Can We Talk Skincare For a Sec?

Sorry, I’m venturing off decor talk today.  I think that’s good for the soul sometimes. :)

But anyway, ever since I had my daughter, my skin has been a disaster (and even my hair). Both looked great while pregnant though.  But once I stopped nursing a little after a year and quit drinking 5 gallons of water a day (that’s slightly exaggerated), my skin (and hair) just went to poo.

The face wash that I had been using (just the old-school Olay wash for sensitive skin) that was working great just stopped working. And little bumps appeared and they don’t go away.  And ever since then I’ve tried numerous products from expensive to drugstore stuff.   And now I have a few bigger “bumps” (or 3rd eyes, if you will) and it’s driving me crazy.  And be thankful I am not showing you a picture of them. :)

So for about 1 1/2 months now I’ve been using this skincare system which was recommended to me by my friend Michaela (and check out her blog!)

And it was working pretty well I think, but I had to do ALL of the steps every single day, and it seems if I missed something or skipped a day because I was too tired at night, my skin could tell the next day.  I need something low maintenance, and preferably cheaper because Dermalogica is not cheap!  But I guess if it works miracles I would pay the money for it.

I know that dermatologists recommend Cetaphil and yes I’ve done that too.  No luck there either.

And what’s also frustrating is that my crazy obsessive collection of Bare Minerals foundation no longer looks that good on me either because my skin is all out of whack.

Please tell me my skin has hope after having a baby?

And while I’m at it with my randomness, I did find a new concealer that I really like, and it actually conceals and stays put!

I like both of those, but my favorite is the Maybelline on the right.  The Cover Girl one is good too because it moisturizes, it’s just creamier.


  1. What is your skin care routine and what works for you?
  2. Do you have any recommendations for a face cleanser?  I know everyone’s skin is different but I’m desperate to hear what works for you!
  3. And because I’m crazy like that, tell me what your favorite foundation is too because I love trying new makeup. :)

Thank you so much!!



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  1. Hmmmm… I know that I can use anything covergirl on my face… but not foundation, powder or anything that is directly applied on my skin. Blush and shadows do fine. But the face stuff… breakout heaven!!! Could that be part of the problem?? And I used to wear it all the time. I try to go as cheap as I can and I use Maybellene True Match. I use the foundation and powder.

    Also, I want to try it someday, but it’s a little pricy… but I’ve heard awesome things about it… Clairsonic. Have you looked into that?

    I use Mary Kay Time Wise cleanser. Although other cleansers work fine for me, I try to stick with that. And THE only moisturizer that my skin will accept is the Mary Kay Timewise Moisturizer. I’ve had to use that since middleschool when it got very bad. Ok, very bad is a huge understatement! Even got put on the pill at 14 just for my acne issues. I’ve tried to stray to cheaper things, but it’s just impossible. If I have to spend $20.00 on moisturizer 3 times a year, it’s totally worth it.

    So my top 2 things that work for me…
    1. NO Cover Girl foundation or powder
    2. ALWAYS use Mary Kay Timewise moisturizer.

    Hope it helps! And good luck =)

    • Yep I tried the clarisonic years ago. That really made my skin worse!

      • I am just going to agree with the OP. I have NEVER been able to use a moisturizer before and now I use the Mary Kay Timewise during the winter and the oily during the summer. I love their cleanser too and the price isn’t bad because you don’t have to use loads of it. (Just a little dab will do ya :) )
        I am not a huge product pusher- I usually find it to be obnoxious. I was also totally set for it not to be all that great since I hadn’t found anything post babies that would work. I am amazed now by how well it does.

  2. I don’t know how good of advice I can give (since I have never had any children), but I have PCOS. What has helped the most for my skin is using cleansers with less harsh ingredients. I have been using the Yes to Carrots makeup remover for a couple months now and it’s actually helped clear up my skin (not my intention, I just needed a new makeup remover). I still get some break-outs due to PCOS, but my cystic acne has gotten better.

  3. Heather N says:

    I’m kind of the opposite of a previous poster. I can only use Cover Girl foundation – but ONLY Cover Girl CLEAN (so cheap – used it in high school a loooooong time ago; tried countless other things, but they always gave me a rash or made me break out). I also use Cover Girl Clean powder (pressed powder works best for me).

    I have very, VERY sensitive skin that reacts to almost all skin care lines. I have tried expensive, cheap, ANYTHING. The only thing that works for me is BeautiControl (the sensitive skin care line – the other lines they have make me react). It is the only thing that does not cause redness or breakouts for me. I had never heard of it before, but someone at my church started selling it after it worked for her (I can give you her name if you email me or comment that you want it).

    Good luck!

  4. My good friend is a derm resident and has skin as perfect as a baby’s butt; she recommends, Aveeno Positively Radiant skin wash, and daily Retin-A. The Retin-A requires a script, and a non-pregnant, non-nursing user, but it works! The Aveeno is incredible too! Keep us informed on what you try and what works!
    P.S. I have been waititng for someone to ask me this question so I could share my knowledge!

  5. OK so I’m going to sound like a walking commercial right now…. but Mary Kay is absolutely THE best product I have EVER used. Yes, I have tried EVERYTHING! proactive.. yeah that crap doesnt work! OTC not impressed. In fact instead of helping me with the issue.. it does the reverse effect. I have been using Mary Kay since I was in high school. When I had my senior pics taken the photographer didnt even have to touch up my face because it was so flawless :D Talk about a huge ego booster!
    The Timewise collection is what i would recommend. Its a 3 step process… although you could make it just a 2 step. So how easy is that? I also use this acne gel that Mary Kay also has. Its CHEAP! 7.00 for a tube and it has lasted a long time (believe me I have to use it alot. I just had a baby so I had the break outs from being pregnant and now that I just had her and my hormones are trying to go back to normal its making me break out all over again). Another bonus of the product it truly is 100% guarenteed. So if you dont like it… you can trade it in for other products OR $$ back.
    So if your interested you dont have to look around for someone around your town that sells is… I actually sell it and can have it shipped right to your front door :) Feel free to email me if you want more info :)

    • I second the Mary Kay recommendation. I use ONLY Mary Kay on my face, including make-up (except pressed powder, because I don’t like the new compacts). In my opinion, all of the ingredients work together, instead of against each other. That’s why I stick to one brand – Mary Kay.

      • Yes, I totally agree! I use the entire line of Mary Kay TimeWise skin products. Love how they make my skin feel. Especially the Day Solution, that gives me a dewy look. For makeup…It’s Bare Minerals. I actually use the foundation as the concealer, using the concealer brush. Hope that helps!

  6. The only cleanser I can use is Neutrogena (the bar, can’t use the liquid cleansers). I had oily skin for years and didn’t need a moisturizer, but as I’m getting older, my skin has started getting much dryer, and I can’t find a moisturizer that doesn’t break me out. I use Bare Minerals foundation and eyebrow liner, but can’t use any of their other products. I guess we’re all sensitive to different things, all you can do is keep experimenting! :)

  7. Ugh, don’t get me started. I have been struggling with this for months! At age 37 (almost 38) I never envisioned having acne! I use cetaphil and also some prescription meds. It’s brutal. Lately it seems to be a little better but aside from being really routine with washing my face, I haven’t done much else. So frustrating though!

  8. Don’t ya hate when that happens. I am a Cetaphil girl myself, but I have never really had problem skin (yes, I am VERY fortunate). However, my oldest has gone through the whole problem skin thing a few times. The last time we realized it was not her “skincare” routine that was the problem, but her makeup and her brushes!! Her dermatologist recommended she clean her brushes really good (or get news ones, which we did as it was time anyhow), and then by trial an error remove one type of “face” product at a time. Turns out her foundation was the culprit although she worn it before with no problems. Your hormones can change at any given time, causing the reactions to be different. Also, while I was a fan of Bare Minerals, they do contain Bismuth which can trigger skin problems in some people. Hope you find a solution!!

