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Updates on my skin/personal thoughts

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Just a quick update--still on Minocin. I quit using aczone right off the bat because it was making my skin worse so I've been using Tazorac pretty diligently and that helps. I would like to get off my pills though because I don't want to rely on them and they're not good for me.

Not Good

By caitbethmatch,

So my skin has not been doing well. In April/June I started breaking out around my mouth and chin area and nothing was really stopping it. I would just get one after another. I started using my brothers proactive treatment morning and night and it only worked okay, but still wasn't preventing new breakouts and eventually it wasn't even drying my skin out. Then I went to the beach for a week and didn't get one new pimple. I don't know if it was the sun, the chlorine, the ocean, or zero stress but my skin looked great. Right after I got back the same old story. I decided to make an appointment to the derm and he put me on aczone (been there done that) and minocin (also been there done that). Aczone never worked for me before, but he wanted me to try again. As for the minocin, I haven't been on an antibiotic in a very long time so I thought my body would respond well to it. Within 2 days I saw a difference and my skin was near perfect and no new actives. I hit the one week mark and everything changed. I am breaking out really REALLY bad in the same areas and I'm also getting sores in my mouth..one terrible canker core and one place where my gum is irritated and prone to bleeding. I also have a swollen lymph node. I think I may be having a bad reaction to the antibiotic, but I'm not certain. I don't know if I should wait it out or what. I'm hoping this is just hormonal since I'm on my period or maybe an IB? Of course that doesn't explain the mouth sores. I'm going back to tazorac at night because these pimples are disgusting and the aczone doesn't seem to help. Acne needs to die.
My skin has gotten a little better since my last entry. I have only cleansed with oil a couple times--instead I have been using my Panoxyl BP wash and it seems to be helping.  I also have been trying to drink a LOT more water. Just wanting my perfect skin back!!
So my skin isn't doing so hot right now and it has been this way for maybe 2.5 weeks now. I've only gotten a couple of VERY small pimples...well more like itty bitty red dots that never looked nasty or came to a head. But, I have sooo many clogged pores and blackheads! My entire chin, under my bottom lip, and under my nose is awful. I had a few blackheads before, but this all kind of became worse when I read about this thing called the "oil cleansing method" or OCM. I haven't used any castor oil (maybe I should be) but I have been experimenting with plain jojoba oil. After the first couple times I did it, I LOVED the effects which made me want to do it more and more. My skin was so soft and my makeup looked much more flawless. Next thing I know I'm getting all these blackheads. I don't know if they were already there deep in the skin or if they just developed. They appear to be very close to the surface so I WANT to believe that the OCM is actually helping, but I can't be sure. I am going to continue doing it every once in a while and see if this is just a purging phase and see how things look in a couple weeks, but I will be keeping a close eye on things. Feeling worried and scared.
Still clear for the most part. Still have same stuff as my last entry, some clogged pores, blackheads, but it's whatever. I haven't had one legit pimple, or anything close. I haven't really been following a regimen or skincare routine (I probably should be). For the most part I've just been washing my face with one of 3 soaps: My all natural oatmeal and honey soap, cetaphil, or my 5% BP soap. And then I will follow with a moisturizer. Nothing special. I know I should be using bio oil or the cocoa butter oil every night for scarring, but I haven't been. My scars still annoy me, but I am still grateful for the results and my face has a nice glow.
Quick update: No breakouts or blemishes since I've been off. ZERO pimples! I have some blackheads kinda between my eyes or a little higher and some clogged pores I guess around my nostrils, but it's manageable. I have started to slowly use a BP wash and a salicylic acid pad around on my blackheads at night time. Still moisturizing day and night. My scars seem to be getting a little better, or maybe I'm just getting used to them. But overall, I am very pleased with the results. I am going to keep a VERY close eye on my skin though because there's no way I can do a third cycle.

Day 117

By caitbethmatch,

So ready to be off this stuff! I have 3 more pills from my 4th month and then I am getting my last script filled for the 5th month, I was hoping my doctor would let me stay on it longer, but he acted like he didn't want to. Ugh. I am still excited that the end is near though. My doctor acted like my scars would get better on their own and he said they weren't that deep. So I am a LITTLE hopeful that once I'm off this medication my skin will thicken back up (since people's skin gets thin while on the meds) and will make those scars look a little better. I am so tired of being pale. I also hate how accutane makes my face appear almost translucent. It's freaky. I can always look back at old pics and it's so obvious from when I was on accutane before because I looked weird. Accutane also makes my lips and gums red which is NOT attractive. SO SO SO ready to get back to normalcy!

