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Sweat, Stress and Skin Care

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that recently I have been struggling with bad skin. I have never really struggled with spots, even as a teenager, and so this breakout of spots, pimples and black heads has been very unusual for me. I have not changed anything about my skin care or make up routine and I always make sure my pillows and towels are clean and fresh. I have, however, narrowed it down to two culprits – sweat and stress. I thought I would share with you guys to science behind sweat, stress and spots and some of the products I have been loving and have really helped me with my breakout. 

Before we begin, I thought I would share some pictures of my skin during the breakout and after two weeks of doing this research and making little changes to my skin care and lifestyle. Here we go…

2 weeks ago

Two weeks later

2 weeks on my skin isn’t quite back to normal but I think it is looking at lot better. I still have some spots but they are a lot less red and swollen. My skin does not feel half as sore as it did 2 weeks ago!

So let’s get down to business. Here is the science behind what I think may have been causing my spots.

Sweat 

One of the reasons I may not have suffered with spots during my teenage years if because I never ever broke into a sweat. The closest thing I exercise I got was walking to the fridge and surprisingly this rarely caused much of a sweat. Don’t get me wrong, I was a sweaty child. When I did do sports (reluctantly, of course) you would be forgiven for assuming I had just stepped out of the shower. I have always been quite sweaty (grim) so I just avoided all forms of physical activity at all cost. Unhealthy, overweight but my skin was a smooth as a baby’s bum.

Now, however, it is a very different story. I train a lot and I have yet to grow out of my excessive sweating when I do so. The sweat itself isn’t really the problem according to science. Sweating helps to regulates your body temperature and signals your body’s ability to hydrate. It is full of water hydrates, minerals and salt, which naturally exfoliate the skin whilst the urea and uric acid can help with dry skin and dermatitis.It also helps to flush out any impurities and does wonders for your skins pH level.

However, (DISCLAIMER: this is about the get gross, please do not judge me) it is when the sweat is left on the skin for a prolonged period of time the problems can start. Yes, I know I should jump straight in the show after my gym class but sometimes (okay most of the time) this doesn’t happen. I either run to my next class or do not have time to shower and then redo my makeup and hair before my important date with a coffee shop and revision. Basically, this means all the grime and make up and gross stuff is left just sitting on my skin. It then settles back into the skin causing spots, black heads and increasing the size of your pores.

Most concealers and foundations products are designed to be noncomedogenic (this is fancy talk for ‘they don’t clog pores’) but when the sweat combined with these products your face becomes air-tight, preventing your pores from breathing. On top of all that, you will probably (definitely) touch your face at some point during your workout, or even wipe your sweat with a towel, which can both introduce dirt and bacteria. According to science, we should be washing our face fully both before and after a workout. This means people are going to see me without make up on… doesn’t it? 

It is not that any of this was shocking or revolutionary information but I never leave the house without make up on. This is not because I particularly enjoy caking my face in foundations and concealer every single day but I simply do not have the confidence to do any other. It resulted in a vicious cycle of wanting to hide my skin, which caused more spots and then wanting to hide my skin even more. Anyway, I have been braving it. I have gone bare face to the gym (or just used a super light powder) and made sure I carry make up remover to clean my face with after the workout. It is a lot of messing around, I’ll be honest, and it does mean having to give myself a bit more time before heading off to get a coffee but if it is going to help my skin I guess it’s worth it…

Stress

It is probably going to come as no surprise that stress can cause spots. Stress presents itself differently for different people. I can’t say as I particularly felt stressed during at all during my exam period, however, that does not mean that it was not manifesting itself as spots. So how does stress lead to spots? Well, stress-related hormones for example cortisol leads your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. More oil results in your skin being more prone to acne and generally more sensitive to the outside world. On top of all the sebum (lovely image…) the sebaceous glands are also immune organs, which pretty much means they can lead to unwanted swelling and redness.

