10 Things You’re Doing That Are Causing Spots

Is your skin getting you down? You think you’ve tried everything but you’re still getting those stubborn spots? Well there may some things you’re doing that you don’t realise which is causing your skin to be this way! You might have the perfect skincare routine but there are many surprising causes of acne that you probably didn’t know about!

1. Not Washing Your Hands Before Touching Face

Your hands harbour loads of bacteria from everything you touch during the day, including propionibacterium acnes which is a bacterium that lives on the skin and is responsible for clogging pores which causes spots! Not only is there bacteria on your hands but also oils, which again can cause spots, so keep those hands away from your face! If you do need to touch your face remember to wash them before doing so or to use hand sanitiser.

2. Using a Dirty Towel to Dry Your Face

Every time you wash your face if you’re not using a clean towel to dry it then you will unfortunately be transferring bacteria onto your lovely clean face, which can result in spots and worsen existing skin conditions. A cute idea to help you with this is having a small basket in your bathroom with neatly rolled face cloths stacked up, ready for you to use a clean one every time you wash your face!

3. Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes Regularly

Makeup brushes are another location where bacteria can grow if you don’t clean them often. All that old makeup and bacteria, as well as oil buildup from your skin, makes dirty brushes a major cause of spots! You wouldn’t put dirty water on your face so why put dirty brushes on your face?! It’s important to clean your brushes at least once a week; you can even buy some gadgets to make your brush cleaning less of a chore, like the Stylpro Original that cleans and drys your brushes in seconds.

4. Transferring Bacteria Into Your Makeup

It’s strange that a lot of makeup brands don’t produce their foundations with a pump so you end up having to pour it out onto your hand if you can’t find a pump that fits. Not only is this annoying but it causes bacteria to be transferred into your foundation! This also applies to other products you have to dip into so it’s important to buy makeup pumps where you can and always use clean brushes when dipping into products to prevent your makeup from being contaminated! It should also be remembered that makeup actually has an expiry date, and it’s not recommended to use the products after this date because it’s safe to say they will definitely contain a good dose of acne causing bacteria!

5. Not Changing Your Pillow Case Regularly

For a long time I wondered why I was getting spots on the side on my face, in particular my cheeks. It wasn’t until I realised it was being caused from my pillow cases that I discovered a build up of oils from your hair can transfer to your pillow, which in turn transfers to your face and can cause spots. I made sure to change my pillow cases at least twice a week and like magic I started seeing an improvement in my skin! It’s particularly important to do this if like me you love putting argan or coconut oil in your hair, which can transfer onto your pillow cases.

6. Letting Your Hair Touch Your Face Constantly

Similarly to changing your pillow case, always allowing your hair to touch your face can cause spots. Your hair is coated in natural oils, along with any other products you may add which probably won’t agree with your skin. If your hair is always touching your face these products can transfer onto your skin and clog your pores. Wearing some cute clips to keep your hair off your face or using less products can help prevent them from forming!

7. Using Too Many Harsh Ingredients in Your Skincare Regime

When you have acne it’s can be very easy to think that throwing everything at it that you’ve got will make it disappear, but this can cause the acne to get worse or other skin conditions to appear. It’s important to remember to treat your skin kindly, it’s very easy to dry your skin out by overusing AHA/BHAs which can make your skin more sensitive, trigger more spots or lead to dermatitis. You may think that moisturising will make acne worse if you already have oily skin but trust me moisturiser is not your enemy! Investing in a good oil free moisturiser will make sure that you’re not over drying your skin and can actually help regulate sebum production. When you over dry your skin, it can respond by producing more sebum than before so it’s important to get the balance right.

8. Making Calls on Your Phone Frequently

If you’ve been changing your pillow cases frequency but are still getting spots on your cheeks then it might be because your making phone calls a lot. A recent study showed that your phones harboured more than 25,000 per inch and some even had more bacteria than a toilet seat! The issue is that your phone is rarely cleaned, if you’re someone who likes to sit on the toilet with your phone, you’ll most likely wash your hands after but not your phone. Additionally, all the bacteria from everything you touch during the day gets transferred to your phone, and this gets transferred to your face, in particular your cheek area when you make phone calls. It’s worth investing in some headphones with a microphone to make calls or carrying round alcohol wipes to give your phone the much deserved cleaning it needs!

