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!
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
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!
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!
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.
Despite Game of Thrones-style warnings that ‘winter is coming’, anyone with sensitive skin knows it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference. You can arm yourself with enough balm to clog up the Parisian sewers but once that dry skin of yours decides to crack then there’s nothing you can do. Brace yourselves…
2. You leave a part of you wherever you go
If you have Eczema/dry skin you will always be followed by that little magical dust cloud of skin. Peeling off your skinny jeans, you’ll wonder how you’ve any skin left judging by the atomic mass billowing in the air. Remember when someone brought in that snakeskin to show off at school? You could TOTALLY relate. Gross but you hear me right?
3. The inevitable questions
‘’What have you done to your ______?!’’ *insert ‘face’ ‘hands’ ‘leg’ or whatever has decided to flare up this time*
It’s like when someone tells your six-foot-three friend ‘’ooh you’re tall’’. No shit. I am sure they already knew this. As I am more than aware that my hands could provide Zombie close ups in the Walking Dead but you don’t need to tell me because, guess what? I’ve already seen them. I don’t understand why people I barely know think its ok to mention anything at all. Unlike the communal mugs at work, not everything is for sharing.
I find it equally frustrating when people try to ‘fix’ you. It’s amazing that doctors can train for years but your colleagues can become dermatologists in seconds. I’ve tried every trick and every product, so don’t even bother.
4. You’re so cynical but you just can’t stop spending
It’s always a game of skincare-roulette when it comes to trying new products. You’ve just spent half a month’s salary on the latest moisturiser for sensitive skin; slather it on only to find the next day your epidermis looks more like a painting by Pollock than a Vogue cover.
Yep, we’ve all been there. Taken in by the promises schmoises of the latest wonder cream that will turn us all into Victoria Secret models. Over the years I think I’ve become wise to these ‘success stories’. The day something really changes my skin forever will be the day I ride away on my pet unicorn.
However, anything that DOES make your skin feel anything slightly smoother than sandpaper requires you to remortage your house or rob a bank.
5. Thinking that diet will save you
You’ve been eating that many Blueberries you’re starting to resemble Violet Beauregarde (if you have to Google her then shame on you!) Then weeks later you come across a blog post warning that if you want the skin of an angel you need to steer clear of all berries! When my skin is bad one of the first things I blame is my diet, but how the hell do you know what you’re actually SUPPOSED to be eating?! For every ‘safe’ food that will help sort out your skin there’s a conflicting opinion telling you the opposite. I still have no idea whether I’m supposed to bathe in a vat of tomatoes or avoid them like an 80’s mullet. The only real way of testing foods is an elimination diet, and to be honest who has the patience for that
6. Tanning is a no-go
Ahhh, the Sun. That glorious Vitamin D provider. If you’re paler than a pint of milk AND your skin is more sensitive than a Westlife album then it’s pretty much game over. The sun is either friend or foe. It’ll help heal your skin, or you’ll get that prickly rash and the only option is to slather on that much sun lotion the chance of getting any shade of brown is slim to sod all.
Equally trying to fake tan is COMPLETELY out of the question- you’ll either blow up from an allergic reaction or end up looking like you suffer from ringworm when it sticks to all those sneaky dry/sensitive patches. Ugh. The tanning struggle is VERY real.
7. You just can’t trust yourself, your clothes, or your washing powder
Ever woken up with blood under your finger nails? Even if you’re the healthiest person in the world, use the best skincare products, and only wear clothes crafted using cotton hand-picked from clouds, what your body decides to do in your sleep is the one thing you can’t control. That itch will won’t scratch itself…
I’ve gone to sleep thinking my skin isn’t so bad only to wake up looking like I’ve been in bed with Wolverine.
When it comes to buying clothes and washing powder- who the hell do you trust?! And you can forget buying that woollen jumper, you might as well wear a cape of fire. You can also forget that sweet smelling fabric conditioner. You’ll look more ‘elephant in poison ivy’ than ‘Amazon rainforest’. Anything that smells remotely pleasant must be avoided at whatever cost. This includes perfume, body butter, and those bath bombs I shudder at the mere thought of using.
Only last week I was scorched by the liquid venom of a perfume promoter in Boots, spraying carelessly in my direction blissfully unaware of the hell I’d be in later.
All you can do is ask yourself- will it make me itch, will it burn me from the inside out, and is it worth it? Probably not…
8. From the lowest self-esteem to extreme vanity
Yes it might be a ‘first-world problem’, and there are far greater issues than a bad skin day! But when it’s more like a bad skin year you REALLY start to hate yourself. Sometimes, when it’s only acceptable to walk out the house with a hat covering my head, I think I’d actually rather be bald than have skin that rejects everything it comes into contact with. At least I could wear a wig!
On the other hand it’s PERFECTLY acceptable to flounce around like Beyonce Barbie leaving the salon on those few, and far between, occasions where your skin and body decide to work in perfect harmony and actually look like they should. Take a bazillion selfies, put on those hot pants and pour yourself a glass of champagne. Just be ready for the next morning when your outermost organ will decide it actually hates alcohol now too…
Owning a shell that is of the sensitive persuasion means the things you want to take part in- trips to the beach, running through fields (because, let’s face it- we all wanna do that), cuddling your best friends new dog/cat/rabbit- all come with serious risks and more often than not running your red raw hands through the hair of a Guinea Pig is simply not worth the
hours of pain and itchy misery.
There are few benefits of having an outer layer of hell but it’s vital to milk every single one! I use my pathetic dermis as an excuse for all sorts of things. It brings an end to all those crappy shower gel sets at Christmas, which leaves room to suggest something you actually want. I can also avoid cosmetic counter slaves, washing up, cleaning, weird food, bad cups of tea, and it allows me to be a complete bedding snob (350 thread count minimum) and also adorn myself in only the best skincare I can get my itchy little mits on.
For anyone with sensitive skin- it’s tough out there. You have my deepest sympathies.