‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your … totally natural, soft, shiny, beautiful … hair’

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A few months back I promised that I would write a post about my favourite natural shampoos – so here they are in no particular order of preference.

Lets start with a well-known organic brand – Neal’s Yard. There are two shampoos with their fellow conditioners that I really like. On a quick side note – I do not need to condition every time I wash my hair since going “no poo”, but I do when I have time as a special treat to myself. Firstly Neal’s Yard’s ‘Nurturing Rose’ twins.

neals yard nurturing rose shampoo and conditioner

This shampoo and conditioner was my first foray into this brand. I wanted something that would nourish my platinum dyed blonde hair. The rose smell is divine and it left my hair soft and shiny. The description on the bottle is as follows:

“Gentle cleanser combined with vitamin-rich rosehip, sea buckthorn and passion flower oils to nurture dry, damaged or coloured hair.”

After I made the decision to go back to being au natural with my hair colour – with  maybe a slight cheat of soft colour every now and then, but don’t tell anyone – I found that I didn’t need something so rich. I did find that after a few days my roots would become a little greasy with the rose so I tried another handsome one of theirs – Rejuvenating Geranium. Here is the bottle description:

“A cleansing infusion of apple vinegar, witch hazel and nettle to restore vitality and shine with geranium to balance hair and scalp.”

Neals Yard Remedies Rejuvenating Geranium shampoo and Conditioner.jpg

As you all know I am a huge fan of apple cider vinegar and witch hazel and I was not disappointed. This was perfect for days when I didn’t need something so nourishing and yet it still left my hair lovely and soft and well looked after with no greasy roots. The only downside to this – and this is just personal preference – I am not wild about the geranium smell. Neal’s Yard is a little pricey with all of these costing £11.50 each but I do think they are worth the money and they look so pretty on the shelf in their lovely blue bottles.

Now onto a totally unknown brand – well it was for me anyway. Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo.

essential care gentle herb shampoo

I buy this online at naturisimo for £10.50. Now this does not come with a partner but it does its job so well you don’t need to use any conditioner. I love that it has hardly any ingredients and really works. I also use this to wash my young daughter’s hair as it is so natural and makes her very long hair beautifully soft and tangle free.

Lastly, when my hair needs a proper cleanse – when it feels sad and overloaded – I find myself reaching for this wonderful cleansing shampoo and conditioner – the Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying duo.

avalon organics clarifying lemon shampoo and conditioner

My hair looks fabulous and fresh after one wash. I can’t use this more than once a week though as it is a tiny bit stronger than the others and my scalp goes into a strop. This is at the lower end of the price scale at only £5.99. Here is the description on the bottle:

“Gentle plant-derived cleansers enriched with Vitamin E, Wheat Protein, Aloe, Chamomile and Lemon wash away dulling residue and impurities without stripping for instantly renewed colour and shine.”

You may now be asking yourself why I have all these things in my shower – or you may not – but lets pretend you are. Well as you might have guessed I love trying new things and Neal’s Yard and Avalon can be picked up in my local Waitrose whereas Essential Care needs to be ordered – which can be a pain.

Now which one am I going to try tonight? Decisions, decisions!

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. . . and don’t it make my blue eyes green.

The eyes are sensitive souls which need to be treated with care. I have never been a great believer in loading them up with rich creams or oils. My motto is, when it comes to skincare, less is definitely more.

eye

During my research into skincare I have come across many articles which believe that rich creams or oils are not only unproductive for the eye area, but they can also cause puffiness and milia.

The definition of ‘milia’ from the free online dictionary by Merriam Webster is – “small, hard, pale keratinous nodule formed on the skin, typically by a blocked sebaceous gland.” Below you can see a photograph I found of a pretty bad case of this.

milia

The theory is that the molecules in rich creams and oils are too big to penetrate the skin deep enough and instead soak into the top layer and build up to cause these problems. Whether this is scientifically correct I have no idea – but I do find rich creams and oils disagree with me and that milia tend to appear when I use the wrong cream.

With this knowledge, off I went in search of something I could use to give my eye area a little treat – to give it strength to push away those pesky wrinkles that are knocking on my door. This is what I found – a lovely light gel.

green people firming eye gel

Green People’s Firming Eye Gel.

