What to Look for in a Moisturiser

As your body’s largest organ, skin can be a complicated thing. That’s why it’s important to understand it and its needs – a little like painting the walls of your house. Use the wrong formula for, say, the bathroom or the outside, and the walls could end up cracking and peeling away…not a nice image when you apply that thought to your skin!

So let’s discuss the basics of moisturisers and moisturising your skin!

There are 3 different classes of moisturisers:

Occlusives work by forming a hydrophobic (water-repelling) layer on the surface of the skin, trapping in moisture, so they’re best used on skin that already has some moisture in it (i.e skin that’s not dry and flaking).

Humectants draw water from the environment and put it into your skin, hydrating the skin’s upper layers. This can actually be counter-productive if the skin is already well-hydrated by drawing moisture away from the skin, so it should be followed by an occlusive to trap that moisture in.

Emollients smooth out the skin by filling in the gaps between skin cells. They soften the skin, making it more supple and less likely to become sore and cracked.

First things first, you need to identify your skin type. This will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a suitable moisturiser that best meet your skin’s needs.

So what are the different skin types?

There are 5 skin types which are widely acknowledged in the skincare industry. These are: Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination and Sensitive. Each is unique and has its own characteristics, so it’s a good idea to tailor your skincare regime to your skin type.

Normal

Characterised by having no major issues. It produces just the right amount of oil needed to keep it balanced, supple and hydrated. Not too oily or dry, even tone, and no large pores. This might sound like it doesn’t need attention, but all skin needs something to keep it harmonised, so you still need to moisturise even if you have normal skin.

Best type of moisturiser: Emollient.

Dry

If your skin is dry, you’ve probably noticed how often it gets flaky, especially in the colder months. Your skin will probably feel tight and uncomfortable after cleansing. If you’ve never had the urge to buy powder foundations or if you find that makeup clings to patches on your face, chances are your skin is dry. This is because it’s not producing enough oil to keep it healthy and balanced. There are a variety of different moisturisers which are particularly helpful for drier skin types…but we’ll get to those later! It’s also worth noting that exfoliation will help tremendously with getting rid of those flakies – just be gentle by using a chemical exfoliant or a muslin cloth rather than a harsh scrubby type cleanser.

Best type of moisturiser: An occlusive, or better yet, a humectant followed by an occlusive.

Oily

This is the opposite of dry – meaning that your skin produces too much oil. While oil (or sebum) is necessary to help keep skin healthy, overproduction can cause skin to look shiny or greasy. You can identify oily skin if you touch your face and your finger feels like it’s coated, or if your skin feels comfortable (or even oily) shortly after cleansing. Problems like acne, enlarged pores, and blackheads are more common in this skin type.

Just because your skin is oily does’t mean you can skip the moisturiser! You can still get dry patches if you’re oily, so it’s important to keep the skin healthy. It’s just a case of finding a moisturiser that works well for you.

Best type of moisturiser: Probably a humectant, or an emollient. Try and choose something that is oil-free or has “mattifying” in the description.

Combination

This is like the lovechild of oily and dry. Unfortunately, you get the worst of both worlds – oily t-zone and dry cheeks? Yup, you probably have combination skin. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of moisturisers designed to meet your needs!

Best type of moisturiser: An emollient would work well for both dry and oily skins, so this would be a good choice.

Sensitive

If your skin is sensitive, chances are you’ll already know about it. Does your skin burn when apply certain products, or look red and sore after cleansing? Then it’s most likely sensitive. This could be due to a number of factors, mostly due to sensitivity or (or even allergies) to certain ingredients. Most common triggers for sensitive skins are alcohols, fragrances, and natural ingredients, like lanolin and essential oils.

Best type of moisturiser: Depends on the underlying skin concern (you can have oily/sensitive, or dry/sensitive). But you’ll want to look for something that’s fragrance and colour free, with any alcohols listed as far down the ingredient list as possible (this means it’s in a lower concentration, so will be less harsh on your skin). Try to avoid overly “natural” products as these often contain essential oils and plant extracts which can irritate sensitive skin – Remember, “natural” ingredients are not inherently better. Looks for a simple formula (that means a short ingredient list) with things like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and oat milk listed in the ingredients.

