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Skin Dewi – Ginkgo Biloba Firming Facial Cream

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No matter how old you are, it’s always good to have a product that is anti-ageing – or a lot (The Amazing Blog isn’t a place to judge). In addition to products that fight off fine lines and wrinkles, it’s a bonus when they firm skin. So, we were very excited to try Skin Dewy’s line of natural and organic skin care products, especially their Gingko Biloba Firming Facial Cream.

The Indonesian-based brand was founded by Dewi Kauw, a mother who found it difficult to find organic and non-toxic products for her baby with allergies and atopic eczema. Kauw became highly educated in natural preservation and essential oils as well as chemical engineering, which has her approaching skin care scientifically and creating products that are effective at a cellular level. However, the fact that she is motivated by her children is seen in the all-natural ingredients of products like the Gingko Biloba Firming Facial Cream.

The gingko biloba and green tea extracts are what really set this anti-ageing cream apart from others on the market. These two ingredients work together to boost collagen production and prevent skin water loss, which results in more radiant and firm skin after only a few uses. The face cream is part of the Skin Dewi Brightening series and uses rosehip oil to brighten your complexion for a more youthful glow as well as protect skin cells from the sun. The formula has ingredients like botanical extracts and omega-rich oils for extra hydration, but the moisturiser itself is lightweight, sinks in quickly, and leaves your face feeling fresh rather than greasy. Did we mention it’s also recommended for sensitive and dry skin? This face cream is truly able to do it all in terms of making your skin look soft and supple whether you’re 25 or 45.

You can purchase the moisturiser (30g) here for 65.85€.

Love Sun Body - SPF 50 Fragrance Free

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With the UK experiencing its hotter and hotter summers apply a high SPF is an essential part our daily routine, not only our faces but also our bodies. From recycling to using reusable straws, we can change little things in our day-to-day lives for the better, including changing what sunscreen we use. According to the Environmental Working Group,  the chemical-filler oxybenzone which is widely found in non-mineral sunscreens can cause bleaching and deformation to the ocean’s reefs. With that in mind, many began talking about the need for reef-safe SPF, including the state of Hawaii who recently banned any sunscreen that is not deemed safe for the ocean. Once we heard this, at The Amazing Blog we started the hunt for a summer sunscreen that is free from these harmful chemicals. When we read all the rave reviews about Love Sun Body’s range of natural mineral sunscreens, we knew that we had to try.

The founder is Dr. Terry Zickerman is a former banker who returned to his passion for science, biology and healthy living. Love Sun Body was born out of a conversation at the beach in Point Pleasant in New Jersey. After six years dedicated to research and formulation, this US skincare brand Love Sun Body made its debut last summer. Instead of the chemical UVA and UVB filters found in most sunscreens, Love Sun Body’s sun protectants contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to physically block out the rays instead of turning the UV into heat as chemical filters usually do. The ingredients found in their sunscreens are water-resistant and safely yet effectively protect you from the sun. Love Sun Body are also the first U.S. sunscreen brand that is internationally certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural. While we wished we could try all of Love Sun Body’s products, they kindly sent us their SPF 50 Fragrance Free sunscreen to try. Known fact: Mineral sunscreens do not penetrate the skin – they sit on top and act as a barrier – whereas chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin. Oxybenzone, one of these chemical sunscreen ingredients, is added to 70% of non-mineral sunscreens and, in a study of 2500 Americans, the CDC found Oxybenzone in 96% of the participants bodies.

In addition to being fragrance-free, Love Sun Body’s SPF 50 sunscreen contains 100% natural ingredients that won’t irritate eyes or break out your skin. Unlike other mineral sunscreens, the SPF 50 sunscreen isn’t chalky and dries into a sheer matte finish. Inactive ingredients found in the sunscreen like almond and sunflower oils also make sure your skin stays moisturised. The sunscreen has also proven to be non-comedogenic, so no need to worry about your pores clogging or forming acne. Before taking a dip this summer, make sure to use Love Sun Body’s SPF 50 as you would any sunscreen and re-apply every 80 minutes. SPF 30 sunscreens filter out up to 97% of the sun’s UV radiation while SPF 50 sunscreens filter out up to 98%.For everyday use, we like to apply a small amount of the sunscreen over our favourite moisturiser or serum. If you want to protect both your skin and the environment, purchase a 100 ml bottle for $21 or a 200ml bottle for $32 on the Love Sun Body website here or on Amazon here.

