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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Cleanser Update – February 2017 – CeraVe Foaming

I’ve talked about my unexpected transition from reasonably problem-free to annoying skin. Turns out, what I’ve experienced isn’t uncommon; skin changes are fairly routine in one’s mid-twenties. Curious? Do a google search for adult onset acne and you’ll be given a wealth of results.

It’s frustrating, but I feel for the first time in a while that I’ve got the upper hand on it. It’s fairly controlled. I still get an uncomfortable cystic blemish (hard to deal with!) or errant, hard plug in a pore (easy to deal with) from time-to-time, but my skin isn’t having a panic attack.

 

CeraVe Foaming Facial CleanserCeraVe Foaming Cleanser ($9)

Since I last shared my Arsenal in June 2016, I’ve made one major change – switching my cleanser to one with better-suited pH.

Micellar water is still my main squeeze for makeup removal and light cleansing (like in the morning after a good cleanse the night before). I interchangeably use Garnier’s Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water and Simple’s Micellar Cleansing Water with no discernible difference in my skin.

I’ve switched back to CeraVe Foaming Cleanser ($9), which is priced similarly to Cetaphil. I tried it briefly a couple years ago and ultimately dismissed it. This time around, I’m surprised to find that I’m liking it. Although it has the same pH as Philosophy’s Purity ($24, 80z) cleanser, my skin seems to prefer it. Considering the price difference between the two, I’ll take it!

pH Matters

Cetaphil may well be gentle, but its pH is slightly higher than the pH of skin (between 4.5 and 6.2). At 6.5-6.7, which of course changes with the pH of your water, it is already close to neutral. In the long run, skin responds better to an acidic cleanser; it helps preserve the integrity of the skin’s acid mantle. Maintaining your acid mantle is important; in short, it’s your body’s first defense against bacteria and other contaminants that could be introduced to your body via your skin.

Inadvertently, I may have been compromising my acid mantle by using a nearly-neutral cleanser. My water tends to run somewhat alkaline, and since I rent, I can’t install any systems to correct for that. Since I’ve made the change to CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser in early December, my skin has stabilized.

I may eventually find that something more acidic than 5.5 is better for my needs, but I’m satisfied with my new normal for now.

2016 Favorites

I’m sticking to last year’s annual favorites format because it worked well.

2016 Favorites - Garnier & Simple Micellar Water

Garnier Micellar Water, $7; Simple Micellar Water, $8

If I had to pick a single type of product to name as a favorite in 2016, I’d have to say micellar water is it. I like both of these and purchase whichever is a better value at the time. I’ve totally given up makeup wipes in favor of using this with cotton pads or a reusable makeup removing cloth.

Pantene Pro-V Stylers Mousse, $6

This mousse is my, “daily driver.” Out of the (average) 135 days per year I blow-dry my hair, this product is in my hair at least 95 of them. (The remaining ~40 is either hyper-lazy, product-free, or calls for the big guns.) It is accessible, inexpensive, and reliable – and it works well on my hair.

Gimme Brow

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Foolproof Beauty Gifting (Last Minute!)

I’m moving Wednesday’s post to Tuesday due to its urgent nature. Did you wait until zero hour to accomplish your holiday shopping? Or did you maybe think you were done only to realize, “Damn! I forgot someone,” where that someone happens to be a beauty enthusiast? You’re down to the wire.

Buying foundation or concealer for your recipient is generally a bad idea unless you know their EXACT shade or unless you leverage an e-Gift feature like Urban Decay’s that let’s the recipient pick their shade. Lipstick can be equally challenging because subtle nuances can take a product from wearable to NOPE pretty easily (but this 4pc Clinique Honey, Honey set [$25] is a safe bet!).

I got you. In addition to the guide I did a couple weeks ago, I’ve put together a foolproof beauty gifting guide. Most of these products can be purchased from retails offering shipping in time for Christmas to save your ass, and the ones that aren’t are available at retailers. Buy online and pickup in store where possible to save your sanity, and to also reap the benefits of eBates.

Mascara

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