Get Your Summer Glow On!

Clear blue skies, long lazy evenings and flip-flops! Summer is just around the corner and I’m already excited. Here in the UK we haven’t seen a lot of sunshine, so I’m very much looking forward to those days where you are in your garden and soaking up all that Vitamin D! #summerloving Today’s blog post I would like to share with you some easy tips and healthy recipes that could benefit you to achieve that perfect summer glow (on a budget, of course!). Let start off with something easy:

  • Face Masks

They are pretty great. I am definitely a face mask advocate! Now, we could easily spend a £1 or even £10 for a face mask because it’s easy, less hassle and maybe because they had great reviews! However, we are not going down this route! You could easily whip up a face mask using ingredients from your kitchen cupboard! Once we start foraging through our cupboards you can actually start to see some that some ingredients on their own can be excellent face masks. I could go on and on about the various ingredients you could use for a face mask but, I’d like to tell you of 2 items that I use on a regular basis as a face mask. Potatoes and Tomatoes. Surprised? I bet some of you might be! I have been using these ingredients as my face mask ever since my grandma suggested! Although it didn’t quite make sense why my grandma insisted on using these, a quick Google search answered my questions. Tomatoes: It contains high amount of Vitamin C which is known to brighten skin. The high acidic content in tomatoes helps to treat rashes and acne. Just cut one tomato in half and gently run them against your skin. Sit back and let the tomato juice works its magic on your skin! Don’t forget to rinse after 20 minutes!

Face Mask: Tomatoes!
Face Mask: Tomatoes!

Potatoes: They have a high content of carbohydrates and vitamin C and are a natural under eye brightener. Applying potato juice or potatoes directly on the affected area can banish dark eye rings. The juice also helps in the treatment of dark spots and blemishes.

Face Mask: Potatoes!
Face Mask: Potatoes!
  • Superfoods: Almonds

The ultimate superfood! Almonds have been a part of my diet for over a year now and they have done wonders to my skin and health too! Why are they super? I’ll tell you… These little nuts are very rich and a good source of Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorous, and Iron. I soak almonds the night before, peel and eat them first thing in the morning. Doing this on a regular, every day basis, has most definitely improved the health of my skin. Soaked almonds can help you get your glow back and improve your skin tone by repairing the damaged skin tissues internally and helps in the formation of new cells. However, I’m sorry to those of you who are allergic to them. Blueberries are a perfect alternative and a handful of them everyday can do wonders!

Superfood: Almonds!
Superfood: Almonds!
  • Healthy Recipes ft. ALOHA

I’m not a very good cook. Living with my parents, my mum makes the most delicious home-cooked food which is a perfectly acceptable reason for me to not cook at all! However after exploring the recipe page from ALOHA, I feel as though I can rise to challenge of cooking something appetizing. My eye caught this recipe: Chicken (or Tofu!) Tacos with Superfood Mole Sauce. Why? It’s simple – Chicken! I need not say more! I am looking forward to cooking this very soon! For all my vegetarian readers, do not fear! They also offer some great veggie recipes too! Like this one: Nut + Seed Veggie Burgers Do feel free to head to their website for more inspiration: ALOHA I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and hoping the tips I shared with you helps you to get your summer glow on! ❤

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Product Praise ft. The Body Shop [Tea Tree Facial Wash]

If you have been reading any of my beauty posts, you could probably tell that I’m loyal to the products I use. This is only the case if and only if I love and adore that product. Although the whole Tea Tree range of products are wonderful, this is the one I keep repurchasing over and over and… you know the idea? 🙂

 

The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Facial Wash is certainly one of those products that I’m loyal to. This is one pretty amazing facial wash and you would love it instantly because of its simplicity and effectiveness you would experience right after your first attempt at using it. I stumbled across this product on their website a few years ago when I was in dire need of something that could help my acne prone skin. Reading the rave reviews, I was quick to purchase it and fall in love with this product.

