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Is Your Skin Stressed? How To Recognise The Signs

Despite how hard you may try to ignore it, eventually, stress stops being purely in your head and starts affecting other areas of your body. You may be able to ignore those niggly aches and pains that start to surface, but there’s simply no denying the effect that stress has on your skin. 

Whether you’re under a lot of stress at work or are juggling too many plates at home, your skin will be one of the first places to show the signs of it. Often, we don’t link the two, seeing those fine lines and blemishes as just another untimely thing to deal with, but by dealing with the stress head-on, you can actually improve your complexion along with your mental health.


Accelerated Ageing

Believe it or not, stress can lead to premature ageing, causing fine lines and wrinkles to appear. It’s believed that the reason for this is that stress releases a hormone called cortisol, which has been shown to break down collagen. Collagen, as we know, is one of the compounds that help skin elasticity and firmness. So, during times of stress, we really can age overnight!

Caudalie Moisturisers
Resvératrol [Lift] Face Lifting Soft Cream 50ml

Our Price: £42.00


Acne and Blemishes

Although stress doesn’t directly cause acne, it does trigger some of the factors which lead to breakouts. Heightened stress increases the action in our adrenal glands, the part of our body that produces adrenaline and cortisol. Unfortunately, these adrenal glands also stimulate the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for oil production. Lo and behold, when we’re stressed, our skin becomes oilier, setting the stage for acne breakouts.

And it isn’t only those of us prone to acne that suffer from skin issues during stress. Stress can also increase blood flow and widen capillaries, making skin appear blotchy, red and inflamed. It’s a no-win situation!

Clinique Serums & Treatments
Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel 30ml
RRP: £22.00 (Save 15%)

Our Price: £18.70


Dryness

You may think that if stress triggers oil production, those of us with typically dry skin will reap the benefits. Sadly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Those dastardly adrenal glands are once again the cause of skin troubles, this time due to the spike of adrenaline they produce. Adrenalin triggers the eccrine (sweat) glands, causing us to sweat more and risk dehydration. Unless you’re keeping yourself well hydrated (which, let’s face it, falls off the priority list when we’re under stress), your skin will pay the price.

Weleda
Body Care –
Skin Food 75ml

RRP: £12.95 (Save 10%)

Our Price: £11.65


Dullness

Dull skin? But didn’t we just say that stress increases blood flow? This is yet another example of how our skin bears the brunt of the stress. While circulation does indeed increase during times of stress, that circulation is concentrated around the vital organs as part of our inbuilt fight or flight response. Meanwhile, our skin goes without, leading to a lacklustre, dull complexion which makes us look tired and poorly. 

Valmont Hydration
Moisturising Booster 20ml
RRP: £116.00 (Save 17%)

Our Price: £95.90


Helping Stressed Skin

So, it’s not just your imagination, during times of stress, you really do like as bad as you feel. You could apply some extra concealer and highlighter and hope for the best, but we’d advocate fixing the cause, not the symptom. Take the time to learn some easy 5-minute mindfulness tricks to help bring down your cortisol levels during the day and ensure you’re staying hydrated for the sake of your skin. 

When it comes to your skincare routine, stress can throw a spanner in the works, but you can prevent damage by making sure you cleanse well every evening and use a good quality moisturiser for your skin type. 


Stress is unavoidable, we all have to face it at some point. But taking care of yourself is key to coming out the other side of it.

Time For You

Hands up if you’re getting enough “me time” right now? Anyone? That’s what we thought. Taking time to prioritise your own physical and mental wellbeing can often feel like an indulgence. There’s washing to be done, dishes to do, box sets to catch up on… we get it! But the old adage that you can’t pour from an empty cup really is true, and something all of us, particularly if we have family members depending on us, should take heed of.  

Where does one even start on this self-care journey? Fret not allbeauty readers, as always, we’re here to point you in the right direction. Here are a few easy tasks you can incorporate into your day to make sure you stay looking and feeling great all week long.


Monday: Start the Week Hydrated

Eugh, Mondays. The weekend is officially over and its straight back to the daily grind. Do yourself a favour and make Monday the day you really focus on hydrating yourself.

Water Splash Wide - Time for You

Too many of us dip in and out of dehydration simply because we forget to sip on a bottle of water throughout the day. Well, no more! Starting with just one day a week, focus on getting enough water into your system, the rest will follow.  

For bonus points, throughout the day give your face a spritz with Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Hydrating Mist to hydrate from the outside-in. 

Elizabeth Arden - Time for You

Elizabeth Arden

Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist 100ml

RRP £21.00 (Save 25%)

Our Price: £15.70


Tuesday: Hair Care and Chill

Combine two self-care winners into one, by taking care of your tresses while enjoying some downtime on the sofa. We may not be able to get to the salon, but with such a great range of hair treatments available, its never been easier to bring the salon experience into the comfort of your own home.

