Skyn Iceland Skin Hangover Kit*

Why is it that getting older means worse hangovers? I don’t drink that often but when I do it’s like being hit with a tonne of bricks, it never used to be like that!! I know I’m not the only one, and I have a feeling that those brutal late-twenties/early-thirties hangovers may have been the inspiration behind this brilliant product I’m going to tell you all about…

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Skyn Iceland is a brand formulated with millenial women in mind. Their tagline is ‘Solutions for stressed skin’ and who among us doesn’t have stressed skin right about now? Whether it’s work deadlines, wedding planning, buying a house, kids, money, dealing with your landlord, worrying about pollution, concerned by the state of the world or literally suffering from anxiety, we’re all stressed out by something. Skyn knows this all too well, and their products are formulated to help support, soothe and care for your skin during stressful periods. I love brands like this, ones that think about what you want, rather than coming up with things to make you want. The Skin Hangover Kit illustrates this perfectly. Containing a detox mask, cooling gel eye patches, a hydrating moisturiser and a refreshing eye cream, it’s designed to help you feel fresh and awake on days where you can’t just pull the duvet up over your head and pretend last night never happened. Grab yourself a large glass of water and let me tell you more about it!

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Fresh Start Mask Sachets

I absolutely love this mask – I have a box of the sachets as well and enjoy using it whenever my skin is feeling dull. The first sachet contains blue clay to deep cleanse and purify, and the second sachet contains an activating gel which creates an effervescent effect to further stimulate the skin, and give you a really refreshed feeling. It’s a hangover cure it itself, even without the rest of the brilliant products in this kit! Buy this on its own here.

Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels

These lovely little patches help to de-puff the eyes and reduce fine lines with cooling and deeply hydrating ingredients. After just ten minutes they leave you looking totally fresh, absolutely perfect for when you wake up bleary-eyed and puffy. Buy a full pack of them here.

Icelandic Relief Eye Cream

I absolutely love this eye cream. It smells minty and initially I expected it to be like putting menthol under my eyes (cue: weeping!) but it’s very subtle indeed, just enough to make your eyes feel bright and awake without overdoing the tingling sensation. This eye cream helps to target puffiness for the rest of the day (after your eye gels have taken away the bulk of it), as well as reducing dark circles and fine lines. The eyes are the part of the face that really gives you away when you have a hangover, but these two together sort them right out. Buy this on its own here.

The Antidote Cooling Daily Lotion

Of course, there’s no point looking better if you don’t feel better, and while the wonderful eye products do help to relieve that tired-eye feeling, there’s still a whole face that needs some tlc! Once you use the mask, follow it with The Antidote which cools facial skin instantly, and really, deeply hydrates. I’m very picky about moisturisers so wasn’t expecting to like this, especially when I was hungover and moody, but I really felt better after applying this. The Fresh Start Mask gives your skin a wake-up call but this maintains that ‘awake’ feeling! Buy this on its own here.

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James and I tried the kit out the morning after celebrating a little too hard. We climbed Ben Nevis and may have overindulged on prosecco afterwards, and woke up feeling a little worse for wear. The Skin Hangover Kit contains two of both the single-use products, and plenty of the other two products so you can share it with your significant other, or a friend while you sip coffee and complain! The four products come inside a resealable packet, which means you could buy more of the single use products (both available separately, here for the mask and here for the eye gels) and restock the kit to bring with you if you’re going somewhere. I think it’s perfect for after a big night of celebration, such as a wedding, graduation, work party or housewarming, and I also think it would make a really nice bridesmaid gift, or something to put in your best friend’s bridal suit, perhaps a cheeky secret santa or even a going away to uni present! Get it here for £17.

