Multi-Masking, what is it?

This is a new name given to what is really a long established way of applying face masks, especially if you’re used to seeing a facialist.

Simply put, you apply different types of masks to match the concerns of different parts of your face. Very few people have ‘normal’ skin all over their face, so this is just a way of tailoring your skincare to get better results.

For example, you may have an oily T-Zone, so you would apply a deep cleansing clay face mask to that area; you may also have dry patches on your cheeks so you would apply a hydrating skin plumping mask; suffer from hyperpigmentation and sun damage on your chin and forehead so you apply a brightening exfoliating mask, so on and so forth.

mask-products

Mix match masks from my loved French skincare brand, Caudal.

Clearly, it’s also an exercise in spending, so if it’s not for you due to cost reasons invest in a mask that addresses the majority of your skins overall condition. A lot of brands now have mask wardrobes (another funky name for sets, lol!), so will encourage you to buy the entire collection. You can, but you could also have some fun shopping around and putting together your own mask wardrobe :-)

Enjoy!

Beauty Find – Twelve Beauty Ultra Revitalising Elixir

Twelve Beauty ElixirOne of my favourite past times is to perambulate beauty shops and boutiques. I enjoy discovering new stores and products. Most of the time, I get products sent to me for work purposes, so it’s always refreshing and a bit of an eye opener when I actually go to stores, see products myself and experience them the way any beauty fan would.

Last month I celebrated my birthday by hanging out with my sister in Marylebone and we stumbled into Being Content, one of the foremost natural and organic beauty dens in the country. Whether or not you’re a fan of natural beauty products, it’s still worth a visit because they have so much to offer that would compliment any skincare regime. I promise you will not be disappointed. A visit there will only enhance your beauty life and admittedly your purse would feel a lot lighter too!

Anyway, waxing lyrical about Being Content is not the draw of this post. It’s more to tell you about Twelve Beauty Ultra Revitalising Elixir, £16 which is tonic you apply on to cleansed skin. It’s designed to calm and protect the skin so I apply after using an acid toner. Helps to bring own the fleeting sting I sometimes experience. I just decant onto my palm and press onto my skin, the same way cologne is applied.

Skin is left supple and hydrated so when you go on to apply a heavier product a layer of moisture is locked into your skin.  It’s full of otherworldly ingredients offering anti oxidant and soothing protection – White Genepi extract, Butterfly Bush lead extract, Imperatoria leaf extract and Mallow Flower extract. All work in synergy guarding the skin from environmental trauma. It’s also free from nasties and undesirables.

Granted it is another step in an already busy skincare routine, when most people are look at ways to streamline. However, if you’re an outdoorsy type, thinned skin, dry skin prone, suffer from skin sensitivies or perhaps work in an environment where the temperature fluctuates a lot between hot and cold air conditioning then you may want to consider making the investment. In my opinion it’s also a better spend than mineral water hydration sprays because this contains more beneficial ingredients for the skin.

It’s a very Far East concept to apply a tonic to your skin, remember how I raved about Shisheido Ibuki Skin Softener?  Like a lot of eastern skincare habits we adopt, there is always a good reason and this one serves a proper skin enhancing function.

Changes afoot

Phew! I’ve managed to find some interrupted time to dedicate to my skincare spaces on the world wide web today. I feel like I must say something about my sporadic posts of late. It’s not that there’s not a lot to say, the skincare world is always on the move so there’s always something new happening and I’ll always have my two pence to throw in.

Rather, it’s more the case that I’m working on a large project at the moment. In fact have been for the last two years, but it’s all coming to a head now, demanding more and more time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Coupled with facials, consultations, freelance writing, family and the domestics of a busy household, the one thing that has suffered most is Dija’s World.

That said, I’m nearly there with this project and I’ll be back to talking about skincare again. Talking plenty. There’ll also be a few exciting changes happening on here as well, so until then thanks for bearing with me popping up randomly here and there.

Hope you’re having a fantastic summer and please keep applying sunscreen. It really is the best thing since sliced bread!

love & light x

 

A word about consistency

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This situation crops up repeatedly. A client will tell me they’ve been using a new product but it doesn’t seem to have done anything for them. I normally then ask the usual questions – why did they start using it? how long have they been using it? how often? what time of day? in what format? to get a full picture. A lot of the time it turns out that usage has been great for a week or two, then become more sporadic as they get disillusioned with the lack of visible physical results. Before you know it, another pricey product has been discarded and sometimes negative feedback circling around about how ineffective the product/brand is.

