How does Tretinoin work and how does it help acne?

Tretinoin is in the cream I’m getting in my Dermatica subscription to fight hyperpigmentation/melasma on my forehead. It’s strong stuff, so I’ve done research and thought I’d share my findings.

[Tretinoin is used for] Topical preparation to reduce hyperpigmentation of skin,
such as persistent freckles, dark marks (lentigines) or
melasma. Tretinoin works by increasing the skin cell turnover rate,
which helps exfoliate the skin and improve the signs of

from the leaflet in my Dermatica skincare subscription

Is Tretinoin a retinol?

Retinol and tretinoin are both retinoids (vitamin A) but tretinoin is more concentrated and therefore can give quicker results. It can also aggravate the skin more quickly as it’s stronger.

When I started Dermatica in May, the cream included 0.025% and it took 2 more months to take me up to 0.05%. I have recently reduced to 1 pump, instead of 2 at night, as my skin was feeling dry (it’s never dry) and slightly irritated. I took a few days off, with extra moisturiser, and it’s fine again.

You’re only able to get Tretinoin via a prescription, unlike retinol which is readily available online.

Being careful with retinoids

As with any intense skincare, such as retinoids, I personally take it day by day. As I’ve mentioned, my skin started to become irritated so I gave my skin a few days off and added lots of moisturiser to my morning and evening routine. Once I found my skin was back to normal and happy again, I introduced the cream again but only 1 pump this time instead of the usual 2. I’ve kept it at 1 as I feel that’s enough for my skin.

If this keeps happening, I’ll most likely ask Dermatica to reduce my subscription back down to 0.025% again.

What does Tretinoin do to the skin?

Tretinoin is used to treat skin conditions such as acne, scarring and hyperpigmentation. It helps to exfoliate the skin so although it helps with skin renewal, it can cause irritation because it’s so intense.

I use it in the evening before I go to bed. I put the cream on, then wait a few minutes (normally I clean my teeth) then I follow up with 2 moisturisers.

Since May, each monthly subscription has included Tretinoin and I’ve seen huge improvements to my melasma.

Tretinoin 0.05% / Niacinamide 4% / Azelaic Acid 4%
1st month on Dermatica, May 2023 – Tretinoin used 0.025% to treat melasma on my forehead/sides of cheeks
Dermatica personalised skincare with Tretinoin Hydroquinone Niacinamide Azelaic Acid
4th month on Dermatica, August 2023 – Tretinoin used 0.05%

Tretinoin with Hydroquinone

According to the leaflet I got with my Dermatica subscription, they both go hand in hand together.

Topical preparation to reduce hyperpigmentation of skin, such as persistent freckles, dark marks (lentigines) or melasma. Tretinoin works by increasing the skin cell turnover rate, which helps exfoliate the skin and improve the signs of photodamage. Hydroquinone is a depigmenting agent that interrupts the production of melanin pigment to help lighten the skin. Combining these active substances can help target and improve different skin concerns simultaneously.

Info from a leaflet in my Dermatica subscription

Using other products

When I use Tretinoin, I stay away from acids, such as salicylic acid or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) unless it’s in the morning (at a different time than using tretinoin).

I also moisturise more than usual, including lots of high SPF to give my skin as much protection as possible.

What skincare are you using?

I’ve been using Dermatica since May and I’m happy with the results. I started to see results within 6 weeks, with quite dramatic results within 3 months. See my full article on my 4-month experience with Dermatica here.

Tretinoin, 0.05% per tube - the first 2 months was 0.025 Hydroquinone, 4% per tube From looking at my upcoming formulas, they are introducing Niacinamide 4% and Azelaic Acid 4% in September (this will be my 5th month)
Dermatica personalised skincare review – with Tretinoin Hydroquinone Niacinamide

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Facetheory Skincare to the rescue after painful acne – my honest review

Facetheory is a UK-based skincare brand; Leaping Bunny & PETA approved. I’ve been using them for years, as being a bit lazy, I love it when a website makes it super easy to choose products right for you. I go for products to support with oily skin, acne and hyperpigmentation.

They have a ‘routine builder’ on their website which asks you a few questions and at the end, suggests several products. I did this, but I used it more of a guide. Once I knew the key products (moisturiser, vitamin c etc) I then looked and found my own favourites.

I’ve been using the Supergel moisturiser since 2019 but recently purchased more products, including some for my husband who has the opposite skin to me. Mine is oily, acne-prone and not very sensitive. His is very sensitive, dry and he has redness.

Get 20% off your first purchase with my friends and fam link >

My new routine with Facetheory after painful fungal acne

photo of my cheek with painful acne
Photo of my skin after holiday – painful bumps so I stopped all products and began with FaceTheory which has transformed my skin

After coming home from holiday, I had really sore skin. I haven’t been properly diagnosed, but I think I had fungal acne, caused by all the oils in the Elemis cleansing balm I was using to remove makeup 🙁

It caused such a big, painful flare up, I stopped using all products and investigated until I was 99% sure what my next steps were to be.

I cleaned out all products that contain anything that would aggravate the fungal acne (basically 90% of products) and purchased new products – the majority being from Facetheory.

Facetheory benefits
Facetheory benefits – from their website The products are super clean.

Get 20% off your first purchase with my friends and fam link >

My favourite things about buying from Facetheory are:

  • most products don’t contain anything that’ll trigger fungal acne
  • all products are vegan and cruelty-free
  • prices are affordable (although there’s been a recent 2023 price increase – more on that below)
  • setting up subscriptions for my favourite products so I never run out, plus get a small discount
  • you get offers and discounts often in your inbox and accrue points for each order (4 points = £1, but they have tiers depending on how much you spend – the lowest is 2 points per £1)
my favourite Facetheory skincare products
my favourite Facetheory skincare products

My favourite Facetheory products to use on my oily, acne-prone skin

Vitamin C

Regena C30 Pro Vitamin C Serum with 30% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (£34 although I pay less with subscription)

I use a small blob of this every morning before moisturiser. It contains 30% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, to target dull and uneven skin, signs of ageing, inflammation and acne bacteria. 30% is quite high, so Facetheory also make a 20% version.

It’s reduced my hyperpigmentation especially on my forehead, and made my skin look more awake.

Facetheory regena vitamin c serum - skincare review
Regena Vitamin C serum – I use 2 drops in a morning
Facetheory regena vitamin c serum - skincare review
Regena Vitamin C serum – I use 2 drops in a morning


Supergel Oil-free Moisturiser M3 for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin with Aloe Vera and Niacinamide (£16)

I absolutely love this moisturiser. It’s made for people with oily and acne-prone skin, but my husband uses it and he has very sensitive skin. He loves it as it’s “really thin, easily absorbed and doesn’t dry out my skin”. He’s bought his own tube now so I get mine back!

It contains Niacinamide which helps to reduce pore size. Salicylic acid helps congested skin without causing irritation or any redness. I use this moisturiser under SPF.

Facetheory supergel moisturiser skincare oily skin review
Facetheory Supergel moisturiser I use every morning. It’s super light-weight and slides into skin – no stickiness


Cera-C Pore Reducing Toner T1 with Niacinamide, Ceramides and Vitamin C (£15)

Next up is the toner, which has tons of goodies, including Niacinamide to balance oily skin and reduce pore size. It also contains Ceramides to help your skin retain moisture, Panthenol to absorb moisture, and Vitamin C to help fight breakouts and brightens skin.

I use this toner with a cotton pad. I use one side on half my face, then turn the cotton pad over and clean the other side of my face. I tip the bottle top vertically over the cotton pad, giving me about a pea-sized amount to work with. This is so I don’t go back over clean skin with the dirt from another area.

