How food can protect your skin from sun damage

Image via Desktop Wallpapers 4 Me

Image via Desktop Wallpapers 4 Me

We all love to get out in the sunshine, but even on cloudy days the sun’s rays can cause damage to our skin. All our lives, we’ve been advised to wear sunscreen and to protect ourselves from potential sun damage. Sometimes we even end up with damaged skin anyway.

Granted, we live in Ireland, but my post last week on the health benefits of sunshine really got me thinking of how we can protect our skin from the sun’s rays, should we get any rays in the last few weeks of autumn.

There’s nothing more annoying than covering yourself in greasy sun lotion every few hours only to find that the rays have discovered that one spot you missed and destroyed it. Red, raw skin is the least of your worries though, as we all know how the sun can cause skin cancer and other serious forms of sun damage.

But did you know that there are some foods that can keep your skin healthy and, along with your  sunscreen, protect you from sun damage?

Watermelon: This is a fruit that I praise regularly on my blog. It’s great for everything – beautiful skin, water intake, and now protection against the sun too. Watermelon is a great source of lycopene, an anti-oxidant which has been shown to reduce UV-induced free radicals by up to 50%.

Bell Peppers: One of my favourite vegetables to include in a salad, or a curry, or a chilli, or pretty much  anything is a delicious, ripe, red bell pepper. Just one bell pepper can protect you from sun damage. Bell peppers contain an anti-oxidant called capsiate, which fights UVB-induced skin damage.

Pomegranate: Not only is this fruit delicious, but its seeds protect the skin from UVA and UVB free radicals. The seeds inhibit hyper-pigmentation and can also enhance the protection of sunscreen by up to 25%. The juice of a pomegranate is full of anti-oxidants, but without the seeds, there’s no fibre, and it converts to sugar quickly.

Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon – wild salmon in particular – inhibits inflammation from UVB rays by over 50%. This fish also blocks the release of UV-induced enzymes that cause lines and sagging by eating at collagen.

It’s summer-time and here in Ireland, we’re starting to feel a bit of heat. It’s always important to wear sunscreen, but a little extra protection goes a long way. By eating the right foods, your skin can protect itself even more, while also staying healthy and fresh.

But don’t be too afraid of the sun. Check out my article on how sunshine is good for you!

Salmon and bell peppers for dinner, methinks, followed by a watermelon and pomegranate seed salad.

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5 of the Best Vitamins for Healthier Skin

Image via Flickr: tommerton2010

There are countless skin products lining the shelves of supermarkets, pharmacies and cosmetic counters that all claim to offer anti-ageing properties and an improved appearance of the skin. However, the best way to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy is to start from the inside. Nothing beats naturally healthy and beautiful skin and the best way to achieve that is by living a healthy and active lifestyle, eating the right foods and ensuring that your body gets the right amount of vitamins on a daily basis.

Taking daily vitamin supplements will ensure that you are getting the right amount of vitamins every day and popular health food stores, such as Evergreen, have a wide range of vitamins for healthier skin and much more.

However, here we look at the top 5 vitamins to help you on your way to perfectly radiant skin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is well known for its immune-boosting and anti-oxidant properties, and can improve skin texture and appearance by applying anti-oxidant properties to detoxify your skin, helping to rid it of any impurities. Vitamin C is often found in many anti-ageing skin creams, as it stimulates collagen production, which makes your skin suppler and helps to fight the signs of aging. Vitamin C also helps to protect your skin from sun damage by decreasing cell damage and helping the healing process of damaged skin.

Vitamin E

For optimum skin health, one of the best vitamins you can take is vitamin E. This vitamin is an anti-oxidant that effectively kills free radicals, which accelerate the aging process and are yours and your skin’s biggest enemy. Vitamin E helps to get rid of free radicals to promote younger looking skin, helps to protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays, moisturises the skin, and can be used to treat some skin inflammations.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B complexes provide a wide range of benefits to help promote healthy and glowing skin. For example, vitamin B1 gives the skin a healthier glow as it boosts the blood circulation throughout the body, whereas vitamin B3 helps reduce acne by maintaining a high level of oxygen in the blood. A vitamin B complex often contains a nutrient called biotin, which is very important in the development of healthy hair, nails and skin.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K works very well in the body to reduce the appearance of skin discolorations, such as dark circles under the eyes and hyperpigmentation, whilst also helping to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Vitamin K is essential in aiding the body’s process of blood clotting and can help to heal, lighten and reduce areas of bruising. In addition to this, it can also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, stretch marks and spider veins.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is vital for the repair and maintenance of our skin, but can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by aging and sun exposure as well. Additionally, it can also help prevent dry, flaky skin and acne.

