Happy In My Skin

Monday, 4 February 2019

What I Wish I Had Known - Postpartum.

So you spend 9 months growing your tiny little human. 9 months eagerly awaiting their arrival. 9 months of being plunged into a whole new world of things you never knew existed and things you didn’t realise could happen. It’s a learning curve right? 

Whether it is baby number 1 or 6, I think all mummies to be try to educate themselves the very best they can. The world is constantly evolving and therefore the world of parenting changes rapidly in line with that. From the very first midwife appointment we are given all sorts of resources to read and digest. I also enjoyed doing my own research on various topics from the likes of breastfeeding to vegetarian pregnancy and weaning. 

This being said, I have still managed to get to 5 months postpartum and think to myself “I wish I had of known that!” about a handful of different topics. My blog seems the perfect platform to share my findings; after all they may be of help to someone else... 

Postpartum Hair Loss

Now I did know that during pregnancy the hair thickens in response to the hormones and obviously some of that will naturally shed following birth but I was not prepared to lose the amount I did. I was losing hair whilst brushing, washing, styling, you name it - it was fur ball city for a good few weeks. The worst part? I went bald in the temple area on both sides of my head! Yes bald! Mum life is fabulous right?!

Luckily after feeling rather conscious of my two new bald spots the hair has started to grow back. This is amazing news although I feel I have swapped the bald eagle look for a newly sprouting alfalfa resemblance. Hair loss may not affect everyone, surprisingly though since I have opened up about it with friends it turns out it has happened to more people I know than I had realised. It’s something I wish I’d have been prepared for as it did come as a shock. Pesky hormones!

Postpartum Migraines

A killer. Not what you need when you are already physically and mentally exhausted post birth of your little baby. 

I started getting frequent migraines following the birth of Oliver around 4 weeks postpartum. I don’t suffer with headaches or migraines usually, I’ve been very lucky in that respect, so for me to be getting regular ones was definitely out of character. 

Due to exclusively breastfeeding O and being anti taking medication, I was trying to manage the migraines by plodding on but I wasn’t succeeding. I told my mother in law who asked if I was taking a magnesium supplement as she had previously read an article on the association between low magnesium and migraines. Admittedly I wasn’t. I was however still taking my pregnancy vitamins as recommended by my health visitor. 

Back at home I decided to look at the magnesium content in my pregnancy vitamin - it was present but not as high as a standalone magnesium supplement. I decided to take an additional supplement for a week to boost my level of the mineral and I also opted for the breastfeeding postnatal vitamins to try and ensure my needs and the babies were being met.

A week later and my headaches had gone. I shared what I’d found with my health visitor when she visited and she was equally amazed. She specialises in post birth care and although she was fully aware of postpartum migraines and headaches even she hadn’t thought of using vitamins to aid recovery. 

Whilst reading various sources I realised something that naively I hadn’t thought of before. When breastfeeding a baby will take from the mother whatever nutrients they need. This commonly leaves the mother deficient in various vitamins and minerals which can have knock on effects. At six weeks old, baby and mother attend a check with their GP and if all is well with both they are discharged. I do wonder, should breastfeeding mothers take it on themselves to get a regular vitamin and mineral check? Every Mum wants their milk to be as nutritious for their baby as possible and it is important that they can feel their best too! 

I found reading about this subject fascinating. One particular article that is interesting is:

Diastasis Recti 

Thank goodness for YouTube. Seriously! 

I not only found out about but also recovered the separation in my abdomen thanks to YouTube.

What even is diastasis recti you may be wondering? Diastasis recti is a weakening of the abdominal walls in the centre of the abdomen due to pregnancy hormones and the weight of a baby. Basically a weakening in the tension of the muscle fibres. Not everyone will experience this however many will. 

I watch Anna Saccone’s vlogs - yes YouTube is my guilty pleasure. Anna had her 4th baby around a week before I had baby O so I found it great to watch her postpartum updates. Although I was subscribed to various baby websites that send you an email with weekly baby progress advice it was good to watch and see how someone else with a baby the same age was getting on. Fairly early on in the vlogs Anna identified her diastasis recti and whilst listening I thought this was maybe something I was experiencing. 