Other things to consider

  • It’s great to use a nice, basic moisturiser, but there are some ingredients which can be beneficial to the skin. These include antioxidants such as green tea extract, or anti-aging ingredients like retinoids and various “peptides”.
  • It’s also important to use an SPF, which is great for preventing skin from premature ageing.
  • Another thing to remember is to exfoliate regularly and gently – take a look at my post on chemical exfoliants for more information on this.
  • Always patch-test new products (a small amount applied to your most sensitive or spot-prone area) for a few days before applying all over your face.

Product Recommendations

Occlusives: Straight up Vaseline, Aquaphor, or any moisturiser with mineral oil or petroleum listed at the top

Humectants: CeraVe, Eucerin Dry Skin Relief

Emollients: Avene Emollient Cream, E45, Clinique Dramatically Different Gel

References: Skincare Addiction, and again

My Handbag Essentials

If you have a large handbag, it’s so easy to take everything bar your vanity mirror with you on your daily ventures – after all, you never know when you might need to reapply that lippie, or spontaneously stay at a friend’s house overnight. But if you don’t like toting around a comically large Mulberry, or find that dragging your entire makeup bag everywhere is weighing you down, then it might be worth having a sort through your stash and narrowing your beauty essentials down to a few multitasking products. These are my handbag essentials for travel:

Dr Jart+ BB Beauty Balm is great for multitasking as it keeps skin hydrated and acts as a light coverage foundation. This is quite thick for a BB cream, which I think is perfect as it’s very moisturising, and gives decent coverage. Great for perking up post-partying skin. I also take NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer with me most places. It’s great because it takes up so little space, and gives me that little bit of extra coverage if my dark circles are looking particularly pandery the morning after a visit to Monsieur Raptor’s. Using this plus the Dr Jart+ BB cream eliminates the need to bring a moisturiser, primer and a foundation.

A lipstick is also a great idea, as it can really pull a look together, but that’s not the real reason I love to bring it along – my Clinique Different Lipstick is the kind of shade that can double as a blush! I just rub a little on the back of my hand, then apply it to my cheeks as I would a cream blusher. No one will suspect a thing!

I also love to include a petroleum jelly product, such as Vaseline, or this Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm in my bag-stash. Not only is it great for chapped lips, but can also be used for removing makeup, highlighting cheekbones, grooming eyebrows, and even as a thick moisturiser if you’re stuck somewhere overnight and your skin needs a drink.

A perfume also never goes amiss. I love Jo Malone’s 30ml bottles because they’re so dinky and handy to keep in a bag – the bottles may not be the most exciting shape, but that makes them excellent for travel. At the moment, I’m loving Blue Agava and Cacao because it’s a great Winter scent for day or night.

What bag would be complete without a resident hairbrush? I’ve had this one for years as it’s a great size and shape for storing in my handbag’s secret pouch. You could go for one of those mirror/brush contraptions, but I find them rubbish for brushing my hair, so I prefer to use a regular brush.

Lastly, not pictured here is Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Powder Compact, which I occasionally take with me on my travels to Monsieur Raptor’s when I have work the following morning. This is great because it pulls together my makeup look by mattifying the BB cream, but there’s also a little mirror and sponge included in the compact, so you don’t need to bring a separate mirror or powder applicator.

What are your handbag essentials? 

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream Dry to Very Dry Skin Review

Don’t you just love those handy little vouchers Boots gives you for £5 off its No7 range? I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever tried No7 when I’ve used those vouchers. I think you get them when you spend £5 or more on beauty/skincare, so I tend to have a lot of them floating around at any given time. That’s how I ended up buying No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream

I was recommended the version for Dry/Very Dry skin. It’s a heavy, cream-type moisturiser – which is understandable, given that it’s designed for dry/very dry skin – and it boasts an SPF of 15. Not much, but probably enough for everyday wear in standard British weather (i.e mostly cloudy and mild). It also claims to be hypoallergenic, which is something I’m a little skeptical of, especially considering it lists fragrance as an ingredient. 

I really wanted to love this product because I like the idea of Boots’ No7 range, and I like the look of their skincare. The packaging, I find, is classy and understated, and looks very pretty on my dresser. I also like that the skincare range is quite “basic” in the sense that it’s all categorised into skin type (Dry/Very Dry; Normal/Dry; Normal/Oily) and there’s about 5-10 products in each range, including a day cream, night cream, and a cleanser. This makes it simple, no-nonsense, and easy to understand. Brands like La Roche Posay or Avene, for example, are so complicated, it’s hard to remember which product is which, and whether it’s good for my skin etc. 

