Category Archives: Wellbeing

The wonders of Vitamin A

laiafarrangravesWe’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. And when it comes to skincare it couldn’t be more true. Vitamins are essential for our bodies to function, and deficiencies can cause adverse effects on the skin, such as irritation and rashes. But of all the nutrients, vitamin A is the most important for skin health because it works by normalising skin functions and correcting all skin conditions, so it’s important that we have enough of it in our diet or through supplements, and over 90% of women in the UK aren’t getting enough. Vitamin A thickens and stimulates the dermis – the layer underneath the epidermis where your collagen, elastin and blood vessels are – so it  increases blood flow to the surface of the skin reducing wrinkles, effectively repairing it from the inside. It also  increases your collagen, slowing down the normal ageing breakdown of your collagen and elastin. There are two main sources of vitamin A in our food: animal sources, which contain preformed vitamin A as retinol and plant sources containing carotenoids, like beta-carotene, that the body converts into retinol.

beautspotblogWhen introducing Vitamin A in the form of a supplement, however, ensure that you consult with an expert (beautician, dermatologist or doctor) as it takes time – sometimes months – for your skin to build up its strength to receive it correctly, so it needs to monitored. Skin Complete from The Advanced Nutrition Programme, has been researched by experts and cosmetic surgeons, so you know you’re in good hands with it. It’s a supplement that contains both vitamins A and D to reduce the risk of overdosing on vitamin A. They also recommend that you use a sunblock while taking a it (or any Vitamin A supplement) because a day in the sun or wind will increase cellular activity. For more information go to  www.advancednutritionprogramme.com.
Skin Complete 160 capsules includes 1 pack of Skin Vit A+ (60 Capsules) and 1 pack of Skin Antioxidant (60 Capsules) and is priced at £45.

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**** WARNING *** If pregnant, thinking of being so or breastfeeding, please discuss the use of any Vitamin A serum with your doctor. We recommend that you cease their use during this period, as it is not known conclusively whether a developing foetus will be affected; the research is still happening.  

Remember: Vitamin A supplements can interact with certain medications. Always tell your doctor if you are considering taking a new supplement to ensure it is right for you.

Sources*
bestnaturalfoods.com
www.theskincareclinic.com.au

 

Summer must-haves

The summer is one of my favourite times of year, a time to relax –  if you’re lucky enough to go on holiday – and an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, either at home or away. Make summer 2016 your most beautiful  to date with some of these secret weapons…

ENVIRON IONZYME C-QUENCE EYE GEL

beautyspotblogThis eye gel, is a real wonder. The Environ Ionzyme C-Quence Eye Gel has been specifically designed for use on and around your eye area to deeply hydrate and prevent fine lines, and can also be used on your forehead. It contains peptides (Argireline, Matrixyl and Dermaxyl), which have been scientifically proven to combat the appearance of wrinkles, antioxidants (from Soybean and Rosemary extract) and vitamins A, C, and E to boost the skin. It’s a soft, see-through gel that is instantly absorbed on application. It’s also lovely to use when it’s hot because it’s very refreshing, so a real hydration boost for those hot summer days. Apply in the morning and evening after cleansing and toning. It’s available in a 10ml special airless dispenser, at £49.36 it’s not cheap but excellent quality and value, as a little goes a very long way…

For more information go to www.environskincare.com.

RADIANCE LIFTING SERUM

laiafarrangravesThis small package, with its low price, is not to be underestimated: RADIANCE LIFTING SERUM, from the ARGAN 5 – ARGAN PLUS PRODUCTS range. A little goes a long way, and it really helps firm the skin, leaving it smooth and thoroughly hydrated. It contains bee venom and antioxidant botanicals, which help with elasticity. The bee venom is known to boost collagen in your skin, the argan oil hydrates intensely and the serum also contains various nourishing oils – baobab oil, kukui oil, moringa oil, sacha inchi oil – and a firming formula. Use a tiny amount under your usual day or night cream. An absolute treat to give your skin a lift!

For more information go to arganplus.co.uk. The RADIANCE LIFTING SERUM from ARGAN5 is priced at £15.99 for 30ml.

