Dealing With Period Skin

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Basically periods suck all around. I think the only benefit I ever saw from having one was freshman year gym class when I didn’t have to swim for that week.

On top of the many things that I dislike about my period my skin falls within the top 3.

I used to think that hormones only effected your skin right around your period but I have come to the conclusion that I can tell where I am at in my cycle based on what my skin is doing. Generally around the time of my period is my least favorite stage.

2 weeks before: My skin starts to break out just a little bit. Usually just a couple little pimples in the really sensitive areas of my face like the crease of my nose or my hairline.

2-3 days before: My skin starts to get really dry. It gets to the point where it burns to put on moisturizer and is constantly flaking and getting red. The worst areas for me during this time are right around my mouth and right next to my eyes along my cheekbones.

During: I don’t really have any complaints about my skin during my period. This might be the one time that I feel like its not getting too oily or dry and my breakouts have cleared up for a bit.

As far as tips for dealing with trouble skin during different times of your cycle here is what I do:

For oily days: On the days when my skin is more oily I still use moisturizer but I go for a more water based moisturizer. My go to has been the Simple Hydro-Boost moisturizer. I also am pretty adamant about drinking lots of water.

For makeup on these days I use the Maybelline Fit Me foundation and the Flower setting powder. I also make sure that I carry setting powder around with me so that when my skin gets a bit more oily during the day.

For dry days: On days when my skin is dry and flakey I don’t tend to wear a lot of makeup because it flakes off. I still use the same Soap and Glory face wash during these days. It is a bit more drying but it seems that if I change my face wash it only makes it worse.

I make sure that I use the Loreal Skin Active moisturizer over my whole face and an oil based skin serum around my eyes and mouth where my skin is the flakiest.

For breakout days: I have a lot less breakouts now that I’m on these prescriptions but on the days when I have a few more trouble spots the Tarte Shape Tape is my best friend. I do the normal skincare routine but when I do my makeup I make sure that I use some color correction with the Shape Tape on top of trouble spots.

 

Let me know what you guys do to help your skin for your period and the best tips and tricks you have for different parts of your cycle.

 

Dying My Hair!

So I have wanted to dye my hair for a while and I am finally going to do it in a couple weeks. I know that when my hair is colored it will take a lot more maintenance but right now I want to make sure that my hair is as healthy as it possibly can be as to not cause more damage than normal.

I’ve already talked in a previous post about what I do to care for my hair and now that I am getting ready to color it I want to make sure that its extra healthy.

I still use the same Herbal Essences Rose Hips Shampoo for washing my hair. I stick with my schedule of washing every other day or every two days depending on how much I sweat when I work out. (Also it’s summer so that is a bit more often.)

I also started using a new Coconut Water conditioner. It is the Renpure Professional Coconut Water Hydrating Conditioner. I am in love with the way this smells, first of all. When I first used it I didn’t think that it would be that great because it isn’t as thick as other conditioners I’ve used.

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I was definitely pleasantly surprised by it. My dead ends feel hydrated and healthy and it doesn’t leave any gross residue. Overall 10/10 would recommend for any dry or damaged hair.

The other thing I use more often is hair treatments. These I do pretty often and I love to try some new ones. My go to is the OGX Renewing + Argon Oil of Morocco Intense Moisturizing Treatment. I have been in love with this product for a long time and I SWEAR BY IT. It makes my hair so silky soft and it feels so healthy. I think the best thing is that it smells great and works even better. I will put this on after the shower and put my hair all up in a clip to let it soak in and then rinse it with lukewarm water.

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The other new thing that I have been trying is hair masks. Some of them I have found are really great and some of them are just so-so.

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(Sorry these are all in plastic bags I just never use the whole package all at once.)

Over the past couple weeks I have been trying three different ones: HI-PRO-PAC Coconut Oil & African Shea Butter, Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Blooming Strength and Shine 2 Minute Magic Masque, and the Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Complex, Nourish & Silken Treatment Masque w/ Date Palm & Camelia Extracts.

