Over my skin – My acne journey [Part 3]

Over my skin – My acne journey [Part 3]

Helurrr beautiful people and welcome to my 3rd and (possibly) final post on my skin journey. Check out Part 1 where I give a brief overview of what my skin has gone through and share some pictures, and Part 2 includes details on skincare products that didn’t work for me (if you haven’t already – but you would have because you love me and my blog, don’t you?)

This part is about my current skincare routine (which is pretty simple actually) and more detail on what the actual products do for your skin. As always, I am in no way promoting any of these brands. I am simply sharing my experiences so that you can make informed decisions when spending your hard earned cash. I also urge you to do further research because I am no expert, however I am more than happy to answer any questions that you may have so please comment and let me know.

I had my follow-up dermatology visit a few weeks ago and he’s advised that I need not continue with my antibiotics – these were prescribed to treat the bacteria causing acne and inflammation. He did suggest that I continue using the gel he prescribed every other night as it contains benzoyl peroxide which will help lighten my scars over time. I know that some people choose to go for dermapen treatments and chemical peels, however I am still really scared of undoing all the progress that I’ve noticed with my skin. I know these treatments are there for treating scars and stuff, but there isn’t a guarantee that my skin won’t react badly – my skin is like me during the time of the month that satan visits : I REACT BADLY TO EVERYTHING! I might look into it sometime in the future, but for now I’m keeping it simple and giving my skin a chance to live it’s best life. Plus I’m not looking to spend anymore money – my bank balance is sadder than the casting of 50 Shades of Grey.

 

The Cleanse.

To start with, I wash my face every morning and night with the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar. The first piece of advice that my dermatologist gave me was to use a gentle cleanser – nothing with beads or anything abrasive as this will irritate the skin and cause further breakouts. I was a little confused because my skin was a mess and I thought that I needed something strong to literally scrub the crap off my skin – BUT he was prescribing medication to treat the actual bacteria and inflammation so it would make sense to be gentle with the aftercare. I must admit that carrying a bar of soap around (to gym and when I’m travelling) is not the most fun I’ve had, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I wrapped that bad boy in some tinfoil and I was sorted :). It is worth mentioning that I did try their Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash before purchasing the cleansing bar, however the foam wash didn’t really help with my breakouts and my skin felt way more irritated. Also, I’m old-school and I prefer something that actually lathers and the cleansing bar did that for me. I use a silicone cleansing pad atleast 3 times a week after I’ve exfoliated just to make sure I’m getting rid of any dead skin cells and I ALWAYS use lukewarm water to rinse because using hot water washes away essential oils of the skin leaving it dry and using icy cold water on the face irritates the skin and breaks the capillaries.

Currently on promotion at Dis-Chem for R87.80 (normal price: R109.75)

 

Toning up.

I use plain Rose Water. Yep, that’s it. I spritz/pour a little on a cotton pad and just gently wipe it over my face after I cleanse. This helps get all those impurities/dead skin cells that you may not have gotten rid of by just washing your face. I also just spritz it over my face with/without makeup just to refresh it during the day. Rose water is known for having amazing properties for the skin and hair. I’m just going to list a few of the benefits for the skin below:

  • Helps maintain the skin’s PH balance and controls excess oil.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties which is great for problem skin.
  • Cleanses and aids in removing oil/dirt from clogged pores.
  • It is good for hydration and overall texture of the skin.
  • It also has anti-bacterial properties, which is great for healing scars/wounds/cuts, etc.
  • Antioxidant properties helps to strengthen and regenerate skin tissue.
  • Anti-aging helps with fine lines and wrinkles over time. It is never too early to start.

You can check out more information here if you want to see what it does for the hair and other uses.

Available at Dis-chem for R34.95

 

Moisture IS the thing.

We all know that problem skin is caused by many different factors, however, lack of moisture is right up there as one of the main causes. If your skin is dry and not getting enough moisture, it is going to panic and try to make up for the lack of moisture by producing sebum, which then leads to clogged pores. You can get more information here on different issues that arise from not moisturizing. It is extremely important to ensure that you are not overcrowding your skin with anything oily/greasy as this will just add to your already stressed out skin. Tissue oils were not recommended by my doctor as he advised that they would just clog up my pores even more. What you want to look for is a label that states “oil-free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic” because your skin does not need anything more than hydration. I picked up this Cetaphil moisturizer and have not put it down since. It is slightly runny in texture, but absorbs really nicely into the skin leaving it feeling soft and hydrated. On colder days I tend to add a little extra because the weather tends to dry my skin but a pea-sized amount is enough for my face and neck. It is for sensitive skin so I know that it is going to be kind to me and not cause any riots. I get my Cetaphil products from Dischem/Clicks (depending on which store I am closer to at the time).

