What are Bushflower Essences

OMG I’m writing a post about something that I know nothing about!  Hang on, isn’t that how every good piece of scientific enquiry starts out…….


While browsing my friendly organic goods online shop I spotted this and just had to try it.

After all it says ‘calm & clear’  which is soooooo not me (I can’t see anything clearly unless I have my glasses on and I’ve seen calmer bull + red flag combos) and it also says “Body Love” which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  But they are just elements of this skin care brand and while I can attest to this product being very nice, beautifully aromatic and ‘quality’ in terms of presentation and in-use experience that isn’t the part I wanted to focus on.

What really got me interested was this thing about Australian Bush Flowers and their essences.

What are they?

Well according to the website founder and science bloke  Ian White says ‘The Bush Essences are a system of healing that anyone can use for themselves or prescribe for others. Although Flower Remedies have been used by many cultures for thousands of years, the Australian Bush Flower Essences meet the great need for remedies that help people address the issues of the 21st century – sexuality, communication skills and spirituality to name but a few”

I would summarise that by saying they have the power to make you shout out  ‘Oh My God yes please’ during moments of cardinal pleasure’.  Do I really want that on my face?

Ok so thousands of years of evolution and bush craft is worth more than that so I had a bit more of a dig around.

Everyone knows that modern medicine originated in nature by combining different […]

The trouble with Hydrosols

What could be better than a little rose hydrosol to gently cleanse and rejuvenate tired skin?  Well pretty much everything as far as we are concerned and don’t take that the wrong way, hydrosol are lovely in theory but in practice they are rare, expensive and difficult to manage as we shall see below. So, what’s a hydrosol again?

The good.

Hydrosols are otherwise known as the water of distillation. Let me just give you an example to illustrate:

Lavender is picked from the fields when it is looking and smelling divine.  It is gathered up and popped into a large vat where water is added to make what looks like one almighty large cup of herbal tea.  The vat is then heated which boils the water and water leaves the vat as steam.  Now if you have the ‘perfect’ distillation vat the design will be such that pressure can build up a little to force the boiling point of water up to past 100c to help with the essential production……

Anyway back to the nitty gritty.  The water boils, steam comes off and with that steam are little molecules of oils.   Essential oil manufacturers collect that steam and condense it back from a gas to a liquid (by simple cooling) before collecting it. The water goes into one pot and the oils into another.

The water from the above experiment is the hydrosol and the hydrosol contains the water-soluble aromatic components of the plant being distilled.  Well, those that survive the process anyway.  This hydrosol is quite different in chemistry to the oil and is prized by some skin care manufacturers IF they can get it.

The bad.

Let’s just re-frame the notion of what a hydrosol is for […]

The Sh*t natural product brands say

If you’re an internet tragic like me you probably spent a good part of February (or was it March????) laughing at the Sh*t people say on you tube.  Well, I think it is about time we called out something closer to home – yes people, it’s time for the  top ten Sh*t  things that natural product brands say Oscars.  Drum Roll Please……

100% of all of the chemicals you put onto your skin are absorbed (Well, that’s thousands of years of evolution down the drain then.  Skin…. Why do we even bother ?)
If you can’t pronounce an ingredients name it is probably toxic. (Excuse me while I vomit…. Are we all 5?)
This product contains no petrochemicals  (Fair call for some of you but could the guys with the Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Potassium Sorbate and cheap Glycerine please stand up?)
Free from palm oil (yeh ’cause by replacing palm oil feedstock for  jojoba, Soy or cotton seed oil I avoid the need for land, water and soil. Right?)
Contains Purified Spring Water  (Would that be an ancient magical spring that unicorns drink from?   Just wanted to get that clear because ‘mainstream’ brands are obviously getting their water from the urinals).
Chemical Free   (I think you need to go back to school NOW).
If you wouldn’t eat it why put it on your skin (Uh?  Did I miss something here?  Am I the only mum not serving up lip balm and whipped body butter for pudding?)
This formula took us 5 years to develop  (Unless you’ve created something truly magical and are now sitting on your yacht sipping cocktails I’d keep that little known fact to yourself).
No Nasties (Well thanks for pointing that out because I was expecting the boogie man […]

Review: Cosima Natural Skin Care

I first saw this bright young Australian brand at the Sydney beauty expo last year and my did they stand out! This all-natural ingredient-rich brand delivers the kind of results and skin feel that you expect from a multi-national without the hype, empty promises and drama. I have to confess that I was first drawn to the stand because it cut a shocking pink  swathe across the sea of organic expo green and made me curious, in a bad way.  I couldn’t easily tell at that time that the range was jam-packed with a cocktail of carefully researched actives all housed in elegant, silky emulsions.  I just thought that this was another one-trick-pony natural range that would struggle to sustain oxygen after its fifteen minutes of pretty pink fame.  But thankfully I was wrong.

Cosima is a brand built on the philosophy that the products should speak for themselves.  I was lucky enough to  share a coffee with the secret squirrel of an owner last month during one of my grand tours and was absolutely thrilled to find a grounded, diligent, intelligent and humble person happy to stand back and let the products take the glory.  You can’t even begin to imagine how refreshing that feels…..

I have been trying a small selection of the products over the last few weeks and found that without fail they have exceeded my expectations in terms of performance and elegance. The formulations are well-balanced in terms of the way the base ingredients compliment and support the actives and best of all they don’t feel over-engineered which is great.

So, what did I try?

The Flawless Serum.

I must say that I find serums difficult to formulate personally. It is because serums have to […]

Episencial Sunny Sunscreen (and the very hungry caterpillar)

How many of us actually read the small print that covers the outer packaging of the newest addition to our bathroom cabinet?  Well, I probably spend more time reading it than most which is partly due to the fact that I write some of it but mostly because I’ve always been a bit nerdy like that. I remember as a kid trying to read the back of the henna shampoo bottle advert style as I washed my hair in the bath.  I also remember getting cross with myself for constantly stuffing it up before I wrapped the imaginary add up (note to self, I am not destined to be a hair ad voice-over artist)…..

Anyway, waffle over. I was reading the back of the Episencial sunscreen pack and found this interesting bit of text:

“I feel that taking the time to tell a story, read a book and play with your child is so important”

So do I but isn’t that a bit of an odd thing to put on a sunscreen???

And then it clicked (yup, not quick either).  This sunscreen has been licensed to use the artwork of Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!  What a quaint little touch and I must say, the guys have done a great job with the branding.

The Product.

This sunscreen claims to offer an SPF 35 which is amazing being as though it contains only 5% of Zinc Oxide and 5% of Titanium Dioxide. Usually I would not expect an SPF of more than 18 with this blend, 20 at the most but by some magic of science we are up at 35!   The sunscreen feels very zincy on the skin and while it goes in quite easily it does leave […]