I would wash my face 2-3 times a day and was always looking in the mirror and picking at my face. I avoided wearing makeup on my face (but wore it on my eyes) because it made the acne look worse. I used all sorts of acne products that really irritated my skin and that was worse than just having blemishes. So for several years, I was very miserable as many of you have been or are currently.
So what did I do to help my skin? In December of 2009, I decided to drastically change my routine. I stopped using harsh acne products. I went from washing my face 2-3 times a day to only washing my face once a day. I stopped picking at my face. If I do happen to get a zit, I'll let it run its course and go away on its own. However, if I happen to get one that is particularly evil (meaning: large, painful and "ready" to go) I will apply pressure around the demon and let it come out on its own. There are right ways and wrong ways to "pop zits". Never scratch or use your nails to kill a zit. If it won't die from applying pressure, it's more than likely not "ready".
Here's what my skin looks like now:
Kissy face! :-D Here I'm wearing chapstick and my sunscreen powder. If you've ever tried Physicians Formula Healthy Skin SPF 55 powder in Translucent Light, you will know it has NO coverage...at least it doesn't on me.
I have posted pics of me without makeup before: Beware...the beast lives! J/K :-P
So I will be brave and show you what my skin looked like a long time ago. Sorry if this grosses you out.
I'm sure some of you are thinking "OMG, gross!" and some of you are thinking, "that's not that bad." My skin was very red and irritated. This was not the worst of it, but this is a picture I managed to take when I had the strength to do so. I never intended to show this to anyone. This was taken for me to track my skin progress in the various crap I was trying at the time. None of that crap worked obviously.
So here is what I do now.
I use Mary Kay Formula 3 Deep Cleanser and I ONLY wash my face once a day at night, to remove my makeup. I'm very gentle with my skin. I only use my fingertips and massage my face as I wash it.
Get it here: Deep Cleanser
My husband also uses this product. Although he's wimpy and says it does feel like his face is on fire. Just sayin'! :-)
I got it here: Glycolic Toner
This is the product that actually cleared up my skin! At night after washing my face and using the glycolic toner, I apply this Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion liberally and gently, to my entire face, eyes and neck area. I seriously LOVE this stuff! My husband and I both use this on our hands and face every night and morning. So when I get up in the morning, I do NOT wash my face like most people would do. I might splash my face with water, or use a clean cloth to wipe my face down if I feel a little greasy, but I usually don't. I wake up and just apply more of the shielding lotion. I also use this as my makeup primer and it amazing for that!
You can learn more about it here and purchase from here as well: http://www.skinmdnatural.com/
In the dry winter months, if I am feeling REALLY dry, I will apply Neutrogena oil-free Moisture for sensitive skin, on top of my Skin MD Shielding Lotion:
Below are products I use once a week.
Once a week (usually Wednesday night), I use Mary Kay's Formula 3 Clarifying Mask. I follow the directions as shown on the tube.
Get it here: Clarifying Mask
Once a week (depending on how my skin is feeling/looking) I'll use micro-dermabrasion crystals to gently exfoliate my skin. I mix it with my cleanser so that it's not too harsh. DO NOT use the glycolic toner after doing this. Do one or the other, but not both on the same day. That would be bad for your skin.
I get mine from www.skinobsession.com but the link isn't working right now for some reason...
This routine works really well for me but it may not work for you. Also keep in mind that it took over a month for my skin to adjust to the new routine, calm down and start looking/feeling nice. For months I was seriously touching my face all the time because it felt sooo good and I wasn't used to feeling smooth, supple skin.
Another important part of skin care is drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and eating healthy. I mostly drink just water and milk and never drink soda unless it's with alcohol, which I may drink 1-3 times a month, depending on the occasion. I stay away from fast food (ew!) and I normally cook at home from scratch so I know what I'm putting into my body. I take daily vegan vitamins and supplements to help if I might be lacking something in my daily diet. Which are these:
My credit card information was stolen from the website where I used to purchase these. Oddly enough I don't remember which website...but you can order them online or find them in some healthy grocery stores.
So now you know what I do with my skin. :-) I hope this was helpful to you and I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions at all.