The Beauty Shortlist Awards 2018 have been announced and we are absolutely thrilled to have won in two categories!

Pestle & Mortar’s Renew Illuminating Gel Cleanser picked up the award for Best Cleansing Gel, whilst Superstar, our Retinoid Night Oil won an award in the Best Night Treatment category. It’s fantastic when products are acknowledged in an awards system that has the tagline ‘tried, tested and loved’!

Renew, Illuminating Gel Cleanser Voted Best Cleansing Gel 

Renew is an illuminating gel cleanser and is step 2 in the Pestle and Mortar double cleanse ritual. Formulated with fruit enzymes, superoxide dismutase and meadowfoam seed oil, Renew improves skin tone, tightens pores and leaves skin polished and illuminated. It feels divine when massaged into the skin – meltingly soft and gently scented, Renew polishes the skin leaving it refreshed and nourished.


So what’s in it? Papaya and mango fruit enzymes improve skin’s texture and tone whilst tightening pores for a glowing complexion. Superoxide dismutase provides anti-ageing benefits. Pore blockages are removed and skin is optimally prepared to receive active ingredients in serums and face creams. Renew can also be used as a standalone cleansing solution – particularly effective in the morning as an illuminating start to your day!


Launched originally as a set, the 3-component double cleansing system, comprising Erase, Renew and the double-sided face cloth, are now available to purchase separately so you can top up as required…

Read about Pestle & Mortar’s Renew here 

Double Cleansing – an absolute must for anyone serious about skincare 

Erase and Renew is the Pestle and Mortar multi award-winning double cleansing system. Comprising 3 components, the system was born from a desire to satisfy 3 principles of facial cleansing –

  • that the face should be cleansed twice in order to achieve optimum results
  • that the cleansing ritual should be a holistic treat rather than a chore
  • that the cleansing process should perform the trifold function of cleansing, polishing and nourishing the skin

1st Step Erase – a meltingly effective and naturally scented cleansing balm.  2nd Step Renew – an illuminating lightweight gel cleanser. The final component is the double-sided muslin cloth – an essential tool in the ritual that is the Pestle and Mortar Double Cleanse.

Read about Pestle & Mortar’s Double Cleanse System here 

Superstar Retinoid Night Oil Wins Best Night Treatment Award!

What skincare ingredient can combat pretty much all skin issues? Retinol is really the only proven component in any skincare product to reverse wrinkles. It literally prompts the skin to re-generate itself. Retinol in skincare can address dryness, dullness, ageing, wrinkles, lines, dark spots, enlarges pores and pimples. Pestle and Mortar’s Superstar night oil is blended in a base of cold-pressed rapeseed oil and is the perfect non-irritating retinol solution for all skin-types. Packaged in a sleek black airless cylinder to preserve the active ingredients in the formulation, Superstar stays fresh and active with every use and will add a touch of luxury to your skincare routine. According to Founder Sonia Deasy:


‘There ought to be some luxury involved in looking after yourself – I think a lot of busy women and mums would appreciate this sentiment. I created Superstar for these women, myself included. Superstar is a luxurious retinoid night oil which works overnight to repair and rejuvenate the skin. It’s a skincare treat at bedtime which delivers visible results. Our night oil is eponymously names for what I wanted it to be – a Superstar!’


Read about Pestle & Mortar’s Superstar Night Oil here 

In order to make ethical choices in the cosmetics we buy, we need to understand the terminology that brands use. Cruelty free and Vegan are two terms that can be confusing for consumers. Can a product be both? Can a product be cruelty-free but not vegan? If a product is vegan, does it necessarily follow that it is cruelty-free? Read on to find out.

 What do the terms Vegan and Cruelty Free mean in cosmetics?

VEGAN –  means that a product does not contain any animal products or animal-derived ingredients. It describes the ingredients, not the manufacturing or production processes.

CRUELTY-FREE  – means that neither the final product nor any ingredient used in it have been tested on animals.

Are all Vegan products also Cruelty free?

Not necessarily. A product that contains no animal derived ingredients might have undergone animal testing at some stage in its production. A product advertising itself as vegan is not necessarily cruelty free.

Cruelty free products are not necessarily Vegan

It is possible for a cruelty free product to contain non-vegan ingredients, such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, or gelatin. So, just because a product is cruelty free, don’t assume that it is also vegan. The term cruelty free refers to the processes used in the testing of the product, and not to the ingredients themselves.

‘Required by law’ animal testing is another term to look out for. This means that the final product is animal-tested by a third party in order to satisfy various regional regulations around the world. These products, despite anything that the packaging says, are not cruelty free.

