When dermatologists do skincare

My skin has always been a constant issue for me. Being far from perfect, more often than not it has caused me more pain than joy.

Acne that plagued my younger years never ceased to returned, and the that meant my skin was always dry, flaky and dull from the many aggressive treatments I subjected it to. I spoke openly about how acne made me feel and only from a few years ago I started to love my skin and give it some chance to thrive.

ZENii London skincare has a great ethos – and mind – behind it. Dr. Johanna Ward, award winning skin doctor, has developed ZENii for her clients, and the brand looks as skin health holistically, inside and out.

I’ve been using the regime for about a month now, almost exclusively and have to say my skin has never looked better – move radiant, more even in texture and tone, less blemishes and no breakouts, not even around my period. That’s huge.

My favourite has to be the fantastic Antioxidant Power Serum (£85, 30ml) with L ascorbic acid, niacinamide, vitamin e, ferulic acid and panthotenic acid. Full of antioxidants, it’s like a vitamin shot for the skin, it supports collagen production and has anti-ageing and pigmentation repair properties.

It’s a delight to apply and I know you’re gonna call bullsh*t, but I can, in a way, feel it working in my skin.

The Micronutrient Night Repair Cream (£75, 50ml) is another delight. For a night Cream, is rich but very light thus being perfect for my skin, which just drinks it. I must point out that the dispenser is great, a push downso your product in the pot never gets in touch with air thus not oxidising!

It contains pro-vitamin B5, vitamins E and C, jojoba oil, coral seaweed, retinyl palmitate and sodium hyalunorate so it helps restore, repair and rehydrate skin overnight by working on the fight against free radicals and supporting the skin natural night healing and repair process.

With an SPF 50, the mighty Moisturising Sun Protection (£50, 100ml) has quickly became a favourite of mine. Vitamins B5 and aloe vera add hydration to the broad spectrum sun protection.

It’s super light, behaves well under makeup, and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.

A good cleanser is also essential in any skincare regime and the Papaya and Chamomile Cleanser (£35, 100ml) does not disappoint. Enriched with vitamin E and orange oils, it is super gentle removing debris and makeup efficiently and not drying the skin!

Finally, tying the regime together is the Antioxidant Q10 Toner (£35, 120ml). Very mild but potent, it has coenzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, aloe Vera and botânica extracts, this toner adds to the moisturisation and skin support as well as refreshing and improving radiance.

Because my skin is looking better, makeup looks great. Having said all that, I feel a pang of sadness given the, in my view fair price for such superior products, but still above my budget.

Although after using it a month continuously, it does feel like they go a long way so once I’m finished, I’ll workout the cost per month and am sure it will end up being worth investing in my next lot!

I feel a lot of confidence on the company and the wonderful Dr. Ward, whom I met at the range launch over a fabulous breakfast at Sky Garden. She exudes the confidence, expertise – not to mention glorious skin- and care I would trust my problematic skin to.

And ZENii does not do only skincare as Dr Ward, a cosmetic dermatologist, believes in inside and ou, holistic beauty and wellbeing, so there’s a fantastic line of supplements for various skin concerns and relaxing home fragrances.

Visit the ZENii website to soak in all the greatness and purchase all the products I’ve been using.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

You actually scrub up well…

You know when your skin feels a bit congested, and no amount of a good cleanser seems to actually make it feel clean?

Enter facial scrubs. I am a huge fan since my skin, with all its issues, seem to demand that, from time to time, a use something less gentle to keep it under control.

And because I like variety and rotate skin products, I decided to share the scrubs that have been keeping my skin in check:

The Alpha H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub (£35.95 for 100ml) has been a favourite for ages. Alpha H has some lovely products all with my dear glycolic acid, which here is at 12%. The formula also contains eco-friendly jojoba beads, caffeine and peppermint, for renewed and refreshed skin.

It’s a fine but tough scrub; it does have at-home microdermabrasion properties and I leave on my face for a few minutes so the glycolic acid can work on the skin.

