Vitamin C Serum

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One of my beauty regime staples Vitamin C serum. I discovered it a few years ago through a beauty discussion forum. Once I started using it, I was hooked. I read somewhere that women would do well to start using Vitamin C serum in their early twenties, so I wish I’d discovered it a lot sooner for sure.

Vitamin C serum looks oily, but is very easily absorbed, leaving no residue whatsoever. My skin positively glows and perks up when I’m using it. For this reason, it has become a staple in my arsenal of beauty products. It doesn’t always come cheap, but in my opinion, it’s worth every penny!

So What Is Vitamin C Serum?

Vitamin C serum is a natural skin care product that has for the last few years been causing a buzz in the beauty industry. Vitamin C can also be found in high-end beauty products, with many of the best beauty houses in the cut-throat beauty industry scrambling to produce the best quality and most luxurious Vitamin C serums, creams and lotions. We really are spoilt for choice in that regard!

What Does Vitamin C Serum Do?

Vitamin C serum is one of the most powerful antioxidants in skin care. As a result, it helps slow down the aging process by protecting skin against free radicals. Here’s how else Vitamin C serum addresses many other beauty concerns:

  • Prolonged use has been proven to aid collagen production, promoting firmer skin
  • Improves the appearance of wrinkles
  • Vitamin C serum brightens and evens out skin tone
  • A natural sunscreen, Vitamin C also offers some protection against harmful UV rays, by improving the efficacy of your sunscreen
  • May reduce inflammation and trauma to skin, thus preventing further damage to skin

* Results can be seen within approximately 6 months of consistent Vitamin C serum use.

What To Look For When You’re Looking For Your Vitamin C Serum

There are different types of Vitamin C, but sitting pretty at the top of the list is Ascorbic Acid, also known as L-ascorbic acid. Out of all the vitamin C’s, this is the most researched and most widely used in beauty products.

Look out for as high a concentration as you can get between 15-20%. The price increases the higher the concentration. The higher the concentration, the more effective your serum works in addressing the most stubborn skin concerns.

Because Vitamin C serum can be highly unstable and spoils easily, always opt for dark bottles and store it in a cool, dark place. I sometimes store mine in the fridge, if it gets too hot.

Have you ever tried Vitamin C serum; if you did, what were your thoughts?

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Spotlight On Beauty Oils

 

lemon-906141_1920For the longest time and as far back as I can remember, I have always been interested in anything to do with hair and beauty. In fact, at one point, I thought I would work in the hair and beauty industry. I take very keen interest in skin care products and beauty oils are no exception. I like the fact that these oils are natural and right now they’re taking the beauty industry by storm!

A Few Facts About Natural Oils

  • These naturals oils are so easily absorbed into the skin that even people with oily skin like me can use them without worrying about clogged pores
  • They are rich in anti-oxidants and a good remedy for many hair and skin concerns
  • Natural oils are free from parabens, a preservative that’s widely used in most cosmetics and which many claims have linked to the rise in breast cancer

Some of The Best Natural Beauty Oils

Coconut Oil

Currently touted as the wonder oil of the moment, I recently wrote about this oil as one of the most popular ‘multi-tasking’ natural oil. Coconut oil has found itself a firm place in the hearts of many people.

It is said to be the best at keeping skin looking young, and is being praised for its ability to protect skin from free radicals, thereby acting as an anti-ageing agent.

Coconut oil is has the ability to penetrate the deeper layers of skin, and is rich is lauric acid, which is very good at treating inflammation.

This wonder oil has found pride of place in many a household, from the kitchen, to the bathroom; and can be used in cooking, on skin and hair, on cracked heels; its uses are endless!

Argan Oil

Perhaps one of the better-known organic oils, Argan oil is also one of the oldest. Ask any woman if they have heard of it and I’m willing to bet that most will have used it on their hair at some point or other. This comes as no surprise as Argan oil promotes stronger, glossier hair and is often sold as a stand-alone hair oil or is listed among the most active ingredients in other hair products.

Argan oil contains Vitamin E, therefore making it a very good hair softener. It can also be used to protect hair from harmful UV rays, as well as protection against heating devices such as hairdryers, curling irons and tongs. It’s especially good for colour treated and frizzy hair. It also guards against split ends, the bane of many women across the world.

