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Category: Beauty, Natural Beauty & Green Beauty

  1. 3 reasons we get adult acne (including 2 natural and free ways to combat it)

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    Typically, acne is associated with teenagers and young adults, but unfortunately, some of us are unlucky enough to get it even after we have crossed into our thirties! It doesn’t seem fair to have to battle signs of aging and teenage pimples at the same time, but it isn’t that uncommon either. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier when suffering with adult acne though.  I have suffered my fair share of adult acne since I hit my late twenties and it’s only now I’m 33, five years after it got really bad, that my skin is finally beginning to clear thanks to some natural solutions that I’ve recently discovered.

    To understand adult acne and to find ways of reducing and treating the problem from the root, take a look at the following four common causes of adult acne and their respective solutions.

    3 reasons we get adult acne (including 2 natural and free ways to combat it)

    My skin is getting better all the time - read my natural solutions in points 2 and 3 below.

    1. Hormones

    Let’s get the obvious out of the way first because we all know that it’s the hormones that are primarily responsible for not just zits, but a bunch of other skin problems as well. Spikes in certain hormones usually make the skin susceptible to pimples, but shouldn’t the hormonal imbalance of the teen years stabilise by the time you reach your thirties? In a majority of the cases, that is true, but that is not what always happens and there is also another common cause for hormonal imbalance that often plagues women well into their forties, which is menstruation.

    While hormonal fluctuations before and during menstruation is natural, sometimes, a spike in the androgens, aka male hormones, is usually what brings forth those nasty cystic pimples on your chin, back and neck. Even though the hormonal imbalance will likely stabilise soon after, by the time the acne starts to clear out, it’s already time for another period! As you can imagine, this is a painful and seemingly never-ending cycle that you do not have any control over, and can only be countered with specialised medical treatment.

    For example, The Dermatology Clinic specialises in acne treatment by countering each symptom of adult acne separately. First, they will treat the painful outbreak to minimise the chances of scarring and then oral and topical medication will be prescribed to prevent the spots from breaking out in the first place. If you have adult acne that breaks out just before your get your period then you may wish to get it treated by a clinic like this to prevent permanent scarring.

    Sometimes it’s not hormones, but some lifestyle factors that can cause our adult acne.  There are also some natural ways to help combat acne and they don’t involve spending money either.  Check out the next two points.

    2. Stress

    Stress causes pimples, irrespective of our age because stress induces the secretion of cortisol and testosterone. Our bodies are programmed in such a way that when we get stressed, adrenalin is released into the blood stream as a natural reaction to that stress, alongside a small amount of testosterone which is the primary male hormone responsible for causing adult acne. In other words, the more stressed an adult is, the higher his/her chances are of developing acne issues during both their teen years and during adult life. Try to avoid stressful situations in general, but since that is not always an option, consider some of the common stress busting techniques, as mentioned below:

    • Meditate and practice breathing exercises for relaxation
    • Try yoga or Tai Chi
    • Run, lift weights, or play a physically demanding sport on a daily basis
    • Take frequent breaks during a long day of work
    • Sleep for at least seven hours a night

    I’m certain there are a wide range of reasons for my acne and hormones definitely play a part around my period date, as well as stress on a daily basis.  I’ve been practicing yoga much more for over a year now and find it very calming.  I also run several times a week and do my best to get a good night’s sleep.  I still do get stressed each day and really need to work on reducing my stress levels more as I know they are not good for overall health or acne.

    3. Sugar consumption

    The only difference between a child’s sweet tooth and that of an adult is that the child can be restricted, but an adult can pretty much eat whatever he/she wants to! Most adults who have a nagging acne problem that just won’t go away usually have high blood sugar levels, which leads to excess insulin secretion. Insulin directly affects the secretion of androgens, which are all responsible for boosting excess oil and sebum production in our skin. Of course, the high blood glucose levels could also be caused by conditions such as diabetes, in which case, management of the sugar and insulin levels with medication would be necessary. In general, though, most people with acne benefit from reducing or even eliminating refined sugar consumption completely.

