Sunburn?…

Beauty Health

Yep this is me…

We have heard it all of our lives… “make sure you put some sun cream on!” And I actually did… Factor 30… but obviously that wasn’t enough.

When it comes to sensitive skin and especially acne it is really important to make sure your skin stays hydrated and doesn’t get irritated by your products and even more importantly, that it is PROTECTED from the sun!

Having sunburn with acne…

I’m not going to lie, my sunburn has really hurt this past week. It started off fine, then it was tender to touch and then it peeled, you get the jist… but what has made it worse is that my acne has dried up and become tight. Hopeful now (I know) because finally, yes, my acne has dried up.

But what comes with drying up?

Over oil production and excess dead skin cells. And what is that going to lead to? More acne…

Is the sun really good for acne?

A short answer is no…

The sun has amazing benefits that we need for our bodies and mood, but only in moderation.

It may take a few weeks to notice that the sun is worsening your acne because of the skin renewal process. Straight away your skin may in fact clear up, similar to mine because I have literally burnt my acne to a crisp, but after that, in a few weeks, my acne will most probably come back fighting.

How to sunbathe with acne..

Well this one is just common sense. Do what you know suits your skin best because everyones skin is different!

I always personally like to have clean and exfoliated skin before sunbathing as this lessens the chance of clogged pores.

Make sure your clothing is breathable whilst or after sunbathing so you don’t accumulate sweat in certain parts such as, the bra strap on your back or eyebrows and forehead when wearing a hat/headband.

Always shower after sunbathing as this will wash off any sweat you have produced and clean the skin from any left over suncream.

But undoubtably the main priority is to wear suncream!

Suncream protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays which doesn’t just stop you from burning, but it also prevents skin damage, ageing and skin cancer.

Choose the correct suncream

Try and find a suncream that is oil free and made with natural ingredients. You don’t want to be clogging your pores all day whilst sweating in the sun because that is just going to bring disaster to your skin.

My personal favourite is the Ultrasun Professional Protection brand! It is very moisturising, effective (obviously with the correct SPF) and contains no emulsifiers or preservatives.

This brand also do a really good aftersun that I can really thank right now because I think without it, my skin would be A LOT worse! This too also contains no emulsifiers or preservatives and it claims to keep the skin hydrated and cooled for up to 12 hours. I’m not too sure about that one, as I guess it depends how badly you are burnt but I can vouch for it being soothing!

Aftercare of sunburn

This one can be really, really hard! Especially if you are a picker like me… #guilty

But try your hardest not to itch, irritate, scrub or pick at your skin if you are sunburnt. Whether you have acne or not…

Itching can lead to peeling and so if you want a prolonged tan or less peeling try and be as gentle with your skin as possible!

If you do peel.. don’t pick! Ripping the edges of skin off that are hanging is fine as that skin was ready to fall off anyway. But peeling the skin off is the worst thing you can do because the skin underneath wasn’t ready yet and so you will be left with patches and sensitive skin and I can tell ya, it hurts!

Wait at least 5-7 days to gently exfoliate. Only use a sponge of shower loofah as exfoliants with grains will irritate the new skin underneath and will be too harsh.

Moisturise daily! Twice, three times a day, heck four if you have the time! Just keep that skin moisturised and hydrated to avoid tight skin, less peeling and reduction in burns.

I think I have definitely learnt my lesson 🙂

Kara Olivia Beauty X

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Hormones and acne

Beauty Health

I have suffered with acne for 2-3 years now. It has its worst and best times and it seems to change throughout the month. At first I thought my acne was product related but I have only recently figured out that my acne is mainly down to internal factors.

I put down the products that claim to ‘fix’ acne and focused more on what was actually happening in my body. I am still on the journey but in the past 6 months I have seen the most dramatic change in my skin and it is only continuing to get better! (yay)

Acne is caused by 3 main things:

Hormones, Diet and YOUR Environment.

Everything that comes in to contact with your skin can either replenish it or damage it. Pollution and UV exposure can dramatically damage the skin and age it.

Ingredients in some products can irritate and inflame the skin which can cause redness. But some products can also clog the pores resulting in your skin swelling up and breaking out.

So Is it hormone related?

Hormones contribute to the oil/bacteria growth in the skin. If your glands are producing too much oil then your pores are going to become clogged and infected.

I figured out my acne was hormone related by monitoring when my acne was worst through out the month and using a menstrual cycle app to log when I was breaking out and comparing that to what cycle I was on during the month, such as ‘my time of the week’ or ‘during ovulation’.

I did this because different hormones are released throughout your monthly cycle, so it helped me pin point which hormones it could be.

For me, I would break out the most just before my period (tmi) and my acne would only show in certain places such as my chin and cheeks. This might not be the case for everyone as everyone’s skin and hormones are completely different.

If you are finding it hard to monitor your acne, looking at the Chinese traditional face map can give you a rough idea as to why you could be breaking out. It is helpful to some degree, but it isn’t always accurate, however it did give me confidence that yes, hormones are causing my acne because of the areas on my face where I was breaking out. (Along with my diet which I have also realised is a big factor).

What hormones do what?

Hormones effect our skin in many ways:

Estrogen –

This hormone, if in the right dose can control oil production and help clean the pores. The positives are that estrogen helps to produce collagen and proteins to keep the skin looking young.

