Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare blog

Autumn is in the air, and the days are getting darker and shorter. As the weather cools, it’s all too easy to hit the snooze button, skip the gym or over indulge in comfort foods. But keeping active is so important as it really helps to lift your spirits and self-esteem – and means you’re less likely to comfort eat too! Here are a few top tips for happy, healthy Autumn.

Seed of an idea

I love Halloween and it is just around the corner. If like me you’re planning on some creative pumpkin carving, make sure you don’t throw away the seeds or the flesh this year. Roasted pumpkin seeds are simply delicious, whether sprinkled over soups, salads, or simply enjoyed as a healthy snack! They are also full of beauty-boosting nutrients, including zinc and omega-3 fatty acids – perfect if you suffer from dry skin during the colder months. Use the pumpkin flesh to make lots of seasonal dishes – my all-time favourite is pumpkin pancakes.

Get up and go

If like me you’re a runner, make sure that your route is well-lit during the colder months, and that you’re wearing brightly coloured clothing. In fact, updating your workout wardrobe is a great motivation-booster. Swap faded T-shirts and tired-looking tracksuit bottoms for some bright new sportswear that makes you look and feel great – and lay it out before you go to sleep so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning, making it that little bit easier to get up and go.

Sweet nothings

The colder, darker mornings can be tough – but avoid the temptation to grab a sugary coffee or pastry on your way to work. Starting your day with a quick-fix sugary breakfast will only make you feel tired, lethargic and depleted of energy a few hours later. This autumn, why not switch caffeine for hot water with a few slices of fresh ginger root? Ginger is fantastically winter-warming and has digestive benefits too – plus think of the money you’ll save on all those take-away coffees! My new favourite autumn breakfast is quinoa porridge made with almond milk and dressed with grated apple or berries.

Have a great weekend

Sarah Carr x

Wrap up!

Although it’s been a mild autumn so far, don’t let your garden get caught out by the temperamental British weather. Unlike us, plants can’t pull on a woolly jumper to keep themselves snug, but a cosy layer of horticulture fleece acts like the next best thing. I’ve already stocked up on rolls of it (available from garden centres or online), so I’m ready to dash out if a cold snap strikes.

Grow your own kitchen garden

The lawnmower may have been put into hibernation, but there’s no excuse for a bare veg patch over the coming months. Onions, leeks, asparagus, spinach and kale can all be planted now to ensure a plentiful supply of produce all year round. Tending crops is also one of the best ways to keep naturally active through the chillier months too, and comes with the incentive of a garden full of bounty as well.

Crunch time

Right now, it’s harvest time for apples which I like to slow cook in crumbles, pies and sauces. I always add a generous sprinkling of cinnamon as studies show this fragrant spice may help slow the absorption of sugar (preventing the post-pudding slump). It also pairs perfectly with apples’ sweet and sour deliciousness!

Down on the garlic farm

One of my favourite recent foodie finds has to be The Garlic Farm, based here on the Isle of Wight. Boasting varieties that are renowned for exceptional flavour and quality from all over the world, this is the place to power up your plate with garlic’s natural health-boosting goodness (especially when bugs are going round). My current go-to is their Luxury Black Garlic which is packed with antioxidants, but remarkably doesn’t give you ‘garlic breath’!

Have a great weekend,

James Wong x

Mushroom magic

This weekend I’m heading to my local farmers’ market for the wonderful wild mushrooms in season right now. I loved meeting the fabulous forager Antonio Carluccio on my Lifestyle TV show many years ago and picked up his passion for these fantastically delicious funghi, so healthily delicious sautéed in a little olive oil. Mushrooms are surprisingly nutritious – read more about them at Liz Earle Wellbeing along with one of favourite autumn mushroom recipes.

Nature’s bounty

I don’t know enough about mushrooms to pick them myself, but I do love to forage for other woodland treasures – and there’s plenty about just now. Conkers, acorns, oak leaves and more – all so pretty on an indoor nature table. Start collecting now for Christmas and festive table decorations (not too early to start planning!)

Hip hip hooray!