    When my adult acne was really bad, my diet was really bad.  When my eldest turned one I got a job working from 6pm until midnight and so I ate my dinner really late, at around 9pm.  I chose a meal deal at the place I worked and made really poor choices.  I also carried around sweets in my pocket which I ate on my shift!  I’m sure the late nights, lack of sleep and terrible eating habits made my acne so much worse.  I ate really bad foods back then as it was just before I got really into healthy eating and returned to vegetarianism.  I was veggie for five years and now for the past year I have been vegan and consumed no animal products at all.  I also hate refined sugar and rarely eat anything with added sugars.  My acne has cleared up so much and I’m sure that cutting out sugar and dairy has made the biggest difference. It got so bad before this, especially when I was working late shifts and munching on sweets that it was all over my entire face.  Now I have a few pimples which is even so much better than say six months ago, when my husband Ben so lovingly shone a light on my jawline to enquire about my 50 or so spots under the skin!

     

    In spite of being extremely common, adult acne does cause severe self-confidence issues and it does affect one’s social perception as well. This is all the more reason to understand the causes and treat them before scarring can occur, which is even harder to get rid of than acne.  Try some of the tips we have discussed to help combat the problem.  For me the biggest improvement to my acne has been a move away from consuming animal products and sugary foods, as well as more exercise and yoga to help with stress relief.  It’s not an instant fix, but almost a year after making these changes I am now seeing massive improvements.

     

    Related blog posts

    How To Go Refined Sugar Free

    Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake - the dangers of added sugar and its health consequences 

    5 tips to get a better night’s sleep naturally 

    Fighting Spots Naturally with Salcura 

    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy

     

    3 reasons we get adult acne (including 2 natural and free ways to combat it

  2. Braces and bridges at 30– Was it worth it?

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    The final results of my cosmetic dentistry experience

    It’s been just over two months since my last Braces at 30 update when I made the decision to have two bridges with false teeth.  A lot has been happening and I am pleased to say that after 2 years and 7 months of starting my braces and cosmetic dentistry journey, my teeth are finally finished!  I have my perfect smile!  Read on to discover what has happened at all the appointments to get my bridges fitted, whether I think cosmetic dentistry is worth it and to see my before and after photos.

    Braces bridges false teeth cosmetic dentistry before after

    Ta-da!

    What’s been happening?

    So I just tallied them up and I’ve had eight dentist appointments and one orthodontic appointment since my last update.  Phew!

    Here’s what the 8 dentist appointments were for:

    1. To pick up my whitening kit and learn what to do.  I used PolaNight for two weeks which worked really well and lightened my teeth several shades.
    2. The next appointment was around two weeks later so as they could colour match my teeth for the final bridge.  I had my teeth prepared for the bridges and it was quite a horrible experience!  After having the braces for 2.5 years I was used to having people working in my mouth, but this was next level.  I had no less than ten injections in my mouth to numb the whole top half of my mouth; including in that bit of skin that attaches the lip to the top gum in the middle – ouch!  I didn’t feel a thing with all this numbing, but they worked for almost two hours on my teeth filing them down to peg teeth. 
      My dentist then added a temporary bridge to the teeth which looked great, although a bit too white!  This was amazing though as I thought they might just put something in my retainer like they had before to cover the gaps.  It meant I could actually eat food, though not hard foods or foods that would stain, and not have to worry about the retainer or missing teeth or peg teeth.  I started to feel like I had my mouth back after all these years and began to feel confident about the bridges I had decided on.
      Once the numbness wore off from all the anaesthetic, I had swollen and bruised lips for days, right up to my nose.  Once that calmed down my whole upper gum became ulcerated and sore for a few days.  Finally it healed, just in time for them to do it again at appointment number 4, below.
    3. I had a check-up a few days later to check how my mouth was and to ensure I had no tooth pain.  It was also an opportunity to see what I liked and disliked about the shape of the temporary bridge.  I was able to really choose what I wanted my permanent false teeth to look like before they were made.
    4. We had hoped to fit the permanent bridges at this appointment, but instead my teeth needed preparing more.  This was a horrible appointment again as they had to hack off the first permanent bridge!  It was another 1-2 hours in the chair with what felt like a zillion injections of anaesthetic in my upper gum again to numb everything and more filing my teeth down!  My mouth had only just healed from the first time we did all this and so I went through it all again!  A second set of temporary bridges were fitted to my teeth and these were not attached so tightly so I had to be more careful when eating.  This was so they were easier to get off for the real bridge fitting.
    5. I did get a crack in these teeth and one was hanging off so I had to go back to have some adhesive to hold it in place until the next appointment!
    6. The big day came and I had my real bridge fitting!  I was a little disappointed by the shape and size of the teeth at first, but my cosmetic dentist is a perfectionist and he also wants it to be right for me so he spent time filing them down and reshaping until I was happy they were perfect for me.  More numbing and more hacking off the temporary bridge, but it was nowhere as near as bad as the last two fittings.  My permanent bridge looked great, but there were a couple of gaps between the canines (the end of each bridge) and the next teeth along.  He said not to worry and he’d do something about this.
    7. Another appointment to check the bridge and do some adjustments.  I felt the front teeth were too long and I prefer them closer to the length of the lateral incisors, so these were filed down to a length I was happy with.  The dentist had thought of putting veneers on the teeth next to my canines so it all blended in and covered the gaps that had been created, which I was very frustrated with after 2.5 years of braces and eradicating all gaps only to now have some again, but instead he did some cosmetic bonding to build those teeth up and cover most of the gaps.
    8. Another appointment a few days later to check everything and show me how to clean them.  I have to use interdental brushes and also super floss which goes over the false teeth and under the gum line which is taking a bit of getting used to!  Obviously you wouldn’t normally be able to floss under the gum line and over the top of the teeth!  Cringe!

