Beauty Trends Makeup

What’s A Girl To Do?

Your makeup is only as good as the skin underneath.” – sales girl from Beauty Trends who was trying to sell me lots of crap last week.

She’s right, but I’ve tried.  And at this point, I’m not sure what to do.  I’m tired of spending $$$$$ on stuff that doesn’t yield the promised results.

I’m 30 years old, and I still get blemishes like clockwork. I have crow’s feet around my eyes, laugh lines and dark circles under my eyes that make me look exhausted even on days that I’m bursting with energy.  Over the last several years, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars trying to repair the damage on my forehead left by scaring from acne that came about due to oily skin and rapid weight gain.

My skin is extraordinarily sensitive so I have to be careful when I’m trying something new on my face.  I don’t always have an immediate reaction, but most often, I find that my face turns red and my eyes start burning within a few hours.  Regardless, I’ve tried several products including Skyn Iceland for my eyes and Perricone MD Cold Plasma for my forehead and the rest of my face.  It works well, but at $150 per ounce, I can’t say that the price is worth the results.

So here’s my question.  What do you use on your skin to keep it fresh and healthy?  Do you have recommendations to share with me?  I’m willing to try anything within reason though I’m fairly certain that fixing my face will require laser treatments at some point.

Do you use skincare products?  Are you satisfied with what you’re using?

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  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 4:15 am

    I use Cetaphil. It is fragrance free and made for sensitive skin. I believe that it is also paba-free (?). My Mom actually got me using it when her dermatologist recommended it to her (she has VERY sensitive skin). I use their daily face wash and daily moisturizer with SPF 15, and I also like their body lotion. It "wears" lightly but conditions.

  • Reply
    Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia
    April 27, 2011 at 4:30 am

    I just got today Clinique's Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector…I tried it on my hand and wowza, I was so impressed. I don't have yous issues but I would recommend you watch MAKEUPGEEK video on youtube "Dealing with adult acne", (link below) she had the same issues. hope it helps.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 4:32 am

    I can't to hear what others have to say because I've been wondering the same thing as of late!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 4:55 am

    I get bad acne as a side effect from my medication. This is the only thing I use, and it's the only thing that has helped. One bottle lasts forever too.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I've used microdermabrasion as a way to clear my skin.
    It works really well.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Like you I still occasionally get pimples and blemishes. I've tried many many things in the past but learned that the simpler the routine the better: I wash my face twice everyday with Provegol or marseille soap (you'll need to moisturize after this one )
    Once a week, I get a facial steam bath followed by a very gentle scrub (honey & cinnamon).
    That's it, no triple regenerating-factor-with-a-revolutionary-you-won't-understand-but-buy-it-anyways-formula.
    A good diet and plenty of water also help. But you must already know that.


  • Reply
    Chubby McGee
    April 27, 2011 at 11:34 am

    For what it's worth, I love your face. I think you look marvelous. As an "over-30-gal" too, I think you look fab. And…to be honest…I can't imagine having a face without laugh lines and crows' feet (which…I do). I like it a lot. The ONLY thing I don't like are my age spots due to being a careless teen and early-20. Ugh. (I even worked at a Hollywood Tans and tanned every, single day…with the most expensive lotions…sometimes even twice a day…for the max time…in the strongest booth. RUINED my skin! RUINED IT!).

    I used to use Proactiv until I got pregnant with my second child. I loved it, but…if you stop using it or miss a dose, you'll break out. That's something I learned. However, I still do have their Green Tea Moisturizer and I love to mix a little bit of that with a little bit of liquid concealer and I cover up my blemishes with it. Works wonders and I don't look like a caked-on, chubby freak in public (one of my biggest fears is wearing too much make-up in public as I think that people are looking at me and thinking: "Wow…that fat chick is trying to overcompensate her face to try to cover up her obesity.") Don't worry! I'm working on that negative mindset of mine!!!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    So far Clinique hasn't triggered my contact dermatitis (which I get within a year of starting to use almost any other skincare product)… so perhaps something of theirs is an option.