Sweet Almond Oil

This oil is best for soft, smooth skin, and is very easily absorbed into the skin. It’s very good at sealing moisture in and gives skin a soft, supple texture. What most people don’t know is that this fantastic oil has properties that may protect skin against the harmful effects of UV rays.

Rich in Vitamin E, research suggests it can aid in repairing scars.

Rosa Mosqueta Oil

Rosa Mosquesta is rich in Vitamin A, which is well known for its ability to effectively tackle acne. It contains more Vitamin C than oranges and has other ingredients known to be vital in tissue regeneration. It is known to fade age spots, heal scars, relieve eczema and psoriasis and even out skin tone.

If you decide to buy essential oils, always choose unrefined, organic versions and avoid synthetic, scented oils. Unscented oils are always the best.

Have you ever used any of these beauty oils? How would rate your experience of them?

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Spotlight on Essential Oils 2

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Essential oils are becoming more popular by the year and I for one have taken a huge interest in them. Like I stated in my first article on essential oils, although they are safe for home use, you always have to exercise caution and ensure you use them accordingly.

A Few Pointers On How To Use Essential Oils

Although the most well known method is oil diffusers, this method may not be the best, as you risk burning the oils and losing the benefits. You are best opting for plug-in devices that diffuse the oils into the air. Likewise, you can put some drops long with some water in a spray bottle, which you can then spray around the room. Be sure to shake the mixture well before spraying.

Another option is to apply a few drops into a tissue or cotton wool pad and inhale the oils. Essential oils work very well in a bathtub too, because some of the vapours will release into the air, while some will be absorbed into the skin.

You can also put a few drops in a bowl of boiling water and set it in a corner. This will release the vapours into the air, which will then disperse into the entire space.

Another popular method is massage. Pour a few drops of your chosen oil and warm it up by rubbing it between your hands to warm it up and get started. Suggested massage oils include Jojoba, Coconut, Sweet Almond and Avocado oil; all available from good nature stores and some supermarkets.

If you’re using any essential oil for the first time, always do a patch test prior to using it.

Spotlight on Five Essential Oils

Sweet Marjoram

This essential oil is known to lower blood pressure. Seek guidance from a qualified aromatherapist on how to use it. Also remember, this does not take the place of your medication, always check with your doctor.

Bergamot

This is often used to calm anxiety and relieve insomnia. As with most citrus-based essential oils, Bergamot can spoil easily and is best kept in the fridge. It works well in a diffuser.

Ylang Ylang

If you have low blood pressure, this oil may not be for you because it’s very good at lowering blood pressure. It works well as a massage oil and is also known to be a good aphrodisiac.

Frankincense

Put a few drops of this oil into a tissue and inhale it to calm nerves, as it’s very good for anxiety. For this reason, people given to panic attacks would benefit from using Frankincense. This oil also is good at smoothing away those pesky wrinkles. Dilute a drop to 5ml water and gently massage into the area you want to treat. 

Geranium

Known for its antibacterial properties, Geranium is used in many acne creams. It is also good for balancing female hormones, and is therefore ideal for those who suffer from PMS. Put one drop to 5ml water and gently massage clockwise into the lower abdomen for relief.

*Not to be used during pregnancy.

With interest gathering pace in the world of aromatherapy and its health benefits, these are indeed very exciting times for essential oils. Have you ever used any essential oils, and if you have, which one worked well for you? Would you recommend it to friends and family?

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Spotlight On Essential Oils

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I have always taken a keen interest in essential oils, and now more so than ever. I love the scent, and the idea of sorting out some of my ailments through use of non-medicinal aids. There appears to be growing interest in them too, as health and nature stores continue to sprout everywhere. People the world over are becoming more and more enlightened about aromatherapy. People are increasingly becoming more open minded and are now willing to try alternative remedies in a quest for optimum health. Perhaps this explains increased research into this area.

