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Category: Beauty

Surviving the Sun; Cooling Skincare Products

Today is set to be a scorcher, and as someone who gets heatstroke within minutes of being outside in the sun, I’m making sure I’m armed with the right cooling skincare products just in case I’m struck down yet again. I put lots of energy in to trying to prevent sunstroke but I have come to terms with the fact that, despite my efforts, I’m fighting a loosing battle. I know the signs and symptoms and it tends to be an illness that I just have to ride out but there are some products that assist me on the road to recovery simply by cooling me down.

  1. Aloe Gel, L Aloe Vera Fresca – Before visiting the beautiful island of Fuerteventura in 2015; Aloe Vera was something I was familiar with but didn’t know too much about. That all changed once I embarked on a trip surrounding cultural highlights and specialities of this part of the Canaries. Not only did I finish this day tour with quite the taste for Honey Rum(!); I also saw first hand the way in which Aloe is farmed. I bought my first bottle of L Aloe Fresca Gel there and then and have been ordering it online every summer since. This ultra-cooling gel is perfect  when used as an ‘after sun’  as Aloe has extreme healing properties allowing the skin to repair quickly. At just over £20, depending on the exchange rate, it is a bit of an investment buy but worth it when you consider it also helps with cuts, bruising, eczema and even insect bites.
  2. Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray, The Body Shop – I love sandal season. Ever one to find an excuse to splash out on a new pair of shoes, or few, the summer sunshine is great for adding to my collection. However, in this heat, new shoes don’t always love me as much as I love them. Rubbing, blisters, swelling, bruises; I know it’s not exactly glamourous but unfortunately it becomes the reality of life in the heat. I’ve always been a massive fan of The Body Shop, and their range of cruelty free products which don’t irritate my skin, the peppermint footcare range is right up there in their best products. You don’t need to spray much of this product to feel the effects and the benefit is noticeable almost instantly. I usually have two bottles of this in use; one for home and one that stays in my bag so I can use it if the temperature is really starting to get the better of me. I’d also highly recommend the pummice scrub for anyone who has a job that sees them on their feet for long periods at a time – I found it an absolute life saver when I worked in retail.
  3. Body and Face Spray, Magicool – When you’ve reached the point of feeling like you could collapse with heat exhaustion at any moment; a generous spritz of Magicool Body and Face spray is like turning on air conditioning. I keep at least one can of this little spray of heaven in my bag at all times during the warm weather just in case it all gets too much. The reason I choose Magicool is that it can also be used on infants and those with sensitive skin. This means I can keep little one cool without worrying it will irritate her infantile eczema. I also keep a supply of the Magicool Itchy Skin Spray in my medicine cabinet to aid the sores and itches that come with blisters, heat rash, insect bites and even nettle stings. At the rate I get through their products; I’d be better off buying shares in Magicool!
  4. Coconut Cooling Lip Oil, Yes To – No matter what the season, or weather, I can’t seem to shift having chapped lips. In the winter the cold makes them sore and in the summer the heat dries them out; I just can’t win. I’ve tried endless lip balms and moisture salves but the only one which really works for me whilst the sun is beaming down is the Coconut Cooling Lip Oil by Yes To. Not only does it smell of holidays, mines a Pina Colada please, it also keeps my lips hydrated for hours without having to be frequently reapplied.  You can definitely tell that all the products in their range are made largely from natural ingredients as they leave the skin feeling silky smooth. At £7.99, it may seem a little on the pricey side for a lip moisturiser but it is definitely not your average lip moisturiser – that’s why it’s award winning! If the scent of coconut is your thing; it is also worth checking out the Micellar Water which I now swear by to remove my make-up with on the rare occasion I’ve managed to grab enough time to have some self-care.

Do you suffer with heatstroke? Which beauty and skincare products keep you cool during the summer months? What should I try? Let me know in the comments section.

Crazy about Cocobelle

Ah teething, you’ve got a lot to answer for! There are a few indicators that my little one is suffering from the teething process but the main one is a really bad case of nappy rash.  Having extremely sensitive skin, and an awful case of baby eczema, means I’m a bit overly cautious when it comes to trying her with products so I try to find as natural remedies as I can come across. When we were given the chance to try Cocobelle Baby*, a new organic coconut oil product designed with babies in mind , I was keen to see if this product could help improve things.