  9. I started using Paula’s Choice skincare after my last baby (she’s ten now) and it has worked great for me. She’s the “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” lady and backs up her products with credible research. You have to order it online but it’s not too pricey, and definitely worth it for the results. Here’s the link:

    Good luck!

    • Paula’s got a website, that has all the info contained in her books, plus monthly new product reviews. And it recently went *free* for all users. You can click around (it’s not very intuitive IMHO) and find the Master Brand List as well as her top-rated products in every category. It’s my go-to for product recommendations and facts on products without the marketing hype. Yes, she sells her own brand, but she reviews and recommends lots of products she doesn’t sell.

      It sounds to me like Decorchick needs to try daily use of a BHA product. Start with a 1% BHA and move to a 2% if needed.

      Best wishes!

  10. The sad truth is, there is no one-step fix for most skincare problems. And short of sounding like a commercial, I love ProActiv. It’s a 3-step process and I love the way it makes my skin glow after using it.

    As for make-up, I find the Bare Minerals to make my skin (& pores) look worse after using. I tried the NP Set Powder/Foundation compact from Target ($30), and to my surprise, it is so easy and makes my skin look great. It’s just the right amount of color for work and on-the-go application.

  11. I’ve tried lots of skin products. Proactive did wonders for my skin at first, but after a month didn’t work as great. I have combination skin– oily t-zone, dry cheeks and breakouts on my chin. Hands down the best acne/makeup removing cleanser I’ve tried to date is Neutrogean Rapid Clear (in an organge and white bottle). Your skin feels squeeky clean afterwards and manages breakouts. I recently went to Olay’s site and did the skin consultation online– the products they recommended seem to be working great– it was about $150 to invest in the day and night routine, but my skins has never looked better. Foundation wise I really like Lancome’s powder. You can apply dry or add water for more coverage. Hope this helps :-)

  12. You should try a simple solution for a topical. 100% Aloe Vera juice does wonders to skin and it’s 100% natural from our Creator. It has enzymes, antiseptic, and anti-inflammitory properties! I would get a good brand from a local health food store. My family uses , its inexpensive and one bottle last forever it seems.

    As for stopping the acne, Find the Cause…maybe inspect your diet! Make sure you cut sugar from your diet, take a good whole food vitamin, fish oil, and possibly cut mass produced grains from your diet (corn, wheat, etc…buy local or organic grains). This will help balance hormone levels and get rid of mycotoxins!

    If you wanna get real serious about ending acne or any other health problems… I strongly suggest trying out the “Phase 1 Diet” from Doug Kaufmann. He is a Christian and this Diet has helped several people. My family makes this our new years diet! Here is his link:

  13. This is going to sound kind of crazy, I only think that because that’s how most estheticians have looked at me when I told them my skin care regime, nonetheless it works for me! A dermatologist from Las Vegas, who I would absolutely recommend, told me just to use Dove soap bars for sensitive skin to wash my face every day (twice a day). I used to have a decent amount of acne and my face has been clear for years now. I don’t always get the sensitive skin one though, sometimes I just use a regular Dove soap with no exfoliants in it and it works wonders! I hope this helps! It has definitely been a cheap and successful solution for me!

    • You know, I used to have a friend and that’s all she would use too and her skin was perfect of course. That would definitely save lots of money too!

  14. I’m a Cetaphil and Bare Minerals person myself since anything else makes me break out, but lately my skin has been a train wreck! I don’t have kids, but I’m 27 and look like a 15 year old right now….

    I think I’m going to try the brush cleaning recommendation someone else commented about, that might be it! Keep us posted if you figure out a solution!

  15. good morning, Decor Chick!!! There is hope, my dear. I am a Mary Kay Consultant and we have a Mary Kay Acne-Fighters Set for $42. Please check out my web site and go to the Look Book and on page 11 you will see it! Velocity Facial Cleanser, Blemish Conrol Toner, Acne Treatment Gel and Velocity Lightweight Moisturizer … all for $42. I would love to work with you. and please know we have a 100% money back guarantee!! I honor free shipping.
    Have a great day and
    Pink Hugs!

  16. I use the same concealer you use! Love it! I’ve always struggled with acne, and the best product I’ve found is Olay’s mask – it’s blue, but I can’t remember the other details. I use it 3 times a week. I put it on about 10 minutes before I shower so I don’t make a mess with the water washing it off. :)

    Have you tried continuing to take the prenatal vitamins? They are supposed to help skin and hair, so maybe that along with some of the other ideas people have will help. We have started trying to conceive again, so I’m back on them and it seems to help me…

  17. I have ridiculous redness since my daughter was born – what used to be dry is now oily and what used to be oily is now dry and flaky. Gorgeous right? My hair fell out far beyond what I felt like was normal. I started using sulfate free products and noticed a huge difference. Have you ever tried Wen? SO expensive – but it has redefined what I think of shampoo. After trying it just a few times (thank you cousin Krissy) my hair was tame, smooth, and felt like it did in high school – woot woot!
    For makeup I’ve started using Physicians Formula Mineral Wear makeup. It works great and really combats the redness and combination skin stuff I’ve got going on. If I use Wen, Bare Minerals is not an option – I can’t do both :) Physicians Formula has a lot of TRY ME FREE options and the drug stores have deals all the time!

    • I see the Wen stuff all the time on qvc and it sounds interesting, just weird. :) My hair sheds SO much in the shower it’s ridiculous.

      Thank you for your comment Nicole I appreciate it! Maybe I’ll try out some PF stuff too.

  18. Girl, I’m going to come back and read your comments. I need to know the same thing!

    Also, yeah I heard the same about the vitamins too!

  19. Try the Clinique Acne Solutions 3 step system!! I had the same problem with my skin after I had my last baby 3 years ago. It really works well on those bumps but also leaves your skin looking great! I still use the moisturizer in that system (that contains benzoyl peroxide) when it looks like my skin is about the breakout a little and it clears it up right away. And it’s not that expensive!

  20. Do you get regular facials? I’m really bad about it, but when I’m going to get them every other month, my skin stays pretty clear. My facial girl is the best in Houston. I swear, I’ve been to A LOT of them. She’s over by the Guild Shop, her name is Lindsay Platt, if you tell her I sent you she gives you a discount, let me know if you want her info. Her facials are 1.5 hours long and include a mini (almost full body) massage. They are so relaxing. She uses only local & organic products–Source Vital. She’s not pushy about you buying anything from her but after going to her for over a year, I switched to her products and when used regularly they work for me–but everyone is different. My sis in law recently started putting Vaseline all over her face every night. Which I thought was crazy, but it has evened out her skin and her breakouts have gone away for the most part. She said that at first she broke out everywhere because the Vaseline pulls everything out, but since then her skin is super soft and her breakouts are almost gone. You should definitely take some prenatal vitamins they always help with this sort of stuff.

  21. Wow, I had the same issues as you describe and I tried the exact same products as well. I SWEAR by Philosophy Purity cleanser and it doesn’t irritate my skin but it gets everything off, including eye makeup. I switched to Wen after my baby because my hair became so dry and I have used it now for years and it’s great. However, I now get Brazilian Blowouts which was a life changer for me! I use BB products now and LOVE it! Also, I cannot use mineral makeup because I’m alergic to bismouth (?). I use and swear by Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and Armani makeup! Prior to Armani, I tried everything on the market and never even got close to what I wanted. It’s good coverage but doesn’t irritate my skin and looks flawless on when you apply with the Armani brush. Neiman’s in Houston has a fabulous Armani makeup boutique and the ladies are fantastic. I use Armani mostuizers as well.
    Good luck girl! I’ve been there.

