Sunday, 19 February 2017

Top 10 Skincare True Loves

It seems only fitting, given that it was Valentine's Day last week when I started writing this post that I talk about my true loves.. Skincare true loves that is.

Here are my top ten skincare products that I use daily (well all except the scrub and tan - weekly for them of course). The products range considerably in price, and where you can get them from - supermarket sweeps are welcome here you'll be pleased to know! I permanently have these products in my bathroom cabinet as well as miniature decanting bottles/ pots filled with each for when I travel, that way I can always have my faves with me! So here they are, in no particular order, I love them all..

Yep, babies butt cream. I don't think there's a night goes by that I don't have at least one dot of this stuff on my face - my boyfriends a lucky man isn't he! Honestly though, Sudocrem makes the best over night spot treatment. As well as being antiseptic, it also contains zinc oxide which is an amazing ingredient for drying up and helping to heal spots. I swear by the stuff and I have tried all sorts of spot gels and creams. Sudocrem is inexpensive and can be picked up easily in so many supermarkets, pharmacies and health care shops.

Dreams in a bottle and suitable for all skins! The scent of the Proserum is an absolute dream and even better the results you achieve are amazing. This product nourishes the skin like a treatment oil whilst delivering the active benefits of multiple plant extracts. It is enriched with omegas 3, 6 and 9, vitamins A and E as well as turmeric. More of an investment at £49, the treatment will help to balance even an oily skin, reduce hormonal breakouts, hydrate the driest of skins, help brighten and even skin tone and protect against ageing. I apply this last thing at night before I sleep so that the product can absorb and my skin is glowy in the morning. 

One of the best thing that came out of 2015! I have an obsession with the stuff! I use an organic 100% pure virgin coconut oil on my lips after cleansing every night. I also melt a tiny bit between my fingers and apply to my eyelashes every evening after removing my mascara as an overnight treat. Its the most amazing, hydrating lip treatment and I find it really nourishes my lashes after they've been coated in mascara all day! We condition our hair so why would we not condition our lashes? Being natural I also use coconut oil on my daughter if she ever gets dry skin - she is quite sensitive and it has never irritated her! Obviously I don't use the same jar I cook with, I keep two in - one in the kitchen cupboard and one in my bathroom cabinet. As you'll all know, you can pick a jar up ridiculously cheap in you weekly food shop.. I think every supermarket must stock it these days.

-Skin Accumax
I have already spoken a lot about the Skin Accumax in my previous post so you'll know the love affair I am in with these tablets. They are the reason I no longer suffer my dreaded acne! Accumax definitely has too feature in my top 10 true loves as I take two of these every morning with my breakfast - religiously.

-Garnier Skin Soothing 2 in 1 Make-Up Remover
A cheeky steal at £2.99 and widely available from your local supermarkets and beauty stores! I picked this up purely by accident one day and I'm so glad I did. Infused with water-lilly and pro-vitamin B5 this remover melts away even waterproof mascara. I always use mine to remove my eye makeup first by applying to 2 cotton pads and then I reverse the pads and wipe away all of my makeup. The product is an oil in liquid solution so you have to shake it well! The oily consistency thoroughly removes all of my makeup so it makes the perfect pre-cleanse. This means my second cleanse ensures my skin is makeup, dirt and pollution free as well as enabling my finishing retinoid treatment to be absorbed well and work to the best it can!

-Lacura Expert Double Effect Eye Gel
One word. Aldi. Can you believe it? I picked this little beauty up on an emergency whim when my previous eye cream ran out. I had heard a lot of people raving about these supermarket beauty steals and was super intrigued and lets just say it did not disappoint. Said previous eye gel was the Crème de la Mere Illuminating Eye Gel - there's £105 difference in price between this and the Lacura gel and it just goes to show that price doesn't always promise deliverance! At £4.99 the Lacura really hydrated the skin around my eyes instantly which gave a smoothing effect. The gel contains a  blend of ingredients including caffeine, horse chestnut and kudzu extract (known for its skin repairing properties) designed to tighten and brighten the sensitive area around the eyes. Sneaky hack with this one - apply the remainder on your fingers to your lips at night before your balm, I love the plumping effect it gives! Also if you do see this in-store, get it whilst its in. If you shop at Aldi you'll already know but they don't always stock everything every week. I've been trying to get my hands on a new pot for 2 weeks now and I'm still waiting.

-Flawless Faces
Another one I have previously posted about but have to mention in my top 10 skin loves! This product is a must to try if you haven't already. I initially used my peel to help treat my acne scaring and refine my skin. The results were fab - it has not only reduced my scarring, it helps dry up any current breakouts and it has really helped with the smoothness of my skin - makeup goes on a dream now. Jenna also recommends using a dot of the peel on an active spot overnight as a spot treatment which works amazing. I had an ingrown hair on my leg recently and thought I'd be a guinea pig to see if it would help and it did. The following morning the spot had reduced and I easily got the little hair out that was stuck! I don't know where I would be these days without my peels.

