Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Exfoliating Powders

Over the weekend I published a blog post on my skin treatments website about the importance of using Skin-Function Friendly Exfoliators i.e. exfoliators that support your skins natural desquamation process rather than anything too harsh or aggressive that would cause irritation or inflame the skin, like apricot scrubs for example *shudders*.

Whilst I'm an acid and enzyme kinda guy, I do appreciate that many people still prefer manual scrubs because some people a) are fearful of anything that contains the word "acid" (you needn't be!) and b) just like the feeling of a manual scrub against the skin.

The key is the type of manual exfoliant and how often. Remember anything too aggressive, coarse or harsh is seriously going to impact the skin barrier function. Which over time will leave the skin unhealthy and unable to protect itself. 

Powder-based exfoliants are a great alternative to traditional scrubs. Not only are they gentler on the skin, they generally contain some form of AHA, BHA or enzymes. So you get the best of both worlds, a hybrid between chemical and manual exfoliation if you will. Plus, because the ingredients are stored in powder form, it means there is generally less need for preservatives and the active ingredients remain active!
Like any exfoliation though, they should still be used in moderation. Around once to three times a week, depending on your skin (despite what the manufacturers may say!).

They can be mixed with water or a cleanser of your choice. They generally have some form of foaming agent for addition cleansing power while they polish.

Here are 3 powder exfoliators you should all be trying (in order of price).

Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator 75g - £18.99 

A combination of Bamboo Powder, Rice Bran Powder, Red Algae, Hyaluronic Acid and Bromelain. Provides physical polishing and enzyme exfoliation. The addition of the Red Algae for a natural polysaccharide for barrier function support. They recommend using daily, however I'd limit to 1-3 time a week.

Available from Boots.

CosMedix Purity Detox Scrub 90g - £37.81

This is the one I personally use and also use in my facials. A combination of milled Yellow Corn Meal and Date Seeds, whole Poppy Seeds and Jojoba Beads / Esters plus Salicylic Acid.
The addition of Salicylic Acid makes it a better option for congestion. What's unique about this powdered exfoliator is the different sized grains to add a multi-layered polish and scrub aspect to the treatment.

Available from Medico Beauty.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant 75g - £41.30

The first powdered exfoliator I tried and probably the most well known. Similar ingredients and consistency to the Indeeds Lab version, being mainly Rice Bran based with an enzyme but with the addition of Salicylic Acid. Again, despite the name, I wouldn't recommend using it daily! As with any exfoliator you can over-exfoliate the skin and make it sensitised. 2-3 times a week is plenty.

Available from Dermalogica.

Friday, 12 December 2014

As Featured In The Stourbridge News....

Today was an exciting day for me and my new facials business! As I have been featured in the Stourbridge News, which is a local newspaper where I live and part of the Stourbridge, Dudley and Halesowen News Group.

The story focuses on my transition from IT into the skin care industry and how, with my facials business, hope to help people within the Black Country with their skin issues. Something I hope I've been doing for many others online since starting this blog!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the feature! I'm absolutely over the moon for being featured and it's really nice to read something in the news that isn't all doom and gloom for once (and the fact it's about me obviously makes it that bit better too).

Read the full feature HERE.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle!

Image Source

So the latest innovation to hit the beauty industry is DNA Microchip Technology from GENEU utilising gene therapy. Promising tailor-made and truly bespoke anti-ageing skin care based on your genetic makeup / DNA. Hailed in the Daily Mail and Telegraph as "The most advanced anti-ageing serum in the world".

The 'procedure' involves a doctor taking a swab of your cheek before isolating individual strands of DNA and injecting them on to a microchip. From which they can identify your genetic predisposition to collagen degradation and also your natural antioxidant levels that protect from free radical damage.
Thus determining your intrinsic ageing rate. In other words your genetic predisposition to ageing.

Based on the results your two personalised GENEU serums are produced. An antioxidant serum and a collagen serum (I presume this contains collagen promoting ingredients as collagen fibres are too large to absorbed to the dermal layer). All this for a measly £600 for the initial test and 2 weeks worth of serum, plus £300 thereafter for a months supply. Bargain right?

While I find the science behind the concept absolutely fascinating (and there is no doubt that's exactly what you're money is paying for), I can't help but feel that the application of the technology is nothing but of a bit of the old Razzle Dazzle! A rather extravagant and theatrical gimmick that divert your eyes and blind you by science to lure you in to thinking that you've got tailor made products, designed only for you and that it will some how turn off your genetic code to ageing.

