How to lose weight & keep it off

How to lose weight & keep it off

Hands up who’s put on weight during the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home? 👋🏼

Some people lose their appetite through stressful times. Not me. My daily exercise was regular trips to the fridge!

I often found myself standing at the fridge door, looking around blankly, waiting for inspiration and usually settling for more chocolate. Or cheese. Or leftovers. Or whatever was closest to me. I inhaled everything I ate then found myself back at the fridge door just minutes later.


So firstly, if you’ve been beating yourself up about the weight. Give yourself a break. There was a global crisis, our routines were upended, our lives full of fear and uncertainty and food was a brief, welcome, comforting respite.

But enough is enough! Let’s get these stubborn pounds shifted…

I lost over 40lbs around 15 years ago. And I’ve managed to keep it off, with a few little fluctuations here and there.

Naturally slim until my 20s, my weight had been creeping up gradually since my student days. Most people have a preference for sweet or savoury. I like both. In quick rotation. In big quantities.

I tried lots of diets. Slimming World, Atkins, calorie counting, bikini body plans, Blood Type diet, 5:2, 500 calorie days, Low GI, intermittent fasting… You name it, I’ve probably tried it.

And then finally something clicked. Or rather, quite a few things clicked. And here they are. The food lessons I’ve learned and lived by for almost 15 years.


First, and most importantly, you have to actually want to lose the weight.

So do you really want to lose weight?

Yes? Then find your WHY. Why do YOU want to lose weight? Got it?

Okay. Any time you’re struggling, remind yourself of WHY you want to lose weight.

It will help you keep focus and motivation.


Sorry to be the bearer of bad, boring news but there are no short cuts to losing weight.

Get organised. Plan your meals, buy healthy and prep plenty.


Fad or lose weight quick diets might help you kick-start the weight loss, but they’re not sustainable, often not healthy and you don’t break your old habits.

To maintain your weight long term, you need to learn how to eat.

Find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle.

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash


Find an exercise you enjoy and get moving. It’s great for endorphins too which will help you feel so much better. But bear in mind, you can’t exercise away a bad diet.


Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. And it’s important to stay hydrated, helps with digestion too. But stick mainly to water, even fruit juices can be packed with sugar.


It’s sometimes surprising how you’ve eaten so much more than you thought.

Writing it down helps you keep track. You might also spot patterns of when and what you eat.

I’m a grazer and snack constantly and eat throughout the day. That all soon adds up.


This one was my lightbulb moment when it came to weight loss. Think of food as fuel for your body.

Would you put cheap, nasty fuel in your car? Nope.

Let’s treat ourselves carefully by trying to eat more fresh, nutritious, unprocessed ‘fuel’.

Read the labels, avoid high saturated fats, hidden sugars, high salts, E numbers and names of ingredients you can’t even pronounce.


It’s a way of eating that will enable you to lose weight and a new way of eating that will make sure you stay at a healthy weight you’re happy with.

My diet is how I eat, I’m not on a diet.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash


Your body needs carbs, your body needs fats. No food is bad, in small amounts (unless it aggravates a medical condition).

Chocolate is good for the soul. Just not in the vast quantities that saw me through lockdown!


I don’t know about you but I was brought up to clear my plate. Whatever the size!

So maybe fill a smaller plate at first. Eat slowly, eat mindfully and stop when you’re full.


That’s bulls*t. And whoever said that had clearly never tasted Lindt dark chocolate with sea-salt, or meringue with fresh cream, or cheesecake, or freshly baked bread with butter, or cheese, or… you get my drift.

HOWEVER, when tempted by your own tasty pleasure, just take a moment to reflect on your WHY.

Do you want that chunk of cake more than you want to lose weight?

The answer might be yes. In which case have a little.

Or CHOOSE to have it, and eat it with unbridled pleasure and savour each mouthful.

You’ve made a choice. Own it and enjoy it.


When you eat, ENJOY it!

Stop whatever else you’re doing, sit still and enjoy every last morsel.

