IM-PORE-TANT FOOD FOR THOUGHT

We all know that the key ingredients to having great skin are plenty of sleep, water and a healthy diet. But naturally following these three rules is easier said than done what with the busy and hectic lifestyles we lead. Listed below are a few products that I ‘swear by’ in order to give my skin a bit of a boost – a couple of which may surprise you.

The first one is completely under-the-radar, unheard of and always incites people to say ‘WHAAAT??’ when I tell them about it. Why this product isn’t on sale in drug stores or supermarkets I will never understand, because it is by far the best thing-for-your-skin I have ever encountered. I can not urge you enough to try this! I discovered it through an ex boyfriend and have been using it ever since. You can buy it from Holland and Barratt but I buy mine from a safe seller off Ebay because it’s cheaper and I prefer to buy it organic. What is this mystery item?

Coconut oil.

It has a gazillion health benefits including maintaining cholesterol levels, aiding weight loss, increasing immunity and metabolism, plus it is great for your skin and hair. Not only can you use it as a moisturiser but you can also cook with it. I use it as a replacement for olive oil when cooking curries and I also grease my cake tins with it.

The best thing to do with it though, is to eat it.

A tablespoon a day will improve your skin no end and for some it helps decrease cellulite. Mostly I put this on my face and on my hair before bed. Massaging into your head at night and working through to your ends prevents dandruff and nourishes your hair making it nice and shiny! I also highly recommend it if you’ve just dyed your hair, it works better than any expensive conditioner. One thing to note is – being oil – it’s very greasy and gets everywhere. I wash my hair every other day so only use coconut oil on the nights I’m going to wash my hair the following morning. That way it doesn’t matter if your hair sticks to your face and gets all greasy whilst you’re tossing and turning!

The tubs I buy are just over a tenner for almost 500g which will last you a long time.

This stuff hydrates and nourishes your skin better than any expensive night cream you can buy. It’s also great for reducing fine lines and wrinkles because it’s so hydrating and moisturising. I have a smile line on one side of my face (only on one side because I have a crooked smile/unsymmetrical face!) and when I put this over it before I go to sleep, the next day it has disappeared.

Other great ways to use it- on tired, dry feet – again before bed. Rub the oil liberally between your toes and all over your feet and then put socks on; this locks in moisture. The next day you will see the difference. Also, for future reference, this stuff is great for sunburn.

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Face masks are one of those things you use on special occasions or stereotypically girly nights in (which are stereotypical because they rarely ever happen). However I found that I kept re-buying this because it worked so well and was so easy to apply. The entire reason us ladies don’t use these face products very often is because they’re messy, time-consuming and restrict you from going about your business. You’re forced to hide in your room and sit stock still because you look funny and because some of it might drip off.

This one’s different because it’s a peel off which is why I like it so much. It takes a couple of minutes to apply and then you leave it to dry on your skin which means you can go off and do whatever you want for 10 minutes. Again it’s all about catering for the busy lifestyle! (it’s is also colourless, which helps).

The best thing about this is the satisfaction you get from peeling off!

It’s like peeling the plastic off a brand new phone, laptop or iPod – but from your face! This one is Boot’s own and uses Witch Hazel and Tea tree, two things my skin agrees with. It tightens your pores and leaves you with a really clear complexion. This little bottle is only £2.99 and will last you ages because you only need to spread a 1mm thick layer for each application. I eventually gave in and bought this after buying the individual sachets so many times.

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Honey I shrunk the acne!! Product number 3 is one a lot of you will have in your food cupboard. Honey! It’s anti-bacterial which means it’s good for your skin and, unbeknownst to many, helps reduce the appearance of acne scars. The only thing is that it’s obviously a bit messy. It’s recommended you apply every night and leave on for about ten minutes in order to clear up your blotches. I started using it on my chin to clear up my acne scars and it worked well. The trouble was I kept getting into bed with it on and accidently falling asleep…

However if you’re sensible about it and put it on earlier in the evening (not when you’re shattered and sleepy) then it’s definitely worth it. The better quality the honey, the better it’ll be for your skin. Manuka honey is expensive but is meant to be the best. I currently have Rowes 🙂

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Taking off your make-up at night is a pain
. It’s very easy to give your face a quick swipe with your trusty face wipes and leave it at that. Why it is so, I do not know, but face wipes are what most girls use when they start wearing make-up to take it off at night, and a lot of them continue to do so. But this is a BIG NO NO! Face wipes only get rid of about 60% of the make-up on your face. Similarly make-up remover will get rid of a lot of it but help spread the remainder of it over your face using your cotton wool pad.

The best way I find to get rid of make-up is ex-foliating face scrub. It requires the most effort but it’s a job-done process. If I’m not wearing much make-up a good bar of soap and water work well, or I really like Olay Facial Cloths. These are gentle and foam up when you use them with water, which combined with the texture of the wipes softly exfoliates your skin too.

However the product that’ll finish the job and that I’ve been buying ever since I purchased my first bottle a few years ago is tea tree cleanser. It calls itself a black head cleanser (because it’s tea tree which is associated with spot removal) however I find it works brilliantly as a make-up remover. If you put a few drips on a cotton wool pad and wipe gently over your face and neck you will be shocked at how much dirt/make-up comes off (especially when having already washed your face or used a face wipe). No matter how clean you think you are, use this on your neck before bed and each time the colour of the cotton wool will surprise you!


It’s a clear liquid with the consistency of water, so unlike other milk based cleansers it means you don’t have to wash your face afterwards. And the best thing about this? It costs 90p from Wilkinson (or 2 for £1.50). It’s their own brand and I bought it as an impulse buy in an attempt to soothe my acne and I’ve never looked back! The bottles also last ages because you only need a few drops.

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 Last, but not least, is a little gem of a product. It’s the best spot soother/remover I have ever used and like most of the products I’ve listed it’s uber cheap! My mum bought this for my brother’s eczema and then gave it to me for my acne. In the end it was acne cream that sorted that problem out, however this stuff is amazing for spots. I still break out on my chin and out of every other tea tree/witch hazel/spot treatment I’ve tried this is the best. It’s a cooling, clear gel and you can apply as often as you like. Unlike acne cream which dries out the skin (and burns!) this soothes. It also works really fast.

As well as working on spots, it’s an anti-septic and anti-irritant, so is great for bites, burns and rashes. This is hard to find in the shops, however they sell it on Amazon here for £2.95 with free shipping. Amazing!

And there you have it, a few of my facial essentials.

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