Monday, 22 April 2013

Your skin type & how to do a mini-facial at home...

Skin types can be confusing and can seem to change depending on a variety of circumstances, but in fact your skin type remains the same throughout your life (although it does tend to dry a little with age). What changes is the internal and external stresses on your skin that cause it to look or act a certain way.

I encourage you to get in touch and book a free consultation with me (in person or by Skype) so we can discuss your skin type, the challenges you face and what products you use… in the meantime here’s a little chart to help you self-analyse:

Did you know?
Around 90% of the population thinks they have sensitive skin but you may just have sensitised skin. Your red, dry or delicate skin could be due to environmental factors such as a change in weather, pollution, sunburn, poor diet, chemical preservatives and stress. The symptoms are very similar and, whilst you cannot change your skin type (dry, sensitive, oily, combination) you can help sensitised skin start to recover by improving the general health of your skin. Overcleansing or harsh products will make it worse but regular facials and gentle organic skincare routines can make it better.
The same goes for dry vs. dehydrated skin – as we age our skin gets dehydrated as the fats in the stratum corneum (the first level of the dermis underneath the epidermis) decline. The same environmental factors that cause sensitised skin also cause skin to become dehydrated. Dry skins we can soothe, dehydrated skins we can totally repair!
Suffer from oily or acne-prone skin? The two don’t necessarily go together but 85% of adults will suffer with acne at some point not to mention teens, and the culprit is usually an oilier skin. Rather than harsh chemicals or treatments which can actually increase sebum production and make things worse, we use the key stages of exfoliation, extractions and certain masques and massage oils to help get your skin under control.

So, now you have an idea of your skin type, watch these videos to see how best to treat your skin at home, firstly with a deep cleanse:!

Or if you’d like a full length bespoke organic facial performed by a professional, look no further than


Friday, 12 April 2013

My 5 top tips for your skin in hard weather... brrrr...

Whether it's cold, wet, snowy or less than Spring-like (something I think will resonate with most of the country at the moment!), these tips will help you protect your skin and look & feel fabulous...

1. Obviously you wrap your body up warm in cosy coats and scarves when you go outside but it's important not to forget about protecting your face and hands too. Try putting a really nourishing hand cream on before you put your gloves on every time you leave the house (I recommend our Citrus Hand Softener) and make sure you're using a facial oil or serum in addition to your regular facial moisturiser to ensure your skin is hydrated and protected deep-down. NYR do lots of different ones but my favourite is the Frankincense anti-ageing facial oil.

2. Central heating on high? Taking hot showers or baths to warm up? There's nothing worse for drying out your skin leading to split cuticles, dry spots, itchy and flaky skin patches... NOT a good look. Try taking a cooler shower or bath, adding some essential oil drops to the water to nourish the skin and soothe the mind (I like the Calming blend) and applying a luxurious body lotion every day - for daytime I recommend the Calendula & Oat body lotion suitable for all skin types even sensitive ones. If you bathe in the evenings, you must try the new Beauty Sleep body butter... zzzz...

3. It's so easy to crave and cave into eating stodgy comfort food when it turns cold but our diet has a huge impact on us in myriad ways so it's important not to let that slip. You may not feel like salads when it's cold but organic raw veg has the highest amount of super nutrients so try blending some into a soup once you've finished cooking it - stirring it in will warm it enough without blasting the nutrients. Avocado is amazing at making soups creamy like this! Soups, stews, homemade curries... these are all great options for comforting but nutritious food :) If you don't feel like you're getting all the nutrition you need from your diet then taking an organic supplement can also help such as Super Antioxidant Boost or B-Complex for energy.

