Monday, 30 January 2017

The A team **

As promised in my first post, I want to delve more into vitamin A and its benefits on our skin - especially spot prone skin. You probably know already the vitamin is essential for our eye, immune system and skin health.

Pre-formed vitamin a (also known as retinoids) only exist in animal products, so providing you have a good diet you will usually get a fair amount of the stuff from what you eat. Good sources of vitamin A include: cheese, eggs, oily fish, liver, milk and yogurt - all well and good if you eat meat.. harder if you are vegetarian (that would be me) and super hard if you are a tee total vegan.

For the people that follow a plant-based diet, we find our sources in veggies such as: carrots, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach, kale, broccoli and red peppers. These sources aren't primary sources of vitamin a though! They are actually sources of beta-carotene - a carotenoid that our body can covert into vitamin a - clever! In order for our skin to benefit from vitamin a our body will convert it into retinoic acid - a product that can help various different skin issues.

Vitamin a use on the skin began in the 1960's in the form of tretinoin (used on acne patients still today and also known as Retin A). Not only is Retin A amazing for acne but also for its anti-ageing properties when applied to wrinkles - you'll see it in so many skincare products right now!

What effect does the vitamin have on acne you might be wondering? Well, it helps prevent dead skin cells from clogging the pores, reduces the amount of oil produced in the pores, suppresses androgen formation and helps prevent cell inflammation (the redness we experience).

I maintain my levels with the Skin Accumax daily (mentioned in my first post) alongside a plant based diet and totally agree with the theory that treating certain problems from within as well as topically gives the best results.

This is only a small post as I don't want to ramble on - more short, sweet and too the point. Hopefully it will help clear up any questions you had from my previous Accumax post with regards to the benefits vitamin a has on the skin. After all, we all like to understand a little more how the products we digest and put on our skin work don't we right?

Please don't forget though - if you are pregnant or breast feeding you need to consult with your doctor before taking any vitamin a supplements as too high levels can be dangerous to pregnant or breast feeding mothers.


Products listed:
-Skin Accumax:
-Flawless Faces Peel:

Post @flawless_faces_ makeup application.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Getting that glow..!

So you now know the battles I have with my skin..

Thanks to the Skin Accumax I pretty much have the acne under control. Obviously it raises its ugly head every now and again; slight diet changes, hormones and stress seem to be my triggers, but as a whole I'm pretty clear! Whilst the spots may have subsided the downside of being post acne is the scarring - being fair skinned it was always inevitable. I've tried a lot of products from the high street: salicylic acid toners, lactic acid products - nothing seemed to reduce the little purple blemishes left behind.

Que the power of Instagram! you'll know if your also insta obsessed, its so easy to stumble across that one account every now and again that's an absolute gem. I was on one of my regular hauls when I came across @flawless_faces_ and it caught my attention immediately. Jenna's page hosted not only amazing images of clients and customers results but also countless messages received from the people who had been using her amazing product.

Now I'm up for trying anything when it comes to beauty and helping my skin but I'm also all about the research - I like to know what I am putting onto my skin and how it works. Our skin is our largest organ, we need to take the best care of it we can right?
I wanted to find out more about the Flawless Faces peel so I contacted Jenna with my lengthy list of questions. Coming from the beauty industry I already understood how the concept of irritating the skin helps trigger a renewal process and collagen stimulation but there were still questions I needed answering. At the end of the day I was considering putting an acid onto my face, not something you do on a whim! Jenna was amazing and so quick in her response, she answered all of my questions in detail and really put my mind at ease.

With 6 different strengths to choose from (10% up to 50%) I was unsure what to go for. I had a chat with Jenna to discuss what I was aiming for and how my skin is generally. She advised me to begin on the lowest strength, I was to try one bottle of the 10% and depending on results either stick to that level or increase to 20% next time if the stubborn marks were still visible. The peel is made of glycolic acids - acids from fruit and sugars. It has no animal additives at all - simply a product derived from sugar cane, suitable for both vegan and vegetarians.. Bonus!

As I briefly mentioned above, the peel works in two ways. It tricks the brain into thinking the skin is under trauma in the area you have applied the acids to. The brain then sends signals to produce even more collagen in the area which helps repair any imperfections. It will also have an exfoliating effect, eating away dead and old skin cells to reveal a fresher complexion. Problems the peels can help include: Acne, scarring, pigmentation and uneven skin surfaces.

The treatment itself is so easy! I brought the full kit which includes: the peel, a post treatment calming mask, rose water, a little mask dish and a mask application brush. All you do once a week is have your bath as normal, cleanse your face and then when your pores are nice and open apply a 10p sized amount of peel to a cotton pad. Wipe all over the face and neck and then leave on for the time Jenna recommends. I started at 5 minutes and have then increased 2 minutes every week; after week 5 I will sleep in my 10% for each use until the bottle has gone. When the time is up, wash off the peel, follow with the 5 minute calming mask, tone and moisturise. You can also use the product as a one off spot blaster mid week if a pesky one appears!

Real talk time. Its an acid.. does it burn? No. But, being totally honest it does feels super tingly, almost stingy. This kicks in about 10 seconds after application as it gets to work, not to panic though, it subsides totally after a minute or two. The ingredients are active so it was inevitable you would experience something!

