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Acne/Breakouts, Aging, Bath & Body, Beauty Tips, Health & Wellbeing, Health & Wellbeing, Mama Mio, Organic / Natural, Pregnancy & Baby, Reviews, Rosacea, Skin Care

Amazing Hair, Nails & Skin

IMG_8555The benefits that omega 3 and 6 has on your skin, hair and nails are well known. I thought I would share two products I have been using simultaneously, one that I take in capsule form and the other I smear all over myself : )


I have been using Mama Mio Omega Body Oil which is said to be superfood for your skin. I read somewhere ‘say goodbye to lizard skin’ and was sold. The skin on my legs is so dry at the moment. I also have post-pregnancy skin recovery going on so moisturising is very important. I should point out that you obviously don’t need to be pregnant to use this, just have crispy skin like myself : ) omega-body-oil_29Nov11_rgb__89055_zoom This oil slides on your skin so it’s much quicker to apply that a cream. The best bit about it for me is that it is a dry oil, I hate feeling sticky. It’s smells of sweet almond and jojoba, which is really just soft and natural if you have no idea what I’m talking about. It is recommended that you use it once a day on damp skin after your shower. I pay extra attention to my tummy since my skin is in the process of firming up there. I also make sure to apply it to my bum, hip and thighs for the lovely stretchmarks. It’s available from Debenhams, pharmacies and online and costs €27.


I have always taken an Omega supplement, even as a child. Over the years I’ve learned that the quality of the oil is of vital importance. Now I’m a firm believer in buying within your means so I have tried all different kinds of oils over the years. When I was expecting I raved about Mor EPA, it ended the dreaded ‘pregnancy brain’. I have since switched to Udo’s Choice (which is also suitable for pregnancy). P070026_L Omega 3 and 6 help combat  wrinkles, acne and inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, cracked heels, dandruff, and even balances oily skin.For me it’s all about strong glossy hair, strong nails that don’t split and flake and radiant skin. When I forget to take my supplement for a week or so I notice a change in my all three, get grumpy and go pick up some more. Udo’s have a 6 Week Glow Challenge on their website, where you can log your results and get €4 off your next bottle. I will be doing just that. It’s available in oil and capsule form. The oil can be drizzled over salads of added to soups and smoothies. I tried this before with Viridian Beauty Oil (€13.45), which I also love. It’s a balance of 3:6:9 fatty acids and helps plump the skin amongst all of the other benefits for skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. 500 Ultimate Beauty Oil 200ml I have only tried the Udo’s choice capsules not the oil but it sounds just as good. The capsules are oils start at €14.99 which is a pretty good price for good quality supplements. Does anyone supplement? 

Acne/Breakouts, Aging, Cleansers, Ren, Skin Care, Skincare Reviews

5 Stars: Ren Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser



I have been using Ren’s Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser for the past month. The product, formerly known Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Polish, has been given 5 stars from testers time and time again. Of course, I had to see for myself.

Us skincare junkies can be a bit gung-ho when it comes to a face scrub. I once thought the rougher the better (haha). Well having been told by countless professionals that my skin is fine in texture, like anyone who has a celtic complexion, I have changed tactics. This is a non-abrasive 2 in 1 product;. firstly it cleanses the skin with exfoliating beads made from Jojoba Wax. The wax microbeads will gently lift and exfoliate dead skin cells and other pollutants. Secondly, the wax melts to indicate that the exfoliation phase is finished. The melted Jojoba Wax then deeply hydrates to firm and plump up the skin.

This is a great one for those with reactive skin. If you’re red, sensitive, acne-prone, have rosacea, this is worth a try. It doesn’t cause any irritation – not just for me, I searched through reviews to see if others disagreed, the general consensus is that this is fantastic for sensitive skin.

It contains Triglycerides from Jojoba Oil help add suppleness to the skin and Alpha Pinene from Juniper Oil and Menthone from Peppermint Oil, uplift and detox the skin.

I apply to my damp face and gently massage with circular movements while avoiding the eye area and then rinse it off with warm water.


This cleanser leaves my skin squeaky clean without feeling dry. After a few weeks of use my skin clarity has improved. There was no redness, no irritation and no breakouts. It actually cleared two spots I had pretty quickly. I should point out that this is not one of those products with rough particles that will slough off dead skin in one swipe. It is more about regular use and gradual but visible improvements.

