Saturday 7 May 2016

My Current Skincare Must-Haves

I wrote a post some time ago that elicited interest and some useful comments from sisters about what skincare and beauty products I use. Since that time, I have changed some of the products I use for ones that have less chemical nasties or are cheaper versions. I love sharing what works for me, so accordingly, the products I rely on and my current must-haves are:

Astral – I have used this for the last few years and it’s a safe bet for me because I have never had a reaction to it. The anti-ageing moisturiser I used was okay for a year or so and then I started reacting to it with itchy and red skin. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was pregnant or because some of the ingredients may have changed (I have heard one of the ingredients was banned and a different ingredient doubled to compensate which was leading to a spate or reactions). I use this morning and night and it goes on quite heavy and slightly greasy until it’s fully absorbed. I love the glow it gives my skin and I find if I don’t use it for a couple of days, I can see a difference with my skin looking duller in general. My cheap and reliable favourite.

Argan Oil – I am currently using this brand to slather all over my face every night (well most nights, sometimes you just want the luxury of brushing your teeth and falling into bed). It sinks in really quickly and it feels as if I am really giving my skin some nourishment. My only worry is that I have open pores on part of my cheeks, and I am wary that using oils will lead to break outs, none so far, but I am doing some research. I am currently looking for a pure organic version and might try this one next.

Olive Oil - this has been a staple for the whole family for the last few years, I use it on the babies for massage or where they have dry skin. I encourage the others to use it on their arms and legs where they need it and hubby rubs it into his feet as he gets very dry skin there.  I have used it as a mask for my hair in the past before shampooing it out.  It is a little greasy on application, but I find that my skin just drinks it up.  It sinks in leaving no grease, sometimes I apply a second time and a light trace will sit on the skin for a while.  I always buy Palestinian and try to buy fair trade.  I like the Yaffa Olive Oil, but the Zaytoun Olive Oil is thick and rich and I like that it is fair trade.

Coconut Oil – I use this for my skin. I know I don’t drink enough water at all, so I get very dry skin especially on my legs. I am also very self-conscious of my feet, I can’t stand having rough or cracked heels and take a lot of care of my feet, especially with summer coming when I’ll have to give up my socks. So I scoop out chunks of the solid oil, rub in my hands for it to melt and then rub into my feet and legs before bed or in the morning under my socks or stockings, works a treat.

Hask Hair serum – I picked little tube from Primark to try out and it is the best serum I have tried so far and with my dry hair I have tried a lot. Most are either too heavy or too greasy and the lighter ones don’t seem to do much. They can also be expensive. This one is light and doesn’t leave you hair greasy but deals with the frizz and makes hair feel smoother and more manageable. It’s cheap and smells very good too. I have tried other products from the range and haven’t been as impressed, but this one, in both the Argan Oil and Macadamia Oil versions are great.  Come to think of it this isn't really skincare, but like it so have sneaked it in.

Clarins Toner – I have been using Clarins Alcohol-Free Toning Lotion with Iris since my early 20’s when a lady on the beauty counter informed me I had open pores and that I “needed” the toner. I am coming to the end of my last bottle and I am not convinced I need to buy another. This version is for oily-combination skin, which I had in my early 20’s, but probably need something for drier skin now. It’s not cheap and I am not sure if it does make a difference to the pores. It is refreshing and it does get rid of any last traces of dirt or kohl that get left on your face. The original purpose of toners was to restore PH balance after you wash your face, but I only use water to wash my face most of the time anyway. I think in future I may dispense with the toner or see if I can find a dupe (cheaper high street version that is as good).

Make-up Remover – I have sensitive eyes and I use contact lenses, so years ago my optician recommended I use Clinique’s make-up remover. I used Clinique’s Take the Day off remover for years and found it was very effective at removing eye make-up, especially hard to remove mascara, without irritating my eyes. I did find it expensive, but anything similar I tried (i.e. oily make-up removers), just moved the make-up around my face and created a big mess. Recently I have found a dupe in Nivea Daily Essentials Eye Makeup Remover which does pretty much the same job at about an eighth of the price, so I am very happy with this (it is worth looking around for this at Superdrugs and Supermarkets as I have bought it for as litte as under £2 on offer).

Face mask – I have been using Body Shop’s Warming Mineral Mask for the past few weeks and love it. It comes out of the tube quite thick, and needs a little effort to apply. It heats up as you apply and stays warm for about ten minutes. I like that it comes off really easily without scrubbing. My skin feels squeaky clean afterwards if slightly dry, so I usually follow up with a liberal dose of my Astral cream. The last time I checked, Body Shop have changed the packaging and formula to include Ginger, so will see if this makes any difference to how I like it.

Dr Organics RoseOtto Face Mask – I have inly used this a few times so far, I like that the ingredients are organic and it smells very good. The mask is quite thin, more like a cream, and it applies beautifully, without having to use loads. It cakes onto your skin as it dries, but without cracking. I found this really hard work to get off. I often think that the amount of scrubbing some face masks require to remove, seem to cancel out any benefits they provide. I didn’t see any immediate difference, but a while later my skin did feel soft. The jury is out on this one, I haven’t decided how much I like it and whether it is “the one” for me.  (It is worth comparing the price between Amazon for this product and Holland and Barrett as the price can vary by quite a bit).

I like that over the years my skin care routine is moving more towards natural and organic products. I would love to hear recommendations from sisters – what do you use and which are your go-to, most reliable or favourite products?


  1. Anonymous08 May, 2016

    I love coconut oil for my skin. I tried it in my hair didn't like it so much. But skin loves it!!!

    I like to use tea tree oil sometimes on my face I like the fresh feeling.

    Apple Cider vinegar makes a great toner. I have using that I just don't like the smell.

    I really need a good face mask so I migh give the body shop one s go. Have you used any Lush products?

  2. Anonymous08 May, 2016

    Assalam Alaykoum Sister,

    I loved your post as always.
    I can honestly say that I love organic and natural products as well and especially since both of my boys have eczema I have to keep an eye on ingredients.
    I am using unrefined organic cocoa butter (edible)
    I buy it from here:
    I put in microwawe to get a creamy consistency amd mix ot with any oil ( usually sunflower or oil) as it is hard on its own until it's like a cream then pour it into a container (old cream jar washed) and I use it on my face, on kids face body, scalp.
    Not the cheapest but also not very pricey and totally natural. Love the cocolatey smell and the smooth skin long after application.