Centre Stage: Niacinamide

Today’s ingredient we are exploring in, ‘Centre Stage’ is Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3. Taken by mouth, vitamin B3 it is said to alleviate acne vulgaris, help stop memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease, lessen the disconcerting symptoms of schizophrenia and even help ADHD.

Currently, there is not enough substantial evidence to determine its full effectiveness in the treatment of the above ailments. But there is another area it is more commonly used for which we will discuss today.

Skincare Benefits

Niacinamide is more commonly known for its use in skincare products. Proven effective in the treatment of eczema, it is also beneficial in maintaining overall skin tone, reduction of pore size, and reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.

The reasons why I choose to incorporate niacinamide in my skincare routine are; reducing my redness (rosacea), soothing my blemishes and dermatitis (seb derm) and creating an overall even skin tone.

Here are a few select products containing Niacinamide (Vitamin B3):

Top Recommendations

TO Niacinamide
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, AUD $9.90, available at Priceline and Priceline Pharmacies here
CeraVe PM
CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM, AUD $21.99, available at Chemist Warehouse here
Niacinamide Vitamin
Niacinamide vitamin B3 capsules, AUD $7.66, available on iHerb here
Simple Mask
Simple Skincare 5 minute hydrogel mask available at Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy’s here, AUD $5.00 and select Woolworths stores

So I’d love to know, do you use a product with niacinamide in your skincare or daily health routine?

I hope to purchase TO product above soon as I hear people rave about it! (such an affordable price too!) Let me know your niacinamide recommendations below.

Love your health.

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Featured photo provided by Amplitude Magazin on Unsplash

Healthy Snacks that won’t make you feel guilty

Did you know that thirst can actually make you feel hungry? Try drinking one glass of water before you reach for that Snickers bar. If after 30 min you still aren’t satisfied, then you may eat something. So what to choose? You’ll want to find something that will satisfy your hunger but also be nutritious.

A healthy selection of delicious snacks include;

  • 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter, smooth or crunchy or something in between, whatever you fancy really
  • Apple quarters topped with about 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter dusted with a sprinkling of cinnamon
  • Yoghurt and berry bowl (I love strawberries but you can mix any in really like blueberries or raspberries) You could even top this with a sprinkling of protein mix
  • Carrot or celery sticks, tricks my mind into thinking I’m eating chips
  • Hommus and brown crackers
  • Popcorn, homemade with kernels is best with a sprinkling of salt or cinnamon
  • Fruit. Yes too much fructose is not a good thing but I ate all the fruit I wanted for dessert most nights and still lost weight however, I advise you proceed with caution

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Remember; munching on sweet and salty snacks occasionally is okay. Treat yourself! But also be honest with yourself. If you’re putting in more than you exert in physical activity then maybe it’s time for a change.

Love your health.

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Featured Image Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Centre Stage: Essential Oil – Tea Tree Oil

Native to New South Wales and Queensland in Australia, the Melaleuca Alternifolia known as tea tree oil, is an essential oil used by Aborigines for years. It has a wide variety of benefits and it’s my most favourite pimple fighting treatment.

It’s most recommended to dilute tea tree oil with water. Always follow instructions on the back of your product to find the perfect ratio.

Acne & Blemishes

I’ve used this for years to spot treat pimples and it works wonders in reducing inflammation.

I usually apply it directly from the bottle using an ear bud/cotton tip directly on the blemish. Overnight, it dramatically reduces the bump size and redness. *Caution, this can cause irritation*

Antibacterial

You can use tea tree oil as a disinfectant when cleaning. You could soak items in a bucket for a powerful punch, use in a spray bottle to clean areas of your home or by adding a few drops into your laundry cycle you can banish germs from your clothes and towels.

Add a few drops to your bucket, dilute one part water and tea tree oil into a spray bottle or into the softener dispenser in your washing machine to reap the benefits.

Wound Healing

Applied to cuts, scrapes, scratches or bug bites for its antiseptic qualities, it can alleviate itching and heal wounds faster by activating white blood cells into an immune response thus reducing inflammation at the site.

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Clarify Hair and Dandruff Treatment

I’ve bought many a shampoo infused with tea tree oil. Mostly for the cleansing as sometimes my hair gets limp from the same shampoo. This helps strip all the gunk off to reveal shiny, healthy hair. I do think it helps with an itchy scalp as I get bouts of seborrheic dermatitis on the nape of my neck.

