Mmmmhmmm, my legs are so smooth and soft today. How’d I do it? I used a big dollop of The Sanctuary Salt Scrub that’s how. This oily, grainy gunk is miraculous. Not only does it do the usual sloughing of dead skin cells, it does it exceptionally well and it leaves behind some moisturising sweet almond and coconut oils.
Used in the bath last night, my skin is now glowing, luminous and feels so soft. For some added oomph, slather on a bit more moisturiser post bath or shower and awake to some seriously lovely limbs. I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of this brand’s lovely skin care products in general.
Watch out though – this stuff makes the tub slimy and slippery!
Lovely, lovely L’Occitane. I must admit, it reminds me of my mum but only because my first introduction to this brand was when she came back from a trip in Paris with a couple of jars and tubes. It seemed so exotic and exciting! And anyway, my mum is as much of a beauty junkie as me and a very fashionable lady I’ll have you know, so anything that reminds me of her is bound to be a good thing.
For the past couple of weeks I have diligently been testing two of their products. Firstly, the Immortelle Brightening Smoothing Exfoliator. This stuff is just incredible, in fact it is so good I may even go as far to say that it beats my beloved Kirsty McLeod Clay Exfoliator – shocker! This is one of the few exfoliators that immediately makes skin smooth. So smooth that I can even feel the change in my skin texture as i pat my face dry with a towel. Yes, really. I love it and I never want to be without it.
The second L’Occitane product I’ve been cooing over is Immortelle Brightening Renewing Serum. You can use it everyday before moisturiser or, like me, apply it after exfoliating with the Brightening Smoothing Exfoliator. The latter gives a really luxurious treat for the skin – it sinks in immediately and makes skin luminous. It is top notch for an immediate lift to the complexion and I have found that, over time, it is slowly but surely evening out my skin tone.
Thanks L’Occitane – much love to you!
Confession time… I haven’t exfoliated my body for a long time, it’s just been too cold!! I figure if it’s too cold to exfoliate then it’s definitely too cold to bare any skin anyway – so it really doesn’t matter!
Of course I started to notice that my skin, particularly on my legs, was looking dull and feeling drab. The time finally came for me to sort myself out and slough of all those dead skin cells I’ve been building up.
ESPA Detoxifying Salt Scrub was just the thing to spring me into action. It smells divine – tangy and sharp with grapefruit but also soothing and comforting with rosemary.
It’s oily and luxurious. Rub it in to exfoliate away the dead skin and reveal a fresh and bright body, then lie back in the bath and take a deep breathe. Inhale those invigorating aromas and when you get out and dry off, wonder at your silky skin. Ahhhh…. Ecstasy.
If you’re running short on time and want a product that makes a discernible difference to the appearance and feel of your face within minutes, look no further than the latest breed of exfoliating masks. I road tested a couple of the top contenders to see if they could turn my winter pallor into something pleasantly peachy.
Dr Sebagh’s Deep Exfoliating Mask uses a mixture of acids to slough away the top layer of dead skin cells that can leave the complexion grey and lifeless. Five to ten minutes is all it takes to feel the benefit of this apricot smelling dream cream. My face was a little red and patchy immediately after removing the mask but I could already see the new super-smooth texture of my skin. I’d recommend leaving half an hour before you intend to apply your make-up to allow skin to calm down. Applying a cooling moisturiser such as Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief ensures your skin drinks in nourishing ingredients and provides a perfect smooth base. Dr Sebagh also offer a version of the mask for sensitive skin: Deep Exfoliating Mask Sensitive Skin Formulation. Although I haven’t tried it, I’d definitely err on the side of caution if your skin tends to flair up easily. Best of all, according to the Doctor himself, I’ll experience the maximum effect of the mask after three months of weekly use. Bring on February!
Nude’s Miracle Mask also promises to rid skin of dulling debris, revealing a refreshed skin surface and revitalised complexion. It was quite runny but easy to apply and only felt a little tight while on my face. After five minutes I washed the thin film off to reveal immediately smoother and brighter skin. This mask is a good option if you want something just as effective but less aggressive than the Dr Sebagh option. The whole Nude range also boasts top sustainable and skin-friendly credentials. Organic and fairtrade ingredients are used wherever possible and recyclable packaging and a freepost address to send your empties ensures your conscience is as clear as your skin. All products are also free from common chemical ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, PEGs, mineral oils and silicones. If green skincare is top of your agenda the Miracle Mask means product effectiveness need not come at the cost of your ethical intentions.
Ginvera Marvel Gel is truly incredible. I have never used anything like it and I wanted to share with you the benefits of this little wonder.
The green gel comes in a teeny tube for £15 but that’s OK – you only need a tiny bit for it to work its magic. The gel is an exfoliater with a big difference. Simply rub the lime-green gunk into the face and soon you’ll notice a flaky paste forming.
This paste is a build up of dead skin which the Marvel Gel has picked up… which is gross but great! When the gel has dried up simply wash away the flakes and any residue and you’re good to go.
Skin is incredibly soft and smooth and much more receptive to moisturiser.
Marvel Gel is particularly good for skin which is prone to the occasional pimple or for suffers of milia, whiteheads and blackheads. My white heads have been significantly reduced since I began using this product just a few days ago, and acne scars have been lightened.
This product really lives up to its name, it has turned my skin into a real marvel and now I can’t live without it.
Written by Lindsay: I soon as I put Alpha H’s 15% Hydrating Glycolic mask on my skin I was anxious… I felt that tell-tale tingle that usually means my skin isn’t happy, and with words like ‘glycolic acid’ and ‘chemical exfoliation’ running through my head, I had to try hard to resist temptation to wash it all off.Thankfully I persevered, and when I sponged the mask off ten minutes later, my skin wasn’t angry at all – in fact it looked brighter and more refined. The Alpha-H skin range was designed specifically with the needs of adult acne in mind, and uses Glycolic acid, which is actually pretty natural and gentle (as it’s produced from sugar cane) to exfoliate dead skin cells and clogged pores, as well as reducing scaring.
Having stuck to grainy exfoliaters in the past; I was really impressed by the results and am definitely going to give the range a go. At around £40 a product, the line isn’t cheap (and using chemical exfoliaters means you have to slap on the factor 50 to protect your skin) but as few products address the needs of adult spots and blemishes I think its worth a shot, and will keep you posted with how I get on.
Written by Laura: A pretty basic facet of a body scrub, in my opinion, is that it scrubs – there isn’t room in my already overstuffed bathroom for a shower gel masquerading as an exfoliant just because it contains bits of loofah.
A few years ago I did some internet research to try and find a product with some real chutzpah: one that would buff my skin and make a difference. I came across two scrubs that contained AHAs – mild acids that melt away dry skin, leaving even the roughest hide looking and feeling smoother. After some consideration, the one I plumped for was L’Oreal Exfotonic.
This pleasant-smelling green gel turned out to be just the thing to smooth away those pesky bumps at the tops of the arms. It’s also perfect as part of your fake-tan preparation. I’ve never looked back!