Sad news, friends. Unfortunately, since my last entry, I have acquired two new pimples!! One on the front of my lower right cheek and the other a little bit higher on my left cheek. Not good since I was making such happy progress. Since the only things I had changed recently in my regimen was adding the lemon juice and Milk of Magnesia, I immediately stopped both. I'm not sure which one was the culprit but I didn't want to stop one and continue the other and vice versa to find out. I simply don't want to risk yet another blemish. I suppose there is the off-chance that neither of them caused it, but I'm too paranoid to give it another go. I am still planning to use the MoM as a mask because I do think it does wonders for oily skin, but I won't be leaving it on all day underneath my makeup. The lemon juice I'm not to upset about getting rid of since I'm not so sure it was actually doing anything anyway.
Of course, as soon as I saw a little pimple action going on, out came the BP and ice and I think both bumps may be on their way out. I'll let you know where we stand in a few days...
My oily skin is still driving me crazy and I'm thinking of switching to a tinted moisturizer to replace my foundation during the week. I really love the coverage but as my skin is clearing up I think I can start doing with less. I've been pretty much going without makeup on the weekends but I still want something to put on for work to even out skin tone and provide a little ocverage. Any suggestions are always appreciated!
I added two new products to my regimen over the weekend. As you can guess from the title...lemons and milk of magnesia! I had mentioned before about starting to use lemon juice to work on my hyperpigmentation. But getting the MoM was kind of spur of the moment. I have UBER oily skin and am sooo over the whole "oil spill" look on my face day after day so...after doing a little research I discovered that MoM is apparently great for controlling oil production. Weird, 'cause it's a laxative. But, hey, I'm desperate and necessity is the mother of invention...and the killer of pride. So I ran out Saturday night (in the middle of a snowstorm. See? Definitely desperate.) to put this product to the test.
There are a bunch of different ways to use MoM - cleanser, mask, primer, etc. My intent was to use it as a primer underneath my makeup. I've been using it since Sunday and playing around with the amount I use and am still on the fence about this product. Yes, it's incredibly cheap and you get a huge amount, but I don't know if it's exactly rave-worthy. It does slow down my daily oil production, which is a huge plus, but by the time I head home for work around 4 I look about how I usually do. It does keep my face shine free longer than any other product I've used (about 4 hours or so) but, ultimately, I have the same end result. I think I'll keep using it because, like I said it's worked better than any other expensive primer or mattifier I've used but I didn't get the whole "10 hours of no shine" like some other people have experienced. I've been progressively using more and more each morning so I'm going to lay it on even thicker tomorrow and see what happens...
I've also been using the lemon juice nightly on my skin since Saturday. I bought three lemons, squeezed them to death, and put the juice in a little container I keep in the fridge. At night, I take a cotton ball, dip it in the juice and swipe it all over my lower face then leave it on the entire night and wash off in the morning. I tend to use quite a bit. I know people complain about the stinging and burning but I haven't really experienced either. It stings (a little) for about 5 seconds and that's pretty much it. However, I don't currently have any breakouts and I do have pretty hearty skin so that could be why. Putting it on an active pimple would probably hurt significantly more. As with the MoM, I'm still on the fence with this whole lemon thing. I think it's reduced the redness in my face a bit and my red marks look a bit lighter? kinda? But I'm not ready to sing from my rooftop just yet. I'm going to give this some more time though because fading marks is a lengthy process.
Since I've added these two products, my regimen has had one minor tweak. I no longer use BP at night because I don't want to put it on while the lemon is on my face. Not sure what kind of crazy reaction might take place...
Other than that, things are looking good. My skin is still clear and the pimple I had on my neck is gone. (thank you, BP) Really just focusing on post-acne clean-up for the most part...
Hey guys! Not too much to report on this end so this should be a quickie. My skin is still holding up and staying clear. I only had one tiny bump pop up but it was on my neck so I'm not really counting it. I did just finish doing a 15 minute mask and noticed what looked like a potential pimple on my left temple so I just covered it in BP. Hopefully that'll do the trick. I'm thinking the reason for that bump might have something to do with my new haircut and the fact that I had my hair down and around my face. I'll have to be careful of that...As for the water and green tea, I did much better this week. I had a cup of green tea every day this week and have been swapping out fruit juice (which I usually drink) with water. I can't say that I've seen any noticeable changes in my skin but it has only been a couple of days. Right now, I just need to work on making it a habit so that it becomes second nature and I don't have to tell myself to drink either. I haven't gone to the store and gotten any lemons yet...I'll probably do that tomorrow if the roads are okay. (we're getting slammed with snow here) Still hoping that they'll help to my spots to fade faster...
