Until recently, I wasn't particularly zealous about green beauty products – be that organic, biodynamic or just free of certain chemicals. Natural skincare brands and devotees tend to question why people pay more attention to what they put into their bodies than on to their skin, but I've put plenty of burgers and booze into my system over the years, so it seemed pointless to stress over a few preservatives.
Then again, in the spirit of hedging your bets, if it turns out that a natural product is more effective than a chemical one, so much the better. I've come to my latest natural discovery rather late in the day, but am feeling very evangelical about how brilliant it is. A freezing winter, central heating and trying out too many products, turned my previously combination skin "confused and severely dehydrated" according to one facialist. While that description sounds like someone who's been lost in a desert for days, it actually meant dry, flaky, red skin ... too much information? Anyway, Dr Hauschka's range, which contains all natural and some organic and biodynamic ingredients, is the only one that made it look dramatically better, thanks to the Cleansing Milk, Rose Day Cream Light and Facial Toner. The brand doesn't believe in night cream, which takes some getting used to, but about a week into the routine it leaves the skin fresher than loading it with grease every night. The only thing missing is sun protection, so put an SPF product on top.
Other green favourites threatening to turn me into a cross between Swampy and Stella McCartney are: the Jurlique range – its facials are amazing and so is the Herbal Recovery Gel, the super-cheap Jergens Naturals body moisturiser, made with 95 per cent natural ingredients (jergensnaturals.co.uk); Elemental Herbology's Biodynamic Facial Souffle mask and Eye Elixir (spacenk.co.uk); and the Neem and Sandalwood body lotion by Ayurvedic skincare brand Tri Dosha. I came across the latter at the Scarlet eco hotel in Cornwall where I had also had one of their hot baths filled with seaweed. It was harvested by the Irish company Voya ( voya.ie) which sells organic seaweed products to use at home, and it left my skin softer than any moisturiser. Maybe nature does know best after all.