All in all, stress is not great for your skin. This was not quite as simple to deal with as ‘stop being gross and wash your face’. Unfortunately I could not pull out of my exams due to a couple of spots. I just made sure I was getting as much rest as possible during periods of high stress and stayed hydrated. Wasn’t going to secure me a first but I definitely think taking more care of myself on the inside helped with how I looked on the outside.

Products I have been loving 

During the last 2 weeks I have tried to keep any face products to a minimum and have kept make up off of my face as much as possible. However, I do have a few of product recommendations that have been my go-to’s over the last 2 weeks.

Garnier Micellar Water

This product has been an absolute god send! This one product both cleans, cleanses and moisturises my skin. I find that this product removes my make up better than anything else and I have also been using it after my work outs just to freshen up my skin and wipe off any sweat and grime. It’s super affordable, fragrance free and dermatologically tested so is great if you have sensitive skin. I genuinely believe I have this product to thank for the improvements I have seen in my skin over the last 2 weeks.

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FRÉ Skin Care 

If you have been following my blog for a while then this will come as no surprise to you. I absolutely love these products and everything the company stands for. I have been raving about them for weeks and weeks and they have really helped to clear up my sweat damaged skin! I know they are a little pricey but I really think they’re worth it and I don’t mind investing in good quality skincare if it does the job and these products certainly do! After trying (and loving) the products I was offered to join their ambassador programme (eek!). I am super happy to say that I am now able to offer you guys 15% off using the code JJ so go and take a look. I do earn a little bit of money if people use my code so I would really appreciate it!

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Bourjois Healthy Mix Pressed Face Powder

I promised myself that I wouldn’t wear any make up at all in the day but as it turns out… I am weak. I found that going bare left me feeling really rubbish about myself and I spent the whole day self conscious. I decided that as much as I didn’t want to be caking on my liquid foundation, I was going to need something to help with my confidence whilst still allowing my skin to breathe. I picked up the Bourjois Health Mix press powered in shade 01. The coverage is subtle and matte, whilst still giving your skin a radiance without being shiny. It helped smooth out the appearance of my skin and yet I didn’t feel as though I was clogging up my pores. This powder feels super light on the skin but has pretty good staying power. It’s still of vitamins and although I’m not exactly sure what they do it sounds pretty good, right? This product is £9.99 and comes with a mirror and little applicator (although I use a powder brush most of the time) so you can just chuck it in your bag. It also makes a great setting powder for if you are going for a liquid foundation base. I love this product and I will definitely not be going back to a liquid foundation as my daily go-to.

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LUSH Magnaminty Face Mask

I adore LUSH products so when this was recommended to me I had to try it. I was a little worried about it making my skin worse but I did a tester and had no reaction so went for it. I’ve only used it once and so I definitely want to continue trailing this product before giving a definitive opinion, however, so far I really do like it. It helped to clear my skin and brighten up my dull and tired complexion. As with all LUSH products, it smells delicious! It is infused with peppermint oil as well are marigold oil, chlorophyllin, primrose seeds, aduki beans, honey and other delicious and natural ingredients. You have two options to choose from. I went for the self preserving form (this basically means it keeps itself clean without synthetic preservatives) because I prefer a wetter texture rather than the kind of face masks that dry when applied. Apparently apart from the texture the results are the same so it just depends on your personal preference. It comes in at £12.50 for 315g, which is the medium sized tub and I would seriously recommend it if you are having troubles with your skin.

So there you have it, some of the lessons I have learnt and the products I have been using to help with my skin over the last few weeks. The fitness world often ignores the not so pretty side of training and, for me anyway, spots have definitely been a main one. I guess this is partly my fault but I just never really thought about it. I was complacent that I had made it through my teenage years without spots so I was going to be in the clear. Turns out I was anything but in the clear. 

I hope you have enjoyed this post and maybe even found it useful. I’ll be back the same time next week so stay tuned and in the mean time head over to my Instagram and give me a follow for daily updates. 

