Tag : skincare

Suddenly Sensitive Skin

I mentioned in my previous blog post The Skirt Girl’s Super Lotion  that I’d had some skin problems. So, I’m going to tell you a little bit about that and things that I’ve tried that worked for me and a couple of fails. This is not to say that the products that I’ve tried would work or not work for you, or break your skin out or not. Everyone’s skin is different. It is expensive to buy and try new products, especially when they don’t work or break your skin out and then you have to just toss the full bottle. My goal is to steer you in the right direction by giving you honest experiences and maybe save you a little time and money…and a hive or two.

So here is some background information to let you know where I was coming from. I had never had sensitive skin. In my youth, I’d had very oily skin and had average teenage skin with an occasional breakout. As an adult, I really didn’t start to use any moisturizer on my face until my 20’s and then it was just very mild basic original Oil of Olay. As my 40’s approached I began to be more careful about sunscreen and moisturizing. I’d used a few different products but I found that Neutrogena products usually worked well for me. About 5 years ago, I was going through a particularly stressful time. My father had been diagnosed with cancer and I suppose I internalized my worry because I broke out in hives. It was early May and the weather was warm. I was miserable. Luckily the hives were under the skin and not too red and ugly. You could feel them if you touched my skin but you had to look hard to see them, unless I was scratching them. And they itched! OH, HOW THEY ITCHED!! I’d never had anything like it. I’d never been allergic to anything so this was quite a shock to me. I went to the dermatologist and he was not much help. He gave me some medicine that didn’t help at all and told me that they would probably have to run their course. And they did. For weeks. All summer. I was miserable. Since that was my first experience with sensitive skin I had to rethink everything. I started using bathsoap for sensitive skin. Nothing except my Super Lotion to moisturize. Eventually, the hives left. And by the way, my dad had surgery and chemo and he has been cancer free ever since.

This year I have been on a quest for anti aging creams. I started out last year using Cindy Crawford’s line Meaningful Beauty. I found that it was expensive. They forced you to sign up for auto-ship and to buy 3 products at a time. I hated that part. I liked the day cream ok. I loved the facial cleanser, though.

Meaningful Beauty Cindy Crawford Skin Softening Cleanser

Meaningful Beauty Cindy Crawford Skin Softening Cleanser

 

What I loved about this cleanser was that I could put a little in the palm of my hand at the sink, without being in the shower or splashing any water on, swirl it around on my face and wipe it off with a damp washcloth. My skin would feel clean and ready to moisturize. I used Meaningful Beauty cleanser, daily moisturizer and their  premier anti aging serum that is supposed to make you look exactly like Cindy. I didn’t really like it but, as I said, they pretty much force you to order three products. I tried several of the other products and I decided that I really did want to look like Cindy, so I should probably go with the serum.  Other than liking the cleanser, the products did not bowl me over.  I noticed no difference in my skin.  I still do not look like Cindy Crawford.  I cancelled the subscription and began my search again.

Let’s discuss skin cleansers first…I went back to Neutrogena. I tried Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating cleanser.

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

It has a bit of a fine grit to it for exfoliation.  The scent is like…a plastic smell.  I did not enjoy it.

Next I tried Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser

It is a very creamy texture and it reminded me a lot of Noxzema but not as cooling and not as gentle.  It was a bit harsher than what I was looking for and I needed something with some moisturizer to it.  And quite honestly, I missed being able to slop some cleanser on dry skin and wipe it off without a lot of fuss.

I decided to branch out to a brand that I had not tried.  Aveeno.  So I bought the Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser.

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser

I liked the Aveeno pretty well.  It seemed rather harsh but I used it all summer long and my skin did have a little better texture.

I was also searching for a good multipurpose moisturizer.  I had always used eye creams but I’d read where several experts had said that if you have a really good cream with good ingredients there is no need for a separate eye cream.  So I started the search, with ROC Retinol Correxion MAX Wrinkle Resurfacing System.

ROC Retinol Correxion MAX Wrinkle Resurfacing System

ROC Retinol Correxion MAX Wrinkle Resurfacing System

This is a nighttime system.  I found that it works really well.  I may eventually go back to these.

