The best face massage tools of 2019

The best face massage tools of 2019


face massage

Face massage could be the difference between OK skin and the type of gleaming complexion you put on your bucket list for the new year…

For me, the best part of any facial isn’t the deep-dive pore purge or the high-tech gadgetry – it’s the face massage. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

I’m clearly not alone. Such is our appetite for mimicking the physical and wellbeing benefits of a professional sculpting facial, the market for at-home skin-perfecting tools is now worth upwards of £463 million.

What exactly are the benefits of face massage?

‘There are so many,’ says A-list facialist Joanna Czech whose own Facial Massager is currently the best-selling tool on Net-A-Porter. ‘It can speed up circulation and bring more oxygen to the tissue, resulting in brighter, healthier skin. By kick-starting your lymph system, a facial roller also helps drain away excess fluid and toxins. And finally, it can change the shape of your face; lifting the brows, the jawline and emphasizing long-lost cheekbones.’

Face massage also makes your skincare products work harder, adds LA-based aesthetician Nurse Jamie, whose clients include the Kardashian clan.

‘You can have the best ingredients and consistently apply creams but a face massage will help increase product absorption and results,’ she says.

The tools of the trade

From microcurrent to sonic technology, there’s a gamut of different high-tech face massage gadgets to arm yourself with in the quest for firm, glowing skin.

‘High-frequency sonic vibrations help to rejuvenate cells and encourage fluid drainage around your brow and jaw area,’ says Nurse Jamie.

Meanwhile, those with microcurrent send gentle waves through the skin, stimulating the underlying tissues and facial muscles for both instant and cumulative results.

But a cursory glance at the flat lays on Instagram reveals a love-affair with one tool: the facial roller. In particular, the jade roller.

Perhaps this is because, by happy coincidence, the upward and outward motion of a facial roller is almost meditative. So your breathing becomes slower and deeper and, much like a gym workout, the face massage it delivers releases feel-good endorphins.

Here we’ve rounded up the best face massage innovations, from the boundary breaking to the downright practical, that will elevate your skincare routine – plus precisely how to use them…

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How to buy perfume for someone else

How to buy perfume for someone else


Follow our essential guide and you won’t even need a gift receipt

On the surface, buying perfume for someone as a gift seems like a really good idea.

It shows them that a) you know them really well and b) you put in the effort. Plus, if you get it right, that fragrance will be one of the most memorable presents that person will ever receive.

On the flipside, because fragrance is so personal, buying perfume for someone else could be the riskiest gift you’ll ever shop for.

So, how do you avoid giving someone a fragrance that they hate?

Marie Claire spoke to Michelle Feeney, founder of award-winning British fragrance brand Floral Street, about how to avoid the pitfalls of scent-shopping for someone else…

1. Gift someone a discovery set

‘We all have different feelings and moods every day so give someone the opportunity to play around and try a whole collection of scents before selecting the perfume that fits their individual personality.

We have created the Floral Street Discovery Fragrance Gift Set of eight 1.5ml bottles to enable people to do just that. Fragrance often smells different on a blotter so it needs to be worn on the skin to be fully appreciated.

A mini bottle will let you experience a variety of scents, allowing them to evolve over the course of the day to make sure you are choosing the right ones.’

Floral Street Discovery Fragrance Gift Set, £14, John Lewis

Buying perfume

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2. Choose a scent that has a high level of perfume oil

‘Skin type, sebum production, hormones and the pH balance of our skin can all affect the way a scent smells.

These factors also play a part in how long the fragrance lasts. When buying perfume for someone else, choose one that has a high perfume oil level for maximum strength and longevity.

Eau de Parfums can boast as much as 20%  – certainly all our Floral Street fragrances do – while Eau de Toilettes only contain about 5-10%.’

3. Vanilla or soft florals are the safe bet 

‘If you are choosing for a person that finds big, heady floral fragrances overpowering or just not right for them, choose softer ones centred around sweet peony or delicate rose.

