Running, pregnancy, and skin care

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Running is still going. I ran a marathon relay a few weeks ago and lucked out with the shortest leg possible, 5.4 miles. The past two weekends I managed a ten mile run and eight mile run, so I know I’ll most likely make it to the finish of my 8k race this weekend in one piece. I hear there’s some type of bonus if you give birth at the finish line, but the baby isn’t quite ready for that yet unfortunately. (This is, of course, an attempt at humor, but I realize it’s not even that funny. It’s more of an inside joke, but I couldn’t help myself. Sorry.)

Totally different topic, but I promise it will all make sense in a minute…

Why didn’t anyone tell me that tanning beds are a bad idea?

DeFrancesco_Mollie

Ok, maybe some people warned me, and maybe I ignored them. I mean, we basically had to wear bathing suits year round and I figured I’d look better with a slight tan… which turned into me looking like one of those orange guys from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Oompa loompas, I think they’re called.

All kidding aside, I spent lots of time running outside 7 days per week for hours at a time as a D1 athlete, at day long track meets in the hot sun as a track coach, training for and racing marathons in my 30s, plus plenty of time on the lifeguard stand and at the beach. As I got older I started to notice little changes here and there in my skin- as my tan would fade I noticed tiny freckles on my skin. Eventually they weren’t tiny anymore. I could cover them up with makeup but that became time-consuming… plus I didn’t want to have to wear makeup all the time. Who does?

In 2007 I went to a medical spa in northern Virginia where I was living. I was prescribed a series of mini chemical peels. Unfortunately they didn’t do much and cost a lot of money. My skin looked a little better for a short time.

Fast forward to 2009 when I decided it was time to fix my skin issues- I had just gone on a trip to Hawaii and came home with blotchy uneven skin and horrible break outs. I went to a medical spa and paid for several microdermabrasion treatments as well as a line of products to even out my skin, clear up my breakouts, etc. Did it work? Well, yes… but I dealt with very dry, very red, irritated skin due to the highly concentrated retinol prescription I was given. My face hurt like hell. It would flake off in public. I wasn’t working full time then, but I was taking classes to finish my Virginia teaching license and I’m sure everyone in my class thought I was a complete freak. Eventually I tapered off my use of the products so my skin would have time to recover before my wedding.

Afterward I started working full time and stopped using the products on a regular basis. I made a few more visits to the medical spa but ultimately decided that the cost was too much and that I couldn’t go to work with irritated red skin. I was able to keep my skin problems under control and cover up the unevenness with makeup, but I wasn’t happy with how my skin looked at all.

Then in 2012 I found out I was pregnant. Emmaline was born in 2013 and I was left with a new set of skin problems- Melasma (dark patches of skin on my forehead, cheeks, and upper lip). It got bad over the summer before Emma was born, but faded a bit over the winter. Then it cropped up again this past summer while I was still breast feeding and marathon training outdoors (and of course going to the beach).

The day after Emmaline was born. My skin was very uneven and blotchy. Aww, she was so tiny.

The day after Emmaline was born. My skin was very uneven and blotchy. Aww, she was so tiny.

This past winter I began to notice even more changes- fine lines forming on my forehead, around my eyes and wrinkles beginning to form along my “smile lines”. These are all common trouble areas for women in their 30s.

Luckily I got in touch with one of my teammates and friends from JMU and she got me hooked on Rodan and Fields skin care. I’d been stalking her amazing before and afters on her Facebook, and I will be sharing mine with you guys as well (as if the above photo isn’t embarrassing enough). Rodan and Fields are the same doctors who created Proactiv, and they recently created a whole new line of products and tools to fix four common skin issues- anti-aging, sun damage, sensitive skin, and adult acne. The products themselves work so well, plus they are so much more affordable than what I had used before. And there’s no office visit required. Not only that, they provide you with a schedule to follow so that your skin doesn’t end up dry, flaking, peeling, and irritated.

I don’t ever again want to take a bite of my sandwich and have my skin literally fall off my face onto my plate.

I want to be able to run outdoors or at the gym and not have to worry about breakouts and blotchy skin.

I don’t want to have to wear makeup all the time- I’m not the type of person that likes to spend an hour getting ready.

I also want to start taking good care of my skin now, fixing my issues, and setting up good habits for the future.

And so… I’ve decided to take a huge leap and join the Rodan and Fields team as an independent skin care consultant!

I will leave you with some incredible before and afters. If you have any questions about R and F I’d love to hear ’em!

And here’s my new website so you can check out the products for yourself: shop R and F

Meghan was a Rodan and Fields customer who was so blown away by her results (in just two months of using Acute Care strips and Redefine) that she decided to become a consultant too!

Meghan was a Rodan and Fields customer who was so blown away by her results (in just two months of using Acute Care strips and Redefine) that she decided to become a consultant too!

This customer used Rodan and Fields for 5 months and it took 10 years off her face- She started using Unblemish to clear up her hormonal acne, then started Redefine for large pores, sagging skin, and wrinkles (as well as the Macro Exfoliator and AMP MD Roller tools). She also just recently started using the Acute Care (fill a wrinkle while you sleep) strips. And all of these photos are makeup free!

This customer used Rodan and Fields for 5 months and it took 10 years off her face- She started using Unblemish to clear up her hormonal acne, then started Redefine for large pores, sagging skin, and wrinkles (as well as the Macro Exfoliator and AMP MD Roller tools). She also just recently started using the Acute Care (fill a wrinkle while you sleep) strips. And all of these photos are makeup free!