Should you trust the “Dermatologically-Tested” label?

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“Dermatologically-Tested” products are another label that can be confusing! This was even a surprise to us, but there is very little regulation around this. In fact, to have these two words printed on your product label, you simply need a dermatologist to test the product and see how it reacts on skin. How those tests are done, or what the results are (positive or negative) are not necessary questions that are required to get this “label”. It’s simply crazy how certain brands can make people believe that their products are “safe” to use by throwing something like this around so flippantly. 

It’s these false claims that can then attract individuals that either think or know they have a skin condition and need a product to treat this, but they are then “Dermawashed” into buying something that sounds scientific, where in reality it doesn’t mean much! 

This does not mean that all products labeled “Dermatologist Tested” are bad or do not do real valuable tests with reputable practitioners. But again, it is something to be aware of and make sure that you are not just grabbing to product for this reason, but are also looking into the ingredients. 

Help, what can I do?

Instead of searching for the “Dermatologically Tested” products, go look at reputable dermatologist websites or their Instagram accounts. Some of them sometimes share the products that they recommend and use themselves, and also speak about brands that they trust. It is still not a 100% reliable and they may have brand loyalty, but it is for sure the best instant information that you can get. 

If you want to look deeper at certain products, we recommend exploring product formulations, looking at the studies brands have done in a bit more detail, or simply contact brands if you have any questions on their labels! 

If you don’t want to do the work, make sure to book a 1:1 consultation with us. We always take into account your needs and beliefs when choosing the right products for your skin needs!

Want to know how "natural" is your product ?

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What does the “Natural” beauty label mean? To answer this question, we used one of our favourite “Natural” beauty books “The Nature of Beauty: Organic Skincare, Botanical Beauty Rituals and Clean Cosmetics” by our favourite Imelda Burke.

First things first, there are no legal definitions or standards for the words “organic,'' “natural”, “green” or “ nontoxic” in the beauty industry. This seems to be a common theme if you have been reading our recent posts! If you do see any of these words, but they are not accompanied by a reputable organic certification, is it likely that you are being “greenwashed.” 

Just to give you an indication of how unreliable these claims are, UK legislation permits brands to label skincare “Natural” when a product contains less than 1% Natural or Organic ingredients. Yep, 1% people!

If you are wanting to go down the route of organic/natural skincare, in order for you to make sure you know what you are getting, look for products certified by the Soil Association, Organic Food Federation as well as Ecocert. This said, these certifications are not a guarantee that your products are 100% Natural. The Soil Association requires that “a high portion of ingredients are organically farmed,” while Organic Food Federation gives the organic certification if a product contains over 95% of organic ingredients. There are also different definitions of what “Natural” actually means, which is why you have to do a bit of digging and reading the fine print to make sure that a product fits your requirements!

Help! What should I do ?

Using Natural Skincare is more of a lifestyle choice. It is not necessarily bad for the skin, but there is just more variability in Natural/Organic Skincare. With botanicals there are SO many factors that can make one batch different to another.  For example, the season, what part of a plant they use, and how the product is transported (i.e.-temperature) to name a few.  

A note from Ksenia: “Having done the “switch” to completely natural products myself, the first essential step for me was to get rid of products produced by companies that were not supporting MY values. Don’t forget that because there isn’t enough regulation, changing to a natural product and what you deem natural will completely depend on your personal beliefs. Therefore, I bought my products from reputable well-known organic brands and shops. Content Beauty is by far my favourite retail destination for this type of product. Depending on what you want, there are different “Shoppers Guides” available, which help you in the process of choosing the product that makes more sense for you.”

Looking for cruelty-free products?

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Looking for cruelty-free products? We want all of our products to be cruelty-free too, but this label is deceiving consumers!

At the event “AboutTime you discovered the secrets of great skin: An evening with Dr. Anjali Mahto”  that we wrote a review of here, Dr. Anjali Mahto gave her thoughts on the “cruelty-free” label, which we found to be very insightful and definitely made us think. The sad fact is, that t is currently VERY difficult to find a product that is truly ‘cruelty-free.’ Why? Because in order for ingredients (note, we said ingredients, not products) to pass certain regulations, they at some point may have been tested on animals.

