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Bringing The Party To You: Home Festival Hacks

Festivals might be cancelled, but summer definitely isn’t! If you’re missing out on your festival fix this year, we’re here with plenty of tips, ideas and inspiration to get the full experience from the comfort of your home.

If you live alone, party like no-ones watching! Or, if you have kids in tow, get them involved! After all, music education is still education, and what better way to introduce kids to festivals than by throwing one in your own backyard!?

Read on for your total At-Home Festival Guide…


Getting The Look

Festival style is all about the effortless hippie/boho look, so dig out anything tasselled, crocheted or cropped, and live your best life. 

Getting all dressed up is essential for any festival, even if you won’t be leaving your postcode. Embrace all things colour, glitter and fun – kids, in particular, will love joining in for this part. Here’s the list of must-have items for festival fun. 


Sun Protection

It might be tempting to forego the SPF when you know you’ll be dipping in and out of the house, but this should really be a non-negotiable. Protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays is one of the single most important ways you can prevent premature ageing and pigmentation. So, stock up on your summer essentials and stay safe.


Be Bold

Colour, colour, colour. Bright, bold colours take centre stage, so make sure you’ve got everything you need to nail the look. Everyone needs at least one vibrant eyeshadow palette in their collection, precisely for moments like this! If your eyeshadow options err on the side of beige, check out one of these great options…

If you haven’t heard of Jeffree Star, he’s an American makeup artist taking Youtube by storm. Known for his love of bright colours, the Beauty Killer eyeshadow palette will make a great addition to your festival look.

Another fabulous option is the Makeup Addiction Sinful Eyes Palette, which you can pick up with a 36% discount in our Outlet.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Eyes
Beauty Killer Eyeshadow Palette


Highlighter

Whether you’ve had a good dose of summer sun already or have been stuck indoors, highlighter is a great way to get the sunkissed, glowing look that is synonymous with festivals. There are endless Youtube tutorials to help you master the look without looking too shiny. Try the Endless Glow Highlighter by BareMinerals which has just the right amount of shimmer and comes in four awesome shades.

bareMinerals
Endless Glow Highlighter 10g


Festival Hair

Loose, natural waves are popular for good reason, they’re low maintenance, add shape to the face and look gorgeous. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, it’s all about colour when it comes to getting the festival look. 

Try label.m Mini Powder Spray, which includes four stunning colours that spray on and wash off. Ideal for getting the kids involved, or to spice up your own look. Or, if you want something equally fabulous, but a little more glam, take a look at the Affinage Party Mode Pack which includes an anti-frizz mirror shine spray, blow dry cream and, most importantly, a 3 in 1 body glitter kit. Shine, girl! Shine!

Affinage Mode & Beauty
Party Mode Pack


Choose A Festival Fragrance

While it’s by no means a necessity (perfume certainly isn’t the smell you’d associate with sweaty, muddy festivals), why not add an extra element to you event with a boost of something scented. 

We couldn’t leave this perfume off our list, after all, it has “festival” in it’s name – that’s always a good sign! Festival Vibes For Her by Hollister infuses tonka bean, goji berries, quince and bergamot into the ultimate perfume to wear to your at-home festival.

Another great fragrance that is worth a try is Reb’l Fleur by Rihanna. Coconut, vanilla, peach, plum – are you drooling yet? This one is perfect for warm summer days in the sunshine. And after all, is any festival really complete without a bit of Rihanna?

Hollister Festival Vibes For Her
Eau de Parfum Spray 100ml

Rihanna Reb’l Fleur
Eau de Parfum Spray 100ml


Setting The Scene

Speaking of Rihanna, line up the perfect soundtrack for HomeFest by digging out your old CDs and records, or take a more modern approach with Spotify or by streaming concert footage on Youtube. The best part of holding your own festival is that you choose the tracklist, no filler acts!

Make sure you have some marshmallows, burgers and your drink of choice at the ready to continue the festival vibes through the evening. 

Of course, no festival is complete without a night spent sleeping under canvas, so set up your tent (or create an inside version) and snuggle down for a unique way to end the day. A word to the wise though, if you’re going to indulge in some outdoor camping, you might want to have this set on hand: 

thisworks Gifts
Dream To Sleep


With a little planning and a can-do attitude, there are no limits to how much fun you can have at home. So get out there and make it happen! 

Why SPF Matters And What You Need To Know

If you read any of our articles over spring and summer, you’ll know we harp on a lot about the importance of SPF. But let’s face it, while most of us know that we should be using an SPF product, we don’t really know the ins and outs of why.

Well, it’s time for all that to change. By understanding how SPF is determined and what it actually means, we can all make sure we’re making the right decisions to protect our skin in both the short and long-term. Let’s unravel some of the mystery around SPF products.

If you’re interested in sun protection, you may also want to read our article on Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.


What is SPF?

SPF is an acronym for Sun Protection Factor – it’s the way that your protection from ultraviolet rays is measured. It’s important to note here that the SPF only takes into account UVB rays, but we’ll discuss why this matters in more detail a bit later. 

The SPF rating is a universal measurement that all sunscreen products are ranked against to give more clarity to consumers as to how much UVB protection they can expect from their purchase. 

Broadly speaking, an SPF 15 sunscreen allows you to have 15x longer sun exposure without the risk of burning. So, if under normal conditions the time taken to burn is 10 minutes, an SPF 15 would extend this to 2.5 hours. 

Of course, this should never be taken as a certainty, as many elements can reduce this time. Your skin colour, genetic makeup, global location and weather conditions can all impact how quickly you will burn, so SPF should only serve as a guideline.


How Is SPF Measured?

The SPF rating of a sunscreen product helps us to identify how much more protected our skin is than if we were wearing no sunscreen at all. If used exactly as directed, an SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, an SPF 30 blocks 97% and an SPF 50 blocks 98%. On the face of it, this might seem like a negligible difference, but let’s look at those figures a little closer.

