Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Months 2 and 3 on Roaccutane


So here we are nearing the end of month 3 on roaccutane, and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by. I went to see my dermatologist at the end of month 2 and some changes were implemented. If you want a quick summary of what happened in month one you can read it here.

At the start of month 2, my skin broke out and I ended up with a line of five spots across the side of my head. I have found that it is taking weeks and weeks for the spots to heal as they crust over and then the new skin now takes much longer to replenish. During month 2 I have had less of my normal pus filled spots across my chin which I have been very happy about.

In the last post I mentioned how dry my skin has got and I think it is getting a little bit better. I have been applying copious amounts of moisturiser day and night and it has definitely been helping. My nose was flaking with dry skin non stop and my makeup was constantly clinging to it. I have been using a facial scrub around my nose to get rid of all the excess flaking which I have found to be working really well.

My lips are still causing me the most problems of all. They are still very, very dry. I have lots of lip balms and I have had some cracks form in the side of my lips. I feel like no matter what I do until I end my treatment my lips are going to be in this condition. I just need to keep on with applying the lip balms and hopefully no further problems will occur.

With the arrival of this sunny weather which we have been lucky enough to have, I have found out that my skin definitely burns easier and becomes much more irritated in the sun. I have purchased some factor 50 and I have been applying it whenever the sun decides to make an appearance. I have also bought from Primark a lip balm with also contains factor 50 which has been so useful, and I am definitely going to stock up on them for the summer as a normal lip balm just does not do the trick.

When I went to the last dermatologist appointment at the end of month 2 he asked me how I was getting on, he said he would now be putting me on 50mg upping me from my original 40mg dose. I have been on the 50mg for three weeks as I write this post and there is one side effect in particular which I have noticed, and that is that twice a week I have been getting really bad headaches. I have always got the occasional headaches but with some analgesia they always go away within a short period of time. I am not sure whether they have been migraines but my head has felt like it is exploding and I have been bed bound. I have decided that if these continue I am going to drop back down to 40mg, and then discuss it with my dermatologist who I have a meeting with mid June when it will be the end of month 4.

I do not know what it is or whether it is just my hospital but I feel like they always want me in and out as quick as possible. The appointments are always running late, this time it being an hour and when I get in there I feel like he seemed really disinterested. I always go with a mental list of everything I want to ask as otherwise I would definitely walk out without my questions being answered. I asked him if he thinks that 6 months would be the total treatment time, but he just shrugged and said I don't know. I know he can not guarantee how long I will be on the treatment, but some positivism and reassurance would have been nice. By the next appointment I will be at the end of my month 4, and hopefully my skin will have continued to improve and I will get a better indicated as to how long I need to continue taking them for.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream


I have heard a lot about First Aid Beauty as a brand in the past few months, and I was intrigued to try some products from them. My skin is the driest it has ever been at the moment, and I have been keeping a tube of their ultra repair cream in my handbag at all time. This costs £10 for 56.7g which I think is pretty good value for money. This is a thick emollient cream which rubs in well and hydrates deep down into the skin. This contains some great ingredients which all have enriching properties such as oatmeal, shea butter and eucalyptus oils.

This is advertised as useful for very dehydrated or irritated skin and mine has been both. The brand says it is good for common skin conditions which cause these problems such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, those living in harsh weather conditions and those under going aggressive cosmetic treatments. The cream feels nice and cooling when first applied to the skin and it creates a natural barrier. It also does not contain any harsh parabens, chemicals or colourings which could cause some irritations or reactions to the skin.

When you go from having a normal skin type to it turning very dry over a short period of time, it can very difficult to decide which products are best to use. I have purchased quite a few different emollient type products since I started on this acne treatment, as it is really hard to know what is and what isn't going to work on your skin. I have found that this ultra repair cream has been a great all round product. I have never tried Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour cream mainly due to the price, however they both have the concept of a multi-purpose product. This ultra repair cream like I say, you can throw it in your handbag and use it on what ever part of your skin is feeling dry when ever you need to. For me it is mainly my hands which get the driest and applying this takes away the irritation and itch which can get very red, sore and sometimes painful.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 29 April 2018

Ilse of Sark










In my Guernsey travel post which you can read here, I mentioned that we went on a day trip to the Isle of Sark whilst on our holidays in the Channel Islands. It is a small island which has a population of just 425. We got the boat over from Guernsey which took about 40 minutes. A return ticket costs £30, which was a very pleasant journey. We were told to look out for bottlenose dolphins and puffins, and on the day we went the weather was beautiful but unfortunately we did not see any on the journey there or back.

