So, on to the second review from July's Glossy Box Selection : Monu's Calming Cream. 

First of all, just what does a 'calming cream' do? Well, according to the company's website, this one 'works by neutralising the redness often noticed on the cheeks and chin area'. And since skin sensitivity and a certain 'rosieness' around the cheeks is certainly something from which I suffer from time to time, I was happy to give this sample a try. 

The information on the tube listed a number of key ingredients. Having had a few issues in the past with several fairly common beauty ingredients I am exceptionally careful when choosing what I'm going to put on my skin. And I have to admit, I took a lot of persuading to use this product, since it contained Horse Chestnut Seed Extract – an ingredient I've had trouble with in the past. It's commonly used in leg gels and also in some stimulating bath products because it's renowned for its circulation-boosting properties. But I've found those products in can be a bit harsh, and frankly anything but calming, on my skin. But the other ingredients I'm more happy with. Arnica is a favourite chez Raggedy Ann Girl, for its amazing anti-inflammatory and, in our experience at least, pain-easing qualities. Yarrow extract reduces swelling and Bisabolo (I had to look that one up) comes from German Camomile which is known to soothe too. With Rutin - an anti-oxidant which strengthens blood capillaries, rhubarb extract – known to cool hot skin, and Coconut Oil for moisturisation and being rounded out with Wheat Protein – a great source of vitamin E it sounded more than promising. And so, after a few days of patch-testing, and happily noticing no irritation, I began my field testing.

By this point, thanks to summer allergies and a the after-effects of a few late nights and a bit of enthusiastic exfoliation, my skin was a tad flushed and well in need of a bit of calming. I used it, morning and evening for three days, combined with a simplified version of my usual routine (no serums, just cleanse, moisturise and SPF). And applied it only to my cheeks. It smells quite 'medicinal' and herbal. You apply it by gently tapping it into the skin and, because the cream is quite light (and my skin a bit dry) it doesn't take too long to absorb. 

Initially I noticed a slight feeling of stiffening of the skin where I had applied it. But this soon subsided and I did notice an immediate reduction in the redness of my skin, which I put down to the slight green-base of the cream. I was heading out that first day and so applied my makeup as usual and pretty much forgot about the trial I was running. At the end of the day, when the makeup came off, I was pleasantly surprised that the cream seemed to have toned the redness down greatly and taken down a touch of bobbly inflammation which, to be honest, I hadn't even noticed had been there that morning! Within three days my skin had returned to its, frankly more usual, clarity and smoothness. I've put it away in the drawer, but know that I will reach for it the next time I get a flare-up.

I have to say, however, that for my skin it wasn't nearly moisturising enough and, if I needed to apply it every day, would really need to work in a richer face cream. In which case I'd probably just revert to my usual Philosophy routine (their Keep the Peace cream is something I've used with great success in the past, and offers much greater moisturisation). But for the occasional user, I'd say it's more than adequate. A big tick for this one!