Cult beauty buy: Ethique

Looking after the environment and our bodies is a tough brief to follow, but can this natural beauty brand do it? 

Consumers are becoming more eco-conscious, and finding beauty products that work for both us and the environment can be a bit hit and miss. A true believer in natural skincare, I'm on the hunt to find the brands that deliver results to both parties. 

Promising no plastic, no waste and no nasties, Ethique is the natural beauty brand that is taking the lead in sustainability. Offering a wide selection of products for skin, hair and bodycare, each product comes as a palm-sized bar with no other packaging than the recycled carboard box it arrives in. 

Even as a natural skincare junkie, I'm skeptical about the results these bars can deliver. Eight types of shampoo? Four different face cleansers including a make up remover that's also a balm? This just sounds too good to be true, so it's time to test them out. 

Bliss Bar face cleansing bar

I'm always a bit skeptical of skincare that comes in a bar, but with this cleanser, I was pleasantly surprised. The bar promises to not only cleanse, but remove makeup, so I leave my work face on. Its chunky, palm-sized square shape fits well in your hand and with a quick rub with warm water, a gentle foam begins. I don't put the bar directly onto my face as it's a bit awkward, but after I circulate the bar in my hands I apply the foam on my face and the product easily removes my makeup. 

The cleansing bar is creamy, luxurious and smells deliciously of coconut. 100 per cent soap and fragrance free, this cleanser is totally natural and leaves my face feeling moisturised and clear. However, similar to soap, as soon as you use the bar and rest it somewhere, the surface becomes a bit congealed so you need to invest in suitable storage for it, like their shower container made from bamboo and sugarcane. 

Gingersnap face scrub

I love an exfoliant to get into the pores after a week of makeup, so I was excited to give this a go. The face scrub comes in a pack of four small, oval bars which are much easier to handle. The packaging instructs to wet a bar, circulate the bar directly onto the face in a few small areas and then scrub the rest with your hands.

I followed the instructions, however I felt the scrub was too harsh for my skin and was probably too coarse to directly apply. Rubbing the scrub in my hands with more water, the bar crumbles off and I circulate into my face. The product certainly cleans and minimises my pores, however it leaves my skin a bit shiny and tight afterwards, so I would probably recommend this product to someone with more oily, irritated skin. 

Pinkalicious shampoo bar

I have never used a shampoo bar before, so I have to admit, I had reservations about using this on my hair. However, I shouldn't have worried. This bright pink, square bar is easy to hold and once rubbed with warm water, instantly foams into a normal shampoo consistency. It feels gentle, looks fun, and has a subtle sweet scent.

I'm really happy with this shampoo, but straight after using the bar, I realise I don't have another container to put it in so the bar sits on my shower ledge, which feels a bit icky. The Ethique website says to store the bars outside of the shower to dry afterwards, but at this moment I'm not prepared, and to be realistic, I'm too lazy to store shampoo and conditioner outside of the shower. 

When my hair dries, it looks super shiny and feels really soft. While it's not as bouncy as normal, the shampoo leaves me feeling clean and fresh. I will use this bar again, but before I do, I need to organise storage for it.

The Guardian conditioner bar

Arriving in a smaller bar than the Pinkalicious shampoo, this little, pastel green square promises to deeply hydrate damaged or frizzy hair. Packed with cocoa butter, coconut oil, vitamin B5 and lime oil, this little bar has the eqivalent of five bottles of liquid conditioner. 

As this product doesn't foam, the packaging instructs to gently stroke wet hair a few times with the bar before massaging it through. The consistency is luxurious, creamy and it feels super nourishing. I leave it in for a minute or so and smell the zesty scent, reminiscent of a green jelly baby. When my hair dries, it's a little flat, but feels super soft and has a great shine. 

Ethique is available from Ethiqueworld.com

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