Tuesday, 25 August 2015
Hi everyone, it's been 3 months since I posted about the state of my skin after going off the Pill. Please read that woeful post complete with pictures here, (gosh that was a depressing post) before reading this one so you get more of an idea of my views towards the cause of my acne. I am really really happy to say that my skin is on the road to recovery, all thanks to some supplements and a skincare revamp.
It's difficult to say which aspects really helped my skin because I started many supplements at once! Here I will list everything that I took and also my current skincare routine. I also paid for an online consultation with Fran from High on Clear Skin (she is an adult acne guru!) who made some good suggestions. If you have been struggling and feel like you have tried everything under the Sun, I really recommend you seek a consultation with her.
So here's a reminder of what my skin looked like 3 months ago:
I never had cystic acne, but many inflamed blackheads and clogged pores that ended up spreading from my jaw up to my cheeks. It got a lot worse than what you see above.
I was on a quest to cure my acne from the inside, so after much research plus Fran's guidance, these are the supplements I ended up taking daily. I will put links to the items I got from iHerb. Please research each of the supplements if you are thinking of going on them,
L to R:
Vitex- to regulate progesterone levels after coming off the Pill.
DIM- to clear out the 'bad' estrogen's in the body.
Milk Thistle- For liver support whilst you detox.
Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)- Omega 6 to reduce PMS and skin disorders such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. I have to admit, I took these rather sporadically for some reason.
Women's Multivitamin with vitamins A, B and D.
Fish Oil- to reduce inflammation.
All links lead to the exact supplements pictured.
2 x Vitex
2 x DIM
1 x Milk Thistle
2 x EPO
1 x Multivitamin
2 x Fish oil
(I only did this when I was able to have lunch at home)
2 x Vitex
2 x DIM
2 x Vitex
2 x DIM
It's hard to tell which ones were MOST responsible for improving my skin, but I feel like the Vitex and DIM were the most effective!
My skin is dry at the moment, so I use a mixture of oils to cleanse and moisturise my face. Oil takes some getting used to as it feels plain weird to moisturise with it at first, but now I love it! It smells great too! This is the (approximate) ratio of oils I use:
1/4 cup Organic Hemp Seed Oil
5 drops Lavender oil for moisture
3 drops Tea Tree oil to get rid of any bacteria
I simply use an empty pill bottle to store the mixture. My skin has now 'stabilised', so I use some Korean skincare items too, but this oil mixture is the bread and butter of my skincare routine!
My current skin
I hardly get any more inflamed, red pimples and am just dealing with some scars and scabs now! I am really happy with my progress and this is proof that acne (well my acne anyway) was caused by internal imbalance. It is super easy to cover with makeup too because there are no bumps. Now I have a few more tips that were essential for my improvement.
1. Stop fixating on your acne- it's just as the Secret says! Thoughts become things. Obsess over your acne and you will attract more acne. In my case, my fixation led to picking which caused more inflammation and acne spread. Every day after I removed my makeup, I would start picking and then feel so bad about it afterwards. Nowadays, I may extract an obvious blackhead once a week? Do whatever you can to stop picking- in my case, I cut my nails so short that it made it a lot harder to pick and squeeze.
2. Diet- you all know this! I believe majority of ailments are caused by gut dysfunction/inflammation. I don't eat dairy and try to stay away from gluten and nightshade vegetables (like tomatoes). I drink 6-7 cups of powdered green tea daily. But you have to work out for yourself what your stomach can and can't handle. I do allow myself to have treats now and then too!
3. Be grateful- another top from the Secret. I found that talking Pika pomeranian on long walks and reciting a list of all the things I was grateful for put me in a positive mindset. I am also in my final year of my Doctorate of Chiropractic which is very stressful, so I feel down a lot of the time. These walks helped with stress too. Oh and take lots of baths!
In another 3 months I am hoping for completely clear skin. I hope this post has helped some of you! Please feel free to ask any questions.
Good skin comes from within ^^.
Sunday, 23 August 2015
The last product in my Bntnews box for the month is the Lafine massage cream. It's made of five skin-friendly vegetables (cucumber, tomato, parsley, water parsley and carrot) to deliver natural vitamins and nutrients to skin as well as reduce swelling and bloating. It claims to calm fever and heat, which makes it the perfect item for after-sun care in summer. If only it were Summer here so I could try it out for this purpose!