    Adult acne is obnoxious. I'm 41, and I'm STILL fighting zits. No hope in sight either… Dad's nearly 67 and he's still dealing with it. Le sigh.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I've never had too much trouble with acne (knock on wood). I do have some of those bumps that stay under the skin. Like Chubby, my biggest problem is dark patches. However, I've never tanned – my sun exposure was just from being outside (and not much of that!). But, back in the day, we didn't know about wearing sunscreen EVERY DAY. I've been doing that now for several years – the Neutrogena for Face SPF 55. I just read that it should be the first thing on your skin after you wash it in the morning. Your moisturizer goes on after the sunscreen has been absorbed. If you aren't doing this already, please start now. EVERY DAY – even cloudy ones. You will be glad you did when you get to be my age (way too close to 50!). I credit my deep and abiding love of sunglasses to my lack of crowsfeet — it helps if you don't squint!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Life Is Beautiful
    April 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I have super sensitive skin as well. Like you, my face turns red and my eyes burn. It's hard to describe to people how bad it hurts when it starts!
    I've started using Aveeno's Ultra Calming face wash and moisturizer. I decided to try their face products after finding out their body lotion was the only thing I could use on my legs. {The skin on my legs does the same as the skin on my face!}
    Usually once every two or three weeks I use Queen Helene's Honey & Oatmeal scrub on my face.
    When I have a break out I use Queen Helene's Mint Julep Mask. You would think it would make my skin go crazy, but it treats it just fine! 😀

    Doing all that makes such a huge difference in my face!

    {Also, I always carry my Aveeno Ultra Calming Moisturizer with me because sometimes my face just goes crazy, and the lotion ALWAYS helps!}

    My only problem is finding a foundation that I can settle on! ;D

    -Many Smiles!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    This is what I use.

    I have oily skin as well and still breakout! I'm 33. have dark circles and some wrinkling around my eyes. I also have a scar on my forehead, but it's from a tree branch.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Just found your blog and its great.

    You look really good – I am pale with sensitive skin, I like Simple, a uk brand! If I had the money I would buy all of Liz Earles stuff. Usually thats a treat/gift. And drinking lots of water, boring stuff. Oh and about once a week I use an apricot scrub.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I swear by Philosophy products. I have really sensitive skin and its the only line that doesn't leave me with red, flaky, itchy skin.

  • Reply
    Amy Polk
    April 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I'm 35 and I tend to have frustrating issues with acne too. I think its a matter of consistency with skin care and diet. Here's a great article on what to eat for your skin. I also use an herbal whole body cleansing system from FirstFitness nutrition

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    AVON all the way, Kenz…I have been a rep for 20 years, I swear by their stuff. Very reasonably priced and I would put their product up against any of the other pricey brands any day. I Love AVON, everything is hypoallergenic and a lot of the skin care is SPF, they also don't use a lot of alpha hydroxy acids…some of their products have it and some don't. If your skin is very sensitive I would stay away from the AHA's

  • Reply
    April 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I have had so much success with the Clarisonic Mia! I have oily skin and am prone to breakouts as well. The Mia is a sensitive brush that deep cleans your pores. It feels like I just got a facial every time I use it! The breakouts are much, much less often and clear up much faster. Plus it helps to even out your skin tone. You can use any cleanser with it.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I use Clarins – the Brightening Line. I started using it sometime in my late 30's and my skin has really calmed down. I have tried other things that are less expensive but Clarins works for me. And I am obsessive about my skin care now. Price is middle of the road. It's not cheap but it's not $150 a product. And I use it until it's gone!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I've had problems for a long time, too, though my skin has calmed down a lot in the past few years (about the same time my periods got shorter, so I think I had some estrogen issues!). I have sensitive skin, as well, though probably not as sensitive as yours sounds. Through a lot of trial and error, I've found an array of surprisingly cheap/affordable products that keep my skin relatively clear/bright.

    Face wash: I use a collection of products which I alternate. I use Clean & Clear Morning Burst in the morning. In the shower, I use either Lush "Angels on Bare Skin" (a gentle, clay exfoliant) or The Body Shop aloe face wash. I try to exfoliate 2-3 times a week but not more than that.

    Toner: I was anti toner for a long time because I thought they were all the harsh, stingy kind that turned my face bright red. Now I use The Body Shop aloe toner b/c it has no alcohol and is super gentle.

    Moisturizer: I blogged about my two fave products last year. I tried all the fancy, expensive brands, including Clinique, Clarins & Lancome, but Oil of Olay really clicked for me. Key is their Regenerist serum, which I use at night. When I don't use it, it's pretty noticeable day to day. I find that it really clears up pimple scars/uneven skintone nicely. My mom uses it for wrinkles/crows feet so it has benefits for all ages/skin concerns.

    Pimple cream: I've found salycic acid formulas don't work for me at all. They don't really help my blemishes, and they really irritate my skin. I use benzoyl peroxide, but only b/c I think after many years my sensitivity to it has diminished. I've also use tea tree oil blemish fighters somewhat successfully.

