Like spicy food, acne is subjective.

What’s vindaloo to one person is korma to the next. While I’ve never had really bad acne I’ve always suffered with hormonal acne around my chin & jaw. While I’m grateful my acne wasn’t severe that’s not to say what I had didn’t frustrate me and have all sort of knock on emotional effects.

Even now in my mid thirties it still hangs around. My acne usually presents itself around my chin & jaw in the form of enlarged pores, blackheads & those pesky bumps which are blocked pores and whiteheads.

Whiteheads congestion chin

Those pesky bumps

Then the odd really deep, sore pimple will erupt or I will try to extract a bump from under the skin and turn it into a big pimple. I don’t learn it seems.

My acne story…the condensed version

There is never really a time there is not a pimple healing on my face somewhere.

I’ve tried it all really those harsh pharmacy acne brands, my skin just burns even thinking of them. the infomercial ‘acne systems’ – hello bleached towels, detoxes, going all natural, supplements, Naturopath herbs, facials and all that falls in between.

I’ve had clear skin twice in my post-pubescent life. When I got married as I invested big in a years worth of microdermabrasion and extraction facials and also when I was pregnant and my hormones must have finally come to a happy balance.

The really bad skin days

 

My skin is at it’s most stable when I am eating clean, taking skin support supplements, exercising and using natural and gentle products teamed with mineral make-up 90% of the time but it still cycles up and down.

So when I read that there was an Australian owned company that had a natural acne control system that was getting named as one of ‘Australia’s most innovative products’ in the Anthill Magazine ‘SMART 100’ Index it piqued my interest.

Skinb5 skin and tablet acne system

SkinB5 results – how my skin has improved

Within two weeks I noticed my open pores seemed to be shrinking. Those random big painful cysts spots stopped coming. My bumpy under the surface whiteheads seemed to be drying out and many of them seemed to come to the surface and work themselves out without ever manifesting into a painful swollen spot first.

I then received a pointer from SkinB5 to use the mask on remaining stubborn whiteheads and this boosted the clearing results further. They are now all but clear.

Whats more in about the 4-6 week mark my skin started to absolutely G-L-O-W. Friends on FaceTime started to ask me about my skin!! My splitting nails started to strengthen and grow without breaking I suspect from all the zinc & biotin in the supplements.

Clinique chubby eye ample amber colur pop primer lip sweet pop

Enjoying much clearer skin these days

 

After about 6 8 weeks most of my congestion & whiteheads had cleared and any remaining ones seemed to be looser and easily extracted from the skin which is interesting. I was really only getting one pimple at that time of the month and I noticed it was far less painful and swollen and healed much quicker than usual, again probably from the zinc.

How SkinB5 works

SkinB5’s hero ingredient as the name suggests is Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid. Skin B5 is proving itself as the new acne miracle worker, one study even reporting that in 100 users almost all of them experienced a near 100% remission of their acne.

SkinB5 works by controlling production and reducing over-active oil oil Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) Controls over active skin oil production.

This is all based on the effect Vitamin B5 has on hormone & fatty acid regulator CoenzymeA in the body. When you increase the amount of Vitamin B5 in your system this props CoenzymeA up, causing it to produce less of the male hormone ‘androgen’ which is the hormone responsible for the increased fatty acid & sebum production that manifests as acne.

Skin B5’s ingredients

So first and foremost Skin B5 is working from a systemic & hormonal level at the root cause of many of our skin problems, The Skin B5 system then combines that with a plethora of known acne reducing & healing ingredients like Vitamin A, Zinc, Green Tea & Vitamin E & Vitex Agnus Cactus.

Most of all it is natural and every single ingredient is considered and only included for skin healing & refining purposes. No harsh chemicals or fragrances or alcohols fillers like so many ‘acne’ products or those other ‘global acne systems’.

Its this gentle, natural and nourishing approach that also makes this system great for more mature and very sensitive skins like mine. I never feel compromised in terms of moisture or anything that upsets my skins delicate balance.

