I bloody love a new product, although now I’m living in an apartment I’ve had to seriously downsize my bathroom cabinet. As I’ve moved a million times since August (literally only a slight exaggeration…) I’ve been able to go through all the things that had either passed their best or that I didn’t use any move. Going from having a massive bedroom to myself, and lots of bathroom storage, to halving all the space is actually quite cleansing for the soul. I can’t believe how much stuff I had that I just never used, or had totally forgotten about and after a huge clear out I realised I should probably go back to basics. There’s literally no point clogging up valuable storage space with four cleansers, twelve half-filled hair masks and five night creams that are so old they were either solid or the branding had changed. Plus it meant I could treat myself to a whole lotta new stuff! My boyfriend is hilarious whenever I buy new products- he’s got this thing where he’ll read out all the elaborate marketing spiel on the front telling me exactly what it’s going to do to me. I think he was highly disappointed when my face hadn’t totally ‘rejuvenated’ overnight following the application of six drops of Caudalie’s Overnight grape vine Detox Oil, although I’m sure he was happy I didn’t wake up looking like a grape either!

 

 

When you have sensitive skin it can feel quite limiting sometimes. I tend to stick to the same brands and the same products. Since I’ve moved to London my skin has been grim. I’m blaming the pollution, but it’s probably a lack of water, poor skincare and general stress that’s really the root of the problem. I decided to treat myself to a few new things, some I got on with, some I haven’t. I also wanted to try brands I’ve never used. Recently, as I’ve mentioned before, my sensitive shell decided it hated Elemis- a brand I’ve used for years and absolutely adore. My skin appears to have discovered some sort of Mariah-style diva habit and throws a hissy fit at anything and everything that isn’t made exclusively for sensitive skin. ‘Natural’ products are no longer good enough it would seem… So here’s my new shizzle in all their glory. Any excuse for shooting a flatlay hey!

First up is the Erborian Black Cleansing Oil.

I originally went into SpaceNK to buy some Ren clay cleanser and was suggested this instead. Normally I’m a bit of a stickler for ignoring advice but I’ve heard so many good things about Korean skincare and the shop assistant reassured me it was suitable for sensitive skin.

It looks mental when you put it on, but it’s completely gentle and super effective at removing makeup. I wouldn’t say it’s rid my skin of spots but I’m never red after I’ve used it so it’s a winner from me! It contains herbs to soothe your skin, Glycerine so your skin doesn’t dry out (mega bonus) it’s also mattifying, which is good if your skin is dry yet prone to oil patches and breakouts.

£24 available from SpaceNK http://bit.ly/2AnkxGp

 

During a recent trip to Waitrose I spotted their ‘Pure’ range created for sensitive skin. I’ve tried own brand sensitive skin ranges before and paid a heavy price, however this is the don! I’m a big fan of Micellar water, as it’s so gentle on sensitive shells. I do always think you need to use a separate makeup remover for heavier foundations or for eye makeup but this has been so useful after I’ve cycled to work to wipe any grime from my face, or for daily makeup removing. It’s sulphate free and also suitable for vegans! I’m definitely going to try some other products from this range, it’s awesome! Good old Waitrose. My Dad will be so proud.

£2.50 available at Waitrose http://bit.ly/2Aq5Cvs

 

Ever heard of Pai? Me neither. I was given this as a freebie to test and I’m really enjoying it. It’s aimed at very sensitive skin and it’s really creamy rather than just a bland wash. My only beef with any shower gel/wash aimed at really delicate and sensitive skin is that it smells a bit odd. This is going to sound bizarre but it reminds me of eraser rubbings when you rub out a load of pencil scribbles at school. It’s a bit clinical but also a bit ‘woody’. I think this will be a definite contender to replace my SkinFix wash, however at £18 a pop it’s a bit on the pricey side. You do get a free konjac sponge but I now use this to clean the bathroom as it kept slipping out of my hand! I do love the fact I can use this after I’ve shaved my legs and there’s no irritation or redness. Definitely a brand I’d like to use more of.

£18 available at Beauty Bay http://bit.ly/2Awip1o

 

My BFF has been raving about the M&S night cream that supposedly makes you look like you’ve had eight hours sleep. I checked it out but wasn’t sure on ingredients so thought I’d give the M&S Marine Cream a go as my new day moisturiser. I’m going to put it out there now I reckon this is a fine dupe for the Elemi Marine Cream, don’t believe me? £16 says give it a go. I’m GUTTED my skin reacted to this. It contains natural ingredients to ‘improve the appearance of lines, protect skin and keep it hydrated. Sounded like just what I needed. As it’s free from parabens, synthetic fragrances and colour I thought this would sort out my face a treat. I’m starting to think my skin has a thing about essential oils, not plant extract but definitely essential oils as it reacts the same way to anything containing them.

