web analytics

Rupert Bevan

Rupert Bevan has been involved in the natural world for most of his working life. Rupert studied Horticulture at Pershore College. He gained a degree in Environmental Biology from Bath Spa University and is the Technical and Product Development Director at Syrinx Za International Ltd. Circle Rupert Bevan on Google+

    Find more about me on:
  • googleplus

Here are my most recent posts

Dry Skin on Elbows

Dry Skin on ElbowsIf you sit at a desk in front of a computer for any length of time you may find yourself suffering from dark, rough, dry skin on elbows. We find that office workers or students often complain of this problem.

This skin can become hard, dry, cracked and inflamed if not taken care of, can be very sore especially when you bend your arms. All that is required is a natural skincare routine that includes your elbows.

Causes for Dry Skin on Elbows

There are many other reasons that you can get hard dry skin on the elbows but if it is the result of working at a desk, you will usually find that it occurs on your left elbow, as your right hand is busy with the mouse your left elbow is usually resting on the desk. It’s the constant friction on the skin that is causing the hard skin, which just worsens over time – the best thing to do is to avoid resting on your elbows but we know, its a habit.

Other reasons can of course the weather, using harsh soaps, dry air, or more serious skin conditions such eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis which can be exacerbated by the previous reasons but in all cases treatable.

Do not pick or scrub dry skin on elbows

If your elbows are hard, dry and cracked, it’s very tempting to pick at the skin, or to pull off that small piece that does not seem attached. It is attached and it will hurt.  Do not pick or pull at the skin this as this can cause infection and will definitely make it much more painful.  Also scrubbing the skin, using a scrubbing brush or any harsh chemicals is not necessary; this can just cause inflammation and pain and not help at all.

Yes, you do want to remove the dead cells on the elbows but you want to do this gently and naturally with a fragrance, and chemical free moisturising soap.

Treatment for Dry Skin on Elbows

As always its best to keep your skin away from whatever is causing the problem but it’s a very difficult if you have a habit of resting on your elbow or to find out what could be causing the hard, dry skin.  An easy place to start is to stay away from chemical based products and to use more natural soaps and creams.

The Syrinx Za Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar is not only a substitute for chemical based soaps it is highly moisturising, has antiseptic qualities and detoxifying abilities. The therapy bar acts as an a natural exfoliant as it penetrates the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.

Treatment Regime for softer skin

In the evening – wash with the therapy bar, making a thick lather, rub this lather into your elbows- leave to dry and leave overnight.

In the morning – Wash off the lather, wash again with the soap rubbing it into the affected areas but this time rinse and apply the Syrinx Za Derma Protector.

The Derma Protector provides 24 hour hydration for your skin, and restores dry cracked skin.

Do this everyday for 7-10 days and you will start to notice a difference, but keep using the soap and the cream to keep dry skin on elbows at bay.


Benefits of Argan Oil

Benefits of Argan OilAs one of our most favorite and key ingredients, we’d like to discuss the benefits of argan oil, one of the rarest oils around.

Argon Oil is relatively new to the western world but the women of Morocco have used it for years to keep youthful, healthy looking skin. Argan oil is from the kernels of the argan tree from Morocco where they are harvested by hand and then crushed or ground and pressed. When used for food they are also roasted.

Argan Oil for Skin

Right away we might realise that two benefits of Argan oil are that it hydrates and moisturises your skin and due to the properties of Argan Oil. Argan contains vitamin E which is well known for being good for your skin as it has high levels of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. When mixed with other ingredients in our products we find that inflammation is reduced, moisture in the skin is retained, red patches of skin are soothed, skin is less itchy and cells are prevented from aging, which are some of the reasons that argan oil is fantastic for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.


We don’t often make claims to our products being anti-aging but it is a fact that Argan Oil not only contains anti-oxidants and fatty acids which can regress the signs of aging but also ferulic acid. Ferulic acid is the most abundant organic compound in Argan oil, which not only protects the skin from the sun it is used in anti-aging products. Ferulic acid is also found in the seeds of apples, that doesn’t mean you need to eat them!

Some other benefits of Argan oil

As argan oil contains all of these great compounds when mixed with our special ingredient Sapropel a rare lake sediment it can reduce spots, pimples and blemishes caused by acne.
Due to Argan oils fatty acids it can be used to prevent stretch marks as it increases the elasticity of the skin.

