Wednesday, 25 March 2015

SilkSkin: Silk pillowcase

I remember hinting, a lot, for my parents to gift me a silk pillowcase years ago. The potential wonders to the skin had been sold to me, just the price was the limit. But I'm a grown-up now and I decided that considering I spend at least 6 hours a night sleeping, investing in bed-time makes sense.

Incorporating a pillowcase into my beauty regime appeals to the lazy side of me that seems to be breaking out more and more. It is a no-effort-required step: place head on pillow and sleep.

Using the pillowcase is actually meant to help your existing beauty products to work better too mostly by not rubbing off onto the pillow, and since silk is meant to prevent skin from drying out, you should need to use less products too.
silkskin pillowcase
The other benefits of silk are:
  • Hypoallergenic (good for allergy sufferers) 
  • Beneficial for those with eczema 
  • There are no chemicals or dyes which can dry skin out, and leave it in poor condition – Less hair frizz 
  • Assists in reducing hair loss 
  • Cleaner bedding (house and dust mites don’t live in silk!) 
  • Less frizz and hair breakage with movement in the night 
  • Anti-ageing 
  • Skin can breathe at night and loses less moisture. 
I won't address all of these, but here is what I have noticed. My face is not puffy in the mornings. I don't know if this is because of the last point about skin breathing, but I don't feel like I look half as rough in the mornings than I used to. My skin also feels much smoother, not just first thing in the morning, but overall. I used to have a slightly rough texture to my skin if I didn't use Liquid Gold or exfoliate, but I don't have that problem any more. And finally, my hair isn't frizzy in the morning, and I don't have those annoying knots at the nape of my neck.

I have to say that even without any of the above benefits, this is a supremely comfortable way to sleep. The pillow stays cool, and living in a hot climate I appreciate this a lot.

The Silkskin pillow costs £39, is stocked by major retailers such as Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser. I purchased mine as a double-pack from Beauty Bay (the husband wanted in on the action too) and you make a tiny saving this way.

There are a few things worth noting: being silk the cases do require a little more care than regular bed sheets when it comes to washing. I have purchased a specialty silk washing detergent and I use the delicates cycle in the wash, then leave the cases to air dry. Also there is no choice of colours (at least not from SilkSkin) and this is because there’s no dye in them, which makes it a purer product. Finally, if you google silk pillows there are hundreds of choices, and I am not sure I fully understand the differences for the most part. I believe they are similar to thread count options etc, but because I didn't want to spend that much time doing research I opted for SilkSkin knowing that they are offering what is meant to be best for what I want.

Tempted? I've tempted myself to buy a spare set actually. The care routine has disrupted my life a little, I practically sit by the washing machine as they wash now, fingers crossed nothing bad happens to them and then wait for them to dry so I don't have to go one night without using them.

This could become a real problem.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer

There were a lot of wedding related beauty purchases, I think when I have got through them all I will have to have a round up post. So don't be surprised to have more posts starting with this line....

Another wedding-induced purchase was the Urban Decay 24/7 concealer, which came to my attention after my makeup artist recommended it to me.
This creamy concealer can be used under the eyes and for blemishes. It is blendable, and has a slightly silky texture, which provides great coverage without looking too thick or feeling greasy. I haven't had a problem with creasing around the eye, but I haven't experience this since switching to using the flawless airbrush concealer brush from Sephora. The wear time is good, I can get through a working day or a night out without needing to reapply.

My only complaint with it is the constant need to sharpen, which probably wastes a lot more product than necessary. You also need the specific sharpener from Urban Decay to do this, which the sales assistant didn't tell me when I bought it, and since I found this out when I was in Oman (where Urban Decay isn't available) I had a bit of a Twitter whinge about it when I realised. I ended up picking up Sephora's sharpener, which also works.

I use the shade NSA, which works well under my eyes and on blemishes, of course you could go a shade lighter for that bright-eyed look.

The 24/7 concealer costs £12 and can be found in department stores with Urban Decay stands or I'm sure their new store in Covent Garden.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Spot on: La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo[+]

On the whole my skin is good, but I still suffer from sporadic stubborn breakouts so I need products on hand to deal with that.

I had heard about the wonders of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo in the past and I largely ignored it as a product because I thought it was more suited to oily skins and because, at 15.50, it's not that cheap.
Somehow I managed to get hold of a sample and one day when a spot decided to literally rear its ugly head I applied the cream and went to sleep. To my surprise in the morning it was gone - without a trace!
Then I purchased the full size as part of a 3 for 2 offer and kept it sealed until my next breakout.

However, when that came it was a bad one red, swollen spots, deep under the skin that eventually took weeks to clear and left behind scars. I applied Effaclar Duo twice a day in the hope that it would work magic and they would disappear overnight like the last time, but they didn't and in the end I just had to leave them to clear on their own.

From this experience I have concluded this: Effaclar Duo is not your typical spot treatment. It actually works much better as a preventative step in your routine. I've now taken to using it every morning, before moisturiser, as I would a serum. You can use it alone but I have found my skin gets a little dry. If I notice any redness or small blemishes I will use it in the evening too and usually find that they have cleared by morning. If anything nasty appears though I need to go for a something salicylic acid based, or my Alpha-H to help it clear up quickly.

You can find Effaclar Duo in Boots stores and it is usually part of a 3 for 2 offer. Unfortunately, for those of us here in Oman even though La Roche Posay products are sold in pharmacies this isn't one of them!


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