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A sensitive solution to acne and post-acne marks.

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stephzoars

Flip Flopping..

That's what I feel like I'm doing! Flip flopping back and forth through my favorite products. But I have found what works best for ME.

I can't help it, I'm in LOVE with Clean & Clear's Sensitive Foaming Facial Cleanser. It does such a wonderful job cleaning my skin and when my skin has been clear I have been using this stuff.

I was really digging Carley's Clear and Smooth products but found that it was a little too harsh for me and that whatever progress my skin had made was before using those products, not during.

But I LOVE their lotions, I tell ya what. I'm going to buy a full-size AM lotion and PM lotion for acne-prone skin because they don't break me out and moisturize better than anything. The samples lasted me at least a month and a half! I might have to try their tea tree oil cleanser out for a body wash or something...

All I know is that without any acne treatments (beside Dan's AHA+) my skin is looking superb. boogie.gif

My scarring is looking way less prominent too. So great that I went out to sans makeup for the first time in forever!

On the other hand, I STILL need to find a makeup that won't break me out that looks natural and still covers. I'm going to attempt for the first time bare escentuals bare minerals starter kit! I'll review it later. :)

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

O_O

I slept with my makeup on for the first time in MONTHS. So you can imagine the horror I felt waking up! But to my surprise..

clear face!!!

I was thinking that Tarte's Amazonian full coverage makeup foundation was irritating my skin but now I think it's safe to wear. amused.gif

I won't do it ever again but it was great to see smooth skin this morning. I still have a few blemishes but they're not too terrible.

I didn't use the BP last night so I'm thinking I should do it every other night to give my skin a break some days.

I drink a TON of water and haven't been eating too sugary of foods (I'm a sucker for salty snacks tongue.png), avoiding dairy and gluten (as always), and plan to exercise more often to get that blood pumpin! I wish I had a workout partner though! Brazil Butt Lift just isn't the same alone hahaha.

Wish me luck!

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Where I'm At Now..

I stopped using crappy makeup, and while I liked the mineral makeup I purchased from Alima Pure.. it's just not enough coverage. So I went to Sephora and picked myself up some Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation and continue to use a Physician's Formula powder.

My skin looks pretty great with the two, but I would still like to be using products with more natural ingredients.

I still use Carley's Clear Skin line and really like it. I had wonderful skin about a week back but now that it's closer to my time of the month my face is raging. Honey at night before my moisturizer really helps and my skin looks brand new in the morning but by night time it's back to annoyed, red skin. I've wondered many a times if maybe I have hormonal issues. I asked my general physician if she could test my hormone levels but she said that didn't seem necessary.

I think my gyno can do that so I'm going to ask really soon. :)

I also switched my routine around so that I exfoliate / use the BP at night and bought Rosehip Seed Oil and used it last night and this morning. The smell is pretty offputting but I like the feel of it under my moisturizer and I've heard it can really even out the skin and prevent aging!

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Oh.. my.. god.

I have FINALLY found something that produces consistent results...

I bought their acne treatment (that comes with a full size soap bar and samples of their moisturizers - all AMAZING) and am speechless. It has BP in it, so I was wary but after seeing their guarantee and plentiful reviews I felt great purchasing it.

I'm wondering if anyone here has ever tried their stuff?? It was free 2-day shipping and all of their ingredients are pure and non-acnegenic.

My skin is SUPER sensitive so I really didn't think this was gonna do all that much but make my face a bright red mess. I was wrong, this is amazing and I will continue to use it FOREVER. The price is great and you get SO much product. It's supposed to last 3 months. Truly amazing. I would become a spokesperson for them any day haha.

Here is my new regimen:

AM-

*Natural soap, acne treatment, natural soap with washcloth, and rinse

*Pat dry and apply either Cetaphil lotion or their sample daytime lotion

PM-

*Simple Brand makeup remover wipe, natural soap, and rinse

*Pat dry and apply either Cetaphil lotion or their sample midnight lotion then a dime size amount of Dan's AHA+

Noticeable difference in my skin tone and clarity. So glad I fell upon such a great company and product line.

It also must help that I've been using better makeup (Alima Pure). Also pure ingredients and easier to wash off at the end of the day. Not a whole lot of coverage but if I need more I use my CoverGirl Outlast 3-in-1 foundation. sick.gif I know, bad!!