It might not suit me but the very fact it’s made my skin break out in exactly the same way as the Elemis version got me thinking. If your skin can handle Elemis give this a go!

£16 available at Marks and Spencers http://bit.ly/2AW38rc

 

The harsh winter is definitely taking its toll so I’ve been using oil at night now. I think Caudalie is my favourite brand now Elemis has made an exit from my life. This is a dry oil and man it is SOOOOOOOO good. I think this will be a permanent fixture in my bathroom and has definitely replaced my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil. Following the reaction to the M&S cream I was a little worried about using something else with oils, but these are plant oils and not essential- so keep an eye out on the ingredients list if you think your skin reacts to either. I swear this is the BEST thing I’ve ever used over night. Even when I’ve broken out and my skin is all blotchy it looks so much better after a night on this bad boy! Despite being an oil it’s not mega greasy and just seems to work wonders on my skin. Caudalie claims this ‘boosts radiance and fights irritation and redness’, and for me it does exactly what it says on the box. BOOM.

£30 available at Caudalie http://bit.ly/2jk1Egz

I’m a major mascara fiend and never really stick to one brand, so whilst shopping for all the products in M&S I came across this (how GOOD are their beauty department now BTW??) I’m a bit late to the Pixi party but thought I’d give this a go. I’m not sure that it lives up to its ‘lash extension’ declaration but you can definitely build layers and it’s far from clumpy.

It creates very natural lashes, so if that’s your thing give it a go. Being paraben-free and cruelty-free is a big perk but for me it’s just not thick enough. Good for the daytime however, or if you already have super long lashes and just wanted a nice fine coating.

£16 available at M&S http://bit.ly/2krBVpG

 

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect day cream and primer so if you have any recommendations hit me up!

 

Jem xx

 

PS How is 2018 less than a month away??!

This post was not sponsored.

The John Lewis Christmas advert has hit our screens, which means one thing- it’s now perfectly acceptable to get excited about Christmas!

I’m going to be having a very different Christmas this year so I’m trying to be a bit more organised with my shopping. By ‘trying’ I mean looking at stuff online, mentally buying it, and then having a mad panic when I realise it’s a week until Christmas and I’ve done no shopping!

I always look online for gift guides- lots of influencers get sent really cool stuff so youtube and blogs are great places for a bit of festive inspo, especially for things you wouldn’t necessarily see while you’re out and about. I do love a good Christmas shop with chums but shopping in a city gets kinda stressful at this time of year.  Besides why gets stuck in the crowds when you can nail all your shopping online snuggled next to a fire with a large Gin in your hand?!

If you have sensitive skin and want to drop some mahoosive hints, or you’re looking for present inspo then I hope this helps- of course Elemis and Caudalie had to feature in my suggestions, and there’s items for all budgets.  Alongside skincare don’t forget all the good stuff- and by that I mean chocolate!

All items are linked below.

If you do go out and about I’d recommend shopping with a rucksack- leaves your hands free for a mulled wine… Good luck out there!

Jem xx

blog-post-gifts

Khiels seasons treatings £30 http://bit.ly/2fFDR6v

Yumbles Rawr chocolate £9.95 http://bit.ly/2fUoNXq

Best Face Forward, Sensitive Skin set, £39.90, Elemis http://bit.ly/2eNnfMo

Holiday Skincare Cracker, £10, Nuxe http://bit.ly/2g10ztI

Vine Body Gift Set, £22, Caudalie http://bit.ly/2fhdnva

Winter Icon Orange and Clove Hot Cloth Cleanser, £22.75, Liz Earle http://bit.ly/2fFicga

Deliciously Ella Cookbook, £9, Amazon http://amzn.to/2emmj36

Ren Stop Being So Sensitive, £34 http://bit.ly/2eNGWn8

Merry Moos selection box, £3.99, Real Foods http://bit.ly/2fFQNcj

Relief Repair Replenish Cream, £14.95, Bria Organics http://bit.ly/2fFUjnb

 

 

cleanser-2

Sensitive skin is a pain in the derriere- especially when your skin reacts quicker than Peggy Mitchell in a bar brawl to pretty much anything new you put on it.  Finding good quality products, which not only remove makeup but also leave your skin feeling fresh and damage-free, is a constant struggle.