Hair care - Time for You

One of our favourites is multi-award winning Olaplex Hair Perfector No.3, designed to repair and restore the hair’s cuticle. And better still, it works best when left for at least 10 minutes, so grab a cuppa, put your feet up, and let it do its thing.

Olaplex Hair Perfector - Time for You

Olaplex Hair Perfector

RRP £26.00 (Save 33%)

Our Price: £17.35


Wednesday: Put Your Best Face Forward

You’ve made it to hump day, the weekend is in sight! Prep that skin for whatever the rest of the week throws at you with an at-home facial.

Face Mask - Time for You

Now, in a perfect world we’d all be regularly exfoliating and using a face mask, but let’s face it, sometimes life gets in the way! Once a week, make skincare your priority and take the time to give yourself a quality facial. Cleanse as normal, then use an appropriate exfoliator to remove any dead cells and dirt, before applying a moisturising face mask. Your skin will thank you!

 Clarins Exfoliators & Masks - Time for You

Clarins Exfoliators & Masks

One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser 125ml

RRP £21.00 (Save 12%)

Our Price: £18.45

 

 Omorovicza Budapest Face Masks - Time for You

Omorovicza Budapest Face Masks

Ultramoor Mud Mask 50ml

RRP £68.00 (Save 25%)

Our Price: £51.00


Thursday: Early To Bed, Early to Rise

We know it’s not the most glamorous form of self-care, but getting an early night can make a world of difference to your energy levels, mood and general sense of wellbeing. At least once a week, try to climb into bed an hour earlier than usual. In general, we need around 8 hours of sleep a night, but another few hours will only do you good!

Sleep - Time for You

Changing your sleep habits can be difficult, so if you find yourself wide-eyed and staring at the ceiling, try creating an environment more conducive to sleep. Settling down with a good book can tip the scales toward sleep, and relaxing scents can also help lull you off to the land of nod.

Neom Organics London Scent To Sleep - Time for You

Neom Organics London Scent To Sleep

Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist 30ml

Our Price: £20.00


Friday: Soak Up The Weekend

Ooooh yeah! Do you have that weekend feeling yet? Will it be a spot of gardening, catching up with friends online or enjoying lazy mornings with the paper? Well, there’s no better way to say farewell to the working week than by washing your stress away with a good long soak in the tub. Nothing is quite as relaxing as submerging yourself into a hot bath. Nothing, that is, except for submerging yourself into a hot bath that has added sumptuousness.

Bath and Body - Time for You

Get all sudsy with one of our foamy bath soaks, unwind aching muscles with a fragrant bath oil, or feel the fizz with one of the gorgeous range of Bomb Cosmetics bath bombs. Additional fizz in the form of a glass of wine optional, but always recommended. It’s officially the weekend, after all.

Rituals The Ritual of Dao - Time for You

Rituals The Ritual of Dao

Go With the Flow Bath Foam 500ml

RRP £13.90 (Save 5%)

Our Price: £13.20

 

 Elemental Herbology Five Element Bath & Body Oils - Time for You

Elemental Herbology 

Five Element Bath & Body Oil – Water Soothe 145ml

Our Price: £28.00

Watercolours Gift Pack - Time for You

Bomb Cosmetics

Watercolours Gift Pack

RRP £15.00 (Save 11%)

Our Price: £13.40


Saturday: Fingers and Toes

The weekend is an ideal time for those self-care tasks that you can’t make time for during the week. Carve an hour out of your day to put on your favourite music, grab a biscuit or something equally delicious, and get the mani/pedi kit out.

Mani/Pedi - Time for You

Our feet and hands are so hard-working, but they rarely get shown the same attention we give to our face and hair. Pamper yourself with a moisturising foot mask, while you deal with those cuticles and touch up your nails.

3 Pack Rosy Toes Instant Pedicure - Time for You

Seoulista Beauty

3 Pack Rosy Toes Instant Pedicure

RRP £21.50 (Save 11%)

Our Price: £19.20

 

L'Occitane Shea Butter Nail & Cuticle Oil - Time for You

L’Occitane

Shea Butter Nail and Cuticle Oil

RRP £14.00 (Save 10%)

Our Price: £12.60


Sunday: Don’t You Scrub Up Well!

After a full seven days of embracing “me time”, how will you end your week? Perhaps its time for another face mask, an extra early night, or one last soak in the tub? Well, why not do something different with your Sunday by giving yourself a spa-quality body scrub from the comfort of home?

Body Scrub - Time for you

At a cost of £60+ a session, a professional body scrub is a great way to slough off the dry skin or lotion build-up that makes your skin uneven. And if you’re willing to put in the work yourself (or can rope in a willing partner), you can get the same results at home. Try our favourites, urban spa and luxury beauty brand Rituals, or 100% handmade, vegan friendly Bomb Cosmetics.