Achieving healthy skin that is in the best condition it can be, is like anything else in life you are striving for, you have to be consistent. It’s simple but it’s true folks, a diligent and consistent attitude to caring for your skin is the only way that you will keep it in tip top condition. It’s also the only way that you will be able to keep a watchful eye over it, so you can spot minor changes before they become a big deal.

Whether it be a new product, a new regime, routine or a new treatment you have to stick at it to get your desired results. On average it takes about 21 to 28 days for new skin cells to come through to the surface, so loosely you have to give anything new you’re using or doing a month before you start to analyse performance. I normally advice five to six weeks before a first review as sometimes the results can take a lot longer. It doesn’t mean the product is not working, but over the counter preparations have lower levels of active ingredients, so naturally it will take a little longer to make a difference. A product prescribed by a dermatologist or GP will be of higher strength and work faster meaning you use for a shorter time frame. However, you still have to remain consistent!

It goes without saying that if a product or ingredient gives you a poor reaction straight away, even if you have used as instructed then clearly it’s not for you and you have to stop using immediately.

The Beauty of Sleep

One of the best things we can do for our bodies and our skin is to regularly get a minimum of eight hours kip, give or take a hour depending on your personal needs. It is in deep sleep that your body rests and repairs itself. Without adequate sleep, we literally fall apart. I know I do!

– You struggle with simply daily tasks.

– Rely on caffeinated drinks or sugar to keep you going – these will inflame the skin and cause premature ageing.

– You’re forgetful, not to mention irritable!

– Tired and lethargic. Everything takes twice as long, because you just can’t get it together.

– Your skin is aged – it looks sallow and grey. You get more fine lines and dark circles. Your body releases an extra helping of the stress hormone Cortisol to help you fight through the day. Too much Cortisol breaks down collagen, which is exactly what we need to keep skin smooth and supple.

I am writing this post in in regards to my recent lack of sleep. You may have seen my latest Spell Magazine column on how I tackle the outward appearance on my sleep deprivation. You can read it here. All self inflicted I might add – working on multiple projects, toddler and busy household can do that to you. You start sitting at your desk imaging (and praying) for either an extra pair of hands or extra hours on the clock! Enough digression, so apart from trying to fake that I slept, I’m actually also trying to make sure I sleep and get some quality shut eye too.

I start by pulling away from my desk about 9.30pm for a shower to wash the day away. It surprisingly helps as it focuses me on shutting down for the night. The aim is to be in bed by 10.30pm. I use Bodhi & Birch Camomile Sky, £18 as it super calming and zen like. I don’t have a bath as the idea is I want to get to bed fairly fast. A bath will take longer and chances are I’ll fall asleep and wake up freezing judging from past experience.

Following the shower, I moisturise with a lavender and coconut oil infusion I make myself. But there are many relaxing body oils you can use. NEOM, one of my favourite candle brands do some amazing sleep encouraging oils.  For Christmas this year, you can buy the gift of sleep. More on that later. I have my eye on the Real Luxury Body Oil with lavender, jasmine and rosewood. This Works have a Deep Sleep range, Aromatherapy Associates Relax range is all about getting you to a more ‘chilled’ state. These are all brands I’ve used at some point and I wouldn’t hesitate to turn back to.  A fairly new outfit, Kiss the Moon have facial oils with sleep benefits.

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My bedtime treble! Including lip balm.

OK, by this point, I’m super relaxed and looking forward to bed. So once, I’m in bed ensuring phones and iPads are switched off (this is really hard to do!), I apply my Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep Balm, £26.50. An intensive super night treatment that hydrates, renews, plumps and protect the skin whilst you sleep.  It good to go for all skin types. With hyaluronic acid, glycyrrhizic acid and caffeine, it’s actually designed to help the skin look and feel like its had a full rest quota. I feel it works even better for your skin, if you DO get a full night’s sleep. Pleasantly it’s a gel texture (though it’s a balm) so lovely and cooling to massage into your skin before bed. It feels sticky as soon as you apply, but that feeling disappears within seconds. My skin feel comfortable hydrated and vibrant in the morning.

