My Lush Adventure

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Anyone who read my post about Manchester Made Up will remember that I mentioned having popped in Lush while I was in the Arndale.
I popped in to try out their ‘Lemony Flutter’ cuticle butter which I have heard many good things about from the ladies on nail art groups. As as regular readers will know I’ve been suffering from nail separation recently (don’t worry, I’ve had it double checked at the GP and there’s definitely no infection of any kind going on,) that’s probably a result of damage from bashing my hands while using my wheelchair or falling over  – I have PoTS as well as EDS so fainting is something that happens fairly regularly. The GP however, couldn’t suggest anything that might help fix my nail problem and a pharmacist couldn’t help either so I’m a bit befuddled really! My tutor says it may never re-adhere to the nail bed as it was before, but I am sure as hell going to try everything before I give up!
26241473425_e230e05d36_zAnyway, back on topic, Lemony Flutter contains a lemon infusion, lemon oil, coconut oil, lavender oil and tagetes oil among it’s ingredients. Many of these have anti-microbial actions as well as being known for stimulating a healing response so it seems like a good place to start! I normally use Burt’s Bees cuticle butter which has more of a solid balm consistency, this one from Lush has more buttery consistency and is much easier to use than the Burt’s Bees product so just for that I might consider switching already! It smells, naturally, strongly but pleasantly lemony. I think the addition of the other oils really enhance the smell for me as someone who isn’t a lover of things that are lemon scented or flavoured.

25638790303_b5367be0c2_z After chatting with the lovely Becky about the butter and getting a sample of this she also gave me a sample of another hand cream called ‘Handy Gurugu’ which she thought might be useful to me to try as she finds it helpful for her EDS skin. Many of us with EDS have usual skin; some will have naturally very soft skin, some will have very stretchy skin, some will have skin that splits or tears very easily. Pretty much all EDSers have skin that takes far longer than average to heal. Becky had made a similar observation to the one I have made over the years – moisture helps with the healing! As such, a good moisturising cream is really important, even if your skin already feels soft as a baby’s.
I have to say ‘Handy Gurugu’ smells absolutely divine so I’m really hoping it works as well for me. I don’t think this sample will last long because I keep using it so I can smell it!

25986044450_8ccb4c34ec_mThe last thing that I got while I was in there was a bath bomb, the ‘Big Blue’. This was recommended to me by the Lush staff as being super relaxing and great for aching or painful muscles or joints.
Big Blue’s key ingredients are a type of kelp called arame seaweed and sea salt. Along with making your bath water blue and smelling amazing it creates an atmosphere of seaside relaxation.
The bomb is absolutely packed with bits of the seaweed so if you don’t like things floating in your bath or don’t like cleaning the plug hole I’d probably give this one a miss or maybe try putting it in some kind of net bag before adding it to the water.
After my bath my skin felt beautifully soft and clean and I had enjoyed a lovely relaxing… mumble… hour… or so. I do think that my general pain level was lower after my bath compared to my regular bubble bath so I’m definitely willing to try this again, you know, for science.

What Lush products do you like? If you’re a spoonie have you found any of their products helpful or relaxing?

*Samples were provided to me for free in store, this does not influence my opinion on these products and I have no connection with the Lush brand.

Taking Care of Your Hands

I was doing my college homework today putting together an after care leaflet for manicures along with advice on lengthening the life of the enamelling – and I thought I would share some of this information with you lovely lot! I’m going to break it up into a few shorter posts starting today with ongoing skin and nail care.

Skin and Nail Care

Taking care of the skin on the hands in between manicures (rather than just presenting them to a manicurist to rescue when something goes wrong) is a good starting point.
I recommend using a good hand cream on a regular basis to keep the skin in good condition, personally I’m a fan of the the shea butter hand creams from L’Occitane and also of Hand Food by Soap & Glory, the pump dispenser is very handy for keeping by the sink for use after hand washing. On the subject of hand washing, do avoid harsh soaps which can dry out the skin – in fact throw out the bar soap full stop! Soap is alkaline and strips the skin of it’s acid mantle – our natural protective barrier – leading to tightness, dryness and leaving the skin more vulnerable to infection. Always dry your hands thoroughly and follow up with that hand cream. Try a liquid hand wash such as those made by L’Occitane. Avoid using alcohol hand sanitiser instead of washing as this dries out the skin and nails.
If you have extremely dry hands smother them with plenty of good cream or even better an oil such as almond or olive last thing at night and pop on a pair of cotton gloves. These will protect your sheets from the product and help keep the hands warm and aid maximum absorption of the cream/oil.
If you have overgrown or dry cuticles apply cuticle cream or oil nightly and massage it in, this will help soften them and aid in removal of the dead skin at your next manicure. It’s very important to apply oil if you wear gel polish or nail enhancements – listen to your nail technician when she tells you to use oil!

When it comes to using your hands for everyday tasks always try to wear gloves for things like cleaning or gardening. Many household cleaning products are very drying to the skin and nail and soaking the hands in water to do that pile of dishes will significantly shorten the life of your enamelling.
Avoid using the free edge of the nail to prise open lids, pick at stickers or open drinks cans – all of these can chip your polish and cause breakage. Remember the saying: your nails are jewels not tools!

I will cover filing separately as I think that one warrants a whole post of it’s own.