April 2020 ‎| Birchbox Beauty Box Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

It’s been so long since I last reviewed a beauty box. I still subscribe every now and then but either I have been too lazy/busy/not great enough to publish a review or I just lost interest in writing it. However since the lockdown, I have had more time to myself and able to show some love on the blog again… especially now that I have had a big influx of people passing by since quarantine, it’s nice to keep busy whilst I’m off work. I also purchased March’s Birchbox which you can read here.

April’s Birchbox Review

First of all, I have to give a huge kudos points for Birchbox’s packaging for April’s box. It’s stunning. Photos actually do not do it any justice, it’s really amazing. This May’s box packaging is also fantastic and totally unique so check that out too.

The design was created in collaboration with Anthropologie – a lifestyle-fashion brand that sells everything from clothing and jewellery to homeware, beauty and gifts. Their designs are funky, unique and fun. I’m a big fan of their homeware and gifts section, I really like their fun and colourful prints. It’s one of the reasons why I really wanted to try out this April’s box.

Can I just say… I am really excited to try all of the products in this box! Apart from This Works and Percy & Reed, I’ve not heard of the other brands before. It might just be because I’ve been away from beauty boxes for a while but it’s a nice treat for me.

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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review
Birchbox X Anthropologie
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review
Lots of fab goodies to try!

So what’s inside…

  • KNDR Mood Balm in Positivity Pink
  • Huygens Infusion Blanche Purifying Face Wash
  • Brushworks Silicone Cleansing Pad (Birchbox exclusive!)
  • This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
  • Percy & Reed Eau My Goodness No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo

KNDR Mood Balm
I received this lip balm in Positivity Pink which is actually a bright purple colour. Once you apply the lip balm, the colour changes according to your lip’s natural pH level and adjusts to your very own tone of pink. Mine came out a light, bright pink. When Little Miss put hers on more, she came out with a subtle fuchsia colour. Very pretty and fun to use. It glides on smoothly and left my lips feeling soft. It’s also very hydrating, I got a few hour’s wear out of it before needing to re-apply.

 

 

I really love the packaging of the mood balm – the feminine design is super cute! The outer packaging is made from card and the inside packaging is card with a plastic applicator. It seems like a good idea but if water gets onto the balm, I’m not sure it’ll last! I’m also not the neatest with lip colours and you can see from the image, I already smudged the colour onto the white bit of the packaging already! I also chipped the top of the lip balm but let’s pretend you don’t see that. 🙂

Huygens Infusion Blanche Purifying Face Wash

During summer my skin tends to produce a little more oil than normal so I usually swap out my creamy cleanser for a gel cleanser or wash. I will be trying this one out and let you know how it goes. The face wash states that cleanses effectively without stripping essential moisture from the skin and is suitable for all skin types. Containing a blend of tea-tree (anti-bacterial), aloe vera (skin repairing) and glycerine (hydrating), this purifying face wash looks like it will re-balance skin types and leaves skin cleansed and clear. It does remove makeup but I’m not sure if it’s suitable for eyes.

Brushworks Silicone Cleansing Pad
This is a Birchbox exclusive product and one of the products I was really looking forward to use. Made from ultra-hygienic, flexible silicone with tiny bristles, it’s designed to lift away impurities and makeup whilst gently exfoliate the skin. Definitely gentle enough to use every day. Again, another product great for all skin types especially dull and dehydrated skin. I’ll be using this in conjunction with my Huygens face wash but also with my Aromatherapy Associations creamy rose cleanser.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
This stuff smells super calming. The relaxing scent of lavender, chamomile and vetivert will definitely help to soothe your senses. It’s also been clinically proven to help you sleep quicker than usual and wake up feeling more refreshed. I’ll try it and let you know as I already have a product which I use when I’m feeling restless (Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax roller ball). It’s the sedative aroma of vetivert that sends you off to sleep and it’ll take a lot to sway me from my AA roller ball, however I will say that a spray is definitely easier to dispense.

Percy & Reed Eau My Goodness No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo
This product is not CG-friendly as it contains alcohol denat but I might give it a try near to the next time I’m doing a clarifying wash just to see how it works on my hair. I’m not usually a fan of dry shampoo but they do come in handy if you’re spending a night out or away from home ie on a city break, camping, glamping or on a trip where you aren’t able to take all your haircare with you.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

So.. yay or nay?

Definitely YAY! I am so glad that Birchbox’s April beauty box was a hit with me. I remember a time when I loved beauty boxes so much but then what happens is the products start accumulating and I also end up receiving a lot of doubles from the boxes.

I love the fact that with the beauty boxes you can subscribe and un-subscribe whenever you want. There’s no contract to tie you down and if you want to save even more on your boxes, you can choose to pay for 3, 6 or 12 boxes in advance. If you’ve never given Birchbox a try but have tried other brands, let me know what you think of the box. Would you ever give it a try or do you think they’re all too samey-samey?

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you’d like to see more please do leave me a comment or click the like button if you’re also on WordPress! 🙂

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Want to give Birchbox a try?
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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

My Top 5 natural facial cleansers for all skin types

Cleansing your face should be one of the first and most important step in your skincare routine. It preps the skin for the next steps in your routine and is a must for those who don’t have a routine in place. With slightly more time on our side now, kick-starting your skincare routine might be a good idea plus it allows you to have more self-care time. 🙂

Why use a facial cleanser?

Cleansing helps to remove dirt and debris sitting on the skin – this goes for men and women. Think of it like washing your hands. Most cleansers will removes face makeup effectively but not all of them will remove eye-makeup or waterproof mascara so read the labels carefully. If the cleanser doesn’t state it removes eye-makeup then it won’t be gentle enough to use on eyes or take it off effectively. Micellar water is usually your best option for eye makeup removal and they’re usually a 3-in-1 (makeup remover, cleanser, toner) which means you can use it all over the face with no need to rinse off.

