Get Yourself Looking Buff With Body Brushing Benefits

I can't help but love exfoliating. It is the only thing that really leaves my skin feeling like I want it to, which is fresh, soft and renewed. I am a fan of acid peels and exfoliating toners but sometimes I just want to get involved and have a good old buff-up. But saying that, I don't want to rely too heavily on body scrubs (as much as I love them) because I am aware they can end up just tearing at the skins delicate surface if used too often. 

I watched a BBC programme not that long ago which was all about debunking some of the most popular beauty myths and misconceptions - like whether or not the fancy-pants beauty and skincare products (and by that I mean expensive) work better than those which are understated and cost less. 

I think it was three or so women tried a fancy body scrub on their 'wobbly bits' and others tried a simple body brush to see which had the most effect. Turns out, the regular body-brushing delivered the most noticeable results and showed visible signs of smoother skin on areas which were prone to dimples and cellulite.

So, I decided to give it a go myself! One of the main benefits I've found of using a body brush - like this one I purchased by Eco-Tools - is that you can use it dry, so you can incorporate it into your daily routine in the morning or evening when you're getting dressed. 

I've been keeping it in sight on top of my unit where I keep everything else so I remember to use it each day on areas where I see the most dimples and cellulite, like the back and sides of my thighs and this is where I'll be able to see any differences or changes - I have tried to use it wet just out of curiosity, but it causes the brush to become softer which I think defeats the purpose, so I'll be sticking to using it dry for maximum effect!

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Why I chose Eco-Tools

The main purpose of a dry brush like this is so exfoliate and smooth the skin, but I chose Eco-Tools because it's designed specifically for dry skin, it's cruelty free and vegan and the materials are eco-friendly bamboo and synthetic bristles.

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So, when you exfoliate the surface of your skin, it stimulates blood flow and helps bring the skin to life, which I think is something your skin can really benefit from at least every once in a while and that's what buffing it in this way achieves. At first, it's a bit like 'owwieee' because the bristles feel tough, but once you've had a few goes you either get used to it or the brushes have become softer.

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Results.

 

I don't think I am quite ready to whack my legs out on show across the the internet just yet, so for now you'll just have to take my word for it on the results I've seen.

So, after buffing my legs in a circular motion with this on each leg/thigh (and sometimes upper arms) for 1-2 minutes each day for the past month I'm happy to say I've seen a visible improvement in the appearance of my thighs. I've been doing a tester which is sitting on the floor with my legs tucked underneath me (which is where I see most dimples) and also just standing up normally, eyeing myself up in the mirror to notice any changes. This also helps me to see any other areas which I think might need some attention! The skin looks really rejuvenated and you know sometimes your legs have that weird veiny thing going on, well this helps diminish the signs of that.

I don't want to go OTT and aggravate my poor skin or cause any unwanted reactions so I'll stick to couple of minutes maximum each day (I may a skip a day here and here going forward, but as I want to see results sooner rather than later, I'll make every effort to stick to a daily routine with it and see what are hopefully long-lasting results.

This post is best served with a generous helping of self-care, so don't forget to use a generous helping of moisturiser afterwards as your skin may feel quite sensitive or tender, I'd recommend Palmer's Coconut Butter or anything with Rose as this will help to soothe and calm the skin. 



Reasons To Love Bloomtown Botanicals

Bloomtown Botanicals represent such a strong message in the beauty and skincare industry, a message that I think is becoming much, much clearer as we're all becoming increasingly aware of the environment around us - that message is how we, as consumers and companies, can work together to build a positive changes that will serve us all much better for the future. Changes such as thinking twice about the packaging we purchase, the ingredients we choose to use on our skin and taking more time for ourselves to really think about how we can better manage our self-care regimes.

There are glaringly obvious reasons why I think Bloomtown Botanicals are well deserving of a place in any beauty cabinet and here are a few just to give you an idea. 

1. They're 100% natural and organic.
I've said this once and I'll happily say it again and again, nature has some of the very best ingredients to offer and I am so pleased Bloomtown know what they are doing when it comes to picking such ingredients in their products. I've suffered an awful lot with my skin after using certain products and over time this has made me slightly apprehensive about trying anything new, but the coast is clear with this and skincare from Bloomtown is a joy to use. Their products keep my sensitive and reactive skin soothed, well hydrated and moisturised.

2. They're 100% palm oil free
As of this year, Bloomtown Botanicals have become the UK's first independently certified palm-oil free company. Palm oil is in so many things, not just beauty, and you wouldn't believe where it crops up. I'm not even going to get into it, I'm just going to use this opportunity to give Bloomtown Botanicals a huge, virtual high-five because it just goes to show, you can do without all those crazy additives and still enjoy gorgeous skincare products.

