Why a blog?

Somewhere to jot down all things I am passionate about.
My little space to rant, rave and ramble on about this and that.
Most of all, just to share my thoughts with the world!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vitamin Therapy - Topical Vitamin A

After wrapping up the products relating to my simple 3-step skin care routine, in previous posts, Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising, I am moving on to reveal ‘what’s doing’ in the next vital step of my daily Serious SkinCare routine, which I will label as 'Vitamin Therapy'.  Vitamin Therapy involves incorporating topical vitamin based treatments into my skin care regime.  That’s right, we all know that vitamins, taken orally, are crucial to our inner health, but did you know they also play an integral role in promoting a healthy, youthful-looking complexion?  I have selected two of the most effective, powerful, antioxidant vitamins, based on my individual skin concerns, to compliment my Serious Skin Care program.  

I only use each product once daily, which one would imagine, to be simple & straightforward!  Yeah, right!.....Wrong! :-/  When trying to explain these things in writing, it so happens to be far more complex, than I originally conceived, eek! :-O  With that said, I am going to partition this topic into two separate blogs, to avoid publishing something that resembles a mini novel, hehe! ;)) So first of all, I will divulge my perception of topical Vitamin A and any products I use!

So, What is topical Vitamin A??
It is a scientifically proven, extremely effective anti-ageing skin care ingredient that I have developed a huge 'crush' on, over the past few years. :x  Vitamin A actually deserves a blog in its own right, which I plan to deliver further down the track.  However, considering I am talking skin care products I use, rather than ingredients, I am just including a snippet from the Beautypedia website, to provide a technical explanation, FYI!

“Retinol is the term used for the entire vitamin A molecule. Applied to skin, retinol is a beneficial cell-communicating ingredient and an antioxidant. Simply put, it helps skin cells create better, healthier skin cells and increases the amount of skin-support substances. In skin-care products it is found in the form of retinol, retinyl palmitate, and retinylaldehyde. In prescription-only skin-care products, it is in the form of retinoic acid (also called tretinoin)."

And, Why use it?

"In addition to functioning as a cell-communicating ingredient and antioxidant, retinol has been shown to increase skin's collagen production and glycosaminoglycan content, resulting in firmer skin with an improved texture and enhanced barrier function. Although it is not the only ingredient to look for in an anti-aging product, it deserves strong consideration by anyone concerned with keeping their skin in top shape through the years. You may also want to consider one of the prescription retinoids, such as tretinoin (Renova), tazarotene (Tazorac), or adapalene (Differin); the latter two are highly recommended if you are dealing with wrinkles and breakouts. Those dealing with the triple threat of wrinkles, breakouts, and sun-induced skin discolorations should consider a prescription for Tri-Luma."

My ‘Holy Grail’

After about 12 months of using various OTC (over the counter) retinol products of different concentrations, I decided it would save me lots of $$$ if I made the switch to prescription retinoids. =D>  I naturally had to consult with my GP first, but today, over 18 months, both my skin and wallet are truly thankful. <:-P  While there are heaps of horror stories surrounding retinoids, particularly the adverse side effects, I made certain that I educated myself well, before taking the leap.  Considering I was already familiar with using other Vitamin A derivatives and my skin had progressed through the OTC retinols and was able to tolerate the highest 1% strength with no qualms, it was only natural that I rise to the next level, leading me to Retin-A and a significant  improvement to my complexion.  :D

Retin-A comes in a small, 20gm tube that lasts for months; granted I only need a tiny, pea-sized amount of product, per application, to adequately treat my whole face and neck, making it incredibly cost effective at just $29 from Priceline, compared to its less potent, OTC relatives, which average, roughly, around the $100 mark. :-O  It’s not advisable to ‘go to town’ slathering this stuff on, because it doesn’t create faster results, rather, you could suffer the consequences later, with angry, red skin that might start shedding like crazy, or worse still, cause chronic damage to your skin, deep-down beneath the top surface layers, in the dermal area.  :">  In cases of such extreme damage, which may not rear its head for a long time after, then in which case, takes lots of effort and dedication, for years in severe cases, to effectively undo that damage and encourage deep skin cell regeneration!  :-s  Therefore, in this case less is best!  ;)

Retin-A cream is thick and very white.
The thick, white cream absorbs quickly and fortunately doesn’t leave any greasy residue on my oily skin, phew. #:-S  I have sensitive skin, which becomes aggravated quite easily, yet because I weaned my skin from low strength retinol, working up through the concentrations, prior to introducing retinoids, my skin has never had so much as a hiccup. :>  I am living proof, that sensitive skin can in fact tolerate retinoids, it just requires a little diligence and lots of perseverance. :-SS  Regardless of your skin type, you need to ensure it remains sufficiently hydrated, because when using any topical Vitamin A, it can cause dryness or dehydration. Therefore, it must be teamed with a good moisturiser.  I prefer using my Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum, in conjunction with my Retin-A, because it’s so lightweight, yet any good nourishing moisturiser will be equally as effective.  It just comes down to what works best for your skin or your own personal preference.   B-)

