BEAUTY EMPTIES: NEAL’S YARD REMEDIES TAKEOVER

What happens when your job involves being responsible for developing a beauty and wellbeing brand’s products? Well you want to try everything – it’s part of the job after all – and before you know it your entire bathroom cabinet and home office are covered in bottles of toner, tubes of lotion and jars of cream. In my case working for Neal’s Yard Remedies means getting through lots of their famous blue bottles and developing a dependency on their Mahonia tincture. Here I share the Neal’s Yard Remedies beauty and natural health empties which I will be replenishing over and over again.

Sensitive Micellar Cleanser

As well as launching new products, my job involves reviewing existing collections to improve them, whether that’s higher formula efficacy, more eco-friendly packaging, or reducing the price to make it more accessible. I was not overly familiar with Neal’s Yard Remedies Sensitive range when we started reviewing it – 8 months into the job I was still working my way through the hundreds of skincare, bodycare, aromatherapy and natural health products we offer – but by the end of this exercise I was wedded to the Sensitive Micellar Cleanser. I’m partial to a micellar cleanser anyway so it’s no surprise I was drawn to this product – after all it’s the lazy girl’s best friend to cleansing. Gentle, fragrance and alcohol-free, certified organic, cruelty-free and vegan, it feels incredibly hydrating thanks to hyaluronic acid, and anyone with eczema-prone skin will be like a moth to a flame where oat is featured in the ingredient list. You’ll even find that with continued use skin is not only soothed but can actually become less sensitive. This is my go-to cleanser for a 5-minute bedtime routine. 200ml RRP £18.00

Reviving White Tea Facial Mist

Another skincare product I’m partial to: the facial mist. It may not be considered an essential skincare step, but for refreshing tired-looking skin throughout the day, there’s nothing like it. I’ve always got one on my desk, ready to spritz pre-Teams call, and with the amount of time spent on video calls it’s no wonder I empty one of these on a near-monthly basis. Luckily Neal’s Yard Remedies Facial Mists come in glass bottles so they can be upcycled as mini vases, or to create a cluster display of blue bottles. The White Tea Mist contains antioxidant white tea and cooling aloe vera, so another great one for skin that needs soothing. 45ml RRP £13.00

Bee Lovely Hand Wash

There is so much love for Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Bee Lovely collection, and with good reason: 3% of sales goes to bee-protecting charities, and in 10 years has raised over £250,000. Not only that but this organic hand wash comes in a larger bottle than the other hand washes and in a recycled plastic rather than glass bottle, so it can be used by the whole family. 295ml RRP £12.50

Hand wash on pink tile in white bathroom

Citrus Hand Wash

Beauty refills are on the rise: less packaging, reduced carbon footprint and better value, bigger bottles offer more of what you love. Or in the case of hand wash, what you need. Neal’s Yard Remedies’ citrus scent is unisex, instantly recognisable yet not overpowering: an all-round crowd pleaser, you can’t go far wrong with citrus. I decant it into my Bastide weighty frosted amber glass bottle and place by the kitchen sink, as the zesty fragrance that comes from the Organic Orange and Lemon Essential Oils is particularly good at combatting food smells such as garlic and onions on the hands. Not that I cook but, you know, for those who do. 950ml RRP £40.00

Create Hair & Body Wash

I got this bottle of unfragranced hair and body wash as a factory reject (nothing wrong with the actual formula as my sister was quick to catastrophise, it’s often just due to a wonky label). I thought I’d leave it for my husband to use but it actually made for a great mild shampoo – another perfect product for sensitive skin. Create is a collection of bases – washes, lotions and creams – you can customise by adding your choice of essential oils or herbal tinctures. I kept it simple this time around, but with my next bottle I’ll be more adventurous and customise my shampoo with the help of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Beauty Book which contains beauty recipes. 250ml RRP £6.50

Calendula & Oat Lotion

When your skin is eczema-prone, if you find a lotion that helps keep it soothed and hydrated, that product becomes a lifeline. I used to rely on Aveeno’s oatmeal-rich formulas to soothe my dry skin, but since discovering Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Calendula & Oat Lotion I’ve not looked back. Gentle, lightweight, quickly absorbed and rich in essential fatty acids, I’ve come to rely on it so much that I get jittery if I don’t have a spare bottle waiting in the wings. 200ml RRP £21.50

Defend & Protect Hand Lotion

Hands up: I barely used this product. My husband is always after my hand creams and lotions to soothe his – ahem – delicate hands post tennis match. This one features classic hand care ingredients such as protective beeswax and moisturising sunflower oil, but also a purifying blend of organic essential oils, and I have to admit I’m not a fan of this fragrance: it’s a little too antiseptic for me. But it was launched in the first covid year so I guess that’s the appeal for anyone wanting to feel like they’ve been disinfected. 185ml RRP £8.00

Garden Mint & Bergamot Hand Cream

I did say my husband slathers on a lot of hand cream – this is another one of his empties. Garden Mint & Bergamot is one of my favourite Neal’s Yard Remedies hand care scents, and I much prefer a thick cream to a lotion for my hands, so the next tube of this hand cream will probably sit on my beauty shelf rather than his. I’m not the only one to appreciate the evocative combination of fresh mint and zesty bergamot, it’s one of the brand’s most popular hand care collections, and – the ultimate industry compliment – Aldi have brought out a dupe of the hand wash and hand lotion. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… 50ml RRP £10.00

Mahonia Clear Skin Formula

And if you’ve made it to the end of this post, as a reward I’ve kept the best until last. This unassuming little bottle of herbal tincture is simply amazing. Neal’s Yard Remedies’ best kept secret, it’s the one product I invariably praise when I’m asked about my favourite product from the brand. As a professional skincare enthusiast, I would never have guessed this would end up being my most treasured discovery, until a colleague recommended it to tackle breakouts. The name says it all: the blend of Mahonia (used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat psoriasis), soothing Calendula and wound healing Gotu Kola has helped to keep my skin feeling balanced and reduced jawline breakouts. I mix 2ml every morning with water and down as quickly as possible – the taste is off-putting but it’s so worth it. 100ml RRP £12.50

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