I hope all is well. Last year, I wanted to look for more affordable sunscreens, sunscreens under £10 so that everyone could have protection without spending a lot of money! One I found is the Garnier Super UV Anti Dark Spots and Anti-Pollution SPF 50+.
Garnier Super UV Anti Dark Spots and Anti-Pollution SPF 50+ is a chemical based sunscreen that has broad-spectrum protection and a PA rating of 3. The SPF also has hyaluronic acid.
The SPF has a very light fluid texture just like I like it. Its feels very lightweight on the skin and the added HA means its hydrating. The finish is a semi glowing finish, no greasy feel and sinks into the skin very easily. Shake well before use
It does have a sunscreen/chemical scent but no more than other SPFs I have tried.
See how it looks on my skin on my Insta reel below:
The SPF is 100% invisible on dark skin! I love this so much. It’s lightweight, hydrating and invisible. It doesn’t pill on me. It reminds me a lot of the La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid which I also love but this is more hydrating in my opinion.
For only £8 this is an excellent sunscreen. I think it will be great for most skintypes (not sure about sensitive skin)
Garnier Super UV Anti Dark Spots and Anti-Pollution SPF 50+ is £8 in Boots*
This year, I promised myself I would do more professional treatments. For my first clinic visit of 2020, I went to Luxe Beauty based in Beckenham for a facial. I found the salon on Treatwell (I have downloaded the app) and with a £10 discount code I chose the Dermalogica facial (45 mins) and paid £25( usually £35)
Luxe Beauty is based in Beckenham and offers a range of beauty services like facials, spray tanning and nails. I have never heard of the place so I did some research first before booking. The reviews on Treatwell were very good but I also checked google reviews, everything checked out so I booked my facial.
The salon is based on the high street but parking was free on a nearby road. It looks small and unassuming from the outside but inside it was super clean and modern. I arrived a little bit before my appointment but I was welcomed by the reception and asked to sit. My therapist Leanne soon came and took me to the treatment room. The treatment room was a bit small but it was super clean and smelled great. I took a quick snap of the products she had lined up for me.
I’ve been trying to find a description of the Dermalogica facial I did but I can’t find any. My treatment included double cleansing, exfoliation (I think she did this about 2 or 3 times from what I could feel on my facial) face mask, facial massage, steam, extraction, toning and moisturiser. She also did a shoulder massage. The whole facial lasted about 50 mins
Did I like it? YES, I love Dermalogica as a brand so even though this treatment is new to me, I had faith in it because their products are good quality. I would describe the facial as a deep cleansing/exfoliation facial. My skin was left so smooth and soft to touch. I have never had steam as part of a facial but it was nice, I could only feel it on one side of my face though lol. The pressure of her facial massage and shoulder massage was just right and it reminded me I need to book a body massage because my last one was in October lol
Would I recommend Luxe Beauty? YES, everyone I came in contact with, was friendly and professional. My therapist asked me a few questions regarding my skin before getting started. I would have loved for her to tell me what she was doing because there was no description of the facial online or on the app but I also didn’t ask. Tbh I dislike people talking to me during a facial because I like my peace and quiet so I didn’t mind. The salon is small but it’s very clean and modern inside.
Any cons? The only issue I had was the soothing music was a bit too loud. It wasn’t extremely loud but people that know me know I don’t like high volumes especially if I am in the same room as the music, but this wasn’t a bit deal. At the end the moisturiser she used did not have SPF (I made sure to ask) BUT this isn’t the only place that has done this. I’ve been t at least 3 different places over the last year where they simply don’t use SPF after the facial and I wonder why (there’s only 1 place that used an SPF 35 moisturiser and that was Skin Laundry). I carry my own now to use after a facial so I don’t really treat this as a con
The facial was worth the money and the salon was great. I will recommend and book again. Most of the Dermalogica products she used I recognise with the exception of the professional grade products. This is more of a deep cleansing/ exfoliation facial and I will definitely recommend for oily/blemish prone skin.
First facial for 2020 done with more to come. I realised I haven’t reviewed my go to place The Boutique Spa so I will make sure to do a full review after my next visit.
Post facial– its 2 days since the facial and my skin looks and feels so smooth. I have two spots forming which always happens to me after a facial so I am not surprised. I really wish I took pics, I have pics but they are not suitable lool.
I also recommend Treatwell. I was scared to download the app last year but after speaking to a few people I decide to go with it. So far I have booked two treatments and I have had no issues with the actual app in terms of pre paying and turning up to the places. They also give you a £5 off code when your review a place (temptation lol).
