Beauty Finds: Najel Aleppo Soap. Jasmine Aleppo Soap and Black Cumin Oil Aleppo Soap Review

Welcome to another Beauty Finds. This edition is Najel olive and bay laurel oils Aleppo Soap in both Jasmine and Black Cumin Oil respectively.

Najel Jasmine Aleppo Soap. Apologies if the writing is upside down

I knew about Marseille soap as I’ve been for about 6 months using it as my all purpose cleaning soap including the dishes! I didn’t know about Aleppo Soap so was super curious in Druni when I first saw Nazel products as a few soaps were a similar shape and colour as Marseille Soap. The Marseille soap I was using was marketed as an all purpose cleaner when these soaps were in a beauty shop. What was the difference?

Aleppo soap is traditionally made in Aleppo, Syria and is the ancestor to Marseille soap. Traditional Aleppo soap is 100% natural and contains no chemicals or animal fats, protected by Syrian law and must be made inside Aleppo or just outside of Aleppo. Just like how Spanish champagne can only be called cava as for champagne to be champagne it can only be manufactured in the Champagne region of France. Being ancestor to Marseille soap, it’s very similar to Marseille soap in that it also uses olive oil. Aleppo soap in addition contains bay laurel oil. Both giving the soap it’s rich green colour. There are several companies still in operation after the Syrian civil war, Najel being on of them. The headquarters are based in Lyon, France however all Aleppo soap sold via Najel is made in Syria since 1895 by the Al Najjar family. 20 years ago the soap was brought to Europe by marriage of the founding Najel owners. Catherine, a law student met Manar, a Syrian doctor and the rest is history via a father in law. Catherine’s father was amazing by Manar’s family soap making business and convinced Manar to export it to Europe. While the brand has expanded out of soap with many products now made in France, the Aleppo soap is still traditionally made in Syria. More information about Najel here

Skip a paragraph for the review or read on for my beauty requirement! 

I have a few requirements when it comes to beauty products: cruelty free, natural, clean, vegan better. I do my best to avoid nasty ingredients such as SLSs, parabens, PEGs, silicones, etc. Petrochemicals are the sneakiest with so many derivatives and aliases. I also avoid palm oil and it’s derivatives as I prefer orangutans. Coconut oil marketed as the good oil I’m also cutting down on as it can be just a damaging crop as palm oil. If I do get products containing palm or coconut oil I try to get organic or sustainably sourced. With make up it’s a little harder so I go for cruelty free brands. I prefer products with less plastic and thankfully more brands are aware consumers don’t want unnecessary plastic (or governments are telling them less plastic). My skin type’s oily sensitive, acne prone and now wrinkles. I know nothing stops those lines, but if I can delay them then….

I came across Najel Aleppo Soap last year in Druni. Druni has a great range of lesser known bio and organic European skin care brands. I’m always on the lookout for solid body soap to try that’s plastic free. As mentioned early I use Marseille soap for washing the dishes, hand washing, general cleaning and while it can be used for body and hair too, the idea of using the same soap for everything, kinda grosses me out a little. I’m sure it’ll clean well and be fine! I have noticed however it does dry my hands out if I’m not using washing up gloves so the I’m probably good not using as a body and shampoo soap. 

I was curious as to what Aleppo Soap was. Is the war in Syria still on going? Who buy purchasing would I be contributing to? Would I be contributing to those who’ve lost everything and are trying to rebuild their lives? By purchasing I’d be helping the country get back on its feet. Those were the initial thoughts before purchasing. I believe in democracy that’s all I’m saying. 

All Aleppo Soap must be made with non food olive oil, bay laurel oil, caustic for saponification of oils and water, made in the traditional way of a hot process in a cauldron and made within or just outside of Aleppo. The soap’s made from November to March then left to dry for at least 9 months!

I initially tried the organic Jasmine soap first. Druni here. This is because I prefer to buy solid soap that isn’t wrapped in plastic. A peak into the box revealed it’s paper wrapped. The rest of the Najel soaps available were wrapped in plastic. Sadly however under the paper it is wrapped in plastic. 

