Review: The Ordinary Peeling Solution, Alpha Arbutin & Niacinamide for hyperpigmentation

*This is not a sponsored post.*

For those who have known me for a while probably also know that I’ve struggled with acne for a long time. Now that (most of) my acne is gone, I’m left with quite some scarring (the ‘official’ term is: post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Although I should consider myself lucky that most of my scars are superficial and barely affecting my skin structure (deep scarring), I’m still not comfortable leaving the house with a bare face. I’ve tried so many methods to get rid of the dark spots, from home remedies in my kitchen cabinet to chemical peelings and expensive skincare products (note: I have never done the dermabrasion treatment which is also considered an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation).

So of course, I did what any other desparate girl would have done: I went to the internet. I read tons of articles on how to reduce hyperpigmentation, I read reviews of skincare products I could never afford, and I watched as many “how to get clear skin” tutorials as I could. There was one thing that recurred in every article, review and tutorial: I need to drink more water. Lots of water. Everyone made it sound like drinking water was going to solve all my problems (Spoiler: it doesn’t). But, I did start drinking more water than I did before. Now I’m not saying that this is the holy grail to clear skin but it sure helped my skin stay hydrated and healthy.


Alright- let’s move on to the reason you’re here. Here’s how (I think) my skin has improved drastically over the past year.

About one and a half year ago I asked some friends about their must-have products to clear acne and acne scarring; and based on all the comments, one brand was significantly the most popular: The Ordinary. I had never heard of the brand before and when I looked it up, all the chemical terms and names sounded a bit scary to me. I mean, BHA? AHA? Acids? Ascorbyl Glucoside? Alpha Arbutin? What was I about to do to my face?! The pricing surprised me though, almost everything was priced for less than 10 EUR. I figured it was worth a try.

Note to self (and my readers): Thoroughly research skincare products before you purchase/use them, especially when they contain acids or other chemicals. Do they fit in your skincare routine? What do the listed ingredients mean and (how) do they improve your skin? Is it making your skin (temporarily) more sensitive?

I’ve tried several serums, peelings, acids and creams by The Ordinary; and here’s how I implemented my favorites into my current skincare routine:

  • 2 times a week: TO AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution
  • Rosewater (toner)
  • TO Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
  • TO Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • TO Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (day moisturizer) / Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference moisturize (night moisturizer)
  • Biodermal SPF50 Sun fluid (SPF)

Every morning and evening, I tone my skin with pure rosewater. Then, I apply a few drops of Alpha Arbutin on my entire face. On the weekends, I like to use my jade roller which allows my skin to absorb the product better; but on weekdays I just let it dry. Lastly, I apply Niacinamide and let it dry before I put on my moisturizer.

On the nights when I apply the peeling solution (for me, that’s on Sunday and Wednesday), I don’t use any other skincare products after; except for moisturizer.

Please note: this combination makes your top-surface skin more sensitive and prone to sun burn and damage. Make sure to wear SPF (minimum of SPF 20) the next day(s). But of course, you should already be wearing a daily SPF anyways :)

I’ve been using the combination of The Ordinary’s peeling solution, Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide for more than 6 months now, and my skin has never looked better. See below for the descriptions and directions of these 3 products.


The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This peeling solution (mask) exfoliates the skin for a brighter and more even appearance.

Directions

Apply on dry, clean face + do not forget to use an SPF the next day. It is recommended to apply this mask in the evening as it may leave some redness on the skin. The peeling comes with a number of important don’ts:

Don’t leave the peeling on for longer than 10 minutes.

Don’t apply on wet skin

Don’t use this peeling if you’re not an experienced users of acid exfoliation.

Don’t use on sensitive, damaged skin.

Don’t use more than twice a week.

pH-value

The pH-value of this peeling solution lays between 3.5 and 3.7, which is why it is recommended not to combine this solution with products that have a higher pH, as this could make the formula (even more) irritating


Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin is a highly-concentrated serum and also includes hyaluronic acid (HA). The serum is supposed to reduce spots and hyperpigmentation. The Alpha Arbutin in this serum is proven to be much stronger than Arbutin or Beta Arbutin.

