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lifestyle natural skincare Uncategorized wellness

My Top 10 Skincare Products for Combination + Oily Skin

It can be extremely hard to find skincare and makeup products that work well with oily skin. If you are someone like me, I get so oily to the point where my makeup just slides right off within the hour! But, since using these products it has actually reduced the amount of oil my skin produces, along with not wearing makeup as much and letting my skin breathe. As some you may know, oily skin also means more likely to break out as well because it’s so easy for bacteria and dirt to slide around and adhere to your skin. I decided to compile a list of products that I use almost daily to help keep track of what I use while helping you guys who also have either combo or oily skin.

1. MAKE UP REMOVER: Find one that is oil free. I have used both Neutrogena Night Calming Wipes as well as Nivea Gentle Wipes. They are great and leave my skin feeling good before I cleanse. Although, I JUST received a brand new makeup cloth called Makeup Eraser and essentially it is a reusable cloth that lasts between 3-5 years, and instead of wasting all of these ordinary makeup wipes (which by the way – is the 3rd most wasteful item to date) you just put some warm water on this cloth and it does the rest!! I find that taking off your makeup is truly an essential part to your routine as to not leave any dirt or makeup residue behind. These wipes have been great especially because I have sensitive skin!

SOAP AND GLORY

2. CLEANSER: Soap & Glory, this stuff is amazing and I love that it also has Vitamin C because that stuff is great for your skin!! I also love that it is also a bit of an exfoliating facial cleanser while not being too harsh. The link I have provided is for Amazon, which is very quick and convenient to order from but I believe that Shoppers Drug Mart sells it for a bit cheaper if you have one nearby. I haven’t seen them at any Walmarts or anywhere else really. Definitely pick it up if you’re in the market for a new cleanser – this one is my ride or die!

THE ORDINARY TONER

3. TONER: I absolutely LOVE the Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toner. It is a great product that has truly helped even out my skin tone while helping to contain my oils. Truly an essential! I browsed through Amazon to find you guys a link, but it sells for a lot more on Amazon. The best place to get this toner would either be from Deciem or Sephora, where it is around $7-10 max. Another great toner is from the Inkey List, they are based in the U.S. but are very very similiar to The Ordinary, especially with their affordable price point!

THE ORDINARY NIACNAMIDE

4. NIACINAMIDE: I use Niacinamide about 3-4 times per week and usually at night. I tend to only use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer in the morning to leave my skin feeling light and not loaded with different products. But I use Niacinamide at night along with the rest of my skincare essentials. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient. A B-3 deficiency can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys, and brain. Some people use this product daily, morning and night, to clear any congestion, redness, minimize pores and overall balance their complexion. Figure out what your skin likes and build a routine according to that.

THE ORDINARY LACTIC ACID

5. LACTIC ACID: Currently, I am using the Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% by The Ordinary and I only use this in the evenings about 3 times per week. Lactic Acid can be a bit harsh on sensitive skin, but it is great to work up to introducing your skin to different acids. Most people have reviewed that this lactic acid is actually more gentle than the glycolic acid toner, so this is a great introductory product. It is mainly used to exfoliate the skin, help with fading pigmentation and scarring while leaving the skin glowy and healthy. Make sure to moisturize afterwards to lock in any hydration.

TARTE DRINK OF H20

6. MOISTURIZER: I am currently curing the Tarte H2O moisturizer and has more of a jelly-like consistency. The full sized product lasts so long because you only need two pea sized amounts for your entire face. A little goes a long way and it makes my skin feel so refreshed, hydrated and moisturized. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on Amazon at all so I have linked it to the Sephora website. It can be quite pricey, but it lasts SO long!

SUMMER FRIDAYS OVERTIME MASK

7. FACE MASK: I decided to splurge and get the Summer Fridays Overtime Mask and it is definitely an exfoliating mask – but I need to tell you guys…WORTH THE MONEY. My skin has never felt so smooth and refreshed. I love the smell, the feel of it going on, the massage – everything about this face mask is perfect and I couldn’t be happier. The only downside is the price tag, but so far the bottle is lasting quite awhile because I only do this mask once per week. It has truly made a difference in my complexion, the brightness of my skin and even my boyfriend (you know men!) even noticed how much smoother my skin felt.

