Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eczema Update: There is Hope!

No makeup

The photo on the left is me, today.  If you compare it to the photos in this post, you'll see the difference...

Most of my eczema rashes have completely cleared up.  My neck is totally free of any dry spots.  My chest still has 2 patches that haven't completely cleared, but it's no longer red, dry or itchy.  It just looks slightly darker than the rest of my skin.  As for my face, there are no more dry spots at all but I still have depigmentation issues due to the reaction to cortisone.  I did not use witch hazel and vitamin E.  I started off doing that, but the vitamin E was too sticky and kept making me want to scratch at it.  So what did I use?

Browsing the isles of my local Priceline pharmacy, I came across a range of products called Hope's Relief.  A while ago, I read that manuka honey is great for eczema, so I had initially bought a jar of manuka honey UMF 20+ and was applying that directly to my dry skin.  It was far too sticky, so I bought the Hope's Relief healing cream because it contains manuka honey.

Hope's Relief healing cream - $22.95 (60g)
I used this cream daily.  I started off re-applying four times throughout the day, but as the eczema began to clear up, I reapplied it less often.  A week into using it, I also started using the soap free bar to wash my face and body with.  I'm still using the bar for my face, but not body.  I also now only use the healing cream once or twice a day, always after I shower.  It was what has cleared up my eczema.  I wish I had started off using this in the very beginning!  My face may have been saved from the horrible reaction to the steroid cream that all the health professionals kept telling me to use.

No more itchy, dry patches on my neck!
I have an allergy test booked in early January so until then, I will not be using any skincare products except for Hope's Relief and  MooGoo.  I want to avoid having another eczema outbreak, especially during the holiday season.  I'm so glad that my skin will be normal in time for christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Is My KP Clearing?!

Just over a month ago I wrote this blog post.  I have been following that plan (with a few tweaks here and there) religiously for a month and I am now here to give an update on  how my skin is.  This post will only address the keratosis pilaris issue, as I have an eczema post coming up soon.

Here is what I've been doing every single day:

  • Taking 1000mg fish oil 3x (after breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Taking B group vitamins 1x (after lunch)
  • Taking Beta Carotene 1x (after breakfast, sometimes also after dinner)
  • Taking 400iu vitamin E 1x (after breakfast, sometimes also after dinner)
  • Moisturising my whole body with DermaDrate dry skin therapy 2x (after my morning shower, then again before bedtime)

In all honesty, I believe that if I weren't taking any vitamins but still moisturising my body twice a day, I would probably get the same results as I've taken vitamins before without moisturising, and I've seen no improvements with the kp.  But maybe the vitamins help a little?  I'm not sure.

Two weeks into doing this daily, I started to notice that the kp dots on my legs and thighs appeared to be getting smaller.  The discolouration on my arms in the kp area also seemed to be fading.  And a month later, while no bumps have disappeared, they do seem to be getting smaller.  The dots on my legs seem to have become more sparse and so too has the discolouration on my arms.  So is it getting better?  It seems to be!  I haven't been exfoliating, maybe if I start to do that then the bumps will also begin to go away?  Here's hoping!

Before twice daily moisturising
One month into twice daily moisturising... dots appear smaller and seem to be fading in colour?
My legs are where I've seen the most improvement.  I think I'll start to incorporate some sort of exfoliation and see if that helps the bumps on my arms.  My legs don't have the bumps, just the spotty appearance so maybe that's why it seems to have improved the most?  I will update again in another month's time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December's Lust Have It Box

If you've been living under a rock (or not in Australia) then you probably aren't familiar with what this is.  Lust Have It is a monthly subscription to a beauty box that contains 5-6 deluxe samples of high end brands or brands that you may not have ever come accross but are equally popular.  It costs $14.95 AUD per month and you can cancel anytime.  To find out more, such as what brands they're affiliated with, visit their website:

There are many of these beauty boxes that you can subscribe to.  Currently I'm subscribed to Glossybox ( and Lust Have It.  So far I've been fairly happy with both.  I wish I could subscribe to every single one out there!  But I think I'll have to cancel my subscriptions soon, as I really need to save money for next year.  Anyway, enough blabbing!  Here are the contents of december's Lust Have It box:
Moxie 8 pack regular tampons - $4.39 for pack of 16

Lash Republic complete lash set and glue - $25

Full size Glasshouse Fragrances Marseille fragrant body bar in Gardenia - $12.95

50ml Evo "the great hydrator" moisture mask (for hair) - $29.95 for 150ml

20ml Kosmea purifying cream cleanser - $34.95 for 150ml

Full size LimeLily Cosmetics waterproof eye pencil in "Jet" - $18

20% off code for purchases from the Moxie website and a yummy little candy cane!

