Monday, for most, is the worst day of the week, right? First
day back at work, ruins a Sunday night with *the dread* and you have a whole 5
days until the weekend. Well Blue Monday is even worse and it’s upon us! Blue
Monday is considered the most depressing day of the year, party season is over,
new year’s resolutions are taking their toll, our bank balance is dwindling and
it’s pretty cold and miserable… sounds great!
The good news? We have some amazing tips to help boost your
mood and get you ready for the week ahead! After all, starting a week with a
positive attitude will have you bouncing through the week! Say goodbye to Blue
Sleep is essential for your mood and the
amount of quality sleep you get on a Sunday night can make a huge difference to
your week. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can wake up feeling grumpy and
irritable which is not a good start for the week ahead. Remove any distractions
from your bedroom and get an early night and you’ll have a much better chance
of waking up in a positive mood and feeling refreshed!
What you put into your body makes a massive
difference to your mood and how productive you are. Eating lots of fresh fruit
and vegetables works wonders for your brain as well as your health. Looking
after yourself gives your brain lots of positive endorphins which leave you
feeling happy and fulfilled, a perfect start to the week!
Compliment those around you
Compliment the people around you. Spreading
positivity not only makes other people feel great but it’s the best way to warm
your own heart too! On Blue Monday, make it your mission to compliment a hand
full of people before lunch time, you never know you might make their day!
Do something that makes you smile
The most depressing day of the year is the
perfect opportunity to focus on yourself and do something that makes you happy.
Whether that’s taking 5 minutes to yourself to meditate you going for a facial,
using the time will only benefit you mentally and help give you a boost for the
Stress has a negative effect on so many
different parts of the body and mind. It can accelerate ageing, mess up your
hormones and generally affect your mood in a negative way. Try to take as much
stress out of the beginning of the week as you can, meal prep, set out an
exercise plan for the week, schedule in some chill time. By doing as much
preparation as you can, it makes it much easier to stick to and takes the
stress out of the week.
Even if you pick just one of this tips to implement for Blue
Monday, you’re guaranteed to improve your mood and make the week that bit more
Veganism has grown in popularity over the past few years and
January is the perfect time to kick start a new regime. Veganuary is where
people attempt to eat completely Vegan for a month, reducing their meat
consumption and helping towards environmental issues. When you talk about
veganism, most people assume you mean your diet. But what about other aspects
of your life, like clothing and beauty products?
Pinterest recently reported that the searches for Vegan
beauty have increased by 281% since 2017, with more and more people interested
in products that are vegan.
Whether it’s for health or happiness, we think giving
Veganuary a go is a great idea. Making sustainable choices in your lifestyle
can only benefit your health, wellbeing and the environment. If you’ve decided
to give it a go, it can be quite daunting trying to work out what beauty
products you can and can’t use. To make things a little easier, on our website
we have an entire Vegan section. Keep reading to find out what our favourites are!
If you’re looking for a brightening serum that is high
performance, then the Dermalogica Biolumin C is perfect. Not only is it
completely vegan, but it contains ultra-stable Vitamin C and Palmitoyl
Tripeptide-5 that dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and
Get beautifully clean, dewy skin in an instant with this
mask full of mineral-rich Dead Sea mud. The rich formula gently extracts
impurities from the skin and deeply moisturises for visibly clearer skin. All
the AHAVA products are Vegan so you can stock up on a full skincare collection
If you have coloured blonde or platinum hair you can still
use toning shampoos that are vegan! The Fudge Clean Blonde shampoo helps combat
unwanted brassy and yellow tones in your colour-treated hair. The deeply cleansing
shampoo effectively lifts away dirt and impurities while reviving the radiance
of your blonde hair.
This balm is a multipurpose product that can instantly
brighten your complexion with a shade that is guaranteed to suit all skin
tones. The nourishing formula is enriched with an award-winning blend of Pawpaw
(Papaya fruit), Aloe Vera and Olive Oil.
This is a luxurious milk cleanser that is rich in Omega 3, 6
and 9 and skin brightening botanicals which help to gently purify the skin and
stimulate cell turnover. All the Elemental Herbology products are vegan and
they have a beautiful collection of skincare products that are performance
driven to give you the best results.
That’s right, not all makeup tools are vegan! These FD
Beauty sponges are great for getting in all the hard to reach areas. They’re
perfect for applying product to the skin with a smooth and natural finish. Top
tip: dampen your sponge slightly before application to stop it soaking up all
Many of the Elemis skincare products are vegan and
hallelujah because they are incredible! This is a daily moisturiser with SPF 30
that protects your skin throughout the day while also gently resurfacing the
skin by stimulating the natural cell renewal cycle. This helps reduce the
appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but also keeps you super hydrated
throughout the day!
