Don’t let the flaw win

Posted on July 19th, 2010 by Michelle

Even if my social life reflects high school all over again 27 years later, does my face have to? Really?  For the last couple of months, my visage has been more pimpled than dimpled and it just doesn’t seem fair.  Been there. Done that.

I don’t know whether to attribute it to the new products I’ve been trying, stress, hormones or diet.  When I get stressed, I don’t eat right. And hell, at 43, much like at 16, I have absolutely no clue what these hormones are doing.

Of course, with all this playing out all too obviously across my face, I appreciated the timing of Paula Begoun’s recently released report on acne.  Apparently, I am not alone.  Acne affects an estimated 95 percent of the population, regardless of skin color or type.  The report says that yes, my breakouts are probably due to all of the above, and tells me how to fight the flaw, and not let the flaw win.

It is most interesting to note, however, that every natural instinct we have for eradicating those complexion killers is just wrong, wrong, wrong.  And contrary to popular belief, none of it makes them disappear any faster.  You can’t squeeze them or scrub them gone.  The report discourages harsh skin care products.  Astringents like witch hazel won’t dry up that little geyser any quicker, and in fact, if the skin gets dried out, it can’t heal.  Dry skin is also a breeding ground for the bacteria that grow pimples.  Who knew?  Similarly, don’t use products, such as bar soap on your face or waxy styling products on hair that will touch your forehead. These will leave a residue that will clog pores and clogged pores are part of what started this whole mess in the first place.

If acne is a serious issue for you, you need to get Begoun’s report (anyone who is serious about skin care at all should be on her mailing list), because treatment is very individual, depending on your skin type and lifestyle.  Her extensive recommendations include products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, but she encourages a regular, gentle cleansing routine as the best approach.  Alternatives such as Tea Tree Oil treatments or the use of sulphur are discussed and the report is a must-have before making a decision with your dermatologist about prescription methods.  All the latest on new treatments such as Dapsone, updates on the use of antibiotics, vitamin supplements and other topicals are covered in her report.

Fortunately, my face cleared up in a few weeks, so I was able to give up re-living my pizza face years.  Now if I could find a routine to clear up my social life as easily…

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.