Here's my video where I share a bit more of my thoughts towards the products:

Direct link to the video:

Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes?  Are there any that you highly recommend?  I'm open to maybe subscribing to another one :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cute & Retro

During the Chadstone VIP night not long ago, I made two purchases: 2 pairs of Guess shorts.  I really did not need anymore pairs of denim shorts, but who can pass up 50% off?  I will get a lot of use out of the lighter pair, because while it's not the most stylish item on the planet, it is extremely comfortable and I live for comfort.  The darker pair are my first ever pair of high waisted shorts, initially I wasn't going to buy them because they're so not me, but I liked the way it looked when I tried it on and thought I could make it work.

Here is the styled high waisted shorts.  Nothing special, I paired it with a floaty, floral middift singlet top that I got on a whim (it's also by Guess lol) because it was so cute but I eventually realised that I would never wear it because I don't have a belly to be proud of.  But with the high waisted shorts, I can finally wear it out!  What do you think?  Personally, I think it looks retro and cute.  A perfect girly summer outfit.

PS.  I hate my skin.  I really, really do!  Argh :(

Friday, December 2, 2011

Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Shampoo & Conditioner

Looking for a natural shampoo that actually cleanses?  What about a natural conditioner that will work hard at conditioning your hair?  Or are you just after a sweet smelling shampoo & conditioner that will leave your mane attracting honey bees for days?

Look no further. I have found it for you!  This is my review of the Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose shampoo and conditioner.  I've been using it for several months now, since the start of this year.  I discovered this product browsing the Aubrey Organics Australian website and was planning on ordering just soap, but succumbed to the free shipping offer if $75 or more was spent.  So I hastily added the Honey Suckle Rose conditioner (as I had plenty of shampoo at home) along with a few other items and patiently awaited my order.

One sniff basically sold me.  I didn't even try it on my hair before I decided that I was in love with it, the conditioner just smelt so wonderful!  So soft, sweet and feminine.  Once my regular shampoo ran out, I went back online to order the Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Shampoo but the website was undergoing maintenance.  I waited.  And waited.  I managed to snag free samples of shampoo during my wait, but several weeks later the website was still apparently getting maintenance done.  So, frustrated, I finally found another website that stocks this product, along with basically the whole Aubrey Organics range.  This is where I found it:

Honey Suckle Rose Shampoo

Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Shampoo
If you're not familiar with natural shampoos, then you'll probably really hate them until you get used to them.  Because they don't contain any chemical foaming agents, they are quite runny in consistency and don't produce much lather at all.  It's no different for this shampoo.  However, I like to double wash because the second time I use it, it produces quite a nice lather!  I feel that it cleanses better when it foams up and because the first wash barely produces anything, the second wash more than makes up for it.  I'm not sure why a lather is formed the second time around, but I'm glad it does as it makes my hair feel like it's cleaner.  It does not dry out my hair at all, in fact, I believe that this has helped my hair become more softer and moisturised.  The scent is very soft and floral, but not grandma floral.  It's very delicate and sweet.  Smells very much like herbs mixed with honey suckle!

Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner

Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner
My favourite hair conditioner OF ALL TIME.  This stuff has stolen my heart and become a holy grail!  Not only does it smell absolutely amazing (very similar to the shampoo, but much more sweeter), it actually does a fantastic job and keeping my tresses moisturised and manageable.  Some reviews have said that it is way too "oily" and makes the hair really slippery, and to some extent that is true.  But if you have extremely dry, frizzy hair like myself, it's actually a good thing.  Once you've rinsed it out thoroughly, it feels so wonderfully soft and light.  My hair just drinks it up.  The honey suckle rose range IS designed for very dry, brittle hair so if you have normal or oily hair, it may not work for you.  