Vanilla can also be a favourite scent and studies have shown that it reduces stress and anxiety, as well as being considered comforting and warm.’

4. Focus on the person’s character or lifestyle

‘Similar words can be used to describe a fragrance and someone’s personality or mood: delicate or bold; focused or energetic or even quirky or rebellious.

Use this as a guide for your scent selection, and also think about their personal preferences.

If they like spicy food, for example, they might like something laced with saffron or red peppercorn (try the Floral Street Black Lotus Eau de Parfum). Someone who enjoys long country walks might be into a green, woodsy smell.’

Floral Street Black Lotus Eau de Parfum, £58, John Lewis

buying perfume Floral Street Black Lotus Eau de Parfum, £58, John Lewis

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5. When in doubt, go for popular and sustainable

‘Increasingly people are recognising that we need to care more about our impact on the planet.

So, choose fragrances that have sustainable or responsibly sourced ingredients as well as packaging that is recyclable, reusable or biodegradable. When I launched Floral Street two years ago this was at the heart of our brand. 

Bestsellers are also a safe bet because chances are, if they’ve smelt it on someone else and liked it, the more open they might be to trying it for themselves.’  

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How to use an eyelash curler

How to use an eyelash curler


Gone are the days when an eyelash curler was like a mean-looking bear trap.

The latest sleek iterations are easy to use and won’t leave lashes bent or crimped.

In fact, eyelash curlers can now fulfil every last one of your false lash dreams if you have stick-straight hairs or simply want to look wide awake when your lids are carrying more baggage than your average celebrity.

Even Chanel recently released its own chic-as-hell version – a sign if ever there was one that we need to be using an eyelash curler.

The trouble is, most of us look at eyelash curlers and think, ‘What do I do with them?’ and ‘How do I not spoon out my eyeball by accident?’.

There’s a knack to using an eyelash curler

Marie Claire spoke to Zoe Taylor, make-up artist for Chanel, about the do’s and don’ts of eyelash curling…

1. Always use your eyelash curler before applying mascara, false lashes or any other make-up

‘I always curl lashes when I am prepping the skin and then once more just before applying mascara. I place the curler approximately ¼ of the way down the lash away from the root, then press down, release and go slight closer. I keep going until I am right up against the root of the lash. This helps to get a deep, long-lasting curl rather than simply a bend in the lash. It’s always worth remembering that it is much harder to get a decent curl when your lashes are wet. Re-curling once mascara is on can make the lashes sticky and clump together.’

2. Hold the eyelash curler securely – that’s it!

‘There is no right or wrong way of holding eyelash curlers. Just make sure you are gripping them securely as you need to press down hard when curling. Also open the curler wide enough for your top lashes to fit between the rubber cushion and metal top.’

3. Pump the curler at the root

‘Technique is everything. All lashes need a different amount of time to get the curl and make sure it stays. Some lashes can take up to 25 seconds in one curl action. Gently pumping the curler at the root is a really good way of avoiding any hard bends in the lash. By not concentrating the bend on one area, you avoid an L shape and create the perfect, gentle curl.’

The best eyelash curlers to add to your make-up bag pronto…

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Huda Kattan: 'My three secrets to being a successful entrepreneur'

Huda Kattan: 'My three secrets to being a successful entrepreneur'


The undisputed queen (and founder) of billion-dollar beauty brand, Huda, gives us a masterclass on the surprising qualities you need to to start up a business (no life savings necessary)

Huda Beauty

For Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty, empowering women via her beauty blog was the philosophy that turned a simple love affair with make-up into one of the fastest-growing beauty brands in the world. Now with Huda Beauty valued at over $1 billion dollars and launching into skincare in 2020, Huda shares her essential tips on how to go from influencer to building your business in less than a year.