Jamie x 

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Sources: 

https://www.neutrogena-me.com/en/expert-centre/stress-and-your-skin/stress-spots

http://www.stack.com/a/effects-of-sweat-on-skin

https://intothegloss.com/2015/06/effects-of-sweat-on-face/

https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/daily/tips/quick-tips-is-it-bad-to-sweat-with-makeup-on-.htm

https://graziadaily.co.uk/beauty-hair/skin/spots-acne-chin-forehead-back-neck-chest-face-mapping/

Favourites Of The Month | May.

Hey guys! I thought today I would share with you guys some of my favourites of the month. I know, I know… it is not technically the end of May but just go with it, it’s exam season! I don’t do these often (mainly because I am a poor student whose monthly favourites usually consist of  baked beans and binge watching trash TV) but when I do they have been quite popular so who knows, now I have graduated you might be seeing a few more monthly favourites posts.

So, without further a due, these are some of my favourites of May…

Fashion

As always, Zara has been delivering the goods this month! I made some purchases at the start of the month that I have already become my go to fashion staples and I recently put in another order. Picking a single favourite Zara item is like being forced to pick a favourite child – I love them all equally but let’s just say if I could only send one off to University it would be this mini dress with gathered details. I was really torn as to whether or not I should get this dress. I thought it might be a little bold but recently I seem to have stopped worrying and just been wearing clothes that I love. I adore this dress. It is perfect for both in the office and going out for a nice meal and some cocktails. The colours are absolutely amazing and so summery. If this is a bit too bold for you but you like the style, they also have a plain black dress so go and take a look. For £17.99 you really can’t go wrong!

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Image from www.zara.com

Make Up 

I have been seriously working on a budget when it comes to make up this month and so I have hardly got any new products, however, I have been using a lot of MUA. This is an affordable make up brand that is exclusive to Superdrug. It is a cruelty free brand but is unfortunately not vegan, however, I got gifted with some of these products and so they were already part of my collection. I have been trying out a few of their products that I am pretty impressed by but I wanted to talk about one product in particular that I have been loving for months! The MUA eyeshadow palette in Burning Embers. The palette has 25 gorgeous shades and it’s only £8, which is super cheap. The colours are so pigmented and blend beautifully. You can create so many different looks with this palette and, although I have my favourites, there isn’t a colour in this set that I don’t use, which is really rare even in high end palettes. If you like you’re pinks, neutrals and oranges I would seriously recommend giving this a go.

MUA-Eyeshadow-Palette-Burning-Embers-030-715922Image from www.superdrug.com

Skin Care 

It will probably come as no surprise to most of you that my favourite skincare this month has been the 12FRÉ collection from FRÉ skincare. I have been raving about these products on all of my social media platforms and a month on I am still loving this brand. These are cruelty free and are a little on the expensive side but they are so good and I would always prefer to spend more on my skincare than my makeup – just to be sure I am using the best stuff for my skin. The whole collection comes in at $115, which I know is steep but I really do think it is worth the investment. If you want more information you can check out my full review here.

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Music 

So I’ll be honest, if you listen to any of my radio shows you will know that I am not particularly ‘down with the kids’ when it comes to music. However, this month I have really got into one song that has been on the A list at our student radio station and that is Ferrari by Bebe Rexha. Usually I am more of an 80’s sort of girl but I have really been enjoying this. If you haven’t heard it (or if you have and just really want to give it a listen) you can find it here.

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Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgZpd5TrSUc 

Exercise 

What with exams and everything else going on this month, exercise has been an absolute god send. I’ll be honest, sometimes I have really had to drag myself out of the house to get it done but I always feel so much better afterwards. I am probably weight training about 3 times a week at the moment and really enjoying it but it has not made it onto the May favourites. This month fitness classes have been my saving grace and really motivated me to push myself and try new things. My absolute favourite is MetaFit. It’s 30 minutes of super high intensity workouts and we usually follow our sessions with a core workout. Each session is different and it is great to meet new people (something that can be really tough over exam season.) If you are looking for a fat burning challenge I would seriously recommend giving this a go.

