Silky Underwear from Lush is the Best Thing Ever

Silky Underwear, Lush’s luxurious dusting powder, first caught my eye when I was around 13. Lush was pretty new where I lived and it was very exciting. My mum would talk to the sales assistants and I would wander around the store, reading and smelling everything. Obviously as a 13 year old it caught my eye because it sounded ‘naughty’.

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I didn’t pick it up because I thought I’d get told off. Then as I grew up it seemed like an unnecessary frivolity, so I never used my pocket money or student loan to try it out. Then I got a grown up 9-5, and I thought ‘I’m the kind of person who buys this now’. And now I regret the 25 years I spent without it, because I’ve found several different uses for it already, which would have been great for a teenager or student. You live and learn.

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Everything about Silky Underwear is amazing – the gorgeously sexy scent, the soft, light texture, the way it sinks in and nourishes the skin better than many creams…

Jasmine is one of my favourite scents. I live near the Langham Hotel in London, and on the way home on nights out in the summer I would take a shortcut up Regent’s Street, past their jasmine bushes. The night-blooming flowers would fill the warm air with their perfume, a beautiful treat after the car fumes of Oxford Circus and the sweaty clubs I’d been in minutes earlier. I used to pick a couple of blooms so I could wake up with the scent on my pillow. Naturally, I can’t wait to cover myself in this powder for in the summer. For me, jasmine is the ultimate summer scent. It’s heady, but light enough that it doesn’t feel cloying in the heat.

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It’s just as well that jasmine goes with summer, because Silky Underwear can be used for thigh chafe – I get this sometimes when I wear dresses (I think it depends on what shoes I wear, which should tell you a bit about how ridiculous the concept of a ‘thigh gap’ is. I’ve used it on my underarms instead of deodorant, and it actually kept them dry (and odourless!) So I think it’s going to work great on any thigh issues I may experience.

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The soft, light powder contains cocoa butter to moisturise the skin (I don’t fully understand how they’ve managed to turn cocoa butter into powder, but I’m a fan) and cornstarch, along with magnesium carbonate and kaolin rather than nasty talc. My geologist boyfriend really enjoyed explaining where these two ingredients come from and what they do…I chose not to share this with you, you’re welcome. The scent is jasmine absolute and vetivert oil (which is apparently an aphrodisiac…well helloooo), and it is D I V I N E. IMG_5879

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As you can see here (you might have to squint, I am about as white as the powder) it sinks straight in. My skin is left SO soft, and the scent lasts for ages. It’s a different experience entirely from using a cream as the skin is dry, but incredibly well nourished. This really is the perfect way to moisturise in the summer. I’m in love.

IMG_5875In fact, I loved it so much I actually bought a bottle for my friend in Canada for her birthday – I used the Canadian website* and my PayPal account (and her husband, who kindly messaged me their address and phone number without telling her), and it arrived within three days. The wonders of global connectivity! In the UK Silky Underwear is a mere £4.50, and if you’re of the Canadian persuasion (or know someone who is) then it’s just $7.95

Thank you Lush, we both LOVE THIS 🙂

*didn’t think there was much point trying to send a bottle of white powder across an entire continent in the post.

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Weleda Wild Rose Bath Cream Review

I’m a big fan of Weleda’s Body Care, and would struggle to pick a favourite product (though my favourite from their entire product range is without question the Oat Hair Treatment, oh my god). I adore the Wild Rose, Sea Buckthorn and Birch products in particular, so when I got this Wild Rose Cream Bath as a leaving present from my last job I was pretty chuffed (yeah, they knew me well).

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This is a really thick bath cream, with a massive amount of jojoba oil and olive oil in it. Jojoba is the oil our skin absorbs most easily so you can imagine what sitting in a warm bath full of it will do. Olive oil is really richly nourishing, but takes longer to absorb, so the warm water of the bath allows the oil and the skin to partner up much more readily than normal, and your skin will reap the benefits. IMG_5822

There’s also some rosehip seed oil in there, which is ridiculously good for the skin. Anti-aging, scar fading, good for spots, there’s pretty much nothing rosehip seed won’t at least try and do for your skin. Soaking in it once a week is a bit like giving your skin a lovely nourishing mask. My skin really did feel lovely after I towelled off, and boy was I chilled out.

Then of course there’s the scent. It’s heaven. Weleda are definitely one of the best brands when it comes to rose scented products, and this Cream Bath is probably the most delightful of them all. When you smell it in the bottle its incredibly strong, but once you’ve poured a glug of the creamy liquid into the bath and swirled it around, it is absolutely, perfectly, balanced.

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Treat yourself to one of these beautiful bottles of loveliness. You deserve it. And even if you don’t, I’m sure you will at some point in the future. Get it here, £12.95 for 100ml.

Stress, eczema and Eau Thermale Avène

I’m not going to go into much detail about why I abandoned this blog (a blog that I was really quite proud of to be honest) for six months. What I will say however, is that about two months ago I woke up to an itchy rash all over my torso. Having never seen anything like it before, I was horrified. Apart from dry hands I haven’t had any issues with the skin on my body at all. I ran off to my doctor immediately, and was diagnosed with eczema. When I told the doctor that this was the first time I’d had it, he seemed confused. Was I under any particular stress, he asked.

