Most of us would like to have clear and glowing skin but how can we achieve that glow from within, without expensive skin products or make up?

Here are some simple steps towards that dream complexion, follow these 10 tips for glowing skin regularly and you will love the results!

Skin glow step 1: Do not use soap

Using alkaline products like soap or overly cleansing your skin can remove its natural protective barrier, which helps to keep in moisture and fight off bacteria.

To achieve and maintain glowing skin replace your soap with a gentle, chemical-free and PH neutral cleanser and wash your face no more than twice a day.

Skin glow step 2: Gently exfoliate

Regularly exfoliating your skin is important for removing dead skin cells that may accumulate on the surface as the skin is producing new ones.

It is best to choose a gentle exfoliator to lightly exfoliate and avoid causing damage to the skin or you can also opt for removing your cleanser with a face cloth.

Exfoliation leaves your skin looking brighter, but also helps skin products penetrate more effectively.

Skin glow step 3: Get active outdoors!

Try a brisk walk or a workout in the outdoors, go for a cycle, a jog or some yoga in the park. Fresh air and sunshine (in moderation) are both great for your skin.

Exercise increases circulation, which helps to nourish skin cells as well as helping alleviate stress and this can have a positive effect on your complexion.  

Skin glow step 4: Apply sunscreen daily

The majority of what it is commonly seen as aging is most likely years of sun damage.  

It is recommended for everyone to wear sunscreen daily because all skin types need to be protected from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Wearing sunscreen daily will save your skin from years of visible damage later as well as helping in the prevention of skin cancer.

Remember that the sun can cause damage to your skin even on a cloudy day as the UV light penetrates clouds easily. Therefore, make sure to apply sunscreen even on overcast days!

Skin glow step 5: Stay hydrated

Dehydration is one of the main causes of wrinkles and dull skin. It can affect oily skin too not just dry skin types.

When the skin is well hydrated it is plumper and more elastic, it looks healthier, more vibrant, softer and is less prone to wrinkles.

It is important to drink lot of fluids throughout the day and using a daily moisturiser suitable for your skin type for best results.

Caffeinated drinks do not count as caffeine is a diuretic, therefore they draw water from your skin.

Skin glow step 6: Remove make up before bed       

As the skin renews itself while you sleep it is very important to remove make up before going to bed.

Leaving the make up on until the next day, clogs up the pores, preventing the skin from breathing and renewing itself, as a consequence signs of fatigue will appear as well as more blackheads, acne and breakouts.

Skin glow step 7: Get some good sleep

To get glowing skin we really need that famous “beauty sleep”!

Establishing a regular bedtime and trying to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night it’s a very important step towards the ultimate glow.

As mentioned in the previous step, during sleep our skin cells renew themselves and the production of collagen also increases, this process helps in keeping our skin looking healthy and youthful.

Skin glow step 8: Eat skin-friendly foods

If you want a clear, smooth and glowing skin, it is very important to make sure you maintain a well-balanced diet, that includes skin-friendly foods like nutritious fruits and vegetables and omega-3 rich oily fish.

A great skin-friendly nutrient is Vitamin E. It can help skin stay soft and hydrated by retaining its natural moist. Nuts and green leafy vegetables are a great source of Vitamin E.

Also, nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12 are essential to avoid sallow looking skin, so you must make sure to be getting enough of these nutrients in your diet

Skin glow step 9: Cut out cigarettes and alcohol

If you want to retain your skin’s natural glow, you must stop smoking and only drink in moderation.

Alcohol and cigarettes deprive the skin of oxygen and nutrients, taking away its healthy glow and they can cause dryness, puffy eyes and premature ageing.

Skin glow step 10: Relax

Stress can affect us in many ways, it can cause insomnia, accelerate cellular aging and exacerbate many skin conditions, including acne and eczema. In order to maintain a glowing and healthy looking skin, try some stress-relieving activities and techniques like meditation, exercise or yoga.

These are your 10 basic steps towards healthy and glowing skin. Follow them daily and you shall see your skin shining from within! dlocked

10 daily self-care habits you should try – not just for new mums!

We all live such complex lives and it can be very easy to forget to take care of ourselves, this is often the case for new parents. But what does Self-Care look like? To me it’s all about keeping up some healthy habits on a daily basis, these are things I used to do before becoming pregnant and that I made a point to resume as soon as possible after my baby Justin’s birth.

Here are my top 10 self-care habits:

1-    Drink a glass of lemon water every morning.

  Just squeeze a few drops of lemon in a big glass of water. It’s a very easy and quick habit to adopt and a great way to start your day.  It helps you waking up faster, it freshens your breath and promotes hydration as well as supporting weight loss. It also aids your digestive system, it can help prevent kidney stone and it is a good source of Vitamin C.

2-    Meditate for 5 minutes.

You can choose any time of the day, anywhere you wish, if you have never meditated and don’t know how to start, just close your eyes and begin to breathe, slowly and deeply, just concentrate on your breathing. If you think you need guided meditation, YouTube is your friend or you can download a meditation app on your phone, like  Headspace.

3-    Make a short list of things to achieve on the day.

Write down 3 to 5 things that your want to get done, make your list realistic and achievable. I find that pending issues give me anxiety but I tend to procrastinate when I feel overwhelmed, so to avoid getting into this vicious circle, I make a short list before going to sleep to ease off the overloaded mind.

4-    Exercise for 10 minutes.

I know you are busy, I know you are tired, but believe me you can do this. The intensity and type of exercise is entirely up to you. Yoga, stretching, dancing, body weight workouts, Tai Chi … anything goes to release those endorphins !

5-    Count your blessings.

