I don’t get nearly enough time to have an in depth look at all the brands that contact me; it is literally impossible. That said, I always like to look at smaller brands that just don’t get an airing in the same way that big budget brands do. It’s hard enough to start a business in this economy, never mind a beauty business where competition is high as more and more brands come to market. So, partly to assuage my guilt at not being able to spend more time on writing about them, but more because they all bring something to the skin care party, here’s a short round up of brands to take a look at. I’ll flag up if I’ve actually tried them or not.
Owner, Althea, has worked in the cosmetic industry for some years and was inspired to create an organic and natural range after spending time in Africa and learning how African women use simple but effective ingredients to care for their skin. One To Try: Skin Brightening Fruit Enzyme Creme Exfoliatior, £22.95. 
Made in Armagh, Northern Ireland, by mum of two, Elina, everything at Body Care Luxuries is paraben, SLS and harsh chemical free but still manages to look interesting and fun to use. One To Try: Handmade Body Salt Scrub in Fruity Strawberry, £5.65.
Gaiavita http://www.gaiavita.co.uk/en/organic-skincare
Hailing from Hungary, Gaiavita combines science and ancient plant knowledge and is priced for the very top end of the natural market for the eco-luxe sector. It’s certified 95% organic and covers both face and body care using bioactive, therapeutic plants. One To Try: Orange Blossom and Fenugreek Day Cream, £60.
Although we haven’t really had the summer for it, I love to keep cooling facial spritzes in the fridge for an instant heat buster. I used ph balanced Mayawater, made with Norwegian mineral rich water, several times and it is nothing short of lovely, containing organic white tea and antioxidants. Far more friendly to skin than tap water, it’s said to brighten and hydrate, but personally I’m not sure I’d spend so much when Evian is similar and much cheaper. £18+. Find it at www.theorganicskinstore.com
Kalis Skincare www.kalis-skincare.co.uk
Kalis is a natural skincare range with a little bit of science thrown in. I like the fact they don’t make any bones about using chemical ingredients, but in the lowest possible concentrates in order to make the products effective at reasonable prices. One To Try High C Skin Correcting Serum, £23. 
Nephria Jade www.nephria.com
I’m intrigued by Nephria Jade. Nephira mineral water is sourced from a reservoir 400m under the Nephria Jade Mine in South Korea giving it unique mineral properties. Products contain the mineral water and the soap contains Nephrite (Jade powder) as well as pure botanical oils. It’s slightly off putting that they claim Nephria Jade as ‘the world’s most advanced moisturiser’ which is exactly that – a claim. One To Try Jade Beauty Bar, £20.
Sodashi www.sodashi.de
Australian brand, Sodashi, (meaning wholeness, purity and radiance) uses plant essences and natural ingredients to give a comprehensive, chemical free skin care range. It pops up in spas across the world so doesn’t really qualify as a ‘small brand’ but it’s hard to find in the UK, and it’s flipping expensive to boot. I tried the Eye Lifting Gel – it has the hallmark smell of a botanical/aromatherapy brand and while I liked it, it didn’t blow me away. One To Try Calming Rose Facial Mist, EU100. 

Douvall’s Argan Oil www.douvalls.com
Ok, so Alicia Douvall has had some issues, but is said to have turned her back on surgery and is learning to cope with body dysmorphia. I’m not really sure how she came to have an Argan oil brand, but I’m a huge fan of the wonder oil and use it on my skin and hair often. It’s no better for having a celebrity backing, but no worse either and having tried it, I can promise that it lives up to pure Argan oil expectations. It’s quite a small bottle, 50ml, but beautiful quality. £25.

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