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xoxokatherinee

My Journey to Clear Skin (hopefully) :D

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Introduction So my skin has recently suffered from an allergic reaction (or so I think, because when looked at more closely it doesn't really look like acne, and it itches!) that has left me with the worst skin I've had in my life. I could post pictures if you want, but the quality of my camera is not enough to justify the intensity of it. Basically, I already had acne on my forehead, and then I suddenly got horrible acne on my cheeks and chin (places where I've never broken out before) and a few bumps on my nose. It gave me chills to look at myself in the mirror. I was mortified! I didn't want to go outside, and even had to cancel going to the mall with my friend because I felt like people would notice only my acne and not anything else.

Everything and anything I did irritated it. Merely wiping it with a moist cotton pad hurt. So, after countless home remedies, salicylic acid scrubs, and masks, I was done. I found this topic ( http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Personal-...og-t298776.html ) and was immediately intrigued. It basically talks about how we use tons of chemicals and things on our face to try to sort out our acne and the only thing it is doing to our skin is damage. So the plan is to give your skin time for it to naturally rebuild its protective barrier that was destroyed by all the products we use by not washing it for a few days until it absorbs the oil back into the skin, and then start using a gentle cleanser that won't disrupt the skin's barrier once a day, and that's it. I'm actually doing a really bad job of explaining this haha :think: ... you should probably just click the link and read about it.

I tweaked it a little bit to fit my skin's personal needs and I will be posting my regimen and how it is working for me in the subsequent posts. I am currently into Day 4, so that's why a lot of the posts will be posted on the same day.

Edited by xoxokatherinee

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7/20/11 Day 1: So it's a little too hard for me to shower without getting water on my face, so I'm going to be doing nothing in the morning and letting warm water run over my face in the shower at night. Yesterday, I used makeup (it was before I read about this regimen) so I had to remove the makeup with Pond's Cold Cream but that was all I did (didn't rinse with water after). I woke up this morning with very oily skin but forced myself to stick to the regimen. Blegh. BUT, tonight, after rinsing my face with water, my skin looked so much better! I have no idea if it was from the lack of cleanser, the lack of irritation, the buildup of oil during the day, or a combination of the three, but it looked awesome! The redness was soothed and all the oil was gone! I am sitting here typing this out 2 hours later and I still have no oil on my face! GASP. This is awesome.

I hope it continues to improve in the future! :)

Edited by xoxokatherinee

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7/21/11 Day 2: Good news! I think this regimen has really helped my oil, I woke up this morning with barely any oil and went through the whole day like that! When I got home (about 6 pm) my mom asked if I used powder today, and when I said no, she was surprised. I asked why and she said that my skin didn't look oily! :DD YAY! So it's not just me and my wishful thinking! I actually just patted in some organic EVOO because I couldn't stand the dryness. Yeah. You read right. Dryness. My skin's not oily in the least anymore, it's actually dry! Although it could be from the water, I know that water can dry out the skin. Which is why I'm going to be using the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser as soon as I can get my hands on it. It'll clean without upsetting the PH balance of my skin and won't damage my skin's natural barrier, while moisturizing. The reason why I chose it over the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser is that I didn't want a cleanser with SLS. Although they both contain parabens, Cetaphil has 3 while CeraVe has 2. So it's a little better.

Also, I have decided, I'm going to start splashing my face with water in the morning. My mom says she rinses her face with water in the morning and cleanses at night, and her skin literally looks 10 years younger than her age (she's also been told by her coworkers and numerous friends, including mine when they come over!) I looked it up, and have concluded that the secret (or.. one of the secrets at least :P) to beautiful skin is washing with water only in the AM.

So here's my new plan!

1) Go a few more days of doing rinsing with water morning & night (use olive oil to remove makeup)

2) After I get my cleanser, start using it xD

And this is how I'll use it:

Mornings:

• Splash water on face for at least 10 seconds (brings new blood to the face- good.)

• Apply sunblock if needed (I have my eyes on Aveeno's Natural Protection Mineral Block. I'll tell you guys how it goes when I get it.)

Evenings:

• Remove makeup (I only use eye makeup now) with organic EVOO, wipe off with cotton pad

• Let steam from shower open pores, rinse face with water for a few seconds

• Cleanse with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, pat dry

• Moisturize if needed with thin layer of organic EVOO

Edited by xoxokatherinee

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7/22/11 Day 3: My skin is continuing to improve! :) However, since my skin was used to exfoliation every single day, it was getting really rough and flaky. So, yet another modification to the regimen, I'm going to be exfoliating 1 - 2x a week, depending on my skin that week, I guess.

