my skin and hair care routine since rosacea and alopecia

I have an appointment coming up at renew.calm with Dawn Nooney, the owner and esthetician. I had been seeing another esthetician , but when Dawn’s schedule opened up, I switched. I thought it will be easier to write about my skin care routine than to tell her about it. It would use up my precious treatment time and I would likely leave something out. This litany will also be helpful for my dermatologist who treats me for rosacea, demodex, and alopecia and my ophthalmologist who I see for ocular rosacea  [when it spreads to my eyes]. Do I even need to say that I am post-menopausal?

For the most part, I have a nice complexion, so I am told. My rosacea outbreaks take the form of small red dots and small pimples on my face and on my eye lids [ocular]. I have two bald spots on my scalp which have not grown nor spread to other parts of my scalp. My hair has been steadily thinning.

Here are the vitamins and supplements I take daily for a variety of reasons:

B-6, Magnesium, and zinc tablet

Evening Primrose oil, 1100 mg x 2

Milk Thistle, 200 mg x 2

Vitamin D3, 2000 units x 2

Vitamin D3 10,000 iu, liquid drops

Turmeric, 1160 mg

Metagenix Multi Vitamin Packet


viviscal PRO [I just started using this hair health supplement 4/2019 and purchased it at lovely skin which had a 20% off sale.]

Liquid Extracts [1ml each]

Liposomal DHEA

White ginseng  extract

Fo-ti extract

Green tea antioxidant extract

B-6 extract

grapefruitSeed extract

Ashwagandha extract

I buy my vitamins and supplements and extracts from various online vitamin sites and tend to buy high-end clinical line products.

Prescription medications and OTC recommended by my doctors

For the facial rosacea, I take an antibiotic orally Doxycycline hyclate 100 mg twice a day,   as well as apply two antibiotic facial creams:  Metronidazole cream, 0.75% and Azelaic Acid Gel 15%, twice a day.

For the ocular rosacea, I use a prescription antibiotic ointment on my eye lids. I also use a prescription spray–Hydrocholoros acid spray.  I use OTC OCuSOFT lid scrub. It’s a pre-moistened pad.  And, I use OTC Systane eye drops for dry eyes. I buy OTC at the local Rite Aid store.

Here’s my skin care routine.

First thing in the morning, I clean my eye lids with the pre-moistened pad. Then, I massage my face with almond oil which is infused with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a very effective antiseptic to use in treating rosacea and ocular rosacea. I take my oral antibiotic with breakfast.

Later, I shower and use tea tree oil soap which I make myself, Soap by Susan. In addition to washing my face with soap, I also use a clinical facial cleanser, such as  Perricone MD Nutrtive Cleanser or Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel. I use Foreo, a facial cleansing devise–it is made with silicone and it has a gentle stimulating motion. You can find it here at:  foreo

After showering, I apply Physiodermie Stabilizing Lotion ph Balancing to my face. Then, the two antibiotic creams to my face.  I put in the eye drops.

I use tizo2 sunscreen before applying my make up. I won’t go into my make up though it is relatively quick and easy.  I set my makeup with Mario Badescu Facial spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. It is quite divine.

At lunch, I take all my vitamins, supplements and extracts with a tall glass of water and pomegranate juice.

At dinner, I take my second dose of oral antibiotic.

At night, I remove my make up by washing my face with Soap by Susan. It is olive oil based so make up dissolves easily. Then, I apply the second dose of antibiotic creams.  And lastly, I apply physiodermie Multi-Revitalizing Oil.

I use lanza Healing Oil Shampoo and Conditioner for my hair which is thinning. I also have two bald spots, cause is unknown as I did not elect to have a biopsy. I did have two rounds of cortisone injections, to no avail. I have just started using Viviscal Pro supplements and will consider their hair care products once I have finished the Lanza products.

I also use minoxidal 5% on my scalp. It is a topical aerosol foam that I massage into my scalp daily after shampooing and conditioning. It is intended for men [the 3% is for women], but my doctor recommended it at 5%. Sadly, I haven’t noticed any hair growth. You can buy this anywhere so shop around for the best price which I found at costco

On a weekly basis, I apply a mask all over my face–physiodermie Soft Face Biopeeling. This product sloughs off dead skin cells and gives a smooth texture.

