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Normally this brand would have been beyond my budget, however I received a couple of 10ml tubes of this hand cream to sample. Apparently it’s one of their best sellers, despite the price tag of £19 for 150ml (£8 for 30ml).


Aqua/Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Mel Extract/Honey Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Parfum/Fragrance, Polyacrylamide, Peg,100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Ceteareth-33, Alcohol Denat, Laureth-7, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin, Alpha, Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Geraniol.



    • Cost – to me, £19 for 150ml is quite expensive. Perhaps this could be justified if it did an exceptional job, but I find that cheaper brands of hand cream seem to work just as well for me.
    • I find the smell off-putting. I find it hard to describe – it’s quite a strong, sharp smell. It can’t be the Shea butter (which apparently either has a nutty smell or no smell depending on whether it’s refined) so perhaps it’s the added fragrance in the ingredients list.

Personally I wouldn’t be willing to spend £19 on a tube. Perhaps it would work more for me if my hands were in a more desperate situation, but personally I don’t find it to be worth it.

Also, even if price were not a problem I would prefer not to use it due to the smell, unless I had really dry hands. However, a brief Google search seems to indicate that most people don’t have a problem with the smell (although there is at least one other person who does) so it’s probably down to individual preference.

From my own point of view, I give this a rating of 3/5.


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When I purchased a tube of BB cream from South Korea about 2 years ago, I received a few free samples alongside my order. One of the samples was for Tony Moly’s I’m Real Avocado Rich Cream. Being slightly prone to acne, I was put off by the description of “rich” and consigned the sample to one of my drawers.

Unfortunately, this year I seem to be plagued by dry, sensitive skin. Perhaps it’s my chronic sun cream use (see Colin’s Beauty Pages – section on potential disruption of the outer layer of the skin) or perhaps age is catching up with me. Just in case you were wondering – I am sure it was not related to the BB cream since I finished the tube a long time ago or any other new facial skin care products, as I had not had a change of regime for about a year.

I finally decided to give the sample a try – see below for my thoughts. I went on to purchase a jar at US$12.36/£8.24 for 90ml (price in May 2015 including delivery, from Beauty Net Korea), so my experience is based on about 4 weeks’ use of the cream.


  • I like the texture – doesn’t feel too thick or rich
  • I like the scent – I suppose I’d describe it as fresh and fruity. It doesn’t actually smell like avocado (which is fine by me).
  • It seemed to moisturise and calm down my dry patches.
  • It did not result in any breakouts or irritate any facial rash.
  • Reasonably affordable.
  • According to Momomango and Urban Outfitters, Tony Moly do not test on animals.


  • It might not be rich enough for those with truly dry skin.

In conclusion, I’d recommend this cream to those with normal or slightly dry skin. I am happy that it did not cause any adverse reactions, however if you have sensitive skin I would recommend that you purchase a sample first to test.

From my own point of view, I give this cream a rating of 5/5.

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I realise that the timing of this post is a bit late with regards to summer, however I imagine that sun cream is still useful on sunny winter days (and if anybody is lucky enough, upcoming winter sports holidays) so here goes.

More recently, I have found that my facial skin is drier than it used to be. This has not always been the case – so I have been wondering if I have finally started to feel the effects of aging on my face and/or if this might be due to my use of chemical sun cream over the past few years. On Colin’s Beauty Pages, it was hypothesised that chemical sun cream might disrupt the barrier function of the outer layer of the skin (see link). I read his blog post prior to deciding to use sun cream on my face on most days, but given that it is far easier to buy chemical sunscreen I decided to do so anyway. More recently I decided that I would like to try out physical sun cream, but the challenge was to find one that I would like, wasn’t too expensive and preferably wasn’t tested on animals.

This review is for Aubrey Natural Sun Green Tea SPF30 sunscreen, which uses 12% zinc oxide and 5.6% titanium dioxide to provide UVA/UVB protection. As of October 2015, it costs £12.98 for 118ml and the ingredients are listed as follows:

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 12%, Titanium Dioxide 5.6%,
Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil*, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Galactoarabinan, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter*, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil*, Brassica Campestris / Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Glycerin, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower / Leaf / Stem Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Leuconostoc / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Gluonolactone, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder*, Xanthan Gum, Tanacetum Annuum Oil.



  • Didn’t give me breakouts – great!
  • Rubs in reasonably well
  • It bears the EU “UVA” logo, so the UVA protection is at least a 1/3 of the given SPF
  • Unobtrusive smell – although it has a faint scent which reminds me of green tea powder. Strangely enough, I have tried their Natural Sun Unscented SPF 30 sunscreen and find that the smell is comparable, so I don’t think it’s the green tea in it which gives it the scent…
  • It has an expiry date on it – something which is surprisingly lacking on most sunscreens. I know that most sunscreens are supposed to last for 2-3 years if not opened and stored properly, but still it’s reassurance of some sort.
  • Water resistant for 40 minutes.
  • According to their website (accessed 25/06/2015), “our testing has shown that the average particle of micronized titanium dioxide in Aubrey sunscreens has an average size of 202 nm, or twice the largest size considered a nanoparticle, while the average zinc oxide particle is more than 1,000 nm, or ten times the size of a nanoparticle.” This is good if you are worried about the potential effect of nanoparticles penetrating the skin.
  • Biodegradable and Reef-safe – should you happen to go swimming in the sea with your sunscreen, you can be happy in the knowledge that you are not contributing to chemical damage of coral reefs.


  • It does leave a slight whitish cast. I find that it blends in quite well on my skin, however am not sure how it would blend on darker skin tones (e.g. black or south Asian). I have the impression that repeated application throughout the day reinforces the whitish cast.
  • The UVA protection could be better – it is less than equivalent to SPF15 as it bears the FDA warning for products that are broad spectrum with SPF values from 2-14. (See this FDA’s Final Regulations section via this link: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm). As it does bear the EU UVA logo, the UVA protection level must be at least 1/3 of the SPF so it probably offers a UVA equivalent of SPF10-14.
  • Repeated application – say, about more than 2 times – results in a sticky feeling. That having been said, this is meant to be water resistant for 40 minutes.
  • It is recommended that this sunscreen is used up in 6 months of opening. This is less compared to chemical sunscreens I have used (12-18 months).
  • You need to remember to shake the tube before use. When I first opened the seal on 1 tube I purchased, the cream seemed to have separated by a fair amount. According to the Aubrey Organics website, they don’t use “synthetic emulsifiers to bind the oil and water phases of our products” and “this does not mean the product is spoiled, nor does separation lessen the product’s effectiveness”. I presume that suitable natural emulsifiers don’t exist?
  • For this particular tube, I had to take off the top, squeeze it a bit to let out the air and then massage the contents a bit to mix it up again. I think that the fact that this was a new tube (possibly lying untouched in a warehouse for some time) might have contributed to settling and separation. After having used the tube for about a week or so, the contents seemed to be reasonably well mixed and I have no problems with separation.

I would buy this sun cream again as I’m glad to have found a mineral sun cream that’s within my budget and which seems non-comedogenic for my skin. In my opinion, this is a reasonably good choice if you are looking for a purely physical sun cream which is environmentally friendly and free of animal testing.

Given the potential for stickiness, I would recommend this as best as a facial sun cream on days when you are indoors for a significant part of the day, i.e. if you don’t plan to apply it too many times throughout the day. Otherwise, this is still reasonably fine on sunny outdoor days when one needs to apply really frequently.

Also, I am not sure if it would blend in well on dark skin – but this is because I do not have naturally dark skin so have not tried it out. Based on my understanding, this is due to the titanium oxide and zinc oxide usually present in (purely) physical sunscreens.

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Bear picture

I’m trying to decide which picture to use as the main picture of my bear on Etsy? Which one looks better to you?




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Merry Christmas

Here’s hoping that everyone had a lovely Christmas. I think I did, although I am a bit behind schedule on work due to all the cleaning, tidying, cooking and general festivities. One of the presents I got was this really pretty porcelain cup.

But aha! This is no ordinary pretty cup (even if the goldfish do look lovely). Inside the cup is a tea-straining section, which fits in perfectly and is removable. So I can brew a cup of tea for myself, and easily remove the tea leaves when the tea is fully brewed, no tea pot necessary. I love it!

Also, may I share this amazing nut roast recipe. I’m quite confident that even parsnip-haters will like it – I don’t really like parsnips myself but liked the nut roast that resulted!

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We visited the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall in Witney on my birthday.

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What can I say – snow snow snow!!! 😀 It was a winter wonderland when I went out this morning. Unfortunately now alot of it has been either cleared, become slushy or become muddy. Oh well.

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