Directions

A few drops should be applied on dry, clean skin in the AM and PM, don’t forget to wear an SPF in the morning!

pH-value

Alpha Arbutin has a pH value between 4.85 and 4.90. It should be noted that the serum is extremely sensitive to degradation in the presence of water if the pH of the formulation is not ideal. The pH value of this serum is shown to be the most suitable to minimize the degradation of Alpha Arbutin. If you’re not sure what all this means: that’s okay! I do recommend researching the meaning of pH values if you’re planning to use skin care acids more often.


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is supposed to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. The added Zinc (1%) balances visible aspects of sebum activity, which reduces large pores and makes the skin less oily. However, niacinamide is not an acne treatment (salicylic acid).

Directions

Niacinamide can be applied in the AM and PM, before heavier creams such as moisturizers or oils.

According to The Ordinary, independent studies have also shown that niacinamide is an effective ingredient for brightening skin tone.

pH-value

Niacinamide has a pH between 5.50 and 6.50 which technically means it is not suitable to use in combination with the Alpha Arbutin serum. However, this combination has been working out great for me. If you’ve been using this combination and you’re not noticing any improvements, you could consider applying Niacinamide in the AM (recommended if you have oily skin) and Alpha Arbutin in the PM. The other way around should be fine as well. If you’ve got some more time on your hands in the AM and PM, you could consider waiting 30 minutes after applying Alpha Arbutin before you move on to Niacinamide.

P.S. If you have any questions regarding The Ordinary products, or any other product(s) in my skincare routine, shoot me a message!

P.P.S. Coming up: A post with detailed explanation of the (chemical) skincare terms frequently used by The Ordinary and other skincare brands, such as retinoids, AHAs, BHAs, pH-levels, etc.

2018/2020: Living in New York City & Pamplona, Spain

Hi all!

First off, I hope that you’re well, staying inside and making the best out of this bizarre situation. Please remember to stay positive, even if your life seems to be falling apart right now or if you simply feel lost or desperate. This too, will pass.

The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands. – Sir Richard Burton

It has been a while (more than a year ago, to be exact) since I posted my last blog. I thought that my busy, chaotic lifestyle back then did not leave room for my favorite hobby anymore. Well, a year (and many new experiences and memories) later I’m realizing that I was incredibly wrong. I found that, no matter where I lived or how busy I was, I still missed having a creative outlet. I missed sitting down for a few hours and focusing on something entirely different than work or school- so I decided to free up some time and go for it again.

In my last post, I wrote about how my time in New York City was coming to an end. Those five months were amazing and changed me as a person. I gained a new perspective on the world; I met so many new, interesting people; I learned what it’s like to be out there in the real world, practicing my career with people who trust me to do what I’m good at (in NYC, nonetheless…!). I am so thankful for my family that looked after me during this time, and – ofcourse- my internship company for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

Less than 6 months after I returned from my internship, I moved to Pamplona (Northern-Spain) for to study for one semester. Pamplona is known for its annual bull fights (San Fermin) and is located on the famous Pilgrim-route to Santiago de Compostela. To be honest, I had never heard of the city before, but I wouldn’t want to have gone anywhere else. I studied Management & Business Administration at UPNA (Universidad Pública de Navarra) for six months. During these months, I met some incredible people and made friends for life. I traveled more than I ever had, I felt what it’s like to be living on my own and be a 100% independent. And I loved it. I learned Spanish, fell in love with the Spanish cuisine (Paella, tortillas, churros, patatas bravas, croquetas…) and tasted the most wonderful wines. I had the most meaningful conversations with people from all over the world, and locals. There were happy moments, and sad ones, and I am grateful I got to experience every single one of them.

Now I’m back home, working on my bachelor thesis during my graduation internship and I’m hoping to graduate with a BBA in International Business and Languages by the end of this year.

Much love,

P.S. I’m hoping to do some product reviews again soon, what do you guys want to see?

Update: Leaving New York City

Hi all!

Can you believe my 5 months in New York are almost over?! In fact, I’m flying back next Thursday. I didn’t have the time to keep this blog updated during the past months but instead, I did get to make some amazing memories.

I met so many new people during my time here and I am so thankful for each and every one of them. Not only did I experience what it’s like to work in New York’s fashion world, but I also experienced what it’s actually like to live in this overwhelming city.

