The beauty of boreal algae (AD/PR)

Polåar Polar Night Revitalizing Elixir and Body Milk

Ok, let me start explaining the title: for a few weeks now I have been using the gorgeous Polaar Polar Night Revitalizing Elixir and indeed it is a beaut. It’s main ingredient? Boreal algae.

Polåar Polar Night Revitalizing Elixir dripping from pipette

The oil is very light and applies really well to the skin, sinking in in seconds and leaving no greasy feeling. It smells divine (I mean, DIVINE) and after using for 3-4 weeks my skin has felt consistently hydrated and plump in the morning. A real gem.

Polåar Polar Night Revitalizing Elixir back of bottle

It’s main ingredient is boreal algae (Rhodhiménia Boréalia) which is rich in nocturnal cell regeneration booster phyto-melatonin. This enzyme is similar to melatonin, a hormone secreted at night by the brain, which activates all the biological mechanisms that cause cell regeneration at night.

It also contains another regeneration supporting ingredient, organic criste marine bio which contains minerals that also help feed the skin, and organic red micro-algae which’s beta carotene and fatty acids help protect skin moisture and restore suppleness. The ingredients are 99% natural.

All that in a mostly recyclable, simple but lovely packaging – glass and paper box.

Polåar Polar Night Moisturizing Body Milk

I have also been using the Polaar Night Moisturizing Body Milk and what a delight it is. It feels so silky on the skin and body feels amazing upon application and in the morning, with lasting hydration. It is 98% natural.

Polåar Polar Night Moisturizing Body Milk back of package

Polaar is a lovely brand with a beautiful Arctic exploration story to boot, so well worth checking them out. Their passion for pure, exclusive ingredients and protecting the environment those come from is really second to none.

They have a fabulous range of products covering many skin needs and concerns. I really like their Lapland cream range with Arctic berries – it is so beautiful on the skin, a light and supple thirst quencher suitable for sensitive skin. Currently in a great value Polaar Lapaland set Christmas cofret, hurry, it’s £45 but you get £66 worth of products!

It is not my first time trying Polaar: I am a MASSIVE fan of their best-selling Icy Magic range. The eye cream and patches are truly amazing!

Dermatologically tested, all natural ingredients, with no parabens, alcohol, phenoxyethanol or mineral oil, vegan, cruelty free and made in France, it’s available in the UK via Look Fantastic with free delivery over £25: the Revitalizing Elixir costs £39 (30ml) and the Body Milk £32 for 200ml.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

My first CBD face moisturiser

Dermavive CBD moisturiser

In the last year or so, CBD skincare has been all the rage. Initially only from small boutique brands, we now see mainstream giants launching CBD based lines.

Dermavive Ultra Cream from Nutrivive was the very first one I tried, and I have to say I won’t be looking back.

I am already a big fan of CBD balm and muscle rubs as they give my sore and tired muscles and joints great natural pain relief and inflammation reduction, especially for my lower back and thumbs, which are plagued by ongoing niggles.

After using the Dermavive Ultra cream as my only night cream for over 3 weeks, my skin feels calm, pre-menstrual breakouts seems less angry and overall texture and tone is great.

Moisturiser texture is firm and quite rich but it absorbs well and quickly upon application. It smells rather nice – a mix of deep herbal and sweet jasmine which is prominent but not intrusive.

On top of the great concentration of 1000mg cannabidiol (CBD) it contains the goodness of well known ingredients like unrefined avocado oil, sunflower, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, shea butter, tea plant and oat extract and meadowfoam seed oil, lemon peel oil, jasmine, sandalwood oil.

It is manufactured in the UK and they disclose the origin of their ingredients.

Dermavive CBD moisturiser

Cannabidiol is not psychoactive, non-toxic and it has many properties such as helping pain relief, anti-inflammatory, aiding reduce anxiety and depression and it is known to help alleviate cancer-related symptoms.

Nutivive is working to be a carbon neutral business by 2022 and is part of the One Tree Initiative meaning that for every product sold, one tree is planted.

The moisturiser is cruelty free, 100% organic and suitable for vegans. The Dermavive Ultra CBD cream costs £39.99 for 50ml; a little goes a long way here! You can get it from the Nutrivive website, where you can also get various concentrations CBD pure oil and blends.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Enchanting potions

AD/PR

Frangrances… Many a times I have written about how my memory has smells: I always associate fragrances to a time of my life, a place I used to go, a person I loved, a song, and so many others. My memory seems to have a fantastic sense of smell.

When the Potion Paris box arrived, I was intrigued: seven exclusive fragrances to try, all new to me and with the notes on every single one really tickling my fancy.

Overall, the fragrances have a good staying power and a great story: they all develop well and the top, heart and base are distinct and complementary.

I probably like Addiction the most; it has peony and nutmeg. It does contain quite a few other floral notes but bourbon vanilla, tonka, patchouli make it deep as well as slightly spicy.

Then for me comes Seduction – of course it does. Amber, praline and wood are quite the combination. The sweetness of the praline breaks the harshness of the wood and a warm aroma lingers.

Looking for a delicate, enveloping day fragrance? I’d pick Creation. This surprised me as it is not usually my “type” on the the top, but most of its heart (hi toffee) and base of vanilla, musk and praline really do it for me.

Then to Sensation as oud is one of my favourite scents. This fragrance has deep notes and it develops into a strong scent with a cedarwood, patchouli, vetiver and musk base.

Rose, peony and wood make Temptation also quite delicate and somewhat fresh, but the wood and musk deliver a bit of the strength I like in my perfumes.

Deception is just borderline ok for me, as I am mesmerised with jasmine (reminds me of my childhood), together with rose and patchouli. It feels fresh, but I prefer a punchier scent. It does get better as it develops.

Devotion brings white flower and patchouli scents, but its grapefruit is a bit too much for me!

Potion Paris is a sustainable refillable boutique perfume brand that offers traditional, rare high quality ingredients with a refill and re-use programme. They are cruelty, paraben, ptalates and sulfate free.

With the collection boxes, you get a beautiful luxurious vial and case plus the chosen fragrance to fill the vial – can be the full collection (7 x 10ml fragrances for £130), your choice of 2 or 3 fragrances, mixed or the same (for £120 and £100 respectively).

You can also get the vial separately (£30) and refills cost £35 for 2x 10ml. If you send 10 empty glass refills back to them they will get sanitised and re-used, and you get 2 of your chosen fragrance back!

Potion Paris also has soy wax candles on the same fragrances – £35 for 540g (45h burn time), currently at £29.99 for Black Friday.

There are some Black Friday sales across the site at the moment and the collection boxes also have some good discounts.

I got the Potion Paris Discovery Sample set, which costs £24.99 and comes with a £20 voucher redeemable against your 40 or 60ml choice (2 months expiry) – perfect to explore all the fragrances and pick your favourite before committing!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Just what the Dr ordered

Don’t get me wrong, obviously what’s inside IS what matters the most but who can resist to colourful packaging?

When I saw the Dr Botanicals colourful tubs at an expo some time ago I was instantly drawn to it. Then I found out they are a natural, free from toxins skincare brand that delivers vegan, cruelty free products created with great ingredients, for all skin concerns, I was very much sold.

And I left with a colourful selection to give it a go.

The Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask is a treat. I love an overnight mask, especially at this time of the year that temperatures drop, the wind cuts the skin causing extra grievance. Products like this just sit on it helping the overnight regeneration process.

It contains pomegranate, rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, coconut oil to hydrate and soothe, fatty Omega 3 acids to help plump. Honestly, a treat. Applies ad absorbs well as it is not stick or too thick and it has practically zero fragrance so a bliss to wear at night.

I usually pile on top or a lighter moisturiser and/or serum for that extra boost at night and my skin loves it! A bargain at £9.99 for 30ml, also available in bigger sizes and a pretty pink tube.

The Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask is also a treat. A very light mask sometimes I forget to remove (!!!), it does give skin that hydration boost, again, great to introduce at this time of the year, when I tweak my skincare regime.