When we are tired and busy we often forget how much greatness we have in our lives. I count 5 blessings everyday and write them on a notebook, I try to find different things each day so they all add up and I can read back and feel even more blessed!

6-     Make (and drink) a green smoothie.

A part from the more obvious health benefits of drinking leafy greens mixed with fruit and topped with superfood, I find that the actual process of making it sets my mood to engage in other healthy activities.

7-    Laugh out loud. 

Yes that’s right! Endorphins again! Laughing out loud is good for you, I’m not talking about a little giggle, I mean a big loud awesome laugh! Find a way to do it everyday, with your child, your partner, call a friend, watch a comedy sketch! Laughter keeps you healthy by decreasing the stress hormone and boosting the immune system.

8- Listen to something uplifting.

Whether is music, an audiobook or a podcast it is important to feed our brain positive content. Mainstream media tends to bombard us with negativity as bad news seem to get our attention more than good ones, so I believe we need to make a conscious decision to counteract it with as much positivity. Keep yourself motivated and inspired.

9- Have a chamomile tea.

My favourite herbal tea since forever! I love to drink it before bed as it induces sleep thanks to its calming and soothing properties. It also aids digestion and helps with cramping, it has anti-inflammatory properties, protects the skin and can boost the immune system.

10- Log Off.

A little daily digital detox can really help you refocus, rest your eyes and make you feel happier. It is also good to switch off all electronic devices when going to bed for a better quality sleep.

So these were my top 10 self-care habits, I hope you enjoyed reading and you will give them a try !

Much Love 

Kikka x

Collagen post baby – I have tried Skinade for 30 days and here’s what I think …

During my pregnancy I really got the famous “glow”, skin and hair were fabulous, but once my adorable baby was born, due to hormonal changes, lack of sleep etc… my skin became the dullest ever and hair started falling out, I also developed a constant pain in my joints and bones. This is very common postpartum as so many nutrients are pulled from a mother while creating, developing and nourishing a baby.

Collagen is the main structural protein found in all our connective tissues and plays an important role in the replacement of dead skin, hair and nails. As we age collagen production declines.

Most women know about the importance of supplementing vitamins and minerals during pregnancy but not as many carry on after giving birth.

I have decided to trial 30 days of Skinade, a fruit flavoured anti-ageing collagen drink containing hydrolysed marine collagen, Vitamin C, MSM, Vitamin B complex, Omega 3 & 6, L-lysine.

It doesn’t contain bovine or porcine products, hormones, GMOS, alcohol, added sugar, artificial flavours or colours.

The first great thing about this product is the flavour, is a mix of peach and mangosteen, I find it delicious and very refreshing.

It comes in bottled version or in a travel sachet which is cool, especially as a new mum having to carry everything but the kitchen sink with you every time you leave the house.

All great … but what results did I get? You may ask!

The elasticity and luminosity of my skin have improved, my nails are very strong, and my hair looks and feels healthier, although it is still falling out but in less quantity.

The greatest result has been the dramatic reduction of joints and bones pain, I am actually amazed by it, also I have noticed a boost in my energy levels and metabolism.

I have not been taking any other supplement during the 30 days and I must say I am pleasantly surprised by how quickly I have been able to see changes in my overall wellbeing.

I definitely intend to carry on drinking Skinade and I am looking forward to see how much better it can get!

Our breastfeeding journey…

Ever since I can remember thinking about being a mum, I always imagined myself breastfeeding.

It never occurred to me that due to a variety of reasons many women don’t breastfeed and that I could be one of them.

I was indeed naive.

Only when I became pregnant and started researching all things mum & baby I realised that this was a big topic with so many ramifications. Going by what I was reading, breastfeeding was not going to be easy, but I still wasn’t prepared for what was to come.

So, how does my story go?

I remember so well putting Justin on my breast for the first time. It felt very natural to me and I forgot all about the things I read on those blogs and forums.

Fast forward a few hours later, my left nipple was literally destroyed! Justin was finding it difficult to latch on the other side, so I kept putting him back on the left. At some point one of the midwives came to check the baby’s hearing and when she saw me feeding him she was horrified by the way I was doing it, she told me it was way too shallow, the position was wrong and that was why my nipple was getting so sore already. Was I in pain, she asked … I was, but I honestly didn’t care. My baby needed to eat.

At his check-up we found out that he had a tongue-tie.

Breastfeeding will be very difficult the nurse said.

It was.

The pain was excruciating, a whole chunk of my left nipple came off. I carried on. Crying for the pain, for the fear of him waking up to feed, for the guilt of feeling that fear.

My husband also felt helpless. He wanted to feed him for me, so that I could rest. So that I could stop crying. So that he could bond with his son. I felt guilty for his feelings too.

I felt like giving up, but I was determined to do what I believed best for my baby, so I carried on. I’m no martyr. I just really wanted to breastfeed, with all my heart.

Meanwhile, we were waiting for an appointment to have Justin’s tongue-tie assessed and probably cut. I started feeling guilty for looking forward to him having this little procedure. Would he have to feel pain for me to be pain free? I did not like the idea at all.

One morning they called to book him in, but due to a series of circumstances, over 5 months later he still has a tongue-tie (believe me this saga demands a blog post of its own!).

The same morning my husband came home with some nipple shields….and ta dah! The breakthrough! No pain, easy latch, plenty of milk and most importantly time to heal.

We quickly got to the point where we didn’t need them anymore and finally breastfeeding was truly established, and it became wonderful.

I’m no longer naive to the fact that this is not a path for everyone, but I hope that sharing my story helps any mum out there who wants to do it and might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am not afraid to say that after all that guilt I now feel proud, we have achieved this as a family, we made it through to the other side. The three of us.