Season 2, Chapter 1: A RECAP

Hey everyone!

I hope life has been treating you well.

Last time we touched base I had just gotten out of Roaccutane and was living the life of the fearless and spotless. The sun was shining bright, my hair blowing in the wind in slow motion while I glazed at nothing. Not a single zit. Great times! I could write a song about it.

But like any good Netflix series, my path to a good skin is a journey made out of a number of plot twists. Here’s a quick summary of the events:

Los Angeles- San Francisco-New York- trip: AUGUST 2015

I travelled to the States to celebrate my birthday and hang out with all my loved ones. During the trip I noticed my trophy smooth skin was becoming clogged, but I brushed it off justifying it for my lack of exercise and not 100% clean diet.

By the time I my trip ended I realized I had a zit. But it wasn’t bad like before so yay.

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CONFIDENCE: ★★★★★

SKIN QUALITY: ★★★★☆

Brazil trip: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

My face started to slowly be covered by these little bumps EXACTLY like it was the year  before  around July. They were all over my forehead and cheeks. They were unsqueezable, hard bumps. I exfoliated, had religious mud masks sessions, steamed my face, used homemade organic Rose water, aloe vera. No improvement. My sister gave me a local brand face wash to try and I think from that point onwards everything turned really, really bad.FullSizeRender.3.jpg

My favorite character on this show died: her name was MY CONFIDENCE.

My mom owns a restaurant and we kind of have to hang out there in order to have a family time. I hated every single moment of it because breaking out and having to socialize with customers it’s close to a punishment. There was a lot of “Oh, so this is your daughter who’s a model abroad?”  going on while I felt and looked my worst. I avoided going to town and meeting people I knew. I stayed home as much as I could.

Completely depressed and defeated, I was laying down on the couch one day when my sister, who’s 10 years younger than me, decided to drive me on a scooter to the park so I could cheer up a little. She said: “Patty, don’t worry. At this time of the day nobody is really there, so you don’t have to worry about meeting anyone. I’ll bring some strawberries too”. She’s so amazing.

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Me on that day. You can tell happiness was absent.

CONFIDENCE:☆☆☆☆☆

SKIN QUALITY:★☆☆☆☆

Bangkok: OCTOBER 2015~JANUARY 2016

I flew back to Bangkok knowing I couldn’t just go back to castings yet. My agency understood the situation very well so they just let me take my time.

Long story short:

 

There was no time for being sad. I was the only one who could solve this. I attacked it from all sides. Diet, workout, skin care. **It’s really important to mention that I gained 4-5kgs while vacationing in Brazil,and losing that extra weight was ESSENTIAL to the health my skin.

My frustration became this strong desire that fueled my willpower to get out of this. I did it before and I could do it again.

I spent Halloween, Christmas, New Years Eve and also booked some big jobs all WHILE breaking out terribly. I shot for big brands with one of the most amazing directors out there, and I HAD to chin up and find out what else can I offer when I’m physically NOT looking my best. I faked confidence most of the part but there was no time for feeling sorry for yourself.

During one of my researches I found out about KERATOSIS PILARIS (those little bumps that can form on your upper arms), and also finally understood the devastating effects of make up allergy.

In January I started to see a dermatologist weekly, and I could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. She put me back on a 2 and a half months Roacutanne treamement, combined with Antibiotics and facials with poking, squezing and all once a week.

We found out I had developed allergy from something I’ve been using. I still can’t believe this, but the BB cream I was wearing almost daily was the biggest cause. Ironically it was good for acne-prone skin. See: COVER FX BB GEL ANTI-BLEMISH TREATMENT

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😦 I really didn’t know.

CONFIDENCE: ★★★☆☆

SKIN QUALITY: ★☆☆☆☆

BANGKOK: MAY 2016

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This is me now. I have so many new things to share. Products, habits, ideas.

But I’ll have to write a separated post just for it.

CONFIDENCE: ★★★★★

SKIN QUALITY: ★★★★★

ENJOYING LIFE: ★★★★★

♀A word with m’ladies: synthetic hormones and us.

Also for my dudes with sisters, girlfriends, female acquaintances that you’re comfortable talking in a non-creepy way about the dangers of the pill.

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   After I finished my Roacutanne treatment, my skin has been simply amazing. Of course, it’s solely because I cheated in order to get a clear skin back. But truthfully, it also feels like I’m driving in the dark with no headlights on. I used to get a pretty quick response from bad eating habits, lack of exercise or just a bad night of sleep in form of overnight pimple and blackheads. But now, nothing. Nada. Gluten, dairy, alcohol, sugar…you name it. Not a single response.

