Under-eye circles – causes and fixes

August 1st, 2014

Under-eye circles - causes and fixes

Dark circles under the eyes are a common concern, and while concealer can do a good job of covering them up, understanding the cause is key. There are many different causes for dark circles, here we list some of the most common causes and what you can do to get rid of them.

It could be hereditary

Take a look at your family; do your parents have dark circles? What about your grandparents? If they do, chances are your dark circles are there due to genetics. While sadly there is little you can do to change this, you can follow the advice listed below to help improve their appearance.

You aren’t getting enough sleep

The most common reason behind dark circles is lack of sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep our skin gets paler, making blood vessels more visible under the skin. Ensure you are getting enough sleep and if it becomes a problem, consider changing your lifestyle.

You aren’t drinking enough water

Dehydration affects skin in a number of ways and it can make dark circles appear more visible. Monitor your water intake and ensure you are getting at least eight glasses a day.

You are stressed

Being overly stressed can really show in your skin, leading to outbreaks and, yep – you guessed it, dark circles. Try to dedicate some time every day to relaxing, whether you do this by meditating, reading or just enjoying a long bath.

You could have an iron deficiency

In some cases, dark circles can be a sign of anemia – meaning that you don’t get enough iron. If you suspect this as a reason, do consult your doctor. You can increase your iron intake by eating iron-rich foods like leafy green veg.

Quick fixes

If you struggle with dark circles and there is no medical reason behind them, the following quick-fixes may help:

  • Always remove your make-up before you go to bed. Leaving it on will clog your pores and can make puffy eyes and dark circles more prominent.
  • Use chilled tea bags on your eyes in the morning. You could also try cold teaspoons or cucumber slices to help reduce puffiness and boost circulation.
  • Apply sweet almond oil as an overnight treatment under your eyes – this will moisturise and help lighten the skin.

If you feel you need a little extra help, speak to a beautician about eye treatments. Find a beautician near you using our advanced search tool.

View and comment on the original Beauty and Tips article.

Beauty Resource provides quick-fix solutions to the most common summer beauty problems.

July 30th, 2014

With the warmer weather bringing a whole host of skin hang-ups, Beauty Resource explores the biggest summer beauty problems as voted for by visitors, and the quick-fix solutions to help you enjoy the sunshine without a care in the world.

As the temperature rises, we are showered with new and exciting beauty products promising us colourful lips, sultry eyes and bronzed complexions.

For many the summer season represents a perfect opportunity to experiment and try out the latest beauty trends, but frustratingly there are several beauty problems we are often completely unprepared for.

Greasy, shiny skin

Securing 32% of the vote, greasy, shiny skin is considered the biggest summer beauty problem. It can be one of the hardest skincare woes to keep under control and can ruin your glamorous summertime selfie.

Why does it happen?       

Greasy skin is caused by sebum – an oil that is secreted from sebaceous glands under the epidermis that helps protect the skin from dehydration. In warmer weather this oil melts and turns into a liquid, which makes it more obvious and slippery-looking. For people with naturally oily skin this can be particularly troublesome.

Quick fix

To stamp out shine, start with your beauty routine. Choose products with liquid absorbing ingredients like sulphur and exfoliate on a weekly basis to ensure your pores are cleansed and dead skin cells are removed. This will help to keep your skin balanced and prevent breakouts, which can occur when the greasiness sets in. Finally, make sure your sun cream is an oil-free mattifying solution.

Painful sunburn

Sore and itchy sunburn was voted by 29% of Beauty Resource visitors as their biggest summer beauty problem. Unexpected sunburn can be very painful and uncomfortable, and in severe cases can lead to chills and nausea.

Why does it happen?

We all know that exposure to the sun for long periods of time can cause sunburn, and sun protection is essential for keeping skin safe from harmful rays. Unfortunately many of us do not apply enough sun cream or we go without it completely.

Quick fix

The first means of tackling sunburn is to take some Ibuprofen and apply an aftersun product. Aloe Vera gels can soothe inflammation and reduce heat. Also, make sure you drink lots of water to prevent symptoms of nausea and get plenty of rest. When you go outside stay in the shade and aim to apply sun cream regularly throughout the day.

Melting make-up

In third place, melting make-up was voted by 15% of visitors as the biggest summer beauty problem. The warmer weather means your favourite beauty products are very likely to start slipping and sliding before midday, but that doesn’t have to mean giving up make-up completely.

