Beauty Bible

Striking Oils: The New Argan (And Other Oils…)

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We love oils. Can virtually hear our skins slurping them up, from top to toe. Oils provide serious skin nourishment – which healthy skin needs, alongside moisture. (For which we turn to our old friend hyaluronic acid, among other ingredients.) They tend to be wonderfully skin-compatible, too – so no wonder the Beauty Bible team has a veritable arsenal of them on our bedside tables and bathroom shelves.

But the Indiana Joneses of the beauty world have been out there with their machetes and their GPS devices, tracking down ‘new’ oils. Of course, they’re not really new – but they’re new as beauty ingredients… Remember all that fuss about argan oil, a few years back? (And now argan’s a mainstay of the beauty industry.) And then coconut…?

We still love, love, love those oils. But here are some lesser-known discoveries on the oil front, which you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for.

Marula oil. Marula is packed with antioxidants (60% more than argan!), vitamins and omegas and is regarded as a ‘cure-all’ by the Ovambo women in Namibia, where it hails from. It’s a great multi-tasker – soothing and smoothing every skintype, even greasy. One of these days we might persuade oily-skinned women to use oils – we’re still hoping, but they would do well to start here – because marula oil is actually good for blemishes and scarring (as well as stretch marks). Personally, we really like this oil for ‘locking in’ moisture, applying a couple of drops or so over night cream (in particular). It leaves it silky, but traps the dewiness inside, too. Also good, we’re finding, for smoothing through hair – add just a drop or two to the palms, then rub these and your fingers together and skim through hair, for instant ‘texture’ but also gleam and nourishment. (And no, it won’t leave your hair looking greasy. Promise.) Check out The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil.

Moringa oil. Moringa is extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree. Nutrient-dense, it’s chosen for its anti-ageing properties, packed with free radicals. Interestingly, as well as helping to boost glow and fight skin fatigue by combating the effects of pollution, moringa (like marula) is also great for fighting acne and blackheads. It makes a wonderful scalp massage oil, ideal for dry scalp, delivering minerals and vitamins to hair follicles. We also take moringa as a supplement, by the way, blending it into delicious smoothies and juices. Find it in de Mamiel Botaniques Restorative Cleansing Balm, and (for those drinks) Aduna Moringa Green Superleaf Powder.

Cacay oil. File under ‘one to watch’: this South American oil is also very lightweight and swiftly-absorbed (this seems to be the trend in oils) – one for people who don’t like any feeling of greasiness that an oil can give. Cacay nuts are the size of a small orange, and contain kernels from which an oil is extracted that delivers three times more retinol than rosehip (so we’re told), 50% more vitamin E and twice the vitamin F (Essential Fatty Acids) of argan oil. Great for skin irritations and for soothing and healing minor burns, its fans attest.

Maracuja oil. Shabir was one of the first people we know to write about this (read his in-depth article here), but maracuja is now quite a ‘buzz’ in beauty circles. Derived from the seeds of the passion fruit plants, this non-fragrant oil is a rich source of antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation; in medical tests, it was found to stimulate production of the cells that create collagen. We suggest using a drop or two as a serum, or mixed it with your regular moisturiser or serum. It’s also great for nails, hair and scalp: another one-bottle-wonder for the bedside table (albeit not in the sexiest packaging you’re ever going to get your hands on…) Pure Maracuja Oil.

Rosehip oil. Not so new – but it’s gaining so many fans and making its way into so many different products, now, that rosehip is worth reminding ourselves about. This oil is actually one of nature’s wonder-healers: great for redness, wrinkles, pigmentation and for balancing complexions. (It’s another of those oils that is good for oily/problem skins – and is also effective at alleviating post-acne pigmentation.) Many people we know have reported improvements in scar tissue (and indeed stretchmarks) via regular application of rosehip oil. We’ve heard good first-hand reports, too, from sufferers of rosacea – one of beauty’s toughest challenges. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

Striking oils, every one…

The Neck’s Best Thing

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Fact: as with hands, your neck can give your age away faster than a glance at your passport. Even smooth-skinned British beauties tend to ignore what happens below the chin-line – in fact, for many women, a cursory swipe with a flannel constitutes neck care. The result? Sagginess. Wrinkles. Tell-tale crêpiness. In short, a neck that looks older than the rest of you.

Yet on the Continent, it’s a different story. There, the neck is an erogenous zone, on which TLC is regularly lavished. The result? Necks that stay firmer, smoother and more swan-like for longer. As Paris-based facialist Jickie Leray explains, ‘French women regard their neck and décolletage as an extension of their faces. So everything they do for their face – cleansing, protecting, ritually moisturising – is extended right down to the bust-line.’ And if your new beauty resolution is to take more care of your neck, that’s a pretty good blueprint. (Starting with tonight…) Read More…

Beauty Bible Loves: The (Early) Spring Edit

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VH has long been a go-to site for us – and for countless readers – for beauty ‘happenings’. It’s all Gill’s fault: she’s constantly out there sleuthing new and improved products to revolutionise our beauty regimes, and which do what they say on the tin/jar/whatever.

