Acne 101 – Products that really work

Acne 101 – Products that really work

There are a hell of a lot of products out there claiming to zap your zits, and a lot of them are quite pricy. I suffered from acne for a couple of years – don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t severe or anything and I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse, but over the years I tried so many products. A lot of the products I tried made no difference, but some really did. So I’m going to share with you what worked for me, so you can skip straight to trying the good ones.

Before I get into this, I want to be clear that in the end I had to go on antibiotics to clear up my acne, so none of these products completely zapped the whole lot like that. In truth though, that isn’t going to happen – acne is an infection and needs antibiotics (either topical or in the form of tablets) to truly get rid of it. However, I found some really great products along the way that helped heal spots quicker, helped with the dry sore skin that comes with acne, and really helped me to avoid any scarring. It’s now three years since I started my antibiotics for my acne and for the last year my skin has been fantastic – I probably get 1/2 spots a week now, and there’s not a single scar from the acne.

The first product, which I cannot recommend enough, is aloe vera gel. I tend to use the brand Fruit of the Earth or Banana Boat. It is honestly a miracle worker. It’s such a natural healer and can be used for a huge variety of skin problems. My dad suffered from scoliosis on his leg for about 40 years, but after a few weeks of applying this cream it healed up and completely disappeared. I really think the aloe vera made a massive difference to my skin, it was moisturising and at the same helped my skin to heal really quickly. It’s so cheap and can be found in most pharmacists or failing that, on Amazon. It doesn’t make your face look shiny and feel horrible like most products, and I actually used it as a primer under my make-up for years as it really tightens your skin. It’s so worth trying and I swear by the stuff! (Just don’t get it anywhere near your eyes because damn that stuff stings)

Next up would have to be Palmer’s cocoa butter oil. This stuff is great for scars – I recently had some really bad bites on my leg and this has really really helped to fade the scars. I also think it worked really well on my spots. Acne is known for leaving garish scars behind, the bigger the spot usually the deeper the mark – so this was something I was really worried about.

What’s the point in clearing it all up if afterwards I’m still going to be covered in marks? When the antibiotics kicked in and my spots started disappearing I did still have lots of red dots where they’d been for a few months – but when I started using this oil they quickly started to fade and now I’m scar-free. It’s an oil, so obviously its quite greasy. At first I used it day and night, i used to put it on under my make-up – which wasn’t a good look but it was important to wear it as often as possible while I had a chance to reverse the damage. After a while though, I just wore it at night, and now I don’t need it at all! Again, this stuff is available at most pharmacists and isn’t expensive at all.

I couldn’t not sing the praises of good old Sudocrem. My Mom has been an avid Sudocrem user for as long as I can remember – I’d fall over in the playground and I’d have sudocrem straight on that graze, I got sunburn, a rash, a bite.. always Sudocrem. It didn’t fail me when it came to spots either. I’d pop a bit on each spot before I went to bed at night and it would always be half the size and half as red the next morning. However, I will warn, don’t just slather it over your entire face because that will 100% dry your skin out. Even when I was pore spot than clear skin, I’d sit and dot each individual spot – a bit time consuming but by far worth the work.

Boots also do an amazing range of witch hazel and tea tree products that are kind of drying, but in moderation really do the trick. I also found that their back spray is fantastic for spots on your back and chest – I still use it when I get occasional flare ups on my chest and it zaps the lot in a few days so I would 150% recommend that stuff. It’s really cheap too!

Lastly, if you want a hardcore moisturiser that won’t double your spots, Nivea is the way to go. Their everyday oil-free moisturiser isn’t too greasy and won’t make your skin worse at all. You can also get aloe vera moisturisers – like the gel but extra moisturising. Tesco do their own aloe vera moisturiser with a minimum added extras and it’s really great for your skin. I used to slather layer after layer of these two moisturisers on when my skin was super dry, and they always made a huge difference within 24 hours.

