Posts tagged Skin
Since my teenage years I have struggled greatly to find a deodorant suited to me, for several reasons. Firstly, I suffer from sensitive skin which is easily irritated, and the majority of high street deodorants make my skin red and itchy. Secondly, I have asthma, so aerosol deodorants are out of the question as they make my breathing bad. And thirdly, the (unproven) links between antiperspirants and breast cancer have always bothered me, but whether they’re true or not, who wants to be smothering their body with unnecessary chemicals anyway? With all this in mind, I am always on the look out for new deodorants which are chemical-free and suited to delicate skin, so when I came across Bionsen I was positively intrigued, and was keen to try their products when they were sent to me to review.
Bionsen’s deodorants contain a blend of skin nourishing Japanese Spa Minerals which are found in the volcanic spas of Japan (known as ‘Onsen’), and the deodorant’s hypoallergenic formula helps to neutralise the body’s bacteria which is responsible for bad odour. They are also aluminium and paraben free, so are gentle on sensitive skin and, if the claims about cancer causing chemicals are correct, they reduce these risks too.
The deodorants I received from Bionsen are the 50ml Roll-On and the 100ml Pump Spray. Over the last few days I have given both deodorants a go, and I have been suitably impressed. Here is what I think of each…
Bionsen Roll-On Deodorant
Bionsen’s roll-on deodorant has a light, fresh scent which isn’t overwhelmingly strong like some deodorants. The roll-on applies quite wet and feels instantly cooling on the skin, which is lovely after a shaving or a hot shower, but it does take a while to dry. I admit I got a little impatient the first time I used the deodorant and got dressed before it was completely dry, but it didn’t leave any white marks on my clothes at all. Overall, the deodorant lasts an incredibly long time. The fresh scent lingers all day (and I’m talking ALL day, from before work until bedtime), and most importantly, the roll-on causes me no irritation whatsoever. It’s a winner in my book!
Bionsen Pump Spray Deodorant
As I mentioned earlier, I can’t use aerosol sprays due to my asthma, so when I first saw Bionsen’s pump spray I was incredibly pleased to have an alternative to my usual roll-on! And indeed, it doesn’t trigger my asthma at all. Like the roll-on, the pump spray is extremely cooling, and has a light, fresh scent which lasts all day. The spray cap is moveable, so it’s easy to angle the bottle in the right direction, and I find that two sprays of deodorant on each armpit is plenty enough for long-lasting protection. The spray dries a lot quicker than the roll-on too, so if you’re looking for a deodorant that’s suited to a busy lifestyle then this one’s for you.
Bionsen’s Japanese Spa Minerals roll-on and pump spray give everything I could want from a deodorant. They smell nice, they’re free from nasty chemicals, they last a long time and they don’t irritate my sensitive skin. They’re really affordable too! The roll-on retails for £2.35, and the pump spray is £2.75, which is the same (if not cheaper) than most high street deodorants. If roll-ons and sprays aren’t your thing though, Bionsen also do a deodorant stick, aerosol spray and Deo Total Body crystals, so there’s something for everybody. The range was launched last month in Morrisons supermarkets, so if you want to try them for yourself they’re very easy to get hold of, and I highly recommend you do!
In an attempt to go even more natural with my skin care routine, I recently swapped my synthetic sponge for a natural sea sponge, which was kindly gifted to me by the lovely folks at The Sponge Market. The Sponge Market are a Sheffield-based skin care company who concentrate on supplying luxury natural bathing products. All of their sponges are collected by expert divers who make an effort to protect the environment and encourage new sponges to grow, which is very important and reassuring.
The sponge I received is a 5.5″ Honeycomb Sea Sponge, which is said to be the ‘most luxurious and longest lasting sponge of all the sea sponge family’.
The 5.5″ Honeycomb Sea Sponge is the ideal size for every day use in the bath or shower. When wet, it has a silky soft texture, but it remains firm so is perfect for all over cleansing. It feels so gentle on the skin and far more luxurious than a synthetic sponge. I like to use my sponge before I go to bed to wash off my make up, and it makes my skin feel so soft and refreshed.
