To save you time, yes I would recommend this product line 100 times over. My face and my life are forever changed.
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My condition started I think in July of 2012 when I sat out in the Louisiana sun for a 4th of July BBQ/Family Shindig. I was pregnant with my daughter and was enjoying my time out in the sun and I put on sunscreen but I sweat it off my face and did not reapply. I never had to be vigilant with sunscreen before in my life because I am naturally so tan so I didn't think to reapply. This is where my melasma sprouted and eventually grew over the years.
After having my daughter, I got on "the shot" or Depo-Provera simply for the convenience. Birth control that you don't have to remember to take every day...why, yes I'll take that! Well, I didn't know that my body would react to the shot the way it did. I have never been acne prone. I have had a pimple or two and then I would pop it (I know, I am not supposed to do that but I did) and it would heal in 1-2 days. Easy Peasy. Not these bad boys. I started getting pimples and boils that would never go away no matter what I tried. I again thought that if I popped them, in a few days they would go away. Nope, they just got worse.
I learned that I had cystic acne on top of my melasma. Great.... Little did I know that it would take years to figure out how to treat it and almost eliminate it. Now, let me remind you that I have no medical degree and I am not a dermatologist. Not even close. I am just a 30-something girl who figured out a few things along the way and I am sharing those things with you so maybe you can benefit from them too.
Melasma is a tricky devil. You never really get rid of it. It is always there waiting to come out with any sort of sunlight or heat that is applied to your face OR your body. So although you might lighten it, all it takes is a little bit of sunlight for it to erase all your hard work you did lightening it. That's what makes sunscreen so imperative. Also, your birth control could factor into how dark your melasma is. At least in my body, that is how it affected my face.
Cystic Acne is a complete and total bitch. There are so many factors...bacteria from your hands, makeup that you didn't really wash off your face that you slept in, bacteria on your makeup brushes, hormonal issues and so much more. But, bacteria I found was my major culprit and makeup that I thought I had washed off but had not. But once a cyst forms it is unbelievably hard to get rid of. Going to the doctor and getting on antibiotics is a great way to fight it from the inside out. But talk with your doctor and see if that's right for you.
What did I try? More like, what didn't I try. For my melasma, I tried Rodan and Fields, Redefine which was wonderful and smelled great. I could see it might would work but, it wasn't cost effective for me at that time so I stopped using it. Aveeno Foaming Wash and Moisturizer, great for the small spots on my face but, mine are very dark and it just didn't cut it. I actually ordered glycolic acid to do my own chemical peels and it didn't really help much at all. I did it but I didn't follow it up with any rejuvenating creams, etc... I also went to a dermatologist. I spent $500 on a visit, their creams and skin pads and creams. It worked until I got out in the sun for a minute but it did not help my acne, only my melasma. I tried Nadionola which has hydroquinone in it. Nadionola didn't work for me because it is in a cream form and I had other areas of my face that were just too moisturized. I tried honey for acne and scarring and that worked on one part of my face but not on another part. I tried tea tree oil. I tried straight isopropyl alcohol directly on a cotton ball directly on the acne to dry it out. I tried Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion with their face wash. Nothing was really helping in either area, cystic acne or melasma until I visited family in July 2017.
My family and I went to visit my sister and her family in Richmond, Tx for my birthday weekend in July 2017. We commandeered my nephew's bathroom for the night and I forgot my face wash and found his Oxy Max Wash. I used it that night and by the next day I could sense my cystic acne areas drying up. By the following day I had went out and bought some for myself. By the end of the week, I could feel and see a dramatic difference in my cystic acne. I added a few things to my regimen. I start with a micellar wash if I'm in the shower or a micellar water with a cotton pad to get all the makeup off. Then, I put Oxy Max Wash on a Buf-Puf or a white facial sponge to exfoliate and clean my face. Once done, I put Thayer's Witch Hazel to tone/astringe my whole face. And that is just for the cystic acne. But I realized that I wanted to tackle my melasma. I am super self-conscious about it and I wanted to change that.
I took my issue to Ulta to see what they had in store. The super nice exuviance guy was there and gave me two free facials. They worked. Like seriously worked. I had a little cystic acne flare up and it dried one area that was fairly superficial in one use. I couldn't believe it. But, I didn't see many reviews that said their products helped severe melasma people like myself so, I went on Amazon. I thought it would be a shot in the freaking dark if something worked. But, y'all it did.
I sat there and researched and searched for melasma treatment. I found this Admire the Skin line. I read the reviews and viewed the videos. I got the Serum, Retinoid Cream and Moisturizer. I knew it might be great so I kept a log of my use:
Talk to your doctor about your birth control method. The hormones that you are taking as a part of your pill could be effecting the darkness of your melasma. I noticed a huge difference when I stopped taking my pill but please always check with your doctor. I'm not even close to being a doctor or dermatologist. So, do not confuse my awesome review with one from an actual licensed doctor.
Use a fan or cool setting on a blow dryer to blow on our face when you first start. This will help alleviate the burning sensation. And if everywhere else on your face is dry and stopped tingling and this one area is tingling/burning and looks really aggravated, take a face cloth and run it under cool water and dab that area only to help neutralize the serum.
Use 2 pumps of the yellow retinoid cream at night. It is so worth it!!
Consistency is key. If you are not going to wash your face, don't bother. Also make sure you keep washing your pillow cases as well. Those can absorb oil and bacteria over night and keeping those fresh and cleans allows your face to heal faster without having to be reinfected by old oil and bacteria. If you can, wash them every week. The yellow stuff will end up all over your pillow cover if you aren't careful or even if you are. Steady washing will help alleviate staining.
Everything takes time. Everybody is different. My experience may not be like yours and yours may be better or worse. Give yourself some time to adjust.
Wear Sunscreen. I found that most sting your eyes and I hated that so I found one that specifically does not sting your eyes and is higher than 35 Spf.
So, would I recommend this? Absofreakinloutely! This is a sweet spot between affordability and accessibility.
All of these items can be bought on Amazon below.
- Micellar Water
- or Micellar Water Wash
- Cotton Pads
- Oxy Max Wash
- Admire My Skin Serum
- Admire My Skin Retinoid Cream
- Admire My Skin Moisturizer
- Neutrogena Grapefruit Moisturizer
- Neutrogena Zinc Sunscreen
My makeup regimen has changed somewhat but I have tried so many different brands to cover my melasma. Only a few brands have worked. I'll be working on that post for later.
To me, this product line is a freaking dream come true. For someone who has battled cystic acne and melasma for years and years, I personally want to thank those personally responsible for creating this product because it has changed my face, my confidence and my life. So, admire my skin? Don't mind if I do!
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