Look after your skin! Women AND Men

by Veronica

Ophthalmic shingles left me facially scarred but I often get comments about how good my skin is. How do I do it? Genetics, exercise, nutrition and skincare.

Wow! Just look at your skin! “Is a frequent comment to which I reply either "Thank you” or "Thank you … my mother had great skin too."

So what is it that makes people comment thus?

Yes my mother had great skin, yes I have a half a plate of fruit or veg with each meal but skincare has a lot to do with it too.

I rarely wear make-up and since having ophthalmic shingles (twice) my face often still tingles so I wear even less make up than ever. This means I can't cover blemishes and spots too much either.

My skin care therefore is important in how I present myself and how I feel about myself confidence wise. Having ophthalmic shingles left me scarred on my face - 12 weeks before my son's wedding. Nightmare. These have happily faded somewhat but recur when I am tired or stressed.

So how do I manage a facially scarred face without covering it up and most people don't even notice my imperfections.

In fact, looking after skin applies to women and men. This may be a generational thing. My two sons use skin care, scrubs and moisturisers. My husband won't - just won't. Hopefully younger men have got the message that skincare is important to comfort and self-esteem.

Opthalmic shingles

No wonder I scarred
No wonder I scarred

What I looked like in Feb 2012

This is not me when I was at my worst in 2012 ; it got worse. But my skin has recovered hugely with a little help! 

As you see, I don't want to walk round with these scars.

12 weeks after this picture above was taken, here I am at my son's wedding. May 2012.

12 weeks later with a little make up help
12 weeks later with a little make up help

What is skin?

Skin is a soft outer tissue which covers our muscles and bones. It sheds and replaces itself but still needs looking after despite this shedding. If it is damaged deep down it scars and doesn't fully recover but scars can fade in time and also with a bit of effort. 

Genetics, Diet ,Exercise

Genetics

Our skin is genetically passed down. It is in our DNA. My DNA is largely Irish through my female lines and Irish women do tend to have lovely skin. This has been passed down to me. I am fortunate to have it. I have done nothing to inherit it. 

Diet 

Good skin needs vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, minerals and anti-oxidants. These are found in good nutritional foods such as salad foods, vegetables and fruit plus dairy. I eat eggs and fruit in a morning, a salad at lunchtime and a protein, veg and fruit meal at evening time. This keeps my body able to work properly and this impacts on my skin. 

Exercise

Exercise, especially aerobic, oxygenates the blood and so gives an instant glow to the skin. Exercise also helps the body to make collagen which is a protein that helps keeps elasticity in the skin. 

Therefore genetics, diet and exercise all play a part.

How did I get to the wedding day look ?

My lovely husband and sons were just glad that I was going to be able to attend. They didn't mind what my face was like. But I had to do something and the skin care routines and products have stayed with me 6 years later. 

It’s been a painful process and I am just reaching closure on it. I have been unable to talk about let alone show how ghastly I looked. But I am ready and hope this may help someone somewhere. For the wedding photo I had a skin care routine and very good make up. 

Once the scabs had gone, the very last scabs had fallen off and my face was scarred and red raw, I went into a very good department store to the make-up department. I covered my face with a scarf and told the girls at the shop counter. You would think these girls saw faces like mine every day of the week. They were so lovely, discreet and professional. They recommended Clinique skin care and make up for my sensitive face. 

After 2 weeks, I had a very gentle facial every 4 weeks at a local salon and come the day, I was able to cover my scars and look like I did above. 

I have had ophthalmic shingles again since. 

The skin care regimen has stayed with me though.  

What I use

cleanse, tone and moisturise
facial scrubs
facial scrubs

Cleanse, tone and moisturise that is what it comes down to. Don't forget to exfoliate... remove dead skin cells too. 

I use two scrubs, a gentle daily scrub/ exfoliate by Clinique and once a week a cleanse with a stronger apricot scrub to exfoliate more firmly. These are pictured above.

Then I use a toner to rinse any excess exfoliate.

Light make up

I have to keep it light
I have to keep it light

I use a moisturiser and some fine loose powder that's it. I have to keep my make up very light if at all. My skincare actually means I need less and less make-up. 

Thank you. This has been difficult for me but very beneficial in regard to coming to terms with my scarring. I am a bit tearful just now writing this, but I have done it. Closure.

Here's me 6 years on, no make up. 

It can be done. You can do it too - scars or no

No make up
healed and faded scars
healed and faded scars
no make up
Updated: 03/06/2019, Veronica
 
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Veronica on 03/06/2019

I repeat and want the world to know ...
IF YOU GET A LARGE RED BLISTER ABOVE YOUR RGHT EYE , IT IS SHINGLES AND YOU HAVE ONLY 72 HOURS TO GET THE MEDICATION TO SAVE YOUR SIGHT.

Veronica on 12/03/2018

I repeat and want the world to know ...
IF YOU GET A LARGE RED BLISTER ABOVE YOUR RGHT EYE , IT IS SHINGLES AND YOU HAVE ONLY 72 HOURS TO GET THE MEDICATION TO SAVE YOUR SIGHT.

Veronica on 10/24/2018

Katie
I wish I knew more about genetic inheritance. It is a fascinating study but beyond me .

You are wise to protect your skin . Even here in the North West England I never leave the house without using a moisturiser.

katiem2 on 10/22/2018

DNA is a interesting rabbit hole to go down. My biological father... had flaming red hair. Hmmm genes are very telling aren't the little devils?

frankbeswick on 10/20/2018

You need to get red hair genes from both parents. Interestingly three of my four children have red hair and the other is fair. Even more interesting is the fact that my grand-daughter, who is the child of my fair headed son and his black African wife, has gold lights in her hair that are occasionally visible. She has these even though she has typically black African hair.

katiem2 on 10/20/2018

Interesting, My daughters and I both have red hair, my brother is a blonde and my Mother had black Irish hair. She always said there is a fine line between red and black in Irish. I am Scottish, Irish and Welsh in that order. I take great pains protecting my skin, eyes and hair. My hair gets really REALLY blonde if I expose it to the sun. I prefer the more intense red.

frankbeswick on 10/19/2018

Dad, several of our relations and I have fair and freckled skin.

frankbeswick on 10/19/2018

You are correct about red and blond. Red is, like blond, recessive. But where does gold fit in?

Veronica on 10/19/2018

Of dad's 13 grandchildren, 8 are red heads, 3 are blond and 2 are dark. Blond and red are carried on the same chromosome I have been told.

frankbeswick on 10/19/2018

Reddish hair, Katie, runs through my family, though Veronica always had darker hair than I did. . I had golden hair as a child, though it faded to brown and now is sadly grey. With the golden hair went a fair skin prone to freckling. Some in our family have what is sometimes known as Irish skin, which makes us vulnerable to sunburn, so I don't over-expose my skin to the sun, and since being diagnosed with the first symptoms of cataract I have taken care to protect my eyes in the outdoors and I wear a broad brimmed hat when gardening to shade my face from excess sunlight.


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