Friday, 13 January 2012

Skin care



I've been plagued by dodgy skin since I was about 15 with my skin gradually getting worse the older I got. The amount of times I've cried because of cysts (oh yes, it wasn't like I could just get spots, I got cysts on my chin) I had, they were painful and unsightly. When things were very bad I used to hate leaving the house as my bad skin was VERY noticeable with even one so called friend teasing me about my skin.

Everything came to a head in 2008 when I couldn't handle the state of my skin anymore, I was working at a private hospital where I had access to some great dermatologists so I booked myself in to see one who specialised in acne. £90 and the humiliation of a doctor peering at my face, chest and back through a magnifying glass that he strapped to his head later and I was being bumped to his NHS list. The drugs he wanted to put me on were so strong that they were kept locked away in only one place in Cardiff.

I had an outpatient appointment (which was vastly different to the lovely private one) a week later, again I was peered at by the doctor but this time a medical student joined in - naturally she had gorgeous skin. I was asked to sign a number of consent forms which basically said that I had to go on/stay on birth control while I was taking the medication and that if I did get pregnant there was a risk that the baby would be deformed. When you are told these things by a doctor you realise just how strong the meds are that you'll be taking. My doctor notified me of the possible side effects, they were all pretty grim. I was told that I would need blood tests every so often as the medication could harm my liver.

All this in the pursuit of clear skin.

Off I tottered to get my blood taken (I'll skim over the part where I nearly fainted...) and then off to pharmacy to get the medication.

The next couple of months were pretty torturous to be honest, my skin all over my body became extremely dry and then started flaking off. I'm not talking about the odd bit of dry skin, I'm talking the palms of my hands peeling, my lips peeling. People in work thought I was ill. It was a whole other level of humiliation. I don't know how I carried on taking the medication, it was touch and go but I had to remind myself of why I was doing it. Things weren't helped when I was informed by an SpR on a trip to the hospital that my cholesterol was raised due to the tablets but in my mind clear skin was worth it.

The results of half a year on the medication was perfectly clear skin, I even braved going out in public with no make up on. I got compliments on my skin, something entirely new to me. Was it worth the pain, peeling skin and humiliation? Yes!

And here I am a couple of years down the line, cystic acne free. Thanks to coming off the pill last year thanks to mind crushing headaches I've got a bit of sportiness back but thankfully they're small and hormonal so I know I'll get a flare up for a few days but then they'll be gone again.

My skin care regime changes every couple of months, whilst in the States visiting my in laws in October I popped into Sephora (why don't we have them in the UK?!) and purchased a bottle of Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser which hasn't really done much for me other than keeping a little bit of oil at bay (I had NO idea that coming off the pill makes you an oil slick, ugh), so when I was in town on Tuesday I popped into Boots and had a consultation with one of the ladies on the Clinique counter where I was informed that I have type two skin. I bought a six week starter kit of their three step regime (£20) and then headed to Lush where my intention was to buy a pot of face mask to soothe the redness I was experiencing. I came out utterly relaxed after a wonderful hand massage and demonstration of some products, in the end I bought Angels on Bare Skin which is a cleanser that I first used about six years ago, and Cosmetic Warrior which is a face mask designed for combatting spots and to help soothe troubled skin.

I've been using my new products for three days and I already know that there is a difference in my skin. The Angels on Bare Skin gets every scrap of make up off and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth, I've been following this with the face mask and I kid you not my spots have disappeared and redness has dramatically reduced. After using the Clinique three steps in the morning and then applying my make up I am no longer oily, my make up has been staying in place.

Could this be my perfect skin care regime? Give me six weeks and I'll let you know but for now the signs are looking good.
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1 comment

  1. I took the same tablets and it was worth it. My skin was sore and I had dry lips for a while but I look so much better now. I don't get the awful sores anymore and a lot of my red/purple scars have faded. Hope your good skin continues xx

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