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Skin types can be broken down into the following categories: 

  • Dehydrated – skin that lacks water; parched skin can feel tight, it can look dull and sallow, uneven skin tone/texture, can also become red, sensitive, congested 
  • Combination – a combination of two or more skin types, generally combination skin is oily and dehydrated
  • Dry or Ageing – skin that lacks oil; rough texture, looks dry and flaky look, can be itchy, dry skin is more prone to ageing ie. visible lines and wrinkles are more prominent
  • Oily – skin texture may be thick and consistently shiny, may also be congested and/or acne-prone, if acne is active the skin can become red and sensitive
  • Sensitive – skin that suffers from redness, feels sore or irritated, affected by the environment (sun, heat, cold), may suffer from rosacea, reactive to ingredients in products, medication or diet, may also become prone to breakouts

I’ve not listed ‘normal’ skin types as even this skin type can become dehydrated so if you have normal skin, look for products that can improve dehydration and/or radiance.

The different types of facial cleansers out there:

  • Balmrich texture that is nourishing and comforting
  • Creammedium-rich texture that is heavier than gels or oils but lighter than balms,  moisturising and hydrating
  • Gel – lightweight texture that usually foams, leaves skin feeling refreshed and/or slightly astringent
  • Oillightweight to medium-rich texture that glides on the skin smoothly, usually great at removing all types of makeup including waterproof eye makeup
  • Micellar watervery lightweight, used on the face to remove makeup usually including eyes, cleanses and tones the skin without the need to rinse off

There are other types which include foaming washes, cleansing milk, 2-in-1 cleansers, solid bars, and cleansers that emulsify to a ‘milk’ before washing off.

Everyone’s skin type is a little different and can change depending on climate, weather and even the environment. Check out how your skin looks and feels regularly and if needed, switch up your cleanser but no more than twice a year (cold and hot seasons). I live in London, UK which is usually cold but I can tell that in ‘summer’ months, my skin is a little more dewy and hydrated so I’ll switch to a lighter cream cleanser or gel/foaming wash cleanser.

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My top natural skincare cleansers for your skin type

As a natural skincare junkie (and spa therapist) I’ve come across quite a few skincare cleansers. Some I love, some others love and some that are questionable. All of the cleansers I’ve listed below are labelled as suitable for all skin types but I’ve included my recommendations for which skin type I think is would get the best results from them. Ingredients like rose, aloe vera and glycerin are great for hydrating the skin – something which all skin types can benefit from.

None of these cleansers do not contain sulfates, parabens or silicones. As good practice, I’d advise you to always check the full ingredients list just in case. A cleanser might market itself as sulfate-free but could still contain parabens or silicones.

I’ve included the full list for you below too… you’re welcome! 🙂

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Renewing Rose Cleanser

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

This light but creamy cleanser smells gorgeous and feels so smooth on the skin. We use the AA brand at the spa – this natural brand that really does its job. As the cream is lightweight, it really is suitable for all skin types especially normal/dehydrated, sensitive and combination skin types. This is one of the few cleansers that can be used directly on the eyes to remove eye makeup and doesn’t sting the eyes.

Apply on with clean hands using circular motion and rinse off with water. As an extra step I like to rinse then use my wet face cloth to buff the skin so I’m getting a deeper cleanse and a little exfoliation. It’s really easy to use.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Water, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Linalool*.]
*Natural Essential Oil Contents.

I’d highly recommend this for: dehydrated skin, dry/ageing skin, combination skin, sensitive skin


Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Best Natural Skincare Cleansers

The Pro-Collagen range from Elemis has been their bestselling collections for over 5 years. I used Elemis during my training days and it’s a wonderful brand; it smells divine and products incorporate a lot of science to deliver on results. It’s much more science-y than Aromatherapy Associates and so they used to contain more chemical nasties however their new formulations now are more gentle and they’ve cut out a lot of those chemicals. This product doesn’t state it can be used on eyes to remove eye makeup so I wouldn’t suggest it. If you do, then do it with caution at your own risk.

It’s only rich once you put it on but that’ll change. Massage the cleansing balm into the skin using circular upward motions to work it into the skin to loosen up the makeup and dirt. Add a little water (emulsify) to get it going, this will allow the makeup to lift off the skin. Once it turns into a milk you wash it off and pat dry, leaving you with baby soft skin.

[Full Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Silica, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera (Wax), Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Cera (Wax), Rosa Multiflora (Rose) Flower Cera (Wax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Mint) Leaf Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Linalool, Geraniol, Eugenol, Citronellol, Limonene]

I’d highly recommend this for: dry/ageing skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin


Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

This cleanser was one of the first natural products I tried and I do love it still. The smell of the cocoa butter with the menthol aroma of eucalyptus reminds me of chocolate-minty goodness. It can be used over the eyes to remove makeup but the menthol might sting a little if you have sensitive eyes.

This rich cleanser needs to be applied similar to the Elemis cleanser, dispense 1-2 pump(s) into your hands and massage onto your face and eyelids. Make sure you massage all of the cleanser in then rinse the cloth in hot (but not boiling) water and wring out excess water. Use circular motions to remove the cleanser off.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (water), Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl esters, Cera alba (beeswax), Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan stearate, Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Humulus lupulus (hops) extract, Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, Propylene glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid, Sorbitol, Limonene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Citric acid, Sodium hydroxide.]

I’d highly recommend this for: oily/congested skin, combination skin, dehydrated skin


A’kin Cleansing Micellar Water

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

Micellar water is actually one of my favourite beauty bag staples. Simply because you can take it with you anywhere, use it to remove makeup or even just freshening up your skin when out and about. A’kin’s micellar water is super gentle and can be used on all skin types. It’s cooling on the skin and removes eye makeup pretty well. It has a really fresh cucumber scent (one of its main ingredients) so if you’re not a fan of cucumbers, this may not be one for you. This micellar water is totally water-based however you can find some other micellar water includes oils.

Can be used to remove eye makeup. Simply use with cotton pads and wipe over eyes, face and neck area. No need to rinse off.

[Full ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water *+, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea)*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice*+, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract*, Glycerin*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Heptyl Glucoside*, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate*, Sodium Levulinate*, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid*, Linalool^.]
+Certified organic.  *Botanical source.  ^From essential oil.