9. Increased Stress Levels

We all get stressed at the best of times, but most people don’t realise that stress can have a negative effect on your skin. Stress doesn’t directly cause acne but it has been found that the stress hormone called ‘corticotrophin releasing hormone’ increases the production of oil on the skins surface which can cause more spots to form. Another important factor to remember is that when we are stressed we may forget to follow our usually skin routine!

10. Poor Diet

Many studies have shown that eating a healthy diet can improve your skin and help reduce the amount of spots you get. Diets high in sugar increase your insulin levels, which in turn caused your oil glands to produce more oil causing more spots. Sugar is not the only thing in your diet to do this, but also high glycemic carbohydrates, dairy, saturated fats and trans fats. If you want to help your skin it’s suggested you consume more:

    Fruit
    Vegetables (especially leafy greens)
    Legumes
    Whole grains
    Oily fish
    Nuts and seeds

Final Note

Recognising the underlying causes of your acne is the first step towards helping to treat it. If you follow these 10 easy steps then your on the way to getting your acne under control! Always remember that if you’ve tried all of these steps, as well as over the counter products, but your acne persists then its best to seek advice from a dermatologist.

What’s your best tips to fight acne?

Laura 

#PaisleyBrownies – Brownies Delivered To Your Door

If your anything like me, and the rest of the U.K. for that matter, then you’ve probably been spending most of lockdown baking away. I’ve had some good bakes and some not so good. So after many bags of flour and failed bakes later I decided it was time to call in the professionals. This is where Paisley Flour comes to the rescue!

Paisley Flour is a bespoke catering company located in the Worcestershire town of Bewdley. From cakes to wedding catering to private dining there’s nothing that Paisley Flour can’t do! But more recently they’ve been running the exciting (and very delicious) #PaisleyBrownies campaign, delivering boxes 8 different flavoured brownies across the whole UK. I can’t think of anything better than receiving this little box of joy in the mail, whether it’s for a special occasion or because you just deserve a treat!

I was kindly gifted a box of brownies to try by Paisley Flour. They were perfectly wrapped to keep them protected during the journey and arrived looking like they had been freshly baked only hours ago! When I opened the box it was love at first sight, I was greeted by 8 decadently moist brownies of a variety of flavours. The flavours I received in the box were:

  • Orange Liquor Cointreau & Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • Tia Maria Glaze with Rich Belgium Chocolate & Peppermint After Eight
  • Honey Jack Daniels & Almond with Toblerone
  • Traditional Chocolate Brownie
  • Salted Caramel & Peanut with Snickers
  • Peanut Butter with Peanut M&M’s
  • Malteaser Cookie Dough
  • Espresso Martini Kitkat Brownie

After trying all of them there wasn’t a single one that I didn’t like. My favourite had to be the malteasers cookie dough, as I’m a real sucker for anything that has cookie dough in! Paisley Flour changes the flavours each week so there’s something different every time you try a box. What I love about the company too is that they’re donating £1 from every sale to charity and you can even add a personal note in with your order, making the #PaisleyBrownies the perfect gift for any chocolate lover!

You can get your hands on these boxes of pure chocolatey heaven by visiting the Paisley Flour website here. For just £17.50 you get 8 uniquely flavoured hand baked brownies, a personal message included (if you want one), and postage included too! No longer do you have the hassle of baking and making a mess whilst doing so, but you’re also supporting a small local business! The #PaisleyBrownies make the perfect gift for any occasion or even as a little lockdown pick me up to get you through the tough times. But one thing I can assure you is that if you order #PaisleyBrownies they most definitely won’t disappoint!

What’s your favourite flavour brownie?

Laura 

Disclaimer: I was gifted this brownie selection box, however all opinions are genuine and my own.

 

The Barnt Green Inn Review

Located in the leafy Worcestershire village of Barnt Green, the popular country pub favourite of mine, The Barnt Green Inn, has recently had an exciting new refurbishment. I couldn’t wait to visit to see how this beautiful historic listed pub had reinvented itself! I’ve always loved the food at The Barnt Green Inn, so for me the most exciting part was the brand new menu which was chosen to incorporate fresh fresh flavours and ingredients inspired by modern world food trends.

