As I'm sure you're very well aware by now, I'm quite into my natural and organic skincare, and Antipodes is a brand I'd been keen to try for quite some time.
As well as being vegetarian approved and never being tested on animals, Antipodes products are also free from genetically modified organisms and don't contain any animal bi-products other than honey. Not all of their offerings are certified organic, but those which are not come pretty close (there is a strict criteria for this, and 70-95% of the ingredients must be certified organic for the product to be considered so, with 100% of them being natural).
Antipodes products are packed with lots of delicious natural ingredients, such as avocado oil, manuka honey, macadamia and goji berry to name but a few, and as a whole they just come across as a really wonderful brand with fantastic ethics and delightful-sounding products.
So, a couple of months ago, when I found myself in need of a new cleanser, I decided to bite the bullet and order myself the Grapeseed Butter Cleanser (certified organic), £24.99 from Feel Unique.
Containing nourishing cacao butter and Vinanza grape antioxidant from New Zealand's Sauvignon Blanc grape seeds, this luxurious butter cleanser aims to soften and moisturise the skin as well as helping to repair free-radical damage, while lavender and chamomile soothe and calm.
The product comes in a sturdy jar with a screw top, and you are also provided with a little spatula with which to remove the amount of product you need. The product itself is a coarse yellow balm in texture, which emulsifies and becomes more like an oil when warmed between the hands.
Antipodes recommend that this is used both morning and evening, and is suitable for all skin types. You need the tiniest amount of this, as a little goes a long way. I massaged this in circular motions over my face and neck, and found that it was great for removing makeup, literally melting it all off. Personally, I would always go in for a second, deeper cleanse afterwards, and spend a good couple of minutes really massaging it in and getting it down into my pores for a really deep down clean.
While it did leave my skin feeling soft and nourished, I also noticed that it left an oily film residue on my skin, which didn't exactly thrill me, and wasn't ideal in the mornings when makeup application follows skincare, so I began using it only in the evenings.
This cleanser was a pleasure to use, with a vaguely menthol aroma, and felt like a really luxurious product, but unfortunately for me, not long after I began using it I began breaking out pretty badly! This is unusual for me, as I have been lucky enough to get this far with pretty normal skin, with just the odd minor hormonal breakout on my chin area. But this time, I had some quite awful blemishes on my chin, as well as a couple scattered over my nose, forehead and (I never get them here) cheeks.
The problem with natural and organic products is that, while it's fantastic that they don't contain any chemical nasties, many natural ingredients and essential oils can be comedogenic, blocking pores and causing breakouts. Different people react differently though, so what gives one person blemishes mightn't cause another any problems at all.
Upon further research, I discovered that as well as containing cacao butter, it also lists coconut oil in the ingredients - both of which are known comedogenics. I'm quite sure that the coconut oil was to blame, in my case, as I once used coconut oil as a body moisturiser and it broke me out terrible on my back and chest.
So unfortunately, while this is a lovely product, this particular cleanser wasn't for me, but it hasn't put me off Antipodes as a brand at all - I just need to be a bit more careful with investigating ingredients before I buy anything in future. In fact, I've already ordered the Aura Manuka Honey Mask, and I really can't wait to try that. I've also got my eye on their Divine Oil, which sounds...well, divine!
Have you tried anything from Antipodes? If so, what did you think?