    • I love the Philosophy skin care products too! The Purity cleanser is the best I’ve found. I have been having issues with my skin for over a year and a half ago because of female issues. I ended up having a complete hysterectomy a year ago and the lack of natural hormones and hormone replacement has been challenging for my skin. The Philosophy products has been a life saver. BTW, I’ve become more chemically sensitive to perfumes and fragrances as time goes on. Philosophy is the only company I have been able to find with fragrances and perfumes that don’t bother me. I love the Baby Grace, Amazing Grace, and Falling in Love body wash and lotions. They work great and I always get compliments. I smell fresh and clean without being over the top. You can buy Philosophy at Sephora and the mini-Sephora’s that are inside many of the JC Penney’s. I get the best deals on the body wash and lotions on QVC when they have the combos for their Today’s Special Value. They truly are great and my 19 & 20 year old girls love them too!

      • I’m going to jump in and say I like Philosophy’s Purity better than anything I’ve ever used. My skin is very dry and my hubs is very sensitive. We both use it daily and it is wonderful. Nordstrom, Dillards, QVC are all places I have purchased it.

  22. Is your skin oily? I have pretty oily skin and that’s the cause of my breakouts, and hormones. I get those little bumps that you are talking about, and sometimes those big bumps too. The big ones are hormonal, and as far as I know, there isn’t much over-the-counter that you can do for it. But I’ve found that if I can control my oil, I don’t get quite as many big bumps or breakouts in general. I’ve tried Zero Oil by Origins, which isn’t too expense since it’s only $18. And right now I’m trying Clinique’s 3-Step for Oily Skin. I’m only using the liquid cleanser and toner, and then a drugstore brand Tea Tree Moisturizer. It seems to be working pretty well.

    Is your hair dried out or over oily? My hair is more on the oily side, and for me, it has just been a matter of trying different products and seeing how my hair reacts to them. Right now, my favorite Shampoo & Conditioners are any of the John Frieda products.

    Hope that helps!!

    • Oh, and I forgot to say… My skin doesn’t react to the anti-acne products. For some reason, they just don’t work for me. Usually if I try to treat the underlying issues of my skin, then that helps with my acne.

  23. Just wanted to add that I feel your pain! Except my skin wrecked itself after I went off of birth control. It was awful (and right before my wedding day too, great). Gotta love crazy hormonal acne. Proactiv has been the only thing that cleared it up so far. I have heard that it does stop working after a while, but my skin got so bad I was open to trying anything. So far so good! Good luck :)

  24. I’m 27 and dont have kids, so we have different scenarios but I have had acne and here is what works for me. If you have acne around our mouth and chin it could be your toothpaste that is making it worse. Toothpaste that contains sodium laurl sulfate can make acne worse and also cause sores within the mouth. I switched to Crest Cavity Protection and my mouth and chin acne cleared up almost immediately. Whitening toothpaste has many harsh ingredients and can actually burn the mouth (what some call the tingling sensation). I use clearasil face wash from the drug store, but when I am washing my face I try to leave it on for a couple of minutes to let it work. Example, I wet my face, message in the cleanser, brush my teeth then rinse my face. I find my cleanser is more effective when I leave it on for a bit. I try to use an at home drugstore face mask twice a week. I can always tell a difference when I do. I use Aveda Balancing Infusion for sensitive skin. It is an oil, which seems odd, but it has really worked for me. 2 drops after cleansing my face works wonders on my skin and keeps it looking hydrated, supple and acne free. Read the glowing reveiws for more information. Hope this helps!

    • I forgot to mention I have used Proactive, Mary Kay, Mario Badescu, you name it I have tried it and it didn’t work for me. Clearisil acne clearing scrub, aqua glycolic toner, aveda skin oil, and clearasil vansihing acne treatment are my go tos that have worked for me for years. I use Lancome powder, foundation and blush, everything else is drug store.

  25. I just had a baby (five months ago) and I’m currently going through the ups and downs of trying to get my hormones back into balance while losing my hair (am I going to be bald in a month?) and trying to maintain my skincare regime through late nights and early mornings. I was sent to a chiropractor for pelvic, SI joint problems I had while pregnant. The chiropractor is a very holistic/alternative medicine therapy kind of guy. He recommended I take MSM to help with my joint problems. The added bonus of mixing some MSM powder into my juice in the morning? Great skin, hair, and nails. I didn’t have too many skin problems, but my husband did. He had little, teeny tiny bumps across his forehead of which he could not rid himself. He went through every skin care product I had and even went to a dermatologist (who prescribed some CRAZY expensive cream that, sadly, did not work). I pushed him to try the MSM, and his face is clear and free now. We still use Oil of Olay cleansers and moisturizers and neither of us have had a problem. We use Pure Encapsulations MSM in the powder form. You can find it for roughly $27 online, and it has enough for 75 servings (roughly 3g of MSM/serving – which is A LOT more than you would find with your run of the mill Target brand MSM). The powder is very bitter, so I recommend you mix it in with some oj or lemonade. Also, I’ve heard great things about Xtend Life Multi Vitamins. They’re suppose to help with skin and hair ailments as well. I hope that helps!

  26. After my 2nd was born about a year ago, I found myself in your position. I have tried lots of things, and it seemed like the expensive stuff wasn’t any different, so I stick with cheap.

    I use Clearasil face wash, Olay moisturizer with SPF, and I got a prescription for Retin A from my dermatologist.

    I had lots of little bumps under my skin on my chin, and when I was getting my check-up at the dermatologist, I asked her about them. She suggested Retin A, and it has helped a lot. It doesn’t work overnight, but I can see a difference.

    As for makeup, I prefer the minerals kind, and I get whatever happens to be on sale at CVS. Currently I’m using Physicians Formula and am happy with it.

  27. Have a Mary Kay demo, invite some GF”s over for free facials. That’s how I tried MK products! …a lot of which were free for having the party and sales :)…..but better yet if you become a MK Rep…you can get the products at a 50% discount!

  28. After having my boys, I have had similar problems. Some products dry my skin out, other make it oily :( I began using Aveeno moisturizer 3 weeks ago, my skin is super soft! I also use Aveeno lotions (I am not a spokesperon haha!). I used Vaseline and hot washcloth to remove makeup and Dove soap to wash. My sister and niece use ONLY Vaseline with a hot washcloth to clean their face. I started using Loreal primer under my foundation – love this product. Many make up companies sell primers. If you find a great product, please share :)

  29. I’m obsessed with Olay products. I used to have serious breakouts, but I’ve started using just the Olay Total Effects Refreshing Citrus Scrub in the morning and follow with the Total Effects Mosturizer (right now I’m using the Sunkissed one). My skin has never looked better. In fact, for the first time in years, I’m going without foundation. Just a little powder.

    However, I do have a new foundation that is great… the Covergirl NatureLuxe Silk Foundation. It feels so good and blends better than even way more expensive versions.

  30. Here’s what I’ve discovered for my ‘disaster’ skin. The active ingredient in ProActiv is benzoyl peroxide and the active ingredient in Arbonne Clear Advantage is salicylic acid. For most people, usually only one of these works. For me, it’s the salicylic acid ~ ProActiv did nothing for my skin, but it did bleach all my washcloths. After using Abonne for awhile, I discovered that Avon’s clearskin professional line also has the salicylic acid ingredient and started using that. It also works for me, is much cheaper, and Avon is always having sales on it (or I buy it on Ebay).