Argan oil will have benefits on all skin types, dry, oily or combination especially when mixed with our other special ingredients.

Which Syrinx Za products contain Argon Oil?

You will find Argan oil in two of our products and they are our Skin revitaliser and Natural Emollient, along with many other natural ingredients that work alongside each other to provide a natural skincare solution to help return skin to a healthy glowing state. These products are effective for many skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, dry skin, and acne.


Dry Hands in Winter

dry hands in winterIt’s a common problem to suffer with dry hands in winter,  exposure to the harsh winter conditions, can take away the moisture and strip the skin of the natural oils that protect our hands. This can make your hands so dry that they can crack, peel and even bleed in some cases.

Its not only the cold air that can dry out our hands, its also our central heating and our constant washing of hands to protect ourselves from winter colds and flu.

What do to about Dry Hands in Winter?


Normal soaps and detergents actually dry out our skin, so excessive washing using these soaps is very bad for our skin.

What is needed is a natural hand soap that contains no additives, chemicals or fragrances that will harm your skin, which will in turn moisturise the skin – such as the Deep Cleanser Therapy Bar. Using this natural handmade soap and not the chemical based soaps will be a great start to providing protection as a barrier for your dry hands in winter.

Start now as a prevention to dry hands in winter.  Some people, including myself (I don’t use anything else anymore) even find that using the therapy bar is all we need to keep soft hands in colder months but others need more than that.

Hand Cream

When our hands are dry the first thing we usually reach for is the Hand Cream or Moisturiser but what most people do not realise is that certain types of hand creams do not seal moisture into the skin, all they do is add moisture. 

We all know that lovely feeling when you first rub in the silky deliciously perfumed hand cream and then around 30 minutes later, yes they smell lovely but they feel exactly the same as they did before; Dry. That’s exactly what I mean; these types of hand creams are not retaining the water in our hands, so it’s doing no good at all.


The best hand cream you can ever use is an emollient, emollients seal in water which is essential for dry skin especially during the winter months. The Syrinx Za Skin Revitaliser is a deep hydrating emollient which will moisturise and hydrate dry skin and even restore damaged skin.  It is easily absorbed in to the skin and provides a 24 hour protections and boosts the skins immune system allowing it again to protect your skin naturally.

Its time to go natural

It’s very important to watch out for harmful chemicals, fragrances and parabens that we are applying to our skin as these irritate and even cause the dry skin that we are struggling to get rid of.

As with all of our products our Deep Cleanser Therapy Bar and Skin Revitaliser are completely natural, chemical free, paraben free and full of nutrients and vitamins. The key ingredients are our breakthrough ingredient sapropel, argan oil, almond oil, coconut oil and cere alba, all of which will help banish dry hands in winter.

For more information on our ingredients please see our product ingredient page.


Spring Skin

spring skinNow that March is upon us you would expect to have some warmer, sunnier weather, we haven’t seen much evidence of it yet with most of the country recently suffering with high winds, flooding and snow.

Early spring is inheritably changeable as it teases our spring skin with freezing temperatures at night and cold winds to dry the skin during the daytime. Rainy weather and high humidity paradoxically cause the skin to dry out.

Treating spring-kissed skin

Syrinx Za creams and balms offer just the right sort of protection. If you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or any other skin complaint there are added benefits afforded by the products in the alleviation of symptoms.

To do the thing properly, you need to change your washing habits. If you have sensitive or troubled skin, it is good to use water that has been previously boiled. This process brings about the precipitation of calcium and magnesium salts that tend to irritate the skin.

Syrinx Za Therapy Bar

Syrinx Za Therapy bar can be used on all skin types. It is highly moisturising and when used with tepid water on sensitive skin, it cleanses effectively, removing impurities and other irritants. Moreover it is anti-pruritic, that is, it stops itchiness.

The therapy bar contains turmeric which is an excellent natural anti-fungal agent. If your feet get wet, as they often do during these damp weeks, you can end up with painful fissures in the undersides of the feet together with other annoying complaints such as athletes foot. Both of these conditions can be treated with the therapy bar. After washing the feet you just moisten the bar and rub firmly into the affected areas. If your feet are very hard and rough you can wrap them after the soaping exercise in cling film, secured in place with a cotton sock.

