For many women the light bulb moment concerning their skincare choices often goes up when they are expecting. The maternal instinct becomes only stronger, as women become mothers and start paying closer attention to what they put on their own skin and to how it affects their long-term health. That certainly rings true when it comes to the choices made by Olivia Thorpe, founder of Vanderohe.
Olivia worked in investment banking, but eventually gave it up to create an online forum called Vanderohe.com, where she wrote editorials about beauty and wellness. Not long after starting it, Olivia became pregnant with her first son and was warned by the doctor to be weary of some beauty products, as some contain ingredients harmful to the development of the baby during pregnancy. Olivia admits to not considering this prior to getting pregnant and eagerly adopting a new philosophy ‘if it wasn’t good enough for baby, it wasn’t good enough for me!’
Olivia began examining labels and spoke to brand founders, while also researching the benefits of using plant oils in beauty routine. She also noticed that her skin changed after giving birth, becoming quite sensitive. Olivia’s gaze tuned towards natural products that addressed her skin’s needs and concerns effectively. During her second pregnancy she struggled to find skincare product the scent of which didn’t irritate her nose and senses in general – as those of you who have been pregnant know, each pregnancy can be a minefield of symptoms, aches, pains and irritations – physically and mentally. All of those things led Olivia to blend her own oils.
But it was a close friend of Olivia’s who has somewhat inspired the creation of her first skincare product, No.1 Nourishing Face Serum. She asked Olivia to create an anti-scarring oil serum and the rest, as they say, is history. Olivia chose potent essential oils known for their anti-scarring qualities and added multiple anti-ageing and nourishing ingredients into the blend, making sure her nose played ‘an active part’, as scent is such an important aspect when it comes to skincare and in many instances the word ‘perfume’ can mask a lot of unpleasant ingredients, which can have long-term adverse effect on one’s health. As Olivia perfected the blend, she realised how much she and her skin liked it. Then compliments about your skin’s natural glow started rolling in. After making the samples and testing them on willing friends and family, Vanderohe No.1 Nourishing Face Serum was born.
When you see serum’s external packaging you will notice that it grabs your attention, by it’s subtle and unusual combination of colours – you certainly won’t mistake Vanderohe for another brand. The synergistic blend itself, combines high-grade organic, cold-pressed and wild-harvested oils and is housed in a glass Miron bottle, to protect the potency and quality of the product. It was also important for Olivia to create a product that not only will address a multitude of modern skin does, from moisture loss to pigmentation and wrinkles, but made sure that women who use it benefit from aromatherapeutic effect through its delicate scent. So what started with personal interest and skincare workshops, culminated in Olivia’s blend of oils that makes sure that the balance is precise and that the synergistic benefit of ingredients is optimised, in order to bring maxim benefits to your skin safely.
The actual ‘perfectionism’ of the formula took about two years, as Olivia believes that ‘beauty is in details’. When it came to sourcing and selecting the ingredients, Olivia went for Soil Association certified organic cold-pressed oils, which were complimented by eight active wild-harvested essential oils, each chosen to enhance the formula. Expect balancing, anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, moisture-boosting and skin-strengething effect on your skin over-time and with regular use, as well as reduction in pigmentation, redness and scarring.
I tend to use this oil nightly, but as it acts as a perfect base for make-up (more on this later), you can use it day and night. Apply three drops with a pipette to the palm of your hand, take a couple of deep breaths, inhaling the flowery aroma and massage it into clean skin, pressing carefully around the eyes. You can use it on its own (it has the texture of the oil) or add a few drops to your usual moisturiser for an active boost. It is very smooth and glides wonderfully over your skin. I had to forego using my eye cream when testing this and have to say that delicate eye area likes it as much, as the skin on my face. As the scent opens up, you are enveloped in the sunny, flowery scent, which was particularly uplifting on dark and gloomy nights when I first started testing this serum – Maria, thank you for letting me on about this serum!
Each ingredient of this serum is ‘native’, meaning it comes from the original source or the country, which is widely known for growing it for centuries. Responsible sourcing is important to Olivia, so as she sources the oils directly from countries of origin, she takes into account the carbon footprint and offsets it with tree planting donation. In addition, Vanderohe donates 10% of its profits to the marine savers programme at Four Seasons at Landaa Giravaaru, which acts as a ‘base’ for research on mantra rays and coral reefscaping into the Baa Atoll, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve – it is heart-warming to see that more and more brands bring charity into the fabric of their work.
Olivia is someone who is interested in many things, apart from beauty, including architecture, nature and art, which explains something that nestles alongside the serum bottle inside the box. It is the exquisite brochure that not only gives you information about the serum, but has delicate illustrations of plants and herbs, so you can not only learn about them, but visualise them as well. A good reminder of geography lessons during our childhood at school too!