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4 Easy Tips to Tackle Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin is the root of SO many skin issues, and it’s often completely overlooked because it can be hard to identify. Dehydrated skin can be dull, it can feel tight, it can be flaky, rough, papery lined and even spotty or oily. A lot of the time, when people think that there’s something weird going on with their skin, it’s just dehydration. The important thing about dehydration is to combat it with water instead of oil, which many people do without realising. So with that in mind, here are some really simple, easy to follow tips to treat dehydration:

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Drinking enough 💦 It may be pretty relentless advice, but it’s really important. When your body gets dehydrated your skin is the first part to stop receiving water. This is actually the reason that drinking water improves the skin – none of that ‘detox’ nonsense. The only way your body actually detoxifies itself is through the liver and kidneys – whilst drinking water is essential for supporting their functions, you can’t ‘flush away’ bad stuff in the skin. As I said, spots and oiliness can be caused by dehydration because the skin produces more oil to make up for the lack of water. So by giving your skin enough water, it helps it to stop overdoing the oil, therefore, spots and oiliness are gone! It has nothing to do with toxins. If you struggle to get enough water, get yourself a nice water bottle, and download an app like Plant Nanny to remind you.

Exfoliation! It’s really important to remove dead skin cells to allow your still-living cells to absorb all the skincare products you use. Plus, if you have dullness or flaky skin, exfoliation will help with that too. I think that chemical exfoliants (as opposed to scrubs) are better for dehydration because they tend to be less disruptive to the delicate layer of water and oil that protects the skin. I absolutely love my Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser which contains lactic acid, as well as Pixi Glow Tonic, and I’ve also recently fallen in love with Pixi Glow Peel Pads, although they are a much more advanced acid product so don’t go in all guns blazing with them. Two other longtime favourites are from Skyn Iceland – their Fresh Start Masks, and their Nordic Skin Peel Pads.

Hyaluronic acid. This is a naturally occurring part of the skin, it’s a jelly like substance that holds water. In skincare you need to have a combination of low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. Low molecular weight (aka micro hyaluronic or hyaluronic acid fragments) penetrates deeply unto the skin, and stimulates the skin’s production of high molecular weight HA. Applying high molecular weight HA directly to the skin absorbs only into the outer layers, which plumps up the skin, helps it to retain water and gives it a smooth appearance. For micro hyaluronic acid, a good serum is what you want – I love Caudalie Thirst Quenching Serum and Avene Hydrance Serum. Because of their texture, serums sink deeply into the skin to get ingredients where they need to be. And for macro hyaluronic acids try a toner or moisturiser – my favourites are Pixi Rose Tonic, Fresh Deep Hydration Toner and for a moistuirser, one of my true loves, Caudalie Moisturising Sorbet.

Sheet masks! All sheet masks have a hydrating effect in the skin, simply because the water in them gets absorbed by the skin while it’s on. If your skin is dehydrated, slapping a sheet mask on twice a week is the quickest and easiest way to sort it out. I absolutely love Tony Moly Sheet Masks, which you can get for SUPER cheap here (I use YesStyle a lot, you can trust them). Or Look Fantastic have a great range of sheet masks too, I LOVE the look of the Origins Hydrating Sheet Masks, they come in all kinds of versions like Jasmine, Orange and Rose.

I hope these tips are helpful for you – just remember that if your skin is playing up, and you aren’t sure what’s wrong with it, you should really consider the fact that it might be dehydrated. Adding more water to your skin can’t hurt, so always try these tips before moving onto a drastically different skincare routine!

 

January Beauty Favourites!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever done a monthly favourites post before, certainly not for a long time! But I thought it would be nice as I’ve been loving a few specific things this month; a combination of new discoveries and some old favourites.

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Lush Rosy Cheeks – I picked up a pot of one of my most beloved face masks this month and I’ve been loving it just as much as I always do. Rosy Cheeks is made with calamine and rose oil to calm the skin, as well as kaolin clay to draw out impurities. It’s fantastic because it does it all – deep cleanses the pores, calms irritation and nourishes the skin, thanks to the rose oil. My skin has been feeling a little more sensitive than usual this month so using a mask that comforts, calms and cleanses has been great. 

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask – I got the flu this month, and I had a few irritating stressful things to deal with as well. These things always give me spots, and I decided to use this gorgeous, calming, purifying mask to calm them down. It really worked, as it always does. This mask contains manuka honey which is like a holy grail skincare ingredient – it nourishes, calms, hydrates and is also antimicrobial so it’s perfect for clearing up spots. It feels gorgeous when it goes on, like a soft gel, and it smells divine too. Highly recommend! Read more about this miracle worker here.

