The Handiest Skincare Product For Travel

August 6, 2017


We’ve just returned from our sojourn to Fiji, crashing right into Winter with single digit temperatures but thankfully a clear and sunny sky. These two months away have taught me so much about parenting, myself and the things we own and use. Most relevant to this post is the handiest skincare product for travel – Something I discovered, rather serendipitously. In my little, clear carry-on pouch I quickly collected items for the flight – lip balm, hand-sanitizer, face mist/toner, lipstick and this Savar Advanced Hand Repair. The only reason this 60ml bottle of hand cream was thrown in was because Rafa had been playing with it. He loves it when you pump some onto his hands and he rubs them together, and then hits himself in the face (trying to rub it on). It’s the cutest thing, and it also means he has the nicest hands.

During the numerous flights, I quickly discovered that not only did it keep Rafa entertained but it served as more than just a hand cream. I was using it on my face (and Rafa’s face) and on his hands and legs. Rafa also loves lip balm and will destroy ours if given the chance. So the hand cream doubled as a lip balm. It proved just as moisturizing and quite pleasant in its newly acquired role (I continued using it as such). Serendipitous use number three, a weapon to tame fly away strands of hair – again, on both my and Rafa’s head. For most of our trip I tried to keep Rafa’s hair semi-acceptable using the hand cream, and tamed my locks in the process.

The product wasn’t in my carry-on case intentionally, but I’m glad it was. A single product that can be stretched for a variety of uses helps minimize waste, space and allows you to get more from your money. The Savar Advanced Hand Repair truly surprised me – a real workhorse, but humble in comparison to the other glamours products on offer.

Microbeads and Plastic Free July

July 3, 2017


In January this year, the New Zealand government made an announcement to ban plastic microbeads in cosmetic products. The ban takes effect from July 2018. Plastic microbeads cannot be recycled and there is evidence to show that they pollute waterways and harm marine life. The United States and Canada have also begun the process of banning plastic microbeads, while Australia has threatened to if cosmetic companies do not voluntarily remove them from their products.

Microbeads are tiny plastic beads made from polyethylene (or polypropylene) found in a variety of skincare products. The most obvious and well-known products containing microbeads are exfoliants and facial scrubs. However, they are also found in masks, cleansers, soap and even toothpaste. The size of microbeads mean that water treatment facilities have no way of filtering them out. Their plastic/chemical composition also mean they are not biodegradable.

Luckily, there are many companies out there who, even before the threat of the ban, were environmentally conscious. Many companies, like Savar Skincare, opt to use alternatives, such as bamboo beads to plastic microbeads. As a consumer, you can make the switch and opt for products containing natural alternatives to microbeads, such as ground nut shells, apricot kernels and bamboo.

I personally prefer an exfoliant instead of a cleanser, so the information on microbeads was particularly useful for me. Once I became aware of and understood the issue, I immediately looked at the Savar Natural Refining Revitalising Facial Exfoliator I was using and was relieved to see they used bamboo beads. One of the benefits of investing in a natural, plant-based product.

July is Plastic Free July, if overhauling your lifestyle to completely rid it of single use plastic is too much, you might like to consider looking through your skincare products to see what they contain and making the switch to products with natural microbeads. I’d also just like to commend companies who strive to be environmentally aware and responsible. And who do so before bans and fines come into effect.

What Do You ‘Really’ Use?

June 1, 2017


I had a friend check with me to see what I ‘really’ use, in terms of skincare. “I know you talk a lot about Savar, but do you really use them? Do you really love them as much as you say you do?” Surprisingly, comments and questions like these don’t offend me. I’ve come to expect them, though what is surprising is that I don’t get asked them too often. I’d like to think it’s because my friends and readers know that I only share what I truly love. Questions and comments like these make sense because there are so many bloggers and influencers talking about so many products that they “just love” and “totally recommend”.

So, today I’m sharing some of my empties. Just a few products that I’ve used up recently and will be buying more of because they form such an integral part of my skincare routine.


