Louise Whitbread is a London-based beauty and digital culture journalist and editor with a passion for skincare. We turned to her to review our latest product launch, the Mahonia Clear Skin Booster. Louise shares the benefits of key ingredient Mahonia, how she incorporates the booster into her skincare routine, and the improvements she has seen in her skin.
Blemishes are one of the most common skincare issues and can be caused by a myriad of factors including stress, hormones or environmental aggressors. They can also present in many different ways, ranging from whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules and cysts that can be painful, frustrating and time-consuming to treat.
Thankfully there’s no shortage of spot treatments available, and Neal’s Yard Remedies’ newest launch, Mahonia Clear Skin Booster, has recently become my go-to after three months of using it daily in my skincare routine. I’ve long struggled with hormonal acne on my chin, excessive oiliness in my T-zone and mild rosacea on my cheeks, so I’m always on the lookout for soothing, calming and anti-inflammatory products to incorporate into my day-to-day skincare routine.
Mahonia is an evergreen shrub, and its root and bark have long been used in traditional herbal medicine practices thanks to its ability to support the body in its natural detoxification process.
The Mahonia Clear Skin Booster also utilizes the medicinal herb Centella Asiatica to decongest skin and unclog pores. Its name is commonly shortened to ‘cica’, and it boasts antioxidant, hydrating and soothing properties - perfect for skin like mine which is prone to sore breakouts across my chin and jaw.
Also within the formula, you will find Calendula, an aromatic plant that can be found in Neal’s Yard Remedies heritage Calendula collection and is ideal for calming sensitive skin, along with Thyme which can aid the balance of oil production.
It’s been a part of my skincare routine for three months and I love its versatility. I used it in three ways: applied directly onto cleansed dry skin before my moisturizer, as a targeted spot treatment with a cotton swab, and mixed in with my moisturizer. It has a beautifully fluid gel texture that absorbs quickly, isn’t sticky and doesn’t leave behind a greasy or tacky residue. I found just two pumps of the product was enough to cover my whole face when I was using it all over, as well as when adding it to my moisturizer.
As a beauty journalist who has always struggled with acne, I’ve spent years testing and writing about spot treatments. Many can be harsh and overly drying, leaving you with unwanted flaky skin, while others do very little to treat breakouts. Prior to using the Mahonia Clear Skin Booster, I’ve always been skeptical of how efficacious natural and organic ingredients can be, opting for chemical exfoliants or spot patches instead, so I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked for my skin with continuous use and complimented the rest of my usual skincare routine.
"Perfect for sensitive, reactive and redness-prone skin"
Not only that, with spot treatments I want something that doesn’t leave behind a chalky white finish like many sulphur-based products, nor one that will affect the way my makeup applies and lasts. While it has an amber color at first, it blends into a clear finish on the skin and creates a smooth texture for the rest of my routine.
Additionally, with skin like mine which has a combination of acne and rosacea, many spot treatments can help clear up breakouts while worsening the redness, so I want a product that leaves my skin soothed all around, and this ticks every box.
When tackling breakouts, it’s not just the spots themselves I want to reduce, but also the irritated, inflamed red skin surrounding them. I found Mahonia particularly calming for this and saw improvements with consistent use after two months. During occasional dry skin spells, I preferred adding three drops to my moisturizer so I could get the benefits of rich hydration and blemish-busting ingredients in one easy application.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the Mahonia Clear Skin Booster. Perfect for sensitive, reactive and redness-prone skin, its cocktail of natural and organic ingredients proved effective and it was easy to incorporate into my skincare routine, complimented products I already used, and helped maintain clear skin.