There are few things I like more than tea and scones. I am, after all, British, and therefore genetically programmed to knock back cups o’ char at a rate that would suggest the meaning of life lies at the bottom of a mug of PG Tips, if only you can drink enough of the damn stuff. So when I was sent a package of goodies courtesy of new skincare importers Tea & Scones, I had to try them out and see if — as with my signature drink — I’d found my skin’s perfect brew.
Tea & Scones are on a mission to spread the word about British-made skincare brands in Hong Kong. But not just any old skincare. For a product to make it into the company’s online store, it has to be natural, meaning no harsh chemicals. Many of the brands on offer via the website are organic, and some eschew artificial perfumes in favour of essential oils. Overall, the ethos here is to minimise the gunk that we slather all over our faces in favour of a more back-to-basics approach, making it ideal for sensitive pregnant skin like mine.
I road-tested a few different products for a couple of weeks, which gave me enough time to see how effective or otherwise they actually are. These days I often find that my skin will tolerate a product at first but will break out horribly after a few days, so I was very pleased that none of the products I was sent to test resulted in a negative reaction. I found some to be more effective for me than others, and so here’s my top three from my test:
Balm Balm Mum To Be All Over Balm
So it definitely features the word “balm” a little too often in the description, but this is the only criticism I have of this wonder-product. Like the ever-trusty Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment, this little pot of organic gloop can be used for anything and everything, and works wonders on dry patches.
I have been experiencing really dry and itchy elbows (weird pregnancy side-effect no. 734), and this is the only thing that has stopped me from scratching my skin off. Its low melting temperature makes it a nicely absorbable bump moisturiser to try and stave off stretch marks, and I also used it as an emergency hair serum the other day and it did a great job of keeping my frizz-free throughout the day. I’d recommend keeping a pot about your person for day-to-day use.
Laidbare From Dusk ‘Till Dawn Night Serum
I love serums at the best of times and I am rarely without a tube of No. 7 Protect and Perfect Intense to layer under my moisturiser du jour. However it’s during la nuit that I tend to get really dehydrated these days, and that’s where this magic potion has come in handy.
Designed especially for nighttime use due to its high concentration of sun-degrading vitamin C, the formulation is a little oilier than a 24-hour serum, meaning some hard-hitting moisturising benefits coming your way while you snooze. Use alone or, if you’re sandpaper dry like me, layer under your usual night cream to give it a little extra bang for its buck.
PHB Ethical Beauty Hydrating Moisturiser with Frankincense and Sandalwood
And this is the night cream I’ve been layering the serum underneath.
Aside from smelling absolutely gorgeous (easily as delicious as old fave Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Frankincense Nourishing Cream), this halal, vegan and paraben, formaldehyde, petrochemical and mineral oil-free moisturiser really does the business when it comes to blitzing dryness too. I’ve also been slathering this on for daytime during the really cold snaps we’ve been having and — although it’s heavier than my usual day cream — it absorbs pretty well. I’d probably switch to something lighter for the summer months, but if you’re exceptionally dry and dehydrated, this would work well with an added SPF.
I’ll admit that, as a hardened cynic who will gladly slap any old chemical on her face if it makes me look fractionally better, part of me wasn’t expecting very much from these natural products. So I was really impressed by just how well they performed — not compared to other natural or organic brands — but compared to everyday cosmetics in my bathroom cabinet. All of the products I was sent to review are pregnancy-safe, but I would use these three in particular regardless of whether or not I was expecting, as they really do what they are supposed to. Here’s to Tea & Scones and to healthier skincare options for everyone.
For more information on Tea & Scones or to buy any of the products mentioned, visit www.teaandscones.com.hk
Please note that these products were provided for my consideration