We all know Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant and has superior skin brightening properties but it’s also very unstable in water. I have been playing around with the thought of introducing Vit C in my routine for a long time but since I use a lot of water-based serums and mists in my routine I was worried that this will impact the effectiveness of the Vit C. Enter the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% which is a Vitamin C derivative and much more stable in water. This particular derivative offers skin brightening properties, stability in water and comfortable to use aka no irritation. High concentrations of Vitamin C are notorious for causing stinging/irritation.
When I first introduced this serum to my routine, I was using it in the mornings as I wanted to also take advantage of its antioxidant benefits for daily protection. I quickly disliked it, even a few drops would use piling and it didn’t layer too well with my other products. It also offered no hydration. I would use it after misting and underneath my moisturiser but it would quickly pil and sometimes I would have to wipe and start over. So it’s safe to say I didn’t enjoy it one bit and I stopped using it for while
After a bit more research ( and an email to The Ordinary for advice) I decided to try again, this time in my evening routine, as the first serum after misting and voila success! I have been using it this way for the last 3-4 months. One full drop over my face and neck and surprisingly no piling and its working well with the other two serums plus gel cream I use
The Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is a lightweight odourless serum with a translucent appearance which sinks quickly into the skin. It offers no hydration but can feel slightly sticky when dried. Over the months I have been using it, I haven’t noticed a huge difference in some pigmented areas but the general appearance of my skin looks more radiant and healthier. I can see some pigmented areas starting to break up too. It’s a nice introduction to Vitamin C and its stability in water makes it excellent to use in my routine. I am almost out of it and I would repurchase another although another form of Vit C has caught my eye, the new Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
I would 100% recommend this Vit C serum if you didn’t want to go down the pure ascorbic acid route. Its pleasant serum, but make sure you use after water-based solutions. In terms of piling and layering under products, I would say start with a few drops and play around with which products you use before and after it. Its worth noting that you NEED SPF in your morning routine if you have hyperpigmentation, every day, every season. my list of invisible SPF’s is on my Instagram page here
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is £8.90 on Deciem.com
Check out my updated Spring Morning routine. I will work on an updated evening routine too but I am pretty much using the same serums, I have just added 2 new ones. I rotate my products only when I finish the whole thing but if you want more product reviews make sure you follow me on Instagram, I am always posting recommendations.
I am also working on reviews for the other serums in the above picture.
Hey guys, I hope you are all well! Thought I would do an updated and more detailed skincare routine post as I have changed a few products I have been using in my routine. I hope this helps and if you have a similar skin type and issue with mine, hopefully, this gives you some product recommendations
About my skintype and issue
I have normal to combination oily skin type. My oily areas are my tzone. My main skincare issue is hyperpigmentation. Now that the weather is getting slightly colder, I will also add more hydration/moisture to my routine.
Morning skincare routine
Tbh, I never bothered with a ‘proper’ morning routine, I just did the basics and headed out the door. Now I am learning to do a tad bit more in the mornings to help my skin heal quicker and protect it during the day. I haven’t worn makeup to work in a long time, simply because I just don’t want to spend time doing that and I hate rushing when I am doing my makeup!
For my morning routine, I focus mainly on hydration and protection.
Cleanser- African Black Soap. Purchase high-quality pure African Black Soap from Ghana on Shea Butter Cottage. Read more on African Black Soap here
Toner- I recently finished my Garnier Green Tea Leaves Purifying Botanical Toner (read the review on my Instagram) so I have started using this new Naturally Radiant 5% Glycolic Acid Toner (Superdrug is stepping up! I will review this product once I finish the bottle oh btw I got 2 bottles)
Spritz- Caudalie Grape Water. I always follow my acid toners or toners in general with a water spritz for hydration
Serum- sometimes I follow with The BodyShop Vit C Skin Reviver. This is a must use if I feel like my skin looks dull or I haven’t had enough sleep (which is most of the time anyway lol. that damn Netflix! Yes I am still watching!)
Ok, that’s all folks. My current morning and evening routines and a list of products I am using. I have linked reviews to all the products I have reviewed on my blog so make sure you check them out if you want more info on that product. I have also linked other posts I feel may help you in building your routine.
Remember skincare routines require consistency and persistence so keep at it! If you miss a day or two or three it’s no biggie, it happens to all of us. Just try to get back on it again. You will see results soon!
Shoot me a comment or email if you need help or more info on anything!
Can you believe it’s almost Christmas? Sigh- my account ain’t ready for this!
