I have a soft spot for green beauty. I figure if I can get the same results from a product that contains natural ingredients versus chemicals, I’ll always go for natural.

Aloe Unique skin care products blend vitamins with locally and ecologically-harvested Aloe Ferox plant ingredients, in a paraben-free formula.

The locally run Cape Town based family business boasts over 20 years experience in the Aloe industry. In the interests of health and in line with caring for the environment, all of their products are paraben-free and come in recyclable containers

Benefits

Aloe Ferox is twenty times stronger than Aloe Vera. And since Aloe Vera is well known for its moisturising, healing and restorative powers, with Aloe Ferox you know you’re onto a winner. Benefits include that it moisturises, accelerates wound healing, fights ageing, reduces acne and infection and lightens blemishes. 

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AGE DEFYING SERUM

This potent, highly-concentrated serum kickstarts skin’s age-defying powers to help prevent and reverse the appearance of lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Consisting of high levels of Aloe Ferox leaf extract, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Borage Oil, this Aloe Ferox-based formula is packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants to boost skin’s natural age-defying defenses.”

I love layering products and I love a good serum. This serum doesn’t have your typical, silk like consistency. It’s smooth but a little bit sticky, but goes on easily. It smells fresh and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and soft.

 You can get your hands on a 50ml bottle for the price of R256.00 here.

AGE DEFYING DAY CREAM

This emollient cream delivers a blast of moisture and protection to leave skin hydrated, plump and even-toned. With a unique delivery system, this Aloe Ferox-based formula packed with anti-oxidants and Vitamins E and C, helps effectively stimulate collagen production and increase elasticity. Protects against free radical damage and lessens visible lines and wrinkles. Skin looks fresh, firm and more youthful.”

The Aloe Unique Age Defying Day Cream has a creamy texture, but isn’t heavy. On it’s own it isn’t hydration enough for me (I have dehydrated skin). It leaves my skin feeling comfortable and smooth.

A 50ml jar will cost you R135.00. Available here.

AGE DEFYING NIGHT CREAM

This ultra-nourishing night cream delivers a powerful boost of lasting hydration, fortifying skin and replenishing moisture lost during the day. With a powerful anti-aging combination, this emollient-rich Aloe Ferox-based formula helps jumpstart collagen production overnight for a younger, glowing and even-toned appearance.

The Ultra-nourishing Night Cream has a thicker and richer texture than the day cream. It’s really an instant shot of hydration boost, and leaves my skin feeling nourished, comfortable and soft

Available for R155.00 for a 50ml jar here.

should you try it?

I appreciate Aloe Unique’s mission, which is to ethically and sustainably build their brand and produce the highest quality of affordable health and skin care product. I love how gentle yet effective this product line is. I love the fresh, subtle fragrance of the products. And I love that I’m using natural, plant based ingredients on my face. All in all, my skin is happy and loving these aloe ferox based products. I do sometimes pop my Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 on from time to time, because if I don’t, we all know what happens. The range is also really well priced. 

You can learn more about Aloe Unique here.

I love it when a cosmetic company nails a product! Let’s be real – no company does everything brilliantly. Said company is Maybelline, and I’m currently completely obsessed with their new Master Strobing Sticks.

Which shade for you?

There are 3 shades – Light (Iridescent), Medium (Nude Glow) and Dark (Gold), for each respective skin tone. Even though the Medium is too dark to highlight my cheekbones, it works so well as a contour on my hairline, giving me a nice dewy finish. My friend, who has a yellow toned, tanned skin looks amazing when she uses the Medium on her cheekbones and collarbones. She even uses the gold on her shins to give her legs a gorgeous glow.

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Why I love them so much?

The texture. Besides being as smooth as butter, the texture is incredibly light and isn’t sticky in the least – it feels like you’re not wearing anything on your skin. The formula is brilliant in that it doesn’t emphasise any skin texture such as fine lines or pores. It gives you the most incredibly natural and beautiful glow – no sparkle in sight. You can go in lightly and blend, blend, blend for a natural all-over glow, or layer up for more of an intense strobe effect.

Application. What could be easier than removing the lid and drawing onto your skin? The sticks are super creamy and so easy to blend, basically a dream to use.

The colours. The 3 shades are perfectly suited for dark, medium and light skin tones, and you can easily find one that would suit yours.

The price. The best part is how affordable they are. At around R160, you get a top notch product that rivals other higher end highlighters.

Packaging. The stick is so convenient, and fits anywhere, even in the tiniest of clutch bags.

The only thing I don’t love is that they don’t last too long. In saying that, just like lip gloss versus a matte lipstick, obviously the drier the formula, the more staying power it has. I don’t want ashy, shiny cheeks, so I will gladly put up with reapplying. Besides, the compact size is perfect to throw in your handbag.

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Should you try it?

Absolutely! This Strobing Stick is my new best friend. She makes me look dewy, fresh, awake and radiant. And she’s priced so well!

Available from Clicks, Foschini, Dis-Chem and selected Pick n’Pay stores.

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Ever since Caroline Hirons mentioned them in her Top 5 Acid Toners, I have been eager to try out NeoStrata’s Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads. I was so amped when I received the launch invite, and couldn’t wait to try them and report back to you guys.

What exactly is it?

It’s a daily home use peel, formulated to enhance skin clarity and texture while visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How do you use them?

