Acne

july/august 2014 skin update

Hi friends! Get ready to look at a bunch of pictures of my goofy face. 

Since my last skin update in April (dang, that’s a long time ago) my skin has been through it’s up and downs. I endured a few weeks of extremely high stress and that definitely took a toll on my skin. I also have included some new skin care products into my daily routine. So let me give you a quick run through on what my skin has been doing and then we’ll be all caught up to the present. 

May. My skin was steadily improving since the last skin update. No major problems. 

June. My skin exploded into about 15 cystic pimples that dwelled under the skin like trolls and caused immense amounts of pain. These cysts were extremely stubborn. I didn’t know what to do about them. I panicked and bought new skin care products which I will review very soon for you! I also moved across the entire country at this time. I was flying back and forth from the West Coast to the East Coast which also stressed out my skin. The dry air in planes wreaks havoc on skin that is already suffering from inflammatory conditions (such as acne). Lastly the climate on the East Coast of Canada is twice as humid as the West Coast. We are talking days that are 100% humidity over here in good ol’ Sydney, NS. The humidity also caused my skin to freak out…major oil production fiasco! All of these changes caused the breakouts but also stalled my ability to heal them. 

July. Armed with new skin care products and knowledge from intense internet research I have started to approach my skin care from a slightly different angle. My skin is beginning to heal. 

August. Here we are at the present! Here are some pics of how my skin looks like now. 

 

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These pictures aren’t the best, nor did I take the time to crop them (sowwy!). However they are pretty true to what I am looking at in the mirror each morning. Apart from the two large pimples on my forehead that magically emerged overnight, the majority of my skin is improving. The hyperpigmentation on my forehead and cheeks is slowly decreasing. They are slightly dusky in colour but have decreased in size immensely. The texture of my skin has changed significantly, in my opinion. I still have a few crater-like scars, but the majority of my skin feels smooth to the touch. 

Thanks for following my acne story. If you are suffering with adult acne please share your story with me in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you! 

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cleanse and moisturize

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about two products that I have enjoyed using. These products were given to me by a friend, Jeanette Weeks…click on her name for more information about her! 🙂

The first product is the Mary Kay Clear Proof Clarifying Cleansing Gel. Say that three times fast…
On the Mary Kay website you will find this run down of the product:

  • Gently removes dirt, oil and complexion-dulling impurities.
  • Deep cleanses skin to penetrate and clear pores.
  • Helps reduce and control shine, leaving skin with a beautiful matte finish.
  • Helps maintain a clear complexion.
  • Does not strip skin of moisture.
  • Leaves skin feeling smooth and fresh.
  • Rinses clean with no residue.

It’s also fragrance-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic and suitable for sensitive skin.

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This cleanser gets it done! It’s a clear gel that foams into a nice lather. It doesn’t have any distinct smell as it is fragrance free, which I love! FRAGRANCE DOES NOT EQUAL SKINCARE!!! So thank-you Mary Kay for leaving irritating fragrances out of a cleanser designed for already irritated skin…applause! I find that this cleanser effectively removes excess oil and dirt from my skin. I have tested it by using a toner on a white cotton pad after cleansing. Nothing shows up on the cotton pad! Yay! After using this cleanser my skin feels clean and soft. I don’t feel dried out at all. The only claim that Mary Kay makes about this cleanser that I cannot vouch for is whether it reduces and controls shine. My skin will grease through the best mattifying products on the market. About 1 hour after washing my face I can see the oil start to seep through my pores, but that’s okay because I have always been this way.

The second product I want to talk about is from the same line. It’s the Clear Proof Oil Free Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin. What is with these hella-long names!? Aha! Anyways, here’s what Mary Kay says about this moisturizer:

  • Replenishes moisture to provide balanced hydration.
  • Is lightweight and quick-absorbing with no oily or greasy feel.
  • Does not clog pores.
  • Helps control excess oil, leaving skin with a beautiful matte finish.
  • Feels soothing to irritated skin.
  • Improves the appearance of skin’s tone.
  • Helps skin feel healthier, nourished and smooth.
  • Helps maintain skin’s moisture.

It also is non-comedogenic, suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin, and clinically tested for skin irritancy and allergy.

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I really like this moisturizer! It’s a gel-cream texture that feels absolutely amazing on my greasy face. I find that this moisturizer absorbs quite quickly and it doesn’t leave any sticky or oily-looking residue on my skin. I don’t think I have been using this product long enough to make a conclusive statement as to whether it has altered or improved the texture or appearance of my skin but after a few more weeks I’ll let you guys know. I have been rolling through different moisturizers for a while and none of them have really impressed me, but this one is definitely impressive. I will enjoy using every last drop of it!

Thanks for reading my review! If you’re interested in trying these products or any other Mary Kay products click here!

 

april 2014 skin update

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Hi friends! I’m a few days late on my April skin update, but I did take these pictures on the very last day of April, so technically it still counts.

As you can see my skin has improved even more over this past month. You can check out my March skin update here to compare.

My cheeks have maybe 3 pimples in total. There is still hyperpigmentation and redness present, but I feel like each of these problems has improved since my last update. Hyperpigmentation takes a really long time to resolve so I am trying to be as patient as I can. As for the redness, I am trying to be as gentle with my skin as possible in order to reduce any irritation. I’m not using any harsh cleansers or soap on my face, I moisturize morning and night, and I’m using a buttload of SPF on my face…that’s right, a buttload. Since the sun has started peaking out I have upped it to an SPF of 30 or greater every day.