Penn Station, 34th Street

When I arrived in New York, I was convinced that I wanted to change myself and be an entirely different person when I return. That was my main goal. Truth is, I didn’t even change that much. However, I did learn a lot about myself. Even though I stayed with family, I learned what it’s like to be on my own and be responsible for myself. I must admit, it was scary sometimes and there have definitely been some moments where I just didn’t feel like I belonged here. Then I realized, I came all this way to New York for a reason and I’m not going to let some intimidating thoughts get the best of me. I had a great opportunity and I took it, I am living my dream and I don’t want to spend my time regretting it.

Another good thing that came from New York is that I picked up my reading and writing again. The two things I used to love the most. A while ago, I told myself I didn’t have the time anymore to read books or write stories. Yet the first thing I did when I came to New York was going to Barnes&Nobles and buy a book. Even though I didn’t read for months, I felt like I needed to have a book close to me. Every time I needed a break, I’d grab this book and just read a little and it would make me feel calm again. I kept making up excuses for not doing the things I loved most, which is as silly as it sounds, I am so glad I’m realizing that now.

During my time here, I also found myself becoming more and more social. I always used to avoid small-talk and conversations with strangers, but in New York it just became normal and I even ended up making some great friends because of it.

I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to move to New York, for the incredibly kind and inspiring people I met here and for the great memories. The past few months have taught me the art of surviving on my own. It has been an amazing, unforgettable journey and even though I haven’t left yet, I can’t wait to return.

Staten Island Ferry
Rockefeller Christmas Tree, Manhattan
The Brooklyn Bridge

Quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean ‘love’ in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again.

Joan Didion

Update: First month in NYC

Fall banner

Hi everyone !

This is my 6th week in New York, which means I’ve been here for longer than a month! I experienced a lot in just a few weeks and I’m having the greatest time so far.

In the past 6 weeks I’ve met a lot of new, amazing people at different occasions and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be here. It’s truly wonderful. Also, happy Fall! This is one my favorite seasons of the year and I get to experience it in New York which makes it a 100 times better.

Fall square

What’s it like to live in “The city that never sleeps”?

The lifestyle in the US, or New York in particular, is very different than what I’m used to. Life goes way faster and everyone always has somewhere to be. But even though everyone has such busy lives, New Yorkers are the kindest people I have ever met. They are incredibly helpful, whether you ask for help or not. If someone catches you looking around in confusion, they’ll walk up to you and offer their help. I’ve seen it happen several times and it keeps amazing me.

I’m working full-time at my internship and I spend my weekends working on school assignments, so it’s really hard to find some time for myself. Luckily, I sometimes get Friday’s off and I spend them wisely. Every Friday off I plan an exploring-day. I visit parks, different neighborhoods, tourist attractions, museums etc. A few weeks ago I visited the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMa) by myself, and I loved it! Even if you’re not really into art, it’s a must-see when you get the opportunity!

 

I also spent one day at the annual Coterie trade show at the Javits Convention Center, which was a great experience. I was representing Only Hearts with the sales team which was very fun and interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’ve got many more exciting things coming up and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it (best friend and my parents visiting me in NYC, weekend-trip to Philadelphia, Thanksgiving, Holiday-season……)!

I’m so sorry for not keeping this blog up to date, but I hope you can imagine how busy I’ve been the past few weeks. Please comment below and let me know how you’re all doing ! I miss catching up with you all :(

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P.S. Feel free to message me if you have any questions (moving to NYC, internship in USA etc…) 

P.P.S.  Are any of my readers from New York or in the city right now? Let me know if you want to go out for coffee sometime. I love meeting new people here! 

 

 

Officially Moving to New York!

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all doing great, and my apologies for not posting anything for a while. I’ve been really busy in the past few months, and it all worked out:

This Fall I’m going to work as a marketing intern at Only Hearts, in New York. I’ll be moving to New York this August, until the end of January 2019 and I’m so excited!

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Only Hearts is a lingerie and clothing brand, based in New York. Their pieces are worn by Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kate Moss and Demi Lovato to name a few.  Only Hearts offers a full range of lifestyle lingerie, sleep- and loungewear and it’s all about being sexy yet glamorous. I’m really looking forward to joining their marketing team!

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Check out their Instagram here: @OnlyHearts1978

A must-have bucket list item: doing an internship in New York. Sometimes I don’t realize how blessed I am to get this opportunity and make this dream come true. It will be a period full of new experiences, meeting new people and living in an entirely new environment. Hopefully,  this opportunity will give me the chance to improve myself, not only in knowledge but also mentally.