Currently on promotion at Dis-Chem for R159.95 (normal price: R199.95) 

 

The Sun is not your friend.

Irrespective of whether you have problem skin or not, you should be incorporating an SPF into your morning routine (and your kid’s!) because the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been proven to cause skin cancers, as well as premature skin aging. You can find out more on this article and check out what actually happens. My dermatologist did recommend the Cetaphil Daylong SPF50+ Liposomal Lotion as he said it was effective and affordable. Read the excerpt below on what Liposomal sunscreen actually is:

“Sunscreens usually fall into one or both of the following categories; physical or chemical. Physical sunscreens literally create a barrier between your skin and sun’s rays, whereas chemical sunscreens are absorbed by the skin and protect it from the sun from the inside. Both formulas have pros and cons, but we know we have to use them, physical sunscreens carry less risks but are sometimes thick and greasy, whereas chemical sunscreens are usually easier to wear but carry risks in the unknown long-term affects of applying the sun-safe chemicals to our bodies.

Liposomal formulations are a new category altogether. The liposomes sink only into the top dead skin cell layer of the skin — no absorption into the blood stream — so lessening the chemical risk factor, but as it’s still absorbed, there’s no greasy finish.” – source

I used the Daylong SPF for 2 months but found that my skin was extremely greasy throughout the day and like all sunscreens, it had a slight purple color which I hate. It didn’t cause any breakouts but I just didn’t like the way it sat on the skin and how greasy it felt. Once my antibiotic treatment was over, I tried The Body Shop’s Skin Defense multi-protection essence (sounds so wonderful!). It was way smaller in size and more expensive but I had read really good things about it drying down matte! It has an SPF of 50 so that was a plus. It states on the tube that it is “a feather light, milk-to-water essence with broad spectrum UV filters, brightening red algae and antioxidant Vitamin C, to help protect skin against multiple skin aggressors, while providing utmost comfort.” This is my favorite SPF – like EVER!!! As the description suggests, it is rather runny in texture but it dries down matte and it smells so lovely! A pea-sized amount is all I need and it also sits really nicely under my makeup. It is slightly pricey for the amount of product that you get, so if you do have a good SPF, rather stick to it. I’m sure there are other more affordable SPF’s, even moisturizers with an SPF, so please do some research and check out people’s reviews before buying.

Available at The Body Shop for R220

 

Do you even multi-mask bruv?

“Exfoliating is an essential way to manage breakouts and acne. Many of us recognise the importance of cleansing our skin but under-estimate the power of exfoliating. A deep exfoliation will help to un-clog your pores from excess oil which can lead to breakouts. Therefore, if the excess oil and dirt is removed from the root of the cause, the amount of breakouts will most likely reduce.”- source

You can go to salons to have these done, however once again – bank balance is as happy as a Deer during hunting season. I use the L’Oreal Pure Clay masks at least twice a week. This is just to get rid of any oil/dirt build up during the week and also just to relax and have some ‘me time’. I use the purity and the glow mask because I have different skin concerns on different parts of my face. For example, my T-zone is rather oily while the rest of my face can tend to be drier. I use the purity mask to mattify/purify and the glow mask to brighten and exfoliate. These masks are really great and leave my skin feeling polished and clean.

The Purity mask “is a creamy mask that works deep into the pores for a thorough cleanse and exfoliation. At the same time, it mattifies and brightens the skin for a radiant appearance.” It dries down quite quickly and I leave it on for about 20 minutes – you can actually see the oil being sucked out of my pores and it looks oddly satisfying!

The Glow mask “brightens and exfoliates for youthful looking skin. The beaded, creamy texture illuminates tone by exfoliating the skin’s surface without drying it out.” It has red-algae extract which exfoliates the skin and removes all the gunk that normal cleansing doesn’t get to. It feels rather grainy in texture so once it’s dried down, I add a little water and gently massage my face with my fingertips before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Makeup application is so much smoother after this so I also multi-mask if I’m going out for the night/a special occasion.