The sponge also makes a small amount of shower gel go a very long way. I usually end up using an overly generous amount of gel in the shower as it never foams up enough, but the first time I tested the honeycomb sponge I used a marble sized amount of gel and it foamed up immensely. In fact, even after use when I was rinsing the sponge the foam kept coming. Impressive, and I’m definitely happy to be saving money by not wasting shower gel any more!
After use, the sponge dries quickly so it doesn’t sit there getting soggy and smelly. It keeps its shape as well and doesn’t fall to bits in a few days like synthetic sponges tend to do, which is a definite plus point.
Overall, I am pleased that I made the decision to switch to a natural sponge. Its incredibly soft texture is one that cannot be replicated, and the difference it has made to the way my skin feels is amazing. I won’t be going back to the synthetic variety, that’s for sure.
This particular sea sponge retails for £16.50, but they come in a variety of sizes (which you can view here), and start at just £10.50. The Sponge Market also stock two other types of sponge for other skin needs – Natural Grass Sponges which are ideal for exfoliation, and Natural Silk Sponges which are perfect for babies and delicate skin. If you’d like to try a sea sponge for yourself, The Sponge Market have kindly given me a special discount code so you can get 20% off everything on their website, which is a massive saving on already low prices. Just enter ‘TWEET20′ at the checkout.
Have you ever tried a natural sea sponge? What are your thoughts?
*This Honeycomb Natural Sea Sponge was sent to me by The Sponge Market for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
In the past I have blogged about several fantastic hand creams which have done a good job at softening my skin. However, for some reason, this winter has been particularly harsh on my hands which has left me with sore, dry patches which got so bad my hands actually started bleeding, and none of the creams I’d previously used were good enough to fix it! I tried everything from high street dry skin hand creams, E45 and Sudocrem to natural eczema remedies, but nothing worked, so in an effort to sort it out once and for all I went to see my GP for advice. I was expecting him to give me something chemically and horrible on prescription, but instead he suggested a rather different remedy which is now a big part of my every day skin care routine.
This might sound strange, but my GP told me to stop using soap (both bar and liquid) when I wash my hands, and to use Emulsifying Ointment instead. Both water and soap can dry skin out, but Emulsifying Ointment is a mixture of paraffin oils, which form a protective layer over the skin when used, helping to keep moisture in.
I have been using Emulsifying Ointment at home, instead of soap, for a couple of weeks now, and I am really noticing a difference. Before, I had really painful, cracked skin between my fingers, so I have been concentrating on massaging the ointment in to these areas, and they are almost completely better now. I haven’t been using this every time I wash my hands, as at other people’s houses and in public toilets it isn’t always possible, so they probably haven’t healed as quick as they could have, but I plan on buying another tub to carry with me at all times which should help! The 100g tub above cost me a couple of pounds from my local pharmacy, but I’ve since seen a 500g tub for around the same price, so it really isn’t that expensive.
Throughout the day I continue to use unscented, dry skin hand creams as usual, and wear gloves when I’m outside to avoid damage from the cold wind, but the next major stage in my skin care routine for dry hands comes at night, before I go to bed. My GP advised me to use Vaseline to help soften my skin, but I have found something else which works a treat – Olive Oil!
The little bottle of Olive Oil pictured above came from the pharmacy department in Boots, and cost me £1.99. I’ve tried to find out whether it’s the same as Olive Oil used for cooking, but there are no clear answers online, so I thought I’d play it safe and buy one which said it was good for softening skin. I’m pretty sure you can’t use Extra Virgin though! Every night before I go to bed, I rub a small amount of this into my hands (about a 5p coin sized amount per hand), focusing on the backs and in between my fingers which are the worst affected areas. Then, I get my MJ groove on and don a pair of cotton moisturising gloves, which help with the absorption of the oil, and prevent messy bed linen! I got mine from the pound shop, two pairs for £1.
Admittedly, I usually wake up in the morning sans gloves, but by that point the oil has done its job. Though the oil is far too greasy to use throughout the day as a moisturiser, it is working well as a nightly intense treatment and, along with the Emulsifying Ointment, it has made a clear difference to my skin. I am now (almost) dry skin-free, my hands no longer crack and bleed, and I just have a few rough patches on my knuckles to shift. An incredible result from a simple routine!
