It would seem that my skin responds the most to one simple rule; Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
And maybe also: chill yo' sh*t out!
After many weeks of trial and error, my acne appears to be subsiding. I believe the following are to thank for this improvement:
Egg White Masks
ONCE a week
. To use these masks once a day (like I was for several months) dries out the skin considerably and throws off the balance of the skin's regenerative and moisturizing functions. In turn, the acne comes back. With INFREQUENT use, the egg white masks are a boost to the skin. The rest of the work I leave to...
. Pure and natural Glycerine soap that foams and gently cleanses skin. No added chemicals or harmful, skin-drying ingredients. I am currently using a brand of glycerine soap called Clearly Natural, which is enriched with vegatable glycerine, aloe and Vitamin E as well as Tea Tree Oil, a known disinfectant. The TTO in this soap, however, is low in quantity, which is good for the skin as the oil can be extremely irritating.
Clarisonic Skin Care System
. In essence, a very fancy facial brush that uses sonic vibrations or some nonsense to dislodge dirt and oil deep in the pores for a deeper clean. Although there are many naysayers of this product (some would claim it is a glorified brush) I have noticed significant improvement since using it. My skin, however, is going through a purging process with it, and thus tinier (but far more manageable) bumps are appearing.
a.k.a. Excellent Glycerine Moisturizing Lotion. As recommended by Paula Begoun and my facialist, this glycerine based moisturizer helps retain moisture and nourish skin. I love love love it!
So there you have it! SUCH a simple regimen, and my skin is improving. I find that allowing my skin the gentlest of ingredients and procedures nourishes it to perfection. The fancy sonic brush doesn't hurt either
Sticking to a glycerine heavy regimen and boosting once a week with egg whites or other assorted facials seems to keep the bigger acne at bay. Of course, only time will tell. As you can see, this is all trial and error. Next, I'm thinking about introducing Queen Helene's Mint Julep Facial Masque to my once a week skin boost, to see how acne fares with that. I will remember, of course, that too much of a good thing (aka too many acne-fighting ingredients) will cause my skin to become very irritated, and thus produce more acne, and so this mint mask will need to be used sparingly!
Not only that, but I feel I need to take a break with the tea tree oil. That business simply seems to be tweaking my skin out and weakening it in times of stress. No good!
I'll be honest with you; Only a month has passed since blogging here, and really it takes far longer than that to deem a regimen unworthy, but I'm ready to throw some thoughts at you. Put simply, I was crazy to believe that pumping all those harsh chemicals onto my face would cure my acne, but the products I bought certainly pulled my skin out of the dark ages a.k.a. disaster breakout that recently flared up.
With the regimen I chose, I found that acne did begin to disappear with time, but what it left behind was a rage of red, inflamed skin and painful tingles and burns. Not only that, but the act of slathering multiple layers of mysterious chemical compounds upon my sensitive skin simply felt like a mistake. How could it possibly benefit my skin in the long run if it merely acted as an inflammatory crutch?
Admittedly, the products I chose were ALL recommended by dermatologist expert Paula Begoun, and therefore offered a theoretic escape from irritants and inflammation. But I'm not convinced our skin is meant to handle all this business. And I'm not convinced topical medication is the answer to acne treatment.
I think what our skin craves is peace, PURIFIED water and all natural ingredients.
But what do I know? I still have tiny clusters of resilient acne lingering around my jawline and forehead, and my journey has only just begun. I'll end my ponderings now and simply post what I've found to be beneficial to acne control and what my regimen NOW includes.
What's Worked So Far:
PURIFIED water. Not Spring water, not tap. Purified, reverse-osmosis treated water. I read somewhere that slapping water on your skin from the sink (full of chemicals like chlorine that your skin isn't exactly keen on handling) only adds to the drama of skin irritation. Washing my face with purified water showed
change in acne intensity.
Egg White Mask. What a glorious process! To find more information written more eloquently than I could possibly write here, simply search for 'Egg Whites Mask' here on acne.org and read about all the glorious benefits of this skin-toning, natural solution. Since using it, my skin has seen VAST improvement. I am planning on writing a review on this stellar technique soon. The world should know!
Persa Gel 10. Irritates my skin, but damn does it dry out nasthy acne fast. Might continue to use in times of desperate need.
Vitamins! I'm taking many Omega-3 rich vitamins as well as food-based daily supplements, all of which serve to restore your body's regular functions and skin turnover. I have been faithfully taking these vitamins for about three weeks now, and indeed my skin is improving. But do I thank the eggs for this?
My Latest Regimen:
Cleanse with Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser + moisturize
Cleanse once more, apply Egg Whites Mask + moisturize
Twice a Week:
Clean and Clear Morning Burst In Shower Facial
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion or Jojoba Oil
Persa Gel 10
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu
Well there ya have it. Just when you think you have an original thought it turns out somebody already said it better.
But this is it! My first step. The journey is obviously one towards the promise land of clean skin, and the first step is starting this blog and surfing the Acne.org community for all the information and skin care tips I can get.
Already I've found an abundance of good advice here and a lotta good sources for inspiration as well. Some of the veterans here have fabulous skin! I wish to pummel them and shake their hand in congratulations all at once.
One day I will be among them! These champions of clean skin!
Subject change: What I'm getting at here, or rather, what the title of this blog is getting at, is an important focus on optimism during a process that will no doubt be anxiety packed and slow. You need to keep your spirits up or else your self-defeating attitude's gonna beat you down.
So, let's begin with the basics, shall we?
My Skin Right Now: Single adjective? Nasty. In depth? I'm getting over the flu, and you probably all know just how hard it is to drag yourself outta bed during the throws of weariness and nausea to take care of your skin regimen of all things. Long story short, my face is a battle zone of red bumps and blackheads. It's not pretty. Photos in my gallery.
My Old Regimen: I was convinced that the only way to fix my skin was to throw every eco-friendly skin care good I could find from Whole Foods Market onto my skin. Little did I know, and what I would soon find out from the very helpful website CostmeticsCop.com is that I was abusing my skin with some very natural but very icky irritants. My face reflects this poor decision.
The New Regimen Now I've spent a good many hours researching the right products to use for my new regimen, and so I'm pretty confident with the choices I've made. All I needs now is the moola to pay for it all. And a little resilience to keep up with this regimen as well.
Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser + lukewarm PURIFIED water
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
Twice a Week:
Neutrogena Clear Pores Mas
Thought: At the moment, my face isn't too pleased with me. It's red all over and bumpy and if it could speak it would probably scream, "GIVE ME A SECOND TO BREATHE!" That in mind, I'm thinking I need to get at this new regimen slowly. Maybe step by step. Start with just the cleanser and moisturizer, introduce the calming face mask, then throw in those exfoliating and disinfecting deals later. Sound like a plan?
What I'm hoping is maybe an expert or veteran here has read this blog and can offer some fine wisdom or advice on my new regimen, or perhaps just a kind word of support?
All this being said, wish me luck world! And rest assured that future blogs will not be nearly so long and rambly. There will be no dilly-dallying on this journey!