On a monthly basis, I give myself a clay mask in my oily T-zone~nose and chin.  It is 100% natural calcium bentonite clay. The brand I use is Aztec Secret, but I don’t think the brand matters. I mix the clay with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to make the paste and then apply it to my skin to deep clean my pores.

I get a professional facial at renew once a month for a deep clean and to slough off dead skin cells.

I see a dermatologist  a few times a year for the rosacea. I am thinking about getting a chemical peel. It costs about $200.00.  The product my dermatologist uses is VI Peel.

Then, when I ponder all the time and money I spend on my skin and hair care and still experience rosacea break outs and thinning hair, I take a valium to calm my nerves.

I hope this is helpful to women who have rosacea. Please feel free to share your experience. Comments and questions are welcome.










Life is an Adventure

Some days it seems that nothing happens, like a Seinfeld show. “It’s a show about nothing.” We give meaning to our days by what we think, how we react. It seems no matter how mundane my day is, I always try to find some meaning or at least some humor in it.

“One way to get the most out of life is to look at it as an adventure.”  William Feather

When I am out and about, I come home and tell Bruce what I encountered and he listens with  attention and says “That’s amazing!” Of course, it is nice to have someone to listen to my yarns, a good listener such as Bruce Barone. “Susan, how was your day?”

Let me tell you.

yoga class 2

On Saturday after a yoga class at Transform at Amy Bourque, I brought Prashna and Prashik, my Nepali friends, to a musical concert at the West Springfield Public Library.

ppp christmas3

Aine Minogue played the harp and told tales for over an hour. She has an Irish lilt and the gift of gab that the Irish are so famous for. She told a folk legend about the selkies on which the movie, “The Secret of Roan Innish” is based. When I told Bruce about it, he knew of the man, John Sayles, from Hoboken, NJ who directed it. We’ll see if we can watch it On Demand. In the meantime, I ordered the book on which the movie is based, “The Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry” from Abe Books. When I finish it, I will pass it onto Prashna, in the hopes that she will read it. It is actually considered a children’s tale. Despite my prodding and bribing, Prashik who is now in 6th grade and is struggling with reading and writing, has no interest in books nor reading. He took out a video game when we were at the library and told me it was “a movie”, a flat out lie.

charles diner

I asked if they wanted to get something to eat. I suggested Charlie’s Diner, as they had never been there. Going out to eat is an adventure for them as it is not something that Nepalis do. Prashik ordered soda, scrambled eggs, bacon and home fries. Prashna had a hot chocolate, chicken tenders, and fries and a side of ketchup. Their table manners are somewhat lacking, but we got through, with a little direction. They know nothing about nutrition and healthy eating, but every occasion cannot be a lesson.

Okay, that was more of an adventure for them than for me, but it gave me joy to do something for them. And, I had my favorite western sandwich on toasted rye.


Going to Costco can be an adventure. Bruce always tells me “Be careful.” Once when we went together, I confronted a woman who did not return her carriage, one of me pet peeves. She reacted by screaming at me and Bruce thought she might take out a gun and take me out. Last week, when I was at the Costco Liquor store, a man had planted himself in front of the wine bins, on his mobile phone. I asked him if he were “shopping or talking?” He said “Both” and I kindly pointed out to him he was not doing either well. I am on a spiritual journey and I think everyone would be better off if they, too, practiced “one pointed attention”, as Eknath Eswaran describes in his landmark book, “Meditation”.

Not all my shopping experiences allow me to share my spiritual wisdom. Here I am with Bruce at Ocean State Job Lot having some fun.

Susan at ocean state


Bruce sees beauty everywhere; the seed packet display. It is nice to be out and about with a photographer who “stops to smell the roses”, so to speak.


“Fill your life with adventures not things.  Have stories to tell, not things to show.”

Having a dog lets me experience life in a whole different dimension. Is that true for you, too?

susan and freddy lake ontario

Our mini labradoodle, Freddy, is full of energy. I ride on his roller coaster of excitement, wanting affection, eating, sleeping, barking, playing. He has a lot of personality and is demanding of our attention. Rather than look at him as annoying, I choose to see him as a gift from God, someone to remind me to slow down, pay attention, take care of the basics, be nurturing, show love, affection and devotion.

