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4.27.2016

31 Days of Lipstick πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

31 Days of Lipstick | #crapstick31


I'm not a big-time makeup wearer, but I can't seem to stop myself from buying it. I've got a mountain of expensive-ass tubes of guck, and by-golly, I'm gonna use it. For each day in the month of May, I'm going to wear a different lipstick. Every day, all day, I'm going to feel pretty. Pretty when I go to Target. Pretty when I'm at the gym. Pretty when I slouch in my bed-desk, giving myself deep neck wrinkles. Pretty when my Russian hacker/stalker watches me through my laptop's webcam.

So if you can't get enough makeup swatches, or just want to see my soft lady moustache darken between bleachings, follow me on Instagram. I'll be using the hashtag #crapstick31 and post every day. I almost never put selfies on social media, so this will be intensely awkward for everyone involved. You are welcome to watch me crash and burn.

A coupla things:
  1. I only plan on using 4 sheer lipsticks. The rest are opaque and glorious.
  2. One is green, I shit you not.
  3. I've specifically purchased 7 brand new lipsticks for this thing.
  4. I also have 3 other lipsticks that I've never worn.
  5. One is light pink and awful/terrifying.
  6. What is this navel-gazing, pointless BS? You know, I thought this was a unique idea when I made it up a month ago, but apparently other people have done it. So I guess you can add "unoriginal" to your list of insults.
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PS: All the products and pictures will be collected at least once on this here blog.

PPS: I'm refraining from calling this a "lipstick challenge" because wearing lipstick for a month is not a challenge. Not eating cheese for a month is a challenge. Giving birth for a month is a challenge. Avoiding loud political arguments with my mother during any given month in an election year is a challenge. Wearing lipstick for a month is a self-indulgent project. THAT'S WHAT BLOGGING IS, OMG.

#crapstick31 – 31 Days of Lipstick :: Crappy Candle

4.09.2016

Prid vs Nexcare Acne Patches - Battle of the Holistic Spot Treatments

Prid vs Nexcare Acne Patches - Battle of the Holistic Spot Treatments
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

Welcome to the first ever Battle of the Holistic Spot Treatments. We have two contenders, raring to go. In one corner, we have an old-as-time ointment that smells like grandma's weird tea, and in the other we have some fleshy stickers built to suck your puss out like a pack of jolly monsters:

Acne Patch Monsters
Or maybe your zits are the jolly monsters. Or maybe you are.

PRID

Prid is billed as an "All Natural Drawing Salve" that is supposed to relieve pain, redness, and irritation due to minor skin eruptions, cuts, boils, and scratches. It is also supposed to be to be used for bringing things like splinters and infections up and out of the skin. (Your zits are "minor" eruptions, right? "Minor"? haha. Right??)

Prid Drawing Salve Review / The Acne Experiment (Crappy Candle)
Prid All Natural Drawing Salve :: The Acne Experiment

Ingredients:
  • Smile's Prid - Carbolicum Acidicum 2X HPUS, Ichthammol 2X HPUS, Arnica Mont 3X HPUS, Calendula Off 3X HPUS, Echinacea Ang 3X HPUS, Sulphur 12X HPUS, Hepar Sulph 12X HPUS, Silicea 12X HPUS, Rosin, Beeswax, Petrolatum, Stearyl Alcohol, Methyl & Propyl Paraben
Method:

  1. Clean your face however you wish.
  2. Dry your face. However you wish.
  3. Don't apply anything while testing the Prid.
  4. Don't argue with me. (Do you want to test this or not?)
  5. Use some kind of tool to dig a little nub of Prid out of the tin -- like the edge of a spoon or a cut-off q-tip. Or a coffee stirrer. Or an adorable tiny spatula. Or maybe your nail, but make sure your hands are clean. Don't argue with me. (I'll turn this car around right around, I swear to Xenu.)
  6. Apply a little blob of Prid to just about any kind of inflamed acne.
  7. (It is not going to draw out your blackheads, sorry.)
  8. Leave it there.
  9. Either sleep on your back or put a band-aid over your Prid blobs. If you are a stomach or side sleeper, the Prid will almost certainly rub off.
  10. Oh right, this stuff is generally for nighttime use, but if don't care who looks at your blobs because who are you to judge my blobs, you can do it during the day as well.
  11. Wipe it off with a tissue in the morning. Water ain't gonna wash this stuff off very well.
  12. Re-apply nightly for the rest of your life.
  13. You're married to Prid now. I hope you have a happy life together.

