REN EverCalm Global Protection Day Cream Review – Eco Conscious Moisturiser Used On Acne Prone Combination Skin

As a brand I love what REN are doing. I’ve tried their Ready Steady Glow toner and really like it so a combination of the two makes me keen to try more from REN. A wonderfully kind Instagram follower sent me a deluxe sample of this product which I’ve now almost emptied so here comes the review.

Why I Like REN As A Brand

They’re tag line is “clean skincare”. At the time of publishing this 68% of their product meet the brand’s zero waste pledge. They anticipate being zero waste by the end of this year. They’ve also joined forces with a handful of other skincare brands pledging to make positive changes and all be zero waste by 2025 noting that the impact will be greater if they work together. REN are actively making changes such as designing the world’s first aluminium skincare sample packaging which they anticipate, based on their yearly forecasts, could save 900kg of plastic from landfill in 2021 alone. They’ve removed things like harder to recycle pipettes in favour of new packaging designs to reduce waste. Their packaging is all designed to be recyclable, containing recyclable materials and suitable for reusing. Materials include glass, aluminium and post-consumer-recycled plastic so it isn’t virgin plastic. They strike me as a brand that doesn’t just talk about wanting to do better for the planet but one that is implementing changes and fast which I love to see.

I’ve previously only ever tried 1 product from REN which is their Ready Steady Glow exfoliant. The more exfoliants I tried from other brands the more I’ve been keen to return to this. The product was not only eco friendlier than the competitors I tried but more effective with the formula doing the job I wanted it to.

Review Of REN Evercalm Day Cream

It retails for £38 for 50ml.

I have seen this on the TK Maxx website selling for £14.99 which is much closer to what I’d typically spend on a day cream. I personally wouldn’t pay £38 for it but that is no reflection on the product and more on my spending limits for beauty!

It has a beautiful luxurious scent to it that is gentle and I find it really calming. I’m fully aware this is a day cream but I have used this a few times during my evening skincare routine as I find the smell so de-stressing and relaxing. It feels like a real moment of self care to use which is on a whole other level compared to my usual products. The best way I can think to describe the comforting scent is that it felt like a hug for my face. Given that this is designed to nourish and combat skin discomfort I was a little surprised by the scent, assuming it to be fragrance free, but this didn’t irritate my skin in any way.

Texture-wise it is a cream formula with a little going a long way. I first squeezed out the same size quantity as my usual gel moisturiser and was there for quite some time rubbing it all in with my face looking very ghostly in the process. Once I’d got used to using a smaller amount I didn’t have this issue but I will say it required more rubbing in than most moisturisers I’m used to including Cetaphil’s Rich Night Cream which is a thick cream texture.

Did it make me break out? No, not at all. Given the amount of rubbing needed for this to absorb into my skin and it being thicker than usual formulas I’m used to I was a little hesitant but can report no extra spots as a result of introducing this into my routine.

It helped to soothe and ease sensitisation after I accidentally went in a little heavy with some new skincare that had active ingredients in.

The Final Word

Would I buy this? Whilst writing this review I had the TK Maxx tab open to where it was on offer for £14.99 and couldn’t bring myself to close it. I was on the fence because whilst I wanted to buy it I had a few reservations. Pros for buying included that it met my requirements for being more environmentally conscious as I’m really trying to make better product choices with this in mind. I was also aware that my skin tends to need a bit of extra nourishment in winter. I felt that this would be great for that time of year and I didn’t have anything lined up in my stash.

The only thing which put me off this purchase is that I’ve been dedicated to my day cream, the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ now for over 6 years. It does a wonderful job of addressing breakouts and helping me to manage my acne prone skin, removing this from my routine feels unsettling. I see it as a trusted friend. But I have other products in my routine like The Ordinary Niacinamide serum which addresses spots and hyperpigmentation and being without the LRP during this trial period has been fine. It may be labelled as a day cream but I can see myself reaching for this more in the evenings which means this would replace the Cetaphil Rich Night Cream that I relied on last winter.

Long story short, I placed an online order for £14.99. It’s a product that I really enjoy using, I was able to justify space in my routine for it, it’ll mean an eco swap and ultimately I was never going to own a bottle at full price.

All The Free Items I Got During My Birthday Month – Including How To Get Beauty Gifts From Rituals, The Body Shop, Space NK and more.

I do love birthday months for getting extra samples at no cost. It’s a brilliant opportunity to try new things or have a little treat from brands you love. Any regular visitors to my blog will know that I’m a huge skincare fan and love trying new products without breaking the bank after spending years trying to address adult acne. Brands with a more environmentally friendly approach also have a very special place in my heart so I’m thrilled to be able to try plastic-free make up remover that doesn’t require cotton pads from The Body Shop as well as a new REN mask at zero cost this year. If you aren’t signed up to some of these loyalty schemes that offer birthday perks you’re missing out! There are plenty more out there but I’ve chosen to focus on beauty related ones as I find those the most exciting.

