5 Tips For Clearer Skin

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AfterDifferin #CollectiveBias

I shared back in May how I’ve been self-conscious for years because of my acne prone skin. It’s kept me from introducing myself to new people, getting in pictures with my children, and starting to use video as a tool for blogging. I never realized how much my bad skin kept me from doing things, but recently it’s become more apparent. For example, I’m in the process of planning my wedding. I found the most beautiful dress, but I wouldn’t let my mom take a photo of me in it at the bridal dress store. I wasn’t wearing makeup and I didn’t want any pictures of my bare face. The photo below is the image she ended up with and what I shared on social media. As you can see, my face is nowhere to be found.

Knowing that on my wedding day I’ll be in numerous photos, I decided that it was really important to focus on improving my skin. I want to look back on my wedding photos and see my smiling face next to my husband. I also want to be in more pictures with my children instead of hiding behind the camera all the time. My bad skin has greatly affected every area of my life, and I decided that I’m not going to let it do so any longer. There are five things I’ve been doing to work on clearing up my skin, so I wanted to share them with you all in the hopes that they can help someone else.

The first, and most important thing that I did, was add Differin® Gel to my skincare regimen. It’s the only prescription-strength retinoid available over-the-counter for clearing and preventing acne. It’s the newest advancement and ingredient in the OTC acne category in over 30 years! It clears breakouts where they start (deep in the pores) and prevents breakouts before they begin and as a result, restores skin’s texture and tone. I’ve noticed clearer skin after using this product for a couple months. I went from always having one or two large pimples and a number of smaller ones to only having a pimple or two around the time my period comes. I also noticed that the breakouts that I do get are less severe and go away quicker than before.

I took photos before I started using Differin® Gel and about two months later. In both images I have a light layer of moisturizing cream on my face and that’s it. I normally add some concealer over my breakouts, but for these pictures I didn’t put any on. (Both images are not retouched or edited in any way, I’m just a bit tanner in the “after” image since the warmer weather is here and I’m outside more.)

You can see in the images above how much better my skin looks in just a couple months. My chin and cheeks, the areas that used to break out the most, are clear of new breakouts now except for one small pimple. After living with numerous breakouts all over my face, I can deal with a tiny one, especially knowing that it won’t get as bad as my pimples used to get. If you look at the “before” picture you’ll see that I have a large dark spot on my right cheek which was a pimple that seemed to be there for months. That doesn’t happen anymore!

Along with using Differin® Gel, I wanted to share some other things I’m doing in my quest for healthier looking skin.

 

  • Using a moisturizer daily- I used to avoid moisturizer because I thought it made my skin worse; however,  I discovered that a lightweight moisturizer made for acne prone skin, like Differin® Balancing Moisturizer, is actually good for my skin.

  • Drinking more water- Again, skin needs to be moisturized! Drinking plenty of water helps the skin look fabulous from the inside out. I am still not reaching my daily water intake goal, but I’m drinking more water than I used to.

  • Touching my face less- Whether it’s picking at a breakout, rubbing my forehead when I’m stressed, or resting my chin in my hands, I realized that I touched my face on a frequent basis. This habit not only spreads germs but was probably making my acne worse, so I’m trying to be more conscious of this habit and working on keeping my hands away from my face.

  • Having makeup free days- Now that my skin is clearing up, I feel better not wearing makeup every second. If I have a day I’m not doing much, I’ll skip makeup and give my skin a day to breathe.

I hope these five tips for clearer skin help you if you are suffering from acne. If you want to try Differin® Gel you can find it in the facial skincare aisle at Walmart by the other acne-fighting products. Go to Differin.com to get $2 off Differin® Gel and use it on your next shopping trip to Walmart!

When using the product, keep in mind that Differin® Gel is not used in the same way as a spot treatment. In order to get the best results, you should apply a thin layer all over the face, once a day, every day, after your skin is washed and before moisturizer. Please use caution when using Differin® Gel with more than one acne treatment or glycolic acid product because this could lead to irritation. Also, it’s important to continue using Differin® Gel as part of your skincare routine, even after your skin looks clear, to help prevent future breakouts.