If the sun puts out 100 photons (particle of radiation), this is how the various SPFs would stack up:

No SPF, 0% protection – 100 photos reach the skin

SPF 15, 93% protection – 7 photons reach the skin

SPF 30, 97% protection – 3 photons reach the skin

SPF 50, 98% protection – 2 photons reach the skin

So, using an SPF 30 product is twice as effective as an SPF 15, letting half as many photons reach the skin, while an SPF 50 is three times more effective as an SPF 15, letting only a third reach the skin. Considering that every particle of radiation can cause immense damage to your skin, this really matters.

Unfortunately, there is an unexpected risk to using a high SPF compared to a lower SPF. For some people, using a high SPF sunscreen produces a false sense of security, leading them to spend longer in the sun, not reapplying regularly and not seeking shade. This can result in more sun damage than if they had used a lower SPF and taken more care.  

So, while a high SPF does offer better protection, your own actions can have just as significant an impact on your skin’s protection.


UVA vs UVB Rays

Another thing to be aware of when thinking about sun protection is that the SPF rating of a product only refers to its protection against UVB rays, not UVA. The sun actually creates three different types of radioactive ultraviolet ray, UVA, UVB and UVC.

UVB rays are what sunscreen protects against, and what the SPF label relates to. While most UVB is filtered by the atmosphere, what does reach the Earth damages the superficial, outermost layer of our skin. UVB rays cause sunburn and significantly increase the risk of skin cancers.

UVA rays account for roughly 95% of the UV rays that reach the Earth. While they were once considered harmless, we now know that UVA penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB rays, causing ageing of the skin and wrinkling. UVA rays are also what creates a suntan, which is actually our skin trying (poorly) to defend itself against damage. Recent studies have also indicated that UVA rays may create further risk of skin cancers. 

While UVC rays are the most harmful form of radiation emitted by the sun, it is filtered through the atmosphere and doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface. 

As you can see from the information above, it isn’t only UVB we need to worry about, UVA rays are just as much cause for concern. For this reason, it’s important to look for sunscreens which are labelled as “broad spectrum” or “full-spectrum”. These products include ingredients designed to deflect UVA rays as well as UVB.


How Often Should You Reapply?

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends opting for broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreens with an SPF of 30+ for any extended time spent outdoors. Irrespective on the SPF, the correct application is key. The average adult should apply about a shot glass worth, or two tablespoons, 30 minutes before going outside. The sunscreen should then be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently if sweating or swimming.


What Types Of SPF Products Are There?

Any area of your body that is exposed to sunlight would ideally be protected from UV rays. While this can be achieved by wearing long clothing, a hat and seeking shade, most of us are likely to, at some point, want to enjoy full sunshine without additional layers – that’s where SPF protection comes in. 

There are five main categories of SPF: Hair, Lips, Face, Body, Child.

 

Hair

Believe it or not, the UV rays and heat from the sun affects our hair as well as our skin. Though it doesn’t cause the same health concerns, UV damage to hair can leave it dry, frizzy and untameable.
Shop SPF Hair Protection

Lips

The skin on our lips is only 3 to 5 layers thick, compared to around 16 layers on the rest of the body. This makes our lips much more susceptible to burning. Using a lip balm or lipstick with SPF protection is an absolute must for this reason.
Shop SPF Lip Protection 

Face

Our face is exposed to more sunshine than most other areas of our body, but it’s also the area of the body that is most susceptible to sensitivity, dryness, acne or other skin complaints. For this reason, complexion specific sunscreens are a great choice.
Shop SPF Face Sunscreens

Body

Providing overall coverage on all areas that are exposed to the sun, body sunscreens are designed with a range of activities in mind. With SPFs ranging from 15 to 50+ and in a range of textures, there’s something for everybody.
Shop SPF Body Sunscreens

Child

SPF sunscreen for children is designed using gentler formulations that prioritise sensitivity. For this reason, it is often also recommended for adults with particularly sensitive skin, such as those suffering from eczema or dermatitis.
Shop SPF Child Sunscreens


Are you all set for the warmer weather? You can browse our full Sun & Tan range here.

Choosing An Exfoliator

Throughout the year, but particularly during the summer months, exfoliating plays a key role in a skincare routine. Not only does it offer a good old fashioned deep clean of your pores and outer skin layer, but it also buffs off those dead skin cells that can make our skin look dull, textured and unhealthy. 

But with so many types of exfoliators available, how do you know which is the best option for your unique skin? Can a cream exfoliator infused with acids really do the same job as something that physically scrubs the skin’s surface? Are microbeads really all that bad? Spoiler alert: yep, they really are.

In today’s article, we’ll be giving you the lowdown on the main types of exfoliants, how to use them, and what makes them different from the rest. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about exfoliating (and a few things you didn’t)…


The Main Types of Exfoliator

Largely, the most utilised ingredients in exfoliating products are either physical or molecular in nature. Microbeads and pumice are examples of physical exfoliators, while alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) represent the molecular options.

The best option for your skin type will come down to a mixture of personal preference and your areas of concern. For example, sensitive skin types may find that physical exfoliators are too abrasive, while certain acids are gentle enough to be used by all. 

1) Microbead Exfoliators

Let’s rip off the bandaid and get this one out of the way. Microbead exfoliators were all the rage in the early noughties. Those little plastic beads were great for ridding our faces and bodies of rough patches, but that’s not the only thing they were effective at destroying. Millions of these tiny beads were making their way from bathrooms all over the world into drains, waterways, and ultimately, the ocean. 

Microplastics in the world’s oceans are a huge problem, and that’s without the addition of tiny plastic beads literally being poured down the drain. In 2016, the UK banned the use of microbeads in toiletries and cosmetics, and rightly so. 

