Tuesday 8 September 2015

Eco by Sonya: Skincare Review

With the summer behind us, it can be hard to say goodbye to our tanned, glowing skin and embrace the darker, colder months of Autumn and Winter. Luckily, skincare has come such a long way that we don't necessarily need to say goodbye - with proper care we can maintain our tan and keep our skin feeling good all year round. Previously, I've never been to keen on using self-tanning creams and lotions because I've been wary of what ingredients are being used to, effectively, stain my skin. With a bit of research I've learnt that most companies use an extensive range of synthetic 'nasties' and GM ingredients in their tanners and, also, in their regular skincare. As a result, I was so excited to find 'Eco by Sonya' - an Australian brand which creates organic, natural products that include products to create a tan, but also products to maintain a tan. 'Organically Epic' are now stocking 'Eco by Sonya' in the UK - so I couldn't wait to share with you my experience of the brand and four of my favourite products. 

Before we get into the products, I want to give you the background story behind 'Eco by Sonya' as it's not only inspiring, but also highlights the importance of protecting your skin. 
Sonya Driver created the company after learning that her 30 year old sister had developed melanoma. As a result, avoiding the harmful effects of the sun was vital, so the pair looked into alternatives for tanning. They tried spray tans, but Sonya's research on the ingredients used in these products terrified her - especially as her sister's illness had left her particularly vulnerable. Sonya went on to develop her range of products to be completely organic and natural - free from synthetics and GM ingredients. Just for an example - the 'Invisible Tan' uses natural Cacao (chocolate) as opposed to the food colourings used in many other self-tanners. Sonya also uses herbs, flower extracts and chamomile to ensure complete nourishment and protection to the skin. 

In 2011, 'Eco by Sonya' made Australian history when it became the first and only organic tan to be certified by the Organic Food Chain. A gorgeous tan, with no harmful effects? Yes please. 

Now let's dive into the products...

Invisible Tan

As someone who is incredibly pale, I do have to be careful with self-tanners if I want to avoid looking like an orange oompa-loompa. The 'Invisible Tan' is advertised as being for medium/olive skin tones - but I actually believe it's a lot more versatile than that. Just as it describes, after one application I was left with a natural, honey tan. Instead of giving me a fake-looking yellow-orange tint, I honestly felt like it had just deepened my skin tone with some richer undertones. The finish is, clearly, gorgeous - but I know a lot of you will be wondering about application.

Application can be so hit and miss with some tanners, but you'll be relieved to hear about how easy the 'Invisible Tan' is to apply. The tan is made from aloe vera, advocado oil and rose geranium oil which means it blends into the skin effortlessly. It feels like you're just rubbing in a soothing moisturiser and, even better, a little goes a long way. The 'invisible' in the name refers to the fact that once applied the cream will not leave your skin. Minutes after applying this, you can jump into bed without having to worry about staining your sheets or your pyjamas! As someone with a busy lifestyle, this is so ideal - I can simply go to sleep and let the cream work it's magic overnight. It also lacks the horrible tanning scent - to me, it smells more chocolatey than anything! 

I would recommend this tanner to all skin types. I have particuarly sensitive skin, but had no issues whatsoever. It would be suitable for use all over the body, but also on your face if you so wish. A 100% vegan and organic self-tanner - what more could you want?

For more information, check out the 'Organically Epic' website:

Coconut Body Milk

All year around, I struggle with dry skin. In the summer, it's the heat of the sun which dries it out and in the winter, it's the harsh, cold wind. I really can't win! For that reason, body moistuisers are an essential for me. Plus, for anyone that likes to tan their skin - you'll know the importance of a moisturiser to maintain and keep your tan from fading away. 'Eco by Sonya's' Coconut Body Milk is a truly luxurious moisturiser that gives you long-lasting hydration and feels so nourishing when applied. It comes in this fantastic container with a handy pump to make it so easy to apply when getting out of the shower or even just when you need to get some instant relief for a dry patch of skin. Just like the tanner, it's key ingredient is aloe vera - I'm sure we all know how soothing aloe is. However, it also is blended with natural coconut, jojoba and macadamia you really give your skin the boost it needs. The consistency is not as liquidy as you would expect from it being called a milk - it's more of a conventional cream I would say, but it blends incredibly easy. It's also absorbed so quickly into the skin that within a few moments any residue has vanished. You're left with instantly smoother skin that feels a lot more refreshed. 

This is ideal for use by everyone in the family - I would suggest getting one to leave in the family bathroom for everyone to use on a daily basis. 

For more information, check out the 'Organically Epic' website:

Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub

This salt scrub could well be one of my favourite products in the 'Eco by Sonya' range. As I mentioned earlier, I suffer with dry skin - so I exfoliate on a regular basis to prevent build up of dry patches. Exfoliating, although necessary, can sometimes be somewhat harsh on sensitive skin so I have experimented with a lot of salt scrubs in my time. The Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub is definitely one of the best I've tried.

The all important salt is blending together with lemongrass, coconut oil and macadamia to create an exfoliator which removes dead skin whilst nourishing the skin beneath. The idea is to use this on dry skin, before you get in the shower. I know you might think this is messy - but it really isn't! The scrub is made in a way in which the salt is all kept together by natural oils so it's more of a heavily textured cream that stays together, minimising fall out. The smell is, also, absolutely divine! The citrus scent from the lemongrass really pulls through and is fantastically refreshing - especially in the morning! 

After rinising this off in the shower, your skin is left so smooth, but also intensely hydrated. I have very sensitive skin, but I am not left with any red patches. 

I would highly recommend using this exfoliator one night, using the invisible tan the next night and then maintaining with the coconut body milk for a long-lating effect.

For more information, check out the 'Organically Epic' website:

Natural Coconut Sunscreen

This final product is an essential for everyone. As science is revealing the true impact of sun damage, I'd like to hope that we're all starting to encorporate sun protection into our daily skin routine. 'Eco by Sonya' have both a tinted and an untinted version of their 'Natural Coconut Sunscreen'. It's broad spectrum, provides UVA/UVB protection, is 3 hours water resistant and is also non-greasy. With the brand being founded in Australia - I had very high expectations for this sun screen, and I wasn't disappointed. On my holiday in Spain this August, I used this on a daily basis and was massively impressed. The sunscreen uses natural zinc oxide as it's active ingredient. which does give it quite a stark white look, but once rubbed in this will disappear. The coconut oil actually gives it the feel of a moisturiser to prevent your skin drying out in the sun, whilst vitamin E and cucumber extra will soothe your skin - ideal for if you've had too much sun on previous days! Even if you just encorporate a tiny amount of this before you foundation of a morning, you'll be giving yourself massive protection against sun damage and premature aging. 

I've been using the untinted version, but I'm really intrigued to use the tinted version as Sonya suggests it would make a great BB cream.

For more information, check out the 'Organically Epic' website:

All-in-all, the 'Eco by Sonya' range is such a treat to use on your skin. Using these products this summer has made a huge difference and I can't wait to continue using them throughout the winter. It's so fantastic, yet rare, to find a brand that products an entire skin care range that is organic, 100% vegan and natural! 

I'd urge you have a look at the 'Organically Epic' website to take a look at these products, as well as the other products in the range:

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