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Events, x Skin Food x

Irish Alchemists: skin food part 3

You know those extortionate face creams, designed to lure you from your money and your trusty brain cells? The big branded ones, created in labs with unpronounceable ingredients?

They don’t work.

An industry does not grow into a $460 billion monster by permanently solving the problem it is designed to address.

Unless the ingredients were hand-harvested by George Clooney, and blessed by Kylie Minogue under a full moon, I’m not falling for it. Ever. Again.

We deserve more respect. (So does my overdraft).





What hooked me into making my own beauty products at home was the undeniable pleasure it adds to everyday life. The commercial cosmetic industry is a headless beast, driven by an insatiable libido of profit. For them, it makes perfect business sense to use cheap, low quality ingredients with glitzy branding. I can’t stand being their target. So I vote with my wallet. It’s as good as giving industry giants the two-fingers and beatifically laughing into my own crazy cool lab.

So in 2017, I’ll be continuing to post DIY skincare recipes using ingredients you’ll find in your own kitchen. Natural ingredients like argan, honey and rosehip are potently strong. It’s skincare with integrity. They outshine all the high-branded crap.

For now, here’s a list of rad Irish alchemists, making their own organic skincare products. They deserve our support and applause (especially if it’s unlikely that you’ll whip up your own badass body oils). These are my favourite of the lot.


barechic fiona carr



> Blue Flower Face Serum, by BARECHIC SKIN <


Fiona Carr is the wizard behind Barechic Skin. Fiona hand-crafts all her products on the west coast of Ireland, and never ever uses anything but pure, cold pressed, ethically sourced oils like pomegranate, tamanu, argan, seabuckthorn, rose otto and rosehip seed. I am obsessed with anything and everything she makes. You will be too.



… the scent. Utterly beguiling. I feel like Sophia Loren wearing her skincare range. The scent does something funny to my confidence and imagination. Bewitching.

Their boutique packaging puts Barechic way above anything else on the Irish market. They’d make very slick gifts for guys and girls.

Vegan friendly.



Very difficult to find. I think it’s only private clients for now, until Barechic’s online stable launches. Contact via Twitter.  (If you’ve found it elsewhere, please let me know in the comment section below).



Tired skin. Dry skin. Combination skin. And comes personally recommended for exhausted mums who just want to feel sexy again.




> Rose Mist Water, by Flourish Organics <


Flourish is a tiny company in Kerry, run by a very cool couple who sent me up samples to try out. They hand craft their own ‘beautyful’ creams and serums in micro batches. There’s something very special about using a beauty product that someone personally whipped up for you, only using pure, unadulterated ingredients. It feels both physically and emotionally nourishing.



… no alcohol content. Most toners and mists contain unnecessary amounts of dehydrating alcohol (yes, go check yours. I was so disappointed to see so many brands using alcohol in their toners). Flourish misting toner only has 3 ingredients; pure organic rose water, mulla mulla and shea oak. At €14 for a large bottle, it’s exceptional value.



Only online orders, and select boutique hotels across Ireland like Brooklodge in Wicklow.



… anyone with sensitive skin.

High fives also for green beauty enthusiasts on a budget.

Great for ex-pats, wanting to order authentic, handmade Irish gear online as Christmas pressies.





> Hydrate & Perfect Treatment Oil, by Georgia Jane <


When I started doing DIY beauty recipes on my website, Georgia Jane sent me a few of their hand-made natural serums for inspiration. I hadn’t come across them before, so was fairly stoked to try out a brightening serum for sun damaged skin. Natural aging is their focus, with antioxidant rich botanical oils like raspberry seed oil and watermelon seed oil.



… specifically targets pigmentation. I need all the help I can get. If I develop any more sun spots, my face will look like a map of Europe etched out by a 4 year old with sienna-brown crayola.

Loved the smell, and the science.



Online orders primarily. Let me know if you’ve found it elsewhere (in the comments below).



… reluctantly aging folk.








And finally, from the Department of Disclosure:

1.     I will only review products I like, and whose work ethics I dig (ingredients derived by nature, organically or mindfully, with no hidden nasties). My grandma always says “if you’ve nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” While generally this advice can be very unhelpful in many situations, especially if you count yourself as a modern woman or feminist, I think it’s probably spot on for my blog post. So I don’t include products that I disliked, however minor or major.

2.     I do not receive freebies, payment, nor contra in any form for the products that I review on my website.

3.     If I receive sample products to review for my site, you will be the first to know. Full disclosure. You are my friends. I have no intention to mess with your mind.




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  • Reply Nikki December 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! It is such a struggle to find pure skincare products especially ones where I can pronounce the names of the ingredients!!

    I can’t wait to see your posts next year with more skincare recipes. I loved your almond & honey scrub! It left my skin feeling AMAZING!!

    • Reply Susan Jane December 12, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Brilliant! So glad you tried the scrub – transforming isn’t it?! Have a jolly fine Crimbo

  • Reply Susanna December 11, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you !!!  You solved a major Christmas-prezzie dilemma!!!

    • Reply Susan Jane December 12, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      … and post-Christmas skin too! Have a good one!

  • Reply Michael December 11, 2016 at 6:47 pm



    Both Irish Skin Care brands

  • Reply Therese December 12, 2016 at 5:49 am

    So refreshing to see honest, well-thought-out reviews of these interesting products. Thanks for the great writing and tips!

  • Reply Lisa December 12, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Yeah – great post – now obviously cause I can’t get it I really want the bare chic oils to make me look young Ans less prune like 

    Come on st up online shop And let us city folk have your beautiful natural ingredients .:.: like this post as I have spent way too much money on rubbish in past 

  • Reply Maeve Priebs-Harrington December 13, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    THANK YOU Susan. Thank you for this report. Got a XMAS present order off to FLOURISH today.

  • Reply Katie January 4, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Thanks for this! I went the other route altogether and just buy the raw ingredients and use as they are. Rosehip oil, coconut oil, argan oil, shea butter and rose water.
    I got a lot through naissance online. No fancy packaging but so cheap and organic, unrefined, fair trade. And so good for my skin.
    But its great to see “fancy products” so i can treat myself or convert others!

    • Reply Susan Jane January 10, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Deadly! That’s a super way to treat yourself. Good on you!

  • Reply Teresa January 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Susan would u have a nice aromatharpy eye cream recipie The I could make. Love your website.  It’s first time to see it. I loved  u on the Tom dunne show

    • Reply Susan Jane January 18, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      I don’t have one yet, but I’ll hop to it in 2017! I do miss Tom – he was masterful in the morning! Thanks for dropping by xxx

      • Reply teresa montgomery February 13, 2017 at 9:50 pm

        thank you so much. I think a lot of people miss tom in the mornings. hopefully newstalk will have the good sense to have both back. ye were a joy to listen to and tom hade the ability to lift so many spirts. plus we got away from horrible news for a couple of hours. looking forward for your recipie. thanks again teresa

        • Reply Susan Jane February 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm

          Thanks so much for your generous comments! Tom is a wonder. xx

  • Reply teresa montgomery February 13, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    thank you looking forward to it

  • Reply Maxim August 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Flourish Organics does the Dingle & Castlegregory Farmer’s markets in the summer ( they finished Dingle for the Season today, not sure about Castlegregory),If you come on holidays in Kerry.

    Can’t wait to read the rest of this series!!

    • Reply Susan Jane August 27, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Excellent thanks! I love getting genuine tips. SJW

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