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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Skincare oils

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Today I want to share my love of skincare oils! Oils are amazing and can be used to clean the skin as well as to moisturise.

I clean my skin using the oil cleansing method. This method involves applying the oil to dry skin, then massaging it in for a few minutes to melt away all the gunk on the face.  I love using my oil in this way, as I find that there is less stress to the skin in terms of pulling and tugging. It is the perfect way to remove all my suncream, makeup, stubborn waterproof eye makeup, and natural oils. In fact it feels so lovely that I sometimes take advantage and indulge in some facial massage 🙂

The principle behind the oil cleansing method is that oil melts oil. I remember times when my hands were dirty from car or bike grime, and washing with soap and water took a lot of scrubbing and scraping. However with oil, it comes away nicely.

In fact in Asia, cleaning with oil has been popular for many years. Many people practise double cleansing, a process where the skin is first cleaned with an oily cleanser, then a soapy cleanser is used afterwards to remove the oil. There are products were these 2 steps are combined into one e.g. the oil is easy to cleanly wash away.  Clarins Pure melting gel is such a product, and it feels truly extravagant to use 🙂

I actually do not double cleanse, as I like to leave a thin film of oil on my face. The film is like a moisturiser and it helps to keep my skin hydrated.

I also use skin oils directly on my face to moisturise. I use around 5 drops all over my face every night especially in the winter. On some nights, I apply my usual moisturiser on top. I have blemish prone skin and in my experience the oils help to draw out the impurities faster. Using oils has not caused my skin to break out more, and I feel the tone of my skin is improved.

However I would suggest that you experiment with different types of oils. For me, my skin does not like olive oil and much prefers rosehip oil, grape seed oil and sweet almond oil. I have spot prone normal to dry, sensitive skin and these three oils work really well for me.

Let me know if you like using oils as much as I do.

X

Free Origins Facewash or Cleanser (UK only)

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Sometimes I wish I still lived in the UK.

There is a fab offer on at the moment whereby you can trade in any old skin care item (any brand, full or not) for a full sized Origins fashwash or cleanser worth £16. Just head down to your local Origins counter…

What you could get, Checks and Balances or A Perfect World

The offer is available only today and tomorrow, and is for Earth Month.

Such a great deal!

Humidifyer to help dry skin

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taken from amazon.co.uk

I have wanted to buy a humidifier for a long time now, in the hopes to lessening the stress on my skin whilst in my flat. I have these fine lines under my eyes and I hope that a humidifier would prevent them from getting worse. I have learned from research that when the weather outside is very cold and snowy, the humidity indoors can drop dramatically.

I have only lived in Switzerland for 2 years, prior to that I have always lived in the UK so my skin is used to wet and overcast weather 🙂 The Swiss weather is in my opinion harsh to skin. It is low humidity, and the sun is almost out everyday.

For the last week, I have put open bowls of water in my bedroom, so that the air is somewhat more hydrated when I sleep. My bedroom has high ceilings, and to be honest I am not sure what help a cold bowl of cold water is. It would be better for me to use hot or steaming water, so that the air humidifies faster. However I am surprised at how much water has evaporated in a few days. To be honest I haven’t noticed a huge difference to my skin. But by using this, my save my face pillow, my eye creams and skin cream, my skin looks more plump and hydrated.

I am still on the lookout for a humidifier, and I definitely hope to buy one before the winter comes.

X

Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care Review

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Hello everyone. I would like today to review the suncream that I use around my eyes, the Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care with SPF 30.

I am always on the lookout to prevent more of those pesky fine lines from appearing. I have used this Clarins eye suncream for the last 2 years, and it helps me feel like I am protecting the skin around my eyes.

Packaging

The cream is packaged in a little squeezy tube, with a twist off cap. It is easy to control how much product comes out.

Application

The white cream is fluid and easily spreadable. I have noticed that sometimes I have a white cast if I do not blend the cream well, however it does somewhat fade after a few minutes. In fact the white cast helps to diminish the look of dark circles and uneven skin tone around the eyes, so it is not all bad. However I would say that the product is not moisturising. I usually apply my eye cream underneath, for a matte (slightly satin) finish. This cream works well under makeup.

The picture above is a picture of how much cream I use for one eye (half a pea sized amount). You can see that I have rubbed in part of the cream into my skin, and it blends well.

UVA

The cream is made with 100% mineral filters, which may explain the slight white cast. It may also explain why the cream causes me no stinging or problems, despite me applying the cream all the way up to my lash line.

Cost

On first glance, a 20ml tube for £13.50 seems pricy. However I use this cream daily, and it lasts me a good 6 -7 months. I feel like I am adequately protecting my eyes from the  sun and I wish I had found this gem earlier!