Bruce and I are alike in that we enjoy the social connection with folks  when we are about and about, doing errands, volunteering, shopping, taking care of business. It is an opportunity to be kind and helpful to others, share a moment, build good karma.

bruceand students

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller

I wasn’t always so joyful, uplifted, and positive. I have been racked with depression, had many dark nights of the soul and lonely days, felt that it wasn’t worth it to get out of bed. It seems so long ago, going through each day with a dark cloud over me. After many years of moving through to the light, I see that life is not a struggle for me any longer. It is an adventure.

How did I achieve this transformation? I took to heart the words, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  and “You need to come up higher in consciousness to solve your problems.” It took years of therapy, mind-expanding work, prayer, travel, faith in God, enlightened friendships, spiritual reading, yoga, passage meditation, repeating the mantra, letting go of painful experiences, and the Grace of God to turn to the light, to see the light in myself, in others, in the world.


My wounds, hurts, fears, doubts, etc. were incurable to the extent that I held on to them; they don’t go away on their own.  In fact, they continued to accumulate and motivate all my thoughts, choices, and actions until I treated them.

I learned to ‘treat’ through the Mind of Christ,  each pain, each hurt, each insecurity by coming up higher in consciousness.  A “mind change” is essential if there is ever to be any “life change” at all. This is not a one time deal; our minds need to be tended to with constancy.

“I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye many prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

What is life but one grand adventure?


A song, “Say Yes” by Bob Franke may inspire you.


It’s Mare’s Birthday

marebirthdayToday, January 17th is Mare’s birthday. She often told the story of her birth. Her great aunt, who acted as the midwife to her mother, had to walk through “snow that was this high”, she would indicate about 3 feet with her hands. Her family home was “back lots”, meaning a place off of Hillcrest Avenue, where the DiStefano family now call their compound.


The year was 1923 and Harding was President.


Mare was the first born to Frank and Angelina (Rossi) Germano, both immigrants from Italy. Frank and Angelina would have 5 more children in the next 12 years–Benny, Lena, Helen, Ray, and Anna. Thirteen years after Mare’s birth, Angelina would end her own life.

Her birth certificate gives her name as “Germain” and there are a few iterations of the name–Germani, Germain, Germano–before her family settled on ‘Germano’. Also, her mother’s maiden name was stated as “Russelli”, but was later called “Rossi”.

mare birthcertificate

Mare described her Mother as kind and gentle. She had “big hands” as did Mare, and as I have, too.


That is about as much as Mare remembered about her Mother and what I know about my maternal grandmother. I had a sense that there was some shame to her death. Angelina is buried in St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery in town and I often wonder what was done to achieve that feat when the Catholic Church considered suicide a sin.

Mare had only two things that belonged to her Mother–a beautiful cut glass sugar bowl and a glass vase. I managed to break the sugar bowl when I was dusting the shelf it was show-cased on. At that time, I did not know of Martha Stewart’s advise to remove all objects from a shelf or tabletop before dusting to avoid mishaps. I now have the vase and I am very careful.

mare vase

Mare was 13 years old when she lost her Mother. She was in the 8th grade and had to leave school to help manage their household and to care for her younger siblings. By this time, the family was living at 20 Bonair Avenue.

mare house2

Later on, Mare and my father would buy the lots next door, from her father, at 40 Bonair Avenue and build their home, the home I grew up in.

mare house

The two youngest girls, Helen and Anna, went to live with their godparents. Helen went to Warwick, Rhode Island to live with Louise and Larry George. And Anna, 1 year old, went to relatives in town who lived in what was called the Mittineague section.

It must have been heart-breaking  to leave school, for Mare loved her teachers and learning. Much later on, when Mare was in her 60’s, she returned to school, took “night classes”, and earned her GED. What a goal to set and an accomplishment to achieve!