Have a fantastic weekend everyone!
I'm really lovin' this Cetaphil cleanser! I've been using it these past couple of days and it is doing such a better job of getting oil and dirt off of my skin than my Neutrogena face wash did. After washing my face with Neutrogena, I'd still get a fair amount of dirt coming off on my cotton ball with my astringent. Now, my astringent-soaked cotton ball comes away from my face the same color as before I swept it all over my skin. There's no leftover makeup hanging around to come off! I also love the Cetaphil smells and feels on your skin. It's mainly a clear gel consistency and it doesn't lather much but it gets the job done.
Together with that, my BP, and Cetaphil lotion, my skin really does look great! I even went out and ran errands on Saturday without makeup! (I mean I still wore mascara because I love mascara and don't think I could ever leave the house without it, BUT I didn't wear any foundation or concealer.) I just brushed on a clear powder to get rid of shine and out the door I went! It was such a wonderfully freeing experience to know that I could go out in public and not have to hide behind layers of goop. And I knew people were seeing me and not my acne. I have a few spots of hyperpigmentation that are a nuisance but I'm going to try some lemon juice on them and see if that speeds up the fading process.
So ladies and gents...as of this moment I'm VERY happy with how things are progressing. Now, if I can get rid of these post-acne marks, I will have honest-to-goodness clear skin. The first time in about ten years!! C'mon, lemons, do your thing!
P.S. I'm still kind of slacking on the water and green tea thing but I always get lazy on the weekends. So I'm going to give it another go this week and see how I do...
So I stopped by Wal-mart after work today to pick up a couple of things and among them were: more BP!, Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, and Women's One A Day vitamins. As you can tell by my mini-shopping list, I am trying to not simply treat my skin but work on healthier lifestyle habits, too. While I haven't had much success with the whole water and green tea challenge (I had my first cup of green tea today and it's already Wednesday!), I am trying to make an effort. I know clear skin goes way beyond creams and cleansers so now that my skin is start to look fan-freakin'-tastic I want to make sure it stays that way by exercising, taking my vitamins, watching what I eat, increasing my water intake, etc. And the thing is, I'll be doing a lot more than just keeping my skin clear in the process. There a ton of other great benefits to consider--like stronger bones, increased energy and so and so forth and you get the point. I'm starting to sound like a sappy infomercial.
In regards to the "strange occurrence" from my previous entry...I am happy to say that the situation has been resolved. The bump on my cheek kind of just opened up the other day so it's flat and fading and the one on my cheekbone threw in the towel and just sort of melted back into oblivion. So I now have officially clear skin (minus my old acne marks/scars) with NO breakouts to speak of. At this point, I am in the third (or second? I lost count but I think it's the third) week on the Regimen and it looks like it's working just peachy.
Hopefullly, I won't react to the new Cetaphil cleanser and my skin will continue to look perdi-ful!
Sorry it's been a few days since I've updated my blog. Unfortunately, I've been under the weather and busy (NOT a good combination) and haven't had a second to sit down and give you a proper update on my skin. So seeing as it's a quiet Sunday afternoon and I'm feeling much better, here we go.
I've had a rather strange occurrence take place on my face this past week. You know how I've been using ice and BP to nip pimples in the bud before they have a chance to become a raging, full-on breakout? Weeell, it seems that while I have done just that, once I've stopped the little boogers progress, they don't want to go away. Let me explain. I had a zit-to-be on both my left cheekbone and the front of my right cheek. I immediately attacked both of them and was pleased when after a few days they did not get any bigger or turn into whiteheads. HOWEVER, they haven't exactly disappeared either. Instead, they've stayed as slightly raised, slightly red marks on my face. It's like they're stuck in pimple purgatory. They are not full-fledged zits, but they're not just post-acne marks either. And now I'm not sure how to get rid of them! I think there may still be some infection in there since they aren't completely flat. But I don't know how to get the infection out if they don't develop a head. Aargh! So now I'm playing the waiting game and treating them with BP twice a day and hoping they'll take a hint and vanish...
In the meantime, my old marks are continuing to fade. My progress may be due more to time passing than the BP but, regardless, they're looking better. I haven't purchased a new mask as of yet, but will most likely buy the Origins mask as it's the only one that seems to be worth buying. I did a little research on masks for acne-prone skin and most of the suggestions are for home remedies instead of store-bought masks. I applied a water and baking soda mask the other night in lieu of my Booth's mask and while it didn't have any miraculous results it did make my skin incredibly soft. I think I might alternate between the two this next week and see what kind of effect it has.
