Does Shaving Give You 'Strawberry Skin'? Here's How to Get Rid of It for Good

Woman shaving her legWoman shaving her leg

I may not have left the house in six months, but you can bet your bottom dollar I've still been fake tanning most weeks.

Apart from having nothing better to do with my time in 2020, gliding a layer of fake tan on has a profound effect on my mood. I'd go as far to say that fake tan is the unsung hero of this year (at least, to me it is).

But there was one thing that kept getting in the way of my flawless, can't-go-anywhere-to-show-it-off tan...

Strawberry legs.

Sorry, What the Heck Are Strawberry Legs?

Anyone who experiences strawberry legs will likely know exactly what I'm talking about, but just in case you don't, I asked Bondi dermatologist Dr Phil Tong to explain.

"Strawberry skin, or more commonly strawberry legs, refers to the appearance of black spots that resemble the spots seen on the surface of a strawberry," Dr Tong told us on the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast.

"It occurs due to the hair follicles or enlarged pores containing trapped oil, dead skin and bacteria - like the blackheads on the nose, it's the ‘oxidation’ process or exposure to air which causes these spots to darken."

So, where does fake tanning enter the picture?

Well, according to Dr Tong, shaving is a contributory factor to strawberry legs - and what do we often do right after shaving? Yep, we apply fake tan, which can then get trapped in these pores/follicles.

In case you're wondering whether razor rash is the same thing, it's not. Razor rash is a separate concern, although it can lead to strawberry skin. I think I have a mixture of both.

"Razor rash is caused by trauma to the skin from the razor itself (often an old one), or by the products used when shaving," Dr Tong added.

"It's an irritant reaction which generally subsides over time."

You can learn more about strawberry skin in this episode of the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast below!

How to Get Rid of Strawberry Legs and Strawberry Skin.

Whether it's razor rash or strawberry skin, Dr Tong suggests using shaving cream and regularly changing your razors if possible. As for other remedies, Dr Tong offered some more solutions if the shaving cream isn't cutting it.

"This is one of the only areas of the skin that I recommend the use of an exfoliant, which can be followed by a moisturiser. Laser hair removal, despite requiring multiple sessions, can be effective in removing leg hair, and is preferable over hot waxing or the use of epilators."

Once I'd digested this information, I tried to think of the last time I'd changed the head on my razor. As the months ticked over in my head, I realised I'd been using the same razor head for over a year.

Yes, over a year. And here I was wondering why I was experiencing this strawberry skin situation.

So, I decided to completely overhaul my approach to shaving, starting with a new razor.

I Found the Best Reusable Razor in Australia.

Nara ShaveNara Shave

Instead of just swapping out my razor head, I decided to try a new brand called Nära Shave.

Not only do these non-plastic razors look bougie AF (and kind of old school cool) on your shower ledge, but they're also more sustainable, and damn did I experience the closest leg shave of my life.

I'd noticed over a few months that the strawberry legs situation was worsening (likely due to the old razor which we shall now never speak of again), and despite exfoliating and moisturising, I couldn't shift it.

That's when the Nära Shaving Starter Kit - Matte Gold swooped in and saved the day.

Nara ShaveNara Shave

In fairness, I think it was both the razor and the shaving oil that contributed to the tone and texture of my skin returning to normal and the lumps and bumps disappearing, as well as regular exfoliation and moisturising daily.

Honestly, be prepared to have the smoothest legs you've ever had, because this single blade razor gets as close to the skin as possible.

How to Avoid Shaving Cuts.

In complete and utter transparency, I've nicked my knees a few times since switching to this razor, but not bad enough that it's put me off (the smooth shave is too hard to resist).

The key is not to let the razor sense your fear.

And as we've learnt, don't forget to regularly change the blade - Nära Shave packs come with a little blade bank so you can safely dispose of sharps.

Nara ShaveNara Shave

To avoid nicks and cuts, start with a generous amount of shaving cream or shave oil to help the razor move seamlessly and reduce skin irritation. Hold it at a 30-degree angle, and using short strokes, glide the blade to remove the hair. You've gotta take care around your joints though.

After implementing this new shaving routine, I'm happy to report that not only have the dots and bumps on my legs almost completely subsided, but my fake tanned legs are ready to be paraded around Melbourne as soon as we're allowed out.

Want more great body care product recommendations? Check out these stories from our Adore Beauty staff below!


Want to learn more? Here's the transcript of our Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast episode on strawberry skin.

