Hydration

Procoal - Activated Charcoal Purifying Detox Mask

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At The Amazing Blog we’re fully aware of the current charcoal trend  in many beauty and wellness products, which is where we have covered it here from Restoria’s Charcoal Exfoliating Wash to White Glo’s Charcoal Deep Stain Remover Toothpaste and Just For Tummies Food Supplements. What we like about activated charcoal it removes excess oil, dirt, environmental pollutants, and dead skin cells from pores, leaving us feeling detoxed, helping us to achieve a more radiant complexion. With this in mind, we were keen to try the new Procoal Activated Charcoal Purifying Detox Face Mask.

Procoal is a UK-based company and was started in 2016 after its founders set out to create high-quality products without lower-cost filler ingredients, like a few charcoal brands that can be found in this sector. The company prides itself on ‘prioritising quality over profit’ and uses natural ingredients that are traceable, ethically sourced, free of parabens, and cruelty-free.

The Purifying Detox Mask uses one of its four key ingredients, charcoal, to deep clean pores and remove pollutants. We can see why Egyptians have used activated charcoal for centuries for its many different uses-including drawing poison from wounds-because you can feel clearer pores after just one use of this mask. Natural clays kaolin, montmorillonite, and ghassoul work to absorb and eliminate impurities and sebum as well as even out your complexion. Besides making your skin feel fresh, this product is effective on all skin types (charcoal is very gentle and won’t irritate sensitive skin) and helps fight acne. So, take 5-10 minutes out of your day to relax and treat your skin with this face mask while knowing that what is in it is all-natural. You can buy the mask for yourself here for £8.99 .

Skin Academy - Pure Range

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While there are many paraben, sulphate and cruelty beauty products out in the market, there aren’t many skincare brands that are both colour and fragrance free. For The Amazing Blog readers that have a sensitive skin, we have found an entire skincare range that is free from any irritating chemicals and scents. Manchester-based beauty brand Skin Academy has developed the six-product Pure range that leaves your skin feeling replenished and nourished - all at an affordable price.

Skin Academy’s Pure range contains products for every step in your skincare routine and that are great for all-skin types. The range contains a Cleansing Facial Scrub, Cleansing Facial Wash, Moisturising Eye Cream, Daily Moisturiser, Cleansing Micellar Water and two Soothing Sheet Masks. All six products contain two key non-irritants: Aloe vera and green tea extract, that soothe, cool and protect the skin. Skin Academy prides itself on offering ‘incredibly high quality skincare at extremely affordable prices’ and after trying the Pure range first hand, we can completely recommend their products for anyone who is looking for a brand that is gentle to your skin and kind to your wallet.

The first product of the line, the Cleansing Facial Wash is gentle cleanse for everyday use that provides great results.  In addition to cleansing the skin, this gel-based facial wash can remove all make up as well.  If you want something more exfoliating, the Pure Cleansing Facial Scrub removes any dead skin or impurities to reveal smoother skin. Since the facial scrub is a little harsher, Skin Academy recommends only using this scrub for a maximum of twice a week.  After cleansing the skin with the wash or the scrub, apply a thin layer of the Daily Moisturiser to your face and neck. In addition to the aloe vera and green tea extract, the moisturiser contains Glycerin, Shea Butter, Pro-Vitamin B5 and even SPF 15 and UVA-UVB filters that work together to moisturise and protect skin from any sun damage.  Next, the application of their Moisturising Eye Cream which soothes any puffiness while hydrating the skin around the eyes. After those long days that leave you too exhausted to do your full skin care routine, the Pure Cleansing Micellar Water is the perfect solution to do a ‘one swipe’ to remove the day’s makeup and grime, while softening the skin in the process.   The last product of the range doesn’t need to be used daily, the set of two Pure Soothing Sheet Masks are a great pick-me-up to lock-in moisture and leave you feeling pampered.  After removal of the mask after 20 to 30 minutes, the Soothing Sheet Mask leaves your skin feeling glowing and fresh without the added redness.

If you’re wanting to pamper your skin but not wanting to break the bank in the process, Skin Academy’s Pure Range is available to purchase here products price range is from £4 - £14 each.