 

Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Body Scrub - Time for You

Rituals The Ritual of Sakura

Body Scrub 250g

RRP £14.90 (Save 10%)

Our Price: £13.40

 

 

Bomb Cosmetics Body Scrub & Polish - Time for You

Bomb Cosmetics

Scrubology Body Scrub 400g

RRP £7.99 (Save 19%)

Our Price: £6.45


There really is no excuse for not creating a small window in your day to take care of yourself, inside and out. So, get started today and start investing in the “me time” movement.

Was this helpful? If so, shop all Uniquely You products or read similar articles at allbeauty.com

Stop! Did You Wash Your Hands?

It’s never been more important to wash your hands properly. Are you doing it right?

We all know how to wash our hands, right? Well, it turns out the majority of us actually haven’t been doing it properly (me included, this is a judgment-free zone). To make sure we’re all doing everything we can to protect those who need it most, here’s the low-down on proper hand-washing, including a few tips to make the whole thing a little more enjoyable.


The Equipment

To properly wash your hands, you need warm water, soap, and something to dry them afterwards. Simple enough? Well, these three little things can make all the difference to handwashing technique, especially if you’re getting one of them wrong.

Water

Many of us are guilty of not letting the water warm up enough before handwashing, and to adequately clean our hands, the temperature needs to be at least 38℃. Now, we’re not expecting everyone to start whipping out their thermometers, so to give you an idea of what 38℃ feels like, it should be warmer than body temperature. Think about how warm someone with a fever feels to the touch, that’s how warm the water should be, at least

Soap

Water alone isn’t enough to prevent viruses from spreading, which is where hand soap comes in, but here’s the thing… any soap will do, it doesn’t need to be anti-bacterial. Why? Well, antibacterial soaps are designed to kill bacteria, not viruses. The weakest part of a virus is its lipid bilayer, which is a fatty membrane that holds all the other bits together. Regular soap dissolves the fatty lipid layer, and so the virus essentially collapses and gets washed down the drain. So, by all means, use antibacterial soap if you want to, but it isn’t at all necessary for virus prevention. You can also choose between soap bars and liquid soap, but liquid soap does slightly reduce the risk of recontamination.

That being said, we’re all going to be doing a lot of handwashing over the next few months, so quality does count. Choose a soap that moisturises while it cleans, and look for scents that will make you actually look forward to washing your hands. Our current favourites are the new Neom Organics Scent To Make You Happy and L’Occitane Shea Butter Lavender Liquid Soap.

Hand Towel

Ideally, we’d all have a handy dryer to blast water off our hands, but the next best thing is a clean dry cloth. This should be changed out for a clean one daily, but if you have multiple people living at home or find the cloth is getting damp, change it more regularly. It’s also worth noting that anyone in the house who is in isolation should be using their own hand towel if a second bathroom isn’t available.

And don’t forget…

All that washing will be making your skin more likely to dry out. Replenish your skin’s moisture barrier by following up with a quality hand lotion. We love Molton Brown and Neal’s Yard Remedies, and in particular the Molton Brown Mulberry and Thyme Hand Lotion.


The Technique

Cleaning your hands is all about having the right technique, ensuring that any bacteria or viruses are removed from your skin. Here’s the step-by-step process:

Step 1. Wet hands with water and apply enough soap to cover hands (usually around two pumps).

Step 2. Rub palms together to lather.

Step 3. Rub back of each hand with your palm, interlacing fingers.

Step 4. Rub palm to palm again, this time interlacing fingers.

Step 5. Rub back of fingers to opposing palms, interlocking fingers.

Step 6. Rub each thumb by twisting it in the opposing fist.

Step 7. Rubs tips of fingers in the opposing palm. 

Step 8. Rub each wrist with the opposite hand.

Step 9. Rinse.

Step 10. Turn off the tap with your elbow.

Step 11. Dry hands thoroughly. 


The whole process should take at least 20 seconds when done correctly. Children are being taught to sing “Happy Birthday” twice through while hand washing, but here are a few suggestions you might prefer to try:

Dolly Parton – Jolene

“Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene/ I’m begging of you please don’t take my man/ Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene/ Please don’t take him just because you can”.

Culture Club – Karma Chameleon

“Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon/ You come and go, you come and go/ Loving would be easy if your colours were like my dreams/ Red, gold and green, red, gold and green”.

Toto – Africa

“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you/ There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do/ I bless the rains down in Africa/ Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”.

Or, if you’d like to sing something a little more on-the-nose, go with one of these classics:

• Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me

• Britney Spears – Toxic

• Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive

• MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This


Along with social distancing, washing your hands is the best way to keep yourself, and everyone around you, safe right now. Be vigilant and stay positive, folks. Shop all of our essentials here.

What To Do When You Can’t Go Out

In these “uncertain times”, many of us are going to find staying-in our new normal. For some, this will mean uninterrupted boxsets and taking the odd conference call in our pyjamas, for others, it will involve wrangling kids and moody teenagers who have severe cases of cabin-fever – some days, it may be a combination of all of the above. But whatever “isolation” looks like for you, it doesn’t have to be a total downer. 