Huda Beauty

1. You must believe passionately in your brand

‘Loving what you do is the key ingredient, so start with these basic questions: Why do I want to start a business? Do I like the industry enough to be living and breathing it 24/7? Do I have enough passion for beauty to follow it through? Personally I’ve always given people make-up advice and talked about beauty products because that’s what I’m passionate about. I can’t promote makeup on Instagram if I don’t believe in the product. If I’m asking people to spend money on Huda Beauty products, I have to genuinely believe we have created the best.’

2. Surround yourself with a loyal team and share responsibilities  

‘To scale your business, you need to delegate responsibilities to others and establish a strong company culture. That means having a loyal, supportive team. I have my whole family involved because this instils a positive, kind environment and I need people I can trust. I was so scared setting up a beauty brand because I expected the rest of the industry to be catty. If I ever come across attitude, I’ll nip it in the bud right away. There’s no way I tolerate that behaviour.’

3. Be kind to other brands  

‘It has always been Huda Beauty’s policy to support other brands on YouTube and Instagram. The comments show that people really appreciate us giving different price points. We even share dupes of our products. If you’re looking for a more reasonably-priced version of our product, why not buy it? Even when we criticise products we do it with the intention of educating people and not hurting a brand. Some brands do the clickbait thing of ‘never try this’ to get traffic but it’s against our ethos and people are tired of negativity. You lose integrity and therefore followers.’

Shop our must have Huda Beauty essentials:

 

Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde Palette, £58

Huda Beauty

Huda Beauty Throwback Power Bullet in First Kiss, £22

Huda Beauty

 

 

 

Huda Beauty Kayali Vanilla EDP, £84 for 100ml

Huda Beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huda Beauty Life Liner, £22

Huda Beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huda Beauty Hoodie Lash, £17

Huda Beauty

The post Huda Kattan: ‘My three secrets to being a successful entrepreneur’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

Top tips for sensitive skin

Top tips for sensitive skin


Here’s how to keep calm and carry on…

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin in the form of redness, chapping and spots is like an unwelcome house guest. It appears out of the blue and before you know it, it’s completely taken over.

But fear not, says skincare expert Debbie Thomas, ‘almost everyone experiences sensitive skin at some point. When skin is exposed to changes in weather or allergens such as dust and fragrance, it can read them as the enemy. Your skin then produces inflammatory hormones, enzymes and free radicals to fight them off, which unfortunately damages the skin.’

Pollution is a culprit

The rise in air pollution may also explain the recent surge in sensitive skin cases. According to a study earlier this year by Friends of the Earth, over 2,000 UK locations have unsafe air quality.

You see, pollution doesn’t just sit on the surface of your skin, muddying it up like a windscreen. Car exhaust fumes and toxic oily molecules attached to soot (also know as particulate matter) can seep into the skin.

‘Once inside they cause chronic inflammation,’ says Dr Tom Mammone, Vice President of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology at Estee Lauder companies.

Antioxidants are your first line of defence against pollution, followed closely by hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

‘We’ve been able to prove that pollution tears tiny holes in the skin’s barrier, causing moisture loss,’ says Mammone. This can then go on to create a chain reaction of dryness and irritation.

Most irritation is self-inflicted by an overzealous regime

To top it all off, overloading the skin with harsh anti-ageing products or the wrong mixture of ingredients can be enough to set off stinging code red. For example, applying an exfoliator containing AHAs followed by a slick of a retinol overnight.

‘Microscopic cracks appear in the skin that enable toxins and irritants to seep in and cause further problems,’ explains Thomas.

If you want your sensitive skin to recover fast, resist the temptation to throw lots of products at the problem.

Stick to a bare-bones regime for two weeks using a gentle cleanser and sensitive skin moisturisers  packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients, before gradually reintroducing your usual products.

The best products for sensitive skin

The post Top tips for sensitive skin appeared first on Marie Claire.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base saved my relationship

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base saved my relationship


OK, not even on Planet Beauty is Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base considered the equivalent of couples’ therapy. But it did prevent one boyfriend dumping me on account of my self-tan addiction.

