Expect miracles? Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry review

We always hope for miracles from our beauty products but how awesome is it when you find a company that actually promises them.

I’m talking about Swell Skin, manufacturer of sea buckthorn berry oil and soap. And results are guaranteed or your money back.

You are not only guaranteed a miracle, you can expect one overnight. No need to wait weeks or months.

Fantastic, right? That’s what I thought so I decided to put their products to the test.

Promising airbrushed skin in 24 hours

Now what is it we’re supposed to see after just one application? The company claims that 90% of skin’s needs are met within the first 24 hours. As to what it’s really supposed to do, this is what they say:

“Sea buckthorn oil has a reputation for softening lines, plumping skin with moisture, healing skin inflammation including acne, rosacea and many more serious skin conditions.”

Founder Kelli Klus goes on to say, “Regardless of my skin’s occasional challenges, age, sun, infections, spots, acne, rashes, redness etc. the products work immediately to heal each and every one of these problems.”

They sum it up by promising airbrushed skin.

swell skin miraculous?

What will Swell Skin do for me? Putting it to the test

Now I’m fairly happy with my skin’s texture, hydration and elasticity. But I do have a few brown spots, hyperpigmentation and sebaceous hyperplasia (SH) bumps that I’d like to see go away. And occasionally I get keratosis pilaris (KP) on my face.

I took before and after photos (something that’s lacking on their website and on 99.9% of outside reviews).

I decided to test these products for either one night or one month. (One month if the overnight miracle did not occur.) And at the risk of becoming lopsided, I used them only on the right side of my face and neck.

Excitement was building as I prepared to use Swell Skin soap and oil for the first time. Would I really see overnight results?

I prayed to the god of skin miracles. Oh magic sea buckthorn berry, please take away my brown spots and bumps!

Using the sea buckthorn berry soap

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry soap

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry soap

The bar weighs 2.25 ounces. The ingredients are sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, water, glycerine, cocos nucifera oil (coconut oil), hippophae rhamnoides oil (sea buckthorn oil), aloe barbadensis leaf extract (aloe vera), astragalus membranaceus root extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), palmitic acid, sodium chloride, tetrasodium etidronate, tetrasodium EDTA.

The soap felt cool like mint and has minimal lather. It has a mild, pleasant smell.

Afterwards my skin felt very clean but not dried out. I was surprised to see it removed virtually all of my makeup. None of my other cleansers can do that.

Using the sea buckthorn berry oil

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry oil

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry oil

The bottle contains 100% pure sea buckthorn berry oil and is listed as .05 fluid ounces. That’s INCORRECT and I’m surprised nobody’s caught this big boo boo.

The actual measurement is .5 fluid ounces, or one-half ounce, which equals one tablespoon of oil.

And to prove that I poured my brand new bottle into a tablespoon. The picture is below.

Bottle contains 1T oil, or .5 fluid ounces, not .05

Bottle contains 1T oil, or .5 fluid ounces, not .05

Moving on from that.

The oil has a faint smell, like some type of grain. It looks a bit orange and it feels like…well, oil. Yes, it feels like oil, it looks like oil and it does not completely absorb into the skin. It did not, however, turn my skin orange.

Expecting an overnight miracle. Did I get one?

The next morning there was still a little bit of oil on my face and neck. And I had only used a small amount. But it was easily rubbed in to reveal the fact that my skin looked exactly the same as before.

No miracle for me. The experiment continued for 29 more days, only using the products on the right side.

My results after 30 days

So here’s what happened. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

There was no overnight miracle.

There was no miracle after 30 days.

I see no difference whatsoever. My brown spots and SH bumps remain.

During the course of the trial period I did get a couple of pimples and also a couple of KP spots on my cheek. The pimples did not go away any faster. There was, however, faster healing with the KP, drying up in about five days.

My before and after photos

Forehead before (L) and after (R)

Forehead before (L) and after (R)

Eye before (L) and after (R)

Eye before (L) and after (R)

Cheek before (L) and after (R)

Cheek before (L) and after (R)

Airbrushed skin? I think not. 

Conclusion and final evaluation

Sea buckthorn soap

The soap is very good at removing makeup, better than any other cleanser I’ve ever used. But it didn’t make my skin look or feel any better. I would recommend it for being a very gentle, effective cleanser.

The bar will last me for many months.

Sea buckthorn oil

The oil might be soothing if I had irritated skin which I don’t. It left my face a little oily in the morning. The only condition it seemed to help at all was the KP which I mostly get on my body. However, it’s too expensive for me to use on that and I would not repurchase.

After using it for a full month, I still had half a bottle left. If I had used it on my entire face it would have lasted one month.

So is this is a miracle product or hype? My verdict: Hype.

Buy the soap if you want a good cleanser but forget the oil.

If you want to see how well Swell Skin worked on someone with acne, please check out this video. It’s the only review that I could find that actually has before and after photos.

For more information about Swell Skin, visit their website.

Have you used Swell Skin sea buckthorn oil or soap? Please share your experiences below.

Broken ankle recovery: one year later

Exactly one year ago today my doctor told me I was allowed to walk again following trimalleolar surgery. Those were the words I had waited 67 days to hear after breaking my ankle last September. The surgeon had done his work and now it would be up to me to get back on my feet.

This last year has been the most difficult one of my life, physically and emotionally. But I’m happy to report I’m doing very well now. And I wanted to let everyone know that since there are so few success stories to be found out there.

Venturing into the unknown

When I started this “journey” I was given very little information about what was going to happen and how long it would take to recover. The physician’s assistant told me the best outcome would be that I would walk again. The way she said it was anything but encouraging. Yikes! I know they have to prepare you for the worst but at least they could also mention the possibility you could recover fully.

I was fortunate enough to get that reassurance from the wonderful nurses who were prepping me for surgery. One of them told me she had had trimalleolar surgery a few years ago and said she was just fine now. To demonstrate that she jumped up and down, skipped around and stood on her tiptoes. This is a woman who has to spend the whole day on her feet and she looked perfectly normal.

Thinking of her helps me get through the tough times.

persistence and determination

How I’m doing after rehabbing my broken ankle for one year

An update on the physical problems

The physical problems I’ve been dealing with this last year are pain, swelling, numbness and stiffness. Last June I reported being 95 percent recovered and able to do almost all of my normal activities. I think it’s more like 97 percent now. A couple of things I can do now that I wasn’t able to before are running and jumping jacks. I can even walk around in high heels for a very short period of time.

And here’s the breakdown by symptom.

Pain

I have little to no pain walking most of the time and I am limp-free. Sometimes there’s soreness when I relax my foot and discomfort (and random sharp pains) during dorsiflexion. Sometimes my shins hurt too. Standing on tiptoe with the left leg hurts less than it used to. I attribute these pains to tight tendons and ligaments so I’ve been doing some new things in the last month that have made a big difference. I’m really excited about the results and will probably do a separate post on that later.