I really want something that can help with controlling my oil production, though. It doesn't necessarily have to be a mask, just something. I've tried oil blotting sheets, powders, primers, etc. I even bought OC Eight with dismal results. The truth is, I have insanely oily skin and even right now my nose is shining to beat the band. Rudolph's got nothing on this guy, let me tell you. And this is without makeup on! Makeup just seems to put my oil glands into overdrive. Origins makes a tonic for oily skin called Oil Refiner that looks promising...but I think I'm going to have to wait on my tax refund before I invest in any new products.
This is random, but I was bumming around YouTube wasting time and I picked up a couple tips on how to maintain clear skin. It wasn't really anything I didn't already know, but I was inspired by this YouTuber's shining example to stop being lazy and put some of her suggestions into practice. One is to drink more water and two is to drink a cup of green tea each day. Both help to flush your body of toxins and green tea has the added benefits of anti-oxidants and increasing your metabolism. So I'm going to try and incorporate both of those things into my diet this next week...wish me luck!
Well, folks, it's finally come down to it. The real test of just how well this Regimen works. It is, unfortunately, that time of the month again and I always, ALWAYS, breakout in the few days preceding it. Whether it be 1 pimple or 6, I never make it through this time unscathed. Soo...I was very excited to put the Regimen to the test and see if it could handle my skin amidst full-on hormonal chaos (drumroll please)...
...and I'm very happy to say that I am quite pleased with the results! While I did have a renegade pimple stubbornly try to make its way to the surface on my left cheekbone, after a little ice and a lot of BP, it has been subdued! And other than that little guy, I haven't had any other problems with breakouts. Truly a miracle in my book! It is only day 1, but since I don't typically break out during my period, I have high hopes that my skin will continue to stay clear.
I would like to say that I really think ice is a big help when it comes to treating new pimples still under the surface. I used to never ice my skin before and now that I do, I can't imagine why I didn't before. It makes perfect sense, really. If you had a swelling on any other part of your body, it would be normal to apply an ice pack or some ice cubes to the area. But for some reason, I never put two and two together and thought "hey! maybe i should try this on my acne!" While it certainly won't cure acne, applying ice for a good 15 or 20 minutes really helps to take away redness and swelling, and, in my experience, makes new pimples a lot less likely to keep growing. Just a thought!
I haven't made any changes to the Regimen since my last entry or purchased any new products so I'm afraid I don't have too much to contribute tonight.
BUT, have a fantastic Friday everyone and keep fighting the good fight!
Happy Monday to you all! I'm afraid my Monday wasn't very happy, but I do hope yours was just smashing. Somewhere between having to get my flat tire replaced, feeling the symptoms of an oncoming sickness (sinus infection maybe?) and realizing how behind I was at work from missing Friday made the start of this week not too promising. However, on the bright side, I hear we are in for a little bit of a snowstorm for the next two days so maybe we'll have a Level 3 and I won't have to go in to work! If said Level 3 occurs, I'm sure I could find it in my heart to forget about this miserable day...But on to happier things...
...like my clear skin! Yes, it's true. I made it through this past weekend with nary a pimple. I have NO new breakouts to speak of, and if it weren't for my dratted post-acne marks and scars, I would be home free. I'm hoping this trend is here to stay, because then I'll be free to finally focus on using things like microdermabrasion to get my skin back to its pre-pubescent state (well, almost). I did a bit of researching and I think I'm going to invest in the Youthful Essence Microdermabrasion set. From what I hear, it's got great results for a home microdermabrasion kit and isn't too rough on the skin. Now I just need to wait a couple of paychecks so I can recoup from the ridiculous amount of money I spent on my Bobbi Brown foundation and purchase this system. And, of course, I'll let you know how it works on my skin.
I also wanted to let y'all know that I have been tinkering around with the Regimen a bit. I went back to using my astringent (I felt that my skin just wasn't getting clean enough with my cleanser alone) and haven't been using the Cetaphil twice a day each day. My skin really hasn't been suffering from dryness so I've started to use it only in the morning ( unless my skin is feeling unusually tight at night). Nothing too major, but I wanted to keep my records accurate in case anyone may be using the same products I am. I also used my mask and a Biore strip over the weekend (of course!) and since I'm almost out of my Booth's mask, I'm going to be looking around for a new product to try. (Can you tell I'm a product junkie? Always have to try something different...) The Booth's mask works fine but it's not anything super-special so I'll keep on sampling different things.