First Haul Post

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I received in the post today a box of Frownies, and an Emu Oil eye cream. I’m really excited to try them out!

I have wanted to buy the emu oil cream for a while now, as I have read that it helps with under eye problems. I want to try the frownies on my forehead, in the 2 areas directly above each of my eyebrows. I don’t have any lines at the moment but I do often have headaches when I wake up in the mornings. I think this is because I frown and screw up my face when sleeping. Now at age 30, I notice that my forehead moves a lot when I speak or make expressions. When I was in my early 20s, I swear it was hard to even move my forehead (or that if I moved it, it was not noticable).

Below is a picture of the instructions that come with the frownies.

I have to admit that when I received the frownies, I was a little disappointed as the box is so small! They are expensive, so if they work well I may experiment with using microfiber tape (as others have suggested). The emu oil seems good value for money, as you get 25ml.

I will write reviews of these products after I have used them for some time.

It’s beautiful weather in Zürich today, it feels already like summer.  The temperature reached the mid 20s last week.

X

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex Review

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Sorry for the long title!

I love this serum. This helped me 3 years ago when I noticed very faint fine lines on my forehead. It worked it’s magic and my skin looked plump and glowing from within.

I bought this serum a couple more times afterwards, but it is expensive at £39 for 30ml. I am hoping my new bottle will work the same magic around my eyes/nose.

I bought the 30ml bottle from the pharmacy last Thursday, and I am pretty excited! I have used this serum everyday since in replacement of my Frei Hyaluron Aktiv cream, and so far so good.

The serum comes in the iconic brown bottle.

 

Below is a picture of the instructions that came with the serum. You may click on the picture for a bigger view.

 

The bottle has a pipette, and you can control precisely how much product comes out. I love the pipette as I know that the remaining product is fresh and untouched.

The serum is a pale yellow colour. In the pictures below, it look pretty much like oil but it is not. It is a light gel consistency, and it works very well in plumping the skin. I believe this is because of the hylauronic acid.

I will keep you updated of the results, but it is really plumping up the skin around my eyes. I have not yet noticed much of a difference to my lines, but I hope they will diminish (or at least not worsen).

ps, you may be wondering why I am not using the eye version of the range. This is because I have tried it in the past (on 2 separate occasions) but it did nothing for my skin. In fact I think it makes my eyes look worse, as I think I may have had an allergy to the ingredients 😦

Keratosis pilaris

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Hello all. I would like to talk about keratosis pilaris today. It is a skin condition that affects 40% of the world’s adult population (including me).

So what is keratosis pilaris?

It is a skin condition, also called chicken skin. The symptoms are rough bumps on the skin, that are raised and sometimes red. They usually appear on the upper arms and the thighs, although they can appear anywhere, where hair grows. The bumps can be mild, in which case they are hardly noticeable. Or they can be more pronounced, in which case it looks like goosebumps. The bumps are actually keratin, and they form within the hair follicle.

I have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms, and I have had these bumps since I was a child. In fact, I cannot actually remember ever having smooth, bump free upper arms. My bumps are worse in the winter, I think because the air is dryer, and my arms are always under layers of clothing.

For me, I am sometimes embarrassed to wear short sleeved tops (I hardly ever wear sleevless tops).  I also have scars and pigmentation from where I used to pick the bumps (grim I know). Within the rough bumps, there is sometimes a hair follicle trapped, and when picked the white hard keratin can be removed. However for me the scarring looks worse than the bumps.

So what can be done?

Many resources suggest using a moisturising, exfoliating cream on your skin. Examples include

  • chemical exfoliant e.g. lactic acid, to smooth the bumps
  • moisturising cream with urea to hydrate
  • manual exfoliation e.g. scrubs
  • retin A
  • sunlight

I have in the past used heavy mositurising creams but they always left my arms with that sticky feeling (think Eucerin Urea creams). Though the bumps on my arm did lessen, I did not like the heavy sticky feeling it left.

For the past 3 months, I have been using the following regime. I use vitamin C serum every evening to chemically exfoliate. I also manually exfoliate in the shower with a microfibre cloth about 3 times a week. After all that I smooth on my AHA cream. I am also thinking about using yoghurt as a mask every so often.

The AHA cream that I use is by Palmers (picture and ingredients list below). It is a really nice light cream, and it works well. However the smell is not the most pleasant, but it works and it is non greasy, and that is all I care about! It costs around £4 a bottle.

(click on the picture to see a larger picture of the ingredients)

 My arms today look the best that they have for years, and I think I am no longer so embarrassed to wear short sleeved T shirts 🙂

I am so happy but I still have far to go. I would like to document my progress on this blog. Below is a picture of how my arms look today.

 

I would love to hear of the methods that you use, in keeping the keratosis pilaris under control. Please feel free to leave a comment 🙂