In sum, all you need to do is…
- Use Emulsifying Ointment instead of soap when you wash your hands.
- Moisturise with an unscented dry skin hand cream throughout the day.
- Wear gloves when out and about to avoid damage from the cold wind.
- Use olive oil and moisturising gloves at night.
Will you be trying this routine for yourself?
The time has come for me to announce the THREE lucky winners of my TanOrganic TryMe Set Giveaway, which closed last night. The winners will each receive a a 30ml bottle of TanOrganic Sunless Tan, a 30ml bottle of OilArganic multi-use body oil and a Self Tanning Mitt, worth a total of almost €22 (£18/$29)!
And the winners are…
Congratulations ladies! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address, and I will get your prizes posted out to you as soon as possible.
Thank you very much to everyone who entered, and thank you too to TanOrganic who donated the prizes. Please check back soon for another exciting giveaway!
Good news, beauty fans! BeTrousse are currently having a January sale and ALL of their Beauty Kits are selling for just £9 each!! That includes the Christmas Beauty Box, Pretty Beauty, Summer Break, The Must Haves, Organic & Natural Beauty and Spring Beauty. Every box is packed full of full-size products (not a sample in sight!), so at £9 you really are getting an absolute bargain. In fact, my favourite box is the Pretty Beauty Box which contains NINE full-size items, working out at just £1 each with this offer – amazing, right?
If you want to know more about each box before you decide to buy, here is what I thought of each one (except for the Spring Beauty box, which I didn’t receive)…
To take advantage of this incredible saving, you can view the full selection of beauty kits here. Fingers crossed they’ll be launching some new, exciting kits in 2013!
To celebrate their launch in the UK, the lovely folks at TanOrganic have sent me not one, not two, but THREE TryMe Sets to give away to three lucky winners. Each set contains a 30ml bottle of TanOrganic Sunless Tan, a 30ml bottle of OilArganic multi-use body oil and a Self Tanning Mitt, and is worth almost €22 (£18/$29) in total. TanOrganic is BUAV approved and the only Eco certified, aloe vera based sunless tan in the whole world, and OilArganic is made from 100% natural, organic ingredients. I have tried and tested both products myself in the past (click the links above to see my reviews), and they are both top notch, so this is a really great prize and one not to be missed!
How to Enter
To be in with a chance of winning one of THREE TanOrganic TryMe Sets, you must be following this blog via WordPress or email (I will check) and you must leave a comment below! This will earn you one entry. You can also earn an extra entry for each of the following…
- Follow Bewitchery on Twitter.
- Follow TanOrganic on Twitter.
- Like Bewitchery on Facebook.
- Like TanOrganic on Facebook.
- Tweet about the giveaway saying ‘For a chance to win a @TanOrganic TryMe set, enter @Bewitchery_’s giveaway’, with a link to this post.
And you can earn four extra entries if you reblog this post! That’s a possible ten entries in total
The giveaway is open internationally, to anyone aged 18 or over, and will run for three weeks, ending at midnight (GMT) on the 8th of February. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email on the 9th of February, and will be expected to provide their postal address within 24 hours. If no contact is received within this time, I reserve the right to choose another winner.
If, like me, you spend the majority of the day rushing around after one thing or another, you more than likely dream of a relaxing way to pamper your feet at the end of a long day, which won’t take hours or cost the earth. If so, then look no further, as Philosophy’s 2 Piece Foot Pampering Set has all the answers!
I’ve seen Philosophy featured on many blogs in the past, and their products seem to be very popular in the world of beauty, and after trying these two foot treats I can see why. The set contains a 120ml tube of Footnotes, an energizing foot scrub, and a 93g tube of Soul Owner, an exfoliating foot cream. I’ve always loved Philosophy’s simple packaging and quirky product names, and these two have both. The products are intended to be used one after the other, starting with Footnotes and finishing with Soul Owner.
