Product Review – Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser

Cream_Cleanser_Tube_Muslin_400x400_1024x1024The buzz about honey bee based products keeps getting stronger! A little while ago, I wrote about honey in skincare >>> and it proved to be a very popular read, so I just wanted to give a quick mention to British made Bee Good’s Honey and Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser. I’ve been using on and off for a few months and even though I feel a drier or mature skin type would benefit most from it, I have too have enjoyed it.

For my oily combination skin I use it on days I’ve gone sans make up and I want to give my face a quick wash before bed, concentrating more on moisture/hydration than exfoliation. The texture is very thick and creamy so its doesn’t dry or strip the skin leaving a tight feeling. It’s super moisturising and skin feels nourished and supple. I put this down not only to honey and bees wax but English Crambe Oil. Not one of the most popular oils I might add, but it’s an excellent addition for skincare items as it’s very light and doesn’t leave behind a greasy feeling or residue. Experts say that a layer on the skin, prevents water loss (TEWL – more on this later but for now here’s how Wiki explain it) as it forms a natural protective barrier.

To use, massage it into dry skin and then wet your hands for extra slip and give your face a good massage. I spend at about three to five minutes getting into all the nooks, crannies and pores. It comes with its own muslin cloth to remove, which is very helpful! I then use a hydrating spritz toner and a night cream or oil to lock in all that moisture into my skin. Like I say, great for dry or mature skin types.


£11.50 for 100ml from Bee Good.



Ask Dija: What is an active?

From an overwhelmed client stood in one of my favourite beauty emporiums.

Simply put an ‘active‘ is what makes the product work. They are the ingredients (or single ingredient) that allow the product to do what it is intended to do on the skin and effect a change.

The type of active the product contains will be determined by the task the product aims to fulfil. For example, products that are designed to combat oiliness and acne will have active ingredients like salicylic, lactic or glycolic acid. Lotions and potions for mature skin will contain anti ageing based actives in the form of vitamins and AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) to tackle fine lines and wrinkles. To target dry and dehydrated skin a product will contain high amounts of hyaluronic acid.


Molecular structure of Vitamin C – a common active ingredient in anti ageing products. Also found in products targeted at revitalising dull and tired looking skin.

Serums and moisturisers tend to contain the most actives and are the best products for delivery as they go to the skin once it has been cleaned and is ready to receive the benefits of the product. One of the brands I love best for their labelling is Elemental Herbology. All the packaging detail what sort of actives their products have – making it easy to determine their key purpose.

The Italian skincare line Bakel also invests a lot of time and money into ensuring their products contain only active ingredients that get to work fast and deliver results. Again, the packaging is simple and clear and you can easily see the main ingredients.

The fastest way to clean skin

Biore_Self_Healing_One_Minute_MaskI am constantly on the go – my day usually starts at 5am and I’m pretty much on the go till 7.30pm when my little girl goes to bed. So I’m usually pushed for time, but I don’t want to sacrifice my skincare routine. Enter Bioré – maker of the famous black head remover nose strips.  The clever bods there have also thought this clever mask for busy bees like me. It only takes one minute to work and you can go about the rest of your routine without any fuss. Masks tend to need longer to work, so it’s usually the step that people cut out when pushed for time. A one minute mask is game changing in this department!

I love the self heating element to it. Even though its only for a minute, you’d be surprised as to the amount of heat it generates in such a short time. It’s a comfortable feeling, so nothing to be worried about – it cools down just as fast as it heats up. It’s formulated with kaolin, natural charcoal and zeolite. All are work horses in face masks for combination/oily skin – they are responsible for absorbing bacteria, toxins, oil and dirt to reveal smoother, brighter and more refined skin. The heat opens up pores for a good clean and boosts the effects of the other ingredients.

I love a good face mask after a work out but I never have time to put on my usual ‘ten minutes or more’ masks. My pores are open and toxins have been released through sweat, so a good fast acting deep cleansing mask is ideal for achieving radiant and balanced skin quickly.

I can imagine this is also a great option if you have a big night out or an important day ahead and you quickly want to give your skin a deep clean to combat any oil that may want to put in an unwanted appearance. To get the most out of this mask, give your skin a thorough cleanse as any grime/dirt sitting on top of the skin will compromise its efficacy.

