Over the Summer, we was blessed with some really nice days but with warmer days brings more sweat, which can bring spots and for those who suffer from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation...it leaves brown pigment spots behind. I've definitely not had as much spots as I can break out and have but I have had menstrual spots and it's a cycle each month to find a combination of products that work, to keep spots at bay and also hyperpigmentation away.

Treatment for Hyperpigmentation

It can be minimised and throughout this blog, I've always spoken on my mild struggle with it. Using sunscreen is a must, sk:n sent me one with an SPF 30, this helps because it will stop the brown pigments from becoming darker. But looking for products that have key ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Being things like glycolic and lactic acid. These help to remove the buildup of dead surface cells (dead skin, basically what you need to exfoliate/peel off) by removing the stained, dark skin causing the pigmentation. Also Kojic Acid (found in the Whitening Mask) and Vitamin C (the Vitamin C Serum) are great to help treat hyperpigmentation.

sk:n Cleanse & Exfoliate Vitamin -Rich Cleanser.
It's a lotion cleanser that's advised to be used at night but I use day and night and experience no redness or problems. I simply squeeze an amount out and massage around my dry face before wiping off with a warm wet cloth. This contains glycolic acid and glycerine which is good for moisturising properties.

BareMinerals Blemish Remedy. Anti-Imperfection Treatment Gelée Cleanser.
This one has salicylic acid that helps dissolve any pore-clogging impurities. It's a gel that foams up without drying the skin, which is important for me. Sometimes I will double cleanse with this and the sk:n cleanser. It's also got ginger for medicinal herbal remedy. Peppermint for its astringent properties. Of course good ol' sea salt, rich in magnesium, potassium and calcium to help refine and purify. This cleanser is suppose to help prevent future breakouts and it's mostly helped to keep my skin pretty clean and bright.

sk:n Anti-Blemish Pore Refining Lotion.
Vitamin A helps improve texture, firmness and smoothness of skin. It also reduces the over-production of skin cells that block pores and trap bacteria & oil, leaving you with clearer skin. Glycolic Acid, has a peeling action that removes dead skin cells, don't worry it's not a snake shedding skin type peeling, it gentle exfoliates. There's another ingredient I've never used or heard of before Saccharide Isomerate it's a natural plant-derived ingredient. It's a highly effective soothing moisturiser which provides great hydration for acne-prone skin that can become dehydrated from the use of AHAs.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar K(+).
Being a salicylic acid product and as I often get little blackheads on my nose, now and again, I have used this to help reduce that. This is a product I use at night, It's a very lightweight product, not highly moisturising so I do put a moisturiser on afterwards. Keep in mind I only put this where my skin needs the problems. I know some people have found this helps reduce spots and control their oil - for those with hyperpigmentation, it'll stop that from appearing. I'm unsure I'd purchase when ran out as most times I do feel that a good cleanser and face mask can help pull them out...I'm still on the fence.

NIOD ELAN - Vitamin C read full review here.

sk:n Anti-Blemish Intenses Blemish Lotion- read full review here.

What are you currently using for skincare?

Some of these may be samples.

Skincare Products for Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation.

Durex Invisible Extra Thin Condoms, Durex Play Lube, Durex Pleasure Ring
Off the back of my Should Women Carry Condoms post - which I thank you all for your comments, was really interesting to read through. A lot of you don't know I use to have a sex + relationships blog but decided to bring the content over instead. Mainly because well it's my main blog & I'm a woman, this isn't anything to be embarrassed about, it's natural. I was thinking about the last post I wrote and how I think women should be prepared by carrying protection, regardless. Now stepping it up, what else to have as preparation. I think to have fun and experiment with a partner, is good & trusting. Being able to let go, speak about trying things together is a positive. I've got 3 products here that I'd recommend...

Durex Invisible Extra Thin Condoms.

