Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head

Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head

Initially

Up until this past winter, I exclusively used the Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head. As I approached restocking time, the cost-effective four-packs of Sensitive brushes for $81 were sold out everywhere. I never had any intention of trying the other brush heads, but I’m not about to pay $27 each…when I can get 2 for $44 (or, even better, 4 for $81!). I time my purchases of supplies like this so that I can take advantage of a 15% VIB or 20% Platinum Perk discount because I hate paying full retail.

Before

For a while, my Clarisonic had been nearly-benched in favor of my FOREO Luna Mini. I had come to decide that the Clarisonic, paired with the Sensitive brush head, was too much for daily use for me. Instead, I was using the FOREO Luna Mini daily and the Clarisonic primarily for decollete use and occasional face use.

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TPDTY: On Sebaceous Filaments & Why You Don’t Need Pore Strips

This is a post from the Beauty Skeptic archives that has been given a facelift! Content is the same but may have been edited for clarity and flow, as well as some small content updates noted in line.

Pore StripOh look, a pore strip!

Yeah, you’re familiar with them, probably from Biore. Other brands make pore strip products, too, often more expensive for the same (lackluster) result.

But you don’t need them.

Yeah, there are DIY pore strip tutorials online with weird suggestions involving egg whites or Elmer’s Glue. And listen, I can appreciate getting a little mad scientist in my beauty/skincare as much as the next person…

But you don’t need to.

Wash your face, leave it sopping. Dry your hands, open the thing. Slap the pore strip on your nose and smooth it down. Wait until it feels ridiculous, then rip it off.

But you don’t need that.

Here’s the thing – what many of us bought those things or played mad scientist for was because we believed we had a ton of god-awful blackheads on and around our nose, right? Oh god, we have to fix it. We’d peel away the papier-mâché pore strip and marvel in disgust over what we just ripped out of our faces with this pore strip. Right? Don’t lie, if you’ve used this, you have. You’re elated for a day or two because your skin looks a little better…and then things return to normal – and you strip again.

A waste, indeed, of time and money for such fleeting results.

But here’s the thing – in so many cases (I wish I could quote you a percentage) those are not blackheads. They are sebaceous filaments – they occur naturally on everyone, ever, and are not blemishes…and they cannot be, “removed,” not even by a pore strip. Yes, they aren’t the cutest thing in the world, and yes, that is irritating. Proper skincare, however, can make them less obvious.

The Routine

Your skincare routine should consist of (at minimum), daily cleansing, exfoliating as often as your skin wants/needs it (some people like a daily gentle exfoliant, some of us like to break out the big guns 2-3 times per week), and moisturizing. You can get more detailed than this if you wish (I like to!) but it isn’t a dire necessity. (Bonus points if you use a face brush like an Olay Pro-X or Clarisonic!)

In terms of cleansers, I like something basic and simple. (2017) CeraVe Foaming (2014) Cetaphil Gentle is my favorite. As far as exfoliants go…in terms of what is best for your skin, a chemical exfoliant is technically best and I have (2017) this AHA gel from Alpha Skin (formerly Alpha Hydrox) (2014) this one from Alpha Hydrox .

That said, I also commit “skincare sins,” and indulge in physical ones (theoretically the gritty nature of these can cause tiny cuts in your skin. I haven’t had problems, personally, but I get it – especially with the St Ives, it can be a bit much if you overdo the pressure) such as this classic from St Ives and my long-time favorite from Burt’s Bees 2017 Update: The only physical exfoliation my face sees these days comes from my Clarisonic or Luna Mini.

Moisturizers are very personalized depending on your needs but I am currently happiest with (2017) Mountain Rose Herbs Argan Oil (2014) Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light. Those things help me keep my skin healthy and looking well-cared-for.

The Bottom Line

Stop wasting your money on pore strip products, your time on playing face-goop-alchemy, and just get back to basics. They’re fun, but they are a gimmick – and a costly one, at that. Chances are if you don’t have other acne issues, you don’t have a nose rife with blackheads…you, like most people, just have some sebaceous filaments which are normal and healthy. Not gross, just kind of odd looking when you actually notice them.

TPDTY: Managing Suddenly Problem Skin (as an Adult)

As an adult, when you go from nearly life-long clear skin to problem skin in the space of three months, you might panic.

I did. Many ladies and gentlemen did and do. Adult-onset acne is not unheard of and can be triggered by any number of things – commonly hormones, but also environment, diet, and other lifestyle factors. Going from having something work for years to everything being clearly.freaking.wrong for your skin is frustrating!

For the first time in I’m-not-even-sure-at-this-point (18 months? 24? I don’t know anymore!), I’ve had clear skin. Clear, that is, aside from an occasional cycle-related blemish that is minor and goes away on its own. Hallelujah.

If you’re frantically trying to pursue resolution, you might inadvertently have left common sense by the wayside. No judgment; I did. Keep these things in mind when trying to manage suddenly problem skin.

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Skin Update

At the end of February, I wrote about Biotin and Blemishes. Although I had incredible results hair-wise, my skin started panicking when faced with a relative imbalance of biotin (B7) to B5.

Skin Update

It has been nearly two months since I adjusted my usage, and happily, I haven’t gotten another cystic blemish. My skin isn’t completely clear all the time, but my annoying spots are reduced to what I usually deal with and in the times/cycles I usually deal with them. I’m calling this confirmation of my hypothesis.

Routine

Since, I’ve introduced two other things into my routine – once weekly usage of an at-home microderm device, and once weekly usage of a 10% AHA gel. Reviews on the microderm device are coming soon. I typically use it on Sunday evening, then the AHA on Wednesday evening. Additionally, I’ve changed brush heads on my Clarisonic to the Radiance head – and my love of the device is revitalized. More on that soon, too.

Morning
Evening
  • Remove makeup with Micellar Water
  • Wash face and decollete with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (drugstore + skin pH-friendly) with the Clarisonic Mia2 (Radiance head)
  • Sunday – Microderm device, then Micellar Water again. Wednesday – AHA treatment.
  • Moisturize with Argan Oil

Hydrate

I started slipping on my water intake over the last six months. Armed with a new, insulated water bottle I can better hydrate throughout the workday or when I’m out and about. My Contigo Grace is still used at home (non-insulated), but it’s nice to not have my water warm up throughout the day from the room temperature or being warmed from being held. I always seem to forget how much better my skin feels and looks when I’m hydrated. Somehow, I always find myself surprised by it; sometimes, I’m a space cadet when it comes to this stuff.

The Bottom Line

Right now, I’m satisfied with the status quo. I don’t have any painful blemishes, I’m not dealing with insane breakouts, and I don’t have texture issues. I’ll always have to deal with sebaceous filaments, and I’ve accepted that. If the extent of my skin woes is a blemish near my hairline or the occasional tiny blackhead (that, in reality, no one but my ridiculous, obsessed, hyper-critical self notices) I’m happy.

Eventually, I want to incorporate a Vitamin C product – but I’ll wait until a Sephora sale to splash out on Drunk Elephant or Ole Henriksen.

January 2017 Favorites

January 2017 FavoritesJanuary 2017 Favorites
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser, $9 / Sally Hansen Apricot Cuticle Cream, $5 /
Sure Aerosol Antiperspirant, $3 / Tree Hut Sugar Scrub, $7 / Vaseline Spray Moisturizer, $6

Yeah – I completely screwed up and forgot to write about my January 2017 Favorites. Oops. It’s a drugstore kind of month, in fact. Details after the jump.

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