 

Product Praise ft. The Body Shop [Tea Tree Facial Wash]
Product Praise ft. The Body Shop [Tea Tree Facial Wash]

Reasons why this product receives praise:

  • Tea Tree oil benefits
  •  Removes makeup/dirt and reveals a squeaky clean, refreshed face
  • It is a gentle yet effective face wash for my acne prone skin.
  • This product lasts for at least 2 months! (My mum and my sister is an avid fan of this face wash too and use it regularly!)
  • The product is remarkably very affordable too.

This product retails at The Body Shop for only £5 (250ml). Amazing right? So, if you are on the lookout to try something new, why not try this face wash?

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and I would love to hear your thoughts too!

 

The Good & The Bad ft. Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion

The Good

As someone who has been using topical acne medication on a daily basis, my skin dries out quite terribly. The dryness is concentrated in and around the areas where I apply the gel (cheeks and chins area). Prior to using Cetaphil, it was really an uphill battle trying to find the right type of moisturizer that helps hydrate my skin when using acne medications.

I first learnt about Cetaphil when several Beauty bloggers raved about this product. I had to jump in, try it for myself to really understand what the big fuss was all about. Well, after initially trying it out, I can say that this product was worthy for all the big fuss it generated among skincare enthusiasts.

Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion
Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion

I have been using this product for over a year and my skin has been loved it since day 1. During winter months is when I could really tell how this product works on those cold wintery days. A word of warning though, I would not recommend this product if you have an oily skin type. Due to this reason, I only use this product in the evening after I apply my acne medication before I go to bed. The next morning, I’m always woken up to soft and hydrated skin which is always wonderful!

If your skin type is dry, then this is the moisturizer for you. Your skin will surely love it. It is also a wonderful base product to be applied before applying foundation. A few things to note:

  • Very little of the product goes a long way
  • It is fragrance free and non-comedogenic (oil-free)
  • One 230ml bottle of Cetaphil lasts at least 6 months.

You can buy this product from Boots for the price of £8.99.

The Bad

All you Cetaphil lovers, you are not going to like what you are about to read. You might have heard about this or might not, but it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t share this with you even after knowing about it.

In the past few weeks, I have read blog posts that explain how Cetaphil is not the simple and innocent moisturizer it claims to be. The blogs explain that Cetaphil uses toxic ingredients which are harmful to the skin. Surprised? Shocked? This was how I genuinely felt after I read about it. As someone who has been using it for a long time, it really made me think. Click here to read more about this. I have to say, my once positive opinion about this product has been swayed after knowing the unpleasant truth about Cetaphil.

Have you used Cetaphil Moisturizing lotion? What are your thoughts about it? Let me know by commenting below!

Product Praise ft. Aveeno Moisturising Lotion

If you had read this post and this post you would have got some insight about the personality of my skin. If you haven’t read it, please take a few minutes to speed-read through those posts (they are quite long!) to get an idea of how I deal with my skin’s moody personality.

As you can already tell from the title, this blog post is all about Aveeno. Before I begin to praise this product, I need to tell you a story. This short story is all about how I started using this product and what made me choose this particular product.

Currently, Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion is my every day morning moisturising lotion (yes that means I use a different moisturiser in the evenings/night and the reasons behind this must be justified in a whole new blog post!). Before using this product, I was obsessed with using Vitamin E Moisture Cream or Vitamin E Illuminating Moisture Cream.

Vitamin E Moisture Cream & Vitamin E Illuminating Moisture Cream
Vitamin E Moisture Cream & Vitamin E Illuminating Moisture Cream

My obsessions into using these products spread and now even my sister and mum uses them. My skin loved this moisturiser, but after a while, like usual, my skin started to protest and the aftermath left on my skin was a little sore for the eyes. The moisturiser was too rich for my oily and acne-prone skin and since that protest, I have been very cautious and was on the hunt for a perfect moisturiser for my not-so-perfect skin. This hunt led me to Aveeno. Now if you ask me why I chose Aveeno as my morning moisturiser, I can sum them up in just two reasons:

These reasons pushed me to be brave enough to introduce my skin to Aveeno and I haven’t looked back since.

Let the Product Praise begin!

