Haven't updated in a while because while I noticed small changes, they weren't drastic enough to report on.
I visited the derm today and he agreed that my skin was looking better. I got just one medium sized and one very small pimple on my left cheek due to the time of the month. Besides that, no other pimples. I am sure this is due to the antibiotic. I tried cleansing my face with oil (jojoba, castor, and grapeseed) when I remove my makeup, but I think it's just a waste of time because I still need to cleanse with regular cleanser anyway. I noticed that by doing that, it has caused small tiny bits of redness/not quite bumps, on my forehead area. So contrary to the popular OCM, it doesn't seem to work for me and I will scrap that idea.
I should also say that I wasn't following the antibiotic routine 100%. I missed several days. I really don't like how it made my stomach feel even though I had such a small dose of 25mg twice a day. But since I'm pretty sure the things that seem to be helping is the doxycycline and the BP 2.5 gel, I am going to make sure I don't forget that routine everyday...
I've also been researching and experimenting the best ways to use makeup to hide the acne and enhance my features. I am just not someone who can go bare-faced right now because I have TOO many pigmented scars on my cheeks. My skin (cheeks mainly) is not very even-textured which is the biggest problem to applying makeup. Even if I spent a lot of time with concealer, after a few hours it has a tendency to disappear by 40%-95%. Here are the methods and products I've tried:
- CG smoothers concealor (in the wand) -> too pink, do not use this for acne, this is fine for underye circles on people with lighter skin.
- MAC Studio Finish concealor (pot) -> I received NW20 from the saleslady, which I've learnt now is too pink to use on acne scars. For some reason, I'm not sure if I even came across an NC20 colour (NC would be a more yellow-toned concealer which is better for acne and acne scarring). This wasn't too bad actually, when blending with a fluffy brush. But this had a sort of oily-yet-dry texture that would NOT last on my cheeks. Even when I used primer, set with powder, etc. This can work well for some people but the skin colour match was not good on me and I wouldn't buy this again.
- MAC Studio Fix concealor -> Again with the colour issue. This was a creamy/gel like texture which I found much better at slightly filling in small acne depressions (small pitted scars). I'd use this if I'm a bit more tanned...the colour match again sucks (ugh why are sales people so sucky at it? must be the lighting) so it's kind of obvious I have it on unless I use bronzer, blush, etc. In my experience it lasted slightly better than the studio finish.
- Annabelle concealor pot -> There are 4 colours in this. 3 shades of tan, and 1 useless white colour. I actually liked the colouring of these concealers much better than the MAC ones I have in NW20. It blends better into my skin, and only cost about $8-9. I would use this a bit more when my scars fade in intensity because it's not as pigmented as some other concealers for the problem areas I have right now. If I want a more natural look, I will turn to this. The main problem is that it also slides off my cheeks after a while.
- Lise Watier corrector/concealor palette -> I saw this used on youtube so decided to give it a try. I am not sure what it is but this so far hasn't worked for me at all. They offer you 5 colours: lilac for a brightening effect on muddy skin, green to correct redness, and 3 shades of tan/brown for concealing. I've tried several methods of using this....under foundation with the green tone, over foundation, twice before and after foundation, alone under powder, and so on...none of them seem to work. I always get an unnatural look when I use the green (probably because I am light skinned but not FAIR i.e. white and pale/pink...I am more of a pale olive which has some yellow and neutral tones. I also find that this makes my skin look more dry. Overall, I'm not happy with this. I'd probably use this for picture-taking...or as a halloween costume idea...(has the green and lilac/whitish tones...which are cool for "face-paint"). But I will keep trying to experiment, on days I am not going outside with this.
- Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer -> So far, this is the best one I have used, but it takes some time to create an acceptable acne coverage. This is very pigmented, (very expensive too, around $30-36 for 15mL), very thick, and dries fast. It says that is is waterproof, and while MUFE is known for its waterproof products, I haven't tested this out so I don't know. One would think that because it's waterproof, it means that it will last long on our faces. But for people with oily skin, oil doesn't have the same properties as water and this is not a guarantee on protection, or long-wear, for your oily face. I have noticed a bit of fading over the day with this product, but less so than the other concealers I tried so far. I think it's mainly in the method of application. For myself, I take a bit on my finger and blend on my scars overall, on top of my foundation. It lightens up the overall area at first. I let it dry for a bit, then put face powder on to set it. I then take some on my small, stiff concealer brush (or a pointed lip brush) and work it on the areas of discolouration from darker acne scars. It takes a bit of time to do this. This gives the most natural look to my face (not a VERY natural look, but the most out of all the other methods) and lasts pretty well. A problem, again, is with the colouring....I am using #5 which seems to be okay in its intensity for my face, but again seems to dry up in an orangy/pinkish tone. I prefer yellowish. I might exchange the product colours if I get a chance to, and try out #4.
I am also going to dry up my foundations a bit to see if they would act as good concealers, since they are more yellowish than any others I've tried.
So yea...long, long post. I have another 2 months of pills and the routine to go...let's see where I'm at by the end of the year! I hope 2011 is a much better skin year than the past couple of years =).