Space NK

On the 1st of the month I received an email from Space NK inviting me to pick up my free birthday gift in store with no purchase necessary. It is possible to get this online but when I’ve contacted them about this a purchase has been required. Last year I ordered a £6 REN Ready Steady Glow toner and got free delivery to receive my beauty gift but this ear it didn’t cost me a penny. I was so happy to pick this up as it contained a facial tanner and I’ve been keen to give one a go as well as a vitamin C serum and glycolic product from REN. I’m a huge fan of REN for effective formulas and eco ethos. I definitely prefer this gift to last year and it came with the most amazing printed tissue paper with cult beauty products on it!

Boots

Via the app I got offered double points for the entire of my birthday month if I loaded the deal to my advantage card. I did this as soon as I saw it as I love getting extra bonuses for things I intended to buy anyway. I didn’t go out of my way to make the most of this but purchased a couple of essentials a few weeks early to make the most of in store offers and the double points deal. I’m a big fan of buying ahead for saving money.

The Body Shop

I got a free £5 voucher from TBS for being a Love Your Body Club member. I redeemed this on a mini of their Chamomile Cleansing Butter which I will say looks absolutely tiny! Whilst the larger size worked out at far better value for money I didn’t want to spend the remaining £6 on the larger £11 tin when truth be told I’m not in desperate need of a cleanser. By choosing the mini one there was zero spend involved and I still get to try a product I’ve been excited about for a while. I’ve seen it is Caroline Hirons approved as well as TBS being a more eco conscious beauty brand than most available high street options.

Shopmium

Via Shopmium, a cashback app largely for groceries, as I’m a gold member I was offered a free box of Celebrations chocolates. Whilst I don’t really eat dairy I decided to pick these up as I could always gift them on to someone else if I decided I didn’t want them. The offer was £3 cashback, due to Tesco Clubcard prices I paid £2 so ended up making a £1 profit. To be a gold member of Shopmium it is totally free, I think you just need to submit a certain number of cashback requests initially and then one each month to stay in the gold level. I’ve found this really easy to do.

Rituals Cosmetics

Reading this you may think I’ve gone mad but I decided not to claim my birthday gift from Rituals this year. Their free gift for loyalty club members is a silky full size shower oil worth £8.50. However; as I don’t live near a store and couldn’t find a free delivery code online I was going to have to spend around £6-7 on products and postage to get the freebie and there wasn’t anything I really needed. I did consider making the most of this and saving the products for Christmas gifts but my heart wasn’t in it.

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Which Skincare Ingredients Are Best For Treating Acne? A Breakdown Of My Favourites & What I Find Them Helpful For Including Benzoyl Peroxide, Retinoids, Salicylic Acid & Niacinamide

This is just my personal experience with using these ingredients. Some do exactly the same job, for example both benzoyl peroxide and retinoids work for me to help clear and maintain clear skin, but I’ve chosen to include the instances where I reach for each ingredient the most. Everyone’s skin is different so what works for me may not work for you but I hope this is a helpful insight.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Best For : helping to calm painful breakouts very quickly. I tend to reach for Acnecide Face Wash whenever I have a particularly intense break out as this makes a difference in a short space of time. I can only use this a few times a week without my skin getting dry or sensitised so for me it’s not a common, daily use product. Smacne Acne Treatment I found brilliant for tackling breakouts and helping to keep my skin clear without causing any dryness or sensitisation. I only use this once a day applied in the mornings. Until I tried Smacne I really wasn’t fussed about BP and could have easily lived without this ingredient but their gentle Acne Treatment really changed my mind. In fact I once tried Duac, a topical acne prescription with Benzoyl Peroxide in, and loathed it. It made my face red, swollen and sore. Smacne’s products and the Acnecide wash really helped me to change my mind about this ingredient.

Things To Note : BP bleaches fabrics so I found it best to stick with old towels if using a BP face wash and prepare to ruin my reusable face coverings when applying the Smacne Acne Treatment. I’d rather that than my bedding but it’s still not great.

The Final Word: for me this ingredient isn’t a regular staple and I often got through patches of a few months without using it. For an idea, it took me nearly a year to work through this small bottle of Acnecide wash as I used it infrequently partly to dodge irritation and because I felt it wasn’t vital for me.

Niacinamide

Best For : Controlling and reducing the amount of oil my skin produces. I used to be really self conscious about how shiny my forehead would get around mid afternoon. If I were to run my finger tips across my forehead they’d come back feeling really greasy. Nothing I tried addressed this including mattifying primers, powders, foundation or moisturisers. I even tried moisturisers with this ingredient in but none really helped to the point that I thought my skin would always be shiny. The only product to ever help has been The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum which is amazingly affordable starting at £5 per bottle which lasts me 3 months plus.