Available at Clicks and Dis-chem for R119

Multi masking : I apply the purity mask to my T-zone and areas where I usually get oily. The glow mask is applied to the rest of my face

Close up! You can actually see the oil being sucked out of my pores (those small white spots) and my skin looks and feels so much cleaner after!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, I want to highlight the fact that dealing with acne at any point in your life can be difficult. It can really affect all aspects of your life and puts huge strain on your ability to maintain a positive outlook on life. It is not superficial, but deeply rooted within your emotions and can be as mentally frustrating as it is physically. I want you to remember that it is NORMAL and whilst makeup may serve as a temporary cover, our sanity is way more important. I wish you self-love and acceptance through whatever it is that you are dealing with.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 3 part series and I would love to hear your thoughts/stories.

Until next time
xx

On my skin – My acne journey [Part 2]

On my skin – My acne journey [Part 2]

Helurrr beautiful people!  I’m back with more information on this topic – this time I’ll be focusing on the products that I used before I visited the dermatologist. I want to go into as much detail as possible on these products so my current skincare/makeup details will be in Part 3 – so keep an eye out in the coming month.

You can catch Part 1 here, just so for some backstory and lots of before/after pictures of my skin. Now that I’ve mentioned all that, let’s get straight into this!

EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT mentioned here was purchased with my own money and I am not discouraging anyone from purchasing them, I am simply sharing my experience. I used all of these products for a few months before deciding to discontinue use.

Clinique

First up is the Clinique anti-blemish solutions range, which I purchased from Truworths after doing some research online and going through reviews from people who had different skin issues. I purchased the oil control cleansing mask (R455), the cleansing gel (R360), the clarifying lotion (320) and the clearing moisturizer (R340) – that’s R1475 worth of skincare that made my life hell.

I used the cleansing mask as a spot treatment for any new and existing bumps, their website says “Soothing natural clay-based mask helps heal blemishes, prevent breakouts and keep skin shine-free. Medicated formula goes deep to clean and unclog pores, rid skin of excess oil. In just 5 minutes, skin looks clearer, smoother, less blemish-troubled. Gentle, non-drying formula won’t irritate skin. Oil free.” This did not work for me. Nothing that is mentioned above happened for me.

I used the cleansing gel in the morning and at night, their website says “Medicated, oil-free foaming cleansing gel helps clear breakouts and blackheads. Unclogs pores. Helps control oil. Skin feels fresh, soft, calm and smooth. Can also be used on body.” Again, none of this happened for me.

After cleansing, I used the clarifying lotion, which is meant to be applied like a toner – with a cotton pad. Their website says “Step 2 of Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System. Gentle, effective formula exfoliates to clear dead surface cells and reduce excess oil that can lead to breakouts. Unclogs pores. Oil-absorbing powders eliminate shine. Soothes irritation, redness.” Not only did this once again not work for me, it burned my skin so bad. Every time I applied it to my face, there was this intense burning sensation all over my face that lasted for about 30 seconds. This was not fun at all and I’m sure this irritated my already irritated skin.

Last step was to moisturize and EVERYONE knows how important it is to moisturize! The website says “Step 3 in Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Clear Skin System. Lightweight, medicated formula helps treat existing acne and prevent future breakouts. Creates a barrier against acne-causing agents. Helps control excess oil. Calms, soothes, visibly reduces redness. Lightly hydrates to minimize dryness and peeling.” I got absolutely no hydration from this whatsoever. It was very thin in consistency and made my skin feel wet for a few moments after I applied it, then it was gone. My face was superdry and I had to put on another moisturizer after a few weeks (I literally used E45 because I didn’t know what to do) because my skin felt tight. Needless to say that I was extremely frustrated at having spent so much of money when all it did was make my skin worse. It’s worth mentioning that I used the Clinique range on it’s own for a month or two before adding anything to the mix.

Farsali

Enter Farsali. If your permanent residence is under a rock, let me tell you about Farsali. This brand of skincare was all the hype on social media. Farah Dhukai is a Youtube/Instagram influencer, and she shares tons of DIY face and body concoctions as well as makeup looks. Her husband created the brand Farsali for her, in an attempt to have skincare incorporated into your makeup application. I obviously had to have these products because she posted a video on how she cured her acne – I literally went out and bought (almost) all of the products she spoke about in her video. Yes, I was heavily influenced. The two products that I purchased from the Farsali range were the Volcanic Elixir (R1000) and the Unicorn Essence (R450). I purchased them from local online resellers (comment if you want me to mention which ones) and I worked them into my skincare regime.

The Unicorn Essence is said to be high in antioxidants and can be used as a moisturizer and primer. I put a few drops on my skin after I cleansed and toned every morning. The texture was very runny and it had glitter in it (I love glitter and anything that sparkles), but it left my skin rather sticky after application and my makeup still looked awful – active acne and all that nasty stuff that comes with it.