The SkinB5 system & how to use it

With it’s three pronged treat/condition/maintain supplement and skincare approach I almost picture Skin B5 working from the inside out and then the outside in, meeting some where effectively in the middle calming things down.

how-to-use-skinb5 acne system

This is how it all works

Step 1 – Control with Acne Control Tablets – Extra Strength
To me these are the backbone of the system & what drives initial results. At the beginiing of the treatment these SkinB5 & Vitamin A rich tablets are taken 2 x 3 times a day. Be warned they are really big tablets! Lots of water required. These are the big guns though and what will start to slow down androgen production & balance stress and hormones internally. They say wait 6 to 12 weeks, I started seeing changes in 2 weeks!

Step 2 – The Skincare Regime

Acne Control Cleanser Mousse
This is one of those fun cleansers that pump out in foam form & is light and delicious to use. It is remarkably gentle & unscented even to use on my ever-so sensitive eyes. There are no sulfates or foaming agents so no tightness to report and green tea and aloe help to make skin feel conditioned. Vitamin B5 also is included to topically tighten pores and there is a gentle 1% salicylic acid to keep things unclogged but also makes skin look & feel really,really smooth. I love, love, love this cleanser. Skin feels so fresh afterwards.

Acne Control Moisturiser

I’m never really one for ‘oil-free’ acne treatment mositurisers I always feel like I’m missing out, like low-fat ice-cream! But I was pleasantly surprised with this moisturiser which while is still light it gives good hydration and makes skin feel soft.

Probably due to the inclusion of Jojoba oil which while still nourishing also helps to regulate sebum because it has a similar molecular make-up as sebum so skin thinks it is getting enough oil  & doesn’t over-produce. I only wish this came in a mineral SPF30 format to prevent having to add another SPF layer into the routine that may upset the carefully balanced SkinB5 system.

5-Min Skin Purifying Mask

This French green clay based mask has become a favourite and so happens to be blended with my favourite essential oil bergamot, (not for that great orange blossom scent though, bergamot is included as it is antiseptic & healing). A little goes a long way so the tube will last you ages. I use twice a week and then overnight to dry out more stubborn pimples & whiteheads which is when I really noticed this come into its own.

Even though this mask is clay based skin still felts super soft and comfortable after using it thanks to avocado oil & aloe vera.

Step 3 – Acne Control Caplets

A milder maintenance version of step 1 these caplets are taken 1 x 3 times daily and help keep things regulated and balanced with the inclusion of Vitex Agnus -Cactus and prevents the more everyday symptoms presenting themselves  like open pores & blackheads & whiteheads. I am currently on my second tub of these maintenance caplets. I ran out & didn’t take them for 2 weeks and I noticed symptoms starting to creep back in

If you are struggling to get control over your acne or have tried it all with varying degrees of success yet still have symptoms then I genuinely recommend giving SkinB5 a go.

To me it feels like the only ‘health’ driven system available out there that quickly starts delivering results from the inside out and that offers a gentle, balanced, natural alternative.

And for anybody long suffering with acne in one form or another they will absolutely see that as a new and innovative approach.

For me, SkinB5 is so worthy to be awarded in innovation. Its worked for me like no other and the one I will recommend to anyone having problems with their skin.

Have you ever suffered from acne in one for or another?
Have you experienced the SkinB5 results?

Greetings from the sunny, shiny, sparkling Gold Coast!

We did it! Survived that trauma that is a house move and managed to get ourselves packed and relocated our lives to Queensland.

To say we needed a break after all that packing and sorting and organising is an understatement. While I thought I would relish the two and a half weeks holidays to blog from the daybed on our idyllic beach-side Air BnB balcony I was wrong. Instead I found myself wanting to unplug and detach from work & the online stratosphere and connect with my husband, delight in watching my toddler Ruby get acquainted with the beach and focus on what to drink for sun-downers!

