Chapter 5: how i learned to stop worrying and love my skin

So, you know that saying: “you learn something new every day?” I’ve found this to be especially true in my life lately. Allow me to explain:

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Remember how my second blog post was about the Arbonne brand, and how much I like their skin care and makeup? While this is still a true statement, I’ve learned that my skin is much more sensitive than I previously thought. Case in point: after using the Arbonne FC5 line for over 6 months, my skin had some sort of reaction to it. Now, to be fair, it wasn’t an all out allergic reaction or anything – nothing that flagrant. But it was enough for me to ask myself: “What is up with my skin right now?” – so I switched up my skincare routine in an attempt to clear it up (unsuccessfully) and scheduled a (long-overdue) visit to the dermatologist.

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A caveat: I do not go to the dermatologist… like, ever. The last time I was there was probably in high school. So, when I developed a rash on my face that persisted for a few months (yeah, I’m kind of stubborn), I made an appointment with the dermatologist.

… For a month later! And for those of you that don’t know me, I can be a bit impatient at times. So I called up my general physician, who could see me right away. Unfortunately,that turned out to be a mistake (we’ll call that Lesson One), as she misdiagnosed the rash and prescribed medicine that largely made it worse. Luckily, I had kept my appointment with the dermatologist, so I decided to tough it out and persist with the meds I had (recall the stubborn comment above) until I could see the expert.
diagnose

Let me tell you – I am so glad that I didn’t cancel that appointment. The dermatologist was quite helpful on a number of issues. Here’s what I learned:

  1. I have rosacea, which was not a big surprise as I often have irrationally red cheeks and flush terribly (the bright side: free blush!). To treat it, she prescribed a mild antibiotic cream for daily use. Lesson Two: It’s not just acne that causes facial bumps.
  2. Leave the skin care questions to the professionals, as her medical opinion completely negated every article I’ve ever read about the subject. Here was her expert advice:
    1. Despite the prevalence of a million different recommendations in the beauty world, in your late twenties your skin really only needs a good gentle cleanser, a day moisturizer with sunscreen, and a hydrating night moisturizer. Lesson Three: Less is more.
    2. Sunscreen is the most important thing to put on your face for anti-aging. Even if you only see the sun in the car, on the way in and out of the office, and through the window… Lesson Four: Sunscreen is essential.
    3. Eye cream isn’t necessary unless you have super dark circles, heavy bags, or irritation. Even with those things, even the best ones can only do so much, as many of these issues have specific causes (lack of sleep, sun exposure, genetics, not washing off makeup, etc.) and can’t really be fixed. Lesson Three (and a half): No, really, less is more.
    4. For sensitive skin (or just in general), the brands she recommended were: CeraVe, Cetaphil, Neutrogena, and Aveeno. She did note that she didn’t recommend the generic versions of those brands, but I find myself wondering if that’s a legal thing instead of an effectiveness issue. Lesson Five: More expensive does not necessarily make a product better.
    5. When trying a new skincare regimen, you should really give it 3-4 weeks to see how your skin adapts. Since your skin is like an organ, it can occasionally take quite a while to see the effects of new products. Lesson Six: Be patient!
  3. She diagnosed some irritation under my wedding rings as just that – irritation from soap/water that gets trapped under the bands when washing my hands. She said all of the internet remedies (boiling the rings, cleaning the rings, coating them in clear nail polish, etc.) don’t really work. The best thing would be to take off your rings while washing your hands, or just be sure to dry underneath them and the inside of them very thoroughly. Note: my physician said I was allergic to nickel – which is a load of baloney. Lesson Seven: Even doctors make mistakes… twice.

So, I’ve been using the medication prescribed and I’ve minimized my skin care routine to just cleanser and moisturizer with a recommended brand, and I do think that my skin is already starting to clear up. I’ll follow up once I’ve been using everything consistently for a month or so – but I have high hopes that this will do the trick.

Lesson(s) learned, for sure.

Have any of you had “rough patches” with your skin? (See what I did there? That’s called a pun, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll be here all night.) If so, what have you tried that’s worked for you?

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 5: how i learned to stop worrying and love my skin

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