Latest Skin Care Loves

I’m not one to experiment much with skin care.

My skin has been tricky to handle since I was about 12 years old with stubborn acne all throughout adulthood which could mostly only be treated with medication. Now that its clear at the age of 30 (fingers crossed!) I tend to stick with what I know works for me and not irritate my skin too much. Read more about this here.

That being said, every once in while I do try ‘safe products’ (i.e. those that probably won’t bring about spots, such as a cleanser or a moisturizer in my case), which brings me to two new amazing products I’ve tried lately:

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner

As my t-zone tends to get greasy at times, I was on the look out for an effective, yet non-irritating toner that could tackle the oiliness. Upon stumbling in The Body Shop for a gift for a friend, this caught my eye.

Tea Tree oil, known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties intrigued me as that seemed like a good solution to addressing oily skin and the bacteria that brings about the formation of spots in the first place.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearning Mattifying oner

 

I noticed a very positive reaction to this quite early on in using it. At first, it did make my skin tingle a bit, but after a couple of applications that sensation completely went. I use this twice daily and apply it in circular, upward motion all on my face and leave it to dry before proceeding with moisturizer.

Caution: Do not use this on the sensitive eye area and on broken or irritated skin!

I just love the fresh feeling it brings about! The small is lovely and really does dry out the excess oil without making the skin flaky and dull.

Yes to Blueberries Fine Lines & Wrinkles Face & Neck Oil

This next product is something very new to me. Using oil on skin that can oily and prone to breakouts? That sounded quite scary to me! However, I decided to give it a shot and just loved the results.

Yes to Blueberries Face & Neck Oil

One of the prescribed medications I take for me skin is a gel that can really dry out the skin. Whilst that’s great for controlling acne, it can leave the skin looking dry and irritated, especially in cold weather.

I use this around 1-2 times weekly and only before going to bed and it does make the skin look like a greasy disco ball! That being said, by the morning all oil would have been absorbed and left my skin looking extremely healthy and youthful.

I got this from Beauty Bay¬†should any of you be interested to try this ūüôā

What about you? Have you tried these products, or what’s been working for you lately? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

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Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty Face Mask

Unfortunately I don’t have perfect skin.

I’m prone to breakouts, particularly around that time of the month and also during times of stress (which happens often with work!)

So because of this, I’m always on the look out for new products that can help make my skin look and feel better. The thing is, most of the time, not many work out as my skin is always very sensitive and doesn’t agree with most new products! Great isn’t it?!

However, one of the few great products I’ve found is this one –¬†Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty: a peppermint face and body mask that helps to fight eruptions and breakouts, and bring¬†your skin back to tip top condition!

Lush's Mask of Magnaminty

Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty

A 125g pot of fresh peppermint goodness!

This mask not only smells wonderful but feels fantastic on the skin. It’s super cooling and invigorating. So, whilst also calming the skin of any redness or outbreaks, I find it also works wonders at waking me up and feeling refreshed if I’m feeling drained after a long work week.

It’s a¬†thick, grainy paste that spreads onto the skin quite easily and instantly makes the skin feel refreshed. This can be left on for around 5-10 minutes and will start to dry up quite a bit by that time. Only a slight tightening sensation is felt so you can still hold a conversation and not flake everywhere!

Before rinsing off, it is recommended that you scrub the skin (which is why it’s a grainy paste) so it’s also exfoliating the skin at the same time.

Once washed off, the skin appears extremely fresh, awake and renewed. My difficult skin looks alive again and any dullness has disappeared. It helps to calm down any redness and leaves the skin feeling nice and smooth.

Really love this and can’t wait to get trying more of these lovely products from Lush!

Have you tried this? What do you think of Lush products? (I don’t have it in my country)

 

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Natural Deodorants – A Healthier & More Effective Alternative?

For the past year or so, I have really been into exploring other options for antiperspirants. I am aware that there is a lot of controversy on the dangers of such products and their link to breast cancer so I won’t go into it in a lot of detail.

Nevertheless, after someone in my family had an unfortunate diagnosis, I decided it was time to make the switch anyway. So, no more antiperspirants and now, on to deodorants that are as natural as possible.

Hold on though. It’s also the case that so many deodorants are filled with certain aluminium-containing ingredients that are not always healthy. It’s so hard finding good, honest products isn’t it?

To top this all off, I also live in a very hot country where good under arm protection is definitely a must. I am extremely fussy when it comes to any under arm products as even though I make like the smell in the tub, most of the time, I just hate how it reacts with my skin and body odour.