3. They're cruelty-free and vegan.
This means, at no point during the development of their products has any animal been harmed or used in any way for testing or otherwise, and their products contain absolutely no animal derivatives. It could just be a psychological thing, but I like to think that by choosing companies like this you are contributing to a bigger cause. The true value of a product like this is much more than the price.

Here are some of my favourite products which I would highly recommend to anyone and everyone:

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The Hedgerow Infused Oil
Meadowfoam & Sesame

Their nourishing body and bath oils are absolutely beautiful and designed specifically with skin health in mind. The product featured here is The Hedgerow and is a heavenly combination of Meadowfoam (helps skin lock in moisture) and Sesame Oil (naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory) - it has a gorgeous sweet smell and I can't get enough of it!

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The Rose Garden Roll-On Oil

The benefits of oils never cease to amaze me, and the ease of rollerball products makes it even more amazing. This one in particular is infused with Musk Rose & White Florals so it smells absolutely beautiful and is great for a midday, mid-morning or mid-anytime pick me up!

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Organic Lip Balm
Peppermint & Lemongrass

A lip balm is a staple beauty product isn't it? I unintentionally end up with a lip balm in different pockets, bags and pockets in my bags because no matter what time of year I always find them useful. This lip balm is made up of Peppermint (which has that fab tingly, plumping sensation) and Lemongrass (which offers all those natural vitamins).

Palmer's Coconut Skincare Review

Summer is in full swing and I've gone [coco]nuts. I am loving the fact the sunshine is making a real effort to stick around for a while and because of this I am going through a fair amount of daily skincare, slathering it on like there's no tomorrow and for a change summer-skin really is a thing right now. Arms and legs are out in full force and it's giving me a daily reminder to give them a little more love than I ordinarily would and keep everything well moisturised and maintained.

So, you can imagine my excitement when Fuel PR kindly sent this stunning selection of Palmer's Skincare products right to my door, a PR package I will positively accept because a) I am a huge fan of Palmer's products already and b) because I know I will get plenty of use from these immediately and they are suitable for all year round, so let's take a peek shall we?

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Summer Skin Is Sorted.

Featured in this post:

- Coconut Sugar Body Scrub
- Coconut Oil Body Firming Sheet Masks
- Coconut Oil Anti-Oxidant Firming Lotion
- Natural Bronze Gradual Tan
- Coconut Oil Body Oil
- Coconut Oil Body Lotion
 - Coconut Sugar Body Scrub

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Coconut Body Oil

I spent a long time avoiding oils like the plague, thinking they would only add to my already oily skin. I was wrong. Oils are actually an ideal way to restore the natural balance of your skin's moisture, giving it an instant, hydrated glow. 

Skin that's crying out for moisture will start to create it's own, hence the greasy feeling I know all too well, particularly on my face and that's why oils are ideal. I also love to use this on the tops of my feet and toes, it makes them look so healthy! 

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Anti-Oxidant Firming Lotion + Sheet Masks  

Skin firming? Anti-oxidants? Yes please, don't mind if I do. These are brand new additions to the Palmer's Cocoa Oil range and one of the most useful points of use for these are after the gym when your skin is gasping for some nutrients and will be particularly responsive after exercise, so wash that sweat off and get moisturising!

The sheets are not only firming but wonderfully cooling (my favourite place to use this is the sides of my thighs) followed up with a helping of firming lotion and you're really good to go. 

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Gradual

 

Tan Lotion

Now this is something pretty amazing. It smells just like you would imagine and, as you can see it gives my legs a pretty impressive glow. As someone who is apprehensive about using any tan-based products, the results are really impressive after only a fortnight or so of continued use and the colour and tone of my legs looks just right for me, with just the right balance to keep things looking natural with a sun-kissed glow.

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Coconut

 

Body Lotion + Sugar Scrub

It would be really, really difficult to decide which of the two body lotions I prefer - the Coconut Oil Formula or the Cocoa Butter. But, if I had to choose I think I'd have to go with Cocoa Butter as I've used it all my life and it's the perfect balance of everything I want. This Coconut Oil Formula is just as lovely don't get me wrong and I'd say it last's a little longer than Cocoa Butter as it has a thicker consistency. 

The Sugar scrub is amazing, it has that lovely tingly feeling and, even though you may have a lovely Palmer's moisturiser to use afterwards, you probably won't need it because the scrub leaves your skin feeling lovely and moisturised, even after exfoliating!

