cruelty free beauty

First impressions: Deliciously Ella & Neal’s Yard skincare


I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the Deliciously Ella brand. At first when I bought the book, and made loads of the wonderful recipes from it, I was definitely a lover. Then I heard that Ella herself had criticised vegans calling them ‘elitist’. This is not my experience of the vast majority of the vegan community – and on top of that, she was keen to capitalise on the green pound when it suited her. So my love started to wane somewhat.

Having said that, she has helped bring plant-based eating into the mainstream, and helped it shed some of its unhelpful image. There is a much wider debate to be had around the ‘clean-eating’ movement, but anyone who encourages people to drop unethical meat and dairy products from their diet is surely doing some good.

Because of this, when I saw she had teamed up with Neal’s Yard to create a small skincare range, I was intrigued. I quite like a number of Neal’s Yard products. They are Leaping Bunny approved which means no animal testing, and while some of their products are only vegetarian (beeswax being the main culprit) many of their offerings are vegan.

The range itself contains only two products, the rose, lime, and cucumber face wash (£16), and moisturiser (£25).

Ella’s official line is this: “As I became more conscious about what I was putting into my body, I started thinking about what I was using on my skin. If my recipes contained only the best organic ingredients, why shouldn’t my skincare? With this in mind, I wanted to create a line of natural skincare products that made looking and feeling your best as easy as possible. I’ve always admired the values of Neal’s Yard Remedies and their focus on inner health and outer beauty. So, working together was the natural choice.”

The first thing to note is how beautiful the products are in bespoke floral boxes. They come in the traditional Neal’s Yard blue glass bottles but with a specially designed label. These items will certainly look good in any bathroom. They both come in bottles with pump dispensers which is practical and easy to use as well as more hygienic than something you dip your fingers in.

But what about the contents?

I have only used them a few times (hence my first impressions rather than review). They smell incredibly – really clean and fresh. The cucumber smell is evident as is something a little bit sweet.

In terms of using the products, the face wash is a type of foaming liquid gel cleanser. I generally avoid foaming washes as they have a tendency to dry out the skin. This one is marked as very gentle though and suitable for all skin types. It is pleasant enough to use and my skin felt clean after, but it’s too early to say what beneficial effects it has, if any.

The moisturiser is a light lotion. It does take some time to work into the skin, and turns white when you first apply it. It absorbs nice and quickly though, without leaving any unpleasant residue. I apply the moisturiser after serum. I’m not generally too bothered about moisturisers, as I believe your serum contains the most potent ingredients. I found my skin feeling slightly uncharacteristically dry during the morning, but I would put this down to a sunny bank holiday weekend where I was outside a lot. I will have to use the product further to see how if performs.




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