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I used these products from Sat 23 June 2018 until sat 7 July 2018.

Company back story

Okana is New Zealand owned and operated. They focus on using minimal and quality edible ingredients to “bring your skin to life”.

Products received

Body scrub – Brown sugar and olive oil – $25.99

Sorbet cleanser – Mango apricot – $19.99

Body butter – Avocado smash – $25.99

Ph. Balancing foaming cleanser – $15.99

Mist toner – Cucumber and lettuce – $14.99

Day cream – Vegetable cream – $22.99

Night cream – Berry blend – $22.99

Remineralising facial scrub – Bamboo beads – $15.99

The packaging and labels are beautiful and are presented in a mix of plastic and glassware. The colours relate to the ingredients included in each product.

Each product is ‘edible’ (I wouldn’t say tasty but apparently it won’t do you any harm if ingested) and made from fruits but without scent.

While I love this idea, and understand that scents can produce skin irritation, the idea that they are made from such luxe fruits it would’ve been nice if they had a smell.

Just based off the look of the products I was really excited to start this review.

First impressions

The first night I decided to try out the body scrub and sorbet cleanser, I took out half golf ball amount of the body scrub and distributed it evenly around my shoulders, hips legs, butt and feet.

With most other scrubs I have used, I was expecting for the brown sugar to exfoliate and somewhat remove the olive oil and leave me feeling fresh and moisturised once I added water, but it worked into a butter like consistency and wouldn’t dissolve so I had to apply some body wash soap to remove it.

It was also the same experience with the sorbet cleanser; it felt far too thick on my skin and was difficult to remove, I used the facial scrub to remove the excess sorbet cleanser, my skin felt extremely clean after using the scrub and my own soap after to get it off.

Stepping out of the shower I started with the facial routine, first the Ph. balancing foaming cleanser which I use three/four pumps instead of the directed two, and found that it does make my skin feel clean and fresh, it would be amazing if it smelt like apple but that’s just a personal preference.

I then again used the bamboo scrub which I like, I feel it cleanses my pores well, as its quite gritty, which comes from the tiny pieces of actual bamboo inside the formulation.

The night cream is a beautiful purple colour but it quite thin for a night cream. The next morning, I followed the same facial routine with the day cream and toning mist.

The day cream also has a beautiful bright colour and then mist is light and fresh absorbing quickly into the skin.

I then also tried the avocado smash body butter which is 100% oil based, personally for me I didn’t like the feel of this body butter, it’s extremely oily, but it does have a beautiful deep green colour.

So, to recap the two-week trial is focusing on the following items that I had a good initial feeling and reaction to; I did not continue with the other three products that I didn’t like.

Ph. balancing foaming cleanser

Mist toner – cucumber and lettuce

Day cream – vegetable cream

Night cream – berry blend

Remineralising facial scrub – bamboo beads

The trial

My usual routine is cleanse, tone, moisturise each morning upon rising, then again after the gym and again before bed. In the evening, I switch the day cream for the night cream.

Starting my skin was clear, without any visible pimples white heads or emerging acne. I do have some blackheads on my nose. I have oily to combination skin with some pigmentation on my upper lip.

The range from Okana isn’t a targeted skin care as such, it’s made for ‘all skin types’, so anyone can use it.

I usually look for a skin care that makes me feel clean, like my pores are not filling up with dirt as I live in quite a dusty place, and that the products are not overly oil based due to the fact I’m in the sun a lot and this can lead to skin damage and hyperpigmentation.

During the first week, I experienced a small break-out of very small white headed pimples along my forehead, and around the corners of my mouth, as well as some larger pimples on my chin, cheeks and forehead, but this can happen to me when I change my skin care routine sometimes.

My skin feels clean and fresh after washing and especially so after the bamboo scrub which is fast becoming my favourite product. I have started applying the night cream twice 30 minutes apart in the evening as my skin drinks it up super-fast and it’s a thin formulation.

Overall thoughts

It’s a natural, beautifully packaged range of products, marketed as edible and fragrance free to avoid irritation. I love the company ethos, and branding.

I had an initial reaction resulting in some pimples throughout the trial.

It would be nice if it was a little more targeted, i.e. something for pimples, a face mask, but I understand it’s a new emerging company.