After I described to him exactly what kind of stress I was under, he sent me off with a steroid cream prescription, an IAPT appointment and instructions to come back if it got any worse. Suffice to say, I am coming out of this experience MUCH stronger, and FAR wiser.

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As I walked from the GP’s to get the prescription, my skin was on fire. I sent my boyfriend a text screaming for help, and he suggested a bath. What on earth was I supposed to put in a bath when I had this all over me? Everything I use is full of essential oils something you should never put on eczema. Lucky for me, my lovely local pharmacist knew exactly what I needed. Eau Thermale Avène Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil.

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I put about five pumps of this into a mildly warm bath, and my skin was so, so soothed. The irritation went right down, and I actually didn’t need to use very much steroid cream at all. I used the Cleansing Oil for about two weeks in the shower after that, by squeezing it onto a sponge and using it like soap. It foams up really nicely, and leaves the skin feeling clean and soft.

If you’re struggling with your skin I can’t recommend it highly enough. The soothing nature is incredible, I found that my skin felt calmer as soon as I rubbed it on. I’m so happy I had it.

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Since my skin healed quite quickly, I wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of the bottle (you get a LOT for your money). Then one night I ran out of the makeup wipes I’d been using. I thought this stuff, being so gentle, must be ok for use on the face, and boy was I right! My waterproof mascara melted away after I lathered up twice. So if you decide to try the Cleansing Oil for a pesky skin condition, (which it then ends up curing) I highly recommend using the rest as a makeup remover.

I was having a rough time, and I would like to take a end by saying that IAPT stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, and is the NHS’s attempt to make sure people can get help when they first need it. If you’re struggling with something in your life, and haven’t gone to a doctor about it, you CAN now. This initiative is designed to prevent irreparable damage being done to your mental health, and no matter how mild you think your problem is, they have something in place for you.

Dr Bronner’s Liquid Soaps

I first became aware of the legendary Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps when I was shopping for eco-friendly products before I went to live in the Amazon Rainforest for two months. We’d been instructed to find bio-degradable natural bodycare and laundry products because the water was pumped back into the river without much filtering, and also when the weather was dry we had to wash in the river instead of using water from the tanks (the Rio Madre de Dios  in Peru if you’re wondering). Obviously damaging the eco-system kind of defeats the object of volunteering for a conservation charity. Anyway, I ended up not buying any shower stuff because my mum happened to bring a load of bio-degradable soap and shower gel back from a hotel, of all places. Hair care was another matter entirely (a ‘five shopping trips later’ kind of matter) though. My interest was piqued, so when I saw some mini bottles in Whole Foods I picked up a Rose and a Lavender, my two favourite scents (no, I’m not your Grandma, I am in fact a twentysomething but I firmly believe in the wisdom of Grandmas the world over).

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I really liked them, though they did leave a very soapy feeling afterwards. Perhaps its because I live in a hard water area? I’m looking at an overview of Fleck water softener products and I have no idea how that would affect it, but anyway. It’s probably just that I’m not used to using a pure soap, and gravitate towards creamy washes and things. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but I think they do leave your skin feeling different. One thing I like about this brand is how they don’t shy away from their enigmatic roots and feel no shame in identifying as hippies! So many natural brands try to cover this kind of thing up, I even know of one company that won’t let images of plants be used while promoting their (100% natural) products! Companies do this because they want to be seen as mainstream, as lots of consumers assume that natural stuff will smell weird and won’t work. This is such a huge mistake, as how are consumers ever going to learn about the importance of natural cosmetics and skincare if not even the people selling it to them will talk about it?! So its really refreshing to see Dr Bronner’s embrace it completely, plastering their website, social media and even the products themselves with all their green credentials. I mean, some of their stuff is a bit intense for me, but they love the planet and there’s no shame in that.

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I opened the Rose one first, and was surprised because the rose scent is quite subtle. I actually think this smells like Pimm’s – which as far as I’m concerned is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Imagine how Pimm’s would smell but take away the whiff of alcohol and replace it with rose. It’s really, really nice. And the scent doesn’t stick so its just a pleasant experience while washing – you don’t need to worry that people will think you’ve been hitting up the liqueur cabinet! I used this one as a hand soap, and I found that as I used it up I was reaching for my hand cream less and less – a very big deal as my hands are the driest of the dry. We have a nasty chemical-laden antibac soap now and the difference is palpable. I will definitely get some more of this for handwashing!

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Unlike the Rose, the Lavender smells exactly like lavender. In fact, I think this might be the most lavendery-smelling product I’ve ever used! There are some products out there that just don’t have the depth of scent that the pure extract has – like the rest of the ingredients are affecting the essential oil somehow. Not so with this! It’s lovely, and again leaves you nice and moisturised. Both soaps lathered up really easily I found, and I even used one (I forget which but I suspect it doesn’t matter) to clean the loo, to great effect!

I think Dr Bronner’s is a great brand to give your money to, they’re environmentally responsible, ethical traders, campaigners…plus their soaps are lovely. These mini bottles are great for travelling too, they’re about 60ml.