Shampoo once or twice to revitalise the hair strands. Continue once or twice a week for maintenance.

Important: Allergy Patch Test

I use tea tree oil straight from the bottle but it’s so important to patch test as tea tree oil can be potentially irritating for you. Dilute with water and always follow instructions.

Tea Tree oil is widely available in a variety of shops and online for reasonable prices which makes it truly one of natures wonders.

Love your health.

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Featured Image Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Strategies for a Mindful Life

How can you effectively pull yourself together when things get rough? Everyday life stressors are normal, but we need to form healthy habits of mind to conquer fears and focus on forward thinking.

Remove Your Phone

Reaching for my phone first thing in the morning is usually to turn my alarm off. But then the temptation to check my email inbox, followed by social media soon follows. Coming out of a hopefully restful slumber, to immediately checking your phone creates unnecessary stress to the brain when it automatically is forced to begin processing too much information without ‘waking up’.

Tip: Think about getting a traditional alarm clock and going to sleep with your phone charging in a different room overnight. This means no distractions that disrupt sleep time and wake time.

Breathing

My regular watch needs to get a new battery installed so in the meantime, I rescued my husbands Fit Bit Blaze from it’s position collecting dust on his bedside table. Not only is it helping me track time, daily steps, water intake etc, but I found a cool little ‘Relax’ setting that provides a 2 minute or 5 minute breathing session. It’s amazing what deep breathing can do for slowing down your heart rate but it’s also a great way to distract your mind from anxious thoughts.

Tip: Take a 4 second long inhale through your nostrils, and exhale through your mouth lasting about 4 seconds.

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Photo by Robin Benzrihem on Unsplash

Gratitude Journal/Diary

When the months fly by as quickly as they do these days, (hello Easter!) then it’s quite easy to forget about personal goals we have achieved and those we wish to make in future.

Tip: Each day, take some time to list 5 things you’re grateful for in your life. This might be something you wish to incorporate into a morning routine to help your day get off on the right foot. Add to this list daily.

Routine

Keep to a routine even if you’re home all day. It’s tempting to stay in your PJ’s or comfy sloth clothes when you don’t have somewhere to be (it’s okay to do this every now and then of course).

Tip: Having a shower, combing your hair, even putting on some light makeup, a bold lipstick, spray your favourite perfume or cologne, or putting some effort into how you dress/style your clothes can be a tremendous confidence boost. If you look good, chances are you feel good too.

Exercise

Even something as simple as a change of scenery can help change your mood. Move to a different room or better yet, go outside for some air. Getting outside is an amazing distraction as well.

Tip: Why not take a small walk around the block or visit a local library, sit at a park and maybe smile at someone coming your way. It can lift your mood instantly while giving you time to reflect.

Love your health.

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Featured image. Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash

Casual Friday’s – 4 Reasons You Should Never be Sorry for Taking a Break from Social Media

The world of social media is an abundant land of curiosity and exploration, ways to catch up with family, friends and even to promote ones business.

Here are 4 reasons you should never be sorry for taking time to compose yourself.

Mental Health

Social media has a way of sucking us in. Before we know it, we’ve spent more time than we should have allowed to like all those Instagram pics or tweets from our favourite celebrities.

It’s also difficult to switch off when we’re always so available. We’re always one phone call, text or email away and while in some situations this is helpful, we’ve all felt the pressure of it.

It’s important to take time to switch off your technology, go for a walk and practice some self-care. More on that in this post here.

Life Happens

We all have commitments and sometimes they take over and this is okay. We can’t always expect to be on top of everything always and some things will fall by the way side while others take priority.

Let things be as they are. Have focus and direction towards you goals by writing down ideas and notes so when you’re ready for it, you can get back to regular programming.

Spark Joy

Ever feel like you don’t have the inspiration to do anything creative? That’s been me more than a few times!

It’s important to exercise your brain and by that I mean push it a little further than usual. However, if you’re finding it difficult to keep up and provide constant content, then take a step back and reevaluate why you’re feeling that way. It should bring you enjoyment. Once it starts dragging you down it’s a good time to re-evaluate some things like who you follow and see if that effects your experience online.

Enjoying the Present

I love catching up on social media as well as sharing some aesthetically pleasing shots of places I go etc. It’s fun! But even though we can contact someone who can be a whole town, state, or country away, we can forget about the moment and those that are right beside us.

