#JanuaryJoy: Get serious about your skin

I thought about calling this post, ‘get serious about anti-aging‘ but skin care is important at any age however you choose to address it. My particular angle this year is towards investing in the future… at almost 32 I feel it might be time to acknowledge that ubiquitous beauty industry term, ‘anti-aging’. Scary.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel I have suddenly aged in the last year. I’m very lucky and still don’t have any greys (yet!) but I do feel my skin has changed. It’s not quite as plump and fresh looking as it once was and I can’t help but feel that a lot of that is down to my own laziness.

I’ve fallen into the trap of using facial wipes each night, rarely moisturising, unless my skin is actually flaking off and the same goes for exfoliating. One improvement I have made, as of Christmas however, is to start using a serum (something I vowed to find last year) and so I thought I’d share some skin care recommendations that I’ll be endeavouring to follow…

  1. If you have to use a facial wipe (and let’s face it, a facial wipe will always trump sleeping with your make up on,) these are my new favourite. I picked them up in Glasgow when I forgot my usual cleanser and was pleasantly surprised. They’re neither greasy nor drying and don’t strip your skin, plus they’re kind to eyes when removing stubborn mascara. I keep mine in my bedside table 😉 Johnsons Skincare Make Up Be Gone refresher wipes £3.29
  2. Last year, to save money I left my beloved Eve Lom behind and worked through some of my old cleansers to use them up. Now I feel like I deserve the deep clean and daily sloughing off of dead cells that Eve Lom gives and its soothing oils, so I’ll be splurging on this queen of cleansers again. Eve Lom Cleanser 100ml £55
  3. This is hands down the best exfoliator I’ve ever used. Super smoothing and brightening, I use it 1-2 times weekly for the best wake up to your skin you could ask for. Boots No.7 Total renewal Microdermabrasion exfoliator £11
  4. My hard and fast rule for moisturisers (and anti-aging) is that they must contain SPF. I find this one is strong enough for winter dryness but non-greasy and smells lovely while protecting my skin. A Perfect World SPF 25 £35
  5. Lastly, the super serum. This one gets a lot of hype, especially after its recent reformulation and release. I got a sample a few months back and fell in love with it. It has a lovely texture and whilst I’m never going to be the sort of person who actually believes it will make my skin younger to erase wrinkles, it definitely improved the texture and quality of my skin so I asked for a full size bottle for Christmas and am crossing my fingers for miracles! Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II £48

So readers – do you have any skin care resolutions or products that you have discovered and want to share. I;d love to hear any recommendations (or confessions if you’re a face wipe user too!)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy – Home Spa

I perhaps should have run this earlier in the month as it is definitely in the ‘budget friendly’ category of January’s activities but I also think it nicely rounds out the outside of your body in a month where so much emphasis is placed on improving the inside.

Home Spa January Joy
Image Credit

I was a late-comer to the concept of spa-days and still hesitate to splash out due to the cost, but I have since being a teenager set aside evenings at home to completely switch off, buff, polish and smooth myself into a state of complete relaxation and then slip into bed early to re-charge.

Here are my 5 easy steps to the perfect DIY home spa experience.

  1. Set the atmosphere. First and foremost, make sure the temperature is right, it’s simply not relaxing getting down to your birthday suit in a draughty house. Light a couple of scented candles, make sure you have towels warming on the radiator, a cover up or dressing gown and a magazine to hand if you wish. You might even want to play some music then start running your bath.
  2. Start at the top. Remove your make up (and nail polish if you’ll have time to paint your nails too) and then cleanse again for super clean skin. Pat your face dry then exfoliate (I use No.7 micro-dermabrasion exfoliator) and dry again. Lastly, apply a face mask to give it time to work while you are in the bath.
  3. Let your skin soften in the bath first then exfoliate. If you need to shave, do it after exfoliating. I prefer body scrubs with an oil base (like this one,) as they add extra softness to the skin. Exfoliate your entire body from the collarbone down, focusing on dry patches like elbows and heels and problem areas like the back of arms or waxed areas. Then do nothing else, just wallow. Read a magazine if you must.
  4. Extract yourself from the bath before the water gets cold and dry off, then slather yourself in moisturizer from top to toe. Gently wipe or peel off your face mask and moisturise your face.
  5. Wrap yourself up in a big fluffy dressing gown or your favourite pyjamas and either head straight to bed with a good book or to the sofa with a chick flick.

(You can incorporate a hair mask into this routine, washing your hair as soon as you get into the bath and applying it while you soak, but I find the hassle of blow drying afterwards negates the relaxation!)

