Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare blog

In such a busy world, I treasure the family time we spend together while the girls are on school holidays, but when term starts again, it’s always a gentle reminder to take some time out for myself. As well as making sure we’re all ready to resume our normal Monday to Friday routine, this weekend I’ll also be indulging in a little me-time, with the help of our new deluxe duos, to make sure I’m feeling radiant and ready to return to real life.

My skin superheroes 

I’m honestly not sure what I did before Superskin™ – the unfragranced moisturiser is my little pot of everyday luxury, and I just don’t feel right if I haven’t massaged a few drops of aromatic Superskin Concentrate onto my face after cleansing at night. If you still haven’t tried our supercharged skin duo, our Superskin™ Concentrate 10ml rollerball (worth £21.00) is now absolutely free when you buy any Superskin™ Moisturiser 50ml before this Sunday, 19th April – so there’s really never been a better time to experience the magic!

Showertime upgrade

After months under wraps in jeans and jumpers, my skin is finally starting to emerge as the weather warms up. Now is the perfect time to rethink your bodycare routine and indulge the rest of your skin with the same VIP treatment as your face. That’s why I’m over the moon about our Indulgent Body Duo – order any matching Creamy Shower Nectar and Silky Body Lotion for just £19.50 and save over 30%! My favourite is the warm, comforting Vanilla & Saffron, though I’ll stock up on the others as gifts for friends.

Cool it!

Hooray, the sun is finally shining! Be sure to always have our Botanical Aftersun Gel to hand to help soothe skin if it’s caught a little bit too much sun. For extra cooling power, keep it chilled in your fridge – it’s also great on hot nights!

Posted by Caroline on April 17th, 2015
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Starting afresh

I adore spring – the season for fresh ideas, when nature comes into its own. It’s an important time in beauty too, when experts make their all-important predictions for the season ahead. I loved learning about the latest haircare trends this week from top celebrity hairstylist, Johnnie Sapong (pictured here with me and our Ethnobotanist, James Wong), at the launch of the new-look Botanical Shine™ haircare range. It’s great to meet people who share my passion for botanicals!

Spring skin

Why not take a moment this weekend to reveal some extra springtime radiance? It’s the perfect time to smooth away any dry winter skin cells. I’m a big fan of buffing my skin with Gentle Face Exfoliator – the free gift with this month’s skincare essentials. I use it on my face, neck and even the back of my hands! You’ll find my other favourite top-to-toe spring skin tips here.

Tip  – Mix Gentle Face Exfoliator with one pump of Cleanse & Polish™ for daily buffing.

Inner beauty

Your body will enjoy a spring clean from the inside too – look no further than your back garden for help. Spring nettles are great for detoxing, either in a tea or in this quick and easy nettle pesto taken from my digital magazine – the recipe can also be found at lizearlewellbeing.com. Just make sure you wear gloves when harvesting them! For more great ways to cleanse from inside, read my Quick Guide to Detox ebook, available to download here.

Household hero 

If you’re planning to spring clean your home too, don’t forget that botanicals make brilliant natural household cleansers. I love these natural surface cleansers made with clear vinegar, lemon, orange and fresh sage – just one of several eco-friendly cleaning ideas you’ll find in the spring edition of Liz Earle Wellbeing, my digital magazine. They work really well and smell amazing too!

Download the latest issue of my magazine from Zinio, Apple or Amazon, for £2.99.

Help us win! 

Calling all Botanical Essence™ No.100 fans – the fabulously-floral scent you love has been nominated for Boots.com’s The People’s Choice Award 2015 in partnership with The Fragrance Foundation. We all know it’s a winning scent, so why not cast your vote now.

Posted by Liz on April 10th, 2015
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Happy bank holiday 

We’ve made it through the winter to our first bank holiday of 2015! It’s the perfect time to look for simple ways to lead a happier, healthier life – whether it’s easy eating tweaks or practical tools to help improve your headspace. So, with a four-day weekend on the horizon, what better opportunity to work on a few small changes on your own mini weekend retreat? Whether you’re staying at home or heading further afield this bank holiday, these easy tips are guaranteed to get you glowing from the inside out!

Time for a #positivechange?

Take a few minutes every morning, before you get out of bed, to set up a positive thought or intention and try to keep that thought in mind for the rest of the day. You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make, not just to yourself, but others around you! If you’re stuck for inspiration, you’ll find some great ideas online here. Why not make a #positivechange today?

Supercharge with stretches

After you’ve set your positive intention for the day, gently wake up your muscles with some simple stretches. Two of my favourites are a wide leg standing forward bend and a gently yoga backbend called cobra. Lowering your head beneath your heart in a forward bend increases the supply of oxygenated blood to the brain, helping you feel energised and ready for the day, while backbends have a stimulating effect on the nervous system.

Scrub up

An all-important part of any retreat is the pampering. One of my favourite ways to get my skin glowing is an all-over buff with our Energising Body Scrub – taking time to exfoliate the first thing is great for your mind and body!

Retreat treats!

Simply blend ripe avocado, banana, some raw cacao powder and vanilla essence together for a decadent chocolate mousse you’d never guess is dairy free. Eat alone or add your favourite topping (like nuts or berries) as a guilt-free Easter treat.

