Something went terribly wrong when I hit 31! Work was great, my love life was intact, and my relationships with friends and family had never been better, but my skin was an entirely different story.
In the past, I was labeled by my girls as "the friend with great skin". I could pick and choose the days I wore make-up; foundation and concealer were optional for me and hardly ever worn. My skin glowed on command and was flawless. That is, until a few days before my 31st birthday.
Writer Ianthia Smith
Pimples of epic proportions popped up on my cheeks and on both sides of my forehead, just above the brows. When one blemish disappeared, another appeared almost instantly in its place. The bumps were painful, swollen, and tore my skin leaving massive breakage and tears. "Healing" actually turned to hyperpigmentation and I found myself wearing makeup everywhere, even in the gym (only to watch it drip onto the floor mat as I did my fifth set of squats).
The worst part was, I couldn't figure out why all of this was happening now. I've had pimples before, but the size and frequency at which these appeared was alarming, I just knew something was wrong.
My "glow up" had dimmed and I didn't know what to do.
I tried everything, including but not limited to changing my diet, working out more, drinking more water, changing my makeup brushes, updating my skincare regimen…nothing worked! I finally visited my doctor who suspected I had a hormonal imbalance and put me on birth control and Retin-A. She also suggested that I try a chemical peel.
This sounded painful, but I was desperate to get back to the skin I knew and love. I quickly booked a consultation with the recommended dermatologist who confirmed that hormones were to blame for my skin problems and that a chemical peel would help to rid my face of dead, broken, and dull skin. She explained that the process uses a mixture of different acids that are applied to the face, given time to dry, and ultimately shed a thin layer of the skin to reveal a new glow.
About a week later, I went in for my chemical peel application. When I arrived at the doctor's office, I had to fill out a consent form and then, it was peel time! And if you ever consider this option as a solution to your dermatology-related woes, here's what you should expect:
Before My Chemical Peel Appointment
Before the application, I used a moist cloth to remove all products, sweat, and oil that was on my skin. The doctor then came in and used a cotton ball to apply the small cup of brown liquid to my skin. After about four passes, all the liquid was gone and it was time to wait and peel.
The Chemical Peel Procedure
The day of the peel, my skin had a noticeably orange color, of course because the product was still on. There was no tightness, no pain. I experienced a slight stinging sensation from sun exposure, but that's normal and once I blasted the air conditioning in the car, it became less bothersome.
I was given a post-peel kit, which included some anti-itch cream, sunscreen, and moist towelettes that acted as mini-peels that I had to apply for the next two or three days.
The Next Few Days
By the second day, my skin was still pretty normal looking. In fact, I even wore makeup on this day and no evidence of peeling was noticeable. My skin still felt fine and looked pretty normal as the orange-like glow started to fade.
Day three was when the fun began. I was almost excited to see my old, bruised, and damaged skin start to peel away. It started around the mouth area, as predicted. Since we're constantly talking and chewing, the peel usually starts here first. What began as a small spot of peeling earlier that morning had spread around my entire mouth and instantly I could see the amazing difference between my old skin and the new glow peeking through. It was like magic!
Day four was pretty intense as the peel was in full effect! I could now see other parts of my skin start to tighten as it prepared to peel. Peeling around my mouth had now increased to my cheeks and forehead! With each passing hour, the old skin was turning a darker color and was slowly starting to lift away. So far during the process, there had been no pain, minimum itching, and hardly any discomfort…except for when I looked in the mirror, of course.
Here is where you'd want to load up on your favorite Netflix shows and snacks and stay indoors.
By day five, my entire face was peeling, and I could now see the skin that had troubled me for so long falling away to reveal a new, softer, more supple face. It was indeed a scary sight to behold, but I could already see the results and it was so worth it. I could see a new me, ready to shine through. Aesthetically speaking, days five and six were pretty much all the same as the peeling continued.
In A Week
Seven days later, my new skin had arrived! The peeling was completely done and my face had never been softer and smoother. The dry patchy skin was gone, scabs and scars left behind from tearing had disappeared, my uneven tone had balanced out. Finally, my hyperpigmentation was lightening and my glow up was back on the come up.
The day before my chemical peel appointment, I had somehow convinced myself to cancel, but at the very last minute I changed my mind and I'm so happy I did.
Not only did the chemical peel have immediate benefits for my skin, but even more than two months later, I can still feel its effects.
I haven't seen one of those dreaded pimples in months (knocks on wood), my dark marks are still lightening, and my foundation now glides on my skin like butter. The downtime wasn't that bad either, I personally only needed seven days, and I was only stuck in my house for three of them.
Here's What I Think About Chemical Peels
Writer Ianthia Smith One Month Post-Peel
The words 'chemical peel' does sound scary next to each other, but for me it was a much needed addition to my tired skincare routine and I've now added it to my annual calendar. For anyone experiencing stubborn acne issues that just won't go away, I would really recommend speaking to your doctor about this procedure. It might change your life, just like it did mine.
Our faces go through so much drama on a daily basis, and just like everything else in our life we sometimes need to shed a layer or two to get back to our glory days.
Ianthia Two Months Post-Peel
Click here to watch my full journey or watch my experience by clicking the video down below:
Originally published September 11, 2018
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Ianthia is a freelance Bahamian writer, journalist, TV host and producer and travel and lifestyle blogger with works and features in Essence, Forbes Travel Guide and Sheen Magazine. A TV anchor turned full-time blogger, Ianthia quickly became one of The Bahamas' top influencers; even being awarded the honor at the 2017 Bahamas 40 Under 40 awards. Ianthia's MiniSkirts and Microphones website (www.ianthia-smith.com) is a travel and lifestyle blog for busy millennial women looking for advice and inspiration on how to transition from 9 to 5 to fulltime girl boss while being a woman in the age of social media.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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