I thought I’d also mention some home remedies that I thought made a difference. I tried just about everything from rubbing potatoes on my skin to slathering it in honey – I hope that’s given you a good image of me. There were two things though that I thought really helped, salt water and avocado. I found that Avocado mixed with just a tiny bit of antibacterial honey and milk was a good moisturising face pack. Salt water was also good for healing my skin – just don’t over too it, once a week is plenty, you don’t want to dry it out.

Don’t get caught up my brands with lots of celebs shouting their name – they’ve been paid to love them. I tried lots of popular brands like freederm and Proactiv, but in the end found that the best products were the more natural and less heard of ones.

I really hope this helps anyone out their suffering from acne and you can skip straight to using the products that actually are worth buying. If you know of any great products for spots, let me and other readers know in the comments! Thanks for reading – feel free to check out my previous post ‘LaLaLab – polaroids to your door‘ and use my £5 discount code! Or you can find me over on my Twitter and Instagram!

LaLaLab – polaroids from your phone to your door

LaLaLab – polaroids from your phone to your door

I was recently lucky enough to get sent a bunch of gorgeous prints from LaLaLab, and I’m in love! LaLaLab is such an easy and fab idea – you can download their app on to your phone and upload your pictures straight from your camera roll to the app and get them posted to you! They do so many different types of prints, from your average 10x13cm sized prints, to huge 20x20cm prints and cute little polaroids.

I’m personally a big polaroid lover and at just 33 pence per polaroid, you can go all out and order loads. You can get really creative with polaroids and do all sorts with them. I like to put mine on display, I put a bunch on my memory board (click here to read my blog post on how I made my DIY marble memory board) and I clipped some to some fairy lights over my bed. You could also get scrap booking if you fancy a new hobby and something cute to look back on.

It’s so easy to use, takes two minutes and is really inexpensive. Why spend the money on a polaroid camera when you can just use your phone?

Even better, I have a discount code for you so that you can get your polaroids for even cheaper! If you enter the code ‘PGS943SK’ when you sign up, you can get £5 off your first order. You can’t really say no to that?

In addition to prints, LaLaLab also sells photo books, canvases, magnets, postcards, phone cases and frames for your pictures. Go check out their website here or download their app to your phone to start printing your pics!

Let me know in the comments what you like to do with your pics; do you scrap book them or put them up on the wall? Or are you more of a send-a-picture-in-a-card kind of person? Let me know! If you get yourself some, be sure to share them on Instagram and Twitter tagging @emmachxrlotte_ and @lalalab_app!

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this blog post, why not check out my previous post ‘favourite five shoes’? Alternatively, you can go stalk my Twitter and Instagram. Look out for a post tomorrow about my latest foundation adventure – this one is a good one!

Favourite five shoes!

Favourite five shoes!

I love doing this ‘favourite five’ posts, and they always seem to go down fairly well, so today I thought I’d do a ‘favourite five shoes’ post. I’m definitely more of a shoes kind of girl than a bag girl, in fact I’ve been using the same bag for two years now but I buy new shoes every week. It’s fair to say I’ve built up a pretty solid collection of shoes, so here is my current favourite five!

mules shoes

At the top right now would have to be my black suede-look mules. Not very summer-y I know, and in fact not so long ago I thought mules looked ridiculous, but now I’m obsessed. I actually got these from Primark for just £10 – which they totally don’t look. Although they don’t look all that summer-y, they’re nice to wear when it’s warm as they let your feet breathe a little. They’re perfect for wearing to work as the heel is only a couple of inches, so they aren’t uncomfortable at all.

Old Skool vans shoes

Next up would have to be my Old Skool black and white vans. I’ve mentioned these before in a previous favourites post and I’m still absolutely obsessed. They’re just the comfiest to wear and I don’t even know, I just love them. I got them from Schuh for £55, and although they’re not cheap, I think they’re 100% worth the money.