With hyperpigmentation been my main and only skincare concern at the moment, I have dedicated a lot to learning about the issue and finding effective ways to combat it. I have used a fair share of lotions and potions that claim to brighten my skin and I have narrowed them down to 3. 3 serums that I feel has had the most impact on my skin. I am hoping to share this with you guys and in doing so, inspire you to try them and hopefully experience the same good results I had with them.
About my skin
I have normal to combination oily skin type with hyperpigmentation. I’m lucky enough to have skin that isn’t easily irritated by a lot of products. I also want to mention in addition to using these serums, I was also using ( and still using ) Glycolic Acid toner (read about AHA’s here). I strongly believe this ingredient in addition to these serums gave me the best results. I must also strongly advise the use of SPF when using Glycolic Acid but you should be using SPF in general especially when you have hyperpigmentation ( I don’t think I will ever stop saying this: use your SPF!)
Top 3 serums
The BodyShop Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening Serum- £26
I have a full review here. It’s amazing! The whole Drops of Light Collection from the BodyShop has been formulated to help you achieve luminous healthy skin.
It’s pricey but this is Kiehl’s we are talking about. The main ingredients in this are Activated C, White Birch and Peony. I have been using it for a while now and whilst in the 1st two weeks, I didn’t notice much of a difference, in the 4th week I started seeing more clarity in my skin. My skin although still, has some minor dark spots (and now a brand new fresh one lol) looked radiant and ‘clear’ I loved it! – It does say you see visible correction and clarity in the skin. It had a lot to live up to because I used this right after I run out of the Body Shop serum and it hasn’t let me down. I will bring a full and more in-depth review once I finish the bottle but many months down the line and this serum is working wonders!
I have to admit I really didn’t think this did anything when I first started using it. But this little baby does stuff. Alpha Arbutin is highly effective for hyperpigmented skin. You should know of the Ordinary by now, I am sure you do and you know they don’t play at only £7 you have to try this out!
Glycolic Acid is the gold standard for hyperpigmented skin. By exfoliating and revealing fresh new skin cells you are encouraging healthier skin
SPF is the most important product you can add to your routine and if you haven’t started what are you waiting for! Even without using all these serums, adding SPF alone, cleansing and moisturising your skin will have you seeing a bit of improvement. I really can’t stress SPF use enough
Vitamin C tgo-to to for brightening dull complexions! My favourite ever is the one from the Body Shop and I am slowing going to use that forever and forever (once I finish all these day cream backups lol) check out my review on the Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 cream
That’s all folks, be sure to let me know if you pick any of these out. hyperpigmentation can be stressful to deal with but stay with your routine and keep learning about it and how to tackle it properly, I promise you yu will see results soon
Hyperpigmentation, you may have heard this word floating around and it sounds like it’s a huge/ serious disease but in reality, it’s actually a fancy sciencey name for uneven skin tone or dark spots/marks on the skin. If you’ve ever picked a spot or had some sort of wound and it’s fully healed, you notice sometimes the area goes slightly darker than the rest of skin. That’s hyperpigmentation.
The official definition is
Hyperpigmentation occurs when melanin is overproduced in certain spots on the skin. Hyperpigmentation results in flat, darkened patches of skin that are light brown to black in colour, and can vary in size and shape. (Eucerin)
Types of Hyperpigmentation
There are many types but the most common ones are Pigment spots caused by the sun, Melasma which may affect pregnant women and Post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation which occurs after an injury has healed
Skin Care Routines for Hyperpigmentation
When dealing with this the first and most important thing you start doing is use SPF even for us brown skin beauties! Exposure to the sun causes the spots to get darker and no matter what other methods you use, without sun block you are essentially wasting your time and money.
Next, you also want to start using chemical exfoliants like AHA and BHA. I have a full post on them and what they can do, please check it out here. Chemical Exfoliants remove the surface layers of skin which reveal fresh new cells.
Eventually, the dark spots will fade but there’s nothing wrong with using some kick ass products that help with the process. There are so many products that there that can exfoliate and brighten your skin, help to even out your skin tone and nourish your skin too. Since I am battling hyperpigmentation as well, I have used a lot of products and here are my tried & tested products for the job
It’s worth adding, I use toners/serums that have AHA’s in term because I find they work better for my skin type. BHA’s are well documented for HP too, please check out my previous post as it will list the differences between them.
A Note on Bleaching
Hydroquinone is a skin lightener (bleach) that some people use for hyperpigmentation. It’s very popular and effective for HP but its safety is highly questionable. Because a lot of risks associated with it, it’s actually banned from the UK although you can get purchase creams with this in shops especially the black hair shops. There are also creams that contain mercury which has adverse side effects as well.