Dermatologist Dr Phil Tong gives us the lowdown on 'strawberry skin' and Dietitian, Millie Padula chats with us about all things superfoods.

Beauty IQ Uncensored Episode 50 Transcript - 'A Dietitian Spills The Tea On Superfoods'

 

Hannah Furst:
Welcome everybody to Beauty IQ, the podcast.

Joanna Flemming:
I'm your host, Joanna Flemming.

Hannah Furst:
And I am your cohost, Hannah Furst.

Joanna Flemming:
There is something important for us to discuss today.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Flemming:
That is that it's our one year podcast anniversary. Happy anniversary, Hannah.

Hannah Furst:
Life is going way too quickly. I can't deal.

Joanna Flemming:
I know. Can you believe that was a year ago?

Hannah Furst:
What's changed in your life in a year, Joe?

Joanna Flemming:
Nothing, which is really funny.

Hannah Furst:
Except that we've lived through a pandemic, so something's happened.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Yep.

Hannah Furst:
I think I said to someone the other day, if you told me a year ago that I would have an 8:00 p.m. curfew, I would have laughed in your face.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. I know none of us saw this coming, do we?

Hannah Furst:
No, we sure didn't.

Joanna Flemming:
But to celebrate our one year anniversary, we do have an Instagram giveaway. If you are listening to this episode on its release, you can still go and enter that on Instagram. But if you're listening to this later, that's going to be over and done with. You've got to get onto it quickly.

Hannah Furst:
It's really weird because the one year anniversary is also our anniversary of one million downloads in September.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Sorry. We've had a total of one million downloads.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. Yeah. Not per month.

Hannah Furst:
No.

Joanna Flemming:
I just want to clarify for all of the brands that want to sponsor us.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. We're working towards a million a month.

Joanna Flemming:
We'll get there.

Hannah Furst:
The listeners have just been our biggest supporters and I can't tell you how... Do you know what really strikes me as... Like with our listeners, the ones that I speak to on Instagram, they are so funny.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes.

Hannah Furst:
They are our best friends. They're so funny.

Joanna Flemming:
Also, I love that people tag. I've seen like their birthday posts. They're like, "Happy birthday to my Hannahs and my Joannas." It's funny.

Hannah Furst:
Now, another thing that I wanted to quickly talk about today, something that's trending at the moment is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's beauty routine, which was on Vogue.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. Loved it.

Hannah Furst:
We must be on trend because we were talking about AOC's beauty routine with whatsonvisface like two episodes ago. That was her skincare routine. Now, we've seen her makeup routine. What I absolutely loved, it was a few quotes, but the first one was, she said there's this really false idea that if you care about makeup, that's somehow frivolous.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes.

Hannah Furst:
I loved how she just loves beauty, and is just so unapologetic about it. You can be in politics and you can be a congresswoman, but you can still love beauty.

Joanna Flemming:
Totally. We actually had this conversation privately, you and I.

Hannah Furst:
We did.

Joanna Flemming:
You said to me like, "I feel like when I say I work in beauty, men look down on that in a way," which is...

Hannah Furst:
I think someone had said to me like, "Don't put beauty in your hinge profile." I was like, "Why not? Beauty's so cool." Some guys might think that beauty is just what she said, frivolous.

Joanna Flemming:
I don't give a (beep) what they think.

Hannah Furst:
By the way, I didn't change my hinge profile. I'm not that frivolous.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Good.

Hannah Furst:
But what I also really loved about AOC's beauty routine is she's an Estee Lauder Double Wear girl.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes.

Hannah Furst:
You know I am Double Wear all the way, particularly she said if she's getting photographed a lot, and I can't agree with her more.

Joanna Flemming:
Totally.

Hannah Furst:
The other thing that I saw her using, which I'm wearing today, I think I spotted Maybelline Falsies.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, did you?

Hannah Furst:
Yes. She's definitely bougie bargain.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. Love that for her.

Hannah Furst:
Then, the other thing that she did was she used vitamin C and SPF, and this was her quote, "Don't play games with sunscreen. You'd rather put too much than too little."

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. Love her.

Hannah Furst:
She was contouring. Then, she was putting shimmer on her eyes and I loved it, but I think my favourite quote of all was this one that I'm going to read now. People were sharing this on Instagram and saying that they were crying and I also may have cried. "Our culture is so predicated on diminishing women and preying on our self-esteem, and so it's quite a radical act to love yourself in a society that's always telling you, you're not the right way. You're not the right colour. You're not the right whatever it is." I got a little bit teary because I just really related to it so much. Go and check out the video. It is on Vogue's YouTube channel.

