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Meet my new therapist…SOiL

I have heard of SOiL in the past and had the brand tucked in the recesses of my mind, but I hadn’t visited their site or tried any products before being offered a voucher to try their online store. Since my early blog days when I focused predominantly on natural and organic products I’ve always been on the lookout for any new brands which fall into this category. Even though I’ve branched out I still have a serious soft spot for organic and local brands. Besides being certified organic, SOiL is also animal-friendly (no animal testing!) and supports local communities. It’s one of those heart-warming stories that makes you want to support the brand. 

I ordered what I felt was a variety of products. A burner with soy wax melts (because I have always wanted one), a Coconut Body Wash for myself, and a Treemendous Tea Tree Shampoo for the Moo…because we’re overdue for a Moo Review.

The soy wax melts come in a variety of scents, and I ordered the balancing baobab ones which have sandalwood and rose geranium essential oil. The gift box with ceramic burner and pack of eight wax melts is only R130 and comes beautifully packaged. Replacement wax melts are R50. What really impressed me was that you don’t pay and arm and a leg for the benefit of buying local, organic products. 

The scent of these wax melts is so soothing that I feel like I’m in a spa every time I light it. The scent is also really strong and can fill an entire room – or in fact several rooms. Yankee Candles have nothing on these babies. They also come in Sensual Hibiscus with ylang ylang, patchouli and sweet orange essential oils, and Uplifting Coconut with lemongrass and grapefruit. There are also several other scents to suit every mood. 

I honestly feel that sitting in the room with my balancing wax melts burning is worth about six months of therapy. The power of essential oils shouldn’t be under-estimated. Try it the next time you feel like throwing your flat iron at the closest mirror…it will calm you right down!

I was really impressed with every product I got. The Uplifting Coconut Organic Body Wash is another example of therapy in a bottle…it is fresh, zesty and instantly lifts your mood. It is also creamy and the coconut oil it contains really feel nourishing and moisturising on your skin. So not only does it smell great, it is a really good body wash in general. Each range also includes a bath oil and bath salts (beautifully packaged) as well as a soy candle, body lotion, hand wash and hand lotion.

 

I really recommend visiting their site if you’re looking for affordable but special gifts, or just want to treat yourself. The online shopping process is simple and easy and delivery is quick.

SOiL has been kind enough to sponsor a R300 voucher for use on their site to a lucky reader.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment letting me know what you would buy if you won, and share this post over which ever platform you prefer. It isn’t mandatory, but if you would like an extra entry you can follow SOiL on Twitter or Facebook. Just let me know in the comments that you have done so, and your twitter name.

Giveaway ends Monday 13th July.

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Product of the Month | Bioderma Sebium Global

I found a bit of a miracle worker product which inspired this post, but I really wanted to share what I’ve been dealing with, why and what I did about it. I had acne has a teenager and have been prone to occasional breakouts throughout my 20s. But when you’re in your 30s and more used to focusing on dryness, pigmentation or fine lines, it can come as a real shock to get adult-onset acne. Over the past few months it got worse to the point it was affecting my self confidence and even my love of makeup, trying new products and beauty blogging itself.

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I’ve written in more detail about the causes of adult acne as well as how to tackle adult acne with product recommendations. These are just some of the steps I personally followed when it all got too much for me to handle any more…

1) I started by sorting out my hormonal imbalance. There are certain contraceptive pills which are better at addressing the acne-causing hormonal imbalance than others. Stopping a form of contraceptive can cause your hormones to go haywire, so I went back on trusty Triphasil which has helped me in the past.

2) I started taking supplements, including a multivitamin, omega fatty acids and Dermagen (a skincare supplement made by Fusion Labs which you can check out here).

3) I added extra antioxidants. I read that vitamin E has an important role to play in preventing sebum oxidation, so I started using an antioxidant serum (Paula’s Choice) and the Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner daily, and using the Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-in Moisture Mask more often. I bought the Aqua Boost Sorbet from the same line but then discovered alcohol in the top three ingredients and promptly tossed it in my blog sale box.

5) I have always been wary of over-exfoliating because my skin’s natural barrier gets out of whack very easily and leads to more breakouts. However I really stepped up my exfoliation routine by using Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion which has an effective pH for salicylic acid to work properly. I have also been using Bioderma Sebium Global twice a day (see below) and have started incorporating Dermaceutic Mask 15, which at 15% glycolic acid, with salicylic acid and bentonite packs quite a punch. I will be doing a proper review of this soon, so look out for it if you’re interested in some serious cosmeceutical treatment. I also continued using my Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 1.0.

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My search for a product which would incorporate the exfoliation I needed as well as reduce inflammation led me to pick up Bioderma Sebium Global in the pharmacy one day, and this is the one product which I found to be a game-changer. All the waffle up till this point was just so that you can see that I’ve done a few things in conjunction, but to me this product has been the star of the show. There is no quick fix for acne, but I’ve been seeing steady improvements from week one with this. After the first day or two I had a huge reduction in redness and inflammation. Then new blemishes stopped popping up. And then the red marks left behind started fading much more quickly than usual. So what does it do?

Well, it basically does everything you need. It re-creates sebum close to that of healthy skin and protects it from oxidation (which is what causes pores to become blocked in the first place) while helping the exfoliation process, and mimics the effect of vitamin E, which stops the process of acne formation. It addresses the causes of acne as well as the symptoms, and covers most of the things I was looking to introduce in my routine. It contains AHAs and salicylic acid for exfoliation, as well as zinc gluconate which reduces inflammation and redness. If you are struggling with adult acne or frequent breakouts then I highly recommend you give this treatment a try. I use it twice a day with my serums, a light moisturiser and an SPF during the day (very important if you’re using an acne treatment!).