I like to do this once a month at least (although as I write I can’t remember the last time I actually did!) and if you remember throughout winter you won’t have to make any effort at all to be summer skin ready when the warmer weather arrives!

Do you ever create a home spa and have you got any favourite products to recommend?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s favourite: Facial Exfoliators

I am somewhat of a creature of habit when it comes to skin care. I love my Eve Lom cleanser, don’t vary my moisturiser or sunscreen choices much, and even have my favourites with haircare and cosmetics, but today I have a new ‘find’ to share with you all.

One thing I have always been a fan of is exfoliators. I love the feeling of smoothness you get after using them and the idea of sloughing away all those dead cells. Now that I use Eve Lom I actually don’t use exfoliators all that often as the muslin cloth exfoliates for me daily. However when I needed a boost I used to occasionally use Dermalogica’s daily microfoliant. I’ve had that for years though so when I spotted this No.7 micro-dermabrasion exfoliator, I thought I would give it a go. Reporting to be so effective you should wear extra sunscreen, I was hoping for big things.

I prefer my exfoliators to feel like they are doing something and this one came out as a granulated paste, with an almost sand like texture when rubbed in. I was really pleased with the results too. Super smooth skin, as promised, and although I expect some level of tightness in the skin after exfoliating, it wasn’t overly uncomfortable.

I’m so happy with it, I binned the Dermalogica. My skin has cleared up massively in recent weeks, (more on that later,) so I was really keen to make the most of it. Add to that the fact that I’ve been thinking about stepping up my skin-care in view of my recent big-three-oh birthday and I think this product is worth a try if you want to do the same. At £11 I didn’t think it was too expensive either, just over a third of the price of the Demalogica.

Have you tried the No.7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion exfoliator? Or have you got a favourite you can recommend here?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Get your glow on: Part 1 [Skincare]

A little while back, Gemma asked me if I had any tips for getting her skin glowing for spring and it reminded me that whilst we’re thinking about spring cleaning our homes and gardens, our skin usually needs some TLC too. Whether you need to increase moisture after the harsh winter weather, or have problem skin that needs a kick up the backside before you look radiant in the new longer daylight, I thought I’d share my favourite skin brighteners.

Obviously, (given my background) I don’t believe in quick fixes or that a pot of cream or a face mask is going to light your skin up from within and completely solve a problem, but these are the items I turn to when my skin is in crisis and I’d love to hear yours…

Chanel Precision Hydramax Active Moisture Mask.
In the past, despite skin that is prone to breakouts, I’ve always been told that my skin is of the dry type so I bought this after seeing it recommended in a magazine. Now I use Eve Lom, I don’t need it as much but when my skin is a bit lack-lustre, or overly dry, I slather it on and it does make an instant difference to the level of hydration. You can rinse it off, (although I’d always recommend avoid water when trying to hydrate your skin as it’s a drying agent after all,) or wipe it, or leave it on over night when you’re really desperate and just massage it in.

Eve Lom Rescue Mask.
Unquestionably my favourite and the only mask I have ever used that makes a difference to a breakout. If my skin is playing up and I have an event looming I plaster this on and let it dry then rub it off and finally wipe the remains away. It has a medicinal smell with skin clearing herbs and calming ingredients and I find that 24-48 hours later my skin that was previously on a roll with breakout after breakout is mysteriously calm. This mask beats the fight out of it and I love it.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant.
First off, I really don’t rate the Dermalogica range. I know many of you will disagree but it just doesn’t suit my skin and I find it overly stripping and drying. That said, this exfoliator is great. It really smooths and brightens my skin and I use it once or twice a week in the shower as a little boost.

Origins Modern Friction.
Another exfoliator that I really rate is this thick gritty paste from Origins. Massaged into dry skin and then removed with a wet cloth it really does the job of refreshing the skin and brightening it up. I know my sister is a fan and if you’re ok with wash off cleansers then this is a great choice. It also comes in a body version.

So, those are my favourite pick-me-ups, perfect for revealing spring fresh skin. They won’t change your life (perhaps with the exception of the Eve Lom rescue mask!) but they might help you choose your next skin care treat. Next week I’m going to share my favourite make-up picks to give the illusion of instant radiance and healthy looking clear skin.

If you’ve used any of the items I’m recommending then please let me know, or if you have a product to share that gives skin a boost at this lack-lustre time of year.

Lots of Glowing Love,
Rebecca
xo

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