Health tips and resources, lifestyle advice and product reviews!

Saturday 24 December 2011

The best ways to wake yourself up in the morning before you even step out of the bed!

We all hate that moment when the alarm goes off in the mornings and you nod off for a few more minutes and then another few and another few and it seems to get harder.   
Well the best way is for me to tell you how I feel when I wake up and you can empathise with feeling the same.

How I feel in the mornings:

I grumble and stretch and always push the snooze button a few times and somehow think that it is going to make me feel better and make it easier to get up but in the end it just makes me feel groggier.
I mainly feel too cosy to whip away the duvet and let the cold in.  My head always seems warm and beddy and this is mainly the problem because I cant shake that tired eyes feeling.

BUT now I have this all sorted in seconds without having to step out of the bed to go to the sink.
Click below to read more about how I wake up and feel fresher in the mornings.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

November nurture- Successful care for my dry skin in the chilly weather!

Well hello,

How are we all settling into the chilly weather,? Although I don't think settling will ever be the right word. Coping or bearing would be more like it!  Well its not quite biting yet, but it's there all the same.

I wanted to write a little about my skin reactions to this chilly weather and how I try to combat it.

First of all my skin gets little dry patches in winter on my arms mainly and my hands get dry too and I also get heat rash when I come in from the cold into sudden warm the first few times, I burn up.
Also I definitely do not drink enough water, because I either have a very small bladder or an overactive bladder so I am always trying not to drink too much water when I am on the go or I would be in and out of the toilet.  
And of course the cold weather does not help that either. I feel like I even need to go lots more.
But it is something I am trying to work on too to get the 8 glasses of water per day to keep me hydrated and protect my skin.  
I try to keep my skin moisturised though in other ways to protect it from the elements.

Before I head out I use a moisturising cream on my hands and face to create a barrier for my skin against the cold dry air.
Here is a luscious lotion that I have been dying to mention for a while and that I use before I go out in the cold mainly on my hands.  I put a face cream on before I use some light foundation.  
I like to use a variety of different creams for different times because I guess I do not want my skin to get too accustomed to one cream and then not be able to cope without it.
During the day I tend to use this one:

Karmalife Nourishing Body Lotion, Tropical Spa.

It contains shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E and also pro-vitamin B5, all fabulously moisturising for the skin.
It is not heavy and is very softening.  
This lotion is the most excellent one I have used as regards softening and getting rid of any dry patches, especially since my hands and feet get especially dry during winter.  The next morning my hands are angelic, silky fresh from the heavens, sorry to be so dramatic, but I just love it.
I picked this up among the jumble of items available at TK MAX and was instantly attracted to the scent and how soft it was on my skin.
The scent is of zingy ginger, sweet vanilla and deep sandalwood.

I was happy with the ingredients, no major nasties as far as I can see.  
Once there are no parabens then I am happy. 
They seem to be the first thing I look for because it is the first thing I started to look for when I started on the lookout for more natural products so I guess it is just built in now and I judge a product by whether these are in it or not.
I am now on the lookout for this product again at the moment, but I think I will have to source the product online, but at the moment after a brief search I cannot seem to find it.   
Let me know if any of you come across it, I will only be delighted.

It says on the product that it is ideal after a shower/bath to massage into warm dry skin, but I actually put this on my hands before I head out in the cold to protect it and keep it moisturised even if it is under gloves.

My new thing now at shower time to make my skin lovely and soft and full of moisture is actually coating some sweet almond oil from Holland & Barrett over wet skin and then I rinse it off with warm water.  
The excess is taken away but there is a still just a nice amount left on your skin and then I pat my skin dry with the towel and I feel silky soft.   It really beats away that dry wintery air.

Have a go and enjoy beautiful soft skin and also please give me a shout if you come across that Karmalife nourishing lotion, if you get the chance.  

Here are some of the other products- from my first post- that I also love to use for my face or as a body cream at night.


Saturday 5 November 2011

Eat right for your type!

Hi all,

Well I thought I would share an interesting book I came across recently.
Basically it focusses on the idea that eating the wrong foods that are incompatible for your bloodtype can be detrimental to your overall wellbeing.
Eat Right 4 Your Type  (Disclosure:  Affiliate links from Amazon)

I had a flick through this book on the section of my blood type O ( Well the funny thing is I dont actually know my blood type but I assume I am O as both my parents are both the same type so I figured I can't be any different. Anything to avoid needles!! I know I will have to get one some day at least, but not today or tomorrow or next week!!)
Anyway this book I found got me thinking about a few things. It has a great clear concise breakdown of the foods you should be having more of, those that are neutral and those you should be avoiding.
Also sections added about what sort of exercise you need for different types and also aspects of personality and how food contributes.
I found it fascinating in the sense that certain foods could be hampering you from your true sense of wellbeing. Some can even cause issues that make it harder to shift weight, some can be lowering/overworking your immune system or making you more tired/stressed.