The bottom line? This is a good all rounder but particularly good for sensitive  skin. It also works wonders on congestion and black-heads, you can’t go wrong! It coats €22 / £15 from, from or and Sephora in the US.



Acne/Breakouts, Skin Care, Skincare Reviews

Bloody brilliant -Vichy Normaderm Nuit

If you’re a regular reader you might remember the trouble I was having with acne during Winter and Spring. It was confined to my chin area, thank you hormones, but it made me miserable. I tried leaving it alone but after the condition of my skin worsened I pulled out every spot cream I had and tried to get rid of them. This was largely unsuccessful but I did find two that were impressive. One of these is Vichy Normaderm Nuit.

Normaderm Nuit Anti-Imperfections is designed for swollen and deformed pores and irregular skin texture. I have both of these issues but was rather skeptical, being a beauty blogger has made me very cynical :) I smeared a little of the product in desperation one night, expecting nothing. However, the next morning my skin looked less agitated and red. I continued using it for two more nights and on the third morning I woke to zero new spots, zero! After a few more nights of application the rest of my spots started to heal and my skin looked clearer.

You would imagine that I would love this for it’s spot fighting ability alone but not so. What I like most is the effect this product has on my pores. It has made them smaller, more regular in shape and much less noticeable. To make sure that this was down to the cream, and not other factors, I stopped using it for a week. I completely regretted this decission – the spots and irregular pores returned.

Bottom line, this worked a treat for me and is continuing to work. I apply a tiny amount every night on my chin and nose – the former gets spotty, the latter suffers from large, weird looking pores.

The product itself smells quite nice, no chemical scent like most spot creams. It’s between a lotion and a cream in consistency so it’s easy to apply. It’s not thick or greasy and absorbs easily. In fact on occasion I have applied it under my makeup in the morning.It didn’t cause any reaction or irritation and best of all it didn’t cause any dryness. This was a concern of mine since some reviewers found it too drying. I’m chuffed.

Here comes the science bit…It contains LHA, an exfoliant and anti-bacterial agent and Vitamin E to bring down inflammation. Normaderm has Zincadone A complex which contains glycolic acid, glycadone, and stimoderm.

As a testament to how much I love this product I bought my second tube last week from my local pharmacy (€15.50). The tube contains 50ml and one tube lasted me four months with everyday use.

Friggin’ amazing!


Acne/Breakouts, Skin Care

Katy Perry is a fan of Proactive – What do you think?

Katy Perry is the new face of Proactive. She announced on Twitter recently that she puts her clear skin down to their products.

I have never tried any of their products so I’m afraid I can’t offer my tuppence worth this time around. If you have tried anything from their range please let me know your thoughts in the comments section. I would love to hear what you think and whether you recommend them.

Anyway, back to Katy…

“Since I started using Proactiv Solution, I have seen a massive change in my face and my confidence. I really believe in Proactiv Solution and I think, if I know that answer, I should tell you, “I’ve got a secret, here’s the secret, please take it!”.

Some more information on Proactive:

Proactiv Solution is a three-step solution to clear skin. It comprises a cleanser, toner, moisturiser and mask all designed to treat skin with acne. The cleanser is made with salysic acid – featuring smaller, finer particles designed to quickly penetrate pores to start killing skin bacteria on contact. Tiny exfoliating beads gently remove dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells to help keep pores from clogging.

The alcohol-free toner helps remove impurities and excess oil. Soothing botanical agents gently balance skin tone. The repairing lotion hydrates skin while helping to prevent new breakouts. There is a day and a night lotion. The refining mask cleans deeply.

Proactiv Anti Blemish 4 piece kit                           €49.80
Proactiv Daily Oil Control                                        €14.95
Proactiv Oil-Free Moisturiser with SPF 15           €19.90
Proactiv Refining Mask                                            €14.9o

Have you tried Proactive? What are your thoughts?

Acne/Breakouts, General, Skin Care

Clear Skin Suppplements – Day 1

I’m starting a little experiment today and thought I should share. As many of you know I suffer from hormonal acne which started in my mid twenties. It only effects my chin (definitely hormonal). I picked up some Works With Water supplements for clear skin in Boots.

