Health tips and resources, lifestyle advice and product reviews!

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!!


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