Like for instance I found out the acidic items like vinegar, tomato ketchup or other condiments can irritate my stomach lining, as the stomach lining of O types is quite sensitive. Also that orange juice is something to avoid- that amazed me too. And also that the best way to combat stress for my type is actually vigorous exercise, while a high protein diet is what generally drives the O types.
Definitely worth having a look and experimenting with a few things. A few eye openers in there for me, but it is nice to know these things sometimes.

Relatively short and sweet today.  Well hope you have a look out for this book and have a peep ( I spotted it on the book shelf while I was babysitting so I had a flip through.)

All the best!!

Sunday 30 October 2011

Reduce ingrown hairs, razor bumps or burn after waxing or shaving!

Hi everyone!

Well I thought since I was talking in the last post about my new shaving with oil regime that I would also share the last part of that regime with a new product I purchased recently. It is not completely perfect the fact that it is not a natural product but we dont have to be strict- a little effort goes a long way in trying to be more natural- and some products can be forgiven and I will discuss all the concerns and benefits. 
I like to share all my finds with you and you can make your own decisions as to what you would like to do.

I just know that ingrown hair and razor bumps/burns are a pain for a lot of people so I wanted to tell you about a decent- not so well known in my opinion- product I found that helps.
Some of you might have already heard of this or are using this product already, but I can imagine a lot of you are like me and hadn't heard of it until very recently or only hearing about it right now in this post.

I was researching not too long ago about reducing ingrown hairs and razor bumps that sometimes occur- although for me not really at all- and I came across a product that people were mentioning and it had good reviews.
People were saying they had tried various different options like most of us, but they were very happy with the result and are going to continue with it.
Well here it is-  
PFB Vanish.

I purchased this 4oz bottle on ebay for 15 pounds and it came with a travel size version also. I will provide a link at the end for the trial version.  Lets take a look!

First of all, here is a general synopsis of the details about the product:
  • Unisex
  • Roll-on gel.
  • Softens hair and hair follicles reducing ingrown hairs and razor bumps resulting from shaving, waxing, tweezing, electrolysis and laser hair removal.
  • Exfoliating
  • Moisturising
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
  • Can be applied daily.
It can be used on the,
  • Face
  • Neck
  • Underarms
  • Legs
  • Although most shaving products I have come across are not for the bikini area or will state that it is ok for the bikini line, this one does not state the bikini area at all.     I have used it perfectly fine on the bikini area, no problems.  It can help along the bikini line where sometimes the edge of underwear can irritate freshly shaved skin.
( Although this seems like a product that may irritate sensitive skin due to containing alcohol as you see in the ingredients below, I have pale relatively sensitive skin and I have not experienced any negative side effects from using this product, but I know everyone is different.  Plus I figured it was a good sign that it was not stated on the product that it was harmful in any way to sensitive skin)


The ingedients exactly as on the product are:

SD Alcohol 40B, Aqua, Isopropyl Alcohol, Salix Alba (Willow)Bark Extract, Propylene Glycol, cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Hydroxyproplcellulose, Camphor, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid.

I know you are probably thinking ok this means absolutely nothing to me and most people do not care, but there are a few that would be eager to know.

I know some of these are not exactly excellent to see such as the alcohol and the acids and of course the propylene glycol (which is actually a main ingredient in anti-freeze and leads the active ingredients- quite often the bad ones in a lot of products- easily into the skin) but in this case it is helping to retain moisture in the skin, allowing the moisturising agents like glycerin and the anti-inflammatory willow bark in to maximise the great results of the product.

There are not many ingredients in this product which I like to see actually plus this is usually not a product that is used daily and sometimes you just need to let one or two products with questionable ingredients slide if they work very well and this one does work well in doing what it says on the tin.

The way I saw it well I am making an effort in other ways to avoid bad ingredients and this one didnt have any of the usual nasties like parabens or sulphates so I was happy enough to use it.
Plus propylene glycol is in so many products that people use every day, like deodorants,shampoos, shower gels, makeup, baby lotions and sun lotions and these are the products I try to avoid it in.
Can't help but love one or two great products that are not exactly the natural ones we crave.