There are 14 sachets in the box I have so my two weeks of testing starts today. I will keep you updated on my progress with some photos – how brave am I!

Here is a little more information on Help:Clear Skin if you are interested:

The product works by inhibiting the development of the bacteria that cause acne and reducing the inflammation associated with existing acne blemishes – acne help that works from the inside.

“The effects of Praventin have been proven in medical trials, showing a median decrease in acne blemishes by 71% within one month and 95% within two months. In the studies, subjects took 200mg of Praventin each day to achieve a noticeable difference in the texture of their skin. In studies with teenage consumers, no adverse side effects were reported. It was also seen to contribute positively to the physical and emotional well-being of young adults” (taken from their website)

It says on the box to take the supplement for a minimum of 3-4 weeks. I’ll start with my box of 14 and see how I get on.

Help Clear Skin is also sold for men. As far as I’m aware Works With Water also sell sachet supplements for cholesterol and blood pressure too. They’re all on sale in Boots.

I’ll be back with an update in a few days!

Acne/Breakouts, Aging, Giveaways / Competitions, Organic / Natural, Skin Care

January Skin Detox (& Giveaway)

After a month of Dublin’s low temperatures, icy Chicago winds, central heating and dehydration my skin was a disgrace. I tried a few diy facials, creams, scrubs and a multitude of other things but to no avail. I gave up and booked a appointment in Thérapie (see the end of this post for giveaway).

I opted for the Eve Lom facial. As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of natural and organic products. My skin is too sensitive for chemicals. My main problems were dryness and congestion.

What attracted me to this treatment was the use of paraffin wax on the skin and the promise of clearing congested skin without pain or redness.

What I loved about the Eve Lom Ultimate Cleanse:

  • Warm paraffin wax in painted on the skin layer by layer to open up the pores. It feels amazing! The beauty therapist then peeled the mask back piece by piece and worked on removing the congestion in that area before moving on to the next. I had quite a few extractions and there was absolutely no pain. In fact there wasn’t even squeezing.
  • The facial included a bit of an upper body massage. You know how much I hate this phrase but I think I had a bit of an OMG moment during the massage. I had no idea there were balls of tension in my upper back.
  • Following the paraffin mask and extractions the therapist applied a cool and tingly mask, followed by a fresh toner to close uo my now clear pores.
  • The treatment finished with an Eve Lom moisturiser that left my skin comfortable all day.

The results:

I left the clinic feeling chilled to the core. Best of all there was no hint of redness. My skin was clear and uncongested. I can’t believe the difference in my pore size. Obviously that won’t last forever but for now my pores are minimised and clear.

Usually after a facial my skin gets worse for a few days, this is probably down to the detoxification – the treatments often draw out the impurities. But with this facial even my tiniest pores were clear so I had no spots or redness over the following days. I also had quite a few compliments on how radiant I looked, always good.

This is such an indulgent treatment. For me it’s worth every cent. I will definitely be going back for more as soon as my pores start to fill up again. Since I probably missed something, here is a link to information on the facial on Thérapie’s website.

When I try to clear congestion myself at home I usually get the main, larger ones but I can’t reach the majority of the clogged pores. Clogged pores are a nightmare for me because they affect the texture of my skin, making it appear bumpy and swollen. I think I’ll continue with my DIY masks and then have a facial like this once a season to clear out the build up.

I am also interested in having some laser hair removal at Thérapie this Spring, it seems very affordable at the moment. I am also keen on trying the Jet Peel that I talked about before and maybe Velashape contouring in the future. Thérapie has a beautiful clinic – calming, classy and is definitely more of a clinic rather than a beauty salon.


I have two Dr Murad gift sets to giveaway from Thérapie! Click here to enter. (extremely easy to enter, no fuss)

How is your skin after the harsh Winter weather?

Acne/Breakouts, Reviews, Skin Care, YouTube Videos

Acne & Acne Cream that worked for me

If you read my blog or watch my YouTube videos regularly then you probably already know that acne has become the bane of my existence.

Extreme, you might think. But to anyone who suffers from a painful face it’s the truth.

