Dermarolling — Benefits for Acne-Prone Skin

Hello, my dear readers! Lately, I have been studying about skin regeneration techniques for the post-acne scars, as you might know from my previous posts. I had enough of essential oils, creams, and treatments that don’t work their action through the skin, the result being mostly the same as the acne scars did not go […]

via Dermarolling — Katherine’s Blog

The Only Moisturizer Fit For Acne-Prone Skin

Hello friends!

If you have acne-prone skin, you already know the struggle of finding the perfect moisturizer suitable for your skin. For a long time, I did not even know for sure if people with oily, acne-prone skin needed a moisturizer in the first place. It took a long time and a lot of research (I never use skin-care products without enough research!) for me to understand the importance of a well moisturized and hydrated skin. So, after years of trial and error, I finally figured out the best Moisturizer for acne-prone skin. The only one that does the job of keeping your skin soft, supple and hydrated without making your face feel oily, greasy or clogged.

Without further delay,  let us come to this miracle moisturizer which is:

Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator.

Clinique Moisture Surge

Claims that the brand makes

“Our addictively refreshing gel-cream is now enhanced to give your skin the power to rehydrate itself. Delivers a 152% instant moisture boost. Keeps skin almost twice as hydrated at the end of the day than it did before. Enjoy 72 hours of non-stop hydration, even after washing your face.”

My experience using it

I introduced this product in my skincare regime during my acne treatment period, which means my skin was extremely dry, flaky and even peeling in certain areas at that time (it is usually oily and always super-sensitive). After two or three applications of Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, the dryness reduced to a huge extent and all the flakiness just miraculously went away. The best part was that it did NOT cause any breakouts. Neither did it interfere with my acne medications nor did it make my skin feel heavy or greasy. The gel simply did what it was supposed to do – hydrate the skin without causing any undesirable effects.

Did the moisturizer live up to the brands claim

Most certainly it did. My skin pretty much rehydrated itself with the use of this moisturizer. It did deliver almost 100% or more moisture boost and it surely kept my skin more hydrated than it usually is. I tested this moisturizer for a few days even without using my acne creams and it delivered the same amount of moisture even then. Nothing more and nothing less. I was expecting this moisturizer to make my skin a little oilier on using it without my azelaic-acid based acne creams, but it still remained shine-free and matte while at the same time providing the necessary amount of hydration.

Final Verdict

This one certainly goes down as the best moisturizer I have ever used. Its a lightweight gel, non-comedogenic, oil-free and provides the right amount of moisture to the skin.

I hope this review is useful to all those who are forever confused about the right kind of moisturizer for their oily and acne-prone skin. I have experienced that dilemma first hand and I hope that if you do happen to try out this moisturizer, you love it as much as I do.

Take care! 🙂

How the Lockdown Affected my Acne Problem

Wake up. Check face in the mirror. Look for improvements. Turn face in different directions and varying light. Stare some more. Sigh.

Feels all too familiar? Welcome to the acne squad. I am sure, young or adult, each one of you has done this at some point in life.

Going through the same experience, today I am going to write about how the ongoing lockdown has lead to a massive change in the condition of my acne scars and also, how it has completely transformed my coping mechanism.

acne

To begin with, I experience nodular cystic acne, and more often than not, they leave behind deep hyper-pigmented scars. I have never been a fan of oral acne medications because of their side effects, so I rely on topical creams to get rid of the scars, which like most of you know, does not go away too easily. So, while the creams do their work, every time I have to step out of my house, I rely on makeup to cover up my acne marks.

However, these fifteen days of lockdown has been a game-changer. Firstly, looking at my bare face with no trace of makeup at a continuous stretch of so many days has made me really comfortable in my skin. Seeing the scars day in and day out, without it being covered up has made me realize how these scars are just a natural mechanism of the body to heal the acne inflammation and they look completely fine on my skin. It has made me think that all those girls who look flawless outside must also be dealing with so many skin imperfections back at home. Secondly and most importantly, it has made me question the innate need to look perfect all the time.