Here are my current faves (OBVS I’m not using them all at the same time, hence why some aren’t in the photo above as I’ve run out, but I do like to switch it up occasionally) but these will definitely be a good starting point if you’re looking for something on a more gentle level.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser- some of the Kiehl’s range I have to be careful with (even ‘natural’ products can react badly with sensitive skin) but this is really creamy and never leaves your skin feeling dry.  Really good for getting rid of all your mascara too… £8.50 Kiehl’s http://bit.ly/2bOcW6I

Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil- This is super luxurious and leaves your skin feeling so soft.  I felt like it’s hard to wash it off but I think this is the point- it doesn’t strip your skin.  Use with a hot cloth… £29.50 Elemis http://bit.ly/2c1UxoR

Elemis Pro Radiance Cleanser- I’m quite new to the Elemis pro-Radiance collection but I bloody love it!  This little beauty gets rid of all the grime but is packed with plant extracts that moisturise dry skin.  It gets rid of all the crap without having to use anything else and lasts AGES too! £30 Elemis http://bit.ly/2bQPmdM

Green People Scent-free Cleanser- If you’ve never tried Green People products then why the hell not?  They’re affordable and amazing quality and great for anyone that reacts to all the chemical crap.  This one is particularly good if you are allergic to lots of perfumed in products. £18 Green People http://bit.ly/29tBg05

cleansers

Garnier Sensitive Micellar Water- Yes this was a TOTAL surprise to me.  I normally can’t use anything like this, especially from a drug-store brand.  But this actually does what it says on the tin- perfume free and you don’t need to scrub.  It literally removes EVERYTHING.  This was my staple festival product this year and leaves your face feeling fresh, clean, and definitely not sore- winner and a right bargain! 125ml £1.99, Boots http://bit.ly/2c7FvNu

La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Gel- still on that Micellar hype I have used two bottles of this now and it’s fab!  I love La Roche-Posay and when my Dad nips off to his little pad in France I usually put in some sort of French skincare order-I LOVE it, really nice creamy, bubbly texture and doesn’t dry or irritate your skin.  £12 All Beauty http://bit.ly/2bQD8h5

Skincere Cream Cleanser- I first discovered this little Gem when they sent me some to try last year (check out the blog post HERE) and it’s a wonder product for the price.  My always feels clean and toned when I used this; I just wash it off with a hot cloth.  Even when my skin has been really irritated I can still use this bad boy.  Available in all Holland and Barrett stores.  £14.99 Skincere http://bit.ly/2bBns5o

Let me know if you have any good product recommendations!

Jem x

My skin is more sensitive than an England fan on a trip to Iceland right now.  It’s probably all down to the horrendous hit of hay fever I’m enduring every day, that and the fact I’m pretty much allergic to air right now. When my skin needs an extra bit of help, or is likely to be more volatile than Britain after Brexit, then these hero products certainly offer a helping hand…

Elemis SOS cream: When your face feels like it’s on fire, you’ve been in the sun too long, or you just feel like you need more than a moisturiser- reach for this bad boy. Every time.  SOS Emergency Cream £52.50, Elemis http://bit.ly/29isT4n

Caudalie Beauty Elixr: Again another French hero product. I’ve been rattling through this- it’s great for all those hay fever days when your skin just needs a helping hand. It refreshes your face and feels like your coating your skin in luxury. Caudalie Beauty Elixr, £11.50, Feel Unique, http://bit.ly/29nbcE2 (always lots of offers on this site!)

Skincere facial serum:  I’m on my third tube of this since giving it a whirl last year.  It’s inexpensive and does what it says on the tin.  Use it underneath your moisturiser.  Skincere products NEVER ever irritate your skin, even if it’s super sore and sensitive.  Easy on the purse too- win win!  Facial serum, £19.99, Holland and Barrett http://bit.ly/29ns6Aa

Ren body exfoliator balm: When you have sensitive skin sometimes it’s easy to avoid exfoliating but actually it’s vital to help our skin. Slough away those pesky dry patches with this beaut of a product.  It leaves your skin with a nice kind of waxy finish rather than sore and itchy.  A little goes a long way too : ) Ren salt exfoliating body balm, £22, Look Fantastic http://bit.ly/29ncCyk

Neutral Cleanser: If you’ve never heard of Green People before and you have sensitive skin what the hell are you playing at?  This cleanser is my go-to hero product when everything else is ruining my face.  Fragrance-free, gentle and zero chance of leaving you with lizard skin.  Check out their other products too, their range is AMAZING!  Neutral scent free cleanser, £18.00, Green People http://bit.ly/29tBg05

Weleda body wash: Again another brand I can’t get enough of (see previous blog post here)  It’s rare when you have sensitive skin that anything you use in the shower can smell good and not leave you like you’ve been dipped in acid.  Hello Weleda!  Bloody love this, use it everyday!  It’s super creamy, doesn’t dry your skin and smells like holidays.  What’s not to like?!  Sea Buckthorn creamy bodywash, £7.95, Weleda http://bit.ly/29nsJcP

Darphin 8 Flower cream: My wonderful Mum introduced me to Darphin many years ago.  I LOVE love LOVE French skincare and this is just amazing!  I’m kinda new to this product but I use it at night if my skin is sore after cleansing.  Heaven.  Smells great without irritating your skin.  Perfect!  Darphin 8 Flower Oil Cream, 30ml, £43.33, Escentual http://bit.ly/29hA3t8 (1/3 off!)