FIRST AID BEAUTY (FAB) PHARMA

8. MOISTURIZER FOR SPOTS: Sometimes I will get really painful pimples that need a different kind of moisturizer to treat and soothe. I have been loving this First Aid Beauty mask because it is more of a cream that helps to calm the spot while providing moisture and relief. The creamy mask helps relieve the appearance of redness, dehydration, irritation, stress, and tightness. The star ingredient, Arnica, is said to have skin-supporting properties that help soothe and smooth. I don’t use it as a full on mask, but rather a spot treatment. I have also heard this does wonders for people with rosacea as well! Give it a try.

THE ORDINARY ORGANIC COLD-PRESSED ROSE HIP SEED OIL

9. Rose Hip Seed Oil: I have recently added this organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil to my routine. I tend to use it 2-3 times per week before bed, as it is an oil so not necessarily made to put under or over makeup. The instructions have said to put it on nightly, but I don’t like putting oils on my skin that often yet. It aids in moisturizing, treating wrinkles, brightening and evening out skin tone. Rose hip seed oil is harvested from the seeds of rose bushes, and is full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids which overall helps support healthy skin above all else.

FIRST AID BEAUTY SUNSCREEN

10. SUNSCREEN: It is so important to make sure you wear sunscreen especially on your face. But, I have had quite a difficult time trying to find a facial sunscreen that I actually want to wear. I don’t want one that provides a white cast, is oily, thick or just overall feels icky. I received a trial size of this FAB mineral sunscreen and I’m not looking back! This sunscreen does not leave a white cast at all, and when you open it – the sunscreen looks tinted. But, it doesn’t tint your skin really, it feels super smooth to put on and doesn’t leave your skin feel greasy. I love it, and it has spf 30! Sephora has it listed for $45 CAD, but they also have a whole bag called the Fab Four which features the sunscreen, cleanser, facial radiance pads, and an ultra repair cream for $50CAD. I think that’s truly a better deal.

Most likely, I won’t be switching up my routine for awhile as my skin has really loved this one. But I am sure I will be adding to the list and possibly adding different serums. If you are subscribed to me on Youtube you will soon see an updated skincare routine where I show you how I use these products and what order to use them in! Stay tuned for more and if you have any questions feel free to hit my dms!

Stay well! XO

Categories
anxiety mental health

10 Tips for Coping With Anxiety

Have you ever felt like your brain was becoming more and more tense by the second? Racing with thoughts, unable to concentrate on tasks, conversations, work… It’s a daily struggle for many people, including me. I have struggled with my anxiety for years, even before I knew what it was. I just thought it was completely normal, that everyone gets outbursts sometimes, everyone cries over minor things, everyone is unable to control their thoughts and worries…This happened to everyone and so I shouldn’t think anything of it. Wrong. It got too much, to a point where I couldn’t take it and I finally seeked help from my doctor. But, if you’re like me – medication doesn’t always do the trick and it can also take a very long time for it to even start working effectively. I have some key coping mechanisms that have helped me get through my days and also get through anxiety attacks that I feel coming on.