Day 86?

By caitbethmatch,

Nothing is really happening. Red spots are not fading at all...maybe because I'm in the sun every day for work, but my makeup has SPF 15...guess it's not enough. Disappointed about that. I am such a crater face. My skin looks sooooo bad when I'm in the sun, you can see every single scar. I think I am definitely going to need a laser treatment or something after all this is done and over with. Feeling very discouraged. However, no breakouts or blemishes. Doctor appointment this Thursday.

Day 71

By caitbethmatch,

Nothing much to report still. Eczema is back again...yuck. Still have the same joint pains. Using bio oil every night... not sure it's doing anything. But it might be lightening up a scar on my leg. My skin is really soft and it's perfectly clear right now..though it looks ugly with all the marks and scars. I want to be off this stuff so bad, but I will stay on it longer this cycle if that's what the doctor thinks because I do NOT want to ever do this or fight with acne again.

Day 57

By caitbethmatch,

So my skin looks the same as when I last reported. No changes really, which is sad to say. I have one pimple up near my eye/temple area and I had a couple white head things above my lip that are now scabs trying to heal. I am a little concerned because my side effects seems to be subsiding. My eczema is gone...I don't know maybe that's all. I just am worried my body will get used to the meds and they won't work. I don't want to have to bump up my dosage if I don't have to. I have a derm appt. in 3 days. Cocoa butter oil doesn't seem to be doing crap. Going to buy bio oil very soon. Spirits are not very good. No big changes in my skin and I am a ghost. Face is still covered in dark spots and scars. Oh...and I can't seem to get healthy. I have been sick for about a month! First I had a cold, then I got pneumonia, and now either my pneumonia is coming back or I'm getting another cold...not sure yet. I want to get better, but the accutane is ruining my immune system! I go to work and pick up all kinds of nasty stuff from the kids.

Most annoying side effects this far: dry lips, sore ankles in the morning, and back pain.

Day 31

By caitbethmatch,

So I tried to post the other day, but when I hit publish nothing happened, so all that work for nothing. I went to the dermatologist the other day (not the one I usually go to because he was on vaca) but they are keeping me at 40 mg per day for now. I went 3 days without my pills because my the dr. office scheduled my appt failing to tell me that I would be out of pills at that point. Annoying. So over the course of 3 days I developed 2 or 3 really small pimples, but I'm still upset about it. I just hope missing those days won't throw my body off or make me break out soon. My arms and the backs of my hands are so dry and scaley. Worse than my last cycle. However, no dry eyes, cracked lips, or cracked nose...which really is a miracle. I have been taking better care of my lips than last time because I can see a huge difference. Before, my lips always looked so red and disgusting and this time they look normal. My derm really upset me the other day, he came in and introduced himself and then said "well, it looks like you had some pretty good acne there" referring to my scars. When did I turn into such a freak?? Oh and I am getting really tired of being sooo freaking white. Everyone is tan already and with the weather warming up I feel embarrassed to show much skin. I wanted to wait as long as I could to tan to allow my hyperpigmentation to fade, but it's taking forever. Hopefully within a month it will look better.
So while babysitting last night...in a matter of a couple hours I developed a big cystic pimple on the top left side of my cheek!!! It was deep and sensitive to the touch. So, before I went to bed I wanted to put something on it to keep it from getting bigger. I chose to use the proactiv refining sulfer mask and left it on all night. When I got up I was trying to gently wash it off the spot with a wet rag and it popped it or broke it and it started bleeding like crazy and there wasn't even any nasty stuff coming out, so...it may come back which is really annoying. But anyway, it looks TERRIBLE! It's reallllly red and large. It's like a huge welt. So, that definitely has me down. I also am getting a little pimple on the right side of my cheek which I also treated last night. I think this is happening because I am expecting my period at any time. Hopefully on my next period I won't have a breakout. Other than that things are going well. I tried a vitamin B-6 today (I think that's what it was?) to see if it will help keep my energy up. My hair is slowly drying out. I haven't washed it since Monday night I think? It's only slightly oily down by my ears.
No new updates with my skin. Still have those 2 pimples by my mouth and they are getting really annoying. They aren't really the same pimples...I just keep getting new ones in that general area. It looked nasty today, like I had herpes or something! No other breakouts anywhere, which I am very happy about. My cheeks are actually smooth.

