Centre Stage: Essential Oil – Tea Tree Oil

Native to New South Wales and Queensland in Australia, the Melaleuca Alternifoliaย 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 byย Kelly Sikkemaย onย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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…

Biorรฉ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember to love your health.

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Review – Biorรฉ 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 Skinย 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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My Skin Journey – Update #3

Interested in finding out how I’m trying to reach clearer skin? Keep reading…

Hello returning readers to another update on my skin journey.

If you’re new here, then welcome! In order to understand what I’m talking about, you may wish to catch up on my previous blog posts on my skin journey. They areย here,ย here and here.

If you’ve done that, then lets continue where I left off.

Finding a Happy Place

This is constantly being tweaked by myself and my Doctor however right now, it seems to keep my skin happy. By that I mean I’m not experiencing:

  • Sensitivity
  • Stinging
  • Redness
  • Itchiness has decreased
  • Texture remains somewhat ‘controlled’

The Routine

  • I am not cleansing my face in the AM
  • PM, swipe face with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (pink cap) to cleanse and remove sunscreen, makeup and impurities
  • Rinse face well with luke warm water using finger pads to gently exfoliate
  • Tissue dry face lightly and apply Hamilton Urederm Cream, 20% Urea
  • Apply Vaseline aka Petroleum Jelly over the top as an occlusive to seal it in and reduce moisture loss
  • Aloe Vera Gel straight from the leaf x 2 times a week for extra moisture
  • Face towel once a week to slough off any dead skin
  • Beauty sleep ๐Ÿ˜‰

Actives

My skin is super sensitive so actives can make my skin go haywire pretty quickly if I’m not careful.

  • Apply Nizoralย 2% Ketoconazole as a mask x 1 time a week
  • Swipe face with Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme containing – 5% Glycolic, Salicylic and Lactic Acid x 2-3 times a week, alternating days in between

This reduces the possibility of malassezia growth and the AHA + BHA helps break down the bumps.

Doctor Update

After 3 months of trying to fix these skin problems, my GP has decided she would refer me to a Dermatologist for consideration. While I wait, she did prescribe Duacย a gel cream containing Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide to be applied once every evening.

Picture time, Picture time

Welcome back to my aqua spare room. The studio where I bring to you the best naturally lit photos. Hey, I almost blend into the background.

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My left
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What’s this? A pic of the right side of my face?
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I can’t tell you why I never included it in any of my updates, but you get to see it now
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Forehead texture (this was hard to photograph)

What the future will bring…?

I will have another update in a few weeks time to discuss any improvements with the use of Duac. Going into this, I feel uncertain as to whether it will help.

Could this be the cure? Will I need to see the Dermatologist after all?

Consider following my blog for further updates.

I hope you’re having a pleasant day/evening ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember to love your health.

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A Skin Miracle? Itโ€™s Also Free!

We moved into our home in Dec 2015. The backyard was a jungle of overgrown plants, but little did I know there was a bunch of juicy, 98.9% water containing plants I’d later discover was great for my face.

Today I want to share with you my new favourite skin care product and it was pretty much free! Thanks previous owners for planting the humble succulent the Aloe Vera plant.

Known for decades as a natural reliever of sunburn, Aloe Vera Gel directly from the plant is a fabulous humectant meaning it works to retain moisture.

Benefits

  • Helps soothe sunburn
  • Retains moisture
  • Reduces redness
  • Restores moisture/water loss
  • Antibacterial
  • Can reduce hyperpigmentation ‘acne scars’

Some say eating an drinking aloe aids with digestive issues and it can be used as a hair treatment. Nifty little plant.

Caution!

Before you go apply this sticky goop all over your face, patch test!

You may very well be allergic to this so do not smear it all over your face and pray for a miracle. A face full of hives, stinging or any type of allergic response reaction could be in store. In fact, if you’re allergic to latex there’s a good chance you won’t handle this on your skin. The underneath green part of the plant contains a yellow latex liquid.

Now if you’ve safely determined your skin can handle the pure aloe gel from the plant then rub your hands together excitedly as I share my guide.

Tricky, Sticky Goop

This stuff is not the easiest to handle. The innards of the plant are a clear, jelly like substance although can be sliced with a sharp knife or blended in a blender. Be warned, it’s slippery!

Fun fact, the more you water these plants the clearer the inside Gel will be.

To Prepare

  1. Begin by harvesting a leaf from the outer most part of your aloe plant
  2. Wash it under cool water
  3. Slice the base end off, it usually has a little yellow liquid, the latex oozing from it
  4. Slice a chunk off again, about an inch is good
  5. Slice the spikey ends off
  6. Slice off 1 side of the green part and you’re left with the inside exposed
  7. Slice off the second side and let the Gel fall into your designated cup

Quick tip: I like to scrape each green part with my knife as there’s extra slime left on there. I usually cut the gel to release more aloe slime.

You can use this straight away or pop it in the fridge covered with cling wrap and apply it to your face when ready. It’s extra cool that way ๐Ÿ˜Ž

How To Use?

This eventually dries down and feels exactly, in my opinion like a face mask. You may wish to put in on and wash it off after 15 minutes. Or you can moisturise after you cleanse, top with Aloe Vera Gel then go to sleep. It’s humectant properties will help seal in the moisture from your moisturiser. It can feel drying so washing it off might be an option you like better and you can enjoy silky smooth skin.

I use this daily, morning and night and generally leave it on for a while sometimes an hour and wash it off before bed. It leaves my face so freaking smooth!

Storage

Store your uncut aloe leaf in the fridge wrapped in cling wrap or foil and place into a zip lock bag. It will stay fresh for a few days.

