Getting through the next four weeks of lockdown- in association with nivea!

Getting through the next four weeks of lockdown- in association with nivea!

As we are lunged back into the deep end which is lock-down it’s worrying whether it will be the same as last time or perhaps worse? Will our mental health deteriorate again? What will happen to our children who have only just been reunited with their friends and family’s only to be ripped away from them again. However this time it’s different, we know what too expect and with that comes bit more calm and less panic. We have learnt to adapt to what the world has thrown at us and made it through even our darkest days. So now we’re a week into lock down although i can’t say i’m not still a anxious mess i can say there are things that i am appreciating more and helping me negotiate my way through this confusing time.

One thing i love the most in the world is autumn. I love walks in the park and through the woods with orange, red and yellow filling the floors and air as the wind blows them all around and the leafs dance in front of you. Last lock down it was just nothing but pure heat and being in the uk that meant warm houses with no air con. This time i can wrap up warm and enjoy the cool air. This lock down, i’m taking control of doing things i enjoy more and not letting the hours pass by as i get lost in the abyss.

So first i am keeping active. I am going for walks with my husband and son or just me and my son. I am not rushing my way through going out now. I am taking in the scenery, changing up my routes and looking around at what nature has to offer. I turn my phone of and just chase around after my son and look for leaves and old trees together. I spend time talking and just enjoy being out. I’ll often fill up my thermos and take a hot drink out with me too. It doesn’t feel like were in lock down when we go for a walk it feels like we are in peace. If you have children i highly recommend walks even if round the block just to burn some of that energy, just so we can get some peace. If you live near a park wear a puddle suit go on a wet day and let your child jump in puddles and squelch in mud, it’s free and super fun! If mud and leafs isn’t your cup of tea then you can always exercise from the comfort of your own home. There are so many home workouts free to use on you tube, the same with yoga, unwind your mind and body at the same time.

I am trying to also keep my mind busy, i joined a book club and have gathered a small library worth of books to keep my mind focused when things get hard. The greatest escape is always to another world which is the realm of books. There is always something for someone. Not everyone enjoys physically reading so the world of audio books is another fantastic way to escape for a little while without the effort of reading a few hundred pages! With reading also comes blogging and writing which i love doing with a cup of tea, especially at the end of the day it’s the perfect way to unwind. I find journaling and writing in a diary is also a fantastic way to unwind in the evenings before bed to combat the stress of the day. I also find keeping elijah busy is a fantastic way to entertain me too. We get sensory activities, colouring and crafting everyday. I include elijah as much as i can in the kitchen too which helps me enjoy cooking again too. The next project after elijahs birthday is getting ready for Christmas and boxing up our house to move on to the next chapter of our lives soon.

I am trying to enjoy time with my family more. If there is one thing corona-virus has taught me it is that family and friends are important. That we should try and keep in contact with each other. I never thought of myself as lucky before the lock down but having my son and my husband with me has shown me just how important they are to me.It has shown me that i too am loved and that is something that i never thought was possible in my mind. This lock down we can see another adult and their under school age children outside which means i can see more people and elijah can see other children which makes the world feel so much less lonely too us all.

The biggest thing i am concentrating on is my self care. My skin has been neglected over the last few years and it’s time i treat myself like i deserve. That includes giving myself a full routine of skincare daily and introducing more skincare into both my morning and my evening routine. With the excessive uses of masks out and about my skin is becoming a spotty mine field. The dry weather is no help either! So the first thing i do in the morning is washing my face. I wash my face with facial wash and my electric scrubber. After this i use toner on a reusable cotton pad and get started on the moisturising. I use a serum and then eye cream, i then use a light moisturiser or day cream. My evening routine is very similar except i exfoliate with a scrub or peel every other day.I also use my topical creams after my serums and then apply a night cream. I always use lip balm at night as well to moisturise everywhere on my face. If i’m going out in the sunlight ill always apply a light sunscreen to prevent damage to my skin. When i do my skincare i like to light a candle and slowly massage it in and make it a relaxing environment. I’m also partial to the odd sheet mask or eye and lip masks i try to do these every few days i try to do them when i am particularly stressed so that they become a calming place and not routine!

