Tuesday, May 30, 2017

London Shopping Roundup - Potions and Lotions

This post is so delayed, but it's a must!  On my last London trip, I bought a bunch of stuff from one of my favorite shops, Neal's Yard, and Boots pharmacy, where they stocked La Roche Posay products.
I went to Neal's Yard primarily to pick up more products in their frankincense line.  I can get their stuff in Hong Kong pretty easily, but it's cheaper in the UK and I also can get it without VAT.  I think their stuff is available in the States, but it's harder to find (they do a weirder thing, like an Avon or Mary Kay sales structure, where you have to go through an individual salesperson).

They have a few different lines of products, ranging from hair, body, face to scents and oils.  Of their facial and body line, I've tried their rose and jasmine products, but I think I like their frankincense stuff the best. I picked up more of their serum and decided to try the toner from the same line.

I know this smell isn't for everyone (it smells like the pews of a Catholic church when the priests swing the burner during mass), but I really like it.  I think this is my third bottle of the serum and I continue to find it very hydrating but not at all heavy.  It "tightens and tones" but not in a very strong or weird way. The toner I am also liking - I find I tend to spray a lot of it because it feels so light and refreshing.

I bought the facial wash (pictured above for sake of completeness) in Hong Kong, but I don't think it's as good as the other two products - or at least, I don't feel a noticeable difference in using it.  I would be fine just sticking with a plain Cerave or Cetaphil or even Dove soap.

I also went to Boots pharmacy (how fun is it to go to pharmacies in foreign countries and see what products they sell!) where I picked up a bunch of La Roche Posay products at a great price.  This is a French brand very well known for its sun protective qualities, and I've been using their sunscreen for a long time.  At my friend's urging, I decided to try their range of normal facial products, and I have to say, I LOVE THEM.  Their products are pretty expensive in Hong Kong (less expensive in the US where you can buy it at CVS or Rite Aid with coupons) but they had the most range and a lot of heavy discounts in London.

After a lot of hasty googling and indecision at the Boots counter, I decided to try their Toleriane line, which seems to be the combination I need.  It's light and soothing, with no fragrances or additives, and perfect for my very thirsty, dry skin. It isn't greasy or heavy so it's also fine to use on my T zone.  It's amazing because you need such a tiny amount, but it manages to make your whole face feel fully covered.  I debated a long time between the Toleriane Fluid and the Toleriane Ultra, which are both moisturizers.  After reading some more reviews, I decided to go for the Ultra because the Fluid sounded a little too light for my thirsty skin.  I think a good moisturizer is the most challenging bit in any facial routine.  I find it very difficult to find a good one that is not too light, not too heavy, not cloying or clogging or inadequate.  To make it more challenging, everyone's skin is different, so what works wonders for one person may not work for another.  I am so pleased I found the Toleriane Ultra.

I also picked up a cleanser (which I haven't started to use yet) and a scrub, which I've only used twice - I think the dermalogica rice exfoliator is still the better exfoliant for me.  That exfoliant leaves my face feeling clean and bright and fresh, whereas the La Roche Posay one (a kind of micro beaded gel scrub) feels a little heavy.
Finally, I picked up La Roche Posay's Anthelios XL ultra light fluid sunblock, which they've somehow made even lighter and more weightless. (Magic!) I usually hate putting on sunblock after I've already applied toner, serum and moisturizer, but this is so milky and light that I don't mind at all.  It absorbs immediately and feels wonderful!

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