Skin Deep: Facial Freakouts and Beauty Countdowns

I’ve written before about how vain I’ve become since planning a wedding, all in the name of looking my best on the wedding day. Lately, I’ve taken that in weird directions – like, growing out my eyebrows because I’d like to get them professionally shaped and waxed a few times before the wedding. I feel weird, like people are going to start asking me if I’m OK. I mean, things are getting hairy up there.

Image via Flickr use Julie70

But I digress. I’ve struggled with cystic acne in my past, and had finally, finally landed upon a skin care routine that worked. Is my skin perfect? Definitely not. Do I break out anymore? Rarely, if ever, and never for more than a day or two. For somebody with such a long history of dermatological heartache, this is a bigBIGbig deal. But then, I started to pick on myself, examining acne scars on my forehead and cheek, dullness here and there, and blackheads around my nose and on my chin. I felt I could look better. I wanted that natural bridal glow.

I took a trip to my local Origins three months ago to buy some magical products that would give me perfect, porcelain Barbie skin. I told the sales consultant I was planning a wedding. I walked out about $150 poorer. Some of the things are definitely keepers – like the Purifying Tonic. I’d also go back and buy the Out of Trouble Mask they gave me samples of.

Image via Origins

Image via Origins

But the rest was just… meh. I got the Skin Tone Correcting Serum and the brightening peel pads from the Brighter by Nature line. They didn’t do any harm, but after two solid months, I didn’t see a difference. And then there was the VitaZing tinted moisturizer, which was… yuck. Grease city.

So what did I do, hive, 2.5 months before our wedding? I decided to switch things up. Yeaaaaap. Because I’m soooo good at that. And because that’s sooooo recommended that close to your wedding.*

I bought some St. Ives Naturally Clean Apricot Scrub after reading rave reviews, and used it every other night, as recommended. I noticed my blackheads shrinking! Yay! So, following my lifelong philosophy of, “Some is good, more is better,” I really went over the deep end. I stopped using the Brighter by Nature products and upped the St. Ives stuff to every day, sometimes twice a day. I lost all sense and started using my old standby, Differin acne gel, just to totally clear out some whiteheads. And then I did my twice-weekly mask on top of it all — and the next day, it was scab city.

Seriously, chicas: My skin FREAKED THE #@!& OUT. I didn’t have pimples — they were more like hives, or like very dry, flaky mosquito bites. When I put my toner on, it burned – not tingled — but burned. Clearly, my skin hated me so much it was going to explode right off my face and run away.

So, I’ve adopted a new philosophy: Naked skin. No superfluous makeup besides my mineral powder and blush – no primer, no illuminator. Closer to the wedding, I just may follow Mrs. Dolphin’s cue and go totally bare faced. This is a really bold move on this part. We’ll see.

Next, I’m only using the products I know work for me, and in the combination I know they work best – Purpose face wash twice daily, Origins Purifying Tonic twice daily, Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion in the mornings, a little Differin all over if things start getting crazy. And no more drying stuff on top of drying stuff.

That, along with the buckets of water and green tea I’ve been drinking, has significantly calmed things down in the past three days. It’s a big relief not having to play junior chemist for now, and knowing that I’ll have that bridal glow with no more *fingers*crossed* red meanies.

Did you have any worrisome flareups as you got closer to the wedding day? What was — or is — your plan to keep up that glow in the final few months?

*Please, I’m being sarcastic. This is totally not recommended. 

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