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Just a Hint of Beauty.

Updated on April 15, 2011

In the Beginning:

As far back as I can remember, my mum always told me to use the best cosmetics money could buy and for her that was Vichy skin care. Into my thirties I was fortunate enough to be able to start using the wonderful creams they make and have continued since then.

At last they now make a brilliant cream called Liftactiv Ha which is basically the stuff our skin loses when we age that keeps our skin's elasticity. Little is known about hyaluronic acid but it is purified in the umbilical cord and was roughly discovered in the 1940s.It has recently been used as an injectable on the same lines as Botox and some plastic surgeons believe it is better than Botox.

I have been using this cream now for several months and the difference is worth it! My under eye bags have nearly dissappeared and the elasticity of my eyes and face has improved dramatically - so much so I have stopped using some of the other wrinkle creams and still my skin continues to improve.

They have an excellent acne cream called Normaderm which removes the purple red scarring left by acne and can be used successfully to remove the purple left by scarring on most wounds or burns - use in conjunction with Aloe Vera - excellent results!

I also take Efamol -skin (Evening Primrose)(menopause Efamol is also available) capsules as well as Maca and Silicea capsules (Given to people with alopecia and really makes your hair grow thick and fast as well as speeding up nail growth!) which helps to keep my skin young and healthy as well.There has been a lot of info out on the web recently about bio-indentical hormones and synthetic hormones as well as TV chat programs on the subject of menopause. Bio-identical hormones seem to have the same attention as synthetic hormones and there is also a bit of doubt as to whether they are safe. I have chosen not to ever go down that road and have opted for the herbal/exercise route. I started taking Maca over a year ago and have never looked back.Sure I, like everyone else, have really bad days where I could sleep in bed forever but I have found that exercise is crucial for relieving the stress of muscular(particularily facial) and headache attacks (leg-magic!) Also, if the attack is bad I take one magnesium/calsium capsule and if it is really bad I resort to a 500mg paracetamol and early to bed! I love cappucino coffee but agree with the adage of one cup prevents a headache whereas two gives you one.One amazing tip I can give you which I picked up over the years is to help reduce redness, eye bags and has the ability to shrink the skin slightly. In the Uk Boots chemists sell a haemorrhoid (piles) treatment called Germoloids (see link below - great site) which is available in ointment and cream form. Germoloids is reputed to shrink the skin and it does actually that. I have found it invaluable over the years and would be lost without it. I use the cream form as it is non-oily on my under-eye area and as it has a de-congesting action reducing the puffiness dramatically and cooling the eye area as well. Obviously avoid getting it in the eye and use regularily with your normal cosmetics - the results are marked!

Germoloids used together with witch hazel is great for dealing with redness or purple scarring caused by tiny broken blood vessels or injury and scarring but if your using it for facial redness be careful as some cosmetics are not compatible with witch hazel as I discovered with my Vichy creams (burning) though Germoloids is fine.Germoloids is the only quick acting and excellent treatment I know for chilblains as well - instantly relieves that nasty sensative itchyness because of it's anaesthetic property and within a week or two the chilblain is gone!. Another great treat for your skin is to stop the application of your normal cosmetics for about a week and just apply snail gel - let it dry then apply a thin layer of germoloid cream over it and a bit extra on the under eye area - do this twice a day and once or twice during the week, apply a layer of sweet almond oil over the lot, avoiding the under eye area (absorbtion of oils and the breakdown of elasticity of the skin in that area causes eye bags!).This gives your skin a break from the oiliness of the cosmetics and does wonders for any puffiness by tightening as well as letting your skin breathe! Try it! Works wonders for me.

If you have redness on say an arm you can soak a cottonwool pad with witch hazel and apply a fairly liberal amount of Germoloids covering with clingwrap and replacing this treatment every second day for approx three weeks and this will heal redness amazingly!

