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How to ruin your skin

I love recommending products and giving people advice on what to do with their skin. Often it helps.

But because of undiscovered (or undisclosed) allergies and sensitivities, my advice doesn’t always work. If I truly wanted to ruin your skin though, this is what I would ask you to do.


1. Use baby wipes to take off makeup

My issue with baby wipes is that they contain mineral oil. That’s the reason they take off makeup so well.

You might have heard already that petrochemicals (like mineral oil) can cause cancer, that’s not the reason I hate mineral oil though. I hate it because it’s difficult to absorb, you put it on your skin and it just sits there waiting to cause breakouts. 

2. Homemade oil cleanser

Oil cleansing with a tincture of oils formulated by you is a bad idea. You can’t mix and match essential oils as you wish, it requires training. Essential oils can be lethal if used the wrong way. 

But since you want to ruin your skin don’t listen to me, make your own oil cleanser. It won’t emulsify with water like store bought cleansers do, that means you’ll have to use a hot face flannel to take it off.

3. Steam with a hot flannel

Steaming skin, especially with abnormally hot steam, can worsen redness and potentially result in broken capillaries that show up as thin, spider-like lines.

Go ahead and use a hot face flannel to take off your homemade oil cleanser.

4. Use SPF moisturizer at night

Never mind that taking off SPF is the sole reason some people double cleanse every night, put on your daytime moisturizer at night. It will only increase your chance of irritation and stinging, especially if you have dry skin with a damaged moisture barrier.

5. Scrub your face

For this you will need an apricot scrub or a clarisonic with a less than gentle attachment brush. Scrub away.

6. Get a back alley facial

A back alley spa is the place where they’ll damage your skin in all the ways you missed before.

They love to scrub skin, if you’re lucky you’ll also get an aggressive acne extraction and a nice soothing massage with an essential oil which hasn’t been adequately diluted.

7. Repeat 

Thanks for stopping by!

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Minimalist skincare

Have you heard of minimalism? I chanced upon this word while binge watching extreme cheapskates on youtube so I did some research on it.

Minimalism is intentionally trying to live with the things that you need only.

While minimalism isn’t what the people at extreme cheapskates are practising, I still don’t like the sound of it. I’m of the opinion that you should get yourself whatever you want, you are worth it.

I know we can’t always buy what we want for ourselves or our loved ones, but a lack of generosity in people really puts me off. You might not have a lot, but how you spend what little you have is really telling. 

Without further ado, this would be my bare minimum if I had to scale down my current skincare routine.

Big tub of lotion or body butter

I would use this as a moisturiser and to take off makeup. 

I have used this on my face before and it did not cause any break outs (despite having shea butter).

One more reason to buy a big tub is that you might get a freebie like I did. Who doesn’t want free deodorant?

Body wash

One gentle enough to use on my face. I would use it as my second cleanse cleanser.

Face flannel

When second cleansing with my body wash, I would use this to help dislodge dirt from my face.

Exfoliating gel

In the absence of an acid toner, which can be expensive, this would suffice as an exfoliator. 

You might be thinking of getting a scrub instead, but it wouldn’t yield the same results.

This sums up what I would get in terms of skincare. I haven’t neglected to include a sunscreen as part of my routine, I have left it out in favour of mineral makeup which would serve a dual purpose (and is much safer than chemical sunscreen).

If you are at a place in your life where taking austerity measures is necessary rather than optional remember this,

“Despair and hope are yin and yang.  One cannot exist without the other. Hope without despair is hollow and dishonest.”

Just hold on, better days are coming.

Thanks for stopping by!
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Shopping lists

It takes a lot of restraint for me to stick to my shopping list.In an instant I’ll decide to buy a salt scrub instead of a soft brush, an in shower body lotion instead of a regular lotion, two body washes instead of one, and a bunch of other things that aren’t even substitutes for anything on my list.

This year I’m kicking that habit by making shopping lists that remind me why I’m buying a particular thing instead of another. This is my first.

1. Cerave SA body lotion

I don’t know what I’d do without an acid toner for my face. It’s hands down the best way to exfoliate. Sadly, they don’t make enough acid products for people who want to exfoliate their bodies. So I’ll have to make do with this lotion targeted at people with chicken skin (KP).

The main ingredients in this lotion, ammonium lactate and salicylic acid, work together to both soften the skin and exfoliate. 

2. pixi glow tonic

I’ve been wanting an AHA toner for a while now. I don’t think I’ll go wrong with pixi glow tonic. It has such a huge cult following, besides the price is right.

The active ingredient in this is gIycolic acid. I have an oily complexion and salicylic acid works great for me, but a little variety couldn’t hurt.

3. Nivea deodorant stick.

Another product I want is this elusive nivea deodorant stick.

The formula does go on clear, provides good protection, and a clean scent. One downfall of this deodorant is that it contains aluminum. I’m not particularly sensitive to aluminum compounds so I’ll give it a try.

4. Soft brush

Soft bristle brushes are ideal for assisting in sloughing off the outer layer of dead skin cells. When used for dry brushing, they can also improve the appearance of cellulite.

Here’s another fun way to use it.

5 .Snail gel. 