Now depending on the situation you may or may not use them, it's fine but I'm going to introduce these Durex Invisible Extra Thin condoms, oh I've heard the excuse as I'm sure other women have too "I can't feel anything when I wear one!" Well prayers may have just been answered because these are the thinnest condoms ever developed by Durex which means that they are going to give your partner the chance to have more of a skin on skin feel by enhancing the sensitivity while being protected (condom effectiveness of about 98%), they also don't carry that smell most condoms have - could these possibly be the best ones Durex have released? You may have also heard the - "They're too tight!", "They're too small!" lyric, well considering a condom has stretched over a size 7 foot with ease, I don't know what the problem is here and the majority of Durex have designed and accommodated for all sizes so that they'll fit to different length,while leaving extra room at the tip for ejaculation. Unless his penis is smaller or bigger than around the average!! These do retail for £9.99 for a packet of 6, that could be a cost issue for some but I think if it does the job, there's no price on that.

Durex Play Feel Lube.

Durex Play Feel Water Based lube, a lube that isn't greasy or sticky, it's certainly silky smooth. Used to lubricate vaginal dryness, although I do not suffer, I know some women do while aroused and it's not something to be ashamed of with so many different lubes on the market now, it's fun to experiment. These are ideal for anal sex also as there is no natural lubrication. If you like to also use sex toys with or without your partner, water based lubrication is a winner!! Remember sex should be pleasurable and not uncomfortable. All Durex Play lubes are safe to use with Durex condoms.

Durex Pleasure Ring.

I've always seen these but never tried or thought about trying them. Durex Pleasure Ring, is used to help maintain an erection for longer, some men might be offended by this but it's not to say he can't keep an erection, it's experimenting and having fun, for both. To really understand a pleasure ring is to understand how an erection works. The brain sends signals to the specialised blood vessels in the penis, as the blood flow increases so does the penile tissue engorge (temporary increase in size) and hardens in the process. The pleasure ring creates a situation that the blood cannot escape as easily as it enters meaning that he stays harder and going for longer. Some men get a little more girth as women feel they have a little swelling making sex even more enjoyable. You'll find ones that are made of a flexible material, that'll stretch and accommodate as he gets harder to be more comfortable for him. Please stay away from metal, I'd suggest using this one, it can be used up to 6x. It doesn't stop him from cumming & it shouldn't be kept on for longer than 30 minutes or worn while sleeping. I think it's a great asset for couples to try once in a while.
Can be used with or without Durex Condoms.

Samples.

Durex Pleasure For Both.

I’ve had this blog since late 2008 and I’ve been consistent with it as much as I can little break here and there but nothing too long term. I’m always asked tips on blogging and I don’t really have any, I just blog and for some reading this, it might be hard to understand but it’s true, I don’t stress about analytics too much, I might look at them and see where I could try and improve but over these 8 years, I’ve just done as I’ve pleased, so these are my 'rules'.

Changing Layouts

I use to do this so frequently, especially before it became advised to have a responsive layout. I learnt a lot of HTML/CSS from my MySpace layout days so it helped me to be able to tweak a lot of my layouts to make them individual. Now I don’t change them as much since this responsive thing came into play last April, I’ve changed it twice but get it custom designed & tweak things to my taste. Because I get bored easily and it’s fun to try something new. When people would go on my blog and see it was private, I’d always receive tweets with most saying “It looks like @LaaLaaMonroe is changing her layout again”. Readers still know who I am, the name doesn’t the change – the logo possibly – never can be satisfied on a logo. Just don’t be scared to change up occasionally.

Niche Content?

When I first started this truly was a lifestyle blog, I blogged about my personal life, music, fashion, blogging tips, makeup – the works. As the blog developed it became more beauty with little lifestyle but was more looked upon as beauty and it became mostly that. I love beauty, I became a makeup artist because I respect the versatility, the creativity and the longstanding craft but when it comes to being a woman and being me, there’s more to me than just that. Slowly I’ve started to involve a lot more of that, being 28 and a grown woman there’s more to my life than just beauty and I want to continue to share that, I know people feel you should have a niche because it makes it easier for people to search and look for things because a niche is something that is filling up the gap, it’s unique and different. I like a variety and I hope my readers do too, it gives you more of an insight into who I am.