I should be back with another entry later this week. Stay warm!
Since things are starting to calm down on my face (hallelujah!), I don't think I'll be doing daily entries anymore. While I've grown quite fond of blogging, I'm afraid I just don't have enough to report on to warrant an entry a day. Sooo...instead of writing 7 entries a week, it'll probably be closer to 3 or 4 (or less if things are going really well). But don't worry! If you've been faithfully following this blog, I will definitely keep it updated and as helpful and interesting as possible.
Face Update: I'm feeling optimistic about my skin once again! The bump on my jaw is gone (seriously, flat as a pancake with only a light red mark) and the little pimple that was trying to sprout on the front of my right cheek yesterday was successfully squelched by a heavy smothering of BP. I think the BP might also be helping to fade some of my old post-acne marks. I've noticed since I've started using it that they seem to be gradually lightening. If this keeps up, I won't need to invest in yet another potion or piece of machinery to lighten them. (Yay for money saved!) I have gone back to applying the BP twice a day with only a slight change. At night, I'll cover my entire lower face with it, paying special attention to any breakouts. In the morning I apply the BP only to areas with "active" pimples. And of course I've been applying the Cetaphil each time after I apply the BP. I'm really lovin' the Cetaphil and once I'm done with the Neutrogena face wash I have, I think I'm going to replace it with the Cetaphil cleanser.
Alrighty, everyone, that's all I've got. So have a fantastic weekend and I'll check in next week!
I've never been a huge fan of Wednesdays. They're just like a massive 24 hour speed bump on the way to Friday that serves absolutely no purpose but to make the week seem to pass that much slower. Monday is the official beginning of the week. Tuesday means it's not Monday and you're well into starting your week and inching closer to Friday. Thursday is the day before Friday so it's a day of great anticipation (and longing) for TGIF. And Friday, well, it's FRIDAY!! 'Nuff said. But Wednesday? Really? C'mon, completely unnecessary...the monkey in the middle, if you will...
And just like Wednesday, I'm afraid this entry really isn't necessary either as I have very little to report. The bump on my right jawline is still there but it has developed a nice, hard whitehead which I shall take care of later this evening. The BP might not rid you of a pimple overnight, but it certainly speeds things along by getting the bacteria to the surface. I think there may be a pimple-in-progress on my chin just underneath the skin. But with another application or two of BP, I should hopefully be rid of it. And other than that, it's just a very "bleh" day. Nothing to get excited about, or aggravated over even. All around a very typical Wednesday.
I'm afraid I've stumbled upon a small bump on my path to clear skin. I discovered today at work that I've got a lil' ol' bump gearing up to wreak havoc on my right jawline. I guess I must've jinxed myself yesterday by going on and on about how happy I was with my progress, how great my skin was looking, etc, etc. Thing were just going just a little too well, I suppose.
But! I think I know what might have caused the little guy to appear. I have layered hair and my hair in the front is shorter than in the back. So when I put my hair up in a ponytail or twist, I have short, face-framing layers that I have to tuck behind my ears. Weeelll, when I tuck said hair behind my ears, I tend to drag my fingers (and the hair) along my jawline a wee bit. So I think what may be happening is that I am unwittingly depositing oil from my hair and fingers onto my jaw where it sits and festers and shiZAM! a pimple is born.
I will be dutifully dousing it in BP tonight and hope that an early attack will prevent it from growing. It seemed to work on my other breakouts and they healed exceptionally fast so let's hope it works its magic again.
The Cetaphil is working well and once it's on all signs of dryness disappear. I honestly haven't had too much trouble with redness or dryness, but what little I have all but vanishes once I moisturize. I don't think I'm going to bother investing in the jojoba oil unless my skin starts to resemble a dry riverbed. (Or unless I find out the Cetaphil is responsible for the bump. Then I might need to find another moisture fix...)
In the meantime, I will watch what I say and try not be overly optimistic.
I know, I know...I did not write an entry yesterday and, for that, I am terribly sorry. But, I was out of town for the majority of the day and by the time it was all said and done I put off blogging and headed to bed instead. (a sentence ending worthy of Dr. Seuss, yes?) Anywho, so I am starting a new week rested and ready to go and very pleased with how my skin is looking.
