My Skin Improvement Journey

My methods for improving skin quality and health



Your skin is your largest organ and plays a huge part in your appearance! Everyone looks more attractive when they have healthy skin. When there are problems or things about your skin that you don’t like, it can adversely affect your confidence and social interaction. Sure, women can always cover up the things we don’t like with well done makeup… wouldn’t it be great to feel attractive and youthful looking without makeup? There are inexpensive tools that enable us to get great skin improvement and you can do yourself at home.

These are great tools

Having found these tricks and methods through research and hands on experience, I really want to share the things I learned on my skin improvement journey with others. I have become passionate about them, and want to help others to make improvements on the course of their own adventure. They not only improve the health of your skin, but also contribute the improvements that fight the signs of aging! And if that is not already great, the tools for these results are extremely inexpensive as well!

 

How I came to trying these 3 wonderful skin improvement methods (Chemical peel, Dermabrasion, & Collagen Induction Therapy)

Here is my skin issues

Somehow I have inherited a unique combination of traits in my family. I, like my beautiful mother, am showing age on a slower timeline than most people. Time catches up with all of us though, and it started to catch up with me.

The reason that I sought to take this particular journey was because upon reaching puberty, I began a battle with oily skin that started a cycle that was enlarging my pores. This oily skin is probably the very reason that many people in my family look decades younger than our actual age. I knew from visiting my lovely relatives that large pores were an issue later in life for many in my family. Acne battles weren’t much of a problem, surprisingly.

Extremely gentle pore minimizer – alternative to chemical peel

Aloe vera gel is a great pore minimizer that is very gentle. Working as an astringent to tighten pores, it is also well known for being very soothing. It can moisturize and helps to heal. Egg masks are very good for the skin and helps tighten and firm. Aloe and egg make a good combination for a mask.

Before these 3 methods…

I had high sebum production that was hard to manage and filled, as well as enlarged my pores. There were many mistakes along the way that either did nothing, or made my skin issues worse. A really poor choice was using alcohol regularly as an astringent…if you have oily skin, don’t do that. It is very harsh and drying and causes your skin to go into crisis mode where it creates even more oil and you get into a escalated cycle for this issue.

I went to dermatologists who had me use herbal scrubs and retinol creams. The benefits of vitamin A creams are something that I love, but the prescription ones (especially way back then) can turn you extremely red and inflamed, and overall I did not see the improvements that I was seeking. That assistance was also very expensive.

Advantages to these 3 methods

The skin improvement methods covered here are good at getting your skin to restore the collagen that is lost in aging skin. Collagen cannot be absorbed through the skin or ingested in a supplement. The molecules are too large to absorb through your skin. Collagen does not survive the digestive process. I have more in-depth information on all these topics for you to read.

Chemical peels and dermabrasion treatments only remove the top layers of the skin, much of which is just dead skin. The depth is measured in microns… 0.001 of a mm…that is really tiny. A human hair is about 40 to 50 microns thick. Deep skin peels remove about 30 microns. I started with light strength and now use medium strength. Deep peels don’t seem needed in my case.

Special consideration for Salicylic acid…

Salicylic acid is derived from the same source as aspirin. If you are allergic or in any way sensitive to aspirin, you should not use a salicylic acid peel. Both salicylic acid and aspirin come from the bark of a willow tree.

 

Chemical peel (Salicylic acid) – encourages collagen and new skin growth, BEST METHOD FOR REDUCING PORES (besides expensive laser peel), controls acne problems. This will leave your skin less protected, it is important to avoid sun exposure.

Salicylic acid is the best solution for large pores and black head problems. Black head problems result from sebum buildup that gets oxidized and more visible. The salicylic acid can be very effective at controlling acne problems.

Happily, Salicylic acid peels are also effective at reducing acne scars. Although there is all kinds of advice about making your pores less visible, they are temporary solutions. This is the only type of chemical peel method that can truly effectively reduce the pore size.

Combination peels

There are chemical peel mixes that combine other types of chemical peel with the salicylic acid that you might like to try. I found out that salicylic acid peels are hugely improved by having tea tree oil included in them. Every individual is unique and will have their own results. The tea tree oil allows the chemical peel to penetrate into the pore more effectively. It also helps to sooth the skin.