Post whenever

I’ve read various articles and people have given their opinion on when it’s best to post, I’ve read how to use google analytics to find your busiest post days, I’ve read it should be daily, once a week, a couple of times a week. When I first started (a lot of the posts are now deleted and thanks to Google reader being closed down those posts are lost) I would post up to 3x a day but when I started there wasn’t many blogs around, it wasn’t the popular thing so content being spewed out highly frequently wasn’t an issue and I’d steady get up to 30 – 40 comments per post. I have done the 7 days a week, the analytics but now I just post 4x a week because well I want too.

Do you have any tips that have helped you through your active blogging time?

Image Credit Google.


My Top 3 Blogging Rules.

I enjoy candles in the evening, the bathroom and the bedroom. The light flickering with the scents helping to elevate & change moods but what's even better is when they're cruelty free & vegan!

These are made with 92% Eco Soy Wax derived from pure Soybean Oil as opposed to paraffin which is the main ingredient in most candles and it's a waste product from the oil industry. There is a lot of processing involved such as bleaching and deodorizing to manufacture the candle wax, once lit it releases carcinogenic chemicals which could contribute to respiratory illness. Scented candles may have lead or lead cores in the wick, which means leads being released into the home through burning! While these are made from a natural cotton wick that are lead free.

I'm a citrus nut, it makes me happy, it's comforting so whenever possible I go for the scent for that reason more than anything else, this has Grapefruit Lemon and Cedarwood. The essential oils within this candle are synthetic, I'm guessing like fragrance oil which I burn in an oil burner but I'm not 100% sure but if so, you'd never know the difference from fragrance to pure.

Grapefruit a mood enhancing oil that can help with occasional sadness and anxiousness brought on by everyday worries. It can be very uplifting and mood lifting.
Lemon oil increases focus and concentration, it'll support the mind when stress or tension arises from everyday issues - it could help anxiousness.
Cedarwood oil is high in sesquiterpenes, which helps deliver oxygen to the brain making this scent important for cellular health and brain wellness.

The candle is certainly mood boosting and the combination of clean and fresh citrus with woody cedarwood is a pleasure to have, comforting, relaxing and uplifting all from a candle. This has on average a 50+ hours burn time, which is good considering I may burn it for 3 hours at a time for maximum useage.


Purchase: Luxurious Eco Candle Grapefruit Lemon and Cedarwood Eco Candle

Sample.

Conscious Skincare Luxurious Eco Candle

When I thought about maple water, I thought to myself, I'm sure I've seen it before? Where could I of got maple water from? Lo & behold from my TheVeganKind box!! - DRINKmaple were featured last year July but I didn't try it, my nan ended up sipping it one day so when I was offered to try the brand again, I said yes! Maple water is made from the pure sap tapped directly from maple trees in the Spring and just this one ingredient is said to give so much benefits. With the consistency of coconut or regular water, with a slightly woody maple flavour.

Why Maple Water?
"Maple trees awaken in the spring and the sap begins to run, carrying with it many healthy nutrients – 46 in all."
46 nutrients within 1 single ingredient. That's something to marvel at.
Natural hydration.
A good source of calcium.
Low in sugar, half the sugar of coconut water.
High in manganese - which is a powerful antioxidant that can help with thyroid health and control blood sugar.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan & non-GMO.
Malic acid, is an organic acid that may help with muscle soreness and reduce fatigue.
Nutrient Rich - minerals, polyphenols, antioxidants, electrolytes and prebiotics.

·Prebiotic is a specialized plant fiber that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon
·Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.

Also DRINKmaple are giving back: "Every bottle of DRINKmaple sold will supply 200 gallons of clean water to individuals in developing nations beset by drought and disaster!" Wicked.

I was sent 3 different sized bottles of DRINKmaple, 250 ml £2.49, 355 ml £3.29 & 946 ml £4.99*. One is a carton with a straw, another is a screwcap bottle and the other is a full sized carton. They've got all bases covered, I like the small juice carton as if you wanted something quick to drink, that's refreshing for a boost, it's a good sized carton for just that. While the screw cap bottle is good to pop into your bag, fridge at work - whatever and have on the go. 946ml is going to be ideal for recipes...Yes recipes, these can be used for smoothies, cocktail mixes and even within food - so many recipes on the website. I'd definitely never say no to maple water, it's different but not too different, it's like I've put a hint of something within my water and I adore water, I go through bottles of the stuff so these....won't last long.