    Any time you use a whole 3 or 4 step process, you’ll probably get the best results. But like you, I simply don’t have the energy or motivation to do that every day. So I use a warm washcloth at the end of the day to remove all my makeup (I use a Norwex antibac facecloth), then I use the daily correcting lotion from Arbonne as a moisturizer. And in my shower, I keep the Avon Deep Pore Cleansing Scrub and use it every time I shower.

    For makeup, I just use the Avon Smooth Minerals powder foundation ~ it doesn’t leave me looking flaky, and evens out my skintone blotchiness pretty well. And I love that it’s just one step, instead of a foundation and separate powder.

    One more thing I do is wear a piece of hazelwood jewlery. Hazelwood balances out the acidic levels in our bodies and when it started working so well for my son’s eczema, I started wearing one too. I especially notice a difference during my *ahem*hormonal doys of the month ~ I don’t have the breakouts as bad as I used to.

    Hope some of that helps!

  31. From my late 20’s to my late 30’s, my skin was a disaster. Acne, redness, huge pores, you name it. I finally got tired of suffering and asked my dr. He told me Clinique extra mild bar soap and a number 2 toner, and any light moisterizer with an spf of at least 18. He also said if I couldn’t afford Clinique, to get Dove for sensitive skin bar soap, with Sea Breeze toner, and not to ever skip the moisterizer with sunscreen.
    It took a few months of regular use, but now my face is clear as can be, and has been for several years.

  32. I am in LOVE with Clinique! It totally change my skin’s appearance and shrunk my pores. The cleanser and toner are not expensive. They make is also great, but a little more pricey. I used the cleanser, toner and moisturizer, but use Revlon make-up.

  33. Jody Olsen says:

    CLARISONIC!!!! It is just amazing. I use it with Philosophy’s Purity made Simple. (purchased both from QVC) My skin has never been better. Also, with both my pregnancies it took about a year for my skin to chill out and behave. Seriously…try Clarisonic. QVC has a 30 day $ back policy so if you hate it(which you won’t) you can return it. Let us know what you decided to do, I would love to hear!

  34. I have also struggled with AWFUL skin since having my daughter. Plus, my hair fell out after I quit nursing…ohhh…3 years ago! AND hasn’t grown in right since. My skin is dry, and because I am in my thirties, starting to age. BUT I also have acne. So I can’t moisturize w/o breaking out worse. Anyhow… a couple months ago I went to my doctor and was given a prescription for a benzoil peroxide wash to use in the a.m., and Retin-a cream to use in the p.m. I am still waiting to see the full results, but I have noticed a bit of clearing, and my wrinkles are fading, probably from the Retin-a. BUT, my skin is drier in certain areas and I have to use a sunscreen every day. I guess it is a trade-off between zits and dry skin? I have also heard that taking fish oil supplements helps yoyr hair and skin, but I haven’t tried them yet.

  35. Great topic! I had great skin up until about 1 1/2 ago. Major work stress & weight gain (didn’t lose baby #2 weight & added a bit). Yay! Double whammy. I’m working on getting everything under control. When I’m very stressed my skin breaks out. I’ve seen a dermatologist. Not a big help. Currently, I’m using Cetaphil, but not helping a whole lot. Maybe I’ll move onto Clinique.

    Looking forward to hearing what you find that works.

  36. I’m 43 and have been using SSS (Serious Skin Care) for approximately 8 years, I cannot tell you how much of a difference it has made. No more breakouts and my skin has never looked better. I constantly get compliments on how young I look for my age (I’m told I look 10 years younger). SSS – I use the C line, they are on HSN and offer pretty good deals, about $40 – 60 for full size products which include moisturizer, facial cleanser and serums. Previous to that I had tried Mary Kay, Avon, store stuff, you name it – I tried it.
    As for make-up I use Bare Minerals – I swear by this stuff. Been using it for about the same amount of time, I’ve tried others, but always go back to BM. Pretty much only use their foundation powder and blush.
    Question for everyone else – I have the hardest time with eyeliner, everything transfers to my upper eyelid or just wears off by early afternoon. I’ve tried Avon, Cover Girl, Loreal, Smashbox, Mally, Urban Decay, Bare Minerals, just about everything under the sun and have never been over the moon about any of them. I’ve even used eye primer underneath to try to extend with no noticeable difference (for eyeliner, it does wonders for eyeshadows). I always purchase the waterproof or smudgeproof kind.
    Does anyone know of a eyeliner that actually works all day?

  37. Anonymous says:

    May I suggest doTerra facial products? I’m a consultant and this stuff absolutely amazing. Go to and check them out. :)

  38. I started using the ProX cleansing system and I am super happy with the results. It took about 3 weeks to clear my face and since then it has been great! God luck!

  39. If you want some GOOD makeup, head over to Sephora or Ulta! I highly recommend the Stila brand for foundation/powder. Their concealer is AMAZING too. This stuff is not cheap, but so worth it. If you buy $5 foundation, that’s about what you’ll look like, right? I got fed up with covergirl and maybelline. I’ll never go back! Also, I always had problems with my concealer getting creases, and the girls at Sephora showed me this stuff called “secret brightening powder” by Laura Mercier. I have never had a crease (even on hot humid days) since I started using this stuff! It’s just a powder you put on top of your concealer.
    For skincare, you should check into the “fresh” makeup line at sephora. I’ve really liked their under eye cream.

  40. I really want to try that foundation. I just love the tan/white swirl. :)
    I used to use proactive, which took a lot of work. Now I use The Velvet Bird’s Miracle Toner (link below.) It has been working great, for the most part.

    Also, I noticed my skin looked healthier when I upped my fruit and veggie intake and tried to get a little sun each day (like 10 min.). I hope you find what works for you.

  41. I would recommend Pernox Facial Scrub. My mom passed along this little secret weapon to me and I can not live without it. You can order it through the pharmacy at your local grocery store, but I’ve also seen it online at amazon and

    I have never really worn foundation, but I wear Lancome’s pressed powder. You can put it on dry or wet (for more coverage). I love it b/c it covers, but doesn’t look like you are wearing make-up!

    Let us know what you go with and what works!

  42. I TOTALLY feel your pain!! I struggled with my skin post baby and nursing, too! I was so frustrated, tried tons of options, and finally asked a friend who had beautiful skin what she used and I was amazed. All she used was St. Ive’s apricot scrub every day and Clean and Clear Advantage acne spot treatment after washing her face at night … I tried both of those products, loved the results and tweaked the line-up a little, too…
    Here is what I use now:
    In the morning, wash my face with St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub
    followed by Philosophy’s “Present” moisturizer… really it’s a miracle cream.
    At night I wash my face with the HEB brand of Neutrogena’s original facewash followed up by Clean & Clear’s acne spot treatment.
    Try it & let me know what you think! I am so thrilled to have my healthy skin back and at such a reasonable price!

  43. I’m with you! I’ve always had horrible skin b/c of my PCOS and while preggo I had the most amazing skin and now after it’s been up and down. good and then bad, all over the place. I’ve tried every. skincare. line!

    Here’s the one that has worked for me: Mario Bedescu I wrote a blog post about it here:

    It’s the best, and has seriously been a life saver for my skin.

    And I currently use MARK cosmetics. It’s my fave i’ve been using it since collge. You can find it here:

  44. I have very sensitive skin. I use the drugstore version of Cetaphil, called gentle skin cleanser. It gets makeup off, I can even use it over my eyes, and it doesn’t dry my skin out. Which is good because I’m over 40 and have never found a single moisturizer that doesn’t break me out, so I have to be careful not to dry my skin out.

    I also have to be careful with makeup, and for the last few years I have been using Everyday Minerals (they have a web store). I love it. They have a color for every complexion. It doesn’t sweat into streaks in the summer, I can’t feel it on my face at all yet the Intense formula (they have 4 formulas) covers blemishes if I do get them and it always looks natural.