The Volcanic Elixir was a nighttime moisturizer with a very strong scent – if I were to describe it, it smelt kind of woody with a hint of nut (if that makes sense) and it looked like an oil. It felt like an oil too which meant my skin was extremely oily when I went to bed. This elixir contains oil from the nut kernels of the Tamanu fruit, the properties listed on the website state that it is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant – which one would think is heaven sent for acne! I wanted this to work, I really wanted Farsali to change my life but yet again, I spent in excess of R1400 just to make my skin worse.

The Ordinary

I continued on my downward spiral of spending and bought into the Ordinary range. Again – rock dwellers, The Ordinary is a skincare range that brings science and acids into the mix. I swear, I felt so smart telling my boyfriend about all the different acids and suspensions that I was buying – plus their website had amazing information that tells you everything you need to know about all of their products – and trust me, there are so many! By this time, I was rather disappointed with myself because I already spent so much money and my skin was in such a terrible state. Naturally I did was any perfectly sane woman with a credit card does and bought more stuff. I’m going to leave small descriptions under the individual products because we all know that they didn’t work for me. They do have amazing products so I will definitely revisit the musebeauty site in the coming year to get some hydrating and anti-aging products – their stuff isn’t as expensive as most skincare but you can get carried away with their little serums and suspensions.

THE ORDINARY LACTIC ACID 10% + HA 2% : Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 10% formulation offers mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation.

THE ORDINARY NIACINAMIDE 10% + ZINC 1% : Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.

THE ORDINARY SALICYLIC ACID 2% SOLUTION : This treatment exfoliates deep inside the walls of pores to fight acne, oily skin, and blemishes. It promotes smoother skin texture and visible clarity with regular use.

THE ORDINARY VITAMIN C SUSPENSION 23% + HA SPHERES 2% : This treatment brightens, hydrates, and smooths the skin’s surface. It reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation (such as dark spots, age spots, and acne scars).

THE ORDINARY NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTORS + HA : This formula offers non-greasy hydration that acts as a direct topical supplement of impaired NMF components. It contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid. It offers immediate hydration and lasting results with continued use.

Facial cupping

I also tried facial cupping (because Farah Dhukai said it helped with acne) – I got these facial cups from celluvac for R280. I used them a few times and it just left my face red and sore – I didn’t see any noticeable difference in my skin unfortunately.

Pilaten peel off mask

Of course I had to try the Pilaten peel off black mask that was all over instagram and facebook. All this did was pull at my facial hair (I have a lot) and irritate my skin even more. I purchased mine from a local reseller so chances of it being fake are quite great. The reason why I say this is because when I watched videos online, the mask literally pulled out hundreds of black/white heads – this was not so successful for me.

I know this post must seem like me just bashing these brands but that’s not what I am trying to do here. I spent thousands of rands on stuff that was advertised in a way that gave me hope for my skin, but what I really needed was a visit to the dermatologist and change in lifestyle. I am merely trying to educate people in a similar situation so that you don’t waste your money and time on superficial fixes without understanding the root cause.

So once again, I urge you to do your research and be mindful of what you put on and in your body. Also remember that acne and breakouts are NORMAL and it’s okay not to have perfect skin. Don’t risk losing yourself, whilst trying to fit an image that society deems perfect. I’m sure you’re pretty great.

Until next time

xx

Under my skin – my acne journey [Part 1]

Under my skin – my acne journey [Part 1]

Helurrr beautiful people and HAPPY 2018! I hope that you were all safe this festive season and are diving head first into this new year.

Let’s get straight into this one because there’s A LOT that has happened with my skin. Let me start off by saying that I have not retouched any of the pictures posted. Whilst I still have scarring, I love my skin. I am proud of these no-makeup pictures because my skin is healthy! It feels so soft and smooth…even though I do use makeup on special occasions, I love my natural state now. I’m going to be quite blunt here so please read with an open mind – as always, this is my journey that I’ve chosen to share with you in the hopes that it might help you with something similar that you may be dealing with. I’m not going to tell you that what worked for me will work for you, but do your research please. I read as many articles and blogs that I could before I even considered seeking professional help. Unfortunately, this meant me trying all sorts of things that probably made it all worse – so BE CAREFUL with your skin and what you allow near it. You have to understand that everyone’s skin is different and needs to be cared for/treated differently.

