IT IS SO ODDLY GRATIFYING NOT TO SHAVE YOUR LEGS

The best part about winter, I've decided, is not having to shave your legs. I haven't, for almost seven weeks now, probably the longest period of time I've gone without shaving my legs since I started when I was 14 or so.

It is as gratifying as it is disgusting for me to look at my legs now. As much conflict as there is about hair removal looking prepubescent and all that jazz, I really do enjoy being hairless on the rest of my body below my eyelashes. (I also wish my brows would just magic themselves perfect but that's another story for another time.) It's just that shaving your legs become really pointless when you're always dressed in tights or leggings and your fiancé doesn't really notice if your gams are shaved or otherwise. It's also because I had terrible ingrowns late last year because of a patch of eczema on my leg that I decided to f**k it and let nature take its course before I wax the bejeezus out of them.

But I digress. I really wanted to write about my winter skin regimen. Today I woke up and exclaimed,

"I really miss humidity." 

You really don't know what you have till it's gone. Here I am, 28, going on 70 if I don't get a humidifier soon. Thankfully, in the month of experimenting, I have managed to figure out what works for my skin and hair in the drier months of the year.

Aside from my usual Dermalogica Precleanse + Cleanser + Toner + Microfoliant that has not changed, I've added some hardcore hydrating products to make sure my skin is as plump as it can possibly be. I use Skin Inc's My Daily Dose, then Dermalogica's Skin Hydrating Booster is a concentrate that I've been using after the toner and before a moisturiser, both day and night.

I have been back and forth about purchasing Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil solely because of its price tag, so I purchased it in a trial size from Sephora. I use this on my face, neck and décolletage every second day or so. I've always loved using oils over creams on my face because it feels more luxurious and when you live in a desert (ok, not really, but close), you can practically feel how much difference a concentrated oil makes. I prefer Josie Maran's over Tarte's Marajuca Oil, which is less hydrating for my dry-combination skin.

Finally, Glossier's products. Unless the product is to-die-for game-changing amazing, I like to finish the whole product, or go through one month of using it before I dump it, or rave about it. I purchased them and sent it to John's place late last year and I've been using them liberally since I arrived. 

I prefer Mmerciencore's Invigorating Facial Mist over Glossier's Face Mist hands down. My parched skin thanks to LA's weather plumps up like a baby's booty. My skin glows after a mere spritz, and the scent reminds of my mother. Which puts it on a pedestal instantly, obviously.

Glossier's Priming Moisturizer, and Balm Dotcom are my two repurchases. Priming Moisturizer, I'm guessing, will work very well in Southeast Asian hot, humid and sticky climates because it gives you that runway finish skin you've always wanted but could never get. The product is a cream-meets-gel type and melts into your skin upon application. I use it under makeup, and without makeup. So good.

Balm Dotcom is like a denser Vaseline without the waxy residue that Vaseline leaves behind on your fingers. I love the product on my lips which tends to get really really dry in winter months, and my cuticles, because let's face it - my hands resemble hooves.

What do you turn to when your skin + hair is dry as hell, or if you're going through Winter? Holla at me, and watch this space for my Pancake Hair Mask to hydrate your locks. 

DAY 9 OF OBAGI BLUE PEEL: STILL NO MAKEUP

I am experiencing a makeup withdrawal. Specifically, an eye makeup withdrawal. I think the last time I went without mascara or eyeliner this long was when John and I were on a beach holiday somewhere.

It’s Day 9, most of the skin on my eye areas have peeled off, save for some flecks here and there. My skin is still pinkish and recovering. It gets itchy occasionally – the same kind of itch you get when you cut yourself and the scab while the cut is getting better itches. I’m not touching my eyes at all, but fuck knows what my hands get up to when I’m asleep.

I have my subconscious self to blame for a lot of my eczema scars on the inside of my elbows and my neck because I scratch when I’m asleep.

The doctor said my skin is healing like it should, so that's a good thing, obviously. I complained that it's really dry, so she advised a hydrating mask on my eyes. 

What's funny is my colleague commented that she couldn't tell the difference - only because I use concealer or foundation on a daily basis around my eye area, so while other people can't tell, John can. And obviously, so can I. I catch my reflection sometimes and it's a little odd, but good odd, of course!

I'll be back for a final post. Stay tuned.

DAY 7 OF OBAGI BLUE PEEL: NEW SKIN AHOY!

 DAY 7: Morning, and night

DAY 7: Morning, and night

This may be a little premature because my healing process is not complete yet but the Obagi Blue Peel may be the best thing I have ever done for my skin.

This morning I woke up with the skin on my right eye almost completely peeled off, and the left looks crusty, which is a vast improvement from what I looked like just a few days ago.