Although I didn't write an entry yesterday, I did post pictures in my album so you can see how my face is clearing up. There is still a little cluster on my left jawline that is absolutely refusing to budge but they're fading by the day. I think there may be a little infection left in there because they're still a little raised. Hopefully, the BP will encourage the bacteria to scooch to the surface so I can be rid of them once and for all.
I also bought my new moisturizer yesterday...a giant bottle of Cetaphil! This morning was the first time that I applied it so we'll have to give it a few days to see if my skin approves. It feels great when you put it on! I'm so used to Neutrogena's moisturizer, which is pretty light, and I can really feel my skin taking a nice long drink when I apply the Cetaphil. Maybe it's the glycerin in it? Either way, I can definitely tell a difference right off between the two. Since my skin was starting to dry out a bit along the bottom of my face, it arrived just in time.
I treated myself to a scrub yesterday (St. Ive's Apricot Scrub) and then slapped on a Biore nose strip for about twenty minutes so my face really does feel refreshed and ready to face another long week. I know this is going to sound kinda weird, but I think it's so neat when you take of the pore strips and you can see all the little cylinders of oil that get pulled out of your nose. It's like something straight out of a biology class. Fantastic!
So, as you can probably tell, I'm feeling pretty good about my skin right now. I'm thinking that the true test of this regimen will come in a few weeks when it's that time of the month again. If I can survive that bump-free, then I know I've found a winner!
P.S. (still haven't figured out if this is proper blogging etiquette) I'm thinking about investing in the DermaNew Microdermabrasion Kit. I really want to start working on getting rid of my old acne marks/scars. Your thoughts? Please feel free to comment. (I'm starting to think maybe I'm talking to myself...which I do...just not in public places... so, yes, drop me line! )
So...I had my first reaction to the Regimen last night. After applying my BP and giving it time to dry, I applied my Neutrogena moisturizer like usual. Weellll, my face started to burn!! Nothing too intense, but it was definitely uncomfortable. I thought maybe I didn't apply enough moisturizer so I put on more. But to no avail. And then! The skin around my lips started to burn! So I ran and grabbed some Noxema (I use Noxema anytime I burn myself so I figured it would help) and applied it. It cooled the burning sensation and in a few minutes all was well. But the whole incident has kind of made me a bit wary of the BP. I think what I'm going to do for the time being is only apply the BP at night. My skin is finally starting to get a bit dry and seeing as my skin is clear right now, I think I might be okay with just a once-a-day application. There's also the chance that it may have been my moisturizer causing the reaction so once I try the Cetaphil the problem might be solved.
The run to the Prescriptives counter today didn't quite work out as planned. I arrived at Macy's eager to be matched to my dream foundation and could not find the counter anywhere in the makeup section. I finally went up and asked one of the sales reps if she had any idea as to its whereabouts and she told me that Prescriptives was gone and Shiseido was now in its place. (the Prescriptives website said they weren't closing their counters until tomorrow) Poop! But...I had a back-up plan. (There was no way I was going to drive 45 minutes without one.) I had heard that Bobbi Brown's foundations are all yellow-based and well-reviewed (and I've been looking for a foundation that doesn't make me look like an orange or a tomato) so I trekked over to Saks and, after a lovely little makeover with the Bobbi Brown sales rep, I ended up purchasing Skin Foundation in Honey. At first I thought the shade was a bit dark, but now that I've been wearing it for the entire afternoon and well into the evening I think she was spot on. It really gives my face a nice healthy glow and I don't look pale or ashy. And I think it will still match my skin tone once summer rolls around and I have a tan again. It was a bit pricey; I think it was like $48. But its supposed to last for 24 months and I'm not planning to use it everday so I'm thinking of it as an investment. I'll keep you posted on how my skin reacts to it.
I'll try and post new pics tomorrow to show you how well my skin has cleared up.
Yay for Friday! I can't believe it's already been almost a week since I've started the Regimen.and this blog. I'm definitely not complaining, though. I'm not a big fan of winter and the sooner the warm weather gets here the better. The temperature should never be in the single digits. Ever. Nor should it have a little hyphen (-) in front of it. OR, even worse, have double digits with a hyphen in front of it! Madness.