- Apricot Kernel Oil from Pakistan ( the high level of antioxidants of this organic oil help to fight free radicals & slow down the ageing process. Linoleum Acid & Vitamin E are strong anti-inflammatories that help to boost cell regeneration. It also nourishes & hydrates the skin, without clogging pores )
- Organic Rosehip Oil from Chile ( a rich source of the powerful antioxidants lycopene & beta-carotene, it helps to improve skin’s texture, while protecting it from premature ageing. Naturally high in Vitamins C & E, which protect skin from sun damage, it also helps improve the appearance of pigmentation )
- Organic Rose Geranium Essential Oil from Egypt ( is known for its anti-bacterial properties, it helps to deep cleanse the pores & balances sebum secretion, providing natural detoxification to the skin. It also assists healing & reduces the appearance of scars, whilst its aroma helps to relive anxiety )
- Organic Rose Otto Essential Oil from Bulgaria ( this is one of the most luxurious oils for the skin. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic & astringent qualities. Add to that soothing irritations, repair of broken capillaries, toning, softening and lifting of the skin, as well as radiance boost )
- Organic Roman Chamomile Essential Oil from the UK ( rich in antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, Roman Chamomile helps to sooth and detox congested skin or skin prone to inflammation. It assists in reduction of the appearance of scarring & pigmentation, while its soothing scent has the power to dissipate anger & promote the feeling of calm )
- Wild-crafted Myrrh from Somalia ( has powerful astringent & anti-inflammatory properties that have been valued since ancient times. It also is able to soothe irritated, cracked & chapped skin, while reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles & improving skin tone. Its scent uplifts the mind, shoos stress away & promotes the feeling of self-acceptance )
- Organic Grapeseed Oil from South Africa ( rich in flavonoids, which help remove free radicals & promote collagen production that starts to slow down as we age. The oil’s high level of anti-inflammatory polyphenols help to slow down ageing & prevent breakouts, whilst fatty acids work to strengthen & repair damaged tissue and broken capillaries )
- Organic Cedarwood Essential Oil from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco ( its astringent properties help to improve skin tone & tighten pores. This oil has a balancing effect on both dry & oily skin thanks to its natural ability to regulate sebum secretion, while its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce skin irritations. Its scent helps to calm the mind and shift the worries )
- Organic Lavender Essential Oil from Bulgaria ( this oil is incredibly popular because Lavender inhibits bacteria that can lead to breakouts & acne, while also balancing skin’s oil production & soothing dry skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties calm irritation & reduce redness, while its scent helps to make you feel calm and in balance with yourself )
- Organic Frankincense Essential Oil from Kenya ( having been at the heart of ancient beauty rituals, thanks to its skin-boosting, astringent & mood-enhancing properties, its uplifting scent has a centering effect and promotes the feeling of inner calm. At the same time, it also assists the process of healthy cell regeneration, while protecting existing cells )
- Organic Neroli Essential Oil from Morocco ( thanks to its natural chemical citral (pale yellow liquid with a strong lemon scent, it occurs in the essential oils of plants), Neroli is able to promote healthy cell regeneration, while protecting existing cells. It is an excellent emollient & helps shrink the appearance of pores, while keeping skin soft and moisturised. Its beautiful scent helps release pent-up emotions & renew the feeling of confidence in one’s abilities)
There are two more things that I want to spotlight for you: firstly, while as you can see from above, the oils are organic and Soil Association certified, the serum itself isn’t, at least yet, but I think it offers consumers a reassurance that they are buying the product that isn’t just good ‘on paper’, but it won’t harm their long-term wellbeing, provided you and your skin get on with essential oils in general & this combination of them in the serum in particular. Secondly, while using this oil, I noticed slight residue coming up in the pipette from time to time and asked Olivia about it. Here is what she replied: ‘Yes, the sediment occurs and comes from our unrefined Grapeseed Oil. Unlike refined grapeseed oil, ours hasn’t been ‘treated’ & is therefore a very dark, cloudy green in colour with a bit of sediment – like you would get at the bottom of a bottle of red wine. It will just absorb into the skin with the oil and is just a sign the refined of the ingredient.’
Full List of Ingredients: Prunus armeniaca (Apricot Kernel) oil*†, vitis vinifera (Grapeseed) oil*†, rosa canina (Rosehip) oil*†, cedrus atlantica (Cedarwood) essential oil*†, pelargonium graveolens roseum (Rose Geranium) essential oil*†, lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) essential oil*†, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), rosa damascena (Rose Otto) essential oil*†, boswellia neglecta (Frankincense) essential oil*†, anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) essential oil*†, citrus aurantium (Neroli) essential oil*†, commiphora myrrha (Myrrh) essential oil‡
* Soil Association-certified organic
† Soil Association-certified food grade
‡ Soil Association-certified 100% pure and wild-crafted
Contains natural components of essential oils: linalool, limonene, citronellol, geraniol, citral, farnesol.
Contains nut oils. 100% natural and pure. 100% Vegan. Never tested on animals.
Last, but not least, some more tips on the best way to use this serum, shared by Olivia and her wonderfully knowledgable PR Maria:
The way Olivia uses the serum: ‘I use it totally ‘alone’, twice (sometimes more) a day. I don’t use anything else – you don’t need an eye cream, moisturiser, base, foundation etc. My skin just drinks in the serum and it shows immediately, plus it takes all the stress out of a beauty regime (literally!), which is just a godsend for someone who leads a busy life/ looks after the children etc. Quite often I re-apply it during the day over any make-up I am wearing, just to give an added boost to my skin.’
The way Marie uses the serum: ‘I use two to three drops in the morning under my moisturiser. I no longer have to use foundation, as my skin has improved so much and has a natural glow and evenness to it. At night after cleansing, I will use three drops and massage it into my skin. I’ve stopped using a night cream and I don’t feel I need it any more. I am totally obsessed with it, as it’s been a game changer and is such a pleasure to use!’ Having seen Maria close-up, I can only add that her skin does look beautifully luminous, without any foundation and that’s many of us want to achieve as we leave our 20s or even 30s behind. Personally, I have very much enjoyed my skin journey of discovering this serum in action and it has become a strong contender for my skin’s affection.
Vanderohe No.1 Nourishing Face Serum £88 for 30ml
For more information about Vanderohe or to purchase the serum please click here
Note to the readers: I am not affiliated with the above website.