Create Your Own Unique Skincare Regime

image1-2Creating a personalised skincare regime isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It all comes down to three factors – your skin type, your lifestyle and your personal preferences.

Here we guide you through creating a basic skincare regime, and what you need to consider:

Cleanse: Thorough, gentle, twice-daily cleansing is always a good place to start. People with dry skin should opt for a non-drying cream or oil cleanser; those with normal or oily skin might choose formulations that cleanse a little more deeply. If you have a job where you sweat a lot you may need to cleanse more often or if you have highly sensitized skin you might want to skip your morning cleanse in favour of a splash of water.

Tone: Not everyone chooses to use a toner, but there are some real benefits. A well-balanced toner (not a harsh, alcohol-based one) restores the skin’s natural acidity and prepares it to accept all the beneficial ingredients of your next step. Our facial toner is beautifully balancing and comes as a pleasantly cooling mist suitable for most skin types. Frequent fliers use it for excellent in-flight hydration.

Target and treat: This step is necessary if you want to see positive change in your skin. Work out your main skin concern such as aging, sun damage or acne, and choose a serum or treatment product that targets that concern. Our facial serum comes as a fragrant oil and treats a wide range of concerns from uneven texture to dehydration and dullness with potent botanical actives. It is best used at night before drifting off to dreamland.

Moisturise: Everyone needs a moisturiser to nourish the skin and prevent moisture loss. Dry skins generally require richer formulations while oilier skins require light weight creams. The best moisturisers had additional beneficial ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants, and are a pleasure to use.

Sun protection is also a must, and should be applied every single morning. This is particularly important if you’re lifestyle means you spend a lot of time outdoors. This can be included in your moisturiser or put on afterwards.

Exfoliation and Masks: Exfoliation and masks can be added to this basic regime as well. There are lots of options to choose from, but be guided by your skin type and experiment from there. For more information on exfoliation, read our guide here.

 

 

In Praise of Long Weekends

image2Are we the only ones who feel that two-day weekends are just not long enough? Thankfully, at this time of the year we have plenty of long weekends so we can really get into relaxation mode.

Here are some ideas to try to make the most of your long weekends:


Try a House Swap
Swapping houses with another person or family is a great way to travel without having to pay the earth or forgo your home comforts. There’s often no need to pack all those little essentials like dishwashing liquid – just use whatever is in the house and reciprocate at your own place. Simply pack a change of clothes and your favourite skincare and make yourself at home. Organise with out-of-town friends or register on a website like Kiwi House Swap or Love Home Swap.

Go Glamping
Shorthand for “glamorous camping”, glamping has risen in popularity in recent years. It allows you to stay in places that are off the beaten track, without forgoing a comfortable bed, hot shower and, if you insist, your hairdryer. Instead of a cramped nylon tent you may stay in a yurt or a teepee draped in fairy lights. Some even come with cooking supplies so you can whip up a gourmet meal. For places to glamp visit Canopy Camping or Glamping Hub.

Take a Staycation
As much as we love travelling, we also love staying home too! To have a proper staycation, you must give yourself permission to ignore all those little jobs that need doing around the house and just relax. Catch up on that stack of books on your nightstand or curl up in a sunny spot and have an afternoon nap. Browse that local bookstore or take a long, aimless walk around your neighbourhood – you never know what you might see!

 

Why Exfoliate?

image1-10Skin cells undergo a constant process of renewal. As we age this process becomes less efficient, and requires some additional help!

Encouraging the removal of dead skin cells gives skin a softer, more even texture and a more radiant appearance. It also allows the other skincare ingredients in the serums and moisturisers that we use to work more effectively.

How should I exfoliate?
Exfoliation can be done manually with a scrub or loofah, or with skincare ingredients that encourage the rate of cell turnover. Our Renewing Facial Exfoliator uses both methods for maximum effectiveness – tiny jojoba beads to gently polish the skin and papaya extract to help refine it. Our Invigorating Body Scrub contains 20% Arabica coffee grounds that have the added benefit of improving lymphatic circulation.

