Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Acne and Crows Feet. How do you fight that???!!!

This will probably be one of my more embarassing blog posts to date, and probably will be for a while. It is a confession about a little problem I've had for the past, well, since I was a teenager. Actually, the sad thing is that it wasn't too much of a problem when I was a teenager. This problem came on as an adult... oh yes, I'm talking about the dreaded adult acne. I honestly can't remember exactly when it started, but it has made a habit of showing up at the the worst times of course. Its always there, ALWAYS. It is gross, it is painful, and I have tried everything under the sun to get rid of it. What I'm going to tell you I hope gives you some ideas, in case you are possibly suffering from the same problem.

When I first started having some issues in high school, basically all I was aware of was Clearasil. The stuff was actually a little wicked, very drying, and seemed to aggrivate things a bit more. Then there were the salicylic acid spot treatments and face washes. These seemed to really help, for a few days, and then my face completely freaked out. I remember times when half my face seemed bumpy and sore, it was awful! My doctor gave me stronger concentrations of benzoyl peroxide and even some topical antibiotics. These did not help a bit. Then there was Tetracycline. This is kind of a wicked antibiotic that you have to take without food in your stomach, or it doesn't work, and then you have to let it sit there for 2 hours before you can eat. Keep in mind you're also not supposed to eat for an hour or two beforehand. This is pure torture for a nibbler like me. Oh and it was typically taken twice a day. You'd think I would have lost weight, but no, didn't even get a decent side effect with my torture... lol. The good thing was, Tetracycline did seem to work. However, it is not a long term therapy, so of course when I went off it, all the acne and redness came back.

Finally, my doctor referred me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist told me to throw away all the harsh soaps and just switch to Cetaphil soap and lotion because I have sensitive skin. That actually did help and my skin was MUCH more calm with gentle treatment and moisture! Who knew?! Still, there were times, off and on, when things would flare up and I would get prescribed Retin-A. That stuff didn't really work the greatest, but it helped a little. When I read that Retin-A is great for reducing eye wrinkles, I started smearing it all over my baby crows feet. Well, at least I tried to make the most of it! I still wasn't satisfied though. I was still getting those big nasty deep cysts every now and then, and when those came, look out... more were sure to follow.

So, over the course of the last 10 years, not only had I tried all of the doctors suggestions, but also did my own research and found a few home remedies on the internet. Folks, I have smeared toothpaste on my face, even dabbed apple cider vinegar onto trouble areas with a cotton ball. I've used plain old Neosporin and all sorts of funny looking clay and peel-off masks. I even started drinking a glass of water with maple syrup and apple cider vinegar in it a few times a day. The concoction wasn't the most pleasant of drinks, but it wasn't too bad. I was drinking that to help with heartburn too. It helped a bit. Thing is, vinegar erodes teeth and also lowers blood pressure. Great, right? Yah, for most people, but I have low blood pressure already and I'm not crazy about the whole prospect of passing out.

At one point, I tried some generic version of proactiv. The ingredients were the same. It worked great for about a month, then quit working.... just like everything else.

So, I'm happy to report that I have FINALLY found a few things that really seem to have cleared things up! First thing I did was switched to eating more whole foods like fruits and vegetables. I tried to eliminate HFCS, but of course it is in almost everything, even bread. I have managed to find things, with diligence, that don't have HFCS (high fructose corn syrup, or corn sugar) and preservatives. We've stopped eating things that come from boxes, for the most part. Sure, there are still times when it has been a long day and dinner is less than stellar, but the vast majority of time we try to eat things how nature intended. With this alone I have seen a vast improvement. I have also discovered that eating anything with too much sugar will cause breakouts. I did a little research and did see there is evidence that blood sugar spikes will cause acne. I definitely notice that if I've had a bad couple of days and eaten sugary things, I will have a breakout.

Still, a few of the pesky little buggers were still popping up every now and then. Thank you mother nature for your little "gift" to women **snort**, as I'm guaranteed to have something unsightly pop up on my face at least a few days out of the month. Oh but I have found something that actually seems to work as a spot treatment! It is made by a company in England called "Nelsons Pure and Clean Acne Treatment Gel." It has all natural ingredients and you can find it at some health food stores. Seriously, this stuff is the bomb diggety. It doesn't dry skin AT ALL, but I can see visible redness reduction overnight. I know this sounds like an ad but after years and years of issues, I'm super crazy about this stuff. Why oh why can't an American company make something so simple, yet so amazing? I pretty much always have to order this stuff over the internet because it is that or wait for 2-3 weeks for the local health food store to order it.

So, now that I'm finally starting to get that problem under control, I now see crows feet on the edges of my eyes and also strange wrinkles along the edges of my nose. In a moment of despair, I went off to Sephora, because I had read in a magazine that Kate Gosselin had used some sort of eye lift gel from there. Ok, so no one likes her, but lets be real, she does look like she's had something done to her face. I figured it wouldn't hurt to go there and ask about the stuff.

When I walked into that place, it was like beauty heaven. Yes, I tend to shop at places like Meijer, so places like this are like beauty heaven to me... lol. A salesgirl came up to me and I explained my problem to her. She says, "How old are you?" I say, "30." She laughs a bit and says, "Yep, that's what I figured because that's when all the ladies come in here acting all spooked." lol This wonderful girl explains to me that my lines are barely even visible and can be reduced simply with a very good moisturizing cream. I insisted that I needed to fight these things now, before they sneak up on me quicker than 10 lbs of blubber on an ice cream addict. She then recommended a retinol serum (Hmm.. so it was a good idea to use the Retin-A on the crows feet.. lol). Somehow I walked out of that place with a new, all natural and gentle face wash, an eye cream, and retinol serum. My wallet hurt a little, ok, a lot. The stuff is supposed to last for months though, which is nice, and I can see that it will. I tried it out the first night after getting it. No lie, within days my skin was glowing. Yes, GLOWING!!!! Elation! Oh, and I've always had dark circles under my eyes... its hereditary and also due to allergies. Even that was visibly reduced!

So, here is my routine, in case anyone out there wants to try something different.

Every morning I wash with Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser with Botanical Blast. I then put on a very light layer of Cetaphil lotion. I dab any spots that I have with the Nelsons Acne Gel. I then apply the eye cream, which is Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee - Eye and Lip cream. I usually give this stuff a few minutes to soak in before applying my makeup.

Every evening I wash everything off with the Boscia. It is amazingly gentle yet actually does remove all of my makeup, without having to use a seperate makeup remover. I then use a light layer of the Cetaphil lotion, do the spot treatment with the Nelsons, and apply the Caudalie eye cream. Every other night I use PeterThomasRoth Retinol Fusion PM and dab a light layer all over my face. This is the stuff that speeds up the cell turnover and makes your skin glow. This is very important to do since that Retinol stuff speeds up the skin cell turnover.

I'm happy to report that I now don't feel too embarassed to leave the house without heavy foundation. I literally HAD to wear it before or I would have never left the house. Now, I switched to a light foundation that just evens out my skin tone a bit.

So, I've tried a ton of things and maybe, quite possibly, someone else out there might find some of this information helpful.

Oh, and if you're all into fitness, check out this link. I found some good deals on this site. Yay!

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