First of all, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the owners of Aurora Cosmetics Jack Cavanagh & Adam Baker for letting me try and review their handmade Wild Berry soap, Patchouli & English Rose soy candle and Coconut & Lime shampoo bar!
If you’ve read “From bottle to bar: Save money & the planet with a shampoo bar!“, you know that I’ve made the swap from traditional bottled shampoo to shampoo bars. I’ve started my eco journey last summer after taking part in the World Ocean Day events with my little girl Yasmin. I’ve learnt so much about micro plastics in our oceans and climate change, that I was previously didn’t know about. Due to to this I’m motivated and determined to make small changes in my lifestyle to save the plant, but still save money at the same time.
Where and what is Aurora Cosmetics?
Aurora Cosmetics is a company based on the stunning Isle of Wight, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Their ethos is to create beautiful, handmade, natural skincare products, hair care products and home fragrances with sustainably sourced ingredients. Some ingredients in Aurora products have also been locally soured, such as salts from Wight Salts and dried flowers from Ventnor Botanic Garden.
All Aurora Cosmetics products are handmade on the Isle of Wight, vegan friendly, 100% recyclable, made from natural ingredients and not tested on animals.
Aurora’s product packaging & labelling
I love how all packaging and labelling of AuroraCosmetics are plastic free, hence are a lot better for the environment!
Their gorgeous hand poured soy based candles come in black or white glass jars. The label to the front of the candle is made from paper instead of a plastic, that many big branded candles don. All their solid shampoo bars, soap bars and shaving bars are also eco-friendly. The labels around their bars are also environmentally friendly, as they are made from card paper, therefore biodegradable.
I love scented candles, … BUT!
I’m obsessed with scented candles and usually have a candle in every room of my house, including my 3 bathrooms! If you love candles as much as I do, I’m guessing you are familiar with the brand Yankee Candles. I used to buy several of their large jars per year, until I’ve discovered Woodwick, a soy wax candle that I enjoyed more. Though both of those different types of candles are made by the same company, they burn very differently! I didn’t know why they were so different, until Jack from Aurora Cosmetics has educated me on the difference between paraffin wax candles and soy wax candles. I was shocked to learn that paraffin wax is harmful to us humans and our planet.
What is paraffin wax?
Paraffin wax is a by product of the fossil fuel petroleum also known as crude oil. Crude oil is also used to produce petrol and diesel. We all know that petroleum isn’t renewable, as it is a fossil fuel. Hence the use of petroleum based wax isn’t sustainable. Another con of burning paraffin based candles is that it emits a lot of toxins into the air we breath. A study by South Carolina State University found that the combustion of paraffin wax releases dangerous chemicals such as alkans, toluene and alkenes that contribute to health risks. These health risks include cancers, common allergies and asthma. They have also found that these dangerous pollutants are not found when burning veg-based wax such as soy wax.
Many candle manufactures use paraffin wax as petroleum is inexpensive. Therefore many consumers like myself unknowingly buy paraffin wax candles and just trust a big brand like Yankee Candle. Currently Yankee Candle is not legally required to have the full ingredients list printed on their candles or on their website. I found that all their candles don’t mention what kind of wax their use. However when you directly call Yankee Candle and ask, they will do confirm that their candles are petroleum based.
What is soy wax?
Soy wax, as you’ve probably guessed comes from soybeans. Since farmers are able to keep growing soya beans unlike fossil fuels including petroleum, using soy wax is sustainable. Unlike paraffin wax, burning soy wax doesn’t release toxins and carcinogens, therefore is safe for us humans, pets and the environment. Another benefit of soy wax candles is the fact it has a lower melting point to paraffin wax, therefore releasing scents into the air more easily. This is why the fragrance of burning a soy-based candle produces a stronger scent throw compared to paraffin wax candles. Though soy wax has a lower melting point, you might also like the fact that soy wax burns 30-50% longer than paraffin wax and doesn’t produce soot.
My review of the Aurora Cosmetics candle, shampoo bar & soap bar
The Aurora Patchouli & English Rose Candle
I was so excited to try this stylish looking soy-based Patchouli & English Rose candle! Aurora’s candles come in either a black or white glass jar with a simple but elegant design. I like the design of their candles, because it looks great in any room! I’ve used this candle in the bathroom while having a relaxing bath, in the living room to chill out in the evenings and on my office desk to relax me while I’m working on my blog.