What is starting to grind our gears is that companies are playing to our desire to not have products that are animal tested, and are twisting things to make it seem like they are superior to other brands, when in fact they are doing the same thing! How? What happens is that many brands will use terms like “No Animal Ingredients”, “Not Tested on Animals”  or even “Cruelty-Free” when in reality they are not using the proper definition of the terms. Their product may not have been tested on animals, but that does not mean that the source of their ingredients in the product has not been tested on animals. There are not yet legal definitions of these terms, which means that ANYONE can use them! 

Most companies rely on raw material suppliers to perform animal testing necessary to make sure their product passes certain regulations safely. This means that although they may claim that they do not test on animals, they can contract someone else to do the work for them. Sneaky right?

So how to make sure that your product is cruelty-free? Look for a bunny logo, but not just ANY bunny logo (yes there are multiple), but the Leaping Bunny Logo. This is actually the only program that audits companies every 3 years by an independent assessor to make sure that they commit to the Leaping Bunny Standard. In fact, surprisingly the Choose Cruelty Free (CFF) program as well as PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program verified program simply requires companies to complete a questionnaire and sign a statement to be part of the program. 


"Suitable for Sensitive Skin" ...Mm Really?

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Did you know that ‘sensitive’ is not a skin type? This is one of many reasons why “Suitable for Sensitive Skin” is another misleading marketing jargon term used frequently to label skincare. To tackle why this is so confusing, we need to first define what sensitive skin is and what it is not. Sensitivity is NOT a primary skin type, but rather a “skin mood” or secondary skin type.

...just to name a few. 

“Sensitive Skin” is NOT a clinical term and there is no regulation on products that label themselves as “Suitable for Sensitive Skin” (we know, we sound like a broken record). Due to the lack of regulation, and the incredibly broad category of skin that is being referred to when we talk about sensitivity, this label doesn’t mean much. We have seen products with this label use many ingredients that in our opinion should be avoided by sensitive skins. Then there is the problem of the variation in types of sensitivity. 

We are left with questions like;

 Sensitive for what skin mood? 

Is it free of fragrance? 

Does it contain essential oils? 

Is it soothing or hydrating? 

When you see “Suitable for Sensitive Skin” this usually (big emphasis on the usually here) means that the product is free from common allergens, or is at least the formulation is intended to be more mild than other products in a range. But what about uncommon allergens? We can’t forget that every person’s skin is unique, it’s an organ after all, and therefore different skins have the potential to react differently to ingredients - “For Sensitive Skin” is not a guarantee!

While some skin might react to a certain chemical substance or ingredients there are so many other external triggers that could also impact the barrier function of the skin and cause a reaction or sensitivity. In fact, the inflammatory cascade may have external or internal causes such as UV light, sun, cold, heat, wind, water, pollution stress or hormones. Yet another reason why “For Sensitive Skin” is not a guarantee, as you must approach sensitive skin with a 360 approach. Starting with asking why and what is making your skin react!

Our definition of Sensitive Skin is, “fragile skin that is reactive either all the time or temporarily during certain times of the day.” In addition, we believe that sensitivity and reactivity in the skin may be genetic or acquired throughout the years to the overexposure to external irritants. 

So why does it seem that sensitive skin on the rise? Because we are now exposed to more skin irritants, this includes both external and internal factors that have the potential to sensitise skin. That said, we must recognise this and treat the core problem rather than the symptom.  Many products that claim to be “for sensitive skin” have very obvious irritants that you can be on the lookout for. As skincare consumers, we need to pay more attention to what we are putting on our skin and be conscious of how our skin reacts. 

Most causes of sensitivity can actually be avoided or protected against. You can actually strengthen your skin barrier and reduce or eliminate skin sensitivity.  However, if you have rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, then your skin will likely be in a constant state of sensitivity, and you need to be much more careful with what products you use on the skin. Don’t forget also that sensitivity could also be an indication of a certain skin disorder such as eczema, rosacea etc. Therefore, finding the root of the problem is essential before using any tips of products ! 

Help! Why is my skin sensitive? 