Luckily for us, as you’ll see in this article, there are lots of other fantastic options for exfoliation which don’t involve harmful ingredients.

2) Pumice Exfoliators

Ideal for those who enjoy a physical scrub and are looking for an alternative to microbeads, pumice has been used around the world for centuries. A light, porous rock formed when the foam of volcanic lava cools, pumice is a sustainable resource which needs minimal processing – this makes it a fantastic green option.

We already know that pumice is a great way to smooth heels, and it’s that same pumice which is used in cream exfoliators. Crushed into smaller particles, it physically helps with the turnover of skin cells.

Best Pumice Exfoliators:

A luxurious facial treatment, Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher combines natural pumice with Hungarian Moor Mud to deeply cleanse and refine the skin. With added copper gluconate, it also helps to regulate sebum production making it a great option for oily and combination skin.

A cleanser and exfoliator in one, Jurlique Radiant Skin Foaming Cleanser uses super-fine pumice to brighten the skin, with natural ingredients adding hydration and a boost of antioxidants.

For the body, Cowshed Dual Action Body Scrub is a fantastic choice, combining a host of other exfoliating ingredients, including peach kernel, with nourishing aloe vera.

3) AHA Exfoliators

Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, represent one of the biggest groups of exfoliators. They work by exfoliating the uppermost layer of skin, revealing brighter, more radiant skin beneath. Found as both peels and leave-on treatments, different alpha hydroxy acids have slightly different properties, and can vary their effects depending on their concentration.

The three main types are glycolic, lactic and citric acids:

  1. Glycolic acid is the most popular AHA and is found naturally in sugar cane. It can improve the skin’s firmness, reduce pigmentation, improve texture and even improve hydration. There are a wide range of glycolic acid exfoliators, but one of our favourites is the Murad Rapid Resurfacing Peel Wipes. With 10% glycolic acid, this extra-strength exfoliating treatment can be used 2-3 times per week for best results.

Read more about glycolic acid.

2. Lactic acid is naturally found in milk, although it’s more common for a synthetic version to be used in skincare. Slightly less potent than glycolic acid, lactic acid is a great option for sensitive skin as it’s mild nature makes it less likely to cause a reaction.

Many lactic acid exfoliators include other AHAs, but if you’re looking for a standalone product, try Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wipes which use lactic acid and probiotics to improve the texture of the skin.

Read more about lactic acid.

3. Citric acid is another popular AHA which is found, unsurprisingly, in citrus fruits. While less effective than many other AHAs, it is often used in exfoliating cleansers. One in particular that we love is the REN Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, which uses a combination of oils to cleanse and soothe.

4) BHA Exfoliators

If AHAs are the best all-rounder, BHA wins the title in the heavyweight category. Oil-soluble, beta hydroxy acids are able to penetrate deep into the pores, making them a great choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin. However, these same factors make BHAs unsuitable for dry or sensitive skin as they’re simply too harsh.

The main BHA which is used in skincare is salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid is a compound which was first derived from willow bark, another common ingredient in skincare. It is a powerful exfoliator, dissolving the debris which clogs pores and leads to acne. One of our favourite salicylic exfoliators is by French beauty titan Darphin. The Darphin Resurfacing Peel is a weekly treatment which can dramatically change the health and texture of your skin.

Read more about salicylic acid.


An Important Note On Exfoliators

No article that covers AHA and BHA exfoliants would be complete without mentioning how important sun protection is. Following exfoliation, your skin is particularly susceptible to sun damage, so it’s incredibly important to wear a high SPF sunscreen before stepping foot outside.

Enjoy your summer skin, safely. 

Aloe Vera

You’ll find them at every Farmer’s Market, car boot sale and school fête, but what makes aloe vera such a popular plant? Sure, it’s indestructible nature makes it an obvious choice to grow, but there’s much more to it than just that.

A staple ingredient in natural skincare products around the globe, you might be surprised at just how beneficial this unassuming succulent really is. Here’s the lowdown on aloe vera: what it is, how it’s used and who it’s for.


What is Aloe Vera?

Aloe is a genus of shrubs that predominantly originate from North Africa. Aloe vera is a succulent which has been used for centuries, and which is now grown all over the world thanks to its hardy nature and beneficial properties. The thick upright leaves of the aloe vera plant are harvested for the gel which they contain, which is used in food, herbal remedies, and of course, cosmetics. 

Fun fact: We know that many natural ingredients have been used “for centuries”, but here’s an example of just how long people have been using aloe vera. The earliest records of aloe vera being used to benefit people dates back to Egypt in the 16th century BC – that’s over 3500 years ago!


What Does Aloe Vera Do For Your Skin?

With a water content of a whopping 99.5%, aloe vera is super soothing and cooling, which is why it’s so often used in skincare, particularly for hydrating dry skin and as an ingredient in products aimed at sensitive skin, psoriasis and eczema.

Rich in enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C, aloe vera also boasts anti-inflammatory properties that make it great for treating burns, including sunburn, and improving the appearance of acne.

Overall, aloe vera is a fantastic all-rounder that is widely well-tolerated, sustainable and great for all skin types.


Who Can Benefit From Using Aloe Vera?

As we’ve already covered, there’s no limit to who can benefit from using aloe vera. However, there are a few areas where aloe vera really excels; for sensitive or dry skin, inflammatory conditions, and burns.

Aloe Vera For Sensitive And Dry skin

While you can have one without the other, we’re lumping sensitive and dry skin together here because the benefits of aloe vera apply to both. Whether you have reactive skin or irritation caused by dryness, the natural soothing and hydrating properties of aloe vera can ease your discomfort.

Aloe Vera For Inflammatory Conditions

It may not be able to cure your eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis, but aloe vera can be a great help for those with inflammatory skin conditions. Thanks to its combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties – and with the added benefit of being very hydrating – aloe vera can offer some much-needed relief.