When I had baby number one my tummy snapped back within 7 days (I know, I know - sickening.. maybe it was down to me being only just an adult myself?!) However this time with baby number two I felt my tummy was taking longer to return to its former self. I want to say here that I have been very lucky regarding my postpartum body. Some people would have been more than satisfied with how I was but to me, my stomach felt weak. I could sense that nothing was being supported as well as before. Although I was back to my pre-baby weight my tummy certainly didn't feel as taught. 

To confirm my query I asked my GP when Oliver and I had our 6 week check and she agreed that I had a two/ three finger separation. Basically this meant that when I lay down and tilted my pelvis to tense my abdomen I could place two/three fingers easily in between either side of my ab walls! The GP told me that there was nothing available on the NHS to solve this problem as it was not classed as serious however, I could seek help from a physiotherapist or find some simple correction exercises online. Whilst it was not severe, she did say it was something I should focus on correcting as if I didn’t it could lead to the problem worsening in any future pregnancies or lead to other problems like lower back pain later in life. 

This is why the vlogs have and continue to majorly help. Anna and her PT, began a postpartum diastasis recti healing workout series. The initial workout was super gentle and as healing has progressed the series has since built up to now being a fairly intense HIIT session. Link to initial workout here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eS0X1mo66w&t=2s

The videos have been a god send. With a new baby that I am exclusively breastfeeding I don’t have the chance to get to a gym. I needed a solution that worked around family and this was it. I can now workout at home, at any convenient time. By working through the series at my own pace I have completely healed my separation and actually feel stronger than I ever have. Now when I lay down and tilt my pelvis it is clear that the muscles have completely stitched back together - no gap present! 

I have committed myself to these workouts - I feel I need to put this out there. I wouldn't lie and say it happened easily over night. I’ve been doing a video 2/3 times over 4/5 times a week alongside walking around 4.5 miles 5/6 days a week. I hate driving so if I can walk I will. I started with the first easiest routine when Oliver was 7 weeks old and I had been cleared by the GP and health visitor as safe to exercise again.

As always, I hope this post will be of help to somebody! I have added a link to Anna’s first workout video above and you can navigate to the harder ones from there. Please comment with your thoughts/ tips below, I love hearing from you!

Bethany xx


Monday, 12 November 2018

Cheeky Chocolate Hidden Greens Smoothie Bowl

The first recipe on the blog!

I am literally loving a smoothie bowl right now. Not only do they taste incredible but they are an amazing way to pack in a lot of micro nutrients within one meal. They are also amazing one hand food and quick to make when you have a tiny person on board!

This is a go to for me and my eldest at the weekend as a quick lunch. The cacao powder, banana and date make this bowl super sweet - you cannot taste the spinach or avocado, hence the "Hidden Greens" name. Perfect if you have a little salad dodger!

Whilst exclusively breastfeeding my baby it is really important to me to pay high attention to the quality of my diet. A small amount of everything consumed will end up in my milk and therefore I want my diet to be full of a wide range of vitamins, minerals, micro nutrients, proteins and fats etc. Not only do I want my milk to be the best it can be for Baby O, I also want to feel the best i can possibly feel. I actually find I need to eat and drink more now than I did pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy! This was something that took me by surprise. I had heard the term "breastfeeding hunger" but not actually given it much consideration until it was happening to me. Has anyone else experienced this?!

I used ground flax seeds to provide an omega 3 boost, the leafy green vegetables contain phytoestrogens which have been shown to have a positive effect on breast milk production and the avocado is full of healthy fats as well as vitamin B, K, C and E! The banana, avocado and spinach also all contain good amounts of magnesium - a mineral I found depleted really quickly post birth and left me with severe postpartum migraines... I will do a more in detail post on this topic soon as it may be of help to someone else who is suffering with the same. 

  • Handful of spinach 
  • 1 Frozen banana (you can use a normal banana but it doesn't give the same ice cream like consistency)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 Medjool date
  • 1tsp Almond butter
  • 3tsp Raw cacao powder
  • 6tbsp Plant based milk
  • Ground flax seed to sprinkle on top
Place all in the blender, whizz up, pour into a bowl and enjoy! You may need to stop the blender a few times and give the mix a stir if the frozen elements stop mixing.

Did you find this post helpful and would you like more like this? Also if you try the recipe please leave a comment below with your thoughts!

Bethany xx


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

I'm Back!