Of course skincare is not just your face. Its your whole body. We always complain about dry patches of skin but do we nourish our skin first? Using a shower gel or creame that is moisturising and smells fab can always make you feel better. Using body scrubs every few days are a fantastic way to rid the body of dead skin and also leave our skin feeling softer. When out the shower using a moisturiser after helps to keep skin soft and help fight the signs of ageing.

Taking care of your hair and having the odd hair mask here and there can feel like complete luxury so try to incorporate into you bath or showers before you wash your face as when the oils can roll down your skin and cause a greasy feeling face! Of course then you should obviously get into pjs and shove on some cosy socks and snuggle up for the night.

Whatever you do to get through this lock down just know that your not alone. There are lots of people here for you including me, there is so much more to do aswell. Whether your idea of chilling means watching a series on netflix or doing a marathon, try to enjoy it! But remember take care of your skin and your mental health!

I have been gifted nivea products with no expectation to post. I am part of the nivea family and writing about or featuring their products is completely my choice!

Why you should be trying to use soaps more.

Why you should be trying to use soaps more.

I love using all sorts of products but I am up for trying anything new. I’ve been trying to use more soaps instead of shower gels. I have to say I’ve not always been a fan of soaps I’ve found they’re really drying but I’ve noticed since trying small business homemade products I haven’t had any irritation. I try not to use if I have a flare just incase but they have really been quite nice.

Obviously shower gels contain a lot of plastic and drying products that can irritate our skin. Also the wastage is not fab for the planet so I’ve been trying to use soap more to not only improve my skincare but also my carbon footprint.

I was kindly gifted some products from Ètre toi. These soaps have been really great for all the family to use. We where sent a zesty orange one and a grapefruit and Himalayan salt one.

Elijah likes sniffing the orange one and washing his hands with it and has had no irritation. The thing I like about these is they really foam up and go a long way. I love the freshness of the orange one which I can’t stop sniffing as it smells just like a freshly peeled orange.

The Himalayan salts in the grapefruit soap work well with the smell to give a slight exfoliation at the same time. Himalayan salts have many beauty and health benefits and are something I love to use in my baths so I’ve been using this in the bath alongside the salts I have.

There are many reasons why you should use soaps more. But one is the impact on the planet! if your interested in buying this product then check out their small business and give them some love and likes on their insta!

Insta-https://instagram.com/etretoi_

Shop-https://etretoi.bigcartel.com/

For all enquiries and collabs send me a message. Thanks for reading. Charlie x

Medications / topical creams that help my rosacea flares.

Medications / topical creams that help my rosacea flares.

When I am stressed I have a flare. I get spots, my face goes redder them a baboons backside and my face burns. It burns so much I want to scratch it off. I have at times if my life even contemplated suicide because it has hurt that much. So I am very, very lucky my dermatologist found the creams that work with me. I use it every now and then when I have a flare. As LOTS of you have been emailing and messaging me on Instagram about what I use I thought I’ll just do a little post on it here.

Obviously these are not over the counter medications but you could request your doctor try’s you on them. You can however buy a low dose of azaliac acid by the ordinary and that’s quite good too. Not as strong but it is good. So without further rambling here’s some products I use and have helped me.

First up. Soolantra aka Ivermectin. This cream is prescribed and is hardcore stuff. With rosacea you are more prone to being exposed to sunlight, food, cold, stress, skin notes and lots more. This cream is prescribed to help stop the inflammation caused by rosacea. It helps treat and heal skin lesions and helps reduce the spots that come with it. It also cures facial mites and scabies. This is basically like a anti inflammatory magic cure for your face. When I first took it I had a swollen nose that wouldn’t go and a face littered with spots after 6 weeks I was cleared up. It then returned with spots and wide spread redness but my nose has never looked anything near as bad as it was. When you have a flare they suggest using a few times a week for 6 weeks as it’s strong stuff. This is my wonder cure. It stops the burning. I feel like me again.