The Botanics Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish (£9.99 for 125ml) is one of the finest I’ve ever encountered and I love it! So effective yet gentle, it is infused with extracts from the leaves of the Gingko plant and polishes away dead skin to reveal smoother radiance.

In fact, Botanics, which you can get from Boots UK, was one of my biggest budget skincare discoveries this year and I will be soon talking about more products, the company, their love of natural ingredients and how they work with Kew Gardens to deliver the best plant power to our skin!

The gorgeous dermalogica daily microfoliant (£48 for 75g) that has been with me forever! I love this dry rice powder product that releases papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes when wet.

Can be mixed with water but my best tip is to mix with your favourite foamy face wash. Works a treat for gentle exfoliation and can be used more frequently so super soft skin.

And talking about powders in a tub, meet the Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub (around £7.99 for 125g), which is Bioré‘s answer to the bad boys microbeads.

Activated by mixing with water, it fizzes up for cleansing and gentle exfoliating – and you can make is thicker or thinner, depending on how much exfoliation is required. The fact is completely dissolves helps avoid over-scrubbing.

Of course, scrubbing should be done lightly, in upwards circular movements to also help boost circulation on the skin. Never over-scrub as this can hurt the skin and in case of spots, make them worse!

It is also very important to pick a scrub for your skin type. Sensitive skins will not like it very much and maybe you should opt for a gentle chemical exfoliator instead.

Still, I find the act of using a facial scrub extremely satisfying! Am I alone on that?

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Overnight hand care

If like me you’re obsessed with hand creams, keep reading. Crabtree & Evelyn, which has the best hand cream in town, has an overnight hand therapy cream and I am sold.

I do have the habit of moisturing my hands before going to bed anyway and lately I have been doing with a product made exactly for that.

But Dani, how is it different from a normal hand cream, you ask? Well.. of course, the trick in on the concentration. This rich cream contains a concentrated complex of vitamins and amino acids, including arginine.

It is formulated especially to protect, by enhancing the skin’s natural barrier, maintain the natural moisture level, help skin recovery and soothe any dryness.

As any Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy creams, it is easily and totally absorbed by the skin leaving no trace, but a long-lasting moisturisation. Applied at night, this cream works its wonder so I have been waking up with soft and nourished hands.

The classic La Source – a crisp, clean scent of refreshing aquatic notes, musk, and gentle shoreline breeze – is the version I’ve been using, but the overnight hand therapy is also available in three other amazing scents.

I’ve talked a lot about the hand therapy creams (which is always in my bag) and the amazing 60 second fix for hands (which I use about twice a week) and now the overnight hand cream is yet another Crabtree & Evelyn product that has a firm place in my life.

The overnight hand therapy costs £19 for 75ml and you can get online from the Crabtree & Evelyn website or in their ever so tempting shops!written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Handy and affordable sunscreens to take anywhere

SPF is very important in our lives. Regardless of being gloomy in London or scorching in the Caribbean, winter or summer, we know sun protection should always be in our minds – and most importantly, in our skins!

It is great to find sunscreens that take little space and you can take away with you on a daily basis, for all those important and often neglected top ups.

As the sun is gracing my balcony today, I felt inspired to put together a small selection of sun creams I have been wearing that offer a great protection and can be carried around for all day long wear. And they are pretty affordable too!

I fell in love with the Bioderma Photoderm Max Aquafluide SPF 50+ during my last holiday. What a delight to apply; its fluid water-like texture is great. It dries quickly and matte, is water resistant and behaves very well under makeup.

Plus, apart from high UVA/UVB protection, it has the patented Cellular Bioprotection which activates the skin’s natural defences at cellular levels, protecting our cells and combating premature skin ageing.

And probably the best thing? Extremely well priced at around £13 for 40ml.

Moving on to one from my favourite sunscreen brands, very affordable and easy to find, the Nivea Sun Caring Roll-on SPF 30 is super easy to apply, it is water resistant, protects agains UVA and UVB rays and offers long lasting moisturisation too.

