Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blovet’s Clear Skin Talk Part 1

Lately, so many people ( even strangers) ask me :
“What do you use for ur skin?”
It’s crazy. I’ve  NEVER gotten so many compliments like this in my life.  Please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to be boastful and I am not proud at all. WHY NOT? Cause I was and still consider myself to be an acne sufferer.
I have pictures 2 yrs ago , when I was in MUNICH and there were these BIG RED  ANGRY SPOTS ( which I picked at) all over my cheeks. I still have the scars to prove it and  there was a period of time where acne erupted on my jaw area and that really drove me over the edge. I became even more shy, withdrawn, sad and very very miserable because of this SUDDEN ACNE BOUT which lasted for a few YEARS!  I’ve always had relatively clear skin and many of my facial scars( i have quite a few big and small ones) were from naughty childhood incidences so you could say I took pride in my clearer skin and it was my confidence boost.
WHEN THE ACNE STRUCK, my hubby was really worried too, cause he had never seen my skin this bad. My friends were all in Singapore and  maybe saw a pic or 2 of my pimply face but that was it. I thought returning from MUNICH to SINGAPORE would help my skin but it DIDNT!!!!  Pimples erupted every other day and it was coming out in places I never expected… I would SWEAR AT MY PIMPLES when I looked in the mirror and it was a very angry and withdrawn phase of my life…
I was desperate, hated using concealor to cover old and new spots everyday, so I started searching and asked my friends for some recommendations for skin care products!
Then I was introduced to the amazingly EXPENSIVE DR SECRETS.

DR SECRETS is a  complete skin care regiment and since I am not paid a cent to advertise their products, I’m just going to say that I have nothing to earn from blogging about this.
This is a skin care regiment that turned my skin around. My acne cleared up 80% in 3 months. I’ve been using it for 2 yrs I think and now I alternate between YAMANO SKIN CARE and DR SECRETS. The whole T-SERIES cost around $430 + SGD, so I was really bleeding through my wallet every 2 months. 
SURPRISINGLY, after a year of religious DR S. usage my skin was doing fine for some time and then the small and Big pimples started attacking me again!!!  I felt pretty distraught and disappointed that  nothing was working and I was picking at my skin more than I should have.
That’s when I was searching the web like crazy for another MIRACLE PRODUCT  and bumped into HIGH ON HEALTH website. FRAN the owner is my SAVING GRACE. She spoke about the relationship between emotions and acne, provided excellent resources for the reasons behind my skin picking addiction and her entire  holistic approach to controlling acne was something that resounded strongly with me.

Steps I took when I realised that
my emotional wellbeing was
key to clearing the acne:

1) I stopped picking my skin
2) looked at my skin less
3) confronted issues I was facing
4) made a mental note everyday to take it easy and not be stressed
5) started my journey to heal from the inside
6) stopped switching products frequently and kept to mainly what works for my skin – Dr secrets and yamano. That’s a reason why I don’t do much skincare product reviews and why I’m so picky/selective when it comes to what I put on my face. My dream is to maintain clear glowing skin simply with facial wash, moisturiser and sunblock. How much simpler my life would be. 
7) My journey towards finding suitable products was expensive, long and very un-rewarding.
I was spending way too much money on pdts that didn’t deliver and I was visiting derms only for them to tell me to use this and that… nothing worked. Discovering dr secrets and it helped calm my acne to a large extent but the smaller pimples would still appear and I had to battle post acne marks and some scaring.
That was until I was recommended to  GLYCOLIC WHITENING  ESSENCE * truly my HG PRODUCT to reducing imperfections*
* Warning : Glycolic products work wonderfully for me, as do chemical peels and occasional light therapy. Some people have less tolerant skin and their skin might peel excessively or burn from it. Please test it out on a small patch of skin and increase the amount you use very very gradually, till you are very confident with the product.  Also, I cannot stress the importance of sunblock when using products that exfoliates your skin. If you do not use sunblock, pls refrain from using glycolic based products.

Our skin is a

reflection of what’s

going on in our

hearts and minds

With ACNE, I will never use the word “ CURED”.Those who have experienced some form of acne will know that it never really goes away. It can flare up when we are
* Stressed\Worried
* Emotionally Unsettled
* In Poor Health
*Picking our skin
* Using Incompatible Skin Care Products
*Excessive use of Products and Treatments
* Sleeping on dirty Pillow cases…
*Using a shampoo that irritates our skin

Controlling Acne
through skincare

I’ll share with u some of the physical aspects of the best way to deal with acne…
I did a blog article before on the products I use.  Mainly YAMANO skin care and Dr Secrets. I am not sure how widely available these brands are but these are brands that suit my skin. I tried an arsenal of products before I was recommended to these 2 brands and fell in luv with them.
You may have to do a bit of searching before you find a range of products that is agreeable with your skin. I do not believe a product should make your skin purge continuously before it does wonders. The suitable product line will not show miraculous improvement overnight but you will notice the subtle hints that it’s treating your skin well:
* Less redness
*Soothing to acne
*Skin looks brighter
*Fewer pimple popping up
*Acne marks fading
An effective product line should show visible results in 3-4 months.

