Saturday, 26 March 2016

Seaweed in my cream?

Every spring I feel the need to switch up my skincare routine. I have yet to find a magic formula to do it smoothly, but I think each year I get a little bit closer. The lovely rich products, that were absolutely perfect during winter months, are just too much. Yet the feather light offerings, that are fab for summer heat, are also wrong. Getting that balance of not over drying my skin, yet getting those first signs of oiliness that come with warmer weather under control, can be a real challenge. What my skin really needs right now is hydration and soothing ingredients.

GreenPeople Beauty Boost skin restore* is an interesting concept. In the simplest terms it is a mask that you don't wash off (or you can think of it as a leave in conditioner for your face).  At first I was a little confused. The formula is that of a light cream, and the way you would use it, is pretty much like you would any moisturiser. So what makes this a treatment and not just a run of the mill day cream? That would be the performance. 

The instructions on the packaging are pretty vague: “Use daily or when skin needs a pick me up”. Despite not giving you much direction, it ends up highlighting the versatility of the Beauty Boost. I use it straight after cleansing, skipping my usual face mists and serums, there is enough going on in this product without me trying to mix and match with other formulations. Applying about 2 pea sized blobs, and leaving it to sink in. That is it. Now it is time to let the product do it’s magic. 

My favourite way to do this super simple routine of cleansing, followed by the Beauty Boost is in the evenings, especially on the nights when I’m washing my hair. Hot shower water is really not a friend to my complexion, Beauty boost restores the balance perfectly. I always wake up with skin that looks hydrated, calm and has a smooth texture. It does make a seriously good primer for makeup too, but I just love the effects of leaving it on overnight. 

Having a nose about the ingredients is my favourite part of getting know any product. I am seaweed obsessed when it comes to my food. With all the nutrients and minerals found in these aquatic plants it is no surprise that including them in beauty formulations makes for a spectacular product. There are two types of seaweed in the Beauty boost*: ulva compressa (green algae) and wakame, both boast skin soothing properties. Helichrysum (everlasting flower) extract has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial effects. It can help with clearing up acne without drying effect on the skin. In fact wakame cell culture extract, what makes this formula a true hydrating star and aids with collagen renewal, also has anti-inflammatory properties. Perilla oil is an excellent source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are needed for healthy skin (you really need to get your Omega 3s from your diet, but there is no arguing that topical application does make a difference). I do want to remark that the second ingredient is fair trade and organic plm oil. I do watch out for how palm oil is sourced, and if it had suspect origin I would not use a product with palm oil, here is what Green People say about their sourcing policy.

All the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich ingredients make this treatment an excellent addition to any routine. If you are prone to acne outbreaks, it is very important to keep the balance. The beauty boost* is an easy way to restore hydration and calm the skin if you accidentally went overboard and dried the skin out.

I love that the results are noticeable the next day, I even tried it on one of my hands so I could compare. The skin that was treated to the Beauty boost was much softer and smoother even 24 hours after applying. The lightweight pump packaging and the 50ml size means I can easily take it with me on a long haul flight. I can see this becoming a must to combat drying cabin air, and keep me looking fresh faced when travelling .

The scent is light and refreshing, with a hint of citrus. It doesn’t really linger and is not too strong, so never becomes annoying.

Beauty Boost skin restore is available for pre-order with 10% off until 7th of April.

*PR sample, all opinions are mine and mine alone, based on personal experience with the product. I don't even have to say that "this message is approved by me", because I wrote it. Every single word.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

In pursuit of restful slumber...

Whenever I get excited about something, or in periods of stress, the first thing to suffer is the quality of my sleep. It doesn't really matter if the reason for a restless night is a happy occasion, if I don't get my 8 hours of slumber I turn into a gremlin (and not cute little fluffy Gismo, but the other version). Having a good night's rest influences a lot more than someones mood. It affects how well we function, physically and mentally, and of course it affects our appearance.

Due to my personality, I often go through periods when I struggle to fall asleep, or I am plagued by so many dreams that I feel more exhausted come morning then I did before going to bed. As much as I loathe the idea of having a bedtime routine, having some sort of structure really does help in this case.

Lock down on electronic devices.

Sometimes I forget that my phone is just a device and not an extension of my hand. It is very tempting to see what is going on Twitter or Instagram instead of counting sheep in my mind. The thing is, the blue light of the screen makes it even harder to fall asleep afterwords. So at least an hour before bed I lay all my electronic devices to rest. Mobile phone goes into a bedside draw (I will be able to hear an emergency phone call but it's out of sight). I do this before my usual skincare ritual, so once I'm back from the bathroom there are no distracting devices hovering about.

Time for feet.

On my bedside table I always keep a foot balm. Feet seem to have a connection with pretty much everything that goes on in the body, and they are always working so hard. I find that a good foot rub is not only relaxing but it really makes me feel so much better. At the moment I am using Bathing Beauty sock. I love the texture of this balm, it absorbs well but not too quickly, giving me plenty of time for a massage. The minty scent puts my mind at ease.


After a foot rub I normally like to read for a little, sipping on some chamomile tea. This really helps me to unwind and leave the working day behind. Once I feel like I am ready for some shut eye, I will use one of the two aromatherapy blends currently on rotation: Badger sleep balm or Bloom remedies serenity slumber. Both work really well for me, but I find with these things that they can be very effective in the beginning, and then once I get used to them they are not as helpful. Rotating between the two solves this problem as the scents are very different.

The big guns.

On those days when I just know my brain will be almost impossible to switch off, I bring out Mullein and Sparrow lavender body oil. While I am not always a fan of lavender in beauty products there is no denying that it really does help me relax. This particular body oil is a very simple blend of sunflower oil and lavender. I apply it to damp skin straight after a shower, and it works a treat. Sunflower is one of the less expensive oils but it still has a good deal of antioxidants, is high in vitamin E, and leaves skin super soft.

From time to time I get a little behind on the work, come back home late and the routine lapses. All it takes is a couple of bad nights, and I'm back on the waggon going through these steps. I would rather give up some spontaneity than be a gremlin.