Monday, 28 May 2018

the art of sun protection

Sunshine, it tends to make us feel better plus we need some rays for Vitamin D production.  However, sun damage is one of the major causes of premature skin ageing.

Therefore sun protection shouldn’t be reserved just for holidays and summer months but I feel is an every day essential come rain or shine – every day is the perfect time to apply your (UV) sun protection.

Gone are the days when sun creams were thick gloopy pore clogging creams, there are so more great products on the market to choose from.

You may already have an SPF added to your moisturiser or make up which is great, but you need to consider carefully if that is going to be enough? 

If a product just says UV protection it's unlikely to give you the protection you need – even on those dull and cloudy days.  UV rays are there regardless of whether you can see the sun; The sun has always got his hat on.

You can easily find SPF protection on the High Street from higher end brands such as Clinique, Clarins and Estee Lauder to more budget brands at the supermarket.

For my face I stick to an SPF of at least 30 every single day.  I have naturally very pale skin, the type that would never tan, so I like to err on the side of caution.

I have just started using an SPF 50 cream from Heliocare, which is a paraben free light non-tinted cream.

When I feel like a little bit of colour I reach for Tropic Skin Care Tinted Skin Shade SPF50.

Whilst you are applying UV protection don’t just protect your face but also think about those other areas that can tend to give away our age – in particular the neck and hands.

When buying hand cream I always look out for one with UV protection – Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Anti-Ageing Hand Cream SPF25 is anaffordable choice.

Don’t forget lips, apply and reapply an SPF lip balm often – I like UltraSun and Malibu fruit flavoured lip balms.

And finally your hair – UV rays will not do you any favours if you colour your hair and generally they may dry it out. 

Many shampoos and conditioners have added UV; Also look out for it in serums and hair sprays such as L'Oreal Elnett UV Filter Coloured Hair 

Whatever you decide to do – don’t avoid enjoying the sunshine just remember to protect your skin, as you are going to be wearing it for a very long time.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Skin care for a certain age

(The) change is coming, time to invest

I recently hit a big birthday (50) and have noticed some changes in me.  Whilst I am not officially in the menopause yet I am definitely getting nearer to the end of my peri-menopause.

If you are younger than 45 you can probably stop reading this post now (!) - your time will come but for now, don't stress about it.

Not that getting older is a bad thing, definitely not and always better than the alternative!

In a way, we all start to age from the day we are born - but technically I think our early years are known as growing!  

However, it's a fact that our skin starts to loose collagen from our 20's. And then the menopause comes along...

Hormonal changes can have a negative effect on the skin. Be warned, reading about the effects of 'the change' can be a bit all doom and gloom. 

I don't quite know yet what it is going to do to my skin.  I do feel that overall my skin feels a bit thinner, and more delicate, it definitely takes longer to heal and I tend to bruise more easily than I used to.

So my birthday got me thinking about skincare specifically aimed at the menopause.

Which lead me to invest in my first menopause-specific skincare product.

Stratum Complete Hand Cream

I am seldom found without a tube of hand cream somewhere on my person and this is my latest.

The 75ml tube states 4 benefits:
  • Anti-ageing peptides
  • UV blocking SPF
  • Nail strengthening
  • Age spot removal
It also contains Matrixyl which is a trademarked peptide shown to reduce wrinkles - this is face grade hand cream.

I love hard working products and always try and buy a hand cream that talks about hand and nail benefits.  

The UV filter is great (although I would like to see a factor number).  As your hands are nearly always exposed they can be in danger of sun damage.  My advice, apply SPF to (the back of) your hands if your current hand cream is lacking.

So far so good and it is a lovely hand cream, rich but not too greasy and easily absorbed leaving my skin super soft.  But it's not budget - £18.

The thing is, I purchased this hand cream specifically as I know that my hormones etc are changing and it will inevitably be having a negative effect on my skin.  I'm looking to negate the changes in my skin as much as possible - so this is investment skincare

Apart from the high price point the only thing I don't like about are the words 'Menopause Skin Care' on the tube!  Maybe I am being over sensitive, or maybe it's just my age?!

Find out more at


Our skin goes through various changes throughout our lives - and there seems to be a product for every age.  If you have any products you swear by I need to know! so please leave me a comment below: x


Monday, 14 May 2018

Heliocare 360

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Sun protection... I thought I was pretty near perfect when it came to protecting my skin.  So imagine my horror when a dermatologist recently said to me that I actually had sun damage.

I've never, ever, had a tan and coming back from holiday as pale as the day I left is my idea of a holiday well spent!

Living in the UK I have in the past tended to only apply a high factor (i.e. 30+ SPF ) during our actual sunny months.

Turns out my pale and never tanned skin was starting to show signs of sun damage.

My last holiday to Spain was evident to the dermatologist, who also pointed out the sun damage on my right side, "Do you spend a lot of time in the car?" - UV rays penetrate glass 😱

Time to up my game.