I wasn’t the only one adjusting to this new pace of beachside life. My skin was also coming to terms with leaving Sydney’s mild weather and urban maintenance behind and getting used to all that salty sea air, outdoor exercising and all those layers of sunscreen.

If now is not a time to master the art of multi-masking I don’t know when is! All those conflicting skin needs call for multiple masks for saltwater dehydrated skin, SPF loaded congestion and extra anti-ageing efforts from spending so much time lounging and exercising outdoors.

I recently wrote about the multiple skin loving benefits of multi-masking for Primped.

 

So what is multi-masking exactly?

So what is multi-masking exactly?

Multi-masking. You’ve probably already experienced it. Your facialist sure knows how and that time you got your face mapped you were well on your way to mastering this skill.

Multi-masking is as easy as figuring out the many different personalities of your skin. Once you have a mental road map of what areas of your face need what treatment you are well on your way…and please, don’t ever let the boys tell you, that you can’t read maps…

Now I love me some face mask, in fact I believe every girl should own at least 6 different kinds of mask ! But right now I’m using a mix of the following to suit all the anomalies of my surrent skin requirements.

  • SkinB5’s Purifying Mask with French green clay  to help extract trapped oil, sweat and sunscreen from my pores. I also find the Vitamin B5 formula works to regulate sebum production and those little white bumps  under the skin on my chin are clearing. Also super as an isolated overnight treatment on said white bumps.
  • KORA Hydrating Mask is the mask you want to buy if only buying one mask. It does it all! Clay to clear, aloe vera to hydrate, avocado oil to replenish and Noni juice to condition. All the boxes ticked. I love to use this on my forehead and cheeks.
  • Sanctuary Thermal Detox Mask proves charcoal is the new black. This amazing self-heating mask is as much about the comforting experience than the ability to open pores with its warming effect and literally suck dirt out with the charcoal and kaolin formula without drying out the skin with its sweet almond oil base. Reason why I love to use iot on my nose to degunk pores without leaving the skin dry and flaky like it tends to get.
  • Elemis Absolute Eye Mask is an absolute delight to layer on my prone to dryness eyes that don’t play nice in all these air-conditioned environments I’ve been cooling down in. It helps to soothe and depuff with cornflower extract and revitalize with fatty acid rich camellia oil.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask is sort of like torture as you try not to lick off the agave nectar and vanilla formula. My self-restrain however is rewarded after the lanolin rich formula loaded with jojoba oil conditioners and mega-antioxidant revasatrol sorts out my sun-parched pout,.

Do you multi-mask? Whats your favourite masks to use?

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What was your favourite dinner as a kid. The one you would answer without hesitation when your Mum asked you what you wanted for dinner?

Mine was Fettuccine Carbonara. Hands down everytime. Marks & Spencers made this killer sauce  that I’m sure was super easy for ,my Mum to throw together if she needed something quick for us.

With lashings of bacon, Parmesan and cream it’s no wonder carbonara is so tasty but probably not the healthiest dinner choice. But the flavour combination is just so darn good it has got me for life. Smoky from the bacon, tangy from the parmasen cheese, sweet from the baby peas, all enevloped in a  velvety cream sauce blended with whole eggs.

This healthier Primavera version omits the need for cream, uses cheese just for garnish and folate rich asparagus boosts the veggie load alongside the peas. The bacon is swapped out for smoked salmon which gives all that gorgeous flavour instead with high protein and good fats.

Of course by swapping regular pasta for buckwheat pasta. The whole dish stays light and feels so much more readily digestible and won’t sit heavy in your tummy like pasta often can

Health benefits of eating buckwheat

Buckwheat is not technically a grain actually belonging to the rhubarb family and

one of the highest sources of plant based protein on the planet.

It is rich in Vitamins B1 & B2, magnesium, potassium, iron and cholesterol lowering rutin and is great for maintaining blood sugar levels. All the things regular pasta carbonara won’t do!