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Woohoo! :3

Well, I'm back to using my Burt's Bees Deep Cleansing Cream face wash.. I couldn't be more satisfied. How could a cleanser make a woman so damn happy?!?!

I will continue to use my homemade green tea toner as it seems to be calming my skin down and when I wake up I have fairly healthy looking skin (I'm getting there).

My acne is to a minimum, and that's after BP and SA had their way with my pores! :S

On another note, I can't wait to receive the samples of this Alima Makeup I ordered online ahhhh!!! I've been looking for something that won't break me out with nice, natural looking coverage. Plus it's cheap.. how can I go wrong?

I'm trying out some of their primer, concealer, foundation, blush, and setting powders. So I'll review those in about a week when they arrive. I wish these nice cosmetics were available in stores! I don't wanna waiiiiit haha. If this works out I'll buy from only them and keep all of the ingredients in my makeup to a minimum! amused.gif

I think I got too greedy and should stop being so picky and take what good skin I can get. I'm still drinking PLENTY of water, taking my vitamins, and doing my candida cleanse (I think I have 3-4 days left).

I have finally found what works for me, and I'm okay with having a few bumps here and there now. I just need to maintain my optimistic attitude. Which is easier said than done.. that's for sure!

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Ultimately I don't believe that Salicylic Acid nor Benzoyl Peroxide is my skin's cup of tea.

My face was not having it, and so last night I washed my face with the Paula's Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser... which I literally just read has Triclosan in it (antibacterial - but can ultimately lead to super germs). Umm, definitely swapping out that cleanser.. Continuing on, I used some pure witch hazel and some of this toner that I concocted (manuka honey, green tea, tea tree oil, and lemon) and continued with my Cetaphil lotion.

As of today my skin is much happier!

Won't be using any of those crazy products anymore. I should have learn my lesson by now but I guess I got a little desperate. My red marks seem so much redder when using BP. Blek!

My skin was clear on my birthday.. why did I have to get so greedy?? oompf.gif

Next step.. find a foundation my skin likes. I think I'm going to try Clinique! My mom gave me a $25 gift card for Sephora, I'm sure I can find something there.

I would try Tarte's Full Coverage Foundation but I've just heard too many mixed reviews and the color that I got matched with was very off and didn't seem to cover all that much. Hmm.

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

I was pretty upset yesterday.. my skin was ultra irritated and washing my face at the end of the night was something from a horror film. Everywhere I put any sort of product was red and spotty.

Then this morning I came to accept that it was ultimately getting better.. the weird breakouts (I'm sure it's the purging stage) around my mouth are mostly clear and everything looks calmer. It takes a while to see results, I keep telling myself.

I think I will stick with this kit until the end but if I am not 100% happy with it I will go back to my old ways of using basically nothing to treat the blemishes - or witch hazel. I think I'm allergic to aloe vera.. seriously?!

But I will definitely be purchasing the pore normalizing cleanser in the full size bottle. This stuff is amazing!

I'll get a full blown allergy test within the month but until then I will avoid anything I think will remotely cause a reaction.

And now I'm babbling. And in need of a foundation that doesn't make my face freak out. Ahhhhh. Off I go!

x x Stephanie

P.S. I totally drank two diet cokes last night.. and today I had a Sprite. :X

stephzoars

I have been sleeping SO much.. oh my god. I don't even know what's wrong with me!

But because of that I think my skin has some extra time to heal at night. And so far last night and this morning I applied all of the wonderful products of Paula's Choice Regular Strength Clear Kit (plus the BHA 9 last night and plan on doing this every other night - applied only to my nose).

My skin isn't any different, but that is to be expected. I don't like how they don't really include a moisturizer but I love my Cetaphil anyway.

[ I have that same monster zit near my eyebrow and plenty of flesh colored bumps on my cheeks and hell, pretty much everywhere ]

I plan on getting a more extensive allergy test soon also to see if there are any ingredients I should be avoiding in my skin care regimen and daily diet.

But that's after I pay off other medical bills (I had an ultrasound of my neck - and I HATE owing too much money all at once).

I am trying to keep this blog as up-to-date as possible for me (to remember what works and doesn't work for me) and for anyone who may be interested. I would like to think that my knowledge of acne is pretty advanced (except for prescriptions) and that I am able to help SOMEONE.