This wasn’t my first time using coconut oil; I used a vat of coconut oil from a leading supermarket when baby girl was much smaller to aid the removal of cradle cap. On opening the tub it became clear that this coconut oil was different to brands I had tried previously; it felt much more gentle on the skin and was less greasy when applying. Until this point I was unaware that there are different grades of coconut oil; I just assumed that it was all the same and the only reason for massive differences in price from brand to brand was due to status rather than quality.

I applied Cocobelle Baby to little miss’ skin at every change for 5 days running. It had a definite effect and she seemed to be much less sore than she usually is during the troublesome teething phases. The smell of coconut constantly surrounding me was also a winner; even if it did make me desperately want a holiday! Wanting to find more about the product and trying to decide whether I would get it again; I went in search of information about the people behind Cocobelle and the inspiration for the product. Their story is one I can really relate to, it’s of a couple desperately searching for products to soothe their child’s eczema and be gentle on the skin.

I’ll be continuing to use this product whilst the one-year-old is still suffering and would also consider using it on future skin ailments. Oh and one final, slightly trivial thing, I love the logo as it made me think of scales on a mermaid tail!


*Cocobelle Baby was gifted to me in exchange for a product test and honest review. All opinions and views are my own.

Review: Green People Soothing Baby Salve

When you have sensitive skin it can take lots of trial and error to find a product that will not aggravate you and will soothe any irritations. Make-up, toiletries and even washing-up liquid has been known to cause my skin to flare up in a rash which is why I was so disheartened when I first noticed my little girl had developed a pretty nasty case of baby eczema. Not wanting to see her suffer; I instantly set about finding lotions and potions to help her. Fast forward several months and it’s still as bad as ever.  We’ve tried plenty of things from prescription to over the counter skincare and even holistic alternatives but still the crimson scourge of dermatitis remains present. So when someone recommended I try ‘Lavender Soothing Baby Salve’ by Green People I was willing to give it go.

It’s been nearly ten days now since we, the royal ‘we’ that is, started using this organic skin product as part of our bedtime routine and what a difference those days have made. It is usually a nightmare to get little one to sit still whilst I apply creams but she remains completely calm as rub this in. I’m not normally one for the scent of lavender but the fragrance is so light in this that I don’t mind it and it’s perfect for just before sleepytime! You can tell it’s made with all natural organic ingredients as it doesn’t take me a lifetime to wash the inevitable excess of my hands afterwards. Oh and did I mention Mr Green Man, as we like to call him, he’s the cute little character on the side of the tube that makes my little girl laugh as I apply the ‘magic medicine’.

I don’t want to give false ideas, the eczema hasn’t completely gone, but it improved substantially and appears to be much less irritating to her. At £10.50 for 100ml it’s definitely value for money with only a little able to go a long way. I can see this product, and Mr Green Man, becoming a regular in our household. Fingers crossed the benefits long continue.

4 of the Best: Sweet Shop Inspired Soaps

SWEET SHOP SOAPSTo say I have a sweet tooth would be an understatement of epic proportions! Generally speaking; I prefer chocolate to more traditional sweets but there are some smells that draw me in and instantly make me feel like I’ve had some of the pleasure of enjoying confectionery without any of the calories. So when multiple brands started bringing out skincare products with a nod to some confectionery classics; I knew they had the ability to become a staple in my bathroom and I wasn’t wrong!

There are so many wonderful varieties of sweet shop inspired soaps but if I had to narrow it down these would be my ‘best of the bunch’:

  1. Patisserie de Bain, Sugared Violet Ah, Parma Violets, my favourite non-chocolate sweets. Not only have Patisserie de Bain absolutely nailed this; they have made this soap in the shape of a deliciously sweet looking cupcake. I usually prefer liquid-hand soap to the bar variety but this is the exception to my rule as it leaves my hands feeling silky smooth.
  2. Wilko, Rhubarb & Vanilla If you asked people what their favourite traditional sweet is then I’m pretty sure a lot of them would say ‘Rhubarb & Custard’. Wilko have taken this classic sweet and bottled it in soap form. My only complaint would be that the smell is a bit too authentic as it always leaves me desperately wanting to make a trip to the newsagents!
  3. Carex Fun Editions, Cola Bottles – I don’t actually like the taste of cola bottles, controversial I know, but I really do like the smell. This soap provides me with all the joy of a sweet shop scent without the desire to gorge on the item it’s reminiscent of. Available in most pharmacies and supermarkets; Carex Fun Editions is a product able to fill many homes and minds with sweet memories.
  4. The Body Shop, Strawberry – This soap is designed to be fruity rather than sweet-themed. However, whenever I use it I can’t help but associate the smell with strawberry laces as the scent is overpoweringly sweet. Whilst it’s a little bit more expensive than the others; it is made with all natural ingredients which allows your skin to reap the rewards that come with natural beauty.