Don’t ruin it by eating it with a huge side-serving of guilt.

Savour it with intention and satisfaction. Otherwise it wasn’t worth it.

So if you can’t resist the dessert menu, just have the cake / cheesecake / tart / cream filled pastry and enjoy it. Maybe you’ll share it with someone, maybe you’ll eat the lot.

But you’ve made a choice to have it, so give yourself permission to accept that decision, lean into that and enjoy it!


If you eat the cake, don’t let that de-rail you. Don’t decide you’ll start your ‘diet’ again tomorrow, or the next day or after the weekend or whenever…

Eat the next meal as you had planned and prepped.

You’re making mostly ‘healthy’ food choices and sometimes you have treats.

That’s life.


8 Ways Walking Improves Your Mental Health

8 Ways Walking Improves Your Mental Health

It might surprise you to hear that something as simple as walking can actually improve your brainpower.

It doesn’t even have to be full-on power walking! Even a twenty or thirty minute walk during your lunch break can have a positive impact on your brain.

Here are eight ways science has proven that walking is excellent for your brain: 

1. Walking helps lower your risk of depression
Walking is an excellent way to improve your mental health. A 2018 study showed that any kind of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking can boost your brain health and lower your risk of developing depression by a third.

2. Walking improves your cognitive function
A number of studies have shown that the magic amount of twenty to thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise, such as walking, improves cognitive function and memory.

3. Walking stimulates endorphins  
Just ten minutes of walking is enough to start your brain releasing endorphins, the brain chemicals that lower stress, boost your mental health, and make you feel good. You’ve heard of the runner’s high? Well, you can get a similar positive rush from a brisk walk!

4. Walking releases the brain’s Magic Protein    
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been dubbed the brain’s ‘magic protein’ as it helps to rewire and build new neural pathways. Scientists believe it can even help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And cardiovascular exercise is an easy way to stimulate the production of BDNF and keep your brain in peak condition.

5. Walking lowers physical and mental fatigue
A 2008 study by the University of Georgia found that just three sessions a week of a low-intensity exercise like walking can reduce fatigue levels by as much as 65 percent.

6. Walking builds hippocampus strength
Your hippocampus is the key part of the brain for forming and storing memories. Research has shown that even brief walks can actually increase the size and efficiency of your hippocampus.

7. Walking Improves Creativity
Artists, writers, and philosophers have long known the importance of walking for clearing blocked creativity and getting inspiration flowing again. Science can now back this up with a 2014 study by Stanford University showing that walking increases your creative output by up to sixty percent.

8. Walking increases blood flow to the brain
Blood is vital for every organ in your body, not least of all, your brain. That magic twenty minutes is all it takes to increase the blood flow to your brain to keep it active and healthy.

What do you think? Not bad for 20 minutes exercise!

I’ve long been a fan of walking and hiking and that’s before I realised it had just so many key benefits. Not to mention the added grounding and healing benefits of walking in nature. 

Right, I’m off for a walk…


A bit more about me…

A bit more about me…

My previous life & career

For most of my career I was an HR Director. I moved from Belfast to Manchester, UK in 2013 and even back then I had hoped to change careers but I kept getting offers of HR roles which were difficult to turn down.

By early 2018 I was in total burnout, working 65-70 hours a week in a career I no longer wanted to do and the dissatisfaction with my job was affecting all parts of my life. I was investing all of my energy into work and, with my tank on empty, I didn’t have the energy to make a change. My “aha” moment was when I realised that it wasn’t organisations I was invested in, but the individual people at the core of the business. Although I was very successful, I wasn’t particularly suited to an HR Director role because I care so deeply about people and I was lacking the same level of commitment to the organisational strategy and success. I’d reached a point where it was financially rewarding but not in any way emotionally rewarding.

Mental Health

I have navigated anxiety and depression throughout my entire adult life however the heaviness and panic that swept over me at this period in my life started to take me under. I pushed through the panic attacks until I felt out of control and couldn’t take any more. Everything was failing in my wellbeing and, even when I left work to prioritise my health, I actually became even more unwell.