I like using each of these for different reasons so I use them interchangeably. The HI-PAC-PRO makes my hair really soft and it smells so good. My hair feels thicker and it feels healthy.

The Love Beauty and Planet one is one of the best smelling products I have ever used. I seriously cannot get enough of it. It makes my hair really shiny and it adds some much needed nutrients that make my hair feel better for days after using it.

The Shea Moisture one is probably my least favorite only because it is really heavy. My hair doesn’t feel flowy the next day and it gets really oily really fast after using it.

Once I color my hair, my routine will definitely change so keep your eye out for my post about it!

Let me know what you guys do to help prep your hair for color and what you do to care for it after it’s colored.

Full Face of Makeup: What I do and How I do it

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On a day-to-day basis I don’t wear a full face of makeup. This is mostly due to the fact that I work at 8 am and I like sleeping in almost as much as I like Chris (my fiance).

However, I do love doing a full face of makeup. I think its so fun and creative. So, here is what I do and how I do it.

(This is also going to be a really long post so sorry about that.)

The first step for me is always primer. For primer I use the Milani Prime Perfection. I like the way this makes my skin feel and its great for my makeup to go on. I don’t feel like it makes it too oily or dry. The consistency is a bit like sunscreen but it helps set my skin up for foundation really well.

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My next thing is always eye primer. I use a tinted primer because for me I think it makes my shadow look really good as well as makes it stay in place really well. I use the Ulta Beauty Tinted Primer in Satin Blush. This is a really creamy formula but I think sometimes I don’t even need to put on shadow because I love the color so much.

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Next I do color correction. Because I have some red pigmentation on my skin from acne scarring I use green color correction to offset it. I use the Maybelline New York Coverstick Corrector Concealer. It goes on really well and I feel like it has a really good balance of color that covers my pigmentation.

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Then I color in my brows. My eyebrows are basically non existent until I put them there so this is probably my favorite step. I use the No. 7 Beautiful Eyebrow Pencil. I have used this forever and I absolutely love it. Pencils are definitely my favorite way to color by brows in because I have never had much luck with powders or gels.

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Than I start with eyes. For my shadow I use an Ulta Beauty brand pallet I got for free a little while ago. Since this is a sample size instead of a normal one I don’t know exactly the palette is called. It has some great colors in it and you can definitely tell that it has been well loved.

The eyeliner I am currently using is the NYX Skinny Eye Marker. I love that NYX has such a wide variety of sizes and styles for liner. This one is the only one I have tried so far but I love it.

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For mascara my go to is usually the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara but right now I am loving the Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Mascara for my top lashes and the Sonia Kashuk mascara for my bottom lashes. The Maybelline mascara makes my lashes look so big and full and long and is definitely a more affordable mascara option.

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Next is foundation. This one is a little trickier to nail down because I use something different depending on the time of year. Right now I use a combination of the Flower Cosmetics Light Illusion Foundation and the NYX Total control drop foundation. I combine these two mostly because one is a bit too light and the other is a bit too dark. I like the way they go on and I love the way they last all day. The Flower Foundation is a really light coverage foundation but it feels really good. It doesn’t feel heavy and it doesn’t end up looking cakey on my skin.

Other foundations that I like to use are the Maybelline Fit Me as well as the Rimmel 25 Hour wear foundation. Both of these I like for different reasons but I definitely always have a bottle in my makeup bag.

After foundation comes concealer. I apply concealer under my eyes, down my nose, and on the scarring on my cheeks. My staple concealer is the Tarte Shape Tape. I have talked about this a lot before but it is still hands-down my favorite.

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Then I do contour. I use the Flower Lift & Sculpt Contour Kit. I apply highlight down my nose, on my cheekbones, and a touch on my chin. I contour under my cheekbones, the sides of my nose, and on my forehead. I love how pigmented these are and how well they go on over foundation.

