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Holistic Skin Care: The Organic Pharmacy 1/2

Katja Kokko | 18.3.2015

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This post is a collaboration with Biodelly.fi

How many of you are familiar with the English brand The Organic Pharmacy? The brand has been on the Finnish market for just about a year and despite its hype-worthy products, hasn’t spent much time in the limelight, so far.

The revamped Biodelly has included The Organic Pharmacy in its selection of brands, and what follows is the first of a two-part review of products by this brilliant and effective brand, its background, and its skin care philosophy. I’ve had ample time to test the products I was given, and I can say from experience that we’re dealing with a high-quality, salon-grade brand.

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Margo Marronen, the founder of The Organic Pharmacy, dates her inspiration back to 27 years ago, when she was working as a pharmacist. Originally specialized in herbal medicine, it was after Marronen found homeopathy that her life truly changed – for the better.

In 2002, Marronen’s dream of starting a skin care range based on herbal medicine and homeopathy was realized with the opening of the the first The Organic Pharmacy store on King’s Road in London, with services including facials. Besides external beauty products, the brand also offers ingestible supplements.

The products of The Organic Pharmacy are handmade in small batches at the company’s own factory in London.

Getting excited yet? I thought so.

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The brand’s best-known and most popular, cult-status product is the Carrot Butter cleansing balm. As a fan of cleansing balms, oils, and creams, I was swept off my feet by this stuff. The benefits of oil-cleansing are so obvious that I couldn’t go back to foam cleansers, even if I wanted to.

A muslin cloth dipped in hot water is essential when using the Carrot Butter, as the oil is impossible to get off otherwise. You could also use the product together with a gel cleanser from the series, all of which are very gentle and free of harsh surfactants (including sulfates), and therefore foamless. Personally, however, I prefer using the balm with a muslin cloth.

The Carrot Butter removes even heavier eye makeup, and is suitable for all skin types. The cleansing ingredients include vegetable oils and fats, such as sunflower oil, jojoba oil, sesame seed oil, olive oil, and coconut oil, as well as shea butter, cacao butter, and beeswax. It’s protective, cleansing, and soothing properties come from marigold and carrot extract, and essential St John’s wort, rosemary, chamomile and lavender oils.

As far as I’m concerned, the Carrot Butter is the best cleansing balm out there.

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If you’d like to use the balm in a double-cleansing scheme, or if you prefer a gel cleanser, you’ll be happy to know that the brand’s gel cleansers are all wonderfully gentle. I got to test the Rose cleansing gel, which is gentle enough to suit all skin types. Do remember to consider your own skin type and your personal needs when choosing skin care products, however; if your skin is dry or dehydrated, I would definitely go for the Carrot Butter.

The Rose cleansing gel contains antioxidant-rich blueberry extract, nourishing rose-hip oil, soothing marigold extract, purifying grape seed extract, as well as brightening rose oil. The gel has a sweet, gently luxurious and sophisticated rose scent. This is a cleanser for mature women.

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All of The Organic Pharmacy’s toners are mists – an unbeatable method of application, as far as toners go. To go with the Rose cleanser, I also tested the Rose Facial Spritz (what a lovely name – spritz!), whose only ingredients are organic aloe vera and damask rose water, as well as water, glycerin, and preservative.

Now. There are rose waters, and then there are rose waters. As with other products from the range, the quality of this rose spritzer is palpably high; the scent surrounds one in a dreamy cloud of rose, and, as there is nothing I like better in the morning, evening, or – makeup and all – mid-day, than sticking my head in a mist of rose, I got through the bottle in record time.

Besides the Rose spritzer, The Organic Pharmacy also has a Herbal Toner.

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The Organic Pharmacy’s skin care philosophy made for a delightful reading, and proved once more what I myself have found to best and most effective, as far as daily skin care routines go. The most important thing besides gentle cleansing is hydration (water, that is, not a rich moisturizer). External moisture is provided by toners and serums. Serums are also important for nourishing the skin, supporting skin processes, repairing free-radical damage, and should therefore never be skipped in one’s daily routine. After the serum, it is important to apply a bit of repairing oil; only a few drops in the morning will do, but be generous enough in the evening to leave your face shiny. While not necessary in the evening, it is important to include a moisturizer in your morning routine, to help lock in the moisture, as well as to hydrate and nourish the skin throughout the day. Depending on your skin (if you have atopic skin, for example) you can of course also use the moisturizer in the evenings.

The Organic Pharmacy has separate moisturizers for morning and evening usage. I was given the Jasmine Night Conditioner which, in layman terms, is an evening toner. Another alternative would be the Rose & Bilberry toning gel, which can also be used in the mornings.

The Jasmine conditioner is gorgeous. The mist concentrate contains brightening and hydrating damask rose water, sebum-regulating and mood-boosting essential jasmine oil, as well as oxygen. Oxygen renews and purifies the skin, improves microcirculation, and makes the skin look radiant.

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The final products of this first part of the review are the Antioxidant Face Gel and the Antioxidant Face Firming Serum, which are meant to be used either mixed together, or gel first, followed by the serum.

This duo is the cornerstone of The Organic Pharmacy’s skin care routine, and is recommended for everyone.

The thin, almost serum-like, gel minimizes pores, smooths out wrinkles, repairs free-radical damage, elevates fine lines, and brightens the complexion. It contains a staggering amount of potent ingredients, including oats, ginseng root, marigold, gotu kola, blueberry, wild pansy, buckwheat, and essential St John’s wort, carrot, and citrus oils, and DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), which smooths fine lines and firms the skin.

A gorgeous citrus-scented potion, the oil serum renews and gives radiance to the skin, evens out wrinkles and smooths out fine lines. It contains some of my favorite ingredients for radiant skin: rose-hip oil and carrot, both of which provide an instant glow thanks to their high beta-carotene content, and which also help to repair and renew the skin. Essential citrus oils provide the serum with its lovely scent while also brightening the skin; vitamin C is a potent brightening ingredient, while alpha-linolenic acid and DMAE make for an effective anti-age duo – the serum is in fact 50 times more potent that mere rose-hip oil.

This concludes our short, but hopefully fairly comprehensive, review of the background and essential products of The Organic Pharmacy. The next part will focus on other, likewise potent products from the brand, one of which you might have glimpsed on the blog already – anyone remember what it might have been? Sorting through the wealth of information about The Organic Pharmacy, and its wide range of products – all of which I would gladly try –, make the task of keeping these posts short and sweet somewhat challenging.

How do you feel about The Organic Pharmacy after this introduction?

By using the code KATJA15 at checkout, you will get a 15% discount on all full priced products at Biodelly. Valid until April 6th 2015.

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Photos Katja Kokko

 

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