A Greener Face / Skin Creamery

I first began slowly making the transition to an (almost) entirely natural skincare routine, as a part of my efforts to gradually start living a more natural, eco-friendly and human-friendly life (i.e. cut back on any products that contain nasty chemicals) almost a year ago.  I did my fair share of research, and eventually started switching out my products at the time with natural ones as they ran out.


Skin Creamery products were among the first natural ones I used in my skincare routine, and I haven’t looked back. Their packaging is a aesthete’s delight, and it’s mostly all glass or ceramic so its kinder to our Earth too. Believe me when I tell you that what’s inside is even better (I didn’t think it was possible either).


Hannah Rubin, who started Skin Creamery back in 2014 has crafted a luxurious skincare brand that makes effective, natural skincare accessible and affordable. Here’s what Hannah had to say about the brand.

What inspired you to start Skin Creamery? Could you tell us a bit about how you got started?  I wanted to combine my passion for natural living with my experience in the beauty industry. I was looking to create something that simplified skincare without compromising on the quality. Getting back to basics with skin care was my vision for the brand.

Skin Creamery products are natural and cruelty-free, which is something very close to my heart, and obviously yours too. What do you think makes this so important, and is this something you thought about right from the beginning of Skin Creamery? Yes, it was always my intention to create products from natural raw ingredients without any harmful effects to the skin. Being cruelty-free was obviously a given, as who in this day and age would really test beauty products on animals? (Ed note: My sentiments exactly!) It just seems like madness to me! As the products are made from certified organic oils – there is no need to test them on anything other than human skin (: 

Less is more is fast becoming the golden phrase when it comes to skincare. What do you think is essential in a natural skincare routine?  Getting back to basics and simplicity is my philosophy in skin care. A hydrating nourishing moisturizer (the Everyday Cream) and a great cleanser (the Oil-Milk Cleanser) are my staples that I cannot live without. Your skin is an amazing organ that is self-regulating and self-healing. If you are healthy on the inside your skin will be healthy on the outside. It is important to maintain moisture levels and cleanse thoroughly. Simplicity is key.


My thoughts about the products…

Everyday Cream

This rich cream is wonderfully nourishing and moisturizing. Although its not currently part of my routine (although I have ordered some), it is a favourite of mine, and the smell is lovely. (I did find it slightly too rich at times, but great for my skin’s drier days).

Oil-Milk Cleanser

I use this gentle cleanser to wash my face in the mornings. It leaves my skin feeling cleansed, but not dried out, which is what I love for the mornings. It also smells divine (noticing a trend here?)

Facial Cleansing Powder

I can never seem to use it properly with water as it always runs out of my hands, so I prefer to mix it with some raw honey, apply it and leave it for ten minutes or so, and then wash it off. It works well as an exfoliator as its not too harsh and my skin doesn’t feel stingy or too tingly after, which is lovely.

Facial Hydrating Oil

I love this product. I’d say it’s the most value for money out of all the Skin Creamery products. (Many similar products on the market go for the same price, but only half the quantity).  It can be used with water by applying it into wet hands and then massaging it into your face, but I prefer to use it on its own. A little really goes a long way, and I find that one drop (!) is usually enough for the dry skin around my eye area and mouth. Its nourishing and I can still feel some of it the next morning, so I don’t wake up with a dry face. And the smell? Well, need I say more?

Skin Tonic

I’ve only been using the tonic for a few days, so I haven’t formed an opinion yet. It does feel soothing to my face and helps my skin to absorb my moisturizer better. (Once I’ve been using it for a little while, I’ll share my thoughts on Instagram).



Here’s to making small changes to a happier body and earth.