Do you struggle with acne or have you in the past? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Let me know if you have any great tips to share on how to reduce acne other than the ones I’ve listed here.

Disclosure: This product is dermatologist developed and tested. Please call 1-866-735-4137 for any questions you may have concerning the product. However, should you experience any problems while using the product, please discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.

DIY Decorative Mirror And Clear Skin Dreams

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeforeDifferin #CollectiveBias

This July, I will be turning 34. Now that I’m well into my 30s and have bought a home, have two kids and drive a minivan, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m fully grown. Can someone please inform my skin that I’m an adult? I don’t think it got the memo! Those dreaded teenage years are behind me (long behind me….) and yet I still find myself looking in the mirror at a face full of acne.

To be honest though, I don’t remember having a lot of breakouts in junior high or high school. I had some annoying pimples but nothing out of the ordinary during that hormonal time when acne tends to be at its worst. I feel like my skin played a trick on me and, as soon as I became an adult, decided to go haywire. I don’t know if it’s the stress of “adulting” or what, but my skin has never been this bad. I feel like I’m always dealing with breakouts and as soon as some start to fade, new ones appear.

My acne keeps me from enjoying life to its fullest because I am so self-conscious about how my skin looks. In college I was the Student Council Social Chair of my class and so outgoing that I would pull people walking by me into conversations (even if I didn’t know them!) Nowadays, I avoid conversations with people mainly because I feel like people are staring at the breakouts on my face.

I also find myself avoiding cameras and video for the same reason. As a blogger, I’d love to start a video series. I used to be on the speech team and have no problem performing in front of crowds, but I hate how I look so much that the thought of doing so now gives me anxiety – not because I have to talk in front of people, but because I don’t want people to see me.

And mirrors? I avoid them because they show every imperfection. I’d rather not look at myself that much because I don’t want to see how bad my breakouts are.

I’ve decided that it’s time to change my mindset about my skin and not let it hold me back from being the best version of myself. I need to be able to look in the mirror and love the face I see looking back at me. It’s going to be a process but I’m ready.

The first thing I’m doing is trying a new acne product that I hope will clear up my skin. I have tried a number of products and none of them have worked but I’m excited to try this new Differin® Gel because I have heard good things about it. It’s the first and only prescription strength retinoid that’s now available over the counter for clearing and preventing acne. It actually clears breakouts where they start (deep in the pores), prevents breakouts before they begin, and as a result, restores skin’s texture and tone.

The second thing I did for myself was make myself a decorative mirror to look into every day. I do not want to avoid mirrors anymore. This was such an easy craft that I wanted to share the DIY tutorial so you could make one for yourself. It will look so pretty hanging over your table with some fresh flowers next to it!

Materials needed:

  • Mirror
  • Mosaic tiles (colors of your choice)
  • Adhesive created for mosaic tiles

Instructions:

Decide on how you want to arrange your mosaic tiles. Lay them out on your mirror so you can see how they fit. Depending on the size of your mirror and the size of your tiles, you may discover you need to cut some of the tiles or have some hang off the edge of the mirror a bit.

Use the adhesive to stick the tiles to the mirror. The adhesive dries quickly, so only do a small portion at a time. You can put glue on the mirror or on the back of the tiles. (I started putting it on the mirror but halfway through switched to putting the adhesive glue on the back of the tiles. Both methods worked, but putting it on the back of the tiles seemed to be less messier.)

Continue adding the tiles all the way around the mirror, straightening the pieces as you go so that the tiles dry in a straight line and aren’t crooked. Once the tiles are glued on, you will want to let the mirror sit overnight to dry before using it.

So now I have a new product I am confident will clear my skin and a beautifully decorated mirror to look into. I will be sharing my journey, along with a skin update, here on the blog in a couple months.