So it’s a shame that I didn’t get on with this. I found it was too heavy for day use under makeup – although please bear in mind this was during summer, in humid, muggy weather, so I might actually find it best suited to the rest of the year. I also found it felt a little greasy, and I’m pretty sure it broke me out. 

I guess you could put those issues down to the weather though, so if you have your eye on this and want to try it, go for it – especially with the Boots gift vouchers. You might find it works really well for your skin, and goes nicely under makeup during the colder months. 

On the plus side, it didn’t upset my sensitive skin. I’d recommend this moisturiser because it feels quite nice, I just don’t think it was suited to my skin. Perhaps I should have tried the Normal/Dry version instead. 

Have you tried Boots’ No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for Dry/Very Dry Skin?


Consistency: Very thick and quite heavy. Almost like Nivea Creme in the blue tin. Great for dry skin.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 4/5. It didn’t upset me, but I worry about that fragrance.

Price: £12.50, but I bought it with a £5 off voucher.

Overall Rating: 5/10. Although I didn’t get on with No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream, I want to be fair and say that 1. I tried it in summer, when I should have been using a lighter moisturiser; 2. I think it broke me out, but it could have easily been something else; and 3. It might not be the right product for my skin. If you want to try it, don’t let my experience put you off.

The thing about skin care is that it’s such a personal thing. With makeup, products can be universally shit, but skincare is different in that what works for one person may not work for the next person. 

 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Compact Powder | Review

I bought this completely on a whim because I’d splurged on a new perfume and thought “why not buy a new pressed powder too?”. #YOLO, or something I guess.

Anyway, I bought it in the middle of a heatwave, so I was desperately in need of a good powder that would help my foundation stay in place all day, without looking cakey and plastered on. The sales assistant at Urban Decay did a great job at selling me this, hyping up the following claims:

Designed to be virtually invisible once applied, our high-tech, jet-milled powder has an insanely silky texture that feels amazing on your skin. Optical blurring pigments instantly minimize imperfections, diminish shine and create a stunning soft-focus effect that looks professionally retouched. Unlike powders that leave skin looking chalky or cakey, Naked Skin Finishing Powder gives you a radiant complexion and NATURAL-looking Naked coverage.

It sounded great, so I thought I’d give it a chance. 

That was about 5 months ago, so I’ve had the chance to use it on my tanned skin in the middle of summer in sweltering heat, and also in November temperatures when my skin has lost its summer glow and the weather is a little kinder to makeup, so here’s what I found…

It doesn’t perform well over thick foundation in hot weather. I found it looked very caked on and noticeable. This was during a heatwave though, so I guess that can be forgiven. 

It does perform well in normal weather – normal British weather, that is, meaning “mild”. It gives a lovely, not-too-matte, not-too-polished look, so you won’t end up looking like a plastic doll – but I think that’s a good thing. 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Compact Powder isn’t not as good as my current favourite – Bobbi Brown’s Weightless Skin Compact – but it does a great job for a lower price.

The only thing I will say is that it doesn’t last long. I know I’ve had it 5 months, but I haven’t been using it for the entirety of that time period. I already touched pan after daily use after about a month, whereas I’ve been using Bobbi Brown’s compact almost daily for about 3 months and have barely made a dent.

I also don’t love the packaging – it’s a sort of gunmetal, metallic, shiny box which is trying to be luxe, but just fails because it’s covered in smudgy paw-prints from my makeup-stained hands. A bit gross, really. I do like that it has a mirror, and that it’s got a little compartment for a makeup sponge (the one that’s included is quite shit, but you could easily replace it).

I do like that it looks pretty natural and that the packaging is sturdy (so not much chance of breaking the product inside if you drop it) with a mirror and a sponge compartment.


Consistency: Finely milled so doesn’t look too “plastic” when applied over foundation.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5, no trouble.

Price: £22.00 at Debenhams.

