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nanobabes

Weather Changes - My Skin Loves The Summer, Hates Winter

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So when I was younger (I'm now 26), a hormonal teen, my skin was TERRIBLE, cystic painful acne, all over, all year round. Once I got to college, it improved, and I would get 1-2 pimples a month, but it was maintainable. For some reason, starting last year, I began breaking out like crazy on my face, and in places I never broke out before. This started around November-December.

Once the summer came around, my skin started improving, I thought maybe because my new regimen was just kicking in. (I take zinc, fish oil, drink Emergen-C, use baking soda, ACV, moisturize with aloe gel+jojoba). Also, hot and humid weather has always been great for my skin, contrary to the experience of almost everyone I know. Whenever I've gone on vacation to tropical places, my skin clears up. (I'm Filipino, I always joke that my skin is just where it belongs). Despite what most people say too, I feel like tanning improves my hyperpigmentation, or makes it less noticeable. (It does darken my spots, but it seems the area around the spots tans enough to even out the overall appearance). I'm not sure if this is a factor also, but when I go to the beach a lot my skin seems to improve also. I just attributed that to the sun, but my friend once mentioned that maybe it was due to the salt water (I spend all day in the water).

Now that it's December again, though, my skin is breaking out badly, despite maintaining the same regimen. Last year, I tried tanning salons thinking that it would have the same effect as the sun, but that didn't seem to be the case. It might have even made me break out more (though it might have been the accelerator I used on my face - even though it was especially designed for the face, it felt pore-clogging).

I'm sure the dryness is a factor, though my skin doesn't feel dry. Back when I was younger, it would get chapped in the winter, but aloe+jojoba always seems to do a sufficient job, at least to the touch. Do I just need to moisturize more? Is it just a lack of Vitamin A (or whatever Vitamin it is that the sun gives you?). Does anyone else have this problem?

Edited by nanobabes

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Yeah same with me.......debating about using a sunbed a couple of times cos I am so pale right now!

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I've decided to try moisturizing the crap out of my skin for now, even if I'm having a breakout. If I'm not out in public, I often will neglect to moisturize because I always worry about clogging my pores, and when I get a breakout I'll spot-treat with Queen Helene mint julep + aspirin mask overnight to dry it out. Which works, but leaves the area to be chalky and rough. So I'm going to be extra diligent with moisturizing and wont keep masks on overnight. And while my moisturizer - aloe + jojoba - seems to be doing a decent job, I may eliminate the aloe gel, only because, despite what the bottle says, I'm pretty sure there is alcohol or some astringent ingredient in there because my eyes sting slightly when applying it.

After reading Dan's blog about Vitamin D, I think I might start taking Vitamin D3 as well.

I'll come back and post if anything changes.

Edited by nanobabes

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Story of my life...seriously. I have started pre making appointments in November, because I know my face will be a hot mess by then. There has only been one Christmas that I didn't have to wake up to slather on makeup.....so sad, I was on Accutane.

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Okay, so it has been a little over a month since my last post, and I have good news. My skin has drastically improved, and faster than I've ever seen before. I've done mainly two new things with my skin regimen. I've used grapeseed oil as a pre-cleanse and I've taken Vitamin D on a daily basis.

I have grapeseed oil for when I tried the oil-cleansing method last year (which was BAD BAD NEWS for my skin), and remembered reading on makeupalley.com reviews for grapeseed oil that a few people use it as a "pre-cleanse". Take a few drops, rub it around I suppose like you would with an OCM (I do this especially around the eye area to lift up stubborn makeup). I'll then use a small bit of cetaphil, and sort of dissolve the oil away. I'll sprinkle in some baking soda with the cetaphil if I'm feeling especially gross, like when I work a 16 hour shift. One weekend, which I spent away from the apartment, I forgot my cleanser, and had only the grapeseed oil and witch hazel toner. I don't like using other people's cleansers, so I used the oil and just swiped away all the grime with witch hazel and a cotton ball. It's sort of a gross sight, and it took a lot of swiping, but my skin felt baby smooth afterwards, I didn't even need to moisturize. I felt like my pores were clogged and on a verge of a breakout (which happens a lot on the weekend because I get more negligent, having less of a routine), but all the slight under the skin bumps I felt shrank away.