I’m also using 1001 Remedies Sleep Relaxing Balm, £29. It’s a pure plant oil balm formulation to help you unwind, soothe insomnia, stress less and sleep better. Amongst the ten essential oils are the powerhouses of Melissa, renowned for calming the nervous system as well as Neroli to fight stress and anxiety. The result is a deep sweet smelling balm that encourages the deepest sleep. It’s heady and does help to knock you out, so even if you don’t get a full eight hours sleep, what you do get will be quality sleep.

I also dump my thoughts in the notebook on my night stand, sometimes light a candle Feuille de Lavande from Diptyque is a night time favourite and read a life affirming magazine – Psychologies, Marie Claire, Sunday Times Magazines, staying away from anything stimulating like fashion and oddly beauty!

This is how I do it, over to you….any tips would be much appreciated.

Pro Facial Tip – Hydration Masks

Regularly head straight for a clay base face mask?

Add a hydration mask too!

Clay masks will deep cleanse your skin and draw out impurities and grime, which is all well and good as that’s what you want them to do, but they won’t feed the skin any much needed moisture. Believe it or not, a lot of oily skin types can suffer from dehydration and sometimes the excess oil is a way of skin telling you it’s lacking moisture.

So after you’ve removed your clay mask, spend another ten or fifteen minutes with a hydration mask to replenish and rehydrate your skin? It’ll give it some much needed bounce and in hot weather it’s very cooling.

There are so many hydration masks to choose from, but I tend to favour anything that’s gel based, infused with hyaluronic acid/collagen and comes in a sheet. Single use ones are great because they are so easy to travel with – use and bin. There’s even overnight ones if you need a more concentrated boost.

Product suggestions coming up soon.

Alternative Retinol?

It’s no secret that I absolutely love using retinol and I believe it’s the STAR skincare ingredient that everyone should be incorporating somewhere in their skincare life. For years, it was a product available only via a dermatologist, but it’s now available en masse as it’s strength and power has been harnessed and in effect toned down so that you no longer need a prescription for low impact daily use. Whilst this has made it safer for a lot of people to use, there are still people who will react and suffer sensitivities to it. So what’s girl (or boy) to do?

In the last year or so, there’s been excitement at what is billed as nature’s retinol equivalent - Bakuchiol – an extract from Babchi Seeds native to India. India has long been at the forefront of natural skincare and for centuries they’ve been using Bakuchiol to heal, soothe and calm skin complaints.  It also stimulates and boost collagen, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, increases elasticity and firmness of the skin. Basically mimicking the benefits effects of retinol.

I don’t think anything can beat the speed and efficacy of retinol. For me, that’s key and when you’re in the throes of impending full on acne you want whatever you’re using to deliver results quickly. It’s not the time that you start thinking ‘I’ll use a product that will take three months to start showing results’. From my experience, most people want something that works as quickly and early as yesterday. Herein lies the beauty of retinol.

That said, I do accept that it is possible to develop sensitivities towards retinol even if you have used it fine in the past, some people can’t tolerate it from the onset and some people don’t like the idea of putting a chemical on their skin, so having an alternative is always a great idea. It may also be the case that you just want to engage in preventative skincare early, so rather than wait till you actually need retinol, you could use Bakuchiol to negate environmental and external skin damage. You know what they say, prevention is better than cure!

Currently there are two standout products that contain Bakuchiol:

Oskia Serum 16, £80 which you guessed it!, has sixteen active ingredients in the form of nutrients and bioactives including the Oskia Super16aforementioned star ingredient as well as vitamins A, C, and E which act as calming agents and anti oxidants. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which does make it very cosseting on the skin as it provides good hydration. I can comfortably use this without using a moisturiser on top, going straight to a couple of drops of facial oil. If you suffer from skin sensitivities and react to a lot of serums, give this a try as on the whole it’s designed to reduce inflammation and irritation with the inclusion of Oskia’s moisturising complex which hydrates and softens the skin with long term use.

- NUDE Skincare ProGenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil, £58 also contains Bakuchiol is well loved in the beauty circles. I’ve not personally tried it, but trusted sources tell me from their experience this serum is more about refining, clarifying and smoothing out the texture of the skin, as opposed to the above which does a lot for hydration. Sounds great for drier skin types who experience sandpapery and crepey  skin. Key ingredients include rose hip, coleus and rosemary extract to exfoliate, fight free radicals and improve radiancy. It’s also a completely vegan product, so that’s major brownie points from some quarters.