Not too much to report on the face front. I coated my entire lower face with BP last night and this morning and still no redness/dryness. My face does get super tight after I apply it, but once I've moisturized, it's back to normal. My only complaint of the moment is that my nose could really use a Biore strip. I didn't use one last week because of the huge, honkin' bump on the side of my nose and even though it's been gone for a few days now, I wanted to give my skin plenty of time to heal. Those strips pull out EVERYTHING and I could just imagine how painful that process might feel on raw skin. Yeah. So I'm waiting. I'm playing it safe and waiting till Sunday, but my pores are gettin' kinda icky in the meantime. I have a comedone extractor but I don't like to use it because sometimes it backfires on you. In fact, I think the pimple on my nose may have been from an extraction gone bad. It's happened on my cheeks before, too, so I always try to be VERY careful when using it. The last thing I need more of is pimples.
Still trying to find out what product to use for post-acne marks. I talked with my Dad last night (he's an MD) and he suggested Retin-A. I tried that in high school, but for actual pimples, never to try and fade marks. He also suggested re-visiting my dermatologist who I haven't seen in, oh, 7-8 years? If this Regimen keeps up the good work, though,and puts a stop to my breakouts, I can actually focus on cleaning up post-acne damage instead of worrying about fighting current breakouts. But in the meantime, I'm just going to try and convince myself that they're not acne marks but rather large freckles.
Alright, this entry is going to be a quickie 'cause I'm a little short on time. I"m making myself sit down and write, though, because I've been so good about blogging everyday and I know if I make an excuse once then I'll keep making them and that would be the end of this merry little trip....so, onto my face...
There's really not too much to report because, for the most part, I'm just in the process of waiting for old blemishes to heal. The two on my jaw are flat and barely noticeable and the only thing making my face look not so great is my post-acne marks. Oh, and I have noticed the first signs of dryness on my nose where I was putting the BP. Nothing major, though. And since my nose is a veritable oil field, I doubt it will last very long. No new pimples have popped up (hallelujah!) so now I can focus on "pimple prevention" instead of attacking new ones. It was such a great feeling washing my face this morning and being able to run my hands over my face with NO pain. My skin was so smooth and touchable and I didn't feel like I was running my hands over a crater. Very nice! Although now that I don't really have anywhere to spot treat, I just may resort to Dan's full-face BP application. I know I said yesterday that I don't like to use BP all over my lower face but since I don't have any active bumps to smother I think a general coating might be best way to prevent new breakouts. I'll give it a shot tonight and see what kind of reaction I have in the morning.
I'm almost out of my Neutrogena moisturizer so I think I'm going to pick up some Cetaphil over the weekend. I've heard good things about it (and it comes in a much bigger bottle) so I'm going to give it a shot and see what happens. Oh yeah, and remember what I had said about wanting to try a Prescriptives foundation? Well it turns out they are really really going out of business (it's not just a rumor) and the 31st is officially their last day in stores so guess who's going to make a last minute, mad dash to her local Prescriptives makeup counter? Yup. If anything, I just want to get ColorPrinted and give their foundation a try and if I like it I can always order it online (at least until their inventory runs out).
Okay, well I guess that wasn't such a short entry, but I type fast so it took quicker than it looks. Have a fantastic Friday...I know I will!
Well, guys, things are continuing to look up on this end! I have no new breakouts to speak of and am making progress with the two that were giving me grief yesterday. They're both probably half the size they originally were and I really think the BP is helping to speed up the healing process. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the other pimple opened up this morning as I was applying the said BP. Now both of them are nearly flat and not nearly as noticeable. I'll try and post pics this weekend so you can see what a week of the Regimen has done for my skin. Pretty exciting!
Today, I revisited Dan's videos showing how to apply Neutrogena's On the Spot cream and thought I should mention that I am applying the BP a bit differently than he does. He basically slathers the entire bottom half of his face with the stuff. While I have no doubt that that method is a very proactive one, I've been doing more of an extensive "spot treatment." Basically I'll take a fingertip of the cream and apply it to an individual trouble spot and work it into that general area in a circular motion until it's been absorbed. So, for example, for the two spots on my jaw, I would just take a fingertip-full of the BP and rub it into that area (and of course, since it's a lot, the surrounding areas get some too). I don't usually breakout on my forehead (like Dan) so I'm just focusing on treating the lower-half of my face. However, I repeat, I DO NOT cover the entirety of my lower face with it. As I've said before, I don't have severe acne and I don't feel that I need to treat skin that is perfectly fine. In my experience, applying either BP or salicylic acid to healthy has led to breakouts. I'm not sure exactly why. But my idea is if you've got a good thing going, don't bother it! Now, of course, if you're dealing with more extensive acne, then whole face treatment might be the best way to go for you. But for mild acne-sufferers, I would suggest taking it back a notch and only up the amount of BP if you're breakouts call for it. Just a thought...