Getting good skin through a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water along with taking some extra vitamins doesn’t have to take a long time, and some users notice a difference within a few days.

Thanks so much to Suzanne Elly for writing this post!

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Image via Flickr: tommerton2010

Coconut Oil: The one beauty product you need in your life

Photo via Flickr: Phu Thinh Co

Photo via Flickr: Phu Thinh Co

Someone once told me that the only beauty products you need are coconut oil and water. Drinking plenty of water will flush toxins out of your system, keeping you hydrated. There are so many benefits of proper hydration that I could write about them all day. But instead I’m going to talk about the benefits of coconut oil as a beauty product.

Hair Care:

Coconut oil is highly moisturising and, like the highly popular Argan Oil, gives your hair an excellent shine. It can be used in numerous ways as a hair treatment.

  1. Soaking your hair in coconut oil will give you a deep condition, leaving your hair silky soft and beautifully shiny. Simply treat the oil like any other hair mask. Leave it on for an hour or more (I once left it all night, with my hair wrapped up until morning), then shampoo it out.
  2. Coconut oil is perfect for fighting frizz. It comes as a solid, so you should simply take a small amount and rub it in your hands until it warms up. Then smooth your hands over frizz and fly-aways to give your hair the perfect finish.
  3. You can even make your own shampoo using coconut oil, milk, olive oil, liquid castile soap and your favourite essential oil. Shampoo recipes can be found online. Furthermore, it’s great for soothing the scalp to fight irritation or flaking of the skin.

For your Face:

I believe you shouldn’t put anything on your skin unless you would be willing to eat that product; if you wouldn’t put it in your body, don’t put it on your body. Coconut oil is edible. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and moisturising, so it’s a perfect natural ingredient to put on your face and can be used in so many different ways, combined with other ingredients, which are also edible.

  1. Mixed with olive oil, coconut oil can be used as a deep cleansing, deep moisturising, 100% natural facial wash. Mix it with baking soda for a gentle exfoliating scrub.
  2. Coconut oil mixed with honey makes the perfect antibacterial mask. Just apply a generous amount, leave for 15 minutes, and rinse off. Again, it’s completely natural and will only do good to your skin.
  3. Another amazing way to use coconut oil is as a makeup remover. Simply rub the oil over the makeup and wash away with warm water.
  4. My favourite use for coconut oil is as a moisturiser. It feeds the skin and heals any scars left over from blemishes. To apply, gently rub a small amount into your skin each night after cleansing, and allow the goodness to soak in.
  5. Keeping with the moisturising properties, coconut oil is a very handy lip balm. Just scoop some into a small tin and use it on dry lips. It’s a whole ingredient lip balm – meaning there’s nothing in it except 100% coconut oil.

So to summarise, you can wash your hair, condition your hair, smooth away frizz, soothe your scalp, remove makeup, cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise your skin, apply a face mask and moisturise your lips, all with variations of this one simple ingredient.

The list of uses for coconut oil goes on and on. Mix it with brown sugar to make your own homemade (and again, 100% natural and edible) body scrub. Mix it with water to make a shaving cream. Use it as a cuticle cream or to soothe cuts, or to moisturise dry skin on your feet or anywhere else on your body.

Best of all, you can get a jar of raw coconut oil for only €6, or a big jar for just a tenner. Why would you waste your money buying expensive, paraben-loaded products, when one small food can keep you looking more beautiful and fresh for less than a fraction of the price?

You do the math.