Next we have skinoren- azeliac acid. This can be used alongside. This kills bacteria and helps acne. You can buy a low dosage version as I stated above. As my rosacea causes acne it helps with my confidence of not only redness but full on adult acne at the same time. This stuff really does work and again you use a few times a week for a few weeks then have a break then use with a flare.

You should only use these medicines as and when. Why? Because your skin needs to heal and work our what time do with itself. You also want breaks between medicines and for your skin not to get used to the medication.

These medications worked for me and I hope if your doctor can be persuaded to let you try that they may work for you.

I’m back on them again now so will show a before and after. If you are using this it is important to have a full skincare session.

I cleanse, exfoliate and tone regularly. I also apply moisturising serums twice daily and also apply a thick night cream because these medicines will dry your skin out. Make sure to wash your face twice a day and treat your skin like it deserves.

Also ALWAYS where high spf sunscreen. I don’t care if it’s snowing outside your skin will burn and you need to protect yourself from the uv damage to your skin.

Good luck, any questions send me a message! Charlie x

Space masks review

Space masks review

So it’s no secret I have insomnia and basically lack any ability to relax some days so when I received a space mask in a recent beauty subscription box I was quite excited to try a new product. Of course it’s been raced about by a few celebs who I like so if course I was excited to give it a whirl so here’s my opinion.

First of all packagings quite nice this was a valentines special edition which is why it’s red. There’s nothing fancy but the colour so it’s quite plain but that’s not what the products about.

So what it does is heat when opened up so it creates a nice warm feeling on your eyelids which makes your eyes feel light and you relaxed. I’d say it worked for about half an hour staying warm and then cooled down. I quite enjoyed it as I haven’t experienced anything similar unless I’ve had a hot flannel on my eyes. My eyes felt lighter and I felt the tension leave that part of me and it did enable some relaxation. My eyes didn’t feel as puffy either and although there was no direct oils or products on me I did feel almost like my eyes where in a bit better condition. It enable relaxation after a while and my mind sort of went away at times.

Unfortunately I think I was too anxious that night so I took a while to relax and I didn’t notice no change on my sleep. I will be trying it again after a nice relaxing skincare session and getting myself calm first to see if it really works. I’m also going to buy a cheeper Version on amazon to try too. Will update you on that too!

Thanks for reading! Charlie! x

How I got diagnosed with rosacea

How I got diagnosed with rosacea

Since writing a short little paragraph on my rosacea on my Instagram I had a lot of love in my dms from other suffers and one lady who thinks she may have it too. it’s so nice that I am able to use my platform to spread the word and empower other woman. If you haven’t seen my post it’s on my Instagram and it’s got a photo of my skin without make up, without a filter laid bare. This was part of a partnership with Pegasus owned cetraben to empower others to talk about their skin conditions.

Something I am very uncomfortable with is my rosacea. For years friends and family and work colleagues called me Rudolph. Why? Because that’s how my rosacea started of. My nose was very red and became swollen from how bad it was. For three years I had a red lumpy nose. Doctors put it down too acne. Over and over I was told to wash my face, take their medication that doesn’t work whilst they refused to send me to a dermatologist. After some research I realised I was entitled to be sent as I had attended over 4 appointments in half a year for the same reason with no answers so once I complained I was referred. I was sent to the dermatologist when I was 19. By then the redness started to spread from my nose to around my face to my cheeks. The woman I saw swabbed my nose and said she believes it to be rosacea but it is so rare in my age. So I was given some cream that didn’t work and sent away to fight to get a diagnosis again.

When i came in one day to the doctor I broke down in tears that I couldn’t take it anymore and said I have had enough of feeling sick looking in the mirror now. I explained I would cancel plans because of my looks. I would actively avoid photos because I felt so ugly. He sent me back to dermatology after fight for three more years and it changed my life.

