Monday, 29 September 2008

#79 Dream Creme

Ah. So. Well. I'm struggling for a start. You see, I feel as though I've been wrong-footed. In the months that I've been writing my blog, a trend seems to have developed. More often than not, my blog has been about the very best 'little-known' products vs the worst 'big branded' products. You see, as much as I enjoy using (and abusing should they miss the mark) the Lauders and Neutrogenas of the world, I've been consistently more impressed by the more specialist, home-grown brands - the Korners, Omoroviczas and Sarah Chapmans out there. Well, a couple of weeks ago the Creme de la Mer Press Office saw fit to send out a big pot of their famous Creme to a bunch of beauty editors who had, perhaps, forgotten all about the miracle broth and its reputed benefits. The delivery coincided with the end of my regular night cream, so, I thought, why not give the famous formula a whirl?

I spatula'd a tiny bit out, rubbed it between my fingers as instructed on the pot, and massaged it all over my face. Ordinarily, I'd steer well clear of such a rich formula (which does not claim to be chemical or paraben free). My skin's on the oily side of normal - but with the onset of winter, I've been waking up to a more dry patches than normal and thought that this was probably as good a time as any to try the Creme.

First things first. I rather liked the smell.
Secondly, it's really, shockingly, unctuous and thick - like old-school Nivea - and the smallest amount (for me, a globule the size of a couple of peas) covered my face and neck.
Thirdly, it needs to be patted and rolled over skin - you can't simply rub it in like a lotion, but I found that my skin absorbed it easily, and felt spongy and soft just minutes later.
Lastly, I was afraid that the heavy formula might encourage breakouts so used it sparingly over my nose and chin.

As it turns out, it's been two weeks and my skin is entirely clear, soft and dry-patch free. The dehydration lines to which I'm so often prone, on my forehead and on the left hand side of my mouth, have all but disappeared - making my complexion look visibly younger.

Let me stress, however, that it has not been long enough to see any anti-ageing benefits (although, to be annoyingly truthful, I'm still wrinkle- and crow's feet-free), but as far as bright, luminous and even skin goes, this has done the trick. Of course, there are a lot of creams out there that can buy you similar results, but, not many that when accidentally smeared over a patch of eczema manage to shrink it overnight. Hmmm, miracle broth? Perhaps there's some promise in this pot after all.

Monday, 22 September 2008

#78 Skipping Breakfast...

I've spent almost 30 years of my life washing my face before bed, then again upon waking. This twice-a-day routine has served me well and it never occurred to me to stop. Then, on a recent holiday, I packed insufficient cleanser. I'm in love with my cleanser, so was loathe to stock up on local pharmacy goods. So, I had no choice but to skimp on what I had and out went the morning cleanse. I ensured that my night-time wash was thorough (I'm a disciple of the whole muslin cloth & cleansing balm school of cleansing)and did nothing other than splash my face with warm, then very cold water a few times in the morning. Psychologically, I wasn't a big fan. I couldn't get over the feeling that my skin wasn't 'clean' - but, logically, it's a perfect premise. You scrub and slough at night, apply a treatment, and unless you're planning on rolling down hillsides or digging ditches in your sleep, there's no reason to wonder why skin would 'dirty' itself overnight. There are some experts who claim that the skin purges itself of toxins while you sleep, so a morning cleanse is essential; others who argue that skin is in a constant state of flux and does not do any more purging at night than it does during the day. In any case, a good splash with warm water should be enough to rinse off the rubbish - right? Well, I don't have a conclusive answer - just my own experience, which showed me that there was no significant difference in my skin when it got demoted from a twice-daily to a once-daily cleanse. NO spottier. NO oilier. NO drier.

My little travel-sized pot of cleanser is still going strong... for once, saving my skin is also saving me money.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

#77 The Tan Plan

Having just returned from a long holiday in the sun, here's the Hot List:

I avoid the sun - always have, always will. But, despite wearing generous amounts of SPF50 every single day in the sun, reapplying every 30 minutes and avoiding the midday sun I have still developed a natural golden tan - minus burns, pinkness, freckles, sun spots, peeling or dry patches. I've been using Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Rapido High SPF50 Fragrance-Free Spray and UV Sensitive Very High 50+ Protection Stick. They're great. No weird skin sensitivity or spottiness - plus they really stay put. Thumbs up.

For days when I've stayed in the shade, I've liked Sisley Sunleya Age Minimizing Sun Protection SPF15. It smells good, isn't greasy and feels lovely if you've got a chlorine-baked complexion.

Another valuable lesson I've learned is that my eyebrows always look weird on holiday. The mistake I made (and I confess, I think I do this every darn summer), however, was to pluck them thinner on my first day away as the guestroom mirror/lighting situation convinced me they needed a bit of threshing. Idiot. As my tan developed, my brows lightened, and the definition they ordinarily give my face faded. By the end of the week I looked bald of brow & perennially pissed off. Never again.

My holiday favourites?

My trusty Darphin Purifying Balm. To clear up spots, dry patches, uneven bits and to give you a clearer complexion by morning, I would never dream of travelling without it.

I'm also impressed with Essential Care Organic Mosimix. It did a grand job of warding off the winged beasties minus all the chemical chokeage. It's also extremely moisturising, so there's no need to use anything else after a bath at night.

All in all, not a bad haul.