If you're looking for a stockist, Holland & Barrett is your best bet!


Purchase: DRINKmaple - Holland and Barrett

Samples.
*Current prices at Holland & Barrett's at time of writing & publishing.



DRINKmaple

Dorco Razors, granted I had never heard of the brand before so it's completely new to me and I'm thankfully I finally know about them. They asked me to model and show off my legs in a new outfit, courtesy of a Selfridges gift card (more on that later) I don't mind to get my legs out, it's a rare sight lol. My issues with razors are this, I have used both women and men razors, I preferred men's because of the close shave and more blades. While women razors seem to stop at 4, men 5-6. Those extra blades to me, really matter! I have noticed a lot more no matter if I exfoliate, have a long soak, the hair doesn't cut with one swipe - maybe 3 passes to get rid of it all and then my skin feels irritated and it puts me off wanting to shave, it also means I don't bother with shaving in the shower. So what's so different with the Dorco EVE 6?

Dorco Six Blade Razor

Being their first female razor, it's to me the best to start off with. It's got a bendable double 3 blade and when I say bendable, the razor bends in the centre. The head is quite big but it covers more of the shaving area for a quick and close shave, with an innovative brush finger, it massages the body and raises hair follicles for a closer, smoother shave. Within the blue rubber bands above and below the double blades, it contains Aloe, Vitamin E and Lavender. Giving a smooth, protecting shave. Be good for even the most sensitive of skins.

It has a pivoting head, allowing it to glide over knees and around ankles if need be, I didn't find it was a sudden pivot, it moves with each curve, I didn't even really notice the change.

At the back of the razor behind the blades there's open holes that allow you to clean and rinse out a lot more easier. I found just rinsing it under the shower each time, front and back, the hairs would just slip out with ease, I didn't have any hair caught. Easy clean!
Being lucky to catch that hot September day and bare legs that were cut SO close that there's not even a hint of a hair follicle or redness, something I've had to deal with very frequently with use of a razor lately. No matter what I do, the skin gets irritated, never use to have that problem so it led to me having prolonged intervals of shaving, I finally think this has changed.

Keep in mind this has NOTHING to do with the performance of the razor. Now onto why I didn't do an outfit post, as I was kindly sent a Selfridge's gift card, I'm viewing the items but with very little within my size and budget, unfortunately it was impossible to find something I like, plus returns - refunds, gets tiring. I managed to find a dress, cami slip on - my personal style and reasonably priced. When it arrived, I couldn't even get it on but when I managed to wriggle it down later...it was too tight on the hips, bear in mind it's a loose fitting style, size L (12-14), it was tight at the hips, loose a little on the waist, tight at the bust. Disaster. Knowing nothing else was going to fit and I wasn't prepared to buy a few sizes up for something to actually fit with comfort and feel even more crappy. I counted my losses and realised, body + Selfridges = no buy. I honestly could of worn something of my own but hey, I was being a woman and felt so shit - this was the best I could do! Hey it happens, with shark week approaching ... probably best to not PMS over clothes.

BUT out of it all, I got me a women's shaver - 6 blades, even better as it's designed to work with our needs and some smooth, fresh legs that I'm happily rubbing against the other.

Purchase: Dorco EVE 6 Razor


Sample.


Dorco EVE 6 Razor Review

I tend to float towards Vitamin C also known as L-Ascorbic Acid because of it's anti-ageing and skin brightening properties being someone who suffers from pigmentation - monthly - it's no joke, a week before my period, spots begin and no matter what they'll leave a mark if not caught quick enough. I've got to be prepared, I've gone back to using the sk:n Intense Blemish Lotion, which I swear works because I felt a spot coming on my nose bridge, I got out of bed and applied it straight away and I've not seen that spot appear. Anyway onto NIOD, I've mentioned them before as I featured the Photography Fluid, which I adore, I've tried a few from the DECIEM brand and their products are flawless to me, they're effective.