    Make-up: I've had far fewer skin problems since I switched to mineral make-up two years ago. I use Bare Essentials, though I started out with Lancome (but it made me a bit too shiny).

    Anyway, through it all, my #1 rec of all time is Olay Regenerist. The commercials aren't just a gimmick. It srsly works miracles.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Me: I have had oily skin my whole life. I now have clear skin, though I do have eczema flare-ups on my face occasionally.

    Diet: I drink almost exclusively water. Lots of veggies. I am not a vegetarian, nor do I intend to be one.

    Skin care regimen: I wash my face morning and evening with Cetaphil. I switch between the regular bar and the antibacterial bar (using the antibacterial once or twice a week keeps my zits at bay). I use them with one of those red exfoliating pads from the bath scrubby section of Wal-Mart (comes in a 3-pack). Morning before makeup and night before bed I use the Cetaphil CREAM (the kind in the jar with the screw on lid – very thick consistency).

    Makeup: Tinted moisturizer (Olay Total Effects or Cover Girl) with just a small dab of Eucerin redness reducing lotion (the green kind), topped off with Bare Minerals bronzer and mineral veil (I have heard E.L.F. makes a fantastic, inexpensive equivalent that I will use when I run out of this stuff).

    Dermatologist: I see mine at least once a year. He doesn't recommend anything funky.

    My suggestion is be very gentle and very patient with your face. Results will happen, it just takes time. I was 37 before I finally got the skin I wanted.

  • Reply
    Up All Night Stamper
    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I never had issues with my skin until I started with peri-menopause and NOW I have TEENAGED skin! Everything that could have gone wrong and didn't when I was a kid is making up for lost time now. The GOOD news is that I switched over to Bare Escentuals two years ago and the difference in my skin's appearance was nothing short of dramatic, kinda sorta like those airbrushed-to-death before and after pictures, except for realz!

    Because it has NO chemicals, just pure plain minerals, there's nothing in there to clog things up, irritate things, etc. My skin actually looks BETTER now that it did during its heyday…..and I am almost 50.

    Be sure to try it out at one of the BE boutiques – those ladies know their stuff and they sample like made so you really can try it out before spending a penny.

    Stay gorgeous – 'cause you are.

  • Reply
    May 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Just found your blog through Feministing… so glad i did! I saw this entry and wanted to share my very recent skin care revelation… I'm also trying to lose weight by being more physically active (doing lots of 5K and 10Ks this summer and training for a triathlon!) so I'm really trying to do everything I can to keep my body in top shape. I'm 27 and have had acne ever since I can remember, and while I did take prescription meds in my teens/early 20s, I decided a few years ago that I'd rather just deal with bad skin than pump myself full of drugs. I basically resigned myself to having worse skin as an adult than I did as a teenager.

    Enter fish oil. I'm really bad at taking vitamins regularly (I fall off the wagon quickly) but then I read that fish oil was good for joint health, and with all the running I've been doing, I figured I'd better stick with it. I've been taking fish oil religiously for about 2 months and my skin looks better than ever. My skin isn't perfectly clear, but I used to have monthly breakouts of cystic acne and haven't since. Nor have I had the nasty jaw line breakouts that started happening late last year. The only pimples I've had in the past couple months are the tiny things that will disapper overnight with the OTC zit cream. While getting ready for work in the mornings, I was dotting my face all over with concealer, I now find myself wondering why I'm putting on makeup at all.

    I thought I was just making up this association so I googled the benefits of fish oil, and lo, healthier skin is one of them. I probably read this before years ago and figured "healthier skin" was something that was only going to happen to people who already had near perfect skin. So if you're not taking it already, I'd say it's worth a shot!

    (The brand I take is Nature Made, and I take 3 capsules at night before bed… I'm not sure how many miligrams though.)

  • Reply
    May 17, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I have had acne and combo skin since I was 12. I found some great options thru a dermatologist after many other things did not work. Unfortunately I don't currently have insurance and its just too expensive without it. My skin was so soft, smooth and nice when I was able to follow this program though.
    #1 clean with cetaphil cleanser (I now have a clarisonic mia that I LOVE and I use that with cetaphil)
    #2 Rx in morning-BenzaClin
    #3 Cetaphil to clean
    #4 Rx at night-Tazorac cream .1%

    I also had a script for Spirolactone (pill) that helped with oily skin and also helped lower BP.

    My skin never looked better and I will go back on this (even if I have to pay thru the nose) for 3 months before my wedding this fall so I can have my clear skin back for wedding photos!

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