Tuesday 8 April 2014

Soft And Smooth From Top To Toe With Astral And Astral Light & Creamy*

Unlike a a lot of children nowadays I only have three real beauty memories from my childhood, first up the smell of my mums perfume - she always wore YSL Rive Gauche, and Mystere De Rochas, secondly Matey Bubble Bath :) which child or adult :) didn't love this, and finally Astral Moisturiser.

I was never a regular moisturiser user when I was dinky, I guess I didn't need it, most children seem to have gorgeous, peachy skin and I think I must have been one of them but I do have one vivid memory of applying Astral moisturiser. For my first ever school overnight trip, at the age of 10 or 11, I spent a week alongside my fellow classmates, fell walking, looking at waterfalls, and getting stuck in the mud in the North Pennines in December!! Yes, December! I went on a school trip hiking up hills in the middle of winter! Although it didn't snow I do remember it being very cold, and windy, but my lovely mummy anticipating the effect of the cold on my peachy cheeks, popped a little bright blue tub of Astral into my case. I distinctly remember using it every morning and night before we left the hostel, and I also remember not rubbing it in properly and having a teacher laugh at the white blob on my nose!

Ah memories, recently though for the first time in nearly 20 years I was the given the opportunity to try out Astral again, this time as an adult.

The original Astral moisturiser was first formulated in the 1950's and it's changed very little since. It's longevity speaks for itself, Legions of men and women including celebrities such as Joanna Lumley, Patsy Kensit, Sam Faiers, and Jesy from Little Mix swear by this cream for it's intense moisturising and hydration properties. It isn't just for the face though this is a multipurpose product that can be used both on the face and the body.

The product is instantly recognisable by the traditional bright blue pot. I always remember my mum having the little 50ml handbag size pot but it also now comes in the 200ml size that you can see here and a 500ml supersize.

The cream itself is white and colour and has a soft fresh smell that reminds me a little bit of baby creams or nappy cream. This isn't really that surprising when you consider that some of the key ingredients in original Astral - glycerin, lanolin and paraffin, which are well know for their hydration, protection and moisturising properties also appear in a lot of baby products.

It' has quite a thick texture, almost like that of a barrier cream. As a result it does take a little while to absorb into the skin and it does leave a sort of protective film on the skin, but the the skin is left feeling smooth and hydrated.

I used this cream in a number of ways - first up on my face. As you probably know I have combination / oily skin, so I have to be honest and say that this wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to a facial moisturiser. I found it to be a little bit too emollient and greasy for my skin. That said I did find this protected my skin especially when we had the cold and windy weather that we've had this winter -  instead of my skin feeling tight and little bit tingly it felt smooth and hydrated.

As soon as she saw the pot Mummy Lou couldn't resist a dip in, and unlike me she loved this as a facial moisturiser. She has more mature, drier skin and she loves creams that actually feel like creams, none of your light textures for her. She loved this and the thicker more greasier feel that it left on her skin.

As well as a moisturiser I also used Joanna Lumley's  tip and I used to remove my make up. I just massaged a thick layer of the cream across my face and eyelids and removed it's gently with a damp muslin cloth. I have to say I was so impressed with this, it took every scrap of make up off including my eye make up without redness, dryness or irritation, and it left my skin feeling super soft, and hydrated - result!

I also liked using the original version on my body. When I first received it I'd just got back from holiday and my ski was feeling a little bit dry and sun ravaged, so I put it to the test and it came up trumps. It made a great after sun and I think it really made a difference to both how my skin looked and felt.

Despite the continued success of the original Astral the brains behind the company haven't rested on the laurels, and recently brought out a new version of the cream to retail alongside the original - Astral Light and Creamy

It contains similar ingredients but it also includes added Vitamin E and Aloe Vera, and is designed to protect even sensitive skin from dryness and also to protect the skin from ageing and environmental stresses.

Everything about this cream is lighter and fresher. It has a completely different lighter, fresher scent, and the texture itself is completely different. Although it's still a cream, it has a much lighter, less dense texture and it feels a lot creamier on the skin.

As you would expect with a lighter texture it absorbs quickly and easily leaving almost a smooth, silky slightly matte finish.

Out of the two I definitely preferred using this one on my face. It moisturised my skin and left it feeling soft and smooth with no residue and film, and it made a good make up base. Mummy Lou on the the other hand wasn't a fan, she prefers heavier textures, and a more greasy feel, and this was way too light for her. It also worked equally well for removing make up and as a slightly, lighter everyday body cream.

I've really enjoyed using both of these products and I've really enjoyed their versatility. The fact that they can be used by all the family and on both face and body is a real bonus in this time of austerity.
 I also liked the fact that you only needed a small amount of each product, so the tubs seem to last ages. If I was going to repurchase, which I might they I would definitely be picking up the Light & Creamy version, which I think I would probably get more use out of, Mummy Lou on the other hand would go for the original - we hardly ever agree on anything so why doesn't this surprise me :)

Astral can safely be added to the realms of budget beauty too. You can pick up a tub at most major chemists and supermarkets and the prices are superb for the amount you get and the usefulness of the product. The Original Astral All Over Moisturiser retails at around £1.52 for the 50ml pot, £4.28 for a 200ml pot  and just £8.16 for a 500ml tub, and the Astral Light & Creamy retails at around £4.28 for a 200ml tub. Have you ever tried Astral? and What are your favourite beauty memories? leave me a comment and let me know x

(*PR Sample)

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