The first time I’ve used this candle, I’ve made sure that I’ve followed Aurora’s candle instruction to burn it for at least 3-4 hours. This is to ensure the candle burns evenly. When burning this candle I felt relaxed and was amazed how the fragrance could be smelt throughout my house after about 2 hours. The patchouli essential oil in the candle promotes relaxation and eases stress and anxiety. Some of you may know that I’m also a Doterra Independent Product Consultant who loves and uses essential oils daily. Patchouli is one of my favorite oils as it has so many more benefits than just relaxing properties. That stuff is also awesome for skin! The sweet floral aroma of English Rose oil in the candle has also got a very relaxing and uplifting effect. A clinical study in 2009 found that rose oil has a relaxing effect on humans.
Aurora Candles have a total burn time of 35-40 hours, but many people find that it lasted longer. I have used the candle for about 20 hours and have used 1/3 of the soy wax up. Therefore I too think it would last more than 40 hours.
There is something very special about Aurora Candles!
You are probably thinking what’s so special about this candle, there are many soy-based candles that are eco-friendly. The difference between Aurora candles and any other soy wax candle is that with every Aurora candle purchase from the Aurora website or the Cavanagh & Baker store in Shanklin (Isle of Wight), a tree will be planted. Aurora has partnered with One Tree Planted to help with reforestation, therefore by purchasing their candles you are also giving back to our planet!
The benefits of buying Aurora candles doesn’t stop here! You can get your candle refilled for half the price of the candle! Simply return the empty Aurora candle jar to Cavanagh & Baker to get your candle jar refilled with any scent of their candle range for only £7.50! That’s a bargain for 40 hours plus burn time if you compared it some of the big brands! If you look at a small Woodwick candle with a burn time of approximately 20 hours for instance, that’s already £9.99. If you don’t live on the Isle of Wight, you can post the empty candle jar to Cavanagh & Baker to be refilled and get the full candle returned to you with a return postage of £3.50.
Once the candle finishes, I’ll definitely be refilling it and possibly try a different scent. One thing I really hope is that Jack and Adam will create the very same candles with a wooden wick instead of cotton wick. I just love the crackling sound of the wooden wick, as it is quiet soothing and adds to the ambiance.
The Aurora Wild Berry Soap Bar
This is my first ever natural, plastic free, zero waste soap! I usually buy liquid soaps in plastic bottles such as Dove Shea Butter & Vanilla Body Wash as it doesn’t dry my sensitive skin out. Since I wanted to find a soap that is eco-friendly and doesn’t dry my skin, which many soaps in the past I’ve tried did, I was eager to find out whether this soap was right for my skin. I’m impressed this lovely, fruity smelling soap bar didn’t strip away the natural oils of my skin. It also lathered up nicely too as you can see from the picture above. What I really like about the soap bar is that the scent of raspberries stayed in the bathroom, acting like a natural air freshener too!
Since soap bars last for ages compared to liquid bottled soap, Aurora’s soap bars will help you save lots of money in the long run and cut your carbon footprint. Therefore you’ll have more cash in your pocket and protect the fauna and flora of our planet. That’s definitely a win/win!
The Aurora Lime & Coconut Shampoo Bar
Believe it or not I still have my very first solid shampoo bar that I got as a birthday gift 3 months ago back in December 2020. If you’ve read my post From bottle to Bar: Save money & the planet with a shampoo bar, you’ll know I have a collection of shampoo bars, as I was curious to try different ones out to find the right solid shampoo bar for my hair. Since the other shampoo bars I got are all from big brands and mass produced using machines, I was thrilled to try a shampoo bar that’s been handmade locally on the Isle of Wight!
The Aurora Coconut & Lime shampoo bar smells divine! Just like the Wild Berry soap by Aurora Cosmetics, this bar too filled the bathroom with it’s lovely scent! Who needs an air freshener or reed diffuser in the bathroom when you have this?
The first time I’ve used this solid shampoo, my hair got a bit dry and felt kind of rubbery. However this is normal and can happen when you transition from one shampoo to another shampoo. Hence I decided to use this shampoo bar for 2 weeks before sharing my experience, to see whether my hair would adapted to it. Though I have a shower or bath everyday, I wash my hair every other day, as it I’ve heard that it isn’t good for our hair to wash it daily. After about a week of using this solid shampoo bar, my hair felt less dry and rubbery. Now after 2 weeks my hair doesn’t feel dry at all and looks very healthy and shiny.
Aurora’s handcrafted shampoo bars cost £3.95, which is budget friendly, yet kind to the environment. Definitely a must try!