I’ve used a lot of NUDE skincare and their moisturisers are amongst some of my favourites, so when I get round to needing to replace any of my oils, this one is next on my list. If you have tried it, I’d love to know your thoughts.

Sunscreens, especially for darker skin tones

Whether you’re basking in the UK’s latest heatwave or frolicking on a beach somewhere (not jealous, honest!), applying adequate sun protection is a must. This is not only important for Caucasian skin tones that burn easily but right through to darker Afro-Caribbean skin tones too.

Check out my latest video on sunscreens for darker skin tones where I discuss why you need to wear sunscreen and my favourites.

Enjoy the sun safely!

 

Brand Focus – Origins

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Origins is a staple. If it disappeared from the shelves, it would be sorely missed. However, I also feel it’s a brand that often taken for granted. It’s always there in the back of our minds when it really should be more to the front. They have such an amazing stable of products, that they deserve more shouting out.

Origins was the first brand that I used to zap a zit when I discovered that you could apply Salicylic Acid on a spot and it would dry it up within hours.  Super Spot Remover, £15 is still my go to for effective spot relief for nearly ten years. It’s so fast acting and delivers. Can’t really ask for more.

I can’t start to tell you how much the mattifying  Zero Oil lotion, £14  has saved me from many a make up slide disaster when I used to do a lot of bridal make up work. It was just the right strength anchor to hold a precious look in place. If you suffer from oily skin and dread the lunchtime foundation slide, it’s a worthy investment for your make up bag as it blots up oil on all the tell tale areas – forehead, nose and cheeks. I also find the whiff of camphor also very satisfying.

You get great value for your money, the products are effective.

I always recommend Origins to clients having their first foray into serious skincare be it in adulthood or slightly younger. The ranges are simple to understand and save the complications/confusion that sometimes causes interest to wane thus causing a disinterest in skincare.  Also, they’re  great for teens and young adults – students, early 20’s and broke first jobbers I’m talking to you. I was there once, we may not yet have limitless money to spend on skincare, but we want the best of what we can afford.

In fact they now do a range specifically for early to mid 20’s. It caters specifically for those late study nights and extra cocktails down at the student union bar that play havoc on skin. If this is talking to you, you should specifically look at Original Skin Renewal Serum, £32. It heals, smooths and de-stresses the skin whilst blurring out imperfections using a combination of Persian Silk Tree, Willowherb and Chestnut Seed Extract.

For the slightly older, but equally just as stressed skin, High-Potency Night-A-Mins Skin refining oil, £35 is an excellent option. It improves the condition of the skin overnight using Vitamin C, E and plant oils to exfoliate whilst your sleep. You wake up with skin the looks plumped and rested.

With summer round the corner as well, I’m having a love affair with Clear Improvement Detoxifying Charcoal Body Scrub, £25.  A mix of sea salt, brown sugar and charcoal smoothes and draws out impurities. The result is soft glowing skin ready for shorts and bare shoulders.  You can also apply once you’re in the shower, which save the faff of applying on dry skin and getting grains all over the bathroom floor.

Origins tick all the right boxes with quiet aplomb. The products are  are unpretentious and easy to use. If you like fuss free but proven skincare making full use of nature’s botanicals combined with scientific knowledge, walk this way to your nearest Origins counter.

Product Review: Fillerina – a DIY facial filler

It’s been a while since I did a straight product review so it’s about time I put the review hat back on and tell all about Fillerina.

Fillerina

What is it?

A Swiss made, six type Hyaluronic Acid complex DIY dermo-cosmetic filler for home use. It also has Matrifull which is a protein peptide that promotes growth of the skin and enhances the filling effect of the hyaluronic acid complex. Used as instructed it’s an intensive 14 day treatment.

There are three grades depending on the extent of filling required.

Grade 1: to correct early-onset, fine-to-moderate wrinkles and expression lines.

Grade 2: to correct visible wrinkles and expression lines

Grade 3: to correct deep-set furrows and expression lines

What’s it for & what does it do?