Here are a few things that can cause sensitivity on the skin:

  • Skincare Regime (stripping products, fragrance, harsh exfoliants, drying alcohols, or lack of a regime)

  • Lack of skin protection from the elements like sun, pollution, or other environmental factors

  • Stress and/or lack of sleep 

  • Travel overload 

  • Compromised Skin Barrier (also caused by the above)

  • Underlying skin condition like rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema

What to avoiD

Irritants we tell our clients that have sensitivity, especially a compromised barrier or those with eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis are;

  • Fragrance 

  • Essential Oils  

  • The Sun

  • Overly foaming cleansers that leave skin feeling ‘tight’ or ‘dry’

  • Clay Masks

  • Manual exfoliants

  • Natural/Organic products 

Controversial, but for those with hypersensitivity it is best to stick to synthetic products at least until the sensitivity is under control due to the potential variation in product formulation, as well as the use of fragrant plant extracts, enzymes, and oils.  If you are wanting to use this type of product for ethical reasons, then there are a few options, but it is a tricky one!

  • Harsh chemical exfoliants 

What to look for

Is it really possible for a skincare product to stop your skin from ageing? Nope!

Anti-Ageing is a skin label that we dislike (to put it lightly). Our skin will age no matter what serum or cream we use. Yes, even if you pay £500. Let’s remember that ageing is a privilege, and those smile and laugh lines should be worn with pride. That said, we all want to age with grace and look healthy, but that doesn’t mean spending hundreds and thousands on skincare products that make big claims. We want to see more brands that are honest about the impact their products will have on ageing, because at the moment they are tapping into insecurities, ageism in the beauty industry, and preying on those that do not understand the science of skincare or may not have done their research. So, we are calling bs! 

Premature ageing is definitely something that lifestyle, genetics, and skincare play a major part in, but we must know the limits and be transparent. This leads us to the term “anti-ageing.”. As mentioned before, this label is not one we like, but something many of us encounter frequently. According to The Cambridge Dictionary, this term is defined as, “substances intended to prevent or limit the process of becoming old.” There is NO regulation around what can or cannot be labeled as “anti-ageing,” and when you really think about it, if we are going by this definition, it isn’t possible for a product to prevent or limit us from getting older!

“...shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in 14 days.”

“Clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Significantly improves moisturization of the skin after 4 weeks….*Results based on independent Clinical Study”

“There’s virtually nothing this skin care miracle can’t accomplish!”

“Immediately reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles”

“A skincare solution that takes years off more mature skin”

Beauty brands throw this term around ALL THE TIME to make you believe that those lines and wrinkles can be erased by their magical topical products. For example, we recently had a brand representative try to convince us (on a mystery shop) that one of their products, which retails for £450, would take of 3.9 years (yes, this was really the number she used) off of the face after just ONE WEEK of use. Other claims we saw just from a quick google search were the following, we won’t out the brands; 

Claims like this are 1. Not backed by reliable clinical studies, this is often noted in the fine print 2. Not possible for high street products, or really any topical product for that matter! Remember, that for a product to be able to penetrate through the top layers of the skin, it will be labelled a drug and cannot be sold on the high street.  So, many of the creams that we put on our skin, are just fluffing up the dead skin cells. This can temporarily make us look more glowing, but the truth is, once the damage is done, there is little we can do with topical products. What we can do is protect the skin from further damage, make sure the skin barrier is intact, and stimulate skin cell turnover. 

The focus to prevent premature ageing shouldn’t be on the label “anti-ageing,” but on the ingredients that you want to include in your skincare regime at any age! For example, although  a Vitamin C serum may not contain the word “anti-ageing,” we know that it stimulates the skin and can help to fight free radical damage. So focus less on the labels, and more on the ingredients! Anytime there is a BIG claim just remember, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is!” 

“Help! What do I do if I want to prevent premature ageing?”

You should not shop for skincare based on your age.  You must listen to the signs that your skin is giving you first, and make sure you are giving your skin what it is craving! Just because you are entering your 30s or 40s, does not mean that you need to be shopping only in the “anti-ageing” aisle. We believe that we all should embrace our age, as the pro-ageing movement suggests. It’s about looking healthy, not wanting to look like we did 20 years ago. Make sure you are not overdoing it with the retinols and other actives, as you will strip the skin barrier back and do more harm than good.

A quote by one of our favourite skincare gurus Paula Begon is, “What’s 100% true, is that only your skin type and skin concerns should dictate what products you use. Some people in their 20s and 30s often have the exact same skincare needs as people in their 50s and 60s.”

