Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil First Impressions + Review

This is a first impressions and review of the Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil.
Basically, it’s an oil blend that you rub on your face and it’s supposed to improve the condition of your skin.

Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil
Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil

I bought it because my skin suddenly took a turn for the worse about 2 weeks ago and no matter what I do, it just looks dull and unhealthy. I thought I’d try the Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil to see if it could help my skin perk up a bit. Here’s what it looks like in the packaging:

Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil

Manuka Doctor are famous for their bee venom products, their logo is a bee with a first aid symbol on its body. Because it’s Dr. Bee, which is freakin’ adorable. Anyway, the Replenishing Facial Oil has no bee venom in, but it does contain oil from the Manuka tree (which of course is where Manuka honey comes from, and Manuka honey is apparently really good for you).

Hazel seed oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, wheatgerm oil, rosehip oil, perfume, manuka oil, evening primrose oil, cranberry seed oil, sunflower seed oil, argan oil, borage seed oil, plum seed oil, peach kernel oil, blackcurrant seed oil, raspberry seed oil, tocopheryl acetate, beta-carotene, carrot root extract, carrot seed oil, ascorbyl palmitate, citronellol, coumarin, hydroxyisohexyl-3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, butylphenyl methylpropional, limonene, linalool, alpha-isomethyl ionone.

As you can see, it’s packed full of goodness.

The scent was sort of flowery but not in-your-face-floral; I quite liked it. The bottle had a nice dropper to make application easy, and it was nice to see how much I was using.

I have normal skin that’s very slightly sensitive, sometimes oily and sometimes dry depending on a range of factors.

On my skin, it spread easily and absorbed after about 10 minutes, leaving my face feeling nice even though I couldn’t see any magical improvements to my skin. Maybe something’s happening at a microscopic level, because after a couple of hours I had to concede that my forehead was looking less washed-out and so were my cheeks. I’m going to try it for a few weeks to see what the longer term benefits are, but overall I’m fairly happy that this oil will replace the macadamia face oil I was previously using (which ran out this week), and if it does a better job than the macadamia oil, I’ll let you all know.

Costs: £16.92 from Amazon UK. That’s how much I paid for it and that’s where I got it from. It’s not available on American but you can get it at

Have you tried any Manuka Doctor products? I want to try the night cream with bee venom but I don’t know if I’m brave enough!

How moist. Spray on Moisturizer review + roundup.

Today I want to talk about spray-on lotion moisturizers, because moisturizing lotion is important.

I bought three recently, because I wanted to know whether Vaseline Spray and Go was really the best one out there, since a few others have recently been released.

spray on lotion

Up for test are:

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Rapid Moisture Spray $12 (I bought for £1.99 in a discount store)

Balance Active Formula Nourishing Spray Body Lotion (that links to UK Amazon – not available in the US) – I bought for £1.00 in a discount store.

Hydrate and Go Body Moisturiser Spray – I bought for 49p from a discount store, apparently not available on Amazon.

And they’re all being compared to my current favorite:
Vaseline Spray and Go Cocoa Radiant $6.20

First let me start by saying this whole experiment has proved how much I love the Vaseline Spray and Go in Cocoa Radiant.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Spray Lotion:
The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter spray smelled similar to my usual Vaseline one, and I did like it after it rubbed into my skin, here’s a before and after:

spray on lotion
spray on lotion

The only issue I had, which reviewers have commented on, was that the spray top didn’t work very well so it was very difficult to dispense product. Normally with spray lotion, I have a problem doing my right arm – because I have to use the hand that’s covered in lotion (from rubbing it in while I sprayed with the other hand) to spray the bottle. With the Palmers one, it was actually impossible to get the spray nozzle to press down with my lotion hand. It was too stiff and the bottle became too slippery. Aside from that, I liked it though, and if I saw it at £1.99 again, I’d buy it, but I’d never pay $12 for it!

Silky soft skin afterwards
Smelled really nice
Nice thickness
No sticky residue


Sprayer didn’t work very well and I felt like I was fighting it a lot.

