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Microneedling vs. Chemical Peels: What You Need to Know

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The media industry has glamourised certain perceptions of beauty over time, inducing insecurity in some, and a simple obsession with youthfulness in others. Truth be told, we're all at least mildly plagued with looking more youthful over time. Another certitude is that, sometimes, anti-ageing and even skin tone creams just don't work as effectively as they should. Luckily, you don't have to resort to surgery to achieve younger, more youthful skin. There is a wide range of non-surgical treatments available that have proven results. Today, we discuss two of them: microneedling and chemical peels. Keep reading for everything you need to know regarding the techniques, benefits and results of these non-invasive treatments.

 

Microneedling (Collagen Induction Therapy)

Firstly, microneedling is not to be confused with microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion involves the use of a mechanical device to exfoliate the skin's surface with an ablative material, such as sodium bicarbonate crystals, in order to scrub off and remove dead and dull skin cells. While exfoliating, it also concurrently uses suction to stimulate circulation. The result is one of brighter, smoother skin. Microneedling, on the other hand, provides more extensive benefits, as it penetrates the epidermis (surface layer) of the skin. This is done by piercing pinprick needles into the skin, causing microscopic punctures in the skin's outer layer in order to induce and stimulate the body's collagen and elastin production during the wound-healing process. The process is undergone after numbing cream is applied to the skin surface as the procedure can be quite uncomfortable, and sometimes even mildly painful, for some. There is little to no down-time after the treatment is complete.

Microneedling targets:

  • age spots (ie. sun spots)
  • acne scars
  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • large pores
  • other types of scars
  • reduced skin elasticity
  • uneven skin tone

By activating the wound-healing process, microneedling:

  • promotes the healing of scars and minor wounds
  • promotes the healing of stretch marks
  • has anti-ageing benefits
  • results in a brighter and more even complexion

After-care

It is imperative to follow the instructions of the skin therapist or dermatologist post-treatment. Avoid applying any skincare products or makeup to the area concerned for 48 hours after the procedure, providing time for the micro-channels of the skin to seal. Wear a hat when exposed to the sun. You may experience some light peeling, similar to that of sunburnt skin, a few days after your microneedling session, but nothing that should throw you off your normal routine.

 

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing treatment that uses a solution of a range of chemicals which are applied to the skin. The chemicals cause the skin to peel, removing dry, dull debris to reveal the smoother, softer skin underneath the surface. After the top layer of the skin peels, an increased production of collagen and hyaluronic acid is activated, both of which have anti-ageing benefits. Ensure that you begin cleansing and moisturising the skin about two to three weeks before the peel. It is important to know which peel is right for your skincare needs and the results you desire - ensure that you consult your therapist beforehand.

With an estimate of a mere three treatments, peels:

  • reduce the look of fine lines
  • pigmentation
  • reduce the look of acne or breakouts
  • smoothe skin texture
  • reduce the look of blemishes

After-care

You may experience tingling or burning, itching, dryness, redness or tightness after the treatment, as well as the onslaught of the peeling process. Discomfort as a result of the peel should diminish within three to seven days, depending on the strength of the peel. Stronger peels may take up to fourteen days before discomfort wears off. Proper self-care after a peel can help minimize sensations or side-effects of a peel.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Wash your face with cool water.
  • Hydrate and moisturise with a medium-to-thick moisturiser and drink lots of water.
  • Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF30.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Avoid strenuous workouts, saunas and steam rooms (increased blood circulation to the face can worsen tingling/burning sensations) - avoid these before your treatment, too!
  • Avoid over-exfoliating, and wait until you really feel like your skin can handle it. Peels are high-level exfoliants, so avoid exfoliating for at least three to four days after the treatment.

 

Now that you're all clued up on the various differences and benefits of both treatments, have a look at our deals below and take that leap of faith toward smoother, younger looking skin!