When I entered my thirties, following years of neglect as a tween/teen, I began to notice my skin displaying evidence of sun damage and signs of premature ageing.  When my therapist introduced me to the magic of Vitamin A, I saw my skin transform, before my very eyes; it really is nothing short of an anti-ageing miracle. (*)  I wouldn’t have ever guessed it was possible to reverse such apparent skin damage, or reduce fine lines and wrinkles and slow down the ageing process.  But, mark my word, it absolutely works! ;;) 

Just a pea-size amount is all I need.
Previously, the texture of my skin, which has always been on the rough side, was starting to look dull, tired and crepey in appearance. :(  After using this cream religiously for 18 months, it is now smoother, softer and much firmer.  My enlarged pores are less obvious and they rarely clog up with gunk; so, in turn, no blackheads.  The fine lines around my eyes have back-pedalled and softened dramatically, to the point where they are only just noticeable, right up close in a magnifying mirror.  The deeper frown lines on my forehead also did a u-turn and were given their marching orders and sent packing, ROFL. =))  My skin tone is more uniform and I have finally kissed the facial redness, blotchiness and discolouration, goodbye, adios amigos!  :-h   

These days, my skin is looking, clearer & brighter with a healthy, radiant, more youthful glow. I have run into people I have not seen in years, and they are amazed at the positive difference in my appearance.  I even receive compliments about how nice my skin is looking, and I have never had anyone say anything good about my skin before, ever, LOL. :D  Retin-A is the most important and paramount anti-ageing beauty treatment for my regime and I vow to remain faithful to it for the rest of my life.  I need to keep using it permanently, forever, because my skin will only revert to its old ways if I cease using it :-S (and I am not about to let that happen, no, no, no, LOL).  I keep my skin care simple when using this cream as I don't like to layer anything with it other than moisturiser, as I don't want to risk interfering with the magic it performs.  After 18 months of daily use, I am now in maintenance mode and use it every second night to continue reaping its benefits long term.  ;)

It absorbs instantly leaving no residue.
As long as I am fully armed and loaded with the super, dynamic Retin-A treatment, my unsurpassed weapon to fight the war against premature skin ageing, I am confident that I will successfully conquer the crusade and over time, I will indeed, come out the victor. :ar! Vitamin A has to be one of the best-kept secrets of the beauty world, but we need that to change, lets shout it out to the world! \:D/  It’s a highly effective, intensive anti-ageing treatment that has completely rejuvenated my skin and is helping me maintain youthful complexion!:D

Words of Wisdom
  • Use with caution!
  • Use sparingly, retinoids, in particular, are capable of burning skin if overused.
  • You need to introduce it gradually to begin with, allowing skin to adjust accordingly.
  • Knowing how to use the product properly from the get go, will minimise most, or even all, of the side effects that coincide with the onset of using this treatment.
  • You may experience a burning/stinging sensation at first as well as facial redness.  If it becomes unbearable, stop treatment for a week then start again even more gradually. 
  • It is perfectly normal for skin to shed/flake show signs of dryness, which usually starts after a few days.
  • Obviously, if the side effects are severe, discontinue use immediately.  Some sensitive skin sufferers simply may not be able to withstand retinoids!
  • During the first month, it's common to experience breakouts and skin can look worse before it looks better
  • Do not apply retinoids in conjunction with other skin peeling products, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and benzoyl peroxide. Instead, alternate use on different nights.
  • Vitamin A makes skin very susceptible to sun damage, always use sunscreen and cover up from the sun.
  • Not to be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • It will take at least 3 months and up to 12 months before achieving noticeable results. You just need a bit of patience!  :-w

Other Vitamin A products I have used:

Final note:
Many people shy away from products containing Vitamin A or stop using them prematurely because of the irritation/side effects or skin purging that initially accompanies the treatment. :-S  All of these side effects though, are just a temporary drawback and if you can try to stick it out, in return the honour of healthy, flawless skin will be yours.  #:-S  Have any of you used a retinoids, retinol or a skin care product containing a Vitamin A derivative before?  If so, what are your thoughts?  If not, after having read my evaluation, would you consider giving it a try?  I have personally been undertaking ongoing, extensive research on this topic, during the past three years and have come to develop a 'love affair' with it, :x :x therefore, I am more than happy to share the love. :x  If you would like to shoot me through a question, maybe need some suggestions, or just want to 'ragger' on about it with me, please, by all means, go for it in the comments section.  ;)  

All images in this blog are my own.
Information highlighted in yellow text was sourced from Beautypedia   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dove Triple Moisturising Deeply Nourishing Body Wash

OK well I know I was only supposed to briefly pause from my series of Serious Skin Care blogs with one interlude, featuring my summary of Innoxa Lipsticks, buuuuuut..... umm, actually I am going to rudely interupt once again and post my review for the Dove Triple Moisturising Deeply Nourishing Body Wash (lucky its my blog so I can get away with being so bold, LOL :D ).  I had to submit a review for this body wash today anyhow, so I thought I might as well share my account via my blog as well, considering it goes hand in hand with 'Everything Beautyful' that this blog relates to.  ;) 