My favourite and I feel most effective face pack is egg white whipped until stiff and after application - left on the face for as long as possible - 2-3 hours is fine then rinsed off with lukewarm water. For a special treat follow the egg white face pack with an application of snail gel (magic stuff!) concentrating on the under eye area and when dry apply your make up - a real beauty boost if you're going out on a special occasion! So good for the skin too! Sounds gory but this really works! I from time to time also give my face and body a treat of Sweet Almond oil (also great for the hair!). This oil is reputed to lessen redness caused by spider veins and gives the skin a lovely glow. Coconut oil, sweet almond oil and Neem oil - all excellent for hair.I use Inecto with Pantene hair products and Henna Plus - the do a brilliant boost for your hair called Hairwonder Serum - in little red capsules - once a month and your hair together with the occasional treat of Inecto coconut oil serum and hair mask does wonders! Add a couple of drops of Neem hair oil to your conditioner and leave on under a plastic hair cap and towel after washing and you have a lovely treatment for difficult and dry curly hair.

Going into menopause has not been easy as many of you are aware and feeling fat and frumpy was definitely not on the agenda for me! I decided one day that I needed exercise - not because I was putting on weight due to the meno but just started feeling tired and really unfit. I invested in a "LegMagic" exercise machine as for me this seemed the most benign effortless and basic form of exercise ever invented! I've never been one for jogging or the gym and this idea seemed to suit me just fine! This little machine has now made me addicted to it. I noticed the difference after three days of doing just one minute per day. I decided not to follow the exercise program on the dvd as I've suffered a back injury way back and did not want to aggravate the problem.Well, just over a year later, my back problem has dissappeared and the "hit" I get just after exercise from adrenaline, helps deal with the muscular stress and headaches, menopause so gracefully gives us! I don't miss any excercises and if I am ill with flu or the like - which is rare - I make them up later when I'm feeling well again. I have designed my own upper body and facial (acupressure points) routine which has helped tighten up my underarm area, upper torso and boobs and breaks the monotony of now doing 5 minutes at a time. I have worked up to four sets of 5 minutes per day overperiod of a year and feel I can cope with this and to help with the odd hot flush have a fan on low setting whilst I do them. Keep a clock and list handy so you can maintain a record of how far you've come and you will feel you've achieved mountains as you tone and shape up as well as feeling so much fitter than ever before for so little physical input. (Oprah take note!) You will also get the chance of seeing your hips again accompanied by the re-appearance of your waist which I thought was never going to happen - what joy and I have even developed a six pack - actually it's a four pack - but who's counting!

Combine this exercise regime with a diet rich in fruit, veggies and all the good things for your health as well as Oolong tea (weight loss tea that doesn't upset your tummy and gives you energy) and you should be healthy and cope with your menopause much easier than you give yourself credit for!

Please note: I have included links to purchase the above mentioned cosmetic products below.

On the way up to the top:

Hair problems have hounded me most of my life. To start off with, I was blessed (cursed) with a head of thick curly (extremely) hair. I have managed to get it to fall out on several occasions due to using the wrong hair dye (incompatible) stress and vitamin overdosage! Joy! I heard once on an Oprah show ,I think, talk about not being able to colour and straighten hair as well - RUBBISH!! I use ceramic tongs and chemical free hair dye and have had no problems with hair fallout since I started this partnership. You must from time to time give your hair a rest from the cermics and also use a heat defence spray whilst using them.Tressemme make an excellent heat defence spray and use a good, simple -uncomplicated (not to heavy with the chemicals) shampoo and conditioner like Pantene and Inecto.I recently started using Dr.Hauschka Neem oil for hair and my hair has thickened up and strengthened beautifully. I apply Neem oil about 3 times a week and massage it well into the scalp and roots concentrating on the hairline. I have recently taken to putting a few drops of Neem hair oil in my conditioner and my husband's shampoo - he had a dreadful dandruff problem with that yeasty odour and this stuff has solved the problem. Apparently, it is caused by the candida fungus that causes nail fungus infection and this simple trick has solved his problem together with helping to thicken and condition his hair. Massage is essential for encouraging the blood circulation to the scalp and should be done at least once a day for at least 10 minutes a day - even 5 is sufficient enough.I use coconut oil and sweet almond oil on the rest of my hair when I notice it is getting a bit dry and Elvive anti-frizz serum when I'm using the tongs. To grow your hair really fast take Silicea tablets and your hair should really then be your crowning glory! If you, like me, have the misfortune of hair fallout Vichy do a program that will seriously help, but be patient, it takes about a year to regain your former glory - well worth the wait though. Castor oil is a really helpful tool in thickening up your hair in times of stress - massage into the roots when you can and especially into your hairline.

