24 January 2011

Because You Should Always Succumb to Peer Pressure

Warning: there is a highly unflattering picture of my icky chin about to appear here…turn away now if you would prefer to keep imagining me as a super-model-type-wonder-goddess-of-all-thing-lovely.

Anyway, since Christmas I have been fighting a losing battle with my skin. Now, I should be seeing a dermatologist, but thanks to my wondrous military healthcare, that is more process than I am willing to deal with right now. (2-4 weeks to see my PCM, then another 2-4 weeks to process a referral, then another who knows how long to get an appointment with the dermatologist and all of this assuming that the clinic will even refer me out without having to suffer through months of their misguided ministrations first. Oh, and the kids have to come with me…to all of it. Thanks, but no thanks.) The issue is my chin, and this has always been my issue. My skin will be great, I will be convinced that I have finally found a routine that works and then….TahDah! giant case of cystic acne. It is painful, ugly and to date completely immune to any topical agents available on the open market. I was keeping it barely under control with benzoyl peroxide strong enough to bleach my hair, but apparently not strong enough to conquer this crap:
Some are about a week healed.  The big one in the middle is new.  See also: much scarring from doing this for my entire adult life. 

Enter my new plan. Many of the mommybloggers out there swear by the Oil Cleansing Method (no linky, just Google it mmmkay) so I figured why not? In a nutshell you clean your face with a mixture of oils, most commonly Castor oil and extra virgin olive oil, and this lifts the dirt, shrinks your pores, clears up you acne and causes peace in the middle east your face to just calm the hell down. I always have the EVOO on hand* so with the quick addition of some Castor oil** I am up and running. Mixed up a 1 part Castor oil to 3 parts EVOO mix in an "upcycled," well cleaned, soap bottle and we are off and running.

You have seen the tragic "before" photo, I am not noticing too much difference just yet in the acne, but my face feels a lot less like it might peel off in one huge, winter induced sheet, so hey, I am already ahead of the game. I will report back when I have results one way or the other.

* Funny story: Growing up we always bought out EVOO in gallon cans. My father is Italian-American (though heavy on the American) and my mother used to prepare meals for 7 every night. I was so used to it that I was actually surprised to learn upon moving into my college rental that you can buy it in smaller bottles. Who knew? It is funny the little things you assume are "normal" (though what is that anyway?) because of your family.

** This caused major flashbacks to being pregnant with Cha Cha. Desperate for the horrid illness to end, and to have said baby before Chris may have had to leave for three weeks, I tried the old Castor oil fix. It was this exact bottle since we lived right here at the time. Can you believe it did nothing? Not start my labor or any other possible side-effects of drinking 8oz of Castor oil. 36 solid weeks of throwing up everything I ate and this oil settles like it is nothing…not so much as a burp. Really?


Ginger said...

I have the exact same problem, in the exact same place. It started for me after college, and the only real break I've had was when I was pregnant (one of the only things I loved about my pregnancy--my gorgeous, flawless, cystic free skin. It was glorious. And I am sad it is gone).
I've been seeing this olive oil thing everywhere, but I have had severe doubts about it working for the cystic acne. I'm really hoping you'll update us, because I am super interested to see if it works for you. Instead of the $200 prescription my derm prescribed for me (no, I did not fill that prescription. I'm not spending $200 on my freaking skin every month. I'll suffer).

Alexis said...

@Ginger Exactly. I am just not sure than any medication will do the trick given that I have pretty much run the list between whats OTC and what my GF the dermatology PA has given me in samples. I am hoping this works, the chemistry actually makes perfect sense (you don't need to hear my long-winded explanation on that,but I promise it does) so lets see. I will post if it works or not!