Let me tell you a little secret: I used this range on both my boys and they have normal hair.  It does not leave their hair oily at all.  They both have gorgeous, easily maintained hair.  So will it work for everybody?  Maybe, if you can get used to how it feels the first few times.  But I'll leave that up to you to decide.  Most conditioners say to only apply to the lengths of the hair, but with this conditioner, I have no problems rubbing it all over, even letting it sit on my scalp.  As "slippery" as it feels, it really does not leave my hair oily whatsoever.  Just light, soft and moisturised.  For me, it is not greasy... I cannot stress that enough!

For myself and my family, it works wonders.  Both the shampoo and conditioner last a long time (a little goes a long way) and at roughly $20 AUD per bottle (for 325ml), it works out to be a reasonably priced natural product.  As long as they keep making these, I'll keep buying them and using them religiously because it is a fantastic range!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beauty Confessions: To Wax or Not To Wax?

I'm going to start a series of beauty confessions.  Lately I haven't been blogging as much because I haven't been able to play around with make up or buy/try new skincare products because of my "eczema" (still can't bring myself to call it that!)  So instead I shall confess to the world wide web my beauty quirks and sins that nobody knew about... until now! 

Ok, so I've written about how I get a brazilian wax every two months or so.  But most of the time, the truth is that I leave it for much longer because I can't really afford to spend money on something that nobody really gets to appreciate but me.  So here is my first beauty confession: sometimes, I give myself a bikini wax... with tweezers.  Yep.  Tweezers!

What I do is trim my down there hair with a bikini trimmer.  I believe it's by Remington?  I'm not sure, but it's pink and only cost me $20.  It has 5 or 6 different trim lengths, I always put it to 1, which is the shortest trim possible.  Everything gets trimmed nice and short.  I'm pretty much standing spread eagle in the shower with my head in between my legs.  There's a nice visual for you!  Haha!

Once everything is spiffy looking, I really could just leave it like that and call it a day, but I have way too much time on my hands and want to make it totally beach/pool friendly.  Sooo... I grab my mini slant tweezers (for some reason I prefer the mini to the regular size) and start plucking at all the hairs on the outer edges.  I spend a good ten to fifteen minutes plucking away, shaping it so that if I were to wear an itty bitty bikini I could do so without batting an eye.  Sometimes I leave it at that, but often I will go the extra mile and pluck until I have left myself a wide landing strip.

I know this sounds painful, but I actually don't really feel much of a sting at all.  I suppose I'm used to getting waxed down there, so these days I don't even flinch.  And, if I'm to be completely honest, the slight sting is quite addictive.  I want to pull out that hair to feel that little buzz!  Haha, just check me into the loony bin now.

Why don't I just wax?  Good question!  I find that wax just breaks the hairs and give me gross ingrowns.  If I pluck each hair out individually, then have a shower, I minimise the risk of ingrowns and my tweezed bikini "wax" lasts a lot longer.  For maintenance, I just go over with the bikini trimmer.  I basically let it grow though, and get a proper brazilian wax.  Or I just don't do anything, because nobody sees me down there anyway!

So, am I the only one who does this?  Have I just committed beauty blogging suicide?  I wish I could post a picture of my handy work, but for obvious reasons, you'll never get to see it.  Unless you wine & dine me, then get me sufficiently drunk.  Or just email me and ask for a photo.  LOL!  But seriously, is there anyone else who does this?  Girls, don't be shy... now is the time to confess!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Myer Christmas Sale Haul

I was at the Myer Christmas sales event tonight, the one in Chadstone.  I went with the intention of buying a summer dress and some sandals, and I'm happy to say I took home with me just that (and a swimsuit).  While I actually wanted a dressier pair of sandals, even though there was 30% off footwear, I couldn't decide on which pair to get (so many cute ones!) so I just stuck with a cheap pair of thongs in a colour I don't already have.  I can always go back tomorrow, when the Chadstone VIP sales will be on!

