So, a couple of weeks ago I attended my second microdermabrasion treatment at Embrace Hair & Beauty in Weymouth, Dorset. Although the idea of this facial is not necessarily to relax, I definitely came away feeling revitalised, my skin felt fresh and I still felt a lot more relaxed after a busy week.
If you haven’t read my first blog post about my initial microdermabrasion treatment then I highly recommend you do and you can do so here.
It was great to be able to discuss the issues with my skin and also to receive some feedback and suggestions of products that will help to improve my breakouts. I thought that using a tea tree face wash would be helping to improve my skin (it wasn’t helping a great deal) and it turns out it was probably too harsh on my skin, so multiple products have been recommended in place of my original skincare routine. If you’re like me and feel really down about breakouts and not having great skin then I would highly recommend trying microdermabrasion and also getting some professional advice on which skincare products will benefit you. It’s not all about your skincare routine though… Do you feel stressed and anxious? Stress can lead to breakouts for some people and spending half an hour-45 minutes relaxing during the treatment certainly helped me feel more revitalised when I left the salon. My skin felt super fresh which also resulted in me feeling a lot better about myself.
Penny, the salon owner at Embrace Hair & Beauty, used a variety of Espa products throughout the treatment. She started by using a couple of cleansing products to remove any dirt from my skin. Both the Espa Purifying Micellar Cleanser and the Espa Hydrating Cleansing Milk felt amazing on my skin and they smelt good too! During the treatment, a handheld device containing crystals was used to exfoliate my skin as well as the use of Espa’s Refining Skin Polish (a brightening exfoliator that refines and smooths the skin). The process of the handheld device loosens any dead skin cells and vacuums them away (nice hey?). After the exfoliating process, a clay mask was applied to my skin which is great for healing and smoothing the skin. It’s especially good for my t-zone where I experience most of my breakouts. Clay masks date back to 60BC and are still extremely popular because it is full of minerals.
What are the benefits of a clay face mask?
Reduces inflammation, bacterial imbalances and toxicity
It’s full of calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium, copper, iron and potassium
It’s anti-bacterial – helps to heal eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis
Detoxifies and purifies the skin
Puts hydrogen back into the skin which helps to improve circulation and skin condition
Shrinks skins pores by removing sebum and dirt
Regulates sebum production (oil)
Helps softer, smoother, fresher appearance of skin
There are so many more benefits of using clay masks to improve the appearance and quality of your skin.
After the face mask was removed, an Espa 24 hour Balancing Moisturiser was applied which genuinely was amazing! It’s a balancing moisturiser that helps to hydrate and clarify the skin. An Espa Lift & Firm Eye Moisturiser was also applied around my eyes which helps to brighten the area. Penny had also applied the Espa Skin Radiance Intensive Serum during the treatment which was another great product for brightening my skin considering it looked and felt so dull and tired before the treatment.
I felt so relaxed throughout the treatment and I came away feeling so much better about my skin. It really helped give my skin the boost it needed as well as giving me a good amount of time to lie down and relax. It’s often difficult to find the time to just sit down and switch off from the stresses of everyday life and so this treatment allowed me to switch off. It’s surprising how a facial treatment can help you unwind and help you feel 100x better after.
At the end of the treatment, Penny provided me with some skincare recommendations which are great! My first recommendation is to use a clay mask, my congested areas require use of a clay mask and exfoliation, I must try and resist touching my face which will not be helping my clogged pores and a creamy cleanser & light moisturiser have also been recommended.
If you’re interested in booking in for Microdermabrasion then I would highly recommend Embrace Hair & Beauty in Weymouth. To find out more about the treatments they have to offer, please click here.
Do you feel like you’re constantly battling against spots/open pores/scars? I’ve struggled with my skin for so long now. Feeling anxious or stressed makes it a whole lot worse and so tackling the stress has been my first aim – you may remember my post from last year about my dermatitis? I have managed to reduce my stress through meditation and exercise over the past year, so my main aim now is to tackle any remaining scars and to keep my spots at bay. Continue reading “Finally, a treatment that has reduced my spots and scars!”