-ESPA Detoxifying Salt Scrub
Okay so this one isn't a face product its for your body. It's gorgeous! Every time I use this it takes me back to my salon days - I used to envy every client having this done knowing how beautiful their skin was going to feel afterwards. I now use at home and get my boyfriend to be my therapist, he's a good one bless him. It's not quite as glam as being in a salon when your stood in the bath butt naked but it does the trick. The scrub is a sea salt in oil suspension that buffs away dead skin cells and smoothes the skin. The oil is an aromatherapy oil with invigorating grapefruit, cypress and eucalyptus to stimulate circulation and help eliminate toxins. It also has nourishing sweet almond oil that melts into skin to deeply hydrate and replenish. You can use this weekly and when you do just allow the water to rinse away the salt, don't wash off the oils! I use this all year around but if your looking for something to perfect your summer skin this is the one.

-St Moriz Tanning Mouse
Nobody wants to be a pale gale. There are quite a few fake tans that I like but this one never lets me down! I regularly pick up a bottle from home bargains when I pop in for my toiletries. You can't beat £2.99 for a good colour, streak free tan!

-Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask
If I've discovered anything writing this posts its that I definitely put far too many beauty products into my shopping basket when I'm doing my food shop. I picked up these little skin treats in Asda for about £2 each and use them when my face just needs that extra boost of hydration. Although I do tend to be more on the oily side with my skin, I do still get dry every now and again - my skin clearly just doesn't want to be normal does it? The mask contains hyaluronic acid which is primarily used as a moisturising agent, it has the ability to latch onto water molecules which in turn helps hydrate and plump our skins! This means your skin not only feels hydrated, it looks plumper and revitalised too. A definite must try that is suitable for all ages and skin types.

Hope you've enjoyed the read! I literally can't recommend the above enough. As always I love to hear your thoughts and will always answer any questions. Just pop them below.

All links are in pink - just click the word to go to the mentioned previous posts or the product websites.

Bethany xx


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Bakuchiol what?!

No, I haven't gone crazy or made a huge spelling mistake in the title of my new post - I do mean Bakuchiol. Let me explain..

Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol that is derived from Indian Babchi leaves and seeds. The ingredient has been used in Chinese and Indian medical practises for centuries to help heal cuts, soothe rashes and calm redness. More recently, it has been discovered that Bakuchiol has many anti-ageing benefits as well as being a brilliant treatment for skin conditions such as acne because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Now you can see where this is going.. I told you I wasn't crazy!

So, until four months ago, I too was in the same place you most likely are right now - questioning what the hell Bakuchiol was. I discovered the ingredient and its amazing benefits on a congested skin when a close friend began promoting and selling Arbonne.

Although I had previously heard of Arbonne; I must admit that it wasn't a product brand I had really acknowledged, so when my friend told me about her new venture, talked me through the brands ethics and let me try the products that were suited to my skin type for a week my attention was turned. It was a simple case of candy to a baby.

Arbonne is a vegan and gluten free brand that pride themselves on their naturally inspired and scientifically tested products. It uses botanical ingredients from nature with green chemistry that produces great products whilst looking after the earth at the same time - bonus!

The product I was most intrigued about was the Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads. On my return home I did my usual thing of a touch of research - geek at heart and all that, I love to understand how my products work. That's when I came across the Bakuchiol. I also picked up a super handy tip in my research that I will share with you now too.. If you do buy these pads, you receive 60 in the set. Now Arbonne advise you to use one pad per night but the tip I found told you to cut the pads in half. By doing this you double up your product to 120 pads and it lasts you twice as long which considering the pads are quite pricey at £87 I was all for! Initially I only cut a few just in case I felt I wasn't getting enough product from one half but I was pleasantly surprised that half a pad covered my face, neck and even had a touch of product left for the backs of my hands. (You'll understand why I use them here later).

As agreed with my friend I tried the products for a week. Along with the pads I also tried a cleanser, toner and moisturiser but I didn't adore these like I did the nightly pads. On return I placed my order for my own set and sadly waved goodbye to the borrowed ones.

Within a few days my order arrived and the Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads slotted perfectly into my night time routine. I use my half pad after I have cleansed and toned - simply wiping all over my face and neck, then wiping any excess onto the backs of my hands. I do it in this order because the product contains skin conditioning agents and emollients so its the perfect finish to my PM regime. My skin is naturally on the oily side so after using the resurfacer I don't need a moisturiser as well.

