Why you’ll never use facial wipes again

We’re entering the thick of party season and I’ll bet you anything you’ve gone to bed without taking your makeup off at all, or have resorted to a wipe…

I’m an advocate of thorough cleansing, preferably a double cleanse, I will tell anyone and everyone about the benefits of proper cleansing, but, today I want to take about a particular pet hate of mine; facial wipes, and why I really don’t like them!

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes they serve a purpose; going swimming/gym during your lunch break, camping/festivals, travelling where access to running water is scarce, hospital bag if movement is going to be restricted….you get my drift. However, I would argue, that aside the swimming and mountain treks a proper cleanse would be preferable and far more enjoyable in circumstances that are less so.

So why am I anti-wipes? Here’s a confession…there have been occasions when a wipe has been the only option to remove dirt and makeup. And, as a mum I can generally be called upon to have some on my person to clear up daily messes and sticky hands. However, when it comes to facial wipes I do have some issues. In the interests of providing some honest feedback (it has been a long while since a wipe touched my face) I recently tested a couple of well-known brands, and here’s what I found.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the experience of taking my makeup off with a wipe, it stung my eyes, left my face feeling sensitive and while my skin felt wet, it was neither hydrated nor nourished. Once the moisture from the wipe had dried off my skin felt tight and sensitive, and after about half an hour, really dry. By the end of the week my skin had broken out in little pimples in areas where I don’t usually suffer from breakouts, not fun.

They didn’t effectively remove my makeup! Day to day I wear SPF and a little makeup. Somehow they simply mushed the dirt and makeup around my face, and failed to actually effectively remove it. How many wipes do you think it takes to take a full face of makeup off properly? I’ll tell you…FIVE!! Five wipes to take off around 90% off, I’ve had some clients admit to using just one (ONE!!!) wipe for a ‘thorough’ whole facial cleanse…I just can’t even talk about it, and don’t get me started on the packaging, that never seals properly!

Let’s talk bank balances, because when I talk to people about skincare I often hear that it’s too expensive to invest in good, effective products. I’m here to tell you that it needn’t break the bank. There are loads of affordable product lines out there that offer good quality products. Facial wipes are actually way more expensive longer term than buying a bottle of cleanser. On average packet of facial wipes contains approximately 30 wipes and costs between £2-5 (there are cheaper non-branded options). If used properly, you’re actually getting less than a weeks’ worth of product per pack! On average that’s around £180-£200 (60ish packets) a year, on a product that doesn’t even clean your face properly. A good quality mid-range cleanser will cost £15-20 and last you 3-4 months. You do the maths. Of course there are cheaper and equally more expensive options, it really depends on what you’re after.

So my advice? Keep the wipes for emergencies and have a look at investing in a product that will clean and look after your skin. Most beauty therapists will happily talk to clients about where to start, offer free skin consultations and nearly all brands offer samples so you can try before you buy. We only have one skin, it’s worth looking after.

Don’t forget to cleanse! x

Spring, Sunshine…SPF?

Spring is finally springing! And with this week seeing some actual sunshine (roll on the vitamin D dose) and increased temperatures I’ve been thinking about SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and how I protect my family. You may or may not know but SPF is one of only a couple of things that can legitimately all itself ‘anti-ageing’. Sun damage is one of the biggest contributing factors to ageing and not to mention potentially skin-cancer inducing, and who wants to run that risk?

Recently, someone close to our family has had to undertake some pretty aggressive skin treatment to their face to counter the effects of years of sun damage, largely from childhood, which left untreated could turn into cancerous cells. It’s not something I’d want to go through myself and the side effects haven’t been pleasant at all. The good news is it’s been caught by the dermatologist and is being treated and in a few weeks time will have hopefully killed all the bad cells.

Personally I apply an SPF everyday as part of my morning facial routine, but I’m not as rigorous with my children, I mean WHAT?!?!?!? It’s suddenly dawned on me that while I’m pedantic over the summer months, packing them off to school faces and extremities greasy with sun cream I’m not doing this year round. (Un)fortunately, us Brits aren’t blessed with a lot of sun, and so I think we’re a little naïve to it’s dangers. But the UVA and UVB rays are out there. Think of it this way, if it’s light outside then there is sunlight which whether masked by clouds or not emits these harmful rays.