If you have combination/oily skin, this is great to have in your mask arsenal. £7.99 for a pack of four and available from Boots – online and in store.

Product Review: Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer

A make up and skincare item in one. Right up my street!


For some reason the text is on the other side of the tube!

I don’t always wear a primer underneath make up, but if a busy day looms, where I don’t want to faff around with touch ups, this primer has fast become my go to. I know a lot of people who swear by the Laura Mercier primer and in my make up artist days, it was my favourite to use on clients as well.  As great as it was on everyone else, sadly it wasn’t on me. I’ve been using this primer from Eve Lom’s Complexion Range on and off throughout the summer so far and its not let me down, even at a very important family party a few weeks ago, when I was the definition of a headless chicken!

This is very light and fast absorbing so makes a great base for make up. A mark of all good primers, it is able to diffuse light on the skin to reduce the appearance of blemishes, imperfections, pore size, lines and wrinkles.

Make up benefits aside, I like the fact that it does have skincare benefits. It boosts and stimulates the all important hylarunoic acid in the skin to lock in moisture. This also helps to plump up the skin. With vitamin A and E, it provides some protection from free radical activity. Sandy Lily extract and Niacinamide are good skin brightening agents and gently tackle hyperpigmentation for a more even skin tone.

Well worth a try if you’re in the market for a new primer and it is ideal in our current heat wave weather conditions where I’ve seen make up literally slide off people’s faces!

Ask Dija: Do I really need to wash my face at night? Even if I’ve not had make up on?

ask_dijaThis sounds like a really basic question and I have to admit I was even taken aback a little when one of the mums at the playground asked me. I thought everyone knew they had to wash their face twice a day, make up or no make up. So just to clarify, you do. You have to wash your face twice a day and here’s why:

AM wash: to get rid of dead skin cells, shedding, sweat and sebum secretions from overnight. It also freshens up your face and wakes you up. The AM wash is a gentle single cleanse.

PM wash: For me, this is the most important and the one to spend as much time on as possible. During the day your face has been exposed to bacteria, pollution, dirt and grime in addition to any make up products you’ve been wearing so it’s important to do a thorough double or even triple cleanse. Even without make up on, a face wash in the evening is essential to keep your face clean from all the environmental pollution its been exposed to.

Once you’re taken the day off, all your lovely lotions and potions have a good base to start working from.

A quick way to see what your skin has been exposed to during the day – gently insert a clean cotton bud into your nostril and twist around. Remove.  Do you see all that muck? Some of that is also sitting on your face!

Dry skin relief from Weleda’s Baby Derma Skincare

imageWhite Mallow is one of the dreamiest flowers I know. Extremely soft and velvety with creamy white petals, they remind me of fragile skin that needs the utmost delicate care. The irony is that White Mallow is actually a dichotomy of being a delicate plant, but strong enough to provide soothing relief to babies (and adults) with hyper sensitive and dry skin conditions prone to irritation, bouts of itching, eczema and other sensitivities.

Five years in the making, the Baby Derma White Mallow range is one of the newest addition to Weleda’s exceptional family of skin care products. There is body lotion, face cream and a nappy change cream. It is entirely fragrance free, artificial additive free, essential oils and synthetic perfume free. The range is also certified by NATRUE as being 100% natural, so perfect for caring and nourishing for young and old skin alike.

In addition to the outstanding skin smoothing and soothing properties of White Mallow, Baby Derma is also formulated with extract of a Wild Pansy which traditional herbalists always recommend to ease skin complaints. Coconut, sweet almond and sesame oils make up the organic plant oils in this hydrating formulation. All are rich in nourishing fatty acids and vitamin E which is crucial for good skin health, growth and repair.

My daughter suffers from patches of eczema and for various reasons doctors tend to prescribe a lot of mineral oil based products or even steroids to deal with it. Baby Derma offers a real alternative to parents wanting a more gentle but highly effective approach to relieve the irritation of dry skin and eczema conditions. As a mum, I recommend it highly. As a mum, who regularly pinches the baby’s products for her own use, I recommend even more!