I do really love the idea of using fruit in skincare, but I think for my skin I need something a little more active.

I think it is extremely well priced also.

I always stress that everyone is different, someone else may try these products and say they loved every single one this is just my personal experience and opinion.

Here is my skin before the Okana trial (first photo) and after (second photo):

For me personally it didn’t improve my skin in anyway. I feel my skin felt and looked more oily and textured after the trial, and I would not re buy any of the products.

Again everyone is different and these are my own personal thoughts.

The post Okana 2 Week Review appeared first on Millie Elder-Holmes.

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3 week review – 9th June until 30th July

Company back story

Australian pro-biotic active skincare range. Step by step routine, 1-5 steps. “Towards glowing skin” is the mantra.

Products received

The whole range set (5 Full sized products)– 240$AUD

The products do not contain the following: sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oils, vinyls, Phthalates, phenoxyegthanol, synthetic fragrance or colours, bleaches, polypropylene glycol (PPG), DEAS (Diethanolamine (DEA) is a common wetting agent used in shampoos, skin care and cosmetics.

It creates a rich lather in shampoos and produces a nice consistency in skin care. On its own, it is harmless, but when combined with other ingredients in a shampoo, cream or lotion, it reacts to produce nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), an extremely carcinogenic compound which can easily be absorbed through the skin.

It has been linked to stomach, bladder and intestinal cancers)TEA (TEA is a fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, surfactant, and emulsifier. It’s found in soaps, hair care, lotions, make up, perfumes and sunscreens. The health concerns include cancer, organ system toxicity, allergic reactions and bioaccumulation in the skin. Animal studies also show that even at low doses applied topically, it was linked with cell mutation.

Look for it under other names like DEA and MEA on the labels, too.) https://www.annmariegianni.com/10-ingredients-definitely-dont-want-skin-care/  aluminium or alumina.

The initial look and feel of the products are well presented in a gift set style, the bottles are all plastic, which I feel lets down the high ended feel of the brand; but I love the gold detailing on the labels and they are clearly numbered 1 through 5 so you don’t have to refer back to the instruction sheet supplied. I also really liked that there was an instruction sheet as I’m hopeless with following instructions. I will add a photo of the instructions below as I think they are so helpful.

First impressions

Starting with step one; the cleanser, I noticed a familiar smell I couldn’t put my finger on, its herbal and essential, I later found out it was sage which has antibacterial properties. The cleanser for me felt nice but it didn’t foam, so I ended up using more than the recommended two pumps. I can imagine if I was wearing a lot of mascara and makeup I would need a lot of cleanser to remove my makeup, however my skin does feel clean and soft afterwards, not overly clean or tight but refreshed and restored.

Steps 2-5 are a series of hydrate, exfoliate, repair and rescue. The hydrate is extremely light weight and is easily absorbed moisturiser that sinks quickly into the skin.

The exfoliate is a resurfacing lotion your use without water, it’s not a scrub exfoliator but a chemical one, which I hadn’t used before.

Next is repair with Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. I like this. It feels tingly, you can feel it’s activity on the skin, and it’s just the right consistency.

Finally comes the Probiotic DS soothing serum. I liked this too, it made my skin feel very smooth. However, you must wear sunblock afterwards as it makes the skin photosensitive, and for me who is very forgetful with sunblock this was a downfall point for me, I saw a slight increase in my already present pigmentation above my top lip.


The products;

001 AMPERNA® Ultra Gentle Soothing Cleanser is a gel that is activated by water – it is refreshingly gentle and lathers to a fine foam. It rinses clean without leaving an irritating residue or upsetting the skin’s pH levels.

002 This lightweight cationic moisturizer contains a probiotic, ceramides, hyaluronic acid and emollients to help nourish the skin and protect it from free radical damage.  use morning and night before or after serum use.

AMPERNA® Lightweight Soothing+ Emulsion contains a groundbreaking probiotic formula, along with ceramides, hyaluronic acid and emollients to help nourish the skin and protect it from free radical damage. This lightweight cationic moisturizer is non-irritating, won’t clog pores and is packed full of antioxidants. AMPERNA®’s unique probiotic complex delivers good bacteria to your skin gently and effectively. The AMPERNA® range is suitable for all skin types and has been tested on eczema, dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, rosacea and acne prone skin.

