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Discussion Starter #1
Freddy inspired me, so I thought I would create a blog for myself.

I am a single mom, I spent the last 3 years in that horrible status known as "separated", while my ex and I have waged World War III on each other over our assets...
My skin has suffered the ravages of both incredible levels of stress hormones and chemicals, and my own stressed out self-punishments, to include smoking and drinking.

My New Years Resolution is to begin caring for myself again. Over the past three years I seemed to be bent on self- destruction in any moments I had without my son, and completely devoted to him in any moments with him. Nowhere did I fit into my own schedule, and my self-care routines became non-existent.

Amazingly, though, I still managed to model through most of the divorce, getting odd jobs in my local area just for the benefit of my ex, just to remind him what he was missing... yeah I know...

So, my concerns are as follows:
facial wrinkling, including those little lines above the lips, and stress lines across my forehead

acne, because I was blessed to be a woman with hormones

looking good all day, to include first thing in the morning

cellulite


Here is my plan:

Wrinkles:
Botox - had the first injections done a week ago, and the results took a few days but are amazing, so those forehead wrinkles are gone

lip lines:
I don't know of a cosmetic procedure for these except dermabrasion, and well, I have a date coming up in LA with the man of my dreams pretty soon, so this is not an option right now, so, as a temporary measure I am putting Sally Hanson Lip Inflation Extreme on both my lips and those pesky little lines, they swell up and go away, at least temporarily

Acne:
I took my cues from Freddy on this and went with the Tea Tree Oil stuff from The Body Shop, only my scrub and mask are homemade. It has been two days, so not really ready to report results yet.

Wash - Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash The Body Shop

Toner - same

Scrub - seaweed powder from Whole Foods mixed with ground coffee (not sure where I got this from, but I made a bunch of it and still had a ton left over, so I am using it for now)

Mask - white bentonite clay from Whole Foods mixed with either red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar into a thick paste

Moisturizer - same, the Tea Tree oil one Freddy recommended as well as Prevage around the eyes (from the makers of Botox)

sunblock - Neutrogena SPF 85

I don't do facials at salons because I don't trust their cleanliness, so I tend to do my own extractions using the proper metal extracting tool and alcohol to sterilize. Don't try this unless you know what you are doing... I had a friend train me on the proper technique thankfully!!

Looking good all day:
This is a tough one, I have permanent makeup, so the first thing I did was go and get re-touched. I recommend permanent makeup to anyone with oily skin because it wtays on all day and all night and there is no worry about it smearing everywhere! Also, if you have sensitive skin it is really nice, no worries about cosmetic sensitivities.
Just be certain you are going to a reputable place where they are sterile etc.
I tend to wake up with puffy eyes from allergies, I think I might need to replace my mattress this year, as I am allergic to dust and supposedly an older mattress can exacerbate my condition. I use a de-puff eye gel by Patricia Wexler MD to combat mornings like that!!

Cellulite:

My last leg photo shoot had to be re-touched because of cellulite!! Gross!!! So, I went and got the Nivea total body kit with the vitamins and cellulite gel in the package. I also ordered the shoes from Victoria's Secret that are supposed to tone your legs as you walk. I do some pilates style exercises at home, and I do some yoga, also at home, and I do resistance training, but nothing is really getting rid of the cellulite.

Schedule:
workout morning and evening
facial wash and toner and moisturizer evening
cellulite gel massage evening
facial wash and toner and sunscreen morning
cellulite gel massage morning
mask twice a week

I am looking forward to maintaining this blog, and I would love to hear suggestions or personal experiences, BTW, I am 34, and the photo I put up is one of my modeling pics.
 

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Great idea Angelaira (what a beautiful name)! It will be nice to follow a blog and get a woman's perspective on things. And welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, thank you! I didn't see anyone in their mid-30s on here talking about the issues we deal with, we have hormones, acne, wrinkles, cellulite, slower metabolisms, that little thing called real life that knocks us off track, kids, you name it, I got it, well, except for a man, but I am working on it!! And, people guess my age at about 25 now, not anywhere near my real age, and yet, still, I want to look as young and as good as I can for as long as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok, so upon reading Freddy's blog, if you haven't read it, you need to, he is amazing and very inspirational, I noticed that he is interested in the Blue Quasar light.