Once on the island their main tourist attraction is to get a horse drawn carriage around the island with a tour guide. They have no forms of transport except bicycles to get around. The roads are that narrow nothing would ever get down, and the island is so small I reckon you could walk from one end to the other within two hours. The island is under the state of Guernsey, however has its own parliament to oversee the overall running of the island.

We booked on to a horse drawn carriage tour and went for a look around the island. Some of the houses are beautiful all in the traditional cottage style, most houses are passed down the family line and house prices were expensive. We went on a one and hour tour around the island stopping off along the way to take in the views and take some photos. The tour was a great way to see the island, but lots of other tourists hired bicycles.

What I really found interesting was how different life on the island really was. They have a row of shops as soon as you get on to the island with a supermarket and post office. They have only one doctor and one dentist, and any kind of in depth treatment takes place on the mainland in Guernsey. They have a fire brigade and police service who work part time. They also have a two person prison but they try not to use it due to the costs, and I got the impression it is barely ever used. There are a few little tea shops to stop and have cake and a drink at. We stopped at a little cafe which had an outdoor garden where we ate a lovely dinner in the sun. For the size of the island the church is large, it  is beautiful and you can go inside to have a look around.

There is a campsite and some guest houses which you can stay at on the island if you want to stay a little longer and explore the island further. It was a lovely day trip to the island and if you are visiting The Channel Islands, a visit to Sark is definitely worth it.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Guernsey


My latest trip took me to The Channel Islands, and we decided to stay on the island of Guernsey. My parents visited when I will a toddler and said the island was beautiful so we were all excited to go and explore.

Unfortunately on the Monday which we flew out the plane was delayed. From Guernsey there are only a few flights a day from the UK. We flew from Manchester, and finally after a two hour delay and an airport evacuation we were on the plane. On landing there was a lot of fog and wind so we ended up hovering over the island for about an hour until it was safe to land. As the Channel Islands are to the south of the UK, right next to France the weather is all round much hotter than in the UK. We stayed in St. Martins which is a location which I would definitely recommend staying at if you visit Guernsey. We stayed in the Del La Mar Court self-catering apartments, which we were impressed with. It would be so lovely to stay there in the summer as they have a swimming pool in the centre of the quad of the apartments.

Once we had dropped our bags off at the apartment we decided to go and explore. The main town of the island is St Peter's Port which was a 10 minute drive from where we staying. I do think hiring a car around the island is an excellent idea. We did see lots of buses which seem to provide a great transport link for citizens. However, a lot of the attractions which we went to were not centrally located and I think we would have struggled to get to some of them by using the buses. We spent our first early evening walking around the port and just enjoying the light sun with an ice cream.

Our first full day exploring we dedicated to doing some of the museums. We started off by going to the German Occupation Museum. Lots of the museums in Guernsey are self-funded rather than by government funds. This museum was run by an elderly man who was so lovely and welcoming, and I think it was a great museum. Before this visit, I did not know a lot about Guernsey's history especially during the wars. This museum focuses on World War 2, it provides a lot of insightful detailed information about the war and Guernsey's input. The island was occupied by the Germans in 1940 until the end of the war, and it discusses the evacuation of children and how the men were called up to fight with the British army. What me and my mum discussed after visiting the museum is how many items were on display, it has a brilliant set up and I hate it when museums are just all reading and nothing to relate or show what they are talking about. Overall, if you are interested in Guernsey history this is definitely a great museum to visit.




On the way to another museum, we had read in our guide book about an attraction called The Little Chapel. In the mid 1800's a man decided he wanted to build a little chapel (hence the name!), he built it over a number of years. On completion, he put it on view to the public and unfortunately it did not have the success which he had hoped for, due to it being very small. He therefore knocked it down and started all over again, and created the chapel which stands today. It is a beautiful little chapel which you can see in the picture surrounding the entire outside of the chapel is completely covered in different materials. It is very pretty to look at, and you are able to go inside. It has a narrow staircase where you go down to a little worship section. I told my mum it would be a great place to get married as it is so unique, but you wouldn't be able to have may guest inside! We really wanted to go to the German hospital war museum, as obviously I have an interest in the field of nursing and always love the look at the different ways medicine was performed and how it has changed over the years. When we got the museum unfortunately it was closed and a passerby told us it had been for a few months.