I've made no secret of my love for Palmer's in the past, in particular their Day Cream and Night Cream from their well known Cocoa Butter range which has that familiar scent you'd recognise anywhere. I have very sensitive skin and I've never, ever had any issues whatsoever with Palmer's, their products are absolutely ideal for me. I am now equipped with some pretty fantastic products from Palmer's to help me stay prepped and nourished throughout this gorgeous weather and I am pretty darn excited about the new additions to their Coconut Oil Formula range too.



Stay Skin Hydrated | Floral Waters and Mists

As I am writing this, I feel like I am in a sauna. Somehow, I've found the energy to make my fingers move but I still can't find any respite from the heat and it's absolutely boiling everywhere right now. I remember writing a blog post previously about whether or not I find spritzers, mists, floral waters and sprays useful and I've actually replaced that post with this one - because now is the best time to find them useful and this is where they work their magic!

I do love the convenience of a mist and think they are the perfect solution to giving your pores a breather and are also fab for these hotter months to keep you feeling refreshed. I tend to back off using face moisturisers on hot days as it makes my face feel even oiler and I literally look like I could melt at any second, so a floral water spray is perfect not only to cool you down but to give your skin the boost it needs without clogging the pores and adding to shine. 

Of course during the cold months the last thing you want is a cold shock anywhere near your skin, so they are also useful with a cotton wool pad if you just can't stand that icy blast and but still want to use them because they are very lovely. 

The following face mists have been a wonderful accompaniment to my handbag during these sweltering temperatures and I'd easily recommend these for the simple fact they offer hydration on a really convenient basis and are so lovely, light and smell gorgeous. One of the main ingredients to look out for in something like this is rose, which is naturally fantastic for reducing redness and providing some welcome relief to hot and bothered skin.

There's no reason not to have one of these handy for general every day travels and holidays, so these are my top face mists from some really beautiful brands that you may or may not already recognise:

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Earth Harbour are beach-themed and all their products are organically sourced and inside this gorgeous face mist you'll find the likes of Seaweed, Rose and Hibiscus, which all work together in a beautifully balanced blend without being overpowering or too watery.

These extracts are naturally youth-boosting and rich in anti-oxidants and suitable for all skin types (music to my ears) and it's versatile enough for use as a toner and of course as a welcome relief on hot days.

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Zenon Kition
Pure Rose
Floral Water

I love a floral water spray because it's just so refreshing (no pun intended) to know it contains ingredients which treat and balance the skin at the same time as cooling you down. This pure rose water works wonders at soothing the skin and relieving symptoms of rosacea and works to cleanse and detoxify the skin. See why I love this?

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Jurlique
Rosewater Balancing Mist

I find this particularly effective if I have had a reaction to something, which sadly occurs quite often in my life, and it works wonders at bringing the skin back to a state of calm. I wish they did this for my brain...This is one of the first product's I've tried from Jurlique which I actually won in a magazine competition and it came as a set along with their Rose Handcream. They both smell amaaaazing so am I glad that I discovered this? Yes!

Dermalogica Ultra-Calming Skincare Review

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As I mention time and time again, I suffer terribly with sensitive, reactive skin. However, with a new skin cleansing regime which I have told myself very sternly to stick to as of this year, I will say I have seen such an improvement in the general behaviour of my skin.

As a woman and as other women out there may (hopefully) agree, spots, blemishes and skin upsets aren't always caused by lack of care - it can be down to pesky hormones, time of the month and generally being run down - it happens. But I would happily agree with the possibility that following a regular, dedicated skin cleansing regime helps maintain skin balance and therefore skin happiness! But that's just my face, I also suffer with itchy, eczema-prone skin on my arms and am prone to redness on my chest and neck.

I recently went for the most incredible pamper-sesh at my local skin and beauty clinic because they only use Dermalogica products and will select the right range for your skin type. I have had some unpleasant experiences with facials where my skin has reacted quite badly, so I was a little apprehensive, but I didn't need to be in the slightest because it was an absolute dream! My skin has truthfully never felt better after that beautiful facial and here's why I would recommend Dermalogica as your best friend for the higher-end of skincare (your purse may not thank you, but your skin will!).

Their Ultra-Calming range which they used on the day is designed specifically for reactive skin and is ideal for using on skin which has recently been resurfaced or treated in any way and could benefit from a little extra TLC. It's targeted specifically to protect the skin against triggers which cause your skin type to show signs of stress and irritation, acting as a shield as opposed to just absorbing into the skin. I thought I fitted the bill quite well as at the time I was suffering from a reaction from a previous product, so timing couldn't have been better. This is the Ultra Calming Mini Kit which I purchased in the salon so I could continue using at home before I take the plunge and go in for the big purchase, just to make sure it's definitely right for me. I am pleased to say so far, so good and if you're looking for a reliable source of skincare then I would recommend giving this a try (if you opt for the mini kit first at least you can get a feel for it and see how you get on).