Why do we need to have the most spotless and clear skin? Who is it that has set the bar? Have we set unrealistic beauty standards for ourselves? It has really made me reflect on all those times I have not felt confident enough to go out without layering tons of beauty products. Above all, all this thinking and self-introspection has helped me conclude that it is the cosmetic industry that has made us what we are today. Self-doubting, unsure, anxious, and devoid of any self-confidence. They have moulded our thoughts in such a manner that we find no other option but to rely on their products to make ourselves feel good. They have made us believe that scars, lines, marks, or pigmentation should be hidden or taken care of.

While at the same time, it is a universal fact that picture-perfect skin is nearly impossible to achieve and most of us know this. But our subconscious mind is always in a never-ending race to find that one miracle product that will transform our skin into the kind we find on magazine covers. The hope of our skin miraculously becoming flawless overnight is too good to just let go, even if we are aware of the reality.

But the lockdown, staying at home and doing a whole lot of thinking made me sure of the fact that we are being exploited. We can look good, feel good, and be confident in our skin if ‘we’ choose to be. I agree that taking care of the skin is important and keeping the skin healthy is part of self-care, but the burden of idealistic beauty standards can be done away with.

Around 645 million people all over the world face acne and still most of us feel so vulnerable about something that is so very common. Acne is normal. Scars are natural. Imperfections are part of life. So, why hide those marks? Why should we worry about what others will think of it when 90% of the world population is affected by acne at some point in their lives? It is all about how we think and what we believe in. We can either choose to be deceived by the glamour industry and the facade of the cosmetic world or change our irrational notions of what is beautiful.

Honestly speaking, fifteen days of no make-up has only been beneficial to me. My acne creams are working better and faster, my skin feels light and clearer, the pores feel way less clogged and I can see a visible difference in the state of my acne scars. My skin must be thanking me for letting it breathe and not being caked up by some cosmetic or the other.

Thankfully, I have always considered myself beautiful, acne or no acne, but this lockdown sure helped me face my acne problem in a much more sorted manner. I will no longer shy away from my scars because of what others might think of it and I wish all of us will now do the same.

So, next time any of you fret about your acne scar or search frantically for the latest launched full-coverage foundation, take a spoonful of confidence, mix it with a tablespoon of happiness, and there you go. You now have the perfect concoction required to look beautiful.

Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts on the topic. Also, follow my blog on – https://thelifestyleleader.wordpress.com/

#skinpositivity #lockdown #acnepositivity

acne positivity

To Blog or Not To Blog?

Hello friends!

Let me begin by talking a little about myself. I have always been an achiever. Back in school it was invariably about being a rank-holder, getting medals for sports, or simply being best at whatever it is that I do. But what I have always been bad at is taking decisions. I have always been confused about what I wanted to seriously pursue in life. I do not mean to gloat, but as a kid being good at practically everything, choosing one thing got even more tough, especially given how indecisive I am. But one thing I was always sure of was my love for writing. I used to write a lot of poetry, articles for my school magazines, jingles for birthday cards and even quite a few newspaper reports. To see my work published in the newspaper or the magazines gave me an unparalleled and tremendous amount of joy that no mark-sheet or report card could ever.

Then I grew up and under the pressure to perform and build a successful career, I studied Molecular Biology and later even hardcore Finance but nothing could give me that same sense of satisfaction that writing did. I always knew something was amiss and that maybe, I was not in the right direction or I had chosen the wrong career for myself, because no matter how lucrative and promising these fields were, they were not bringing me the same happiness. I jumped academic streams, worked harder, signed up for some of the toughest courses to challenge myself further but nothing could make me feel content. It was then that I decided to drop everything else and do what I love the most, which was writing.

