Hero Product: Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Wash+Scrub+Mask


I mentioned this product in a previous post here and I wanted to go into it a bit more as it’s really a wonderful little product to have in the bathroom cabinet. It’s from the Pure range which is specifically for oily/combination skin types that suffer from clogged pores, shine and blemishes.

I’m not a big fan of supercharged products that claim to do a multitude of things and I feel the same about this one. It’s a wash and a scrub and a mask! As a wash I think it’s too thick and too much hard work and I think as a scrub the pumice in it is a bit aggravating on me. May work for others, but for me? too gritty. As a mask however, is when it really comes into its own.

It’s a wonderful general use mask for what I call affordable day-to-day maintenance. Those weeks were you haven’t got a lot on and don’t need to bring the big boys out of the cupboard, but you still want to keep skin under control. From the mask perspective it contains zinc which is one of natures skin purifier and works to keep skin free from impurities and blemishes. It also contains mineral enriched white clay which is a fantastic oil absorber and helps to mattify shine. Of the 57 testers, 91% agreed that this was the greatest benefit. I agree!

The one thing I must warn about is the tingle. I was taken aback the first time I used it as I wasn’t expecting such a zing! It contains some salicylic acid  which I think is the contributory factor. The tingle does dissipate after a few minutes and I personally don’t mind it, but be aware just in case it’s not something you’re into.

Sold in all the usual high street outlets and supermarkets around the £5 price point, it gives good results and won’t break the bank.

Ask Dija: How often should I exfoliate, steam and mask?

There is not a one size fits all answer as everyone has a different skin type with differing concerns. So I followed the question with my own question, as you do.

How would you describe your skin type and what age group do you fall into?

Answer: Combination skin, early 20’s.

Combination skin tends to have an oily T zone – forehead, nose and chin – and dry/normal areas on the cheeks. The pores tend to be larger on the T zone which produce more oil and shine on the surface of the skin. Early 20’s would fall into the young skin bracket, so we’d expect supple, plump and firm skin.

In addition to your CTM routine I would recommend the following.


A steam will warm up your face to open pores and dislodge dry skin and you can do this on a daily basis whilst cleansing with a flannel. Simply run hot water over the flannel (as hot as your hand can stand without scalding, we don’t want any burns!), wring and lay on your face. (make sure its not too hot, again I worry about scalding!) This is a an extremely gentle steaming method, but highly effective. Leave super-duper steams to your facialist who by the way you should be seeing on a monthly basis. If you aren’t, start now because all skin types benefits from a deep clean!


You need to exfoliation to remove dead skin cells that have been dislodged through your gentle steam and are just hanging on. Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is perfect for combination skin and all time favourite. Its rice based enzyme scrub so its gentle enough to use everyday. Gritty exfoliators are a big no-no as they’ll only vex your skin.


When it comes to masks,  I don’t subscribe to a one size fits all mantra. I truly believe with combination skin you have to tackle the different areas in isolation and there’s nothing strange or extravagant about using two different types of masks.

On the T zone a clay based mask is best. This will soak up oil straight up out of the pores to purify and help mattify the skin. Depending on how oily your T zone is every 2 – 3 days should suffice. One of the best for general day-to-day maintenance is Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Wash-Scrub-Mask which contains kaolin – the oil absorber.

On dry cheeks or other generally dry areas, you want something that’s going to moisturise and hydrate your skin deep within. 1 or 2 times a week should be fine. I would recommend something along the lines of Weleda Wild Rose Intensive Facial Masque. It will brighten any dull skin and balance moisture levels.

See products here.

Having said this, it really very important to pay close attention to your skin and listen to it. Feed your skin what it needs and set your own standard for your personal skin care.

Beauty & Skincare News Round Up

Soothing Skin Care Collection

One of my favourite brands for body oils, Aromatherapy Associates is set to launch a new range of  products for those people with sensitive skin. Called the Soothing Skin Care collection, the six products that make up this range contain the expected plant extracts, essential oils and prebiotics which help encourage healthy bacteria on the skin’s surface. It focuses on treating the visible signs of sensitive skin addressing redness and irritation.

And in keeping up with the current popularity for beauty balms and face oils, this range includes both along with the regulars – masks, toners and moisturisers all containing the soothing elements of licorice, arnica, camomile and cotton thistle. Sounds like a god send for over exposed skin, stressed and sore skin. There’s a new facial to boot. The Soothing Facial which contains a blend of camomile oils is perfect for inflamed and tired skin.