 

Deals for Cape Town:

Jentl Health and Skincare - facial and RegimA Initiation peel

Helderberg Skin, Body and Beauty - microneedling

Advanced Beauty Clinic - facial and RegimA Initiation peel

Charisma Aesthetic and Laser Clinic - microneedling

Inovativ Aesthetics - face peel plus skin tightening session

Deals for Gauteng:

SlimmingLab and Aesthetics - microneedling

Deals for Durban:

Studio 111 - facial and microneedling

 

Author: Jamy-Lee Mansfield

Please note: all deals were accurate at the time of publication.

The Ultimate Cape Town Bucket List 2019

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It's no secret that the Mother City has dozens of beguiling activities to instill excitement in adrenaline junkies, sun worshippers and everyone in between. But when you tire of hiking up Lion's Head, or the weather's no good for trekking to the Cape Winelands to indulge in the fruits of the vine, what else is left to do? No clue? We've got ten! Now that we've got your attention, keep reading for some uber cool pursuits to immerse yourself in for what's left of 2019.

 

1. Get your chef on with a Lindt Master Chocolatier course

You may not have the bucks to travel to France, but Lindt brings the delectable chocolate delight to you with a guided Lindt souffle-making course. A qualified Master Chocolatier will take you through the entire process as you don a classic Master Chocolatier uniform. Wait, it gets better - you get to sink your teeth into your fluffy creation afterwards. Who ever said you can't have your cake and eat it too? Ready. Set. Chef!

Check out this Lindt souffle-making class for two.

 

2. Go shark cage diving in Gaansbaai

If you're after the ultimate adrenaline rush, then this one's for you. It's time to face the great creatures of the sea, and you don't need a diving licence to do so. Catering to both divers and non-divers alike, this experience is sure to get your heart racing, with qualified and professional divers leading the way. Great white sharks are best seen in the cooler months, where colder water temperatures make this a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

View our shark cage diving deal here.

 

3. Go on a romantic pre-sunset champagne cruise at the V&A Waterfront

If you're looking to do something special with your significant other, this cruise is both romantic and just in time for supper. Sail off on a catamaran as you sip on some bubbly and admire the stunning Golden Hour and views of Table Mountain. It gets you back to the waterfront in time to drink in the sunset and tuck into a sumptuous dinner.

Have a look at this champagne cruise for two with Waterfront Charters.

 

4. Golfing at The River Club

Indulge in a rewarding and unlimited day of golf with your friends at The River Club. This esteemed golf course boasts a 9-hole, par 27 mashie course and a 90-bay driving range for fun or practice. Being the only driving range in the city that offers sheltered bays from unpredictable weather conditions, you don't have to be disheartened by a bit of precipitation in the winter months. They also have an onsite restaurant, The Slug & Lettuce, which always allows for some seriously crowd-pleasing meals.

Take a sneak peek at this awesome deal for you and 3 friends.

 

5. Kayaking in Hout Bay

Considered one of Cape Town's top attractions, this activity requires no experience and all the sense of adventure. Kayaking is perfect for both young and old, with kids as young as seven being able to join in on the fun. You might even get the opportunity to see some marine life, such as dolphins, penguins and whales. Go on and revel in scenic views of Hout Bay as you tick this one off your bucket list!

Get the 2-hour guided kayaking tour deal.

 

6. Snorkel with the seals

Whether you're just visiting Cape Town or you're a local, snorkelling with these friendly creatures of the sea is a must-do. Although the Atlantic Ocean's water temperatures are pretty cold, this experience is brilliant and for the taking in Hout Bay. Plus, everything you need is provided, including a wetsuit, life jacket and snorkel.

View the deal here.

 

7. Enjoy a scenic 2-hour coastal drive on a Harley Davidson

With this trip taking off in Camps Bay, winding through to Hout Bay and finishing off with a pitstop along Chapman's Peak Drive, you get to drink in the awe-inspiring views of the Mother City as you cruise along the magnificent coastline. You've got to admit, there is nothing quite like venturing off onto the open road while the wind breathes through your hair and everything behind you becomes a blur. Grab this opportunity to snap a few pictures for your social handles and cherish the memory of a day well spent.