I'm back!

It's been 11 months since i shared my last post and so much has happened since. We have completed a full renovation on our house, this is the main reason I decided to take a break from my blog due to all of my spare time being spent with a tool in hand, and most importantly we have had a beautiful baby boy! 

I've been meaning to pick my blog back up for a few weeks now after having a brainwave during a night feed (all my best ideas come at this time - bizarre!) about how I could expand the content of this site to not just beauty but beauty, health and my postpartum/ mum life journey. I believe the three interlink in so many ways. 

I started my blog as a way to share products that I had discovered that have worked so well for myself and I would now like to share not only those discoveries but also my postpartum recovery and some healthy recipes I am making to nourish myself and my baby - after all good skin and health does come from within. I'd also like to share various mummy experiences i have had so far in hope, as always, that my posts can be of help to someone out there!

Please comment below if there's any other post ideas you'd be interested in reading, i love to hear your thoughts on my posts.

Bethany xx


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Something NU.

I'm pretty sure you will have seen some of the NU Skin products floating around in your Insta feed by now. They are really popular and talked about at the moment! I was asked to try some for a blog review recently and after trying their lip gloss (see my previous post) I was definitely excited to be given three products to test: Polishing Peel, Glacial Marine Mud and the AP whitening toothpaste. Here's what I thought..

AP Whitening Toothpaste
Is brilliant! The best toothpaste I have ever used! I had been very sceptical over this product. After seeing so many posts raving about it on social media, it just semt too good to be true, this is really not the case. I have only used the toothpaste morning and evening for only three days and could see whiter tegs in just that tiny amount of time!

The toothpaste has a really nice and fresh taste. It leaves the mouth refreshed and teeth feeling smooth, very clean and polished with the added bonus of whitening at the same time! It contains no peroxides or harmful chemicals and will actually help to remove staining.

This product retails at £13 and I will definitely be ordering myself some more. A toothpaste is something we use every day, it's a necessity and yet so many have funny tastes/ negative results. £13 does seem pricey for an everyday essential but for the whitening effects it is worth it! I have popped my results from just three days use below. All photos were taken first thing in the morning after I had brushed my teeth so excuse the minimum makeup, lack of gloss etc. Your used to my no makeup pictures by now anyway so what am I worrying about?!

Polishing Peel
This product is quite unusual and different to anything I have used before! It features pumpkin enzymes that resurface and polish the skin and bentonite clay to remove dull skin cells and toxins. It is another Nu Skin product that is raved about.

Now this one did take me two uses to make up my mind. On the first use I wasn't overly keen on the texture. I personally favour products that melt onto my skin and have no drag. This had an almost rubber like texture that I did find difficult to spread and move. However I thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt and try it again. On second use I still felt the product was quite stiff to manoeuvre but I persevered..

I did as instructed for use, I used after the Glacial Marine Mud mask first, I then applied the peel and left the product too work for about 2 minutes and then buffed it away in circular motions. On the second time I did manage to buff the peel away, slowly but surely. My skin was left really soft so it definitely refined it! I still think I need to keep playing with this product to see if it's just me using it incorrect or if it just doesn't work with my skin that well.

Glacial Marine Mud
This is the mask responsible for the majority of those Kermit green 'maskies' taking over social media right now! I have been quite intrigued about this product for a while, especially after hearing of multiple friends getting great results.
This multi-use mask was created to lift dirt, impurities and oil from the skin as it dries out. You can actually see this happening as the mask is drying when all of the congested pores become visible and go darker (see picture below).

The mask is predominantly used for helping clear acne, breakouts and congestion but can also be used to help relieve dry skin and dull complexions.

I didn't love the smell of the mask. I have used nicer smelling products but that is probably due to the ingredients being natural and unperfumed - which is obviously better for our skin one million percent.

After using the Glacial Marine Mud I was left with very smooth and clear skin. It even managed to draw out a few stubborn blackheads on my nose making them easy to pop out and clear! I am quite hormonal and congested at the moment so will be treating myself to one of these natural masks again this week.

I will link Verity's Instagram below for if you wanted to try any of these products for yourself. You can message her directly to place any orders. If you comment BESSIEGRACE within your message you will receive 10% off your order! I hope you all have a lovely week! If you have any more questions about these products please don't hesitate to comment below or contact me.