If you look hard enough, you might just find a silver lining to this whole terrible business; time spent at home can give you the opportunity to do those things you haven’t found the time to get around to. And while we can’t give you any advice on gardening or redecorating, we can share some health and beauty products that might just take the edge off a long day.


Put Your Feet Up With A Foot Peel

If you haven’t tried one of these bad boys yet, let me tell you… there is nothing more satisfying than a good foot peel. Usually, the downside is that you have to plan it just right because your feet start peeling ‘at some point’ during the week after your treatment. Swimming pools? Out. Sandals? Out. You’ll be wanting to keep all eyes away from your feet until the dust has well and truly settled, so to speak. 

Of course, this makes it the perfect treatment to do when you’re guaranteed not to be leaving the house for a lengthy period. And as a bonus, it doubles as entertainment if you’re a “peeler” (think, PVA glue on your hand at school) – you’re welcome.

Baby Foot Exfoliation Foot Peel
RRP £14.99 (Save 25%)

Our Price: £11.20


Get A Head Start on Summer

Fingers crossed, we’ll all be back in the great outdoors this summer, so why not take off your winter coat? From IPL systems and epilators to razors and tweezers, we have everything you need to wave goodbye to body hair. While you’re at it, why not channel summertime-vibes by using a gradual-tanning cream, bringing a touch of colour to your newly smooth skin. 

Decleor Neroli Bigarade
Gradual Glow Face & Body 400ml
RRP £45.00 (Save 45%)

Our Price: £24.95


Fight The Inevitable Wrinkles

Whether it’s the pressures of working from home, the overarching worry about loved ones or the incessant declarations of “I’m bored” from a child who will. not. leave. you. alone – we’re all likely to gain a few fine lines over the coming weeks. As luck would have it, we’ve got just the thing for that!

From Philosophy, The Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel is a two-step peel that uses resurfacing crystals to buff away the outermost layer of dull skin, and a combination of lactic and salicylic acid to exfoliate at a cellular level. Usually, after this type of treatment, you’d protect your skin from the sun by slathering on a high SPF face cream, but with circumstances being as they are, you may as well just stay indoors and enjoy a hydrating mask instead – your skin will thank you!

philosophy
The Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel Kit
RRP £59.50 (Save 20%)

Our Price: £47.60


Master A New Makeup Look

Why not make the most of being away from prying eyes by trying out some new makeup techniques. Always wanted to try contouring but never had the time? Now’s the time for a Youtube tutorial and the Jane Iredale Contour Kit. Toyed with the idea of using eyeshadow to bring a pop of colour to your usual makeup? Try the Makeup Addiction Sinful Eyes Palette. From winged eyeliner to a daring red lip, now is the time to experiment.

Makeup Addiction
Eyeshadow Palettes Sinful Eyes Palette
RRP £35.00 (Save 36%)

Our Price: £22.25


However you choose to spend this time, it’s important that as well as caring for those around you, you remember to look after your own wellbeing. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourselves readers.

The allbeauty team.

Avena Sativa

A simple ingredient with a not-so-simple name, Avena sativa is better known as the humble oat. Used in everything from haircare to hand cream, Avena sativa packs a punch when it comes to nourishing dry and irritated skin. 

The chances are, if you suffer from the dreaded itch that comes with dry, sensitive skin, you’ll have already come across a product that lists Avena sativa amongst its active ingredients, but how does adding oats to skincare work, and does it live up to the hype?
Let’s find out.


What Is Avena Sativa

Avena Sativa - Ingredients

Avena sativa is the Latin name for a species of grass known as common oat. When the plant matures, its seeds become the oats that you buy from the supermarket, but if it is harvested while the plant is still green, its leaves and stem can be used to create oat straw extract. The extract is naturally high in iron, zinc, manganese and antioxidants, as well as having a number of reported health benefits. 

Avena sativa is available as a tincture, powder or capsule, and is often added into moisturisers for its soothing effect on the skin. The mature oats can also be used in skincare, being ground down to create a fine powder known as colloidal oatmeal.


How Does It Work?

It’s believed that oat straw extract may have a range of benefits to the body, including improving blood flow, boosting brain function and even stabilising mood. But while those aspects are still being studied, what we do know is that Avena sativa works wonders for dry and itchy skin. 

Oat straw extract contains a particular group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which have been found to reduce inflammation both internally and on the surface of the skin. In addition, many skincare products combine the extract with colloidal oatmeal, which has its own skin-benefits. 

Colloidal oatmeal creates a barrier on the skin to protect it against irritants and also contains water-binding polysaccharides and hydrocolloids which bind moisture to the skin and offer emollient properties. This moisturises dry skin and helps to maintain the skin’s natural pH balance.


Who Can Benefit From Using Avena Sativa?

Avena Sativa - Ingredients

As Avena sativa is a gentle, natural product which is well-tolerated, it can be used safely for all skin types. However, anyone who suffers from dry, itchy skin, and particularly those who struggle with eczema, will find Avena sativa particularly beneficial. 