  1. The most important tip to remember is that your mind needs balance. How is your mind supposed to be balanced if the rest of your body isn’t? It’s time to start eating balanced and healthier meals. Eat regular meals and ensure you are taking in lots of water.
  2. Limit caffeine. I know this one is a total bummer especially for coffee lovers, and I still have a hard time with this too. But, instead of completely cutting it out – try to start with reducing your intake. If you drink 3 coffees per day, try 2. Caffeine is known to often aggravate anxiety and trigger anxiety/panic attacks.
  3. If you feel an anxiety attack coming on, take a seat, and breathe deeply and slowly. I follow a breathing rule inhaling deeply for 10 seconds and then slowly exhaling for 10 seconds then repeating if necessary. It usually takes me a few times before I start to truly calm myself.
  4. Change your focus. If you feel yourself getting irritable, uneasy, anxious etc. try to change your focus to something else. Watch a TV show, read a book, try exercising (which although can be hard to get yourself up and going, is very effective!!!)
  5. Painting or drawing (if you like to), can help ease the mind and enable your mind to focus on the act of painting, the colours, and how soothing it can be.
  6. Journal out your thoughts. Whenever I felt extremely overwhelmed, I would capture those thoughts and put them into poems – it’s actually where my best work came from. It’s a great way to relieve and unload your mind.
  7. Recognize the signs. Everyone is different which means the signs could be totally different. But, recognizing the signs before an anxiety attack can truly help you to be proactive by preventing an attack, calming down before it gets too much and noticing the signs way earlier.
  8. Stay in regular contact with friends and family, especially those who are close to you. Surround yourself with people you can open up to and talk with. Loneliness and isolation can be very hard on your mental health, especially anxiety and depression.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Therapy is becoming less and less stigmatized and is often talked about as being important even if you don’t have anxiety or depression. It can be helpful for everyday life, to enhance it and allow you to truly live your best, mentally. The truth is, you have to allow yourself to get the help you deserve and to talk about what is going on, even if it’s hard to explain.
  10. The last tip is one that I just learned recently, and it may sound silly but it works. When you are feeling anxious, grab an ice cube from your freezer and squeeze it in your hand. The coldness immediately takes your mind off of any anxious thoughts, because it is focused on the cold shock in your hands. If you don’t have ice cubes, try cold water!

It is important to take time for yourself. Your mental state is incredibly precious and self-care goes a long way. The trick is to check in with yourself every so often, ask yourself either in your head or aloud – how am I feeling? If you feel off, proceed to ask yourself what you need at the moment. Maybe it’s as simple as a tight hug or it could be more complex and having a reoccurring issue finally be solved – whatever it is, you are capable of controlling your own thoughts and feelings. We are so strong and life can throw some heavy stuff at us, but we rise up and keep on. Isn’t that amazing?

Categories
mental health

Take Care of Yourself

I think that it’s in most peoples minds that the world feels like it’s closing down. When you walk down the street of once-busy downtown Toronto, you will find it feeling very eerie. The roads are near empty, the sidewalks too. Everyone is at home, self isolating themselves from this horrendous virus that has changed our lives globally.

At first, when I saw the news, sitting at home eating a big bowl of spaghetti surrounded by family, I thought to myself, “it won’t come here, though…” and I changed the channel. It is crazy how things change and how fast a virus can spread. My heart goes out to China and Italy, who have experienced the worst of it. This virus is no joke and nothing to change the channel about. I didn’t realize it could get this bad, to the point of closing shops, malls and banks. Taking a trip to the grocery store feels as if we are all gatherers, trying to find things that will keep our family healthy and able to live throughout this isolation, I mean, who knows how long it will be. The shelves are bare, toilet paper, soup, cold/flu medication, any form of sanitizer, it’s all out of stock. The people who need it most, the elderly can’t even get any of it – the grocery stores have had to restock and restock, opening up an hour early just for the elderly and disabled to come in a have a chance at getting some necessities. The world is in true panic.

Sitting at home, unable to visit my parents and sister in fear that they will somehow get the virus or if they have the virus – give it to me. I have no idea if I am a carrier of this virus, I show no symptoms – but there have been many positive cases with the same thing. The fear has truly set in for me, but I have been trying to really take the time I have to practice self-care and truly take care of myself during this time. I know that in times of panic, fear and isolation it can often result in problems with mental health including depression and I want to make sure that I am giving myself the proper care to avoid that. I’ve been trying to make sure I don’t start eating a bunch of junk just because I am home all day, which can be very tempting because of boredom. I also have gotten into some at-home workouts which fills some time and makes me feel really good. But, my go-to activity is YouTube and Netflix. My favourite youtubers Julie & Hunter Havens have been putting out daily vlogs and it’s really neat to see how they are being productive and going about their day throughout this whole fiasco.