Environ® cannot be purchased directly online, and must always follow a consultation and product recommendation by a trained Environ® Skin Care Professional. Our unique STEP-UP SYSTEM™ helps skin become gradually more comfortable with increasing doses of vitamin A and other ingredients thereby reducing the likelihood of a skin reaction.

5 reasons to LOVE this lip balm

laiafarrangravesLips often get forgotten when it comes to moisturising. I apply cream on my face daily, but I don’t moisturise my lips unless they feel sore or I can see it’s a windy day outside. And I don’t wear make up every day – I’m a great believer in looking after your skin and in the principle that less is more – so they don’t get moisturised by wearing lipstick. However, when I came across this coloured lip balm I was converted. Jane Iredale’s Lipdrink SPF15 Lip Balm is a real find. It’s a very soft lip balm, which I tried in a brand new beautiful shade called Flirt that is subtle enough to look completely natural. It protects from the sun, intensely hydrates and adds a hint of colour to your lips. It also comes in a berry shade called Crush, a brown shade called Buff and as a lip balm with no colour, just a bit of sheen, called Sheer. So here is why I think you will love Jane Iredale’s Lipdrink:

  1. The colour: it’s soft and subtle and looks completely natural, just your lips on a better day
  2. The scent: as you apply it you will smell the uplifting scent of the zest of a lemon being crushed into your lips
  3. The fact that this product is completely cruelty free, vegan and gluten free – so it’s a little stick of goodness
  4. The ingredients: natural oils including avocado, carrot seed and lemon peel to name but a few
  5. The texture: it’s so intensely moisturising that it literally glides on and protects you from the sun for softer, more kissable lips.

Need I say any more?

For more information go to janeiredale.com/uk. Lipdrink SPF15 Lip Balm is priced at £14.00.

 

Smelling of roses

laiafarrangraves.pngThere are night creams and then there are night creams, and the Wild Rose Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial from KORRES, is definitely in the latter category.

It’s a night cream with a difference, because it acts like a facial and repairs your skin while you sleep, providing intense hydration. It also contains vitamin C for extra potent skin brightening and radiance, reinforcing the natural cell renewal process overnight. When you first apply it, its velvety texture literally melts away into your skin leaving it smelling simply delicious – sweet with a hint of flower. It’s intensely hydrating and soft on the skin, so it’s suitable for all skin types, and contains wild rose oil and hyaluronic acid to help combat dry skin – something I’m always battling with. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and especially love how nurturing it feels when I apply it, and also how my skin feels in the morning – no tightness or dullness. It’s definitely a little bit of luxury at your fingertips, and worth investing in if you have the slightest tendency to dry skin. So make sure you get your beauty sleep…what’s not to like?

KORRES Wild Rose Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial RRP: £26.00 and available to buy online from www.MarksandSpencer.com. For more information go to www.korres.com

 

 

Want some sheer tint? We’ve got it covered

laiafarrangravesIf you’re after a daily moisturiser with sun protection and a hint of colour, look no further. The Sheer Tint from Dermalogica is a great light moisturiser that will smooth out your skin and hydrate it whilst adding a hint of colour to it. It’s ideal all year round because it gives you a healthy glow and protects your skin from harmful UVA and UVB sun rays and it’s easy to apply – just once a day after cleansing your skin. You can use it alone as your daily moisturiser or, if like me you need an extra hydration boost, you can use it over a serum or a rich day cream. The colour is translucent enough to provide a radiant glow without looking like you’re wearing make up, giving you a natural, healthy glow. It contains hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and antioxidant Walnut Seed extracts help improve
 the skin’s texture and reduce the appearance of fine dehydration lines. It also has an SPF of 20, which is great to provide your complexion with that extra protection from damaging sun rays all year round (and not just when you’re on holiday!). It comes in three shades, light, medium and dark. I tried the medium and it worked well, once I mixed it in with daily moisturiser. I also tried it as a blush, applying just a little on the cheek area and it looked great, so like any good quality product it’s a bit of a multi-tasker. The shades are very adaptable and subtle too, so one shade will accommodate a number of skin tones. As always, it’s formulated without artificial fragrances and colours – well, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Dermalogica! A good, staple investment if your skin need a pick-me up…

For more information go to www.dermalogica.co.uk. Dermalogica’s Sheer Tint spf20 is priced at £34.80.