Swelling

There’s still a bit of swelling depending on how much standing I do during the day. Swelling is limited to right around the ankle and not the rest of the foot as before. I’ve only felt the need to use the ice pack once in the last few months.

Numbness

The numbness is virtually gone. I used to feel it when I barely touched the top of my foot. Now the only time I feel anything like that is when I’m massaging my foot. And even then it’s very, very faint.

Stiffness

My ankle moves pretty normally in all directions except for dorsiflexion. But that has improved recently as a result of the new things I’ve been doing with my therapy. I’ll just keep plugging away at it until I get to 100 percent recovery. My toes also used to be quite stiff but now are normal.

Photos of my ankle one year later

The left ankle is the one that had surgery. They look the most alike in the morning when there’s no swelling. The left one will always be a little bigger now with all the hardware installed. I don’t plan to have it removed because it’s not causing me any problems and I really don’t want another surgery.

An update on the emotional problems

I didn’t talk about it much before but the emotional challenges are almost as difficult as the physical ones. I’ve experienced fear, depression, helplessness, flashbacks and frustration.

These feelings are very much intertwined with my physical condition. And as it improves, they also improve. I still have frustration with not being fully recovered. And I still occasionally have flashbacks. Overall I feel better now knowing I can take care of myself in any situation I could handle before.

There’s one more thing I’ve been dealing with. The accident changed my identity. I became the girl with the broken ankle and that thought has been with me every moment of every day. Technically it’s not broken anymore and hasn’t been for some time. But every pain, every limitation, even the lack of pain when I’m used to feeling pain, is a reminder that I’m the girl with the broken ankle. I’m not going to be that girl anymore.

From now on, I’m the girl who is UNSTOPPABLE.

Related posts

Broken ankle recovery: learning to walk again

Rehabbing my broken ankle

My magic shoes for broken ankle recovery

Olaplex fixed my fried bleached hair

What looks like cotton candy but feels like straw? My hair after being bleached from brunette to platinum.

My silky hair was so damaged that no amount of conditioners, oils and serums could tame it. Every time I brushed my hair, my lap was covered in little broken bits. I wished I could rewind the clock to go back in time to when my hair was soft and smooth. Well guess what. I discovered with Olaplex, you can go back.

Yes, Olaplex really does work. It’s a three-part system. Parts 1 and 2 are meant to be used in the salon during chemical processes but can also be used as a standalone treatment. Part 3 is to be used at home for ongoing maintenance.

I got the three-piece kit and did the standalone treatment myself at home which is as easy as putting conditioner on your hair. Anyone can do it, and you should do it yourself because you’ll save a lot of money. I’ll get into the details later and show you my before and after photos.

Before I went ahead and plunked down $100+ for a kit, I had a few questions that you may have as well. Here’s what my research uncovered, in brief and simple terms, to answer the most commonly asked questions about Olaplex.

The most asked questions about Olaplex

What is Olaplex?

Olaplex is a compound called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Its purpose is to repair bonds in the hair that are broken during chemical processes. It was invented by chemists and patented.

It comes as a three-part system, labeled as #1, #2 and #3. The same ingredient is used in each part, with #1 having the highest concentration of the active ingredient and #3 having the lowest. Number 1 is called a bond multiplier, #2 is called a bond perfector and #3 is called a hair perfector.

Olaplex is free of silicone, sulfates, phthalates, DEA, aldehydes, and is never tested on animals.

Why should I use it?

Because it mitigates the damage done during a chemical process. While the bonds are being broken during bleaching, Olaplex #1 is repairing them at the same time. Not all of the bonds are repaired during this step so #2 is used right after the chemical process.

How can you use it to repair hair?

Besides using it in a chemical service, you can also use it to repair damaged hair as a standalone treatment. If the hair is really damaged, you can do a treatment using #1 and #2. After that you can use #3 once a week for maintenance and to repair ongoing damage done to the hair.

What’s the difference between Olaplex and knock off brands?

All the knock off brands only coat the outside of the hair and mask the damage. They don’t mitigate or repair the damage. Olaplex is the only product on the market that can actually reconnect broken bonds in the hair shaft.

Will I get any benefit from using #3 even if I don’t get my hair colored?

Yes, it’s good for everyone. When Olaplex was tested on virgin hair, the hair sample that was treated had more shine and felt softer to the touch than the original untreated sample. It had an overall healthier appearance than the control sample.

Are the effects of Olaplex permanent?

According to the manufacturer, the reconnected bonds will not break again unless compromised by additional thermal, mechanical or chemical services.

My experience with the Olaplex standalone treatment

Olaplex traveling stylist kit

Olaplex traveling stylist kit

I ordered the Traveling Stylist Kit which contains one bottle of #1, two bottles of #2, one bottle of #3, along with an instruction card for standalone treatments and for use with chemical processes.

I did the standalone treatment following the instructions on this card:

Olaplex standalone treatment instructions

Olaplex standalone treatment instructions

Here are some pictures taken during the first treatment.

It’s important to note that, contrary to what Kim K has said, sleeping with the product in your hair is not necessary nor more effective. After the product dries out it stops working, therefore the maximum time to leave it in your hair is 30 minutes. No further benefit will be gained by leaving it in longer.

Step by step Olaplex video tutorial

This brief video shows how to do the standalone treatment. When you do this at home by yourself, you should put a towel around your shoulders because the first part is very drippy.

My hair before and after Olaplex

My before and after photos are a little different from most people’s. The before photo shows my hair after flat ironing and with serum, and it still looks like a hot mess.

The after photo is my hair without any heat styling, oils, serums or conditioners. With flat ironing it looks even smoother but I wanted you to see it in its raw state.

After the treatment my hair was so soft, I couldn’t stop touching it! And the breakage—gone.

My evaluation of the claims made by Olaplex

I did the standalone treatment twice the first week, followed by weekly maintenance treatments of #3 for the next two weeks. Then I didn’t do any more treatments for six weeks.

During that time I only washed my hair once a week and used the flat iron once a week on the lowest setting. I let my hair air dry, something I was unable to do before using Olaplex because my hair would turn into a puffball.

My point here is that I did not do a lot to damage my hair, but after six weeks with no treatments it started to break off a little bit more. So I started doing weekly maintenance treatments again.

While my hair’s strength improved dramatically following treatments, it was never quite the same as before being damaged by bleach. And the restorative effects were long lasting, but not permanent.

Olaplex is the most remarkable product and I don’t want to be without it. It’s allowing me to keep my hair long while the bleached part grows out. The kit I got will last many months and I will definitely repurchase once it’s gone.

Update after using Olaplex for a year

It’s been nearly a year since I started using Olaplex and I wanted to show you how great my hair is looking now. It doesn’t break off in little pieces any more when I brush it and it’s gotten longer. So let’s take a look at some pictures.

one year using olaplex

Ten months of using Olaplex. Styled with flat iron.

I only do a treatment every month or two and I still have quite a bit left from the kit I purchased. I’ts definitely been worth the money!

Additional information

To find answers to more questions about Olaplex, please visit their education center.

To buy maintenance treatment #3 directly from the manufacturer, please click here.

