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.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fighting dehydrated skin (especially on long-haul flights)...

I've been scouring the Internet in order to find or put together some magical formula as to what I should pack for my trip to Kuala Lumpur (KL) and when I forget that I'm trying to find beauty tips in order to do a long-haul flight, it's actually been a lot of fun.  I mean, I can read beauty "stuff" all day long (and often do!).  It's only when I remember that I'm not looking for theoretical information, that I actually have a mission to accomplish, that my stomach goes all topsy turvy, with more than a little bit of anxiety thrown in.

And with this trip, I have the usual worries with an added factor, which is, actually, NOT so minor: it's the first time I'll be flying alone in at least 15 years and I'll have to be wheel chaired from one airline to another - twice! - going there as well as coming back - and in huge airports.  To make things a bit more disconcerting, I feel that I'm at a huge disadvantage not knowing the languages involved.  No, I don't speak Italian, Spanish, German, nor even Greek for that matter, but Asian languages are a whole different ball game for me.  I know that English is spoken "everywhere" there are tourists, but it's still an unsettling feeling - though I'm certainly trying to turn it into an adventure.

At any rate, I thought I'd pass on a few of the tidbits I've run into that I have found interesting, for one reason or another:

  • Dry skin vs. Dehydrated skin:
I've felt for the longest time that I didn't really have dry skin, but I've never really been able to put my finger on what else it could be when, in the grand scheme of things, I have so many bigger problems: like trying to figure out my whole sleep mess.  But I've always felt awkward saying that I have "dry skin."  Even saying "combination skin" somehow made me feel like an impostor.  I wasn't sure what I had, though I certainly knew I had sensitive skin of some sort, but what else?  Then after a hospitalization a few years ago - with the Intensive Care Unit thrown in - my skin really turned on me and with my whole compartment syndrome hospitalization six months ago... that didn't exactly help matters either.

This wasn't flabby skin (though heaven knows I have more than I'd like of that) but skin that wasn't young and plump any longer.  To complicate matters, I happen to be one of those people who really, really does not like cream on my skin, other than on my face.  I've tried just about everything out there (or so it often seems to me) and have pretty much hated everything I've tried, save my Dove soap (OK! OK! "beauty bar"!  Sheesh!) and the LaMer Hand Treatment, which I use on any dry parts.  However, in the last few years, even my Dove and LaMer have not been of much help.  Out of desperation I've turned to other products, enduring them in hopes of their helping turn things around a bit, with not much luck.

  • Hyaluronic acid:
I've been hearing about hyaluronic acid for a while now but somehow it never really clicked that I should give it a try, especially since it is great for dehydrated skin.  (I suppose because of my ongoing war with my pores!  How many battles can be fought at one time?)

But evidently hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in our body fluids, found in joints, for example - could be the answer, or a step in the right direction.  As we age we a) produce less and less of it and b) it gets broken down faster.  I've learned a ton of facts about it in the last few days, but the key factor here is that it locks in moisture.  If I go into the science of it all, we'll be here all night, so at this point I'll just say that I'm thrilled that I have made this discovery, especially since cabin air is so horribly drying.  I'd like to NOT look like I could easily pass for King Tutankhamen's only slightly younger sister when I get off the plane in KL.

  • Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-phase:
Heavy on hyaluronic acid, I'm going to give this HydraQench serum a try, as well as the cream mask.

  • Spritzing my face:
In my fight to stay as hydrated as possible, I'll hopefully be able to spritz my face with my Avene "water in a can" and/or my Omorovicza facial mist.  

The strange thing about this whole water problem is that in order to keep my blood pressure high enough, I need to eat a lot of salt.  Given how thirsty we who have CFIDS/ME/fibro are to begin with, the salt further complicates the whole dehydration issue.  Agh!!!!

At any rate, these are the newest weapons in the arsenal to fight against my crepe-y skin and thirsty skin issues. Hopefully, they'll work out nicely and not prove hubby right when he said, "shouldn't you have tested those things out before-hand?" followed by "what if you have an allergy to them?" 

Oh how I hate logic at times!  I'm trying to ignore him, though I'm giving them a try-out even as he goes off to bed, the smug little...killjoy. ;)


  1. Irene - Have a safe and wonderful trip!!

    1. Thanks, Martha! Will try to...have fun on your vacation too!
      Irene xx

  2. Have you not considered completely organic and natural beauty products? I can't tolerate even my fave go-to Dove products anymore. Dove has always been gentle enough for me. Lately, not so much :(

    So what I've done is try completely organic natural products. I had be using a fairly expensive natural biodegradable hair product for many years, but it became too expensive. I am still looking for an alternative here. I'm hoping to find a fairly local or even just Canadian made hair product, especially the hair/body soap bars I've been seeing so much lately.

    There's a post I wrote on some Canadian face products I have tried and loved lately. http://bit.ly/X0Iedc

    Anyway, it's worth a try? I have the same kind of skin as you, it sounds like. My challenges are very similar - trying to stay as hydrated as possible but still with the blood pressure issues too. My face and scalp shed skin like it's going out of style. I feel like a darned lizard lol

    Here's to finding an amazing elixir worth crowing about, and soon! right? :D

    1. I've found the organic products to be a bit harsh for the skin, Shannon. I eat organic, and have tried so many organic products, but skincare, etc, is iffy. It's why when I find a company that agrees with me, I go all crazy in love. For the most part, Chanel and Laura Mercier and Trish McEvoy have been great for makeup. I can't tolerate a lot of other companies. Hubby sees red if I try drugstore stuff or organic, he knows exactly what will happpen, but like a fool, I keep on trying different things, though carefully - for face.

      Am having a hard time with conditioner lately - one that works well with hair that needs cutting (pixie) but is way too long at the moment because of the latest developments with surgery and strict bedrest. I order Liz Earle for shampoo and like that a lot, plus often wash with her cleansing stuff on my face. She's pretty natural and almost organic, if not organic. Dove is getting harsh, I agree, but I think it's the formula and not us so much. They keep adding cr*p to it. I can only use the original white. Everything else, Dove extras and any other washing gel, etc, breaks out my body. LaMER is great for my skin as well. I can't use anything else in products on the whole...my skin gets hives, etc. As is, I take anti-histamines every night - and only one, an old medication, that works at that, no other anti-histamine.

      Our skin is a pain. I don't get shedding though. I have combination skin of oily, regular and dry. It's the rashes and hives (as big as plates if I'm not careful), plus very itchy skin, that gets to me, body-wise if I don't use Dove and LaMer. Or anything I've mentioned on this blog. I tell you like it is with the products. No one ever pays me.

      I think fillers are the biggest problem with everything, plus how things are formulated. And I have to watch those silicones. Some are ok...again, formulations? Some silicone products make my face look burned and I'm ready with everything, water, Dove, soft washcloth if I'm trying something new. The reaction is almost immediate. xx