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TV Show 

Last favourite for this month but I don’t feel like I can reflect on my May favourites without giving a quick shout out to Netflix for putting on all of the FRIENDS series. Yes, it’s old. Yes, it’s kind of been ripped to pieces lately. And yes, Ross is the worst! But I honestly love this programme. I have probably watched the whole thing about 5 times at least in my life time and I laugh every single time. 20 minutes an episode, nothing too serious (apart from the whole ‘we were on a break stuff’, which definitely does not justify your actions Ross!) – what better procrastination TV show?

friends

 

Image from www.independent.co.uk 

So there you have it, some of my May favourites. What do you think? Love a bit of Ferrari? Cannot get past the outdated views of Ross Geller to enjoy a single episode of FRIENDS ever again? Let me know. I also want to know what you guys have been loving this month. Who knows, they might even make an appearance in my June favourites. 

Jamie x 

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Is Your Vagina Vegan?

Vegan. Once a word most people knew very little about, now fast on the rise, it seems that *everybody* is going vegan. Since trying my best to follow a plant based lifestyle, I can say with confidence that this is only going to continue to grow, which has great implications for the animals, the environment and for our health. You might be vegan, your wellness #inspo might be vegan, you may have even convinced your Mum to try whipping up a vegan take on her classics but… Is your vagina vegan?

tampons

Time to abandon the always?

There are plenty of vegan sanitary products on the market right now. Towels, tampons. Menstrual cups and reusable pads. The truth is, I haven’t actually tried any of the products. This blog post comes from a curiosity more than anything and I wanted to share what I have found with you guys. Since doing this research I have decided that I will be giving some of these products a go so stay tuned as there will be a review coming up over the next few months.

My interest came when I came across TOTM on Instagram, a company making 100% organic, vegan sanitary products. I was intrigued. I have never really thought about what went into making my sanitary towels or my tampons, I just used them. Turns out I was not alone. In a survey done by TOTM, 9 out of 10 women did not no what tampons are made of. I am sure, like me, many of these women chose their sanitary products based upon names they know and trust. When you’re spending a week out of every month bleeding you want to be confident that you are not going to be having any accidents. It seems, however, that a large majority these brands do not provide a full list of ingredients. Surely they would have to? Nope. Sanitary products are regulated and approved a medical devices under the FDA, which means companies are under no obligation to share what goes into them. I had never thought about this before, but all of a sudden I felt very protective over my vagina. I decided this needed a bit more digging. I wanted to know about cotton.

Turns out cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop on the planet when it comes to pesticides and insecticides and a 2015 an independent study by the University of La Plata found 85% of tampons tested contained Glyphosate. What is that I hear you ask? Well, Glyphosate is the active ingredient within weed killers and according to WHO is classified as ‘probably carcinogenic’. Probably carcinogenic? I am going to need a little bit more information before I go putting a possible carcinogen up the most sensitive and absorbent part of my body thank you very much.  And then there’s rayon, a man-made material that’s been used since the 1930’s. If that wasn’t enough to make your legs clench, rayon is a material that has been used since the 1930’s and is produced from cellulose. This is a compound extracted from wood pulp and what happens during the extraction process? Well, it creates hydrocarbon dioxin as a by-product. These dioxins can be pretty harmful, not the mention the potentially harmful chemical additives and finishing agents.

But Jamie, people have used these things for years. Surely they can’t be that bad. Well, in terms of health, it probably isn’t as the amount of ‘bad stuff’ is pretty negligible. As Dr. Nita Landry said, there is no data proving that organic tampons are any safer than regular tampons and the FDA do check them for consumer safety so it might not be a shady as we first thought. However, it is not just our health that should be considered. For most people who go vegan, the decision is based upon a variety of different reasons including animal cruelty and the environment. The company, GladRags, known for their reusable pads have a lot to say on the environmental impact of disposable sanitary products. The average person who menstruates will use between 12,000 and 16,000 pads in their life time, which produces a lot of waste and has a huge environmental footprint. When not disposed of properly, sanitary towels contribute to the main source of UK coastal clutter, Sewage Related Debris.