View the Harley Davidson coastal tour.

 

8. Take a leap of faith and paraglide off Signal Hill or Lion's Head

We all need to step out of our comfort zone every now and then - and, for some, the thrill of an adrenaline rush is more than enough reason to try something new. Regardless of your departure point, you're guaranteed a mind-blowing bird's eye view of the city, all while a highly qualified professional ensures your safety so you can enjoy the glide.

Paraglide with Tom's Instructional Tandems.

Enjoy the view from above with Skywings Paragliding.

 

9. Go on a romantic horseback beach outride with your loved one

If you're looking to spruce up the romance, this is an excellent way to do so. Breathe in the salty sea breeze and soak in views of stunning unspoiled beach in the Kleinmond area as you and your partner traverse on horseback along the white sand, with the statuesque Table Mountain as your backdrop. This experience is also perfect for family or friends, with children as young as six being able to partake. Indulge in ninety minutes of remarkable scenery with this horse ride for something different.

90-minute beach horseback outride for two.

 

10. Embark on a fishing charter with friends

"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions of hope." - John Buchan

Aptly described, it doesn't matter whether you catch a fish, but only that you attempt to, in order to be closer to nature. So, round up a couple of your friends or family and embark on a fishing charter that grants you the opportunity to potentially catch either yellowtail, snoek, Cape salmon (Geelbek), Red Roman, Cape bream and/or Atlantic bonito. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy this adventure and get utterly hooked.

Fishing charter for 2 people, inclusive of all the essentials.

 

Author: Jamy-Lee Mansfield

Cover image courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Please note: all deals were accurate and available at time of publication.

Clarens: The Jewel of the Free State

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"The Free State landscape gladdens my heart, no matter what my mood. When I am here I feel that nothing can shut me in; that my thoughts can roam as free as the horizons." - Nelson Mandela

With its gold-stained mountains, endless open fields, winding rivers, and peculiar little spots, Clarens is nothing short of a sanctuary for those requiring a peaceful escape from their hectic daily lifestyles. Widely considered an artist's town due to its 20 art galleries, Clarens is culturally rich and a great basis from which to explore breathtaking scenery on foot. Whether you're a water sports enthusiast or an avid hiker, or simply get a kick out of discovering hideaway spots for purchasing quirky bric-a-brac, Clarens fails to disappoint. If you're still not convinced on what Clarens has to offer, here's why we think you should head out to this haven:

1. Go horse riding or clay pidgeon shooting at Bokpoort Cowboy Ranch:

Established in 1865, Bokpoort is a family farm which is run by the Roos family, with Christo being the fourth descendant. Bokspoort offers many attractive pursuits, one of which being horse riding. Explore the Golden Gate Highlands, a major natural attraction in Clarens, on horse back. You can opt for one of many packages offered by Bokspoort, whether it be a two hour sundowner ride, or an entire day out, which includes a light meal. They also have a shooting range with various options for a fun activity. These vary, from target shooting, to clay pidgeon shooting and archery. If you're not the greatest aimer, perhaps you might consider the mountain bike, hiking and running trails. Bokspoort also hosts a highly anticipated annual family-friendly shooting competition. Have a look at this video for a better idea of what's in store.

For more information, have a look at their website.

2. Visit the Art and Wine Gallery on Main:

Whether you're an ardent art or wine enthusiast, Art and Wine ensures that you don't have to choose. Founded by Anton Grobbelaar, the gallery exhibits a wide range of the finest wines and most exquisite artworks from established artists. Occupying an impressive 439 square meters with panoramic mountain views and situated in the Main street of Clarens, Art and Wine houses works by the likes of Gregoire Boonzaier, Aviva Maree, J.H. Pierneef and Conrad Theys, ceramics by Laura Du Toit, sculpture by Louis Chanu and Jean Doyle, and glass by David Reade and Shirley Cloete, amongst many others. Coupled with some of the best wines that the Cape has to offer, what is not to love?

For more on Art and Wine, view their website.

