acne

Things I’m Loving #2 – Skin Products

Things I’m Loving #2

Skin Products:

I have weird skin and lots of skin issues. I’ve tried a lot of different products out there, with sometimes ok and sometimes horrible experiences.

I used Mary Kay products for years and liked a lot of them. My friend Star used to sell it, so that was a nice perk! But she doesn’t sell it anymore and I don’t really want to make the effort to find someone else.

So my skin is usually pretty dry and red and sore in the wintertime. I also have acne, and take a medication for acne because I get cyst acne (very painful).Β The other skin issues I have: I have eczema sometimes and psoriasis. So that can make issues worse and certain lotions and creams, etc, can irritate it. Thankfully I have both conditions managed about 90% most of the time. I just have to be careful.

I’ve tried everything out there from Oil of Olay to Neutragena to Noxema, to Aveeno, to Ponds, to Proactiv, etc etc. Nothing ever really worked. It was either too greasy, too oily, made me break out worse or dried me out.

For Christmas, my friend Star got me some beauty products and so far I really like them! And bonus: they are made locally in Portland. She got me the Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive face wash and the Pacifica Dreamy Youth moisturizer. I really love it so far. The moisturizer especially feels nice, creamy on my face and good for my skin.

I absolutely LOVE Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter. I use this a lot in the winter time especially and I use it every time after I go swimming. Swimming really dries out my dry skin even worse than normal and this stuff is amazing. It works so well and moisturizes my skin all day. It doesn’t wear off like everything else I’ve tried. It also smells great. So if you are a swimmer, I highly recommend this!

In the summertime my feet get torn up! Between running, hiking, swimming and wearing flip flops and sandals, I get really dry and cracked feet. Sometimes that happens in the winter, too, but usually it’s not too bad. I’ve tried a lot of different things out there and nothing really worked that well. Then I discovered this stuff:Β O’Keeffe’s for Healthy Feet Foot Cream

Seriously amazing! It’s like magic! It healed the dry, cracked feet almost overnight. I love this stuff!

A friend on Facebook recently raved about rosehip oil for a long list of skin issues. I decided to give it a try. I am not quite sure yet what I think about it. It feels really nice on my skin and so far it seems to be working well as a moisturizer (and for my psoriasis), but it ironically doesn’t smell very good. I was expecting it to smell like roses but it doesn’t.

Facial:

As a gift, my mother-in-law got me a massage and facial at the local Hand and Stone Spa. I had a really nice massage there recently and then I went back for the facial. I got a facial once before, when I was teenager. I don’t remember much about it…it was a long time ago. πŸ˜‰

I’ve never seen the appeal of facials because I have such difficult, sensitive skin. I didn’t want to go and pay a lot of money for something that was just going to make me break out.

I had a day off recently and saw Dan for the facial. I told him I had super sensitive skin and we talked about my skin issues and I told him how sensitive I can be. He did a fabulous job! I would love to go back and get another one with him. He was super nice and friendly and chatty and very informative.

I was really worried that my face would be irritated or super red and broken out after the facial. Thankfully that didn’t happen! Here are before and after photos:

No redness! And my skin felt so awesome afterwards. I wish I could remember every thing he did…he cleansed, used toner, did a facial/neck/shoulder massage with almond oil, did a few different masques and put several hydrating lotions on my skin. He did not recommend any kind of peel or Microderm abrasion type procedure because my skin is so sensitive.

The whole experience was blissful and relaxing and my skin felt so good afterwards! I told him about how I swim once a week and he had some recommendations for my skin. I ended up buying this kit that is for super moisturizing skin (a lot of the products were used during my facial):

I’d like to go back in the future and do it again.

Are there any skin products that you absolutely swear by? Let me know!

Notables

How was everyone’s Halloween? Did you survive the candy holiday? Did you eat too much of it or do you have a success story to share?

