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The Lost Explorer

A brand review

issue ten : the icons & iconoclasts

Image courtesy of The Lost Explorer

The majority of the brands and products that are featured on Untainted are ones that I have come across through my work as a professional makeup artist, recommendations from trusted peers and good old fashioned web-browsing (which is done on Ecosia of course!). Despite receiving countless emails from PR companies on a daily basis asking me to promote the next celebrity beauty craze, or trying to push the latest greenwashed product on the market, very few press releases really catch my attention (for the above-stated reasons). But, every now and then, one comes across the desk that peaks (it’s a pun, go with it) my interest. I am delighted to be reviewing The Lost Explorer and sharing this brand with you today. Not least because their packaging is adorned with icons representing nature’s playgrounds or that their IG feed provides me with a rare fulfilled experience while browsing social media.

Founded by British National Geographic explorer and environmentalist David de Rothschild, The Lost Explorer is so much more than just another beauty brand. It is a unisex wellness, lifestyle and adventure brand in which each of the threads (of the business) support each other as well as the communities that support the business (for instance, the people that sustainably harvest the ingredients), and is “100% owned by nature.” This means that all of their profits will go towards reconnecting with, restoring and preserving nature.

Another Bag

As you know, we do not advocate the unnecessary sale of stuff, be those beauty products or clothing or just about anything else for that matter. But, what if by purchasing another bag to hold all your life and beauty essentials, you will be planting twenty trees in a region of your choice (after all, 20 trees make up a grove and many groves become a forest) with a transparent cost breakdown to explain the pricing structure? What if this bag was made from sustainably sourced wood pulp, coloured with natural dies and held together by a natural latex binder, and was not merely fashionable but durable and washable too? The Lost Explorer has launched a rebellious concept with its crowdfunded product… Another Bag – or as they like to refer to it as: “a paper bag with a higher purpose”.

They had overshot their crowdfunding target with a final figure of 121% as of 10 November 2019, when their crowdfunding campaign ended. Another Bag is now available to purchase at retail prices.

Back to Beauty

Drawing on inspiration from David’s adventures across oceans, deserts, mountain peaks and jungles, the natural formulations are designed to support the explorer on their journey, no matter where they might roam. All the while, listening and learning from Mother Nature and paying all profits directly back to Her and those that care for her. It’s a truly iconoclastic idea – so much so that the business structure did not exist until recently and some serious vuja de needed to be applied to design a legal entity that supported but one stakeholder – Nature.

I was lucky enough to be sent some products to trial, all which I’ve come to relish (the full range encompasses face, body, hair and ingestibles). Each of the products come branded with an icon representing natural habitats to be explored and inspired by – and a delightfully easy way for me to tie The Lost Explorer into our icons and iconoclastic narrative. While I may not be adventuring in exotic and distant lands these days, these products have been supporting my skin through its daily life for the past month or so. In the morning, when the water molecules have turned icy and deliver an onslaught of cold to my skin after I’ve been indoors, enshrouded by artificial heat, and my skin feels thirsty like the desert. Or for the days I know I am facing an uphill climb in the concrete jungle. My skin and wellbeing – thanks to the sustainably sourced botanical ingredients that provide holistic support to my entire human ecosystem (a.k.a my body) – have been taken care of.

The review

OUR SCORE: ★★★☆☆

Rehydration mist hydrosol

This hydrosol quite literally smells like summer and immediately transports me back to my childhood of frolicking on the white sandy beaches of Cape Town (lathered in an undoubtedly very tainted sunscreen). All without stepping onto an airplane to get there.

Isn’t the power of scent a truly remarkable sense? The aloe vera, coconut and rose water offer a refreshing dose of hydration, ideal for exploring deserts and keeping your skin protected against radiator-dehydration.

OUR SCORE: ★★★★☆

Traveler’s Protection Balm

This multi-purpose balm is a handbag/pocket essential.

Whether you need an emotional pick-me-up, need to fend off other people’s body odours on a packed train carriage or if your skin needs some protection from the elements, this is the one.

With some of Nature’s most powerful ingredients, Ravensara Oil, Camphor Leaf Oil, and Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, it’s designed to hydrate, restore and protect and can be used on the face and body.

OUR SCORE: ★★★☆☆

Volcanic Face Scrub

I approached this product with a healthy amount of scepticism, much like I would a mountain lion for instance. I am not usually a promoter of face scrubs (more often than not they do more harm than good to the skin, in my opinion) but I have to admit that there are times when my skin needs a little assistance to remove dead surface skin and it’s something I get asked to recommend a lot. The truth is this volcanic face scrub, which contains perlite and is suspended in the most intoxicating blend of blood orange and ylang-ylang is still a little rugged for the delicate skin on my face, but I have been loving it to help restore the dry, cracked skin on my hands, elbows, knees and feet. That being said, if you are someone who enjoys a facial scrub and are looking for an untainted alternative, this really is one of the nicest I’ve tried and on someone with a different skin condition to mine, would be wonderfully suitable.

OUR SCORE: ★★★☆☆

Everyday Skin Support Balm

Whether you’re out exploring on the open ocean (hopefully on an environmental expedition that helps rid our seas of plastic) or simply riding the waves and fighting the currents of life, this balm is brilliant. I have been using it instead of a moisturiser since the weather turned cold. After a generous spritzing of the Rehydration Mist, I’ve just been applying this to lock in the moisture. Despite it being a balm, it actually sinks into my skin really quickly and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy.

The warm, grounding smells from the calendula and helichrysum also feel like a bit of a warm, supportive hug. Which, let’s face it, we could all use more of in this day and age.

OUR SCORE: ★★★★☆

Movement Massage Balm

Whether you have been transversing peaks, overexerting yourself at the gym or have a career that forces you to carry stupidly heavy bags and be bent in unnatural positions for extended hours, this massage balm will most certainly come to your aide. My job puts me into the latter category, and thanks to the unnatural positions and deadweight suitcases I need to schlep around day to day, my body aches. A lot. Whether I apply it with a little bit of self-massage or persuade my other half to show me a little extra tlc, this product really does come in handy at the end of a long day. Nepalese Wintergreen and Arnica work harmoniously to restore and protect my tired, aching muscles.

While admittedly, the products are not the most comparatively affordable on the untainted market – and this contributes to their overall rating on Untainted – they are worth their weight in gold. Also, as a little goes a long way (in most cases – I would imagine the Rehydrating Mist will need to be replenished more regularly) and they are all multipurpose, the cost-per-use needs to be taken into account if you’re thinking about adding these iconic products from an iconoclastic brand to your collection.

untainted |ˌənˈtān(t)əd| adjective
not contaminated, polluted, or tainted: the paper was untainted by age.

UNTAINTED is a directional beauty platform, pushing the boundaries of clean, sustainable beauty. We are inspired and motivated by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi.

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