The month before Thanksgiving, my face was a total mess. Stress, sloppy skincare, and bad eating led me towards an almost teenage state of acne. I tried everything in my skincare arsenal – clay masques, strong cleansers and scrubs. Nothing offered a lasting solution, and I was becoming extremely frustrated. Desperate times led me to a desperate measure. I signed up for a skin care research trial at the University of Miami Cosmetics Center.
At my first appointment, I filled out what seemed like a small booklet of release forms, and the friendly physician’s assistant (or medical student, not sure) counted my “lesions and pustules.” Yuck. Then they asked me what I’d been using on my skin. Do you have a few hours? I joked. As I went down the list, they noted that I was using a lot of the typical acne fighters – salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy, kaolin clay cleansers. All harsh treatments that would clash with the four-part regimen I was signing up to try.
The docs ordered me to do a two-week “wash out” period. They told me to stop popping my pustules (again, eeeww), and to only use the face wash they gave me. They handed me a big bottle of Cetaphil. I had heard of Cetaphil before, but never tried it. I must admit, I wasn’t impressed at first use. It kinda felt like I was washing my face with weak, scentless lotion. I personally prefer a face wash that leaves my skin with that fresh, clean, almost-stripped feeling. Cetaphil wasn’t it. I mean, you can use this stuff without water. It’s exceedingly gentle, and I wasn’t sure I liked the way my skin still felt internally moist after washing it, if that makes any sense. It took me a while to get used to Cetaphil’s mild-mannered ways.
To supplement the not-exactly-squeaky clean of Cetaphil and to exfoliate my skin in lieu of harsh scrubs, I used my Clarisonic brush. I’ve mentioned this before, but let me say it again – Clarisonic brushes are the bomb. No wonder they’re among Oprah’s favorite things!
The Clarisonic Skin Care System claims to remove six times more makeup than mere soap and water. Using it takes only a minute out of your day, and the brush beeps to let you know when to move on to the next section of your face. The sonic technology of this gadget cleansed and clarified my skin in its time of need. The hardest part of the wash out period was keeping my hands off my face, and leaving my zits well enough alone.
Two weeks passed and when it was time to return to the lab for the trial to begin, I didn’t have a single pustule in sight! The overall appearance of my skin had improved that significantly. The acne problems that had led me to the research trial to begin with were practically gone. Hooray for Cetaphil and Clarisonic!
I hear you, bellas, and I feel you. The Clarisonic brush sounds amazing, but at $195 for the system, it’s not exactly affordable for bellas on a budget. So allow me to kick off 2008 with a very special giveaway, one I meant to give in December. I’ve got TWO Clarisonic brushes to bestow unto you, and here’s how you can get one.
Leave me a comment below that begins with the sentence “Clear skin in 2008!” and then tell me what skin care problems you’ve been having, and what products you’ve been using that just aren’t cutting it for you. I’m gonna leave these comments open until Thursday, and take my time and sift through the many answers. Because I’ve only got TWO items to give this time, I implore any of you who won giveaways last time to let this one be for the first time giveaway contest entries. Thanks much, bellas– and good luck!
** edited at 8:35 p.m. — WOW! I did NOT expect such an overwhelming response. As of right now, it’s 70 comments and counting. That’s a lot to choose from, bellas! So I’m making an editorial decision to close these comments by noon Tuesday, not Thursday. At this point, I’ll have over 100 comments by tomorrow! I only wish I have more of these awesome brushes to give away.
This makes me happy — it truly is a joy to bring these offers to you all. My new goal is a giveaway for every month of 2008. So keep reading and keep entering, even if you don’t win this one. International readers can feel free to enter as well — I remember how it felt to live in Trinidad and see all of the cool sweepstakes and contests in “foreign” and to not be able to participate. I’ve been lucky enough to find fantastic beauty companies who have gladly sent complimentary products to places as far away as Wales, Germany, and Jamaica.
It’s a good feeling to share the love, and I want to say a big thank you to the PR peeps I’ve gotten to work with on these. You’ve all been great. If you’ve got a beauty product you’d like me to review, or you’d like to host a giveaway on Afrobella, please e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!