Applying this product:

  • I just roll it quickly across my skin and then rub it in with my hands.
  • I usually apply this the day after I have shaved because using the oil to shave makes my skin smooth so I allow this to absorb first and the next day apply PFB vanish.
  • It does make my skin feel soft, even before I started using my shaving with oil routine.
  • The product does not have a pleasant smell and although it is not very strong, I advise opening a window while applying after a shower and when you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards the smell subsides within just a few minutes.                                                                                         I seriously didnt care about this and most of the other people that purchase this product obviously didnt either because to be honest I would rather have a smell for a few minutes than have annoying ingrown hairs or razor bumps.  It says on ebay that it is a herbal smell but I wasn't so sure, see for youself.

Well if you choose to purchase this product and give it a go, I would love to hear how you got on with it.   You can leave a comment or contact me here.
The duo that I bought has now ended on ebay but this link I will give you here is for a 2oz trial version which I would recommend so you can try it out first. Here is the link (as at the time of this post) on ebay.    Good luck!

Best Wishes

Friday 30 September 2011

I've got it oil- a fabulously smooth and natural shave!

Well recently I went to shower and shave up nice and discovered I had run out of my usual shaving gel, which is this one,

Satin Care shave gel

Satin Care for dry skin from Boots - a creamy moisturising foam gel that I always had a nice smooth nick free shave with.
BUT, because I didn't have my Satin Care, I decided to try some oil instead.
It is something I have been hearing about for a while, but never really believed it would be any good, plus I have been wanting and always casually sourcing something more natural with every product that I use.
Shaving creams I always overlooked because there is what there is on the market(or I just have not bothered looking hard enough) and I just buy it because there is no other option. But now I found what I like and it's natural :)

I heard a few people raving recently about how they had a great smooth shave just using an oil on their skin like olive oil, sesame seed oil, jojoba oil, etc.  so I decided to give it a go, using sweet almond oil as I had a small bottle of it there that I bought from Holland and Barrett.  Well I was very impressed. 

With the water on my skin, I lathered the oil over it and left it a few minutes on both my legs and bikini area.   Then I began with the razor and it was all smooth and perfect, not one nick.  My skin just felt so nick proof with the oil on.

The oil packs up a little on the razor but washes away easily with warm water. 
Also because your skin is smooth with oil, a few hairs gets stuck onto the skin, but you can feather them off with either a bath brush or a quick rustle of the towel on your skin.

I was very impressed and I am not rushing out to buy more shaving gel.   
My skin felt so beautifully soft, smooth and healthy afterwards.

I'm loving this sweet almond oil and it is quite long lasting because you do not need a huge amount to lightly coat your skin for shaving.

Have a go, let me know what you think!!

September skin love!

It's the last day I can use that title for another year!  Well thought I'd see September out with some of the latest products I've been trying out.

First up it's this,

Organic body scrub

Dr. Organic Rose Otto Body Scrub,

* Exfoliating
* Hydrating
* Anti- ageing

Yes please! That is what I like to hear and see. I love all this natural stuff and with these great properties for our skin. This product is available at Holland & Barrett.
I like this creamy scrub that has a nice rose scent with micro particles of pure volcanic lava that lightly exfoliates. 

natural body wash
Ooh la la naked is a 97% natural creamy body wash and I am fond of this at the moment.  It is part of the same range as the 24 hour naked body butter I reviewed at the top of my first post here.

I really do like this range and it was one of the first of the natural ranges I spotted when I first started keeping my eyes peeled for natural products.

This product is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
It glides on in the shower with a silky soft feeling and leaves my skin smooth and moisturised.  I got this product at Boots, but here are more details from the naked bodycare site.

natural self tan lotion with no smellGreen People self tan lotion is a product which I actually got from ebay as it was a little cheaper for the 200ml bottle.
I found it while researching tans that do not leave a smell on your skin.
At first when I used it, there was quite a smell (not the usual one your thinking of) resonating from it after I had put it on and I was thinking, hmm why is it so strong.   It is the combination of rosehip, geranium and sandalwood, all natural, so I was happy with that. The smell faded after a while.  I put it on before I went to bed, then I had a shower in the morning and I had a nice natural tan and NO icky smell developed.
It is non-streaky and gave me a lovely natural glow.
Check it out on the Green People site.

body moisturiser that makes hair regrowth softer and less noticeable
Last but not least, is Veet, a brand we have all come to use at some point. Although, not a natural product I had to give it a go since it is the hair minimising body moisturiser with vitamin E for sensitive skin.  I picked this one up at Boots.