Joanna Flemming:
Amazing. All right. Well, what's on today episode?

Hannah Furst:
Why don't you do it? I always do it.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, okay. All right. You ask me then.

Hannah Furst:
Okay. I'll ask you. Joe, what's today's episode?

Joanna Flemming:
On today's episode, we're talking about strawberry skin, which a lot of people requested. Then, we are also talking to dietitian Millie Padula on basically just food in general. Of course, our products we didn't know we needed. This topic has come up quite a lot when I've done little polls and requests on my Instagram for what people want to hear. That topic is strawberry skin, which if you don't know, it refers to the appearance of black spots that resemble the spots on a strawberry, but it's on your legs usually. That's due to the follicles are in large pores containing trapped oil or dead skin or bacteria. I actually reached out to Dr. Phil Tong, who was on a couple of episodes ago to talk to us a little bit more about why this happened. Like the blackheads on our nose, it's due to the oxidation process.

Joanna Flemming:
That's when that trapped oil dead skin or bacteria is exposed to air and that's what causes it to darken. Shaving is usually what contributes to causing strawberry legs, and I actually experienced this myself and I find it really frustrating is when I put tan on and it looks even worse, but there is a number of ways to prevent it, which Dr. Phil Tong shared with us. We thought we would run through them.

Hannah Furst:
I've got to cut a little funny story.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Do you remember when we did that day, where we came into the office and did the podcast artwork and we did that photo shoot?

Joanna Flemming:
Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Hannah Furst:
Do you remember, I actually waxed my rms and put fake tan straight over the freshly whacked skin, and I reckon it was strawberry skin on steroids.

Joanna Flemming:
Why am I not surprised?

Hannah Furst:
It was like... Remember I came in, I'm like... [Machie 00:06:13], our photographer, I was like, "What are you going to do?" I had this red rash all over my arms.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, no. Well, the strawberry skin is different to razor rash, just FYI, while we're on that topic of hair removal because that's caused by trauma on the skin, which is caused by the razor itself.T That's usually from like an old razor that doesn't have the same sharpness that it once had or the products that you use after shaving or hair removal. It's more of an irritant reaction on the skin and generally subsides over time, but that can lead to strawberry legs as well. There's lots of different things playing into this topic, but Hannah, we did ask Dr. Phil Tong if some people are more likely to experience it than others. I feel like as someone with thick body hair, you were like [inaudible 00:07:02].

Hannah Furst:
Oh, yes. It is more likely experienced by those people with dry skin or thick body hair. Well, that's definitely me.

Joanna Flemming:
That's both of us. The length of my leg hair right now, I don't even want to talk about it. As I mentioned, the old razor can contribute to strawberry scheme, which I think has been the issue for me because what I did recently was that I tried a new product that will be ranging soon at a door and it's called Nara shave. It's a single razor that you put inside a little handle thing. I don't know how to explain it. It's nice looking. It looks like your traditional razor, but like almost an old school version, but because it's so sharp, it glides so closely to the skin. I honestly have not felt my legs feel that smooth in so long. I think it's because I was using a really old razor and I hadn't changed the head of it in, so I don't even know how long I actually...

Hannah Furst:
This is very unlike you.

Joanna Flemming:
I know. I don't think I've changed it since I moved back home, and that was over a year ago. I've been using a really blunt razor. No wonder I'm getting strawberry skin on my legs, but they are some topical products that you can use to reduce appearance. The first thing is update your razor, if you can. This razor from Nara shave is great. I am a little bit scared I'm going to cut myself with it, but that's okay. I'm getting through it. Also, try to use a shaving cream if you can. I actually was using the shaving oil from Nara shave and that seemed to work a treat. Dr. Tong recommends the use of an exfoliant on the area and then following that with a moisturiser. If you're going to be putting fake tan or something on any way... Usually when I'm shaving my legs, it's because I'm putting fake tan on, so I would usually be exfoliating the area before I shave anyway.

Joanna Flemming:
Then, once I've done my tan and wash that off generally, I would put a moisturiser on any way. Then, he also mentioned that AHAs and BHAs on the area will help, but just to make sure you're seeing a dermatologist first just in case it is something else and it's not strawberry skin, you just want to make sure that you're not irritating the area. Laser hair removal can be really effective in reducing the appearance of strawberry skin. Dr. Tong said he does prefer and recommend that over hot waxing or the use of epilators and things like that. That's how you can tackle it, guys. If you're trying to deal with it at home and you're not sure what to do, just exfoliate, moisturise, get laser, if you can, and change your razor because that clearly is what my issue was.