For a more technical evaluation of the product, please read this report.

Please add your comments

Have you used Olaplex? What do you think of it?

DIY hair appliance holder

When I was setting up my new makeup vanity, I wanted my hair dryer and flat iron handy. I had ordered a desktop appliance holder but it took up a lot of room and the cords looked really messy so I sent it back.

Then I decided it would be much neater to hang my hair appliances on the wall next to the vanity. The holders I found online were flimsy and poorly rated so I decided to use something else as my holder.

Wrought iron bar rack holder

Wrought iron bar rack holder

I just happen to have a small star wrought iron towel holder in one of the bathrooms so I checked it to see if my blow dryer and flat iron would fit on it and, guess what, they did! The holder sticks out 4 inches from the wall which is perfect. But instead of ordering that same design, I got this bar rack holder without the star because I also happened to have a pretty birthday card I wanted to use as a plaque behind it. (The star holder is longer though and would also hold a curling iron.)

These Amish wrought iron holders are very sturdy. (I also own star curtain tiebacks in addition to the towel holder.) They’ll last forever! The only drawback is the shipping but they do combine shipping if you get more than one item. However, even with the shipping the total was about the same as one of those cheap holders.

To install, the first thing I did was mark holes from the holder onto the card.

Birthday card with punched holes as backing for hair appliance holder

Birthday card with punched holes

Using the holder as a guide again, I transferred the markings onto the wall and made sure they were straight using a level. Then I put holes in the wall, inserted plastic anchors, laid the card on top and screwed the holder in place.

Holes drilled in the wall with plastic anchors inserted

Holes drilled in the wall with plastic anchors inserted

After that I got four little nails and hammered the corners of the card down.

Small nails to attach greeting card to wall

Small nails to attach greeting card to wall

And that’s all there is to it.

Hair appliance holder with greeting card backing tacked onto wall

Hair appliance holder with greeting card backing tacked onto wall

Except for one thing…there was a messy situation going on with the cords plugged into a power strip on the floor.

Hair appliances plugged into power strip cluttering up the floor

Hair appliances plugged into power strip cluttering up the floor

So I mounted it on the wall just under the vanity tabletop. I coiled up the mirror’s cord and tucked it in between the wall and the vanity. I also coiled up the power strip cord.

Power strip mounted to wall underneath vanity

Power strip mounted to wall underneath vanity

I’m going to be painting my room pretty soon and I’ll also paint those cords to make them blend in.

Now everything’s looking neat and tidy and I can sit there and fix my hair in front of my Hollywood Starlet mirror!

Makeup vanity with wall-mounted DIY blow dryer/flat iron holder

Makeup vanity with wall-mounted DIY blow dryer/flat iron holder

Do you have a clever solution for organizing your hot hair tools? Please share them in the comments below.

Bleaching damaged hair the natural way

There’s a fairly new natural way to go blonde and so far it’s been a well kept secret. So secret, in fact, that even after I learned the name of the product I had a hard time finding any information on it. Now I’m going to expose this “secret” as I share my experience getting my overprocessed hair bleached the O-way (Organic Way professional salon products).

If you want to learn how my hair got so damaged, please read how I went from brunette to platinum.

Discovering Oway

I was at a crossroads with my hair color. After four bleachings I was left with yellow hair which is not at all what I wanted. My choices were to cut it and bleach it again or leave it long but yellow. I didn’t want to do either of those and went looking for another solution.

I started reading about how Olaplex can restore damaged hair and allow it to be safely bleached further. My plan was to keep it long and try to bleach it to the right color using Olaplex.

Turns out there’s just one salon in my area using it, but the stylist I asked for was the only person in the salon not using it. Instead she had just switched to all organic, nontoxic, plant-based hair color products—Oway. She convinced me to give it a try.

Oway is the world’s first ammonia-free, cruelty-free line of hair products with certified biodynamic, organic and fair trade ingredients. It’s great for people with sensitive skin. Sounds good, right?

Watch this video to see where the products begin—on biodynamic farms.

Bleaching my damaged hair with Oway organic bleach

Here are before pictures of my level 9 yellow hair.

First I went down to the salon and got a strand test on my hair to make sure the bleach would work. It did. My hair didn’t break off and it got lighter. So I came back in a few days for the full treatment.

My stylist did heavy foils using Oway organic bleach. She did the roots with 20 volume and the ends with 9 volume. On the second batch of bleach she used 30 volume to catch up with the first part. Unfoiled hair got balayage with 9 volume on the ends to bleach the yellow.

The processing time was about the same as for regular bleach. There was no burning or unpleasant smell.

After she washed the bleach out, she used a permanent dye as toner, level 11, shade 17. She had to rinse as we went along because the ends grabbed the color fast.

Here’s a video showing how to color hair with Oway products.

After bleaching and toning with Oway organic hair products

And this is the wonderful result—lighter, brighter hair without having to cut it.

The entire experience and the price were comparable to services I had done before with harsh chemicals.

Afterwards, my hair felt pretty silky. If I’d only known about Oway before, my hair wouldn’t have gotten damaged in the first place.

So if you’re thinking about going blonde, I urge you to check out these products. Ask your stylist to give them a try. Why bathe your scalp in toxic chemicals if you don’t have to?

My experience with Oway was a success because it allowed me to go one shade blonder without cutting my hair. I’m very happy about that. However, I’m still left with damaged hair from prior treatments. I gotta say, Olaplex is still on my mind. Stay tuned…

For more information about the entire line of Oway professional salon products, and to find an organic salon near you, please visit this link.

Related posts

Brunette to platinum to ?

Review of Redken platinum ice for toning yellow hair

Olaplex fixed my fried bleached hair

Review of Redken platinum ice for toning yellow hair

See what happened when I used Redken Shades EQ platinum ice 09V to tone my stubborn yellow hair. Here’s a hint: it was a disaster.

But first I’m going to answer the most asked questions about this product, and then I will go on to the review along with my before and after photos.

Most asked questions about Redken Shades EQ demi permanent color

What does demi permanent mean

Demi permanent means that it will only deposit color on the hair. It will not lighten hair, just change the tone of hair that’s already been lightened.

How do you mix it

You have to use a Redken Shades EQ processing solution along with Redken Shades EQ demi permanent color. You mix them at a 1:1 ratio. Using 2 oz of each would be enough to cover most hair.

How to use Redken Shades EQ

Apply the solution to clean, damp hair using a hair color brush or applicator bottle.

How long do I leave Shades EQ on my hair

Leave it on the hair from 5 to 20 minutes. Watch the color develop and rinse out as soon as it turns the right color.

How long does the color last

Supposed to last up to 24 shampoos.

My experience toning yellow hair with Redken platinum ice

Starting out my hair was level nine yellow blonde and I wanted a silvery blonde color. Salon toning looks good for about a week and then my hair goes back to yellow. And purple shampoo, the holy grail of many, doesn’t do anything because my hair is too damaged from bleaching to hold color.