Back pain has gotten a lot worse as of late. Itchy scalp...ew. Blackheads still hanging around on my forehead, but getting better. Hair still gets slightly oily. Backs of hands are dry as well as a few spots around my wrist from time to time. Some side effects have subsided such as the small amount of blood I had in my nose and the pain in my neck and shoulders in the morning when I wake up. But yeah..this is basically a pointless blog. 10 more days til the 1 month mark!

Day 14

By caitbethmatch,

So not a WHOLE lot has been happening, but here are the updates.

My skin: Is looking better. My scars are beginning to fade which is a GREAT sign since it's so early in the treatment. I have about 3 active pimples. 2 of them are on either side of my mouth and they just keep popping back up. The other is on the upper right side of my cheek...and I picked at it. Blackheads appear like they are getting closer to the surface on my forehead, but it's not real noticeable yet. I am still gently exfoliating about every day.

Side effects: A teenyyy amount of blood in my nose, but not even enough to count. Body aches...feeling like I've been walking around an amusement park or something all day just when I've been out shopping for an hour or so. Dry upper arms (not bad yet), but they were dry before I started treatment. Dry lips, but no cracking and they're not disgustingly red like last time. They appear perfectly normal, they just feel weird and it's annoying. Not very hungry in the morning, but it's getting better. Hair still seems the same..it may be a LITTLE dryer. I am washing it every other day right now. Feeling very tired a lot of the time (especially right now). Chest pains when I inhale sometimes.

That seems to be about it. i am thankful that I haven't had some of the other side effects I had last time yet like dry eyes and sensitive gums. I am looking forward to seeing my progress at the month mark. Oh yeah...and I am starting to feel itchy under my left nostril which as I remember, is the first sign to the skin cracking right there. So I am trying to keep that moisturized.

Day 9

By caitbethmatch,

So nothing has really happened yet. My lips became dry pretty quickly probably within 3 or 4 days but they haven't been too bad. My hair is still getting oily as well as my skin. I currently can't focus very well because I am doing a white strip and it hurts like no other. Holy cow. Okay.

No sensitive gums yet, which is why I am trying to finish up these white strips. I had a cold a few days ago...not sure if it was accutane related or not. My energy is a little low but not enough to where I've noticed much. I've had 2 pimples so far...one was on my upper lip and I popped it even though I know I shouldn't have..but that's just a terrible place to have a nasty looking pimple. I am trying to leave the other one on the left side of my mouth alone. Although last night I treated both places with the proactiv refining mask all night and today I put a small amount of 2.5% BP on them. It will be really nice if I don't have an initial breakout. I didn't really have one last time.

Today I am not feeling very good. I have been cramping all day, but I shouldn't be starting my period for another 2 weeks..so that stinks.

I bought some of the Palmer's cocoa butter oil stuff the other day and have been mixing a few drops of that into my moisturizer morning and night to treat my scars. I was going to buy bio oil, but I thought I'd try something cheaper first. However, I don't think it will do anything for hyperpigmentation which is my biggest issue. Right now I'm just kind of letting time make those dark spots fade, once I get into my third month or something I may try a product for that.

The funny thing is I havent been getting any breakouts/pimples for several weeks now (even before I started the meds)...it's mainly these dark spots! My doctor said I needed to do a second cycle because I just keep getting more and more scars. So it will be very interesting to see what my skin looks like in a couple months or something. I have been reading old entries on this and I think around day 11 last time is when allllllll the blackheads started popping up...so I am really dreading that. I have been exfoliating, but I've been pretty gentle with that. Every few days I use the "St. Ive's" apricot scrub with salicylic acid and on other days I use a more gentle, "Simple" facial scrub. I am hoping that this will help with the blackheads.

