When the acne is gone

This post contains a press experience

Since I started the blog, I have spoken extensively and quite frequently about my relationship with my skin and acne.

What I haven’t written a lot about is what’s left behind, regardless of having active spots or not: the scarring, which is deeper in many ways.

Not only they are a reminder of all the tough times I had with acne, but they also make me feel very conscious of how my skin looks like – as if all the acne wasn’t enough to do that.

I am now long into the journey of loving a skin I hated most of my life and these improvements only came way after I decided to accept the skin I am – it is, after all, the only one I have this lifetime, so I have to love it. And love it I did and started to caring for it as the problematic child it is. Then it finally started to love me back.

No makeup, no filter on my skin – only some lip colour, mascara and eyeliner, because, well…

I came a long way from the excessively long fringe that was always on my cheeks, never having my hair up and caking it with the most unsuitable (for lack of choice at the time) makeup.

Before I go into talking about the latest treatment I tried to help tackle acne scarring, I want to thank Dr. Ariel Haus, who has been brilliant and given me the chance to try something I always want to do but never found the confidence in a professional (and the income) to. So, thank you for inviting me.

Sublative laser is one of the suitable treatments offered at Dr. Haus’ clinic that will not only help with scarring, but is also brilliant for signs of ageing. But I’ll get to that…

Session 1, on evening of treatment, day 2, 3 and 5

As I underwent treatment for texture scars, Dr. Haus increased the power of the laser on each of the 3 sessions.

As as treatments at Haus Dermatoglogy are bespoke, my laser sessions consisted of 3 steps: a salicylic acid peel, that acts as a drying and antibacterial agent on the skin, the laser application on the whole face and finally, a gorgeous peel of mandelic acid and tretinoin, to maximise skin renewal.

Sublative laser is a process that makes microscopic holes in the outer layer of skin (dermis) to target damaged cells deep in the dermal layer, thus being more appropriate for my old, deeper scars, which are hard to tackle.

Worth mentioning that before the treatment, there is a patch test and a form, with a psychological evaluation as it is very important for Dr. Haus that people have realistic expectations of their results, especially when something that affects them as much as my scars do.

Session 2, on evening of treatment, day 2, 4, and 5

The peels do not hurt, at all. The laser, on the other hand, is another story. It is nothing unbearable and numbing cream is applied beforehand, but each zap is not a very pleasant experience. Having said that, they are well worthy it.

Depending on how many treatments you had, you can stay with the last peel for longer. On my 3rd treatment, I left it overnight and washed in the morning. After each treatment, when you wash you face for the first time, you can a smell burnt skin a little bit. Fear not, this is normal, but weird.

In all cases, about 2 days after the treatment, my skin started peeling. And by day 3-4, it was like my face was falling off. Overall, I had 3 days of heavy peeling and things started looking more normal again and I could use light makeup.

During the treatment, professionalism and care are second to none at the clinic – not just from Dr. Ariel Haus, which is sympathetic, caring, gentle and thorough in his methods and explanations, but from his staff, especially his clinical practitioner (and sweetest professional ever) and his front of the house staff.

Session 3, on evening of treatment, day 1, 3 and 6

And after you leave, you feel reassured not only by the comprehensive after care instructions and products provided, but the knowledge you’ll be supported should you have any questions or concerns post-treatment.

In terms of results, obviously there are no miracles when it comes to acne scarring. I did however, noticed an improvement in texture; some shallower scars have disappeared, some deeper seem shallower. Make up sits better and overall condition improved and even my active, hormonal acne has decreased a bit.

As for anti ageing, I noticed superior contour on my face – not even joking: my cheekbones are higher and fuller, the under eye area is slightly plumper and lighter.

Some may say it is a small improvement for a relatively high investment but when you have lived with something that affects you so much psychologically, any visible improvement has a huge impact on mental wellbeing and perception of self, so I highly recommend if you can pursue.