003 10% Pro+ Resurfacing Lotion – this is a LEAVE ON MASK for overnight. It can replace your moisturizer or if you have dry skin you can use it with our Hydrate.
AMPERNA® 10% Pro+ Resurfacing Lotion contains 10% glycolic acid (AHA) and antioxidants to help calm redness and improve the skin’s texture. Hero ingredient glycolic acid helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and uneven skin tone. AMPERNA®’s unique probiotic complex delivers good bacteria to your skin gently and effectively. The AMPERNA® range is suitable for all skin types and has been tested on eczema, dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, rosacea and acne prone skin.

004 Pro+ Vitamin C Hyaluronic Serum
AMPERNA® Pro+ Vitamin C Hyaluronic Serum is a deeply hydrating formula that helps create a more youthful-looking complexion. This potent serum helps soothe the skin and target dullness, uneven skin tone, wrinkles and fine lines. AMPERNA®’s unique probiotic complex delivers good bacteria to your skin gently and effectively. The AMPERNA® range is suitable for all skin types and has been tested on eczema, dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, rosacea and acne prone skin.

005 Probiotic+ DS Soothing Serum

AMPERNA® Probiotic+ DS Soothing Serum is a deeply restorative formula that helps cool and soothe irritated skin and calm redness. The copper and zinc gluconates help to limit harmful bacterial proliferation and replenish the skin barrier. AMPERNA®’s unique probiotic complex delivers good bacteria to your skin gently and effectively. The AMPERNA® range is suitable for all skin types and has been tested on eczema, dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, rosacea and acne prone skin.

All are Non-comedogenic. No nasties, tested on real people, Australian made and owned.

The trial:

My usual routine is cleanse, tone, moisturise each morning upon rising, then again after the gym and again before bed. In the evening, so I complete the skin care routine two or three times a day depending on my schedule. I have oily to combination skin with some pigmentation on my upper lip and I am prone to breakouts.

Starting my skin was slightly spotty, with small blemishes around my chin. I worry when I try a new range because I can break out in the first week. That didn’t happen here. At no point did my skin feel “stripped” or tight.

First ten days using the products;

starting out I like the fragrance of the cleanser, it smells lightly of sage herbs, but for me is doesn’t lather enough, I like to feel like I’m really getting rid of all my mascara, dirt oils etc. when I wash and the cleanser didn’t lather at all for me, but it does make my skin feel fresh afterwards, I did end up using quite a lot of product to make sure my face was clean.

The serums and active lotions felt amazing on my skin, as you use them one right after the other it’s hard for me to tell which one is the most effective or does what, but as a they seem to work like this, and feel amazing on the skin. I was worried because they use active ingredients that I would have some tingling or reaction but I didn’t.

The first week I saw my skin clear considerably, I could notice changes after the first couple of days, my skin looked brighter and felt softer.

Second ten days using the products;


I have had no breakouts at all, which for me is out of the ordinary. My skin is continuing to improve and brighten, I have tried to be as consistent as possible with my sunscreen which is from a different brand, and have only had a slight increase in my pigmentation.

The last 5 days of this trial I feel like my skin is looking amazing, I know I have used the word bright a lot in this review but it is really bright and soft.

The range is for ‘all skin types’, so anyone can use it. The most noticeable changes are the smoother texture and brighter appearance of my face and neck.


Overall thoughts;


I loved this skincare, I loved how it made my skin look and feel, I never knew there were so many chemicals in other skin care brands, and I love that the creator of this brand is so well awear, and careful of what she puts into her skincare.

If I had to be picky and I was on a limited budget I would purchase products for steps 3-5.

I would like to add that after stopping this trial, the bottles were at least still ½ full so there is about 6 to 8 week’s worth of product in the full skincare pack, and my skin has actually gotten quite bad after stopping this regime so I have started using it again, I did initially try to start using an ultraceuticals range I had personally bought from New Zealand but I wasn’t seeing results so I switched back to AMPERNA® and my skin is actually clearing quickly.

Here are my before and afters.