Balance Active:
The Balance Active one was less pleasant to smell – it smelled like that talcum powder that middle aged women used to use when I was younger, and deodorants with names like “Mum” or “Sanex” when they all smelled the same as each other. The spray also had issues – the actual sprayer seemed to work ok, the main problem was that the lotion separated when it was sprayed, so in the middle there was a white streak, and round the outside was watery colorless stuff. It looked a bit dodgy, if I’m honest, and I wouldn’t want to share photos of that as they’d get mistaken for jizz. Having gotten past that to actually putting the product on my skin, I found that it was moderately moisturizing but a bit too watery to replace normal lotion. It wasn’t sticky, but it didn’t leave my skin feeling as silky as the Palmer’s or my usual Vaseline spray lotions. I did find because the lotion separates when sprayed that it sprayed my carpet and furniture a lot more than my actual legs, so I was spraying it into my hand to rub in, instead of directly on my body, by about day 3. Here’s a before and after on the other leg to the one I did with the Palmer’s (above):

spray on lotion
spray on lotion

It was very cheap when I bought it.
It did moisturize my skin a bit.

It left my skin feeling dry again 12 hours later.
I didn’t see anything to substantiate the “anti-ageing” claims on the bottle.
The bottle’s too bulky for gym or travel use.
The lotion separates when it’s sprayed. This makes it difficult to aim.

Hydrate and Go:
The “Hydrate and Go” one looks like a Vaseline Spray and Go dupe. But it isn’t. I would say it was the worst of the four spray lotions I have tried. Like one or two other things that boast a “non-greasy formula,” this Hydrate and Go was sticky, leaving my skin feeling like I might not want to go outside in case wasps got confused and thought I was a can of coke. It was that bad. I actually had to go shower again after using this, then use my Victoria’s Secret (non-spray) Love Spell lotion to get rid of the sticky feeling. I hate stickiness. I wouldn’t buy it again. In fact, from the dust on the lid, you can see that I never used it again after the first use, and I only kept hold of it until now so I could show you a photo for this article. I don’t have any before or after shots for this one because I just wanted it off my skin.

It didn’t cause me to catch on fire or get AIDS.

Everything else you can think of.

Vaseline Spray and Go:
I like the way it sprays, it’s a bit thinner than a normal moisturizer but it’s good for when I’m in a hurry. It’s a little bit bulky but nowhere near as bad as the Palmer’s or the Balance Active. It smells nice and is non-sticky. I only really looked for another one because it’s quite expensive to buy this in the UK compared to the prices I paid for the other three. However, I now know it’s also better than the other ones.

Smells nice
Non sticky



I will be using the Palmer’s until it’s empty (if I can get all the product out with that dodgy sprayer) because I really like it aside from the sprayer issues, then I’ll buy more of the Vaseline Spray and Go. It’s the original, and it’s the best of all the ones I tried because it just works.

Have you tried any of these? What did you think of them?

Plane Wreck

plane crash plane wreck bipolar disorder bipolar depression…And then I crashed. And now the bipolar depression is literally trying to wrestle me to the ground and bang my head against a rock. Literally.
Here’s how it happened:
Monday morning: Went to dentist for a filling. That turned into two fillings. Then, the second filling turned out to be much deeper than they expected, and it turned into a root canal. To get through this, because my body metabolizes shit really quickly, I had to have three lots of anaesthetic.
Monday evening: I felt migraine-y. Maybe it was the anaesthetic that started it all or maybe I was already crashing. I took some painkillers and went to bed early.
Tuesday morning: I still had a (much worse) migraine. I sleep with an eyemask and earplugs. This migraine was so bad that, with the curtains closed AND my eyemask on, the morning light (on a very cloudy day) was too bright and hurt my eyes.
I was supposed to be on a work placement as part of my Master’s degree. I had to email and let them know I couldn’t make it. I get migraines with aura, and that makes me partially blind and very clumsy till they go away.
I spent the morning watching quiet cartoons on Netflix. Fyi, The Swan Princess is shockingly bad (I lasted 20 mins, and I can watch Barbie movies in their entirety; the only other thing that’s ever had this effect on me was My Little Pony), but The Adventures of Sinbad (Dreamworks, 2003) was surprisingly good. I wish Michelle Pfeiffer was in more stuff, I could listen to her voice all day. I dropped two cups and a plate while trying to do simple tasks like pick up a cup.
Tuesday afternoon: I had a total meltdown that Krita (the graphic design program that’s supposed to be good for drawing comics) absolutely doesn’t work with my graphics tablet, and in fact doesn’t seem to work properly anyway. All the Youtube tutorials were for another version. I got so upset over this that I started crying, and my husband took my laptop off me and downloaded The GIMP, which is basically Photoshop but free. Then I did, like, two tutorials and felt a million times better.
Later in the afternoon: I tried to make dinner and got that miscommunication between brain and body that I always get with migraines. Long story short, I dropped 3 chicken breasts that had taken an hour to cook. Food was looking like it was going to end up being vegetarian, then I saved it with a bag of prawns I found out of the freezer. Some of them had freezer burn but it was still better than tofu. Then my PTSD decided to say hi, and made me have a panic attack because I dropped the chicken and my husband hadn’t told me that I *wasn’t* in trouble. My brain just assumed. So then I couldn’t eat my food so I ended up taking myself to bed early and missing my absolute favorite episode of Deep Space 9.
The migraine tablets had fooled my brain into thinking I no longer had a migraine, but I clearly did. I cried for over an hour and felt suicidal about dropping three pieces of chicken on the floor. WTF.
Wednesday morning: My brain lied and said it was okay. I got out the house in spite of crushing anxiety and tried to cycle but my body wouldn’t move very fast. That’s when I knew this was definitely bipolar depression – it makes you grind to a halt and actually stop moving because it affects motor functioning, unlike regular depression. I finally got to my placement for my Master’s degree, and within minutes of getting there, my brain went, “haha just kidding, I’ve still got a migraine, stab, stab, stab.” My hands weren’t working so I couldn’t type or move the mouse very quickly, and my eyes weren’t taking things in properly so copyediting Scandinavian-language science bibliographies took five times as long as it should. Just before lunch, the lady in charge said she had a meeting after lunch so I had to go home. I was pretty glad, as I thought I shouldn’t have gotten out of bed.
Wednesday afternoon: I came home, migraine aura was back and I nearly ran down three different pedestrians on my bike. They’re suicidally stupid but usually I pre-empt and avoid them. At home, I watched the second (eighth) Muppets Movie (which was great for a film which claimed at the start that it had no plot) and a 3 hour long Bollywood movie because nobody does convincing and interesting romance and compelling characters with catchy dance numbers and self-satire like Bollywood. I love it (recommendation: check out Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania on Netflix; it’s my favorite). I didn’t get to watch the end because it turned out to be dinner time. I managed to successfully cook more chicken so I got to have my Red Curry with chicken AND prawns (cos I didn’t eat it the night before, so I reheated it today). I managed to tidy the kitchen, even if the oven gloves ended up in the microwave and the kettle nearly went into the fridge (I thought that was where they lived, amirite??) I was supposed to go to a wine evening where people say “hooray you’re doing a masters degree” for three hours, but I could barely stand and couldn’t focus my eyes very well so my husband suggested I give it a miss. The rebound pain from taking so much migraine medication (it wears off, then stuff hurts that my brain usually tunes out) hit me tonight, which was unpleasant. Then I got depressed about something else. I can’t remember what it was, but it clung to me like those plants with the sticky things that stick to your clothes if you go walking across places with wild plants (<sarcasm>wow that was the smoothest metaphor I ever came up with </sarcasm>). I couldn’t take my meds until now due to the prescription fuckup so I downed some and hoped for the best.
Thursday morning: Getting out of bed was impossible. Apparently I told my husband (in my sleep) that I couldn’t get up because I had to fix the roof. I remember dreaming that my stepdad was in hospital. I hope that doesn’t come true. I got my support stockings on and managed to move my ass to the sofa downstairs. Within minutes, I felt lighter and happier than I’ve felt since the loss of Blahpolar. More meds, apparently.
Thursday afternoon: Tired. Tired. Tired. I have now missed an entire day of induction activities at the university. I saw my face in the mirror and it turns out I’ve now got co-codamol face – the haggard, sunken look with pallidness and dark circles that I always get after taking co-codamol more than once. It goes away in a few days, but who wants that when they’re starting university and feel out of place enough for being an older student?? I tried to cheer myself up by making an ice cream and I dropped the open tub of ice cream because my hands still aren’t working properly. I can’t eat flakes so I stabbed an entire bar of chocolate into the ice-cream cone and ate it. I was supposed to go to (another) wine and cheese evening with my husband tonight to welcome me to my college (my university has a college system). I still haven’t even managed to collect a university card, I feel like there’s just too much going on and I’m swimming against the ever-accelerating current of bipolar depression, which is like trying to swim with a 100lb lead weight attached to each of your limbs. And anyway, I can’t swim to start with because I never learned properly. This week is officially a plane wreck. Bring on more meds, and I’ll down them with vodka. On the plus side, I managed to do some half-decent editing (of my latest story) on the meds, so maybe they’re not going to make me too brain-dead to function? Tschah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt. Give them a week to build up in my system and I’ll be zombiefied again. At least it’s better than fixating on suicide, because the trouble is, I can break any fixation I have by doing the thing, but you can’t undo it if you kill yourself and change your mind. Cynical? Moi? It’s madness to take the same meds over and over and expect different results.