I was not expecting much and was fully prepared from the reviews that I had read saying that it does not really minimise hair, just makes it softer and less noticeable.

But in fairness, less noticeable is the key word here as this is the what the detailed product information on the Boots site says,
 "...used daily, reduces the appearance of hair re-growth & softens the hair so stubble is less noticeable. Veet Hair Minimising Body Moisturiser with ProMinimise, to effectively hydrate your skin up to 24 hours, leaving your skin feeling smoother for longer."

Some say it works if you really use it religiously, but in my experience of using this for about three weeks every day after my shower, I didn't notice any reduction in my hair growth rate, but it did make my legs feel very smooth indeed and actually made my legs feel freshly shaven for longer, so I guess this is a good thing, even if the hair is still growing back at the normal rate.

I loved the smell of the product with a light coconut scent which I loved and I think this was the general reviewing consensus of others too.  The smell just blew them away that they didn't care about the hair minimising.  My leg hair is quite soft anyway usually, but I did have a freshly shaven feeling on my skin every day that I used it.  So all in all I liked this for the smoothness and scent.

So has anyone used these products before? What do you think?   Any other gems you would like to share, I would love to hear about them!

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Anti-perspirant is NOT your friend! Deodorant is!!

 Well today I was going to show some products I have been using lately, but then I had so much to say in regards to one in particular and I wanted to highlight quite an important issue at the same time so I figured this warranted a post of its own.  So here it is....

 natural deodorant spray
Salt Of The Earth Spray

Many of us just pick up cans of deodorant- as we tend to call it off hand- but we fail to realise the fact that it usually has anti-perspirant too which blocks up our pores not allowing toxins to escape. This is very unnatural indeed so try to look out for and use a deodorant as much as you can.

This DEODORANT ONLY spray is something that I usually keep for use on my lazy days because I didn't trust any of these natural sprays to actually keep me totally fresh while on the go all day.  It does not block up your pores as an anti-perspirant does.
But recently I decided to give it a go while out and about all day and it worked fine for me.  By the end of the day I was still odour free which was great and even though it doesnt stop sweat coming out of the pores, I was still dry anyway.  I guess it does depend on what works for you personally really because some people might just need anti-perspirant if they sweat quite a lot.  Plus I haven't tried this on a very hot day, but im still happy to use it, even if it is 3 out of 7 days, thats enough for me really because at least I'm allowing my skin a break from the harsher sprays some days.

It is also available in a salt stick format which you have to dampen first then roll it on your skin.
I prefer the spray.  Two quick sprays does the job.  At first you have a tendency to spray 4 or 5 sprays because it feels like its not covering the whole area, but it is.  I sprayed on way too much the first time that the water was dribbling down my arms but realised next time that even one spray of it moistens the whole area.
I purchased this product from Holland & Barrett.  I have not yet seen it in Boots or Superdrug.

 On the packaging, it indicates:
 *  24 hour protection
 * Unisex
 * Unscented
 * Not tested on animals.
It is totally natural, very effective and does not leave white marks on clothing.  It can be used on the feet also.
I have quite a lot to say regarding these type of deodorant only products, which really come out on top actually in light of the increasing threat of breast cancer. I think it is something us women have to pay more attention these days as this looms upon us.

This product does not contain parabens, alcohol or aluminium chlorohydrate (anti-perspirants/deodorants containing this have been the subject of much research in relation to being a factor in the cause of breast cancer).
It has been said quite a lot that anti-perspirants are a leading cause of breast cancer.
Most products on the market are a combination of an anti-perspirant and deodorant, but the whole idea of the spray not allowing you to perspire is what is of concern here.

Another natural deodorant option is Dr. Organic Aloe Vera Deodorant

 I love all those ticks on the side of the product, mimicked the checking process that goes on in my brain when I am brousing for products!

* Aluminium free 
* SLS Free ( Sodium Lauryl Sulphate- harsh detegent found in most shampoos 
    and bath gels, etc. Read more here)
* Paraben free ( read about parabens below in the next product)
* Alcohol free 
* Natural
                           * Non pore clogging formula.

This aloe vera deodrant, I use when I'm lounging around and I dont fancy spraying anything on, this is just a quick and refreshing roll on, takes a few minutes to dry in and has a fresh citrus smell
At first I was so used to having the smells of ordinary deodorant on me, that it took a few goes of this to get used to it and not feel like I was smelling like washing liquid or something.
It does work but I still dont feel right wearing it if Im heading out somewhere, I like to keep this as a natural gem to use when im free and give my skin a break from using the spray all the time. 

