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My Updated Skincare Routine (For Eczema Prone Skin)

Skincare for sensitive and eczema prone skin

So, as I covered in my latest overview of the makeup I've been reaching for recently, my skin has pretty much decided to have a hissy fit whenever I use anything that it even slightly doesn't like - and I can tell you, that made it PRETTY difficult to find an eye-makeup remover and cleanser for a while...I even tried pure coconut oil and had an allergic reaction, how is that even possible, face?!

HOWEVER! I have, after a very long period of trial and error, lots of Googling of what other people used, and some leaps of faith, come across a basic skincare routine that has totally transformed my face. Not in some magical way, I still look exactly the same, but my skin is no longer basically melting off. What a lovely image eh?

So, if you're interested, join me and take a peek inside my current wash bag...

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter

This cleansing butter is a SUPERSTAR when it comes to taking off makeup - you only need a tiny amount and it just melts into the skin, and I have to say, it's very satisfying when you've got a load of eyeliner and mascara on and you just watch it smear all over your face on the first go! It's suitable for sensitive skin and the camomile extract is from Norfolk, which is nice to know! It is obviously an oily type cleanser (so technical innit) so you wanna wash it off with a nice hot flannel or muslin cloth, but it doesn't leave a residue behind - just a squeaky clean soft face! My only little niggle is that the tin is a bitch to open when you've got wet hands, but you can't have everything, can you.

ishga Active Cleansing Lotion

I discovered ishga when I was at the Auchrannie ASPA in January and decided to buy a couple of products because I liked that it uses Scottish ingredients - ishga is derived from the Gaelic word for water and the products use Hebridean seaweed and spring water to create fantastic products that are ideal for all skin types.

I use the cleansing lotion in the mornings and after using the Body Shop cleansing butter to take off my makeup at night and I love it - it feels super light on the skin and leaves my whole face feeling really hydrated and soothed. The scent to ishga products is best described as 'natural' - it's not offensive, but if you're into super sweet smells it won't be for you. I like the fact that you can tell it's not been pumped with perfumes though!

ishga Exfoliating Face Mask

The face mask isn't one that I use too often - maybe once a week, but it's great for a Sunday pamper session! The exfoliating effect comes from fine seaweed grains and it leaves my face feeling really revitalised, especially after a long week.

Skinade Collagen Drink*

So, I was a little sceptical about this when I was initially approached to try out a 30 day trial of Skinade, which is a (surprisingly tasty) peach flavoured daily collagen drink that works from the inside out, increasing collagen in the bloodstream and improving skin tone, texture, suppleness and hydration (among other benefits).

However, I was convinced to give it a try by the comment that it was known to help eczema sufferers, as at the time I was having a little flare up on my lower back and thighs that just would not shift - but it wasn't bad enough for me to justify using my steroid cream on it.

I will put a little disclaimer in here - I ended up taking new medication in the middle of the trial that made me feel really nauseous so I had to miss a day or two here and there before picking it up again, but I feel like I got a pretty good idea of the effects to share with you .

So, I don't think my fine lines and wrinkles were prominent enough to start with for me to comment on the improved appearance of those, but my eczema definitely noticeably cleared up whilst I was doing the trial and I haven't experienced any further issues on my problem areas like under my eyes and behind my knees.

I've also noticed a big change in my hair which wasn't expected but is very welcome! Sean commented that it seemed much shinier, and I've had a number of people asking me if I've been trying new treatments. It's been much less knotty and seems to have grown quite a bit more than it usually would have as well - bonus!

Skinade costs £105 for a 30 day supply, so it's a little out of my budget for consistent use right now, but it's definitely going to be something I bear in mind for any major eczema flare ups in the future - and I think I'll probably invest in a supply the month before my wedding to enjoy all the beauty benefits!

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion 

Is it possible to have an eczema skincare round up without mentioning Aveeno moisturiser? I don't think so! I actually originally got this on prescription from my doctor, and it's worked so much better for me than some of the more expensive options I've tried. It's fragrance free which is very important when you have sensitive skin, and it really is just great for sorting out dry skin and keeping it hydrated. It doesn't tend to help if I'm in the middle of a full blown flare up, but if I can feel one coming on I smother myself in this and it holds it at bay!

The Chase and Wonder Wash Bag*

Okay, you got me, the wash bag doesn't actually have anything to do with helping with eczema. It's bloody cute though, isn't it? Chase and Wonder are an independent British stationery and gift brand based in the English countryside. Wherever possible they use traditional techniques to print and produce their products, like my wash bag, which is hand screen printed. 

