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My battle with Acne

It’s just leaving 6pm on a still, autumn afternoon and I’m sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of tea in hand debating whether to write the post I’ve had in mind for a few weeks. A little while ago, I found that my skin had started to react badly to any product that I put on it – be that my usual Clean & Clear daily face wash, my MAC Studio Fix Fluid or even my trusty Smashbox primer which I have adored since I first tried it last year.

I decided that drastic action was required and upheaved my whole beauty routine – I changed my cleanser added a facial oil and a moisturiser (you can read about this here), and for a few weeks I was happy with the results, my skin appeared to be getting back to normal. Thar was until my skin once again rebelled and I was left with a horrible assortment of spots and redness. I have never – not once – in my life suffered with spots. I have never had acne and I have never had more than a couple of spots at a time, so to find myself like this after all these years reduced me to tears and I felt heartbroken.

You might think that this sounds a little dramatic, but at the end of the day, I also work as a makeup artist and advise clients on their skin and the makeup to suit, so to say that my own skin was in such a state was a bit of an ironic concept!

I went on to try the Dermalogica mediBac adult acne treatment kit and religiously stuck to using the facial wash, the sebum clearing face masque, the overnight clearing gel and the clearing primer but to no avail. My skin still looked horrendous to me.


So today, while I was visiting my GP, I mentioned my skin complaint and I was finally diagnosed with Acne. I couldn’t, and still can’t believe that at 25 I have been dealt my first dose of acne. Luckily, my doctor was very understanding of my situation and decided to put me onto a course of antibiotics (Lymecycline) along with a treatment gel to use once a day. I will be on the course of tablets for two months and I’ve got my fingers crossed that they will work for me.

The reason why I wanted to write this post is because I was rather naive to the fact that yes, adults can get acne and no, it isn’t uncommon at all. I wanted to write a post to highlight this fact for anybody else who may be struggling with what they think is just a period of stubborn spots – it’s always a great idea to go and see your GP or skincare specialist who can help to advise you of the best care for your skin personally and recommend the best medication or skincare routine. Dealing with Acne is hard; it can ruin your confidence and shatter your self-esteem but the important thing to remember is that there are pathways to take to try and clear up the effects.

I’m not quite ready to share any pictures of my skin with you at the moment, but I will certainly be writing a before and after post in the coming weeks to show you the difference my antibiotics have or haven’t made and what’s worked well (and not so well) for me along the way.

How have you managed with Acne, did anything really work well for you? I’d love to hear from you.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.

Lauren - October 7, 2013 - 5:38 pm

You’re so brave to write this post. I have suffered from acne ever since I tried my very first foundation back in 2008/2009. I have tried everything from freederm to various tablets and then I got put on to isotretoin/accutane by my dermatologist and it cleared my skin completely in 5 months until they came back months later but they didn’t come back as bad as they were before. I still have acne now and I still struggle with it but be confident in yourself. I’ve been sticking with the bodyshop tree tree range for a few weeks and I absolutely love it. Hope things go well for you hun. x

Rachael Divers - October 7, 2013 - 5:53 pm

Thank you so much Lauren! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve struggled too, it really does affect your confidence when they’re at their worst. I know other people probably don’t really notice as much but because I know they’re there, it really grinds me down. I’ll have to give that range a try and see if it helps – thank you 🙂 xxx

Andrea - October 24, 2013 - 11:13 am

Caffeine, alcohol, smoke and sugar are four factors that effect the skin more than anything else. By reducing the intake of these will improve the skin condition and will also make you feel more active.
There is so much that can be done from the outside to improve the skin, but a good diet and plenty of water is always the best solution. Even an additive or colouring in a certain food can aggrevate bacterial growth causing acne, so plenty of veg, salad, fruit and meat is perfect. Avoid anything with flour in it.
A good tip is to treat the skin type with a cleanser and moisturiser and treat a skin condition with a masque, booster, serum etc.
Always, always exfoliate!!! Treat the cause, not the symptoms.

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Tony Moly Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm

I’ve just had to log on and write a little post about the gorgeous new addition to my makeup kit – the Tony Moly Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm.

Tony Moly

The balm works as a skin primer that is enriched with protein – known for its skin tightening properties – and contains Magnolia bark and Bud Bean extracts. It promises to sooth and smooth the skin to create a perfect oil-free base for makeup application thanks to its egg and camellia extracts along with Porous powder and Selemin AN which helps to control sebum secretion.

The balm also contains Camellia Flower extract, and the Skin Growth Complex promises to manage dead skin cells and strengthen the elasticity of skin giving a tightening, youthful effect. The balm will help to conceal enlarged pores, fine winkles and minor scars and leave behind a soft, velvet feel when applied to problem areas.

Now, this little box of Egg Pore arrived in the post no less than 20 minutes ago and I was that impressed with the cute packaging and product that I just needed to write about it right away! As I’m still stuck at home with a dose of Pneumonia, I took to the bathroom mirror to try out a little of the formula on my bare skin right away. It’s a lovely smooth velvety texture that applies really nicely to the skin – it also smells gorgeous, I can’t quite place the smell but it reminds me a tiny bit of orange mixed with something else I can’t work out. I haven’t tried my usual foundation on top of this yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to add a little piece into this post. I can certainly vouch for the fact that the product feels lovely and soothing on the skin, and to me personally, I feel that it has helped to smooth over my pores a little. I guess the real results will show when I apply my foundation over it at a later date.