Bethany xx

Link to Verity's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/veritygaunt/


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

No Needles Required!

Do you ever scroll through Facebook and totally bypass all of the ads and majority of pages your friends have liked that then appear in your feed? Or is that just me?

The product I want to share with you in this post was something that initially kept popping up in my feed as various friends had liked it. The video that does pop up hadn't grabbed me before I must say.. Probably why I hadn't pursued this product earlier. However it finally did snatch my attention when I actually tried some of a friends on a recent night out.

On pulling it out of her clutch a few of the other girls also asked to use some and were very excited over the product - hence my intrigue. I asked what the product was and my friend explained it is a plumping treatment for the lips that actually works. Not only that but it also has different 'heats' and you can customise your personal results. This one needed a try..

Talk about first application love with the added bonus that I could feel it working as well as see results. The girls were 1 million percent right this stuff works!

It is without a doubt that the majority of the population of girls are lip obsessed right now. What with the likes of Alexandria Morgan and Lydia Elise Millen as well as other people within your social media streams, a girl can't be blamed for desiring that fuller Jolie lip.

This isn't the first time I have tried a lip plumping product (see my previous post)and it most probably won't be my last. But two things happened when I tried this product: 1) I knew I had to have one and 2) I knew this deserved a post so I can share this find with you in case you hadn't heard of this either.

The product itself is sold by a brand called Dollywood Boutique.. Recognise it now? The lip treatment is called 'Chamber Made, Turn up the Voltage'. It retails at £18 pound and £3 for postage and packaging so it's fairly in line with most good plumper's out there at the minute.

How does it work?
The treatment has 7 custom settings:
-Just Plump No Tingle (Long term results with this)= A Peptide Collagen
conditioning treatment that is clinically proven to give you fuller lips in 30 days. 
-Cool Tingle (Long term results with this)= This is for a more sensitive skin, without a hot sensation will give a quick plumping result.
-Warm Tingle (Long term results with this selection) = For normal skin types, by choosing this you get a quicker and more effective plumping result.
-Hot Tingle (Short term results with this) Gives an extreme tingle which in turn gives the best plumping results.

To make your selection you simple twist the tube marked with an arrow onto your choice. The 'Hot Tingle' is perfectly named - it definitely packs a short term punch, perfect for those full looking lips on a night out! The instructions of use do advise a patch test to be carried out before your first full application.

I saw instant results on my night out with the girls, I topped up about twice throughout the night and was mega impressed. I don't use this product everyday, I want to keep it as my night out lip boost and treat!

I have taken a few pictures to show you before application (above) and 15 minutes later (below) on the hot tingle setting. Fillers are not a route I personally want to go down so for that plumped up look this is perfect!
I know this is a shorter post compared to most of mine but I just wanted to share an amazing find with you. If you have any questions as always please don't hesitate to ask or comment below. Also if you have any other amazing lip plumper's please share for everyone below! There is also a link to the products website below.

Bethany xx

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bronzedglamour/


Friday, 30 June 2017

K, Seeya, Bye!

Gosh life is busy right now.

We moved into our new house on the 8th June and let's just say we haven't messed around getting stuck into a renovation. My posts might not be as regular for a while as we are currently working full time, being parents and then coming home to the building work so time is literally so sparse. Does anyone ever wish we had an extra 6 hours in a day and 3 days in a week?

If you follow me on Instagram or have read my previous post you may know I recently had my tonsils out. Following the experience being a bit of a shock I decided to share my journey with you in case you may be due to have the same procedure done.

**I will warn you - this post does contain post op pictures of the site which are gross to say the least. If you do have a weak stomach it's probably best not to read too much further..**

So why did I need my tonsils out? It's been a long time coming to be honest. Basically I haven't felt very well for just over two and a half years now. When I say not very well it is quite hard to explain. Very run down would be a good starting point, exhausted very easily closely follows and then it is my throat. I have had a large raised lymph node on the left side of my neck for the same amount of time I have felt rubbish. I also have a very weak voice and have a sore throat everyday all down the left side.

Lymph nodes are a scary subject. I have had various tests, scans and blood tests over the time I have been feeling unwell for all sorts of scary things and luckily each one has come back clear but it still left a question mark over what is causing my lump and pain.