The already award winning range is available exclusively in one of my favourite haunts – Boots – until September when it goes into independent pharmacies and health stores as well. Prices start from £8.95.

In the meantime, the kind bods at Weleda are allowing me to give away one full set of Baby Derma to a lucky reader in the UK. To be in with a chance, just leave a comment below about why need it in your life!

Competition closes Friday at midnight. I’m really old school, so I’ll put all names in a hat over the weekend then pick and announce a winner next Monday morning. Good luck x


Guest Post: Patent Purple Life’s Top Five Body Oils

I am beyond excited about this guest post from Jo, author of the fab blog Patent Purple Life. We met two years ago this month at the inaugural Keziah Connections networking evenings and have been firm friends ever since. Jo loves skincare as much as I do and with both of us suffering from dry skin one of the loves we share is a good body oil.

I can’t thank Jo enough for taking the time to write about about her top oils. I certainly learned a thing or two and I hope you will enjoy reading her delightful edit.

The Best Kept Beauty Secret Oil – Baldwin’s Avocado Oil (Cold Pressed)

About ten years ago I went through a mixologist phase, it coincided with my starting my locs and a new job. My skin (and hair) LOVE avocado oil and the Baldwins’ cold pressed oil is my favourite. It does not have fancy packaging or a sexy smell but it does have a glorious green colour and it is the most skin nourishing oil. I can’t be without it.

The Every Day Luxury Oil – Elemis Camelia Oil

This is a light but nourishing oil that I can use on my hair and face as well as body. It does not have a strong fragrance and it is not as popular as the Frangipani Monoi Melt from the same range but I much prefer this understated product and it is one of my most repurchased products.

The Oil for Grown Ups – Elemental Herbology Botanical Body Oil

If you are under eighteen don’t read this!! I like this oil a lot. It is another oil with a sweet almond oil base so it is light but effective and I really like the smell. It is my mister’s reaction to the oil which surprised me most. He loves it on me , so if I am trying to get out of trouble… or get into trouble (ahem) this is what I use.

The Oil With The Best Smell – ESPA Restorative Body Oil

Love, love love this oil for the citrusy smell that I could slather myself in this all day. As well as the amazing smell and the lovely packaging, it is great on my very dry skin … but did I mention the smell?

The Oil That Is Not Really An Oil – Jao Goe Oil

Strictly speaking this is not really an oil, ie it is not a liquid at room temperature, but Jao classify it as an oil and who am I to argue with them. This blend of 28 oils in a jojoba butter base is amazing. It is one of the most nourishing body oil blends that I have ever used. My skin loves it!

Oxygenetix – letting skin breathe

It’s been a while since I reviewed any foundations, as I have been strictly focused in skincare. Once in a while it’s good to break your own rules, so today I’m talking about a foundation. Not just any foundation, but one with added benefits.

imageOxygenetix has been around in America for a little while and has only just graced our shores. It’s a firm favourite with the Hollywood set since 2008 and in this year’s Oscars it was in high demand from make up artists and A Listers alike! Though, my favourite thing about Oxygenetix is the fact that it can easily be worn post facial treatment or procedure without any adverse effects.

Wearing make up after giving your skin a deep clean is not something I would usually recommend, but sometimes there are clients who won’t be seen dead without any make up and nothing I say convinces them otherwise. This would fit the bill nicely!

It has it’s origins in the cosmetic surgery industry as it was developed to heal and conceal the skin after procedures like lasers and peels. Even though it’s coverage, it allows the skin to breathe so it’s great people who don’t like being seen without make up or don’t like the feel of make up on their skin.

A key ingredient in this process is Ceravitae (patent lending) which is a super charged oxygen peptide complex that promotes collagen cell production and connective tissue growth in ageing and wounded skin.

I like water based foundations as they are very light and easy for me to blend in. This isn’t water based, rather it’s aloe based, but I haven’t had any problems using it. It has anti bacterial properties, soothes and protects compromised skin and because it’s enriched with oxygen it’s super light.

It’s an oil and fragrance free formula infused with Vitamin E, Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid, flavonoids, Glycerin and SPF25. So far it’s one of the kindest foundations to skin I know. There are currently 14 shades in the range with an equal amount of yellow based and blue based foundations. I do hope more dark skin tones will be introduced as I am the darkest shade currently.