Obviously, I’m a little nervous about moving to an entirely different and huge city like New York. I’ve always lived in a pretty small and quiet town in the Netherlands, and now I’m about to move to ‘the city that never sleeps’.

If any of you are living (or have lived) in the US, please let me know if you have any tips, or if you want to share any experiences just comment below!

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#8 Amazing Skincare Benefits Of Aloe Vera

What’s the one natural beauty product all beauty bloggers swear by? That’d be Aloe Vera. This tropical plant is known for its multiple uses and health benefits. In fact, it’s the gel that does the trick. Fortunately, you don’t need an actual Aloe Vera plant to enjoy its benefits. You can buy the gel at a lot of drugstores and health and food shops, and it’s entirely affordable!

In this post, I’ve summed up the most popular skincare uses for Aloe Vera which will make you ask yourself: why do I not own this amazing product yet?!

1. Treating skin conditions

Aloe Vera gel is a combination of vitamins, minerals, acids which makes it a great remedy for skin conditions (this is also the most common use of Aloe Vera gel).

For centuries people have been using Aloe Vera gel for treating minor cuts, soothing rashes, treating minor (sun)burns, accelerate wound healing, reducing infections and many other skin conditions. The gel is cooling and anti-inflammatory which makes it great for treating sunburns and soothing the skin. This sounds like the kind of product your grandma would pull out of her kitchen cabinet for any little problem, right…? It’s a must-have home remedy!

(If this is your first time using Aloe Vera: always do a patch-test on your hand before applying the gel on your face. Just to make sure you’re not allergic!) 

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2. Hair growth 

Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes which repair the dead cells on your scalp and maintains its pH balance. This is why many people claim that applying the gel on their scalp (or using it as a conditioner) makes their hair grow faster. It has not been proven by any researches yet, but we’d like to believe it, don’t we? Also, what’s the harm?

Besides hair growth, Aloe Vera is believed to do many more wonders to your hair: it relieves an itchy scalp and significantly reduces dandruff. After using the gel as a conditioner, it will leave your hair smooth and silky. I say it’s worth the try, isn’t it?

3. Make-up Remover

It might be a little weird to think about: using a gel as a make-up remover. Honestly, it’s not something I would try out myself but there are people who did, and they’re loving it! The gel is very gentle and not harmful at all for the delicate skin around your eyes, the cooling ingredients also reduce the redness on your skin (e.g. acne scars, spots, rosea).

Just apply some gel on a cotton ball/ pad and use it like you’d use any make-up remover.

Aloe Pura Organic gel
This is the gel I own: Organic Aloe Vera Gel by Aloe Pura

4.  Exfoliator

Aloe Vera gel works great as an exfoliator (homemade scrub) and it’s so easy! Just mix the gel with brown sugar (brown sugar is rough and works better as a scrub than normal sugar). Be careful not to exfoliate too much though, 2 times a week is all your face needs.

5. Skin brightener

Aloe Vera gel is often used as a skin brightener in the South-Asian countries. It might not be as effective as lemon juice but it’s way less damaging, which is exactly what you need if you want to brighten scars or blemishes on your face.  All you have to do is apply the gel to your flaws every night (or morning too, if you’re not going to wear make-up) and stay consistent for a few weeks to see a significant change.

6. Anti-Aging

If you’ve ever applied Aloe Vera on your face or body, you’ll know that it tightens after a few minutes. But how does that fight aging? Aloe Vera helps to rebuild collagen (more of it and faster) which controls the aging process of your skin. Aloe Vera also contains vitamin E which will keep your skin looking youthful and prevent premature signs of aging. Some even claim that Aloe Vera works better than anti-aging products…

Aloe Vera moisturizer

7. Overnight Mask

Because of its soothing and moisturizing ingredients, Aloe Vera gel works great as an overnight mask. The gel will significantly reduce redness and scars and you’ll wake up with a healthy, glowing skin. Isn’t that what we all want? 

8. Moisturizer

Many models swear by Aloe Vera as their go-to moisturizer. The gel increases the water content in your skin and leaves it hydrated and non-greasy. This is perfect for people with an oily or acne-prone skin.



And that was it! I hope this post convinced you that Aloe Vera should be a part of your skincare routine, because you’re missing out on some great benefits! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried Aloe Vera on your face and how you experienced it.