After being with different doctor's for 2 years, not finding a solution and being at my whits end of feeling shite I was referred to a fantastic consultant who specialises in Ear, Nose and Throat. He went over my symptoms, I had an MRI scan and a camera up my nose and down my throat - not so nice! The consultant  was as baffled as I was. He had a few theories about what could be going on and also thought my tonsils looked suspect so he decided to take them out in order to see if they were contributing to  any of my problems. After talking through several possibilities we realised it would be a process of elimination and different treatments to find a solution.

One thing the consultant suspected was undiagnosed chronic tonsillitis. This may have been causing me to feel unwell for so long. Chronic tonsillitis is basically when the tonsils become infected frequently without the full blown fur, gunk and symptoms of tonsillitis that would knock you off your feet. He wasn't 100% sure this would be the cause but the only way to expel the chance was to remove mine. He talked me through the procedure and said I would receive a date shortly within the next few weeks.

The date come through and the operation was set for May 17th. Don't ask me why but I didn't consider it too much. I think I was more excited over the concept of solving my problem and finally feeling better. I didn't do any research. I only knew of a few people who had also had the procedure done and I knew everyone reacts to surgery different so I didn't feel it was worth asking too many questions - or so I thought.

I like to think I am an optimistic person. Having this done proved that.. a little to much. I knew I had to have two weeks off work to recover but stupidly I imagined that being a "day case" meant I would be in, out and back to normal duties later that day. How wrong and naive I was..

Originally I had never intended to blog about my tonsillectomy. It was only when I had a big shock afterwards that I thought I would share my experience. In a way I want to help advise anyone who may be undergoing the procedure of what to expect and share a few tips to help prepare yourself for post op life. Please remember though, everyone is different. Your experience could be totally different to mine!

The only way I can describe my experience was.. beautiful.. not! It was not very nice at all. The actual morning and pre-operation was so smooth. I hadn't worked my self up about having the op - I wasn't overly nervous, probably a little to optimistic - hence the shock I was about to get.

The staff at the Nuffield in Derby were incredible. Their attention to detail was impeccable and they really put me at ease and comfort. Being a day case I was at the hospital for 07:00 in the morning and due to go to surgery about 09:00. At that point the only thing I was bothered about was being starving. I am such a breakfast lover and when you have the procedure it is nil be mouth after 00:00 the night before. Not even a cup of tea to start the day never mind my beloved porridge or a smoothie!

My nerves finally kicked in when I walked down to theatre. All kitted out in my beauts gown, super big pants and circulation stockings.. It's a glam affair! I have had one anaesthetic before so knew vaguely what to expect but the anxiety did kick in when I lay on that bed to be put to sleep I won't lie.

Every experience is different and that is so true with my two anaesthetic experiences. On waking from my first operation I ever had I was so peaceful, said "hello" to the surgeon and then fell back to sleep. This time I woke and had a full on panic attack. Drama I know - super embarrassed to say the least.

When I woke I had no idea where I was or what was going on. In my head I hadn't yet been put to sleep, because I had no recollection of it happening! I thought I was on that trolley about to be put to sleep..

I had a slight runny nose on the day of my procedure so after lying down for the duration of the op I was all blocked up and felt like I was struggling to breath. Then the pain in my throat hit me and that was it. A mixture of confusion, feeling like I couldn't breathe and the pain sent me into a mad hyperventilating mess. The poor nurses had no idea what was up with me and I was that doped up from the pain relief that was running through me I didn't either. It was a good 10 minutes before I accepted the operation was done and they weren't going to put me out again! I had felt a mess already but now I looked a total puffy eyed, red nosed mess. I got back to my room and literally slept the anaesthetic off all day, it was all I could do. My blood pressure ended up quite low by the end of the day so I did have to stay in over night for monitoring.
I went home around lunch time the following day and that's when the recovery journey began. I kept a diary of how I felt each day and took photographs of the area so I could see the healing progress in action. I can safely say from the minute I woke up to about day 12 my throat hurt in a way I have never experienced before. My medication made me feel super nauseous and the codeine knocked me off my feet for hours each time. It's not fun in any way, shape or form. Even worse constipation was a bitch until Day 6! I think that can be a side effect from an anaesthetic though. It really is a rough road to recovery and I just wish I had been a little more prepared before hand.