The last session was completed well over a year ago (and I miss Dr. Haus), but this wasn’t the last measure in my quest to leaving the effects of acne behind and searching for my true skin.

It might feel such a long time ago to talk about now, but for these procedures I feel we can only talk about results at least 6 months after it is done as skin takes time to regenerate and the results are meant to be long lasting, as long as the source of the scarring does not come back to create new ones.

Plus, I find the actual writing about my skin takes a lot from me emotionally and it is always a hard subject to approach. So here it is – expected, long last results with some bonuses thrown in for good measure.

You can get more information on Dr. Haus’ impressive aesthetic medicine credentials, awards (yep, I said it) and multitude of cutting edge treatments on their website.

Get in touch via phone on +44 20 7935 6358 or email for appointments: appointments@drhausdermatology.com.

They are based on Harley Street and have a fantastic clinical and support team to deliver truly tailored, solution based, tech-forward treatments that are build especially to your needs for optimal results, be it medical or aesthetic for face and body.

And very soon I will also talk about the big one: ablative laser…

I was invited to receive the treatments prescribed by Dr. Haus after consultation, with no obligation to post.

Get your fit on

Looks the park is going to be my new “gym” for a while longer and I have been adding plenty of flamboyant gym gear to my, erm always expanding flamboyant gym gear collection.

Mighty Solo is a Swedish brand from Stockholm, with garments designed by women for women to make for comfortable, supportive workout gear.

I got the Midnight Palm set (wearing S (size 6), PR sample) and it got delivered super fast. The packaging was great – compact, recyclable box, a travel bag and a lovely heritage touch: a traditional Dala horse doll.

The set is lovely – great, vidi colours, resilient fabric that shapes you and is comfortable, which for me is a must for circus workouts.

Stitching and seams are well finished and the cut is flattering, I was quite impressed.

Both pieces are polyester and spandex mix, and the four-way stretch fabric is moisture-wicking and quick drying. The steady elastic bands do not dig into your sides.

Leggings are squat (or pike/straddle inversions, in my case) proof, so it does not go see through. Win.

The sports bra has removable pads and offers a decent support, although I am quite small on the breast department so cannot comment on support that much!

You can check their range at the Mighty Solo website, were you find patterned but also plain colour sets. You can also by separates and mix and match. The Midnight Palm leggings cost $69 and the top $49.

Plus, with my exclusive discount code SMLT15 you get 15% off!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were sent to me free of charge, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

All hail retinol

Right, retinol. What is not to like. Ladies (and gents) of a certain age (cough), hang on to it. If you are not with it, get with it.

And the NIP+FAB Retinol Fix range can meet all your retinol needs and some.

From the vitamin A family, the ingredient is used to fight pigmentation and age spots plus fine lines and wrinkles; it exfoliates skin and helps speeds cell turnover, also helping to boost collagen production. So overall a good egg.

I have been using the retinol fix range for over six weeks now and can confidently say that my skin is more even and I haven’t yet presented my dreaded seasonal melasma, even though sun exposure (with plenty of SPF, of course) has been high (weather has been glorious).

I find every item in this range a great addition to any routine for a retinol introduction of boost.

These have been my night time heroes.

My favourite has to be the Retinol Fix Booster Extreme (£10 on sale now) as it is so versatile – you can put under your routine for an overnight refresh once or twice a week.

Apart from 0.3% retinol, it contains aloe vera for soothing and the NIP+FAB special skin replenishing complex.

My love for eye creams continues here – the Retinol Fix Eye Treatment (£19.95) is a gem.

Light on the eye area, it contains 0.1% retinol, a blend of butter for conditioning and moisturising and anti-puffing, dark circle fighting ingredients.

Sheet masks (£5 on sale): I have all the time for you. And this is no different: feels so supple, loaded with a low concentration retinol, coconut water and edelweiss flower extract, an antioxidant.

Skin feels refreshed and calm after use.