Not quite dressy, but these are a nice colour and will do for now...
Ipanema thongs, $16.05 (before sale: $22.95)
Seafolly Goddess Bandeau - $99.95
Seafolly Goddes Twist Hipster - $64.95 (the bottoms look dusty! eww)
These weren't on sale but I wanted MyerOne points!
Guess dress - $69.95 (before sale: $99.95)
Trying on the dress in the changing room.  It's not really my style, but it's short and casual, ideal for summer.  And it has an interesting back!
Tomorrow I will be going back to Chadstone for the VIP sale.  I want to go during the day rather than evening/night because I want to avoid the crowd and get first pick of the sizes.  I don't plan to buy anything for myself, just gifts for family, but if I see something I really, really like I just might treat myself.  And, let's be real... there's going to be 50% off Guess and Ralph Lauren.  I cannot pass that up!  So, you might see a haul tomorrow too... :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Christmas Wishlist

Christmas is only a few short weeks away. It has come by so quickly this year! Wow... Why is it that the older you get, the faster time seems to go?  Hmm!  A cruel joke, no doubt.  I have compiled just three things that I would absolutely love to receive for christmas.  I don't ask for a lot, do I?  Only three things this year!  LOL.  I know these things I will never in a million years get, hence why it's called a wish list.  *sigh*  A girl can dream!
Miu Miu top handle bag in light pink - $995 US (Item code: RN0686 X72 F010F)
It's a pretty shade of pink, it's a cute bag and it's by Miu Miu.  Do I really need to say more?  Photo source:

Burberry tonal check kilt - $595 AUD
I don't know why I like this skirt, I just do, ok?!  It reminds me of high school.  I have always had a thing for pleated skirts.  The colour is going to be fitting for the cooler months and the material will make you feel warmer, especially if paired with some opaque tights underneath.  I think this is cute and classy.  I'm usually not into clothing or accessories that scream "I'M A BIG BRAND, LOOK AT MEEEE" but this is not obnoxious at all.  It would perk up an otherwise plain or boring outfit.  It's totally screaming my name!  They also have a few other really cute skirts but if I could only pick one, this would be it.  Photo source: 

Christian Louboutin "Toutenkaboucle" - $1295 AUD
This pair of sexy heels is making my heart ache.  It's so pretty and quite a statement piece on its own.  I think it would look really nice with a mini skirt or even the skirt featured above.  The colours are neutral so it would suit a casual look or a dressed up look.  It looks solid and fairly easy to walk in compared to other styles of shoes (like those damn platform-less pumps).  I want it I want it I WANT IT!  Photo source:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bye Bye Beer Belly!

Let me show you something that no one has seen before... well, not for a few years, anyway!  Say hello to my little friend, my beer belly.  Isn't she so pudgy and cute?

Say hello to my little friend... my beer belly!
This gut is due to too many guilty food pleasures and not enough exercise.  Giving birth twice may have had something to do with it, but even if I had never given birth I would still have this beer belly.  Why?  Because of my sheer laziness.  I eat whatever takes my fancy and only get out of bed to make meals for my sons and I.

There's only one way to get rid of belly fat, and that is to sweat (from exercise) like there's no tomorrow.  For the most part, the rest of my body I can deal with.  My thighs do touch, but it'll stop once I start exercising.  My arms are quite muscular and bulky looking due to pole dancing lessons I took a few years ago, but I guess that's a good thing?  I hate how it looks but I hope that the muscle eats up all my fat, lol.  I have an OK body, my friends are always harping on about how tall & skinny I am (which I'm not!  I'm only 5'5 and weigh a whopping 60kg) but I must admit, I've been very lazy and not taking care of myself as a woman should be.  So I'm... well, rather frumpy looking these days.

I hate my belly.
That up there is what I look like every day after eating.  My gut size fluctuates depending on how much I've eaten.  In the morning I have only a tiny little bump.  By midday, I'm starting to look a little pregnant, and come dinner time, I look like I'm overdue to give birth.  Ok, slight exaggeration, but it does get bigger by the end of the day!  I don't like it very much.

Belly from the side.  Maybe I'm pregnant and just don't know it?  And if I'm pregnant then damn, that was one very immaculate conception!
 I have a dream... A dream to get rid of my belly once and for all.  There's only one way to do this: hard work and determination.  And I'm going to start NOW.

