About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Exfoliating methods and products for my funky skin: deliciously satisfying.

Some of my favorite exfoliating products.
I thought we'd get away from a bit of the depressing medical aspects of CFIDS/ME and fibromyalgia, and that we'd  have a bit of fun with beauty tips.  I've been experimenting with a few products and thought it might be fun to let you know what's been working in my world.  I promised "exfoliation" in an earlier post and so here goes my version, or at the very least, the one I've been fooling around with most recently.  As always, all disclaimers are in full force.  What may work for me might not work for you.  But I really have tried to list products that I think will be fairly safe for our "funky" CFIDS/ME/fibro skin.

  • First, in the category for cleaning my face with a gadget, I have fallen absolutely in love with my Clarisonic Mia.  (It's in coral: how "today" - can you get and how much will it haunt me in a few years, no?)  
This was a bit of a surprise since my original Clarisonic wasn't a complete success.  I would use it periodically, but it seemed a bit rough for my face.  Mind you, at this point I hadn't realized that my skin was, indeed, problematic. (I'm a slow learner, remember?)  I just kept thinking we didn't agree for some reason.

When feeling virtuous and diligent about "doing my face,"  I'd occasionally go to my Clarisonic, but I wasn't in love with it.  In fact, when I bought the Mia, I only did so because I thought (hoped?) that I'd thrown out the original when we moved everything out of of our Master closet, bedroom and bath for the big remodel -when I'd bitten the bullet and ruthlessly thrown out anything I didn't want or need, looked awful on me, or was in anyway just taking up room. Whoops. Somehow the old Clarisonic wasn't thrown out (it was the toothbrush I'd thrown out) and so I was now "stuck" with two Clarisonics.

However, I started to fall in love with the coral Mia when I realized it didn't make the water rolling-down-your-arms-when-using-it mess.  But the old Clarisonic needed a new head - I was not about to use a cruddy looking old head!  So I finally ordered two heads from Sephora: the "delicate skin" one and the "sensitive skin" one because, of course, I couldn't make a decision - a CFIDS/ME/fibro problem in general.  When they came in it took me forever to decide which I needed, the one for delicate skin or the one for sensitive skin.  I mean, really, didn't I have both types of skin, delicate as well as sensitive?

Here are the great distinctions, from the Clarisonic site:

      *Normal: Perfect for normal skin, shaving prep and for use on the decollete and body.
      *Sensitive: An easy introduction for sensitive to normal skin types.
      *Delicate: Ultra-gentle for those with delicate or extra--sensitive skin.