Facetheory cera c pore refining toner skincare review oily skin
Facetheory cera c pore refining toner – this bottle was a free sample but I now buy the 200ml beast size

… plus I use the Freshening Face Wash C4 (£11) for a cleanser and Hylafecta 2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum S14 (£22), which aren’t on my subscription list, yet.

Face Wash

Freshening Face Wash C4, £11

I use this both in the morning and at night. It contains Green Tea Extract to detox and remove impurities, and Aloe Vera to soothe and clarify. It’s £11 and comes in a chunky 140ml glass bottle with an easy-to-use pump.

Facetheory skincare review moisturiser vitamin c hyaluronic acid
My full morning staple routine from L-R: face wash, toner, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, moisturiser

So basically my skincare is 90% covered with Facetheory. And my skin has never looked better for it.

What are the products like?

As mentioned above, I have 3 products on subscription I get every few months. I love them all as they’ve completely changed my skin.

My husband uses the same moisturiser as me (Supergel) and swears by it even though we’ve got completely different skin. His skin is very sensitive so he usually doesn’t use any skincare because they make his skin worse, but he’s been using Supergel for months now and has even branched out to use the Amil-C Whip M5 SPF 30 and another moisturiser, Aventhra Moisturiser M2.

Supergel moisturiser is very light so a pea-sized amount is able to glide over and cover your whole face.

My discount code

Through my account I get a friends and fam code. Use this link to get 20% off your first purchase (I also get points if you do this!) with 20% off link >

Recent price increases

I have several products on subscription so I was able to lock in the prices before the increase in early 2023. Some increases are a few pounds, but others have increased quite considerably.

Regena C30 Pro Vitamin C Serum with 30% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, 30ml, was £26.99 in Dec 2022. I purchased it again a month later (Jan 2023) for £22.94 then again at the end of March for £28. It’s now £34 on the website. I get it for £22.94 as I locked-in this price as a subscription.

The Supergel moisturiser was £12.74 in Jan 2023, and is now £16. It doesn’t seem much but it’s still an increase of 25%.

If you’re looking to purchase from them, I’d suggest signing up for an account and signing up to their newsletter. They have offers going all the time, so you’ll be sure to bag a bargain if you keep an eye out.

Or use my code to get 20% off your first order (I also get points if you do this!)

Get 20% off your first purchase with my friends and fam link >

• • •

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I started a new Skin Cycling Routine with new Products to help my oily, sore skin to improve acne

I’ve incorporated skin cycling as my routine for a few months now. I decided to do a big skincare reset after getting home from my holiday in December where I experienced painful acne, caused (I’m 99% sure) by Elemis cleansing balm which triggered fungal-acne (although I haven’t been properly diagnosed).

My skin was red raw and covered in spots; some had white heads, others were just tiny painful bumps all over my forehead. Since I stopped using Elemis and reduced the number of products I use, my skin has completely changed, even before, after, and during my period when I’d normally get worse acne.

What is skin cycling?

It’s a night time routine where you use different products over 4 days. The goal with skin cycling is to improve your skin by:

  • reducing the number of products you are putting on your face
  • stopping overusing products that might be causing irritation
  • giving your skin time to breath after using harsh products, like retinol

Skin Cycling Routine – before and after

photo of my cheek with painful acne
Photo of my skin after holiday.- painful bumps
This was my skin after stopping using the Elemis, and just starting the Malezia
This was my skin after stopping using the Elemis, and just starting the Malezia with Skin Cycling
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months - pic 3/4
This is my skin in April after using skin cycling routine for 4 months

What is an example of a skin cycling routine?

Skin cycling is a 4-day routine. If you start on a Monday, you will reset on Friday and start again.

Night 1 – exfoliate.

Night 2 – retinol

Nights 3 and 4 – moisturise.

I go into detail below what I do on each night, and also what my morning skincare routine looks like.

I use Malezia moisturiser after both nights following Exfoliating and Retinol

Night 1 – Exfoliate

Your first night is to exfoliate, which gets rid of all old and dead skin cells allowing products to get deeper into your skin and therefore work better.

This is the exfoliator I use – Paula’s Choice. It’s fantastic

My routine looks like this:

  1. Remove make up.
  2. Cleanse and tone skin. I use both Face Theory Freshening Face Wash C4 followed by Cera-C Pore Reducing Toner T1.
  3. Exfoliate using only a few drops. I use Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, which I find perfect on my oily and acne-prone skin. The day after using this product, my skin is GLOWING and spots are gone. I really love this product.
  4. After 10 minutes, I finish with a moisturiser

Night 2 – Retinol

Retinols can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, by restoring plumpness. They can be harsh, so go easy with it – only 1 or 2 drops of a low concentration to start with. I use Pixi Botanical Collagen & Retinol Serum.

This is the retinol I use on Night 2 – Pixi Botanical Collagen Retinol Serum

My routine looks like this (the same as Night 1 apart from number 3)

  1. Remove make up.
  2. Cleanse and tone skin. I use both Face Theory Freshening Face Wash C4 followed by Cera-C Pore Reducing Toner T1.
  3. Add a few Retinol drops, nabbing on gently. I use Pixi Botanical Collagen & Retinol Serum.
  4. After 10 minutes, I finish with a moisturiser if my skin is feeling dry – I don’t always do this though.

Night 3 and 4 – Moisturise and recovery

After nights 1 and 2, your skin needs a break from the harsh chemicals, so nights 3 and 4 are for deep moisturising.

My routine looks like this:

  1. Remove make up.
  2. Cleanse and tone skin. I use both Face Theory Freshening Face Wash C4 followed by Cera-C Pore Reducing Toner T1.
  3. Moisturise. I use Face Theory Supergel Oil-free Moisturiser M3 followed by a thicker moisturiser to keep everything in my skin – Malezia 5% Urea moisturiser.
This was my skin after stopping using the Elemis, and just starting the Malezia
My skin starting to improve after following skin cycling and using Malezia

Following day – start again, back to night 1 (unless you’re new to exfoliating/retinol, in which case I’d add on another recovery day to reduce any skin irritation).

How many products do you use in total during night skin cycling routine?

I use a total of 8 across the morning and evening but not using them all every day.

Every morning I use:

  • 1x Cleanser. I use Face Theory Freshening Face Wash C4
  • 1x Toner. I use Face Theory Cera-C Pore Reducing Toner T1.
  • 1x Vitamin C. I use Face Theory Regena C30 Pro Vitamin C Serum with 30% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid
  • 1x Hyaluronic Acid. I use Face Theory Hylafecta 2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum S14
  • 1x Moisturiser. I use Face Theory Supergel Oil-free Moisturiser M3
  • 1x SPF. I use La Roche-Posay Anthelios 400 SPF50.

Night routine over the 4 nights includes:

  • 1x Retinol. I use Pixi Botanical Collagen & Retinol Serum.
  • 1x Exfoliator. I use Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
  • 1x Moisturiser. I use Malezia 5% Urea moisturiser plus sometimes the other one by Face Theory mentioned above if I feel my skin is needing even more moisture.

Do you moisturise every night with skin cycling?

I do personally, yes. After nights 1 and 2 of exfoliating and using retinol, I wait at least 10 minutes for the product to settle before moisturising.

I’m using 5% Urea moisturiser from Malezia as part of my routine. It’s one of my favourite skincare products. See my full review here.

How do you apply moisturiser when skin cycling?

If I’m using more than one moisturiser, I use the lightest/thinnest first followed by the thickest. This helps keep all products in your skin.

I use a pea-sized amount, and warm up for a few seconds between my clean fingers. Then I gently rub across my skin, patting the sensitive and thin skin around my eyes.

