So I'm sure some of you are aware of the very difficult blog break I'm taking at the moment in order to focus on completing my degree... If you didn't, go check out this post where I get all sentimental about how 'I love you guys' and 'my blog is my life' :) Anyways, I wasn't going to leave all of you lovely readers in the lurch with NO material on how to obtain your very own HauteFuture was I? So whilst I'm still vlogging a little bit (it is less time consuming than blogging), and doing guest posts on some other blogs, I also decided to hunt for all the other fab bloggers out there and invite them all to get involved and post some great guest features for me. If you're interesting in writing a guest feature read this and send me an email, I welcome anyone even non-bloggers and the more the merrier!
I've had a fantastic response so far and it's really shown to me how supporting my friends, family and the blogging community really can be when you need their help. So thank you guys :) I'm currently working on different ideas with about ten guests, but without further ado let me introduce my first guest...
The beautiful Sophie Nightingale from Simple Sophie contacted me about a week ago with two awesome ideas. I'm not going to tell you about one of them as she may write that one up too because I was so in love with both of her pitches! However, we both felt like her idea about how to conquer acne would make the perfect first guest post because having experienced bad skin in the past when Sophie said that there isn't enough blog coverage on this 'embarrassing' topic, I realized that she was so right! And isn't that outrageous? Hundreds of thousands of people world-wide suffer with acne and yet it's almost treated like a dirty word in the beauty community. So this post is all about the journey Sophie has personally experienced and the tips she's picked up along the way....
I’ve had acne for almost all of my secondary school life. It started at the end of year seven and I still have it now at almost 18. That makes it just over 5 years. I find acne is very rarely, if at all, spoken about in the blogging world. It’s considered a taboo subject, an embarrassment, something related to dirt and being unhealthy. But it shouldn’t be.
Over the past few years I’ve been on numerous different types of medication from antibiotics to contraceptive pills. I’ve used high-street cleansers and prescribed creams, all promising to reduce the effects of acne and to stop it completely. But here I am, 5 years on, still going to the doctor every few months for more medication.
Anyway I’m not here to have a rant! I’ve learnt a few tricks of the trade over time and I’m here to share them with you.
I think it’s important to use a variety of products. I find that if I stick to one cleanser, like the No7 gentle cleanser I use, then it stops working after a while, so I alternate every couple of days. I also use a variety of strength products, for example the Vita Derm products are designed to target blemishes so have specific agents, whereas my Clarins cleansing gel is designed to improve your skin all round. In the past I have been prescribed some very strong cleansers to fight my spots. They were very harsh on my skin and some even bleached my towels!? I don’t use these anymore as they were more trouble than they were worth making my skin very dry and irritable.
This Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel promises to improve your skin in a few different ways. I try to use at least once a day and I apply it over make-up so it takes that off as well as cleansing my skin. After a few weeks my skin was noticeably healthier and brighter and a lot softer to touch. It’s really easy to apply, and rinsing off with warm water means all the dirt in my pores is washed away leaving my skin feeling smooth and clean.
I use No7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Cleanser when I’m in a rush or staying with friends. It’s really easy to take off make-up with, but it can leave a greasy feel on my skin so I don’t use it that often.
I only bought this product recently as I had a No7 £5 off voucher and thought I’d give it a try. I have a lot of visible pores in the centre of my face by my nose and cheeks. After using this Pore Refining Serum every day for a couple of weeks, I can definitely see an improvement as my pores are not as visible and my skin looks healthier and smoother.
I bought these Vita Derm products after a facial I had in South Africa last year. I use the exfoliator every time I wash my hair so I can leave it on whilst I put my conditioner on, and I use the AHA Active Gel on my blemishes every evening. All of these are very gentle on my skin and do what they say on the bottle. However you don’t see an automatic improvement, it’s developed over the last 8 months I’ve been using them.
I know Sudacrem is something you would associate with baby’s bums, but trust me you can use it on spots too! It tends to dry blemishes out and reduce their appearance, without drying out your skin. I don’t use this regularly as it can make my skin quite slimey so difficult to apply make-up, but if I have a patch of spots then I tend to rub this on and they reduce in appearance overnight.
All of these products combined have improved my skin so much over the past year. I would also recommend Tea-Tree products as I swore by these in my early years of acne, before realising my skin had become immune to them! Using acne fighting products helps a lot, but a few simple lifestyle changes can improve your skin immensely and help prevent brake outs.
- Eat healthy. Literally every time I eat a McDonalds or pizza or some other food full of fats, I can almost see the result on my face. My skin gets noticeably worse whenever I eat badly. I try to eat at least my ‘5-a-day’ if not more, and combine dried fruits and nuts into my diet. It’s important to eat a variety of food types as they are all nutritious in different ways. I have a 75cl water bottle that I fill every morning so I can hydrate myself throughout the day. I finish it every day to make sure my skin is kept hydrated. When I drink lots of water I find my skin looks a lot brighter and less greasy.
- Clean bed sheets. This may sound weird, but I did an experiment a few months ago where I left my bed sheets on for more than two weeks. I gradually noticed a cluster of spots near each ear on my cheeks where I had been lying on my pillow in the night. This may sound OTT but little changes like this can make a big improvement and prevent breakouts. I have bed sheets on for 2 weeks until I change them – I love the feel of crisp clean bed sheets too!
- Exercise and fresh air. When I spend a day inside without going out for fresh air or exercise, I can see the result on my skin. I also get quite grouchy and the skin around my eyes darkens. Exercising also releases endorphins which are proven to lift your mood and improve circulation which is an extra bonus!
- Make-up. I know a lot of people recommend you don’t wear make-up if you have acne as it makes your skin worse. To be honest when I have long breaks without make-up, for example on holiday, my skin gets considerably better. Unfortunately it never stays like that! There’s no way I would feel comfortable being in public without make-up on. I try to only buy hypoallergenic products as these are spot-friendly, but at the end of it, I just want to cover my skin up and feel comfortable!
I really don’t think that acne is something people should be embarrassed about. Obviously I was seriously self-conscious in my second year of high school as I was the only one of my friends with spots. I gradually got used to it though and I’ve preserved with lifestyle changes and taking medication every day. I hope my honesty has inspired spot-sufferers to open up about their secrets to battling acne and share their tricks of the trade to overcome this condition.
Sophie has been absolutely fabulous to work with. She came to me with two great ideas which were just the sort of things I was looking for, and managed to get a first draft to me within a week which is commendable when I know that everyone has busy lives of their own. Not to mention the piece was so well written that there were virtually no notes, and I was really impressed by the personal touch when she candidly confesses to a world which might not take to it kindly, 'I’ve had acne for almost all of my secondary school life'. I really hope that you'll all head over to her blog Simple Sophie and click 'Follow'. My favorite thing about her blog has to be her photographs, they almost look professional! This blog is really going places in my opinion.
Please feel free to leave a comment down below, but also, go interact with Sophie on her own page or on her Twitter account (@sophnightingale) as she's so lovely I'm sure she'd like to chat with you!
Thanks for reading guys and if you like the idea of getting some writing practice in and gaining some extra blog coverage make sure you get in touch with me at email@example.com and I will definitely encourage and support you to write a piece as wonderful as this.
Thanks once again Sophie, can't wait for your next piece :D
Until next time...