Too much Estrogen can cause over cleansing of the pores which can leave your skin dry resulting in an excess oil production to compensate.

Too little Estrogen can make your pores MORE oily as the skin cells don’t have their daily dose to clean and exfoliate the pores.

Testosterone –

This hormone is created in small doses in woman as it is a dominant male hormone. We don’t use it in the same way that men do, however it does help with keeping pores elasticated and moisturised.

Normal levels of testosterone will help keep skin supple and moisturised by creating oil in the hair follicles of your pores.

Too much testosterone can lead to excess sebum being created in the pores which leads to infections and bacteria build up.

DHT is a testosterone hormone which is very sensitive to insulin and so if your blood sugar levels are high, the oil gland receptors will create too much oil! This can lead to oily skin and blocked pores.

Progesterone –

Progesterone lowers the male hormone Testosterone and similar androgens by inhibiting the enzyme 5 – alpha reductase which keeps the balance in check and lowers sebum/oil creation. It also lowers inflammation in the body which is great for redness on the skin.

Too much Progesterone can cause swelling in the skin and force the pores shut.  This will trap any sebum, dirt and bacteria inside the pores causing inflammation and acne.

Too little Progesterone can prevent the testosterone hormone to be inhibited which will lead to oily skin and sebum filled pores.

How do you pin point which hormone?

During your menstruation (flow week) -Estrogen starts off at its lowest point and rises throughout the week. It will give you a good feeling of self confidence and happiness but because the fall of Estrogen was so big before this stage, your body could be feeling run down and more susceptible of infection.

Progesterone also drops in this week so you may be more susceptible to breakouts and oily skin because your testosterone levels are higher.

During this time if you are experiencing breakouts, it could be because of your Estrogen or Testosterone levels.

Before ovulation

Estrogen continues to rise as well as your testosterone levels. You may feel great during this week but if you are breaking out it may be the same case as it is during your flow week where your testosterone/DHT or Estrogen levels are too high and very little progesterone is produced.

During ovulation

At this point, your progesterone levels rise which gets the body ready for the release of the egg. You may feel quite down and post PMS during this week because your estrogen also drops slightly again before rising back up at the end of the week.

Testosterone also falls during this week which may in turn clear your skin up. If this is the case – then Testosterone may be the cause of your acne breakouts.

When progesterone rises it blocks the Estrogen hormone and helps heal the body of inflammation.

Before menstruation/ After Ovulation

Estrogen drops again in this week, sometimes leaving you very sad, unmotivated, bloated and irritated. Your progesterone also falls during this week and your testosterone should also be back to the low level by now. Because of the decrease in Estrogen and Testosterone in this week, collagen production is a lot lower than usual and so youthful, clear skin could be a bit too much to ask for. This is a great week to eat healthily, take suppliants such as Omega’s and Pro Biotics and maybe do the odd organic face mask and exfoliation to get that glowing skin back!

Supplements for hormones –

Botanycl Skinclear Elixir – These are 100% vegan and organic plant based supplements which are carefully blended to help with hormonal breakouts.

– I have been using Botanycl for 4 months now and can definitely say they are making a huge improvement, not only to my skin but ALSO to my menstrual cycle! (Which for 2 years had never been in a set routine UNTIL NOW).

Evening Primrose – These are probably the most talked about hormonal supplement because they contain Omega 6 fatty acids and are cheap and easily accessible.

They help to soothe period cramps, mood swings and irregular periods because it fills the body with “Prostaglandis” which is a fake but natural hormone.

It also contains essential fatty acids which your body doesn’t create naturally. Essential fatty acids are in some foods and can help with the clearness of your skin, stronger nails and shiny hair.

Omega’s such as 3 and 6 are really good at helping the effects your hormones might have on the skin.

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid formally known as ‘fish oil’. It helps reduce inflammation on the skin and works in the epidermis layer (the top layer of skin) to retain moisture.

Omega 6 is another essential fatty acid that is commonly found in vegetables and eggs. It can help with period cramping and pain as it has the same Prostaglandins that Evening Primrose Oil has.

Vitamin B goes from 1 to 12 and each one has different benefits.

But the main ones that are good for acne and hormonal balances are:

B2 helps to increase your energy levels during your period so you can feel more awake and this in turn boosts your mood!

B3 also helps to boost energy on or off your period and can help with fatigue which again will boost your mood and hopefully make you feel the best you can. B3 is also known as Niacin which helps the skin on the epidermis level to reduce and improve rosacea, acne, eczema, dermatitis, hyper pigmentation, sun damage, ageing and dry skin. So this vitamin is a win win!

B5 is a great stress reducer! Acne has been proven to be an occurrence from stress due to the amount of hormonal imbalances and toxin build ups it causes. But B5 works by lowering the amount of cortisol produced and allows you to sail through the month stress free.

B6 is a great hormone balancer, so whether you feel you have too much testosterone or too little estrogen, it can help with restoring the natural balance. B6 is also great for helping with cravings… which I can personally say is my downfall!

B9 also helps to regulate hormones to help with pms mood swings. It can also help with sleep patterns by allowing the correct hormones to work at the right time each day.

B12 is the common B vitamin that helps with fatigue and energy. Similar to B2 and B3 this little vitamin can make you feel more awake and less pms during your period.