I had clear skin for most of my teens with only the occasional spot here and there. I hit my mud twenties and my face went crazy. My acne is hormonal and is generally centred around the sides of my mouth and under my jaw. I have tried so many products and often find one that works great for one breakout only never to work again.

Here is a little video on my experience with acne and a little bit of information on a cream that is working for me at the moment… who know if the relief will last but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

(apologies for the poor light quality, my camera was acting up)


What are your experiences with acne and acne creams?

Acne/Breakouts, Cleansers, Skin Care

Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Visibly Clear Facial Wash

I bought myself a new cleanser from my local chemist last week – Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Visibly Clear Facial Wash. I have seen the advertisements for this product on bus stops around Dublin and the pinkness always catches my eye. I also love Grapefruit scented products, more grapefruit essential oil rather than sugary citrus.

Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Visibly Clear Cleansing Wash

I love anything that smells refreshing and this wash is refreshing to the max. Texture wise it’s the same as most cleansing washes. I pump some into the palm of my hand, add a little water, lather and rub into all over my face. I then rinse well to ensure so residue remains.

I have quite reactive skin at the moment but I had no irritation as of yet. This may change with continues use in which case I will update this post. Otherwise you can assume that I’m still irritation free.

I had a little breakout on my chin and along the side of my nose.  The morning after my first night of use the little red bumps had dried a little and come to a head (ick but productive!) and within 3 days my breakout was clear. I do have to point out that this while this product would be great for girls with combination/oily skin that get some breakouts it probably will do very little for acne. It’s not an acne treatment so I wouldn’t expect much in that sense.

I would happily repurchase this in the future, especially since I can’t find my Vichy Essentuals Facial Cleansing Wash anywhere! I bought it for €4 which was quite surprising as I expected  it to be about €6 or €7.

What are your favourite Neutrogena products?

Acne/Breakouts, Skin Care

Acne help – EMC2

I was sent a tub of acne cream called EMC2 a few months back. It sat in my skincare drawer for a number of weeks. To be honest I had forgotten about it.

Then the breakout from hell hit. Sore, cystic acne under my jaw (thank you hormones!) and on my chin. It was so painful. My usual approach – germoline and skin clearing wash completely failed me this time round. It was probably too much to expect from an over the counter antiseptic cream anyway.

So I searched the drawer for any potential acne solutions. I picked up the tub of EMC2 for sensitive skin (they also sell a stronger one for skin that is not sensitive) and start applying every night. I was afraid to apply it in the morning and evening in case my skin over reacted to the ingredients, which it usually does.

Here are a few things I noted:

  • The packaging is very simple
  • It’s aloe vera based so it’s soothes irritated skin and I have to say it brought down redness and swelling over night
  • It smells mildly of essential oils
  • A little goes a really long way
  • It didn’t clog my pores
  • It cleared my skin in 4 days
  • It didn’t cause any dryness or irritation
  • It feels like a light cream with Jojoba oil. It has a trademarked EMC oil listed in the ingredients but I suspect that Jojoba is involved somehow. It’s great for acne sufferers since it mimics the skins natural oils and helps reduce oil production.

This has worked a charm for me. So much so that I am using it every second night for maintenance. I’m afraid to try the full strength but I shall happily stick to the sensitive skin version. My skin looks clear and calm so basically my friggin’ delighted with myself.

It costs €12 from their website. They ship worldwide as far as I know. I heard that they recently changed the formula and I have the new version. I hope they don’t reformulate again.

Remember that there are many different causes of acne and breakouts. What works for one might not work for another. Sure that’s why I’ve tried every acne cream out there. Often when I find one that works it clears my skin for a while and then I seem to become resistant to it. Fingers crossed that this one works for life! I’ll keep you posted on any changes.

What do you use for treating acne or breakouts?

Acne/Breakouts, Beauty Tips, DIY Skincare - Make Your Own

Miracle Whip – a Miracle Beauty Cream! Skin Rejuvination

A friend of mine once told me that her mother swore by using Miracle Whip, yes the icky salad cream, as an exfoliator. This woman has the most amazing skin so I put my mild revulsion aside and decided to give it a try. Nobody said make-up and beauty blogging was pretty!