The One Skin Range

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If you are a skincare aficionado like us at The Amazing Blog , this newly launched skincare brand One Skin has a range of products that are just for you! One Skin prides itself on creating skincare made for specific lifestyles, focusing on long-term skin health rather than short-term results. If you live in a heavily polluted area or if you regularly exercise (yes, this can also affect your skin), then One Skin offers products to target all your specific concerns.

In 2005, British skin expert Noele Hammett, officially launched her exclusive skincare range One Skin to her salon clients. Moving forward to 2018, she finally unveiled her full collection of tried and tested, gentle but efficient, cosmeceutical skincare range to the public. What makes this range special is that contains only the finest results driven bioactive ingredients. All these products are free from sulphates, parabens, fragrances and colours, making the line perefect for everyday use.

I met Noele at a trade beauty event in London, where we engaged in conversation about my skincare needs and she very kindly gave me three of her products to try.

Let start with the cleanser PH Cleansing Wash. Like in any good skincare routine, the first step is always to prepare the skin in order for serums and moisturisers to perform their job correctly. One Skin’s sulphate-free pH Cleansing Wash removed grime, oil and make-up while still hydrating and soothing my skin in the process. One of the key ingredients is Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, which helps to protect against any damage or build up, without irritating the skin. Other surfactants in the wash like the sunflower and coconut oils gently yet deeply cleanse while still leaving skin soft and not feeling uncomfortably tight. I noticed that this cleanser left my skin feeling soft, not taut as some other cleanser have done. I used a small amount of the wash mixed with water to lather and cleanse both in the morning and evening. The pH cleansing wash is available here for £17.60 for the 50ml bottle and £32.00 for the 100ml bottle.

The next step is to repair any damage which skin the has received from living a fast-pace, polluted life in the city (i.e. me in London!) One Skin’s City Repair Serum does just that by stimulating collagen synthesis, protecting your skin in the process. The serum ‘s key repair ingredients are built around a soothing seaweed extract containing minerals such as sulphur, iodine, calcium, magnesium and selenium to maintain collagen generation. Not forgetting the major ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerine, which further condition and protect the skin. After cleansing, I applied 1-2 pumps of the serum morning and night and allowed for a few minutes to get complete absorption. To purchase the 30ml serum for £60 click here. If you aren’t living the city life like me, don’t worry One Skin has five serums targeting different lifestyles like the Stress Repair Serum, Holiday Repair Serum and even a Party Repair Serum. Check the full Repair line here.

Finally, after the City Repair Serum, I then applied my last skincare step with Noele’s amazing Wonder Age Cream. This rich moisturiser helps to lock-in the serum’s skin protective properties. The Wonder Age Cream is just one of the five moisturisers offered in the range. The Wonder Age Cream is the anti-ageing cream in this range and I noticed that combining this with the City Repair Serum that it not only hydrated and nourished my skin, but also it brightened my complexion. The Wonder Cream is made with resveratrol, hyaluronic acid and a variety of muscle-relaxing peptides, these ingredients work together to improve the complexion and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. For best results I applied two pumps morning and night, and then in the morning went ahead and applied my foundation and make up. To purchase the 30ml bottle of Wonder Age Cream for £74 click here.

All of these products and the rest of the One Skin line are available at their Skin Clinic located in Essex or online on their website here. Not sure where to start? There is a skin consultation questionnaire on their blog here that will help you to choice the right products for you and to understand your skin better. Finally to say, that we were THRILLED to see that our new discovery, One Skin, has won 3 x Editors Choice Awards in the prestigious 2019 Beauty Shortlist Awards for their Wonder Age Cream, Eye Repair Serum and The Cosmeceutical Apothecary Set. We say don’t miss out on trying this new result driven skincare!

Mitomo's Face Masks

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Most of The Amazing Blog team swear by a weekly face mask. It’s our (not so) secret method of maintaining a clear complexion, but equally, is a ritual we don’t always have the patience for. This was until we discovered Mitomo, a brand producing sheet face masks packed full of goodness. For the past month or so, a weekly face mask has been firmly back in our regime!

