This week I’ve reviewed a new skincare brand called Flux Botanicals which is a plant based range, handmade in London.
I’m always interested in trying new products – but I’ll admit I was a little nervous because my skin got so aggravated by some products I tried a few months ago…. but because this brand uses all natural, plant-based ingredients I decided to give it a go!
At the moment there are two products – one of which is a multi-purpose oil that cleanses, moisturises and treats – the other being a rather intriguing product which does all manner of things depending on what you mix it with!
This, I was particularly excited about because it’s rare nowadays to find a product that is so unique.
With both products being multi-tasking, I’ve been able to test out the cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising and treatment effects….. and I’m telling you now this review is glowing – just like my skin is – and that’s not always the case with my reviews, so I make no apologies for it!
(Please note this isn’t an ad, I haven’t been paid and the thoughts below are just my personal opinions)
Below my review, there’s some questions I had for the Flux Botanicals founder, Laura, which she kindly answered – she really knows her skincare stuff and her outlook on skincare is really quite different!
If you have skin issues such as congestion, uneven texture or just generally need to get your glow back, you need to read this! Here we go…..
Gentle Glow (GG) Grains – a Bioactive Enzyme Powder That Tones, Exfoliates and Can Also Be Used As a Mask.
The claims: “This amazing multi-purpose formula lightly cleanses, tones, exfoliates and clarifies the skin….”
Ingredients: The grains are a blend of 3 different mineral clays, oatmeal, fruit + green tea + seaweed and root extracts, some flower powders and saponins (compounds found in plants that lather up like a soap according to Google).
Although they are called ‘grains’ this product is actually like a finely milled powder which retains its shape when mixed with water or oil, so it doesn’t break down and therefore gives a light exfoliating effect.
I don’t know how else best to describe the fragrance of the grains other than to say they smell ‘green’ and its not strong, quite mild.
Apparently you can also mix the grains with honey or floral waters to make a face mask and as I’ve been making an effort to use a mask once a week, I decided to try the grains this way first….
I put a level teaspoon of the grains powder with raw honey and mixed it together – the honey expanded and puffed up into a paste which resembled the colour – and actually smelled a lot like – brown sugar!
I applied the mask with a brush because it was obviously very sticky with a honey base and ended up leaving it on for about 25 minutes – the recommended time was 15 minutes and there was a lesson learnt there….
TIP: Don’t do what I did and relax on the bed with your dog while it’s working, lose track of time, end up with warmed honey running down your neck ….. and your very excited fur person trying to lick your face off!!
I thought the mask was going to be hard to wipe off, but it dissolved easily and came off with one soft wipe of a face cloth.
Whenever I’m trialling skincare I always try to be very aware of my thoughts both as I’m using it and afterwards in terms of results, so that I can describe it to you properly – and after I wiped this mask off, I initially thought I hadn’t seen any benefits….. but for a good hour after using it my skin was tingling so I thought something must have been happening?!
My face didn’t feel particularly moisturised – but it wasn’t a nourishing mask as such – however my face did seem seem to look different and I couldn’t work out why….the only word that was coming to me when I looked at my skin was ‘toned’.
- BUT the following morning in daylight I realised what the difference was – ever since my skin had an allergic reaction several months ago, after the irritation subsided I was left with enlarged pores on my cheeks and tons of tiny little bumps under the surface of my skin that never turned into spots but would not go away!I’d tried a number of different masks, 2 granular exfoliators and an acid, liquid exfoliator which seemed to be the only thing that helped a tiny bit – but nothing had given me any significant improvement ….. Until now!!
- Virtually all of the enlarged pores had disappeared, there was just a tiny area on one cheek with about 5 pores still visible.
- AND the horrible skin texture, the little bumps had really reduced.
I was so happy – actually, gobsmacked is probably a better word!
My skin has looked so rubbish under foundation with that nasty texture for 4 months now and to have it noticeably improved after just one treatment was amazing.