    So that’s all the dentist appointments to fit the bridge!  I have one more this week which I think is just to check how I’m getting on with cleaning and see how the gum is settling over the bridge.

    The one orthodontist appointment I had was a three month check after I had my bottom brace off.  It was to confirm my retainers were still fitting correctly and the teeth were all staying in place.  They all are and so I’m totally signed off from the orthodontist and don’t need any more appointments with them.  Woo-hoo!

    Is cosmetic dentistry worth it?

    Absolutely!  I am so pleased with the final results.  It’s been a long frustrating process, I’m not going to lie, but it has been 100% worth it.  I used to be hugely embarrassed of my teeth.  I would never ever smile and show my teeth.  In fact I pretty much hid from the camera altogether as I was so self-conscious of my face.  Ben was used to me snatching his phone and deleting photos of myself.  It just upset me so much to see my face and know what I looked like.  Even at my own wedding we chose to have a lifestyle photographer who took natural candid photos of people as I dreaded the thought of having to pose smiling – I’d not show my teeth smiling and always looked so awkward forcing my mouth closed to smile for a photo when naturally I’d be beaming with it open!

    At the start of my journey I had no lateral incisors.  I had my adult canine teeth next to my front teeth and my baby canines were still in place next to these!  It was a mess.  One of my adult canines was twisted so it looked like a fang!  I’d been called a witch and a vampire by cruel people, even in adulthood.  I know I should have ignored these comments, but it was so hard to not let it hurt me as I myself didn’t like my teeth.  If someone made a rude remark about my hair, for example, I wouldn’t have cared as my hair doesn’t bother me.  But because I felt embarrassed and self-conscious of my teeth every single day, if someone did say something nasty then it cut deep.

    I’ve always lacked confidence to even talk to people or address a crowd because I’ve been so embarrassed by my teeth and what others must be thinking.  It’s amazing now to not have to feel embarrassed with my own face when I talk to people.  For me, this issue went deeper than my teeth as I hated my nose too and I had rhinoplasty last April.  Having my teeth now complete is the last piece in my journey and it just feels so amazing to now be able to get on with my life without worrying about what my face looks like.

    I also have barely any photos of me and my children, which is one big reason I decided to go through this lengthy process of sorting my teeth out once and for all.  I want to treasure these memories whilst my children are young and not feel too embarrassed to pick up a camera and snap some photos of us all.  I’ve always avoided the camera, but I don’t want my children to not have photos of me.  If the awful should happen then they’d currently have barely any images of us together to remember me by.