Does it change your morning routine?

No, skin cycling is for night time only. I don’t tend to change my morning routine no matter what day it is or what my skin is like.

My morning routine looks like this:

  1. Cleanse skin. I use Face Theory Freshening Face Wash C4.
  2. I then go in with a few drops of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C. I’m using both Face Theory Hylafecta 2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum S14 and Regena C30 Pro Vitamin C Serum with 30% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid.
  3. Moisturise and bronzer – I use Face Theory Supergel Oil-free Moisturiser M3 mixed together with a bronzer. The bronzer I’m using is Indeed Labs Nanobronze Bronzing Drops. A tiny amount is all you’ll need.
  4. I finish with SPF. I’m currently using La Roche-Posay Anthelios 400 SPF50.

Does skin cycling routine actually work?

Yes. I will NEVER not use this routine to simplify my skincare. Not only has it massively improved my skin, it’s stopped me over-using products which has made it easier on my bank balance as I’m buying less!

Can you use face masks when skin cycling?

Yes of course! But if they are exfoliating, use them on night one instead of your normal exfoliator so you don’t over-exfoliate your skin. I personally use Sand and Sky pink clay (and Aldi’s £3 version!).

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Malezia Moisturiser Fungal Acne Safe | My full honest review

When I was on holiday towards the end of 2022, I had painful, sore acne. Acne I’ve never had before. It was very sore, all over my face, with painful small-to-large bumps that didn’t have a head.

photo of my forehead with painful acne
this was my forehead after returning from holiday
photo of my cheek with painful acne
photo of my cheek with painful acne

I haven’t been diagnosed properly by a doctor, but I’m pretty sure I had fungal acne caused by the ingredients in the Elemis cleansing balm I was using on holiday to remove my make up. The ingredients contains 13 ‘triggers’ causing inflammation to my skin, including several types of oil.

Once I stopped using it and included other products into my routine, the fungal acne went away. I started using Malezia’s moisturiser and FaceTheory products together, and stopped using anything that contained triggers including the Elemis balm. The acne started to go, slowly.

Malezia moisturiser for fungal acne

When I got back from my holiday, I did a lot of research. That’s how I found out about fungal acne and what it looks/feels like, and why I think I had it. Malezia 5% Urea Moisturizer is 100% fungal acne safe so it doesn’t contain any triggers that sooo many products do (such as Elemis, mentioned above). It’s main (key) ingredient is urea.

malezia urea 5% moisturiser my fungal acne review

What is urea and why is it so important?

Urea is a molecule found in your skin and improves the barrier function.

Urea is one of those magical unicorn ingredients with the ability to both hydrate AND mildly exfoliate. It’s so effective as a hydrator, in fact, that it outperforms vaseline in some studies.

What else is in the ingredients?

The moisturiser also contains these amazing ingredients to support skincare:

  • Glycerin – hydration/smoothing
  • Dimethicone – creates a protective barrier and locks in moisture
  • Hyaluronic acid – hydration
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – softens skin
  • Full list: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Urea, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trideceth-6, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin

It’s obviously fungal-acne safe, proven by the website tool I always use when checking out ingredients:

fungal acne results of malezia urea moisturiser on
fungal acne results of malezia urea moisturiser on – all safe!

Is Malezia vegan and cruelty-free?

Our products are vegan and we don’t test on animal (or have a desire to). Additionally, none of our suppliers have tested on animals in the past 5 years. We are in the process of getting leaping bunny certified.

See for their FAQs.

What’s my review? Has it improved your acne?

My skin is SO much better now I’ve stopped using any products containing fungal-acne triggers. I use this moisturiser at night before bed. It’s the nicest, thickest moisturiser I’ve ever used. It doesn’t smell strong, and glides on my skin like a dream. I’m absolutely loving it, but I’d have to for the price it takes to be delivered from the US (more on that below).

This was my skin after stopping using the Elemis, and just starting the Malezia back in January’23:

This was my skin after stopping using the Elemis, and just starting the Malezia
This was my skin after stopping using the Elemis, and just starting the Malezia
This was my skin after stopping using the Elemis, and just starting the Malezia

My skin after using for a few months (a few angles)

I bought my first Malezia at the start of January and these were taken last week – so around 2.5 months PLUS the week before my period which is usually when I breakout:

This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months – pic 1/4 – still have hyperpigmentation on my forehead but massively reduced
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months - pic 1/4
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months – pic 2/4
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months - pic 3/4
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months including makeup – pic 3/4
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months - pic 4/4
This was my skin after using Malezia for a few months – pic 4/4 including makeup

So as you can see, from a few months of using it, my skin has changed massively. I no longer have larger red sore spots, or smaller bumps across my forehead.

I use a pea-sized amount 4-5 times a week, before bed.

Malezia tube key

It cost £3 and well worth it – this little gadget helps you get every last drop of liquid out of the tube. It’s made of aluminum and feels high quality – never thought I’d say that about a tube key. It’s heavy and gets the job done. I’ve also used it on toothpaste.

Malezia tube key
Malezia tube key
Malezia tube key
Malezia tube key to get out every last drop
Malezia tube key to get out every last drop

How much is it and where can I buy it?

Malezia 5% Urea Moisturiser is £20 + delivery, which if you’re in the UK, is unfortunately more expensive than the product.

I ordered back in January and it cost me a total of $42.82 ($18.46 was delivery) then my last order (end of March) cost me £62.70, made up of £24 in delivery charges which was probably due to the weight as I ordered 2x bottles plus the tube key (total £43).

After using it for a few months and being really happy with the results, I reached out to become an affiliate of Malezia. I have a discount code you can use, ‘Rachael’ which gets you 20% off everything. Buy it from their website,

Malezia urea moisturiser review - open box with bottles and key tool
This order cost me £62.70 including delivery – 2 bottles, tube key and delivery

Delivery from ordering to receiving in the UK took 11 days. It was posted the day after I ordered.

Delivery charges are expensive, but it’s worth it in my opinion for the product, as the quality is amazing & it lasts months. I’ve used products much more expensive than this so when I look at it from that angle, it doesn’t bother me so much to spend £62.30 on 2x bottles (plus a tube key I won’t need to buy again).

After using it for a few months and being really happy with the results, I reached out to become an affiliate of Malezia. I have a discount code you can use, ‘Rachael’ which gets you 20% off everything. Buy it from their website,

The code really works:

malezia discount code rachael for 20% off
malezia discount code Rachael for 20% off but you have to go through my aff link

Any negatives?

Yeah – they haven’t put me off buying, as I’ve just reordered 2x more but YES there were a few things I didn’t like:

1) The tube looked half full. The bottle came full and intact, but when I squeezed it, the size reduced massively! It made me think they hadn’t filled it enough. I emailed them about this, and #2.

Malezia moisturiser bottle

2) The top rim is yellow, which doesn’t look pleasant and it didn’t come with a silver/foil-type cover. It made me think of gone-off moisturiser you’ve had in your draw for 2 years.

Malezia moisturiser - top rim opening
Malezia moisturiser - top rim opening

I emailed Malezia about these 2 issues:

My email:

Hi there, I’ve just received so thank you! I wanted to check, should the bottle be open or have a seal? It’s come without a seal, yellow around the rim & when I’ve taken out a pea-sized amount, the packaging has massively gone in so it looks like it’s already half used 

Malezia replied within an impressive 5 hours. They explain all points below which I’ve copied in, however, a summary is that yes there is air in the bottle but the weight of product is correct; it doesn’t need a seal as the bottle is airtight, and the yellow staining isn’t rust but epoxy which is harmless.