Footnotes is a lovely mint green shade, and has an intense but refreshing scent of lavender and eucalyptus. The scrub works best when applied to dry feet, and I find a generous 10p coin-sized amount is plenty enough for one foot. Footnotes has a gel-like consistency and is packed full of micro granules of pumice, which are very fine, so no amount of rubbing makes your skin sore, as can happen with chunkier, lower quality exfoliators. The tube suggests that the scrub can be used with a pumice stone, but I prefer to massage it in with my hands, in a circular motion, focusing on any rough patches. The balls and heels of my feet are quite dry, and the exfoliating properties of this scrub have really helped to smooth these areas, softening them nicely so they’re almost back to normal after just a few uses – an impressive result! After you’ve finished scrubbing, whatever’s left on your feet should be washed off thoroughly with warm water. The eucalyptus content in Footnotes makes your feet feel cooled and very clean after use, and the effect lasts for a long time.
The next stage in Philosophy’s foot pamper session is to apply a liberal amount of Soul Owner to your entire foot area. Like Footnotes, Soul Owner is enriched with eucalyptus essential oil, so the two complement each other to give maximum tingly freshness with minimum effort. My feet always feel so awake and alive after using this set! Despite being labelled as an ‘exfoliating foot cream’, the cream itself isn’t rough or gritty, but is richly creamy and smooth. The exfoliating properties actually come from glycolic and salicylic acids, which help to reduce rough soles. The cream massages in extremely quickly, leaving behind no greasy residue, making your skin feel intensely moisturised and happy.
The results that this Philosophy 2 Piece Foot Pampering Set give are impressive. All it takes is a few minutes to instantly refresh, soften and smooth tired feet.
Have you ever tried anything by Philosophy?
*This Philosophy 2 Piece Foot Pampering Set was sent to me by QVC for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
In February 2012, when Bewitchery was born, I decided to broaden my beauty horizons and try as many new products as possible throughout the year, without breaking the bank. In my mission to discover new favourites I came across many products which were less than impressive, but luckily I also found a great deal of fantastic ones, a fair few of which I have used time and time again, and will continue to do so. In this post I will give you a round-up of just a few of the best products I tried for the first time in 2012, linking to my review of each with a little extract of my post, just to give you an idea of why I love it!
“In terms of lasting power, this liner definitely has it. I have been wearing it now since this morning and it still looks as bright as it did when it first went on, and the line is just as clean. I’ve been rubbing my eyes a bit today too and it hasn’t smudged a bit – amazing!”
“The absolute best thing about this nail polish is the colour. My favourite colours are purple, turquoise and pink, and ‘Disco Mix’ combines turquoise and pink glitter to create a polish which looks purple at a distance. The glitter colours are SO bright and bold.”
“One of the things that drew me to this foundation was the fact that it is matte and claims to offer a long-lasting velvet finish. I suffer from an oily T-zone (especially during the summer months) and I don’t like the shine that the oil creates, so I am always looking for ways to minimise the shine. MUA’s Matte Foundation, as you would hope, does give a matte complexion, and it keeps most of the shine at bay.”
“The body butter itself is fantastically light and creamy and feels so luxurious on the skin. It is absorbed very quickly too, leaving no messy residue. The product contains coconut oil, shea butter and avocado oil to aid with moisturisation, but despite the oil content it isn’t at all greasy. The oils make the butter ‘Intensively hydrating’, and combine to give ’12 hour moisturisation’, and believe me, the softness really does last that long.”
“Though the tan didn’t give my legs an intense colour, it did make them look nicely, naturally tanned and lightly brown, and I am very pleased with the results. There are no orange blotches or dirty looking streaks in sight, and my skin tone looks very even and smooth. The difference is only minor, but it is noticeable, and that is what I wanted so it has done its job well in my opinion.”
“Not one of Montagne Jeunesse’s lip balms contain petroleum jelly, so they aren’t greasy at all. Rather, they are made from 100% natural beeswax and olive oil and are lightly creamy but intensely moisturising. The beeswax forms a protective layer on the lips making them long-lasting, and the olive oil gives them a subtle shine.”
“Northern Lights consists of a very fine dusky pink glitter, and is studded with delicate flakes of holographic glitter which shine purple, blue, orange, yellow and green in most lights. Even in the bottle, the varnish is breathtaking, and I have never seen anything quite like it before.”