3. Learn about the culture of the South Sotho at the Basotho Cultural Village:

Nestled in the heart of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Basotho Cultural Village is the embodiment of a primitive and simple life. Here, the life of the South Sotho is encapsulated by means of the architecture and lifestyle, carried through from the early sixteenth century through to the rich and colourful present. Experience a guided tour by stepping into the "khotla," the gathering place of men. An offering of hospitality is made with the giving of Sotho beer and a game of "marabaraba." Consult the traditional healer and drink in his knowledge, then step into the home of one of the three wives as they grind and sift maize and beer. Listen to fables and folklore, and observe the dramatic and vibrant interior and exterior decorations of the huts, created by the Basotho women.

Read further here.

4. Quench your thirst and learn the art of distillery at Clarens Brewery:

Situated in the foothills of the Maluthi Mountains, Clarens Brewery is one of the country's first Brew-Pub, Cidery and Distillery. Their brewer, Stephan Meyer, is a keen beer drinker and, upon a visit to the UK in the early '90s, came across a mind-blowing diversity of brews and could not wait to start brewing his own beer shortly thereafter. The rest is history. From the biscuity and malty aroma of the Blonde Ale to the subtle chocolate aroma of the stout, there is a beer for everyone. If beer is too queer for you, rest assured, Clarens Brewery offers gin and cider tastings too. They also have a delicious food menu, should you get hungry.

Find out more about Clarens Brewery here.

5. Get your adrenalin rush with Clarens Xtreme:

If you're an extremist or simply just love a thrilling adventure, consider paying Clarens Xtreme a visit. They offer a wide variety of activites, ranging from white water rafting, paintballing, abseiling, quad biking and wall climbing, amongst many others! If you want to test your ability and enjoy activites which require quick and strategic thinking, all the while having an absolute blast of a time, then look no further. They've got your covered! As their motto goes, "work hard, play harder." Visit their website for more on what they offer.

6. Satisfy those hunger pangs at one of these highly recommended restaurants:

Gosto Portuguese restaurant: with fantastic service, amazing food, a cosy fireplace for those colder evenings and good background music, Gosto offers an all-round welcoming experience for diners.

Vito's Ristorante: for a scrumptious Italian dinner with mountain views, Vito's is the place to be. Although it appears as a fish and chips cafe on the exterior, a rustic and ambient atmosphere await you as you enter. The variety of sauces available to accompany your meal is especially revered, and the restaurant boasts the Certiicate of Excellence 2018 award. They are also vegetarian-friendly and have a number of vegan dishes on their menu.

Friends: sporting a fireplace, a big screen for those game nights and a live band on select others, Friends is affordable and their meal sizes generous. They are well-known for their burgers and a popular spot for the locals. With a typical pub vibe, this is where locals go to have a good time in the evenings.

Clementines: for a more fine dining experience, head to Clementines, the most exclusive restaurant and bar in Clarens. With upmarket country dining and unique ambience, Clementines is enchanting and will make you want to return again. It also has gift shops nearby, should you want to explore whilst waiting on your food. Their service is excellent, and their oxtail and camembert steaks come highly recommended. Sporting the Certificate of Excellence Award for 2015-2018, it is no wonder that Clementines is the number one diner in Clarens.

Highland Coffee Roastery: do yourself a favour and visit this coffee roastery, shop and espresso bar. With their micro-roastery roasting 100% Arabica coffee beans to perfection, sip and mull over a freshly ground cuppa as you admire the phenomenal view of Mount Horeb. Read more here.

 

With so much to choose from, you will never run out of things to see or do. Clarens truly is the jewel of the Free State, with it's astounding awe-inspiring natural beauty and a suprisingly long list of things to keep you busy, there is something for everyone!

 

View these incredible Clarens accommodation deals below:

Two night self-catering stay for two at Gypsy Guest House.

Two night stay for two at Patcham Place.

 

Please note: all deals were accurate and available at time of publication.

