From around age 18 on, I’ve had terrible skin. It’s odd that I made it through the majority of my teens without acne, I thought I was so lucky! And then, I got some voodoo or something…
When I was about 17 or 18, I was sitting on the back deck with my best friend at his house. We were chatting about our weight and insecurities (as teenagers typically do), and feeling bad about ourselves. I even remember that it was a summer night and a full moon. We stood up to go inside and Adam looked at me and said – “At least you have perfect skin.” And he kissed me on the forehead.
Bam. A curse upon me.
11,785 photos in my iPhoto. Guess how many I am in? 10. And of those 10, this is the only one I could find with no makeup on, and its not even my whole face. Sorry, its the best I could do!
After that, I developed rosacea on my cheeks, and I started to break out. It didn’t help that I worked at my Mom’s bakery at the time. I was sweating a lot, eating terribly, and wearing a lot of make up to cover it up. So of course it only got worse. But the true culprit for me, was that I was so preoccupied with how it looked that I could not keep my hands off my face. Picking and prodding, or literally just feeling around for bumps… kind of like assessing the situation – but constantly.
It became such a habit. Then the habit grew into a compulsion. (if you are interested, this compulsion is on the OCD scale and does indeed have a name of its own. Read more here!)
Now obviously, the more you touch your face, the worse your skin will be. Bacteria and junk from your hands is being smooshed all over your face, not to mention INTO the scratches and wounds you’re creating while picking at it.
I gave up on it before I even tried to fix any of my problems. I thought that my skin was bad because I was overweight, and of course when I got skinny, my skin would clear up and then naturally – if I had no acne, I’d have nothing to pick at either, so, hey! instant beauty!
Somehow, up until recently the ridiculous part of me still believed that. Or maybe more that it didn’t matter if I had bad skin, because my weight alone made me unattractive, so whats an insult on an injury? Hey, I didn’t say it made sense… sometimes us humans think in a truly backwards fashion.
Anyway! I recently went into Sephora looking for some foundation makeup. I get very nervous and anxious in there, with the bright lights and my obviously bad skin. So I just put my head down and try to pick out a color. Damnit, I’ve been spotted by a salesperson. She asks if she can help me and I suddenly grow some balls and decide to accept her help. I said, “I’ve never found a color that matches me, can you help?”
She moved in so close to my face, really looking at me. Oh my god, I was dying.
In the end, she helped me pick out my makeup, and then she hooked me up with the skin care section salesperson to help me decide on some other products. They were amazingly sweet and helpful. Didn’t stop me from turning red in embarrassment, but hey, she got to see this rosacea in action!
I left Sephora with over $200 in products. (That is an effective sales team, my friends)
I felt so excited to try my new routine, and to have someone actually tell me that I have dry skin, and super sensitive skin. Truthfully – I had no idea. It felt like real promise.
I started my new regimen, which was this Clinique acne set :
Its just like ProActiv (which, I have tried in the past, and had no luck with)
Combined with some moisturizing serum, dark-mark corrector (for my acne/picking scars), make up remover, and lord knows what else. I did my new routine for a day… my face felt so dry and tight but I was kinda into it. Like, maybe this was working!
After 3 days I realized I was just burning my face off. My forehead felt stiff, like leather. My whole face was turning deep red after applying the serum. I was itchy and burning… and my neck had a painful rash where the lotion would collect.
While I understand the whole – it will get worse before it gets better – thing, this was too much.
In the meantime, I realize that the most important thing to my skin’s health is to STOP.TOUCHING.MY.FACE.
If you’ve ever had a compulsive habit or addiction, you might understand how hard that is. Its not just a habit, it’s so much deeper than that. Its not a matter of just resisting the urge to pop a pimple. For me its all day. When I sit, I rest my cheek in my hand. My chin in my palm. My face is dry, so its itchy and I want to rub it. It is constant.
I started watching some youtube videos of people who struggle with this, or who have successfully stopped. In doing so, I came across Tracy, of TheLoveVitamin.com.
Her youtube channel is here.
I was instantly enamored, and completely inspired. She not only addressed the touching of the face issue, but all other issues as well – cleansing, diet, moisturizing, everything. And everything she does is holistic and natural. Love!
Soooooo, my two-hundred dollar Sephora haul? Down the drain (actually, I will return or give away what I can. They are excellent products, just not for my skin!) Instead, I have purchased manuka honey, aloe vera gel, and jojoba oil.
Thats it. That is all I’ll be using on my face. It is day 3 now of this new regimen and I definitely feel it. My skin was flaking and peeling due to the reaction from the previous cleanser, and that is nearly cleared up. The rash I got from that is calmed down as well.
By not touching my face as much, the redness is way down, and I have already seen way less new acne. And its only day 3!
At this point… for me, its not even about looking good, or having “pretty skin”. Its about my decision to finally make myself healthy in ALL areas of my body, and not just solely my weight.
If you’re still curious about my new skin care routine… here it is!
Morning : small amount of manuka (raw) honey, use like a cleanser in the shower. rub it on, rinse it off. Dry face. Apply a very small amount of jojoba oil to entire face.
After work out : gently rinse my face with cool water. Just to remove the sweat.
Evening : I remove my makeup with warm water and a soft cloth. Then, I mix equal parts aloe vera gel and manuka honey in my palm and spread it all over my face, like a mask. Leave it on for as long as possible. Last night was 40 minutes, but typically about 10 minutes while I brush my teeth, etc. Rinse mask off with warm or cool water. Dry face gently, then rub in some jojoba oil over entire face.
Each step feels amazing. I truly hope it gives me good results!
I’ll do a follow up about these items and why they are so good for the skin!