While there are many products that fight the inflammation of dry and sensitive skin, not many can relieve the accompanying itch. With some moisturisers gentle enough for use on infants, a cream that combines colloidal oatmeal and oat straw extract is a lifesaver for soothing itchy skin, even during a flare. 


What Products Contain Avena Sativa?

Avena sativa can come under a range of names, depending on the type of product used. When searching for it in your ingredient list, look for oat straw (stem) or oat kernel (seeds). Here are just a few of the products you’ll find Avena sativa in:

For Hair

With its moisture-locking properties, its no surprise that oats make a fantastic ingredient for hair care, as in this Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo. Nourishing the delicate skin on the scalp and bringing hydration to dry, brittle hair, this shampoo strengthens hair from root to tip.

Weleda
Hair Care Oat Replenishing Shampoo 190ml
RRP £11.95 (Save 20%)

Our Price: £9.55

 

For Body

Is there anything worse than the feeling of razor burn? With oat kernel extract, Lab Series Razor Burn Relief Ultra soothes irritated skin and calms redness, while aiding the skins natural healing process. Best of all, it’s fragrance-free so it can be used by anyone unlucky enough to be dealing with razor induced itching.

LAB SERIES SHAVE
Razor Burn Relief Ultra Fragrance-Free 100ml
RRP £32.00 (Save 23%)

Our Price: £24.50

 

For Face

For a creamy moisturiser which deeply soothes and hydrates, Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Velvet Luminescence Moisturizing Cream is a great choice. With oat extract and hyaluronic acid, the cream offers superior hydration for smoother, brighter skin.

Givenchy Hydra Sparkling
Velvet Luminescence Moisturising Cream 50ml
RRP £47.50 (Save 13%)

Our Price: £41.45


Was this helpful? If so, you can view all of our Avena Sativa products and read similar articles at allbeauty.com/Ingredients

Explore Ingredients

Alcohol-Free Beauty: Should Your Skincare Be Teetotal?

With campaigns like Dry January getting ever more popular and a growing awareness of how too much alcohol can affect your long-term health, alcohol in skincare is now under the spotlight. But is alcohol really as bad for our skin as it can be for our health?


Alcohol in Skincare and Cosmetics 

Far more than just a way to help you unwind after a long week, alcohol is used in many different industries, from medicine to science. Ethanol, one of the best-known alcohols, is used in pharmaceuticals and fuels, as well as for sterilising hospital instruments. It’s also a common ingredient in skincare products and toiletries. 

So should you be concerned about alcohol in beauty products? With the Conscious Beauty skincare revolution in recent years, consumers are becoming more aware of what goes into the products they use in their beauty regime, and it’s true that alcohol can do damage to your skin’s natural layer of sebum. But not all alcohol is bad for your skin – certain alcohols can actually benefit your skin and should remain part of your beauty routine. We break down some of the main alcohols used in skincare and cosmetics.


Ethanol 

Alcohols like Ethanol, Isopropyl alcohol, Alcohol Denat, and Methanol are used to make creams feel lighter, help other ingredients to penetrate your skin, and act as a preservative. The downside is that these alcohols can cause dryness, irritation and breakouts, making them not so skin-friendly.

When used in high concentrations these alcohols wear down your skin’s protective barrier, making it less effective at retaining moisture. This also stimulates oil production, which could lead to breakouts if your skin already makes too much oil. So, you should avoid using lots of products with Ethanol or Ethyl alcohol as the main ingredient – especially if you’re prone to acne.

Products that don’t contain Ethanol, even if they have other kinds of alcohol (Cetyl, Stearyl, Cetearyl, or Lanolin alcohol – fatty alcohols with a different effect on the skin), may be labelled as “alcohol-free.”


Benzyl Alcohol

Although within the EU Benzyl Alcohol is a listed allergen, it’s also a necessary ingredient to keep organic and natural skincare products safe from bacteria. Benzyl Alcohol is found naturally in certain essential oils and is an approved preservative under the COSMOS Organic Certification criteria – because of this, it’s used by many natural and organic beauty brands. When used in the correct, low concentration it’s considered safe, but it’s always a good idea to do a patch test first to check it’s okay for your skin.

Caudalie Masks & Scrubs
Instant Detox Mask 75ml

Our Price: £22.00


 Fatty Alcohols

Fatty alcohols are derived from saturated vegetable fats like coconut oil or palm oil and are known to be beneficial for skin and hair. Commonly used as a thickener in beauty products like liquid foundations and moisturisers, this type of alcohol contains nourishing fatty acids and doesn’t damage the skin. Cetearyl, Stearyl, Cetyl and Behenyl alcohol are the most common fatty alcohols, so if you see these on the label of your skin care product, you should have nothing to worry about. 

Perricone MD Treatments
Cold Plasma Plus Face 59ml
Worth £258

Our Price: £89.95


So can alcohol be good for your skin? 