I am extremely partial to bath and shower care products and am forever eager to try something new, so when my all-time favourite beauty website, appropriately named, Beauty Heaven sent me the Dove Triple Moisturising Deeply Nourishing Body Wash, to review for their trial team, (of which I am a longstanding, devoted member) I must admit I was pretty chuffed and keen to put it to the test.  Dove has claimed that the soap free, body wash, featuring a breakthrough blend of moisturisers with skin-natural lipids, called NutrimMoisture, penetrates deep within the skin’s surface to nourish from the inside and maintain skin that is beautiful and healthy inside and out.  I am not sure how those claims stack up, to be honest, as I have only been using this body wash for just under a week, but what I can say, is that I personally love it and I will explain to you now, why I'm so impressed :)

The body wash is presented in a 375ml white sturdy, plastic bottle, with the Dove signature blue and gold logo, that streamlines toward the top, where the flip-top lid is located.  The teardrop shape of the bottle makes it easy to hold, while the durable lid clicks shut tight, so it doesn’t spill if it accidentally happens to slip out of your grasp when showering.  Upon opening the bottle, the first thing that I noticed was the delectable aroma that filled the room, reminding me of a delicious dessert.  This fragrance is a bit hard to describe, somewhat vanilla, somewhat cocoa butter with a hint of something floral, not sure exactly, but it is very tropical and absolutely divine!  My son who was in the bathroom with me at the time, asked, “What is that yummy smell”?  I knew then and there, that this body wash was not going to be one I could just indulge in alone, because my two little ‘rug rats’ wanted to get in on the act too, hehe and with a scent so enticing, it really isn’t any wonder. ;) I also ought to mention, that the dreamy fragrance lingers in the bathroom and on my skin for hours afterward, leaving everything smelling so, so scrumptious. :x

The thick white lotion on my shower puff.
The consistency of the body wash was surprising at first, as it was much thicker than any body wash I have previously tried, and very white in colour, looking more like my kid’s vanilla yogurt than a body wash, LOL. :))  It is, however, rich and very creamy, so that when I apply it using my standard shower puff (a staple in my body cleansing routine), it glides smoothly over my skin and feels ultra luxurious.  It’s remarkably similar to the texture of a body lotion and during the cleansing process, my skin seems to just drink it all up, so it appears to absorb right in.  Using my shower puff, it easily works up into a gentle, lightly foamy lather and the low-suds aspect, means it doesn’t create an abundance of frothy bubbles, which I prefer anyway, as it generally means it is not loaded with heaps of SLS, because too much of that stuff is rather irritating to my skin, therefore I would prefer to avoid it, if at all possible.  Thankfully, my sensitive skin tolerates this body wash exceptionally well, due to the gentle formulation and I have not experienced any side effects or dramas with it causing an upset to my skin at all.  Instead, it ensures my skin is ultimately clean, super smooth and so much softer than usual.
My son thinks it's  Dove-ine
  I might add, that my son, who suffers from an allergic skin condition and often reacts negatively to certain skin care products, didn’t have any dilemmas when using this body wash either, so I am thrilled that it was a positive outcome, giving me with confidence that it is safe enough to continue using on both my children.  The kids, as a matter of fact, really enjoyed being nurtured from the neck down in the velvety, butter-like solution and now they request to be pampered and preened with this 'yummy' body wash every single night.
My daughter claims its Dove-ine too
So, its a surefire winner with the kids as well.  <:-P

After rinsing off the body wash and stepping out of the shower, I notice a difference in the condition of my skin immediately.  It’s almost as if a protective coating is deposited on the surface of my skin, to lock in moisture and to maintain that silky smooth feel, which is nice and soft like a babies bottom.  While my skin is adequately nourished, there isn’t any greasy, sticky residual either, rather, my skin remains well hydrated and conditioned right up until the next wash.  Because it is indeed moisturising, I can even get away without having to use a separate body lotion, which is convenient if I’m in a hurry (as I normally am) making this another great dual-purpose wonder product, and hey, who doesn’t love a good multi-tasker?  =D>

Ideal for shaving
A little tip:  I have discovered that this body wash allows for an effortless shaving experience too.  The thick texture makes an ideal shaving cream, providing for better precision and a closer shave, while the additional moisture pumped into my skin, helps alleviate pesky razor burn, shaving rash and the general itchiness associated with shaving sensitive skin.

Overall, I adore this body wash and wouldn’t hesitate in purchasing it to use again and again.  While the ‘smicky doo’ fragrance is the highlight for me, considering I think it’s to absolutely ‘die for’ it's also a fantastic, affordable alternative to a regular cake of soap (make that about a zillion times more appealing too, LOL), which will make any bath time experience a memorable affair. 
Say goodbye to normal soap
It is suitable for all skin types and all members of the family, even young children or those who require a mild formula, to avoid exasperating common skin ailments.  Dove Triple Moisturising Deeply Nourishing Body Wash is, in my opinion, such a pleasure to use and guarantees my skin will be clean, healthy and thoroughly replenished.  Furthermore, I am actually looking forward to finding out if it further improves my skin to a greater degree, as per the claims professed by Dove, after I use it for a longer period of time. :)

I love body washes, do you?  Please share, what is your all-time favourite body wash?  Is there one in particular that you keep going back to and purchase time and time again?  If so why, what makes it so appealing to you?  Fill me in, always keen to learn about new bath and shower products ;)

This product was sent to me, at no charge, by Beauty Heaven, to review for their trial team.  All content written in this blog is based on my honest opinion of the reviewed product and I have been in no way pressured or paid to form this point of view.

