Trust me, this is not about vanity.
I’m posting two more ‘recent’ photos of me, taken this morning because I wanted to show the difference in my skin lately, now that I’m no longer breast feeding and my hormones are out of control. For two years (at least) I’ve had to tolerate having a constant rash (both eczema and hormone related) because I couldn’t put anything strong enough on my skin while I was trying to get pregnant, then pregnant, then breast feeding. It was a huge embarassment during nicer weather when I had to wear sleeveless shirts that exposed skin or die from the heat. I remember last May going to a friend’s house on a crazy hot day and wearing a long-sleeve sweater and her and her husband looked at me like I was the crazy one but my skin was so bad that I didn’t want to deal with the stares (and that was stupid, they were my friends, and knew what I was struggling with and still I felt the need to hide it).
I stopped pumping a couple of weeks ago, and a week later, got a prescription cream to clear up the little bit of eczema that remained on my arms, neck, shoulders and chest. And today, this is what my skin looks like:
In the first photo I’d just woken up (hence the puffy eyes) but I took the photo after washing my face so I’m makeup free (and it’s very rare that I take photos of myself without makeup much less let people SEE me without makeup) and in the second photo I’m ready for the gym (hence the pulled back hair) but all I’m wearing makeup wise is tinted moisturizer, which I wear mostly for the SPF. For the longest time, I always wore a full-coverage liquid foundation because I (felt I) needed the coverage on my blotchy skin. But now, even when I go out anywhere and am compelled to do full makeup (ie eyes), I still just wear the tinted moisturizer as a base and that’s it. (In the photos I posted yesterday that was the case – lots of eye makeup and hardly anything else). It’s HUGE deal, to me at least, that I’ve gotten to this point with my skin.
The other day I said that I felt like a million bucks when I wear my favorite outfit. It’s not my favorite outfit that makes me feel like a million bucks these days, it’s my SKIN. And to be comfortable in my skin after all this time, it’s almost miraculous. I’m GIDDY because of it.
If you, or anyone you know, is a sufferer from eczema, this is what’s working for me:
Prescription cream: Betamethasone valerate (active ingredient in creams like Betnovate). Works because it targets the cells beneath the surface of the skin, preventing inflammation before it even gets to the surface. Not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
Daily Moisturizer: Eucerin original (for general, every day use before bed and first thing in the morning) and Eucerin Urea (after I shower or need something a bit more intense).
Skincare: Aveda Green Science. It costs a lot of money (like A LOT – $60 for a 50ml jar of moisturizer) but my skin has never felt better. Never ever. I hate to say that it’s worth every penny, but it’s hard not to say that when my skin isn’t lying. Not anymore.
*Making blogging fun (and easy) again by participating in this 30 Day Challenge.