Ingredients to look for are:  

  1. Antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin E) 

  2. Broad Spectrum SPF with both UVA & UVB protection

  3. Retinoids (Vitamin A, Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate) 

  4. Peptides 

  5. Ceramides 

  6. AHAs/BHAs/PHAs

For the one millionth time, the sun is the number 1 cause of premature ageing (97%). Smoking also ages our skin by reducing blood flow and by breaking down collagen that results in weaker skin with a higher risk of wrinkles. Let’s not even talk about stress, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise, which all cause free radical damage. If you want to avoid premature ageing, and ensure you age gracefully, then a healthy lifestyle is critical to keep not only your skin, but your body happy. 


"Bye Bye Blemishes" - Hello Inflammation & Irritation!

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Acne is actually a skin condition rather than a skin type. The terms "skin condition" and “skin disorder” are used interchangeably, and are secondary to your underlying primary skin type that you are genetically predisposed to. Because acne is in fact a skin condition, it is essential. especially for those with Acne from Grades 3-5, to go see a dermatologist in order to be treated with prescription topical or oral antibiotics that address the problem effectively. 

In a recent podcast, “Clear Skin Secrets With Dr. Pimple Popper (aka Dr. Sandra Lee) by Breaking Beauty”, the well-known dermatologist explains that medicine is the only current ‘cure’ to acne.  This is because this condition is a hormonal and/or genetic issue. In fact, not only are recommended medications able in some cases to help to control hormones and clear acne, but also prevent scarring, a post-acne side effect that is very difficult to treat. 

This is why we are wary of products labeled “Acne Clearing” and “For Acne-Prone Skin,” as often they don’t address the root of the problem, but rather a symptom. Also, these products are frequently overused or misused. In addition, they (almost always!) contain harsh and drying ingredients that can aggravate the skin and result in inflammation, making matters temporarily better and then worse! 

For example, a cleanser formulated for acne will remove dirt, grime and excess oil that can aggravate an acne condition, but as it does this it will also remove the outer layer of protective cells on the skin and disrupt the acid mantle. Hello vulnerable skin! The more your skin is exposed to the outside world, the more prone it becomes to inflammation and irritation.  

If you do have acneic skin, we would recommend spending the time and money to see a dermatologist or doctor rather than buying several different products that will likely end up costing you just as much without the results. By acne skin we are talking are persistent, chronic breakouts, not just a spot or two here and there. 

Don’t get us wrong, skincare chosen wisely can help to calm, protect, and reduce inflammation on the skin. However, it is sadly in many cases far from the solution to the problem. With most suffering from acne, there are other things going on that skincare alone cannot address and we get very frustrated with products that make unrealistic claims. 

“Help! How can I say bye bye to blemishes”

Determine what grade of acne you have. Acne varies in severity from Grade 1 to Grade 5. Therefore, if you only get a few spots just before or during your menstrual cycle, we would define this as a ‘breakout’ rather than an acne skin condition.  

Acne Grades:

Acne Grade 1 - Comedones on the T-Zone

Acne Grade 2 - Comedones, papules and pustules on the T-Zone

Acne Grade 3 - Comedones, papules and pustules spreading the full facial area and possibly the chest and back

Acne Grade 4 - Widespread comedones, papules and pustules over the entire face and incorporating the chest and back.

Acne Grade 5 - Cystic Acne

If your acne is more severe, see a dermatologist. Dermatologists in London that we love are Dr. Anjali Mahto (@anjalimahto) and Dr. Sam Bunting (@drsambunting), these women are as expert as it gets, and have years of experience treating acne skin.

For those with more mild acne conditions (grades 1-2), then you can look for over the counter products that;

  • Do not have fragrance

  • Non-drying BHA (if skin burns or becomes very red, then the product is too strong!) 

  • Lightweight SPF

  • Gentle foaming cleanser that does not make skin feel tight


Remember these products are meant to maintain rather than treat acne-prone skin.

  • Do not have fragrance

  • Non-drying BHA (if skin burns or becomes very red, then the product is too strong!) 

  • Lightweight SPF

  • Gentle foaming cleanser that does not make skin feel tight


    If you have the occasional breakout, or have suffered from acne in the past and need to switch to products that are not as aggressive, then come see us!