Smearing snail gel all over one’s face sounds like a gross thing to do, well to someone else other than me.

Snail Gel boasts a wide range of anti-aging benefits including softened wrinkles, smoother skin, antioxidant protection and improved hydration. 

Dr organic combines Snail Gel’s unique ingredient Helix Aspersa Muller with a proprietary blend of bioactive, natural and organic extracts. I imagine this helps with the smell, I don’t suppose snail gel smells very nice. 

NB: It says on the package that no snails are harmed in the harvesting of snail slime.

6. St Ives spray lotion

It’s pretty hot out in January (I live in a tropical country), so this would work great as a moisturizer if I had normal skin. Sadly my skin isn’t normal ;( My face might be oily but the rest of me is a dry desert that drinks up several bottles of lotion a month. 

To be honest, this doesn’t moisturize a whole lot.But going forward, I want to use this when in a hurry and for hard to reach places like my back.I could also use it for moisture top ups through out the day.

God forbid I have any trouble finding any of these items, I’ll just buy a bottle of wine, I need it for the vitamins.

Thanks for stopping by!

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carbonated water facial 

​We spend a lot of time debating about what are the best formulas to put on our faces when it comes to cleansers, masks and serums. However, we do not often think about the type of water we are splashing our faces with. The most you might think about is whether you should use lukewarm water, cold or hot. What about the kind of water? What about switching your tap water for something a little bit more, well, fancy? Say carbonated mineral water.

Carbonated water cleansing has been all the rage in Japan and South Korea for quite some time now.I’ve always hated that fizzy water that often comes in a green bottle, so why not wash my face with it?

But first things first, what do experts say about washing your face with carbonated water?

“Carbonated water has been reported to cause vasodilation (dilated capillaries), which would improve delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin,”explains dermatologist Dr. Emily M. Wise.“However, there have never been any studies in dermatology literature to validate the specific claims made by this trend.” 

Celebrity aesthetician Kate Somerville agrees. “The bubbling sensation of carbonated water can give the perception that the water is acting as micro brushes to help cleanse pores and remove dead skin (because you feel a’tingling’ effect), but that is not the case.”

 Washing my face with carbonated water reminds me of the time I used this beauty formulas face mask.
It billows up like a bubble bath, covering your every pore with a thick layer of grey, soapy suds that seemingly arise from nowhere. It didn’t do much for me but honestly, I only bought it for the bubble action. 

Without further ado, here’s how you wash your face with carbonated water. 

Step 1:
Choose a carbonated water with absolutely no artificial scents or coloring. No lemon, lime or any flavorings, either; you want pure carbonated mineral water.


Step 2:
Fill a large bowl with half regular water and half carbonated water. You want a 1:1 ratio.
Step 3:
Dunk your makeup-free face in the bowl and hold for 10-15 seconds.

I added my own twist by using the water to rinse away my facial cleanser instead of dunking my face in a bowl. I also used the undiluted carbonated water to tone my face. You probably shouldn’t do this if you have sensitive skin. 

Verdict 

The bubbles when  paired with said cleanser actually do a nice job of cleaning out my pores. I performed this facial on myself last night and woke up to glowy skin this morning. 

Would I do this on a regular basis? Washing your face with carbonated water on a daily basis is prohibited. This also has the potential to bring underlying pimples to the fore. I wouldn’t use this when I feel a break out coming on. However, I will keep some carbonated water on hand to use as a toner on days when I want to give my acid toner a break.

 Thanks for stopping by!

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Crazy skincare hacks 

​I love reading about unconventional beauty hacks on the Internet. A lot of them are pretty bogus, but every once in a while a little nugget of genius comes your way making all the bizarre trials you’ve done over the years worth it. Here are some of the ones I’ve found useful.

Body lotion as a cleansing lotion

Body lotion formulation isn’t much different from cleansing lotion. Upon that realisation, I don’t buy cleansing lotion anymore. In fact I’ve had better results taking off makeup with body lotion than with conventional cleansing lotions. I find  body lotions less emollient and less likely to cause breakouts. 

My current favourite body lotion to use as a cleansing lotion is this  Nivea q10. It also works great for its intended purpose. Honestly, I heart this lotion so much I can’t wait to tell you about it in a separate review.

Diaper cream as a sunscreen 

Incase you didn’t  know, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only two mechanical barriers against the harmful UVA and UVB rays. And guess what? Diaper cream has zinc oxide as one of it’s main ingredients. You could totally use this as a sunscreen. Especially if like me you prefer physical sunscreen to chemical sunscreen.The only down side is that it won’t rub in like a good sunscreen would. 

Not sure what the terms physical and chemical sunscreen mean? This post I wrote a while back will bring you up to speed. 

Diaper cream as an acne treatment 

Turns out diaper cream has more alternative uses than just protecting your skin from the sun. Zinc oxide’s main beneficial properties relative to the skin include being an antioxidant, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Studies have suggested that zinc may reduce acne-causing bacteria counts, and that it may also reduce sebum and oil production- says an expert.

I’ve had a chance to use it and I can vouch for it. However I wouldn’t recommend this for severe acne. For that maybe you could try supplementing zinc into your diet. It’s been proven that most acne sufferers tend to have a zinc deficiency.