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For setting powder I use the Flower Miracle Matte Universal Finishing Powder. I have used colored finishing powders but I think I like the translucent ones the best. It helps my makeup stay in place all day and it helps my skin to look extra flawless.

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Lip color is by far my favorite part of makeup. I have too many colors to count but I’ll just share a few of my current faves. There is the NYX Lip Lingerie in the color Exotic, the Ulta Beauty Lasting Lip Color in the color Crown, Ulta Beauty Matte Lip Cream in the color Stirring, and the Ulta Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in the color Engagement.

The final and last step of this whole process is setting spray. While the Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray will always be my favorite I am currently trying out the Flower Seal the Deal Matte Finish Setting Spray. I honestly don’t know if this is any better or worse but it smells so good that I almost don’t care.

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So this is the basics of my makeup routine. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts that go into a little more detail about how I do it and how I change it up. Also, let me know what your favorite products are and what order you do your makeup in!

Sephora vs. Ulta Beauty

For me the two biggest stores for beauty and makeup have been Ulta and Sephora. I have spent all my life living in California and Idaho and these were always the stores available to me for higher end makeup.

Sephora

Pros:

I have always liked that Sephora is very centered on makeup. They carry a lot of really great brands that I don’t find anywhere else. I love that they cary brands like NARS and Kat Von D and Fenty that aren’t available in many other stores.

I think the sales representatives are also really knowledgable. They know the products really well and can generally suggest something for whatever random suggestion I happen to come in with.

Cons:

Personally, for as many good experiences as I have at Sephora I think I have just as many bad ones. Whether it be a rude sales representative, the products not being in stock, or not having a product I’m looking for. Some of their selection seems to be limited even though they carry many brands.

Ulta Beauty

Pros:

I like that Ulta is centered around general beauty. I like that they carry everything that you need beauty related. I like that you can really start from the bottom up and build your way up. Like i like that you can start with face wash and work all the way to setting spray. I like that there is such a wide variety of skincare items and beauty tools. For me this makes it a really great store.

Sometimes I do struggle with the fact that they don’t carry a lot of the higher end brands but this also keeps me from spending my entire paycheck all at once so maybe it isn’t really that bad of a thing. They carry almost all of my favorite brands and they also have a lot of other drugstore brands that I love like NYX that I don’t find in a lot of other stores.

I also LOVE the small samples that are next to the checkout stand.

Cons:

Some of my favorite brands like Kat Von D and NARS aren’t carried here. I don’t really have any other complaints here.

Conclusion:

I think that for me I am more willing to go to Ulta but Sephora still hold a very special and very large place in my heart. I see so many great things about both of these stores and I love that they are a little different. With my wedding coming up (92 days!!!) I am looking for some good makeup and trying to get a really good routine down for myself so that I don’t have to pay anyone else to do it.

Let me know what stores you guys shop at and where you but your beauty products!

Some Products are Worth the Splurge

I am 100% for beauty on a budget. There are a lot of drug store brands that just seem to get it when it comes to beauty products.

However, some items there just aren’t replacements for. Most of these products you can find a pretty good replacement for but it still doesn’t perform at quite the same level as higher end products. These are a few of the products that I really love (and can justify splurging on.)

  1. Better Than Sex Mascara – I think that there are definitely some other great mascaras out there, don’t get me wrong. In my experience it takes a lot more coats to get the same effect. With this mascara I spend the least amount of time trying to make sure my lashes aren’t clumped and they still look like I’m wearing fake lashes. I feel like it really stays on all day and it doesn’t flake off. I think the price is worth every cent.
  2. Shape Tape – I don’t know that I have ever tried a concealer that is quite as pigmented as this. If there are days where I am running late, I can dab this on under my eyes and over some problem areas and be ready to head out the door. It also is a great highlight for under my eyes and on the bridge of my nose when I am doing a full face. For me, that definitely constitutes the price.
  3. Primer- For me personally, primer makes all the difference. I don’t really have a specific product in mind because there are such different kinds of skin. I use a Two Faced primer because I feel like it holds my makeup in place really well and it helps the texture of my skin to be closer to the matte that I like. Honestly, finding a good primer that compliments your skin type is really key.