And it makes damn good pasta. I only revealed to Husbandito that he it was in fact buckwheat pasta after it was long devoured and he said he never detected. the texture is spot on.

Smoked salmon primavera with buckwheat spirals

 

Orgran buckwheat smoked salmon healthy pasta primavera

 

Buckwheat pasta primavera with smoked salmon.
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2 serves
Ingredients
  • 150g Orgran Buckwheat Pasta Spirals
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 350ml skim milk
  • 250g smoked salmon
  • ¼ bunch basil, chopped
  • Zest & juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • Grated parmesan to garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil & add the pasts and set timer for 8 minutes
  2. Saute onions and garlic in oil until soft
  3. Add the asparagus and peas to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes,
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute before adding the milk and bringing to the boil
  5. Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring often (5mins)
  6. Stir through the lemon juice & zest and chopped basil
  7. Turn the heat off and stir through the smoked salmon
  8. Season with salt and lots of cracked black pepper to taste
  9. Drain the pasta then toss through the sauce
  10. Garnish with some grated Parmesan, fresh basil and more black pepper

 

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It’s official spring is in the air.

All I can say is….

SPRING IT ON!

Now is the time to get skin spring ready and I’ve got the perfect place for you to start.

Natural Instinct is a range that is budget friendly, with a focus on natural and native ingredients that smells divine. What’s not to love?

I’ve been a repeat customer of their sulfate free shower gels for years and can’t seem to find another natural mineral based sunscreen on the market that beats the Natural Instinct SPF30.

Not only are the products super affordable with skincare starting as low as $7.95, Natural Instinct is committed to producing products that are free from over 400 potentially harmful ingredients, including petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, PEGs, sulphates, parabens, silicones and more – the full list can be found here

Natural Instincts new hydrating and revitalising new face care range

With seven new skincare products added to the face range, heavy on deliciously hydrating and revitalizing anti-oxidant ingredients like Kakadu plum, goji berry, aloe vera and rosehip oil, I knew I would only be too excited to try.

 

natural instinct range skincare

 

 

Natural Instinct Refreshing Foaming Cleanser

Vitamin C rich this gently and naturally foaming cleanser while brighten and feel like it deep cleans  while still keeping skin feeling remarkably comfortable due to it’s exceptionally high content of moisturising glycerin. I love to use this one in the morning to wake my skin up.

Natural Instinct Replenishing Cream Cleanser

A silky blend of safflower, sesame and rosehip seed oils is certainly rich and comfortable while still managing to feel light and emulsify and rinse away easily taking the day with it and leaving skin deeply clean but noticably soft. Sweet orange, geranium and chamomile essential oils set the scene for bedtime, sending you off to bed enveloped with a feeling of calm contentment.

Natural Instinct Cleansing Facial Wipes

100% biodegradable these wipes feel silky soft to the touch. You will appreciate how moist these wipes are and the plastic lid that clicks closed to keep them that way. Soaked in an aloe vera and glycerin rich formula these wipes smell slightly citrussy adding to the refreshment factor.

Natural Instinct Invigorating Facial Scrub

The walnut shell powder based in this creamy scrub tag teams with kakadu plum to brighten and smooth skin. The silky base feels really hydrating and enables what are quite gritty particles to get to work. The combination results in super-velvety skin. Perhaps too gritty for sensitive skin types my skin feels velvet smooth afterwards.

Natural Instinct Nourishing Facial Moisturiser

This 125ml will last you an age as the smallest amount of cream is required  to glide over the whole face. The formula is rich in sweet almond and rosehiip oil but still feel remarkably light.

Natural Instinct Restoring Night Cream

The night cream seems to amplify the scent of those essential oils the most out of all the products (sweet orange, lavender, geranium, ylang ylang and chamomile) making it such an addictive night time treat. I love that it is a formula quite rich in hydrating  and regenerating oils but still feels fluid and light and easily absorbed for up to 12 hours of  hydration (if only we could sleep that long..)

