REVIEW – Neutrogena light therapy acne mask

If like me you’ve had troubles with your skin since you can remember you’re probably feeling a little blah when it comes to trying new skincare routines or treatments.

I was very much the same. How many skincare products can you use before you realise you’ve probably spent more money on products that don’thelp or worse cause more breakouts? I’ve tried all the ranges and brands that are suppose to stop any future outbreaks, reduce size of pores, kill the bacteria that causes acne etc etc but nothing overly seemed to work. People always say to let your skin breathe so I’ve tried that too, but letting your skin breathe is kind of hard when you’re insecure about your face because of the acne.

Applying make up becomes a little difficult because let’s face it (excuse the pun) you can never really hide that rubbish. You can see the pimples and you can definitely see if you have any scars whether they be elevated or cratered. It’s a never ending cycle of disliking your face without make up and feeling like people may see that you’ve tried excessively and for quite a while to hide the blemishes.

I’ve tried changing my diet, didn’t make a difference.

I’ve tried chemical peels, aggravated my skin further.

I was at a loss of how I was going to make my skin better and in turn feel better about myself. My mum, as all mums do, cottoned on to my predicament when I was a lot younger than I am now, and has always picked up lotions and potions and tried to make it better for me. So, in turn it had to be her that found my solution.

The Neutrogena light therapy mask sounds a little daunting but it’s a very simple concept. You get a mask that makes you look a little phantom of the opera-esqe and a pod shaped mechanism called the activator. The activator is a set timer that powers the mask for thirty treatments. It’s recommended that you use the mask daily to see more effective results. The mask has a mixture of red and blue lights that target the bacteria that causes acne. When the two colour spectrums come together they displace the make up or the bacteria making it unable to penetrate the skin. It also therefore targets existing acne, killing the bacteria and reducing the spot size pretty quickly.

I’ve been using it for 10 days and I haven’t had a new breakout at all. It’s managing my pigmentation from the acne and rapidly making all my skin the same tone. The only issue is my scars but after 10 days I think it would be overly optimistic to think they would go too. I’m honestly astounded by the results.

I would 100% recommend this to anyone who has acne. Hopefully they’ll create a HomeKit for those who suffer with body acne or blemishes. I should imagine it would also benefit those with certain skin conditions as well.

Light therapy is usually big bucks if you go to a salon, so to have the opportunity to sit at home and do it for 10 minutes each day for a minor cost of £39.99 (you do have to replace the activator after 30 sessions) is a no brainer.

It’s also available all most retailers and stays roughly around the same price mark.

Overall, I think it’s something you should definitely try if you have pains getting rid of the lodgers in your face. They’re moving out.

CA x

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A very honest letter to my younger self.

Hello sweet,

So you’re a teenager and you’re full of hormones. You don’t know much about me, but I know you so well. You’re very different to me but also very much the same. Most people would think you were an extrovert as you’re always in the conversation, never giving a damn, always pulling a prank or being a clown. But that will change, you’ll go through secondary school with the belief that in order to be someone you need to be popular and conform. You’ll be bullied by a girl so incredibly insecure about herself that she’ll make you hate your appearance, but you will get over it when you leave school. When you leave school you’ll realise that everyone ends up the same way in the end and that popularity doesn’t equal friendship, and so will she, so don’t hate her for what she’s done, she’s learning too.

Boys are like yo-yos to you for a bit. They bring you up and they drop you down. Yeah our first relationship is completely fake, I’m really sorry for the pain you’ll go through. Your whole relationship was a lie and I wish you knew so you could have saved your virginity for someone who cares about you more. Mainly because of this you brush the good ones away for a bit and you lose someone really great. Luckily for you he’s a top man and he stays your friend for the foreseeable future, he helps you through some seriously dark times and he truly is your counterpart, just not romantically.

I hate to break it to you but you really cocked up college. You did two years of AS because you messed around in the first year and then you gave up and went into the world of work. It’s a good job you love to work. You work more and more and move from jobs roughly each year and a half until you find something new that excites you and can’t wait to get stuck in.

Don’t believe what people say. You’re very naive to things and you subject yourself to other people’s opinions so often that they start to forge your opinions too. You will lose a lot of friends when you find yourself and you’ll be distraught that people don’t stick around and spend time with you on birthdays but you will realise that unfortunately that’s becoming an adult and you will meet people that will stick by you. I promise.

There’s some big events that happen too. You find out you have another half brother and half sister. You spend some time with them a couple of times a year for a few years, but now you’ve grown and you don’t stand for 80/20 relationships, it needs to be equal effort. So for now you’ll wait to see if they come to you.