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Note:

  • Using Aloe Vera on your skin is safe, but do not take it internally!
  • If you’re considering to buy Aloe Vera gel, make sure you buy it in an actual certificated drugstore/ health store instead of on some strange online webshop (for your own health!) 
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#5 Places to Successfully Promote Your Blog (Tips + Tricks)

Like I mentioned in one of my last posts, traffic is one of the most important things when you’re a blogger. There are so many ways to increase your blog traffic, but the simplest one is to promote your blog and yourself: it’s more sensible to let readers associate your name with your blog (unless you’d rather stay anonymous, obviously). Today I’ll tell you about a few ways to promote your blog and how to do this. You’re probably familiar with most of them, but are you really using them to the fullest?

1. Social Media

This isn’t only the most obvious one,  but also the most important one. In the US only, an estimated 185 million people are active on social media. Also, 9 in 10 companies worldwide are using social media to interact with customers and promote themselves. Research shows that there were 2,46 billion social media users active in 2017, and people are expecting a total of 3 billion users in 2021. In short, why would you not promote your blog on social media? It’s the way to reach whoever you want to reach. (Source)

A lot of us are currently using Instagram to upload selfies, holiday pictures, party pictures or stalk our “friends”, but this exact same platform could be used for business purposes. If you’re ready to let people know you own a blog, consider putting the link in your Instagram bio. Believe me, it will attract dozens of viewers on a daily base which will make you realize how much people stalk your Instagram…

Another way is creating a Facebook page for your blog, this is also great if your blog has multiple writers. A Facebook page is the way to connect with your readers in a more personal way and keep them up-to-date.

If your blog is all about photographing or any other kind of art, you should definitely start promoting on Tumblr. This might also be your place to be for inspiration!

SocialMedia

2. StumbleUpon

I used StumbleUpon a lot when I started getting more serious with my blog, it’s the easiest way to discover new and interesting websites, photos and videos across the web. It’s also your chance to put your website/blog posts on there and get noticed!

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3. Tell people about it (Word-of-Mouth)

One of the most effective ways to create awareness under your target-audience is to talk to them. Tell your friends, family or acquaintances about your blog and ask them to check it out. For example, you can ask an uncle who’s great in English to check out your grammar. This way the people around you will know about your blog and there’s a big chance they’ll tell other people about it too and that is exactly what you want!

Talking Women TCOADG

4. Pinterest

I have written an entire article about how to get the most out of Pinterest, which you can find here. Pinterest is full of possibilities to design your life. Discover recipes, healthcare, skincare and self-care ideas, style inspiration, blog post ideas, projects for your home, DIYs and tips and tricks you should definitely try. Find everyday ideas you love, what to make for dinner, what to put on your walls, what to wear and more ideas for every part of your life.

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to find and make business connections, expand your business community and share your business-related experiences. If you want to promote yourself or get your blog to a higher and more professional level, this is exactly what you need.


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How to Efficiently Use Pinterest to Increase Blog Traffic (Beginner’s Guide)

Successful bloggers aren’t always full-time bloggers. They just spend their time wisely. One of the things they always do is create content for their readers, not for themselves. Besides creating new content, these bloggers are spending hours on creating awareness and eventually gain more blog traffic. If you’re new to blogging, you might find it hard to promote your blog, create content and increase your blog traffic at the same time. One of the most effective ways to do this is using Pinterest. Obviously, anyone can use Pinterest, but are you really getting the most out of it? In this post I’ll explain how to effectively use Pinterest to increase blog traffic.

1. Treat Pinterest like any other social media

A lot of people see Pinterest as the place to promote yourself or your blog, and that’s entirely right. However, Pinterest is much more than that. Start using Pinterest like any other social media account: scroll through your feed and pin whatever interests you. Check out other pinners and their boards, and get inspired. You just have to keep in mind that Pinterest is social media platform and when it comes to online marketing-promotion, it works pretty much the same.

2. Minimum of 5 pins a day

Facebook and Instagram have likes. Twitter has retweets. Pinterest has pins. Try to reach a minimum of 5 pins a day, this way you’re motivated to stay active and create awareness, which is exactly what you need!
The best way to promote your blog post is by sharing it on Pinterest, and you could even re-pin it after a while. Just make sure you don’t pin it 5 times in 5 minutes because really, you’re gonna annoy the hell out of your followers.

