Sunday, 20 October 2013

Tried and tested: Willow Organic Beauty Serum

Barbary Fig Oil natural anti-ageing ingredient

When it comes to skincare there really is an endless choice of lotions and potions to choose from. Do you go for the biggest brand, the latest scientific developments or natural ingredients? The trend for organic and natural skincare products shows no sign of slowing, and it's given smaller companies the chance to compete with the big names in the beauty arena. More and more of us are willing to try new brands in our quest for ethical products that aren't filled with chemicals.

I recently came across Willow Organic Beauty, the brainchild of Sue Stowell, an interior designer. On moving to the countryside of the New Forest she developed a passion for organic living. It was while she was designing the interior of the award-winning SenSpa that she had the idea to create Willow Organic – she just couldn't find a pampering beauty brand for the spa that was genuinely organic, luxurious and high performance.

Tried and tested

I always like to try beauty products out for myself before covering them here on the blog, so Willow Organic sent me over the Super Serum Oil and Super Firming Serum to put to the test. Serums are a relative newcomer to the beauty mainstream, but I'm converted. The best serums really do make a noticeable difference, and improve the complexion; what's not to love?

Willow beauty organic firming and anti-ageing serums

Super Oil Serum

This hero product is designed to plump out tired skin and restore elasticity. The Rich, luxurious serum melted into the skin leaving my face feeling soft and smooth. My skin appeared dewy and glowing, rather than greasy, while the scent is natural and woody, but not unpleasant. I actually found it worked really well on the backs of my hands too – an area of the body that can show signs of ageing. The ingredients have been chosen to protect the skin from environmental damage which makes it the perfect product for living in London. This serum contains 99.8% organic ingredients and is suitable for all skin types and ages. Price for 20ml: £90.

Super Firming Serum

If you're looking to give your skin a treat this is the perfect choice; it's designed to restore radiance, replenish essential moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines. The serum has a light texture which is easy to apply and sinks into the skin for an invisible finish. After applying, my skin felt silky smooth and velvety soft and I felt like this would definitely be a product I'd wear every day under make-up. The scent reminded me of citrus fruits – fresh and subtle – and was nicer than the Super Oil Serum above. It's made up of 95% organic ingredients. Price for 50ml: £80.

Barbary Fig Miracle Oil

Both of the serums I trialled from The Willow Organic range feature a potent anti-ageing ingredient made from the Barbary Fig (also known as Prickly Pear), a cactus fruit found in arid conditions in North Africa. The fig is able to maintain its cell hydration levels in the dry conditions which is why it's perfect for skincare products. The oil is often exported from Morocco and proves difficult and expensive to source. You can read more about the fig oil in this article from The Independent. However, the Barbary Fig Oil is reported to be 150% richer in essential fatty acids than Argan Oil (another of-the-moment ingredient from the same region) and also has the benefits of numerous antioxidants and vitamin E.

All in all, these products were definitely luxurious, but they have price tags to match. If you'd like to try the brand without breaking the bank then there are 15 products in the range, all of which feature Barbary Fig Oil. I like the sound of the Brightening and Balancing Toner, £22 for 50ml, Gentle Exfoliator, £38 for 50ml, and Luxury Conditioning Lip Balm, £24. All products are free from parabens, sodium laurel sulphates and mineral oil, as well as being Soil Association certified organic.

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