In college, I became THAT girl with the collection of Paraben free lotions, organic body scrubs, and aluminum-free deodorants.
But sadly, moving abroad to Europe took my skincare routine to the wayside. I must have spent hours in at Mueller, DM, and local pharmacies reading German product labels with Croatian translations.
After I accidentally bought organic shaving cream instead of lotion, I admitted to myself that I was totally lost.
Then, a friend of mine introduced me to House of Nature Dubrovnik, and I realized I my solution was right under my noise: handmade and organic Croatian skincare products right in Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
After using them now for about a month, I could tell you that these products have been a God sent to me. But rather, I think I’ll let the products and my incredible results do the talking.
Skincare with a sustainable cause
House of Nature is a hidden oasis off of a side street of Dubrovnik’s Stradun. Stepping inside the vibrantly painted store with soothing sounds and smells is a fresh air from the high season’s commotion.
I was surprised I hadn’t heard of House of Nature before, as I thought I knew of seemingly every place in the Old Town. But after talking with the owner, Ana, I realized why.
Ana left a marketing job in Zagreb and returned to Dubrovnik building a business doing the opposite. She envisioned a store where she poured her heart into the products that she makes, instead of the up-sell. She’s made the conscious decision of perfecting her products over marketing them.
For the past two years, Ana has carefully crafted a selection of skin and hair care products using local beeswax and olive oil.
The beeswax comes from their family’s bee farms, which help sustain the local bee population (seriously, we need to save the bees, guys). The olive oil is also locally-source from the Dalmatian region. Each product is hand-made by Ana’s mother.
The store has a similar layout and set-up to Lush, where you can try any of the products on your skin. Even though the products have a very simple ingredients list of less than 6 or so items, I think that’s actually the secret to why they work. Here’s what Ana let me try:
Organic sugar scrub
I described that I’ve been having issues with dry skin and even getting little bumps on me from a lack of exfoliation. So, I decided to try the sugar scrub.
I’ve been using the sugar scrub 2-3 times a week as a full exfoliator in the shower. The after effect is that it leaves the skin feeling hydrated enough that you don’t need to also apply lotion. It’s great for providing a hydrating glow afterwards.
Within less than 4 weeks I noticed that the bumps and dryness on my arms and legs had disappeared completely. This is something I’ve been struggling with for years, even when I used to use organic products from the states.
Walnut and mint lotion
The lotion. WOW this lotion. Let me tell you. I wish I could send smells over the Internet. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is the best smelling product I’ve ever smelt. The product is a refreshing combination of mint, walnut, sage, and olive oil.
Not only that, but it’s probably one of the best non-greasy organic lotions I’ve ever tried. Though it does have an olive oil base, it leaves my skin feeling ultra hydrating without leaving my skin feel oily.
I think I really need to chill on this product because I’ve had it for a month and used almost half! Goes to show how much I love this stuff.
Hydrating hair oil
I also decided to try out the hair oil. Being on the Adriatic in the springtime means lots of frizz in my hair. However, the harsher water pressure also has caused my hair to be a bit dry. I love using this hair oil after I get out of the shower or after blow drying for a nourishing and hydrating polish.
The ends of my hair were looking completely fried, also from heat damage, but I now notice that my hair is looking and feeling much healthier.
Non-aluminum and natural deodorant
Last, but certainly least is a product Ana threw in my goodie bag at the last second, and it’s now my favorite of them all. For the longest time I have struggled to find a natural aluminum free deodorant that actually works. Yes, I don’t think Toms works that well. I also don’t think Jason’s works well for lots of sweating and being out all day.
Ana showed me this deodorant and explained that you simply take a little onto your finger and apply it directly. Since I’ve used so many natural deodorants, I was a bit skeptical as I really wasn’t sure if it would work.
But now after using this product, I can say hands down this is the best deodorant I have ever used. I am quite frankly amazed by how exactly this works so well. A combination of peppermint, baking soda, tea tree, and lemon, this deodorant works just as good as it smells.
Since using this it’s been super long lasting for me and I never have to reapply mid-day. I’ve even had a few people compliment me on how well I smell.
Why House of Nature has the perfect Croatian souvenirs
There’s many options for Croatian souvenirs in Dubrovnik, but I personally think House of Nature’s products may be some of the most useful and unique. The combination of domestic ingredients made from a true mom-and-pop shop is a way of taking a slice of the Pearl of the Adriatic with you. Not to mention, supporting the local businesses that use local organic ingredients is one of the best ways to practice sustainable tourism.
House of Nature offers a variety of other products that I didn’t mention, including soaps, face lotions, hand creams, and lip balms.All of the products are recyclable, and travel friendly (though some of the larger liquid items are not carry-on friendly).
While House of Nature’s website is working on getting up and running, you can follow them on Facebook or read their raving reviews on Trip Advisor. Ana does take requests for orders via e-mail.
As an expat in Dubrovnik, I think sometimes it’s the little things, like finding new natural beauty products that you love that can make you feel a little bit more at home. House of Nature’s products have helped me feel good about myself by encouraging me to get back into my daily skin-care AND self-care routine.
Disclaimer: This product review is not sponsored, however, I did receive these products as a gift. All opinions are genuine and truthful, and other opinions on my site do not reflect the opinions of House of Nature Dubrovnik.