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

Casual Friday’s – How to make a Mango Smoothie

My all time favourite fruit would have to be mangoes. To think I never liked them as a young child :O

‘Mango Magic’ is my favourite smoothie to order from Boost Juice Bars in Australia. Here’s a similar recipe I found years ago. It’s not exactly the same but pretty close 🙂

Mango Magic Recipe

So simple, so quick. Enjoy!

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Featured photo provided by HOTCHICKSING 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

2019 Skincare Routine – New Product Reviews

Today I wanted to bring to you my new and improved skincare routine!

If you didn’t already know, I visited a Dermatologist not too long ago. Post is here if you’re interested. Together, we were able to formulate a better routine for my skin needs.

I’m happy to say that after close inspection of some of my skincare products, she did mention I could continue with most as they were good.

If you’re new here, welcome! Perhaps you’d like to understand how to better improve your skincare routine or add to it for improvement in some of your skin issues or maybe you’d like to even start a routine. I hope you find this useful. A good tip, always keep it simple 🙂

I have oily/combination skin with mild seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and rosacea.

Morning Routine

  • Micellar water, then rinse with lukewarm water
  • Moisturise to damp face
  • Apply topical cream/s
  • Sunscreen/makeup

Evening Routine

  • Micellar water to remove sunscreen/and or makeup
  • Hop into shower and rinse with lukewarm water
  • Cleanse
  • Moisturise to damp face once out of shower
  • Apply topical cream/s

In with the new…

Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Micellar Water 300ml, $9.99

20190228223356_IMG_4942This fab product was a goodie I received in a giveaway win last year. Use to remove makeup, deep clean pores & refresh the skin. This is oil-free and non-comedogenic. This does contain a pleasant fragrance but, it can get a little much. Again not a huge fan in skincare with fragrance. It also claims “no need to rinse” but this is a marketing push. I encourage you to rinse your face no matter, especially as it contains fragrance.

Overall this agreed nicely with my skin with the addition of the ingredient Caprylic/Capric Glycerides which help smooth bumps (something I’m very familiar with!)

QV intensive Moisturising Cream 100g, $7.49

Prime Photo Editor20190228_114515A very rich moisturising cream by EGO Pharmaceuticals. This is fragrance and colour free and non-comedogenic. It can be used for various skin diseases such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis on the face and body.

This claims 24 hour moisturisation and a fast absorbing formula. I think it’s very intense and keeps your skin plump. I would encourage use day and night. This doesn’t work the best under makeup and is more suited as a nightly moisturiser.

DAISO Makeup Pads 160pc, $2.80

20190228223426_IMG_4943Purchased from the best little shop DAISO, these are so soft and effective at removing sunscreen and makeup. I use in conjunction with micellar water. So worth the money.

An Oldie

Simple Skincare 148ml, $9.99

20190223043421_IMG_4771This isn’t new but I thought I would throw this in here. I’ve used this on and off for approximately 6 months and it still works great for my skin and I will repurchase this once I run out.

You can purchase these products at Priceline and Priceline Pharmacies and Chemist Warehouse in Australia and DAISO stores.

How’s your current skincare routine working for you? Is there room for improvement or is your skin happy with your current routine?

 

Shoot me a comment below, let’s discuss.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post 🙂

Remember to love your health.

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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.

 

Test – DAISO Puff Sponge Detergent

Public service announcement! Get to your nearest DAISO because well, you’ll see when you get there…

I have a post on a little DAISO haul from last year here if you want to see what beauty items I picked up.

I went there twice and you’ll notice I have two brush cleaners. Today I test the Puff Sponge Detergent.

DAISO Says

Gets rid of foundation stains right away!

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80ml/2.7fl.oz AUD $2.80, squirt tube with flip top lid, fragrance-free and no artificial colours

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Ingredients

Surfactant 34%, polyoxyethylene alkyl ether, fatty acid alkanol amide, stabilizer, water softening agent. Mildly alkaline.

Notes

I’m going to use this on brushes because at the moment, I am not using a Beauty Blender or beauty sponge for makeup application.

Note: All brushes had 2 applications worth of products as indicated below (powder or cream).

  1. Foundation brush – Used for powder foundation (Bare Minerals)
  2. Eye shadow blending brush – Used for blending a matte eye shadow (Tarte Toasted palette)
  3. Flat shader brush – Used for cream eye shadow base (MAC Paint Pot)
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From top, foundation brush, eye shadow blender and shader

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Cleaning Technique

  • Pre-rinse brushes in lukewarm water
  • Drip 4 drops of detergent into my hand
  • Swirl brush bristles in a circular motion
  • Rinse well under lukewarm water until water runs clear
  • Leave to air dry

Performance Results

The detergent created enough soap suds to lift the pigment from each of the brushes used for powders and cream products. It’s consistency is in-between regular dish washing detergent and a gel/clear shampoo.

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No residual product left on brushes

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  1. Foundation brush – Looked and felt clean
  2. Eye shadow blender – Pigment removed, bristles came back to original colour
  3. Eye shadow shader – No residue of cream product left in bristles (I actually had a clump of old product sitting way down in the middle section of the brush and it removed the old stain).

I did not need to go in again to wash these with more detergent.

My Thoughts

I love that this is free from fragrance as my sensitive skin would probably disagree with harsh cleaning chemicals coming into contact with it. I’m happy to have found this product as recommended by so many beauty worshipers.

I wish this came in a jumbo size and maybe a pump though! It’s a bargain price but I’ll see how long this lasts me.

I will review the other brush cleaner at a later date so be sure to follow my blog an other social media for updates.

Let me know your thoughts on this product, if you’ve tried it or are thinking of purchasing it 🙂

Love your health.

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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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