Posted by Sarah Carr on April 2nd, 2015
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Our best just got better!

It’s been a big week for us here at Liz Earle! After no longer being able to responsibly source yangu oil for our haircare, we’ve been on the quest to find an equal to or even better botanical. Following a long journey to locate and source our new star ingredient, Kalahari melon oil, this week we’ve relaunched our Botanical Shine™ Conditioners and Nourishing Hair Oil. Best of all, by using this rare and nourishing golden melon oil, we’re helping to provide a sustainable income to the people of the Namibian desert while at the same time, helping them to protect their precious natural ecosystem.

Our brand new botanical

Part of my role as Ethnobotanist means making it my mission to source the finest botanicals that are absolutely right for our products, and it’s no mean feat! It took many months to find it, but when we heard how the local San people treasured the Kalahari melon seeds for their naturally high content of nurturing oils, we realised we were onto something. But the oil is only part of the story, our fruits are wild-harvested by local women’s cooperatives and sold via a fair trade organisation, which means the farmers receive a fair price for their precious desert crop.

UK friendly fruit

While the Kalahari melon might struggle to grow here, there are some new varieties that can handle our changeable UK weather. These smaller, early-ripening melons, like the variety ‘Emir’, have been specifically bred for the UK climate and will fruit outdoors quite happily given a warm, sunny site. Fancy giving them a go? These are the seeds you’ll need.

The perfect pickle

In the US, pickled watermelon rind is a tasty soul food delicacy enjoyed with roasted meat or vegetables. It’s actually really easy to make your own, all you need is the washed rind of 1-2 watermelons chopped into 1” pieces, some pickling vinegar, sugar and any seasonings you might also like to add (I like ginger and star anise for an extra botanical kick!). You can find the full recipe online here.

Posted by James on March 23rd, 2015
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Mothering Sunday is the perfect opportunity to spend time together, remembering and celebrating all that our mothers have done for us. I’m very grateful for all the wisdom that my mother has passed on to me in all areas of my life, but it probably won’t surprise you that I’ve learnt a particularly large amount in the beauty and wellbeing departments. This is why I love working with her on the new Liz Earle Wellbeing digital magazine.

The importance of skincare
As many little girls do, I loved pretending to be my mother. This usually involved prancing around her bathroom wearing my pyjamas, stylishly paired with some high heels and Cleanse & Polish™ on my face. Then, standing side by side in front of the mirror together, we would finish our cleanse, tone and moisturise routine (back in the days when the packaging was still pink!) before bed. I’m very thankful that I discovered the importance of having a good skincare regime from a young age, standing me in good stead for the rest of my life.

Giving back
Over the years I’ve been inspired by my mother’s work with cooperatives and charities across the world, providing those in need with a ‘hand up’ and not just a ‘hand out’, so that ultimately individuals and communities are able to support themselves. This has shown me the difference that we are all able to make by giving to others, even if it’s just giving our time, and I was honoured when she asked me to be a trustee for her charity, LiveTwice.

Tea and cake
My mother has also always encouraged me to enjoy life and all that it brings, including good food and especially cake! A love for cake and Earl Grey tea runs deep in our family and was a weekly tradition throughout my childhood and on special occasions, such as Mothering Sunday. We all get together, tuck into a delicious slice or two, and most importantly, enjoy each other’s company. You can find some of our favourite family cake recipes in the latest edition of the Liz Earle Wellbeing digital magazine.

Posted by on March 16th, 2015
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In celebration of women everywhere

The 8th March is a date I always remember – as well as being International Women’s Day, it’s the same day we first launched on QVC! From the female farmers working around the world to bring us the finest, ethically-sourced botanicals, to the (predominantly female) staff at your local counter, women are, and always have been, at the heart of everything we do. That’s why, this International Women’s Day, I’m nominating the wonderful women who inspire us to make the Liz Earle beauty brand the best it can be. Lastly, I’d like to extend my thanks to you, our loyal customers, the majority of whom are women too. Ladies, I celebrate you all!

The story of our shea

Two groups of inspirational women, on opposite sides of the African continent, harvest the softening shea butter. In Uganda, East Africa, we source the lesser-known Shea Nilotica, famed for it’s silky texture and found in our Superskin Body Cream, via a women’s cooperative which helps to provide a sustainable income in an area that’s suffered a long and difficult history of conflict.

Meanwhile in Burkina Faso, the rich West African shea used in our Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask is harvested by local women’s groups, helping to provide a fair income and vital means for mothers to send their children to school.

An inspirational lady

During my travels in Africa and as founder of my own charity, LiveTwice, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some truly amazing and inspirational women, Joanna Waddington, a founder of charity Ace Africa for whom I’m now a patron, is one such individual. Via innovative projects that provide practical help to people who desperately need it, she and her team are helping transform the lives of people affected by HIV and Aids in some of poorest regions of Tanzania and Kenya. You can find out more about Ace Africa’s work, including their ingenious rocket stoves project, here.