    For me I also had a bigger reason to go through with it all as my baby teeth which were still in my mouth were becoming loose.  If they had fallen out then I would have had gaps.  It seemed silly to me to replace those with false teeth and go through all that hassle to replace teeth I didn’t like, so it started the whole process of me finding out what to do to get the perfect smile and rid of all the baby teeth once and for all.

    So yes, for me cosmetic dentistry has absolutely been worth it.  It’s stopped me from being embarrassed of my face every day, it’s stopped me being camera shy and creating memories for my children and it’s stopped me being self-conscious when talking to others.  It’s also allowed me to smile with my teeth on show – something I’d always avoid before!  It’s going to be a huge boost to my confidence and best of all I just feel normal.  I never felt like I had normal teeth or a normal face and now I do.

    If like me, your teeth massively affect your day to day happiness and confidence then I’d definitely recommend a free dental consultation to see what can be achieved and how much it costs.  My case was quite extreme and involved over two years of metal braces, tooth removal, bridges and cosmetic bonding, but most people with less complicated cases can achieve a perfect smile much quicker and with less intrusion.  Ben, my husband, is even thinking of improving his smile as his teeth are becoming wonky from his wisdom teeth pushing them together, but for him it would be a much simpler process simply to straighten the teeth.  It would be much quicker too!

    It’s all over

    I can’t believe it is all over, well I think it is!  I do now have a permanent retainer on the back of both sets of teeth and I have plastic retainers which I have to wear every few nights.  If they start feeling really tight then I just have to wear them for a little longer.  Hopefully the bridges, which cover 6 of my front teeth and the bonding on the next two teeth along from that, will last for a decade or more and I won’t have any issues.  Perhaps if I do I will update you, but for now I think that’s the end of this chapter of my life.  It definitely is for the braces anyhow.  Adios braces!

    Before, during and after photos

    In case you’ve not been following my story, then here are some photos during the brace process:

    -1 month to 22 months with traintrack brace

     22 months brace timeline before and after photos adult experience wire trai

    Final results comparison 

    Adult braces, train tracks, bridges, cosmetic bonding, whitening, before af

    Adult braces, train tracks, bridges, cosmetic bonding, whitening, before af

    Ta-da!

    Braces bridges false teeth cosmetic dentistry before after

     Please pin me to your beauty boards:

    Braces and false teeth at 30– My teeth are done! Was it worth it_

  3. Tips to get beautiful healthy hair naturally at home

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    I’ve recently had my hair cut to the shortest length it’s ever been.  It’s been getting shorter and shorter at each hairdressers appointment over the past year and I think I’m not happy with the length - above shoulder, but long enough to tie up.  I love to go the gym almost on a daily basis and running is my favourite.  It was becoming such a pain to have long hair (my hair was always below breast before, so far down my back) when running as it distracted me.  Plus trying to wash it every day I gymed was such an effort.  I wanted a style that was no longer in my way or so challenging to wash so regularly.  Going shorter has been so much more convenient for me and I actually really like it.  I think it quite suits me.

    How to get beautiful healthy hair naturally at home

    My hair isn’t yet greying (well, the odd one) and it’s always super shiny.  At 33 I’m very aware that I may start to grey soon and my current natural hair regime may come to an end.  I don’t currently dye my hair and it’s in much better condition for it.  I worry that when it greys I’ll want to dye my hair, but I hope I can find a suitable natural and lesser toxic alternative to the mainstream dyes.  My hair does seem to be thinning slightly, or perhaps I am imagining it!  If it ever did get really thin then I’d definitely look into some alternative options such as wigs or gentle hair extensions.  If hair loss was ever extreme then there are options such as a hair transplant or for men there’s even a procedure called Advanced Tricho Pigmentation which creates the impression of more hair follicles and hair than there actually is.  It’s good to know nowadays that we do have options to allow ourselves to feel confident in our own skin and with our own hair.

