Skincare Brand To Know: Garden Of Wisdom

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After recently discovering a shared love for it in our office, we thought we’d let you in on this game-changer… Garden Of Wisdom.

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    When a brand gets 5* ratings on just about every beauty site imaginable, we take note. And when we see seriously impressive results for ourselves, well, we go out and clear the shelves. The premise of Garden of Wisdom (it’s become so cult its also known as GOW), is simple: dubbed The Ordinary’s natural equivalent, the formulas have minimal ingredients, allowing the actives to get to work properly. The pH of the acids have been adjusted too so they don’t irritate the skin, yet still perform their roles of exfoliation while enhancing collagen.

    How long has it been around?

    Longer than we even knew! The pros have been making these formulations for over a decade. The products are potent and cruelty free without common skincare additives such as alcohol, silicones or soya. While it’s not technically new, 2019 is very much about brands with easy-to-follow skincare instructions which skip any science speak, making GOW feel very much of the moment. Read More…

Beauty Benefits Of Prickly Pear Seed Oil

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Many of us love a good facial oil treat which explains our obsession with rosehip seed oil and Moroccan argan oil. However, there is a great do-it-all facial oil called prickly pear seed oil with excellent moisturising properties. It is derived from a cactus called Opuntia Ficus Indica, used in herbal supplements for weight loss. Read More…

My Best Spa Treatment Ever Cost Just £34

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I’m sitting on a tiled bench in my M&S black Brazilians at the top of a house in Ouarzazate on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco.

This was where parts of Gladiator was filmed (remember the slave scene with Oliver Reed?) though I’m pretty sure Russell Crowe never made it to “Epices Maria”, the Hammam at No 1570 Hay el Wanda street, next to the airport. Read More…

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.)

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.

Striking oils, every one…

On-The-Spot Relief

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Spring is peak time for chicken pox (nhs.uk/conditions). Although a mild and common childhood illness, the spots can be very itchy. Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends PoxClin Cool Mousse (£10.80), which promises fast relief from itching, helps to prevent scars and promotes healing. Or try all-natural multipurpose Kiddy Balm (£4.05), which one mum reports calmed her three-year-old: ‘For the first time in three nights he slept through without scratching and crying.’ Both from Victoria Health, tel: 0800 3898 195, victoriahealth.com.

AND RELAX…

We store tension in our faces, particularly our jaws, which can be painful and ageing. Simply massaging your face and scalp with your fingertips helps relax muscles and dispel tension. Work in circles over your head from hairline to nape. Then stroke some facial oil (such as Argan Organics Regeneration Anti-Ageing Face Serum, £15.99, from Victoria Health, see above) on your face, working upwards, and see your rosy relaxed reflection beam back at you in the mirror. Read More…