I have recently changed my hair dye brand from the Henna plus semi-permanent dye to Herbatint and found the difference more suitable to my needs. No cloud of ammonia stinging your eyes during the process and the colour although at first was a little dark, within days settled down to the colour I wanted - no reaction with the previous dye brand and although a little pricey, I'm well satisfied with the results. I am naturally hazel or dark red and I used the dark blond colour that worked really well so I will change to this brand from now on


I have been busy using tea tree oil in my natural nail cure and during research for this cure and other stuff found on a natural cure site I found three wonderful tips that I have adjusted slightly tried and found to work wonderfully! the first and most surprising is tea tree oil for skin tags - yes I didn't believe it when I read it but it works - I had a large flat grainy type one at the back of my shoulder from my bra strap rubbing over the years and within a day of using this stuff it literally dissolved away. I also have a rather more dense one from wearing chains around my neck and this is reducing too so this amazing tip does work - try it.A variation on this remedy is to use equal quantities of castor oil and baking soda but be careful as this tends to make your skin tags sensative to the point of painful - I am testing this remedy on one rather stubborn tag as a comparison to the tea tree oil and am finding it quite a strong contender! Age spots - bane of ones life - a reminder of growing older - not nice. I have tried the apple cider vinegar and castor oil trick but did not remove the age spots only left my skin very soft and smooth especially facially - worked wonders on the frown lines left the age spots intact though so now I'm trying the onion juice and apple cider vinegar treatment - way better results. Liquidise one or two medium size onions and squeeze the pulp through an oil filter then add an equal amount of apple cider vinegar (with the mother -sediment) and rub on 2 - 3 times per day. You get used to the delightful aroma of raw onion juice and use a strong (expensive) perfume to mask the smell when you go out! The third and rather unusual beauty tip is quite surprising as I've done a lot of research on the one ingredient and have come up with so many conflicting views that I just made up my own formula and am trying it out with no adverse effects but great improvements to report. Take equal quantities of castor oil, sweet almond oil and vaseline, place in a sterilzed (soak in bleach overnight) small bottle with a dropper ( leftover from essential oils will do fine) and gently warm over a candle flame for just a few seconds. Massage this oil mix into your eyelashes and watch them improve! A lot of posts on the web about castor oil on eyelashes say they fall out but I've been watching mine closely and this has not happened so monitor your eyelashes and don't worry about eye irritation as this stuff does not irritate - it seems to be very gentle and as I have the most sensative eyes on the planet I should know. Of course if it irritates then stop using it but I have had good results so far! Good Luck with these tips and really hope they work for you!


Just a quick update on the skin tag removal proceedure. Well, the Tea Tree oil worked wonders but you have to persevere with it. I found the castor oil/baking soda suddenly stopped reacting and nothing happened so I started the Tea Tree oil again and did it for about three weeks this time,applying it three times a day - imperative. The mistake I made, though, was to do all of my skin tags at the same time and as well as suffering from a rather painful chillblain, walked around feeling rather sorry for myself for a couple of weeks as this treatment tends to give you a burning, itchy sensation while it's working and tends to be rather uncomfortable. Advice well worth taking is to do them one at a time and try not scratch or rub them - difficult, I know but it is well worth it. I am working on the last two at the moment and am really back on track with the fungal cure after solving the chillblain problem! P.S. Don't cover them with plasters as they need to dry out and heal quicker this way and use a Q-tip to apply as it treats the area of skin, the oil is applied to and you may end up with a larger area of skin burning and drying out than you need to - It leaves no mark after the tag has gone and just apply a normal moisturising cream or even an anti- bacterial cream if required. Success!


