Live Native is a skin care range made by hand by a very small team living on the Isle of Skye. It's a raw range, which means none of the ingredients or formulas are heated above 115 F (about 46 C in old money). In addition, many of the ingredients are organic, wild harvested or Fairtrade (or a combination of these). The principle behind raw skin care, much like a raw diet, is that the nutrients and enzymes of the ingredients are not lost in the heating/cooking process.
After reading an interview with Vicky Ewbank, the lady behind the brand, on Danny's Holistic Green Beauty blog, I bought a collection containing all three of the core skin care products in the range; the Essential Earth Exfoliating Cleanser, the Essential Mist MSM Toner and the Essential Woman Frangipani Fresh Moisturiser.
The Essential Earth Exfoliating Cleanser looks like mud mixed with oil, and has a somewhat earthy smell (which I like, but it might not be everyone's cup of tea). It is an absolutely brilliant gentle exfoliant and cleanser if you can get past the slightly weird appearance, and has converted me to being a morning face washer (I used to just splash with water in the mornings). You mix a dab (I use about a 5p piece size) with the same amount of water in the palm of your hand to make a smooth paste and apply using a pressing motion to a damp face. If you've used the cleansing creams from Dr Hauschka or Jurlique, you'll be familiar with the concept and the technique. I prefer the Live Native as it does not contain alcohol (none of the products in the range do) and the oil/earth/oats combination just works well for my skin. It's a bit odd looking, but I love it (which makes it the Iggy Pop of cleansers.)
A quick word of warning - when this first arrived and was full, some oil did tend to lie on top of the paste. It's not a product to chuck in an overnight bag when it is full - decant a little into a completely tight container, or seal the lid with some kind of tape when travelling.
Oat (Avena Sativa) Kernel Meal*, Rhassoul Clay (Montmorillonite)*/***, Chamomile Macerate in Sunflower oil*, Argan (Argania Spinosa) Kernal Oil*/***, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil*, MSM (Dimethyl Sulfone) from Pine Trees, Chamomile (Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria) Flower*, Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Root Powder*, Kelp (Ascophyllum Nodosum)**, Marigold (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Oil*, Vitamin E (natural d-alpha tocopherol), Glyceryl Caprilate, Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis) Seed Extract in vegetable glycerin, Acerola cherry (Malpighia Glabra) Fruit Extract*.
* organic | ** wild harvested | *** Fairtrade
The Essential Mist MSM Toner is a toner with MSM from pine trees (anti-inflammatory) and acerola cherry extract (very high in vitamin C). The dispenser gives a very fine mist, and the smell is beautiful - a gentle, exotic, but calming floral blend. This is more than just a toner; it calms and soothes the skin and acts as very light pre-moisturising serum.
Ingredients for Essential Mist MSM Toner: ( 93% organic )
Rosa damascena (rose) floral water*, Dimethyl sulfone (MSM from pine trees), Malpighia glabra (acerola cherry) fruit extract*, Rosa damascena (rose otto) essential oil*, Santalum austrocaledonicum veill (sandalwood) essential oil*, Plumeria rubra (frangipani) absolute, (*denotes organic) contains the following components of essential oils: citral, citronellol, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol and linalool.
The Essential Woman Frangipani Fresh Moisturiser smells so good you'd think you could eat it (you probably could, but it's too good not to put it on your face). It's a solid but easily meltable balm-cream texture, and it does become more liquid when the temperature rises over 24 C (as you can see from my picture below, taken on Sunday). This doesn't affect the performance of the moisturiser and if anything makes it easier to pick up and apply a small amount (I find I need a little more in colder weather and slightly less in warmer weather). This moisturiser feels beautiful on the skin. It doesn't feel at all heavy or greasy (if you can see or feel any oil a couple of minutes after applying you've probably used too much) and leaves my skin feeling plump and peachy soft.
Ingredients for Essential Woman Frangipani Fresh Moisturiser: (96% organic )
Virgin Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*, Aloe barbadensis miller (cold pressed aloe vera)*, Butyrospermum parkii (raw shea butter)**, Rosa damascena (rose) floral water*, d-alpha tocopherol (natural vitamin E with mixed tocopherols in GMO free soy oil), Rosa damascena (rose otto) essential oil*, Santalum austrocaledonicum veill (sandalwood) essential oil*, Glyceryl caprilate (from palm and coconut oil), Plumeria rubra (frangipani) absolute, Sodium levulinate, Sodium anisate, Cupressus sempervirens (cypress) essential oil*, Citrus sinensis (orange) essential oil*, Aqua, Glycerin, Ascorbic acid, Xanthan gum. Contains the following components of essential oils: citral, citronellol, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, limonene and linalool.
* organic | ** wild harvested
I bought and started using these products at the end of April, and I am extremely happy with how my skin feels and looks on this routine. I'm using the Oskia Perfect Cleanser in the evening as my night time cleanser and La Bella Figura Decouverte Serum as my eye product, but other than this I've been using Live Native products pretty much exclusively (apart from a couple of tests of the Nourish Skin Care I wrote about last week) for the month.
Live Native products are available from the website, www.livenative.com. As well as the full size set of the three products for £99, you can buy a smaller starter kit of the three for £50 to see how you get on with the range before investing in full sizes (the cleanser and moisturiser are about half the size of those in my set, and the toner is 1/5 of the full size). All products are also available individually (and it's £10 cheaper to get the three full sizes individually, although the set does come in a very nice and sturdy box).