You can find Differin® Gel, along with Differin® Balancing Cleanser and Differin® Balancing Moisturizer, in the complexion care aisle at Walmart. Differin® Gel contains the dermatologist recommended retinoid, Adapalene. It’s the newest advancement and ingredient in the OTC acne category in over 30 years so if you feel like nothing has worked yet you should try this! Make sure that when you use it, you apply a thin layer all over your face once daily. Please use caution when using Differin® Gel with more than one acne treatment or glycolic acid product because this could lead to irritation.

If you are in a similar situation with the way you feel about your skin, I’d love to hear from you and perhaps even go on this journey {virtually} together! You deserve clear skin and to feel beautiful!

This product is dermatologist developed and tested. Please call 1-866-735-4137 for any questions you may have concerning the product. However, should you experience any problems while using the product, please discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.

The Importance Of Using Sunscreen Year Round

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.)

In the heat of summer we all know to use sunscreen all the time but as the summer draws to an end, and even through the Fall, most people stop using sun protection. UV rays are just as harmful in the Fall and in order to end the Summer season on a high note, everyone should use skin protection daily. The reason it is so important to always use sunscreen is that 1 in 5 Americans develops skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and with early detection, most skin cancers are curable.

Our kids are very active outside all the way through the end of October, mainly due to sports like baseball and football, but they love playing outside no matter what the weather brings. To better protect ourselves we started using the Neutrogena Wet Skin Collection. It’s the first ever water-resistant lotion sunscreen specifically designed for wet skin application to provide broad spectrum sun protection in wet or dry conditions. It is proven to provide full strength protection even on wet skin and is sweat-resistant and water-resistant which is perfect for my active boys. The best part is that it is available in spray, lotion and stick forms for both kids and adults. My kids are always in a rush so we like the spray option and it works even when they are sweaty from running around.

I worry about Skin Cancer constantly so it is great to know that Wet Skin Kids provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and mists right on for protection from the sun’s harsh rays. It’s the quickest way to fully protect our kids when they are out on the field at games or practices and reapplying during breaks is easy as pie.

As a teenager I always used Neutrogena for their acne and soap products. Now as an adult I continue using it, especially for skin protection. I choose Neutrogena for their quality but also for their level of care for its consumers. Most importantly it suits my kids’ needs while playing sports.

Since its launch in 2009, the Neutrogena – #1 dermatologist recommended sun care brand – has provided more than 11,000 free skin screenings, donated more than $30 million dollars’ worth of sunscreen product to families in need through a Buy 1 Donate 1 program and diagnosed more than one thousand cases of skin cancer in the US alone. The Neutrogena Choose Skin Health campaign, a partnership between Neutrogena and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, is dedicated to fighting skin cancer and saving lives through education, early detection, and empowering people to follow sun safe behaviors. This year, Neutrogena partnered with a variety of celebrity ambassadors, including Kerry Washington, to help spread the word about the importance of sun protection by sharing personal #ChooseSkinHealth testimonials on social media. Neutrogena believes that each story makes a difference – and can even help save a life!

My kids can continue to enjoy their outdoor activities and I can relax knowing they are kept safe with Neutrogena Wet Skin. Nature and good weather should be enjoyed as much as possible so we plan to enjoy it all Fall long. How are you keeping your skin safe as the seasons transition?

My Secret Skin Care Struggles And The Only Product That Worked For Me

(Disclosure: I received the product mentioned to review but all thoughts are my own.)

My skin has never been perfect. I’ve suffered breakouts for years and I had learned to deal with them. A few years ago though I developed another skin condition that was even worse than acne. I started getting dry patches on my face. It first started out just on the sides of my nose. Then I got some on my forehead and then a spot about an inch above my lip.

The thing was it just wasn’t dry skin. It was red and itched. I tried product after product. I’d use exfoliating cleansers but that just made the portions of my face turn from dry to tomato red. I’d put heavy eczema cream on the areas after scrubbing and then I’d go to bed and wake up with not-as-dry {but still dry patches}. I tried not scrubbing them but then I was left with a flaky mess.

This went on for YEARS. It caused me to be more self conscious than I’d ever been in my life. I was miserable and hated leaving my house because I didn’t want anyone to see how horrible my skin was.