Why does it happen?

Due to a combination of oily skin and sweat, make-up is bound to start melting in warmer temperatures, and as a result starts to smudge and becomes sticky. This is not a good look and can make your skin look uneven and blotchy.

Quick fix

Swap your foundation for a two-in-one moisturiser that provides a hint of colour and a generous amount of SPF. These products are designed to stay put and some even contain a gradual self-tanner. Stock up on waterproof essentials such as cream blushers and lip stains rather than powdery products which will slip away in the heat. If it’s a fancy summertime event you’re attending, you could always book yourself in for a professional makeover. A skilled beautician will know all the tricks of the trade to ensure your make-up stays flawless in the heat for hours.


Results based on a survey of 34 visitors to Beauty Resource during July 2014.

How to deal with dandruff

July 29th, 2014

How to deal with dandruff Dandruff is for many a frustrating and embarrassing skin condition, but there are simple ways to battle the flakes.

Dandruff (also known as scurf or Pityriasis simplex capillitii) is a skin condition that causes the scalp to shed skin cells at an abnormal rate.

As a result, sufferers will find pesky white flakes dotted through their hair and sometimes on their shoulders, which can be very embarrassing – and very obvious if they happen to be wearing black.

Although it is unknown what specifically causes dandruff, it is thought stress, a weak immune system and some forms of dermatitis can contribute to its development. Daily habits such as washing your hair too much or too little, or using harsh products can also play a part.

Whatever the reason behind it, dandruff can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing to live with, but there are natural, simple ways to treat it and keep the pesky flakes at bay.

  • Brush your hair regularly – This will aid the process of shedding skin cells, helping to prevent the build-up of flakes in your hair.
  • Olive oil – Slathering warm olive oil onto your hair, gently massaging into your roots and leaving for a few hours before washing out will help to soothe dry skin and ease shedding.
  • Wash with lukewarm water – Blasting your hair with hot or cold water will affect the moisture barrier of your scalp, leading to irritation and inflammation.
  • Add baking soda to your shampoo - This is the secret ingredient of most anti-dandruff shampoos, but rather than forking out for special products make your own.
  • Aloe Vera juice - While washing your hair, massage in some Aloe Vera juice to your roots and leave for ten minutes. Aloe Vera is another common ingredient of most anti-dandruff products as it contains antifungal and antibacterial properties.
  • Get plenty of sunlight - The link between sunlight and reduced dandruff is unknown, but lack of exposure to the sun’s rays can make dandruff worse. Research suggests just 15 minutes of sunlight can make a big difference.
  • Exfoliate with salt - Rub a handful of table salt into your scalp while your hair is damp to remove dry, flaky skin and improve blood supply.

If your skin is constantly irritated, dry and sensitive, you may want to consider visiting a beauty professional specialising in dermatology. To find out more, please see our dermatology page. 

View and comment on the original Beauty and Tips article. 

How to cope with combination skin

July 25th, 2014

How to cope with combination skin What is it, why do we have it and how can you deal with it? We put combination skin under the microscope. 

Combination skin is basically skin with a split personality.

Your nose, forehead and chin are donning big pores, lots of shine and like to show off a few spots every now and then, whilst your cheeks and the skin under your eyes tend to look flaky, dry and dull.

Thought to be the most common skin type, there are many of us battling combination skin, but fear not because there are plenty of ways to tackle it. Below we take a look at what it really means to have combination skin and how to work with it, rather than against it.

What is combination skin? 

Self-explanatory, combination skin is a bit of everything. You will have fine lines and wrinkles as well as breakouts and greasiness. This can make skincare rather complex.

What causes combination skin?

You can blame your parents for this one. Skin type – whether oily, dry or combination – is considered to be largely genetic. Just like you inherit your hair colour, eye colour and body type, your skin type will be a family affair.

Having an oily T-zone means you will have inherited overactive oil glands in these particular areas, while your dryer patches will have less. In some cases however using the wrong type of product can lead to the overproduction of oil or could cause your skin to dry out and look dull.

What can I do to look after combination skin? 

First and foremost you need to buy the right products. Avoid harsh cleansers with ingredients such as alcohol and soap, which can strip your skin of natural oils. Fragrance free and hypoallergenic products will help to prevent irritation while providing just the right amount of moisture for oily patches. We love Garnier’s Moisture Match Shine Be Gone mattifying day cream (£5.99).