Monthly Viewers on Pinterest TCOADG

3. Regularly refresh boards

Just like your blog content, your pins stay on your boards forever. Make sure that most of your pins (and blog content) are evergreen content, which means that it will always stay relevant or interesting to the readers.  So it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out the content of your boards every once in a while. Ask yourself these questions while going over your board-check:

  • Is every pin placed in the right board? Re-pin and delete!
  • Check out the pins you created yourself, are all the sources still working?
  • Could you make your pins more attractive by changing the caption?
  • Do you still use all your boards? Are there any irrelevant ones? If so, you don’t have to delete them. Consider putting some boards on private.
Pinterest boards

4. Make everything on your blog pinnable

This is easier for people with a self-hosted blog, because you can edit and adjust your content by yourself. If your blog is self-hosted, make sure that your readers can pin all the pictures on your blog onto Pinterest. You’re really gonna need this feature if you want to get the best out of Pinterest.

Tip: If you’re gonna make all the pictures on your blog pinnable, make sure they’re your own pictures. Don’t just find an aesthetic picture on Google and let people pin it as if it’s yours because that wouldn’t be fair to anyone, right?

5. Pinterest business account

This might be the easiest but most important thing yet. If you already have a Pinterest account, turn it into a business account for free (settings). This way you’ll be able to keep track of your Pinterest analytics which can come in handy when you want to increase your blog traffic.

If you have a self-hosted blog, you can also connect your website to Pinterest. You’ll be able to see what people are saving from your domain and you’ll know how all your content is doing on Pinterest, not just the pins you’ve saved to your profile. It’s free so it’s definitely worth checking out!

Pinterest Analytics


I hope these 5 tips will help you out with increasing your blog traffic, because really, Pinterest is the way to go. How active are you on Pinterest? Comment below!

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My #8 Favorite Skincare Products

Over the past few years, I’ve started to realize how important it is to take good care of your skin. If you’re even a little concerned about your physical appearance, you’ll know that a healthy skin appears full, vibrant and glowing. Poor skincare habits,  however, can lead to acne, dry patches and early signs of aging (wrinkles and fine lines).

In this post, I’ll be sharing my 8 favorite skincare products with you guys! Some of these products aren’t available in all countries but there are plenty of other alternatives/ brands out there.

1. Clinique Take The Day Off makeup-remover

The first thing I do after a long day, is taking off my eye- and lip makeup. I’m using the Clinique Take The Day Off makeup-remover which removes any (waterproof) makeup in one swipe (with a cotton pad/ball).

The Take The Day Off makeup-remover is one of Clinique’s best-selling products at the moment, but I do think there are lot more alternative make-up removers available in drugstores, which will work just as effective.

Size: 30ml

Price: €9,95

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Alternative: Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water

2. Fresh Face Carbon cleanser

I’ve only been using this carbon cleanser for only a few weeks but I’m loving it already. I bought this cleanser during my trip to Zaragoza but it appears that Fresh Face is a Spanish brand and it’s not available outside Spain. But if you’re planning on visiting Spain anytime soon, I definitely recommend visiting Primor. This is the place to be for the best and cheapest high-end duplicates, Japanese face masks and many more must-haves.

Price: €2,99

Alternative: Bioré Deap Pore Charcoal Cleanser

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3. Sentiments Organic rosewater

Rosewater is a holy-grail when it comes to skincare. It works like a miracle and I’d recommend it to anyone. Just make sure that the rosewater you’re using is organic/100% natural and not mixed. I’m using it as a toner but you could also use it as a facial cleanser or face mist, or you could add a few drops of rosewater to your other skincare products.

Rosewater has anti-inflammatory ingredients which do wonders for an acne-prone and irritated skin. The ingredients are hydrating and soothing, which is exactly what your face needs! I bought this bottle in Suriname for SRD 10 (€1), but it’s available at any drugstore and maybe even at your local grocery store (don’t forget to check the ingredients though).

Price: SRD 10 (€1)

Alternative: Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner

RoseWater

4. Nivea Cellular Radiance night serum

I’ve been using this night serum for nearly a year now and it works amazing. I apply this serum every morning and evening because it makes my face feel smooth and significantly reduces spots. The serum also reduces wrinkles and evens out my skin tone.

Price: €9,50

Alternative: Argan Oil Night Repair Serum 

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5. Clinique Custom Repair moisturizer

I bought the travel-sized version (15ml) of this moisturizer about two months ago and I loved it, so I had to buy the original version. I can see how this moisturizer improved my skin condition by focusing on my flaws and pores. This moisturizer is de-aging and has SPF 15.

