I’ve always loved skincare, so I was really intrigued when a friend asked if I’d tried Skin & Tonic. It’s a range with a difference – none of the products contains more than seven ingredients, and it’s all organic and prepared in small batches, not made in a horrible, faceless factory.
It sounds too good to be true, but it turns out that for once the claims on the label are actually genuine. Small-scale, meticulously careful production is core to the label’s ethos. The company was set up by Sarah Hancock and Josh Wade in 2014, and named after the drink she had on their first date. Sarah had just been diagnosed with endometriosis and had started finding out as much as she could about the painful and debilitating condition, which often leads to infertility. She found that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which affect hormones such as oestrogen, are used in many beauty and household products. They could be partly responsible for the condition and may also make it worse.
Anyone who has a health scare will know how important it is to minimise contact with, and use of, potentially dangerous chemicals. It’s a sad fact that the big cosmetic giants throw an awful lot of stuff into their products. They keep telling us we’re worth it, but are they really checking their stuff is safe?
According to Sarah, the average woman is exposed to 200 chemicals before she has even sat down to breakfast, and will eat three to five kilos of lipstick in a lifetime. And 60 per cent of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream.
Anyone who knows me will attest that I have quite a lipbalm addiction going on, and probably get through three kilos of the stuff a week, so I was really pleased to be able to try out Sarah’s rose lip balm, as well as a whole box of other lovely products.
I’m glad to report that the lipbalm is delicious. Yes, I know I’m not supposed to be eating it, but when it tastes this good…. I also really loved the Steam Clean cleansing balm, which contains eucalyptus and spearmint oil. This is one of those clever cleansers that you rub into the skin, then wipe off with the cotton washcloth that comes with it. The washcloth had a nicely abrasive texture (I’m sure it’s organic etc as well) and the balm itself smelt heavenly. The idea is that you wring the cloth out in hot water, then drape over your face and inhale the lovely scents. Mmm, gorgeous. The balm also tackled eye make-up, which I thought was impressive as that’s often a job for a specialist cleanser, and left my skin baby-smooth.
I also got to try the Naked Beauty Oil, which is a rich, yellow oil. I patted this on before moisturising at night and I’ve taken to adding a drop to my usual tinted moisturiser. Lovely. Though the Rose Mist spray smelt divine, sprays are never my thing and I shall be passing that on to a daughter as I think it will be great for them. The Calm Balm is a lovely finishing touch cure-all, which you can use on rough patches, stressed skin or even before yoga! Apparently it helps you sleep, as well, so I might give that a try. I’d love to see a light moisturiser added to the range as well. Though you could use the Calm Balm, I think that might be a bit sticky for daily use.
All in all, this is a brilliant set of products and I will definitely be buying more. Skin & Tonic does the job as effectively as any of the chemical-drenched big names, without any of the risks involved, and with the added benefit of lovely natural smells and textures while you’re at it.
I’m very impressed by all Sarah’s research and the obvious care and dedication put into the range. It also benefits others – the company champions small producers and fair trade operations, and even donates ten per cent of profits to www.charitywater.com It is now available in shops like Anthropologie, Selfridges, Whole Foods and Planet Organic and is obviously destined for great things. The good news for Sarah is, that despite having to have four operations for her endometriosis, she has gone on to have a little girl. Aww. A lovely happy ending!
I was given the products for this review but the views are my own.