NEXCARE ACNE PATCHES 

When working in peak form, acne patches are meant to do double duty: they act as a protecting cover for zits while sucking the ever loving puss out of them. This makes them an ideal solution for skin pickers. For those adverse to topical products, acne patches might be right up your alley. If you are sensitive to adhesives, proceed with caution.

Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers / The Acne Experiment (Crappy Candle)
Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers :: The Acne Experiment

Ingredients:
Method:
  1. Wash and dry your face as usual.
  2. Do not apply anything while testing the acne patches.
  3. I actually mean it this time. (Emollient products could hinder adhesion/function.)
  4. Wait 15 minutes after cleansing to make sure your skin is truly dry. If your skin is getting oily in the meantime, use oil absorbing sheets or tissues to dab it up.
  5. I'm sorry, this is going to be really gross.
  6. Acne patches are only meant to be applied to acne with obvious whiteheads on them, so basically anything that you would have normally picked and squeezed and scraped at with your gross dirty nails until you end up with a flaming red sore or infected hole. 
  7. (They will not suck your blackheads out, sorry again.)
  8. Some people will use a clean needle to "give the pus a route of exit."
  9. Resist the urge to squeeze. I know it's hard.
  10. If it helps, try to imagine that when you're squeezing, you could be forcing some pus into your brain.
  11. Well shit you squeezed it anyway. The good news is, you can still apply the acne patch. It might help suck out whatever is left.
  12. Carefully apply a patch to your zit with clean, dry fingers. Avoid touching the sticky part. You want max adhesion.
  13. Press it firmly on there. Max adhesion.
  14. You can apply the patches overnight or during the day, but if you apply during the day, people may comment on your fleshy stickers.
  15. If the patch is working properly, a white dot will form in the middle of it. This is your oil and pus being sucked into the patch.
  16. Remove the patch and marvel at what you just made. 
  17. Put every patch you remove in a little jar you keep on your bedside table.
  18. Give the jar to your mom for Mother's Day so she can see what a hard worker you are.
Conclusions:

Before I get to my take, I want to break down what I know about these two products and objectively discuss how they work.

Looking at the ingredients in Prid, a couple jump out: Ichthammol, Sulphur (sulfur), and Arnica Mont (arnica montana):

  • Like clay and charcoal, sulfur acts as a drying agent; the drying action forces skin to "balance," thus drawing moisture out from a wound or inflamed spot.
  • Arnica montana (aka wolf's bane) is a flowering plant. When applied topically as an herbal remedy, it works similarly to ibuprofen, i.e. it has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Ichthammol is derived from sulfur; Ichthammol ointment is sold on it's own and is commonly called "black drawing salve." Ichthammol ointment contains a lot of the same ingredients as Prid (including arnica and wax) and has anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, and fungicidal properties when applied topically.
  • Other ingredients—such as Calendula and Echinacea—have antiseptic and healing properties, while rosin—a sticky sap-like substance—and beeswax gives the Prid it's consistency.
  • The number one ingredient on the label, Carbolicum Acidum (carbolic acid) is a disinfectant. Fun sidenote: carbolic acid soap used to be the go-to soap for operating rooms.