I wish I had tried chemical peels much earlier than I did. It has reduced large pores well for me. The process is not as fast as I would like, but it really works. Like exercise, the benefits take time and effort. There are experts who say that laser treatments are the best method, but those are quite expensive and I have been very happy with my chemical peels.

Advantages

This treatment will induce new cell growth, smooth out skin tone, and reduce wrinkles. It will also remove sun damaged skin. These type of chemical peels are used by physicians to remove cancerous skin. Here is yet another benefit. I found that I developed age spots on the back of my hands when I was around 20 years old. The dermatologist informed me that some people just get them earlier than others and it does not mean that there is anything wrong. Salicylic acid peels got rid of them for me.

If you are not very familiar with age spots (liver spots), they are like large freckles on a scale-like, raised section of skin. I did not like having them. After a chemical peel on the back of my hands, they are gone. They have never returned. The skin there is thin, and gets more thin with age. I have been doing Collagen Induction Therapy treatments since then to thicken and improve that skin too.

Salicylic acid peel – summary

Salicylic acid – exfoliates the surface layer of skin, unclogs pores, exfoliates the surface inside the pore and stimulates new growth. This combination of results clears out the pores and encourages new growth to a smaller size.
 

Strength

Superficial peels 10 to 19%
Medium peels 20 to 29%
Deep peels 30% and up

See my article “Chemical Peels” for more information. I started with 17% salicylic peels and then moved on to 30%. You can learn from my schedule and timing for the process, and this can help you to plan your own. I have tried a number of brands of chemical peels. Planet Eden is just the best beyond compare. I have tried other peels with tea tree oil that seemed ineffective and ones without that were unnecessarily harsh.

 

Chemical Peel with Recovery Cream

Chemical peel only

I have found trouble with buying these now…they are selling too well!

This is chemical peel only. It is a very good substitute chemical peel. I found that I did not like most of the chemical peels available. They did not have the tea tree oil for one thing, but also had ingredients that I did not like. You will find this to be a great substitute. I did the research.
This one is 20% strength

The brush for them (I prefer Q-tips)

Collagen Induction Therapy (Derma roller work) – ENCOURAGES COLLAGEN and new skin growth, GREAT for FIRMING the SKIN

Collagen Induction Therapy is used by Jennifer Aniston. She has talked about it in many interviews. It is also used by Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts. I strongly suspect that this is the reason why so many women today are staying youthful looking, but many are not talking about their secret. There are Youtube videos by people using derma rollers and showing their experiences. I saw their enthusiasm, but when I read that Jennifer Aniston loved them, I bought one and started using it. You can see that I am now fanatic about them too.

Advantages

This is the best means of improving the appearance of cellulite and tightening up loose skin without surgery. It also does anti-aging skin improvement. This tool fights the effects of gravity by firming the skin. It does anti-aging by stimulating collagen production. This also works deeper in the skin than most non-surgical methods. Copper peptide creams also work more deeply in the skin layers. These 2 items make good partners.

Derma roller is the tool used for collagen induction therapy. This is a very, very effective way to improve skin condition! It can firm up skin very well and is so very inexpensive. Favorite lotions and oils penetrate far deeper into the skin and have greater impact. This can also help diminish wrinkles and scars, whether they are acne scars or stretch marks.

Many uses

This method is very effective on reducing scars. If you want to firm up your skin and fight sagging skin anywhere… this is the tool! It is an effective one for battling cellulite because it helps spark improvements in the health of the skin (most effective if used along with exercise and massage). This is great for helping a saggy neck and chin (also best if used along with exercise).

Easier than you may think…

Collagen Induction Therapy (microneedling) sounds unpleasant, but it is an insignificant irritation really! It feels and looks very much like a slight sunburn that goes away within hours. You can perform this treatment right before bed. Put on oil or lotion that soothes it and then go to bed and sleep through the majority of the healing process. The next day, you will be recovered and you can put on your makeup as usual with a good moisturizer barrier underneath.

Where I use this…

I use this in key areas… upper arm, upper leg, neck, face, and back of hands. These are all areas where I want to firm and fight gravity except the back of the hand, where I am fighting thinning of the skin.

Always disinfect your derma roller in alcohol for 20 minutes before using it, and always wash the area to be treated right beforehand.