Fondly remembered as the ‘David Dickinson Years’, I was in my 20s and living life to its walnut-coloured max. I saw nothing wrong with spending three nights a week walking around my flat like John Wayne in an effort to prevent streaks or missed bits (hello white side-boob).

Then my boyfriend moved in and everything changed.

I could see him turning his nose up at the McVities smell of the pillowcase and bedsheets, which was as comforting to me as the smell of coffee that some people pump through their homes.

The ‘no snogging please, I’m St Tropez-ing’  became a sore point, too, even if it was only to prevent him from looking like he’d been amorous with a Whatsit the next morning.

Needless to say something had to give – and that was the self-tan.

Thankfully, a timely post drop on the beauty desk introduced me to Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base, which I have  used ever since in place of foundation to warm up my skin tone without that heavy fake-tan effect.

What’s all the fuss about?

Within minutes of applying Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base, this cream-gel bronzer takes me from looking like a Victorian child sick with influenza who won’t make it through winter, to J-Lo tawny bronze goddess.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base, £40, John Lewis

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While there’s no denying that there are a bunch of cream bronzers out there, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base is the only one I’ve found that imparts a sheer hint of natural colour with a middle-of-the-road sheen so skin looks luminous and never muddy (another reason it can be used on darker skin tones to magically brighten).

You can also control exactly where the colour goes and rather than melting in your pores, Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base dries down to a velvety long-lasting finish without being cakey. This is important, as I find a lot of bronzing powders leave dark brown tidemarks on the face no matter how furiously you buff them into the skin.

Also nice: the floral scent of Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base. It’s what I imagine rich, beautiful people smell like and definitely an improvement on biscuity pillowcases.

How I apply Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base 

There’s two different ways.

For a pretty summer’s day look, I’ll dip a kabuki brush into the formula and then dab the excess onto the back of my hand (you can always pick up more colour from there if you need to).

Using soft circular motions, I’ll buff it all over my face to take it a tone or two darker, not forgetting my ears and neck.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base

Chanel Petit Pinceau Kabuki Brush, £40, John Lewis

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For a more sculpted evening look, I’ll take a foundation brush and sweep the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base under my cheekbones, starting from my hairline and stopping about an inch from the corner of my mouth to contour.

Just be sure to blend well with your finger.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base

Chanel Pinceau Fond De Teint Foundation Brush, £29.70, John Lewis

Buy it now

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base

Real Techniques Foundation Brush, £8.99, Lookfantastic

Buy it now

 

The post Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base saved my relationship appeared first on Marie Claire.

5 blow-dry steps you should never skip

5 blow-dry steps you should never skip


Blow-dry

Salon-level results at home

You probably blow-dry your hair a couple of times a week but, be honest, how many times do the results fall flat (pun intended)? Blow-drying your hair is a lot like attempting a crème brulee – too much heat too fast and you end with a burnt mess. That’s why we tapped hair stylists Nick Latham and Sean Nother – aka The Hair Bros – who can be found at the Knightsbridge outpost of Hershesons in Harvey Nichols for their simple techniques to beef up fine hair and wean you off straighteners and curling tongs. Your hair will thank you…

Step one – Do the prep

Brush wet hair with a mason brush.

Blow-dry

Hershesons Mixed Bristle Oval Bristle Brush, £24

Buy now

Using the right product pre blow-dry will also save your ends from breakage and make the volume last longer. Remember to always use heat protection and choose root-boosting sprays as they are lightweight and won’t leave behind a sticky residue.

Blow-dry

Hershesons Almost Everything Cream, £10

Buy now

Blow-dry

Kerastase Resistance Volumique Spray, £23.80

Buy now

Philip Kingsley Maximiser Root Boosting Spray, £18, John Lewis

Buy now

Step two – Rough-dry hair

Rough-dry strands with a hair dryer until it’s 90% dry. Then you can start sectioning it and styling it. This will cut down your blow-dry time and means you should only have to go over each section once or twice with a brush. Another bonus? You use less heat on each section so hair won’t fall flat or get annoying flyaways.