Acne patches have a much simpler mechanism: they are hydrocolloid bandages. Hydrocolloid bandages are thicker and "gummier" than regular adhesive bandages, but also serve an additional function outside of protecting a wound while it heals. A "hydrocolloid" is a mixture that forms a gel in the presence of water. Hydrocolloid bandages mainly contain gelatin and pectin, and because gelatin is so good at absorbing moisture, hydrocolloid bandages are fantastic at sucking crap out boils, blisters, and acne. So, a hydrocolloid bandage will suck up moisture, pus, and oil, turn it into a gel, and hold it inside the bandage itself. Acne patches are essentially the same as hydrocolloid blister bandages, save for their shape and size. Some acne patches are medicated, however.

MY TAKE 
At the time of testing, I had an array of inflamed acne on my forehead and nose area. Based on my research, I decided Prid would work best on the closed cysts, while the acne patches would be better for zits with whiteheads, or for zits that I had already picked at. I didn't do a usual Acne Experiment trial for these (it's hard to gauge progress fairly with spot treatments), but I did take some pictures while I was testing them out.

Prid vs Acne Patches Before & After / The Acne Experiment
Prid Drawing Salve vs Nexcare Acne Patches Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

I tested both products in this way for about a month with almost nothing else -- I didn't even wet my face for a lot of the test (this is as close to the caveman regimen as I've ever gotten). After my first use of both products, I saw results. A couple of the cysts I applied the Prid to came to a head, while the acne patches formed little white dots on them. Over weeks of use, I found myself using the patches more than the Prid, plus they were ideal for body acne given the built-in-bandage factor. After initial successes with Prid, I didn't see as much of a miraculous over-night turn-around as I did with the patches. Ultimately, I decided Prid is a nice salve that will help keep a zit clean and happy but I don't actually think it's going to "suck" anything out of pores. I have used Prid since my trial run, and I do think it speeds the healing process a bit. Also, I know the herbal scent is unappealing to some, but I find it pleasant and soothing, deal with it.

WHO WINS?
Patches win.

I will likely use both in the foreseeable future. My little tin of Prid will last a really long time, while the acne patches will have to be repurchased more frequently.* If you are a skin picker, I think both of these products are worth a try. Both Prid and the patches physically covered my acne and deterred picking effectively. That said, acne patches are probably going to be a more satisfying solution. Actually being able to see that they were working proved to be a valuable experience for me. What's up pus, I've trapped you in a gelatin tomb. Try coming back from that, dick.


Up Next: Retin-A (I'm serious. Please don't judge me.)

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*To prevent your acne patches from drying out, store the little sheet in a ziploc baggy with the air squeezed out. It may seem anal retentive, but these little dudes deserve it.

ALL Acne Experiment Posts are listed at The Acne Experiment MOTHER HUB

Nexcare Acne Patches vs Prid Drawing Salve Review :: The Acne Experiment
Nexcare Acne Patches vs Prid Drawing Salve Review :: The Acne Experiment

2.27.2016

Mandelic Acid Review - The Acne Experiment

Mandelic Acid Review - The Acne Experiment
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

Mandelic acid is a relatively new AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that is supposedly a great option for acne prone skin. It's said to be gentler than glycolic acid and lactic acid, humectant, and is thought to have antimicrobial properties. This makes sense because mandelic acid is made from bitter almonds, which are just bursting with antioxidants.

Now, what the hell is a bitter almond. I will share my firsthand knowledge with y'all, because I have a mouth and used it to eat a bitter almond. It was bitter as hell – like spit this nut out, my taste buds are telling me it's poison, bitter. Bitter almonds look like normal almonds, so it would be fun to mix the two together and put a bowl out at a cocktail party.

Unlike other AHAs, mandelic acid is pretty hard to find. I only found two brands that make mandelic products: MUAC (Makeup Artist's Choice) and GoW (Garden of Wisdom). The MUAC mandelic products lean more towards peel (high potency) and contain alcohol. Garden of Wisdom sells about a dozen slightly different mandelic products in a range of lower potencies and a variety of formulation options. Their customer service folks are very nice as well. I will share my firsthand knowledge with y'all, because I have email and I used it to contact them. They put up with my unnecessarily long emails and general pushiness. I'm sure they can help you as well.