This morning, while I was staring at my new face (well, sorta) in the mirror, it occurred to me that I put on foundation when I have to look presentable not because the rest of my skin isn't good, it's mostly to conceal my dark eye circles.

And now, I actually might not need to!

I'm still not wearing any makeup at the moment, but I am slathering heavy duty sunscreen by the gallon.

I spent the afternoon hanging out with my nephew at a small waterpark and predictably, because of how much water I was in, most of the old skin came off, as you can see in the second photo.

The areas around my eyes are still pinkish - some parts have have healed to look like they're part of my skin and not like I'm recovering from some sort of flesh-eating bacterial disease but most of it is still in its healing process. It stings a little when I apply the three different creams given to me, but it's expected because it is fresh skin. The stinging goes away in less than a minute so I'm not really bothered.

DAY 5 & 6 OF OBAGI BLUE PEEL: SHEDDING SKIN

And so I've started shedding. It's pretty disgusting. I mean, I know the human body is capable of doing a lot of disgusting things but this, by far, is one of the most disgusting things I've woken up to: a slither of dried up skin on my pillow.

Let me back track a little. As I mentioned in my first two posts about my Obagi Blue Peel that I got done at (click for first and second posts),  I will be peeling for 10 days post-chemical peel. The first three days were extremely uncomfortable for me because the skin around my eyes was incredibly dry to the point that blinking my eyes felt bizarre. Every time that happened though, I would moisturise.

I also mentioned that the clinic advised me to moisturise and hydrate excessively to speed up the peeling and healing, and so I did. Here's what my eyes looked like yesterday when I woke up in the morning, and later in the evening, after I had three showers over the course of the day (in the morning, post-gym and in the evening):

photo 2.JPG

When my skin first started peeling and I could see the skin underneath, I started freaking out because the new skin was pinkish and much lighter than the area around my eyes. Of course, I called the clinic. The staff at the clinic advised me to apply the Betasone cream they gave me together with two other creams. Betasone was given as a precaution and to be used in case the eye area was itchy, so in this case, to speed up the healing of the new skin. 

True enough, when I woke up today, the pinkish area have turned to the colour of my normal skin. Here's what my eyes look like this morning when I woke up, as well as the slither of skin I woke up to:

photo 1.JPG

As you can see, my undereye areas are SO MUCH lighter than they were before and there's still a lot of peeling going on. I don't facilitate the peeling using my fingers, or obsessively pick at them, but I suspect my tossing and turning in bed might have helped a little too. It's not too obvious in the photo but there's still a lot of dry skin under my eyes and they will peel off in the next few days.

The skin on my lids are taking longer to peel off and unlike my under eyes, they don't peel off in chunks, but in tiny bits. I suspect it may be because there's more friction and activity that happens on your lids compared to under your eyes, which stays still most of the time.

I'm supposed to go back to the clinic for a review with the doctor on Day 9 and I can't believe I haven't had mascara or eyeliner or any form of makeup on my face for almost a week, and I miss it. I can't wait for my eyes to heal completely!

DAY 2, 3 & 4 OF OBAGI BLUE PEEL: DISEASED CHIC

As expected, the skin around my eyes have been feeling, and still feels incredibly tight. It's not comfortable. On Day 2, I woke up feeling claustrophobic in my own skin because I'm feeling extra careful not to overstretch the dry skin area.

It gets really uncomfortable when it's too dry because I actually have difficulty blinking properly, so I always have moisturiser at hand.

I have been going to work, and going to events for the past few days, but I have been wearing sunglasses or eye glasses to make sure I don't scare the living daylights out of people. 

Here is Day 2:

photo (2).JPG

I look diseased. I watched some YouTube videos about people doing the same peel and one woman said that she was avoiding slapping on too much moisturiser to dry out the skin so her "old" skin would peel faster.

Turns out, she was wrong. I on Day 3 when I hadn't noticed any peeling, I called the clinic and spoke to them and was advised to hydrate the area to facilitate peeling. On top of the Obagi cream and the moisturiser I was given, I was advised to use a hydrating mask as well.

And I did! Here are Day 3, and Day 4 photos:

These were taken in shitty lighting in my office, but as you can tell, the skin under my left eye has started peeling!

Things I've been doing: 

  • NOT picking at scabs or peeling skin. After a peel, the area on face tends to scab, but picking at scabs can increase the risk of an infection, skin discolouration, and scarring.
  • Hydrating and moisturising, as mentioned. 
  • NOT wearing any makeup, which is good and bad at the same time. I really wanted to test out a new mascara I bought but I need to wait. The doctor said I could put makeup on if I wanted to but I haven't bothered. What's the point, really? Besides, I really want my skin to heal properly.
  • Sunscreen! I load up on sunscreen in the area because I know it's extra sensitive for now.

Watch this space for more updates soon.