This wonderful gel is extremely light and cooling. It goes on smoothly and sinks in like a dream. It works well under makeup or on its own.

I buy this online from naturisimo for £8.50 – but you can buy it in lots of natural shops online or on the highstreet. An added bonus for you fellow Britains is that it is made in the UK – and I am all about supporting my own country.

I want to believe that eye creams or gels really work but I am in two minds to whether anything can stop time. I do, though, think they can soothe the eye area and gently moisturise which in the end should help keep your wrinkles at bay for a while. I couldn’t tell you if this has worked as an anti aging product,  but it feels lovely and there has not been a milia or a puffy eye in sight.

green eye

“. . . and don’t it make my blue eyes green.”

Liebster Award

This lovely morning I received a comment on one of my posts from the fabulous blog Super Inspire saying they have nominated me for a Liebster Award. I am thrilled to be nominated and wanted to thank them very much.

liebsterblogaward

The Liebster award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging.

I will post my nominations for this award in a later post – I need time to ponder as there as so many good ones. I will say though that my first nomination will be:

Naturally Blushed by Bailey Blush

Once again thank you for this award.

Is your moisturizer aging your skin?

I have reblogged this from the great site “super inspire“. I found it fascinating I hope you all do too:

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Most people have learned by now that excessive exposure to direct sunlight, especially without adequate spf protection, is a major cause of skin aging. But do you know what is the second biggest skin aging contributor? It’s not nicotine or alcohol.

It’s mineral oil or parrafinum liquidum as it is usually classified in the list of ingredients. This petroleum derivative, and also an environmental toxin, can be found in most of the traditional over-the-counter skin moisturizers and make-up.

John Hopkins University named mineral oil in cosmetics as the number two cause of premature skin aging. This ingredient is a result of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil and it is present in approximately 98% of cosmetic/personal care products on the US market today. When applied on the skin, mineral oil forms a barrier between skin and beneficial ingredients from the product. It also blocks the pores and prevents the skin from absorbing moisture in a natural way. Without a proper hydration, the cell renewal rate slows down, resulting in faster skin aging.

So if you haven’t already ditched the classic Nivea cream and similar paraffinum based cosmetic products, now is the right time to do it. Instead, choose a natural & organic moisturizer that will keep your skin healthy and young.

Spring is in the air at last.

I look outside my window and see Jack frost spreading his icy fingers over the soft petals of spring flowers.  Today the sun has finally decided to show its rare face transforming spider webs into crystal necklaces and grasses into diamond encrusted blades. Could spring have finally thrown off winter’s freezing blankets?

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Hmm, I’m not quite sure what happened there – I must have been seduced by the long forgotten rays of the sun in to waxing lyrical about springtime. Right, back to my blog.

I have decided to veer slightly off topic on this lovely spring day. Spring time is a time of rebirth and brings to mind spring cleaning.

If you know me well you will know that I have long since shunned harsh chemical cleaning products for natural cleaners. I am sure you have all heard the old wives’ tales of white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice and many other natural products we have stashed away in our cupboards, being used to clean the houses of old. Well these are not old wives’ tales. These products are amazing.  They work as well as any chemical cleaner; they do not burn your hands and your nose; they do not kill the fish and wildlife living in our streams and rivers.

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This blog post isn’t to go into the many uses of these amazing multitasking products. You can Google green cleaning and you will get hundreds of hits with ease. I wanted to talk about steam cleaning.

I have a cat. A beautiful tortoiseshell with the brightest green eyes you have ever seen. My daughter and I love her but she does have this annoying habit of sleeping and walking on every surface in the kitchen at night. I love my natural cleaners but felt they might not be doing quite enough to help clean up after her.

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As I have mentioned before, I do get sucked into glossy ads and my tried and tested self (MTT) frequently begs to be let loose.  Ads for steam cleaners frequently pop up on tv and in magazines. “Okay MTT” I said to myself “go for it”. I tried two until I found the perfect one.