Mid summer I decided to try a high end MLM skin product.  Nerium.

Nerium AD Age Defying Treatmetn

Nerium AD Age Defying Treatment

I used this for about 2 months or so.  Quite honestly, I did see a difference in my skin.  They like for you to take before pictures and within a couple of weeks take a second picture to compare.  I did that. I really did see fine lines soften. It’s a very different system and feels different. The scent is not pleasant and another friend that used it said it smelled like she was putting toxic plastic on her skin. I didn’t feel that strongly about it and I did see results. However, my skin did feel dry and I had to find a moisturizer to use on my skin for the daytime, as this is a nighttime use product. So for day, I started to use Aveeno Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer.

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Youth Perfecting Moisturizer

This is the point in the story where things change again. Drastically. After about 2 months or so of using the Nerium, my face broke out into hives. Especially the sensitive skin around my eyes. It wasn’t the same kind of hives as the reaction a few years ago that I had on my whole body. This was welts. They were itchy and burned. When I first woke up my eyes looked swollen. I was using Neutrogena cleanser, the Aveeno Postively ageless during the day and the Nerium at night. I stopped all of that. I only used my super lotion to help heal the welts and moisturize. I needed a soothing cleanser. I did a little research online and decided I would try CeraVe.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

So I’m pretty happy with my current regimen. I use the Olay morning and night. I used it around my eyes so no eye cream is needed.  I do add a little Vitamin E oil around my eyes, lashes and lips right before bed.  And I use the CeraVe cleanser, morning and night. Of course, I’m sure at some point I will want to venture out again to see what is out there.    But when my skin becomes suddenly sensitive.  Simple and back to the basics is the best.   Lesson learned.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy Favorite Products or perhaps  The Skirt Girl’s Green Smoothie

 

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The Skirt Girl Super Lotion

I have had numerous requests, over the years, for my lotion recipe. I’m going to put it out there once and for all today. But I need to give credit where credit is due. In the interest of full disclosure I need to tell you how I came to it and let me warn you this is going to sound like a commercial. About 10 years ago a friend of mine told me that her daughter had a skin issue as a child and the dermatologist had told her how to make lotion. It had helped and she gave the recipe to me. It was incredible. I started making it for friends and family. I give it as gifts, occasionally. I have searched for something on the market that was as good but I always end up coming back to this. It keeps my skin super soft even in winter. I’ve had hives a couple of times and each time it was the only thing that would sooth my skin. A sweet, older lady was telling me about her dry, cracked heels. She had tried everything and had even gotten a prescription cream but nothing worked. I made her a batch and told her to use it each night before bed and when she got out of the shower. She came back to me within two weeks and said that her heels had not been that smooth in years. I have many friends with sensitive skin that love it. I am very sensitive to smells, so this is perfect. It has a very light scent. This past summer I decided to experiment with a high end face cream. It gave me such a rash!! Everything irritated it. I had to stop using all my normal products. I switched to a super gentle moisturizing cleanser. I needed some moisturizer on my face but couldn’t stand the thought of experimenting with another product. (You can read more about some of the products that I have tried, and what worked or didn’t work, here: Suddenly Sensitive Skin ) So I turned to my Super Lotion. It is a little heavy for my face, but I used it while my face was “healing” and it made my skin soft again so quickly. My mom uses it as a face cream all the time. I could probably tweak the recipe a bit more and make it lighter for a face cream, but usually I just use it as a body and hand lotion. I told you. That totally sounded like a commercial. It is not a miracle potion. It won’t promise to take 10 years off your face, brighten, tighten or plump. But it is good stuff. And before anyone goes off on telling me that any of the ingredients are bad and shouldn’t be used on your face or skin or whatever… I’m just saying this is what I use. I love it and I have loved it for 10 years. So…here’s what you’ll need: Plain Johnson’s Baby Lotion (the pink kind), Vitamin E Cream, Vitamin E oil and Vaseline. Like this…

15 ounce bottle of Johnson's baby lotion, Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Cream, Vitamin E Oil, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

15 ounce bottle of Johnson’s baby lotion, Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Cream, Vitamin E Oil, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