The formula is great, dries quickly and is non-sticky, the smell so familiar and lovely, and the price is also extremely friendly at around £7 for 50ml.

I raved soooo much about the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Face Mist SPF 50 when it launched and after almost using it all since, I will maintain my review: it is the most practical SPF around and perfect for us city folks as it can be applied on top of makeup.

For me, that is priceless but you can get it for an affordable £10. And I just found for £6 at Boots. Going to stock up.

Finally, a  little gem from Eucerin, the Tinted Sun Creme SPF 50+. Ideal for those who wear little or no makeup but want a natural flash of colour, it is oil-free, non-comedogenic with UVA and UVB protection. It costs £16 for 50ml.

These are the little heroes keeping me safe all year round!

What are you favourite “portable and affordable” SPF?

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Fruit power for the skin

Oh, how much do we love affordable skincare that does its job and on top of it looks great? The answer is an awful lot.

Meet Formula 10.0.6 skincare. A traditional brand created by chemists in 1933, they have an affordable range that promotes clear, healthy young skin (but works wonders for older skin too, if you’re not specifically looking for strong anti-ageing solution).

For me, it really acts as a “maintenance” range, so it’s always by the sink. The fact if has some cute names, simple and bright packaging with effective products within certainly help.

My favourite from the selection I tried was the Pores Be Pure Skin Clarifying Mud Mask. This light mud mask feels very purifying and is quite gentle on the skin.

It contains strawberry, yarrow and rosemary. It dries but doesn’t crack on the skin, sucking impurities for a clear, less congested complexion.

Taking about clearing, the Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser is exactly that: a fabulous, gentle everyday gel foamy cleanser that leaves skin feeling super clean and fresh.

It contains oiliness reducing passion fruit, soothing and exfoliating green tea and calming chamomile.

Now, who doesn’t love an exfoliating scrub? The One Smooth Operator Pore Clearing Face Scrub purifies, gently exfoliates with pumice from volcanic rock.

It also contains purifying zinc and soothing oat. Feels comfortable to apply and leaves skin feeling soft.

Finally, the P.M. Perfector Overnight Hydrating Cream with black currant and liquorice for a long radiance, soothing and nourishing overnight skin workout. It’s light and absorbs very well.

Best of all, you can get Formula 10.0.6 products from Boots in the UK, and it’s great value for money – each one costs £8.99!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A facial hero

I first came across Voya last year, at Organic Beauty Week. In the goodie bag, came a body oil I used to the very last drop, but somehow failed to post about.

Fast forward a year and there they are at Organic Beauty and Wellness Week 2017 and in the bag, the gorgeous My Little Hero Facial Serum.

This organic seaweed face serum is made of a blend of organic oils to boost and protect skin.

Full of antioxidants, it nourishes and improves radiance. I cannot stress enough that oils are suitable to most skins, even the more troublesome ones, like mine.

Oils from sunflower, camelina, coriander, grape, pumpkin, pomegranate and jojoba seed, wheatgerm, geranium, lavender, ylang ylang, palmarosa,  rosehip, vetivert root, bergamot, clove, almond, and avocado are joined by seaweed, green algae, vanilla extracts to form this extremely rich 98% organic oil that sinks deep and very well into the skin.

Because it’s so rich, my skin can only take it at night, and sometimes it’s all it needs. Skin wakes up plump and happy.

Admittedly, it is on the expensive side at £53 for 30ml but we are talking high quality organic skincare that goes a long way.

On the fabulous Angelicus Serratus Nourishing Body Oil (£34 for 100ml) which I used up a while ago, only great notes: very rich but quickly absorbed, perfect for after the shower, leaving skin soft and nourished for ages.

It contains a very pleasant and distinctive smell with citrus and the seaweeds focus and angelicus serratus, which work on elasticity, suppleness and cleansing.

A real delight to apply all over the body, it is full of antioxidant rosehip, sunflower and evening primrose oils, vitamin E, revitalizing lime and rejuvenating mandarin. I was really sad to see the empty bottle, I tell you!