Although my recovery was rough I literally cannot fault the Nuffield in Derby. Their service is amazing! From the minute I checked in I had my own room which they had already pre-booked out for an overnight stay even though I was only a day case. The staff were super helpful and couldn't do enough for their patients comfort. I know some people slate the NHS but this just proved how helpful they are and how lucky we are to have their services. The breakfast they brought me in the morning looked insane and I was absolutely gutted I couldn't enjoy it. I gave it a good attempt but it simply was not happening. One positive though - by the following morning my puffy eyes has returned to normal - I didn't feel like so much of a freak show then! It's bad enough feeling terrible without looking it too.

It's super gross but when you have your tonsils out obviously they don't stitch up the operated site so you have two kind of open wounds that are incredibly sore. Instead of stitching the area is cauterised. Also the back of your throat fills with what I can only describe as smelly cottage cheese. I'm still unsure even now as to what this actually is? I took pictures daily to watch it disappearing as I got better. I've included one photo from the day after so you can see what I mean.. this is why I warned you it would be a gross post.
So what happened from day 1 post op? Here it goes:
  • Day 1 - 3 = I felt pretty much the same on each of these days. Rough,  spaced out, in pain, very sleepy with no appetite.
  • Day 4 = I was barely eating. This is not what you are advised post op as eating normal foods can actually help heal the area, but it was the last thing I could face rightly or wrongly. I could tell I had started to loose a little bit of weight by this point. I loose weight quite quickly and can always tell around my collar bones. It was inevitable with how little I was getting down me. I do always find it strange how our taste changes when we are sick. The things I usually love repulsed me. I was drinking tea with sugar not sweetener, trying small pieces of cheese on toast to curb the nausea and nibbling chocolate hobnobs to line my stomach for the meds during the night. My diet definitely changed for a good few days!
  • Day  5 = Emotional wreck! I think a mixture of waking up a lot in pain during the night, having disturbed naps during the day, feeling like utter crap and not eating well had taken its toll by day 5. I had a lot of help from my family with my daughter, my parents had her for a week whilst I stayed with Matthew's parents. On the Saturday I missed her dancing in her Mayfair as I just wasn't well enough to go and when I received a video from my dad I just sat and sobbed - what a melt!
  • Day 6-8 = No improvements. I still felt rubbish. My body was totally reliant of pain relief still, religiously every four hours. I still couldn't sleep through the night without having to wake up for my tablets.
  • Day 9 = This was my consultation day. Usually after a tonsillectomy you would see the consultant 7 days later but due to my tonsils being sent away to check for anything abnormal my appointment was on day 9 when my results from pathology would be in and could be discussed. Luckily there was nothing sinister in the little buggers but they were full of gross debris so it was confirmed that they definitely had needed removing! At this point the lump in my neck was still the same and hadn't gone down as we had hoped. I was given a further appointment 6 weeks later to reassess the lump and see if after healing I would have any improvement on my symptoms.
  • Day 12 = I finally started to feel hungry! Very hungry actually. My appetite was coming back with avengance and definitely making up for the tiny amount I had eaten over the last 11 days. Your stomach shrinks so quickly after an absence of food though doesn't it?! I could literally only manage small portions - little and often. My throat was getting less sore daily at this point too. I was finally feeling better in myself, taking less meds daily and seeing less of the gunk at the back of my throat - yay!
So there is it is, the main two weeks post op after my tonsillectomy. It's now been 6 weeks since the op, one of my scars has healed nicely, the other is being a bit slow. I still get a bit of gunk on them and the left side is still quite red and a bit sore but all in all the results are good.

Unfortunately Larry lymph node is still up, I'm still very sore down the left side of my throat and have a super weak voice. I've just had my 6 week review and although it was beneficial for me to chop off the tonsils I'm still no further with the cause of the lump. We are now exploring other options and I return in a few weeks for another scan and discussion. Hopefully we'll find a solution in the end. My consultant is amazing, so thorough and patient!

I can't thank the Nuffield in Derby enough for all of their care, time and help during my operation as well as post operation and the consultations I have had since.

I hope this may be of help if you are due to have this procedure. Please remember everyone is different and each experience will be different! I would definitely say if you are due to have this done make sure you have some family support ready for afterwards. Both mine and Matthew's family were incredible to me. Obviously having a child to take care of was difficult afterwards for a few days so as I said my parents took care of my daughter and Matthew's parents gained me.