Beautifully wrapped and a little plastic. A paper sticker would be more environmentally friendly
Continue reading “Beauty Finds: Najel Aleppo Soap. Jasmine Aleppo Soap and Black Cumin Oil Aleppo Soap Review”

Weekend Friday Favourites

Welcome to another Weekend Friday Favourites! I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Apologies for the gap in Weekend Friday Favourites. Some of you many know Spain has one of the strictest Covid-19 lockdowns in Europe. Translation unless an essential worker you could only leave your house for the supermarket, bank, doctors or work. 7 weeks of not being allowed outside unless a bike ride to the supermarket or bakers lead me to dark place. It’s not the worst dark place I’ve found myself in. Maybe, a different room of darkness. Add a huge birthday this month of a new decade for a girl it’s all downhill. Thankfully the Spanish government last weekend has allowed us out to exercise. We have times slots based on age and I can’t tell you how good it feels being able to freely within reason run and cycle. To see the sea up close again, feel open space, see flowers, birds and other people with happy faces. Hopefully in a week Catalunya can move into phase 1 of a little more freedom as restrictions are eased.

Freedom Flowers. 1st bike ride in 7 weeks!

I’m also getting up early too! We’re only allowed out once day for exercise within the 2 time slots. I’ve chosen the mornings between 06.00-10.00 as I’m guaranteed daylight and sunshine. The other time slot is 20.00-23.00 however 21.00 it starts to get dark. I need all the sunshine and vitamin D I can get.

Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye recently. Please feel free to comment below what’s been making you smile recently! 

Mike Peele Hip-Hop Fit

As I was unable to run, on run days I did Popsugar Fitness Dance workouts. Most trainers are guest hosts with links to their own YouTube or fitness businesses. I took a Mike Peele’s Hip-Hop Dance Workout and really enjoyed it. Seeing if he had more classes of his own on YouTube he does! Pre USA stay at home orders Continue reading “Weekend Friday Favourites”

Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2

Welcome to another Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2! As some you may know I’m trying to reduce my plastic consumption. I’ve always said beauty products after food are the the hardest plastic area for me to reduce. Thankfully with hair care, it’s getting easier to go plastic free with solid shampoo and conditioner bars! However just like their liquid counterparts it takes many frogs to find the right ones.

I’ve found some bars might contain too much sulphate that make my fine hair go crazy frizzy. Nobody wants that! I also feel sometimes the ingredients are a little more concentrated being in a bar. Just like with all my beauty products I always go for cruelty free products, vegan a bonus. I prefer natural clean products and try to avoid nasty ingredients such as parabens, petrochemical ingredients and its derivatives, SLS etc. I avoid palm oil if I can as I prefer orangutangs. I’m not perfect, some nasty ingredients slip through as I sped read the label, or it’s a derivatives or an alias I’m not familiar with. With make up I opt for cruelty free, clean as possible ingredients however it’s harder with make up than skincare to avoid the crap free ingredients. My skin type is oily, combo, sensitive, acne and needs all the help it can get with anti aging. My hair type is fine, gets greasy quickly and is prone to damage even though I don’t colour it or use any heat treatments on it. I often get OWay rebuilding treatment

One thing I have noticed with solid shampoo and conditioners is the price. It’s a lot kinder to the bank balance. Depending on the size they also last longer. This I find interesting as many natural liquid shampoos and conditioners cost almost 3-5 times or more the price of a bar.

Solito Herbal Solid Shampoo. Neutral For All Hair Types 

This did what it said, neutral for all hair types. I was sad when it had it’s last lather. It kept my hair happy and shiny in 3 countries with 3 different climates. It left it feeing clean, happy, a little shiny. It’s scent didn’t really smell, it lathered nicely, it was a great everyday shampoo. I would repeat buy however:

It contains propylene glycol, petrochemical derived. I’ll admit I over looked it at the time as the previous solid shampoo bars made my hair a little crazy Continue reading “Beauty Finds: Hair Care Bars Part 2”

Beauty Finds: Mists, Toners, Masks and Eyeshadow. Kora Organics, Freshly Cosmetics and Honest Beauty.