I hope that everyone is staying indoors, safe, healthy and mentally well. I know this is going to be a bit hard for some people to self-isolate and being home majority of the time, but this can also be a great time to pick up a new hobby or skill. I’ve been trying to read more and I see some people are picking up painting, drawing etc. Which is also a really great idea. All in all, find what works for you and makes you happy. Try not to sleep too much and try to be productive through these next few weeks.

Well wishes xo

Categories
Uncategorized

The IUD

It came up when I was talking with some friends and the different types of birth control. I had seen others have used it and there were so many pros and cons, and horror stories. But, there were also success stories. I had researched it for months and then finally decided to talk to my doctor on my next visit. I told him that I was debating either an IUD or the Depo Shot…He advised me to see a gyno and booked me an appointment. It took about a month or two to get an actual appointment, but then it all happened very quickly. I went in for my consultation and asked about side effects, which of course there were including cramping – but for me, I have always had terrible cramping during my periods and if this even lightened it a little bit I would be happy. Also, she told me that the Kyleena is her favourite form of birth control and she recommends it to everyone. The main reason was convenience for most but also the fact that it worked at a rate of over 99% effectively. That means less than 1 out of 100 people who have an IUD will get pregnant each year. There also was a possibility of lighter periods, and eventually not having a period. I was locked in.

Retrieved from BAYER

So, I went home that day and sat down at my laptop thinking…It’s going to hurt. I’ve heard horror stories of girls having surgery to remove it because it was excruciating pain. I typed every single thing I could think of into the search bar. Do IUDs hurt? On a scale of 1-10 what is the pain level of an IUD? What is the chance of an IUD going wrong? Let me tell you…Google is not always your friend. My stomach dropped and I felt very faint, I don’t know if this is right for me. I got scared. But I didn’t cancel the appointment, this was a one and done kind of deal. It lasts for 5 years, and the insertion will probably hurt but it’s just once. I kept trying to reassure myself. I went and picked up the prescription from my local Shoppers Drug Mart and it came in a HUGE box. I didn’t open it. It was really expensive too, luckily I had a bit of coverage from being in school. Eventually the big day came around. My boyfriend drove me to the gyno and sat outside of the office and waited for me. One of the doctors came in to calm me down, as she could tell I was tense and proceeded to tell me that it is going to hurt a lot, to be prepared for it and when it’s over not to sit up right away because I will most likely faint. Was that really her way of calming a patient down? I thought it was ridiculous and I wish she never came in. I took a deep breath and laid on table, they had a picture taped to the ceiling of some clouds and I tried to focus on that until my gyno came in. She finally did after a few minutes (felt like a lot longer) and she smiled and said “ready to go?” and honestly, she was genuinely calm and collected and that soothed me a LOT more than the other lady. She told me it’s not a big deal, it won’t hurt a lot and she’s done this many times before. It will just feel like a bit of cramping, no worries. When it finally came down to it, it didn’t hurt a ton. My pain tolerance isn’t very high and she was right – it felt like cramping because my body is trying to understand where this foreign object came from. It was nothing like what Google said. Nothing like what the previous doctor said. Nothing like the horror stories. I brought my boyfriend because I felt that after the appointment I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home, but I was perfectly fine! I strolled out of the office and thanked my gyno. I ran out to meet my boyfriend and he asked me how I felt, and it was no big deal. I am protected for 5 years (or whenever I would like to have it removed if I want it before that). My advice to any girls going to get theirs is to not let your mind trick you and scare you, because the truth is you really have to relax your muscles and if you tense up that is what will hurt you. Just relax and breathe. Like always, I would like to put a disclaimer that you should ALWAYS talk to your doctor first to see if this is right for you. All experiences are different and I just wanted to put my personal experience out there!

Thanks loves x