As a teenager, I got the occasional breakout around the time of month that satan came to visit. If you read my previous posts, you would gather that during my pregnancy, my hormones were obviously messed up – BUT this lead to perfect skin and hair for me! (This obviously created a delayed reaction, which I experienced last year – crap skin came my way!) Fast forward into my early 20’s, I discovered (and could afford) makeup so we all know how that went. Let’s be honest here, nobody really believed in a 150 step skincare regime…heck I would pat myself on the back if I woke up without last night’s makeup all over my pillow. I know it’s gross but I was lazy. I’m not even going to fight that one. Further breakouts ensued and me picking at them just lead to scars – which needed more makeup to cover (I was in a loop of bad skin and even worse decisions.)

My first dermatologist 

I must have been around 21 when I was convinced that I needed to go on Roaccutane because a family member (who didn’t have a blemish ever!) was on it and she was literally glowing. I made my appointment and the doctor prescribed very mild antibiotics with a sh*t load of aftercare – I’m talking thousands of rands worth of gels, creams, washes (I could have opened up a pharmacy). With my medical savings exhausted half way through the year, I was determined to get perfect skin. I didn’t follow the recommended usage instructions of the aftercare – who does that really? obviously increasing the usage will speed things up – Ha what a doos was I. Ended up looking like Fester Addams. I burned my skin and undereye area. I’m an NC42 in MAC so I’m a little light in complexion…can you imagine what a mess I looked like?? (you must imagine because I didn’t take any pictures for months). My concealer and foundation cracked all over my skin after minutes of applying – I really made everything worse. I didn’t go back to the doctor because I knew that she would kak me out for not listening. So I did what every self-respecting person with no clue does and stopped everything – medication, aftercare, makeup, EVERYTHING. It was so hard going to work looking like Fester but my friends and family were supportive. A few months later, my skin was amazing and healthy. I didn’t use any makeup or any skincare products for atleast 2 years – I literally washed my face with dove soap and used whatever lotion I had for my body.

Enter Cape Town

I moved to Cape Town in July 2016 and the change in climate really affected my skin. I also started using makeup again and was convinced by YouTube that I needed a skincare regime. I started with L’Oreal products – a face wash, toner and moisturiser which was a simple start. I have to admit that my junk food intake increased tremendously and gym slowed down a little. I got the occasional pimple / blackhead / whitehead and didn’t pay it any attention. Around October, I had noticed a lot of red bumps on my forehead and discoloration around my mouth. I thought it would pass because it always did but I did start watching more videos about how other people dealt with bad skin (even though mine wasn’t as bad as theirs). I ended up changing my skincare to Clinique but added other brands as well. I overloaded my skin with Clinique washes/creams/toners, Apple Cider Vinegar and added Farsali into the mix – what a mistake. Alot of people rave about these brands/products and swear by them – it didn’t work for me, my skin deteriorated.

And then there was Ordinary

Once again, the Ordinary range is hyped alot and works for so many people – just not me. I added serums and creams to my already crowded skincare regime for a few months. I held out because a lot of people said that ‘purging’ is normal – purging is basically it getting worse before it gets better. Mine just got worse. My skin was inflamed, scarred and painful to the touch. I had these huge red and white pimples all over my face – I would get atleast 3-5 new ones every day. I was in hell. I tried putting makeup on but it looked horrible and felt even worse. It affected my life. Every aspect of my life was affected and I honestly didn’t want to leave the house. This went on for a few months until I exhausted all of my options and made an appointment with a Dermatologist.

I have included pictures that I took 3 months before I had my visit so that you can see how bad it got…and how quick it happened. These are raw images that I took with my iPhone.

Enter Dr Jonathan Smith

I saw Dr Smith at the end of September 2017 and he prescribed me an antibiotic and a gel to apply overnight. The antibiotic was so strong, I had nausea and a troubled tummy for the entire week that I took it. I called him the next week and he had me come in to pick up another prescription for a milder antibiotic. It’s worth mentioning that my face felt better after the 2nd day – THE 2ND DAY!!! The inflammation, pain and new pop-ups stopped completely. By the 4th day, my skin felt smoother to the touch and I was over the moon. He prescribed the medication and gel for 2 months and I was to schedule a follow up visit after the fact. I will let the pictures speak below.

I will be visiting him next week to discuss my skin further but this has been an eye-opening journey. I will not be providing the details of the medication that I was on because they were prescribed specifically for my skin condition and type. The fact that they need a prescription is proof that they should only be provided by a medical professional that has assessed you personally and understands your skin as well as lifestyle. You should definitely exhaust all possible options before seeing a dermatologist. A few possibilities :

  • Increase your water intake (trust me, your body needs it!)
  • Slow down the junk food (not only will your skin benefit but your body will love you for it.)
  • Give your face a break from makeup now and then – let it breathe and enjoy your natural beautiful state.
  • Wash your face every single night (enough said)
  • Be gentle on your face, the skin is much more sensitive so be mindful of that.
  • In addition to the above point, don’t overwhelm your face with 150 different products – find what works for your skin and keep it simple. Healthy skin shouldn’t cost you your sanity.

