Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grease Slick Acne Face No More!

My. Face.

UGH.

My face has been the bane of my existence since high school and continued into my 30's. I was pretty sure that I was just going to have to live with the insane crazy acne I had, and being so damned greasy you could fry an egg on my forehead for the rest of my life. After all, I'm Italian, so I thought it was totally normal.

I started using Noxema on my face when I was in junior high, because it was clear I was going to be a zitty hot mess. Nothing was going to prepare me for what was coming. It was pretty freakin awful. I had to wear make-up at all times. but no matter how much I slathered on, you could still see my horrible skin. And when your skin is that bad??? Zero self esteem. Everyone must be staring at it, right? I mean, it's just RIGHT. THERE. There's no way to hide it. except Halloween. I LOOOOOVED Halloween when I could paint my face with all sorts of make-up and you finally couldn't see those angry red monstrosities.

I went to the dermatologist, but nothing they recommended helped. No prescription cream touched it.

I went off to college. I slept in my full make-up just in case we had a fire alarm in the middle of the night. It seemed to actually get worse. I tried ProActiv. NIGHTMARE. It didn't clear it up, it actually made the zits ginormous CYSTS that were suuuuuper painful and absolutely un-hideable. I sent that right back.

My sophomore year, I was diagnosed with endometreosis, and after surgery, my doc put me on birth control to help it not to grow back. That actually helped my skin. It wasn't perfect, but it was significantly better. I just turned into a psychotic beeotch.

Turned into???

Shut. Up.

Anyway. Because the pill was mad expensive and not covered by my insurance (I could spend the next few hours RAGING about how Viagra is covered for men, but bc is not, even when it's used as a medication for women, but I won't. yet.), and because I didn't relish the mood swings, I took myself on and off of it over the course of about 10 years. Without fail, my skin would get awful as soon as I went off of it. So back to a dermatologist I went. I was teaching high school by this time and when your students' faces are clearer than yours, you know it's a problem.

She put me on accutane. There's A LOT of paperwork you need to sign to take that, and blood tests you need to have done. It totally jacks up your kidneys and liver, and you have to sign a waver swearing you won't get pregnant, AND you can't donate blood until at least 6 months AFTER you've taken it because if a pregnant woman gets your blood it will severely harm the baby. This stuff is no joke. You should see the warning labels all over it. It was supposed to be one round of it and my skin would be clear forever!!!  except oops sometimes kids on it committed suicide. or went into crippling depression. or had kidney or liver failure. But whatevs, my skin would be clear. HAZZAH!

Sooooo.......it was red and crusty and dry for a while. And then I stopped getting zits, although my scars were not cute. And then my dosage was over. And my acne came back.

What. The. Eff.

So I got on another round. By the way, each round is about $500. Yup. Awesome.

This one kinda sorta took a little bit better.....but I still got zits. a lot. along my jaw line especially. and my nose. and my forehead (thank God for bangs).

My number one worry on my wedding day at the age of 27?  Would I have a breakout??  RIDICULOUS.

I continued to use harsh chemicals on my face- salicylic acid being my go-to. Until I got pregnant. And I wasn't allowed to use that anymore. My skin cleared up a bunch due to the crazo hormones, and I just used Cetaphyl. It was recommended by everyone because it's "safe" for pregnancy. And I kept on using it after I had babygirl cause it was mostly working. Except for the oily part. And the random dry patches. And the acne scars. And the never leaving my house without make-up.

We had been organic for about a year and a half, when I started paying attention to all the garbage I was putting ON my body as well. And propylene glycol?  That was some serious crap.

" Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. Propylene glycol is also used to make polyester compounds, and as a base for deicing solutions. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions. Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. Propylene glycol is clear, colorless, slightly syrupy liquid at room temperature. It may exist in air in the vapor form, although propylene glycol must be heated or briskly shaken to produce a vapor. Propylene glycol is practically odorless and tasteless. " (definition on a cdc.gov website) i don't have the energy to even get started on the highlighted section. I mean really. The next line down tells us how they use it in paints and plastics. does that SOUND like something we should ingest!?!?