Cocoa butter is a rich skin “smoother” and moisturiser and coconut oil is hydrating and has fatty acids and antioxidants. A lovely 10-minute ritual my skin thanks me for. It costs £9.99 for 30ml.

Finally, their Lemon Superfood All-in-one Rescue Butter which is a multi-tasking wonder as a moisturiser and a treatment.

It contains lemongrass oil which aids healing and have antifungal properties plus coconut, almond, sea buckthorn fruit and grapeseed oils, which together help nourish, moisturise, replenish skin.

A bit richer than the other two, this has a delicious subtle scent of lemongrass and it is great in the drier parts of my face (forehead, hairline, high cheeks) and hands. It costs £15.99 for 60ml.

Overall, their products are affordable and they have lovely gift bundles and different collections: Apothecary, Dr Botanicals and Organic & Botanic.

Some of their serums (from £16) and oils (from £20) are extremely well priced and the range of concerns they address plus ingredients, are impressive.

Check the Dr Botanicals website out – I doubt there won’t be something for you!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Maskne. Are you serious?

Think about my sheer terror when I first heard the word maskne. 20+ years (no, I won’t disclose how many over 20. Rude!) suffering from acne and now you’re telling me the sensible way to help protect myself and other in the middle of a pandemic is actually causing, lo and behold: ACNE. 

Jokes, right? No, it is true. The coined term #maskne the beauty industry has been throwing right left and centre refers to acne related by the use of face masks.

I mean, everyone and their dog is talking about maskne. Even the BBC talked about it and given my 20+ years experience in acne (and 10 at the BBC, ok?), I thought I’d share my afflictions and my (trial) solutions. Ok, mainly my afflictions. 

Apparently our lovely mask also “suffocates” our skin a bit – think a little greenhouse of oil and sweat, plus the areas of contact which also contribute to contact acne, on top of the gross sebum ones. You’re welcome.

All avenues had been exhausted as the obvious (for me) is already part of my routine (and then some): wash face regularly with a gentle cleanser, use a clean mask every time, stop touching your face (good advice for COVID-19 and breakouts).

Side note: I actually wear reusable face coverings with a cotton layer inside (that sometimes I sew an extra in for added protection). I wash at 40 degrees with detergent at every wear. I don’t have to reuse a mask even if it was worn for a 10 minutes run to the shops and having a selection means I am never caught short, and I always carry extra ones and filters.

Masks in all the colours and shine of the rainbow (is that a thing?)

My usual routine (morning wash, toner, SPF, vitamin C booster, moisturiser + eye cream, eve: wash, toner, moisturise, serum/oil, eye cream) plus my medication, Spironolactone, that helps keep skin in check didn’t seem to be doing their trick so I went on the search of an efficient and pocket friendly option to help me tackle it. 

When I noticed little spots and serious congestion around my chin and jawline, as well as around my nose, I had enough. How dare you, acne. 

I changed my night toner to a blemish prone skin specific, reduced the use of more aggressive retinols and glycolic acids and added a (not so) secret weapon: salicylic acid. 

I got this one from Superdrug and it is extremely affordable. The Me+ Salicylic Acid + Cica booster cost me £6.99 and I have to say, is working well so far. 

I’ve been using twice a day and also on the chin and around the nose area under light make up when I go out and know I will be wearing my mask for a longer period of time. 

Salicylic acid was probably the very first ingredient I tried when I started to have acne in my teenage years. Due to the severity at that time, it did very little to keep it at bay, but being reunited with this old friend was a surprise with pleasant results. 

However, it’s main property is to get into the pores and breaks down dead skin cells and oils, help prevent them to clog. This also contains centella asiatica, which is calming and soothing, so for me it has been working a treat!

Benzoyl peroxide is also highly recommended and available over the counter – I’ve been using that for years and it is a great way to prevent, less to rid of, blemishes. A thin layer daily on the affected area is also known to help.

Spots come and go, it’s been like that all my life. Am I ok with them? NO. However, for the safety of those around me, I’ll just grin, and bear it – behind my mask of course.