We frequently share our ‘finds’ with Beauty Bible readers – maybe you’re among them? – but thought it was time for a seasonal round-up of some of the new VH faves to which we’ve had the pleasure of introducing our fans and followers. (Every one of which is then entitled to use the rather lovely logo that we had designed a few years back, and which we’re always gratified to spot on beauty packaging!) Temple Spa Trufflesque. Remember that scene in Goldfinger where Shirley Eaton was entirely painted in gold? Read More…

Beauty Packaging Recycling

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As New Year’s Resolutions go, resolving to recycle beauty packaging might not seem high on the priority list – but when we talk to women, we’re surprised to find how often this simple yet effective lifestyle step to treading more lightly on the planet is overlooked. Most of us are pretty good at recycling baked bean cans, wine bottles and cornflakes boxes – but that box that came with your moisturiser…? The lid of that moisturiser…? The pot it came in…? Doesn’t happen nearly so often.

Often, though, it’s because people are unsure about what and how. So Beauty Bible spoke to WRAP – the recycling organisation – to get the low-down on what can and can’t be recycled. As Alice Harlock, from Recycle Now, tells us: ‘As a nation we’ve done a great job of tackling recycling in recent years. But there is more we can do, and the bathroom is a great place to start. For example, it is estimated that 60% of glass is currently collected for recycling – which is great – but it would be even better if it was 100%! And glass face cream pots might be one of the things that usually get missed. It’s a small item for one person, but if each of us makes a little change to the way we deal with packaging in the bathroom it will make a big difference when added together.”

It might seem like a teeny jar or a lid – but imagine the mountains that simply end up in landfill, every year… A salutary thought, eh? So: here’s the low-down on what can and can’t be recycled.

Glass face cream pots. (Don’t forget the cardboard packaging it came in – and the little leaflet inside.)

Perfume and aftershave bottles.

Plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles.

Plastic moisturiser bottles. Think: hand cream and body lotion.

Aerosol deodorant cans.

Worried about product ‘residues’ or unsure about whether some bits should be binned? Follow these simple rules…

  1. Rinse first. Before putting plastic bottles in the recycling bin, if it’s easy/possible to do so, give them a quick rinse with hot water.
  1. Love your lids. Plastic caps – for instance, from deodorant cans and moisturiser bottles ­– can go in with the recycling, too.
  1. Remove your tops! Pump dispenser tops – for instance, on liquid soap bottles – should be removed and disposed of with your ordinary waste, as currently they can’t be recycled. (And this also means that if a perfume bottle has a spray attachment, this should be removed before recycling. If you can’t separate the two, alas you’ll have to put the bottle in the bin. We applaud the rising number of perfume brands – with Thierry Mugler leading the movement – to refill products, rather than force us to buy a whole new bottle each time.)
  1. Check it out. To find out where you can recycle beauty packaging close to you, visit: www.recyclenow.com/local-recycling.

And a few more tips…

Buy green. Burt’s Bees and Neal’s Yard, Recycle Now tell us, are among the brands leading the way when it comes to packaging made from recycled materials – which is great news for conserving precious raw materials.

Bag it up. If you tend to forget about putting beauty items for recycling in the recycling bin downstairs/wherever, try hanging a pretty reusable bag on your bathroom door.

Love your labels. Packaging labels and recycling symbols appear on many toiletries now (although we do concede you often need a magnifying glass to read them – which is why we keep one in the bathroom! Great for reading ingredients lists, too.) That way, you can feel more confident about what can and can’t be recycled.

Avoid one-use products. Single-use wipes can fill up the bin quickly – which is one reason we’re so keen on muslin cloths, for cleansing. (The other? It’ll lightly exfoliate skin each time you use one, leaving your skin brighter.)

We can’t help with your resolve to give up sugar or kick your 2 a.m. Instagram habit. But we hope that next time you finish that jar of face cream, you might give a thought to its future life…

Christmas Gifts

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Christmas, we think, is the time to give treats that people wouldn’t buy for themselves. But at Beauty Bible, we’ve long made a tradition of using the festive season as an excuse to introduce friends and family to the beauty and wellbeing treats we swear by ourselves. Because if something’s made it onto our bathroom shelves (between us, we literally receive thousands of products to try, each year) and stayed there, this is really quite significant! Bottom line: we would be happy – no, THRILLED! – to receive any of the following. Read More…

Fast Fixes For Winter Skin

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This is a time of year when skin can look a tad washed out and you feel all ‘blah’. So we thought this month we would share with you some of our top tips for instant sparkle – and beyond that, some of our favourite quick-fix products.

  • Start by breathing – it’s the foundation of everything. It calms you down, peps you up – oh, and keeps you living. So if you want to be more alive, practice this simple, quick technique at least twice a day for five cycles – more is better. Unfold your arms and legs, sit, lie or stand loosely and close your eyes (if possible). With your tongue just behind your top teeth, inhale to a count of four down to your belly, hold for seven (without letting your shoulders rise), exhale through rounded lips for eight. Brilliant for stress control (and one of the basics of Tantric sex, you might also like to know!)
  • If you can, go for a 20-minute walk in the fresh air. If you’re stuck indoors, march on the spot, arms swinging, knees coming up, then speed up and downstairs. Try jumping up and down – or even some star jumps…

Read More…