My yellow hair before toning with Redken platinum ice

My yellow hair before toning with Redken platinum ice

I started searching for a more permanent solution and that’s how I found Redken Shades EQ platinum ice 09V. You can see from the swatch what a pretty color it is, icy but not too gray. To me it looks like it has taupe undertones.

redken shades eq platinum ice 09v

Redken Shades EQ 09V platinum ice

I put 2 oz of platinum ice and 2 oz of processing solution into an applicator bottle and shook it up. The mixture starts out watery and then turns into a slightly purple gel.

I put it all over my hair and massaged it in as if I were shampooing my hair. I piled all my hair on top of my head and watched and waited. Ten or 15 minutes in, it turned into this purple color. I should have washed it off then but didn’t since my hair is resistant to color.

Redken platinum ice after processing for 20 minutes

Redken platinum ice after processing for 20 minutes

So I bravely waited the full 20 minutes. I was going to get rid of that yellow no matter what.

As I was rinsing the mixture out of my hair in the shower, I could see it was no longer yellow. Mission accomplished!

I dried my hair and discovered it had turned a strange purple brown color—not even close to the platinum ice swatch.

after redken platinum ice

After toning my hair with Redken platinum ice

Now I desperately hoped that it would wash out fast. And here’s the good news for people who like the color they got, it stays in a very long time. Of course that was bad news for me.

The next washing I brought out my harshest shampoo and scrubbed and scrubbed my hair. About half the color came out. The next time, a little more came out. Finally by the fourth washing it was pretty much all gone. It lasted a month through four vigorous washings with my cheap Suave shampoo. I only shampoo once a week.

Oddly enough, as the color was fading it retained that purple brown hue. It never did fade to silver, or platinum or anything resembling ice.

And I’m back to drab yellow hair.

Redken platinum ice pros and cons

The pros

It’s easy to use
The color is long lasting
It made my hair feel soft

The cons

Well, don’t do what I did and leave it on too long. And make sure you pick the right color in the first place. I think I would have gotten a better color by mixing 09V platinum ice with 09T chrome

Related posts

Brunette to platinum to ?

My magic shoes for broken ankle recovery

When I became full weight bearing after broken ankle surgery, my physical therapist told me to get some orthopedic shoes with laces for good support. Not having anything like that I went online and found these amazing Vionic venture women’s mesh athletic shoes.

My left foot and ankle were in constant pain, especially the heel, and I felt I needed extra cushioning there so I paired them with Tuli’s heavy duty heel cups that I already owned from a prior bout with plantar fasciitis.

Together, these are my magic shoes which help me walk without limping and make it easier to do my ankle rehabilitation exercises.

Here are more details on what to look for in an orthopedic shoe and why these Vionic shoes work well for me, as well as cleaning instructions to keep them looking like new.

My magic Vionic shoes

My magic Vionic shoes for my “bionic” ankle

What to look for in an orthopedic shoe after an ankle fracture

  • Proper fit
  • Flexibility
  • Arch support
  • Cushioned comfort
  • Good traction on the sole
  • Lightweight

Why I love my magic Vionic shoes

  • These shoes are made true to size with a little extra room in the toes. I ordered my correct size and there was still plenty of room for orthotics which I highly recommend to anyone with foot pain.
  • The sole is flexible, allowing the foot to bend properly while walking.
  • The footbed holds the foot in proper alignment and is removable for cleaning. Good support is crucial when learning to walk without limping because the foot is weak during the rehabilitation process. The footbed comes up higher on the side where the arch is and that’s where I feel it stabilizes my foot to keep me balanced through each step.
  • The shoe is cushioned lightly in the footbed and more heavily padded around the opening. It feels like a little pillow around my sore ankle.
  • The stretchy mesh fabric keeps feet cooler and more comfortable. I also like that the tongue is sewn in place, making it a little easier to get on.
  • The rubber soles have little ridges on the bottom for good traction.
  • With the shoe being so lightweight and properly padded, I can wear them all day and practically forget I have them on.
  • Finally, they’re just cute and the bright pink color I chose makes me happy!

Cleaning my magic shoes

Getting ready to clean my magic shoes

Getting ready to clean my magic shoes

Instructions for this are lacking so I had to do some digging and learned that they can’t be washed in the washing machine or soaked in water. That presents a challenge when you end up with mud all over your shoes like I did one time. So what I did was to let the mud dry and then brush off as much as I could.

Then I used an enzyme cleaner solution that I mixed from powder and placed in a spray bottle.

Biokleen enzyme cleaner

Biokleen enzyme cleaner

I saturated the shoes with the solution and let them sit in the sink for about 20 minutes.

Spraying Biokleen on my shoes

Spraying Biokleen on my shoes

After that I scrubbed gently with a scrub brush, rinsed with water and put them in the sun to dry for a while.

And voila, they look like new again.

Related posts

Broken ankle recovery: learning to walk again

Rehabbing my broken ankle

Broken ankle recovery: one year later

Brunette to platinum to ?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a blonde. And not your average, everyday blonde but a platinum blonde, the fairest of them all. So six months ago after celebrating my 60th birthday I thought, what am I waiting for. Follow along on my journey from brunette to platinum to…who knows?

What I learned before going platinum blonde

I’ve done a lot of research on bleaching your hair platinum and these are the main points I learned:

  • Going from brunette to platinum is a long process
  • It’s very expensive to go from brunette to platinum
  • Your hair will get damaged from the bleach
  • You will have to lose some or a lot of length
  • Blonde hair is high maintenance

This was the best article I found on the subject: Here is everything you need to know about going platinum blonde

Going blonde in a photo first

Picture photoshopped with blonde hair

Picture photoshopped with blonde hair

Before taking the plunge I also wanted to see how I’d look as a blonde so I went on one of those sites where you can upload your picture and try on celebrity hairstyles. Here’s one of the photos. Not quite the right color but it looked pretty good.

Talking to the stylist

I’ve never had my hair bleached or dyed at a salon. Up to this point I’d been dyeing it myself using Wella Color Charm demi permanent dye in dark natural brown. But going blonde, especially platinum, is a job best left to a professional so I found a good stylist.

I went into the salon with about three inches of gray roots hanging out. My stylist, a young lady about half my age, thought my brunette locks were aging (thank you very much) and she was all for bleaching it to the silvery blonde color I’ve been dreaming about. I also told her I wanted to incorporate my natural gray hair into it. She said as it grew out she would weave the roots into the blonde.

my gray roots

My gray roots

The progression from brunette to platinum

First bleaching

The first step to going blonde was to use a color remover. Since I’d only been using demi permanent color, I thought that dark brown would come right out. It didn’t.

On the first visit, I started off looking like this…

Lynda as a brunette

Just before getting my hair bleached for the first time

And came out looking like that.

After my first hair bleaching

After my first hair bleaching

I think she used 10 volume developer and bleached it twice after the color remover which turned it brunette with red highlights.

Second bleaching

One week later, the second round of bleach left me looking like this. Not sure if she used 10 or 20 vol. this time.