Secondly you need to master the art of exfoliation. This is essential for cleansing pores and removing dead skin cells, but the trick is to apply selectively. Spread your exfoliator lightly over dry patches where sensitivity is increased and focus more on your oily spots. Make sure you use a product that does the job gently and without irritating the skin, such as The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator (£10).

Finally, make sure your make-up is specially designed for your skin type. Some products will clog pores and make your oily T-zone worse, so opt for a lightweight foundation like Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions (£24), which provides excellent coverage without penetrating your skin too deeply.

Why not give your skin some tender loving care by treating yourself to a professional facial? For more information on the benefits of this pampering skincare treatment, please see our facials page. 

Six ways to heal dry feet and cracked heels

July 23rd, 2014

Six ways to heal dry feet and cracked heelsHome remedies for improving dry skin and cracked heels.

With sandal season now well and truly upon us – more attention must be paid to our feet. If you suffer from cracked heels, you’ll know that not only are they unsightly, they can be painful too.

Luckily, there are plenty of home remedies you can try to help nourish your feet and heal cracked skin:

1. Stay hydrated

One reason for dry skin is dehydration. To ensure you are staying hydrated from the inside out, make sure you are drinking plenty of water – especially during hot summer months. Remember you can get water from your food too, so eat plenty of water-rich snacks like cucumber and watermelon.

2. Soak feet in warm water and use a pumice stone

An easy home remedy for dry skin on your feet is to soak them in warm water with a pinch of salt. This will help to soften the skin and prepare it for exfoliation. Use a pumice stone to slough off dead skin and follow up with a rich moisturiser.

3. Try Shea butter

A great moisturiser for feet is Shea butter – a nut butter that nourishes and protects skin. Massage a generous amount of the butter into your skin and cover with clean socks before you go to bed. When you wake up your feet should feel smooth and soft.

4. Use a banana and avocado treatment

Another easy treatment to try is a home-made mask using banana and avocado. Mash up one ripe avocado and one ripe banana and apply to your feet and heels. Leave the mixture on your feet for around 20 minutes before washing off. Repeat this regularly to get the best results.

5. Moisturise with olive oil

Olive oil isn’t just for cooking – it has moisturising properties that work well for dry heels. Massage some into your feet and leave for an hour before rinsing with warm water. Again, doing this regularly will help your feet to heal.

6. Exfoliate regularly

To keep your feet soft once you have tackled your cracked heels, make sure you exfoliate regularly and use a nourishing moisturiser. Don’t neglect your feet once the sun disappears either, otherwise you’ll leave yourself with another big job next summer!

If you want some professional help with your feet, you can search for a pedicure specialist using our advanced search.

View and comment on the original Beauty and Tips article.

DIY: Bottom facial

July 16th, 2014

DIY: Bottom FacialPreening your posterior is all the rage, but we have a quick guide to a DIY bottom facial that won’t cost you £300! 

Thanks (in part) to Kim Kardashian, over the past decade having a desirably curvy and smooth bottom has become the fixation of many women the world over.

However while some will be more than willing to spend £300 plus on the increasingly popular Brazillian butt lift, or Kim Kardashian’s infamous ‘VelaShape’ cellulite-busting treatment, many of us are less inclined to such extravagant spending.

Yet fear not ladies because it is very easy to get smoother skin and a more pert-looking bottom without having to fork out a fortune.

Check out our little guide below to a very cheap and cheerful DIY bottom facial:

Body brush that butt

Dry brushing is essential for improving circulation and tackling the dreaded cellulite, and if you haven’t yet cottoned on to this beauty trick, bikini season is definitely the time to do so! Buy yourself a mitt or a bristled body brush and give your bottom a massage every morning to kick-start stimulation and encourage toxin release. Use simple upwards strokes to ensure the best results. 

Best bottom beauty buy: Opal London Knitted Sisal Glove £4

Shower and scrub

To improve radiance and make your bottom look ultra smooth, stick to a regime of body scrubbing twice a week with a special exfoliation product. If cellulite is your biggest problem, choose a product bursting full of essential oils as they promote drainage. For a spotty posterior, choose scrubs containing natural antiseptics which can help to cleanse the skin of sebum and bacteria.

Best bottom beauty buy: Balancing Geranium Dead Sea Body Scrub £22.20

Massage movements

Regularly massaging your bottom will help to promote lymphatic drainage which is hugely important for detoxification. The best time to massage is when applying moisturiser – using light and small hand movements to target the 70% of lymphatic vessels that are located just underneath the skin’s surface.

