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Aurora, and skin care update

Last night there was supposedly a huge amount of geomagnetic activity due to solar flares, and the Spaceweather site said, "AURORA ALERT: if it is dark where you live, go outside now!" So Steve and I jumped in the car at 9 pm and went zooming around like storm chasers, trying to find SOMEWHERE in the Seattle area where it wasn't cloudy. We failed. V. disappointing. But, Spaceweather says there could be more tonight, so watch the skies.

Many months ago I asked you for recommendations on the great triumvirate of skin care (cleanser, toner, moisturizer) for sensitive/oily/breakout-prone skin. I have tried a few different things since then, but have settled into a set I think I can live with. Cetaphil or Dove Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin have worked fine as cleansers. The Dove bar in particular has been great in that it lasts forever, and costs virtually nothing. Never thought I'd like a bar of soap for my face, but it really leaves my face feeling nice and clean.

For the moisturizer, I've settled on Neutrogena Skin Clearing Moisturizer, with salicylic acid and retinol. Benzoyl peroxide, as an acne fighter--the active ingredient in Proactiv and many others--was peeling and drying my skin too much, and bleaching any cloth it touched in the bargain. Salicylic acid does not bleach, and is in low enough concentration in this mix to keep it from drying out my skin.

But the real money product, which I recommend enthusiastically to anyone, is plain old pure tea tree oil. I've been using it as a toner, dabbing a tiny bit onto a wet cotton ball (to dilute it--that stuff is strong!) and applying it between cleaning and moisturizing. My face, for the first time since puberty, has not been getting shiny by the end of the day; which is interesting, considering I'm actually putting oil onto it. But tea tree oil is not your average oil. It is a natural antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agent. You can treat pretty much any infection on the exterior of your body with this stuff--cuts, scrapes, poison oak, athlete's foot, supposedly even yeast infections (!). Some people complain of the smell, which is sort of like eucalyptus and turpentine, but I actually like it; and anyway, the vapors vanish after a few minutes.

I do still get breakouts, yes, but they're fewer and less serious; and they heal faster. The little myriad bumps on my forehead, brought about by Proactiv, are gone. The tingle of the tea tree oil gives me a nice glow. All hail the weird little Australian tree!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2004 02:27 am (UTC)
I'm on the east coast, but I saw the sky last night. It was absolutely amazing. I tried to take pictures, but they didn't come out. So ... umm ... *sympathetic hugs*
Nov. 11th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC)
Hehe...well, I'm glad someone got to enjoy them! There are other photos people took on Spaceweather.com. Very amazing. Must see them firsthand someday, though...I've heard the way they move is really the cool part.
Nov. 11th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC)
the smelly stuff works!
I have tried just about everything from Retin-A Micro to Proactive to EpiClear. Tea tree or Melaluca oil definitely does the job. I'm still not sure about toners though. I tried Burts Bee's tomato toner but I think it irritates my skin. Neutrogena clear pore toner is what I've been using lately, but the high alcohol content stings (which is confusing because I thought that you weren't supposed to use alcohol.)
Proactive is dangerous stuff -- I have many bleached out spots on my towels from it.
Lately, Eucerine pore purifying wash seems to be doing a good job as far as a cleanser goes.
I tend to be a product whore and am not very consistent, which probably makes things worse.
Nov. 11th, 2004 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: the smelly stuff works!
Yeah, I've read you're supposed to stick with one product for at least a couple months in order to let your skin adjust to it. I have the same impatience/product-whore problem, though.

Have also heard alcohol is a bad idea - dries out the skin too much. I think once in a while it's good for a serious cleaning, though.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 11th, 2004 06:11 pm (UTC)
Indeed, nothing is going to work for everyone. Chemistries vary too much. I think Proactiv was too much medicine for me, but for other people it's apparently a godsend.
Nov. 11th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)
Tea tree oil is good. My face is weird, though - if I use anything for more than a month or so, my skin seems to become immune to it!
Nov. 12th, 2004 05:47 am (UTC)
I'm using Proactiv right now, but it's seriously drying my face out. I use the Proactiv moisturizing lotion, and when that soaks in, I have to put on some Ponds dry face moisturizer or else my skin will look/feel like sandpaper. Proactiv is helping my breakouts, but I feel like I've gotten a too-tight facelift after I use it!

After that stuff runs out, I'm definitely going to try the tea tree oil. Thanks for the helpful tips!
Nov. 13th, 2004 03:48 pm (UTC)
tea tree oil shampoo/conditioner helps with my scalp psoriasis. I use it to break up my Neutrogena T-Gel regimen.

also, I'm with you: I think the scent is pretty interesting.
Nov. 14th, 2004 01:00 pm (UTC)
Haha, I live in Australia and I have a tea tree out in the yard, and it seems I haven't been paying it the respect it's due.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )