skin care and exercise: fall edition

One issue brought up by exercising more AND getting obsessed with skin care AND using ingredients that increase sun sensitivity is that I have to think a bit more about how I’m going to coordinate my exercise with my skin care routine.

For me, the easiest so far has been to exercise after work. At this point, the sun is setting (or already set if I’m getting started late), so there is minimal sun exposure, and I still have the remnants of my daily sunscreen on. By the time I’m done, the sun is basically set (if I didn’t start in the dark!), so it doesn’t matter if I’ve sweated off the remainder of my sunscreen and I can just do my usual wash routine in the shower and then go right into my nightly product(s). If it were any earlier in the evening and/or if the sun was more up, it would probably make sense to reapply the sunscreen before going running. And since it isn’t UNGODLY HOT anymore, I’m not sweating as badly either.

When it was hotter, I was liberally applying my go-to US sunscreen: Coppertone for Kids/Babies Tear Free. It’s hella water/sweat proof, and if some days I double-cleansed twice a day, so be it.

Fitness Journal: Monday evening run

I left work a bit early, because bleh, and was almost all set to get out and run when my Mom called. It was good, because we needed to catch up on a whole bunch of things, but I definitely started running after dark. My new route actually works out ok in the dark. Its better lit and/or I was just less worried about turning my ankle.

Distance: 2.24 mi
Speed: 14:47 min/mi
Animals: none, just smelled the aftermath of a few. :(

Fitness Journal: Friday run

I accidentally went much farther than I was ‘supposed’ to. In week 1 of the C25K program that I’m doing, there are 8 intervals + warmup/cooldown, but in week 2, there are only 6 intervals, so I ran the first few mins of my cooldown. It worked out though. Since I thought I had more intervals to go, I was taking a longer route, so I still got plenty of cooldown time.

I also realized that (horror!) I might have to start doing my runs in the morning instead of the evening. It is getting darker earlier, and I don’t like doing the trails in the dark because the ground is a bit uneven and I’m paranoid about my ankles. And after the end of daylight savings, it’s going to be Really Dark. Maybe I can sub some running with biking to work.

Todays stats:
Distance: 2.52 mi
Speed: 14:52 min/mi
Animals: a million dogs being walked

Fitness Journal: Monday and Wednesday runs

I’m up to Week 1 Day 3 of C25k! Congrats to me! Tonight’s run went really well. There were times on Monday when I wanted to die, but that was really absent today. As a tradeoff, Monday’s run was great in the ankle department, while I was getting some twinges today. So it goes.

Monday’s stats:
Distance: 2.14 mi
Speed: 16:06 min/mi

Wednesday’s stats:
Distance: 1.99 mi
Speed: 15:45 min/mi
Animals: One orange kitty-kit, hanging out protecting their front yard

I’m not really sure why the distance was that much shorter today than it usually is. Maybe my cooldown was shorter.

Fitness Journal: Thursday evening run

I’m back at Day 1 Week 1 of C25k. The weather has gotten much nicer, so running outside seems like a thing a sensible person could do again. Of course, I had decided very firmly to run this evening, and just as I’m setting out, it starts to rain. Entirely un-predicted, of course. My time to distance ratio is a bit wonky today because of that. I was definitely hanging out under a tree for a few minutes deciding if I needed to go back for a plastic bag for my phone. Of course, once I’d gone back for the baggie, the rain had mostly passed. It was for the best though, since there were little spits of rain off and on throughout my run.

One thing I noticed is that I definitely need to step it up in the PT department for my wonky ankle. The muscles on that side were complaining much more than the other side.

Distance: 2.13 mi
Speed: 17:46 min/mi
Cats: 1, sprinting across the road during my cool down

Skin Care update

Time flies when you’re … taking care of your skin?

Overall Improvement

I feel like I’ve entered a new phase of my skin. Starting off, the asian-style skincare routine pretty much cleared up my lingering active issues. I’m still in awe, a bit. After about 2 weeks, the irritation/seb-derm around my nose pretty much disappeared, and I stopped applying the anti fungal.

Oil cleansing step is key for me

For a few weeks in July, I was feeling tired and unmotivated, so I was slacking on both cleansing steps. Big mistake! I didn’t see a recurrence of the seb derm, but I was seeing larger pores, more clogged pores, more unevenness, more whiteheads. After getting back on that train, things rapidly returned to the ‘new normal’ of … really nice skin???