So, my message today is firstly, are you thinking about your sun protection? Are you protecting yourself adequately throughout the year? Are you protecting your family adequately? There’s really no excuse these days, we are well informed of the dangers.

Secondly, if you don’t use sun protection, how and what can you do about it? First off, find a sunscreen that contains both UVA and UVB protection (broad spectrum). There are two camps on sun creams within the industry; Physical (contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are often thick, pasty formulas that take forever to rub in, often referred to as physical blockers) and chemical (create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin, often runnier, disappear into the skin akin to moisturisers). I prefer to use an independent SPF to my moisturiser, and tend to use a chemical sun cream, however I top this with a physical protection in the form of a powder on-the-go in summer months. I believe that while some moisturisers contain SPF, you need to use a lot to get adequate protection, likewise with makeup. It adds seconds to your morning routine, why skimp? Other methods of reducing sun exposure are well known these days; avoid direct exposure, keep to shady areas and hats/visors/caps the list is endless! Hats on kids is a great way to protect their faces and heads, that’s if they keep them on long enough!!

Thirdly, know how much to apply and how often. Many people don’t use enough sun protection. If applying to face, you should be able to see a bit of white cast initially, which you work in. I find a 10p size works for me. Likewise with the body you’re looking at around a tablespoon per large area, a little less for children but you should see a full body ‘sheen’. Reapply often.

So, here you are some musings as I sit and look out at my sunny garden. Enjoy this weather, we all need a good dose of Vitamin D, it’s glorious, but protect yourselves and those around you!

I am aware that there are some whose views on this subject differ from my own, that’s fine, I am by no means an expert. There are arguments for and against physical and chemical sun protection, views on ingredients and those who use alternative methods to protect themselves. There is a plethora of information out there, this scratches the surface. However, you choose to protect your skin, make sure you’re informed and take care.

Ana xx

Skincare Awareness: What’s yours?

Destination Skin have launched the first ever National Skincare Awareness week. Their recent research findings have got me thinking, how skincare aware are we really?

I was brought up with the mantra ‘Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise’ whenever the topic of skincare was brought up, however my introduction to ARK Age Aware Skincare has made me re-evaluate and now I firmly believe in: ‘Cleanse, Moisturise and SPF’ and here’s why…

Cleanse – actually let’s make that double cleanse…why do we bleat on about cleansing so much? Simply put, effective cleansing is the bread and butter to obtaining flawless skin. Every skincare concern can be tackled by first effectively cleansing, particularly in the evening. Treatment serums, moisturisers and masques are unable to do their job properly if not applied to perfectly clean skin. Obviously cleansing removes makeup, true, but remember it’s not just makeup you need to remove from your face, cleansing removes grease and grimy build up from the day which clogs the pores, think dust, smog, sweat, mobile phones and not forgetting transference of dirt every time we touch our faces, it’s enough to make me want to scrub my face now! Aside from the cleaning effect, a good cleansing routine will target your skins specific needs and treat your skin from the very outset of your daily skincare regime, hence the double cleanse, so your cleanser should be chosen to suit your specific skin type and more importantly condition. Ever wondered why there are so many Cleansers out there?

Moisturise – Why do I need to moisturise? Moisturisers not only help keep your skin hydrated, it can make all the difference in the condition of your skin in years to come. While the skin is able to moisturise itself naturally through the production of sebum, our body’s natural moisturiser, as we age this production diminishes, the skin’s elasticity and collagen levels reduce and fine lines and wrinkles start appearing. Moreover, the life we lead and environmental factors also play a part in dehydrating the skin. Use of a moisturiser early on can help prevent and reduce the onset of wrinkles and fine lines. Again, a plethora of moisturising products are available on the market and it’s a case of finding the right one for your skin needs and maturity.

SPF – It’s a staggering fact, but 90% of premature ageing is caused by environmental damage* (read sun exposure). This environmental factor is present as soon as we step outdoors everyday come rain or shine. I recently posted an infographic on Instagram that explained the differences between UVB and UVA rays. In short, both are damaging to our skin but UVA rays penetrate deeper in to the dermis layer. So it is essential that a good quality, broad spectrum (covering both UVA and UVB rays) is applied daily as a standalone part of your morning routine. Why standalone when so many moisturisers and makeup products now contain an SPF? Well, the SPF protection is diluted when carried within another product, so you’d have to slather yourself in the product to get the same level of protection as applying an independent SPF product.

