Saturday, 24 January 2015

Care For Blemishes

I didn't know how good my skin was until it went bad. I woke up with intense dry patches all over my cheeks and spots everywhere. I did a lot of research into products, asked skin care professionals, read countless product reviews, and finally found the routine that works for me.

I've linked as many products as I can, all the ones I recommend are highly rated across many people, and 90% of them I've personally tried and can safely say, actually work.

Tips for getting rid of blemishes:

Look at the ingredients list  the very first ingredient listed on the back of the product is the most potent ingredient. So if you choose a make-up remover where the first ingredient is 'water' you know it is water based, ie: it mostly contains that. Avoid any face product with alcohol, mineral oil, acetone, beeswax, shea butter, lavender oil and caster oil - these ingredients clog pores, and clogged pores cause spots.

Moisturize yes, really. Your skin over-produces excess sebum (oil) because its not getting the moisture it needs. If you continue to moisturize, morning and night, trust me, the oil levels will significantly reduce. Use a serum followed by a moisturizer, morning and night.

Use a Cleansing Balm light, natural plant base oils = goods. Heavy, pore clogging oils like Mineral or Caster? bad. The best cleansing balms (at different price points) are , Emma Hardies Moringa cleansing balm, Eve Lom CleanserCliniques take the day off balmand Rosa centifolia cleansing balm by REN. 

Don't pick blemishes you can pop spots that have come to a 'head' only, but try to leave them alone. If you must pop them - Hold a warm flannel against the spot for a few minutes, then push the sides of the blemish and gently squeeze towards the center with clean hands. Wash your face straight after and don't touch it.

Exfoliate at least once a week. Spots can be fragile, using a scrub with lots of rough bits will most likely break the spots and open them up to infection. When the spots have gone down (no head) you can use manual exfoliates, the Garnier anti blackheads deep pore wash is gentle enough to use daily. If you crave a deeper exfoliation - to the level of microdermabrasion -and have more money to spare, the MD Doctor's scrub is the best thing I've tried. It contains thousands of tiny ruby crystals that pretty much give you a new face. In the mean time...

Use an acid toner to gently exfoliate the skin and clear blocked pores. Alpha H Liquid gold is hella strong but the best you can get, Pixi glow tonic is a fantastic second choice, the First Aid Beauty Facial radiance pads are high on my lust list and the most gentle place to start. but if you're on a budget, PurifyingCalendula Toner is a medium strength of acid, super effective and only £8.39. 

Consider your diet There are certain ingredients you can add to your rotation that will help with spots. Stay away from sugar, don't smoke, eat ground Flax seed, drink lots of water and eat more fish (or take fish oil supplements)

Face Masks Twice a week, they are the super food of the skin care world. Choose a clay or mud based one to draw out dirt from your pores.  I'm really enjoying the Sanctuary 5 minute thermal detox mask right now. Also amazing - Super Facialist Salicylic acid anti blemish clay mask and First Aid beauty skin rescue purifying mask with red clay.

Targeted spot creams if your spots are hormone related, just accept that they will take longer to go. but creams containing *acids can help reduce them and sometimes remove them altogether. I use 10% Benzyol peroxide only on the affected areas, it is incredibly drying so use a heavy night cream before hand.

*Be weary, acids can be a miracle for some but a nightmare for others, if you try them, start with a low percentage and access how your skin reacts. If it burns at any point or breaks you out even more, stop using it. Saliylic acid and Glycolic acids are in a lot of acne targeting cleansers and can help remove the bacteria in the surface layer of the spots, they tend to be drying for the skin so moisturize. Always, always use an SPF if you use any kind of acids, all year round.

Don't wear make-up everyday if you can, don't wear it at all, until your skin clears up. The more you wear make-up the more clogged your pores will get. At least have 2 days in the week where you go make-up free, let your skin breathe.

Example routine

Here's an example of a routine you could use to treat spots but still nourish and hydrate the skin.

0) Remove make-up if you're wearing any with a micellar water and cotton wool.

