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  • 5 Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Blackheads

    5 Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Blackheads
    One of the most common complaints I hear from clients is “How can I get rid of blackheads naturally?” Thousands of products on the market promise the world but deliver nothing, leaving you feeling disappointed time and time again. You may have the most diligent skincare routine in the world but still suffer from those pesky blackheads that just will not go away! Before we get started on how to prevent and treat blackheads naturally, let’s find out more about them.

    What Are Blackheads?

    acne

    Blackheads are small bumps that appear on your skin due to blocked or clogged hair follicles. These bumps are known as “blackheads” because the bump itself looks dark or black. Blackheads are a less serious type of acne that are most commonly noticed on areas of the skin that are oiliest. For most, that area is the “T-zone” (forehead, nose and chin), though they can also form on the cheeks, chest and back.

    Essentially, a blackhead is a pore that has been blocked and prevented from secreting what it needs to including oil and dead skin cells. When this blockage occurs, the blockage gets pushed towards the skin’s surface until it comes into contact with air. When this happens, it oxidises and turns the bump black.

    Despite what you may think, the black part of a blackhead is not a speck of dirt! The oxidisation process causes the sebum to darken and form a black or dark mark. The process of oxidisation also happens to a banana or apple. Think about when you leave a sliced apple on a plate exposed to air, over time it begins to turn the fruit brown. This process is called oxidisation and is exactly what happens to your skin when it forms a blackhead.

    There are ways to naturally treat blackheads and clear your skin for good. If you are finding that blackheads are a constant skin concern for you, the best thing you can do is follow these simple skin care tips:

    My Top Tips For Getting Rid Of Blackheads Forever:

    1. Wash Your Pillow Cases Every Week

    Remember to wash your pillowcases every week, no exceptions.

    I know how much effort it takes you to wash your hair and sometimes the every second or third day wash can turn into once a week with the invention of dry shampoo. It is SO important that you wash your pillowcases every week to ensure you are not allowing your face to come into contact with any additional oils and impurities that may cause blockages and result in blackheads.

    Make it part of your weekly cleaning ritual to strip your bedding and wash every week as dirty pillowcases can often be the cause of breakouts including blackheads.

    2. Invest In A Facial Cleansing Brush

    Exfoliating is the #1 thing you can do to treat and prevent blackheads and clogged pores. Facial cleansing brushes are a great way to deeply exfoliate your skin and draw out any impurities that are trapped underneath the surface.

    A brush helps remove dead skin cells form your face quicker, and in turn prompt your skin to produce more collagen, and gradually, you get tighter skin. Plus, it will remove any oil or impurities that’s plugging pores and allows your moisturiser and serum to penetrate skin better.

    Using a facial cleansing brush is a more affordable way to treat your skin to a facial. I’m a big fan of the Clarisonic brush which will help to remove dirt, oil, and makeup while gently exfoliating your skin.

    Be sure to slowly introduce the facial cleansing brush into your skincare routine. Try using it once or twice a week at first and slowly build up your use. Normal skin types can use it every day, however more sensitive skin types should stick with once or twice a week.

    TIP: If you suffer from severe acne, I would recommend that you opt for an organic muslin cloth instead as your skin will be too sensitive to use a facial cleansing brush for exfoliating.

    3. Use Epsom Salts On The Affected Area

    Another effective and natural way to treat blackheads is to use epsom salts.

    1. Mix one teaspoon of Epsom salt in a little hot water until the salt dissolves completely. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
    2. Use a cotton ball to apply to the mixture on the affected area. Allow the mixture to dry.
    3. Use a clean muslin cloth or wash cloth to gently wash it off.

    This is a great tonic to use before applying a deep cleansing mask or before your facial steam bath (instructions below) as it allows blackheads to loosen before they are naturally extracted with these tips.

    Note: You can also use epsom salts in a detox bath by adding 1 cup to your bath and enjoy for 20 minutes. Make sure you get your face wet too!

    4. Use Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

    Pore strips do help get rid of blackheads by extracting them out of the pore, but they work better after the plug has been loosened up.

