Bare Minerals Causing Cystic Acne?
My Story of Acne Through My Life
I got complimented on my skin today. It completely took me by surpise because I have never been complimented on my skin. I have been complimented on my eyes, ambition, and style. But, never my skin. Since I was in 7th grade, I have been plagued with those bumps on my face. They take on many forms and go by many names including pimples, zits, boils, spots, breakout, cysts, and my least favorite: acne vulgaris (the name just sounds horrible!).
I have been through many dermatologists, each one striking both my ego and my wallet. It was humiliating sitting in front of each one as they crinkled up their nose studying the one thing I spent 30 minutes that morning trying to hide. They would prescribe it all: antibiotics, face creams, gels, Accutane, and soaps. I dreaded my follow up appointments even worse than my initial appointments. I knew they would be disappointed in my progress and make a snide remark doubting I was following their regimen, which, truthfully, I did.
Then I would be off on my hunt to find a new dermatologist, hoping to find the one that could both help my cause and not make me feel even more insecure about my face than I already was. I never found "The One". Defeated, I resorted to over the counter medicatons, Benzoyl Peroxide, daily masks, and Salicylic Acid. One time I was in such dispair that I bought the Salicylic Acid for wart removal since it was more potent. But, before you try that, it does absolutely not work - well, unless you count a stinging feeling followed by no progress treatment! I tried all of the name brands, the 3-step informercial systems (you know the ones), and store brands. Each would work for a bit then the acne would fight back - and come out in full force.
I was now in my early 20's and completely envied anyone with clear skin. I made a comment at work that I would need to run home and fix my foundation before attending a happy hour. The receptionist was astonished that anyone needed to fix foundation during the day. I had one friend tell me that I always looked like I had foundation caking near my nose (uh, thanks?). I had one very rude colleague deliberately tell me that I had pimples and her boyfriend loved her for her beautiful skin. She was older than me and had no excuse for saying something so hurtful. Goodness, I am 35 now and sadly, those comment still haunt me.
Finally, in my late 20's it stopped. I have no idea if it was a combination of every single treatment throughout my life or the simple fact that I was getting older. I still had small surface ones, but they were the exception rather than the rule. Then, shortly after the age of 30, I switched to Bare Minerals from their fabulous late night commericals.
I loved Bare Minerals. It didn't itch my skin. It felt so light and made me look glorious, even in pictures. I would sometimes mix it with moisturizer or water for an ultra sheer look or just do the "swirl, tap, buff". After a few weeks, I started developing hard knots under my skin. They were deep, painful, had no head, and sometimes would swell up my face. I had never had this type of acne before and I was puzzled. But, I didn't visit another dermatologist. I just dealt with it. I tried new treatments and soaps. It never occurred to me it could be my pure Bare Minerals.
After wearing the makeup and battling cystic acne for for over four years, something made me do some some research. In this, I learned that other women were having bouts of the cystic acne when using mineral makeup. There were two possible culprits: 1) a person could be slightly allergic to the mica and bismuth oxychloride and 2) it is so finely milled and goes in your skin to give its great appearance. While this is a top selling point for those with naturally great skin, it can cause microscopic tears deep inside and clog deep pores with bacteria, causing large, ugly cystic masses for those prone to acne (and I was never gentle about putting it on - I pushed it into my skin).
So, I quit using Bare Minerals.I switched to a cheap drug store brand, Cover Girl Clean, simply because after hours of internet research on foundations, I realized that there was no "perfect" foundation. So, if it's a "crap shoot", why not try the $6 one?
It obviously doesn't go into my skin like the Bare Minerals did, but it doesn't give me cystic acne either. It looks good. The tea tree oil cleared up the rest of the masses beneath my skin's surface and I haven't had any new painful boils, cysts, whatever you would like to call them since I made the switch. The Walgreens Alpha Hydroxy Acid has been fabulous, and honestly, its the best bang for the buck, at keeping my skin soft and eliminating my old dark marks and scars. I will hopefully have a revew on that soon.
I can't say I have thrown my Bare Minerals away, even though I know I should because I'm sure its past its expiration date!! It does have a place in the back of my bathroom cabinet. I feel as if I do owe it some homage. I do wish my skin loved it as much as I did.