As I mentioned in a previous post, I am uber busy with studying and also an assignment. In the first two days of next week I have two mid-terms and one assignment due. I decided that I needed a break, and I decided that I'd do a post on skincare.
Everyone in my family has great skin. My parents look very young for their age...they perhaps look more like my mature siblings as opposed to my parents. My older sister's skin is stellar and so is my brothers. But alas, my skin suffers. Why? Probably lupus or lupus related drugs...or drugs related to drugs related to Lupus.
I've been on what seems to be an endless search for the perfect skin care product for me. I've tried so many things. The following are my personal experiences with certain products. This is not to say that it may not work for you, but it's simply what I've experienced.
I've tried Proactive. When I first used it, it seemed to clear my skin up after two weeks, but after a short while, much to my disappointment, it stopped working for me.
I've tried Murad. The informercials were encouraging so I gave it a try. Unfortunately, I guess my stubborn skin fell into the percentage of people who's skin wasn't cleared by this product.
Facedoctor: Facedoctor seemed to work a bit longer than Proactive did. I used the bar soap and the cream. The cream seemed to work great, but I really disliked the smell of it. I disliked it enough to stop using it.
Oral Contraceptives: Diane 35 and Alesse. I was on Diane 35 first, but I was switched to Alesse by my gyno. I stopped taking contraceptives altogether in 2007 after I got a blood clot in my intestine.
OTC products: The ones I tried didn't seem to work for me. In fact, some just dried my skin out and made it worse. I have combination skin. My forehead is an oil slick. But I still moisturize everyday as I didn't want my skin to produce even MORE oil.
benzamycin and tazorac: these products also seemed to work for me as well. I remained commited to putting on my tazorac at night and my benzamycin in the day. I would put the tazorac on my face for 10 minutes, then rinse it off at the advice of my dermatologist. I suppose it's a strong drug and this process of washing it off for the first week is meant to help you build up a tolerance to it. The benzamycin would ball up on my face/skin. I had to wait for it to dry and to be honest, in the morning when you're rushing around...that's a bit of a hassle.
Blue Light Treatment: This worked well for me. It helped clear my skin. But geez, it cost like $60 a half hour treatment. How often am I supposed to be able to afford THAT??
So, here's the magic question: are there ANY skin products out there that'll help clear my skin, is convenient, and won't burn a hole through my pocket?
My (current) answer to that question is this: Yes.
What's the secret product, you ask? It's this: Benzoyl Peroxide.
Yes, we've all heard of it, and if you've had problem skin you may have even used it too. But the question is this: were you using it correctly?
I wasn't. I was on a great skincare website where I currently purchase my skincare products. The creator of the products created a "regime", basically outlining how one should apply his products or comparable products to their face in order to get results. He recommended a GENEROUS amount of Benzoyl peroxide. This equates to two pumps of his product, or perhaps about the size of tablespoon full of benzoyl peroxide. Then, you use your finger and dab some product all over your face (a dab on both cheeks, your nose, your forehead, your chin, your upperlip, etc). Then, gently, you smooth the benzoyl peroxide all over your face, carefully, for about two minutes until it is completely covered.
Your face will most definitely still have product on it. That's ok...just grab a magazine, watch tv, do whatever you do before you go to bed. But just wait for it to dry up on your face. But don't be lying down or changing your clothes during this process. Benzoyl peroxide can and will dye your clothes (my face towels will tell you this).
After that (oh by the way, this benzoyl peroxide thing is after you've washed your face, patted it dry, and waited a few minutes to make sure it air dries even further) you follow up with a good moisturizer (i put the moisturizer in the palm of my hand, add a few drops of jojoba oil, smush it together with both palms, then apply to my face). Jojoba oil doesn't and won't clog your pours so it's ok for your skin.
I've also recently started using alpha hydroxy cream in an attempt to fade the scars from the ghost of acne past. So far I'm pretty happy with my skin care regime. I still get the odd bump here or there, but if I put a dab of my alpha hydroxy cream on it, that bump it toast.
In the mornings, I also use a good face cream with SPF. This is vital when using benzoyl peroxide.
There are a lot of otc products out there that have like 5% benzoyl peroxide in them. My favourite of them is panoxyl. It's on the shelf at places like Walmart. I have some of that on hand if I run out of my regular stash, which I get from a website acne.org. It's a company based in the United States. The benzoyl peroxide that they sell is 2.5%, but is apparently just as effective as 5%. Hey, why not use less if it works just as well? Plus. they sell this huge size of benzoyl peroxide so I can order and not worry about re-ordering for a short while.
I wash my face twice a day, I (still) use Valana Minerals, even though every department store vulture that sees me when I walk by tries to get me to switch. I'm hooked on Valana Minerals and don't see myself going anywhere soon. I also use concealer from prescriptives. I never forget my SPF, whether it appears sunny outside or not. I use a sephora brand eye make up remover before I wash my face with the cleanser also sold on acne.org. I use their moisturizer too.
If there's anyone else out there that may have problem skin, what do you use?