After my second hair bleaching

After my second hair bleaching

The color doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but in person the red tones looked awful. My dog was happy because we looked like twinsies.

me and Koda with matching hair

Koda and I are twinsies

That color is perfect on him, not so great on me.

Third bleaching

Another week later, I got the mother of all bleach jobs with 40 vol. developer. I hated this brassy, yucky yellow color.

After my third hair bleaching

After my third hair bleaching

Not only that, my hair felt like straw and looked like cheap synthetic hair from a doll whose hair has been used as a scrub brush. I was horrified. So was my stylist and she performed a deep conditioning treatment one week later.

Fourth bleaching

One month after that, a fourth round of gentler bleaching occurred to try and eliminate the yellow and brassiness. She used an ash blonde toner and it looked like this.

newly platinum hair

After my fourth hair bleaching–platinum at last!

I loved this color! I thought it was so pretty but the lovely silvery tone washed right out, leaving me once again with the awful yellow.

I now know that “toner” is a word for color that washes out in one shampoo. I like that silvery shade and I still don’t know why I can’t get it permanently.

Adding lowlights

Two months of feeling washed out by the paleness of my hair and also tired of looking at the yellow and brass tones, I asked my stylist to make it a light ash blonde. She foiled half of my hair with an ash blonde/gray color and no bleach on the rest of it, finishing with the same ash blonde toner used before.

And this is what happened.

Holy moly! It’s straight up gray! This time I prayed the color would wash out fast, and it did.

Root touchup

Another two months passed and I got my roots bleached and woven into the blonde, followed by the ash blonde toner. My gray roots blend in nicely.

Once again, I thought this was a nice color but it didn’t last.

The aftermath of going platinum blonde

After all the bleaching, my hair is coarse and evidently does not hold color very well, except for that persistent dreadful yellow. My stylist says I’m going to have to cut a lot off and bleach it again to get the color I want. Still thinking about that one as I’ve already cut about 12 inches off my hair since this whole thing started because the ends keep breaking off and looking ragged.

This is what happens when I brush my hair.

Hair breakage after all that bleaching

Hair breakage after all that bleaching

The journey to platinum is still a work in progress. More updates to follow.

What do you think, do you like my brunette or blonde hair better? Please let me know in the comments below.

Rehabbing my broken ankle

When I broke my ankle two months before my 60th birthday in 2015, my number one priority was getting back on my feet as soon as possible. I was going to do everything in my power to make that happen. I believe healing is very much a proactive thing that involves the body, mind and spirit.

The details of my ankle rehabilitation continue below.

For the backstory, click here.

The medical evaluation

Following my trimalleolar fracture, I was told some dire things such as: the best outcome would be that I could walk again, it would take three to five months to be able to walk, I would be at risk for arthritis.

To all this I replied no, I’m going to get back on my feet fast, I’m going to get all my function back and I’m not going to get arthritis. And that left them speechless.

I did not, and still do not, accept any of that as my fate. This was merely information to use in designing my healing protocol.

Healing a broken ankle with nutrition

All good health begins with good nutrition (food and supplements) which is even more important when healing from an injury. The body is designed to heal itself but it needs the raw materials to do so.

My normal diet consists of whole food that I cook myself, but after my accident I made sure to keep it super clean, eliminating sugar and alcohol because that inhibits healing. I mostly ate high-quality meat along with green vegetables, similar to a paleo diet.

I already take a well-rounded array of supplements, but some new ones were added immediately following the accident. These are all the supplements I feel were the most necessary for healing bones, joints, veins and nerves (purchased from ProCapsLabs.com): ultimate calcium intensive care, glucosamine 1500 and chondroitin 1200, vitamin K2, B-12, marine collagen peptides, circulation and vein support.

Many months after the accident I discovered turmeric-400, also from ProCapsLabs.com, which reduces inflammation, especially in joints. I notice the difference if I don’t take it, so I intend to continue taking it forever.

A note about vitamins: not all vitamins are created equal. I recommend staying away from tablets and the stuff you find at big box stores and drug stores.

Using the mind for healing

This is going to sound a little woo-woo, but what you believe you manifest. Your brain pays attention to what you tell it. So you don’t want to say to yourself, I’m never going to walk, even though it may feel that way. When those negative thoughts creep in, it’s important to kick them out immediately.

I repeated these affirmations throughout the day:

I’m healthy,
I’m strong,
I’m well-abled,
I’m restored

When I was still non weight bearing (NWB) and had to stand up using one leg, my leg got really tired from all the extra work. But when I would say “I’m strong,” it actually helped my leg to perform.

And when I was full weight bearing (FWB) but still dependent on the walker, saying to myself “I’m well-abled” was prophesying my full restoration. I would also visualize walking on my own. I believe that helped me to walk just 20 days after becoming FWB.

Another woo-woo thing to some is acupuncture. I decided to get five treatments when I was still struggling to walk, having had great success with it in the past.

Even though I know it works, the way it works is a bit of a mystery. My general understanding is that it helps energy (chi) flow properly through the body. My energy flow was blocked from surgery and the subsequent scar tissue and swelling. Following each treatment I noticed a reduction in pain.

Maintaining positive spirits during broken ankle recovery

It’s uplifting and a nice diversion during recovery to make plans for the future. These are some of the things I thought about:

• Going blonde

• Planning my 60th birthday party

• Giving back to the people who helped me

• Planning my triumphant return to the dance floor

Making myself more comfortable during recovery helped keep my spirits up (getting a knee scooter and a ramp).

Finally, noticing and celebrating the small improvements every day gave me hope.

walking on stairs

Broken ankle exercises

Exercise is an important part of rehabilitating a broken ankle and I think it’s a good idea to start exercising as soon as possible. Here’s a breakdown of what I did from NWB to FWB.

The first two weeks after surgery, I didn’t do anything other than wiggle my toes in the cast. When the cast came off, I noticed that my calf was starting to shrink so I decided to do some exercises on my own.

For the next six weeks I wore a boot and was still NWB. While wearing the boot, which weighed three pounds, I did leg lifts very slowly, 20 reps three times a day. I also did isometric exercises, tensing up the calf and thigh muscles a few times during the day. As a result, there was very little wasting of the calf when the boot came off. My leg still ended up getting weaker and I wish I had done more sessions throughout the day.

Two weeks before being released by the doctor, I started physical therapy. Being NWB I was only allowed to do a few things which I did with the boot removed.

Take advantage of physical therapy if it’s offered to you. I was allowed 21 sessions which I completed over the course of five months.

Ankle exercises for NWB

Ankle pumps: while lying down with the leg elevated, slowly and gently bend foot forward, then straighten it out, stretching as much as possible without causing too much pain (20 reps, 4 sets, 5 times per day).

Toe curls: while still lying down curl toes down then flex them upwards (20 reps, 4 sets, 5 times per day).

Toe flexion/extension: stabilize the heel with one hand, then with the other hand curl toes under and hold for 30 seconds. Then pull the toes up and hold for 30 seconds (2 reps, 1 set, twice per day).