The first was Sainsbury’s own brand steam mop, cheap but pretty useless. Secondly ‘Bissell Lift Off Combination Steam Mop and Handheld Steam Cleaner’ (wow what a mouthful). I hated this mop it was so heavy and the handheld bit was useless. Amazon were great and let me send it back. I had nearly gave up but then I saw this lovely little piece of equipment; Morphy Richards 70465 Multi Floors Steam Mop. Amazon sent this to me the next day for £48.

HR70465

I am so pleased I let MTT out again. I love this machine. It heats up in less than a minute and shoots out lots of lovely hot steam while gliding along easily. One of the best thing about this mop is that it is so lightweight I can even use it to clean all my counter tops. I am certain it is not meant for this job as it is advertised as a floor cleaner but if it does the job go for it I say. I also use this in the bathrooms – on the floor, in the bath and the shower, wherever surface I know can take the heat and needs a good clean. Yes, I do feel a little sad loving a steam mop but if it helps me clean without the use of harsh chemicals then I think I am entitled to a crush at least.

Again, I apologise for veering off topic – it may not help to keep me naturally beautiful but it does help keep my home naturally beautiful.

Let me introduce you to my sibling, ‘the creature from the black lagoon’.

My face, the window to my soul (or is that the eyes, I forget) has been misbehaving. I tried sending it to the naughty step – gave it a stern talking to – but all to no avail. My last step was the doctor’s surgery.  The doctor told me that my skin was still a grade A student, but instead a sebaceous gland had become infected and turned into an incredibly painful and ugly cyst. All the lovely natural goodness I was feeding my skin was going to make no difference in this case. Firstly antibiotics then a visit to a plastic surgeon to have it removed. Fabulous. I can’t wait to have someone cut into my face and to have a scar left on my skin. Oh well at least it was nothing I had done wrong. The point to my story is that even after due care and attention things beyond our control happen to the most diligent of us.

As a special treat for my poor skin I though I would step outside my comfort zone and treat my face to a shop bought face mask. Off I trotted to Holland and Barrett. After lots of mooching around I happened upon an interesting looking package that promised to:

. . . dramatically improve skin texture, leaving it soft, refreshed and youthful

Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud active seaweed mask

The Dead Sea Spa Magik – agimud active seaweed mask also featured a smiley face symbol (who knows what that means) and a little box saying no parabens. After a sneaky peak at the ingredients and deciding they looked okay I parted with my money and took the rather smart looking package home with me.

Just before retiring for the night I decided to give it a whirl.

Dead Sea Spa Magik – Algimud active seaweed mask

I tore open the packet and dumped its contents into a bowl. Measuring the require cold water I stirred it together using the spatula supplied. My first thought was that this was a lot of product for one face but it does say to cover your face in a thick layer.

Algimud active seaweed mask

My spatula to the ready I started applying the mask. I won’t lie to you it was pretty gross. It smelled strongly of seaweed (not unsurprising I suppose as it is made from seaweed) or of a pond on a hot day, but not too off putting. I also felt it sliding down my face in globs as I had it on so thickly. Determined not to give up though I carried on covering all my face and some of my neck – being careful not to get it round my delicate eye area or mouth. Even after all that there was still quite a bit left which went in the bin. I now resembled the creature for the black lagoon’s slightly more attractive sister, but apart from the slight pond whiff it did feel deliciously cooling on my face.

Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud active seaweed mask

I settled down on my bed with my book and read for 15 minutes. After this I went back to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. The gloppy mask had morphed into what can only be described as a rubbery substance. I moved my face and I could feel it peeling off my skin. This was the fun part – it just peels straight off your face.

Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud active seaweed mask

Luckily it does not pull your skin or take your eyebrows with it, but it just gently peels away. Underneath my skin felt beautifully soft and I might even use the words: “. . . refreshed and youthful “.  Small bits couldn’t be peeled off but I just wiped them off with a bit of witch hazel on a cotton pad.

I have to say I was really impressed with this mask. The upset my cyst had done to my skin (a few bumps and dry patches) seemed to be magically erased. I had soft, glowing skin and it was quite a fun and relaxing experience. I will definitely be venturing into the dead sea again though maybe nose plugs might be a good accessory next time.

Can part of my fairy-tale come true?