If you feel that your acne is affecting your mental health & emotional state please visit: Acne Support for more common myths busted click here.

Purchasing only “For combination skin type” products ? Here’s why you shouldn’t !

Most combination skins will have an oily T-Zone with normal, dry, or sensitive cheeks. In fact, the T-Zone does have more sebaceous secretions than the rest of the face, meaning that depending on the areas, the skin will have different requirements. Can one product tackle both conditions? Soothe & hydrate your skin, but at the same time control and maintain the oil flow? Does a product automatically know if you have a sensitive or dry skin? Mmmm we’ll let you do the math. The truth is there isn’t one miracle solution to respond to two different needs. As Paula Begoun would say “You’ll have to divide and conquer by caring for different parts of your face differently.” 

In addition to having different needs, the products that you should use will also completely depend on your oil-flow. Someone with a ‘combination’ skin type might have just a little bit of oil flow on the T-Zone, where another person in the same category may have a very reactive T-Zone with an overflow of oil. Some oily T-Zones might actually be over producing oil due to the usage of the wrong products that strip the skin of its vital nutrients making the skin produce more oil. And just to make things even MORE complicated, we have had clients who also have a no oil flow on the T-Zone, but excess oil on the forehead, which technically falls in the ‘combination’ category. Again, the “for Combination skin” product cannot guess how much oil you have, where the oil is, or how the level of sensitivity on other parts of the face. 

We know we are being haters right now, but we think we have gotten our point across! Only after knowing how your oil-flow works, and the skin mood of the other parts of your face (cheeks, forehead, chin), will be able to pick and choose your products for different areas of the skin, and where each one of them should be applied.

So how can you try to discover this at home?

1. Make sure you are paying attention to how the skin responds when you cleanse, are some areas feeling tight? If so, these are the areas that are likely getting stripped back and may be more dry/sensitive

2. Are there areas of your skin that get are flakey, while others seem to not crave as much moisture?

3. Are you constantly feeling the skin is greasy? This could mean you are stripping your skin in these areas, not feeding the skin enough moisture so it is overcompensating, or you are oily!


BHA on the T-zone


BHA and Mask only on the T-zone

You know your skin type? Great, you know 10% of your skin!

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Before delving into skin type “formulated “ products (one of our favourite subjects) we first want to explain why the labels falling in this category shouldn’t be used as a ‘one size fits all’ solution. In fact, skin types should only be one factor used to determine your skin needs, rather than a box you must stay in when it comes to choosing products and ingredients. Skin will vary from one person to another, and each of our skin needs will be different, even if they do fall in the same category! 

Something that we hear a lot during our consultations is  “when I was a teenager, I was told that I had an oily skin.” Yes, maybe at that time you did have more oily tendencies (as many of us do when going through puberty), but with time changes in hormones, lifestyle, weather and many other factors, the skin may develop completely different requirements. In fact, there are so many different factors that can impact our skin health. Some we can control and others, unfortunately, are out of our hands. 

Therefore, assessing ALL of your skin’s needs is essential before purchasing even one beauty product. This is because one category of product will not sustain your skin long-term. Crazy right? Checking your skin as you would check your vision or your moles is essential to make sure that you have the right products to respond to its current needs, and that is why we are here! With our consultations, we give you your skin needs in “real-time”. FYI, our bday discount count BIRTHDAY15 is only available till Wednesday, 9th October. 

More transparency within the beauty industry !

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As you all know, we are trying our best to bring you the most transparent and unbiased information! In fact, our goal is to cut through all the clutter that you might see in your everyday life from the confusing instagram posts promoting a specific product to the trendy articles that you might have read, pushing you to buy “the latest ‘it’ product” out there. 

Although promoting products is something normal and natural for most brands, there is, or at least there should be, a way of doing it properly to respect consumer skin health and purchasing power. In fact, looking at most of the beauty products claims today, it is really hard to sort fact from fiction, as well as determine what product will be beneficial for specific skin needs. 

In the book “Help! I’m Covered in Adjectives - Cosmetic Claims & The Consumer” published by skincare specialist  Dr. Theresa Callaghan, she explains that “whatever the consumer observes, perceives or feels when interacting with a cosmetic product, can be described as a claim.” Therefore, understanding what’s hiding behind a product’s promise is essential for anyone as interpreting them the wrong way could not only be detrimental for your skin, but also for your personal beliefs. 

