Help your skin glow with key nutritional supplements *

Gorgeous, glowing skin looks and feels fantastic — but how do we achieve it? Online and in-store you’ve probably spotted a variety of lotions that promise a youthful, effervescent appearance.

However, whether these truly work is up for debate- so could the answer to better skin, in fact, lie in nutrition?

Photo by Sarah Gray on Unsplash

Free radical damage
Certain supplements can help to keep our skin smooth and protected. However, a major cause of loss of skin firmness is free radicals — which are especially harmful when exposed to strong sunlight. There are 25 types of collagen in the body and, along with elastin, they give skin texture and structure. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness.

So, what supplements are available to help us combat damage caused by free radicals? Antioxidants such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 can protect cells from the damaging effects of these toxic chemicals. Similarly, incorporating plenty of fruit and vegetables into our diets can help us naturally improve our vitamin C levels. However, it’s best if you ingest this raw, as the vitamin is damaged when cooked or processed.

Clearly, vitamin C is an important nutrient and essential to not only our skin’s health, but our general wellbeing. However, levels of vitamin C are reduced by factors such as smoking, alcohol and certain drugs like antidepressants and oral contraceptives — which is why many people find it beneficial to get enough of this vital nutrient via supplements. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg/day or 120mg/day, if you’re a smoker.

How about other supplements that help tackle free radicals and promote good skin? Although we make coenzyme Q10 within our own bodies, our ability to do this drops from our mid-twenties. So, a good solution is to take coenzyme Q10 supplements. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in producing energy in our bodies and is also a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes effective skin repair. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven to reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles over time.

Repairing skin with fatty acids
Many of us will have heard about omega 3, and potentially, even already take it. If so, you’re doing the right thing. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, making it good for irritable, sore skin, and the richest source of omega 3 is from oily fish such as herring, salmon, tuna, and sardines. Many people choose to take an omega 3 fish oil supplement. Due to concerns about environmental pollution in fish, it is safest to choose a supplement that contains oil from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver.

If you already take omega 3 regularly, how about considering the lesser-known omega 7? Omega 7 supplements can help with lubrication throughout the body, protecting the internal organs, as well as the linings of the eyes, mouth and skin. If you get a supplement featuring sea buckthorn oil, you can also benefit from one of the best natural oils for mature and wrinkled skin. This is due to its essential fatty acid and vitamin E, C and A properties. Omega 7 and sea buckthorn oil have nourishing, moisturising and restorative abilities, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing age-induced skin wrinkling and signs of premature ageing.

Blood flow

Since our blood carries all nutrients and oxygen to where they need to be in the body, it makes sense that we ensure our blood flow is the best it can be. Pycnogenol is a plant-based extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and can be taken as a supplement to improve blood circulation — thereby helping with skin hydration and vitality. Pycnogenol can also help to reduce wrinkles by binding with skin proteins collagen and elastin to protect from various harmful enzymes. It also rebuilds elasticity, which is essential for smooth, youthful skin, and is believed to reduce over-pigmentation for a more even complexion.

All of these supplements can help improve the health of your skin and how good you feel. Browse your options online.

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Skincare Sorted with Cetaphil at Superdrug

