Argile Clay May 23 2016, 0 Comments

A certain well known company is now advertising a shampoo that boasts the benefits of clay.

At Natural Alchemy we have long known what clays can bring to a product - they are cleansing, detoxifiying, exfoliating and soothing - which is why we add them to two of our soaps:

Our refreshing green argile clay soap with citrus essential oils.

And our pink argile clay with rose geranium and ylang ylang essential oils.

So treat yourself to some of our great skin care products - you are worth it!

Sweet Almond Oil May 19 2016, 0 Comments

Sweet almond oil is one of the most popular oils to use in skin care products.   There certainly are more exotic oils around however this faithful standby should not be overlooked.

It is rich in vitamins and its properties mean that it is excellent for skin softening and moisturising.   It is especially good for dry, sensitive and irritated skin conditions.

This is why we use it in our body butters, massage and bath oils.

A product made with this popular oil will be a treat for your skin.

Getting skin summer ready May 16 2016, 0 Comments

There is no denying that this time of year sees more flesh on display.

Make sure you skin is summer ready by regular exfoliation - cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise with a super-fatted scrub bar - followed by generous handfuls of body butter.

Try our oatmeal scrub bar with rose petals, lavender soap with dried lavender and our black pepper soap.

Our body butters are made with organic shea butter and cocoa butter blended with sweet almond oil and essential oils:  traditional lavender, or ylang ylang and rose geranium or unscented.

Using butters May 13 2016, 0 Comments

Butters can be used in conjunction with oils or instead of.   They are very useful for skincare as they have the same ability to moisturise as vegetable and nut oils.   Butters are solid so when mixed with oils can make wonderfully soft balms.     

The two most popular butters for skincare products and cocoa and shea.

Cocoa butter is very hard and has a high melting point.  It is very hydrating and has skin softening properties.   A good anti-wrinkle butter!

Shea is softer than cocoa butter being semi-solid at room temperature but melts on contact with the skin.

Shea butter is hydrating and skin softening and is a rich source of vitamins A & E.

Look for products which make use of these wonderful butters to care for your skin.

How are your feet looking? May 04 2016, 0 Comments

It is that time of year again when our feet emerge from socks and boots to brave the warmer weather.   Open-toed shoes, sandals, flip-flops - okay we might not be wearing any of these today but it is only a matter of time.

So, how are your feet looking?

Do they need a soak, do they need a bit of work with a foot file, how about some nice foot balm to soften that skin?

Two of the most refreshing essential oils for feet are peppermint and lemon.

Give your feet a soak with a peppermint and lemon foot bomb

After soaking and a bit of attention with a foot file smooth on some refreshing foot balm

Repeat regularly so your feet are summer ready!

Facial cleansing September 14 2015, 0 Comments

We all know the importance of a good facial cleansing routine but many people shy away from using oil based cleansers - especially if they are prone to greasy skin.

So why should we use oil based cleansers:  In the first instance harsh, non-oil-based cleansers can strip the skin of its natural oils which then prompts the skin to produce more oil (sebum) often making oily skin more oily.

A cleanser that removes dirt and make-up but doesn't leave the skin feeling parched and tight is best.  A cleanser that cleans and moisturises at the same time is most beneficial to the skin.

Jojoba oil makes a wonderful ingredient in a facial cleanser and is an oil that people with a tendency to greasy skin do not need to fear.   Jojoba oil has a very light texture and has a chemical structure that resembles the natural oil produced by the skin - sebum.   If jojoba oil is used on the skin to cleanse it the natural ph balance of the skin is not upset and so the skin does not produce extra sebum to compensate.  

Jojoba oil is full of antioxidants and is rich in vitamins and minerals.  It is suitable for all skin types, is very kind to sensitive skin and is soothing on inflamed and irritated skin.

Calendula petals are also a valuable addition to any skin cleansing product. 

