Give your skin a present this Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but I find with all this cold weather and central heating my skin becomes incredibly dry. Well never fear – I have a wonderful solution to bring back baby soft skin.

To achieve this I am going to use two, maybe three of my favorite products. The first is Weleda Skin Food. I buy mine from naturisimo but you can buy it in many places online or in the shops. This is such an amazing product which you can use all over your body. It is especially fabulous for feet, hands and elbows. The smell is heaven too – evoking strolls through sun drenched orange groves.

weleda skin food

Secondly Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda). I am especially enamored with Waitrose’s own brand at the moment. I believe it creates a smoother paste than the previous brands I have tried. Also the packaging is pretty. Arm and Hammer do a great one too.

waitrose bicarbonate of soda

And maybe some honey depending on how deep a scrub you want – organic please.

organic sainsbury runny honey

I usually save this treat for night time.

Start with clean skin – remove any makeup or dirt you have accumulated throughout the day. I use Oliva soap for this.

With your skin still damp tip about a tablespoon of Bicarbonate of Soda into your palm. Add water to make a smooth paste – not too runny – not too dry.

Gently please – your skin loves you so treat her well – massage the paste into your face – paying particular attention to the dry, flaky areas.

For an extra strong scrub use about a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda and substitute the water for a squeeze of honey. Be extra gentle with this as it makes a harsher, deeper face scrub.

Do not use either to scrub your skin around your delicate eye area – she will be very miserable.

Wash the scrub off with water.

You can follow with a wash of honey if you fancy it but you don’t have to.

You can also go with a wipe of witch hazel on a cotton pad – a similar ritual to my night time skin routine post.

Now I slather on – I really go to town here – Weleda Skin Food. It turns your face white and you look very silly – but it eventually sinks in.

If you are allergic to Lanolin this treat is not for you. You could try a generous amount of Rosehip oil or Weleda Almond Lotion instead. Lanolin is the main ingredient that lends its soft hands to repair your dry skin. There is some confusion surrounding Lanolin as to whether it can clog your pores. A very informative website I have referred to many times clears this up for us – zerozits – the name speaks for itself.

“Lanolin Oil confuses many individuals. Natural Lanolin Oil comes from the wool of a sheep and does not cause acne. Synthetic Lanolins (man-made) do cause acne and leave you feeling very oily!”

I have used this many times over the past two years and it has never once (touch wood) caused me problems.

Off to bed with you – sweet dreams – wake to beautiful baby soft skin.

Disclaimer: If something works for me I am not saying that it will definitely work for you. ­I do hope it does but I cannot promise or give any guarantees. Your use of these products or suggestions is entirely at your own risk. Please use any product or idea with caution and of course do not use anything with an ingredient that you know, or think, you might be allergic to. Thank you and happy reading.

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Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best.

I have been asked, on numerous occasions, what my daily evening skincare routine consists of. Most laugh heartily after I tell them – then look slightly embarrassed when they realise it wasn’t actually a joke. But those who take me seriously have thanked me numerous times and have become converts to the simple things in life.

I say simple things because I only use very simple products – no more than a couple of ingredients in anything.

Let me get it out the way now and say again  “no I am not joking”. It may seem weird but if you try it hopefully you will realise how easy and simple (there I go again with that word) it can be to have lovely, glowing, young looking skin.

You will need:

• Oliva soap – Holland and Barrett

oliva soap

• Organic runny honey (yes I did say honey). I use Sainsburys own brand just for convience but feel free to use any brand you take a fancy to.

organic sainsbury runny honey

• Pure 100% witch hazel – again good old Sainsburys comes up trumps for this.

sainsbury distilled witch hazel

• My organic apple cider vinegar and witch hazel spray (see previous post on my “no poo method”)

vinegar and witch hazel spray

• A’kin Organic Rosehip oil. It doesn’t have to be A’kin other brands do organic pure rosehip oil too – Trilogy, Neal’s Yard just to name two off the top of my head.  I just really like this brand. I buy mine from naturisimo for £14 which is an excellent UK website for natural products.