However, over the past few months from all that I have tried, these have been the best:

Sanex Natur Protect Deodorant

Sanex Natur Protect Roll-on Deodorant

Sanex Natur Protect Roll-on Deodorant

This smells just lovely when opened and doesn’t alter its scent once applied, and after a couple of hours either. On the hottest of days (approx 35 degrees Celsius), it keeps me feeling well protected, however obviously by the end of the day there is definitely the need for an additional shower. However, in winter time (approx 16 degrees Celcius) you’re left feeling fresh all day. This is to be applied like any other roll-on and needs to dry before dressing. Got this from my local supermarket.

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Steareth-2, Potassium Alum, Cyclopentasiloxane, Steareth-21, Parfum, Potassium Alum, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Talc and BHT. It also contains no alcohol, parabens or aluminium chlorohydrate. 

From research that I have carried out, Potassium Alum and Talc also may not be the very best of ingredients however is still a better alternative than antiperspirants. What are your thoughts on this?

Lush's 'The Greeench' Deodorant Powder

Lush’s ‘The Greeench’ Deodorant Powder

Lush’s ‘The Greeench’ Deodorant Powder

I am quite new to this but liked it instantly. It’s a powder which was also something new for me. To apply, you just put some in the palm of your hand and then press it on your under arm. It doesn’t fall off and make a mess everywhere as I was expecting to happen! It instantly clings to the skin and is quickly absorbed. No fuss or mess.

The strong T3 oil scent is evident once opened, but smells nice and fresh on the skin and not at all irritating.

Like the previous deodorant, this kept me feeling quite fresh for most of the day on the hottest of days. However, once again, there is still the need for another shower at the end of the day. As I have only tried this recently, I cannot say how it would perform exactly in winter, but given its effectiveness in the summer time, I’m quite sure this would leave one feeling clean all day.

Ingredients: Talc , **Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Trisilicate, Lycopodium Powder, **Fragrance, Water (Aqua), Thyme Oil (Thymus zygis), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis pierre), Powdered Sage (Salvia Officinalis), Powdered Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Powdered Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), *Limonene ,*Linalool , Chlorophyllin . *Occurs naturally in essential oils. Made with natural ingredients and safe synthetics** Also not tested on animals.

Again, talc is featured here. Whilst a search in Google states that this is not a healthy ingredient to be found in a deodorant, the Lush website classifies this as a natural ingredient.

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

This Crystal stick works like a miracle. It is seriously impressive. This one in particular is completely odourless in the tub and also when applied and needs to be moistened with water to work and then applied to clean skin.

This claims to be made of mineral salts (Ammonium Alum is the only ingredient) and eliminates body odours by leaving an invisible protective barrier against odour-causing bacteria.

I apply this early morning, and by then evening, on the hottest of days¬†and even after a training session I am still smelling clean. This is really amazing but to be honest, I’m not sure how this can be possible, especially in heatwave temperatures! (40 deg Cel). Despite this uncertainty, ¬†I have to admit, I love this! I got this from mypure.co.uk.

Another controversy arises here though. From research carried out, Ammonium Alum is a healthy product, yet I have come across criticism on this product in particular.

The question is, what sources of information do we believe? How can we really know for sure if manufacturers or websites are honest? What can we do to look after our health in a way that isn’t damaging? I’d love to hear your opinions on this.

 

As a side note: I do not sweat excessively unless I am doing a really intense workout, however I have noticed that certain self-tanners do make my BO a little bit stronger so this was taken into consideration when reviewing the products.

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Sampling Chanel

Recently, I made a couple of beauty purchases for a friend of mine. Along with the bag of beautiful goodies, I got some lovely product samples of Chanel – at least something that I could try out! ūüėČ

I’m not really one to indulge in such expensive skin care. As my skin is a bit particular about what products agree with it, I tend to stick with what I know. However, trying these samples out was a great way to test the waters with something new for a change.

Sampling Chanel

Sampling Chanel

Before heading off to the skin care, let’s talk about the absolutely gorgeous perfume that came with them – Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle.¬†I can’t say how many times I’ve seen this around so I was quite excited to try it out.

The scent is just wonderful, but very heavy so definitely more suitable for evening use. I describe it as more of a mature scent due to its musky and heavily-bodied composition. It oozes sophisticated and leaves a strong, but not irritating smell that lasts for quite a few hours.

I really liked this but would probably not buy it as I tend to prefer slightly lighter and ‘fresher’ scents.

Sampling Chanel

Sampling Chanel

Now on to skin care!

The Chanel Hydration Protection Radiance Eye Gel (that’s a mouthful!) is a light white gel that very quickly sinks into the skin. It leaves a bit of a¬†warming sensation under the eye area so it may not be ideal for people with very sensitive skin. Note of caution: If this gets in the eyes it will seriously sting! I quite liked this however I prefer more cooling eye gels as opposed to warming ones which can be a bit irritating.

