Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Sk:n Exfoliating Cleanser

When it comes to my skincare routine, exfoliating is probably my favourite step. There's just nothing quite like the feeling of sloughing away dead skin and prepping it to be smooth and ready to really absorb whatever serum/oil/moisturiser I'm currently obsessing over.
Sk:n Clinics has cleverly combined cleansing and exfoliating to create one simple product to eliminate the need for two separate products.

The exfoliating cleanser is deceptively smooth and creamy - at first glance it just looks like an innocent rich cleanser. In reality though, the cleanser sneakily exfoliates as you cleanse, thanks to the addition of two of my fave skincare ingredients- Glycolic acid and glycerine. If you're familiar with acid toning and exfoliants, you'll already know that Glycolic acid is an extremely effective ingredient found in many anti aging lotions and potions these days. In essence, it melts away dead skin cells and eliminates the need for those granular exfoliating scrubs so many of us grew up with (and occasionally still reach for when feeling extra grimey). Glycerine moisturises the skin while the Glycolic acid does its thing, so skin is left feeling super soft and hydrated.

The Sk:n Clinics Exfoliating Cleanser does create a slight tingling sensation, which I rather enjoy because I like to 'feel' glycolic acid working away. The creamy consistency and hydrating ingredients make it perfect for this time of year, if like me your skin gets a bit dry and tight in the cooler months- I'm definitely reaching for the cleanser more now than I was during summer.

All in all, I think this is a fantastic two in one product, especially if you like your skincare to pack a bit of a punch and still be a bit of a pleasure to use.

If you don't know much about Sk:n Clinics, you can find out more about their products here and also check out the range of treatments they offer in their salons here.

Post contains sample

Monday, 21 September 2015

Limited Edition Cucumber Wax at Ministry of Waxing

Before I set off on my Sardinian beach holiday at the beginning of the month, I made my way to Ministry of Waxing's Islington salon to meet the new wax on the block- cucumber!

After my previous Ministry of Waxing experience, I knew to expect a great level of customer service and professionalism and I certainly wasn't left disappointed this second time around.

I was there for a pre-holiday high bikini wax using the new cucumber wax which has been designed with sensitivity in mind, so perfect when it comes to your nether regions. A hard wax, the cucumber formula is enriched with calming and soothing aloe vera and chamomile extracts for maximum (possible) comfort. The real beauty of the cucumber wax is that it's a hard wax with a low melting point, meaning it doesn't get too hot and is therefore as gentle as possible on your lady (or man) parts.

This time round, I opted for the high bikini wax. What is a high bikini wax? It's essentially a more hardcore version of the classic bikini wax, with the therapist removing a little more hair from the top, sides and underneath. Tidy.

My therapist on the day was not only absolutely lovely, but she was personable, knowledgable and clearly loved her job, which is always comforting! As with my previous wax when I went all out and had a Brazilian, this experience was much the same, if not somewhat less painful, which I'm going to put down to the cucumber wax combined with the skill of the therapist. I didn't even need to use the little squeezy toy she gave me for emergencies! 
In around 15 minutes I was waxed to perfection and ready to don my bikini bottoms the very next morning with no redness or irritation in sight. I was genuinely so pleased to be able to enjoy a week on the beach without once worrying about red, bumpy shaving rash or worse- stray pubes breaching my bikinis. To be completely honest, it was liberating to not need to worry about shaving so if you're escaping the Autumn and heading abroad anytime soon I would really recommend a cucumber bikini wax at Ministry of Waxing before you go! That said, it's a great option if you just want to feel a little tidier and try your hand at ditching the razor in favour of a smooth, long lasting result. As a side note, I had my treatment on September 7th and there's still no sign of any hair sprouting. Rejoice. 

If you're keen to give waxing a go, you're in safe hands with Ministry of Waxing. They have salons around London but the Islington branch is located at 271 Upper Street N1 2UQ and is a five minute stroll from Highbury and Islington station, though is easily reached from Angel tube if the Northern Line is most convenient.