All images in this blog are my own.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Innoxa Lipsticks

I thought I would take a little ‘time out’ from all that ‘SeriousSkin Care’ natter and have an interval, pausing to blog about a ‘drug store’ special of mine; the awesome lipsticks from Innoxa.  I was sitting in the local pharmacy one day and caught a glimpse of a cosmetic stand that attracted my attention.  It was displaying some lippies, that looked remarkably close to mirroring my ultimate all time perfect lipstick hue.  Yes, I have declared my ‘Undying Love’ :x of baby pink lipstick shades and am constantly on the hunt for a pink that's even more perfect than the last.  I zoned straight in on the Innoxa stand and upon closer inspection, I found myself face to face with a baby pink lipstick that I went absolutely ‘gaga’ for (or in this case ‘wawa’ for, as I couldn’t afford to buy it on the spot, noooo :( )    Nevertheless, on my following payday I made a beeline to that Innoxa stand and scored myself the Pink Carnation lipstick, from their Couleurs D'ete Summer Matte Collection.  Not only was it ‘love at first sight’ when I raced home and maneuvered it over my beckoning pout, I went on an emotional roller-coaster, via love, lust and infatuation! :x :x I couldn’t believe a lippy from the local chemist (mind you, I live in the slackest, one horse town and decent makeup is pretty much nil and void, LOL :-o) could deliver everything I want from a lipstick and more!!  It totally exceeded my expectations and then some :D 

Pink Peony
English Rose
Apricot Tulip
The Innoxa lipsticks, presented in a classy looking canister with a see-through plastic section at the base, showcases the actual shade of the lipstick, making it easy to determine your perfect hue.  The colour range of spunky, modern shades will brighten up any day, boasting an assortment of finishes, whilst new collections are regularly introduced, so there's something suitable for all complexions; satisfying all tastes!  From my experience with the Innoxa lipsticks I have tried, I can vouch for the rich, creamy texture that is super pigmented with full coverage and incredibly, long lasting, staying power.  They glide on with ease, providing a smooth, opaque finish, so my lips look bold and vibrant (an ideal lippy to consider if your lips are to be the focal feature of your makeup look).  Even after eating or drinking, when all the luscious lippy normally fades away, my kissers are still sporting a gorgeous wash, or stain if you please, of the original colour, that I just love :x (simply apply a quick slick of gloss and I’m good to go).  Usually, when I find a lipstick with such a long wearing formulation, it's overly drying on my lips, tending to settle into any little lines and accentuating the fact, eww :|  These lipsticks, however, infused with natural ingredients such as moisturising jojoba oil, provide my smackers with a moist, conditioning punch of colour that looks fantastic for hours, whist ensuring they stay nurtured and protected.  A lipstick of this quality and performance, I would normally associate only with high-end lipstick brands (i.e. M.A.C Lustre Lipstick), but Innoxa lipsticks are indeed, in my opinion, the most exceptional, affordable drug store lipstick, I have tried recently and they deserve to be perched high up on a pedestal with some of their ultra expensive ‘name brand’ cousins ;)

Pink Peony

Pink Carnation
After my initial Innoxa romance with my Pink Carnation lipstick, I couldn’t believe my luck when I was announced as a winner of four Innoxa lipsticks, from the Lovely Lips Collection, thanks to a competition held on the Innoxa Facebook page.  I received English Rose, Pink Peony, Passionflower and Apricot Tulip (refer to my swatches and photos).  I am thrilled to conclude that each of these lipsticks are on par and of the same caliber as my Pink Carnation, therefore, I felt the need to give Innoxa a ‘Shout Out’ as I have kept these hidden gems on the quiet for too long and it was about time I told the world how much I love them! :x  Anyway, check out my photos (bare with any images, because I am definitely no photographer and my camera has a lot to be desired, hehe) and you can form your own opinion.  As for me, I say, get yourself stalking the Innoxa stands at your nearest pharmacy and scoop up some of these utterly cool, high performance lipsticks, which are a ‘must have’ for all lovers of  makeup looking for an affordable lipstick that doesn't compromise on quality :)
English Rose
Apricot Tulip
Pink Carnation


L-R Apricot Tulip, Passionflower, Pink Peony, Engligh Rose
Pink Carnation, with gloss.
Pink Carnation, standard as is.

Full face featuring Pink Carnation (excuse my shiny face, LOL)

Pink Carnation is still my preferred Innoxa hue if you have not already guessed, haha.  But I am definitely keen to nab some more lipstick shades from various collections in the not so distant future.  So, tell me, what do you think?  Do any of these colours take your fancy, or are you more interested in deeper, darker hues?  