The pads and liquid come separately and all you need to do is pour the liquid into the tub and your pads are soaked and ready to go. (This is fab because some other pre-soaked pads tend to dry up, which means that you’re excited to use them and then – nothing. It’s like when you leave your face wipes open and they all dry out. All you’re left with is prettily scented tissues). If you’re new to acids, you could start by using them 2-3 times a week after you’ve washed your face and about to start your night time skincare routine. As for more mature skins and those of you who are used to acids, you could use them nightly.

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Who is it for?

All skins but particularly oily/acne and sun-damaged, mature and/or dull skins.

How do they work?

Glycolic Acid exfoliates and increases cell turnover to clarify pores, refine skin texture and improve skin tone. NeoStrata’s patented ingredient, Aminofil, works to build skin’s natural volume and visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, skin looks fresher, healthier-looking with smoother texture and more even tone.

This at-home peel doesn’t require any rinsing or neutralising. After swiping the cotton pad all over your face, your skin is perfectly primed for your favourite serum or moisturiser.

What I loved about them

Sometimes I forget to exfoliate my skin, and sometimes I’m not in the mood. No fret, because all I need to do is unscrew the tub, and grab a little miracle pad to do it for me. They’re so easy and convenient to use and they get rid of any rough skin or random spot I may have. My serum sinks in and penetrates better after using them (any acid-containing product will help to prep your skin for your skincare routine). My skin texture is smoother, a little plumper and has a beautiful glow to it.

What I love about NeoStrata’s version of an acid toner is that they’ve added an extra benefit in the form of Aminofil to help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They are a higher end brand and are focused specifically on physician grade antiaging skincare. With that in mind, their pricing is higher than department store brands.

Available here and here for around R800.

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I have dry skin that’s also sensitive. Gel cleansers strip my skin and make me feel tight, so I’ve had to switch to micellar water and oil cleansers. I was really curious when I received Bioderma’s Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel because I don’t really use gel cleansers anymore, and it’s related to the wonderful Sensibio Micellar Water. I wondered if this cleanser would live up to its famous cousin?

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The Promise

Sensibio Gel Moussant gently cleanses and removes make-up from face and eyes while soothing and calming irritations. Gently cleanses and removes make-up from face and eyes, leaving skin clean, soft and comfortable Moisturises: +77% hydration* Soothes and calms irritations 100% excellent skin and eye tolerance Its exclusive DAF complex is an association of active ingredients which reinforces the tolerance threshold of all sensitive skin. Enriched with Coco Glucoside/ Glycéryl Oléate; an active ingredient that mimics the skin structure, Sensibio Gel Moussant has lipid-restoring and moisturising properties.

Soap-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, colourant-free, hypoallergenic, physiological pH, non-comedogenic.

The Packaging

I’m a sucker for pink, so I absolutely love the bottle. It’s fantastic because the pump system pumps out EXACTLY the right amount of product you need – no less and no more and no wastage. Yay!

The Scent

There’s no scent at all. It’s always nice to have a pretty smelling cleanser, but that can lead to irritation, so I get where Bioderma is coming from.

The Texture

The gel is clear and lightweight and lathers into a light airy foam. You’d be wrong if you’re thinking traditional foamy, mousse texture. It’s a gel that is bought to life by water. It is quite ‘thin’ and I don’t think it would work well on a Clarisonic or other cleansing gadgets. This gel is for good old fashion hand cleansing.

The Verdict

This is a good, fragrance-free, paraben-free face wash and I would definitely repurchase. It removes eye makeup well but does sting a bit if you get it in your eyes. I am so happy with the way that it removes makeup and my skin has been completely blemish-free since I’ve started using it. If you’re finicky about cleansing, perhaps you could use that as step 2 of your double cleansing routine. It never leaves my skin tight. Other sensitive skintypes should also be safe with this cleanser. I love it.

Available from selected Dis-Chem stores, independent pharmacies and online here for a RRSP of R210.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I love everything about it! I love decorating the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music, the Christmas cheer in the air, being with loved ones and eating festive food (you know you’re getting old when you start to enjoy mince pies).

Naturally, anything Christmas spirited takes my fancy. The other day I was out and happened to walk into the Body Shop, as you do. I was introduced to 3 limited edition Christmas ranges: Frosted Berries, Spiced Apple and Vanilla Chai. I decided to get a body scrub, shower gel and a body butter, but wanted to mix up the flavours some. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a cupboard full of different flavoured teas, but Chai is NOT my thing. Suffice it to say that I didn’t get any of the Vanilla Chai scented products.

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The Frosted Berries Shower Gel (R99 for 250ml) is light and fruity and delicious in the shower.

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The Frosted Berries Softening Body Butter (R170 for 200ml) smells incredible. It leaves my skin lightly scented and hydrated for 24 hours. I can’t get enough of the smooth and creamy texture of this body butter, it’s literally what dreams are made of.

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The Spiced Apple Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub (R190 for 250ml) is insanely good and smells like cinnamon spiced apples. It leaves a subtle hint of fragrance on the skin and leaves my skin so smooth and soft. I usually use it before I apply fake tan, and even though ‘they’ say you shouldn’t have anything on your skin before you fake tan, this body scrub gets rid of any old skin and gives my dry skin a shot of moisture before I apply my FakeBake (which can be quite drying).

If you love all things Christmas, get down to The Body Shop immediately and scoop up some festive goodies.

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