I am researching this, the quasar comes in two colors, red or blue, one more for acne, one good for inflammation, according to "The Acne Solution" by NV Perricone, inflammation is the basis of all acne. So which color to buy??

I found this product:
http://www.catalogclearance.com/prod...cnelights.html

and I tried the ionic white tooth bleach light on my skin just to see the effect of a blue led... I seemed to notice a difference, but I guess time will tell...
 

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I am very happy to know that I have inspired you. Let me be the first to wish you tremendous luck with your new endeavour. You will find that with your new blog, the more your write the more aware you will become about your skin and your procedures. There is no better way to improve your skin quality than to write everything down and record your progress, your ups, and your downs. You've got the right mentality and you seem to be ready to go.

If you can get both light therapy wands do so, but judging by your description, you are best to go with the red light.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Freddy!! Thank you for the encouragement and your words of wisdom, you have inspired me!

So, my progress:

My skin is changing, rapidly. I said I was going to try the tooth whitening blue led light I already had on my skin. I cut off the rubbery mouth piece, it never fit in my mouth anyway, and applied it to my skin in various areas for whatever the timer on the device is set to (around two minutes). I can see a huge difference!! Not the difference I expected, but a huge difference nonetheless! I don't know what spectrum of blue is best for acne, and I don't know what the strength of the Leds on the tooth whitener are, but I will say the thing is really bright! The change I noticed is that the naso-labial folds above my mouth are gone!!!!
I was looking into restylane to take care of those, or thinking a mini-face lift might be something to look into because those folds were getting deeper with each passing year.
Well, I was just kind of messing around with the blue light, the night before last, trying it on my skin, on acne prone areas, and current breakouts.
I really saw no immediate difference, went to bed, my usual thing. Yesterday I was in my car, and looked into my rearview mirror and realized my face looked funny.
Apparently in my trials with the blue light the night before I had applied it to one naso-labial fold and not the other...
One was gone!!! My face looked funny because one fold was pretty deep and pronounced and the other one has no line left besides just under the nose, it was the wierdest thing ever!!
So, I went home and applied the blue light to the other naso-labial fold, and voila, they now match.

Saves me a lot of painful injections or possibly surgery...
I tried it under my eyes last night, it helped a little, but nothing like it did for the naso-labial folds...

So... as of this moment my skin is irritated and breaking out partially because of Auntie Flow, and partially because of my constant ministrations this week. I had rough skin, with visible whiteheads under the surface too deep to extract. This was really frustrating! I still have a few of those, mostly on the cheek I sleep on, but they are fewer, and a lot of them have come to the surface, causing my current breakout condition, but I know this means my skin is actually getting better, not worse even though it looks worse now!!
I tried the body shop tea tree moisturizer, but it made my skin really shiny, and my skin felt very dry. I had purchased a Eucerin had cream with AHAs in it, and was using that on my hands, and since it worked so well, I thought I would just apply that to my face. (I know, hand cream is not for faces, but yeah, I don't follow rules). I wore that yesterday, it sinks in and becomes totally non-greasy and invisible, and by last night my skin was smoother from the work of the AHA's.
I re-applied it last night before bed, after my usual wash and tone and scrub, and this morning my skin looks even smoother. So, going to use it for a week and then curtail because I don't want the skin thickening effect of the AHAs but I do like the smoothing effect.

I had a laser treatment and skin peel in November, around US Thanksgiving (for all you Canadians that celebrate it sooner, lol!), and my skin was very smooth after the peel, but got ruddy again during the holidays.

Anyway, today my skin is pretty smooth with a few red areas, there are no crusts left anywhere, but there is some inflammation from things that are still under the surface.
I will be putting on two masks today, the one that I make, and one from Origins called Out of Trouble (it contains zinc and it calms the skin). I will be using the blue light some more because I like the results, and still looking for one actually designed for skin care... I found one called the Tanda, it comes with both red and blue light heads, and I think if I buy one it will probably be that one.

I have noticed that some of my most difficult to treat acne (under my jaw I get bumps that never seem to heal), are actually shrinking from the blue light I am using now also...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmmm, so I have been being absolutely religious about the washing of my face, and this has lead to me now showering twice a day, morning and night. I wash my face in the shower, it is just easier than trying not to get my clothes wet, lol!