In the '90's, cellulite pants were available in many health shops and became popular with those of us suffering the effects of over-eating and wanting to lose a bit of thigh/belly weight quickly. Well, try this suggestion for a speedy aid in weight loss that works for me! I used the cellulite pants with L'oreal laser cellulite gel and needed (on the advice of a friend) cotton underpants with long legs to prevent sweat burns. Well, these for me have become difficult to find and don't last long so I've resorted to using the long-legged correction pants that are made of synthetic material. They don't feel uncomfortable and work excellently with the cellulite pants and gel, to make you lose weight fast! Well worth a try to when you get used to them, wear them as much as possible, whenever you can - sleeping in them, if you can handle them!


I noticed on the TV yesterday that Vichy cosmestics have just brought out Hyaluronic acid retinol night cream. On doing a bit of research and after having such good results from it, I have learned that the night cream is three times the concentration of the day cream and the difference in price here in Europe is only about E3:00, so roll on tomorrow when I can replace the day with night and EXPECT three times the improvement!!!!


In the USA, there is an eyelash-growing product called Latisse that was developed to grow eyelashes longer. The side-effects are the iris may darken as well as the eyelid but is reputed to work. I recently did some research on cheaper alternatives and came up with LÓreal two-step serum. It comes in the wand applicator and is a two-step program that consists of a white serum and mascara. Having extremely sensative eyes, I tried this program for a week wearing it day and night without getting an allergic reaction. I found the improvement great and can well recommend the use of this product but be sure to do a sensativity test first - so far no side effects - it contains similar ingredients to Latisse and is a lot cheaper( I purchased it for about E10 on a special offer!) and will certainly be using it in the future.


I've been using the L'Oreal 2 step serum and have found it to be excellent. I have switched to Rimmel eyelash accelerator mascara to see if there is any improvement - 3 weeks down the line and I'm not impressed! I will finish the month trial to be fair and in the meantime, have done some research on Neem hair oil on the eyelashes, all the information seems to be positive and so I'm going to try a little Neem on the eyelashes at night! Castor oil, vaseline and vit E oil don't do much for me and walking around, peering out through a greasy curtain ain't much fun! Try using Mabelline Lash accelerator every night, wash off in the morning and use L'Oreal 2 step serum during the day - best effect so far! Good Luck! I have also found out that Tea Tree Oil removes age spots - be forewarned irritating and can be a tiny bit painful! Be persistent and I'm doing one stubborn age spot on my hand for the third time! But it's almost gone!


I have recently, been going through detox symptoms with the fungal treatment I'm using, and one of the side-effects I was warned about and developed was acne! In my teen years, I suffered from impetigo caused by sharing a tube of Clearasil with my brother! THE ONLY TREATMENT that works for acne is VICHY NORMADERM. Use the day and night cream and facewash - within a day the zits dried up and within 3 weeks the acne is starting to go. This treatment PREVENTS purple scarring and leaves your skin faultless. I use it if I have a wound that is healing and for any small breakouts of spots after rich food or too much wine! The Best Ever!


Everyone wants to grow their nails quickly - right? A friend of mine, many years ago, introduced me to a South African product called "Hoof Care". This stuff makes your nails grow out within a few weeks and have found it on the net, made in Australia. There is also another, much cheaper one called "Healthy Hoof Care". I have just finished my nail fungus infection treatment and have started using this stuff. Be forewarned, it is expensive but a tub lasts ages and I was so envious at how quickly her nails grew that I'm REALLY hoping mine will too!!! Will let you know, in a few weeks, the outcome.


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    • Ilse De Jong profile imageAUTHOR

      Ilse De Jong 

      6 years ago from Netherlands

      yes I did Cathy, but I found the lash growing mascaras way better - the best being L'Oreal double extension renewal serum -apply at night - and Rimmel Lash accelorator - wear during the day after washung the L'Oreal off - really good results!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi. I was reading your post. Did you use the neem oil on your eyelashes? I have been doing some research on this because I want to try it too. I had an eye infection last year, and the Dr says it affected my lash folice on both lashes. I have 2 almost bald spots on both lids. The lashes do grow but very thin and they eventually fall off. I was prescribed Latisse, but I did begin changing the color of my iris :( so after 2 weeks I discontinued use. Im hoping this neem oil will, but I wanted to see if you were able to try it and if you had positive results.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


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