Fixing My Face [A Thursday Plantation Review]


I was one of those annoying teenagers: perfect skin, serious attitude, and a determined defiance of authority. Two of those things followed me into adulthood, but it’s the perfect skin I miss the most.

Before I turned 18, I experienced the excruciating pain of a pimple exactly once. Yes, one pimple, for the entirety of my teens. Before you hate me though, adult onset acne has done it for you. I had my very first wrinkle, long before my first serious zit. Firmly believing, however, that I was one of the lucky ones, I happily ignored every advertisement for skincare products…until I turned 24, became a mom, and my perfect skin did a perfect leap out of my life.

Fast forward more than a decade later, and I’ve done everything I can to try and sort it out. Bear in mind, however, that I’m not a medically suitable candidate for hormonal treatments and such so, for me, fixing my face must be a topical adventure.

I’ve used potions and products of varying prices, with varying results. The classic result is, of course, that a system or product will work for a while, clear up my skin beautifully and then suddenly, I’ll have an outbreak of mayhem on my face. Usually, stress, a change of season, or some sudden allergic reaction to something unknown will set it off, and I’m back to square one, situation: cystic acne.

Anyway, let’s go back to two weeks ago, when a beautiful little package from Thursday Plantation landed on my desk. They asked me to check out their range, and I’m always happy to try something new out, especially if it ticks three important boxes:

  • The products are not tested on animals. This is non-negotiable. I don’t care if your product promises to return my skin to 1995 – if you test on animals, you can get right out of my house, the city, the planet. Bye Felicia, and take your archaic animal cruelty somewhere else.
  • The products are eco-friendly as all heck, vegan, and contain as few chemicals as possible.
  • The products don’t make big promises. I like honesty better than huge promises. Nobody is going to take me back in time to 1995, but I’m willing to give them a chance to try and keep my face as it is now.

This Thursday Plantation package included:

  • Tea Tree Face Wash Foam
  • A bottle of Tea Tree Oil
  • Tea Tree Toothpaste
  • Tea Tree Cream
  • Tea Tree Blemish Stick

With my little arsenal of excellence, I committed to using JUST these products on my face for a few weeks. Bear in mind, of course, that I’m cynical as all heck and was, on the day I started, doing battle with a bulbous zit on my chin. Cystic acne, you’re so irrelevant. Stop trying to make zits happen, please. I was also enjoying a superb little rash of dry skin across my right cheek.

From the very first wash, my face instantly felt cleaner, less oily, and so smooth. If I was feeling that good from Wash Round One, imagine how I feel today, two weeks later. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. [There are no filters applied to these pictures. You may have seen most of these on Instagram, and yes, this is genuinely what I look like, filter-free. Sorry if that’s disturbing 😊]

But it’s not the face wash that changed this game for me. Usually, committing to a certain set of products takes time – my skin must settle into it (that usually means a fab little bust out of zits, at first); then it starts to work; then I’m happy, and then it stops working and I cry a lot. So, I waited for that settling-in breakout to happen, and it didn’t happen. In fact, within two days, that little dry patch of skin was sorted out, and my chin was quickly healing up. WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL STUFF?

Well, it’s not wizardry. It’s Tea Tree Oil. A family member has sworn by it for years, and while I love my little box of essential oils at home, I’ve never really taken to Tea Tree. I probably should’ve, sooner, because, well, I’ll let Thursday Plantation explain:

Tea Tree Oil is distilled from specially selected Melaleuca alternifolia leaves…This 100% pure, 100% natural oil is a powerful antiseptic which inhibits a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi and cleanses and protects skin abrasions…Has demonstrated to be as effective as Benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of mild to moderate acne*”

*Bassett IB, Pannowitz DL, Barneston RS. A comparative study of tea tree oil versus benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne. Med J Aust. 1990; 153: 455

Yes, you read right – this little essential oil I’ve been ignoring for so long is probably the solution I’ve been looking for, all along.

I’m going to keep using these products (P.S. The Toothpaste is fluoride-free and flipping great) and I’m going to buy my own set when these bottles run out. I went and checked on their prices at Dischem this week and HELLO AFFORDABLE WIZARDRY, COME TO ME! The blemish stick has put an immediate zing on any zit, and the Tea Tree Oil now has pride of place in my home (and dog!) cleaning routine too. Thank you, Thursday Plantation. I think we’re now BFFs.

Get it here. Read more about it here. Talk to them here.

ICEPlus is…helping me sleep better at night.

As a mom, security is a priority in my life. When it comes to news articles about crime, I won’t lie – I usually put my hands over my eyes and read them through my fingers.

I don’t like thinking about it, but it is part and parcel of life, and the best we can do is protect ourselves, and have excellent communication systems that work with ease in times of crisis.

That’s why I got pretty excited when I heard about ICEPlus. ICEPlus has been created by the rather clever folks over at Always Active Technologies. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them on a few projects, and their forward-thinking nature, can-do attitude and focus on delivering products that not only work, but inspire, has always made me excited to talk about them. By way of transparency, this is not a sponsored blog post – this is not me getting paid to say nice things. This is me saying these things, with purpose, and because I believe in them.

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Simply put, their basic product package, ICEPlus1 is a free panic button service that works on your mobile phone. It doesn’t matter the model of your phone, they have a solution for you. Using either a speed dial function, or an application you install on your phone, ICEPlus1 is your backup communication plan in an emergency. I was signed up to a service like this a few years ago, but that was a paid service, and it did not have as many features as this one!

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When you sign up – did I mention this is a free service to subscribe to? There are no subscription fees ever! – you assign 4 cellphone numbers and/or email addresses as your emergency contacts. You can either create a speed dial key on your mobile handset, or download the app (by the way, the app is fab. Gigantic red panic button, that is simple even for young kids to use – this is important!) and hey presto.


When you hit the panic button, your 4 contacts are immediately sent an SMS and an email, which details your location, a map, nearest police station and hospital. Even more so, when you sign up, you’ll input all the important medical information that applies to you – including your doctor and medical aid). That gets sent via email to your emergency contact too, so they have it on hand, immediately, and nobody has to dig around trying to find your most important details.

This then enables your emergency contacts to act upon your distress call – whether it to be to get to you straight away, call you, call your security company, etc. What could be easier, especially in a crisis situation?

I chatted with Alan Haarhoff, Business Development Manager at Always Active Technologies recently, and he let me in on a few secrets that ICEPlus are looking into for 2014. What comes in 2014 in ICEPlus and their bigger packages ICEPlus2 and ICEPlus3 will… blow your mind and definitely help you sleep better at night!

You can sign up to ICEPlus here.