How I Deal with Keratosis Pilaris

Hellerrr.

Today, let us delve in to the oh-so-fun world of KP!

But first! A disclaimer.

I am not a dermatologist or scientist. I am simply a girl with KP. What works for me may or may not work for you and by no means am I an expert. Ok? PROCEED.

Keratosis Pilaris or chicken skin as I sometimes call it, is defined by Google as, “a condition that develops when the skin produces too much of a protein called keratin, which can block hair follicles and cause bumps to develop”.

Tons of people have KP and the severity ranges. The areas that typically get affected are the thighs, arms and cheeks. Unfortunately, it is hereditary and I have my Dad to thank for mine. THANKS GARE.

So, you get it.

I’ve tried LOTS of treatments for KP and I am here today to report my findings…what worked, what didn’t and all that I have learned.

HANDLING

Handle your KP as you would a newborn baby or quilted Chanel purse. Be super gentle. Contrary to what one might think, exfoliation and scrubbing only irritate the area and can make the bumps worse. Also – DO NOT use super-hot water on KP, exfoliating loofahs or body scrubs. Believe me, it only makes the bumps uglier! Even when I take a bath, I keep my lower thighs out of the water…also because I’m TEN FEET TALL.

 

TREATMENTS/CREAMS

Lots of common lotions contain ingredients like glycerin, mineral oil and alcohol and while these things are not bad for your skin, they certainly are not good for KP. Steer clear of using lotions with a scent, as hard as that is, and instead go for a more medicinal option. A dermatologist can look at your KP and based on the size and severity of the affected areas, recommend a lotion that is best for you.

What I like to do is use a menagerie of lotions when I get out of the shower. I’ll use a KP lotion on the affected areas and then use smelly or firming lotions other places.

The same rules apply to body wash, powders or just about anything else that touches those areas.

If you’re more of a visual learner, I’ve made this handy graphic for you!

Here are some of the treatments/creams I have used:

Prescription Urea Lotion

Urea is basically a tissue softener, which can help soften the build-up of keratin around the hair follicle. My issue with this cream was that it felt so chalky and gross. I couldn’t stand to have it on my body.

Derma Doctor KP Duty Lotion

4 ounces of this stuff is $38 which is the main draw-back. It has a glycolic acid base but contains a bunch of other good ingredients (like urea). I did notice a difference with this lotion but you have to make sure and use it every day or even twice a day. I would keep purchasing it to have on hand but it’s almost $40 and I need other things like 348975 liquid lipsticks.

Gold Bond Rough & Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Cream

This formula does contain urea as well as salicylic  acid but the concentration must not be high enough because I didn’t really notice a difference with this.

CURRENT TREATMENT

I recently saw a new dermatologist for a skin cancer screening (which every one of you needs to go do!) and also asked about my KP. He took a look and based on the size and severity of the affected areas, he has recommended  salycilic acid and gave me this lotion to try out. Salycilic acid is a beta-hydroxy often used as an acne treatment. According to an article I read on Allure.com,  “Salicylic acid is considered a keratolytic medication, which means that it’s perfect for supreme exfoliation. ‘Keratolytic medications cause softening and sloughing of the top layer of skin cells,'”. TOTALLY PERFECT for KP too!

He also mentioned that I could use a body wash with salycilic acid, but that using the lotion on it’s own might make a big improvement.

I’ll keep y’all updated and let you know how my KP is doing because I know you’re all dying to know.

Do you have KP? What do you use (if anything!) on it?

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Origins GinZing Vox Box

It’s time for another Vox Box!

This time I was sent a few items from the Origins GinZing line for testing from Influenster.

*And remember, Influenster is totally free to sign up for. All you do is link up your social media accounts and you’re in! Click here to register and hopefully start getting free stuff too!

Here we have the Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer, the  Refreshing Eye Cream and the Refreshing Scrub Cleanser.

The Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer

I have actually tried the regular (non-gel version) of this moisturizer before in a sample size and I do like it. Is it THE BEST moisturizer out there? No. Is it THE MOST moisturizing? No. I like this product however, for a few good reasons. First, it is priced well at around $30. Second, it does a good job at hydrating the skin and the product absorbs quickly. And lastly, (as with the eye cream) it adds a slight radiance to the skin. The brightening effect is not too noticeable with the gel cream but I do notice a nice subtle radiance!

The Refreshing Eye Cream

I have used this product before and I LOVE it. It has a slightly pearly finish after applying which is really nice and brightening under there. I like to wear it everyday, regardless of if I am wearing makeup or not. But it does beautifully under makeup as well.

The Refreshing Scrub Cleanser

I have never used this before but it is coming at a great time since my Soap & Glory cleanser is almost out! I am anxious to try this with the entire line to see how it performs.