Loving the gleam of glossy red rosehips in the hedgerows right now. I add sprigs to my vases now that flowers are scarcer in the garden. I also make a simple syrup by simmering the hips with a little water and sugar, straining and storing in a small, clean bottle in the fridge. Packed with vitamin C, it’s a tasty daily tonic to help keep coughs and colds at bay. I’ve also long been a fan of rosehip oil, revered for its beauty benefits – you can discover why at Liz Earle Wellbeing.

Here at Home Farm

We’re busy prepping the fields for winter, sowing fresh pasture with deep-rooting herbs to feed our cattle and sheep as well as hedge cutting and ditch clearing. I love this change in seasons – a chance to pull on a pair of gumboots, get out into the crisp fresh air and kick up a few golden fallen leaves when no-one is looking…

Turn over a new leaf

Back indoors, my new favourite read is Garden Design Close-Up (Thames & Hudson, £25), a beautiful and absorbing book by my good friend, the award-winning garden writer Emma Reuss. Jam-packed with fabulous photos to inspire even armchair gardeners. I picked it up for a quick flick and was still engrossed an hour later!

To discover more Autumn inspirations visit Liz Earle Wellbeing.

We loved this insightful article from Liz Earle Wellbeing on how to preserve fresh herbs and think you will too…

Liz writes:

I’ve been enjoying a steady stream of herbs from my kitchen garden and with autumn coming, now’s the time to get preserving them for winter. Many herbs are sensitive to frost and will wilt away when the cold weather hits. By preserving our herbs now, we can enjoy their full taste and aroma even if the garden gets snowed under later in the year. There’s something very special about being able to enjoy home-grown herbs (even from a pot or window box), without resorting to shop-bought, out-of-season stems or packets of the dried stuff (their flavour fades over time). Below are some of my time-tested techniques, which I stockpile now to make tasty suppers over the months to come.

Drying

Home-drying is the simplest way of preserving herbs, providing a much fuller flavour and more colour than shop bought ones. To air-dry herbs, make sure they are clean and dry and remove wilted leaves, then tie them together in a small bunch using string or a rubber band and hang them upside down in a warm, well ventilated place until they start to crumble in your fingers. This could take up to a month. Above the oven is perfect and looks very romantic! Or if you’re short on time, spread your herbs out on a baking tray, or baking parchment, and put into the oven with the door slightly ajar at 150 degrees C (or leave overnight in the plate-warming oven of an Aga). Once your herbs are dry, store in an airtight container, such as a tin or jar.

As some herbs such as basil, parsley, coriander and rosemary don’t dry as well, try these methods below:

Freezing

Leafy herbs, such as parsley, dill, oregano and marjoram, all freeze well. Spread clean dry herbs on to a tray to ‘open freeze’ in the freezer. Once frozen, pack into freezer bags or boxes. The frozen leaves can then be crumbled into soups, sauces etc. as needed throughout the year. Note: don’t freeze basil as its tender leaves will bruise and blacken.

Herb butters

Herb butters are also an excellent way to freeze and preserve fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, coriander and mint. Simply mix a handful of your chosen freshly chopped herb into half a standard pack of softened butter (around 125g). Then roll your herb butter into a log shape, wrap in Clingfilm and freeze. Once frozen, chop your herby log into thick disks of delicious butter and wrap individually, before storing long-term in the freezer. Or to make smaller individual portions, pack the herb mixture into ice cube trays, ready to pop out little squares of botanical butter as needed.

My family favourite is parsley and crushed garlic butter, pre-made and ready to use. So tasty baked onto crunchy fresh baguettes to make the most delicious garlic bread.

Oil and vinegars

Plant oils provide an excellent way of preserving delicate herbs that would otherwise be damaged by drying or freezing, such as basil. Pack your chosen herbs into very clean, dry jam jars, layering the herbs as you go with cold-pressed olive oil. As well as preserving your herbs, you’ll get the added bonus of a wonderfully herb-infused olive oil, perfect for dipping breads or drizzling over cheeses and salads. To get even more of a culinary ‘kick’, this method also works well with white wine or cider vinegar. I love hunting out pretty vintage glass bottles and jars for my herbal infusions, always much appreciated as gourmet Christmas gifts (forward planning!).

This article was originally published at Liz Earle Wellbeing. For more of Liz’s advice and lifestyle features, click here.

Hello!

What a summer we’ve had… I don’t want it to end!