Hannah Furst:
Do note with the changing of the razor [inaudible 00:09:37].

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah?

Hannah Furst:
Seriously. I have a razor that I use for my face when I'm doing laser hair removal on my face. Because I always forget and that I use it to do my bikini line, then I have to change it straight away because I'm like, "(beep) Did I use this on my vagina?" I'm holding it off me, my face. I'm like, "Did I? Did I?"

Hannah Furst:
In a nutshell, today's guest is joining us to chat about food in general. Melbourne based accredited practising dietitian, nutritionist and founder of nutrition, consultancy company, Dietician Edition, Millie Padula joins us. That's also your Instagram handle, isn't it, Millie?

Millie Padula:
It is. Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
If anyone wants to go and stalk you, that's where they can find you?

Millie Padula:
Please do.

Joanna Flemming:
We're hearing a lot about immunity boosting foods at the moment. I know that particularly I have been in really bad junk food habits. Hannah, as we've mentioned in another segment, has also been having some bad habits. Can you talk to us a little bit about immunity boosting foods and how they work?

Millie Padula:
Yeah, definitely. In terms of the bad eating habits as well, I think we've all been there. Everyone I've spoken to is on that same train. It's nothing to stress about where you're only human and it's a really strange time. I'll just give a little bit of a background on what the immune system does. Essentially, it's a network of tissues and organs that fight off pathogens. Pathogens are what we're dealing with at the moment, COVID-19, anything that's really foreign to our body or that we don't recognise. We know that through all the research, good nutrition and the food that we eat plays a really important role in strengthening our immune system.

Millie Padula:
But what we actually know about the different types of foods and the types of nutrients is that they don't just determine which pathogens and virus we respond to, but also how effectively and efficiently we can fight them off. Before I talk about the particular nutrients and foods, I just want to reiterate that there is no one food or one supplement or one nutrient that is going to prevent us from illness altogether or [inaudible 00:11:49] certain pathogens, but it's more so having a very balanced diet that includes these foods on a regular basis.

Millie Padula:
I'll go into a few of my fave immune boosting foods and how they work. One that I get asked the most about is vitamin C, which I'm sure you girls have heard a lot about. Even in terms of skin health, it's so important, but vitamin C is essentially an antioxidant. That's where it gets a lot of its hype, and it also works to stimulate antibodies. Antibodies are what our body uses to fight off infections, but why I love vitamin C is because even though despite what we might think about it, reducing the common cold and preventing us from getting sick, it doesn't actually prevent the onset of a cold, but it can reduce the severity and the duration of that cold.

Millie Padula:
We're not necessarily sure on dosages and how much should we be having, but my advice is just include those vitamin C foods in your diet. We all know our citrus fruits, oranges, lemon, lime, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi fruits. They have really great sources, but also tomatoes, broccoli, green leafy vegs got an abundance of vitamin C. As long as we're including those, we should be getting enough. Go on to a few of my other favourite immune boosting foods, if that's okay?

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. No. We're open to hearing all about it. There's lots of information.

Millie Padula:
Another topic I wanted to talk about was plant foods. When we talk about plant foods, we generally think of fruits and vegetables, but what I'm generally referring to there is anything that comes from a plant. This is also nuts, seeds, whole grains, lentils, legumes.

Hannah Furst:
Oh, okay.

Millie Padula:
All of those wonderful foods that we often forget about when we're just talking about plant based nutrition, but the reason that these are so important is because they nourish our gut and they help to create a range of different beneficial bacteria within our digestive tract. 70% of our immune cells are actually found in our guts. It makes sense that nourishing our gut and bringing about all that beneficial bacteria will be useful in strengthening our immune system, and that can be where our pre and probiotics come in as well in terms of their effect, but the last two foods or nutrients that I just want to touch on in regards to immunity is protein.

Millie Padula:
It gets a lot of hype in the fitness and wellness world, but it's really important in terms of our immune health because every single cell that's involved in our immune system is made up of proteins. It makes sense that to strengthen those cells, we need to have adequate amounts of protein within our diet and protein can be found in a lot of our animal products, but I try and encourage a lot of my clients and anyone I speak to, to increase their consumption of plant based protein. This is things like chickpeas and nuts and seeds, lentils, tofu, all of those great things, so that they're feeding the gut, but you're also getting those protein benefits as well. Zinc is really important too because it plays a role in healing, particularly wound healing. They're also finding that anyone who's not getting enough zinc within the diet is experiencing a weaker immune system. We can find zinc in oysters, which are my most favourite thing. I'm not sure...

