There are very few things that rival the thrill I derive from buying a new beauty product. Unfortunately, sensitive skin has put a limit on the cosmetics I can use – most making me break out in those impossible-to-get-rid-of red jawline dwelling bumps. After a dermatologist tried to very wrongly prescribe me Roaccutane, I knew I had to search for another path to beautiful, clear skin. After extensive research, chats with my facialist and various bouts of trial and error, my skin regime has benefitted from a complete overhaul with only the simplest and most natural products remaining. Here’s a round up of my favourite tricks.
Ultimate Aloe Vera Gel
This cheap and humble product is my number one for both it’s versatility and effectiveness. It’s made with pure, whole leaf aloe and is triple concentrated making it the most potent formula available. I use it at night after cleansing in place of my normal moisturiser when my skin feels a little congested. It will cool down any redness or inflammation and because this particular brand is so punchy, it’s incredibly hydrating and won’t clog up your pores. Bro’s can use it after shaving but i’ve also used it on suburn, stretch marks, insect bites and sore muscles and can honestly say that it’s power continues to amaze me. It’s also very reasonably price considering how long it will last you so if you’re looking for the perfect summer beauty all rounder..you’ve just found it. Just as an FYI – only use it at night. It dries in a sort of shiny film and is disastrous prior to foundation. Find it here for £12.
For those of you who loose your mind over kitschly packaged all-purpose balms, Egyptian Magic is a holistic wet dream. Made from a blend of bee pollen, honey, Royal Jelly, olive oil and bee propolis, it can be used to treat anything from dry skin to eczema. Orignally intended to fade some nasty scars, nowadays I use it as a moisturiser, cleanser, eyebrow fixer and even on my cheek and brow bones for a natural dewy glow. Find it here for £22.50
Iron Collagen and Selenium pills
There are only two things you need to know about these wonder supplements – your hair will grow long and thick and your nails will grow long and strong. The only place i’ve found this particular brand is Health Craze on Old Brompton Road in London but i’ve seen that combo featured in post natal vitamins as well. Persist and take three every day for three months. The results are tremendous.
I’m a huge fan of Manuka honey for it’s long list of health benefits but when used topically on the skin it is equally versatile. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties help to treat acne by absorbing impurities from the skin, killing bacteria and unclogging skin follicules which leads to pimples. Even if you don’t suffer from spots, this mask is a great way to give your skin a deep clean whilst stimulating circulation and brightening your complexion. Spread a layer of good quality Manuka honey over your face and neck. Using the tips of your fingers, gently press the skin to create a sort of suction all over until the honey becomes too tacky to work with. Wash off with warm water and moisturise. Your skin will feel incredibly clean and the pressing motion will have encouraged blood flow to the surface giving you a healthy glow.
This is one of the simplest things you can incorporate into your beauty regime so I suggest you listen up. It may sound unpleasant but running an ice cube over your face is highly beneficial for your skin and circulation. By simply massaging your face with ice cubes for a minute or two before bed you’ll be smoothing your complexion by shrinking pores as well as combatting fat cells, fighting acne and promoting blood circulation that helps to heal blemishes. You will also benefit from a dewy glow so I often do this before going out or first thing in the morning. Make sure to place the cubes in a clean ziploc bag to avoid breaking any delicate capillaries and you could even throw a little rosewater, lemon or watermelon into the mix for a serious hit of antioxidants.
Facialift from Sarah Chapman
I call this little tool the ‘carb face eliminator’ for it’s incredible de-puffing and circulation boosting effects. I my skin really suffers the day after drinking or eating too much and this has been my saving grace on countless occasions. The rollers and nodules mimic the pinching and tapping technique of the legendary Sarah Chapman facials and will re-shape, tone and refine the contours of your face. I try to use it everyday whilst i’m reading or watching tv and I really noticed a marked difference in my complexion when i’m consistent with it. It ‘brightens, tightens, drains toxins and reduces puffiness by boosting the supply of vital nutrients and oxygen to your skin’ giving you an immediate and noticeable glow. Available here Space NK for £25.
Shiffa Healing Balm
This is my favourite healing balm from Dubai based beauty brand Shiffa and is the ultimate repairing and skin healing treatment. Chamomile stimulates the skin whilst lavender is soothing and anti-inflammatory. Arnica extract will restore damaged skin and scarring – the list goes on. It melts into the skin like a dream so I use it on holiday as an evening moisturiser or under makeup. It’s available at Selfridges here.
Mankind’s love affair with roses for beauty and health purposes has a long history and has been used in medicine and cosmetics for centuries. One of the main benefits of rose water is that it acts as an anti-inflammatory and is one of the best tonics for soothing irritated skin. Rich in anti-oxidants, it can help to strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissue so are highly beneficial to people with sensitive skin. It’s widely available but I really like this super cheap version from Dabur.
Oh boy, wherever do I start with lemons? I could, should and probably will do an entire post paying homage to their greatness but for now let’s just stick to the basics. I start every day with the juice of half a lemon diluted in warm water to wake up the digestive system and cleanse the liver. Lemons are alkaline when digested making them very anti-inflammatory. They also contain pectin, a soluble fibre commonly found in citrus fruits. Pectin helps stave off hunger as the fibre creates a feeling of fullness resulting in the suppression of hunger and sugar cravings. Vitamin C protects your immune system and also boosts collagen production in the skin…yadda yadda yadda..you get the point, they are AMAZING.
Whilst lemons are brilliant internally, i’ve recently discovered their beauty benefits externally to. Rubbing a little lemon over pimples and blackheads before bed will help dissolve impurities although I don’t recommend anyone with sensitive skin trying this out as it can tingle and cause redness. Mixing cold milk, ground almonds and lemon juice into a paste is one of my favourite exfoliators and I make a mask to follow by mixing a teaspoon of olive oil, Manuka honey and a few drops of lemon juice and then leaving it for 15-20 minutes and removing with warm water.