Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare blog

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.

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.

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.

Can you feel it?

Though we have a way to go, the subtle changes of spring are very much in the air. I love the fresh energy the new season brings to all aspects of life – from the hardy scented narcissi (one of my personal favourites) pushing their way through the frost, to the extra few minutes of daylight. My new issue of my Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine is bursting with brilliant ways to brighten the days, revitalise with feel-good-food recipes and give skin a seasonal boost, not to mention tips for bringing out your natural romance this Valentine’s Day!

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

Love tokens

There’s still time to get crafty with some adorable homemade Valentine’s gift ideas. My mother hand-makes me an embroidered scented sachet each year and even though it’s such a simple item, it’s something I always treasure. Why not show someone you care with a pretty handmade bookmark or keepsake lantern? You’ll find plenty of ideas in the Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine.

Earlier this week we launched our new video showcasing our magical island home. To complement the rugged natural beauty of the Isle of Wight, we chose a spellbinding, cinematic track entitled Shells by Laurel, a folk-inspired female singer from the south coast. Although only 19, Laurel has already made her mark on the UK music scene, enjoying huge success with her debut single Fire Breather and touring with the likes of John Newman and Dan Croll. In 2014 she released her EP To the Hills, from which Shells is taken. Below we meet the artist behind the voice and discover what it is that inspires her most…

What’s your biggest inspiration when writing music?

My life! I only write when I have first person experience of something. I’m a bit of an old romantic too, so they are mostly about love and relationships.

What do you love about the natural landscape of the Isle of Wight?

I love coming over to the island, especially for the festivals in summer, it’s a truly unique place. Also, at the end of last year I visited the Ventnor Botanic Garden and met the owner who explained all about the garden’s unique microclimate, meaning they can grow exotic plants from all over the world there. It’s an amazing place!

How important is your beauty routine to you?

Very, I love having a skin regime to follow. There are some products I use daily and others, on a weekly basis, to make sure my skin is always feeling fresh. I think it’s important not to overuse products though, your skin has its own natural oils that may be lost if you use too many harsh products.

What’s your favourite Liz Earle beauty product?

I just can’t choose! I use the Gentle Face Exfoliator every other day, which leaves my skin feeling super soft, followed by the Deep Cleansing Mask once a week.

How much does nature influence your work?

Hugely. I come from a folk music background where nature is very prominent in the lyrics and I think that’s always stayed with me. I reference the sea a lot too as my family live on the south coast.

Are you an outdoors person?

Yes, I love camping and walking, but since moving to the city I’ve become a bit of a wimp! It only takes a few days of being back home though before I lose the city girl and get back out into the nature again.

Who’s your female role model and why?

I hold the singer, Florence Welch, in high esteem. I think the way she’s dealt with her fame is extraordinary. She seems so natural and normal and doesn’t seem to have changed for other peoples’ appreciation.

Liz Earle is very much a family company, how important are your family to your singing career?

My family are very important. I’m currently living back home to finish writing my album and they’re all so supportive of me. My mum comes home from work every day and sits in my studio to hear what I’ve been up to. She is my main critic!

Where’s the most beautiful natural landscape you’ve visited on your travels?

Winchester Hill is my favourite place in the UK. I’m not sure why but I have a deep sense of peacefulness when i get to the top and look out over the view (after panting for half an hour trying to climb it, it is insanely steep!). My mum and I go there for walks regularly, through all the seasons.

Describe your ideal day on the Isle of Wight

I would definitely come over on some sort of boat, like a rig. I’ve done this a few times and it’s awesome, although I’m not a great driver! I would absolutely love to visit the Ventnor Botanic Garden again because there’s just so much to see, including the Liz Earle garden. I also have family on the island so I would be paying them a visit too. I’d love to end the day on Colwell Bay, having a few drinks by the water.

What’s your earliest memory of the Isle of Wight?

My uncle and auntie’s wedding! I think I may have worn a yellow and white dress but that is sadly all I remember. Trust me to only remember what I was wearing!

You grew up near the coast, are you a beach person?

I love the beach. I used to surf every summer with my dad and sister too, but now I’m not such a fan of being in the sea, I prefer relaxing and watching other people.

What’s your favourite botanical?

I love both eucalyptus and rosemary, like in the Liz Earle candle. It is honestly the best scent I have ever smelled in my life. If I had it my way, the air would smell like that all the time.

Shells, from Laurel’s To the Hills EP is available to download now via. iTunes [http://georiot.co/ToTheHills]

Relax and recharge

My Weekend Edition comes to you from Byron Bay, Australia where I’m taking some time out to further my yoga studies. Yes, the sunshine helps, but you don’t need an exotic holiday to supercharge your detox. Getting naturally active is one way to boost your energy levels, while clearing away mental clutter can have an equally positive effect, increasing your focus and clarity. Follow these simple tips, along with a healthy, balanced diet, and you’ll soon feel your energy levels soar!

