New beauty: Aurelia
Anyone who's spent half a minute reading my work will know I have a soft spot for naturally-inspired beauty. It seems to make utter sense that what you put on your skin is as nutritious and safe as what you put in your body. In the mid-1990s, despite good intentions, a lot of 'natural' beauty brands were not quite up to scratch. It was a nascent area and formulas seemed gloopy, thin and ineffectual.
We've come a long way and one of the newest natural beauty brands is showing us just how far. Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, founded 2013 by dermatology expert Claire Vero, aims to combine new probiotic technology with ethically sourced 100% BioOrganic botanical formulations, helping manage levels of inflammation within the skin, the main cause of skin ageing.
Just a year after its launch, Aurelia was named 'Best New Brand' in the consumer-voted Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible awards. Five of its products entered into the awards; all five made it to the winners list - pretty unprecedented. No surprise then that the brand is now stocked with some of the world's most prestigious beauty purveyors: net-a-porter.com, spacenk.com and Liberty.
'I'm thrilled with the response and recognition,' admits Vero. 'I've spent many hours in the lab making sure the science behind Aurelia offers women the best age prevention technology out there. I loved tweaking and refining our prototype formulations until they were just right: the perfect balance between science, nature and luxury.'
To give the brand a fair shot, I did what I never managed to do while editing beauty at Metro: I used everything in conjunction with each other, one brand at a time. In the evening, I buffed away dead skin cells with the creamy Miracle Cleanser, scented with essential oils of Chamomile, Eucalptus, Rosemary and Bergamot, a small amount dabbed onto a bamboo muslin cloth. Over that newly clean surface, I smoothed the Revitalise and Glow Serum, packed with BioOrganic pure botanicals. Lastly, I smoothed the Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser over my face and neck.
Omega-rich Baobab, firming Kigelia Africana and Hibiscus appear at the heart of many of the formulas, depositing probiotics, peptides and antioxidants. Then, recipes are tweaked according to requirements: in the Refine & Polish Miracle Balm, natural rice brand refining beads (not that horrible non-degrading stuff that ends up in fish) help dislodge dry skin cells; in the Cell Repair Night Oil, Kalahari oil provide extra essential fatty acids, Mongongo oil helps restructure and regenerate. The eye cream is infused with Arnica, Centella Asiatica and Butcher's Broom.
The formulas are light but rich, beautifully scented and best of all, effective. I'm not sure if I had gotten lazy with my routine but within a couple of days, I was glowing. And of course, these days, you can't have a serious natural beauty brand without looking at where the ingredients come from, how they're grown and who's gathering them.
Vero sources many of her key botanicals from Africa and the brand has strong links with the communities who harvest them. Add this to the fact that the range is strictly 'free-from' chemical ingredients and will not test on animals, and you've got a powerful new presence in the natural skincare landscape.