Pro Biotics and Oil of Oregano are two natural substances that can help with the bacteria in your gut. Although not hormone related, they can aid by restoring your gut after damage from hormones, diet and toxins.

Pro Biotics help to add more good bacteria in your gut creating a barrier of soldiers against the bad bacteria.

But if you have too much bad bacteria this may be really hard to overcome…

Oil of Oregano helps to kill the bad bacteria in your gut so using both together is going to be really good for both your body and skin.

They are both antimicrobial and anti fungal.

Magnesium can help with skin inflammation and if you are lacking in this vitamin your skin and pores could be red and tender and prone to spots. However, if taken with vitamin C this can cause more inflammation so stay away from doubling up!

Zinc is great for also reducing inflammation on the skin and if you are deficient in Zinc then redness on the skin is a big sign. However, when taking Zinc you must be sure to also intake Copper too, whether that be through food or supplements because Zinc and Copper work hand in hand and must be balanced.

Finally.. Vitamin A is amazing for detoxifying the liver of all of hormone build ups. If you have too many toxins or hormones in your liver, they will try to get out of the body any way possible and the most common place is by the pores which can create a build up of sebum and inflammation. So taking Vitamin A to detoxify them before they get to this stage can result in clearer skin!

Natural Tea

Green teas and other natural flavoured teas are slowly rising in popularity after more and more people are becoming aware of their amazing benefits!

Some of the best teas for hormonal imbalances and acne are:

Nettle Tea: This tea is really addictive. It has a very smooth finish and instantly makes you feel good! But the best thing about Nettle Tea is that it is a DHT blocker meaning it can reduce the amount of sebum that is produced from the hormone testosterone. This can lead to less oily skin and even less acne!!

Green Tea: Green tea is just great for so many things but I personally love its benefits of detoxifying the body!

Your liver is the organ which detoxifies and filters out all of the bad toxins from your body! If it is over run and over worked it might not do the best it can. Green tea helps in aiding the liver to filter out the toxins when you go to the toilet, this also includes used or excess hormones.

Tulsi Tea: This tea isn’t just tasty! It is great for naturally balancing hormones and inhibiting testosterone. It can help the with over production of sebum and also enlarged pores.

Spearmint Tea: Spearmint tea is different to peppermint but taste very similar. The reason why Spearmint tea is amazing is because like Nettle and Tulsi tea it works against DHT which is the testosterone androgen which create sebum and oil. The more you can block and inhibit the less oily and blocked your pores will become resulting in a lovely, clear complexion.

Liquorice Tea: Liquorice can have its benefits and negatives. But one benefit of this tea is the ability to smooth skin and help with anti ageing. It doesn’t work for everyone but it’s well worth a try as it can help clear up your skin and leave it silky soft.

Dandelion Root Tea: Different to Dandelion Leaf, this tea comes from the root of the common garden weed. But it isn’t a tea you’ll want to get rid of!

It works in similar ways to Green tea in respects to it detoxifying the liver but it can also detoxify the kidneys too. If your blood is clean, it means your skin can stay healthy and clear. Dandelion Root is also high in Vitamins A, B, C and D as well as iron, potassium and Zinc, however you would have to either drink a lot of this tea or eat to get the full nutrients.

Kara Olivia Beauty X

Meraki 100% Pure Oil

Beauty Health

I have been using the Meraki Oil now for around a month to remove my makeup. I originally bought it for its other great purposes of helping with dry hair and dried skin around my knees and elbows… Although my hair is usually quite oily anyway and so using this didn’t really help.

Heaven behold though this oil is amazing for the skin!

Some ingredients are: Almond Oil, Sesame Oil and Argon Oil. All of which are 100% organic and natural.

The smell of this oil is so nice! It’s very natural and clean and has a hint of orange. But the amazing thing is that this oil is 100% pure organic and is perfume, paraben and silicone FREE!

My results:

As you all may know I suffer from acne, acne scars, puffiness, dry and oily skin and also hyper-pigmentation. But this oil doesn’t seem to irritate or make anything worse. In face it makes it better!…

It just removes my makeup really gently by literally MELTING it off my face and leaves my skin feeling plump, soft and clean.

I always go in afterwards with my Lush Coalface soap to remove any extras but for removing makeup and morning time cleanses this stuff is perfect!

Since switching to this oil, my face is less sore from the acne and is also more even toned. I find it helps with the hyper pigmentation and inflammation on my skin really well!

It instantly moisturises dry areas whilst not enhancing my oily areas… I don’t know how? It is literally magic!

Benefits…

The Meraki Pure oil can be used on the body, hair and face. It removes makeup without tugging on the skin and leaves your face feeling very moisturised and soft! Which is perfect because I hate having tight, dry skin after washing.

I have also used this on my legs after shaving and it has left my legs not only feeling silky soft, but has elongated my silky soft stage before getting to the dry prickly stage a few days later!

Then you can also use this on your hair for dry ends. I personally don’t like to do this though as I have quite oily hair as it is, my hair just dries out when it needs a trim and so for me this didn’t work without leaving my hair feeling greasy a few hours later.

However, and I have yet to try this out… but I bet this oil would work great as a scalp conditioning mask! Oh yeah….. I’ll keep you updated.

Ingredients for the skin

Almond Oil is loaded with Vitamin A and so is great for the skin and also for acne! It is soft and gentle for even sensitive skin and can help clean debris from the pores.