Joanna Flemming:
Neither. Hannah and I don't really like seafood.

Millie Padula:
Yeah. No. I'm not the biggest fan, but it's also found in chicken, beans and pumpkin seeds is a really good source as well. I like to sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on my oats in the morning just to get a bit of extra zinc in there. Yeah. They're my favourite immune supporting foods and how they sort of work within the body.

Hannah Furst:
Sorry. I'm just reading the question that I've got next, which was I've been on a real HealthKick in the last couple of weeks, which is true until this week. The last week, I've had McDonald's every night for dinner, but I was on HealthKick and I found that I was eating plant-based. Six days a week was plant-based with one day like a cheat day. I just think that diet makes me feel like I've got the most energy and I just feel like my mood's a lot better. How does our diet and the foods we eat contribute to our mood and overall mental health?

Millie Padula:
Yeah. Really interesting question. There's two ways that I like to look at this question. When we eat better and I'm sure you can vouch for this, Hannah, and you just mentioned it, we generally feel better. When we're filling our body with nutritious foods, it doesn't just affect our mood, but it affects our sleep quality and our energy levels and our skin quality and our motivation, which we know all directly can affect our mood as well and vice versa when we're eating McDonald's or foods that are high in saturated fats and salt, our sleep quality is worse, so our energy levels aren't great. That, in turn, can reduce our mood or perhaps make us more anxious and all of those sorts of things. That's a general way that what we eat can affect our mood, but then there is, of course, the scientific way of looking at it.

Millie Padula:
I'll break it down to try and make it clear as can be for the listeners, but essentially there is a nerve that runs from our gut all the way to our brain. It's a special nerve called the vagus nerve. This is why what we eat and what we put into our digestive system affects our mood. Just to break that down a little bit more, 95% of our serotonin, which is a happy hormone within our body that regulates sleep and mood and appetite is actually found in our gut. Before we were talking about our immune system and how a lot of those cells are found in our gut, well, that's the same with our mood as well. Again, going back to nourishing the gut, being really important in the way that our serotonin or that happy hormone actually performs in the body.

Millie Padula:
One of my favourite foods in terms of mental health are omega-3 essential fatty acids. I'm not sure if you're familiar where they're found in the diet, but this type of fat is actually a building block of our brain. What they're seeing in a lot of research is that the more essential fatty acids that you have in the diet, the less likely you are to develop conditions like anxiety and depression. These sorts of foods can be found in oily fish like salmon and tuna, but also a lot of our plant fruits as well. Flax seeds, lean seeds, which are actually the same thing and chia seeds and walnuts as well.

Hannah Furst:
I remember hearing this so much when I was young. It was like the buzzword is Superfood. Whenever I her Superfood, I immediately think blueberry. I don't know why.

Millie Padula:
Really interesting and funny that you say blueberries, because they are actually one of my top Superfoods or just berries in general. I think you've probably got that idea because of acai berries and goji berries that we often hear being associated with the word Superfood, but essentially it doesn't actually have any definition. There's no regulation or labelling law that says certain foods have to have this many vitamins or this many minerals to be deemed a Superfood as such. Just something to be careful of and something that I say to a lot of my clients is don't be too persuaded if you see the word Superfood on a product, because it doesn't necessarily mean that it's nutritious and the company hasn't had to abide by any guidelines to give that food a Superfood... It's not assessed at such.

Millie Padula:
The foods that we eat every single day and that a part of our pantry are staple ingredients are more so Superfoods than say, an acai berries or goji berries, kale, quinoa, all of those foods that get a really positive wrap in the health and wellness space. What I look for if I'm calling something a Superfood or telling my clients to include more [inaudible 00:19:07] in their diet is if it has really high levels of particular vitamins and minerals, or if it's linked to reduced risk of disease of such.

Millie Padula:
Tomatoes, for example, have a compound called lycopene in them. What they're finding through the research is that people who include more lycopene in their diet have reduced risk of heart conditions and things like that. If I was calling something a Superfood, they're the two things that I would generally look for, but there are so many Superfoods that we include every single day in our diet, but because they're not glamorous or trendy, they don't get as much attention as a beautiful acai berries and things like that. Definitely aim to include Superfoods, but focus more on just getting in whole foods and you'll be getting enough Superfoods and vitamins and minerals all together.