“The primer leaves a smooth, non-greasy base on the skin, and since I’ve been using this I have found that my foundation smooths onto my skin far more easily and evenly than usual, without going patchy on any dry bits. The primer keeps my powder and blusher in place too, so on the whole my make up lasts a lot longer, which I think is down to the lack of greasiness.”
“The gel is very creamy and lathers into masses of moisturising bubbles quicker than any other shower gel I have ever used! Because of its impressive lathering abilities, a little goes a long way with these bubbles, so a £2 coin size is enough for your whole body.”
“The first time I used the roller I asked my mum to help me reach the tense areas on my back, and even though she used it over my clothing I was amazed that the roller was sensitive enough to pick out all the knots in my muscles. We could both feel them ‘crunching’, which sounds horrible but it meant she knew which areas to focus on. The shape and movement of the ball means that any focused pressure is distributed outwards slightly, so the knots can be worked out without any pain or discomfort.”
…and one that I LOVE and am going to review again because I didn’t write much last time…
“Unlike most nail varnish removers, this Sally Hansen offering smells lovely, almost like a body lotion, and doesn’t sting your eyes or nose with harsh vapours. It removes nail varnish quickly, with minimum effort, so you don’t need to sit for ages rubbing away to no avail!”
What were your favourite products of 2012?
Firstly, allow me to apologise for being so elusive lately… I have been really quite busy with work and preparing for Christmas, so I haven’t had much time to blog. Friday was my last day at work until January, however, so I should have quite a few posts coming up over the next few weeks!
Today I will be reviewing two items from Superdrug’s Tea Tree range. Towards the end of summer (doesn’t it seem ages ago now??) I started to get some rather nasty breakouts on my face. I took those horrible red pimples as a sign to change my skin care routine, so I stopped using oily moisturisers and went out to look for some new facial products to try. Tea Tree oil is well-known for its use as treatment for acne, so I thought Tea Tree based products would be a good place to start. There were quite a few Tea Tree products out there, but I settled for Superdrug’s own brand for several reasons… 1) I’ve used Superdrug’s own brand of products before and they were pretty good, 2) They are affordable, and 3) Superdrug are animal friendly.
The two products I chose were the Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash, and the Tea Tree Cleanser & Toner, with the intention of using one in the morning and one at night. I can’t remember exactly how much they cost me, but I know they were on offer at the time and they are currently being sold at 2 for £3.99, so it must have been something around that mark. Individually, they cost £2.99 each.
Here are my thoughts on each product…
Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash (160ml)
Superdrug’s Foaming Face Wash is green liquid in the bottle, but as soon as you press the pump spray it expands into a creamy white foam. The above photo shows one pump of the face wash, which is plenty enough for one use, so as you can imagine one bottle lasts a very long time. The foam itself really is lovely and soft, and massages nicely into the skin (the instructions say to massage gently all over the face in small circles, which is what I do). I usually use it during my morning shower, and it is also easy to wash off.
The Tea Tree and Peppermint Oils in the wash feel amazing on the skin. After every use my skin feels SO clean, tingly and fresh, and the feeling lasts, but unlike some tea tree products it doesn’t sting. However, after a couple of weeks of use I found the face wash to be quite drying, as I was using it alongside some medicated gel which my GP prescribed – bad idea I know! I was starting to get sore, itchy patches on my skin which seemed to disappear when I stopped using it. As such, I now use this a lot less than I did when I first bought it (around once a week rather than once a day), which seems to be suiting me fine for now, but I may increase my use again now that I’ve stopped using the medicated gel.
It’s hard to tell whether this has helped my breakouts, but I am now clear of spots and I definitely noticed it reduced the angry redness of my skin when I first started using it. I like to use it on my neck, shoulders, back and chest as well to help prevent spots in those areas too. I’m not 100% sure I would repurchase this, but I’m glad that I tried it and it does give you a good clean.
