Summer Skincare Essentials

The change of season really brings a change in my skin and therefore I switch up my skincare regime for the Summer to aspire to get that perfect Summer Glow and I wanted to share my Summer Skincare Essentials with you!

My skin gets more oilier and also more dehydrated – yes, that is possible! Don’t think that because your skin is oily it has enough water, in fact when your skin is dehydrated, often you will produce MORE oil to compensate for the dryness so essential number 1 is a good moisturiser!

Dr Jart + Water Fuse Moisturiser

Dr Jart + Water Fuse Moisturiser

 

I am a huge fan of Gel Moisturisers as I have quite oily skin, they are light and absorb well into my skin while letting it breathe. Dr Jart’s Water Fuse line is amazing for quenching the thirst of your skin. Here is a video on how Dr Jart’s Water Fuse line works:

I do love this product but I found Sephora’s Instant Water Moisture Gel to be a great dupe. GLAMGLOW’s Hydrated Water Burst Moisturiser is another good option. The innovative sea blue formula bursts into thirst quenching water droplets upon contact before fully absorbing into the skin for a glow you can see and feelI would not get through the Summer without one of these moisturisers!

Clinique Pep Start

Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream

 

I am on my 3rd Tube of this hydrating goodness. The skin around your eyes is the most sensitive, its thinner and therefore ages first and shows the first signs of dehydration and aging. A little massage of this product every morning will have your undereyes looking fresh!

Basking and Masking

GLAMGLOW Gravity Mud Mask

I believe in Basking and Masking! If your gonna sunbathe, make sure you get that extra hydration in. I also love a good exfoliating mask before I sunbathe to keep the tan on my face nice and even. I love Sephora’s range of masks, the eye and lip ones are great for packing in that extra hydration where it is most needed. I use these while doing an all over face mask, my favourite this summer is GLAMGLOW’s Gravity Mud which is a Silver Peel Off Mask. It gets rid of all my extra oil while removing all my dead skin cells so the surface of my skin is nice and smooth. I find it very gentle and use it twice a week.

Hand Cream

L'occitane Amande Hand Cream

Keep those hands nice and soft with a super moisturising hand cream or balm. I love  L’occitane’s almond range, I travel with all of it! The Oil is so versatile and the hand balm is super nourishing and smells divine! Sephoras Almond hand balm is also super nourishing for a smaller budger.

 

Glam Glow Glowstarter

Glam Glow Glowstarter

I have been a fan of Glam Glow since its launch in 2011 and started using their incredible face-masks then. Over the last few years Glam Glow has become one of my favourite skincare brands. The products are beautifully packaged and they smell divine!

I have been using Glam Glow’s Glowstarter for 6 weeks now. I have all 3 shades; sun-glow, nude-glow and pearl-glow. I can wear all of them because they blend and leave a luminescence and I like mixing pearl-glow with my foundation. I have been using Glam-Glow daily and I love the effect. Its an illuminating moisturiser so I have replaced my daily moisturiser with it and it was great on holiday as it just leaves your skin glowing and I felt like it set my tan on fire, it just enhanced it perfectly that I could go bare-faced on good skin days. It doesn’t really give coverage so you would wear your foundation with it or mix it into your foundation.

It contains hyaluronic acid, plus vitamins and green tea for energized and moisturized skin. Added illuminating pearl particles help make you look instantly more radiant, blurring and reflecting light, so that all lighting is goodlighting. I love mixing it with my foundation as it gives you that flawless look.

Skin-moisture balance is restored by a combination of emollients including jojoba oil, shea butter and ceramides. A special skin-conditioning lipid complex is designed to help infuse skin with optimal hydration for a luminous finish. I do love the moisturiser however I stopped using it when I had a break out for a few days as the last thing you want is to add dimension to your pimples. This product definitely has a better effect on good skin, its also probably not ideal for very oily skin. I have combination skin and thought it was ideal and it would also be great for dry skin.

