Let me take you way back in time, when we had only one continent, mammoths would roam the fields of grass and I was a little girl just turned 13.
It was the night after a long and exhausting week at school (ha, little did I know!) and I had decided, all mature and grown up, that I would run a bath for relaxation. And because I was lacking the fancy salts and scented candles I had glimpsed on tv (I told you it was long ago), I grabbed the next best thing I had on hand. A tiny bottle of essential oil I used to diffuse in my oil burner.
If you have ever done anything similar, you know what is coming: Getting into the bath was the most horrible experience ever, because little me did not know that you can´t just use these oils in your bath and on your skin. You will have to treat them properly, or they will burn.
I have learned a lot since then (and not seen a mammoth in a while), and I have gone back to using essential oils in my skincare. But I will never forget how strong and irritant they can be.
Now here am I going with that little anecdote of mine? Well, the Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser I am going to review today contains quite a few essential oils, listed among “Favorite” or “Other” ingredients depending whether they do have an effect or simply smell nice. I did, however, also include them into the “Unfavorable” ingredients list, to warn people with sensitive skin. They can be powerful irritants!
Nothing beats a week or two away from the office, better yet away from home. Or, at best, out of the country, at the sea side, enjoying sand, sun and surf.
Have I told you that I did surf, many years ago, on the Australian shore? Not riding big waves surf though, more desperately trying to stay above the water surf, but still. I felt like a real surfer chick back then, sun burnt nose and salty hair included.
If I happened to have a sun burnt nose or salty hair these days, it is from trying to prevent my kids from drowning themselves in the Mediterranean Sea. Or from (im)patiently waiting for them to collect every single rock there is on the beach.
The effects, however, are the same. Whenever I return from a holiday, I feel my best and look my worst. My hair is brittle, my feet are cracked and my skin is parched. So to undo the summer sins of too much sun and wind and sea, I have a little pamper routine.
I never publicly declared I was on a spending ban. Oh wait, that isn´t entirely true.
I did in the first year of blogging, when I had gone on maternity leave and that, albeit paid for, was way less than the income I had beforehand. See, before that we lived the life of Double-Income-No-Kids and the amount of money I was able to spend on makeup and skincare was immense.
After approximately a year of not buying much stuff, I realized that my stash was still overflowing. And that I had skincare in my drawers that I had purchased more than a year ago and not even thought about opening. I decided to keep up my “spending ban” a little longer, despite being back to work and having more disposable money.
Fast forward two years and another kid, I still have unopened skincare. And I now have an Excel spreadsheet helping me to keep track of all my supplies. I do divide my skincare in different steps, as you have seen in my routines (morning and evening), and now I know exactly how many I have waiting in line for each and every need. (Not enough serums and way too many AHA products and face oils, if you are curious).
Have you ever met someone, got along really well and then, all of a sudden, they opened their mouth and said just one sentence that ruined everything?
I guess we all had that on a date, but it does happen absolutely everywhere.
To me it happened recently when reading a review. A review on the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam. The blog was a nice one, clean layout, structured approach, focus on the ingredients, and the more I read, the more I thought: Could that be one of my new blogging bffs? One to chat skincare on Twitter all night? Discuss ingredients? Recommend serums?
But then, last paragraph. The sentence that ruined everything: „Perfect for using in the shower – just apply and rinse with hot water.“
No flannel? In the shower? Hot Water? We would never get along! But maybe I got along with the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam? Read more
I like to think that I eat fairly healthy. Yes, I do have a sweet tooth and while having fruits is not an issue, I have to pay attention to not skip my leafy greens too often.
Replacing your carbs for greens isn´t a new trend, and I think everyone has at least tried things like Zoodles once. Admittedly they aren´t as bad as I thought they would be, just add a lot of pasta sauce and heaps of parmesan and you are good to go, but I don´t think I would go any further.
Like: Zoats. Finely grated zucchini in your morning oats.
Just take a moment to let that sink in.
See, if I have oats for breakfast, I already pat myself on the back for not having a pain au chocolat. There is no way I can stomach grating zucchini in the morning oats and topping it with some chia seeds and half an apple.
But you have to get your vitamins in, which is why I reach for my pixi Vitamin Wakeup Mist (*PR-Sample) every morning.
While I can easily make do with one bikini, one beach cover up and two pairs of shorts to see me through a three week holiday, I used to pack everything and the kitchen sink when it came to skincare.
You see, you never know when a special firming and brightening face mask will come in handy. And which serum your skin will crave exactly on day five.
And of course someone multi masking regularly needs at least four, better five different face mask options. A week.
Which never really was a problem, until I had kids. Suddenly the space in my suitcase dedicated to fancy glass jars and dropper bottles was taken over by diapers and stuffed animals and I had to start streamlining my skincare.
When I was 15 and returned from a beach holiday, my boyfriend kissed me and said: “I never realized you had such cute freckles!”
Quite honestly, I had never realized either, but I was flattered. When you are 15, you are easily flattered by things your boyfriend says, and, for the most part, you have no clue what freckles actually are.
Now that I am older (way older), wiser (debatable) and less easily flattered, I know that these freckles were the first hyper pigmentation that showed on my skin, and quite a few more marks have since then appeared.
So let´s today face (pun intended) the facts: Hyperpigmentation – Everything you need to know.
We all have these “bulb of light” moments that nudge us into a new direction. For me a facial had in celebration of my birthday was one of these moments (see here). The esthetician examined my face, said a few nice things about my pores and general skin and then, without a warning, pinched my cheek, saying: “Weak collagen, you are getting a saggy face already.”
See, I knew I would not be able to fight gravity forever. I mean, two kids and I can easily carry a pen beneath each breast (TMI?). But my boobs are nicely packed away most of the time.
My face is out there for everyone to see, and when I look really closely, I can see the first signs of bulldog cheeks appearing. Especially when I look closely at 6 am in harsh lighting and after a weekend of indulgence.
But is there something I can do about it? Actually there is. At least things that can improve the collagen production and thus slow the process. Some are diet based (bone broth and no sugar – I know, I can´t do it either), some are physical (Face rollers – I will write about them when I manage to use them consistently) and of course products, which is what we are all here for.
Best researched and mentioned numerous times here on the blog are retinol (read here) and Vitamin C, but there are a lot more and Qlabo Collagenerous (PR-Sample) features quite a few of them.
There was a time in my past that I partied so hard that all I could manage to do before bed was take off my shoes.
There was a time when I actually thought that eye makeup I had slept in looked even more appealing.
There was a time when I used face wipes for cleansing.
But I am old, and that is both my excuse and my advantage. My excuse because it was hard to know better back then. There was no You Tube to guide me! And my advantage because I am wiser. Or at least I don´t party as hard anymore.
Whatever the reason may be, my evening skincare routine has evolved. And if you care, I will show you what I do step by step.
Somehow it seems like everyone is on holiday right now. Is it that time of year already? The time were people are gathering at the beaches, cocktail in one hand, book in the other and care about nothing else than tan lines and evening plans?
It certainly feels like that when I am clicking away on my keyboard in an eerily quiet office or when I look at my suddenly quiet bloglovin feed. I have to admit my mind has been occupied as well. Not holiday, not yet, but personal and family stuff. These things have a tendency to creep up on you and completely take over within seconds.
But no more about that, let´s focus on things that sparked joy in the month of July. And on the ones that didn´t, because such is life.