Put simply, it depends on the type of alcohol. Some alcohols can be harmless or even beneficial for your skin, while others can have negative effects. Different skin types also react differently to varying concentrations of alcohol in beauty products, so it’s always best to do a patch test when using a new product for the first time. 

Some ‘bad’ alcohols can also be acceptable when used in spot treatments such as to dry up an infection, even if it’s not a good idea to use them often or long-term. If you exclude every ingredient that ends in OH, which is the chemical abbreviation for alcohol, you might end up missing out on those alcohols with beneficial properties, like fatty alcohols. The key is to carefully read the label on your skincare products. If you see beauty products with Ethanol or Ethyl alcohol, denatured or SD alcohol, or Isopropyl, you’ll probably want to steer clear of them, to avoid the harmful effects on your skin such as dryness and irritation

Avoid Say Yes!
Ethanol Benzyl
Ethyl Cetearyl
SD Stearyl
Isopropyl Cetyl

Shop our most popular alcohol-free beauty products here. To find out more about Conscious Beauty, why not check out our other blogs?

Celebrating UK Beauty Brands

It’s British Science Week, which can only mean one thing… it’s time to celebrate some of the UK’s fantastic beauty brands! Yes, beauty is a science, and our line-up of pioneering British brands are taking the world by storm. 

Take a look at some of the great companies that began on UK shores, you may be surprised with just how many household names are homegrown. 


Elemis

Created in London in 1990, Elemis quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the world of beauty. Currently, the UK’s #1 luxury British skincare brand, Elemis not only have an array of award-winning products, but they also work with a number of spas to provide high-end treatments.

Our pick: try the multi-award-winning Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. Rich and nourishing, this balm is ideal for deeply cleansing all skin types. 


Molton Brown

Influencing the most renowned London noses since 1971, Molton Brown is the darling of Britains fragrance world. Their bath and body ranges can be found in homes across the globe, with limited edition fragrances keeping customers wrapt in attention. 

Our pick: for a fan favourite, try Molton Brown’s signature fragrance, the Orange and Bergamot Hand Wash. After all, no bathroom is complete without a “good soap” for those times you have guests pop over. 


Neal’s Yard Remedies

With their unmistakable blue glass bottles, Neal’s Yard has been turning heads since 1981. Selling aromatherapy and skincare products from their Covent Garden store, the business quickly expanded and now has more than 60 stores worldwide.

Our pick: allbeauty customers rave about the Neal’s Yard Frankincense Intense Lift Cream for its ability to hydrate and tone the skin. Containing omega fatty acids and hyaluronic acids, it’s perfect for mature skin.


Cowshed

From the emergence of their first spa in 1998, Cowshed has gone from strength to strength, bringing a touch of country calm to the lives of its busy customers. Animal-friendly and free of silicones, parabens and mineral oils, their products make the perfect gift for practically anyone. 

Our pick: find out what the hype is about and try a range of the best-selling favourites with the Cowshed Hand & Body Set. With hand cream, hand wash, body lotion and shower gel, you’ll be treated to the full Cowshed experience at home.


thisworks

Founded by health and beauty guru Kathy Phillips in 2003, thisworks was created to offer everyday skincare and sleep solutions to the British public. Their range of products uses aromatherapy to invoice the senses and contribute to wellbeing, with their pillow sprays in particular gaining worldwide attention.

Our pick: for the best thisworks experience, you have to try their Deep Sleep Pillow Talk Set. Featuring their best-selling Pillow Spray and a daytime roll-on, this set has everything you need for the ultimate in relaxation.


Noble Isle

Creators of luxury bath and body products, Noble Isle is one of the newest brands to make it big on UK shores. Established in 2011, the company uses local ingredients to showcase the best that our isle has to offer. With ten fragrance collections, you’re sure to find something you love.

Our pick: with the Heavenly Hamper Gift Set you can experience five of Noble Isle’s fragrances, including Tea Rose and Fireside.


So, next time you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, why not invest in Britain and buy local. Purchasing from UK brands not only helps to support local talent, but it also invests in local jobs and the growth of our economy. 

Shop all of the brands mentioned at allbeauty.com

How to Transition Your Skin Routine From Winter to Spring

The crocuses and daffodils have begun to bloom – it’s official, Winter is behind us. Throw off the woollen layers and say goodbye to wind-chapped lips, we can finally begin to enjoy the warmer, sunnier weather that has for so long been hiding from us. But before you rush out the door to find the nearest glass of Pimm’s, it’s time to give your skin routine an overhaul, ready for the new season. 

That’s right, it’s the time of year that we can put away our heavy-duty face oils and industrial-strength moisturisers, and introduce skincare products more suitable for the season. Where to begin? We’ve got you covered. 


Start Fresh With A Peel

For months your skin has taken a beating; central heating, high winds, freezing temperatures, it’s seen it all. That outermost layer of skin is probably looking dull, tired and… well, just a bit sad. 