    1. The first thing you need to do is to cleanse your face. This will remove any oil and dirt from your skin as well as help your pores open up.
    2. Pour 1L of boiling water from the kettle into a large stainless steel bowl. You can add one drop (no more than one!) of essential oil if you have any at home, otherwise the water on its own is just as effective.  Hover your face over the bowl and place a towel over your head and bowl to trap the steam in. Note: Move your face a comfortable distance away from the bowl if you are too close and the steam is too hot.
    3. Take your pore strips and follow the instructions on the back. Usually you must use the pore strip on damp skin so it’s best to leave your skin damp after the facial steam bath.

    5. DON’T Extract Or Squeeze Blackheads

    Attempting to extract or squeeze blackheads is one of the WORST things you can do for your skin. Not only is it incredibly dangerous but you are risking PERMANENT scarring, infection and more breakouts!

    Leave the extractions to your aesthetician or qualified dermatologist. According to the Huffington Post, attempting to squeeze blackheads on your own can lead to inflammation, infection, and even scarring.

    The only thing worse than pesky blackheads is, permanent scarring.

    Diet also plays a large role in banishing blackheads for good. Make sure you are enjoying a well-balanced, nutritionist approved clear skin diet to prevent and heal any existing blackheads and break outs.

    There are foods that you should be avoiding and also eating in order to prevent and heal blackheads for good. Learn more about a clear skin diet here.

    How did you find these blackhead tips? Write to me below!

    Olivia x

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  • Ultimate Acne Clearing Green Juice

    Ultimate Acne Clearing Green Juice
    I’m a huge advocate of incorporating juices and smoothies into our daily diets. When juices and smoothies are used in the right way, they can have dramatic effects on our skin. Juices and smoothies contain powerful ingredients that can help to:

    • aid digestion
    • reduce acne scars
    • remedy acne breakouts
    • clear skin fast

    Juices and smoothies offer a natural approach to reducing acne using acne reducing ingredients like spinach, carrot and ginger. Each fruit and vegetable has a different nutritional profile offering a powerhouse of nutrients to fix your skin.

    Your skin is a reflection of what’s happening internally in your body. So if you’re healthy and clean on the inside, your skin will be clear and glowing on the outside. Check out this ultimate acne clearing green juice recipe below!

    TIP: Remember to SIP your green juice slowly so that the nutrients can be absorbed into your body slowly. Drink lots of water during and after so that your body can effectively process toxins form your body and you will avoid feeling sick in the tummy!

    Ingredients:

    • 4 celery stalks
    • 1 bunch parsley
    • 2 handfuls spinach
    • 2 carrots
    • 1 apple
    • 1 beet
    • 1/2 handful kale
    • Lemon and ginger to taste

    Method:

    1. Prepare your vegetables. Rinse thoroughly with water and cut into chunks.

    2. Mix in a blender or put through juicer until smooth.

    3. Serve with fresh mint or a slice of apple.

    Would you like more recipes for acne clearing juices and smoothies? Check out my recipe book containing 10 acne clearing juice recipes and 10 acne clearing smoothie recipes to clear your skin fast! Get the guide HERE!

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  • 7 Ways To Reduce Toxins and Detox Your Skin

    7 Ways To Reduce Toxins and Detox Your Skin
    Do you suffer from hormonal acne around the chin and jaw line? Breakouts in these areas signal a hormone imbalance or increased stress. Your skin is the largest organ of elimination and when your body is over burdened it can result in toxins excreting through your skin. There are things that you can do to prevent and treat these pesky breakouts. Find out how to clear your skin with my TOP detox tips for clearer skin NOW!

    Increase your water intake

    Water governs almost every function in your body. It aids digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and is made up of millions of cells. Without water, your body cannot function properly and will struggle to eliminate toxins from your body. When this happens, your body will look to other ways of excreting toxins and can often result in breakouts on your skin.

    TIP: Aim to drink 7-9 glasses of water every day. If you are drinking from a bottle, make sure it’s glass. I love the VOSS bottles and often add lemon slices for an extra detox idea!

    Eat organic wherever possible

    Did you know that your body absorbs majority of its toxins through FOOD? That’s right. Processed foods, sugars, soft drink and foods with artificial flavours are the WORST foods you can eat for acne. These foods increase inflammation in the body, hold little nutritional value and can irritate your gut.