4 Great Reasons to switch to Cruelty Free Cosmetics

  • According to Cruelty Free International, there are currently over 115 million animals being used for animal testing worldwide. The only way to stop animal cruelty is for each of us to make lifestyle changes that support ethical choices for the good of animals and nature.
    Everything is consumer-driven, and we are the consumers.
  •  Many cosmetic products that are cruelty free and vegan are also free from added skincare nasties like parabens, sulphates and silicones. You’ll find that brands that are ethically aware strive to produce products that are good for the environment, kind to animals and kind to skin.
  •  Animal testing is crueller than you think. Animals are confined to small cages in inhumane conditions and the tests performed on them are beyond cruel. They live a life of suffering and know nothing but fear.
  •  In today’s world, advances in science and technology mean that animal testing is not actually necessary. In vitro and cell culture testing are high tech alternatives to animal testing, and these methods have added benefits that animal testing does not have. In short, there is no need for animal testing. By shunning it, you are not losing out with regard to product safety or quality.

We are so excited! We have been chosen as finalists in the Pure Beauty Global Awards. Category, Best New Skincare Product. Product, Recover, the Pestle & Mortar new eye cream. Shortlisted!

The Pure Beauty Global Awards invite the best of the best entries in the Global Beauty World, so it’s really a superb honour to have been chosen by a panel of acclaimed International Beauty Experts!

Recover the Pestle & Mortar eye cream is a finalist!

Recover is our newbie and it’s making waves already. Shortlisted in the Pure Beauty Global Awards, Recover is an eye-cream formulation that is making us proud!

Here’s what Pestle & Mortar founder Sonia Deasy has to say about it:

“Dark circles, fine lines, bags, puffy eyes – I think every woman has been the unwilling owner of at least one of these afflictions and every woman has known the frustration of trying to cover-up tired, puffy or lined eyes. The sentiment that was my basis for formulating my eye cream was ‘recover instead of covering up’. Recover is an eye cream which was carefully formulated using a superior active peptide in a base of multi-taking, nourishing, anti-ageing and soothing ingredients. It is active, not reactive. It is my answer for the delicate skin around the eye area.”

Enough said! Good luck in the Awards Recover!

Read about Pestle & Mortar’s Recover Eye Cream here.

by Sonia Deasy, Pestle & Mortar

Sitting around the table last week at home, I posed the question ‘What would you like to do when you are grown up? My audience consisted of four girls aged 7 – 13. Also present were my sister and mother, three generations of women all in all.  The answers varied from HR Director to Scientist, Engineer and Famous Pianist. No evidence there that these girls were feeling at a disadvantage because of their gender! My 15-year old nephew joined us, and we continued the discussion, along the theme of gender parity. A summary:

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A Campaign to #PressforProgress

International Women’s Day celebrates the political, cultural, economic and social achievements of women everywhere. Gender Parity won’t be achieved overnight, but with collective action that draws awareness, everyone can play their part. This year’s Campaign theme is #PressforProgress. It’s a strong call-to- action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.










Over two days in London, three female beauty industry brand founders came together under the direction of Beauty Expert to create an inspiring campaign that would empower women and communicate Beauty Expert’s support of International Women’s Day. Sonia Deasy of Pestle & Mortar was thrilled to be involved and to spend two days alongside Omorovicza founder Margaret De Heinrich and Emma Hardie founder Emma Hardie. 

The energy that women can generate between themselves can be powerful. Three women who had never met, all from the same industry and all focused on driving their Brands forward and upward. The two days were fun, funny, uplifting, enthusiastic, inspiring and grounding all at once. The highs, the lows, the struggles and the triumphs experienced along individual journeys and shared over two days amongst strangers resonated with honesty and conviction.












Thanks to Beauty Expert for inviting Sonia to take part. Sonia’s take-home was a strengthened conviction to #PressforProgress all year round every year by forging positive visibility of women, challenging bias and celebrating women’s achievements. Plus, she made two new beautiful friends!

For more on this campaign click here 




Less than a year after Pestle & Mortar CEO Sonia Deasy appeared on QVC USA, we are thrilled to announce that she will be launching on QVC UK on March 7th at 8.00pm!

It’s an exciting opportunity and we’re right on track to hit our distribution goals for 2018. Our launch on QVC USA last year was a huge success, with Superstar Retinoid Night Oil chalking up sold-out status in less than 7 minutes! We’re super-excited to be launching on The Allison Young Show for QVC UK.

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We bow to the Retinoid Royal Family of Skincare, but what is the hierarchy and which family member deserves our adulation most? Retinol, retinoids, retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate are known to be super-effective topically applied anti-ageing ingredients, but this family can be confusing for anyone seeking the best non-prescription retinol product to incorporate into their daily skincare routine. Read on if you seek clarification!

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We’ve put together a quick guide for everyone who got a Pestle & Mortar gift this Christmas. Maybe you treated yourself or maybe a loved one treated you! In any case, as our product range is growing, we thought it might be handy. There’s absolutely no point in having the right products if you’re not using them correctly!

 1. The Double Cleanse

Lucky you. Developing and maintaining the habit of double cleansing will provide so many skin benefits that you will wonder how you did without it. The Pestle & Mortar Double Cleanse System is comprised of 3 components – Erase, Renew and the double-sided face cloth. The steps are simple.

First Step, Erase. The meltingly effective balm will gently remove dirt and make-up whilst at the same time nourishing the skin. Massage a small amount into the skin before removing with the muslin side of the double-sided cloth dampened with warm water.