Innoxa Lipstick cost about $14.95 each (RRP) and you can buy them in Australia at Big W, Priceline (selected stores), Myer, Chemmart Pharmacy, Nova Pharmacy, Terry White Chemist & all leading Pharmacies. 

All images in this blog are my own.
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Saturday, July 16, 2011


Hi there once again my peeps!  Moving right along, with this blog comes the third installment of my Serious Skin Care program, featuring the products I personally use in my strict daily anti-ageing skin care regime.  This time, I am going to hit you with the Moisturisers that I use, when I use them and my thoughts on each one.  I have pretty much developed a love/hate relationship with moisturisers over the years, because, as anyone with oily skin would surely understand, finding one that is not too rich or heavy can be like finding a needle in a haystack; very scarce to say the least.  I find it particularly hard during summer, due to the vast humidity here in tropical North Queensland, when thick creams and sweaty faces do not seem to agree, as sweat glands go into overdrive causing skin to become even oilier.  I don’t want to even think about how many moisturisers I have used or tried over the years (far too many to fathom), which have caused me me look like I have just jumped out of a deep fryer, eww.  Yep, there is nothing worse than the ‘greasy face’ effect or the suffocating feeling of a heavy moisturiser encasing your skin and unable to absorb.  Still to this day, I have only found a small selection of moisturisers that work for me, most of which, currently remain in my skin care program, after all they are so hard to find, so I'm not about to let them get away too easily :)


I have only been using this moisturiser for a few months and after my first application and test drive all I was allured. Where have you been my whole life?!  I have never really thought about using a moisturising gel before, nor have I really noticed anything available on the market, in the way of gel based facial moisturisers.  However, let me tell you now, if you have oily skin, then you would undoubtedly experience the same dilemmas that I face when trying to finding the right moisturiser.  Well, mark my word, this is exactly what you ARE looking for, the oily skin moisturiser to surpass all moisturisers!  I use this primarily as my daytime moisturiser; however, it’s perfectly fine for night time use too.  The botanical formulation, infused with natural essential oils such as tea tree and eucalyptus, has a complimentary aroma that is refreshing and invigorating.  Just a pea-sized amount of the super lightweight gel is more than enough to evenly apply over my whole face and neck. It absorbs quickly with no tacky residue and leaves my skin soft, smooth, completely nourished and glowing with radiance (not the pesky, shiny glow often seen reflecting off the foreheads of us oily skinned beauties, nope, this glow is one that radiates pure health). It makes for the perfect base under my makeup, providing a matte canvas that my foundation can easily adhere to, bringing a welcome relief in comparison to foundation sliding straight off my greasy mantle, LOL. The gentle, soothing gel is also suitable to use if my skin is all red and irritated, offering a calming relief without exasperating the problem.  I love this Alpha-H Clear Skin Daily Hydrator Gel, so much so, that I could do a song and dance about it, hehe, but seriously, though, I really can’t sing its praises enough!  A ‘must have’ or at least a ‘must try’ for anyone who is sick of the oily skin blues and can't find a way out; this is your escape route. :)


I have been using this night cream for the past 9 months and it’s the first night cream that I can safely say, doesn’t leave my skin coated in a layer of oil upon waking up of a morning.  I usually prefer a slightly richer moisturiser at night, because after all, who is going to see me while I am sleeping, so a bit of shine isn’t a huge drama, but when it's so oily, to the point where you could cook an egg on it, then it just goes beyond reason.  This night cream has become one of my favourite moisturisers, with its gorgeous lemon scent and creamy butter like texture; it is a sheer pleasure to use. It's nourishing and conditioning, but not too rich or heavy, making it perfect for my oily skin. As well as offering hydrating benefits, it also helps to clarify my complexion and reduce the appearance of blotchiness and discolouration. I have noticed less roughness, a softer skin texture, tighter pores and fading areas of pigmentation, revealing brighter, more radiant skin. I believe with longer-term use, I will also see fewer wrinkles as my existing fine lines have started appearing softer.  The all-natural formula makes it my PM moisturiser of choice, on alternate nights, when I use my Clarisonic PRO Sonic Skin Cleansing System.  The Simplicite Lemon Night Crème is, in my opinion, a hidden gem, with not too many people aware of the Simplicite brand or the highly effective, natural range of skin care products they offer, so I feel the need to ‘shout out’ to the world, how awesome it really is!  Plus, it’s an Aussie special, born and bread here in Queensland, with products that are tailored to suit our climate. Its no wonder I love my night cream so much and wouldn't hesitate in recommending it, 5 star product!