For someone who is dealing with acne-prone skin, Aveeno Moisturising Lotion has been a real treat and my skin is been loving it since day one of me using it. It is very light and easy on the skin. Moreover, a little of it goes a long way and also, its fragrant free nature is an added bonus too.  It has always been a struggle finding a moisturiser that is suitable for my acne-prone, oily skin type but this product has proved its worth. My foundation stays on for a lot longer and the best part is that, my face does not end up looking like a disco ball at the end of the day!

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion

The price of this product is very reasonable for the full 300ml bottle, coming in at (full price) £7.15 in Superdrug and £7.64 in Boots (currently on sale in Boots for £5.10!). My positive experience with Aveeno has encouraged me to venture out and try other Aveeno products and one of products that I am equally loving is the Aveeno Moisturising Creamy Oil. It smells gorgeous and feels divine on my skin.

Aveeno Moisturising Creamy Oil
Aveeno Moisturising Creamy Oil

Aveeno, my skin really loves you, you know?!

Me, Myself and Acne

A few days ago, I found out that one of my family friend’s son has been suffering with acne to the point that he has completely shut off the world and does not got out at all. This triggered my own feelings and struggles that I went through and hence this blog post.

Acne. I was introduced to this word at the age of 18, been in a relationship with it from the age of 18 till present and I think the way that I experienced acne is quite unique.

It only started as a few spots (I thought they were just pimples/zits and would go away on its own) on the cheeks of my face, but then, it took a turn for the worse. My cheeks became an infested, breeding ground and the acne started to multiply, grow bigger and grosser.

You might be wondering why my acne is unique, I will tell you why…

I also had severe body acne.

My body acne was so severe, that at one point it was really hard to wear a bra as the straps and hooks of the bra would rub against my acne and make it even worse (sorry, if this is TMI!).

I used to hate my face and despised going out with friends/ family or take any kind of pictures of myself. The most embarrassing bit of information that I left out is that, it was not me who noticed that my acne on my cheeks were getting worse, it was my friends and family who politely pointed it out who then persuaded me to take an appointment with the doctors. The visits to the doctors began and number of prescriptions for medicines increased and changed often as most of them were not working. My acne on my face and body, along with my self-confidence grew worse.

At last, somewhere in 2011, I was prescribed with some antibiotics for my acne. I was to take them once a day without fail. I did this, even though I lost hope in having medicines for my acne. I also started to adopt slightly healthier lifestyle which you can read all about it here. After 2 – 3 weeks of having these anti-biotics, I saw a difference. I was overjoyed! My skin was not producing any new acne and the acne that I did have, was slowly starting to fade. I was starting to gain confidence and like how my face looked and felt.

My skin was starting to look more and healthier and I was very glad. A few months into the course, I was acne free, apart from a random pimple that does pops up.

In early 2013, the doctor suggested if I wanted to try going off the antibiotics because, obviously I have been on medication for 2 years and all these chemicals in my body could cause some side effects now or in the future. I took the plunge and was confident that it was all going to be okay. After a couple of weeks without my anti-biotic, it returned. I decided to go on the antibiotics again, but this time, my body wasn’t listening to the medication. This time, I started to develop acne (the gross kind) on my forehead and chin area too.

I decided to stop having any more medicines or anti-biotics because consuming antibiotics over a long time also has its own side effects. The doctor suggested that I try on a gel called Epiduo that needs to be applied once a day. Although I had tried several other prescribed creams/gels/lotions with no positive result, I had no other option and so I took it.

Long story short, I have been applying this gel since autumn of 2013 and my acne is under control. The gel has been good to me so far! Also, adopting that healthy lifestyle makes all the more difference.

There are still days when I still feel awkward and uncomfortable to go out whenever I have a crazy breakout of spots on my cheek or worse, on my forehead. I have learnt to accept that I might never be rid of acne, but I have learnt to live with it rather than hate it causing more worry, stress and anxiety to myself.

To those of you who are on your own journey in dealing with acne, I wish you all the best. It does get better with time. I learnt to be patient too. In hindsight, it is definitely sad to think that at one point I did hate my face just because of spots!

After reading this post, I hope this gives you some kind of encouragement… You are not alone ❤

Don’t let acne define who you are.