I’d highly recommend this for: sensitive skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin


REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

I’m not a massive fan of gel cleansers however they are slightly better for my dehydrated skin in the summer than full-on foaming wash cleansers. Gel cleansers are super lightweight but will contain some lightweight oils to keep skin moisturised and balanced. I find gel cleansers also work best on combination and oily/congested skin types but ideally could be used for all types. Dry/ageing skin types might find that gel cleansers do not provide enough moisture or hydration and will probably do better with a creamier cleanser.

Apply onto skin with wet hands or emulsify gradually with water to cleanse the skin, avoiding the eyes. Rinse off with water and pat dry.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Coco Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Parfum* (Fragrance), Rosa Damascena Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Lactic Acid, Citronellol, Geraniol]
*100% Natural Fragrance – Parfum 100% Naturel

I’d highly recommend this for: combination skin, oily/congested skin, dehydrated skin, sensitive skin

There you go!
It’s not a comprehensive list but enough to get you looking around and get you started this Spring on your skincare journey. Do you have a favourite cleanser? Let me know in the comments section what you think of these recommendations and whether you agree. x

Happy #WellnessWednesday


NB. this post contains affiliate links

GlossyBox UK January review

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family & Lifestyle Blog

I’ve not been a GlossyBox subscriber in a little while so last month I decided to give it a try again and have fallen in love with the beauty box once again. The December box was fantastic and had a different packaging from its standard pretty pink shade.

There was also a promo on for December; two boxes for the price of one so of course I couldn’t miss out on subscribing! I really need to write a review for those boxes too so will post those up soon. Blogging has become a little tricky again with everything else going on in life but I guess that is life – it doesn’t always run as smoothly as you want it to.

I really felt like GlossyBox UK have stepped up their game in these past couple of months. The products in December’s box were fantastic and the same with January’s box too.

Here’s what I got in mine:

  • Evelyn Iona Cosmetics green tea primer
  • Dr. Botanicals Moroccan rose superfood facial oil (my fave product)
  • Nail Medic nail and cuticle energizer
  • Apicia cream blush
  • Boots beauty beneath supplements (60 capsules)

My favourite product out of all these has to be the Dr. Botanicals Moroccan rose facial oil followed closely by the Evelyn Iona cosmetics primer.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Glossybox January 2018 Review
Photo Credit: Glossybox

The facial oil is nothing like I’ve used before – it’s really light and more of a liquid texture and consistency than oil. This superfood product is packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin C (helps to make the skin look more radiant), vitamin A (an antioxidant that helps reduce the signs of ageing) and almond oil (nourishing to the skin).

I think this facial oil would suit combination to oily skin types a little more than other skin types as it’s so light. My skin type is combination and dehydrated and I found the product went on really well and felt very nice on the skin. It also left my skin feeling hydrated for the rest of the day. It smells absolutely gorgeous too. Like almond sweets. 🙂 I did think that if my skin was more drier like it usually is during the colder seasons, this product probably wouldn’t be able to provide me with enough moisture to be used alone without moisturiser on top.

I used the Evelyn green tea primer on top of the facial oil and my skin felt really soft, moisturised and oh so smooth. The primer has a lot of natural ingredients which is a bonus for me as I am really loving the natural/organic/free-from-chemicals hair and beauty products that are on the market. They always smell amazing and feel amazing on the skin! So back to the primer, it’s paraben-free and also contains aloe vera, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil – all of which are nourishing for the skin.

However, I did notice something naughty at the top of their ingredients list… dimethicone. A well-known silicone that’s neither natural, organic nor good for our skin. According to the brand’s website, Evelyn Iona states that they will be removing this ‘cone from their formulas in “early 2018″… we’ll see if they stick to their word. Ever since embarking on my natural hair journey I’ve been more conscious about checking the labels to see what goes into my skincare products.

The cuticle oil energizer was really nice to use and also smelled like sweets. It sinked into my cuticles fast and didn’t leave any oily residue behind. The cream blusher was nice to use but I’m not a big fan of blusher so not used it apart from testing it once and therefore can’t really comment on it. The food supplement I’ve not used at all so can’t comment on that either.

Beauty box giveaway?
I’ve also realised that I’ve accumulated a LOT of samples over the year – there’s so many  that haven’t been opened. Once I even ordered a box by mistake and ended up with two! So I decided I will be giving away some of these products – either as a giveaway or something… any ideas?

Have a lovely week! x


*this post contains affiliate links

 

A guide to helping your child develop a skincare routine

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Looking after children’s skin is very important. For my own kids, they don’t go a day without cleansing with water and a face cloth and moisturising with shea butter/coconut oil whip that I made. I know that when the kids get older I’d have to step up their routine.

Children can grow up so fast. One minute, they’re running around and scattering Lego on the floor, and the next thing you know, they’re spending lots of time in front of the mirror, worrying about their skin and hair. Throughout the changes that they’ll go through in life, it’s important to be there for them every step of the way, especially when it comes to hygiene and skincare.

According to a survey, 81% of young girls said that having clear and healthy skin was very important to them. However, because of lack of skincare knowledge, 45% of girls ages 12 to 14 are choosing to wear too much makeup to cover up their bad skin. It is important to let children know that applying too many layers of makeup can lead to greater skin problems and having a skincare routine is essential to one’s overall health. It’s never too early to let your child know some healthy skin habits, so follow these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine.

Teach your child about her skin type
Most children have healthy skin, but by the time they turn 11, some will experience having acne, oily skin, or even dry skin. Assess your child’s skin and teach him or her about her skin type. If you’re not certain, you can find out by doing this simple test to determine his or her skin type. Have your child wash her face with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. After two hours, observe how the skin looks. If her skin looks tight, dull, and feels itchy, then she has dry skin. Oily skin looks and feels greasy, has large pores, and is prone to breakouts. Knowing about skin type helps you and your child find the right skincare products before he or she starts doing a regular skincare routine.

