Friday, 5 February 2016

The Skin Diaries #2

She's So Lucy Skin Diaries Oily Hormonal Acne Skincare Spots Blemishes Cure Diet Sugar Dairy Low Carb Blogger Review

Well crikey, it feels like just yesterday I was introducing The Skin Diaries to you! Well, weirdly, a LOT has happened in the space of a month with my skin and I've certainly learnt a great deal already.

Skincare
I mentioned in last month's post that my Aurelia Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser was drawing to an end, so I decided to purchase a totally new product to try out and see how my skin reacted to it. I've since been using the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel which is formulated for those with particularly oily skin (hi!). I've never really felt particularly inclined to try Clinique's skincare products (there's just something about the range... the packaging? The 3-Step malarky?!) but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It's light yet hydrating enough to keep my skin feeling plump and healthy. I use two pumps both morning and night and even find that in the morning, it acts as a nice 'primer' for my make-up. The bottle is humungous and will last me a lifetime, no lies. I've been c r a p on the face mask front this month, I promised I'd use them a bit more but I think I've only treated my skin once in January! I did however use the Origins Out Of Trouble mask as a spot treatment for a few nights when my skin was particularly spotty and it dried out and reduced the redness for those blemishes beautifully.
Just one quick mention - I actually haven't been cleaning my face in the mornings - grim, I know. However, a lady at Space NK a few months ago told me to try it as she noticed a huge difference in her skin. I gave it a go in January and I haven't noticed anything negative as far as I'm aware...! I've been moisturising though, and at first it felt very strange not to clean my face first thing. Thought February I'm going back to a morning cleanse and hopefully I'll see some sort of a difference.

Diet
This is where things got very interesting. So as I was lucky enough to receive a Nespresso machine for Christmas, I've found myself having a delicious daily coffee since. I tried using my usual Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk but it just made my coffee taste very bitter. Instead, I figured maybe I'll try Organic Semi-Skimmed Milk. Whilst it tasted so delicious and creamy, my skin absolutely despised it. It was blotchy, there were blemishes cropping up left right and centre and I had a particularly pesky chin spot or 'cystic acne' blemish on my chin that drove me insane! Immediately I cut out the cow's milk and treated myself to some Hazelnut milk for my coffee (tastes like coffee pralines) and I've discovered Rude Health's Almond Milk is a DREAM in coffee and doesn't make a bitter drink!

I've also been bringing my own lunch/dinner and snacks with me to work which has helped hugely. It's just simple boxes of some salad bits with either some feta cheese, quinoa, salmon, chicken, butternut squash - basically whatever's in the fridge that I can quickly pop in some Tupperware. Compared to my old work lunches of a sandwich (I know, who was I?!) and then shamefully, a chocolate bar (health and wellness blogger, my arse!) my overall wellbeing and my skin has been reaping the benefits. This has been a massive help in reducing my sugar consumption too, and I've been making my own healthier, lower sugar 'treats' for whenever my sweet tooth is calling for some sugar. If anyone wants some easy peasy, lower sugar treats recipes and ideas, let me know and I'll happily do a blog post on them. Ultimately, reducing my sugar intake has been helping my skin hugely. I'm hoping this month to be really strict with refined sugar and hopefully be well on my way to cutting it out pretty much completely. I'm aiming for a low GI diet in February to help my skin!

Before I forget, I also partook in Dry January (get me) which I believe meant my skin had the chance to just 'be' throughout January. Usually whenever I have alcohol, I don't stay hydrated enough so my skin just shrivels up and purges all sorts of horrible blemishes, usually on my forehead. So, high five to me for letting my skin breathe a little from the alcohol this month!

Water Intake
With all the coffee drinking business, I've been ensuring I have a huge glass of water per cup of coffee to stay hydrated. At work it's difficult as I only get water on my breaks so do tend to find I get really dehydrated at work and compensate by drinking about four glasses of water when I get home! I've been enjoying a big cup of peppermint tea before bed every night which can also be included in my water intake - the Pukka Three Mint variety is my current favourite. I feel in order to see my skin benefit from drinking water, I need to properly track my intake so may buy a refillable bottle so I have an accurate figure and work from there. I do think my water intake has certainly been helping my skin keep hydrated and stay relatively clear, but by tracking and upping my intake, I reckon I could see some big improvements.

Exercise
So, bare in mind that only in the last week did I FINALLY re-join the gym! I aimed to partake in some at-home exercises prior to joining but this never happened so I haven't seen a difference yet. I'm sure next month I'll have some interesting results to report back to you with how exercise has benefited (or not) my skin! So far, I'm managing make-up free workouts for the first time in my life, which has to be positive, right?!

Lifestyle
The week after my skin was having a huge dairy induced skin freakout, I actually had my period (I know you wanted to know that) so there is a chance hormones were playing a part in that skin freakout but I'm confident it was the dairy. I've had a little stress and sleepless nights here and there which won't have helped my skin. Sleep is something I still really need to improve upon, but I have been sleeping a little earlier than 1am each night, usually between 11pm-12am. So earlier bedtimes are very much in order! C'mon, lets get me some good skin!

How's your skin been this month? Do you have any tips for enjoying dairy free milk in coffees? Do you find dairy affects your skin?
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