Welcome back to another Beauty Finds! As always all products are cruelty free, natural as possible with my honest thoughts. So grab cup of tea and let’s begin!

There are a few requirements I look for in beauty products: cruelty free, natural, vegan better (I’m vegan but I eat honey. Beeswax depending on the brand I’m okay with. I know bad vegan. I haven’t eaten meat in almost 20 years. The honey I try to make sure is local or national from a good source). No snail slime. I try to avoid palm oil and it’s derivatives as I prefer orangutans. Nasty ingredients such as SLS, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals etc and their derivatives are out. I opt for clean ingredients although what’s clean can also be petrochemical derived. I’m not perfect, some slip through. I find it annoying purchasing online the list of ingredients isn’t inclusive when reading them on the packaging. Maybe I sped read. I usually put them back spotting an ingredient I don’t like. I’m sure I drive shop assistances crazy while I check ingredients online. Make up, it’s more tricky so I go for cruelty free brands opting for those with containing less petrochemicals. Silicones I try only to use in BB creams and concealers as they love clogging my skin. If lotions and moisturisers contain silicones, I don’t go near them! 

Products that are clean, natural, cruelty free and Korean, well, there goes the money! My love of Korean products might be waning but it’s still there. My skin type’s, oily, combo, sensitive, acne prone, at times dry and now anti ageing. Those lines are coming through fast.  

I’ve always said, beauty products are one of my biggest plastic consumption as I reduce the amount of plastic I use. More brands are awaking to being less plastic both in packaging and ingredients which I appreciate! I try if possible opt for the lesser plastic packaging. It’s hard though. Okay Nat, less beauty products! Some of these products I tested last summer through to winter. I like to use them of a while to see if they work. Some products you know straight away work or don’t, some you have to give time, others you have to see through the hype to see if they do or don’t. 

Kora Organics Sleeping Mask

A lightweight bouncy gel treatment mask that boosts hydration to deliver smoother, plumper looking skin. Wake up with your skin super soft and glowing. Thanks To: Certified Organic Silver Ear Mushroom, Coconut Milk, Caviar Lime and Kadadu Plum for boosting hydration to deliver super soft, plumper looking, glowing skin.

I was keen to try this as a friend introduced me to Kora Organics and that sleeping masks are huge in Korea. Kora Organics (Australian, not Korean) is perhaps one of the most famous internationally available organic, cleanest, natural skincare lines. It’s not cheap, products last a long time. A long time. A little goes a long way. Ingredients you can tell are high quality. While I can’t get this in Spain, my friend who introduced my to Kora Organics kindly bought me back one from Australia (paid her back of course!) and P also got me one from the USA last year. Continue reading “Beauty Finds: Mists, Toners, Masks and Eyeshadow. Kora Organics, Freshly Cosmetics and Honest Beauty.”

Beauty Finds: The Cleansing Trio

Today I’m sharing my current go to cleansing products. All are cruelty free, vegan and natural ingredients!

My love for Korean skincare products might be waning. Gasp! There are some Aussie products that have caught my eye that I might prefer. However when it comes to cleansing, removing makeup, making my face feel clean Korean products win. All products reviewed are cruelty free, contain no nasty ingredients, vegan, mostly palm oil free as I prefer orangutans (1 ingredient is a derivative). While my skin type is combination to oily all products are aimed for all skin types. It took a few frogs over the past 1.5 years to find this trio. And yes I know. All plastic packaging while I’m wanting to reduce my plastic. Skincare and beauty are one of the areas I’m finding this hardest.

When it comes to cleansing my face, I follow the double cleansing routine. Firstly an oil cleanser to remove excess sebum, sunscreen, silicones and oil based makeup makeup followed by a foam cleanser Continue reading “Beauty Finds: The Cleansing Trio”