Sunday, April 27, 2014


Face Products to note from Left - Right: La Roche Posay 'Effaclar', Avène 'Cleanance', Eucerin 'Aquaphor', Estée Lauder 'Gentle Eye Make Up Remover'

Hello Guys!

How are we all? Did we enjoy Easter Sunday? One week on and I know I still currently feel as though I'm swimming in chocolate of the Hotel Chocolat variety! The caramel milk chocolate.. I still don't know where to start with that one - I can just about smell it in my dreams. Honestly, coming from a chocolate snob - it's amazing. Genuinely, amazing. 

But as amazing as it may be, Daisy has kindly covered the wonders of Hotel Chocolat for us all and as such I thought I'd lend my hand to a spot of skin care instead (no pun intended). In keeping with the spirit of the day - let's start with confession. Recently, I've been suffering from some pretty bad skin. No,  I'm not talking about that lone spot on the side of your face that has your concealer working over time, I'm referring to spots, eczema, hair that's getting greasy too quickly - the not so pretty works. With nothing more than stress, less than satisfactory sleeping patterns and an overly hurried cleansing routine to blame, I have decided to put the violins away and actually DO something about it. Gym - check. Nutrition - 80/20, check. Better attention to my Skin Care regimen? Triple Check. 

So without further ado, I unveil to you some of my all time tried and tested favourites that I feel deserve the limelight. Ladies and Gents suffering with problem skin - I'm delighted to say this post is for you. Best part? Absolutely all of the below are available at Merry Hill. :)


1. Nivea 'Vanilla Macadamia' Lip Butter - £2.25 - **Exclusive to Boots**

All hail the high street lip balm to end aaaaaallll other high street lip balms. (*says Khyati)

Interesting fact: I was lucky enough to sample this bad boy months before it hit stands. During my internship at Nivea Head Office staff were encouraged to get to know the products intimately. As you can imagine - this was a particularly hard ask for a girl with a penchant for any form of skin care that smells nice, buffs nice or just generally makes her feel that little bit more...nice.

What I won't forget is just how proud the talented young woman who had helped brand this product and bring it to life was when debuting it. For those of you not in sales - you don't feel, nor do you look like you're selling something when you believe in it so strongly - you radiate positive vibes that do all of that for you. Well, that spark? She had it in bucket loads. And as it turns out, rightly so.

It took me all of 5 seconds to open the tin, gasp over just how EDIBLE it smelt, and hurriedly apply some on my lips. It took me all of 2/3 applications to appreciate this was the best high street lip balm I've ever used. YOU HEARD ME - better than Carmex. I can hear the gasps from here. But seriously guys, your lips won't get dependant on constant reapplication, they will be moisturised to the core, and they will smell edible. I assure you this will work in your favour ladies and gents.

With other flavours in the range (raspberry creme/creme caramel) there may be plenty to go around, but this particular flavour is only available for £2.25 at Boots. With a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on MakeUp Alley, I think that makes this a fat, resounding, YES. Trust me - you won't regret it.

Only down side? My tin has taken it's fair share of knocks over the past few months. Thankfully, looks aren't everything.

2) Palmer's Cocoa Butter 'Dark Chocolate & Cherry' Tinted Lip balm - £1.99

For the past few years I've found myself complaining that I need a permanent moisturising stain on my lips - permanent tattoo application's a bit extreme but sometimes I've genuinely felt that way. Whilst many of my tanned counterparts are lucky enough to be graced with pronounced lips a couple of shades darker than their skin tone, I find mine are such a pale pink they blend in with my face. In other words, I've been working the nude foundation lip for an eternity - but as usual, the grass is always greener, and this look has never screamed sexy as far as I'm concerned.

CUE tinted lip balm. Ever since I tried Burt's Bees back in the day, I fell in love. Whilst I remain in love to this day, my wallet's only too aware they're an expensive choice. Whilst I tend to find good balm lipsticks (à la Clinique Chubby Stick, Revlon Colourburst) work brilliantly, the day I asked the beautiful Sales Assistant at Superdrug Merry Hill what she was wearing was the day I found THIS - Palmers dark choc & cherry tinted lip balm. A nice muted berry shade, it's perfect and fades to a really natural pink shade. What's more, it smells like CHOCOLATE and CHERRY. That's right. With the added benefit of a minty tingle when applied to the lips, looks aren't everything where this product is concerned. This beauty is skin deep, very moisturising and a total bargain at £1.99. You can find it at Superdrug, Merry Hill. 