Marble pickup: place a bag of marbles on top of a towel, pick them up with the toes and put them in a bowl or move them from one side to the other (2 to 3 minutes, twice a day).

Toe curls on towel: With a towel on the floor and the foot resting on top, curl the toes to gather up the towel (10 reps, 2 sets, twice per day).

Ankle alphabet: while sitting or lying down, trace the letters of the alphabet using the foot and ankle only (1 rep, 2 sets, twice per day).

Toe tapping: while sitting, tap foot gently on the floor (2 minutes, twice a day).

Foot rocking: while sitting, very gently rock the foot backwards and forwards—toes down, then heel down (2 minutes, twice a day).

Check out this video for a demonstration of some of these broken ankle exercises:

Ankle exercises for FWB

I continued with the NWB exercises plus the following exercises that were phased in as time went on:

Recumbent exercise bike (up to 10 minutes a day)

Weight shifting: while standing on foam mat, shift weight from side to side (2 minutes, once a day)

Calf stretches: stand about three feet away from a wall with the injured leg behind and the other leg in front, keeping heels on the floor, lean against the wall and hold (30 seconds, twice a day)

Standing dorsiflexion: with the injured foot on a step, lean forward until a stretch is felt (30 seconds, twice a day)

Standing dorsiflexion

Standing dorsiflexion

Single leg balance: while standing on a foam mat or just the floor, balance on the injured leg (30 seconds, twice a day)

Theraband stretches: while sitting with the leg straight, put the foot in the center of the band and hold onto the ends with both hands, bend the foot slowly upwards and downwards (20 reps, 2 sets, twice a day)

Theraband stretches

Theraband stretches

Ankle lifts: while lying on the side with the foot hanging off the edge of the couch or table, and with a 1 to 5 pound weight wrapped around the foot, slowly raise and lower injured foot. Roll over to the other side and repeat (10 reps, 2 sets, twice a day)

Ankle lifts

Ankle lifts

Heel raises: while standing and holding onto something, stand on toes and slowly lower yourself down (20 reps, once a day)

Walking (10 to 15 minutes, once a day)

My physical therapist told me it can take a year or longer to regain full range of motion. When I started going there, my dorsiflexion was -5 degrees. On my last session it was 13 degrees. There’s still a ways to go before the left foot catches up with the right one.

Rest

Too little value is given to the power of rest, which goes beyond getting enough sleep. Exercise needs to be balanced with rest because that’s when the body heals itself. Exercise tears down muscle and rest builds it back up again.

There have been times when I’ve pushed myself too hard with exercise and activity which only caused me injury, so now I’ve learned to pace myself. For example, I try not to be on my feet for more than an hour at a time which is then followed up with resting on the couch with my legs up for a while.

As the day goes on, if I find my foot starting to feel more pain to the point that I want to start limping, that’s my cue to stop for the rest of the day and take it easy.

Icing my ankle

Icing my ankle

Nobody can tell you how much you should or should not be doing. You’ll just have to figure that out by listening to your body.

I wish you all well with your healing journey. And remember this: 

You’re healthy,
You’re strong,
You’re well-abled,
You’re restored

Related posts

Broken ankle recovery: learning to walk again

My magic shoes for broken ankle recovery

Broken ankle recovery: one year later

Broken ankle recovery: learning to walk again

September 6, 2015 is the day I went from a healthy, strong, independent woman to an instant cripple. You see, while walking on the sidewalk in my platform wedge shoes, I stepped on a pebble and lost my balance. My left foot went sideways and my leg landed right on top of it.

Have you ever twisted a chicken wing to separate the joints? Well it was kind of like that. All the bones were broken in what’s called a trimalleolar fracture. Basically my foot was disconnected. It’s the worst fracture you can get and the worst case my surgeon had seen in many years.

And from that fateful day the only thing I wanted to know was when can I walk again. The short answer to that question is this: I was able to walk on my own 20 days after the doctor said I was allowed to walk.

But there’s a lot more to the story, a story I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell because I’d rather pretend this nightmare never happened. But reading other people’s stories helped me, so here goes.

Broken ankle: waiting for surgery

There was surprisingly little pain. My ankle was stabilized at the ER and I was sent home with instructions to stay off my left leg (non weight bearing or NWB) and keep it elevated while awaiting surgery. Oh, and I wasn’t allowed to shower either. (Try washing your hair in the kitchen sink while standing on one leg.)

Being NWB means I had to use crutches which is its own little nightmare.

Using your hands for crutches means you can’t carry anything, not even a cup of coffee. Luckily I had a small thermos and bottled water which I packed in a tote bag along with my phones and other items. I had to plan every excursion from the couch as if I were going on a long trip: what did I need to take with me, what did I need to bring back, how many stops did I have to make.

Sometimes I would take a break from crutches and roll around the kitchen in an office chair. That’s how I was able to prepare meals for me and the dog.

Drive Medical DV8 Aluminum Steerable Knee Walker Crutch Alternative

My borrowed knee scooter looked like this

The week after the accident my sister-in-law borrowed a knee scooter for me. This was life changing! I could get around faster and, with the tote bag hanging from the handlebars, was able to carry a dish in one hand and steer with the other.

Even with the scooter, the physical exertion of going from one place to the other left me extremely tired. I spent much of the time napping on the couch. I think my body was in shock. This exhaustion continued for several weeks.

Broken ankle surgery

That happened 11 days later on September 17. Right before going into the OR the nurses told me this was going to be a painful surgery. Such an inadequate word to describe the horror of the next 24 hours. The pain was excruciating. It felt like someone was sawing away at my ankle with a hacksaw. I counted the minutes until I could take the next pain pill, and this from someone who doesn’t even take headache medicine.

The next day the pain was about 50 percent less and each day it got better. By the fifth day I stopped taking pain pills. There was still pain but it was tolerable.

The surgeon installed a metal plate and six screws on the left side of my ankle, and one screw on the right side.

My foot was in a cast for two weeks and then I had a decision to make.

flowers on broken concrete

Removing stitches, and do you want a cast or a boot?

The cast came off and I didn’t want to look at my foot but got a glimpse of it anyway. My exact words were, “I look like Frankenstein.” My foot was laced with wounds: a five inch long one on the left side, one inch across the top of my foot, and three inches on the right side.

The stitches came out and there were lots of them. It didn’t hurt as bad as I expected, just mostly felt like someone snapping me with a rubber band.

Did I want another cast or a boot? A cast makes the foot more stable but you still can’t shower or exercise much with it. It’s also much lighter than a boot.

A boot costs extra, it’s heavy and bulky, but you can remove it to bathe. And this is what really sold me—I could start physical therapy two weeks earlier which meant I would be walking two weeks earlier. Done.

That being said, I hated every minute wearing that boot especially in bed where it was nearly impossible to get comfortable. Still, it was the right decision.

Then the doctor dropped a bomb on me. I would have to go another six weeks without being able to walk.

I was crushed thinking it was only going to be four weeks because bones take about six weeks to heal. I think he was being extra cautious due to the severity of the fracture.