Also, if you don’t like to splurge on things without being sure then try out places like Sephora that will give you samples of what you’re looking for before you commit to the price. (I just learned today that Sephora gives samples so my life is forever changed.)

As far as a few other things that I will occasionally splurge on there aren’t many. Sometimes I will treat myself with a really nice face wash or a great moisturizer but for the most part I enjoy the hunt for beauty on a budget.

Haircare- Practices and Products

IMG_0519I have always had long hair. (Except the one time in second grade when I thought that I could cut my own hair and I ended up looking like a pre-pubescent boy but we don’t talk about that.) But for the most part I have always had long hair which means that I have 20 years of knowledge that I want to share.

Fair Warning: This will be a rather long post because for some reason I am just really passionate about haircare.

As far as haircare practices go I think that there are a few basic ones that have definitely made a difference for me.

  1. Don’t wash your hair everyday. I feel like this is a pretty common practice and it helps your hair to be able to retain natural oils and keep itself healthy. I generally go for every two days or every other day depending on the weather and my skin condition. I also take time to brush my hair with a really fine-tooth comb on the days that I don’t wash it. This helps to distribute the natural oils in my hair and make it a lot more shiny and soft. I notice that when I do this my hair feels a lot healthier.
  2. Condition your hair every time you shampoo it. You know those expandable pokey balls that kids play with? That’s what my hair ends up looking like if I shampoo it without conditioning it. Shampoo tends to strip hair of the natural oils so if you take them out then you have to put them back in. My hair gets greasy pretty quickly so I just condition the ends of my hair in the shower. (If your hair is already replacing the oils at the rate it needs then why should you use the extra conditioner?)
  3. Avoid using heat as much as possible. I only curl my hair once every few months and I don’t blow dry it at all. I have really long hair so the less damage I do to it the longer it will get instead of breaking off. I know that there are products that can help combat the damage that heat can do but in my personal experience the less you use the better. I also think that people’s natural hair texture looks so good on them!
  4. Deep conditioning can be your best friend. Treat yo self! Sometimes you need to treat yourself with a great hair mask, a good deep condition, or a hot oil treatment. Whatever it is, your hair will thank you for doing it.

As far as products go, I am going to recommend a few brands more so than specific products. I am all for beauty on a budget so all of these are brands you can get at Walmart (or your local drugstore) for relatively cheap.  Everyone has such different types of hair that its hard to just do one product. My hair isn’t particularly thick or thin but it is pretty long. It gets greasy pretty quickly and I have not dyed it since the “Scene Kid Phase” my sophomore year of high school 5 years ago. So here goes my list:

  1. OGX. I have really loved every product I have tried from OGX. It makes my hair seem so soft and so clean and so healthy. My personal favorite is the Argon Oil of Morocco line. I think that the search for a deep conditioner stops here. It smells absolutely AMAZING and nothing makes my hair feel better and more healthy. I use it 2-3 times a week and I definitely notice a difference in how soft and silky my hair is.
  2. Pantene: I think that this is one of my favorite conditioner brands. It always smells good and leaves my hair feeling really healthy. Any time I use heat on my hair I always reach for this more than I reach for other products because I feel like it nourishes my hair a lot more.
  3. Garnier Fructis: Honestly, this product is mostly on my list because I am in love with the way it smells. I usually stick to the naturals line because I can smell it on my hair all day long. The products in the naturals line have ingredients that are more natural (no surprise) and more nourishing for our hair in comparison to the regular line. (I use the Rose Hips one and I always get compliments on how good my hair smells.)
  4. Maui Moisture: This product is VERY aptly named. One thing that I don’t love about this product is the packaging and the fact that the shampoo doesn’t lather very well. For the most part I think that it is really moisturizing and super nourishing for my hair.

