So..the weather is getting colder and we are going to have dig out the trusty black opaques again. In one way it is a relief because it means that our feet are no longer on show…not for another 6 months at least, or until the summer comes round again..but on the other hand it does mean hello to hard skin, calluses, corns and gnarly old toenails.
Actually it did use to be that way for me, but a couple of years ago I was so shocked at the state of my feet that I vowed never to let it happen again, so I pre-booked in a series of pedicures just to keep my feet in good shape over winter, and began using a foot cream every night. I always use a hand cream just before going to bed, so how hard can it be to take a couple more minutes and touch up those tootsies I thought…and that’s what I did. And boy has it made a difference.
The foot cream I have been using is from L’Occitane and it works beautifully. Lots of Shea Butter to help nourish the skin and keep cracked heels in check, but the smell is divine….it is an absolutely wonderful Lavender fragrance too…well, L’Occitane IS from Provence and they know a bit about Lavender! Plus it’s a really good cream to use before bed because Lavender is one of those tried-and-tested remedies to help aid a good night’s sleep.
So, a nice soothing rest and Twinkle Toes the next morning. Bit of a win-win really.
It’s not expensive either and is widely available..for instance Amazon has a 30ml tube for £8.00 at the time of writing.
Medical grade Manuka Honey
What it does: From skin care multi tasker to wellness elixir, honey has always been one of the hottest health ingredients and the hydrating power of Manuka honey is especially good for skin care as it is rich in anti-oxidants and helps balance the skin’s ph. levels. Now medical grade Manuka honey is available, designed to help eczema suffers, target broken and infected skin and support the healing of skin and wound infections. It uses the same key ingredients used in hospitals for treating wounds along with aloe vera and plant butters.
What it does: The new kid on the oil block. this is from the fruit of the African marula tree, rich in essential fatty acids that mimic those that exist naturally in the outer layer of the skin as well as antioxidants, vitamin C and E . The best thing is it is surprisingly non oily and quickly absorbed without leaving and greasy residue.
Try it Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel £20.50 from most department stores,
What it does: Unlike retinoids, which work by increasing cell turnover (often leaving redness and flaking), rhamnose, a naturally derived active ingredient found in a Brazilian plant signals a jump-start, telling the relevant cells to behave like younger versions of themselves, The sugar molecule was shown to thicken the epidermis significantly after eight weeks and boost production of elastin, collagen, and other beneficial proteins while diminishing the enzymes that break down collagen and lead to wrinkles.
Try it: Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 £35.50
What it does: Move over argan oil, prickly pear is the next big thing on the skincare radar. Boasting essential fatty acids omegas 3 and 6 as well as extremely high in Vitamin C, it will help boost collagen production, kick-start cell turnover and improve hydration.
What it does: The incredible properties of peat – the bog material formed when plant remains partially decompose – are well documented – ancient ‘bog bodies’ with well preserved features which had been naturally mummified within a peat bog have reportedly left scientists speechless. Bogs are almost exclusively in central Ireland and their Celtic forefathers often used peat to heal themselves after a day’s battle. Now the peat that preserved many of these ancient bodies has inspired a new luxury peat based skincare range called Ogra – the Irish word for youth. Peat contains a powerful antioxidant, called trolox, the water soluble equivalent of vitamin E along with zinc copper, iron, selenium and rotted plants such as bog whortleberry which is claimed can promote collagen production, tighten pores slow the ageing process and restore the skin’s natural PH balance. In more recent times peat has been used to treat skin conditions like acne and psoriasis through the use of peat baths in Europe
Ogra Peat Face and Body Mask which contains 100 per cent organic peat – £59.95 www.ograskincare.com
What it does: It’s the hot ingredient of the moment and been added to everything from cleansers through to face masks. But don’t worry this isn’t the coal you put on the Bbq, but activated charcoal powder that has been specially treated. Although not strictly new- it has been used in medicine for many years mainly to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses – it works by attaching and absorbing toxins in the stomach before they hit the bloodstream. Now it has been reformulated for skincare and the theory is similar, in that it will act like a magnet to absorb dirt and oil. Highly absorbent, it draws out the impurities from skin and also help with exfoliation, making it ideal for oily and acne prone skin. The deep cleansing properties also mean serums and moisturisers will be more effective as they can penetrate deeper
Try it :Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, £23 and Clear Improvement Charcoal Body Wash, £25
This month, I am going to be writing about all the latest anti-ageing ingredients!
Nowadays, the ever-changing skin care markets moves at breakneck speed, so it can be hard to keep up. New skin care ingredients and skin care advancements are being discovered practically every day. Once we all raved about coconut oil and hyaluronic acid as the must-have ingredient, but there are even newer discoveries, or extracts that have been used before, coming back into vogue.
But which ones are worth trying and why? I have had a look at the latest kids on the block to demystify the upcoming hero ingredients and the products you can find them in. The tried and tested elements should still hold a place in your skin care regimen, but these are the new and exciting ingredients and trends for you to try for yourself. Keep checking back on my blog to read all about them!
When exactly was it that we all stopped using soap? I guess it was probably when liquid soaps were launched and a thousand bathrooms all began emulating top hotel spas. And then there was the oft-quoted mantra that soap was too drying on the skin. It’s a real shame because I can remember collecting soap from my holiday travels…how nice is that Olive oil soap from Provence…or even better, the Lavender one?
Now, in the age of ditch-plastic-at-all-costs, it seems that bars of soap are making a return. And about time too I say, and it seems I am not alone as sales of soap are growing faster than the liquid variety. But what of the ‘It dries your skin’ mantra? Well, that can still be true, but if you choose a brand which has lots of oils (coconut, avocado, nuts or olive for instance), and if you avoid sodium laurel sulphate (the stuff which makes the lather) then all will be well.
What’s my favourite I hear you ask? Well, it’s Rosina’s Goats Milk Soap. www.rosinaslotionspotions.com
All their soaps are made by hand, in very small batches and are 100% natural. Free from chemicals, artificial colours, fragrances and parabens they do not contain palm oil either. They smell absolutely delicious and are so gentle that they are suitable for all skin types. The packaging is lovely too….Hand wrapped in signature tissue and ribbon, I use them myself and give them as gifts to everyone. Not had a bad review yet.
So, clean skin and saving the earth at the same time. Can’t be bad.
Posted in Anti-Ageing, Ask the expert, best, Body Beautiful, Harley Street Skin Clinic, Lesley Reynolds
Tagged beauty advice, chemical free products, lavender soap, olive oil soap, real soap, rosinas, soaps