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

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. 

 

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.

NUXE Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute 24 hr Soothing and Rehydrating Fresh Mask | Review

Oh my gosh, what an absolute mouthful! I received this full size bottle of NUXE Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute 24hr Soothing Rehydrating Fresh Mask as part of October’s Glossybox subscription. Turns out I unsubscribed at the start of the month, but not in time to avoid being charged and sent this month’s wares. It’s okay though – I’ve been wanting to try this brand for a long time, so I’m actually quite pleased to have received a full size bottle for only £10 (plus the various other bits and bobs you get from Glossybox).

I find this product a little confusing. It’s a “24 hour rehydrating mask”; the instructions on the back say you can either apply it to the face, leave it 10 minutes and wash off, or massage it in and leave it on. Okay. What, exactly, is the point in washing it off? I’d understand if it contained ingredients that could irritate the skin or if it left a residue like clay masks, but I don’t see the point in going to the trouble of removing it if you can just as easily rub it in and gain more benefits. It sounds like a glorified moisturiser to me. 

Anyway, it’s performance: it’s a very light lotiony type consistency, and doesn’t irritate when applied, even around the eye area. It smells lovely – fresh and delicate, but not overwhelming. It feels like it hasn’t absorbed properly, leaving a sort of sheen. I guess this is why it says you can wash it off? I still think it would probably be okay under makeup. I left it on overnight, woke up and my skin was still sort of sheeny. After washing my face, my skin look beautifully plump and hydrated.

Great results, but honestly? I get the same kind of effect applying a layer of Vaseline or Nivea Creme when I go to bed. Perhaps it delivers a surge of moisture in a shorter space of time, hence why it says you can wash it off after 10 minutes? I don’t know. Either way, as nice as it is, I wouldn’t buy the full size version of NUXE Creme Fraiche de Beaute 24hr Soothing and Rehydrating Fresh Mask *inhales deeply*.

Have you tried NUXE Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute 24 hr Soothing and Rehydrating Fresh Mask? Does your jaw ache after saying that 5 times? Because mine does.


Consistency: Light and fresh feeling.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 4/5. No irritation and suitable for the eye area. Watch out for that fragrance though.

Price: Usually £19.50 but currently on offer a FeelUnique.

Overall Rating: 7/10. Taking NUXE Creme Fraiche de Beaute 24hr Soothing and Rehydrating Fresh Mask as it is, it works great, smells nice, doesn’t irritate. Lovely product, but I definitely think there are better (and less expensive) products out there that deliver the same or better results.

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser (normal/combination) | Review

After being blown away by Liz Earle’s famous and well-respected Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser, I had really high hopes for this moisturiser by the same brand. I like Liz Earle’s ethos of being natural and gentle, even though I don’t always agree that natural is better (as I’ve probably made abundantly clear in numerous other blog posts), and the fact that all the ingredients are traceable and ethical as possible only makes the brand more likeable. Which makes it a shame, really, how disappointing this moisturiser was.

During a visit to Monsieur Raptor’s far-away home, I discovered that I’d forgotten the most important step in my skincare regime – moisturiser! As my skin dries out really easily when I skin this product, I needed some ASAP, and the fact that my skin is ridiculously temperamental made it very hard to choose something that wouldn’t irritate. As I had plenty of my usual moisturiser in stock at home, I thought it would be fun to try something new, and after having great success with Cleanse & Polish, it made sense to try this. The SA in John Lewis recommended the normal/combo skin version because even though my skin is typically dry, I wanted something that would perform well under makeup.

Unfortunately, I found Liz Earle’s Skin Repair Moisturiser is not particularly hydrating, but also greasy – like it didn’t sink in, but rather sat on top of my face. This made it terrible under makeup, causing my foundation so slide off and look patchy, while also giving my random patches of dryness around my face, something that never happens when I use my HG moisturiser.

It has quite a nice, earthy-herbal sort of smell, and looks and feels thick and luxurious, but it turns sort of watery and thin when it’s on the face. I think it leaves an oily film on top of the skin because of the high oil-content. The ingredients list looks impressive and natural, but I just think it wasn’t hydrating enough for my dry/sensitive skin.

While I wouldn’t say it was irritating, as in it didn’t hurt or sting, it did leave my skin quite red and dry, so for this reason, I probably wouldn’t recommend for sensitive skins.

Perhaps if I’d purchased the dry/sensitive skin version, it would have worked better for me – the reason I bought this is partly my fault, and partly the sales assistant’s fault: I expressed that I needed something that would go well under makeup, but had dry skin; she suggested this when she was aware that I had dry skin. It’s okay though, she was only trying to help, and probably didn’t know how dry my skin would be, and thought this would work.