  45. Hey, I”m usually a lurker, but thought I would pop out of my corner for a minute. You might have already answered your question when you said that you stopped drinking 5 gallons of water. Water really does help clear your skin among other things. You might want to pick up your water glass again. Love your blog!

  46. I was looking for decorating ideas and love your blog! I usually don’t comment on random blogs, but I just found clinique 3 step acne and it is worth every penny!I use the moisture surge after to keep skin balanced. I tried proactive, cetaphil, neutrogena and with my sensitive skin they didn’t work, but clinique has been amazing for me! Good luck!

  47. try to get an RX for clindamycin. Very low maintenance and it works great! Good luck.

  48. Stephanie says:

    Hi… sorry to hear about all of the issues you are having. I may have some good news though…

    My boss has been working with Rodan + Fields for a while now and they have launched a line similar to proactiv but for adults as opposed to teenagers (it isn’t as harsh on your skin). Anyway, they have a lot of new products, UNBLEMISHED (adult acne), SOOTHE (for sensitive skin, which her daughter loves and replaced Dermalogica with it), ANTI-AGE and REVERSE (my boss used this which reversed sun damage and brown spots after her pregnancy). These products have been mentioned in Allure and Marie Claire, so I think you should look into that.

    I can provide you with my bosses phone number and/or email so she can either give you the website or send you some info. on the product. A lot of them still have the different steps, but it is less expensive than most and they always ship 60-90 day supplies. Hope this helps. Feel free to email me if you’re interested! Thanks!

  49. I’ve been using BeautiControl for over 15 years now and of course I sell it too…But it really has worked as my skin changed for when in my 30’s, had my son and now am closing in on my 50th birthday. Most people say I don’t look 49 so that’s the best recommendation for me. As my skin has aged , I’ve used different BC skincare products depending on what my skin is doing . Also, always always clean your face b4 bedtime keeps any bumps from happening. 1 more thing, after pregnancy, I ended up allergic to TIDE detergent and my face would have bumps where the towel would be wrapped around head ….. chged detergents and they went away….if you need anymore info just email me!!

  50. Shannon A says:

    I’ve had skin issues/sensitivity since I was a teenager and I’m almost 32! It’s a frustrating issue for sure! I have tried almost every product others have mentioned here, and the only thing that has worked for me for over 5+ years is Lancome. I know that it can be pricey, but to find something that works is worth it for me. Especially since the skin care line I use lasts a long time for me, so I feel I get my money’s worth. I think for some people the old phrase of ‘spend the most on what’s closest to your face’ is just a truth.

    So I use Lancome’s Mousse Radiance in the warmer seasons,default,pd.html?start=13&cgid=skincare-cleansers-toners
    AND I use the Creme Radiance in the colder months.,default,pd.html?start=7&cgid=skincare-cleansers-toners
    *I had a free tube of the Creme this Winter & it worked great, but I think I prefer the Mousse over the Creme.*

    And the other 2 products I use after cleansing twice a day are: a toner-Tonique Radiance,default,pd.html?start=19&cgid=skincare-cleansers-toners
    AND Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Moisturizer,default,pd.html?start=11&cgid=skincare-moisturizers

    I LOVE these 3 products & even when I’ve been on a super tight budget, it’s the one thing I don’t switch, because I will have a bad breakout. And also I try REALLY hard to always wash my face before bed because if do not I will break out (this is that way for me no matter what product I use).

    I hope that helps….keep us posted!
    ~Shannon :)

  51. I can totally understand your crazy skin issues! So not fun! I started using the entrie line of Mary Kay Timewise a few years ago…and LOVE it. I have sensitive skin, and it works great for me. I use the ENTIRE line. The Day Solution give my skin a dewy look…that I love. The Cleanser has a gently exfoliator in it, so that does wonders for my skin. I would totally give that a try! They offer the line in Normal/Dry and Combo/Oily. I go with the Normal/Dry just for the extra moisture it offers. I hope that helps! I would try the “Miracle Set” and see how you like that!

  52. I used to get those “3rd eyes” all the time. But I’ve been using Proactiv for years and I swear by it. I’m well into my 30’s, and I started using it in my 20’s, and I love it.

  53. I was just about to recommend the Clarisonic when I saw your comment above…such a bummer that it made your skin worse! I ran a beauty blog for 5 years so I’ve tried TONS of cleansers and treatment regimes. A few years ago when I had breakouts I had great results with Philosophy Purity (the original version, not the liquid-to-foam). No “acne” ingredients but sometimes what you really need is a gentle cleanser that won’t cause irritations. My skin is relatively normal now but I’ll pass along my two favorite gentle cleansers: Darphin cleansing gel with water lily and Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash.

    A few other tips:

    1. MORE WATER. Tons of water!

    2. Definitely start taking the prenatal vitamins again.

    3. You might want to try the Zeno device for some of the bigger bumps…I love it.

    4. MD Skincare products. Expensive, but you don’t need to buy everything. Their acne spot treatment products are fantastic.

    5. For occasional exfoliation, try Clear & Clear Morning Burst In-Shower Facial. It has changed names a few times over the years, but it’s the same product and it’s GREAT. Helps keep your pores clear and doesn’t irritate.

    Hope that helps!! If you want any more ideas just reply back or shoot me an email.


  54. One more recommendation…Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner. Just don’t use it in conjunction with too many other products containing alpha/beta hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, etc. Sometimes stacking products like that can cause a ton of irritation.

    And speaking of irritation, do you wear facial sunscreen or a product with SPF? Two reasons I ask:

    1. If you use any “treatment” type product or anything with an acid in it, you absolutely need sunblock.

    2. If you do use it, or if it’s contained in another product you’re using (like foundation), it’s possible that you’ve become sensitive to the active ingredient after your pregnancy. I can’t use anything with a physical sunblock (titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) on my face, only chemical sunscreens like avobenzone. Otherwise my face breaks out in tiny bumps and clogged pores. Others have the opposite problem and can only us the physical blocks. Could be worth looking into.

    Sorry for the novel…hope some of this info was helpful!

  55. I suggest you see your Dr to rule out hormone or thyroid problems. The latter can wreak havoc with your hair especially. Make an appt with a dermatologist if the Dr rules out any physical problems. Check your diet! I think someone mentioned that but I haven’t read each comment. Have regular facials ~ they are incredible for clearing up skin problems and moisturizing properly…no grease. You can go to a local beauty school and ask for senior students…very inexpensive. Have you used a new laundry soap? Sometimes the wash cloths and towels can irritate your skin. Continue drinking the water and take really good daily vitamins! A really good B-complex and B-12 are wonderful for easing stress and increasing energy naturally.

    I think Mary Kay products are great! I currently use Maybelline Foundation in the Fit Me formula. I use Lancome` blush. Eye shadows and mascara are tricky for me too ~ I have a lot of allergies. :-)

    Good luck!
    P.S. Have you considered all the “re-do’s” in your house too? There are chemicals in EVERYTHING ~ paint, carpet, you name it! You’ve been subjected to a ton of these recently.

  56. Mary Kay Time Wise Miracle Set has done WONDERS for my skin. Add the microdermabrasion and it gets even better. And it lasts me about 6 months! Check out to find a consultant in your area or check out my site

  57. I have the same issue! I had my little man 3 years ago and since his birth i’ve been battling skin issues. I have no advice, but i’m glued to your comments. Did you by chance have your tubes tied? I’m not sure if this is my issue, but i didn’t have any skin issues with my girls. I’m over it!

  58. Invest in a clarisonic machine. It is well worth the money. It makes a HUGE difference. Also Obaji is a great skin care program but expensive. And I also invest in expensive skin care products and foundation (I’m not going to put the price because it is a lot) but there is a big difference in product. If you can afford to invest – do so – you will be happy with the difference. And so will your skin!!