When I had acne skin, I didn’t exfoliate and it became worse. I am now using OLAY THERMAL EXFOLIATOR and I love it to bits. I use it every evening but my mom can only use it once a week, so it differs for every individual. In the past I was a big fan of ST IVES APRICOT SCRUB (for blemish skin)but it was too gentle on my acne.
Some frens have warned me against exfoliating my skin cause they say it’s thin and what not… but when I don’t exfoliate my skin, I get clogged pores and dull skin and my skin care products don’t get absorbed well. Trust ur own instincts, u should know when enough is enough
I have different sized acne scars on my right cheek and forehead.  Recent scars( scars that came about 3 years ago) have been lightened  and have shrunk to resemble a slightly larger pore opening because of my daily use of YAMANO WHITENING ESSENCE (Update: this brand is unavailable) and my chemical peels ( I’ve had 5 sessions in the past year and half and it’s been so good for my skin). 
Yamano whitening essence is  glycolic based and the main reason why I believe so strongly in applying fruit acids to scars is because I’ve  gone for chemical peels at 50% and higher and I have seen a difference. I’ve tried MOSAIC LASER too at the derm and the effect isn’t as good as the chemical peel in my opinion. Prior to using glycolic on a daily basis, my scars were not shrinking and they were very red, zits took weeks to go down. After daily usage of glycolic cream, I started to see a turn around in the quality of my skin. My zits go away after 1 day, my scars are shrinking and less red,  a subcision scar  has surfaced and looks less obvious. OVERALL, GLYCOLIC ACIDS are AMAZING & its my precious weapon against ACNE INFLAMMATION. I couldn’t believe the effects myself until I started getting compliments, questions bugging me abt what i was using and etc.
However do note that really old  deeper scars( like childhood or teenage scarring) are usually very hard to erase. I have tried subcision and chemical peels and other stuff but they never show much improvement… I have battle scars on my face that you may or may not be able to see and it sometimes hurts to know they mar my complexion but I’ve learnt to be more accepting and to be grateful for what I have. To be focused on Scar reduction rather than perfect skin is something more attainable and is definitely a healthier approach to healthy skin. Also, don’t pick at ur skin to prevent any chance of scarring in the first place.
NEOSTRATA is a skin care range found in Singapore that is based on AHA and PHA. I’ve tried a few of their products and thought it was okay. I’ve tried DR MURAD products which have AHA as the active ingredient and it broke me out. So, once more, find a glycolic based product that suits ur skin.
When you start using glycolic products, be very very stingy with the amounts you use. Your skin will take a while to get used to it. Some peeling is expected the first few times you apply glycolic products.
* Warning : Glycolic products work wonderfully for me, as do chemical peels and occasional light therapy. Some people have less tolerant skin and their skin might peel excessively or burn from it. Please test it out on a small patch of skin and increase the amount you use very very gradually, till you are very confident with the product.  Also, I cannot stress the importance of sunblock when using products that exfoliates your skin. If you do not use sunblock, pls refrain from using glycolic based products.
After all the stripping of dead and sluggish skin cells, protect it with sun block, be it rain or shine. I can’t stress the point of this enough already!
Acne skin doesn’t mean it should be stripped of moisture
Acne skin needs moisture to repair itself and to keep the cells nourished. Don’t be fooled into thinking that acne skin should be dry and absolutely clean. U’ll be in for a big surprise.
I used Dr Hauschka and Weleda skin care  in MUNICH and it was my saving grace to angry outbreaks. These products were so gentle and the results were gradual and did help calm my skin and lessen the marks somewhat…. Another moisturizer that helped me immensely was CETAPHIL. It is amazing for sensitive skin that clogs super easily.
I love these 2 skin foods. They treat my skin kindly and my skin glows after a aloe vera and honey mask. It’s a combination between healing properties from the ALOE VERA plant and ANTI BACTERIAL properties from MR HONEY. I sometimes blend in yogurt and oats to thicken it into a mask.
Hate this stuff… will never use it again. I am not a believer, especially when  the dermatologist in Munich told me tat PURGING is good and I should use BP. Purging is miserable and BP creates hell on my skin. STASH IT!
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but FRAN from HIGH ON HEALTH pointed out in her excellent articles that clear skin is mostly linked to a happy, settled emotional state and that stress/unhappiness/unstable/negative emotions are all linked to ACNE.
Take some time out and enjoy life. I try to not look at the mirror too much and not think about my imperfections. I try to think  of productive things and keep myself busy so that I can focus on living my life instead of how I should prevent that next pimple from popping up.
Do something to relax. I shop  and blog to relax. Some listen to music to relax, others dance or bake. Find something that relaxes U!
When I know I am following all the steps above, I’m naturally less stressed and find that my break outs are less frequent.
There will be a second part to this post and it will focus on a list of skincare brands I consider to be very suitable for people with sensitive and acne prone skin :) Stay tuned for that gals and I appreciate all ur comments as it gives me a sense of what works for u and what doesn't :)