If anyone ever has a question, even deemed silly, feel free to ask away(PM or comment). And advice is more than welcome. I am willing to try anything... except the whole human urine thing. Have you guys read about that?? EW!

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Hahahaha I've been driving myself mad limiting my diet like this!

I'm pretty happy with my skin but I have a lot of flesh colored bumps all over my face that are pretty damn persistent suckers.

I need to find makeup that works with my skin, not against it. I can't wait until I find the perfect combination of everything. This trial and error stuff is exhausting.

I plan on purchasing a blue light bulb for light therapy. I've heard it can yield some great results.. so why the hell not?!

I'm also waiting for my Paula's Choice Clear line to be delivered!! I'm excited, but scared at the same time. I don't know how my skin will react to Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide now. It's been so long since I've used anything with them in it.

And it was about $16 so I'm not out too much money. We'll see!

Something has got to give, I know I will figure this out. Even if it's the death of me!

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

This Is Major!

WHAT?!?! MY SKIN IS CLEAR...

I woke up this morning and low and behold... clear skin!! Except for a monster one near my eyebrow that's been hanging around for a while.

I bought some Burt's Bees Chamomile Cleansing Cream for the first time and I REAAAAAALLY like it! The ingredients seem a little harsh for someone with skin problems but honestly I haven't had any irritation thus far (plus it smells like fruity pebbles).

Note: I have VERY sensitive skin.

Along with the new cleanser I started taking my vitamins and decided to apply my trusty manuka honey on my face before I put my makeup on today.

I have so much energy now. I think it has something to do with my eating healthier (no gluten or dairy) and staying hydrated!

It's my birthday and I couldn't have wished for anything better! smile.png

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Vitamins.. Commence!

I bought a plethora of vitamins to try and eliminate these damn blemishes.

We'll see just how well calcium, d3, magnesium, zinc, l-lysine, and krill oil work for me!

I'm also going to begin a probiotic as soon as I have enough money to buy one.. stupid vitamins cost A LOT more than I thought.

As of right now, my skin TONE has never looked better, but I keep getting more and more pimples on my cheeks. oompf.gif

I was practically clear before yesterday. I did work out for the first time in a while, but I took a bath and shower right afterwards.

It was actually a milk bath last night (dumped 2% gallon of milk into a tubful of warm water) and it was honestly great!! I had to take a shower after though, because with exfoliating comes dead skin cells.

I heard that lactic acid is a great exfoliator for sensitive skin, and I must say it is. But I think washing my honey mask off with the milk water is what broke me out.. I have little whiteheads on my cheeks and chin. Blarghhhh. I just got some Tea Tree Oil but I have nothing to dilute it with (I LOVE grapeseed oil - perfect for sensitive skin). I just have extra virgin olive oil, which in the past has broken me out.

Bummer! Hopefully I find what works so I can help as many people as possible with crappy skin like myself!

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Vitamins!

I need to pick up some vitamins after this Candida cleanse that I'm on. :\ It sucks that everything is trial and error and that my skin seems to be so sensitive to so very many ingredients! It can be discouraging, that's a fact!

I plan on stopping at Walgreen's to get these few things, which I will review in a week or two..

1- PanOxyl acne wash

2- Vitamin D

3- Zinc Gluconate

As well as take my existing Women's Multivitamin, L-Lysine, and Biotin.

If anyone reading this has ANY experience with or knowledge about vitamins I would love to hear your input! smile.png

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Rants & Raves

I like to think that I have my skin under control now, and honestly I don't even know how it happened. Everything I use you can get at Target..

I went back to my trusty Clean & Clear Sensitive Foaming Facial Cleanser.

So in the morning I wash with the Clean & Clear cleanser, moisturize with Cetaphil lotion, and do my makeup.. Almay Clear Complexion foundation really keeps my skin looking amazing, just not soo much when it's on. It kind of cakes up and slides off. But I have yet to find a foundation that doesn't break me out... let alone get rid of acne!

Also, I apply the foundation with a clean makeup sponge every time.. I like the wedges because you can get three uses out of one.

And then at night I have the same routine besides the makeup wipes I use beforehand.. I use Target Brand's Up & Up Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes.

What you can't pick up from Target is the AMAZING Manuka Honey I buy off of Amazon. It lasts me about a year per pound.