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I’ve raved about coconut oil before:

Coconut Oil as a Natural Beauty Product

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Review: The Shore Island Spa, Loughrea

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We all love a bit of pampering from time to time, and I was lucky enough to be invited to the Shore Island Hotel and Spa for a skin analysis and Yonka Facial a couple of weeks ago. Long story short, I learned a lot about my skin and even purchased two of the products, which I’ve been trying out over the past few weeks, and now, at last, I’m getting a chance to write about it.

Located in Lough Rea Hotel and Spa, the facility is only 25 minutes away when driving from Galway City, and it was very easy to find once I got to the hotel. It was an extremely windy, wet day for May, so when I did get to the spa, I was looking forward to a relaxing treatment – and that’s exactly what I got.

I was greeted by my therapist for the day. Her name was Lisa and she was extremely warm and friendly. With a welcoming smile, she made me feel at home instantly as she showed me to the beautiful changing room where I could change into the robe and slippers that were provided for me.

Once I was ready, Lisa led me in to a room where she did a Yonka Skin Analysis – one which would surely be a wake-up call for me.

I really look after my skin. I take Udo’s Oil, which I wrote about here, and I use Coconut Oil regularly. My day-to-day skincare routine includes essential oils, Aloe Vera and natural products. I also drink a lot of water, usually get enough sleep and try to wear SPF to protect myself against the sun. So with all that in mind, I was extremely interested to see what the strange machine before me would reveal.

Was my routine working or was I just wasting my time?

The computerised analysis gives an in-depth assessment of your current skin condition and allows you to see exactly what’s happening above and below the skin, revealing skin conditions which are not visible to the naked eye. The system measures and analyses different areas of your skin, including Oil Production, Pore Size, Wrinkle Depth and Sun Damage.

The machine revealed that my skin produces oil in certain areas, but as my pores are quite large, it’s easy for my body to remove waste and excrete toxins through my skin, which is why I don’t get many breakouts. I was delighted to see that any lines on my skin were very fine, with no wrinkles around the mouth and nose and only very fine lines under my eyes.

As for sun damage, when Lisa showed me that part of the analysis, I was shocked to see that underneath my skin, my face is covered in freckles! It reminded me of my brother’s face when he went out in the sun as a child. Despite this, Lisa said the damage wasn’t bad at all and that I’m lucky to see it at a young age. At least at the age of 25 I can catch it and make sure it doesn’t get worse.

The machine also showed me what parts of my face were dehydrated. My skin was fairly well moisturised, but Lisa pointed out the white parts on the skin that showed slight dehydration. These were the eyes and the lips, which means I really need to start using more eye cream and lip balm, but that’s certainly doable. Many women are very careful about what they put on their eyes as the skin there is so sensitive, and I’m no exception.

Overall, I was extremely happy with the results of my skin analysis, and I know exactly what I need to do, thanks to great advice given by Lisa. I’ve since started using an eye cream.

What happened next?

Using the results of my skin analysis, Lisa was able to tailor my Yonka Facial to my skin’s needs, which was amazing and really made the experience that much better. She led me down to a small, comfortable room, where she left me to get ready for a facial. I was extremely comfortable on a warm bed with my cosy robe. There was relaxing music playing and the room was dimly lit, creating a beautifully calm atmosphere.

This might be a good time to let you know that before this, despite my harping on about skincare all the time, I had never had a facial before (unless you count home-done ones). So this was a very new and exciting experience for me.

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The facial itself was an amazing experience. I could just close my eyes while the scents of beautiful oils surrounded me and my face was pampered with the amazing products Yonka has to offer, including an amazing peel. And while I lay there letting all the oils soak into my skin, I was even treated to a mini foot massage.

When the whole facial was over, Lisa brought me some water and led me to the beautiful thermal suite available in the spa. I was very impressed as she led me around and explained what each room  was for, before leaving me to my own devices. I was actually stopping off for these treatments on my way home to Longford that day, so I was very disappointed that I had forgotten to bring my bathing suit.

But despite that, I still enjoyed a truly relaxing half-hour or so in the Light Room, where fresh fruit and water was provided. Also on offer was a dark relaxation room, an aromatherapy sauna room, a steam room, a foot spa, sanarium, luxurious tropical experience showers, an ice fountain and a beautiful-looking jacuzzi that I would have been in immediately had I brought my swimsuit.

