Lip Balm Reviews

Being freezing cold all the time and living in a body which is depleted of nutrients, dehydrated and generally is struggling to survive, usually things we often take for granted such as moist mouth and lips completely disappear. Even if you’re well on your way to recovery your body is still getting back on its feet, and I found that my lips were very easily dry and chapped even a couple of years after my eating disorder. My circulation even now is ruined and I struggle in cold weather so a good quality lip balm is still a must in my beauty arson! It’s so difficult with so many products on the market to decide which ones are best. I’ve bought so many lip balms in the past and they’ve ended up sitting in my drawer unused because they are hard, too slippery or too greasy (I HATE Vaseline, eugh). Here’s my run down of the 5 best I found – to save you throwing your money away and heal those chapped lips fast!

  1. Palmers Cocoa Butter – Original Solid Formula

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Yep, it’s not exactly portable, and I apologise for this in advance! However it’s got to be one of the most hydrating, silky lip balms I have found and not only is it 100% natural it also smells/tastes AMAZING. Palmer’s do have a stick-balm range, but I’ve always preferred this and when I was a make-up artist I always had a tub of this in my kit, as for hygiene reasons it made it easier to scoop a little out with a metal spatula and apply it with my fingers than using a traditional stick balm. It’s moisturising without leaving a horrible greasy film on your lips and because it’s all natural you don’t have to worry about ingesting anything untoward if you’re applying it frequently.

  1. Aldi Lacura Lip Balms

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I know people are often dubious about buying cheap supermarket cosmetics (that’s because I’ve always been one of them!), but not only are these such a good buy at 99p for three, they are fantastic quality and so moisturising. I bought them on a whim one day whilst I was doing my food shop and I’ve been so pleased with them. Just one lasts forever so you can imagine a pack of three lasts a fairly long time! The only thing with Aldi is that lines tend to come and go, or come once and then go forever – luckily this appears to be an almost constant line (probably owing to its popularity), but the flavours differ; the one I have is Mandarin but they do a natural one and also did a cranberry one for Christmas. They’re free from mineral oils and contain exactly the same ingredients as much more expensive brands – so they’re a super savvy buy!

  1. Bodyshop Almond Lip Butter

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These handy little pots are great for putting in your handbag and they have a lovely buttery consistency. Of course as with all Bodyshop products they’re natural and made with Fairtrade ingredients. I love anything almond, anything marzipan, so this for me tastes like absolute heaven. Not a fan? Not to worry! Bodyshop do a huge range of lip balms so you’re sure to find one to your taste – from fruity flavours like strawberry and mandarin to sweet flavours like chocolate, Shea butter and vanilla.

Any of your own to add? Please comment below!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Moisturiser Reviews for recovering skin  

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Just like lips, (You can read my lip balm review here), your skin suffers massively when you’ve had an eating disorder. It’s dry, sore, flaking, tight; symptoms which are exacerbated by time spent glued to the radiator through the cold or in hospital. My skin was dry and cracked in places and I had horrendous chilblains on my toes (I still get those now!) and I really struggled to find anything which kept my skin hydrated for longer than half an hour. Here’s my top five body moisturisers – you’ll notice a few of them are butters and oils and most are natural, as I always think natural is best for your skin and overall health. Let me know if you’ve tried any and agree (or disagree!)

  1. Body Shop Body Butters

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I already raved about Body Shop Lip Butters in my Lip Balm Review, but I couldn’t help but include their body butters too in this post. So luxurious and thick, but easy to rub in and quick to absorb, these body butters also smell AMAZING. As always, you can expect an all-natural product from Body Shop which includes fair trade ingredients. There are so many to choose from, but if you’re into warm scents like me, Vanilla, Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Almond, Cocoa Butter and Chocolate (to name but a few!) will probably take your fancy. Body Shop also offer these in lotion form so if you’re looking for something more portable, they’ve got it covered. The butters are very reasonably priced and tend to last a little while so they are great value for money and certainly a good investment for parched skin.

 

  1. Kiehl’s Crème de Corps

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Kiehl’s was a brand I’d never heard of until I started working in luxury beauty 7 years ago; and as soon as I tried this moisturiser I fell in love. It’s pricey, but a little goes a very long way. I think the warm, buttery smell is heavenly but I can imagine it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – they do in fact offer a fragrance-free version now for those who don’t find it as tempting as I do!

My favourite form of this product is the whipped body butter. It is so light and fluffy, almost like buttercream, and sinks into the skin beautifully. The lotion form is thick but spreads lightly and as with its creamy counterpart, it absorbs quickly so no waiting around in the cold bathroom wafting your limbs around waiting for it to dry!

 

  1. Original Source In-Shower moisturiser

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It may not be enough on its own, but I decided to include this anyway because for anyone wishing (as I do!) to limit their time out in the cold wilderness between the shower and their pyjamas, body lotions and creams aren’t always practical. Plus they can be sticky and greasy even if they absorb well – not everyone’s cup of tea.

These nifty products have been emerging over the past year following the introduction of Nivea’s In-Shower Moisturiser; I like this one because it has a really natural, fresh scent.

