October 10, 2022
The humble toner has come a long way from the skin-stripping products we once knew them to be. These days, toners are full of active ingredients that nourish and soothe your skin.
Add to this the fact that they also prime skin to receive the full benefit of your skincare and it becomes clear just how indispensable toners are.
September 26, 2022
We are all told that we need to wash our face regularly to keep it healthy. But how do we know if we’re doing it right? Cleansing too frequently, with too harsh a cleanser and using the wrong methods, could be making skin issues worse.
We step you through the reasoning behind cleansing, which cleanser and exfoliant to choose for your skin, and how to use them to the best effect.
September 19, 2022
I am often being asked for my naturopathic advice when it comes to supplements: what should I take to help my skin? Will supplements make any difference to my particular issue?
Supplements can definitely be helpful when you are not getting sufficient nutrients in your diet but I always recommend looking to food first as its often better absorbed and comes with many more beneficial nutrients.
Having said this I do take a handful of supplements to help with my skin and immune system on a daily basis and so I thought I’d share with you what I take and why.
September 13, 2022
We get so many great questions about how best to use our products and one of the most recent ones is whether or not I should be using the Lime Caviar Eye Crème or the Brightening Eye + Skin Serum for around my eyes.
April 25, 2022
Autumn is upon us and the cooler weather is on its way. In our glorious patch of the world, the ever-stunning Blue Mountains of NSW, you can already see some of the leaf tips starting to burnish with autumn’s first colours.
As the coolness creeps in and the air starts to become dry, both indoors and out, it’s time to transition our skincare to accommodate the new conditions. After all, luminous skin is not reserved for the summer months alone.
This season’s shifting temperatures and windy weather can play havoc with skin that’s already stressed from the rigours of summer.
Your skin has just endured all the UV exposure (incidental or otherwise) that occurs through the summer months and now it has to contend with autumn’s drop in humidity.
It’s no wonder it needs a little extra TLC.
Lower humidity, harsh winds and cool temperatures are all responsible for the familiar discomfort of dry skin. And dry skin is compromised skin.
When skin is dry its natural barrier, the microbiome, can easily become damaged. This means it’s no longer able to perform its important protective role and suddenly your skin is exposed to external aggravators, like pollution.
This is when we begin to see irritated, inflamed and sensitive skin.
Skin cell turnover also slows down over autumn and winter. As the skin cells start to build up (not a pleasant thought) our skin starts becoming drier, flakier and rougher. This is the nemesis to glowing skin, as it creates a dull-looking appearance.
While there are definitely challenges to keeping a luminous complexion over the cooler months, it is absolutely possible. Here’s how you can keep on glowing over autumn:
Long, sun-soaked days may be behind us for the next little while, but sun protection is relevant year-round. UV rays are present even on overcast days so it’s just as important to protect your skin now that it’s getting cooler. Our Protect + Clarify Daily Face Lotion offers the perfect amount of sun protection for the cooler months.
It’s time to swap out your lighter products for more hydrating and nourishing skincare. Biofermented hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient for retaining moisture content in the skin and it supports collagen synthesis, making it one of our all-time favourites. You can find this ultra-hydrating wonder in our Ultimate Face Creme.
To further protect your skin from the drying weather, try adding a spritz and serum to your routine. A toner spritz will add another layer of moisture to your skin and help to reduce any inflammation. A potent serum will increase skin elasticity and hydration, as well as promote skin rejuvenation.
Dry weather conditions and slower cell turnover doesn’t mean you have to put up with a dull, flaky complexion. Or the resulting clogged pores. Gentle, regular exfoliation will clear away the excess build-up to reveal a radiant complexion.
Make sure not to exfoliate too roughly, or with a harsh exfoliant, as this can damage the skin barrier. We’ve paired organic Rosehip seed granules with hydrating ingredients such as biofermented hyaluronic acid, shea butter, macadamia and coconut oils to create a nourishing exfoliant and mask. Our 2 in 1 Face Exfoliant + Mask stabilises your skin’s natural protective barrier while drawing out and sweeping away impurities.
