Tuesday, 8 July 2014

SkinChemists Bee Venom Repair & Protect

SkinChemists Bee Venom Repair & Protect* - £79.95

After being blown away the sheer amazingness of SkinChemists Rapid Facial mask I had high hopes for this bee venom-infused skin treatment. There's been a lot of buzz about products with bee venom in ever since people like Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue & Kate Middleton declared themselves as fans. But is it a gimmick or is bee venom really the answer to all your skin woes? Bee venom contains a peptide called Melittin. Applying this substance tricks your body into thinking you’ve been stung for real which causes your skin to increase it's collagen production & promotes healing. It's similar to a topical version of Botox because it essentially paralyses the skin to keep it from wrinkling. It also has anti-bacterial properties which can help to heal blemishes.

SkinChemists have used this science behind the skin benefits of bee venom to create the Bee Venom Repair & Protect. This is a targeted treatment that claims to soothe & heal blemishes and have an instant effect on the visibility of spots. Alongside the bee venom this product features Manuka honey which is well known for it's anti-microbial & anti-inflammatory properties. It hydrates & heals the skin, naturally enhancing the skin renewal process. Another key ingredient is Allantoin which promotes further healing. The treatment itself comes in a little tube with an applicator wand. You simply use this to apply the product directly onto the affected area. It smells a bit like a mixture of alcohol & honey. The white substance feels smooth & creamy and is pleasant to use. Just in case you were concerned about the whole bee sting thing, don't worry, bee venom products aren't painful at all. It dries invisible with a matte finish so it would be great to keep with you for continued application throughout the day. The tube is easy to pop in your handbag & it can be used on clean skin or on top of your makeup.

Unfortunately this did nothing for my blemishes. Even when I kept on applying it several times a day it did nothing for the pain, size or appearance of my spots. I don't know if it's because my skin has become accustomed to acids & retinol that it hasn't worked for me but I would've expected this to have at least some effect on my active spots. The Manuka honey kept the area hydrated but otherwise my skin didn't benefit from this product. I can't say that I think it's worth that hefty price tag at all. For eighty quid I would expect a spot treatment to completely eradicate my blemishes within hours. It was certainly an interesting concept but sadly I don't think bee venom products are for me.

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Beauty Duos: Fast Drying Nails

Mavala Mavadry Spray / Mavala Mavadry Top Coat

There's nothing worse than spending ages manicuring your nails to perfection only to smudge them ten minutes later. As a busy mum I never have time to let my nails dry properly. If I want to paint my nails I have to get it done fast which inevitably leads to smears & fabric imprints. For years I've relied on Seche Vite to speed up the drying process but it still wasn't quick enough for me. I'm not too keen on the excessive gloopiness or how it makes your polish peel either. But I've finally come across a solution. Enter this marvellous Mavala Mavadry twosome.

The Mavadry top coat is one of the fastest drying top coats I've come across. It gets to work right away leaving your manicure touchable within a matter of seconds. It appears pale pink in the bottle but applies clear giving your nail polish an incredible glossy finish. Your nails still look wet long after the polish has dried. It doesn't make your polish peel or shrink but it isn't that great at preventing chips. However if you combine it with a good basecoat (my current fave is Sally Hansen Maximum Growth) then your nails will be totally sorted for about a week.

After applying the top coat I like to finish things off with the Mavadry spray. This really cements everything into place & encourages further drying to prevent any chance of smearage. You just need to wait a minute for your top coat to fully dry & then spray this over each nail from about 30cm away. This extra coat reduces chipping & adds lustre with even more protection. It has an oily texture which adds a hint of moisture whilst it dries the polish. The smell is a bit chemical but it's worth it to be able to use your hands again so soon after painting your nails. It's a quick routine for perfectly polished nails. Although you can use the top coat & spray separately I think they complement each other brilliantly. Sometimes good products become truly great when you combine them together.

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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Active Concentrate

Eucerin DermoPurifyer Active Concentrate* - £9

If you've been reading my blog for a while then I shouldn't have to explain my lurve of acidic skincare products. If not then you should know that products containing alpha hydroxy acids are fantastic at clearing up all kinds of skin problems, especially acne. The acid that I've found to be most effective on the type of blemishes I'm prone to is lactic acid. My holy grail Elemis cleanser features lactic acid found in fruit enzymes which makes it gentle enough to use every day. However if you're really suffering from bad spots then an acidic cleanser might not be enough for your skin considering you're gonna wash it all off a minute later. So when Escentual introduced me to their latest skincare brand Eucerin, their DermoPurifyer Active Concentrate immediately caught my eye.

The DermoPurifyer range is Eucerin's collection of blemish busting products. They work by fighting against four key factors responsible for the formation of acne & blemished skin which are: excessive sebum production, clogged pores, bacteria growth & inflammation. Most of the products in this line contain either salicylic or lactic acid. The reason I was so interested in the Active Concentrate is because this is a lightweight serum that uses lactic acid. It's a highly potent spot fighting serum making it ideal for those wanting to achieve optimum results in a short amount of time. The acid in this product has a comedolytic effect which means that it unclogs pores & reduces comedones. One of the other ingredients in this product, decandiol, helps to prevent the further development of blemishes so Active Concentrate is also recommended as a preventative measure to keep your skin looking clear in the long run.

The formula is very light & fluid so it sinks into the skin quite easily & makes my skin feel silky. I tend to only apply it where my skin looks a bit congested or is breaking out. I've been using this at night before applying my moisturiser because I'm a bit paranoid about overdoing it with the AHAs during the Summer. If you have really oily skin Eucerin claim that you could get away with just using this instead of a moisturiser. Don't forget to apply sun protection afterwards though! One thing I cannot stand about this product is the smell. It's like a mixture of industrial strength soap & old man aftershave. Luckily it soon dissipates & you can't smell it at all. Pungent or not, the effects are well worth it. I've been using this product for about a month now and I've definitely noticed that I've had less congestion & fewer angry blemishes. I struggle to shift the little bumps on my forehead but this has worked really well on them. It's not quite as effective on my closed comedones as retinol is but this is light enough to use everyday without being harsh on the skin. Plus you can also apply it before your makeup to help fight against spots during the day as well as at night. Active Concentrate is a very affordable yet effective way of clarifying the skin & it's so easy to slip this product into your current skincare routine.

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