There is often too much choice when it comes to online shopping. Fashion is more than just a hobby and has become a lifestyle for most people. It helps people to express their personalities and the way they feel. Therefore, I’ve compiled a post on the best affordable online fashion retailers today and here’s why they’re so damn great.
Are you looking for something that looks high end but with a very affordable price tag? Maybe you’re looking for something a little more glamorous. Perhaps a new dress, a stylish bodysuit or a matching co-ord that won’t set you back even further on your credit card? Well, have no fear, Miss Guided is definitely here! You’ve almost certainly heard of this famous online fashion retailer who recently opened a store on the streets of London. They have endless promotions, love supporting students and their clothing is affordable for people of all ages.
Now, I know what it’s like when you wear an outfit on a night out and then you never want to be seen in the same outfit again (Lizzie McGuire, you are NOT an outfit repeater). With MissGuided, their dresses are so affordable that you won’t feel bad at all looking glamorous one night and then handing the dress down to your sister after. This is why MissGuided are on my list as one of the best affordable online fashion retailers.
The Fashion Bible
The Fashion Bible know what us girls like and what’s on trend each season. Their online fashion range offers a variety of styles, from casual to elegant. Love Bohemian? You’ll love their affordable online fashion range. Plus students can get 15% off at the moment, what a bargain!
I head to Missy Empire if I want something that stands out. Perhaps a floral print blouse, a unique jumper or something with a splash of colour. You’ll easily find something that catches your eye on their website that is affordable and a fabulous addition to your wardrobe. They’ve currently got 25% off winter warmers, so stock up whilst you can!
As you probs know, I have been getting lip fillers for around 1 year now. I usually get them topped up every 4 months, however, this time I have tried a new lip filler product called Juvederm Volift. I decided to try this product because I have previously read reviews which state that it has long lasting effects.
Of course, I worry about going too far with lip fillers, but Juvederm is by far the best lip filler product I have tried as it’s results are extremely natural and I experience very minimal, if not no lumpy bits of filler in my lips. I have also read that the results can last up to 15 months, so I won’t need to get them topped up so often. I read the following online about Juvederm Volift at Dr Dan Dhunna, ‘If you’re looking for more Volume and a poutier look, Juvederm Volift may be your option. Nicknamed “Liquid Gold” for its 24 karat results, Juvederm Volift is more viscous but just as long lasting,however it is still so fine it can be injected out of the finest needle to produce the most glamourous lips on the planet!’
So a week and a half ago I visited a local beauty salon called ‘Pretty Bland‘. It’s a fairly new but well known salon where I live and is absolutely beautiful inside. I met a lady called Karen there who was very welcoming. She began by sitting me down whilst she explained all about the treatment. She also asked me to sign a form and she took some before photos of my lips for my records.
I had lots of questions to ask like ‘will there be much swelling?’, ‘do you do this full time?’ etc. Obviously it’s natural to be a bit nervous when you get your lips done for the first time or even if you’re getting them done by someone new. Karen was so lovely and answered all of my questions. She also explained that she is a qualified nurse as well as a therapist and so that made me feel more at ease.
The treatment itself didn’t take very long at all. I would say around 15-20 minutes. My lips were numb from the numbing gel she had applied to the lip area. I won’t lie, you can still feel the needle go in, but I find that closing my eyes and taking a deep breath in through my nose whilst the needle is injected really does help. The product itself was evenly spread throughout my lips and Karen massaged them after she had finished injecting.
That evening I experienced very slight swelling and bruising around my lips. I tend to hibernate for the following 24 hours whilst the worst of the swelling goes down. To help the swelling go down, I wrapped some ice in a flannel and gently held it to my lips for 10 minutes every half hour or so as well as sleeping with my head elevated. I kept away from drinking hot drinks for the first 24-48 hours in case the heat enhanced the swelling. I was surprised at how minor my swelling was, so it was great! The swelling lasted around 4-5 days and went down noticeably each day.
One week later and my swelling had completely gone down. I always find that my lips look slightly swollen first thing in the morning, but I love that look! Do you get that?
Anyways, if you’re looking to get lip fillers then I honestly could not recommend Karen enough. She is Weymouth/Portland based and you can find her by visiting the following links. She offers a wide range of fillers/botox treatments and her treatments are done to such a high quality. I will definitely be returning in the future because I am really impressed with my results.