Take one last look at it.  After today, you'll never see it again (I hope)!
So here is my plan: eat less junky food and exercise more.  It sounds simple enough, but for someone like me, this is going to take a miracle.  I am probably the most lazy person on the planet and I absolutely love to eat.  But, from this day forth I shall make sure that I eat only food that will be nutritious for my body (but allow for treats here and there, of course).  I'll try to exercise at least half an hour a day, whether that be walking to the shops or dancing along to Yo Gabba Gabba with my son.

Hopefully, by the time the new year rolls in, I'll be a lean, mean, sexy machine (can you say DELUSIONAL?)  My aim is not to lose weight (numbers don't matter to me), but to lose centimeters off my waist.  So why not join me if you need to lose a few centimeters yourself (or kilos) and if you're super slim already, then wish me luck on this endeavour because I'm going to need it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow - Illusoire & Epatant

Epatant & Illusoire
These eye shadows are amazing.  First of all, they're Chanel, so you know they're not going to disappoint.  Secondly, they have a very unique texture - a bit like a mousse: gel like & cushy.  It applies quite easily and is buildable.  It can be used as either an eye shadow or an eye liner.  They have an intensive shimmer (the grown-up kind) that look amazing in all lights.  Chanel claim that this is a crease free eyeshadow, and from my 8 hours of wear (with primer underneath) it has delivered this claim without a problem.  In Australia, these babies retail for $48 for a 4g/0.14oz pot (ouch)!  But they come with a mini angled brush, which is good quality but I have yet to try them out.

Mini angled brush that comes with each eye shadow pot
The mini brush, lid off and put on the end as an extension.  Very convenient!
I have only two: Illusoire 83 and Epatant 84.  I purchased them from Myer.  Epatant I got about a month ago with two Myer gift cards (thanks, myerone!) and some loose change. Illusoire I got just recently, after putting aside $12 per week after I had purchased my first one and fell in love.  I hope to get at least two more colours - Ebloui 86 and Emerveille 82... anyone want to be my secret santa?  Haha.  I'm glad christmas is just around the corner!

Onto the swatches.  First up, Epatant, which was my first one.  It is intensely shimmery and you can see a FOTD that I posted awhile ago using this colour by clicking here.  I would describe the colour as a muted green-silver.  I imagine that this colour would suit anybody as it is just so universal.  Personally, I'm not big on green eye shadows but the silver is what drew me to buy it.

Obviously I've used this a few times already!
Now onto Illusoire.  This colour is very popular, almost everyone goes for this one as their first Chanel Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadow.  I would describe it at a soft metallic purple-mauve-taupe (sorry, I'm not good at describing colours)!  It's shimmery (as they all are) but it's not quite as shimmery as Epatant.  I love purple eye shadows so this one was a must have.  It looks gorgeous as a wash of colour on the lid all on it's own.  I haven't yet used this with any other shadows to create a look, but I do plan on playing around with it once my eyes become less red and irritated.

My Illusoire when it was still a virgin, hehe!
Illusoire worn alone as a light wash on my lids.
Now here are the swatches of it on my arm.  The first photo was taken in natural lighting, no flash.  The second photo was taken in natural lighting with camera flash.  You can see that even in natural lighting, it's supremely shimmery.

Botton/left: Epatant.  Top/right: Illusoire.
Natural lighting, NO flash.
Bottom/left: Epatant.  Top/right: Illusoire.
Natural lighting, WITH flash.
Gorgeous, no?!  I'm itching to get the other colours, as I love the consistency and ease of application.  When you find something great that you really love, I believe you should get it in all colours available!  So... as I asked earlier, who's going to be my secret santa this year?!  Hehe!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lust Have It - November 2011

I'm sorry this is a last minute quickie post... I got caught up watching the movie Armageddon (can you believe I've never seen it till now?) and it's just so sad!  I really don't have the energy to focus on the post I was going to put up, which was swatches of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadows.  Next time!  For now, I'm just going to show you what's in the November Lust Have It box.  You'll also see my icky skin up close.  So enjoy... or shirk in horror?  LOL.