What about microbeads?
Plastic microbeads are bad news for our environment as they wash into the waterways and harm fish and other sea creatures. We really encourage you to avoid them – and with the United States set to phase out their use they’ll hopefully soon be a relic of the past. The jojoba beads and coffee grounds we use in our products are natural and biodegradable and are a much better option.

How often should I exfoliate?
Everyone’s skin is different, but generally once or twice a week is best. If your skin is particularly congested or you’re using lots of heavy sunscreen in the summer you may need to increase the frequency; if your skin is sensitive or dry (particularly during winter) you may need to do it less often.

Going Carbon Neutral

image1-8Whether you believe climate change is a reality or not, it generates some heated debate. But operating as a more sustainable and environmentally conscious business is important to us. For the past few years we have attained the status of a Certified Small Enterprise under the CarboNZero(TM) programme. You can read about what this means, and how it works, in much more detail here.

Effectively, we can now describe our business as being carbon neutral – a definition that applies to our operations. We don’t claim any of our products are carbon neutral, nor do we claim to be experts on the issue of climate change. What we have set out to do is become as informed as we can, and follow our own instincts: which are to take a balanced view. And, on balance, we feel it’s important for us to take action…however small.

We pride ourselves on being an ethical company. We believe it’s sensible to balance environmentally conscious thinking with actions that are practical, progressive and measurable. CarboNZero certification, in our view, fits these criteria. We have a small team and a streamlined, highly efficient operation, so our carbon footprint is not huge. But given the urgency and impact of climate change issues, we feel the effort to reduce and offset our emissions is worth making.

Does being carbon-neutral also benefit our marketing? Yes it does. Most notably it assists in our efforts to grow our export business. Do our customers benefit? Well we look at it this way: if you choose to buy from a carbon-neutral company such as Evolu, it’s a small action. But it’s no less a meaningful one, and it’s many small actions like these that help promote the adoption of more sustainable practices in business generally.

Easy Christmas Brunch Ideas

image1-6In the middle of a New Zealand summer, sitting down to a traditional Christmas lunch doesn’t always appeal.

Brunch on the other hand, is lighter, brighter and easier to prepare, and is often just as delicious. Here are some ideas that are easy to execute but look and taste fantastic:

 

Parfaits Layer your favourite fruit, greek yoghurt and muesli or toasted nuts in a glass. Garnish with anything from macerated berries to cacao nibs, toasted coconut flakes or a simple homemade fruit syrup.

Bruschetta Toast your favourite sourdough or brioche bread and pile on toppings generously. Try mashed avocado or peas with goats cheese and a poached egg; or pears gently fried in honey and butter on ricotta and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Pastries Frozen croissants are available at many bakeries and good supermarkets and are such a treat fresh from the oven. Serve with herbed creme fraiche and salmon or scrambled eggs and slow roasted tomatoes.

Frittata Make a large and rustic frittata with egg, cream, cheese and plenty of fresh herbs. Add in strips of bacon, smoked fish or seasonal veggies like asparagus and serve in wedges with a dollop of homemade relish.

Serve any of these with fruit smoothies or sparkling wine and plenty of fresh coffee.

 

 

A Stress-Free Christmas

image1-4Christmas is supposed to be about giving and celebration, but it can also bring about plenty of stress and worry. Shopping lists, work deadlines, family commitments and holiday planning all combine to make it a hectic time of year.

Here are some ways to reduce the amount of stress you’re under:


Don’t Over Commit
From school awards ceremonies to work functions to get-togethers with the neighbours, this time of the year can see your social calendar get out of control. But is there any need to cram it all in before December 25? You’ll still be the same person in January, and probably have far more time to socialise.

Practise Gratitude
Instead of focusing on what you can or can’t afford to buy, take time to be grateful for all the things you have already. Gratitude takes practice and can be especially difficult when we’re constantly being asked to open our wallets, but it really can help to keep stress levels in check.

Avoid the Mall
Malls are frenzied places at this time of the year, and stress levels can peak just battling to find a park. Try making a commitment to buy fewer, better quality gifts from shops that you actually enjoy visiting. If you must go to the mall, go at off-peak times and work out exactly what you’re buying before you leave the house.