Heliocare 360ΒΊ  

I've used the original Heliocare (tinted) before and I liked it however, a new regime justified a new product πŸ˜€

I choose Heliocare 360ΒΊ as it offers UVA/UVB/HEvis/IR-A protection all at 50+.  Lets break this down:-

UV, are ultra-violet rays. The 'A' rays are the longer ones that travel deeper into your skin and can cause the skin to age quicker.  Think A for Ageing.

Think B for burning, these rays are shorter and are the ones that can burn.  Burnt skin is damaged skin and this can lead to skin nasties (maybe skin cancers).

HEvis and IR-A? 
I have never heard of these two before, however I had been reading quite a lot about the effects of 'blue light' from phones etc.πŸ“±

I'm not sure what my thoughts are really about these two, however if I can find something that is going to offer protection against them (whether they are that bad or not), then why not?

Heliocare Say:
HEvis - High energy visible light can penetrate deep into the skin.  HEvis can be emitted from the sun but also indoor light (e.g. computers, LED etc)

IR-A - Infrared radiation, much the same definition as HEvis but also emitted through heat and thermal radiation

That's the science bit for you πŸ€“ but I can't really write about Heliocare without mentioning Fernblock.

All the products in the Heliocare range contain Fernblock, which is a natural antioxidant, an extract of Polypodium leucotomos (which is a fern🌱)

Antioxidants are great protectors for your skin as they help mop up the free radicals which can lead to premature skin ageing. In short they help prevent cell damage.

Heliocare 360ΒΊ Fluid Cream SPF50+

This non tinted cream is really easy and pleasant to apply, not thick or greasy etc. and it hasn't made me spotty.

I'm applying it after my moisturiser and it sits wells under my make up - i.e. it doesn't make my base slide off my face!

As with any SPF product it is only going to protect the skin that you apply it too, so I make sure that I am very methodical in my application.

I pay particular attention to my forehead, crows feet and around my lips - I'm thinking of those nasty vertical lip lines that I am starting to see.

Preventative care

As I've got older I'm all about preserving my skin - hence my obsession (in case you don't already know) with collagen.

Whilst I do wish for the skin I had at 25 I realise it can't be, but I also know that in another 25 years I will be wishing back for the skin I have now.

So, without going to extreme lengths, I am going to do all I can to 'age well'.
Sun Protection is at the top of my list, and I've now resolved to wear an SPF of 50+, 365 days a year.


When do you use an SPF?  Do you tan? Fake or real? Please feel free to leave a comment


Monday, 7 May 2018

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen *

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All in One GelπŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

DHC the Japanese skin care range have added an everything to everyone moisturiser that I have been trying for the last couple of months.
Astaxanthin Collagen all in one cream

Its called Astaxanthin Collagen All in One Gel (I'm going to call it Astaxanthin Collagen from now).

I am very familiar with, and some would say a tad obsessed with collagen!  If you want soft, smooth and firm skin, then you need collagen.  However, Astaxanthin is a new word for me and even more confusing for my spell checker!!

It's not a made up word though! Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belong to a group of chemicals called carotenoids and causes the pink or red colour in salmon, lobsters etc. (DHC Astaxanthin is from algae).  It is also a powerful antioxidant, and antioxidants are known for their anti ageing properties.

Antioxidants protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals which damage skin cells.

Vitamin C (also an antioxidant) is often a partner to collagen as it helps with collagen production.  DHC state that Astaxanthin is considered to be 6,000 times more powerful than Vitamin C πŸ‘

So partner that with hydrolysed collagen and you have the making of a couple of super heroes for your skin and it's fight against ageing.

so... that explains the colour!

My first impression of Astaxanthin Collagen was the colour, apricot.

Whilst I liked the playful colour I did initially think it looked a bit artificial (i.e. colour added just for... colours sake) but now knowing about the properties of Astaxanthin itself it makes sense, it's that colour because of the ingredients.

There is no real scent to speak of.
Astaxanthin Collagen all in one gel

Astaxanthin Collagen and me

The pot itself is supersize, for your £40 you get 120g of cream which is hefty.

The label says it will be fine for 6 months, but I always screw on the lid tight, keep it out of the sun etc (and I don't share) so I expect this is going to last me quite a bit longer.
Astaxanthin Collagen all in one gel

I really like the texture of this gel like cream and my skin has only reacted positively in the 2 months or so I have been trying it.

I use quite a lot of the cream because my skin is quite dry and the gel like formula is not greasy at all and my skin drinks it up.

As you should I am extending the use to include my jaw line, under my chin and my neck.

On first use the product gave my skin a glow.  I am very pale and I did wonder if it was just adding colour but this isn't the case.

Astaxanthin Collagen is quite happy to act as a base for my foundation, make up etc and has been doing an excellent job at keeping my dry skin hydrated.

Fine to use am or pm but there's no SPF so I always top it off with an SPF cream.

Astaxanthin has been a new discovery (and spelling) for me, I'm going to be looking out for it in other products however.

I love using any product that offers me collagen and this cream does that along with the antioxidant properties of Astaxanthin.

To find out more information about DHC Astaxanthin Collagen and other products (I love their best selling Cleansing Oil) please visit the DHC website.
Astaxanthin Collagen all in one gel
* post includes a PR sample
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