All of this face-changing talk has got me thinking about making other changes, too...Perhaps a new haircut is called for? I've been wanting to cut my hair short for the longest time and I think now might be a good time to make the plunge. I'm off to look at pics and get some ideas. Keep on truckin' everyone!
Sad news, friends. As I sit here typing this entry, my BP is slowly drying on, yes, the same two pimples that sprang up yesterday. Unfortunately, Operation Annihilation was not a success. (although I guess it was a bit much to expect them to vanish overnight) And not only that, these are serious bumps. You know the kind. When it hurts when you just breath on them. Yeah...not fun. So I whipped out the bag of ice this evening and iced them for a good twenty minutes with minimal results. The swelling went down a smidge and I actually popped the one under my chin which released some of the pressure. But I can tell there's still stuff in there (which will hopefully have surfaced by tomorrow). (Now, before you go off about my trigger happy, pimple-poppin' methods, let me interject here that I only pop pimples that have a huge white head and open easily under minimal pressure. I don't force it...I learned the hard way and have the scars to prove it.)
Moving on...the rest of my face is looking pretty fantastic! The bump on my nose is gone and now I've just go to play the waiting game with the post-acne redness. My right cheek is completely bump free and smooth to the touch. Of course I have some red marks from recent flare-ups, but nothing new. My left cheek is...getting there. I still have the one healing on the front of my cheek and then the two clowns chillin' on the bottom of my face. But, again, no excessive redness or dryness from the BP so much happiness there. Regardless, I think I'm going to try and track down some jojoba oil over the weekend so I have something on hand should I end up getting a case of the flakies.
So, I did not get my miracle, but things are certainly looking up. My ultimate goal is to be able to get away with wearing no makeup or a just tinted moisturizer and not look like a puberty-wracked teenager. Looks like it could be a possibility!
Happy Monday! I actually had a pretty good Monday today...which is not usually the case. Although I think this might be more due to the fact that I approach Mondays with an overwhelming sense of dread instead of the idea that Mondays are inherently terrible. It is, after all, just another day. And there are plenty of people who think the week starts on Sunday soo......so, anywho, I'm completely off topic.
Day 3 on the regimen and...I have a new pimple!! Soo not cool. Yup, smack dab on my left jawline and I feel a baby one creeping up underneath my chin. Again NOT cool! But, hey, what's success without a couple setbacks beforehand, right? I still can't complain of redness or dry skin so that's definitely a plus and the pimple on my right cheek that was healing is flat and well on it's way into zit history. Maybe the fact that I don't have red or flaky skin means I'm not putting on enough BP? Hmmm...I'll make sure to smear on an extra gob of goo tonight and check back in the morning. The bump on my nose is kinda gross and scabby right but I think I got all of the gunk out (please excuse my language).
One thing I did notice this morning when applying my makeup was that the BP makes it difficult to apply liquid foundation. The spots on my face where I applied it were a bit tacky so it was hard to spread my makeup evenly without it building up on those spots. I only use a liquid foundation as concealer and then use Makeup Forever's Duo Mat foundation for all over coverage. I know makeup's a big thing when you have acne and I'm still on my quest to find a foundation that provides medium/full coverage, matches my skin tone perfectly, and gives my exceedingly oily skin a matte finish for at least 8 hours. I think my next purchase is going to be a Prescriptive's foundation. I've heard pretty good things about them and I'd love to have a foundation that matches my skintone exactly.
Well, hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to report the complete and total annihilation of two offending pimples. Until then...
Alright, so I've made it to day 2. Woo hoo! Don't worry this entry will be significantly shorter than the first one. Now that I've gotten all the preliminaries out of the way I can just give you quick, concise updates. Or attempt to, at least. I've always been accused of being wordy when I write...can't imagine why...
Okay, so here's what's going on with the face today. No new pimples (yay!) and the one on my nose is even smaller then yesterday and shrinking. The ones that are healing look pretty much the same so no real improvement there. My face is still holding up quite well and there's no dryness or redness from the BP (double yay!). I know it's still really early to tell how things are working but, as of right now, there's no reason to stop, so I'm gonna keep trucking.