To minimize the chance of a break-out by cutting out unknown variables, I went with a middle of the road, low ingredient product: the mandelic acid 10%, no alcohol, no seaweed formula.

Ingredients:
  • GoW Mandelic Acid 10% Serum (No Alcohol/No Seaweed) - Spring Water,  Rooibos (red) Extract, Mandelic Acid, Lactic Acid, L-lysine, Sodium PCA, Panthenol B-5, Sodium Lactate, Hyaluronic Acid
  • Spot Treatments as needed (salicylic acid (this) on active acne + Manuka Honey (this) for face wounds)

Method:
  1. Wash your face as usual (I water wash, if at all).
  2. Get yourself ready for some cutting. edge. shit.
  3. GoW's mandelic serums are watery, so add a few drops to the palm of your cupped hand and apply a thin layer on your face with the tips of your fingers.
  4. You can also use a bit of thin cotton to apply. (I recently discovered these multi-ply Japanese situations. They are soft and lovely.)
  5. Alternately, you can tilt your head back and drip the serum directly onto your face, then use your hands to prevent it from dribbling whilst spreading around the mess you made.
  6. Oh gurl.
  7. Apply spot treatments as needed.

Conclusions:

Garden of Wisdom is a great indie brand. They use natural ingredients and preservatives (refrigeration is recommended), and offer a huge range of formulated products as well as a ton of raw ingredients for the skincare alchemists out there. The GoW website leaves much to be desired, but they are a legit company. Shipping was quick too. If you like natural products, this is a good place to start.

GoW's mandelic serum was the first natural product I tried in several months, and like everything I try, I really wanted it to work. Unfortunately, I didn't see enough of an improvement to stay on it. I suspect the before/afters would have been more dramatic had I not been coming immediately off of a month-long glycolic acid trial.

Mandelic Acid Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
Mandelic Acid Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

GoW Mandelic Acid 10% Serum (No Alcohol/No Seaweed) Before & After:: The Acne Experiment
GoW Mandelic Acid 10% Serum (No Alcohol/No Seaweed) Before & After:: The Acne Experiment

While I didn't experience any kind of major breakouts, my skin does not seem to be a fan of rigorous chemical exfoliation. I got little bumps all over, including in my usually normal cheek area. 

Mandelic Acid Irritation(?) - The Acne Experiment
Mandelic Acid irritation (?) :: The Acne Experiment

So, while I do think my skin tolerated it better than the PC glycolic acid, I don't think this one's for me. If you like glycolic or lactic acid exfoliation, I do think mandelic acid is worth a test-a-roo.

I ordered a few other Garden of Wisdom samples at the same time and tested the CoCoBasil Clarifying Tonic and the Not Tonight Honey Cleansing Mask in subsequent weeks. Nothing mitigated my stubborn forehead breakouts. At this point I've been doing The Acne Experiment for about a year and a half and frankly, I'm getting real frustrated, y'all. I'm going minimalist.


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PS: If this AHA/exfoliant business is confusing, check out my chemical exfoliants guide.

ALL Acne Experiment Posts are listed at The Acne Experiment MOTHER HUB

Testing Mandelic Acid on Adult Acne - The Acne Experiment
Garden of Wisdom Mandelic Acid Review :: The Acne Experiment

1.10.2016

Paula's Choice Glycolic Acid Review - The Acne Experiment

Paula's Choice Glycolic Acid Review - The Acne Experiment
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

How was everyone's holiday season? Busy? Fragrant? Bloated? I can't complain – mine was uneventful and completely devoid of drama. Any family gathering that doesn't result in drunk crying or boisterous political discussions (same thing, really) is a win in my book. Plus, I watched Making a Murderer and half of Breaking Bad in like a week. yo.