Before we begin, a few words about these ingredients…I have tried different scents of the Johnson’s Lotions for the base. I have tried store brand baby lotions. I have tried the Calming Lavender & Chamomile. It did not calm me. It stunk. Literally. I tried the Shea & Cocoa Butter. No. I tried Aloe & Vitamin E…it was okay. I used the white Johnson’s 24 Hour Moisturizer…eh. Let me just say, nothing works as good as plain old pink Johnson’s Baby Lotion. The Fruit of the Earth brand Vitamin E cream is just what is readily available to me. It was what was recommended to me in the original recipe. I have used Gene’s Vitamin E cream in the past. Gene’s is yellow but it works well. It comes in a much larger container so make sure you measure it out and save the rest for the next batch. In this picture I have a store brand petroleum jelly. I, typically, get Vaseline but it wasn’t available at the dollar store that I was in at the time I was buying these ingredients. Did I tell you that I get all this stuff at the dollar store? Or WalMart? Or Target? Or Walgreens? Anyway, this no name petroleum jelly works just fine.

This next part is complicated…not really! Squeeze every drop of the Johnson’s into a mixing bowl. Then add the whole 4 oz jar of vitamin E cream in. Add about a cap full of the Vitamin E oil. DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH VITAMIN E OIL IN!! It will cause your concoction to separate. Honestly, this is something that I have added to the recipe that wasn’t called for in the original. So, you could do without it if you don’t have it. I just think it makes the mixture a little more velvety. As for the Vaseline…this is a judgment call. I use 3/4 cup, usually. If your skin is really dry and you are going to use it mainly at night, go ahead and use a full cup. Or if you try the 3/4 cup and it’s still too heavy, reduce it for you. This is YOUR super lotion. Don’t be scared to tweak!

Doesn't look like much yet, does it?

Doesn’t look like much yet, does it?

Now you are going get out the mixer. I have a Kitchen Aid and I use the..ummm….whipper thingy. Am I being to technical? Okay…here’s a picture:

Whipper thingy

Whipper thingy

Next you do what you do with a whipper thingy. You whip the daylights out of it.

And...we're whipping..

And…we’re whipping…

It’s going to start to fluff up.

Don't forget to stop it periodically and scrape up from the bottom with a spatula to get it all incorporated.

Don’t forget to stop it periodically and scrape up from the bottom with a spatula to get it all incorporated.

This next part is crucial. It is VERY important to remember. Do NOT lick your fingers or your spatula. By now this is going to look like the prettiest, fluffy, pink, birthday cake icing you have ever seen. It’s not. Fight the urge.

IMPORTANT! THIS IS NOT CAKE ICING!!

IMPORTANT! THIS IS NOT CAKE ICING!!

 

I know what you are thinking. “I have this giant bowl of lotion. What am I going to put it in?” Again…I have tried many options. You could use the lotion container that you just emptied, but it would be a bit small. You could use old Softsoap containers, but the pump on those can be contrary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put this stuff in a repurposed pump bottle only to have the pump not work. So…my perfect vessel?

Ketchup bottle is perfect!

Ketchup bottle is perfect!

 

After you have washed out ALL of the ketchup, you are going to need a large freezer bag. Dump all the lotion into the freezer bag, zip it up and squish it down to one corner.

1 gallon size Ziplock freezer bag

1 gallon size Ziplock freezer bag

With scissors snip the very tip of the corner of the bag off. Carefully, pipe the lotion into the ketchup bottle.

Be careful to not cut too much of the tip of the bag or you will have a big mess!

Be careful to not cut too much of the tip of the bag or you will have a big mess!

 

I am sure that you could put a cute label on the bottle. In retrospect I wish I’d done that for you here. You know…The Skirt Girl logo on the front? Wouldn’t that be cute? Oh well, you get the idea. And it’s just us here, right?

The Skirt Girl Super Lotion (pretend there is a cute logo)

The Skirt Girl Super Lotion (pretend there is a cute logo)

 

If you like this post here are some others you might also enjoy:  Suddenly Sensitive Skin and Favorite Products or perhaps The Skirt Girl’s Green Smoothie

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