Sesame Oil is rich in essential fatty acids and has anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties. It is also rich in antioxidants and helps keep the skin soft.

Argon Oil is high in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids! It is great for hydrating, moisturising and softening the skin whilst also being non greasy so it can absorb straight into the skin!

Where to buy?

I bought this oil in a shopping centre in Iceland, Reykjavik in January 2018. I saw it and thought “I need a good hair oil”! I couldn’t even tell you what shop it was but I bought it for around £40. I have now recently found the Meraki website and found they have a whole range of body, hair and skin care that I am dying to try!! The pure oil is £21 (so a lot cheaper than for what I bought it for) and so I will definitely be repurchasing! Have a look: http://uk.merakishop.dk Kara Olivia Beauty X

Lush Coalface Soap

Beauty Health

I have been using Lush products for a while now. They are Vegan and Cruelty free and are just made with such amazing ingredients!

Recently I have been changing up my cleansing routine to help cater my acne, so I have been using this Lush Coalface soap for over a month now and I love it.

It’s main ingredients are Rosewood oil, Sandalwood Oil and Liquorice Root.

-Rosewood oil has great antiseptic properties which is perfect for acne and acne prone skin to help kill any bacteria on your face.

-Sandalwood oil is soothing to the skin to help with irritation.

-Liquorice Root is moisturising which helps to lock in any moisture to aid with plump, hydrated skin.

I bought the soap in a cake slice shape and so when I got home I chopped the soap up into rectangles and then squares so I was only using a palm size piece of soap at a time. This made it easier for me to take with me in a tin wherever I went and also helped keep the soap clean.

(Ps. Taking soap in a tin to the gym is revolutionary)

My Routine

I started using the soap in the morning for the first few days, but after seeing some of the amazing effects it had on my skin I decided to use at night time too after I had removed my makeup. Using twice a day has had its benefits and negatives. Benefit 1. I constantly feel like my face is super clean, which is sometimes hard when you have acne because your always aware that there is bacteria on your skin. So this soap becomes addictive!Benefit 2. In the first week the cystic spots that had appeared on my chin shrunk in size and almost dried up to then disappearing a week later! Benefit 3. This soap has tiny charcoal powder and so can also work as a great exfoliant which I find really useful for any acne peeling I may have. However…Negative 1. I have experienced dehydrated almost like skin since using twice a day. My skin feels too clean and sometimes is really tight. Negative 2. Since using, my face has experienced more texture than usual. Probably due to my skin being dry. I find I need to slather on a lot of moisturiser afterwards (which can sometimes lead to breakouts).

Overall thoughts

So for an overall review I would definitely purchase again! I think for it’s main purpose in which I bought it for, it has worked really well. My acne is less and less everyday and I have confidence knowing my skin is clean and bacteria free. To combat the dry skin issue I am going to try using it only once a day from now on and maybe keep it for night time use only so I can use a more a gentle, hydrating cleanser in the morning. (I’ve read the Fresh Farmacy soap is good!)Would I recommend?Hell yeah, I noticed there was only one review of this soap on the Lush website and I think it deserves a lot of love from acne and none acne prone users for it just being an all round, multi purpose soap! Have you tried any Lush soaps?Kara Olivia Beauty X

Botanycl Skinclear Elixir Review – Clearing my acne!

Beauty Health

Botanycl Skinclear Elixir are 100% natural, vegan supplements made with plant based ingredients to help with hormonal skin problems such as acne.

“SkinClear Elixir’s patent-pending formula combines carefully-selected botanicals proven in research and testimonials to combat oily skin and hormonal breakouts, supporting healthy and blemish-free skin.”

I first saw an advert of theirs on Instagram and I am so happy I did. I had suffered with acne for 2 years and I’m not going to lie… I still am… My skin isn’t perfect but it is a whole lot better than it was a few months ago.

Knowing whether your acne is hormonal or not can be quite tricky, face mapping isn’t always correct and other factors such as diet and external factors can be causing your acne.

However I was aware that my acne was caused through my hormones, stress and diet. I targeted the diet and stress side separately which helped a little, but I still had acne?

My menstrual cycles were also messed up which was a big indicator. I was always days, if not weeks late and never around the predicted “time of the month”. I knew that my cycle wasn’t normal and I was just hoping that one day it would balance itself out.

I asked myself so many times “why?” I had tried so many supplements and lifestyle changes and nothing was working.

I decided to purchase a bottle and try it out. It wasn’t too pricy at £24.95 and definitely worth the money.

There are 60 tablets per bottle and it is recommended to take 2 tablets a day which means it’s should last you a full month.

The bottle it comes in is also made of glass which means you can 100% recycle it 🌿

Before starting the bottle I had reverted between good and bad skin every month, a few weeks before starting my skin was at its worse…

A few days passed and I didn’t see any difference but it takes your body a week if not a month to get something fully into your system so I was persistent.

After the first week I noticed my acne had reduced a lot around my cheeks, which was amazing because this was the only section on my face that I couldn’t cure.

In the 2nd week I started to get a few spots on my chin but this was around the time of the month so I wasn’t surprised. I continued to take 2 tablets a day and after my “week” had past my skin really cleared up!

In the 3rd week, for the first time in over 2 years my whole face was acne free. All that was left were hyper pigmentation marks and scars and one spot.