You can get the My Little Hero Facial Serum and the Angelicus Serratus Nourishing Body Oil from the Voya website. Products and treatments can be found at 37 luxury locations, including hotels, worldwide like the Mandarin Oriental in London and the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, for example. written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

More good from the grape

No, it is not champagne! It’s Caudalie, of course, silly!

When the weather changes, my skin tends to suffer. I did talk about it a while back, but twice a year history repeats itself so I’m always on the lookout for new products to restore the glow through the transition phase and if they have pollution protection, even better.

Enter Caudalie Vine[Active], a collection of four products designed to support the skin and help prevent cell burn-out, which accelerates close to out mid-thirties.

The Anti-Cell Burnout Complex has vitamins E and C, stabilised grape seed polyphenol, and spruce extract to, respectively, maintain radiance, boost collagen and maintain melanin productions, preserve collagen and natural hyaluronic acid and stimulate cellular defense and, protect skin against oxidation.

Obviously I’ll start with the oil. The Overnight Detox Oil (£36) is 100% natural with omega 6, vitamin E and six essential oils (carrot, grapeseed, lavender, white sandalwood, sweet almond, rose, musk and neroli).

It’s a luscious oil that sinks well on the skin; which wakes up plump and healed. I love the distinctive herbal smell this oil has.

The VineActive Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum (£36) is another favourite. So light in contrast with the oil, it is great for wearing under makeup.

It has the Anti-Cell Burnout Complex together with hyaluronic acid in low molecular weight. It helps with skin ageing prevention and pigmentation.

Again, I use it in combination with the oil, at night and the VineActive 3-in-1 moisturiser (£32) during the day, which contains the same ingredients of the serum, for added plumping, plus anti-pollution polysaccharides and soft focus mattifying powders making it a great day cream, nourishing and creating that protection barrier. An SPF wouldn’t go amiss!

Finally, another obsession of mine: eye creams. The VineActive Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream (£27.50) also carries the anti Burnout complex together with peptides, fern and liquorice extracts and horse chestnut to lift, combat puffiness and dark circles.

Very light and quickly absorbed, I feel this eye cream is suitable for day or night. It also doesn’t upset my sensitive eye, which is a bonus!

The range is available from the Caudalie website and shops, as well as selected retailers.

And there’s also the purifying VineActive Facial Treatment available at the Caudalie spas, which deep cleanses and detoxifies. It includes thorough cleansing, deep exfoliation, detoxifying mask and moisturising, with a lymph and blood circulation activating facial massage.

Well oiled up

Oil on my face. That is something I never thought I’d put on deliberately. Having had problematic, blemish  skin all my life, I always struggled with the oiliness of my dry skin.

Three years ago, facial oils changed my life. And my skin. For the first time, I felt radiance coming from my acne-treatment-battered skin. And oh, boy, did I get addicted!

And now, I cannot live my life without it. For those that like me ran away from facial oils, give it a go. The reasoning behind it is that if you provide oils to the skin, it won’t produce, or produce much less of it.

On top of it, oils carry a great concentration of raw nutrients, nourishing the skin and working mainly on texture and condition.

Some nights, all I put on is face oil. I give it a lovely uplifting circular massage to my face and neck, breathe in the natural aromas and off to bed I go!

The this works stress check face oil is a bliss, I’ve been loving it recently. On top of its redness relief, calming and hydrating properties, thanks to its botanical oils, vitamin C, E and omega 3, it has the most calming neroli, patchouli, lavender, vetivert and camomile fragrance. A treat for face and mind.

Caudalie has just launched a fab facial oil, the Vine[Active] Overnight Detox Oil, perfect for city skins which are exposed to pollution and free radicals.

It is 100% natural and works towards detoxifying and regenerating stressed skin. Full review coming soon!

And while on the natural subject, other pure blend oils such as Dr Jackson’s everyday oil and the Skin & Tonic London Naked Beauty oil, a bit richer, are perfect for overnight.

I feel they work their magic getting deep in the skin, healing and supporting the skin regenerating process.

