I've taken a hiatus from this blog because as all 7 of my followers know, we moved. We said "good-bye" to "Keeping Austin Weird" and "hello" to the Bloomington/Normal area of Illinois. Get it? Weird to Normal? OK, ok, I thought it was funny.
A little geographical background: Bloomington and Normal are two separate cities, but are connected to create a population of approximately 125,000. They may be right next to each other, but I feel like each community has its own flavor. Normal is where Illinois State University is located, so it has a collegiate vibe. There are several local coffee shops, a vegan restaurant and a historic movie theater that's recently been restored. It feels a bit like South Austin - where Bloomington feels more like Round Rock. State Farm is headquartered in Bloomington so it's more business-oriented than Normal. I've been to some great restaurants and walked our dogs in a couple of beautiful parks. I've also hit up Anne Taylor Loft which makes me VERY happy.
All in all, I feel like we're settling in well. With all the change we've gone through in recent weeks, it's been reflected in my skin. My forehead started to break out about a week after we found out we were moving and it hasn't gotten any better. I went from having clear skin to getting pimples almost overnight. And then, once I got to Bloomington my skin became very flaky, dry and itchy. I literally woke up one morning itching my eyebrows like a mad woman. My point in all this is that stress and our environment can wreck havoc on skin.
My breakouts are mostly on my forehead. And problems with this area may often be associated with our digestion and bladder. Considerations can include poor digestion, insufficient water intake and a possible history of bladder problems. Other traditional considerations are not thoroughly rinsing shampoo from the hairline, comedogenic ingredients in hair products or improper removal of make-up or cleanser. I haven't changed my hair products and I'm very anal about washing my face and rinsing it well. So perhaps it's the first set of considerations. Or, maybe it's just good ol' fashioned stress and a new environment. But to be sure, I increased my water intake and made sure I upped my fiber count. TMI? Probably, but it's my blog.
I also started giving myself a weekly PCA Skin Oxygenating Trio treatment. This treatment drives oxygen deep into my pores and breaks up the dirt and sebum that gets trapped. The combo of dirt and sebum can ferment and cause bacteria that gets trapped in a pore, causing a pustule (a pimple with pus and bacteria). In addition to cleansing my face morning and night, and masking once a week, I've been diligent about exfoliating at least twice a week. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells and stimulates new cell growth. I also tone, moisturize and use SPF (in the morning).
I've been using Burt's Bees Targeted Spot Treatment on my pimples because it has Salicylic Acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid that can dry out our pores, helping to unplug them. Salicylic acid can also have a calming, anti-inflammatory effect on pimples.
Additionally, I've been trying to get 8-hours of sleep and work out regularly. Our skin is a reflection of what's going on in our bodies and I think I'm just out of whack. I suppose packing up your life and moving it to another location will do that. My breakouts may be a wake-up call that I need to be more diligent about my overall health. I'm hoping it gets better as we settle in to our new home and new life.