Turn over a new leaf with a face peel, designed to encourage the turnover of that top layer of skin, revealing the fresh, supple skin beneath. For a quick treatment that does it all, you can’t go wrong with the philosophy Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel which includes Vitamin C and Peptide Resurfacing Crystals and a Lactic and Salicylic Acid Activating Gel. 

philosophy
The Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel Kit
RRP: £59.50 (Save 20%)

Our Price: £47.50

If you have sensitive skin or want to explore some of the other options available, browse our full range of resurfacing peels.


Step Down Your Moisturiser

The need for a thick and creamy moisturiser may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you should go without. A good skincare routine should involve using a quality moisturiser every day, but during Spring you can get away with a much lighter formulation.

We all have unique skin needs, but when it comes to a brand that delivers a great daily moisturiser, you can’t go wrong with Clinique. An ideal all-rounder, the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is suitable for most skin types and won’t clog pores. Or, for drier skin that needs a little more hydration, Moisture Surge’s lightweight gel, makes it a great choice for warmer weather. 

Clinique Moisturisers
Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
For Combination to Oily Skin 125ml

RRP: £31.00 (Save 10%)

Our Price: £27.90


And Don’t Forget The Decolletage!

As a side note to the importance of choosing the right moisturiser for Spring, it’s important to remember that it’s not just your face which will be saying hello to the sun. As the weather warms, lower necklines start making an appearance, so treat this delicate skin to an added hydration boost too. 

Prai Ageless Throat and Decolletage Creme is an ideal option for keeping those fine lines and signs of ageing at bay.

Prai Ageless
Throat & Decolletage Creme 50ml

Our Price: £25.00


Start (or Continue) Using Antioxidants

Antioxidants play an important role in protecting your skin for the future, but there isn’t quite as much need for them over Winter. The benefits of using an antioxidant are that they fight free radicals, which are the little blighters caused by oxidative stress, speeding up the ageing process of your skin cells. Two of the main things that trigger this process are the sun’s UV rays and pollution, both of which we’re exposed to more now that we’re back to spending more time outdoors.

We recommend using a stand-alone antioxidant instead of using a moisturiser that contains both. This ensures you can tailor how much of each you’re using daily, giving you the best overall results. Elizabeth Arden does a fantastic Anti-Aging Antioxidant Infusion which combines a wide range of antioxidants to seamlessly safeguard your skin.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage
Anti-Ageing Antioxidant Infusion Essence 140ml

Our Price: £39.95


Up Your SPF

This wouldn’t be a skincare article if we didn’t mention how important it is to use a good SPF. Over Winter, we can get away with using a moisturiser that includes a low-level SPF, but now that the sun has returned, it’s time to get serious. 

Keeping your SPF separate from your moisturiser ensures you’re getting enough coverage and that you can top it up when needed. Look for SPF50 for the best protection from the sun’s harmful rays. We stock sun defence products for all skin types, but by far our best-selling is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour SPF50 Sun Defense Cream.

Elizabeth Arden Environmental Defense
Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF50 50ml

RRP: £26.00 (Save 46%)

Our Price: £13.95


Cleanse, Cleanse and Cleanse Some More

Not only are you going to be using a daily SPF which, by design, clings to the skin, but you’re also more likely to sweat during the day. Fall behind in your cleansing, and that’s just begging for a breakout. If you don’t use the two-step cleansing method already, now is the time to start. Choose one heavier oil or balm cleanser to remove the make-up, sweat and SPF from your face, then repeat the process with a lighter water-based or milk cleanser to get deep into the pores and remove trace impurities. 

When it comes to allbeauty favourites, Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm has stood the test of time as a fantastic option for your first cleanse, with Sisley Lyslait Cleansing Milk a great way to finish.

Elemis Anti-Ageing
Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm 105g

RRP: £43.00 (Save 23%)

Our Price: £32.95

 

Sisley Lyslait
Cleansing Milk with White Lily for All Skin Types 250ml

RRP: £82.50 (Save 30%)

Our Price: £57.75

Leap Year: What Will You Do With Your Bonus Day?

Every four years we’re blessed with an astronomic anomaly – an extra day of the year. Since the dawn of the Gregorian calendar, we’ve added an extra day every four years to ‘balance the books’, making up for the fact that it actually takes 365.25 days for the earth to orbit the sun. 

But let’s face it, the newsworthy part to us is that we all get a bonus day.  Not only that, but this year Leap Day falls on a Saturday, so you can enjoy every minute of it! You could just treat it as any other day, or you could embrace the novelty and make it a quadrennial (definitely a word) day of ultimate luxury.

Need a bit of inspiration? Here’s how the allbeauty team plan on spending February 29th 2020.


Put Your Best Foot Forward

An absolute guilty pleasure, we love a good foot peel! The Baby Foot Exfoliation Foot Peel is a #1 seller in Japan, so you know it must be good. The socks work best if they’re left on for around 60 minutes, so pour yourself a coffee or tea, then sit down and catch up on your social media or TV while the foot socks do their thing. 