The body needs to release toxins all the time and the areas of out body that do this are the armpits, groin, behind the ears and knees.
But when we use an anti-perspirant, it inhibits the release of toxins through the armpit and they accumulate in the lymph nodes which are located below the breast.  This build up can cause the cells to mutate and cells to possibly become cancerous.
Plus most breast cancers are found in the upper breast near these lymph nodes so it definitely creates a need for concern.
This makes me think well what about men.  But I guess they have extra hair in that area and so the molecules cling to the hair rather than seeping into the skin.   I often spray on anti-perspirant/deodorant just after I have shaved my armpit and I guess this is just asking for trouble as it is fresh skin that allows the molecules straight in to my body, creating toxins that cannot get back out.

Anyway, so this is why I am going to be using these natural options much more often because it does not contain anti-perspirant, just a deodorant.
Even if I am doing exercise or being more active during the day and feel a bit clammy under there- which I usually don't because it is not like we have ecstatic weather here in the UK-  I can always just have a few wipes to hand in my bag for whenever I need to freshen up.
Sometimes I find those small packets of wipes do not last long with only ten wipes and it is not worth it, so I just get a large pack and then just pop one of two in a sealable food bag to keep them as moist as I can and no bulkiness.

OK, well I hope it is something you will all keep in mind and give deodorant only products a go.
I always say when I am unsure of something or when something is unproven like several mysteries in this world, I will never put all my eggs in one basket.
So therefore, while these claims are up in the air just like that of mobile phones causing tumors and microwaves causing harmful radiation, the fact is they have all been mentioned as possible threats and subject to countless forms of research.  So this to me means the possibility is always there that this could be why there is so much cancer in the world, you just never know.

When the verdict is neither here nor there, it is best to just- I don't want to sound cliche by saying everything in moderation-  but it can't hurt to be aware and to try using a mix of products if need be and trying to use the deodorant only products as much as you can.   There is no harm in being knowledgeable and doing your own little bit for yourself so if the research is fully proven one day, at least you will be on middle ground and not worse off for having your eggs all in one basket.

I will be looking at some more products in a day or two!
Bye for now!

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Honey I'm home, remedy me!

 honey is good for the skin
Google image from
Now who would have thought honey could be your new best friend.   
Well it is amazing when you think about all the things that are right under our noses at the supermarket that can do wonders for our skin including apple cider vinegar which aids absorption and glycerin, which moisturises and cleanses.  I will touch on these again no doubt along the way in this blog, but first lets take a look at honey. 

Many of us love adding honey to our foods, just the idea of honey being drizzled over your porridge or your yoghurt, it sounds all so nice, makes you feel all warm inside.   
I personally used to struggle when my mum would try to give me a spoonful a day, I found it so hard to swallow because I didnt like the taste, it made me cough and splutter as if I just had a hot chilli. 
But I figured I can put it to better use anyway. 
Using honey on your skin or taking a bath in honey is known to heal dry skin.

Honey is a natural antioxidant and anti-microbial (kills or inhibits the growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi), which help to protect the skin from the damage of the sun's rays, supports the skin's ability to rejuvenate and refreshes the skin leaving it feeling silky soft.Honey also offers incredible antiseptic and cleansing properties for our body and health. It also tightens the skin which helps to fight wrinkles.
One of the most common natural skin care benefits with honey is related to the treatment of minor acne which may be caused by hormonal changes.

Dry skin or 'xeroderma' as it is called is such a common issue for us all especially now coming into the winter time where the hot indoor air and the cold air outside causing our skin to peel, crack and itch because of the loss of moisture.  
Also overshowering can worsen this problem and using harsh skincare does not help.
Well here are some quick whip ups for you to play around with and that I love experimenting with.

 Honey scrub for every type of skin:

* 1/2 tablespoon of honey
* 1/2 tablespoon of sugar or sea salt
Mix the ingredients and scrub your face for 2 minutes. Then rinse off.

Honey scrub for dry skin:

* 1/2 tablespoon of honey
* 1 tablespoon of milk
* 1 tablespoon of oats/ ground hazelnuts/coffee grounds/sugar
* Olive oil/ sweet almond oil
Mix all the ingredients and scrub your face approximately for 2 minutes. Then rinse off.