I also got the plumprageous lip plumper treatments which are insane! When I wore it my friends asked me if I had lip fillers so its obviously noticeable! It does sting after about 30 seconds for a good 5 minutes or so but it def gives you those bee stung lips and I like the natural colours too. Of course you can put a lipstick underneath it or even on top after your lips are plumped.

I love Glam-Glow and would highly-recommend these products!

Repechage Facial

I visited the Tribe Spa to have a Repechage four layer facial. I have wanted to try this facial since I heard about it years ago but of the many spas I have been to none offered it. The Tribe spa is located in Tribe Fitness and has 2 treatment rooms, it is small but sufficient and the staff are very warm and welcoming.

I was really looking forward to trying the four later facial which uses layers of fresh European seaweed which is supposed to rejuvenate, tone and firm the appearance of the skin. I was actually on the 2nd week of a detox when I went for this facial so my skin was in desperate need of extraction as I had a lot of toxins surfacing.

The therapist was lovely and before starting showed me each layer and explained what it would do so that I understood the treatment. I really appreciated this because sometimes I have been for treatments where I have no idea of the time scale or what exactly they are applying and then I have to ask questions instead of relaxing and enjoying the treatment.

Initially she cleaned my face and then began the extraction, obviously this is never pleasant as extractions are painful but she was as gentle as possible and I was glad to get it over with and begin the nice stuff!

She applied a cool  C-Serum Seaweed Concentrate liquid to moisturise, soothe and tone the skin. It felt really nice and she left it for a couple of minutes to absorb into my skin. Then she applied a rich thermal mask which she massaged onto my skin. It contained hydrating seaweed cream and we waited till it dried. As it dried it tingled because it was a thermal mask and created heat, it was a little strange but not uncomfortable.

The third layer dries almost like another skin, it has a rubbery texture and becomes solid. The light green fresh seaweed mask is soothing and cooling to the skin. I could feel the heat underneath this layer from the thermal mask and it felt like it was getting hotter probably because it trapped the heat. It was definitely doing something! the 4th and final layer is the application of the seaweed mineral mask on the skin which is applied thickly and dries like clay. It does get a little itchy underneath but you just have to bear with it. When it dries she pulled the rubbery layer underneath from the edges to loosen the top layer which had moulded to my face. Then she lifted it and it comes off in one piece as a mould of your face which I thought was really cool! Unfortunately it was in pieces by the time I got it home but cool nonetheless.

She wiped my face clean and I looked in the mirror to find a much brighter, smoother complexion which was actually immediate. Usually you leave a facial quite red-faced but this was a welcome surprise. I touched my face and it really did feel good! Smooth and clean with tighter pores.

I would highly recommend having the Repechage facial at Tribe Spa in Dubai Marina! It was a great experience and I would definitely go back and do it again.

 

Herbal Essentials Skincare

Having spent a month at an Ayurvedic retreat in India, I absolutely believe and understand how the ancient tradition of Ayurveda restore balance and harmony. Herbal Essentials are inspired by Ayurveda and use natural ingredients, active essential oils and fresh spring water from the ancient foothills of the Himalayas. All their products are free from parabens, sulphate, paraffin and soap.

This events season always wreaks havoc with my skin, full makeup most evenings, late nights and a lot of eating on the go. At the moment I am paying for it big time, I can feel so many bumps under my skin just holding it together before the season ends and they erupt! I have already had a mini breakout on my chin and I know this is just the beginning. I needed to go and get me some products to keep my skin in check and I love Herbal Essentials Papaya and Honey Facemask. Mine had finished so I needed a replacement and I wanted a new toner.