You’ll meet your dad. The man you thought abandoned you and never wanted you. Well, he does want you. He’s just a scared man that thinks you will reject him. But you don’t, because growing up with just your mum you’ve learnt to appreciate family and embrace anyone that wants to be part of that. Along with your dad you’ll meet his side of the family, auntie, cousins, nan, step mum and step sisters and it will completely overwhelm you. Don’t worry there is no rush. Just enjoy the small things.

You find love. The kind of love you have dreamed of, and you move back home after leaving at 17. You’re saving for a mortgage and you’ve got a wonderful man and extended family. Shit gets really bad for them but you stay close and you give all you can because that’s what families do. Who knows if you will be with him forever but it’s been almost a year here now and that will astound you. Again, enjoy the small things.

Your anxiety and depression will go up and down and you’ll realise that it’s not something you will remove. It’s part of you and that’s not always a bad thing. It builds your character. Sometimes it will kick you and knock you down but you will always stand up straighter and stronger with the love you have around you. You get rid of your terror nightmares. Yes, really. You only have nightmares when you’re stressed. You’re learning to love yourself properly. Fully. Every part.

This letter isn’t to scare you about the bad things. You do so well, you drive and you know who you are. You have wonderful friends and family and despite the death, trauma and permanent damage from things you will always fight.

Because you are a fighter.

And there is always happiness.

Remember what Dumbledore says in Harry Potter, you will love by it.

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Take care. Love yourself. You’re doing so well. CA x

We have a domain!

Hello you lovely lot,

 

We have a domain! I can officially welcome you all to charlottexamy.com, my official website.

This blog is acting as somewhat of a lifeline to me and building my self confidence a little with each post. Challenging myself with articles such as facehate – is that a thing? and post a no make up selfie was my most daring thing to date, but it has boosted my esteem no end. I am looking to post YouTube videos shortly as well, I have been filming, but those who know anything about me will know that I am very much a perfectionist and will not release anything until it’s exactly as I want it.

Any ideas for YouTube videos and ongoing posts will be gratefully appreciated, obviously, the Am I Crazy? chronicles will be an ongoing project and I will be updating you all with those, but please drop me a message, facebook me or email me should you wish to give me any ideas, contribute with me or advertise on this blog.

Many thanks for your ongoing support

Happy Sunday!

 

CA x

 

“Am I Crazy?” II

So I published the first chronicle. What did you think? A brief introduction into what on Earth is going on in my little bean head. To be fair to you, I’m still not fully sure. All I know is that my brain isn’t coping quite as well as I’d wanted it to right now so I’m being brave and seeking help (again).

I wanted to blog every step because I think it’s important. I think it’s really important that regardless of my gender, age, ethnicity and whatever other features they want to base mental health stats on, people can read something and think “yeah I agree” or “I had that feeling earlier” or better yet, sees that it is a struggle for someone else but that you can get help, and does so.

Let’s start with the obviously big elephant in the room, depression. Some throw the word like it’s the same as being sad, and it used to infuriate me until I realised that it’s by no fault of their own that they have never understood what depression is and the fact that it’s not just one emotion and definitely not just being sad. I’ve watched videos about how depression is a black dog that follows you around like your shadow or a big black cloud that follows you around. That’s not my interpretation though.

I think it is whatever the hell it wants to be. Sometimes I forget I have it. That sounds crazy in itself right? The medical definition of depression is “prolonged low mood for a period of two weeks or more” so naturally you’d be right to think you kind of have to be sad 24/7? Right? Not always. Depression is different for each person.

It’s smiling and joining in, hiding away and declining contact.

It’s eating very little if at all and it’s eating so much you make yourself nauseous or physically sick.

It’s not getting out of bed for days on end and it’s bounding our straight away just to make someone else happy.

Depression manifests itself in many ways and we can’t always prevent the illness. But we can show people we love them. We can hug and talk and laugh and all those things we find so trivial on a day to day basis. Because those things are the things that might bring someone away from the edge, further from the trigger, you get where I’m going with this…

My depression is up and down. Some days I hate everything and I starve (unintentionally) myself and stay in bed. Other days I’m happy to do everything for everyone else, some days I’m strong and I think “I’m gonna be selfish today like all my doctors have always told me” and then I feel guilty. Food can be a curse as your appetite is like a yo-yo so you never know where you stand.

My other pain in the ass attribute to my depression is insomnia. Isn’t insomnia a b*tch?! I mean seriously, who invited her to the party.

Insomnia is my worst friend. I say friend because she’s incredibly loyal to me and she rarely lets me down. But she is a complete nightmare and I severely dislike her presence. Thank you sweet baby Jesus for David Attenborough, that’s all I can say.