 

  1. Argan Liquid Gold Pure Argan Oil

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I first met May, founder of Argan Liquid Gold, when I worked for a magazine a couple of years ago. With so many Argan products on the market (many of which tend to just contain a small percentage of Argan as an ingredient), her passion to introduce something which is pure and natural and 100% authentic, as well as Organic and Fairtrade, was so inspiring for me. Argan Oil hails from Morocco, and May is Moroccan herself, so what better authority on Argan Oil can there be??

Lots of people are more than dubious about using oils on their skin; but for parched skin oil can be one of the only emollients which effectively penetrates the layers of the skin and nourishes it more deeply. Liquid Gold Argan Oil sinks in very quickly, so it’s not greasy or sticky on your skin. May advised me to use it on damp skin as this enables it to be absorbed more efficiently – but doing this also means that you spend less time out in the cold bathroom slathering oil on yourself. Because it’s completely pure and natural, you can rest assured there’s no chemical nasties in there either.

This product is going to sound expensive (£60   a bottle, stay with me), but I use such a minimal amount that my current bottle has lasted since I first met May! Not only can this be used on your skin, it’s also an amazing facial moisturiser too so you are effectively getting two products in one.

 

  1. Laura Mercier Body Souffle

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I know I feature a fair amount of these products on the blog but honestly, I love them so much and they really are amazing. The only catch is they are pretty expensive – and I can’t make an argument here for that extra expense other than the fact that I am IN LOVE with the smell of them which lingers for hours, and the moisturising qualities, which stick around for a few hours too! The lotions (in a tube) are a little cheaper and just as thick and creamy, with the same scent, so I think if you’re on a budget, there’s a lot to be said for purchasing one of these rather than one of the most expensive pots.

 

Let me know how you get on with these – I love to hear your thoughts as always!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Before going ‘no-poo’ after an eating disorder – what you should know

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I do a lot of posts on the blog about hair loss, because it’s something I get asked about a lot, as many people suffer from some sort of hair loss during or after an eating disorder. Understandably – it’s devastating losing your hair and when it happens you feel like you’ll do anything to ‘fix’ it.

Having recently regrown my hair from a fairly bad bout of hair loss last Summer, (not fully regrown, just a thick 3 inch fringe of baby hairs!) and finding recently my body is struggling with the combined effects of winter and my anxiety, I have been back reading up on the negative effects of using chemicals artificial entities such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Silicones which are widely present in commercial shampoos and are less than good for scalp health.

I knew this before, of course – I even bought a Morocco Method shampoo which was lovely but just didn’t have the familiar old gloopy consistency I knew and loved from a shampoo. I’m not very patient and have a very short attention span, so in all honesty I gave it a couple of washes and gave up, without giving it the time I’ve heard is needed to really go for ‘no-poo’. After I gave up I completely forgot about it and went back to using expensive chemical products!

I went on holiday with my beautiful friend Faye in October. We have very similar hair types – sleek, brown, difficult to get body into (she likes it that way, I don’t!) She lives in Spain, so when she came over I hadn’t seen her for a good few months. And her hair was amazing – so amazing in fact I couldn’t stop looking at it and messing with it and asking her how she’d managed to get hair like that. This was a role reversal for us because when we met years ago at college, she always used to ask me about my hair, which at the time was so thick and long (that’s how I know it’s not how it should be now!).

She told me that because of the hot weather and not having to see anybody in Spain, she was only washing her hair once a week. For the rest of the time, it was up in a bun. She hardly ever used conditioner and attributed the massive growth, beautiful condition and thickness down to a combination of the sun and no-washing. Now I can’t magic the sun to the UK (I can’t tell you how much I wish I could!) but I did immediately cut my washing down from every other day (3-4 times a week) to just once a week. Yep it hasn’t always been pretty but my hair is getting used to it now – and dry shampoo is my saviour on any particularly dodgy in-between days!

Coupled with this revelation, my recent research had frightened me again into thinking that maybe   using chemicals on my hair (and everywhere, really) might be harming my body in more ways than I realised, and I wanted to go further to getting back my beautiful college hair.

Google ‘natural shampoo’ and you’ll find all sorts. Google ‘no poo’ and you’ll also find all sorts – but mostly you’ll find a lot of people talking about Baking Powder (or Baking Soda) and Apple Cider Vinegar. Neither of which I really fancied putting on my hair! Baking powder just sounded like it would be too harsh, and the vinegar element had me worrying I’d be walking around smelling like a bag of salt and vinegar crisps.

I did a little more research and came across this excellent post by Kanelstrand. Basically, she found that actually, this method is not so good at all because baking powder is very acidic, even when dissolved with plenty of water. It’s especially one to avoid if you are suffering acute hair loss.

So what to do now? Well I googled natural shampoo (again) and found lots that weren’t natural and a few that were. Some of these were bars, like bars of soap – something I hadn’t thought of using since I was very much younger and had one from Lush and one from the Body Shop. These bars are 100% natural, so they shouldn’t damage your hair or scalp and also contain ingredients which should aid in combatting hair loss.