I'll get down to it. We're here to talk about the superstar of exfoliants: glycolic acid. Immediately before I started The Acne Experiment, I was using Devita's Glycolic Acid. I was happy with how smooth it made my face, but I was still experiencing breakouts. I worked through a few other exfoliant options first: salicylic acid and lactic acid have been knocked down and kicked the eff out. Bring on the main course.

Glycolic acid is an AHA or alpha hydroxy acid, which means it is water soluble and works on the surface of the skin (rather than down in the pores like BHAs). Glycolic is considered the most potent of the AHAs available because it has the smallest molecule size. It can be more effective at exfoliating, but it also has the potential cause more irritation. For regular or daily use, glycolic in the 5-10% range is aces.

My enthusiasm for Paula's Choice has been well documented despite my inability to find any PC products that are actually compatible with my skin. I ordered a handful of the Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant samples and tested it for a few weeks with high hopes. After a few weeks, I ordered a full-sized bottle with even higher hopes. I tested it for 2 months.

Ingredients:
  • Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant - once daily or 2-3 times per week - Water, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-10, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate
  • Spot Treatments as needed (salicylic acid (this) on active acne + Manuka Honey (this) on self-inflicted wounds. WTF is wrong with me.)
Method:
  1. Wash yo face yo.
  2. Let it dry..
  3. Apply some of the glycolic acid gel on yo face, avoiding yo eyes. Like one pump is good.
  4. Wait at 10-20 minutes for the glycolic to work.
  5. You can leave it on after the 20 minutes, or wash it off if yo skin is sensitive.
  6. The glycolic will like munch through dead skin.
  7. If you aint down with skin munch, like if yo face burns, it ain't for you, yo. Wash that shit off pronto.
Conclusions:

For the first few weeks, my everything was going great. My skin was smooth, my existing spots seemed to be flattening. The full sized bottle was really pretty and effective looking. I was ready for this. A winner. I jumped with both feet and fell in love.

Okay maybe I didn't.

When I initially discovered my skin was getting worse after it got better, I cut back to every-other-day application. When my skin still wasn't improving, I cut back to once-every-three days application. I tested for two months, and motherpussbucket. This blows.

Paula's Choice Glycolic Acid Before & After - The Acne Experiment
Paula's Choice Glycolic Acid Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

My forehead saw marginal improvements, but also new acne. My chin is exactly the same because I didn't put anything on it (POD is a PITA*).

The thing is, my skin really did improve in the beginning. I think a once a week or once every two week exfoliant could be effective as an anti-ager, but I don't think it will treat the acne. Paula's Choice also has a more potent weekly AHA. I plan to test it out once my skin is actually clear. :|


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*POD = Perioral Dermatitis; PITA = pain in the ass

PS:  This is my Paula's Choice refer-a-friend link which gets new customers $10 off their first order. I always leave this link on PC reviews, regardless of whether it worked for me because I know it does work for others. PC is also one of the few companies that actually sells samples and trial sizes individually. It's a tester's paradise, I tells ya.

PPS: If this AHA/exfoliant business is confusing, check out my chemical exfoliants guide.


Paula's Choice Glycolic Acid Review :: The Acne Experiment
Paula's Choice Glycolic Acid Review :: The Acne Experiment

11.23.2015

At Least 10 Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

At Least 10 Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015 :: Crappy Candle

Tis the season for giving really crappy white elephant gifts to friends and loved ones. What better way to show how much you care than to give something that is disgusting, dumb, or just plain mean. Keep in mind, however, that what separates a fantastic white elephant gift from a run-of-the-mill bad present is a silver lining of beauty:
☞  Impractical, but hilarious.
☞  Hilarious, but hideous.
☞  Hideous, but intriguing.
☞  Intriguing, but no really wtf is this shit.
I've collected 10+ shiny turds for your perusal.