From the location and futuristic decor on Bond Street, to the doctor who swabs your cheek (why they need a doctor to swab your cheek when the results are probably analysed by a computer programme I do not know!), to futuristic NASA inspired packaging. It's showmanship at it's finest!
It's also the ultimate in exclusivity. While some department stores can boast having exclusive rights over particular skin care brands, these guys have taken then one step further in that only you have exclusive rights over your serums.

Image Source
GENEU say "It's not about the serum, it's about the science", however if we were to just take the test out of the equation for a minute. Ultimately it IS the serums that are going to provide benefit to the skin. 
The science is giving you knowledge about your genetics and predisposition to ageing. However having knowledge about something alone is not enough. It's the actions based on the knowledge that makes the difference.

Now, I can't comment on the actual product itself because a) I haven't use them and b) the only ingredients I know of are antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Tripeptides and amino acids. Nothing out of the ordinary there, however I'm guessing it's the percentages of each ingredient that makes it bespoke to you.

What I do find interesting however is the results that GENEU have reported. A reduction in lines & wrinkles by up to one third in 12 weeks. Considering the groundbreaking science and the hefty price tag I think those claims are rubbish! Considering you could easily get the same result by using a good quality Retinol serum for a fraction of the price. 

It's worth mentioning that only a very small percentage of how much we age is actually down to our genetics anyway (known as intrinsic ageing). The majority is down to external factors such as UV radiation, our diet and lifestyle habits. I'd say if you really wanted to slow the biological clock and prevent premature ageing then addressing the extrinsic ageing factors would be your first point of call!

However if it's the test that you're interested in and want an understanding on how well you'll age there is a FREE test that we can all do. No cheek swab required. 
Take a look at your parents and their parents, see how well they aged. After all you inherited your genetics from them.
Now that's your intrinsic ageing sorted, the next step would be to address the extrinsic ageing factors. So protect yourself from excessive sun exposure, follow a anti-inflammatory diet, eating plenty of antioxidant rich foods and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Last step invest in a good cleanser, an antioxidant serum, a retinol serum and a mineral / physical sunscreen. 

Now if the DNA Microchip was put to bespoke nutritional usage instead of topical skin care, then I think I'd be much more interested in giving it a try. However £600 for a test and then £300 a month for serums that could only give me a third of a reduction in my lines & wrinkles, is just not justifiable for me I'm afraid.
As with most things in the beauty industry I'm sure it won't be long until it's been commercialised by L'Oreal and we see DIY DNA tester kits in Boots, with a "prescription" 3-Step regime.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried GENEU Skin Care? Are you tempted?

Sunday, 9 November 2014

CosMedix Purity Solution + Purity Detox Scrub

I am a HUGE fan of CosMedix Purity Clean (read my full review of it HERE and I also featured in my How To Cleanse Your Face video). I love it as a customer and use it personally but also as a therapist and use it in my treatments too.

So imagine how I excited I was to here that CosMedix were releasing two new cleansing products to the Purity range!

Now, let me start by saying that the products haven't reached the UK yet (although will do very soon) so this post is not a review, but rather a pre-release feature.
What struck my attention the most with both products is there similarities between too very well known and very popular products, so with CosMedix's unique spin on things and superior formulations, I just know they have the potential to be a huge hit. Possibly becoming even more popular than Purity Clean!

Purity Solution - Deep Cleansing Oil

Purity Solution is a deep cleansing oil that is designed to dissolve makeup, oil-based sunscreen and excess sebum. It contains a number of different oils including Olive, Moringa Seed, Kukui Seed, Argan, Safflower Seed, Sesame Seed plus Neem Leaf Extract.

Other ingredients include Soybean oil, D-Tocopherol, Amber Powder, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Turmeric and Pearl Powder.

Purity Solution emulsifies upon contact with water and is suitable for all skin types, to be used as the first step in your cleansing. It's nourishing enough for hyper-sensitive skins, but cleansing enough for oily skins. You would then follow up with either Benefit Clean or Purity Clean. So you could therefore say this is designed as a "precleanse". 

See the resemblance to Dermalogica Precleanse? I did. The difference between Dermalogica Precleanse and Purity Solution, is as with all CosMedix formulations, it is free-from parabens and PEG's, so it means it's suitable for even the most sensitive / reactive skins and / or those who choose to avoid these ingredients in their skin care.

The CosMedix offering is cheaper too, retailing at £28.36 compared to Dermalogica Precleanse which is £34.

Purity Detox Scrub

Purity Detox Scrub is described as a 'multi-layer' exfoliation system, which combines both mechanical scrub from Poppy Seed, Date Seed, Jojoba Beads and Yellow Corn Kernel Meal plus chemical exfoliation from Salicylic Acid. 

The only other ingredients included are Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate & Cocoyl Isethionate, both mild coconut-oil based surfactants.