Other symptoms....oh I woke up really sore today. My neck and shoulders just hurt and felt stiff. Dry lips as mentioned above. I think that's about it so far.
So I have started my second cycle of accutane. I have taken two pills so far (nothing to report yet). I can't tell you how much I wish I had sucked it up and done this sooner. My cheeks are completely covered in scars and dark spots. I don't know how they will ever go away, but I am hoping that by the end of this cycle I will see big improvements. I am planning on trying some scar treatments during my cycle as well (debating on bio oil, emu oil, or garnier's dark spot corrector). I know nothing is going to do a miracle, but it's worth trying. My face is clear right now, because up until accutane I had been using epiduo (a 2.5 benzoyl peroxide treatment) modeling off the regimen). That helped a lot, but I couldn't use as much treatment as I needed to keep off new pimples because it was so drying and irritating. So it helped, but it wasn't working as a preventative, and I can NOT afford any more scars. I started thinking that I need to do this second round of accutane for my future. Yeah, the regimen may have worked for a while, but it wasn't a cure. It just sucks because my face was destroyed during the month of November when I got strep throat and went on penicillin. Right after starting this antibiotic I began to breakout out of no where (and I had been doing pretty good prior to that). Even after I went off the penicillin nothing would stop the breakouts and basically in the matter of a month and one really bad/long breakout my face was destroyed with scars and MAJOR hyperpigmentation dots ALL over my cheeks. I am tired of fighting acne and I am tired of getting new scars. My doctor said he usually never has to do a third cycle on anyone so I am praying this second round will be my cure as I was not so lucky last time. I also am seriously thinking about getting a glycolic peel once this is all done and over with. I am planning on using this blog as a guide to foresee symptoms that are heading my way so I can try to prevent or lessen the effects as best as I can. I am going to start out on the same dose as last time (40 mg per day) and then we'll see what the doctor says. I am also planning on buying jojoba oil to help with the dry skin (esp. once I get those dry patches/eczema on my arms like last time) as I have heard many wonderful things about it. It stinks that it seems like all the amazing products are only sold online or in stores you have either never heard of or don't have near you. Although, I did find out GNC (found in many malls and other places) sells jojoba oil, emu oil, tea tree, lavender, and all kinds of stuff. So I may check that out.

So I've been off of accutane for a little over a year now...but now I have to do a second cycle. THIS BLOWS!!!! I started breaking out several months ago and nothing is stopping it. My doctor said I probably should have been on a higher dosage on the first cycle. So this time I am gonna go higher but my derm is a little worried because I'm only 103 pounds and he thinks it might not be good for me, but I guess that's what we're gonna do.

I'm really scared about what this is gonna do to my liver and organs! But at the same time, I am sooo self conscious right now and I don't wanna feel that way! I'm too old to be dealing with this..ok so I'm only 20, but I hardly see anyone these days with acne problems.

If anyone has any advice, words of wisdom, etc...it would be appreciated.

Hello hello everyone :naughty:

Everything with my skin is going great. No acne, no blackheads, no whiteheads, nothing. It's reallllly nice. I just wish I didn't have the little scars right on the apples of my cheeks. They make me sad.

Ugh I have strep throat though. I have been feeling real lousy for almost 3 days now. Went to the doctor today and they confirmed it was strep and gave me penicillin.

But back to accutane....

Anyone who is considering trying this drug...DO IT. It really is a miracle. If you're tired of trying different prescriptions, spending money going to the derm and buying everything you can think of, then lets end this battle with accutane. The side effects are definitely blown out of proportion. Don't be afraid of them, just be aware. I was terrified to go on this, but I didn't suffer from ANY major side effects. My best friend has really bad skin and has had it since 3rd grade. She has selfish parents that have never taken her to the derm and they drilled it into her brain that it's too expensive so she has suffered ever since and she is now in college. I hate that her parents didn't care enough about her self esteem to try to help her. So anyway, she buys all these dumb expensive things from the store like clearasil, clean and clear 3 step kit, the neutrogena "wave" ..gosh...it's dumb. Cystic acne isn't going to go away using this junk, heavy medications are the only way out. So yeah, I'm done venting on that. But my point is, nothing you buy or use is going to satisfy you or guaruntee clear skin except for accutane. Don't waste your time and money on things that don't work. I was on many prescriptions before and for a while they kept my skin under CONTROL but they never completely stopped the activity or got rid of my blackheads which I hated. So other prescriptions are a temporary fix and you'll have to continue getting them filled or switching once you become too immune to them. It's a vicious cycle. TRUST ME.

