My Skin: A brief history
I hit puberty early, and a bit like a freight train. I started to break out. Very quickly I confronted not only acne, but also eczema and impetigo. Sometimes my face would have welts the size of dimes, and I basically earned a PhD in foundation, concealer, and powder.
I have a memory of watching Bye, Bye Birdie when I was a teenager, and hearing the song How Lovely To Be a Woman. It has this line in it:
I tried all the over the counter stuff: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, etc, etc, etc. I tried witch hazel, and whatever the hell Sea Breeze toner is.
I declined social invitations so that I could stay in. I even took a few sick days off from school, hoping that the next day a particular zit would be better.
And then I got serious.
How I Cleared My Skin: Easy, Cheap, & Fast
I noticed that I was consistently breaking out in pretty much the same places over and over again. I did all the usual stuff, like keeping clean pillowcases and keeping my phone clean, and never working out in makeup. This is all great advice, but it didn’t save me.
Facemapping is the knowledge that breakouts on the face correspond to a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. This was a major, major game changer for me. After I discovered this, I was able to figure out the root cause of my break outs, eventually preventing them entirely.
Seriously, look at this graphic from Mukti Organics:
For example, I noticed that I would get one major, cystic zit on my cheek every single time summer transitioned into fall. Well, I have allergy-induced asthma, and that is the part of the face corresponding with the lungs. I knew that zit would keep coming until my asthma got better, so I really worked on strengthening my lungs and keeping allergies at bay.
My most consistent breakouts happen around my chin, and ALWAYS when my period is about to start.
Now that I have this knowledge, I am grateful when my skin sends me warning signs.
I tried this in the months leading up to my wedding, absolutely desperate to make sure I didn’t have one of those zits that made me just want to stay home. I fell in love with it. Not only is it incredibly delicious, it really, really works.
This goes hand in hand with facemapping by treating skin issues from the inside out.
After incorporating this into my life, my skin improved by like… 99%. It is my #1 tip for how I cleared my skin, and at only $6/per box, it’s hard to come up with a reason not to try it.
My coworkers have picked up on this trick, and pretty much everyone now has a box stashed somewhere in their desk.
This clay is incredible.
It works by drawing out impurities, with the added benefit of a very gentle exfoliation during the process of removal.
I mix it with a little warm water, and maybe a drop of tea tree oil and/or apple cider vinegar. Then I leave it on to dry for just about 5 minutes, maybe 10, and then rinse gently with warm water. After, I continue with my typical skin care routine (more later).
Right now I mainly use this as a spot treatment if I feel a zit coming on. It definitely dries it right up, and prevents it from becoming a real situation.
After a lifetime of avoiding oil as a way of avoiding breakouts (I see you, Oil Free Acne Wash), this was the first face oil I dared to use. It’s light, and my skin absolutely sucks it in. After just a few weeks of using, my texture was more even, and my pigmentation and tone seemed noticeably improved.
Face oils have been rising in popularity for pretty much all skincare concerns, including aging and acne. This one is good for both. Argan oil is packed with Vitamin A and antioxidants, which are really important for breakouts and for treating fine lines.
I use this light, perfect face oil as my daily moisturizer (I also use the sunscreen). And though I first fell in love with Josie Maran’s Argan Oil, there are a lot of fabulous options out there.
This is both a testament to how clear my skin is, and to how it stays so clear. K-Beauty = Korean Beauty, and is rooted in the nation’s passion for skin care. There is a long history in Korea of avoiding harsh products in favor of gentle ingredients derived from nature.
Go here for a fabulous tutorial on the 10-Step method!
One of my favorite things about this approach is that taking care of your skin is really seen as a way of demonstrating that you have respect for yourself, and that you feel like you deserve to be treated well. It’s an act of self-love. And doing the intense 10-step process with this in your heart is a wonderful approach to self-care.
Because of my long history of skin issues, I am very hesitant to try new products in case they are going to just do the usual thing of irritating my skin. But
I’m currently working on a post rounding up my favorite products in this category, but here’s a little preview: