About Face: Recognize Earth Day with organic products from Neal’s Yard

NealsYard2 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceWith Earth Day right around the corner, why not go organic? British brand Neal’s Yard has been using natural ingredients for decades, with a wide range of products for your face to feet.

By Roxana Hadadi

Last week, I thought about the upcoming Earth Day—Tuesday, April 22!—and reviewed two body washes from the environmentally minded brand JĀSÖN to recognize the holiday. And my nod toward Earth Day continues this week, as I feature products from the brand Neal’s Yard.

A British company that has been around for more than 30 years, Neal’s Yard is seriously committed to being organic, with a long list of chemicals and synthetic ingredients they don’t use and an even longer list of natural ones that they do (check out more information on their website). According to Neal’s Yard, “We may not be able to avoid all of these chemicals, but we believe it makes sense to do what we can to minimise contact wherever possible,” and a result most of their products are as streamlined as possible.

For this review, I received a few different Neal’s Yard products to try: Rose Facial Wash, White Tea Facial Mist, Lemon and Coriander Deodorant, Aromatic Body Butter, and Pumice Foot Scrub. For my thoughts on Neal’s Yard, read on!

Face and body items from Neal’s Yard

NealsYard1 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceFirst picture, left to right: Neal’s Yard Rose Facial Wash, White Tea Facial Mist, Lemon and Coriander Deodorant

Second picture, left to right: Neal’s Yard Aromatic Body Butter, Pumice Foot Scrub

If you have some spare time and are even remotely interested in learning more about the process behind making organic beauty products, check out Neal’s Yard’s website for information on their product development practices. The company is refreshingly upfront: “Our goal is clear—to use 100% organic ingredients, either organically-grown or ideally naturally growing wild on uncontaminated or organic land—depending on the nature of the plant.” They use ingredients they either obtain from certified organic land or grow their own, and they also divulge some of the ingredients they use that can’t be organic, what they call “functional ingredients.”

Anyway, all that detail and honesty is appreciated—from the get-go, it helped me trust Neal’s Yard as a company that really believes in its ideals, and that was a nice bond with which to begin checking out their products.

I received a mixture of face and body items to try out here: face items Rose Facial Wash and White Tea Facial Mist, and body items Lemon and Coriander Deodorant, Aromatic Body Butter, and Pumice Foot Scrub. Let’s start with the face items first.

Rose Facial Wash supposedly “refreshes and cleanses normal or sensitive skin,” and is “gently foaming with anti-oxidant aloe vera combined with precious rose otto and soothing pink rose petals.” The consistency is a thin gel, and the wash itself is light yellow in color. It never got really foamy for me, but it was a very gentle product that didn’t feel like it was stripping my skin. It also has a nicely floral smell that I enjoyed when I used the product before bedtime; when used in the morning, I noticed that my skin still felt oily throughout the day, but I thought this was a soothing facial wash to use before going to bed. It didn’t really alleviate my constant battle with shine, but I found it refreshing for nighttime use.

I similarly liked White Tea Facial Mist, described as “a gentle mist to calm, refresh and rehydrate the skin” that is “infused with antioxidant white tea, calming organic aloe vera, aromatherapeutic organic essential oils and soothing Bach Flower Remedies.” Bach Flower Remedies are based on the work of Dr. Edward Bach, who claimed that each of his 38 remedies had a connection with a specific emotional state; the White Tea Facial Mist includes crabapple essence. I’m never quite sure what to do with facial mists; I don’t really like putting them in my purse, and I don’t truly consider them an on-the-go item, even though I know they’re supposed to be. So instead, I used this mist every morning after washing my face, and liked the fragrance, which included marigold, citrus, lavender, geranium, and sunflower seed oil, among others. It might be too floral for some, but it was like shoving my face in a flower bouquet every morning, which I didn’t mind.

NealsYard2 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceHow about the body items? Those were more of a mixed bag. The one product which absolutely didn’t work for me was the Lemon and Coriander Deodorant, which is supposed to be “a refreshing and effective underarm deodorant spray combining eight pure essential oils.” My issues began with the spray bottle; I ended up over-spraying often, and then the deodorant spray wouldn’t absorb into my skin, and my clothes would get wet. And aside from my own inability to figure out how much to use, I didn’t really like the odor—the coriander was too pervasive—and it didn’t help my sweating at all. Perhaps if you’re not a sweaty person in general, Lemon and Coriander Deodorant would be effective, but I found it lacking.

I had better luck with the last two Neal’s Yard products I received: Aromatic Body Butter and Pumice Foot Scrub. Aromatic Body Butter is described as “a creamy, luxurious blend of shea and cocoa butters,” and it really is an impressively thick, rich product. The fragrances of geranium and lavender oils really come through, and it’s such a thick product that a little goes a long way. I loved this on my elbows and knees, and although it took a little while to absorb, I really enjoyed using it. And the same goes for the Pumice Foot Scrub, which is also quite thick because of the peach seed and pumice used for exfoliating purposes. But the scrub isn’t just gritty; the fragrance of ginger and mint, as well as the marigold and chamomile extract, make for a very nice, herbal experience. The odor reminded me of the bath products my mother used when I was a child, and there was something very comforting for me personally about that—plus, the scrub has been making consistent progress on the soles of my feet, my roughest skin.

Overall, I would suggest trying out some of Neal’s Yard’s huge range of products. I mostly liked the products I was able to try, and although the prices are certainly on the higher end of the spectrum, I really appreciate their beauty philosophy and their insistence on organic ingredients. As Earth Day approaches, Neal’s Yard is a brand I absolutely respect.

VERDICT: B+ overall. All of these Neal’s Yard products for me were really successful except for the Lemon and Coriander Deodorant. I would absolutely recommend either the Aromatic Body Butter or Pumice Foot Scrub, if you were only going to try one product from Neal’s Yard.

AVAILABILITY: $23 for 3.3 fl oz Rose Facial Wash; $19 for 1.52 fl oz White Tea Facial Mist; $13.50 for 3.38 fl oz Lemon and Coriander Deodorant; $32 for 7.06 oz Aromatic Body Butter; $25 for 2.64 oz Pumice Foot Scrub, all available at NYROrganic.com.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The products featured in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog posts are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company, or any other organization unless mentioned.

Photos by Roxana Hadadi.

Roxana Hadadi headshotIn middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.