Step three – Blow-dry in sections

Always blow-dry your hair from the front to the back, starting with the hairline and crown as they’re the most visible. Do it the other way around and by the time you get to the front section, it will be dry and harder to smooth down.

Step four – Blow-dry in the opposite direction

Sweep your hair forward, brushing down the hair shaft to smooth the cuticles. Bend strands around a large round brush when taking the heat through the ends. Repeat throughout the lower layers then comb your hair back. By blow-drying your roots in the opposite direction you give them extra volume.

Hershesons Ceramic Ion Brush Large, £30

Buy now

Step 5: Use your ears to create waves

Finally, part your hair as usual and tuck it behind your ears. Better yet, do it when your hair is still warm. Your ears are the perfect height to give you the same face-framing kinks you see on the red carpet.

 

 

The post 5 blow-dry steps you should never skip appeared first on Marie Claire.



How to shave your legs: the 7 tips to getting it right

How to shave your legs: the 7 tips to getting it right


A close shave

how to shave your legs

There is so much more to shaving your legs than you think. You might well have nailed your technique over the years, however keep reading our how to shave your legs guide as you never know we could make things easier for you.

Dr Anita Sturnham, Venus Skincare Ambassador, shared some of her top hair removal tips with us, including how best to shave those hard-to-reach areas, how to avoid red bumpy rashes and which razors to avoid…

1. Use the right razor

It might be tempting to run into the supermarket and buy a pack of those super cheap orange disposable razors, but you pay for what you get. As Dr Sturnham, explains: ‘There are some things in our home beauty routines that really are worth investing in.’ And a good razor is definitely one of them. The key things to look for when buying a razor are: how many blades does it have, does it have a moisture strip, does it have a stationary or rotating head?

The number of blades will cut down the time and pressure needed for each shave. The moisture strips will help the razor glide over skin, as well as conditioning the skin preventing it from drying out. And a rotating head won’t get stuck on those tricky areas, like knees and ankles.

Gilette Venus Comfort Glide Spa Breeze 2-in-1, £4 Amazon

how to shave your legs gillette venus

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2. Shave in the right place

This might seem like a weird one, but we’re pretty sure that at some point in life you’ve been in a rush, whacked out a razor and started to dry shave to save time. Dry shaving is one of the biggest causes of shaving rash and irritation, so just don’t do it. Unsurprisingly, you want to be in the shower or the bath. You want to make sure that your skin is super hydrated and that the hair is completely damp. Dr Sturnham recommends you soak the skin for 2-3 minutes before tackling your stubble with the razor.

3. Invest in a shaving cream

In the past you might have used your shower gel or your conditioner, which is definitely better than nothing. However, shaving creams or gels have been specifically formulated to work in conjunction with the razors and your skin, as they’re super hydrating and lubricating. Other products can also blunt your razors, so don’t leave shaving cream off your next shopping list.

Omorovicza Soothing Shaving Cream, £25 Cult Beauty

how to shave your legs shaving cream

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4. Scrub, scrub and scrub some more

Exfoliating is the step that most people are likely to skip, as they don’t see the relevance it has to hair removal. However, it is in fact one of the most important, as it improves the texture and tone of your skin, lifts away dead skin cells and helps prevent ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are caused by clogged hair follicles and, so regular use of the best body scrub will stop them occurring. Try and do it once or twice a week, in between shaves.

5. Change up your blade

How often do you change the blade on your razor? When your remember? When it starts to cut you? A blunt razor causes more damage than it’s worth – you’ll find your skin gets more irritated, it will end up nicking your skin and causing small cuts and you won’t get the smooth shave you want (hello random patches of hair). Dr Sturnham recommends changing your blade after 10 uses. If you can’t remember how many times you’ve used it, be sure to change it at least once a month.

6. Keep skin taut

When shaving your knees or ankles, be sure to straighten your legs to keep the skin stretched. This will help keep your razor in good contact with the skin, making for a smoother shave. There are some razors now with flexible heads, like the Gillette Venus Swirl Flexiball, which more with the contours making for a much nicer shave.

