• The French Lemon is a local vegan-friendly, cruelty-free collection of luxurious handmade beauty products. 
  • It's owned by mother-daughter duo Vanessa Ralston and Kara-Leigh Baker. 
  • Local Entertainment News Editor, Graye Morkel, spoke to the mother and daughter co-owners about their newest collection of anti-bacterial products, revealing that she loved some of the products she tried. 

Extra, extra! South Africa mom-daughter company, The French Lemon, have joined the global crusade to safeguard the health and well-being of the country.

Due to increased demand for personal hygiene products, The French Lemon, who specialise in the bath and shower products, have brought out a natural collection of lotions, soaps, gels, and hand sanitisers. 

READ MORE:A guide to 10 indulgent hand creams you can shop for all the scrubbing you've been doing

Handcrafted using premium ingredients like hemp seeds, almond oil and coconut, The French Lemon products are vegan-friendly and richly scented, you might even be tempted to take a bite – proving these superfoods are no longer just restricted to the kitchen.

Speaking about expanding the company's offering to anti-bacterial products, Vanessa Ralston and Kara-Leigh Baker told W24: "During this very uncertain time, washing hands regularly prevents germs from spreading, and is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent bacteria from spreading." 

"We're continually developing, trying and testing products that cleanse, nourish, moisturise and soothe skin," says Vanessa and Kara-Leigh, adding: "The anti-bacterial collection includes lemon oil with its antiseptic and refreshing properties, peppermint oil for its microbial properties, bergamot oil for its prevention of infection with antibiotic properties and tea tree oil for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties." 

Because the anti-bacterial range is made using natural products, it's not only better for your health but safer for children, animals, and the environment, the co-owners explain. "We add essential oils which are great smelling and have a wide range of medicinal and healing properties. They are also powerful agents against bacteria and fungus. Our products are handmade with love and care, are vegan-friendly and have no harsh chemicals which make them moisturising and not drying," the mother and daughter team explain.

local handmade products
During the national lockdown, Vanessa and Kara delivered 20kg of hygiene products to an agriculture farm, who were unable to keep up with the demand of products needed for day-to-day operation.  

Gel hand sanitiser

R50 to R100 on The French Lemon

The product I was most excited to try was the French Lemon Hand Sanitiser. As soap and water isn't always at hand (get it, at hand), particularly when accepting deliveries, shopping for essentials or participating in safe outside activities, hand sanitiser has become a staple between regular washes. 

As a result of increased use during the Covid-19 pandemic, I've recently been experiencing dry, red and itchy patches of skin on my hands. Excessive use has also triggered my eczema symptoms, leading to flare-ups and skin irritations which could lead to an infection. What I found most pleasant about the French Lemon Hand Sanitizer is that unlike other soap alternatives, my skin feels super-moisturised and silky after use, and the refreshing lemon scent is not too overpowering.



READ MORE: Black-owned beauty: It's time to Swiitch to brands that are made for people who are Black Like Me  

Because I have sensitive skin, I was concerned that the fragrance might cause an adverse reaction on my hands, but I didn't experience any - instead my skin felt hydrated and healthy. According to the ladies at The French Lemon, it's the aloe which makes the sanitiser less drying on the skin.

About the product's germ busting properties, the co-owners say: "The hand sanitiser gel is certain to say goodbye to germs and bacteria, with an anti-bacterial combination of aloe vera gel, alcohol, anti-fungal and essential antiviral oils." 

If you are concerned about the drying effects of gel sanitisers, The French Lemon also offer a range of anti-bacterial soaps which are made with shea butter, glycerine and essential oils which moisturise and sanitise the skin.  

Liquid Castille Soap

R90 to R200 on The French Lemon

Another product in the range I got to test was the Liquid Castile Soap. I found the soap to be extremely gentle on my skin. As with the gel sanitizer, my skin felt immediately moisturised after a wash. If you are in the market for a lotion, Vanessa and Kara-Leigh suggests picking up the anti-bacterial lotion that not only cleanses but also hydrates the skin. This luxurious lotion is comprised of hemp oil, shea and cocoa butter, as well as cleansing essential oils to keep germs at bay. 

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That Fri-YAY feeling ??

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What struck me was that the liquid soap doesn't lather like bar soap. Vanessa and Kara-Leigh explain that it's because The French Lemon products are all SLS-free.

If you're like me, you might not know what SLS-free means, but Vanessa and Kara-Leigh explain the benefits to me, saying: "It means that we a natural surfactant to make the soap foam. SLS is a chemical and has loads of disadvantages, which can cause skin irritations as well as many other disruptions to the body."  

"Our anti-bacterial Liquid Castile soap is gentle on your skin, and while it cleanses, it also restores moisture, and won't leave your skin dry, thanks to the anti-bacterial essential oils," she says, suggesting it as an alternative to those who are concerned about the side-effects of gel sanitisers.  

Natural Hemp Lotion

R200 on The French Lemon

From their non-anti-bacterial collection, I tried the Natural Hemp Lotion. The lotion absorbed fast and left my skin feeling smooth, non-greasy and not slippery at all.  

I've been working from home during the national lockdown, and I loved that after I applied it to my hands, I could go straight back to work without worrying about my hands leaving a residue on my clothes, notebook or keyboard. 

I will admit that the Signature scent has very strong earthy aroma, so if you prefer a light and crisp fragrance, I suggest trying the Grapefruit scent.   

Why shop natural?

The French Lemon products are natural, vegan-friendly and hypoallergenic, which means it's safe for all skin types from babies to acne-prone skin and eczema. 

When asked about the benefits of shopping natural, Vanessa and Kara-Leigh explain: "Vegan products are plant-based and free from harmful chemicals. This makes it more beneficial for your skin. Using it lowers the chances of skin problems such as skin inflammation, rashes, eczemas and allergies. Vegan beauty products are never tested on animals and therefore are 100% cruelty-free." 

I appreciate the care, love and attention that goes into each product and when purchasing for yourself, keep in mind that these products make a beautiful care package that can be delivered straight to a loved one's doorstep.

The French Lemon Anti-Bacterial Collection is available exclusively online at www.frenchlemon.co.za

What are your favourite local natural beauty brands? Tell us here.

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