The brand Lafine is new to me, and I found that they make Catalina Geo products too- I reviewed their primer a few days ago.
The packaging looks quite medicinal but quirky at the same time. I can imagine a bearded hipster wearing that vegetable print on a button up shirt!
The 2nd ingredient is mineral oil which I was initially worried about because I am so scared of clogging my pores. However, according to Paula's Choice, mineral oil molecules are actually too large to be absorbed into the skin, making it impossible to clog your pores! Phew!
Here comes a really big no no. Notice how the lid of the product says 'foaming' instead of firming? How come no one noticed this before they mass produced the product? If I did not get this item through Bntnews, I would think it's a fake! This is unacceptable to me.
Directions state to apply a generous amount of the cream on your forehead, nose, cheeks and jaw. Massage in little circle motions from the interior to the exterior of your face. Wipe with a soft tissue.
I got a nice surprise when I saw all the little red and green capsules in the cream! It's like Christmas!
The cream is thick and quite oily, just like you would expect of a massage cream. This makes it ideal for body and face massage. The cream smells like refreshing cucumbers, which is one of my favourite skincare scents. As the main ingredient is mineral oil, the cream does not absorb into the skin, so you do have to dab off excess with a tissue especially on your face otherwise your hair (and anything else) WILL stick to your cheeks! For this reason I was not a fan of using this cream on my face as I just felt greasy and dirty, which is not a good feeling to have when you have acne prone skin. When I used it, I did notice more breakouts, whether it was due to the ingredients or the massage inflaming my skin, I couldn't tell.
I do like using this cream on my body though, and think it will be great to use in the Australian Summer due to it's refreshing scent and hydrating properties.
Overall, this product is average for me and I wouldn't really recommend it.
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Last week I received a very special package in the mail from my friends at Crop! If you remember, I covered the Crop Natural Skincare collection last year and out of that collection I ended up using the gel cleanser and daily moisturiser to completion which is a big achievement for a beauty blogger. My boyfriend loved the moisturiser so much that he repurchased it!
Crop's cosmetic range was designed with sensitive skin in mind. Each item contains 80-100% of naturally derived ingredients enriched with healthy minerals, vitamin A, E and sweet almond oil and shea butter to nurture the skin. Every product has been dermatologically tested and approved.
And without further ado, here is the first look at Crop's brand new natural makeup line which will be available at Coles very soon! For those of you in America, Coles is similar to Walgreens!
Let me tell you, these products do not look like they belong in Coles. The matte black packaging and typography design look so chic and expensive, however the range is very affordable.
The range came complete with beautifully designed information cards for each product. As a former graphic design student, I was drooling over these!
Over the past 2 weeks I have used every single product enough to reveal my first impressions.
Natural Lipstick in Plum, $18
The colour of this lipstick is amazing with my skin tone! It's a brownish-red and absolutely perfect for making my lips look bigger and poutier. The finish is matte but the lipstick is hydrating. It's not particularly long-lasting though. Overall this is one of my favourite products from the line!
Natural Tinted Lip Balm, $16
I don't like that this balm comes in pencil form because I don't have a sharpener this size, and I'm not sure I would be bothered to use it even if I had one. The balm is very sheer (almost clear) in colour and is moisturising.
Natural Face Primer, $27
This is one of the only primers that works for my dry skin! It does not accentuate any flakes and does not have that awful silicone texture that feels like it's clogging my pores. It applies like a moisturiser, but leaves my skin looking matte and foundation adheres to my skin much better afterwards. It works so well with the Crop foundation. I love this one!
Natural Liquid Foundation in Golden Beige, $27
Comes in 3 shades: Ivory, Natural Beige and Golden Beige. Golden beige is perfect for my skin tone! It has a thick, creamy texture and buffs out well with a dense flat top brush. It gives medium coverage that I only need to top up with a few dots of concealer. The finish is matte and flawless-looking. When used in combination with the primer and a setting powder, my skin stays matte for a good 8 hours! Very impressed with this foundation, plus it has that natural essential oil smell to it, similar to Lavera cosmetics.