Love your face, Love your skin

Yes, this would be that beauty post similar to any of the best beauty bloggers’ out there (Essiebutton, Lilypebbles, FleurDeForce etc.) who share their rituals when it comes to taking care of their skin. Now, I would like to attempt that and share with you what I use on my skin (face), not body skin (that would be for another blog post).

First, I think proper introductions are necessary. I personally want to introduce you to my skin. Skin meet reader. Reader meet skin. (Remember, my face skin. Not body skin.) I genuinely think that my skin has a personality of that a person going through a menopause. There, I said it. Sorry Skin, but I know that must have hurt you. I have had problems with my skin right from the age of 18. Acne (the worst kind, because I had it on my body skin too!), oily skin during Summers, extremely dry and flaky skin during winters (the acne medicines I was consuming, were one of the key reasons behind that).

I am very glad to report that my acne problem (on my face skin and my body skin) has reduced tremendously after 6 years of experimenting with homemade remedies, anti-biotics and medicinal face creams/ gels.

If you would like to know what medicines I took, let me know, I am more than happy to take you through what I took and how much of it helped and didn’t help in a whole other blog post 😀

Back to the topic of my skin now, I had to make a few lifestyle choices for my skin’s health to get better, which worked brilliantly for me! I do have to say this might work for you or not. Please don’t get mad if it doesn’t. I’m no expert but, I know you know that I’m not an expert in skin J

  • No more sugar. Now that was a big one for me, who used to love all types of sugary things especially if they come in a bottle – the fizzy kind. Happy to report, that it has been more than 3 years since I have had a sip of Coke, Sprite (my favourite) or Pepsi.
  • 5 a day. Yes, fruits and vegetables are ridiculously great for your skin and health in general once I started to get in the habit of eating them. I do confess, sometimes I only have two a day but hey, that is better than none a day.
  • Green tea. Those two words have been my best friend every morning and evening for the last couple of years. They have a unique taste which might take a while to get used to but, in the end I was doing it for my skin.
  • Almonds. Literal lifesaver for my skin! These nuts have been terribly great for my skin! I am extremely sorry for those of you who cannot consume almonds due to your allergies. You really do have my sympathies. I soak 4 almonds overnight and peel and eat them first thing in the morning.
  • Cue Pharrell’s song Happy. Staying happy and stress free was extremely hard as this was one of the main reasons why my acne flared up in times of exams, being over worked and constantly worrying about little things that really did not matter. This is still under progress, but hey, I don’t worry about that this is still under process, so I think that’s a start 🙂

Moving on, I have now my small, yet powerful army of skin care products which have been such good heroes for my skin till now. It would only be right to mention them to you now…

I am that type of person, who does not like to spend a lot of my hard earned money on extremely expensive face products because, the number one reason would be that I would feel extremely guilty and be that stingy person when using that product. Another reason would be that I would fret (a lot!) if I did or did not use the product enough to show some kind of change with my case and also if it was really worth it to spend all that money. The most expensive face product that I have bought would be – Cetaphil (paying full price £8.99) and I guess I could say The Body shop’s Vitamin C Microdermabrasion (always bought it when it’s on offer, its full price retails at £14, hell to the no!).

Morning routine:

  1. The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Facial Wash (to wake my skin up!)
  2. Cold pressed Almond oil (a little goes a long way!)
  3. Aveeno Moisturizing Creamy Oil With Colloidal Oatmeal (my skin, drinks this up like a sponge!)

Evening/night routine:

  1. Tea Tree Facial Wash (to get that gunk down the skin after a whole day of being out and about)
  2. St.Ives Apricot Scrub (the best exfoliator in town!)
  3. The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Microdermabrasion (Twice a week, great product, only ever get this when there is an offer!)
  4. Epiduo (the only acne gel, I’m using on any active or dormant acne. This tends to dry my skin a little.)
  5. Cetaphil (a rich moisturiser that my skin loves after applying Epiduo on my acne)

Hope you enjoyed reading this. I do agree with you that it is long, but I feel like I need to let you know my decision process and reasoning behind my choices. 🙂