Magic Organic Apothecary Green Balm – Ok ok, I picked a couple of spots and they got nasty. I was stressed! I applied my MOA Green Balm before bed to help them heal and prevent infection – and they healed perfectly. What a relief! This stuff is a total multitasker and I LOVE it. You can cleanse with it, use it on eczema, scrapes, all sorts of things. You can even gargle with it! Read more about it’s amazing healing properties here.

Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash – Urghhhhhhhh this STUFF. It’s SO GOOD. It smells like absolute heaven, a light orange blossom scent that’s refreshing but indulgent at the same time, and it leaves the skin velvety soft. No shower gel, body wash or even oil wash has ever made my skin feel so wonderfully soft. It’s the perfect way to make your shower time a little bit special. Get it on Glossier’s website here.

Byredo Inflorescence Eau De Parfum – This is an absolutely beautiful fragrance. It’s extremely unusual but also quite familiar – it really does smell exactly like a garden bursting with fragrant spring flowers. It’s basically the essence of spring and I love wearing it whenever I need a pick me up – I’ve been feeling a bit down with the cold weather and it has lifted my mood every time I wear it. Byredo are a very high quality brand and you’ll find their fragrances wonderfully long lasting and flattering.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Toner – When my skin was really bad, I tried just using my trusty Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion to moisturise, thinking that keeping it as simple as possible would work. But my skin was very dehydrated from the winter weather and I found that I needed something else. Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Toner turned out to be exactly what I needed – it’s rich in hyalurinic acid to hydrate and rose to soothe. I applied it like an essence rather than a toner (pressing it into my skin) and it was perfect. Read more here!

Hope you enjoyed this quick little look at the products I’ve been loving throughout January 🙂

The 17 cleansers I used in 2017!

2017 was a lot of things to me; the year I got married, the year I had a mental health breakdown, the year I quit my job to pursue a dream. But for me, 2017 was also The Year of Clean Skin. I couldn’t quite believe it as I was packing up my cosmetics when we moved house not long ago, and saw how many cleansers I was putting into a box. When I counted them James and I couldn’t quite believe it but I’d used 15 cleansers in one year! Adding the two new cleansers I tried after we moved house, I couldn’t resist writing mini reviews of each of them to look back, to mark the end of That Year, and the start of 2018!

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Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser – £40

Urghhhh I love this stuff. The light exfoliating action is perfect for removing pollution at the end of the day; essential if you’re working in one of the most polluted places in Europe, as I was for most of 2017.

Eve Lom Cleanser – £55

You can’t really argue with this product – it’s an extremely effective cleanser and I defy anyone not to love it. But the price, for heaven’s sake… listen friends. I’ve worked in the skincare industry for five years, and I’m here to tell you that there are limits to production costs. A cleanser never, ever needs to cost more than £30 because there is NOTHING you can put in one that would push the price beyond that! Especially not Eve Lom’s Cleanser. Looking at the ingredients I would estimate this probably cost a maximum of £5 to produce, if that. The tub is plastic and the main ingredient is the cheapest skincare ingredient on the market; mineral oil.

Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm – £20.50

I was SO surprised by how amazing this cleanser is. In my opinion it’s every bit as good as Eve Lom’s Cleanser, but even better because of it’s ethically sourced ingredients, cruelty free status and the fact that it’s less than half of the price of Eve Lom’s! This is also the ONLY makeup remover I’ve ever used where I didn’t feel the need to do a second cleanse afterwards, and it makes my skin radiant, soft and clear.

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Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser – £30

This is the best cleanser I used in 2017, hands down. I’ve been using it for about 4 years and despite changing cleansers constantly, I always, always come back to it. It’s just SO lovely. It leaves my skin perfectly balanced, SO comfortable, and all of my ‘best skin’ periods of time have been when I’ve been using this. I adore the smell, and the foamy texture too. I’ve never found a cleanser I love more than this one.

Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion – £10.50

I enjoy this 100% natural, super ethical cleanser for removing makeup, but it’s very oily so you absolutely have to double cleanse. It partners very well with Glossier Milky Jelly as a nighttime cleansing duo! It does remove eye makeup, but you might need to go back in with a micellar water to get the last of it. It was my favourite makeup remover until I discovered Trilogy Makeup Be Gone and Caudalie Cleansing Oil.

Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator – £20

Every time I put this on my skin I brace myself for an extremely uncomfortable experience – I can’t shake the idea that this extremely grainy, grapefruit scented scrub is going to rip the skin off my face. But it doesn’t, at all. Even though it feels like I’m rubbing creamy sand on my skin, every time I rinse it off, my skin is left feeling smooth and super calm! I love this scrub so much for its effectiveness. I don’t use it often, because I think it’s probably easy to overdo it, but when I do, ohhhh I love it.

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Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water£9, £15 or £19

I travelled loads this year and when I travel I love to use a micellar water instead of my usual cleanser because it means that a) I only need to bring one cleanser and b) different water types aren’t going to mess up my skin. Caudalie’s micellar is the only one that hasn’t irritated my skin in some way, and it’s very effective at removing makeup. Just remember to finish with a toner or facial water to remove the dregs of the cleanser!

Korres Olympus Tea Cleansing Cream – £15.30

I was sooo excited about this one; it’s full of antioxidants and is supposed to be great for removing pollution – a cheaper version of the Aesop Cleanser, perfect for someone who’s going freelance as I did this year! But it didn’t quite deliver. I love the smell and texture but I think the ‘pollution removal’ claim is just because the cleanser is quite harsh and strips the skin. I found that my skin got really dehydrated after a while of using. If your skin is oily though, I think you’d love it.

Garnier SkinActiv Micellar Gel Wash – £2.66

Good god this is a shit cleanser. It barely took ANY of my makeup off, let alone any dirt, pollution and grime as it claims to. It stung my eyes like you wouldn’t believe, comes from a crap mega-company and claims to have ‘soothing grape extract’ in it but it’s the second to last ingredient … avoid, my friends. I started using it to clean my makeup brushes and it wasn’t even good for that! This launched in 2017, so really, are we surprised that it sucks?

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Caudalie Foaming Cleanser – £15

This is a great cleanser for gently but very, very effectively deep cleansing the skin, especially good for people who get stress breakouts, which I did A LOT earlier in the year. If you’re getting stress breakouts you might not need a cleanser for acne-prone skin, just something gentle to keep your skin super clean without over-stripping it. This beautiful foam is absolutely the product for you.

Pacifica Cactus Revive Face Wash – £10

I picked this up in America on my honeymoon because hellooooo it’s got CACTUS in it. This year, I’ve really gotten into my plants because I really needed their soothing, air purifying, green goodness. And now that I’ve moved into a new, lighter place, my cacti are flourishing. So I was really excited to try this, and I do love it! The smell is very natural (it literally smells like the inside of a plant) and I absolutely adore the texture; it’s super thick, and turns into a very milky foam when you add water. I find it leaves my skin perfectly balanced too! It’s hard to get in the UK but I’m pretty sure Whole Foods sell it.

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Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil – £18

Yep I used a lot of Caudalie this year. Why? Because I worked for them until I quit to pursue my dreams! I loved the company and the people but my mental health was suffering so much and working a 9-5:30 in central London wasn’t doing me any favours. Anyway, this is one of my two favourite makeup removers, I love how easy it is to use. Caudalie’s founder created it as a replacement for makeup wipes (which are terrible for your skin and the environment), and I actually think that this oil is both quicker and easier to use than makeup wipes, and obviously WAY better for the skin.

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleanser – £19.50

This is a clay cleanser that is supposed to deeply cleanse all skin types. I found it ok, but just ok. It didn’t irritate my skin but I did find my skin was looking a bit lacklustre after using it, and it left my skin feeling like there was a weird residue on it. Don’t get it in your eyes either, oh my good god it stings.

