Tag: acne

23
Aug

Are you overusing your anti-ageing skincare?

You might be. I definitely have some friends who are thrashing their AHAs and retinol products, and need to pump the brakes. Otherwise they risk over-exfoliating their skin and ending up with thin, shiny texture, not to mention potential redness, flaking and long-term sensitivity. No good. These ingredients are Power Ingredients, and should be used with care and treated with reverence, not slapped on like your antioxidants and hyaluronic acids.

For instance, if you use a glycolic acid cleanser, then a full-strength brightening serum with lactic acid, and then a retinol based night cream before bed, you’re doing the equivalent of a mini-chemical peel every night. And don’t even get me started on people who don’t use a dedicated broad spectrum sunscreen each and every day when they’re on the Power Ingredients.

Ideally, you should have these ingredients – especially the cosmeceutical type – prescribed by a skin professional, so you know exactly how much to use, and when.

Anyway, watch this informative little piece I did for A Current Affair last night for the full story.

Mini glossary

AHAs: Alpha Hydroxy Acids, natural acids used in the bulk of anti-ageing/acne skin care. I fondly refer to them as the “ics”… Glycolic, citric, lactic acid. They dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, giving your a fresher, more glowing complexion, they moisturise, they tighten pores, they even out skin tone and reduce pigmentation, they reduce fine lines, the help  fade acne scars… they are magnificent. BUT. Using them a couple of times a week, (or for a program, and then a break) is generally enough for the skin to get the benefits. Lactic is the more gentle of the bunch, start with him.

Olay-regenerist
Olay Regenerist’s Renewal Elixir with glycolic acid is a bloody good, bloody well-priced bedtime serum.

Retinol: The lower strength version of prescription only retinoids (best saved until after you’ve had all your babies), both are Vitamin A derivatives, and are seen as the holy grail of youthful skin by all beauty experts. Because retinol works. It’s wildly effective at cell-turnover, unclogging pores, reducing fine lines, evening out skin tone, smoothing and softening the skin, and making you look rather fantastic, and very young (in as little as four weeks.)

skinmedica-tri-retinol-complex
SkinMedica’s Tri-Retinol Complex is (STRONG!) and said to give results as good as OTC retinoids.

Uh oh. Miss the bit where I told you to watch the video? Here’s that link again.

Responses to this drivel: 20 Comments
16
Jul

How to deal with a blind pimple and teach it a lesson also.

Look closely at this photo.

CLOSER.

The chin region, specifically.

BlindPimple

Can’t see anything?

Doesn’t matter, I am feeling enough for both of us to be able to see it because there is a WHOPPING great shiner on my chin. It feels like the size of a 5c piece, and might well be. As it’s a blind pimple, I can’t see it’s head yet, but oh, it’s coming. The fact that my whole chin is pulsing with pain guarantees it. Why it’s pulsing, for the record, is because it’s so deep, right down near my nerves. Regular, 20/20 vision pimples are up close to the top layer of skin, God bless them. So thoughtful.

In the interest of it not ruining my face for the next 10 days, and especially for the wedding I am attending this weekend, here’s how I will be dealing with this bastard. The technique works, which is the good news provided I  DO NOT pick at it, which I won’t. The bad news is that I have been known to pick at it.

While it’s just a painful, red, half-bump ice it and reduce the swelling

This is crucial, this bit. If you play this right, it might not Vesuvius all over your face. So: take an ice cube, and wrap in a tissue. Hold it on the spot for five minutes on, 10 minutes off. Do this at least three times in a row if you can. Drink lots of water.

When it starts to show a head, you need to carefully, gently get The Monster up to the surface

After a shower (the steam assists greatly in the drawing-out process), take a clean face cloth or a thick cotton pad and dip it into a sink of as-hot-as-your-skin-can-handle, water. Hold this compress, while swearing and kicking the toilet, for as long as possible. Re-dip in the water when it cools down. Do this for at least five minutes.

Now apply a drawing paste, a thick goo usually comprised of things like clay, sulfur and zinc oxide, to the head of the pimple with a cotton tip, and go to bed so it can do it’s work. and you will have either a very obvious whitehead in the morning, (or as sometimes magically happens, just a some faint redness, because it’s matured the whitehead so fully that it’s completely gone.)

Payot-pate-grise

I have been a tremendous fan of the famous and fantastic Payot Pate Grise for many years, and my beloved pimple drying lotion by Mario Badescu also works (although the skin will lightly flake due to the benzy peroxide). Magnoplasm, a hardcore drawing agent for boils, splinters and blind pimples is also excellent, albeit stinky and gross to use.

When the whitehead is right at the surface, it’s time to carefully extract 

If things are still red and tender, or shiny and taut, no touchy touchy. It’s not ready. Conceal it and repeat the drawing process that night/as soon as it’s viable.

If the whitehead is more evident than redness, and it’s trying to jump out of your skin, you’re ready, sugar.

Do the hot water compress biz from above for a couple of minutes, then wrap half a tissue around each of your index fingers. Put a finger each side of the whitehead, then carefully, very gently, with NO NAILS DIGGING IN, push down on the sides, then kind of roll your fingers upwards to encourage the head to pop out. The idea is to get down deep on the sides, and push the very bottom of the whitehead up and out. Do the same motion from a few different spots to share the pressure (and fun!) around.

You should see no blood. There shouldn’t even be indentations where you’ve been pushing: it has to all be very gentle.

Finishing up and preventing scarring…

This bit is important, you guys. Once you’ve popped it’s all open to bacteria, so be sure to lock that shit well out.