After looking through the guide book at everything which we ticked off, we decided to crack on with the museums and headed to the German Arms Museum. We found that this had had much more hype than the previous German museum I have talked out. Our entire family is into history so museums are something which we all enjoy. However, this one was just not for me. It was just as I should have expected, lots and lots of armouries. There are only so many different rifles and guns I can look at without becoming bored. My dad very much enjoyed it, but me and my mum found a bench to sit on in the sun whilst he finished looking round. After lots of walking round we decided to head back to the apartments and eat in as we were not in the mood to go out to a restaurant.

The next day we headed to an outlet place called Oatlands Village. It has a variety of different shops all selling different things. Some of the shops had homemade items such as sweets and chocolates, jewellery, homeware and gifts. There was also a great jewellery shop which had a half price sale on and I bought some lovely silver plated earrings. After getting some lunch in a lovely restaurant, we decided it was time to play crazy golf. I haven't got the best track record which playing crazy golf, my aim is not always on shot and I did loose. The sun was shining though and it was a barrel of laughs. We then went into St Peters port in the early evening for a look around the shops.


On the 4th day we decided to take a trip out to a national trust site called St Saumersz Park. This is a beautiful park which was gorgeous as it was a sunny day. Within the grounds of the park, there is a Folk and Costume Museum. This museum presents Guernsey through the ages and has lots of different things to look and participate in. What I liked about a lot of the museums there were not too busy, we have all been to tourist attractions in the UK and abroad where you have had to shuttle around like a cattle market and it makes things much less enjoyable as you cannot stroll around at a leisurely pace.

So you might be thinking that we must have been all "museumed" out by now. However, there was one museum that was recommended in every travel guide and was advertised widely throughout the country. This was the Guernsey Museum at Candie, it is located as the name says in the Candie Gardens. Within the museum are lots of different galleries displaying different exhibits. There was one collection called 1914-1918 medical services in the Great War, which was one of the best exhibitions I have ever been to. There was so much detail in the process of how the different medical services worked, and the different roles which everyone played during the years of the war. There was also an exhibit called the early people of Guernsey, which discusses how Guernsey became Guernsey and it takes you from the very start where they have evidence of the country being created, and through the different ages of time. I learnt a lot from this museum, and whilst we were on our holiday the premiere of the new movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was happening. There was so much hype surrounding the release of this due to the tourism it is hoping to create. In the museum they had clothing and some of the set from the movie on display. We decided to have some dinner at the museum, and there was a lovely cafe which out looked in to the Candie Gardens which was so tranquil and relaxing.



We had always planned to do some day trips whilst on the holiday and we had hoped to visit Jersey. However, the flights between the two islands were expensive and for a day return trip for three of us it would cost over £400. There are a few much smaller islands which make up The Channel Islands and one of them is the Isle of Sark. I am going to do a full post dedicated to this as I have quite a lot to write about. We got a return boat trip to Sark which costs £30 and we spent the entire day there. Keep your eyes peeled for this post next week.

The Sunday was our last full day on the island. We had a few things left on our list of places which wanted to visit. We headed to somewhere called Fort Grey which is a place that they used during the wars for a place to look out to sea. Inside the fort there is a little museum which tells you all about different ship wreckage's and the outcome of them. On the opposite side of the read was the Guernsey Pearl Museum. As the name suggests it sold lots of different pearls! It also gave lots of information of where you can source pearls from and how the size and colour depends on the pricing of pearls. In this museum and shop, they had a little tea room cafe which was lovely as it started to rain so gave us a little comfort break.

On the last day our flight was not until 5.30pm so we had pretty much the whole day to do a last little bit of exploring. In the morning we decided to into the St Peter's Port to pick up some souvenirs and gifts from our family. I also did a spot of shopping for myself. We then headed to a cute little cafe called Dix-Neuf where has gone earlier in the week and had a lovely luxury hot chocolate. As I have said we hired a car on this trip, and the sun was blazing hot on this day so we decided to go on a little trip to one of their many beaches. We sat in the sun on the rocks edge with a picnic and some chips from the chip shop, reading our books and just enjoying the last few hours on the island. Once we arrived at the airport (which is tiny!), the flight home was easy and we were very impressed as we did not have to queue for passport control in Manchester due to coming from a British isle.

