Thursday, December 8, 2011

Acne? Products I use to get rid of it.

I am 24 years old, and I'm haunted by acne. My acne used to be so bad--covering the whole surface of my face--places I didn't think acne could crawl into (like the soft skin under my eyes), would show its ugly mark. I thought my acne would go away after I got out of my teen years but lingered into my twenties. I would (unsuccessfully) hide my acne with make-up, and hated showing my face in public without any coverup. I tried Proactiv, Clearasil, Anti-Acne, Neutrogena, and numerous more (these products would work for some people I knew, but never solved my problems). I tried various prescription creams at the guidance of my dermatologist, and finally found my match. I've been using most of the above products for almost 2 years and while I still do have flare ups of acne, its usually less than 3 times a year.

The Products: 

  1. Face cleaning wipes- I use Costco brand, but I think any moistened facial cleansing wipes would do. I have friends that even use diaper wipes and works great for them.
  2. Daily SPF moisturizer- The Body Shop's Seaweed Face Mattifying Lotion works wonders for me. It comes with SPF 15, contains mattifying elements to control oily skin, and importantly, it provides the right amount of non-oily moisturizer our skin needs. (When I was younger, I robbed my skin of any moisture, refusing to put any lotion or anything close to that on my skin, because I believed it would cause oil, which then would cause acne; I was so wrong because my face ended up producing copious amounts of oil to make up for the absence and caused me to break out more.)
  3. Tea Tree Oil - I use Trader Joe's spa 100% tea tree oil from Australia. Tea tree oil has shown much positive benefits when applied topically to skin (antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial properties). Some studies show a small percent of the population may react negatively to tea tree oil, so make sure you test to ensure you are not allergic.
  4. Nightly Moisturizer - Carrot Moisture Cream from The Body Shop is a great moisturizer to put on before bed-time.
  5. Topical Acne Treatment (Morning) - I use Benzaclin (Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzoyl Peroxide Gel, 1%/5%). Talk to your doctor for a prescription and to see if this is a good fit for you.  
  6. Topical Acne Treatment (Evening) - Retin-A Micro® (tretinoin gel) microsphere, 0.04% works wonders for me. See your doctor for a prescription and to see if it's a good fit for you.

My regimen (morning to night): 
  •  A) After washing my face in the morning with cleanser and warm water, I dry my face and put a thin layer of Benzaclin (5) on my face. 
  • B)  I then put a thin layer of Face Mattifying Lotion (2) on top of the Benzaclin, and go about my normal make-up regimen of foundation, blush, etc.
  • C) After the day is over, in the evening, I use the face wipes (1) to remove all my make-up and residue. I wash my face with cleanser and dry.
  • D) Once a week, I put 1-2 drops of tea tree oil (3) on a cotton ball and apply it to my face. 
  • E) I wash my face with cleanser, dry, and squeeze a dab of Retin-A Micro® (6) (size of a pea) on my fingertips. I then dab forehead, chin and both cheeks and smooth it gently on my skin.
  • F) Finally, I place a thin layer of Carrot Moisture Cream (4)over my face on top of the Retin-A Micro® 
I know this is a tedious regimen, but I hope this works for you! 

Pin It Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do I really need to take fish oil supplements?

Being young, I thought that taking vitamins and supplements were just for people my parents' age. However, in graduate school, I'm learning more about clinical trials and came across several studies that showed the majority of individuals that had fish oil in their diets had statistically significant health benefits compared to ones that didn't have fish oil.

Health benefits of fish oil (reduces risk of):
- heart disease
- age related eye disease 
- stroke
- menstrual pain
- lowers blood pressure
- cognitive (brain/mind) problems 
- and much more

So... do you need to take fish oil supplements? 
The answer depends. If you regularly eat foods high in omega-3 oils such as wild salmon, sardines, walnuts, pecans and more then NO, you don't need fish oil supplements. But if you're like me, and don't have the time or money to buy and prepare fish, then YES, taking fish oil pills can be a good solution.

Fish oil pills are relatively inexpensive (I get mine from Costco). Make sure the pills you buy contain EPA and/or DHA not ALA (shown to not have the same benefits of DHA or EPA). As with any supplements, read up on the side effects before taking it.

Pin It Follow Me on Pinterest

Exercise! (No gym membership needed)

As a student, I sometimes come home so exhausted and just want to plop down, eat, and go to bed. I definitely don't have time or money for a gym membership. The guide (above) is a really easy way to exercise, burn about 100 calories, and I don't need any equipment or weights. The only problem I run into at times is lack of space in my apartment, so I am sometimes bumping into things. Here's more information on the correct techniques for jumping jacks, sit-ups, shoulder lateral raises, push-ups, and squats.

PS. I do not have the strength to do a real push-up yet; so feel free to do a modified push-up!
Pin It Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, December 5, 2011

Applying Eye Shadow

I don't wear copious amounts of makeup, and use eyeshadow only on occasions. I usually just apply eyeliner and go. Once I saw this pictorial on eye shadow, (I'm embarrassed to admit) that was the first time I really understood why eyeshadow really works. I tried it out, and if you put on a light dusting, not only does it look natural, it makes your eyes stand out.  (Thank you aboutviews! Please visit them for more information.)

Pin It

Follow Me on Pinterest

One day...I'll host a wine and cheese party

I am very naive in the world of paring wine and food.  Jackie shows a great way to host a party that helps newbies like me understand this tasteful art. And what a great way to utilize chalkboard contact paper! (For details on this party, visit here. For advice on paring wine and food, visit here.)

Pin It

Follow Me on Pinterest