Calendula petals are the petals of the marigold flower and are well known for their skin care properties. Oils that have been infused with calendula are ideal ingredients in skin care products as the soluble properties of the flowers are released in to the oil.  The properties of the petals are known for their soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory qualities. 

A skin cleanser that contains the skin-care properties of calendula and jojoba oil is suitable for all skin types.   

Give our Calendula Cleansing Balm a try!


New Product Announcement: Perfumed Body Spray June 23 2015, 0 Comments

This perfumed body spray is based on a classic Eau de Cologne recipe and combines soothing witch 

hazel with essential oils of bergamont, lavender, petitgrain, lemon and

rosemary  to create a wonderfully aromatic, refreshing body spray. 


Witch hazel is very soothing and cooling on the skin and this combination of essential oils provides a fragrant and quite balmy perfume.   Bergamont is a traditional perfume ingredient and combined with lavender, petitgain, lemon and rosemary we have created a perfumed body spray that has a deoderising action and an appealing perfumed aroma.

What's in a bath bomb? June 16 2015, 0 Comments

All bath bombs have the same basic ingredients - citric acid, bicarbonate of soda, oil, essential oils and, perhaps, natural botanicals.    Some commercially available bath bombs add artificial colours and glitters to make them look sparkly and pretty.   Artificial colour and glitter does nothing to enhance skin care though so it is a matter of choice if you want to pay extra for sparkle.

Bicarbonate of Soda is an excellent skin soothing product and a staple of bath bombs and bath powders. Bicarbonate of soda also has deodorising properties.

Citric Acid has skin softening properties. We use a food-grade product.

We add a little grapeseed oil:  This oil is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially  vitamin E and omega-6. Grapeseed oil is a light oil that is suitable for all skin types and is easily absorbed. A nourishing base oil in soaps and in butters and balms it helps to refine pores and soothes tired, damaged skin.

And pure essential oils: the skin care properties of essential oils have been widely researched and are now more fully appreciated.

And we also, occasionally, add some botanicals - dried lavender or dried rose petals to add texture and enhance the properties of the corresponding essential oil.

No colour or sparkle needed - simple, natural and kind -  they look pretty and they work!

Exfoliation April 28 2015, 0 Comments

Exfoliation does wonders for the condition of our skin.  Exfoliation is a treatment that helps boost circulation and remove dead skin cells. 

The skin naturally sheds dead skin cells, it is reasonably efficient at self-exfoliation but you can assist it in order to speed up the sloughing off of dead skin cells and help to reveal healthy, glowing skin.  Dead skin cells can't absorb moisture so it is important to regularly remove this layer of skin cells in order to optimise the benefits of any body butter or moisturiser you use.

Natural soaps containing exfoliating materials will cleanse your skin, remove the dead skin cells and add moisture.  

Try our black pepper soap, oatmeal scrub bar with rose petals, dried lavender soap or one of our argile clay soaps.

Massage: stress relief and relaxation April 17 2015, 0 Comments

The combination of essential oils and massage has been shown to be very effective in treating stress-related disorders.   Essential oils are absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream - essential oils can be selected for their stimulating effects and for their sedating effects.  Massage with essential oils can be very useful in helping combat stress, anxiety, insomnia all of which can also manifest in physical complaints.  Anything that can help to reduce stress levels and aid relaxation is clearly of great value.  Massage can improve circulation, helps to eliminate toxins, improve skin tone and relax muscles.

Massage has tremendous psychological benefits as it can generate a  feeling of well-being by releasing endorphins, the brain's feel-good chemical.  A massage is a most enjoyable experience and a massage between partners can be a very intimate experience.

Massage will benefit our physical, psychological and emotional health.  Galen the greatest physician of ancient Rome discusses the importance of massage oil in his treatise on Hygiene.  Much medical knowledge was passed on to the Romans from the ancient Greeks so perhaps the last word  should go to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC), considered to be the father of modern medicine:

'The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day'.