Direct link to the video:

PS.  I really cannot believe the movie is so sad... *sniffles* I'm off to contemplate the end of the world and cry myself to sleep now... Till next time, ciao xo

PPS. I might go ahead with the giveaway.  Watch out for it soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Clinique Super Rescue Review & Possible Giveaway?

Clinique Super Rescue antioxidant night moisturiser for dry/combination (skin type 2)
Last year, most of my skincare products were from Clinique.  But the stand out product for me was the Super Rescue antioxidant night moisturiser.  I have normal skin, and decided to get a hydrating moisturiser because it was for night time use and I wanted to make sure my skin would be well hydrated upon waking.  Clinique certainly delivered it in this delightfully rich night cream!

What it is: This is a moisturiser designed for night time use, to supplement the Clinique 3 Step Skin Care System. It contains antioxidants to fight free radicals that are brought about by stress, sun and pollution in our daily life.  It claims to prevent the visible signs of aging as well as keeping your skin strong.  In Australia, the Clinique Super Rescue antioxidant night moisturiser retails for $90 AUD (50ml) and can be found in major department stores, some pharmacies, and can also be ordered online.

How I used it: I cleanse my face using the Clinique liquid facial soup (for skin type 2).  I skip the toner, as I don't want to use alcohol on my face.  I apply one and a half pumps of the Clinique dramatically different moisturising lotion or gel (depending on how my skin was that day.  I used the gel more often because I liked the texture better).  After all that, I would then apply a tiny amount of the Super Rescue night moisturiser (about two thirds the size of a five cent coin) all over my face and neck just before bed.

My opinion of the product This night moisturiser is by far one of the best I have tried.  I still have a full tube and I intend to go back to it after I have my skin patch test done (to check for allergies).  Even though it is far from a natural product, it keeps my skin well hydrated and looking smooth and supple.  I like the idea of antioxidants in a facial cream, because it fights the daily bombardment of free radicals I am exposed to in daily life.  The moisturiser smells pleasant and is very easy to spread on the skin.  The only issue with this product is that it leaves my face looking quite shiny, although I don't really mind as nobody sees me when I'm sleeping anyway!

My tube of Super Rescue is almost all out, luckily I have a backup ready :) But too bad I won't be able to use it until I get my patch test done :(

The moisturiser is thick and has a yellowish appearance, but is easy to apply and goes on clear.
I purchased this product myself from a Clinique counter in Myer last year (have they lowered their prices?  I could've sworn it cost me $99!) and have found it to be a wonderfully hydrating night cream that kept my skin looking very supple and fresh.  I loved it so much, I received another box as a gift for my birthday in March this year (from family) but have not used it as I started getting into natural products.  I don't want this product to go to waste (it will be awhile before I get my patch test done) so I was thinking of having a giveaway.  If anyone would be interested in trying out this product, let me know and I will hold a giveaway.  If not many people are interested, I might just give it away to someone who really wants to try it (not sure if I can send internationally so it may end up being for only those within Australia).  And if nobody is interested, I guess I will just keep this for myself to use sometime next year.  So, hands up all those who would like to give this a try!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Have Eczema + My KP Treatment Plan

Today was the day I finally saw a dermatologist for the first time in my life.  This appointment was made for two reasons: one; the persistent rash on my face/neck/chest that cleared up with steroid cream but always came back, and two; my lifelong skin condition keratosis pilaris (a.k.a hyperkeratosis or chicken skin).

So, firstly, let me show you the rash that I've been plagued with for the past month and a bit.  It clears up with hydro cortisone, but once I stop using it (as you should, because long term use will do more harm than good), it always came back.  Each time it came back, a new rash would appear along with the ones already there.  *sigh*

Dry spot on my forehead.

Small dry spot on cheek, large dry area near ear, rash on neck (plus the hormonal pimples on my cheek and keratosis pilaris on my face... aren't I pretty?!)