Day 118

By caitbethmatch,

Wow, I haven't updated in a long time. Umm...my skin is clear. Although I have a few tiny bumps in a couple places. I don't know if they are white heads are what. I don't really notice them but I can feel them when I touch my face. I still get those dand dry patches but I just put up with them. I went to the derm the other day and got my LAST PERSCRIPTION!!! So that was pretty exciting! It's been a long journey, but at the same time it went really fast, once I quit thinking about it all the time. That's why I didn't blog all the time. My derm said my skin looked really good, there was no activity, and that he wanted to see me 9 weeks from now to see how I was doing. I'm SO ready to be off of accutane but at the same time I'm terrified that my acne will come back.

I've looked back at pictures from last spring break and I can see a really nice difference. My scars still bother me but I hope that they will fade eventually. Mineral makeup covers them well, so it's really not a hassle to take care of.

Back to college on Monday. I don't want to go back!!!

My skin isn't behaving like I had hoped it would at this point. I mean I got this huge zit on my chin a couple days ago which I popped yesterday to relieve pressure but now it's this really red spot. I have 2 dry patches on either side of my mouth. The dry patches on my arms are returning. They were gone for quite a while and now they're back. Everything seems to happen in cycles. The truth is, I am really tired of being on this stuff. I want to wash my hair everyday again, to have moisture in my skin and lips, to just feel normal. I would also like to stop losing hair. My hair has been so dry and annoying I am seriously thinking about cutting it all off, and mind you, my hair is at my lower back right now. It's prettyyy long. My whole body is darkly tanned right now but my face keeps on like, rejecting the sun. Like, I'll get some sun on it, but by the time evening roles around it looks like it's gone. Or when I exfoliate my face or just wash it, I can feel that tanned skin just rolling off. So it's frustrating because my face doesn't match the rest of me. It's been hard to be positive when I feel so defeated. I'm just wondering how much longer it's going to take before I can see a big difference in my skin. But on a happier note, a new Twilight trailer teaser just came out and I watched it and it made me very excited!!

Day 65

By caitbethmatch,

Things are getting better from the last blog I write! My skin is feeling really smooth and I put aquaphor on my dry patch and it's helping a lot! My nose hasn't been as sore. Tell you what I love it when I have a few days where I feel like I am looking good! They don't last long though. But I'm in my second month so hopefully by the end of this month I'll be looking even better!

I haven't had any new pimples I don't think. A few whiteheads here and there. The only thing bugging me is the dry patches that are red and other red marks from past breakouts or zits I popped...mistake. Haha. With my mineral makeup you can hardly see them though.

Oh. my. gosh. I went to the Indy Zoo with my family on Sunday and danggg I was sore from walking around all day. My ankles were killing me, my back, just all over. But my mom gave me a massage that night so I was grateful for that.

I went kayaking today for about 2.5 hours and it was at midday so....hopefully I don't look like a lobster by tomorrow morning. I had sunscreen on but in certain places I used a very low SPF.

Still haven't heard a word about my blood test. I'm really getting worried about that for my liver's sake!!! I didn't even get one before I started accutane. Which I think most people do. Am I going to a quack derm or what? I really like him though.

My forehead is so smooth it's amazing!! I love touching it, but I probably shouldn't be! Haha. It looks perfect. I don't think I have anymore blackheads either. I can't wait to see what I look like at the end of my 3rd month.

My derm hasn't bumped me up on my dosage yet. I have been on 40 mg for 2 months and he thinks I am doing really well with it.

Things are not going so well. I have dry patches on my arms, and they are multiplying. They are pink so they show quite a bit. My nose is dry inside and out. I am getting dry skin on my face (this hasn't happened til now) and I also have a dry patch on my face!! NOT easy to cover with makeup!! The smallest things like this just knock my self esteem down quite a few steps.

So I'll be going to the pool here soon and I'm worried about what the chlorine will do to my hair and skin. Anyone have any input on that?

I have back pain, pain in my calves, and ankles. I only get the back pain when I sneeze..weird. And I only get the other pains when I am at work and when I get home from work.

I ran out of my St. Ive's apricot scrub and I have been using it all along..well since I haven't used it in the last few days maybe that's why I developed this dry patch..ugh. I better buy some more!

