Monday, May 30, 2011

Heaven is.. Coconut M&Ms

I've just been to heaven.


They are amazing. Wow. With the new flavours of M&Ms hitting shelves such as dark chocolate, pretzel, almond, and coconut, I'm certain to gain a few kilos trying them..

I'm not sure if they are actually 'new', or just american ones being released in some stores in Australia. I bought mine from Sweet Bee, a lolly shop at my local shopping centre, and I've only seen the almond and dark chocoalate varieties at Coles.

Too bad they are artifically flavoured.. but you can't really expect natural ingredients in something as naughty as M&Ms.

Yum. That is all.

It is quite a slow blogging week, if you can't tell already.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Foam Rolling - Self Massage

Foam rolling is an excellent form of recovery post workout. It is a form of stretching (just like you'd do normally after a workout), and gets tightness and knots out of muscles that have been worked out, or are just generally tight. Like a good massage, it can really HURT, but in a good way, and when you finish you feel instantly looser and more aligned. It releases knots and tightness by rolling over the muscle, and in a way, stretching it out, and forcing it out. (Think about a rolling pin rolling some dough).

You can stretch most muscles with the foam roller, but the best I've found are the back, glutes and legs. My quads, calves, glutes and hamstrings get EXTREMELY tight because of all the exercise I do, and I sometimes get knee or hip tightness/pain as a result. I find after a quick foam rolling session, this pain lessens dramatically.

Your IT band runs down the outside of each thigh from your hip to your knee. You probably won't feel the tightness there until you get the right pressure on it, but when it is loosened, it feels AMAZING.



IT Band:




A couple of things to remember -

Do not roll your neck, or directly on your spine.

Get a personal trainer, physio or osteo to show you how to get the correct amount of pressure for you.

It will hurt, but if it is a severe pain, or lasts after the pressure is removed, seek medical advice and stop immediately.

Do Foam Rolling along with traditional stretching.

If you can't get enough pressure to 'feel it' (I can't anymore, on my calves), get someone else to help you.

There are some excellent youtube videos that demonstrate rolling techniques, and you can buy foam rollers from sports shops, and cheaply online.

Have you had any experience in foam rolling, and has it changed your life like it has mine?

Pharmacy Brands - Avène Skincare

Winter has made me break out with a terrible rash on my cheeks/jawline. It started last week when I sat right in front of a heater for far too long. It was made worse by my current state of stress as I write my final essays as the uni semester comes to an end. I do have quite sensitive skin when the weather gets a bit extreme, at other times it is quite dry.

In the past I've used DermAid Cream for the occasional skin irritation/eczema I get. I use the sensitive version, and it works well.

Yesterday I went to the pharmacy, and wanted to get something light that would keep my skin hydrated, but not further irritate it. The pharmacicst quickly went over to the Avene stand, and couldn't reccommend the range highly enough. I had heard good things about it, but had never tried any of it.

Avene is a french company who have been recognised by dermatologists for helping all types of skin problems. Their Avene Hydrotherapy centre in France caters for over 4,000 people, and is reimbursed by the French Government under their Health Insurance. Over 3,000 studies have been done on Avene, with all their products containing their Thermal Spring Water.

They have products for skin with three levels of sensitivity:

First Degree: Sensitive

Characteristics: Skin occasionally experiences unpleasant feelings such as tingling, itching, and/or tightness. Sensitive skin usually results from a mild reaction to aggressions like the wind, cold, sun and/or over-zealous cleansing which are tolerated by normal skin.

Second Degree: Intolerant

Characteristics: Skin experiences tingling and tightness, but also shows signs of redness, scaling and/or burning. Intolerant skin is easily traumatised by external factors and often reacts to the application of skincare products that are not suited to that skin type. Minimal ingredients reduce the chances of reaction.

Third Degree: Atopic

Characteristics: Skin is allergic and experiences reactions characterised by eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis, indications include dryness, itchiness and redness.

(taken from the Avene website).

I purchased the Thermal Spring Water, which was roughly $10 for the small 50ml can. It has a low mineral content and contains silica, and has a PH of 7.5. When spraying it my skin felt instantly cooled and soothed, and looked more hydrated at once. It's important to remember not to shake the can, which is a hard habit to break!

I would love to try a few more of their products.

Soothing Moisture Mask - $36.95

Lip Balm with Cold Cream - $19.95

Gentle Eye Makeup Remover - $21.95

I really have gotten to like pharmacy brands in recent months, as they don't have a lot of added ingredients, or expensive marketing behind them. Do you like pharmacy brand skincare?

Monday, May 16, 2011

At home Microdermabrasion

As mentioned in my previous post, I've been using microdermabrasion crystals to gently exfoliate my face and help the Jurlique Skin Brightening Essence to give me brighter, more clear and whiter skin.

There were a lot of products to choose from when I was looking for an at-home solution. Spa microdermabrasion facials are very pricey, often over $100. Many brands offer their own at-home microdermabrasion kits.

I personally tried one by Nutrimetics, after being given it by a friend. It had the consistency of a very grainy paste, and came with its own SPF moisturiser. It worked well, but again, I couldn't afford to pay for another one once I hit tube (I am a uni student, the stingy bargain hunter stereotype is only too true!).

When I bought my Jurlique essence from Amazon, I saw this bottle of microdermabrasion crystals, and for only $10, I thought why not give it a try. I've had a bit of trouble with my skin reacting to some harsh chemicals in products, so it appealed to me that these were just crystals, and you added them to your own cleanser, or use it with water.

The thing to remember is that you need to be VERY careful when doing microdermabrasion to yourself, and especially even more so with these crystals. The first time I used it I rubbed a little too hard, and my face was very red for a few hours afterwards. After experimenting, I like to mix it with a bit of Cetaphil, and gently rub it over my face for a minute. The result is super smooth skin, more than I've ever had with any other exfoliant product (physical or chemical).

I'm very happy with this, and the bottle has lasted me for ages. I even tried it on my upper arms, which were rough, and I'd run out of my body exfoliator. I really like how this product is customisable to specific skin areas/types.

Update: Flaunting Pale Skin

I've only just logged in to my blogger account after a few months hiatus! I forgot my password and only now reset it.

I've been using Jurlique Purely White Skin Brightening Essence for a few weeks now, and I do think it has made a difference in making my face brighter/whiter/less pigmented/less red. I came accross their new 'Purely White' range and wanted to give it a try. At $80, its very pricey, but I was able to get a cheaper one from Amazon. Along with regular at-home microdermabrasion, I believe this product has worked well for me.

With Khiel's recent price drop in Australia, I'd be interested in switching over to them to support such a good move in reducing their overinflated Australian prices. I'm not sure they have a product that could help my skin concerns though, so hopefully other skincare brands begin to follow Khiel's example, and I'll give them a try. See CClarebear's blog for more information about the price drop!

Have you tried Jurlique's Purely White range, or any others recently, for that matter?

Hope to stay back on the blogging bandwagon!