Nabeela x

PS. Keen to try out the range, but don’t want to commit to the full-sized products? Try out their adorable travel set, available here or here


Self-Care / Conscious Living

investSelf-care is an integral part of living a more intentional life. Its not all about eating chocolate cake or spending a small fortune at the spa (although those things can be a lovely treat too). Its about carving out time once a day, or once a week to care for yourself – its important to keep your well-being on track. Its easy to slip into a daily routine of chaos with little room for unwinding. Going to bed late, waking up early, eating food that doesn’t nourish us and not resting and exercising enough can leave us feeling exhausted, sort of like a bicycle tyre with a slow puncture. At some point, we need to wake up, and realize that if we don’t take some time to patch it up, we’ll be left feeling completely deflated.

Having some time each day or even just once a week to practice self-care isn’t all that hard. It doesn’t have to be long, complicated or expensive. Just something that gives you a little lift. Its an intentional action of caring for yourself. Here are a few of my favourite ways to practice self-care.

  • Listen to your body. Some days, you’ll be full of energy. Other days, not so much. I find that on days when I feel completely fatigued, doing a high intensity workout leaves me feeling dizzy and ill rather than refreshed and happy. On those days, rather do some stretching and low intensity exercising. And remember, rest days are just as important.
  • Sleep in. No amount of exercise and healthy eating can replace the healing, restorative properties of a good night’s sleep, so make sure you’re getting enough of it, and have a sleep-in day when you get the chance. Try switching your phone off before bed too. You’ll be surprised by how much more refreshed you feel in the morning.
  • Try a face mask. Or a foot soak. Anything you enjoy that gives you some zen time to just breathe and let your sole task (no pun intended) be relaxing.
  • Quiet time. Relating back to the previous point, introvert or not, anyone can benefit from a little quiet time spent alone reading, meditating, painting or even sipping some tea, with a lovely candle lit. Heard of hygge? Its a vibe.
  • Digital Detox. Its good for your eyes, and your soul. Try it and see how free you’ll feel.

I hope you take some time this year to prioritize your well-being and practice some self-care. And as a little visual reminder, I’ve created art print that you can download and print out for your wall, or set as your phone lockscreen.

Nabeela x


PS: Curious about minimalism, self-care and slow, intentional living? Here are some pieces I’ve written on these topics:

Lately 04 / Minimalism


Slow: What’s The Rush? 


Zen / Morning Rituals


5 Ways to Live a Little Lighter This Year

Slow Living / Bedtime Rituals

Summer Break / Rest + Heal


Healthy Breakfast Pancakes

Starting off the day in the right way can set you up for success. And as you know, having a good breakfast is one of the ways you can boost your morning, and ultimately, your day. I love pancakes, but the sugar and flour leaves me feeling slightly ill afterwards. When I started doing some reading to find a healthier recipe, most of the ones I found had expensive ingredients that are hard to come by. I found a few more simple recipes, adapted and combined them, and came up with this healthy, sugar free, flourless pancake recipe.

Healthy Breakfast Pancakesserves 1 

You will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon


  • Mix  all the ingredients together in a blender until the mixture is fairly smooth.
  • Fry the mixture in a pan with a little bit of butter (you could use coconut oil alternatively).

healthy pancakes 1

healthy pancakes 2

healthy pancakes 3

This mixture usually makes about 4 small pancakes. I usually have mine with some honey and chopped strawberries or blueberries on the top.


What are your favourite healthy treat recipes?

Nabeela x

Summer Break / Rest + Heal

If If the thought of lying on the beach and frolicking in the ocean is enough to get you through a long, tiring double-period math lesson, you’re not alone. For many, the summer holidays are something that we look forward to the whole year. But just as quickly as they come, they go. Before you know it, you’re back in math and tackling yet another year of school or back at the office, working through a pile of stuff. It always feels as if they went in a flash.  And due to the busy nature of the summer holidays (think loads of coffee dates, dinner parties, getaways) its easy to feel even more drained than when they started. I’ve often heard people jokingly (is it a joke though?) say that they need a holiday to recover from the holidays.

Clifton 3rd in all its glory

I’ll be going into grade 11 in 2018, the year many say is the most difficult of all the schooling years in the South African schooling system. I want to make sure that I go back well-rested and maybe sans the eye-bags that seem to constantly live on my face in term time. Here’s what I’ve been doing and am planning to do to get the most out of my holiday. Care to join me?