Overall Rating: 6/10. Overall, Urban Decay Naked Skin Compact Powder isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad either. To be honest, Rimmel’s powders perform just as well.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment | Review

After suffering an horrific face-plosion of whiteheads on my chin (the result of a poor choice in moisturiser) and clearing most them with with some benzoyl peroxide, I thought I’d look for a gentler solution that I could use every day, or every other day, without upsetting my skin too much. I knew the BP would be an extreme treatment, so I had no intention of using it every day, so I went into Boots to find something with a strong enough concentration of salicylic acid to not just prevent spots (like La Roche Posay’s cult favourite Effaclar Duo), but to actively combat them.

After perusing the ingredients of nearly all the spot treatments in the skin care aisle (!!!) I finally settled on this Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment gel. It has salicylic acid listed as the 5th ingredient, so it looked promising.

I took it home and slathered a load of it on my chin, which had a few whiteheads and sebaceous filaments, and on a spot on my cheek. Slept, and dreamt of clear skin. Woke up to find the condition of my spots significantly improved – the SF’s had cleared very well, some of the whiteheads had just about gone, and the overall texture of my chin was about 80% better. The spot on my cheek had also reduced in size and redness, although not completely disappeared.

I tried it again the next night, and woke with similar results – whiteheads reduced again, and the overall texture and appearance improved a lot. 

It claims to reduce spot size in 4 hours, but I’m not so sure of this claim – that being said, I haven’t tried it and checked the results 4 hours later; I used it overnight. I still think it takes a day or two of use to really make a difference though – and I’m totally okay with that, I wouldn’t realistically expect a spot treatment gel to completely get rid of spots in a mere 4 hours.

The one thing I would say is don’t use this, then put moisturiser on straight away, then hope to apply foundation; it’s not going to work, and you’re going to end up with bits of moisturiser/spot treatment turning into slugs and slithering off your face. I’d recommend you leave it a good half hour to do its job/settle before applying a moisturiser and any makeup over it. For this reason, I think it’s better suited to use at night, probably before you go to bed.

Obviously it stings a little because it’s a spot treatment, but it doesn’t irritate my skin like the BP did. The BP burned and brought me out in a nasty reaction which needed to be controlled with hydrocortisone (rough, bumpy skin, dry flakies all over the place), but it did get rid of my spots. I’d leave the benzoyl peroxide as maybe a once a month treatment, and stick to the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment gel for 2-3 days a week usage on any breakouts – but that’s just me, you might have no problems whatsoever with BP and be able to use it daily.

Have you tried Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment?


Consistency: It’s an almost clear gel.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: It’s a spot treatment, so it does sting, but I only used it on my chin, so it was okay. I’d be careful with it though if you do have very sensitive skin. 3/5

Price: £4.99 for 15ml. Quite reasonable if you ask me.

Overall Rating: 9/10. Does the job well. It would be nice if there was a spot treatment gel I could use every day that would work as effectively as benzoyl peroxide but without the nasty irritation.

10 Tips to Keep Nails Looking Sharp

Nail care is something a lot of us tend to neglect – and it’s so easy to neglect your nails because caring for them can be time consuming, fiddly and just plain annoying. Who’s got the time, effort and money to go for regular mani-pedis? I wish I did, but I just don’t. Even giving yourself a home manicure takes patience and effort (and I don’t exactly have those to spare) – first you’ve got to clean off your old nail polish, then you’ve got to file and shape and exfoliate, and paint them (a nightmare for the less-than-dexterous) and then wait hours for them to dry. God help if you smudge your polish, or you’ve got to lather, rinse repeat.

Screw. That.

  These are not my nails. My nails are gross.
  These are not my nails. My nails are gross.

But there are some things you can do to keep your nails healthy and looking good that are surprisingly easy and don’t take half as much time and effort as giving yourself a full-on manicure.

1. Clean off nail varnish stains with whitening toothpaste. It’ll make your nails lovely and clean, while also brightening them.

2. Eat more nuts and seeds. These have essential fatty acids and vitamins to help make your nails grow stronger. They’re also great for your skin and hair.

3. Take a supplement if you can’t get the vitamins from your diet – fish oil, vitamin e and biotin are all great for nail growth. 

4. Choose a suitable moisturiser. Try to find one without too much alcohol – the lower down the ingredient list the better. You can also buy some pretty great moisturisers with nail strengthening ingredients, like keratin.