Honey scrub for combination skin:

* 1/2 tablespoon of honey
* 1/2 tablespoon of milk powder/rice flour/baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon of sea salts or sugar
* You can add some drops of an oil like jojoba, olive or sweet almond oil.
Mix all the ingredients and carefully massage your face for 2 minutes. Then rinse off.
 Honey scrub for oily skin:
*  1/2 tablespoon of honey
*  1/2 tablespoon of rice flour/baking soda
Warm up 1/2 tablespoon of honey and mix it with rice flour/baking soda. Add some water if it becomes too dry.

There is definitely plenty more where that came from. I'll be telling you along the way about other healthy cheap homemade alternatives to your skincare regime with experiments that I play around with or hear about. 

Also there are honey massage treatments out there too.  Here is one video I watched that demonstrates with the honey.  It can look quite strange at times but it is quite good for the skin and I love the relaxing music in this video too, have a look,

Well what did you think of that? Will you be whipping out the jar of honey tonight to get your other half to throw lashings of it on your skin, hmm...a glorified mess for the glorified skin, sounds all good to me!

 Before I go I thought I would mention Manuka honey.
Manuka honey is the common choice these days due to its powerful. medicinal properties as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal.   Read more about the benefits of manuka honey and important things to note when buying it.
Basically the higher the + number on the jar, the more beneficial it is for you. (16-24+ reap the greatest benefits)   Order some today from Holland and Barrett, as well as manuka skincare products.

Have a good day and let me know how it goes with any honey experiments.

Thursday 1 September 2011

D.I.Y on the fly!

So have you got all your little skini minis on the ready for your weekends away, overnights and popped nicely in your bag on the go?! I love mini skincare bottles, so I decided to call them all skini minis!
Ever think of making up your own quick mixtures too?  You can make some up either as you go- one mix fixes- or make up a decent amount and pop them in the small containers usually available at Boots and Superdrug.

I will give you some ideas in some of my posts and touch on some tips/utensils to get you started today.

Skini minis are great, whether they are your own mixtures in bottles or versions of the popular products on the market, I love them all, especially as some of these big bottles drive me mad at times cos by the time I'm half way through, I spot some other new products on the market or come across a natural gem that I want to start using straight away. 
Then I end up with sooo many products in the bathroom cupboard as all the old ones get left aside.
This is why I love the minis because not only are they ideal size but also good for sampling or if you dont want a huge bottle of something. 

For instance, I had been getting large bottles of Head & Shoulders recently but then I wanted to use up some of the older products I had in my cupboard like Tresemme and Herbal Essence, so I didnt buy another bottle of Head & Shoulders once I had finished with it. 
I like that brand because it keeps dandruff away and so then I decided to just get the mini version of it and use it maybe once or twice a week.

I find it handy too for skincare products like I bought the mini version of Aveeno cream and I keep it in my handbag all the time and I fill it up from the bigger bottle when it gets low.

Well right now the skincare industry is flying and more and more natural products are available for us and ready to take over.  But also the trend now has some of us having a go at making our own, and you can betya I am one of them!  It is so satisfying to have your own creations, lots of fun and without a doubt more control over what I am putting on my skin!

It is easy to get started especially if you are just having a bit of fun and whipping up something for yourself and your family.

Basically I just grabbed some basic utensils from Asda and off I went mixing household foods and oils.
I also got some butters at an exhibition to use or you can source butters and oils online like jojoba oil (well this one can be more expensive than others so I get grapeseed oil or almond oil) and shea butter.
It's as easy as that for you to have control over what you are putting on your skin. 

Here are the few things I picked up at Asda,

These items were very cheap, under 5 pound as far as I remember and they are very handy for keeping track of exact measurements.

I also got the measuring jug and spatula for heating up some butters briefly in the microwave, literally 10 secs. 
Initially I had bought a cheap saucepan too to heat up butters on the hob so I could keep a better eye on them so they wouldnt melt too much.  But because the saucepan was cheap, I didnt want any small particles from the bottom mixing with my creations.   So that is when I started using the measuring jug and it is quicker and easier to clean.

 I got the sterilising fluid with the idea of steeping all the utensils in it before using them all, for extra cleanliness and knowing that they had been sterilised.

I really enjoy playing around with different combinations of carrier oils like sweet almond oil and butters and even foods, like strawberries, bananas, honey and avocado to make quick interesting masks or moisturisers.

 Stay tuned for some easy skincare recipes soon!!

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Are you steering clear of the smear???

post-it to-do list
Are you a smear test virgin??                           