I first discovered Medik8 and this serum about 15 months ago, when at the time, I had never tried, or even seen, for that matter, a hydrating serum.  Initially, I was a bit sceptical about how it could possibly be comparable to a normal moisturiser and apprehensive it would leave my skin an oily, greasy mess, like certain other products, but my concerns were quickly quashed.  This clear serum comes in a small bottle with a dropper to disperse the almost gel-like fluid. It has no scent, it’s extremely lightweight and it is 100% non-greasy, even on my oily skin. Yippee, I am so thrilled to have encountered such a unique product, because I was previously on the ultimate search for a moisturiser to use at night, which would adequately hydrate my skin, minus the accompanying morning 'horror' face, coated in a layer of grease. This serum is the perfect solution to my lifelong dilemma.  It feels cool and soothing upon application, whilst sinking straight into my skin with no sticky, tacky residue, leaving it plump, super soft and full of moisture.  Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum compliments my nightly skincare regime exceptionally well, almost as if it were developed just for me. ;)  Every second night, I incorporate a high strength Vitamin A skin care treatment into my routine, which is used in conjunction with my ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser.  These highly potent products, prompted me to pursue a simple, moisturiser that is gentle and kind to the skin, whilst doesn't interfere with the active ingredients featured in the previous steps.  The calming relief provided by the serum feels instantly soothing and helps to alleviate any sign of facial redness.  It keeps moisture locked in overnight, so that when I wake in the morning my skin always feels comfortable and looks healthy.  Over time, it has helped improve the suppleness of my skins texture and overall it's firmer, plumper and more nourished.  Conclusively, a beneficial anti-aging moisturiser for my oily skin, delivering impressive results as it guides me down the path to achieving a more balanced, youthful, radiant complexion.  If you haven't tried a hydrating serum, then do yourself a favour and make it a point to do so; it’s unlike any other moisturiser and maintains to produce even better results!

Well, that wraps up the regular moisturising products that I use in my skin care routine.  Based on my skin type and the climate where I live, I stick with these moisturisers all year round and don’t bother adapting to cater for each season.  I also use various SPF moisturisers as well, but I decided that I won’t mention them here and instead will proceed to list them in my Sun Protection product line-up.  Considering all of my SPF products are actually multi-tasking, SPF moisturisers anyway, rather than targeted, stand-alone sunscreen products, which unlike their non-SPF counterparts, I do chop and change and adapt regularly, so it kind of makes sense to keep them separate, well in my books anyway, hehe ;) 

It took me nearly forever to discover which moisturisers suited me best, after decades of being at war with my skin, always using the wrong type of moisturiser.  A common mistake is confusing dehydrated skin with dry skin, however, dry skin is a type, just like oily skin, whereas dehydrated skin is a condition and as I discovered myself, even oily skin can get dehydrated too! Getting skin concerns/types mixed up often leads to opting for unsuitable products, hence my situation, either making things worse or never getting past first base and forever struggling to get better skin.  Unbeknownst to me, my ‘oily’ skin would occasionally suffer from dehydration, fueling my belief that I had combination skin, when in fact I didn’t.  Having finally determined my correct skin type (better late than never) I began choosing relevant oily skin moisturisers that in turn worked in my favour to support my skin.  When deciding upon a moisturiser, any external factors need considering, such as seasonal requirements.  That is, do you possibly need a richer moisturiser during the cooler months than you use throughout summer…etc?  If so, you need to adapt your skin care routine accordingly.  Once conceded, feel free join me in arming yourself with a suitable moisturiser, which will harmonise with your skin :) 

We all should implement a moisturiser into our skin care regime regardless of our skin type; all skin types need some form of hydration and we all want one that works!  Which moisturisers do you use? What can you recommend?  I would love to hear your thoughts :)

 All images in this blog are generic.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Howdy all, well this is the second installment of many, into the insight of my Serious Skin Care program, where I unleash every product I have included in my own personal skin care routine.  This blog is focusing the Toners that I use, including when I use them, as well as the usual natter based on my experience with each one. :)


 This is, at this stage, my ‘holy grail’ toner and one that I would absolutely recommend to any oily skinned beauties.  It is a super unique dual-faceted, liquid and powder formulation, which combines the features of an astringent toner, for more refined pores, with the benefits of silica extract, infused in a powder that absorbs excess oils and mattifies the complexion.  This toner can be used morning and night, but I personally like to use it in the morning, because it’s during the day that my skin always becomes its oiliest, therefore using this toner prior to my makeup application, helps control oil production and prevent that pesky midday shine.  I just apply with a cotton pad after straight cleansing and love how it’s ultra gentle and feels calming on my sensitive skin, but most of all, it leaves my complexion completely shine-free, minus causing dryness or stripping any natural oils.  Esthederm Osmoclean Pore Refiner Matifying Lotion has been my AM toner of choice for over 18 months and over this time I have noticed a significant difference in the behaviour of my skin along with the appearance in general.  My complexion is now becoming nicely balanced, rather than producing too much oil, whilst my previously enlarged pores don’t look nearly as obvious any more, on the contrary, my skin is looking clear and healthy.  It’s an absolute ‘must have’ and oily skin 'BFF', I can’t imagine my life without this toner in it.  It's a saving grace, which has contributed to a remarkable change in my oily skin, for the better. Two big thumbs up! ;)


This is another toner, which has progressed to become a permanent resident in my beauty regime, quickly evolving to a staple, after my first spritz, nearly two and a half years ago.  While I mostly use this toner at night, as an essential step in my PM skin care regime, I have also adopted it as a facial mist, to use as needed, throughout the day, because it provides a nourishing burst of cooling relief from the vast humidity, especially during a typical Tropical North Queensland summer.  The botanical cocktail of anti-ageing ingredients boasts ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamins, peptides and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid, to target the premature signs of ageing, while leaving my skin feeling refreshed and completely revived.  Sometimes I spritz some of the Dermalogica AGE Smart Antioxidant Hydramist onto a cotton pad and wiping on my skin as per a normal toner; otherwise, I spray it directly onto my face and gently press it into my skin.  When in need of an instant ‘pick-me-up’ I just apply a fine mist to my skin and allow it to dry naturally.