Aloe Vera For Burns

While it goes without saying that you should seek medical advice for serious burns, for milder cases, aloe vera can be a huge help. Whether you’ve grabbed a hot pan or just spent a little too much time out in the sun, aloe vera can cool the skin down and soothe the inflamed area.


What Products Contain Aloe Vera?

A wide range of skincare products boasts aloe vera amongst their ingredients. Thanks to its light texture, easy tolerability and green credentials, it’s a must-have for any soothing skin range. Here are just a few of our favourites…

Best aloe vera for dry skin:

With aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and black oat extract, Babor Essential Care Moisture Serum is ideal for drier skins, though can be used for anyone who needs a boost of hydration.

Best aloe vera for all skin types:

Combining ultra-hydrating aloe vera with vitamin A & C, Elemis Superfood Kefir-Tea Mist nourishes and refreshes the skin. With the added bonus of antioxidants from superfood, Kefir-Tea, it’s a great all-rounder for any skin type.

Best aloe vera shower gel: 

Free of drying soap and 100% plant-based, Caudalie Shower Gel is an incredibly gentle body cleanser. With natural iris and white musk fragrances, this is sure to add a touch of luxury to your daily routine.

Best aloe vera body moisturiser:

An allbeauty best-seller, Clarins Body-Smoothing Moisture Milk with Aloe Vera is a lightweight body moisturiser which deeply hydrates the skin for up to 48 hours. Find out why our customers swear by it – read reviews.

Freckles: Friend or Foe?

Love them or loathe them, freckles are part and parcel of the warmer summer weather. Fading over winter, many of us completely forget quite how many freckles we have until they make their grand reappearance. But while many of us fret over our new speckled complexions, the beauty industry is embracing freckles in a big way. 

Models like Carissa Pinkston and Kokie Childers are in demand for their unique (gorgeous) appearance, with freckles playing centre stage. So should we be embracing freckles, or avoiding them?

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what freckles are, what causes them and how we can get more (or less) of them.


What Are Freckles?

Technically, there are two types of freckles. The type most of us think of, and what we’re referring to in this article, go by the scientific name of ephelides. 

Ephelides are small spots of pigmentation, usually 1-2mm wide that appear on the areas of your body which get the most exposure to the sun – usually the face and shoulders and arms. 

The other category of freckles are called solar lentigines. These develop in adulthood, usually after the age of 40, and include age spots and sunspots. Solar lentigines tend to be larger than 2mm and, unlike freckles, don’t fade during winter.


Are Freckles Dangerous?

While freckles can be a good indicator that your skin is more prone to UV damage, they’re not a cause for concern in the same way as say, moles. 

While they might look similar, moles are very different from freckles. They’re more likely to affect people with lighter skin, but moles aren’t specifically caused by exposure to the sun, they’re actually a cluster of pigmentation cells and blood vessels. 

Neither freckles or moles are dangerous, but moles do offer a warning sign that you may be at increased risk of skin cancers and melanomas.

If you’re not sure whether your skin markings are freckles or moles, check the texture and colour. While freckles are flat and lighter in colour, moles are often raised and darker.


What Causes Freckles?

Freckles (ephelides) are created due to a combination of sun exposure and genetics. In some groups of people, exposure to the sun’s UV radiation increases melanin production. Melanin is the compound that controls skin and hair colour. 

Theoretically, anyone who doesn’t use sun protection can get freckles, but there are other factors that can make it more likely.  If you have lighter skin or are prone to burning in the sun, you’re much more likely to get freckles. 

There are other, less visible, elements which can affect how likely you are to get freckles, such as your genetic makeup. Two types of melanin can be made by the body, eumelanin and pheomelanin. If your genes produce more pheomelanin, you are less protected from UV rays, and therefore more at risk of getting freckles. 

The good news for those people who have a genetic predisposition to freckles, but wish they didn’t, is that it’s not written in stone that you’ll develop freckles. With good habits and a quality sunscreen, you can prevent them entirely.


How to Prevent Freckles

If you’re prone to freckles, avoiding them is as easy as making sure you’re protecting your skin. Using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 will help to shield you from UV rays and prevent freckles. Of course, even in winter the sun can do damage, so this should be a year-round habit.

If you already have freckles and want to reduce their appearance, the best courses of action are acid peels and products that contain alpha hydroxyl acids. The acids contained in these skincare products can break down the areas of pigmentation within the dermis, lightening and even removing freckles over time.

Using a peel such as the Babor Refine Cellular: AHA 10+10 Peeling Gel or Murad Resurgence Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel is a must if you’ve had enough of your freckles and want a clearer complexion.


How to Get Freckles (The Safe Way)

Of course, while many women who have freckles would rather get rid of them, they’re equally lusted after by women who wish their face had a little more character. The grass is always greener, right?! If you love the youthful, sunkissed look of freckles, but want to avoid sun damage the great news is that there are a number of methods for giving yourself DIY freckles that look incredibly realistic.

Henna is a popular product for this task; it temporarily stains the skin, so will stay in place for at least a week. However, this does make it a dangerous option if you’re still practising your freckle application! 

For a quick, easy and fairly foolproof option, we recommend simply dotting your cheekbones and nose with a brown eyeliner.

Best overall: benefit BADgal BANG Pencil

Offering 24 hour stay-proof power thanks to its waterproof and transfer-resistant formulation, the benefit BADgal BANG Pencil is a perfect eyeliner for creating safe freckles. The creamy pencil is gentle on skin and dries to a realistic matte finish. It’s also currently on offer in our Outlet, making it great value for money.


Enjoy experimenting with your new look, and remember to protect your skin with a high SPF sunscreen this summer. After all, it’s easier to add freckles than it is to remove them!