Natural Concealer Pencil in Light, $16
Also comes in Medium. Again, not a fan of the pencil packaging. This one works best, as I discovered today, by applying it before the natural foundation and then using a flat top brush to blend everything at the same time. Coverage wise, it's light-medium due to the pencil applicator which sheers it out.
Natural Mineral Loose Powder, $25
Comes in: Translucent, Light, Light/Medium and Medium. I don't have much experience with loose powders as I prefer pressed, but these finely milled and light on the skin. The pigmented powder provides light coverage at best. These are fine for setting make up but I don't think they are anything special. Recently I have run out of dry shampoo so I have been lightly applying the translucent powder to my roots, which works quite well!
Natural Mineral Pressed Bronzer, $24
This bronzer leans towards more of a cool brown tone and does not look orange on my skin at all. Pigmentation is light to medium and buildable, which is how I like my bronzers to be. The finish is matte and really natural and I like that I can use the darkest quadrant on its own with a small round brush as a nose contour.
Natural Pressed Blush, $24
These burnt peachy colours will suit any skin tone! The finish and pigmentation is the same as the bronzer, and the colour paired with the bronzer is perfect for giving my cheeks more contour and dimension.
Natural Pressed Highlighter, $24
This one also has the same qualities as the other pressed cheek products but unfortunately it just doesn't work as a highlighter. It's quite chalky and the finish is matte, so any precise highlighting does not show up on my skin tone. If anything, I think it's more suited to an all over finishing powder.
Natural Mineral Pressed Powder, $24
Comes in: Porcelain, Beige and Cool Beige. This powder provides light coverage, but I found I looked a bit cakey immediately after applying it, due to my dry skin. I need to test this one out more before I come to a conclusion about it.
Natural Eyeliner and Eyebrow Pencil, both $16
I like both of these products. The brown eyeliner is really creamy, applies without tugging and has full pigmentation. It's a great lower lash colour and lasts for around 5 hours before I need to rub away some smudges. The eyebrow pencil is quite hard and is really easy to use, providing light definition to my brows although it is too light to match my hair at the moment.
Natural Mineral Eyeshadow Quad in Nude, $24
Also comes in Smokey. All of the colours are matte and of medium pigmentation except for the highlight colour which is chalky and doesn't show up on me well at all. My favourite shade is the bottom left, which is a beautiful warm crease transition shade. There is no fallout and the colours are nice for a neutral every day look.
Natural Volumising Mascara, $18
This mascara isn't waterproof so I simply can't use it on my upper lashes. I have tried it on my bottom lashes, however the brush is huge, so it's quite hard to be precise. The results were thus, underwhelming but the mascara did not smudge onto my under eye area during the day.
100% Synthetic Mineral Kabuki Brush, $20
This is the first folding brush I have owned and I definitely see the appeal in it! I would definitely travel with this brush- it's super soft and silky on my face, applies powder evenly and when folded out it is thin enough to contour my cheeks with bronzer. The stubby handle also makes it look really cute!
And that wraps up my first impressions of the Crop make up line, available from Coles soon! So far my favourite products are the primer, foundation, lipstick, kabuki brush and bronzer.
If you live in Australia let me know which state you are from and whether you are interested in any of these products! Also if you have any review requests, let me know.
*These products were gifted. I chose to post about them and all opinions are 100% honest.
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Just when I was complaining about never finding a good primer for dry skin, this Catalina Geo primer arrived in my Bntnews beauty box! Perfect proof that 'thoughts become things'. I had not heard of the brand Catalina Geo before, so here's some information! The brand name is Italian which is slightly misleading, as it is a Korean brand. Their products are made from premium non-allergenic ingredients and have outstanding results with problem skin types. Catalina Geo products contain Titanium Dioxide, a natural sunscreen which deflects UV light rays and protects your skin. Importantly, products are not tested on animals.
This makeup base is made of visible color capsules that contain a moisturizing and makeup-preserving essence. It fixes skin’s tone, protects from UV rays and improves skin’s natural colour. It does not contain any oil and is safe to use on sensitive skin.
The packaging is very lightweight and the pastel purple capsules just look so pretty and interesting! I love examining the product up close and seeing all the little balls suspended in the gel.
