Skincare // natural skincare from Green People

A few weeks back I posted about REN and said that they make up a lot of my skincare routine but I was really shocked to read since my post that they had been bought by Unilever - shocked because I can't see, looking at the other products under it's umbrella, that Unilever has the right ethos for what I perceived REN as a brand to be. They said "the naturals category is one of the fastest growing in skincare globally. Its premium positioning complements well our existing portfolio." which to me just reads the brand will make them money. I have to admit this came as a huge disappointment to me and I doubt I'll be buying from them again. Anyway, enough about that and never one to say no to trying something new and, as I've been on the look out for a new cleanser that's a bit tougher on make up and a natural face oil (I've been using pure wheatgerm oil over my usual serum and it's dark so stains my pillows!), I've been giving some Green People products a whirl.

I first came across Green People when I worked part time in a Chiropractors (they're good there you know!) and fell head over heels for the smell of their hand wash. But every now and then I would sneak a squirt from one of the skincare testers if I was a bit tired or off out straight after work - they really picked me up and man, that smell.

Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.

Green People was formed in 1997 when founder Charlotte's daughter Sandra was suffering from terrible skin issues and she wanted to offer a solution. She approached the Soil Association in 1999 as she was frustrated with laws that allowed companies to use the term 'natural' when in essence only 1% of the ingredients were natural. She was then invited to be on a Soil Association committee (go Charlotte!) striving for setting standards in organic beauty. 17 years later, Green People is going strong, operating from West Grinstead. They are now the only cosmetics company to be independently certified with 3 bodies - the Soil Association, Organic Food Federation and Ecocert. All three have very strict rulings on what ingredients are used in products. From the Green People website: "At the time of writing Green People have 140 products of which almost 90% are certified by one or more of the certification bodies mentioned above. The remaining products are still made in line with the same standards, and still contain high levels of organic ingredients. We are working hard to get these final formulations certified so that all of our products can claim to be independently certified organic."

Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.

Any questions you can check their FAQ section but also their blog makes for fascinating reading. You may find this post about toxic cosmetic ingredients interesting.

As mentioned, I've been after a cleanser that removes waterproof makeup - I wear eyeliner that might as well have been tattooed on (I'll literally eye leak at anything - a dog wagging it's tail, an elderly couple holding hands, a PDSA billboard..... loser) so I do need something with a bit more of a cleaning kick. So when Green People offered to send me one I was over the moon, and they were kind enough to send me a few other things to try too. Let me disclaim here that I will never sing something's praises if I'm not impressed by it. I'm disclaiming because I'm so impressed with these products and want what I say to (which is, frankly, a bit of a deserved gush) have full validity. I've been using these three products solely for over 4 weeks now.

Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.

The minute I pulled the cleanser out of the box and used it one Saturday evening I knew I was onto a winner with Green People. The packaging is really clean and pleasing. Like REN, it's designed in such a way dirt from your hands can't get into it but these pumps feel a lot easier to use. I'd been out in the day for a lunch date and had applied two coats of eyeliner beforehand so I figured it was a perfect time to try this cleanser out. The smell is the first thing to impress, it just smells so luxurious and like it could be an ultra expensive top beauty brand you'd find in a spa. The cleanser is creamy and massages on easily then I rinsed off and patted my skin dry with a towel - it felt beautiful, clean but moisturised with no residue left behind. It didn't quite conquer the eyeliner (but then not much does! I honestly wonder if pure vinegar is the only thing that would work!) but everything else came clean off.

Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Green People natural cleasner. Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge
Green People natural cleasner. Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

Onto the Hydrating Firming Serum. I patted on the serum (while making various 'mmmmmmm' noises at the smell) and while it took few minutes to dry, when it did I could literally feel my skin firm. I've since been using before make up as a primer and it really lifts the skin, in fact it's made such a difference that I've left the house a few times without any tint/foundation/powder on (this has been mostly unheard of for oh... many years). In the evenings I follow with the Anti-aging Facial Oil.

Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.

I want to just touch on using oils on the face - for years and years I avoided anything oil based as I always felt I had 'greasy' skin that shined up. I used to use drying products and could never work out why it always just seemed to make it worse. Then when I learned about skin health whilst studying nutrition, I realised I needed to look at it in a different way - if you dry the skin out the body will of course try and compensate by producing MORE oil. It seemed so simple when the penny had dropped. Since then I've been using a facial oil daily and haven't had any spots or problems with shiny skin and I'm a happy (non-shiny) bunny.

So, to the oil itself - it has a similar smell to the other two (which is a very good thing) and it feels really light when it goes on. I'd recommend putting on at least half an hour before going to bed as it does take a little while to absorb when you've used the serum.

Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.
Natural and organic skincare from Green People review. Retreat // Food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex. Photography by Emma Gutteridge.

I'm not sure if it's this or the serum that's done it (or indeed, a combination of all three products) but, though I've been pretty happy with my skin recently, I honestly feel like my skin has dramatically improved since using these products. I'm totally sold with Green People and they definitely have a new loyal customer in me. I've ordered some of their make up (free concealed with a mascara at the moment!) as I would love to go completely top to toe natural. Watch this space! (I'll also blog the natural hair products I use very soon).

Here's me rocking my no make up in an iPhone selfie...

My skin after using Green People products for 4 weeks. Completely natural and amazing! Retreat // a food and lifestyle blog made in Sussex.
My skin after using Green People products for 4 weeks. Completely natural and amazing! Retreat // a food and lifestyle blog made in Sussex.

Anything that gives me the confidence to post a pic of me at all let alone without make up has to be worth it's weight in gold! I implore you to try something from Green People - I am so confident you will love it, Even better, why not try and go natural for a fortnight and see what happens? Just a note, when I made the move from chemical to natural skincare my skin had a little healing crisis for a few days (nothing major but a small outbreak of pimples while the toxins left my skin) but it will soon pass.

*NEWS FLASH!* Green People are offering 10% off all orders this week using the code ETHICAL10. I'm loving their ordering system, the dashboard is really handy.

Do you use any products from Green People? If so please comment with your experiences and recommend your faves for people reading this post. Please also let me know if you have any recommendations for natural make up - I'm all ears!

Formally Emma Gutteridge