Let's Talk About Acne (Yikes!)

Unless you were miraculously blessed with flawless, dewy skin, listen up. I've struggled with mild to moderate acne since probably 9th grade. It's gotten better and worse through the years, and I promise that I've tried everything. I got Proactiv when it first came out, and it kept my skin mildly under control. But soon I was frustrated with the spots I still had so I tried Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, Acnefree, and even Purity by Philosophy. Harsh cleansers just seemed to irritate my face and make breakouts redder, but mild cleansers just weren't effective for what I needed them for. If you're in this position, read on.

A couples years ago, I cured my mild back acne using 1) a scrub brush in the shower and 2) rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad twice a day (I know dermatologists, I know). But it worked. Not a spot since.

I once worked with a girl who had the most beautiful skin I've ever seen. Of course I asked her about what she uses and she told me a tea tree oil cleanser from Trader Joe's. Well, of course it took me forever to try it, but my skin has never looked better. I'm using a few different things at the moment and I don't know which is causing my good skin, so I'm going to keep using them all. Ready for a list? Of course you are!

1. Burt's Bees Deep Cleansing Cream
Best feeling cleanser I've ever used. It's soft and non-irritating. It smells like lemons and is all natural. Best of all, it uses soap bark and chamomile and is mentholated, so my skin feels cool and clean after I pat it dry. Love that feeling.

2. Trader Joe's 100% Tea Tree Oil
I wet a cotton round slightly and then put three drops of oil on it. I use this as a toner. It also feels mentholated and can sting a little if your skin is dry.

*After this I use a vitamin C moisturizer by Lumene but I'm not particularly sold on it. It's not better or worse than any other moisturizer I've used.

3. Benzoyl Peroxide Spot Treatment
I use Acnefree's 3rd step as a spot treatment, but I would like to try Burt's Bees roll-on tea tree oil spot treatment. Maybe next paycheck.

4. Fish Oil Supplement
I take these for heart health as well as skin and hair health. I'm not a big fan of eating fish (I mostly follow a vegetarian diet). The Omega 3 fatty acids are supposed to do wonders for your entire body. Possibly this has something to do with my skin's miraculous turnaround? Just in case it is, I'm not stopping.
I also take a multi-vitamin (when I remember :D).

Once or twice a week, I use a face mask. Right now I'm alternating between Lumene's peat mask and a deep pore cleaning mask by 10.0.6.

That's pretty much all I do for my skin. Fingers crossed that this is the answer I've been looking for since I was a wee lass. Just kidding. I'm not Irish (just 1/4). Or British (just, some fraction smaller than that). I just pretend sometimes.

Have you tried tea tree oil? I want to know about it!

Love, and smooth skin,


Chilly Days & Lots of Layering- I Love Autumn!

Here in the midwest we had our first real chilly day yesterday (of course, accompanied by rain, which has not left us since the beginning of spring). As much as I dread the impending doom that is winter, I  must be completely honest and admit that fall and winter fashions are my favorite to wear! Summer dresses and strappy sandals have their place, but layering clothes, chunky sweaters, boots, hats, and scarves hold a special place in my heart. The bronze/metallic hues that have been enjoyed all summer, I have heard from a reliable source, will continue to make a strong appearance in fall. Statement jackets and coats, which were worn shortly after the peacoat obsession BONANZA will continue. These are my favorites:

Ah, houndstooth. One of my very favourite patterns. I had a male friend once (quite unschooled in fashion) who called my houndstooth coat a "zebra coat". Oh, men. This one is Banana Republic, but I got mine at a discount store for $20. Try a TJ Maxx or an AJ Wright, if you have them in your area. Or, of course, your trusty Goodwill.

Bright plaid! I love these colors, and I love anything plaid. Especially a big, chunky plaid. I have a coat similar to this, but it has more brown incorporated and comes with a belt and has slightly more accented shoulders. A nice coat can pull a boring outfit together and kick it up a notch! A la Emeril.

Double-breasted or military style coats. I can't tell if this one has epaulettes (the little piece that decorates the top of the shoulder), but I love those. The waist flares out, which works well with the continuing trend (yay!) of skinny jeans. I can tell this is Delias by the model :D.

Faux fur the right way. Do you remember those ugly, puffy coats with the fake fur around the hood that were in during 2006~2008? Try to forget. Fitted and streamlined, or bulk with a defined waist + faux fur = fab. I love these long coats (don't they look warm?).

I love this! I feel I need this coat. From the extremely simple cut, to the high neck, to the muddy color- I'm in love. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I can see some mad accessorizing! + my skinnies :).

And, I will leave you with this look for men. The man in the photos can call me anytime. Seriously. Anytime.

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