Much more information about this…

See my article “Collagen Induction Therapy” for more information. I highly recommend this skin treatment. Since the treatment causes your moisturizer to penetrate deeper, make sure that you use one that does not have fragrance or chemicals that you do not want to be deeper in your skin. I also have an article “Post Treatment” with information about good moisturizers to utilize.

The derma rollers that I have gotten and used are Puruskin. Having found none better, I highly recommend them.

PURUSKIN FOR DERMA ROLLERS, ETC. Puruskin for great derma rollers & skin products

 

Dermabrasion (Exfoliation) – encourages collagen and new skin growth. This will leave your skin less protected, avoid sun exposure.

This is any method that mechanically removes the top skin layers. The ones that are stronger can accomplish more of these layers.

What is Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is the best solution for smoothing the surface of the skin. This can help to reduce scars. It is great for getting rid of dead skin that can clog pores and encourages newer, healthier skin.

There are many great and inexpensive tools in this category. You can use your washcloth to strongly scrub off dead skin. Maybe you like to use a brush cleanser. There are many powered rotary brush and buffer pad products. Another option is the extremely fine sanding paper tools like Smooth Away that do dermabrasion for the skin and hair removal at the same time. There are layered mesh bags that do a great job and are just a few dollars.

Mesh cleanser

I first discovered the layered mesh bag because of an anti-aging skin cream that I got online from one of the shopping channels. Virtually all of the customers who bought this stuff fell in love with the silk mesh layered buffer pad, but were not really fans of the cream. It was a wonderful, easy dermabrasion tool that was I believe of Japanese origin. I have not found another quite like that Japanese style cleanser though, you can see it below. It has many, many layers of strong mesh.

You can also find the modern version of these layered mesh bags for a couple bucks in the store if you search well. They make these as a plastic layered mesh bag to put your soap inside and use. The standard wavy layered buffer pads would be difficult to use for dermabrasion. They are designed to be a light and gentle wash through the wavy layers and their light material mesh.

Japanese style face buff cleanser
My Japanese style face buff cleanser

Dermabrasion summary

This treatment will smooth out skin, skin tone, and reduce wrinkles. There are more expensive procedures that involve tools that suck the skin inward and scrape off the top layer. These procedures are performed by professionals and claim to stimulate better circulation as part of the process.


5 piece set

 
These are powered cleansers that are best sellers on Amazon. The first one is an Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System and the second on is an Essential Solutions Face and Body Cleansing System that has many types of attachments.

 
These are sonic cleanser tools.

 

Post Treatment Moisturizing

I have a page about Post Treatment moisturizing choices. You can learn the advantages and issues for each one. Post treatment is about using things that fuel the improvement of your skin. They also need to be soothing. While I love vitamin A creams and anti-aging creams, this is not the timing for them.

Aloe Vera Gel

4.7 our of 5 stars and over 2,500 reviews

These are my personal favorite oils that I use, all very highly rated:


Grapeseed oil, Sweet Almond oil, Lotus oil

These are are other oils from the list that are best sellers on Amazon:


Tea tree oil, Rosehip oil, Lavender oil, Coconut oil

These are great oil sets that you might like to try:


1st kit has Grapeseed oil, Coconut oil, Avocado oil, Sweet almond oil
2nd kit has Jojoba oil, Avocado oil, Sweet almond oil

Gentle cleansers that rinse off well

Your favorite beauty cleanser

There are many good choices in the beauty industry. I think that whatever you use on your face, it is good to switch up your choices. This may become important once you start chemical peels and dermabrasion treatments. I also have to switch up the moisturizers and eye creams that I use under my makeup as well. Here are my two favorites choices…

Baby wash

I feel that this is a very gentle and effective choice.

Zest

It sounds like a harsh soap, but it cleans well and rinses off so very well that I think this is a cleanser that deserves respect. I think it is an especially good choice for including in care packages for people in need because of the fact that it can be used for body and face equally well.

I have an article “Post Treatment” about the moisturizers that are good to use after skin treatment.
 

Acne

My favorite weapon for the acne I see starting to develop is Proactive Purifying Mask (formerly Refining Mask). There may be other things you can buy, but this one has worked so well for me that I stay with it. Apply a little dab of it on the spot(s) and they disappear quickly. If you are starting your day, put it on the spot under your makeup, it will not let you down.