This brings me to the topic I am writing about today – To Blog Or Not To Blog? The reason I gave a brief overview of my life before blogging is because I know of so many people with genuine talent who push away or hold off entering this world because they think that it is not a conventional career option, is not recognized enough or even not as remunerative as other professions can be and consequently, deprive themselves of the success and contentment they can achieve. As somebody who began blogging after years of deliberating about it, I can understand the misgivings and scepticism that accompany the world of blogging . The doubts whether your blog will be loved, accepted or successful enough can deter even the most confident individuals. But what I want my readers to understand and take back from my experience is that, no matter what you do in life, you will never know if it was meant to be till you actually dive into it. If you are confused about whether you should begin blogging for any reason whatsoever, be it for making money, as a hobby, to spread awareness about some topic or just to share your thoughts with fellow bloggers, ask yourself one simple question which is, do you really sincerely want to blog and will it give you genuine happiness? Nothing else matters. Whether your blog will be a success or not, will it gain enough love, will it be accepted by people and will you be able to earn sufficient money from it are all secondary questions that will have to wait. Moreover, trust me, if blogging does not give you pure unadulterated joy, you will not be able to continue too long anyway. Like every other form of art, writing not only requires talent but also an enormous amount of patience, which is where your love for the art comes into picture. So if your answer to that key question is in the affirmative and if you truly love the idea of blogging, nothing should stop you from beginning and most definitely nothing will stop you from achieving your due share of success. It took me several years of toiling in different fields of study to realize this simple fact. This is the reason, in this post I did not delve into the usual advice about how to begin a blog, the necessity of a niche, ways to market it or monetize it. Instead, I only wanted to focus on the fear, insecurity and indecisiveness that deters so many talented people from entering into the world of blogging or even continuing in it and the right mindset needed to overcome this dilemma.

I may not seem like the best person to give a career advice but from my experiences, I can confidently vouch for all those people who advocate – Do what you love and everything will fall into place. The part which involves worrying over the possibilities and doubting your capabilities can surely be eliminated. Ask yourself only the right questions and plunge into it headlong. Remember that if you love it, you can ace it.

I’ll end this post with a perfect quote by Steve Jobs, “If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.”

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts on this topic.

Also, follow me on – https://thelifestyleleader.wordpress.com/

Lifestyle Changes for the Bigger Cause

Hello friends!

While I write this post in my balcony, the birds are chirping away in all their glory, the sky is a beautiful hue of light blue and orange, the wind is slowly brushing against my cheeks and the leaves of the little plants in my balcony are rustling away in a dreamy manner. This perfect and emotion-evoking weather has convinced me already to write about the wondrous beauty of nature and how even the tiniest steps taken by us can help preserve it for future generations.

Most of us have already read a lot about nature. Its beauty, its importance, the need to conserve it, the creatures dependent on it for survival, and all the positive outcomes that sustainable development and conversation of nature can bring. But we still fail to do even 1% of what we read. Which is why, in this post, my objective is to make you realize, how unlike what most of us think, protection and conservation of nature are not just about big campaigns, new nature-driven movements, making posters or banners, signing petitions, taking part in serious workshops or becoming a nature activist. The protection of your beloved nature can be done by the simplest of methods, the quietest of people, and the tiniest of hands. It is only when the weightiness of the phrase ‘Sustainable Development’ is taken away, will most of us realize that conservation can be done in the smallest of ways. What may seem insignificant to us can in-fact bring a massive difference to the whole world. So, as a first step, we must educate ourselves and those around us, especially the younger generations that this nature that we love can be saved only by our own very actions. Not by the government, not by the environmentalists and not by the activists, but only and only by us.

With a sudden pandemic affecting most parts of the world and hand-washing being advocated by everybody, we must not forget about the conservation of our resources. A tiny action like opening the tap only when washing and not during soaping up, is itself a huge step in the conservation of the most precious thing in the entire universe, that is water. Similarly, small steps like buying less plastic, using energy-efficient light bulbs, planting a tree, using non-toxic chemicals for cleaning, and even educating others about the value of our resources, can all bring an enormous difference to our planet Earth. What is most important is to remember that – It is not impossible. It is not the job of others. It is not a big promise. Sustainable Development involves simple, day-to-day activities that we carry on in our lives, just a little more judiciously, a little more generously and a little more carefully. It is not as challenging or demanding as we make it to be.

So, next time you notice somebody brushing-off Nature Conservation as ‘not-their-business’ or the concern of only industries and the Government or something too complex or cumbersome, sit them down, make them understand how even their minor actions matter and remind them of the number of times they have been mesmerized by the mere beauty of nature and how it does not ask for much in return. Just a few positive steps in the right direction.


Please leave your comments and feedback. Also, follow my blog – https://thelifestyleleader.wordpress.com/

5 Things You MUST DO During a Lock-down and After

Hello friends!