amynaree said...

this is such a great post!! right now i'm at the stage where I am in the process of experimenting with different skincare products, it is getting quite expensive but I don't think i've found my HG products yet!

Thank you so much for the advice and tips and i'm glad that you have found great products that work well for you ^ ^

MilknCookiie said...

I'm not sure if it has to do anything with the fact that I'm getting older and that my hormones are settling down, but my skin is almost all clear now. I used to have a lot of acne too, and I totally agree that I kept thinking about my skin ALL the time. x_x;

I basically do everything you've said here, aside from some products and daily skincare prodcuts you use. Glycolic sounds very effective, might have to try that out. Thanks for the info!

(Thanks for the award btw, we'll post about it very soon! ^^)

★ Cookiie

Dee said...

Nice post!

I completely agree with you about stress. When I was less stressed, my acne reduced by a good amount. Also, when I started eating healthier, that helped my skin as well. I love Honey for my skin! It cleans your skin and gives you the moisture it needs without being too moisturizing - which is great for oily skin. I actually stay away from Aloe Vera. Though its good for skin, I find that it darkens my skin quite a bit. I don't know why, but ever since I've used it, my skin has started to oxidize - which is bad. I'm still trying to figure out how to stop it. Do you have any good recs for skin whitening products? I think my skin is producing too much melanin.

I hate Benzoyl Peroxide! Whoever said that it was good for acne prone skin should be punched. My skin was so irritated after using it and it gave my mom rashes. I think everyone should stay away from BP as well. Amazing post again and I can't wait to see Part 2!

freshelle said...

GREAT POSTS! i agree with everything! emotional state has a lot to do with our health. i actually like BP...but everyone's skin is different, right. can't wait to see part 2.

With Love, Elle said...

im so glad u found ur HG products that can help u! i too had some severe acne problems during my teen & early 20s (that's why dint have any bf at that time! sob sobs) as a student at that time, i dint have much budget to splurge n look for my HG anyway
so now in my late 20s, with earning income, i can seriously look after my skin now! its not perfectly flawless, but i do feel i look much much better than i was younger now (more wise in reading ingredients and reading bloggers reviews!)..ur comment on stress is so relevant to problem skin! i totally agree, when we do not have the time for ourselves (happy time) our face tend to sag more and pimples popping out around the jaw, urgh =.=|||
so to all ya gals, be happy & luv thyself, things will get better n better! xoxo elle

Yumeko said...

this is a good post, i think it will help loads of ppl!

Blovet Beauty said...

Thanks sweeties for all ur comments!! It's so good to hear from u guys on the topic of skincare.. everyone has a different approach & it's super to read about how u guys attain clear skin!

Dee, I noticed the same oxidising effect with fresh AV a long time ago.
If I use AV, I use it only on problem spots. Almost like a pimple cream.
If I want to pamper and nourish my face, I will blend it with yogurts, oats, and honey. The oxidation effect is much less this way and it's actually so soothing for the skin righty!

Ahleessa said...

I do have to agree you have great skin from what I can tell from your pictures! :)

Shanghainese Dumpling said...

Wow thank you for all the info, that's very helpful :) Did you get any RMK things while you were at Japan?

pabo-licious. said...

such a lovely blog !

AtelierGal said...

My skin is generally okay, expect when I'm hormonally-charged -_-""

And it doesn't help when your mother buys irresistible snacks ALL THE TIME! lol

Blovet Beauty said...