Vitamin D

Compared to other vitamins which we absorb primarily from food sources, vitamin D is a bit of an odd duck. What makes it so unique is that our bodies actually create vitamin D through sun exposure. When the cholesterol in our skin cells is exposed to the sun’s UVB rays, a conversion occurs which produces vitamin D3. Voila! Just like that, we’re all set for the day. 

But of course, the downfall of this system is that we don’t always get enough sunshine, and vitamin D only lasts for so long in the body before we need more of it. With that in mind, let’s take a look at why we need vitamin D, how much we need, and how to get more of it.


Indoors and Vitamin D

Summer is prime vitamin D season, but with many of us forced to spend more time indoors than we usually would, there’s a real risk of people around the country missing out on the sunshine hours they need.

For this reason, it’s currently recommended that adults take 10micrograms of vitamin D per day if they are not able to regularly access safe outdoor space.


What Is Vitamin D?

We’ve covered how our body creates vitamin D, but what does it actually do that makes it so important? Well, vitamin D plays an important role in regulating how much calcium and phosphate is circulating the body at any one time. Calcium and phosphate are nutrients that keep our teeth, bones and muscles at their prime. 

Ultimately, without vitamin D, we’re at higher risk of developing bone conditions such as osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults, or rickets in children. 

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include bone, muscle and back pain, fatigue, tiredness, depression and more. We think you’ll agree, making sure we’re all getting enough vitamin D is pretty important!


Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

The big questions then, is are you getting enough vitamin D right now? Well, the good news is that from April- September, most of the UK gets enough sunlight to keep our vitamin D levels in check. But even during the summer months, you might still be at risk depending on the sunlight levels where you live, as well as your habits and physical characteristics.

The NHS recommends that you take a daily vitamin D 10 micrograms of vitamin D if any of the below applies to you:

  • Don’t spend much time outdoors
  • Are usually fully covered when you’re outdoors
  • Have dark skin 

While the first two might be fairly self-explanatory, the last one may need some explanation. Darker skin tones have been shown to need longer periods of sun exposure before the process of UVB to vitamin D occurs. To be on the safe side, it’s worth taking a supplement if you are in this category.


Vitamin D During Winter

From October – March, the sun levels in the UK are too low for most of us to get an adequate amount of vitamin D. And while there are edible sources of vitamin D, the chances are that you’re not eating enough of them to keep your levels high.

Sources of vitamin D from food include:

  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Oily fish including salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel

There are also some foods which have been fortified with vitamin D, including some breakfast cereals and fat spreads.

Unless you have a diet particularly high in the above, the advice is to take a daily vitamin D supplement.


How Much Sun Exposure Is Optimal?

One of the difficult aspects of knowing whether you’re getting enough vitamin D is that we don’t actually know how much sun exposure we need per day to fulfil our quota. Even if there was a defined amount of time spent in the sun we needed, it would still be impossible to apply this to the whole population.

Factors such as location, cloud coverage, skin tone and clothing can all impact how much vitamin D is produced in an individual. Estimates range from as little as 15 minutes in full sun for a person with light skin, to a few hours for darker skin tones.

What we do know is that ideally, we should all be getting some time in the sun on a daily basis.


Sunscreen and Vitamin D

As its the trigger of the sun’s UV rays that allow our body to create vitamin D, many people have questioned whether sunscreen use might lead to a deficiency. So far, the research doesn’t show any evidence that people who use sunscreen regularly are at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. 

Another important consideration is that the risks that come with too much sun exposure outweigh the risks of being low in vitamin D. Once you take into account that its possible to top up your vitamin D through supplements, the use of sunscreen is an absolute no-brainer – you don’t have to choose one or the other.


Vitamin D Boosters

If you’re looking for easy ways to improve your vitamin D levels on overcast days or when you’re stuck indoors, we have a few options that can help.

Vitabiotics Perfectil Platinum Skin Radiance Tablets

A great all-in-one multivitamin, Perfectil Platinum is packed with beneficial nutrients including vitamin D, C, E, B2, B3 and B12 among a host of others. This will do much more than just improve your bone health, its fantastic for skin, hair and nails too!

Healthspan Super Strength Omega 3 Gold Capsules

A highly concentrated supplement which includes vitamins D and C, Omega 3 Gold is also high in sustainably sourced omega 3 fatty acids and contains a premium turmeric extract with 95% curcuminoids. 

Vitality CBD Ginger, Turmeric, Vitamin D and Papain Tablets

CBD is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great base for any immune-supporting supplement. The ginger, turmeric and papain in Vitality CBD reduce pain and inflammation, while vitamin D keeps your bone structure healthy and strong.

Choosing A Summer Moisturiser

As the weather heats up and we spend more time outdoors (albeit, mostly in our gardens), it’s crucial to our skin’s health that we’re using the right moisturiser. 

A quality moisturiser helps to hydrate the skin’s outermost layers while targeting any underlying issues. It can also help to restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier in dry skin, or prevent pore blockages in oily and acne-prone skin. But, and this is a big ‘but’, your moisturiser is only as good as the way you use it. Even the most celebrated, high-end moisturiser can create more issues than it cures, if used in the wrong season. 

If you’ve already transitioned your skincare routine as the seasons change, you’re a step ahead of the game! If not, we’ve got you covered.



Why Should You Change Your Moisturiser?

All moisturisers are not created equal. When the weather is particularly cold and windy, a rich cream moisturiser gives the skin the extra hydration and protection it needs. However, this same formulation can sit far too heavily on the skin in warm weather, giving it a greasy feeling and often resulting in sweaty, clogged pores. Instead, opt for a lightweight moisturiser such as a lotion or gel.


With SPF, or Without?

For most of the year, using a moisturiser that includes SPF protection is a great choice. It offers better protection from UV rays than no SPF at all, and can adequately protect you on cloudy and overcast days. However, during the hotter months when the sun is at its hottest and we’re spending time outside, it’s better to separate your moisturiser from your sunscreen

Using two separate products ensures that you’re able to get full coverage where you need it, and allows you to top up your SPF as needed during the day. Look for an SPF30+ for your face, which will help to reduce sun damage and premature ageing.