I have just finished week 5. I didn't want to do a post before now as skin experts always recommend using a product for 28 days in order to see a true benefit. As with the Skin Accumax I documented my experience taking photos the following morning after use with zero makeup on (apologies again). You'll notice at the beginning I was going through a shit skin period again for some reason (acne doesn't seem to get the message it isn't welcome) but 5 weeks later the breakout has cleared and my scarring is noticeably reduced! 

Week 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5!
The Flawless Faces peel is without a doubt fabulous. I cannot recommend it enough! My scars have noticeably faded in the short amount of time I have been using, also the overall condition and smoothness of my skin has improved. Makeup is going on a dream! What more could I ask for from a product?? I still have a few marks I want to vanish but that will come in time - Rome wasn't built in a day and nor was acne free skin!

I hope this will help you if you are tackling the same issues! If you have any questions, feel free to comment, I will always answer back! Also check out Jenna's Instagram @flawless_faces_



Sunday, 15 January 2017

Roaccutane.. Really?!

So you've been under the GP (not literally may i add) for a year, various different topical solutions, creams and gels tried. Months of oral antibiotic courses completed and still i was looking in the mirror saddened by what screamed back at me.. Acne. Red, sore, lumpy and angry skin.

Not only does acne affect your confidence, it has negative effects on your mental and physical state. Firstly, on looking in the mirror you find yourself asking "what have i done to deserve this?". Then comes the meticulous routine every morning of covering each individual spot in a bid to hide the monstrous reality of what lies underneath. Maybe the worst is when you meet a new guy (who turned out to be the one) and you begin staying over - everyone wants to wake up looking as fabulous as you did on the date night previously. Unfortunately not the case.

I spent a long time when my acne was at its worst hiding away in the morning and not allowing my loved ones to see me until the mask was on - Thank god for makeup!

I decided enough was enough; back to the doctor in a desperate bid to resolve this once and for all; after all i had expired the majority of the other solutions. That's where i guess my real journey to tackle acne began...
The GP began discussing referrals to the dermatologist in order to discuss Roaccutane. Naturally i went away and began researching this product myself. I also spoke to my knowledgeable colleagues. I owe the reason for this blog and more so the reason behind my now more or less clear skin to my manager and salon owner. Their expertise and advise was priceless.
Research i was carrying out was already worrying me. The side effects, possible depression, the post treatment problems, the science behind how the drug works, risk of abnormal organ function and monthly hospital trips for pregnancy & blood tests - everything semt to scream NO! Then came the chat with my managers. I wanted their honest opinion on what i should do. They had after all been in the industry for years, experienced a lot and worked with all skin types; including the ones that had previously used Roaccutane.

Did i want paper thin skin? Extreme dryness of the whole body? Sore flaky skin? Depression? Internal problems? Premature ageing? The list goes on ... The answer was No! I was now at a hurdle, if i wasn't going to take that route what was i going to do?

More research occurred and there i found my natural approach..

We were already stocking and working with Environ products - a brand based on science, beauty and care. Environ focus' hugely on vitamin A and its benefits on the skin. (I'm going to do a post purely on this soon). The brand itself is part of a company called the iiaa (, along with the Environ they also created The Advanced Nutrition Programme. After looking through the brand in more depth we had our attention turned to a product called Skin Accumax.

Skin Accumax is a nutritional supplement. It's dairy free, suitable for vegans and free from artificial flavours and colourings. It contains high doses of a combination of vitamins A, E, C and plant nutrients - particularly a plant nutrient found in broccoli! The supplements are suitable for male and females over the age of 16 (not suitable if pregnant or planning pregnancy) The tablets are made in the UK to "strict pharmaceutical standards", come with a full information brochure and they cause no negative side effects, dryness or flaking.. What was not to be excited about? The Advanced Nutrition Programme recommends using 2 tablets twice a day with your largest meals (to aid absorption) for at least 14 weeks, after that you can continue as you are or reduce to 2 tablets once a day as maintenance.

Obviously i was sceptical, it all sounded to good to be true; but true to its word the Skin Accumax began to work. I had previously decided to track the progress taking a series of photos (i will apologise now - the before pictures are dreadful) before my course began and a series 14 weeks later in order to compare. The results were amazing! Gone was the sore, lumpy, red blemishes! Present was clear, healthy skin. Amazing.

I chose to continue taking the tablets as maintenance for my skin and i will admit i have stopped taking them a few times but give it a few months without and i soon see the blemishes creeping back. The vitamins seem to have a triple effect, firstly on my skin, secondly on my health - i have fewer colds ect whilst taking and finally on my mental health. Clearer skin = A happier me!
I literally cannot rave about this product enough! Once i had achieved my results we launched the products within the salon and began spreading the word. If you are at that point of despair and Roaccutane seems like your only option, please give this a go. It's not cheap by any means, you will be looking at around £53-£70 a month initially then half thereafter but it works! You'll get none of the harsh side effects linked to Roaccutane just a natural approach - better in every single way. It's just one of those gems you discover and want EVERYONE to know about.

If you have any questions or want anymore information on Skin Accumax please don't hesitate to comment, email or get in touch!

Bethany xx


Sunday, 8 January 2017

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