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!

A little sunkissed?

Honey on face

Manuka honey on my face 😛

Gentle after sun care

You have good intentions right? There’s sunblock in your handbag, beach bag, and maybe one in the glove-box of your car. There’s always a hat somewhere too. Problem is, sometimes you just get caught out in the beautiful hot sun when you didn’t expect to. No sunblock, chatting for longer than you expected, or simply caught up in what you’re doing… Before you know it you look in the mirror in the evening and your skin is hot with a bit of an after sun glow.

One of my goals in summer is not to let myself get burnt, especially on my face. However, none of us are perfect, and the other day out on the yacht, the reflection of the water caught me out. I was all nicely covered up with no direct sun on my face, but I didn’t reapply enough and come evening… warm pinky glow. It wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t help reacting with a slap on the wrist. I immediately tried to rectify that by looking at myself in the mirror and saying ‘It’s OK, it’s not the end of the world, it happens…your skin will be fine.’ This of course was in my attempt to be kinder to myself and more mindful of the comments I gaily throw around at me.

Anyway, so what to do when this happens…

Cream Cleanser hand

Cream Cleanser for after sun care 🙂

Here’s my after sun routine:

  1. be kind to myself.
  2. say thank you to my skin for being so wonderful and always protecting me
  3. wash all remaining residues of my zinc-based sunscreen off with our Cream Cleanser (it’s lovely and soothing because it cleans pores while still leaving your skin feeling moisturised).
  4. when my skin has been patted dry I follow with some honey (manuka mostly, but let’s be honest – any honey is brilliant) – I rub some between my fingers and then gently massage it into my skin in circles. Leave the golden deliciousness to do its thing (read more here about manuka) for about 10 minutes while you unpack your beach bag or make yourself a tea.
  5. rinse, dry and then follow with Rejuvenating Oil. I’m a little in love with this oil I have to say – it smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so soft and nourished…it has helichrysum essential oil in it which is emotionally and physically regenerating, but I’ll be writing a post on it’s wonderful healing properties next, so stay tuned…
  6. although Rejuvenating Oil is my number one, Gel Toner follows hot on its heels, especially as an after-sun skin soother. It’s packed with organic aloe and cucumber which are so wonderfully healing and nourishing. If you don’t have anything like this in your bathroom, go and forage for a fresh aloe leaf, remove its skin and smooth the gel onto your face and neck.

    RO and GT

    Rejuvenating Oil or Gel Toner

  7. finally…relax and be thankful for the sun and the wonderful day that you had.
  8. smile 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your summer (for those in the southern hemisphere), and if you do get burnt, please be kind to yourself first and foremost!

And please tell me, what is your favourite after sun skincare routine?