The entire time I was navigating this burnout, an entrepreneurial itch had been sitting with me. I’d worked for my entire life, from the age of 16, and had been involved in the glorification of busy for over 20 years! While my life looked beautiful and full from the outside, I was lost and wasn’t enjoying or appreciating with presence, any moments of here and now. My mind was always onto the next thing.

I was halfway through my life and I realised I couldn’t let the next half be the same. I needed to discover where I wanted to be which was difficult for me as I was passionate about so many topics.

Breakdown to breakthrough

My breakdown became my breakthrough. I quit my job and found the space and time that I needed to get better. I knew I needed to stop, to slow down and approach my entire life at a different pace. I stopped for six months and shed the items that didn’t serve me, my house, big car, so many clothes with labels still on that I didn’t even remember owning. My entire lifestyle shifted. I travelled to India for yoga teacher training and it was the next step in my spiritual journey. I started using my mindfulness practice to shift my awareness in how I approached everything in my life.

Five years before I had completed a coaching qualification, introduced a coaching programme in work and had always really enjoyed coaching people. I’m intrigued by their stories and goals and I’m passionate about helping them achieve them.

In trying to find my way out of my own burnout and mid-life crisis, I leaned on tools I’d trusted while coaching others and also sought additional resources online. None of them quite ‘fit’ so I developed my own toolkit and system to help others transform their lives too. My holistic approach to life coaching is combined with spiritual practices to help shift your mindset, shed your old practices and beliefs and create the life of your dreams.

I shed my old mindset, rooted into my spirituality, healed my heart and started coaching other women how to do the same. I watched them recover from burnout, feeling stuck in careers, lost in life’s path and helped them to develop a spiritual practice, adopt a self-care itinerary and start to prioritise themselves in their day-to-day lives.

In the past two years, I’ve ‘lost’ or released my job, career, home, relationship, income, lifestyle, limiting beliefs and a few bad habits. I’ve gained health, time, balance, happiness, fulfilment, appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, stronger friendships, a spiritual practice, a lust for life and an understanding of who I am and how I want my ‘new’ life to be. I’m not perfect but I’m learning how to be myself and the best part was discovering that my purpose is to dedicate my professional life to empower, motivate and inspire women to look at their lives from a different perspective.

Since then, I’ve worked with many private clients, spoken in front of countless groups, while earning an income on my online business and I have created the Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Purpose & Passion system, a series of important life evaluation and design steps that every woman who wants to get unstuck and design a fulfilling new life needs to apply to rewrite their stories and embrace more joy, freedom and wellbeing in their everyday lives.

In February 2020, I relocated to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and I’m living my dream life in a bright, light rooftop apartment with a little white foster dog for company. Everyone’s dreams are different. I can help you find and live yours.

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

Embracing imperfections helps you enjoy life more

While we’re all spending more time at home during lockdown and restrictions, most of us are probably spending even more hours scrolling on social media.

So you can’t have helped but notice how almost everyone online is striving to be perfect. Suddenly you can’t post a selfie without filters or enjoy your dinner before showing off your fabulously curated plate of food. I’ve even seen dogs who are better groomed and accessorized than I am!

Thankfully there seem to be a growing number of people online who refreshingly now show their before and after pics.

As in:

Photo #1:  This is what I look like on Instagram, in a pose that’s likely to put my back out any second now, with as many added filters and edits as my fancy app allows. BTW it took me 103 photos to get this perfect shot.

Photo #2:  And this is what I actually look like 5 seconds before or after the perfect photo with my very normal tummy roll, some cellulite and what looks like a double-chin because I wasn’t quite camera ready.

If only these people didn’t feel they still need to show off the ‘perfection’ images, but they’re taking a huge step in the right direction.

But what if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition, all that clamouring for likes, comments, shares and hearts?

Or even better, what if you chose to actually enjoy your life without sharing it with the world?

Here’s how you can start to reclaim your life and become happier.


