Health & Beauty

  • The A To Z Of What Makes Us Smile

    The A To Z Of What Makes Us Smile

    It’s National Smile Month!

    National Smile Month is the UK’s big campaign to raise awareness about oral health and keeping your teeth squeaky clean.

    Our smile is a way that we express our happiness, which is often overlooked when people talk about their gnashers.

    So to celebrate National Smile Month, we thought we’d share an A-Z guide of the weird and wonderful things that make us smile:
    A row of different smiles wearing lipstick

    Awkward moments…because they’re funny, especially at glitzy award shows.Kanye West's infamous awkward moment at the MTV awards

    Bed… because there’s nothing better than rolling ourselves up in bedding like a burrito.

    Chocolate… a winning smile guaranteed!

    Dogs… there’s too many reasons to list why!
    Two women smiling with their dog on the grass

    Eyebrows… because if they’re not on point it’s a deal breaker.

    Friends and family… our two favourite F words!

    Gardening… proven to lower stress and makes your yard look beautiful.

    Hugs… a big bear hug always makes us smile after a bad day!

    Ice lollies… guaranteed to make you smile, especially if they’re homemade.
    3 Homemade Lollies

    Jack and Jill Bench Set…because everyone seems to love it!

    Knitting… it’s calming and also very necessary if you want to stay warm and stylish in a zombie apocalypse!

    Leicester winning the Premier League… definitely made us smile.

    Makeup… no matter what your gender, a good smoky eye is beautiful.

    Nescafe… because it makes us smile from 9am until 5pm.

    Oreos… because you can twist it, lick it, and dunk it!
    A stack of chocolate biscuits

    PDSA… their great work always makes our smiles beam with pride!

    Queen… both the band and Her Majesty!

    Reality TV… the trashier, the better.

    Sunshine… don’t forget the sun cream though!

    Tea… nothing beats a good cup of PG Tips in the morning.

    Unicorns… we believe, do you?
    Two unicorns with a cup of tea

    Vacations… everyone needs a good holiday to unwind and see the world.

    Weekends… because we get to sleep in, eat all the food, and relax!!

    Xanadu… the cheesy Olivia Newton John film is a camp classic! I mean, roller skates and neon brights? Yes!

    Yourself…try to find one thing each day about yourself that you like, you’re guaranteed to smile.

    Zzzap… who else remembers this nineties kids TV show on CiTV?!

    Be the reason someone smiles today illustration
    Want deals that are sure to make you grin with a beaming smile? Find your nearest Poundstretcher here.
    Have you entered our National Smile Month giveaway? Visit our Twitter and Facebook pages to enter!

  • The Ultimate Guide To Summer Skin Care

    The Ultimate Guide To Summer Skin Care

    Summer is right around the corner and things are heating up!
    We don’t mean to throw some major shade on your Summer fun but we need to talk about skin care.

    It doesn’t matter what colour your skin is, whether it’s dry or oily, and if you have freckles or moles.

    Sun damage does not discriminate.

    It can affect anyone which means it’s really important that we show our skin some TLC during the warmer seasons!

    So let’s bust some myths about Summer skin care:

    Myth 1: The sun clears acne and makes me appear youthful.
    Answer: FALSE
    This is the ultimate myth that gets passed down as ‘good’ advice! While the sun may help reduce bacteria in your skin, it will cause more breakouts by drying out your skin which stimulates your natural oils in to overdrive. The main reason people think their skin looks better after they've been in the sun is because their tan is covering up any small red blemishes and scarring. That’s why people notice their acne seemingly ‘returning’ a couple of weeks after a beach holiday!

    Myth 2: I have darker skin so I can stay out in the sun for much longer.
    A pretty woman in the sun looking in the distance

    Answer: Sort of TRUE but mostly FALSE
    Darker skin does have a little more resistance to UVA/UVB rays, however this doesn't mean you can go out sunbathing sans sunscreen! Although skin cancer is uncommon for people with darker skin, it can actually be a more aggressive form if it attacks. At least an SPF 15 sun lotion is advised and you still need to keep your sun bathing time limited. People with fairer skin are incredibly vulnerable to sun damage, which is why if you have blonde or ginger hair you turn lobster red very quickly on the beach! This is because fairer skin contains less melanin, the stuff in our bodies that helps counteract the sun’s rays, than darker skin.

    Myth 3: I don’t need sunscreen because I’m trying to top up my vitamin D.
    Answer: FALSE
    Vitamin D deficiency may be on the rise but that doesn't mean you can ditch the sunscreen for the D! To top up your vitamin D levels, you only need about 10 – 15 minutes outside in the sun.

    Myth 4: If I wear fake tan, it will protect me from sun damage.
    Answer: Definitely FALSE
    Fake tanning sprays and gels are completely different to sunscreen but unfortunately this is one myth that won’t stop resurfacing. Even if you’re wearing fake tan, you still need to apply your protective high SPF sunscreen and after sun lotion.

    Myth 5: I don’t need to reapply my sunscreen after I've been in the pool.
    A group of friends smiling in a pool on a sunny day

    Answer: FALSE
    A dip in the pool may cool you off but it also washes away your sunscreen! Wait a few minutes for your fresh SPF coat to soak in to your skin and don’t forget to reapply as soon as you’re out of the pool!

    Myth 6: When it’s cloudy I do not need to wear sunscreen.
    Answer: FALSE
    It’s a hot day and despite the sun hiding behind those fluffy white clouds, you still need to wear your sunscreen. Your skin still become damaged and burnt from the UVA and UVB rays poking through the cloudy sky. 