It’s aimed at skin that requires plumping because of volume loss. Also skin (mature or otherwise) with wrinkles, expression lines and fine lines.

As we age, the levels of hyaluronic acid found naturally in the body start to decrease. So Fillerina’s function is to fill in areas of wrinkles and sagging to boost the appearance, feel and texture of the skin. To achieve this the different types of hyaluronic acid penetrate into the deeper layers skin to fill and plump up tissues.

The results are supposed to last two to three months.

What does it come with?

There are two 2ml vials –  a Gel Filler (Hyaluronic Acid complex) and a Nourishing Film. Also 2 scary looking precision syringe applicators.

How to use

Fill up syringe with required amount of gel and dispense to identified areas of need on a clean face. Leave to work for ten minutes then apply the Nourishing Film, again using the syringe.

My thoughts

I love geeky products at first sight. This looks so cool, especially with the double syringe and vials, making it look straight out of a medi clinic. If it was all presented on a stainless steel tray then the aesthetics would have been complete. However, when it comes to using the products, I balk at the level of effort that has to go into its use. I prefer things to be so much more straightforward.

The ‘faffage’ level of Fillerina is high, there’s no getting away from that. You have to open, then use syringe to measure and apply, then wait ten minutes and on it goes. But once you get over this, the gel is an absolute dream.  I’m reviewing Grade 3, so as my skin is not mature and I don’t particularly suffer from wrinkles I only use 1ml of the product which I apply on my forehead, cheeks, jawline and chin then I lightly rub in with the pads of my fingers. I can see why they say to use the syringe – you have more control in how and where you apply the product and helps you to be more precise in certain areas – around the eyes and lips for example.

The rebel in my would like to just squirt the syringe into my palm and rub all over my face, but in the interest of being clean, tidy and not wasting the product softening my hands I follow the instructions. Somewhat.

Unfortunaetly I don’t have ten minutes to wait for the filler to fill (I wash my face when my daughter is in the bath and seeing as she’s seems to be on a mission to flood the bathroom the minute my back is turned, washing my face needs to a fast affair).  So I Ieave it about a minute and I move on to the Nourishing Film, a face treatment oil or my night moisturiser.

They also advise to drink two glasses of water before use as it has ingredients that help bind and control the movement of water through the layers of skin.

The gel feels quite wet and there is a lot of slip which I personally like. It drys to a non sticky finish and you can easily apply further products on top if you wish without any annoying rolling and clumping. I think the syringe and vial design could be improved so that you don’t have to dip the entire syringe into the product all the time. At the moment you also have to make sure you give the body of the syringe a wipe to remove the excess product. Not necessarily the most hygienic thing to do repeatedly. The opening should be wide enough so that you can suction without inserting entire syringe into the vial – a bit like a Calpol bottle (if you have kids you will know exactly what I mean)

My skin feels extremely cosseted after use and I love it. It feels and looks plumped, supported and lifted. The other day I described my skin as sitting in a hammock after I used it. It doesn’t look like it would gives you a lot of support, but it honestly does. And even though at 31 I am clearly not the intended consumer of a Grade 3 box but it’s done me a ton of good as I don’t get any tightness in my skin and it feels deeply hydrated. Even more important is the way my skin feels and looks the morning when I’ve used overnight.    Sounds odd, but it feels fuller, smoother and looks more even toned and brighter. I noticed this within three to four days of use, and that’s at half the amount recommended product.

I can only imagine the great benefits it would give to someone with mature skin who is starting to experience sagging, loss of volume and colour or even someone perhaps on high dose medication suffering from severe dry skin. It could be a real game changer for them.

Who should use it?

A varierty of people could use this successfully (so long as you weren’t allergic to ingredients of course). Those with mature dry skin starting to experience the effects of age, those battling dehydration (me!), people scared of needles so they don’t want to go for invasive fillers (this is definitely a good first option),  people on medication that causes dry skin e.g Roaccutane, steroids or on cancer drugs that deplete the skin of moisture.

If you’re using it for preventative measures like I am, then I think 1ml is more that enough. Even in that seemingly small amount you get a lot of product.

How much does it cost?

Prices start from £79 depending on the grade of product you select. Available online from Cult Beauty and Victoria Health.

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Voila! C’est bon….that is Fillerina – all broken down in a review :-)