Our Rating: 0 stars

Living Nature is a skincare brand to watch. As Nisha mentioned in her review of the New Zealand brand’s Ultra Nourishing Mask ($50 in the shop), Living Nature is to be commended for its commitment to creating 100% natural products that are good for your skin – and the environment. Not to mention, the products (or at least the ones I’ve tested so far) are really a pleasure to use.

The brand is certified natural by the BDIH Germany, whose strict standards mean products are free of a host of nasty ingredients. Among them: potentially endocrine-disrupting synthetic preservatives (e.g. parabens, ethylhexyglycerin) and neurotoxic preservatives (phenoxyethanol); harsh surfactants (sodium, ammonium, lauryl/laureth sulfates); petrochemicals (PEGs, paraffin, other glycols); silicones; artificial fragrances; phthalates; Bisphenol-A (an estrogenic chemical); and genetically modified or irradiated ingredients. Living Nature also puts great thought into producing environmentally friendly packaging.

Now on to the products themselves....

Living Nature had me as soon as I tested its Vitalising Cleanser ($35). Because it is a creamy facial cleanser, I admit that I did not have high hopes for the product. In my experience, cream cleansers just don’t do a great job at, well, cleansing. I wouldn’t say I wear heavy makeup, but I wear enough so that I feel gross if I see traces of my powder foundation or eye makeup on my towel after washing my face. But Living Nature’s cleanser blew me away. It did an amazing job of removing any trace of makeup – even drugstore mascara! – while leaving my skin hydrated. I started looking forward to washing my face (not something I’ve ever said before) because the product is so soothing (no irritation whatsoever, even when I massage it over my eyelids), and the slightly sweet smell is so pleasant. Active manuka honey in the product does double duty as a moisturizer and an antibacterial agent.

I also love a good body cream, and Living Nature’s Ultra Rich Body Cream ($35 in the shop) does not disappoint. The thick cream has a nice, non-greasy feel and absorbs quickly into the skin. When I applied the cream to my arms and legs post-shower in the morning, it left my perpetually dry skin feeling soft and smooth even after I crawled into bed that night. And I found the cream is the perfect cure for rough spots, like the elbows and heels. Its aromatic – yet not overpowering – scent hinted of cocoa butter. Low and behold, the body cream gets much of its moisturizing power from cacao butter as well as cupuacu and murumuru butters, and the signature manuka honey.

Another winner I discovered in the Living Nature line is the Radiance Night Oil ($50). Marta’s article on her Five Best facial oils encouraged me to give facial oils a try. I always worried they might trigger breakouts or make my face look too shiny, but since the Living Nature oil is designed for night use, this seemed like it could be a good test. Its primary ingredient is rosehip oil, which studies have shown to have skin-regenerating properties. Also in the mix are calendula (to reduce inflammation), antioxidant-rich carrot oil, and frankincense oil (purported to help heal blemishes). My skin drank up the Radiance Night Oil quite nicely; I didn’t feel like I had an oil slick on my face and neck. The natural scent of rose and the other botanicals is quite strong at first, but this does fade. Smoothing on the oil makes me feel like I am giving myself a little spa experience every night.

I’ve been so pleased with Living Nature that I can’t wait to try other products in the range – and I’d love to hear from any readers who have also tried Living Nature products.

Ingredients in cleanser: Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate (from olive oil), Sorbitan olivate (from olive oil), Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, Glycerin (vegetable glycerine), Pomaderris kumerahou flowers/leaf extract, Glucose (plant sugar), Mel (active manuka honey), Parfum (natural fragrance)*, Sclerotium gum, Decyl glucoside (from coconut oil), Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Glucose oxidase (from milk), Lactoperoxidase (from milk), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil, Totarol (totara extract), Limonene*, Linalool*; * From natural essential oils

Ingredients in body cream: Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Caprylic capric triglycerides, Astrocaryum murumuru seed butter **, Jojoba esters, Theobroma cacao butter, Theobroma grandiflorum (Cupuacu) seed butter**, Sodium levulinate, Sodium anisate, Glycerin (vegetable glycerin), Caryocar brasiliense (pequi) fruit oil, Glucose, Orbignya oleifera (Babassu) seed oil, Daucus carota extract, Parfum (fragrance)*, Mel (manuka honey), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Xanthan gum, Glucose oxidase, Lactoperoxidase. *From natural essential oils: Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Limonene; **Certified organic

Ingredients in facial oil: Rosa canina (rosehip) fruit oil**, Calendula officinalis extract**, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil**, Boswellia carterii (frankincense) oil, Parfum (natural fragrance)*, Daucus carota (carrot) extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Rosa damascena (rose) flower oil, Citral*, Citronellol*, Eugenol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*; * Component of essential oil ** Certified organic