Learn skincare with me. Lesson 8: Ceramides

Learn skincare with me. Lesson 8: Ceramides

Ceramides are one of those words I’ve heard thrown around in skincare a lot, but never knew too much about what they were until I did a bit of digging. A lot of skincare products include ceramides (for good reason, of course) so back in the day when I was throwing products on my face without much skincare knowledge, I knew they contained Ceramides but I didn’t know why. I do now!

What is it?

Ceramides are what are called ‘Lipids’ (fatty acids, but I think the word Lipid sounds nicer!) that occur naturally in the skin. They form around 50% of the skin barrier and play an important role in keeping that barrier happy and together, preventing the skin barrier from becoming too permeable, thus keeping in the moisture our skin craves. In simple terms: they bond the cells together at the surface level and create a plump and protective top layer that retains moisture.

Even though these are already present in our skin, their presence diminishes over time with aging, which is why they’re such a fundamental component in anti-aging skincare.

What are the benefits?

First and foremost, moisture is locked into the skin. Moisture isn’t lost via the skin barrier when Ceramides have anything to do with it.

As a result of moisture getting locked in, signs of aging are reduced. When the skin is dry and dehydrated, some unwelcome characteristics are more prominent. This is because skin is less plump when it’s dry and dehydrated, so hydration and moisture really are key to fighting and hiding signs of aging.

Ceramides also aid in fighting environmental aggressors and protecting the skin. They essentially help the skin barrier do just that: be a barrier for keeping the good stuff in, and the bad stuff out.

They’re not known as a ‘powerhouse ingredient’ for no reason!

Things to be aware of

This is one of those perfect ingredients that are compatible with everyone as we all produce them naturally – they’re what are known as ‘skin-identical’ ingredients. They can be used on all types of skin, including sensitive and delicate as they pose such a low risk of any damage.

It’s always nice to know you can use an ingredient freely and without needing to consider any risks!

So, a shorter post but Ceramides keep it short and sweet! A simple, but special ingredient that features in some of the most iconic skincare products for good reason.

I hope you enjoyed reading! I haven’t updated my blog in a while as life has been busy but I’ll be trying to post a bit more regularly. As usual, I’m not a skincare expert and this is based on my personal research and experience. For any concerns, please contact a professional to make sure you get the most well-suited advice for your needs and your skin type.

Why all the hype around Olaplex?

I’ll tell you why: it’s amazing.

I’m going to be completely honest here and admit that I very rarely cut my hair (I know, terrible!) so it’s almost always in need of some TLC. I’ll give it a trim myself occasionally (you can get away with it on long hair, I swear!), otherwise it’s just split ends galore. I just can’t bring myself to pay those salon prices…

So I can’t comment on the salon-quality Olaplex – obviously – even though I’ve heard amazing things, but I’ve tried the Olaplex you can use yourself, which I’m honestly so impressed with. I tried the ‘Holiday Hair Hair Fix’ set, which includes 4 100ml bottles :

  • No 3 Hair Perfector
  • No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
  • No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
  • No 6 Bond Smoother

No 3 Hair Perfector

This is the first product I tried, of course. I used a reasonable amount, but I didn’t need too much of it as it’s easy to spread through your locks. My hair instantly felt softer and smoothed, but that’s always the case with any sort of conditioner for me so I waited to see the real results afterwards.

I cant say I have particularly wild hair but it does have a bit of a mind if its own at times, however this noticeably changed it. The more accurate word I can think of is “sleek”. Honestly, it made such a difference.

I then followed it up with the shampoo and conditioner…

No 3 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No 4 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

I’ll address the smell first: I really liked it! It’s not too intense at all, but it’s there enough to add to the experience and make it more pleasant. I don’t really know what I was expecting, perhaps something more ‘chemically’ but I was surprised at how nice it was.

The shampoo lathers really well, I used the ‘normal’ amount I would use of any shampoo, and it was waaaaay too much of this! My hair was super foamy (which actually felt amazing, to be honest) so I used less of it from then on. I love that you don’t need too much of it, because when you have long hair you really get through shampoo and conditioner!

I didn’t find that I needed too much of the conditioner either – obviously it doesn’t lather like the shampoo but I did find it very easy to work through and make sure my hair was covered enough.

The results were amazing. I’ve found that my hair lasts longer between washes, perhaps by a day or two – an unexpected bonus as I don’t like to overwash my hair but equally don’t want to go out looking like a greaseball!

My hair overall feels much easier to manage and is so much smoother than it was. It doesn’t tangle anywhere near as much, and I’m constantly brushing my hair with my fingers (weird habit, especially when I’m talking to people and it looks like I’m flirting!) so I can really feel how soft it feels.

My split ends are still definitely there. I mean, I expected good things from this but I have to be realistic at the same time: they’re not going to disappear completely! But I would say they’re better than they were. I’ll still be giving them a trim soon (either myself or actually go to a qualified hairdresser!) just to tidy them up a bit.