Well at least that that was simple and straightforward, I hear you say, LOL. :D  In comparison to some of the other, more varied skin care steps in my routine, there is not an abundance to say when it comes to toning.  However, I must stress that these toners are of equal importance and are deemed worthy of their place in my regime; just as much as some of their more complex counterparts.  A number of years ago, I decided that I would forgo the toning step altogether, mostly lead by the debate over toners NOT being essential, as their only purpose is to remove any impurities that your cleanser might have missed.  I plugged along without a toner for a year or so but it wasn’t until reintroducing it back into my skin care regime, that I came to the personal conclusion that the toning step actually DOES indeed perform to my advantage.

Depending on the type toner and the extent of its capabilities, most decent toners will dissolve any greasy film coated on the skin (a pesky aftermath often associated with creamy or oily cleansers, which can also lead to clogged pores) and ensure that no cleansing residue is rendered.  They can also help neutralise the skin’s natural pH levels and create a better balance, by reducing the over production of oils without drying the skin, rather, providing an additional boost of nourishing moisture to the skin cells, which combats dehydration. Also, tap water can contain various chemicals for filtering, which could then be imparted to the skin during cleansing, which in turn can be drying, whereas using a toner will guarantee that anything that is not meant to be there will be safely removed.  Finally, a good toner not only feels indulging and provides soothing relief to angry, red skin, it also prepares it to better receive and absorb any following skin care treatments and moisturisers, whilst enhancing their effectiveness.   

In my opinion, I find applying a toner to actually be a very pleasurable experience that always leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed and comfortable. As a general rule of the thumb, if your toner doesn’t provide you with all three of those outcomes, then you are probably using the wrong toner.  Remember, your toner should never sting, burn or cause redness and irritation, nor should it make your skin feel tight and excessively dry or oily for that matter, therefore if you experience any of these concerns, discontinue immediately, as that toner is not for you.  The best bet would be to experiment with different types of toners until you meet your perfect match.  Once you find the right toner, it will help you too; so you can be sure your getting the most out of your skin care routine.

Please tell, which side of the fence are you sitting on, when it comes to toning?  Is it of importance or is it a step you’d rather forget?  If you use a toner, please fill us in on your favourite and share how it benefits your skin.

All images in this blog are generic.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Hi there peeps, as I previously explained, I am going to post numerous blogs, enabling me the chance to share each and expand on every product that I personally use in my weekly anti-ageing program.  This blog is the first in the series; a presentation of the cleansing methods that currently spotlight in my Serious Skin Care routine, including when I use them and my thoughts on each product. :)

Cleansing Tools

I was originally dubious about using this cleansing tool at all, because I expected it would be too harsh for my sensitive, fragile skin and I usually prefer to avoid manual exfoliating products.  However, my therapist ensured me this unit is not a manual exfoliator, it’s actually a cleansing device and recommended I use it with a Delicate Replacement Brush Head, instead of the original attachment, making it perfectly safe, even for those with the most sensitive or traumatic skin.  Initially, I was just loaning this unit, but ended up being literally blown away by how it made such a significant difference to the overall well being of my skin in that short space of time, so much so, that I decided to buy it and intergrate it into my PM skin care regime.  While I am confident that this until cleans my skin better than anything else I have ever tried, I was not ready to part ways with my regular, ever faithful glycolic cleanser either.  I appreciate the cleanser because it has supplementary perks that my skin will advantage from, making it optimal in my anti-ageing skin care prescription.  In a bit of a pickle and unable to make a decision one way or the other, I decided why not alternate the two?  The more I thought about it, this was the perfect solution as they would actually compliment each other nicely, if used modestly.  Therefore, I now use the Clarisonic PRO Sonic Skin Cleansing System one night and my ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser the following, subsequently, to indulge me with the best of both worlds ;)  After 9 months of continued, regular use, I have noticed a visible reduction in the appearance of the enlarged pores around my nose, which don’t get clogged up anymore, hence blackheads have become a rare occurrence.  I have a much clearer, brighter skin tone that is more uniform in colour and the facial redness I use to suffer from has practically vanished.  The surface of my skin has smoothed out in texture, feeling firmer and more resilient, whilst my purified pores don’t produce as much oil, staying in balance so I don’t have much worry about always sporting greasy skin (or, as I always claim; my skin doesn't look like I just jumped out of the deep fryer, LOL).  It’s amazing, but this product alone, actually has produced such a big improvement to so many of my ongoing concerns, which is why it easily earned a permanent home in my beauty ritual.


