Some background: I’ve had problem skin since I was about 12. Not really bad enough to warrant going on Accutane or anything really serious, just mid-grade blackheads all over, oily complexion, and the occasional breakout. All the time.
I started going to a dermatologist when I was a teenager, but that didn’t seem to help a whole lot, so I stopped and tried all sorts of over-the-counter stuff. Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Clearasil, Pond’s– I’ve tried them all. When those didn’t really work either (and I had an allergic reaction to Clearasil that made my whole face blow up), I started going to the dermatologist again.
If you haven’t been prescribed skin treatments lately, allow me to let you in on a little secret: stuff ain’t cheap. I was spending upwards of $70 a month trying to keep up with it all and still wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to, and that was with prescription drug coverage. Now that I’ve lost perks like medical insurance (I’m working on it!) and disposable income, my whole skincare regimen has been called into question.
I’ve come to a realization recently. I’m fairly sure that over the past 12 years I’ve been working to dry out my skin, I’ve hit the balancing point and now have overdried my skin, kicking oil production up and keeping everything trapped underneath. The thought actually occurred to me when I noticed that my skin seemed clearer after working in the bakery a few weeks, when I’d come home sweaty and exhausted and oily as ever.
The next turning point came thanks to an almost-professional, though not a doctor. I got a gift certificate to a student spa clinic nearby (HIGHLY recommended!) and the aesthetician told me my skin was dehydrated. After I insinuated that she may be smoking something, she explained that there’s a big difference between water and oil to the skin. Hello… why had I never thought of this? I started moisturizing every day, and noticed that between the facial and daily moisturization my skin was getting a lot clearer.
I went again Tuesday for another treatment, and decided today that I’d skip my morning prescription and just moisturize, fully expecting to be greasy in a few hours. Surprisingly, I wasn’t!
Sure, the facials are a bit of a splurge, but they start at $26 for a 90-minute treatment that includes a consult and massage. Even when I’ve added on an eyebrow wax, ultrasonic treatment, and an exfoliating enzyme, it totaled $50. Anyone more well-versed with the spa scene want to comment on the savings there? Plus, when you add on treatments, your appointment runs longer and you get to relax more. So relaxing, in fact, that you might not mind if someone runs into your parked car while you run into David’s to pick up the sash for your wedding gown (true story).
It seems I may finally be on to my skincare solutions. I’m planning to go in for a facial once a month until the wedding to get everything worked out, then probably drop down to every other month or so to save some cash.
Anyone else have a similar battle? What’s worked or not worked for you?