Monday, 28 December 2015

CLEAR, BEAUTIFUL SKIN: Aloe vera juice

I suffer with extremely oily, spot prone skin. I have tried absolutely everything to clear this up - even medication. The only thing which I have found to work is aloe vera juice.

Aloe vera can be externally applied to the skin, and many people swear by this. However, I have found that external skin products do very little in way of significantly clearing my skin, albeit they are great at spot prevention and reducing oily skin.

There are many benefits to internally taking aloe vera. Studies have shown that it has positive effects on the digestive system - going as far as to suggest it enables the repair of stomach ulcers(!). 

Aloe vera is also full of many vitamins and minerals, which in terms of beauty can actually aid hair growth! Strong and healthy hair is less likely to break, so will grow to be longer and more luscious. 

The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral components of aloe vera juice allegedly rid the immune system of toxins and have anti-inflammatory effects (leading to benefits in controlling allergies/arthritis as well as other immune disorders). Additional health benefits may include improvements in blood circulation and decreases in fat levels in the body. 

These anti-inflammatory benefits and the decrease in toxins can improve dry skin conditions - including dandruff and psoriasis - as well as reduce spots and blemishes.

Personally, I started to notice the effects from drinking aloe vera juice within a week. I aim to drink 3 tablespoons a day (you can add these to a drink of your choice)

<link here to aloe vera juice I buy>

(It's not cheap, although in my opinion very worth it)

I always think it's best to target the body from the inside out - this way there always seems to be more predominant, longer lasting effects (and why not as you get some great health benefits at the same time!). 

Hope you try it and see all the wonderful effects which I do!

-neurogenicbeauty, xo

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Living with OCD and its stereotype

I'm not an organised person. I'm not tidy. I'm definitely not neat. I don't "feel uncomfortable" when a picture is hanging at an angle. So.. I can't "be OCD" right?

The truth is, even if all of those things were true, it doesn't equate to obsessive compulsive disorder.

OCD has become a term that's thrown around so often these days, I thought I'd share the truth behind the disorder. 

For starters, OCD is not an adjective. A person cannot "be a bit OCD" - a person can have obsessive compulsive disorder.

OCD is not the same as perfectionism, or being organised and neat, and it is not restricted to a fear of contamination. 

Quite simply - and pretty literally - OCD is the process of having obsessive, intrusive, upsetting thoughts which cause deep anxiety and carrying out 'compulsions' in order to relieve this anxiety and stress.

Whilst a lot of people who have OCD hand wash excessively this is not the only type of compulsion that exists. Compulsions can be anything which relieves the anxiety from the intrusive thoughts. Honestly, anything - sometimes just thought suppression. More often than not the type of OCD a person has is not confined. This means a person can carry out checking behaviours and cleaning behaviours and counting behaviours. Someone could also have intrusive thoughts that are religious and sexual and violent. 

The primary difference between OCD and perfectionism is the anxiety which OCD causes. If a person were to wash their hands or reorganise due to their OCD - this would be an extremely stressful process for them. They do not enjoy doing it - which often leads to avoidance of the issue at hand. 

I have obsessive compulsive disorder. It's a disorder that's often trivialised and I'm not great at explaining it, but it is so much more consuming and painful than it is portrayed as.

I don't 'just wash my hands a lot'. There is so much more to it than that. Hours and hours of my day are confusing, stressful rituals and routines. I lose sleep, I cry, I get sick - constantly being on edge, stressed and anxious has physical effects too. These things aren't something I do in public, and until now only a handful of people knew, so it's not a visible illness. But it is just that, an illness. It's not a quirk. It's not cute. It's a debilitating illness with no cure. 

I think it's time that OCD was portrayed properly in the media. That people stopped trivialising it, and so many other mental health disorders. Jokes are great, but physical illness is seldom joked about - so why should this be different for mental health?

-neurogenicbeauty, xo

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

How and why I started washing my hair twice a week or less

Is it too bold to start off by saying that a persons hair can encapsulate their entire personality? Probably. Said it anyway.

I have a lot of hair. Hair that takes an age to dry and to style. Most days I just brush it and clip it back before leaving the house. As well as this, I have highlighted hair.

I probably get my hair coloured three times a year. Which, considering I only ever get a 'trim' (I'm sure my hairdresser hates this) leads to a lot of damaged hair. Adding shampoo damage to this would just dry my hair out completely, making it a nightmare to maintain. 

Laziness definitely has a major role to play in the decision to stop washing my hair everyday (yes, you did read that right.. every day) because who has time to blow dry their hair every morning? Not me (my flatmates can vouch for this..).

I'd like to say that my hair is never noticeably greasy or dirty (I hope?!). The last time I had my hair coloured my hairdresser actually accused me of washing my hair that morning because it was "so clean" when in actual fact I hadn't washed it for a couple of days.