Mitomo provide high-quality beauty and healthcare products, with ingredients sourced from Japan. We tried their innovative Eye Masks (see here) in January, so were keen to see whether our face masks would live up to the hype. The verdict? We were highly impressed, and although we don't like to speak for others, we know we’re not the only one in the office to have snaffled a few extras to take home! We tried three of their face masks: Hyaluronic + Lithospermum, Q10 + Lithospermum and Collagen + Lithospermum - all part of their Essence Mask collection.

The Hyaluronic + Lithospermum Essence Mask is a hydrating and anti-ageing solution for your skin. Hyaluronan is a highly moisturising ingredient, injecting your skin with much-needed plumpness, thus decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Lithospermum, on the other hand, is a plant extract well documented as soothing and antiseptic. The combination of these two ingredients left our skin feeling supple, less inflamed and smoother; making for a brighter and clearer complexion. We were also big fans of the Q10 + Lithospermum Essence Mask, a profoundly anti-ageing mask, enriched with Coenzyme Q10. It regenerates the skin, working well on deep-set wrinkles, and as with all three masks, it cools and soothes even sensitive skin. The added bonus? They are eco-friendly and all masks are made solely from bamboo.

Finally, the Collagen + Lithospermum Essence Mask proved effective at making skin more elastic, promoting skin renewal and smoothing imperfections. We noticed a decrease in mild acne scarring from the first use, as this masks help to plump up the skin; simply apply for 20-30 minutes (the same with all three masks) and once removed, pat any excess product into the skin. We recommend using each mask before bed, for a glowing and refreshed complexion. To try these anti-ageing gems for yourself, visit the Mitomo website here, where a pack of 10 masks are from £27 and an individual mask is available from £2.99.

Lovegrove Essentials - Aromatic Face Mask

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Acne, many of us suffer from it, or have experienced it in the past, so I'm sure we don’t need to explain the frustration it can cause, or the self-esteem issues it can create. We're always searching for new ways of combatting this issue and have found a potential remedy that made us dance in circles of joy in The Amazing Blog office. We’re talking about Lovegrove Essentials’ multi-purpose Aromatic Face Mask which exfoliates, deeply cleanses and balances oily skin all at once. What more could we ask for?

We came across Lovegrove Essentials when reviewed their Lavender and Clary Sage Massage Balm. We subsequently discovered the artisan backstory of the mother and daughter duo, Hannah and Hayley, a pair determined to create a skincare range that would not just have a topical effect, but a holistic one also.

This time, we were thrilled to try the Aromatic Face Mask, a unique formula of nourishing almond oil and bentonite clay which reduces redness, treats inflammation and lightens acne scars. This product works right at the core of the problem, as a regenerative, soothing and re-balancing mask that supports the normal function of the acid mantle. The subtle and fresh scent of the orange peel has a cleansing and exfoliating effect on all skin types and was a welcome aroma in the bathroom. I have relatively oily skin, but after 10 minutes, it was left feeling supple and moisturised, without feeling overly dry or stripped of natural oils. Members of the office who suffer from dry skin reported a detoxified complexion, without the cracking feeling that is so often part and parcel of clay masks. So this mask really is suitable for all.

This product brings the spa to your home - with a blend of neroli essential oil, almond oil, zinc oxide and geranium essential oil, which work together to calm and de-stress the skin, as well as the mind. This mask provides a little aid in our daily lives, helping to control both emotional and hormonal imbalances. It indeed converts you into a serene, superhuman, full of peacefulness and self-confidence - something I feel we all could do with from time to time! The skin also feels deeply hydrated after use, much needed at this time of the year.

The mask comes with a brush that helps to spread the product in even layers. While taking 5 minutes to relax and unwind, the mask does the job for you. When taking the mask off, gently remove the product with a warm and soft cloth. If you want to encourage a more powerful effect, to battle deep scarring and hydrate the skin even further, then it is safe to layer up and leave the mask on for up to 10 minutes.

If you feel like treating yourself to a DIY spa in your own four walls, the Lovegrove Aromatic Face Mask is available for £34.95 here.