Things To Note : Ever since I first discovered this product I’ve used it at least once a day. I’m on my third bottle and bought the 60ml large size most recently. It does such a great job for such a small price that I’m content to stick with this and not experiment with other Niacinamide serums.

The Final Word: The Ordinary Niacinamide is a product I now wouldn’t want to be without. I fully intend to keep a niacinamide serum in my routine for the foreseeable future as it’s helped my oil levels where nothing else has.

Retinoids

Best For : Clearing and maintaining clear skin. I was prescribed Adapalene back in January 2020 and it has been the only topical prescription to ever make a positive difference to my skin. It helped to clear moderate acne as well as maintain clear skin.

Things To Note: It didn’t really help me with the texture of my skin or blackheads but it seriously helped with the typical common spots I got. It caused my skin to get incredibly dry and sore to begin with and I have to be careful when using this to not overdo it every night and offset this with an intense night cream. Many people experience purging with this ingredient, I was lucky and my skin didn’t get worse before it got better.

The Final Word: If I was to start worrying about the amount my skin was breaking out I’d reach for this. It’s easily accessible via a GP prescription, effective and after some experience using it I know how to dodge nasty side effects. It cleared my skin dramatically in 2020.

Salicylic Acid

Best For : Addressing congested looking pores. I know lots of people love this ingredient for topical spot treatments but I’ve always found any formulas I use with SA in to be rather drying and cause any spots to scab or become crusted which I hate. A good example of this is the Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Gel. I’ve found the Paula’s Choice BHA Liquid to be good for tackling blackheads. I don’t love this product as the texture is quite oily and it has a strong smell but the BHA formula has made definite improvements to my pores. Admittedly it did take about 2 months to see any changes. I like the results from this product but not the feel of actually using it.

Things To Note: like any actives it can cause irritation so best to introduce gradually.

The Final Word: I don’t mind SA. I definitely don’t love it as much as some of the other ingredients listed here but that may just be because of my experiences with products with this ingredient.

Rank Order?!

I’m not sure why I set this challenge upon myself really as some I really can’t put above others!

IngredientThe main reason I reach for them over any other
RetinoidsTo clear larger amount of stubborn spots and maintain clear skin
NiacinamideTo reduce how shiny my skin, particularly forehead, gets – I’m convinced this also helps to keep my skin clear without irritation
Benzoyl PeroxideTo tackle small short term break outs quickly
Salicylic AcidTo address blackheads and congested pores – no other ingredient has worked for me

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June ’21 – A Round Up Of All The Samples & Free Items I Got This Month And How I Got Them

I’m going to be honest, I’ve been shocking this month at keeping tabs on all the free deliveries I’ve had through the door as I’ve been adjusting to a new routine. Below is everything I can remember falling through the letter box or being picked up via cashback apps etc. I’m making a point of keeping better tabs on my samples for July!

Beauty

Ghost Orb Of Night Perfume sample – via a sponsored Facebook post

Paco Rabanne Cologne sample – I’m unsure where I managed to claim this from but shall be saving it up along with other aftershave samples to go with a friend’s gift later this year.

Aveda Leave In Conditioner – I’ve received one of these samples before and the product smells absolutely incredible.

A Beauty Box Swap with Raspberry LiqueurI sent Jess a box of beauty bits including some clearance Essie products I found in Boots and in exchange she sent me a wonderfully generous box of bits she though I’d like. The products she included were so thoughtful such as a shampoo and conditioner bar as she knows I’m keen to reduce environmental impact. The Balance Me hyaluronic acid beauty sleep product has been incredible for helping me fall asleep more quickly as it smells so relaxing. The perfume oil has also been an amazing discovery as I usually find wearing perfume daily irritates my skin whereas this oil formula doesn’t so it’s been a real treat to wear this for a couple of weeks with no negative reactions.

Food & Drink

4 Litres Mighty Pea Milk – via the cashback app Green Jinn. Whilst this isn’t my favourite dairy free milk at all it is perfectly edible on cereal and long life so I tend to pick them up whenever they are on offer. My typical dairy free milk retails at £1.80-2 per litre so this helps to save me lots of money which is great.

One Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll – via O2 Priority Moments on a Saturday morning. I’m a big fan of this deal and hope it keeps going for a long time. It’s a great free weekend pick me up.

Sadly there were no free coffees from Nero via O2 Priority this month as I just didn’t get the chance to claim them!

April ’21 – A Round Up Of All The Samples & Free Items I Got This Month And How I Got Them

The end of the month has crept up on us again already. I’m still slightly mind boggled by how we’ve hit the end of April but here we are and this means its monthly round up time! Read on to find out all the samples and products I was able to claim and try this month.

