For years I struggled with acne. I know the pain of trying every product on the market, buying each one with the desperate hope that this, THIS, will finally make my clear-face-dreams come true. And every time? I was disappointed. How could there NOT be a product out there that worked for me? I’d tried drug stores, high end boutiques, TV orders, everything! Was I doomed to plaster my face with makeup and be afraid to swim in public for the rest of my life?
As I got older, I started questioning my whole face care approach. I did some research and discovered that I had ‘hormonal acne’ (a genetic thing). Once a month I would get cystic pimples that were so painful. I was stuck with such awful acne that I needed thick, THICK makeup to cover it. I knew that the makeup slowed healing and probably caused more breakouts, but what I could do? I was deeply embarrassed to be one of the only adults I knew that still had full blown skin issues. Something had to change….
What are my options?
Eventually, I consulted the doctor about my skin issues and he recommended acne medicine. I knew that I wasn’t comfortable with taking skin medication, as the side affect possibilities were quite extensive. I decided it was time to rethink our whole mainstream face care strategy. I couldn’t help but wonder: how did ladies in ‘the old days’ manage their skin without all our medicated washes and creams? I get the impression that acne wasn’t a big epidemic in the early 1900s!lol Nervously, I made the decision to step away from modern skincare advancements and try to do something a little more basic.
What do you mean, you don’t wash your face?!?
I started with something SO SIMPLE. My tiny, beautiful Momsie suggested I started using coconut oil to wash my face every night. Coconut oil!?! Ugh, I have acne problems, the last thing I needed to do was add MORE oil to my face. It was absurd! But, I also trust my Mom. She’s been crunchy since before being crunchy was cool. She said that coconut oil has never clogged her pores. Well, it took me a few months to build up the courage, but I finally decided to try.
It is a very weird thing to go from stinging, medicinal washes to simply wiping an oil that smelled like heaven onto my face. There were no suds! Um…..weird? How was this supposed to penetrate my thick, armor-strong makeup? But do you know what? It totally did!
So, daily I slathered coconut oil on my face and then wiped it all off with a steamy hot cloth. The oil just melted the makeup away, even my waterproof mascara! And frankly, the whole experience just felt luxurious. It was so nice, that sometimes I’d even do it in the morning too 🙂 I kept waiting for my skin to break into a pimplemask of epidemic proportions, but the blemish ‘explosion’ never came. In fact, I started noticing that my breakouts were smaller and seemed to heal more quickly than before.
Success Breeds Success
So inspired by my progress with this new, natural (and CHEAP!) facial cleanser, I decided to push the envelope. I started looking for more natural makeup options. I tried a few that weren’t bad until I came across a good quality mineral makeup. THIS, I believe, was another important aspect of my healthy skin journey. I was realizing that the makeup I’d been using to cover the breakouts just made the breakouts worse. Which in turn made me need more makeup to cover them up…and so on and so forth… until the situation was out of control.
**Now, before I go further, I want to insert a little courtesy heads up. When I cut out all my medicated products, and industrial makeup products, I did notice a small detox. My face was wonderful, then broke out a little bit (but differently than before, little pimples). It seems that my face was expelling the chemical buildup from my pores, now that it was finally able to breath. It only lasted for a short while, and then…..
I experienced the skin I’d always dreamed of having. No joke.
As my skin got rid of all my (years’ worth) of buildup from synthetic ingredients, chemicals, etc, I started noticing that I needed less and less makeup. One day I even went to the grocery store without makeup on. I hadn’t realized until I got home! ME?! I used to be so hyper-focused on keeping my skin covered. I had makeup in my purse, my car, my work…all so I could constantly touch up my face as the day wore on. And now I felt so comfortable in my own skin that I totally forgot to wear any makeup at all?!? Out in PUBLIC?!?!?! When I got home and realized what happened, I looked at myself in the mirror for a long while, and I decided that I wasn’t really embarrassed at all. I looked great on my own. And then, yes, this realization brought me to tears.
I want everyone to feel good in their own skin. ❤
The freedom I now feel, that freedom I had always dreamed of, is such a gift. And I truly wish it also for those who feel like they’re constantly hiding. I want people to know that there are options other than what comes from the drug store. What worked for me might not work for everyone, but please keep trying. Go back to the basics. Use real ingredients. And don’t be afraid.