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Read the first part of “You’re Ill?” here!

Nobody ever thinks I have dealt with any traumatic experiences. My eyes are bright and crinkle when I smile. My smile is wide and shows off my teeth. My hair is shiny and strong. When something upsets me I grin and bear it. 

Since I do not want people to know that I have an autoimmune the above come in handy. I do not sleep in my contact lenses. I wash my hands and face when I come in from outside. I never go to bed with my make-up on. I keep a schedule for when I exfoliate and use a mask. This might sound extreme but it pays off. In fact, I have been told I seem to be aging backwards. 

The last thing on their mind is that I am hiding an illness.

First off, I wash my face two to three times a day. My favorites: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Gel Cleanser and Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash. 

Purpose and Neutrogena

I have extremely oily skin so I use Neutrogena Power Gel in the morning and the evening. The other Acne Stress Control products are too drying for my skin. The Gel Cleanser is perfect for keeping my acne at bay all year round.

I use the Purpose Cleansing Gel for mid-day washes. I love this cleanser because there is no fragrance so it is great for sensitive skin and I can use to take of my eye makeup. I always take off all of my make-up after I come home. I live in a very polluted city and all that gunk gets stuck to and under my cosmetics. I never mind re-applying make-up.

Speaking of taking off make-up…

Johnson’s Baby Oil and Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes

At the end of the day I always use Johnson’s Baby Oil with Aloe & Vitamin E to remove my eye makeup. I have tried so many makeup removers and they always leave a nasty residue and dry out my skin. The baby oil dissolves waterproof cosmetics in seconds which means I do not have to use a lot of pressure to remove them. It moisturizes and when I wash my face most of the oily residue comes off. Just a note: I only use this to remove eye makeup.

Some evenings I am too tired or too lazy or too flared up to go through the motions so I use Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes as a quick all-in-one. I always carry two or three in a ziploc baggie in my travel tote. The only thing I do not like is that they do not remove all my make-up even with constant rubbing.

And that insane schedule of yours?

Bobbi Brown, c.Booth and LUSH

Even though I use salicylic acid regularly I still get the occasional acne breakout. I find that if I keep to a schedule instead of treating after the fact, I can lessen the problem. Once a week I use c.Booth’s Deep Cleansing Volcanic Mud Mask. It is very fragrant and can be a little over-powering. I do not mind the smell and it has to be the best mask I have tried. Most mud masks are extremely drying and make my skin flake. This mask dries in about fifteen minutes and does not irritate my skin. This is kind of cool and gross but I can see the oil being drawn out of my skin. At least I know it is working! The only downside for me is that it takes a little muscle to take off. The product gets caught in my hair and I have to splash my face with water a couple of times to loosen it.

Every four days, I exfoliate with two different products. I love LUSH’s Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub. It has a high fragrance that gives me a headache, but it is so yummy like margaritas! A lot of reviewers say it is a harsh face scrub but I do not agree with that. The salt granules quickly dissolve with the water. I continue to rub the product into my skin because of the oils and lemon. The lemon does an awesome job of brightening my skin because it absorbs immediately into the fresh layer of skin. I also love Bobbi Brown’s Buffing Grains for Face. This is a great exfoliator because I use it with my face wash. It is very easy to regulate how much product I use. The grains get caught in my eyebrows and my hairline but extra splashes of water fix that issue. 

I am not going to lie. When I first started this skincare regime I was pretty wishy-washy. I would not always wash my face or exfoliate on time and some weeks I skipped the mask all together because I did not want to sit for 15 minutes. I could tell the difference in my skin which was exacerbated by my general lethargy and pain level.

When I am in really bad state not even the best skincare regime can hide it but when I can manage a semi-normal state, everyone asks “you’re ill?”. 


Hi, I’m Monica and I have RA.