5. Slather it on, then wear a pair of cotton gloves or socks on your hands. This will help you keep the moisture in, and stop the cream rubbing off. Vaseline works great for this, as it seals in more moisture. A great idea is to do this overnight to allow more time for the moisturiser to do its work.

6. Buy a cuticle oil. Nails Inc. do a great one with vitamin E and lavender. I find it’s really helped my cuticles from being dry and flaky when I use it once or twice a day, but you could just use almond or a similar oil.

7. Don’t clip cuticles; it can lead to infection and irritation. Try pushing them back with a cuticle stick instead.

8. Avoid acetone based nail polish removers as they can dry out your nails. There are plenty of great nail polish removers without acetone, and some of them have conditioning ingredients to help nourish your nails.

9. Don’t over-wash your hands as it’ll dry out the skin around the nails, dehydrate the skin, and cause nails to become brittle and thin.

10. As a rule of thumb: don’t wear nail varnish all the time! I know it’s great to experiment with different colours, textures, patterns etc, but try and give your poor nails a break in-between as daily wear can weaken your nails, causing them to peel and flake. And it’s not just the general wear of nail polish – removing it with acetone polish remover and peeling the varnish off is bad too.

What are your best nail-care tips?

Some Quick and Easy Halloween Makeup Looks

After a browse through my phone, I’ve discovered a few snaps of costume makeup I’ve done in the past. Two of them are simple enough to do with whatever makeup you have lying around, one not so much.

Black Swan

This is ridiculously easy to do. Just apply some white face paint to your face, perhaps mixed with a little foundation so it doesn’t look so harsh, mix some black and white to create grey for the contouring, and then use an eyeliner for the eyes. Add some silver or glittery pale blue in the in-betweeny bits of the eye makeup for a bit of sparkle. I found the easiest way to do this was to draw the outline, following the shape of the eye over the eyebrow, then to kind of spider-web the inside. I also used red lipstick, then added some black eyeshadow to create a gradient  for the lips. There was no real technique and it still looked okay. Red contacts optional.

Werewolf

This was also really simple. I used a cheap face paint kit with black, brown and white, then mixed the colours for some more shades. The mouth was quite hard to get right, but as long as you layer loads of white facepaint, the teeth look vibrant. You could easily use eyeshadow and eyeliner to create this. Again, there was no real method to the makeup – just random, light-handed strokes to create the fur.

American Horror Story – Moira the Maid

This was easy and quick enough to do, you just need liquid latex for the texture. I first covered drew a line around my eye area with the latex, then added some toilet paper for texture, and added a cotton pad over the eye. I painted the cotton pad black, then added red for blood, and foundation to blend it all. This could easily be done with black and red facepaint, you don’t necesarily need the textured effect. Just add a maid costume and you’re good to go!

Deer

I accidentally deleted this picture, but if you cover the top half of your face with light brown face paint or bronzer, then paint around the eye area white, add a nose and some white dots on your cheeks, you’ve got a deer! Easy, and you don’t really need face paint – you could use white eyeshadow. 

 

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette| Review

I was so shocked when the sales assistant at Urban Decay told me this was just £22, I probably peed a little. Not really of course, because that’s disgusting and it’s a figure of speech, but you understand.

Generally, I’d grimace a little at paying £22 for one makeup product (though there are some I’d willingly pay that price for), but when it comes to high-end brands, that’s what you’re looking at paying for one blush, or one highlighter, one tube of concealer or whatever. But this handy little palette is 3 products in one, all for that price. Take a look at Benefit: their Brozner “Hoola“, and their “Sugarbomb” blush both cost £23.50. That’s £47 for just two of the three products you’d get in Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette. Say what you will, but this is excellent value for money.

I broke it :(
I broke it 🙁

I love that they’re all on one handy palette, making it easier to transport and carry with you from A to B. In theory, this is handy for travel, minimising the space 3 products should take up, but I’m not sure that this is all that practical. I’m sure the increased surface area you get from combining the three products in one palette makes it much easier for it to shatter because science and stuff – BUT I may be wrong. This actually survived a few trips in my makeup bag; it only shattered because I’m cack-handed and managed to drop it. I’d still be careful, but as long as you don’t throw it at your nan or something it should be fine.

I’m going to review the three products individually, then give my verdict on the palette as a whole.