Now, having got you all thinking about how much SPF you use on a daily, or non-daily basis (slap your wrists now!), how clean you’re actually getting your skin each day, and whether you’re even using the right products I’ll let you into a little secret…..ARK Skincare covers all the bases easily and affordably and with AMAZING results!

ARK uses a unique approach which takes into account your age. Split into 3 groups, teens to early 30’s, 30’s -50’s and 50’s and beyond, each of these age groups contains a core collection of ingredients including; vitamins, lipids (natural fats), and anti-oxidants that target the specific age group’s requirements such as over-production of sebum causing spots and acne, diminishing levels of collagen, lack of radiance etc. To make life even easier, each age group has a core range of products, Cleanser, Exfoliator, Masque and Moisturiser – all your bases covered! And even more importantly an award winning Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Primer…no need to look any further! Follow the link to http://anaeady.arkskincare.com for more information and your one-stop shop for your skincare needs! Visit your local ARK Skincare therapist for a consultation and more information.

Do bear in mind, that products alone will not give you the skin you desire, plenty of water and a healthy diet with exercise also play a part in keeping the skin supple and radiant.
*The Skin Cancer Foundation

Ghosts and Ghouls and…Snail slime!

As I sit and watch witches, ghouls and the occasional Frankenstein race up and down my road, buckets brimming with treats, it seems a fitting time to finally take the plunge and embark on a little skincare testing of a particularly icky (to some) product.

I adore my ARK Skincare facial routine. In fact, I’m slightly addicted to the products, the smell, the feel, and most of all the results, my skin looks and feels great! In 14 months I haven’t once deviated from my beloved routine. However, recent articles on some of the more esoteric treatments and products available , ‘vampire’ facials, bee sting venom, gold particles to name a few have left me feeling just a little bit more than intrigued. In particular one containing Snail slime. Yep, snails slime, that little trail of silvery goop you see all over your garden!

Garden Snails, Helix Aspersia to use their official name, contain soothing, anti-ageing and healing properties discovered by snail farmers in Chile when they realised their hands healed quickly, were unusually soft and scars disappeared after handling the snails.

Helix Aspersia Muller, is a unique substance which the snail produces to quickly regenerate its own shell and skin when damaged. Said to contain a complex mixture of proteins, anti-oxidants, hyluronic acid and elastin, it appears to have many of the properties to form an action packed anti-ageing product. But don’t worry; you don’t have to race out into the garden to forage for snails! A collection of companies have implemented this ingredient into some of their ranges. Dr Organic, is just one of a variety of cosmetic brands that has analysed this natural extract and taken this ingredient to form a highly coveted facial cream – sales have gone through the roof in recent months, and the reviews are rather fascinating!

Perhaps it’s yet another weird and wonderful ingredient to help boost cosmetic sales, a lure to all of us continuing on the quest to age gracefully, or maybe, just maybe, this one really works?! Curiosity has definitely gotten the better of me this time so I shall be trialing the Dr Organic product over the next few weeks. Watch this space!

Some new and exciting developments to Paloma Blanca Beauty!

So it’s been a while since I last posted anything here, but, although I’ve been quiet I’ve been a very busy bee over the last few months, putting together some indulgent new treatments,  taking on a fabulous new skincare range, and building a my new, soon-to-be-completed, dedicated beauty room to carry out all your lovely treatments!

Not only do I have new treatments and a tranquil haven to whet your appetite but I am now a skincare consultant for ARK Age Aware Skincare.

This skincare range is worthy of its own blog (which I will appear in due course) but for now I’ll highlight a few of its unique selling points.  ARK skincare has been created to look at skin by your skins changing needs as you age, rather than by skin type. Age appropriate products are divided into 3 age-related categories; Age Prepare (teens to mid thirties), Age Maintain (30 – 50) and Age Repair (50 and beyond).  Each range contains a powerful and unique combination of ingredients with a base formulation of; essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins.  They are designed to combat environmental factors such as the causes and effects of free radical activity, inflammation, dehydration, breakdown of collagen, weakened immunity and loss of hormones by feeding the skin with essential nutrients and vitamins to help repair it and protect it from further damage.  In addition to the range of cleansers, exfoliators, masques and moisturisers comes a collection of 8 skin response serums to target specific skin concerns.  Whatever your concerns there is a serum to help!

Paloma Blanca is now offering; Swedish Body Massage, Back Neck and Scalp Massage and a range of luxurious new facials tailored to specific age groups and skin problems! 

