New salon review – Minnelli Body & Skin care in Graanendal

Liza Schoeman is the beautiful, talented therapist who opened her own salon recently in the Graanendal Shopping Centre – Minnelli Body and Skin care.

Facebook: @Minnelli.beautysalon

I know Liza from when she was a student of mine when I lectured at Isa Carstens Academy in Stellenbosch around 2005. We also saw each other quite regularly over the years to follow while I did product house training for the Skin Renewal therapists in Johannesburg and Cape Town. She has always struck me as a sincere, caring and thorough therapist and person.

When I saw that she opened her own salon 10 minutes drive away from my house, I was very excited to go to her as I knew I was going to be in good hands!

And I wasnt disappointed. Liza has years of experience in the world of aesthetic skin care working as a therapist for the well know Skin Renewal. She was also featured as one of the skin care therapists on the KykNet programme Mooi Maak. She is a professional, polished, friendly and very thorough therapist.

Her salon is part of a hair salon in the Graanendal shopping centre, but once you are in her room it is quiet and peaceful. Her room is beautifully decorated and she made sure I was 100% comfortable throughout the treatment.

I will definitely be going to Liza regularly and I can highly recommend her!


Helene x x x



The simple truth about HYPER-PIGMENTATION.

One of the most common skin care concerns for especially women are hyperpigmentation – or some refer to it as brown marks/patches on their skin (facial area).

What are the most common causes?

  1. Age (and sun exposure) – Due to years of sun damage you see sun spots/age spots/liver spots appear on sun exposed areas as you get older.
  2. Hormones (and sun exposure) – Many women develop a type of hyperpigmentation called chloasma during pregnancy but this can actually appear any time during a woman’s life.  It generally only appears during the late 20’s and can progressively get worse.
  3. Inflammation (and sun exposure) – Some people hyperpigment as part of the healing process (inflammation) after an injury.  You often see this in acne sufferers.
  4. Other – for example certain types of medication/diseases and chemicals (like certain perfumes) can cause hyperpigmentation.

You will see that all these factors go hand in hand with SUN EXPOSURE.  So sun exposure is the COMMON DENOMINATOR.

What can you do about it?

Let’s BE REAL about this before I get into who you can see and what you can potentially do…

Hyperpigmentation in MANY cases is something that you will struggle with to a certain extent for the rest of your life.  You might be able to lighten it when doing treatments/using products, but the chances of it disappearing completely and staying away is very RARE.

So you need to learn to manage it.  What I mean by this is that you learn to:

  1. Properly protect your skin from the SUN (An effective UVB/UVA + anti-oxidant sunscreen and things like a hat when outside).
  2. You might decide to regularly go for a skin treatment that treats hyperpigmentation
  3. Use a product for hyperpigmentation together with your other skin care products
  4. Get good quality make-up if you feel you would like to camouflage it a bit during the day.

Hyperpigmentation is a condition that is understood by the medical and skin care community to an extent, and there are many products and treatments that claim to be effective.

But I once had a chat with a renowned dermatologist (from Johannesburg) who did his thesis on hyperpigmentatoin – and he told me that he believed it is something that is not yet understood 100% and there is nothing yet on the market that can claim that it will work 100%!

So my suggestion:


Chat to your dermatologist/skin care specialist about your treatment and product options – BUT BE REALISTIC IN YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

AND FINALLY… Love yourself and your skin… I can promise you that you are more aware and self-conscious about it than anyone else!  Take good care of your skin and do what you can, but don’t obsess about it… Because it IS a difficult one…and best made peace with to a certain extent…and managed well.

Love Helene xxx

PS.  I am not going to talk about product options in this blog… Will have to cover it in another blog – so much to say but I want to keep my blogs short(ish) 😉


Skincare must haves for a busy mom

You can spend 100’s of Rands on make up and still be frustrated with the end result if your canvass (your skin) isn’t in a good condition. Some lucky individuals are blessed with a genetically beautiful flawless skin, but most of us need to put in some work – and a couple of good quality products.

Below are my steps to the essential skin care – focussing on ANTI-AGEING.

Your products can look a little different if you are working towards targeting a more specific skin care concern like adult acne or hyperpigmentation for example. Check out my blogs about acne and pigmentation.