Powerful skin-lightening creams are available on prescription from a doctor. These usually contain one or both of the following medications:
Products containing these ingredients that haven’t been prescribed by a doctor are banned in the UK, as they can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly.
Products containing other potentially harmful substances such as mercury are also banned.
Make sure you check the ingredients of any product before you buy it. Avoid it if hydroquinone, corticosteroids or mercury are listed in the ingredients, or if it doesn’t come with a list of ingredients.
I don’t recommend bleaching as there are so many other safer forms and products to deal with hyperpigmentation
I will do a more detailed skincare routine post that targets hyperpigmentation a bit later. I am still experimenting and discovering new products. Check out my current skincare routine here My current stash of AHA’s
I have some huge news coming soon! Make sure you stay tuned for that!
Currently sitting in bed fighting the worst flu ever, thanks Nicole!
I want to start a series looking at some of the most common skin concerns we have. For a lot of people including myself as well, the ‘look’ of our skin has had an impact somehow of our confidence levels. Now I’m in a better place where I simply do not care what people would say lol, but for the longest time I simply would not wear skirts without tights because I had a few childhood scars and marks on my legs (I had a very happy active childhood lol). It’s funny that I would happily go out without makeup on my face even though I have a few marks from spots on my face (because Sarah Fynn is not patient even though my middle is Patience lol) but when it came to bearing my legs that was a big, HUGE no no. but we have to fight for our own beauty. There’s nothing wrong with wanting clearer skin but there is something wrong with allowing that it affect our confidence!
Hey, guys, I hope all is well and everyone is doing great! It looks like summer 2016 is here! What are your plans? Onto today’s post, this will be the full review on the Dermalogica PowerBright Pure Day and Night moisturisers.
Been a #WOC, I suffer from hyperpigmentation especially around the perimeters of my face. So from October last year, I have been taking my skincare very seriously and searching for products to help even out my skin without bleaching obviously. After having a face mapping analysis at a Dermalogica event, I was recommended (and sent) the PowerBright Pure Light, Pure Night and the Special Cleansing Gel.
Pure Light SPF 50
One of the many reasons why I love this is the high factor SPF, factor 50 with high UVA protection! I have found SPF especially a higher one is essential when fighting hyperpigmentation. This one is very lightweight and doesn’t leave my face with a white cast (thank God!) and no flashback! Compared to the Ultra-sun which I used to use and really like, I couldn’t wear that alone because it left a white cast but this doesn’t. Also with high SPFs, they tend to be really oily/greasy but this isn’t excessively oily/greasy. For very oily skin types you may feel like this is very oily but it actually isn’t after you work it into the skin. It’s easily and quickly absorbed!
I have noticed a huge difference in my hyperpigmentation. It’s formulated with Oleosome Technology which helps to regulate melanin protection and Red Algae to help balance uneven skin tone. My skin appears more radiant and the darker areas appear better. I also like the fact that it didn’t break me out.
The Pure Night feels very rich and luxurious on. I especially like it because my current cleanser makes my skin slightly tight and putting this on afterwards makes it feel replenished. Again because of its rich texture it can come off a bit oily. I use half a pump for my entire face and neck. The night time moisturiser also helps to control melanin production and hyperpigmentation and if formulated with Vitamin C for brightening, Raspberry seed oils and Oligopeptide.
I love the very high SPF especially now it’s summer and I started using acid toners which make the skin more sensitive to the sun. The combo has made such a huge difference in my skin and I am loving the results (super sad my Pure Light is running out!). Darker skin tones, if you are searching for SPF that doesn’t leave a white cast or cause flashback this one is definitely one to try! Both moisturisers come in pump bottles which obviously makes things more hygienic.
I will say to be careful with the Pure Light because it comes with an expiring date (mine expires at the end of the month, noticed this by chance!) and I won’t recommend you use the product after then. The Pure Night has a 12M shelf life after been opened. In conclusion, these products are very effective and you will get results! Do our skin a favour and invest in these products! I highly recommend them. Also, a face mapping analysis is free and I recommend you get one done so they can give you personalised products. They will provide you with samples to try out!
Pure Light is £55. Pure Night is £66.50 and both can be purchased on the Dermalogica website. I will also bring a review on the Special Cleansing Gel soon.