Have you tried Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser? How did it work for you?


Consistency: Looks/feels thick and luxurious, until it goes on the face, then it’s watery and thin.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 2/5. Didn’t itch, burn, or sting, but made my face red.

Price: £19.25 for 50ml

Overall Rating: 5/10. I feel it’s unfair to give this a really low rating as it’s not the appropriate product for my skin type, and might work really well for those with oilier skin. I also like that it’s not tested on animals, so it gains points for that.

Steamcream | Review

Incase you’ve haven’t already heard about it (I hadn’t until about 2 weeks ago), Steamcream is a relatively new brand of skincare with an all-natural vibe. The concept is pretty interesting – their website tells us the following:

STEAMCREAM represents the latest concept in skincare. Freshly handmade using high-quality, natural ingredients that are fused together by a shot of steam. This unique method makes the cream very lightweight, providing long-lasting hydration for the face. The texture also makes it a perfect nourishing treat for your body and hands too.”

I’m not really sure exactly how fusing it together with steam manages to create this kind of formula, or why this particular formula is supposedly more hydrating than any other. It all sounds very pseudo-scientific to me. I do like the fact that it’s ethical and eco-friendly, not tested on animals, and that all the ingredients are traceable (and explained on their site, which is both useful and informative). I also love that the product comes in tins with loads of different designs which are discontinued after a while. This creates a great “collect ’em all” kind of mentality. Great marketing there. For all these reasons, I really want to like the product, but they don’t really matter in terms of its performance; so let’s get down to the product itself…

The Product

The website boasts ingredients such as oats, cocoa butter, almond oil, lavender essential oil and loads of other lovely natural goodies. Here’s my problem: natural doesn’t always mean good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about nature. Fucking love the outdoors, me. I’m all for ethical goods that aren’t tested on animals, and I like the idea of keeping things as simple as possible, but just because something is “all natural”, it doesn’t mean it’s going to do your skin any good.

Take lavender essential oil for example: it’s a known irritant to the skin, and can actually cause skin cell death. Sure, it smells nice and is derived from nature…but why would you include something that’s known to irritate in a skincare product for the face? It’s silly. 

Anyway, the performance: The moisturiser is lovely and quite silky feeling when you first touch it, with a delicate, earthy, lavender scent. Some reviews have said it’s gross, but I rather like it. Reminds me of fresh air or something. When rubbed into the skin, it turns kinda watery and a bit weird. I’m not sure how I feel about that because it doesn’t feel rich enough to be moisturising, but leaves a film on the face. It’s all very confusing for me. 

Because it leaves a film, this might lead you to believe it’s bad under makeup, but this isn’t entirely the case. I’ve found that after leaving it a minute or two, or applying primer over the top, it’s mostly okay. Not the best, but not awful.

It didn’t irritate my skin at all, in fact I think it was quite soothing – probably down to the oats, which are often used in products aimed at eczema sufferers. Perhaps this cancels out the irritating lavender I mentioned earlier, which is probably in a low concentration and there purely to provide a little scent? 

My main concern is that I think it gave me spots. I don’t often get spots, but after using this over a weekend, I started breaking out a little on my cheeks. I may be wrong, but I stopped using it, so I’m not entirely sure. I’ve decided to give it another go anyway, because I love the concept of the brand, and the tins are just too pretty (I got the Marrakech one). 

I’m not sure how right I am about this, but I’ve heard it’s made by the same people who make LUSH products. It certainly smells and feels like a LUSH moisturiser, and shares the same ethos, but I think it performed a little better than LUSH’s (that’s if it wasn’t what broke me out).

I may update this review in a few weeks when I’ve tried it again.


Consistency: Weird. Silky, but oily and watery at the same time, which sounds very confusing and is.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 3.5/5. Didn’t irritate my skin, but watch out for that lavender and potential breakouts.

Price: £12.95, which I think is okay as you get 75ml, which is quite a decent amount. It’s available online, in John Lewis and some Tesco and Urban Outfitters stores.

Overall Rating: 6/10. While I love the concept, and want to like this so hard, I’m concerned that it gave me spots. I’ll update in a few weeks once I’d tried it again.

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Lightly Whipped Body Buttercream | Review

What a mouthful! I bought this because it smells absolutely delicious – practically edible (although, sadly, it’s not, so don’t go tasting it, no matter how tempted you are). This is probably due to its impressive list of featured ingredients: pistachio oil, almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil. 

It’s quite pricey, but you get an awful lot for your money – 500ml will last you quite a while. I had the same amount of Soap & Glory’s Righteous Butter for Christmas and I’m still not finished with it, so this is worth the investment. 