I was recently asked to review Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant and I honestly didn’t think it would help my skin issues since nothing I had tried did. This was what the email I received said: “Dr. Brandt’s lifesaving and powerful microdermabrasion treatment instantly brightens ALL skin types by gently buffing away dead skin cells, revealing radiant, healthy skin underneath. Over time, it even reduces the appearance of fine lines, acne marks, and discoloration.”

I used it once and immediately saw an improvement. I tried not to get too excited since some products I used appeared to reduce the dryness but didn’t really. The next morning I woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw NO DRY SKIN. Four days later and still no dry patches and the redness has gone down. I went from never being able to cover the redness with makeup to being able to put BB Cream on and a little mineral powder and make my redness disappear. I’m no longer worrying about if people are staring at my dry patches or wondering why my face is so red.

I still have a ways to go since I’d love to feel confident while wearing just a little tinted moisturizer but I feel like it’s an achievable dream now. I have never made a beauty discovery that got me as excited as this one has. This product is $78 which is normally way more than I’d ever spend on anything for myself but I feel like it’s worth it. {I normally don’t spend more than $10 on any skin care product so I would never suggest that anyone spend this much unless I was absolutely amazed with the results!} I think what makes this product unique is that it is formulated with pharmaceutical-grade crystals so it mimics an in-office procedure. It also contains soothing botanicals which is probably why the redness subsided.

The product can be purchased on Birchbox’s website. If it’s too expensive for you to buy yourself, or you hate spending money on yourself, this would make a great item to put on your Christmas list :)

(Note: I am not a Doctor or a Dermatologist. I’m just sharing a product that worked for me. This is not medical advice. I hope this product works for you as well as it worked for me but I can’t guarantee that you will have the same results.)

 

12 Days Of Skin Tips {$100 Gift Card Giveaway}

‘Tis the season to moisturize! With a New Year right around the corner, it’s never too late to take charge of your skin. As you reflect on the past year and look forward to the next, commit to putting the health of your skin first. Skin stress that appears during the holidays can be the result of a lack of moisture, especially if you live in a colder climate.

Here are 12 days of skin tips from Eucerin to give your skin the beautiful and healthy-looking holiday glow it deserves:

1)      Cold, dry, winter weather can be tough on your hands, wear gloves to help keep them protected against harsh winter elements.

2)      Keep your showers short and sweet and use lukewarm water. Bathing for long periods in hot water can cause skin to lose natural oils and nutrients.

3)      Winter can wreak havoc on your skin because there is less moisture in the air, low humidity. Give your skin a boost and run a humidifier at night to help add moisture.

4)      Relieve dryness associated with frequent hand washing by washing with lukewarm water, using a gentle soap, and applying moisturizer right after drying your hands.

5)      3 steps to revive dry feet. 1) Remove dry, flaky skin with a pumice stone. 2) Apply a rich moisturizer, like Eucerin’s Aquaphor Healing Ointment before bed. 3) Throw on a pair of socks to lock in the moisture and go to sleep!

6)      Try Eucerin Calming Crème (with oatmeal) to help dry, itchy skin this season.

7)      Chemicals and allergens in certain makeups, perfumes, soaps, and detergents can cause skin irritation. Avoid products that you know have irritated your skin and use gentle cleansers!

8)      Snow reflects sunlight, making it important to wear an SPF product like Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 30 all year round for protection from UVA and UVB rays.

9)      Coarse fabrics can cause itchiness if you have sensitive skin. Go for something silky!

10)   Getting a full six to eight hours of sleep is important for your overall well-being and helps your skin look its best. Get to bed early to get plenty of shut-eye

11)   Tame chapped lips. For lip hydration, try applying a few drops of olive oil and honey or pick up Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect SPF 30.

12)   Wind can act like sandpaper when constantly hitting exposed skin. Protect skin with a rich moisturizer and bundle up with hats and scarves.

***

Make sure to visit the Eucerin US Facebook page to receive a sample of Eucerin lotion when you like the Eucerin Facebook page. There you will also find great tips and personalized recommendations from Eucerin dermatologists!