Available from August at selected spas & salons, Liberty, Fortnum & Mason, Aromatherapy Associates Boutique and Treatment Rooms, priced from £28.


Indeed Labs which brought us Nanoblur and Snoxin have added a new skin care product to their fold – Hydraluron. This is a booster product for any current skin care regimen to deliver pure hyaluronic acid to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is an important acid for lubricating the skin, and giving us a plump and healthy look, but it diminishes as we age. Hydraluron combats this process by increasing the moisture levels in the skin and improving elasticity.

It also contains bio-engineered marine red algae extract which speeds up cell turnover, allowing the hyaluronic acid to penetrate to even deeper levels boosting the skin from within.

It’s exclusive to Boots from 27th June, priced at £24.99

*round up and images collated from www.diarydirectory.com

Ask Dija: I’ve got dry skin and it always looks dull and grey? How can I turn it around?

Firstly, make sure you are following a proper and consistent face cleaning routine using the correct products for your skin type. I’m going to focus on products that will give your skin a super boost for a long-lasting glow.

  • Exfoliation helps to get rid of dead skin cells which sit on the top layer of skin and stop skin care products from being absorbed properly into the skin. It’s this layer of dead skin that can cast a dull tone on the skin. I love Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant which is a rice based enzyme powder you mix with water to create a creamy exfoliant. As the name says it gentle enough to use everyday, but I normally recommend every other day, so as not to irritate the skin.
  • Once a week do a moisturising mask that hydrates the skin, help reduce flakes and dry patches. Try Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask which soothes and hydrates with honey and samphire.
  • Invest in an anti oxidant serum. They can be pricey, but I believe they are worth it for excellent skin. A serum has particles small enough to be absorbed in the deeper layers of the skin and nourish from the inside. Look for ones that contain hylauronic acid as this plumps up the skin for a youthful look and glow. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 is a firm favourite as it not only plumps but repairs tissue.
  • Suti Rejuvenate Face Oil makes a great non greasy moisturiser and you only need a few drops to keep your skin hydrated and glowing. Its perfect for parched skin that’s crying out for moisture.

Following these few tips you can turn skin that’s dull and grey to glowing and radiant in no time at all.

You can view all products here.

Coming up….

I’ve been trialling what I hope are some fab new beauty and skin care products over the last few weeks and I should be able to share the results soon. One addresses over plucked eyebrows and the other cellulite which unfortunately like a lot of women, including Kate Moss, I have. Phew! I said and feel so much better!

I really hope I see some improvement in these two areas for two reasons, I dislike trying stuff that doesn’t work. I don’t mind making myself a guinea pig, but I need to see something happen. Secondly, my poor husband takes all my pictures and he hates having to do it. So at least if he’s going to do the photos, let it be worth it.

Also I’ve been to quite a few fun events lately, met lots of lovely bloggers and people in the beauty industry which I love so much – and to document them all, there’s going to be a biiiiiig picture post coming soon. Did you hear me, I said BIG!

Its time I did something about my hair too! Working with my newly rediscovered curly hair, I’ve ben going through products like crazy. Testing different things to see which enhances curls, banishes frizz, gives lustre etc. My check list deserves diva status in its own right. I’ve got a few star products and a few meh products, so I thought I’d do a video. I’ve never done one before so I think it will be fun and interesting. So yeah, a video done my moi – the least technical person I know. This is definitely going to be interesting.

Also keep your skin care and beauty questions coming in for ‘Ask Dija’. I’ve had so many already and thank you, but I want more!


Product Review: Keromask London – Camouflage Cream & Finishing Powder

Essentially in the concealer family of make up products. But this is so much more and the clue is in the name. The key word here is camouflage. This cream is high-powered and designed to cover a multitude of skin problems, not just your odd red spot. It actually comes recommended by the British Association for Skin Camouflage and British Red Cross Skin Camouflage Clinics. These are commendations that mean this is a trusted and regarded product. It’s even on the NHS list as a brand that caters for people with skin conditions.

Designed by Eryca Freemantle, make up artist the main function of this cream to disguise skin imperfections ranging from acne, tattoos, birth marks, prominent veins, vitiligo and rosacea. These are skin issues that can seriously affect ones confidence and the way they live their life. The reason I found out about this is that I have quite a dark patch on my chin which bothers me and it’s not always I can find a concealer that works well and stays put all day. Most regular concealers are fine, this one is just a bit more.