The primer comes in 3 types:
Violet for brightening and reducing sallowness in yellow/olive skin
Green for reducing redness
Blue for freckles, age spots or hyper pigmentation
When you pump it out of the bottle, the balls disintegrate into a 'feathery' texture, still suspended in the clear gel. The suspension material and the capsules do not really dissolve into each other and seem to stay separate until I massage it into my skin. The texture is much more like a serum than any other primer I have encountered and it does not have that silicone-y, pore filling texture which suits my dry skin much better! I find that it does not really absorb, and leaves my skin feeling tacky.
My skin is quite red from fading acne scars, especially on my cheeks.
The primer brightens and reduces my redness significantly and you can see that it is quite hydrating by the light reflecting off my cheekbone.
I am using my Lavera natural foundation here, and it looks a little cakey. Believe it or not, this is actually a better result for me as my current skin tends to look cakey with any foundation no matter how well I moisturise my skin beforehand. So thumbs up for hydration properties.
On the other hand, I have used this primer directly after massaging a copious amount of hemp seed oil on my face and found that during the day, my makeup simply slid off my face every time it came into contact with an object or my fingers. Thus, you must be very careful with how much moisturiser you use in conjunction with this product. It works much better for me if I don't use any moisturiser at all because this product is so hydrating.
Overall, this feels more like a brightening skincare product than a primer because it does hydrate and brighten my dry skin, but does not really help my base makeup last all day. I would only really recommend this for people with very dry skin. I will continue to use and experiment with this one.
Surprisingly, Catalina Geo products are available in Australia! See here to find the closest store to you. Or you can purchase it online here for $44.95 which is quite pricey. Hmm.
*I was gifted this product for review, all my opinions are 100% honest.
After a few weeks of continuous use, I have started to really like this product! I don't wash my face in the mornings, so I simply just use this primer copiously to hydrate, brighten and moisturise my face before makeup. My skin is continuing to normalise quickly with all the supplements I am taking, so I am not even seeing any caking. In fact today one of the clinicians at Uni actually complimented me on my skin and asked what I used on it! My skin has been so bad in the past few months, so this compliment made me SO HAPPY! And guess what, I was wearing this primer and my Lavera foundation today :). I'm a happy girl!
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
What a mouthful! Daeng Gi Meori is the brand, whilst Ja Dam Hwa is the name of the actual product. I received this shampoo treatment product from Bntnews, and was quite excited to try it after having a so-so experience with last month's Korean oriental shampoo treatment which was a good shampoo but definitely not a treatment as it was drying on my ends.
This shampoo is a multi-function product that washes the scalp and boosts hair’s vitality. The oriental oedicine-inspired (white ginseng, ginger) formula provides your 'tired' scalp and hair with energy, strength, and beauty. The foam helps eliminate any wastes on your scalp and leaves behind a subtle wild flower fragrance. It also contains silk extracts from golden cocoons which protects the hair while reinforcing firmness and glow.
The floral patterns on the bright red tube look so elegant and definitely give off that old-school oriental vibe. I think it looks absolutely beautiful.
The product is gel-like bright red and I can really smell strong floral notes with the herbal scent. I prefer the scent of the oriental special shampoo to this one as I find floral scents quite headache-inducing. I used this product for 2 weeks every second day. I massaged it into my scalp before applying some product down the ends of my hair and just let everything sit for 2-3minutes before washing it out. That way the shampooing and conditioning is done at the same time!
My hair was much softer afterwards than with the Oriental special shampoo and I could run a brush through it without any trouble. It wasn't shiny, but then again my hair never really is. At first, I was fairly impressed with this product!
However, one and a half weeks into using it, I started itching around my hairline and forehead. At first I didn't relate it to the shampoo because it was just my hairline, but as soon as I thought of the shampoo my whole scalp started itching to the point where I was waking up in the middle of the night to claw at my scalp! The mind is a powerful thing. As soon as I switched my shampoo back to LUSH solid shampoos my scalp calmed down a lot, but is still marginally itchy after a few washes. Hopefully it goes back to normal soon.
I was sensitive to this shampoo and didn't really like the smell so I would not recommend it. Despite this, it did work as a shampoo and treatment more so than the oriental special and the ends of my hair were happy.
Fell free to check out the other Bntgirl's reviews though, I don't think any of them were sensitive to this product!