    Luckily for now my hair is still enjoying a youthful glow and is in great condition.  I want to share with you my tips for how to get beautiful and healthy hair naturally at home:

    Don’t dye it

    I think this is a hard one for most people, especially females.  I think every female I know, aside from me, dyes their hair on a regular basis!  I always think how awfully damaging that must be to the environment.  It’s become normal for everyone to dye their hair all the time.  I see pictures of me when my hair was long and dyed and it looks in poor condition.  I did originally use temporary dyes and they made my hair look amazing, but it was the dye that made it look amazing.  I had to keep dyeing it every few weeks to keep up with the glossy amazing hair.  It didn’t last otherwise.  Now my hair is dye-free it is naturally in good condition and stays that way.  Plus you'll save so much money!

    Use natural products

    Most mainstream brands use harsh chemicals in their products, which is probably so your hair comes to depend on them and you have to keep using their products.  That's their plan!  Many of the chemicals are not really good for your hair and they are not good for the environment or even your health.  I always use natural plant based products for my hair and have done since changing to a natural beauty regime perhaps five years ago.  My hair is in better condition for it and it stays that way.  Dyeing hair and using chemical products is quite literally poisoning your hair and scalp!

    Drink lots of water

    We all know drinking lots of water is good for us to stay hydrated, but it also gives us great skin and glossy hair.  Water is not all equal though and for nine months I have been drinking distilled water at home which is pure H2O.  I’m sure it’s taking effect as my skin is clearer than it’s ever been and my hair is healthier too.

    Use soft water if possible

    If you have soft water then it’s a lot gentler on your hair with less mineral build up.  It’s even possible to wash your hair with water only if you live in a soft water area.  I did try it, but we have hard water and I had a lot of build-up in my hair.  There are lots of claims that the ‘no-poo’ method works well with soft water.  I’ve even investigated having a filter attached to the water entering our home to make our water softer.

    Eat a nutrient rich plant based diet

    “The healthiest diet for your hair is the healthiest diet in general—one that is based on real, whole foods and mostly plant-based.” — Maria Marlowe, nutritionist (source)

    Though the hair we can see is not alive, the hair follicles it comes from and the part of the hair within the follicle is very much alive and needs feeding!  A diet rich in raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains that nourishes all parts of your body with all the vitamins and minerals you need will keep your hair looking great.

    Choose a gentle brush

    I currently use a tangle tease sort of brush that has soft bristles without balls on the end.  It’s very gentle on the hair and with multiple layers and lengths of bristles it helps to pull the natural hair oils through the hair giving a nice gloss finish.

    Avoid hot showers

    Opt for a warm shower instead of a boiling hot shower.  Extreme temperatures can be damaging to hair.  As much as a scorching shower might be pleasurable, it’s not always great for your hair.

    Wash your hair less

    I’m guilty of not always following this one, but because I’m regularly at the gym.  I get so sweaty that my hair looks greasy if I don’t wash it, so often I have to wash it every da.  If I don’t go to the gym for a couple of days then I won’t wash my hair and it always looks in amazing condition.  I always find hair looks best the day after it’s washed.  Washing too much can strip hair of its natural oils and then you depend on the shampoo to make your hair look great instead. 

    Basically going back to nature is the best thing for our hair; eating natural foods, using natural products and being gentle to it.  These tips aren’t going to be a quick fix, but over time they will be totally worth it.

     

    More hair raising articles:

    Why I stopped water only hair washing after 11 weeks
    Review: NEEM Sweet Orange and Cedarwood Shampoo
    How a healthier lifestyle in 2018 could affect your hair

    The best natural hair and beauty products for the summer
    A peek at my new short hair and the most fashionable styles for 2018
    Hair mistakes you are probably making

    Essential items for a minimalist hair care routine
    Where to get affordable hair extensions that don't ruin your hair

     How to get beautiful healthy hair naturally at home

    Collaboration

  4. FFS Friction Free Shaving razor subscription review

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    I do love a good subscription, but for me I love one that is useful.  One that allows me to find brands I genuinely love or one that supplies me with something that is convenient and I no longer have to remember to buy, like razor blades.  In this blog post I am going to review the Friction Free Shaving razor subscription box for women, also known as FFS.

    FFS is a women’s shaving club that provides a razor handle in the first package along with high quality razor blades.  Then as part of a paid subscription plan you can continue to receive replacement razor blades every one or two months.  Personally I use a razor blade more than once so I have my account set to send me a new set of four razors every other month.  This works out cheaper for me and means I change blades every two weeks.