Spritz on your sun screen

laiafarrangravesIt’s finally hot: it’s summer, my favourite time of year, but a season that can be very harmful for your skin if you don’t protect it sufficiently. I always wear factor 50 sun cream on my face, all year round, because it’s exposed – it may sound excessive to some but I truly believe that when it comes to skincare, prevention is key and sun damage can age your skin prematurely. I normally use a lotion, but when I saw this new Invisible Hydrating Mist SPF50 from Vichy, I simply couldn’t resist trying it out. It’s designed for your body, but I’ve also used it on my face and it works well. The obvious advantage using this product has, is that it’s extremely easy to apply, just spray on and Bob’s your uncle. It’s also invisible, meaning that it leaves no streaks or white marks on your body or clothes, so you can wear it with any outfit. It’s designed for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and it’s also unisex – my husband sprays it on before cycling to avoid greasy hands, and I’ve used it on my toddler when, pool in sight, she has no patience to wait for cream to be applied. The formula filters UVA and UVB harmful rays to protect the skin. It’s also enriched with Vichy Thermal Spa Water (soothing, fortifying and regenerating) for maximum hydration – contains no Parabens and is Hypoallergenic. It’s a very clever idea and a great family all-rounder that can keep you all protected from the sun. In short,  think this one is a keeper: easy to use, effective and offering all-round protection. The only drawback is that you can’t carry it in your hand luggage if you’re off on a short sunny break, but then again you’re bound to find some at the airport…

For more information go to www.vichy.co.ukInvisible Hydrating Mist SPF50 from Vichy is priced at £16.50. It’s also available in SPF30. Ideal Soleil is available at Boots Nationwide and at www.boots.com.

 

Bath-time made easy

beautyspotblogHaving a bath can be an intensely relaxing experience, which can be enjoyed at any age – especially at the end of a long day. Bathing a baby, on the other hand, although fun and rewarding, can also be extremely stressful.  To ensure that as a parent you enjoy this magical experience, and to avoid feeling under pressure when co-ordinating the balancing act that is holding a wet baby and a small towel with only two hands, I strongly advise you to give Cuddledry a go. When I first read about it, I wasn’t sure if it was one of those pointless inventions that although sound great on paper, when it comes to it don’t actually make your life any easier – a chargeable milk frother comes to mind…But trying it out was a revelation: the towel is generous in size and works like an apron (you fasten two poppers behind you neck) that is long enough to fold back on itself and ‘become’ a towel. So when you hold your baby before bathing them you have plenty of fabric to ensure they’re kept warm without their clothes on, and – of course – when you pick them up, you can wrap them up generously and most crucially use both hands to do this is.  So if you’re going to a baby shower any time soon or need to get a baby a new gift, this is something that is both practical and cuddly at the same time. It comes in a number of designs and colour-ways (from leopard print to pale blue and pink) and it’s made of pure unbleached cotton and natural bamboo fibre. It really is silky soft and dries very fast once used. In a word: genius.

For more information visit www.cuddledry.com. Prices start at £29.99.

A big hand for handcreams

I use hand cream almost every day, so I thought it would be good to let you know which have made my top 6 in the year 2015…

beautyspotlaiafarrangravesEOS (Evolution of Smooth) (£8.00) has a very feminine and fun new collection, with lovely modern packaging. I tried their Berry Blossom Hand Lotion and was pleasantly surprised – it contained a deeply moisturizing, very soothing light cream with a fabulous, fresh fragrance. Perfectly portable with an ultra cool design. It also comes in Cucumber (light green) and Fresh Flowers scents (turquoise).

laiafarrangravesblogL’Occitane – Rose 4 Reines velvet hand cream (£8.00, 30ml)
A true classic, this aptly-named velvet hand cream is fabulous! With organic ingredients, a beautiful rose scent and a very light texture, it’s extremely effective in protecting your hands. The epitome of timeless femininity comes in a handy 30 ml tube, perfect for carrying in your handbag.

