The Beginnings of a Natural Skincare Journey – Bee Sensual

So why Bee Sensual? I was asked the other day.

Hmmm. Great question. Where to start? I wondered. Do I go all the way back to my teenage years? Or later in the piece where meeting a beeman inspired me to combine my love of natural with the magic of bees and create a natural skincare product with the healing properties of honey? Or do I just go to the first time I got a concoction right and began creating names and logos? Hmmm…

Join me on the journey of natural skincare to find out why Bee Sensual began…


Everyone loves natural skincare that’s animal friendly 🙂

In order to answer the above question I need to give you a little background.

I was the product of two very nature loving, eco-passionate parents who liked to live in remote places in South Africa. At about 14 I started using my first body moisturiser. It was a well known South African brand that my mum used because it didn’t have petroleum in the ingredients list + the company was very strong about beauty without cruelty and increasing awareness around animal testing. Since I had been awakened to label interrogation, the only facial product I used throughout my teenage years was aloe gel.

Skip forward about 10 years to NZ, where once again I was on the hunt for a natural skincare solution. At uni, in Dunedin, us girls fell in love with a cocoa butter brand that smelt deliciously tropical and reminded us of days on the beach, however left a lot to be desired on the ingredients list. So, true to my nature, I kept the hunt alive and one day at a market stumbled across a hand made Body Butter. Not only did it smell delicious, but it was almost completely natural. I was hooked. For the next few years this was my go-to.


Cocoa butter in its raw form.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), the creator took a full time job and I could no longer order my Body Butter from her via email. Well, I thought to myself, the ingredients list doesn’t look too complicated…. Being a bit of a DIYer I decided I was going to try and recreate something similar, but even better. My love for creating wonderful natural skincare was born. In the process I studied every ingredient and found a couple of more suitable replacements that had a good reputation, and I decided to use 100% pure essential oils for the scent.

This journey to create my own natural skincare concoction came with many failed attempts. How on earth do you get the water and oil phases to stay together? What do you do when they separate? Which essential oils are going to be best together? How much cocoa butter do I put in to make it a body butter rather than a lotion?

Even though it wasn’t that long ago, Google was nothing like it is today, or maybe I wasn’t as adept at using it as I am now.

There was a lot of trial and error and for a while I gave up. I used some ‘natural’ brand that didn’t overly inspire me, and stored my creations away for a rainy day.

In 2007 I met a beekeeper, who is now my fiancé, and we travelled and worked in Australia for three years. In 2008, whilst living in our van at a honey factory in Tasmania I was once again inspired to try my hand at making my own natural skincare, only this time using the amazing leatherwood honey and beeswax as part of my concoction. There were failures, but also a few more results that began looking a little more like success.


The amount of honey in this factory was overwhelming…in a delicious kind of way! Oh and the smells!

We’re getting closer…

Long story a little shorter, I kept playing. I built up a wonderful suitcase of all the different goodies used to create natural skincare. I did more research.


Bee Sensual’s silky smooth Body Butter 🙂

By the time we came back to NZ in 2011 to start our own beekeeping business, I knew that I wanted to start my own natural skincare brand as well. By the end of that year I had drawn a million logos on a million different pieces of paper and slowly slowly it all came together at the end of 2012. My very own natural skincare dream became a reality – Bee Sensual. The tagline: Simply Sensuous Skin – natural handmade skincare.

I am now even more passionate about interrogating labels. Even when you see ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the front – you can’t always believe what they tell you and it pays to know what to look for on the back of a label. I am also even more passionate about using only 100% pure essential oils to create beautiful scent combinations for my natural skincare products.

Bee Sensual is continually evolving, and even though this story illustrates why it started, it is now so much more…. Not only am I passionate about using only natural products on your precious skin, but I believe deeply in taking these moments to be mindful, get in touch with our senses, take a few moments of me-time and gift ourselves with a dose of self-love that we all deserve.

I want all women (and men) to realise that beauty is not skin deep. Beauty is so much more than that. If you can start to see your own beauty and give yourself the love that you deserve, you will glow with an inner beauty that no concoctions can ever create, only enhance!

Inner confidence: do you lose your mojo when you compare?

Walking along the beach and I feel the flow of inner confidence…summery, barefoot, in a light singlet dress (that I’ve owned for too many years to even confess to), Millie following beside me and the evening light leaving the sand glowing a creamy pink. I feel good. My hair is tousled from days of sea swimming and it touches my back, just. I’m feeling comfortable in my own skin.

evening-swimming-inner-confidenceI get back to the ute, put my bikini on and run down to the water. I’m the only one swimming and I have the warm(ish) clear ocean to myself. After body surfing a few small waves, dodging some wayward crabs, floating around on my back watching my toes poke out through the water, in the flow mindfulness and sensuality, I go back up and put a towel around me, ready to drive home.

I look in the rear-view mirror. My inner confidence drops.

My hair’s wet and plastered onto my head, I don’t feel the flow anymore and I definitely don’t feel sexy. I run my fingers through my hair to get it a little less flat but by this time I’ve noticed all the freckles that summer has blessed me with and I’m feeling down on my skin now too. In such a swift moment of basking in the glory of the evening I suddenly feel uncomfortable in that same skin that a few minutes earlier I felt fantastically confident in.


Because I looked in the mirror?


Because of the immediate cascade of thoughts that follow. The comparison. Comparing what I see to what I wish I saw. Comparing what I see to how I felt a few minutes ago when I wasn’t in front of a mirror. Comparing myself to pictures, magazines, movies and other women.

I ponder this thought as I drive back home, noticing that suddenly I’m not watching the light on the trees as closely or how my wet hair feels so refreshing on my neck. I observe myself, wondering how it is that as women we are so quick to judge. So quick to criticise and so quick to wish for something different than what we have.

In my search for deeper self confidence I’ve been practicing shifting this self-deprecating tendency for the last few years.

inner-confidence-self-love-mirrorIn the bathroom at home, ready to rinse off I stand and look at myself in the mirror. I look at my freckles, I look at the marks and fine lines and even though criticism is lurking in my mind, I smile. This is my trick these days. When I start getting a bit heavy on myself I smile at the face in the mirror and then I say something nice like, “You’re awesome” or “Look how much fun you’ve been having”, or I just wink at myself.

After all I am my steadiest companion, I am my oldest, most loyal friend, so to keep that relationship healthy I need to focus on the good and feed it with goodness.

Mindfulness, sensuality, being in the moment, not comparing and having tricks to snap you out of that quickly spiralling self-deprecating voice that surfaces = growing inner confidence, contentment and a good relationship with number one – yourself!

Here’s to the journey!