Best Summer Moisturisers For Normal/Combination Skin

Keeping the skin hydrated without exacerbating oily patches is the aim of any moisturiser targetted at normal and combination skin. This is even more important during the summer months when the sweat and oil glands are more active. 

While the polar opposite ends of dry and oily skin are well catered for, finding a good middle-spectrum option can take some searching. But much like it’s important to tailor your moisturiser to the season, finding a product that suits your skin type is a must.  3 favourites; 

 

  1. A great option for daily wear is Clarins Multi-Active Jour Antioxidant Day Cream-Gel, which has a lovely light texture. Packed with beneficial antioxidants, it helps to prevent premature ageing and improves radiance.

 

 

2. Thalgo Hydra-Marine 24 Hour Gel-Cream. This light Gel- cream hydrates the skin with a delicate, non-oily freshness. perfect for normal to combination skin types.

 

 

 

 

3. Darphin Hydraskin Light Gel Cream  A refreshing, lightweight cream-gel hydrator for normal to combination skin types which moisturises the skin to keep it smooth and supple. Gives long-lasting relief from dehydration.

 

 


Best Summer Moisturisers For Dry/Dehydrated Skin

Changes in seasons can be unforgiving for those of us with dry or dehydrated skin. While the cooler months bring out flaking and exacerbate dryness, the warmer months make it difficult to keep skin hydrated. If you have dry skin, you’ll already know that heavy-duty winter moisturisers are not compatible with summer temperatures – claggy, sweaty, cloying skin isn’t a fair trade-off for fewer flakes. 

Thankfully, there is no shortage of fantastic summer moisturisers designed for dry and dehydrated skin. Look for gel formulations, which offer more hydration than a liquid, but a lighter texture than a cream. 3 favourites;

 

  1. Our favourite is Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Auto Replenishing Hydrator, which sits beautifully on the skin yet packs enough power to keep dryness at bay.

 

 

2. Payot Paris Hydra 24+ Gel-Creme Sorbet. An ultra-sensory, fresh and silky melt-in gel-cream that is light and non-greasy and procures an immediate sensation of freshness.

 

 

3. Biotherm Aquasource Intense Regenerating Moisturizing Gel 50ml. Skin is left with a renewed complexion that glows. Even the most dehydrated skin is cared for.

 


Best Summer Moisturisers For Oily Skin

Thinking of going without moisturiser during summer because your skin won’t need the hydration? Think again. With increased sweat and oil production, more exposure to dirt and air pollution, and of course the addition of full SPF coverage, your skin will rely on thorough cleansing more than ever. And with more cleansing, comes an upset in your skin’s natural oil balance. 

A light moisturiser that has been formulated for oily skin will help keep your oils in check while offering mattifying properties and hydration. 3 favourites;

 

1. Our top pick for oily skin is Estée Lauder DayWear Matte, which does all of the above and more, controlling oil for up to eight hours, and enriching the skin with antioxidants.

 

 

2. Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer. This lightweight moisturiser is perfect alone or with makeup, reducing surface shine of the skin and helping to reduce the appearance of pores and dry lines.

 

 

3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. Skin is strengthened and moisture balance restored with no greasy residue left behind.


Best Summer Moisturisers For Mature Skin

For ageing skin, you want a moisturiser that does more than one job. Mature skin is thinner and lacks the same levels of elastin as it did earlier in life, making fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation all more likely. While there’s no one product that can completely reverse the signs of ageing (we wish, right?!), it can certainly help to make sure each step of your skincare routine is targeting the same issues. 3 favourites;

 

1. For a great all-rounder, you can’t beat Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, an allbeauty best-seller. A silky, non-greasy cream which absorbs easily into the skin, it visibly improves fine lines and wrinkles, while offering a much-needed boost of summer hydration.

 

2. Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference. Hyaluronic acid manages to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, tree mushroom extract tightens pores and Vitamin E both softens and protects the skin.

 

 

3. Clarins Extra Firming Day Cream. With added SPF protection, this moisturising day cream protects against the harmful effects of UV rays.

 

But remember readers, there’s no point investing in a fantastic summer moisturiser if you aren’t protecting your skin from further damage. Make sure your skincare routine includes a good covering of SPF face cream to keep those harmful UV rays at bay.


Stay safe out there! Shop All Summer Beauty Now

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide

We all understand protecting ourselves from the sun is important for our skin health, but with so much conflicting information out there, how do we know which products do the best job? 

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two of the most widely used sunscreen ingredients, but how they work isn’t general knowledge. If chemistry isn’t your forte, we’re here to break it down for you. In this article, we’ll be explaining what these ingredients are, how they work, and whether they’re good for your skin.


What Are Zinc Oxide And Titanium Dioxide?  

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two types of natural ingredients used in “physical sunscreen”. 

Physical sunscreen, or mineral sunscreen, is made from natural ingredients which sit on the skin’s surface. They act as a shield, bouncing the sun’s rays off the skin.

Chemical sunscreen meanwhile, uses a combination of chemical ingredients that deactivate sunlight, converting UV rays into heat.

Dermatologists widely recommend that we choose physical sunscreen over chemical sunscreen for the following reasons:

  • It lasts longer than chemical sunscreen.
  • It is gentler on the skin and won’t clog pores.
  • It works immediately on application (chemical sunscreen doesn’t work for around 20 minutes).

What Do They Do?

In order to understand how zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work, we first need to get to the bottom of how the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays operate. 

There are three different types of UV rays, UVA, UVB, and UVC. The two we most need to worry about are UVA and UVB, as UVC is filtered out by the atmosphere before it can make it to the Earth’s surface. 