I have been doing the wash and toner, followed by a moisturizer, and I have been alternating between the hand cream with AHA that makes my skin smooth and luxurious feeling, and the tea tree one that also makes my skin feel smooth, just depends on my mood. I use the blue light whenever I happen to think of it, and then I mask depending on the day and my mood.

my skin is looking much better, much smoother, I have about four places left with slight breakouts, and they are all in the process of healing, remnants of extractions done earlier this week. My rough cheek is looking smoother too, and that is nice.

I have been drinking more water, and cut sodas almost out. I am increasing my veggie intake and taking my vitamins. I add "Cell Food" from Whole Foods to my bottled water in the morning.
I still have a cup of coffee every morning, half soy half coffee, and I had replaced sugar with a non-glycemic sweetener from Whole Foods, but I ran out and haven't had the chance to get more yet!

My dream date is coming up in February, and I really am hoping I look 110% by then. The guy is truly an inspiration and an amazing man, and I can't believe I even was lucky enough to get a date with him, now I just hope I don't screw it up!!
 

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I still have a cup of coffee every morning, half soy half coffee, and I had replaced sugar with a non-glycemic sweetener from Whole Foods, but I ran out and haven't had the chance to get more yet!
Hmmm ..... the soy coffee sounds interesting. Do you find that it is less staining on the teeth? Also, thanks for the updates - your blog is terrific!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, so it has been a couple of weeks since I last posted....
I had my dream date with the dream guy on Valentine's Day, and my skin looked incredible, and everything went amazing, and we talk daily now. It was a strange date because the guy is a public figure, he lives in Detroit, and he paid for my ticket across the country for me to meet him, so yeah, one of the craziest things I have probably ever done, but it was worth it, it was the best Valentine's Day I have had in a long time!

Anyway, I have been doing all the Tea Tree oil stuff, and of course, as soon as my wonderful monthly visitor showed up this week, my newly gorgeous skin went to h*ll in a handbasket! Argh!! I have one cheek totally broken out, a pimple on my nose, my forehead is broken out, this happens every month! I have been extra diligent this month, and still, no change in the hormonal reactions. So, went back on the acne version of Obagi, and am using that until this stuff clears up.
I have been using the Nivea cellulite gel and pills religiously, and I couldn't see a change at all so I upped the ante. I ordered Fit Flops from Victoria's Secret, they are supposed to help, and I have been wearing those for a week, and finally, the combination of both of those, is finally starting to make a difference. I am also starting a workout program, but working out for me usually doesn't affect cellulite, I have my dear mom to thank for the dimples on my derrier, lol! But, seriously, I don't like them, I want them gone, and I am really hoping something works!!!
I got my retainers made by my dentist, so I am walking around with those in my mouth all the time, trying to push some of the teeth that moved over the past year back into place.
Since I spent part of last month in both Detroit and Vegas, I haven't been nearly as religious with the face masks, so sometime this week I am getting back to it, as my skin needs serious help at the moment...
I also decided to try Makeup Forever foundation, I heard it had good coverage, but I can't see any difference from the stuff I was using (Revlon age defying I think...) and it could be that this breakout is being exacerbated by the change, so back to my old makeup.. gotta go return that stuff to Sephora this week.
Oh, one last thing, I have been religiously applying Patricia Wexler Damage Reversal Lip Treatment to my upper lips to eradicate those pesky lines from smoking, and the lines are mostly gone. I don't know though, I look at my skin in that area one day and there are no lines, and then the next day they seem to re-appear, makes me think those lines are related to how hydrated I am or something...
Still using the blue light, but obviously not enough as time hasn't permitted it lately, the thing does take a lot of time, and I tend to be kind of ADD with stuff like that!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, someone asked me about the soy coffee, I use soy milk in my coffee, so it is the same coffee bean as normal coffee. To keep tooth stains at bay I rinse daily with Hydrogen Peroxide (the brown bottle from the pharmacy) and I drink everything that could affect my teeth through a straw. So, I sip my morning latte through a straw, I sip sodas through a straw, etc. etc....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh two more things...
While I was in Vegas wvisiting my friend wit hthe laser spa, she gave me a sample of IS Clinical Youth Complex... I love it. She was out while I was there, so I only was able to get the sample, but I am trying to get her to mail me some as soon as she gets it back in stock.