Stop judging

You can decide right now to stop analysing other people, looking for what’s wrong with their face, their body, their outfit or their life choices. Refocus your attitude, so you stop seeing differences as flaws but merely as something that makes that person unique.

Just let go of the urge to criticise others, and you’ll notice a flow-on effect on how you see yourself and self-judge less.


Accept your imperfections

Wanting to be the best version of you isn’t the same as being a perfectionist.

A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they’re doing.

Being your best means you work hard, you try, and you don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean you blame yourself when things aren’t perfect, and you don’t take failure personally.


Relax and enjoy the process

Perfectionists tend to trip over every little detail and allow imperfections to spoil their lives. When you embrace imperfection as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride.

Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable. You can slow down and notice all the good things there are in your life.


Adopt imperfection as a way of life

Perfection implies stasis, something you achieve and have to tend. It’s fragile and vulnerable. It puts an end to growth. And then what? You don’t want to stop learning and growing and developing, do you?

Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about life. Your perspectives changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly doesn’t matter so much.

Imperfection stops being something to avoid at all costs. All experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly, that help build the person you are continually becoming.

Embracing imperfection means there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person.

The best version of you.

12 questions to help clear out & organise your wardrobe

12 questions to help clear out & organise your wardrobe

Is your wardrobe bursting at the seams but you never seem to be able to find something to wear?
Sounds like it’s time for a serious clear-out using these questions as a guide to help you discard some items that just are working for you any more


1. Do I love it?
If you don’t like it, you won’t wear it. Simple. Get rid.

2. Does it fit?
Too big but cost a fortune. Too small but you’re hoping to slim into it. Just not quite the right shape but maybe at a different angle. If it can’t be easily altered to fit you then it’s just not right.

3. Is it flattering?
Colour, shape, scale, style, fit… If it’s just not right then it’s taking up wardrobe space.

4. Do I feel good in it?
If you don’t, you won’t wear it. Time to let go.

5. Is it still in good condition?
Maybe it’s a well worn favourite but so well worn that it’s looking a bit tired. Unless it’s for very casual wear,

6. When was the last time I wore it?
You’ll often hear the advice to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in 6 months. That seems a bit ruthless to me. But if you haven’t worn it in the last 12 months, you’ve been through all seasons, probably a few important events and occasions and you haven’t worn it. Chances are you won’t wear it this year either.

7. Why have I not worn it?
Probably because it’s doesn’t meet one of these criteria. In which case you won’t wear it again.

8. Where/when am I going to wear it?
I’m still holding onto a few (okay, quite a few) pieces from my old ‘corporate’ life. Where will I wear them? Probably nowhere. Time to take my own advice, practice what I preach…

9. Does it suit my lifestyle?
Similar to that last question. Do you have a wardrobe full of glitzy eveningwear but now spend more time outdoors walking the dogs? Keep what you’ve worn recently and let go of the rest.

10. Does it represent me and the image I want to portray?
I’ll write more about this soon but take 5 minutes to think about what you want your image to communicate?
Write down 3 qualities that you would like to convey or project on a consistent basis e.g. stylish, elegant, feminine. Unless, it’s gym gear, if it doesn’t meet those qualities, it won’t project the image you want.

11. Have you a wardrobe full of similar items?
If so, keep the one that has the most ‘yes’ answers to these questions. This will become your favourite (if it isn’t already) so you won’t wear the others.

12. What does it go with?
If you’ve been on the hunt forever for the right shoes, top, skirt, whatever to go with it then it’s just too difficult to wear. Give up and focus on all the other fab things in your wardrobe that are ready to wear.

A few other tips:

Organise your wardrobe in items…skirts, trousers, jeans, dresses, shirts, blouses, tops, jumpers… You can see at a glance what you’re looking for, and also what you’re missing. Even better, arrange these in colours and your wardrobe will really start working for you.

A local alteration service is a great person to have in your contact list. If you don’t already have one, ask for recommendations. It’s important to get someone who’ll work with you, be careful with your clothing and do a quality job. Make a pile of alterations and get them done so they’re ready to wear.

