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 17.4.22

Happy Easter! 

Just when I thought I could put my winter coat away for a few seasons I was back in this week for a day. It’s now all washed and clean for next winter, however I messed up washing it. Something said, no washing machine. I ignored that voice. All the polyester filling has bunched up into clumps in the puffer coat. I know there’s no saving it. I liked that coat! Fingers crossed I can find one I like for next winter. Always listen to your gut, that inner voice!

Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye. 

Facial Acupuncture

I found about about acupuncture facials last year via 6BabeBeauty on Instagram. I know we all age, our facial bones change shape as we age and to be honest I don’t think anybody lies aging, but I think most like to look good for their age.

Facial acupuncture is a facial where the needles are placed are specific locations on the face to boost collagen, reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, lift the skin and tonify deeper facial muscles (amongst other benefits) for about 20-25 minutes. I go to Aisha Acupuncture in Barcelona. She’s a great acupuncturist who also works with crystals. In addition to needles she uses a LED light mask that covers your face like a dome, followed by a sheet mask with a mircocurrent, finishing off with facial cupping. Ideally you should book about 8-12 appointments close together once a year, followed by an appointment every 3-4 weeks. I had the set of 8 and now go every month. It doesn’t hurt unless super stressed it does a bit initially when the needles are applied, but it doesn’t hurt. Sometimes I sleep, other times chat, cry or feel like I’m going inside my body in waves. That’s the only way to explain it. I sometimes when I’m drifting in and out of sleep, I feel like I’m going out my body. To feel the opposite, a sinking inside the acupuncture/massage table is alien to me. The first time this happened I saw a very scary kaleidoscope old face. Don’t let that put you off! It’s just my experience!

I know nothing will lift my outer lids without intervention of a lift, the effect afterwards is like a younger version of me! Cheeks back to volume, puppet lines gone. I can see when the 4 weeks is up, those lines and sunken cheeks back, however not as bad as the idea is over time to gradually lift and restore collagen. If you want a more natural way of delaying ageing, rather than fillers, botox etc try facial acupuncture!

Cat Graffiti

Derry Girls, Netflix

I started watching out of curiosity Derry Girls on Netflix and have been giggling the whole way through the series. Set in Northern Ireland in the mid 90’s it follows a group of friends attending an all girl catholic school and the crazy mishaps they get into each episode dealing with teenage life. Erin the main character family’s is just as crazy with their own mishap ways. If language isn’t your thing don’t watch it, but it just adds to the craziness of it. The fashion is great too (I’m old, I can remember the style but wasn’t cool enough to wear it!) and James, bless him, the English guy who attends the girls school as he’s English.

Continue reading “Weekend Friday Favourites 17.4.22”

Beauty Finds: NaturaBio Cosmetics Bàlsamo Labial Nutritivo Vanilla Caléndula Bio/Nourishing Bio Vanilla Calendula Lip Balm Review

Welcome to another Beauty Finds! This edition features NaturaBio Cosmetics Bàlsamo Labial Nutritivo Vanilla Caléndula Bio or Nourishing Bio Vanilla Calendula Lip Balm.

Lip balm would be just one of the products I’d take to a deserted island in life time supply. I think lip balm was the first beauty product I started using as a teen. It’s also the one product I’m always searching for the perfect one. Lip balm is also sometimes the cheaper product in a line if you want to try out a new brand without breaking the bank (although from experience those lip balms aren’t good and feel like a waste of money). A good lip balm is hard to find and sometimes the most overlooked in skin care (lipstick can do what lip balm does!). More so if you’re looking for a plastic free, petroleum free lip balm. The more eco friendly the lip balm the less cute packaging it comes in. I prefer tube lip balms over pot lip balms as they’re more hygienic. Tube lips balms however are usually plastic which if you want to reduce plastic consumption this makes it harder to find a good lip balm. Please skip a paragraph for the review otherwise read on about my beauty product requirements.

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….

NaturaBio Cosmetics Bàlsamo Labial Nutritivo Caléndula Bio/Nourishing Bio Calendula Lip Balm

Vanilla scented lips. With repairing Bio calendula. Softens and nourishes the skin of the lips. Get to know the Nourishing Lip Balm Vanilla Calendula NaturaBIO Cosmetics Discover the active ingredients of NaturaBIO Cosmetics Calendula Vanilla Nourishing Lip Balm: Organic calendula: repairing effect. Organic almond oil, organic shea butter and organic cocoa butter: nourish the lips and softens them. Bio beeswax: protects the lips. Fall in love NaturaBIO Cosmetics Vanilla Calendula Nourishing Lip Balm is formulated with the best active ingredients, among which stand out the Bio calendula and the mix of vegetable oils that will give your lips a repairing effect even for the driest or most chapped.

Prunus amygdalus dulcis Oil*, Cera Alba*, C10-18 Tryglycerides,Butyrospermum Parkii Butter*, Candelilla Cera, Jojoba Esters, Helianthusannus (Sunflower) Seed Cera, Tocopherol, Acacia Decurrens Flower Cera,Polyglycerin-3, Theobroma cacao Butter*, Olea europaea Fruit Oil*,Calendula officinalis Extract*, Aroma.*Ingredientes procedentes de agricultura ecológica.

I found NaturaBio Cosmetics Nourishing Bio Vanilla Calendula lip balm in Veritas an ecological chain of supermarkets in Spain. First by the cash desks as a small throw it in your basket enticement (it worked). Now when they get a batch in it sells fast. 

All the packaging aside from the label is cardboard. The label’s plastic. All you get is the lip balm, no external packaging to you the customer. The actual design of the packaging is ingenious. There’s no twisting motion like a lipstick. Just by pulling off the lid the balm pops up with a vacuum motion! Sometimes however towards the end of the lip balm it needs a little push from beneath.

Continue reading “Beauty Finds: NaturaBio Cosmetics Bàlsamo Labial Nutritivo Vanilla Caléndula Bio/Nourishing Bio Vanilla Calendula Lip Balm Review”

Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you’re having a great weekend! If I’m honest at the moment I don’t always know what day it is. Run days I only know as I alternate cycling a few days for my morning freedom with running. I’m sure many of you are the same at the moment while we’re in lockdowns or easing of lockdowns. Spain’s slowly easing the lockdown and I’m patiently waiting for when travel’s more free for the hairdressers. I’m really liking the longer length, the ends however.

Anyways, welcome to a short and sweet Weekend Friday Favourites. Things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week. 

Ducks, Geese, Turtles 

I’ve changed my morning bike rides to the park! It makes me so happy to see ducks, geese, turtles, sparrows, magpies, butterflies and green all around. Hearing birds sing always makes me happy. 

Continue reading “Weekend Friday Favourites”

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”