You will be surprised just how quickly the skin softens and the symptoms attenuate. Repeat the process for the next couple of nights.

Syrinx Hydrating Therapy Balm

During the day you can rub the hydrating therapy balm into the feet for protection of the skin.

Remember that skin type plays an important part in the choice of treatment. If your skin is inclined to be dry, you might benefit from a balm. Our balms are free of water and when applied sparingly to sensitive skin they provide day long protection. If your skin is more on the oily side you might get on better with one of the moisturising creams. These are deeply penetrative and provide excellent moisturisation of the dermal layers.

Possibly the greatest advantage of Syrinx products is that they are put together from mainly natural components and are free of any substances that are allergenic or could harm you in any way, a great way to treat your spring skin.

Winter Skin

Winter Skin CareWith this cold, wet weather that we have been enduring for the last few months many people are beginning to suffer winter skin complaints.

For most, these are seasonal complaints but for others, half of the year can be written off as we hobble painfully to work or rub our ears trying to rid ourselves of pesky itches and rashes.

Protecting your skin AND health!

Then there are colds and flu like virus that leave us sneezing and snuffling into disposable hankies, the continuous use of which leaves our noses reddened and sore.

Any doctor will tell you that the outer, protective layer of skin, the Stratum Corneum, if it is to perform its function properly must be well moisturised. Once you remove the moisture then it loses versatility, leading to soreness and in some cases, eczema.

If you recognise any of this description as applying to yourself, you might like to try Syrinx moisturising therapy balm. You can apply it gently around the nostrils and upper lip region and immediately the area will feel a lot less sore and become less susceptible to the actions of the hanky! The therapy balm contains some very special and cathartic oils, as well as Zander extract that make our products unique.

Avoiding oil-based products?

For those who prefer not to use oil based products (their skin may already be of the oily type) then look no further than the Ultra-Sensitive therapy cream. This preparation is highly absorbent and suitable for people of all ages. The Zander element is manifested partly by the presence of fulvic acid, a natural substance renowned for its health promoting properties.

Winter-kissed cracked feet…

So what about those chaps, chilblains and cracked feet that cause us to hobble to work? Start with Syrinx Za Therapy bar. Use it to wash your feet, and then make a lather which you rub firmly into the affected areas. Leave overnight and wash out in the morning. Then apply either the Hydrating Therapy balm or the ultra-sensitive therapy cream for day protection and repeat the process the following night.

Quite an effective method of speeding up the cure is to wrap the foot in cling film, securing it with a sock. For my own cracked feet it took two days to recover using this method.


Itchy ears can be a very annoying condition during the winter months and is caused by the development of eczema just inside the pinna of the ear.

I have found that the simplest method of getting rid of the problem is to rub the therapy bar with my ring finger and transfer to the inside of the pinna, rubbing in gently and firmly.

If this doesn’t work for you, by all means try a Syrinx balm or cream- each contains Zander humic extract – a concentrated cocktail of humic substances, vitamins and lipids that offer effective treatment of winter skin soreness.

The #SyrinxZA Story Part 2

Syrinx Za Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar: all natural dry skin soapLooking down the list of ingredients for the Therapy Bar you soon spot ‘Zander (Phragmites communis: natural extract)’.

This exotic sounding item has a wonderful, romantic history that starts with the Ice Age in Eastern Europe some 15,000 years ago. If you can imagine the heaving bergs and glaciers of the present day Antarctic being transposed to Scandinavia and Northern Europe, then you have a picture of the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) as they must have appeared during the first Ice Age.

Click here if you missed part 1 of the Syrinx ZA Story

The science bit

Ice is not static but moves inexorably with tremendous strength as a response to gravity. As it moves it grinds the underlying bedrock, creating shallow depressions. After the ice melted these depressions became lakes and these in turn were quickly colonised by algae, reeds and fish.

Even today the Baltic States suffer from pretty severe winters when the lakes freeze over for several months. They are not fed, as Scottish lakes are, by fast flowing, well oxygenated rivers but by the sluggish aquifers that are associated with flat land. This means that the amount of dissolved oxygen that ends up in the lake is limited and is quickly used up by lake dwelling organisms.