  59. I wash my face twice a day with CeraVe (you can get it at Walgreens). It’s a lot like Cetaphil — doesn’t foam and is nice and moisturizing. I also try to exfoliate once a week. I have fairly sensitive skin, so any more than that is too much. I use those Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Cleansing Pads and love them. They really help to get rid of those flakes and even things out.

    Immediately after I wash my face in the morning I use the CeraVe moisturizer in the drier areas of my face and an oil-free face lotion from Kiehl’s on my forehead/nose region. Your skin absorbs the lotion better if it’s still a little damp (I think I read that in Real Simple). And at night, about 3 days a week, I use Differin (prescription) for acne. Anymore than that, and my skin gets too dry. I usually exfoliate a morning when I didn’t use the Differin the night before (to reduce senstivity).

    When I change my routine, my skin generally gets worse before it gets better. It’s hard making it through the “worse” time, but then it get better and all levels out!

    I use Everyday Minerals for my foundation ( — it’s like Bare Minerals, but cheaper (and I actually like better because they have more color options). But I totally agree — if your face is out of whack, a powder foundation is not very forgiving.

    Good luck! Finding the perfect skin care routine is so frustrating!

  60. No products to recommend, but something to think about. Do you touch your face alot during the day? Once someone made me aware of this I made myself take note and was amazed! I am now constantly telling my three teens to keep their hands off their faces to avoid acne. Needless to say they are still working on it. :) As am I on occasion.

    • Good point!!! Also, I had an MD once say to change your pillowcase every other night!!! I forgot about that…it makes perfect sense NCJill!!!

  61. I used to work for Clinique and I also was a manager at Origins. I’m no longer in the skincare/cosmetics industry but I did learn quite a bit from my experience working there. Anyhow, I still use a mix of both of those brands. I’m a big fan of the foaming face wash- the pink tube (make-up remover) from Clinique. Honestly, at night it really is important to use a make-up remover and then follow with a good non-drying face wash. I like the mild soap formula also from Clinique. You should never use a scrub on bumps or even a washcloth – nothing rubbing or scrubbing at all. Face scrubs should only be used on clear skin. My favorite product by far from Clinique is total turnaround. It’s not a moisturizer- it’s a cream that aids in cell turnover – basically it’s amazing! When you start a new product line you really need to give it about 30 days to see how it works for you as that is about the length of one skin cycle. I think using products with salicylic acid is a much more gentle approach to treating breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide and retin-A products always irritated my skin and caused a lot of redness. Everyone’s skin is different though. I’d definitely stick with something that is hypo-allergenic and fragrance free. I could literally talk about this stuff for hours ;). I’ve used that Aveeno face wash in a pinch and it was good; but I still love my Clinique stuff best.

  62. I so needed this info. I also want to know what facial moisturizer people recommend!

  63. WOWZA, there are a ton of responses here….First, I will tell you I had the same problem after my daughter was born. She’s 3 now. I went to the dermatologist and was like, “How can I be 41 with acne?” He prescribed Retin-A and it worked sometimes but it dried my oily skin out terribly. And it was super expensive. I have tried EVERYTHING (OTC and expensive high end stuff, also MaryKay, Beauticontrol, Avon, you name it) and I have found that Pro Activ works for me, It works OVERNIGHT. It has changed my skin care life…seriously. I am so impressed with it, my spouses uses it as well. I wish I had had ProActiv when I was a teenager as it is so effective, it would have saved me some heartache. Also, I have had extensive problems with my hair too, =( which depressed me soooooooooooo bad. Just not growing and breaking, falling out…and more grey….. Finally I decided to get hair extensions and it makes me feel so much better. It’s like your hair is your crowning glory (LOL) and when it started falling out, I started crying. I am kind of glad to read here that I was not the only one who had such beauty challenges after my daughter was born….they are not kidding when they say children change EVERYTHING….LOL…hang in there and try proactiv, it really does work.

  64. I am a Mary Kay girl all the way. It works wonders on my skin. I use the cleanser, moisturizer, day/night solution. I also use the microdermabrasion and even complexion essence. The products are simple to use and last at least 3 months using it twice a day. I sell Mary kay just so I can get the products at a discount. If you are interested I could send you some free product to review.

  65. I just blogged about my skin actually – I’m quite fair (red hair and frecks) so the majority of acne products really irritate my skin. I used the Murad system for a while – available at Sephora – and had some success with it.

    As far as makeup goes – the Makeup For Ever HD Liquid Foundation is where it’s AT! Get samples from Sephora and see if you like it :) It goes for $40 but will last forever.

  66. I have super oily skin since having my second baby and have been trying everything under the sun! I’m currently testing out Neutrogena Face Scrub/for adult skin. I got it at target and it says it’s formulated for adult acne. So far I like it! I can’t wait to hear more about this topic from you :)

  67. Hi…I’m new to your blog, but I enjoy reading your posts, so I thought I would try to help you out with your skin issues. It seems you have already received tons of advice, but I’ll tell you that I have tried pretty much every product out there and I have always believed that skin issues are almost always hormone related and need to be taken care of from the inside. After trying way too many products without success, my ob-gyn (not derm) put me on 200 mg of spironolactone/aldactone and retin-a .025%. I also spot treat with Aczone gel. I’ve doing this now for 3 years since the birth of my son and I couldn’t be happier. So if you’re tired of all the product choices, you may want to give it a try…good luck!

  68. I’m a skin care freak and have tried all of the good crap. I can’t believe out of all of these comments only one person mentioned Obagi. Ask any derm or facial plastic surgeon (I’m hardcore, lol). It includes the RetinA- hello best thing ever. I add in Neocutis at the end. It’s pricier but worth every penny. Jan Marinni is great too. Oh, and tizo sunscreen with silicone. Those are all my best skin finds. xoxo shel

  69. Oh how I feel for ya! I switched to Mary Kay’s line about a year ago and am in love! I have the whole line, but it doesn’t make a difference in my acne whether or not I use everything. My skin just looks fresher if I use all of it :) My face is super sensitive and I’m allergic to Sodium Laurel Sulfate (which is in almost everything!). I also use Jane Iredale for my mineral compact. It’s expensive, but amazing. You can’t buy it at a regular store. You either have to order it online or find a dermatologist/plastic surgeon that sells it. That’s the biggest pain about it. Good luck in finding something that works for you :)

  70. Oh, I forgot about the hair too!! My hair was nice and healthy when I was pregnant and then I started losing more than normal and it was really brittle when I stopped nursing. I’ve tried a lot of shampoos. I have an oily scalp and dry hair. Great combo! Totally loving Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner these days. It’s only like $6 bucks at any store too, which is a total score :)

  71. I recently did a vlog on my skincare routine and i use mostly natural ingredients in my skincare routine and i have seen a difference in my skin, even my husband said that my skin looks different that it glows :)

    I mentioned all the products i used and the recipes for the natural toner, face scrub hope this helps :)

  72. Jen Morris says:

    My favorite skincare is by Shaklee. It’s their Enfusselle line. It it a couple steps but I love it and love how it makes my skin feel.
    Love it!

  73. I’ve been using Clean & Clear Deep Pore Cream Cleanser for many years with a facial loofa and it has kept all in check. I’ve tried many of the moisturizers mentioned, but have found the best one that does not cause breakouts is Organic Refined Coconut Oil (which I use all over including face – recommended by friend’s naturopath). I find it in the cooking oil section at the grocery for $7.99 a bottle. I put in in the tub for the hot water to melt when I take a shower. Get out, don’t dry, rub all over, then wipe down. Leaves no oily feel and keeps my skin well conditioned. Recommended to a friend with eczema (her kids, too) and it has cleared it all up and keeps it from returning in her dry climate. Worth a try for the price because you can always use it for cooking if you don’t like it!