Also big props to the Retinol Fix Overnight treatment (£29.95), which has sold out but worth mentioning. A rich (but not cloggy) cream that applies and absorbs like a dream, really overhauling skin at night.

It contains 0.1% retinol, matrixyl 300 to estimulate collagen production and hyaluronic acid, the sweetheart ingredient for hydration.

And the pump packaging is great!!!

The Serum Extreme (£15, on sale) and the Glow Tonic Extreme (£10, on sale) have also been permanent features.

I usually use the serum a couple days a week, in between the Booster usages and not gonna lie I’ve been a little bit addicted to the toner!!! The really boost any routine.

Also, the whole range smells amazing and I love packaging on these.

When using retinol products, make sure you listen to your skin. It is an exfoliant after all, so wear sunscreen (you should anyway) and interrupt use if redness and flakiness become irritable or persistent.

My skin is resilient and I had some lip dryness after constant use, so gave it some days break and all was back to normal and I am back reaping the benefits of this lovely range.

You can get all from the NIP+FAB website – some of the items are in for £10!!! Bargain of the year!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Mask it up

Last week I talked about how I am only just managing to keep my head above water when it comes to COVID-19 and my mental health. And face masks came in as one of the little things I have been doing to help me to find some headspace – and get bettr skin as a bonus.

Bubu skincare has a great selection of face masks to work their magic.

My favourite is hands down the #tspot Blemish busting sheet mask, and not only because it is glittery and so cool, but because it is hard to find masks to tackle blemishes and acne.

Especially now. I’ve been under a lot of stress mainly brought my anxiety and my hormones are all over the place. Result: my already problematic skin is suffering.

This glittery thermo sensitive hydrogel sheet mask contains niacinamide, vitamin B5, natural actives ingredients (including many algae extracts) and their potent secret serum.

It feels great on the skin and I particularly like the 2 part mask. The serum is well absorbed on the skin and it feels nice after. I did notice my breakouts started to calm down a few days after use and felt more settled.

I also tried the exfoliating sheet mask, #stripitoff and we all know I love an exfoliation – be it chemical or physical.

This fibrous mask base has charcoal, kaolin clay and AHA to buff away dead skin cells and purify.

Now, this is a more traditional sheet mask but I must confess I just LOVED the thick layer of clay this mask comes with.

Skin fells clean and clear after – this was also a delight to use, very different from the blemish mask, but I could not put one as better than the other: they both fulfil their brief so well.

Wearing a sheet mask is usually a mindfulness ritual for me. I usually read or have it when I am having a bath, resting on my bath pillow with plenty of salts to soothe my tired muscles.

Who can resist a lip mask? Exactly? My lips are always sooo dry that the #youpucker lip plumping mask was a god send!

Pretty in lip shape and shimmery, this lip mask contains botox (yes, that botox), which is as a topical ingredient, exclusive to Bubu, and hyaluronic acid.

It does tingle you plump and hydrated. Lips feel supple asoft after use. Love it!

Overall I was impressed with the quality of the Bubu masks and at £7 each for the face masks and £5 for the lip mask is great value for money. Plus they are cruelty free and environmentally friendly – even the sparkles.

You can get the lovely Bubu masks above on the Bubu site, together with their other products, and also on PrettyLittleThing – I say a lovely extra to any outfit!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

All dolled up and nowhere to go (for now)

I don’t know about you, but in the current situation, dressing up, putting shoes and make up on have been really helping to keep me sane.

And Doll 10 really brought a big smile to my indoor face when they sent their latest and lovely makeup launches over.

The Doll Skin 6 piece perfecting collection, available at QVC, contains foundation, concealer, lipstick, mascara and a blusher which create a beautifully polished makeup look.

Their Hydragel Lipstick in Throwing Kisses is my perfect nude – simple as that.

It has a lustrous finish and is light, hydrating with good pigmentation, feeling super comfortable on the lips.

Wearing the foundation while in quarantine has become such a treat and luxury, and the Doll Skin Anti-Stress Skin Perfector foundation really fits the bill.