The next time I used the grains was with a little water, so I was expecting them to foam up slightly, but they didn’t – so that felt slightly strange to me initially, but it still felt quite gentle (if you’ve ever used the Clarins Exfoliator, I would liken the level of ’roughness’ and size of particles to that).
I tried them again a few days later, but mixed with the oil and it felt really nice, quite luxurious and I actually used that just on my neck – my skin felt very smooth and soft afterwards, so I think the combination of the grains with the oil is definitely the most powerful!
I have to be honest , my personal preference is still with an exfoliating acid, because I prefer not to have anything manually exfoliating my face ever since I’ve had problems with sensitivity but I will continue to use the grains this way on just my neck for now – but if you are comfy with granular exfoliation I’m confident you would find these very effective and pleasant to use.
I was very surprised by this product.
I wasn’t sure about it at first as I had never used anything like it and I didn’t for one second think these powdery grains were going to have such a monumental effect on the issues I’ve had with my skin.
I was very surprised by how they evened out both my skin tone and texture, especially when used as a mask…. there is obviously some pretty potent plant power in this powder!
Hello Glow (HG) Oil – a Multi-tasking Oil that Cleanses, Moisturises and Treats.
The claims: “A dynamic three-in-one botanical make up remover, oil cleanser, and healing moisturising treatment. Rich organic and cold-pressed oils and active CO2 botanical extracts effectively cleanse, heal and protect skin completely. Whatever your skin is going through, HG will support your skin’s natural balance and health.”
Ingredients: The formula of this oil includes 8 different oils and 3 natural extracts that are apparently extracted using the gentlest and purest technique – which basically means they are as powerful as possible and the combination of all these ingredients are meant to be hydrating whilst also being anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.
£22 50ml/£40 100ml including cloth
The oil has a strong colour and an earthy smell to it – similar to Argan Oil but with a slightly sweeter scent within it. When I first applied it, the smell reminded me of grapes or raisins – then once it’s absorbed into your skin, only a light earthy smell remains.
It’s not too ‘oily an oil’ if that makes sense?! In that it’s not heavy or greasy, it’s quite light and gets absorbed really quickly.
I initially used the oil to remove my make-up, which it did easily with a pipette full of product and the cotton cloth which the 100 ml size comes with. I love using an oil cleanser and this one felt very nice to massage over my face.
You can then use two or three drops of it again, after toning, as a moisturiser. My skin isn’t particularly dehydrated at the moment, but I am starting to notice fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes, so I made sure to pay extra attention to these areas!
Although the skin on my face isn’t particularly dry – I would describe it as normal – I am at the age where I have some very fine lines starting on my forehead and around my eyes, but nothing major has set in just yet.
My hands however seem to be constantly parched, so after I moisturised my face I rubbed the tiny amount that was left onto the back of them and I was delighted that the tiny criss-cross lines in the skin vanished, leaving my hands looking really smooth, pretty much immediately and still the following morning – so often I use a body lotion or oil and think my skin is lovely and a few hours later you wouldn’t even know I’d used it!
Well, If that’s the effect this stuff has on fine lines then I need to dive into a bath of it 😉
Seriously though, I’m excited to see what it does to my face over a number of weeks.
If you want to use the oil as more of a treatment, you can use 5-6 drops and then wipe away any excess which hasn’t been absorbed after a few minutes. Each product comes with a card containing loads of information about the product ingredients and the different ways you can use them:
This is a lightweight oil which I enjoyed using of an evening so I’m not putting on make-up afterwards, and weekly as a longer treatment.
As my skin isn’t particularly dry or unbalanced, it just seemed to give me a nice level of moisture and softness – I would be really interested to see what it was like with regular use for more oily or problematic skin as I’ve seen alot about oils being great for acne etc.
At-Home Treatment Session:
Once I had tried each product individually, I used them together as a full facial and had really nice results.
- I used the oil to remove my make up.
- Exfoliated very gently with the grains in a little oil (I much preferred them in the oil than with water, just for the softer feeling on my skin).
- Mixed some more grains with honey to use as a mask.
- Applied the oil as a treatment, which I left on for about 10 minutes then wiped the excess away.