Cleanse well
The first thing that you need to teach your child is to cleanse his skin well. Proper cleansing can help to clear up acne and prevent breakouts, especially if your child has very oily skin Encourage him to do this at least twice a day—once in the morning before going to school, and once in the evening before bedtime. Your child should cleanse all the way up to the hairline and behind the ears every single time. Choose a mild, pH balanced, milky cleanser with little to no scent. Gentle face washes, hypoallergenic products, and cleansers with few synthetic ingredients are ideal for young skin.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger
Source: Unsplash

Moisturise
Applying moisturiser is an essential part of any skincare routine as it keeps the skin supple. Moreover, it is beneficial in improving the skin’s texture, and whether your child has oily or dry skin, it is crucial to use the right type of moisturiser to ensure the skin’s health. A gel-type moisturiser may be more suitable for oily skin, while dry skin will benefit from a lotion or cream formula.

Sun protection
Protecting one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun should be a priority. Sunscreen prevents sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer, so kids, especially those who participate in outdoor sports, should make it a habit to use sunscreen every day. Let your child bring a small tube of sunscreen to school as well so he or she can reapply as needed.

Having good skincare habits at a young age can help a child have healthy skin that will benefit him as he gets older. Try these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine. In case of serious skin problems, consult your dermatologist.

A contribution post by Jane Sandwood

Healthy hair & skin: quick fixes for busy women

Happy #WellnessWednesday! With the cold weather fast approaching, here are some hair and skincare hacks to stop you looking less than perfect…

As all mothers know, time management is a must, and anything that could potentially interrupt the morning routine is a big no-no. When you’re in a hurry the last thing you need is bad hair or skin, and the time it takes to rectify those issues. Fear not though, with an action plan you can hide and fix all manner of beauty problems without losing too much time. Let’s check some out.

Tame tangled hair
You wake up, the kids are round your ankles, you need to get everyone ready but your hair looks like a bird’s nest. We’ve all been there, but don’t stress! This is where the detangling brush comes in. Just work section by section and you’ll soon be tangle free.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare

There are so many detangling brush benefits versus the ordinary brush and comb:

  • Pain free – you won’t have to tug anywhere near as hard to remove the tangles
  • Quick – much more so than the usual options
  • Gentle – they’re designed to release knots in a much more efficient manner, so less damage occur
  • Versatile – they work on all different hair types

Hide poor condition
Sometimes you wake up and your hair looks awful to you, whether it’s greasy, dry or lifeless. You haven’t got time to bring it back to top condition so it’s time for a quick fix. Step forward the tried and trusted ponytail. This timeless style doesn’t just hide a multitude of sins; it takes no time to do and still looks great. Twist it, tie back on the side or add a few accessories if you’ve got the time, and inclination, to make it more glamorous. Also, having dry shampoo in stock is always a great and quick help.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare
Hide poor hair condition in an updo, or a ponytail

Fight the breakout
You’re awake, you take a look in the mirror and your skin is looking pretty dry. Don’t fret about that, this doesn’t have to take ages to fix. Moisturiser is an obvious one but you can give it a boost by mixing with a face serum. This is a double-pronged attack that’ll give your face a glow and make it feel better too. Prevent this in future by investing in a quality night cream, and make sure you always remove your make-up before you go to sleep. Investing in a skin brush to slough away the superficial layer of dead skin cells can help keep skin clean and spots at bay. You can even choose from a manual one or electric one.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare
Keep skin healthy and moisturised

Clear those puffy eyes
Ever woken up and your eyes haven’t got the message? We all have. Puffy, red and looking as though you should be heading for bed, rather than ready to take on the day. Don’t worry, a combination of cold and moisture is going to do the trick. If you’ve got ice packs pop them under or over your eyes for a few minutes. This will clear the puffiness and shrink the vessels that have given you that red eye look. Alternatively, chuck a couple of spoons in the freezer whilst you get breakfast and then hold them over your eyes. If you’ve got time flick the TV on for the kids and put slices of cucumber over your lids to get some much needed moisture in. Failing that, try cold water.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare
A cold spoon over the eye area can help reduce puffy eyes

When you’ve got kids, time is precious and these quick fixes are really going to help you claw back a few minutes. From the benefits of a detangling brush to the use of cold compresses on puffy eyes, there’s plenty that can be done. Before you know it, everyone (including you) will be ready to tackle the day!

A contribution post by Joana Teixeira

Look Fantastic August beauty box review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | LookFantastic Beauty Box Review

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I wrote my LookFantastic July beauty box review – it was quite popular review on my blog. I’m not going to deny it, it was a pretty good box. I never got round to posting this beauty box review last year so thought I would do it now… now that it’s August again! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | LookFantastic Beauty Box Review

Look Fantastic August Beauty Box

LookFantastic’s August box has a bold British theme, “Best of British”. I liked this box because it contained products just from UK brands. 100% British, high quality brands! Some brands I had heard of but others were new to me.

My top three products from this August box are:

  1. REN Flash Defence anti-pollution mist toner (60ml, £24.00)
  2. Balance Me congested skin serum (15ml, no longer available individually)
  3. Bee Good honey & vanilla lip balm (10ml, £4.75)

REN anti-pollution mist toner
The REN anti-pollution mist was really nice to use. Whenever I needed to freshen up my face, a little spritz was very welcomed. It felt light and fresh on my skin and because it doesn’t have a scent I could use it again and again without being sick of a smell. It’s the ideal product on a hot, sticky summer’s day. The packaging is sleek and minimal which I really love – let the product do the talking right?!

What I didn’t like about the spray was that for a sample size it’s teeny weeny at 9ml. I used it daily and it was almost finished in two weeks but saying that, the full size version is 60ml so you’d get six times of two weeks worth (12 wks) which is pretty decent but slightly pricey at £24.00 a bottle.

If you do fancy giving it a try, I’d recommend going for the REN Urban Grey skin kit which is cheaper at £13.00 and has the mist (in the 9ml sample size) as well as the flash balm 1-minute facial cleanser (15ml) and the anti-ageing day cream moisturiser (15ml). This sample sized kit would be great if you’re travelling or need something small you can take on holiday.