1. Savar Rosehip Ultra Brightening Serum. I’ve written about this serum numerous times (in fact I’ve been going on about it since 2015, here). I’ve lost count as to how many bottles of this serum I’ve gone through. If this helps…there are two empties in my bathroom and one that’s almost empty as well. It’s not that they run out quickly, they actually go quite a long way, but I’m constantly using it because it makes my skin feel so good.


2. Savar Advanced Hand Repair. This is my second empty of this hand cream. I liked it the first time I used it, but then ended up using something else, and then switched back to it. Both Patrick and Rafa use it as well, and we love the subtle fragrance. I’ll be replacing this because it’s the perfect size for my handbag (and for travel) but it usually sits on the kitchen counter so we can take care of our hands throughout the day. We love seeing our guests help themselves to it too!


3. Savar Wonderlift Eye Cream. This is only the first bottle of the Savar Eye Cream that I’ve finished, the first that I’ve had. It is actually the first eye cream that I’ve ever committed to using continuously. I’ve seen a drastic improvement in my under eye area. A few months ago I couldn’t wear concealer or foundation as my under eye area was so dry that the products just caked. It wasn’t pretty. I had to forego covering up the dark circles and actually address the issue with skincare and a few changes to my diet. This is the best value for money eye cream that I’ve come across (and I’ve looked a fair bit).


4. Savar Antioxidant Night Cream. Like the eye cream, this is the first bottle I’ve tried and have finished. I’ve used it every night for a few months now. It’s lovely and thick (not greasy) and absorbs beautifully. It’s also a product that works well when you’re sharing a bed with someone. I’ve used a few products in the past that Patrick wasn’t really thrilled about. This is effective on my skin but gentle enough to not upset anyone around me (ie Patrick and Rafa).

I cannot believe I’ve come to a point in my skincare journey where I actually use up products before they ‘expire’. I haven’t had to throw any of my Savar products out because I use them up. I’m no longer switching between a variety of products hoping something works (though I do mix and match a few, I’ll tell you about that later). And for the record, yes I really use Savar products. My skincare is almost entirely made up of their range of products and yes I really do love them as much as I say. Actually, no I love them even more than I say.

Start Small

May 1, 2017


I’ve received a lot of questions about developing a skincare routine. If you follow me on Instagram you would have noticed that I really don’t talk about too many brands anymore. This is in large due to having truly honed in on what is working for me. There are so many products available and I don’t think it’s about finding the absolute best product on the market. Instead, I think about it as finding what’s best for you. Best for you in relation to your budget, your ethics, your skin needs and how your skin reacts to ingredients and products.

The best advice I can offer is to start small. Starting small might mean starting with one type of product or starting small might mean not investing too much money to begin with. It might entail asking the brand for samples and trialing these over a few weeks. I have absolutely no hesitation in emailing a brand to ask about ingredients, if there are special offers, or emailing to explain my skin issues and asking for their suggestions and often from the outset outlining what I’m willing to try or how much I’m willing to spend.

Ultimately, it is an investment. But you can still start small. And for those who persist and ask exactly what product I would ‘start small’ with, the one product I must have… Surprisingly this isn’t difficult for me to answer. After using a variety of products, I know for certain that my one must have is the Savar Natural Rosehip Ultra Brightening Serum. I’ve been using this product for two years now (there’s even a review I wrote, time stamped on the Savar website from 2015).

It has worked throughout seasons, through pregnancy and beyond. And in various countries and climates. The serum is a nutrient packed gel-like substance that I use at least twice a day. Sometimes more. Never less. I’ve also layered it with other skincare products. Applied make-up over it. And left the house with a clean face and just this serum. It’s one product I haven’t felt the need to replace or swap out for another. Instead, there’s also a bottle in my wardrobe (I never want to run out), and usually a spare because I love handing them over to the special women in my life.

If you’re struggling with your skincare and finding your skincare rhythm – take it slow. Start somewhere. And start small. Give yourself and your skin a chance to tell you and show you what’s working and what isn’t.