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a princess – live in a castle, sleep in the clouds in a bed made of silk  (no peas under the mattress though) and marry a handsome prince and live happily ever after.

the ordinary princess

(The fabulous illustration above and the one at the very bottom of this post are from the beautiful children’s book ‘The Ordinary Princess’ written by my grandmother MM Kaye)

Unfortunately I did not marry the handsome prince but the evil villain and certainly did not live happily ever after – my story is the cautionary tale we tell our children not the fairy-tale. I do though sleep in silk – maybe not in the clouds or a castle but in a beautiful house in the countryside so close enough for me.

If you only want to change one thing to help your skin fight against ageing, silk should be that one thing. Way before I jumped on the natural beauty bandwagon I had read about how sleeping on a silk pillowcase can protect your skin against wrinkles.

“It’s long been a secret of the beauty industry that silk pillowcases can make an amazing difference to the appearance of your skin. Wrinkles appear smoother and there are no creases or marks from the pillowcase.

Silk does not absorb face creams like cotton can. Instead it allows your night cream to work while you are asleep for maximum benefit and a more radiant, deeply moisturised complexion.(quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

I didn’t really believe it but I wanted my princess moment so I went out and bought a silk pillowcase. I have been sleeping on silk now for over 10 years and I would never change.

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This year I decided to be extravagant. If I couldn’t have the fairy-tale prince I really could have the fairy-tale bed. I changed all my bed linen to the softest most beautiful silk. My pillow and duvet are also silk filled – maybe I am finally living in the clouds. It certainly feels like it when I close my eyes at night.

fluffy clouds

Not only is silk extremely good for your skin – you will no longer wake up with lines on your face or body where your bed linen has left its mark behind. It also helps reduce allergies. Bed bugs and nasties do not live in silk like they do in feathers and manmade hollow fibres.

“Silk is repellent to dust mites and moths so it’s perfect for anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies. It also resists mildew and mould. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic so it can also be highly beneficial for those suffering from eczema or sensitive skin conditions.” (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

It is not only fabulous for your skin but your hair benefits as well:

“Wake up in the morning with hair that’s smooth as silk. The natural proteins present in silk together with its amazing smoothness mean that your hair doesn’t get matted or dried out when your head rests on silk overnight. That’s why top models always insist on silk pillowcases.” (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

silky hair

Silk filled duvets or pillows regulate your body temperature.  They are cool in the heat of the summer and warm in the cold of the winter.

“ Breathable and comfortable, the natural properties of silk wick away moisture from the body to keep you cool and comfortable all night long. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from night sweats or hot flushes. 

Silk is great in the winter too, especially if you want to feel supremely warm without being weighed down by heavy blankets. Silk duvets feel so light that it is almost impossible to believe they can effectively keep out the cold.

Sleeping under a silk-filled duvet is like sleeping under a light fluffy cloud. Even in the depths of winter it keeps you warm and snuggly. That’s partly because of the natural drape of silk that some people call the “hugging effect.” which also helps to keep in body heat when it is cold.“ (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

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You never need to clean a silk duvet – every summer just air it in the sun for a day.

In fact I would say the only downside to this is that I feel uncomfortable sleeping on anything else. Cotton or manmade fibre sheets scratch and irritate my skin and I find it hard to get comfortable and a good nights sleep. I long for the feel of silk on my skin as I know how fabulous it feels and how good it is for me.

Maybe I should mention one other thing. I do find I can’t have a silk duvet cover and fitted sheet on at the same time  – the duvet slips off at night. Instead I alternate between a silk fitted sheet and a cotton duvet cover or a silk duvet cover and a cotton fitted sheet. This might not bother you but I found I spent most of the night pulling the duvet back over me otherwise.

It is expensive as it must be 100% pure silk – but once you have invested and you wash the bedlinen with care, it is the best investment you will make and you will never look back.

I have looked for the best quality and the best price on the Internet in the UK (sorry those of you in the US you will have to look for one over there) Jasmine Silk comes out on top at the moment. Quality is important; you must have silk that has a heavy momme weight. Mulberry silk for silk filled items and Charmeuse silk for bed linen are the best type to go for. Cheap lightweight silk will not last and will not work in the same way. Jasmine silk may seem more expensive than places like eBay but you are guaranteed quality and that is what you should be buying. Below is another rather long extract from their website but it explains the differences in silk quality clearly (no I do not work or know these people but I have done my research and I wanted to pass this on to my readers):

Mulberry Silk

Mulberry silk is the highest quality silk available. . . Jasmine Silk duvets, pillows and toppers are made by 100% grade A long-strand mulberry silk. Because of the rising price of mulberry silk, there are many suppliers selling cheaper silk duvets which are filled with a mix of polyester and silk, or chopped strand silk which is essentially off cuts of silk that can’t be used for anything else. . .