Author: Jamy-Lee Mansfield

The Top 6 Reasons to Visit Mozambique in 2019

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From lazing on the palm-fringed beaches of the Archipelago to partying in the cosmopolitan city of Maputo, Mozambique has a diverse range of activities to induce wanderlust in enthusiastic travellers. Right on the brink of the birth of its international tourism status, 2019 is the year that it beckons you to shimmy to its breathtaking shores and pay visit to the magic that it offers. Still not convinced? Here are the top six reasons why we think you should visit Mozambique in 2019.

1. Go sailing in Inhambane

Imhambane is well-known for its sailing bays being dotted with an array of dhows. These dhows are the core of life in Inhambane, and thus play a fundamental role in the daily life of locals here. Take a day out of your trip and spend it fishing and cruising the azure waters as you slurp on coconut juice, or race other dhows for fun. Inhambane has unspoilt beaches and some of the oldest coastal settlements. For an affordable time-out with your family or friends in this beautiful and balmy location, take a look at this current deal on offer: Montanha Valley Lodge

Read more on what to do in Inhambane here.

2. Visit Ponta Do Ouro

This beachy destination is a popular vacation spot for those seeking a mixture of relaxation and exciting things to do. If relaxing on the beach with a book in hand is not your cup of tea, consider opting for a swim with some dolphins instead. Children old enough to swim can experience this magical moment too! For the adventure seekers, quad bike along the coastline from the southern tip of O Lar do Ouro, or kitesurf at Ponta Do Ouro bay. Capture beautiful memories with gorgeous flora and fauna, as well as an array of birdlife, at the tropical gardens of Nstuty Lodge, and end off the day of activity with a sundowner at Beach Bar. For exciting packages in Ponta Do Ouro, view what's currently on our site below, courtesy of Phaphalati Resorts:

Phaphalati Resorts Deal 1

Phaphalati Resorts Deal 2

See more Ponta Do Ouro attractions here.

3. Snorkel in the lagoons or go wind-surfing in Xai Xai

Neighbouring the capital city of Maputo is the stunning Xai Xai. Dressed in white sandy beaches, fresh-water lakes and snorkel-friendly lagoons, this dreamy heaven-on-earth location is also well-known for its wide, fertile plain where rice is grown. Formerly known as Joäo Belo, it developed as an industrial and agricultural centre and port, a service provider, banking and a district hospital. Now, Xai Xai embraces you with an invitingly warm local culture. It is well-known for its colourful markets selling cashew nuts, fresh seafood, and hand-crafted treasure troves. Walk along the glittering Praia do Xai-Xai beach and pop into a beach bar for a cocktail, go wind-surfing or drift about in a kayak and admire the birdlife flying along the shore. For a great deal on accommodation in Xai Xai, see here.

Read more about what to do in Xai Xai here.

4. Scuba dive and snorkel in the Archipelago

Dubbed one of the best places in Africa for diving and snorkelling, the archipelago offers the ultimate opportunity to discover the most fascinating creatures of the deep sea. The archipelago comprises of five main islands, namely, Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue. It's a conserved area that boasts unspoilt coral reefs, dolphins, mantas, whale sharks, turtles, and over two thousand species of fish - so, you can expect a world-class snorkelling or diving experience - whatever tickles your fancy.

Read more.

5. It's got seafood straight from the gods, and delicious brews

Get your taste buds in a twist with the most mouth-watering seafood. Mozambican cuisine sports divine seafood and flavoursome spices deriving from Portugal, among the other myriad of cultures which have influenced its heritage. With abundant fishing grounds and long stretches of shoreline, the shellfish is very cheap and form part of the local diet. Indulge in a peri-peri prawn curry, or a seafood stew known as Matata, for a more authentic dish - this is one of the few Mozambican dishes without Portuguese influence. Wash it down with a cold, dark lager. Some of the best Mozambican beer arrived after the culmination of the war, and was known as Impala, presented in big brown bottles. While it is now long gone, the current favourites are 2M and Laurentina Preto. Drink and be merry as you savour the delicacies of the Mozambican cuisine. If you're an extremist, we recommend that you have a go at Tipo Tinto, Mozambique's very own national rum. Mixed with a berry-flavoured soda, it is refreshing and flavoursome. But, be careful with this 'silent killer' - it's known to induce a bad hangover!