Mare never complained about her childhood. She said it wasn’t easy, but she never said it was hard. It was 1936, in the throes of The Depression, when she was 13. Her family was poor and so were her neighbors. Her father worked as a conductor on the Boston & Albany railroad. He also sold fruit and flipped real estate. She said Pop brought a lot of “junk” home. I guess he was a collector of sorts.

She did say she “didn’t even have a doll”. Later on, as an adult she bought herself a doll and sewed clothes for it.

marew doll

Her childhood experience did not leave her bitter, nor sad. She was keenly sensitive to others who experienced pain and loss and she offered a compassionate, helping hand to many people throughout her life.  She had a formidable inner strength. Her byline was “to persevere” no matter what came her way.

Memorial bench at Old Tatham School in West Springfield where Mare attended grades 1-6.

memory bench

I give heartfelt thanks to my Mother for all that she was as a person and all that she accomplished in her life. Truly, she was the wind beneath my wings.


Happy Birthday, Mom.



Joe invests in the stock market and creates more financial prosperity

investing and creating wealth

stories about susan

As Joe was a smart man and there was ‘extra money’, so to speak, in the household, Joe invested in the stock market to increase his wealth. I don’t know how he educated himself about the markets and companies and investment risks. He likely read and studied somewhat and then took a big load of money to a downtown Springfield stock brokerage office to invest in stocks that he had picked himself.

nyse logo

Back then, I remember that he had money in Shenley Whiskey and Allegheny Steel. On his days off, he would go to the brokerage office and watch the ticker tape come through and see how his investments were doing.


He read The Barron’s.

He would come home and at the dinner table tell us what had happened at the market that day and about a particular woman who was always in the Shearson-Hammil office. She was a Jewish…

View original post 145 more words

thoughts about women’s shoes, on a rainy day


Today it’s rainy, cold and windy. A good day to shop, online

I love shoes. I love buying them and I love wearing them. Just last week as I hopped up on the examination table in my doctor’s office she said , “I like your shoes.”  Navy patent leather Weejums.

shoes my weejums Man, music to my ears. Because everyone knows that women dress for themselves and for other women, not for men. If we dressed for men, well, we would just be naked, wouldn’t we? My brother told me when I was in high school when I was fussing about my clothes that it didn’t matter because boys don’t care what you are wearing.

first impressions

Still, I enjoy compliments from anyone especially when they notice my shoes. The thing is since I have gained weight and am no longer my lithe, petite self, I don’t like buying clothes and I don’t like the way I look in clothes. Not that I am advocating nudity. It’s just that your feet don’t gain weight and they always look good.


I have a pedicure every month so my toes and feet are always ready for sandals, open-toe shoes, mules, or sling backs. susan toesJoanne does the best manicures and pedicures; she works at renew.calm.joanne3

I buy most of my shoes at Nordstrom, online. I am a 9 Medium.  Nordstrom has free shipping and returns, though I rarely need to return shoes.  I don’t pay full price; I only shop the sales. In addition, I earn Nordstrom Notes on my Visa credit card [no airline miles for me] and use my Notes for my shoe and make-up purchases. So, they are basically free to me!

Nordstrom Note

Right now I have an $80.00 Note that is burning a hole in my pocket. I spent some time this morning looking at shoes, online. To my dismay, and this is happening more frequently, I did not find anything I was heads over heels about. Sorry for the pun.

I do not like gladiator shoes and this trend seems to be going on forever. We are not walking for miles in the desert sands in the Roman Empire, are we?

julius ceasar

I do not like metallic~anything. Although I have read that metallic is out, I still see a lot of it. Studs~really? Bows and ruffles on shoes? Embellishments~no way!

So let me show you what I came across today.

Shoes that look like you stepped on an animal and still have the poor thing stuck to your foot.

Shoes that have bows.

A pair of shoes with ruffles.

shoe ruffle

Shoes that have embellishments.


A pair of shoes for the woman who always wanted to be an architect.

shoe iwant to be an architch

Shoes that you could not possible walk in and stay upright.

Shoes that say “happy hooker”.

shoe happy hooker

Shoes that say “Don’t take me seriously.”

shoe dont take me seriously2


Shoes that are down right stupid.

shoes x

And a pair that says, to me, “WTF?”

So, tell me what you think when you go shoe shopping. What is your experience? Pictures, please.