mia2_box_beauty

The Papaya and Honey Face Mask is Detoxifing, it contains clay, papaya and honey to remove impurities and releases antioxidants into the skin. I use it when my skin is particularly oily or acne prone because it restores the balance and makes my skin normal again. At times of crisis I use it twice a week and then weekly when my skin is normal. It is easy to use, I just spray my face with an Evian spray to make it damp and then I wet my hands and spread the clay evenly using my fingers and avoiding my eye area. After 10 minutes it goes hard, I wet my face and I brush it off with my wet Clarisonic Mia 2 brush and then pat my skin dry with a flannel.

neem-purifying-toner

After the mask or my cleanser, I squirt a generous amount of the Neem Purifying Toner on some cotton wool and wipe my entire face, then using a dry cotton pad I wipe away any remaining product. This is great after the mask as it removes any remaining residue and seals the pores closed.The Neem Purifying Toner improves the appearance of large pores and is suitable for acne prone or oily skin. It contains aloe vera which has wonderful moisturising effects and neem which is known for its antibacterial properties.

 

 

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I did not buy a moisturiser as I am super happy with the one I am using at the moment from Sephora, it is the Instant Moisture + Cream and contains a Hyalurinuc acid booster. It is a really nice formula, nice and light and doesn’t feel or look oily on the skin. I finish my regime with that as masks generally do dehydrate the skin and it is really gentle and restores the moisture.

 

Olay Regenerist Review

Olay Regenerist cream 1.jpg

Skincare is such an essential part of our daily routine and prevention is always better then cure which is why I started using anti-ageing products in my 20’s. I never recommend skincare until it is tried and tested for a substantial amount of time. I have been using the micro-sculpting cream for 3 months and I physically see a difference in my skin. I saw my mum after a few months and she asked if I had used collagen or botox (which I never have) but I actually noticed it instantly too and overtime there has been a visible difference. I noticed it most on my forehead which is the only place where I had a feint line previously but now it has gone!!

How?

Olay Regenerist’s upgraded formula  helps fight the look of skin fatigue, enhance skin’s responsiveness to anti-aging ingredients, and energize skin’s appearance for visibly firmer, younger looking skin that’s full of energy

Results:

I attended the Olay masterclass in March where they demonstrated how to massage cream into the skin and under cheekbones and areas you wish to sculpt and I have been doing that since and I really feel that it has made a difference. I never had wrinkles or anything like that but I just feel my skin is fuller, more awake and plumper and it has a really smooth feel. I have oily skin so to be honest I am not fond of the residue the cream leaves, you really do need to massage to get it all rubbed in but I guess that’s why I have done it so consistently. My skin instantly feels hydrated and plumped up making that little bit of shine worth it.

I definitely recommend this range, I bought it for my mum and she loved it too so its great for more mature skin as well.

Sephora’s New Cushion Foundation

 

This new foundation is the future of make-up…If Korea’s doing it then we are definitely a few steps ahead of the rest of the world. It is like something I have never seen before, the formula is saturated in a cushion so it is a hybrid of a liquid foundation with the practicality of a compact format. I wondered about the application and how it disperses, whether you need a little of a lot but when I patted the puff onto the compact lightly, there was plenty of product transfer. I blended it into my skin and it had a lovely natural finish with a radiant glow.

I applied a little more to see if it was buildable and it certainly gives fuller coverage if you need it to. The aim of this product was to give the “I woke up like this” look and I have to say it did give a very natural radiant look. My only scepticism was that I am not sure how many applications you get from the product but I was told about 40 is average.

I love how innovative the product is, you should definitely give it a go as it may be the future of foundations! It is priced at a reasonable AED 115.

 

 

 

 

7th Heaven Facemasks

argan_oil_mud-yl-7argan-a1_1Montagne Jeunesse who make 7th heaven facemasks have been around for 30 years now! I used to use them when I was back in London so I was really excited when they finally began stocking them on these sandy shores.

I tried loads of different ones but my favourite was the Argan Oil Mud Mask. It was the one where I felt the most dramatic difference before and after and my skin was literally glowing. I also really liked a couple of the peel off masks, the Manuka Honey was great. I liked the black seaweed too but I felt it was a little too mild, I generally like quite potent masks which is probably why I enjoyed the mud mask because my skin was tingling as it dried.