7. Finish with some moisture

The final step after shaving your legs should always be to apply a soothing and hydrating moisturiser. Opt for one that’s rich in natural oils that will lock in the moisture.

Did you learn something new?

Say goodbye to shaving fails.

The post How to shave your legs: the 7 tips to getting it right appeared first on Marie Claire.

How to wash your hair (because you've probably been getting it wrong this whole time)

How to wash your hair (because you've probably been getting it wrong this whole time)


Lather, rinse, repeat. Right?????

how to wash your hair

Washing our hair is something that we all do, all the time. It’s something that we’ve been doing regularly since we were showed how at an early age. So the idea of being told how to wash your hair seems silly right?

Well perhaps not. For example, surely someone with drier curly hair should wash their hair completely differently to someone with poker straight hair that errs on the side of greasy? Or what about what you use to to wash your hair? The one that you consider the best shampoo for you might not work for the next person.

So really there must be more to it. The Hair Bros – two of London’s most promising hair stylists Nick Latham and Sean Nother, who can be found at the Knightsbridge outpost of Hershesons in Harvey Nichols (arguably one of the best hair salons in London) – say there’s much more to washing your hair than you originally thought: ‘In terms of washing hair, one thing we have learnt over time is that there is no “right” way to wash your hair. That’s not to say there are not some simple guidelines and principles to follow, but just because your blonde soft straight hair tends to prefer a wash every day, doesn’t mean your curly haired friend should do the same.’

how to wash your hair

How to wash your hair properly

‘In essence, hair type, lifestyle (and a smidge of vanity) all play a part in influencing your hair wash routine,’ say The Hair Bros.

However, there is always one thing to remember: always shampoo twice and condition only the ends.

Shampooing twice is similar to double cleansing your skin, ‘Double cleansing has been happening at every salon backwash for years and years. It’s the only way to effectively remove dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and so on. The first shampoo never lathers as well, and usually takes the dirt out. The second shampoo will really foam up and clean the scalp. Your hair begins at the scalp, so be gentle when washing at the root. Avoid using your nails or being too aggressive, and apply minimum pressure. Two rounds of gentle massaging of the scalp – the first to remove build up and the second to ensure your scalp is throughly clean. Rinse until the hair squeaks when your fingers rub it. A cold water rinse does help seal the cuticle and deep clean the follicles. It’s also good for blood flow and waking you up.’

The hair at your root is new, virgin hair so doesn’t need conditioner like your ends do. These are bits that are damaged, dry and need that extra bit of TLC.

Is it bad to wash your hair every day?

No, if you have particularly greasy hair that needs to be cleaned every day, then crack on. But if you do wash your hair everyday, then you don’t need to “double cleanse” say The Hair Bros. ‘You will just end up stripping the scalp of all moisture and in return your natural oils will double in order to compensate this.’

However, most people don’t need to wash their hair that regularly. ‘Not washing your hair nearly as often as you’d think is the best way to go. We find that people are wash their hair way too much – three times a week is more than enough.’

Does your hair type determine how to wash your hair?

Yes certain hair types should wash their hair in a certain way…

Curly hair:

‘Avoid scrubbing excessively,’ say The Hair Bros. ‘If you wash your hair on Monday, use conditioner or a co-wash only on Wednesday. A small amount of sulphates in the conditioner will remove any dirt. Try and comb the conditioner through in the shower. Go back to shampoo on Friday.’

Thin hair:

‘Avoid heavily scented, paraben-rich shampoos and conditioners. All of this stuff builds up in the hair and makes it look lank. Try not to use too much conditioner either – natural oils will do the job of the conditioner. Too many heavy things build up in the hair and make thin hair look worse.’

The post How to wash your hair (because you’ve probably been getting it wrong this whole time) appeared first on Marie Claire.



