Being French and a little obsessed with beauty products I balk at buying cosmetics and skincare in the supermarket. Essentials like deodorant and shower gel I’ll make an exception for but for a new foundation? A face mask? Picking up the first item you come across on a half price offer at the end of the aisle and chucking it in the trolley alongside the frozen peas and mince meat… Where is the pleasure in that? There is however a Planet Organic on my street and I’ve taken to popping in there to browse the health and beauty section. The layout doesn’t scream ‘supermarket’ but rather natural drugstore stocking a curated selection of niche brands with friendly helpful staff on hand that actually seem to know their stuff. I know, in a supermarket! (Can I call Planet Organic a supermarket?) This is how I discovered Evolve Organic Beauty, a skincare brand making small batches of apothecary style beauty products in Hertfordshire. With consumers’ increasing desire for transparency, authenticity and sustainability whilst still delivering high performing products, I think this brand has the potential to tick all these boxes. Evolve Organic Beauty were kind enough to send me some products to trial, here is the review.
As the brand name indicates, all of Evolve Organic Beauty products have a high natural and organic content, clearly highlighted on the front of every bottle. They are also vegan and cruelty-free, with a strong focus on sourcing ingredients as locally as possible and from fair-trade sources. The shampoo is 98% natural and 70% organic, with the remaining non-natural 2% mostly composed of dehydroacetic acid. This is an Ecocert approved and food grade synthetic preservative to ensure the products are properly preserved and safe to use. Featuring strengthening Baobab, hydrating pomegranate and soothing aloe vera, this shampoo is formulated for normal to dry hair, and after a particularly hot summer my hair is in need of some TLC. It smells deliciously sweet (due to the baobab I think) and lathers up so your hair and scalp feels pleasantly cleansed. The natural sugar and coconut ensure this is done without stripping skin of its natural oils so my scalp feels less irritated than with chemical-heavy formulas. 250ml RRP £12.00
To accompany the shampoo I followed up with the matching conditioner, featuring the same key ingredients. I really should do this more often to ensure the formulations are designed to work together, with the added benefit of layering the same scent. But with my beauty magpie tendencies I flit from one pre-shampoo treatment to another hair oil and before you know it my hair’s gone through three different completely unrelated treatments. I left my hair to dry naturally and even without styling it was left smooth with zero frizziness. And the softness! Whilst I can’t vouch for this conditioner’s shine enducing properties – my hair just doesn’t ever seem to want to shine – I couldn’t stop touching my hair for the following 24 hours. 250ml RRP £14.00
So I admitted to buying the occasional bottle of shower gel on a supermarket trolley dash, but after trying Evolve’s African Orange Aromatic Body Wash this may be a thing of the past. I tend to err towards citrus scents so this one sounded right up my street and it didn’t disappoint. The smell of orange peel is the first note I take in, provided by the bergamot peel oil I think, which offers a little twist compared to the usual citrus scents. Coupled with vanilla this is a sweet cocooning take on citrus. The body wash contains aloe vera to soothe skin and is enriched with coconut and sugar extracts for a formula that cleanses skin without leaving it feeling tight. 50ml RRP £5.00
When it comes to body lotions I favour thick consistencies over light fluid ones and this one delivers a pleasingly unctuous cream, practically a body butter texture. I’m using it as a hand cream, applying at bedtime to ensure my hands reap the maximum benefits overnight. The body wash and lotion pictured here are the travel size options however they are also available in a full size 250ml pump bottle. 50ml RRP £6.00
On a final note I’d like to highlight the lovely apothecary-style bottles. I’ve noticed a revival for the old school pharmacy potions look and love it. From Neal’s Yard Remedies’ iconic blue bottles to Aesop’s clean fresh feel, these bottles not only look smart but allow for a greener approach to packaging. It’s a given that plastic bottles are recyclable and should be recycled by consumers, but now brands are increasingly looking into production of post consumer recycled bottles, where the plastic used in manufacturing is from consumer waste. Evolve Organic Beauty’s bottles are made up of 75% post consumer recycled plastic, meaning your rubbish is going to good use. There are challenges with this method: as Lottie Pearce, Marketing Manager at Evolve Beauty explains, “fully recycled bottles tend to get cloudy and can also have a green undertone. We’re currently researching whether we can obtain 100% recycled PET bottles […] as we’re always looking to improve!” Tinted bottles are key to protect natural formulas from the light, reducing the need for preservatives, and they look lovely upcycled as mini vases.
I love discovering niche natural beauty brands, if you have any recommendations please leave a comment below, I’m always on the hunt for my next natural fix!
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