Lastly, the Skin Renewer cream. I was definitely excited to try this out as I never actually tired out creams like this РI usually go for facial scrubs instead so it was a nice change. A very lightweight, white cream that blends in effortlessly and leaves a lovely cooling sensation on the skin. I applied this on less than perfect skin, and I lie to you not РI woke up the next day with much improved looking skin.

For those who may not know, I recently tried a new facial wash that caused me to break out and have been battling with this for a couple of weeks now. This cream has really helped to drastically improve my appearance of my skin over the past couple of days. Definitely one that I will keep on trying and probably re purchase once finished.

Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts on Chanel skin care? Is it worth it or over-priced?

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Skin & Body Products from Yves Rocher

I just love trying out new body and bath products! So when my boyfriend’s mum and a friend got me these lovely products from Yves Rocher for my birthday, I was thrilled to get to try them out. Whilst body products are fine, I am however a bit hesitant about trying new facial cleansers as I always seem to break out whenever I do. That being said, I decided to give everything a go.

Face & Body Products from Yves Rocher

Face & Body Products from Yves Rocher

My friend got me the set on the left which comprises of a facial cleanser, scrub, micellar water and a body scrub. The set on the right from my boyfriend’s mum contained a deliciously fruity shower gel and body lotion as well as a cute pink loofah ball.

Face & Body Products from Yves Rocher

Face & Body Products from Yves Rocher

Onto more detail on these lovely products:

Organic Raspberry Shower Gel: An intense fruity scent of gorgeous raspberries! Smells a bit like a jelly to me! It’s scent is so invigorating and refreshing – I just love this for these hot summer days. Along with the loofah ball, it lathers up like a dream.

Organic Raspberry Body Moisturiser:¬†I just can’t get over how delicious this smells! It’s one of those products that you just want to it! It’s smells kind of like a yoghurt drink lol. Super light to the touch and absorbs onto the skin instantly, it leaves your skin feeling hydrated without any sticky feeling.

The fact that these two products are organic is also a fantastic bonus.

Face & Body Products from Yves Rocher

Face & Body Products from Yves Rocher

Now onto the other set:

Purifying Micellar Water 2-in-1: I was so glad to see this as I’d been hearing so much about micellar waters but never tried them out. Essentially these are a subtle form of cleansers and in fact are not toners, as I was thought to believe. This is great to use after your regular cleanser and does not leave the skin feeling dry or itchy at all. It gently and effectively removes any left over make up and has a lovely aloe scent to it that’s so soothing and refreshing.

Organic Aloe Vera Body Scrub: I am super obsessed with this! After using home made body scrubs for so long, I think this made me realise how nice shop-bought ones are too (although home made ones are just as good). I love the aloe vera scent this has as it’s extremely refreshing and invigorating! Gently exfoliates dad skin cells and leaves the skin looking nice and fresh.

Purifying Face Scrub: I really like this one too. Containing baikal powder, it’s a thick pasty scrub, that’s not too harsh and exfoliates the skin and moisturises it simultaneously. This worked well on my sensitive and acne-prone skin without any irritation at all.

Purifying Cleansing Gel: Also with baikal powder, this facial cleansing gel smells absolutely wonderful. However, unfortunately, as expected this made me break out ūüė¶ I don’t think there is anything wrong with the product itself – it’s just my skin, it seems to resist any new facial cleansers (which is why I am still using the same cleanser since I was like 14! read here)

Despite the facial cleanser not working out, I am super happy with all the other products and really enjoying the fruity and refreshing aloe scents they have.

What body and face products are you using this summer?

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Refreshing Rose Water

Rose water has once again become a staple in my daily skin care routine.

Having used it frequently many years ago, I somehow just stopped. However, I was recently reminded about it from the lovely Stephie Estie in one of her posts a couple of weeks back. I rushed out to buy one again and quickly fell in love with toners once more.

The one I’m currently using is the rose water from Roberts as it was the first very one I ever tried and grew up watching my mother use it.

Roberts Rose Water

Roberts Rose Water

Packaging & Benefits

The Italian packaging on this royal blue plastic bottle (300ml) essentially states that applying the product on cotton pads after cleansing will help refresh and tone the skin, close pores and prevent against any redness or irritations on even the most sensitive of skins.

I find that not only does it help with all this, but it also effectively removes any remaining make up that I may still have after cleansing. It’s also very handy for cleansing the neck and behind the ears – despite having a shower beforehand, I find it surprising at how much make up still remains, particularly on the neck!

Best of all, I love the cooling and refreshing feeling this leaves on the skin!

Did you know?¬†This rose tonic water is made from the¬†Centiflora rose petal and distilled in spring water, which probably explains why it’s so delicate on the skin.