Take Time Out
Even though there are a hundred other things to do, scheduling regular time into your day to switch off and relax is important. Getting some exercise or reading a book will give you a chance to have some time out. If you’ve only got five minutes, try:

One of these three breathing exercises
One of these six super relaxing yoga poses
A simple cup of one of the Evolu team’s favourite herbal teas

 

Three Refreshing Summer Drinks

Summer DrinksEnjoying a cool, refreshing drink on a summer day is one of life’s true pleasures.

Here are three recipes for delicious summer drinks to try at home.

Lemon-Mint Sparkler
Make a simple sugar syrup and while it’s still warm steep with plenty of lemon zest and mint. Strain  and refrigerate (it keeps for up to two weeks.) To serve, pour over ice and top up with soda water. Add a dash of white rum or bourbon for an alcoholic version. 

Blackberry Fizz
Puree blackberries and sugar to create a smooth paste. Strain and pour into the bottom of a glass with a measure of gin or a splash of elderflower cordial, and top with soda.

Iced Tea
We’re big tea drinkers in the Evolu office and the best way to serve it on a hot day is over ice. There are some important things to remember when making iced tea – use filtered water, make sure the initial brew is strong and let the tea cool fully before you put it in the fridge so it doesn’t go cloudy. Here are some unexpected combinations to try:

Chamomile tea, lemon and jasmine flowers topped with apple juice
Green tea, lemon and pureed mango
Hibiscus tea, lemon and ginger sugar syrup
Earl grey tea, orange zest and a slice of orange

 

 

 

Men’s Skincare

Men's SkincareMen’s skin doesn’t get as much attention as women’s, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need it. It has its own unique challenges, such as the drying effect of regular shaving and a tendency towards oiliness and enlarged pores, while still being susceptible to sun-damage, breakouts and uneven texture.

Evolu is basically a gender-neutral range, so men should feel comfortable using most of our products. Here are a few that are particularly suited to the needs of male skin:

Regulating Gel Cleanser
A gentle yet thorough cleanser, the inclusion of Lentil Seed extract helps minimise pores and regulate sebum production without stripping the skin.

Protective Day Cream SPF15
A light yet hydrating cream for everyday, with the all-important broad-spectrum sun protection factor.

Renewing Facial Exfoliator
Used once or twice a week this non-abrasive exfoliator gives a deep cleanse and encourages a gentle renewal of the skin.

Soothing Eye Gel
For tired or travel-weary eyes, this soothing gel sinks in instantly and leaves the area feeling refreshed and soothed.

Lip Treatment with SPF15
Perfect for those who spend lots of time in the elements, this protective and healing lip treatment has an SPF15.

How to Get a Good Nights’ Sleep

image1-2Sleeplessness and insomnia are common complaints – but that doesn’t mean we should just put up with them. Regular, quality sleep is essential to our mental and physical health. There is often some trial and error involved with getting back into good sleeping patterns, but by making some changes and committing to them the vast majority of sleeping issues can be resolved.

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Turn off all screens at least one hour before going to bed and have a bath, meditate or relax with your favourite face mask on instead. Try and go to bed and get up at about the same time every day.
  • Avoid coffee and other stimulants after midday. Eat your largest meal at lunch and a lighter meal at dinner to ensure your digestive system isn’t overloaded. Alcohol can help you fall asleep but can mean a restless night. Cut back or avoid it completely.
  •  If your thoughts whirr relentlessly at night, write them down. Then, give yourself permission to stop thinking about them right now – you can pick them up in the morning. Problems also seem bigger in the middle of the night. You’ll often wonder why you were so worried in the light of day.
  • Stress at work or in your personal life can play havoc with your sleep. Work out ways you can reduce unnecessary stress and commit to giving yourself regular breaks from stressful situations. This doesn’t mean relying on that holiday you take once a year, but rather giving yourself permission to head out for a walk or take time out for yourself as often as you need.
  • If you’ve tried all of the above, look into taking a supplement like melatonin or valerian, which many people swear by. When taking supplements it’s best get advice from an expert, and always start out with the lowest dose.