My Computer Is An Insomniac

Three days in a row now, I’ve got out of bed and found my laptop is already turned on when I get downstairs. Before 8am. It wasn’t doing this before, so I don’t think it’s been set to do it at a certain time, but why can’t it sleep through the night like everyone else’s laptops? Is it updates? Is Windows just that eager to do something? Does it need warm milk and burps?? Should I mash up some of my bipolar medication and put it in the CD drive for it?
I’ve had computers do this occasionally in the past, but three days in a row??? That’s just weird.
Anyone else found their computer on when they woke up?

Southern Fried Catfish and Hush Puppies

Has anyone tried this dish? I really want to make it, but I don’t know where to get catfish in the UK! It sounds very delicious.

And I could listen to this lady’s voice all day:

Bipolar Creativity and Medications Linkdump

I’m not trying to take over from Blah, I just needed a place to dump some stuff so I could keep track of it, because I have to see a doctor this afternoon (haha no you don’t get to see psychiatrists in the UK unless you’re acutely suicidal, or you’re Stephen Fry; this is my general practitioner who knows nothing about bipolar but still saw fit to refuse to give me my repeat prescription).

Jim Austin Computer Collection York Computer Sheds
My brain on my meds is like the screen of this TV. The TV’s still there, but the picture’s not.

The main issue is, I had a really good article on bipolar meds, but they’ve “updated” it, and now it’s not so good (it used to go through the specific pros and side effects of every bipolar medication and now it doesn’t, it just reiterates the general ones).
This one is promising though. It’s the first thing I’ve read that’s explained my intense sugar craving while I take quetiapine.
Another article I’ve read before, but was worth reading again, was about the dangers of haloperidol. From the same site, this was also interesting: does mania ALWAYS mean bipolar disorder? It could have implications for the diagnoses of some people who have only had one manic episode.
The NHS have surprisingly reviewed an old, crap article and turned it into a half-decent article about bipolar meds and their pros and cons!! As well as side-effects for non-pregnant people, they even go into specific pregnancy side-effects, which is long-overdue!

Despite the number of articles entitled “Bipolar people are more creative!!!!! ZOMG!!!!!” it’s actually pretty well established that we are. And it’s pretty well established that meds kill creativity, although some people (presumably they have Regular Creativity; see below) disagree. This article explains the dangers that come with that heightened creativity – the little snippet of info about Handel was particularly interesting.

