Hey guys! So if you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I was recently sent a box full of amazing healthy foods and skincare products from the brand AVEENO who challenged me to take on their Inside & Oat challenge for one week. The challenge they set me involved eating healthily, adding some daily exercise to my routine and using their products to nourish my skin. You can read more about it in my first post here but the aim of the challenge is to nourish my skin from both the inside and out to see what a week of changes can make.
Since giving the challenge a try, it’s time to report back with how I found it and the differences I felt from making some changes. If you follow me on social, you’ll probably know I’m already quite into leading a healthy lifestyle and do believe balance is key. I try to be good throughout the week and allow myself a few naughty treats on the weekends. I find that’s the best way for me to stay on track during the week – knowing I won’t feel guilty when I indulge at the weekend. With this being said, the prospect of following a healthy diet didn’t phase me in the slightest – I welcomed it with open arms and couldn’t wait to try out some of the recipes from the meal plan AVEENO sent with my hamper of goodies.

Now although eating healthily for one week isn’t going to make any major changes in terms of weight loss or a glowing complexion, I can definitely say that it makes me feel ten times better about myself and the biggest change for me is the psychological one – that great feeling of knowing I’m looking after my body can’t be beaten. I always feel really sluggish if I eat lots of bad food so eating good food definitely gives me lots more energy. As I said, changes to my skin from only a week of healthy eating are unlikely but I can see how my skin would hugely benefit if I were to continue nourishing my body with home cooked food and some amazing ingredients. I’ve popped some photos in this post of the Butternut Curry I made from the meal plan which was created by Natasha Corrett from Honestly Healthy. This was definitely one of my favourite recipes – it was so tasty and I didn’t miss the meat element one bit. It was actually quite refreshing to have a meat free meal and this is something I’ll definitely be making again. It didn’t even taste healthy as it was so full of flavour.

As well as following the heathy eating plan, I also added four of AVEENO’s fabulous skincare products to my daily routine. I’d always heard such amazing things about the brand but never tried their products out so I’m really pleased this challenge has introduced me to them.  I have to be honest, I’m pretty terrible when it comes to moisturising my body – it often feels like a chore so I don’t really bother, unless I’m on holiday when I slather on moisturiser like it’s going out of fashion. However, I know moisturising my body should be just as important as moisturising my face so this challenge has given me the kick I needed to start moisturising my body on a daily basis and I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I followed the tips from Dr Shefali’s skincare plan, especially the one about not having too many hot showers – who knew it could remove the natural oils from our skin?

The four products I’ve been using are the Aveeno Body Wash,  Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, Aveeno Moisturisng Creamy Oil and the Aveeno Hand Cream all of which are from AVEENO’s daily moisturising rangeAll of the products contain oats (hence the challenge being named Inside & Oat) which have an array of skin benefits. They increase skin hydration, soothe, protect, cleanse and buffer whilst also being really gentle on sensitive skin.


I’ve been loving every single one of the products as they’re all so gentle but also so effective.  I love that none of them have strong fragrances which can sometimes irritate and disrupt the PH balance of the skin but they still have a really lovely fresh scent. I also feel like I’m doing my skin good by using them as they all contain naturally active ingredients which have been specially formulated to gently cleanse and moisturise dry, sensitive and irritated skin. My skin does get quite sensitive and can often react to new skincare products but I’ve had no issues whatsoever with these ones – they just make my skin feel silky smooth and radiant. What’s even better is that they’re all so affordable and are really accessible on the high street.

As I said, I love all of the products but my favourite of the four would have to be the Moisturising creamy oil as it blends into the skin effortlessly making the process of moisturising my whole body so quick and easy. It combines the benefits of an oil with the convenience of a cream and I really love that as it feels so much more hydrating that a normal body lotion but still has a lovely lightweight texture that sinks into the skin in a matter of seconds.