I’ve been thinking about whether or not to publish a blog post on this because it’s made me feel quite self conscious and made me feel quite down. But then, on the plus side, it’s made me realise a lot about myself and in the end it has resulted in some positive changes to my daily routine.
I’m so jealous of any girl who has absolutely perfect skin, who doesn’t experience breakouts and who has barely noticeable pores on their t-zone’s! I for one, am someone who struggles with an oily t-zone and can get spot breakouts, especially when I’m hormonal or due a period. I thought I would grow out of this by my 20s but it turns out my skin is just as frustrating and admittedly, I don’t help myself! I struggle sometimes with anxiety and stress which leads me to scratch/pick my skin’s imperfections, sometimes without even realising it. I don’t know how, but it sends me off into thoughts about how I am going to handle things that might be making me feel anxious and then the next thing I know, I have picked the shit out of my skin. I then feel even more like shit because the last time I had done it (yesterday), I’d promised myself I wouldn’t do it again.
Anyway, around 4/5 weeks ago I had a week off work and so I spent a few days gardening because the weather was so lovely. I got bitten by mozzies on my jawline and chest which resulted in me itching them without realising. The itching with dirty gloves on my hands then resulted in me getting some spots on my chest and jawline which I was also itching because they were in the same area as my mozzie bites. Before I knew it, id broken my skin from itching so much which made these areas become really red, agitated and even more itchy!
What I decided to do about my skin issue:
A few days later and my skin was getting worse and worse. It had become so sensitive and I even had areas on my back that were experiencing the same symptoms. I felt really self conscious of it and would pile on the foundation before work in the hope that it would cover the bad areas on my face (which were now spreading to my forehead). The foundation only highlighted the areas in my eyes and I really felt as though I needed a few days off work just to let my skin breathe without all the foundation. I thought foundation would help because it would hide the redness but the truth was, I just needed to leave my skin to breathe. I also decided to book a doctors appointment to see what he would suggest.
I booked the Wednesday-Friday off work and went straight to the doctors first thing on the Wednesday morning. I explained how the issue started and at this point I thought I just had a really bad breakout of spots that were becoming uncontrollable on my own! The doctor had a look and explained that it had become dermatitis where the skin had broken. He agreed that I should take the rest of the week off work so that I could go makeup free and let my skin breathe. He also prescribed me some strong antihistamines to help stop the itching which was now the main issue I had (at this point I’d realised that picking was the LAST thing I should be doing). I took the antihistamines daily which REALLY helped the itching, although by bedtime they were starting to wear off and I would wake myself up itching the bad areas (FML!) I felt the issue was never ending as for the next few days it was still getting worse. I would moisturise 3/4 times daily with a perfume free moisturiser (Nivea Moisturisng Lotion) as well as washing the areas morning and night. After posting on my Instagram about the issue and receive loads of positive feedback about Dead Sea Salt, I decided to buy some. It was AMAZING! Although, it’s really hard to judge which products I was using was working best as I was trying anything and everything I could get my hands on. I also bought some Aloe Vera gel which is supposed to be great for the skin. It made my red, angry areas feel a little cooler and I applied it to my skin around 3 times a day.
How Dermatitis made me feel:
By this point, I was feeling so crap and down about myself. I realised that I couldn’t go on picking my skin anymore. I had even come up with a couple of small bites on my thighs which I’d itched just the once and they even became inflamed and red. My skin was so angry with me and I felt so guilty for not putting the time in to care for it more.
I was too embarrassed to leave the house, I felt like people would look at me and think ‘ew, look at her skin’. It made me feel unclean and my self confidence was at rock bottom. Even before getting the dermatitis, I would pick the smallest imperfection on my chest that no one else wold even see (you’d need a magnifying glass to see the imperfection) but because I would assess my skin so closely I’d pick it and it would become red and inflamed. This then resulted in me feeling like shit about my chest and so I wouldn’t be able to wear a low cut top. I have so many tops/dresses/playsuits in my wardrobe that I can never wear because I pick my skin so much it looks horrible and I feel like crap.
I realised that going forward, I HAD to stop picking my skin on a daily basis. But to be able to stop this addiction, I needed to tackle the route cause… which in my case was stress.