Hannah Furst:
You mentioned prebiotics and probiotics earlier. I learned a bit about the guts microbiome and pre and probiotics when I discovered the Beauty Chef's Glow Powder, which I swear by. Can you explain how the gut's microbiome works and why probiotics are so important?

Millie Padula:
Yeah. Yep. Definitely. Essentially what the gut microbiome is, is it's a collection or I like to call it an ecosystem of bacteria that can affect our health both positively and negatively depending on how much of a particular bacteria we have. If we have more good bacteria, that's going to be better for our health in general. When I talk about being better for our health, generally, the more good bacteria we have, people are seeing reduced inflammation and weight management and better mood and stronger immunity and all those sorts of things, but essentially when we're talking about healthy eating for our gut and what do we want to include and how do we make our gut thrive for better health outcomes, it all comes back to those plant foods and prebiotics are a type of fibre, which is what we find in all of our plants.

Millie Padula:
That's what we're trying to get an abundance of within our diet. Prebiotics, they don't digest very well in our stomach. They move on to a lower part of our stomach, which we called a large bell or the large colon, however you want to look at it and they are fermented by all the bacteria, produce these beautiful compounds. That's what gives us the benefits essentially. You can also find prebiotics in things like onion, garlic, chic peas. You probably find them, and this is what I experienced with myself and a lot of my clients is when you eat those foods... You know how you get quite bloated and quite gassy and you feel a little bit uncomfortable, that's just the prebiotics doing their jobs. Creating all of these gases that make you feel uncomfortable...

Hannah Furst:
Painful sometimes I would say.

Millie Padula:
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. What I say to a lot of my clients is if the bloating is tolerable, that's fine. If it does get to that really painful stage, then it could be some sort of intolerance or a FODMAP sensitivity or something like that. That's prebiotics and then we've got our probiotics as well. The best way I like to look at it is prebiotics are the food for the probiotics. Probiotics is just another name for live bacteria or live organisms. Prebiotics are the water, probiotics are the seed. The more variety of different prebiotics we have in our diet, the more variety of probiotics we will have in our gut. The more variety of bacteria, the better it is for our health. That's really just a brief overview of how the gut works and why, I guess nutrition is so important.

Joanna Flemming:
You mentioned on your Instagram that you don't encourage restrictive diets because they can lead to an O2 common cycle that I'm sure a lot of us have experienced before. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Millie Padula:
Yeah, definitely. That O2 common cycle I'm generally referring to is when we restrict a certain food or food group, we feel deprived. Then, when we're exposed to that food again, we tend to binge or overeat and I've been there. I'm sure it's something that a lot of us have experienced.

Joanna Flemming:
Yep.

Millie Padula:
Then, when we overeat, we feel guilty and we feel crap about ourselves and then it all starts again. This is what I commonly refer to as the diet cycle. You've got all these really good intentions and maybe it's chocolate, you want to restrict or carbs or chips, whatever it might be, you feel deprived. You restrict that food, the cravings kick in, your body knows what it's missing. With carbs, that's one of our main energy sources. If we're following a low carb diet or a keto diet, our body craves carbs, which is one of our energy sources. That's all we think about and it consumes our thoughts. Then, we give in. We might overeat because we've deprived ourselves for so long and then we feel guilty and then it all starts again. For me and my philosophy as a dietician is that we should be able to have all foods in our diet.

Millie Padula:
Food is so much more than just calories and energy. It's enjoyment and memories, and all sorts of wonderful things and restricting things we know doesn't achieve anything. 96% of people who undertake some sort of diet end up regaining more weight than they initially lost. It makes you feel bad about yourself. It also generates a really poor relationship between yourself and food. We become obsessive. It may generate some disordered eating habits down the track. I don't want any of my clients or anyone who takes advice from me to feel like they have to cut food or any type of food out of their diets, and it's something that a lot of my clients are shocked with is if they come to me and they say, "I ate too much chocolate and I'm trying to be good. I don't eat it Monday to Friday and I only have it Saturday."

Millie Padula:
I actually tell them to enjoy it throughout the week in a really moderated way. Have a few squares of chocolate, let yourself enjoy it, take away that value that you've given it and start seeing it just neutrally. It's just another food. When you remove that novelty around particular foods, it starts to become less special. Then, you know that you can have it whenever you want where if you deprive yourself, when you see chocolate, you go, "Oh, my God. I don't know when I'm going to be able to have this again, so I might as well have the whole block." But if you go, "Hey, I'm going out a little bit tonight because that's what I feel like, but then I know that tomorrow night, if I feel like a little bit too, that's okay."