Have you noticed maskne? How are you tackling it?

written by Dani

For the sake of skin condition disclaimer, I didn’t edit the pics and had minimal makeup on: light under eye concealer, mascara and sheer lipstick. On the rest of my face, only moisturiser, SPF, vitamin C serum and salicylic acid on the chin+jawline area. Face pics taken with iPhone.

For the love of (my) skin

Recently I posted a pic on Instagam stories I never thought I would. It was my face. You say – doh-oooh Dani, I see that face of yours a bit too much on stories.

You have a point. But this one was not as it is usually presented. Apart from SPF, it had nothing.

No priming. No foundation. Zero concealer. Not a dusting of concealer in sight. Nothing on my eyes – shadow, liner, mascara. Not even colour on my lips. No filter. Just the morning light that bathes my sitting room.

And for the first time in all these years, I found that it was ok. My skin looked alright. I actually thought it looked…. good? Could it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be that person with great skin. Think severe acne with deep angry red cysts on cysts (on cysts) all over for many years. Now think about the deep scarring it leaves behind. Not the more common pigmentation acne scars that appear once the inflammation heals and frequently fade on their own time.

I am talking sulking scars – ice pick, rolling and atrophic, mainly, pitted marks all over my cheeks, temples and forehead. The kind makeup does not erase. Tone, people told me, not texture, is what you can conceal well. And I knew – a lot of the time even with the most flawless make up all I saw in the mirror were scars.

My face had a huge impact on my mental health, and I have written about it before. In the past years I have learnt to like, dare I say love my skin, finally, after a life long battle to make it be what it never was.

Acceptance (and good, consistent skincare) has made it flourish, if not into “perfect skin”, into one that makes me finally feel good about it. Not all the time, it’s true, but the fact I don’t feel like I have to hide it (with a fringe, and/or 8567554 layers of the thickest product you’ll find), feels amazing.

I feel I really care about it, and no longer want to fight it, and the more dramatic, professional procedures I had in the past couple of years really kick started this change – the 3 sublative and ablative laser treatments I had so expertly delivered and tailored by Dr. Ariel Haus worked as a foundation that has finally surfaced.

I have been wearing less makeup, not just at home but when going out(ish) and although I still think I photograph better with a face of foundation, I am no longer anxious to wear less. I am, in fact, happy.

I always said makeup helped me look outside the way I feel inside. And this is still very much true – wearing less only means the discrepancy is decreasing.

As as a loved one said this week: here’s to growth – and skincare.

Now, where’s that botox at? Hit me up, I am ready for you!

Brighter smile

Glo32 teeth whitening strips
PR sample

There is nothing better than a smile. Actually, nothing better than a bright smile!

Glo32 has a lovely range of teeth whitening products to help you get that lovely smile even brighter.

I tried the strips, which are very easy and quick to use and come pack of 28, suitable for 14 uses.

The strips come in individual foils of 2, for upper and bottom teeth. The strip are easy to place and once on the teeth, the generous amount of whitening gel of them softens around the teeth.

It contains coconut oil and is enamel safe and peroxide free.

It is very comfortable to wear for the 30 minutes and afterwards I rinse and brush lightly with my beloved electric toothbrush.

Glo32 teeth whitening strips review - Dani holding box

You are meant to apply it for 14 days for optimal results but my teeth are not too stained or dark and are quite sensitive.

When I got it, I used 5 days in a row for a first whitening and I noticed a subtle, perhaps one shade+ improvement. Sensitivity was low, but I did feel some. Now I am using every few days/a week to maintain, keep stains away and am very happy with the results.

I had used trays and strips before – trays are good if you get them professionally custom made as I did and have a good source for the gel. The ones you bite into are not as good, so I’d go for strips as they are easy and quick to use at home.

Overall, Glo32 strips are great value for money, at £20 per pack, and even better at 1/2 price at Boots with the rest of the range – whitening pen and toothpaste to boost up the glow.