Balance Me congested skin serum
This facial serum was also extremely lightweight and easy to use. I love the tube of the serum. In terms of packaging, its tip-application tube means that you could squeeze out every last bit of product before throwing the tube away. Definitely cost-effective.

I think this product is no longer available as a stand-alone product. Maybe Balance Me are planning to discontinue it… I dunno but it’s a little disappointing because it is actually a really good product. If you’re familiar with the Balance Me range and want to give this serum a try, it’s available in the Deluxe Clearer Skin kit which you can buy from LookFantastic.com.

Bee Good’s honey & vanilla lip balm
This lip balm smells absolutely divine! I love the smell and the consistency of the lip balm. It goes on very smoothly and feels very lightweight on the lips. The packaging is cute – the yellow colour I guess represents the honey and vanilla and the honeycomb design goes well with the bee logo and the brand name, “Bee Good”.

The honey and vanilla provides a good amount of moisture for the lips however for me personally I felt the lip balm was too lightweight. I’m used to the thicker consistency of Carmex balms but most days I can overlook this because of its delicious scent. 🙂

The other products in the box:

RENU Lip And Eye Active Lift (25ml, £11.00)
This is a lightweight lip and eye cream. The natural ingredients in this eye cream helps to stimulate collagen in the skin which plumps and firms the skin. The arnica extract in this product will also help to combat puffiness. If you have ageing skin or looking for a product to help give you a more youthful appearance, this RENU lift cream is right for you.

Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm (75ml, £18.00)
A great little hair saviour. Percy & Reed is a brand that I am familiar and this wonder balm has some great reviews. It can be used alone or as a hair primer for other styling products. It’s best to apply it to towel-dried hair but can also be used on dry hair sparingly to give volume.

Bloom And Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz (100ml, £15.00)
Two facial spritz in the same box! This one was bigger than the REN one which was my personal favourite out of the two. This Bloom & Blossom spray has a scent which smells quite earthy but don’t let that put you off because it’s a very light scent. The spray can be used over make-up and at anytime of the day. The aloe vera extract soothes the skin and leaves it soft to the touch. This spray is made without any parabens, SLS or synthetic nasties and is not tested on animals. Perfect for those who are looking for a green and ethical product.

And that’s it!

Out of all the six products, I had three faves but that’s not to say the other three weren’t good they just weren’t to my personal taste. If you liked this review, check out my other box reviews using the search bar at the top of the blog page.


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MoroccanTan Self-Tanning Lotion Review

moroccan_tan

When there is no time (or money) for a beach holiday to get a good tan, the one from the bottle is the next best thing. If anything, it’s probably better to fake it as you won’t be putting your skin at risk of excessive UV exposure.

Before a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of MoroccanTan. They are a professional self-tanning brand so that means that it’s not available for purchase you’re a qualified therapist. I got a free sample with an order I placed for my CND nail supplies and became really interested in undergoing a spray tan course. I think it’s a great service that a lot of people would like. Especially if, like me, you find it difficult to DIY.

MoroccanTan is formulated with argan oil to help restore moisture to the skin and the extra added vitamins and organic oils in the lotion ensures hydrated skin and an even coverage. It also doesn’t contain any alcohol, parabens or polyethylene glycol (PEG) which is a great added bonus – I really like conscious skincare brands. 🙂

Colour & Application
My free sample was for fair-medium skin tones which was perfect for me. As I am quite pale in winter I thought it may’ve been too dark but it was just right. The sample was really small (same size as the free samples in magazines) but it was just about enough for one application. It was quite easy to put on as it’s a dark brown colour. When you rub it properly into the skin, it starts to turn creamy and becomes white-ish. There’s still a bit of colour so you can make out where you’ve applied it already.

It took me about 15mins to apply as I am quite slow and didn’t use gloves so my hands got a bit stained but came off quite fine with a good scrub afterwards. I applied it on at night so went to sleep then washed it off first thing in the morning. It smelled like watermelon when I applied it but that distinctive ‘biscuit-fake-tan’ smell did kick in a little when it was developing overnight.

The Result
It was definitely a subtle tan which is good if you want to be able to build up your colour. Also, a lighter tan in winter does look a lot more natural. MoroccanTan does offer an “Exotics” range which is aimed at olive-dark skin tones or those wanting a darker/deeper tan or have darker skintones.

Overall, I like the colour. I did wish it was a tad darker as my arms are quite tanned naturally from wearing short sleeves last summer so I would’ve liked the tan to make me more even. My hands are the same colour as the rest of my body so ideally if my body could match my arms that would’ve been perfect! Maybe one day I can try out the exotics range…

Getting That Glow With Moroccan Tan - The Greenwich Mummy

Liz Earle Beautiful Skin Kit Review

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My skin now finally has that lovely “pregnancy glow” everyone talks about but it hasn’t been easy. My skin type has changed from being blemish-prone/combination skin to normal/dehydrated with dry patches. I think having the heating on high probably has something to do with that change but the past few months have been a little too cold for my liking. So with the change, I decided to update my skincare and change a few products around.

Why I like the Liz Earle brand

I have been a fan of Liz Earle products for some time as they’re a British brand manufactured in the UK and use ‘naturally active ingredients’ which are botanical and plant essences. Their products don’t contain any skincare nasties like parabens and SLS too and display their full ingredients list on their website which, I think, is a bonus advantage. However, the last time I used their products I thought the cleanser was a bit too rich for my skin as it’s designed for all skin types. Now that my skin is a little drier and in need of more moisture and hydration, I’ve decided to give it another go.

My Liz Earle Beautiful Skin Kit Review

I headed online to their official website and purchased one of the ‘try-me’ kits; Liz Earle Beautiful Skin Kit, which was amazing value (£28.75, correct as of 25/03/16) and contains the essentials that I needed – cleanser, toner and moisturiser. I chose the Beautiful Skin kit because as I didn’t want to try any of the other products and it worked out that I get more ml’s for money in this specific kit.

