Elemis Skin Lab

It is all good and well having a sales assistant tell you what your skin needs, or what could possible help your skin with whatever problems it might be facing.  I personally feel a cup of tea can solve any problem faced, but if my acne ridden skin could speak for itself it would tell you otherwise, whilst sobbing to itself and then laughing at the use of the word ‘faced’. 

The beauty world these days is saturated with skincare brands and each one will have their own unique selling point, promising to solve your skincare issues, however even if the sales assistant is wonderful and the brand is known world over, I often find it hard to part with my cash based just on sales chat alone. 

This is where Elemis has a lead on the skincare market: the Elemis skin lab can pinpoint exactly which products will benefit your skin through scanning it to see where your skin needs a little TLC. The wonderful Michelle at Elemis (John Lewis, Glasgow) done my skin-lab for me to see which Elemis products could help my skin. 

I have been on and off medication since I was nine for acne, and I am at the moment on antibiotics and have been for the last six months. My next step medication wise is Roaccutane – which I refuse to go on due to the horrendous side-effects. I am therefore on a skin-care mission, to solve this problem without medication.

“Defined by nature. Led By Science”.
“Elemis invests in cutting-edge technology to find breakthrough development techniques, which can be used to draw the most active ingredients from natural resources. It is this relationship between nature and science that allows Elemis to create multi-active, efficacy trialled formulations to ensure maximum therapeutic activity in every product. Elemis’ determination to find the ‘next generation’ in medicinal skin science ensures that the brand continues to meet the ever-changing needs of the client”.

The skin lab will show you whether your skin is dehydrated, sun-damaged, wrinkly, spotty – and so on. We might think we know our own skin, but half the time it is based on guess work and what sales assistants have told you – well that is what my skin knowledge is based on. The skin lab shows you exactly where your skin problems lie.

Spots: can be referring to acne, any marking/scaring on the skin surface, blackheads, whiteheads, and/or damage caused by pollution in the air.
Wrinkles: shows how dratted your skin is.
Texture: Blue = dehydration & Yellow = Oil production.
Pores: Clustered together can mean dryness.
Brown Spots: UVB damage which is reversible. Freckles/moles are in fact pigmentation if you don’t have them age 0-13.
Red Areas:  Sensitivity.

As you can see my skin is really quite dehydrated and sensitive. But I have near to none sun damage. 

However the magic part of the skin lab experience is when the lab prints you off a list of products that have been proven to help your skin type.  Elemis treats each customer as an individual, as we all have different skin care needs.

The lab prints out a lot of products but the lovely Michelle went through the list and pinpointed the ones that would help me the most/products within my price range. One of the products I was recommended is SOS Emergency  Cream.

£51 – Available at all Elemis Counters.
This ultra-rich moisturising cream is an intense soothing and hydrating boost for parched, weathered or sunburnt skin. The Elemis S.O.S Emergency Cream contains a time-honoured synergy of Myrrh (soldiers of ancient Greece used to rub this into their wounds to promote rapid healing) including:
  • Meadowsweet
  • Willow
  • Patchouli
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
It is a beautiful thick cream which leaves the skin feeling nourished and calm, I love using this cream after a day under the air-conditioning at work or after wearing a lot of make-up.   If your skin is prone to feeling a little tender then this is a great product for you.
If you are interested in getting a skin lab done – Scottish bloggers can pop along to see either Michelle or Jo at John Lewis (Glasgow).  Who will take excellent care of you, and let you smell all the lovely products – I do this most days.  The apricot toner is lush. 
Other UK bloggers – online directory: http://www.elemis.com/Locations/DepartmentStores.aspx



The Answer to My Sore Skin Woes, with Origins.

For the last three months…and ten year, I have been battling with Acne.  Over the years it has come and gone but the last year has seen a resurgence, that at times I just do not have the energy to battle.  I had almost thrown the towel in, and accepted that I will always have ‘ahem’ crap skin.  

I have been on anti-biotics for nearly three months, they have cleared up the particularly spotty area that I had on my chin, but I now have spots on my cheeks – an area which I have never been prone to spots. I can’t say if they have done the job or not, they have helped a little but the results are not what I expected from being medicated for three months.  The only thing left on the Doctors list is Roaccutane – a very powerful acne medication with notorious side-effects, I have been avoiding it since I were twelve.  Part of me wishes I had taken Roaccutane when I was younger, as now I am simply too scared.  I don’t have time for more side-effects, my under-active thyroid gives me enough of them to keep me occupied.

However, I may have found something that works for me.  Last week I was offered a facial from the ever glamorous Jen who works over at the Origins counter, next to me in work.  She had to practice for her test the next day and I got to get pampered on my lunch break – certainly a perk of working in the beauty department.  

My lunch break has never felt the same since.  A bland salad cannot compete with laying under a blanket, and having wonderful potions soothingly put on your face.  Jen done a fabulous job, my skin felt – I want to say how skin should feel. My skin felt like skin again, and not that achy dry pallet I apply make-up to. 

Before the facial I was consulted about my skin, so that the appropriate products which could benefit me were used.  This would be very beneficial for anyone who is unsure of their skin type, or does not where to start with a healthy skin care regime.

My current skin care regime revolves around whatever products I fancy using on that given day, mainly products from Lush.  I do love Lush skincare and other great brands, and I’m not saying anything negative in regards to them, but nothing has worked with such pace and effectiveness for my skin as the Mega Mushroom Collection by Dr Andrew Weils for Origins

At the time of my facial I had big red blotches (spots) on both my cheeks – they were inflamed and sore. Jen (being the star that she is) took note of my current problem and tailored my facial around Dr Weils which helps irritated skin.

