Thursday, 26 February 2015

February challenge - It's almost over!

So I'm nearing the end of my February shopping ban and I can definitely say it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. Other than a cheeky electric blanket purchase (its cold at night!!) I've stuck to it. Even after spending a weekend in London I didn't cave but walking through Selfridge's beauty hall was not easy...But I did it.

After the last month I've realised several things -

- Having surplus money in my bank account is a good feeling
- I buy way too many clothes that I only wear once and then stick on eBay. So I am getting money back but never anything near the price I paid. This needs to stop.
- That buying clothes, make up etc may give me an instant high it doesn't last. I'm far better off spending money on experiences and making memories.
- That un-following a shops Twitter account, IG account, and un-subscribing from those pesky 'What's new in' emails really helps. If I don't see it I don't want to buy it. Simple.
- Shopping for clothes isn't going to improve my body image. Working out in the gym and eating healthier will give me the figure or confident feeling I crave. At the end of the day under that new dress is the same old me with the same old body hang ups.
- That if I don't those boots then I'll never get a pair like them again attitude. Fashion comes and goes and something similar will always be out there.

Okay, so I'm not saying I'll stop shopping completely. But I'll definitely be cutting down and spending my money more wisely. Not using it for a mood boost. Having said that... I do need new jeans, trainers and oooo those boots are still available.. Can I start being good again next month?!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

My Journey With Roaccutane

Last Friday I posted a photo on Twitter of some new drugs I was starting and promised a blog post about them.

Isotretinoin or as you may know it Roaccutane (market name) is for acne. Below I have included an extract from the Patient Product Information leaflet I was given before starting my prescription. It's been a 6 month journey to get to this point and the decision to start taking these wasn't an easy one. I remember researching online and not finding many experiences of people taking the drug so even if my blog only helps one other person I'll be happy.

So what is Roaccutane use for? Roaccutane contains isotretinoin – a substance related to vitamin A, and one of a group of medicines called retinoids.

Roaccutane is used to treat severe types of acne (such as nodular or conglobate acne, or acne that is at risk of causing permanent scarring). You will use Roaccutane when your acne has not got better with anti-acne treatments, including antibiotics and skin treatments.

Roaccutane treatment must be supervised by a dermatologist (a doctor specialised in the treatment of skin problems).

How does it work? The drug can get rid of acne by shrinking sebaceous glands, and slowing the production of oils. With less oil on the skin, pores and hair follicles become less clogged, and acne causing bacteria have fewer places to breed.

I've spoken before about my acne history and products that I've used but about 8 months ago I developed cystic acne on my neck and lower jawline. These aren't just spots, these are nasty red lumps that hang around for months and leave awful scars. After trying everything that normally works I visited my GP in tears and said I've had enough, what can I do. After a chat about my history, what I've taken in the past (almost everything they can offer) she referred me to a dermatologist. 6 months later I had my appointment and she recommended Roaccutane. After a chat about the side effects and possible reasons why not to take it I went away and had a think. There are many cons to the drug (I'll go into these later) and the pro list? Well clear skin and hopefully no more permanent scarring. Some people may have taken one look at the risks involved and backed away. I mean clear skin isn't that important right?

Well to me it is. VERY. Maybe I'm vain or shallow but acne has been such a big part of my life for the past 16 years and I've had enough. I would love to stroll out the house make up free, feel confident in my skin, not to wince in the mirror when a new spot appears. I'm hoping that Roaccutane helps me achieve this.

Cons/side effects

- Roaccutane commonly increases blood fats, such as cholesterol or triglycerides. Doctors will test these levels before, during and after Roaccutane treatment. It is best that you don't drink alcoholic drinks or that you at least reduce the amount you usually drink while on treatment.

- Roaccutane may increase liver enzyme levels. Doctors will do blood tests before, during and after Roaccutane treatment to check these levels.

- Roaccutane may increase blood sugar levels. In rare cases, people can become diabetic. Doctors may monitor blood sugar levels during treatment, particularly if you already have diabetes, are overweight, or are an alcoholic.

- Skin is likely to get dry. Use a skin moisturising ointment or cream and a lip balm during treatment. To prevent skin irritation you should avoid using exfoliating or anti-acne products.

- Avoid too much sun and do not use a sun-lamp or sun-bed. Skin may become more sensitive to sunlight. Before you go out in the sun, use a sun-protection product with a high protection factor (SPF 15 or higher).

- Don’t have any cosmetic skin treatments. Roaccutane may make your skin more fragile. Don’t have any waxing (hair removal), dermabrasion or laser treatments (removing horny skin or scars) during treatment, or for at least 6 months after treatment. They could cause scarring, skin irritation, or rarely, changes in the colour of your skin.

- Cut down on intensive exercise and physical activity. Roaccutane can cause muscle and joint pain particularly in children and teenagers.

- Do not take vitamin A supplements while taking Roaccutane. Taking both together may increase the risk of side effects.

You may not see as well at night during your treatment. This can happen suddenly. In rare cases this has continued after the treatment has stopped. Drowsiness and dizziness have been reported very rarely. If this happens to you, you should not drive or operate machinery.

One of the most important side effects and risks that this drug can have is to an unborn baby. You must never take this drug when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. I was advised to always use 2 forms of contraception as Roaccutane can cause severe birth defects and I also had to sign to a declaration to say I was aware of these risks.

If you've made it this far then well done! Sorry bit of a long one.

So... I've been on the drugs for 5 days so far and already my face and lips feel very dry. Silly as it sounds, I'm dreading not being able to wax my eyebrows, not drinking doesn't bother me as I'm really not a big drinker. Not overly fond of a blood test either but I think I'll survive!

I hope to keep this updated once every 2 weeks even if its just to say that nothings changed, I've been warned that my skin could get worse before it gets better so I have been preparing myself for that. 

Anyway.... Hope I haven't sent you to sleep!

Thanks for reading! x

All information in italics has been taken from - Patient Product Information leaflet

This drug is only to be prescribed by a dermatologist. 
Wednesday, 4 February 2015

February challenge *update*

So it's the 4th February. I'm 4 days into my no shopping challenge and I'm holding strong. All tempting emails are being ignored and any brochures that come through the door are being thrown.

I'm filling my time by pinning a load of yummy recipes on Pinterest and planning my birthday BBQ. I've got a ton of ideas including a Pimms tent and miles and miles of pretty bunting!

I did something similar for my 21st but for various reasons I didn't do much planning or decorating. This time, that is ALL changing... I may have a Pinterest board just for my BBQ.

I'll keep you updated with my no shopping challenge :)
Monday, 26 January 2015

February Challenge

A friend mentioned that maybe I might shop alot, that it might be an addiction. This is statement is thrown at me on a regular basis and I just laugh it off. I like clothes, buying them makes me happy and then wearing them makes me even happier. Yes that probably makes me incredibly shallow. But I ensure my bills are paid, moneys put aside for the essentials and I save. The rest is my playtime money. I don't drink alot, I don't smoke, I never put anything on credit and I don't spend money on a hobby. Unless you count shopping as a hobby? But when someone who's opinion means alot says something you start to wonder if maybe these people have a point? Naaaaaaaa.

So in February I'm going to challenge myself to not buying a single item of clothing, pair of shoes or bag. Non essential beauty buys are banned - No YSL Black Opium for me :( It won't be easy, I have two birthdays in February, my first instinct is to buy something new, but I'll have to make do with something from my wardrobe. I'll update on a regular basis and I WILL be honest if I give in. If I make it to the end of the month think of all that money I'll have in March :) 

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