Plus, on this week’s Boots £10 Tuesdays flash deals (25 August 2020) you can get the Glo32 Teeth Whitening System which contains the strips and the whitening pen for only £10 instead of £30, so now a great time to stock up!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

The wonders of magnesium

PR products

Ingredients: they fascinate me. There is nothing more exciting than to find out about the actions of ingredients in my products and how they interact with my body, working their wonder.

And magnesium has been a favourite for a very long time. For me, the muscle recovery aspect is key due to my hoop adventures, age and previous injury history – any help I can get, is welcome.

However that’s not all magnesium brings to the table; apart from supporting muscle repair and relaxation, it also helps improve rest and recovery by contributing to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue, electrolyte balance and supports normal energy-yielding metabolism.

If that wasn’t enough, it is also vital to support calcium absorption – especially important for women my age.

I have been using Better You Magnesium products for a while. I had the sports spray oil, now the Muscle Spray and was delighted to try the Magnesium Sleep range which comes with added essential oils to promote relaxation, with some added flakes from the “normal” range.

I use the products in the evening, after showering. The Magnesium Oil Sleep Spray, which is the new name for the photographed, Goodnight (£12.95), with Bergamot and Clary Sage oils (for me, interchangeable with the Muscle spray as they deliver similar quantities) comes out to apply on my “problem” areas (lower back and shoulders) when they feel more tender.

I really enjoy the tingle it causes when your body “needs” that application – the lower back ALWAYS tingles, but it is not uncomfortable and subsides soon after.

The Mineral Sleep lotion (£9.95) is a great full body product – I apply to legs, arms, abdomen for an overall magnesium delivery.

On the mineral bath flakes, I think I don’t need to go on forever; the benefits are widely known and what a delight it is to bathe on those. It is available from £3.95 (250g) but I recommend a 5kg bag for £39.95.

I struggle remembering to capsules and magnesium actually has a very better absorption through the skin so it’s a better way to remineralise. Plus it’s a nice self care ritual – a bath and a welcoming massage on application.

Afterwards, body does feel heavy and seems to sink into the bed for better sleep. To be honest, I am a good sleeper, but usually don’t feel sleepy, so using magnesium works as a lovely relaxing send off, mentally and physically.

At the moment, Better You have 25% off all magnesium products (clicks away on site to re-stock) – you get a huge £10 savings on the 5kg bag!!!

Get to their site – apart from magnesium you’ll also find an impressive range of other high quality, trusted pill free supplements to cover varied health/wellbeing/lifestyles needs.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Practical tips to help you get out of debt

In the current climate, it is more important than ever to look after our money. Many of us have lost income and the future seems very uncertain for most people, so how do you even begin to tackle a seemingly impossible task of getting out of debt?

Getting into debt can be pretty easy, but a lot harder to get out of. Quite often, when we find ourselves in any level of debt it is easier to pretend it is not happening, but of course that only aggravates the situation.

We all have different circumstances, especially with the current pandemic, levels of debt and incomes, so it’s hard to say that there is one way to get out of debt; however, here are some things to consider.

If you are really struggling and need some professional help, you could check out places like Creditfix.co.uk, which can help people get out of debt problems.

List everything you owe and everything you earn

It’s hard to make a plan to get out of debt, without knowing precisely what your money situation looks like right now. As painful as it might be, make a list – and I have a monthly spreasheet – of everything you owe and all of your outgoings, no matter how small.

Then make another list of your income. This will help you see the extent of the problem, and also highlight areas that you could really cut down on. For example, do you have subscriptions to a magazine that you never get around to reading? Do you need a big takeout every week, or could you cut
it down to every other week? What non-essentials could you space out or even stop for a while?

Don’t let your money get swallowed up

It’s so easy to spend a fiver here, or a tenner there on little bits throughout the day – a coffee, a meal deal, a taxi when you’re feeling a little lazy.

If you’re cutting down on luxuries to save money, put that aside to pay off some debt immediately, otherwise, you’re not actually saving anything – you’re just spending it somewhere else! It might not seem like much, but it all adds up and anything you can pay over the minimum is going to make a huge difference.

Planning ahead is a great tool – I plan meals, shop accordingly and batch cook, take money out weekly to stick to a spending budget, not touching cards, for example.