The long road to recovery

dog laying on my pillow

My little doggy nurse testing out my pillow. Puppy approved!

The next six weeks were hard and I counted down the days until I would be allowed to walk again.

I rented a ramp for the back door so I could do a few things in the garden and dump my trash. Being able to finally get outside lifted my spirits somewhat.

I kept up with light housework, running the vacuum cleaner, keeping the bathrooms and kitchen clean, doing a little bit of cooking.

In the evenings while lounging on the couch I would take a break from the boot and let my foot out. By that time it really seemed like a very fragile foreign object attached to my body. I massaged it a little and did various exercises like curling my toes, bending my ankle and making little circles.

I noticed that the surgery had left me with slight numbness on the skin and a lump on the bottom of my foot.

I started physical therapy on October 23. I’ve done a separate post with more details about the exercises I did on my own as well as the ones that were prescribed to me.

Being released by the doctor, I can walk again…or can I?

Finally the day came on November 12 when the doctor told me my X-rays looked good and I could now walk! Well, I think what he meant was that I was allowed to walk, having previously stated it would take 3 to 5 months before I would be able to walk.

He told me I was allowed full weight bearing (FWB) with no restrictions except that he wanted me to wear the boot when I went outside, and after a few weeks I could throw it away.

Anyway, I was so excited leaving the office that I thought maybe I could just walk right out of there. But I didn’t, so I rode my scooter one last time to the car.

Then I put my left foot on the ground for the first time in over two months, and ow, OWWW, that really hurt! I picked it right back up again, dejected with the realization that I would still be dependent on the scooter for a while.

Learning to walk again after a broken ankle

When I got home I took out the crutches and practiced walking while putting some pressure on the left foot. I found it impossibly clunky to try and walk with the boot on so I ditched it immediately. My foot needed a lot of support which the boot did not provide. Not having anything suitable I ordered orthopedic shoes which helped me a lot.

my fuchsia vionic shoes

My fuchsia orthopedic shoes help me walk without limping

The next day I went to the physical therapist. They gave me a walker to use for as long as I needed. They told me to practice putting pressure on the foot, shifting from one side to the other.

And they also told me to practice walking around about 5 minutes a day. I ended up doing a lot more than that though, sometimes too much, resulting in a couple of setbacks.

One of the scariest things happened to me two days after being FWB. It was midnight and I was trying to see if I could vacuum using the walker. I used my left foot to release the vacuum cleaner, lost my balance and fell backwards, landing on my rear end.

I wasn’t hurt, just scared at what might have happened. The tension of being alone and feeling vulnerable for so long overflowed in that moment and I just sobbed my heart out.

The next day I kept at it, using the scooter to get around and practicing with the walker. I would tell myself, “You know how to walk, just walk!” But it was too painful and I couldn’t…yet. Each day I was able to tolerate more pressure on my foot.

And then one day I walked…on my own. Granted, I looked like a monster come to life but I was walking! Like Quasimodo without the hump. Twenty days after being FWB and 87 days after the accident, I could walk on my own at last!

Driving after a broken ankle

It’s illegal to drive with a cast or a boot on either foot. When I became FWB I was legally allowed to drive but couldn’t since my car has a manual transmission which requires the use of both feet. So I had to learn how to drive again.

A week after being FWB I started getting ready to drive. I practiced turning on the motor and shifting the gears with my right foot on the clutch. Then I turned the car off and practiced pressing the clutch with my left foot, using it as an exercise machine, pressing it 50 to 70 times. That was the first and second day.

On the third day I pressed the clutch 100 times, then drove up and down driveway a couple of times.

On the fourth day I drove around the block.

On the fifth day I drove to Trader Joe’s. And this was 11 days after being FWB. I was actually able to drive a stick shift before I was able to walk. Going to the store meant I had to take both the walker and scooter.

I needed the walker to get to the back seat where the scooter was. Then I took the scooter into the store where I was able to steer it with one hand and steer the shopping cart with the other. People stared at me but I didn’t care. I was finally on the road to freedom.

Walking without a limp

While I was able to walk on my own, limping was a problem. I began using one crutch (on the good side) for support most of the time while training myself to walk properly.

Believe it or not, it takes a lot of mental concentration to walk normally. It was frustrating as I told myself, “Why am I limping? I know how to walk.” My foot wasn’t strong enough to support my weight through each step. I would automatically throw my weight to the left and as I began falling to the right, my right leg took a step. Spending unequal time on each leg produces a limp.

To conquer that I actually had to practice walking while repeating “heel, toe” and trying to balance my weight in the center instead of throwing it out to the left, spending equal time on each step.

I also found it very helpful to do calf stretches followed by a 15 minute walk unaided.

I was finally able to ditch the crutch 53 days after being FWB.

flowers on concrete

Pain during and after a broken ankle

Pre surgery

For me there wasn’t a lot of pain when I first broke my ankle. I rated it as a 3 out of 10.

I was sent home from the ER with my foot wrapped in an ace bandage with splints which doesn’t provide a whole lot of support. I was happiest when my foot wasn’t flopping around too much. I used ice packs and occasional prescribed meds to combat the pain.

By the day of the surgery I had no pain at all.

Post surgery

I’ve already described the horrendous pain following the outpatient surgery. That was definitely a 10 out of 10. I did a lot of foot icing the first two days which was hard because the weight of the ice bag was too much for me to bear and I had to use very little ice.

I took my pain meds on schedule for the first two days, gradually increasing the time in between doses so that by the fifth day I stopped taking it altogether.

The pain greatly diminished with each passing day. Toward the end of the eight weeks while waiting to be released by the doctor, I was once again pain free.

Post FWB

The pain returned for the FWB phase. My foot hurt all the time but obviously the most when I was putting pressure on it. It felt like pins and needles combined with very sharp pain concentrated in the heel. I would rate it a 5 or 6 but I refused to take anything for it.

The one thing I did do was get acupuncture because it’s helped me a lot in the past. Right after I began driving I started the treatments, five in a three week period. I was using the walker at that time and desperate to walk on my own. The treatments did help but were not the miracle I’d been hoping for.

After I began to walk, I was still in constant pain and also began getting leg spasms in the left leg which kept me awake at night. My shins hurt too. And then my left knee started hurting as a result of limping.

Sometime in early January I noticed that there were some breaks in the pain, mostly when I wasn’t moving. It’s been gradually going away since then (but not entirely).

And I haven’t mentioned it before but there was a lot of swelling from the time I broke my ankle which continues to this day. The more swelling there is, the more pain I have.

Timeline from broken ankle to recovery

9/6/15 broke ankle, couldn’t walk, NWB

9/17/15 ankle surgery, in cast, not allowed to walk

10/1/15 cast removed, stitches removed, given walking boot but still NWB

10/23/15 started physical therapy, NWB exercises

11/12/15 released by doctor, allowed to walk, FWB

11/19/15 started “driving” practice

11/23/15 able to drive, made my first trip to the store

11/25/15 began acupuncture, five treatments

12/2/15 could walk a few steps unaided but used walker then one crutch part of the time

1/4/16 stopped using crutch, walking entirely on my own

1/23/16 walking without a limp, went dancing for the first time

My life today (March 3, 2016)

Very gradually my foot went from being something strange attached to me, a separate entity with its own needs, to once again being a functioning member of my body.