I've been tanning outside and fake baking on rainy days and I'm fine. The only thing I noticed was my neck got pink. That's my sensitive spot now that I'm on accutane.

I also cried myself to sleep the other night. Depression?? Well, I don't think so because I had reason to be upset. A guy I worked with died on Thursday in a freak accident. He was a really sweet old man..maybe 60's or 70's and he just had eye surgery. Well, surgery went fine. Next day he was under his car doing something and the jack broke and the car collapsed on him. I'm so torn up by this. Just how it happened. I was working with him one day and the next day he's gone. The weird thing is, on Tuesday of that week he talked to my uncle (the boss) in his office and he gave his life to Christ. By Thursday he's gone. It's just insane. ANDD on Monday I think it was? My uncle told all of the employees to pray for Mike because he is having eye surgery and my uncle was getting choked up about it. I'm thinking..Ok...what the big deal, he's just getting cataracts which is very common. But my uncle was like "He really needs a lot of prayer" so it was almost like he knew something was going to happen. I don't know.

Second reason I cried myself to sleep was because of my cat. She was sick all day and growing up with cats, most of the time if they are sick, it's not all day. She was throwing up foam-bad sign. She was seen chewing on my sister's laptop cords-bad sign. And acted very sluggish almost in a daze. I was really really worried about her. She wouldn't eat or drink. Then late that night she was laying on my bed and I was ready to go to sleep and I wanted her out of my room. So I try to pick her up and she growls at me. She NEVER has done that. THEN I try using the sheet on the bed to kind of push her off. She hisses at me and snaps at me. Again, never happens. At this point I am crying. I finally got her out by going downstairs and shaking the treat container. She doesn't eat the treat. So I run back upstairs and get in bed. I was hysterical over this. I think it was because I read all these stories through google about her condition and I thought she was going to die during the night. But she is fine now, thank God.

Alright, enough for now. Hoepfully my skin will get better soon because these dry patches aren't attractive.

PS. My derm never told me to get a blood test and I am going to my second month appt. within a few days! Anyone have this problem? I heard that he may not have told me to get one because I am on a low dosage. Plus before I started treatment he said they would do the blood tests there in their office...?

Day 51

By caitbethmatch,

My nose is really dry inside. In fact when I rub it I can tell how sore it is inside.

Whenever I sneeze I get this awful twinge in my back and it hurts bad. I know it's the accutane. Sneezing is no longer pleasurable. Haha.

I have 2 pimples right now. One I thought was a bite of some sort but since it seems dryish today I think it was just a stubborn pimple and is getting better.

I just can't wait til I am completely clear. :wub:

I don't even have a dry face and my lips don't bother me because I know the tricks around it. I'm really grateful for it too.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

I just read something about having trouble getting earrings in while on accutane. Well, this has happened to me as well. Weird! I'm still working on the crack on the right side of my mouth. It's not severe though. I still get little pimples from time to time and they stick out because they are red and the rest of me is basically clear. My forehead is really smoothe today. I think the blackheads that were there are gone. But I still have some on my nose and chin and who knows where else. My scars have faded, but they're still there and that's what's hard to deal with. I don't want to get a chemical peel when this is all done and over because I saw one done on tv the other day and for a week (after getting one) she looked quite scary.

Anyway I won't update much unless something happens, because right now I'm just coasting along.

Day 33

By caitbethmatch,

Well, nothing is really happening. I have 2 lovely zits on my face. Um..blackheads are still there. I washed my hair on Sunday and I just now washed it again today (Friday) WHOA. And the thing is...it didn't need washed even in the slightest bit. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Although the other night when I took a shower I put a deep condition on it, but I did not shampoo it. The right side of my mouth is trying very hard to start another crack. Here we go again....BUT I have my neosporin so I'm good.

I can't wait until I am in the third month because I hear that that's when most people start seeing progress if not completely clear. And I have very mild acne so I'm hoping I get lucky. I'm worred about my hair though because once my cousins get there pool ready I will be over there about every day swimming and I'm afraid of what the chlorine will do to my hair..and skin for that matter.

My hair has changed texture but I only notice it when I'm in the shower. It feels dry. Other than that, no dry skin and lips are just fine with carmex.