Our New Shop…

By Rachael Muollo on July 15, 2014

Come visit us at our new shop – 118 Main Street, Upper Hutt.  We have the entire range of skincare, salves, bath & body,  apothecary products, herbal teas and a large range of handmade soap!

We are also stockists of:

Vani-T Mineral Makeup, pure ”Eco Glamour” for today’s discerning customer – those who do not want to compromise their health in their quest for beautiful cosmetics.  The products wear incredibly well and feel absolutely weightless on the skin – they can be used by all skin types and will soothe and calm irritated skin.

Eye of Horus, eyeliners & mascara – all mineral, all natural.  The eyeliners come in gorgeous shades befitting a goddess, as well as a liquid liner that STAYS IN PLACE, think Cleopatra eyes, and the mascara doesn’t budge or leave any smudging or feathering – truly long lasting wear.

Bada Montaigne Savon – OMG! How to convey how truly beautiful these works of art are…. simply stunning.  These cupcake soaps and slices are handmade by Suzanne de Folefort in Kapiti and make the most gorgeous gifts.

See you in store!

Creams Vs Balms… which do I use?

By Rachael Muollo on February 6, 2014

Something we are frequently asked is “should I use a cream/lotion OR should I use a balm?”  The short answer is you need to use both because they each have a different function for the skin.

The long answer is as follows:

Creams and lotions are formulated to carry active (or functional) ingredients deep into the skin’s sub-cutaneous layers to provide moisture and nutrition, enabling the skin to maintain optimal firmness, elasticity and tone.   However the high water content of these products evaporates on the skin’s surface fairly quickly leaving these upper layers exposed to dryness as a result of this moisture loss.   Balms contain oils and wax and are highly beneficial in reducing trans-epidermal water loss – they are much more effective at this than a cream or lotion.   Balms penetrate the upper layers of the skin and provide an occlusive barrier that prevents moisture loss – effectively sealing in all those important nutrients contained in your lotion.  Improving the barrier function of our skin helps to ensure skin remains healthy and also helps prevent further damage from outside factors such as wind, cold, air-conditioning, etc.  Please be assured that our therapeutic balms are specially formulated for the face and will not leave you feeling greasy – if they do then you are using too much.

In our opinion these two different products go hand in hand.  Neither one can perform the function of the other but rather are complementary, each performing an important part of our daily skincare regime.

Rosehip Oil – Natures’ Miracle….

By Rachael Muollo on November 14, 2013

This luxurious organic oil is rich in linoleic acid, linolenic acid, essential fatty acids and trans-retinoic acid (vitamin A).  All very well, but what does this mean for our skin?  Rosehip Oil has long been used in traditional medicine as a treatment for scarring, hyper-pigmentation, UV damage, burns, wound healing, wrinkle reduction and cell regeneration.  Research from the University of Santiago in 1983 has confirmed these claims and another study in 1988 was conducted on twenty women between the ages of 25-35 with extensive premature aging to their skin.  Their skin was wrinkled, and had sun spots from overexposure to the sun.  After four months of applying rosehip seed oil daily, their wrinkles and sun spots had almost completely disappeared, and the skin had a fresher and healthier look.

So, what are the skincare benefits of Rosehip Oil?  With regular use it helps to delay the effects of skin aging, assists with cell regeneration, boosts collagen and elastin levels and further promotes healthy skin – resulting in firmer, smoother, and more youthful skin with greater elasticity.  Rosehip Oil is considered a “dry” oil, meaning that it soaks into the skin easily, and does not leave a greasy residue.  It is a wonderful hydrator, and penetrates dry or damaged skin immediately.  This oil is very gentle and may be used ”neat” as a moisturizer, or can be incorporated into a cream, lotion, facial oil, or massage oil.  Rosehip Oil is a safe, inexpensive, effective, and non-invasive product for preventing and healing damaged skin.  It really is nature’s miracle!

Rosehip Beauty Balm  (89% Rosehip Oil)

Rosehip & Camellia Balm  (20% Rosehip Oil)

Rosehip Skin Food  (20% Rosehip Oil)

Rosehip & Camellia Facial Serum  (20% Rosehip Oil)



The top 10 ingredients to avoid…

By Rachael Muollo on July 2, 2013

Using natural or organic skin care products does not mean a sacrifice in quality or effectiveness.  Pure plant oils and extracts are proven to be as effective (even more so) than their synthetic counterparts and today we needn’t compromise our health in our quest for gorgeous skin.  Women on average apply 165 chemicals to their skin every day (via personal care products) and studies have shown that many of these have long-term toxicity issues.  The skin is able absorb much of what we apply topically, in varying percentages depending on where the product is being applied (ie face, legs, underarms etc).  This absorption rate also varies depending on the compound being applied, but regardless it makes sense to know exactly what you are applying to your skin every day and in order to be able to make informed choices about skin care products we need to closely read the labels.

Read more

Winter Skin Care Woes

By Rachael Muollo on June 23, 2013

It’s no revelation that the cold weather exacerbates dryness & dehydration in our skin – just look inside your freezer to see what happens to food not protected by plastic wrap (freezer burn).  The cold air pulls moisture out of our skin in the same way and low humidity during the winter months means skin loses moisture much faster.  Dryness and dehydration are a major cause of premature aging (lines & wrinkles) so it is imperative we take steps to ensure our skin is adequately nourished, hydrated and protected.

Read more

Welcome to the Botanical Beauty Blog

By Rachael Muollo on May 22, 2013

We hope to provide you with lots of interesting articles and discussions about 100% natural skin care, the use of herbs in skin care, skin problems, vintage inspired products, beauty secrets… anything to do with beauty, apothecary and skin care that we can think of really.

Read more