Our new desert jewel

Though my lips must remain sealed for a little while longer, I can tell you we’re working with an exciting new ingredient coming soon! You’ve been asking about it for months and now the wait is nearly over! Our new secret ingredient is sourced in Namibia via a partnership with PhytoTrade Africa, an organisation that works with rural women’s community groups to ensure fair trade of their precious botanicals. Stay tuned for further updates!

Posted by Liz on March 9th, 2015
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RHS Grow for Flavour released Monday 2nd March, available to pre-order through Amazon. RRP £20.00.

My latest botanical venture

Growing your own is great. But did you know that tinkering with how you grow plants can dramatically change their flavour and nutritional content – creating harvests of truly jaw-dropping quality! In a geeky quest to determine exactly how to do this, I’ve spent the last three years trawling through thousands of scientific trials, and running many of my own at RHS Garden Wisley, to create a simple set of tips and tricks anyone can follow. They’re all in my latest book, RHS Grow for Flavour, so I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at some of the highlights…

Sunny side up

An apple is an apple. Simple right? Well, surprisingly studies have shown that apples at the sunny top of the tree not only taste sweeter, but may contain up to twice the antioxidants of those at the shady bottom. A light pruning in summer to thin out congested branches allows light to disperse evenly across the canopy, giving you sweeter, tastier fruit all over the tree.

Power crop

Want sweeter tomatoes with 50% more vitamin C? Trials suggest that spritzing them with an aspirin solution (half a soluble tablet per litre of water) while the fruit are ripening can do just that.

Blueberry boost

Fancy blueberries with triple the antioxidants? Simply picking the ‘Rubel’ variety will give you a crop three times richer than supermarket staple ‘Bluecrop’. Pop them in a pie and this can double further, as cooking makes these natural chemicals more easily absorbable for the body.

Cherry nice

Love cooking with cherries but find stoning the fruits a chore? All you need is a chopstick and an empty wine bottle. Simply sit the cherry on the open mouth of the bottle, then poke straight through the centre of the fruit with the clean chopstick. The stone should be poked free and drop into the bottle, leaving you with a perfectly-pitted cherry.

Posted by James on February 27th, 2015
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My African adventures

Over the years my botanical fieldtrips have brought me into contact with many disadvantaged communities, especially in rural Africa. In fact, I’ve recently returned from visiting some of the charity projects I have connections with. My own charity, LiveTwice, offers opportunities to people in need both in the UK and overseas. It was great to spend time at our Kenyan projects which help orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV. The older teens involved have now been taught mentoring skills so they can go back into their communities and share their knowledge with others.

Inspirational women

It’ll be International Women’s Day on the 8th March – a date I always remember as it’s the same day we first launched on QVC! Joanna Waddington, a co-founder of charity Ace Africa for whom I’m patron, is someone who continually inspires me. She and her team are transforming the lives of people affected by HIV and Aids in some of the poorest regions of Tanzania and Kenya.

Style with heart

I’m also a proud patron of Restart Africa – a fashion initiative where women are given safe refuge from trafficking and abuse and make incredible bags, jewellery and accessories. One of my favourite British brands, Geronimo Jones, sell their beautiful Sanata silver beaded bracelets – we’re delighted to have one to give away in our current competition on the Liz Earle Wellbeing Facebook page. Enter here to win.

A safe haven

While I was away, I also discovered Imara, another amazing organisation that provides a safe home and refuge for teenage rape victims and their babies. This wonderful haven not only looks after these girls, but also provides education, skills training and healthcare. You can read more about Imara here.

Posted by Liz on February 24th, 2015
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Calling all natural romantics
Happy Valentine’s! What are your plans for this radiantly romantic Saturday? If cards and flowers aren’t your style (or you’ve completely forgotten it’s February 14th and need an idea QUICK!), let nature help you rev up the romance. You’ll find a list of mood-boosting, love-inducing foods in the latest edition of my digital magazine, Liz Earle Wellbeing. In the meantime, here are a couple of my favourites to get you on the right track.

Download now from Zinio, Apple or Amazon, for £2.99.

Choose Chocolate
Chocolate is full of feel-good properties (hurrah!) and contains the ‘love chemical’ PEA (phenylethylamine), known for its ability to stimulate our brain cells into releasing dopamine – a hormone that induces feelings of pleasure and wellbeing. If you’re staying in tonight, you’ll find mouth-watering ideas for a three-course Valentine’s meal in my digital magazine, including a perfect pudding of berries and cherries dipped into dark chocolate.

Get fruity
Watermelon is one of nature’s best aphrodisiacs and looks beautiful cut into pink heart shapes. It’s full of an amino acid called citrulline, reputed to increase libido, whilst lycopene is said to boost blood circulation. Not to mention being naturally low in fructose and full of antioxidants to boost your radiant Valentine’s glow.

Supercharge your romance
The pomegranate is not only a symbol of fertility in many cultures, packed full of potent antioxidants that can promote blood flow and increase sensitivity, it’s also one of my favourite skincare ingredients. The superfruit that supercharges our best-loved Superskin™ Moisturiser, it’s ideal for keeping all Valentines looking and feeling utterly radiant at this time of year.

Posted by Liz on February 13th, 2015
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