Like a perfect set of twins, depression has a sibling that likes to pop in every now and again. You’ll find that a fair few people who have depression also have anxiety. Anxiety has a whole umbrella of different types and I couldn’t possibly speak for those who have different types of anxiety to myself. I have mixed anxiety and usually I am trigger by crowds, waiting, confrontation, shouting and clinical spaces (to name a few). My hands are pretty much permanently clammy and I have headaches quite a lot. One of my main physical symptoms is a wonderful stammer and I live up to the phrase “cat got your tongue”. As many do, I’ll get the knotting in my stomach, sweats, hot and cold flushes and fight or flight response when entering an anxiety attack, if I don’t respond to my body then I hyperventilate and enter panic.

Despite having regular anxiety attacks I have only had one panic in three weeks (woo!) and I’m pretty good at hiding things in public or removing myself/avoidance. But I realised that doing that can’t always be the answer and so I’m going back for help.

Due to recent events I believe my PTSD has flared resulting in the anxiety and depression being bad. Talking therapies help me to process and programme my brain (talk therapies are brilliant if you’re an analytical person) so fingers crossed when I see the team in March I can have another referral to a higher level MH practitioner and have this as my last stay in the system.

I will update further once I have attended an appointment but until then, “Am I Crazy?” Chronicles part II is complete.

CA x

“Am I Crazy?” The one where I introduce it all…

What do you think when someone says Mental Health?

I can guarantee it’s something negative.

We have this assumption that the term Mental Health means crazy, unstable, psycho, and a million other derogatory adjectives. Mental Health is exactly the same as Physical Health, but instead of your body being impaired, your brain is. It can occur from stress, hereditary genes, trauma, love, work, medication, physical injury, pretty much anything can cause a change in your Mental Health.

How does this tie to me? Well, I (like many others) have had to spend a fair while reminding myself of this factor. If I had a physical injury such as a sprained ankle or broken arm, I would seek medical attention to be checked over, scanned, plastered up, whatever the professionals deemed necessary. When it comes to Mental Health I was a little less proactive. I have a tendency to “put up and shut up”, meaning that quite often I will experience a situation and completely internalize it. Not helpful at the best of times, but especially if you are a character like myself that suffers from mixed anxiety and depression and is extremely analytical at the best of times.

I started having anxiety around the age of 12-13. There were issues in my childhood and post traumatic stress that wasn’t ever attended to by professionals. This created terror nightmares and severe anger and outbursts towards males. Then you hit school and if you’re a little bit out there or different like I was, you’re bullied. I was also blessed with teenage epilepsy which started around 14/15 and continued through my GCSE’s and up until I was 19.

I visited CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) when I was 17/18. I personally didn’t find much help from this and continued to fight my battle alone. I encountered the world of tumblr and became a bit of a hit, reaching 40,000 followers and posting a video about my “secrets” (basically explaining my anxiety and normalizing the condition). This then led me to travelling around the country, meeting new people and in turn helped my anxiety. But as the followers continued to grow, the anxiety came back with a vengeance. People were trolling me via the internet messaging forums, sending me anonymous message or messages from fake accounts etc. I was even temporarily famous on 4chan.

When I was 22 I decided to try again and sought advice from my GP, who gave me medication and referred me to Time to Talk West Sussex. I was referred to an assessor within the Mental Health team who diagnosed the anxiety and depression and taught me coping techniques and the hot cross bun diagram. I was taught mindfulness and self-love, and a whole manner of techniques to manage the disorders and bounced back a bit. This worked for a little while and I managed to pass my driving test. I then worked in a job where myself and my colleagues ended up micro managed by managers that were overworked and stressed, emotionally manipulated by customers and regularly upset due to the line of work that it was. This had a huge detrimental effect on my mental health, and forced me to look for a new job. I went back to therapy and was reassessed. I was tested for PTSD and finally diagnosed with it. I then went to EMDR (eye movement, desensitization, reprocessing) treatment to remove all emotion from my subconscious flashbacks, which in turn removed my terror nightmares. I can never explain to someone who has always had a good relationship with sleep just how magical it is to sleep through the night…

I was discharged Feb 2017 and was in a new job. Fast forward to Feb 2018 and I have handed in my resignation at my job due to several events at work and home and I am looking for work that means I can step back and look after my mental health and still have the money to live! I’m currently on medication and awaiting a psychiatrist appointment to assess actions going forward, as being in and out of the system isn’t helping and I need a more permanent plan for this permanent problem.

I stumbled upon blogging from watching other people and reading online magazine articles and thought I would give it a whirl. I found that I got so immersed in the colours, and planning and organising that I wasn’t anxious at all, my brain was busy and I was being productive. It also keeps my hands busy so, no nervous hand fidgeting, hair playing, clothes tugging etc. I’m hoping in that sharing my story and keeping you all updated with my experiences it may help those that need help but are afraid, because we all have to jump in at the deep end when it comes to getting help.

 

Below is my favourite quote at the moment and perfect for anxiety, depression and mood affecting disorders.

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Further additions to “Am I Crazy?” will be coming soon.

 

CA x