It is therefore not surprising that the medical world is also sitting up and taking notice and embracing it, with some hospitals even setting up aromatherapy units on their premises. Health stores are seeing alarming profit growth, as people have taken to using aromatherapy at home. However, It is always wise to ensure you know what you’re doing and administering the right dosage. So before you start using essential oils, always read the packaging and seek advise from the health store ‘practitioners’. They have the relevant training and experience, and are therefore best placed to guide you on the proper use of all herbal remedies.

Focus on 5 of the best essential oils:

Tea Tree Oil

One of the most well known essential oils, Tea tree oil can be used to combat all manner of skin ailments from insect bites, skin infections to the dreaded acne. It can be applied neat, although if you’re using it for the first time, you’re best doing a patch test before applying.

Lavender

Most people will have heard of Lavender oil, but will probably only know it for being a good sleeping aid. If you struggle with sleeping, a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow and your sheets will soon have you nodding off! What many people aren’t aware of is that it also has natural antiseptic properties, which makes it very good at healing burns.

Cedarwood

This essential oil could help treat alopecia. Apply one drop to 5ml water; apply to the affected area of the scalp and massage gently.

Patchouli

If you have dry, irritable skin, this could be the oil for you. All you have to do is add it to your favourite moisturizer and apply it to your skin. Patchouili has also been known to be good on dry, cracked heels.

Sweet Orange

Feeling down? Sweet Orange oil is well known for its ability to lift spirits. It can also be mixed in with your moisturizer and applied to skin. However, it can stain skin, and as it can lead to skin being photosensitive, you need to avoid sunlight when you have it on.

All these essential oils are safe for home use. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced Aromatherapist for guidance on dosage, which oils to avoid and which would be best for you based on your own personal needs.

Do you like using essential oils, and do you have a favourite?

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Asos: My Favourite Online Store

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I’m a self confessed shopaholic and enjoy all sorts of shopping, online shopping included. The thing I love about online shopping is the convenience. I like the fact that quite often, when I’m mooching about town, if I see something I like in some of my favourite stores, rather than dive straight in and buy it there and then, I can hang fire and shop around for the best bargain. Such is the beauty of modern day technology! More often than not, I can find items for a snip of the Recommended Retail Price online and hey, who doesn’t like a bargain!?

Online shopping means I don’t have to leave my house; and this is especially ideal when the weather is horrible. If you can find online stores that work best for you, all the better. Many high street retailers have an eBay presence and often sell their stock cheaper on there. But I’m lucky to have gone one better and found a fantastic one-stop shop that beats even eBay; my favourite online store, Asos.

Asos is a popular and reputable UK online store that sells clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty products at affordable prices. They also sell men’s fashions as well as children’s clothes across all ages. It carries a wide array of trendy brands as well as their own branded products. A lot of the designer gear they sell, is often priced lower than the regular price. It is very well known and respected for its outstanding customer service. The orders are delivered within a day or two of purchasing.

Asos appeals to me even more because unlike many online stores, they offer free worldwide shipping. If you ever need to return an item for a refund or exchange, Asos makes it extremely easy by providing you with a pre-paid return envelope! In all the years I have shopped with Asos, and I have bought a huge amount of items; I have only ever had to return one item because it was faulty. I promptly re-packaged and returned the item in the pre-paid envelope. Within two days, I had received the replacement as well as a goodwill 10% discount code for my next shopping experience, for the inconvenience. Asos also has a section dedicated to pages upon pages of ongoing sale items. There’s also a ‘market section’ where people can sell their ‘gently used’ clothes. Asos is very supportive of gifted, up and coming designers too. It’s just amazing!

Asos in my opinion just “gets it”, and is heads and shoulders above most of its competitors. I aspire to run an online clothing store in the future; and I hope to emulate Asos’ ethos and outstanding customer care.

Are you a keen shopper and do you enjoy online shopping? Do you have a great online store you van recommend?

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My Skincare Regime

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Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always been fascinated by skincare and skin products. I was also afflicted by acne from my early teens into adulthood. In fact, I was only able to address my catalogue of skin ailments in the past few years. It took a lot of trial and error, blood and sweat, tears and stress; but I got there in the end. I tried everything under the sun, in vain.