Overall I’d say I definitely felt the benefits of taking on this challenge and it’s something I’ll definitely be continuing with. I’ll be referring back to the recipes in the meal plan whenever I want to eat something I know is really good for me and I’ll of course continue to use the skincare products too. Daily exercise might not be totally realistic for me but I definitely feel better about myself after doing it so whenever I get chance, I’ll be trying to squeeze in a little home workout.

I’d love to hear some of your tips for leading a healthy lifestyle so let me know in the comments section below!

Sponsored post – however, all opinions are my own.*

Hey guys! So if you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I was recently sent a box full of amazing healthy foods and skincare products from the brand AVEENO who challenged me to take on their Inside & Oat challenge for one week. The challenge they set me involved eating healthily, adding some daily exercise to my routine and using their products to nourish my skin. You can read more about it in my first post here but the aim of the challenge is to nourish my skin from both the inside and out to see what a week of changes can make.
Since giving the challenge a try, it’s time to report back with how I found it and the differences I felt from making some changes. If you follow me on social, you’ll probably know I’m already quite into leading a healthy lifestyle and do believe balance is key. I try to be good throughout the week and allow myself a few naughty treats on the weekends. I find that’s the best way for me to stay on track during the week – knowing I won’t feel guilty when I indulge at the weekend. With this being said, the prospect of following a healthy diet didn’t phase me in the slightest – I welcomed it with open arms and couldn’t wait to try out some of the recipes from the meal plan AVEENO sent with my hamper of goodies.

Now although eating healthily for one week isn’t going to make any major changes in terms of weight loss or a glowing complexion, I can definitely say that it makes me feel ten times better about myself and the biggest change for me is the psychological one – that great feeling of knowing I’m looking after my body can’t be beaten. I always feel really sluggish if I eat lots of bad food so eating good food definitely gives me lots more energy. As I said, changes to my skin from only a week of healthy eating are unlikely but I can see how my skin would hugely benefit if I were to continue nourishing my body with home cooked food and some amazing ingredients. I’ve popped some photos in this post of the Butternut Curry I made from the meal plan which was created by Natasha Corrett from Honestly Healthy. This was definitely one of my favourite recipes – it was so tasty and I didn’t miss the meat element one bit. It was actually quite refreshing to have a meat free meal and this is something I’ll definitely be making again. It didn’t even taste healthy as it was so full of flavour.

As well as following the heathy eating plan, I also added four of AVEENO’s fabulous skincare products to my daily routine. I’d always heard such amazing things about the brand but never tried their products out so I’m really pleased this challenge has introduced me to them.  I have to be honest, I’m pretty terrible when it comes to moisturising my body – it often feels like a chore so I don’t really bother, unless I’m on holiday when I slather on moisturiser like it’s going out of fashion. However, I know moisturising my body should be just as important as moisturising my face so this challenge has given me the kick I needed to start moisturising my body on a daily basis and I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I followed the tips from Dr Shefali’s skincare plan, especially the one about not having too many hot showers – who knew it could remove the natural oils from our skin?

The four products I’ve been using are the Aveeno Body Wash,  Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, Aveeno Moisturisng Creamy Oil and the Aveeno Hand Cream all of which are from AVEENO’s daily moisturising rangeAll of the products contain oats (hence the challenge being named Inside & Oat) which have an array of skin benefits. They increase skin hydration, soothe, protect, cleanse and buffer whilst also being really gentle on sensitive skin.


I’ve been loving every single one of the products as they’re all so gentle but also so effective.  I love that none of them have strong fragrances which can sometimes irritate and disrupt the PH balance of the skin but they still have a really lovely fresh scent. I also feel like I’m doing my skin good by using them as they all contain naturally active ingredients which have been specially formulated to gently cleanse and moisturise dry, sensitive and irritated skin. My skin does get quite sensitive and can often react to new skincare products but I’ve had no issues whatsoever with these ones – they just make my skin feel silky smooth and radiant. What’s even better is that they’re all so affordable and are really accessible on the high street.

As I said, I love all of the products but my favourite of the four would have to be the Moisturising creamy oil as it blends into the skin effortlessly making the process of moisturising my whole body so quick and easy. It combines the benefits of an oil with the convenience of a cream and I really love that as it feels so much more hydrating that a normal body lotion but still has a lovely lightweight texture that sinks into the skin in a matter of seconds.