Head and shoulders shampoo  as an acne treatment



Head and Shoulders will work if you have what is called “seborrheic acne-prone skin”. This is a quote from the Eucerin site:

In seborrhoea, an increase in sebum secretion  causes excessive development of the lipophilic portion of the hydrolipid film. Most affected are skin areas with a rich occurrence of sebaceous glands: the face, chest, shoulders and back. Seborrhoea promotes skin conditions such as acne, seborrheic eczema and rosacea, as well as fungal and bacterial infections.

If you do try, make sure you get the Head and Shoulder Classic Clean without the conditioner in it.

Bio oil as an eye makeup remover 

Bio-Oil is a specialist skincare oil which contains the ingredients PurCellin Oil, vitamin A, vitamin E and natural plant oils like lavender and chamomile.

Bio Oil can be used as an eye makeup remover.To remove makeup, place a tiny amount of Bio Oil on a cotton ball. Using the wet cotton ball, use circular motions to wipe away your makeup.

The unique formula in Bio Oil also helps condition the lashes and eyebrows.

Methylated spirit for stretchmarks!

I’ve read so many glossy reviews about how well methylated spirit works for stretchmarks. The trick is to add spirit into your body lotion along with some body oil. I found this woman’s testimonial particularly interetesting, she’s known about this since 1999!

I’ve been using the glycerine and methylated spirit mixture since 1999 and I have minimal stretch marks. When I gain weight (as is the current situation) I use plain castor oil and methylated spirit on the redish/purple new stretch marks, in 6 weeks they are gone.

Thanks for stopping by!
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The dirt on foaming cleansers

 Hi there,

You have probably heard that non-foaming cleansers are better for your skin. Perhaps you’ve even unsuccessfully tried to replace your foaming facial cleanser with a non-foaming one.

You read articles and posts on the internet and a lot of people will tell you that foaming cleansers are bad. But when you use them the results are a million times better than with a product that does not lather! (oily skinned girls can relate) 

So why is everyone hating on foaming cleansers? 
Sodium laureth sulphate , or sodium lauryl ether sulphate ( SLES), sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and Ammonium lauryl sulphate (ALS).

These are anionic detergents and surfactants found in many personal care products. They are inexpensive and very effective foaming agents. They function in a cleaning product as a surfactant, wetting surfaces, emulsifying oils, and suspending soil so that they can be rinsed.

All that sounds very nice but it comes with a few disadvantages when you’re using a sulphate based surfucant:

1.Toxic solvents, including carcinogenic nitrates are used in the manufacturing of SLS, traces
of which can remain in the product.

2. SLS is a penetration enhancer, meaning that its molecules are so small they’re able to cross the membranes of your body’s cells.
Once cells are compromised, they become more vulnerable to other toxic chemicals that may be with the SLS.

3.They cause skin irritation and corrosion, and over time, lead to increased dryness. You know what that means—more visible fine lines and wrinkles.

If you love foaming facial cleansers, you have no excuse for not using a sulphate free one. They are easily available. My favourite ones have salicylic acid in them too. These come in handy when you’ve got no time to fuss around with face flannels or double cleansing, you just want to wash your face and go straight to bed.

There are not too many choices for sulphate free shower creams and gels. So far I’ve tried dove nutrium moisture in almost all its variants and Giovanni shower cream which I LOVE 😍 😍 

You might also want to try Dr. Organic shower gels, they’ll definitely be on my list when I go shopping next time. 

Thanks for stopping by!
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 Neutrogena one step cleanser review

In the past I’ve used water cleansers,oil cleansers, balm cleansers, cream cleansers, basically every type of cleanser but I must say I’m partial to foaming cleansers. 

There’s something so refreshing about the way foam binds to dirt and oil on your face and just lifts it off. When a foaming cleanser is really good at its job, you don’t even need a face flannel to help it along. 

That’s what I thought I was getting when I bought this Neutrogena cleanser. 

I do take care to avoid sulphates in my foaming  cleansers so this cleanser is sulphate free. Sadly that’s the only good thing it has going for it. 
Who is it for? 

All skin types. 

First cleanse/second cleanse or AM cleanse? 
First cleanse/taking off make up. 

How do you use it? 

I apply to damp skin and massage it in. Less is more. Add more water rather than product to build it up.

Can it be taken around the eyes?

Yes, but it does a poor job taking off eye makeup. 

How long was it tested for?

I’ve had it for three months and used it sporadically throughout that time.

What’s good about it?

I absolutely hate this cleanser and hate myself for not buying Neutrogena’s oil cleanser instead. It retails for around the same price. 

The formulators did a bad job on the one step cleanser. It’s a lot of trouble getting it to foam. On top of that, it doesn’t take off makeup of any kind. If you love it when your make up comes off at the sink rather than  on your towel, then your going to be seriously pissed. 

If a cleanser is bad at taking off make up, ordinarily I’d try to use it as a second cleanse cleanser. This however, doesn’t  rinse  clean even when I’m using it on a bare face. I have no choice but to toss it in the bin. 
Thanks for stopping by!