I’m a big fab on trialling products. In these times of austerity its makes perfect sense to me to test something first before investing big bucks and making a committment to it. So whenever, you’re at a counter, ask for a tester to try at home. Any good company will have testers and be more than happy to give you a few in the hope of securing your custom.

Keromask sells only online and I wasn’t sure what shade I’ll need to I opted to purchase a sample kit in dark for £4.99. It arrived very quickly and there’s quite a lot in the kit, which arrives in a blister pack. It contains both the camouflage cream and finishing powders to match, plus mixer powders should you need them to custom blend a shade. You can tell it was developed my a make up artist and I love the fact it provides the mixers as that’s the company accepting that everyone is different with differing requirements. This is a commendable point for me as in reality not one size fits all.

The cream itself is looks like a whipped and the colour permeates throughout. The consistency of double cream. I use my MAC 194 brush to stipple it on, then use the brush to softly blend it in. It dries quite quickly to what looks like almost a powder finish. I find it doesn’t budge or smudge during the day and stays put without the need for reapplying. This is very important when you’re trying to mask imperfections as the last thing you want is to be sat in a meeting wondering whether your make up is still in place.

For its consistency the coverage is excellent and truly covers what you don’t want to be seen. The company says its cover with confidence and I am confident that this product does its job. I’ve not used the powders provided as I am happy to use my normal finishing powder (MAC mineralised) over the top. The powders contain parabens, but as its use would be limited to such small amounts, that is not something that would bother me.

My final conclusion on Keromask is that it’s an excellent product and is up there amongst the best concealers I’ve used. I think it would really make a difference to people who suffer from major imperfections like vitiligo or perma dark circles. With 24 shades and the ability to mix them all, I’m confident that everyone will be able to use this range. I used it for almost superficial cosmetic reasons, but if you have major skin problems, this product will mean even more so to you than me.

You can watch the video below to get more background behind the product. Ignore the bit about the end about cleaning your make up off with their wipes. NO-ONE should be using wipes to clean their face. Its just filthy. Wash your face with water and a suitable cleanser. 

The ULTIMATE skincare wishlist: Toners

Toning is a really important part of any beauty regime. I find that it closes my pores and refreshes my skin, whilst providing some balance to my sometimes oily, sometimes combination skin. A common misconception is that toning is to remove the last traces of make up. Lie! If you wipe your face with a toner and you still see make up – wash your face again! It means your skin is still dirty.

With that in mind and my quest to up my regime, I’ve been doing some research on what I have in the bathroom cabinet and what I’d like to add in.

Ole Henriksen – Grease Relief Tonic

This is my current toner and it works really well for me.  It’s for oily or blemish prone skin, which is describes my skin well. I find it doesn’t dry my skin out unnecessarily and works well to balance the oil and moisture content in my skin. The main ingredients are lactic acid which works as a gentle exfoliant and encourages cell renewal and golden seal which balances and helps the skin’s renewal process. Oily skin can tend to get clogged and this helps to strip back over zealous cells and bacteria on the surface of the skin which are the cornerstone of spots.

Verdict – this is a keeper. I’ve gone through a few bottles and the sight of the green bottle on my shelf , always brings me innate comfort.

However, I want to add…..

Biologique Recherche Balancing Exfoliator P50

People who use this product rave about it and I’ve been told that it would work excellently for me. I’ve had my eye on it for a long time. According to their website, it is their most famous and coveted product. I was sold on it before, but this just makes me want it baaaad! It’s a balancing exfoliant which regulates excessive sebum (me), moisturises and regulates the pH balance of the skin (what I want)

Yes, Ole does the same, but I think this will pack a bigger punch. Part of the reason I’ve not bought this before is because it wasn’t easy to get in the UK as it’s from across the channel, but EF Medispa in London now stock it, so I’ll be hot footing it down there to get ‘my precious.’

Until I obtain, use and review – read this review and I know you’ll want it too.

So there we have it, the next steps in my quest for healthy skin!

Brides – this one’s for you!

When I was getting married, I didn’t so much as want to be a blushing bride, I wanted to be a glowing bride. One of the things I knew would help, was having good clear skin that I wouldn’t have to worry about. Lord knows, there are a million other things to be worried about!

It’s key to follow a good beauty regime as the day approach as stress and worry can take its toll on the skin. So if you’re getting married this summer, this little nugget will be right up your street.