Its medium-high coverage helps smooth and even out skin texture, and covers a multitude of sins (not that anyone is looking!). It applies and blends very well, has a decent durability and polished finish.

Comes in six shades and I am wearing Medium, which is a good match for my skin tone, but needs a little bit of bronzer as I am (still) hanging on to a little bit of tan from Brazil.

Even though I should, I don’t often use concealer but the T.C.E This Covers Everything has put it back into my routine.

This heavy weight concealer indeed covers everything and it is great for under the eye. With a blend of silk pigments, it also helps leave the super delicate area with an awake look – and we all need that!

Although it has full coverage it is super light, applying and absorbing well, really adding to the foundation to more polished look.

It does not crease, I love the metal tip and comes in six shades and I am wearing Medium.

Surprise number one: a creamy blusher that suits my skin. The Dream Whip Multitasking Blush & Highlight Soufflé in You’re Making Me Blush is really a dream.

The super light gel formula blends really well and it does not sink on my scars, which is usually the problem with non-powder blushers.

The pigmentation is superb and this shade, a pearly pink-ish bronze, is really pretty, delivering a healthy flish to the cheeks.

Second surprise: a plastic bristle mascara that works for me. The Efforltlash XL mascara’s formula is jet black and shiny, delivering well pigmented separation to lashes.

I do struggle a bit with plastic bristles, but this delivered a decent finish, with good durability.

Finally, we all love a good brush. The No. 9 Eraser Buffing Brush is densely packed with super soft synthetic bristles to seamlessly buff creams and powders into its place.

The whole collection works together wonderfully, creating a great look, but every single piece is also very versatile in any make up bag. Also, how gorgeous is the packaging in blush pink and rose gold?

You can get the Doll 10 Doll Skin 6-piece Perfecting Collection gorgeous set from QVC. It costs £65 (plus £2.95pp) which is great value for six quality full size products at just over £10 each!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Vitamin C, never too much

Many a times I have said I love vitamin C on my skincare so seeing the Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten range really gave me heart eyes and I could not wait to try them all.

Most of us will know that vitamin C is fabulous to boost complexion glow and brightness and fight dullness – I find that great for this time of the year where seasons are changing. Also, in times like this, it might seem silly but little treats at home that make you feel better are more than welcome.

I’ll start with my favourite: the Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash (£9.99). This medium granule gentle scrub clean so deep and skin certainly feels like that after use.

The gel wash has micro biodegradable beads that polish dead cells and impurities away and added Ferulic acid, vitamin C and E to help achieve brighter skin. I am a huge fan.

I’ll follow up with one of my favourite skincare product: eye cream (£12.99). Their Dark Circles Eye Cream contains vitamin C, caffein and a peptide to brighten, stimulate and help reduce dark circles and fine lines.

It is ever so light in texture and applies really well, even for day use under makeup.

A really cool product is the Brighten Booster Serum: magical 1% vitamin C drops you can add to any moisturiser to give it added glow and brightening properties.

The naturally derived pro-collagen vitamin C active and allantoin act as glow getters and the serum is very light and easy to blend withe creams.

Not gonna lie, I have applied it with a gentle massage neat to certain areas of my face.

Who likes a pre cleanse? I do and the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil (£5.50 100ml/ £10.99 200ml) is a bliss, with vitamin C and olive oil for refreshing cleansing. The very light oil turns milky in contact with water and leaves skin fresh and comfortable after use.

Last, but not least, the Glow Boost Skin Serum (£16.99) delivers vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and a lightening algae extract to replenish, boost collagen synthesis and enhance the appearance of skin. I really like its very light texture and been using as an add on to my night cream.

I’ve been using the range for over 8 weeks now and must say that, some unrelated, hormonal blemishes aside, skin is looking very bright and ready for the summer.

In times we are not even sure we will able to fully enjoy our summer, and how things will be, being happy with my skin does make a difference to my mood.