Overall, I had such a pleasant and relaxing week in Guernsey. Before I went I really did not know what to expect but I have to say everyone is so welcoming, and they all seem to live a very relaxed lifestyle which we could definitely incorporate into our lives back in the UK. I understand people's desire to live on the small island, as there is enough to see and do, but there main town is still understated and did not have the hustle and bustle which I think we have in the UK. I think Guernsey would be a great place to visit in the summer as I have said it gets beautiful weather due to its location.

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Makeup Revolution Foundation Stick




After the launch of their new concealer which I have been using on a daily basis (I write a post which you can read here), I had high expectations for their new fast base foundation stick. The brand put emphasis on the creamy aspect of the foundation, and that was what drew me in it. I have previously found that creamy products have worked best with my dry skin, as matte products can feel dry and feel uncomfortable on the skin. This claims to have a more satin finish which also ticked a box as I like a more dewy finish.

I bought this in the shade F3 which is for fair skin with pink undertones, it is a good match but a little bit too light so I would maybe go for F5 next time. I once again was impressed with the shade range which includes 18 shades with all different undertones. The concealers and foundations are supposed to marry up in numbers which is very handy.

The day I bought this I literally could not wait to wear it. When I touched the texture of the foundation it was extremely creamy and felt a little bit oily in texture. This has an easy to apply twist stick which is very handy. I apply this straight onto my skin with strokes covering my entire face. I find that it does easily blend into the skin when using a damp beautyblender to apply this. The problem I have been having is that when I blend it in, I feel like it sits on the surface of the skin. If I touch my skin even 10 minutes after application, my skin feels greasy as it has not absorbed into the skin at all. I have different tried primers, setting sprays and my trusty setting powder but none of them seem to make a difference.

The actual wear of the foundation is not too horrific, once on the skin it does last a good amount of time. As I have said my skin is very dry at the moment, and it does still cling to my dry patches which is never a positive aspect to any product. I struggled with building it up and getting it to not look greasy due to the texture being so creamy. I am not sure what type of skin this would be best for, as with oily skin I feel like you would just look very shiny. I think if you have just a normal skin type this would probably be okay as it shouldn't look greasy and may sit better on the skin. It definitely offers more of a satin finish which is what it states, and it does give a slight glowy edge to the skin which I like.

I totally get where Makeup Revolution was trying to go with this. For £5, this is an okay foundation. You will probably guess though that overall right now I am disappointed with how this foundation looks on the skin. I would love them to bring out a foundation with the same consistency as the concealer. I totally get that a new foundation with a creamy consistency and a satin finish is needed on the drugstore market, and that was the reason I snatched it up so quickly. I have read many reviews of this foundation from both bloggers and on Superdrug's website, and I have not seen anyone who has said that it is a must have product. One of my friends also messaged me to say she was disappointed in the finish and wear on her skin. I am totally going to try this again once my skin is a lot less dry, and hopefully I will have a better outcome. Overall, unlike the concealer which I could not get enough of, this foundation has disappointed me. I think it is important to stay real and still blog about disappointing products which I would not necessarily recommend.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Ordinary Haul


So with my skin changing at such a fast pace, I thought it was time to step up my skincare range. Since The Ordinary launched I have tried quite a few of their products and I have always been impressed.

So my biggest skincare issue at the moment is dehydration. I thought I needed to invest in some products to really add some hydration back into my skin. Hylauronic acid 2% + B5 (£5.90) seems to have been my perfect answer. The formula claims to have different size molecules which are suppose to help penetrate instead of sitting on the surface of the skin, therefore adding hydration to all the layers of the skin.

To add some more hydration I picked up the 100% plant derived squalane (£5.50). This contains a high level of emollients which are suppose to once again be great at providing hydration but also prevent any loss of hydration already in the skin. Squalane is non-comedogenic which is supposed to reduce potential breakouts.

I have previously tried one of their primers when my skin was much oiler and I enjoyed using it. This time I decided to order their high spreadability fluid serum (£5.50), this is a fluid serum which comes with a peppet. This acts as the perfect last step before adding any base makeup products; therefore I want a light, hydrating primer which is going to be perfect for my makeup to settle on to. I have tried this quite a few times and I am enjoying using it. It is a little bit thicker than I thought it was going to be, but it does work well especially for drier skin. This contains silicon which is supposed to be the stand out product, as it adds a little bit of glow and life back into the skin.