Well that was me about a year ago, but then I just got the job done and over with a few months back, which I will tell you about in this post.

The eligible age was raised from 20 to 25 in 2003 and I heard recently that a lot of tests that were done under the age of 25 were discarded and would not be tested by labs due to them being under the age of 25. This was due to an overwhelming response, especially following the Big Brother star Jade Goody's battle.

I personally think the age should have remained at 20 years old, especially when you read the likes of this,

'Research does show that the contraceptive pill increases the risk of developing cervical cancer. But it is important to remember that this increase in risk is small. And if you have regular cervical screening, cervical cancer can be prevented.'
Cancer Research UK

Women as young as 15 are using the contraceptive pill and so for this reason I think the age should be left at 20 for cervical screening.

I was reading Company magazine and saw some interesting stats as to why people avoid smears, made me laugh actually,

  • 28% would refuse a smear if a man was performing it, although some found it a more comfortable experience. 
  • 1 in 10 were worried the tester would think they were hairy or their vagina looks weird.
  • 1 in 5 would like smears combined with STI testing.
  • 8% were scared they would smell down there.
It is easy for me to look at this list now and giggle, but it is the reality of the inner torments out there right now. 

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Caffeine V Cancer

Hey guys,
caffeine in sunscreen
Thought I would share this interesting piece of news I heard today as I sat down with a tea, yes not even a coffee- although tea has caffeine too and I heard once that tea in dry form has a higher measure of caffeine than coffee, but a fully prepared cup of coffee measures up as more.  The longer they are left to steep the more caffeine that is released. 

Although most of us have heard some story or another before about caffeine destroying damaged cells before they become cancerous, it has now been suggested that putting caffeine in sunscreen can protect against skin cancer.
Now how about that, seems like coffee has lots of things going for it, says me who is not an avid coffee drinker, the odd cappucino now and then but that’s it.
But now this, hmm some more coffee for me I think….. although I eat plenty of chocolate no doubt, wonder does that caffeine count, guess so… any excuse to eat chocolate, hehe! 
Wow you never know the cure for cancer could be right under our noses.
But basically these particular findings could be used to create a caffeine based sunscreen.
“Scientists believe the chemical found in coffee absorbs ultraviolet radiation when applied to the skin and prevents tumours after exposure to sunlight.”                                                                                                                       Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent, The Telegraph
I’ve heard so many things about caffeine everything from it preventing Alzheimer's and ageing to possibly increasing women’s sex drive and even two cups supposedly reducing muscle pain by a significant amount. (See some more at the end of this post.)

However- as always there is a BUT-  this was also stated as regards the topical application of caffeine on the skin,
"First one might want to check there is no adverse effect of caffeine on the incidence of other cancers, especially melanoma (pigmented skin cancer), which kills over four times as many people as squamous cell carcinoma. But caffeine lotion might promote tanning a little, since this family of molecules stimulates pigment cells to make more pigment.”                                    
Prof Dot Bennett, Professor of Cell Biology at St George’s, University of London
Some tests have been carried out on mice as usual.  Some mice were genetically engineered to have reduced levels of an enzyme that keeps damaged cells alive. Caffeine was given to suppress this enzyme, thus killing the potentially cancerous cells. When these modified mice were subjected to UV light, they developed less tumours and at a later time than the unmodified mice.

cup of coffee
Coffee Anyone??
So the conclusion for me seems that it is best to just carry on drinking coffee rather than using a caffeine based sunscreen, cos if the damaged cells are in your body, drinking caffeine will catch them anyway. Id rather that than risking elevating any chances of melanomas.

However coffee granules themselves have great beauty benefits:

* Attacking cellulite- mixing grounds with lotion/oil and massaging the area and covering with plastic for up to 30 mins before washing away.  
* Exfoliation- wrapping grounds in plastic and brushing against the skin or just sprinking some grounds in your hand mixed with some lotion in the shower and off you go.
* Happy hair-  dipping your head in cool coffee has been said to deepen hair colour as well as giving it softness and shine. Although I would wonder, if caffeine is said to dehydrate our bodies, would it dry out hair and make it brittle?!
Deodorising- rub the grounds on hands or body and rinse with water.

Sounds like a desert island must have to me!!
What do you think?

Sunday 14 August 2011

My skincare saviours!

Hi everyone!

Well here I am, my first real blog post...hope you can bear with me and drop by and say hello.
Here we go......... some of my product collection!!

 24 hour naked body butterI LOVE this product. I would happily spend 24 hours naked with this all over me. 