1) Jeff Goldblum Jewelry

Jeff Goldblum Necklace :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

Take heart, his nipple has been cropped in.
Find him on Etsy

...and for those hoping for more topical Jeff, you can Enhance Your Lighting.

Jeff Goldblum Enhance Your Lighting Earrings :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015



2) Booty Pop

Booty Pop :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015
Show that special someone that you love them just the way they are, but you know you'd look so much better if you had a rounder butt.
Find it on Amazon

3) These creepy vintage dolls

Creep Vintage Dolls :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

Sneak one into a friend's bed while they're sleeping.
Find them on Etsy

...or just cram it into one of these boxes:
NapSack Box :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015
Find this box on Amazon

4) This pig thing

Pig Boy Ceramic Pot :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

They say nightmares are bits of our daily experience cobbled together with our innermost thoughts and feelings. So, you know, succulents and child-faced pig monsters.
Find him on Etsy

5) Susan Boyle "The Gift"

Susan Boyle "The Gift" :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

Not only will you be gifting someone with this literal gift, The Gift also a Christmas album.
Find the gift on Amazon

6) Shark Onesie

Adult Shark Onesie :: At Least 10 Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

This is probably the most practical item on this list. You will find no snark here.
Find this at Nordstrom (the unicorn and Rudolph onesies look lovely as well)

7) This Rubber Chicken Bag
Rubber Chicken Bag :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015
I seriously considered giving this to my mother-in-law. I bookmarked it 8 months ago (OMG wrap some McDonalds Chicken Nuggets inside. You will be KING of the gift exchange.)
Find her on Amazon

8) Not The Mama Shirt
Not The Mama Dinosaurs Shirt :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

At least once a week, I remember what a dick Baby Sinclair was. Perhaps someone at your gift exchange enjoys this ritual as well.
Find him on Amazon



9) Hairy chest sweatshirt

Oily, Hairy Chest Sweatshirt :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

Why imagine what it's like to be a well oiled machine when you could live it.
Find it on Firebox

10) IT'S GROOT

Baby Mandrake GROOT :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

I THINK
Find groot on Etsy

10) I'd really like to eat a child.

11) That is a name of a children's book. Here it is.

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015
Find it on Amazon

12) Fabio After Dark

Fabio After Dark :: At Least 10 Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

Fabio suddenly appears next to you, nuzzles his perfect bronzed face next to yours, and whispers, sensually: "I can't believe you're not hotter."
Find Fabio on Amazon

13) Double-sided Jonathan Taylor Thomas/Rider Strong Poster

Jonathan Taylor Thomas Poster :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015Rider Strong Poster :: Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015

So cute. So non-threatening.
Find your tweenage angst on Ebay

At Least 10 Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015 :: Crappy Candle
At Least 10 Super Crappy White Elephant Gifts 2015 :: Crappy Candle

11.18.2015

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser Review - The Acne Experiment

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser - The Acne Experiment
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

I've been a real slacker. It's been 3 months since my last Acne Experiment post and it may have looked like I abandoned this thing. I haven't. I have been diligently testing a few different products, taking hideous selfies, and contemplating the infinite vastness of the universe. One might say I fell into an existential funk. Another might say that I'm being a lazy whiney baby.

This is why I have to thank a few folks that stumbled upon this blog and then took the time to send me an email over the last few weeks. You guys make me a very happy acne blogger. You kicked my butt into gear.

The review I've been putting off is for Neutrogena's Extra Gentle Cleanser. There's not particular reason WHY I've been putting it off, aside from the fact that I tested it over two different periods of time – and, yeah, I know cleanser is boring. Like a bad writer, I waited for inspiration on how to jazz this thing up. Sometimes you gotta plow on through and flip the bird at the muse. I'm learning that "sometimes" is actually more like "all times."

This is my 3rd cleanser test, and first non-foaming cleanser test I've done. It's an important one because it could confirm or deny my theory that foaming cleanser gives me nasty chin zits.