Cold, dry wind meeting wet lips. You lick them to stop the dryness and then almost immediately the wind dries them out even more….so you lick them again, but then, the wind! We’ve all been there. It’s amazing how quickly it changes from dry-ish lips to stinging lips to cracking lips.
Get ahead of the wind this season and make sure you’ve always got a nourishing lip balm handy. We formulated our lip balm, Ultimate Lips, to be deeply soothing, nourishing and hydrating so your lips will be impervious to the elements.
Autumn skincare doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With a few considered tweaks and products that suit autumn’s environment, you can have glowing skin all season.
September 15, 2021
As much as I would love everyone to just empty the contents of their beauty cabinet and start fresh, it’s not practical or affordable for many. So given that one of the most common questions I get asked is ‘where should I start when transitioning to organic skincare’, I wanted to lay out my recommendations.
When going organic, I think it’s good to know not only what to start buying but why. That way you can make informed decisions and know that you’re heading in the right direction.
Start with the lips
Our bodies absorb around 80% of what we put on it but this is increased if it’s on your lips. Why? Because you’re eating it! What’s not being absorbed is going into your digestive system and into your body. That’s why it’s super important to make sure your lip balm and lip colour are 100% natural and as organic as possible. (I have to tell you, whilst recently standing in line at a local store I read the ingredients of some well-known lip balms and was appalled – so many chemicals in these products!)
I highly recommend our Ultimate Lips (99% certified organic ingredients) and Rose Tinted Lips (99% certified organic ingredients).
Note: For those with little people, baby products (moisturisers, oils, creams and balms) come in at a tied 1st place. This is because baby’s skin barrier is much more penetrative than adults, absorbing more than 80% into their system.
The skin on our bodies (everything from the décolletage down) is a very large surface area. And given its superior absorption qualities, this is the next place to invest in organic skincare. Our multi award winning Ultimate Hand + Body Lotion, Ultimate SOS Balm and Ultimate Body Oil come highly recommended.
Your face cream, serum and toner are the next stop because they make the biggest visual impact. These 3 face products in an organic form are so much better for your complexion, scarring, pigmentation and signs of ageing. Why? Because they contain none of the nasties which can be counter-productive for these issues (parabens, PEGs, artificial fragrances) and the botanicals they DO contain are more potent due to organic farming producing a higher antioxidant and vitamin content.
Clean up your act
It’s important to make your cleanser, exfoliant and mask the next organic purchases for 2 reasons:
Make me up
I’ve put this one last because it’s not necessarily an everyday item. Personally, I only wear make-up when I’m heading out to something important. If, however, you do wear make-up daily, I would pop it into 4th position. Choosing natural and organic make-up is important because there are sooo many chemicals that go into conventional products. There is also very little regulation and brands are not required to list ingredients on their packaging (scary!!!). The best natural and organic make-up brands that I use and recommend are Inika, Gemma Vendetta and Eye of Horus. Eco Tools also makes fabulous natural applicators (brushes, sponges etc.).
As always, I’m here to help so please feel free to reach out if you have any queries.
I hope you find it helpful.
April 14, 2021
I really love our Lime Caviar Eye Crème, especially after a sleep-less night. As I enter my 40s I have found that it is now an essential part of my skincare regime and I love what it does for my eyes.
If you are new to eye creams, you may be wondering whether or not you need one and whether it will help you. Well, I’m here to answer your queries and give you all the info you need on eye creams. Here’s just a few of the questions we’ve received lately and our feedback.
Q. Shouldn’t my normal face cream be enough and fulfill the same purpose as an eye cream?
A. Sometimes it is as simple as having a decent moisturiser that can be applied up to the eye area. However, it is important to remember that the skin around the eye is thinner, dryer and more sensitive than other areas on the face. It’s also the first to show signs of ageing (not a concern for all people but it is for some). Eye creams are designed to specifically cater to the needs of this area and focus on eye area issues, rather than the focus of general face creams (e.g. sun protection, pigmentation).
Q. I heard someone saying that dark circles in older ladies can’t be helped as that has got to do with age and bone density. Is this true?
A. This has some truth but only really relates to a certain percentage of the population. As we age we all lose bone density and the bones on the face are not exempt from this. This can cause dark circles in some people, particularly those with a lower bone density and/or lower body fat.