I’ve come to the conclusion personally that if you are only washing your hair once a week as I do, you’re virtually ‘no-poo’ anyway. If you can choose a shampoo which is as saintly as it possibly can be, but that you enjoy using, then at least that is better than washing your hair every day or every other day and stripping it with chemicals regularly. Korres, The Body Shop and Organix have natural, silicone and sulfate-free ranges so browse the internet and try a few to see which one is your favourite. You might already be using one! In between washes I also use Klorane sensitive natural dry shampoo – it adds loads of body, keeps hair soft and clean and is easy on the scalp and hair.

In my last post about what to do when you’re losing your hair, I talk about the best standard shampoo ranges on offer (which all contain chemicals – however some are highly effective). But if you do want to go down the all-natural route, you can read my updated ‘What to do’ post here. Let me know how you get on!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Uplifting scents – tried and tested

It’s no secret that aromatherapy, whilst not necessarily being a ‘cure’ for low mood or mental health issues, can really help to boost mood and trigger ‘happy hormones’ in our bodies. I absolutely LOVE perfume, something I think I inherited from my Mum who is a perfume fiend. I’m very particular about how things smell and I have a fair amount of scented candles and room sprays in my arson for when I need a little lift. Here’s my pick of favourite uplifting scents for body, pillow and home for when you need a boost!

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Body Shop Vanilla Body Spray – £7.00, The Body Shop

Not everyone is into vanilla scents, but this spray is so sweet and warming it’s difficult not to fall in love with its heady scent. I like to spritz this over my bedlinen and on my clothes for a little comforting boost. It’s so reasonably priced you really can go wild with it and just buy another when it runs out, plus it does have decent staying power especially in hair and on clothes.

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Laura Mercier Eau Gourmande – from £32, John Lewis, Harvey Nichols

These perfumes are good enough to EAT! Very much like The Body Shop spray, these are very earthy, sweet patisserie scents.

I used to love Pistachio but now my favourite is Almond Coconut, although it took my ages to decide between this and Ambre Vanille.

They’re a little pricey at around £32 for 50ml, however they are really very strong and a little goes a long way.

Like my next choice Rituals, a full range of products is available for each scent, and if you use the shower gel, whipped body butter and perfume together you really are cocooned in the most amazing cloud of fragrance!

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Rituals, from around £20, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, House of Fraser

I don’t think there’s a single one of these scents I dislike. The Rituals ethos is all about calming, zen spa scents which are deliciously uplifting, fresh and sumptuous. Can’t argue with that!

If I absolutely had to choose one (or let’s say two!) I love Happy Mist and Chakra Water. And Hammam Secret. Okay I love all of them!

What’s nice about this range is that it is extended to body products too. Energy Bubbles are fantastic for a long, hot calming bath and is complimented perfectly by Yogi Flow shower foam. The body butters are gorgeous too.

All in all you can use this spray to give you a wonderful little life throughout the day, then go home and indulge yourself in the most luxurious shower or bath experience ever! They even do candles and reed diffusers, if you fancy going all out.

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Espa – from £28, www.espaskincare.com

Famed spa brand Espa have always been a favourite of mine. Although they don’t yet do fragrance of any kind (sadface), they do the most sumptuous oils each with a different aim suited to certain ailments of the body and mind. The restorative bath oil and soothing bath oil are really good for relaxing and lifting your mood; I would recommend smothering it all over your body and hair then having a good soak in the bath – the scent will stay with you and the oils are nourishing for your skin and hair.

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Diptique Solid Perfume – £28, John Lewis

Famed for their candles, Diptyque also do solid perfumes which are handy for popping in your bag and using as and when needed. Because it’s solid perfume, it lasts that bit longer than a spray which you can always be a bit trigger happy with. Diptyque fragrances have a musky decadence so they’re not as light and floral-y as say the Rituals scents, and they’re certainly not sickly sweet like Eau Gourmande.

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Voluspa – from £30, Anthropologie or www.voluspa.com

Voluspa don’t do body products, but their sprays, candles and reed diffusers really are heavenly. The luxurious scents and packaging really do make you feel special and the sprays linger in the air and on fabrics for a long while.

There are so many scents to choose from here but that’s good – it all depends on your preference. Each one really is headily strong and uplifting and although they’re a little pricey they do last forever, especially the room sprays.

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Tisserand Roll-On Survival Scents – £5.49, Holland and Barrett

Whilst the above are perfumes, these are very much a return to traditional aromatherapy and are made from pure essential oils, really giving that ‘spa’ calm on inhaling the scent. Available in Energise, Head-Clear, Inner Peace and De-Stress to name a few, each product is tailored using aromatherapy principles to different needs. Like the solid perfume, these handy little rollerball decanters are easy to use and pop in your hand bag for emergencies. They last for ages and are really so reasonably priced at just over a fiver a piece. Why not get several for different occasions!?

Tisserand also do some beautiful non-targeted scents in the rollerball format which look and smell amazing! The image above is from this range; which features floral scents such as Garden Rose and Lavender.

Do you have any of your own to add? Share them below!

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