The one skincare step that reduced my melasma

Ok, sounds like a clickbait headline, but it is true: there is one consistent action that pretty much vanished melasma from my face.

For the record, mine was never that bad. Low level, it was always there, on the edges of my eyebrows, patches on forehead and around the bottom of the eyes.

During the warmer months or a nice holiday, the pigmentation would become very visible, and harder to hide with usual make up.

They’d fade in the colder months but always be there. For my already acne scarred face, that was yet another reminder of my terrible skin and I wasn’t quite sure why.

If my make up had SPF and I was wearing 30+ on holidays, with frequent application, why was it still there???

Once I read that the light from laptops and electronic devices also cause ageing and all made sense.

I started wearing “real” SPF 30+ and not make up or skincare with added SPF, which usually are low 10-15, even on the days I wasn’t leaving the house, my hormonal pigmentation vanished, and never returned.

It became a fixed step in my morning routine, regardless of the exposure I was expecting for that day, or time of the year.

While I appreciate some cases are more severe than mine, this was life changing in my skincare routine.

I’m constantly trialling different ones as sunscreen can cause even more havoc to my acneic, sensitive skin.

So far I’ve been very impressed with Skinceauticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF50, Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF50 (also available with a light tint), Image Skincare Prevention+ SPF32+, (surprisingly) Nivea Cellular Luminous anti dark spot day fluid SPF50, Sunsense daily face invisible tint finish SPF 50+, Garnier Ambre Solaire Over makeup Super UV SPF50, La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL tinted fluid SPF50+, Piz Buin Mountain Suncream SPF50+ (great for the winter) and a few more gems I encountered since I adopted the new habit.

Next on my list to try? SOS Serum SPF 30 and 50 and the Bioderma Photoderm Anti Melasma tinted SPF50+ both great value for money at under £20. What’s not to love?

written by Dani

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

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.

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.

All hail retinol

Right, retinol. What is not to like. Ladies (and gents) of a certain age (cough), hang on to it. If you are not with it, get with it.

And the NIP+FAB Retinol Fix range can meet all your retinol needs and some.

From the vitamin A family, the ingredient is used to fight pigmentation and age spots plus fine lines and wrinkles; it exfoliates skin and helps speeds cell turnover, also helping to boost collagen production. So overall a good egg.

I have been using the retinol fix range for over six weeks now and can confidently say that my skin is more even and I haven’t yet presented my dreaded seasonal melasma, even though sun exposure (with plenty of SPF, of course) has been high (weather has been glorious).

I find every item in this range a great addition to any routine for a retinol introduction of boost.

These have been my night time heroes.

My favourite has to be the Retinol Fix Booster Extreme (£10 on sale now) as it is so versatile – you can put under your routine for an overnight refresh once or twice a week.

Apart from 0.3% retinol, it contains aloe vera for soothing and the NIP+FAB special skin replenishing complex.

My love for eye creams continues here – the Retinol Fix Eye Treatment (£19.95) is a gem.

Light on the eye area, it contains 0.1% retinol, a blend of butter for conditioning and moisturising and anti-puffing, dark circle fighting ingredients.

Sheet masks (£5 on sale): I have all the time for you. And this is no different: feels so supple, loaded with a low concentration retinol, coconut water and edelweiss flower extract, an antioxidant.

Skin feels refreshed and calm after use.

Also big props to the Retinol Fix Overnight treatment (£29.95), which has sold out but worth mentioning. A rich (but not cloggy) cream that applies and absorbs like a dream, really overhauling skin at night.

It contains 0.1% retinol, matrixyl 300 to estimulate collagen production and hyaluronic acid, the sweetheart ingredient for hydration.

And the pump packaging is great!!!

The Serum Extreme (£15, on sale) and the Glow Tonic Extreme (£10, on sale) have also been permanent features.

I usually use the serum a couple days a week, in between the Booster usages and not gonna lie I’ve been a little bit addicted to the toner!!! The really boost any routine.

Also, the whole range smells amazing and I love packaging on these.

When using retinol products, make sure you listen to your skin. It is an exfoliant after all, so wear sunscreen (you should anyway) and interrupt use if redness and flakiness become irritable or persistent.

My skin is resilient and I had some lip dryness after constant use, so gave it some days break and all was back to normal and I am back reaping the benefits of this lovely range.

You can get all from the NIP+FAB website – some of the items are in for £10!!! Bargain of the year!

written by Dani

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

Vitamin C, never too much

Many a times I have said I love vitamin C on my skincare so seeing the Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten range really gave me heart eyes and I could not wait to try them all.

Most of us will know that vitamin C is fabulous to boost complexion glow and brightness and fight dullness – I find that great for this time of the year where seasons are changing. Also, in times like this, it might seem silly but little treats at home that make you feel better are more than welcome.

I’ll start with my favourite: the Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash (£9.99). This medium granule gentle scrub clean so deep and skin certainly feels like that after use.