I am also just looking at the ESSENTIALS today – there are quite a bit more that you can do at home like exfoliators and masks – but more about that in another blog 😉

So here are my top skincare must haves for a busy mom!

Essential Morning routine:


Gentle Foaming Cleanser from Theravine

Make sure you cleanse your skin every morning and every evening with a MILD cleanser suitable to your PREFERENCE (gel/foam/cream/oil/liquid water based cleanser etc) and SKIN TYPE (oily/dry/combination). I currently use the Gentle Foaming Cleanser from Theravine (Available at salons or get in touch with me) retails for R298.  I also quite like the Loreal cleanser: Pure Clay detox face wash. R88

What do I look for in a cleanser? Not expensive (it really doesn’t have to be); gentle yet effective and I prefer a foamy gel in comparison to a cream.

Step 2: USE AN ANTIOXIDANT as your serum for the day.  Antioxidants have antiageing benefits as well as being super important to fight harmful free radicals during the day.  I am currently using the brilliant Phloretin CF from Skinceuticals. Thanks to my friend who was generous to give this as my 40th birthday present!

Step 3: USE A GOOD MOISTURISER on your face and neck.  I currently enjoy the Nourishing and Firming Day cream from Theravine for the DAY and the amazing moisturizer from Lamelle, Dermaheal Cellular Repair Cream.

Optional extra: Use an eye cream – check out my blog about eye creams here.

Step 4: USE A GOOD QUALITY sunblock every single day – check out my blog about sunscreen here and here.  My personal favourite is Heliocare. – either the SPF50 Gel or the SPF Tinted (this replaces my foundation on most days now because it is so quick and easy!)  Check out my blog on make-up tips for a busy mom HERE.


Essential Evening routine:


I start by cleansing off my eye make up. I love this water based cleanser from Garnier – retails for R80. Bioderma also has one, but is more expensive – retails for R230. Then I cleanse as in the morning routine.

Optional extra: Tone if necessary (not essential), sometimes necessary if you wear a lot of make up to ensure your skin is squaky.clean! You want it to be clean for your evening serum/cream to penetrate.


So this might look different than your morning serum.  At night it is a good idea to introduce anti-ageing ingredients like Vitamin A (MY FIRM FAVOURITE – it is one of the most well researched and proven anti-ageing ingredients!) or anti-ageing PEPTIDES or GROWTH FACTORS or even exfoliating ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids.  I currently use Retacnyl (on doctor prescription) but only one evening per week (Retinol is very active and the skin will initially peel upon starting usage).  On other nights I enjoy the Collagen M/P Serum from Matriskin for its amazing anti-ageing benefits due to anti-ageing peptides.

Option extra: Use an eye cream – check out my blog about eye creams here.

Step 3: USE A GOOD MOISTURISER – Same as morning routing.

Please feel free to email me your questions about your skin care routine!

Love Helene xxx

Oog rome

Ek is onlangs gevra om bietjie te skryf oor oog rome.  So baie van ons is bekommerd oor veroudering veral rondom probleem areas soos die oog area.  

Die lyntjies wat jy sien om die oe is meestal wat ons noem “expression lines” as gevolg van al die  beweging om die oe met elke gesigsuitdrukking wat ons het!  As jy lekker baie lag dan het jy dalk meer – wat mos ‘n goeie ding is! 😉

Van die lyntjies kan ook wees as gevolg van gewone veroudering – wat met ons almal gebeur.  Sommige velle – veral ‘n droer vel – wys lyntjies vinniger as byvoorbeeld ‘n olierige vel.  As jou vel baie “dehydrated” is sal die lyntjies ook meer sigbaar wees.  Dit is een van die redes hoekom ‘n goeie vogroom oggend en aand so belangrik is!

Die hoeveelheid lyntjies wat jy het hang af van hoofsaaklik 3 dinge:  Jou ouderdom, jou hoeveelheid “expressions” om die oog area en dan jou vel tipe (hoe droer hoe meer sigbaar sal die lyntjies wees).

Wanneer moet ek begin om ‘n oogroom te gebruik?

Ek stel voor jy begin sodra jy begin belangstel in ‘n meer ernstige velsorg roetine.  Vir party van ons is dit middel 20’s en vir ander van ons eers so rondom 30.  Begin maar net wanneer jy kan!  Prevention is better than cure!