On the day of my appointment I was late so ran through the hospital. You have no idea how large our hospital is so I was running for a while in summer! when I got to the desk the staff at the desk where worried about me because my face was so red and sat me down. When the dermatologist called me through pretty much immediately he smiled and said straight away I can confirm you most defiantly have rosacea. He explained that my red face was a symptom and that stress, heat, exercise and many other factors can affect it. It causes redness and flushing. When I had cooled down a bit he inspected my skin. He looked at the redness and then the spots. He said the acne is caused by the rosacea and that it will most likely never go away. However he said we should try some strong antibiotics and topical creams and he’d see me in three months. I went away and took the doxycycline and ivermectin. Within weeks my nose cleared up. I could see my skin for the first time in years. I remember the confidence it gave me and some of the redness surrounding my face cleared. Of course after stoping taking it the problem came back but not on my nose and not as bad. However I do find that the doxycycline does help when I take it although it causes side effects such as reflux for me and can only take short term.

It’s one of those things I have to live with as it goes and comes back. As the dermatologist said it’s something you have to live with but you do fantastic at hiding it. One thing I’ve become good at over the years is hiding my redness with my make up so that I have a bit more confidence. Stress aggravates it, spice, the heat, the cold, infact I think living just aggravates it. But I was glad I had someone who took the time to listen and I could finally put a name to my redness. I finally understood why as a child I would be red as a tomato after playing on the school ground. I understood when I flushed so much if I was embarrassed. I understood and that was enough for me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve accepted it. I don’t like it but I’ve accepted it’s who I am. I’ve started not wearing make up as much and owning it. However one downside is that it has spread to my eyes and causes a lot of irritation and of which I’m under the hospital for. I have more good days with my skin then I used too so I’m always thankfull for that. My face still burns and itches at time but atleast I’m not up crying in the night with it anymore or sticking a ice cube on my nose to cool it. Here are some photos of how bad my nose was and a recent flare up!

If your reading this and thinking that sounds like me please do talk to your gp about it because it can change your life. I am thankfull everyday that my nose is no longer a giant swollen ball of pain.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

January birchbox

January birchbox

Today my birchbox arrived and I was very excited, not just because of the fact it arrived but because it was my birthday and it was like a unexpected present! Nothing beats a package of unexpected goodies! So let’s look inside!

So what was inside? First of all the box was beautiful it’s a collab with Rochelle Humes. You know the woman from the Saturdays and talent shows now. It’s a really pretty box and looks like a marble, rose gold design. I opened it up and the products inside where so pretty and quite varied. I got some conditioner which I love because I’m actually running out of conditioner so it’ll last me till my next shop and it’s something new to try! Next up I got a vasanti brighten up exfoliating. It’s something new to try and who doesn’t live a good facial exfoliate. It’s vegan and 99 percent natural which is better than tones of rubbish being used on your face! I also got a moisturiser by green frog botanic, I’ve already used some and it smells amazing, my skin is soft and a little goes a long way. I’ll be keeping this in my bag as perfect travel size. The most extorting product was my jade roller by Melusine. I’ve wanted one for years as I’ve heard good things about the power of crystals and how great it is for skin. So it’s saved me forgetting to buy one again whenever I see one in a store. Another little cute sample was my glow milk in just dew it. I got to choose this sample which has been great as I finally get a colour that matches my skin which I love. I can’t wait to use it and it is totally adorable. I am excited for next months!

Why I love using a facial brush in my skincare routine

Why I love using a facial brush in my skincare routine

Since developing rosacea in my late teens I’ve been very into my skincare and trying to bust spots as they come along. After talking to many doctors and dermatologists and beauticians I’ve found what works for me. One thing that has mixed reviews is a facial brush. These are brushes that are used to exfoliate and remove dirt, oil and dead dry skin.

I’ve found that a lot of people say well it gets rid of your skin. While this is true on some level sometimes the benefits out way the cons. As I have a lot of bacteria build up from my rosacea I have too keep my skin as clean as I can and sometimes my hands and water just aren’t enough. I like to use my facial brush for more of a deep clean. I use the silicone head as it is softer and does a lot less damage. I use this once a day at night after removing make up to get everything of my face so I am fresh and ready for bed. I simply add some product onto the brush, wet my face and quickly whizz round my face. I then rinse, tone and moisture ready for the morning. In the mornings I’ll normally just use a flannel or my hands for my skin care in the morning as this is more gentle on my skin. I use the bristled brush perhaps once a week for a really good scrub but again it’s quite scratch so I try to avoid it as much as I can. There are many different brushes out there so shop around and see what you like, electric or not a lot come with a silicone head which is perfect for the more sensitive skin!