What’s missing?
It should be easy now to see what you tend to buy most of. For most of us, it’s the easy to buy items. Now that you’ve cleared out, you should be able to easily see what’s missing that will help you tie together all the fab pieces that are left. Make a list and treat yourself to some ‘essential’ shopping.

Don’t worry:
A lot of people look at what now looks like a very sparse wardrobe and panic that they have nothing to wear and desperately want to plunder through the discarded piles and hang all the items straight back up again!You weren’t wearing them. You were rummaging through a whole mountain of clothes that just taking up space and weren’t working for you. Now everything that’s left fits you and makes you feel good.

Look good, feel good. Enjoy Gorgeous!

Layer Your Skincare Products Like A Pro

Layer Your Skincare Products Like A Pro

Does it really matter what order you layer on your skincare?


Absolutely, YES!

No matter how good your products, applying them the wrong way could mean that they might not penetrate your skin, so ultimately they’re just not going to be effective.

In which case you’ll miss out on all the fab benefits and ultimately waste your products, time and money.


So where do you start?

Generally speaking you’ll apply the lightest products first, and water based products before oil-based products.


Okay, not really…

There are so many new products now, lots of them with names suggesting you’d need a science degree to understand what they actually are.  And if you’re anything like me, you’ll come across so many articles and posts giving recommendations that for a long time, I gave up even trying to get my head around it.

But deep down I knew there were so many brilliant skincare products available that I’d be missing out if I didn’t try.

So purely in my own selfish interests and a desire to preserve my own (aging) skin, I was determined to break it all down. And the research blew my mind even more.

First of all, what I would say is that YOU DO NOT NEED ALL OF THESE STEPS! EVER.

Consider your own skin requirements, what products you already use, which you want to keep using, what products you want to try.

And if you have sensitive skin or you’re treating any skin conditions please seek expert advice before introducing new products into your skincare regime.

Then whatever you do use, should that only be 2 or 3 products, use them in this order, allowing time for each product to absorb before applying the next.

A Good Morning Skincare Routine

1. Cleanse

Yes, even if you’ve done it the night before! Use a cleansing milk/balm/gel and give it a nice quick wipe with a warm flannel and this helps gently exfoliate.

2. Toner

If you use it. It can help remove any traces of cleanser.

3. Exfoliate

If you want to use product this could be a gentle liquid exfoliating acid. Although you don’t necessarily need to do this as the warm flannel in Step 1 helps gently exfoliate while cleansing.
And if you’re using a stronger exfoliant at night-time, such as Glycolic Acid, then you can skip this step altogether.

4. Hydrate

With a facial mist to help maximise hydration

5. Eye cream

Apply this before other face products so that it can be absorbed

6. Treatment serum

To treat your own skin concerns. These might include Peptides, Niacinimide, Antioxidants or Vitamin C derivatives.

7. Hydrating Serum

Light serums with humectants, such as a Hyaluronic Acid serum help lock in moisture.

8. Moisturiser

You may not need both a moisturiser and a hydrating serum, if not use which works best for you. If not using an oil, moisturiser should always be your last layer before sunscreen.

9. Face Oil

Oil locks in the hydrating benefits of every other layer. But while it locks the moisture in, no other products can get through this so use it last.

10. SPF

Always use an SPF30 or higher and make sure you’re using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA rays and UVB rays. La Roche-Posay Anthelios.


What My Morning Routine Looks Like

Believe me, I DO NOT DO ALL OF THAT every morning! I use a handful of these products so don’t ever need all these steps, otherwise I’d never have time to leave the house!

I’m all about simple and efficient and if I could find one product that would do everything, to me that would be the dream. But until that time, here’s what I do…

  1. Cleanse with a mild cream cleanser and a warm flannel
    Right now I switch between The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. Both are very simple, gentle cleansers that don’t make my skin feel tight or dry after washing.
  2. Eye cream
    The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG – My morning caffeine shot for my eyes, they feel instantly refreshed.

