Taking your skincare routine to a next level with Nourish London Probiotic Multi-Mineral repair Mask

Having recently read Clemence von Muffling ‘Ageless Beauty’ book, I came across a great saying that really distills the essence of why every woman[...] read more

Galina Reviews: Superfood Series from Bodhi and Birch

Having been a fan of aromatherapy for years, Bodhi and Birch bath and shower therapies fall into a deeply cherished category of products for me. Elijah Choo, brand’s[...] read more

CRiL reviews: Dafna’s Recovery Cleanser

Cleansing is one of those daily rituals that brings a multitude of benefits to your skin, as well as your body via your senses. Find the right cleanser for your skin, use it twice daily, making sure you cleanse your skin thoroughly, but without stripping it & you are one step closer to having beautiful skin. Today I want to introduce the latest launch from Spanish brand Dafna’s Personal Skincare called Recovery Cleanser to you.

When I first came across this Spanish brand, I was surprised that it didn’t have a cleanser among its products, but as I got to know Dafna, brand’s founder & mother of two, I understood that she won’t launch something unless she was happy with what the product will achieve. Combining scientific research, careful ingredient selection & Ayurvedic principles, each product aims to deliver so much more that just skincare benefits to its customers.

Recovery Cleanser has a texture of a balm, but as you massage your face & neckline with it, adding water, it changes to a milky consistency, imparting a veil of nurture to the skin. The centre of this cleanser is created around nutritive & antioxidant-rich organic oils of Moringa, Bamboo & Argan, which help remove make-up & grime that we accumulate daily, when our skin comes into contact with the elements, as well as purify the skin. Lemongrass essential oil helps to detoxify your skin, while its scent calms your mind & Calendula Extract reduces skin discomfort.

When Dafna started developing this cleanser, she thought long & hard about her own experiences with cleansers, considering texture, effect & benefit for the skin, scent, as well as the things that she didn’t like when using a product to cleanse the skin. This lovely woman has a a very calm disposition about her, even though she balances her work with motherhood & I just can’t imagine her rushing in her creative process. Good things take time & effort to create & Dafna wanted women who use this cleanser to not only feel & see the difference in their skin, but to give them a moment of calm in their busy lives, something that as a mother really resonates with me. She considers oil to be more ‘profound’ when it comes to make-up & grime removal from the skin, so incorporating a few of them led her to create a balm that becomes quite milky when it comes into contact with water & ultimately benefits your skin, doesn’t make it feel or look de-hydrated, while cleansing it effectively at the same time. Her aim was to create a cleanser that will give you a feeling of beautifully clean skin, was easy to remove and be practical in terms of the multitude of benefits.

What Recovery Cleanser does:

  • Deeply cleanses the skin, while lifting dirt & impurities
  • Removes foundation & make-up without causing irritation
  • Fights skin oxidation caused by intrinsic factors like pollution & sun exposure, while helping skin recover its natural healing ability
  • Nourishes the skin
  • Helps reduce intrinsic stress, which is a significantly influential factor when it comes to ageing process

When Dafna was playing with textures during the creative process, she was conscious that many of us travel & take our cleansers with us, so a product that is solid is somewhat preferable. One of the things worth pointing out is that this cleanser combines oils & shea butter in its formulae, which allows the balm to stay ‘solid’ in the jar, so you can rest assured that it won’t ‘leak’ in your luggage. We crave balance when it comes to our lifestyle, why not start with incorporating a skincare product that has balance at its core into our daily skincare routine ?

What makes Recover Cleanser Unique:

  • This cleansing Balm offers the advantages of pure oils & nurturing active ingredients & soft, milky texture that is easy to rinse without the need for face cloth (you can use a facial cloth, if you so wish though)
  • Ingredients respect & assist skin’s natural ability to recover
  • The formula takes into consideration both extrinsic & intrinsic stress & ageing factors; it  also allows you to slow down, while nurturing your face
  • Works for all skin types & doshas
  • Can  be left on the skin for a few minutes for some extra nurture or overnight on clean skin as a mask.

When Dafna & I met during her last visit to London in April, I, of course, took advantage on an opportunity to catch up with her, as well as quiz her about the cleanser. I was also quite intrigued, when she suggested cleansing skin not twice, but three times a day. As city dwellers, we can all judge the state of the environment by looking at the windows. When my window cleaner comes over, I love catching sunlight through the windows as I work, cook, do chores or just pause to look at the sky & clouds floating by, but within a few days the glint gets lost in dirt that starts to accumulate. Now,  think about what that does to our skin, which is exposed to it daily, as we move across town for work, school runs, meetings, lunch breaks or errands. So, Dafna draws on that and suggests that even when you work in the office, it’s worth taking five minutes to go to the bathroom, brush your teeth after lunch, cleanse the skin, luxuriating in the sensation of five minute beauty break, re-apply you serum or moisturiser, as well as make-up and get back to work, knowing that you skin’s ‘breathing’ just got a little bit easier. Such approach probably helps improve skin’s ‘health’ as well. In the last few months I also developed a habit of cleansing my face as soon as I am back home, knowing I won’t be going out again that day. I let the water wash the grime & negativity that I might have experienced down the drain, smile at myself in the mirror and get on with the rest of my afternoon or evening, allowing my skin to regenerate & luxuriate in the clean calmness of the sanctuary that is home, having applied my evening skincare products earlier & letting them get to work on environmental damage & ageing process, as I cook, spend time with my family and work.