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash – £16

I think this cleanser is probably aimed at slightly oilier skin types than mine, because when I used it my skin was left unbelievably tight and ended up flaking overnight. My partner who has oily skin didn’t like it either though, so perhaps it’s just a bit rubbish!

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Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser – £15

I couldn’t wait to try this and was on the website the second the UK site launched! I really like it, it’s very gentle and went perfectly with my recovery from my breakdown, where I was trying to make everything I did to myself as gentle as possible, because pretty much everything about me was run ragged. It’s so gentle and lovely to use; I think it’s perfect as a second cleanse or to use in the morning in the shower.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – £11.50

I think of this cleanser as a more watery version of Glossier Milky Jelly. It’s just as gentle, but slightly better at removing makeup – in fact, it can remove mascara and bb cream all by itself! I’m not wild about the cucumber smell but that’s just personal preference. I absolutely love the gel texture, and it leaves my skin perfectly balanced and soft.

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub – £23

This has been my regular exfoliator for about 3 years now. I love the thick gel texture, subtle plant-ish scent and very gentle exfoliating beads that get the job done without irritating or drying out my skin. Rich in coconut and aloe extracts, it hydrates the skin while you exfoliate. I love it, and could never be without it!

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So, there it is! All 17 cleansers I used in 2017. Not sure if I’ll manage to get up to 18 this year, but we shall see! 2017 was a rough year, but it’s little, enjoyable things that make your worst moments more bearable. Washing my face is a hugely important part of self care for me, and I’m very fortunate to be able to try out so many cleansers, so I can recommend (or recommend avoiding them) to you. Happy New Year!

 

The Winter Skincare Essentials

If the news is to be believed, it seems that this winter is going to be pretty brutal weather-wise. Personally I love bitingly cold winter weather, but I come from a family of people with skin that doesn’t react well to it – think heels and knuckles so dry they crack until they bleed. Because of this, I’ve had to pick up a few habits to survive the winter, and I thought it was time to share! Plus, we all know that when it’s dark and cold our mood can suffer. Self care and little indulgent rituals become even more important at this time of the year. So I’ve put together a little guide, starting with the products you need to get you through the winter, followed by a few little hacks and tips for dealing with cold-ravaged skin!

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Skincare products for the wintertime

More than one of your favourite lip balm – Keep them everywhere, by your bed, in your bag, your coat pocket, your socks, wherever. Being without your lipbalm is just not worth the pain and suffering. I love Hurraw! Coconut Lip Balm which is raw, vegan, smells nice and melts onto the lips instantly. I cannot stand the chunky, vaseline feeling of mineral oil lipbalms and if you feel the same way, I highly recommend this one!

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A good, fast absorbing hand cream – Having a hand cream that absorbs quickly means you will be more inclined to reapply frequently. If you have to sit with sticky hands for ages after applying, you’re much less likely to break out the hand cream throughout the day, which means that your hands are going to get dry and crispy much sooner than if you had a light, pleasant hand cream to use. Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream is the fastest absorbing hand cream I have ever used, it smells amazing and it’s seriously effective too. This is one you won’t be able to stop applying!

An extremely thick balm – Of course, even if you are good at reapplying hand cream, sometimes the cold weather is going to get to your hands, or other parts of your body, and dry them out, especially if you’re outdoorsy or have naturally dry skin. When this happens it’s a good idea to have a gorgeously thick balm on hand to protect, nourish and soothe. Weleda Skin Food is the ultimate multipurpose balm if you ask me. There are other great ones, like Antipodes Saviour Balm, Trilogy Everything Balm and MOA Green Balm, but Skin Food really is the best. Apply to dry hands (and dry anything else too, even your hair and face) before bed and everything will be better by morning. A multipurpose balm also comes in handy when you get a cold or the flu – for soothing a tissue-ravaged nose!