Natural products? Vegan? Not containing any potential irritants for your skin? We want the answers of those questions to be visible in black & white please! Not translated into words or claims that are not true. The truth is, brands haven’t reached that point of transparency yet. In fact, it is still hard to read a product label today without being confused. However, the good news is that consumers are becoming more and more aware and educated about skincare product formulations. Consumers are also demanding full objectivity and transparency about what a little pot of cream contains. 

If you are also tired of not understanding if a “for sensitive” moisturiser will not irritate your skin or exactly how “natural” your product is, make sure to stay tuned for our next posts where we will be exploring the most used claims and labels and really (we mean really) decompose them. As skincare consultants, we will give you the right tools and education to create that “bs radar” when shopping for skincare products. 


We are celebrating Lion/ne’s 1st Birthday!

We are celebrating Lion/ne’s 1st Birthday!

We can’t believe it has been a whole year since our 1st Pop-Up at Duck & Dry King’s Road, where we debuted our consultations!To celebrate the 1 year of no bias, no filter, and no bs skincare use the code BIRTHDAY15 15% off of your next Lion/ne Consultation.

What have we been up to?

Lion/ne Launches

  • Lion/ne Consultation Packages: Our skin mood and needs are ever-changing with seasonal and personal changes alike. A Lion/ne Consultation Package is all you need to stay on top of your skincare regime, no matter the weather. Choose and purchase your package here and save 15%!

  • COMING SOON! Lion/ne Online Pop-Up: Due to popular demand, we are launching our first online Pop-Up this October. We know sometimes the last thing you want to do is another commute (especially as cold weather approaches). So, keep an eye out to book a 1:1 Consultation over Video Chat with a Lion/ne Skincare Consultant.

  • Lion/ne Hotline: Our “hotline” is open for business. You can now ask us any skincare-related questions over WhatsApp. Unsure about product usage? Have a question about skincare buzz you’ve read about? Skin SOS? Send us a message 07491 453548

Lion/ne Services Update

  • Permanent Location: We now have a home base for our 1:1 consultations! Our cozy Notting Hill location is open every Wednesday-Friday. This studio flat is warm and welcoming, not to mention conveniently located just a quick walk from Notting Hill Gate station.Don’t forget to pick your music playlist and drink of choice prior to your next consultation so you feel right at home! Haven’t seen us in a while? Then it’s time for your next consultation! Book now and remember to use discount code BIRTHDAY15.

  • La Crème Fleurie: We introduced La Crème Fleurie this Spring! This consultation is for those making the switch to sustainable and/or “natural” products.Looking for Cruelty-Free? Plastic-Free? Vegan Formulation? You name it, and we will tailor the Lion/ne Shopping List to your preferences and skin needs.

  • Pop-Ups: Lion/ne has been popping up all over the world (literally) from Texas to Switzerland, and, of course, all over London.

In Other News

  • Our Team is Growing: Lena Mahler was appointed Marketing Director this year! Lena looks after events, partnerships, and collaborations. Discover more about us by clicking here.

  • Collaborations, Partnerships, & Events: We had the opportunity to work with a handful of incredible brands this year. Kiehl’s, WeWork, Bride’s Magazine, and Soho House to name a few. Do you want Lion/ne to feature at your next event? Contact Lena!

  • In the Press: We are still pinching ourselves after being featured in publications that we have read and admired for so many years! Vogue, ES Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Daily Mail, Byrdie, Get the Gloss and here to see all of Lion/ne’s features!

Thank you so much again for your continued support, you have no idea it means to us! Hope to see you soon.

Xx The Lion/ne Team

Product Review: Nanette de Gaspé Restorative Techstile Face Masque

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Nanette de Gaspé Restorative Techstile Face Masque £85

 Active Ingredient: Shea Butter, Vitamin E Camellia, Shea Butter

 Their Claim: “Youth restoring techstile™ treatment for the face that includes a unique blend of 87% age renewal active ingredients and emollients which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate, and brighten the skin.”