Malezia email reply
Malezia email reply to my issues

I love how they replied straight away, but these points are also in their FAQs on the website meaning they are popular (negative) questions. When I opened the product, I was initially disappointed – not 1 but 2 things I wanted to question. Both ‘problems’ have been sorted with context, but it ruined the experience for me. That being said, it didn’t stop me from re-ordering, although the next time I did, I ordered 2x bottles due to the cost of delivery, which takes me to problem #3.

3) Delivery charges to the UK is more than the product!

My last order cost £62.70 where delivery cost was £24 of that. Hence why I bought 2 at £20 each which should last me at least 4-5 months.

I don’t like to moan but these things really effected my experience in a negative way. I was excited at getting the delivery but felt deflated as I had to email and ask about the problems I found. Having those questions as FAQs tells me they’re popular questions from customers, so if I felt a little disappointed, there are others that did too – so it’s something Malezia could look into at fixing properly. That being said, they’re a small business doing right in the world, so if they don’t fix these problems then that’s fine by me – I’ll keep buying anyway!

After using it for a few months and being really happy with the results, I reached out to become an affiliate of Malezia. I have a discount code you can use, ‘Rachael’ which gets you 20% off everything. Buy it from their website,

• • •

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Murad Age-Balancing Moisturiser SPF 30 – honest review on acne-prone oily skin

I purchased Age-Balancing Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++ on back in September 2021 and have been using it daily ever since. I wanted to wait before reviewing, to give me time to really understand how it’s changed my skin and what I think of it.

It was £65 back in September. It’s now £66 (+1.5%). You get 50ml for this price on

I purchased Murad as I wanted a really good moisturiser that also has SPF protection for my 30+yo skin. Honestly, I’ve never been bothered or had SPF in my moisturiser. I only (previously!) wore sun protection on holiday – usually abroad – never in the UK. It’s only now I’ve started to protect my skin daily – I hope it isn’t too late!

So far I’ve tried a few moisturisers claiming to act like moisturiser but have sun protection – unfortunately they’ve either been a horrible consistency that leaves white residue on my skin, or too thick and blocked my pores so bad I’d sweat within 2 minutes of putting it on my face, even if I wasn’t doing anything that caused me to sweat.

The SPF is 30.

I decided to try Murad as they’ve got a lot of credible reviews, everywhere – on Cult Beauty (who only stock brands they believe in), Marks and Spencer, Selfridges – you name it – all the top places sell it. I read a ton of reviews, and they all were excellent, so I decided to give it a go.

£65 was a little hard for me to part with for a moisturiser, but I figured I wear my face every day – it deserves a proper looking after for the first time in my life.

I also got these 3 small samples when buying from

  • AHA / BHA Exfoliating Cleanser Sample
  • Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector Sample
  • Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum Sample

Significantly improves hydration for youthful suppleness. Leaves skin hydrated, plump and smooth

Murad Age-Balancing Moisture SPF 30 50ml - £66 - my honest review of it
I’ve used it daily in a morning for over 8 months and absolutely love it – it balances out my oily forehead, is a great makeup base and smells nice

What’s the consistency like?

It’s like any other moisturiser – thick, but not as thick or oily like normal sun protection lotions. It isn’t so thick you can’t smooth it across your face easily, and it sinks in very quickly which is great for me as I like to do my makeup not long afterwards.

I use a pea-sized amount and this does my whole face plus neck, ears and hands. It feels very smooth and a high-quality product.

It smoothes my fine lines and crows feet, and makes my face look glowy – I look healthy.

There is a very faint smell – not too perfumed though which I really don’t like in products. It’s a ‘clean’ smell – not as in cleaning products (gross!) but a clean smell as in I love the feeling I get after moisturising – I know I’m clean and ready to start my day.

Which skin type is it good for?

According to their website, it’s good for combination, dry and balanced. I’m not too sure what ‘balanced’ means to be honest.

good for combination, dry and balanced skin types

I have an oily T zone, dry patches either side of my nose/upper lip (random I know), and normal everywhere else. I’m happy to say it’s worked a treat on all places – it hasn’t even made my oily forehead worse, which some moisturisers have done.

Rich Yet Fast-Absorbing SPF Moisturiser Replenishes with Long-Lasting Hydration. This moisturiser deeply nourishes dull, dry skin while improving elasticity to renew a youthful glow. Broad spectrum SPF shields skin against UVA and UVB light. Absorbs fast for a non-greasy finish that wears comfortably under makeup.

What’s my verdict?

I’m chuffed with it – not only has it smoothed my fine lines/crows feet, it’s helped reduce the sun spots I had at the top of my forehead. I didn’t unfortunately take before pics so I can’t show you the difference. Previously I used to apply concealer to the top of my forehead, but I don’t now as I don’t feel like I need it.

I feel like I’m really looking after my skin by wearing it. Even though I only use a pea-sized amount, my skin feels smooth and glowy. Having SPF protecting me as well as it feeling so good on my skin is win-win.

Buying it for £65 back in September and still using it now in April is well worth the money. It’s pretty empty now, but I think I can get a few more weeks out of it.

Using as a primer?

I don’t use this moisturiser as a primer, but I do put it on last in a morning before my makeup. You (apparently) should put SPF on last, so that’s what I do. I add other lotions (usually vitamin c) first, then this Murad Age Balancing moisturiser, then my makeup. I always leave at least 10 minutes after putting it on before applying makeup, to allow time for it to sink in. Don’t forget to take any moisturiser off your lashes before applying mascara – I realised this is why I always get really bad panda eyes!

See my quick tutorial on how I apply it each morning:

What’s the price?

It’s £66 for 50ml. I bought it in September and have used it once daily – there’s still a few weeks left.

Even if it lasted a few months, it’s well worth the money in my opinion. I’d spend this much money on clothes or bags without a second thought – why would I think about not spending this on my face – something that I see everyday!

Delivery is £3.95 or free over £30 on

Discount codes

Looking at their website ( they’ve got loads of offers on – 10% (sometimes 20%) for signing up to their newsletter; free gifts when you spend over £120; 25% off gift sets. Well worth checking these out. I’d also have a nosy at their social media accounts to see if they’re promoting anything else.

UPDATE June’22

I haven’t been using it this past week due to the heatwave, and my skin has gone pretty bad with acne – whether it’s from being hot and clammy, or from not using this, I can tell ya I’m 100% happier now I’m back using it.

UPDATE Sept’22

Ordered a new bottle using a £10 off voucher that’s currently running on – £56 total with a few samples! Still loving this moisturiser – it’s so thick but soaks in so well. I love it.

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Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream – my honest review

After finding out Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses Acure Radically Rejuvenating whipped night cream, I went to quite lengthy er, lengths to find it. I finally found a random website who posts to the UK, called iHerb.

Not a bad size
I used this for a few weeks but unfortunately it didn’t agree with my skin. I now use it on my neck each night which is doing wonders.

I love it when celebrities and the rich use affordable products, especially ones like AOC who seem genuine – it means I can afford to buy it. Her skin is always glowing and plump, which is what I want.

It’s cruelty-free and vegan – hurrah! Leaping Bunny Certified too!

Amazing ingredients

The amount of ‘free-from’ list is almost endless which is utterly fantastic…

  • 100% Vegan
  • 0% Questionable
  • Paraben Free
  • Sulfate Free
  • Phthalate Free
  • Mineral Oil Free
  • Petrolatum Free
  • Silicone Free
  • Cruelty Free

If that isn’t reason enough to try it, maybe the price is (see below).

Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

I tried it for a few weeks, using a small amount at night. Unfortunately it’s not for me. It made my forehead come out in small red spots which aren’t pop-able, that I get often around my period and if something doesn’t agree with me. It’s called fungal acne and it’s due to the ingredients Cetearyl Olivate, Linoleic acid and Linolenic acid.

I use to check the ingredients. I usually do this before purchasing anything but I didn’t in this instance and it come back to bite me on the bum.

I use to check the ingredients

What’s the price?

Acure Whipped Night Cream cost me £8.53 plus postage, coming to £11.79. In my opinion, it’s an absolute steal for what it is – not a bad size.

I bought Acure from iHerb for a grand total of just under £12 – bargain!

Would you recommend it?

Yes I would 100% recommend it. Even though it didn’t work for me, the ingredients is amazing and it’s free of so many nasties including being vegan and cruelty-free. The price alone is cheap enough for you to try and I don’t regret it. I use it on my neck now before bed, so I’m getting the benefit and my forehead continues to be happy.

Have a look at to buy – it’s actually risen in price to £11.40!

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9 tips on how to reduce acne and take care of your oily, hormonal skin

For the past few years I’ve started getting a lot of spots the week before my period is due – bigger spots around my face and smaller ones across my forehead. Not only that, I also get spots throughout the month – on the sides of my forehead, my cheeks and my chin. After a lot of reading and getting advice from friends, my skin looks more glowy and any spots I do get fade a LOT quicker than what they used to.

Here’s my list of my top 10 things to do, and not do, to help reduce the amount of spots you’re getting:

  1. Don’t pop them!
  2. Review what you’re putting on your face
  3. Use clean towels
  4. Use clean pillow cases
  5. Are you removing all your make up?
  6. Clean your make up brushes
  7. What make up are you using?
  8. What vitamins are you taking?
  9. Get a spot clearing gel

Don’t pop spots

You don’t have to tell me how hard this one is. There’s not much else better than popping a good spot and having the gunk ooze out. But this is doing your face no good at all. The white stuff in a spot is actually magical liquid helping to GET RID of the spot. So guess what? By squeezing the white goodness, you are 1. removing the goodness fighting the spot 2. making the bacteria go further into your skin increasing the size of the spot and increasing the time it takes to go 3. probably going to leave yourself a scar.

Tips for leaving your spots alone

Don’t look in a mirror.

When I get in and take my makeup off, my most popular time of day for a good spot-popping session was after my evening shower, after I’d taken my makeup off. Spots look worse after a shower because the hot water makes your pores open.

After a shower, I don’t even go near my (amazing) magnifying mirror. I put my creams/moisturiser on without looking. I don’t see my face all red and by the time I look in a mirror, my face has cooled and any spots have reduced in size.

Review what you’re putting on your face

Be honest – how many products are you putting on your face in a day? When I did this assessment, I realised I was:

  1. cleaning my face with a product (morning)
  2. putting 2-3 moisturisers on (morning)
  3. putting primer on (morning)
  4. putting make up on (morning)
  5. removing make up with a product (evening)
  6. putting 2 moisturisers on (evening)
  7. putting on night cream moisturiser (evening)

So that’s a minimum of 9 different products I was putting on my face per day. Your skin is only thin – it can’t possibly hold this much. I figured something must be irritating it so I started to slowly reduce:

1. how much of each product I was using (1 drop instead of 2)
2. reduce the total amount of products I was using.
3. not putting products on all over my face – taking care to reduce the products added to my oily bits (forehead) in a morning

Now my routine looks like this:

  1. cleansing my face with a product (morning)
  2. add 1x 2 moisturiser including SPF (morning) I’ve stopped moisturising my oily bits in a morning which has done wonders for stopping my forehead being so oily by the evening. SPF still goes on all over, though.
  3. add primer sparingly (morning) not all the time if I’m not wearing makeup
  4. add make up (morning) not all the time
  5. removing make up with a product (evening) I use The Body Shop Camomile makeup remover on my eyes, but for my face, I use a reusable Face Halo pad
  6. NEW: cleanse & tone (evening) – cleansing and toning take off every last trace of makeup/dirt from the day
  7. putting 2 moisturisers on (evening) any other products such as Retinol 3x weekly – I use the same products but I use 1 drop instead of 2 and I don’t use harsh products on my dry patches like I used to
  8. add night cream moisturiser (evening) unlike the morning, I put moisturisers on my oily patches which can be washed off in the morning and doesn’t make my oiliness worse during the day

My skin honestly feels like it’s breathing again and my spots have reduced from this routine.

Use clean towels

If when you wash your face, you dry it with the closest towel… stop! Your partner could have just used that to dry their feet. Or bum, urghhhh. The towel could have been sat wet for a time, collecting germs.

I never dry my face with a towel. I usually leave it to dry – it only takes 5 minutes. Or if I need to, I dap it with 2 small pieces if toilet paper. I never use something that’s already out, having been used already.

The same can be said if you use a reusable make up remover cloth. If you leave it out damp or wet, it’ll collect mould so it’s the last thing you want to use on your face.

Use clean pillow cases

I sleep for 7+ hours so that’s a lot of time my face is lay on something. If you have spots, the bacteria will rub off on to your pillow and stay there, so the next night, that bacteria will make its way back to your face.

I make sure to never sleep on the same side twice. I have spares so I don’t need to wash my pillow case and dry it before re-using.

Are you removing all your make up?

I’ve used Face Halo for a while now with The Body Shop Camomile butter make up remover to remove not only face makeup but also eye makeup.

My Face Halo’s have seen better days
The Body Shop Camomile butter – for removing make up

I therefore changed my routine a little. I still use the camomile butter on all my face including my eyes/face, but I also use a toner & cleanser afterwards to remove any last trace of makeup.

Clean your make up brushes

Easily forgotten! If you’re constantly hiding spots, you need to constantly be cleaning your brushes.

I use ISOClean to clean mine which takes literally minutes and they’re as clean as new.

Clean your make up brushes weekly or even daily

What make up are you using?

Do you have new spots appear during the day? If so, that could be a sign your make up is irritating your skin.

Your best bet is to try and see what works for you. Read online reviews and use to check out the ingredients before you buy. It shows you any ingredients that could irritate your skin, in particular if you have spots, dry skin or oily skin.

What vitamins are you taking?

I’ve been taking biotin for hair growth. It works! But at the same time, too much, you guessed it, can bring on spots. I found this to be true. Since I’ve stopped taking a daily biotin vitamin, my spots have reduced. I now take only 2 per week.

Get a spot clearing gel

I’ve used Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Booster for putting on angry spots to help them disappear. I’ve also used Benzoyl Peroxide which kills the bacteria in spots, but it’s very strong and dries out skin, so use sparingly and be careful.

Update: March 2021

I’ve just started using polyester pillowcases which are soft enough to help improve your skin. They don’t soak in the lotions and potions you put on before sleeping, unlike cotton. I’m using them instead of silk, which isn’t cruelty-free. Have a read of my article where I discuss my new polyester pillowcases & show how my hair looks after sleeping. I was happily surprised!

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Beauty Pie Luxury Beauty Subscription Including Popular Makeup Products – My honest review

Beauty Pie sells luxury beauty products at a fraction of the price of high-end products on the market. I first saw them on Facebook as I was targeted with one of their ads. I didn’t buy straight away but kept a note of their brand and decided to try them once I’d run out of my current products.

All products are cruelty-free and some are vegan. Check out the individual ingredients listed on every product page.

At BEAUTY PIE, we do not believe in or authorize animal testing for our products or the ingredients that go into our products. This means we do not do animal testing, our suppliers do not do animal testing, nor do we pay people to do animal testing for us.
Each of our product information files contains a declaration from the supplier that their products are not tested on animals, and that the ingredients comply with the European Ban on Animal Testing.