Natural Instinct Rejuvenating Rosehip Oil

I love that Natural Instincts have chosen to blend their rosehip oil with camellia and rosemary oils. Camellia flower oil was  the beauty oil favoured by Japanese geisha for its feather-light but deeply nourishing properties and rosemary oil is uniquely regenerating but antibacterial making this blend perfect for rebalancing skin.

 

win the entite natural instincts skin care range giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 2 Natural Instincts Face Care Packs

Get your skin spring ready with Natural Instincts skin care products.and enter to win one of 2 gorgeous Natural Instinct Face Care Packs. Each pack includes the full skin care range reviewed above, worth $110.

 

win natural instincts skincare range

 

Have you tried anything from the new Natural instincts skin care range?
Which product would you like to try most?
How are you getting your skin spring ready?
What makes your skin love you & why?

ENTER NOW : Win 1 of 2 Natural Instincts Skincare Packs

This story has been brought to you by Chi of Life Health Retreats

Healthy breakfast and dinner comes easy to me.

Oats, eggs, yoghurt, muesli, fruit and smoothies make breakfast my favourite healthy meal of the day.

While dinner is always relatively easy in its simplicity;  protein and veg, pimped up with spices, herbs and varying the cooking method or lack thereof in the form of a humble throw together salad.

Like most, snacks are my weakness.

You are hungry, usually busy or worse, bored.

Sugar levels and energy are low and the body is begging you for a quick fix. Most of my week’s healthy good intentions unravel in the form of snacks (and wine but that’s another story)

Smart snackers are those that are prepared and keep healthy snack-friendly food in stock for when the munchies attack.

My fridge and cupboards are always stocked with the following for grab & go healthy snacks.

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Hummus
  • Celery sticks
  • Apples
  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Protein powder
  • Multigrain crackers
  • Low fat cheese
  • Bananas

Five healthy snack ideas to try

Here are some of my favourite snack recipes for when my sweet tooth is calling and I’m looking for that that fast fix to fullness. All low carb, high in protein and with some good fat for that instant satisfaction factor.

 

  1. Faux-Nuts

    Make like do-nut by coring and slicing an apple along the equator. Then top your faux-nut with your healthy topping of choice. My favourite? Greek yoghurt mixed with some peanut or almond butter.
    Recipe to try : Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Faux-Nut

  2. Peanut Butter & Jelly Pots

    Layers of tangy creamy Greek yoghurt, sweet mixed berries and fudgey dense peanut butter works so well together and feel like a real treat
    Recipe to try : Peanut Butter and Jelly Pots

  3. Bliss balls

    Make a big stash of protein balls to store in your freezer to grab when you know you will be on the run. These mango macadamia ones are extra special. When I am about I also buy Macro’s Snack Bites, I love the date, pecan and spirulina version. Also the Bounce Balls, particularly the Superberry Vitality Burst
    Recipe to try : Macadamia and Mango Protein Balls

  4. Crackers & Cheese

    Multi-grain crackers mixed with some low fat cheese will always keep you fueled. I love making cu-cracker stacks. Slices of cucumber layered with low fat cheese and some tangy relish on the side
    Recipe to try : Cu-crackers, cheese and relish

  5. Protein smoothie

    In its simplest form just some protein powder mixed with almond milk or even water can keep you powering until your next meal. If I’m near a blender I love to add some greens and fruit and sometimes even a shot of espresso for a real afternoon boost. My espresso grunt smoothie will have you smashing through your afternoon tasks.
    Smoothie recipes to try :  Mango and Peach , Choc-Cherry, Apple Pie. Espresso, Banana, Pine-Coco, Blueberry Green, Green Tea & Pear

Whats your go to healthy snack?

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This story has been brought to you by Chi of Life Health Retreats