So, y’know, I know full well that taking my meds is important. But they stop me doing any and all of the things that make me… well… me! So I was looking for an answer to whether any specific meds are better than others for not killing creativity, and whether there’s anything I can do about it to get those connections rekindled. People saying that it goes away with time should probably consider whether they’ve developed a tolerance to their meds, BTW. Unfortunately, those same connections that I make to become super-creative are the ones that can also fixate me on sharp things or make the wrong connections between things. Y’know, like those people with the Illuminati Confirmed nonsense??

“Learning to find creativity after bipolar disorder”. I strongly disagree that only the Type 1’s are super-creative with their mania (I think us type-II’s can hold our own on that front, naturally), and I think the actual definition of mania is when the creativity stops making any sense and becomes a disorganised pile of dogshyte to everyone but you; but I’m not the sort of person to completely disregard something just because some of it doesn’t reflect my own world-view (unless you’re hating on Churchill being on a new banknote, like some people on my husband’s Facebook – if you hate Churchill, fuck you; for context, this would be as bad as Americans disregarding the value of Abraham Lincoln), so this article still had some mileage for me because one of my issues with my Seroquel is it stops me getting ideas, holding onto them, and turning them into workable projects, which I have recently been told is my biggest strength, so… Seroquel has failed this city (Arrow quote).

This person’s take on the bipolar/creativity question (TW in that link: suicide) also doesn’t quite resonate for me, I think they’re being disparaging of a real problem that some of us face. But (and here I’m going to offend some people) then I think there’s a difference between “regular creativity” – creating things such as an article about some photos you took, which most people can do, and (sorry to burst people’s bubbles) doesn’t actually take that much creativity, and “super-creativity” – an example of something so superbly creative would be Douglas Adams’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” which is clearly a lot more creative than Nora Roberts’s latest romance. I suppose a better name for “super-creativity” would be “inventiveness” and, while Regular Creativity can undisputably still be accessed when I’m on bipolar meds, it’s that Inventiveness that I lose. I’m using these as proper nouns here (with capital letters), because I don’t think the way I defined these words in this paragraph are exactly the commonly held meanings for these words.

So how do I get that Inventiveness back after going back on my meds? This article explains the problem quite well. For me, I lose the ability to make connections between things, and it makes my stories more mundane and lacking in sparkle, and it also takes me a whole lot longer to write, because the thoughts aren’t flowing right, and I run into writer’s block, because I can’t connect where I am with where I want to be. The resolution, to “work harder” to be creative, echoed by this article (sidenote, I wish articles would stop claiming Marilyn had bipolar; she clearly had BORDERLINE) might work to regain Regular Creativity – being able to blog on meds, for example, but it isn’t something I can do, though, because my Inventive creativity doesn’t actually come out if I push at it. It’s spontaneous, uncontrolled, and if I try to make it happen, it comes out all wrong, and anyway, part of the problem is that I judge and second guess myself too much when I’m on meds, so even if the ideas came, I wouldn’t be able to believe in them enough to make them into working projects.

And, offensive dumbass of the year nomination goes to this Scientific American post who says (direct quote): “This raises the question of why the genes of such devastating brain dysfunctions should persist in the human gene pool.” Yep. Someone actually said that. Until then, the article had kinda been interesting (although they had already made it clear they didn’t understand the difference between bipolar, medication, and illegal drug taking). I don’t care if they’re playing devil’s advocate to make the argument that we are permitted to exist because of our creativity. Just….. no.

I am posting this because I have researched all this before, and I will ask this same question over and over again and revisit it until I have a definitive answer, but that’s as far as I got today, and now I have to go convince my GP that I’m not being noncompliant, I’m actually taking my meds exactly how the private psychiatrist told me to. I think I’ll take my psych report, to prove it, since they never seem to read the one written by the private psychiatrist. I just don’t want to be re-referred to the Mental Health system because they’ll start the assessment process all over again and I don’t have the mental resources to dredge all the shit up again, let alone the time, given that I start a Master’s degree next week.