Basically, your hair will be healthier if you stop washing it so much. It will break less, be less dry, tangle less and just be less of a nuisance in general. Not only this, but it saves so much time (and water!).

I won't lie, it took me a month or two before I noticed my hair needed less washing. This means you'll have to be able to put up with using a little dry shampoo before bed for the first few weeks (I also tend to tie my hair back off my face at night - someone somewhere is going to tell me off for this as it probably damages the roots of my hair?.. Sorry).

However, there is a light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel... after this initial 'training' period, greasy hair a day after washing will be no more. 

I like to use a natural bristle brush (because I'm a wimp - brushing knots hurts). I've also been told that natural bristle brushes, sometimes called shine brushes (did I make this fact up?), redistribute the natural oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair - hence its name..? Voila.. your roots look less greasy and your hair looks healthier. 

So.. let me know if you give it a try? That's a weird thing to say. How do people end these?... Bye? 

P.S I recommend my hairdressers 1000000% - check out Slix Salon

P.P.S. If anyone with any real, professional hair knowledge fancies giving me some tips - more than welcome! 

neurogenicbeauty, xo

(Here's a cheesy selfie showing my 4th day hair.. you can't even tell.. right?!)

Sunday, 6 December 2015

How to: Combat oily skin effectively

So here goes, my first official blog-post. 
Unfortunately, I have been suffering with oily skin for the majority of my teenage, and now adult, years. Whilst this has been a bit of a nightmare to overcome - and get my makeup to stay put for that matter - it does mean that I have tried and tested many of the raved about products specifically for oily skin.
Today I'm going to share with you my morning and night-time routines which keep my face looking lovely and matte all day.
First thing's first, face wash:
The face wash which I am currently using is called 'Neutrogena VISIBLY CLEAR® Pore & Shine Daily Wash'.

I cannot commend this product enough! I now start every day with a matte, but not overly dry face, the perfect base for my everyday makeup.
I also love 'Garnier Pure Active Fruit Energy Gel Scrub' and the daily gel wash version - perfect wake-me-ups in the morning which smell of pomegranate.
Next up is moisturiser:
I'm currently using a day-cream from The Body Shop, which I've actually re-purchased a number of times - quite rare for me as I am always on the hunt for the perfect light, slightly mattifying day-cream. This is the 'Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream', which has the perfect balance between moisturising (as you need to lock moisture in the skin before applying makeup - especially important in the winter months) and mattifying the skin. 

A staple product for all with oily skin, 'Too Faced Primed and Poreless Pure Primer'. For skin that is soft to the touch, with minimal shine this primer is wonderful! I have previously tried Smashbox, L'Oreal, No7 and 17 primers to name but a few - this is so far my ultimate favourite.
On my eyelids I use the 'Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: Original'. I find this works as an eyeshadow base simply because our eyelids aren't moisturised (duh) so do not get as oily as the rest of the face during the day.

Then, I apply my makeup - which I won't go into detail about for now (!)
(As a quick side note, using a setting powder and setting spray can help your makeup stay during the day. I use 'Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder' and 'Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray'. I also keep a 'MAC Blot Pressed Powder' and 'Makeup Forever HD Pressed Powder' handy in my bag).
In terms of my night-time routine, I remove my makeup with a multitude and assortion of Garnier makeup removers. A few of my favourites are 'Essentials Simply Essentials Soothing 2-in-1 Make-Up Remover', 'Essentials Softening Cleansing Lotion Goodbye Dry…' and 'Essentials

Express 2-in-1 Eye Makeup Remover'. These are really soft on the skin - great if your skin is a little sensitive.
I follow up with a toner, 'Garnier Essentials Softening Toner Goodbye Dry...' to ensure my face is properly clean before treating and moisturising.

The final steps involve moisturiser and night gel (occasionally a treatment gel also).
Firstly, I use 'Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Night Gel' which is amazingly cheap at £2.99, and I love the smell of Tea Tree oil! This is perfect as oily skin is more often than not spot prone skin. The saying goes that prevention is better than cure, so this overnight gel works wonders fending off bacteria. 

Following this, I use a moisturiser from Freederm, the 'Perfecting Moisturiser'. I use this daily moisturiser as night creams tend to sit too heavily on my skin, causing break-outs overnight. 
If I have a spot I use a spot treatment gel - such as 'Freederm Fast Track'. This sits like film over the spot, drying it out - it is usually gone by morning!
I realise that this post is a bit of a long winded skin care routine, however I hope that I managed to give anyone with oily skin some guidance on how to combat it relatively cheaply! I've linked all products so please feel free to click through on any of the products to their websites where all the prices will be available. 
neurogenicbeauty, xo

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