No 6 Bond Smoother

For me, this product is more if a nice-to-have than a necessity. I’m so used to having flyaways that I’m past the point of caring and have just generally accepted that they’re there and it’s ok.

I will admit that this certainly did smooth them, and it was nice to have hair that felt pretty much completely under control.

I didn’t use too much of this one as I hate the feeling of having ‘stuff’ on my hair, especially when it gets on my hands after I tie my hair up, but I can’t say I noticed much residue at all.

Overall I’m so pleased with this purchase and I must admit I’ve already invested in another set because of the amazing value…

I’ll also make the shampoo and conditioner my staples because of the results they’ve had on my hair!

Picture below of my hair looking smooth i(my opinion). It had been tied up for a while before this picture, so this is after a quick brush. That’s another thing I found: almost always my hair will be tatty and misshapen after being tied up, but since using Olaplex I’ve found it much easier to manager and stays sleek and just generally nice. Note, the picture is just using numbers 3,4 and 5 – not the bond smoother.

Galaxy Nail Art – Nail Stamping

Galaxy Nail Art – Nail Stamping

My first time stamping! Ok, I know it’s not perfect but my back started aching….

I’m a bit of perfectionist, so I had the image of how I wanted these to turn out and I was going to get as close to it as possible. I actually attempted this to try it out and then had to take it all off the next day to re-do because I found out the challenges of stamping pretty fast the first time round.

I started off with the Holo Taco Royal-Tea Blue and One-Coat Black polishes. The black really is only one-coat necessary, it’s amazing! I started by doing a gradient on my middle and ring fingers using a generic sponge off Amazon and Mehron Liquid Latex to protect the skin around the nail from being covered in nail polish , and left the others black. I then topped my nails with the Scattered Holo Taco, finishing with just the Thumb, little and forefinger with Scattered Holo Taco as I didn’t want to clutter the ‘nail art nails’ too much.

Left to right: Glossy Taco, Royal-Tea Blue, One-Coat Black, Scattered Holo Taco, Flakie Holo Taco and Long-Lasting Base

Then onto the stamping. For some reason my stamper just wouldn’t pick up the pattern I wanted to transfer. I thought my stamper must be faulty (I’m using the Mo You London Crystal Clear Stamper and Scraper – ยฃ9), so I tested it on a different stamping plate and it worked. Judging by the extensive knowledge I acquired (cough) from a couple of YouTube videos I watched, I concluded that the stamping plate I was using was just a shallower one and needed a different technique to pull it off – YouTube videos linked further down. I got the general idea of what to do differently, and while it’s not perfect it definitely helped! I used Whats Up Nails – Silver Ag-ent Stamping Polish with the Dixie Mini Celestial Sky Plate, both from Nail Stamping Queen UK to create the planet and celestial effects.

MoYou London Stamper and Scraper, WhatsUp Nails in Silver Ag-End, Mehron Liquid Latex, Generic Beauty Sponge and Dixie Plate – Celestial Sky
The stamper and scraper are housed in this cute little ‘pot’

It took quite a while what with all the attempts to pick up the pattern from the plate, but for my first go at stamping I was pretty pleased with the results. I have some other plates too which I’ll use for some more designs and upload on here.

Thanks for reading and keep on creating!

Lip Balms that ACTUALLY work

Lip Balms that ACTUALLY work

I’ve been having such trouble with my lips for weeks. The relentless dryness, burning and stinging really started to take its toll on my mood. After countless Google searches for ‘the best lip balms for dry/sore lips’ and whatever other variations I could think of out of desperation, I’d started to despair as nothing seemed to do the trick. I was on the brink of going to the doctor as I’d convinced myself that there must be a deeper issue after finding no relief in any lip balm or product I tried.


Then came what I call the ‘breakthrough’ (thanks mum!). I’d complained to my mum about how sore my lips were and that nothing was helping, when she suggested I try her favourite lip balm; Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Lip Rescue. As this was coming from someone who will literally turn around and go back home for this lip balm if she’s forgotten it, I decided to give it a try.


I started to get irritated when found that the lip balm wasn’t in stock in the Holland and Barrett I travelled to, so I had to settle for a different balm from the brand. Fortunately there was a buy 1 get 1 half price offer on at the time, which softened the blow a bit. I opted for the Manuka Oil and Vitamin E balms…


And boy, what an investment that was. For ยฃ6 I had just bought (what I didn’t know at the time were) lip rescue products that will (hopefully!) see me through the winter without enduring any more irritation. For weeks (even months) I’ve been having to layer on different lip balms just to keep the symptoms at bay – which worked at the time – only for them to reappear with a vengeance when I wasn’t wearing any. Dr Organic has helped me to actually function without constantly reaching for a lip balm, and only using it as and when I feel I need to (this isn’t sponsored, I swear!)


Now I’m at an age where ‘listen to your mother’ is not compulsory, but the moral of this story is to LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER. Mums know best, as proven. And if you’re not going to listen to your mother, listen to me: this stuff works. If you’re suffering too then give it a try and I really hope you get the same results!