Monthly Archives: June 2008

Body Blitz

It is a sad fact of life that spots don’t just appear on the face. The body can suffer too. Australian Bodycare contains tea tree oil, with antibacterial properties, to clear up blemishes on the body.

Lately, I’ve been using the Skin Wash, which smells to refreshingly zingy it always wakes me up in the morning. With it’s antiseptic properties, the skin wash not only dissolves dirt and clears blocked pores but destroys spot-causing bacteria.

I was initially worried that the wash would dry out my skin, but my body feels soft and it loks bright, fresh and clear. I can’t praise it enough.

Don’t forget that you can win an Australian Bodycare Travel Set from Beauty Counter Direct by commenting on any ‘Blemish busting Month’ post (just look for the tag) with your tip for zapping zits, or e-mailing if you’re shy.


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Feel the Power

Written by Laura: Frustratingly, while my skin errs on the side of dryness, it tiptoes over into spotty territory several times a month as well. The sorts of products I like, therefore, are those that declog my skin without drying it out. The DHC Power AHA mask seems to strike the right balance. Applied evenly over the face using the spatula provided and left on for two hours (not a product for those in a rush) the natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids strip off dead skin cells to reveal the newer layers beneath.

Initially I was a little timid and washed the cream off after just over an hour, fearing a 10 Years Younger-style facial peel complete with snake-like skin shedding and general trauma. I needn’t have worried – the mask left my skin looking squeaky clean and without a hint of redness or any feeling of tightness. Ten days later (as recommended on the directions) I tried the mask again and left it on for the full two hours. I was rewarded with baby-soft skin and a decidedly refreshed complexion.

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Ray of Light

For the past month I have been testing Medibeam, a hand held gizmo which emits a red light frequency to kill bacteria and stimulate the natural repair mechanism of the skin, lessening acne in the process. The clinical tests for this gadget have had impressive results, with 20% of users reporting a complete recovery from acne after 6 weeks, and 50% reporting an almost complete recovery.

So did it work for me? Well yes and no. For me there is no doubt about whether or not this DIY phototherapy reduces acne, it certainly does. My only problem with the Medibeam is that each area takes 6 minutes of treatment twice a day. It might not sound like a lot, but that’s is only per area and I had three areas which needed to be treated. That’s over half an hour a day of holding the device to my face. It gets a little boring.

On a more positive note, the Medibeam can be used alongside other acne treatments without affecting their performance and, of course, it does what it claims to which is a big thumbs up from me.

The Medibeam would be well suited to those with severe acne, who really need help in clearing up their troubled complexion. Half an hour every day is nothing when you are at your wits end about how to get rid of acne, which can be a confidence deflating and embarrassing condition.

For mild acne though, I believe it is probably a little too much effort, especially if you run a busy lifestyle and find it hard to catch 5 minutes for yourself. If you do have that time though, then go for it, in a couple of months you’ll be glad you did.

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Suck it Up

There’s really nothing better than a good clay mask to suck up filth and grime from deep inside pores. Darphin Purifying Aromatic Clay Mask does just that. The thick and gloopy grey gunk draws our all the impurities sitting below the surface of the skin. Used weekly this miracle mask makes skin incredibly clear and decongested patches and oily T-zones are normalised.

This is another of my Blemish Busting Month star products. I’ll be using it every week, without fail, for a long time to come. I often find that immediately after using clay based masks my skin can look a bit dull, but this mask immediately brightens my whole face. It is like 8 hours sleep in a tube. You only need a thin layer of the gloop, and it dries in 10 to 15 minutes, meaning not only can you always find time to squeeze it into your beauty routine but a tube lasts a surprisingly long time.

For my combination, slightly drab complexion this is an absolute saviour. Never have I experienced a mask which decongests so intensively and restores that healthy, post exercise glow to my skin.

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Give Yourself a Boost

By Laura: Not the most glamorous or desirable product in your beauty arsenal but a crucial one none-the-less, spot cream is something most of us need to reach for now and again. Performance is all when it comes to blemish busting and if a product doesn’t deliver, it’s off my face and out of my make-up bag. For Blemish Busting Month I’ve been trialing Dermalogica’s Special Clearing Booster.As with all Dermalogica products, no-frills practicality is what’s on offer: the opaque cream has a mildly medicinal smell and slightly grainy texture. Applied on angry spots, the five per cent Benzoyl Peroxide concentrate immediately begins to dry blemishes out. Precision is important so make sure you only dab this potent stuff onto the actual spot – not the surrounding area – or prepare for a dry patch.

Although I’d say that Special Clearing Booster is effective in terms of spot-size reduction, I was hoping for a more immediate lessoning of overall redness, which unfortunately this didn’t deliver.

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Serenity in the City

Written by Claire: Situated on the fashionable Osborne Road in Jesmond, Newcastle, Serenity in the City is a chic urban day spa, ideal for popping in for treatments in your lunch hour or after work.

Inside, the style is dramatic – an Aladdin’s cave of striking black and red Asian-inspired decor. In fact, the black walls, mood lighting and brilliant touches of red in fabrics and furnishing make the place feel luxuriously lavish, a sharp contrast to the white, clinical ambience of some treatment rooms. It’s all achieved with a designer’s eye.

Relax in the Buddha lounge with a fruit platter and ice-cool lemon water before heading to one of seven indiviually designed treatment rooms: one for men, two for couples (both with walk-in showers) and one even has a decadent water bed.

The unmistakeable professionalism of the Serenity experience (there also a sister spa in Edinburgh), is evident throughout. Choose from an extensive range of therapies, some short-and-sweet maintenance essentials, such as manicures, pedicures, tinting and tanning, while others aim for more leisurely indulgence, including GHD hair treatments, Elemis facials and a long list of massage miracles. For absolute bliss, book a romantic weekend away to Newcastle with your man and then a couples treatment here – by the time you step back onto the streets of the city, you’ll both be walking on air!

48 Osborne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 2AL

0191 281 9222


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Bloomin’ beautiful

Written by Naomi: French and perfume go together like, well, coffee and Italians I guess. So the news that Anne Flipo – the ‘nose’ behind YSL and Lalique scents had turned her olfactory wisdom to a new collection registered on my radar.

Not one to fall over backwards for flowery pongs – especially with my pregnancy hormones usurping my natural sense of smell – I was secretly dismayed to find that all four of the new perfumes were prefixed with ‘floral’. But when a little vessel of gorgeousness arrived this week in the shape of Floral Solaire I was spritzing away and dreaming of sun drenched beaches.

It’s a pleasantly easy-to-wear scent, and with top notes of star fruit and passion fruit it has none of the cloying sweetness sometimes associated with floral scents. It lasts fairly well and stays on the skin without turning to a powdery soapy smell. And the tres chic packaging is elegant and feminine. My verdict: an easy everyday summer scent with a touch of class. Mais oui.

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