01. / Turn off and tune out

Even although we’re off from school (or work), with emails and even constant news and information from social media, our brains may feel as if they’re not on holiday at all. Take some time and make a conscious effort to turn off your phone and laptop, and just unplug for a while. It’ll do you a world of good, and you’ll be surprised how light you’ll feel (speaking from experience here. Mountain cabin with no reception = instant zen).

02. / Plan for nothing

Having a calendar to plan out how you’ll be spending your time off can put your mind at ease. However, its important to make some time to do nothing in particular – to check out that new breakfast spot you’ve been meaning to visit, or to get into that book that’s been on your nightstand for months.

03. / Ease up

Relating to what I’ve said previously, summer holidays can turn into the time we try and do everything, meet up with everyone, go everywhere. I have found that trying to make plans to see all my friends and be everywhere has been more stressful than anything else. Its a good time to reflect, and figure out who and what adds value to your life. You’ll feel more fulfilled and hopefully a lot less frazzled.

04. / Save it

Now, this may seem slightly unrelated, but if you’re anything like me, December is the time where all your hard-earned money seems to slip through your fingers, being lost to impulse purchases on sale items you don’t really need, and more. Be conscious. That’s all. Treat yourself, but not to the extent that your bank balance dwindles. No one wants to go into a new year broke (again).

05. / Stick with it

I’m certainly no stranger to the fact that holidays are a time that workouts go out the window and clean eating is nowhere to be seen. Balance is key. Enjoy the treats, but don’t let go of all your healthy habits. Your body will thank you for it, and you’ll feel better too.

Here’s to a more healing, restful and fulfilling summer break. Sending love and light your way. Enjoy it all – you deserve it.

Nabeela x

Top Shelf Gone Natural

Over the past year or so, I’ve transitioned to an (almost) completely natural skincare routine. My carefully chosen skincare products are kinder to my skin, and the earth. As anyone might be, I was slightly terrified to switch out my old skincare routine (that was working well) for fear of terrible breakouts and uneasy skin. I even had a nightmare once – safe to say I thought a lot about making these changes.


I did abundant research, read reviews on the websites of many South African skincare brands and formed a list of products I would start out with. Then, as a certain product finished, I would replace it with my chosen natural one, until my entire routine had been replaced. The benefit of doing this is that if you break out, you know exactly which product may have caused it. It’s also gentler on the pocket.


Some think that natural skincare is overly expensive and therefore it is cheaper to stick to other brands. I have found that that isn’t the case – there are a wide variety of products for every budget and I have found products that are affordable and work for me.

I love skincare (as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now), and adore reading Into The Gloss. The photography in their series, The Top Shelf, inspired me for this shoot.

Now, onto what I’m using at the moment.


Most mornings, I wash my face with the Oil-Milk Cleanser from Skin Creamery. It smells lovely, and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. I find it a bit too oily for me to use at night, but its  perfect for my morning wash. I then moisturize with the Facial Moisturizer from Naturals Beauty. It’s light and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily, but still does the job.



Once or twice a week, I exfoliate with Ocean Salt from Lush. I prefer the self-preserving one as it all natural to my knowledge. I then wash my face with the face wash from Naturals Beauty. I use my moisturizer and the Naturals Beauty Spot Treatment on any spots I may have. If I have any bad spots, I use a bit of tea-tree oil – the stuff works like a charm.

As and when

Once a week or so, I use to Skin Creamery Facial Cleansing Powder mixed with some raw honey as a gently exfoliating face-mask. It smells lovely and helps with gentle exfoliation. I’ve also just started using the Facial Hydrating Oil from Skin Creamery and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. It’s light-weight but still hydrating. My skin drinks the stuff up. I also occasionally use the Eau Roma Water from Lush (it is the only product in my routine to my knowledge that isn’t 100% natural) to get make-up off or if I feel in need of a double-cleanse. I also use to Cleansing Balancing Balm from Lulu and Marula to remove make-up – it works ridiculously well. If my skin is looking uneven, I sometimes use to Purifying Treatment Oil from L&M too. Not sure if I see that much of a change, but it helps slightly. I’ve also just started using the Purifying Masque from Naturals Beauty that seems to be working well. Lastly, my go-to lip balm is the one from Simply Bee. Its really affordable (as in cheaper than Labello even) and is super effective.