I’ve used my Liz Earle products for about one month now and here’s what I think about them so far…

Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser 

My Liz Earle Beautiful Skin Kit Review
Liz Earle UK

The hot cloth cleanser has a two-step process; first you apply the rich creamy cleanser straight onto your face and massage the cleanser in the skin. Leave on your skin for about a minute to let it dissolve makeup and remove daily build-up of dirt, oil, etc. The second step is to rinse the muslin cloth in warm/hot water and wring before apply to your face in circular motions to remove the cleanser.

My thoughts?
What I like the most is the pump – each pump gives you a generous dose of cleanser and is a brilliant design as it keeps bacteria out of the product. The buffing action with the muslin cloth helps to gently exfoliate while removing the cleanser properly which is why I think my skin feels wonderfully soft after cleansing every morning and night. I felt like the cleanser doesn’t get removed properly if you use tepid or cold water though as the cleanser is very rich. This sometimes puts me off using it because 1. the extra step can be a hassle especially when I’m in a rush which is most of the time and 2. I normally like to wash my face with tepid or cool water. However, these colder months I’ve been washing my face with warm/hot water so not been too fussed.

Instant Boost Skin Tonic

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Liz Earle UK

The toner is said to help make your skin look brighter and is incredibly soothing thanks to the active ingredients like cucumber, aloe vera, and chamomile. The toner is alcohol-free and non-drying on the skin making it the ideal toner for all skin types.

My thoughts?
I seriously love this product – I can’t tell you enough! It’s my favourite skincare item from the brand and one of the best toners I have used. Firstly, it smells absolutely divine thanks to the chamomile and calendula essences. Secondly, it’s very gentle on the skin and because it’s alcohol-free it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight but is still astringent enough (thanks to the hops ingredient) to leave my skin looking matte. I’m not a great fan of the bottle as I end up pouring too much toner on my cotton pad but it can be bought as a spray (you got to pay a little more for the spray though) so I guess it’s win-win all around.

Skin Repair Moisturiser

My Liz Earle Beautiful Skin Kit Review
Liz Earle UK

The moisturiser accommodates to different skin types in three variations; normal/combination, oily/combination (Skin Repair Light), or dry/sensitive. If you have very dry or mature skin, take a look at the SuperSkin moisturiser which also comes in a fragrance-free version. I opted for the normal/combination version.

My thoughts?
As much as I love the skin repair moisturiser as it provides the right amount of hydration for my skin, there is a strong scent (maybe it’s the borage oil I don’t know) which I used to love but now absolutely hate! I really can’t stand it which is really sad as I am not usually sensitive to smells but cannot stomach the fragrance. I would love to try the SuperSkin fragrance free moisturiser but I’m scared it’ll be too heavy for my skin so I alternate between using my Liz Earle moisturiser and my Aveda Outer Peace blemish relief lotion.


Verdict: Mummy loves it!

If you’re planning to give Liz Earle a try, I would definitely recommend the Beautiful Skin Kit as it’s affordable and all of the products are of a decent size so you should be able to get more than a month’s worth of use out of them. I’ve had my kit for a month now and it’s just about halfway through so yippee! I think I will have to purchase the limited edition rose cleanser next if it’s still available. 🙂

My Liz Earle Beautiful Skin Kit Review
After using my Liz Earle cleanser, toner and moisturiser

Here’s a photo of me after my daily (and nightly) skincare routine. My skin had a dewy glow immediately after moisturiser which did eventually mattify but personally, I love the dewy skin look.


Fun Quiz: Find out your skin type!
https://healthstylehub.com/your-skin-type/

Source: healthstylehub.com

How To Keep Your Skin Looking Good This Winter

My 7 Top Tips For Winter Skin Survival

It’s no surprise that extreme weather plays havoc on our skin. The drastic change from being outdoors in the freezing cold to being warm and cozy indoors with the heating on full-blast can cause the skin to dry out and (over time) become environmentally sensitive.

The Dollar Shave Club asked me to share some of my skin saviour tips with you guys so I’ve put together my 7 top tips for winter skin survival… I hope ya’ll find it useful! 🙂

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Photo Credit: Telegraph

Advice #1: Turn down the heating
An obvious one really, but having the radiator on constantly and at a high temperature sucks up all the moisture in the air. It also has the same effect on your skin.

Tip: Put bowl of water next to the radiator. The water in the bowl will evaporate and replace the loss of moisture in the air. Depending on the temp of your home, you may find your bowl of water drying out quicker than expected – if this is the case and you can’t live without the heater being on constant, invest in an air humidifier (preferably with a purifier built-in). I got mine from a mail-order rep, it’s a SensuAir globe and I can add essential oils in the water to make it a bit nicer. 🙂

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Photo Credit: Google

Advice #2: Long, hot baths can cause sagging skin
Hot baths, like heating, dries out skin so have your water around body temperature at the highest which is around 37-39°C degrees celsius (98-102°F). Any hotter will not only strip your skin of its natural oils but can also affect your skin’s elasticity and make you feel lethargic.

Tip: Don’t soak for too long or have a shower instead. If you can’t resist a hot steamy bath, just have it occasionally and make sure you always moisturise afterwards. If you have a hot shower, follow it with a cold shower as this helps to stimulate the skin and help it to tighten and tone.

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Photo Credit: Google

Advice #3: Drink water
Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and plump all year round, not just in summer. Our bodies are made up of around 30% water after all.

Tip: Water keeps our skin hydrated so drinking enough of the stuff in winter is just as beneficial as drinking it in the hotter months.

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Photo Credit: Google

Advice #4: Moisturise – day and night
A good moisturiser will help to keep your skin hydrated and looking good. Don’t skip this step even if you think you don’t need it because you really do. Moisturisers keep the skin looking plump and hydrated and can act as a barrier to nasty environmental pollutants.

Tip: If you can, invest in a good night cream, serum or facial oil. These night creams provides your skin with additional moisture and moisturisers with retinol can help improve skin cell renewal whilst you sleep.