I’ve had a really stressful yet exciting year this year, what with moving house for the first time, getting a puppy, the stress of family issues as well as my mindset about things. This year seems to be flying by but it’s also been the most stressful year of my life.
I’ve realised that life is always going to throw obstacles and stressful situations in your way but the main thing is how to deal with it in a positive way. I always have to feel in control of situations otherwise I feel anxious and stressed out.
Why I’ve since turned to Buddhism:
I decided that the only way I could tackle my stress is to change the way I view situations. I’ve turned to Buddhism… not because I’m religious, but because I love the way it teaches you to view life and also the way it calms the mind. I have family members who meditate to help relieve the stresses of daily life and I was always curious to find out how it worked. I decided to buy a beginners book on Buddhism which I am already in love with! I have been meditating around 3-4 times per week (15 minute sessions before bed). There are so many ways to meditate and it’s all about finding the right way for you. I find that the best way for me is to play some calming meditation music and to lie in bed. I focus all my thoughts on the sound of the music and let myself forget about the stressful situations I may have on my mind that day. It really does send your mind off into a different place and leads you to think about positive things. When I come back round I feel so calm and I also have a different view on the stressful situations that I would usually be panicking about.
The other problem I have with myself is I ALWAYS have to be doing something otherwise I drive myself crazy. I can’t just work a 9am-5pm job and then come home and chill, I have to come home and keep myself busy. I think that’s why I studied the Marketing Diploma and took up blogging as a hobby. If I’m not blogging then I’m walking the dog or cleaning the house. But then even these chores have their added stresses, such as ‘I need to get these posts done on time otherwise I might p’off the company for posting too late’, ‘do I look ok in this post’, ‘I look fat’, the house is a mess and nothing I do makes it look any better (even after cleaning for over an hour’ etc. I’ve found that Buddhism gives me something else to set my mind on and it’s something that focuses on relaxation and feeling calm, mentally. I’ve realised that sometimes it’s good to take time out away from the world and to forget about things.
Buddhism really has helped me feel so much happier about every aspect of my life already and is something I want to learn more about. My spot picking has become a lot less (it hasn’t gone completely) and I can finally begin to accept that my skin will never be perfect.
How I care for my skin now:
I’m not sure if it’s true, but apparently it takes 21 days to break a habit. I still find it so hard not to pick at an imperfection on my skin but I appreciate my skin so much more now. I still have hyper pigmentation on my chest, back, face and neck where my breakout was and I’ve read that it can take around 3 months for this to clear. Either way, I’m happy that I’ve overcome the worst of it now and my main focus is to deal with my emotions that lead me to breakouts as well as focusing on my skin care routine.
I’m now washing my face morning and night, adding Dead Sea Salt to my baths 2-3 times per week and moisturising my skin twice daily. I was also prescribed Benzoyl Peroxide by my GP a while ago that I apply to any imperfections I want to dry out ASAP… This stuff is like a miracle in a tube.
I’ve come to realise that stress is such a negative thing and can affect your health in so many ways. It’s something I’ve struggled with for years and I am so pleased that I’ve been feeling a lot more positive about aspects of my life in recent weeks. I’ve always been interested in looking into Buddhism due to have relatives who are quite spiritual and I’d always heard of the great effects it has on the mind. I can honestly say it’s changed my life already and I can’t wait to learn more about it.
Here’s a pic of my skin now:
My new diet:
‘You are what you eat.’ Something I hear regularly on TV programmes but a phrase that is probably quite true. I would usually snack on crisps and chocolate at work or in the evenings at home. Since the issue with my skin, I’m eating my 5 fruit and veg a day, I’ve cut out crisps and chocolate. Usually I wouldn’t be able to go a day without chocolate and I’m not saying I’ve cut it out completely (because where’s the fun in that?) but instead of snacking on crisps and chocolate at work, I’ve changed to snacking on a banana or a yoghurt. I’ve not changed the way I eat to lose weight, but because I’m hoping it will help improve my skin and the way I feel. I also find that it gives me something positive to focus on and eating healthily has already made me feel 10x better about myself. I also think it’s helped improve my skin already!
It’s been a really difficult decision to publish this post but I felt I had to share my experience if it would help another person who may experience the same issues.