Adding ‘actives’

On the Asian Beauty subreddit and on many skin care blogs, ‘actives’ refer to any ingredient that is clinically proven to treat skin in some way. The biggies are AHA’s (glycolic acid is the most common one to see in the US I think), BHA (salicylic acid is most common in the US), Vitamin C derivatives, and prescription drugs like trans-retonioic acid (aka Retin-A, Retinol, etc).

While my skin is at it’s most calm, I still have a lot of blackheads that get more and less clogged, depending on my cleansing routine. I still get occasional whiteheads popping up. And I still have a bunch of those little bumps, sometimes called millia that are like mini pre-whiteheads. It’s a clogged pore, but it isn’t irritated and it is well below the surface of the skin.

Since I don’t seem to have any active acne happening, I’d like to try to clear some of the lingering clogs, and possibly do some minimization of the acne scars that probably only I care about. I’m definitely on the more ‘mild’ side of the acne scarring spectrum, but I have a few deeper pit scars from a few really bad pimples on my cheeks. Again, probably I’m the only one who both notices and cares, but that’s how it goes, isn’t it.

To start out, I’ve been using more of the AHA+ from I’ve been using a generous amount daily in the evenings on my face and shoulders. The good news is that it seems to be surfacing some of the little spots. The bad news is that I do have a bit more in the way of small whiteheads than I think I would otherwise. So far, I’m willing to chalk this up to a ‘purge’ of existing clogs and not the formation of new clogs. Recently, I discovered that my AHA that I’ve been toting around for the last forever is *ahem* rather expired. That motivated me to order some new AHA and BHA products.

I’m starting a Korean product, Cosrx AHA Whitehead Power Liquid on my face, and have an American product, Stridex Maximum Strength Acne Pads, a 2% salicylic acid for either alternating with the Cosrx AHA, or starting after I’ve worked up to using the AHA regularly, I haven’t decided. Because these ingredients are pretty strong actives, most skincare communities recommend a) patch testing (which I’m skipping b/c impatient, I may live to regret this) and b) not adding a new product for at least 6 weeks. I’m not sure I can be that patient. I have a new sunscreen coming as well that is supposed to be more sweat/sebum resistant, so I will probably be throwing that in the mix as well.

There are two main issues that I may face.
1. Both AHA products are 10%, but one is not expired and also does not contain lidocaine (licorice extract) which is soothing, so it might be much stronger or irritating than I expect. I’m combating this possibility by being generous with my Mizon All In One Snail Mucin moisturizer.
2. I might react badly to one of the ingredients in either the sunscreen or the new AHA. I’m not really worried about reacting badly on my shoulders for whatever reason.

Fitness Journal: Wednesday Evening walk

Cooler, but maaaasively humid out tonight. I took a slightly different route, and was slightly earlier. Lots of people out playing pokemon, but I was on a walking mission and didn’t stop to chat.

Distance: 2.3 mi
Speed: 19:55 min/mi
Cats: none
Pokestops: My bag was full the entire time :(
Pokemon caught: My app isnt cooperating. 1 new kind, probably ~6 total?

The good new is, if I set my ‘pace’ a little faster starting out, I pretty much stick to it automatically without really thinking about it.

Fitness Journal: Thursday evening walk

I took an incredibly leisurely walk this evening. I was very close to skipping it, since I’m still feeling crappy in the tum tum region. I took a bit of a different route, around a local park, and it was super nice. Still hot as heck, even this late, and there were a T O N of people out poke-hunting near some of the pokestops in the park. And now I’m going to take my sweat and my unhappy tum to shower and to bed.

Distance: 2.13 mi
Speed: 23.14min/mi
Cats: 0 :(
Pokestops: 4 (I passed many more, but my ‘bag’ is ‘full’)
Pokemon caught: 10 (3 of 1 new kind!)

Fitness Journal: Tuesday evening walk

I was a bit ill today, and disinclined to do anything, but right before bed, I got it into my head that I should at least go for a walk. A quick 10 min walk around the block turned into a much longer extravaganza. And since it is still hella hot at 11pm, I need to go clean up before I try to go to bed.

Distance: 2.03 mi
Speed: 22:54 min/mi
Cats: 1, hiding in bushes, scared
Pokestops visited: 14
Pokemon caught: 4
Strangers interacted with: 2, also playing pokemon :)