 

A huge bonus with vegan sanitary products, for me, is the fact that animals are not harmed in the process of making them. These products do not test on animals or have any animal products in them, which is a huge selling point! Mooncup, for example, are approved by the vegan society and were the winners of the 2007 Best Buy Award for Ethical Consumers.  After having a browse, it is safe to say that these products are not cheap. However, many of these companies sell themselves on the fact they are an investment that will save people money in the long run. You only need one Mooncup and apparently that will pay for itself after 6-8 months, after that you’re then saving money. No need to go splashing the cash on always, instead you could throw it into a piggy bank and save up for something nice… like vegan chocolate to get your through the agony that is a period. Similarly, apparently these GladRags can last up to 20 years!

Where do I sign up? It is safe to say that I am sold and will definitely but giving some of these a try. I have yet to decide which of the products I think would be best for me but the sites have little quizzes and loads of information so you ca see which sanitary product will fit in best with your lifestyle. If you are interested in more vegan sanitary companies, I would recommend checking out CrueltyFreeKitty.com as this site has a fantastic comprehensive guide and loads of posts on different cruelty free products. As always, my sources are down below.

Jamie x

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Sources:

https://gladrags.com/

The Ultimate Guide To Having A Cruelty-Free Period

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a13144732/best-organic-tampons/

Home

Mooncup Menstrual Cup

http://www.thisisinsider.com/are-organic-tampons-safer-better-2017-9

 

The Pip Box: March Edit Review

Since learning more about the vegan lifestyle I been trying to move towards more vegan, cruelty free beauty products. To help me on my journey the lovely folks at The Pip Box sent me over this month’s subscription box to try out and I am obsessed. For those of you who haven’t heard of The Pip Box, they are a monthly subscription box that deliver at least 5 cruelty-free, vegan beauty products to your door every month. From £13.50 a month, you get products with an average total value of £45 with 50p from every sale being donated to ‘Animal Free Research’.

I have never had a subscription box before. I always worry I am going to get a box full of samples and every month they are going to send over the same stuff that I don’t need in colours that no one else wants. I decided to do a little bit of research about The Pip Box. I knew I loved their cruelty-free ethos, but is it good value for money or did I just get lucky? For starters, The Pip Box ensures every single edit is created bespoke each and every month so no worries about getting the same stuff over and over again. They also promise that every box will contain at least 1 full sized item and will never feature any one-time use sachets. I had a look through some of their previous boxes and, not only are they right on trend for the season, the products in them look fantastic and cover a huge range. For example, here is what was included in the February Pip Box:

Johnny Concert Glamour Amplified Eye shadow (RRP £11.99)

Johnny Concert Glamour Eye shadow brush (RRP £6.50)

Dr. Botanicals Kale Superfood Nourishing Day Moisturisers (RRP £14.90)

Akamuti Chocolate Marshmallow Face Mask (RRP £2.99)

Medusua Makeup Matte Lip Paint (RRP £9.99)

Naissance Argan Virgin Certified Organic Hair Oil (RRP £1.50)

JOMS Fizzy Caramel Snack Pack (RRP £1.25)

Pretty good, huh? Unfortunately, I cannot review these products (JOMS Fizzy Caramel Snack Pack, I’m coming for you…) but I can review the products that were in the March Pip Box. This months box came to a huge £65 worth of goodies, which for £13.50 is madness!

the pip box

Saturated Colour Naked Pink Lipstick (RRP £7)

My favorite product in the box is the Saturated Colour Naked Pink Lipstick (RRP £7). I am a huge lipstick fan and usually go for MAC but, unfortunately, this is not cruelty-free brand. For starters the colour is gorgeous and perfect for spring. It is a soft pink colour and feels really nourishing on your lips. It doesn’t quite have the staying power of MAC but it has such a soft finish. It does not feel thick or like you need a full face of make up to pull it off (today I wore it with some powder and mascara and I was good to go) so it is great for everyday wear. I am a huge fan of this lipstick and the range of colours are fantastic so I will definitely be trying some more of these out.