From / April 2020

Beauty Pie Membership explained

A membership gives you access to buy products at a discounted price but you still have to pay for products on top of the membership fee, and the amount of products you can buy is capped depending on your membership.

If you buy a £10 per month membership, that gives you a £100 “spending limit” to buy products based on their full “typical price”, rather than the discounted member price.

If a moisturiser is normally £40 but with a membership it is £20, you will pay £20 plus a monthly membership fee, and the £40 will come off your £100 “spending limit” balance, leaving £60 left to “spend”. You can make as many orders as you like as long as you stay under the spending money amount. 

If this doesn’t make sense, go on their website and add a few things to your basket. Hopefully it will become clear. They give you access to products at a cheaper price with a membership, but stop you from buying too much because they want to keep you paying monthly for a membership. Memberships start at £10 (or £99 annual). 

I started with a £10 monthly membership for a minimum of 3 months. As I signed up as a new customer, I got extra spending limits (instead of the normal £100 per month) with this membership plan. I had to sign up for 3 months minimum, then I cancelled the membership because I’d bought all the products I wanted. Unlike other subscription services, cancelling was easy. I just emailed them and they replied to confirm my account was cancelled. I didn’t get any sales tactics which I appreciated. 

The membership will roll over, so if you don’t use all of your “spending limits” in a month, it will roll over to the next. So if you buy a membership in January costing £10, you will get £100 “spending limit”. If you don’t buy anything in January or February you will have spent £20 on membership fees but will have 2 months worth of spending money saved.

If you buy a £10 membership to get a £100 “spending limit” a month but you want a product that has a full price of £120, you’ll need to save your “spending limit” up, unless you buy a more expensive membership plan. 

To help you understand the pricing and membership, here is the receipt for my first order.

My ‘typical price’ came to £191 (£70 + £75 + £28 + £18) which was under the £200 I had to spend. I made my first purchase in December 2019.

For making my first-ever purchase and for signing up, I got a free £50 boost to my spending limit on top of my £100, making £150, which isn’t shown on the receipt, and free Plantastic Micropeeling Super Drops. I also bought a £50 extra spending limit of £5 (shown on the receipt), so I had enough spending limit to buy everything I wanted. As mentioned I took out a 3-month membership at £10 per month which is shown as STANDARD PIE MONTHLY.

In total, I purchased £191 worth of products but because I am a member, I got them all at the members’ price which ended up being £40.61 including delivery. My spending limit for my first order was £200, so £9 rolled over into my next month.

I have purchased from Beauty Pie:

  • Super Retinol (+ Vitamin C) Night Renewal Moisturizer
  • Super Healthy Skin™ Sheer Tinted Oil-Free SPF20 (Medium)
  • Smart Powder Blush (Shade : Go Rouge (A Pink-Orange))
  • Plantastic™ Micropeeling Super Drops
  • Jeju Daily AM/PM Moisture Superinfusion™

I’ve been impressed with the products. They’re lasting ages and I feel like they’re good quality. Even the bottles feel high-end & luxurious but the prices aren’t high at all. 

All of their products are cruelty-free.

Products review

Jeju Daily AM/PM Moisture Superinfusion™

Jeju Daily AM/PM Moisture Superinfusion™

Typical price – £70 / Members price – £11.94 (Members price has gone up since I bought it for £8.87 in December 2019

Hydration junkies – strap on your beauty helmets, because our JEJU DAILY AM/PM MOISTURE SUPERINFUSION™ might be the most mind-blowing face cream ever. Jeju Volcanic Sand gently blots shine from your oily spots, while a multi-active Hyaluronic-Acid hydrating complex transforms dull, dry skin to be positively dewy.

From / April 2020

I put a small amount on in the morning under makeup and before bed (with the Super Retinol). It’s thick but soaks in skin quickly and isn’t greasy. I absolutely love it. The texture is gorgeous and it smells lovely. I don’t normally like smells in things (I think it makes the product seem cheap) but I don’t mind this one at all as the smell isn’t strong and doesn’t linger. The pot for this is huge, so I doubt you’d use more than 1 a year! Really good value for money.

Super Retinol (+ Vitamin C) Night Renewal Moisturizer

Super Retinol (+ Vitamin C) Night Renewal Moisturizer

Typical price – £75 / Members price – £11.46 (Members price has gone up since I bought it for £8.82 in December 2019)

This superstar Swiss overnight formula has everything anti-aging in it _encapsulated retinol (resurfacing), ficucell vita (antioxidant), shea butter (nourishing) , vitamins E and C (elasticity+), ferulic and hyaluronic acid (plumping, hydrating), it’s super-smoothing, fine-line and wrinkle tackling, brightening, and we think this is possibly THE best retinol night moisturizer ever.

From / April 2020

I use this 2 or 3 times a week. Retinol dries my skin but this doesn’t as long as I don’t use it daily. I use it before bed so my skin can have a good rest. I use 2 pumps. It isn’t oily or greasy, it soaks in quickly. My skin is brighter after using this. I would buy it again.

Super Healthy Skin™ Sheer Tinted Oil-Free SPF20

Super Healthy Skin™ Sheer Tinted Oil-Free SPF20

Typical price – £25 / Members price £6.77 (Members price has gone up since I bought it for £5.50 in December 2019)

Imported from Italy, our Super Healthy Skin™ Tinted SPF20 delivers beautiful, natural, sheer coverage, sun protection, and a radiant all-day gorgeous soft-focus glow. Oil-free, fragrance-free, with a velvety skin finish, it’s probably the best multi-action BB Cream you can buy.

From / April 2020

I bought this in Medium but what a mistake! I re-ordered in Light after seeing myself in a mirror at work. Holy moly, it was too dark even for my olive skin. I use it usually instead of foundation if it’s a nice day or my skin is nice so I feel I can go without make-up. I’ve also worn it under make-up and I haven’t noticed any problems. I put it on with a brush and it blends well into my skin. I have an oily forehead which didn’t get worse (or better) by using this product. You only need a tiny amount.

The SPF is a great plus for this product (I’m 32 so taking more care of my skin these days!).

Smart Powder Blush, Shade : Go Rouge (A Pink-Orange)

Smart Powder Blush, Shade : Go Rouge (A Pink-Orange)

Typical price – £18 / Members price – £5.23 (Members price has gone up since I bought it for £4.06 in December 2019)

In just a sweep of a blush brush this unbeatable superlight formula lays down delicate, soft, second-skin colour that effortlessly mimics mother nature!
It’s got a smart, silky, slightly blurring, skin perfecting powder finish, infused with UV protective red-algae and biosaccharides.

From / April 2020

I love this blush. It stays on all day, blends in well and is a gorgeous colour. I would buy this again.

Plantastic™ Micropeeling Super Drops

Plantastic™ Micropeeling Super Drops

Typical price – £50 / Members price £9.42 (Members price has gone up since I bought it for £7.62 in December 2019)

Well, a couple of drops of this every day, and you might be in awe of your own. The best thing for keeping breakouts at bay, skin looking bright, pores-refined and tight, our Plantastic Micropeeling Super Drops are an easy, everyday addition to your skincare routine. Use once or twice a week for maintenance, or daily if you’re battling breakouts. With fruit-acids, micro-purifying biosurfactants, natural brighteners. It’s a 24/7 glow-giving one-serum wonder.

From / April 2020

I can’t say for sure my skin has reduced in acne due to this particular product (as I’ve been using others) but I’ve had no new breakouts for a whole month, even before my period which is usually when I get a lot. This liquid is super thin so absorbs extremely quickly. I put a few drops on before bed, along with the Jeju and retinol. The bottle is huge so I can’t see myself going through more than 1 a year! Really good value for money.