New year, new you? If like us you’ve overdone
it a little this Christmas, you might be jumping firmly onto the Dry January
wagon. Dry Jan is the UK’s monthlong no-alcohol challenge, which helps millions
of people get back in control of their health after the heavy festive period.
Taking a break from alcohol, partying, and
unhealthy eating is a great way to get your physical and mental health back to
its best for the new year ahead. If you’re joining in with Dry Jan this month,
good for you!
What does Dry January involve?
For most people, Dry January means giving up
alcohol for 31 days, from New Years Day until the end of the month. However,
there aren’t any strict rules when it comes to taking on the challenge.
You might choose to quit alcohol, smoking,
unhealthy eating or other bad habits to kick start the year. Anything is better
than nothing, and whether you’ll be saying no to a drink or skipping parties altogether,
Dry January can be a great way to get in control of your habits for the new
How can Dry January help?
The results can vary from person to person,
depending on how much alcohol you usually consume and how healthy you are. Many
people enjoy benefits like better sleep quality, weight loss, and even better
skin when they cut out the alcohol and focus on healthy habits.
Improved health overall
Excessive or binge drinking can cause serious
health problems like high blood pressure and cholesterol. When you cut out
alcohol, you do plenty of good for your body, including improving your overall
health and reducing the likelihood of complications in the future.
Improved sleep quality
Though alcohol can make falling asleep easier,
having a drink can harm the quality of your sleep. Whether you’ve had a little
or a lot, alcohol can interfere with your sleep regulation and reduce the
amount of REM sleep you get. This means you’re more likely to wake up feeling
groggy and unrested even after a full night’s sleep.
As well as improving the quality of your sleep,
removing alcohol from your routine can mean more cosy nights relaxing on the
sofa. When you skip the nights out and go to bed on time, you’re more likely to
get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling energised in the morning.
Strengthened immune system
Giving up alcohol for January can give your
immune system a much-needed boost, helping you fight off any new year colds
that might be going around.
If you’re in good shape and usually lead a
healthy lifestyle, you shouldn’t expect to lose any more weight throughout your
Dry Jan, though you’ll be healthier inside.
However, if you’ve been drinking excessively for
some time and you have a little weight to lose, cutting out alcohol for a month
can be a great way to shake off a few pounds.
While spirits are mostly low in calories, sugary
mixers, wine, and beer are packed with them. If these are your drinks of
choice, cutting them out will also mean cutting down calories. Alcohol can
cause bloating, too, which means you might find yourself feeling a little
slimmer after just a couple of weeks sober.
Of course, if you’re looking to lose serious
weight, you’ll need to ensure you’re eating a good diet as well as cutting out
Easy! Whether you’re staying home or opting for
soft drinks, Dry January is a great way to save a little money in the new year.
Non-alcoholic options are always cheaper than their boozy counterparts, while
drinks like lime or blackcurrant and soda are sometimes free.
Save the money you’d usually spend in bars or on
supermarket booze or find somewhere more productive to spend it. Why not count
the amount you’re saving? Putting aside just £50 each weekend throughout Dry
January means you’ll have £200 saved by the end of the month. That’s enough to
cover a gym membership with plenty to spare.
More radiant skin
This is the benefit that’s really enticing to
us. Anything for more radiant skin, right? Cutting out alcohol can help improve
your skin’s hydration, tone, and elasticity.
What does alcohol do to the skin?
When you drink alcohol of any kind, the drug
metabolises into a compound which makes blood vessels relax. This is what
causes that tell-tale red flush and puffiness that often comes along after a
few drinks – no thank you.
As well as affecting your skin’s tone, alcohol
is super-dehydrating. When you drink, you’ll find yourself visiting the toilet
more often than usual, which means losing water quickly. When you’re dehydrated
your skin suffers, with fine lines and wrinkles appearing more visible too.
Need more? Alcohol also reduces your vitamin A
levels. Less of the collagen-producing antioxidant can be a nightmare when it
comes to your skin’s appearance. Collagen is one of our skin’s most important
proteins, and when it lacks, skin can appear weak and dull.
Finally, sugar. If your drinks of choice include
fruity cocktails and sweet white wine, you’re sure to be consuming an excess of
sugar every time you indulge. It’s no secret that sugar is bad for our health,
but did you know that the sweet stuff can also lead to breakouts?
Can Dry January make a difference to the skin?
Yes! Your skin takes around 28 days to renew
itself. That’s just less than the 31 days of Dry January, which means taking
the pledge will give your skin enough time to reap the benefits.
Taking a month off from alcohol allows you to
experience your skin at its best, which might encourage you to say no to a
drink a little more often in the future. After a month alcohol-free, your skin
should feel more hydrated, plumper, and more even in tone.