But as I relaxed in the light room and looked out a huge window at the wind and rain, I couldn’t help but feel completely and utterly relaxed and happy.

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So where to from here?

Once I was done relaxing for the day, I decided to head back to reception where I asked Lisa about the range of Yonka products available. Yonka has a number of amazing products and I really wanted to try more. Many of the products are priced at €35, which is quite reasonable considering the tiny amount of product you need to use.

I went back into the changing room to get dressed and consider purchasing some products and then thought ‘why not treat myself?’. So when I went out, I bought the two products Lisa recommended for my skin: the Gommage 305 Exfoliating, Clarifying Gel and the Phyto-Contour eye cream for puffiness and dark circles.

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But what is Yonka?

Yon, meaning purifying and energizing river, and Ka, meaning eternity, are the central components to the Yonka concept. The products combine nature and science to regenerate, restore harmony and reconcile body and mind. The quintessence is made up of varying concentrations of lavender, rosemary, geranium, thyme and cypress and is present to some extent in all Yonka products.

Lisa informed me that over 90% of the ingredients in Yonka products are natural, and regular readers of my blog will know that I am very excited by natural products, so I was delighted to obtain two beautiful and luxurious products with mostly-natural ingredients.

Shore Island Spa offers the full range of Yon-Ka products: cleansers, make up removers, lotions, soft peels, masks, anti-ageing products, night and day creams, boosting concentrates, Purifiers, clarifiers, moisturisers and lighteners. These exceptional products have been created by using therapeutic, purifying, skin healing and psychotropic properties.

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I realise I’ve been writing for quite a while now and my intention was to review the two products within this post, but as I talked about the Spa itself for so long (in fairness, it deserved a good long post), I think it would be best to review the products in a separate post.

The full list of treatments available at the Shore Island Spa, complete with pricing, can be found here.

I can’t thank the girls at Shore Island Spa enough for their hospitality. My experience was one I won’t forget, and I have no doubt I’ll be returning for more treatments at some stage. And if you live in Galway City, the 25-minute drive is absolutely worth it.

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What has been the absolute favourite treatment you’ve ever received at a spa? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments section below!

Competition Time: Win a 6-month supply of Udo’s Oil with Beautiful Health

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Udo’s Oil is the number one beauty secret of Caroline Morahan.

For the month of April you may have seen and heard a lot about Udo’s Oil. That’s because there has been a campaign running for the whole month, and what better time for it than just before Summer?

And now with literally a couple of days left in the month, you have the chance to win a six-month supply of Udo’s Oil right her on Beautiful Health – that’s half a year of beauty from the inside out… for free!

Udo’s Oil is an excellent way to take care of your skin, hair and nails, thanks to it’s moisturising, softening and anti-aging properties. Formulated by Dr Udo Erasmus, Udo’s Oil delivers all the good fats we need to optimise health, beauty and fitness while getting omega benefits.

It’s the richest vegetarian source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids available in Ireland and thanks to these essential fatty acids (EFAs), Udo’s Oil plays a vital role in skin, joint, brain and heart health, helping you yo look and feel amazing inside and out.

Udo’s Oil combines the very best natural ingredients – all of which have excellent health and beauty properties.

  • Flax-seed Oil has twice as much Omega 3 as fish oils.
  • Sesame Oil, which is traditionally used in cooking across India and China, is rich in Omega 6 and vitamins A, B and E.
  • Sunflower Oil, also rich in Omega 6, enhances the taste of Udo’s Oil.
  • Coconut Oil – something I’m always going on about on my blog (see here, here and here for a start) – is added to protect the heart.
  • Evening Primrose Oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
  • Soy Lecithin helps brain cells and nerves.
  • Rice Bran Oil contains cholesterol-lowering sterols.
  • Tocotrienol acts as a powerful, natural anti-oxidant.

Remarkably, the 3, 6 and 9 omegas in Udo’s Oil come in the perfect 2:1:1 ratio and have unbelievable benefits to your health and beauty, including softer, silkier skin and hair, greater suppleness in the joints, better mood and energy levels and reduced symptoms of PMS and menopause. You’ll also experience a certain glow that comes with feeling and looking amazing.