  • UVA rays are able to deeply penetrate our skin, damaging cells and leading to premature ageing. 
  • UVB rays don’t penetrate as deeply, only reaching the skin’s surface. These are the rays that can cause sunburn and ultimately, skin cancer. 

In order to protect ourselves from both UVA and UVB rays, a “broad-spectrum” or “full-spectrum” sunscreen is needed. While there are a number of natural ingredients that can shield skin from either UVA or UVB rays, there are only two ingredients that can do both – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Top tip: An easy way to remember which UV ray is responsible for an outcome is, UVA(geing) and UVB(urning).


Who Can Benefit From Using Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide?

Ultimately, we all need to be using sunscreen daily, particularly during the warmer months, but choosing the right sunscreen is an important part of the process. Which natural ingredient is best suited for your skin will depend on your skin’s sensitivity and tone.

Zinc oxide has slightly larger particles which create a slightly opaque white sheen on the skin. This makes it ideal for pale skin, as it creates a nice, even coverage, so is often used in SPF makeup products. It’s also great for those with oily skin or acne, as it has natural antimicrobial properties and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. Zinc oxide is also the most effective natural ingredient against both UVA and UVB rays.

Titanium dioxide has smaller particles and doesn’t leave a milky sheen, which makes it ideal for darker complexions. For this reason, it’s often used as an ingredient in cosmetics as it can offer protection without diluting the colour. Like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide is non-comedogenic, but it’s also very gentle on the skin, making it great for oily and sensitive skin alike.


What Products Contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide?

At allbeauty, we stock a wide range of products that include both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. While titanium dioxide is the more common of the two, increasingly, beauty brands are combining both ingredients in order to get the superior protection of zinc oxide and the gentle, invisible coverage of titanium dioxide

Here are a few of our top-selling sun protection products:

Sun Protection

Ultrasun Anti-Ageing Sun Protection For Sensitive Skin SPF50+ – Zinc oxide only

With a combination of antioxidants and natural minerals, this face cream protects your skin against the sun’s rays while restoring moisture and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. 

Perricone MD Face Finishing & Firming Tinted Moisturizer SPF30Titanium dioxide only

For an all-in-one moisturiser that boasts sun protection and light coverage, look no further than this best-seller from Perricone. Suitable for all skin types.

Making The Most Of The Sunshine

We’ve all been treated to some unexpectedly fine weather of late, which has come as a very welcome addition to the millions of us who are stuck at home. If recent events have taught us anything, it’s to enjoy the little things in life that we too often take for granted. With that in mind, we’ve put together our top tips for making the most of the sunshine and enhancing your outdoor (and indoor) space to make it work for you.

Whether you’re a sun worshipper or prefer the shade, getting your daily dose of Vit D is great for both body and mind, but the key to enjoying the clear blue skies is being able to do it in comfort. Here’s how to create little spots of sunny heaven at home:

A Basking Spot

If you adore the sun, the chances are you’ve already located the perfect spot in your garden to soak up the rays. If not, now is the time! 

But please folks, don’t forget that the sun can wreak havoc on your skin. UV rays are one of the main causes of premature ageing, so before heading outdoors, make sure you’ve got all the right tools on hand to keep your skin safe while you’re sunbathing. Don’t hit your basking spot without a water bottle in hand, a hat on your head, and a good layer of SPF cream on both your body and your face

We also swear by the top trick of keeping a bottle of hydrating mist on hand, especially on those days that there’s no breeze. A quick shot of hydration helps to cool you down and puts some much-needed moisture back into the skin.

A Reading Nook

With longer days and nowhere to be, it’s the perfect time to start working your way through those unread books on your shelf, with a sunshine twist. Create a comfortable nook that becomes your go-to spot for reading, either a semi-shaded spot in the garden, or simply by moving an armchair near a south-facing window. You’ll not only get to soak up some sunshine, but also enjoy the perfect light levels for reading.

When you’ve got your head buried in a book, hours can easily fly by without you knowing it, so remember to protect the parts of your body that are being exposed to the sun. Wear an SPF designed for the face, concentrating on your nose and forehead where the sun hits. 

It’s also a great idea at this time of year to upgrade your lip balm to one that includes SPF, if it doesn’t already. We particularly love the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defence Stick – its a whopping SPF50 and is slightly larger than a lip balm as it’s designed to be used on other areas too, like your nose and ears.

Vino Corner

 Never has there been more need for a dedicated sunny spot for drinking wine (responsibly, of course). With everything going on in the world, you may be indulging in the sav blanc a little more often, so why not do it in style?

Scope out the part of your garden that gets the last of the afternoon/evening sun and designate it “vino corner” complete with comfy chairs and a small table for nibbles. In general, we don’t spend enough time outdoors, but dusk is a fantastic time to be in the garden, especially at this time of year. Enjoy the birdsong and stillness as you unwind with a chilled glass of something delicious.

But remember, while a glass of vino is great for relaxing at the end of a tense day, it does have a tendency to dry out your skin and increase redness. Make sure you’re including a night moisturiser and/or serum in your bedtime routine to keep the signs of ageing at bay. For bonus points, continue the vineyard theme by using a Caudalie product, like the Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil which contains nourishing grape seed oil.

Invest In Greenery

There’s something incredibly relaxing about getting stuck into gardening, whether you’re naturally green-fingered or not. Plants improve the look and feel of your outside space, and can provide everything from food to fragrance. 

In a previous blog, we delved into the ways gardening can reduce stress and enhance your mental health, but it also just makes your garden a much nicer place to be. Make the most of all that sun by adding some greenery into thoughtful spaces of your garden. Climbing sweet peas are easy to grow and smell amazing, injecting colour into boring spaces with their bright blooms. Or, start growing fruit on your patio, with cherries, raspberries and strawberries all being great options for even the smallest areas.

