I used to be quite a regular on this site, but have been pretty side-tracked with Uni work in the past year or so. But I just wanted to report in on how my skin is at the moment...
Last January (2009) I was probably feeling the lowest I ever had about my skin. I'd spend an hour every morning applying makeup (365hrs a year or 15 whole days a year??? CRAZY!), the condition of my skin would be the first thing I'd think of when I woke up, I'd avoid social situations because I was worried about how my skin looked in certain lights etc. This was really impacting on my mental health now.
I'd lost count of how much I'd spent on treatments...I tried to focus on holistic treatments, but these aren't the cheapest! I tried food supplements, green smoothies, juice detoxes, colonics, enemas, body brushing...etc etc. And nothing really had an impact, but then looking back I imagine my mental state at the time was possibly impairing my body's ability to heal?? (says the non medic here!)
So that's a background into how things were. Then in February last year I broke up with my partner of 6 years, all very traumatic at the time, but by May I had met a new guy. With my previous boyfriend he knew how I felt about my skin and it was easy to be open with him about it and be without makeup in front of him, but I was terrified of this new guy seeing me make-up-less and deciding he didn't like me because of it ( I guess I shouldn't assume people will be so shallow but that's how having acne makes you feel)
I got to the point where I just wouldn't wash my makeup off at all with this new guy, and at times when I was seeing him regularly this might have been for up to a week at a time. I just couldn't bear for him to know I took an hour putting makeup on!! I'd also apply makeup over the top as necessary (mineral powder concealer) to cover the red spots.
My skin went through a horrible shedding process in the next few months. My acne had been focussed around my jawline, cheeks and occasionally forehead. As I failed to wash the dead skin off or apply any sorts of 'acne treatments' it began to flake off, and at times this felt as embarrassing as the acne itself. But I still held onto these stupid paranoias about not wanting him to see me without makeup and continued to not wash my face every day.
By the summer (July/august) my skin was visibly improved. I actually did a charity fashion show for my cousin and remeber thinking at the time I'd never have dared done that several months ago! And things continued to get better. I wash my face maybe once or twice a week, and don't even need to moisturise as the moisture balance in my skin has noirmalised pretty well. I still get a bit of dryness around my nostrils for some reason?? Tiny bit of neutrogena hand cream sorts this!
Sorry for my rambling account of the past year for my skin! I guess in essence I'm advocating a much more natural approach to face care, let your skin heal itself by LEAVING IT ALONE (which is so so hard to accept when you have skin problems as the first response is to do something to physically resolve it...be it squeeze a spot, apply aloe vera, aspirin masks, clay masks...and god I've realised that the skin heals SO MUCH BETTER without these) Try and not let it rule your life (Also very hard to have that mental shift in attitude about your skin)
I hope this may help some people...A roundup of how i've cleared my acne...
* Only wash Face once or twice a week (with cool water only)
* Don't pick at skin...I've broken this rule too many times and have the scars to prove it. But really, just let a spot heal naturally and you'll be pretty amazed at how quickly your body can heal itself without intervention
* Keep your brain happy, your mental attitude can have such an impact on your physical health
BTW. My diet is worse than ever (not proud of this...but perhaps indicates that the changes in my skin are not to do with diet??) I don't exercise as much as I should (also not said with pride!!) And I use a mineral powder concealer only...but today I haven't applied a speck of it and I've been out and about shopping!
I think I always knew this kind of approach would be best for my skin, but it took me a long long time (and a new boyfriend) to actually realise it!