Q. I tend to get dark circles in spring and autumn and relate this to my allergies. Can an eye cream help with this?
A. Yes it may well. When you get allergies, you tend to get itchiness, redness, puffiness and sensitivity around the eye area. This is because the body is releasing histamine which allows fluids to flow more freely into affected sites. By applying an eye cream, it should help to move fluid out of the affected area and calm any redness.
Q. Is an eye cream really needed? Why should I stretch my budget?
A. Eye creams can be very potent products which are formulated to cater for very specific needs. They are helpful for looking after the health of the eye area (dryness, fine lines etc.), especially when your face cream is not suited to be applied near the eye (e.g., stronger retinol-based creams, heavily fragranced creams etc). They are also the perfect antidote to dark circles and bags caused by fatigue and fluid retention.
On a purely indulgence level, I really enjoy the feeling of applying a cream to my eyes. It feels like I’m giving my eyes that little bit of extra TLC, which also happens to make me look a little fresher and help prevent any further degradation in that area.
All in all, I would say that eye creams can be a very useful addition to the skincare regime.
Got further queries? Please feel free to email me email@example.com
February 15, 2021
As we age and spend more time in the sun (especially after these glorious summer days), pigmentation naturally creeps up on us. Having recently turned 40, it’s something that I have noticed comes easier to me if I’m not careful and has made me more conscious to reduce and prevent it.
In my experience, there are 3 key steps to tackling pigmentation naturally. Here’s how:
Cleansing helps in 2 ways. Firstly, it helps to gently exfoliate the skin, removing the top layer of skin cells, which in turn encourages the skin to produce new skin cells. Secondly, and this is specific to our Refining Cleanser, it helps to reduce melanin production (the dark pigments in skin that cause pigmentation). This is because our Refining Cleanser contains Bearberry, a botanical that has been shown to inhibit the enzymes needed to produce melanin.
How often should I cleanse?
Cleansing should take place daily. When using the Refining Cleanser, this is best used in combination with a face cloth such as our Organic Bamboo Face Cloth as this further assists the exfoliation process.
What about the 2 in 1 Face Exfoliant + Mask?
This product is fabulous for serious exfoliation and should be used 2-3 times weekly, with particular attention paid to areas of pigmentation.
After cleansing and exfoliating, the next products that hit your skin need to help further reduce melanin production and promote skin cell turnover.
Firstly, spritz with our Ultimate Biome Spritz. This product is packed with vitamin C which has been shown to inhibit melanin production. It also contains ingredients which encourage a healthy microbiome, overall skin health and protect against environmental pollutants.
After spritzing, we recommend applying a few drops of our Repair Face Serum. This beautiful product contains ingredients which have been shown to reduce pigmentation and increase skin cell turnover.
How often should I use these products?
Both the Ultimate Biome Spritz and Repair Face Serum should be applied every morning and evening.
After going to all these efforts to reduce your pigmentation, the next step is to protect your skin and prevent any further damage. In order to do this, you need to apply a product containing SPF as the sun is the most common cause of skin darkening.
I use our Protect + Clarify Daily Face Lotion as it’s a beautiful light weight lotion which protects my skin from the sun, as well as containing ingredients which fight pigmentation.
Our Protect + Clarify Daily Face Lotion contains SPF15 which blocks 93% of UVB rays. This is enough if you are only spending periodic periods in the sun (I spend most of my days in the office and am only out in the sun for maximum 30 minutes per day). When spending longer periods, it’s best to choose an SPF30 or higher.
How often should I apply this product?
Protect + Clarify Daily Face Lotion should be applied every morning.
So just to re-cap, the 5 products I use to tackle pigmentation are:
Using these products should help to reduce any areas of pigmentation and prevent it from reoccurring again.
Got further queries? Please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
August 17, 2020
I auditioned for a Clearasil ad when I was around 11 (don’t worry, the irony isn’t lost on me). I remember preparing for the audition, making sure my skin was clean and obsessing over a tiny spot or 2 on my face. I couldn’t decide if they wanted someone with pimples and I should leave them, or if I should cover them up?
I didn’t get it in the end. Either I wasn’t a very good actor, or I wasn’t quite what they were looking for. Why am I telling this story? I feel like it was the beginning of my obsession with my skin.
I had acne quite badly when I was a teenager. I used all the toxic stuff that ‘guaranteed’ clear skin. After years of poisoning myself with chemicals, my hormones settled, and my skin calmed down. What I was left with was scars and plenty of them. My fault entirely – I was a picker, not a leaver. I just didn’t think they would leave such a legacy on my face for years to come.
As a teenager, I was also very aware of the scars on my body. I acquired a large keloid scar right in the centre of my chest when I was around 10 and when I became a teenager it became a major focal point in my life. I felt it was ugly and made me look ugly. I did everything I could to try to hide it. I would choose clothing so that it could be covered. And if I couldn’t cover it with clothing, I became very good at making or adjusting necklaces so that they would cover it.
Now that I’m almost 40, and after years of applying my Repair Face Serum, that scar has pretty much flattened and disappeared. I have another on my shoulder, more recently acquired at university, but I don’t really care too much about it. Growing older, having children, becoming more worldly-wise, has made me realise that people don’t care about scars. It doesn’t make me ugly. It’s just a part of my story.
I’ve been reflecting on my reflection lately. It’s funny, having a skincare brand, there is some internal dialogue telling me that my skin should be perfect. But is that really true? I have been told over the years that I have lovely skin and that is no surprise given the skincare I create and promote. But sometimes I look at my face in the mirror and all I see are the faults – acne scars, faint pigmentation from years of careless sun exposure and the beginning of deep lines. Why do we do that to ourselves?
Ultimately, I’m happy with my skin. It really is the best it’s ever been in my life – pimple free, acne scars and pigmentation fading, and overall glowing skin. It will never be perfect, and I certainly will never succumb to cosmetic procedures to make it so. It’s healthy, it will age well, and that’s really all that I want.
When I reflect back on that Clearasil commercial, perhaps what I should have learnt was that confidence is key. My products give me confidence that what I’m putting on my skin is not only going to make my skin as healthy as it can be, but it’s not going to do any harm to my body or the environment. This makes me feel good, and I hope it makes others feel good too.
July 06, 2020
There’s a reason why I only have a single line of products in the Clémence Organics range. It’s because I don’t believe in skin types. I know it’s a bold statement but hear me out.
The skin types you hear most often are normal, dry, oily, mature, combination, and sensitive. But who only has one skin type? And what is normal?
I know my skin varies according to the season, what I’m eating, the climate I’m in, my current stress levels, and what I’m using on my skin. For example, in summer I would say that my skin is oily. In winter it’s dry. It’s always sensitive and given that I’m getting close to 40 I would say it’s verging on mature. How do I label that?
The truth of the matter is, your skin is never one skin type but rather a living, breathing, changeable organ, and you should treat it as such. By adapting your diet and skincare, you can keep your skin happy, no matter the season.
Currently I’m using the full regime of Clémence products (otherwise known as the Ageless Beauty Collection) because I live in a dry climate and its mid-winter. Work has been busy lately (never mind school holidays) and so my stress levels are a little higher than usual. Because of this I know that the extra cortisol pumping through my bloodstream is sending the nutrients I’m eating to other organs, feeding my skin last. I’m also exercising less at the moment because most days I struggle to get out of bed early enough to fit in a run.
These factors combined cause my skin to beg for extra hydration, and so I give it all the Serum, Face Creme and Eye Creme it desires. I also Spritz my skin throughout the day to keep it moist, especially when I’m in the office with indoor heating. On top of this, I use the 2 in 1 Face Exfoliant + Mask every second day to nourish my skin and increase the turnover of skin cells.
During winter I try to feed my skin by adding extra fats to my diet including avocado, nuts and oily fish. And whilst I don’t drink as much water, I sip on herbal teas throughout the day, and try not to have too much caffeine as it dehydrates skin.
In summer I tend to use my Face Creme sparingly and will often apply the Spritz and Serum, or just the Protect + Clarify Daily Face Lotion during the day. This is because the warm summer weather naturally encourages my skin to produce more oils.