Now the reeds growing around the margin of the lake are vigorous and lush. They are also herbaceous, which means that dead leaves and stems are going to fall into the water regularly. In a well oxygenated environment the organic debris would be quickly oxidised by organisms to carbon dioxide and water.

When oxygen is scarce

However when oxygen is scarce, this cannot happen and you end up with an anaerobic jelly. Over many thousands of years and at a deposition rate of 1 mm per year, this jelly has built up. Even allowing for surface oxygenation, many lakes may contain a thickness of some 9 metres of this material.

In Latvia you can see some truly beautiful lakes. If you were to jump in for a swim you’d be surprised that the water barely passed your knees! But then you are standing on a lot of jelly. So the water gets displaced, as do the fish. The creature of economic importance out there is the pike-perch, much sort after for its creamy sweet flesh but increasingly displaced by the accumulating reed jelly.

It’s been a long and slow process but now the jelly or ‘Zander’ is being carefully dredged. The ecological balance is being redressed and before long the pike-perch will recolonize the lakes.

Everything we do is engineered to be ethical, natural and sustainable and critically help and protect our environment.

We’d welcome your questions or comments in the space provided below.


Hand Made Soap – The #SyrinxZA Story

Syrinx Za Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar: all natural dry skin soapThe Syrinx ZA Story starts over 15,000 years ago during the last Ice Age when Mother Nature began the process or creating the conditions which eventually led to the current day harvesting of the natural ingredients we use to manufacture our natural skincare products.

We’ve named our primary ingredient Zander. More about Zander later but for now let’s talk about saponification and the manufacturing process which helps to make Syrinx Za products so unique and beneficial.

To saponify or not to saponify? What really is best?

Printed on the packaging of every cosmetic product you buy these days is a list of the ingredients. The ingredients lists are generally quite long and complicated. The Syrinx Ingredients lists are mercifully short but there are surprises.

If you take the Syrinx Deep Cleansing Natural Therapy Bar for instance, you will notice that the first four ingredients of this traditionally handmade soap are all oils, which is far the norm. If you look close you will see the majority of commercial soaps will only use the salts of the oils such as ‘sodium olivate’ or ‘sodium cocoate’ rather than the oils themselves.

The difference is that these commercial soaps are made from pre-saponified oils, which are purchased as ‘noodles’ (so called because they are extruded through a huge mincer called a plodder) by the soap maker who then adds other ingredients, including fragrances and colourings to make the soap distinctive.

Why commercial soaps are slightly hydrophilic

On the other hand many handmade soaps start with the oils themselves and the reaction with lye that results in the production of a salt also yields glycerine – a well-known and important moisturiser.

However glycerine is salted out of the majority of commercial soaps before the noodles are forwarded to manufacturers. This explains why commercial soaps are slightly hydrophilic – tending to absorb moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and potentially irritable.

Avoid Soreness – use hand-made soap.

The result can be soreness, particularly around the face and neck. In handmade soaps glycerine remains an intrinsic part of the soap matrix and is fixed there through a process of curing. Such soaps will remain hard and dry providing they are kept out of water. The advantage of this ‘cold batch’ method of soap making is that the soaps retain a key moisturising property and do not cause the skin to dry or be irritable.

Of course commercial imperatives favour the pre-saponified noodle system. Glycerine derived from vegetable oils is very pure and has value in a wide range of technology. Moreover you can’t push glycerine and soap through a plodder so the cold batch system is always going to be labour intensive and therefore more expensive.

Syrinx ZA – Perfected the method producing natural soap

At Syrinx we have perfected a method of producing our round soap bars using a series of insulated tubes as moulds. Once the product is set it is pushed out of the mould with compressed air before cutting. Not an easy job but a very effective one.

In the early days I lost control of the air compressor and the soap shot out of the tube like a torpedo. It hit the opposite wall and reformed as a short fat lump of soap. I still possess it- it has the word ‘Damn!’ etched into the side.

Syrinx ZA – More than just soap

Syrinx Za manufactures a range of Natural Skincare Products based around Zander and other natural ingredients. Watch out for the next instalment of the Syrinx Story or Sign up to receive our posts by email so that you never miss a copy and keep up to date with our skincare news.