Voya got in touch with me recently offering me a free sample of one of their products so that I could review it. Free stuff is hard to turn down and it will inevitably make one want to say lovely things about it out of appreciation for the fact that you got a treat. However, I reluctantly stuck to my gut and emailed back asking if it was locally produced and checking out if there was any aspect of their range that I could see as a beneficial and positive in a bigger way than just, “Ooooh, free stuff!”
As it turns out, and to my sheer delight, Voya check every box I’d like to see checked in attempting to be somewhat socially aware about what products I buy. I may not always have the budget for products that check all the right boxes, but I like to know what my options are. “Send me the treats!”
Voya began as a seaweed baths business in Strandhill in Sligo. People who visited the baths often wanted to ‘take the experience home with them’, so the family-run company had to begin thinking about how they would do this and still maintain the integrity of the local business they were currently running.
“The challenge was significant, and was to be the germ for VOYA. We knew that conventional cosmetics use chemicals that could destroy the beneficial properties of our seaweed and also damage the environment. As a family we agreed that this was an unacceptable compromise and would go against all our instincts. Neil’s brother, Mark, tried to source genuinely organic seaweed products but found none. It soon became apparent that if we weren’t willing to compromise, we would have to go through with the long and demanding voyage towards creating a new type of cosmetic: the first genuinely organic seaweed-based cosmetic products in the world.”
They dry the seaweed naturally, using a method that keeps all of the important things in tact and have worked with natural cosmetic scientists, marine biologists and dermatologists to create their range.
I tried out their Cleanse & Mend cleanser, hydrating mask, Ritzy Spritzy toner and Me Time moisturiser, all packed into a handy, little, travel-sized kit. I threw it into my bag when going away to the gorgeous Bearhaven Lodge on the Beara Peninsula in the west of Ireland. (As a side note, one of the prettiest places I’ve ever stayed and two of the loveliest characters running the place.)
I’m not an expert beauty reviewer but I know my own skin. The products are lovely to use, smell great without having too strong a scent, and my skin looked every so subtly more ‘glowy’ and refreshed after just couple of days. I tend to change products pretty frequently but I consistently notice better results from organic products and Voya reinforced that further.
They recommend leaving the cleanser on for ten minutes and washing it off and as I’ve not used a cleanser that you had to do this with before, I asked them why, and if it was still necessary to use exfoliator or if somehow by leaving it on, was it doing the exfoliating?
“Basically when you leave it on it stimulates and tones the skin thanks to the unique hydrating powers of the algae extracts… that’s why they recommend leave it for a few minutes. And yes, you should still need an exfoliator but better if you use it twice per week instead of every day.”
What’s great about leaving something on for ten minutes is that you can run around doing other bits and pieces and feel like you’re multi-tasking. Lastly, and I’ve mentioned this before elsewhere, but my instincts are that local ingredients are probably the most beneficial for local skin, local weather etc. Nature so often provides us with what we need at the correct time and in the correct place. It’s a theory worth testing out with your beauty products as well as your diet. Speaking of diet – I’d also note that no skincare product will every fix everything if you’re not respecting your liver and your diet. Your liver has a huge impact on your skin and your skin is the biggest organ you have, so to take care of it fully, work from the inside out as well as the outside in.
Their products are priced at what I would consider the more expensive side of the spectrum, the ‘MeTime Moisturiser’ for example is €57, we don’t all have that to spend on a moisturiser. However, if this is the kind of money you spend on products, I’d definitely give it a go. Or try out their travel kit to see if it suits your skin. Even the teeny weeny sample I had went a long way, so it will last. My current ethos is the only reason you should be spending ‘big money’ on anything is if you can see why it’s expensive and you know you’re supporting something good. Big brands have big marketing budgets, so it’s a good idea to do your homework on the business carefully before buying in to the reviews written by the bloggers who got the free stuff. Products of any kind, from clothes, to pizzas to cosmetics, that are mass-produced with no real respect for the environment, and/or produced without consideration for how the chemicals affect the active ingredients contained in them are flying off the shelves for the same price and more. It’s costly to produce products locally and organically, but it’s better for all of us long-term. So If you want to spend sixty quid to spend on a moisturiser, I suggest trying one that’s considerate about our precious little world.
You don’t need this product to be happy or beautiful. You are both of those things already. Voya is simply a lovely option to know about.
PS. They also rescue baby seals.