Akin Rosehip oil

Before you begin the routine make sure you have clean hands. This seems obvious I know but might not be to everyone. Also make sure you wash with a soap like the Oliva or a hand wash that is natural (most contain SLS and as many nasties as they can squeeze in there) – check the ingredients! A super expensive but wonderful natural one is Neal’s Yard geranium and orange wash – yum I could eat it. I bought this on offer at Waitrose today but you can buy it in loads of stores and online. Worth every penny if you ask me. Okay, enough with the obvious on to the routine:

  • Use the soap to wash off the day’s grime and any make-up from your face.
  • Then with your face still damp squeeze a generous amount of honey onto your palm and wash as if this was a cleanser. Lick your lips, yum honey (now you wouldn’t want to do that with your normal cleanser). Rinse off again.
  • Dry your face.
  • Lightly soak a cotton pad with witch hazel and wipe over your face to remove any residue of the honey. This is such a wonderful product. Do not be afraid to use it on your eyes as it won’t sting or dry. Witch hazel is actually very moisturizing. I believe it helps with bags and dark circles (just my belief though) and this could be because it is used to lessen bruising.
  • Spray the apple cider vinegar and witch hazel solution onto your face with your eyes closed. I then dab off any that has gone onto my eye area – I find it can sting the eyes if it gets in them.
  • A few drops of the oil and massage in – if your skin is feeling a bit dry you can add more oil.  For very dry skin add a moisturizer over the top. I thoroughly recommend Weleda products – their almond sensitive skin lotion is perfect for my skin. Don’t go and ruin it all by adding a rich moisturizer that is stuffed with parabens and coats your skin in silicone (plastic for us lay people) – any good work you have done will be ruined.

weleda almond lotion

Voila! You are finished. No fussy, expensive products. Everything you have just used is lovely and natural and cheap as chips (except the oil which is a little pricey – but probably the best anti-aging product you can buy and lasts ages).

If you are blessed with clear unblemished skin then you don’t need to use the spray. I like it as I can get the occasional blemish (hardly any now that I use this though) and this tackles it to the ground without even a’ how do you do’. I also find it helps reduce scarring  and spreads the oil further.

I would be really interested in hearing any of your stories about how you get on with this routine – if you take the leap and ditch the rubbish. Let me know.

Disclaimer: If something works for me I am not saying that it will definitely work for you. ­I do hope it does but I cannot promise or give any guarantees. Your use of these products or suggestions is entirely at your own risk. Please use any product or idea with caution and of course do not use anything with an ingredient that you know, or think, you might be allergic to. Thank you and happy reading.

Olive oil on my skin – am I mad?

I am going to talk about olive oil soap in this post -­ not plain olive oil (but I have to say that that is an amazing product to use too. ­ I will post about it later on). From your local Holland and Barrett store you can buy Oliva soap for just over £1. I cannot find it on any websites in the US, but I know you can find something very similar as I did when I was on vacation there in the summer. I must stress that if you find another brand be very careful and look at the ingredients first. Many olive oil soaps are in fact a dash of olive oil mixed with SLS, parabens and other synthetic substances. Always try and buy any natural products with as little ingredients as possible. Oliva soap has only 2 ingredients: Saponified Olive Oil and Mineral Salts. Here is the description from the Holland and Barrett website – “Made from pure unrefined olive oil, Oliva is kind and gentle to the skin. Oliva is not tested on animals, contains no artificial colours or perfumes, is completely vegetarian. 100% biodegradable.”

oliva soap

I absolutely love this soap. It never dries your skin and has no nasty synthetic fragrances or chemicals. I use this to wash my face every day. I don’t splash out on expensive cleansers as this cheap, lovely soap does the trick and will not strip my skin of its natural oils or mess with its pH levels. I also use this as an all over body soap. I even use this to wash the delicate skin of my 5 year old daughter. I have in the past used this to wash my daughter’s hair as well when I didn’t have anything else to hand. It worked really well ­- left her hair soft and shiny.

The packaging is simple but elegant -­ I believe most of us would be happy to have this on display nestled on our sink.

Go on, ditch the expensive soap, body washes and cleansers and be kind to your skin with this lovely moisturizing very natural soap.

A quick side note for you all ­- I wouldn’t recommend chomping down on this soap or using it to cook with. A friend who took my advice and uses this soap on her family told me her husband had a quick bite and confirmed it wasn’t very tasty! It is a soap after all no matter how natural.