This is my cleanser of choice for my AM skin care regime, mostly because I love how the botanical blend, infused with essential oils such as tea tree and eucalyptus, make it so refreshing and invigorating, providing me with an instant wake-up call, so I’m rearing and ready to go and face the day.  Additionally, the super gentle formula is perfect for my sensitive skin, yet still powerful enough to deeply cleanse my pores and leave my skin super soft and clean without feeling taut or stripped.  It works wonders at reducing any excess oils (that I notice usually becoming worse during the day) and because any gunk is drawn out of my pores they look more refined.  Finally, thanks to the enriched goodness of the ingredients, I have fewer blackheads and pimples bothering me any more :)

This is my all time favourite cleanser ;)  If you ever discover how effective an AHA cleanser is and just how perfectly it cleans your skin, I assure, you will never look back.  This is my preferred PM cleanser that I use on alternate nights, succeeding my Clarisonic PRO Sonic Skin Cleansing System . My first experience with an AHA cleanser was when I purchased the MD Formulations Facial Cleanser. I was so impressed with how it effortlessly it cleaned my skin and left it smooth and clear, however I was concerned about repurchasing because I couldn’t justify the price :-o
I was chuffed when I discovered the ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser, which was far more affordable and also happened to be Australian made and owned, bonusIt promises me a deep-pore cleanse, removing all makeup, including the pesky, most stubborn of waterproof mascara and zinc based sunblocks, along with any impurities that build up on my face during the course of the day.  The gel-like consistency, foams slightly, which prompts a pea-sized portion to sufficiently wash my whole face, neck and décolletage, making the bottle last me for absolutely ages. The inclusion of AHA’s slough away dead, dulling skin cells and unclog pores and potent anti-ageing ingredients target lines wrinkles and sun damage, while softening rough skin for a ultra smooth, soft surface texture.  Even though this 'little ripper' is powerful enough to cut through the toughest dirt and grime with ease, it's formulated gently to safely allow for use on a daily basis.  Once in a while, I like to leave the cleanser on my face for an additional couple of minutes, as a mini-mask, to grant more time for the ingredients to really get down to business and penetrate deeply to give my skin an extra boost.  The perfect chemical exfoliant and cleanser, combination, that I recommend everyone should try. ;)

I acquired this cleanser last year and have been trying to use it up, paired with my Clarisonic PRO Sonic Skin Cleansing System during my PM skin care regime, as I prefer a basic cleanser to coincide with the hard work that my cleansing tool already maintains.  It’s a rich , creamy, non-foaming cleanser that is gentle on my sensitive skin and is additionally hydrating, but quite frankly I am not fussed at all on the smell one little bit; in my opinion its actually quite revolting, LOL.  I have never smelled anything quite like it and I can’t even begin to describe the scent, other than it's just so putrid, eww.  The bonus I guess is that the large tube lasts for ages, but when it eventually runs out, I will not bother purchasing it myself.  It’s a bit of a disappointment really, as I do love many of the other Ultraceuticals products I have tried and it comes up trumps with the blend of decent anti-ageing ingredients that would be ideally beneficial for my skin care program, however, unfortunately, this one doesn’t meet my expectations. The smell just kills it, LOL :D

This is the other cleanser that I prefer to team up with my Clarisonic PRO Sonic Skin Cleansing System during my PM skin care regime and unlike the previous cleanser I mentioned, this fits the bill perfectly, making it an ideal companion to my cleansing tool.  The botanically enriched formulation is lightly scented with that yummy signature fragrance you can always expect from Clarins; so subtle and never offensive.  It has a rich, creamy consistency though, but upon contact with water it foams up ever so slightly into a light, frothy lather that gently, but thoroughly, washes away any trace of dirt and grime, whilst instantly dissolving all makeup, so my skin feels refreshed and comfortable without being stripped or taut.  Fortunately, it doesn’t leave any cleansing residue behind after rinsing, instead my skin is silky smooth, soft to touch and nicely nourished with an almost matte-like finish, making it ideal for my skin concerns.  As I am one who baulks up at the thought of wasting anything, I will continue to use this cleanser in addition to the Ultraceuticals Ultra Milk Cleanser until that is finally finished and I can gladly see the 'rear end' of it, in which case the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser will become my  ‘go-to’ nightly cleanser, supporting my cleansing tool.

There you have it, hopefully not too confusing, LOL.  Throughout my experience of adapting my skin care routine, aiming to for it to perfectly suit my skins ongoing needs, I have come to realise that 'where there's is a will there's a way'!  In my case, I CAN successfully incorporate different types of cleansers and cleansing methods, even though they work differently and deliver different results.  As long as I'm clued up on all the active ingredients and understand their influence when using in conjunction with other ingredients, if used appropriately and sensibly, the combination can actually boost my entire skin care regime. Now I have finally found a solution that works well for me. :)

Using a good cleaner is the first and most important step toward taking care of your skin so you can develop your own Serious Skin Care program.  Other skin care products may not be able to penetrate properly, therefore are deemed useless, if you don’t ensure your skin is cleansed properly.  Do you use a good cleanser and does it productively remove excess sebum, dirt, grime and dead skin cells?  More to the point, do you cleanse every single night or are you guilty of the biggest beauty sin, going to sleep with your makeup on?

All images in this blog are generic.