I’ve been spending most of my time on the Isle of Wight which has been dreamy, enjoying morning runs, evening walks and lots of fresh food. I also went to a music festival in Devon called Somersault which was magical – there was the most amazing wellbeing area where we could have treatments and practice yoga. Jack Johnson was performing, who I was actually really privileged to meet a few years ago when I treated him to a facial (a memory I could live over and over again!). The weather was absolutely on our side and of course I had all my LE essentials with me… I used up an entire Instant Boost Skin Tonic spritzer to keep cool and refreshed, and my Botanical Aftersun Gel was invaluable for our sun-exposed arms and legs.

I headed to Jersey for a friend’s 30th – what a party we had! It was on the beach at St Ouen’s with a BBQ (lots of fresh veggies and salad for me!) and fabulous company. I treated birthday girl Nina to some party essentials – our Radiant Glow Bronzer and Sheer Lip Gloss in Apricot, a gorgeous shimmering shade that’s perfect for summer.

This month’s lifestyle tip – My sprializer is working a treat! My favourite thing to make with it has to be ‘courgetti’ – ribbons of courgette cut to look like spaghetti! I’ve been adding pesto or homemade tomato sauces to mine. Has anyone else entered the world of spiralizing?

My latest healthy discovery is making my own flavoured water. I’ve been doing this either at home or in the office. My favourites so far are mint, cucumber and lime or strawberry, cucumber and lemon. They’re fun and nutritious!

This month’s skincare tip - Superskin Body Cream is my summer 2014 hero. This luxurious cream has given my legs and arms a gorgeous glow – and me the confidence to show them off!

This month’s make up tip - I’m still addicted to our Radiant Glow Bronzer. This multi-tasking bronzer can be used to give skin instant radiance, or individual sections can be used on eyelids or cheekbones to highlight and contour.

Here at Liz Earle, August was all about our Retail Conference. We brought all our retail teams home to the Isle of Wight to discover our amazing eco-friendly headquarters, meet the teams and unveil our vision for the next six months. I’m excited about what’s in store!

Enjoy the last days of summer,

Sarah x

After a summer of Pimm’s and Champagne, why not sidestep the fuzzy head and quench your thirst with a delicious botanical mocktail? Packed with skin-loving ingredients like juicy pomegranate, uplifting mint and zesty lime (and not a splash of alcohol), a jug of this ruby-red elixir is just the thing to brighten up late summer soirees, and keep you refreshed and invigorated all weekend long.

What you’ll need

Jewels of one pomegranate

Two large handfuls of mint

Two fresh limes

One litre sour cherry juice

Cubes of finely diced ginger

Method

  1. Scoop out the pomegranate jewels and place at the bottom of a large jug.
  2. Add the mint.
  3. Quarter the limes and squeeze their juice into the jug; add the squeezed quarter to the jug too.
  4. Using the blunt end of a rolling pin, gently crush the fruit and mint.
  5. Add a scoop of crushed ice and top up with the sour cherry juice.
  6. Add the cubes of finely diced ginger, give it a quick stir and you’re ready to pour!
From day one, our homeland has been the beautiful Isle of Wight, just peeping across the water as you gaze longingly out from Portsmouth Harbour. Dubbed ‘the island’, our tranquil yet energising home inspires us in so many ways  – from the concept of the range itself (which was born here), to our very first store on Union Street which opened in 2002, to our state-of-the-art eco-office, The Green House, nestled behind the seaside town of Ryde. We are passionate about the island and love sharing its secrets with our customers. When I first joined the company, I even wrote a fun handbag-sized ‘Passport to the island’ for those who wanted more ideas for things to do when they visited us. Many continue to make pilgrimages across the globe to see us (only last week I met a New Zealander who returns here each year!). In fact, we were often asked – in those early days – ‘Do I need to bring my passport?’! Our treasured gem is truly on the map now, and many of you visit for family holidays or for chill-out time, to re-energise and restore.