Size: 30ml

Price: €42

Alternative: Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Repairing Moisturizer

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6. Bio-oil

This is the must-have oil if you have any stretch marks or (acne) scars you want to get rid of. Apply the oil on the affected areas (apply with a q-tip, if possible), do this every morning and evening and you’ll see the appearance fade within 2 to 3 months. Just remember that this oil will not make your scars entirely disappearIt takes time but really, what’s the harm?

Size: 60ml

Price: €9,50

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7. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Skin Protectant Cream

I got the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant for €20 in Spain. Beauty bloggers and influencers have been recommending this “legendary formula” cream for years but I never thought it’d be worth trying. Now I’ve tried it for a month and I’m loving what it does to my skin. Some people dislike the medical smell but to be honest, it’s not that disturbing to me. The structure of the cream is similar petroleum jelly (which it is for 50%), just a little less sticky and greasy. One of the reasons I love this cream is its multiple uses (see description below). Can you believe this cream has actually won several awards? 

Size: 50ml

Price: €20

Alternative: Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm

 
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8. Tony Moly Bubble Mask

Last but not least, the Tony Moly bubble mask which I bought at Sephora. I bought this mask for €15 and although it comes in an incredibly cute package, I think it’s a little overpriced.

Bubble masks are originally from Korea and deep cleanse your face. The mask removes excess oil and opens clogged pores. Bubble masks are also great for dealing with blackheads and besides, they make you look like you have a huge cloud on your face.

Price: €15

Alternative: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

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And that’s it, those were my favorite skincare products, I hope you liked this post! A review of the Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Skin Protectant and the Clinique Custom Repair moisturizer will be published soon! What’s your favorite skincare product?

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#5 Ways To Stay Focused On Your Goals

We all have goals in life, don’t we? And we would all like to achieve these goals, but there are days in life when we just don’t feel like doing anything. And that’s okay. Just remember you’re gonna have to pick yourself up eventually and move on, because your goals are waiting for you. That might sound easier than it actually is, I totally agree, and that’s why I’ve made a short list below that will help you to stay motivated and focused on your goals.


#1. Make a to-do list 

This always works. When you wake up and feel like doing nothing today, just grab your phone or notebook and start making a to-do list for the day. Just make sure that the order of the tasks doesn’t matter, because that’s gonna make you even more demotivated. This way you can pick anything that’s on the list and accomplish it any time of the day.  Try to get as much done as possible and you’ll be surprised how much you’ve done at the end of the day.

You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.

#2. Go offline! 

One of the reasons you can’t focus could be because you’re easily distracted. What’s the biggest distraction in our lives these days? That’d be social media and you knew it. It’s so tempting to reach out for your phone while you’re “thinking”, just try not doing that for once! You’re unconsciously taking your mind somewhere else, and your focus goes along. Turn off your wifi/ data or just entirely turn off your phone, to make sure you don’t go checking your social media timelines. Maybe try out the Pomodoro-method?

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#3. Change your work place/environment 

Are you always working at the same place, in the same environment? That might be another reason you’re not really motivated anymore. Your mind gets used to the environment and it’s not as exciting as it used to be. Try switching to a different environment from time to time. Maybe this cute cafe, a restaurant or the library? You’ll be surprised what it could do to your motivation and inspiration.

#4. Track your progress

There’s no better way to get a confidence-boost than seeing the progress you made. When you’re a blogger, read back old posts and the track the traffic you had on your best days. This will get you motivated to post more in no time (always works for me).

Another way of tracking your progress is checking off the things you already did, e.g. on your to-do list. It will make you feel satisfied and motivated to keep going!

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#5. Have a healthy mindset

There’s no way you can stay focused if you don’t have a healthy mindset, but what does this mean? Of course it’s important to exercise regularly and eat healthy, but it’s even more important to make sure your mind is healthy. First of all, life can be stressful sometimes so it’s important to say no sometimes. Also make sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people, which means: leave all the toxic people behind! You deserve much better and you’ll definitely notice the change.


Click here to read all about having a healthy mindset.

Click here to check out my Pinterest board about motivation and self-improvement.

I hope these tips will help you out and get you focused on your goals again! What works for you when you’re feeling demotivated? Let me know!

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