Check out the apps Offtime and SPACE: BreakFree both available for download on iOS and android that add time limits to your selected apps helping reduce too much screen time on your device.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, remember to love your health.

 

My Skin Journey Update #4 – My Date with a Dermatologist

Several years ago I never imagined I’d need to consider seeing a specialist for my skin. Growing up, I had the usual hormonal breakouts but now, I’m stumped…

This is going to be a fairly long read of my trials and tribulations, so grab a drink or a snack. You’ve been warned!Snack

If you’ve been following since about 5 months ago I created my, ‘My Skin Journey’ series. If you want to read all of them before this one, then they’re here here here and here.

The beginning

At the beginning of 2018, I decided to revamp my less than impressive skincare routine. I must sheepishly admit that my ‘routine’ consisted of washing my face with bar soap in the morning, moisturising before makeup, then a makeup wipe and/or micellar water to remove makeup in the evening and another hose down with soap.

I hardly used moisturiser in the evening, unless I noticed my face got itchy and I could visibly see dry patches which I’ve always been prone to. The only thing I’d never do is go to sleep with a face full of makeup, so I’m proud of that at least.

With the information I had found and the excitement of starting a new online business, I was certain that my new found skincare routine was going to turn my skin around 180° as it did for many others. Spoiler alert, it didn’t.

I had purchased fragrance free cleansers, moisturiser’s and sunscreens and omitted makeup from my daily routine all for the sake of letting my skin heal, release toxins and breathe.

Yes, my skin did improve slightly, yours will too with these changes. But mostly I noticed it stayed much the same and I must be dealing with something else I couldn’t control.

The battle

I became desperate in a bid to clear myself of flushed skin, dryness and this cluster of comedonal bumps all over my forehead, cheeks and chin.

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The more I tried, the more it worsened. I couldn’t get rid of this texture. I sifted through old pictures of myself and couldn’t see the same texture I had developed now. Or could I?

I was driving myself crazy.

Perhaps now looking back, my skin was used to the old bar soap and no actual routine method of ‘skincare’ approach. A case of too much too fast?

Initial GP visit

In September 2018, I visited my GP in the hope of a cure. I will briefly explain what happened in those few months.

  • I was first prescribed Doxycycline 50mg for 2 months
  • I was switched to a different BC pill, Yasmin
  • When none of that worked I was prescribed DUAC and sent home with a referral to a Dermatologist

We left off with my GP prescribing me a hefty $50.00 cream Duac, that contains Benzoyl Peroxide + Clindamycin. I used it for a few days.

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Benzoyl Peroxide can be a fabulous ingredient that helps with various skin conditions however it is super drying and irritating to the skin. I have used Benzac, a face wash available in Australia at Chemist Warehouse and Priceline stores. I can’t remember the effect it had on my skin except the peeling.

Clindamycin is another great topical ingredient I used many a year ago in high school on large pimples. It worked great for me.

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Result: My skin got even worse using this cream. I experienced red, dry and irritated skin accompanied by stinging skin when applying my moisturiser. I admit, I probably used this too often, too quickly. I discontinued use.

When to see a Dermatologist?

I attempted to remedy my skin issues for 9 months. Then with the help of my GP for about 3 months.

I wholeheartedly understand my skin issues aren’t major. There are plenty of others in a far worse condition than myself. If you do suffer with pain and/or unusual or severe symptoms then I urge you to see a medical professional ASAP.

Do not wait around trying to fix things yourself.

Here is a helpful site you can use to research Dermatologists in your area before speaking with your GP, The Australasian College of Dermatologists.

Home

Recent Pics as of February 2019

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3 month comparison

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I wore makeup, wore sunscreen and a hat, I washed my face with bar soap and cleanser, I moisturised a lot and I tried to not stare at my skin in the mirror too often. When my face got itchy, I used  a steroid cream Advantan which was initially prescribed to me in 2016.

All the fun stuff

Waiting

I waited a little under 3 months to get an appointment. This may vary between areas, states and countries. I’ve heard people waiting 6 months + to see a Derm.

Bring with you to the appointment

Your medicare card, referral, money and yourself.