3) Eucerin Aquaphor - £8.50

This is my wonder product - it's been placed in Lips but it could be placed in any category going. Whilst not as well known in Britain as it is in the US and the rest of the continent, Eucerin is a BIG deal. A great deal in fact. In my third year of University I got to do an internship with the wonderful Eurcerin team at Beiersdorf UK (better known for Nivea and Elastoplast). I fell in love with the entire brand, their ethos and genuine commitment to helping people with bad skin, but it was Aquaphor that has stood the test of time as their clear wonder product for me. It came out trumps, leaps and bounds above all else.

With the same consistency, look and feel of Vaseline - that is where the similarities stop. UNLIKE Vaseline this product doesn't just lie on the surface, it slowly penetrates your skin, leaving your lips perfectly soft in its wake. Whilst it is marketed as a good skin healing product, I apply a spot of the good stuff on both my lips and particularly tough patches of dry skin every night. I've even been known to mix it with the ends of many a lipstick for a gorgeous tinted balm when I'm feeling particularly innovative!

At £8.50 for 40ml (seen on the right, above) a little goes a looooong way. I simply cannot fault it. You can find Eucerin at the Healthy Skin aisle in every large boots, and I'm delighted to say the Boots at Merry Hill is no exception.


1. La Roche Posay 'Effaclar' Purifiying Foaming Gel Wash - £10.50

My go to face wash can be seen in the photo above, first from the left, sporting a nice blue square and blue cap at its base. Lovely. For those of you who aren't aware, La Roche Posay is part of the dermatological skin care wing of L'Oreal cosmetics. Whilst Nivea have Eucerin and La Prairie, L'Oreal have La Roche Posay and Vichy. These brands are of a higher quality than their lower price bracket counterparts (e.g Nivea Daily Essentials) and have been extensively tested and refined across labs in Europe. Aside from in pharmacies across the UK, they are found found at larger Boots stores where they fall into in the 'Healthy Skin' category. As mentioned above, luckily for us Merry Hill has graced us with such an accolade. 

Back in 2012 I was lucky enough to go to the La Roche HQ situated just outside of Paris courtesy of the loveliest french girl I could ever have hoped to meet, my flat mate Hannah <3. This can now be cited as the very day my love for La Roche bloomed and went on to blossom. Much like the Eucerin team, it was only too clear how passionate employees were and how committed they were to finding the perfect product for a whole host of problematic skin. Still not convinced? Take a look at your average french femme fatale. Got it? Okay - now look at her skin. Pretty much bloody perfect? I thought so. It should not come as any surprise that European women invest more in their skin care. Don't get me wrong - I am one for a bargain, I always will be. But there's no doubt in my mind that these products give me more bang for my buck. 

Okay that was the last short story over I promise. Back to the product :) Effaclar is La Roche's answer to spots, oiliness and sensitivity. If your eyes lit up to all 3, this ones for you. Soap free and with a pH of 5.5 it really has served me well. So well in fact, I was forced to start re-using it when I temporarily lapsed and chose a cheaper counter-part. With an enormous range spanning toners, creams and some incredible SPF products, La Roche Posay is definitely worth a solid browse with something for everyone. 

*NB: Problem skin favourites: Rosaliac: Rosacea sufferers
                                                 Lipikar: Dry Skin and Eczema sufferers who can't hack the smell of                                                        Diprobase and the like - also known as the bane of my life?!

2. Avène: Cleanance Cleansing Water - £16

Hello to the large bottle filled with Blue liquid - second from the left. What can I say. I love Avène. Another french favourite, they also sport a huge range of products for every kind of skin. I don't know whether it's their distinctive and charming smell or the fact that none of their creams have ever failed me (their cold cream is AMAZING). When I wanted to try a 'Cleansing Water' otherwise commonly known as a 'Micellar Solution' - I stuck by my guns and am convinced I made the right move. 

But what is a Micellar Solution? If you, like I find that after a double-cleanse you can still have a bit of makeup lurking on your face, find toner a little bit too astringent and generally NEED to see a spotless cotton pad as confirmation of a polished and squeaky clean face, this is for you. 

