Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Consumer Report

This is a long story but if you have skin issues it will be well worth the read:

Thanks to some bad genes and some bad information from an aesthetician, at 22 years old I suffered with the worst possible acne you could imagine. It covered my cheeks, chin, jawline and good portions of my neck. This wasn't just a pimple here and there. This was an infection under the majority of my face, causing pimples to head in three or four places, three or four times. It was very painful and VERY ugly. Not helping the situation any, was my tendancy to pick at all of it. I would say it took a good 18 months of trying different things to finally stop the acne completely. Thanks to some extra strength ProActive {{that's right extra strength for those as hopelessly pockmarked as I}} and a lesson in figuring out different things to do with my hands {{picking is BAD for your skin people!}} The acne FINALLY went away. The year and a half of bad acne + the picking left nice acne scars on my cheeks. Not ideal but acne scars are a LOT easier to cover than acne.

Towards the very end of that whole fiasco, I got pregnant with Bug. I was actually one of those women whose skin got better from pregnancy. Cleared up completely and since having her I've only had a handful of pimples, and those were probably more due to hormonal changes than anything else. However, what being pregnant did do to my face was cause nice half dollar sized, dark spots in several places. These are due to hormones and previously feckled skin thanks to a childhood and early adult hood of tanning my face. Including one particularly annoying spot on the left side of my upper lip that looked like I had half of a nice hairy mustache. {{Only half, though, which is some how even more embarrassing than a whole one.}}

After Bug, I started doing research on chemical and glycolic peels. Call it vanity if you want, but I don't think I've ever met a woman who wanted acne scars and dark spots on their face. Both types of peels are fairly expensive and, let's face it, they sound a little scary and there is something just a *little* frightening about allowing a total stranger to put chemicals on your face. It's easy to put off things that are going to cost a lot of money and hurt, so I did. Then I found out I was pregnant with 2.0 and decided I'd wait until I was done with pregnancies completely before dealing with it.

Fast forward to the end of August. J and I were at the MAC counter picking up some foundation and powder {{for me, not him}}. It had been awhile since I purchased MAC {{I usually go back & forth between MAC & MK}} and I needed to be color matched and while applying the foundation the girl grotesqueley looked at my face and said, "You need to exfoliate!" Oblivious to my reddening cheeks, she explained the benefits of exfoliation and pointed to all the spots on my face that needed help. {{Yes, it was awesome and I ran away as soon as I paid.}} Maybe a little quick to point it out, but she definitely had a point and after some digging I found a MK's Microdermabrasion System I purchased at the end of last year and hardly used {{Aha! There is a point to this post!}}

I have been using the at-home microdermabrasion system for 6 weeks now and their skincare system for about 4 weeks. The microdermabrasion set is $55 from any MK person and seemed like a logical place to start before spending hundreds of dollars on face peel and it is safe to use during pregnancy. The first few weeks I used the scrub and replenishing serum every other day and then backed it off to every two days and now I'm using it about twice a week.

What it helped with: Right away the texture of my skin was better. After about a week, I could tell the pores on my nose and cheekbones were getting smaller and after two weeks some of the areas the informative girl from MAC pointed out were gone. About a week ago, I noticed that the spots of discoloration are quiet a bit less noticeable and the areas of scarring I had are not nearly as deep as they were. In fact they are hardly noticeable at all.

What it didn't help with: The areas around my eyes. A couple of the discoloration spots were high on my cheekbones and under my eyes. The cleanser is a rough scrub and obviously you cant use a rough scrub on the thin skin close to your eyes. My next project will be to find something to help with those.

Over all I'm really happy with the results, especially for the price. Anyone with bad acne scars, wrinkles, discoloration, and patches of clogged pores would probably benefit from the use of this product. There is one thing that is important to note: the first time I used the product I thought I could use it every day like a cleanser. Trying to be aggressive with it and using it every day irritated my skin pretty badly and I stopped using it. If you have tried it and it irritated your skin, you might want to re-evaluate the way in which you were using it.

I don't have any before and after pictures {{come on people, I won't leave the house without foundation on, you think I'm going to let someone take my picture without it? Yea, right!}} so you're just going to have to take my word for it.

That is all.

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