I must point out what a great price point and value for money Super Facialist products are. You can get the Super Facialist Vitamin C+ range from their website and also Boots, Sainbury’s and Amazon, safely delivered to you!

They have a great range of products addressing dryness, ageing, blemishes, dullness (this one), firmness and sensitivity to cater for varied skin concerns – you can mix and match (I do have their blemish face mask and it is great!)

Super Facialist also have a lovely travel collection, with minis in a pouch, great for when we can travel again or to sample the range before committing to a selection of full size products in the brighten (£20) and hydrate (£16) lines.

And please – stay home, look after yourself and loved ones. And remember the impact your actions can have on others around you.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

A little bit of makeup

How exciting is it to discover a new makeup brand? Well, let me tell you: very! Being round quite a few brands truly spoils me and there isn’t much I ah e t seen, but Catrice came about as a very pleasant surprise with some items added to my essentials kit straight away. 

From those, the HD Active Performance Primer (£4.99, currently on Black Friday for £4.24) is probably the top: a milky formula that turns velvety on application. It’s great for aid application, smoothing skin for a more even spread of product and also good helping lengthen staying  power. Oh, and it has SPF 30.

The Clean ID Mineral Bronzer (£4.99, currently on Black Friday for £4.24) has many good things to shout about. The share is neutral, giving a healthy matte glow, its impact and does not flake on application and it blends really well. It is part of their Clean ID range, made with 84% natural ingredients, talc-free, with a SPF 15 and vegan.

Moving on to the One Drop Coverage Weightless concealer (£4.95, currently on Black Friday for £3.82), which does exactly what it says – a small amount provides light, medium coverage. The extremely light liquid formula spreads and blends well, under or over powder.

The Brow Colorist (£3.79, currently on Black Friday for £3.22) is a nifty “mascara” that gives your brow a great tint. The formula is a fluid gel and it is semi-permanent, meaning durability is great. Really worth mentioning the flexible brush which is a delight to use and gets in all hairs for great coverage. It isone of their most popular products!

Catrice is a cosmetics brand well established in Europe and only recently came to the UK. I am really impressed with them as a brand: they are super trend aware (they update 25% of their products twice a year!), but also have high quality at the top of their agenda. Plus, they don’t test on animals – nor their suppliers; their price is exceptional value for money and they have a huge range of products for your beauty needs.

In the UK, you can get Catrice from justmylook – at the moment they have a 15% off offer on all products because, well, Black Friday! Hurry!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Arctic skincare goodness

You know that brand that comes from something quite exciting and you think, wow? That’s Polaar, with a lovely family history of Arctic exploration and fascination, it brings the purest ingredients from the cold to help us achieve better skin. 

I am, as I said many times, a huge sucker for a great eye cream and their bestseller Polaar Icymagic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser (£29.50 for 10ml) is just that: a light gel formula delivered by a lovely metal sphere to massage and soothe the delicate area. 

It contains tonic Siberian ginseng to help revitalise, anti-oxidant tetrapeptides to work on reducing dark circles and fine lines, an advanced blend of peptides and provitamins are there for the helping lashes grow thicker and also to reduced hair loss.

Not only you get great eye skincare but also a little bit of a lash serum in one product.

It feels very light comfortable on the eye and the pump means you can control how much is delivered by the roller, meaning there’s no waste. It absorbs quickly and it makes for a fantastic day eye cream, not interfering with makeup and keeping the area moisturised. 

Another find are the Polaar Icymagic Eye Contour Multi Energiser Patches (£22.50 for 4 pairs) – basically little under the eye masks.

Infused with ginseng and tetrapeptides, they deliver that boost to tired eyes, helping revive, hydrate and nourish – a great treat not only for the skin for the mind when you take that time to pamper!

Polaar have the most amazing skincare range for all different skin types and concerns, always relying on a selection of arctic ingredients. Hand creams are rich but not sticky, keeping hands soft and nourished. 

