Tears began to sting my eyes as I squeezed, pressed, and picked at the most recent blemish on my face. I had…have…not quite sure what to say at the moment, but I’ve definitely struggled with bad skin since I was little. (In second grade to be specific.)
I remember sitting in my dermatologist’s office as an eight-year-old listening to him tell my mother how I needed to apply this wash, that pledget, and the following creams to make my skin look “not so rough.” Between brief blips of redness and colonies of blackheads setting up camp across my nose, “rough” was a kind word.
These recommendations drastically helped and at eighteen I refused to go anywhere without my face potions. My face routine had become a ritual, and I was a devout believer.
At twenty-eight I was tired of all the medicines, ointments, and breakouts that never seemed to fade. I was a freaking adult at this point…I shouldn’t have to be dealing with redness and pimples! I couldn’t even focus on battling my ever-looming wrinkles (they were slowly setting around my eyes) because I was forever preoccupied with my general skin condition.
I began to lose faith, ”Were my medicines really helping or was my face just in a medical infused coma that wasn’t getting better or worse?”
I started testing various drugstore brands followed by luxe skin lines. They’d work for a little while and then, right when I thought I’d found a solution, my face would freak. It’d go red, start flaking, or, even worse, a deep-set bump would start to make its way in between my eyebrows– creating a pseudo unibrow connected by an unwanted pimple.
I decided I needed to look into some other options and, shortly thereafter, I came across an intriguing product called Atolla.
Is This pHoreal?
Atolla is a skin serum that’s custom to each person’s genetic makeup–based on ph tests you perform, at home, on your skin.
For those of you who are in the dark, like I was, here’s a brief rundown for what you can expect.
It begins with an intensive digital questionnaire, followed by a skin screening package that’s mailed to your home, and, based on the results, they go to work creating a customized facial serum.
Let The Testing Begin
The skin analysis kit arrived in a box, which held an impressively thick envelope. This envelope folded out revealing different wax paper pouches filled with various strips of sticky paper.
The directions were sparse, featuring a URL link at the bottom of your envelope which you’re supposed to enter into your phone. Then, the real process begins, with videos and notes walking you through each individual step. Ie: How to place the strips on your face; where to place them; how long to leave them on; what the different colors and patterns meant for you.
The site was a bit tricky because it kept alternating between a few commands. One task required you to snap photos of your samples and then upload these pictures onto the site versus a second task that had you choose a cartoon that “best resembled your strip.” There didn’t seem to be a reason why they would alternate, making me wonder if there might have been a glitch.
Towards the end of the kit’s instructions, my attention was brought to four tiny vials filled with oil that I’d completely missed. Based on my prior results, the site-directed me towards two different vials and had me place a couple of drops onto the backs of my hand. Then, based on my judgment, I decided which substance most effectively absorbed into my skin. Ultimately dictating the base composition Atolla would be using for me.
It took me about 15 minutes from start to finish, and I was finally done. I was also relieved I didn’t have to mail anything back because, knowing myself, I’d consistently forget.
Patience Is A Virtue
I waited and waited and finally received my serum in the mail. It was in a dainty bottle with a dropper attached to the lid that led straight into the serum. Instructions told me to apply morning and night for expedited results. It also included a list of ingredients and why they were chosen for me.
I put a quarter-size amount in my palm, rubbed my hands together and started pressing the oil onto my face. I think I overdid it the first time, I felt like I had just gone bobbing for apples in a vat of oil. I slowly got the hang of it and enjoyed this little routine. I’d wash my face, pat it dry, apply the serum, wait a couple of minutes, apply my moisturizer and be on with my day. I decided to minimize the makeup I was wearing to maximize the intended benefits.
It’s been about three weeks and if I hadn’t taken a before picture I don’t think I’d even have noticed the subtle transformation. Once you run out of your serum you’re supposed to take the new packet (they include a fresh skin analysis kit in your serum box) and test your skin again. Theoretically, your skin is supposed to change so they concoct a new product for you each month.
At the end of the day, I plan to renew this service for a couple more months. Seeing the evolution of healthier skin is quite appealing. Do I still break out? Yes. But overall the condition of my skin seems to be much better. Living in the midwest, the cold can take quite a toll–aka my skin can look like an alligator if I’m not careful.
Moreover, using this serum as a base before my intense creams adds another dimension of health that my body’s been missing. Plus, there’s a very real thrill every time I apply it knowing that the formula is specifically for my skin type. That’s really the secret to why Atolla works. The process takes out the margin for error, making sure Atolla’s product is a positive boost for your skin.