ASOS shoes

 

Also in my favourite five, are these beauties. Again, I mentioned these in a previous favourites and they are still firm favourites. I got these from ASOS for just £25 and they’re just so pretty and again are fab for wearing to work or going out.

converse shoes

I couldn’t write about my favourite shoes and not include a pair of Converse, right? My all black (are you seeing a re-occurring theme here with the colour???) hi-top converse. I bloody love these, these have been my go-to shoes for years. Converse are always such good quality for money and are comfy and sturdy. I can’t remember for the life of me where I got mine back in 2013 but you know where you can get Converse anyway.

loafer shoes

Lastly, another black pair of shoes, my new loafers. These are suede-looking again and were just £25 from Boohoo. I have tried so many loafers over the past few months but couldn’t find any that weren’t really stiff and wouldn’t rub on my feet, but I finally tried these. They are still a little on the stiff side I admit – I spent a day walking around the NEC and did get blisters, however, they were by far a hell of a lot better than all the others I tried.

So those are my favourite five pairs of shoes and as you can probably tell, I’m really colourful and love to experiment with the colour of my shoes.

What is your favourite pair of shoes at the moment? Or even better, what is your favourite black pair of shoes? Let me know in the comments, I can always be persuaded to buy more shoes so give me some to go buy!

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, why not check out my previous post ‘To Be Read – June‘ or even go stalk my Twitter or Instagram! Make sure you pop your email in the subscribe box to the right so you get a notification when my next post goes up. I’m going to be putting up a post tomorrow all about LaLaLab and their fab prints!

 

To be read – June

To be read – June

I actually can’t believe I’m writing TBR June (even if we are almost half way now).. I swear it’s still January? This means I’ve been blogging for six months this month, it’s mad!

However, I’ve been seriously slacking on my reading and my book-related posts recently – I’ve been spending more time watching Youtube videos and Netflix and less time reading, but I’m going to fix that this month (with the exception of Orange is the New Black obviously).

You may have seen me mention in my May Favourites that I was loving finally reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I loved it that much that I’m currently on the second book, Walking Disaster. The book is your typical good girl meets bad boy kind of book but with lots of drama – and I love a bit of drama. However, the second book covers the same period of time as the first book, but it’s all from Travis’ point of view, as opposed to Abby’s. I really love it when books do this. I find the book really hard to follow if the POVs keep switching within the book, so actually having two separate books is a much better idea. It sounds kind of boring and repetitive, but actually seeing it from a different POV makes a whole other story. If you like a romance, this is definitely a book/series you should check out – especially if your in your late teens/early twenties, as it’s probably more relatable.

Also on my TBR for June are Morgan Matson’s books. I’ve just bought Since You’ve Been Gone, after wanting to buy it for ages (in fact I think it was on my March TBR). I’ve been kind of hoping the price would go down as it’s £8, but I caved this morning and bought it in Waterstones. It’s a YA book that sounds strangely similar to Paper Towns. The book is about to best friends and how when one of them (Sloane) goes missing and leaves behind a to-do-list that can supposedly bring back Sloane, wallflower Emily begins to follow the to-do-list.

I also really want to read The Unexpected Everything, by Morgan, this month. I’ve heard some fab things about this book and it was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction, so it can’t be bad. It also has dogs on the front cover – a deciding factor, of course. It basically follows a girl, Andie, who seems to have an ideal and perfectly planned out life, but things don’t end up going to plan one summer and she ends up doing things she never would’ve even thought about before – including becoming a dog walker.

So this month I plan to finish Walking Disaster, and read the third book in the series, Beautiful Wedding (oops spoiler), followed by Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything!

What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments – I’m always grateful for book recommendations! Also, let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them! Thanks for reading!

If you can’t get enough of me, you can read my previous post, Teeth Whitening – products that really work. Or go stalk my Twitter and Instagram!

Teeth Whitening – products that really work

Teeth Whitening – products that really work

I’ve recently been on a bit of a mission to get my teeth looking really white. But teeth whitening at the dentist is bloody expensive – I believe it’s around £400-£600 in the UK, which is a lot. So, over the past few months I’ve tried a few affordable products that are available in England and tested them out so you guys can skip straight to the ones that really work.