I've found for months now that toner was stripping my skin that little too harshly, to the point I was getting dry skin on my forehead. Since I switched to Cleanance I can go to bed confident I've got the last of the good stuff off without the slightest pinch of a sting. It really has made the perfect substitute in my 3 step routine. I really do love this product, it's gentle enough around my eyes and I've used 3/4 of the massive bottle over the past 5 months. At a pricier £16 for 400ml at Boots, you do get double the amount of your average 200ml toner. 

3.  Eucerin 'DermoPurifyer' Adjunctive Hydrating Care Face Cream - £9.25

For those of you with combination skin you'll appreciate that variety isn't always the spice of life. I've been searching for a decent face cream for ages that can handle my oily T-Zone without leaving my face feeling parched and taut in the process - to the point that I struggle to make any kind of facial expression for the first 20 minutes of the day. Feel free to nod if you're still with me. 
This has got to be the best face cream I've ever used in targeting this exact problem - with the added bonus of an SPF of 30. It's actually a miracle cream as far as I'm concerned. Designed specifically with those on strong acne treatments  known to strip the skin of it's hydration in mind, this cream keeps both spots and dehydration at bay. 
Whilst it's been out for a while now, I really have found a firm new favourite. If beating acne is your number one priority, I'd recommend checking out the entire Dermopurifyer range at Eucerin - they've always served me well. You can find Adjunctive Hydrating Care for £9.25 at Boots.


1. Eucerin DermoCapillaire Shampoo - £11

Okay guys this next slot works only on the basis that sharing is caring, so I ask you to accept me. :) Since work has got more stressful and time has got that little more precious I have found I've started to suffer from the odd spot of dandruff. If you find yourself in the same boat and Head and Shoulders isn't alleviating the symptoms for you, look no further than Eucerin DermoCapillaire. 
To keep the dry scalp at bay, I find alternating between this and your everyday L'Oreal does wonders. Don't expect it to lather and do remember that at £11 a bottle, a little does go a long way. 

2. Eucerin AltoControl Bath and Shower Oil (20% Omega) - £15

I'm a sucker for this product. In the remained of this post I feature 3 different shower oils - this one comes out trumps for me. Admittedly it is scentless - so you won't smell like roses - but it is a gentle bath oil that lathers. This is an absolute must for me when it comes to everyday usage. Unlike other shower oils, it's also gentle enough on the roughest of eczema - including any cuts or cracks in the skin that you may have. A definite must for those of you with more severe dry skin looking for an everyday soap substitute. A little also goes a long way. 

**Disclaimer: If you've also found yourself reading this blog post in its entirety, I feel now is the time to assure you my love of Eucerin has seen an organic development over the past 3 years. As with all content featured on this blog by either myself or Daisy, these opinions are very much our own and have been made independently and over time. :) 

3. La Roche Posay, Lipikar Huile

To my knowledge, few things in life can smell as good as La Roche Posay's shower oil, Lipilar Huile. Sadly I haven't been able to locate it in Boots BUT if you can get your hands on it, snap it up asap. It's GENUINELY heaven in a bottle. Admittedly not suited to the most sensitive of sensitive dry skin, I use it on special occasions. You will not look back. They need to make this a perfume, seriously. For further details, including stockists, check out the official La Roche Posay page:

4. A-Derma - Exomega Emollient Cleansing Oil - £10

Another fab oil that smells rather nice is available in Boots courtesy of A-Derma. Whilst it is scented rather nicely and remains as gentle as Eucerin's AltoBody (featured above) my only issue with this is it's inability to lather. If that's not a key priority for you guys, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. It'll leave your skin very soft and supple.

5. The Sanctuary Spa - Salt Scrub: £10.50

Even those of us with very dry skin need a good exfoliant in our lives. For me, nothing comes close to The Sanctuary's Salt Scrub. The above product not only exfoliates and buffs your skin to perfection, it miraculously leaves it moisturised, with a wonderful combination of sea salt AND oil. The effect? I feel like a goddess.

One word of advice, avoid any open or inflamed wounds at ALL costs. It would literally be the equivalent of rubbing salt in the wound - yes. Aside from that, a star find as the above, abused and tatty tub demonstrates only too well. :)

.... and that guys, is just the tip of the skin care ice berg! For those of you with problem skin, I really hope you've found this useful!

Stay tuned for the likes of Lush, Sanctuary Spa, Champneys, and Ojon in part 2 :)

Have a LOVELY week ahead!

Khyati xxx

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