 

Alchemy Organic Super Blends

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Brace yourselves, boys and girls for a stunning range of goodies that The Amazing Blog are offer up to you this week for your delectation in the form of The Alchemy Organic Super Blends - unmissable in their brightly designed packaging as we peruse the shelves of Planet Organic or Wholefoods, and bursting with  essential nutrients to help boost our health from the inside out.

The thinking behind this fabulous brand is not so much about adding supplements to your daily calorie intake, but more with working naturopathically with your body, and understanding the ways in which we process the nutrients we need and those which, in the modern world we should be looking to reduce. The philosophy here is very much more along the lines of boosting the good, and reducing the not so beneficial. Take stevia as an example - many see it as a worthwhile wholly natural alternative to the dreaded sugar, however Alchemy make the very valid point that the foods we eat, taken in their original state should ultimately satisfy our taste buds without the need to sweeten things up at all, because it is those highs and lows which make us crave the mid-morning or afternoon snacks and jolt our systems into nourishing said cravings, rather than allowing our metabolism to control the natural balance, individual to each of us.

As we have evolved, nature has done a spectacular job of keeping our systems responsive to the environment around us, but this was more along the lines of ‘fight or flight’ when our physical survival depended on our bodies converting the calorific intake into ready energy as and when the adrenalin kicked in, warning us of danger. Of course, in most of our daily lives now, the threat of coming across an aggressor is significantly reduced we hope. However, something is making those cortisol levels to rise and thereby increasing our blood sugar levels … and of course many of us unfortunately know the modern-day aggressor to be that insidious invader known as stress. We cannot defeat it by simply taking it head on in conflict, or fleeing from it and thereby burning off those heightened sugar levels, so we have to accept its presence and work around the challenges it brings.

Fortunately for us, we have these delicious sachets from Alchemy Super Blends to arm ourselves with as we go into battle to sustain our equilibrium. There are four blends to choose from: Morning Elixir , Energy Elixir ,  Beauty Elixir and Sport Elixir - we are literally Elixir rich in our choice! The option which made most impact here at The Amazing Blog was the Energy Elixir, but it was a tightly run race, as everyone had their individual favourites, however, we all could agree that the extra boost that the Energy Super Blend gave each of us, was undeniably effective. Available in handy Voyager Packs which contain four servings priced around £15, or the more cost effective 300g packs giving us 30 servings and priced around £40, they have a range which will fit seamlessly into anyone’s daily routine. Get your skates on though, and head to their shop here to enjoy some sale reductions of up to 50% in some cases of the Voyager packs and begin the process of that well-being reboot now!

 

Friday Favourites - Manicure and Pedicure Products

While Film and TV shows often depict women having a standing nail appointment at a downtown salon, we are sad to say that is not the reality at The Amazing Blog. While we love pampering ourselves at the spa every once and a while, we often don’t have the time or money to spend on full manicures and pedicures each week. Thankfully for us, there is a vast market for at-home nail treatments, and you can enjoy some of the luxuries from your flat. We have four #amazingfinds for you this week that will leave your hands and nails looking gorgeous while still feeling like you’ve had a day at the salon.

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The first product we have will leave your hands looking brighter and more youthful before you put on your nail polish. We had the chance to try another product from one of our tried-and-trusted brands, Beauty Kitchen. Since we tested their Seahorse Plankton 5 Minute Miracle Mask and The Beauty Boosting BB Cream, the company revamped the collection into Seahorse Plankton+, which includes the 60 Second Manicure.

The 60 Second Manicure is a quick and easy scrub that uses Himalayan sea salt to exfoliate dead skin cells from your hands and nail beds. The fine texture of the sea salt works quickly and effectively, revealing smoother and healthier-looking skin, and is especially useful for dry patches of skin. What makes this scrub standout from others is that all of the products in the Seahorse Plankton+ collection contain microalgae and blue chamomile. Microalgae is a unique skin care ingredient that can survive in the cold and harsh environment of the North Sea and increases collagen production, which brightens skin. It also contains proteins and antioxidants that nourish skin and reduce redness as well as fine lines. Blue chamomile gives the scrub the relaxing aroma of a spa and renews skin.

Sustainability is a crucial pillar of the brand, so Seahorse Plankton+ products are made with recyclable materials (glass and aluminium) and sustainably grown microalgae. Despite the name, seahorses are not used to make the scrub, and it is vegan certified. You can purchase the scrub (80g) here for £19.50.



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This next product from BalbCare -  Luxury Waterless Manicure/Pedicure Starter Kit provides the perfect layer of moisture once you’ve smoothed your hands with the 60 Second Manicure. BalBCare is a Brazilian-based company that wanted to create a ‘manicure and pedicure service that doesn’t require water: saving both time and resources’. By using their Manicure / Pedicure Starter Kit containing a pack of 20 together with free plier toe nail cutters. Did you know that you can save two to four litres of water with each use and have beautiful-looking hands and feet this summer.