This treatment was complimentary but I am under no obligation to write a review.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil Not Suitable for Pregnant Women?

So I have been coveting a little blue bottle of Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil since its release and today I finally have the pleasure of owning a bottle of this ludicrously priced yet much loved night time treatment. As I gleefully unwrapped it this morning, one of the first things I noticed was that the pretty dropper bottle comes complete with a very bold warning: Not for use during pregnancy.

At first this was a bit of a wtf moment - is the secret ingredient in this an intricate cocktail of booze, fags and sashimi or something else we're warned about consuming whilst with child? It sort of threw me a bit to be honest - after all, did I really want to be eagerly smothering my face with something that's actually harmful to my hypothetical foetus?

As it turns out, the potentially threatening ingredient is Trans-retinoic Acid - the very thing that makes Luna such a unique and (according to multiple reviews) effective product. Trans-retinoic Acid is basically Vitamin A and Luna is kind of special as it's a blend of natural oils and Vitamin A that makes it relatively more suitable for sensitive skins. That said, I'm yet to actually put it on my face, but I have high hopes.

So what's the issue with Vitamin A/ Retinol and pregnancy?

According to various studies, the oral consumption of excessive amounts of Vitamin A are known to cause birth defects, while the topical use of Vitamin A may be harmful to unborn babies.
I searched (googled) high and low and could not, for the life of me, find any studies that have actual, documented proof that retinol is not safe to use on your face/body if you're expecting. It seems that it's more of a precaution and hopefully wouldn't actually do any harm, unless you're literally downing bottles of the stuff.
If you've come across any studies on this, please feel free to drop a link in the comments as I'm kind of intrigued by the whole thing!

All in all, I think it's responsible of Sunday Riley to include this warning but I can certainly see that it has the potential to put some people off thinking about using the oil at all. Perhaps all skincare products that contain retinol/ Vitamin A should carry a similar statement on the packaging?

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Why Fragrance Matters in Product Development

OK, so when you’re picking out a new perfume, you’re led by your nose, but how much does fragrance really affect your other purchases? If you’re choosing a new moisturiser or shampoo, you might suspect that smell takes a back seat to other factors, like performance and feel. In fact, the fragrance of products may have a much bigger impact on your choices than you realise, and this brief guide explains how.

The science behind what you smell
Pick up your favourite pot of lip balm and breathe in its aromas, or have a sniff of your shower gel. What do you get? Perhaps floral notes fill your nose, or maybe you pick up a whiff of summer fruits. These fragrances may seem relatively simple, but in fact some highly complex science goes into creating them. Companies often blend precise combinations of natural and synthetic ingredients to replicate these scents, and they use extensive product testing methods to make sure they are a hit with their customers.
Many brands rely on distinctive fragrances to help set themselves apart from their competitors. They might choose a variety of scents across their products ranges that complement each other but differ, or they might keep a signature smell that carries across their entire collections.

How scent influences your choices
It’s easy to overlook how much of an impact scent has on the things we choose to buy, but pay attention next time you’re on the lookout for some new cosmetics. Chances are, one of the first things you do when you pick up a product is pop open the lid and inhale the aromas. If you don’t like the fragrance that greets you, would you be prepared to splash your cash anyway? The chances are you wouldn’t. Scent is a highly evocative sense and it’s the one that’s most closely related to memory. The right fragrance can instantly fill your mind with happy memories and positive associations.  
Experts even suggest that smell can affect our perception of product performance. So, if you think the smell of a cosmetic is spot on, you might be more inclined to think it will do a good job.

Far from fading into the background when we’re selecting cosmetics and other products, smell is often at the forefront of our decisions, even if we don’t realise it. It’s no surprise then that firms pay such close attention to this issue when they’re developing new goods.

*Sponsored Post