Oh, and a little tip I thought of that I could share. Something that I've found really helpful in helping to reduce breakouts is to change your pillowcase nightly. I know that I'm not the first person to think of this or suggest it, but it really does help! I used to change pillowcases every night but then I got tired of doing laundry daily so I started doing it once a week. Huge difference! Think about it...if you've got oil, makeup, etc. from your hair or face on your pillow, you're rubbing your face in it each night for 7-8 hours (or however long you sleep)! Yeah, definitely not healthy. And especially for girls like me who have African American hair and add oil to it, it's really important. Hope that's helpful!
Oh, oh, and I added pics too to my gallery so you can get an idea of what I'm dealing with here. It's really not that bad but I hope my experience with the Regimen can at least give people with mild acne an idea of how it may work for them.
Okay, for starters, I've never done the whole blogging thing before, so right off the bat I'd like to apologize for any potential blogging faux pas I may commit. I just thought it would be helpful to keep a written record of my progress (yes, progress is definitely what I'm going for here) on the Regimen and to keep me motivated. I can be a bit ADD at times and so sticking with anything for any extended period of time can be quite taxing for me unless I'm really, really into it. So, I'm hoping that blogging my way though this might not be such a bad idea. And maybe I'll even be able to share some helpful hints of my own along the way. So let's begin, shall we?
Alright, so my acne history. As is usually the case, I started my battle with acne at about 12 (so about ten years ago) just as the whole puberty thing was kicking into high gear. Thankfully, I never struggled with severe acne, but I definitely had enough to cause scarring and to make me feel completely embarrassed and insecure when out in public. I discovered makeup not too far after the first zits began to appear and since then have tried to battle my bad-behaved face with medication and beauty products. I've tried many different things, mostly drug store brands, Clearsil, Clean and Clear, Biore, etc. and even gave ProActiv a shot (with disastrous results!). My lastest acquistion was a Zeno (a complete waste of money!) about a year ago and since then I've been using Neutrogena which has been just okay. Like I said before, I don't have severe acne and now that I'm a bit older my breakouts have become less frequent. But it is soo frustrating when I do breakout! I guess now that I'm in my twenties I feel like I've done my time and should be done with acne forever. (don't we all?)
Anywho, my current regimen (prior to The Regimen) consisted of washing my face with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash (the foam cleanser), toning with Clean & Clear's Deep-Cleaning Astringent, and spot treating with Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel (what a mouthful!). I use Booth's Deep Cleansing Volcanic Mud Mask twice a week and once a week use St. Ive's Apricot Scrub. That's about it. Oh, and I use Biore's Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips on my nose once a week. (Let me just interject quickly that Biore's pore strips are fantastic!! They really yank all the gunk out of your pores and the proof is right there on the strip. Wonderful! And they've even helped shrink my pores. Definitely a good purchase if you struggle with large pores and blackheads)Okay, so that's basically what I've been doing to my face for the past year or so. As I look at myself in the mirror right now, I have one "live" pimple and three that are healing and a generous sprinkling of red post-acne spots...so not incredibly terrible.
Now, I'm a drug store girl like I said and have spent the past couple of years just rotating between different brands when I feel like they're no longer working for me. When I came across the Regimen I was pleasantly surprised that I could have clear skin AND still use drug store products! So of course I ran to my local Wal-Mart yesterday and grabbed a tube of Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment. I have decided to pretty much keep my regimen the same and simply stop using my astringent and use the On the Spot instead of my Rapid Clear gel. I think by changing those two steps I will be successfully switching from my regimen to the Regimen (unless I misunderstood somewhere) and today is my first full day on it. I technically started last night because that's when I applied the BP but, regardless, I, MixieMac, have officially begun my Regimen journey!
So, how's my skin right now after a night and day of the Regimen? Well, it's not any drier than it usually is during the winter. While my skin does get really tight after applying the BP, once I've moisturized it's perfectly normal. (However, I have used 10% BP before so I don't think it'll take my skin a long time to adjust to using it again. We'll know for sure in a few days.) After leaving it on overnight, I definitely noticed that my "live" pimples were smaller and hurt less when touched. The ones that were healing were about the same, maybe a touch smaller? I did pop the one on the side of my nose this evening (apologies to my sensitive readers) and I'm thinking by Monday it'll be gone. Here's hoping!
So there you have it. After the end of day one, I am down one pimple, working on another, and my skin is, as of right now, not red, itchy, dry, or flaky. Let's hope it stays that way...
P.S. (can you P.S. on a blog? oh well, I will anyway) I've been looking forever for products that help with fading post-acne marks (and actually work!). If anyone has any suggestions for good, tried and true products (or home remedies), please let me know. I'd really appreciate it! In the meantime, I'll go check out the message boards...