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A facial oil – Lots of people will switch to a heavier moisturiser in the winter, but I’m not convinced that’s the best course of action. Your skin type doesn’t actually change with the weather, and for me at least, using a richer cream leads to blocked pores and spots even if it does prevent dry patches and redness initially. I prefer to ward off dryness with ‘treatment’ products rather than permanent replacements so I can use them whenever I need to. A facial oil is perfect for this – they last for a long time if stored right, and they have the added benefit of soothing the skin along with protecting, nourishing and hydrating. I absolutely love Jurlique Balancing Facial Oil (particularly amazing for sensitive skin and smells heavenly), Korres Brightening Facial Oil (really does give you a radiant complexion!) and Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil, (brightens the skin and can even be used by people with spots) which are all aimed at normal to combination skin like mine so aren’t too heavy, but are still super nourishing. If your skin is naturally on the drier side, try Trilogy Rosehip Oil + Antioxidant, or Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil, both a little rich for me but absolutely beautiful for drier skins! I also like Pure Potions Salvation Oil but I can’t find it to buy anywhere else apart from their website so there might be shipping charges there.

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A moisturising mask – Again, like with the face oil, having a moisturising mask on hand for days where your skin feels super rough and tight is a great way to nourish your skin, but also protect and soothe it from the irritation of being dry. A nourishing mask is perfect for this, and I absolutely love Caudalie Moisturising Mask which contains grape seed oil and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and nourish whilst strengthening the skin too. I wouldn’t say you definitely need both – a mask or an oil will suffice, but I wanted to add them both since they do have different qualities. You can also apply a really thin layer of this particular mask when you go outdoors to help protect your skin from chapping.

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A gentle cleanser – Over cleansing and stripping your skin of its natural oils becomes a much easier trap to fall into in the winter. If your skin gets dull, dry and rough, don’t be tempted to slough it away with a rough exfoliator or cleanser. Often, the skin can become more sensitive in the winter, so make sure you’re treating it nicely. I love Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm for removing makeup, and Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser for washing my face.

A gorgeous body oil – Just the same as for the face, except there’s even more of a self-care element to it. After you get out of your bath or shower, apply your body oil all over and snuggle into bed, preferably with some cosy jammies, a hot water bottle and a couple of extra blankets. The act of massaging the oil in, enjoying it’s gorgeous scent, and waking up with silky soft skin is one of my favourite things to do in winter. Just try to make sure you apply it in a warm room! My current favourite body oil is Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Treatment, but you can see a wider variety of my faves here too.

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A restorative bath soak – Essential for several reasons! Baths warm the heart and soul and are a perfect way to counteract a chilly day. They lift the mood, calm the mind and relax the muscles. They are also fantastic for the sinuses! I absolutely love a good bath product, I’m not so fussed about bubble baths and prefer oils, salts and soaks; they’re richer in natural plant and herbal extracts because they don’t have a a cleansing base or soap or surfactants like a bubble bath does. I always shower quickly before a bath (yes, you should do this) and wash myself, so I don’t need soap in the bath itself. My absolute  favourites at the moment are definitely Olverum Bath Oil, but it is prohibitively expensive so when I run out I will buy from the much more reasonably priced ranges of Weleda and Kneipp Bath Soaks.

Winter skincare tips and tricks

  • If you’re pushed for budget, or just don’t want to buy too much, I would suggest that instead of buying a facial oil, mask and balm, just go for Weleda Skin Food instead because not only can you can use it on your face as a night treatment, you can also use it to protect your skin from harsh weather, and it can double up as a mask!

 

  • Always exfoliate before applying your face or body oil, and never exfoliate unless you’re going to apply an oil afterwards. This will ensure you remove the rough patches of skin that can build up in the wintertime without actually making them worse by drying your skin out.

 

  • If you’re spot prone but still get winter dryness and dehydration, use a very small amount of your nourishing balm only on the dry patches (in a similar way to how you might apply an on-the-spot treatment gel for a blemish) to avoid clogging up the rest of your pores. Focus more on the hydration side of skincare too – think hydrating serums, sheet masks, moisturisers…while many people can get away with just protecting their skin with oils, you have to take the more difficult route of perfecting your skin’s hydration instead.

 

  • Avoid using mineral oil based products unless you are specifically looking to apply a thick, protective layer over your skin. Mineral oil does absolutely nothing but create a layer that prevents water and oil loss.

