Thursday, May 7, 2015

Two Become Three and Learning Self Acceptance

I'm officially joining the mommy club!!! Leonel and I couldn't be happier to start this new chapter in our lives. This will be our first child and for now we've decided to keep the gender a surprise. All that matters is that our baby is healthy and it's the main reason why I decided to stop using my topical Rosacea treatment Metrogel.

Showing off my baby bump :)

Metrogel is not safe for pregnant woman since it's basically a topical steroid, I hadn't been taking oral medication (antibiotic that decreases facial inflammation) for about a year and maintaining clear skin with topical treatment only. Staying away from triggers and keeping a strict skin care routine pretty much kept my rosacea under control. A few months into my pregnancy without my magic gel and all hell has broken loose, my skin is more red and bumpy than ever before.

With and without makeup using Metrogel and gentle skincare prior to pregnancy

Off of treatment for several weeks during pregnancy

I try to focus on the bigger picture and that it will get better once I can use proper medication again. But even though I feel low at times and just want to hide at home I've also learned to not base all my self worth on my appearance. I'm lucky to have a supportive, loving husband that reminds me everyday he thinks I'm beautiful regardless of my insecurities. Pregnancy alone can be hard because you gain baby weight and your body changes so much. Having a red bumpy face on top of that can just kill your self esteem and honestly I've had my breakdowns.

I've been tying out more natural treatment and almost everything has either made the condition worse or provides very little relief. Makeup helps me feel less insecure and for the most part covers the redness but no makeup in the world can remove the inflammation. I've also developed dry skin patches and makeup only makes it look flakier. So I wear very minimal makeup since I feel it only brings more attention to the inflammation and flakes. I'm currently using Pure Minerals loose powder and Jane Iradale press powder, I was originally using Pure Minerals only but as the redness and inflammation got worse I began using Jane Iradale for fuller coverage. This makeup does not contain fragrance, alcohol, is non comedogenic, and doesn't contain common irritants such as Mica or Talc. Very important to use this type of makeup or it will only aggravate your very sensitive Rosacea skin.

With makeup to conceal redness 

Since most commercial skincare contains fragrance, alcohol, and so many chemicals that are very irritating to sensitive Rosacea skin it's hard to find products that help. I've been trying the chemical free, diy skin care route and my skin has given me mixed reviews ranging from I HATE YOU RED to THIS KIND OF HELPS PINK. My skin does not like the oil cleansing method, it's too irritating and requires rubbing and steaming which is horrible for Rosacea. Any kind of heat or steam and your face will flush to red, rubbing your skin on top of that will only make it worse. I had read awesome reviews on organic, cold pressed, jojoba oil but after a few nights my skin was very angry. I developed skin plaques and was very red. I tried a couple of different oils, Rosehip, Hemp, Sweet Almond, Coconut oil, even Shea Butter. All organic, pure, and cold pressed. My skin wasn't having any of it. Very annoying and disappointing, back to the drawing board I go.

I usually don't use toners but with the oil cleansing method I decided to try a few. I tired witch hazel and it helped at first but than my skin started to become very red, especially on my nose. I also began using Rose water and Calendula Hydrosol, both organic. The Rose water smells amazing but works ok, doesn't irritate but it doesn't decrease the redness either. Calendula on the other hand has been very healing and reduces redness right away. To be honest I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. I also find that oatmeal and aloe vera are very soothing and healing, I use colloidal oatmeal by Aveeno. I use it for masks and as a cleanser at times. The aloe vera gel is straight from the aloe leaf, my parents have several aloe plants and they share there supply with me. I also use organic Aloe Vera Juice from Lilly of the Dessert. I include it with the oatmeal to make a paste for masks and also use it as a toner. I put the aloe juice in a spray bottle along with some water and spray it on after my Calendula Hydrosol, very soothing. In the past I've tried apple cider vinegar and my skin hated it as much as witch hazel. Rosacea is very good at letting you know right away when it's not happy or irritated. Unfortunately the redness and inflammation can take several weeks / months to heal after a flare up. But the only way to know if it works is try, right? Scary but necessary. 

I'm in need of a moisturizer at the moment, all natural oils have irritated my skin, most recently I had a very bad reaction with Jojoba oil. So for now I'm only using sun block besides the Calendula and aloe vera juice. I ordered the moisturizers I was using before and waiting for them to arrive by mail. I order them from Dr. Cynthia Bailey, she recommends Replenix Power of Three Cream to reduce redness and inflammation. I'm hoping it will help control my redness and inflammation even without my topical steroid.

I'm also following the Paleo diet and it helps keep triggers at bay. I've decided to cut out dairy, gluten, grains, artificial sugar, and corn along with my common triggers. My main triggers are spicy foods, hot foods, pepper, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and vinegars to name a few. It's not easy to be disciplined and keep away from so many ingredients but it's necessary in order to heal and not make the condition worse than what it is. Because it CAN and WILL get worse if you ignore your body and continue to consume or slather on the very things that are making you sick. 

I've gathered a lot of knowledge by researching online and trying out things on my own face. Painful at times because I never know which way it will go but I refuse to give up. I'll go over products I've used in future posts, hopefully I can save someone from heart ache and misery, and save them some money too. But I must stress Rosacea is different for everyone along with it's triggers. So maybe what works for me doesn't work for you. I have Acne Rosacea and I've discovered my triggers by a process of elimination over time. I suggest keeping a log if necessary to track your progress and list of triggers / makeup and skin care products that do and don't work for you. This will help you so much! 

Just remember to keep your head up and focus on your blessings. Surround yourself with positive supportive people that don't make you feel self conscious and accept / love you just the way you are. And although hiding in a cave sounds tempting don't do it!! Keep doing your activities that make you happy, such as hobbies and exercise, spending time with friends or family, or reading an amazing book that takes your mind off the anxiety or stress that comes with this condition. 

This crazy guy keeps me smiling and I'm so grateful xoxo

Take Care and Much Love,


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