Eager to see the transformation I headed to The Barnt Green Inn for their re-opening night so I could be one of the first to see the exciting new chances. At the door I was met with the usual warm welcome by the staff but was taken aback by the breathtakingly new lush interior, which brought a twist of modern to the classic feel of the half timbered original decor.

The bar area was large but had a private feel to it and was still as cosy as I remembered it before! Situated in the bar on the opening night was something I’d never seen before – a build your own gin station. Filled with an array of fresh fruit, garnishes, and botanical, something I couldn’t resist. With the expertise of the staff I was able to craft a gin and tonic that consisted of the perfect combination of flavours for my personal taste.

It has to be said The Barnt Green Inn has really succeeded in creating a luxurious venue whilst still incorporating the classic charm the building had before its renovation. I don’t think there’s an establishment within the Midlands quite like it! I really am impressed with the new interior but I have to say my favourite part is the toilets (strange I know).

I absolutely adore the chic feel of the bathrooms and couldn’t help taking a few pictures of myself in the cute little mirrors either. If only I could have a bathroom this stylish at home!

Now onto the food. I’d probably say my favourite hobby is eating, so I was definitely excited to taste the new menu that had been created by the team. I was spoilt for choice, everything sounded so lovely but I finally settled on the Pork Belly Bao Buns and my mother opted for the Seared Wild Atlantic Scallops. Our food arrived shortly after we order and looked an absolute treat! The Pork Belly Bao Buns came with a red chilli, pineapple and mango salsa which perfectly complimented the pork. Additionally the chilli gave the dish a fiery kick that went nicely with the sweetness of the mango and pineapple. On the side was a pot of thai-style dipping sauce if you fancied adding a little bit of extra heat to the dish! I really enjoyed the Pork Belly Bao Buns; they were perfectly flavoured, very filling and brilliant for sharing.

I’ve never tried scallops before and as my mother opted for the Seared Wild Atlantic Scallops I found this the perfect opportunity to try one for the first time. The scallops were served along lobster and a crab bonbons with a pea and truffle oil velouté. My mother really enjoyed this dish and I have to say so did I…my first time tasting scallops was a success! I expected them to be overpoweringly fishy, but instead they were tender and juicy, with a very subtle seafood taste. Now I know that they’re delicious I will certainly be ordering them in the future!

For the main I opted for the Outdoor-Reared Heritage Breed Rotisserie Sticky Glazed Pork Belly. I had pork as my starter so probably shouldn’t have opted for it as my main, but it sounded too delicious to resist! It was served with smoky creamed corn, roasted butternut squash, calvolo nero mashed potato, red wine jus and crispy crackling. The pork was cooked to perfect and was so tender it melted in my mouth. Surprisingly I’ve never tasted roasted butternut squash before, I’ve only tried it in soups but it was really flavoursome and I’ll definitely be trying it at home in the near future. The creamed corn went unusually well with the dish, adding a unique flavour when paired with the pork. My only criticism is that I would have liked more calvolo nero in the mash as I adore it, but I guess that’s just a personal preference!

My mother opted for the Four Bone Lamb Rack which looked impressive to say the least! This was served with chorizo, butternut squash purée, roasted shallots, calvolo nero, dauphinoise potatoes, chimmi churri and a red wine jus. You were able to choose how you wanted your lamb cooked and to my mothers delight it was cooked expertly, with it being exactly how she had asked for it to be. I didn’t try dish myself but I’ll take my mother’s word that it was all cooked to perfection, being one of the nicest meals she’s had in a very long time!

After finishing two mouth-wateringly delicious courses we browsed the desserts menu and decided on the Icon Sharing Dessert Birdcage. This exciting dessert consisted of a half birdcage structure with three tiers of desserts. The desserts included were vanilla cheesecake, strawberry, chocolate & pistachio smash; blackcurrant mousse & mango coulis; home-baked brownie, French almond macaron & pecan praline ice cream. This dessert is made to be shared between two to three people, or just one if your appetite is big enough! I was excited to try each dessert of this trio, as they weren’t too similar in taste or texture and it seems like the selection was picked so as to bring you an array of different flavours to excite the tastebuds. My favourite was the chocolate brownie as it was really light and fluffy, but decadent at the same time! Overall, I really did enjoy all the elements of each dessert and would definitely recommend the Icon Sharing Dessert Birdcage if you’re stuck on what dessert to choose, not only is it delicious but also makes for a great picture!

