It’s happening guys; the days are shorter, the nights are colder, the leaves are changing,  2014-09-27 21.32.31and pumpkin spice has once again taken over the world! -I think it’s safe to say that autumn is fully upon us! Now, the fact that summer is over doesn’t have to be a bad thing. For the equestrian world autumn can bring some lovely countryside hacks. I used to love riding through the meadows close to my stables, taking in all of the beautiful colours and scents that enveloped this time of year. The cooler temperatures in September and October also offer a window of opportunity to practice any pesky exercises that the summer  heat made too daunting, whether it be nailing those lead changes or raising that jump a few more holes!

On the other hand, the driving rains of October  and November-especially after that dreaded first frost can reek absolute havoc on the equestrian’s hair and skin. We’ve all been there, trudging knee-deep through swampy, mud filled paddocks with that icy rain driving through your jacket, in order to rescue that brand new blanket your horse kindly deposited at the bottom of the field; being physically unable to bend or even move your fingers from the combination of blisters, cuts and frost bite on your hands and trying to communicate with the rest of the human race using only sounds like ‘mmmmm’ and ‘nnnnn’ for fear that your lips are so chapped, they might actually fall off if you open your mouth to speak! At this time of year it seems that for the equestrian, cracked and sore hands, dry skin, dull, lifeless hair and chapped lips are inevitable evils that we all must suffer through for the love of our sport. But I am here to tell you today fellow EE’ers, that you need not suffer any longer, for I have found the solution to all of our skin and hair problems- and this answer is LUSH!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this beautiful company, Lush specialises in fresh, handmade cosmetics. The company maintains their headquarters in the United Kingdom but they also have stores around the world, including Canada, the United States and Japan. All of their products are 100% vegetarian, environmentally friendly and best of all, none of their products or ingredients used within these products are tested on animals! I would like to believe that this is why my two guinea pigs were so interested in modelling for the photos in this blog- (not because I had an apple and flowers at my desk!) but regardless of the reason, Muzzy and Pumpkin decided to help me show five of my favourite Lush items that I use to help my skin and hair survive the stables during this time of year!

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The first product is a hair conditioner called Veganese. Following from  its name, Veganese is…well- 100% Vegan! This is because it doesn’t contain any lanolin, a soft, waxy substance that derives from sheep’s wool that is commonly used in hair conditioners. This makes Veganese super light weight so it doesn’t weigh down your hair. It contains agar agar gel (or seaweed), lemon oil and fresh organic lemon juice to soften, brighten and rejuvenate your hair throughout the cold rainy months and lavender and rosemary infusions that soothe and calm the scalp. I find that my helmet often leaves my scalp feeling dry and itchy this time of year and using Veganese after every ride has completely sorted out this problem!

Let’s face it, sticky body lotions, dust, horse hair and hay isn’t exactly 2014-09-27 22.05.04 the best combination in the world! This is why Ro’s Argan has quickly become one of my most favourite shower products ever! Ro’s Argan is a quick and easy pop-on-and-shower-off body conditioner that leaves your skin feeling nourished, moisturised and smelling amazing! I used to absolutely dread this time of year as dry and itchy patches of eczema would form all up my arms and legs. I’ve been using Ro’s Argan every time I shower for almost a month now and my arms and legs have never been softer! This is because Ro’s Argan is packed full of nourishing ingredients such as argan oil which is believed to have anti-aging properties (bonus!) and rose absolute, sourced from Turkey, which balances the skin’s tone and colour.

2014-09-27 22.06.27 The final three products serve to help the face, lips and hands throughout the colder temperatures. Ultrabland is a facial cleanser which I think is absolutely perfect for all equestrians. It is made with beeswax, honey, almond oil and rose water, which creates a cream that literally all dirt, grime and yes, even make up clings to. It’s safe to apply over your eyelids to remove mascara and eyeliner and is easily removed with a damp cloth or a cotton pad. It is also very gentle on my irritable and acne prone skin. Haying season…bring it on!

Helping Hands is a hand cream that was originally designed for nurses and other professionals who constantly have to wash or disinfect their hands. This can leave their skin feeling dry,  cracked and very sore. When I first read this description on the label I was immediately reminded of early October and November mornings, after the first frost, having to break the ice that had formed over the water troughs from the night before. Frequently submerging your hands into icy water and then riding for an hour or two after the chores are finished essentially has the same effect on our hands! My hands were always frost bitten from the cold and blistered from the friction they encountered on the reins during my rides. Helping Hands is made with honey, lavender and African marigold essential oils to help bring your hands immediate relief whilst the chamomile helps to reduce any redness. Almond oil, shea butter and cocoa butter are then used to help moisturise your hands. You can actually feel a softening, protective barrier after you apply the cream!

Last but definitely not least is the Honey Trap lip balm. Now truthfully, I’ve never been a fan of lip balms. I have never liked the sticky feeling on my lips and I find that most balms have a strange after taste to them. I had therefore accepted the fact that I would have to live with extremely chapped lips as let’s be honest; October beach gallops, although loads of fun, are very cruel to your face! This has recently changed however as I have now discovered the beauty that is the Honey Trap lip balm! Even though the Honey Trap is Lush’s thickest and richest lip balm, it is absorbed extremely quickly so I never feel that a sticky and heavy substance is just sat on top of my lips. Probably the best part about Honey Trap however is the white chocolate taste- I’m seriously in love!

Well there you have it guys, my five favourite Lush items to help our hair and skin survive this beautiful season.

If you want to know more about Lush, you can check out their website here- or if you have any other favourite Lush products or tips and tricks to help us through the cooler months, please let us know in the comments below.

Happy riding everyone!

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