tanning

Sunkissed Skin at Home!

Happy Friday!! My fellow self-tanning fanatics are going to LOVE today’s post! I tested out the Vita Liberata luxury tanning system and spoiler: I was pretty dang impressed. If you’re in the market for an at-home kit, or just love a good tansformation, you’re going to want to check this post out. πŸ™‚

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How I Beat Acne

I have such sympathy for those who struggle with acne and are consistently trying to achieve clear skin, because I’ve been there. It can be one of the most difficult, and frustrating beauty challenges to face…especially when those who’ve never dealt with skin problems are quick to criticize.Β I struggled with cystic acne towards the end of high school and for a couple years while I was in college, and it honestly put me into a slight depression.

Before I move on, let me clarify that while my skin was bad, it was not nearly as severe as others have suffered. I wish I had quality pictures to share with my face completely stripped of any and all makeup- but to be honest, I did everything in my power to not be photographed- so the pictures I was able to find are not 100% accurate of my skin at the time.

Me in my senior year of high school after a softball game. You can see some of my active acne, as well as many of my scars.

I was a clean person, I took excellent care of my skin, and just could not understand why it wouldn’t clear up. I tried every product under the sun (Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, Clearasil, Cetaphil, Dove, Biore, Aveeno, ProActiv..the list goes on), I used a handful of different prescription creams and face washes from my dermatologist- (benzaclin and tazorac worked for a while, but I ended up with a crazy allergic reaction- half of my face was swollen for 2 days!), Β I concocted every home remedy I could find on the internet (crushed Tylenol pills mixed with lemon juice to reduce redness, tomato face masks…), I tried tanning, I tried completely avoiding the sun (definitely a buzz kill during my Summer beach vacation) I drank tons of water…but still nothing. My hormones were not going to let up. I strongly considered Accutane, but was turned off by it’s ridiculously strict rules and harsh side effects.

This was taken during my sophomore year of college. I was tanning a lot during this time.

I wish I could tell you that I found a miracle OTC product that cleared my skin up overnight, but that was not the case, and I went through a lot of trial and error before finding a solution.

In my Junior year of college, I decided to start taking birth control pills- I had been so against birth control for the longest time, I didn’t want to take any kind of medication that would alter something natural, but I opted to try it for its promise to clear up my skin. I had exhausted every other opportunity.

I began taking Necon 1/35 – the generic contraceptive for Ortho-Novum 1/35 in the Fall of 2008.

Necon 1/35

I quickly began to see results. My skin wasn’t breaking out as badly, or frequently as it had been.

FALL 2008: A couple of weeks after I started taking Necon 1/35
SUMMER 2009
FALL 2009
WINTER 2009: Completely clear!

A little over a year after starting Necon 1/35 my skin had fully recovered. Today I occasionally deal with a major pimple or two, but I’ve developed a skin care routine that has helped me to maintain an overall clear complexion. Β A couple rules that I live by:

1) NEVER go to bed without washing your face.

I scrub my face every single night with St. Ives apricot scrub. It's the only facewash that actually feels like it works.

2) TONE!

Never underestimate using a toner!

3) Always moisturize!

I usually tan my face at night (this is totally optional) many people would disagree with using tanning products, but I find it helps to even out my skin-tone before morning.

When I opt out of tanning lotion, I prefer to use Ponds Dry Skin cream. It keeps my face super hydrated all day/night.

Taking care of your skin is a lot of work. It can be expensive, time consuming, and tedious, but it is important! If I could only secure one physical beauty attribute- it’d be a clear face. Like I said, I feel for anyone who struggles with acne.

If you currently take a birth control- check with your gynecologist that it is also beneficial for your skin. I’ve recommended Necon 1/35 to a couple of friends and they have seen incredible results as well. It truly saved my skin, and was not as difficult as committing to Accutane or other prescription medications.

A recent picture! (I may be a little gummy..lol) but my skin has been doing excellent πŸ™‚

I wish anyone struggling with clear skin lots of luck!

Do you have a story about your journey to clear skin? What helped you beat acne? Do you have any favorite products?

Fun in the Bahamas Pt. 2

Picking up where we left off on my recent trip to the Bahamas!

Day 4: We went snorkeling!

We swam all the way out to those rocks to snorkel! I must admit, we were kind of chicken- it’s creepy being alone that far out. We spotted some beautiful fish and coral; some other snorkelers spotted eels and sea turtles- thank God we didn’t, I would have died!

On the way back to our hotel we had to pull over and check out all of these conch shells! It was unreal how many were jsut laying there..

That night we took a little trip to a private beach for a dinner/bon fire type thing. We arrived and were literally force fed Bahama Mama’s! LOL

Β I got suckered into the DJ’s game…. basically musical chairs with people, you dance…when the music stops, you grab the person closest to you. This chef wasn’t even playing, but he swooped in, completely startled me, and helped me make it to the final! 5 πŸ˜‰ I was dying!

They had a huge buffet set up…chicken, ribs, rice, beans, corn bread, cole slaw, corn on the cob…so YUM!

After dinner they had a bon fire set up on the beach. After a few too many Bahama Mama’s Kath and I had a photo shoot …

Then came a fire dancer! She was dancing, eating fire, and rubbing it all over her skin! I don’t know how she did it! So crazy…

Day 5: Back to the beach! I couldn’t wait to just lay out. Books, tanning, and pina coladas all day πŸ™‚

We went to lunch with my parents πŸ™‚

I kept joking that my Mom was like Tamara from the Real Housewives of OC with her cowboy hat and the be-jewled tunic! My Dad bought that shirt at the beginning of the week, and I swore he wore it every day! Very typical of him πŸ˜‰

I LOVE floppy hats! But I was rocking my baseball hat most of the week for minimal facial shade πŸ˜‰ However, Katherine looked SO adorable & totally pulled hers off!

After the beach, we went to this mediterranean spot for dinner. If you know me, you know how much I love bread! It’s one of my weaknesses. (Side story- When my boyfriend and I started dating a couple years ago, he’d always take me to dinner at restaurants that he KNEW would bring out a bread basket ! That’s love, encouraging unnecessary carb consumption πŸ˜‰ )

The restaurant brought out this amazing warm, sliced, baguette with garlic butter and a hummus spread. I swear, it was so so yummy!

For dinner I basically got a caprese salad with feta subbing for mozz lol. It was alright, I definitely had better dinners that week…

A picture of my Mama and I at dinner πŸ™‚

Still sifting through my pictures! I think the next post will wrap up my trip πŸ™‚

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