And they have some fab Christmas packs and gift sets which are great value and a way to sample a range or a variety of products offering a skin solution! 

You can buy the Polaar Icymagic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser and the Eye Contour Multi Energiser Patches, plus their range of fab skincare at LookFantastic and also on their website.

Polaar is a brand committed to nature – sustainable, ethically collected and carefully selected ingredients, no animal testing, at least 95% natural products, no parabens, mineral oils or alcohol – they are an all-round good company.

Also, if you do have time check out their story, it is fascinating!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Makeup to truly match my skin

Makeup is, and has been, from a young age, a staple is my life. When I was younger, I got many comments saying I was “not natural” , was “hiding” or whatever. 

The good news is that makeup has evolved and it is easier to find products that will give you coverage that is natural, accentuating your beauty and skin.

I was very excited to try EX1 as they are the first makeup brand developed exclusively for olive skin tones, which is mine.

That might explain that, so long ago, when foundation shades were very limited, why I may have looked a bit off – friendly ghost or a bit pink.

The EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation (£12.50) is light in texture with a medium coverage, which is relatively buildable. 

Their colour matching tool on the site is amazing – I used to find my shade, based on known brands colours, and it matches perfectly. Finish is very natural, not matte or with a sheen. 

I finish it with their loose powder, which is in fact a foundation, in the oilier areas. The Pure Crushed Mineral Foundation (£13) powder is also great to use over SPF or a good day moisturiser, offering a very decent and even light coverage. 

Finally, the Blusher in Peach (£9.50) is just my shade: super pigmented and blendable, with minimal dropping, it sits pretty on the cheeks for that healthy colour flush. 

EX1 Cosmetics products feature a completely unique blend of olive tones ranging from very fair to deep tan, and are designed to seamlessly micro match olive skin tones or for those who just want to make their skin glow.

It’s parabens and cruelty free and was awarded the Best Breakthrough Brand 2019 by Superdrug at the Annual Superdrug Conference 2019.

And how great value for money is it? You can get EX1 products on their website and at Supedrug – online and in selected stores country wide.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

All year round golden skin

Summer. Suddenly you’re gone. You’re my favourite time of the year, but in London, that dies not equal tan. 

The struggle, for bronzed pins is real, and even more so when the brief summer leaves us.

Enter the wonderful Skinny Tan Wonder Serum. Its formula is a dark pearlescent jelly fluid which is easy to apply evenly and dries very quickly, giving skin an instant make over, so you’re ready to go while the tanning agents work. 

Left overnight it develops into a gorgeous deep gold tone which lasts for a good 3-5 days. 

It contains caffeine, aloe vera, vitamin E, guarana to care for the skin. 96% of its ingredients are natural and Skinny Tan is always paraben & sulphate free, as well as vegan friendly and cruelty free.

I used their fab Dual Tanning Mitt (£5.99) in pink velvet, which makes application even and super smooth on the skin. 

Very quickly it turned into my go-to tanning product.

To complete my tanning routing, line I’ve been using their brand new Rainbow moisturising range, which consists Cleansing Moisture Wash, which a tan primer and maintaining body wash, Moisture Hit Body Lotion, a gorgeous tan maintainer super moisturiser and the rich Melting Moisture body balm which is a treat for elbows and knees especially. They costs £9.95 each.

They helps prepare the skin prior to tanning and also afterwards, as some products containing sulphites make tan fade faster. ingredients include cocoa butter, coconut oil, raspberry oil, guarana, she butter and aloe vera, for moisturisation, a hit of antioxidants and skin awakening. Plus, they smell absolutely delicious!

You can get the Skinny Tan Wonder Serum on their website – it costs £29.99 and it’s such a hit that often sells out. Skinny Tan has a great range of other tanning products and accessories.

They also have amazing bundles available on the site and currently Boots has a “buy 1 get 2nd half price” on Skinny Tan products so a great change to stock up!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a PR sample as this product was GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.