And that’s it! Have YOU ever tried Origins skincare?

How I Wrecked My Skin

Hello little sweeties!

Today I bring you some words of wisdom, courtesy of Brian, Nick, AJ, Kevin and Howie D.

Lookin’ back on the things I’ve done
I was tryin’ to be someone
I played my part, kept you in the dark
Now let me show you the shape of my heart

In my case, the “shape of my heart” is in the form of small, brown dots that grace m’mug. Otherwise known as age spots. sun spots or grossest of all, LIVER spots, I have noticed these little b*tches poppin’ up since I hit 30. How did they get there?

The motherf*ckin’ sun, y’all.

TRUE LIFE: The sun wrecked my skin.

All of you know that I am not a stranger to the tanning bed. At one time, my skin tone resembled that of Beyonce’s left butt cheek and I was darn proud of it.

just. don’t judge too hard.

So many gals my age can relate to this I think. The tanning bed was one of my favorite places on earth. Warm. Cozy. Perfect for a power nap. And best of all, I came out feeling prettier. As messed up as THAT sounds.

Not only did I tan in the beds, but I tanned outside. I embraced the sweet little freckles that would sprinkle themselves across my nose each summer. I slathered on the Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil, the Australian Gold, the Maui Babe Browning lotion. YOU KNOW the lineup.

I didn’t think anything of this behavior until my mom had her second melanoma removed. Her doctor basically told me that we are all putting ourselves at major risk of skin cancer by tanning all the time. It was that easy for me. I just stopped.

I cancelled my tanning membership, stopped tanning outside, wore sunscreen and hats. I was maybe 25, but unfortunately the damage was already done. Because today, years later, I am suffering the consequences.

Here are my sun spots with a tiny bit of foundation, blush, bronzer etc..

NOT CUTE guys.

And don’t get me wrong, I know they’re not unsightly or anything but they are big and they do bother me. So what are my options?

Well, skincare is just not going to work. Any topical treatment that promises to get rid of dark spots is just LYING. No chemical can remove this puppies, or at least, none that I’ve heard of. From the research I’ve done, it’s gotta be a laser.

IPL Photo-facials to be exact. They are offered at lots of Medi-Spas and are actually becoming quite popular in removing age spots, acne scars and other imperfections.

I am reallllly thinking about scheduling one of these to help diminish the appearance of my sun spots, but I know it isn’t a permanent solution. You have to get one or two a year in order to keep up the results or else the pigment just comes back.

But ANYWAY – just stay outta the sun will ya? Your face will thank you later 🙂

What do YOU think? Anyone our there ever have an IPL facial?

Nivea Skin Firming & Toning Serum and Lotion

Good day spring tulips!

As of late, I have been hyper aware of certain areas of m’bod. You know the ones…

zee gobbler…zee batwings. I’m not saying they’re huge problem areas for me, but like duh – they will be someday. And I decided it was time to ARMOR UP. After watching a few vids on the subject and doing a tiny bit of research, I decided on  the Nivea Skin Firming and Smoothing Serum. It contains a couple of ingredients meant to help tighten, tone and smooth and the box boasts results in just a couple of weeks. Maybe tonight I’ll take some BEFORE pics. Omg you guys. Am I really a before/after person?

I decided to also get the gel-cream, as I figured I could apply that to larger areas (ahem, BUTTOCKS) to see if I noticed a difference. The cellulite  struggle is real, girls. I found the serum at Rite Aid and the gel-cream at Targs, btw.

Leave me a comment below if you’d like a follow-up post in two weeks to see if the claims are legit because I am totally down.

Origins Skincare VoxBox

Influenster’s at it again!

A wise person once said, “Free things are the best things” (surely someone has said that) and I personally couldn’t agree more. If you have lots of Facebook friends, a blog, a strong Instagram following, or a combination of everything then you can totally get free things too. Sign up here!

Back to the Origins Skincare VoxBox. I received the following products:

Origins High Potency Nigh-A-Mins – I have never used this night cream before and am very excited to give this a shot!

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – This is a new-to-me mask as well, but the charcoal trend is going strong and I plan to do a full review on this later.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream – While the GinZing line is something I have tried out, I have not ever used the eye cream. I am really pumped about getting this stuff on m’bags.

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash –  I pretty much love that the word “frothy” is part of the name of this stuff. I have used this before and absolutely love it! The consistency is super thick which gives me the feeling its really pulling everything off my face. I also love the way it rinses off and leaves my skin feeling nourished.

Origins GinZing Moisturizer – I have been a longtime fan of Origins VitaZing Moisturizer, which has a very subtle tint-release and SPF so I am really excited to try this one!

Have YOU tried any of these products from Origins?