My forehead is going a little cray…I think I’m experiencing a bit of a PMS/hormonal breakout because I have 4 giant pimples on my head. They are the deep, painful type. Not quite a cyst, but definitely cyst-like. I think it’s probably going to take two or more weeks for these suckers to vacate the premises…ugh! Due to the fact that my forehead is acting up I’ve added some benzoyl peroxide back into my skin care routine. I’m only using a 2.5% concentration, and I’m only putting it on my forehead. I use a small dot of the Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment and then spread it all over my forehead. Then I put my nighttime moisturizer on.

Here’s a lovely picture of my forehead…Please ask small children to leave the room before scrolling down.
DSC00417Aaaaaahhhhh!! TOO CLOSE!!
My sincerest apologies.

I will be posting a full skin care routine that includes all of the products I use. For those that are wondering, I am still using my Clarisonic Mia 2 and the Arbonne Intelligence Genius.

Thanks for checking in with The Beauty Remedy! Please leave any comments or questions below, I love hearing from you! 🙂

 

march 2014 skin update

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Thirty days ago I started a new skin care regimen. I had been suffering from a breakout that was getting progressively worse over the previous 6 months. I was frustrated. I was desperate. I just wanted something to work! 

I decided to throw out all of my “traditional” acne treatments. No more benzoyl peroxide, no more salicylic acid, no acne cleansers…if it targeted acne-prone skin, I stopped putting it on my face. 

Enter a whole new cleansing routine and a key anti-aging ingredient! 

I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 and Arbonne Intelligence Genius. This dynamic duo has changed my skin completely! I’ll be doing in-depth reviews on each of these products very soon. 

Here are some up close and personal pictures of my bare skin today…
those with sensitive stomachs should tread carefully

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My skin has come a long way in a month. You can see how it used to look here and here. I have less than 5 actual pimples and much of my redness is reduced. Even though the condition of my skin has improved tenfold it still has a long way to go before it’s “normal”. I have hyperpigmentation left over from healing pimples. I also have a few pitted scars.

The Clarisonic and the Arbonne Intelligence Genius have improved all aspects of my skin. I no longer have random dry patches around my mouth and on my nose. The texture of my skin is much smoother. The redness has also decreased. Since beginning this new skin care regimen the hyperpigmentation and scarring that I already had has decreased slightly. I’ve also noticed that any fresh breakouts are healing faster and are not leaving any noticeable hyperpigmentation or scars. 

I finally have hope that one day I’m going to wake up and look in the mirror and see “normal” skin! Even though I’m not there yet, I haven’t felt this hopeful in about a year. It’s a good feeling! 

If you have any questions or advice regarding skin care or acne please leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you. Thanks again for checking in with The Beauty Remedy! xo

bad skin blues

This is the first step I’m taking in chronicling my acne story. Over the course of the next few weeks, or months (who knows), I’m going to be talking about my acne and skin care successes and failures. Here goes nothing…

I have bad skin. There’s really no way around it. My skin complaints include, but are not limited to: oily, acne prone, cystic acne, enlarged pores, blackheads, fine lines (around my eyes), wrinkles (on my forehead), hyperpigmentation, and scars.

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These are the most recent photos I have of my bare skin. You can see how it looked a month ago here. My skin is much improved since the beginning of this year, but obviously it’s not perfect. Currently I have 2 or 3 active pimples (down from 10-15!). Most of the spots you see in the pictures is hyperpigmentation. This is a step in the right direction when trying to conquer adult acne.

Adult acne is a cruel joke. I had moderate acne when I was a high school student but a simple skin care regimen that included a prescription topical took care of that. Now, in my early twenties, acne has reared it’s ugly head yet again. The problem with adult acne is that a simple skin-care regimen is not going to cut it. Adult acne is closely tied to hormonal fluctuations and imbalances. So the key to reducing acne and improving the skin is to control the hormones. Easier said than done…

I have relentlessly researched how to balance female hormones related to adult acne. With hundreds of hours of research under my belt these are the changes I’ve made in my life to balance my hormones:

  • Staying hydrated: I drink 3-4 litres of water each day. I also drink a lot of green teas and herbal teas. Drinking water can help flush toxins out of the body.
  • Exercising: In the past I would have bursts of activity that last for 3-4 days and then I’d sit and vegetate for 5 days. Recently I have been trying to do moderate to intense activity every other day. I usually go to the gym or do a home workout.
  • Cutting down on sugar: This one kills me the most. I love chocolate and candy bars. I could literally eat them everyday and be so happy. However, sugar creates a stress response in the body. This stress response contributes to the wacky hormone levels that create ugliness on my face. So I had to break up with candy. I do still treat myself occasionally. Maybe 2-3 times a week. My goal is to cut treats down to once a week.
  • Sleeping: It’s hard to get adequate sleep. Everyone is well aware that getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night is good for you. Unfortunately, as a nurse, there are some nights when I’m getting zero hours of sleep. To combat this I’ve been letting myself sleep as much as humanly possible on my days off and then just sucking it up on the days and nights I work. So when I average out my sleep I’m still getting between 6-8 hours of sleep each night.

Each of these strategies is aimed at reducing physical, emotional and physiological stress. The less stressed I am, the less acne I will have.

Stay tuned, soon I’ll be sharing the skin care routine that has made the biggest impact on my skin.

Did you like this post? Let me know in the comments. I’d also love to hear some of your lifestyle beauty tips!