Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to beautybible.com
Q My sister is recovering from treatment for breast cancer and I would like to give her some lovely skincare; as natural as possible would be good.
A We’re sending our very best wishes to your sister and to you too – we know how worrying it is when someone you love is ill. Many people recovering from cancer treatment do instinctively feel they would prefer truly natural products and one of the most impressive ranges we know is Inlight beauty (inlightbeauty.co.uk). In fact, we have just sent some products to a friend who is going through another round of treatment for breast cancer.
This small 100 per cent organic range is formulated by Dr Mariano Spiezia, an Italian-born doctor and homeopath who settled in Cornwall some time ago with his wife Loredana, the Managing Director of Inlight. The products are hand-crafted in Inlight’s own workshop, lovingly watched over by Dr Mariano. We are consistently amazed at the healing and uplifting qualities of these beautiful products on mind as well as body.
If you feel like splashing out, you might consider the Detox & Revive Programme, £140. All the six products in the box work to cleanse, detox and nourish the skin, which is just what it needs after a challenging time. The box contains a Face Cleanser, 45ml, Floral Tonic, 200ml, Flower Feast facial steam, 30g, Super-Food Mask, 25ml, and travel size Foot Balm plus Detox & Revive Herbal Tea Fusion, with lemon verbena, burdock and nettle. (The products are all fine for people going through chemo, by the way, but just don’t drink the tea until afterwards.)
There are also lovely single products that are real treats for parched post-chemo skin. For face, try the Line Softener Intensive, which contains spirulina extract, barley grass and argan oil. It’s a hefty £78 for 28ml, but you can try a sample via the Inlight website.
Homeopath Adrianna Holman recommends the Line Softener to her cancer patients and wrote about it in her book ‘Love Your Scar’. ‘This balm soothes and nourishes delicate and fragile scar tissue. One patient had a terrible reaction to a popular scar oil and it was the Inlight Line Softener that calmed her skin quickly while also improving the texture and suppleness of her scar.’
Of course there are other good ranges, including the Swiss brand Dr.Hauschka. We think the rich soothing Rose Day Cream, £30.50 for 30ml, would be a good gift. In the less expensive category, we suggest you look at Weleda; for instance the classic Skin Food for Dry and Rough Skin, currently £8.26 for 30ml at Amazon, which is on our own shelves.
Finally, two websites that we visit at times like this: Jennifer Young Beauty Despite Cancer (beautydespitecancer.co.uk) and Not Another Bunch of Flowers (notanotherbunchofflowers.com). A good general rule is to choose skincare products with a short list of ingredients to lessen the risk of a sensitivity reaction, says skincare expert Dr Rabia Malik.
Beauty Bible loves… Aromatherapy Associates Hydrosol Sheet Mask Set, £52 for 4 masks. It’s taken Aromatherapy Associates a wee while to come to the sheet mask party – but it was worth the wait.
First off, we have to counsel: this mask set isn’t your 99p, high street bargain sheet mask. At £52, the kit contains four masks. But still, way cheaper than a facial – and you can do this without leaving the house. (In fact, we’d definitely recommend doing this without leaving the house!)
The masks – which contain frankincense both for its aroma, and its amazing skin rejuvenating powers – are also powered by skin-plumping hyaluronic acid and turmeric, together with rose, which enhances the aroma. The frankincense is there twice: as an essential oil, and a frankincense hydrosol (frankincense-infused water). Now, this is one of the most ‘grounding’ essential oils we know – so the whole experience is wonderful after a frazzled day.
It doesn’t drip down your chin, like some – and in just 10 minutes skin looks seriously nourished and dewy. (To turbo-charge the results, you can massage with the fingertips over the mask, to ‘push’ the moisture into skin and also – if you use pressure points on the jaw, the cheekbones and anove brow – to de-puff.
And holy sheet, we’re enjoying it.