Dermalogica are holding a Big Day Masterclass at Liberty’s in central London. Both the brand and the store have dear places in my heart, so I’m hoping this will be an excellent event for anyone wanting to know how to take care of their skin better as ‘the day’ approaches.

It’s a 45 minute interactive workshop, led by an expert Dermalogica educator that should leave you armed with the knowledge and tools you need to achieve a glow on your special day and I hope for many days and months after. There’s a chance to get Face Mapping done, which breaks up your skin into zones and analyses each one to tell you about the condition and how you can look after it better. And of course, you get to play and experiment with Dermalogica products.

When: 6pm – Wednesday 30th May 2012

Where: Heritage Suite – Liberty London

Cost: £30, which as they do nowadays is redeemable against any purchases you make on the day.

Extras: Yes! A VIP goody bag 🙂

Booking is required – 0207 734 1234 EXT 2125

The ULTIMATE skincare wishlist: Cleansers

Two days sun, two days rain, one day sun and its only Wednesday. Would it be premature of me to think summer’s here? With the advent of a long-awaited summer I’m thinking its time to change my skin care routine. Like fashion, each product has a season and its time for me to cast off last year’s dredges and start afresh, well somewhat afresh. There are some products I’m not quite ready to archive yet. I’ve wanted to change my skin care products for the past year as I feel my current products are under performing

So in order of the old adage – Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise here goes my ultimate wish list. At this point I should say I have oily skin, with sometimes enlarged pores somewhere in the late 20’s box. On some days, especially if I’m at work, I feel I ooze sebum.

This will be a 3 part post, kicking off with….


Ever since beauty school, I have doubled cleansed. Especially at night. After a full face of make up all day, going on the underground, air conditioning at work and soaking up general atmospheric pollution, there is no way my skin feels clean after one wash. So if you’re not double cleansing, I suggest you follow my lead.

Step One

L’Oreal De-Maq Expert Elixir Concentrate Ultra Make Up Remover

This is a product I currently use and I’m on my second tube. I love this stuff. The thick gel dissolves make up effortlessly. Including lipstick and the copious amount of black eyeliner I wear.  Its pretty simply to use – squeeze onto palm, massage into face, add water to turn into emulsion, rinse. This is what the professionals use and is a keeper.

Step Two

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift & Scuplt Moringa Cleansing Balm – £34

Never used this before, but its been within my sights for an age. One of my fave beauty bloggers guru- BeautyMouth – can’t/won’t stop raving about it. She is someone I totally trust with skin care and if she says its good, then its good. Period.  Another reason I want to try this cleanser is because of its action on skin and pores. According to the EH website, amongst a barrage of other good things, it purifies and helps to minimise the appearance of open pores. I’ll have some of that, thank you very much! Once I’ve tried it, I’ll do a full review then.

Step Three

Perricone MD Citrus Facial Wash – £35

I like the idea of using a wash at the end of all this cleansing. Wash away the day, I say. Again, I’ve never used this product before, but after research I feel it would be a good addition to my stash.  Its paraben free, so brownie points already. It also has patented Vitamin C Ester which according to the website will help with elasticity, texture, radiance, firmness and discolouration. It’s a lot for one product, so I’ll let you know what I think soon enough. Its sounds like a product I’ll use morning and night.

So there we have it, the first steps into revamping my skincare routine and weaning me off the Dermalogica rot I’ve been too scared or lazy to leave behind for the past year.

ps – I still have a lot of love for Dermalogica. I just feel after three years, I need to explore a bit more.

Dark & Lovely Deep Repair Cocoa Butter Lotion

I’m totally in love with a new discovery I picked up in Tesco over the weekend. It seems like I’m the last person on earth to know that Dark & Lovely now do body lotions? Seems like it and I so pleased to have discovered the range..

I’ve got the Deep Repair Cocoa Butter Lotion which I find really moisturising for my dry skin. Especially on knees and elbows. The formula is more milk that cream, so its a little runny in consistency. It absorbs almost instantly and is not greasy at all. It also leaves a slight shine on the skin. The smell is a little overpowering, but it soon dissipates leaving a light sweet fragrance.

With Vitamin E and gylcyerin it claims to hydrate for 24 hours and although I can’t vouch for a full 24 hours I’d definitely say my skin feels soft and smooth, with no ashy looking bits.

Theres two other versions as well. Even Radiance which has Lemon and Moisture Plus with Coconut Butter. I shall be giving them a go, before I settle on a favourite.

So there, for just over £3 it really packs a punch!

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