Thks Ahleessa, it isn't perfect but I'm working on loving my skin everyday :)

Hey Ena! glad u feeling better now.. I didn't get any RMK stuff from japan unfortunately :(

Thks Pabolicious!

stellarvixen said...

thank you so much for sharing your experience with acne trouble and what works :)

me too suffer from cystic acne whenever i'm stressed out on academic, projects, deadlines, relationship...its part of me since teenage til early 20s ...
i'm withdrawn at times until people feel sorry for my skin :(

we need to change our lifestyle & habits in order to acheive a balance state of mind,body & soul indeed :) your tips are handy

much money are spent indeed ..searchin for products after products, facials saloon, lastly i took the pills roaccutane!!

every now and then i still hav big zits T.T
thank you for recommending Dr.Secrets & Yamano

what works for me now is L'Occitane

Blovet Beauty said...

Hey Birthday Gal! Yea, unsettled hormones and a generous mommy don't help the skin... U look like u have great easy to manage skin, u're real lucky :)

Blovet Beauty said...

Hey Stellar,I asked myself so many times when my skin was crappy, why me why me why me... it was such a depressing & shitty time. I never knew I could be of help to anyone in the world.. I think time has healed that anger in me and I'm all about helping anyone who has acne or skin issues:)

Good to know L'occitane is working for u sweetie :)

Blovet Beauty said...

oh yea, ur skin looks really good now stellar... i dun see any acne issues at all!!

Blair said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us :)

I understand completely how you felt! I went through the exact same problem around 1.5 to 2 years ago when acne/pimples/blemishes started popping out on my cheeks. New ones would come out very often at least twice or more per week.

Everyday was a struggle, I used to cry when I looked at the mirror :( Oh well, my heart still tugs when I check my face out in the mirror now... It's so hard to see scars when previously there is none.

I'm glad that your skin is so much clearer now, and I can't wait to read part II!

Blovet Beauty said...

I guess we all have our scars to remind us of stages in our lives :
Oh Blair, U really gotta share with us how u cleared up ur skin! its so flawless now >< )

Elise said...

Great post - thank s!

Dee said...

Yeah, I used to use AV when my face was drier. But its mainly at night, after 3 days, I stopped because I noticed how much my skin's been oxidizing. That's why I use nutmeg and honey now. I think I should make a post on that recipe since its helped me a whole lot.

Thanks for answer my question dear! What would you recommend for skin brightening? Any masks, serums, moisturizers you'd rec?

eki said...

what a great post on your skin care~ always a battle with blemishes! thanks for sharing :D

Blovet Beauty said...

Hey Dee!! I'm so going to start trying nutmeg and honey cause ur skin improvement was a remarkable one and ur skin is glowing now!

As for skin brightening Dee, I am in the midst of working on that post!
If you are talking about any products that will brighten the face alone, I would say from my personal experiences that there are none. It's more like a combination of products working together to brighten the skin. The products that helped me brighten my face was exfoliating and using T3 & T4 of dr secrets. They work to renew skin cells. so I would say that Glycolic in general will help to brighten the skin too.

hey eki, yup skin requires constant love and care!

Zoe said...

This is such a great post,my sister is having serious acne problems so I'll let her read ur post, ha ha ha...
Thanks so much for sharing~

Blovet Beauty said...

aww.. zoe...i really feel for her.. having acne and being young is not easy at all. It's so important to love ourselves pimple free or not. I really feel for her and I just want people to know they shouldn't give up on their skin and there's always a way to control and lessen acne!

sesame said...

Hey, this is a wonderful post with great advice! I haven't tried chemical peel...I'm not sure if it'll work for me cos my skin is genetically thin. Plus I'm not young anymore and my skin's healing abilities are slower. But you're right about exfoliating. I didn't exfoliate for 3 months cos I took an advice to use products to "do the job" but no, it doesn't work for me too.

Actually, I never really had issues with pimples/acne until these two years. It's really weird and I noticed my skin has changed quite a bit. Not pretty. :(

Blovet Beauty said...

oooh sesame.... chemical peels aren't a good idea for people with thinner skin. thinner skin requires nourishment, masks, regenerative products and maybe light therapy would be a better choice :)

*~kAy~* said...

Gawsh.. I scar so easily its not even funny! I scar even if I don't pick at my blemishes... :( can get pretty frustrating...
Thanks so much for the tips :) I guess I still need to find what works best for me :)
I love how your skin looks :) very very nice :)
I do like to exfoliate a lot though :P you make me want to try the olay product :)

Rach said...

Hi blovet beauty ,
Chanced upon your great blog and would like to know where can I get the make up artist choice & Yamano glycolic acid products in singapore? I have quite a few acne scars that I hope to clear....
Thanks :)