Now all you have to do is find yourself an Aloe Vera plant to enjoy the many benefits it has to offer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, remember to love your health ๐Ÿ’—

My Skin Journey – Update #2

Apologies for this update being about 2 weeks late! Good news is if I get my butt into line, in 2 weeks time there will be another update as I need to see my GP again for a follow up.

Here is an update on everything I’m doing to currently treat my skin.

Finishing Doxycycline

I have completed my course of Doxycyline, at least I took approximately 2-3 months worth of tablets. Unfortunately I have not seen a major change in my skin. Though through some online research, I believe Doxy is more suited to those who are prone to bacterial acne.

Continuation of Yasmin

I continue to take these BC pills as they’re recommended for hormonal acne sufferers. I’m not convinced they’re doing anything my other BC pills have already done, which is not a lot.

My Thesis

I feel like I could write a book on my skin. I’ll try keep it simple. I think my acne could be caused by yeast aka fungal acne in layman terms. Scientifically referred to asย Malassezia Folliculitis.

These ‘acne’ like bumps have not responded to any of my attempts to reduce them as blackheads i.e closed comedones or regular papules with the use of many different AHA’s, BHA’s solutions.

I regularly experience symptoms of Sebhorreic Dermatitis on my ears, scalp, back of my neck, eyebrows and I get very itchy ear canals.

So I believe that this could possibly form a connection with the Facial texture and bumps all over my face.

Discussing this with my Doctor

Having explained my thoughts to my doctor, she recommended as I was already using Nizoral 2% Ketaconazole on my scalp once a week, that I use that as a face wash 3 times a week and slowly reduce to twice a week then once a week and then go back for a follow up check. Ketoconazole 1% or 2% is helpful in reducing Malassezia.

Results So Far

Nizoral works tremendously well for my scalp itchiness and as for my face, well it seems to be doing not a lot I think. ๐Ÿ˜

Picture taken later in the day to prevent those fluids from covering the issues

There is a slight worsening of bumps on the forehead as theyโ€™ve become more raised. Possible purge?

Comparison Photos

Left, 24 September and below, today. I do notice it has flattened.

This can be a very drying routine so I am finding I have been able to scratch out little plugs of hardened sebum (very satisfying when they come out in their own). My face has been a little itchy and the plugs get scratched out under my nail *eew*

Nonetheless, I feel like using Nizoral as a face mask may be just drying the plugs out. I also strongly believe next appointment I will be getting referred out to a Dermatologist for review.

If you’re going to use Nizoral on your face (it’s available over the counter in Australia) then please patch test and do not use for more than 3 days a week as it can be very drying. I may do a specific post on this product.

Incorporating Aloe Vera Gel

Malassezia or fungal acne yeast feeds off a variety of ingredients. More on that later. So I have been desperate to find some moisture for my skin. Lo and behold I found out people have not only been using Aloe Vera Gel as a sunburn treatment but as a facial humectant!

This girl was extremely happy to harvest a leaf in her garden. I am pleased to say I absolutely love what it does for my skin. I will definitely write a post on this plant soon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this update on my skin. What do you guys think, am I being too critical?

This is long, tedious and extremely frustrating journey. Wish me luck.

Remember to love your health.

My Skin Journey – Small Update #1

Hello friends, I hope you’ve all been well. It’s Labor Day long weekend here in NSW, Australia so I thought I would use the opportunity to update you on my skin journey.

My skin has mostly stayed the same much to my displeasure *sighs*

A bit itchy here and there and I have continued to experience mild pimples around my chin which I’m guessing is because I’ve stopped using a moisturiser which is making me produce more oil. Then there’s the fact that I’ve increased my medication so it could be ‘drying’ my skin out more.

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Dry skin mess! Dull, red and my pores seem larger than normal.

Increasing My Medication

With a recent visit to my GP, she has recommended I now begin taking 100mg of Doxycycline as in 4 weeks, I haven’t seen a large amount of improvement of my bumpy texture. Touch wood, I haven’t experienced any reactions to Doxy.

Cold Turkey Skin Care

I have now discontinued use of my cleanser. In my previous post I mentioned I stopped using sunscreen but I have continued to use the Garnier Micellar Water with the pink cap to remove daily grime and mascara as well as a microfiber cloth to slough off some dead skin cells.

A Moisturising Cream?

As mentioned, my skin was looking pretty dry and dull so I decided to use this moisturising cream I picked up a few weeks back. It is suitable for use on face and body, adults, children and babies.

I find that this doesn’t sink into the skin that much. I do look a little greasy after a few hours. I use about a pea size amount to my forehead, nose, chin and cheeks in the morning and evening straight after splashing with water. This is free from fragrance and colours.

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Hamilton skin therapy, high potency 10% Urea Cream available at Priceline and Priceline Pharmacies

Benefits of Urea for Skin

The Urea component of this cream works to provide a heavier moisturising vehicle. Urea works to break down and loosen Keratin in the skin which can help smooth skin. In the long term it can help your skin ‘learn’ how to hold on to water better, thus stopping it from drying out. Which is great for you if you suffer with;

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatitis
  • Keratosis Pilaris

Patience

I am trying my hardest to be patient in this process. My GP has asked me to return in 1 months time to check my skin. If the case is it’s the same, I will be referred out to a Derm. I’m thinking this is going to be the case, but I will try remain positive that the combination of limited skin care and Doxy will clear this all up.

If you’re in NSW, ACT, QLD or SA Australia, I hope you’re enjoying your long weekend!

Take care.

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