Last year one of my main goals was to sort out my skincare, and I did manage for about three months, then products ran out, life became busier and I got a whole lot lazier about it.
This year I’m vowing to do the same, I’ve started to get breakouts when I’m stressed or hormonal- not to mention the fact I’m now thirty and I can’t fall back on the luck of youth being on my side. Thankfully Superdrug came to the rescue by sending me a selection of products from Cetaphil, a brand I’ve heard a lot about but not yet got round to trying thanks to my local store having only just (literally days after the products arrived) starting to stock it.
I was sent three products from the range- the Moisturising Cream, the Gentle Skin Cleanser and the Moisturising Lotion. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks testing out all of the products and I’ve popped my thoughts on each below.
Out of the three products I was sent I think the Moisturising Cream is my favourite. This is a rich and intensive moisturiser perfect for combating my dried out winter skin. It can be used on both face and body and I’ve found it an absolute godsend on my hands which really suffer in the cold weather. I’ve also been using it last thing at night once I’ve taken my makeup off, it sinks in so quickly meaning I go to bed feeling smooth and soft rather than just sticky and when I wake up my skin is soft and soothed rather than irritated, which I had been noticing more and more prior to starting using this cream.
Next up, the Gentle Skin Cleanser was the product I was most wary of trying. I tend to find most cleaners dry out my skin and make them feel tight but I’m happy to report that this isn’t the case. As this is a product for both face and body I tend to use it in the shower to wash my face and as a body wash.
It claims to sooth as it cleans and I would agree that it does, my skin certainly feels fresh and happy after using this without a hint of irritation. As with all Cetaphil products this is fragrance free and suitable for even the most sensitive of skin. This is definitely a product I’ll be repurchasing- I’ve never found an all in one shower product that I’ve loved before.
Finally, the Moisturising Lotion. This is a super light product that is once again suited for face and body. I’ve been using this in the morning before doing my makeup and I’ve found it makes a huge difference- I’ve certainly noticed how tight and dry my skin feels after a day in the office if I forget to pop this on. I’ve also found it invaluable as something light and fast absorbing to put on after a bath or a shower. I have a bit of an issue with the feeling of products sitting on my skin so tend to avoid moisturising, much to my own detriment. This makes a great light moisturiser that has turned out to be invaluable after leg shaving- it has the added bonus of not stinging half as much as other products either (because I am that person who is incapable of hair removal without drawing blood!)
So for now at least I have my skincare sorted thanks to Cetaphil and Superdrug. The products are reassuringly affordable as well- £10.09 for the cream, and £8.99 for the lotion and the cleanser. Superdrug currently have them on offer at £2 off as well which makes now the perfect time to try them out for yourself.

Let me know about some of your skincare saviours in the comments, or if you’ve tried any of these products let me know what you think.

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Products sent to me by Superdrug for consideration for this post. Post also contains affiliate links.

Winter Wonderland with Essence Cosmetics

It’s the season to sparkle! And whilst this post might be a bit late in the day for Christmas party inspiration, there’s still NYE to come, and what better excuse to up your makeup game?

As ever, Essence have come up trumps with on trend and affordable products to really add some sparkle to your festive look.

First off, apologies for the dire lighting and the lack of swatches in these photos. I wanted to do this post before Christmas but time constraints with work, and the winter lighting meant trying to grab these at 8am, just before leaving the house!

Anyway, excuses over and on to the products…

Contour fans and highlighter addicts will LOVE the prismatic hololighter stick which gives the most amazing sheen thanks to it’s holographic pigments. This is a multi-use product and an absolute bargain at £3.50- if you only bought one thing from Essence then I think it should be this.
Another amazing shimmer product is the moonlight eyes eyeshadow in the shade Angel. I own a couple of these now and I love the subtle, build-able iridescent colour- they make a great base shade for any look.

I’ve always heaped praise on Essence eyeliners and review the metal art lip & eye liner in a previous post. For party season I’m loving the shade “steel the show”, especially paired with vibrant shock lash & brow gel mascara in “sparkle on”.

The Metal Shock eyeshadow is another product I previously reviewed (and rated) and the “moon dust” shade is a welcome addition to my growing collection. I’ve used these for every party I’ve been to this month- as a base to which I’ve pressed some loose glitter or pigment on to for maximum impact.

I’ve not had a chance to try the nail products included in the package as I’m still sporting a shellac manicure. I plan to give my nails a break in the new year so will try these products out and share the results on instagram, but if you’re impatient to see for yourself and want a fun party look then you can read more here, here and here.

If you’re looking for some last minute party makeup, or fancy some on trend and affordable updates for the new season then definitely head to your local Wilko store or to their website where you’ll find all of these products and more for under a fiver per piece.