Momme weights

Mommes (mm) are units of weight traditionally used to measure the density of silk. It is similar to the use of thread count for cotton fabric. The usual range of momme weight for different weaves of silk are:

  • Gauze – 3 to 5 momme weight
  • Chiffon – 6 to 8 momme weight
  • Habutai – 5 to 16 momme weight
  • Charmeuse – 16 to 19 momme weight

Charmeuse Silk

Charmeuse is a luxury fabric made from silk with a satin finish. It has a floating appearance which drapes very well, especially for formal wear and luxury bed linen. We use the heaviest weight (19 momme) Charmeuse silk for all our silk bed linen.

For silk sheets a momme weight of 12-19 is considered good quality with silk sheets in the range of 16-19 being very high quality. Cheap silk sheets almost always have a low momme weight, because physically less silk has been used to make them. Anything lower than 12 momme feels lightweight and flimsy, and not particularly smooth or luxurious. It tears easily, is difficult to wash and doesn’t last long.

A-Grade Long-strand silk

Not only is our silk heavy in weight, but we also insist on using only long-strand silk. Although not often discussed outside the textile industry, the length of the strands makes a big difference to the feel of the silk and its strength and durability. Longer fibres produce smoother yarns. Shorter fibres have tiny surface ends which result in a fuzzier yarn that doesn’t feel as smooth.

Go on! Let the princess in you come out and play!

the ordinary princess

Send your nails a valentine’s card to show you love them.

The other day, while chatting with a good friend, we got onto the topic of why her nails are so brittle at this time of year. I can promise you that the cold and icy breath of winter will not be serenading your nails this Valentine’s day.

Broken-Heart

But before you coat your nails in some foul smelling toxic vanish give them the kind words and loving caresses they actually deserve.

Do not be duped by products that promise to strengthen and help your nails grow. They might give the appearance of stronger nails but to what damaging effect. I won’t go into the poisonous ingredients that are in these varnishes – how they are derived from formaldehyde (yes I do mean the liquid that is used to embalm bodies) – how the toxic ingredients can leach through your nails into your body ­– how they are suffocated instead of being able to breath in the fresh crisp air of a winter’s day.

There is a simple solution to this problem. Firstly keep your nails short in the winter –below the top of your fingernail is best. Secondly pop a rich moisturizing oil such as my favourite coconut oil in a little container and carry it around with you. Massage into the nail whenever you remember, your hands too which also will suffer in the cold. This should help them stay strong and happy during the Winter months.

I am not saying stay away from pretty colours over the winter – I love wearing a darker shade on my nails at this time of year.

black-nails

This isn’t me in the photo above – just a fabulous image I found to show you how great dark polish is on short nails.

But go for kind varnishes instead of nasty toxic ones. Many natural brands do lovely colours: Butter (I love that name), Beauty without Cruelty and the fabulous Zoya which has a rainbow of every colour and sparkle you could ever wish for. I promise to cover these brands in more detail in a later post. So love your nails as you do your hair and skin. They are part of you and deserve as much attention as everything else.

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Back to the baking aisle one more time please.

This post might be one of my weirdest natural solutions so far. Bear with me –  you won’t be disappointed.

Dry shampoo – a chemical mix in an aerosol can – or does it have to be? We all have days when our hair looks a touch limp and greasy. We all have days when either we cannot be bothered to jump in the shower and wash it or really do not have the time. Well, dear readers, thanks to the great blog Wellness Mama I have a fun solution for you.

Ditch the dry shampoo in a can and look on your nearest baking aisle for two ingredients (just one if you are super blonde or white haired).

ground arrowroot powder

Ground arrowroot powder

Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder (not chocolate powder, it must be plain cocoa).

