Diagnosis – Facial Allergic Contact Dermatitis Patch Testing Results

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For today’s post I’m going to be taking you back in time to one of the busiest points of last year (and possibly of my life!)

In June 2016 I had just bought and moved into a new flat (our first that we have owned), was knee deep wedding planning, was working crazy hours, and my face was a mess.

The allergic contact dermatitis that had appeared from nowhere in 2014 was at an all time, irritating high (or low!) My lips were dry and cracked, with red sore patches all around them, and perhaps even worse the small patch that had developed under my eye had returned with a vengeance whilst I was on my hen weekend. I had absolutely no idea what was causing it, and no way of regulating it other than plastering the most delicate areas of my face with steroid cream.

This was not how I’d planned on my face looking for my wedding day.

However, after months of waiting, I had been referred back to the hospital for more tests. [Read more…]

Minerva Gold Collagen Drink: THE RESULTS!

It’s time for the results of my Minerva Gold Collagen drink 30 day trial results!

You can see all the details of this skin supplement drink in my previous post, but in short, after abandoning my skin care routine due to the ravages of allergic contact dermatitis I have been feeling that although I have seen massive improvement from a flare-up point of view, I am definitely seeing my skin condition suffer in terms of radiance, fine lines and pigmentation. The chance to try ‘skincare from the inside’ was pretty exciting, and so I’ve drunk one little bottle of Minerva Gold every day for 30 days.

Here’s my skin before…

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And here it is after… [Read more…]

Minerva Gold Collagen : Skincare from the inside?

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After my allergy diagnosis, I’ve had to really restrict my skin care routine. I’ve worked back up to a prescription cream cleanse, an acid exfoliant, a facial spray and a gentle moisturiser without setting my skin off, but they’re all pretty bland items. All the lovely facial oils and anti ageing skincare has been binned (in some cases literally, but mostly distributed to willing friends and family – after all, someone may as well benefit from my skin woes!)

And so, I’ve been in the strange situation where I’ve been seeing a massive improvement in my skin from a dermatitis point of view – minimal flare ups, being able to wear lipsticks without allergens a couple of times a week, but I’ve seen real deterioration in other areas. Fine lines are appearing around my eyes and on my forehead. Redness around my nose, and pigmentation around the cheek/eye area that are driving me potty. I feel like I’ve spent a fortune on looking after my skin for the last few years, and worry that it will all go to waste!

So, when I received an offer to trial the Minerva Gold Collagen supplement drink, I was very interested. The product – a drink without preservatives (hurrah to none of those benzoates that I’m allergic to!) or artificial sweeteners, packaged in a small glass bottle for those who are avoiding plastics – makes some hefty beauty claims. You simply drink one a day, and it promises to plump and hydrate skin from the inside out, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promote suppleness, and promote healthy looking hair and nails (another area that has been suffering for me with no luxurious hair treatments or hand creams!).  It does this by supplying a mix of collagen (the highest dose that the body is able to absorb in one day) hyaluronic acid (which used to be a key ingredient in some of my favourite skincare products!) along with vitamins and other skin-focussed supplements.

I’ll be trialling Gold Collagen for 30 days – this is apparently long enough to really start to feel and see a difference. Here’s my ‘before’ photo – probably not helped by being seriously jet lagged after getting back from Japan!

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Check back in in a month, and see the results!

Hoar Cross Hall Spa Escape

Whenever anyone asks me for a spa recommendation I without hesitation say ‘Hoar Cross Hall‘. There’s something about the place that induces immediate relaxation.

It’s just far enough out of the city to feel like I’m escaping into the countryside, without being so far that it feels like a slog to get there. The Jacobean building gives the historian in me serious happies, the food is brilliant (and plentiful), and that’s before you even get on to the actual spa facilities.

Back in April I was just entering what I’ll now refer to as ‘stressed-out-reclusedom’ – we were in the final days of working out whether we were EVER going to exchange on our new flat (and being hit with surprise bills left right and centre. Awesome.), the new web project I was working on was seriously kicking off, suddenly we only had 4 months to the wedding, and it felt like the flat purchase was taking up all of our planning time. I was, in short, a wreck.

Fortunately my wonderful mother had spied my on-the-edge-ness and treated me to a trip to Hoar Cross for my birthday. We have a bit of a tradition of visiting together every year, but due to various factors had missed 2015 out. The solution? Go for twice as long in 2016! (Gotta love my mother’s logic – it’s the same logic that led to visiting Disneyland being the only possible solution to our flight being moved by 24 hours on the way back from Hawaii.) Thank goodness she was so generous – looking back I think this little ‘relaxation re-set’ was one of the few things that got me through!

2015 being a ‘fallow spa year’ also meant that this was the first time that we’d encountered the newly refurbished facilities. I got a glimpse of some of these back when I visited the opening of the Matthew Curtis salon at Hoar Cross in July last year, but it was brilliant to see how they’ve really taken the place to another level of luxury.

Check out my vlog from our spa escape to see just what I’m talking about. There are scones!

March Favourites

It’s that time again – all the things I’ve been loving over the past month. It’s my March favourites!

In this video…
Beauty
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum – http://bit.ly/2230u5F
Ole Henriksen Fab Five – http://bit.ly/1MMiSxP
Stila One Step Colour Correct – http://bit.ly/25EV8lC
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner – http://bit.ly/20Vepfm

Playing
Xenoblade Chronicles X – http://bit.ly/1N4lbY5

Watching
Love on Netflix – http://nflx.it/1UBOPvv