* Occasional use of niacinimide or salicylic acid
I used to alternate these each morning but now that I’m using Glycolic Acid at night-time I  find I don’t need them every morning
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

  1. Hyaluronic Acid
    The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Spotting my obsession with The Ordinary yet?!

  1. Peptide Serum
    ALDI Lacura Q10 Multi-Intensive Serum
    Yes, Aldi! It’s amazing, so light it’s absorbed in seconds but this serum works! 
  2. SPF 
    La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+, Invisible Fluid

BOOM! 5 steps. Job done!

I use a lot of the same products both morning and night, just introducing AM or PM specific products where needed.

A good evening skincare regime

Night time when you sleep is when your skin does all its repair, recovery and renewal. Your evening routine is prepping the skin for effective treatment.

1. Double cleanse
First step is removing make-up and the grease and dirt of the day. An oil based product is good to cut through all this.
Even if you’re not wearing make-up, you’ll need a double cleanse to wash your SPF off properly to avoid breakouts.

After that, you can use a mild balm, milk or gel cleanser to actually clean your skin. Again, you can use a warm flannel to help gently exfoliate.

2. Toner

3. Exfoliate
With a mild liquid chemical exfoliator. You can use a stronger product such as AHAs or BHAs at night time. Glycolic, salicylic and azelaic acids all remove dead skin cells without harming the skin barrier.

4. Eye care

5. Treatment serum

6. Retinoid
‘Best used at night time when you’re not exposed to light.

7. Hydrating serum

8. Moisturiser
You can use a rich cream at night unless these are too heavy for your skin

9. Face Oil
Again this helps lock in all those layers of goodness

10 Lip Balm
A slick of lip balm helps soothe those lips with some overnight repair

* Always include your neck and décolletage in your skincare. Or as I recently heard skincare guru Caroline Hirons describe it TITTT…Take It To The Tits. Fab advice!
* Where possible opt for paraben free, fragrance free, alcohol free products.
* Avoid using too many active ingredients. These powerful ingredients can counteract with each other and irritate the skin.

And that’s it.

What my Evening Skincare Routine Looks Like

1. Double Cleanse
– Remove make-up with Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
– Cleanse with a mild cream cleanser and a warm flannel, I like The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.

2. Glycolic acid to exfoliate
My current glycolic acid favourites, actually, my long-term absolute favourites are: 
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid described as an ‘overnight facial’. It really is. 

3. Eye care
No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream

4. Face oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil 
100% natural, highly antioxidant, and a little goes a long way. 

You can read about some of my favourites in My Must-Have Budget Skincare Products, which also shows that looking after you skin can also be done while looking after your pennies.

If you have the right products working at their optimum when used correctly, then a handful of products should be all you need.

Enjoy all those luscious layers of skin pampering!

My Must-Have Budget Skincare Products

My Must-Have Budget Skincare Products

My Beauty Regime

*This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

Over the years I have tried MANY skincare products.

I’ve also had quite a few salon treatments… IPL, CACI, microdermabrasion, light glycolic peels… to name but a few.

I’ve also had a few teeny tiny doses of botox and fillers but I eased back when I overdid it. I want to look rested, not 10 years younger. Okay, maybe sometimes I wouldn’t mind looking 10 years younger!

I worked in duty free beauty for a time and was lucky to be able to try all sorts of discounted products and samples there.

So I’ve used oils, I’ve used masks, I’ve tried rich creams and lighter than light serums and I’ve spent 12 fortunes in the process. Normally without any noticeably significant results.


I’ve never had particularly good skin, but it’s never been particularly troublesome either.

My skin used to be normal and at times quite dehydrated. I mistook the dehydration for dry skin but when I switched to richer creams for dry skin they just sat in a heavy layer on top of my skin.