The cheap, easy alternative is to beat an egg and put it on your face as a mask for about 10 – 15 minutes, rinse and go. Egg will do the same task, but will not work as fast. If you use the salicylic acid chemical peels, they can control acne. Any product with salicylic acid will unclog pores and/or benzoyl peroxide will kill bacteria to help fight acne. Sulfur is also used, it is good at drying out the location.

Nutrition

Vegetables and fruits
Sardines (fish are very good, but these are beyond compare)
Plenty of water
Seeds and nuts
Green Tea
Healthy, hair, skin, and nails supplements.

Amino acids are a critical building block for collagen. Of the many, many amino acids, there are 9 that are essential amino acids that the body cannot make for itself. The best sources of these essential amino acids are poultry, fish, cheese, milk, & eggs.

Sardines have nucleotides which are the basic building block for RNA and DNA that will repair the genetic material of tissue cells. This makes them invaluable for skin health.

Exercise

A lot can be said for toning up what is beneath the skin. Working up a good sweat is also very good for skin health. Adding on pounds can stretch it out more and you really don’t want to retain that for long if you can help it. We all know that skin can stretch out when carrying a baby and recover very well, especially with proper moisturizing.

There are exercises that can even be done for your face. I also believe in the tools that use electrical stimulation for the muscles in the face. Having tried face exercises and electrical exercisers both, I have come to believe that the electrical exerciser equipment does a more effective job. It does not stretch the skin there which I think may be a bonus. I use both of them.

You don’t have to spend any money to get the benefits of this exercise routine here and it is easy. They are incredibly simple to do and to fit into your life when they only take a few minutes.

See these face exercises by Tracy Campoli (who is a Life Coach and I recommend her). They are very simple and effective for chin and neck and she is very fun and entertaining too:

FACE EXERCISE YouTube video

Here are isometric exercises for your neck. Isometric means that there is tension in the muscle without contraction. This means holding a muscle under tension in a particular position. This is a valuable type of exercise. It is great for rehabilitation from injury, when there is poor mobility, or just to use as exercise to improve muscle strength and condition. The neck can be hard to tone the muscles and this method is perfect for doing it easily and safely.

NECK EXERCISE YouTube video

 
I feel that exercise is extremely important to a healthy, happy life. It can improve your mood, control your weight, fight off cancers and illnesses, boost your immune system. Physical exercise can also improve your appearance and confidence.

 

Massage

Massage is valuable for the circulation of your lymph system. There is the heart to circulate the blood system. The lymph system only has your movement and activity to circulate that system. Massage is beneficial to both systems, but it can even be valuable to the reach of blood into tissues too. I feel that this is one of your most valuable tools for combating cellulite (the other 2 are exercise and derma roller work).

Minimizing the appearance of pores

There are 2 methods to minimize the appearance of pores that can be incorporated into your makeup routine. One is them is the use of a primer before you put on your foundation. The other is the use of a fine face powder at the end of your makeup routine. Both of these tools can make your skin look like porcelain.

Articles

This is Harper’s Bazaar magazine article about Collagen Induction Therapy from 3/27/15:
https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/a10399/skincare-secrets-0415/

These are some articles that I found where young-looking celebrities talked about using Collagen Induction Therapy:

Article by the AP on CBS news where Jennifer Aniston mentions using a derma roller in her beauty regimen: 3/24/14.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jennifer-aniston-says-she-wont-let-tabloids-steal-her-joy/
Article by CINYA BURTON in E News! where Naomi Watts talks about using derma roller with the help of her aesthetician in 3/29/16
https://www.eonline.com/news/752347/see-why-gwyneth-paltrow-naomi-watts-more-celebs-are-suddenly-obsessed-with-microneedling

 

Keep in mind

Do not perform chemical peels, dermabrasion, or microneedling treatments if you are sick, feel unhealthy, or feel that your immune system is compromised or weakened. Do not perform chemical peels, dermabrasion, or microneedling treatments if you have problems with bleeding or thin blood, or cannot handle pain at the level of a light sunburn. You must keep your skin clean and protected while it is healing. Everything I have read says that salicylic acid peels are safe for dark skin, but if you are unsure, check to be sure that they are not a problem for you.

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