I love how we are re-discovering certain things the older generations used to use back in the day. While the use of natural products for skin and hair e.g. shea butter maybe new to us and we are only now discovering its benefits, the older generation are well versed in this area. I remember growing up in Ghana and the older ladies talking about how they use nkuto (shea butter) for everything: cracked heels, chapped lips, burns, relationship issues (lool) etc. I remember sitting there thinking why would anyone ever use that when you have *insert fancy brand product here* available to use. Fast forward 20 years later, and I can’t live without my shea butter mix. Infact the number of ladies who are now using shea butter as some form of cosmetic solution whether hair or skin have doubled in the last years. The number of stores/entrepreneurs who now stock and sell African shea butter have increased too.
Myself and other beautiful people out there are also re-discovering the great benefits of shea butter among other natural product and have now fully incorporated them in our hair/skin regimes. In this post, we will discover or should I say re-discover the great properties of African black soap, because I feel by now everyone and their sister’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s side chick knows about shea butter and its uses LOL. So I want to talk about the amazing benefits of African black soap and why you should think about incorporating in your regime.
African black soap aka alata samina is not new to me. My aunties back in Ghana used to use this religiously and now I do too. But why now? What’s so special about it? Let’s find out. Black soap is made from plantain skin, cocoa pod powder, honey, and Shea butter and/or virgin coconut oil. There are a lot of variations however each country/ tribe has its own secret recipe. Each ingredient has been carefully selected for its skin nourishing properties, let’s take a look at some of them individually:
Plantain skin- this is very rich in iron and vitamins A and E. Vitamin E is known for healing and helping to improve the skin’s texture and tone whilst vitamin A boots collagen production to help firm the skin. Plantain leaves contain allantoin which help stimulate new skin cells
Cocoa powder- softens skin. Rich in antioxidants that help protect against free radicals.
We all know shea butter, honey and coconut oil are known for their great moisturising properties.
Black soap also contains palm kernel oil which has anti-bacterial properties and palm oil- very useful in the treatment of acne and eczema
Great ingredients = great results. This is literally the only soap I use now for my skin. Since I started using black soap, I literally have no need for my face washes and masks but the product junkie in me still uses them, sparingly anyway LOL.. I have a lot of dark spots from acne/ chicken pox and a very active childhood lol which really bother me and hyperpigmentation. Using black soap has greatly improved my skin! My skin tone/complexion looks much better (I should add I drink water a lot too). I didn’t even notice this until I had a photoshoot for my friend and she sent me the pictures and I could not stop looking at my skin, I was glowing lool. This was way back in May and I had been using black soap for a month or two previously and using shea butter as my skin moisturiser but took a break, so imagine what I did next? Lool I went back to using black soap and shea butter lol and you should see me now lool. My skin tone has greatly improved and the dark marks are fading.
My pores yes PORES have dramatically reduced to almost disappeared! Like literally, of course I still have them but about 90% reduced. When I use minimal makeup, so let’s say just powder and concealer and I’m feeling real lazy, I use black soap to wash my face and it removes my makeup. Breakouts are less often too. I swear by this and it’s literally the only thing I use now. I am on a quest of just using natural products so my body moisturiser is now just a mix of shea butter, coconut oil and grapeseed oil. I have some lovely pure cocoa butter waiting for me too lol.
African black soap is an all-round great product that can be useful from head to toe. It’s a powerful cleanser yet very mild and gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin and even new born babies. Now let’s talk the suds of the soap! If you love your bubbles you will love this lol, it creates lots of dark brown suds (Yes dark brown) with little product. A lot goes a long way. You can get it in both solid and liquid form but I always just make liquid form myself. This is so easy: just grate some soap and add some hot water, the more or less water you use will determine how soapy it is. I add lemon juice as it naturally helps to fade dark spots.
Verdict: as people are becoming more health conscious, they are looking for more natural and cost effective products. African black soap is very cost effective too and will last very long. I usually get mine straight from the motherland Ghana. You know when your relatives or friends are going to Ghana and you give them a list of things to bring you lol, mine is always the same: shea butter, black soap, pebbles (Ghanaian version of M and M’s) and chocomilo (Chocolate cubes) and kingsbite chocolate lol (So if you’re going to Ghana soon or you’re in Ghana and coming back or you’re in Ghana and you feel like sending me stuff looool).
Here in the UK you can get some from the BSS, I can’t comment on its authenticity but I recommend you get it from either:
That’s all folks. Have you heard of black soap and what are your thoughts on it? If you already use it, how is that going for you? Hate it or love it?
P.S – you can also use it in or hair. If you want to try it in your hair but you’re not fully convinced, Shea moisture has a line with African black soap you can try. And been that I am very lovely lol, I have a post with the full collection and reviews AND where you can purchase in the UK. You can view it here>> http://wp.me/p1uQOd-Bs