There are a few more expensive products that I have used and I liked them but I haven’t noticed a big difference between those and these brands. (At least not enough to justify spending that much on them.) I try to take especially good care of my hair so I am always on the lookout for new brands and products to try!

Skincare update: What I’m using and what I’m loving

So I realized that I have been neglecting writing about my skincare and how things have changed since I started that using the prescriptions that I have. Right now I am using Adapalene and Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzol Peroxide gels as well as a pill that I take twice a day.C3A2oCyhRhOVK8SkTp9yig These have been helping a lot with the scaring on my skin however…

MY SKIN IS SUCH A WEIRD TEXTURE.

The prescription makes it really dry and my skin tries to overcompensate by producing more oil than it usually does. But my skin still manages to be dry. Please tell me that I am not the only one with this problem.

So what I have been doing to help combat this has been a lot of trial and error. I have used the Noxzema Classic Clean face wash for a long time and I still swear by it.

However, now that my skin is dryer it is a bit too harsh. I have since switched to the Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash and I have seen a lot of improvements. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about it and here is my opinion. It smells amazing and it makes my skin feel so clean. The scarring is also going away slowly. (So so slowly.) L6IzhZhGR8aAoTV6nt8AmQ

I have also been using the Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupacu Daily Defense Moisturizer with Passiflora & Pistachio Oils and I really like it. This stuff smells AMAZING. It smells like sweet and fresh and clean and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t soak in as quickly as other moisturizers but I feel like it leaves my skin moisturized much longer. I tend to use this more at night and in the morning I use the Neutrogina Pink Grapefruit moisturizer.

As far as other skin products I use I tend to keep it pretty limited. Every once in a while I’ll use a face mask and my favorites tend to be the Body Shop Green Tea Skin Clearing Clay mask and the Garnier Charchol Clay mask. I think that when I need a little more moisture in my skin and I want to treat myself I’ll put one on and rinse it off with warm water. I love how natural smelling the Body Shop face mask smells. I think that it is so refreshing and leaves my skin so soft and glowy (if thats a word).

Another product I use is the Biore Charcoal Pore Strips. My nose is very prone to blackheads so when I am having a bad skin day I’ll put one on and its kind of fascinating to see all the blackheads on the dry strip. Maybe that sounds kind of gross (and it is) but its also kind of satisfying.

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As far as skin serums I have only ever used the mon amie Rose and Collagen Face Serum. This serum I only use at night when my skin is in desperate need of some moisture. It definitely smells very rose-like and it leaves my skin so healthy. It is a very heavy moisturizer so I don’t use it very often.

While I am on the topic I also want to share my favorite moisturizers for the rest of my body. As far as body wash I can’t say that I have found one that really amazes me but I absolutely love the Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe lotion. I have never found another lotion that leaves my skin so soft and is so lightweight. I generally don’t like moisturizers that I use daily to be very oily because then I feel like I leave little oil handprints everywhere I go.

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However, two or three times a week I will use the Johnson’s Aloe & Vitamin E Baby Oil Gel. I use this as soon as I get out of the shower on my legs and feet and then I wear sweats and socks to bed so that it doesn’t rub all over my sheets all night. This leaves my skin so so so soft and I love using it.

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These are the products that I am using and loving right now and these definitely change and I will be updating as that happens!

Beauty on a Budget

There are tons of beauty blogs to tell you about the best of the high end makeup rands but I don’t often see any on more affordable makeup so I’m here to help.

Don’t get me wrong I love my high end makeup and I still splurge at Sephora or Ulta more often than I like to admit. I also realize that there is a need for more affordable makeup products as well.