Once again when I had oiler skin I tried their full coverage foundation which I thought was a good foundation, I wrote a whole blog post about it here. This time round I decided to try the Serum foundation (£5.70), which offers a lighter medium coverage. This shade range is fantastic and comes in 21 shades, I choose the shade 1.1P (light skin with pink undertones). This applies easily across the skin with my beautyblender and blends well into my skin. This has a semi-matte finish which has occasionally clings to the dry patches on my skin, but all of my foundations have been doing this at the moment. For the price this is a good foundation and I think this will be a go-to foundation in the summer for me, it contains SPF15 and it is lightweight enough for it not to feel too heavy on the skin.

This Natural moisturising factors + HA was one of the first products I ever bought from the brand. I originally bought this in the 30ml size as I wanted to trial it to see if it suited my skin or not. When I re-bought it this time round I got it in the bigger 100ml size and it cost just £6.80, which is such great value for money. The formula to this moisturiser contains 11 different amino acids which are aimed at helping the skin in lots of different ways. This also contains hyaluronic acid which is once again a hydrating agent. What I like about this is that it doesn't have a greasy texture. It has a smooth creamy consistency which is quite thick but still applies well to the entire face.

Have you got any skincare recommendations from The Ordinary?

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

One Month on Roaccutane


So I have been on roaccutane for one month now, and I thought it would be helpful for others who are considering going on the medication to give monthly updates. If you want to find out all about how I first got the medication and the process, I have put it in a post which you can read here. This is my first month's diary week by week as to how I have found it and the side effects so far.

In the first week I was prepared for my skin to 'purge'. To be fair my skin was much better than I thought it was going to be. I don't think my skin particularly purged, my skin broke out just as it would normally on a weekly basis.

In week two this is when my lips started to take their toll, I rushed out and bought a variety of different lip balms as I needed one in every handbag and pocket. I then noticed my skin becoming more sensitive than usual and put into place a very basic skincare routine which I will do a post on in a few weeks when I am sure my skin has not reacted to any products. What I can say is that there have been two products which my skin has not reacted to. One being Glossier's jelly milk cleanser and the other is La Roche-Posay's hydrating cream cleanser.

Week 3 was when I noticed that the tablets were really starting to kick in. On a night shift at work I went to the toilet at 2am in the morning, and I had to hold back my tears. My nose has really become dry and flaky, and has gone red as I have had to regularly exfoliate. I look like I have sunburn as the area is so delicate. When I looked into the mirror my foundation has clung to every dry part of my nose, and every follicle could be seen. I have been using two moisturisers and a primer before applying any makeup but it really doesn't seem to have had much effect. I also noticed the areas surrounding my lips becoming extra dry and big chunks of skin clinging on for dear life. During this week I noticed that my hair and scalp had become drier. I usually wash my hair every other day due to me feeling like it looks and feels greasy. However, I can now go at least 4 days with me still feeling that it looks okay, which to be fair has been great.

I think this past week has been the worst in terms of the dryness of my skin. My nose has continued to flake and it has become very sensitive to anything which I apply, this has now spread to under my nose. My problematic area of my acne has always been my chin and nose. I had huge clusters of pus filled spots to my chin and this was all hormonal. I got the occasional spot on my forehead and cheeks, but they were never a big issue. However, I have definitely seen a reduction of big spots around my chin. I have had some big under the skin spots which have been very itchy, and trying to leave them has been very difficult. I never thought that I would not be wearing makeup during this process, but I have not been enjoying applying makeup as the end result has been frustrating as everything I apply seems to just sit on top of the skin. On all of my days off I haven't been wearing any makeup at all. At work, I have been wearing it as it makes me feel more confident, but as soon as I get home it gets completely taken off there and then. On Friday, I wore 'going out' makeup for the first time since I started the medication. It took me about an hour to do my entire makeup as I did it slowly and carefully, and it actually looked okay. However, as I write this on Sunday evening my skin has seriously freaked out. I have broken out with three huge spots to the side of my head, and another two on my cheek and chin. This is all down the right side of my face which is strange. Hopefully, this will clear soon as I felt as though my skin was really improving. My lips have been the main problem though. The side of my lips have split and if I open my mouth fully it can bleed and it is very sore. My whole lips and surrounding areas are just flaking off, and unfortunately I think that is the way it is going to be for the next five months while I am on this medication.

Overall, this month was everything I expected. I had done a lot of research prior to going on to roaccutane so I was very much prepared. The only thing I have struggled with is the sensitivity of my skin, some days when washing my face it feels like I am having a chemical peel and it can really tingle and be painful. However, here's to month two and seeing what it has got in store for me.

Lucy
xoxo



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