skincare lessons from a near albino

I’m one of those people who ignite in sunlight and who bruise like a peach. I’ve never had a sun-kissed tan, nor have I ever been able to carelessly prance around in a pair of jean shorts without wanting to hide the uneven skin tone speckled across my legs. For most of my life, I’ve experimented with different “hypoallergenic” products. But, I always wanted to be like one of the girls who could walk into a Bath and Body Works and pick out some frilly scent and lather it across my body. Oh, to smell like calla lilies and juniper blossoms!

After what amounted to an expensive trial and error session over the years, I finally bit the bullet and committed to seeing a dermatologist. With the help of shaving with a single-blade razor and special lotion, my legs are finally on their way to healing from all of the ridiculous allergenic flare-ups over the years. My largest and most naive mistake was assuming that the collection of shaving creams that boldly claim to be for sensitive skin were the only options available. Did you know that aloe can be a troubling issue for many with temperamental skin?

Skincare ideas for sensitive (or not so sensitive) skin:

For the past half a year, I’ve committed to using pure olive oil soap on my body during showers and nothing more. This is due to the fact that I was too stubborn to visit a dermatologist and couldn’t figure out what was causing my skin to break out in little bumps or have odd pigmentation. I was determined to figure it out myself! I purchase my soap in bulk from Black Kettle Soap Company (pictured), but I’m sure it can be found a plethora of places.

In the past, I’ve bought unscented, plain sugar scrub from an Etsy seller who has unfortunately disappeared into the shadows with wonderful results, but then tried purchasing the same item elsewhere and my skin rumbled and rolled as if I had lit it on fire. So, trial and error with any company that you choose!

I spent sevvvvveral years as a cheerleader for Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. I mistakenly thought it took care of all of my problems, until I tried CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser per my doctor’s recommendations of my overall skin condition. The difference this cleanser made in how vibrant my face looked was fabulous!

However, beware: it’s an enigma to find, at least from my experience. It was nowhere to be found at Target, Wal-mart, or HyVee. Walgreens was my savior albeit it costing a bit more than I assumed it would. Advice? Find a manufacture’s coupon online! Learn more about the cleanser here.


I made the rounds with facial moisturizers, as well. I still want L’Oreal Paris’ skincare line to work for me because Andie MacDowell tells me it should. But, let’s get realistic: I’m terribly jealous of anyone that can walk into a department store and slather anything and everything on your skin. I despise you. You are a lucky exception to the norm. A friend from Europe couldn’t stop talking to me about a skincare line called Simple (who called themselves the “Sensitive Skin Experts”).

“Okay, whatever!” was my immediate reaction. Because, really, anyone that claims to be an expert in sensitive skin clearly needs to find a new marketing approach because there’s no way that’s possible. I (snobbishly) dismissed her confessions and didn’t think another minute about Simple until their company broke into the States. I had noticed an advertisement for them on television and in a magazine, but didn’t come face-to-face with The Liar until I was snooping through shelves at Target. “Oooookay, whatever” I thought, and sent my European friend a photograph of my purchase: Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer. It’s now a ritual every night and morning. So, to my friend: sorry! To Simple: your marketing experts are bloody brilliant.

Finally, the tool that supervises the job: the Clarisonic Mia. If you haven’t heard of Clarisonic by now, congratulations for successfully avoiding most of the Internet. While I don’t have any experience with other cleansing brushes on the market (although I did read 86,413 reviews!), it’s important to note that general scrubba-dubbing with a washcloth isn’t enough.

My suggestion? Splurge on this. There’s several different versions available with neat little add-ons and brush levels. I chose the Mia because 1) I had a coupon code for a percentage off, 2) it satisfied my basic need of cleansing with a timer, 3) it came with a sensitive brush head, and 4) it’s fun. The Mia comes in a variety of colors. Mine is, as shown — the limited edition island coral.

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