Overall I’d say I definitely felt the benefits of taking on this challenge and it’s something I’ll definitely be continuing with. I’ll be referring back to the recipes in the meal plan whenever I want to eat something I know is really good for me and I’ll of course continue to use the skincare products too. Daily exercise might not be totally realistic for me but I definitely feel better about myself after doing it so whenever I get chance, I’ll be trying to squeeze in a little home workout.

I’d love to hear some of your tips for leading a healthy lifestyle so let me know in the comments section below!

Sponsored post – however, all opinions are my own.*

How Bacteria-Infested Are My Beauty Products?

If the beauty industry had its own horror film, it might go something like this: A pretty girl walks into her bathroom, scoops out some moisturizer with her fingers, and applies it to her face. When she walks away, a minefield of flesh-eating bacteria begins to fester in her moisturizer jar. The next day, when she applies her moisturizer again, her skin is literally eaten alive by the bacteria, all because she dipped her grubby hands into the jar.

The moral of the story? Don’t touch your cosmetics. It’s hygiene advice that seems timeless, sort of like “wash your hands after you use the restroom.” But so many things come in jars—and who can keep track of those mini spoons?

A researcher named Elizabeth Brooks wanted to know too. Her two-year study, presented in 2004, took cultures from tester bottles in department stores to see what was growing inside. Ready for it? (Sit down.) She found staph, strep, and E. coli bacteria growing inside most of them. When she tested the samples on Saturdays, the day department stores have the highest foot traffic, the contamination rate was 100 percent. Every. Single. Bottle was contaminated with some kind of bacteria.

In another study, published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Sciences, two Brazilian universities tested 40 mascara samples from women and found that 79 percent were contaminated with staph.

So, maybe stay away from testers. But public contamination is very different from private contamination. Who knows what people browsing through Sephora have touched pre-entering Sephora? Most likely lots of not-clean things.

In your own bathroom, you have a lot of control over what grows in your products, according to John F. Krowka, a senior microbiologist with the Personal Care Products Council, a trade organization that monitors the safety and health of personal care products. And as long as you’re following common sense hygiene rules, he says you should be fine: “Wash hands before applying cosmetics, close cases or jars after use, read cosmetic labels carefully and replace as directed, replace applicators frequently, or use disposable makeup applicators.”

Krowka added that most cosmetics use preservative ingredients as a safeguard against bacterial growth. Among the most common preservatives are parabens, which are effective in keeping bacteria, yeast, and fungus at bay. (Plus, they’re really not as dangerous as people tend to think—for an explainer, see here.) If you’re using a homemade or ultra-natural product without preservatives, you have less of a shelf life before the product could become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Big lesson to learn here: Check the product’s expiration date. Also good to do: sterilize brushes, sponges, and cloths after each use.

When in doubt, save the tiny spoon! Dr. Annie Chiu, a dermatologist with The Derm Institute, confers, since dipping your fingers in product and exposing it to the air ups the likelihood of contamination.

Alternatively: opt for products that come in tubes or an airless pump. You can also buy your own airless pump and transfer your favorite jar products. Sounds like a great weekend project.

—Arielle Pardes

Know your products better with this handy guide to sulfates.

The post How Bacteria-Infested Are My Beauty Products? appeared first on Into The Gloss.

A Pumpkin Spice…Mask?

I recently overheard a Starbucks order that went like this: grande pumpkin spice latte, with two pumps of caramel, and, “don’t make it hot as you usually do.”

At first I was sort of horrified at the thought of the calories, but then I had to hand it to her—that was one masterfully specific order. This lady knows what she wants in life, and she’s going to get it. At least at Starbucks, the closest we can get to playing God.

