the difference.”
I did so, some days beginning bare faced and others with my face painted, using Ultrabland as a general facial cleanser and to remove make up.
The result? Well, all I have to say was people were approaching me in my classrooms to ask if they could stroke my face because ‘I’ve heard it’s really soft!’
I could not recommend the 30 day Ultrabland challenge more. It changed my priorities, meaning I prioritised self care, and it drastically changed my skin (and now I can’t stop using the product!)
What’s in Ultrabland?
Although I am myself vegan, I would not fully say Ultrabland is. Ultrabland is made up of six basic ingredients; Almond oil, Rose water and Rose absolute, Beeswax, Honey, Fresh Iris extract, Glycerine.
The non-vegan/ debated ingredients are in bold.
I’ve been using Ultrabland since I was 16, as I said, and as a result of this, before I went vegan only 6 months ago, I invested in an everlasting pot of Ultrabland. Not only that, but a friend also gave me the size down as a present since they didn’t use it (being the size of a regular, large black pot), so I now have a literal tonnes of ultrabland… I’m not sure what I’ll do when I run out, but for now it see it as wasteful to not use. This, however, is only under ethical circumstances, with Lush being cruelty free to no end (FIGHTING ANIMAL TESTING) and ethically sourcing, as I’m going to expand on below.
The Honey debate
Honey is an ever debated issue within veganism. I remember being confused by it a little before becoming vegan, and now I’m vegan…. still a little confused. But I have a clear stance on the argument.
I do not eat honey. I didn’t tend to eat honey before I went vegan, but did occasionally use it as an addition to foods casually. Occasionally, I may have put it in my coffee. Occasionally, I would have added it to toast, or consumed cereal with it as an addition, or baked apples in it as a sugary snack or dessert. So, yes, then I ate honey infrequently, but now I do not eat honey. I did make the mistake one time of buying a drink branded as vegan, an oat milk banana drink I found beautiful, and later found out it had honey. I very much dashed by en route to an appointment, so picked it up as an energy boost, and I admit I did enjoy it, before noticing the honey.
Right. Although I did kick myself, I didn’t stress as much as in other situations. If someone as much as puts cows milk in my tea or coffee and I don’t even drink it, it can send me into panic. The mere concept of it hurts. The first thing I did, as a vegan, was research the company’s honey policies, to find they were working with animal right’s and conservation groups to ensure the welfare of bees is a priority.
Actively, I may not buy it again. Despite this bee welfare, there were a few company grey areas and for the sake of ethics I’ve made that choice for myself.
On another note, bee welfare is something that LUSH hold dear to them. One of the main company ethics is ‘ethically sourced / ethical buying’. This holds relevance in general, but when it comes to the news, individually holds it’s own significance.
Mark Constantine, founder and company CEO, is himself a beekeeper. This means that, running a fully vegetarian and over 80% vegan company, he supports beekeeping himself.
Lush, however, are all for ethical beekeeping and will happily expose any companies not caring for their bees, or worse- treating them badly. They’re all for sharing ethical ideas and practices, especially when it comes to beekeeping (which is evident when typing any bee or honey related phrase on the website.
You can see information on all variations of LUSH’s honey here.
LUSH as a company practice ethical beekeeping. This includes looking after the Queen Bee, very little intervention, and only taking around 20% of the produce generally (but leaving more for the bees if it is necessary for their quality of life), as opposed to the legal, but cruel, 80% most beekeepers inethically do.
An interview with an ethical beekeeper on the LUSH website.
David prefers to allow his bees to live as naturally as possible and must use his 30 years of experience to judge when he should intervene with a struggling colony or allow nature to take its course. Intervening would involve using nucleus colonies (smaller bee colonies created from larger ones) to re-queen a weaker colony by allowing the queen to lay her brood. Queens can lay up to 2000 eggs a day which strengthens the colony’s numbers and chances of survival.
If beekeepers take all of the bees’ honey from the hives, they are obliged to feed the colony over the winter when bees would normally feed on their summer reserves. David leaves his bees with enough honey to eat during the colder months and only interferes if their honey production has been affected by poor weather. This year, he is concerned with rainfall, as spring 2016 has been one of the wettest on record leaving the bees unable to leave their hives to collect nectar. He ensures the hives’ limited honey supplies are left for the colony to eat and awaits the warmer weather forecast later in the summer. If this does not arrive, David will need to intervene and feed his bees.
When further researching the debate, I found this interesting video:
I found that this video was interesting both in the sense of the video itself, and the many comments from vegans and non-vegans on the matter. Some comments were most certainly unnecessarily nasty, but I found it totally useful with relevance to people’s opinions.
If you’re still for honey and beeswax, here is a helpful guide to being an ethical consumer:
So what’s your view, honey?
My personal belief is that we should be supporting ethical sources. No one is denying the importance of a bee, and actually making honey in the process of pollinating plants is a wonderful thing, but there is so much cruelty in the honey making industry. Queen Bee’s wings are frequently cut off so the bees can’t leave, and this is cruelty. An excessive amount of honey is also usually taken from the bee, leaving them with no real natural reserves.
I wouldn’t just buy honey here, there and everywhere. If I were to, and as a rule as a pure substance this would not happen, I would heavily research the sources, and not only for the bees welfare, but re: environmental impacts.
So far, my view on it has been this: I am for supporting ethical sources.
In this, I feel a message is sent to cruel beekeepers to treat their beautiful bees nicely and maybe they’ll be supported as a result. No way, however, would I use it- in food or beauty- in excess, as I know that it is truly selfish to these wonderful powers of nature. But it being in a product from a company I trust with my life, and knowing every last detail about their sourcing is extremely reassuring to me and doesn’t make me feel that guilt.
On a daily basis, I sell products with honey and will still always check if a customer is vegan in those circumstances. On some occasions, people have been open to honey if they knew the sourcing, but other times I’ve met vegans dead set against it.
So, what’s your view on honey? I’d love to know!
And have you ever used Let The Good Times Roll or Ultrabland? Did you have the same fab experience?
I would 100% reccomend both of these cleansers, either for daily use or just a few times a week to treat your skin! I do use both daily but many people I know would only use a fresh cleanser (with a soft scrub) weekly due to that scrubbing nature.
They both are truly my saviour for spring, summer and I’m sure almost every season after. I just thought this was a necessary post as my own skin particularly suffers in the changing of the season.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post,