And that’s it! I’m happy with where I am with my skincare at the moment and am working consciously to bring more natural alternatives into all aspects of my life. Its better for me and the environment. Here’s to slowly making better decisions about our bodies and lives. Its an investment you’ll never regret.

Nabeela x

On Exercising + Sticking With It

persistence /pəˈsɪst(ə)ns/ – “The fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.”


Anyone who knows me well (or even just knows me – ha!) will know that I love exercise. For me personally, over the last few years, the most difficult thing has been sticking with it and being consistent. Its only too easy to workout when we have time and the moment exams start, drop it all and spend our days rolling around in study notes and eating potatoes. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone).

But these past two months have been the best months of exercise I’ve had in a long time, or dare I say ever. I’ve managed to stick with it, even during exams and hectic times. I’ve made mental notes on what I’ve been doing differently that has kept me on track and I thought I’d share – sharing is caring after all.

01. / Be flexible

No pun intended. The quickest way to fall out of routine is by trying to stick to one. Instead of saying to yourself that you don’t have time for a 20 minute workout, and skipping it all together, do a 5 or 10 minute one. Don’t try to stick to a plan that’s too rigid and leaves no room for adjusting. Work around your other commitments. Think of your workout as an appointment with yourself – don’t let your health take the back seat.

02. / Enjoy it

I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t emphasise it enough. If you dread your workouts, because they’re too difficult or consist of many exercises you don’t enjoy, chances are, you’re more likely to skip them. Instead, do exercise that you enjoy and is doable for your personal fitness level.

03. / Be realistic

I personally find that if I do workouts that are too intensive, my body takes days to recover and it sometimes means that I only workout once in that week. Slowly building yourself up is key. I prefer to do more manageable workouts 2-3 times a week. Don’t overdo it and give your body enough time to rest and recover.

04. / Have a goal

Having a goal makes exercise feel more purposeful. Its easier knowing that you’re working towards something. Make your goals realistic, specific and time-bound.

I hope you can take even just one thing away from this!

Nabeela x

And just a quick disclaimer, I’m no expert. This is simply based off personal experience.

Have a Happier Exam Session

Exams are undoubtedly the most stressful time of the year in any student’s life. The pressure is on and the nerves are set. Believe it or not, exams have been pretty bearable for me this time around (1 week in and all is well). They don’t have the be awful.


01. /  Organize

Although it may seem obvious, having a structured study plan helps to ease the nerves immensely because you know you’re on track and its easy to see what you need to do each day. Writing a to-do list every day when I get home has been helping me so much to clearly see what I need to achieve before the end of the day.

02. / Move 

I haven’t stopped any of my usual exercises and it’s been such a great way to relieve stress and relax. If you’re usually very active and you stop completely, chances are that you’re not going to feel very good, or at ease. So be sure to make time to move those muscles.

03. / Eat well

Eating healthily and drinking lots of water helps you to have a clearer mind and a happier body. Try some healthy snack options instead of chips and sweets (which’ll make you feel sluggish and unenergetic). Here are some snacks to try:

  • Carrot sticks and hummus
  • Cucumber cubes and feta
  • Banana and peanut butter smoothie
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit

04. / Sleep 

I know all too well how easy it is to come home early and think there’s so much time to do the things that need to be done, and put it off until later, but the afternoon turns into night real quick. Rather space your work out over the day rather than staying up too late and missing out on sleep.

05. / Unwind

Make sure that you still take time to relax, do things you enjoy and follow your self-care rituals. Its so important in order to stay happy and healthy during this time.

All the best to everyone writing!

Nabeela x