Monday, October 29, 2018

Let's Face It - Round 2

A long time ago, I wrote a post about skincare, and how I have always struggled with not having clear skin. Like for real a lot time ago... like almost 10 years ago. (Also, I realized today that I have been blogging for 10 years. 😱 Whaaaa!?!?!?) Anyway, I thought I would blog about this top again, because here I am at age 34, and still have the same skin issues that I have always had. That is my only post ever to get a lot of public response, so I'm guessing this is a hot topic?? Everyone wants clear skin, right?  Please keep in mind that these are my own opinions, and everyone's skin is different.  What did not or did work for me may not work for you.  This is also not a sponsored post, I'm just being really honest.

So basically, I have decided that this is just my skin type, and there is no miracle cure. If there was, I'm sure I would've found it by now with all of the products that I have gone through. Now that I'm in my 30s, anti-aging is also a topic I want to visit, as well as clear skin. Let me first go back a few years, and give a quick run-down of what products I have tried.

Skincare has always been very important to me. I have never been one to buy any regular skincare products at a grocery store or pharmacy, and I believe in a full 3-5 step regimen morning and night. I can remember using Mary Kay, Aloette, Arbonne, Clinique, and ProActiv back in the day, all of which I talked about in my first post about this. I have also tried some pretty popular face cleansers over the years...
To name all of these...
Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel
Origins Checks and Balances
Pevonia Cleanser
Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean
Beautycounter Rejuvenating Face Cleanser
Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash
CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser
Philosophy Purity
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Pür Minerals Revitalizing Wash

(Some of these have a new look or have been discontinued, so some links may be a little different.)

The Checks and Balances, Soy Face, Boscia, and Purity have continually been on the best sellers lists at both Sephora and Ulta for years.  And I should know, because I frequent those 2 websites, and I ALWAYS sort by best selling.  They are uber popular, but I didn't stick with any of them.  I actually ordered trial sizes of all those, and never bought full sizes.  I did the same thing with the Perfectly Clean.  I loved the feel and smell of these products, but they didn't do anything for my breakouts.

The first on this list that I had a full sized bottle was the Pevonia.  Pevonia is a brand used by a lot of upscale spas, and they have a lot of anti-aging products.  It felt very luxurious, but the cleanser and moisturizer that I bought actually gave me a terrible allergic reaction (it was the caviar), so I had to discontinue use after about 2 or 3 days.  Talk about sad, because that mess was expensive.

Next was the Beautycounter Revitalizing Wash.  I loved this product, as I do most Beautycounter products, but my acne didn't react well to this particular wash.  I had to return it to my consultant (who is amazing, and I can hook you up with).

The Bliss I actually used for a while several years ago.  I had never heard of Bliss, but was introduced to some of their other products (I think it was a foot cream or something??).  It did really well for me for a while, but then I randomly started getting terrible breakouts again.  The Bliss brand also around that time discontinued several products, so that was frustrating.

The CeraVe is a great brand that is sold by many dermatologist in their offices.  It is super gentle on the skin, and actually improves the skin barrier with ceramides.  It can also be found at your local drugstore, or I have linked to Amazon.  This particular cleanser, the SA, is salicylic acid, which is good for acne prone skin, as well as psoriasis.  It did not dry me out like most SA cleansers do, so that was a plus.  But it also did not improve my breakouts.  If you are looking for a good, affordable, gentle cleanser, I highly recommend this brand.  They also have a cleanser for dry skin, and another one for normal/oily.  Side note - some people choose to buy a more affordable cleanser, and really splurge on the treatments.  This would be a good basic cleanser for that.  So sadly, I didn't stick with this, but Austin has started having to use a ultra mild cleanser once a day, so she will use this when her Cetaphil runs out.
The next thing that I used for several years was Rodan + Fields.  If you are skeptical about these products, give them a try with your local consultant.  They have a money back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you aren't satisfied.  They really are great products.  I had great success with all 4 lines, and used them A LOT.  Randomly, I had decided to use the Reverse system for the second time (not back to back), and I had a terrible allergic reaction.  My face was full of little tiny red bumps, and it was so painful.  I quickly went to my local CVS and scanned the shelves for anything that I thought would work and be gentle.  I went home with this...
Olay Gentle Clean Foaming Cleanser - this is oil free and fragrance free, and actually worked for me.  I used this in conjunction with these 2 facial oils for quite a while...
Have you heard about Rosehip Oil?  It's the new thing.  Apparently the Duchess of Cambridge uses this exact brand of Rosehip Oil.  (I mean, ANYTHING that I can do to have an ounce of her beauty????  Sign me up.)  I am on my 2nd bottle.  I used the first one with this Olay cleanser, and I just used it morning and night as my moisturizer.  Now I only use it when I am feeling particularly dry, so I may be using it a lot more this winter.  This #1 facial oil from Beautycounter is also amazing.  It has vitamin C, so it smells a little citrus-y, and it feels great on the skin.  I seriously want to bathe in it.

Side note - this is another Olay product that I have continually bought for years.  Even if I don't use it every day, I always have this serum in my cabinet.  It is the perfect serum to me because it is not sticky or oily.  It dries or absorbs quickly into my skin, is very light, and I love the way that it feels.  It also does not break me out.  Be sure to get the fragrance-free.  If you ever buy ANYTHING Olay, be sure to get fragrance-free.  Their scents will knock you out... they are extremely strong.  A beauty blogger talked about this particular serum one day forever ago, and I am hooked.  I like it a lot in the summer when I don't really want a full moisturizer at night.  It's the Regenerating Serum.

When I ran out of that Olay cleanser, I bought a 2nd bottle, and what do you know... my acne came back.  Y'all... I don't even know.  SO, after that, I started doing some googling, and came across this Dermalogica kit that is specifically for adult acne, the Medibac kit.
I loved the feel and smell of the cleanser.  It seemed to improve my acne, so I was really happy about that.  I got on the website and found my local Dermalogica store, and made an appointment for a facial.  While I was there, they introduced me to "the cadillac of skincare" which is ZO Skin Health.  It's a fairly new brand, created by Dr. Obagi in 2006, and I believe it was after he sold the Obagi Medical company that he created.  I may be wrong about that.  But anyway, I immediately fell in love with these products, and I have 1 thing to say about this brand... you get what you pay for.  These products are pretty expensive, but I cannot tell you the dramatic difference that it has made for my skin.  The texture, the pores, the brightness, the smoothness, I could go on and on.  I used these with a Dermalogica moisturizer and exfoliator, and then decided to finish up the dermalogica cleansers that I have with ZO anti-aging treatments.  I also LOVE and regularly use the Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque.  Also, for a very lightweight and oil-free moisturizer, I recommend the Dermalogica Active Moist.
My breakouts are much better, but are still there.  Even with ZO Retinol treatments, my skin hasn't cleared up.  The last resort that I was trying not to try was birth control pills.

I have been off of any type of birth control for about 5-6 years. I was on a pill that helped to control acne a long time ago, and decided that I didn't want to be on any at all, so I quit. That being said... I think that some of my breakouts have been hormonal induced. The way to tell... you break out mostly on your jawline, lower cheek area, and hairline. They also are more slower to heal, and often leave a scars. I have finally decided to get back on a birth control pill that is FDA approved for treating acne, so I will have to follow up about that. I just started it a week ago, and I think it takes a month or 2 to tell a difference. We will see. I was not happy about taking it, but decided to give it a try. You can google "how do birth control pills treat acne" for more info on that.  It has to do with hormones and testosterone, and a bunch of complicated words.

If you want to read my super old previous post about this topic, you can find that HERE.

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