SENSITIVE PRINCESS SKIN DIARIES: That Time The Internet Helped Me More Than My Dermatologist

Now my skin RULES.
Publish date:
September 19, 2013
dry skin, beauty boxes

Earlier this year, I wrote about my skin qualms, and a visit to a dermatologist that left me a little depressed and wondering whether I should seriously shell out $300 to $900 to get supposedly incurable rosacea zapped away.

Since then, I've been caking concealer around the sides of my nose, guzzling water like a maniac, and slathering on SPF every time I go down to the pool, which is at approximately 1 p.m., every day.

I've also gone through a slew of products and research (Googling) to figure out which lotions and things are best for my insanely sensitive princess skin that's prone to rash-y, rose-colored flare-ups whenever I work out, get some sun, or um, breathe? It seriously got bad and wasn't budging for what seemed like a year.

I eventually switched to the simplest routine of Cetaphil face wash and CeraVe moisturizer, drugstore favorites among those who experience the wrath of uncontrollable dilating blood vessels of the face. Nothing changed, except the taste of my boyfriend's face when I licked it.

(Also I discovered the best way to get your partner to use your beauty products is to live with him or her.)

So although I've felt pretty disenchanted by all those subscription beauty boxes hogging my Facebook ad space, when I was asked to try OneRadiant -- a 3-month supply of samples catered to your skin woes -- I was like, "YES, OH, GOD, YES, ANYTHING TO HELP MY CRAP SKIN!" And then I got off the top of my refrigerator where I was crouched and shaking manically and took their questionnaire (ahem, excuse me, SkinSurvey™).

Immediately, I was impressed! Which is quite rare for me, as most people describe me as aloof and wonder if I like them or anything at all.

There were those questions you'd expect: "What issues would you like to address?" and "How prone are you to burning?" But there were also a few that I hadn't considered -- like, "How is your skin in the late afternoon?"

When I was finished, Survey™ told me that my skin type is dry, but prone to breakouts -- not combination as I had believed. Gee, wish my dermatologist had told me that!

Based off the results from my survey, my samples were selected, and my box full of baby products and Easter basket stuffs arrived via snail mail.

I also got a postcard-sized instruction card describing how to use each product, with the foremost direction being to try one product each week to better determine its effect on your skin.

Although patience is not my strongest trait, or a word that would ever be used in reference to me at all, for the sake of my skin -- and out of fear that I'd clog each pore with a rice-sized amount of gunk like Annie -- I did the one product per week thing.

The whole process seemed super frustrating at first. How did I know the product was making my skin better, not my hormones, or stress level, or how crap I've been eating? I wanted each sample to magically make my skin better upon its initial application. I even emailed someone from OneRadiant with a buttload of questions that aired my general level of pissed-off-ness. (Again, patience. It's hard.)

One month of testing out baby products and brattily huffing around my bathroom later, I found two new products I dig: Atopalm Moisturizing Cream, this super-thick moisturizing cream I applied to the flakey dry patches around my nose that FINALLY cleared that grossness, and Pangea Organics Moroccan Argan with Willow & Rosemary Facial Cream (that's actually mislabeled as the other Pangea product OneRadiant offers on my postcard, oops!).

Since the facial cream's description said it would help me with oil control, I used it the week I before my period, when I usually break out. And this is the first month since I hit puberty that I haven't had ONE blemish. KARATE KICK!

Of course, there were some misses. The cleansing scrub I got was way too harsh on my delicate angel skin, and no eye cream could compete with my current beloved eye cream of choice.

As I've found only one product I now buy regularly after a yearlong subscription from a beauty box brand I shall not mention, finding two products after one month seems like a success to me. OneRadiant's 3-month program will cost you $36, and it'll also get you points to use towards products in the OneRadiant store.

Now, the real question I'm left with after this trial is: Will I EVER buy beauty products I haven't sampled first? The notion of paying for samples sometimes pisses me off. But I've spent a bunch of money buying products based off a recommendation or the pretty packaging that I only end up tossing.

I try to swear less on Twitter: @caitlinthornton.