Also, I thought it’d be handy to have a collection of pictures to show her of my skin in the past year. On a notepad, I jotted down a timeline of past skin problems I’d encountered in my life along with a family history on skin diseases etc. It’s easy to forget things in the moment, so this helped.

Cost

It’s not cheap, I paid $250 for my first consultation/visit and received a $73 medicare rebate. In total, $177. I had 3 months to save, which is a plus for the waiting period.

What happens when you get there?

I filled out a form with all my details and was told my referral was valid for 12 months.

How long does my appointment last with the Doc?

It’s important to remember that specialists specialise in an area of their chosen medical field. Unfortunately they don’t have hours to spend with you as there are many other patients waiting to see them as well, hence the long waiting times for a consultation.

My appointment lasted about 20-25 minutes. Others were seen in just 15 minutes.

My experience and some answers.

I was told I have good skin, no acne at present (however I did last year in the photos I showed previously). I also have mild Seborrehoeic Dermatitis, mild Eczema and mild Rosacea.

I feel peace of mind going forth with this information and I will be posting my routine soon enough when I have the time to let the routine settle including all the Derm’s scripts and recommendations.

Wish me luck as this journey continues to hydrated skin and I hope you didn’t find this lengthy read too boring!!

Have you ever seen a Derm for skin issues or consider seeing one? Let me know your experiences below. I’d love to discuss.

Remember to love your health.

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Review – Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen

As the heatwaves continue to melt most of Australia, let’s take a look at a facial sunscreen I’ve been using regularly.

Welcome to my first blog post of 2019! I hope you’ve enjoyed my Instagram Summer Filler content during the holidays. I have to say, I think I do a lot better creating those spontaneous posts than I do scheduled ones!

What better way to begin than with this. I’ve become obsessed with skincare in the recent year and now more so finding facial sunscreen’s that provide excellent protection that are aesthetically pleasing.

Two sunscreen’s I’ve been loving over Summer were actually ones I won in a giveaway last year. I used and reviewed the sample La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Dry Touch SPF50+ Sunscreen For Oily Skin in my ‘Mini Instagram Review’ on IG stories.

I’m so grateful to have received them because I love them both equally. Let’s discuss the full size sunscreen next.

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Ingredients

Water, Ethanol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Methacrylic Acid Lauryl/Methacrylic Acid Crosspolymer, Alkyl Benzoate (C12-15), Bis Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Hexyl Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Dimethyl Silylate Silica, Dpg, Xylitol, Dextrin Palmitate, Acrylates/Alkyl (C10-30) Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polysilicone-9, Glyceryl Stearate, Amp, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Agar, Isoceteth-20, Alkyl (C30-45) Methicone, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Olefin (C30-45), Sodium Hydroxide, Bg, Pg, Sodium Hyaluronate, Royal Jelly Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Lemon Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Edta-2, Bht

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Scent

This has a strong, alcohol scent. But it’s something that goes away once absorbed. Don’t be alarmed. Alcohol actually helps sunscreen filters perform well.

Why is it great?

  • Lightweight – Feels like nothing on the skin
  • No white cast – Casper be gone
  • Easy to apply – This is literally like smoothing water over your skin
  • Doesn’t make me look oily or greasy with hours wear – This is huge
  • Sweat resistant – Perfect to wear to the beach
  • Contains Hyaluronic acid – Great moisturising/hydrating formulation
  • Works well under makeup – Didn’t get any pilling

There’s a reason why this is a bestseller in Japan!

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Disappears instantly leaving no white cast

Tidbits

  • Shake your bottle well, it’s important as the chemical filters need a chance to ‘come alive’ after settling in the bottle. Of course this also means even distribution of UV filters
  • Apply about a teaspoon to your face and neck, don’t forget your ears
  • It feels much like a gel moisturiser on your face, comfortable and cool
  • It dries down to a dewy finish, you’ll enjoy the moisturising feel of it
  • The secret to wrinkle free, youthful skin is never going to be in that expensive serum. Spending your money on a sunscreen that works as well as this one is my suggestion

So how do I get one?

The best way of getting your hands on this product is online, unless of course you have the pleasure to travel to a country that stocks it. Online is your best bet for the most part.

I will repurchase from this site in future.

Watch out! Browsing this site is dangerous, says the girl with multiple items sitting in the wish list section. Come on restock *crosses fingers*

Happy New Year!

I truly hope that 2019 brings you all that you dream of.

Remember to love your health.

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