  This feeling is VERY familiar to me. It reminds me of my birth control pills days. (Remember my ex-PCOS case?)

  When a girl reaches a certain age, she most likely will get an appointment with a gynecologist and almost immediately be suggested to get on birth control pills, you know…to take care of herself (babybump). The whole thing is a no-brainer because your mother did it, your sisters, cousins and classmates are on it and every other woman in the world as well. We never really question what are we signing up to, as long as it helps us getting rid of that awful heavy period, bad skin, INSANE PMS, or just to even take back to back boxes of pills so you can skip your period and not having to miss one day of summer vacation.

   What we fail to see is that birth controls are not even close to a medicine that helps our body to heal and solve all unbalances. It’s not even a medicine to begin with. It’s a pill to mask our problems. They are nothing but synthetic hormones that mimics our natural hormones in the body.

   I started taking Yasmin when I was in high school just to see if it would help with my oily skin. I stopped when I moved to Japan, and then re-started with Diane for the “PCOS(?)” treatment. Years later, a doctor warned me about the long term effects of Diane, so I switched back the milder Yasmin and eventually to Belara on my own because it made me less crazy. My poor boyfriend :(. 

   Every month was a roller coaster of emotions. I was checking in #crazytown on a monthly basis. I was getting depressed, angry, unhappy and moody. At one point I thought I was bipolar or something. But I could tell it wasn’t the real me, but is so overwhelming not being in control anymore. How is that pill giving me freedom and independency when my whole life, health, relationships and work are getting jeopardised by it.

  Last month, I was navigating the World Wide Web when I stumbled across a book* called Sweetening the Pill – Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control by Holly Grigg-Spall*The book became a kickstart project from the filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein and it was successfully funded earlier this month! The documentary production will begin in August.

Pretty pretty pretty pretty please🙏. It only takes 5 minutes to watch this trailer.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/92756815/sweetening-the-pill-a-documentary/widget/video.html

“As feminist, we know that is though to be critical of hormonal contraceptives when they’ve given us equality and freedom. But as documentary filmmakers, We want to be able to empower woman to be able to informed choices when it comes to their contraceptive.”

   What’s your experience on birth control pills? Have you ever had a bad experience, or are you completely satisfied with it? Do you agree with the documentary, about how we deserve better options?

   Two years ago, I was talking about PCOS and hormonal problems with my friend Karen To from San Francisco. She warned me about being on the pill while trying to find the root causes for my symptoms. She told me to look for a book called Woman Code where I would find my answers. 

Worth reading: http://www.floliving.com/quit-pill-without-getting-symptoms-back/#.VajjeJOqqko

   The book opened my eyes on so many subjects from endocrine system, adrenal fatigue, hair loss and energy struggles to synching menstrual cycles, and gave me the final push to get off the pills without fearing rebound, weight gain or simply spiralling out of control. I adjusted my diet first, followed the suggestions on the book and freed myself from #crazytown. It’s been amazing ever since and I plan to stay pill-free until the great big wig scientists of the world come up with something else humanly decent for us.

   “We believe that the birth control pill was one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. But we think women deserve more and better options, not less of them. Hormonal birth control often dominates the conversation, but, like a hospital birth or cesarean, it’s not always the best choice for all.” – Holly Grigg-Spall

      Are we happy with the choices that are given to us? Let me know your thoughts!

.Upgrade your skin to the newest version available.

  Tricks we can pull from our fridge.

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   There was a show called 魔女たちの22時 (The witches’s 10pm)(I don’t know how to translate this) that aired from 2009 to 2011 in Japan and it was the peak of show biz itself. 

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   Every week, the show told stories of students, housewives, single mothers, mature woman (and men) , people who reached rock bottom and managed to change something negative in their lives, income, appearance, shape, health etc using a creative way, usually DIY solutions at a very low cost. They would play the dramatic reenacting video first, talk about it, built the momentum and then bring the person to the studio for the before and after with dramatic catch phrase: …...カミングアウト! (Coming Out!).

   I got a looooooooot of great insights from the show, perhaps I can share more in other posts, but there were definitely some that made me raise my eyebrows. Like this thirty something lady who looked no older than a 15yo and was one of the celebrity guest on the show. She said her beauty secret is when you’re applying lotion to pat your skin 3x number of your age. It means if you’re 20 years old, you should pat it 60 times. If you’re 50, you better sit down.

   One story stuck with me particularly because I suffered from bad skin for so long, and I always kept eyes and ears out for new things. The story went like this:

   A 40 something woman took a part time job in a clothing shop, and quickly started to get harassed by her younger co-workers because of her skin. They called her ugly “Crater Woman” because of her bad skin and mostly due to her saggy and  enlarged pores. *PAUSE* SAY NO TO SCHOOL, WORKPLACE AND CYBERBULLYING.