When I started using this product 4 months ago my skin was going through quite a congested spell - not necessarily spotty but lumpy under the skin and my makeup wasn't sitting well. I already knew that introducing a retinonl type product to the skin can cause a breakout. Retinol based products work by gently exfoliating the skin and aiding cellular turnover to shift and clear congestion, so when the spots came I wasn't shocked. Within 2 weeks though everything calmed down and I started to notice the lumps were vanishing, the product had done what I wanted it to do and sifted out all of the crap. The pads are almost like a microdermabrasion in a pot!

Back to the Bakuchiol. In this product it is teamed with phytinol and retinol to create Arbonne's PBR+ complex. Other active ingredients in the product include mandelic acid and bisabolol. Together the combination improves skin tone, smooths the surface off the skin, aids cellular turnover, gently exfoliates, soothes and calms. These actions treat a multitude of sins: uneven, congested and acne plagued skin - all is calmed and smoothed with fine lines, pigmentation and wrinkles are reduced. 

Introducing a retinol based product into my routine as a topical treatment was definitely a great move and one I would recommend! 4 months down the line I am so pleased with the overall smoothness of my skin, the breakouts have calmed down, the condition has dramatically improved and a bonus that I had not even considered beforehand - the skin around my eyes seems firmer and the line from mouth to nose seems to have vanished! I'm only 25 but I had started to notice the teeniest lines appearing around my delicate eye area and on my marionette lines so to erase these so easily is fabulous!

This product is not only amazing if you are suffering with your skin but also if you are looking to refine soft lines. I don't suffer from sun spots and pigmentation so I can't comment on the benefits there - I wouldn't just make it up! I am definitely addicted now - the pads have become one of my skincare staples and I'm so pleased my friend brought them to my attention.

One thing not to forget.. if you are going to or you do currently use a retinoid based topical product - use an SPF during the day, everyday! The skin can become even more sensitised to the sun when using retinoids so an SPF 25+ daily is important. My mineral makeup has a natural protection of SPF 25 that I use everyday but if I'm ever going makeup free I make sure I pop on a light lotion form after moisturising in the morning.

I hope you've enjoyed the read, honestly the pads are fab! I've popped a link to Arbonne's website and Instagram below for you to have a peep at. As always I love to hear your thoughts and will answer any questions if you pop them below.

Bethany xx

Arbonne website:,2102,480.aspx

Arbonne Instagram:


Monday, 6 February 2017

Only acne knows...

If you are reading this and you have experienced acne for a period of time i would pretty much put all of what i have on the fact that you will have had at least one of the following statements said to you. Each one is typical of someone trying to help when they actually have no idea what you will be going through. Now that sounds pretty harsh i know - I'm not mean i swear. If you have suffered the dreaded A at any point you will know exactly what i am talking about.

In this post i want to talk about the questions and statements i and most certainly other acne victims are faced with recurrently. Being quite a private matter generally, people face the following daily and simply admit defeat when it comes to their answer. I know i did for a long time.. sticking my head in the sand (literally if the option had been there on a bad skin day) instead of responding with a more elaborate answer, that would explain why i couldn't just drink more water and bam the spots were gone! So here are the top 10 questions and statements in my opinion that acne sufferers tire of hearing..

-Your 25.. Surely you shouldn't still be getting spots?
Well no, it would be truly fabulous if i didn't still get a volcanic eruption occurring on my face every now and again but guess what i do! I didn't follow the typical spot stereotype at all. I whizzed through my teenage years with crystal clear skin but then as well as many beautiful gifts i also got acne for my 21st birthday. I will never know where it came from or what caused it - but i do know i went through a pretty big and stressful life change around the same time so i guess i've always put it down to that. The fact is acne can actually affect both genders and appear at any age for numerous different reasons - it is not just a hormonal teenage thing.

-What you eat won't effect your skin!
Gosh if i had a pound for every time i've been told this. Well i certainly wouldn't be sat writing this at my kitchen table put it that way.. A million pound can take you somewhere much more lavish cant it?! Jokes aside, i chose to really clean my diet up when my acne was at its worst. It perfectly fell at the time Deliciously Ella and Madeleine Shaw were becoming our healthy life gods - if you know me you will know i am literally obsessed with their recipes and healthy life advice. Books purchased, i began reading more and more into nutrition and how a healthy, balanced diet is so super important for our skin health. I am not saying i have a sparkling clean diet, i want to live, laugh and explore but i do try and ensure that the majority of what i eat is nourishing for my skin, body and mind. Your diet is a personal choice but i certainly know that my skin is so much clearer and healthier when i'm fuelling my body with all the right things - the odd time of indulgence can always be seen in my skin i'm afraid.

-I know how you feel..
Says the person with one sporadic spot. Well no lucky person, you won't. Having one small spot (you are insanely lucky) is miles away from the claws of acne. This one is so hard to explain to a non-sufferer. The truth is when your skin is going through a really bad stage it knocks you both physically and mentally. Physically - your body language is so much more reserved, eye contact minimised and social activities reduced and mentally your playing a draining game of distaste every time you look in the mirror. Only acne knows..

