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!


Home is where you are happy.

Home is where you are happy.

Helurrr gorgeous people 🙂 I am back again and have a lot to share with you – but this post is slightly different because I would also like to hear from you. So please leave me a comment once you’re done reading about what your take is on this or anything that you would like to share.

I am not much of a traveler (I haven’t left South Africa – yet!), so trips within my country are pretty special to me. I recently took a little family trip to Pretoria as a result of an amazing promotion at SAFAIR where I paid just R3 for a flight. (I kid you not people, it was real!) I like saving money just as much as the next person because taking a trip anywhere involves A LOT of costs – we’re talking car hire, accommodation, food obviously and places you want to visit (like starbucks!).

I am probably the world’s best procrastinator and pack the night before (when I’m feeling extra bad it’s sometimes on the day lol), but I did pretty well and managed to take everything I needed. I do make a checklist though – I might like living on the edge but I still like checking stuff off a very important list. Honestly, the last thing you want to do is rock up at the airport without identification or your wallet so I would definitely recommend having a list. We arrive at the airport just over an hour before our 11h45 flight only for me to realise that we are actually flying at 11h00! *face palm* Thank goodness we arrived when we did so we were just in time for boarding and didn’t have to wait in line for too long because we were practically last! We were greeted by friendly faces and got to our seats real fast because I checked in online and got us seats right at the front (please do that when you are flying because it’s no fun trying to get to the middle of the plane whilst someone is trying to shove their ‘hand luggage’ in the overhead compartment – which is clearly bigger than my checked in luggage!).

I am a really nervous flyer so take off and landing is always a struggle for me – I hold on to my daughter’s hand and I watch the sheer joy and excitement on her face as we leave the ground (and my stomach) behind. One Cafe Mocha and huge lemon&poppy muffin later, we arrive at O.R Tambo and I need to take off my 3 layers of clothing. We are greeted with beautiful sunshine and heat – which I haven’t experienced since March so I was thrilled! We drive for what feels like forever to Centurion and I start to miss home almost immediately. There were no mountains or coastlines to drool over and the greenery in Cape Town is simply breathtaking – but that was okay since I was sweating again! I digress…back to Centurion! We had planned to spend time with family that both my partner and I have living in the area – little did we know, they’re literally 7kms from each other so everything worked perfectly.


The lovely dairy farm – and yummy cheeseburger experience.

Since Thursday was spent catching up, we planned an outing for Friday – somewhere outside, sunny, kid friendly and of course with good food. We arrive at the Irene Farm and I am in heaven! (You can check them out here) This place is so pretty and there’s a really good smell in the air – nature! We’re seated at the Barn Restaurant and it just feels so good. There was a wedding party at the other side of the restaurant so I was naturally trying to make a grab for the cupcakes lol. The kids were loving the jungle gym and antique tractors that they were able to enjoy – I swear a kid’s imagination is the best place. After a very hearty meal and really good conversation, we took a stroll through the farm. I must admit that having a 8 – 5 job really does affect your ability to just unwind, because lets be honest, your day does not end at 4pm! If anything, you’re just clocking in to your next job – Mommy mode engaged! This place was so simple yet so peaceful – sure the strong smell of ‘nature’ does make your nose hurt a bit, but once you stop focusing on it, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. I’m talking big oak trees, a small pond with ducks and their ducklings trotting along without a care in the world! Cows just chilling on the grass – not even worried about whether they need a filter on their next instagram post. It was really good to just be. Sometimes you just need to. We ended the trip with a visit to Starbucks at Menlyn Mall. I have been seeing pictures everywhere and I had serious FOMO so I had to try this good stuff. I am a die hard Seattle and Truth Coffee fan so obviously this place had really high standards to meet. The queues were insane and the menu looked really foreign to me. If you’ve watched Kevin Hart’s ‘WHAT NOW’ movie, then you’ve heard about his experience at starbucks – HE DID NOT MAKE THAT STUFF UP. After 10 minutes, I just ordered what my boyfriend ordered (He ordered what his sister ordered – see the trend?lol) It tasted really nice, I’m not going to lie. It was a really nice tasting (something – I cant remember what order I copied) and I think it was the experience that I enjoyed. Oh and I had to take the famous starbucks snap (I’ll insert it below). Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I go out of my way to have it again? Probably not. If you want a real coffee experience with all day breakfast on a Sunday, you have to visit Truth Coffee on Buitenkant street in Cape Town. The atmosphere, staff attire, food and coffee are out of this world. Now that is something I would go out of my way for.

The beautiful Barn Restaurant

The gorgeous garden that leads to the restaurant

Starbucks snap of course!


Gold Reef City – the roadtrip edition.

If there is one thing I am not a fan of, it’s driving. No, I’m not talking about regular drives to the office or going to the mall, I’m talking about everything being an hour drive away from Centurion! Seriously? Okay, maybe we just have it easy in Cape Town because there’s literally so much to do within 15kms. I have only been to Gold Reef City once before (We stayed at the theme park hotel for the week of Ultra Music Festival 2016) and I really love theme parks. I am a fan of rides and silly fishing games – that was my childhood and it’s a part of me. Naturally, I want my daughter to experience it so we get on our way – this kid just explodes with energy when she sees the place! (Maybe it was the hour ride build up lol) We have an absolute ball! From kiddy car rides to the animal farm and obviously the jump park because nobody wants to take a hyped up kid home – jump parks tire them out and nap time is so much easier. Also, jumping is really fun as an adult too, it’s really a win-win. I feel like we (I) take ourselves too seriously and we don’t laugh enough, let loose enough or just have fun. Yes I spend a lot of time on my cellphone and laptop, but it’s those moments where we don’t have to actually think about anything that are the best! As weird as it sounds, a child will really redefine fun for you and it is amazing when you see it from their eyes.

Jump socks!


Sidenote: My (then) 7 year old daughter taught me how to ride a bicycle – it was just a year ago so I’m still pretty new to this. It was a beautiful Sunday at Sea Point in Cape Town and I was persuaded (forced) to hire a bicycle for myself. I usually run along because I never learnt how to ride a bicycle growing up and it kind of slipped through the cracks so I never got around to doing it. I was amazed with the patience that this kid had and how much she encouraged me to keep going – in that moment I knew that I definitely must have done something right with this precious little girl. 


The Depart.

I absolutely dread goodbyes but when you know that you have really made the most of your time with the people who really matter, it’s a little easier. We missed our return flight (yes it was my fault, because sleep) and had to be put on standby for the next one. That worked out for us because we had time for a really good breakfast and the trip home was really relaxed. As soon as the pilot told us that we had to prepare for our descent, I felt home. I’ve been in Cape Town for just over a year and this place finally feels like home. Yes, I miss my family like crazy but right now, I am really glad that this is my new happy place.

Go on a little adventure – take a drive somewhere (anywhere) and just enjoy it. Live in the actual moments and just be. Tell me about your trips and what makes your home feel like home? I would love to hear from you 🙂


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.


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.”


Thank you so much for reading