My Journey Towards Clear Skin
Guest Post By: Darci Maxwell
I have always struggled with acne. Once I discovered makeup, I never left the house without it. I even put makeup on before I went to cross country practice, even though I was teased for it. I was so embarrassed by the way I looked. I hated swimming because the dreaded pimples weren’t confined to just my face but they littered my shoulders and back as well.
As an adult, they didn’t really go away. They did, thankfully, get a little better, but I still didn’t feel like I could leave the house without at least putting on a touch of coverup. I even kept some in my bag so that I could whip it out halfway through the day so that I could re-cover my zits halfway through the day.
I tried so many things to get rid of my acne: essential oils, cutting back on sugar, going vegetarian, cutting out dairy, taking homeopathics, and even getting a bad sunburn because someone swore that it would clear up my acne when it healed (it didn’t, and I definitely would not recommend this option). Nothing seemed to work. I’ve always been too afraid to try birth control or accutane, as I don’t want to accidentally mess up my body’s hormones or natural chemistry (I’ve heard too many horror stories), and everything “natural” I tried didn’t seem to cut it.
Eventually, I just gave up.
Recently, I decided to try again to clear up my skin. I did a little bit of research and found a couple of things that I was willing to try. I have seen dramatic results in the past 7 months. While my skin is not perfect, I can walk out of the house confidently without makeup. The amount of new pimples that I see every day or even every week has drastically reduced.
Below are the 5 things that I did to changed my life.
I stopped touching my face.
This was the hardest thing for me to do actually. I used to rest my hand on my chin when I was thinking at work or watching TV at home. That is, until I started noticing a strange pattern on my cheeks. Upon closer inspection I have a pimple exactly where every one of my fingers touched my face when I rested.
I slowly broke this habit by asking friends and family to call me out whenever they saw me doing it, as well as catching myself in the act. I found other ways to rest that didn’t involve touching my face.
I stopped picking my zits.
I had gotten to the point that zits are evil and they must die. Whenever I saw one, I would pop it (even though everyone tells you not to). I just had to. They were too gross to let them stay on my skin. One day I noticed that my right shoulder had a ton more acne than my left. I quickly realized that it was because my left hand got bored when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I subconsciously started picking.
Again, I called on friends and family to call me out whenever they saw me do it, but I also started carrying around a topical ointment with me. Every time I felt the urge to pick, I forced myself to put the salicylic acid on instead (Clean and Clear Acne Spot Treatment is my favorite, the salicylic acid is the best)! After a while I got better and better at not picking my face. I even accidentally did an experiment. I had one zit show up on my cheek that I picked without thinking about, and the next day, another zit showed up nearby. Then I put acne cream on both of them and waited. The zit I didn’t touch disappeared in three days, while the other one took a full week to heal!
I started religiously washing my face.
For as much as I struggled with acne, I’ve never been so great at washing my face (chances are you don’t wash your face much either, this blog says it’s one of the top 8 common skincare mistakes). Sure I washed it in the shower, but if I didn’t shower one night, chances are I’d just go to sleep. Whenever I tried to wash my face nightly, I’d just manage to somehow splash water everywhere. I started buying makeup wipes, but they didn’t really do the trick.
When I decided to get serious about clearing up my skin, I decided that I just had to do it. I bought a couple of cute cloth head bands to tie back my hair, and I tucked a towel into my shirt so that I wouldn’t get soaked (I seriously don’t know how I get so much water everywhere). I now wash my face every night and most mornings. It’s become a habit.
I used bentonite clay.
In a nutshell, bentonite clay is volcanic ash. It produces an electrical charge that draws toxins, metals, and other impurities from the skin. You should never use a metal bowl or spoon when using bentonite clay, as that can compromise the clay.
My favorite mixture is Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (you can find it on Amazon for about $8) and apple cider vinegar. You mix it up until it has a mayonnaise-like texture, and then plaster it onto your face in a thick sheet. You don’t want to make it too thin or it will dry out your skin. The thicker the better. Leave it on for about 15-20 minutes before washing it off. I would recommend taking a shower after doing this mask, as it can get quite messy.
I got a series of chemical peels.
I swear by chemical peels. The other things on this list drastically helped clear up my acne, but I would give chemical peels the credit for most of my skin’s improvement. A chemical peel is a chemical solution applied by an esthetician that creates a controlled injury. This causes the outer layer of skin to peel off (hence the name). The skin that regenerates underneath is smoother, less acne-prone, and even less wrinkled than the layer removed by the peel.