My 3 Favourite Skincare Products

I have really troublesome skin, and by that, I do mean I’ve had a lot of trouble with acne. I think I was lucky in some respects, because most people tell me they never noticed my acne (I’ve never been sure whether to believe them or not), but I started getting spots at the age of ten. The problem started after a bike accident I had, which landed me in hospital, and I quickly developed acne.

This year, I’ve finally come out the other end – over eight years later. I won’t say it’s been pleasant spending the entirety of my pre-teen and teen years struggling with spots, but there are a few products I have grown to love in the last few months.

First off, there’s the Simple Anti-Blemish Moisturiser. This is a facial wash you use with warm water, and I’ve found it works really well. It has natural antibacterial properties, which is great for acne-prone skin or people like me, who’ve just managed to get rid of full-blown acne. It says ‘results from day one’, and after the amount of time I spent trying products as a teen and finding that even the ones which said ‘results within two weeks’ were a lie, I was delighted to find this one actually worked!

Next off, there’s the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, though sometimes I use the Simple Micellar Water instead. Either of these work wonders; I’ve been using these since around June every day, and I don’t have any complaints. I wasn’t sure what micellar water was supposed to do (I managed to pick it up for free at a promotional stall in Covent Garden) but I fell in love. It helps tremendously with blackheads, while also serving to remove makeup. I try not to use this on its own, because normally I’ll use a face wash beforehand for a more thorough routine, but on those nights when you just want to plonk into bed and not think about anything involving effort, this is a brilliant one-step cleanser.

Finally, there’s this: bio oil. My parents introduced me to this probably a couple of years ago, but I didn’t find it at all helpful while I had acne. Bio oil is supposed to help re-hydrate your skin, and also help get rid of blemishes/stretch marks/help with aging skin. If you’ve had acne yourself, you’ll probably know how many unwelcome scars it manages to leave behind. While I had acne, I noticed no change, but that was a problem I found with the majority of products I used. Now, though, I try to use this several days per week, usually before bed, in place of a moisturiser. I always find proper moisturisers are too heavy for my skin, but this pretty much multi-tasks for me. I have noticed improvements in my acne scars, fading slightly, but this does take a while – it recommends consistent use for three months to see a genuine improvement.  There’s one other thing I use this for, though, and that’s for under my eyes. This stuff is brilliant for helping skin tones.

Everything I’ve mentioned is available in any good drug store/supermarket, and the bio oil is the only one over a fiver, but it lasts ages – after consistent use for around eight months, it’s not even gone down half a centimetre. If you use it on a larger area (a friend of mine used it on her back after a post-op scar) it will be used a lot faster.

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This content was not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

Once in a Lifetime

Last month, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Iceland for a week. I’d been looking forward to this trip since January, when I first signed up for it. Iceland is one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been, not least because I’ve never seen such a lack of trees…

The first of our stops was fresh from the airport: the blue lagoon. It wasn’t quite as sunny and blue as the website would have you believe, but that doesn’t mean it was any less amazing. The lagoon was originally a man-made mistake resulting from the neighbouring geothermal power plant, but the pool is mineral rich and the water is fresh and warm. Steam billows on the surface of the water from the contrast between the cold Icelandic air (I think it was 5 or 6 degrees when I went) and the warmth of the water. The fun thing I didn’t know was that in the middle of the lagoon is a bar to buy drinks using a clever little wrist band.

The north Atlantic ridge runs straight through the middle of Iceland, and this is a constructive plate boundary between the North American and the Eurasian plates. The placement of the country over this specific area means there’s a lot of volcanic and geothermal activity which makes for some epic photo spots (though most of these geyser sites smell very strongly of sulphur – which, in case you don’t know, smells of rotten eggs). The photo above is of one hot spring site, and it moved around a couple of years ago, destroying the old boardwalk. You can see the steam from the boiling water from miles around, and up close it was dense enough to block out the entire landscape behind it – it honestly looked like something from a Disney movie, old school style.

Another amazing activity I did during the week was seeing a lot of waterfalls. Iceland is also a glacial country, so the meltwater runs off into waterfalls. I actually had the opportunity to walk behind this one, and the power of the water hitting the plunge pool was stunning. We got absolutely soaked, as did our cameras, and fell over a fair few times because it was so slippery, but we beamed all the way through.

Possibly what I was most excited for was our “glacier walk”. I say that in quotation marks, because what we were told would be a simple walk turned out to be a full-on hike. From the visitor centre to the edge of the glacier was a 30-minute hike through a valley, and then we fitted our crampons and took up our ice axes and got going. We actually tasted some of the glacier ice from a meltwater pool, just FYI. It tasted like cold water, wouldn’t you know.

The hike was spectacular, and the geography student within me loved every second. The accident-prone klutz within me struggled a little more, but I managed without too many slips and trips.

One of the final things we did was supposed to be a 10km hike, which turned out to be a fair bit longer due to the main path being closed. We went, in crude terms, up, around and down a mountain. It was the last day and the first sign of trees which were taller than 3 feet high we’d had since we left from Luton airport. I’m no hiker, but I honestly had the best time on this mountain. As we climbed sheep tracks and footpaths, we were all beginning to strip off our layers, and just then it decided to start raining. Typical. (It wasn’t too much of a bummer, we were boiled and the rain was cool!)

These were just a few of the amazing photos I captured last month, but they each represent something I’ll never forget. Iceland was barren, powerful, colourful and the weather temperamental, and it was one of the best experiences.

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