A blog chronicling skin care, DIY beauty products, wishes and daydreams, life transitions, and other random stuff...

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm a Product Junkie and I Need Rehab

I have a skin problem and it's freaking me out. 

For the past couple of months, I've had an off-and-on rash around my nose, mouth and eyes.  It's bumpy and itchy and ugly.  At school, Instructors and students looked at it mysteriously and claimed it was a variety of things: A rash, acne, allergies, etc.  Then, last Sunday, I saw the light.  I was in a Skin Biology & Chemical Peels class, and up there on the huge overhead screen was a photo of exactly what I have: Perioral Dermatitis. Good Times!  I have a pretty mild version, but it's very difficult to treat.  I got a mild peel that day, and poof, it was totally gone the next day.  I was so happy.  I thought I'd found my miracle cure!  PEELS!  I used the Peel After Care products and was back to normal. Unfortunately, the rash has returned two weeks later.
(This isn't a picture of me...) For more info on Perioral Dermatitis

Apparently, it's very common, especially among esty students (two other students have the condition right now) but it's a mysterious skin condition, because nobody knows exactly how it's caused.  Some of the theories are: it's a rare form of Rosacea, a reaction to fluoride in toothpaste, over use of products, especially moisturizers, over exfoliating, stress, hormones, using steroidal creams.  Ok, I use toothpaste, and there's fluoride, chlorine and who knows what else in our tap water.  I am stressed and hormonal all the time.  One of the After Care products has hydrocortisone in it so that probably didn't help.  But, I've been in denial about this one: I am a Product Junkie.  I love to scrub and slather and experiment on my poor face and it's been especially intense since I started esthetician school. My face is seriously pissed-off at me.

I've heard that the only permenant cure is antibiotics.  I have a doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I am going on a serious skin product detox: stopping the exfoliating and super moisturizing and steaming and masks (I thought I was giving my skin a treat??). I'm just washing with Ultra Calming Cleanser and using Barrier Repair by Dermalogica, for super sensitive skin. Nothing else. Not even sunscreen. It's been two days and it's extremely difficult.  I have abruptly stopped a routine of six or more products every day and night.  I have the DTs.

Dammit. I love products.  I love to make them and test them and buy them and smell them and sometimes even taste them.  I'm jonesing and I need my crack!

I didn't always have reactive skin. I now have sensitized skin, from abuse. And there's no guarantee that it will ever be the same. Be kind and careful!

Even if you don't have sensitive skin, you might want to read this article from SmartSkinCare.com:  "The Cardinal Rule of Skin Care: Do No Harm". 

The Cardinal Rule of Skin Care: Do No Harm

1 comment:

  1. I totally share your pain, Steph! My skin has definitely gotten worse in the last few years, and I don't know what to do about it. I went to derms for a while, but just get steroidal topical creams prescribed. They work, but then what - I don't want to stay on them. Plus then I'd get acne, so constantly swinging back and forth between dry skin and acne. Trying Elidel now, but the jury is still out. Good luck! And thanks for the link to smartskincare.com.