In the last week of my bottle I started to get a few popping up around my jaw line but I was extremely stressed during this week, I had eaten out a few times and wasn’t getting the 8 hours of sleep I usually got so again I understood why.

When I finished my first bottle I wanted to do a self test to see if without the supplements my acne returned…

A week passed and my skin was still clear with the odd spot coming up.

Another week past and my skin was still clear but again a few spots had started to show.

Then something amazing happened… for the first time in 2 years. My menstrual cycle that month was ON TIME! Hallelujah, I was so thrilled that maybe my hormones were actually sorting themselves out?

After a month of not taking the Botanycl Skinclear Elixir my face was still pretty much clear. But I had started to pop out in a few on my cheeks and also a few around my chin. But I could finally see skin under the redness.

So I decided to purchase another bottle! Why not? This stuff is amazing!!

I am a third of the way through my 2nd bottle now within the 3 month period of starting them and I can honestly say, hands down, these things work!

Yeah sure I get the odd one now and again but the odd spot is nothing compared to the 20+ I used to have on my face at a time.

All I can say is thank you!

If you are suffering with acne like I was, late periods or messed up hormones; I would seriously recommend trying these out. Everyone’s body and skin is different but it is well worth the try!

Kara Olivia Beauty x

DIY Bleaching, fixes and tips!

Beauty Health

For all you blonde DIY bleachers out there…

I very rarely go to the hairdressers and get my hair coloured. I have done it myself for 8 years now and I must say, I’m pretty good at it…Thinking back to when I first did it myself to now, I have never had a massive ‘issue’ where my hair has turned green or fell out… Luckily… But I have come into a few problems which I have then had to fix myself.

But when there’s a will, there’s a way and if there’s a way for me to fix my hair, DIY style, I am all up for it.

I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about my hair and how much it can withstand without becoming damaged. I’m not going to lie, my hair isn’t perfect but to say that I bleach it at least 5 times a year and have done for the past 8 years it’s in pretty damn good condition.

Products I use:

I use the blue powdered bleach from Sally’s. The blue and white bleach work in the exact same way but the blue bleach, well, is obviously blue, so it makes it easier to see where you have put it on your hair.

I’ve used a range of toners depending on what type of ‘look’ I want. For instance in the winter time, I love to use the L’Oréal P01 colour charm to achieve an ashy look, however coming into Spring and summer I love to have bright, white, natural shades. So for this I use the Wella T18 White Lady toner.

Fudge purple shampoo is amazing for diminishing yellow tones, it is by far the best I have ever used and it has so much pigment and leaves your hair feeling soft and healthy.

I also use Olaplex °3  in between treatments which really helps to protect the hair from damage and helps to rebuild broken hair. I use this once every other week on damp hair and then shampoo and condition as normal.

Deep conditioners –

LondonBleach Deep conditioner – Reincarnation Mask

Alterna Caviar deep conditioner – Moisture Intense Oil Creme Deep Conditioner

Redken Deep conditioner – Extreme Strength Builder Plus

Top Tips:

Gloves – Purchasing some reusable, heavy duty gloves are better for the environment as you can re-use them and also you can choose a perfect size. For me this was a bonus because I feel like all the gloves you received with box dyes were XL and they would constantly slip off my hands.

Hair sectioning – I usually section my hair off into 6 sections: Right down the middle first then clip the top 1/3, middle 1/3 and bottom 1/3 sections on both sides.

Bleaching technique – Starting at the back, I fill in all of my roots, sectioning the hair into little bits as I go, making sure I don’t bleach over my already bleached hair or miss any out. I will move from left to right to ensure that the sections I am doing are done simultaneously. Always starting with the bottom 2 sections and making my way up.

Coconut oil – I always coat my hair where I am going to bleach in coconut oil, this helps the bleach to slide onto your hair a lot easier and also lock in moisture lessening the damage.

Ammonia toners and purple shampoo – This stuff develops QUICKLY! Always read the instructions to see the length of time suggested to keep on your hair to avoid damage and purple/grey unwanted tones. Keep checking every 5-8 minutes for desired colour.

Deep condition – Either with a deep conditioner, oil or your favourite conditioner and leave it on after you have bleached for 20 minutes or more. This will help add in moisture that was lost during the bleaching process and also help leave your hair looking shiny and soft.

Fixing the issues

Yellow hair? Don’t worry!

Bleach isn’t going to turn your hair instantly white. Bleaching can leave hair looking yellow and brassy and toner can fadeaway after a while. So I always tone my hair after bleaching which discards the brassy tones, but if I’m not still 100% satisfied (instead of going in with another toner –adding more damage) I will wash with purple shampoo.

I’d always suggest, especially if bleaching a full head to use an Ammonia toner to make sure your hair isn’t left orange/yellow.

My personal favourite purple shampoo is Fudge – This stuff is AMAZING. Honestly, a few minutes with this bad boy on your hair will get rid of any yellow tones. However, it is very strong.

Which leads me on to my next issue..

Over toned, purple, grey hair…

I do love this look, but only when I am setting out to achieve it. There has been a few times when I have desperately wanted that clean blonde, white shade and I have accidentally got the purple hair instead. Woops.

So what can you do?

Clarifying shampoo, washing up liquid

Clarifying shampoos are great at getting any gunk, or product build up out of your hair including toner and purple shampoo. My favourite is the Marc Daniels ‘First Aid for Hair In De-Tox’.