Featured Eucerin Products Of The Month:

Eucerin Smoothing Repair Dry Skin Lotion (16.9 fl. oz.) a unique, fast absorbing lotion that combines Ceramide-3, skin’s own moisturizers, and Gluco-Glycerol to improve the condition of skin and help fight dryness at the source.

o   Dermatologist recommended

o   Provides intense moisture for skin that looks and feels immediately hydrated

o   Strengthens the skin’s barrier to lock in moisture

o   Improves moisture reserves to help prevent dryness from recurring for healthy looking skin

o   Fast absorbing, non-greasy

Eucerin Professional Repair Extremely Dry Skin Lotion (6.8 fl. oz.) helps alleviate and repair extremely dry skin with a unique concentrated formula that features a groundbreaking technology that combines skin’s own natural moisturizers and Ceramide-3, a component of a healthy skin barrier, with Gluco-Glycerol,  an innovative moisturizer—to improve the condition of skin and fight extreme dryness. The product is highly effective and has been granted the Good Housekeeping Seal. If it doesn’t work as claimed Good Housekeeping will replace or refund the purchase price.

o   Dermatologist recommended

o   Moisture rich formula, yet lightweight and fast absorbing

o   Strengthens the skin’s barrier to lock in moisture

o   Improves moisture reserves to help prevent dryness from recurring for healthy looking skin

o   Fragrance-free, won’t clog pores

 GIVEAWAY:

Healthy Skin Kit Prize pack includes: Eucerin Smoothing Repair Dry Skin Lotion, Eucerin Professional Repair Extremely Dry Skin Lotion, moisturizing gloves, a pumice stone, and a $100 Visa Gift Card!

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Which skin tip above is your favorite?

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Enter another one of my giveaways (find them in the upper right corner)

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Follow @EucerinUS on Twitter

6) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right hand corner)

7) Follow me on Pinterest

Giveaway ends January 15, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I received a prize pack from Eucerin for posting this giveaway.}

Mary Kay {Giveaway}

Felissa is offering 25% off everything in her Mary Kay store. The discount will come off before the order goes through but will not show in the cart. You can also connect with her on Facebook to keep updated on new promotions she runs.

GIVEAWAY:

Enter  to win TimeWise Night Restore & Recover Complex- a new Mary Kay product (valued at $40) that was awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal. The winner will choose which product they want: the one for oily skin or the one for normal to dry skin.

MANDATORY ENTRY:

Look in Felissa’s Mary Kay store and then leave a comment telling me what other Mary Kay product you’d like to try.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do)

1) Share this giveaway on a social network

2) Tweet: “Win a great Mary Kay product from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com ”

3) Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS (look in upper right corner)

4) Blog about this giveaway

5) Enter another one of my giveaways (they can be found here)

Giveaway ends December 27, 2011 at 11:59pm. US Only.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for running this giveaway.)

Tellurian Baby Skin Care Review and Giveaway

I recently received the line of Tellurian Baby skin care products to review. On first glance I loved them because of their bright colors and fun swirly pumps. Upon use I liked that the lotions weren’t greasy and the body wash made our skin feel soft (yes, moms can use it, too!). The scented products all smelled wonderful. I think best of all though, is the fact that these products are natural so they are safe for children and won’t irritate their delicate skin.

As someone who loves working with charities I was also happy to see that Tellurian Baby donates a portion of every sale to charities helping children around the world.

BUY IT:

Tellurian Baby offers FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more. You can also use the code “NATURAL” at the check out for 20% off your purchase.

WIN IT:

One reader will win the Tellurian Baby 2-in-1 Shampoo/Bodywash and a Lotion

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

2) Like Tellurian Baby on Facebook

3) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

4) Follow @TellurianBaby on Twitter

5) Tweet: Enter to win skin care products from @TellurianBaby and @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com

6) Share this giveaway on Facebook

7) Enter another one of my giveaways

Giveaway ends August 7, 2011 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: I received items to review but all opinions are my own.)