   She grew so resentful of her appearance and the constant remarks of her skin, she started to spend all her salary in expensive skin care and cosmetics in order to cover up and treat her ageing skin. She spent around 7-8,000 USD/year with things that didn’t really help but just stalled her progress. Her dermatologist suggested a 100USD/session laser treatment, but again, she only had a part time job and at this point was already broke and desperate.

   This is when when her beautiful breakthrough started.

   She looked around for with things she had at home to replace the expensive products she couldn’t afford anymore. Her first item was:

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  • EGG WHITE: beat 1 egg white and apply to a clean, washed face. When it dries out completely, rinse it off. Try not to laugh or move your face too much to prevent undesired wrinkles. This is an old timey trick. Egg white face mask is toning/brightening a full with albumin and aminoacids. The results were quick and improved the pores and texture of her skin, but she said after a few weeks doing it, there were no major improvements. So she switched to the next one:
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  • YOGURT  + HONEY: 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, 1 of honey. Mix well an leave it on for 10 mins. Rinse off. This is one of the nicest things you can do at home. Yogurt has a mild peeling. Vitamin A restores the skin and Vitamin B12 boots your collagen. Honey is also antibacterial and together they will leave your skin smooth and they will text you good night every night.

*Important: remember that every ingredient used needs to be of a good quality. No matter if you put it in your face or in your body.

   She realized when she alternated the treatments to 2 weeks each max, she would get the best of it. She added a final face mask trickstery:

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  • GREEN TEA POWDER: 1 teaspoon of matcha powder. Add flour if you want to add consistency and less drippy. Mix it until you think the texture if fine enough to apply it on your face. Leave it for 15 mins. This one if full of antioxidants and restoring properties.

   After repeating these face masks on a 2 weeks each rotation, the woman got rid of her “Crater Woman” nickname and became a beauty reference for every woman who used to look down on her. Are you curious to see the final result on how she looked like?

….カミングアウト! (COMING OUT!)

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   QUEEN BAE-chan! I wanna get to my 40s looking this fine.

    Also, great lesson to be learned. Never give up. Never let the haters get the best of you. Overcome the obstacles and rub it in the face of those who laughed at you. Buy a boat and go on a summer vacation in Croatia.

Hi Patricia, I was intrigued by your story as I too have recently suffered from the deep sore bumps and cystic-like acne that seemed to converge together into huge gross volcanic bumps…! Anyway, my doctor had suggested starting me on diane35. I’ve been on this prescription for a year now and just decided to stop using it as I didn’t want to have to take it forever. It’s been a few weeks and my condition seems to be getting worse again. How long did you use roaccutane? Do you still use it?

Hi Cris! Sorry I missed your question. I was also on Diane 35 for a very long time until a gynecologist told me to switch to Belara (german bc pill) because she thought the long term effects of Diane were not worth it (like melasma). After that, I stayed on Belara for 1 year +, until I stopped taking bc completely. Diana worked when I was getting my apparent PCOS under control, but after all symptoms disappeared I got off it and I’ve been completely fine for almost 2 years now. Like it never happened.
The only reason I used roacctuane was because even during birthcontrol or after reevaluating my whole diet/workout, I was still breaking out. So I used roaccutane 10mg combined with antibiotics for 3 months. Apparently is depends on your body type and your needs. I had no side effects other than slightly dry lips. I finished it I think 2-3 months ago and my skin has been amazing, even during pms. All I have to deal now is with my scars.

Supermodel Cameron Russell and the gene pool lottery

“Young girls shouldn’t aspire to be models.” 

Awesome Ted Talk on the power of the image, race, shape, photoshop and the influence if has on young girls: unnatainable, unrealistic beauty standarts. “For the past few centuries we have defined beauty not just as health and youth and symmetry that we’re biologically programmed to admire, but also tall, slender figures, and femininity, and white skin.”

An Article: The gift of Yoga Gifs

You won’t need to buy new Lululemons for your face for this one.

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   Hey amigos. After the positive feedback on the previous An Article post on Korugi massage, it’s time for me to write a few things on Face Yoga. It’s exaclty what you’re thinking it is, with the benefits you have in mind: toning up your complexion.

   Have you heard about a woman who didn’t smile her whole life because she was trying to avoid developing expression lines? Like human emotion lines? FOR REAL, WOMAN?! If she could only understand that the key to life is BALANCE.