My prayers were answered when I stumbled across a product called Panoxyl (10% Benzoyl Peroxide). It comes in a face wash and gel, for just under £10! Shortly after I started using the two products, they reduced my breakouts by about 95%! To this day, I continue to use these products once in a while, especially when I have a couple of particularly stubborn spots to tackle.

Once I got rid of the acne, I had the mammoth task of tackling my unsightly, heavily hyper- pigmented skin tone. I was saved by the very expensive and aggressive, but very effective Obagi skincare range. I have to warn those who would want to brave it; It’s not for the faint hearted!! Obagi products totally transformed my skin beyond belief. I will do an informative review of it very soon, for those who are interested.

Now that I’ve won the acne and uneven skin tone battle, I religiously observe a skincare regime that helps me maintain healthy skin.

  • I ensure I wash, cleanse and tone twice a day
  • I use the Clarisonic Mia face brush which removes all the makeup and grime; to leave you with squeaky clean skin, and smaller, tighter pores!
  • I take Brewer’s yeast supplements on a daily basis
  • I wear sunscreen religiously, come rain or shine! * It has to be natural sunscreen, which contains zinc oxide
  • I also swear by Vitamin C Serum, every woman worth her “beauty” salt and who wants to grow old gracefully should start using Vitamin C serum as early as possible
  • I ensure I exfoliate 2-3 times a week. This procedure sloughs off dead skin cells to let fresher, more glowy skin through
  • Once a week I also administer a home made turmeric and apple cider vinegar mask, to keep uneven skin tone at bay

My skin is by no means perfect, but I’ve discovered over the years that skin needs continued tender, loving care. Look after it while you’re younger, and you’ll be rewarded handsomely as you get older. This is where the expression “ageing gracefully” truly comes to life, because it shows if your skin has been taken good care of.

What about you, what are your beauty secrets, care to share any?

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Spotlight on Coconut oil, ‘the wonder oil’

Unless you’ve been living on another planet, far removed from planet earth, you’ll have noticed the growing popularity of coconut oil, right across the globe. Coconut oil, it would appear, is the answer to all manner of ailments as well as a beauty staple in many a woman’s life nowadays! Having first heard about this wonder oil a few years ago, I was admittedly quick to dismiss it as just another trendy fad. Fast forward a few years, and this ‘miracle oil’ ‘s popularity doesn’t seem to be on the wane, instead, it’s more popular than ever!

 

I resisted buying it until very recently, eventually caving in and buying a very pricey jar to see what all the fuss is all about! It’s still early days yet, but so far, I’m pleased with it. I’ve used it as a heel balm, and it works like magic. My feet get extremely dry to the point of cracking, but it has done wonders for them. They’re less irritated and are softer and more supple.

 

I’ve also noticed coconut oil is fantastic as a moisturiser. You’d expect it to be very greasy, but it sinks right in and doesn’t leave any residue! – and I have greasy skin, too! I also use it on my hands, elbows, cuticles and hairline. So far, so good.

 

Some of the fantastic claims made about Coconut oil

 

Coconut oil can be used in food preparation such as baking, smoothies, salad, as a spread in place of butter or margarine…. the list is endless. There

are claims that used as an alternative remedy, coconut oil offers the following health benefits. I must stress that there’s limited are Scientific research to support these claims:

 

Speeds up metabolism, thus aiding in weight loss

Improves blood pressure

Improves cholesterol levels

Aids in managing diabetes

Aids hair and skin health

Aids digestion

Boosts immunity

There has however, been some research to support the fact that coconut oil can help in the reduction of belly fat and weight loss. Something that many women, including me, will take great delight in hearing! Luckily, there are dietary supplements in capsule form on the market for those who don’t relish taking it in its raw form.

 

So where do you buy coconut oil?

 

Luckily, any decent health store will carry Coconut oil. Experts advise against buying hydrogenated oil (oil that’s been treated with heat, solvents or bleach) Instead, you’re best sticking with extra virgin, unrefined, organic versions.

 

Have you tried out Coconut oil, and how has your experience of it been like so far; negative or positive? I’d love to hear how you have found the experience, and if you think this ‘wonder oil’ lives up to its very lofty expectations!

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