Winter Skin

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Like my skin care for the face I am pretty religious about moisturising and try my best to exfoliate once a week. This winter has been bitterly cold; the vicious winds, central heating and layering up in jumpers has left our skin unable to breathe whilst dehydrating and stripping it. Naaat pretty.

Despite the fact I am boyfriendless and my summer holiday seems far, far away, I am the type of tragedy who spends an obscene amount of time and money on beauty products because they make me feel good. I am more than happy to go to bed alone with super soft skin, layered up in St Tropez in the safe knowledge that if someone suddenly and romantically decided to ask me out tomorrow I would be fully prepared. Anyhow my fragile, winter skin was in need of some serious TLC so I contacted the lovely people at The Sanctuary who recommended the 5 Day Creamy Body Oil and 4 Day Moisture Oil Scrub. They kindly sent over some samples that should do the job. Like any good blogger, I was willing to test them against other products that I have also sourced for their ability to exfoliate, moisturise and hydrate. Here is how they measured up.

The Sanctuary – 5 Day Creamy Body Oil and 4 Day Moisture Oil Scrub

Peeking under the lids like a naughty child at Christmas, their heavenly smells were already full of promises, transporting me to what I can only imagine the spa itself is like. Heady notes of mango and spice, I don’t even care to know what they are guaranteed a luxurious beauty night so I rushed home and put them to the test. Enticed by the fragrant smell but trying to remain practical I reminded myself that since finding the Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion I thought I had come to the sad realisation that if you wanted serious results you did have to shell out. I was hoping rather than expecting to be proved wrong.

So I locked myself up in the bathroom with the 4 Day Moisture Oil Scrub and began my ritual. My secret to an effective and good exfoliation is to do it prior to getting into the bath or shower. I find that if you don’t the water weakens the product so it is far less effective. You can even feel like it is doing a lesser job. However so I don’t scrub too harshly, I rinse my hands with water before rubbing up some of the product between them and then gently massaging over all areas. Pay particularly attention to the tops of my arms, elbows and upper legs. I then rinse off in the bath or shower.

The effects with this scrub were instant. Not only was all the dry skin instantly removed but my skin felt like it had been intensely nourished with some kind of exotic oil before even moisturising! I mean the name of the scrub should have been a give away but I presumed it was a standard advertising gimmick. Believing this scrub to be magic, I instantly logged on to their website which revealed ingredients of olive oil (dah daahhh), shea butter (even better) and rich gold (winner).  As to be expected the 5 Day Creamy Body Oil moisturiser had the same ultra-nourishing effects leaving my skin feeling moisturised and plump. I went to bed relaxed and enveloped in a lovely fragrant cocoon of moisture. Individual or as a pair, the Sanctuary bodycare is sure to scrub, soften and smooth out the most battered of winter skin! Unexpectedly but happily I was proved wrong, at a very reasonable £6.99 I need not turn to the most expensive brands for the most effective results.

Australian Bodycare

This brand has been relatively off the radar for me, although I did recognise it when I came across it. At 14 I used their face wash to tackle my adolescent blemish-prone skin and remembered it being rather effective. Therefore when I was sent some samples of the bodycare range I was eager to try it out. I requested the Exfoliating Body Wash (£11.99) and the corresponding moisturiser (£15.99). The exfoliator was nice and grainy and has that pleasant anti-sceptic smell that tee tree tends to have. Although the skin on my body is luckily blemish free, I very much got the impression that if you were to have blemishes on your back and chest, this scrub will do wonders. My skin felt smooth but not quite as much, nor as nourished than with the Sanctuary one.

The moisturiser was equally comforting yet with a more tropical scent. With extracts of coconut I was transported so a sunny beach in Barbados. The extracts of tee tree made this one particularly effective and soothing for post shaved legs.  Nice and light, again it would be a perfect moisturiser for those who don’t want to over-oil blemish prone body skin.

Dove Rich Moisturising Cream (£3.29 for 150ml)

Classic and excellent value for money, this should be a staple piece of every girl’s bathroom cupboard. I don’t know why but I have always loved the smell of Dove… from the body wash to the deodorant to the moisturiser. It smells lovely and clean and has comforting connotations of being a young girl. Any Dove moisturiser will do the trick but the oval tinned, Rich Moisturising Cream is ultra-hydrating. Sometimes too greasy you really need to work this one into the skin. Perfect if like me you like to whack on Sound of Music whilst you spent a good twenty minutes massaging it in!

Le Petit Marseilles Recettes Mediterranéennes body scrub

Now I know I hark on about French brands and how wonderful and amazing they are, but this one really is, I promise! So much so that I recently recommended it to more! Magazine, who featured it on their beauty addict page. Also recommended in the Parisian Beauty blog I thought I would go into a little more detail. This scrub is excellent. For €6.33 you get serious value for money. Like The Sanctuary 4 Day Oil Scrub this one is nice and grainy yet with a  gloriously nourishing almondy oil that moisturises as well as scrubs away the dry skin. If you fancy decorating your bathroom with French beauty products let this be one of them! The matching moisturiser definitely promises similar results, available in a lotion or a butter.

There are plenty of scrubs and moisturisers out there on the market to chose from, these are just a few suggestions. Like any gullible consumer, I am enticed by expensive packaging and nice smells, however in a recession we literally can’t afford the more luxurious options. That doesn’t mean we have to settle for a lesser product. It’s about researching and trying out alternatives, which like The Sanctuary products do just as good a job. If you are seriously tight on money then why not try mixing up rough sea salt with a few teaspoons of almond oil. Et voila smoother skin in an instant.

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