Millie Padula:
It just creates a more, I guess, peaceful vibe between you and food. It takes away that label of what's good and what's bad and all foods' food. Every food has a different meaning. Of course, we're trying to get more of those nourishing foods anywhere we can, but it's okay to have those feel good foods in there as well.

Hannah Furst:
That's good to hear. You also mentioned on your Instagram that you personally don't own scales and you don't weigh yourself. Why should we not focus on the number on the scales? I'm definitely not following this advice at the moment, so it'd be good to hear what you have to say.

Millie Padula:
Yeah. It is a tricky one and there's no judgement around, of course, anybody that does weigh themselves. I totally understand that for a lot of people, it's a bit of a peace of mind and it's a way to make sure that you're keeping on track with your health goals. That's totally okay, but for me, the reason that I don't weight myself or encourage my clients to weight themselves is because a lot of people, I guess, correlate their weight with their worth. They think that if there's a lower number on the scales, they're more worthy or they're going to be more happy or they're going to be more successful or whatever it might be. If they see that number go up, they feel like the failed or they associate it with sadness. Then, that can generate a whole lot of negative thoughts around food and body image.

Millie Padula:
Similar to what we were talking about before, those just sorted eating patterns that can creep in if we're becoming too obsessed with the number. Another thing that I like to focus on as a practitioner is more so the way you feel, so what's your energy doing? How's your sleep? What's your skin looking like? How are you feeling at work? Are you implementing healthy behaviours? When we implement healthier behaviours around food and exercise and mental health, the weight usually takes care of itself. And another thing with weight is there's a lot of different factors and determinants that can affect our weight that are out of our control. For example, for women, especially we've got our hormones, which can make us retain more fluid at certain times of the month. Whether we've eaten or drank, of course, that's going to contribute to overall body weight. Whether we've exercised as well, that can create a shift in weight, especially if you're weighing yourself straight after a workout.

Millie Padula:
Also got things like whether you've been to the toilet, what's your muscle mass doing, all of those sorts of things. So many things to consider. If you are wanting to keep track of your body composition and weighing yourself or tracking what's going on with your body, if that's what you want to do, I would usually recommend people taking some before and after photos or measuring your waist circumference instead of just worrying about the number on the scales. Because like I mentioned, that can be dictated by so many different things and it can create lots of triggers for many people.

Hannah Furst:
Well, these interviews made me feel a lot better about those few squares of chocolate that I have every night. I'm a sweet tooth that I always feel bad about it.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, good. I'm glad.

Hannah Furst:
Joe, you only have two squares?

Joanna Flemming:
No. No, I don't. Half a block on a good day.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. No. Seriously, it is half a block at once, but I'm going to try and do a few squares every night, [inaudible 00:28:13] feel better.

Joanna Flemming:
But I liked what you said about if you're not depriving yourself of something, you stop attaching weight to it. I've been doing this whole late night Uber Eats ordering of McDonald's because it's not allowed. What I actually did instead this week, I was like, "I'm just going to buy hash browns and keep them in the freezer," because I love hash browns. Now, I'm having two hash browns when I'm thinking about it. I'm not going to feel bad about it. I'm just going to do it. Then, I think you start to lose that mental association that these equals bad.

Millie Padula:
Exactly.

Joanna Flemming:
I think the media and I think just in general, we have associated certain foods as being bad.

Millie Padula:
We have.

Joanna Flemming:
That association is like hard to break.

Millie Padula:
Definitely. Yeah. That's something I work on with my clients is that food guilt because if you label chocolate as bad, every time you eat that, you're going to feel bad about yourself. But if you just see it as chocolate, then you're not going to get guilty. That goes back to removing its moral value.

Hannah Furst:
This is so relevant right now.

Millie Padula:
I know. We're all feeling it.

Hannah Furst:
If you want to see more of Millie's tips, you can find her on Instagram, @dietitianedition. Thanks for joining us today. Millie,

Millie Padula:
My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Joanna Flemming:
Product we didn't know we needed, Hannah.

Hannah Furst:
It's not really for me because I feel like we do so much for ourselves, but I went into a product that was kind of suitable for you, but also that your boyfriend could use. We did a segment on Instagram stories where the boyfriend's like, "What product is your boyfriend's deal?" Someone wrote back...

Joanna Flemming:
I loved that segment. Oh, my God. That was so funny.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. Someone wrote back and said, "I recently found out that my boyfriend was using the ASAP cleansing gel on his entire body."

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, my God. I'd break up with him for sure.