Interview with Skinfood New Zealand

April 21, 2017


We don’t really have a bucket list. Instead we have a criteria as we often keep going back to places we’ve already traveled to as we love getting to know these places better. Timor Leste was a country I really wanted to visit and we went a few years ago. We try to vary our travels and look at it in terms of three countries/trips per year: there’s usually a trip home to Fiji, a trip back to somewhere we’ve been already and a trip to somewhere new. One year the priority was traveling around Fiji so we stuck to that. We’re hoping to do more of the Pacific, especially the Micronesian islands, as a matter of priority given the effects of climate change on them.”

I don’t do interviews too often, but in the last few months I’ve done a few that I’ve really enjoyed. In this interview with Skinfood New Zealand I talk about blogging, working and mothering, travel and how we decide where to go and some favorite skincare tips for mum and bub.

The full interview is available here.

Savar Instant Boost Multi Toner: Review

April 4, 2017


It has been a few months now since I started using the Savar Instant Boost Multi Toner. I had started using mists/toners last year and had time to experiment with a few. This Savar one was the last that I got to (I like to really try products, and often use them until they finish).

Among the many nourishing ingredients used in this toner are New Zealand marshmallow and organic white tea. The marshmallow provides the soothing element often missing in other toners I’ve used. The Savar toner doesn’t sting when applied (even if I’ve just used a face scrub or have sensitive patches on my face). The white tea also helps reduce irritation. The product is also alcohol-free, which makes it perfectly gentle for your skin.

The biggest advantage for me was that there was no sting when I applied this toner. Often it’s not just the product that is important but also the overall experience of using the product. The design of the bottle, particularly the nozzle, also allows for easy application (ie you are not scaring the living daylights out of yourself each time you spritz it in the direction of your face and you don’t have product dripping and running down your arm). A well thought out and executed product from ingredient to design.

The Savar Instant Boost Multi Toner refreshes, hydrates, re-hydrates and creates a delightful glow all while being good for your skin, easy to use and good for the environment (in its recyclable bottle – which you can fill with water for multiple purposes once your toner runs out).

The Savar toner is such a popular product it is available in the large 240ml size, but also in a 30ml version available in the following sets: the luxury gift set, premium face essentials set and the ultra brightening face pack.

Tailoring Skincare Products Yourself

March 1, 2017

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that end up being true revelations. Simple, serendipitous moments that bring great discovery. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Savar Rosehip Ultra Brightening Serum it has been my  ‘product of the year’ since I started using it a few years ago. The Savar Gentle Hydrating Antioxidant Moisture Mask is a product that I’ve only started using but was impressed enough to write about here. I’m a fan of glowy, dewy looking skin but my skin needs a lot of help to achieve this. It’s naturally quite dry and matte. In the past I’ve achieved the desired glow with make-up but these days, having culled my make-up collection I’m left with skincare products and my diet. Working at achieving that glow from the inside out.

I can’t tell you exactly how I came to this combination, but I’ve started using the moisture mask and the brightening serum together. As  in, I mix them together in my hand and then apply all over my face and neck. The result has been an instant boost of moisture and glow. Because the serum is oil free to begin with, combining the two hydration and moisture dense products doesn’t leave my skin looking oily or greasy (definitely not the desired outcome). While the serum replenishes the skin’s antioxidant reserves, the mask helps strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and both function to reduce pollution penetration.

Just a few points to note:

I felt comfortable mixing these products as I have had no issues with them in the past.

The natural composition of Savar products also meant I was comfortable mixing them. I thought of it like mixing pomegranate and kiwifruit – an apt example as these are ingredients of the serum and mask. I wouldn’t have mixed products that weren’t natural/plant-based/organic.

Do a little patch test to ensure your skin doesn’t react badly.

You’ll also need to play around a bit to figure out which products mixed give you the best results and in what ratios.

This was such a pleasant little discovery for me as it also means that I get more out of the products that I have. I use this combination a few times a week, or when I want a little more glow (or when I’m a little extra tired).  It’s a novel way to further tailor your existing skincare to fit the changing needs of your skin without necessarily buying more products.

Do you mix an unlikely combination of products yourself? 

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