    The best way to avoid toxin intake through food is to eat organic whenever possible and completely avoid processed foods. This isn’t always an option when out and about and it can be more expensive to buy organic when you are doing grocery shopping. That’s why I’ve created an easy DIY Veggie Patch idea that can be created in even the smallest of spaces! Check it out HERE!

    TIP: Avoid foods containing artificial colours, flavours, hormones 

    Use natural skincare products

    I only ever recommend natural skincare products to my clients. This because most mass cosmetic companies use ingredients such as mineral oils, PEGS, petrochemicals, artificial colours and fragrances, SLS/SLES and more as a base for their formulas. These ingredients are known to irritate the skin, cause cancer and even make conditions like acne WORSE! These ingredients are absorbed by the skin and can enter your bloodstream leaving you open to absorbing more toxins into your body.

    TIP: Choose a natural skincare brand with no nasties and a low essential oil content. My favourite brands for skincare and makeup include Swisse and VANI-T Mineral Cosmetics.

    http://www.swisse.com
    http://www.vani-t.com

    Say no to chemical cleaning products

    This is a BIG one. It’s important to remember that what goes ON, goes IN. That means that whenever you are washing the dishes, hand washing clothes or any other type of cleaning that involves contact of cleaning products with your skin, your body is absorbing chemicals.

    Opt for natural cleaning products instead that use minimal or NO chemicals. You can even make your own cleaning products using vinegar, essentials oils and even baking soda.

    TIP: If you MUST use chemical cleaning products, make sure you are wearing rubber gloves so that no chemical contact is made with your skin.

    Drink more tea

    When I say tea, I mean herbal tea.  Stay clear of traditional black tea, english breakfast and early grey. Instead, opt for a yummy ginger, dandelion, liquorice, burdock, nettle or chamomile tea that will soothe your digestive system and calm your skin. These teas will naturally improve digestion, liver function and aid your body in its natural processes.

    If your desperate for a caffeine hit or are trying to give up the coffee, opt for a green tea instead. My personal favourite is a green tea and quince blend – delish!

    TIP: Be sure to have an extra glass of water for every diuretic style tea that you consume to ensure your body and skin are always hydrated.

    Take a Detoxifying Bath

    Detox baths are an amazing way to treat your skin and detox toxins from your body. One of my favourite recipes for a detox bath is:

    Fill a bathtub with hot water. Add a cup of Epsom salts (buy at the supermarket or pharmacy/drug store) and a cup of organic apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg) to the water. This will draw out impurities and toxins from the pores as well as ease any tension from your muscles.

    TIP: Relax in the bath for 20 minutes for best results. You can use this detox bath idea every day if you enjoy it as much as I do!

    Treat Yourself To A Face Mask

    Treat yourself to a detoxifying face mask once or twice a week and help your skin to eliminate extra toxins. When it comes to beauty products they are often expensive, toxic, and ineffective. Often, those very products are loading our precious bodies with toxins which only accelerate the ageing process and overburden our system.

    Try this detoxifying face mask recipe at home.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tbsp bentonite clay
    • 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp coconut oil
    • 1 tsp raw honey
    • Juice of half a lemon

    Combine all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and apply to clean skin. Leave for 15-20 minutes and rinse well with water or a muslin cloth.

    TIP: For a deeper cleanse, use an organic cotton muslin cloth to remove your mask. They are even machine washable!

    The most important piece of advice I can give you is to take small, simple steps to improve your health and your skin. Don’t feel like you have to change everything at once. Be open to the change, try introducing one tip every week and make it part of a new lifestyle as opposed to a quick fad.

    If you need more help with your skin, write to me with your questions or check out my Clear Skin Project guide HERE.

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  • DIY Herb Garden Veggie Patch

    DIY Herb Garden Veggie Patch
    One of the most important things you can do for your skin is eat ORGANIC. One of the main causes of hormonal acne is toxin related. By eating organic produce, you are reducing the amount of toxins that enter your bloodstream when compared to consuming commercial produce that has been sprayed with pesticides.

    It can be expensive to buy organic produce in some areas, so why not grow your own? Try these amazing DIY pallet gardens that you can plant with all your favourite fruit, vegetables and herbs! These are great for low-space areas or apartments where you don’t have a lot of room for a complete veggie patch.