All the products are cruelty free and packed with lots of natural goodness, I can honestly say the peel off masks are the best I have ever tried. I usually hate peel off masks because they always feel like the skin is ripping off your face but these peeled off nicely. I did use the entire sachet so it was a thick layer which helped. You should definitely give them a try and let me know which was your favourite!

 

Micellaire Water

 Bioderma-Sensibio-H2O-Micellar-Cleansing-Water-

Micellaire water has infiltrated the beauty industry’s shelves and after using this magical product I want to know how it removes make-up so easily while claiming to be packed with natural ingredients. Is it really as good for our skin as we think?

I have been using Biodermas Micellaire water for a few years now and I have been really happy with the results. It feels gentle on the skin, removes make-up really easily and unlike other removers leaves your skin oil-free. It is great for oily skin, actually it has the texture of water so its great for all skin types. The formula was created in the 90’s in Paris to help Parisian women have an alternative to the regions harsh water. I decided to research this formula because I personally could not believe that it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals as the way it strips your make-up is insane! Darphin’s Education Manager, Emma Schulz, says ‘micellaire cleansing waters have mostly been adapted for sensitive skin and have been formulated with mild and non-irritating surfactants, suitable thanks to their gentleness.’ I find with Bioderma’s Micellaire water, if I wear full make-up, I need 5 cotton pads before I can wipe my face and there is no residue however yesterday I tried Sephora’s and after 2 pads my face was squeaky clean! It felt so gentle but I kept thinking there must be paint stripper in it because I was literally amazed.

Having researched its origins I know that they were trying to create something less harsh then water so it obviously does have minimal chemicals however each brand has their own formula. Sephora’s Micellaire water has a few more chemicals in it and a lot more natural things too actually, but just generally more ingredients. Bioderma’s is created for sensitive skin and so ingredients are simple and minimal, I personally have decided to keep both products stocked on my beauty shelf. After a night out I start taking off my make-up and can’t be bothered to finish because I am exhausted so after one or two cotton pads I get into bed. I will save Sephora’s Micellaire for those nights and use Bioderma’s when I have more time to remove my make-up. That reminds me, I bought a Clarisonic which achieves a make-up free exfoliated face in one minute so obviously that is my other option but I need a separate Clarisonic blog so you can hear about that next time.

For all my party girls…and lazy girls, grab yourself a bottle of Micellaire, there are many brands that make them but these are the two I have tried and tested. Banish those cleansing wipes from your skincare regime, they are NOT good for your skin. If you use them because they are easy and save time, instead place some cotton pads in a zip lock bag and pour in some micellaire water so they are ready for those nights when you just can’t be bothered.

Stubborn make-up can be easily removed however for waterproof make-up I still recommend using an eye make-up remover, micellaire does say that it can be used on eyes but I still find mascara hard to remove and rubbing lashes too much is not good for them. For the last few weeks I haven’t been using an eye make-up remover, just washing my face and micellaire for any residue but my lashes have reduced dramatically in thickness. If you know me, you know my lashes are probably my best physical attribute and sadly I neglected them. When you sleep in mascara it blocks your hair follicles which doesn’t allow new lashes to come through. It also makes lashes brittle and is just a BIG NO NO!! The oils in eye make-up removers are actually good for your lashes, they condition them overnight. I use Olive Oil to remove waterproof make-up, its great and 100% natural.