The gel wash has micro biodegradable beads that polish dead cells and impurities away and added Ferulic acid, vitamin C and E to help achieve brighter skin. I am a huge fan.

I’ll follow up with one of my favourite skincare product: eye cream (£12.99). Their Dark Circles Eye Cream contains vitamin C, caffein and a peptide to brighten, stimulate and help reduce dark circles and fine lines.

It is ever so light in texture and applies really well, even for day use under makeup.

A really cool product is the Brighten Booster Serum: magical 1% vitamin C drops you can add to any moisturiser to give it added glow and brightening properties.

The naturally derived pro-collagen vitamin C active and allantoin act as glow getters and the serum is very light and easy to blend withe creams.

Not gonna lie, I have applied it with a gentle massage neat to certain areas of my face.

Who likes a pre cleanse? I do and the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil (£5.50 100ml/ £10.99 200ml) is a bliss, with vitamin C and olive oil for refreshing cleansing. The very light oil turns milky in contact with water and leaves skin fresh and comfortable after use.

Last, but not least, the Glow Boost Skin Serum (£16.99) delivers vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and a lightening algae extract to replenish, boost collagen synthesis and enhance the appearance of skin. I really like its very light texture and been using as an add on to my night cream.

I’ve been using the range for over 8 weeks now and must say that, some unrelated, hormonal blemishes aside, skin is looking very bright and ready for the summer.

In times we are not even sure we will able to fully enjoy our summer, and how things will be, being happy with my skin does make a difference to my mood.

I must point out what a great price point and value for money Super Facialist products are. You can get the Super Facialist Vitamin C+ range from their website and also Boots, Sainbury’s and Amazon, safely delivered to you!

They have a great range of products addressing dryness, ageing, blemishes, dullness (this one), firmness and sensitivity to cater for varied skin concerns – you can mix and match (I do have their blemish face mask and it is great!)

Super Facialist also have a lovely travel collection, with minis in a pouch, great for when we can travel again or to sample the range before committing to a selection of full size products in the brighten (£20) and hydrate (£16) lines.

And please – stay home, look after yourself and loved ones. And remember the impact your actions can have on others around you.

written by Dani

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

Arctic skincare goodness

You know that brand that comes from something quite exciting and you think, wow? That’s Polaar, with a lovely family history of Arctic exploration and fascination, it brings the purest ingredients from the cold to help us achieve better skin. 

I am, as I said many times, a huge sucker for a great eye cream and their bestseller Polaar Icymagic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser (£29.50 for 10ml) is just that: a light gel formula delivered by a lovely metal sphere to massage and soothe the delicate area. 

It contains tonic Siberian ginseng to help revitalise, anti-oxidant tetrapeptides to work on reducing dark circles and fine lines, an advanced blend of peptides and provitamins are there for the helping lashes grow thicker and also to reduced hair loss.

Not only you get great eye skincare but also a little bit of a lash serum in one product.

It feels very light comfortable on the eye and the pump means you can control how much is delivered by the roller, meaning there’s no waste. It absorbs quickly and it makes for a fantastic day eye cream, not interfering with makeup and keeping the area moisturised. 

Another find are the Polaar Icymagic Eye Contour Multi Energiser Patches (£22.50 for 4 pairs) – basically little under the eye masks.

Infused with ginseng and tetrapeptides, they deliver that boost to tired eyes, helping revive, hydrate and nourish – a great treat not only for the skin for the mind when you take that time to pamper!

Polaar have the most amazing skincare range for all different skin types and concerns, always relying on a selection of arctic ingredients. Hand creams are rich but not sticky, keeping hands soft and nourished. 

And they have some fab Christmas packs and gift sets which are great value and a way to sample a range or a variety of products offering a skin solution! 

You can buy the Polaar Icymagic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser and the Eye Contour Multi Energiser Patches, plus their range of fab skincare at LookFantastic and also on their website.

Polaar is a brand committed to nature – sustainable, ethically collected and carefully selected ingredients, no animal testing, at least 95% natural products, no parabens, mineral oils or alcohol – they are an all-round good company.

Also, if you do have time check out their story, it is fascinating!

written by Dani

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

Beauty and chocolate

Chocolate. We all know how great it is. For me, the darkest, the better. But what about chocolate in beauty? Skincare almost good enough to eat, that turns the goodness of cocoa into amazing beauty products?

That’s Rabot 1745 Beauty, which is part of Hotel Chocolat. The mix of discovering a new beauty brand with such an amazing connection to a luxury food brand is too exciting for me to contain myself!

In fact, Rabot is the name of the estate in St. Lucia where Hotel Chocolat’s sustainable cocoa is grown and is not only inspired by the cacao itself but also the love for St. Lucia, its people and plants – always harnessing the properties of their high quality natural ingredients and the craft that goes into their products.

It is a beautiful story which bears gorgeous fruits. I was lucky enough to try a great selection of their range and can tell there isn’t one single thing that I do not like.

