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Advice for a Friend
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chunlisa
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Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:40 am      Reply with quote
Advice for a Friend -- I posted this in the Skin Care forum but it didn't show up (I tried like 10 times) so I'm reverting to this section:

Hi Ladies (and the occasional gentleman),

I have a friend with a pretty severe acne problem. She cannot ever wear make up for the rest of her life, and well . . . it's a pretty dire situation because I feel bad for her. Girls love to be beautiful, and I hate to think that she doesn't LOVE herself due to her skin condition.

I asked what she's used and she says she's used everything over the counter and prescriptions. She goes to her Dermatologist quite often, and I actually don't know what he has her using. She says the only that's ever worked for her is Accutane, but she is afraid of the after-effects, so she refuses to use it anymore.

As you all know, I LOVE Proactiv -- it's done wonders for me (as well as Yonka). I asked my friend to use Proactiv again -- give it a 2 months and that's it. She insists that it doesn't work, though. I mean, she says she used it already and it made her skin condition worse (which is usual for first-time users, actually). She says that she likes what she is using now. The problem, girls, is that her skin does NOT look good at all. It's very red and bumpy, and I really want to help her.

The thing is: I don't think it's her skin as much as her willingness to devote time to her face. I mean, anyone can use Proactiv, but for it to work, you need to devote the TIME to it. Washing your face at least twice a day, cleaning, toning, applying the medication. She seems like a pretty non-devoted person (to her skin anyway) . . . so I don't know how to help her. I was going to buy her some more Proactiv and tell her to just use it and let me know how it goes -- but the truth is, Proactiv might not really work for her -- CUZ SHE WON'T LET IT.

It's really sad for me to see her -- because I want to help her. I almost want to tell her that I'll meet with her twice a day to wash her face for her (ha ha, free facials, who could resist?!). I haven't talked to her specifically about how she cleans her face (I feel that she would be embarrassed) . . . but do you guys have any suggestions?

I guess this was just good to talk about . . . it's been bothering me for quite some time. I spend quite a lot of time washing my face (just making sure dirt is removed, etc.) and I can't help but think that she just rubs some cleanser on for 10 seconds and washes it right off. That really doesn't work, you know?

Any thoughts?
Barbara Portno
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Sat Oct 04, 2003 1:29 pm      Reply with quote
HI Chunlisa,

You touched on several issues in your post. I will speak generally; you can not help anyone that doesn't want to help themselves. IF you think she is the type of person that despite what happens with her skin, smooth, clean, beautiful, dirty, acne or wrinkles she just won't invest the time there is nothing you can do for her. Nothing. Have you recommended this forum to her? Our son used proactiv and it didn't work for him after 45 days. He is using Murad now and that has helped more so but he also is using Devina's mask (from Ireland). I am a helper too but I have learned that the best way to help some people is to support them with their choices until it becomes unhealthy for me......and then I have a choice.Sad Rarely is the first symptom we see the real issue, I don't know how well you know your friend but maybe there are other things involved for example money for products, low self esteem are just a couple of things that come to mind.
You are a wonderful person to have as a friend and I wish you could turn this problem around for her. If our son's experience with murad would help I will gladly post his trial and if your friend wants to try "proactiv" again, I have a full new unopened set that was sent to us for free and I would gladly send them to you/her.

Babs

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chunlisa
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Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:30 pm      Reply with quote
Hi Babs,

Aw, you are so sweet for being willing to send me/my friend your products. I'm pretty sure that money isn't an issue with my friend since she's using some pretty expensive prescription stuff right now. I think she's tried just about everything -- but she won't tell me how long she's used things. Sometimes it sounds like pure cynicism: "I've tried everything -- nothing will work" . . . but she won't give me details.

I appreciate your advice and POV, and I guess there really is no way to help her. I've only known her for about a year and we're not too close, so I don't want to offend her by asking her more details. If it were my BEST friend, I would definitely sit her down and tell her how I felt Smile But with acquaintances, it's just difficult to not offend them, you know? Especially when it's over a personal issue like this.