How to deal with thigh chafing now that the summer is (finally) here


Because the inner-thigh rub is real. And it hurts.

thigh chafing 71471284
Credit: Laurence Mouton / Getty

Summer is finally coming and now that it’s actually warming up there’s no excuse not to add some of these game-changing summer dresses to your sartorial wish list. From those sizzling off-the-shoulder numbers to gorgeous floral dresses, our wardrobes are so prepared for the British heatwave.

While we get excited about the prospect of sashaying in the sunshine during our lunch hour, we are far less amused by that itchy side effect of hot weather – thigh chafing.

Oh yes. When the temperature soars and you’ve ditched your jeans in place of an easy breezy summer dress there’s no getting away from it. It’s itchy, it’s sore, it can leave you with red raw patches between your legs – and it’s not pleasant. Waddling might relieve it for a bit, as can subtly trying to tuck your dress between your legs and hoping no one notices.

But if you’re not keen on wincing as you slow walk home, then here’s how to avoid thigh chafing forever.

What is thigh chafing?

Thigh chafing is the result of the skin between your legs consistently rubbing, which can cause irritation. During the hotter months, we sweat more and therefore it makes the friction between your thighs even worse. Some people experience some slight discomfort, others find they get rashes, but the repeated rub can also cause the skin to break and make it feel painfully raw.

How to stop thigh chafing

There are a few foolproof ways to prevent thigh chafing, most commonly in the form of either a cream, balm, or a garment that acts as a barrier. So there’s no need to bin all your summer dresses just yet.

Anti-chafing cream

One of the best ways to prevent thigh chafing is to apply a cream or ointment between your legs before you head out. Any creams, gels or balms that offer lubrication will reduce the friction and also soothe the skin.

Try Bepanthen, a well-known nappy rash cream. It’s an ointment that’s created for babies (so you know it’s super soft and gentle), and it works to reduce and recover irritated skin. It contains no fragrance or preservatives and creates a moisturising barrier between the rubbing skin. You only need a dab of it on the chafing hotspots in the morning and it will protect you all day, so a small tube should see you through the summer.

thigh chafing

Bepanthen, £3.30 for 30g – Boots

Anti-chafing balm

If you’re looking for a stick that quite literally glides on and protects your thighs all day, give the Body Glide Unisex Body Original Anti Chafe Balm Stick a go. While it is a little pricey compared to Bepanthen, it does provide protection from the dreaded rubbing and doesn’t need to be reapplied during the day. No matter how sweaty and clammy you get, the balm will keep chafing at bay and is made with allergen free, plant-derived ingredients. It also doesn’t leave you feeling sticky and you don’t have to wait for it to dry – just glide and go.

thigh chafing

Body Glide Unisex Body Original Anti Chafe Balm Stick, £17.49 for 22g – Amazon

Anti-chafing bands

If creams or balms aren’t your thing, then fear not – there are a couple of different items you can wear under your dress or skirt that will keep the skin separated and no one will be any the wiser.

These anti chafing shorts will act as a thigh barrier, leaving chafing at the door. They include cool comfort technology which will keep you feeling fresh and free all day. They come in three colours – black, white and almond – and are a bargain at only £12 a pair.

thigh chafing

Anti-Chafing Shorts with Cool Comfort, £12 – M&S

If you’re looking for a thigh barrier alternative, you could also get a pair of regular tights and cut them at the knee. You’ll end up with breathable and light tights-shorts that you can wear under your clothes.

How to heal thigh chafing fast

First you need to make sure you gently clean the area with water and ensure it’s dry before applying any products to the affected skin to reduce risk of infection if the skin is broken.

You can use Bepanthen to heal thigh chafing quickly, as it is full of pro-vitamin B5 which helps recover irritated or sore skin. You can also use a soothing aloe vera gel, or if you prefer a homemade remedy then soaked and refrigerated chamomile tea bags reportedly do the trick.

So there you have it – your legs need never give you summer-induced pain again.

Thigh chafing? More like BYE chafing.

The post How to deal with thigh chafing now that the summer is (finally) here appeared first on Marie Claire.