My experience with Udo’s Oil

In March, I had the pleasure of hearing from Suzanne from Naturalife, who contacted me regarding the month-long campaign for Udo’s Oil. She sent me on a month’s supply of Udo’s Oil, and while I was told that it would take approximately six weeks to see the results.

However, within a week I was starting to see that my skin was clearing up and my energy was increasing, and I was feeling and looking so much healthier.

I’ve been taking my Udo’s Oil in capsule form – two capsules with each meal. I’m an intermittent faster, meaning I usually don’t have breakfast until lunch time. My next meal is dinner. So I take four capsules per day. The recommended dosage is between two and six capsules.

The oil also comes in an oil form, which can be taken on the spoon, or used in a number of delicious recipes: salads, smo0thies, juices and so much more.

Competition Time:

And now for your chance to win a six-month supply of Udo’s Oil to start your journey to beauty and health.

To be in with a chance to win, follow these simple steps:

  1. Like Beautiful Health on Facebook.
  2. Like and share the top post on the Facebook page.
  3. In the comments section on Facebook, answer one simple question: Name three natural ingredients found in Udo’s Oil.

For more information on Udo’s Oil or to order it online, see http://www.udoschoice.ie/, or purchase it in your local health store.

Good luck!

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Bulldog Natural Skincare for Men: The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

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It’s hard to know what to buy a man for Valentine’s Day. Most of them don’t go for roses or heart-shaped jewellery or teddy bears, though 99% of them would probably be happy to eat a box of chocolates in one go.

But this week, I received a big box of goodies that I immediately handed over to my boyfriend to test out, saying this is the benefit of having a beauty blogger as a girlfriend.

Thanks to Angela from Bulldog Skincare for Men, I received a box of skincare products that are packed full of natural ingredients. I was quite excited when Angela contacted me asking me to review some of the products, because only two days earlier, while purchasing my own natural moisturiser, I spotted the brand and purchased a Bulldog moisturiser for my boyfriend to test out.

The world of male skincare is changing. Men of today don’t see skincare products as too feminine or sissy. It’s become normal to take care of your skin. My own boyfriend tried a Nivea moisturiser once and didn’t like it, so he went back to just using water on his face and not moisturising. But since this box of goodies arrived, he’s tried one or two of the products and seems pretty happy so far.

Bulldog is challenging Irish men to enhance their skincare regimes with the launch of its award-winning product range. The British brand’s products have been purpose-built for men, using natural ingredients that really work. I should know; I’ve been using natural products for over a year now, and some of the ingredients in these products are some of my favourites: essential oils, aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamin E, to name but a few.

The box of goodies included almost €50 worth of amazing, natural products including:

  • Original Moisturiser (100ml, RRP €8.49) – Packed with a unique blend of 8 essential oils, plus green tea, green algae, konjac mannan and vitamin E to help rehydrate the skin.
  • Original Face Wash (175ml, RRP €6.49) – Packed with 8 essential oils and green tea to gently cleanse your face of dirt and debris.
  • Original Shave Gel (175ml, RRP €4.49) – Packed with 8 essential oils, aloe vera, jojoba and konjac mannan for an incredibly smooth shave.
  • Original After Shave Balm (100ml, RRP €7.69) – Packed with 8 essential oils, plus green tea, konjac mannan, rosehip oil and vitamin E to help nourish and soothe the skin.
  • Original Face Scrub (100ml, RRP €7.29) – Packed with 8 essentials, pumice, coconut shell, rosehip oil and shea butter to gently exfoliate the skin.
  • Original Eye Roll-On (15ml, RRP €12.99) – Packed with avocado oil, cucumber oil and Brazilian ginseng extract to reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.