Beauty

Clinique Moisture Surge 5ml – via a sponsored Facebook post. I was thrilled to receive this sample of their new formula as my skin used to adore the original 72 hour version. I loved using this and have added it to my skincare wish list as I’d love to have this in my routine for night time use.

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette – possibly one of my favourite free acquisitions ever. I got this by stacking some impressive deals on the Boots website and then paying with points. The palette has an RRP of £56. There was a 20% off promotion for pay day, an amazing Instagram follower of mine alerted me to a 10% off a £30+ spend and I then got student discount on top. The total came to £36 which I was able to cover in Boots point after collecting them for almost a year. I’m thrilled as I don’t spend money on make up usually but have had my eye on this palette for a few years now.

YSL Libre fragrance sample – I believe via a sponsored Facebook advert. This is the most common way I pick up fragrance samples asides from Boots Sampling.

Dr Hauschka day lotion sachet sample – again via a sponsored Facebook advert

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation sample – via a sponsored Facebook advert. This has been my go-to foundation for years. It’s the only foundation I apply for samples of. I tend to get one shade lighter than my usual bottle for cooler months when I’m paler. It’s rare that I apply a full face of foundation but I use these successfully as concealer.

1 litre tub full of Lush Bubble Bars – I downloaded Olio towards the end of April. As I don’t live in a big city I thought this would be a complete waste of time but within 12 hours of having the app I’d picked up what was advertised as a big bag of Lush soap. Turns out they were actually bubble bars but as I’m keen to reduce waste and use more eco beauty products where possible I’m still really pleased with this. I split the items I got with a friend.

Oral B Tooth Paste – 1 large tube and several minis thanks to a product testing opportunity from Super Savvy Me. The minis I’ll be sharing amongst friends, neighbours and family. I struggle with eating and drinking cold foods and I’ve never been able to bite ice cream so I’m excited to be testing the new Oral B Gum Calm toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Included in the box I received the discount code CALM50 which gets 50% off this toothpaste on Boots’ website until the 4/5. I’ve been using this since it arrived and so far I’m really liking that the mint flavour is subtle and it feels a lot more foamy and creamy than my usual toothpaste.

Arm and Hammer Tooth Paste – Via the Arm and Hammer Instagram Account. They offered samples to anyone who tagged their account whilst sharing a photo of their bathroom sink with their chosen hashtag. A couple of weeks later I received a generous sized sampling of their whitening toothpaste.

Dr Jart Cica Pair – Via a swipe up story on Instagram. This is my second sample of this product and I really like it so am very happy to have another to use.

Jo Malone Perfume samples – via a sponsored advert within an Elle magazine online article. These are beautifully boxed so I will likely add them to a friend’s birthday gift later this year.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Hair Conditioner sachet – via Super Savvy Me.

Home

5 lampshadesI’m fully aware this is a very random addition to my monthly round ups which usually consist of beauty samples and food. Whilst on a walk in my local neighbourhood I came across a driveway with a sign out front stating everything was free to a good home. As I own very little on the home-front and knew these would come in really handy for me I picked up 3 small red Laura Ashley square shades and 2 oat meal flecked large round shades. I’m particularly pleased with the large neutral ones.

2 carrier bags full of coat hangers – as Debenhams are sadly closing their doors for good and I desperately needed some new coat hangers I decided to try my luck. The sales assistant I spoke to was so kind and told me to take as many as I wanted, even offering to fill multiple carrier bags for me, because otherwise the hangers would be going to waste as I suspected. I was told I could pop back any time before they closed for more if I realised I needed extra.

A 4 Seater Dining Table – I was in need of a dining table and managed to find this one which is totally in keeping with my style for free via Facebook Marketplace which is fast becoming one of my favourite places for complete bargains. It’s in fantastic condition and matches my décor perfectly so I’m over the moon.

I’m really grateful for both of these finds as not only have they helped keep items out of landfill but also saved me money and will do me a good turn.

Food and Drink

2 Soya Iced Decaf Lattes & 1 Soya Cappucino – from Cafe Nero on a Tuesday or Wednesday via the O2 Priority Moments app. Since giving up dairy I’ve found most chain coffees from Starbucks or Costa a bit naff but Nero’s ones are really good. This save me £3.10+ per drink.

2 Vegan Sausage Rolls – from Greggs via O2 Priority Moments. I’m not vegan but wasn’t sure if the meat alternative contained dairy so decided to try the vegan one. It was so meaty I could barely tell it was plant based. I’m a big fan. I saved £2 by getting these for free.

Tetley Herbal Chamomile Tea Bags – free after cashback via the brilliant app Shopmium in Tesco. The RRP was £1.50.

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