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Tag Archives: allergic reaction

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The Progression Of A Skin Care Journey – Part 1

Starting skin care products

Over the years that I have been doing this blog I have shared a lot of things related to skin care and skin health. But there is one thing I realize I have never shared with you, the actually journey from having a full-blown damaged skin from having a reaction to thriving healthy skin.

So after my skin being dried out from air travel on our vacation to being neglected after falling ill, and now I have had a major reaction that has left me with a rash all over my face. I thought this would be the perfect time to not only share my skin care journey with you, but also show you how much of a difference each product you add to your skin care routine can make in the way your skin looks and feels.

Here is how I want to go about this. I have taken pictures that of how my skin looks now. You can see that below. I am starting out with the three products I consider to the basic necessities of my skin care routine. For me the three things I always have to have is a some sort of an exfoliator, a cleanser, and a moisturizer. After three days I will take a new picture of where my skin is at, and I will add an additional product. I will keep this process going in three-day increments until I am using 9 products for a full Korean skin care regimen. (I originally planned on seven, but I thought why not do a full 9 step routine to show people what that looks like and what a difference it makes.) At the very end I will show you all what the side beside pictures of beginning and end look like.

Before we talk about the exact products I started with, lets take a look at where I am starting with my skin.

the start of my skin care journey

You can only see tiny bits of the problems in this full face picture, so I am also going to share a couple of closeups.

closeup of my forehead and nose

The lighting is bad in my house, so this isn’t too much better, but you can see more. If you look around my brows and on my eye lids next to my lashes you can see areas that look like dry flaky skin. That is one of the many things that happen with my allergic dermatitis, and from what I understand it is very common for anyone with a Balsam of Peru allergy. My skin is also very dehydrated and you can see that along my cheeks, both in this picture and the next.

Closeup of my chin and cheeks

In this picture you can see better where I really feel the majority of the pain from the reactions I have. If you look around the crevice of my nose and the of my chin, you can see a lot of redness and texture. Whenever that happens, those red spots usually feel like they are on fire.

I of course do have other issues with skin care, they just aren’t my first concern. But it is always a bonus if I see improvement with those things as well. In general while I have never suffered from a lot of Acne, I do get blackheads. Mainly I see those in the temple area. I also have some of the earlier signs of aging skin. I have a couple of sun spots, a small wrinkle in my forehead, and loss of firmness. Additionally, my skin can have a tendency to look dull.

Now that we have discussed my skin concerns, lets take a look at the three products I am starting out with.

Starting skin care products

For the first three days I used only these three products:

My exfoliator is the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. I usually by mine at Walgreens, but you can also find it at Amazon.

For my cleanser, i am currently using the Tony Moly Banana Cream Foam Cleanser. I believe I purchased mine from YesStyle (though it is currently not available there), but you can also find it at Amazon and at Riley Rose.

And my moisturizer is the Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour. I typically purchase mine at Sephora, but you can also find it at Ulta and at Amazon.

So the big question is what sort of results did I get after just three days?

skin after three days of three products

You can probably see that I still have some dry flaky patches of skin, especially around my eyebrows and eye lashes. But there has been some improvement. The most noticeable thing for me is that a significant amount of the redness has subsided, and I am not having as much of the allergic reaction symptoms. So not as much of the burning and itching.

If you want to find out what product I add to my routine next, make sure you check back next week. I will be continuing to document the products I use and the progress in my skin.

 

 

 

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Product Review – Free & Clear Shampoo And Conditioner

Free and Clear Shampoo, Medicated Shampoo, and Conditioner

As the title says this is a review for the Free & Clear Shampoo And Conditioner. This is the third in a series of shampoo and conditioner reviews. Make sure to check out my last review on the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing 3-Piece Starter Kit.

This took me a little longer to review as I initially started off with just the original Shampoo and Conditioner which I purchased on Amazon. However, shortly after starting to use this shampoo and conditioner I was walking through my local Walgreens and I noticed they have this line store. And, in addition to the Shampoo and Conditioner I had already purchased, they also had a Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. So I purchased that shampoo and decided to include it in this review.

 

My Hair And Scalp Type

(notice this section will be in every shampoo and conditioner review for reference. This is for convenience so you do not have to look back at earlier posts)

My hair is very thick and coarse. It tends to be very dry, and can turn brittle if I wash it too often or don’t condition it enough. But my hair is reasonably healthy outside of that, as I do not use heat on it very often and I try to take care of it to the best of my ability.

