Thursday, June 25, 2015

Saving Face

 I'll start by saying I'm actually pretty happy about my face in general. No major issues. So far, not a lot of wrinkles. But, the unending cycles of acne have plagued me for awhile. 

Acne was not actually a huge issue for me during the teen years. And, something else I have learned is that the areas I struggle with are likely what is called 'hormonal acne' (along the chin line and up into the temple region). Still, it's frustrating.

Mostly, the issue (besides the constant breakouts) is the scarring. As well as the fact that when it's there I pick at it. Believe me, I have tried to stop. It's just a nervous and often unconscious habit. 

In these photos I have on some lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara but my face is otherwise bare.

After much professional consultation (like 20 years), I have learned that everyone is confident their product can fix it with either a new regimen they want to sell me or expensive treatments which they can also sell me. 

Then, a few years ago I got a Groupon for a facial. I was thinking it was going to be what i call a 'spa facial'. Where they just kind of wash your face with fancy, nice smelling stuff. It's usually very calming and relaxing and wonderful. But, it doesn't do a lot for any skin issues. 

I was wrong. This girl was doing real facials. Like it wasn't that calming or refreshing. But the treatments she did and the recommendations she gave me for use at home WORKED!

These were the products she told me to use as my basic skin care. I alternate between using all Cetaphil and 1/2 and 1/2 with the glycolic. I order the glycolic from Amazon. The rest is from any drugstore.

The other thing she had me use was a cream that was custom formulated from one of those compounding pharmacies. It was doing wonders for my skin so I was happy to pay a bit extra for it. She picked it up herself and brought it in. (She was working out of one room in a regular General Practitioner's office. He signed off on anything prescription but otherwise just let her do her thing).

Then her mother became ill and it was harder to get appointments due to her being in the office less. Finally, she ended up leaving completely. I was out my aesthetician AND my cream! (The doctor decided not to replace her and to sell all the lasers/ equipment etc. he owned). Drat!

I called the pharmacy where the cream had come from but, of course, I needed a prescription. I went to my own GP and he reluctantly signed off on it. But, not only was THAT a hassle, the pharmacy was across town. Over an hour round trip. Not convenient. 

So, when I ran out this time I decided to do a little research and try to come up with the components on my own (my GP had let me see the 'secret formula' when it had been faxed to him by the pharmacy). 

I needed 4 ingredients to make the cream. 
1. retinol
2. hydroquinone
3. hyaluronic acid
4. salicylic acid

I have used all these ingredients in the past and the only reason this cream appears to be prescription is that the retinol strength was in the high range. At first, I was bummed. But, then I read some more. It appears that, with retinol, consistency is key. So, even though my results would be faster with a high dosage, the benefits would still manifest with a low dose over time. 

My own recipe was born!

This is now my nightly routine. After makeup removal, washing, and toner (see below for toner).

The retinol has a pump so I use that as my guide and add the same amount of bleaching cream.

Then about half a dropper of the Vit C & Hyaluronic acid serum.

Finally, I mix it all together with my hands and it makes enough to apply all over my face, neck, and chest. (It's time for me to start giving both the face and chest some more attention!)

The salicylic acid gel I apply in the morning after washing my face and sometimes once during the day as well. (this is 2%, the moisturizer only has 0.5%)

Two other products I'm currently using are: 

 1) makeup wipes: I'm not loyal to any one brand. I just like one that can get the darn mascara off! So far, so good on this one. 

2) toner: My toner, is in this bottle. I LOVE this product (LOVE LOVE LOVE) but when I ran out I couldn't justify the price to replace it. So I kept the bottle (It's a WONDERFUL bottle that sprays a perfect mist) and filled it with.....

FINEST Rose Water Facial Toner by Poppy Austin® A Delicate, Sumptuous and Triple Purified Organic Rosewater, Made by Hand and Responsibly Sourced, This is one of Morocco's Best Skin Care Products. A 100% Pure Rose Water, Rich in Vitamin A and C, it is Packed With Natural Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Qualities. Perfect for Reviving, Hydrating and Rejuvenating Your Face and Neck. Six Months Supply in Just One Bottle. Guaranteed to Work Wonders For Your Skin

I like it. Eric thinks it's too sickly sweet and it reminds him of this guy.... 


(that's a Hunger Games reference if you missed it! Good old President Snow). 

So, you may not like this if you don't like a pretty strong rose smell. I just picked it up because I was out of toner, I DO like rose, and I was getting the Vit C & Hyaluronic acid serum from the same company. Honestly, I'd still like to go back to my original product. 

Everything shown was just from Walgreens except the Poppy Austin products (I think you can even get the glycolic wash or another wash containing glycolic at the store. I just haven't tried). 

**This post contains no affiliate links. I am just showing you what I am using. 

Is your face at peace? What are you using? I'd love to know in case I have to go back to the drawing board. Either way, I'll update you next month on how it's working. (I'm about 2 weeks in now).

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