A bit of self indulgent shopping can be therapeutic!

A bit of self indulgent shopping can be therapeutic!

In a bid to try and relax I went to catch up with a old friend and ended up splurging a little too much in town but who cares. Retail therapy is good for the soul sometimes! There’s nothing better than looking around shops choosing what you like and don’t and trying something new.

So today I brought my usual indulgement which is my shampoo and conditioner from the body shop. I love this range and it REALLY has made a difference to my hair it’s thicker and less greasy and smells great. It’s also softer and I could even say perhaps even a little less frizzy! I also buy the garnier ultimate blends masks in banana and coconut and shear and mix them up so I don’t get bored and hair feels so clean and bouncy when I have used it. It’s a little more pricey than a bottle of Asda’s own head and shoulders but I love the stuff! While in body shop I got carried away and brought a strawberry gift set on sale for myself and have already used 3 of the items and smell glorious!

A trip to boots where I probably should be banned from was next. I always end up buying a ridiculous amount of make up or skincare from there and guess what today was the skincare day. My most recent buy of some natural face scrub had been scratching my skin so I needed to buy something a bit better. I brought an old favourite I hadn’t used since perhaps high school so I thought I’d give the range ago again so I brought their grapefruit daily face scrub and their face wash from the same range. I also got their spot defence toner for when my toner runs out which is imminent (not really it’s full). I also saw two face peel masks on sale so I obviously had too buy two. Obviously.

After I’d come home we popped to shops to collect Elijahs Halloween costume we’d ordered in so required me buying chocolate and some new pjs. They’re very cosy and required me to pamper myself in bath using my new products and use some body lotion I found at the back of my cupboard that I’d cleared to make way for more crap I really didn’t need.

It definitely makes me feel better when I’ve brought new things and I get excited to try them so whenever I feel down I buy myself a little something. From a Fredo at the corner shop to a new outfit it can make you feel good and excited to use what you’ve brought!

Rosacea.

Living with rosacea can be difficult. It’s difficult to hide and it’s harsh to feel and control. What is rosacea? Rosacea is a skin condition of the face where your blood vessels don’t work as they should causing redness. This also causes pimples galore in certain areas around your face.

My nose is the main area I was affected and I spent years of my life calling myself Rudolph and being asked why my nose was so red. My nose had become so inflamed it looked bigger and bled with all the pimples that would form on it too. I developed it in my late teenage years but It normally affects woman in their 40s.

Being so young doctors Misdiagnosed me with acne for years and gave me cream and pill after pill which did nothing for me. In some cases it angered it it took several dermatologists to finally accurately diagnose me correctly and actually listened to me and changed my life.

Growing up I always had clear skin till I was 18 then the spots and redness came. The pain is something next level my face feels like it’s burning, It’s hurt so much I’ve had ice cubes to my face that hasn’t helped atall. The itch is next level there’s been times if I could I would of ripped my face of to cure the itch.

I still get a lot of stigma around my skin I have people telling me not to use bath bombs, not use products on my face, not to eat dairy, not to wash my face everyday you name it I’ve had it. I’ve had so many people think I’m unwell because my face had gone bright red when I’m flushed. Many people think they make me blush when it’s my rosacea because I’m hot or stressed which is causing the break out.

I find make up a real chore because I have to find a colour that covers the red without making me orange but also not too light you can see everything, it has to be light so I don’t breakout or sweat more causing more rosacea flare ups. I can’t go into the sun without almost bathing in suncream and protecting my face as I will almost always burn which wasn’t helped by previous doctors telling me the sun will help. The sun hurt and burned me so thanks for that guys!

My rosacea has become a part of me and people will always comment on either how clear my skin looks today or how bad it looks.its also spread to my eyes and they’re always red and dry and I regularly have to go to get my eyes checked with a specialist.

I’ve tried quite a few medicines and over counter bits and bobs which have really helped me which I’ll do a post on another day but for today I am Charlie-Jane and I have rosacea and it is a part of me and always will be and I accept that which has taken me years to admit.