It's the perfect size for storing all my beauty bits and pieces - and it looks amazing on my dressing table, so you'll be glad to hear that there's an opportunity for you to win one for yourself! Simply follow the steps outlined in the Rafflecopter widget below (UK entrants only I'm afraid on this one) good luck!

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  • Scottish Tapas at Auchrannie Resort's Eighteen69

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    eighteen69 restaurant arran

    So I mentioned in my post on our amazing stay at Auchrannie Resort on the Isle of Arran that I'd be blogging about our meal at Eighteen69 separately, and I've finally got round to selecting the best photos to fully convey how amazing it was. Like, seriously guys - Sean and I both agreed that this was our favourite dinner out that we'd had in at least 3 years - we'd go back in a shot if it was a little closer, and probably will arrange another trip to Arran as soon as we can just so we can eat there again!

    edinburgh lifestyle blogger laurenella

    The Restaurant

    The short walk from the newer part of the hotel that we were staying in to the the glasshouse of the original house where Eighteen69 is located felt longer than usual as it was absolutely chucking it down, but the hotel lent us an umbrella and one of the waiters at the restaurant immediately took our coats and settled us down at one of the tables with a sampler of cocktails (yes, I may have drank about 2/3 of them, it's not my fault Sean is too slow!)

    A note about the service first - from the moment we walked in to the moment we left, we were never left waiting around for anything and all of our waiters/waitresses were SO friendly and happy to chat about the various dishes and what they recommended, which is very helpful when there's such a broad menu to choose from. 

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    A Selection of Scottish Tapas at Eighteen69:

    The whole ethos at Eighteen69 is all about sharing, so the menu is made up of freshly prepared little dishes of Scottish themed tapas, which come out as and when they're ready (and pretty much everything is locally sourced, which is a major bonus). 

    The menu is divided up for ease into cold and hot plates, with the hot plates separated again into vegetarian, meat, fish and side dishes. We were recommended to share around five dishes between the two of us to leave room for dessert, so we tried to opt for as broad a range as possible.

    From the cold plates, we opted for the Argyll Hot and Cold Smoked Salmon Platter, which was huge and served with chutney, salad and savoury scones as well as the two types of salmon, both of which tasted so fresh - nothing beats Scottish salmon!

    We decided that we obviously had to have some duck fat chips on the side, which were amazing - the perfect chunky chips, which went really well with the meatballs (Sean's pick) and the king scallops (my pick). Scallops can either be the most delicious thing ever, or completely average - and these were definitely the first option, especially served as they were with crispy pancetta and cauliflower puree. 

    The star of the show though, was the Mac & Arran Black, which is mac and cheese made with Arran cheddar, black pudding and bacon crumb - oh my goodness. I could have eaten vats of this stuff, and I'm pretty certain I was scraping every last bit out of the pot by the end. I need to try and recreate this at home, but I'm certain it won't turn out nearly as good!

    auchrannie resort isle of arran

    The Dessert:

    We were pretty full at this point, but we didn't want to NOT try the dessert menu, so we thought a safe option would be to try the sampler of three of the desserts between the two of us. Of course, when the dessert came out it turned out each sample was practically the size of a full dessert anywhere else, but we rallied ourselves and managed to scoff almost every bite! 

    The brownie and honeycomb disappeared the quickest (the honeycomb was perfectly sweet and chewy, and there was a huge slab of it in the bowl - result!) but Sean and I were divided on the remaining two, with Sean preferring the cheesecake-esque option, whilst I was completely in love with the gorgeous elderflower pannacotta.

    Would I Go Again?

    Um, yes. Absolutely, no question about it - I would pay the 40 odd quid for a ferry over to Arran JUST to return to Eighteen69 on a special occasion. Sean still reminisces over the food now - it really was so impressive, the flavours were amazing, the dishes were innovative and the locally sourced ingredients were so tasty. Plus the surroundings feel really special, and it's lovely to finish your dinner and then head into the lounge next door to sit by the fire with a glass of wine or a whisky. If you go to Arran, even if you don't stay at Auchrannie - book to visit Eighteen69, you won't regret it! 

    The restaurant is open Thursday through Monday from 5:30pm to 9:30pm and they do recommend that you book in advance, which you can do online

    *We were invited to enjoy a complimentary dinner at Eighteen69 as part of our stay at Auchrannie, but all gushing is my own! I'm getting hungry again just thinking about that mac and cheese...