Calling a PSL “basic,” and the fact that I can refer to it by acronym and you get what I mean, is pretty much passé at this point. They’ve been such a clichéd punchline to every basic caricature that we’ve begun to admit we kinda like pumpkin stuff, even if we’re being “ironic” about it. I had some pumpkin-flavored Puffins cereal sent to me at work lately (I have a weird job), and my coworkers gobbled them up like they were kibble, which they resemble in texture. There’s nothing to be ashamed of…it’s not like admitting you really love the flavor of kale. (We know you don’t.)

But whatever your pumpkin politics, cast them aside when it comes to your face, because it’s great for your skin. My new jam is Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, which smells straight up like Thanksgiving pie and doesn’t require turning the oven on, or learning how to bake, or my worst nightmare: having people over.

Here’s how it goes down:

After I hopped out of the shower, face clean and patted dry, I pulled my hair up in a towel and applied the mask with damp fingers, as instructed. You end up exfoliating your face for a bit, rubbing the mask—which has little “crystals” of aluminum oxide, in gentle circles—feeling the good burn. Then you wait for three to seven minutes. It goes on orangey-brown, so you resemble a reality TV star who got a Groupon for a streaky spray tan, or like yourself that time last year when you applied self tanner in the dark—it’s fun.

I wore it for the long side: enough time to put water on for coffee, feed the cat, upload the newspaper app on my iPad, peek out the window at two people yelling over a parking spot, and question every decision I’ve ever made about throw pillows as I do a quick scroll through Instagram. I rinsed my face with lukewarm water (hot water can dry you out), *very thoroughly,* as the instructions say, and towel off, waiting to see a new face.

Damn, still the same face.

It’s not red, but it’s a little tingly and tight—must be the enzymes. But what exactly is an enzyme?

Enzymes are things that quicken the natural chemical reactions of other things (like dead skin cells). “There are many types of enzymes,” Kate Somerville told me—her very popular, very beloved ExfoliKate has pumpkin, pineapple, and papaya (smells more like graham crackers than pie)— “fruit enzymes gently accelerate the chemical exfoliation process.” Because the surface of your skin is mostly dead skin cells, she added, those enzymes clear them out leaving *poof!* smooth baby face. If you have very sensitive skin, I’d recommend her ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment over the Peter Thomas Roth mask.

There are a few other masks out there made with fruit enzymes—Ole Henriksen’s Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask is another I’ve tried (goes on very jelly and smooth), and Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub works, gently, by the same science. But Peter Thomas Roth’s mask has the most dramatic, peel-like effect. Oh, and pie effect, very important.

Reviewers on Sephora, who tend to be a happy bunch—handing out 5-stars like day-after discount Halloween candy—say the mask is effective for acne-prone skin, but let me know if you’re tried it in the comments. And I’ll admit, if you don’t like pumpkin pie, this mask isn’t for you. I hope you find something to fill that void in your life.

—Alex Beggs

Photographed by Tom Newton.

If reading this made you hungry, the recipe for our beauty food salad awaits you. 

The post A Pumpkin Spice…Mask? appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Give Yourself An Eyebrow Massage, Feel Great

Right now, ITG is all about the brow. In celebration of Glossier’s upcoming product launch, we’re hosting Brow Month—a time to explore where those arches have been, where they’re going, and how best to care for yours. So, read on for your daily dose of brow, or click this way for related stories.

A face massage is great. An eyebrow massage is even better (OK, so it’s just a more focused face massage—but go with it). Inspired by the yogic temple massage that’s part of shavasana (the final pose in any yoga class), yoga instructor Heather Lilleston is here to instruct. Because while you’ve probably been shaping and grooming your brows for awhile, you could probably be relaxing them more. Wrinkles are a thing—plus who needs that extra tension?

It’s in the same vein as our oldie-but-goodie How To Give Yourself A Face Massage video. It’s certainly worth following along to…but really, just play when you’re ready to fall asleep because hell if this isn’t the most soothing thing we’ve ever published.



Now that your brows are relaxed, get them ready for Glossier’s newest launch. More on that here.

 

The post Give Yourself An Eyebrow Massage, Feel Great appeared first on Into The Gloss.