Pascale

When should I use my facial oil?

The choice is yours! I use mine twice a day, in the morning and after cleansing at night; but you can just use yours at night, or just in the morning, whenever you would normally moisturise or as part of a nourishing treatment. Some like to use their facial oils under a cream; I don’t use creams at all but always like to hear different ways people incorporate oils into their regime. Facial oils also make a great base under makeup, like a skin primer. I have designed them to be used as a daily skin nourisher / moisturiser, how you decide to use yours is up to you. If you’re using an SPF apply this last after the facial oil.

I have oily skin can I use a facial oil?

Yes facial oils are brilliant for oily skin! Because unlike other products which try to reduce shine by stripping the oils from your skin & denying them of nourishing oil ingredients (“oil-free” products- no!), we know that this will just make skin more oily (from 1st hand teenage experience!), so our blends for oily skin gently balance oil production working with your skin, naturally.

Ingredients such as Geranium essential oil and Jojoba oil work with the skin to reduce over production of sebum (natural oil); ingredients such as Safflower oil are high in Linoleic acid (Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acid) which helps to maintain clear and fluid oil levels and so clearer pores.

Those with oily skin should avoid products with low Linoleic and high Oleic acid (Omega 9) levels such as many anti-ageing products because this can lead to thick sticky sebum and blocked pores. This compares to those with dry or normal skin who will benefit greatly from high Oleic acid content in their skincare – it’s a wonderful skin nourisher and helps to protect skin from the environment. So if you are prone to oily skin but also want the benefits of Omega 9 in your products then we recommend using them at night when the skin absorbs ingredients more easily, and ensure you use a product high in Linoleic acid during the day.

Oily skin is predominately a genetic disposition, but there are ways to reduce shine; drink plenty of water every day and don’t consume excessive amounts of caffeine, avoid fatty foods which are difficult to digest, eat lots of healthy foods rich in antioxidants, and choose skincare for your skin type including a good cleanser. See all of our products for oily / combination skin by clicking here.

What is meant by 'anti-ageing' properties of your products?

I’d like to start by saying that the idea of trying to stay looking young and the cult of youth can make me feel uneasy. I don’t believe anyone should try and change the way they look and am a great believer in lines and wrinkles showing the character of a person. They are however also signs of a depletion of nutrients and compounds like collagen that happens with time and lifestyle; so when I designed the blends with anti-ageing properties what I was really formulating was products that replenish lost nutrients giving life back to tired skin, protecting and rejuvenating skin cells; resulting in healthier skin which should, yes, show less signs of ageing, but that should also function better and age better.

The majority of anti-ageing skincare including ours works mainly on the antioxidant method of ‘anti-ageing’. This relates to stopping the damaged caused by free radical oxygen molecules (or Reactive Oxygen Species ROS) that are present in the air and bond with molecules in the skin breaking them down and damaging them. ROS are also the product of cellular metabolism, and they destroy skin cell membranes, DNA and enzymes (gilchrest and krutmann, 2006). Antioxidants work by mopping up the free radicals, so stopping the damaged caused by them, and so-to the skin ageing. You can use this premise to preserve ingredients too – we use Rosemary Antioxidant in our biologique oils to stop the ingredients being broken down by these free radicals, a process called oxidation.

By using skincare rich in antioxidants you’re helping your skin to stop damage caused by the levels of ROS in the skin that increases with age, as well as from the environment and the sun. UV rays damage the skin from radiation, as well as causing generation of ROS and compounds in the skin which break down collagen and other molecules that work to maintain cell health. Antioxidants and other compounds such as Omega 7 which boost collagen production can help to stop this damage and protect the skin going forwards.

Further to these damaging elements to ageing there is also the fact we replace skin cells less frequently and there is a reduction of nutrient exchange at the skin’s surface leading to dullness dryness and wrinkles; by using ingredients like Carrot Seed, Lavender & Frankincense essential oils which all promote skin cell regeneration renewal and cell health we can go some way to fortifying skin as we age.

Many high-street anti-ageing skincare products use quick-fix ingredients which plump or constrict the skin making it look younger, but these truly are quick-fix and the results will fade. If you’re trying to slow the signs of ageing (which is the same as keeping your skin in optimum health) we believe using nutrient and antioxidant rich natural plant ingredients with property-filled essential oils is the best way to do it. Using these ingredient types also ensures only natural botanic & organic extracts penetrate the skin instead of animal derivatives or man-made compounds the long-term effects of which are unknown. And of course eating healthily, exercising and drinking plenty of water will also help to keep skin in great shape; but then we didn’t have to tell you that.

Is your Biologique range certified organic?

If you mean have we paid for organic certification of the range then the answer is no. But we did search high & low (a difficult time-consuming task that proved incredibly rewarding) to ensure that EVERY ingredient in the range has been certified organic at source; to make a range that is rare in being made from 100% certified organic ingredients… they are 100% organic skincare products. This means that, for example with the Lavender that we buy, the Lavender flowers are certified organic – grown and processed to certified organic standards (no pesticides artificial fertilisers or GM); then the supplier of the distilled essential oil that we buy has had the essential oil certified organic (in this case by the Soil Association) so by the time it is used in one of our blends the Lavender has been certified organic twice. When first formulating the range a thought crossed our minds – by blending these certified ingredients together do we really then need to certify them a third time by getting the products they’re in certified?