Best bottom beauty buy: If you fancy getting a professional lympathic massage, we strongly recommend booking yourself in for Endermolgie treatment which is designed to improve the appearance of cellulite.

Smooth on serum

Serums are intensely moisturising and can help to enhance the elasticity of the skin on your bottom. Make sure you choose an advanced formula that comes with a special roller tool to provide ultimate skin stimulation and produce firm, smooth results in an instant. 

Best bottom beauty buy: Soap & Glory Sit Tight Super Intense 4D £18 

View and comment on the original Cosmopolitan article. 

Three steps to radiant skin

July 16th, 2014

Three steps to radiant skinKeeping skincare simple – take a look at these three expert tips for glowing skin.

During the summer months many of us opt for a more au natural look, choosing to let our complexions shine through our make-up rather than hiding behind thick foundation. For many of us, this means we need to do a little extra work to ensure we have glowing skin.

So what can we do if our complexion is looking dull, flaky and lifeless? The following tips have been recommended by Kerry Benjamin, skincare expert from LA.

1. Exfoliate at least once a week

Regular exfoliation is a must for radiant skin as it sloughs off dry, dead skin cells to reveal fresh, glowing skin. Aim to exfoliate around one to two times a week using a natural exfoliator – Kerry recommends one tablespoon of raw organic coconut oil mixed with one teaspoon of cane sugar. Apply to the face and neck in a circular motion and rinse with warm water.

2. Use an overnight mask

Our skin does most of its healing while we sleep, therefore it makes sense that this is the best time to give your skin a little extra help. Kerry advises her clients to apply a thin layer of their favourite hydrating mask to their face and neck before they hit the hay. This can be especially helpful when travelling as skin can get dry and irritated.

3. Eat antioxidant-rich food

Beauty starts from within, so don’t forget to watch what you eat. Foods rich in antioxidants (such as blueberries) and those that contain anti-inflammatory and healing nutrients will keep skin healthy from the inside out. Kerry recommends cutting down on sugar too, as this causes an inflammatory response in the body.

Having professional treatments from time to time can really improve your complexion. To find a beautician near you who offers facials, please use our advanced search.

View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Coming up roses – flower power skincare

July 10th, 2014

Coming up roses - flower power skincare Discover the skin-boosting benefits of rose oil which can be found in lots of fab products.

The rose is a very special flower – colourful, sensual, fragrant and oh so British – but it is also a secret ingredient for a number of special skincare products designed to enhance our complexions and boost hydration.

Rose oil is considered highly effective for soothing dry skin and inflammation, and its high levels of vitamin C make it a powerful antioxidant and skin protector.

So in order to make the most of this iconic flower and its natural beauty benefits, we have put together a guide to some of the best products on the market designed especially for sensitive skin.

Weleda Rose Cream Bath £10.85

Soak yourself in a relaxing bath filled with a few glugs of this rich, creamy product and you will be in heaven – well almost. Containing extracts of organic musk rose, jojoba and olive oil, your skin will be left feeling beautifully nourished and blissfully cleansed.

A’kin Pure Radiance Rosehip Oil £16

Ladies with very sensitive skin will benefit from a daily dose of rosehip oil mixed into a dollop of their favourite moisturiser. Packed full of vitamins A and E, omega 9, 3, and 6, as well as fatty acids, A’kin Pure Rosehip Oil will revitalise your skin and provide super intensive moisturisation. Apply before bed to ensure it soaks in overnight.

Burt’s Bees Rosewater and Glycerin Toner £12.99 

This is a refreshing yet ultra-gentle toner that wipes away excess grime without aggravating even the most sensitive of skin. Plus the cooling rose water will help to soothe any irritation.

Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose Body Cream, £35

Pricey, but definitely worth the splurge, this body cream is super luxurious and contains heaps of skin boosting ingredients including evening primrose, geranium, shea butter and of course rose oil. Key benefits include instantly softer skin and essential fatty acids which encourage healthy skin cell formation.

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream, £28

Again, not cheap but this rich moisturiser is the ultimate celebrity beauty buy and uses rose petals picked by hand to strengthen the skin and soothe redness. There is even a lighter version for oily or combination skin available.

For more information on how to boost your complexion and target problem skin, visit our facials page. 

View and comment on the original Express article. 