The Bronzer

This is hands down the best bronzer I’ve ever used – although I’ve only used about 2 bronzers in my life, so I’m probably not the best judge. I love that it’s not sparkly, making it great for contouring (which is what I use it for), but you can always add a little highlighter over the top to give it some shimmer, if you’re that way inclined. The pigmentation is good, but what makes it great is that It’s so finely milled it makes it hard to use too much product, which can be a nightmare when using bronzer – you want to go for the sun-kissed look, not the “just rolled in dirt” look. Pigmented, finely milled, and buildable. A winner in my books!

The Highlighter

This one feels slightly less finely milled, so unless you want to look like Edward Cullen, I’d use a light hand when applying it. I guess this is a good thing – there’s so much of this product, but you need just a little, and it’s probably best used in the night, so this will definitely last me ages. It’s a lovely pink-toned highlighter, so it won’t make you look like a lightbulb.

The Blusher

This one is the most pigmented of the lot, and not that easily blended, so again, it’s best to use your gentlest touch. Like the bronzer, there’s no sparkle here, which makes it great for that “no makeup” makeup look. Wearing this alone will look beautifully natural, but you can always vamp it up with a little of the highlighter layered over the top. As it’s so pigmented, this one should also last a long time.

My Verdict

All three products in the Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette are absolutely great – much better than all the drugstore brands I’ve tried (granted, I haven’t tried a lot of bronzers or highlighters), making it exceptionally good value for money. If you’re investing in some new makeup and need all three of these products, it makes a great all-rounder. The blush is my least favourite of the three because I’m a NARS Orgasm devotee, but I’d probably buy this again even if just for the bronzer and highlighter. 

Have you tried the Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette?


Consistency: The bronzer is very finely milled but buildable; the highlighter feels a little more creamy; the blush is finely milled. All 3 are well pigmented.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Price: £22 from Debenhams.

Overall Rating: 9/10. You can’t argue with the value for money, but be careful with it as the design could leave it prone to breakage. I barely use the blush as I prefer a different brand, but I’d definitely buy the Naked Flushed Palette again and would absolutely recommend it!

Vaseline Vs. Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm

Ah, Vaseline. Sluggy saviour of parched skin; constant companion, present in every bag I own, where would I be without you? My dry cheeks cry for your soothing touch, and my cracked lips crave your moisture sealing greasiness. Who could ever replace you? Why, no one…

…oh wait, hang on. There’s a new kid on the block and his name is Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm – he’s enriched with Manuka honey, bee’s wax and papaya extract, and he’s in a hygienic tube. Kid’s got swag, I’ll tell you that. OH, HEY Vaseline, didn’t realise you were still here. Well, this is awkward…

So how do they compare?

I bought this Paw Paw ointment on a whim whilst browsing the aisles of my local Boots. I’ve not seen this type of product in stores before, only online after reading many a fascinating article about Miranda Kerr or whatever sleb is fashionable at the moment fawning over its super duper awesome natural healing properties n’ stuff, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. What’t the harm, eh?

Papaya Gold Paw Paw 

IngredientsPharmaceutical Grade Petrolatum, Carica Papaya (paw paw) fruit extract, Bees Wax, Bio Active Manuka Honey 20+, Potassium Sorbate.

This paw paw ointment is a petroleum jelly base with added Manuka honey, known for its antibacterial properties; bee’s wax, which is great for locking in moisture; and papaya extract, abundant in vitamin’s A, C and E, all of which are great for the skin.

Vaseline

IngredientsPetroleum. Or, in the case of the tin above (the Aloe Vera version): Petrolatum, aroma, isopropyl myristate, aloe barbadensis, citral, citronellol, eugenol, limonene, linalool.

Okay, so regular old Vaseline is literally just petroleum jelly, and that’s totally okay. Sometimes you don’t need to mess with the classics. After all, it’s just there to provide a barrier to seal in moisture. The Aloe Vera version has added aloe extract and a few stabilisers thrown in.

In terms of ingredients, the Paw Paw ointment is the winner, with added vitamins and antibacterials which will be sealed in by the petroleum. Nevertheless, Vaseline is still a great all-round occlusive moisture sealing barrier….cream…thing. 