   I don’t know if you know but now you know it, I’m turning 27 this year so unless I take active steps and take care of my expressions routinely, people will start thinking I’m 20 yo instead of 18 and that’s a little upsetting.

 I squint my eyes and frown my eyebrows almost all the time. It’s a bad habit and unless my mother is around to warn me, by making eye contact and spreading her eyes wide out, I keep on doing it 24/7.

  It’s a mixture between Cersei Lannister plotting her revenge to kill her daughter in law while holding a glass of wine + Clint Eastwood staring at his enemies + Daryl Dixon close up shots:

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  Like this. But just way uglier and tired.

  I usually do it because I’m slowly becoming nearsighted, but there’s a number of other situations where I just can’t avoid it:

-When I’m confused

-When I dislike something

-When I didn’t hear what someone said

-When they repeat and I still didn’t get it

-When I’m eating food that tastes so delicious there’s no words to describe it

-Also when the food is really bad.

-When I’m trying to remember something

-When I’m listening to rap, trying to look tough

-When I’m trying to make someone feel uncomfortable after catching the staring at my butt bla bla bla etc etc.

  I bring you this new An Article post because luckily, there are a number of things you can do to keep your face toned up without having to reach for cosmetic procedures, expensive skin care products or any sort of desperation.

 Warning: you will look extra dumb while doing the following.

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  I suggest practicing it while binge watching on TV series, specially on that moment when the episode is over and you see your reflexion on the screen and is kinda sad, while washing your dishes, taking care of personal chores, in the presence of a loved one, driving or walking around, while running on a treadmill or if you’re a free spirit human being I suggest also during peak hours in a crowded restaurant. It could be fun! I don’t know. Imagine?

  Let’s get stretchin’!

  The “Fish Face”: tone and firm your cheeks and lips. Try to smile while holding the fish face. You should feel a tension on your cheeks. Always hold for 4-5 seconds do it until you feel stupid:

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The “I hope no one is looking at me”: it helps defining your jaw and getting rid of double/triple chins. Stick your tongue out and count 10 sec. Repeat 10-15 times. It’s even better if you tilt your head up and stick your tongue out for realskies. You could try also sticking your tongue out and moving it left/right/up/down:

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  I don’t know if you realized by now, but the key to Face Yoga is to do use muscles and movements that we don’t usually do as a normal civilian going on with your day.

The “scrunch yo face”:”: It uses most of the muscles on your face so it helps brighten up your appearance, tired face and eyes. Scrunch your face as hard as you can, hold it for 2-3 secs then open your eyes and mouth wide out stretching it all, holding also for 2-3secs. Repeat 10 times. Another version you can try is to just keep saying “A-I-U-E-O” non stop. It keeps your face young and glowing.

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 The “mouthwash”: This one helps with chubby cheeks, and toning the muscles around your mouth. It helps with fine lines around the area too. Blow air on your cheeks and pressure hold each position (left, right, upper lip, lower lip) for 10 sec then transfer it like you’re swishing mouthwash . Do it for 10-15x:

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  It’s just so easy and I’m 100% sure you will find some benefits while doing these steps a couple of times a day. I also hope you are filled with joy and gratefulness with the gift of Yoga gifs I here presented you. 

NA’MASTAY pretty!

FINAL Chapter 6 : The big purge. 8 months in Purgatory

   Haro friends. It’s been a while.

   It’s time to finally catch up on some more recent stories. Are you ready for more drama? Can I get a hell yeah? woop woop**

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**please don’t feel bad or sorry for me. I wanna show you how life is great but sometimes not exactly a bed of roses, and awful things comes to those who deserve it (JUST KIDDING, I am JUST KIDDING).

   So, after my adventures in Taipei and this, I relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, at the end of the year to keep working as a model but focusing more on acting/TV Commercials jobs. Bangkok is a thriving media/film production hub and it’s also fun. It was calling me back.

   Following my PCOS (link) diagnosis, I stayed on birth control pills for years and learned how to coexist with it. That was until one of my visits to a doctor in Bangkok took me by surprise. After a check up she asked me multiple times how I was diagnosed exactly, and asked for all details about it because apparently there was ZERO trace of PCOS on my body, and it seemed like I have never had suffered from it. NADA. Nopety nothing. So after consulting her, I decided to go off BC (glad I did)(<-link)

   I dived into nutrition, exercise and what not. I’m always very curious and god bless google.com for existing, everything is one research away. I read a number of different health approaches, articles, books(Woman’s code, Leaking Gut, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Ovolacto), natural products, natural skin care, supplements, detoxing, superfoods, alkaline body. PHEW! There’s more. Organic eating, alternative medicine (Reiki, Acupuncture), mega-informative podcasts (Joe Rogan, Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Diet, some other paleo stuff), learned how to fast and learned about Ketosis. I was on the Bulletproof Diet lifestyle for quite a while, and even mentioned it on some of my Instagram posts. But due to the high fat content with butter stuff, I would always break out.