My verdict – I really like it! It’s been my go to foundation for over a month. I’m a busy mum running helter skelter most days so I need my foundation to put in a strong performance, not rub off or smudge and importantly to not feel like I have a mask on.

Priced at £45 for 15ml (gulp) they are available in the UK from medical grade expert skincare site Beauty is Skin Deep. I do wish they were available in a shop so one doesn’t have to buy blind, but maybe in time that will happen.

Brand Focus: Urban Veda


imageI love great skincare that is easy to use and easy on the purse too. That’s what Urban Veda is. Based on the 5000 year old principles of Ayurvedic ‘doshas’, there for four ranges to suit different skin types. The range is also very comprehensive and it’s very easy to mix and match products to suit different skin conditions.

The Purifying range has been most suited to my combination skin. It’s based on the Ayurvedic favourite ingredient – Neem and is excellent at detoxifying oil prone and congested skin. It is an excellent antibacterial wash and will help to reduce sebum and combat black heads. Spearmint and Eucalyptus botanical actives also make it very refreshing and enjoyable to use, especially for a morning cleanse as it wake up not only your skin, but you as well.

The Radiance range is also equally suited. Celebrated Ayurvedic ingredient, Tumeric is infused with natural brightening botanicals, actives and oils from pomegranate, goji berry and papaya to bring dull skin back to life, address hyper pigmentation and help maintain an all round beautiful glow.

The other two ranges are Reviving, using the principles of the Rose flower to plump and pamper mature skin and Soothing to restore stressed out skin using Sandalwood.

I think it’s great that this new brand has entered the skincare arena with such amazing choice and a full to bursting line up of products. From cleansers to toners to day creams and body washes, all your skincare needs are met using tried and tested ancient principles adapted for 21st century lifestyles.

Urban Veda are exciting skincare to watch out for!

The full scoop on facial steaming

imageFacial steaming is by far one of the most searched items of this blog. This is one of the popular post and as it’s a few years old, I thought it was nigh time for an update. This post will give you the full low down on steaming – the what,  the why, the when, the how and the who.

What is steaming?

This is when you use moist warm air directly on the face for a period of between five to ten minutes. It can be done on its own, but is mainly used in a professional facial treatment after deep cleansing.

Why is steaming necessary?

Everyone loves a steam for a different reasons. I love how much it opens and clears my sinuses and how relaxed I feel, but that’s not all a steam does.

- It softens the skin and dead skin cells for easier exfoliation
- Softens any plugs and comedones of oily deposits under the skin or in follicles. This will make them easier to extract
- Warms the skin, bringing more blood to the surface, resulting in better oxygenation of the skin
- Opens pores for better cleansing and improved product absorption later in the treatment
- Stimulates the sebaceous glands to lubricate the skin more
- Increases circulation to bring more nutrients to the skin and speeds up removal of waste and toxins

When to steam?

It is recommended to get facial once a month, so typically most people will have a full professional steam once a month. However, there’s nothing wrong with running the shower on hot before you step in the bathroom for a mini steam experience every evening. Once or twice a week, I use the steam room at the gym. It’s pure bliss and I stick on a face mask after whilst I do my hair. It’s a facial without even thinking about it!

How to steam?

In a salon, a professional stand alone steamer is used. These are lovely and the facialist can easily position it so it wafts warm steam in the direction of your face for anything from a few minutes to up to ten minutes. In a mobile treatment, the therapist will use a very warm towel and wrap it around your face for a few minutes before it cools down. The effects are similar and it opens the pores for deeper cleansing and more effective extractions.

At home you can use a flannel during cleansing. Run the warmest water you can tolerate over the flannel, wring it out and place over your face for a minute or two. Be careful not to scald yourself.

Who can have steaming?

Most people can have a steam treatment, even those with sensitive skin. It’s all in the positioning of the steam flow and the timing.

If I have a client with really sensitive skin or Rosasea on the cheeks, I soak some gauze or cotton wool in a soothing toner and cover the area with that so it’s not exposed to the direct heat from the steam.

You also have to be careful with acneic skin. The moist heat can aggravate the skin in some people, so caution needs to be exercised.