In case you missed the title, I’m going to do Spotlight Saturdays on people, places, products, and topics that are relevant, exciting, and relatable. Since I don’t have any kind of following yet, (Dear Diary, Thank God I’ve found such a good hiding spot for you, lest my mom know I’m thinking about asking my best friend to ask Chad if he wants to go steady!) I’m not going to waste this week’s spotlight on anything super riveting.
For real though, I do want to vent and openly discuss a problem that I’ve been having for close to four years. Adult acne. F bomb you, adult acne. Growing up, I had AWESOME skin… RIP. I vividly remember being at the pool with my friends one summer and a stranger saying, “I would kill to have your back skin.” Uh… okay. (Girlfriend, I get you now. I’d kill to have that back skin too.) I was the person who wore my makeup to bed, and I’m guessing that probably didn’t matter much at all because my daily makeup routine consisted of concealing “zits” (bitch, you didn’t know what a zit was), mascara, and blush. Those were the days… I long to someday have them again before I get even saggier and wrinklier.
After years of trying, I finally broke down and went to two different dermatologists over the past summer and fall. I’d love to really put that first experience on blast, doctor’s name and number and all.. but that seems wrong, so I’ll give you the short version. On the day of my appointment, I scrubbed up, wore no makeup, packed my purse full of every product that I use (because clearly the doctor is going to talk to me about these, right? WRONG!), and went on my way.
I sat in the waiting room for an hour, the exam room for half an hour. A nurse came in and asked me questions about my overall health. Then, the doctor came in, with three other people. We’d turned his tiny exam room into a clown car. “Do you want me to examine the bottom half of your body?” Since I’m a big city slicker now, and have no filter, I said, “I don’t really mind if you do, but I’m a little uncomfortable with the whole OSU School of Dermatology doing it with you.” No exam. Cool. He then threw at me medicines he didn’t tell me the name of, completely ignored my history of digestive issues, told me my scars would never go away, and left the room in under three minutes. No exaggeration. I was given a hand scribbled note on how and when to use the medications, and sent on my way, sobbing I should add. Prognosis: Pizza face forever. Yikes.
The cherry on top? My insurance company deemed that I was too old to get any of these prescriptions. I gave up.
My second visit was much more pleasant. I saw a female nurse practitioner who listened and sympathized with me. Ultimately though, the regimen she prescribed was way too harsh on my extreme whiteness, and the office is impossible to get ahold of, so I gave up on that plan too. It’s back to DIY for me.
In the meantime, here are some helpful tips I’ve compiled to help yourself!
First, determine your skin type. I found an article last night that really hit home. When I tell employees at makeup counters I have acne, they immediately throw oil control products at me, when in reality, I have extremely dry, flaky, sensitive skin. If this sounds like you too, take a look at this Women’s Health article.
Secondly, scour the internet. We have such a wealth of information at our fingertips. Not only will you find some potential solutions, but you can compare expensive products to their drug store dupes, so that you don’t break the bank on a trial run.
Third, don’t jump ship too soon. Lots of these products won’t have a noticeable effect for 4-6 weeks. Definitely don’t continue to use something that is obviously irritating your skin, but don’t drop your new routine because there weren’t any overnight miracles.
And finally, here are some products that I’ve come to love over the years, and maybe you will too!
1. Clinique Acne Solutions This kit is gentle, awesome, and pretty much customizable if you tell a Clinique rep your specific concerns. For instance, since I am so dry, they always cut the medicated moisturizer out of my kit, and instead add Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.
2. Speaking of gel, I think gel moisturizers go a long way in breakout prevention. While dramatically different is Clinique’s go-to, I actually prefer Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. It is extremely lightweight and hydrating! It’s drug store dupe, Garnier Moisture Rescue, is usually $8.00 or less, and equally awesome.
3. If you read that Women’s Health article above, you will see that salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide used in tandem, have great potential of preventing and healing acne. Products like Proactiv (though awesome) can sometimes be too harsh on dry skin, especially in winter, so I opted for a cheaper drug store wash that I can use when my skin is particularly bad. Check out Clean & Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide.
4. I find spot treatments to be pretty drying. I am more partial to Clinique’s, but many of them contain the exact same ingredients. Instead of drying my skin out even more, I recently purchased a Tanda Zap. It uses new blue light technology to kill bacteria and open pores to allow dirt out, and medicine in. If you can catch a zit in its very early stages, this gadget is a hit!
5. Finally, the makeup portion of things. The helpful dermatologist urged me to seriously consider a full switch to Bare Minerals. They have several starter kit options (I bought the one linked!) which are also pretty customizable. While I think the coverage is pretty good, the application process is sort of lengthy, and I think powder makeup has a tendency to age dry skin.
During the summer when the weather is humid, I have like a two month window of skin that’s not excessively dry. A really awesome and responsive beauty blogger suggested to me that matte makeup diminishes the appearance of blemishes due to it’s flat nature. She suggested Loreal’s Infallible Pro-Matte liquid foundation and it is an awesome value! It is great coverage, stays on all day, and wasn’t overly drying!
Also based on her suggestion, I packed up my more shimmery and sparkly blushes, and instead opted for some matte finish pinks and peaches from e.l.f. cosmetics. It helps to see these close up, as some of them are still sparkly. A whole range of colors can be found at Target, and these things are only $3.00!
I hope some of this info is helpful! If you’re out there reading this, comment some products that you’ve had success with. I’d love to know! May the flawless skin gods be ever in your favor.
xoxo pizza girl (food, not face)