How to have fun in Dry January
Saying no to the alcohol doesn’t mean saying no
to the fun. Many people even find that their mood is improved after a break
from the booze. Whether you’re regularly stressing about money or you suffer
from the dreaded hangover anxiety, there are plenty of ways Dry January can
help improve your mood.
Save the money you might have spent on drinks
and plan a day out with some friends or family. You can still join in on
dinners and drinking events throughout your Dry Jan, just opt for a freshly
squeezed lime and soda or lemon water to replace your G&T perfectly.
Enhancing your skincare routine
If you’re diving into Dry Jan and expecting to
see results on your skin, why not give yourself a boost by switching up your
Introducing a new moisturiser or night
cream into your daily rotation can perk up your skin after the heavy
Christmas period. Combined with a Dry January, adding a new product to your
skincare routine is a great way to see results.
Choosing the best skincare
products can be tough. With so many tried-and-tested options
available and brilliant brands emerging year after year, knowing which
ingredients and formulas will work for you can be tricky. If you have sensitive
skin or an allergy, the problem becomes even more difficult to avoid.
Well, we’re here for you, no matter what your
skincare needs. In this guide, we’ll run through some of the biggest sensitive
skin and skincare allergy questions, help you search for solutions, and
recommend some of our favourite products to keep allergy-prone skin healthy.
Identifying sensitive or allergy-prone skin
One of the most important elements of skincare
is being able to understand your unique needs. Every face is different, and
whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, you might suffer from
allergies and sensitivities to some ingredients.
If you break out in an itchy or red rash after
using a cosmetic, it’s a clear sign of an allergic reaction or irritation.
Unfortunately, symptoms aren’t always quite so
easy to spot. Some allergies can lead to dryness, flakiness, bumps, and an
uneven skin tone. Reactions like these are often dismissed because, for some
people, they seem like an unavoidable problem. Before you start searching for more products to combat your skin issues, consider allergies. If you’re allergic
to some skincare, the key will be removing or replacing steps from your
The types of skin reaction
There are a few different ways to talk about skin
allergies and reactions. For example, dermatitis is the term used to
describe red, itchy, patchy rashes or skin irritations.
Contact dermatitis is the type of dermatitis caused by something that touches the
skin. If you’re allergic to your haircare, deodorant, skincare, or makeup, you
might break out in contact dermatitis of some kind.
Most cases of contact dermatitis are irritant contact dermatitis, which
means that they’re caused by something you’ve touched but don’t involve the
immune system. These reactions are only present on the skin.
Finally, allergic contact dermatitis is a
true allergy to something. If you have allergic contact dermatitis and your
skin comes into contact with a trigger, your reaction will usually be more
severe and last for up to a couple of days.
What does a skincare allergy look like?
If you’re suffering from contact dermatitis,
your symptoms might include:
None of these symptoms sound like things you
want to deal with on your face, or anywhere else on your body for that matter.
That’s why recognising the signs of a skincare allergy or intolerance can be so
helpful. The sooner you spot the symptoms, the sooner you can get to the bottom
of what’s causing them.
Why am I allergic to skincare and beauty products?
Contact dermatitis is more likely to affect your
face than on another part of your body because the skin there, particularly
around your eyes, is thinner and more sensitive.
If you’re allergic or intolerant to some
skincare, there isn’t a lot you can do. Thankfully, there are plenty more fish in
the sea (in our case, products on the shelves), which means switching up your
routine shouldn’t be too tricky.
Can I become allergic to products I’ve always used?
Yes. Irritant contact dermatitis, the type that
doesn’t affect the immune system, can develop over time. This is because, if
you’re using a skincare or makeup product every day, your skin can become
overexposed to it. Applying a substance to your skin every day can wear down
its ideal state and cause a reaction over time.
That’s why it can be a good idea to change your
skincare and makeup routine occasionally. If you use harsh products on your
face, like a cleanser or exfoliator that leaves your skin feeling clean and
tight, it can be a good idea to switch these products for gentler alternatives
for a while. You can always go back to them, but giving your skin a break might
just help you avoid a reaction.
Which beauty products might I be allergic to?
Everyone’s skin is different, which means it’s
impossible for us to tell you which ingredients and products you’re allergic
to. However, some ingredients are more likely to cause a reaction than others.
A lot of people are allergic to fragrances,
which can be found in skincare and haircare products. There are plenty of
fragrance-free options available to combat this problem, so give them a go if
you think you have an intolerance. Fragrance-free products are usually best for
sensitive skin, whether an allergy is present or not.
Some preservatives can also cause contact
dermatitis, though unfortunately they’re needed in most skincare and beauty
Finally, colourants. People who are allergic to
colourants in food are also likely to be allergic to them in cosmetics.
Can I be allergic to natural beauty products?