A new treatment and price list will soon be available for you to choose from!


Do you stick to your skincare routine?

Do you clean your face at night?…I mean really give it a good wash, getting rid of all the dirt, sweat, and grime that builds up throughout the day?  In a recent survey carried out by online beauty retailer Escentual.com it was discovered that a staggering 79% of women regularly forego removing their makeup and cleansing their skin daily!  Maintaining a skincare regime, however simple, along with healthy balanced diet and plenty of water is key to keeping your skin looking healthy and glowing. 

We’ve all been there, late nights, too tired, or simply not interested form just some of the excuses we give for not cleansing and toning.  However, removing your make up at the end of the day shouldn’t be a chore, it should form part of your daily bed time routine, and in reality it only takes a matter of minutes , five at most,  to get that lovely clean and fresh feeling!

Here are just a couple of reasons to emphasize the need to following a simple cleansing routine.  First and foremost, removing your make-up helps prevent blackheads and spots caused by blocked pores owing to make-up sitting on your skin for prolonged periods of time.  Secondly, it removes the daily build up of dirt and sweat.  Thirdly, and perhaps even more importantly, over the course of the day free radicals caused by pollution, cling to the make-up on your skin.  These free radicals contribute to cellular damage and early signs of aging – something we are all keen to avoid!!

Following a skincare regime needn’t be complicated.  Here are a few pointers: • Don’t use a cleanser that is too harsh for your face, use something that is specific to your skin type – your local therapist will be able to advise you on the best product for your individual needs.

• Be sure to wash with your facial cleanser for at least 30 seconds, don’t be scared to do this twice if you don’t remove everything the first time.

• Work your cleanser all over your face, including into the hairline, and past your jawline.  And don’t forget your neck!

• Tone, tone, tone!  A toner not only removes any final traces of cleanser and dirt, it helps close pores and balances the skin.  Use a toner that is the same brand as your cleanser as the PH levels will be balanced and you’ll get the best results!

• Moisturise.  A little moisturising goes a long way to rehydrating skin and getting that dewy look we all love.

If you currently don’t remove your make-up and/or wash your face at night please rethink that decision.  Invest in a little “me time” every evening…you’ll soon see the benefits!  X

Artistic Colour Gloss versus Shellac – what’s the difference?

So, everyone has heard of the revolutionary ‘gel nail’ technology that has dominated the nail industry over recent years.  Gel nails offer clients a more durable, instantly drying, chip and smudge free manicure or pedicure aimed to last for up to 14 days, in some cases even longer!  A visit to your local nail technician is no longer a dreaded affair wondering if you’ll actually make it out with all 10 nails intact!

Paloma Blanca Beauty has recently introduced ‘Artistic Colour Gloss’ to the treatment list, hailed by the likes of A-list celebs such as Beyoncé and J-Lo and recently launched at the Urban Retreat salon at Harrods it’s an amazing new product. 

Many people have asked me if I offer Shellac manicures and it’s with some trepidation that they subject themselves to a manicure using a product that is little known, thus far, to the public. I’m here to tell you why I believe Artistic Colour Gloss rivals Shellac and will hopefully be making a splash in salons over the coming months….

Artistic Colour Gloss is a pure gel polish, unlike Shellac which is a hybrid containing elements of both the gel and nail polish families.  Patented pending gel suspension technology in Artistic allows the pigment to remain perfectly suspended throughout the colour.  Still with me?!…in short the technology ensures that the depth of colour is always consistent, no more of the ‘light’ patches you can sometimes experience with regular nail polishes.  In addition to this special formula, proteins in the base coat ‘bond’ with the natural keratin in the nails resulting in a healthy nail on removal.  Aesthetically, I find it is a far glossier product and the shine lasts the duration of the manicure.

Additionally, I use an LED lamp to cure the nails dry. This is a more advanced system and takeshalf the drying time to Shellac which uses UV lamps.

Finally, Artistic has an amazing range of saucy-to-sophisticated, fashion-focused colours available to choose from – almost three times the amount compared with its rival Shellac!

Hopefully there is enough here to tempt you into trying this new product…so what are you waiting for? Book yourself in for a fantastic Artistic Colour Gloss manicure now!  I’m currently stocking a range of fabulous colours bright enough to even add some sunshine to your life in this typical English summer!

Ana x