Purity Detox Scrub is a powder based "micro-exfoliant" that is designed to detox, polish and decongest the skin. It can be mixed with water OR for best results mixed with Purity Solution and used 1-3 times a week, depending on skin type or tolerance.

See the resemblance to Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant? I did. The difference between Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and Purity Detox Scrub, is as above, the CosMedix formulation is free-from parabens. It also doesn't contain any bulking-agents or talc. CosMedix really are living up to their reputation as "Clean-Cosmeceuticals".

The CosMedix Detox Scrub is also cheaper, retailing at £37.81 compared to Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant which is £41.30.

Like I mentioned before, the products haven't arrived the UK yet so this is just based on my observations on the function of the product and their ingredients but out of the entire Dermalogica range, Precleanse and Daily Microfoliant are my favourites so it will be great to see how CosMedix compare!

I am definitely looking forward to trying them for myself and will be incorporating them into my facials as soon as they arrive.

Both will be available to buy soon from Medico Beauty.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Bodhi & Birch - Camomile Sky Bath & Shower Therapy

Bodhi & Birch Camomile Sky is the newest fragrance to join the Bath & Shower Therapy range and the first Bodhi & Birch body cleanser I have used since the re-branding and packaging overhaul.

This is a 'calming' fragrance and replaces the original Palmarosa Verde Purifying Bath & Shower Therapy. I must admit, when I first heard Palmarosa Verde was being discontinued, I was a little disappointed. 

I love ALL of the Bodhi & Birch Bath & Shower Therapies (I've even grown to love Mint Thé and I can't usually stand mint fragrance!), Palmarosa Verde in particular was one of my favourites, so I was sorry to see it disappear. That said however, Camomile Sky is a worthy replacement!

Camomile Sky is similar but not the same as Palmarosa Verde. They both have that herby-floral, almost "Turkish Delight" type fragrance that I like, but they have a few subtle differences.

Now, I don't pretend to have a sophisticated nose at all (which is why I don't review perfume on my blog often) so the subtleties between the two may be a little lost on my primitive nasal passages. However I'd describe Camomile Sky as being slightly 'lighter' and a little 'fresher'. Whereas Palmarosa Verde was a little 'muskier', making it a slightly heavier fragrance (by the way I still have a full size of both here with me and I keep sniffing both bottles to compare the two, in case you were wondering. I'm not doing this from memory!!)
If I were to compare the two in a human analogy, I'd describe Camomile Sky as the fresher, slightly more delicate younger sister, with more of a calming nature. The kind of person you choose to be around when you need some quiet Zen in your life!

The new pump style bottles are a welcome change too! Bodhi & Birch Bath & Shower Therapies are really concentrated and it's easy to over use them when using a pouring dispenser. The pump helps you use a measured dose, so much more economical. Especially when you live with heavy handed people!

Definitely another hit to add to the Bodhi & Birch range! 

Retailing at £18 for 200ml and available from Bodhi & Birch.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

BodhiLuxe: Career Reinvention

If you're a long standing reader of my blog or have been following my progress on social media etc, you'll know that I've been through a major career change over the last 12-18 months. From IT support analyst to Facialist / skin care therapist at andymillward.com.

BodhiLuxe who I am a proud contributor for asked me to share my story in the hope it may inspire others who are currently unhappy in their 9-5 jobs!

As part of their Monday Motivation series, please go read my guest blog post on "Career Reinvention", where I share my transitional story and advice, in the hope that if I can inspire even one person to pursue what makes them happy, then its worth it!

Click the image or HERE to read it. I hope you enjoy and don't forget to subscribe to their other posts, which are fab!


Monday, 27 October 2014


Want to get the most out of your shaving routine? Then you’ll need the tools to do so. Including one of the most powerful and innovative shavers on the market. Luckily, the grooming experts at Remington are giving FIVE Pampered Prince readers the chance to get their hands on one of their latest and most powerful foil shavers to date, the SMARTEDGE.

Remington’s SmartEdge is a no-hassle powerhouse of electrical shaving. The foil shaver is an essential accomplice to the modern man’s world! Packed with innovation for an effortless shave experience the SmartEdge features include 100% waterproof technology to take minutes off the morning grooming routine by allowing you to shave in the shower whilst delivering a close comfortable shave. 

The Remington SmartEdge is priced from £129.99 and available at Boots in-store and online at www.boots.com

To enter and be in with a chance to win one of five of these amazing shavers simply share your top shaving tip or advice in the comments below and ladies, please don't feel left out as this would make an excellent Christmas present for the special man in your life so make sure you enter too!

Open to UK residents only. Entries close at midnight on Sunday 09th November 2014. The winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter on Monday 10th November. Good Luck!

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