You’ll find some of the key items in your gardening toolkit in this blog, but the TLDR version is to make sure you’ve got a great hand soap, as you’ll be washing your hands even more than usual. The allbeauty favourite this week is Molton Brown Rhubarb Rose, it smells as good as it sounds!

Bring The Outside In

There’s no better way to celebrate the sunny weather than by improving your home’s indoor-outdoor flow. Doors can be thrown open to the garden, letting the smell of green grass and fresh blooms filter indoors. Windowsills can become suntraps for growing your own herbs, filling your kitchen with the aroma of fresh basil and rosemary. Your home will never smell so good!

Of course, not everyone has the time or inclination to grow plants indoors, or perhaps you suffer from seasonal allergies and are avoiding “bringing the outside in” at all costs! The good news is, you can still enjoy the scent of Spring without the plant or pollen factor. 

Whether you’re gardening or not, hand washing is a regular feature of everyone’s day, so opt for soaps infused with aromatics. Replace your boring kitchen hand wash with L’Occitane Shea Butter Citrus & Rosemary Duo, and in the bathroom, add a bar of Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Soap

For added fragrance, use a diffuser in the main traffic area of your home. We love Noble Isle Willow Song which is a floaty green floral that blends rose petal, ivy and watermelon. If you have pollen allergies, we’d highly recommend trying Neom Organics Scent to Calm & Relax. Not only does it smell amazing – with notes of Moroccan blush rose, lime and black pepper – but it can also help to alleviate the symptoms of hayfever.


However you choose to celebrate the arrival of sunshine, allbeauty has got you covered. Discover the full Spring Beauty Edit.

The Garden Guide

We don’t know about you, but having neglected our humble outdoor space for years, over the last few weeks it’s suddenly become a haven. With limited options and cabin fever setting in, time spent in the garden is quickly becoming the day’s highlight. 

Whether you have sprawling country grounds or a tower block balcony, tending a green patch is great for your mental wellbeing. If you’ve never dug your fingers into the soil before, now is a great time to start, and we’re here to help set you up for success.

Seasoned gardener? We may not be able to teach you anything you don’t already know, but we do have some essential items to add to your toolkit. 

Why Garden?

Need a little convincing that getting your hands dirty is worthwhile? We completely understand. For many of us, it’s only the uncertainty of the last few weeks that has made us realise how valuable growing your own fresh food could be. And as luck would have it, this is the perfect time of year to get started on your gardening journey.

Not only can gardening provide food for your family without having to venture to the supermarket, but it can also do wonders for your mental health. Nurturing something from seed to plant, connecting with the earth and letting go of ‘perfection’ is all part and parcel of becoming a gardener. 

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

Not green-fingered? Give gardening a try anyway. Best case scenario, you’ll end up with some beautiful homegrown fresh food. Worst case scenario, you’ll have spent more time outside in the fresh air and have a welcome distraction for a few weeks.

Gardening with Kids

If you have children at home, gardening is a great activity to involve them in. Allocate a special area that they’re in charge of, whether that’s a raised bed, or a paper cup on a windowsill – work with what you have. You’ll want to make sure you’re both equipped with sunhats and high SPF protection, as it’s easy to get so swept up in gardening you don’t notice how long you’ve been in the sunshine.

Gardening on a Budget

If gardening has never been your “thing” in the past, you’re probably hesitant to throw money at this potential new hobby – we get it. But it’s entirely possible to garden on a budget, using no additional materials than what you already have lying around. Take the seeds from your supermarket fruit and vegetables, keep them damp by placing them on wet cotton wool or a paper towel and pop them in a sunny spot to germinate.

Gardening Skincare Toolkit

The one downside to gardening is the battering your hands will take. Dirt pulls moisture from your skin, so between spending time handling soil and all the extra washing, your hands might take a beating. That’s where we come in.

1) Choose the right hand wash

When it comes to washing the soil from your hands, choosing the correct hand soap can make a big difference to your skin. Opt for an exfoliating variety to cut down the amount of time it takes to get your hands clean and remove every last trace of dirt. 

One of our favourite soaps for gardening is Cowshed Restore Exfoliating Hand Wash. Fine grains of pumice uncover smooth, clean skin, while the sweet orange and peppermint oils bring the fresh fragrance of the garden into your home.

2) Lock in the moisture

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that the only thing as important as hand washing is following up with lotion. Owners of dry, chapped hands around the world are currently nodding their heads in agreement. Placing a pump bottle of hand lotion in your bathroom will ensure you remember to put some much-needed moisture back into your hands after washing. 

By now, you’ve probably already discovered our range of hand lotions, but if you’re still on the hunt, here are a few of our favourites:

3) Protect and maintain skin health

Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent chapped, cracked hands. One way to do this is by giving your hands a little boost as and when needed. If you find your hands are getting a little rough, use L’Occitane One Minute Hand Scrub once or twice a week to buff away calluses. It gently exfoliates with shea nut husks, and replaces moisturise with a combination of shea butter and apricot oil.

If your hands are particularly dry from gardening, it’s also worth investing in occasional hand treatments. Before bed, slather on a good layer of a thick, nourishing cream like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Skin Protectant Cream or Weleda Skin Food. Getting to work as you sleep, both deeply hydrate your skin with a unique blend of nourishing ingredients.

4) Deal with any niggles as they appear

If all the extra kneeling and bending is taking a toll on your joints, nip those twinges in the bud straight away. A small ache can lead to other muscles overcompensating and create a wider issue, so if you start to feel pain, treat it at the source. The Organic Pharmacy Capsicum, Devil’s Claw & Ginger Cream uses natural ingredients to provide warming, nourishing relief from joint pain and smells amazing. Or, try new Cubid CBD Rejuvenate Stay Active Cream which reduces inflammation on a cellular level.


Gardening has always been an English pastime, and there’s no time like the present to become a part of the movement. We’d love to see snaps of your home garden, tag us on Instagram @allbeautyhq