Thanks for your help -- I really appreciate it!
Lisa
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Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:15 pm      Reply with quote
That's very well put Babs, I couldn't agree with you more. I have a few friends myself (lol! Yes I *HAVE* friends)... sorry lost track there Smile ... I have a few friends who always complain about their skin and apparently they've "tried everything" and "nothing works" for them. I tried to help them out with different products etc but I eventually gave up after I realised that they didn't really want help and they weren't commited to making their skin better. If I had a product that I thought was really good I'd take a plastic container and give a fair bit of it to my friend. She'd use it once and say "didn't help at all" and wouldn't use it again. I think the difference is that I *LIKE* taking care of my skin, I like cleansing, I like exfoliating... I think there are many people who think it's a hassle and just don't bother. As with anything, if you like it then doing it comes naturally, if you don't then it's hard to make yourself do it let alone do it regularily.

So, Lisa, I think all you can do is give her honest advice when she asks for it and as Barbara said, support her in her choices. When you think she has made a bad choice, (gently) let her know what you would do in her situation (and why you would do it) but ultimately leave it up to her to decide what she wants to do.

Mabsy Smile
cottagecheese
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Wed Oct 22, 2003 3:38 pm      Reply with quote
I took accutane and had awesome results. I had most of the initial side effects that are listed but afterwards the cysts stopped and I can live again. Its been 20 yrs since I stopped taking it and no long term results;)

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Lady Jane
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Thu Oct 23, 2003 12:41 am      Reply with quote
Hi Lisa,

Your post caught my eye because I was in a similar situation a few years ago, I was your friend in this though - not you.

Firstly you sound like a great mate and I'm sure she appreciates you caring, but the truth is for some people "nothing" works, really.

Honestly I know how she feels, I (and maybe your friend) take great care of my skin (cleanse, tone, exfoliate, use weekly masks/treatments), and use good expensive skin care brands (hence how I floated onto this website).

Some of my "friends" used to bring up the subject of skincare (presuming I didn't have any) and it was like you said, it is embarrasing for someone with skin like I had to talk about it, because at the end of the day people who are blessed with lovely skin really think us with the not so good skin are doing something wrong or don't have a proper skincare routine, which isn't true.

Anyway, in my quest for better skin I came across Glycolic Acid peels which I had done on a monthly basis for a few years, which helped and I also found MD Formulations Glycolic Acid products helped to. I now use a the gentler Dermalogica line because my skin is in better shape now.

How old is your friend, teens and early 20's are the worst, I am 32 now and age alone has helped me (not that I wouldn't go back to being early 20's mind).

I've had microdermabrasion done professionally too, on it's own it didn't do much, but combined with acid peels it worked fine and smoothed out the skin.

Being such a good mate, why not suggest you have a girly trip to a salon (monthly or whatever) and have a facial together or something like that.

Hope I haven't bored you silly.
Sweetie-Pie
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Fri Oct 24, 2003 10:15 pm      Reply with quote
Hi Chunlisa!
It's so nice that you're concerned for your friend! I hope this helps.

I had really bad acne a few years ago too. I did everything from oral antibiotics to needles to topical treatments. I was also put on accutane and had some bad side effects (my cholesterol skyrocketed!) so I couldn't finish the whole treatment. I didn't feel like there was anything that was going to help. I did find that panoxl (sp??) soap that you can fine at most drug stores helped and I also used clean and clear oil absorbing cloths (these are great for soaking up excess oil!). The needles were painful but seemed to help the really big cysts.

The dermatologist recommended that I try accutane again and with close monitoring (monthly visits and bi-weekly blood tests) I got through 4 months of accutane. It was hard on the body but looking back it was well worth it. I haven't had any breakouts for over 4 years and the only thing I have now is some scars and pigmentation.

Has your friend done a complete accutane cycle? I would definitely recommend accutane if you can handle it.

I hope everything works out ok for your friend!
chunlisa
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Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:29 pm      Reply with quote
You gals are all too sweet Smile

Thank you Lady Jane and Sweetie-Pie for your very candid and honest responses. I haven't actually seen my friend in a few weeks (we're in law school so we rarely have "social" time if you know what I mean), but I would definitely love to take her to a day spa sometime to have a girls' day out. I completely understand that some products just don't work for people, but I think she's given up trying to FIND something that will work, you know? I guess the best thing is to help her through it and do as much as I can -- without forcing it on her myself! Very Happy

Thanks again for your replies! I really appreciate it!

Lisa
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