But recently my skin, thanks to HRT, seems to have completely changed! I’d say it’s now normal to oily but still prone to a few drier patches. I’ve always had quite open pores but now I tend to get some oily congestion in my pores around my nose and chin. I’m trying to convince myself that this increasing oiliness will help me ward off advanced signs of aging. Here’s hoping!

So no-one is more surprised than me that after all my years of investment and ‘research’, now that I’m in my advancing years (just turned 48), I’ve shunned most of the expensive products and treatments for low-end, budget buys.



Fairly new to my skincare regime but The Ordinary products are all over the media with rave recommendations. I’ve already recommended them to friends who have enthusiastically incorporated them into their beauty regimes too.

These products are cheap as chips! The packaging is basic but simple. The products work. At first glance you might worry that you’ll need a science degree to work out which ones you need for your own particular skin type and concerns but the website gives super detailed recommendations in their Regimen Guide.



On my Not-so-Ordinary list at the moment are:

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This works on the surface of the skin and has exfoliating properties. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 which is a brilliant oil regulator. I use this daily each morning to help clear pores and congestion and I swear I can almost feel it tightening my pores but it does that without leaving my skin feeling taut.

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

This miracle treatment is so good that it’s sold out across the UK at the moment. I’m already on a waiting list to stock up again as soon as it’s available. Salicylic Acid digs deep into congested pores, dissolving sebum so I apply it when I have blemishes or breakouts to target and reduce any redness and inflammation.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

I don’t function without a coffee in the mornings. And my eyes don’t function without their own caffeine hit from this miracle shot! This is a really light liquid with a super high concentration of caffeine which helps reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Hyaluronic Acid is good for all skin types. It’s amazing for its hydrating properties, especially as our skin ages, because it draws in and retains moisture and plumps up your skin from the inside out. It also has antioxidant properties.

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

I bought this while the Salicylic Acid was sold out and I’ll be keeping it forever thank you very much!

Glycolic Acid is a mild chemical exfoliant which removes dead skin cells. Not only does this help your skin look radiant but it helps with skin texture too.

I only use this at night-time as it Glycolic Acid can interfere with the effectiveness of your SPF. And as it’s an AHA which can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, you must, must, must wear sunscreen when using this.


I do buy some other brands too!

MY NUMBER ONE PRODUCT: Aldi Lacura Q10 Multi-Intensive Serum

Top of the list, if I could only have one product then this would be it, ALDI Lacura Q10 Multi-Intensive Serum. It’s so good that I stock up in the UK and get friends to ship it over to me here in Spain when I’m running low. Which I rarely allow happen. 

This is absorbed into the skin in seconds. It disappears without leaving any trace on the skin and leaves skin feeling plump and moisturised. Even better, it doesn’t pill under my SPF.
I’ve lost count on how many friends I’ve converted to this. Try it, it’s gorgeous. And costs £2.99!!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+

Can I have 2 number one products??

This is a little bit more expensive than the rest on the list but it’s worth every penny.

The one product I religiously use throughout the year is La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+.  There’s also a Tinted Fluid but I use the Invisible formula.

I’ve tried other SPFs but I ALWAYS come back to this and now I don’t even bother trying any others.

I have bad pigmentation from sun damage acquired during a few carefree summers in Greece where SPF came WAY down the shopping list after cheap food and drinks.

So my La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF50+ helps protect against any further damage and aging. I wear it EVERY DAY. Even in winter.

It is light, it sinks in quickly, it provides an even base under makeup and it offers amazing protection.


How to apply all these luscious layers

I apply the products in the order they appear up above but I do have a post on how to Layer Your Skincare Products Like A Pro which might help you demystify all the mind-baffling recommendations for the sequence of skincare product application

After The Ordinary beauties, I use my Aldi Lacura Q10 Serum then top off with the La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF50+ and I rarely even apply moisturiser these days, only when I feel I need it.

I can hear the beauticians amongst you gasp…no moisturiser? But my skins looks and feels not too shabby for a just-turned 48 year old with insomnia going through an early menopause and many sleepless nights.

And it’s all super healthy for the bank balance too!

So if it’s not broken….

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