Performance

After applying both and leaving them for 3 hours each, here’s my verdict on how the two products performed:

I found that Vaseline stayed on longer, so I could feel it on my lips without the need to reapply, however my lips felt drier afterwards. When I applied the Paw Paw ointment, I couldn’t feel it on my lips for as long (it felt like it has rubbed off), but my lips felt softer and more hydrated.

And the winner is…

In terms of performance, the winner is Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm, but Vaseline is still a great do-it-all product, and if you can’t be bothered to pay the extra few quid for the Paw Paw balm, I don’t blame you. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t buy it again, and would just stick to Vaseline, but it would fun to try out, and I can see why people like it so much.

Have you tried Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm? What did you think of it?


Vaseline is currently £2.18 for a 20g tin at Boots.

Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm is currently £5.99 for a 25g tube at Boots.

A-Derma Skin Care Cream | Review

Ever had a skin care product you love so much it becomes your Holy Grail? Your staple, your desert island product – something you genuinely believe you couldn’t live without? Well, I recently discovered mine was breaking me out. I can barely contain my grief. I recently found the cause of my disgusting chin whiteheads was my by beloved Aveeno Skin Relief moisturiser, which I’ve been using for about 3 years. I’ve always struggled with one or two (or 8) whiteheads** on my chin, but they always seemed worse when I used this, and I recently tried the lighter version of Aveeno (one with a green label instead of blue) and that made my chin erupt in whiteheads. After checking the ingredients, I found this one was slightly more abundant in Isopropyl Palmitate – an emollient notorious for being extremely comodogenic. It’s no surprise really – it is a body cream. Anyway, I lamented, cleared it up with Benzoyl Peroxide and went on the hunt for a replacement. 

There was a set of criteria that had to be met by my new moisturiser. It had to a) hydrate, b) not irritate my delicate skin, c) perform well under makeup, and d) not break the bank. Not exactly a demanding list, but surprisingly hard to meet all of these at once. I found that some moisturisers hydrated well, but stung my skin, or mattified my skin beautifully for makeup, but didn’t hydrate enough, or ticked all the boxes but cost £830. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!

After searching high and low (I tried Olay, Boots no7, Boots Simply Sensitive, Nivea and so many more) I discovered this diamond in the rough – A-Derma Skin Care Cream. If you don’t know much about the brand, they’re owned by the same French pharmacy company than owns Avene. The lines are similar, but where Avene’s angle is some kind of fancy-schmancy jumped-up French water that thinks it owns the place, A-Derma’s star ingredient is the humble oat. I find this line much gentler than Avene, and I’m a big fan of their cleansers as they don’t irritate my skin. (Psst – it’s also cheaper, just sayin’.) 

It retails for £6.50 for 50ml, or £12.50 for 150ml – which is great value – so I decided to try the smaller size incase I didn’t like it. I checked the ingredients (there’s very few of them, so less chance of irritating) and ran them through CosDNA to find that only two raised flags for comodogenecy (is that even a word?) and irritation. Both of these ingredients rated 2 out of 5, so I didn’t worry – Isopropyl Palmitate rates 5/5, and that didn’t break me out terribly, so I took my chances.

It’s mostly water, glycerin and mineral oil based, so I knew it would be pretty hydrating – but would it go well under makeup? I supposed if it didn’t I could always use it up as a night cream. Turns out I don’t need to – it’s beautifully hydrating AND dries down to an almost matte feel, much like Aveeno does. It hydrates amazingly, but doesn’t feel greasy. Makeup glides on smoothly. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

It’s very thick when it comes out of the tube, then goes sort of watery when applied to the face, then dries matte, and doesn’t irritate at all. It’s so perfect, I could marry it, have its babies, then rub them all over my face (…)

**can we find a different name for “whiteheads”? They sound fucking gross. I propose we call them “magic facial beauty bubbles” or something instead. Just a thought.

What’s your Holy Grail moisturiser? Have you tried A-Derma Skin Care Cream? What is the colour of happiness? Tell me!


Consistency: Perfect – sluggy, wattery and matte at the same time. Buttery, is probably how I would describe it – wait no, WHIPPED. Like whipped cream. That’s the badger. 

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5. Like a snuggle for the face.

Price: £6.50 for 50ml or £12.50 for 150ml

Overall Rating: 10/10, my knight in shinning mineral oil.