Can you earn a little more?

Maybe you could take on some overtime hours at work, start a side hustle, or simply sell some of your unwanted belongings and put that money towards paying off your debt.

It’s essential to look after your health (mental and physical!) and not do too much, but any little extras you can make and put into the pot is going to help you reduce your debt quicker.

Recently I finally got round to listing some clothes and accessories I didn’t wear and suddenly I had an extra £100.

Lower your interest

When paying towards debt and most of the money is taken up by interest, it can feel as though there is no end in sight. By moving your debt onto an interest-free credit card, you will be making more of a dent in the debt with each payment.

A money transfer can sometimes cost a percentage of the amount you’re moving, even if the card is 0% interest, so factor that in, and these are often promotional rates so they won’t last forever.

I got myself a “cash card” where I transfer the spending money for certain events (drinks, picnics, weekly extra food), so I don’t spend unexpectedly.

Of course, there are many other practical ways to start – and all success stories of people getting out of debt are peppered with some change in behaviour and re-assessment of priorities. They all show a shift in focus and lots of determination.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, take the first steps, as small as they may feel and keep your end goal in mind.

This piece was written in collaboration with CreditFix.

Hair detox

PR samples

From all the detoxes, I think a hair one is probably one I could take and for two weeks I went organic with Innersense. I used their shampoo, hair mask, styling spray and dry shampoo and nothing else on my hair.

I really like that every instruction for use comes with a calming ritual – seemed a bit odd when I first read, but actually makes the simple act of caring for your hair a little self care, self-centering routine, and I am there for it.

The most used product was the shampoo which is probably my favourite. The Color Awakening Hairbath (£26/ smells fresh, lathers well and leaves hair feeling clean and fresh.

It contains coconut and rice bran, shea butter, pumpkin seed oil and rooibos tea extract for that extra antioxidant punch and a little goes a long way.

Sadly I didn’t get a conditioner so ended up treating myself to using the Hydrating Hair Masque (£28) as one to really get into those drier ends. And I very much enjoyed it.

The mask delivers a great hydration, hair feels soft and nourised – not a surprise when it packs flaxseed, shea butter, monoi coconut and tamanu oils, as well as quinoa and sage + vanilla essential oils.

The Refresh Dry Shampoo (£22) is – lo and behold – not dry. It has a foam consistency that

During lockdown I’ve been washing my hair less and have really tested this one, mainly for those last minute video calls (or that time I had space buns and had to get my hair into profesh mode to interview someone).

I used a couple pumps massaged to roots, then let it dry and brushed. I found that it really refreshes hair and makes it look presentable but it doesn’t quite soak up all the grease, like powder ones, as expected.

However, that also means there is no horrible scalp build up, so I find an ok trade, especially if you don’t have oily hair. Oh, and it does not have that “odour neutralising” small that most powder sprays do – if you know what I mean (or is it just me?).

I rarely style my hair – when I do, it is mermaid waves with little or most of the times no product. I did get the I Create Finish hair spray (£24) and found it, overall, a good hair spray. Now, I don’t use hair sprays in general (more a mousse person for extra flexible waves) but can say the hold was better than I though, although I did find it a bit crunchy.

If hair sprays are your thing, this contains aloe vera, rooibos, honey and lavender. It smells lovely!

At the end of the two weeks my hair felt strong, shiny, overall quite happy, pretty much as their 14-day detox tells you it should, restored from artificial build ups.

I’ll definitely put the shampoo on the rotation, keep using the mask once a week on rotation too and use the dry shampoo to refresh maybe a day old hair, but not longer – I know I should really wash 3 times a week at least as my hair is fine and prone to oily roots.

Oh, and btw, that in the pic is my real hair – no extensions shown: a first for this blog!

You can get Innersense on their website and various retailers like Naturismo and Selfridges.

They have a great range that cater for other hair types with a good selection of shampoos, conditioners, leave-in conditioners and styling products, including curly hair.

And while you’re at it, it’s also worth reading about their ethos and passion for clean, pure beauty products and living.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.