Close up of rash on neck.  It itches like crazy!
My dermatologist had a look and after a chat, he told me I had eczema.  Now, this is news to me because I think my skin is pretty resilient and tolerant to a lot of products.  I have experienced rashes on my neck before (always due to perfume or a new shampoo) but it always went away with steroid cream.  I've also had a really bad rash on my face before which I believe was due to becoming sensitive to steroid cream due to long term use (I had chronic swimmers ear and was using steroid drops in my ear).  Every time I saw a doctor about these rashes, they told me it was just a reaction to a product or ingredient.  So, when the dermatologist told me I had eczema, I started protesting and saying no, my skin isn't sensitive, to which he replied that it can sometimes be years before you get it.  Hmmm!

I have been reading a lot of keratosis pilaris forums and the general consensus is that most people with the condition have other skin problems, such as eczema... Ahh, so the puzzle pieces are finally falling into place!  The dermatologist has ordered a patch test for me, which unfortunately costs $300 so I have to put together the money before I can get it done at a specialist clinic... *double sigh*  But I'm willing to do this, to find out what it is that is causing my skin so much grief.  In the meantime however, I am on a skincare buying ban and will only be using what I know will not make my skin break out in a rash.  Seeing as rose hip oil is one of the "newest" things I've been using, I'm going to have to say goodbye to it for awhile.

I will be using hydro cortisone on any rash NOT on my face if I get a bad flair up, but I will try to avoid this.  To treat it naturally, I'll be using good old witch hazel to dry it up and soothe the itch, then using vitamin E oil to moisturise it.  That is how I will be dealing with both my body and facial "rash"... (Am I in denial?  I refuse to call it eczema!)  This won't give me fast results like the steroid cream, but it will benefit me in the long term and be kinder to my skin.  And I have done something similar to this to clear up my previous facial rash and it worked, so this should work too.

For my kp, my dermatologist was very frank and told me that nothing would really get rid of it or clear it up completely.  Cue wrist slashing and wild sobs.  Deep down, I knew it anyway because I have pretty much tried everything and nothing has really helped.  He did recommend what every other doctor has recommended, though: regular exfoliation and daily moisturising using some kind of AHA or urea.  He told me I could go the expensive route; getting regular microdermabrasion or chemical peels from spas or skin clinics and then following up with their pricey maintenance products, or I could just use a chemical exfoliant found in most beauty stores, pharmacies and supermarkets, and use one of the many dry skin moisturisers out there.

Given my financial circumstances, I won't be shelling out for a microdermabrasion session any time soon.  However, I will go back to using a St. Ives facial scrub as my chemical exfoliant and use a 10% urea cream twice daily (it says to apply three times daily, but come  on!  My life does not revolve around slathering cream on my body!)  I've also thrown pure vitamin E oil into the mix, to give it a bit of extra moisturising properties.  The idea of using a non-natural product scares me, so I want to add that little extra love to compensate.  Here are the products, all from Terry White Chemists:

Invite Vitamin E oil, St. Ives Apricot Scrub Renew & Firm, DermaDrate 10% urea cream
All the products were relatively inexpensive - the urea cream was $22 (for 500g!), and the other products were around the $10 mark.  There will probably be a high turnover, though.  I don't see the products lasting for more than 6-8 weeks with daily use.  And, just for your viewing pleasure (and for my own future reference to see if this helps it) here are a few not so great shots of my kp:

Kp on lower legs.  Looks like I haven't shaved, right?  That's because I haven't... lol!  But even if I did shave, it still looks spotty like that.

Kp on my arms. Doesn't look bad in this photo, but in real life it is dark, bumpy, irritated & just plain nasty

Kp on my thighs.  So is there any man that would still want me?  Hmm... I didn't think so!
I have also decided to try to treat my keratosis pilaris internally as well.  This means that I will be taking 3000mg of fish oil daily, as well as supplements of vitamin A, B group vitamins, E, zinc and a probiotic (D is recommended also, but I tan quite a bit if I take it and I get enough vitamin D from the sun anyway).  Not to mention, I will try to keep my diet alkaline and try to consume less sugar.  All those things are supposed to help kp.  As the weeks go on, I will continue to share my progress (if any) with photos and how I've been coping with the whole diet and skincare regimen.  In the meantime, I'm off to bed to dream of smooth, clear, eczema and kp free skin.  Ciao! xo