Yes. Natural ingredients can cause contact
dermatitis just like artificial ones. Just like we can be allergic to natural
things like pollen, nuts, and fruits, we can be allergic to natural ingredients
in skincare and cosmetics.
Essential oils are frequent offenders, with many
people experiencing skin reactions to products which contain them, especially
in high concentrations.
So, if you’re having a reaction to a cosmetic
product, don’t dismiss your natural or organic products straight away!
Figuring out which products you’re allergic to
This can be tricky. If you’ve noticed an
immediate reaction to a new product, you’ll be able to remove it from your
routine without any difficulty. However, if you’ve started experiencing mild
symptoms and you aren’t using any new products, you’ll need to put in some work
to figure out what’s causing dermatitis.
Try removing products one at a time to see if
symptoms improve. It can take a couple of weeks to see a difference, so you’ll
need to be patient to get to the bottom of it.
If your symptoms are severe or won’t go away, it
can be a good idea to visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist can perform a
patch test to tell you which ingredients you’re allergic to.
Caring for skin after a reaction
If you do have a reaction, you’ll need to care
for your skin properly to help it heal as quickly as possible. Most contact
dermatitis will go away on its own, as long as you stop using the product
that’s caused it, but there are some things you can do to help the process
Treat the affected area gently
Don’t scrub or scratch
No perfumed soaps or lotions
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline
or soothing ointment
With the right treatment and time to recover,
your skin should go back to its normal healthy state in no time.
The best hypoallergenic makeup and skincare
If you’re looking for new products to avoid
contact dermatitis, these gentle and hypoallergenic options are a good place to
Every January marks the occasion of a new year and new
goals. What resolutions have you already set for yourself? No matter how big or
small, progress is progress and if you pair determination with passion you’re
bound to achieve them in no time. So, you’ve had a little think about it but have
you given any attention to the beauty department? Today, we’re pledging (with
you) to stand by the following New Year’s Beauty Resolutions to start the decade
living our best glamourous lives.
I will… learn more about ethical brands
A new year calls for a fresh focus on something new. When it comes to ethics in fashion and beauty, many of sustainable brands are often overlooked because not many people know much about the topic. Which, to be honest, is a little bit scary when you think about all the products you could potentially be using that have been tested on animals or may even contain animal products and you don’t even know it. It’s always a challenge to steer away from some of your favourite beauty products, but 2020 is not only a new year, it marks the start of a new decade. Make a change today!
January’s Brand Of The Month who kick-started 2020 is Love Beauty & Planet who are an incredible sustainability-led hair and skincare brand who create products with amazing cruelty-free and vegan formulas. In addition to this, their products are packaged in 100% recycled plastic bottles and jars, helping you to give a little bit of love back to the planet. They believe in the power of small acts of love to make both you and the planet more beautiful every day with phenomenal,ethically sourced ingredients. You can shop the range here at Fragrance Direct where you’ll also be able to take advantage of unbelievable discounts.
I will… invest in a skincare routine
We’ve all said it before but how many times last year did you get back in from an evening out and “accidentally” sleep in your makeup? If not to that extreme, there have most likely been a few occasions where you’ve gone to apply your mascara in the morning and noticed the brush doesn’t glide through as effortlessly because you’ve still got traces of yesterday’s on. Completely removing all traces of makeup isn’t difficult when you have an array of cleansing and hydrating skincare products to choose from.
I will… regularly clean my makeup brushes
Speaking of wanting to improve and take better care of our skin, the brushes and sponges we use to apply our makeup every day are just as important to look after. This is not only to keep them in good condition for optimal makeup results, it’s to keep them clean. All you need is a brush cleaner and a surface to lightly scrub them against (we’ve got trays too) and you’ll be good to go. A useful tip for whenever you run out or are waiting to stock up on supplies, a pea-sized amount of washing up liquid will do just the trick.
I will… be kinder to myself because I deserve it
Self-care is a topic we, as a society, are becoming more
and more open to talking about especially regarding mental health and its surrounding
topics. Implementing self-care practices is easy enough to do, it’s just about setting
aside some time to relax and take a break. One of the best ways to inject feel-good
vibes into your weekly routine is to indulge in a pamper session. Bath &
Body goodness is just waiting around the corner!
I will… aim to get more sleep each night
Beauty sleep is a thing. It’s actually defined as a night’s sleep filled with extra resting time aka the hours gained by catching z’s before midnight hits. So many of us are guilty of endlessly scrolling through our phones while in bed and it’s not that good for us. Instead, this year, why not light a candle and start that book you’ve been waiting to read or simply keep technology time downstairs before taking yourself up to bed. You should find that it makes a big difference. To take things up a notch, why not try out a sleeping spray too?
Which of these resolutions will you be making for yourself? Be sure to tag us your progress @fragrancedirect on social!