Whilst the above steps may help some people, take the time to understand your skin type and embrace it. We are all beautiful irrespective of what we look like, but sometimes acne affects you on the inside way more than it does on the outside. I would love to tell you that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, but that won’t change the sinking feeling you get when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. I’ve been there, heck I’m still there – but I am dealing with me and learning to love myself more. Do research and learn about what actually causes things rather than just buying a crap load of creams/oils recommended by someone with flawless skin. Also, don’t compare yourself or put yourself in someone else’s category. You were made unique for a reason – embrace your uniqueness and make it work for you!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and please keep a look out for Part 2 – it will include my current skincare routine and an update from my follow up Dermatologist visit. I will also include reviews of the (many) products I used that didn’t help my skin situation – a totally objective review of course!

xx

Fairytales and why you’re doing it wrong.

Fairytales and why you’re doing it wrong.

Helurrr beautiful souls 🙂

I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of the support and love that you’ve shown on my posts. My last one in particular has reached more views than I expected and the feedback that I’ve been receiving has been phenomenal (You can read it here if you missed it).

Today, we’re going back to basics. I will be keeping it real as always, and in return, I would like to ask you to have an open mind and consider different possibilities. Think back to the first fairytale you’ve heard/read/seen, it could have been one of the famous ones : Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White & the seven dwarves, etc. Do you have one in mind? Great! These stories were about bringing people together, getting rid of the bad things, falling inlove with a prince and just living happily ever after, right? Lets move over to the movie industry, think of your favorite love story : Titanic, The Notebook, 50 first dates, Crazy, Stupid, Love, etc. In a little over an hour and a half, you watch a girl turn into a woman, land her dream job, become completely independent and meet the man of her dreams who is actually perfect. This perfect man probably starts off as a real ‘ladies man’ and enjoys casual relationships whilst never really feeling anything for anyone – until he meets this girl, whom he falls head over heels for and leaves his partying nights (and days) behind. In 92 minutes?! Are you kidding me???

Here lies the problem people. It’s not the unrealistic expectation that you are going to bump into Ryan Gosling at a bar and he’s going to put the ‘Dirty Dancing’ move on you. It’s not even the fact that Cinderella doesn’t have to use tarte shape tape. Its the time frame and succession of events that lead us to believe that it’s just not possible in the real world.

 

What if I told you that could be possible, you just need to adjust your mindset and accept a slightly longer time frame? That dream job is definitely possible girl, it’s probably going to take a crap load of time to get there, but you will get there. Independence is more than a state of mind or having a lot of money, it’s knowing what to do with what you have and how to take care of yourself. The day that you start limiting yourself on what you can or cannot do is the day that you don’t believe in your true potential – and trust me girl, you have potential for greatness.

So start building yourself, study further, take up a new hobby, get in shape! Find out who YOU are and what YOU want from life. Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you, empower you and drive you to be the best version of YOU. Speaking of driving – get your driver’s license and work on getting your own set of wheels. This is such a liberating experience and sometimes a short drive to the gas station is all you need. I have the best conversations with myself when I’m sitting in traffic, with some Jess Glynne in the background and maybe some coffee. If you can’t talk to yourself, aint nobody else gonna do it girl!

As for Ryan Gosling, stop looking for him so hard that you lose yourself. He’s probably out there, waiting for the day that he gets to sweep you off your feet. Maybe he’s not. Does that make you any less of a woman? Heck no! Live your life girl, be thankful for all that you have and remain hungry for all that you desire. Make it happen, Cinderella didn’t meet her prince without sacrifice – she lost her shoe! Have you ever tried walking with just one shoe on? That is rough.

Having an identity is so precious. Get to know yourself, figure out that girl in the mirror and let her know that she is beautiful every single day. And the most important thing is to give yourself time – if you can’t do your hair and makeup in 92 minutes, how do you expect your whole life to happen in that time? Breathe, smile and do it!

Until next time xx

Pregnant at 17 – what it was like having a kid as a kid.

Pregnant at 17 – what it was like having a kid as a kid.

Helurrr all you beautiful souls! It’s me again, and this time I am going really deep by sharing a very personal experience with you (which is not something I do often – or ever, so please go easy on me).