It smells fab, keeps my skin smooth and feeling moisturised. I can still feel the moistened feeling hours later, especally if I have it on my legs and they are bare all day. 97%,natural, that is good enough for me.

Although I havent been using this every day, it is well over a year since I got this.  I love the smell of it, although it seems quite strong when you open the lid and have a whiff, but when its on your skin, it is delicious. 

I even rub some in my palms and run it over a scarf or item of clothing to make them smell nice especially if I throw some clothes together in a suitcase or if they have been in the wardrobe a few weeks!
I also grab some small tubs from boots and scoop some in to have in my handbag, travel or overnight bag!

I got this product in Boots and have been on the lookout again for it, but I havent spotted it, probably because I havent been in a big enough Boots.
I see this product is an award winner at the Beauty Awards 2010 and highly commended by the Natural Health Magazine :)   

Aveeno daily moisturising lotion
I have purchased this fragrance free Aveeno daily moisturising lotion a few times from Boots and I use it on my skin before bed on my hands and any dry patches and if I got any sun on my skin during the day.  It makes my skin feel really soft and I can still feel it when I wake up. It has naturally active colloidal oatmeal that moisturises the skin for 24 hours.

However, I was a bit disappointed that it contained paraffinum liquidum, another name for mineral oil. I have read so much about ingredients and I will share some of my findings throughout this blog.

* Mineral Oil (Paraffin oil), a by product of petroleum is a clear, liquid oil with no scent and does not spoil. It is found in baby oil and vaseline also. What I heard is it creates a thin layer on the skin that clogs the pores and is difficult to absorb slowing down the elimination of toxins.*

However the medical community have condemned its use in medication but that the small grade used in cosmetics is perfectly fine. There are so many debates out there about various ingredients, I will bring some to your attention when I see them.  Well the way I see it, there are harmful things in everything, you cant escape it, but what concerns me is the build up over time.  But it's like this, all the skin cancer scares never stops anyone sunbathing does it?

Although there have been so many different speculations about various ingredients that like anything there is always new findings so we can never take anything as fully conclusive.  Plus, I dont want what I hear to stop me from experiencing some great products out there, once they are not packed full of bad stuff and are somewhat natural, I am happy enough to use them.  Here is more about the Aveeno range.

 Skin Wisdom all day light moisture cream
Skin wisdom is a great brand that I stumbled across created for Tesco in partnership with Bharti Vyas, one of the UK's leading beauty therapists.
This is a light moisturising cream that lasts up to 24 hours. I sometimes use it at night or under foundation.  It contains green tea, chamomile and spring sea water, I am almost refreshed just reading the words. 
I find it a cooling and soothing cream.  It is ideal after cleansing and toning and for use day or night.  It has a light natural scent.

I noticed that it contains titanium dioxide and it is another ones of those ingredients that has been pinpointed as carcinogenic (causing cancer), but again many new natural products on the market continue to use it.
This makes me think well when all these natural skincare companies were researching to create all their products, I am sure whatever information they were given cleared any concerns about its use, meaning it is not seen to be harmful. I have rummaged through almost every major makeup brand on the market and it is present in almost every single one, so that must be telling us something.
Here is more about the extensive range of Bharti Vyas Skin Wisdom products available.

Dr. Organic is a great brand I came across recently at Holland and Barrett.  It was the Beauty Insiders' Choice winner, the 2011 Glosscars: Face and Body Best New Brand.
At first I thought it was quite expensive for small packaging ( about 5pounds for the deodorant and 7pounds for the cream) but I just love how natural they are.

* Dry skin
* Sun exposed skin
* Stretch marks
* Scars
* Uneven skin tone

This aloe vera cream is the one I am using on my face every night at the moment after I cleanse.   It is quite soothing and dries in quite quick so sometimes I use a bit more just to get that rub around massage all over my face, get the blood flowing and alowing my face to absorb all the goodness during the night. All the cell renewal happens quicker at night and active ingredients can penetrate more deeply.
The cream is good for dry skin, sun exposed skin, stretch mars, scars and uneven skin tone. It is lovely and cooling for weather-beaten skin, ie.,after a day out in the sun or if my face is feeling hot after a day in the cold and then coming in to the warm makes my skin flush. This is great for cooling it and makes me feel refreshed.

 Well thats all for today guys. I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my fave products to use. I definitely have some more to tell you about, but I'll save that for another day.

Does anyone have any products or tips they swear by?  I would love to hear all about them so share share share away people!   

Best Wishes


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