When I was in high school I had no acne issues. None.
You know what my facial care regime was? Rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. (feel free to shudder) That’s it. I mean, I was a teenager – I was lazy and it was an effective way to take off grime. You could see the cotton ball get dirty, so it was obviously working. I slapped that Cover Girl powder and glittery blue eyeliner all over and topped it off with lip gloss and don’t forget a spray (or 50) of my favorite hair spray ever – Hard Hair. My face should have been a wreck, but it wasn’t.
Nowadays, I think about that and wonder if it kept my face clear or if I was just lucky. I don’t feel so lucky now; I fight zits and wrinkles at the same time. That just seems wrong. I fight a neverending battle against T-Zone and jawline acne, crow’s feet and sun pigmentation (when you’re a kid we call that “freckles” but as an adult it’s called “ugly brown blotches that concern dermatologists”). That’s a lot of product. That’s a lot of cost. That’s a lot of aggravation when it seems like none of it works, and I am starting to wonder if all this product overload is just making things worse instead of better. So I started researching something I had heard about a long time ago and couldn’t believe: Oil cleansing. As in, using oil to wash your face.
Ick. That was my thought. But all that other expensive big-name crap isn’t working for me, so what ‘s the worst this can do? Make my face oily? Oh wait, I’ve got that area covered. So I started with this site which pretty much sold me on giving this oil stuff a try, even though the idea of castor oil on my face seemed hideous. I didn’t even really know what castor oil was – I only saw it referenced in old cartoons where kids get a spoonful in the morning and make this face that tells me it sucks. Turns out it’s a laxative. My “recipe” that I’m currently trying out is @25% CVS castor oil and @75% Gem extra virgin olive oil, with a few drops of Simple’s tee tree oil since I had that around. I have it mixed up in a little 3 oz. bottle and every evening I oil up like I’m a salad.
I started this on Friday and it’s only Wednesday but so far, so good. I mean, I started at the height of the monthly zit cycle so things could only get better from there anyway. The whole experience is weird but kind of relaxing, just massaging your face in the hopes that you are dissolving all the evil in your pores. And I smell pretty good. I think there’s been some progress in the de-clogging, and I certainly haven’t needed to use a moisturizer. I think I can keep doing this. Maybe if I’m nice to my skin it will be nice to me. I enjoy trying out new things at the local Earth Fare grocery store and I like natural stuff, but I am by no means a hippie. I’m not going to stop shaving and I’m repulsed by the smell of patchouli, but I will be really psyched if I can chuck a lot of my beauty products for a bottle of mixed oil. Sometimes I wash this stuff off in the shower and I’m sure my husband is peeved that the shower floor is slippery, but he’s been too nice (or scared) to mention it yet.
Wanting to read more about this in case there were people who had advice or good recipes, I found Crunchy Betty – if you REALLY want to get natural you can find a lot of ideas there. From reading over there, I decided to replace my olive oil with jojoba oil since it’s supposed to help acne-prone skin. But I already have my happy little mixture so I’m just going to refill it gradually with some Desert Essence jojoba oil. So…oil is what I do at night and in the morning I was just rinsing with water in the shower. After reading more of Betty, I decided on washing in the morning with raw honey. Awwww yeahhhhhh, I just keep piling on the slimy stuff!
I think I’m in love with washing my face with raw honey. It smells awesome, sometimes I get to taste a bit, and it’s supposedly helpful with the acne as well. A bottle of oil and a honey bear – I could be happy if those are the only two cleaning products that my face ever needs. I’ll let you know how it goes. But in the spirit of disclosure I will tell you that I’ve also started putting something very UNnatural on my face, in the dark spots. Everyone seems to have a dark spot corrector these days and I’ve tried several of the expensive fuckers with zero results. A little Ambi for a few weeks ($3.99) is worth a try. Sunscreen, kids. Find one you like and never let it go.