Although, this is far from a 'beauty' blog, I thought I'd chronicle my skin care journey and some recent happenings around the topic. Let's start from the beginning(I promise I'll keep this semi-short):
I had pretty bad acne in high school. It was the cystic acne and a lot of black heads. At the end of high school and as I went into college, I started Accutane. It worked really well.(aside from a side effect of depression - ugh!) There have actually been recent studies published about the depression side effects of Accutane. Anyway - I would still have some pretty bad cystic acne episodes but I'd get that shot directly into the cyst(is it a cortisone shot?) and it would go away in a few days.
I used Proactive for awhile which also worked really well. As I left college, I do not remember having really bad acne issues. As I started to get older, anti-aging was higher on my list of priorities for my skin so I started using a more gentle cleanser(less drying than proactive). Now that I live in New Mexico, the dry air is real people...got to keep everything extra moisturized living here. I used an Anew skin care program by Avon for a number of years and really liked it. My Mom actually sells Avon in case you're in the market for any products...go here if you need anything.
In the last 1.5 years or so, my skin care has been pretty random. I have basically just been using what I have. Also in the last 1.5 years, I have started to get breakouts...usually hormonally driven I would say. I don't really get the cystic acne anymore but I do get the annoying white heads. It's hard to resist popping them! I started using the revised version of Proactive which helped with the breakouts but is really drying. I can really only use it occasionally and would definitely not be able to use it morning and night because I would dry out and my skin would shrivel up.
In the last three months or so, I've been looking for a more natural and organic products to use on my body, hair, etc. I do believe that many products we use have carcinogens so I've wanted to start swapping out many of the skin products I've used.(I'm not perfect but I figure swapping out some products is better than none) I came across this blog post and decided I wanted to try some of the products she mentions. If it works for her, maybe it would work for me. Last week, I also decided to visit a local skin care clinic to get a free "skin care analysis." It is very eye opening when they review the pictures they take of your skin with you and they rank you with thousands of other people in your age group. I even found out I have melasma on my forehead. They even removed a "thing"(no clue what she called it) that I have had at the edge of my eye brow for years. Yay!
I left there with a .02% formula of Retin A and a recommendation to try a Clear & Brilliant laser treatment.
Lesson of skin care journey part 1: Start taking care of your skin as early as possible, stop tanning in tanning beds, & protect yourself against the sun. Although, I've "promoted" this the last few years, I believe more than ever that paler is better. I'm proud to be the palest gal on the beach these days! :)
In the next posts, I'll talk more about the products I'm now using, my visit to the skin care clinic, my experience with Retin A so far, & more on the laser treatment recommendation.