First, I do a baking soda scrub (mix baking soda and water to form a paste, massage GENTLY into skin for about a minute) to manually exfoliate. Make sure you tone with diluted ACV after to balance the pH of your skin. I give it a few minutes to dry, and then use a yogurt mask (plain, organic if possible, yogurt spread onto face for 20-30 minutes) to chemically exfoliate, nourish, and soothe. Yogurt is a natural source of lactic acid, an AHA. I still use olive oil after that to further moisturize.

Ahhhh. I just rinsed it off, my skin feels so much better :) Much softer and smoother now.

Edited by xoxokatherinee

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7/23/11 Day 4: Everything’s going really well, a lot of friends and family have informed me that my skin looks a lot better. I think so too! I no longer have oily skin, the olive oil as a moisturizer has given me a nice glow, and the “acne†(aka allergic reaction that looks like acne :( ) on my cheeks and chin is really reducing in number and size. In addition, the actual acne on my forehead is almost gone! So I am very very happy :) I went to Bed Bath & Beyond today and got me the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and the Aveeno Natural Protection Mineral Block. I’ll update you guys on that tomorrow. Edited by xoxokatherinee

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7/25/11 Day 6: Oops I forgot to update yesterday :P Oh well. Everything's going great, everything on my face has really calmed down now, I have no more glaring red bumps and they are nice and flat as well :) I'm hoping things can continue like this! So far, I have probably gotten maybe 3 new pimples, but come on. Over 6 days? As a teen, with acne in my genes, this is an amazing accomplishment. I'M SO HAPPY :D Okay. Anyways. I will be doing short reviews on the cleanser and sunblock. They are short because I've only used each of them twice, so I don't really know how they work on my skin longer term.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: I really like it! I haven't noticed my oil production starting up again so I think I can agree to their claim that it cleans "without disrupting the skin's natural barrier." The consistency is definitely something you have to get used to.. It's like a cleanser mixed with a lotion. It does feel pretty weird using on my face and trying to convince myself that's it's a cleanser HAHA :) I'm sure I'll get accustomed to it soon. But I do like it, and I find that I have to use less olive oil after my shower to moisturize.

Aveeno MineralBlock: This sunblock uses only physical sunblock, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. I like physical sunblock better because I often forget to reapply, and while chemical suncreens usually require you to reapply every 2 hours or so, physical sunblocks stay on the surface and don't degrade, so they don't need to be reapplied as often. Also, when the chemical suncreens degrade in your skin, they actually create free radicals, which to me, defeats the whole purpose of even using it. The downside to physical sunblocks is that the zinc oxide will usually leave a white cast on your skin after you apply it.

This unfortunately applies to the Aveeno MineralBlock as well. The first time I used it I applied way too much (much easier to spread compared to the Neutrogena Dry Touch) and I ended up looking like a geisha LOL. If I apply in appropriate amounts, it doesn't show up too much, although I do put it on my neck as well to 1) protect my neck and 2) blend out the whiteness. I will say though that my face and neck (and chest if I remember) look paler than the rest of my body after applying this sunblock. While I, as an only slightly tan Asian, don't really have a problem with this, I wouldn't recommend this to people of tanner or darker skins, because it will definitely be too light for your skin.

On the bright side, it does seem to protect well and I have not broken out from it, nor has it made me oily! Yay! And yes, it is oil free.

So there you go, I hope those reviews might have helped you!

Edited by xoxokatherinee

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7/26/11 Day 7: Happy 1 week anniversary to me! xD I think that from now on, I will be doing weekly updates because the progress has slowed. Although my skin is still getting better, it is now more of a slow and steady pace, which I have no problem with :) No new breakouts and my skin is improving, albeit slowly? That's definitely good enough for me!

In an update, I have limited my application of olive oil as a moisturizer to around my eyes and on my neck, as I have noticed some clogged pores on my forehead. Nothing big, they haven't turned into pimples, but I have also realized that I don't really need it anymore anyways. My skin is no longer tight/dry after my shower :)

So uh.. To clarify I guess, here is my regimen as of now:

Mornings- Rinse face with water, Apply sunblock (Aveeno's MineralBlock)

Evenings- Remove makeup with Pond's Cold Cream (I like it better than EVOO for this task, and I needed to finish up the jar anyway!), Cleanse with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, Apply Olive Oil to moisturize around eyes and on neck.

Once or twice a week, I exfoliate with a baking soda scrub (paste of baking soda and water) for about a minute, then a plain yogurt mask (organic if possible) for about 20-30 minutes. Baking soda manually exfoliates while yogurt chemically exfoliates and soothes.

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