Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Review: 'alva' natural and organic skin care: Sanddorn Moisturising Cream, Hand Cream and Skin Oil





A few weeks ago I was sent some products to try out and review from 'alva'


'alva' are a natural and organic skincare an make up company. Their products are free from parabens, SLes, PEGs, EDTA, phenoxyethanol, lanoline and carmine. The products are cruelty free and PETA approved. 'alva' manufacture a broad range of products to suit all skin types. They also produce hair care products, vegan approved cosmetics and men's grooming products.


Taken from the alva website.....


''At alva Natural Skincare we're devoted to beautiful skin and to supplying the best natural skincare products possible. Since 1988 Alva has been doing its best to fulfill this commitment by developing cosmetics and skincare products that are truly beneficial and offer a maximum degree of effectiveness. This means we're not interested in short-term trends; what counts for Alva is what really helps people in the realm of skincare, and being able to live up to the high expectations our customers have in our products.



'alva’s' commitment to producing effective natural cosmetics requires that all possible efforts are made to use the highest quality pure raw materials with a refusal to compromise quality for price. Alva’s raw materials stem from controlled organic farming or are naturally grown. There's no room for compromise with our products: we don't use liquid paraffin, phenoxyethanol, petroleum jelly, parabens, ammonium lauryl sulphate, palm oil, lanolin, SLES, EDTA or PEGs. Alva is listed on the "List of Positive Cosmetics" issued by PETA, meaning that all products are of vegetarian origin and none have been tested on animals.''



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I was sent the Sanddorn Moisturising Cream and the Sanddorn Hand Cream shown in the above picture.



Sanddorn Moisturising Cream


One of the ingredients that features in all of the Sanddorn range is organic sea buckthorn berry.


Description from alva's website......


''The cold-pressed oil of the organic sea buckthorn berry is one of the most valuable vegetable oils. In Tibet for hundreds of years it has been valued as an effective protection against the Sun's potentially harmful UV rays, as well as being prized for its anti-aging and moisturising skincare qualities. In fact, Sea Buckthorn has a natural intrinsic SPF factor of 4.



Sea buckthorn is rich in provitamin A, vitamin E and non- saturated fatty acids such as olein and the very rare palmitoleic acid. That's why Sanddorn products are ideal for normal and dry and skin as over the age of 30 our skin continually loses its ability to retain moisture.



Combined with selected active ingredients for optimal harmony, such as jojoba oil, cupuaçu butter, royal jelly, shea butter and hyaluronic acid, Alva has developed a deeply nourishing highly effective premium skincare range for the discerning woman.



The sea buckthorn used by Alva is sourced from the organic sea buckthorn plantation in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. This guarantees the shortest transit route with a low environmental impact whilst ensuring the highest quality.



The Sanddorn Moisturising cream helps the protective mechanisms of your skin to counteract negative environmental influences such as damaging UV-rays and free radicals.



Mother Nature's natural internal moisturizer, Hyaluronic Acid, revitalises the building and renewal of cells and binds moisture within the skin. Sanddorn Moisturising Cream is relaxing and refreshing, and works against early skin ageing, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and soothing irritated skin.''



So what's it like?


I'm really loving it and I'll tell you why. The cream itself is a lovely consistency. It is neither too thin or too thick, just right. It glides over the skin and soaks in relatively quickly without leaving a greasy residue like some creams can.



It feels refreshing when it it's first applied and has a nice pleasant fragrance. To me it smells a bit like mild incense and slightly herbal. It's such a comforting scent!



My skin type is dry and I have a constant battle with it, to not only keep it hydrated, but also to ensure it remains flake free. This means for me a strict exfoliation and moisturisation regime. If I slip with it - the dryness returns.



Since using this cream for the last five weeks morning and night, I have noticed a massive improvement in the hydration levels in my skin. My skin feels plumper and a bit more alive if that makes sense. The dryness has improved tenfold and I have had no problems with flaky patches of skin at all. In fact I've had to exfoliate much less since starting to use the cream which is amazing.



Another difference I have noticed is how soft my skin feels. It is so smooth and I put this down to the fact it is much more hydrated than it normally is. I'm so impressed with this seriously, my skin has never felt so soft!



The cream is packaged in a handy squeezable tube, and although it doesn't appear to be very flashy, it is extremely practical and much more hygienic than a jar in my opinion.