How to use


Take a pearl-sized amount of balm & massage it into your dry skin. Leave to ‘act’[...] read more

New face masks launches: Kiehl’s, Tata Harper, Skin & Tonic, True Nature Botanicals & Evolve

Women have been masking for years and I believe that using face masks, once or twice a week, depending on your skin needs, is like having a mini-facial in the privacy of your own home. One of the latest trends is ‘zone masking’ and using several ones on your face but, to be honest, I don’t have the time, nor do I want to complicate ‘me-time’, which is precious for any woman balancing work and family. Instead I just examine my skin, consider what it might need and choose one to spend the evening with.

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Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Mask & Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask, 75mls, £28 ( also available in a small, 28ml size ): I like some of Kiehl’s products, as they work for my skin and had high hopes for those two launches. The first mask promises to protect your skin against impurities, as well as replenish it – sadly our environment is not getting cleaner or healthier for our bodies or skin, with the rising pollutants and stronger sun rays, which contribute to skin’s dullness and ageing. The mask contains antioxidant-rich orange extract to help prevent DNA damage, as well as cilantro (coriander ) seeds oil that should help to strengthen your skin’s barrier with regular use. This mask is recommended to be used three times a week at night. You need to apply a ‘visible’ layer to clean skin, leave on for five minutes and then tissue off the excess, leaving a thin protective layer on skin to work overnight. In the image below on top of my hand you can see the texture of the mask, on the bottom is what skin looks after 20 minutes and ’tissuing’ off.

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This mask has a mixed smell of herbs and chemicals and I found it too ‘rich’ for my skin. Waking up to the skin that feels somewhat greasy is not my idea of a mini-treat for my skin, so sadly this mask wasn’t a success for me. In addition, after sleeping with a face mask like that on my face, I also have to wash my pillowcase……

The second mask promises to ‘invigorate and brighten skin’s appearance’- with skin feeling dull after the prolonged winter, this sounded wonderful. I got to ‘play’ with this mask while in Paris with my best friend and we were in fits of giggles applying this yellowy-coloured mask with mini seeds onto our faces and jumping on the beds, like teenagers, before indulging in what French TV had on offer for late-night entertainment, Marriage Freres tea and Laduree macaroons.

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This ‘instant facial’ promises ‘to brighten and energize the look of dull and fatigued skin and restore a healthy, rosy appearance. Formulated with Cranberry Extract and Turmeric, this invigorating formulation promises to visibly even out your skin tone, while crushed Cranberry seeds gently exfoliate for smoother, brighter, illuminated looking skin’.

After cleansing our skin, we applied a thick layer to clean skin and allowed the mask to dry for ten minutes. After that you are supposed to rinse it off while gently massaging your skin with circular motion, allowing Cranberry Seeds to exfoliate your skin. After that you are supposed to pat dry the skin, however before we did that, it took us a lot of time to actually wash this mask, particularly the seeds, off our faces. The skin felt soft and plump but I found it seriously annoying to wash and wash and wash my face, with the seeds even ending up in my hairline. This mask is recommended to be used up to three times a week but after two quite messy experiences I wouldn’t be using it again, as the process ends up feeling more frustrating than pampering.

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My skin did end up feeling softer, rosier and clearer, after using each of those mask, but it takes a lot to impress me and personally, I prefer my mask to appeal to me not just with the end result, but with texture and smell as well.  This has been my experiment and yours might be less messy and make you feel pampered and glowing, so please don’t let me dissuade you from trying either or both of those masks, as one woman’s battle can be another woman’s path to success. Sadly for those masking experiments that I undertook with new Kiehl’s masks, I wouldn’t be purchasing either of the masks, but will keep an eye on brand’s new launches.

http://www.kiehls.co.uk/skin-care/category/cleansers-scrubs-and-masques

Tata Harper Purifying Mask ( deep cleansing detox treatment ), 30mls, £52


Tata never does things[...] read more

Skincare rituals: AS Apothecary Complete Box of Cleansing

Even though this year spring has been slow coming and the temperatures at the moment remind us more of winter, the bird song outside the window early in the morning is unmistakably spring-like. Spring is the time when even bears wake up from their winter slumber, so it is a good time to fine tune our bodies and nurture our skin and what can be better than focussing on the skincare cleansing ritual? Say hello to AS Apothecary Complete Box of Cleansing!

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In early February I took a train to Lewes, where Amanda Saurin, founder and creator of AS Apothecary lives. After several awe-inspiring hours in Amanda’s company ( more of this soon in a separate post ! ), Amanda indulged me in her new product set, called Complete Box of Cleansing, as my parting gift, which I took home with a childishly excited grin on my face. Having said that, I held off using the kit until later that month, when flowers started blooming and I felt ready to change my skincare ritual and indulge my skin and the senses.

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The design of the box itself reminded me of Japanese tea art form and precision. Precision of lines of this A4-sized black box doesn’t shout ‘pick me up’, rather it whispers gently, like the spring wind ‘come and have a look at what I hide inside’. Amanda is a very unique creative woman, who grows and gathers plants and uses her vast apothecary skills, fusing herbs and knowledge of homeopathy to create effective, gentle, bespoke products that nurture your skin and calm your mind, opening your eyes to the magic and wonder of nature.

‘An appreciation of the transformative nature of scent, of the rhythm of plants, of their terroir, of landscape and the inner-connectedness of us all, are pivotal[...] read more