It has an odd texture. I definitely understand why they’ve called it “whipped” and “buttercream” (and various other food-inspired adjectives) because this is the texture of whipped cream. If you run a finger though it, you won’t pick any up, you’ll leave a dent in it, almost like silly putty (as you can see below). It’s unlike any other moisturiser I’ve ever used, but it’s lovely. Creamy, silky, hydrating. Amazing.

I have a bit of a problem with tub packaging because it’s so unhygienic, and a bit fiddly, so this loses a few points for that reason. There’s nothing appealing about shoving your dirty old paws into a moisturiser, leaving whatever grossness is on them in the pot. It’s a very pretty pot, however, with a retro design and lots of jibberish about “intensive 5 oil super nourishing formula” or something. Whatever, it smells good and hydrated my scaly, reptilian legs. 

My favourite things about it are the smell, how moisturising it is, and the fact that it doesn’t leave skin feeling really greasy. There’s nothing worse than moisturising and then having to wait around to get dressed because you feel like a massive greaseball. Because it’s quite heavily fragranced, it may upset some skins. Mine’s pretty delicate, but my body is mostly okay, just my face gets irritated ridiculously easily, so if you have severe eczema, this may not be the best for you.


Consistency: Really unusual – the best way I can describe it is like jelly or silly putty.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 3/5. I’ve had no problems, but it may irritate some delicate flowers because of the fragrance.

Price: £10.50 for 500ml.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10. Lovely and hydrating, but not as much as some moisturisers. Smells amazing, feels a bit weird. Overall, Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Lightly Whipped Body Buttercream is a winner for me!

Soap & Glory “Feel Good Factor Translucent BB Cream SPF25” | Review

This is my go-to day moisturiser. If I’m leaving the house and it’s particularly sunny (or even sometimes when it’s not), chances are, I’ll be wearing this under my makeup. I’ve been quite loyal to this little tube for about 2 years now, because it just ticks all the right boxes for me. I’ve flirted with other moisturisers, even used some of them for quite a while, but I think I’ll always come back to this one.

Here’s a few reasons why I love it…

  • It doesn’t sting my skin. This is probably the most important thing on my checklist, because my skin is super fussy. 
  • It has a generous SPF. I’m not a fan of SPF in foundations because they’re usually not high enough to protect sufficiently, plus it’s pointless for night time wear, and causes a ghostly white flashback in pictures. I prefer to use a separate SPF in a moisturiser, and this one has SPF 25, which is very good for everyday use (you might want to use something 30+ for a super-hot midsummer day at the beach).
  • It doesn’t break me out. I don’t normally have issues with breakouts, except for the odd hormonal spot, but it’s still good to know this agrees with my skin enough not to cause spots to rear their ugly heads.
  • It feels okay under makeup. Not amazing, but better than most SPF moisturisers, and a primer normally helps make things stay in place. It leaves skin a little greasy, but nowhere near as much as some moisturisers; it’s fine after it sinks it, and doesn’t make my face oily throughout the day. 
  • It’s not ridiculously expensive. It costs £12 for 50ml from Boots, which I think is pretty reasonable. Boots often has offers on their Soap & Glory stuff anyway, so you can usually pick up something free or half price with this.
  • It’s readily available in most Boots stores (they’re bloody everywhere).
You can't really see it properly from this picture, but it's a yellow-tinted colour.
You can’t really see it properly from this picture, but it’s a yellow-tinted colour.

The packaging used to be very pretty, with a shiny tube and some retro designs, but S&G has had a bit of a re-brand lately with their skincare, probably in a bid to be taken more seriously. As a result, the new packaging is quite a plain-looking white tube, which looks very clinical, and almost like toothpaste. I must be honest: I prefer the old packaging. It was less cumbersome, and much prettier, but unless it’s really fiddly, packaging generally doesn’t bother me ; it’s what’s inside that counts 🙂

My other issue is that it’s now being marketed as a BB cream. It is definitely not a BB cream! At least in the traditional sense, anyway – it has no coverage/pigment in it to hide redness and blemishes, or act like a tinted moisturiser, so don’t expect that. In my mind it’s just a really great moisturiser, and really doesn’t need to marketed as a BB cream, because it definitely isn’t one, and I can’t stress that enough.

10/10 from me.

What’s your go-to everyday moisturiser?

Neal’s Yard Frankincense Hydrating Cream & Power Berry Moisturiser | Reviews

I’m going to be completely honest here and address the elephant in the room: these smell repugnant. There, I said it. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. I bought mine on eBay for a reduced price, but you can pick them up from the Neal’s Yard website and John Lewis.