All of us, no matter which part of the world we live in, are dealing with the current pandemic and are mostly staying at our homes to stop the virus from creating more havoc. While staying at home has its own benefits and is good for us in many ways (refer why-staying-home-is-always-good/ , to know more about it) many of us are getting restless, panicky, and feeling quite non-productive. So, I have compiled a list of things that one can do to cope with the current situation and not feel dragged down by negative emotions in these gloom-ridden times.

Before I begin, I must add that this list is not confined to things that you should do only during such unforeseen circumstances and lock-downs but instead it includes habits, plans, and actions that can be incorporated into daily life (lock-down or no lock-down). A positive and happy attitude with adequate planning is always a blessing. You don’t need a reason to adopt a forward-looking approach in life.

Now, coming to the list. Let us begin!

  • Talk, Share, Open-up : I can’t emphasize enough on this point. It is the most important step and hence tops the list. There is absolutely no substitute to – Sharing your feelings with somebody. That can be anyone. Often, we want to share our feelings or thoughts with people about how anxious or worried we are feeling but we can’t figure out the right person to talk to. Stop thinking right away. Share your feelings with anybody you are comfortable with. The mere act of talking about how you feel at a given point of time can relieve so much of that pent-up stress, worry, and panic. You don’t even need some major advice from them on how to deal with the situation. Just the part where you do all the talking will make you feel lighter, less burdened, and way happier.

 

  • Pause, Sit, and Evaluate Yourself – The second most important thing to do is to evaluate yourself before wasting time evaluating your surroundings and worrying about things you don’t have control over. Evaluating yourself includes taking a pause, and thinking about what makes you happy, hobbies you like, things that brighten up your day, food that comforts you, and activities that can lift your spirits up. Next, you must make sure you arrange the source to actually execute these actions. For example, if you love reading, make sure your books are around or your e-books are available. If not, try sourcing them as soon as possible. If you love gardening, make sure you have the adequate resources ready. The same goes for food. This is because four or five days into the lock-down and you WILL need your comfort food, a favorite book, or something that you love doing. So be pro-active and instead of worrying yourself sick about how you will spend all that time at home, gather all the things you need while you can.

(Ps. Not just before a lock-down, you must do this always. Pursuing a hobby or doing something you love can reduce your stress levels by a tremendous amount on any given day. A break from the hectic schedules of work, doing what you love is the best stress-buster and the most useful fitness tip anybody can ever give you.)

  • Make a Schedule – Instead of whiling away all that free time surfing endlessly on your cell-phones to the point you want to throw your phones away, get up, and make a schedule. Making a schedule will help you keep track of your time and will spare you the guilt of wasting many hours of your day being completely unproductive. Also, the best advantage of a schedule is that, if you have planned that you want to read a book, write few blogs, try your hand at some painting, do a little bit of gardening and also play few new games that you had in mind, you would not make the mistake of doing all those things together in one or two days and getting bored or frustrated for the rest of the lock-down. A schedule will help you in making slots for one new thing for each day at home so that you have something exciting and new planned for every single day.

 

  • Think Sensible, Eat Sensibly – Now, this seems like a very obvious thing to do but many of us are failing to do this as well. With the pandemic making people feel worried, tense, and anxious, the least people should do is not to indulge in activities that can make them fall sick and eventually make them more nervous. Avoid having ice-creams or cold-coffee and just use your common sense to avoid catching a cold and save yourself as well as your family members from all that extra fretting. Also, eating healthy and sensibly is something one should always remember. After all, as the proverb goes – Health is Wealth. (Also, not just wealth, its a lot of peace of mind as well.)

 

  • Feel Grateful – The very final but one of the most vital piece of advice in this list. Nothing, and I repeat, absolutely nothing can make you feel happier, more peaceful, and at more mental ease than realizing how grateful you are. You don’t have to be living in a magnificent apartment, own a fleet of cars, have lots of luxuries or even have stocked up tons of food to feel grateful. In times like these when the world is at tenterhooks about how to deal with the deadly Coronavirus and people are going through the worst of times, only having a ceiling above your heads, some food to eat, the company of your loved ones and a healthy body is enough reason to be immensely grateful of life’s blessings. Being grateful will automatically make you crib less and a lot more content and cheerful.