My scalp goes back and forth between dry and oily depending on the time of the year and the products I have used. My biggest struggle with my scalp is from the allergic contact dermatitis caused by my allergy to Balsam of Peru. This causes a dry, scaly, itchy coverage on the scalp that looks a lot like dandruff. I have never been able to get it fully cleared up on my scalp. At its worst, when I have a reaction to something, it also burns and can blister.

 

The Product

Free and Clear Shampoo, Medicated Shampoo, and Conditioner

These are all from the Free & Clear hair care line. As previously mentioned, two of these were purchased on Amazon and one from Walgreen’s. All my product links will be to Amazon because they offer it at a slightly better price.

This brand offers many other personal care and household products. Description from the brand:

Free & Clear shampoo has been specially created for persons who wish to avoid common chemical irritants found in most ordinary skin and hair care products. It is free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, protein, parabens, formaldehyde, and other preservatives.

  • Sulfate-free

  • Betaine-free

  • Gluten-free

Both the original Shampoo and Conditioner come in a 12 fl. oz. size. The Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is available in an 8 fl. oz. size.

 

How It Performed

I had very different experiences with each of these products. I don’t want to lump them all together, so lets talk about each product separately.

I tried the original Shampoo first. And while I think its great that it doesn’t have any fragrance, that was where my love for this shampoo stopped. I suppose it did the job of cleaning, but if anything it did it too well. It seemed to strip my hair from any and all moisture it had. It left my hair feeling very brittle and even after using conditioner my hair was a tangled mess. I can’t feasibly see myself using this again.

So after using the original Shampoo a couple of times I moved on to the Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. This was somewhat better on my hair, but not by much. It seemed like it was slightly less drying, but overall I just didn’t see the benefit of it.

The conditioner I used with both shampoos. This had quite the opposite effect for me. I think I need some pretty concentrated conditioner at times because of my hair type. And with as much as the shampoos seemed to dry my hair out more than usual, you would think I would need something even stronger than the norm. And this was a highly moisturizing shampoo, just a little too much. I never thought I would fins a conditioner than I thought over did it on my hair, but this conditioner from Free & Clear left my hair feeling like a greasy mess. I can’t even imagine who would be able to use this conditioner. It certainly wouldn’t be anyone with thin hair or with my dryness or less.

The Allergy Effect

When it comes to how my allergy behaved with these, I think I went in with high expectations because they are fragrance free. Though, if you have read anything about the Balsam of Peru allergy, then you know that it’s not your typical fragrance allergy. You can react to lots of things.

Both the original shampoo and the conditioner, I don’t believe I had any sort of reaction to it. However my breakout I already had, it didn’t let it clear up either. And I think that as much as the shampoo dried me out, even if the skin on my scalp would have gotten better it would have had flakes from dryness regardless.

And with the Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, I actually think I had an allergic reaction. I am not sure to what. I can just tell you that within a few minutes of using it my scalp was very itchy. I had double the flakes. It just all around was not good for me. I do think its worth giving a try though if you have a different fragrance allergy than me.

 

Final Thoughts

If you have read this all the way through, you probably already know my thoughts are not favorable on these products from Free & Clear. I am sure that these would work for someone out there, I just don’t know who. I think even if I had not had the allergic reaction to the medicated shampoo or if any of them had helped clear up my scalp, I still could not have gotten past the feeling that it was damaging my hair.

 

I would love to hear in the comments if any of you have tried this brand before and if you like it. Have you tried any of the other products? If so do they perform better than the shampoos and conditioner?

 

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What A Mild Contact Dermatitis Reaction Looks Like

In my last post where I talked about my Allergic Contact Dermatitis that you can read here, I promised that if I had a reaction at any point I would share a picture so that you can see what it looks like on me. While testing out some new products I want to talk about during this month I had a mild reaction to one of them. And as promised I cam back to share the pictures. Now the lighting is super great, but if you look close you will be able to see what I am talking about.
2015-04-22 15.55.09If you look closely at my cheeks and my chin you will see some mild redness, and bit of a scaly look. And here are two pictures for a closer look at those areas.

2015-04-22 15.55.02

2015-04-22 15.55.07

This was a very mild reaction compared to what normally happens. I have had bad reactions where redness and scales covered my face. Thankfully I managed to get this mostly calmed down within a couple of days.

 

Look for upcoming posts on:

What my daily skincare routine looks like/what’s safe to use with my allergy

My love of makeup and favorite brands as well as some makeup looks

Outfit post for my costume that I wore to the Steampunk Con

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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