AMPERNA® 3 week review was last modified: August 16th, 2018 by millie

The post AMPERNA® 3 week review appeared first on Millie Elder-Holmes.

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Company back story

Oxygen is a family run New Zealand based business that uses organic hops to help problematic skin. Oxygen Skincare products are never tested on animals and contain only natural and organic ingredients.

First impressions / products sent;

Crème cleanser – woman & teen

Skin toner – woman & teen

Botanical serum – woman

Blemish acne gel – woman & teen

Refreshing moisturiser – woman

Hydrating night cream – woman

*These products have lasted me more than 9weeks.

The packaging its simple and beautiful, I was surprised at how much product there was in the cream cleanser, toner and creams.

The cream cleanser is super thick and luxe, and had a nice botanical fragrance,  its gentle yet removes all traces of my makeup. I’m not usually inclined to use a cream cleanser as I prefer something that foams but this is very nice.

The skin toner is fresh and has a nice botanical smell also, this is advised to use during the day to help keep your skin hydrated and fresh so I will try and remember to use this accordingly.

The botanical serum foamed a little on my face before sinking into my skin, I don’t love the consistency I thought it would be a little thicker but that’s just personal preference.

The blemish gel looks interesting I will be keen to see if it dries out my skin as that’s usually how blemish control works.

Both moisturisers are amazing, the night cream is thick but also skins away into my skin quickly, same with the day cream.

I am very excited to see how these products go result wise.

Thoughts and feelings overall:

I have finally found a skin care that works, makes my skin look and feel amazing, I have gone from dull pimple prone dirty looking skin to glowing fresh and clear.
Have a look at my before and after’s below.
I’m hard on my skin, I travel a lot, I’m 30, I still experience breakouts, I have hormonal pigmentation, and I want something that actually works and covers all the bases; is ethical, smells and feels amazing, while being affordable and cruelty free…well I’ve found it in This routine.

I trialed these products every day for 8weeks, often twice a day; when waking, post gym, and before bed, and it’s my new holy grail.

I didn’t use the toner so much, and I never really fell in love with the serum but I keep using it because it works well.
I am OBSESSED with the cream cleanser and day and night cream …ohhhh my god, and pimple serum; doesn’t dry your skin at all but vanished blemishes.
Each product smells divine, and my skin drinks both the day and night creams up.
Their signature key ingredient that makes their products so magical is hops! Usually used in beer, but on skin it is an anti-inflammatory and aids in the production of collagen & elastin, so is perfect for acne, scars & rosacea.

Oxygen have been hind enough to offered my following a 15% discount just use the code “Cleaneatznz” at checkout https://oxygenskincare.co.nz

*Disclaimer, what works or is appealing to me may be the complete opposite to you, these are my personal thoughts and experiences. my reviews are in no way edited or changed by the company under review.

Oxygen Skincare 8 Week Review was last modified: June 30th, 2018 by millie

The post Oxygen Skincare 8 Week Review appeared first on Millie Elder-Holmes.

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I did an Insta-poll last week and you voted in favour of “what I eat in a day” so here we are. I actually stopped posting so much food because you guys seemed not to like it so much.

I eat instinctually, which means I try to listen to my body and give it what it needs, when I think it needs it. I’m no expert, I don’t have the most healthy way of eating but I feel, most of the time, it works for me.

I have been “fasting” or simply not eating when I wake up the past week just because I feel like it, then having a large meal between 1pm-4pm pictured above.

I do start each morning with the following;

  • “Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar” – I buy a 750ml from Amazon.
  • I take my “Renew +” collagen supplement from @orapure and until I ran out I was also taking my BePure prescribed supplements including BePure one, three and adrenal regulator. I’ve found a drop in energy and general zest since stopping.
  • I TRY to drink about 1L of water if I’m not eating breakfast.
  • I get coffee…I’ve been subbing for hot tea and fresh OJ the past days but coffee is coffee and I love it.