Using cotton wool is a good technique, Emma explains: ‘The use of cotton pads plays a major role in why they are so effective at removing makeup. Cotton is hydrophilic, and when you pour the micellar solution on the cotton pad, the hydrophilic heads are attracted to the cotton, leaving the hydrophobic tails sticking up to trap oil, wax based substances and dirt, like makeup and sebum. When applied to skin, micellar water and cotton pads cleanse the skin by acting like a magnet, attracting and entrapping impurities without harsh rubbing or scraping.’ This can be backed up by Bernard Pochic a trainer for Bioderma “Micelles are molecules that are made of fatty-acid esters,When you use a cleansing pad, the micelles deploy,” he says. Basically, the composition of the molecules makes them brilliant at trapping and gobbling up make-up, dust and pollution.

In conclusion Micellaire had no scaries hiding in the ingredient list, nothing harmful and it is as gentle as it says. Let me know if you have tried any other brands that you would recommend.

Zohra x

Snail Facial

The Latest Anti-Aging Secret is a Slimy One

My arms are covered in goosebumps as I type, this is probably one of the most disgusting treatments I have ever heard of. A salon in Tokyo has just launched an anti-aging treatment during which snails crawl over your face. Snail mucus (YUCK!!) contains hyularonic acid, proteins and antioxidants, all of which are beneficial to the skin.

The “snacial”, as I like to call it, costs in the region of $300! If you paid me $1000 I would NOT do this treatment, I would much rather age gracefully! The treatment is meant to enhance your natural glow, because the mucus helps skin retain moisture and soothes inflammation. The salon’s sales manager explains that it is effective in the recovery of skin cells, healing damaged skin and possibly even helping skin that has been damaged by UV-radiation.

The “Celebrity Escargot Course” (Snacials a way better name don’t you think?) is a 60-minute facial in which the esthetician cleans the client’s face, then places snails on their cheeks and forehead. It also includes facial massages and masks, as well as an electrical pulse machine. Would you dare to try it?

What Is Your Acne Telling You?

Acne is not always the result of bacteria collecting in your pores, often spots are an indication of an imbalance in the body. No matter how much we cleanse the skin if we have a hormonal imbalance or toxins in the body they will surface as unsightly pimples! The location of these spots can be used to carry out an ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese science of face mapping.

Face mapping, which is fast taking centre stage at most clinics nowadays, combines Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine with cutting edge dermatologists’ prescriptions to explain how certain parts of your face are connected to other areas of your body. Put simply, think of your face as a map and blemishes as X’s on that landscape. Spots in different zones correspond to different problems. So, with this “map” as your guide, you can address the underlying causes of blemishes and not only get rid of your acne but also  treat the underlying health problem in time.

Try it out: Here is how to decode breakouts in the basic areas.

face mapping, acne, zits, pimple, spots, solutions, skincare, beauty, skin, face

1 & 2: Digestive System — Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake and opt for cooling things like cucumbers.

3: Liver — Cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. This is the zone where food allergies also show up first, so take a look at your ingredients. Besides all this, do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.

4 & 5: Kidneys — Anything around the eyes (including dark circles) point to dehydration. Drink up!

6: Heart — Check your blood pressure (mine was slightly high) and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy or pungent food, cut down on meat and get more fresh air. Besides this, look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.

7 & 8: Kidneys — Again, drink up! And cut down on aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will cause further dehydration.

Zone 9 & 10: Respiratory system — Do you smoke? Have allergies? This is your problem area for both. If neither of these is the issue, don’t let your body overheat, eat more cooling foods, cut down on sugar and get more fresh air. Also keep the body more alkaline by avoiding foods that make the body acidic (meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar) and adding more alkalizing foods like green veggies and wheatgrass juice. Another thing that most of forget – dirty cell phones and pillow cases are two of the top acne culprits and this area is what they affect the most!

Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — This is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).

Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fibre intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.

14: Illness — Zits here can be a sign that your body is fighting bacteria to avoid illness. Give it a break, take a yoga class, take a nap, take time to breathe deeply, drink plenty of water and know that everything always works out!

So the next time you break out or notice dark under-eye circles, look to your face map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermotologist for a proper prognosis. This is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction – just becuase you break out between the brows doesn’t always mean you have a bad liver!