The product that has wowed me the most is the Mega-mushroom Skin Relief Face Mask (when I heard mega-mushroom I made a bit of a face also).  I always take skin care with a pinch of salt, as I have learnt not to expect miracles when it comes to my skin, but I noticed a change in my skin within the first use.  Those red blotches shrunk and the redness was reduced.  After further usage they are almost gone.

Clinically proven to visibly reduce redness.After one use:
√ 92% of those tested agreed it helps uncomfortable, dry skin feel better. 

It is expensive though, coming in at £34.00.  Usually I wouldn’t spend that much on a face-mask because I can’t really afford to spend that much on one product but I whole heartedly recommend anyone with acne or blemishes to try this.

In the next couple of weeks I will be reviewing the Dr Weil’s collection more in depth, as it really deserves a post all of it’s own.

Origins at the moment are offering complimentary facials and I highly recommend all you beauty bloggers out there take advantage of it, because you could learn a lot about your skin type and your skin will feel gorgeous afterwards. If you are from Glasgow come to John Lewis, the Origins girls are all really nice – and then you can come chat to me afterwards, maybe buy some sunglasses ‘wink’. 

Tits and Zitz

For pretty much half of my life I have had acne which is medically categorised as a skin disease which seems a bit over the top but I suppose there are much worse cases of acne than mine but it was really bad when I was younger.  I started my period when I was nine years old so I experienced physically being a teenager before most of my friends did.  I had big boobs and acne.  If my face wasn’t covered in disgusting red dots I would have probably been considered a hottie for the tits alone but instead I became a bully victim because of the zits.

‘Bully’ is one of those words that when people use it they either give you an understanding look or they look at you like you’re exaggerating.  The bullying started at primary school and continued to secondary. The bullying never told a physical form but sometimes I wish it had.  At times I convinced myself it would have been easier than the mental torment.  I still have self-confidence issues in regards to my skin till this day.  I feel very uncomfortable going outside not wearing make-up or even being around some friends not wearing it.  It is rare that I will go outside not wearing any and when I do I feel very paranoid. I know this does not make me special in any way as loads of girls feel like this but it can be good to share experiences and if it helps make someone not feel like an alien then my job is done.

The worst thing about being bullied about something physical or indeed something else that is happening in your life such as family is that half the time it is true.  I could’t deny I had terrible skin.  It was not only staring me in the face but all over my face and it hurt.  Both my face and the bullying.

Here is one of my favourite posts on the subject of acne and from someone who has a shittier time of it than me: Scars by Dr Brooke Magnanti but you might know her better as Belle De Jour.

But back to the point – the reason I bring this up is because of the state of my skin right now and it reminds me of how crap a time I went through as an adolescent and it pisses me off that at 21 I am still dealing with it.

My skin did clear up for a couple of years – at age 14 I got put on Dianette which is a contraceptive pill but it is one that is very good for clearing up acne.  So good that I have heard of men being prescribed it.  If anyone reading this has particularly bad skin I would look into this.  I then got took off that pill for being on it too long and my current pill has never helped my skin. Well that combined with an underactive-thyroid which means my hormones are everywhere. As if gaining two and a half stone was not bad enough. They should really rename hypo-thyroidism ‘ugly illness’. Ok, slightly dramatic but it certainly is not something that makes you better looking.

I cleanse, I tone, I moisturise and I have prescribed cream from the doctor but nothing is helping me at the moment.  Since age nine I have been searching for the miracle product and I still have no found it so I thought I would ask on here on the odd chance that someone else has battled acne for the majority of their life and has been lucky enough to find this miracle product.

The cream I was prescribed off the doctors is called DUAC cream and it is very good but it just is not working for me at the moment but if you suffer from random breakouts I would go ask for some of this it should clear your skin up in a couple of weeks. However it also has a tendency to dry out your skin so pile a thick moisturiser on at bedtime.

If I had some photo’s I would show you’s but I actually do not have any digital photo’s from my youth and I wonder why this does not bother me.

Much Love,



Cosmetic Warrior – Fresh Face mask – Lush Review

This is the second review out of the free samples I received on my visit to Lush.  I have used Lush face mask’s before but I have never asked about which one would be best from my skin.  I usually just make a judgement on 1.  The smell of the product and 2. What the product card says.

The sales lady advised Cosmetic Warrior for my skin – dry and spotty.  Like most students.  As if university was not stressful enough.  Here is a product to make things a little less stressful.

The first thing that hits you about this product is the tea tree oil – one of my favourite products and one that is very good for combating spots.  I used to dab pure tea tree oil on my skin – little tip for anyone with bad skin. I can be rather nippy though.  In the face mask however though it isn’t nippy it makes the skin feel beautifully fresh.  Just like a lovely gust of cold wind has swept across your face.  The mask would go lovely with an iced mojito and a vivid imagination.

“Fresh white grapes clean and cool the skin. Fresh garlic and tea tree oil are antiseptic.
Fresh eggs tighten the texture of the skin. Honey softens and moisturises the skin and is also antimicrobal. We bind all of these ingredients together with kaolin and cornstarch to give the mask a smooth texture that goes on easily and does not drag or pull sore, sensitive skin. All of this means that Cosmetic Warrior fights spots and the causes of spots, without harming the natural balance of the skin and without creating puffiness”.
The further description suggests that the product smells really quite bad because of the garlic but I think the product smells really fresh – although it obviously doesn’t smell quite as good as the chocolate scented face mask cupcake.
You can almost feel the product working as it is on your face which is nice.  The sales lady also advised that you leave a little bit of the mask on over night if you have a particularly bad spot.  I haven’t tried this as of yet but I will once I invest in a larger tub of the product.