Make Me Matte Lipstick Mattifier from Saturated Colour (RRP £8)

Next up was the 2016 Beauty Awards shortlisted, Make Me Matte Lipstick Mattifier from Saturated Colour (RRP £8). This product transforms satin or semi gloss lipstick into a sleek, matte finish! I was worried it would feel really dry on my lips but I could hardly feel it and it made my glossy lipstick perfectly matte. My lips did not feel dry at all, which I was really impressed with. I probably wouldn’t buy this product again but not because it isn’t really lovely, but I tend to prefer glossy lipsticks. If you like matte lipsticks then I would seriously recommend this product.

Dr. Botanicals Tropical Invigorating Cream (RRP £44)

Next up is the most expensive product in the box, retailing at £44! The Dr. Botanicals Tropical Invigorating Cream is lovely and smells like elderflower, which is delicious (although maybe you shouldn’t eat it…) not to mention the packaging is beautiful! I did a little patch test of this over night and it was really soothing. The next night I used it all over and really like it. It did not leave my skin feeling greasy at all, just soft and nourished. Again, this is not a product I would buy again but not because I don’t love it! I think it is fantastic and I am really glad this was part of my box as usually I would never be able to afford a product like this. I guess this is a great reason to subscribe to The Pip Box – you get to try products you normally might not be able to afford or wouldn’t risk spending that much money on in case you didn’t like it.

RawGanic Aloe Vera and Green Tea Facial Wipes (RRP £2.99)

The next product, however, I would definitely buy again! The RawGanic Aloe Vera, Green Tea facial wipes have 2% natural moisturizer in them and so felt fab on my skin (RRP £2.99). With no added fragrance or Parabens, they cleanse, tone, moisturize and are super refreshing. They also smell like marzipan somehow (again, maybe don’t eat them but they do smell delicious!). You get 25 wipes so they are super affordable if you wanted to buy them separately from the Pip Box as well. They are also perfect for to throw into your gym bag for after a sweaty HIIT session.

Okko Natural Foot Balm (RRP £3)

Last up is the Okko Natural Foot Balm, which kind of smells like mint and eucalyptus. It is the trial balm (kind of like a mini lip balm) and sells for £3. Being honest, this is probably my least favorite in the Pip Box just because I had no idea how to use it! A footbalm? What’s a footbalm? I did a bit of a Google and gave it a go. My feet felt soft afterwards to be fair and I do think it would be great for sandal season. What I really like about the box is that they tailor the products based on the season!

Overall, I am really satisfied with the quality of this box and I love the ethos of the company – plus, it is super cute to have a little box delivered to your door all perfectly wrapped. It is like a gift from past you to present you! You can also get it for someone as a gift, do this would be a great non-chocolate Easter present. I will definitely be subscribing to this box in the future as I think this is a really great and affordable way to try out new cruelty-free, vegan products.

Thank you ‘The Pip Box’.

Jamie x 

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VAGINAS.

I want to talk about Vaginas. I write about health, fitness and beauty. I write about mental health and well being. I even write about periods. But today, my lovely readers, today I want to talk about vaginas. First things first, let’s get it out of your system. VAGINA. V-A-G-I-N-A. Had you’re little awkward giggle like you’re still in year 7? Good, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. As someone who writes a lot about body positivity, I neglect the poor vagina and so I have decided it’s time for that to change. It’s a part of my body after all and I am sure it is part of a lot of your bodies as well and it’s time it got a bit of love. 

I want to talk about a few Vagina related topics today. 1) The stigma surrounding the vagina. 2) Unrealistic expectations and 3) Looking after your vagina. So sit back and enjoy.

vaginas

Butterfly cakes or vagina cakes?! 

The Stigma Surrounding the Vagina. 