If you have read my “New blog – who this” post (if you didn’t, don’t despair! Click here quick!) and you are a great mathematician, you would have calculated that I had my daughter when I was 17. I am pretty sure that a lot of people have their reservations about that and have already drawn some sort of conclusion about what kind of person I am/was. I am okay with that. I am mature enough to accept the fact that everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, whether or not they have right to judge, it’s life. I have to start off by saying that I am in no way advocating premarital sex, nor am I condemning it. I am simply sharing my story with you, whether you need to hear it or not is up to you. I am also not discussing the father so please don’t ask me any questions surrounding that aspect. This is MY journey – my best one yet.

The year was 2008, I was in 16 and in Grade 11 – also I just missed a period. I knew exactly what that meant and I was absolutely terrified. It doesn’t matter what type of religious background or the kind of household you have, no parent is happy to find out that their 16 year old daughter is ‘with child’. I spent the first 3 months trying to find out as much as possible about being my age and being pregnant – the results were shocking to say the least. Pregnancy at any age is a risk – you may be unable to carry to full term, there may be complications/deformities, stillbirth or you could actually die from giving birth. The younger or older you are determines how ‘capable’ you are to give birth to a healthy baby and live to tell the tale. I hadn’t told anyone about it until I was 5 months pregnant – I was really skinny so I only really started to show around that time and I couldn’t hide it any more. My mother found out the day after my 17th birthday.

As expected, my family was devastated and heartbroken. I had my first ultrasound with my father in the waiting room and the gynecologist told us that my baby was a healthy girl. As much as he was hurting, he told me that he was so relieved that she was healthy. My parents (although divorced at the time) were an amazing support structure – sometimes I felt I didn’t even deserve that. As the months went by, and since I decided to continue with school (matric, yes), I was greeted with constant stares in the hall, mumbles and a lot of snickering. It was hard. It was so hard. As a 17 year old girl, I was still figuring myself out and had no idea how to raise a child when I was still one. Pair that with morning sickness and gherkin cravings – hot mess. I found myself crying for no reason while watching an episode of Spongebob. I was so afraid of what could go wrong and how I might not be able to give my baby the best life that she deserved. I can’t even begin to explain the dark thoughts that enter your mind when you allow that darkness in. It was really hard for my mother because she would constantly have to explain to family and friends and I could see how much it hurt her each time. This didn’t stop her from giving me the best advice and support that I needed – even when I didn’t know that I needed it. From my baby’s first kick to the nights where I couldn’t sleep because she just wouldn’t stop jumping around in my tummy – my mother was there. My father would accompany me to all of my check ups and tell me how having a daughter was his biggest blessing. Fast forward a few months, after a solid 3 hours of labour (It is definitely all it’s cracked up to be – and then some!), I gave birth to a beautifully healthy little girl. The moment I saw her little face, tiny fingers and toes, I knew that I would be whatever she needed me to be. This was my life now. She was my life.

 

Pregnancy and childbirth are not to be taken lightly. Whilst I believe that having my daughter was definitely one of my biggest blessings, it was rough. I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t have that support and love from my family. 8 years later and I still don’t have it figured out but I can tell you that I am exactly where I am supposed to be today. As a parent or a prospective parent, you can’t simply ‘learn-on-the-job’ or ‘wing it’. You are responsible for a whole new life and you owe it to him/her to do your best. Research where you can and understand your child during their fundamental years and throughout their lives.

Did I grow up quicker than I should have? Yes. Have I acknowledged and taken responsibility for my actions? Most definitely. Do I blame anyone? No. Would I go back and change anything? Never in a million years. Each of us have our own journey that we are on called life, there are multiple paths which encompass different outcomes, but I am a firm believer that if you follow your chosen path through, you will be exactly where you are meant to be. It is never going to be easy, but boy is it worth it!

 

Thank you for reading, it truly means so much to me.

xx

The societal challenge – do you fit the mould? Should you?

The societal challenge – do you fit the mould? Should you?

Helurrr everyone! Welcome to my very first blog post! I am really excited to finally share this with you as I’ve been working on it forever… (It sure does feel that way to me). This is obviously a very controversial topic and I believe it is applicable to all culture and race groups. However, due to my Indian heritage, I will be speaking from personal experience for the most part. Be that as it may, I am pretty sure that you will be able to identify with most of what I have to say because we’re all human at the end of it all. So grab a nice cup of your favourite blend and enjoy!