  74. I have used Mary Kay for Several years; I am going to be 53 this year and just yesterday my doctor commented on how I don’t look 52 sooo I guess it speaks for itself.

  75. I am 46 yrs old I have three children 17, 16 and 13. I have always taken care of my skin since I was 23. I have used everything from soap to department store brands to infomercial celebrity products. The two different lines I recommend to try are 1. Mary Kay Timewise and 2. Aloette Platinum if over 35 and the Basic collection if under. Mary Kay product is very high quality and you can’t beat the price and if your not satisfied with the result you can return the product for exchange or money. Aloette is “aloe vera plant based” and you can go to for more information and to find a consultant or franchise. If you have sensitive skin try one product at a time from the same line for a week so your skin can get use to it. I think when women mix and match skin care lines they don’t get/see the results they were hopeing for.

    My routine:
    Day time: 1. Cleanse 2. Tone(no alcohol) 3. Moisturize with at least SPF 15 4. eyecream around eyes and forehead area
    Night time: Cleanse, Tone, nighttime moisturizer, eye cream and I”m done. Around my menstrual cycle I do a mask 2 x’s a week.

    I have found when I am taking care of my skin I don’t have to use to much “foundation/powder”. I don’t like liquid makeup because of being combo skin so I use a mineral powder either Mineral Veil by Aloette or Sephora’s brand.

    Good luck on your search for the right product for your skin :).

  76. Purity Made Simple by Philosophy, QVC often runs special prices..hang in there!

  77. I have three kids and after having my last one, my skin has been horrible. I have had good luck using a bentonite clay mask. It sounds weird but you can google the recipe. It is basically equal parts bentonite clay and pure apple cider vinegar, both of which I picked up from the vitamin shoppe. The clay extracts toxins from your skin. You can also add tea tree oil to the mix, which is good for acne. Your face will be red for about 20 minutes after the mask. My face did break out more after my first time trying the mask, but I read that is normal because it is removing all the toxins. You will notice an immediate change in your skin. I have tried so many different products, but this seems to work the best.

  78. I have been oily all my life but breakouts are not an issue anymore. i still have blackheads and an occasional zit. I use a simple cleanser by It Works! Marketing and literally nothing else. I used Arbonne religiously for about 4 years and loved it, but it is simply too costly now. Derma E has good products, purchase through Swanson Vitamins for best price.
    I use an alkalizing product called Greens (through It Works!) and I think it is excellent for overall health. As far as makeup goes, I use Aveda tinted moisturizer and the loose face powder. I touch up with covergirl truminerals pressed powder. Stay away from strong benzoyl peroxide, scrubs and AHA’s. You do need to exfoliate, but exfoliating masks are better since you don’t mechanically manipulate the skin. Lots of water, Greens, a simple cleanser and makeup with botanical ingredients may be the recipe for you!

  79. I have worked for a Dermatologist for 14 years now and here’s what I know to be true:

    1. Cetaphil is good at taking off makeup and that’s about it. It will not help with breakouts, etc.
    2. Clarisonic is a must. You will love your skin after 2 weeks of using it. Just be sure to change the brushes out or disinfect them often to avoid spreading acne across your face.
    3. Some products work great for some people and don’t do anything for others because everyone has different skin.
    4. My favorite products for breakouts and blah skin are: Obagi!!!! and Skin Medica. You can probably find some deals online. They are more expensive than OTC products but totally worth it.
    5. Don’t judge anything until you’ve used it for 2-3 weeks CONSISTENTLY.

    Hope it helps!!

  80. susan keats says:

    I am in my mid-50’s, and swear by Proactive. I first had a problem right after my twins were born (I was 40!). I was put on an antibiotic, but after six months decided I couldn’t do that forever, and that is when I tried Proactive. I am afraid to go off the stuff, and I do think as my skin ages it is actually good for it because it has an exfoliating benefit that takes off yukky skin. It lasts a long time too, so the price is not all that bad, and you can even get it delivered if you order it online!

  81. I’ve tried it all too…and I’ve landed on the Oil Cleansing Method. (OCM) Google it for more info, but essentially it’s castor oil and evoo facial every night. No need for an extra moisturizer. I’ve got the most sensitive skin and am currently on pregnancy #3…so my skin is always out of whack! The OCM has worked the best, hands down. Plus, it’s nautual and inexpensive. :)
    As far as makeup, when I do wear it I use Bare Minerals.

  82. Within 3 weeks of having my little girl, my face, shoulders, chest, back, arms & throat all broke out in the most horrid acne imaginable. It was terrible. I got tested for every thing & they never really worked out why, the closest they got to a reason was maybe my body didn’t like breastfeeding, which was a total shame cause I personally loved it… anyway, I didn’t find the dermatologist all that helpful & ended up looking into different things myself. I started using Clinque 3 step products for oily skin, skipped the toner on most days, in fact I barely ever use it even now, started using their oily/combo moisturiser (& their sunscreen) & my skin has cleared up really well!! Its not too harsh, not too heavy & although a little pricey, I was willing to pay anything to see my skin looking normal again! Best of luck with it!!!

  83. I am just like you. I don’t want expensive and I want fast and easy. I wanted the Clarisonic for quite some time. I have even scoured eBay for a price I am willing to pay. But then I just bought the Olay ProX. It’s a cheaper version of the Olay. $30 compared to the $105 priced Clarisonic Mia. I noticed my pores are smaller. My skin feels great. I love using it. I will wait and see if those bumps leave. I certainly hope so. But if not, I might just change cleansers. You can use any cleaners you like with the Olay thingy. If you get it, Walgreens has a $3 off coupon but you have to ask at the beauty counter, and it is a manufacturer coupon (they might ask you what kind it is).

  84. I hope it’s not too late to throw my 2 cents in…but this is a topic I have a lot to say about!

    Long story short, I’ve struggled with painful adult acne for the last 5-6 years (I’m 33) and NOTHING worked. I had a lot of deep under the skin acne. It literally hurt to touch my face at certain times of the month. I’ve used everything: Proactive, Retin A, Tetracyclene, tons of over the counter products, it helped “manage” my acne, but never healed it.
    Last summer, I sort of had a revelation. A family member had to change their diet due to food allergies and can no longer eat gluten. This inspired me to try and see if I noticed any difference. After 2 weeks of eliminating gluten and eating real food (not altered food with gluten added) I had an unbelievable amount of energy and I just felt better (stay with me, I’ll get back to the acne). I started examining my lifestyle and wondered what other natural alternatives there were to everyday products I use.

    So, I started doing research and found this website: here you can look up your current hygeine products (from lotion to shampoo and make up) and find out what harmful and TOXIC chemicals have been added. What’s cool, is that you can also look at suggested non toxic products to replace your current ones. See, currently there are no federal regulations for cosmetic/hygeine companies. They can put whatever they want it in, slap the word “natural” or “organic” on it and sell it to you. Did you know that most shampoos have the same chemical used in carwashes? You should hear me yell “LIARS!” at the tv when shampoo commercials come on the screen!

    Soooo…long story short, I quit everything cold turkey. I started using the “no shampoo” method and quickly my hair took on a whole new personality…the exact look I wanted all along! Here you can read more about it:
    I also threw out all my makeup and facial cleansers. Everything. My acne is basically non existent at this point, and my acne scars have significantly faded and my skin is smoother thanks to the vitamin E oil. I will have a slight flare up once a month or so, but nothing….NOTHING compared to before.

    So, here is my current routine:

    Shampoo: I currently use an all natural organic shampoo bar and after my shower I massage a pea size amount of olive oil in my long hair to condition and detangle. I wash my hair every other day and let my natual oils do their job.