4. If you're feeling under the weather then try some natural remedies before you reach for the pharmaceuticals. The first and absolutely free natural remedy is sleep - you need more of it when you're under the weather but try and make sure it's the very best quality sleep by turning off all electrical equipment in the bedroom, wifi, mobiles etc and making sure it's as dark as possible. If you still feel poorly, try Elderberry syrup for colds and flu and Eucalyptus pastilles for sore throats and help yourself back to health :)

5. If the cold is getting you down or you suffer from S.A.D. then remember the power of aromatherapy (bergamot oil is especially good for this) - aromatherapy uses the purest essence of plants to deliver powerful physical and mental benefits through application to the skin in creams and lotions and through breathing in their natural fragrance. You can achieve this in lots of ways of course with scented candles, oil burners and the fabulous aromastone from NYR, but also by putting a few drops in a bowl of water on your radiators (great to avoid the air becoming too dry too), but also by popping a few drops in your hoover bag and in your tumble dryer too! Mmmm :)

6. (I know I said 5 tips but I can't resist!!) Think organic... food, remedies, aromatherapy oils, skincare and even make-up. It's so much better for you to avoid having to process all those nasty chemicals though your system but it's also wonderful for the planet, the farmers, wildlife, the local communities and our local environment too. It's a WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN scenario and you can't say fairer than that!

Take care of yourselves, remember prevention is better than cure, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help :) You can find all the goodies I mentioned above (and loads more) here:

Monday, 8 April 2013

How to get your best beauty sleep ever zzzz...

Yes it really is important! As Lady Macbeth said, “Sleep knits up the ravelled sleeve of care”; it’s not just our physical but our mental and emotional wellbeing that is affected when we are tired or sleep deprived. Of course no one wants puffy eyes and dry dull skin in the morning but the effects of long term sleep deprivation can be much more serious – severe premature ageing leaving you looking a decade older, inability to deal with stressful or emotive situations, inability to concentrate, to keep warm, to produce key hormones and maintain optimum skin function (and we know how important the skin is for health), to keep our immune system functioning well.

So what is ideal? Some say 8 hours, others famously survived on 4 hours per night (although I’m not sure how effective that made a certain Iron Lady!) and still others claim that the most highly effective people sleep 6-7 hours a night. Is an hour before midnight really worth two after?

With endless advice about what is the optimum time, length, conditions of sleep, how do you know what is right for you?

It’s really a question of you as an individual. Women and men need different amounts and women are much more at risk of sleep disorders due to various biological and sociological factors such as menstruation/menopause and the way women think about and deal with responsibilities and worries.
At different times in our lives we also need different amounts of sleep. As teenagers we medically need more sleep and goodness don’t we take advantage of that at the time! At other times we can easily survive and be healthy with less sleep, but if you are getting too little sleep or restless sleep and finding you awake tired then something other than natural cycles might be at work.

This is when you need to take control and there are things you can do to improve it:
§  If a whirring mind is keeping you awake, try writing down your thoughts before sleep or if you wake in the night. Acknowledging them will allow your brain to relax and move on knowing that you can address them in the morning.
§  Ensuring your bedroom is totally dark will lead to better quality of sleep – blackout blinds, turning off lit screen alarms and TV power lights can help with this.
§  Reduce electrical intereference – turn things off at the plug socket, have your mobile away from your head and on airplane mode or off totally (your alarm should still work), turn off the wifi and unplug cordless phones to reduce the signal waves flowing through you.
§  Take time to relax just before bed – some meditation or deep and restful breathing, self-massage or even just a pampering facial cleansing and moisturising routine can do the trick.
§  Regular massage and facial treatments have also been shown to promote body and mind balance and therefore aid sleep naturally.
§  Use aromatherapy to help you sleep – either burn an essential oil before bed, add a couple of drops to your pillowcase or use a product on your skin that contains essential oils to treat you all night long. Great oils to look out for are benzoin (helps with stress), cedarwood (for grounding), clary sage (calming with sedative qualities, also great for the skin), cypress (soothes nerves), lavender (scientifically proven to promote sleep), orange oil (for insomnia), patchouli (for serenity), valerian root (for relaxation) and ylang ylang (for toning the nervous system and lowering blood pressure). You can find many of these in the organic Beauty Sleep range from Neal’s Yard Remedies – Beauty Sleep Concentrate for a smooth and youthful face and the NEW Beauty Sleep Body Butter for 24 hour moisturisation.

Sweet dreamzzzzzz…..

Thank you to for some of the information in this post.