But there’s loads more where that came from, with the following products also available:

  • Sensitive After Shave Balm (100ml, RRP €7.69) – Specially formulated with 2 essential oils, aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber and green tea extract to help calm and soothe the skin.
  • Sensitive Moisturiser (100ml, RRP €8.49) – Specially formulated with 2 essential oils, green algae, konjac mannan and vitamin E to help rehydrate sensitive skin.
  • Sensitive Face Wash (150ml, RRP €6.49) – Specifically formulated for sensitive skin with 2 essential oils and green tea to gently cleanse your face of dirt and debris.
  • Anti-Ageing Moisturiser (100ml, RRP €12.99) – Packed with 5 essential oils, millet seed and oak apple tannins to help deliver visibly younger looking skin in 4 weeks.
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A box of goodies from Bull Dog. The perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your man. Photo via my Instagram: @Jess__Thompson

Bulldog was founded in 2006 by Simon Duffy and his good friend Rhodri Ferrier, out of the frustration that there were no natural options for switched-on men who wanted to reduce the number of man-made chemicals in their bathrooms.

Today Bulldog is the UK’s third largest national men’s skincare brand and is available in 13 countries including the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, the USA, Australia, Spain and South Korea (the world’s largest market for male skincare products), and over 12,000 stores worldwide.

Bulldog products are body-friendly and don’t contain controversial man-made chemicals such as parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, artificial colours, or synthetic fragrances, which can really dry out the skin, leaving the opposite of the desired effect. Instead, the products are loaded with essential oils and other amazing natural ingredients to deliver superb skincare results.

Bulldog skincare products are never tested on animals and never include ingredients derived from animal sources, which makes them suitable for vegans too. The brand is approved as ‘Cruelty Free’ under the Humane Cosmetics Standard and was rated as a top brand in the UK across both male and female skincare categories in the Ethical Company Organisation’s 2014 Good Shopping Guide.

Last year, Bulldog was crowned Best Moisturiser at the FHM 2014 Grooming Awards, Best Facial Cleanser at the ShortList Magazine 2014 Grooming Awards and Best Eye Care at the Men’s Health USA 2014 Grooming Awards.

The products themselves smell amazing. I’m a huge fan of essential oils, and I’ve spotted citrus and bergamot – some of my favourites – in the ingredients list.

Bulldog products can be found nationwide in Boots, Tesco and many pharmacies such as Bradley’s, Lloyds, Health Express, Sam McCauley, Haven, Mulligan’s and McCabes. I’ve also spotted the products in Evergreen, which is where I picked up the original moisturiser I bought for my boyfriend.

I’d highly recommend these products as a Valentine’s Day gift for your man. The products are affordable, natural (and therefore, without a doubt, effective), and have a masculine smell that is irresistible.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Review: Suncoat Natural Makeup

Image via my Instagram: @Jess__Thompson

Image via my Instagram: @Jess__Thompson

Earlier in the summer, Seána from Innocent Illusion sent me some goodies from Suncoat, a company in Canada that specialises in natural beauty products. Suncoat claims to be dawning a revolution for all things nails, “giving the world a natural, wholesome way to wear the colours they love with a collection of water-based nail polish bursting with lots of attitude and none of the bad stuff”.

Suncoat nail polishes contain no formaldehyde, toluene, acetates, phthalate or alcohol and come in several colours that are completely safe to used on your nails.

All Suncoat products are made from nature’s finest ingredients, innovative science and a dash of mother’s love. The company was actually founded by polymer and organic chemist Yingchun Liu when her daughters developed an interest in nail polish.

In an effort to steer her children away from the poisons and toxins in the typical bottle of nail polish, she put her scientific skills to practice and developed the first ever non-toxic, natural formula for nails.

Fusing nature with technology, Ying created a range of innovative products founded on the balance of vegan, mineral-based ingredients and water.

The products I received in my package from Canada were the highly acclaimed nail polish I’ve just spoken of, an all-natural nail polish remover to go with it, a natural mascara, eye shadow and brow fixer.

Suncoat Water-based Nail Polish:

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The chemical solvents, toluene and acetate, are replaced by water in this product, bringing the water content up to 70%. When applied, water vapour is released instead of the chemical fumes you can smell from other non-natural nail polishes.

This nail polish is also environmentally friendly, virtually odour-free, non-flammable, doesn’t dry or discolour the nails. It contains only mineral pigments and natural ingredients.

This nail polish comes in 22 different colours. I got it in lilac. It’s a really beautiful colour – one of my favourites in fact. But, unfortunately, I didn’t like this product.