My skin felt very soft and looked super radiant and smooth – the whole process felt like I was really treating my skin rather than just slapping a mask on so I’m definitely going to be making this a weekly ritual.
My Final Thoughts on These Products:
- If you have problematic skin that needs balancing, soothing or purifying… I really would encourage you to give these a go – there are so many products out there that blind you with science and contain a ton of synthetic ingredients, but these two bottles of botanical goodness have done more for my skin in the past couple of weeks than I ever expected.
- I’m still going to use my trusty Avene daily routine, but I am going to continue using both of these products on a weekly basis as a treatment because I’m delighted with the results.
- If you already have calm and balanced skin but like the idea of using more natural products on your body, these would be great to try incorporating into your routine.
Laura has given me a 15% discount for you,
If you’re interested in trying either of the products, just enter BOHO15 at checkout.
(This is not an affiliate link, I will not receive any proceeds from sales)
15% off any order on the website until the 7th July 2017
Laura – “……be nicer to yourself, especially when you feel you’re having a bad skin day. Always remember that no one is perfect but everyone is unique – including you!”
It’s clear from my interview with Laura below, that she really understands skin both in terms of science and its makeup, but also its behaviour, so if you’d like to find out more about her and the ethos behind the products, please keep reading!
- What made you take the plunge and start your own skincare line?
I’ve been making my own DIY skincare for many years, and actually it was back in 2012 that I first thought about making my own range of products. However, I was too scared initially to take the plunge, and wasn’t sure how I was going to do something different to what was already out there.
It wasn’t until last year, while working in a marketing communications job that I wasn’t finding very fulfilling or inspiring, that I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment and came up with an idea for a brand and skincare range that really resonated with me and that I wanted to put out into the world!
- Where does your brand’s philosophy come from?
The Flux Botanicals philosophy really comes from my own beliefs about looking after skin. There are three main ideas that make up the philosophy:
- That every individual has unique skin
This is a statement I really believe, and think is important for everyone to remember when working out how to look after their skin.
It’s also something I feel that consumers (myself included!) have, or do, struggle with, because of the way beauty products are made and targeted in the industry. Each product (of which there are hundreds and hundreds!) is catered to a particular skin type, with different variations of cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums etc, all with different ingredients. Finding the right products for us amongst this sea of variety can be so exhausting. Plus, we have to put ourselves into a particular skin type box, which actually many of us rarely fit because our skin is always changing!
If we don’t always have oily skin or “dry” skin, how can we pick something that is right for us? That’s why I believe we need to change the way we think about our skin and how we look after it. I come at it from a place of thinking we are all ‘type-less’. The key is finding what works for our unique skin profile.
- That less is more when it comes to looking after your skin
Again, this is a philosophy that comes from my own experience of looking after skin.
In my late teens and early 20’s I spent a lot of money on skin care products! I loved trying new things with the hope that they would radically change my skin. But it got to the point that I was using 10 different products a day, harsh cleansers or acids, and spot treatments, all in different areas of my face.
I realised after a while it was driving my skin crazy! My natural acid mantle was broken, my skin had no idea what it was doing from day to day, or how it could deal with and heal from all the ingredients I was slathering on. I realised I had to stop. That’s when I did a total 360 and decided to stop using all the pharmacy bought products. I came to eventually love plant-based ingredients, particularly oils and what you could achieve with only a few ingredients.
F.B. takes a ‘less is more’ approach to skin care; creating products that are multi-functional, dynamic and simple to use. I created the formulations to help repair and maintain the skin’s natural barrier, ensuring that it can heal and protect itself in the quickest and easiest way possible.
Overusing exfoliants, chemical peels, ingredients such as SLS, fragrance, and drying alcohols can set your skin into a yo-yo cycle and things can get out of control. We focus on getting you to a place where your skin is more balanced.
- Creating products using a ‘nature comes first’ philosophy
I believe in harnessing the power of nature in skin care. There are so many amazing plant-based ingredients out there, which can have some really fantastic benefits for our skin. So it makes sense to fill our formulations with them!