So what makes the Clémence range so adaptable and suitable for everyone? Well for starters it’s 100% natural and organic, with no chemicals or unnecessary ingredients, minimising the risk of a reaction. Ingredients are non-comedogenic which means our products won’t your block pores, reducing the formation of blackheads and acne. Perhaps more importantly the range is designed to balance your skin’s pH, microbiome and sebum levels, allowing your skin to reach a natural equilibrium. Our skin has an inherent ability to heal itself and so the products we put on it should support this process, not make it harder.
My advice, don’t label your skin. Listen to what it needs according to where you’re at, what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. Choose skincare products that support your skin. If you can adapt to give your skin what it needs right now, you may just find your ‘normal’.
June 15, 2020
Amongst the skin disorders, psoriasis is probably up there as one of the trickiest to treat. Whilst it can present similarly to atopic dermatitis (eczema), it requires a slightly different approach to treatment.
Although it can be caused by a multitude of factors, there are lots of ways to reduce psoriasis occurrence, and sometime eradicate it for good. Here is what I know about psoriasis and what you can do about it.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterised by red and/or silvery scaly lesions that present most commonly near the scalp, elbows, knees and buttocks. In most people, epithelial (skin) cells take 28 days to divide and move to the surface, but in psoriasis this happens in only 4 days.
What causes Psoriasis & how do I treat it?
Basically, in psoriasis the skin cells are faulty, causing them to reproduce way too fast. This fault can be caused by either a genetic error (family history accounts for around 50% of cases), abnormal immune stimulation (psoriasis can be found in conjunction with autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and coeliac disease), or gastrointestinal dysfunction.
From a naturopathic perspective, the treatment of psoriasis focuses on reducing inflammation and promoting the growth of healthy skin.
Diet and Gastrointestinal health
Whilst a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet is key to reducing psoriasis, it is firstly important to ensure healthy gastrointestinal function. This means making sure you digest your food properly (e.g. sufficient digestive enzymes) and have healthy gut flora. You also want to avoid any foods to which you have demonstrated a sensitivity e.g. gluten.
Probiotics should be a regular component of your diet and can be added via foods (e.g. kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee) or supplements. Not only does good gut flora improve the absorption of key nutrients necessary for healthy skin, but it also benefits the immune system and is anti-inflammatory.
As with many skin disorders, the Mediterranean diet is perfect because it is high in antioxidants, high in fibre, low in red meat, low in refined carbohydrates and doesn’t include processed foods. It’s also rich in those all-important, skin-loving omega 3s (e.g. avocado, olive oils, oily fish).
Exercise, Stress and other Lifestyle factors
Exercise is a must for psoriasis sufferers as it decreases the activity of the main immune cells responsible for its progression. It also reduces stress, which has strong links to psoriasis progression. In fact, one study reported that 39% of psoriasis patients reported a significant stressful event within 1 month of their first psoriasis episode. Mind and body therapies including meditation have been shown to improve psoriasis outcomes.
As with any skin-related disorder, you want to minimise chemical and irritant exposure. This includes minimising exposure to paints, perfumes, aerosols (e.g. hairspray, deodorant), and household cleaning fluids (laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, surface spray etc.). All can be replaced with natural, low-allergen options.
Last but not least, you want to choose skincare that is going to reduce inflammation and improve the health of the skin. One of the botanicals that has been shown to be effective for psoriasis treatment is Aloe vera. This is what makes our Ultimate Hand + Body Lotion so well-suited. Aloe vera is the first and largest ingredient in this lotion, followed by rosehip oil and other anti-inflammatory skin superstars. Seriously, there is no water or fillers in this luscious body lotion, making it a standout when it comes to restoring skin health.
As always, I’m here to help, so please feel free to reach out if you have any specific queries.
Best of health to you,
Please note, this blog post contains general naturopathic recommendations. Individual cases may require specific treatment measures so please seek medical advice if symptoms persist.
April 14, 2020
I recently had the privilege of travelling to the USA with a group of other Australian certified organic businesses, to learn about the US organic market. This trip included time with major stores, co-operatives, producers, growers and restaurants from the California region.
