It's a terribly fun place to be. It does however come with a few downsides. It has hair that is a hybrid between horse's hair, wire brushes and door mats. It's thick and wiry to the point of painful if you get it on your clothes during a haircut. My luxuriously thick hair has always meant that my head stays rather warm at all times. Throw in the odd spot of dandruff in varying degrees of horribleness depending on how stressed I am and you'd probably ask for a swap. Just to make things slightly better, my back is also a bit of a pain with achy bacne (acne on your back) which means I'm currently taking medication which is attempting to dry my back out. Combine that with my always warm head that was quite dry to begin with and you have a problem. Since starting the tablets, my back has gotten a lot better, but my dandruff seems to have slipped down my face. Gross. The only saving grace is that it looks ok from a distance, albeit a bit red. At times it's painful to apply moisturisers because my skin is so dry at points on my face. Even E45 and emollients from the doctors have hurt my skin when applied.
Roll on October 2013 when I took my gorgeous fiancé away for his birthday to a lovely hotel at Loch Ness. A couple of days went by and I noticed my skin had gotten considerably better. Why? I attributed it to the toiletries the hotel had in the rooms, one of which was a moisturiser that I'd been using since I arrived. Imagine my joy when I realised I could buy some from the hotel desk to take home with me. Even more joy, I can get it online! It seems to be one of the popular toiletry items in Scottish hotels and I'm pretty sure another large hotel in my city uses these products too.
===Great Scottish Soaps===
The company that made all the products I'd been using are called Scottish Fine Soaps. The company was founded by one Derek Ross in 1974 and primarily make luxury bath and body products and are based not too far from me in Stirlingshire. Their website boasts that they like to ensure they are kind to the environment and the bottle tells me that they are against animal testing. Fabulous.
You can contact them in writing at the following address:
Scottish Fine Soaps
North Main Street
Falkirk FK2 8HT
Or give them a ring on 01324 573402
For more information on them, you can check out their website at www.scottishfinesoaps.com. They even have a "contact us" form on there.
The packaging was the first thing that appealed to me. It's very simple and elegant; it's just a clear pump bottle with a black and silver pump with the Scottish Fine Soaps branding on the front in plain text and a slightly bigger "Sea Kelp" in the middle of the bottle. A few lines tell you it's a moisturiser and how much you get in the bottle (300ml or 10 fluid ounces). The product inside is white, so the black text is set off nicely with this as the background and when it is full, it looks very neat and tidy without looking cold and lifeless. That means I'm allowed to keep it on the surface next to the sink which is a huge step towards remembering to use it every day! The pump action works really well and also means that you don't need to fumble around with any lids when you have slippery, moisturiser covered hands. The only downside is that the pump doesn't lock so it could mean if you're travelling a pump or two may escape, but as it's also quite a firm pump, it would be rather unlikely.
I usually use two pumps worth of this stuff which is enough to cover my whole face and neck and still leave my hands a little moist. One pump would be enough to cover your face. It soaks up in less than a couple of minutes for me and as soon as you start to rub it in you'll smell the gorgeous, clean, refreshing and crisp scent come out of it. It's not particularly masculine or feminine in design or scent so it'll be suitable for most people I'd have thought. It's also not overpowering at all, so you won't need to worry about it interacting with your perfumes and/or aftershaves. If anyone is getting close enough to smell it, they'll more than likely be kissing you and will probably find the scent really nice.
It doesn't leave you feeling greasy at all which is fantastic for me as most of the other things my doctor had given me were literally the consistency of petroleum jelly and left me scared to put my head down on the pillow. This stuff is lovely and light and doesn't leave any greasy marks on my pillow even though I put it on right before I go to bed!
Before using this stuff, my face was dry, flaky and sore. I hadn't been able to find even the mildest moisturiser that wouldn't sting my face and leave me feeling like a total grease ball. Since I found this I've been using it twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. Occasionally if I've been in the house and my face was looking particularly dry, I'd apply it once more during the day, though that's only happened once or twice when I started using it. After a couple of days of use, my skin was still a bit red, but it no longer hurt. The dry skin was staying away for most of the day too. After a couple of weeks, I can actually go a day or two without having to use this before the dry skin reappears. My natural face colour is apparently always red, but that's not the moisturiser that did that. In less than a month, this stuff has allowed me to go from really stressed about dry skin on my face (vicious cycle right there) to feeling confident that finally I've found a moisturiser that works brilliantly. It has not cured my skin ailments completely, but I am still on that nasty medication whose purpose is to dry me out. Any moisturiser that can stand up to those tablets and hold the dry skin at bay is definitely worth a look.
There is only one size of this stuff as far as I can see which is the 300ml bottle. After a month of (mostly) using it twice daily I've used less than a quarter of a bottle. If you're only using it on your face, in theory you could expect each bottle to last you over four months before you need a refill. It is, however, body moisturiser too, so you could happily slather this on all over but it won't last as long.
