Saturday, September 29, 2007

Skin Update

Hello everybody! (All three of my loyal readers....haha!)

Once again, it's been a while and, for that, I do sincerely apologize. It's been a busy summer, full of adventure and out of town friends. I am back at work now, working well over 40 hours a week. When I get home, I can honestly say that the last thing I want to do is sit in front of the computer and blog. I want to eat dinner, sit on the couch to talk with my man, and go for a walk with my dog. Call me boring.

It's been a month since I have been using the prescribed gel medication that my dermatologist recommended. As per my doctor, I have been using Differin in the morning and Benzaclyn before bed. The results have been interesting.

I have no problem with the Differin. It is a very light gel that does not conflict with my skin. Benzaclyn, on the other hand, has been very rough on my skin. It makes sense considering it is a pretty strong acne gel to use on your skin. I have sensitive skin in the first place so my reaction wasn't fun. My skin began to feel very tight and dry, especially around my nostrils and around my eyes (including my eyelids). I'm no dummy - I read the instructions and I know better not to apply strong topical medication near those areas of my face. Even though I avoided those areas, my face stung something fierce. It burned to the point where even washing my face with just water, hurt like hell. I spoke to my regular doctor, as I didn't care for the dermatologist I met with, and she told me to cut the Benzaclyn to every other day until my skin gets used to it and spoil yourself on some good moisturizer.

"If you don't spoil yourself, who else will?!" she said with a wise laugh.

Normally, I avoid shopping. I went a little insane over summer as far as money and shopping and cute boutiques go. However, my doctor told me I should so off to the mall I went! Insert happy and guilty smile here!

I usually buy my skin care needs at Shoppers Drug Mart (or Pharmaprix, here in Quebec). They have a separate little boutique, full of skin care lines that are inexpensive to very pricey. On my first trip to the shop, I spoke with a very helpful representative. I told her my issues and she knew the answer to my problem instantly. Sometimes, I hate asking for help. I don't doubt their knowledge. I find that a lot of people who work at multi-line skincare boutiques just have their own favorites and kind of disregard the other lines that could possibly work for others. Nope, she knew her stuff and I felt like her service and suggestions were directed at me and me only. That's always a nice feeling when you are clueless but looking for something specific.

I went home with a moisturizer from Avene - Hydrance Optimale hydrating cream for sensitive skin. It's super gentle, fragrance free, and contains SPF 25 (which is great since these gels I am using make my skin very sensitive to the sun). It cost a pretty penny and comes in a 40mL tube. Needless to say, I use it gingerly. It came with a free spray bottle of Thermal Spring Water which is used to sooth and soften sensitive skin, especially after a sunburn or regular skin sensitivity. I tried it and I think it worked but I'm not completely convinced. The moisturizer seems to do the trick however.

My second trip to the shop was to switch my face cleanser. Biotherm's Acnopur line was simply too harsh when used with the prescribed gels. This time, the different associate was a little confused with my questions. I told her that I wanted to stick with the Biotherm line since I loved the Acnopur line. She did not know much about their sensitive skin line and just bullshitted her way through the transaction. She did her best - I can relate when I worked at the MAC counter. A lot of successful retail work is the art of bullshitting anyway. I came home with Biotherm's Biosensitive Softening Foaming Cleansing Water and Biosensitive Soothing Eye Care Cream.

When I was at the store, I was not convinced with the foaming cleanser. I'm used to soapy cleansers. I like feeling soap on my hands and face. This seemed so light and useless. I was surprised. It works! It cleans efficiently, it is so incredibly lightweight, and completely ideal for sensitive skin. Since using this, my skin has not felt itchy or burning. I've been using it every other day too - hey, I'm cheap and don't want to throw up the small amount of Acnopur cleanser I have left. I really like it and it has made my skin feel a lot better.

The Biosensitive eye cream works just as well. It's lightweight, no fragrance, soothing, and gentle. This is the first eye cream that I have ever purchased, believe it or not. It has cured that burning feeling and my eyelids are no longer dry and flaky. I don't know if my eyes look less fatigued but they certainly seem less puffy.

So, it's been a month since I have been using the medicated gels and the new skincare products. And I have to admit, my skin is looking a lot better. I mean, it didn't look horrific before. I just know that it has changed. My skin feels softer to the touch. I am not breaking out as much, even around PMS time. When I do break out, it's one spot and it goes away a lot quicker without scarring as before. When I feel completely burnt out, my skin doesn't seem to show it as much. I just started work again and have been reunited with my co-workers. My boss told me that my face is not as red as it was before. I told my other co-worker that I was tired one day and she said that she couldn't see it as my skin looks radiant (and she didn't even know I was using dermatologist recommended medication). I think it has improved, slowly but surely. I wish I could be using more natural creams and solutions, that's my only complaint. Otherwise, my skin is really looking better and feeling better.

Until next time...