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Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan

Advice #5: Exfoliate regularly
Exfoliate your skin to get rid of that dull complexion. Exfoliating helps to slough away those dead skin cells, promote skin cell renewal and get your skin glowing again. There’s so many ways to exfoliate; manually or mechanically with a skin brush (which are amazing by the way!) or using a good facial scrub.

Microdermabrasion facials and glycolic skin peels are great alternatives and will give you instant results – just make sure you visit a reputable medical spa or skin clinic. I highly recommend SK:N clinic. They have 38 clinics nationwide (UK) and the staff are fully qualified and medically trained.

Tip: Don’t go overboard with the exfoliating – it should be performed as a weekly treatment unless you have a daily exfoliator. When choosing an exfoliator, think about your skin type. If you have dry skin you can choose grainier scrubs but if you have active acne or acne-prone skin a creamy exfoliator may be a better option as it won’t exacerbate the acne or cause them to burst and spread infection.

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Photo Credit: Google

Advice #6: Raw is best
Swap your body moisturiser for 100% raw and unrefined products like coconut oil, shea butter, and argan oil. These natural products don’t contain any preservatives or additional ingredients. It’s also much cheaper than store-bought moisturisers that contain a minuscule amount the ingredients.

Remember that some oils like raw, unrefined coconut oil is a solid in its natural state. Only when it’s warmed up it’ll turn into an oil so don’t think your coconut oil has gone off when if it’s solidified. Raw, unrefined products have distinctive smells; raw coconut smells mild and sweet but raw shea smells nutty and slightly woody.

Tip: Make sure you know what you are looking for as when it comes to these kind of products as the term ‘natural’ does get used very loosely. For example, a coconut cooking oil can be pure and natural but it wouldn’t be nice to use on your body, nor do it any good. Instead, look for words like “raw”, “unrefined”, “virgin/extra virgin” which describes the product as it’s sold in its natural state post-extraction.

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Photo Credit: Really Ree

Advice #7: Have a facial
Treating yourself to a facial may seem like a luxury but you don’t have to spend loads on one or even leave your home. If you can’t afford to visit a spa, DIY at home!

Tip: Good basic facials should consist of a cleanse, exfoliation, face mask, tone and moisturise. Perform some facial massage techniques to really get the skin stimulated and work those products into the skin.

For men
The next time you go for your shave, make sure you book a facial too as it’ll leave your skin feeling its best. If you mainly shave at home, invest in a good razor and change your blades regularly to get the best shave. The Dollar Shave Club can help you out if you need some grooming advice.


*NB. I collaborated with the Dollar Shave Club to promote their latest winter skincare campaign. All words and opinions are my own. The photos used in this post have been credited to their original source respectively.

My Thoughts On Sonic Face Brushes

Sonic face brushes like this one come as cheap as £10 on EBay

Okay, so I am very late jumping on this bandwagon but better late than never if it comes to skincare IMO. I can’t afford a Clarisonic and to be honest, I didn’t want to save and splash out on it in case I wasn’t mad about these electric brushes, I’m a little old-school when it comes to cleansing; when I’ve found something I love, I tend to stick with it until my skin starts to get used to it then I am pissed because I will back at square one.

I have about 5 cleansers which I switch from which isn’t ideal but ever since I turned 22 (now 26) my skin is so annoyingly unpredictable. One day it’s dry and flaky – a clear sign of dehydration, then the next day I’m super shiny across the T-zone and breaking out those painful under-the-skin spots (nodular acne) and just want to cry. So I decided I wanted to tackle on thing at a time. I have a foaming cleanser which contains salicylic acid to help keep my acne-prone skin in balance and use a cream exfoliator to slough away those nasty flaky bits of skin which are so obvious in these colder months.

I bought myself the cheap sonic face brush from EBay for about £10 and knew this was going to go one way or the other. It will either work and be the best, cheapest investment I’ve made to date OR it’s going to seriously sensitize my skin and be the worst £10 I’d spent in my life. I received it in about 2 days after ordering it and after reading the instructions carefully I decided to give it a go. With my facial cleanser, I used the brush for about 20-30 seconds as my skin can get sensitive really easily sometimes so I took it easy. It didn’t feel harsh at all, more like a mild exfoliation which was perfect for me.

After I rinsed my face, toned and moisturised my skin seriously felt smoother than a baby’s bottom. It works – quite well actually! The sonic brush really helps to me get in the hard-to-reach areas like the nose crease (an area I am spot-prone) which is great. I have now been using the brush for about 5 days in a row and decided to stop as I wanted to use my cream exfoliator. I don’t want to over-scrub my skin. I am due to use my skin brush again tonight after a short break as I can feel that my skin doesn’t feel as smooth as before again.

Clarisonic Aria (prices from £155)

All in all, I think sonic face brushes are brilliant, especially when they are cheap and cheerful. Just make sure you use them with care to avoid excessive exfoliation. If this cheap one can give me good results, imagine how magnificent the Clarisonic must be! Well… for a brush that retails for around £155 (Clarisonic Aria), you should expect some serious skin miracles!

I think I will stick to my £10 EBay brush for now…

– x –

My Top 3 Favourite Skincare Cleansers

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family Lifestyle Blog

 

I love keeping my skin clean and healthy to keep it blemish-free. It’s pretty tricky as sometimes no matter how hard I try, hormones get in the way and I break-out in spots, redness and all sorts. A complete and utter nightmare! However these things you just can’t help.

I’ve come to realise that committing to a daily skincare routine is the best way to achieve clean and healthy skin. (Regular facials also help a lot!) My golden rule is to never sleep in makeup as it’s really bad for your skin and with all the cleansers and makeup removers now available, It only takes a minute or two to have clean skin ready for bedtime.

TheGreenwichMummy.com

Below, I’ve compiled together a list of my favourite cleansers that I have tried and tested over the many years in search for the best ones for me:

1. Dermalogica PreCleanse

This is my number one cleanser that I cannot live without. If I ever need to go anywhere and must pack light, I’d swap my makeup remover and other cleanser for this one. I mainly use my PreCleanse for removing makeup as that is what it is mainly designed for however sometimes my skin goes crazy and dry, this oil-to-milk cleanser is perfect.