What?  Fibro-brain here was having a hard time making the distinctions!   But I finally decided  that the old Clarisonic would be used on my body with the "sensitive" head and the Mia on my face with the "delicate" head.
  • Oh my!  The "delicate" head put the Mia into another world and I am in love.  It was so gentle that I didn't want to stop using it and I felt as if my skin was finally getting cleaned out for the first time ever.  This was not something I'd felt with the original ("normal") head.  I really wanted to write a post about it immediately, but given that I was in the midst of my DIY ("Do It Yourself") spa experience, I was certainly not able to do so because I was so busy melting in the bath.
This now leads us to what did I use with the Clarisonic?
  • Well, I certainly didn't use the cleanser that came with the Mia.  Sorry, but it's a bit too generic for me.  I don't want to take chances.  And who really knows who even made whatever is in there?  No, I do not want to go there.
  • I have a bottle of Perricone MD "Nutritive Cleanser" (12 oz or 354 ml) and it was no better on my face with the Mia than before.  It absolutely strips my skin.  I really should just toss it into the garbage, especially since I still have four trial sized versions sitting around but I can't stand to throw out so much money.  So periodically, I'll used the Nutritive Cleanser on my body.
  • However, I know a lot of people do well with Perricone MD "Nutritive Cleanser."  I was told by a beauty expert that it's the foaming action that must not agree with me.  Other people swear by this product, so please take that into consideration.  Do you have problems with products which have foaming action?  (Of course, that doesn't quite explain my love for Dove and certain foaming shampoo's....) Is this a general CFIDS/ME/fibro reaction or is just me, I do not know.
  • I used La Mer's "Cleansing Foam" and that was not the greatest product that I've ever used but not the worst.  I wash with it occasionally, but am very careful and will be happier when it's out of my life.  In other words, though I am in love with La Mer products (and have been since the Creme de La Mer since first came out), this particular product has not been a huge success story for me and not really worth the money for me.
  • I hit a home run, finally, with Kate Sommerville's "Gentle Daily Wash."  This is great for face and body, I find.
  • And believe it or not, I actually use my good old Dove "beauty bar" soap, the original, the classic.  And I see that it has made it onto InStyle's "best of" list again...GO DOVE!  Not perfect, but much better than the products above, save the Kate Sommerville.
  • I tried Estée Lauder's "Soft Clean Tender Creme Cleanser" the other day and will try it again.  It looked very promising.
What exfoliation do I use besides or instead of going the Clarisonic methods?
  •  "Daily Microfoliant" by Dermalogica is great.  It's a powder that you rub into your very, very wet hands in order to turn it into a foaming paste and then into foaming "nothingness."  It reminds me a lot of Bare Minerals "Exfoliating Treatment Cleanser."  It can be a bit harsh for my skin, so I use it when I feel like my skin can take it, especially if I've gone through a long period of not washing my face and really need to even out that skin, especially my nose.  I like the massaging and "rubbing" action when it's called for.
  • On a more daily basis, I prefer the Dermologica "Gentle Cream Exfoliant."  It seems gentler on my face (I have combination skin), not stripping, nor scratching, just nice smooth skin afterward.
  • My favorite exfoliant must be La Mer's "Facial Refiner," something I admit I didn't care for too awfully much for years, but kept using samples.  Well, ladies (and gents?) this really should be used in the shower!!!!  It makes a huge difference.  My beloved Sylvia also gave me a couple of tips when I got that first sample but somehow, I didn't listen/hear her.  A couple of years later, I finally tried it in the shower and then promptly bought the full-sized "Facial Refiner."  Furthermore, while in the shower, don't wash it off immediately, but let it sit on your face (and the backs of your hands if you can manage that?) and do something else in the shower, like wash your hair, shave your legs.  Let the "Facial Refiner" work for you.  Make sure you have it completely massaged and activated before putting it on you face.  This is one mighty fine beauty treatment.
  • A less expensive, but more difficult to acquire exfoliant treatment, is by Liz Earle.  Now the award- winning Liz Earle has a US branch on the internet, however, and I'm in love with her products.  Liz Earle's method employs the muslin cloth.  In fact, she was the first to come up with this idea and other companies are now copying this method.
Essentially, you pump some cream on your dry hand and smooth it onto your dry face and gently massage it all in, including over your eyes.  It takes all the makeup off, if you're wearing it.  Personally, I prefer to take off that first layer of makeup with Dove and then move on any other product, but that's just me.  I use "Clean and Polish" even when not wearing makeup because I love the cream  and results so much.  As you massage, the skin softens and I find that if I'm in the tub, it's hard to stop.  And as if that's not enough: Liz Earle's products are all very natural but not at the expense of it feeling luxurious.  The "Cleanse and Polish" has Rosemary, Chamomile, Cocoa Butter and Eucalpytus essential oil. 
  • Step two of the Liz Earle "Cleanse and Polish" is gently "polishing" off the cleanser with a hand hot muslin cloth.  I used face cloths a lot with other products before buying the Liz Earle and have found that the muslin cloth is indeed more effective than a washcloth.  
However, be warned to remember the words to "gently polish" the cleanser off.  In my enthusiasm for the muslin cloth, one day I decided to use it with her "Energizing Body Scrub" on my shoulders where I tend to get really rough skin.  It's a great product, but like I said, I was a bit too enthusiastic and ended up with two knuckles abraded when the cloth rolled on me and my fingers somehow got twisted in the cloth.  Don't be as dumb as I am, please!   For those who would like to check out Liz Earle's website (and I do encourage you you to do so) it's: http://us.lizearle.com/?cmp=google_brand&kw=liz+earle+com+b
I especially loved the travel weekend kit with its travel-sized products.  It's a sweet kit, just the right size to put in loads of trial-sized products while traveling, including shampoo and conditioner.  And because Liz Earle has trial-sized products you can buy, I know I'll be restocking that travel kit once I buy the normal-sized products too. http://us.lizearle.com/kits-and-gifts/pampering-weekend-kit.html

And finally, a real surprise:
  • Aveeno "Clear Complexion Daily Cleansing Pads."  I love them!  My skin never breaks out in tiny bumps, nor rashes, and always feels just right after using these pads.  I'm on my third jar of it, and since it's a relatively new discovery, that's really saying something!  The product info under the name says "Gently Exfoliates for Clear, Even-Looking Skin."  Exfoliates, yes. I'm not so sure just how much it helps even out my ahem....ugh...."mature" skin.
So there you have it.  These are the latest exfoliating products and processes I've been fooling around with lately.  After this, your face will definitely be ready for serums...

...of course, I haven't even touched upon the deep cleaning masks yet....they are really lovely things to have in your beauty arsenal.  More to come, I promise!

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Note: I somehow lost this original post and, of course, it was the ONE I didn't back up.   Worse, I hate to think how many errors there are in this copy...but can't bare to look through it all right now!   Someone grab me some anti-nausea med, please!  

1 comment:

  1. So often we tend to deny ourselves when we have chronic health issues that are inconsistently consistent making it difficult to plan for fun. We must have fun to survive and pampering ourselves is one of the ways to make us feel good so we have the courage to have some fun. Over the years my condition has deteriorated but not so as I could specifically say when or what was the trigger. I have tried just about everything and many of the suggestions work for a while then we have to change what we do and then run through the gamut again and again. The best support I have had has come from a therapist who listens on a regular basis. We all need affirmation that our condition exists and this is a place to get unconditional affirmation. The rest is up to us. Our families and friends stop listening to us even though they care but we still need someone who will. Beyond, that, we have to keep trying and yes, we have some good times even if only for an hour or two at a time and the occasional day or two but hey, it is better than no fun at all. If this treatment works for you, fantastic.