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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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel

I have no idea what is going on with my face.  I've never been prone to breaking out so when it happens I freely admit that my first reaction is panic.  I almost always have on hand some sort of preparation that is a dedicated product for getting rid of those suckers, which are supposed to work on the occasional "zit" but almost always find that the newest product isn't very helpful.  I tell myself that I'll stop buying these sorts of products and stop wasting my money.  After all, many of the less expensive products on the market often make my sensitive, funky CFIDS/ME/CFS and fibromyalgia skin worse so some of the higher priced products are almost an investment.  Well, I'm happy to report that on this front, thankfully, I didn't stop after all - searching for that holy grail, that is.  

Understand, I'm not talking about bumpy skin - which, because of non-forgiving HDTV, I see all the time now. In the past few years I've started getting a bit of that going on with my forehead and I do think it's because of stress.  When our daughter was so ill and basically called the major medical center in which she was hospitalized her "home away from home," by the end of a year I was surprised to see that hubs was getting the same bumpy action going on as well and he's a mighty hearty fellow - knock on wood and tphoo! tphoo! tphoo! I suspect that this bumpiness was due to the stress as well as the bad diets we found ourselves surrounded with.  I mean, how much take-out food can a person eat without some negative skin reactions?

No, what I'm talking about is plain old unadulterated zits.  When I was hospitalized back in April/May, it was about two weeks before I had a chance to glance into a mirror and was absolutely mortified when I saw a huge "growth" on the very tip of my nose.  Nothing would get rid of it.  I felt as if I should tell anyone who came into contact with me that yes, they can just talk to the monstrosity on my nose.  After all, it was more obvious, even, than the nose on my face. (Get it?  Huh?  Huh?  Get it?)

When I came home the first thing I did was scrounge around in my medicine cabinet and I found the product I had used successfully once before and I just hoped that it would work its magic this time around as well.  Did I happen to mention that by the time I got home, the thing on my nose had increased in size by a lot and that it was starting to get a purple color to it?  I mean it was really gross and I couldn't help getting visions of Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" and some of the creepy descriptions. (Eew! Gag!)

After giving my face a proper washing I applied my little miracle product.  And it worked!  The next morning it was as if nothing had been there, and this despite almost three weeks of tormenting me.

So, what was the great product?  I know.  You are all brilliant and the picture above is a dead giveaway.  Yes, it was, in fact, Dermalogica's "Overnight Clearing Gel."  This is truly magic, my lovelies.

Last week I came down with a few "blemishes."  I suspect it's from all the sweating I'm experiencing since it's close to the hairline now and I use a little hand fan when I break out into a very long and annoying "hot flash." Even my scalp needs fanning. The first night this happened I applied the clearing gel again and my face was "blemish free" by the next day.  A couple of days of little sweating and no breakouts.  But today I had a whole lot of sweating going on and I gave myself a good treatment of cleansing, gentle exfoliation and then the gel on the not-so-hot areas.  I'm hopeful that I'll have the same results each time this happens to me.  

Yes, I am still sweating from what I think is the Cymbalta withdrawal but it is, thankfully, happening less frequently - though still too often.

And what are the ingredients of this little miracle gel and what does it do?  From the Dermalogical website:

  • Salicylic Acid sloughs off pore-clogging skin cells to inhibit development of future breakouts,
  • Natually-anticeptic Tea Tree Oil soothes while you sleep. 
  • Helps inhibit breakout-causing bacteria with Meadowsweet (Spiraea Ulmaria) for cleaner, healthier skin
  • Niacinamide and Biotin, combined with Zinc Gluconate, Yeast Extract, Caffeine and Licorice help sooth away irritation.

The results are that (again, according to the Dermalogica website) the Clearing Gel:

  • Removes impaction plugs from the follicle to relieve congestion and breakout activity
  • Helps regulate oil production
  • Helps calm irritation brought on by breakouts.

I believe it. I'm going to keep at it for a while, without stopping it for at least a couple of weeks until I know that my skin is settled down.  

A warning to those who have insomnia: caffeine is in the product.  I don't think it's a problem with me but this could be a concern for some.

BTW: In writing this piece, I discovered that drugstore.com has the clearing gel at 20% off at the moment.
I think I'm going to have to give myself a good old, luxurious DIY-spa day very soon, complete with some sort of mask that draws the toxins out.  I may have something exciting coming up by the beginning of next year (depending on how my health holds up) and I want to get myself looking good (feeling good would be a great bonus!) all the way around (including my newly-added weight!) so I'm making all sorts of "resolutions" at the moment.  I've cut back on the Neurontin and, of course, the Cymbalta is supposedly gone, and I see that suddenly I'm not eating hubs and me out of house and home. With a knock on wood and another tphoo! tphoo! tphoo!  (Boy: it's exhausting being so superstitious!)

Hope that this little tidbit helps those who are fellow zit folks. Isn't it grand to know you're not alone?

As always, I hope everyone's doing their very best, only better!  Ciao and paka.

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