    What you’ll need:

    • Potting soil
    • Staple gun and lots of staples
    • Pallet(s)
    • Seeds
    • Landscaping paper

    Directions:

    1. Place your pallet on a solid working surface with the bottom of the pallet facing UP.

    2. Roll out your landscaping paper to cover the bottom and sides and cut to size.

    3. Pull tautly onto the pallet covering the bottom of the pallet and all sides. Staple into position, folding the paper into the corners neatly.

    4. When the landscaping paper is firmly stapled to the pallet on the bottom and all sides, turn over so the top is now facing up.

    5. Add your potting soil mix to the pallet until the area is full. Do not use normal garden soil for this as it may not drain properly. Potting soil is definitely best and is quite inexpensive for the area we are covering!

    6. Now for the fun part! Plant your seeds or plants as per the instructions on the seed packet.

    7. Water and enjoy the harvest!

    TIP: If you are short on space, you can create vertical pallets too! This is a great idea if you live in an apartment or somewhere with limited garden space.

    Pallet Garden

    Let me know your questions and feedback below!

    Olivia x

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  • Does Wearing Makeup To The Gym Make You Break Out?

    Does Wearing Makeup To The Gym Make You Break Out
    We all know that wearing makeup to the gym is bad for our skin, so why do we still wear full faces of makeup while exercising? While a lot of us are time poor and are often exercising during a lunch break at work, others lack confidence in being el natural while out and about exercising. I get it, it’s a vulnerable feeling.

    This is one of the most common skincare related questions I am asked. Can I wear makeup to the gym or while exercising?

    The short answer, is no.

    When we exercise, our bodies start to release sweat making our pores relax and enlarge. If you’re wearing makeup, you’ll expect to see that not-so-gorgeous streaky foundation look on your face. It’s also increasing the chance of you breaking out.

    Your skin needs to breathe while you’re exercising, even if you’re only going for a power walk and you’re only working up a “little” sweat. Sweat + heat + open pores = blocked pores. Not everyone will experience breakouts however you may notice other skin concerns like blackheads and dull skin.

    So how exactly should you prepare your skin for a workout?

    Follow my pre-workout skincare routine below for clear, glowing skin all year round:

    1. Lightly cleanse your skin with a gentle, natural facial cleanser.

    2. Gently pat dry the skin, leaving slightly damp.

    3. Apply a small amount of your daily moisturiser and massage gently into the skin. If it’s during the day and you are going out in the sunshine, be sure to apply a moisturiser with built in sun protection.

    If you’re going straight to the gym after work, pack some facial cleansing wipes in your gym bag. It’s quick and simple to remove your makeup on the go and you’ll more than likely need this if you’re short on time!

    “But what if I can’t go without makeup?”

    Okay, okay. For those of you who feel you MUST wear makeup during your work out, I understand. In this case, it’s best to use a light, tinted moisturiser that’s not as heavy as a normal foundation and definitely do not use a pressed powder of the top. The idea is to let the skin BREATHE.

    Once you are finished your workout, cleanse your skin as soon as possible. It’s best to cleanse before your skin cools down and your pores tighten again trapping everything inside! All that makeup and sweat combining together is a true enemy of a clear complexion.

    Still not sure how to clear your skin? Write to me and I can help you. [email protected] or comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

    Let me know how you go with these skincare tips and if you notice a difference in your post-workout breakouts!

    Olivia x

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  • 5 Reasons You Still Have Acne

    5 Reasons You Still Have Acne
    You’re suffering from breakouts and NOTHING is working. You’ve tried every pill, potion, cream and tablet but you’re still suffering from acne. What are you doing wrong?

    Here are the top five reasons you still have acne and tips on how to treat them now:

    Diet

    If you’re consuming lots of processed foods and foods that are high in sugar, I can almost guarantee you will still be suffering from acne.  If you find that you are eating a well balanced, healthy diet and are still having issues it may be time to get a food allergy test. It is possible to have food allergies to “healthy” foods such as eggs, nuts or even garlic! These stomach upsets can cause your skin to flare up and result in acne.

    What to try: Include more fruit and vegetables in your diet and avoid any processed foods including sugar. Check out my 14 Day Clear Skin Meal Plan HERE!

    Stress

    It’s no secret that stress causes those pesky breakouts around the chin and neck area but it’s even MORE common if you already suffer from acne. Be mindful that stressful situations can cause an inflammatory response in the body and result in further breakouts.