-If you ate meat it might help you?
My boyfriend is the main suspect of this one (sorry lovely). He seems to believe eating meat is the answer to all of my problems. I get a cold - its because I don't eat meat. I'm tired and low in energy - its because I don't eat meat. Bad skin - you got it. I've been vegetarian since I was 8 when I was traumatised in my history lesson watching a Tudor video, and it isn't going to change in the foreseeable. We have such an extensive knowledge of nutrition today that it's easier than ever to substitute foods in order to keep a balanced and nutritious diet without eating meat. In fact if you research into healing acne you will find that a lot of people turn total vegan in their quest for clear skin. The results can be amazing.

-It's not that bad.
The one phrase that can revert any level headed acne sufferer back into a version of their former two year old, tantruming self. Okay so I totally get that for the people we confide in: family, partners and friends, it must be hard knowing what to say. There isn't actually anything that can be said. But we know that if we asked them to swop skins the answer would be a no - surely that answers our frustrations and their statement in one?

-Its just bad luck!
Were the famous last words (literally, i never saw him again) of the first GP i saw about my skin. Clearly he had never gone through this, but yeah that was his response when i asked him why this was happening at the age of 21. To say looks could kill is an understatement.. I was devastated!

-Would it help if you didn't wear makeup?
In a nutshell.. No! Gosh there are so many reasons behind this answer. So firstly the obvious one - confidence. When your having a really shit time with your skin im talking: angry, red, sore and lumpy, the last thing you would dream of doing is walking out of the house with out your comfort blanket of the wondrous makeup. As i mentioned in my first post, i wouldn't have even ventured out of the bedroom without my camouflage when my acne was at its worst. Makeup is so much more than just pots of colour, it has the ability to empower so many people in so
many different ways. This said, there is an art i have found of being able to wear makeup without aggravating my acne - it's all about choosing the right products. During my time as a therapist i trained in mineral makeup. I learnt that this form of makeup can actually help our skins, not hinder it, and that's the point i think so many people don't realise! Good quality mineral makeup will be free from pore-clogging, drying fillers like talc. It is usually made of around only 5 different minerals and is actually a natural anti-inflammatory which can calm the redness of acne. I will do another post soon on mineral makeup in more detail but trust me its fabulous for blemished complexions, you can build your coverage from a sheer to full cover which is a dream when there are spots to disguise.

-It's not the vitamins that are helping your skin.
In my first post, i told you how i cleared my acne up naturally with the amazing Skin Accumax from the Advanced Nutrition Programme. The tablets i took were not only from a renowned skin institute but also heavily researched and trialled with fantastic results. When my skin got dramatically clearer i noticed on several occasions people were saying "it didn't clear up because of those vitamins". Those people couldn't get their head around what i was trying to explain. The truth is, yes it was my vitamins - they contain a special combination of vitamin A, C and E with phyto-nutrients to support skin health and work from the inside to treat skin problems - specifically acne. If i had accepted the Roaccutane tablets from the GP and taken them people wouldn't have questioned me, so i found it frustrating that the concept of treating something naturally without all of the side effects was so hard to understand? Luckily most people grasped it and many went on to reap the same benefits.

-Are you doing too much to your skin?
I'm sorry, come again? Okay so yes i have an elaborate (i'd say exciting) skin care regime. I adore products - I love learning about products, using products, the smells, packaging.. You get the picture. I don't just put anything on my skin though, i take time choosing what i decide to purchase and buy. Personally, i favour natural, aromatherapy based products. When I was a therapist I trained with ESPA and their products are truly beautiful! That being said, i don't purely stick to just one brand. There are so many amazing, results driven products available I just cant help but keep expanding the collection. I think with your skincare, as long as you understand what you are putting on your skin, in what orders, you simply cant hinder.. Only aid and improve.

-Do you drink enough water?
There is no doubt about it - water is good for our bodies and skin. A dehydrated body = dehydrated skin. Water also helps to flush away toxins from the body, this is common knowledge. I have always made a conscious effort with my water consumption daily, aiming for around two litres per day, and yet I still had acne. Whilst water is incredible and without it we simply cannot survive, it most certainly isn't the miracle cure for acne we are all seeking. Trust me if it was I potentially may have drown my self in the stuff by now!

The list could go on but these are the top 10 questions and statements in my opinion that acne sufferers get tired of hearing and trying to answer. I have pretty much escaped acne's hands now - it gets me every now and again, but I think its about finding what works for you. Everyone is different, our days and lifestyles vary. What works for one may not work for another. If you want to or don't want to try something stand up for what you believe. Its hugely trial and error but when you find that system that helps your skin go with it then - only acne will know!

If you have any questions or want to leave a comment please do below, I love knowing your thoughts.

Bethany xx

Links to mentioned brands are in pink.. just click the word!

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