I would like to think that this goes along with my skincare journey (you can read more about my skincare adventures here) and finding new products and reviewing some old ones that have been favorites of mine will be really fun. For this particular post I want to focus on foundation and concealer.

Disclaimer: I am definitely not a makeup expert or a professional. These are my personal opinions and experiences.

My skin right now is in a weird limbo where the prescription I’m on is making it really dry and patchy but my skin is usually a touch on the oily side.

Foundation:

  1. Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25 hour wear liquid foundation.

This product I have repurchased again and again. It has really good coverage and I feel like the rest of my makeup goes on really well on top of it. It is a heavier foundation and it is definitely full coverage.

2. Neutrogena Skin Clearing Liquid Makeup

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I used this product a lot in high school and i purchased it quite a few times. The coverage was much lighter but it was nice for going throughout my day and knowing that my skin looked natural and clean.

3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation 

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I’m not going to lie, this is not my favorite foundation. There is currently a bottle in my makeup bag and I dread using it. The coverage is very light and it seems to dry my skin out more than anything. If you are looking for a light foundation then this product is definitely for you. It did not fit my personal preference but that is totally just me.

4. NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

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I know this foundation may not fall directly into the drugstore brand but I don’t think it falls specifically into the high end part either. I really like this foundation so far. I was really hesitant about a drop foundation but I think it has been one of my favorites.

Concealer:

  1. Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free + Balance Stick Foundation

 

I bought this concealer a lot but I feel like it was more out of habit than because I was in love with it. The coverage was good and it blended into my makeup pretty well but the coverage wasn’t phenomenal. I feel like there was definitely room for improvement but overall it was pretty good.

      2. e.l.f Concealer

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My biggest struggle with this concealer was that the light color was too dark for me. I think it was pretty pigmented, it blended relatively well, and the coverage was pretty good. For the price I feel like it really isn’t a bad concealer.

      3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer

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This concealer has been one of my favorites. The coverage wasn’t as much as others that I have tried but I feel like my skin really liked it and it blended really well. I also feel like it was a pretty good at staying in place all day.

 

Overall I think that you can get some really good products for some really good prices. These are a few that I have tried and my personal experiences with them and even if I didn’t love them they might be exactly what someone else is looking for.

P.S I went to Walmart at 10:30 p.m to take pics of these products with Chris so shoutout to him for putting up with me.

Skincare

Another goal I have before the wedding is having better skin. My skin is bad to say the least. I have a lot of scarring and marks on my skin that make it really hard to convince myself to leave my apartment without makeup when it feels like I’m walking into a sea of porcelain-skin-beauties.

Over the past year since my skin started to get bad I have tried just about every home remedy and well-known skin tip known to man so I finally decided to go to a Dermatologist and see what could be done.

I went to Alpine Dermatology here in Rexburg and they were so nice to me. They explained all my options thoroughly and answered all of my questions. We came to the conclusion that I would be prescribed two creams and a pill and in two months there would be a follow up appointment to see how things were going.

I was warned that it would make my skin really dry for the first two weeks and if I could make it through that then I should start to see some improvement in my skin.

I really underestimated just how dry it would get. The first few days were a little more dry than normal but nothing too bad and I was thinking, I got this. My skin will be clear and I can move on.

It definitely wasn’t that simple. Last night I took my pill at dinner and then I washed my face and put on my creams and then my moisturizer and then my skin started burning.

Now I have gotten tattoos in some of the most painful places and I have also had my belly button pierced and this was more painful than both of those combined.

My skin turned red and burned and the only thing that seemed to offer any solace was putting a cold washcloth on my face.

After a couple hours it subsided enough for me to lay down and I discovered that if I kept my window open then the breeze cooled the burning enough for me to get some sleep.

This morning I slept most of the day so I skipped my morning pill (oops) and the only thing I have done to my skin is rubbed some rose and collagen serum on it which seems to be helping with the moisture problem.

Sorry for the long story but as far as a rocky start to my “better skin journey” I think this was pretty good.