Watter tipe oogroom?

Mens kry oog gels – dit is meer vir hidrasie en om dinge soos “puffiness” en oppervlakkige baie fyn lyntjies na te kyk.  Dit is nie regtig “anti-ageing” nie.

Jy sal vir jou ‘n behoorlike oog room moet aan skaf wat bedoel is om “anti-ageing” te wees.  Hoe weet ek dis anti-ageing?  Kyk na watter aktiewe bestandele daarin is en die konsentrasie van die aktiewe bestandele.

Watter bestandele is goed om in ‘n “anti-ageing” oogroom te he?

  1. “Anti-oxidants”:  Dit is byvoorbeeld Vitamin C, Vitamin E en ‘n hele klomp ander.  Antioksidante help veroudering deur “free radicals” te neutraliseer – hulle onskadelik te maak.  “Free radicals” word gevorm in die vel as gevolg van ‘n hele klomp faktore soos die son, besoedling, inflammasie ens.  “Free radicals” takel die goeie selle en goed soos collagen af in die vel en veroorsaak so veroudering.
  2. “Peptides”:  Dit is bestandele wat spesifiek gemaak word om byvoorbeeld collagen te stimuleer.
  3. “Growth Factors”:  Hierdie bestandele help tipies om collagen en elastin te stimuleer en ook “cellular renewal” in die vel te stimuleer.
  4. “Retinol”:  Dit is ‘n wonderlike “anti-ageing” bestandeel, wees net bewus dat dit net in die aand aangesit kan word, stadig begin moet word en dat die vel moontlik initieel kan reageer (rooi, droog ens.)
  5. “AHA’s” (alpha hydroxy acids):  Dit is byvoorbeeld glycolic acid wat sel vernuwing kan veroorsaak en sodoende veroudering teen veg.

So my voorstel sal wees… afhangende van jou budget… as jy dit kan bekostig, koop vir jou ‘n goeie oogroom van ‘n professionele velsorg reeks wat jy by ‘n salon of dokter koop.  Of kyk na ‘n goeie “department store/pharmacy” reeks en kyk bietjie watter aktiewe bestandele in hulle “anti-ageing” oog room is.

Dit is baie moeilik vir my om ‘n oog room uit te sonder… Al jou goeie velsorg reekse behoort ‘n goeie oogroom vir jou te bied.  Kyk maar net na die bestandele en gaan kyk bietjie na reviews op die internet… dit behoort jou baie te help met jou besluit!  Of jy kan natuurlik vir my vra om te help as jy ‘n spesifieke oor room ingedagte het 🙂

Helene x x x

Natural, safe and effective skincare for baby

A friend of mine who also had her first baby at about the same time as me, sent me one of her newly launched baby products to try on Lucas.

Vivan BEBE is created with the best natural quality ingredients to help repair, protect, restore and moisturize dry, cracked and irritated skin, containing no chemicals, toxins, parabens, mineral oil or silicones harming your baby’s skin.  It also contains essential oils of top quality and concentration. It assists barrier repair function and heals your baby’s delicate skin.

The creation of VIVAN BEBE was born out of 15 years of experience in the skin care industry both locally and abroad and a passion and interest in natural skin care.  When Wandi expected her first baby, her drive and interest in searching for natural skin care became even more serious.  She lost 5 close friends to cancer in a matter of 3 years and this fueled her interest and research into the world of harmful chemicals and toxins that we are exposed to every day through our use of body products.

This lead her to look in the market for the most natural harmless products for her own baby’s delicate skin.  She found that she wanted something even better than what was already available on the market and started developing her own Dermacare Body Balm for babies – this was not just another pampering lotion but a lotion containing the best quality ingredients at the correct concentration for baby’s skin. VIVAN BEBE has so many benefits and is great to use for baby and even mommy too, with amazing results

I have been using Vivan Bebe every night as part of our evening routine and I love the delicate smell and the fresh easily absorbed texture.  Good to know that I am not applying any harmful ingredients to my baby’s skin!

I can highly recommend this wonderful lotion to any mom as part of her baby’s skin care routine or even for the rest of the family’s skin.