Breakfast options for me, if I do feel like eating are;

  • Chia soaked overnight in water, with fresh fruits and soaked nuts. (Pictured below)
  • ️A medley of fried vegetables (usually oyster mushrooms, pumpkin, onion, kimchi & chilli) on rocket salad with avocado and a lemon and olive oil dressing.
  • ️1/2 a cup of Oats with 1/2 a cup of frozen berries, one scoop of luxe protein and 1/2 a tablespoon of honey with water or with 1 tbspn of peanut butter / tahini, 1/2 a banana and cinnamon.
  • ️If I have hot oats I brown diced apple with cinnamon, then add oats and water, and finish with honey.
  • A two egg omelette without milk with vegetables and some sort of greenery.
  • Avocado on toast.
  • Broccoli fried with two eggs cracked on top.

Around 40 mins after breakfast I start trying to get my daily water in – I try to drink 2.5L a day. I also try not to drink too much water close to my meals, as this causes me to bloat and feel full for ages.

For lunch I will have a salad with fruits, nuts, veges in some sort of variation, or one of my breakfast options.

Some lunch ideas are;

  • Boiled beetroots cubed and cooked, with feta, oil and vinegar dressing, garlic powder and salt. Traditionally in Greece they include the leaves.
  • Greek salad, tomato, cucumber, olives, red onion, feta and oil.
  • Avocado on toast usually 2 pieces on brown bread or rye. (Pictured below)
  • Buddha bowl with marinated chickpeas, rocket/cabbage, roasted sweet potato, avocado, sunflower seeds, sauerkraut.

For dinner I will have a piece of protein usually fish or chicken thighs, like;

  • Salmon topped with pesto with a side of steamed broccoli and pumpkin or kumara.
  • Chicken thighs cooked in the oven or in lemon and mustard with a side salad and some black rice or quinoa.

At night depending on how snacky I feel I will eat something like popcorn or frozen berries or I’m craving my go to ice cream is Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough.

If I’m being “good” snacky I’ll eat some chia with coconut cream.

My favorite morning snack is kolouri, a round wheel of bread with sesame on top.

I usually snack 2-3 nights a week at most. Some weeks I won’t and some I’ll go ham, especially if it’s that time of the month. Just being honest.

Usually at the end of eat day I haven’t fully met my water quota for the day (sometimes I get busy and completely forget) but most days I do about 2L.

I add fresh squeezed grapefruit to my water as I hate the plain taste of water alone.

It’s winter in Greece at the moment so I’m drinking a lot of tea. My favorites are locally grown chamomile, Greek mountain tea, turmeric tea I make with fresh ground turmeric coconut oil and a little pepper, and fresh grated ginger tea with honey and lemon.

General rule of thumb for me is; 2 handfuls of greens, 3 fingers of good fats (1/4 of an avo), 4 fingers of carbs (depends on your goals) and a palm of protein. Obviously not all my meals are like that but if they have carb protein and fat I try to go by that guide. I got this information from the @Bepure meal plan I did.

My idea around food now is you should eat when your hungry. Hunger is often mistaken for thirst so I always drink water before I commit to a meal.

I have some of my favourite pantry items listed below;

  • Protein; black beans, chickpeas,frozen salmon, chicken thighs.
  • Sauces; Pesto, Mustard, canned adobo chilies mixed with yoghurt.
  • Fruit / Vege; broccoli, rocket, peas, cabbage, avocado, Lemons/grapefruit, pomegranate.
  • Good fats; coconut cream/oil/milk, avocado, nuts and seeds; sunflower seeds.
  • Carbs; pumpkin, sweet potato, Quinoa, black rice, lentil pasta, barley.
  • Extras;sauerkraut, sundried tomatoes, olives, honey.

I try to shop at local markets, and stores for the best quality and deals on produce.

I try not to buy products that are overly processed or from companies who don’t give a fuck about the planet. Ie; Coca-Cola, Nestle, Krafts, Heinz, Campbell’s etc. This does not however mean that I get preachy or give my friends who do, shit about doing so. Each to their own. I only have the power to control my life and my decisions. My boyfriend loves a cola after dinner (many Greeks think it aids digestion).

I also have a blog article titled “starting your healthy eating lifestyle”. I believe it shouldn’t be a diet but a change in the way your living (if you think your living an unhealthy life and you want to change).

I hope this was helpful please comment on things you’d like to know that I can add to this post.

What do I put into my body each day was last modified: March 12th, 2018 by vanessa

The post What do I put into my body each day appeared first on Millie Elder-Holmes.

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