You don’t have to go for expensive organic cocoa powder – this was all I had in my cupboard from baking yummy chocolate muffins (mmm. I digress).

Pour some arrowroot powder into a little dish or bowl (I pinched my daughter’s lovely, melamine, flower bowl).

ground arrowroot powder

Then scoop a little bit of cocoa powder into the bowl and mix together. Go as dark as you need depending on your hair colour. If you are light blonde or white don’t add any cocoa powder. I am dark blonde so I didn’t need much. You will need to experiment until you get the right mix for your haircolour. The arrowroot is the ingredient that absorbs the grease and dirt so you need a higher ratio of arrowroot to cocoa for it to work – bear this in mind when you mix your colour.

diy dry shampoo

Using a brush – I used an old foundation brush –

foundation brush

brush the powder onto the parts of your hair that need it. Do not make the mistake I first made of tipping it on to your scalp as it turns your scalp a funny red colour (white if you are using no cocoa powder). You need to take your time and just brush onto the hair. I thought there was no way this was going to work. How wrong I was. It is amazing. Immediately my hair looked clean and boy did it have volume!

Yes, you do smell like chocolate but who doesn’t like the smell of chocolate? If you really don’t (how strange you are!) then you can add a drop of your favourite essential oil to the mixture but be light handed as you don’t want to make your hair greasier.

It does take a while to get used to the application but once you do you won’t need to wash your hair as often and will smell delicious!

Some of the readers commenting on the Wellness Mama website suggest using cinnamon instead of cocoa – this might be good for redder hair. I haven’t tried it as I love the smell of cocoa and it works brilliantly for me.

Arrowroot not only makes a fabulous dry shampoo it also works miracles as a finishing powder or a mineral veil. Just brush it on before or after your foundation and away you go.

The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey…. And the only reason for making honey, is so as I can eat it. – Winnie the Pooh

Winnie might believe that honey is just for eating (I am sure many of you would agree) but the wonders of honey don’t stop there – honey is one of the best natural skincare products available.

People who have known me for years would never put the words ‘Mollie’ ‘love’ and ‘honey’ in the same sentence. When I was a little girl I hated the smell and taste of honey. I never thought it would be something that I would come to adore. I still hate the taste and the smell can be a little much sometimes but as a skincare product I love love love it.

You can use honey in skincare, haircare, for first aid, burns, blemishes – the list goes on and on.

If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I use it every night to wash my and my 5 year old daughter’s faces.

I wanted to let you know of another way to treat your skin using this lovely product – as a face mask. This will smooth your skin and treat any blemishes that are threatening to invade your prefect complexion:

Wash you face with Oliva. Use the bicarbonate of soda face scrub if you want to. Then dry off your face. Plaster on your chosen honey and lie back for at least 10 minutes, more if you can be bothered. I like to do this in the bath. If your skin isn’t dry when you apply the honey it will slide off your face. Wash off and reveal smoother, happy skin.

I have been experimenting with a new honey I picked up from Waitrose – Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly. This lovely organic, wildflower honey has royal jelly added. I found this information about royal jelly on the dr organic website:

“The unique combination of nutrients, amino acids and plant hormones makes Organic Royal Jelly a superb ingredient to help maintain a youthful appearance. Throughout history this wonderful ingredient has been heralded as natures fountain of youth. It is ideal for rejuvenating and nourishing the skin, while its anti-aging properties help maintain the skins elasticity, texture and tone.”

Who knows if it is really adding anything special, but my skin is feeling extra smooth at the moment so this could be down to this royal additive. It is only £4.75 so I am happy to use it!

Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly

A great tip if you feel a spot (zit) nudging away at your skin trying to get noticed, dab a bit of honey on it and leave it over night, the next day it should be gone or at least smaller. You can use manuka honey for this as it is super strong and has a higher concentration of anti-bacterial qualities to zap that spot. Don’t use manuka as a wash or face mask though, unless you have super strong skin, it can be too harsh and might reduce your skin to tears and tantrums.

On a side note, away from the golden elixir, this year I am trying lots of new things and will be working hard so my posts might be more infrequent – just a couple maybe even only one a month. I’ll still be here, trying new things and letting you know about them, just not as often as I have been. So don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while I promise I am still around.