Lavera intensive neutral mask:  I’ve been trying to use this once a week, but usually fail.  I’ve always avoided face masks like the plague as normally they make my skin ten times worse when it’s feeling extra sensitive.  I got a sample of this after purchasing some other Lavera products and it’s fab!  Why shouldn’t we treat our skin just because it reacts to pretty much everything?! We put our faces through so much so give it a treat- it’s designed to calm allergy and sensitive prone skin.  Hurrah!  Lavera intensive neutral mask, £2.90, Lucy Rose Organics http://bit.ly/29qg9d8

Salcura Dermaspray: I’ve blogged about Salcura products before here. This spray is like a protective barrier for your skin- spray on before moisturising.  It’s made a MASSIVE difference to my Eczema.  Daily Dermaspray intensive, £16.99, Salcura http://bit.ly/29jV82m (10% off your first order)

Aveeno cream:  I have this on prescription now because I go through that much of it but it’s honestly the best moisturiser I’ve used in years!  I really need to switch up my regime a bit but this is an absolute staple.  I use it twice a day religiously and it’s never irritated my skin and has actually made a massive difference to my Eczema.  I could kiss my dermatologist for recommending this!  (See my previous blog post here).  Aveeno cream, £14.69, Boots http://bit.ly/29jZaaX

Let me know if you have any hero products for sensitive skin- I’m always on the scout!

J xx

So the only time I normally add salt to anything is with my poached eggs in the morning.

But over the last few months I keep hearing more and more about bath salts, salt scrubs and the power of the Dead Sea.  After a couple of my chums came back from Israel raving about the Dead sea benefits I decided that I’d look into seeing if there’s any salty goodness (erm…) around that doesn’t affect people with sensitive skin.

Que my discovery of West Lab Mineral Bathing.  As a sensitive little egg I always try and do my research before I splash out on something I’ve never tried before and I’ll admit I’d never even heard of them.

The benefits of sea salts isn’t a new commodity.  They’ve been used for centuries.  West Lab hasn’t quite been around that long, they were established in 2014, but they pride themselves on the quality of their products.   They are a UK company and I was really impressed when I discovered that they have a batch suitable for people with Eczema.  There’s no bleaching involved or use of harsh chemicals in their products and it’s refreshing to find a range that can be used by us sensitive shells.  When you have sensitive skin adding any old thing to your bath is a no-go, and you can forget those beautifully scented bath bombs!  I’m normally more of a shower person (usually because I’m in an eternal rush) and more so because there’s just not much you can add to your bath when you have Eczema.

To begin with I bought the 5kg bag which you can buy online for the sale price of £12.99 here.  The benefits of the salts is
that not only are they relaxing but their mineral content is absorbed through the skin as you soak in the tub.  Potassium balances moisture levels, Calcium is cell-renewing and anti-oxidant and Magnesium soothes and helps balance and repair the skin.  Alongside this Bromides help make that bath even more enjoyable- by relaxing the muscles.

As recommended I added about 1kg of Salts mixed with warm water.  The advice is to bath in water between 37-39 degrees.  I literally have zero idea how hot my bath was but I’m not burning my ass for anyone!  I’d like to be able to say I relaxed with a large Gin, however I was so hot I just nailed a pint of water in the bath instead… I did light one of my favourite candles though- I just adore all the Lilly-Flame range, this time I used their Lavender and Lime scent, which you can purchase here.

Normally if I have a bath my skin always feels really raisiny afterwards (that’s SO not even a word), unless I soak in oil- in which case I normally slip on the floor and vow to use showers forever more.

As a very wary customer I was half expecting to come out of the bath looking like I’d either been dipped in acid, or with no effect whatsoever.  When in fact it was completely the opposite!   This left my skin feeling AMAZING! Even the next morning I felt like my skin was a little less dry. I still moisturised as normal but it wasn’t that frantic ‘grab-the-cream-before-your-skin-falls-off’ scenario.  Anyone with dry skin knows all too well there’s only a short window between bathing and moisturising- miss it and hello lizard skin! I’ve been using the salts for the last couple of weeks, twice a week and I definitely think it’ll become part of my skincare regime.  Plus it forces me to have a bath and actually relax- something I NEVER have time to do.

J xx