Your hair will need a good deep condition afterwards but I love leaving this on my hair for around an hour and letting the shampoo do its job. When rinsing out, you can see the gunk or purple colours washing out and it’s very satisfying.

If you don’t have a clarifying shampoo, washing up liquid is the next best option however this can be very stripping for the hair which will result in it feeling very dry. I like to mix this with shampoo and then again deep condition afterwards and the results are very similar to clarifying shampoo.

Lemons and conditioner

When I first read that lemon juice could discard grey and purple tones from the hair I didn’t actually think it would work, however I tried it when my hair was really grey and heaven behold, it worked!

This is best done within the first 48 hours of your hair being coloured.

I squeezed 2 lemons into a mixing pot and then used the same amount of conditioner, worked that into my hair and left on for 40 minutes. Some recommendations advise to leave it on the hair for 1-3 hours but 40 minutes was enough for me so I suggest to keep checking.

Baking soda and shampoo

This can also be very drying for the hair, basically anything that isn’t there to add moisture or protection will somehow, in some way damage the hair, but if you need it fixing, you need it fixing right?

Mix half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of shampoo. Work into the hair and if you can, spare the ends of your hair because this will really dry them out and cause them to split. Leave on for 20 minutes and keep checking in between. I would recommend 20 minutes and then re-doing a day or two later for another 20 minutes if it hasn’t given you the results you want.

Don’t forget to deep condition!

Bleach wash

This is the last resort for me, only if my hair is a deep blue or grey and the above methods haven’t worked will I use this method. Over bleaching can really damage your hair and once you’ve beached, you’re going to have to tone again. But if the colour is really set in there and the lemons didn’t work, this can help.

My hairdresser did this trick when I came in once with grey hair and so that’s where I realised this method worked. I then did it myself when I died my hair brown and it works like a charm.

Mix bleach and developer as normal and then add in a shampoo, preferably a silicone free one to avoid more damage.

Apply all over the hair so that the results will be even. Leave in for a maximum 30 minutes and rinse out. Bleached hair may only need 10 minutes so keep checking.

Follow by toning/purple shampooing and of course, deep conditioning.

Damaged hair

I’d always suggest booking in an appointment with your hairdresser to get your ends cut, even a small trim after bleaching as it really does take its toll on your hair. Small split ends can eventually get bigger and you will have a bigger issue further down the line.

However, if you can’t book an appointment straight away, doing a deep condition can really help restore the essential moisture, strength and shine back in your hair which it may have lost through bleaching.

DIY Hair Masks….

DIY Avocado and Honey hair mask:

1 Ripe Avocado

2-3 tbsp Manuka / Normal Honey

Optional:

2 tbsp Olive Oil

A few drops of lavender essential oil

Blend or mash up the avocado and add the honey. If you have the other ingredients, add them in and make sure it is all mixed in.

Apply to the hair, paying particular attention to the ends. Then sit back, and relax with a shower cap on for 60 minutes.

When washing out, make sure all of the mixture has left your hair and especially roots and shampoo/condition as normal.

DIY Egg Whites and Olive Oil hair mask:

2 egg whites

2-3 tbsp Olive Oil

Optional:

Baobab or Argon essential oil

Separate the egg whites from the yokes and whisk the whites together. Add in the Olive Oil and any other oils you wish. Whisk until fully mixed.

Coat as much hair as desired with the mixture and clip up. Then sit back, and relax with a shower cap on for 60 minutes.

When washing out, make sure all of the mixture has left your hair and scalp and shampoo/condition as normal.

Last tip:

After bleaching, let your hair air dry to give it a rest from all of bleaching.

Disclaimer: I am, by no means a hair dresser and I would highly suggest letting a professional do anything to your hair rather than experimenting yourself when it comes to bleach.

Kara OliviaBeauty x

10 reasons to eat more fruit

Beauty Health

Young, healthy, clear looking skin is something everyone wants right?

Well, did you know that fruit can be the main key to all of that?

The recommended amount of fruit and vegetables you should eat per day is 5. It doesn’t sound much but being able to source and prepare ways to fit it them into your daily routine is the hard part so not many people actually succeed. Me being one of them…

Fruit and vegetables are beneficial for numerous reasons. They are amazing for your body, mind and skin and are vital for normal functioning of the organs and a healthy lifestyle.

What can fruit do for your skin?

1. Berries and Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C – This helps with formation and production of Collagen in the skin which creates elasticity and a youthful appearance. It also helps heal damaged cells and protects against further damage.

2. Berries also contain Vitamin A – This promotes and encourages healthy skin cell production in the deeper layers of the skin to help keep the skin firm and healthy.

3. Most fruits contain Zinc which is amazing for boosting the immune system. It can lower inflammation in the body and so is amazing for acne or acne prone skin.

4. Many fruits also contain Antioxidants which help to protect the skin by limiting the production of free radicals which can damage the skin cells and cause signs of ageing and damage.

5. Citrus fruits and Banana’s contain a lot of fibre which helps to remove fungus and yeast infections from the body reducing inflamed acne, spots and other skin irritations. As well as flushing out toxins from your body.

6. Avocados are rich in Biotin and Vitamin B7 which both promote skin cell regeneration which leaves your skin glowing and can also speed up the healing time of acne scars.

