Sunday, 26 April 2015

The French Pharmacy Shelf

I'm not sure where it started. In regards to myself and other members of the general public. Was it Bioderma and our discovery of the micellar water? Either way, the injection of French products into the British skincare routine has certainly hit a high point with the likes of Embryolisse, Avene and La Roche-Posay being readily available in Boots. Once a place to pick up toothpaste and a prescription, it still amazes me how the industry moves on and we're constantly being moved within the reach of such a huge selection of brands and products.

That being said, I'm sure we've all fallen victim to the head-spinning puzzle of what to do when there's too much choice. I've tried my fair share and between my mother and I (she's an avid French skincare fan) we've created our Top Shelf.

Admittedly, I've been one to reach for the oils to hydrate but sometimes, a good old fashioned moisturiser is what my skin needs. A cult favourite (and a constant repurchase in this household) is Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate. For me this formula is the perfect balance of light but deep hydration. There's nothing greasy about it and it helps you to prep your skin well for makeup. A few drops of a good facial oil mixed in makes this even more inviting as an evening skincare step. I used this a lot after my Dermaroller because it didn't irritate my skin.

Another one I love for decent skin days is Nuxe Creme Fraiche 24H Soothing & Moisturising Cream which does just as it says. This feels incredibly light on the skin and squirts out abit like cottage cheese. I've always found this helped smooth the texture of my skin and like using it under makeup. A nice one for warmer months if you don't require something richer. It does have quite a flowery/feminine scent to it though. Although I'd prefer if it didn't, it doesn't last.

I'm pretty excited to write about this one. When Caudalie launched a trio of masks I jumped up to buy the Instant Detox Mask. It's definitely not what I expected but has the French finesse that I imagined it would. Yes, it works to deep cleanse, minimise pores and do the whole "suck the gunk out" operation but it's not a harsh clay mask by any means. Pink clay, grape marc and coffee make this a light clay formulation that you can apply in a thin layer on the skin. It doesn't dry out to be rock hard and when you wash it off leaves you skin looking clean, fresh and renewed. When my skin looks dull at the end of the week this really brings back the brightness. 

The skin on my body is the most sensitive. As much as I love a luxurious body butter or a pretty smelling body oil I rely on the likes of E45 and La Roche Posay's Lipikar AP Baume. They soothe sensitive skin and take away redness and any soreness. After Anna-Marie introduced me to Biafine (they do a bloody good hand cream), I got a hold of their Emulsion which is short, is a giant tube of happiness for my skin. It's pretty thick but rubs in easily and is a no fuss formulation. It's the kind of product you would want post-treatment (much in the same vain as Homeoplasmine).

I definitely haven't exhausted every avenue but here's a start on what I'd highly recommend. I'm tempted to reach out for those other Caudalie masks...


Saturday, 18 April 2015

Spiezia Organics: A 3-Step Skincare Routine

Every few weeks my skin hits this "nightmare phase" that starts with a few breakouts followed by redness, dry and flaky skin, dullness and generally a tight, uncomfortable feeling. Painting a lovely picture for you there? Don't worry, it gets better. Last time I entered this phase it coincided with me having the privilege to try some products from the Spiezia Organics range. Apart from the fact they provide quality products in beautiful packaging, what drew me to it was the mesh between skincare and lifestyle. It's about creating that experience and being mindful of the stages you carry out in your routine. I find that calming and a great way to try and wind down and relax after a stressful day.

I am currently enduring another phase of nightmare-ish skin so I cleared my routine and left room for these three products only. They worked so well last time! I am going to talk about the Facial Cleanser first. Eucalyptus, clary sage and clove just hint at the surface of gorgeous ingredients in this cleansing balm. It also includes coconut and jojoba seed oil which I find luxuriously hydrating and chamomile and calendula which helps to soothe and calm my skin. I use this as a second cleanse because I really want to spend the time massaging this directly onto my skin. The scent is calming but uplifting and I could easily spend a good five minutes on a bit of facial massaging and think nothing of the time that's passed. A hot cloth to remove - nothing harsh and I pat my skin dry. It remains so soft and plump which I love.

Next I shake up a bottle of the Floral Toner and pour some onto a cotton pad before sweeping it over my face and neck. This is cooling after a hot shower and feels soothing on my skin with lavender and chamomile flower oils and waters. The texture of this toner feels so soft and glides over the skin. It keeps the soft plumpness that I felt after cleansing alive.

My absolute favourite has been the Nourishing Moisturiser. It looks like the cleansing balm but feels a lot lighter in consistency.  A little goes a long way (as is the case with all of these products) and I just massage this into my face and neck and it makes me skin feel glorious. Hydrated, plumped, elastic and happy whilst giving this healthy glow. This is probably going to be a bit much for someone with normal and oily skin during the day but it helped rid me of dry patches and flakiness. It left me with comfortable skin to apply makeup onto. 

Despite my love for a plethora of serums, creams and cleansers, the simplicity of sticking to these three and pulling my routine back down to basics has really opened my eyes to how effective good quality ingredients in skincare can be.

I'm intrigued. Have you tried anything from the range?


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