However, I’ll just say that – I wouldn’t describe my teeth as particularly stained or discoloured, so how the products worked on my teeth might be different to yours.

Blanx white shock tooth paste

It recommends on the box that this tooth paste is used twice a day for four weeks – which I did. The paste supposedly reacts to light and brightens teeth when exposed to light. It is non-abrasive and contains no bleach. After using the toothpaste for three weeks, I did have a couple of people tell me that my teeth were looking pretty white and although they weren’t white-white, they looked pretty stain free after using Blanx white shock.

The toothpaste cost me £5, which is a pretty average price in the way out whitening toothpastes, so I felt pretty neutral about the price really. I used the toothpaste with my regular toothbrush. Although the paste seemed to lighten my teeth, I never felt like my mouth was very fresh and and clean like I would with a regular tooth paste. It seemed to whiten them a little though, although it definitely wasn’t a ‘white shock’. I’d say that for the price, the tooth paste is definitely worth a try – especially if you’ve got quite stained teeth.

Colgate max white expert white toothbrush and whitening pen

I was kind of hesitant to try this brush and pen as it cost £10.50 which seems like a lot for what it is, especially as I wasn’t convinced that the toothbrush would do anything special. In hindsight, I feel like the toothbrush probably was a good brush as it has ‘polishing bristles’ and ‘stain removers’, which are basically little bits of rubber that feel really weird against your teeth. However, I will say that when I’d brushed my teeth with the brush they felt exceptionally clean and smooth – kind of like they do when you’ve been to the dentist and had a good clean.

The pen itself is kind of a weird concept as you put the gel on and then don’t rinse it off. So the first few times I used it I kind of just awkwardly walked around for half an hour smiling, not sure when to close my mouth and let it wash off in my mouth. I also was unsure about swallowing it, but it must be safe for them to tell you specifically not to wash it off right? It does contain hydrogen peroxide though, but only contains 0.1%. Although, I guess that’s also a good sign that it can’t have any harsh chemicals in that are ruining your teeth, on the bright side.

I’d say after I’d use the pen for about a week I could definitely see a difference. My teeth looked shinier and brighter and they constantly felt super smooth and clean. I feel like this made a difference. I used them for the recommended three weeks and by the end I’d definitely say there was a noticeable difference – definitely not the bright white on the models in the advert though, but I knew that wouldn’t happen. I feel like the difference the Colgate brush and pen made were more noticeable than the Blanx White Shock toothpaste. The only down side is that when the gel is on your teeth, they feel awfully furry and unclean – but I reckon the furriness is worth it.

Pearl Drops instant natural white toothpaste

The Pearl Drops toothpaste is actually meant to be £7 – which is really expensive for a toothpaste – but I managed to get it from B&M Bargains for £1.99 so figured I may as well try it for that price. The toothpaste promises “instantly whiter teeth after just one week’, and after using it for four weeks, I would say my teeth looked really clean and had that kind of sparkle to them that you get after a good five minutes of scrubbing, flossing and mouth washing. However, I don’t think it did anything for the colour of my teeth.

Similar to the Blanx toothpaste, it didn’t leave my mouth feeling minty fresh like regular toothpastes do, but my teeth did feel pretty clean. If you can get it from B&M like I did, I’d say it’s worth trying. However, I don’t think I’d pay the full £7 for it – I just don’t think it’s worth that.

Overall, if I was going to purchase any of these again, it’d definitely be the Colgate brush and pen. It was the only product that I noticed a significant difference with, and although it was the most expensive out of the three products, you do get a toothbrush out of it.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any products that you think really worked so that I can give them a go! Also let me know if you try any of these or already have, I’d love to know what you think of them.

Thanks for reading and make sure you subscribe to my blog by popping your email in the subscription box to your right so you get notified when I put up my next post! I’m putting up my room tour post tomorrow, so make sure you come back and check it out! In the meantime, why not check out my last post ‘Boosting your domain authority’ or connect with my on Twitter or Instagram?