Do try out these ideas and please do leave a comment below. It would be great to know your views.

Also, follow my blog on – https://thelifestyleleader.wordpress.com/

Why Staying Home Has Always Been Good For You

Hello friends!

With the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic grappling all parts of the world, there is one thing all of us have been sincerely requested to do. Yes, you guessed it right. It is staying at home. Staying home can not only save us from the deadly disease but also protect our loved ones who may be at a higher risk. But what most of us don’t realize is that spending more time at home has always been good for us. Even before Coronavirus happened. The sad truth is that it required a pandemic for many of us to grasp that fact.

We, humans, have been completely enveloped by the concept of – You Only Live Once (YOLO). Our lives have become a constant race against time. A race to finish that graduate degree, a rush to grab that desired job, a mind that is hopelessly but relentlessly wishing that our career, social life, family life, and lifestyle is as cool, perfect, and as glamorous as those around us. But what is perfection? Does a perfect life even exist? What is the parameter that defines how successful or happy you are? Are there definite answers to these questions? No, there are none. Our life is what we make of it. What may be glamorous to me might possibly be boring for you. However, the concern is not this comparison of lives but the fact that in this race to be the best and finest versions of ourselves, we have lost our peace of mind. We have forgotten how it is the simple pleasure of staying at home with our near and dear ones and making memories together, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is what really defines life. That this facet of life, that we had completely forgotten and neglected before is what brings us real happiness.

Simple things like snuggling into our favorite corner of the house and reading a book, playing with our pets without a time constraint, sitting and playing games with family members, or even just sitting in the balcony and admiring the wonders of nature, what is life if not this? There is no doubt that education, career, jobs, aspirations, and even social life are essential and indispensable parts of life, but so are those tiny pleasures that we can get nowhere other than at our own very homes.

So, once things get better, the pandemic is under control and you wish to go out and grab a new dress for the upcoming party, do pause and remember what it was like, staying at home in your PJ’s, sipping a cup of coffee and cuddling with your pet cat. Ergo, stay at home right now, love yourself and those living with you, make time to do things you have been longing to do, and take good care of yourself. #StayHome #StaySafe #StayHappy

Please leave your comments below and share your thoughts.

What lies ahead?

Hello friends!

So, the pandemic is over. Lock-downs in different parts of the world has been removed. There are no more positive cases being confirmed in any continent. Life is back to what it always was.

Been waiting to hear this? Well, we all are. But the truth is that, life may not be the same again once this all gets over. No matter how we live and no matter where we live, people will not be the same again. Schools, theaters, offices, stadiums, shopping centers, nothing will remain unchanged. Every heart will fear more, every mind will judge and everybody will want to remember just one thing. Distance. The increased need to practice social distancing to curb this epidemic will eventually get deep-rooted in every being, so much so, that we will be wary of meeting new people, going to new places or socializing at any level at all. Imagine going to a tiny crowded cafe with tons of people from different parts of the town, moving around, talking, and maybe coughing or sneezing? Or just shaking hands with a new colleague at work? Or even sitting in the movie theater with somebody coughing away right beside you? Yes, this does not sound too appealing.

The way of life will change dramatically and so will the manner in which industries, schools, colleges and offices, etc function. Be it large-scale or small-scale, every entity will want to revamp and reboot the way it runs. Social media will become even more monumental in our daily life than it already is. People will prefer partying less and video-calling more. A lot less will happen over coffee as social networking increases. The tourism industry will take a hit. Traveling may most likely lose its appeal. Life will be different…

However, on a brighter side of this entire narrative is the fact that while the future does hold a lot of uncertainties and fear, it also gives us a lot of hope. The healthcare industry throughout the world will hopefully get more importance and more funds. The digitalization of various sectors might become an actual possibility. In addition, people will start taking self-hygiene a lot more seriously. The significance of lending a helping hand to the under-privileged will become more profound. Children will further cherish their elders and people will feel lucky to just be able to spend time with their loved ones. Life will change but it will be lived.

Nothing more appropriate than this quote by Vivian Greene, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Amidst the fear, through the chaos, but life won’t stop.