I've only consistently started using grapeseed oil recently, though, so I don't know if I can give complete credit to it for the skin improvement. Right after my post on December 8th, however, I started taking Vitamin D by Nature Made, 2000 IUs, the soft gels (which by the way are really pretty! lol). I take about 3-4 a day (6,000-8,000 IUs). I don't want to say it works immediately, because that usually isn't the case with supplements, but my skin seemed to improve right away when I thought it would take a month or two of regular consumption. Sometimes I'll forget, and I think I feel a breakout coming on, and I'll take 4-5, and I could almost swear it gets better the next day, as crazy as that sounds. Even if I have a break out, they don't seem to hit a peak and get all inflamed and gross, they see to pop up a bit and then dwindle away.

Right before I was doing this routine, my skin was nonstop breaking out. Once one pimple went away, another quickly took its place. The texture of my skin felt uneven (ever get that feeling that you're oily and dry at the same time somehow? and not just the T-zone verses the cheeks, but in the same place), old pimples were taking long to heal, it was a mess. Except for when the weather turns to summer, I have never seen my skin change so quick, which is why I'm more inclined to believe it's the Vitamin D that's been helping. I've patiently been taking fish oil and zinc along with my multivitamin, expecting to see a change, and aside from crazy strong nails, I wasn't seeing any change. I really really wish I took this as a teenager, might have saved me a lot of embarrassment! Oh well, it's a part of adolescence.

Another thing I learned from the experience though, is not to be afraid to moisturize your skin. I always associated moisturizing with pore-clogging, and I just don't think that's the case. I don't know how to explain my acne, because if you read enough of the boards or any source on acne, really, you'll see everyone has a different explanation for how it occurs and have different "philosophies" towards skin care. But I think layers of dry skin were clogging my pores, if that makes any sense. I think they need to be opened and cleaned, but replaced with moisture. I think. At least, that's what's working for me, personally. Everyone's skin is different. If you're ethnic (I'm a Filipina), have a history of cystic acne and hyperpigmentation, and your skin does well in the summer but not the winter, I'd say there's a good chance my regimen might work in your favor.

So my regimen is:

Night :

(I'll start with at night, because that's when my face is the dirtiest)

Slather and rub about 3-4 drops of grape seed oil all over my face.(I'll brush my teeth after this to let it sink in a bit)

Cleanse with a squirt of Cetaphil, with a sprinkle of baking soda. Really thoroughly but gently rub all around, dissolving the daily grime.

Tone with my ACV+Green tea toner.

Moisturize with a dot of aloe vera gel + jojoba oil or emu oil, depending. (I find emu oil more emollient, so I might use it when my skin feels more chapped. Sometimes I use avocado oil because it will give me amazingly smooth and evened out skin in the morning, but before with regular use, I started breaking out.)

Morning:

Slather and rub face with grapeseed oil. Much less than the night before, just enough to spread a thin film over my face.

Tone with witch hazel.

Moisturize with aloe vera + jojoba oil (jojoba oil feels more appropriate for the day, for me).

Throughout the day, I take

2 triple-strength fish oil supplements (from GNC), 900 mg each, 1800 mg the entire day

3-4 Vitamin D3 softgels (Nature Made)

With later meals, I take 50 mg zinc and my multivitamin, because they tend to make me nauseous in the morning even when taken with food. I need to take it on a much fuller stomach.

I hope this helps someone!

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Nice, I'm having success moisturizing with oils too. I tried the OCM and it worked initially, then broke me out kinda bad. I found out that I wasn't getting all the dirt and grime off my face with OCM, so I started using a basic cleanser again and moisturize with the oil instead. That way I can cleanse my face and let the oils stay on all day. So far it's working alot better than oil cleansing.

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I hate you. No, just kidding. In the Winter it's possible that your skin is more dry so that it needs to be cleansed less as its not producing so much oil.

I fall into the opposite boat and right now I'm experimenting with cleansing twice a day instead of just once like I do in the drier seasons (Oh, Canada). I was clear up until it started getting ridiculously humid and smoggy out.

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Humidity is nice for skin. But I'm pretty certain the clearing you are seeing is the increase of vitamin D-3 your body produces with more sunlight.

If you want that same effect in winter, go outside more in winter or supplement with vitamin D-3: 5,000 to 10,000 IU a day.

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