    Myth 7: My hair protects my scalp from being burned.
    A boy holding some sun lotion with a sun cream moustache on his face while wearing a straw hat

    Answer: FALSE
    Sadly your hair holds no protection against the sun and if you leave your hat at home you’re in danger of enduring painful sun burn on your head! Luckily you can get non-greasy sun lotions to protect your scalp, which is a saviour for those who have receding hair or a bald head. Keep those bald patches beautiful with a quick spray of sunscreen formulated especially for this sensitive area.

    Myth 8: Getting a tan from sun bathing is healthy.
    Answer: FALSE
    Despite the phrase ‘a healthy tan’, getting a tan from sun bathing is actually a sign that you've damaged your body! The sun’s rays travel deep in to the layers of your skin gradually burning you. When we sunbathe our skin is triggered in to producing a chemical called melanin which helps protect your skin from frying too much. The melanin makes your skin appear golden and tanned, so when you see your skin start to glow it’s your body’s way of telling you to turn down the heat!

    Myth 9: My child doesn't need a high SPF because their young skin is stronger.
    A little girl smiling wearing sunglasses and swim wear on the beach getting sun lotion applied by her parent

    Answer: FALSE
    Children’s skin is actually more sensitive than a fully grown adult’s which is why kid’s sunscreen is usually an extremely high SPF. The younger you are when you start exposing your skin to the sun, the quicker your skin will prematurely age and become damaged, further increasing the risk of skin cancer. Make sure your little ones have hats, plenty of sun screen and regular breaks in the shade.

    Myth 10: I don’t have sunburn so I don’t need after sun lotion.
    Answer: FALSE
    After all that time in the sun, your skin will be dry and need rehydrating. It’s important because it helps keep your skin healthy and will aid your body in recovering quicker from sun damage - even if you’re not at the boiled lobster phase of burning!

    A woman's back with a smiley face painted on in sun lotion

    Thinking of going on that Summer holiday you've always dreamed of? Well before you hit the beach, check out our fantastic competition to win the ultimate vacation hamper!! Visit our Facebook and Twitter for details on how to enter!

    Whether you're home or away this Summer, don't forget to stock up on your sunscreen and after sun lotions. We have a fabulous cheap and affordable sun care range waiting for you now! Find your nearest store on our website here.

  • The Ultimate Festival Survival Guide

    The Ultimate Festival Survival Guide

    It’s almost a month until it’s officially Summer time and you know what that means.

    Yes, it’s music festival season!

    Like any good festival goer you’re likely to be thinking ahead about what to stuff in to your rucksack, which musical guitar gods you simply must see, and who will be the designated driver on this 4 hour pilgrimage to mud, music, and mayhem.

    Or maybe you’re a first timer dipping your wellies in to the world of face-melting guitar riffs, mosh pits, glow sticks, and porta potties hosting their own tiny civilisations.

    It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when  you’re camped out in the middle of nowhere with thousands of hardcore music fans all trying to elbow their way to the main stage front row.

    So we figured we’d give you some hints and tips on how to survive a music festival for both seasoned pros and newbies!

    1. Travel light

    Two women showing their festival fashion off while cheering in the crowd

    People come from far and wide to festivals across the UK. So chances are you’re one of those people who will have quite a trek to make. You need enough room in the car for your friends and you don’t want to be lugging everything else including the kitchen sink across a field! Make your outfit versatile. For the ladies a pair of leggings or denim shorts and interchangeable tops is a fab lightweight option that’s comfy and easy to carry. Lads, a pair of shorts and a graphic printed tee will keep you cool in the heat while a button up shirt can go over this combo if you need an extra layer. The perfect accessory for both men and women for a festival? The humble hoody! Save space and ditch your pillow in favour of putting your clothes inside its case!

    1. Bring snacks 

    A group of young people eating thieir meals at a music festival

    Festival food is expensive and we’re on a budget here! So stock up on snacks for being on the go like cereal bars and crisps to keep your strength up when you’re playing air guitar in the mud pit! Keep drinks like Capri-Sun handy for a juice fix and Coca-Cola for when you need a sugar boost mid way through the festival excitement.

    1. Set your soundtrack

    Create a playlist for the journey of the bands that are playing throughout the weekend. There’s bound to be some you’re not familiar with and you might just find a new festival favourite from your mix tape!

    1. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

    The worst thing you can do at a festival is not drink water. Alcohol dehydrates you quickly and you can’t spend the entire weekend living on sugary drinks. Hydrating is a must and a good bottle of water will keep you energised for longer so you can elbow your way to the main stage!

    1. Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen

    Trust me on the sunscreen. Even if it looks a bit cloudy, you’re going to be exposed to UV rays for roughly 72 hours or more. Pack a strong SPF sun lotion and after sun to avoid looking like a boiled lobster with dodgy tan lines!

    1. Baby wipes

    Say hello to your festival BFF! You’re going to have no access to a proper shower for the weekend which means wet wipes are like currency at a festival. Say goodbye to panda eyes, makeup and mud!

    1. Make a plan 

    A group of friends dancing at a music festival

    Festivals are HUGE. Getting lost is incredibly easy so always plan a checkpoint for you all to head to if you get separated. The phone charging tent will be too rammed and you might not have a signal or a travel phone charger so chances are your phone will run out of power. It’s time to go back to the era before mobile phones ladies and gentlemen, let’s get through this as smoothly as possible.

    1. Most importantly, bring a sense of humour!

    You’re going to be in a field with your mates and thousands of strangers so you’re going to see some amazing fancy dress (there’s always a Where’s Wally group), epic mud slides, hilarious dancing and some incredible bands rocking out! Festivals are fun, tiring and kind of tough but your group will make it through together!

    A group of friends chasing bubbles at a music festival

    Want to scrub up well after your festival fun? Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to enter our luxury hamper giveaway! It’s filled with al your favourite smellies like body wash, shower gel, shampoos and more!

    Want to top up your festival kit? You can find your nearest Poundstretcher here!

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