Basically, it allows your skin to suck in more of all of the chemicals that are found in soaps, shampoos, moisturizers- you name it.  So not only are you washing with antifreeze, but it's aiding in sopping up all kinds of nastiness. Perfect.

So I looked. And wouldn't you know, on my "safe" bottle of cetyphil, there was propylene glycol. How on earth is THAT safe for pregnancy???  In the garbage it went. And I went searching online.

I stumbled on several websites for homemade face wash, soap, shampoo, shaving cream, lotion. You name it, they made it. But for facewash, my favorite was just a tiny little blurb that I unfortunately have not been able to find again, otherwise I would totally give her credit. Here is her recipe/ instructions for face wash:

Daily, get some extra virgin organic coconut oil. put some in a jar in the shower. Grab about a quarter size-ish scoop with your fingers. rub it on your face. rinse with warm water. When you dry off, don't dry your face. let the oil act as your moisturizer (you can add more if you need it but you definitely won't need it after your skin gets all healthy). Since I'm a bad example, I don't wash my face at night. I KNOW. I pass out before I get around to it. If you are one of those perfect people who do, then use this at night, in the morning just rinse with water, and if needed add some as moisturizer while your face is still a little damp.

Once every 3 or 4 days, exfoliate with 1/4 tsp baking soda mixed with enough water to make a paste. You will not need to do this as often as you continue to use this method. Follow that with the coconut oil wash.

Easy. And cheap. And so I figured I'd try it. I even made jokes about it on facebook- don't judge me for being a grease slick hot mess, and don't lick my face. HA! Hilaaaaarious.

But.

It worked. Like, that day. It was such a major improvement I could barely believe it. And it took zero time for my skin to get used to. It. Just. Worked.

So. Today I took a pic. 100% make up free. No filters. I've been using this now for a few months.
please ignore the fact that I look like a hairless cat. my blonde eyelashes and brows are the reason why I MUST wear mascara every day.

Even my acne scars are not nearly as bad. And I no longer wear foundation. I use some bronzer (I AM from jersey), some blush, some mascara and lip gloss/stick.  AND coconut oil works as an amazing sunscreen- it protects from burning withOUT blocking the Vitamin D that everyone is so deficient in (mainly because the poison sunblock companies keep preaching about slathering yourself in their chemical shit storm 75 times every day to "protect" you).

And it's doing a really nice job in the wrinkles department.

Years and years and years of garbage on my skin. Of needing to hide my face. Of being SO. EMBARRASSED. of my face. And all I needed was a little mother nature.

Do I still get the occasional zit? Of course. I still get my period so this is a given. What do I use to get rid of it?  Right now, I use breastmilk. This may not be an option for everyone. I highly recommend it. But if you don't have access to any, leaving a thick baking soda paste on it for a bit will help. As will using lemon as an astrigent.

Now, make-up. Well. Since I rarely use foundation (I will if I'm going to a wedding), I still use my bare minerals that I've had forever. I'm sure that there are some things in there that are no good...but since I do it so rarely, I haven't really checked into it. Slackerface.

My bronzer and blush? Yup, pretty sure those are awful too. My hubbs has this thing about me throwing out stuff. I'm supposed to finish it before I buy new. So, hopefully in the near future I will have an update on that.

My mascara? I just recently got a Stila mascara. I know not all of their stuff is good, but the lady tells me that this one is free of all of that garbage and she loves it. I looked at the ingredients, but have not researched them. I bought it because I simply listened to her and I was needing it RIGHT NOW, so I'm *hoping* she wasn't a dirty liar.

And lipstick. I've been getting Burts Bees gloss and chapstick. Now, I'm not a huge fan of this company anymore since it was bought out by Clorox, who is the opposite of trustworthy. However, I was wanting lipgloss RIGHT NOW and the ingredients looked pretty good, so I caved. I really have to do research on the make up thing. Let me know if you found any you love that are organic/ natural/ etc.

So that's the story of my face. Here's to ending puberty when you're in your 30's! Hazzah!

Loves!








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