Monday, April 7, 2014

The Road to Recovery: Skin Edition

I had an allergic reaction this week.  It wasn't severe, meaning it wasn't long lasting.  But my skin flared up suddenly.  Small, red, itchy bumps, some with white centers and my face felt like it was on fire Thursday. 

I didn't use any experimental products, all products have been used before.  There are 4 products in question.  I do not want to name any at this point because I'm not sure which one, if any, were the culprit but I have used them all recently and in the past with no adverse effects. 

1.  A BB cream
2.  A high SPF product.
3.  Gradual tinting moisturizer
4.  Full size skincare product sample that I have been using for about 2 months now.

I realize it could have been a combination of a few factors...  Season changes always throw my skin for a loop.  We went from 50 to 88 degrees in 2 days. 

Another major factor to point out, we are in full blown pollen season, in the 11 count which is pretty high.  There are pollen dust storms.  Everything is covered.  Could this be just been allergies?  I don't typically have allergies.

But never have I experienced anything quite like this...

I woke up Wednesday morning with bumpy skin.  Not really red or irritated at that point, I just noticed the texture was different.  I thought my pores were just clogged from the BB cream or the gradual tinted moisturizer I wore the day before.  By Thursday things got much worse.  Because I had to leave the house and look presentable, I immediately made a mask of cinnamon and honey to hopefully calm things down.  I used cool water to rinse.  Covergirl 3-in-1 Outlast worked perfectly to cover my redness.

That night I picked up some Cetaphil to cleanse with.  I didn't have a basic cleanser.  I have oil controlling, oil balancing, charcoal cleansers, etc...  I usually have a bar of Dove soap lying around but not this time.  I also don't have a basic moisturizer.  They are along the same lines as my cleansers, mattifying, oil controlling, clarifying...  I didn't want to experiment with moisturizers so thankfully I did have oils on hand.

When I woke up Friday morning, my skin was less red and bumpy but of course Friday was a busy day which included a 5k.  Full sun and 88 degrees so I needed some serious SPF.  My SPF is one of the questionable items.  But I didn't have a choice because it's my only high SPF product.  I covered the redness with Covergirl 3-in-1 Outlast.  Sidenote:  It was hot, I was running and my face stayed matte.  CRAZY good stuff.  p.s.  I don't usually wear makeup running, this was a special case. 

After the run, I washed with Garnier Nourishing Cleansing oil, followed by Cetaphil, a honey mask followed by Witch Hazel toner.  I then had to get ready for another outing.  I moisturized with Avocado oil mixed with 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil and 2 drops of sibu Buckthorn oil and this mix has become my go to moisturizer.  At the end of the day, same cleansing steps and moisturizer.  My skin was finally calming down.

Saturday morning things were looking great.  Hubby said my face was looking better.  We were going out fishing that morning with the kids and I followed the cleansing and moisturizing steps and put on my SPF and came down stairs. The hubs, "What did you just put on your face?  It's all red.  You are getting more bumps."  Ugh.  He seemed to think it was the SPF at that point. 

Sunday morning I am in the clear.  I still had a couple bumps but for the most part, everything was calm again.  3 products I am pretty sure I am going to part with... just in case.  One is brand new and I will give it one more try and see what happens.

But these are the products that saved my skin:

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil: to dissolve makeup, sweat, dirt, SPF
Cetaphil: to gently cleanse the skin
Trader Joe's Organic Raw Honey: to moisturize, calm the skin, unclog pores and provide some antibacterial relief
Witch Hazel: (not pictured, I'm using the Target Brand right now) to tone and balance the pH of my skin, reduce redness and soothe my irritated skin

Evian facial spray:  I like to use this after toning to moisten the skin which facilitates the absorption of the oils I put on my face in the next step
Avocado oil: a pure, non-irritating (to me!) Vitamin E rich oil to mix with buckthorn oil and tea tree oil and to provide much needed moisturization
Tea tree oil: for disinfecting and soothing my irritated skin
sibu buckthorn seed oil:  This is good for eczema, dermatitis, rosacea and other issues, like what I am going through right now!  :)

It's Monday morning and my skin seems to be back to normal.  I'm going to use the same skincare this week as well since it is working perfectly for me.  I only have a few drops of Avocado Oil left and hopefully I can pick some up at Marshall's this week.  I find it in the specialty food section.

Not to self:  Keep on hand a basic moisturizer and cleanser for allergic situations.  :( 

I will do a post on all the cleansers and moisturizers I have on hand.  It's a bit ridic.  They all serve a purpose for different situations.  I swear.