    They offer a cheaper plastic handle and cheaper blades, but I’d highly recommended choosing a metal handle in either silver or rose gold and having it engraved with your name!  I chose rose gold and had Victoria engraved.  Plus the metal handles come with an even higher quality 6 blade head.

    Get started for £5 with free engraving

    As I type this you can get started for only £5 with a silver or rose gold metal handle which comes with free engraving!  You’ll also get four razor blade heads.  For a fiver.

    Then you’ll pay either monthly or every other month to receive a set of four more replacement razor blade heads.

    Here’s what else is included:

    • Free delivery
    • Cancel anytime
    • Pause whenever you need to
    • Delivery straight to your door
    • In my second package I received a convenient holder which I now hang my razor on in the bathroom.

     

    As an optional extra you can add their pre-shave scrub, shave cream or post-shave scrub to your order. 

    My review

    As you can probably guess I’m really pleased with my razor and the convenience of having blades posted to me every other month.  It’s also great to have a high quality razor as before I often picked up cheap plastic throwaway razors which always felt like they dragged on the skin giving me lumps and itchy patches.  The FFS razor blades leave me silky smooth and haven’t irritated my skin at all.

    They are also quick at sorting any problems.  The first razor handle I received unfortunately had a misshapen bit of plastic so the blade head wouldn’t stay attached.  They quickly responded to me and sent out a replacement handle immediately.  The second handle was perfect and I’ve been using it a few months with great results.

    I’ve had no problems with the blade heads themselves, they don’t rust quickly, they don’t scratch my legs to bits and I’ve not had any nicks since using them.  I get four replacement blades every two months for £9.  That’s £4.50 a month for my shaving efforts.  Not bad eh?

    Sign up yourself by clicking here:

     

    What to read next

    How to prepare your skin for spring and summer

    The best natural hair and beauty products for the summer

    Is it possible to freeze away unwanted fat?

    FFS Friction Free Shaving razor subscription review

  5. Is it possible to freeze away unwanted fat?

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    Most of us have pesky stubborn fat that we just can’t seem to shift.  No matter how healthily we eat or how much we slave away at the gym, some areas of body fat just seems to stay.  Even though many people think I’m slim, and even though I eat a plant based diet and go to the gym four to six hours per week, I still have lots of areas of fat that bug me.  Believe me, there are areas of my body where I can grab a handful of fat and I wish it wasn’t there.

    I’m going to continue my gym mission and I’ve started some new exercise classes too.  Just today, for example, I swam for half hour, did Pilates for one hour and then went trampolining for one hour!  Phew!  I’m doing my best to work everything off, tone up, strengthen and become more flexible.

    But what if there was another way to get rid of stubborn fat?

    Is it possible to freeze away unwanted fat

     

    Image

    It is now possible to freeze away this fat that just doesn’t seem to budge any other way!  Be it a double chin, wobbly belly or love handles, wherever the troublesome fat is residing, it can be frozen away for good.  It’s a pain free, needle free treatment with fast results.  It’s FDA cleared, safe and effective.

    It’s still vital to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating the healthiest foods possible most of the time and exercising for all its benefits, not just for losing fat, but sometimes we need an extra helping hand.  Freezing fat away is a non-surgical way to start getting the results you desire.  Its effectiveness will of course be different for everyone, but it’s a suitable treatment for these areas:

    • Under the chin
    • Bra fat
    • Back fat
    • Abdomen
    • Flank
    • Underneath the buttocks
    • Inner & outer thigh

    This magical sounding treatment is called CoolSculpting and is available at Pulse Light Clinic in London (1st Floor, Peek House,20 Eastcheap, London, EC3M 1EB Tel: 0207 523 5158).  If you want to find out more about having CoolSculpting Fat Freezing Treatments London then contact Pulse Light Clinic as they offer a free consultation without any obligation.

    Related:
    5 Fun Ways to Keep Fit with a Little One
    Boost Your Confidence with Cellulite Reduction Treatment
    Stop focusing on weight and start focusing on health instead

    *collaboration