Application & Scent

This is best applied after the skin has been cleansed and before moisturiser is applied. It’s subtle and soothing scent of roses will leave your skin feeling refreshed and smooth without any dryness or tightening of the skin.

Price

Retailing at a modest¬†‚ā¨2.00 it’s definitely worth a try.

Conclusion

Having used this for the last couple of weeks, I can definitely say that I’m glad to be using it again. It makes my skin feel a lot cleaner without any harshness and leaves a nice refreshing feeling.

Are then any others that you can recommend?

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How I Keep My Skin Clear: Post Acne

From ages 12 till 26, I constantly struggled and battled with my skin.

What contributed to this was definitely my hormones and this was¬†causing me to constantly break out, mostly in the chin area and¬†sometimes on the forehead. Every period, I’d get more and more spots, they’d clear up slightly afterwards, but then the next one would start and new spots would appear and the vicious cycle continued.

To cut a long story, in those 12 years I had numerous appointments with my GP and Dermatologist and tried it all: about 3 different kinds of birth control about 6 different times, Retinol creams, a very strong dose of Decutan – twice, numerous facial treatments and skin care products. You name it, I tried it.

On the bright side, today I can say that I have been spot free (apart from the occasional one here and there) for about 3 years and have developed good skin care habits along the way.

Skin care is very personal, but one thing I’ve learnt through this, is to just keep things simple. In actual fact, the skin doesn’t need much at all. In fact, less is better as using too much may irritate it and cause more harm than good. It’s easy to get caught up in all the fancy products available, but you’ll be doing your skin a big favour by just using what is necessary.

We all use different products that work well for us, but for¬†those of you have have acne or spot-prone skin, you might want to look into these products. These have worked brilliantly for me and have never let me down. I swear by them, and have been recommended to me by all the GP’s and dermatologist’s I’ve been to.

Face Products for Acne Prone Skin

Face Products for Acne Prone Skin

  • Cleanser:¬†La Roche-Posay; Effaclar

This is a¬†soap-free (pH 5.5), purifying foaming gel made with thermal spring water, for oily and sensitive skin that’s specifically suited for people and acne prone skin.

I love this cleanser as it removes dirt and make up extremely well without needing to use much product. It also makes the skin feel truly clean without drying it too much or making the skin tighten. That being said, as this is meant to combat oilness it will dry it out a bit, but if used with a good moisturiser (as recommended) you shouldn’t suffer from much dryness.

Another plus point is that this is colourant, alcohol and paraben-free.

A 200ml bottle costs about¬†‚ā¨10.80 and lasts for ages. I use this twice a day, every day and it lasts a good 7 months on average. This can be bought off the shelf from¬†any pharmacy.

  • Moisturiser: La Roche-Posay; Nutritic Intense

When using the above mentioned cleanser, it’s important to supplement with a good moisturiser as some dryness may occur.¬†Nutritic Intense relieves¬†dry to very dry skin and although this sounds like a very thick cream, it’s actually quite light and will not make your skin too oily.

It’s important to note that moisturising is extremely important even though your skin may be oily or¬†spot prone. The trick is using the right product, and this is specifically for problem skin.

This too is paraben-free.

A 50ml tube costs about¬†‚ā¨16, and this too lasts for ages – not as long as the cleanser will, but a little goes a long way. This can also be bought off the shelf from any pharmacy.

  • Spot Targeting & Oil Control: Differin¬†

This gel is fantastic – it’s perfect for controlling excess oil and minimizing spots.

However, before I continue, I do have to tell you that, at least where I’m from, this can¬†only be purchased with a doctor’s prescription.¬†Even if you can get this without one from where you’re from, please do speak to a doctor beforehand for precautionary measures.¬†

As this gel is so effective, it can also be extremely drying, however if using a good moisturiser then you should not experience any problems. How often you use this is dependant on your skin condition, however it is generally recommended that you use it at night.

Apart from keeping your skin spot free, it also helps to reduce pores and gives your skin a nice, smooth feeling, similar to that of exfoliation.

A 30ml tube costs about¬†‚ā¨13 and lasts for ages as only a very small amount needs to be applied.¬†Caution: this must not be applied near the eyes.

To Conclude…

I am aware that everyone’s skin is different, however if you do have acne prone skin, I do recommend trying these out. That being said, getting advice from your doctor is always more advisable. However, these have worked extremely well for me, so if you’re interested in trying them out, do speak to a GP or a dermatologist about them.

Do keep in mind though that acne can be caused by many different things. Mine was hormonal and stress related, so if you feel that you are in a similar position, and want to ask for more information, just get in touch for more details or bring these up with your doctor to see if these can help you out.