I was informed that the ingredients in Miracle Whip remove dead flaky skin. It also helps normalise excessively oily skin.

  • Firstly, tie back your hair – unless you want to experiment with the effects of Miracle Whip on the hair! If you do, let me know how you get on :)
  • Next, apply a thin layer on your face and neck, avoiding the the eye area.
  • Leave on for 10 minutes and then massage gently. The dead skin cells roll off with the salad cream.
  • Rinse your skin with warm water. Follow with your usual skin regime.

A word of warning – it stinks to high heaven! Vinegar is responsible for the smell but is probably responsible for the amazing effects too so I can’t complain. It also feels oily and weird but after 3 minutes it melted onto my skin.

My skin was in such a state, thanks to the flu. I am delighted to report that all of the flaky dry skin is gone and my skin feels smooth and tight. I’m quite surprised.

I also heard that Miracle Whip can be applied a few times a week for 5 – 6 weeks to reach skin rejuvenation.

Consider me on board! I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Maybe the manufacturers should rename it – ‘Miracle Cream’ has a nice ring to it!

Acne/Breakouts, DIY Skincare - Make Your Own, Organic / Natural

How to: Make your own almond milk lotion

Almond milk has been used on the skin since ancient Egyptian times.  It’s  full of linoleic acids and minerals which help nourish and cleanses the skin. It leaves the skin soft and improves clarity. This is suitable for all skin types but particularly useful for those with normal to dry, dry or ageing skin.

It’s quick, easy and cheap to make. When I make a bottle of this lotion I use it twice daily for one week. I throw out the remainder after this time. I make a new bottle every 2 – 3 months and use as a treatment.


  • 40g ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of organic honey
  • 400ml of still bottled water

Add the honey and almonds to the water. Stir until the honey has dissolved. Leave to rest for 2.5 hours. Filter and pour into a covered bottle (I once used a small airtight lunch box). Store it in the fridge.

Apply the lotion morning and evening to clean skin and let it work it’s magic.


Acne/Breakouts, General, Health & Wellbeing

Acne and Vitamin D3 – Clear skin

Over the past year I have had near constant breakouts on my chin and sometimes my jaw. I put it down to hormones and try to deal with the breakouts using antiseptic products. Three weeks ago I had a bit of an epiphany.

Some background info… (skip to the bottom for the research)

Before I went away I had a huge, well at least huge to me, sore on my chin. It started as a small group of spots then turned into a sore. It was there for about 4 weeks, it wouldn’t heal. After the ‘leave it alone’ method failed me, I tried \Savlon Healing Cream and Germoline. No luck. I eat a balanced, healthy diet (most of the time) so I wasn’t thinking of a deficiency.

Twenty four hours after my flight landed it was healed! Miracle? Probably not. I decided it had to be the sun as there was no change in anything else. For the whole holiday I didn’t get one spot despite loading my skin with thick sun lotions. Having clear skin made me realise how stressful it is having constant breakouts.

I arrived home and low and behold a spot pops up the next day. I googled the relationship between the sun and acne and found a few articles that discussed the effects a deficiency in vitamin D3 and acne. It occurred me that not only do I lack sunshine in my life but that I gave up drinking milk about a year ago (to avoid the antibiotics from cows milk).

Here are some interesting facts I found:

  • Getting sufficient Vitamin D can help resolve acne by making the skin and body healthier
  • Because the sun provides the most potent source of vitamin D, make sure you get enough exposure to the sun to improve your chances of having well-nourished skin.
  • 10 minutes of sun exposure per day can provide you with the vitamin D that you require to help encourage healthy skin and fight acne
  • Take supplements or eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as cod liver oil and raw milk, to promote healthy acne-free skin. Although natural Vitamin D may not encourage the same type of skin cell growth as synthetic Vitamin D
  • The healing properties associated with Vitamin D can help minimize the appearance of acne scars and to encourage your skin to naturally repair damage done by acne.
  • And no, sunbeds don’t offer sufficient Vitamin B and we all know they increase the risk of skin cancer significantly.

In conclusion I need to drink milk and get 10 minutes of sunshine a day. The first is not a problem. The second however, is Ireland’s fault!

*Article was on