Here are some top tips, whether you’re glamping in Dorset, surfing in Newquay, walking in the Lake District, or abseiling in the Cairngorms:

  • Cleanse every night – Daily sebum, grime and suncream build up over the summer months when we tend to be more active and outward-bound, and the humidity affects how much we perspire, so many of you are rightly scrupulous about cleansing during these hotter months. When you’re on holiday, try to take a few moments each day just to massage, massage, massage after cleansing – this helps increase circulation and elimination of toxins. A sure-fire way to achieve glowing, healthy-looking skin throughout your holiday.
  • Reach for Instant Boost Skin Tonic spritzer – On hot sticky nights, this is everyone’s ‘go-to’ to cool, calm, refresh and fragrance skin. Try behind the neck and at the top of the back, for extra refreshment on nights when the humidity is zapping you. The soothing aloe vera base is also great to calm sun-exposed skin, gently and lovingly. The aroma (rose-scented geranium) is sheer heaven – and feels very British in essence.
  • Switch up your moisturiser – Some people prefer a richer moisturiser (such as our heavenly Superskin™ Moisturiser) when the summer months leave skin feeling parched, others prefer stepping down to Skin Repair Moisturiser Light. Our moisturisers are hardworking and flexible, allowing you to step up/down with ease, without losing those famous results.

  • Make bath time your sanctuary – Try to carve out 5-10 minutes of total me-time while you’re away. Enjoy a bath filled with Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash, escape to exotic climes with one of our Creamy Shower Nectars, or take a few minutes to indulge in a trusty treatment mask, to revive, calm, rehydrate and brighten skin in minutes.

  • Restore balance with Superskin™ Concentrate – It takes seconds to apply (with the clever rollerball or a few drops from the pump), absorbs in minutes, and you wake up with baby-soft, radiant skin. No matter how tired you are, your skin won’t show it.

  • Add instant glamour with our colour classics – A quick slick of our Strengthening Nail Colour works wonders with a tan, and ‘dresses up’ even the most pared-down outfit. For lips, just a dab of our Sheer Lip Gloss, married with the Coral shade of our multi-tasking Healthy Glow Cream Blush, highlights a bronzed complexion. You only need a few select finishing touches to showcase your glorious Liz Earle healthy-looking skin.
Share your favourite UK travel tips here! And your own holiday skincare secrets… have a beautiful British summer!

I left a piece of my heart in New York when I went there to visit my friend last year – so you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to return this month (exactly a year after my first visit) to share the secret of great skin with NYC’s glamorous online beauty editors and bloggers!

Jenn (our PR Manager) and I took a morning flight from London to JFK, so I made sure I packed travel-size minis of my favourite Liz Earle must-haves so we could pamper our complexions with a little first-class skincare on the way.

When we arrived, it was time to prep for our blogger event. Our theme was #LoveCleanseandPolish and we treated guests to a delicious vegan breakfast, washed down with bespoke juice blends called Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise – each of them packed with some of the same skin-loving ingredients (such as cucumber, avocado and chamomile) that we use in our naturally active products.

I designed an interactive ‘hands-on’ session for the event so I could teach our guests how to truly ‘Cleanse & Polish’ like a pro. I also revealed some of my favourite ‘C&P’ tips, such as using it as a face mask (simply apply 2-3 pumps to a clean, dry skin and leave on for 5-10 minutes). Ta da! The face mask you never knew you had!

As well as introducing Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser to bloggers, I also had the pleasure of showcasing our beauty icon to the retail team for Birchbox’s first ever store in New York (on West Broadway in SoHo – just in case you’re ever passing). Customers love our skincare hero over the pond just as much as we all do – now I can’t wait to see our products on-the-shelves in NYC next time I’m there!

Although there was a lot of work, I managed to squeeze in a classic NY mani, lots of eating and of course, a little shopping too. Plus a very good friend of mine happened to be there at the same time, so we spent Saturday afternoon sipping cocktails in the sunshine which was definitely a highlight.

I had a such fabulous time in New York, but there was lots to look forward to coming home to as well – a music festival in Devon, my friend visiting from Australia, and of course, our incredible rooftop garden event last week at John Lewis in London with myself, Abigail James, James Wong… and the one and only Liz Earle too. It’s certainly been a month to remember, now… roll on August!