When you apply it on it’s an oil and you spread it all over your face to remove the makeup. Add a touch of water to turn the oil to a milk which helps to dissolve the makeup before fully rinsing it off with warm water. You’re then left with beautifully soft and cleansed skin.

2. Nivea Micellar 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

I have to admit, being a mum it can be really hectic sometimes and trying to juggle work, looking after LO, blogging and now baking together can be really exhausting. On my lazy days I want to be able to use a cleanser that gets everything off including makeup without having to rinse and micellar water is perfect for that.

I use the Nivea one which is gentle on my skin and never leaves it feeling dry. It removes every last bit of my makeup and the fact that no rinse is needed afterwards is perfect and so convenient. All you need is a cotton pad to put the micellar water on to and simply wipe over face and neck and you’re done. – lovely jubbly!

3. Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser

So this one is my all-time favourite cleansers. If my usual Dermalogica is too much effort but my skin needs a bit of moisture (it gets dehydrated sometimes) I reach for my Liz Earle cleanser.

This is a two-step process. So first step is to apply the thick creamy cleanser to your skin with clean hands. It is fabulous and will remove makeup as well as dirt on the skin, just rub it in and leave it for a minute to break down the makeup and separate the dirt from the skin. The second step is to rinse the accompanying face cloth in warm water and use it to cleanse your face in circular motions. This will effectively rinse off all the dirt and makeup from your skin and gently exfoliate it thanks to the circular motions you did and the muslin texture of the face cloth.

Have you tried any of these cleansers before? What is your favourite cleanser and why?

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

How To Do Spa Facials At Home

*Warning: Lengthy post*

For #WellnessWednesday, I thought it would be nice to do an in-depth “How-To” blog post. Coming from a spa industry background, I know how important it is to look after yourself from the inside out. One of the best things about spas is that it is a sanctuary not just for your body, but also for your mind and spirit – it’s the place of recuperation and improving your well-being.

People nowadays are far too stressed and so busy that they don’t fully take the time to relax – I know I am one of these people most of the times which is why I try to take some time out after LO goes to bed to rest my body and my mind. It’s nice to be able to have a facial at the spa – you can unwind and de-stress whilst the therapist gets to work on your skin, making it more radiant and youthful. However sometimes you just can’t get away or money is low and you are stuck for months without a good skin cleanse.

That is why this post is here to help! Below are 5 easy steps how you can achieve spa facial results in the comfort of your own home.

How To Do Spa Facials At Home

Step 1 – Cleanse

If you have makeup on, I recommend doing a “double-cleanse” to ensure that your face is thoroughly cleansed. To do this, use a makeup remover then use a cleanser to thoroughly cleanse the skin. After you have thoroughly cleansed your skin, rinse off with water and pat your skin dry, never rub.

Top Tip: Micellar water is a great alternative as it removes all your makeup (including waterproof mascara) and doesn’t need to be rinsed off – There really is no excuse to sleep in your makeup!

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Step 1: Cleanse

Step 2 – Exfoliate

When exfoliating, don’t be tempted to over-do it as over-exfoliating your skin as it can cause the skin to become sensitive, easily irritated and even break out. When rinsing off your exfoliator make sure you take time to do it thoroughly because you don’t want residue left on your skin when you do the next steps.

After exfoliating, steam your face with a facial steamer that you can buy online, or simply use a face flannel. Make sure it is hot but not boiling then place the flannel over the face for 30 seconds. Adding lavender or tea tree essential oil to a corner of the flannel will give you that spa-like pampering experience. Lavender and tea tree have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so they can help with congestion or problematic skin.

Top Tip: Products with salicylic acid works best as it’s an active ingredient that helps remove dead skin cells. If you have congested skin, you are better off with a daily powder or enzyme-active product, avoid abrasive types as this can cause your spots to spread through bacteria if they burst.

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Step 2: Steam & Exfoliate

Step 3 – Massage

Massage, I believe is the reason why spa facials work and it’s the reason why you see results so quickly compared to doing just your skincare routine effectively. The reason being is that massage helps the muscles to relax and repair as well as help push the products deeper into the skin. A good facial massage at a spa takes around 15mins however at home, you are most probably short for time but even a quick facial massage is more beneficial than none. Click here to watch Lisa Elridge’s facial massage routine which I highly recommend. Those draining and lifting techniques will help to tone up the skin and flush away toxins.

Top Tip: You don’t need any fancy-shmancy facial oils. Simple oils such as coconut, grapeseed, rapeseed or olive oil are all excellent choices and all natural.

facial massage
Step 3: Massage

Step 4 – Mask

You can choose any type of face masks – it all depends on what you want out of it. If you have problematic/acne/congested or oily skin, use a purifying clay one or a peeling one. If you have no skin concerns or slightly dehydrated skin go for a hydrating face mask. If you have dry skin use a moisturising one to put back the moisture in to your skin. If you have easily irritated skin, use masks specially designed for sensitive skin types.

Top Tip: You only need a face mask twice a week at most, sometimes you can skip this step if you feel that your skin doesn’t need any extra help or if you have no real skin concerns and just want a quick-fix facial.

facial mask
Step 4: Mask

Step 5 – Tone & Moisturise

Toner is good for the skin as it helps to remove any remaining products on your skin, tightens the pores and provides additional hydration to the skin. Blot off any excess toner with a tissue or cotton pad.

Choose a moisturiser that is made for your skin type. If you have fair skin, it’s recommended that you use a moisturiser with built-in SP 30+ factor. You should also think about getting a day and night cream as night creams can help improve skin cell renewal.

Top Tip: If you prefer something more “natural”, swap the toner for rosewater which does the same job and is usually cheaper than good toners. Avoid any toner with Alcohol Denat especially if you have dry or sensitive as this can dry out the skin even more.

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Step 5: Moisturise

I hope you enjoyed reading this in-depth guide on how to do your own spa facials at home. If you do give it a try, let me know how it went!

Happy #WellnessWednesday

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