And, she told me about her experiences with Restylane. She has had both Restylane and Pearlane injections, and she recommends the Pearlane, she told me they are both hyaluronic acid injections, however the Pearlane is smoother under the skin once injected and seems to last longer. She was unhappy with the results from injecting it under her eye for those recessed spots that form with aging, it made her undereye puffy. She thought perhaps her doctor injected too much, or was simply not experienced with working with eyes, but anyway, her experience with that wasn't great, but of course that doesn't stop me from wanting it under my own eyes... I can't decide if I am really willing to risk puffiness to get rid of sunkenness.... hmmmm....
 

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Oh, and I am not trying to contradict myself in my own blog, lol! I re-read my first post and realize that some thigns aren't clear, so to clarify:
my workout routine at home consists of:

The Hundred ( a pilates stomach exercise)

wide leg squats (but I get really lazy about these, probably why I am concerned about cellulite)

the overhead arm clapper (this one is from the military, you just clap your arms over your head 50 times, and it maintains muscle tone and strength)

and a yoga video by Rodney Yee titled AM Yoga...

my new routine, since my apartment complex was nice enough to buy all new gym equipment and re-decorate and totally improve our gym, is to go and do at least 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week, as well as a round of whatever weights they have set up there...

And, I said my dream date was in LA, and then magically in my next blog it was moved to Detroit... he is from Detroit, and was supposed to be in LA for our meeting, but his schedule got messed up so he bought me a plane ticket and told me to come out there instead...

hope that clarifies any and all questions....
 

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Good stuff.

Interesting pics you got online.

Looks like things are definately getting better for you since your ex.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, so my skin is looking amazing right now, and I think I finally figured out a product that works.
I went to Boston over the weekend, and when I left Fresno my skin was disastrous. I had another date with my boyfriend, and I almost cancelled because my skin was not looking good.
I broke down and had a facial a week before my trip, and my skin improved for a day, then went straight back to just as bad as it was before. I was beginning to think the water in my shower was causing the problems, and I was already looking into filters and softeners and whatever else, but the cost and the recurring costs of those things are pretty steep, and I wasn't sure I would be able to afford to replace the filters as often as necessary, and well, if I couldn't then it probably wouldn't be worth it, plus I shower more than most people, and I like the water hot, I just couldn't picture a filter really keeping up.
So, I got to Boston and by the first afternoon my skin was waaaaaaay better!! All the infected little spots were healing, there were no new spots coming up, my skin was miraculously transformed all of a sudden.
By day two my skin was looking so good I didn't even need makeup, and that is saying a lot!

I couldn't figure out what was making my skin change so dramatically. I had left all of my normal cleansers (the Body Shop Tea Tree Oil products recommended in Freddie's blog) at home, and really was just using the hotel soap on my skin. I assumed it must be the water in Boston, or the air, but whatever it was I was just happy my skin looked so good and wishing I could take the water and air home with me!

Well, then something hilarious happened. The housekeeping staff screwed up and didn't clean our room. I was out sightseeing in Salem, and my boyfriend got back to the room and threw a fit. He actually got kicked out of the hotel. How does this affect my skin you ask?
We got a new room at a different hotel, and suddenly my skin started to break out again.
Ok, it wasn't the air, and it probably wasn't the water as both hotels were right next door to each other. That really only left the soap.

The hotel we were in was really nice, and their soap was all Aveda. I had been using the Aveda refreshing bath bar while I was there.
I came home and immediately went straight to Aveda to get that bar of soap.
$10 and two days later, and my skin is clear again!!!!!
No toner, no moisturizer, no makeup, just beautiful smooth clear skin. My rough cheek is gone, the bumps under my jaw line are nearly gone, and my skin is smoother and tighter too. I would never have believed a simple bar of soap could make such a difference!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh, and just as a side note, the new hotel had soap from Italy, by a company called Poggesi. It was also a very nice and good smelling soap, but it just didn't have the same effect at all!
 
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