The cream is available in a 50ml size and costs £17.00




Sanddorn Hand Cream


Another product from the organic sea buckthorn berry range.


''As we age, along with our face, the hands are the most exposed part of the body and are therefore subjected to a multitude of environmental stressors and potential UV damage, leading to premature age spots and dry leathery hands. This deeply penetrating, nourishing and moisturising hand cream provides extensive care for stressed hands, preventing them from drying out and thus optimizing the skin's elasticity.



Organic shea butter and cocoa butter, along with organic sea buckthorn oil help to stimulate regeneration, providing supple hands and shiny fingernails.



This formulation absorbs easily and is alcohol-free to prevent dehydrating the skin.''



What do I think?


This is another lovely product. The cream is the same colour as the moisturising cream (pale orange) and has the same lovely scent, but is thicker and richer making it a perfect hand cream for dry hands.



Although the cream is thick in consistency, it is not greasy at all. When applied to the hands it feels rich and luxurious but sinks in after around 20 seconds or so. Leaving my hands feeling moisturised without a greasy residue remaining.



Like the skin on my face, the skin on my hands is also very dry and I suffer from really dry cuticles. Since using the cream my hands are a million times better and my cuticles have become not only hydrated, but have managed to stay that way. My hands feel silky soft too just like my face does. I love this stuff!



The Sanddorn Hand Cream comes in a 75ml tube and costs £12.00






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Sanddorn Skin Oil


I was also sent a little bottle of the Sanddorn Skin Oil to try.


Description from the alva wevsite......


''This relaxing skin oil is the perfect intensive care for stressed skin. The rich oil increases the amount of moisture retained, firms, protects against damaging environmental influences, and promotes natural regeneration - especially after sunbathing. Additionally, it helps to promote a better, deeper and longer lasting suntan.

Also recommended as a massage oil; for use during pregnancy in helping to prevent stretch marks; helps with lessening the visible impact of already formed stretch marks, scars and blemishes; work perfectly as a natural, soothing, non-irritating shaving oil for men and women; and is a perfect substitute for liquid paraffin-based oils so often used for babies' skin.''



Possible uses for the oil:


  • This skin oil can be used as a moisturiser for face and body

  • To soothe light sunburn

  • For the treatment of scars, blemishes and stretch marks

  • As a shaving oil

  • For babies


My verdict?


I'm in love with this oil. It reminds me of Bio Oil a little bit. They both share the same purpose, however, the similarity ends there. This is in my opinion a million times better than Bio oil as it is much more natural and doesn't contain any chemical nasties. Unlike Bio -oil that contains a ton of mineral oil! It doesn't clog my pores and has never broken me out. If Bio-Oil didn't work for you due to it causing break outs then this product is well worth trying. I think you would be pleasantly surprised!



I have been using this oil on my face underneath the moisturising cream morning and evening. You only need literally 2 or 3 drops for the entire face and neck. It sinks into the skin pretty much straight away and does not in any way feel greasy. You can feel straight away after applying it that it is nourishing the skin. It feels soothing and make my skin feel so soft! It also has the same comforting scent that all the Sanddorn products have.



I think this has been a life saver for my skin. Used in conjunction with the moisturiser, it has improved the dryness I was suffering from dramatically. My skin's hydration levels have vastly improved and my skin feels normal again. No more flaky patches for me - my skin is now alive again! I would recommend this to anyone wholeheartedly!


The Skin Oil is available in two sizes:


15ml costing £4.50. Buying this size is a really affordable way of trying the oil out.

100ml full size costing £17.00




To conclude


'alva' are an up and coming natural and organic skin care and make up company that have left me feeling more than impressed. They produce organic, natural products that are completely free from any chemical nasties and are fully committed to providing their customers with providing products that have been dermatologically tested and proven to work. They are also winners of the 2010 Natural Skin Care Magazine Award.



The products I was sent to try have made a dramatic difference, and have improved my dry skin greatly. Both creams and the oil have been dermatologically proven to increase moisture levels in the skin and they have certainly done that for me too.



'alva' also produce a range of skin care for normal, combination and oily skin types called 'Rhassoul', which is a volcanic mineral clay. This range has also been dermatologically proven to not only reduce spots, pustules and blackheads, but also to increase moisture levels within the skin. Leaving skin clearer, less oily, more hydrated with greater elasticity. You can check out the Rhassoul range here. It sounds wonderful!




I think that the 'alva' brand is so worth checking out if you haven't already!



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