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  • If your forehead gets irritated by wearing a woollen hat all the time, try soothing it with a calming facial mist instead of scratching it. It might feel weird to spray a traditionally summer-time product in the middle of the winter, but you’ll feel so much relief afterwards that you won’t care! I would recommend Avene Thermal Water or Caudalie Grape Water for this, as they are the two that I personally find the most soothing, and they come in travel sizes. My absolute favourite would be Glossier Soothing Mist but that only comes in a big size!

 

  • If your body skin is getting dry, rough and itchy, try this to help relieve it. Take a square of cotton (muslin is best but you can use anything as long as it isn’t heavily dyed) and pile half a cup of oats into the centre of it. Tie it up with whatever you have, could be string, an elastic band or a hair bobble, then drop it into a warm (not hot) bath. Soak in the milky water and let it calm and soothe your skin. If you have any raw shea or cocoa butter then you can put a a teaspoon or so in the pouch as well, to nourish and hydrate the skin while you bathe.

 

I hope this helps you and your skin survive the winter! Wrap up warm! x

 

How To Exfoliate Sensitive Skin

When your skin is delicate, easily irritated or frequently tight and uncomfortable, it can be tempting to avoid exfoliation all together. If you have a medical condition that affects your facial skin, like eczema or rosacea, you might be right to avoid it. However you just have sensitive, delicate skin, not only are you really missing out, you might even find that exfoliating helps your skin to become less reactive! Yes indeed – removing all that dead skin can better allow your natural skin oil and your added moisturisers to work better, which has an amazingly soothing effect on sensitive skin.

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However, there are a few secrets to successful exfoliating when you have sensitive skin. The first is to pick the right kind of exfoliator. Chemical exfoliators, scrubs, face brushes and sponges are all popular ways to slough away dead skin, but for delicate skin you have to choose carefully. Personally I would avoid exfoliating sponges like konjac sponges because they create a lot of friction, even with a creamy product on them. They feel lovely, but I find my skin to be red and irritated after using them, and not very well exfoliated. Face brushes like the Magnitone or Clarisonic are a good option but they are expensive and it’s hard to know whether or not your skin will get on with one. Unfortunately they don’t make testers of these, so it’s a bit of a risky investment whenyou have temperamental skin! Chemical exfoliators can be a good option but you must be very, very careful with them. I’ve written a post already about how to use a chemical exfoliator when you have sensitive skin, you can read it here.

Finally, we get to scrubs. I find that when you choose the right scrub, they are the easiest, most convenient way to exfoliate delicate skin. You can easily control how deeply you exfoliate by the way you use it; how much of it, when, where, and even how you massage it onto the skin. I thought I’d tell you about my favourites and then give you a few general tips and tricks on using them; that way even if you find a different scrub that you’d prefer, you can still benefit from these exfoliation hacks for sensitive skin!

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Caudalie Gentle Buffing Cream – £20

This is undoubtedly the richest scrub I have ever come across – the thick, creamy consistency contains small jojoba beads to very gently lift away dead skin and grime. The thickness of the cream protects delicate skin from the exfoliating particles, making it super gentle! It contains grape seed oil and honey to hydrate and soothe the skin, and it’s also perfect for dry skin types because of it’s nourishing, oil based formula. Tip: If you really want the gentlest exfoliation possible, try mixing a scrub with a creamy cleanser (like Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk). I was amazed the first time I tried this – I was expecting it to achieve absolutely nothing! But my skin was left super soft, clean and nourished. Get it here

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub – £23

This is my favourite scrub ever. It’s not quite as gentle as the other two, but I only exfoliate twice a week so my skin can tolerate it really well. The exfoliating particles are made from finely ground palm seeds, and the super-thick gel texture creates a buffer between the granules and yours skin, meaning that they aren’t nearly as abrasive as theysound. The gel itself is very calming and hydrating, it’s an aloe and coconut base infused with gingko and green tea. It smells utterly delightful, and leaves the skin perfectly clean and unbelievably soft. Tip: if there are areas of your skin that are more sensitive than others, try using your exfoliator only the places that actually need it – for me that’s places like my hairline, jawline and nose, whilst I tend to avoid my cheeks which are very delicate. Get it here

