Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Importance Of Self Care & How I've Been Looking After Myself Recently


self care beauty tips

As you might have seen if you follow me on Twitter, midway through last month I found a red, itchy rash on my right hand side just above my hip bone. A couple of hours later I was sat at the doctors, following an emergency appointment with the nurse, where it was confirmed that I had shingles. Now I don't know about you but the only time I've heard of anyone getting shingles is when they've been at least 70 years old, so you can imagine my surprise, being just 25. As a result, I felt run down and ridiculously scratchy for almost two weeks, with some of the after effects still ongoing. Thankfully we caught it early enough that it didn't get a chance to get really bad but I did feel pretty rubbish throughout it all and it got me thinking about the importance of self care.

I did a blog post, back in January, on creating a 'feel better' hamper and whilst all of those points and tips are still completely valid, this time as it wasn't IBS related, I just felt rather gross and unclean, which I'll explain why in a minute. So it was definitely a new experience when it came to feeling unwell but here's how I've been looking after myself recently;

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks

Dedicating a few hours a week to a little bit of pampering

Whilst the rash was still raised and rather angry looking, in an effort to keep the area clean and to stop any infection or me disturbing the rash and possibly scarring the area, I decided to wash my hair over the bath and opt for stand up washes. Both of those things were just about as fun as they sound and left me feeling rather dirty and unclean even directly after. I was dying to have a bath or shower but was worried that I would accidentally catch the rash, allowing it to seep and then scar. So as soon as I felt slightly better, I put a free afternoon and evening to good use and did some much needed pampering. I've been loving the Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks, of which my favourite has to be the Super-Hydrating Soothing Mask. They're also super affordable and you'll often find them on offer in the likes of Boots and Superdrug. Over the past couple of weeks I've made my way through three of them and will definitely be repurchasing. Something as simple as applying a sheet mask, sticking your feet up and watching an episode or ten of Sex and the City can do wonders for ones well-being, or at least mine anyway.

Drinking more water

As mentioned in the first of my Invisalign blog posts, I'm several weeks into my Invisalign journey and it really does change your day to day life both in good and some slightly inconvenient ways. One positive of the situation is the fact that I have been drinking a lot more water. Mainly because having the trays in makes me incredibly thirsty but also because I can only drink water with my trays in, it really is my only option. This little water bottle from Flying Tiger is the perfect size to carry around with me on a daily basis and unlike some of the metal water bottles, it's not ridiculously heavy either. It's actually so light and was only £2 too, so quite the bargain.

magnitone barefaced review

Getting serious about my skincare

I'm not sure if it was a result of the medication I was on or because my body was run down or a combination of the two but my skin has been terrible recently. I'm used to only having one or two blemishes at a time and they're normally pretty easy to cover but it's not been like that at all recently. At one point I had ten (yes TEN!) spots on my chin alone. Then there were several on my forehead and a few on my cheeks so I decided to get to work on putting together some kind of radical routine to deal with the way my skin was acting. It was pretty nice timing actually, as I've just become a Magnitone ambassador. I've been using my Barefaced Sonic Cleanser* ever since and my skin is finally starting to improve. The Pore Perfection Anti-Breakout + Blemish Control heads* in particular, really are a gamechanger. They even seem to be stopping those annoying little bumps under the skin that feel like they're about to erupt but never do.

I've also been attempting to exfoliate more, as again, for some reason I've had more dead skin and debris on my skin, both when it comes to my face and my body, than ever before. The Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser*, which I actually received as part of my aftercare and prep package at Therapie Clinic following laser hair removal (more on that on Wednesday), is SO good! If you haven't been sure what exfoliating product to try or to pick up, I would easily recommend starting with this.

My skin has also felt parched so I've been upping the hydration with Pixi's H2O Skindrink on my face and Crabtree & Evelyn's Goatmilk & Oat Soothing Body Lotion* on the rest of my body. Both have been wonderful and I was so grateful to have both in my beauty stash to start using during this frankly crappy period for my skin and body. The Skindrink is even more incredible and soothing if you store it the fridge. It does feel a little bit weird to see it in the same drawer as various different cheese products but the cooling sensation is unreal and well worth trying out for yourself.

glossier balm dotcom review

Getting lippy

Much like my skin, my lips have been so unruly. I'm hoping that they're now back on the straight and narrow but honestly, my lips always get a little unmanageable in the colder months. So this year I'm being really proactive with my lip care. This nugg Exfoliating Lip Smoother* is the kind of product that I've been looking for for years. I actually tried to find the Tony Moly Lip Scrub when I was in NYC, to no avail, so was very happy when I was sent this to try on my return home. It isn't too rough on the skin and is really portable too, which is definitely a bonus and makes me remember to use it more, as a result. It also smells INCREDIBLE! Like I can't even describe how good it smells. Think buttery vanilla and you're along the right lines. And the Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom is just as dreamy as you would imagine it to be! It also actually makes me want to apply lip balm, which is not something I normally look forward to. I'm already counting down the days until I can place a Glossier order here in the UK. October cannot come quick enough! Phase 2 set and Glossier sweatshirt, you will be mine!

palm print homeware

Fresh bedding

Last but not least, something as simple as fresh bedding can instantly improve my mood. Surely I'm not the only one who feels like that, am I? Having had shingles, I really wanted to wait until the rash had almost completely disappeared before changing my bedding, just in case. So after getting the all clear the first thing I did was dig out some new bedding. This is the new set that I've put on my bed, which my Mum managed to snag from the Next sale the day I returned home from New York this Summer. I love the fact that it's reversible as the black background makes it much more cold weather appropriate and you know I love a good palm print!

So there's how I've been taking a bit more care of myself recently and a little health catch up thrown in for good measure too.

Do you practice self care? If so, what are the things that you do? If not, what would you like to start doing? And what does your current skincare regime look like?

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