Aside from being completely cute, the Egg Pore series also has a little secret. Beauty Legend has it that when the top part of the egg is cracked open, you will find a small pack of seeds to grow in your egg. I don’t know how true this actually is and I’m not going to crack mine open yet as I have a whole lot to use first, but if it is true, it’s a nice touch. Apparently this is all explained on the box but as the writing is in Korean and I’m not particularly au fait with it, I guess I’ll have to wait to find out!

Tony Moly 1

This is a Korean product but I managed to get hold of mine from the USA site, Pretty & Cute. To view more products from the Egg Pore range including the Egg Pore Tightening Pack and the Egg Pore Blackhead Out Oil gel, click here.

Has anybody else tried this or any other product from the Egg Pore range? What are your views?

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.

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Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely hand cream review

Bee Lovely

Recently, I got a tube of Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely hand cream in my copy of Marie Claire. The Bee Lovely range aims to help save our Bees through beauty. As Neal’s Yard say: “Bees are vanishing from around the world. In Britain they’re disappearing faster than in the rest of Europe. Deadly neonics, 7,000 times more deadly than banned DDT, are at the heart of the problem. Together we can help save the bees.” With 25p being donated to a Bee Lovely charity or good cause from each product bought in the range, the company hope to help to make a difference – they even handed in their Bee Lovely petition, which gained 117,345 signatures, to 10 Downing Street for the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron. A double step to success as the EU decided whether to stop using the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam on the same day (25th February) – “these three neonic’ pesticides have been shown by the EFSA*, to be the cause of much of the damage to bee populations across Britain and Europe” says the Neal’s Yard site. 

As a nail technician, I understand the importance of using a hand cream to hydrate the hands and keep the skin soft and supple – after all, ageing shows massively on the hands so preventative care is a must. I’ve gotten myself into a routine of applying my Bee Lovely hand cream a few times daily and I’m happy with the results. The products are enriched with moisturising organic honey along with orange and mandarin essentials and are even gentle enough to be used on young skin (3+).

I really like the smell and the texture of the hand cream, and I love the instant nourishing effect it has on my hands. Unlike some hand creams I’ve used in the past, it actually feels like it’s working. I’d recommend using the cream a little while before you need to dash out and do anything as it does take a little while to absorb into the skin – I know some people won’t mind this, but others prefer a cream that soaks in immediately with no residue afterwards.

Bee Lovely hand cream

Overall, I really enjoy using this product and I’m happy that Marie Claire have brought a great product to my attention. It’s one I can imagine buying again once I’ve run out – and for me, that’s not something I say lightly! I’m very picky about the products I use on my skin – being prone to eczema and having very sensitive skin, I have to be careful about what I choose to use.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bee Lovely range, you can browse the collection by clicking here.

Bee lovely banner

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.

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In my opinion: What is the best foundation for pale skin?

Fair Skin

Hello gorgeous readers! Lately I’ve found that I’ve been asked the same question a lot so I thought I’d write a blog post on the topic. As you might have guessed from the title, the question on the lips of many is this: Which foundation is perfect for pale skin?

As you know, I am naturally very fair and have ginger hair. I have always found finding the right shade of foundation such a struggle! I started to wear foundation when I was around 13 years old – I was terribly ashamed of my pale complexion and freckles and really tried to conceal them under hideous amounts of makeup that really didn’t suit my skin tone. Try as my parents might, I never listened to their advice that less was more and that the colours I was wearing didn’t suit me.

Years down the line, I finally came across Illamasqua when one Christmas my Dad, (who’s pretty fashion and beauty savvy being a photographer of all sorts) found out some gorgeous goodies and gave them to me as a gift. I was immediately intrigued to see what Illamasqua’s foundation would be like.

I’d heard amazing things about Illamasqua’s Skin Base, for those of you who aren’t familiar, here’s what Illamasqua has to say about it: “Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.”

Fair Skin 1

Now usually, if something sounds too good to be true, it is. However, I can hand on heart vouch for this foundation. I’m sure my regular readers will know that I used to work for Illamasqua and would expect my reviews to be favourable, but believe you me, if I don’t think a product is worth the hype, I won’t promote it. When I first used the foundation, I loved the coverage and the slightly dewy tone, it looked like skin only smoothed to perfection. Now, the main point I am getting to with Skin Base is the fact that the collection has a massive range of colours from pink to yellow to mixed undertones. When I worked on the counter, I had many a fair lady come to me and be amazed by the lovely coverage and natural match to their skin tone – something they had struggled to get from other brands.

The foundation is a three-in-one creation: a beauty balm, a primer and a foundation in one so there really is no need to use three products to get the flawless effect. Just simply smooth off, powder if necessary and enjoy the lovely finish.

I am usually a number 7 in this foundation but can sometimes drop to a 6 depending on how much sun/St Moriz my skin has had. Now, I won’t spin you a line, my skin doesn’t get on fabulously with this foundation as I would hope – I suffer a lot from eczema on the face and the slightest change sets it off with a vengeance. But I use this foundation on my clients for photo shoots and special occasions and always have rave reviews of it afterwards. It photographs beautifully and looks amazing in natural daylight.

I’d urge you all to have a try of it and see what you think. I reckon you may be converted!

Fair skin 2

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.

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