The Manicure and Pedicure Kits come with gloves and socks, plus emollient cream, a nail file and a wooden cuticle pusher. The packets are for single-use only, making them very sanitary – something that is vital when removing your cuticles. They are also flat and portable. The emollient cream in each kit moisturises hands and feet using natural ingredients like witch-hazel extract and allantoin (reduces skin inflammation), tea tree oil (sanitises hands naturally), and calcium pantothenate (nourishes nails). After putting the gloves or socks on, you must break the ends of the glove or sock to push back and remove your cuticles. Like a sheet mask, remember to rub in the excess emollient cream once you’ve removed the gloves and socks. To purchase this Starter kit it will be approximate £40 from here.

For extra soft feet, because we usually don’t put cream on our feet every day like our hands, we suggest using Foot File. We recommend finding a file that is made with 100 per cent surgical quality stainless steel, making it longer-lasting and more effective than a typical sandpaper file that runs down after a few uses. The material also makes the foot file extremely lightweight and has a coarse side and fine side. You can use it with or without water and creams, but we prefer to remain water-less and use the emollient cream

We must quickly add that this is in fact a popular salon-based ‘express service’ treatment that is offered in select nail bars and beauty salons UK wide. To have the full experience of mani pedi performed by trained individuals, this treatment will be around £20 (depending on each salons menus).

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The next product we have is another alternative to going to the nail salon or even having to use nail polish, and it will have even your closest friends fooled. Bows & Toes offers a unique solution for people who struggle at painting their nails – especially their non-dominant hands, makeup artists who quickly need to paint nails left and right backstage, or someone who doesn’t want to leave home. It also offers a luxurious twist to stick-on nails, which many people still believe are only age-appropriate for children to use.  

The UK-based online boutique was founded by two sisters who have backgrounds in the nail business, art, and design. They combined their experiences to create high-quality and detailed designs for the hand-painted nails. Bows & Toes allows you to express yourself and style through your nails whichever way you like with a wide variety of styles. The nails come in classic round and square shapes, but also trendy stiletto shapes that are difficult to create without going to the nail salon. Patterns vary from glitter and jewels to marble and solid colours, which come in both shiny and matte finishes. The 20-piece nail sets are not all uniform and have different hues as well as patterns that coordinate with another.

Each nail set includes the stick-on nails, gel tabs to keep the nails on, alcohol wipes, and a cuticle stick. All nails can be removed with just warm water and are reusable if taken care of properly. You can purchase the Bow Ladies nail sets here for prices of £14.99-£18.99, depending on the design.

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Finally, we have two products for you from HandMade Beauty to complete your nails. The Moisturising Base Coat with Aloe Vera and Top Coat Sun Dry both got a lot of love at this year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards, and we can see why. Diana Burillo’s brand provides organic, handmade, and cruelty-free alternatives to traditional nail polishes that often have harsh chemicals and damage nails. The products are also fair trade and produced with as few ingredients as possible to uphold the company’s mission of ‘creating 100% organic spaces for body and mind care’.

The first item we tried was the Moisturising Base Coat. Our nails truly felt the difference with this base coat due to the formula’s mixture of aloe vera, bamboo extract, and vitamin E. These ingredients add moisture, but also repair existing nail damage and prevent future damage. It’s perfect if your nails are feeling drier with the rising temperatures. On top of feeling more moisturised nails, the base coat left a nice natural shine that could be worn on its own. After the base coat and nail polish of your choice, HandMade Beauty’s Top Coat Sun Dry will give you shiny and glossy nails that look like you got a gel manicure. The catch is that you don’t have to put your hands under a UV lamp or UV light. The top coat creates a hard shell in just three minutes under natural sunlight and protects your nails from getting chipped, resulting in a longer-lasting manicure. The product additionally has a rounded application brush that makes it easier to distribute the top coat onto your nails.

Both products come in simple glass bottles (a clear one for the base coat and a matte black one for the top coat) with wooden caps that would look nice on any counter. You can purchase the Top Coat Sun Dry (11ml) here for €18 and the Moisturising Base Coat (10ml) here for €14. If you buy both together, online orders over €30 qualify for free shipping.

With these four unique at-home nail treatments in mind, we hope you find some time to treat yourself during the weekend. Put on a soft robe, rest your feet, and relax in front of the telly while doing one or all of these treatments because you and your nails deserve to feel like you’ve had a weekend spa holiday.

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 .