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – £48

This is a total cult product, and I absolutely love it. It comes out as a powder that you apply to wet skin, where it transforms into a beautiful milk with very soft exfoliating granules. It contains a whole host of exfoliating ingredients, including rice enzymes and papain as well as salicylic acid. There’s also gingko, colloidal oatmeal (which you can totally smell when you use it!) and green tea to soothe the skin as you exfoliate. I know so many people with sensitive skin who love this, and I have never had an issue with it because the exfoliating enzymes are rinsed off (I can’t use any of them in products you leave on, but my skin loves them here). Tip: Massage your exfoliator in small, slow circles over your skin, applying light pressure. This means that your scrub will be less abrasive, because you will reduce the amount of friction between the granules and your skin, but it will still be just as effective. Get it here

I hope you found this little guide to exfoliating sensitive skin helpful! Let me know if you have any questions, or your own holy grail scrub to recommend!

Trilogy Mineral Radiance Mask

There are so many  bad and important things going on in the world at the moment that I’ve been finding it really hard to think or talk about beauty recently. There have been a few stressful things going on in my life that my skin hasn’t taken to very well, and with the added stress of the absolutely dreadful events tearing through nearly every corner of the world, I was recently treated to a horrendous stress-breakout over my chin and right cheek. It was really painful, and impossible to cover. So I absolutely had to share with you my saviour, Trilogy Mineral Radiance Mask*

*PR Sample; all opinions given are my own

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Trilogy is a 100% natural, cruelty free and vegetarian brand. This product is also vegan, and Trilogy’s ingredients support ethical trading by having a traceable supply chain. They work with worker collectives, non-profits, the UN, and even directly employ their their own supplier for their bestselling rosehip oil. For a worldwide brand, this is very impressive if you ask me. You know when you’re reading the ‘ethical statement’ of a brand and you can tell (perhaps it’s just from working in the beauty industry for 5 years, I don’t know) that they’re manipulating words, trying to convince you that they are far more ethical than they actually are? Trilogy are the opposite.

They hold themselves to a genuinely high standard and it’s inspiring. Their prices are honest too; the mask that I’m about to (I promise, we’ll get there) tell you about is £20.50, which is a good, honest price for a brand with great ethical trading standards, top quality ingredients and lots of research behind it. Anyway, sorry. If I was a more business-minded person my dream would be to work as an Ethical Trading Manager so I tend to get carried away on brands that really do the work! On to the Mineral Radiance Mask

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The mask has a super thick, buttery smooth consistency that spreads gorgeously over the skin. It doesn’t really dry out so if your skin is delicate or dehydrated you don’t need to worry about it being uncomfortable, and it rinses off really easily. The main ingredient is kaolin clay which is a sticky, fine type of clay that attracts ‘surface debris’ like dead skin and excess oil (from inside the pores). This helps restore radiance to dull complexions but also helps to reduce breakouts by deep cleansing the pores. There’s also rosehip oil in there; Trilogy is famous for its Organic Rosehip Oil (I still haven’t tried it but I know so many people who love it!) which is a light oil that helps to regenerate, calm and soften all skin types. Pohutukawa extract (a native New Zealand plant) helps to tone the skin, whilst aloe vera gel, chamomile and sweet almond oil soothe and hydrate. Finally, detoxifying carrot and rosemary oils are great for microcirculation and skin repair.

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I find that after I use Mineral Radiance Mask, my skin feels incredibly fresh, looks far brighter and is really soft. And after using it regularly for a couple of weeks, my breakouts dried up and completely disappeared, with no new ones taking their place. My skin is quite sensitive but it absolutely loves this mask! However, it contains essential oils and salicylic acid so if you have allergic skin or eczema, I would avoid. Every other skin type though, I think would really benefit from it. It gets rid of dead skin cells, deep cleanses, soothes and hydrates whilst also being kind to the planet and its inhabitants. What’s not to love? Get it here for £20.50