Second Step, Renew. Massage a single pump of this illuminating gel cleanser into the skin to polish and perfect the skin. Remove using the cotton side of the double-sided cloth dampened with warm water.

Your skin is now cleansed, nourished, polished and ready to receive.

Double cleanse at night only, Renew in the morning for best results.

Remember – the morning cleanse is important. In the morning, there are dead skin cells to slough off and excess sebum to emulsify.

2. The Eye Cream 

After cleansing, apply Recover, the Pestle & Mortar eye cream. Using your ring finger, gently pat approximately a sunflower-seed amount of Recover around the eye area starting at the outermost corner and working inwards towards the orbital bone. Never apply eye-cream to the upper eyelid or too close to the lower lid.

3. The Serum

It’s now time to lock in hydration by applying Pestle & Mortar’s Pure Hyaluronic Serum. Using the dropper, dispense one or two drops into the hand and gently massage into squeaky clean damp skin. The lightweight serum will absorb instantly, providing your skin with a first round of moisture retaining defence. This step is the answer if you want to achieve plumper, smoother and more balanced skin.

4. Moisturiser or Night Oil 

Use a pump of the squalene rich Hydrate moisturiser in the morning and a pump of Superstar Retinoid Night Oil at night. Massage gently into face and neck. The results will be obvious. Properly hydrated skin is plumper, firmer and has a luminous glow, while dehydrated skin can look dull, lacklustre and more slack.

So, there’s a quick guide in how to use Pestle & Mortar products and in what order. We hope it’s useful. Enjoy your new skincare routine and watch this space in 2018 as we have new products on the way!

Hyaluronic Acid is a compound which is widely used in skincare and which is one of the most extraordinarily beneficial ingredients when it comes to caring for your skin. It has soothing, antioxidant and super-hydrating abilities and is suitable for almost all skin types due to the fact that it is a major natural component of the dermis. We’ve put together a ‘sort of mnemonic’ that highlights the main features of this superstar skincare ingredient and reinforces why it should be part of everyone’s skincare routine.




Hyaluronic Acid is a vital substance found naturally in skin which supports the structure of the organ. Its job is to keep every aspect of the skin stable and constantly renewed. It has the enormous capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture and is thus super-hydrating.


You know how a baby’s skin looks so plump and deliciously dewy? That’s the hyaluronic acid effect, but unfortunately, the amount of hyaluronic present in the skin diminishes with age. Incorporating hyaluronic into your skincare regime is therefore crucial to maintaining a youthful complexion.


In addition to retaining skin moisture, hyaluronic acid keeps collagen synthesis up, contributing to its anti-aging benefits to the skin. Higher levels of collagen and hyaluronic acid are related to skin that is more supple and resistant to wrinkles and fine lines.

Loves water

One single molecule alone can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water! The unique ability to hold so much water makes hyaluronic acid invaluable to your skin – it acts like a sponge holding vast amounts of water in the skin.

Uppermost dermis

When applied topically, hyaluronic acid works as a humectant to draw moisture into the top layers of the skin. Low molecular weight Ha is what you are looking for in skincare. Most good HA products include the salt of HA, sodium hyaluronate, as this salt form has a low molecular weight and can penetrate the skin’s protective barrier whilst doing the same hydration job as its high molecular weight counterpart. Ideally, look for a lightweight hyaluronic serum as opposed to a cream which could hinder absorption.

Reduces wrinkles

Because HA has the capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of water, it effectively plumps out the skin. The result is a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as an improvement in the hydration and texture of the skin.

Oxidation inhibitor

Hyaluronic Acid inhibits oxidation – it has powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells. HA gives your skin antioxidant defense to fight UV damage. This is important since free radicals can break down collagen and elastin to age our skin and make wrinkles and sagging more apparent.


Occlusives are oily substances that coat the surface and prevent water from evaporating from the skin’s surface. Once this ingredient is washed off, the skin returns to the state of increased water evaporation that leads to dehydration. Humectants are agents that avidly bind water and hydrate skin by actually drawing water into themselves and onto the surface of the skin. HA is a humectant. Some people find that in extreme low humidity, the operation of humectants is reversed – i.e. they draw water from the deeper layers of the skin because there is none in the air. For this reason, we recommend that the most effective use of HA serum is always to layer it with a moisturizer, as this will seal the HA into the skin and will also provide the skin with a barrier against moisture loss. Also, apply your serum to damp skin, not completely dry skin. If you find that in very dry weather your serum is not performing, use a heavier or more occlusive moisturizer or face oil.

Instagrammable skin

All of the above = Instagrammable Skin!


Hyaluronic Acid is a carbohydrate which is naturally present in our bodies. HA is present in many areas of the body including the eyes, internal fluids, and connective tissue, but much of it is in the skin. In fact, the skin accounts for 50% of the body’s total HA level. Because HA is naturally occurring in our bodies, it poses a very low risk for allergic reaction or irritation.