 

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Buying Beauty Products from T.J Maxx?

Those who know me best, know I’m a Maxxinista through and through.

Not just because I love TJ Maxx, but because I’ve become extremely knowledgeable about the products to hoard from there, but also the ones to steer clear of.

As an example, here are great things to BUY at TJ Maxx:

  1. Obviously clothes, shoes
  2. Towels, bath mats, etc.
  3. Candles!
  4. Greeting cards/wrapping paper (really good quality for CHEAP)
  5. Wall decor (just try not to buy too many of the quotes signs. I say 2-3 per home is acceptable)

However, there are few things to def NOT get at TJ Maxx:

  1. Hair products
  2. Headphones, electronics
  3. Sometimes candy
  4. Sometimes perfume

Also, historically I have been super wary of makeup/skincare from TJ Maxx. I always see brands like Elizabeth Arden, Shiseido and Bliss but more recently they’ve added Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Erno Lazlo etc. And when a Clinique eye serum is selling for $16.99 I always wonder…what’s the catch?

Is it expired? Discontinued? Is it from a bad batch? In my wildest fantasies, these products are all just overstock, fresh and just a SWEET DEAL. But then I wonder why errrone isn’t snapping these things up right and left.

Needless to say, I rarely buy anything from the bath & body section of T.J Maxx except the odd hand soap, Body Shop Body Butter or nail polish. I am scared to death of wasting my money on products that simply don’t work.

So the other day at lunch when I spotted two lowly GIANT bottles of St.Tropez Dark Tanning Mousse  for $14.99, just in time for our trip to Hawaii – I squealed inside my mouth a little. I inspected the bottle from top to bottom, looking for signs it had been in a fire, damaged or used, to no avail. I even googled all the random numbers on the bottom of the bottle to see if anything fishy turned up. Nothin.

So I bought ‘er and took ‘er home.

The next day, I took a pre- self tanner shower (exfoliated, scrubbed, etc) and excitedly jumped out in anticipation of applying my new tan! I shook it up generously and pumped it out into my tanning mitt.

It. Was. GREEN.

Just, completely Shrek green.

I know lots of self tanners have an olive undertone so I wasn’t that surprised and thought maybe this was just the color of the product, not the tan. So I rubbed a tiny bit into my forearm and it dried just straight-up green. Then I google imaged the product to see what color it is supposed to be…

Definitely NOT green!

I figure it must have just been expired. So. Yeah. I wiped the green right off my arm and plopped the bottle back in the T.J Maxx bag  to be returned. I guess the moral of this story is…

Do not buy tanning products from T.J Maxx 🙂

Fall Skincare Routine

Is it really November already?!

So I guess it’s time to start Christmas shopping, writing down which movies will be on the 21 Days of Christmas in my day planner and of course – trying to hold off on putting up the tree for as long as possible. I have already admitted to myself that I can’t wait until after Thanksgiving so it’s just a matter of which weekend in November it’s going to be.

And this year, I get to celebrate my first Chrismakah since David is Jewish! I am SO excited. I already ordered a throw pillow that says “Happy Challah Days!”. #mazeltov

But with the super cold temps, Balsam Fir Yankee Candles and abundance of cozy socks stuffed down at the bottom of the bed – I also must load up on the skin currrr. So let’s talk about THAT.

To start – I have been using (and loving) the Peaches and Clean Cleansing Milk from Soap & Glory. I take a couple pumps on the tips of my fingers and massage into dry skin. This stuff breaks up all the makeup, dirt and oil and then I rinse it off with warm water.

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To tone – I have been alternating between the Mardio Badescu Rosewater & Herbs Facial Spray (a long-time favorite) and the SK-II Facial Essence, which came in a recent Influenster Vox Box.

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To hydrate – I have been using the L’Oreal Revitalift Serum to start. Once that has been absorbed into the skin, I follow up with the night cream. I have been pretty impressed with the Revitalift line and would definitely recommend it, esp for the price point.

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For eyes – Believe it or not, sometimes when I am lazy I will dab on some of this (AMAZING) Treat Jumbo Lip Balm in Confetti Cake. This stuff is made with mostly coconut oil, as well as a few other all-natural organic ingredients. I would really just rub it all over my body if it were big enough! Other than that, I use the Sephora  Total Age Defy for Eyes and Lips which I really like as well.

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For lashes – If you remember my beauty hacks post, I talked about how great castor oil is as a “lash conditioner”. I still use this stuff on my lashes and still absolutely love it.

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For lips – If I am not using the Treat lip balm, I am definitely reaching for this one I discovered in France! The Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra‑Nourishing Lip Balm is made with honey and other great things and is SUPER moisturizing.

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And lastly for masks – I just posted a couple of my favorites, click here to check them out!