Overall I had an absolutely amazing night at the newly refurbished Barnt Green Inn. The staff were as friendly and attentive as ever, but I was really taken aback by the effort that has gone into designing the luxury velvet interior which merges perfectly with the original timbered structure. Before the refurbishment I didn’t think the food could get any better at The Barnt Green Inn but I couldn’t be anymore wrong. I throughly enjoyed every course I had and wished I could have ate it all over again!

The Barnt Green Inn has really put itself on the map as a luxury dining destination. Perfect for family outings or special occasions, it’s really worth giving this establishment a visit as you certainly won’t regret it. You can find out more information about The Barnt Green Inn and see their menus here.

What’s your favourite country pub?

Laura 

Disclaimer: I was gifted this meal, however all opinions are genuine and my own.

 

Heaven Sent Lichfield Review

It’s not often that I get time to pamper myself, so I set it as my new years resolution for 2020 to start giving myself the pampering I deserve! There’s nothing better than having a relaxing massage or facial after a hard week at work and in late 2019 I discovered the newly opened Heaven Sent in the charming cathedral city of Lichfield, located in Staffordshire.

Heaven Sent is a luxury salon spa located in a beautiful listed building on the scenic cobbled streets of Lichfield. Already having a branch in Sutton Coldfield, Heaven Sent opened the Lichfield branch in December 2019 offering an array of skin and beauty therapeutic treatments. After visiting the salon in December when it first opened, having an amazing facial and massage treatment, I couldn’t wait to come back. Eager to visit again I returned this month to try out the ‘Lichfield Luxury Ritual‘.

Upon entering the salon you’re greeting by the bright fresh chic interior and friendly staff who show you to the stylish seating area to relax and enjoy a drink whilst you wait for your treatment. After a few minutes I was then shown to the ambiently lit treatment room where the ‘Lichfield Luxury Ritual’ would be taking place, which had amazing heated massage beds and candles lit to set the mood. I was so warm and cosy that I could have nodded off! The treatment started off with some relaxing inhalation’s of lavender and vetiver to bring a calming feel of tranquility to the experience; this is something I’ve never done before but it really relaxed me!

The ritual then proceeded which started off with a well needed soothing foot exfoliation for my tired feet. My feet were then wrapped in warm steamed towels whilst my back was coated in a cleansing body lather that contained olive grains to exfoliant and cleanse my skin. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a soothing mask was applied to my feet, followed by amazing heated booties. I was in heaven! To finish the ritual my whole body, including face and scalp was massaged with luxurious body oil followed up with sleep well nourishing body cream.

The whole ritual took about 80 minutes and I was left feeling a new level of relaxation I’d never felt before, with super soft skin! After my treatment I was able to return to the stylish waiting area where I chatted to the lovely staff and helped myself to the drinks on offer for clients. After a tiring January at work this was just what I needed to revitalise myself! After the treatment I returned home and had one of the best nights sleep I’ve had in a long time. Heaven Sent go above and beyond to make sure your experience is one to remember, from the beautiful interior to the attention to detail to goes into perfecting every treatment. Kelly and all the team at Heaven Sent really know how to make you feel special and this is reason why I will be returning again and again for the fantastic treatments they have on offer!

If your local to Staffordshire or the West Midlands I’d definitely recommend visiting Heaven Scent, you certainly won’t regret it! Whether you’re tired and worn out, or just need some pampering, Heaven Scent has a treatment to fit your every need and bring you back to feeling like your best self! You can find out more about what they have to offer on their website here.

When booking you can use ‘LAURA15’ to gain 15% off the price of any treatment!

What’s your favourite spa treatment?

Laura 

Disclaimer: I was gifted this treatment, however all opinions are genuine and my own.

 

The Envy Facial at Dermoperfection UK

Over the festive period whilst we eat, drink and be merry, the partying and over indulgence can really take a toll on our skin. Thinking there’s no way to rescue your skin? Dermoperfection in Birmingham has come to the rescue with the ENVY Facial!

