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We can all have a tempestuous relationship with our skin.  Heck, it’s often one of the first things we look at after waking up, gazing into the bathroom mirror sleepy-eyed and steaming coffee in hand as we start our day.

I’d always been relatively happy with my skin throughout my teens and twenties, with the occasional hormonal outbreaks and teenage zits.  As I entered my 30’s, I noticed some pretty dramatic changes though.  My whole life I have immersed myself into a life of adventure outdoors, from growing up in Greece to now settling and living in Southern Portugal, I have always been at play in the ocean and outdoors under the sun. I'm a true summer baby and never happier than surfing, diving and exploring. 

My passion for this lifestyle even led me to establish a business Mad To Live, which includes Mad To Live Retreats, adventure experiences for women around the world rooted in the powerful benefits of immersing ourselves in the outdoors and trying sports like surfing, which are shown to be so beneficial for our physical and mental health.  I also became a Trustee recently to the not for profit charity, the UK based The Wave Project, an NHS backed organisation who enrol kids and adolescents, once prescribed by a doctor, social or health worker, to their life-changing surf therapy programmes.   

When I began to notice the impact of sun damage on my skin, and also, the onset of some adult acne due to stress, I was amazed at the impact it had on my self esteem. In terms of a beauty routine, I like to keep it simple.  I invest in my skin and hair, and view my wellbeing as a 360 picture, where the physical, emotional and even spiritual are linked.  From what I eat, how I sleep, move, play and be, I believe it can manifest through our skin.  If my skin is in good condition, my overall wellbeing is balanced (plus I love taking care of my teeth and hair), then I feel pretty confident, and use minimal amounts of makeup and let my skin do the talking.  

Once I started to notice sunspots and dehydration and the impact of stress, I felt pretty low, and I was keen to address how I could nourish my skin and aid it.  In terms of protection living in the sun, I would say I am really strict with factor 50 which I wear every day, and usually have a hat and sunglasses on, a hat even whilst surfing!  But I will ashamedly stick my hand up and admit there are obviously times, when I have been in very hot destinations surfing where my skin has taken a lot of the sun, and  I therefore began to see it’s impact. 

After speaking to the amazing team at LUXE, I was prescribed a powerhouse combination of the Marula hydrating pre-cleanser and Camu Brightening Cleanser with the Marula Hydrating Serum and the Camu Brightening Moisturiser in November 2020, looking to address my concerns of sun damage, overall lacklustre skin and dehydration.

I hadn’t thought about double cleansing before, and with using SPF every day, was told it’s a great idea at the end of the day to make sure the skin is sufficiently cleansed.  I LOVED the pre-cleanser from the get go.  It just felt like it melted across the skin, and massaging it across my face, neck and décolletage always feels incredible.  Moving on to the incredible Marula Hydrating Serum, I have to say, no bias given, this is truly now a for-life staple in my routine.  I’ve been using it every day since November 2020 (now August 2021) and looking back at my photos, it’s amazing to see the improvement in my skin texture and appearance.  The Camu Brightening Moisturiser is the perfect topper and also just feels like it melts into my skin.

I wanted to be dogged about using the product, to really see what impact they might have on my skin.  My goal was to not just get back to that place where I felt every day confidence and happiness with my skin, but also embrace the changes that come with age, and embrace the way I, and my skin are also changing.  I hadn’t felt myself for a while and longed for that feeling of being comfortable and happy in my skin.  At the start of this summer it felt amazing to have that sensation, to feel confident, to look at my skin and finally be happy in it again.


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