As I’ve already mentioned, this stuff smells quite potent. It’s a very strong, musky sort of smell, which I imagine is the frankincense. I wouldn’t really know, to be honest, my knowledge of frankincense is limited to what I’ve learned from Primary School nativity plays. Come to think of it, I don’t even know what it looks like *TO GOOGLE!* oh, okay, so it looks like a bunch of rocks? Cool, I guess. I’ve also found out that it’s an “aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia”. Right, so it’s basically tree jizz. Well, whatever, it smells a bit gross, let’s move on, shall we?

Its consistency is very thick and goopy, while also being a bit greasy, so it makes a great night cream. Combine that with the aromatherapy from the tree jizz, and it’s a pretty relaxing moisturiser to use. I’ve patch tested it a few times and it hasn’t broken me out, so props for that. I’ve done some more Googling on frankincense (somebody stop me, I’m out of control) and apparently it used to be applied to wounds to make them heal, and it can soothe skin and stop itching. I haven’t noticed any of these properties, but it’s still a nice moisturiser. 

I’m not keen on the jar packaging ’cause even though it looks pretty, I find it gross poking my disgusting fingers into my moisturiser.

It hasn’t stung me, and it makes my skin plump and hydrated. Not convinced it’s worth the price tag yet, but we’ll see.


Consistency: Thick, a bit greasy. Stinks. Looks a bit green in colour.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Price: £24.75 for 50g from Neal’s Yard’s website.

Overall Rating: 8/10. Lovely moisturiser which hasn’t broke me out, but I’m not sure I’d pay £25 for it.

This one also stinks up the place, but not as much as the Frankincense one. It has a lighter scent which sort of reminds me of cornflour or something else floury. It’s much lighter in consistency, so it makes a great day moisturiser. I’d like a little SPF if I’m going to be using it as a day moisturiser, which is a shame because it’s so lovely and light, and great under makeup (probably due the lack of SPF; it’s a vicious cycle). I also like that it comes in a tube rather than a jar. Much more hygienic. It hasn’t stung me at all, which is great, and I think this one is much more reasonably priced.


Consistency: Very light, nice under makeup.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Price: £12 for 50ml, which is sort of reasonable, if you’re not looking for SPF.

Overall Rating: 8/10. I’d like some SPF in a day moisturiser, but it’s still great under makeup, so it could be used with an SPF foundation.

Avene Skincare Samples | Reviews

I had a wonderful surprise on Thursday when I came home from work to find that a little package from Avene had arrived. If you complete the skincare questionnaire on their website, they ask for your details (name, address etc.), you create an account, and they’ll send you some products based on your skin analysis. I think this is a lovely gesture, and more skincare companies – especially those targeting problem skin – should do it.

So here’s what they recommended for me:

Redness-relief moisturising protecting emulsion (SPF 20)

This is a lovely little moisturiser with a slight green tint for neutralizing any redness in the face. The texture is lovely and not at all greasy, especially considering it’s got an SPF in it (quite generous, and definitely enough protection for daily use), which means it’s great for applying makeup over because it doesn’t take ages to absorb properly.

It doesn’t upset my sensitve skin, and I’ve been using it every day since Thursday (so that’s 4 days), and it hasn’t broken me out yet. I normally find that if a moisturiser is going to break me out, I will see signs of spots by day 2, so it’s looking good. It has a very mild, almost baby powder-like scent, which is unoffensive, doesn’t linger, and my skin doesn’t detect it enough to be irritated. A good all-round moisturiser which I would probably buy.

Consistency: Somewhere between a lotion and a cream. Hydrating without being too thick, and not at all greasy, despite having an SPF.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5.

Price: The full size bottle is £14.50 for 40ml.

Overall Rating: 8/10. I think it could lose the unnecessary scent, which could upset some skins, and it’s a little overpriced. But still lovely, and worth it if it’s within your budget.

 

Extremely Gentle Cleasner 

This is a funny, semi-transparent cleanser which is not quite a liquid and not quite a gel. You squirt it onto a cotton pad and wipe over your face, or apply straight onto the face and wipe it off with a cotton pad to remove dirt and makeup (I prefer the former method). It doesn’t sting, left my skin soft, and seems to do a good job of removing grime. It has a faint, clean smell.  

Consistency: Not quite a gel, not quite a liquid.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Price: £8 for 200ml. Very reasonable.

Overall Rating: 8/10. I’d probably feel the need to use something more heavy-duty for waterproof eyeliner, or more heavy makeup, but still a lovely cleanser for sensitive skin.

Overall, Avene has impressed me by living up to their reputation as being great for sensitive skin, and I’d like to explore their range more deeply!