The Water Crew Crew

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 9 May 2010 17:56 0 comments
Not so long ago I blogged about panic attacks, and I'm always talking about health and fitness. Recently a study came out recommending that exercise be prescribed for those suffering with depression or anxiety. That makes sense, given that a good run or session in the gym can be the perfect way to let off some steam. 

Well, in my quest for fitness as well as a stress-free life, I wanted to find a fun way to exercise. I love dance classes but rarely find cheap ones or ones that friends will willingly go to with me (you sometimes need someone to look at with a 'thank God we're in this together' face). Gyms aren't fun unless you go with someone and even then, 'fun' isn't the word.

My favourite machine in the gym was always the rowing machine. It was so much better than the bikes, where you feel like your knees are going to break and you wish you were cycling outside round a park instead. But I was always lazy in the gym and worked out better in a class. 

So imagine my delight (seriously, I was actually very very happy) when Havva told me about Water Crew classes. It's rowing... in a class. It may as well be called the Judy Class! Ok, maybe not. Anyway, I went to try it with Havva at Trinity Health Club, an intimate little club in London. The result? I absolutely loved it. I smiled through most of it. I even laughed a bit, because Fabio who runs the class was funny. I came away feeling like my whole body had been energised - which it had, as it actually does work out 84% of your muscles.

Obviously, I went back to Wahanda raving about it and we ran a MobDeal with the club pretty soon after. I bought it, as did my friend and we've got two sessions left on our voucher - but I will definitely be buying a course. It's the best class I have ever done - though don't be fooled, it's damned hard work - and I definitely feel happier and healthier after my hour's up. The other week I did 10k in that one session - so my target for the next time is 11k. Wish me luck!
I hate lip gloss. Sorry, I know I'm a girl and I should like that gooey stuff that makes your lips look all sexual and gorgeous but personally I think it somehow highlights flaws and looks ridiculous. I don't have a trout pout and I don't want to try and make one using sticky icky stuff that my hair sticks to as soon as I go outside.

But, I do like lip balm. I've tried most of them. Blistex Spa Effects was my favourite until recently when I realised it hasn't helped one little bit with winter chapping, but does taste and feel nice when it's on. Carmex is also great but would be better if it weren't in an annoying pot. 

I have now, quite by accident, found a new and permanent favourite. Burt's Bees. I was given the 'Lip Shimmer' stick in the Caramel shade by a friend earlier this year and I love it. It has a gentle sheen to it and is so moisturising; it has a minty, almost menthol smell and it instantly cools lips when you put it on so is very soothing. It lasts much longer than other balms I've tried and is the perfect colour. There, now who sounds girly?

I've also recently been sent their Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss in the Pucker Berry shade - yes, a lip gloss. But Burt's Bees' natural ingredients make it far more moisturising and balm-like. It's still something I wouldn't put on before stepping out into windy London (hair stuck to lips = no thank you) but for night time in a bar, it's just right. 

Both products are 100% natural and 100% brilliant. No trout pouts here...

Disclosure: I was sent the lip gloss to try by a PR

I'm in completely the wrong job. I write about spa treatments and beauty products for a living and yet I have to limit my tried-and-testeds to things which involve very few products, or only products I trust - because I have sensitive skin. That might sound like a very normal thing to have but trust me, it's a nightmare. I have to stick to brands that I know and have used for years, not because they're the best but because I won't turn red when I use them. I've had some nasty allergic reactions to products before and it's made me very cautious - E45 cream and Dove shampoo are now my luxuries. Even water can be my skin's worst enemy, as London is one of the worst places in the UK for hard water. 

That's why when I do find something new that I can actually use without wearing a bag over my head for the following week, I get quite excited. The lovely ladies over at Pegasus sent me over two products to try from the Avène Eau Thermale range - the Soothing Hydrating Serum and the Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream with SPF 20. And I can tell I'm about to be hooked on them. 

One look at the packaging was all it needed for me to be interested - when you've got sensitive skin you know not to look for glitzy covers or illustrations. Simple, clinical almost and covered in information about the product, they looked like something I could try. I had a little read about the brand - the products use Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe and hydrate skin, based on the well known principles of hydrotherapy

A few facts about Avène water: 
  • Rich in silica to soothe and soften the skin
  • Protects and calms skin
  • The calcium/magnesium ratio is similar to the skin
  • It has a pH of 7.5 so it doesn't irritate and can be used on open wounds
  • Low mineral content
  • It's used in the Avène Hydrotherapy Centre and is recommended for sensitive skin
So - the products. Firstly, the serum; you use it morning and night after cleansing. Having previously used the No7 Protect and Perfect wonder-serum, I found that this was similar but had a better texture. It glides on to leave skin silky smooth and has a very delicate fragrance which reminds me of a mixture of Johnson's Baby talc and the smell of my mum's hand cream - no idea what she uses but it's gentle and fresh. Personally I hate strong fragrances in my skincare (usually an indicator that it can cause irritation) so I absolutely loved this. I would definitely choose this over No7 as it sinks in easier - I often found with Protect and Perfect that it left a weird residue afterwards. 

Secondly, the hydrating cream; I am terrible for remembering to put on SPF as part of my usual routine, like most people. Come summer we all throw it on and our skin is happier than ever, but then the sun goes away and we forget all about it; but one thing I have learned is that SPF is a great anti-ageing device as well as necessary in the winter for when the wind is freezing cold. So, a moisturiser with SPF included is the best way to go for me - and this one is my favourite so far. With the same gentle fragrance as the serum, this moisturiser is not too thick (which I hate) and left my skin feeling super soft - I kept trying it on my hand at first and then adding more because my hands looked magically smoother within seconds. I had the 'Rich' version but they also offer a Light version too - probably a good way to switch up your winter and summer beauty regime.

What's great about the brand is that they're not too expensive (around £10 or so), and of course, for me, that they glide on and soothe my skin without causing any allergies. If you're like me and scared to try new beauty products out, don't be scared of Avène - the fact that the products are based on water as a main ingredient is a good start in itself. 

Maybe I am in the right job after all...   

Disclosure: I was sent the Avene products to try by their PR. Thank you!
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