1) Cleanse with a balm, rub the balm onto dry skin and then rinse a muslin cloth or a flannel under hot water, wipe away the cleanser with the cloth in circular motions.

2) Wipe an acid toner all over the face, optional. Very effective though.

3) Use a spot targeting serum such as La Roche Possay, or Elemis skin clear - this step will prep your skin, a serum allows your moisturizer to penetrate even deeper and work more effectively.

4) moisturize, you may think this is too much moisture, its not. Use a lighter one in the morning, such as the Power Berry Daily Moisture by Neals Yard, and a heavier one at night - Ren's Frankincense nigh cream is incredible.

5) Use a spot cream only on the affected areas, find one with at least 5% benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic acid. If you're still in education you can get a free one prescribed for you by the doctor. If you're not at school, you can still get it, but it'll cost you

Assess your skin, if its overly tight and dry from using the spot creams and acid based cleaners/toners, use them every other night, or every three days, its up to you and what your skin can handle. A little dryness around the spots is inevitable but with an intensive serum and moisturizer in your regime dryness should be minimal.

Be patient, know that progress won't happen over night. Be persistent with the routine.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Weekly Inspirations

Around the web

This was a fantastic interview with Azealia Banks recently. They talk about her home life growing up, the passion behind her music and the cultural appropriation happening in hip hop, they go pretty deep with the questions and I found it so interesting to see the thought processes and artistic ideas in her music. And she's writing a book, so so excited for that.


I didn't know who Hozier was 3 days ago, but at least 10 times a day since hearing this song I have played it. Not kidding. The political message behind the lyrics is potent, the melody is soothing, his voice... his voice! just play it, and thank me later.


This was much better than I thought it would be, although I've never seen a film with Angeline Jolie in that I hated so I knew it would be decent. Its good to see a Disney film/any film with a strong female lead. Maleficent's character is complex, resilient, dangerous and by the end, inspiring. It has innocence, tragedy, revenge, love, hate, and the whole thing is beautifully shot.

This was brilliant, although not as good as the previous two. I still haven't read the book of this one, but I definitely want to finish it by the time Mockingjay part 2 is out. This film centers much more on the war and the decline of the Capitol. People are choosing sides, and things are getting blown up. Well worth the watch.


I get sucked into celebrity big brother every. Single. Year. I don't know how they do it, but I can't stop watching. There's something endlessly interesting about watching how people react in a forced social situation like this. Particularly when those people are fame hungry, egotistical, wealthy celebrities. I'm so thrilled that Katie Price has just gone into the house, I love her. She is brutally honest, yet respectful, and she doesn't take shit from anybody.

I've loved modern family for a long time, and its just seems to be getting better. Cam and Gloria are my favorite characters, so much sass! There are some great life lessons to be learnt in every episode, and its laugh out loud funny. Please please TV gods, never stop making this.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Best of 2014

What have I done in 2014? I graduated with a 2:1 in English Literature and Creative writing, got a job at WH Smiths where I was offered a promotion on day 3 (not kidding), lost half a stone in weight, baked Lemon drizzle cake, cinnamon buns, coffee cake, pastel colored rice crispy treats, spiced apple cake with caramel sauce, cake-pops, pumpkin bread, and banana pancakes. I experimented with make-up more, saw Paramore, Lady Gaga and Motorhead in concert, got more into drawing, started to recognize and deal with my anxiety, drank way too much alcohol, started and finished all seasons of Dexter and Breaking Bad, and almost, almost finished my novel - which I still don't have a title for.

It was really fun putting this post together, looking back through the year has made me realize what a fun one it has been. New Years resolution? more of the same!

The last few are from New Years eve, don't ask about the blow up doll, I don't even know haha. I have a lot of projects lined up for this year including new blog posts, trying to get published, etc etc. There was a period after leaving University where I had 0 motivation for anything. Now I'm excited about the future again. Thanks for reading, hope you had a great year too.

xoxo <3

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