Do the twist

Twists are my favourite yoga poses. They have a naturally detoxifying effect, gently stimulating the internal organs to help flush away toxins. Every morning, before you get out of bed, take a moment to hug your knees in, then release them over to the right while you ground both shoulders down into the mattress. Take a deep breath in this position, then repeat taking your knees over to the left.

Upgrade your sleep

A good night’s rest is my beauty holy grail, especially with the 5am calls on my yoga course! For better sleep, which naturally aids the cleansing process, take a digital detox at least one hour before bedtime and ban anything with a screen from your bedroom. For an extra dose of calm, massage our Superskin™ Concentrate over a cleansed face before lights out and breathe in the heavenly aroma.

Boost your body’s natural detox

I can’t stress enough how important it is to put our health first, but as a busy working mum who’s constantly juggling a packed schedule, sometimes it’s difficult to find that balance. That’s why my Weekend Edition reflects the small, attainable tweaks you can easily adopt into your own busy schedule to boost your inner and outer radiance, one day at a time.

Walk tall

It sounds simple but improving your posture can have huge benefits on the body. Sitting straight and walking tall (as if someone were pulling on a thread attached to the top of your head) nurtures more efficient breathing, which in turn floods the body with oxygen for a naturally healthy glow.

Morning ritual

Make dry body brushing your 2-minute morning ritual. As well as stimulating your lymph system and the natural cleansing process, it exfoliates dead cells so your skin feels soft and smooth. To learn the perfect body brushing technique, watch my helpful how-to video here.

Embrace the power of nature


As a botanist I often witness the transformational power of nature, clearing the old to make way for the new. It’s exactly the same in life. By removing the elements of your daily routine that no longer serve you, you’ll cultivate greater energy, a calmer mind and positive changes to your physical wellbeing. My Weekend Edition is all about discovering a new, natural sense of balance and focus. Practise my tips below and you’ll soon reap the benefits, I promise!

Purify with plants


The elegant peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is proven to be particularly effective at removing toxins from your surroundings. They’re widely available from supermarkets and garden centres, so pop one on your desk, or the kitchen counter, for the natural gift of cleaner, filtered air. It’ll also help you feel more connected to nature, even if you’re stuck indoors at this time of year.

Grow your glow


Growing your own beauty patch is not only rewarding, it helps to get you naturally active in the garden. Eucalyptus – a hero ingredient in our iconic Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser – can thrive even in the British climate. Steep a handful of leaves in hot water and use as a clarifying facial steam to help open pores and clear congestion.

Has the festive season left you looking and feeling frazzled? Then the Cleanse & Detox 28-day plan arrives at just the right time. Over the coming weeks, look out for daily tips and inspiring ideas from us on Facebook and Twitter on how to achieve greater energy, a calmer mind and more radiant skin. And remember to share your journey too by tagging #CleanseAndDetox.

To kick-start your journey, we’ve put together the brand new Cleanse & Detox Skincare Kit – a complexion-boosting trio which work in botanical harmony to revive your radiance day after day. Just what jaded January skin has been waiting for…

Your Cleanse & Detox Skincare kit Decoded

Step 1

The daily skin detox
Cleanse, soothe and brighten your complexion with our iconic Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Harnessing the power of naturally active botanicals and a radiance-boosting pure muslin cloth, it’s a daily detox for your skin.

Step 2

The instant skin smoother
Reveal a smoother, more radiant complexion with our Gentle Facial Exfoliator. Formulated with spherical jojoba beads in rich cocoa butter base, it gentle yet effectively buffs away any dulling dead skin cells.

Step 3

The trouble-shooting treatment
Add your favourite trouble-shooting treatment mask. Choose from either our purifying Deep Cleansing Mask, our soothing Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask, or our Brightening Treatment Mask to boost a lacklustre complexion.

Liz

A radiant start

Welcome to a brand new year, full of radiant promise. I’m delighted to be sharing my wellbeing wisdom on how to achieve a visibly healthy glow from the inside out this January. To get you started, I’ve chose my favourite tried and trusted ‘clean’ eating tips and recipes to help you detox your plate naturally. They’ll help to nurture your body and boost energy levels so you can look forward to a radiant new you!

Clean & Green

This recipe from my brand new book Juice (£14.99, Kyle Books) includes chlorella powder, a nutritional powerhouse made from green algae which helps to detox the skin from within. Chlorella powder can be found in most health stores. Simply juice together 1 peeled pink grapefruit, 3 handfuls of spinach, 3 asparagus spears and 2 celery stalks, then stir in 1/2 teaspoon of chlorella powder, mixing well to ensure it’s fully absorbed into the juice. Make one a day and sip slowly.

Berry nice

Supercharge your breakfast with detox-friendly fruits. Antioxidant-rich berries are delicious sprinkled over muesli or natural yoghurt and an easy way to up your raw food intake. Pomegranate – one of the key ingredients in our Superskin Moisturiser will add natural sweetness to your bowl, while also feeding the skin with natural goodness to boost your inner glow. The seeds also make a tasty, nutritious snack when dried.

Cleanse & Detox – Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily tips and inspiring new ideas to keep you motivated on your Cleanse & Detox journey… and share your progress too by tagging #CleanseAndDetox