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Brilliant! Beauty

I have had atopic skin conditions (アトピー性皮膚炎) since I was born. Sometimes I avoid people, even my husband because my face is spotty red, so I hide underneath my cotton blanket. Sometime my lymph fluid in unstoppable from scratches, so I am surrounded by hundreds of towels. Sometime I cannot fall sleep because of itchiness, and then I have to work in the morning with bags under my eyes. 

However, life goes on. I have to wake up and carry on. Random people say, "Why you are so puffy red today?" or "Why don't you go see a doctor?"

My parents took me to various famous doctors in Japan, and I also met a few doctors in the USA; however, the condition has never disappeared. I guess that I have to live with the condition until I am going to die. When I am eighty years old, I will be an extra crispy, barley alive mummy.  

Suddenly, I realized that I have not taken charge of treating it. I just accepted doctor's opinions and medicines. I did not really think of the advantages and disadvantages when I applied steroid cream on my skin. Much worse, I could not explain what my atopic skin condition was.  

From last October, I decided to control the treatment process after reading many articles of medical advice, and so far it works fantastically. I am not wearing make-up, but my face has not been red for a long time. For the first time in my life, I feel pretty, and I want my husband to touch my cheeks.

Last night I had a brilliant moment that I share my experimental treatments in my blog. I want to create a magazine type of blog; for example, Monday Beauty, Wednesday Art and Poetry, etc... When I thought of this new direction of my blog, I was so excited and bouncing on the cotton blanket.

This Monday, I am sharing what I use for my facial and body creams. And the following Mondays, I will write about my treatments such as: Making Own Sauna Bath, 18 hours Fasting, Taking Necessary Vitamins, etc...

When I wash my face, I gently rinse it twenty times with only lukewarm water. I no longer have to scrape off my old skin with a towel. I carefully wash my face like washing an egg shell. And then, I apply:

#1) Chifure Lotion (about $5) from Japan
I buy a year worth of lotion when I go back to Japan. It is a hyaluronic acid lotion without fragrance and alcoholic substance. My skin often does not accept strong scented products.

#2) Aquamoist Cream (about $15) from Japan
My friend kindly exchanged a year supply last Christmas for Chicago deep dish pizzas. The cream also contains hyalurionic acid without fragrance. It is especially for my face since I have a limited supply.

#3) Coconut Oil (about $10) from Whole Foods
After I apply lotion and cream, I seal with the oil. I also use it for my hair. I feel that I am always in Hawaii.

#4) Cerave (about $15) from a drug store
I thought that it is expensive to buy it; however, the little cream from Japan costs the same. Cerave cream contains 16 oz with hyalurionic acid. I use it for the body without hesitation, so I can use less the Japanese cream for the face. It also has no fragrance.

#5) Bag Balm (about $7) from a drug store
The label says, "For chapped conditions and superficial abrasions. After each milking, apply thoroughly... Bag Balm has been the farmer's friend helping keep dairy cows from becoming chapped..."

I asked a pharmacist, "Can this be used on humans?"

When I have a chapped scar and extremely dry skin, Bag Balm helps to seal after applying Cerave. It works pretty well, but it has a distinguished smell. My husband thinks that I smell like a farm.

#6) Vaseline (about $5) from a drug store 
For hands, arms, and legs, wherever I feel dryness. I occasionally try various fragrances, but I like the ones without fragrances the most. 

Japanese and American environments are very different. Sometimes my skin adapts to those very well, sometimes unfortunately it does not. So far those reasonable and super helpful creams work for me living in the coldest winter in Chicago.





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Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She was an exchange student and received a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University South Bend. Her recent publications are in Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, RHINO, Cream City Review, and many other journals. Her first chapbook, “Home, No Home”, won the annual Oro Fino Chapbook Competition by Educe Press. Other short collections, “Silver Seasons of Heartache” and “Cochlea”, will be published by Glass Lyre Press in May, 2017. Currently she is working on her graphic poetry co…

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