Nedahl Stelio on Natural Beauty

As someone who worked in women’s magazines for twelve years, Nedahl Stelio knows beauty. I remember Nedahl as a constant source of inspiration throughout my late teens and early twenties at both Cosmo and Cleo magazines, and was thrilled when I put two and two together and released that Nedahl herself was the founder of Recreation, a Australian-owned, all-natural fragrance house based in Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

I’ve been wearing the scent Call Me Venus (a glorious fresh rose scent) for the past few weeks to compliments almost on the daily, and I figured if a fragrance could be that beautiful and long-lasting, and above all natural, it’s something I need to dip my toes into. I’ve thought about cutting chemicals often over the years but figured chemicals meant ‘products actually worked’ but I’m pleased to say if I can look half as good as Nedahl does – remove all chemicals from my life stat please!

Nedahl was kind enough to answer a few of my burning questions which I’ve popped below, and do check out the Recreation website, even just for your free 25-page white paper ‘Why Ditch Toxins’– enjoy!

All natural perfume – what does this mean in layman terms and why is this better for our bodies? All fragrances that aren’t natural are basically a blend of synthetic fragrance and chemicals. Synthetic fragrance means the scents are made in a lab – they don’t contain real flower and plant extracts, they are made in test tubes so they are much cheaper to produce than using the real thing. They can also be very irritating and overpowering, so a lot of people have allergic reactions to them. Headaches, skin allergies and sensitivities are common. The chemicals used in these perfumes are proven endocrine disruptors, which means they disrupt your reproductive system and can even disrupt the development of the reproductive system of your unborn foetus if you are pregnant while using them. There are over 3000 chemicals which can be classified as ‘parfum’ according to the regulations so you can be getting a whole load of these chemicals unknowingly and spraying them directly on your lymph nodes (on your neck).


Vegan and cruelty-free | Chemical free | Hypoallergenic | No parabens | No mineral oils | No petrolatums 

No sulphates | No phthalates | No petroleums | No siloxanes | No DEA, PEGS, BHA or BHT

Your products are all vegan and organic, but are they also good for the earth and sustainability? Yes, we worked really hard to find packaging that was sustainable – all of our perfume bottles are made with glass and aluminium and the plastic bottles in our body + hair oils are made with 50% recycled plastic. We’re also introducing a smaller, glass bottle for the body + hair oil at the end of the year.

As you’re the expert, what advice do you have for making scents last as long as possible throughout the day? Layer and moisturise! The best way to get fragrance to last is to apply it to moisturised skin, and even better if you are applying an oil in the same fragrance because you are essentially layering your fragrance so it will last longer. We also do travel sizes so people can top up throughout the day. Apply fragrance to pulse points – on the neck, behind ears, inside your wrists and don’t pat wrists together! So many people do this but it just breaks down the fragrance molecules so you won’t smell the top notes as much.

Back to you personally, do you follow an organic lifestyle and does this stretch out to all your beauty products? I went all natural and organic about 10 years ago when I struggled to get pregnant (it took me over two years to fall pregnant). I did a massive overhaul of my lifestyle and products so now everything is natural, including home cleaning products (I use Koh, it’s amazing), food – especially meats because of all the antibiotics regular meat has. And my beauty cupboard got a huge shock when I cleared everything out and replaced it. There was no luxury natural perfume line and it’s why I created it! I spent years spraying regular perfume on my clothes or in my hair so it didn’t touch my skin which really takes the whole luxury of the ritual away.I now only use natural products and though it has taken me a while to find the right things, there are so many beautiful, natural products on the market with all the science behind them, it’s great to see.

What are your picks for those dipping their toes into natural beauty? Start with fragrance and body products. Perfume is one of the worst offenders when it comes to chemicals because of all the hidden chemicals. Body products should be next because you’re putting them all over your skin and your skin absorbs up to 70% of what we put on it. Things like cleansers get washed off quickly so you can finish your bottle before buying a new clean brand but moisturisers, serums and oils should have no chemicals because they sink into your skin and bloodstream. There are so many lovely, clean products now. It’s the way forward.

I couldn’t agree more, Nedahl. Tell me, do you live a clean and natural lifestyle that extends to beauty too?  I’d love to know in the comments but for now, I’m off to clean out my beauty cupboard and begin to ditch toxins + chemicals for good.


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