    For my Acne: I use an olive oil bar by Kiss My Face to cleanse morning and night. I also exfoiliate my face DAILY (usually in the shower) using a gentle buff puff. Then I use an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) (always get the kind “with the mother” –not the giant bottle of Heinz)toner that I make myself(1/4 cup ACV to 1/2-3/4 cup water stores wekk in a small tupperware container) –leave this on for at least 30 min before bed. Before bed I put Vitamin E oil (squeeze from the gel tabs you take orally) and let it soak in over night. Within a week of doing this I noticed an EXTREME difference in my skin. My clogged pores that were the cause of my acne have improved so much and now it’s like they release the oily build up on their own instead of getting infected after I tried to pick at them (BAD). I do put a think layer of 10% benzoyl peroxide cream on my problem areas (chin, around my mouth, forehead and neck) right after my shower in the morning and allow to dry completly. Currently I still use over the counter sun block (15 SPF Oil of Olay for sensitive skin) after I apply the benzoyl peroxide and before I put on my make up because of melanoma in my family (I’m a blue-eyed dutch girl with freckles).

    Cosmetics: This was the toughest thing for me to change, mainly because of the cost (I’m thrifty). I use only organic makeup now, and I pay a pretty penny for it, but the peace of mind and benefits to my skin are worth it. Currently I use Larenim products

    Body Lotion: I’m actually getting ready to try making my own lotion using essential oils (I do miss smelling girly) but right now I use your standard extra virgin olive oil as a basic skin moisturizer on my arms and legs after shaving. It really works and a little goes a long way. I know, you probably think I’m crazy!

    Water: I drink at least two 32 oz Nalgene bottles every day. In the summer, I increase this by at least 16 additional oz a day.

    Anyway, that’s my journey. It’s been so worth the changes I’ve made. I even found an ammonia free salon that uses organic products, so I can still enjoy pampering!

    I hope you find what works for you!

  85. I have been an avid and and reader of your blog for sometime now. I have read and admired your adventures in decorating. Now I might be able to turn the table and help you. If you will send me your address I will be more than happy to send you a couple of my handcrafted products that I believe will help both your complexion and your hair. What I will send to you for your complexion is a combination package containing a Moor Mud Bar and a jar of Dead Sea Mud with Moor Mud and Rhassoul Clay Masque. Moor Mud is an organic all natural product with unbelievable benefits, one of which is it is fantastic for fighting acne and post-adolescent acne (the type that accompanies pregnancy). I would also like to send you an all natural shampoo bar and Herbal Vinegar Rinse, both have been written about in a couple of national blogs. All I ask is if you like them you might mention them sometime in your blog. If you get a chance, go to my website and see if you find one of the shampoo bars that you would prefer as well as which one of the Herbal Vinegar Rinses. Then email me and I will ship them off to you. I am fairly certain you will be pleased with the products and how your skin and hair feel after using them.

  86. Ok this doesn’t really prevent acne but is more of a spot treatment for troublesome blemishes. I will say it does not completely heal the blemish overnight but has reduced all mine by at least half and works well on those painful cystic blemishes too!

    -Apply a dab of 1% hydrocortisone cream (I use generic anti-itch creams… nothing special for faces) to the spot and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
    -Gently wipe off the hydrocortisone cream and apply a very thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment and go to sleep.

  87. Emily! I have had the same issues and got some scarring on my face because of it. Ugh. I would feel soo self concious and like you tried everything, most of which made it worse. My acne was hormonal and I went to a few different dermatologists and both of them told me to use cetaphil. I know you said you’ve used that and it didn’t help. I use the anti-bacterial cetaphil bar for my face wash morning and night. You can get it any store and it only costs about 3.00. Then I rub a little bit of benzaclin (prescription) over my face and then top it off the with the cetaphil daily moisturizer. Ever since I have used that my skin cleared right up. A huge part of it is the benzaclin – if I don’t use it morning and night I get little bumps. It took a while to clear up and for my face to adjust to it, but once it did I havn’t had any other problems. You may have tried all these, if you have, sorry I’m not any help but I know how miserable it is. I hate it. I also used an antibiotic for a little while. You could ask your doctor about that, but good luck. I hope you find something that works!

  88. I have sensitive skin. Not horrible but if it doesn’t like what I put on it I can tell immediately! I use Eno Natural Soap from it is the Tepezcohuite Acne & Troubled Skin Face Bar, long name but I love it! If I don’t use it for several days I can tell. I wash my face all the time with it and it feels amazing!

  89. Hi,

    I have a couple of suggestions for you.

    No. 1: The first is to check out Paula Begoun’s website, This website is free and is filled with sound scientific information. In a nutshell, Paula believes that everyone’s skin and hair type is different, so their care should be different; and beautifully formulated products don’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, you can shop at your local drugstore to find beautifully formulated makeup, skincare products and hair care products at reasonable prices. Most importantly, EVERY company has good and bad products (including the skincare products sold and some dermatologists’ offices). There is no one-stop shopping here. There is a very helpful Customer Service department or you can communicate through email. She has also published books, two of which are “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” and “The Beauty Bible.” ( and are excellent resources for used books…verify the date they were published to get most current info).

    She also has a paid website,, which rates different products from several different companies. The paid website is worth every penny, but that’s just my opinion. In short order, the website will pay for itself very quickly, if you are so inclined to subscribe!! She does have her own company and there is full disclosure about that. On her website, she sells her own line of products, and you can see the comments people leave…again, not one company is right for everyone.

    No. 2: After the birth of my first daughter, I was having hair and skin issues, not to mention I was exhausted. I went to my doctor, and after running a couple of tests, she determined I had hypothyroidism and prescribed thyroid pills. In about a week, I felt normal (as normal as one can feel after her first child), and shortly after, my skin and hair responded. I did have to cut off the dried out hair.

    Hope that helps. I didn’t have the opportunity to read all of the comments here, so I hope this is not a repeat.

    Good luck! Be well!!

  90. UPDATE ON SKIN CARE: Woo-hoo!! Yippee!! And hot diggity dog. I have been a paid subscriber to for a few years now, and I’ve just received an email form Paula Begoun’s fantastic team advising me that Beautypedia is now FREE!! Ya gotta love that, my bargain-conscious friends!! Happy perusing…of course, only after you peruse

    Emily, hope this website is useful to you!!!


  91. Not sure if this will help, but it’s worth a try. I have also been battling issues with my skin. I used to be able to use just about anything I tried, but over the past year my skin has become very, very sensitive. I ended up at Urgent Care one weekend with eyes almost swelled shut!

    I also have tried Cetaphil with no luck and continued skin issues. I decided to go the “as natural as possible route” and tried Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover. It was miraculous – my skin felt so much better with no irritation, swelling or redness! It was the first time in a year! I paired it with the Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15. Also no reactions and my skin feels great! I have been able to wear my regular makeup without any irritations. Not sure why I have become so sensitive – blaming it on age and hormone changes – but I am glad to have finally found a combo that works! Good luck in your search!

  92. If you like mineral makeup you will LOVE Everyday Minerals – I have been using it for 2 years now and can’t live without it. In the past I have used Mary Kay for skincare – it is a little spendy (my friend sells it to me on the cheap!)…I do like neutrogena and clean & clear products. I also have found a matte moisturizer (I use one from Clean and Clear) helps my mineral makup look lots better – all day. I have had 4 kids and everytime I quit nursing – it takes a toll on my body for a while, until it adjusts to the change. It will get better!

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  1. […] let me say a HUGE thank you to all of you that commented on the skincare post!! Wow! Y’all are awesome, and I read all of the comments and I have tons of great information […]