Ever wondered what all these wonderful natural ingredients really do? Find out about some of our favourite ingredients below.
Sea salt is made by taking water from oceans or saline lakes and letting the water evaporate to leave the salts behind. Since sea salt does not go through the same manufacturing processes as table salt, the minerals from the sea water remain, and provide your skin with lots of nutrients. It also exfoliates dead skin cells as you rinse it off, so if your skin’s not too sensitive and can take a bit of a scrubbing, sea salt will leave you with lovely soft skin and increased circulation.
To top it all off, sea salt is a natural antiseptic and detoxifying agent, as it sucks out all of the nasty things your skin doesn’t need. Goodbye troublesome spots!
When you mix ground almonds with water, you make almond milk. As well as the almond grounds gently polishing the skin to remove flakes, the almond milk leaves your skin soft, smooth and moisturised. This is a fab way to brighten up dry or sensitive skin that might not be too keen on harsh exfoliants.
If you’ve never tried raw honey on your skin, now is the time to start. Not tomorrow, not the next day. Now! (No pressure).
The honey in your Lovely products comes from the Sheffield Honey Company, and is a world away from the processed, heat-treated honey on your local supermarket shelves. Raw honey is a powerful antibacterial agent which draws the moisture out of the bacterial cells that your skin doesn’t need, so that they shuffle off before they do any harm. Its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties make it great for chasing away spots, and it contains gluconic acid which helps to brighten up dull complexions. Last but not least, it’s a humectant, which means it draws moisture from the air and deposits it on the surface of the skin. Seriously clever stuff.
Coconut oil is a solid oil at room temperature in the UK, but in the beautifully hot and exotic countries where it originates, it’s a liquid. This means that on the five days a year when our weather is not overcast, some of the Lovely coconut oil-based products can melt. Don’t worry though, they’ll set again! And aside from its sporadic melting tendencies, coconut oil has lots to give. This oil is anti microbial and protein-rich, which can promote quick healing of any damaged skin cells and helps to prevent protein loss in hair.
Sweet almond oil
Hailed as the latest beauty secret in the news not so long ago, there’s not much we need to tell you about sweet almond oil. It’s versatile, rich in absolutely loads of vitamins (E, A, B1, B2 and B6, if you must know) and it effectively balances the moisture in dry and irritated skin. We use it in absolutely loads of our products, thanks to its amazing conditioning qualities.
Not all oils are born equal. You know those people that just seem to have it all? That’s the avocado. No, it doesn’t have swishy hair and long legs (can you imagine?), but it’s still impressive, and luckily it’s no secret how the avocado does it. Packed with vitamins and minerals, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and with antioxidants in abundance, avocado oil even has massive healing properties and has been proven to increase collagen production in the skin. All this makes a gigantic anti-aging, healing, brightening, skin-plumping package, packed into one tiny teaspoon of oil. You can thank us later!
Extra virgin olive oil
Chances are you’ve got some of this in your kitchen. Little did you know how useful it really was! It’s packed with vitamin E and essential fatty acids and is a vegetarian source of squalene (naturally present in human sebum), making it a great moisturiser. Extra virgin olive oil can also help to improve the tensile strength of hair, making it stretch just that little bit further before it snaps.
There’s been a bit of a buzz in the news recently about honey bees in this country needing a bit of help. For this reason, we only buy and use 100% British beeswax, and we’re more than happy to pop it in as many products as possible. It’s softening and anti-inflammatory and it creates a long-lasting barrier (perfect for Lovely lip balms). It’s also a natural moisturiser, it’s anti-allergenic and it’s a humectant. To top it all off, it’s full of vitamin A, which promotes healing (perfect for Lovely foot butter). There’s no such thing as too much beeswax.
All Lovely vanilla products are made with vanilla infused sweet almond oil, which we infuse by hand in our little soap kitchen, using Madagascan grade A bourbon vanilla pods.
Plus side: vanilla has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can help to soothe and calm any sore or unhappy patches of skin. Better still, as we make it ourself we know that our infusion is absolutely packed with as much real vanilla as possible.
Flip side: our soap kitchen smells like delicious vanilla custard. We are constantly hungry.
Shea butter is the all around cosmetic good guy (and we’re talking serious marriage material, here). It has a beautiful soft creamy texture which doesn’t get too hard in the winter, but doesn’t faint at the first sight of some sunshine. It’s softening and deeply nourishing, but doesn’t block pores which can cause problems further down the line. And it’s notoriously good for dry, itchy skin conditions like excema and psoriasis, maybe because it’s packed with lots of lovely skin-healing vitamin A. Form an orderly queue please, ladies and gents.
Cocoa butter is made from the cocoa plant, and is an ingredient in the production of chocolate. It helps to firm up butters and salves as it has a hard texture, but luckily for us it melts at skin temperature for easy application. It’s super hydrating, and helps to preserve our natural skincare products as the antioxidants lengthen the shelf-life. And we’ll let you in on a secret. Don’t all rush at once, but cocoa butter smells like delicious white chocolate! Oh, should we have mentioned that first? Sorry.
Let’s get this straight. It’s chocolate, but it’s… good for you? That’s right! Packed with antioxidants, and with a lovely soft texture, your skin loves cocoa powder. The cocoa butter residue in cocoa powder makes it a fantastic moisturiser, but the caffeine and theobromine help to break down fats, meaning they can tighten skin and help to reduce puffiness. And it tastes great if you ‘accidentally’ get some of our Lovely chocolate face mask in your mouth.
We use powdered pineapple in our Lovely fruit peel micro-exfoliant face mask. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which nibbles away at the surface of your skin when you slather it on. It also contains vitamin C to promote skin healing and a healthy glow, and like other fruit acids, it exfoliates without scrubbing. All this means that you wash off your face mask after 10 tingly minutes to reveal beautifully bright skin underneath. No painful facial peels necessary!