 

laiafarrangravesThe Body Shop – Amande crème mains & ongles / Almond Hand & Nail Cream (£5.00)
Actively protects against dehydration, and is excellent for softening your cuticles and conditioning your nails, too. The natural oils it contains strengthen and nourish. It has a lovely texture and absorbs quickly, with a sweet, almond scent. My hands feel really soft after using this. Perfect size, too!

 

 

laiafarrangravesEndless Glove Dry Hand Cream 2 in 1 (£6.00) is a moisture mask and hand cream formulated with macadamia and grapeseed oils, pomegranate & shea butters. With its pleasant scent and texture, it lays down a velvety smooth moisture barrier that works for 12 hours after you apply it, and comes in the perfect purse-friendly size, with the usual quirky and fun Soap & Glory packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

laiafarrangravesThe wonderful people at Burt’s Bees bring us their special Beeswax hand cream and Hand salve (£10.99). Both come in small circular packages, one glass and the other a small metal tin. They also have a Lemon butter cuticle cream which softens cuticles fast and effectively, leaving a pleasant scent behind. The beeswax hand cream is very thick, with a strong, waxy scent which evaporates quickly – and you’re left with the softest hands imaginable. The hand salve is invigorating and slightly minty, perfect for preventing chapping in the big outdoors, or after some gardening. You can pop all of these in your handbag – the tins are particularly light.

laiafarrangravesNorwegian formula hand creams  (from £2.79) A classic! These hand creams from Neutrogena come in various versions now: fast absorbing, hand and nail, berry and anti-ageing. The slightly heavy formula is quickly absorbed and protects hands in the toughest of conditions, leaving your hands baby soft.

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Relax…it’s only Christmas!

beautyspotThis time of year is filled with social occasions and a busy calendar for us all, so make sure you block out some precious me-time and schedule in some quiet relaxation and replenishing time for yourself. Christmas can be stressful and filled with high expectations, so why not treat yourself in the form of some time out from your busy week and a few simple beauty rituals? A candle-lit bath and a clay mask should leave you feeling relaxed yet invigorated and fresh, ready for the next round of social events!

Neom Organics make my favourite candles, and they have a special limited edition candle as part of their dreamy Christmas selection: Christmas Wish and Perfect Peace (£49.95). Neom have created their 100% natural Neom Christmas Wish™ fragrance, part of their therapeutic Neom Scent To Instantly De-Stress™ range. It includes thirteen pure essential oils, amongst them mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean. The candle comes in two different sizes, with one and three wicks. They’re long-lasting and work even in large spaces. The scent evokes all the traditions of the Christmas period and helps reduce stress levels, too – and, this year, it’s sprinkled with 18 ct gold, to add even more luxury to the experience! You can also go for Neom Perfect Peace™ , a fragrance that is part of their therapeutic Neom Scent To Make You Happy™ range. It includes twenty-five essential oils including pine, myrrh and lime peel, blended to lift your mood, and helps with anxiety and stress, giving you a sense of calm – plus this year it comes sprinkled with real platinum, for added glamour. Another option is Neom Perfect Peace™ , also part of the therapeutic Neom Scent To Make You Happy™ range. It includes twenty-five essential oils including pine, myrrh and lime peel, blended to lift your mood, and helps with anxiety and stress, giving you a sense of calm – plus this year it comes sprinkled with real platinum, for added glamour.

laiafarrangraves.pngAfter choosing your scent, it’s time to run your bath. I have found some incredible bath salts called Rosemary & Ginger Body Soak (£12.75). This is great for soothing tired muscles, aches and pains. The scent packs a punch and is delicious yet strong; it’s handmade in the UK with pure ingredients – you will find nothing artificial in this attractive aluminium canister, and it’s suitable for every skin type. This aromatic mixture will ease any muscle stiffness or aches: the Epsom salts offer trace elements and help get rid of toxins; the ginger and galbanum relax and warm the muscles. Wintergreen is good for joints, lavender peps you up and calms, and rosemary revitalizes.

