I’ve mentioned before that one of the many side effects of insulinaemia (BKA the hardest damned word to spell in the English language) is facial hair. Lots of facial hair. I’d always been told that losing weight would help with this, but since insulin resistance makes it damned near impossible to lose weight, I thought this was one of the many cosmic jokes this particular syndrome likes to play on you.
I started lifting weights because I read that weight lifting helps your body use insulin better. Especially if you work the larger muscles (quads, glutes). Okay, good enough, and I happen to enjoy lifting weights, so I bought a cheap weight bench and picked up some cute little neoprene-covered weights at Wal-Mart. Get this, I’ve gone from having to shave every other day to maybe shaving once a week. And keep in mind, it’s not like I’m power lifting or doing the snatch clean and jerk. I mainly work with little five and ten pound dumbbells three times a week. I do a circuit from the Body for Life for Women book. Bottom line is, if you’ve got insulin issues like me, weight-lifting is better than any drug. I still take Metformin (BKA The Worst Drug in the World), but I’ve seen more impact from weight-training than anything. Besides, I might even get Madame Obama arms. Does it get any better than that.
Yes, I know you guys think I shouldn’t tell folks that I have to shave like a man. Several people have been horrified that I would disclose such embarrassing information. First, I’m not embarrassed by it. It’s a symptom of a medical problem that I didn’t cause. Why would I be ashamed? Plus, I talk about it because if what I see every day out in the stores and such is any indication LOTS of women have this problem. I shave because it’s easier on my skin and less likely to cause ingrowns than plucking or waxing. Some day I hope to get laser, but that’s so not in the picture right now, unless someone wants to give it to me for free.
I’ve also gotten lots of questions about my shaving method to prevent ingrowns. First, you need to invest in a product called Tend Skin. I deliberately use the word ‘invest,’ because this stuff isn’t cheap. Y’all know I’m all about the budget, so you know if I’m willing to spend 35 bones on a cup of anything it must be worth it. Here’s the other crazy pricey thing, I use a new blade every time I shave my face. I know, I know, those things are insanely expensive, but I use the disposable Quattros and it’s so worth it. I know you’re only supposed to shave in one direction, but my facial hair doesn’t grow like a man’s. It’s super curly and grows every which way, so I shave vertically, diagonally and horizontally. I also shave in the shower so the steam has had a chance to soften the very coarse hair. I use a shave gel on my face as well.
Immediately after shaving, I use the Tend Skin, apply Neosporin and hydrocortisone cream and then moisturize. I also exfoliate at least once a week, but not the same day I shave. TendSkin has salicylic acid so it does some exfoliation, but I like a mechanical scrub as well. I know this seems labor-intensive, but as someone who gets ingrowns like crazy and has the scars to show for it, I promise you, it does help. The regular exfoliation has also helped with the scarring as well.