Vagina is not a dirty word. Your vagina is just a part of your body and yet society use it in an array of derogatory ways. First up, an alternative name for a vagina is probably one of the most offensive words in the english language – so bad, I have never and will never say it. The use of that word is arguably the worst offensive you can hurl at someone and if you’re not using that the other alternative, pussy, is not a lot better. Yes, yes, I know that dick isn’t exactly great but pussy, really? The connotations are of weakness and it is commonly used to put a man down. Putting a man down by likening him to a women and implying a passivity, something that is common amongst other offensive slurs. From the off, vaginas are a term of offence you do not want to be associated with – not a good start. Let me go on. As if it wasn’t bad enough that your vagina is used as a term of offence and weakness, you better make sure that thing is hair free because heaven forbid a fully grown person has pubic hair. I mean, it’s not like the male genitalia is hairy, right? Oh wait, it is. Would I expect a man to shave for me? Nope. And yet I shave my vagina just to make sure it isn’t offensive to anyone. You have hair on your vagina for a reason. It protects your private parts and if you don’t want to shave that off then bloody don’t. Lastly, what’s the issue with masturbation? It might surprise people to hear but, just like a penis does not require a vagina for pleasure, a vagina doesn’t require a penis. In fact, studies show that it can do a lot better without them. VAGINAS ARE NOT WEAK. VAGINAS HAVE HAIR. PEOPLE WITH VAGINAS MASTURBATE.

Unrealistic expectations 

‘Popping your cherry’. Something I was terrified about for years. I was terrified about ‘losing’ my virginity, as if it was what kept me honourable and to give it away was to give away a part of me. This wasn’t even just the media that told me this, SCIENCE told me this and what a load of rubbish it was. Bloody hell, I was terrified when I lost my virginity I was going to be in crippling agony, bleed all over the place and never feel the same again. I can in fact reveal, none of the above happened – unrealistic expectation number 1. The next unrealistic expectation is that all vaginas are neat and pretty and look the same. Just like penis’s, we are all different and that is absolutely fine. Let’s be honest, it’s not like penis’s are exactly a tidy work of art so who cares if your labia are a little longer than you expected? Your vagina is not there to please other people or be aesthetic. Whatever your vagina looks like, love and respect it just as you would any other part of your body. So how so we do this?

Looking after your Vagina 

Because of all the stigma surrounding the vagina, it can be difficult to know how to look after it properly. Let me tell you, it does not include the new vag makeup that is on the market – why would you want highlighted labia anyway? Here are just a few little tips to help you look after the land down under.

First up, ditch the douch (in every sense of the word, if you know what I mean) . Your vagina is actually able to clean itself. Yes, it might not come with it’s only built in cotton candy scent but I’ve got news for you. Intravaginal hygiene products can actually put you at increased risk of infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and STDs.

Okay, now the next thing might not sound all that romantic but bear with me – order your sex life. Because what says sexy more than whipping out the evening agenda mid thrust? I know, I know. It’s actually really important for lots of reasons. First up, lubrication. You dry vagina during sex is not going to be pleasurable for one but it can sometimes cause abrasions. That agenda is sounding a lot sexier now, right? Also, if your sex life also involved anal, make sure that you are changing the condom if going from anal to vaginal sex. The condom can hold a lot of bacteria and cause some pretty nasty infections. Not exactly a turn on…

It wouldn’t be a Jamie Lee Jenkins Fitness post without a bit of fitness in there and actually, fitness can be really helpful for your vagina. Well, more specifically your pelvic floor but still… Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is absolutely crucial for anyone with a vagina. Strong pelvic muscles are crucial for bladder control and, according to Women’s Health, mind-blowing orgasms. Who knew? 

Last from me today and something that you have probably seen a lot of on social media in the form of the smear campaign, make sure you’re going for frequent check ups. It’s really important and if you are over 25 you can get a smear test. Also, if you’re worried about anything or have any questions, don’t be embarrassed. Speak up.

So there you have it. My little exploration of the land down under. Vaginas are nothing to be ashamed of and ending the stigma I hope will lead more people to feel they can seek help if it is needed without any shame or embarrassment. Ending vagina shaming could save lives. Anyway, I’ve off to the gym to do some hip thrusts, for bladder control… obviously. 

Jamie x 

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