As a side point – whilst researching the Biologique range we learnt that organic certification for some producers in the developing world can be prohibitive and perhaps not so relevant as it is in the West – they’re using farm techniques originating from long before the use of toxic pesticides & fertilisers started in the West, so why should they have to prove that they’re not using the detrimental techniques Western industrial farms use? For some of these producers the expertise infrastructure & costs involved in getting certified are impossible to meet. Does this make their produce any less organic? No it doesn’t, these small-scale farmers should be supported and praised for continuing to farm in ways that work with the earth, not against it.

We’ve seen a bit of scare-mongering about the risk involved in buying skincare products that haven’t been certified organic but just ‘claim’ to be organic; yes of course there are unscrupulous people in the world that may lie about their ingredients, but these doubters are hopefully not referring to the small companies that can’t justify the cost of certification and have instead have gone to the trouble of only using certified organic ingredients in their ranges. Especially if the products are only made from certified organic ingredients, which is more than is required to get a product certified. As a matter of transparency we have the certificates from our suppliers stating that the ingredients are certified organic. We have also listed which certifier has certified each ingredient on our Ingredients pages, the majority of the ingredients are certified by the big 4 – the Soil Association, OF&G- Organic Farmers & Growers, EcoCert, & USDA.

Certified organic ingredients are a lot more expensive than their non-organic alternatives, in part because of the seller passing on the cost (and attraction) of certification in the price, as well as of course the higher costs involved in organic practices. Because of the cost of getting skincare products certified (many hundreds of pounds every year) we decided that because we are a small company we would not pay for certification and have to pass that cost on in our products, but instead would focus on making a 100% organic range using only certified ingredients, and sell them at prices that are both competitive as well as excellent value for what they are, 100% organic. We of course have respect for the organic certifying process otherwise we would have made the range with cheaper ingredients that were non-certifed organic.

As all of the biologique range’s products are cold-blended oil fusions there was no need for emulsifiers preservatives thickeners or other ingredients which are hard to find natural certified organic versions of, we just use 100% organically grown and certified plant ingredients. This compares to many certified organic skincare products which, due to the composition needed for their cream or lotion, are allowed to just contain 95% organic content (minus the water content) with the other 5% being allowable non-organic ingredients; after going through the certification process they are allowed to call the product Certified Organic and carry a stamp from one of the certifiers.

Will Blue Labelle ever get the biologique products certified organic? If our company continues to grow then yes! We’ve looked into it and we’d like to think we’d pass the standards as 100% of the ingredients are natural & organic. The other side to certification is environmentally sustainable practices; well we cold-blend & bottle our products by hand using no machinery or electricity, all of our packaging is recyclable, we pack our parcels with recycled materials in boxes made from recycled material, & we only use compostable biodegradable ingredients.We pride ourselves on our eco credentials and would hope to pass certifier standards with flying colours.

Our biologique range reflects our growing desire and execution of a totally ethical natural & organic lifestyle for our own benefit and that of the planet as a whole, and we hope that you appreciate the priority we gave to making it with 100% certified organic ingredients, over having the products certified.

I have sensitive skin, can I use your products?

Yes! We have developed blends specifically for sensitive skin and have many happy customers who use them daily. By using low levels of gentle essential oils known for their great benefit to sensitive skin like Lavender and Chamomile, and nourishing plant oils packed full of vitamins & nutrients like Marula & Apricot, skin can be calmed, moisturised and hydrated. Our biologique range features two products for sensitive skin using the wonderful Organic Chamomile CO2 extract; this beautiful ingredient has been scientifically proven to be comparable to hydrocortisone in reducing the effects of problem skin conditions including redness and itchiness.

See the full range of our products suitable for sensitive skin by clicking here.

I have a nut allergy can I use your skincare?

We would always recommend carrying out a skin patch test somewhere discreet to see if ingredients cause any reaction to your skin. This is because even though a lot of our products don’t contain any nut oils, they are all handmade in the same area using the same equipment.

We don’t use peanut oil, but we do use Almond, Hazelnut, Marula, Argan, and Macadamia, so if you think you could be allergic please avoid these ingredients. As we offer Try Me sizes of all of our products you can try a ‘mini’ version to see if your skin will accept it.

We must say that if you have a severe nut allergy perhaps it’s best to avoid our products all together due to the risk of cross-contamination.

Why are your products Vegan if they're not food?

We registered all of our products with the Vegan Society because this guarantees NO animal ingredients in the blends, but what ingredients in skincare come from animals you ask? Beeswax, bee venom, emu oil (yes, actually from emus), snail slime, animal derived vitamins & alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs), and carmine (red pigment made from crushing beetles) are just a few ingredients commonly used in skincare products that derive from animals.

We don’t think it’s necessary to use animal ingredients and a lot of those come from cruel extraction so our products will ALWAYS be 100% vegan.

The prestigious Vegan Society trademark logo also shows you that no animal testing has occurred nor have our suppliers used any animal derivatives in order to produce their ingredients that we buy. Amen.

 

What if I have combination skin but also want anti-ageing properties in my facial oil?

Then we would recommend the Moringa & Raspberry Seed Face Oil, as it is full of nourishing ingredients that will benefit your skin delaying the ageing of it, but it will also balance sebum production so you can have evenly toned enlivened skin.

Can we recycle your bottles?

Yes definitely! Put them in the recycling bin.

Or if you’re on the Isle of Wight pop into our Blue Labelle Boutique and if we have the product made up in the workroom Pascale will be happy to refill your bottles. As long as the bottle is in a fit state (eg hasn’t been years since you had it, hasn’t had water in it, still smells ok) then we’ll refill and take money off your purchase.

PHOTO: Pascale at the Blue Labelle Boutique. Photos by Holly Jolliffe.

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