Haven't been on here in a while; haven't really felt compelled to check the boards obsessively like I used to, even though my skin's not doing so hot.
Lately it's been acting really weird: ever since I tried Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean soap, which was pretty drying. I think it threw my skin pH out of whack/messed with the skin barrier. Actually the bad breakout I mentioned in my last blog may have been a combination of acne and irritation rash - I figured this was because my skin's been feeling very dry.
And of course I still don't use moisturizer because I can't find one that my skin doesn't react to. Actually someone on MUA suggested I try KY Jelly - I find this hilarious and am seriously considering it because the ingredients look promising. If not that I'm going to start moisturizing with aloe gel. I think my skin needs it because it's been looking so parched and flaky.
I stopped using all topical treatments (mostly just Mario Badescu's Buffering Lotion) and have taken a break from my AHA cleanser. Basically anything drying or detergent-like. I wish I could stop wearing makeup as well, but my makeup contains my SPF (I won't wear sunscreen on my face because that breaks me out as well). I've been looking for a really, really, ridiculously simple sunscreen but they all contain so many ingredients. Oh well, I dunno.
My skin just feels all weird and imbalanced. Simultaneously dry and weirdly oily. It kind of changed suddenly (in a matter of weeks it got dramatically worse), but I can't pinpoint why this would happen.
I've contacted my derm about going back on Accutane, but he told me I'd have to wait until basically February (or so) to give it another shot. He offered maintenance treatments meanwhile, but derms usually prescribe junk I've already tried. Also, I'm not entirely sure I'd want to do a second course. My first went fine and the main lingering side effects I have are some photosensitivity and thinned out/fragile skin. I'm afraid though that a second course might have more dramatic, lingering effects.
I got really panicked when I noticed my skin looking poorly, so I considered birth control pills: doubt these are the solution though, and I'm (uncharacteristically) wary about putting stuff in my body that shouldn't be there naturally. Also, BCPs never really improved my skin noticeably. I am also considering spironolactone (cheaper than Accutane anyway), because I suspect my acne may be hormonal. If it is, it definitely isn't typical hormonal acne: I don't have issues with my period at all (no cramping, no heavy bleeding, no irregularities; it's a very easy, fairly short cycle) and I don't typically get acne on my jawline or chin.
Uh, according to this chart my problem may be my lungs? But I digress.
If spiro doesn't have many weird/unpleasant/unhealthy side effects I'll probably give it a shot. Meanwhile, I'm starting to transform my diet and exercise regularly. I'm giving the paleolithic diet a shot, because it makes a lot of sense. I've started taking supplements as well: magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C, and I'm going to add in vitamin A, E and fish oil/omega-3s. On top of that I'm going to force my lazy, sedentary ass to exercise daily: 15-20 minutes of cardio, which for me is do-able. I'm intensely out of shape right now so this should be interesting. I'm looking forward to the health effects though; I'll probably feel significantly better physically/mentally from making these changes, even if my skin doesn't improve much.
My main vice though would be caffeine. Surprisingly I've cut down on consumption a LOT. I went from drinking 8-10 cups daily (good lord) to maybe a couple cups a week. I loooove coffee, but I think caffeine is terrible for me. I noticed when I stopped drinking it completely that my energy levels went up; I wasn't tired constantly (ironic).
And yeah, that's pretty much it. Skincare regimen is very simple: glycerin soap to cleanse, Neutrogena liquid soap to remove makeup, and Vichy thermal water spray to calm down irritation. Considering a powdered sunscreen and aloe gel, as well as making a rosewater/glycerin toner.
And now I'm sleepy, but that's the update for a while. I'll write again if something comes up, but I'm trying hard not to obsess about my skin because it's just upsetting.