It was a whirlwind 5 days (and to be honest, a bit messy with the coronavirus situation, albeit early days) but incredibly enlightening. Here are some highlights of the trip, what I learnt and how I want this to impact on Clémence Organics.
We started off the trip with the big kahuna – Whole Foods. If you don’t know, Whole Foods is the largest natural and organic supermarket in the USA (and probably the world) with around 500 stores.
We met with Randy Ducummon, Vice President of the Northern California and Reno region, an extremely passionate guy who had worked his way up from the shop floor to the boardroom. He clearly loved what he did and his enthusiasm for his business was infectious.
Probably the most interesting thing I learnt was how they had transitioned from being a bricks and mortar grocer to an online organic superstar (quite clearly moreso after the acquisition by Amazon). They had increased their online capabilities to the point where there was nothing they couldn’t ship and in record time. These systems are priceless, especially in times of self-isolation, allowing customers unlimited access to healthy products.
Mark Squire radiated a similar enthusiasm for organics, only he’s been in the industry for 50 years! One of the owners of Good Earth, a large organic supermarket with 2 stores in the San Francisco region, Mark is a big deal in the business.
We sat there entranced as Mark spoke of how Good Earth began and how they hold true to their original tenets of sharing healthy organic food with their community. After so many years, his belief in the power of organics and the role they played in returning our planet to good health was undiminished.
Mark took great pride in educating customers on the produce he purchased, including which farm it came from and how many miles from the store that was. How I would love to be able to do this with the ingredients I purchase. Definitely something to aspire to!
Earl’s Organic Produce
Probably the most passionate person I met on this trip was Earl from Earl’s Organic Produce. This guy just oozed enthusiasm and love for his organic produce. His business worked 24/7 to ensure shops and restaurants had access to the best organic fruits and vegetables from across the country.
The dedication and enthusiasm Earl displayed for this produce, his people (I LOVED that he would stop himself and say hi to anyone who passed us during the hour of our time together) and ultimately his business, made me want to buy his goods.
Similarly, the team at Good Eggs, Miyoko’s Creamery, Coke Farms and Rainbow Grocery, all spoke about their businesses with such vision. They clearly felt that the organic industry had so much room to grow and so much to offer, and they wanted to be a big part of that growth.
California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
This all came to a point when we met with the team from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). A non-profit organisation, CCOF serves organic producers throughout North America by providing services, advocacy and educational programs. Their CEO, Kelly Damewood (pictured centre below), spoke so confidently about the future of the industry and clearly loved being a part of a growing movement towards health and sustainability.
One thing I really loved was that the team members we met with from CCOF were all young women, including the CEO herself. It was inspiring to see that it is the youth of California that are standing up and supporting its future.
Reflections and looking to the future
On the whole, the main take-home from the trip was that organics are viewed differently in the USA than they are in Australia.
Over there, organics are a large part of the fresh produce and personal product sector, and stores can sell 100% certified organic products and be profitable. The health benefits, not only for the consumer, but also for the earth, are a no brainer, and it’s gradually becoming an everyday part of US households.
Given the current health crisis, I can’t help but feel that now more than ever its time that organics was taken seriously the world over, and nowhere more so than here in Australia.
You see, certified organic is all about health – better nutrition and reduced exposure to chemicals (pesticides, herbicides etc). As a naturopath, my focus is and has always been on health. My products don’t just make your skin look good, they make it healthy. They also keep your body healthy (by not exposing it to unnecessary chemicals) and the planet healthy (by not supporting the commercial growth of non-organic botanicals). In my mind, especially with my family history of cancer, there is simply no other way.
The other main take-home from this trip is that it’s the people behind the brands, behind the companies, that make them special. Their love and passion for their organic products make me want to support them, buy their products, invest in their future.
Given that I’m the person behind my brand, I really want my passion for what I do and what I believe in to shine through. And so, I’m going to talk to you more. Share my passion for organics, for healthy skincare and for the future.
I want you to understand that I’m in this business because I truly love what my products represent and the changes they make in people’s lives, and ultimately, the planet.
So keep an eye on our social media, on our emails and on our website as I contribute more personal posts (and try to overcome my shyness for the camera – eek!) to put my passion out there more.
Best of health to you,