A lilac love affair

July 9th, 2014

A lilac love affairWe look at one of this season’s favourite colours in all its glorious forms and tell you the best ways to wear it.

This summer colour has made a welcome return, with purple proving to be a favourite hue.

For many of us, purple probably reminds us of our early days of experimenting with make-up where purple eyelids and red lips were commonplace. Thankfully, the colour has since had a sophisticated makeover.

This season purple was seen in many forms, from deep plums to the lightest of lilacs. So how can you take the look from schoolgirl to sophisticate?

1. Try lavender lids

One of the hottest looks from the catwalk came from Holly Fulton – a label inspired by 70s music icon Noosha Fox who added a wash of lavender to their model’s eyes. To keep the look modern, leave the lash line bare.

We love: Mac’s eyeshadow in Parfait Amour (£13)

2. Embrace lilac lips

Lips were given a new lease of life and a hint of modernism with frosted lilac lip colours. On the catwalk this look was ombré or pastel – to recreate the look at home, try just a subtle wash of lilac.

We love: Lipstick Queen’s ‘Let them eat cake’ lip colour (£35)

3. Pop some purple on your nails

If you’re not convinced purple is your colour, try out the trend on your nails instead. Play with ombré nails going from dark to light purple or experiment with nail art for a more fun approach.

We love: OPI Nail Lacquer in ‘Do you lilac it?’ (£11.50)

If you have an event coming up, why not treat yourself and have your make-up done professionally? Find out more on our professional make-up page.

View and comment on the original Independent article.

How to be an exfoliation expert

July 3rd, 2014

How to be an exfoliation expert Give your pores a deep clean with an exfoliation product that is perfect for your skin type. 

Exfoliating can be an effort and for most of us it involves enduring a few days of blotchy pimples before getting that desirable fresh glow.

But before you resign exfoliating to the ‘never to-do list’, new research suggests it might just be worth it in the long run.

Skin experts have found that scrubbing your skin and deep-cleansing your pores of impurities can actually help to slow down the rate that your skin ages.

According to Harley Street cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting, exfoliating is the extra boost our skin cells need to replenish.

“As we age, the cell cycle slows down,” she says. “As a consequence, skin cells accumulate on the surface and the skin looks matte, lacks radiance and skincare doesn’t penetrate effectively.

“Cleansing alone won’t change this, but exfoliating helps to slough off these cells.”

So in order to make the most of this nifty wrinkle-fighter, we have a guide on the best exfoliation treatments for different skin types so everyone can scrub up perfectly.

Powdered products for sensitive skin 

If your skin is prone to spots and reacting to everything, you might want to consider investing in exfoliating powders. These are new to our western shores but have long been used in Asian skincare regimes. Leading brands such as Givenchy are currently catching on to this trend, although a great product is Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant (£41.30). It may be pricey, but is guaranteed to make your skin brighter and less inflamed.

Grainy scrubs for combination skin

For those of you blessed with normal/combination skin, you will benefit mostly from the traditional grainy exfoliating creams. These grains will vary from product to product, and can be anything from small plastic microbeads to tiny natural bits of walnut shells, apricot kernels, silica or lava powder. For a cheap natural product, you might want to try Aroma Actives Exfoliating Cleanser (£7.50) which leaves skin super soft and smelling of Lavender.

Chemical exfoliators for sun-damaged skin

Over time skin can become sun-damaged, fine lines start to emerge and pores can become enlarged. Chemical exfoliators – a gentler version of chemical peels – are often recommended to help target these skin problems. Liquid form, chemical exfoliators work by breaking down the ‘glue’ that keeps dead skin cells stuck to your face. They can be applied with a cotton pad and rather than scrubbing you simply leave the product to soak in and work its magic - helping to soothe problem skin, break down sebum in blocked pores and restore a natural glow. A great product is Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (£23).

Facial brushes for dry skin

Also for people who are lazy when it comes to skincare, a face brush provides the benefits of exfoliating without all the products and fuss. Like an oversized electronic toothbrush, these brushes are easy to use and can complement a normal cleansing routine. Research from skincare brand, Olay suggests 30% more active ingredients can penetrate the skin with help from a facial brush.

For a trusted facial brush, Champneys Facial Cleansing System (£14.99) will do the job perfectly, and is particularly handy for first-timers.

For more information on skincare treatments designed to target problem skin, take a look at our dermatology page. 

View and comment on the original Daily Mail article.