My skin is typically quite dry and, as I get older, it seems as though it is growing more sensitive. As a teenager, I only had blackheads on my nose and chin. Now it seems as though I have them everywhere on my face. These are by far my greatest problem. Additionally, I'm getting occasional whiteheads sprinkled around my chin and cheeks as well as pimples around my hair line, jaw line, and forehead. I also sometimes get a few pimples on my neck, chest, and back. I seem to break out more in the warmer months, probably thanks to the increased sweat production, so it seems appropriate to address this problem now.
As I said before, my skin is not horrible, so I don't feel as though any drastic measures need to be taken, but I'm fed up with squeezing blackheads only to have more replace them seemingly overnight. I always thought that having blackheads was a way of life until I did a little bit of research. Lo and behold, it's possible to not have any or only occasional blackheads. Sweet Jebus, I can only imagine the happiness I would feel to look in the mirror and see a handful or less of blackheads instead of innumerable clogged and angry pores staring back at me.
Before embarking on being more intentional about taking care of my skin, my routine was pretty much washing my face with cleanser morning and night. I would exfoliate when I remembered (not very often) and would put benzoyl peroxide on pimples when they were really big or stubborn (not very often). I'm pretty good about putting lotion on my face in colder weather, but figured my face didn't really need it in the summer.
So, what am I doing now about this acne of mine? Well, as I mentioned, I've been doing some research. Everyone's skin is different, so there's no one surefire way to get my pores under control. Based on what I've read and my knowledge of my own skin, I've decided to take the following actions:
- Gently wash my face every night and only splash my face with lukewarm water every morning. I'm afraid washing my face morning and night was drying out my skin, so I'm only going to use cleanser at night (I'm currently using Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream).
- Gently exfoliate my face every two or three nights. My blackheads and whiteheads are most likely due to dead skin cells clogging my pores and people with dry skin tend to have a lot of dead skin cells lying around. Exfoliating often will help to slough off those cells before they can clog my pores (I'm currently using Burt's Bees Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub).
- When drying my face, don't rub the towel vigorously; pat gently instead.
- Apply face lotion morning and night even if my face doesn't feel particularly dry (I'm currently using Desert Essence Daily Essential Moisturizer).
- Be diligent about applying benzoyl peroxide to my pimples or problem spots every night after I apply lotion (I'm currently using Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 10).
- Stop touching my face! I'm awful about resting my chin on my hand and picking at my face. I need to be more aware of when my fingers drift faceward and get those digits far away.
- Use blotting paper to soak up extra oil on my face when I notice it's extra slick (I'm currently using Earth Therapeutics Shine-Free Spot Blots).
- Use blotting paper, astringent, and or pore scrub on my neck, chest, and back when I notice these areas are extra oily and or pimply, especially before bed (I'm currently using Sea Breeze Naturals astringent).
- Use clear pore strips every or every other week (I'm currently using Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Clarifying Tea Tree Pore Cleansing strips).
Since I wasn't using nearly enough of my products, I'm going to try to incorporate them into my routine more and see if they make a difference before going out and buying more products. I'm trying to use the products I already have instead of just accumulating more clutter right off the bat. If I feel as though I haven't made much improvement after giving these products a fair shake, then I'll start looking into buying other products that are as natural as possible.
I started being more mindful of my face two or so weeks ago and have been pleased with the progress so far. I seem to have fewer blackheads and the ones I still have look smaller than the ones I had in the past. I'm still having occasional pimples, but they don't seem to be sticking around as long. My jawline is still pretty bumpy, so I'll need to give that area some special attention.
I still have a ways to go before I'm pleased with the state of my pores, but it seems like I'm headed in the right direction. I would like to try out a few natural scrubs, as well as give the Oil Cleansing Method a real chance (I've done it a few times, but haven't stuck with it long enough to see if it makes a difference).
I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress!