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Solutions for Skin Care Woes

I always thought I’d be over the acne stage after my teen years. I’m in my early thirties now and it’s a struggle I’ve been having for a long time. I’ve used hundreds of products and have read hundreds of online articles, magazine articles, forum posts, and blogs. Drink more water, they say. Exercise, they say. Change your diet, they say. Use only water when washing your face, they say. Exfoliate, they say. Moisturize, they say. Go see a dermatologist, they say.

I grew up in Korea where skin care is absolutely essential. My mother never went to bed without applying her eye cream and other expensive serums and never went outside without a hat, a pair of sunglasses, and sunscreen. She would also blot her face with rice paper to absorb extra oil. For blackheads, rather than those painful strips sold here in the U.S., we would use a special mask just for the nose. I don’t know whose genes I inherited, but I have enlarged pores and scarring. Some of that is due to the forbidden picking and squeezing and the occasional use of extraction tools.

My friend’s father is a dermatologist and he prescribed Retin-A, antibiotics, and even subjected me to the torture of a glycolic peel. When I used Retin-A, I had to be cautious about sun exposure and it caused irritation that made my skin worse. Another friend of mine suggested Accutane and Neutrogena because he had success with those two products, but the side effects of Accutane made me a bit leery.

I used Proactiv for some time as well, praying for the miracle skin that they advertise on TV. It didn’t work for me and after digging deeper, I soon realized that Proactiv reviews generally are very mixed. Some are positive, other reviews are negative, while still other reviews say that Proactiv is average when you put all the feedback together. I wish I had done my research before jumping in, especially considering Proactiv is a subscription service. Generally people order a product and although it may be convenient to have it automatically delivered, what I found is that a set lasted me longer than a month. I’m also willing to bet that a lot of people fall into the auto-delivery trap and have every intention of cancelling, however, life happens, and they end up paying for the product for a few more months, thus losing more of their hard-earned money.

As for me, I’m still on the search for the right product. I no longer buy into the magazine articles that are simply advertising products because they are provided samples and other incentives. I no longer gaze longingly at models whom are photo shopped and perfected. I no longer pay attention to celebrity endorsements because celebrities can afford plastic surgery, cosmetics, and make-up artists and are likely provided freebies and financial incentives.

I do admit that I’ve given up on products because I was expecting immediate results. I’ve also been over-zealous at times and we all know that there is such a thing as having “too much” of a good thing. I’m still trying to find that balance. Life is stressful and perhaps the biggest secret is keeping that in check!

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