Ingredients:

  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser - once daily (Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Isohexadecane, Tea-Cocoyl Glutamate, Methylglucose Sesquistearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Bisabolol, Chamomile Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, BHT, Geranium, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Methylparaben)
  • Spot Treatments as needed (I use undiluted Tea Tree Oil (TJoes) and/or salicylic acid (this) on active acne + Manuka Honey (this) on spots that are healing)
Method:
  1. Wash face once daily with Neutrogena's Extra Gentle Cleanser. I alternated between applying it with just my hands and applying with a wet washcloth.
  2. Apply spot treatments, as needed.
  3. Avoid touching your face.
  4. Dude. What are you doing. Stop touching your face.
  5. Wonder whether the acne on your face actually is due to all the face touching you're doing.
  6. Curse your magnifying mirror.
  7. End the trial.
  8. Start it back up again a few months later when you don't trust the results.
  9. Ugh this fat zit is probably here because you can't stop drooling on yourself while you sleep.
  10. What is skin?
  11. No really, end the trial.
Conclusions:

This face wash trial was... entirely uneventful. I didn't see a big enough difference after either trial to tell whether washing my face with this stuff was doing anything. At the same time, I did not see the same insta-chin-zits that I've seen with foaming cleansers. MINOR VICTORY. *shoots confetti gun, but the confetti is damp for some reason and just sticks to everything in clumps*

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

Non-Foaming Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
Non-Foaming Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

Okay here's the bummer. It looks like I chose another product that is discontinued. I can't find it on Neutrogena's website or on Ulta, but it's still for sale on Amazon. Neutrogena has a different non-foaming cream cleanser (this) so perhaps I'll try it later on.

Here's bummer number 2: this cleanser contains castor oil which has a comedogenic rating of "1" - it's still pretty low, but it's not zero. It is fragrance free, so that's a plus.

Neutrogena Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
Neutrogena Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

Neutrogena Non-Foaming Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
Neutrogena Non-Foaming Cleanser Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

My verdict? Soft pass. Using the cleanser too frequently was making me a wee bit greasy, so I cut back to washing with it every other day. Ultimately, I decided it wasn't necessarily better than water washing. (Hell, now that I'm looking at these pictures again, it might even be worse.) I am going to hold onto my bottle just in case I decide to wear a full face of makeup and want something more than a shammy to remove it all. Yes, I use a shammy to remove my makeup. I clean my face the same way your dad buffs his car.*


--

*Technically it's the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt, but eh, technically it's a shammy. To use, you get it wet and wipe your makeup off. It works remarkably well considering it only requires warm water. Also, you have to clean it after each use – facial cleanser cast-offs are perfect for this. If that smacks of effort, you can buy a few packs of cheaper shammies and wash 'em in the laundry. (These are the ones I've earmarked to buy if I ever go that route - They work out to about $6 per shammy, which is a helluva lot less than $15.)

PS: Hey-yo. There are way more cleanser types than non-foaming and foaming. 8 more to be exact. Find your match in my cleanser guide.

ALL Acne Experiment Posts are listed at The Acne Experiment MOTHER HUB.

Testing Non-Foaming Cleanser on Adult Acne :: The Acne Experiment
Testing Non-Foaming Cleanser on Adult Acne :: The Acne Experiment