I’ve always used Vitamin E and Vitamin C products such as The Body Shop’s BB Cream and Skin Reviver because they help moisturise and keep skin from drying out. Another great primer I’ve used in the past is Mabel + Meg’s Lumilixir Serum which is amazing for under makeup. It targets acne too.

What are Pie Days?

Pie Days are days when you can order products that won’t be taken off your monthly spending limit. You get access to Pie Days a few times a year, but only if you’ve bought the annual membership (starting at £99 for £100 per month spending limit).

Overall review

Even though all of the products have increased in price (some by a whopping 28%) since I made my order in December 2019, the prices are low enough that Beauty Pie is worth trialling, even for a minimum of 3 months.

The products are so good you don’t need much, and with the size of the bottles/pots, you won’t need to purchase another for (I expect based on my experience) a year. I’ll update this blog when I run out of anything.

The wrapping is lovely – it makes me happy when I open a parcel that a company has gone to the trouble of wrapping. I’ve noticed in the Facebook comments a lot of customers are asking them to remove the brand logo from the paper so they can reuse, it to save on rubbish – what a great idea.

I will use Beauty Pie again to either buy the same or new products. I have my eyes on the Uber Boost Mascara, Vitamin C Moisturiser and Hair Volume Booster so watch this space – I probably won’t be able to resist.

Discount codes

Use my recommend a friend link below to get your first month for free (new customers only). I will also get an extra £50 boost – hurrah!

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Aurelia Natural Probiotic Skin Care – Deodorant, Moisturiser & Miracle Balm – My honest review

I’d never heard of Aurelia before, until I saw Emma Watson in a live Insta video showing the contents of her bag (don’t judge me). She said how much she loved the deodorant so I decided to look myself.

I hadn’t been looking for a new deodorant but getting pretty tired of having to wait for the better ones (in my opinion) to dry before putting clothes on.

Over the last few weeks I’ve tried these 4 products:

  • Aurelia Botanical Cream Deodorant
  • Aurelia Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser
  • Aurelia Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser
  • Aurelia Refine and Polish Miracle Balm

They are all cruelty-free.

From the Aurelia website 8.2.2010

Aurelia Botanical Cream Deodorant

I Googled & read reviews on multiple sites – Aurelia, Cult Beauty, Google, Amazon and Look Fantastic to name a few. I was blown away from the positivity. After composing myself from seeing the price (£18) I decided to purchase the 50g tub from the Aurelia Skincare website. I got a 10% discount (use discount code WELCOME10) and free sample tub of Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser 20ml. All-in, I spent £16.20 (free delivery when you spend £15+).

I really like how the deodorant includes lots of gorgeous natural goodies, to name a few:

  • Shea butter (gently hydrates)
  • Essential oils: Tea tree, Eucalyptus and Peppermint (antiseptic and antibacterial)
  • A slight whiff of Lavender and Bergamot (bergamot is a plant that produces oil that’s used in medicine)

The Botanical Cream Deodorant is a multi award-winning, natural, aluminium free, uniquely powerful wellbeing revelation that really works.

Quote from the Aurelia website,

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare’s Botanical Cream Deodorant offers a highly effective gentle and natural alternative for all those concerned about the effects of aluminium and who may want to avoid this questionable ingredient. Aluminium-based antiperspirants work by using aluminium salts to block and alter sweat ducts. This interferes with our body’s natural response. It has been clinically proven that aluminium is absorbed through the skin but currently there is not sufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between aluminium exposure and the augmented risk of developing breast cancer.

Quote from the Aurelia website,

My first day of trying the deodorant was my first day in a new job. Not ideal. I was more anxious, nervous (+ sweaty) than usual. By lunchtime I could smell my pits, and not in a good way. Luckily I’d taken wipes and the deodorant (it’s a great size to fit in your bag and doesn’t look like deodorant if anybody spots it) so I cleaned up and re-applied. This seemed to do the trick, I was fresh all afternoon.

The second day was the same; I had to clean up and reapply around lunchtime. The third day however; was the game changer. No smells apart from gorgeous minty freshness. I figured my body needed time to get familiar. Since then, I’ve not noticed any smelly pits and it lasts a full day – 7am until bedtime, around 10pm.

It comes in 2 sizes. I have the smaller size (50g) but they do a larger one – 110g for £30. The size I have (50g) would probably be handier in your bag whereas the larger would be more beneficial to use at home.

When you apply it, you use your fingers and smooth it over your underarm. It goes on as cream but as you rub it in, it feels more like a powder. It dries instantly. I haven’t noticed any issues with the deodorant discolouring my clothes. You don’t have to wait for it to dry; I have put the deodorant on under my clothes and gone about my day!

I am very happy with the Aurelia deodorant. Knowing I’m not putting rubbish on my skin is a huge plus. Also not having to wait for it to dry, but knowing it will keep me dry and smell-free all day is a winner.

I will update this post when it eventually runs out. I’m guessing it’ll last 3 months. The price-y upfront cost does seem steep but considering £16.20 is £5.40 a month (£1.35 pw), I’m more than happy with that.

Update 22.4.2020

I’ve had to stop using the deodorant as it stopped working. It made my pits smell within a few hours even though I’m at home working (lock-down!) without doing anything strenuous!

Update 4.2.2021

Yep! Nearly a year later, I’ve been using this in-between my current hobby of trialing natural deos. It still works! It still takes at least a day to stop smelly pits but it works well once my skin gets used to it. I’m going to try a few, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have much hesitation about buying this again.

Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser

As mentioned above, I received a free 20ml pot when I bought the deodorant. The normal price is £58 for 60ml. This is pricey for me. Especially for a night cream. I usually spend ~£10 on The Ordinary and The Body Shop for a moisturiser.

The Aurelia website states:

This multi award-winning ultra-rich hydrating night cream fuses probiotic ingredients with plant and flower botanicals to hydrate and soothe, transforming the skin’s luminosity. Aurelia’s signature probiotic ingredients continuously protect, restore and balance the skin from within. Probiotics expertly calm the natural immune triggers in your skin which can be overstimulated by pollution and stress and they reduce the damage these immune triggers cause to collagen, elastin and healthy cells.

Supercharged, targeted BioOrganic botanicals include Baobab, which is rich in precious Omegas to revitalise the skin, firming Kigelia Africana, Rosehip and antioxidant-rich Hibiscus to fight oxidative stress. Borage, Mongongo and Avocado oils offer abundant levels of natural fatty acids offering long-lasting hydration and a youthful glow. Deeply nourishing Shea butter and cooling Aloe vera enable this cream to melt delightfully into the skin.

A delicate, relaxing sleep-time essential oil blend of Neroli, Lavender, Rose and Mandarin helps you wind down and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

Overall I’m very impressed with the night moisturiser. In the morning my skin feels less clogged with oil and is definitely smoother. From using other moisturisers I often have clogged pores full of (the only way to describe) small hard yellow spots (usually on my forehead).

It does have a perfume smell but it’s not overpowering. The pot is lasting quite long actually so I’m impressed. I’ll more than likely buy this when it runs out (check out the discount codes I’ve found at the end of this article).

Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser

After buying the deodorant where I got the free night moisturiser which I was very impressed with, I decided to fork out for the day moisturiser. I have acne-prone skin which is very oily. I emailed the Aurelia team to ask what product they would suggest I try. They suggested this, so I looked around for the best price.

I found it on Look Fantastic – 20ml is £22. I saved money on this price though using discounts – see my hacks below.