At the present time I usually only have pain when I walk or do my foot exercises. If I’m on my feet too long, it will hurt afterwards even when I’m resting. I mostly feel pain on the right side of the ankle and the top of the joint.

The numbness is almost gone but the lump on my arch remains.

I’m still going to physical therapy, with only two sessions left.

I can do almost everything I could do before. I can climb ladders, go up and down steps normally, and of course dance to about 90% of my former ability. The dancing does cause me to suffer for a day or two afterwards but hopefully that will improve soon.

I can’t wear high heels yet and had to buy some low-heeled booties to dance in.

my low-heeled shooties

These boots are made for walking…and dancing!

At night I sleep with my legs on top of a flat pillow. I’ve been doing that ever since the accident and it’s still too uncomfortable sleeping without it.

I recently resumed my kettlebell exercises.

I’m able to walk much faster now, almost up to my pre accident speed, although I’m very mindful of where I’m stepping.

To look at me now, nobody can tell anything happened. Things are looking up!

If you have any questions on things I may not have covered, please leave them in the comments below.

Update: June 14, 2016

It’s now seven months FWB and my ankle is feeling so much better. I’m able to stand for as long as I want doing my normal things like cooking, cleaning, shopping and working in the garden. In fact, I just completed a large garden project which involved a lot of digging.

I can dance for hours without suffering afterwards.

I don’t need to sleep with my legs on a pillow anymore.

There’s still some pain doing certain movements and some swelling, but not enough to make me want to ice my ankle. I haven’t used the ice pack in a couple of months.

Now I can even get out of bed in the morning and walk perfectly without having to stretch first.

I would say I’m 95 percent recovered.

I still can’t wear high heeled shoes but I don’t need to wear my magic pink shoes all the time.

Standing on tiptoe on just the left leg is difficult but getting easier every day.

I’m able to squat all the way down to the ground like I could before even though the dorsiflexion is not quite back to normal. I suspect that might be the last thing to come back.

Related posts

Rehabbing my broken ankle

My magic shoes for broken ankle recovery

Broken ankle recovery: one year later

Little known treatment for sebaceous hyperplasia

Long before I knew what it was called, I’ve been suffering with sebaceous hyperplasia. I didn’t know what those bumps were on my face. They weren’t pimples, they weren’t warts and they weren’t moles. It was only after seeing the dermatologist last year, and another failed treatment, I learned the condition is called sebaceous hyperplasia.

The good news is that it’s not dangerous in any way, but having a lot of bumps on your face is frustrating, annoying and often embarrassing. The frustration gets compounded when you seek medical treatment and what is proscribed is more suitable to acne, which this is not.

Sebaceous hyperplasia (SH) is inflammation and multiplication of cells inside the oil glands. The cause is unknown.

You can’t get rid of it by any conventional means—squeezing, freezing with liquid nitrogen, using electrocautery, Retin-A and other exfoliants. I’ve tried it all, except for the electric needle.

With squeezing, you can sometimes get something out but the bump soon returns to its original size.

With liquid nitrogen, it’s hit or miss, expensive and can cause scarring.

Retin-A simply doesn’t work and I believe it’s bad for the skin in the long term.

Then one day I found this interesting video for the Skin Classic machine. I knew this was the answer I’d been searching for.

Watch how Skin Classic gets rid of SH and more

How it works

Skin Classic uses high frequency to heat up the sebum which causes it to instantly come out of the pore. The needle doesn’t actually penetrate the skin. A series of light taps are used around the bump.

That being said, this is not a cure because there is no such thing for SH. You may still have new bumps appear, but the ones you are treated for will not return.

Other skin conditions improved by Skin Classic

Besides SH, these skin irregularities can be successfully treated:

  • keratosis pilaris
  • broken capillaries
  • blackheads
  • cherry angiomas
  • skin tags
  • milia
  • some hyperpigmentation

What it was like getting the treatment myself

To find a practitioner, I filled out a contact form on the RNfaces website.* They referred me to the OC Spa & Wellness Center in Huntington Beach, CA. There you can either get spot treatment or full face treatment down to the cleavage area. I went for the latter since I had quite a few spots.

*As of October 18, 2018, a list of providers can be found here

Normally they clean the skin, then steam it, followed by microdermabrasion and last, the Skin Classic machine. I didn’t want microdermabrasion so my esthetician skipped that part.

During the treatment there’s a small amount of pain involved, but it’s nothing compared to getting liquid nitrogen. Every time she zapped a spot, I thought “ow, ow” and then it was over. It only lasted about one second. After that, there was no more pain or discomfort all the way through the healing process.

Besides getting rid of the SH, she also did a couple of skin tags, a cherry angioma and a dark hyperpigmented spot.

Right after treatment

Right after Skin Classic treatment for sebaceous hyperplasia

Right after Skin Classic treatment for sebaceous hyperplasia

Afterwards, my face was a little bit red and irritated looking. The next day scabs started to form and in the following days, they became more and more obvious. I felt like my face was covered with polka dots. I couldn’t really hide it with makeup so I opted to stay at home for the next week.

There was no picking of scabs allowed and I was very careful when I touched my face.

Followup visit

You’re supposed to return in 7 to 10 days to get any spots that might have been missed the first time. Some can get overlooked in places where the bumps are clustered together because the skin starts to get irritated and it’s hard to see what’s been done and what hasn’t.

I went back after seven days but I recommend waiting ten days. Waiting longer is better because at seven days there was still some irritation and a few spots were missed. I will have to go back again one of these days for another treatment.

Ten days after treatment

Ten days later most of the smaller scabs had fallen off. The larger ones took another month to heal.

Evaluating the results of Skin Classic

It took about four to six weeks for my face to completely heal, with the largest spots being the longest to heal. None of the bumps that were treated returned. One deep spot on my forehead left me with a slight indentation which took several months to fill in.

The skin tags and cherry angioma were also gone for good. The dark spot, however, lightened up considerably but did not completely disappear.

One year after my Skin Classic treatment

My skin looks much better than it did a year ago. I’m very happy with the results.

after skin classic treatment

One year after Skin Classic treatment for sebaceous hyperplasia

Conclusion: I highly recommend Skin Classic

Finding this solution was a dream come true. I thought I was going to have to live with those awful bumps for the rest of my life. I’m still amazed by how well it worked.

What I can’t understand is why dermatologists are not getting Skin Classic machines to treat SH. Perhaps they have another agenda than providing the best solution for their patients. Just a thought.

For more information and to find a provider in your area, please visit RNfaces.com.

Please note: I have no affiliation with Skin Classic, RNfaces or OC Spa & Wellness. I’m just a customer who’s trying to get the word out to other people suffering with sebaceous hyperplasia.