I love that Dr Jackson’s everyday oil also comes in a handy roll on, perfect for travelling, and perfect to carry on the plane. Definitely one to invest on for the holiday season, for its portability and to help sun exposed skin heal!

Super light oils like the Body Shop Oils of Life facial oil, the Eucerin Facial oil and the dermalogica phyto replenish oil are perfect to add to the foundation for extra hydration and glow.

For more specific needs, the GOSH Primer Oil Essence doubles up as a night oil that preps the skin for the next day and the Indemne Gimme Clear! oil is a helping hand for blemish prone skins.

Of course, I cannot leave out the first oil I ever put on my face: balance me radiance face oil. On the “natural, richer” category, this one really changed my skin and I owe it my absolute love (ok, obsession) with facial oils.

The market is brimming with great products, for all budgets. It is a great time for facial oils. And my skin is grateful!

What about you? Have you tried facial oils? How do they feel on your skin? Or are you like me in the beginning, scared of using them?

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Adding some oh-la-la to my skincare routine

Indemne.

Eau de Génie is a multi-tasking facial toner. Organic, it is basically fruits (lemon, grapefruit, apricot and tomato) water that revitalises, tightens pores and soothes skin while also removing micelles. It is also brightening and lightly moisturising as it contains lemon peel oil.

Because it is so gentle, it is suitable for all skin types and adolescent skin. It also works really well as a refresher; it behaves well over makeup. You can even keep it in the fridge!

As a toner, apply to cleansed skin and remove it a cotton pad, without rinsing. Skin feels fresh and comfortable after use. personally, I find it great as a facial mist.

And if you suffer from breakouts like me, you might want to use, in conjunction with Eau de Génie, the Gimme Clear! lotion.

In reality, it is a light oil that smells rather herbal formulated with natural essential oils and vegetable oils, such as hazelnut, hemp seed, carrot, citrus peel, cinnamon bark and oregano flower,  to purify and help reduce sebum and shine in the skin.

It works on blemishes and spots prevention, by helping declog pores and also aids in healing existing pimples. As it is an oil, it also contributes to skin hydration and improved texture.

One pump is enough for the face; the oil is light and absorbs quickly. I personally prefer using it at night, sometimes I just rub it on the blemishes themselves instead of using on the whole face.

You can get Indemne on their website. Eau de Génie cost £15.53 (135ml) and Gimme Clear! £18.42 (50ml). They also do haircare and beauty accessories.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Plumping elasticity for the skin

Just because I have a blemish prone skin does not mean I don’t think about concerns; I should be so lucky! I have to be double careful with my regime.

Eucerin has a brilliant, extensive range of skincare to cater for all skin concerns (I am a fan), taking into account sensitive skin, and their latest is no different: meet Eucerin Elasticity + Filler.

Now, these babies are made to not only work on texture, giving skin more elasticity and less sagging, as well as plumping, helping fill out the natural structure changes that come with age and impact firmness.

Arctiin (a collagen renewal booster), Sylmariin (which helps protect collagen and elastin) and hyaluronic acid (full of hydrating plumping goodness) are present on all three products in the range and working on aiding restore elasticity and reduce deep wrinkles.

I tried the fabulously smoothing Facial Oil, which is extremely light and smells divine.

It applies amazingly, sinks in quickly and leaves no greasy residues. It also contains Argan and Lady Thistle oils, as well as vitamin E.

It is fantastic mixed with foundation – you can put one precise drop with the pipette and it does not affect it – for some extra care and protection.

The nourishing Day Care face moisturiser is light, non-comedogenic, has SPF 15 (UVA protection, is very light, absorbing quickly and making a good makeup base.

I like that the lovely muted gold packaging really reflects how my skin feels after use: radiant and smooth, as well as supported.

The Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Facial Oil costs £31 for 30ml, the Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Day Care and the Night Care, £26 each for 50ml.

At the moment, you can get 25% off selected Eucerin anti-ageing products at Boots, so hurry!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.