All the best if your having a tonsillectomy soon. If you have been through anything similar regarding the lump in my neck, sore throat and fatigue and found a solution please share! As always if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me or comment below.

Bethany xx


Monday, 5 June 2017

You Have To Peel To Reveal !

There's one thing about being off to recover from an operation that I have actually enjoyed.. The freedom to work on my blog! As I've felt brighter and not so knocked out from my meds, I've found myself just chilling with my laptop working on a couple of posts and planning some future ones. I started writing this on day 10 post op and at that point my voice still hadn't returned - a bit of time spent blogging meant I could be quiet and truly rest my throat. Winner!

Anyway let's get to it. I have a new treatment to share with you this week! It was developed 2 years ago and is to be released nationwide imminently. Following my first Cosmedocs review I was lucky enough to be invited to try this treatment so that I can share it with you.

So what exactly is it?
'Peel to Reveal' is the name of this treatment and it is a professional in-clinic peel treatment. You would choose to have this treatment for a multitude of reasons, I will cover all of these within this post.

As we age our skin cells become dormant and turn over far slower than when we were younger. This can result in dull, dead and damaged skin cells being left on the surface of our faces. Our collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin and other elements that keep the skin healthy start to decrease around our mid 20's. The increasing number of dead skin cells and pigmentation from scarring or sun damage can cause unevenly toned skins with a rough texture and larger pores.

Even though we use makeup, serums, moisturisers and other beauty products to disguise these issues, they cannot actually reverse them. This is why the Peel to Reveal treatment has been created - to effectively correct the previously mentioned!

The peel consists of powerful skin antioxidants, brighteners, exfoliants and stimulants to improve the skin's radiance. It uses multiple superficial to medium peeling agents such as Glycolic, Lactic & Salicylic acids & Glutathione to treat more than a dozen skin issues at once. 

The Treatment.
Is super quick, with minimal side effects! It takes between 10-20 minutes, so you could squeeze this into a lunch break or have after work as a quick pick me up! The professional carrying out the treatment can control the depth and intensity of each peel, dependant on skin types, nationality, sensitivity and results sought. The process consists of four processes that are carried out in 3 steps: 
  • Cleanse - To remove makeup, excess oils, dirt and any other debris from deep within the pores using Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids as well as Salicylic acid to treat and prevent breakouts.
  • Revitalise - By replenishing key vitamins and antioxidants that are essential for skin cells and decreasing pigmentation such as skin dullness, pigmentation, sunspots, scarring and melasma.
  • Exfoliate - This gets rid of dead skin cells to stimulate cell turnover and improve the texture of the skin, decrease the size of pores and refresh skin dullness by using the multiple peeling agents mentioned above.
  • Stimulate - Collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin production are stimulated by activating cell functions using various ingredients including: peptides, vitamins, retinoids, immune boosters and natural extracts.

How does it work?
Initially the pores on the epidermis (the top layer of skin) that are clogged with sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria are unblocked, this happens in the cleansing stage. In the exfoliating stage, the dead skin cells just underneath our top layer of skin are turned over far quicker than the natural process resulting in a must thinner layer of dead cells. In turn this will smooth the texture of the skin and reduce the size of enlarged pores. In the revitalise stage the melanin in our skin is regulated and distributed evenly which will give the skin a more even appearance. Finally in the last part of the treatment, the stimulating part, the ingredients work together to repair and produce more collagen and elastin fibres. Overall this leaves the skin looking younger, more radiant, smooth and hydrated.

Ingredients explained.
The peel uses a variety of ingredients in groups that I have listed and you might be thinking "what an earth?". So I thought I would briefly explain their benefit just in case you did want to know:

  • Salicylic acid, tea tree oil, willow bark extract (in the cleansing stage). Together these ingredients are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and provide deep pore cleansing. 
  • Glutathione features in the revitalise stage and is considered to be the most powerful, most versatile and most important part of the body's self generated antioxidants. This ingredient has been proven effective to lighten, even skin tone, reduce hyperpigmentation, freckles, age spots, acne scars and dark patches when applied topically.
  • TCA, lactic acid, glycolic acid are the main ingredients in the final two stages of exfoliation and stimulation. Together this combination improves the skins texture, increases cellular turnover, stimulates collagen production and improves fine lines and wrinkles.