First, apply a bit of pressure on the spot, to stop any potential bleeding or swelling and redness. Then wipe on some purifying lotion with a cotton ball or pad. I love Gernetic’s Sebo-Ger, or Garnier’s Pure Active Daily Pore Purifying Toner.

Garnier Pure Pore Toner

Now leave it the hell alone for a couple of hours. It needs to heal and breathe. So no makeup, nothing. (Extractions are always best done at night, or a few hours before you need to go out.) Once the area is flaking a bit, and dry, use some paw paw ointment or some such natural emollient on the area to encourage healing and scar reduction.

If you follow these steps, you can successfully wallop a blind pimple without all the mess that usually accompanies them.

If follow these steps, I get all of that and a Snickers Ice Cream bar as a special reward.

Responses to this drivel: 92 Comments
07
Jun

The worst facial result, ever.

I had a facial this week. It was delightful: a relaxing and nourishing Kerstin Florian facial at Aurora spa in Melbourne. My skin looked glowy for the second round of Amazing Face app how-to videos I shot yesterday and I’m very happy.

A makeup blogger from Singapore, Juli (AKA Bun Bun) however, didn’t fare so well after her facial this week. In fact, she fared about as well as a kilo of electric spinach at Denpasar.

She had what was a fairly innocuous facial at a regular salon, no needles, no peels, no fancy machines. But over the next few days, rather than plump, radiant skin, she has been through a nightmare of epic skin proportions.

She went from this…

My-Skin-Ravaged-Allergic-Reaction-After-Facial-Experience_day-1-after-facial_2

 

To this…

My-Skin-Ravaged-Allergic-Reaction-After-Facial-Experience_day-3-after-extraction_1

 

To this…

My-Skin-Ravaged-Allergic-Reaction-After-Facial-Experience_day-4-after-extraction-4

To THIS.

My-Skin-Ravaged-Allergic-Reaction-After-Facial-Experience_day-4-night_5

It looks like severe cystic acne, but in fact is an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients used in the facial, most likely a plant extract. Yes, it can happen, and no, it’s not easy to know if you’re allergic until, well, you’re allergic.

The second doctor she saw (the first was, rather the like the clinic who gave her the facial and then erroneously popped all of the pus bumps as a cure, therefore making it far worse and making her liable to scarring – top work guys, take five!) advised that this can sometimes happen and although it will settle, she will have hyperpigmentation for many months.

And a morbid and nightmarish fear of facials forevermore, I expect.

Poor poor girl. Read the full post on her terrible and rapid reaction here (but maybe skip it if you are the queasy type).

I feel for her because her face is her trade, but also because this kind of enormous, swift and unsightly descent into angry all-over pustules would be a fucking huge blow, not to mention incredibly scary, except for the bit where I did mention it, because that’s exactly what it would have been.

I had my own allergic reaction in a skinclinic back in 2010 which I’ve never written about MOSTLY DUE TO EXTREME ANGER AND AN INABILITY TO WRITE ABOUT IT WITHOUT SWEARING and not wanting to take down said skin clinic in flames, even though they deserve it. Can’t say something nice, rah rah rah.

In a nutshell (probably a highly allergic one, like a peanut) my face blew up to Will Smith in Hitch proportions within about three minutes after some anaesthesia was applied. The nurse took one look at me, a bad, scary look, and then left the room. She returned with the Doctor a few minutes later (I’m in full panic mode by now) and without a word, he quickly administered Phenergan (and anti-histamine) intravenously, then made me take two 25mg Phenergan orally. “Are you allergic to anything?” he asked.

“I didn’t think I was…” I said, touching my face which was easy since it was about a km further out that it normally was. (They refused to give me a mirror.) (Really.)

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had Phenergan, but one 10mg tablet sends me straight to sleep. So you can imagine how cool and together and alert I was at that stage, having never had it before, and with no concept of its T-Rex tranquiliser effect on my body.

After 15 minutes, they let me DRIVE HOME, (!!!!) looking like a child’s inflatable toy, terrified, and sleepy as a bear. They gave me no phone number for after hour care and told me it would be fine.

Next day, worse. I waited til 9am then called in a panic and was told to take more Phenergan and it would go down. Also, ice it.

No apologies, no call us if you’re worried, sweet fuck all.

Five days I had that swollen face. Couldn’t go outside, felt like a monster, couldn’t write my book I was on deadline for because I was so doped up. Skipped several events and spoke to my solicitor who advised unless I was seeking damages (i.e.: loss of income, so, say, if I’d been booked to host an event and couldn’t do it because of my face) the costs of legal chasing would cost more than we could hope to earn. I was so stinkin’ angry. The aftercare was a farce, and the fact they let me drive home high as a kite was disgusting; I could’ve had 10 car accidents and to this day am thrilled, shocked and grateful I didn’t. I was also embarrassed. I’d tried to make a good, young face “better” and this was my result.

I don’t know exactly what my point is, except that I guess I thought if a beauty editor with the power of the media behind her can’t get decent treatment and is sent away when her face looks like a beach ball, then what hope do the general public have for good care and intelligent proceedings when a freakish allergic outcome occurs? Poor Bun Bun suffered a deluge of terrible advice and knee-jerk reactions with hers, and it absolutely made everything worse.

One of the comments under Bun Bun’s post was “don’t fix what is broke,” which is a hard pill to swallow when your job is to review facials and have good skin, but it was the exact same thing my then boyfriend/now husband said to me after my mess, and the reason I won’t touch lasers and so on now.

(On the plus side, I learned what Phenergan was that day, and now try to procure them to take on 14 hour flights.)

Have you had a horrible, terrifying facial experience? I feel like today might be the day we all share them…

 

Responses to this drivel: 39 Comments