I've posted before on this blog about my struggle with acne & break outs. Now that I'm in my twenties (correction: late twenties!) my skin is changing. Coupled with the dry weather up here, I'm now noticing it's possible to have both oily & dry skin. Before I would have never classified my skin as dry. It was always super oily & full of breakouts. When I was younger I went to the dermatologist who prescribed me a bunch of different combos of pills & topical things to fight it. Now that I'm older I've been able to discover a few things about skin care on my own and none of these were things the dermatologist told me:
There is a proper way to wash your face - now this may seem like an obvious thing but honestly it's more than wetting your face, creating a lather, & rinsing. You have no idea what residues can be on your face from your make up and such. I wore a lot of make up in high school trying to cover up my acne/redness so since I didn't properly wash my face I'm sure it left my pores clogged. Where did I learn to properly wash my face? After college when I got a job as an office manager at a school that trained aestheticians. Now I feel I wash my face in a way that really gets it clean & use other products to refresh the PH & moisturize. Before, during my oily days, I would skip on the moisture since I had such an oil slick. But now, at least for me, I've noticed if I keep my skin hydrated & have less oil. This is really prevalent when I use coconut oil as my cleanser. I usually remove my make up with a wipe before cleansing so that my cleanser can do it's job. Then use my spot treatment (tea tree oil!), witch hazel as a toner, and then a moisturizer.
There's something called Tea Tree Oil & it's amazing - Instead of all these crazy topical ointments that cost a million dollars, there's something natural called Tea Tree Oil & it works amazing to combat breakouts. Seriously dries them up quite quickly! I'd say it usually takes 3 days for the Tea Tree oil to dry a blemish up completely but I see results after 1 day. I bought this on a whim not believing what others said about it and am so glad I did. My little bottle is from the Body Shoppe & is already diluted. You don't want to put concentrated Tea Tree oil on your face, FYI so dilute it a bit.
Consistency is better than any drug - If someone had just told me that washing my face everyday, properly, would help I might have stuck with it. Usually I'd give up because whatever course of action I was prescribed didn't work and be stuck with inflamed, red skin. But now that I'm older & have a preferred skin regimen I see results no mater what I use. Which is why I get bored with my cleansers/routine easily. Right now I'm using the L'Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector line including the Cleanser, Serum, & Day/Night cream. I like this line because I really saw results from the texture perfecting serum in the evenness & the texture of my skin and pores. So keeping consistent with a gentle cleanser, some exfoliation, a toner, & moisturizer keeps my skin happy.
You get zits all your life - Jennifer Lawrence is the one that told me this, actually. I remember wanting so badly to have clear skin just like other people that I knew. Going to the dermatologist meant hope for a cure - dramatic, I know. No one told me I'd be battling my skin all my life. And at one point it really was a battle. I didn't care what I did to my face, my skin needed to be punished & pumped full of things that would dry out my zits. Things that would exfoliate & leave my skin red. Spot treatments that would inflame my face (oh yes, that has happened). Anything & everything no matter how much it stung, was there to punish my face into submission. That didn't work, in fact I was left with a very angry face not a face that I'd conquered. So I decided just to deal with it in college - it was always going to be this way might as well just accept it. After working at the school mentioned above, I learned I could be friends with my skin. If I treated it well, it would treat me well. I still get breakouts but I know my break out areas & try to treat them before I get a break out. The gentler I am with my skin the more it appreciates it. But it's true - you have breakouts your whole life. You have to be consistent in your skin care to have even a little bit of control over them.
I always felt sort of out of place with acne. But we all have to grow to love the things about us that we don't particularly like. Now I love taking care of my skin because, like I said, if I treat it well - it treats me well.
Have you ever felt like you've battled your skin? How do you nurture yourself now?