Side effects.

Are minimal! If you did decide to have this treatment during your lunch break you can actually return to work straight after with minimal changes to the skin. If it is sunny outside you will definitely need to apply a good SPF (50 if possible) as your skin will be more susceptible to burning and damage for a good couple of days. If you don't like going makeup free, a light cover of mineral makeup can be applied immediately after without causing irritation. The ultimate results will be seen around week 6, I had my treatment six weeks ago as of the Saturday just gone so my pictures show you my results after the full period.

  • You may experience mild redness for a few hours after the treatment dependant on your skin's sensitivity and if you've had a peel before etc.
  • Peeling/ flaking of old dull skin will begin on day 3/4 and last a couple of days.
  • Post peel your skin may feel very dry and this can last 7-10 days. This can easily be treated by moisturising well and as often as you feel necessary.

My results.
I loved the whole experience. When having a peel you can certainly feel the active ingredients working. Dr Bhatti told me something really interesting during my peel - "if you can't feel your skincare working, it isn't doing anything". It's so true, if you think of any skincare that delivers a result such as a retinoid for example, you will always feel a slight stinging/ burning sensation on application. These are the products/treatments we need to achieve any of our skin wishes.

I personally would describe the sensation when the peel is on as very tingley and warming - you can certainly feel those actives getting to work! I have had numerous fruit acid peels before which I have already posted about and this could be one of the reasons why for me this didn't sting as much. I also didn't experience a great deal of peeling compared to what some people can have. I think this is because it had only been about 10-12 weeks since my last peel so my skin was in a decent condition already.

My skin flaked rather then peeled and this started on day 2 post-peel around my nose and top lip. I can only describe it as little scales flaking away. I also got the dry, tight feeling this day to so I just upped my moisturising game. You do look like you have very dry skin at this point but just remember it will all be worth it!

By day 5 my whole face was flaking lightly, some people can experience a sheet peel effect but I just had a little snake skin effect going on. One thing I found amazing was my sun damage - I catch the sun on my forehead and nose particularly (shock) and where I did have some pigmentation damage these areas really did shed! The pictures here show my sun damage from before the treatment and after.

Around day 7 I experienced a small breakout where my skin had previously been quite congested. I struggle with acne along my jawline as you know and I get super congested here. This is typical around a week after a facial treatment, especially with this one giving my pores a good clear out.

I was still experiencing light peeling on my cheeks on day 12, I did try to take a photo but the flakes were too little to catch on my camera. This stopped on day 15, I was still feeling more on the dry side but the flaking has subsided! My old acne scarring along my jawline was starting to look considerably lighter here too and this was one of my aims from the treatment.

I know full results are supposed to be after 6 weeks but I was thrilled with my skin from week 3! It is not only smoother, the small bumps of congestion under the skin have gone, my makeup is going on a dream, the overall clarity has improved,  my scars are lighter in appearance and the sun damage I had has reduced. I have since seen a little bit of sun and coloured up again so this may come back (naughty I know!). You can see the reduction in scaring from before to after below.

All in all, the 'Peel To Reveal' treatment was ever such a quick process and once it was done I applied my sunscreen and carried on my Saturday! I had no redness at all, in fact my skin had a lovely glow! The flaking was more than manageable, as was the dryness and I am so happy with the overall results - the peel delivered as promised! The three pictures below are from just before my treatment straight after and the evening of the same day - you can see the glow!

The peel treatment starts from £120.

6 week journey.
I would say if you are struggling with acne, post-acne scarring, bumpy skin, congestion, fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage or pigmentation - give this treatment a go. There's not many skin issues this treatment cant resolve so even if your experiencing something I haven't mentioned give Cosmedocs a call and I'm sure they can advise. I will pop a link to the treatment page below and their contact details (area dependant) will be accessible on the website too.

As always, I hope this may be of help. I love finding new ways to help my skin and erase my acne scarring as well as improving the overall condition and appearance. If you have any questions, pop a message below or contact me directly.

Bethany xx

Treatment: http://www.cosmedocs.co.uk/services/skin-rejuvenation-treatment/

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