Dermoperfection is a medical aesthetics clinic that opened in early 2019 within Birmingham city centre and is now the first establishment in Birmingham to offer the ENVY facial. If you haven’t heard of the ENVY facial as of yet I’m sure you will be hearing much more about it soon, this celebrity favourite facial helps you achieve the skin of your dreams leaving your skin red carpet ready in under an hour!

How does the ENVY facial work?

Photo credit: Dr Nyla Raja

The ENVY facial, created by ENVY medical cleverly utilises a 3-in-1 skin resurfacing treatment carried out by a patented diamond tip hand held device, which exfoliates and extracts dead skin, blackheads and impurities, whilst infusing your skin with serums all one one step. The ENVY technique allows the serums to fully penetrate your skin, absorbing into the layers where they’re most needed.

The most exciting thing about this treatment is that it’s completely customisable, which the choice of different serums targeted to specific skincare issues. But as many of you know most people have more than one issue with their skin and the founders behind the ENVY facial understood that, creating a device that can infuse two separate serums into the skin to target your different concerns.

Interestingly at the end of the facial you are actually able to see what impurities, dirt and blackheads were removed from your skin. If you book a course of facials you will be able to see that over time your skin will improve with each facial and less impurities will be present in the jar at the end. Not only does the ENVY facial reduce the appearance of wrinkles and plump up the skin, but it also has been shown to be very effective at treating other skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and large pores.

My Experience

Upon entering the clinic I was greeted by Stuart, the friendly and knowledgable owner of Dermoperfection. Stuart showed me to the treatment room where I had my consultation and skin analysis during which it was decided what serums would be best for my skin. The ENVY facial offers 4 different serums to chose from:

  • Pro-Infusion Ultra Hydrating serum
  • Pro-Infusion Vitamin C serum
  • Pro-Infusion Skin Brightening serum
  • Pro-Infusion Pore Clarifying serum

Each facial uses two serums and with Stuart’s advice I decided to opt for the Pro-Infusion Pore Clarifying serum and the Pro-Infusion Vitamin C serum. The pore clarifying serum contains salicylic acid, bakuchiol and Origanum Vulgare leaf oil, which work together to target bacteria, unclog pores, reduce surface redness and prevent future outbreaks. The vitamin C serum contains vitamin C, vitamin E and grape seed extract which work together to help the production of collagen synthesis, protect against free radicals caused by oxidisation from sun exposure and helps the skin to retain moisture by preventing transepidermal water loss.

Next my skin was cleaned, followed by the serums I had chosen then being placed into the ENVY medical dermal infusion device with the facial then taking place shortly after. During the facial you feel a slight scratching sensation and pressure as the device is applied to your face, which is due to the diamond tip exfoliating the dead skin away. It was not painful in the slightest and the pressure applied can be altered so even the most delicate areas of your face such as your under eye area and lips can also be done. The facial itself took under half an hour and I was left with dewy glowing skin! My skin looked radiant and had no redness after, so I was able to leave the clinic and carry on with the rest of my day. However the best results from the facial appear 1-3 days later after the serum has been able to get to work , which is when my skin began to look even more radiant and youthful.

For me the best part of the facial is the jar of ‘junk’ you get at the end of it. This jar contains all the dead skin cells, blackheads and impurities that we’re extracted out of your skin and it really is a shock to see how much grime can be extracted from your face even if you have a brilliant skincare regime! Below is a photograph of my before (left) and after (right) jar.

I’m not sure if it was satisfying or disgusting that I was actually able to see the dead skin and blackheads floating around within the mixture extracted from my face which can be clearly seen in the photograph below.

I believe the ENVY facial is the perfect treatment to get your skin in tip top condition again without having to use invasive techniques. What’s also brilliant is that the ENVY device can be applied to any area of your body, so if your suffering from back acne or maybe want a glowing décolletage then this might be the perfect treatment for you. It’s really exciting that Dermoperfection has become the first clinic in all of Birmingham to start offering this revolutionary treatment and I can’t wait to see what other groundbreaking treatments Stuart and the team will be offering in the future! No other facial technique is able to carry out the 3-in-1 technology and infuse serums deep within the skin like the ENVY facial does. So what are you waiting for, 2020 calls for a new beginning and what better way to start it than having an ENVY facial at Dermoperfection!

Will you be trying you the ENVY facial?

Laura 

Disclaimer: I was gifted this treatment, however all opinions are genuine and my own.