Monday, August 11, 2014

Skincare Journal

Skincare Journal

Desperate times, desperate measures.

As a child I was allergic to nothing, well apart from cocoa butter but as a youngster I had very little need for such moisturising property. The years have rolled by and now it seems and certainly feels like every little thing irritates my skin. Funnily enough I have grew out of the cocoa butter allergy.

I can put up with the odd blemish and even the odd averse reaction but when your allergy sends you to the A&E all because you dared to use a face mask you know it is time to take action. I have been to a few doctors, told to avoid spicy food (they believe the reason my lips swell on occasion is due to my obsession with chillies) and new skin care. As much as I love JalapeƱo, I can live without them. Easily. The second part is not so easy considering my job is essentially to try new products. This bemused my doctor greatly but I've got to hand it to her she isn't one to shy away from a challenge nor set them. I was told to go and buy a small notebook, a pen and never be without them. Slowly but surely we will get to the bottom of my allergies, one ingredient at a time if needs be.

The concept is that each day I write down what I eat and what I apply to my face. Now this is no flash in the pan idea, a six month time scale has been put in place. Most doctors only recommend it if your skin flairs up fairly regularly or in my case you are also trying to determine some food allergies. After that we will then go back and eliminate anything that simply doesn't work for me or minimise exposure to such environment. Personally I see it as a great idea and one I feel many will benefit from, all of our complexions play up time to time so to be able to go back and see what is causing harm is surely a great lesson?

Daily Points:
Breakfast (a list of everything you ate)
A list of morning skin care products (be they old or new)
A list of all make-up products used (be they old or new)
Lunch (a list of everything you ate)
If I did a pre-cleanse and what products I used (be they old or new)
Dinner (a list of everything you ate)
A list of evening skin care products (be they old or new)
Liquids (drinks of any kind, yes that includes alcohol)
Water intake
Supplements and/or any medication
Did I do any exercise?
Was my skin exposed to travel and/or air conditioning?
Weather and sun exposure?
SPF (brand, factor and if I have used it before or not)
City I was in (this is to gauge if pollution is a factor)
Mood (to see if my skin acts up when stressed)
Sleep (how many hours and quality)

You should also note any changes to your skin daily be the good, bad or indifferent, as well as noting down any suspect products, i.e a new mask that left your skin feeling tight and so on.

It is pretty through but it is really interesting and if anything it has thus far encouraged me to eat better and drink more water. What was born out of necessity has so far been enjoyable. This is by no means a new concept but it might be helpful for some?

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  1. I'm a pharmacologist, and can tell you it is so difficult to pinpoint a specific product, or chemical within the product that can cause an allergic reaction. They don't need to be the ingredient with the highest concentration in a specific product either, or be the 'active' ingredient' in anything. So tough! I see people talking about them only using 'natural' or 'organic' products, as if they don't cause allergies, when anything - no matter how expensive, cheap or good for you - can contribute to an allergy. Our immune system and allergic reactions are sometimes utterly unpredictable.

    Glad to see you've taken your doctor's advice and are writing everything down. Something to think about as well, whilst you're doing this - do you wash all of your fruit and vegetables before eating or cooking them? Do you see differences in your allergic reactions when you have dairy products, what happens when you have meat-free days? There are so many contributory factors, you may never get a specific answer, but you may start to see patterns emerging - 6 months is pretty much the minimum to start seeing this coming out. Good luck with this!

    1. I couldn't agree more price doesn't factor into allergies, I've had people tell me a certain product can't possibly be to blame as it is so pricey etc. If your allergic, your allergic simple as that haha! Yes everything is washed thoroughly and to avoid pesticides I do buy organic where possible. At the moment I can't go meat free as my iron levels are so low. That is certain the goal to see patterns and have the proof wrote down - even if it is just for my sanity. Thank you so much for such a great comment and for spurring me on :)

  2. Loving that picture. OMG it must be such a nuisance being allergic to ingredients in some face masks- especially being a beauty blogger. It is extremely detailed and a lot to make note of- especially over the time scale. I look forward to hearing how you get on. Good luck.
    Julz Obsessions xx

    1. Thank you :) it really is but I'm hoping to find out to some extent what is the main cause. Haha I know I couldn't have picked a worse time to have sensitivities if I tried. Rather ironic haha! x

  3. I work with people with allergies and agree it is challenging to pinpoint.(As well, the first exposure to an allergen will not cause a reaction - repeated exposure does after your body becomes sensitized to them). I have found for myself that over the years I have become more sensitive to certain foods. For me, the quantity I consume or the number of days in a row that I eat something will influence my skin reaction. For example, mango/pineapple within 12-24 hrs. Strawberries - if I eat several days in a row. I still eat foods I'm intolerant to because I love them, but just eat smaller quantities or have 3-4 days inbetween.

    I also find the location of my spots often different if it is a food or if it is a product intolerance - weird I know. Anything silicone heavy will give me a white head within hrs.

    Good luck with your detective work!

    1. Oh that is interesting, I may adopt that approach when it comes to chillies. In the past I put them on everything and I mean everything and in an abundance too. I may try a limited quantity and not as often rather than cutting out something I love. Thank you so much! Oddly my skin tolerates silicone really well - generally speaking clay seems to be the biggest hit or miss. Thanks again :)

  4. This is why I use natural products only.

  5. Skin reactions are the worst. The journal is a really great idea of your doctor's and I hope it helps you figure out what's causing/caused it! Good luck.

    x Nicole Isabella

  6. This sounds like such a good idea! I've been having quite bad breakouts for the past five months and I've had no idea what's causing it. I stopped using all my skincare items except micellar water and a overnight serum and that seemed to help but now it's bad again. Hopefully doing something like this will help me realize what's upsetting my skin!

    Catherine xx

  7. This picture is super cute. Skin reactions are horrible to deal with and it's so tricky to pinpoint what ingredient is doing it to your skin! Hope you find out what irritates your skin! xo

  8. Wow I thought my food diary was a pain. This is awesome but it would drive me nuts. Good luck finding out the problem.

  9. Wow this is so detailed! Good luck with getting to the bottom of things, it must be so frustrating for you :(

    Jess xo

  10. My skin is awful just now and I don't know why :( think I maybe need to do something similar

    Great post

  11. This is such a good idea and I'm glad you shared it. It can be so hard to pinpoint allergies.

  12. Hi, I am a skin specialist and have worked with these issues before. You need colostrum! The barrier function in a sensitised skin is normally impared significantly and needs strengthening.

  13. You're right, this is a great idea. I love the fact that you open it up for others to use. I could definitely see myself using this when my skin is acting up and having a baseline entry of "activities" and products I apply when my skin is being very good.
    Great concept, thanks for this!

  14. I hope you can get to the bottom of it! I have occasional flair ups of hives (usually on my elbows, but when very bad I get them all over) and as yet, haven't been able to pin-point what causes them. I think it's stress related, but who really knows.
    You're already tracking everything, but it's worth noting for other people with allergies that even a product you've used before might be causing it. My dad has sensitive skin and had a flair up recently, and we eventually worked out the ingredients in his regular washing powder been tweaked slightly, and that was enough.


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