7. Potassium found in Banana’s moisturises and hydrates the skin the skin in the deeper layers and can help with all skin types such as oily and dry by reducing the amount oil produced.

8. Apples are full of Malic Acid which promote firm, youthful skin. Our skin cells make this naturally but adding to it can promote even more amazing effects.

9. Vitamin E found in Avocados can also fight off free radicals helping your skin look and feel younger with fewer wrinkles.

10.Watermelons are great for oily or acne prone skin, they contain a huge range of vitamins such as A, C, B1 and B6 as well as Lycopene which is also a free radical inhibitor. Watermelon is made up of 92% water which can flush out toxins from the body and hydrate you at the same time.

Easy steps to incorporating fruit into your everyday life…

Organic fruit lasts longer than normal packaged fruit bought from a supermarket, sure you can buy and eat either but I find it easiest to buy in bulk knowing it is going to last me a lot longer. I like to do a big shop of fruit and veg twice a week, which comes to my first top tip…

Planning

Plan what you want to buy and what you could possibly make with what you are buying, for instance: different smoothies, snacks, desserts, breakfast toppings etc. Once you know what and when you can eat the fruit you are all good to go!

Ideas?

Still not convinced that you can fit fruit into your daily life?

At night, fill up a smoothie jug with mixed fruit and leave in the fridge, then in the morning you are all set to add some water or any liquid of your choice and blend. A smoothie made in less than 5 minutes to help with the early morning rush.

Breakfast time… This is the most important meal of the day and should also be your biggest so why not enjoy your normal breakfast and then add in a few extras. I love adding berries to my porridge, cereal or muesli. Then for a change, peanut butter and a banana on brown toast is my favourite treat.

In the morning before heading out always be sure to grab at least 3 fruit, I usually take a banana and 2 satsumas to work with me. They are a great snack to keep me going through the day and I have already ticked off 2 of my 5 a day. (2 satsumas class as 1 of your 5 a day)

Feeling peckish after tea? Or need a late night sugar snack? Why not make a fruit salad and top with your favourite topping such as ice-cream, yoghurt or just some honey (or nothing at all).

Have you ever added fruit to your lunches? I know this may sound a little strange but an avocado salad or sandwich (with other toppings and dressings) is a perfect way to incorporate healthy fruits and it is effortless.

Have I convinced you yet?

Kara Olivia Beauty X

Magnitone London Barefaced Review

Beauty Health

Where do I even start?

The Magnitude London Face Brush is a super sonic cleansing brush designed to clean pores in 60 seconds.

Does it work?

Hell yeah! Before using this product, I was very happy with just removing my makeup using Liz Earl Cleanse and Polish and then double cleansing with a soapy wash, at the minute I am using the Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Blemish Cleanser Treatment which is helping keep my acne at bay.

I honestly thought I was removing all of the dirt and makeup but I was soo wrong until I started using Magnitone.

I use the Magnitone brush after cleansing for 60 seconds, gently sweeping it across my face and low and behold, after 60 seconds, the white, soft bristles that they once were on the head have turned a grey, makeup stained colour. This product removes things that I never even imagined I had on my face!

About the product

This product is so easy to use! It is a portable, hand held device and so is easily transportable meaning you can take it everywhere you go whether that be on holiday, to a friends house or even to the gym.

It comes with a USB charging unit which you can plug in anywhere nowadays and since having from early October, I have only needed to charge it twice, which is amazing really because I have used it everyday since then to now for 1-2 minutes a day.

The heads are interchangeable and easily removed, you can buy a wide range of different brush heads to suit your needs on the Magnitude London website.

The pack I bought came with 3 heads in total. 2 Active Clean heads and also the Stimulator head. Each head lasts up to 3 months but it is then advised to buy a new one for hygiene and effectiveness purposes. However, saying this, it isn’t one of those gimmicks where you spend £100 thinking you have the whole package for life but then find out you then need to spend another £100 just to keep using it! Oh no, these heads are usually less than £20 and you get 2 in every pack. Which means you would only spend £40 a year which is 0.1p per day. Pretty great for amazing skin right?

I started off with the brush head provided (The Active Cleanse) for the first 2 months until I decided to buy the Soft and Sensitive brush head as I thought this would be a lot more soothing for my acne, so if you do have sensitive skin this is the head to buy!

How to use

Going back to how easy this product is to use, I love how simple yet effective it is. There are 2 modes on the device witch you operate via one button on the front. The normal sonic setting and then a stimulating setting.

When on the desired setting the device will beep every 20 seconds and automatically turn itself off after 60. This encourages you to work on 3 areas of your face for 20 seconds, reducing any damage that may be caused from over cleaning/scrubbing.

I usually wet the brush head first, lather up my soap in my hands and spread across my entire face. Turn on the sonic mode and gently focus on my cheeks, the sides of nose and chin for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side of my face and then for the last 20 seconds I focus on my T zone and forehead.

Then I rinse the excess soap of my face and pat dry.

Finally, I remove the brush head, rinse under warm water and leave on a towel over night to dry. It really is that simple!

You instantly get amazing results just from 60 seconds of effortless cleansing.

Twice a week I then use the Stimulating brush which I use after the sonic cleanse with my favourite night moisturiser. It is advised to apply a generous amount to the face without rubbing in too much so the brush glides easily over the skin.