9.29.2015

How to Age Gracefully

How to Age Gracefully :: Crappy Candle

You can have it all as long as you're real chill about it.  Here's how to age gracefully in 25 easy to follow steps:
  1. Decide you're going to age gracefully. (this is the hardest part)
  2. Just say no to all the hype and the nonsense.
  3. Throw out all your creams and serums.  Products have nothing to do with graceful aging.
  4. Exude love and confidence.
  5. I mean, you really need to understand love.  Like really, come on now.
  6. You love yourself?  Not good enough.  Love someone else for a change, you selfish bastard.
  7. Change your outlook, adjust your priorities, become a transcendent human being.
  8. Obtain some children.
  9. You can become an aunt, too.  Just be proximal to some kids.
  10. Don't let those kids suck out your life essence.
  11. Be one of those glowy moms, not a dried up raisin mom.
  12. Don't be a raisin aunt either.
  13. Are you confident yet?  Your children should make you feel like a superman.
  14. If the kids aren't doing it for you, get some new ones that appreciate you more.
  15. Make sure your skin is flawless.
  16. I guess you should have done that around step 2.  Go back to the beginning and start over.
  17. If you weren't born with excellent bone structure, you shouldn't even be reading this.
  18. Now, ease into your excellent bone structure and poreless skin.
  19. Don't covet other people's excellent bone structure or poreless skin, your excellent bone structure and poreless skin is perfect just the way it is!
  20. Hi Meryl.
  21. If you're not Meryl, that's okay.
  22. Make sure you've cultivated some kind of passion that you're really good at. 
  23. If you have this passion and you're like the best at it, you could maybe bypass some of this other crap.
  24. Money helps a lot.
  25. Become Helen Mirren.

9.12.2015

101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women - Clever Girls Edition

101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women - Clever Girls Edition
101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women - Clever Girls Edition

Halloween is near, so I put together a fun lady-centric costume guide. If you want to be a cool girl, you'll want a cool girl costume. If you don't care whether you are a cool girl or not (because Amy Dunne did get some things right), then you probably still want a decent costume that is relatively warm/comfortable, maybe has pockets, and isn't identical to like 10 other people's costumes. If you are not a girl, by all means - pick through this guide and steal all my ideas. I can tell you with 95% certainty that I'm not doing anything for Halloween and I'd like to live vicariously through you all.

I've divided the guide up into 10 categories, you clever SOBs:

TV Shows
1) Michonne or Carol (The Walking Dead)
Michonne Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: @Heather Paul via Flickr

CAROL. I can't handle it Carol.
Image: @William Tung via Flickr (CC)

2) Dana Scully (X Files)
X-Files Dana Scully Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
I think he's looking for his sister.
Image: @Sam Howzit via Flickr

3) The Belchers (Bob’s Burgers)
Bob's Burgers Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: @istolethetv via Flickr

4) Orange is the New Black
OITNB Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: @Michael Miller via Flickr

5) Troi or Dr. Crusher (Star Trek TNG)
Troi + Dr. Crusher Costume (Star Trek TNG) :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: via Flickr (CC)

6) Ms. Frizzle (Magic School Bus)
Image: @Michael Miller via Flickr

7) Jerri Blank (Strangers With Candy)
Jerri Blank Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: @Jeff Tidwell via Flickr

8) Xena Warrior Princess
Xena Warrior Princess Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Please take a moment to appreciate how perfect this cosplay is.
Image: @William Tung via Flickr

9) Log Lady (Twin Peaks)
Log Lady Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: @artmouse via Flickr
  • If you don't want to carry around a real log, get stuffed.
10) Peggy (Mad Men)
Specifically...

11) Stephanie Tanner (Full House)
Stephanie Tanner Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: via Amazon

12) Anything from The Venture Bros
Venture Bros Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: @Mooshuu via Flickr

13) Elaine (Seinfeld)
Elaine Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: via Amazon

Movies
14) A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
  • Are you a Peach or a Belle
  • Please, for the love of all that is holy, someone dress up as a giant man-baby Stilwell.

15) Matilda
(Because Mara Wilson is a boss ass bitch IRL)

16) Annie Hall (Diane Keaton)
Annie Hall Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: via Flickr

17) Phyllis Nefler (Troop Beverly Hills)
There are many options.

18) Margot Tenenbaum
Margot Tenenbaum Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Image: @matt-annie via Flickr

19) Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton in Terminator)
Sarah Connor Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Do you look like the mother of the future?
Image: via Amazon

20) Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice)
Lydia Deetz Costume :: 101 MORE Halloween Costumes for Women
Yes I love that man of mine.
Image: @Gage Skidmore via Flickr