    What to try: Take breaks during the day and enjoy some deep breaths, meditation or light stretching.

    Lifestyle 

    One of the best things you can do for your skin is live a balanced life. Alcohol, smoking and sweet foods are all going to trigger further acne and breakouts. That’s not to say you can’t have fun! Just make sure you are not smoking (it makes your skin ugly) and if you choose to drink, opt for an organic wine over a highly sugared pre-mixed drink. It’s also really important that you are clocking a good nights sleep every night. 8+ hours beauty sleep is what’s needed every night to rejuvenate your body and skin.

    What to try: Live a balanced life and enjoy 8+ hours of beauty sleep every night.

    Skincare 

    Remember that what goes on, goes in. That goes for skincare too. Be mindful that skincare and makeup products containing nasty chemicals such as SLS, mineral oil or artificial fragrances can flare up your acne and make your skin worse. If you are using a synthetic skincare regime, I would HIGHLY recommend that you switch to a natural brand. The benefit of using natural products is a reduction in toxins that enter the blood stream.

    What to try: Opt for a natural skincare brand. Some of my favourites are People for Plants, La Mav and LUSH.

    Toxins

    An overload of toxins in the body can result in acne and breakouts. This is because your liver and kidneys have to work over-time in order to flush all the toxins from your body and purify your blood. The best thing is to reduce intake of toxins as much as possible and assist your liver in eliminating toxins. Be mindful of toxins in food, particularly pesticide sprayed fruit and vegetables and processed foods. Aim to have 7-9 glasses of water every day, remembering that tea/coffee are diuretics so consume an extra glass for every cup of tea/coffee you drink.

    What to try: Choose organic fruit and vegetables, wash produce well, reduce intake of processed foods and drink 7-9 glasses of water every day.

    Need more help? Check out my complete acne guide including 14 Day Clear Skin Meal Plan and downloadable shopping list HERE. 

    Olivia x

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  • Apple Cider Detox Drink

    Apple Cider Detox Drink
    Ingredients:

    • 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tbsp raw honey
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 glass water

    Method:

    1.  Add vinegar, honey and pepper to a tall glass.

    2. Fill with fresh, clean water and stir gently.

    3. Sip slowly until finished.

    Repeat every morning just before breakfast.

    TIP: This is my Apple Cider Vinegar of choice – BRAGGS. It’s a trusted American brand, has been around for years and years and is certified organic! 

    Olivia x

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  • Bone Broth 101: How To Make Bone Broth

    How To Make Bone Broth
    Bone Broth 101

    • Use a combination of bones, joints and feet.  Usually beef or veal work best for a bone broth but you can use chicken too. Chicken feet work great to get extra gelatin.
    • Roast bones before hand until golden brown for added flavour and depth.
    • Put bones in a pot and add water until the bones are JUST covered.
    • Use an organic apple cider vinegar – I like Bragg’s.
    • Skim off any scum from the broth throughout the simmering stage. This is normal so just keep skimming.
    • Add water only to keep the bones covered as necessary.
    • Peel your vegetables before they go in the broth so they don’t give off a bitter flavour.

    Ingredients:

    • 2-3kg of bones (beef, veal or chicken)
    • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
    • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    • 3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • Water

    Optional: parsley, celery leaves, sea salt, herbs and spices to taste

    NOTE: You’ll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth in.

    Method:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

    2. Place the bones on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast in the oven until golden brown.

    3. In the meantime, wash and peel your vegetables. Roughly chopping into medium sized pieces.

    4. Once the bones are golden brown, place them into a large stock pot and fill with water until the bones are just covered. Add the vinegar and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

    5. Add the vegetables to the pot and season with salt and pepper.

    6. Bring the broth to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

    Beef: 48 hours
    Chicken: 24 hours

    7. As the broth is simmering, you will notice scum rising to the surface. Remove the scum with a large spoon and discard. You’ll need to check the broth every 20 minutes for the first few hours to remove any scum.

    8. Once done, remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain the vegetables and bones with a strainer to remove all bits of floating bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for later use.

    You can use bone broth as a base for lots of recipes including soups, stews and recipes that call for a stock. Let me know how you went with your first bone broth experience below x

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