From an Expectation of Beauty to my Allergy Nightmare

Guest author Barbara

Article by guest author, Barbara van Zyl, who's expectations of beauty were rudely crushed by a severe allergic skin reaction! The pic is how she looks when she follows her own advice:

Once a month, I go for a facial. Some might say that this is excessive and too indulgent. I say that I work hard and that I deserve to pamper myself once a month. Also, after I got the Implanon, my skin started turning on me in a way that it never has in the past (but more of that at another time).

For the past sixteen months, I’ve been going to see the same woman who always uses the same products on my skin. After about three months, my skin got to a point where the breakouts started becoming manageable and my skin was no longer painful. Facial one, crazy hormones zero! At around this time, the beautician suggested that we start using a light peel on my skin to help with the scarring.

Month one, it smelt like hospital and it was one of the most painful burning sensations I’ve ever experienced. After the peeling stopped, at least my skin was smoother.

Month two, it smelt like hospital and it was one of the most painful burning sensations I’ve ever experienced. After the peeling stopped, at least my skin was smoother and the scarring a little less noticeable.

Month three, do a general facial. Rinse and repeat.

Fast forward up to April 2016, otherwise known as last weekend.

I show up, expecting the same thing. Instead I hear about the amazing new product the salon just got in. Apparently, with the new product, the burning sensation isn’t so obvious and it doesn’t smell like hospital. What more could a girl ask for?

So I lie down on the table/bed (commonly known as the table-thingy) all excited and full of expectations (of the non-burning sort).

After the cleansing bit was finished, finally it was time!

It burned like a thousand sons of b*tches. To all the sensitive folk out there, please excuse the “vulgar” language. At least it didn’t smell like hospital.

But, as my mother used to tell me, “It’s painful to be beautiful”. So like the trooper I am, I sucked it up and imagined the beautifully smooth and scar-free skin I’d have afterwards.

Along with the new peel, there came a whole new range of after-care products. Against my better judgement, I said nothing.


That afternoon I lay down for a nap and accidentally went into sleep of death. Sleep of death: What happens to me when I sleep for fourteen hours or more and nothing and no one can wake me. This might have been due to low blood pressure (I hear that it causes fatigue) or my body being in shock and me not yet being aware of it.

Bottom line, when I woke up around 6 the next morning, I looked like I went to battle with bunch of bees, and lost.

Swollen eyes. Red, puffy face. And the itching!

I tried washing my face. Nothing! I put my face under the hot shower. This actually helped with the itching, but once I got out, it was worse than before. Ice did bring the swelling down a little.

Luckily, Ricka was close by. She did a NAET treatment on me. The swelling went down further. Within the hour the redness started dissipating towards my nose. And the itching started becoming less of a problem.

The point of this story:

  • If you get a bad feeling about someone putting something on your face, say something! Don’t be quiet because “they know better”. You know your body. And when the proverbial poo hits the fan, you’re going to be the one with the mess on your face. (See what I did there?)
  • Always have Ricka close by. This is not permission to kidnap her.
  • You know your body (refer to bullet 1). Assert yourself. And saying “Uh, I think this might, uh, not work” doesn’t count. Saying “I do not want this on my skin/in my food” does. If you’re not quite there yet, you may add “because I’ve never tried this and I’m not sure how I’d react to it”. That’s good advice. I might use it next time.

Good luck out there. Stay strong.

To learn more about getting relief from allergies, here is the information read the NAET page, where you will find additional resources.

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