You can contact Wandi Oosthuizen on

079 523 4720

Pricing for VIVAN BEBE R 299.00

Urban escape at Luna Wellness

Luna wellness is an unexpected oasis in the middle of the suburb Kenridge. When I walked through the doors leading to the wellness clinic I was immediately transported to a world of warmth, relaxation and above all expert skincare. Stephanie (owner and therapist) has 12 years medical skincare experience and I felt it the moment she started my treatment.

There’s just something about the touch of a therapist who has years of experience and expertise in her field. So needless to say, I felt like I was in good hands!

Stephanie performed the US brand ISClinical’s award-winning treatment – the Fire and Ice Peel – on me. She started with a thorough cleanse with warm steam ensuring my skin was a clean canvas to do the peel on. The “Fire” step Intensive Resurfacing Mask – a 18% Glycolic acid in a creamy base – was applied to my skin like a mask and left to work for 5 minutes. This was only slightly stingy – I actually found it very comfortable yet active (which is what I wanted!) at the same time. She did warn me that when she was going to neutralise it with water it would sting – and it did. Nothing that was impossible to handle but it was quite burny on the skin. The cinnamon in the peel also gave it a distinct smell and a warm feeling on the skin.

Next up was the Pro-heal serum jam-packed with anti-oxidants – great for anti-ageing and healing. She then applied the “Ice” part Rejuvenating Mask of the treatment which was a gel like cooling and hydrating mask. This felt fantastic after the warm “Fire” of the peel. This was massaged into my skin – soooo relaxing! After she removed the mask she finished off with the Hydra-cool serum to leave my skin fresh and moisturised. The final touches included a moisturiser and all important sunblock.

My skin felt rejuvenated and fresh, it looked even toned and glowing – making me one super happy mommy! A couple of hours afterwards my skin felt tight – which I liked – that “pulling” feeling which actually makes me feel as if I had a mini face lift! My skin felt super smooth and looked really healthy and glowy for a couple of days after.

I am very impressed with this treatment and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a more active treatment to treat ageing, pigmentation and a dull lifeless skin.

I will definitely be going back to Luna Wellness – for me it is super important to know that I am in expert hands as well as in a relaxing environment and you are guaranteed to get both at this lovely home based salon!

Read here about ISClinical.

Follow this link to find out more about LUNA Wellness.

You can get in touch with Stephanie at Luna Wellness on 072 436 2125


Skincare ingredients that matter

With the overload of skincare products on the market, choosing the right skincare product can become extremely overwhelming and confusing.  I have come to the conclusion that in reality it shouldn’t be confusing – you just need to know WHICH SKINCARE INGREDIENTS actually MATTER and can have a positive impact on your skin.  Once you know WHICH INGREDIENTS YOUR SKIN NEEDS, you can choose skincare products accordingly! (And stop wasting your money on nothing more than “HOPE IN A JAR”…)

So which ingredients matter…?  I’ll try to keep this short and to the point 🙂

  1. ANTI-OXIDANTS:  e.g Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C); Tocopherol (Vitamin E); Co-enzyme Q10; Glutathione.  Why your skin needs anti-oxidants?  To neutralise all the harmful free radicals roaming around in your skin wanting to cause damage and skin ageing.antioxidants-donating-electrons1-300x288
  2. VITAMIN A:  e.g Retinoic Acid; Retinol.  Why your skin needs Vitamin A?  This wonder vitamin is one of the most well researched anti-ageing skincare ingredients.  Originally tested on adult acne in the 60’s, they soon realised the incredible effects it had on signs of ageing e.g. superficial lines and age spots.
  3. GROWTH FACTORS:  e.g. EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor).  Why your skin needs growth factors?  These awesome little “messenger molecules” help with cellular growth and differentiation. They jump in and help to repair the skin when damaged.  As we get older and our levels of naturally occurring growth factors decline, our skin becomes less able to repair itself.  Now we can apply growth factors topically and assist the skin in repairing itself from skin damage (ageing due to mostly sun damage).

Other ingredients that also deserve a mention are:  (I will keep the info for another blog post!)


So my advise when purchasing skincare products would be to look at the ingredients and ask the right questions!

Yours in beautiful and healthy skin, Helene x x x

PS.  I like this picture showing the important skincare ingredients – have a look at the blog post here.