 

First things first, let’s address my actual composition (one part cupcake and 2 parts sarcasm lol) – my first name is Muslim and my last is Hindu (Tamil to be specific). I almost always get weird looks when I introduce myself and have developed a very generic response: “My mother is Muslim and my father is Tamil.” For some, that is enough and is usually followed by a slight chuckle at the thought (I assume some Romeo & Juliet scene about forbidden love probably). BUT there is the odd person who feels like they deserve more because it’s not fair to make such a bold statement and not explain what happens next. To that I explain that my dad converted (changed his religion) in order to marry my mum the Muslim way (they made nikkah) and we followed Islam. Now that we have that little backstory out of the way, let’s carry on.

 

For those of you wondering what on earth the title is about – trust me, there is a mould that society measures everyone against. And whilst this mould pertains to both male and female, I feel like females have it worse because we’re always made aware of how far off we are from the ‘perfect woman/girlfriend/daughter/mother, etc.’ In the Indian culture specifically, a lot of emphasis is put on the colour of your skin, the texture of your hair, straightness of your teeth and your body shape. If you were light skinned with long straight hair, had a smile like you worked for Aquafresh and were slim with a big bust and somewhat round booty – you were just perfect.

*Disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing against anyone who has the features I mentioned above and I am in no way stating that your physical appearance has any bearing on what kind of a person you are. You rock girl! Go on with your bad self!

 

At school:

Enter me, an extremely skinny, medium toned teenager with frizzy hair for days and teeth that were all over the place. Firstly, being a teenage girl is hard enough when you’re trying to figure out what’s happening to your body (or not happening), reacting to boys, keeping up relations with your mother… it’s a little much tbh. AND THEN you are made fun of because of your hair and your flat chest (which kind of deflects from your other undesirable physical traits so you run with it). Pretty soon you’re stuffing your bra, begging your mother to pay for expensive hair treatments and wearing shorts underneath your jeans. The. Struggle. Is. Real. Eventually, going out with your friends becomes torture because it doesn’t matter how many hours it takes you to get ready, you’re never going to look like the chick who is filling up DD’s.

 

With your family:

There is always that one aunty whose first line when she sees you is: “So dark you gone”, or “Your mother doesn’t feed you?” This is usually followed by her showcasing her own daughter who is your age but resembles Wonder Woman. (Side note: the movie was absolutely epic and you should totally watch it if you haven’t already!) Every single family function or get together ends up the same and you start to slowly resent them. Not for what they are but for how you feel when you realise that you are a 14 year old girl who is trapped in a 10 year old boy’s body and you shouldn’t look like that. Funny how we place so much emphasis on what is going on outside rather than focusing on building what is inside.

 

Growing up and into motherhood:

I’m not sure whether this happens everywhere but I feel like people expect that a mother should either look like a hot mess or like Victoria Beckham. BUT, very strong opinions are tied to both scenarios. If you look like a hot mess then you are doing a great job with your kids, taking care of your husband and you probably clean your house 3 times a day – you just ‘let yourself go’. Ooooh jirre! I can just die when I hear that phrase. So what if you don’t want to look like you just came off the runway, you do you, boo. Then there’s the supermodel mother whose hair is always on point and always looks like she wakes up with a perfect contour. “You must not give your kids a bath and there’s no way you’re cooking for your husband every day – you probably don’t even make your bed’. Ooooh shem! In what world! Good for you doll! Without taking anything away from the woman who does not wear designer heels, I applaud the woman who is able to colour coordinate and have her eyebrows done perfectly every day. To whoever is reading this, if you walk around with your comfy pair of Nikes (that’s me btw), prefer a long sweater and cool leggings or if you cannot leave the house without looking like you stole Victoria’s Secret – YOU FREAKING ROCK GIRL!

 

People need to stop putting so much pressure on girls and women and expecting them to look a certain way. We need to guide and nurture the already beautiful soul that is within and let her flourish. Let her be so confident in herself that she does not need any approval from anyone. You will find that once you allow a girl to grow the way God intended, she will be nothing short of majestic. So mothers, sisters, aunties, whoever you are, you first need to realise that you are damn beautiful! Once you believe that, start imparting that onto every girl you are lucky enough to meet. We need to build each other by building ourselves. It doesn’t matter what shape, size or shade you are, you are created perfectly and you ought to be proud of yourself.

 

I read this quote somewhere (I honestly can’t remember where), but I found it so powerful and true:

 

“The presence of one woman’s beauty is not the absence of yours.”

http://www.theyallhateus.com/

Thank you so much for reading

 

xx