Tea Tree Cleanser & Toner (200ml)
Like the Foaming Face Wash, Superdrug’s Tea Tree Cleanser & Toner looks green in the bottle, and that’s how it stays. To apply, I squeeze a generous amount of the liquid onto a cotton wool ball, and use it to remove my make up and cleanse my skin every evening before I go to bed. I have been using this every day for almost four months now, and as you can see in my photos, the bottle is still more than half full! That’s excellent value in my eyes.
As with the face wash, the oils used in the product feel fantastically refreshing on the skin, and the aloe vera extract it contains calms and soothes the skin after a long day. The cleanser does a brilliant job at removing all traces of make up and dirt too… You just have to look at the cotton wool ball after use for the evidence. It might look shocking, but at least you know it’s doing its job!
I haven’t had any trouble with this at all. It doesn’t make my skin feel sore or dry like some cleansers have in the past, rather, it is actually quite moisturising for what it is.
I like Superdrug’s Tea Tree Cleanser & Toner a lot more than their Foaming Face Wash, and it has officially replaced my previous cleanser. I will be repurchasing this when it runs out (which probably won’t be for a while!), and it is worth every penny.
You can view/buy the full Tea Tree range on Superdrug’s website here. Have you already tried anything from the range? What did you think of it?
Back in August I reviewed TanOrganic’s Sunless Tan, and was incredibly impressed by how natural and subtle the light brown false tan looked on my skin. In that post I mentioned that TanOrganic also sold a skin oil to compliment the Sunless Tan, which I was very keen to try, so today I will be reviewing just that – TanOrganic’s OilArganic Multi-Use Moisturising Dry Oil.
TanOrganic are an Irish company and all of their products contain 100% natural and organic ingredients, and they are vegetarian friendly and BUAV approved. To continue their ethical ethos, TanOrganic also use glass packaging rather than plastic, which just so happens to make their products look a lot classier than most too.
OilArganic is a dry oil spray which contains nine different plant oils, all of which were carefully chosen to benefit the skin with their moisturising, restoring and soothing properties. These oils are: Argain, Borage, Rosehip, Macadamia, Orange Peel, Avocado, Jojoba Seed, Hemp Seed and Sweet Almond.
The oil itself smells absolutely beautiful. It has a very strong scent of orange, which has a sweet undertone of what smells like honey, but since there’s no honey in it, the sweetness must actually come from the rose and almond oil.
OilArganic is described as being ‘multi-use’, and it really is an all-round miracle in a bottle! The bottle states that it can be used on the face, body, hair, nails, scars & stretch marks, but it can also be added to the bath for a relaxing, moisturising pamper session, or used after applying TanOrganic Sunless Tan to help prolong the tan and ensure even fading. I haven’t yet used the oil in all of the above ways, but I’ve tried it on my body, nails and hair and can definitely vouch for its versatility!
The oil is applied using a basic pump spray, however, the oil tends to come out in a stream rather than a fine spray, so if you aim wrongly it can make a bit of a mess. In the bottle, the oil has a slight yellow tinge to it, but once on the skin it looks completely clear. It is also quickly and easily absorbed, so it doesn’t take much massaging in.
On the skin and nails, OilArganic has a brilliant moisturising effect. It soothes and smooths any dry patches, and leaves your skin feeling lovely and silky for the whole day. When I used this on my nails I focused on my cuticles, massaging them gently, and was amazed to find that they were instantly left softened. After a few days of use, I found it a lot easier than usual to push my cuticles back, and they are already looking and feeling a LOT healthier.
I have used the oil on my hair several times too, both when wet and dry. When wet, I rubbed a coin sized amount of oil into my hands before running them through my hair and blow drying as usual. This gave my hair a gorgeous sleek, shiny appearance, without leaving behind any greasy residue. On dry hair, it is fab for sprucing up lank hair by ruffling a small spray of oil into the roots.
Overall, I am really impressed with OilArganic. It’s an amazingly high quality oil, does exactly what it says on the bottle and is made all the better for being so versatile. It smells great too, which is always a bonus as some skin and hair oils can smell quite disgusting. I’m keen to try OilArganic on my scars, as well as after applying TanOrganic, so expect another post about this when I’ve done so!
*I was gifted this bottle of OilArganic by TanOrganic for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.*