My favourite? Probably the stunning Cacao & Almond Bath and Body Oil (£18, 200ml). Cocoa seed oil is the hero throughout the range and of course, present here, blended with sweet almond oil to provide vitamins and fatty acids for great hydration.

I have been applying to damp skin after my shower and my skin has been super smooth, most times does not need extra moisturisers. The smell? Divine. It absorbs quickly and has a long lasting effect.

Then, a tough choice between two, but going for the lip butters (£8, 10ml): I have the Coconut Chocolat lip balm, with cocoa seed butter, shea butter and abyssinian seed oil and the Fruited Chocolat lip balm with cacao butter, almond oil, cacao butter and rosemary leaf extract.

They are a little delight in smell and taste, and do their job to keep lips moisturised. It comes in 7 different varieties with yummy ingredients mixes.

Not a secret I am a massive fan of body scrubs and of course I had to try one of them. Mine is the new Salt & Lemongrass Body Scrub (£16, 280ml) and it smells so fresh.

It could have a little more grit to it, but overall, this rich salt, lemongrass oil, sweet almond oil and cocoa seed butter scrub does a great job in exfoliating and also leaving skin soft and deeply moisturised. It comes in 3 other varieties (with a coffee and a sugar base) and is a best seller!

Plus, it comes in a reusable cup that , once you finish the scrub, you can clean and take to any Hotel Chocolat shop in the UK for 50p off your hot drink or a free one at the Rabot 1745 restaurant in Borough Market (London). How amazing is that?

And that’s not all; as a fan of scrubs, I am also loving the Avocado & Sour Orange hand scrub (£9.95, 60ml) which leaves hands so soft and ready so soak in the moisturiser.

Plus their Avocado & Lime Smile Reviver (£9.95, 30ml), a lip scrub with avocado oil, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin A, D, and E, gently exfoliates to leave lips soft and well, more kissable, perhaps!

Also, have you noticed how affordable the products are? Amazing value for money and great for gifting.

This is just a tiny sample of their beautiful range, which you can get the Rabot 1745 website and at Hotel Chocolat shops.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples and the product was GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience with the products and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A protective kind of glow

A product that is called Flawless PhotoGlow and has a SPF30+? I am already sold.

And it lived up to its name: the Transformulas Flawless PhotoGlow moisturiser has a revolutionary skin drone technology (yes, you heard it right) which delivers the right active ingredients to the cells that need it.

It helps restore sking glow and radiance, as well as helping improve skin tone and pigmentation.

I am not gonna mince my words: I am in love with this product. It is an effective day moisturiser with a solid UVA/UVB SPF, fells super light and behaves well under makeup, really delivering on the glow/radiance/luminosity claims.

I’ve been using it daily for over a month and my skin loves it. I usually suffer from photosensitive pigmentation in the summer and this has been minimum so far – I attribute it to the consistent SPF use and the formula here.

My skin has been much clearer and hydrated, despite using some acne fighting products.

It contains a lot of tech ingredients like Illumisan (for pigmentation), Suncat MTA (pollution and sun protection), X50 PhotoGlow (the cosmetic drone I mentioned above), squalane (hydration) and LPD Multivitamin (antioxidants and vitamins A,C, D and F) to support delivery of all claims.

Honestly, a gem, definitely worth the £55 price tag (50ml). I am so sold, and dreading the end of he tube.

You can get the Transformulas Flawless PhotoGlow online. And maybe send me a few to keep ;).

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a PR samples and this product was GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on it.

Overnight recovery

At night, your skin heals. Our bodies pretty much rest themselves – that’s why sleeping well is essential for good health. 

Temple Spa is giving an extra helping hand with the Repose Aromatherapy Relaxing night cream, not only with a fabulous face cream that contains natural plant extracts and anti-oxidants to supporting that overnight replenishing process, but also a fusion of relaxing essential oils to help us achieve a good night’s sleep. 

The cream has a great, cashmere consistency and is absorbed quickly by the skin. In the morning, skin feel supple and plump. I love that this night cream is not too rich, as my skin tends to get congested after wearing those.

And when I wake up and wash my face, there are no traces of my skincare, a sign my skin really took it all in.

Now, the smell is soothing and calming and great to put your head on the pillow with, thanks to a gorgeous blend of hops, valerian, chamomile, frankincense, lavender, patchouli, geranium, bitter orange and clary essential oils which have a reputation to aid deep relaxation and bring a sense of calm, as well as a great moisturisation.

It is suitable or all skin types and does help fight fine lines and wrinkles – it really helps settles the skin.

This fabulous Repose Aromatherapy Relaxing night cream costs £40 for 50ml and a little goes a long way and you can get it online.

Temple Spa is a lovely British skincare brand founded by people who had years of experience creating business and products for others, and decide to create their own. They are stocked in Harrods and you can also find them in many spas around the UK, with amazing treatments.

written by Dani

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