Thursday, July 21, 2011

Introducing Things Beauty and Such – Proactiv

Sometimes I feel silly writing some of the things I write. I wonder who the hell would be interested in this topic or that topic. But this blog is a reflection of me. My blog is also for you lovely readers, of course. Danielle of Danfredo Rivera inspired me to be myself in the blog world, so mucho besos to her. I don’t plan to write half of the things I write about. They just pop into my head and I then feel an urgency to write it down and share it. I don’t know where this blog is going, but I’m just going with it. With that said I would like to introduce my latest topic: Things Beauty and Such.

I’m introducing one of my besties Gia in this blog because she has been my pusher over the years by introducing me to different items and beauty products. She encourages me to try new things and spend my money. Gia is responsible for the monster that I have become and she is the reason that I have two large baskets of lotion in my bedroom. She is the reason for the bottles of perfume permeating my bedroom and cluttering my dresser top. She is responsible for so many of my dollars going into bottles, tubs and tubes of things that make your skin soft and your body smell good.

A little bit about Gia: Gia is not her real name. G-I-A are her pre-matrimonial initials. Gia is my sister from another mother…and father. Well God is our father so we have the same father, LOL. Gia and I met in elementary school and we have been friends for 22 years and counting; making this the longest relationship that I have ever been in with anyone besides my mother.

As we have become women, Gia has grown into one of those hoity-toity heffas who likes to spend money on the finer things in life. She is a Condoleezza Rice hair-do having young woman who does not paint her own nails, but always has them done as she pays people to paint them for her. She also walks around with expensive bags from France and shit. She wears pearls (the earring and the necklaces) and sometimes dresses like a lady from the LL Bean catalog.

Some of the items that she gets into are just too expensive for my taste (like the French bags) and although I make fun of her, she knows about some good stuff. So when my skin began breaking out, probably due to the hormonal change of no longer taking BC Pills, she suggested that I try Proactiv.

While taking BC Pills, my skin was smooth, glowy, clear and flawless and although I didn’t have enough of an acne problem to need Proactiv, clear-skinned Gia assured me that I would never have another breakout again if I used Proactiv.

First I tried the regular formula. The pamphlets warn you that you will experience breakouts before your skin clears. My face EFFING hurt!! Even as a teenager I’d never broken out that way. But I still gave it a chance waiting two months before throwing in the towel and getting a refund.

I was left with acne marks and a worse acne problem than I had before I tried Proactiv. Gia who is a damn know-it-all suggested that I might not have used Proactiv correctly. Yes, because I don’t know how to read “Don’t use any other products while using Proactiv.” Or “Use all products twice a day.” I did everything that the pamphlets said to do. I even tried using it once a day just in case it was too strong, which the pamphlets also suggested. I had followed the directions like I was supposed to, thank you very much.

After giving up on Proactiv, I went into overdrive trying to correct the flaws on my face, because your face is everything. Your face is the first thing people see and it is the first thing that you are judged by.

I bought so many facial products trying to correct my face but it just kept getting worse. My bathroom floor could compete with pharmacy shelves, as there was no room left on my bathroom shelves to house all of the facial washes, astringents, benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid products I’d purchased.

I’ve never worn makeup, but now I went hunting for a foundation that would cover up yet not irritate my already bothered skin. I tried Bare Minerals, but it made me look too made up. I tried Clinique’s Even Better, but the breakouts got worse. I tried Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, which I was so, so sad to have to return as I loved this product, but the ingredient that absorbed oil wasn’t good for acne prone skin. 'Acne prone skin’ wasn’t even a term that has ever pertained to me.

I forgot that my skin is sensitive and if I put too many products on my face I will break out in a rash in addition to the acne. Foundation just made the situation worse. Thank God for places like Macy’s and Sephora who have forgiving return policies.

Frustrated, I took myself to the dermatologist and she gave me samples and a prescription for four, FOUR! products that I should use on my face. After using them for one day, hard growths developed under my skin.

When Proactiv announced that they now had a sensitive skin formula, I decided that I would try it again. Proactiv has such a high success rate so I gave it another shot. I knew that I would face the whole breakout initiation period again for the first few weeks, so I was mentally prepared for it. But even after their supposed initiation period, my face never cleared up. I became a slave to my face, anally following each and every single step outlined in their pamphlet. I prefer for things to be simpler and this began to feel like work. There would be a slight glimmer of clear skin, but my skin never got anywhere near clear at all. Instead my face erupted into painful breakouts in places I’d never ever broken out before in my life. Between my eyes, on my eye lids, under my nose. Once again, my face HURT!

I am very loyal so I stuck with the product for three months this time. I gave it a real fighting chance to convince me that it was worth my money. I am a believer that when a company has a good return policy it’s because they believe in their product and they don’t expect you to want a refund. I cut my loses with the first round of my $50.00 spent on Proactiv, but I WILL be getting a refund for the second and third billings.

Three weeks ago I admitted to myself that Proactiv was not working for me. I turned to my selection lined up on the floor against my bathroom wall and chose the Neutrogena face wash, astringent and benzyl peroxide. This would be my new skin regimen. Nothing special. Just wash, swipe, dab and moisturize before going to bed.

Wouldn’t you know my skin is beginning to resemble the skin of BC Pill popping Louise. Last week my skin was 75% better than it ever was on Proactiv and this week it’s 85% better. I don’t know where I get these percentages from, just go with it.

I’m getting compliments again instead of “What’s wrong with your face? You never had acne before.” The sun might be responsible for the glowiness, but I can’t deny that my face looks so much better. And I feel free. I no longer have to stick to a strict list of instructions or wait weeks for my products to be shipped. I AM FREE!

The one Proactiv product that I think is great is the Refining Mask, other than that I wouldn’t touch Proactiv again with a ten foot pole.

So the lesson here, which I already knew, but got hoodwinked by Gia: Less is more. What works for others doesn’t always work for you; in beauty products and in life.

Who knew I could write so much about acne medication.

To clearer skin!!

~Louise C.

1 comment:

  1. AAAAAHHHHH! I love've been so inspirational to me, too. No matter what you do, be you. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :-)