beautyspotFinally, for a great face mask. I recommend ARGAN+ LIFT & RENEW CLAY MASK (£8.95) from the ARGAN 5 – ARGAN PLUS PRODUCTS range. It contains an astonishing amount of natural oils – baobab oil, kukui oil, moringa oil and sacha inchi oil, as well as the revitalizing passionflower oil, which is rich in vitamin C and essential fatty acids. There is also shea butter to replenish, moisturize and soften, green clay and kaolin to draw out impurities and, of course, precious Moroccan argan oil. I use this mask once a week. Apply it to clean, dry skin, and rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water. Your skin will emerge fresh, rested, renewed and nourished, with added elasticity. Fine lines are visibly diminished and your face will feel smooth, clean and soft… you’ll be ready for a beautiful Christmas. So make sure you take some time out to beautify yourself, take a deep breath and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KORRES to the rescue!

beautyspotblogAre you ready for Christmas? If – like me– you’re a last minute shopper, read on for some inspiration that could be just the ticket for those ‘question marks’ on your shopping list… Just in time for Christmas, the legendary Greek natural brand KORRES has launched the most exquisite four new gift sets, which could be the answer to your prayers: the Shower Gel Collection (£10 – a collection of 4 travel-size shower gels), the Bergamot Pear Collection (£15  a set which includes a shower gel and body milk – this by the way happens to be my favourite), the Mediterranean Trio (£26 which has a shower gel a body milk and a body butter) and finally the  Guava Collection (£20 this one contains a guava shower gel a body milk and mandarin lip butter stick).
The lovely thing about these gift sets is that not only they’re original and unusual in their scent combinations, but they’re presented beautifully, and the quality of the products – they only use natural products with no added chemicals – is second to none. Consequently their aroma and texture are as light as they are exquisite. The Guava range, for instance, smells sweet and tropical, reminiscent of that holiday feeling, whereas the Bergamot Pear is as refreshing as a fruit sorbet after a heavy meal. Let’s face it, one can never have enough luxury bathroom products (especially if they look beautiful in your bathroom) so if you’re after some last minute inspiration you can’t go wrong with these sets…

KORRES Christmas sets are available to buy in-store and online from selected stockists, including debenhams.com.

About the products:

1. KORRES BERGAMOT PEAR COLLECTION RRP: £15.00. Go “festive fresh” with the Bergamot Pear collection. Reminiscent of sunny walks in the blooming countryside, this  fresh, fruity and floral body line sets the holiday mood; Let the citrus accords, the aquatic tones and the fruity nuances refresh your senses. 
Contains: BERGAMOT & PEAR SHOWERGEL 250ml, BERGAMOT & PEAR BODY MILK 200ml

 2. KORRES MERITERANEAN TRIO RRP: £26.00. Dazzling fresh Basil Lemon, freshly cut figs, bergamot and pears from Aegean island gardens; Reminiscent of long summer afternoons, the KORRES Mediterranean trio collection, instantly sets the mood for an idyllic get-away. Contains: BASIL LEMON SHOWERGEL 250ml, BERGAMOT & PEAR BODY MILK 200ml,FIG BODY BUTTER 125ml

 3. KORRES GUAVA COLLECTION RRP: £20.00. An invigorating blend of tropical fruits offer an exotic note in the middle of the winter. Contains: GUAVA SHOWERGEL 250ml, GUAVA BODY MILK 200ml, MANDARIN LIP BUTTER STICK colourless 5ml

 4. KORRES SHOWER GEL COLLECTION GIFT SET RRP: £10.00. A Limited edition Mini Showergel set containing a deliciously scented quartet of KORRES most popular and best selling scents in miniature 40ml sizes. The perfect stocking filler! Contains: GUAVA SHOWERGEL 40ml, BASIL LEMON SHOWERGEL 40ml, BERGAMOT & PEAR SHOWERGEL 40ml, SANTORINI VINE SHOWERGEL 40ml.