See you soon,

Sarah x

Hurrah – we’ve waited for the summer, it’s here and it’s been rather glorious so far, hasn’t it? However, there are those moments when we experience little seasonal emergencies: hot sticky nights when you can’t sleep, irritated eyes, heat bringing out more blemishes than usual and dehydrated skin. These can all be pesky downsides to the wonderful summer months, but our products prove that there’s always an answer in nature…
  • Do remove your SPFs at night – It’s important in the summer months to always use an SPF during the day time, but it’s also really important to remove it properly at the end of the day too. Not only do we have the usual build-up of pollutants, dirt, sebum, dead skin cells and sweat sitting on our skin by evening, but SPFs may also clog up the pores a little too. Be really thorough about where you cleanse – face, neck, décolletage and behind the ears/back of the neck. I usually go for an extra-generous pump and a half of Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser in the evenings in the summer months to ensure everything is thoroughly removed. Use a muslin wrung out in cold water too as a final skin freshener. 
  • Keep your eye SOS in the fridge – Instantly cooling to sore, puffy eyes, Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion is one of our summer favourites to refresh, cleanse, brighten and revive the delicate eye area. Brilliant in the fridge for extra coolness, steep two cotton wool pads in Eyebright and hey presto! Really cooling eye compresses. It’s oil-free and suitable for contact lens wearers (speaking from experience).
  • Try our summer wonder worker – Our Botanical Aftersun Gel is brilliant on hot sticky evenings, as a skin-calmer after sun exposure, or to cool skin after waxing or shaving. One customer I know calls it ‘air-conditioning for the body’! Packed with a high percentage of soothing aloe vera juice, this also contains high-altitude lavender from Mount Ventoux in France – an amazing tonic for the senses. I use this on my children too.
  • Keep skin spotlessly clean – Obviously, summer brings the extra issue of increased perspiration, so cleansing is vital to keep skin clean and fresh. If you need extra help to keep blemishes at bay, then try our Gentle Face Exfoliator too. I use it in the shower twice a week.
  • Do you or don’t you wear make-up on the beach? It’s a big question I’m often asked by you and my answer is – do what you feel most comfortable. Personally, I go bare-faced apart from my SPF, adding just a touch of colour if needed with a neutral shade of Healthy Glow Cream Blush on my cheeks and lips.
Please share with us some of your favourite Liz Earle summer tips. And happy holidays, whatever you are doing, home or away….
Caroline X

Hello June and the World Cup! I am not saying that I am the biggest football fan around, however I do like the atmosphere. We’ve done a sweepstake in the office which is proving rather fun and a little competitive… come on Switzerland!

I read a lovely article recently about the return of the traditional Sunday lunch and the weekend shop. Can you imagine sitting and eating with family and friends, minus technology, and preparing your meals and snacks for the week? This is my new mission for future Sundays. Since moving back to London, the day has been morning yoga, brunch with friends and discovering local farmers’ markets.

What I’m reading – I have to confess my head is still immersed in blogs, online articles and magazines. I have just ordered A Sting in the Tail by Dave Goulson which will be my in-flight reading.


Where I’m going – This month is all about Devon and New York! My brother is studying for his master’s degree in hydrography (he is going through a lot of Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion to help with late night studying) and I decided to book a long weekend down south to visit, part exploring and part celebrating a friend’s birthday. We went to a jazz night overlooking the sea and did some little road trips out to Woolacombe beach and Reservoir, where we decided to walk around the reservoir, not realising that is was over four miles long and included a walk over a fallen tree – all in flip flops!

My New York update will follow soon… I feel it deserves a special entry of its own!


This month’s lifestyle tip – Everybody, meet my spiralizer! My friend in New York was raving about this last year and I have finally purchased one… hello clean, raw food. This is my latest hobby and all part of the new lifestyle I am embarking on. I will bore you with some food pictures next month – I need a little practice as I am not the world’s best cook…

This month’s skincare tips – My skin has really loved having some fresh sea air this month. I popped in to see the team at our Duke of York Square store the other day, and to pick up my in-flight essentials for New York – Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer, Eyebright and Superbalm, the ultimate long-haul flight partner. Simply massage onto clean skin, sit back and relax while it protects skin against moisture loss.

This month’s make up tip – I have moved over to our Strengthening Nail Colour in Quicksand for my nails and now have Knockout (the most perfect red varnish) on my toes. Calling all flip flop wearers… now is the time to invest in Foot Repair Moisturiser and a good foot file to keep dry, cracked heels at bay. I massage this in every evening just before I go to bed to keep my feet flip flip and sandal-ready!

See you soon,

Sarah x