Our Review: This mask from Nanette de Gaspé is the luxury and high-tech version of Charlotte Tilbury’s much loved Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask. What is incredible about this mask, is that it uses a biomimetic micro-vectorized ingredient delivery system, which allows delivers active ingredients to the skin. I received it as a gift a while ago and I love it. When I first did it, I was really surprised by how dry the sheet mask was, so much so I thought it was defective! Once applied, you have to massage your skin to activate the mask- and honestly you feel it. The first time I felt like it was actually doing something not a bad tingle, but an active feeling nonetheless. After 15 minutes, I removed it and felt my skin was dewy with a light layer of “oil” on top. My skin was glowing and more fresh after an hour, but the real effect came the next day - I noticed a difference to say the least! You can reuse the mask up to 5 times, and it’s actually advised to do it 3 days straight to really get a boost. Looking at the price now and slightly blushing (£85), I now regret using this mask as a treat rather than using it for a special event. Even though you look like Hannibal Lecter when it’s on the skin (I’ve already scared my boyfriend a few times when wearing it) and despite the hefty price… is still totally worth it!

For Who: This is the perfect treatment for someone who wants to take their Sunday Spa to a whole new level. I also recommend it to anyone who feels their skin dull and lifeless, as it really gives a nice colour and glow to your skin. However, don’t use it recreationally like me (if you are searching for a quick fix I recommend you opt for the Charlotte Tilbury one) but as a deeper 3 day treatment, I am sure that the amazing effect will be much more noticeable and something to prep for a special occasion.  

Should you Stop Drinking Coffee for the Greater Good of your Skin?

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There is so much information out there about the consumption of coffee. Is it good? Is it bad? The truth is - like everything - it depends, and there are always two ways to look at it. 

Are you someone that needs 10 coffees to complete all your daily tasks, and basically keep you alive? If yes, then coffee might be a problem. Not due to the caffeine itself, but because of its excess consumption. Drinking too much coffee can cause a high level of inflammation in your body that can have an impact on all of your main organs including the skin! 

High caffeine consumption disrupts hormones such as cortisol which, produced in large quantities, can lead to unusual breakouts, trigger certain skin disorders such as eczema & rosacea and cause dehydration. More than that, we were really surprised to also find out that coffee and tea, in large quantities, can inhibit iron absorption! This means that not only does coffee give you a fake “I feel super energised” feeling but it also lowers down your iron levels making you feel even more tired … sneaky coffee. 

If you are prone to any of the above conditions then try to cut down on coffee. Yes, we know it is hard as we love coffee too, but there are great alternatives such as Mushroom coffee (just give it a try before judging us) as well as matcha coffee, that also gives a good boost! Don’t worry, you can still allow yourself a morning coffee and for the courageous ones, try 1 coffee every other day before 2pm. This won’t disrupt the inflammation levels in your body. 

Calamansi 🍋 

Calamansi is a citrus fruit, a hybrid 🤞🏻 between a mandarin and lemon, that is found in the Philippine Islands. Calamansi is gaining greater exposure in Asian markets, as it functions as a natural bleaching agent . It also contains a lot of Vitamin C (one of our personal favourites 💓). Calamansi is believed to give a shiny and silky appearance to hair as well, we love a multipurpose ingredient😏

Avocado 🥑

Avocado is a pear-shaped fruit that contains a mix of fatty acids that includes omega 3 and omega 6. Topical application of avocado itself has been found to give anti-inflammatory benefits to skin, help maintain a strong barrier function 💪🏼 , boost wound healing and also protect the skin from UV light ☀️ . Avocado oil extracted from avocado is very popular for dry skin, as it has has super nourishing properties.

Hydrolats 💦

Ah Hydrolats, I love hydrolats, and still remember Megan’s face when I first recommended them to one of our clients “WTF is that😱?”. Hydrolats are created during the distillation process of essential oil extraction. They contain the water soluble chemicals from the plant while essential oils contains the non water soluble chemicals . Therefore hydrolats are lower in intensity than essential oils, making them perfect for sensitive skin 👶🏼

Coconut Oil 🥥

Coconut Oil rose to fame in recent years when high profile bloggers and celebrities 👸🏻began to flood the internet praising this multi-purpose, natural, and ‘key to perfect skin’ ingredient. It seems to be the answer to all questions, but remember, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.