I use in the same way as cleansing, 20 seconds in each section, but use upward motions to help reduce any muscle tension I may have or fine line appearances (yes I am only 21 but I frown and smile a lot)!

My skin is left baby smooth every time and is also super clean.

My results

I have been wanting to do this review for a while but I have wanted to fully test out the product and do a few trial and errors with it first before I made my judgment and told all you lovely people how much I love it.

The thing I love the most is seeing how much makeup and dirt comes off my face even after I have already cleansed. It’s actually disgusting but so satisfying at the same time!!

I have acne and acne scars on my face and I can honestly say that since using this my acne has reduced massively, which I can only assume is due to having clean and unclogged pores, and my scars have faded dramatically too.

It has been 4 months since I purchased this and don’t get me wrong, I do still have acne and acne scars but the difference this has made to my skin is amazing.

I went 4 days without using this brush and only then did I realise how much it was actually helping my skin because my acne started to flare up again and I came out in a few white heads as well as sore red spots under the skin.

So.. My conclusion is that it’s safe to safe I will be using this brush for the rest of my life because I do genuinely believe it is making a difference and I don’t see how I ever lived without it.

Kara Olivia Beauty X

Stressing over acne…

Beauty Health

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog.

Believe me I’ve tried but nothing I wrote seemed good enough… For the past month I have been on a very stressful, emotional rollercoaster and the main cause was my skin.

It has been a very long time since I let my skin take over my life and I promised my self last time that I would never let it happen again. Although, here I am, promising myself yet again.

I will not let my skin:

1. Stop me from wanting to leave the house

2. Stop me from wanting to be happy

3. Stress me out

4. Un motivate me

5. Make me feel like I haven’t tried hard enough

6. Make me upset

7. Effect my relationships

8. Make me feel worthless

9. Stop me from feeling pretty

And lastly, the most important one…

10. Make me feel like I am not good enough

For those reading who have ever felt any of the above because of your appearance, I completely understand why, and so many people do too!

It took me a while to realise that I wasn’t alone and my skin doesn’t define who I am.

But once I did realise, I stopped stressing, I stopped worrying and my motivation came back.

I became happier and as a result from not stressing, what do you know… my skin cleared up!

Lesson learned – Stress can effect every aspect of your life, don’t let it take over and win. It is a vicious circle and the more you stress the more you will have to stress about. Is it really worth it?

Smile, have a laugh, get some good sleep, have a good cry and get back up on your feet and stand tall! 🌸

100 Days Dairy Free! Has it helped my acne?

Beauty Health

Wednesday 17th January marked 100 days of being dairy and meat free!!!

I made it! (With a few cheats) but let’s not dwell on the cheesecake or ice cream… (it was really a one off).

The biggest question is: Has it helped?

Yes! It’s really helped! It hasn’t completely got rid of my acne but it has lessened the amount of acne patches I get which now is usually the odd one two around my “week”.

I feel less bloated, more energetic and most importantly… clearer!

As I’ve mentioned before – dairy products contain chemicals and hormones that can inflame and worsen acne. It doesn’t necessarily cause acne but it can make it considerably worse!

What I’ve been substituting

So believe it or not, I actually found going dairy and meat free quite easy. Instead of milk I drank almond or coconut milk which are both rich in vitamins and calcium, I have experimented with a few cheeses from the “Free From” range along with some of their branded yoghurts, chocolate and ice creams. (Which, can I just say are better than normal dairy foods!)

I have been eating a lot of vegetables and fruit to balance out my vitamins and vegan Quorn for my protein substitutes.

I have also been taking daily vitamins to make sure I am not missing out anything important.

The next big question: Am I going to keep it up?

100% yes! Why wouldn’t I? The results are amazing. I enjoy the food I am making and eating and my body feels all round healthier for the switch.

Like I said I have had a few cheats mainly around Christmas which was a sweet tooth kind of mistake but after finding Dairy free ice cream, chocolate AND cheesecake my life felt complete!

I no longer say “I can’t have that” I now say “I don’t want that” which is a huge change in my life for the better!

If you are suffering from acne or breakouts I would definitely recommend doing your research on some substitute foods you could eat, find recipes and rack up your knowledge on all of the vitamins and good stuff you will still need to have in other forms of food and cut out dairy! Even if it’s for a week I promise you will see a difference!

The next challenge

Because who doesn’t like a good challenge? 😉

I am going to cut out 80% of refined sugar out of my diet. The difference between refined and unrefined is that the unrefined sugar is sugar found in its natural state, such as in fruit. But refined sugars have been chemically modified and the body breaks them down differently.

The reason for me cutting out refined sugars is because my acne is also linked to my hormones. When your insulin levels are high, your hormones are effected and androgenise hormones peak such as testosterone. This causes the hormone DHT (testosterone) to create excess sebum in the pores which lead to cystic acne, clogged pores and Black heads.

Sugar also contributes to oily skin (because of the excess DHT) so cutting this out should hopefully help my skin A LOT.

I really hope this last step helps me and I will obviously keep you all updated along the way!

Just a little journey snapshot…<

still get the odd one or two blemishes on my chin or cheeks and my scars are still prominent. The redness in my scars and blemishes hasn’t decreased really but the acne itself has. The texture of my skin is a lot smoother and I am so happy with the results!

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