Hannah Furst:
I know. It's like $40 something. He's using that as his [inaudible 00:30:09] body.

Joanna Flemming:
I'd be so angry. And body wash.

Hannah Furst:
I know. I've been using a cleanser that is so inoffensive to men. It's not in pink packaging. If you're trying to get your boyfriend to share your cleanser, by the sounds of it, a lot of boyfriends are sharing the products that their girlfriends are using. But anyway, this one, it's only $15. Who cares if he's using it all over his body? It's the Innisfree green tea foam cleanser. The reason that I'm recommending these as a unisex product is because it smells like hot man.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, might have to try this one.

Hannah Furst:
It kind of smells like shaving cream, but it's like a fresh scent though.

Joanna Flemming:
Oh, everyone knows the shaving cream scent.

Hannah Furst:
What is that scent?

Joanna Flemming:
Hot man. You said it.

Hannah Furst:
To me, it smells like hot man. I think it would be suitable for you and your partner. It would last him, I can't even imagine, because you only need like a pea size amount.

Joanna Flemming:
But we know that they use a massive dollop in their palm when it says pea size amount.

Hannah Furst:
It's a foam cleanser. It has gree tea in it, which is... Is that antioxidant protection? I don't know.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Flemming:
Good.

Hannah Furst:
Also, I find that it doesn't strip the skin. To be honest with you, as I was putting it on my face, I was like, "It has this texture that I could actually just shave my face before my laser hair removal appointment."

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. I'm actually looking at the ingredients now. To be honest, like a lot of foaming cleansers will have SLS in them, and these doesn't have SLS in it as far as I can see.

Hannah Furst:
I've swapped over to something a bit more gentle because my AHA cleanser is just like giving me grief. It's $15.

Joanna Flemming:
Bargain.

Hannah Furst:
What's yours?

Joanna Flemming:
Mine is a Aspect product that I have been just trialling lately. I wasn't sure if it would bring anything to my life, but I thought I'm going to give it a will anyway because I liked a lot of Aspect products. This is the Super PD serum. It's a protective antioxidant serum, but it's also really good for post procedures. On my skin, when it's feeling a bit uncomfortable and hot and irritated, it really helps to calm my skin down especially if I've done a little facial or something on myself. It's got a combination of enzymes, antioxidants, amino acids, and hyaluronic acid in it. They all work together, you know how they do and they help to even out skin tone and texture. It's great for preventing ageing concerns and pigmentation as well.

Joanna Flemming:
It's also just a really nice antioxidant serum in terms of texture. I find that some antioxidant serums can be a little bit hard to layout depending on what's in them. This layers really, really well over other things. It's more of like a milky creamy texture, but in a lightweight kind of serum-y form. It's very hard to explain, but it goes over other products really well. I often layer it over another like a niacinamide or something like that. It just goes on really beautifully. I really, really like it. To be honest, I think it's made a difference to the tone and texture of my skin because I feel like I wake up the next day and it looks more even and like calm down or something. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but it is meant to calm down redness. I feel like that's making a difference for me.

Hannah Furst:
Perfect for you.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Perfect for me. Anyone else that struggles with a bit of irritation and redness concerns, I feel like this would be a nice one in your routine, but it is a little bougie. It's 135 bucks. Hannah's giving you a bargain option and giving you a bougie option.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Flemming:
But I do really like Aspect products. I just thought I'd tell you guys about it.

Hannah Furst:
I'm still trying to find out what shaving cream smells like. I'm like, "Really?" This is going to kill me. Can someone please let us know what that smell is. Should I just email in Innisfree?

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah. Just say, "What's in it? Tell us what's in the fragrance. I need to know."

Hannah Furst:
Here we go. Sandalwood.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. It's sandalwood. It's sandalwood. It is, 100%.

Hannah Furst:
[Saddlewood 00:34:09], sandalwood, it's some wood.

Joanna Flemming:
Yes. Yes. It's some kind of wood.

Hannah Furst:
Do you have anything you want to finish off on?

Joanna Flemming:
Well, I don't have anything to finish on because I don't have anything exciting happening that I can tell you about. This podcast, we've got a lot more exciting ones. Hannah and I are out of stage four restrictions. That's something that we can guarantee.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I'll be going wild. Girls gone wild.

Joanna Flemming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Bye. Thanks everyone for joining us today.

Joanna Flemming:
Don't forget to subscribe and tell your friends. It helps other people to discover us. Also, we really want to know what you thought about this podcast. If you can you leave us a review, that would be much appreciated.