When I applied it to my nails, I could see the brush strokes and no matter what I did to try and smooth it out, it just didn’t work.

I also found that it chipped or peeled off very easily, leaving me with one or two unpainted nails, which looked bad.

It’s such a shame, because I love all-natural products. I’m not a fan of nail polish in general and never paint my nails, but if I did, I’m afraid this wouldn’t be the product I’d us. From far away, it looks really nice and the colours are beautiful, but up close it’s just a load of uneven brush strokes.

Suncoat All Natural Nail Polish Remover Gel:

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This is the first natural nail polish remover gel on the market. It’s a plant-based formulation that’s earth-friendly, non-toxic, non-drying, free of petrochemicals and biodegradable. It’s not tested on animals, has no animal ingredients and is therefore vegan friendly.

You can apply this nail polish remover to the nail, rub it in and leave it for a few minutes. When it’s been left on long enough, the nail polish should just peel off easily.

I’m torn between two opinions about this one. I found it worked sometimes and didn’t work other times. There was once or twice when I had to abandon hope and go with an acetone nail polish remover. But there were other times when the nail polish just peeled off like stickers, which was great.

Like I said, I don’t wear much nail polish, but if I do wear it in the future, I’ll be trying to remove it with this nail polish before I try the usual nail polish remover.

Sugar-based Natural Mascara:

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This sugar-based natural mascara is a unique product made with natural sugar-based biopolymer, kaolin clay, earth pigments and is enriched with vitamin E.

It’s free of PVP (polyvinyl pyrrolidone polymer), acrylic, copolymer, and VA (vinyl acetate) polymer. It’s also free of fragrance, paraben, alcohol and glycol. It’s kind to sensitive eyes, made of biodegradable ingredients, and naturally builds lash volume and length.

It’s not waterproof and the website claims it has “great wear-ability and resists smudging, but washes off easily with regular skin cleanser and water”.

Unfortunately, I can’t praise this product either. The colour is lovely and very intense and it certainly brings out your eyes. But the smudge-resistance claim just wasn’t true in my case. I found that if I touched my eye lashes, even hours after applying this product, the mascara came away on my hand – it took no rubbing; just a gentle, experimental touch.

It’s a shame, but I’ll be sticking to my Body Shop mascara, which I praise regularly on my blog. It’s reliable and beautiful.

Suncoat Natural Brow Gel:

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Of all the products I received from Suncoat, this is the one I use the most to fix any makeup I apply to my brows.

Like the mascara, it’s sugar-based. It’s completely natural, like all Suncoat products, and it’s enriched with vitamin E, which is great for nourishment. It contains no chemical polymers and it’s function is to define and hold brows in place. It comes in brown and clear. I have the clear one.

I usually use powder to define my brows and I use this product to hold the brows in shape.

Suncoat Duo Mineral Eye Shadow:

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I’m a big fan of eye shadow – especially natural eye shadow, and I was very excited to receive this duo mineral eye shadow. It came in a beautiful bamboo box with a little mirror and tiny eye shadow brush. The plates of eye shadow can be replaced when they run low and it’s all very compact and mobile.

I’ve only tried this a few times but I can’t say the results were as good as other natural eye shadows I’ve tested; Benecos is still a firm favourite for me. This eye shadow looked beautiful when first applied, but unfortunately, after a few hours, I caught sight of it in a bathroom mirror and was shocked to see it had all sunk into the crease of my eyelid.

Perhaps I didn’t apply enough of a base, and I’ll be making sure I build a good foundation before trying it again. But I was very disappointed that it all disappeared into the crease so easily. It’s a shame because it really is beautifully presented and the colours were also beautiful.

Products I would buy:

I’m not sure it I would purchase any of the products I’ve reviewed today, to be honest. I’ll keep testing the nail polish remover and the eye shadow, and I’ll keep using the brow fixer, but so far I’m not that impressed.

Having said that, Suncoat seem to have a range of other products that might be worth trying, such as blush, lip gloss or hair sprays, mousses and gels.

The hair products, I think, would definitely be worth testing out, and I may try them at some stage.

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