I use this moisturiser before makeup. Although it isn’t a primer, it keeps my makeup on all day. It smells gorgeous (although some reviewers aren’t keen).

Inspiring a radiant, dewy complexion, the intelligent moisturiser combines concentrated BioOrganic 100% pure botanicals with probiotic and peptide technologies to soothe, hydrate and revitalise the skin’s surface. Its dose of fatty acid-rich Borage oil locks in moisture; Kigelia Africana and Hibiscus botanicals deliver a firming and soothing effect and help combat oxidative stress; and Baobab expertly revitalises with its rich source of omega 3, 6 and 9.

Infused with a fragrant essential oil blend of Jasmine, Plumeria, Tuberose and Mandarin, the antioxidant-packed moisturiser will leave skin soft, hydrated and radiant. Doubles as a perfect makeup primer due to its potent peptides that hydrate the skin’s surface for a smooth, flawless finish.

Free from synthetic fragrances, colourants, parabens, mineral oils, silicones, sulphates, propylene glycol, phthalates, GMO, PEGs, TEA, DEA, MI, formaldehyde, urea, mercury, lead and bee venom.

Refine & Polish Miracle Balm

This is my favourite out of all of them and I believe it’s what has made the best difference to my skin (although the moisturisers are also likely to be making a difference!) The miracle balm can be used daily as an exfoliator or 3ish times a week for 5 mins as a face mask. I do both. I love it so much.

Suitable for all skin types, the Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Refine and Polish Miracle Balm works to combat dull, rough and congested complexions.

Fortified with the brand’s unique Probiotic and Peptide complexes, the innovative treatment rebalances and revitalises skin, whilst natural Rice Bran beads deliver a mild exfoliating action to gently buff away dead, dry skin cells for a brighter, smoother and more refined appearance.

Transforming into a milky fluid upon contact with water, the balm boosts circulation when massaged into skin to leave it clear, purified and glowing with a luxurious fragrance of Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Bergamot Essential Oils. Can be used as a five-minute mask or instant exfoliator.

I use a thumbnail-sized amount, first rubbing it together using my fingers then gently all over my face. It goes from being gooey to a milky texture when you add water to it.

I’ve used it every day and my skin has never been as bright. I haven’t had dry skin around my nose since using this either.

Discount deals to cut the costs

On the Aurelia website, you can complete their Skincare tool questionnaire to get £10 off your next purchase. I got the discount code after I’d finished it. The tool itself is pretty handy for suggesting products based on your answers.

Like I’ve mentioned above, I bought:

  • Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser 20ml
  • Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Refine and Polish Miracle Balm 75ml

… from Look Fantastic. They had a 20% off code available so I used that, plus free next day delivery as I spent over £55. I spent £22 on the moisturiser and £57 on the balm, totalling £63.20 with the 20% off. Use my referral link where we both get discounts (I don’t know how much) but just remember to look around their site for any available codes. LF20 (on LookFantastic) is a popular one.

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Make up Skincare

Removing make up with Chloe Morello’s Face Halo reusable face pad – honest review

I’ve followed Chloe Morello for a while and noticed her promotions for Face Halo makeup remover that you can use only with water. They are kind on skin as they are made of white fibre strands,

“100 times finer than human hair to remove and trap makeup”.

Around the edge they have a black rim made of satin which is soft to touch.


At $22 for a pack of 3, initially I thought they were expensive. But then I thought about it and considering makeup remover wipes are £2-3 for 20/30, is it really?

Considering you get “200 washes” out of each pad, not only is it better for the environment, it’s actually a cost-saving. It cost me £15.60 in total, so each one cost £5.20. You only need buy 3 packs of wipes and you’ve already gone over the price of 1 Face Halo. (That’s £0.26p per wash)  

The Body Shop cleansing butter is £10. They nearly always have discounts on their website. I got my latest batch with 25% off + free delivery.

My skin has improved

When I use this on my face, it feels lavish and like I’m actually treating my face each time. It doesn’t feel like it’s pulling on my skin and I never get any redness afterwards, proving how soft it is on my skin. Considering the skin around the eye is so delicate, this was really important to me. Especially as I’m moving into my 30’s, I need to take even more care of those soon-to-be wrinkles.

My skin has genuinely improved since using Face Halo. It’s so much smoother and looks fresher.


I don’t know what I expected, but considering I’ve been using them since the start of August, they are now looking – if being honest – quite gross. Every 2nd use I put them in the wash with my clothes then in the tumble dryer. I’ve never let the makeup sit on the Halo; I’ve always rinsed it after use. They are now stained which really puts me off using them.  The Face Halo website says:

If you give it a very quick hand wash right after using with warm water and soap the makeup will release easily.  If you leave it for a couple of days before washing it will take a little bit more time to release all the makeup.  In this case we like to rub two Face Halo’s together under warm water with some good soap (even a natural dish soap for heavier makeup), then throw into the washing machine!  

I have been doing this but they have still stained so I mustn’t have been doing it thoroughly enough. Maybe this is why they’ve bought out completely black Face Halos?


This will be my routine for a while. I absolutely love it. They go so well together. My face feels so clean I’ve actually stopped using moisturisers because my face doesn’t look like it needs it!

Update: 28 April 2019

I read up online how other fellow people are cleaning their Face Halos. From this advice I now:

  • clean after EVERY use – making sure it’s wet, I rub soap into the Face Halo. I rub the sides together to make a lather then after 30 seconds, I rinse. You’d be surprised at how much rubbish comes out.
  • I leave them on the radiator to dry in-between uses throughout the week
  • clean thoroughly in the main wash every week – I throw all 3 into my clothes wash each week.
  • I still use The Body Shop’s camomile on all my face but use a biodegradable wet wipe on my face and Face Halo on my eyes.

After a few months of getting a LOT of spots, I’ve stopped using Face Halo’s on my face. I just use them on my eyes, to remove mascara. After washing them with soap, I leave them on the radiator to dry. As it’s been warm, they haven’t been on, so they’ve been sitting there damp for a few days. This isn’t good, as bacteria loves damp conditions which could have been irritating my skin.

I’m not blaming these causing my spots, but since I’ve stopped using them on my face, I’ve noticed a small improvement. I still clean them as above, but I clean them much more thoroughly now.

Read about how I’m improving my spots and skin health.

Update: 16 February 2020

I’m still using (and loving) Face Halo – I got new ones for Christmas as I stopped using my previous ones due to their state! I’m being more rigorous now with my cleaning, making sure after each daily use I’m getting as much mascara out with soap as possible.

I was using The Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing butter with my Face Halo, due to reducing down the number of products I’m currently using on my skin, in an attempt to calm down my spots/acne. If you’d like to read more about other tips I’m doing to calm my skin, I’ve made a blog about it here. Face Halo gets rid of all my makeup without the need for the Camomile so it was an easy decision. I don’t have anything against the Camomile; it’s a great product, just not needed.

Update: 12 March 2021

Still using the same as above – using the pad on my whole face and the Body Shop camomile on my eyes only. I wash & re-use each pad once with soap (leaving on a radiator to dry in-between), then throw in the washing machine along with clothes. I clean my face with the pad first, then use it to get off mascara. I don’t use it on my eyes first as I don’t want to rub mascara all over my face!

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My photo, hi I'm Rachael

Hi, I'm Rachael.

This is my beauty website where I review lots of different products, from make up, to CBD coffee and vegan moisturiser. I've been using products for over 20 years, so I hope I've gathered some tips and tricks to share, plus I'm always learning so I'll be sharing them too. I have oily-skin, that's acne prone, so join me as I navigate this new age being a millennial!