Chemist 4 U haul

My name is Laura and I am a nail polish addict, I have hundreds of them and yet can never resist adding new shades and finishes to my collection whenever I see one that catches my eye (which is often). The irony in this is that I rarely paint my nails any more, I spent years having to keep them bare due to clinical work, and now I’m in an office based role I’ve been splashing out on shellac manicures. Still, when I was given the opportunity to order some products from Chemist 4 U I just couldn’t resist the lure of bargain O.P.I. polishes, especially in shades that are just perfect for the festive party season.
The shades I picked (L-R on the swatch wheel) are: unfrost my heart, I Carol about you, first class desires, kiss me- or elf! and I’ll tinsel you in. Each polish cost a bargain £2.99- a huge saving on the RRP of £7.99 each! O.P.I. was the first nail polish brand I really fell in love with, they just look so luxe and last really well- at this price these would make awesome stocking fillers this Christmas, or the perfect little pick me up for yourself.
I also picked up my absolute winter lip saviour- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream lip protectant stick for just £10.49 which is a saving of over £9 on the RRP. Chemist 4 U sells primarily pharmacy products (also at excellent prices, for the record) but it’s the beauty section where the true bargains hide. I hadn’t used the website before but was impressed with the ease of ordering and the prompt, well packaged delivery. Well worth checking out if you’re looking for some Christmas gifts or want to stock up for yourself.
Does anyone remember the hype over O.P.I’s Russian Blue? I bought about three bottles at the height of it’s popularity! Which is your favourite shade?

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Products were provided for blog consideration, all thoughts about the products and the service I received are my own.

Tricks and Treats with Essence

My favourite budget makeup brand, Essence have been at it again and dropped a whole host of fun products just in time for Halloween. It was my intention when these samples arrived to create a full on Halloween look but work and life took over and I’m afraid all I have for you is some swatches and lipstick experimentation. I’ve probably saved you all from a true fright anyway, whilst I can get by with everyday makeup skills I’m not exactly experienced in anything more special…anyway, whatever your plans are on Tuesday, here are some last minute must haves to complete your look.
I was so excited by all of the eye products in this package especially the brand new moonlight eyes cream in the shade gilded. This is a super light mousse type eyeshadow in the most awesome metallic copper shade. The colour is really buildable making it perfect for both work and play- I don’t have a price for this yet but I can guarantee it’ll be excellent value.

Another brand new product was the metal shock eyeshadow in supernova. Another awesome metallic finish, this time in a cream format. This is fantastic for a party smokey eye and will be well used and loved in the run up to Christmas.

The two eyeliners in the package are perfect for creating fun and funky Halloween looks. The metal art lip and eye liner in rock chick is a gorgeous metallic liner that is perfect for jazzing up any eye look or creating more dramatic designs all over the face. The super last black eyeliner has a thicker brush than I’d usually use but I still rate it, as per all long lasting essence products this really lives up to the hype and I highly recommend this to all liquid liner fiends.

Being a true lipstick fiend I was obviously excited by the products in this package. The metallic blue metal shock lipstick and metal shock lip paint are both absolutely perfect for Halloween in these spooky shades. Excuse the dodgy application in these pictures- I was in a rush and didn’t prep my lips before hand…whilst these might not be colours I’d sport on a daily basis, and my Halloween plans involve a sofa, a boyfriend and a kitten I’ll probably pop some on just for the fun of it- if nothing else I can leave a cheeky metallic smooch on Bob’s cheek!

For a more subtle look I love the sheer and shine lipstick which is so sheer I couldn’t get a good photo of it on my lips. I have a huge collection of this essence range now and love them for every day subtle lips or for toning down a heavy eye makeup look.

Lastly we have the holo rainbow nail polish which I couldn’t swatch as I currently have a gel manicure for once. This is seriously stunning though, even in the bottle and I can’t wait to try it out! This is the shade holo love, but there are four more in the range which I will definitely be buying, I’m sure.
If you’re looking for some last minute Halloween makeup, or fancy some on trend and affordable updates for the new season then definitely head to your local Wilko store or to their website where you’ll find all of these products and more for under a fiver per piece.
Anyone got any exciting Halloween plans?

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All products in this post were sent to me for blog consideration, all thoughts and dodgy makeup skills are my own.