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Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Skin I'm In (Cross Post with Beauty Over Forty)

As I get closer to my 45th birthday (wow, even writing that makes me thing WTH happened), I feel like I'm a chump.  Remember, wayyyyyy back when, to the puberty years where you were told 'oh, acne will go away as you get older.'  I really, really looked forward to that day.  Granted, I didn't have acne like some had it.....I rarely got the big red pimples and certainly not in great quantities.  What I did get, however, were milia.  If you haven't milia I guarantee you're not missing much.  What they are are small cysts of dead skin cells that get trapped under the top layer of your skin.  There is no pore over them so you can't pick or pop them, it simply won't work and will leave you with a huge scar and possible skin discoloration (long term.  no thank you).  A pleasure, to be sure.

So here I am, almost 45, I still get milia and occasional acne, but now with the added joy of wrinkles.  What's a woman to do?  It's a constant battle to find a product that works.  So far I've found that I have two best bets:  the dermatologist for extractions, and Retin A.  Though both of these are great they're relatively pricey depending on what you have done and where you go.  Luckily, here is central Oregon, I can get milia removed for 35.00 (whether it's one or a hundred) but frankly, walking around for 5 days looking like I walked into a beehive isn't always my favorite state of affairs.

So, the key is to find products that work on my skin to not ENCOURAGE the milia......because they're optimistic little jerks that find any way possible to just Make It Happen! on my skin.

My dermatologist told me to stay away from abrasive exfoliators and even sounded ominous regarding Clarisonics.  I ignored that last piece of advice.......the brush isnt' supposed to scrub your face so it can't hurt right?  (I actually don't know.  We'll see how it goes).  But surprisingly, she also informed me that milia are also exacerbated by sun exposure, which I did not know.  Once again, I remember back in the day hearing that sun was good for pimples!  Great in fact! (then again we didn't think tanning was a problem, either).  So, sunscreens have been added.  But, I don't exactly love smearing white paste around my face (I was told that zinc oxide based sunscreens work best) or feeling like I'm wearing a mask.......and what about when I wear makeup?  How is one to moisturize when everything might make me erupt into a billion pesky facial cysts?

Recently I got an extraction done and am paying more attention to what I'm putting my face through.  I've compiled a list of products that seem to be working nicely.....

1.  Obagi Sunscreen.  Yes, it's pasty and white, but nothing gets through it.  Nothing.  I could have a small nuclear explosion go off near me and I'm pretty sure there would be a skeleton left with an untouched Audrey mask.  It's that good.

2.  Christian Dior Diorskin Healthy Glow Ultra-Fluid Serum Foundation SPF 25.  Feels like nothing and offers just enough coverage to minimize the pesky scars.  There are many available tones and it's pretty easy to find a match for your skin.  It also hasn't increased or irritated those pesky gross skin cysts. Downside:  kind of pricey, so if that's not your speed try

3.  Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C+ Illuminating BB Creme.  Available at CVS and other drugstores, this Finnish brand offers SPF 20 protection and decent coverage.  It only comes in light, medium and dark though, so some blending might need to happen.  Good for summer daily wear if you need something more than just sunscreen.

4.  3Lab Skincare Hydrating Vita Cream:  this pale blue-green gel cream is wonderful on my oily and cloggable skin.  It doesn't have any weird offensive smell, it's very lightweight and takes no time to sink in.  Apparently it also has apple stem cells.....ok.  I'm not an apple so i'm not sure what it's doing for me that way, but it moisturizes nicely, doesn't sting or anything, and is great under makeup.  Once again, though, it's pricey.  So if you don't feel like shelling out that kind of cash try:

5.  Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.  Wayyyyy cheaper than the 3Lab but still effective.  I had a little more trouble with this one but it still moisturized fairly well and the affordability factor is definitely a consideration.

How about you?  Any experience with skin challenges, and what are you doing for them?

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