   In fact, I never stopped breaking out even after being on birth control pills. My skin was always alright but never AWESOME. I quit dairy for the longest I can remember because I thought that was it, and it wasn’t. My diet was so clean, I was active, I was healthy, making smart choices, but sometimes out of nowhere…boom. I could count how many weeks/months out of a whole year I had a good skin. It was exhausting and frustrating, specially while having to work WITH your face.

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(photo: a week before the story below)

   2014. Last year in July, I was coming back from my last photoshoot in town before going back to Japan. I remeber in the morning my skin being fine, but half way through the shooting I noticed it wasn’t smooth anymore. After a long time being fine. Could it be allergy? I was intrigued.

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I started documenting it.

  • September in Brazil:
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   It was only getting worse. I thought changing environment would help. Nope. During August in Japan, I met a highly spiritual person/healer who worked with herbs and gave me a whole bunch of tree barks, dried leaves, flowers to brew and drink each thing 5 times a day. He was magical and he smelled like sandalwood. He told me I was already cured. 

   I finished the 1 month supply of tea in Brazil, but nothing changed. I wasn’t feeling like visiting my friends or showing up at my moms restaurant. I just wanted to stay home and play with the dogs. I visited some other place in my hometown and they told me I had to detox my blood. More teas. I also visited a gynecologist for exams and definitely no PCOS or hormonal imbalances.

  • end of September -October in LA:
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   I arrived in LA. My friends were in shock. WHAT THE HELL was going on? Everyone told me to stay in the States for a bit just to deal with this and not worry about anything else. From different group of friends, they were all so wonderful and loving, commited to help (inlcuding myself), but nothing was working. I tried products from Dr. Murad and visited the spa. I was told it was a no brainer. I visted one of those Beverly Hills dermatologists who promised me the gates of heaven, but for a salty price of xxxxUSD. Nope. Nope. Nope. Still not working. I got really depressed around this time.

   I once had a mini-emotional breakdown when I was in OC spending time with my friend Caren. It’s hard when you’ve been battling for so long and each glance in the mirror reminds you that everything looks absolutely out of control.

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   But I wasn’t going to give up. My name is Patricia! Which acording to Urbandictionary.com means “beautiful, tall, smart, brunnete that likes to party. Usually friends with a blonde.” 

   Anyway. I switched from antibiotics to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was a fantastic doctor who helped healing a serious condition of a friend of mine and have been taking care of her whole family ever since. His wise wrinkly face told me I had too much heat on my stomach and lungs, and that my pressure was too low. He gave me a list of do’s and dont’s (no cold food, ice cream, spices, certain meats). I took expensive Uber trips every week to see him from West Hollywood all the way to Alhambra.

  • November-December in LA:
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   I was so happy to be treated in the most natural, holistic way, being a huge fan of chinese medicine myself. But it was almost too much to handle. It was too slow recovery for my liking. I couldn’t recognize myself anymore.

   Some days were pathetic.

   Some others, it was ok:

  • January in LA:
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January in Arizona:

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   It was time to leave. 

   I grabbed what was left from my chinese medicine bags and went back to Bangkok. But as soon as I got back, I realized I couldn’t afford spending any more time trying to get myself out of this misery. I ran some blood tests, hormonal levels, and checked to see if I was still ok and I was.

   So I pondered over what I thought it was right or wrong, wrote on a paper and spit on it. 

   I took a drastic decision which I have been avoiding since my teenage days. I went on an 3 months 10mg ROACCUTANE treatment + twice a day antibiotics.

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LIVER POISON! DEPRESSION! MENTAL PROBLEMS! Everyone shouted.

   Luckily for me the only side effect I had was extremely dry lips, and not being able to drink alcohol beverages.

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   Today, I can eat anything I want, use any brand/products on my face without breaking out almost simultaneously. Matter of fact, I haven’t broken out since I finished the treatment. It’s amazing!

   EVERYDAY IS SO AWESOME! IS LIFE SUPPOSED TO BE THIS GREAT?

   GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE. Not the other way around.

   This is the story of how I miraculously cured my PCOS, food sensitivities, expelled life long demons and finally started to live like a real WOMAN, not a slave of my appearance. Send me questions.

snapchat: patty_nk

ig: pattynk

email: info@skin-careme.com