I have seriously troubled skin. You know those ProActive commercials that feature teenage boys* who traded in their dignity for some cash? The ones who are all pits, and whiteheads, and scary cystic acne that makes you cringe just to look at them? Yeah, I have skin like them. And I've had bad skin for a long, long time.
I've tried just about every thing to help calm my acne-ridden, greasy skin: ProActive, which served the same purpose as poking a sleeping dragon with a very sharp stick -- it just made it angrier; Retin-A, which helped for a while, but did little-to-nothing for my scars and giant pores; Neutrogena products, which may as well have been pure water for all the results they provided.
I recently stopped using Retin-A for various reasons and my skin has staged a rebellion of epic standards. So I decided to return to a line skin care products that has worked wonders for me in the past: MyChelle Dermaceuticals.
I found them a couple of years ago, while trolling the aisles of a local Elephant Pharmacy. I figured, I'd gone the intensive chemical route to no avail, so why not try a kinder, gentler, more natural route? I've since discovered that the less I try to beat my skin into submission, the more likely it is to calm down on its own. Enter MyChelle.
MyChelle is an all-natural, paraben and pthalate free, vegetarian friendly, cruelty-free, all-around good for you line of "dermaceuticals". Essentially, they take a "non-toxic" approach to skin care, opting for plant-based ingredients to better revitalise and heal skin. It's a feel-good, good-for-you, crunchy-happy-people attitude that's easy to get behind, especially since their products work.
As I previously mentioned, I have terrible acne and extreme combination skin -- the T-Zone looks like the Exxon-Valdez wrecked all over my face, while my cheeks are flaky and desert-dry. I opted to control my biggest problems (acne and oil), following MyChelle's suggested skin care routine**. Here are my findings:
- White Cranberry Cleanser: this used to be just the Cranberry Cleanser, but all of MyChelle has undergone a major reformulation/makeover, like the Swan. This was the first product I ever tried, and it made me a believer. It cleared up my acne right quick; quicker than one would expect with an all-natural line. I did find that continuing to use it after my skin had cleared made my skin really tight and dry. Should this happen again, I'd probably work a gentler cleanser into my routine and phase this one out until my skin flares.
- Clear Skin Serum: I incorporated this into my routine out of desperation. I wanted my acne gone 2 years ago, and was willing to pay any amount to see it out the door. This stuff was surprisingly strong. You only need a tiny bit; it's very thin, and very potent. True story: I saw a dramatic difference in the size, amount, and intensity of my acne the very first time I used it.
- Fruit Enzyme Mist: a total waste of money. I have no idea why people continue to use toners; I have no idea what purpose they serve. I was told, very adamantly and by a large number of people, that I absolutely had to use a toner after using the cleanser or else my face would fall off and the universe would collapse. So, not wanting to shoulder the blame for the downfall of all life forms ever, I bought some. And immediately regretted it. You may as well rub sugar water on your face for all the good this stuff does. It goes on heavier than you would think and it made my face feel sticky, like I rubbed sugar water all over it. It does have one thing going for it: it smells really good. But that's all.
- Oil Free Grapefruit Cream: "cream" is a bit of a misnomer in this situation. It's actually a very thin lotion, which works well for me. It does a fair job of reducing my sebum production, and it also works to clear my skin. It's a nice moisturiser to have in my arsenal, but I'm not about to sing praise and hallelujah from the mountaintops. Also: it smells nice, which is important in a moisturiser.
- Incredible Pumpkin Peel: This, I will sing praise for. It is AMAZING and I will end you if you try and take it from me. It's not perfect, but for all the wonderous things it has done to my skin, I am willing to overlook the faults. First, it burns. Don't let anyone tell you it simply "tingles". No, it's a distinct burning. But, on the flipside, you'll get used to it in no time. I can leave it on for upwards of 10 minutes (although you probably wouldn't want to) and I don't need to put a leather strap in my mouth to deal with the pain. Another important piece of information: it's not a peel. I don't know who comes up with the names for these things, but you don't peel it off. It's a simple mask. I guess it's like a chemical peel? I don't know but lord it is good. My skin is smoother, my pores are smaller, my acne less furious and plentiful. Baby ass skin, people. Also: it smells like pumpkin pie. Good-smelling products seems to be a theme with MyChelle, and I'm not going to fight them on it.
My skin never looked better.
Clear skin overnight. Like my face had miraculously been transplanted with Freida Pinto's, it was so good.
Naturally, I've done this many times and every time I found myself doing the same thing: fanning my firey face praying to be lifted up. And every morning, my skin looked amazing. Totally worth it, in my sick mind.
The big, big downfall to MyChelle? You have to be Warren Buffet to afford it.
I am not, but I am willing to use whatever money I have to maintain/continue my quest for good skin. There is a tiny consolation, however: their products will last you for.ev.er. It took me about 5 months of twice-daily use to use up a tiny bottle of cleanser, and, 1 year later, I'm still eeking out my grapefruit cream.
Despite the exorbitant prices, MyChelle Dermaceutical products are worth it. They work fast, they work hard, and they're good for you.
Totally worth it, in my (sick) mind.
*Speaking from personal observation, teenage boys tend to have worse skin than girls. Probably because grimy bastards don't invest in decent skincare.
**Yes, I used all of these products every week. The majority were used both AM and PM. I should have stock in the company.