For more on Mozambican cuisine, read here.

6. Visit the urban capital of Mozambique - Maputo

Thanks to the South African gold rush, Maputo has prospered and developed a uniquely cosmopolitan style. Crumbling ruins and distinct modernity are blended together in a charismatic way, offering a whirlwind of cultural heritage and bustling nightlife. Enjoy long strolls while exploring this richly influenced city and admire the 18th century Portuguese fort stand and the mind-blowing Iron House; grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant - the grilled peri-peri chicken is world-renowned; finally, paint the town red, dance to marrabenta music and drink in the Afro-Latino vibe. Well, what are you waiting for?

Read more about Maputo.

Now that you have more ideas to fill your itinerary with, you can plan an incredible getaway to Mozambique with endless fun activities and interesting things to see and do! Visit Mozambique in 2019 and make memories with your loved ones while getting your very own slice of island adventure.

 

Please note: all deals were accurate and available at time of publication.

 

Author: Jamy-Lee Mansfield

Experience the tip of Africa

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No trip to the Western Cape is complete without a visit to the geographic southern tip of Africa, and the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.

Cape Agulhas is located in the Overberg region, 170 kilometres from Cape Town. It was named by Portuguese navigators in 1500 and they called it "Cabo das Agulhas" (meaning "Cape of Needles") after realising the direction of magnetic north (and therefore the compass needle) coincided with true north in the region. 

What can I get up to?

The topography consists of a curving coastline with rocky and sand beaches. The waters of the Agulhas Bank are quite shallow and have some of the best fishing in South Africa. One of the more iconic features is the opportunity to stand with one foot in the Indian Ocean and the other in the Atlantic Ocean at the same time.

Don’t let that distract you from the rest of the area though, it’s a nature lover’s dream! Agulhas National Park boasts around 2 000 species of indigenous plants in its 20 000 hectare area, and birdwatching is also recommended.

The area also lends itself to whale watching in season (July to early December) and there is plenty for the adventurous to do as well.

Activities for the adventurous

Surrounding areas like Struisbaai offer water sports like canoeing, surfing, diving and fishing. If you’re a lover of land you can also experience some spectacular views while hiking or mountain biking.

Maritime history ahoy!

If you want to soak up some local history then you have to visit the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse (South Africa’s second oldest lighthouse, dating back to 1849) and check out the museum.

The lighthouse came about in response to the number of shipwrecks occurring off the coast. The rocky coastline has claimed around 140 ships as a result of strong ocean currents, and gale force winds generating waves that can reach up to 30m high. In fact, this dangerous section of the Southern coast is referred to as the "graveyard of the ships".

You can visit one of these, a Japanese shipwreck, just past the southernmost point.

The Meisho Maru No. 38 was a small Japanese fishing vessel that ran aground in stormy waters in 1982 (all onboard survived), and today has become a bit of a local tourist attraction.

If this history piques your interest then you should stop by the Bredasdorp Museum, a maritime museum whose primary theme is "shipwrecks along the dangerous Southern Cape coast and their influence on the development of the Strandveld".

Food and drink galore

If you’d rather spend your time relaxing with a glass of wine and a full belly, there are plenty of delicious options available.

Seafood is a must in this area and some favourites include Struisbaai Sea shack, L'Agulhas Seafoods and Seagulls Pub and Grill for some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in the province.

If you’re all about quality wine, you can visit Elim Wine Route, the southernmost wine route in Africa, featuring a few wine estates and restaurants.

Check out these cool accommodation deals:

Enjoy a quiet escape to L’Agulhas with a relaxing stay at Agulhas Heights for a family of 4.

A peaceful and rustic 2 night stay for 2 in Agulhas National Park at Pebble Bay Bed and Breakfast.

Please note: All deals were accurate and available at time of publication.

 

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