Vitamin C Benefits

So what did I think about this one in particular? Being that there are various types of Vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid is the one that's had the most research for skin therefore, it's the safest to use. ELAN has a 30% concentration of highly stable Ethylated L Ascorbic Acid within an antioxidant network of 10% Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Selenium and Zinc. All of these have a strong fight against oxidation while enhancing the skin's barrier function, helping visible discolouration, reviving skin tone and supporting collagen production and repair mechanisms! Vitamin C has powerful anti-oxidants making it great for anti-ageing. High concentrations of Vitamin C can do wonders.


How I use L-Ascorbic Acid

I added it to my nighttime routine because this is the time it's only to be applied. It's not part of the NIOD core routine (where you'll use the products in combination) so it can be used with other products, I will do my cleanse, serum, ELAN then moisturiser, as it needs to be after a serum but before heavier products. I experience no redness, irritation, burning - nothing. Perfect.

My Thoughts on NIOD ELAN

Since using this I've noticed my skin has started to become even, I did switch up my skincare routine ever so slightly. I'm doing a two step cleanse (oil & foam or foam and lotion), sk:n Pore Refining moisturiser or an oil, the oil varies as they're all dope! Right? Now besides the week before my period starts my skin rarely if ever gets spots, unless my diet is crappy!

The ELAN has a texture, I can't explain it, it's like water but if I rub it between my fingers, I don't like the feel but when applying it on the skin it feels silky and a tiny bit tacky a moisturiser is recommended for my preference but I make sure all layers are given a chance to absorb into the skin before layering. [PREACH MOMENT] Also even though you should be already, following using this in the morning please use SPF whether actual sunscreen or within products. Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the product, it's quite high end at £50 for 30ml so not within everyones budget and it could be a touch and go result, it's slow working but effective as I've said my skin has evened up a lot since using it and it makes handy when I start to get blemishes that break through as this kicks in to help diminish them before they scar too deep.

Purchase: Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid

Sample.

NIOD | Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network

Use for Colloidal Silver
When the press release for Nano Silver came into my inbox, it struck a chord with me that I had read about it already this year and its positive benefits but for the life of me I couldn’t remember why I wanted to try it so badly, this is where having a photographic memory would be ideal. So…what’s this Nano Silver business? Nano Silver is Colloidal Silver but microscopic silver nanoparticles that when it comes in contact kills harmful bacteria within 6 minutes!

The history of colloidal silver.

It’s the world’s oldest and original antibiotic. For centuries silver was used to kill harmful bacteria, viruses & fungi within the body, while also being used to protect the body from disease and combat illness! In ancient Greece and Rome silver vessels were used to store beverages and food to protect them against bacteria and keep them fresh, that's right silver kills bacteria. Ancient Egypt, milk was kept in silver containers because it lasted 4x as long. If the ancient world has taught us anything is they knew quite a lot when it comes to simple health benefits. In the Wild West they’d throw a silver coin to prevent it from spoiling. Before the discovery of Penicillin, silver was used as a recognised antibiotic against infections and before 1938, colloidal silver was registered as a medicine by the FDA in the United States.

Interested in other ancient health benefits? Read my post on 4 Amazing Ayurvedic Rituals!

The Benefits of Colloidal Silver.

Colloidal silver is used to treat infections due to yeast; bacteria (tuberculosis, Lyme disease, bubonic plague, pneumonia, leprosy, gonorrhea, syphilis, scarlet fever, stomach ulcers, cholera); parasites (ringworm, malaria); and viruses (HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles, warts).

Also used for lung conditions including emphysema and bronchitis; skin conditions including rosacea, cradle cap (atopic dermatitis), eczema, impetigo, and psoriasis; and inflammation (sometimes due to infection) of the bladder (cystitis), prostate (prostatitis), colon (colitis), nose (rhinitis), stomach (gastritis), tonsils (tonsillitis), appendix (appendicitis), and sinuses (sinusitis). Other uses include treatment of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, leukemia, hay fever and other allergies, trench foot, and gum disease. Used to prevent flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, and the common cold. Colloidal silver is applied directly to the skin for acne, burns, wounds,eczema, sores or cuts. eye infections, fungal infections, throat infections, skin infections, and Staphylococcus infections. They even sell Colloidal Silver for pets! So there are tons of benefits of drinking colloidal silver.
Benefit of Colloidal Silver

Use of Colloidal Silver.