Ingredients are very important to some and not at all to others. So, if you want to make this yourself or even just avoid puffing up and possibly dying due to an allergy, you'll want a quick look at what's in it. I apologise if I misspell anything, I'm copying from the bottle here so bare with me:
Water (Aqua), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Glycerine (glycerine), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet almond) Oil, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (perfume), PEG-20 Stearate, Methylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Butlparaben, Ethylparaben, Algae, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl methylpropional (lilial), Citronellol, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene, Carboxaidehyde (Lyral), Eugenol, Geraniol, 3-Methyl-4(2,6,6-Trimethyl-2-cyclohexine-1-yl)-3-Buten-2-one (Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone) Benzyl Alcohol.
So that was mind bending. If you are interested, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract is the first sea kelp element, you'd probably recognise it as the black stringy seaweed with all the bubbles that grow on it, like natures bubble wrap. Algae is the second and can cover a huge range of sea "growths"; I recognise it mostly as the green stuff that grows on ponds. Chondrus Crispus is another rather pretty piece of seaweed used in the making of this stuff. There may be more, but none that are entirely evident to me. If you're an expert, feel free to inform me. If not, let's just nod and agree!
At the hotel, I purchased 300ml of the stuff for £9.50. Having checked the website, the hotel didn't even try to screw me over! Brilliant! You can get the stuff for £8.50 from the website and you'll pay £1 postage. If you decide to get other stuff, orders over £10 come with free postage. There is plenty of other stuff to choose from that looks just as elegant and refined on the site, in fact, the Sea Kelp items have their own range. You can get Body and Hair shampoo, shower gel, hand cream, hand wash, body butter, body wash and plain old soap in the Sea Kelp range so if you're thinking of treating someone this might be a good place to start! I know I wouldn't mind another few bottles of the stuff. I tried out their body and hair shampoo at the hotel and it had the same refreshing, clean scent to it. Throw in that the moisturiser should last me a fair while, this stuff is really good value for the results it gave me. As an aside, you can get this stuff from Amazon too, but you'll be charged more for postage, so buying from the website (if you're in the UK) seems to be the best option, especially if you're planning to get more than one thing.
From the minute I caught a waft of the items in this range I fell in love with it. The fact it doesn't burn or hurt my face when I apply it is a God-send and the results have been absolutely fantastic. It looks good so you can sit it out, the pump-action means it's not a total fiddle to get the product out of the bottle. The results I've had with the stuff have been outstanding and it looks like it's going to last me a good few months meaning that the value is also fantastic. If you've had trouble finding a moisturiser that has worked, I'd definitely recommend giving this a go. Obviously results will probably be different for everyone, but if this can work for me, it really should work for most. Five stars out of five from me.
We stock this moisturiser in our washrooms in work, along with the handwash from the same range. It's from the Scottish Fine Soaps company, which is a premium brand with prices to match. I often see this brand stocked in hotels and restaurants, as they provide a nice luxurious finishing touch for guests and visitors. The moisturiser comes in a 300ml tub with a pump dispenser, with the tub being transparent so you can see the white moisturiser contained within. It retails for £8.50 on Amazon, which is quite expensive considering the number of washrooms we have in work, but it does seem to last a while.
The moisturiser is suitable for use on the hands and body, and the pump dispenser regulates how much is dispensed at once, resulting in no wastage from the bottle. It doesn't feel as thick as I expected it to be, but is still a good consistency to apply to the skin without it dripping everywhere. According to the product description, the moisturiser draws on the powers of ancient spa therapies by blending sea kelp with wild herbs, fruit extracts and minerals. I'm not entirely sure what sea kelp is, but I know from other products that it has quite a distinctive fragrance, which is unisex, uplifting, and summery. I would describe it as "ocean fresh".
Applying this moisturiser gives a real feeling of luxury, mainly because of the fragrance. It's the kind of fragrance that makes you sniff your hands after using it! I've used it on my hands, and also some parts of my body when I've had dry skin. For example, at the moment I have some peeling on my upper arms after getting sunburnt over the bank holiday weekend, so I've been using this whenever I go to the washroom. I must admit, it smells really good, and is very uplifting, but the moisturising properties are a bit disappointing. I find my skin dries out not long after using it, and in the case of my upper arms I have found myself applying this regularly throughout the day. As for the hands, it leaves an annoying greasy layer after use, which puts me off using it in work as I hate that feeling when your hands are sliding all over the keyboard.
This is a lovely product to use, and it exudes elegance and luxury, but the functionality seems compromised in my opinion. It would be nice to receive as a gift, or if you don't suffer from dry skin, but if you're looking for a moisturiser which is a bit more intense, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
(Review also appears on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
Inspired by the healing powers of ancient Spa Therapy, Sea Kelp is a wonderful reinvigorating and refreshing range to recreate that luxurious spa experience every day / Sea Kelp; will transform the bathroom into a sanctuary helping both mind and body benefit from a daily spa ritual.