Here's what you can expect:

Cleanser & Toner

Cleansing and toning is pretty self explanatory, but very important if you're following a dedicated skincare routine as missing a step kind of defeats the purpose of the other stages. The cleanser is SO gentle (I apply with my hands and wash off with a cloth or cotton wool pad) and it leaves the skin feeling really cool and fresh, then just give it a little spritz with the spray toner and you're ready for the next step!

Serum Concentrate + Barrier Repair Moisturiser

I apply the serum before the moisturiser as this helps give my skin that elasticity I look for in products as I just don't like the feeling of tightness. It's a very loose texture which absorbs surprisingly quickly into the skin ready for the Barrier Repair, which, considering this is a moisturiser also has a really unusual texture. It has a velvet style consistency, which glides over the skin so effortlessly and leaves such a soft, matte finish - it's beautiful! This application is left until last to finish everything off. It's designed to protect the skin against triggers which cause your skin type to show signs of stress and irritation, acting as a shield as opposed to absorbing into the skin like a traditional moisturising consistency.

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Pixi Skintreats Review

First and foremost, Pixi are of course cruelty free which would be my main recommendation for them, but they are also designed to fit easily into your beauty regime with plenty of beneficial ingredients. Their products all have an air of radiance about them and are very gentle on the skin, so they are ideal for sensitive skin sufferers. 

Now, I find it's very unusual to see beautiful packaging containing something equally as beautiful product inside. Quite often one aspect outweighs the other and I think it's not all that common to find something which offers both. However, Pixi Beauty does.

It was one of my new years resolutions to discover more of the Pixi Beauty range and include more of their products into my beauty routine to see if they really are as good as they look and I am happy to say my collection of Pixi products is growing quite nicely!

To get myself started I've been choosing Pixi products (mostly from the really pretty section in Marks and Spencer!) which focus on the areas which I would say I give most attention to like my eye makeup, lips and skin cleansing routine.

Here are the products I've come to know and love:


Glow-02 Oxygen Mask

This one in particular gives my skin that lovely, tingly sensation so you really feel it working and you could probably get away with using this at any time, it's quite versatile and you could use it in the mornings to give skin a boost, or at night before sleep to help it get to work even more efficiently when skin is relaxed and able to absorb a little easier.

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Exfoliating Glow Tonic

The Glow Tonic is a fantastic facial skin exfoliator and toner, which leaves my skin feeling really firm and tight, (in a good way, not in the way which feels like you've sucked all the goodness out of your skin!) I've spoken in the past about my love for skin accelerators (such as Glycolic acid), as it's ingredients like these which work at removing all the dead skin cells in a gentle way without harming the delicate surface of the skin. After using the Glow Tonic my skin looks healthy, hydrated and radiant.

  KEY INGREDIENTS:  ALOE VERA & GINSENG | PERFECT FOR ANTI-AGING, TONING AND BRIGHTENING

KEY INGREDIENTS: ALOE VERA & GINSENG | PERFECT FOR ANTI-AGING, TONING AND BRIGHTENING

Eye Makeup Remover Pads

I have to say, these little eye makeup dissolving pads remove even the most stubborn makeup (like black eyeliner) really, really easily. With one sweep, the makeup has come loose and that for me is really impressive, as sometimes I have to rub more than I would like to remove makeup - which isn't good. These leave my eyes feeling really fresh and moisturised and I find they are particularly handy after the gym where makeup has ended up underneath my eyes - not a good look!

  KEY INGREDIENTS:  ARGAN OIL & PANTHENOL | PERFECT SKIN PENETRATOR AND HYDRATOR

KEY INGREDIENTS: ARGAN OIL & PANTHENOL | PERFECT SKIN PENETRATOR AND HYDRATOR

MAKEUP MELTING CLEANSING CLOTHS

I go through phases where my skincare regime is on point, where everything is balanced and skin is happy. I find this is helped by regular and consistent use of the same products and my skin reacts quite positively to cleansers and toners. However, we all have those days where it's just going to be tons easier to remove makeup with cleansing wipes and as I've had bad experiences with wipes in the past which have left my skin sore, I can be a bit dubious about using face wipes. However, this is absolutely not the case with these Chamomile Makeup Melting Wipes, they are beautifully soft and remove makeup in no time at all, revealing calm, nourished skin. Oh, and they smell incredible too!

  KEY INGREDIENTS:  CHAMOMILE & GRAPE SEED OIL | PERFECT FOR CALMING AND TIGHTENING SKIN

KEY INGREDIENTS: CHAMOMILE & GRAPE SEED OIL | PERFECT FOR CALMING AND TIGHTENING SKIN