I didn’t really want to show everyone the state of my skin, but since recently embarking on the Kiehl’s challenge I reckoned I had better get used to it. I took the ‘before’ photo a while before my skin was at its worst (yes, it got even worse!), and the ‘after’ photo after using Sebium Global for about a week. It’s a work in progress as it cleared up hugely, then I had a new outbreak, as if everything lurking out of sight was coming to the surface. As I write this I feel that the worst is over and it’s a road to clearing up the last of the marks left behind.

This is not pretty but I felt it's the best way to show you how this product works.

This is not pretty but I felt it’s the best way to show you how this product works

Bioderma Sebium Global is available from selected pharmacies, Clicks, Dischem and Wellness Warehouse. I paid R195 at my local Pick ‘n Pay pharmacy and it has been the best money I’ve spent this month.

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Whether you’re busy or just lazy, this is the polish for you!

I feel like I’ve been scarce around this parts lately, but between load shedding and two collaborations I’ve been working on, I’ve been forced to give my blog a breather. I actually wrote this post last week but then the power went out before I saved it, and I lost everything. I’m sure most of you can relate!

A while back, in the good old days before I viciously gnawed off all my nails like a rabid rat, I received a surprise parcel. Included in it were the CND Vinylux Weekly Polish and Weekly Top Coat. It probably took me about 30 seconds between opening the box and having all ten fingernails sporting this gorgeous molten rose-gold shade.

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Manufactured by the makers of Shellac, the CND Vinylux range contains some interesting ProLight technology which is activated in natural light…and it doesn’t need a base coat. The polish gets stronger with time This suits me perfectly because I’m always in a rush and try to cut corners wherever possible. All you need are two thin coats of polish and one coat of top coat, and it’s a pretty speedy process because the polish dries very quickly.

It’s supposed to give you seven days chip-free wear. I incessantly pick at and nibble on my nails. I’m so rough on them that normal polish only lasts about 24 hours on me. Taking this into consideration, the fact that CND Vinylux lasted into a fourth day on me is nothing short of miraculous. I’m probably not the best person to test the weekly claim properly, but I was very impressed with the drying time (less than 10 minutes in total) and lasting power.

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Chiffon Twirl #178

I really love the shade I received, a metallic rose gold with a micro glitter in it which makes it look liquid and reflective. There are 90 shades in total, and there is something for everyone – pastels, metallics, nudes, brights…you name it. They are 3 Free too.

You can have a look at CND South Africa’s Facebook page here to contact them about which salons stock CND in your area or to order some shades for yourself.

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I’m joining the Kiehl’s #ChangeYourSkin challenge!

I was chosen by Beauty Bulletin to be one of 12 influencers to participate in the Kiehl’s #ChangeYourSkin challenge which kicks off today. Along with some bloggers who are doing the challenge with a few lucky readers, we are putting three of Kiehl’s serums to the test for a 28 day period. The three serums we are testing are the Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum, the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

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I have only used the Midnight Recovery before in the past, and although I did enjoy using it, it wasn’t a game-changer for me and I eventually passed the bottle on to my mom. I am very keen to see how it works for me in conjunction with two other of Kiehl’s best-selling serums. I have already posted my first impressions and before pictures on the Beauty Bulletin site. If you want to read my first challenge post you can click here.

I thought here I would give a brief summary of what each of these expert serums does, if you’re interesting in following my review journey.

1. Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate restores moisture to the deepest layers of the skin, thereby plumping and re-hydrating dehydrated skin. It contains glycerine to act like a moisture magnet which attracts and holds water in the skin, and Shiso Leaf extract which protects your skin against the natural loss of hyaluronic acid in ageing skin (that’s the stuff that keeps your skin looking plump and youthful and not riddled with fine lines). Basically, this serum will help your skin retain moisture and smooth out the fine lines caused by dehydration. Sounds good to me!

2. Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution addresses the pigmentation which plagues so many of us. Sun exposure, genetics, a lot contributes to pigmentation marks and it is probably one of the most common skin concerns. I have a few dark spots on my forehead and around my right eye from sun damage, as well as a multitude of post-inflammatory pigmentation marks left over from blemishes. It contains Activated C, a stable vitamin C derivative. “Activated C actually breaks up existing melanin clusters, treating pigment currently present in the skin and inhibiting the formation of new melanin clusters.” It also contains white birch and peony extracts to restore hydration and protect against free radical damage – the combination of these ingredients helps to kick dullness, even skin tone and hyperpigmentation to the curb.

3. Midnight Recovery Concentrate has a catchy little slogan: “Sleep tight, restore your skin overnight” which sums up what this light facial oil is intended to do. Containing squalene, coriander and rosehip seed, evening primrose and lavender oils combined with omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids, this serum regenerates your skin, helping it to regenerate and maintain elasticity, smoothness and hydration while fighting damage from external aggressors. It’s a really nourishing and moisturising oil which has a really soothing and relaxing scent.

So those are the three serums in a nutshell. You can follow my progress over the 28 days via  Beauty Bulletin, and I will be doing a final review post here on how I think the serums performed and what my results where. I’ll leave you with a scary snapshot of my skin issues (sensitive readers look away now) and will be doing a final bare-faced picture again at the end because pictures are sometimes worth a thousand words… Wish me luck!

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