I didn't set out to target anything in particular. I wanted to know how I'd feel overall taking this consistently. I've read how a few people found it good for depression. I wanted to see how I felt mentally as well as physically. I get the odd spots mostly menstrual so I decided to see topically, there's just so many benefits for it, I feel I should be submerged into it. The Noble Naturals Nano Silver has 15ppm (parts-per-million) with purified water because that's all it is basically tiny particles of the metal silver suspended in water. Now I've read about the dosage needed for specific things such as for a detox, 20 - 30 ml every morning on an empty stomach but also I have read that taking it in high colloidal silver dosage or for too long can cause the skin to permanently colour slightly blue, (I have a feeling it's a blue/grey tint) and I don't think looking like Smurfette would do much for me but seeing as I only have the 100ml so not enough -ETA: From the Health Factory "is no chance of her skin changing colour - that is only possible with a lower quality colloidal silver where the particles are larger and can get stuck in the fatty tissue under the skin. Our particles are so small that they will pass straight out through the skin and won't possibly get stuck (also they are so small that they no longer have any colour and are essentially "invisible" so can't colour the skin for that reason either.)" - instead I decided to do a pipette on my tongue because some silver is better than none. I'm going to purchase the colloidal silver spray because I think that'll be handy, the other week, I awoke with an itchy irritated throat after sleeping with the fan on all night accidently, I used this and was surprised that within a few days the itch and cough that began to accompany it disappeared - coincidence or just healed itself?. I've used it topically on spots and I was surprised at how gentle but effective it was with helping the redness decrease. While I can't talk about what's going on inside because I can't see or notice much difference physically, topically I was pleased but I'd probably use it on a need to use basis and not something daily like a toner. Who knew I should've been swallowing silver as a toddler instead of a 2 pence coin.

Purchase: Nano Silver

Have you heard of colloidal silver? Ever used it?


Sample.

Benefits and Use for Colloidal Silver.

Book Title: Casualties of War: Incident on Hill 192
Author: Daniel Lang
Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime.
In 1969, the New Yorker published a report by Daniel Lang about the court martial of a group of men who had served in Vietnam. The five-man squad, led by a 20-year-old sergeant, Tony Meserve, had been sent on patrol. At the outset, Meserve had declared his intention to kidnap a girl from a local village, gang rape her "for the morale of the squad", and then murder her. Private Sven Eriksson initially thought Meserve must be joking. He was not. It was Eriksson's testimony that informed both the trial and the New Yorker.

This was also made into the 1989 film "Casualties of War" with Michael J Fox as Sven Eriksson and Sean Penn as Sgt Tony Meserve. I don't remember which came first to me but I have a feeling I viewed the film and upon reading it was a true story had to go find the book also to see how far apart was the film adaptation to the book and I have to say, there isn't much that's different at all.

My Thoughts
This book isn't going to be for everyone, it was pretty gut wrenching and can be a hard read, considering this is a true story that happened during the Vietnam war. Published in the late 60s it's not the best or well written publication but it's thought provoking. A short book with large print making it easier to get through in one or two sittings. The book made me think how often this kind of intrusion happens while wars are going on? A young woman taken from her hut where she laid, asleep with her family by her side, she's taken away by an American platoon on patrol without a second thought about their consequences, it was planned from the night before when they were not given extensive leave, where a lot of the soldiers would go and be temporarily relieved of duty to have fun on the streets of Vietnam and mostly getting that sexual edge taken off. The plan was to help the morale of the squad & ' sexual fun'. Basically they won't be so uptight if they got that edge off.

With one soldier on the patrol unit who did not participate in the rape and murder, he faced guilt for what had happened and he decided to report the incident to his superior but it's the obstacles he faced after this. It seems because there isn't much morals - whatever your view on war may be - the fact they can do something like this to a woman and be protected and it's not seen as something demoralising, says a lot about the mindset to me. The outcome is a positive but a sad one in the end because you can't help but think of the torture this poor woman went through and also the soldier who felt helpless to witness all this but he also had the courage to speak up, which was admirable.

Connect with me on Goodreads

Casualties of War: Incident On Hill 192