If you haven’t used these before, it’s worth noting that your feet will begin to peel in 2-7 days, so rule out any spa days or sandal-wearing for the next week (which shouldn’t be an issue in this weather)!


Freshen Up

After your 60 minute treatment your feet will need to be washed, so why not combine it with an indulgent shower using some new aromatic products? Treat yourself to a new shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. With so many options, you’re sure to find something you love. Personally, we’ll be trying Clarins Bath & Shower Relax and finding out firsthand what the hype is surrounding Biolage Hydra Source.


Pamper Party For One (Or More)

You’re fresh from the shower, smelling fabulous and ready for the day. What it holds, only you can decide! Why not throw an at-home pamper party for a few close friends. Bring out the manicure kits, face masks, perhaps a cheeky bottle of prosecco? Or if you’re more of a lone wolf, do all of the above with that new Netflix series you’ve been dying to watch. 


All Dolled Up

How often do you get the chance to enjoy applying makeup? You’ve got no train to catch, nowhere to be, nothing to do, so instead, spend some time playing with a new eyeshadow palette or lip colour. After that, we’ll personally be popping out (looking rather glam) for a takeaway and retiring to the sofa – after all, who wants to be doing dishes on the most indulgent day of the last four years?!


An Extra Day = An Extra Night

That’s right, it isn’t just a leap day, it’s a leap night too. Make it count by heading to bed earlier than usual, climbing into freshly laundered sheets and drifting off to sleep. Of course, it isn’t quite that easy though is it? Your brain is still ticking away, social media is at the tip of your fingers and you could be doing other things. If you struggle to drift off at the best of times, pre-empt the battle with a few clever sleep-inducing products. 

Using a pillow spray is ideal for letting your senses be lulled by relaxing aromas; we can recommend thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Neom Organics London Scent to Sleep Pillow Spray

And there we have it, the best way to enjoy an indulgent leap day – only four years until the next one!

Eco-Friendly Beauty & Cosmetics: The Benefits Of Going Green

The plastic problem 

Plastic waste is everywhere – it can even be found in the deepest parts of the ocean. More than half of plastic produced is for disposable items that will only be used once, and it’s estimated that the average European or American person will use 100 kilograms of plastic each year – most of which is the packaging.

The ingredients which make up our beauty staples can be harmful to the planet too. Microbeads, which are tiny pieces of plastic, are found in lots of conventional personal care and beauty products, such as exfoliants, toothpaste, glittery makeup and body scrubs. Microbeads enter the water, soil, and even the animals we eat. Using eco-friendly cosmetics is one way you can reduce your impact on the planet, and more and more consumers are making the switch. 


Eco-friendly ingredients 

Eco-friendly cosmetics are made from environmentally friendly formulations, followed by eco-conscious production practices and packaging methods. These ‘green’, sustainable cosmetics are made using natural ingredients that are produced from renewable raw materials. Aside from the benefits when it comes to the health of our planet, eco-friendly beauty products tend to be made from natural and organic ingredients, so they can be a great option for those with sensitive skin. Eco-friendly cosmetics are also likely to exclude harsh chemicals, reducing the risk of flare-ups and damage to your skin. 

Some common sources for sustainable cosmetics include: 

•  Natural oils such as coconut oil, argan oil and avocado oil

•  Agricultural plants such as corn and soybeans. 


Swapping single-use packaging for multi-purpose products 

To work towards a more conscious and responsible beauty routine, start by looking at the number of beauty products you use every day. Could any of them be crossed off the list? Try opting for multi-purpose beauty products where possible – aside from saving us time and money, these all-rounders can reduce our impact on the environment too. 

Simplifying your beauty routine (and streamlining your cosmetics bag at the same time) allows you to limit your plastic consumption; reducing the number of products you use will mean less plastic packaging ends up in landfills and our oceans. 


Refills and reusables 

The second step is to find more sustainable alternatives to your usual products. Some brands provide refills – from refillable mouthwash to deodorants, refills mean you won’t have to buy another plastic container each time you run out of your favourite products. You can even get reusable cotton pads! You can also try swapping minis and regulars for supersize versions of your beauty essentials – supersized products use less packaging and need less regular shipping because they’ll last you longer. 

With climate change firmly on the global agenda, forward-thinking, conscious beauty brands have been investing in creating great products and packaging that eco-friendly and sustainable. 

Here are our top picks.

 

Balance Me Anti-Ageing
Vitamin C Repair Serum 30ml
RRP: £32.00 (Save 20%)

Our Price: £25.60

 

Paul Mitchell
Lavender Mint Moisturising Shampoo & Conditioner 300ml

Our Price: £30.00

 

Neal’s Yard Remedies Facial Moisturisers
Frankincense Intense Age-Defying Cream 50g
RRP: £55.00 (Save 10%)

Our Price: £49.50

 

M.A.C
Retro Matte Lipstick
RRP: £17.50 (Save 5%)

Our Price: £16.65


Want to find out more about Conscious Beauty? Explore all our Conscious Beauty articles and shop clean products.