And besides topicals I drink lemon water every morning and night. I don't measure anything perfectly, just add a bunch of lemon juice to my water bottle, shake it up, and down it. It's a natural antiseptic and works wonders for your entire body.

What I like most about my regimen is that I don't include any harsh products. In the end you have to be very gentle when you're cursed with acne.

And drink TONS OF WATER. I cannot stress that enough.

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Manuka Honey,

What on earth would I do without you???

Since I've been in the sun a lot recently my skin has been FREAKING out..

I had about 6-8 white heads pop up on my face yesterday morning, put on my trusty honey mask overnight and OUILA! Pretty skin. They're not entirely gone, but most are and the few remaining are 90% smaller.

I still dislike my makeup, and can't wait to have a few extra bucks to try out Ultra Pure Cosmetics!!

I'm just going to start drinking lemon juice every morning and night again and see how that goes. That really used to work for me.

I have become a green nut haha but I love it. tongue.png

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

Every morning is the same, I feel terrible for applying makeup and know that I should really let my skin breathe.

Why can't I look nice, hell.. even halfway normal, without caking makeup on?

I wish I could find a makeup that is guilt-free and doesn't make my face look like a mask of makeup. :\

Or find a miracle product that would even my skin tone out to the point where I don't need makeup. I've been contemplating getting a facial peel.. but I don't know which would work best for my sensitive skin and wouldn't leave me raw-faced for a week.

x x Stephanie

stephzoars

It's difficult to say that sometimes, and especially harder to mean it. But we are our own worst critics and we have to give ourselves compliments now and then and look past the acne or post-acne marks. Progress is progress, and that's all you can hope for. You also must acknowledge that acne does NOT control your life by any means. Who cares if you have a few "imperfections," you look good!

I try to keep my regimen as SIMPLE and NON-IRRITATING as possible.

That being said, I use a cleanser / moisturizer duo that my allergist recommended, Free & Clear. I would compare it to Cetaphil but I hate Cetaphil haha. It's milder than anything I have ever used and has calmed down allergic reactions and acne alike. It doesn't contain fragrances, dyes, lanolin, parabens, or formaldehyde (egads). The moisturizer is a little heavy, but you just use less than usual and give it a little soaking in time. It moisturizes the scaliest of skin I swear. But I am on the polar opposite end of that spectrum and am blessed with a greasy complexion.

I also have a new found love of natural ingredients (and antiseptics). But I have tried many out, and have ruled out even the most prestige organic treatments. Here are the ones that I now cannot live without...

Manuka honey - Honestly diminishes the appearance of dark marks. I'm not kidding you, and it makes you glow. amused.gif I use it as a face mask a couple nights a week or as a spot treatment because it helps heal current acne as well. Can't go wrong with this stuff, seriously.

Turmeric - This awesome little spice helps with dark marks as well, and I mix this with the manuka honey to double the power! Some people say it stains your face but I have yet to see that myself. It will rub off on a pillowcase even after rinsing but that kind of makes me excited because it is still working while I'm sleeping! smile.png

Witch Hazel - Again, reduces dark marks. It also tightens the pores and cleans your skin to the cleanest clean you have ever seen! You must get one that is alcohol and fragrance-free (this irritates us acne-prone folks).

Vitamin C Serum - 20% to be specific, and pure. Helps with dark marks THE BEST. I have had a personal debate whether or not it was what was causing some acne but it could have been a number of things back then. I just know it made my face look amazing.

I get all of these on Amazon, including the Free & Clear cleanser and moisturizer. Let me know if you need help finding or choosing between products!

Here's a more organized look of my daily regimen:

1. Cleanse with Free & Clear Cleanser.

2. Apply Witch Hazel with cotton pads onto face, neck, chest, and back. Let dry for a minute or two.

3. Moisturize with Free & Clear Moisturizing Skin Cream.

4. Makeup (tisk tisk I know!) - Almay Clear Complexion foundation, which may or may not be treating my pimples because whenever I use the stuff my acne disappears (have used it on and off for years)... but salicylic acid usually has an adverse effect on my skin. Oh well, all I know is it works!!

And at night the only step I add is remove my makeup with Pond's Original Cold Cream and go through the rest of my regimen. smile.png

If I could help even one person I would be the happiest woman alive. Let me know what you think, if you're going to try any of these things, have tried any of these things, you think I should add something, or have any questions!

x x Stephanie

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