Which confectionery scents are your favourites? Are there any similar products you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments section.

Review: Maria Nila Colour Refresh

If you’ve ever had red hair you will know how difficult it is to maintain the look because the colour fades so quickly. There are so many ‘colour protecting’ haircare products on the market claiming to ensure long-lasting colour but it can be an expensive and time consuming process trying to find a product which actually keeps the promises they have made. PCARE1434AUTUMNRED660

I have had my hair coloured a variety of shades over the years but I always go back to a Red tone. Not trusting myself to do a good enough job; a professional does my dye job. Whilst I’m happy with the results of instructing a trained colourist to do my hair, it is hardly the cheapest option available, especially when it needs to be redone so often due to fading.  So when my stylist recommended a haircare product that would extend the colours life by a few weeks I knew I had to try it.

Off I set for my local salon services branch in search of this miracle colour booster with no other knowledge than the brand name (Maria Nila) and the fact that it was red in colour when pumped from the bottle. Luckily the vague description I was able to offer was more than enough for the knowledgeable sales assistant who instantly grabbed what I was after and checked it was a colour match with my hair (Autumn Red). She reassured me that the results would be wondrous.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and I start to feel like my once shiny colour has become dull and lifeless – perfect time to see if the ‘Colour Refresh’ lived up to its reputation. Following my normal wash and condition I put on the rather uncomfortable latex gloves ready to apply the bright red liquid. After applying it as evenly as you can do when you are faced with a steam covered mirror; I waited rather impatiently for ten minutes whilst the colour developed. As the lukewarm water ran I could see it turn almost orange; a good first indicator. Once comfortable that I wasn’t going to drip dye everywhere – I set about blow-drying my locks eager to see the finish.

Once dry, the difference was instantly noticeable, the colour was vibrant again and my hair both looked and felt glossy. The natural ingredients in this vegan-friendly marvel help boost the shine and texture in a way I hadn’t experienced before. It only took one use of this product for me to be fully converted. Some may say that £16.99 is too much to pay for a colour enhancer but it makes such a dramatic difference that I think it is worth every penny and the bottle contains a quantity large enough to last a lengthy time. I’d definitely recommend this for anyone looking to protect their colour, hide greys or just enhance vibrancy.

Are there any haircare products you swear by for colour protection? Let me know which other gems should be on my radar.

End of Line Beauty Bargains @ Superdrug

I find it hard to resist a bargain at the best of times but when I’m faced with an aisle full of big brand beauty products selling for £1 or less I have to stop and take breath so I don’t get too carried away. Let’s face it; some offers are just too good to miss out on. What’s the catch you ask? I asked the same thing. No catch, just Superdrug trying to make some shelf space by drastically slashing the prices of ‘end of line’ products.

So, now for the fun part, the reveal. What gems did I manage to find?

  1.  Dove Anti-Perspirant, Grapefruit & Lemongrass (30p) – Lovely fresh scent that lasts all day in a compressed can which makes it small enough to fit in a handbag but lasts as long as the larger canisters.
  2.  Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil Spray (£1) – Great for keeping skin smooth, healing damaged areas and making those pesky stretchmarks look less obvious! The spray makes it really easy to apply even when your skin routine is cut short.
  3. B. Metallic Cosmetics Pouch with 2 mini make-up products (49p) – Okay so the products included aren’t really to my taste/usual colour palette but the little cosmetics pouch is cute. I’m likely to end up using it as a micro-clutch bag.
  4. Patisserie de Bain Hand Cream, Sweet as Cherry Pie (40p) – The sweet smelling, cake inspired scented products in the Patisserie de Bain range are always difficult for me to resist. The only downside to their products is that it leaves me in a state of constant longing for the sweet treats they are aiming to imitate!

Hear the sound of beauty bargains calling your name? Why not head to your local branch and see what clearance treasures you can find. Share in the comments section anything too good to miss.