I did okay regarding Halloween candy. This year was pretty low-key. Instead of celebrating at my friend’s house we stayed home. We had leftover stew and passed out candy to the trick-or-treaters. We used to have TONS of kids. Each year it’s less and less. Michael bought a bag of candy from Costco and we ended up having almost half of it left over. I had four pieces of candy, was over my calories for the day but still under 2,000 for the day. Not too bad! Of course I’ve been eating the candy ever since….But still within my daily calories. I won’t lie, I may have substituted some healthy snacks with candy…

I wasn’t sure how Bella would do on Halloween. It seemed like a recipe for disaster. She’s anxious with new people and strangers that come to the door; our doorbell is obnoxiously loud; and I thought the kids in costumes might scare her. Actually Bella did well! She barked at the first group of kids but then she did okay. She only barked one other time at the youngest and smallest kid that came to our door, which sucked because I felt badly for the little girl! I was glad Bella chilled out and did well.

This post is a roundup of some things I’ve talked about recently. Here goes:

Acne

Last we talked, I was considering accutane and lots of readers weighed in with their experiences. It was pretty mixed but leaning more towards the positives. I was still undecided. Increasing my acne medicine and taking antibiotics for almost 2 months cleared it up. I also changed my birth control to one that is supposed to help acne. So far so good. I’m not going to do accutane any time soon. I want to see if this current stage of no breakouts will stick around for awhile.

The Pets Adjusting

How are the animals adjusting? We brought Bella home on October 3rd and it’s been a little over a month now. We’ve had some really good moments where Fat Kitty seemed like was adjusting. One particular evening I sat on the bed with the kitty and Bella laid on the floor in front of us and the three of us watched TV for a long time without any hissing or growling!

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We’ve also had some low points and sadly, Fat Kitty is still bent out of shape and posturing. He paces in the hallway or sits in the office doorway where his food is and hisses at Bella. Bella will lay down in the hallway on the other side of the dog gate and just look at him.

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The most recent news was that Maya came out from under the bed and stood motionless in the bedroom. Bella came right up to her and Maya didn’t seem bothered in the least. Maya didn’t run or hiss or look scared! That was great. Bella also lost interest in Maya quickly because Fat Kitty is the one she wants! He’s made it this way with his hissing and growling at Bella. SIGH. The above picture is of Fat Kitty looking at Bella’s tail.

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I guess it really will just take time!

Bella’s Training

Bella is SO smart! I love how quickly she catches on to things. We’ve been working with a trainer and each week we have homework. We’ve mastered “Leave It” and some of the other commands. One thing we worked on was her sitting and waiting until I put her food dish on the floor and tell her to eat. She does it now without me even having to say “sit.”

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We’ve had 2 sessions with the trainer so far and they have gone great. It’s so much fun training Bella! It’s cool to see her catch onto it so fast.

We are currently working on a few variations of “Leave It.” The first is putting her on the leash and going for a walk and if she sees something she shouldn’t play with, we say “Leave It”, click the clicker and give her a treat as we walk past it. Then she gets another treat is she keeps “leaving it.” This will be really helpful in the future when she gets near the kitties. I’ve used it a few times now when she got too close to Fat Kitty. She wasn’t doing anything to the cat, mostly just curious, but I could tell Fat Kitty was going to get pissy and I stepped in.

The other variation is an eye contact exercise. She sits in front of us, then I hold a treat in my hand up high away from my face. I just stand there until she breaks the stare with the treat and looks at me. Once she looks at me I click the clicker and she gets a treat. It’s already working much better! She doesn’t quite “GET IT” but she’s looking at me faster than when we first started the exercise. At some point I will be able to tell that she gets that she’s supposed to look at me before she gets a treat.

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Another fun exercise we have to work on this week is telling her to go to her bed. We put the dog bed on the floor and stand near it. Whenever she goes and sits on the bed, she gets a click and a treat. It’s supposed to train her to go to her bed when we tell her. This will be helpful when we have people over and she needs to Β calm down.

Wedding Stuff

I got the dress! And it was a big relief. One more thing to cross off the list. I’m currently talking flowers with several different florists. One is a family friend and the others are just local florists. I don’t imagine we’ll make a decision on that any time soon.

Also, still haven’t gotten engagement photos done. It’s been cancelled three times now. Once due to illness, twice due to inclement weather. It’s like we’re cursed. I’m really getting annoyed at this point! I’m ready to get the pictures done and move on to the next step: the save the dates! Come on weather! Improve for us!

So that’s about it right now. Life has been extra busy lately it seems. What’s new with all of you?