I wanted our skincare to be non-toxic. And by that I mean free of sensitisers and irritants that can keep you from having healthy, balanced skin.
There’s a reason why I try and always call our products plant-based rather than ‘natural’ though, and why we say our philosophy is ‘nature comes first’, and that’s because I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘all chemicals are bad’ marketing that seems to have taken off in the industry. Because the truth is everything is made of chemicals! Even natural, plant-based ingredients are chemicals. So while we focus on plant-based skincare, we don’t see chemicals as the enemy. And neither do we see all synthetic ingredients as bad. It all depends on the ingredient and the source.
- How do you feel your products differ from others on the market?
There are so many incredible products and brands on the market, especially when it comes to plant-based skincare. I am in awe of so many of them!
I think what I’ve come up with is different because I’m taking a different approach to how we look after our skin. Firstly, I don’t make different versions of products for different types of skin (because, I don’t believe any of us really have a type). And secondly, I look at skin care in two phases. Phase 1 is getting your skin to a cleansed, moisturised, balanced state (that’s what I have made the HG Oil and GG Grains for). And Phase 2 (which I’m already working on now!) is treating particular skin issues or concerns with targeted or intensive treatment products.
I also feel my brand is different because I really want to help women feel more confident in their own skin. We are bombarded with so many messages from the media about how we should all look flawless, and it’s just not attainable. No one (and I mean no one!) has absolutely perfect skin all of the time, and so many women, myself included, can sometimes feel really down about how we look.
- What are the benefits of using plant-based skin care?
Plant-based ingredients can have amazing skin caring properties, and are full of natural anti-oxidants, emollients, vitamins and minerals. In fact, many ingredients from the synthetic world are made from a plant base too. Take bisabolol for example. Bisabolol is made in a lab, but it is actually a chemical extracted from chamomile and it has fantastic concentrated anti-inflammatory properties!
Plant-based skincare is often more gentle on the skin, as it is formulated to work with it, not against it.
- With a more natural ethos, how important do you feel it is for people to start looking closer at the chemicals they are using on their bodies?
I think it is very important to understand what we are putting on our skin and in our bodies. Although I don’t necessarily agree with some of the fear mongering statistics surrounding how many ‘toxins’ we absorb through our skin, I do think there is a reason to be cautious about the number of different ingredients we use on ourselves and our bodies. Overall, I think, the less, the better!
We should all be making a concerted effort to understand and really question the ingredients in beauty products. We have to take ownership of our purchases by really understanding what we are buying and the ingredients in them. Any ingredient can now be researched on the internet and I’d advise anyone to do this (disclaimer: always look for reputable internet sources!) when buying a new skincare product.
When it comes to keeping your skin healthy and balanced it’s important to not use harsh, irritating, or unnecessary ingredients. Choosing a plant-based product, which is free from these types of ingredients, from a company who actually explains why each ingredient is in a product, will put you in a much better and potentially healthier position.
- Do you have any skincare tips/secrets you can share with us?
One skincare tip I would always give to anyone who is hoping to better understand and look after their skin, is to try keeping a skin care diary for a few months! Skin tracking is an incredibly useful tool for people, especially those who are having issues, but can’t understand what is causing them. Keeping a diary for your skin for at least three months, you begin seeing patterns and your skin’s natural fluctuations, as well as discover if certain products, ingredients, or even foods are causing problems to surface. Once you better understand your skin and how it works, you are in a much better position to improve things and get to that happy healthy balance we strive for. Laura’s Blog about using a diary:
Another tip would be – think of your skin as something to feed from the inside and supplement on the outside. Healthy skin starts from within!
Oh and be nicer to yourself, especially when you feel you’re having a bad skin day. Always remember that no one is perfect but everyone is unique – including you!
I hope you found this interesting, I love getting to know and supporting female entrepreneurs and with the results Laura’s skincare has given me, I’m sure she’s going to be very successful.
Next week I have a recipe for some very decadent breakfast bars which are actually pretty healthy and perfect for chucking in your bag and eating on the go!